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Clinton Vets to Biden: Sh*t’s Just Gonna Get Worse

Clinton Vets to Biden: Sh*t’s Just Gonna Get WorseJoshua Lott/GettyAs Joe Biden’s campaign braces itself for an onslaught of highly dubious accusations from Donald Trump over Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine, Democratic veterans of the last presidential election are watching in horror. Nearly three years after their boss was on the receiving end of Trump’s attacks, former aides to Hillary Clinton recognized the current Trump playbook: allegations of corruption amplified by his allies and the conservative media, followed by the mainstream press adding more oxygen to the scandal by treating it as a horse race story rather than a misinformation campaign. As a result, they are sounding the alarm, urging Biden’s campaign to be extremely careful with how they handle the fallout, arguing that missteps will be twisted and exploited sometimes before a cohesive pushback strategy can be crafted. And, they warn, it’s not just Biden’s problem to tackle. “I think the other candidates should all recognize that it may be Joe Biden in the barrel today but it could just as easily be them tomorrow if Trump decides any of them emerge as the Democratic nominee,” said Brian Fallon, who served as Clinton’s press secretary in 2016. “It is a problem that needs to be tended to by the party as a whole. It is not a Joe Biden problem. It is a party problem.” Karen Finney, a political consultant and former spokesperson for the Clinton campaign, said the Biden campaign has done a good job calling attention to Team Trump’s tactic of creating a false equivalence between Joe and Hunter Biden and what Trump reportedly said during a phone call with the Ukrainian president. But she warned that the onslaught was just starting. “Everybody get ready, because this is what 2020 is going to be like every day,” Finney said. House Threatens to Subpoena Trump & Giuliani Ukraine DocsThe fears expressed by multiple Clinton veterans underscore the difficult task at hand for Biden, the current frontrunner in the Democratic primary. Going after Trump for encouraging or even pressuring the president of Ukraine to investigate allegations of corruption involving Hunter Biden may seem like the only move at hand, but it runs the risk of elevating the attacks on his son even further. “The key piece of advice is to never repeat the negative,” said Zac Petkanas, a former senior adviser to Clinton who ran her 2016 campaign’s rapid response effort. “Never accept the premise of the question. The only thing the Biden campaign should say about the substance of the attack is that it has been debunked.”For now, the former vice president’s team sees no other choice than to rebut the president and his team head-on.  “This is a situation where there is no question about whether us reacting to it gives it more oxygen,” said Anita Dunn, an adviser to the Biden campaign. “When the president, his personal of lawyer, the secretary of the treasury, the secretary of state, and every other person they can find is out there raising the issue, when the president decides to tweet or talk to the press, he is elevating the issue regardless of whatever we are doing. The question then becomes: What is the most effective way to combat it?”“We will be direct, call it out for what it is, be aggressive, and won’t back down,” Dunn added. “I hope the media has taken some lessons from 2016 on this too, because the media tries to play by a set of rules and Trump knows what those rules are, and uses them to his advantage because he doesn’t play by any rules.” Those who have worked on campaigns past don’t quibble with the approach. But there are fears that Biden’s campaign has already made errors. One Clinton vet noted that Hunter Biden told The New Yorker in July that he had spoken to his father about his Ukraine work, in contrast to the former vice president’s assertion that the topic was never discussed. “That’s an inconsistency,” said the former Clinton aide, who asked for anonymity in order to speak freely. “They should get their facts in order and push back hard on substance so that everyone can have confidence that this won’t be a real issue for his campaign.”Pelosi Not Budging on Impeachment and Her Colleagues Are Privately ScreamingBiden’s campaign has, in recent days, denied any wrongdoing. It’s also gone after Trump, his allies, and reporters for suggesting there’s any validity to the claim. During a press gaggle in Iowa, Biden called Trump’s conduct an apparent “overwhelming abuse of power.” And his spokesman, Andrew Bates, told The Daily Beast that Trump had debased the presidency, “remind[ing] the American people of something he made clear long ago: He will always put himself before his country.”Philippe Reines, a longtime Clinton confidant, said the best course of action for Biden’s team moving forward is to “just let it rip.” Biden, he said “should just breathe fire and say, ‘Look, you’re lying.’”To that end, in a strongly worded memo sent to some members of the media on Saturday, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield pushed any media outlet covering Trump’s allegations to “state at the outset that there is no factual basis for Trump’s claims,” asserting that failure to do so “is misleading readers and viewers.” “The inescapable news from this week is that Donald Trump, in order to damage the potential Democratic nominee he fears the most—and who, as Joe Biden said Saturday, polls consistently show would ‘beat him like a drum’—may very well have perpetrated an abuse of presidential power that has never before taken place in American history,” the memo read. Trump himself has not shied away from the accusation that he encouraged the president of Ukraine to launch an investigation into Hunter Biden’s work as part of conversations about sending military aid to the country. He has suggested he’d even be comfortable with a transcript of the call being made public, all while insisting that the real scandal involves the former vice president’s encouragement that a Ukrainian prosecutor looking into the Hunter Biden-tied company be sacked. Several reports have noted that other officials, including many European governments, wanted the Ukrainian prosecutor gone on grounds that he was corrupt. The chaotic fallout has prompted many Clinton allies to draw comparisons to the allegations they were tasked with responding to in the lead-up to the 2016 general election. During that campaign, Clinton faced months of scrutiny over her use of a private email server, the workings of her family’s charitable foundation, and revelations that she’d exchanged more than 100 emails that contained classified information. She struggled with how to respond to the steady drip of news and hesitated for weeks over whether to apologize. But by the end of the cycle, she and her team came to believe that the news media’s coverage of the controversies lacked any proportionality—certainly when compared to the coverage devoted to Trump. Reflecting on that now, Fallon called the stories of Clinton’s wrongdoings “banana peels” that would have the effect of making them slip up. Biden, he warned, would be wise to simply avoid stepping on them at all. “Trying to sort of duke it out in the press every day is not a recipe for long-term success,” Fallon said. “You might get the better of any given cycle, but it won’t alter the trajectory of the story or shift the press off the mindset of probing any merits of whatever controversy Trump is trying to fan around your candidacy.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. 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‘Triad’ Thugs Use Clubs to Punish Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Protesters. But That’s Not Gonna Stop Them.

‘Triad’ Thugs Use Clubs to Punish Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Protesters. But That’s Not Gonna Stop Them.ReutersHONG KONG—Arthur Shek, the co-founder of a financial newspaper here called the Hong Kong Economic Times, took the stage Saturday at an event called “Safeguard HK” to support the police. Pro-democracy protesters have been hitting the streets for seven weeks straight, even briefly seizing the legislature, and Shek compared the demonstrators to spoiled brats. Shek called on anyone who might be listening to use rattan sticks and PVC pipes to beat young people and “educate” them. Behind the stage backdrop was a boat with a banner that read “Stop the violence, stride forward with Hong Kong.” At the time, amid elated cheers, the irony was lost on the crowd.Then attacks actually happened.On Sunday in a neighborhood called Yuen Long, far from the scene of the day’s protests, dozens of masked men and women dressed in white shirts were waiting with sticks by the turnstiles at a train station, ready to assault any people they thought were protesters (who often wore black). They even battered unrelated passers-by, including families with children who were just trying to get home.The massive protests in Hong Kong over the last two months, sometimes involving millions of people, initially were prompted by a plan by the city’s chief executive to introduce a law that would provide cover for politically motivated extradition to mainland China. Since then, popular demands have grown but been consistent: a complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, a retraction of the government’s label of protests as “riots,” the release of those who have been arrested, an inquiry into recent police conduct, and universal suffrage.Desperate Xi Jinping Needs a Win in Hong Kong After Mass ProtestsIt is fair to say that Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party do not have a solid plan to grapple with these developments in Hong Kong—or even a long-term strategy for integration. Few on either side of the border still have faith in the “one country, two systems” governance plan that was meant to define how Hong Kong’s political and economic systems would function after 1997, when the city’s sovereignty was returned from Britain to the CCP. Even gradual assimilation into mainland China’s governance has been met with extreme resistance in Hong Kong.But the attacks in Yuen Long show how Beijing can tighten the screws in the city. On the surface, this appears as a domestic matter, with Hongkongers assaulting Hongkongers. It has already led to a division in the city; what you wear reflects what your ideals are or where your allegiance lies. The same goes for where you shop, because many business groups in Hong Kong maintain tight relations with governmental bodies in mainland China.With severe control of how information flows into mainland China, Xi and the CCP don’t need to worry about the protests in Hong Kong inspiring widespread insurrection in the country. Rather, Hongkongers worry about what the eventual snapback may be. But that unease is only giving fuel to their actions and clashes with the police every few days. It’s one of the few ways in which they can still express their political views—and their rage against a political machine from which they are largely excluded.Many videos of the incident in Yuen Long have been posted on Twitter, Facebook, and shared through other social networks and messaging apps.Police officers were seen walking away from the scene before the lashings started. The thugs entered the station, at certain points charging onto the platform and into trains to beat up anyone who was aboard. A lawmaker, Lam Cheuk Ting, required 18 stitches in his mouth after he was attacked. One journalist with Hong Kong media outlet Stand News live-streamed the assault, and in the process was knocked down and struck by the thugs. In several cases, calls to the city’s emergency hotline were cut off mid-conversation after the attack and locations were mentioned.Later Sunday evening, pro-Beijing legislator Junius Ho greeted the individuals who carried out the attacks, shaking their hands, applauding their actions, and thanking them. When asked about this later, Ho said “My job is to reach out.”It didn’t take long for Hongkongers to react to Ho’s chummy exchange with the assailants. The next day, his office was egged and trashed, shattered glass blanketing every surface.Protesters Seize Hong Kong Legislature and Raise—Now It’s China’s MoveOn Sunday, after the mob left the station, a small cohort of police officers arrived at the scene. They made no arrests and said that they didn’t encounter anyone holding weapons, though photographs taken by a New York Times photographer have surfaced to counter that claim. Reporters asked why the police were slow to respond to a violent incident, but the division commander retorted “I can’t say if we are late.” He followed up with “I didn’t see the time on my watch, sorry.”By Monday morning, more than 45 individuals had sought treatment at hospitals, although the number of people who were injured surely runs much higher. In the past few weeks, there were cases where the police force had accessed medical records of protesters who sought treatment, in turn identifying some who were present at anti-government marches.Locals say the individuals wearing white are triad gang members. On Monday, many shops in Yuen Long remained shuttered as rumors circulated that the thugs will be back in action after nightfall.Even before the attack in Yuen Long, there was a severe lack of trust in the police force in Hong Kong. A track by local rapper JB, “FUCKTHEPOPO,” has become an anthem among some of the younger protesters. Graffiti reading the same message has been spray-painted on the outer walls of some police stations, including the headquarters. A hand sign where all but the ring finger are extended is used to mock the police, calling back to an incident where a protester bit off the finger of a cop who was trying to subdue him during clashes in a shopping mall last week.Many in Hong Kong now see the police as complicit in the attacks in Yuen Long. At a press conference, the police chief, Stephen Lo, said the police force wasn’t equipped to deal with what was going on at the train station because protests elsewhere demanded attention. The city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, who has been the focus of ire among the population in the past weeks, said the government “did not have all the available facts,” and hence had to delay action. She also mentioned that the actions of protesters in other parts of the city—in the central business district and at the Chinese Communist Party’s liaison office, where its emblem was hit with black paint bombs—“hurt the feelings of the Chinese nation,” parroting a talking point that is often used in the Chinese government’s propaganda.Last week, the Financial Times reported that Carrie Lam had attempted to resign from her post, only to be told by Beijing that she needs to stay in place and settle matters in Hong Kong. Lam denied that any of this had ever happened. In any case, here’s the kicker: As long as she remains as the top political puppet in Hong Kong, locals will be protesting against her instead of overtly invoking Beijing and Xi Jinping in their grievances.As we approach the fifth anniversary of the Umbrella Movement, we can expect many more protests to take place every weekend, perhaps even more often than that, with violence escalating each week.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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2020 Vision: Buckle up America! It’s gonna be a long, crowded campaign

2020 Vision: Buckle up America! It’s gonna be a long, crowded campaignIf this week was a preview, the 2020 presidential cycle will make the last one seem tranquil.

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Geraldo Rivera Taunts Sean Hannity Over Migrant Fear: 'Are You Gonna Shoot 'Em, Sean?'

Geraldo Rivera Taunts Sean Hannity Over Migrant Fear: 'Are You Gonna Shoot 'Em, Sean?'Sean Hannity and Geraldo Rivera got into a heated argument on Monday night as

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John Goodman Breaks Silence on 'Roseanne' Cancellation: 'I Wasn't Gonna Get an Emmy Anyway'

John Goodman Breaks Silence on 'Roseanne' Cancellation: 'I Wasn't Gonna Get an Emmy Anyway'John Goodman has spoken out for the first time since "Roseanne‘s" cancellation — by saying he’d rather stay quiet.

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'We’re Gonna Do What International Law Says We Can Do.' Aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea

'We’re Gonna Do What International Law Says We Can Do.' Aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the South China SeaTIME tours one of America's biggest warships as it prepares for a historic Vietnam port call

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Do You Like Paying Tolls? You're Gonna Love Trump's Infrastructure Plan

Do You Like Paying Tolls? You're Gonna Love Trump's Infrastructure PlanWASHINGTON ― If you like paying tolls, you’re going to love Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan.

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Tax Reform Is Gonna Eat My Lunch!

Tax Reform Is Gonna Eat My Lunch!WASHINGTON ― My employer gives everyone in my office a free lunch every day, and Republicans in Congress want to put a stop to it.

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North Korea threatens the US, Stephen Colbert says we’re all gonna die

North Korea threatens the US, Stephen Colbert says we’re all gonna dieThis week, following a unanimous vote from the U.N. Security Council to impose strict new sanctions on North Korea, Kim Jong Un and the North Korean military responded by announcing that they are looking into the possibility of targeting US military bases in Guam with ballistic missile strikes.

This news arrived hours after Trump declared that North Korea would be "met with fire and fury" were it to continue threatening the United States. Needless to say, it's been a rough week, but Stephen Colbert is doing everything he can to help us get through it without losing our minds.

"I know a lot of people tune into this show on a nightly basis to get their news and information," said Colbert in his monologue last night on The Late Show. "They count on me to be a straight shooter with a calm voice. I don't want to be alarmist… we're all gonna die." See, don't you feel better now?!

Colbert went on to explain that US intelligence now believes North Korea is making missile-ready nuclear weapons, which really brings into what Dennis Rodman has been doing over there all this time. Colbert then cited a Wall Street Journal article which explains that North Korea wants to specifically teach the United States a lesson, and that other countries aren't being threatened.

"What?! How is that fair?" asks Colbert. "It was fifteen countries. We're just one of the fifteen countries. Why just us? Look, North Korea, stop trying to make us a thing, alright? I'm not saying what we have isn't special, but it's not exclusive. The United States, we sanction a lot of other countries."

The threat of nuclear war is terrifying, but the clip's pretty funny, and you can watch it here:


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Man Who Shot NYPD Officer Threatened Police in Facebook Rant: 'We Gonna Do Something'

Man Who Shot NYPD Officer Threatened Police in Facebook Rant: 'We Gonna Do Something'"I'm not playing, Mr. Officer"

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