Why the fight against disinformation, sham accounts and trolls won’t be any easier in 2020

2020 Election

The big tech companies have announced aggressive steps to keep trolls, bots and online fakery from marring another presidential election — from Facebook’s removal of billions of fake accounts to Twitter’s spurning of all political ads.

But it’s a never-ending game of whack-a-mole that’s only getting harder as we barrel toward the 2020 election. Disinformation peddlers are deploying new, more subversive techniques and American operatives have adopted some of the deceptive tactics Russians tapped in 2016. Now, tech companies face thorny and sometimes subjective choices about how to combat them — at times drawing flak from both Democrats and Republicans as a result.

This is our roundup of some of the evolving challenges Silicon Valley faces as it tries to counter online lies and bad actors heading into the 2020 election cycle:

1) American trolls may be a greater threat than Russians

Russia-backed trolls notoriously flooded social media with disinformation around the presidential election in 2016, in what Robert Mueller’s investigators described as a multimillion-dollar plot involving years of planning, hundreds of people and a wave of fake accounts posting news and ads on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube.

This time around — as experts have warned — a growing share of the threat is likely to originate in America.

“It’s likely that there will be a high volume of misinformation and disinformation pegged to the 2020 election, with the majority of it being generated right here in the United States, as opposed to coming from overseas,” said Paul Barrett, deputy director of New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights.

Barrett, the author of a recent report on 2020 disinformation, noted that lies and misleading claims about 2020 candidates originating in the U.S. have already spread across social media. Those include manufactured sex scandals involving South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and a smear campaign calling Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) “not an American black” because of her multiracial heritage. (The latter claim got a boost on Twitter from Donald Trump Jr.)

Before last year’s midterm elections, Americans similarly amplified fake messages such as a “#nomenmidterms” hashtag that urged liberal men to stay home from the polls to make “a Woman’s Vote Worth more.” Twitter suspended at least one person — actor James Woods — for retweeting that message.

“A lot of the disinformation that we can identify tends to be domestic,” said Nahema Marchal, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute’s Computational Propaganda Project. “Just regular private citizens leveraging the Russian playbook, if you will, to create … a divisive narrative, or just mixing factual reality with made-up facts.”

Tech companies say they’ve broadened their fight against disinformation as a result. Facebook, for instance, announced in October that it had expanded its policies against “coordinated inauthentic behavior” to reflect a rise in disinformation campaigns run by non-state actors, domestic groups and companies. But people tracking the spread of fakery say it remains a problem, especially inside closed groups like those popular on Facebook.

2) And policing domestic content is tricky

U.S. law forbids foreigners from taking part in American political campaigns — a fact that made it easy for members of Congress to criticize Facebook for accepting rubles as payment for political ads in 2016.

But Americans are allowed, even encouraged, to partake in their own democracy — which makes things a lot more complicated when they use social media tools to try to skew the electoral process. For one thing, the companies face a technical challenge: Domestic meddling doesn’t leave obvious markers such as ads written in broken English and traced back to Russian internet addresses.

More fundamentally, there’s often no clear line between bad-faith meddling and dirty politics. It’s not illegal to run a mud-slinging campaign or engage in unscrupulous electioneering. And the tech companies are wary of being seen as infringing on American’s right to engage in political speech — all the more so as conservatives such as President Donald Trump accuse them of silencing their voices.

Plus, the line between foreign and domestic can be blurry. Even in 2016, the Kremlin-backed troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency relied on Americans to boost their disinformation. Now, claims with hazy origins are being picked up without need for a coordinated 2016-style foreign campaign. Simon Rosenberg, a longtime Democratic strategist who has spent recent years focused on online disinformation, points to Trump’s promotion of the theory that Ukraine significantly meddled in the 2016 U.S. election, a charge that some experts trace back to Russian security forces.

“It’s hard to know if something is foreign or domestic,” said Rosenberg, once it “gets swept up in this vast ‘Wizard of Oz’-like noise machine.”

3) Bad actors are learning

Experts agree on one thing: The election interference tactics that social media platforms encounter in 2020 will look different from those they’ve trying to fend off since 2016.

“What we’re going to see is the continued evolution and development of new approaches, new experimentation trying to see what will work and what won’t,” said Lee Foster, who leads the information operations intelligence analysis team at the cybersecurity firm FireEye.

Foster said the “underlying motivations” of undermining democratic institutions and casting doubt on election results will remain constant, but the trolls have already evolved their tactics.

For instance, they’ve gotten better at obscuring their online activity to avoid automatic detection, even as social media platforms ramp up their use of artificial intelligence software to dismantle bot networks and eradicate inauthentic accounts.

“One of the challenges for the platforms is that, on the one hand, the public understandably demands more transparency from them about how they take down or identify state-sponsored attacks or how they take down these big networks of authentic accounts, but at the same time they can’t reveal too much at the risk of playing into bad actors’ hands,” said Oxford’s Marchal.

Researchers have already observed extensive efforts to distribute disinformation through user-generated posts — known as “organic” content — rather than the ads or paid messages that were prominent in the 2016 disinformation campaigns.

Foster, for example, cited trolls impersonating journalists or other more reliable figures to give disinformation greater legitimacy. And Marchal noted a rise in the use of memes and doctored videos, whose origins can be difficult to track down. Jesse Littlewood, vice president at advocacy group Common Cause, said social media posts aimed at voter suppression frequently appear no different from ordinary people sharing election updates in good faith — messages such as “you can text your vote” or “the election’s a different day” that can be “quite harmful.”

Tech companies insist they are learning, too. Since the 2016 election, Google, Facebook and Twitter have devoted security experts and engineers to tackling disinformation in national elections across the globe, including the 2018 midterms in the United States. The companies say they have gotten better at detecting and removing fake accounts, particularly those engaged in coordinated campaigns.

But other tactics may have escaped detection so far. NYU’s Barrett noted that disinformation-for-hire operations sometimes employed by corporations may be ripe for use in U.S. politics, if they’re not already.

He pointed to a recent experiment conducted by the cyber threat intelligence firm Recorded Future, which said it paid two shadowy Russian “threat actors” a total of just $6,050 to generate media campaigns promoting and trashing a fictitious company. Barrett said the project was intended “to lure out of the shadows firms that are willing to do this kind of work,” and demonstrated how easy it is to generate and sow disinformation.

Real-life examples include a hyper-partisan skewed news operation started by a former Fox News executive and Facebook’s accusations that an Israeli social media company profited from creating hundreds of fake accounts. That “shows that there are firms out there that are willing and eager to engage in this kind of underhanded activity,” Barrett said.

4) Not all lies are created equal

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are largely united in trying to take down certain kinds of false information, such as targeted attempts to drive down voter turnout. But their enforcement has been more varied when it comes to material that is arguably misleading.

In some cases, the companies label the material factually dubious or use their algorithms to limit its spread. But in the lead-up to 2020, the companies’ rules are being tested by political candidates and government leaders who sometimes play fast and loose with the truth.

“A lot of the mainstream campaigns and politicians themselves tend to rely on a mix of fact and fiction,” Marchal said. “It’s often a lot of … things that contain a kernel of truth but have been distorted.”

One example is the flap over a Trump campaign ad — which appeared on Facebook, YouTube and some television networks — suggesting that former Vice President Joe Biden had pressured Ukraine into firing a prosecutor to squelch an investigation into an energy company whose board included Biden’s son Hunter. In fact, the Obama administration and multiple U.S. allies had pushed for removing the prosecutor for slow-walking corruption investigations. The ad “relies on speculation and unsupported accusations to mislead viewers,” the nonpartisan site FactCheck.org concluded.

The debate has put tech companies at the center of a tug of war in Washington. Republicans have argued for more permissive rules to safeguard constitutionally protected political speech, while Democrats have called for greater limits on politicians’ lies.

Democrats have especially lambasted Facebook for refusing to fact-check political ads, and have criticized Twitter for letting politicians lie in their tweets and Google for limiting candidates’ ability to finely tune the reach of their advertising — all examples, the Democrats say, of Silicon Valley ducking the fight against deception.

Jesse Blumenthal, who leads the tech policy arm of the Koch-backed Stand Together coalition, said expecting Silicon Valley to play truth cop places an undue burden on tech companies to litigate messy disputes over what’s factual.

“Most of the time the calls are going to be subjective, so what they end up doing is putting the platforms at the center of this rather than politicians being at the center of this,” he said.

Further complicating matters, social media sites have generally granted politicians considerably more leeway to spread lies and half-truths through their individual accounts and in certain instances through political ads. “We don’t do this to help politicians, but because we think people should be able to see for themselves what politicians are saying,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an October speech at Georgetown University in which he defended his company’s policy.

But Democrats say tech companies shouldn’t profit off false political messaging.

“I am supportive of these social media companies taking a much harder line on what content they allow in terms of political ads and calling out lies that are in political ads, recognizing that that’s not always the easiest thing to draw those distinctions,” Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state told POLITICO.

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

Related posts

Interest rates: Powell tells Congress federal debt is ‘unsustainable’

Powell: U.S. debt is ‘on unsustainable path,’ crimping ability to respond to recession

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned lawmakers Wednesday that the ballooning federal debt could hamper Congress’ ability to support the economy in a downturn, urging them to put the budget “on a sustainable path.”

Powell suggested such fiscal aid could be vital after the Fed has cut its benchmark interest rate three times this year, leaving the central bank less room to lower rates further in case of a recession.

“The federal budget is on an unsustainable path, with high and rising debt,” Powell told the Joint Economic Committee. “Over time, this outlook could restrain fiscal policymakers’ willingness or ability to support economic activity during a downturn.”

Powell also reiterated that the Fed is likely done cutting rates unless the economy heads south.

“The outlook is still a positive one,” he said. “There’s no reason this expansion can’t continue.”

The testimony marks a more aggressive tone for Powell, who generally has steered clear of lecturing lawmakers on the hazards of the federal deficit. But after raising its key rate nine times since late 2015, the Fed has lowered it three times this year to head off the risk of recession posed by President Donald Trump’s trade war with China and a sluggish global economy.

Those developments have hurt manufacturing and business investment while consumer spending remains on solid footing.

The Fed’s benchmark rate is now at a range of 1.5% to 1.75%, above the near-zero level that persisted for years after the Great Recession of 2007-09 but below the 2.25% to 2.5% range early this year.

“Nonetheless, the current low-interest-rate environment may limit the ability of monetary policy to support the economy,” Powell said.

Noting the Fed has lowered its federal funds rate an average 5 percentage points in prior downturns, Powell said, “We don’t have that kind of room.” He added, “Fed policy will also be important, though,” if the nation enters a recession. Fed officials have said they still have ammunition to fight a slump, including lowering rates and resuming bond purchases.

Meanwhile, the federal budget deficit hit $984 billion in fiscal 2019, the highest in seven years, and it’s expected to top $1 trillion in fiscal 2020. The federal tax cuts and spending increases spearheaded by Trump have added to the red ink and are set to add at least $2 trillion to the federal debt over a decade. The national debt recently surpassed $23 trillion.

“The debt is growing faster than the economy and that is unsustainable,” Powell said.

He added that a high and rising federal debt also can “restrain private investment and, thereby, reduce productivity and overall economic growth.” That’s because swollen debt can push interest rates higher.

“Putting the federal budget on a sustainable path would aid in the long-term vigor of the U.S. economy and help ensure that policymakers have the space to use fiscal policy to assist in stabilizing the economy if it weakens,” Powell said.

He added, “How you do that and when you do that is up to you.”

Many economists are forecasting a recession next year, though the risks have eased now that the U.S. and China appear close to a partial settlement of their trade fight and the odds of a Brexit that doesn’t include a trade agreement between Britain and Europe have fallen.

Powell also said the Fed is unlikely to reduce interest rates further unless the economy weakens significantly – a message he delivered after the central bank trimmed its key rate for a third time late last month.

“We see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate” as long as the economy, labor market and inflation remain consistent with the Fed’s outlook, Powell said.

Since last month’s Fed meeting, the government has reported that employers added 128,000 jobs in October – a surprisingly strong showing in light of a General Motors strike and the layoffs of temporary 2020 census workers.

“There’s a lot to like about today’s labor market,” Powell said. He noted the 3.6% unemployment rate, near a 50-year low, is drawing Americans on the sidelines back into the workforce. And while average yearly wage growth has picked up to 3%, it’s lower than anticipated in light of the low jobless rate. Inflation, he said, remains below the Fed’s 2% target.

“Of course, if developments emerge that cause a material reassessment of our outlook, we would respond accordingly,” Powell said.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tried to coax the Fed chief into weighing in on the potential economic impact of “a massive tax increase,” which some analysts say could be required by several Democratic presidential candidates’ proposals for universal health care or free college tuition.

“I’m particularly reluctant to be pulled into the 2020 election,” said Powell, a Republican and Trump appointee who has been repeatedly attacked by the president for not cutting interest rates more sharply.

Related posts

Planned Parenthood’s political arm to spend $45 million on electing candidates backing reproductive rights

news

(CNN)Planned Parenthood‘s super PAC kicked off a $45 million electoral program targeted toward battleground states for the 2020 election, the reproductive rights giant announced on Wednesday.

The group’s self-identified largest program to date will go toward “large-scale grassroots organizing programs and targeted canvass, digital, television, radio and mail programs,” according to a press release. Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will all be focuses of the initiative, per the release.
“Who we elect will determine our access to birth control, cancer screenings, sex education, abortion access and more,” said Kelley Robinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, in a statement.
“That’s why Planned Parenthood Votes will use every tool at our disposal to hit the pavement, flood the airwaves, and elect reproductive rights champions up and down the ballot,” she added. “We know this is a fight we can win.”
The super PAC pledged to back reproductive rights candidates “from the White House to the Senate to statehouses and ballot initiatives across the country,” indicating a state-level focus after a year that saw a slew of pre-viability abortion restrictions coming out of conservative state legislatures. Planned Parenthood is among the plaintiffs in lawsuits challenging such laws in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri and Ohio.
Anti-abortion leaders decried Planned Parenthood’s election efforts, accusing the group of looking to protect its own finances and lamenting its federal subsidies. Planned Parenthood received $563.8 million in government funding in 2018, according to its annual report.
Lila Rose, president of anti-abortion group Live Action, slammed the funding effort as a display of “ruthless prioritization of politics and their bottom line over women’s health care.”
March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement that the funding effort was unsurprising “because this Administration has implemented a pro-life agenda in many areas, including the Protecting Life in Global Health Policy and new Title X regulations, both of which impacted Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.”
“It is unfair to force Americans to subsidize through their tax dollars this partisan political organization bent on electing pro-abortion politicians,” she added.
This year, Planned Parenthood rejected some federal funding. The group decided to drop Title X funding in August after the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Trump administration rule blocking recipient providers from discussing abortion services with patients. HHS told recipients in July that the rule would go into effect despite several pending challenges.

Related posts

Bernie Sanders and the 2020 age debate

(CNN)With only120daysuntil the Iowa caucuses, the 2020 election will be here before you know it.Every Sunday, I round up the5BIG storylines you need to know to understand the upcoming week on the campaign trail. And they’re ranked — so the No. 1 story is the most important of the coming week.

5. Trump, unleashed: Donald Trump has spent the last week talking and tweeting almost nonstop as he tries to fight his way out of mounting allegations over his pressure campaign to get the Ukrainians to look into debunked allegations of wrongdoing against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
And the rhetoric from Trump has gone to previously unseen heights — even for Trump. He’s accused Rep. Adam Schiff (California) of treason, he’s attacked Mitt Romney in deeply personal terms — more on that directly below — and he’s repeating, repeating, repeating long disproven lies.
All of which means that when Trump travels to Minneapolis on Thursday for a “Keep America Great” rally, well, look out. Trump is always at his most, well, Trump-y at these campaign rallies — and, given the walls closing in on him in Washington, he could well use the Minnesota rally as a venting session the likes of which even longtime Trump observers rarely see.
Stay tuned. It’s going to be a doozy.
4. Any other Mitt Romneys out there?: Republicans have, almost uniformly, closed ranks around Trump even as a second whistleblower has emerged regarding the President allegedly using the power of his office for political gain during interactions over the summer with Ukraine.
Only Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) has publicly criticized Trump in any way, calling the President’s urgings of China and Ukraine to investigate the Bidens “wrong” and “appalling.” Trump immediately struck back, referring to Romney as a “pompous ‘ass'” (I have no idea why he put “ass” in quotes) and suggesting that the 2012 Republican nominee was “begging” to be his secretary of state.
Any Republican who was weighing speaking out about Trump’s behavior with Ukraine (and his plea for China to investigate his main rival for the 2020 nomination) now can have no illusions about what such criticism will be met with: Pure, unadulterated anger from Trump — and likely vilification from the President’s base.
Is any prominent Republican other than Romney willing to risk speaking out when that reaction is assured? Principle vs. politics, anyone?
3. Fundraising losers…: With the third fundraising quarter ending at the close of last month, most of the major candidates have released how much they brought in and how much they spent between July 1 and September 30.
Let’s go through the losers first.
* Joe Biden: When you are a former vice president and the race’s frontrunner, you need to be at or very close to the top of the money chase. Biden’s $15 million raised in the third quarter is well off the pace and a significant drop-off from when Biden raised $21.5 million from April 1 to June 30 — his first three months of active fundraising. His numbers will re-ignite the debate over whether he has real grassroots energy behind his establishment candidacy. Think about this: The mayor of South Bend, Indiana — Pete Buttigieg — raised $4 million more than Biden in the third quarter and has now out-raised the former vice president for six months straight.
* Cory Booker: The New Jersey senator’s plea for $1.7 million in the final days of the quarter — in order, he said, for him to remain in the race — drew a ton of publicity. Even though Booker met his goal, he still only brought in $6 million for the entire three-month period. That likely means he will be facing another dire financial deadline in the not-too-distant future.
2. … and fundraising winners: 
* Bernie Sanders: Even as his poll numbers have stagnated somewhat, the Vermont senator’s small-dollar, online fundraising network continues to deliver. Sanders topped the field in the third quarter with more than $25 million raised and has now raised more than $71 million this year. That ensures he will not only have real organizations in all of the early states but will also be able to continue fighting for the nomination for months.
* Elizabeth Warren: While Sanders edged out Warren for the top spot by about $500,000, Warren’s third quarter fundraising is yet another data point proving how much momentum she has built behind her candidacy. Warren already has the best organization in Iowa, and fundraising like she put on the board over the last three months ensures her campaign will be able to fund a (TV) air assault as well.
* Andrew Yang: The tech entrepreneur raised $10 million in the third quarter, which, at least to me was the single most surprising result of the fundraising race. Yang’s total put him well above what Booker, as well as Sen. Michael Bennet (Colorado) and Gov. Steve Bullock (Montana) raised, and within shouting distance of Sen. Kamala Harris (California). That’s a stunner, and shows how far he’s come since the year started and almost no one knew who he was.
1. The age/health debate is here: It was probably inevitable, given that the four most likely candidates to be president in 2021 are 70+ years old, but Bernie Sanders’ recent heart attack has officially injected the issue of age and health into the 2020 campaign.
After several days of uncertainty, Sanders’ campaign confirmed that he had suffered a heart attack on the campaign trail and, following his release from the hospital late last week, he has returned to Vermont. His campaign has canceled its events until further notice but has said Sanders will be at the next debate — set for October 15 in Ohio.
While the relatively advanced ages of Sanders (78), Joe Biden (76) and Elizabeth Warren (70) has been a sort of low buzz in the background of the Democratic race so far, those days are now over. All three candidates had previously pledged to release their medical records before the Iowa caucuses on February 3, 2020, but the urgency of those releases is significantly higher now than it was even a week ago.
(Remember that Donald Trump was the oldest person ever elected to a first term when he won the presidency in 2016 at age 70. During the campaign, his personal physician released a letter proclaiming that Trump “would be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Trump is now 73. In January of this year, he underwent a physical which found him in “very good health overall.”)
In a May Pew Research Center poll, just 3% of Democrats said their ideal candidate would be in their 70s. A near- majority — 47% — said a candidate in their 50s would be best. On the other hand, more than 6 in 10 people told Gallup in May they would vote for a presidential candidate over 70 years old.

Related posts

Dems Are Getting Torched by Trump in Impeachment Ad Wars

As impeachment proceedings begin in haste in Congress, Democrats find themselves at a severe financial disadvantage when it comes to swaying public opinion online and on the airwaves.

On Tuesday, the group Need to Impeach, which is funded mainly by billionaire Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, announced that it would be launching a $3.1 million ad campaign targeting Republican senators, according to The Washington Post.

But that investment falls well short of the $10 million that Donald Trump and like-minded allies are preparing to spend on a digital and television ad blitz of their own. And within the party there is growing frustration that Steyers time, efforts and resources would be better spent further bankrolling the pro-impeachment project he started years ago than in a long-shot presidential campaign that many view as a vanity project.

It just shows he doesnt believe in anything other than trying to buy the presidency, said Adam Jentleson, public affairs director at Democracy Forward and a pro-impeachment advocate.

While Need to Impeach is now jumping into the impeachment ad wars, it is already playing catch-up. The group spent just $5,309 on Facebook ads this past week, according to the social media sites online database. By contrast, Steyers presidential campaign has spent $382,783 during that time frame. Both Trump and the RNC spent more than $2.1 million on Facebook ads during that same time period, about a quarter of which was devoted to hitting the impeachment issue.

Alberto Lammers, Steyers campaign spokesman, scoffed at criticism that Steyer wasnt doing enough, saying that the current landscape around impeachment actually vindicated his boss decision to enter the presidential race.

He is partially responsible for getting the House there before this whole thing broke, he said, noting that Need to Impeach had more than 8.3 million members on its email list. He started Need to Impeach against the wishes of the leaders of the Democratic Party because he knew it was the right thing to do and now it is all coming to fruition. And the things he has done with impeachment he can do elsewhere: getting the corporate corruption out of politics and acting on climate change and health care immediately.

But the ad spending disparities has prompted renewed criticisms within some corners of the party about the merits and value of Steyers presidential bid and it has led to more dire warnings that Dems may fumble a historically significant moment.

The inequality in online ad spending between Trump allies and Dems is a potential crisis, warned Zac Petkanas, a party strategist and former aide to Hillary Clintons presidential campaign.

Steyers presidential campaign advertising has not been entirely without a pro-impeachment push. Indeed, the issue has been featured in some of his spots, including a recent television ad his campaign aired on Fox & Friends. And a campaign spokesman said that they are currently readying a new digital and television ad on impeachment that will be unveiled over the coming days.

But the main focus of the campaigns ad blitz remains on bolstering his long-shot presidential effort. Of the 65 ads he is currently running on Facebook, 49 focus on items other than impeachment, and many of the spots he has run on television have been geared towards early state voters and not a national audience writ large. The ad that they are set to launch, for example, will be shown only in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Compared to other entities, however, Steyers network of organizations is actually making robust investments in the pro-impeachment ad campaigns. Almost all of the online ad spending being placed by presidential campaigns is on their own election efforts. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), has emphasized that she was one of the first presidential candidates to call for impeachment. But of the hundreds of current ads she is running on Facebook, just 16 are devoted to that topic, according to an analysis of Facebooks database.

And Priorities USA, the Democratic Partys top super PAC, said it has no plans to adjust its current 2020 ad campaign strategy in response to the launch of impeachment proceedings and the Trump campaigns investments.

Rather than respond to this gambit, the PACs president Guy Cecil said, Priorities USA will continue to commit our resources to our $100 million program holding Trump accountable in key states for his record on health care, wages and the kitchen table issues that Americans struggle with on a daily basis.

Within this vacuum, the effort to sway voters on the impeachment question has fallen largely to the Democratic Party. But even there, expenditures have been paltry compared to the sums dropped by Trumps political apparatus. The Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association have led the partys Facebook ad strategy on the impeachment issue. According to Bully Pulpit data, they spent less than $16,000 on Facebook ads relating to impeachment last week.

A DNC official noted that, in addition to Facebook, their impeachment ads were appearing on Google, and Twitters in-platform audiences of users who have displayed interest in Democratic politics and progressive allies, as well as lookalike audiences made from matched lists of various DNC donor segments. The official also noted that the ads had contributed to September being our best month of email acquisition of the year.

That Democrats find themselves being outgunned on the ad wars right as impeachment is picking up steam on the Hill is, in part, the byproduct of strategic decisions made weeks ago. Kevin Mack, the lead strategist on Need to Impeach noted that over the summer, the group shifted its focus from ad spending to grassroots organizing as it reconsidered whether it made sense to continue to target specific House Democrats. Mack conceded that the groups $3.1 million TV ad expenditure wouldnt even the scales with what Trump and his allies are already spending. But, he argued, Democrats didnt necessarily need to be on the same level.

The reason Trump is now advertising is because they are losing. They are responding to us. Lets not lose site of that. They are on the defensive. His presidential campaign is now spending money to defend him on impeachment, said Mack. He has to spend money to change the narrative. This is his campaign overreacting and in a bit of a panic.

One top Democratic operative echoed these views, noting that the actual revelations emerging from Capital Hill and the news mediawhich have raised almost universally bad questions for the presidentmade the difference in ad spending less critical. But others in the party worry that at a time when the president was on his heels, the absence of a full-throated ad push would prove illogical and, frankly, dumb in retrospect.

The president and his allies are running a massive campaign to try and muddy the waters on this impeachment fight, said Petkanas. Currently, Democrats are able to play offense but as the weeks drag on it is going to become very hard to maintain the level of message discipline that currently is being employed by the pro-impeachment forces. It is going to be extremely important for a paid communication element of this that begins with an online buy commensurate with the presidents enormous spending.

Related posts

Bernie Sanders Raises Massive $25.3 Million in Third Quarter

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) campaign announced on Tuesday that it had raised $25.3 million in the third quarter of 2019 with an average donation of $18.07.

The massive haul beats out his prior fundraising totals during his second bid for the presidency in which he brought in around $18 million and is, at the moment, the largest single quarter reported of any 2020 candidates throughout the year. Sanders is the first among his rivals to reveal his numbers for this quarter.

That total, from 1.4 million donations, was fueled in part by a record-setting month for the campaign in September and arrived at a moment when the Vermont senator had appeared to be stagnating in some polls.

Bernie is proud to be the only candidate running to defeat Donald Trump who is 100 percent funded by grassroots donationsboth in the primary and in the general, Sanders campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, said. Media elites and professional pundits have tried repeatedly to dismiss this campaign, and yet working-class Americans keep saying loudly and clearly that they want a political revolution.

In the second fundraising quarter, both former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg outpaced Sanders in fundraising with $21.5 million and $24.8 million, respectively, though unlike Sanders they relied on high-dollar fundraisers to help fuel the totals.

The Sanders campaign also said the final day of the third quarter was the second biggest fundraising day of the campaign and that teacher was the most common occupation of his donors, with the most common employers being Starbucks, Amazon, and Walmart. Since launching in February, they have raised $61.5 million from 3.3 million individual donations, with more than 99.9 percent not maxed out and still able to continue giving money to the campaign.

And they're immediately putting that money to use in the first caucus state.

On Tuesday afternoon the Sanders campaign announced that they had purchased a $1.3-million ad buy in Iowa and released their first paid TV ad of the cycle thus far.

There will be both 30-second and 60-second versions of the ad that will begin running on Thursday morning and continue, in this initial buy, for two weeks.

The news comes as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who led a recent Iowa poll, announced a $10-million-plus buy in the early voting states. Some $4.7 million of that is devoted to television ad buys in the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina during the first two months of next year. Warren's campaign has yet to reveal her third quarter fundraising total.

Related posts

Trump says he wants to meet whistleblower: ‘I deserve to meet my accuser’

acting Director

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Sunday escalated his rebuke of the anonymous whistleblower at the center of the mounting Ukraine controversy after House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against him, asserting that he deserves to “meet my accuser.”

“His lies were made in perhaps the most blatant and sinister manner ever seen in the great Chamber. He wrote down and read terrible things, then said it was from the mouth of the President of the United States. I want Schiff questioned at the highest level for Fraud & Treason,” Trump said.
CBS
Lawyers for the whistleblower sent a letter to the acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire on Saturday outlining “serious” safety concerns for their client as Trump continues to take aim at the person.
    “The purpose of this letter is to formally notify you of serious concerns we have regarding our client’s personal safety,” the letter says, adding that recent comments by Trump are reason for “heightened” concern.
    “The events of the past week have heightened our concerns that our client’s identity will be disclosed publicly and that, as a result, our client will be put in harm’s way.”
    The letter also thanks Maguire’s office for “support thus far to activate appropriate resources to ensure their safety.” While the whistleblower’s attorneys wouldn’t elaborate on what those resources are, they strenuously denied their client is under federal protection as reported Sunday by CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
    Mark Zaid, one of the whistleblower’s lawyers, said in a statement given to CNN, “60 Minutes completely misinterpreted the contents of our letter.” He had was not available for comment about Trump’s Sunday tweets. The television program tweeted late Sunday that “60 Minutes stands by its sources and reporting on the whistleblower.”
    Trump’s tweets come days after the release of the whistleblower complaint that alleges Trump abused his official powers “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming 2020 election, and that the White House took steps to cover it up. Trump has denied any wrongdoing. A rough transcript released by the White House shows Trump repeatedly pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his potential 2020 political rival, and his son, Hunter Biden.
    There is no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.
    Congress
    Even before the whistleblower complaint was made available to lawmakers, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared Trump had betrayed his oath of office and announced this past week she was opening a formal impeachment inquiry into the President.
    Trump on Sunday also echoed his previous attacks on the whistleblower and promised “Big Consequences” for anyone who assisted in providing the person information.
    Joseph Maguire
    “I want to meet not only my accuser, who presented SECOND & THIRD HAND INFORMATION, but also the person who illegally gave this information, which was largely incorrect, to the ‘Whistleblower,'” he said. “Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!”
    Trump said last week that whoever provided the whistleblower with information about his call with Zelensky is “close to a spy,” and said that in the old days spies were dealt with differently. The comment prompted three House chairmen — including Schiff — to call on the President to stop attacking the whistleblower.
    spy
      “The President’s comments today constitute reprehensible witness intimidation and an attempt to obstruct Congress’ impeachment inquiry. We condemn the President’s attacks, and we invite our Republican counterparts to do the same because Congress must do all it can to protect this whistleblower, and all whistleblowers,” they said. “Threats of violence from the leader of our country have a chilling effect on the entire whistleblower process, with grave consequences for our democracy and national security.”
      This story has been updated.

      Related posts

      Whistleblower says White House tried to cover up Trump’s abuse of power

      news

      Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump abused his official powers “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming 2020 election, and the White House took steps to cover it up, according to a stunning whistleblower complaint released Thursday.

      The complaint has been at the center of a controversy that has spurred Democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. The White House on Wednesday also released a rough transcript of the call that shows Trump repeatedly pressed Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
      Caving to Democratic demands, the Trump administration let Congress release a declassified version of the complaint, one day after releasing a rough transcript of the Trump-Zelensky call. The developments triggered a flood of Democratic lawmakers to publicly support impeachment.
        Trump has maintained that he didn’t do anything wrong, while simultaneously promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the Bidens, Ukraine, and Russian meddling in 2016.
        There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.

        White House lawyers asked to remove transcript

        politics
        The complaint notes White House lawyers were “already in discussion” about “how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain.”
        White House lawyers also directed officials to remove the transcript of the call from a computer system that stores them for Cabinet-level officials and instead put the transcript in a system for especially sensitive information, the whistleblower alleges.
        This move concerned some officials, who shared their worries internally that this was an “abuse of the system.”
        The whistleblower said they heard from other White House officials that this was “not the first time” that the Trump administration used this storage system to hold politically sensitive documents. The codeword-level system is meant to hold files of national security importance.
        There weren’t additional details in the complaint, and some of the details came from secondhand sources. Republicans on Capitol Hill have used that point to question the veracity of the complaint, though the intelligence community inspector general already deemed it credible.

        Rudy Giuliani’s role worried State Dept officials

        US officials were concerned, the whistleblower said, with Trump’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his contacts with Ukrainian officials. The whistleblower alleges the US officials believed Giuliani was a conduit for messages between the President and officials in Kyiv and that he was at the helm of a problematic “circumvention of national security decisionmaking processes.”
        For most of the past two years, Giuliani has played a peculiar role as Trump’s personal attorney, a pro-Trump surrogate on television, and as an informal diplomat of sorts. This year, he has used his position to promote conspiracy theories about Ukraine, Biden, and the 2016 election.
        Whistleblower says White House tried to cover up Trump's abuse of power - CNNPolitics
        The whistleblower said they heard that two State Department officials intervened with Giuliani in an effort to “contain the damage” he was doing to national security. The complaint also said US diplomats worked with the new Ukrainian leaders to help them navigate the strange situation, where they juggled outreach from Giuliani with US diplomacy coming through official channels.
        State Department officials met with Ukrainian political figures and provided advice “about how to ‘navigate’ the demands that the President had made of” Zelensky, the whistleblower wrote.
        Little is known about the identity of the whistleblower, which is even still hidden from some of the most senior US intelligence officials. The Justice Department has said there are some indications that the whistleblower opposes Trump’s reelection, but the complaint was indeed credible. They used lawful channels to file the complaint and get the message to Congress.

        Trump potentially exposed to blackmail

        In a letter accompanying the whistleblower’s complaint, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson wrote that the alleged conduct by Trump “would also potentially expose” the President “to serious national security and counterintelligence risks with respect to foreign intelligence services aware of such alleged conduct.”
        The implication is that US adversaries are always spying on the US and trying to intercept sensitive phone calls by US officials. If a hostile government possesses a recording or is aware of the details of Trump’s phone call, they could use it to blackmail Trump. The gravest risk is from Russia, which is essentially at war with Ukraine and has strong intelligence capabilities.
        news
        Atkinson also wrote in his letter that that the whistleblower’s complaint amounts to a “serious or flagrant problem [or] abuse” under US laws regarding the inspector general’s office.
        The comments were made in an August 26 letter sent to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. Atkinson explains the reasoning behind his determination that the information amounted to an “urgent concern,” which triggered its eventual transmission to Congress.

        Whistleblower confused by Trump’s CrowdStrike interest

        The whistleblower expresses confusion about Trump’s references to CrowdStrike during his calls with Zelensky. The Democratic National Committee hired CrowdStrike in 2016 to investigate hacks to its computers, which were later blamed on the Russian government.
        In the call, Trump mentioned the US cybersecurity firm and said, “the server, they say Ukraine has it.” Trump also encouraged Zelensky to “find out what happened” with the server.
        “I do not know why the President associates these servers with Ukraine,” the whistleblower wrote in a footnote. The whistleblower added that Trump had previously connected the DNC server to Ukraine in television interviews.
        Trump’s interest in CrowdStrike and the DNC server, more than three years after the hacks, is part of a larger effort to undermine the notion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help him win. He has repeatedly rejected the assessment from CrowdStrike, which was later confirmed by US intelligence agencies, that Russia was behind the DNC hacks and leaks.
        politics
        The complaint demonstrates in stark terms how people who work inside the US government, with access to highly sensitive materials, have struggled to figure out what was going on in an unconventional White House administration with a president who goes around official channels.
          The complaint contains a blend of information that was observed firsthand, details that were provided secondhand from other officials, and information that comes from public sources, like Giuliani’s appearances on television and news articles about his activities surrounding Ukraine.
          This story is breaking and will be updated.

          Related posts

          Trump stares impeachment in the face and doesn’t like what he sees

          Donald Trump stares impeachment in the face and doesn't like what he sees - CNNPolitics

          New York (CNN)Donald Trump’s political tragedy is that he really does believe the call with Ukraine’s President was “perfect,” though it may yet doom him with the stain of impeachment.

          On stage at a New York news conference Wednesday, Trump, offered moral support by his Cabinet lieutenants Mike Pompeo and Steven Mnuchin, seemed embittered, lonely and a little confused.
          The behavior that he has always trusted to help him come out on top, with its obfuscation, bullying, fact-bending and conspiracy spinning tangents, suddenly didn’t seem to be working. It was the same story for Rudy Giuliani, whose unchained appearances on television that Trump so prizes seemed to dig the President in deeper.
            news
            And in the latest blockbuster revelation, a whistleblower complaint on Trump and Ukraine released Thursday morning accused the President of using his power “to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 election.
            White House officials, the whistleblower said, were “deeply disturbed” by Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
            The officials attempted to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced by the White House, the complaint states.
            There has long been a gap between Trump’s conduct and the conventions of the office of the presidency. His success with his supporters has often rested in his willingness to so publicly flout such standards. But now it appears, that his unorthodox methods may have caught up with him.
            Many observers, like fired former FBI Director James Comey, have noted that Trump’s way of doing business and demands for loyalty have similarities with the loaded language of a mafia don.
            The President’s jailed former lawyer Michael Cohen was familiar with the approach Trump exhibited in his dealings with Ukraine.
            “He doesn’t give you questions, he doesn’t give you orders, he speaks in a code. And I understand the code, because I’ve been around him for a decade,” Cohen said in congressional testimony in February.
            But finally Trump, an expert on creating his own reality, may have been undone by facts on a page that he released himself, handing Democrats a clear, apparently prosecutable case, that suggests abuse of power with the transcript of the call with Zelensky.
            Trump is in new territory now.

            Building blocks of impeachment

            politics

              Toobin: Trump’s press conference was a torrent of lies

            Wednesday was another tempestuous day in Washington, where an impeachment drive picked up stunning speed, and in the city where Trump made his legend and desperately fought to save it.
            It started with growing suspicions that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got too far over her skis by launching impeachment hearings on Tuesday before seeing the call transcript or details of a whistleblower complaint on the same issue against Trump.
            But it ended with Democrats increasingly convinced they had the building blocks of a case against the President — one that will pitch the nation into a long, dark political tunnel.
            Looking back, it now seems impossible that the President thought releasing the transcript would get him out of his jam.
            While it did not contain the direct quid pro quo of a threat to halt military aid unless Zelensky launched a probe against Joe Biden, it came perilously close to one.
            The distasteful spectacle of a President of a democratic superpower leaning on the rookie leader of a vulnerable post-Soviet state leaped off the page.
            Trump had long been scheduled to meet Zelensky on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. In the light of events, their photo-op took on a surreal turn.
            Zelensky made sure to supply the soundbite that Trump had hoped for.
            “There was no pressure,” he said, before the US leader quickly jumped in to make sure no one missed the moment.
            “You know there was no pressure,” he said, turning to reporters. “I appreciate the answer.”
            In a news conference punctuated by angry swipes at reporters later on, the President didn’t have a very organized defense, suggesting that his underpowered White House may struggle to prepare him for the grueling impeachment saga to come.
            He claimed that his request for Zelensky to investigate Biden — that appears to signal an abuse of power — was no different than previous US pressure on Ukraine.
            Yet warnings that aid would be withheld if Kiev failed to improve its governance and fight corruption — made by several US senators and former Vice President Joe Biden — are hardly in the same league as making a similar threat in the hope of getting dirt on a political foe.
            Trump also tried to argue that he’d been courteous with Zelensky — and the transcript did show the avuncular nature that the President sometimes adopts.
            At another point, he offered testimony from an ally.
            “You folks were saying such lies. Such horrible things about a call that was so innocent and so nice,” Trump told reporters. “In fact, (South Carolina Republican Sen.) Lindsey Graham said to me when he read it … he said ‘I can’t believe it. I never knew you could be so nice.'”
            “I was nice. I’m nice to a lot of people. People don’t understand that. But I was,” Trump said, for once sounding vulnerable and upset that he’s been misunderstood.
            He went on a Twitter offensive Thursday morning, painting himself as a victim and sharing op-eds and views of conservative allies rushing to his defense.
            “THE GREATEST SCAM IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN POLITICS!” he tweeted at one point.

            Repeated pressure

            Donald Trump stares impeachment in the face and doesn't like what he sees - CNNPolitics

              Rep. says whistleblower complaint is ‘deeply disturbing’

            But the call transcript showed that Trump repeatedly pressed Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son Hunter. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
            Trump also asked the Ukrainian leader to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and US Attorney General William Barr on the issue, the call transcript reveals.
            Initially the impact of the call was to expose the normal partisan fault lines. Democrats declared it a smoking gun and Republicans accused Pelosi of moving without evidence. It was a classic Trump era scenario wherein a person’s eyes told them the story their political standpoint required.
            Yet there was just enough concern and uncertainty on Capitol Hill — especially after the arrival of a classified version of the whistleblower report — to suggest that this is one scrape from which Trump won’t skip free by sparking a new controversy to hijack the news cycle.
            “There’s obviously some very troubling things here,” Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse told reporters on Wednesday night, calling for the kind of sober deliberation that a Congress torn by the nation’s political divides rarely exhibits.
            “Republicans ought not just circle the wagons and Democrats ought not be using words like ‘impeach’ before they knew anything about the actual substance,” he said.
            Democrats have now gone so far down the road of impeachment that it seems unlikely they will be able to turn back.
            House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said that the public evidence so far is “as damning as you can imagine.”
            Trump’s rock solid support among Republicans means that even if some GOP senators waver, the two-third majority needed to convict a President impeached by the House will be elusive.
              Yet the President’s demeanor — so different than his usual relentless combative public image — was enough for pundits, some of whom suggest he has all along wanted to be impeached.
              Trump will surely come out fighting and he will never give up. But Wednesday’s events left a strong impression that he neither wants the agony that is to come nor is fully prepared for it.

              Related posts

              Elizabeth Warren Leads Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders for First Time in New Iowa Poll

              Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) took the lead in a new Des Moines Register Iowa poll on Saturday night, marking the first time the Massachusetts senator led both former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the first caucus state in the poll.

              According to the new survey, Warren leads at 22 percent, with Biden following at 20 and Sanders at 11 percent. No other candidate reached double digits but South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg followed at 9 percent, with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) at 6 percent to round out the top five. Additionally, the poll found that Warren was drawing the support of 32 percent of those who say that they caucused for Sanders in 2016 and that she narrowly led him among voters under age 35.

              Its the first time weve had someone other than Joe Biden at the top of the leader board, J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co. which conducted the poll, said.

              The poll comes as Sanders campaign has shaken up its staff in two early voting states.

              The Independent from Vermont remains at or near the top of most primary polls and no other candidate has matched his fundraising and grassroots organization capacity. But even with his staying power, he has been increasingly eclipsed in the eyes of opponents by Warren as the main progressive force in the race.

              Stuck in this position, Sanders campaign has shuffled staff in two early crucial primary states, where his operation replaced their New Hampshire state director and Iowa political director and a deputy Iowa field director. Some sympathetic to Sanders have noted that changing around staff at this juncture obviously demonstrates a sign of dissatisfaction with the senators status in the race. He continues to build and demonstrate a massive legion of support, hitting one million donors this weeka milestone no other candidate has reached yet.

              That explains why now, internally, the only message that Sanders team would convey is confidence, with one surrogate noting that the Vermont senators resources are so vast that his campaign will kick into an even higher gear with an anticipated television ad buy in the early states.

              There are two advantages that Senator Sanders has, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a campaign co-chair, told The Daily Beast. Hes got the largest grassroots fundraising base. He hasnt yet gone on television in the early states. Hes going to go on television in the early states. Some of the other candidates have already been on television. Once he goes on television, hes going to be able to sustain it and have more resources to do that not just in the early states but in places like California.

              Despite Khannas claim about the senators plans, a spokesperson for the campaign later quickly denied that there would be an ad buy soon.

              Whether or not there will be, Sanders campaign for now is chalking up the staffing changes to isolated incidents and natural growing pains through the course of a campaign.

              Pundits in the Beltway might not believe it, but Bernie Sanders campaign in Iowa is out-organizing the entire field, and this is all powered by the most grassroots volunteers and donors of any campaign in the country.
              Iowa State Director Misty Rebik

              For instance, there had been some annoyance with how Joe Caiazzo had been running the New Hampshire operation. That was made clear by reported cheering last weekend when members of the state steering committee heard that he had been reassigned to Massachusetts.

              Sanders dominated in his neighboring state in the 2016 primary, which helped propel his campaign to become a major threat against Hillary Clinton. Now, he is locked in a tight contest with Biden and Warren, according to the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls.

              In Iowa, the campaign parted ways with political director Jess Mazour, though in that case there was far less apparent open negativity about the way in which she was running things.

              Well continue to make moves that we feel best position this campaign to win, campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in a statement to The Washington Post about the move. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

              Sanders famously fought Clinton to a near-draw in the Hawkeye State in 2016, portending the strength of his campaign to come. Though famously difficult to poll, he is now basically deadlocked in second place with Warren behind Biden. Yet his campaign announced on Friday that they had surpassed one million voter contacts in the state, another sign of the strength of their ground operation that they hope pays off next year.

              Pundits in the Beltway might not believe it, but Bernie Sanders campaign in Iowa is out-organizing the entire field, and this is all powered by the most grassroots volunteers and donors of any campaign in the country, Iowa State Director Misty Rebik said in a statement.

              The purgatory status for Sanders campaign was demonstrated by an Iowa poll on Saturday night that showed him slipping. But theres no doubt that he remains among one of the top contenders for the nomination, with other campaigns even saying as much. In a memo on Saturday, Sen. Cory Bookers (D-NJ) campaign manager issued an urgent plea for fundraising in the next 10 days to effectively keep him in the race. Within it, he noted that Biden, Sanders, Warren and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg are the four campaigns with enough resources to compete for the long haul currently.

              Warren has completely out campaigned him. I scratch my head and go how is Bernie going to get around her?
              Unaffiliated Democratic consultant

              While he still is among the top tier of candidates in the crowded field, there is some evidence to suggest that Sanders opponents are more interested in training their fire on Warren for now. On Thursday, a number of the other presidential contenders leveled various criticisms at the Massachusetts Democrat, with Buttigieg explicitly invoking her by name to say that she was extremely evasive in answers about Medicare for All, the primary policy plank that has animated Sanders political vision for years.

              Warren also won the support this week of the Working Families Party, a left-wing political outfit that supported Sanders in the last primary. The voting process, and the lack of a revealed tally, has led to some acrimony from Sanders supporters who have leveled charges that the leadership of WFP essentially commandeered the process to back Warren.

              Maurice Mitchell, WFPs national director and Nelini Stamp, national organizing director at WFP, wrote about the selection process in response to criticism that they had heard. In turn, they also urged that supporters remain positive about both candidates.

              Both Warren and Sanders are fighting for the world we want to see, and both have brought new and vital ideas into the political debate, they wrote. Our endorsement of Senator Warren does not diminish our respect for Senator Sanders, and to be clear, were going to be relentlessly positive about both of them in the months ahead.

              Sanders and Warren appear poised to remain relentlessly positive about each other as wellas neither side has demonstrated a willingness or desire to go negative. In fact, Khanna defended both of them against Buttigiegs attack line in a tweet on Friday.

              But underscoring some of the recent moves by the campaign appears to be a notion from some that Warren is outflanking Sanders for now. And it remains to be seen whether she is having an ephemeral moment or steadily climbing her way to the nomination.

              Warren has completely out campaigned him, an unaffiliated Democratic consultant familiar with the campaign told The Daily Beast. I scratch my head and go how is Bernie going to get around her?

              Related posts