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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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Jeremy Corbyn shock: Labour planning to tax parents’ gifts to children in vicious reform

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JEREMY CORBYN is planning a huge tax raid on children who inherit homes from their parents.

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Buttigieg says if he’s president ‘so be it’ if Trump prosecuted after leaving office

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Pete Buttigieg said in an interview with “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd that if elected president, he would have no problem with President Donald Trump being prosecuted after he has left office.

In an interview to air Sunday, Buttigieg said he wants to focus “on how we can make people’s lives better” if elected president, but justice could be served at the same time.

“If in parallel there are investigations going on into criminal behavior by people who were formerly at some of the highest levels in our government, so be it,” said Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

Watch more of Chuck Todd’s interview with Pete Buttigieg on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday morning.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s spring report on Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election detailed numerous occasions in which Trump might have allegedly obstructed justice. Democrats in the House have been weighing whether or not to pursue impeachment proceedings in earnest as a result.

Buttigieg said in the interview that Trump hasn’t respected the role of the Department of Justice as an independent law enforcement agency.

“He’s treated it like it ought to be his own personal law firm,” he said.

Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., said prosecuting Trump wouldn’t be a litmus test for his choice of attorney general should he win the election.

“Prosecution decisions shouldn’t be made by politicians in that sense,” he said.

“What I will say is any attorney general that I would appoint is somebody who will faithfully apply the concept that no one is above the law,” he added. “That everybody ought to be held accountable.”

“Justice is blind,” he said. “And I will appoint an attorney general and, for that matter, justices and judges who uphold that principle.”

Buttigieg said during an MSNBC town hall June 3 that he would vote to impeach the president if he were in Congress and the matter was up for a vote. Trump, he said at the time, “deserves to be impeached.”

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Trump’s order to slash number of science advisory boards blasted by critics as ‘nonsensical’

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order late Friday to cut the number of government advisory committees by a third across all federal agencies, a move that the White House said is long overdue and necessary to ensure good stewardship of taxpayers’ money.

But critics said it is the Trump administration’s latest effort to undermine science-based and fact-supported decision-making.

“This is another example of how disconnected the Trump administration is from the needs of the American people and how to protect them from harm,” said Mustafa Ali, who resigned in 2017 as the senior adviser for environmental justice at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Experts on the advisory committees, which were formalized under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) in 1972, give the executive branch input on issues ranging from high-level nuclear waste disposal, the depletion of atmospheric ozone, AIDS, drug addiction, school improvement and housing.

The administration has for two years been “shrinking and restricting the role of federal science advisory committees,” said Gretchen Goldman, the research director with the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, in a statement. “Now they’re removing the possibility of even making decisions based on robust science advice. It’s no longer death by a thousand cuts. It’s taking a knife to the jugular.”

But White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told NBC News over email that the cuts were long overdue.

“A government-wide review of FACA committees has not been done since 1993, and the President believes it is time to once more review and eliminate ones that are not relevant and providing valuable services so that we are good stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” Deere wrote.

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