I'm Gabe Fleisher, reporting live from WUTP world headquarters in my bedroom. It’s Friday, February 7, 2020. 4 days until the New Hampshire primary. 270 days until Election Day. Have questions, comments, or tips? Email me.
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Democrats meet for New Hampshire debate as Iowa chaos drags on
The top seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination will meet for a debate in New Hampshire tonight, their first faceoff since Iowa became the first state to vote in the 2020 primary cycle.
The New Hampshire debate comes as the results from Iowa remain uncertain. Returns have now been reported from 100% of precincts, and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg leads Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by two state delegate equivalents, or 0.1%. Sanders leads in raw votes from the first and final caucus night alignments, by 3.5% and 1.6%, respectively.
The razor-thin, split results have allowed both contenders to declare victory. But the Associated Press has demurred from calling a winner, amid reports from news outlets including the New York Times and NBC News that the results are riddled with numerous inconsistencies and errors. According to the Times, "more than 100 precincts reported results that were internally inconsistent, that were missing data or that were not possible under the complex rules of the Iowa caucuses."
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez — who is facing mounting criticism for his handling of the caucus imbroglio — called Thursday for the Iowa Democratic Party to recanvass (or double-check) the votes. "Enough is enough," he tweeted. " In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass."
The state party said that a full recanvass would only take place if a candidate requested one; the campaigns have until today at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to do so. Asked at a series of CNN town halls on Thursday if they would ask for a review of the caucus results, none of the candidates indicated such plans. "I think we've got enough of Iowa," Sanders replied. "We should move on to New Hampshire."
More 2020 news:
- Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh has ended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination after winning just 1% of the vote in Monday's Iowa GOP caucuses.
- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been endorsed by former Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer, who was ousted from his role by President Trump last year. It is the latest in a series of high-profile endorsements Bloomberg has received as he prepares to present himself as a centrist alternative later in the 2020 primary calendar.
- A Boston Globe/WBZ-TV/Suffolk University poll released on Thursday found Buttigieg and Sanders locked in a dead heat in the upcoming New Hampshire primary. Buttigieg shot to 23% in the poll (a 12-point increase since Monday), while Sanders remained at 24%. After his fourth-place finish in Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden dropped seven percentage points in the poll, landing at 11% — behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 13%.
Celebrating his acquittal, Trump lashes out at rivals
President Donald Trump celebrated his Senate acquittal with an hourlong White House event on Thursday, excoriating his investigators and signaling no plans to dial down his rhetoric with impeachment behind him.
"We've been going through this now for over three years," he said of the Russia and Ukraine probes that have plagued his administration almost from its outset. "It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars. And this should never, ever happen to another president ever."
Looking out at an audience of aides and Republican lawmakers, the president declared: "It was all bullshit."
Earlier, at the bipartisan National Prayer Breakfast, Trump obliquely went after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the only Republican to vote to convict him on Wednesday. "I don't like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong nor do I like people who say, 'I pray for you,' when they know that's not so," he said.
Pelosi, who was sitting on stage with him at the event, later told reporters that Trump's remarks were "particularly without class," but added: "He's impeached forever, no matter what he says."
Trump is now expected to retaliate against the Republicans who rebelled against him during the impeachment probe. According to the Washington Post, "some of the president’s aides are discussing whether to remove or reassign several administration officials who testified during the impeachment inquiry." At least one, Lt. Col. Alexander Lindman — a National Security Council official who testified in the House impeachment hearings and was mocked by President Trump at the Thursday event — is likely to be informed as early as today that he will be reassigned to the Defense Department, the Post reported.
Per Politico, Romney will be high on Trump's "impeachment revenge list" as well, with sources telling the outlet that the White House will wage a "campaign to ostracize Romney" and "socially isolate the lawmaker."
"People should be held accountable for anything they do to hurt this country and this president," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham warned in a Fox News interview on Thursday.
President Donald Trump will deliver remarks at the North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, and at the Republican Governors Association Finance Dinner in Washington, D.C.
The Senate is on recess.
The House will consider H.R. 5687, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020.
Presidential candidates Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer (in podium order, from left to right) will participate in the eighth Democratic presidential debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Presidential candidates Michael Bennet, Tulsi Gabbard, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, and Bill Weld will hold campaign events in New Hampshire.
Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg will hold campaign events in Virginia.
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