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By Dartunorro Clark

Sen. Kamala Harris said Friday that she plans to make a decision “soon” about whether she will seek the presidency in 2020.

“I believe our country wants and needs some leadership that provides a vision of the country in which everyone could see themselves,” Harris said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked why she wants to be president.

However, the California Democrat has sidestepped questions about when she would officially toss her hat in the ring. Her Senate colleague, Elizabeth Warren, announced her candidacy earlier this month in what is expected to be a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

Harris was on the program to promote her memoir, “The Truths We Hold,” which was published this week. In the book, Harris addresses the liberal critiques of her record as a prosecutor as she nears a decision on whether to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.

Harris slammed the president during the interview over his role in the partial government shutdown, which is nearing the end of its third week. Trump is demanding billions to build his long-promised border wall, which Democrats have rejected, leading to the budget impasse that has resulted in the shutdown.

“The president is holding the American people hostage over this vanity project,” Harris said. “This is a crisis if his own making.”

The senator said that the president, who has floated the idea of declaring a national emergency as a way of bypassing Congress to build the wall, is using “political manipulation” in the fight over the wall and putting national security at risk.

“(Trump) is choking the very people who are responsible for making sure we have public safety on a day-to-day basis,” she said, referring to the thousands of unpaid workers at the Transportation Security Administration and the FBI.

“It’s actually harmful on daily basis to real people,” she added.

Harris called on other lawmakers and the American people to speak out and put pressure on the administration to accept legislation that would reopen the government.

“People have to speak up. There is power in that,” she said. “There is power in elected members of the United States Congress speaking up in the interest of their constituency and the American public.”

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Trump lends a helping hand to Netanyahu on the campaign trail

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Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

By Andrea Mitchell

JERUSALEM — President Donald Trump is again making a major Middle East policy change on Twitter — announcing that the U.S. is recognizing Israel’s sovereignty of the Golan Heights, along the contested border with Syria — a huge military and political prize for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu only three weeks before his tough re-election bid.

Trump tweeted that it is “of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”

The president’s enthusiasm was topped by an ebullient Netanyahu, with the Israeli leader calling the White House to thank Trump while the prime minister was hosting Secretary of State Pompeo for dinner at his Jerusalem residence. Netanyahu told reporters, “President Trump has just made history. I called him. I thanked him on behalf of the people of Israel. He did it again!…The message that President Trump has given the world is that America stands by Israel.”

Netanyahu ended with a hug for Pompeo, whom the prime minister pressed this week for the policy change. Pompeo has been brushing off suggestions of any connection between U.S support for the Israeli leader’s foreign policy goals and his re-election bid, but the Golan move is expected to be wildly popular across a broad swath of Israelis — left, right and center.

The Golan Heights has been a major military concern for Israel over the last year as Syrian regime forces have retaken control of some of the territory, bringing with them Iranian-backed militants. But Trump’s unilateral decision to recognize Israel’s right to the area violates a long-standing U.N. resolution and international law, which held that sovereignty should eventually be resolved through negotiations.

In an interview on Fox Business Network with Maria Bartiromo, Trump denied that his position on the Golan Heights had anything to do with the upcoming Israeli election.

“I wouldn’t even know about that,” Trump said. “I have no idea — I hear he’s doing okay, I don’t know if he’s doing great right now, but I hear he’s doing okay. But I would imagine the other side, whoever’s against him, is also in favor of what I just did. Every president has said, ‘Do that.’ I’m the one that gets it done.”

But the advantage for Israel’s embattled prime minister, who is facing a poplar former Army chief of staff, Benny Gantz, in the April 9 election, are unmistakable.

Netanyahu was elated as he cited the White House decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the contested city as Israel’s capital; withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal; and, now, awarding Israel sole custody — in the U.S. view — of the Golan Heights.

Earlier, Pompeo made his first visit to the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, formerly a consulate but now being expanded. He also was the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Israel’s sacred Western Wall alongside Netanyahu, placing a prayer in the cracks of the wall as is Jewish tradition. It signified further acceptance of Israel’s control of the disputed city, containing holy sites of Jewish, Christian and Muslim religions.

They even went to an underground synagogue, built under the Muslim quarter within ancient Roman tunnels.

In response to Trump’s Golan Heights decision, Palestinian official Saeb Erekat tweeted, “What shall tomorrow bring? Certain destabilization and bloodshed in our region.”

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote that he strongly disagreed with Trump, and that the move would prevent Arab governments from making peace with Israel.

Next week, Netanyahu gets another boost from Trump, an invitation to the White House, only two weeks before the election.



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Labour MP blames Theresa May after he was 'attacked by Brexiteers' – 'Whipped up fear!'

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A LABOUR MP has blamed Theresa May for an alleged attack in which he claims a Brexiteer bent his glasses.

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‘RUSSIAN COLLUSION!’ Nigel Farage calls out Remainer petition signed by MOSCOW residents

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NIGEL Farage has called for an enquiry into a petition to revoke Article 50 which has been signed by more than one million Remainers – including Luvvies Hugh Grant and Annie Lennox – because signatures from North Korea, Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea have found their way onto the campaign.

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