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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday that he will give Congress more time to bend to his will on a border wall, as a partial government shutdown over the impasse nears record-length.

“What we’re not looking to do right now is a national emergency,” Trump said of proposals under consideration to unilaterally expand his authority and potentially free up money that he needs to begin construction of new barriers on the U.S. border with Mexico. “I’m not going to do it so fast. … We want Congress to do its job.”

His remarks came during a White House roundtable on border security, one of several events focused on the issue this week that included a primetime address to the nation and a visit by Trump to the U.S.-Mexico line in Texas.

Democrats have said they may sue the president if he invokes his emergency powers and shifts money from projects already approved by Congress to fund the wall, and some Republicans on Capitol Hill have questioned whether such a move by Trump would be an appropriate use of his authorities as president or a wise one.

“The real concern that I have is the precedent that this then sets because this border security is Donald Trump’s priority,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. “We don’t know who the next president may be, but it may be a president where their No. 1 priority is dealing with climate change who says ‘I don’t care whether I have support of the Congress, I’m going to direct these funds to address this because I feel like this is a crisis.'”

“I think there’s a precedent argument that can be made that we need to be very clear about, but I also think there’s the reality that there is a question about whether or not the president can do this,” she added.

But Republicans remain divided over the question.

Trump’s remarks Friday came just hours after Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., emerged from a meeting with him to publicly plead for a national-emergency declaration.

“Democrats will do everything in their power to defeat Trump in 2020,” Graham said in a statement released to the media. “Mr. President, declare a national emergency now. Build a wall now.”

Trump said Friday that he is ready to declare an emergency if Congress — which is out of session until next week — doesn’t add wall money to shutdown-ending legislation that is stalled because it doesn’t include money for the barrier, and that he anticipates a court fight if he goes that route.

“If they can’t do it, I will declare a national emergency. It will be brought to the Ninth Circuit,” he said, referring to the federal appellate court. “And then hopefully we will win in the Supreme Court.”

Democrats, who control the House and retain enough votes in the Senate to sustain a filibuster, have called on Trump to agree to bills that would end the shutdown, but they have refused to earmark money to build a border wall.

The current shutdown will set a record when it enters its fourth week on Saturday, eclipsing the three-week lapse in funding that ran from December 1995 to January 1996. The House and Senate have both passed a bill that would guarantee back pay for furloughed federal workers, and Trump said Friday he would sign it into law.

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Anita Hill says she’d be open to voting for Joe Biden



Anita Hill said she considers Joe Biden partly responsible for how she was treated during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991 — but she’s still open to voting for him for president.

In a wide-ranging interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell, Hill said she’s more interested in the former vice president’s plans for the future than his apologies for the past.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of what he could say,” Hill said. “For me it’s a matter of what we want all of our leaders to say; that is, after almost three decades now of having discovered the problem of sexual harassment, more people understanding it is a serious problem and so prevalent. I really want our leaders to stand up and say what happened in 1991 will never happen again.”

Hill said she wants leaders to “stand up and say that ‘I understand this is a serious problem, that women are not safe in the workplace, they’re not safe in our schools, they’re not safe on our streets.'” She added that she wants leaders to “use the government’s resources to eliminate the problems.”

Hill had worked for Thomas at two federal agencies, and she testified at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing that he’d sexually harassed her, which Thomas denied. She was grilled by Republicans in the Judiciary Committee, which was chaired by Biden.

The then-Delaware senator opted not to call witnesses who could have corroborated Hill’s story, creating what she called a “he said, she said” situation.

Law professor Anita Hill testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 11, 1991.AP file

Before Biden announced his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, he called Hill to express his regret over how she was treated. She told The New York Times earlier this year that she was not satisfied by the apology, but she told Mitchell she didn’t consider Biden’s handling of the hearings “disqualifying.”

“I don’t think it has disqualified him,” Hill, a law professor, said. “He’s perfectly capable of running for president. I think we will have to make our decisions about what we want our leaders to be doing in the future around these issues of gender violence.”

Hill said she does hold Biden responsible for how the hearings were handled because “I believe every chairman of any committee really is responsible for how a hearing is conducted.”

Asked if there was any “moral equivalency” between Biden and President Donald Trump, who’s denied allegations that he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women over the years, Hill said: “Absolutely not. I never said that and never intended to say that.”

When asked if she could conceive of voting for Biden if he is the Democratic nominee in 2020, Hill said, “Of course I could.”

Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in charge of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas in 1991. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., is at right.Greg Gibson / AP file

Hill would not pick out a favorite from the current 2020 field.

“I would love to see a question about gender violence during the debates,” she said, adding that she did not appreciate chatter about female candidates being good vice-presidential picks.

“If you present this picture of them as second, then their arguments for being president are taken less seriously,” she said.

Hill also weighed in on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, saying she “absolutely” identified with Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexual assault, which Kavanaugh denied.

“She was in the same situation” with “intense pressure,” Hill said.

Asked if she’d been in contact with Ford, Hill said: “I have. Not much lately, but I have.”

One person she has not been in contact with is Thomas, who accused her of smearing him. Asked if she ever heard from him, Hill said, “No,” and: “I don’t expect to. And I certainly won’t be getting in touch with him.”

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Brexit shock: Iain Dale claims Michael Gove could beat Boris Johnson to Tory leadership



CONSERVATIVE blogger Iain Dale has said it would be foolish to write off Michael Gove in the race for next Tory leader.

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DNC names 20 candidates who will appear on stage for first Democratic debate



The Democratic National Committee on Thursday named the 20 presidential candidates who qualified to appear on stage later this month in the first primary debate of the 2020 campaign.

They are:

  1. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
  2. Former Vice President Joe Biden*
  3. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey*
  4. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg*
  5. Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro*
  6. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
  7. Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
  8. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii*
  9. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York*
  10. Sen. Kamala Harris of California*
  11. Former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado
  12. Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington*
  13. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota*
  14. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas*
  15. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio
  16. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont*
  17. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California
  18. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts*
  19. Author Marianne Williamson*
  20. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang*

The DNC, which is sanctioning the debate, set two ways for candidates to qualify — fundraising and polling. To make the stage, candidates needed to have either at least 1 percent support in three qualifying polls, or provide evidence of at least 65,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 200 different donors in at least 20 states.

The candidates marked with an asterisk qualified through both polling and grassroots fundraising thresholds, the DNC said. The others qualified through polling only.

Those who did not meet the threshold for the first debate include: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel; Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam; and Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts.

Bullock told NBC News’ Chuck Todd Thursday in an interview on “Meet the Press Daily” that he was “disappointed” with the DNC’s decision but declined to say if he would challenge it.

“I certainly knew getting in at the time I did would give me fewer opportunities to be on shows with youand others, but I had a job to do,” said Bullock, who announced his bid in mid-May. “And if it ultimately ever came down to choosing between getting Medicaid reauthorized, getting 100,000 Montanans health care versus getting in earlier just to try to bump up on yet another poll, I would make that same choice time and time again.”

He added that he is an “important voice” in the field, since Montana voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in 2016, and noted that there will be more opportunities to introduce himself to voters before the first primary next year, including future debates.

“I am the only one in the field that won in a Trump state and we need to win back some of the places we’ve lost,” he said.

The two-night debate, hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo, will take place on June 26 and 27 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami. The event will air live across all three networks from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m ET both nights.

Ten candidates at a time will appear on stage, but the lineup for each night has not been determined, nor has where the candidates will stand. Both nights will have the same format, NBC News previously announced. It is the first of 12 primary debates the DNC has planned.

Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow and José Diaz-Balart will moderate the debate, NBC announced Tuesday.

The debate will also stream online free on NBC News’ digital platforms, including,, the NBC News Mobile App and OTT apps, in addition to Telemundo’s digital platforms.

Dartunorro Clark contributed.

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