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US Judge Grants Former Trump Lawyer Prison Delay

A U.S. judge on Wednesday granted a request by Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, to delay the start of his prison term by two months.

Cohen, 52, had been scheduled to report to prison on March 6 to begin a three-year sentence for fraud, tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and lying to Congress.

In a letter to Judge William Pauley, one of Cohen’s lawyers asked that the date be pushed back to May 6 so Cohen can recover from shoulder surgery and prepare for upcoming testimony before Congress.

Judge Pauley agreed to the request.

Cohen is scheduled to deliver closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee on February 28 and has also been subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Planned open-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee was put off after what Cohen alleged were public threats against him and his family from Trump and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Cohen admitted multiple charges in December related to work he performed for the real estate tycoon and pledged to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller leads the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, a probe that increasingly menaces the White House.

Cohen notably told prosecutors that Trump directed him to arrange illegal hush payments to two alleged former lovers ahead of the 2016 election.

He also admitted lying to Congress over pursuing a Moscow real estate deal in Trump’s name during the election, even after Trump had secured the Republican nomination.

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US Judge Grants Former Trump Lawyer Prison Delay

A U.S. judge on Wednesday granted a request by Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, to delay the start of his prison term by two months.

Cohen, 52, had been scheduled to report to prison on March 6 to begin a three-year sentence for fraud, tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and lying to Congress.

In a letter to Judge William Pauley, one of Cohen’s lawyers asked that the date be pushed back to May 6 so Cohen can recover from shoulder surgery and prepare for upcoming testimony before Congress.

Judge Pauley agreed to the request.

Cohen is scheduled to deliver closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee on February 28 and has also been subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Planned open-door testimony to the House Oversight Committee was put off after what Cohen alleged were public threats against him and his family from Trump and Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Cohen admitted multiple charges in December related to work he performed for the real estate tycoon and pledged to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller leads the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia, a probe that increasingly menaces the White House.

Cohen notably told prosecutors that Trump directed him to arrange illegal hush payments to two alleged former lovers ahead of the 2016 election.

He also admitted lying to Congress over pursuing a Moscow real estate deal in Trump’s name during the election, even after Trump had secured the Republican nomination.

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Sanders’ Early Fundraising Surpasses Rivals

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ campaign announced Wednesday it raised nearly $6 million during its first day of online fundraising, easily exceeding first-day totals amassed by his rivals.

More than 220,000 donors contributed to Sanders, a Senator from Vermont, in a 24-hour period since he announced his bid Tuesday for the White House, eclipsing his 2015 first-day fundraising total of more than $1.5 million.

Public disclosures showed Senator Kamala Harris of California was previously the top early Democratic fundraiser, with more than 38,000 donors contributing $1.5 million. Harris announced her candidacy on January 21.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts raised nearly $300,000 online on December 31, the day she announced an exploratory campaign committee.

Senator Amy Klobuchar raised more than $1 million in 48 hours after launching her campaign on February 10, campaign officials said.

Sanders’ show of strength is not surprising. He raised more than $200 million when he opposed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.

In its announcement Wednesday, the Sanders campaign touted a large grassroots donor base that includes individuals who have already “contributed $600,000 in donations that will recur every month.”

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Sanders’ Early Fundraising Surpasses Rivals

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders’ campaign announced Wednesday it raised nearly $6 million during its first day of online fundraising, easily exceeding first-day totals amassed by his rivals.

More than 220,000 donors contributed to Sanders, a Senator from Vermont, in a 24-hour period since he announced his bid Tuesday for the White House, eclipsing his 2015 first-day fundraising total of more than $1.5 million.

Public disclosures showed Senator Kamala Harris of California was previously the top early Democratic fundraiser, with more than 38,000 donors contributing $1.5 million. Harris announced her candidacy on January 21.

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts raised nearly $300,000 online on December 31, the day she announced an exploratory campaign committee.

Senator Amy Klobuchar raised more than $1 million in 48 hours after launching her campaign on February 10, campaign officials said.

Sanders’ show of strength is not surprising. He raised more than $200 million when he opposed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.

In its announcement Wednesday, the Sanders campaign touted a large grassroots donor base that includes individuals who have already “contributed $600,000 in donations that will recur every month.”

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US Polls Show Majorities Oppose National Emergency Declaration

Three new polls in the U.S. show that a majority of Americans oppose President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall along the country’s southern border with Mexico without congressional authorization.

In the latest survey released Wednesday, a Politico/Morning Consult poll showed Americans were opposed to Trump’s action by a 51-39 percent margin.

But as is often the case in polls about Trump’s actions, there was a sharp political divide in the survey results. Trump’s emergency declaration drew 77 percent support from fellow Republicans, with 18 percent opposed. A total of 81 percent of Democrats voiced opposition, while 52 percent of independents said they were opposed.

A HuffPost/YouGov survey found a 55-37 percent margin against the president’s emergency declaration, again with the president’s supporters overwhelmingly favoring and Democrats opposed.

A National Public Radio/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll pegged the emergency declaration opposition at 61 to 36 percent.

It said Democrats opposed Trump’s action by a 94-6 margin, while Republicans favored it by 85-12. Independents opposed the declaration by a 63-33 margin.

Sixteen states, landowners along the border and an environmental group have sued Trump to try to keep him from carrying out his plan to tap $8 billion in government funds now allocated for other purposes to build more than 320 kilometers of wall along the 3,200-kilometer U.S.-Mexican border.

Trump says the wall is necessary to thwart illegal migrants from entering the country and to interdict drug shipments. Congress last week approved $1.375 billion in new spending for barriers along the border, but none specifically for a wall.

In declaring the national emergency, Trump last week said he didn’t need to do it, but wanted to move faster to build the wall than with just the barrier funding approved by Congress.

He asserted Tuesday he had an “absolute right” to declare a national emergency to build a wall without congressional approval of funding for it.

Trump says he expects to lose some of the initial court cases filed against his declaration but ultimately prevail with a favorable ruling by the Supreme Court, reversing the lower court decisions.

The multi-state lawsuit against the national emergency declaration was filed in the western state of California, the country’s most populous state, where opposition to Trump runs strong. Judges there have often overturned other Trump initiatives during his 25-month presidency. But the U.S. leader said at the White House, “I think we’re going to do very well with the lawsuit.”

The states’ complaint alleges Trump’s emergency declaration is illegal and unconstitutional, and harms the states and their residents by taking money away from anti-drug programs, military construction projects and other law enforcement efforts. The lawsuit asks the court to permanently prohibit the Trump administration from diverting the funds from elsewhere in the government, or to build a wall without Congress appropriating money for that purpose.

California state Attorney General Xavier Becerra accused Trump of engaging in “theater” and hyping a crisis because he failed to get Congress or Mexico to pay for the wall, a favorite campaign vow of Trump during his successful 2016 run for the presidency. Trump’s emergency declaration has been met by a number of other lawsuits, including from Texas landowners who could see the wall go through their property.

On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition arguing the president failed to meet the requirements to declare a national emergency.

“In fact, there was and is no national emergency to justify the president’s action, only his disagreement with Congress’s duly enacted decisions on the extent and pace of spending on the border wall,” the lawsuit says. Another group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, also filed a suit seeking documents about the Trump administration’s legal reasoning for declaring the emergency.

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Trump to Nominate Jeffrey Rosen as Deputy Attorney General

President Donald Trump plans to nominate Jeffrey Rosen as the next deputy U.S. attorney general, the White House said on Tuesday night, the latest shuffle in the Justice Department at a time when it faces close scrutiny over its Russia investigation.

Rosen, currently deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, would succeed Rod Rosenstein, who appointed a special counsel to investigate possible ties between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Rosenstein is expected to step down by mid-March, a Justice Department official said on Monday.

Attorney General William Barr welcomed the choice of Rosen, saying in a statement that he had 35 years of experience at the highest levels of government and in the private sector.

“His years of outstanding legal and management experience make him an excellent choice to succeed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has served the Department of Justice over many years with dedication and distinction,” Barr said.

Rosen’s nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

He previously served as general counsel in the Transportation Department and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) but does not have experience as a prosecutor or Justice Department official, which is unusual for a deputy attorney general candidate.

The Justice Department oversees the nation’s law enforcement and various federal investigations, including the U.S. Special Counsel’s Office probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion by Trump’s presidential campaign.

Rosenstein gained national attention after Trump’s former attorney general, Jeff Sessions, recused himself from the Russia investigation, leaving his then second-in-command to oversee U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team.

Trump, who repeatedly criticized Sessions over the probe that he calls a “witch hunt,” ousted Sessions in November.

Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Tuesday that it was possible Trump was a Russian asset.

“I think it’s possible. I think that’s why we started our investigation, and I’m really anxious to see where director Mueller concludes that,” he said.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed accusations hurled at him by McCabe, who told CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday that Rosenstein had discussed invoking the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office in the months after Trump took power.

Rosenstein, who stopped overseeing Mueller’s probe on Nov. 7 when Trump named Matt Whittaker acting attorney general, had been expected to leave soon after Barr assumed office. The U.S. Senate confirmed Barr last week.

‘WONT’ BE PUSHED AROUND’

Rosen was nominated to be a federal judge by Republican President George W. Bush in 2008, but did not get a confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate, which was under Democratic control at the time. He was rated “well qualified” by the nonpartisan American Bar Association.

Thomas Yannucci, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis who has known Rosen since 1982, described him as an able legal administrator who will be committed to ensuring the independence of the Justice Department.

“No one’s going to push Jeff around. He’ll be committed to doing his job,” Yannucci said.

Rosen has supported Republican candidates in past elections, although he has not donated money to Trump, federal records show.

Rosen contributed $7,545 to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and $100 in April 2015 to Marco Rubio, one of Trump’s rivals for the Republican nomination in the 2016 campaign.

Rosen was a key figure in efforts to rewrite fuel efficiency regulations and set drone policy. He served as the Transportation Department’s general counsel from 2003 through 2006 and OMB’s general counsel from 2006 to 2009.

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US Automakers to Trump: Don’t Slap Tariffs on Imported Cars

America’s auto industry is bracing for a potential escalation in President Donald Trump’s tariff war with the world, one that could weaken the global auto industry and economy, inflate car prices and trigger a backlash in Congress.

Late Sunday, the Commerce Department sent the White House a report on the results of an investigation Trump had ordered of whether imported vehicles and parts pose a threat to U.S. national security. Commerce hasn’t made its recommendations public, and the White House has so far declined to comment. If Commerce did find that auto imports imperil national security, Trump would have 90 days to decide whether to impose those import taxes.

Trump has repeatedly invoked his duty as president to safeguard national security in justifying previous rounds of tariffs. An obscure provision in trade law authorizes a president to impose unlimited tariffs on particular imports if his Commerce Department concludes that those imports threaten America’s national security.

Whatever Commerce has concluded in this case, Trump has made clear his enthusiasm for tariffs in general and for auto tariffs in particular. Some analysts say they think Commerce has likely endorsed the tariffs, not least because the president has conveyed his preference for them.

‘Tariff Man’

Among Commerce’s recommendations “will certainly be tariffs because, hey, he’s a Tariff Man,” said William Reinsch, a former U.S. trade official and now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, referring to a nickname that Trump gave himself.

Industry officials took part in a conference call Tuesday to discuss the possible steps Trump could take. They include tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported parts only; on assembled vehicles only; or on both vehicles and parts — including those from Mexico and Canada. The last option would be an especially unusual one given that the United States, Mexico and Canada reached a new North American trade deal late last year, and the legislatures of all three nations must still ratify it.

In public hearings last year, the idea of imposing import taxes on autos drew almost no support. Even U.S. automakers, which ostensibly would benefit from a tax on their foreign competitors, opposed the potential tariffs. Among other concerns, the automakers worry about retaliatory tariffs that the affected nations would impose on U.S. vehicles. Many U.S. automakers also depend on imported parts that would be subject to Trump’s tariffs and would become more expensive.

A similar Commerce investigation last year resulted in the Trump administration imposing taxes on imported steel and aluminum in the name of national security. The administration has adopted an extraordinarily broad view of national security to include just about anything that might affect the economy.

In addition to steel and aluminum, Trump has imposed tariffs on dishwashers, solar panels and hundreds of Chinese products. Targeting autos would further raise the stakes. The United States imported $340 billion in cars, trucks and auto parts in 2017.

‘Economic fallout’

If the administration imposed 25 percent tariffs on imported parts and vehicles including those from Canada and Mexico, the price of imported vehicles would jump more than 17 percent, or an average of around $5,000 each, according to estimates by IHS Markit. Even the prices of vehicles made in the U.S. would rise by about 5 percent, or $1,800, because all of them use some imported parts.

Luxury brands would absorb the sharpest increase: $5,800 on average, IHS concluded. Mass-market vehicle prices would rise an average of $3,300.

If the tariffs were fully assessed, IHS predicts that price increases would cause U.S. auto sales to fall by an average of 1.8 million vehicles a year through 2026. Auto industry officials say that if sales fall, there almost certainly will be U.S. layoffs. Dealers who sell German and some Japanese brands would be hurt the most by the tariffs.

“The economic fallout would be significant, with auto tariffs hurting the global economy by distorting prices and creating inefficiencies, and the impact would reverberate across global supply chains,” Moody’s Investors Service said in a report. “The already weakening pace of global expansion would magnify global growth pressures, causing a broader hit to business and consumer confidence amid tightening financial conditions.”

Congress could resist the auto tariffs. Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., and Mark Warner, D-Va., have introduced legislation to reassert congressional control over trade. Their bill would give Congress 60 days to approve any tariffs imposed on national security grounds. It would also shift responsibility for such investigations away from Commerce to the Pentagon.

Some analysts say they suspect that Trump intends to use the tariffs as leverage to pressure Japan and Europe to limit their auto exports to the United States and to prod Japanese and European automakers to build more vehicles at their U.S. plants.

Reinsch notes that Trump’s top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, worked in the Reagan administration, which coerced Japan into accepting “voluntary” limits on its auto exports.

“This is the way Lighthizer thinks,” Reinsch said.

Even if the tariff threat resulted in negotiations, Europe and Japan would have demands of their own. A likely one: Compelling the U.S. to drop its longstanding 25 percent tax on imported light trucks.

Trump is “pursuing something that, as near as I can tell, the domestic [auto] industry doesn’t want,” Reinsch said. “Once he pursues it, he is going to be under pressure to give up the one thing the auto industry really does want” — the U.S. tariff on imported light trucks.

‘Cloud of uncertainty’

For now, many in the industry are upset that the Commerce Department report remains secret, feeding uncertainty.

“The 137,000 people who work for Toyota across America deserve to know whether they are considered a national security threat,” Toyota said in a statement Tuesday. “And the American consumer needs to know whether the cost of every vehicle sold in the U.S. may increase.”

The American International Automobile Dealers Association this week called the Commerce Department’s investigation “bogus.”

“Now, dealerships must continue to operate under a cloud of uncertainty, not knowing if at any moment their products will be slapped with 25 percent tariffs, raising vehicle and repair costs by thousands of dollars and slashing sales,” the association’s CEO, Cody Lusk, said in a statement.

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Trump: ‘No Rush’ to See North Korea Denuclearize

U.S. President Donald Trump is downplaying expectations for his second summit next week with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, but is predicting “it’ll be a very exciting couple of days.”

Trump said he spoke on Tuesday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in about the upcoming talks and he will also be phoning Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday.

Moon told Trump that Seoul “is ready to play that role by reconnecting inter-Korean railways and roads and launching inter-Korean economic cooperation projects if asked by President Trump and said it was a way to lessen the United States’ burden,” said the South Korean Blue House in a statement.

Trump is to meet Kim in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, on Feb. 27 and 28 as a follow-up to their first summit last June in Singapore.

Some critics contend that the initial encounter resulted in nothing binding beyond a historical handshake, and Pyongyang has taken no steps to rid itself of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile arsenal.

“I think a lot can come from it. At least I hope so — the denuclearization ultimately,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday afternoon, declaring his relationship with Kim to be “very strong.”

‘No rush’ on denuclearization

The president said as long as there is no testing of rockets, missiles or nuclear weapons by Pyongyang, he is in “no rush” to see North Korea denuclearize.

“A lot of the media would like to say: ‘What’s going on? Speed, speed, speed.’ No rush whatsoever. We’re going to have our meeting. We’ll see what happens. I think ultimately we’re going to be very successful,” Trump said.

The president said there is now “a lot of sane thinking” coming out of Pyongyang, a reversal from early in his administration when Trump threatened to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea and belittled Kim as “little rocket man.”

Trump emphasized that as long as Kim maintains his moratorium on testing his nuclear arsenal, “I’m in no rush. If there’s testing, that’s another deal.”

The U.S. special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, was traveling to Vietnam on Tuesday to prepare for next week’s summit there, according to the State Department.

“Those commitments made at the Singapore summit will be fulfilled,” said Robert Palladino, the deputy spokesperson at the State Department, in response to a question from VOA as to whether the president’s latest remarks denote a U.S. policy change. 

“This is a top-down approach” with Kim and Trump meeting directly that, if successful, “could fundamentally transform relations between our two countries,” Palladino told reporters. 

“I’m not going to get ahead of diplomatic conversations or ahead of the president,” Palladino replied, when asked about a CNN report that Washington and Pyongyang are in discussions about exchanging liaison officers. “A lot of things are being discussed.”

Two months ago, National Security Adviser John Bolton said North Korea had not lived up to its commitments made at the Singapore summit and that is why Trump wanted a follow-up summit.

Ballistic missile program

Independent analysts say satellite imagery indicates North Korea is moving forward with its ballistic missile program.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington published a report last Friday on what it said was the third undisclosed missile base it had spotted since November.

At the first meeting with Trump, Kim committed to work toward complete denuclearization but that was left undefined with no timetable.

Bolton, who was in the Oval Office on Tuesday for Trump’s remarks, back in December said if North Korea follows through on its commitments then “President Trump will deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.”

Trump said last Friday that Abe had nominated him for the prize but, “I’ll probably never get it,” adding that his predecessor, Barack Obama, who was awarded the honor in 2009, “didn’t even know what he got it for.”

Trump said the Japanese leader nominated him because there were North Korean “rocket ships and he had missiles flying over Japan. And they had alarms going off. … Now, all of a sudden, they feel good. They feel safe. I did that.”

Nike Ching at the State Department contributed to this report.

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Poll: US Rural/Urban Political Divisions Also Split Suburbs

America’s suburbs are today’s great political battleground, long seen as an independent pivot between the country’s liberal cities and conservative small towns and rural expanse.

But it’s not that simple. It turns out that these places in-between may be the most politically polarized of all — and when figuring out the partisan leanings of people living in the suburbs, where they came from makes a difference.

Fewer suburbanites describe themselves as politically independent than do residents of the nation’s urban and rural areas, according to a survey released Tuesday by the University of Chicago Harris School for Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll also found that the partisan leanings of suburban residents are closely linked to whether they have previously lived in a city.

“In the last decade, particularly in the past five years, I’ve felt a shift in having some liberal neighbors,” said Nancy Wieman, 63, a registered Republican and staunch conservative who has lived in suburban Jefferson County outside of Denver her entire life. “The ones who are markedly liberal have moved from Denver or other cities.”

Suburbanites who previously lived in a city are about as likely as city-dwellers to call themselves Democrats, the survey found. Similarly, Americans living in suburbs who have never resided in an urban area are about as likely as rural residents to say they are Republican.

Just 15 percent of suburban Americans say they are independent and do not lean toward a party, compared with 25 percent of urban Americans and 30 percent of rural Americans who call themselves politically independent.

That divide extends to the White House: 72 percent of ex-urban suburbanites disapprove of President Donald Trump’s performance in office, as do 77 percent of city residents. That compares with the 57 percent of suburbanites who have not previously lived in a city and 54 percent of rural Americans who say they disapprove of the president.

Kevin Keelan moved from Denver to the sprawling suburbs of Jefferson County 16 years ago. Once a political independent, the 49-year-old registered as a Democrat a few years ago.

“Now it’s not even an option. I’d vote Democratic or independent, but there’s no way I can vote Republican anymore,” Keelan said. “It’s just being more open-minded, and I’d be that way if I was living here or in a loft downtown.”

Jefferson County is a cluster of subdivisions and strip malls huddled under the Rocky Mountain foothills. Once a right-leaning county, it has been reshaped by an influx of transplants from coastal, urban states. It now leans Democratic: The party swept countywide offices and won most of the state legislative districts there in 2018, and Hillary Clinton won the county by 7 percentage points in 2016.

Yet under that surface, election results from 2016 show it is a deeply polarized place. In 118 precincts in Jefferson County, one of the candidates won by more than 10 points. Clinton won 60 precincts and Trump 58.

“The chasm between the two sides is greater than ever,” said Libby Szabo, a Republican county commissioner. “It’s harder at this point, because the ideals are so different, to even change parties.”

The UChicago Harris/AP-NORC poll points to how that split between urban and rural America echoes through the suburbs.

About two-thirds of city dwellers say that legal immigration is a net benefit to the United States, much as the 7 in 10 former city residents now living in the suburbs who say the same. A smaller majority of suburbanites who have never lived in cities, 58 percent, and half of rural residents think the benefits of legal immigration outweigh the risks.

Urban residents are somewhat more likely than rural residents to think the U.S. should be active in world affairs, 37 percent to 24 percent. That mirrors the split between suburbanites who used to live in cities and those who never have: 32 percent of the former favor an active U.S. role, compared with 23 percent of the latter.

About 6 in 10 urban residents and ex-urban suburbanites say that the way things are going in the U.S. will worsen this year, while less than half of rural residents or suburbanites with no city experience believe the same.

S.A. Campbell is a general contractor who lives in the Kansas City suburbs of Johnson County, Kansas, which swung toward the Democrats in 2018 as it replaced a four-term Republican congressman with a Democratic woman who is an openly gay Native American. It is often compared to Jefferson County, with its highly educated population, high-quality schools and influx of previous city dwellers.

Campbell, 60, said his childhood in Kansas City is part of what made him a supporter of Democrats; his parents were both teachers active in their union, and his mother was a supporter of Planned Parenthood.

“When you’ve been raised in a certain fashion, your view of the world is more open than if you grew up in a household that wasn’t that,” he said.

Greg Stern, the newly elected clerk in Jefferson County, has lived in New York City and spent parts of his childhood on a remote Colorado ranch. He sees partisan attitudes hardening in the suburbs much as they have in urban and rural parts of the country.

But, he said, there’s a key difference: While there may be fewer independents in the suburbs, the mixture of loyal Democrats and Republicans found there means it’s still a place for both sides.

“You’re welcome regardless of your political beliefs,” said Stern, a Democrat and volunteer firefighter in a suburban department with a wide range of political views in the station. “It becomes harder to live in rural or urban areas if your political beliefs don’t match those of the majority of the people who live there.”

 

 

 

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Roger Stone Apologizes to Judge For Instagram Post About Her

President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone has apologized to the judge presiding over his criminal case for an Instagram post featuring a photo of her with what appears to be the crosshairs of a gun.

Stone and his lawyers filed a notice Monday night saying Stone recognized “the photograph and comment today was improper and should not have been posted.”

 

Earlier Monday, Stone posted a photo of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson with what appeared to be crosshairs near her head.

 

Stone later said that the picture had been “misinterpreted”and that any suggestion he intended to threaten Jackson was “categorically false.”

Stone is charged with lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering related to discussions he had during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks. He has denied guilt.

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