San Francisco mayor admits to romantic relationship with FMR Public Works Director

In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, San Francisco Mayor London Breed waits to address the annual Women In Construction Expo in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

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UPDATED 4:55 PM PT — Saturday, February 15, 2020

San Francisco’s mayor London Breed admitted she had an affair and accepted gifts from the city’s disgraced Director of Public Works. She faced calls for her resignation after she links herself with one of her former subordinates, now at the center of an FBI probe.

At a news conference Friday, Breed confirmed rumors about her fling with San Francisco’s former Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru and also admitted she had accepted $5,600 from him for car repairs. Hoping to clear the air, Breed stressed her and Nuru had been only friends in recent years and her romantic relationship with him was two decades ago.

“I’ve been asked about it by a lot of people and so I thought it was a need to tell people that to tell them about our relationship, that it is made clear.” stated the San Francisco mayor.

Breed further explained why she accepted money from Nuru in a post online. She said last year, her car broke down and Nuru, only acting as her friend, took it to a mechanic. He reportedly helped her secure a rental car later, which she said brought the the estimated value of what she owed him to about $5,600.

This Feb. 6, 2020, photo shows director of San Francisco Public Works Mohammed Nuru, left, leaving a federal courthouse in front of attorney Ismail Ramsey in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Breed said she intended to sell the car, but was not able to and also stressed Nuru’s payments to her were legal and unrelated to their positions.

“Well I checked with the city attorney every step of the way whether its relationship, whether its the car, and ultimately Mohammed reported to the city administrator who made the decisions as it relates to do with that department.” stated Breed.

However, since her statements, many are calling for her to resign or temporarily step back while an investigation to take place. Citizens, as well as officials in City Hall, argue Breed broke the law.

“Allowing her subordinate to give her a gift of this size, it’s ethically wrong and but more importantly it’s a legal violation and because of that serious violation and the serious culture of corruption that pervades this city, I believe that she should voluntarily resign.” stated Hillary Ronan, member of San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Earlier this week, Nuru left his top city position after the FBI arrested him under charges of “public corruption, bribery kickbacks and side deals.”

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Buttigieg takes lead in race for Democrat nomination, former mayor gets 26% of Iowa vote

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg arrives at Community Oven Pizza for a campaign event, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

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UPDATED 7:47 AM PT — Wednesday, February 5, 2020

According to updated results of the Iowa caucuses, Pete Buttigieg is leading the Democrat race for the presidential nomination. Preliminary results from 71 percent of Iowa precincts show the former South Bend mayor carried just under 27 percent of the delegates’ vote.

Buttigieg is closely trailed by Bernie Sanders with 25 percent and Elizabeth Warren with 18 percent. Meanwhile, only 15 percent of the vote went to Joe Biden, who was considered a front-runner in the Democrat race.

Iowa Democrats apologized for the delay in releasing the results, while citing an unspecified “technical failure.”

“As chair of the party, I apologize deeply for this,” said Troy Price, chairman of the Iowa Democrat Party. “Last night, we were faced with multiple reporting challenges and decided out of an abundance of caution to protect the integrity of the Iowa caucuses and their results by taking the necessary steps to review and confirm the data.”

According to officials in the state, the delay was caused by a coding error in election software. Iowa Democrats are expected to roll out more results throughout Wednesday.

Meanwhile, election officials also expressed concern over the low turnout at the recent Democrat caucus. On Tuesday, Dubuque County Democrat Party chairman Steve Drahozal said he was “blown away” after only 217 voters showed up to caucus in a city with a population of 57,000.

Drahozal said Iowa Democrats expected “much higher” turnout, although it did surpass 2016 levels. Observers have said the numbers may reflect fading enthusiasm for the Democrat Party among Iowa voters.

Caucus goers check in at a caucus at Roosevelt High School, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Some voters in the state have expressed their frustration with the chaos at the caucus, which caused delays in the publication of its results.

“I was a little embarrassed. It’s a great process, we love, we love meeting the people. I have met a lot of the candidates and the young people that come and work for them. I love the process, but I can see where it’s flawed, too.”

— Susan Hawk, Iowa voter

Some Iowa Democrats have even admitted their aggressive campaigning in the rural parts of the state didn’t help improve the turnout numbers this year.

RELATED: Bloomberg to double TV spending, expand staff after Democrats’ Iowa caucus chaos

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Mayor Pete becomes main target for Dems, moderates and leftists alike

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Andrew Yang on Democrats' obsession with impeachment, rival candidates' attacks on wealthy Americans

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang joins Neil Cavuto on 'CAVUTO Live.'

First it was former Vice President Joe Biden with the target on his back. Then Sen. Elizabeth Warren bore the onslaught of incoming attacks from fellow Democrats.

But after Thursday's Democratic debate, Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., became the new candidate to beat in the Democratic primary just weeks before voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Buttigieg, 37, took blows from both the progressive and moderate sides on the debate stage because unlike other candidates who fit more neatly into an ideological lane, Buttigieg is dangerous to his rivals because he cuts into everyone’s support.

“He’s hurting a wide variety of candidates, which is why he’s taking incoming from all sides,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Voters are attracted to his varied biography that has a little bit of something for everyone: a veteran, a Midwestern mayor, a Rhodes Scholar and a young gay man who could make history if he becomes president.

“He can be everything to all voters,” Murray said.

“You can’t pin him down ideologically, but you can also paint your ideologically on him. He’s kind of like a cypher that you can project onto him what you want. And that’s what is making him appealing to voters."

Buttigieg became the human piñata Thursday because he has the potential to box out other White House hopefuls in Iowa or New Hampshire before the primary moves to a more diverse electorate in Nevada and South Carolina.

“He’s the linchpin,” Sue Dvorsky, a former Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman, told Politico. “He’s the linchpin because he’s in the middle.”

Buttigieg’s rise in Iowa and New Hampshire coincided with a loss of support for liberal Warren and moderate Biden.

In one of the most heated moments on the Los Angeles debate stage, Warren suggested that Buttigieg’s judgement is compromised by taking money from wealthy donors at fancy fundraisers. “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” Warren said, citing a recent lavish fundraiser in Napa, Calif.

Buttigieg was ready for the attack and countered that Warren welcomed money from traditional fundraisers as a senator and just transferred all that cash to her presidential campaign.

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"You know, according to Forbes magazine, I'm literally the only person on this stage who is not a millionaire or billionaire," Buttigieg said. "This is the problem with issuing purity tests you yourself cannot pass."

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is running on her appeal to moderate Midwestern voters, took swipes at Buttigieg for not having the experience needed to beat President Trump. She alluded to his failed bids in 2017 to chair of the Democratic National Committee and in 2010 to be Indiana state treasurer.

“We should have someone heading up this ticket that has actually won, and been able to show that they can gather the support that you talk about,” Klobuchar said.

Buttigieg countered with his mayoral election success. “If you want to talk about a capacity to win, try putting together a coalition to bring you back to office with 80 percent of the vote as a gay dude in Mike Pence’s Indiana."

But Klobuchar dug in. “If you had won in Indiana, that would be one thing,” she responded. “You tried, and you lost by 20 points.”

The debate fireworks come after Buttigieg shot up to the top of the polls in Iowa, which holds the first caucuses Feb. 3.

His support is at 22 percent, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (20 percent), Biden (19 percent), Warren (16 percent) and Klobuchar (6 percent), according to Real Clear Politics' polling average.

In New Hampshire, Buttigieg is clawing to the top for the Feb. 11 primary.

Sanders is leading at 19 percent, followed closely by Buttigieg (18 percent), Biden (14 percent) and Warren (13 percent).

The Sanders campaign, which paved the way with a strong grassroots-funded campaign in 2016 and again for 2020, also took a shot at Buttigieg.

Jeff Weaver, a Sanders adviser, sported a “PetesWineCave.com” T-shirt to the debate. The domain redirects to Sanders’ campaign fundraising page, which raised a whopping $1 million alone on debate day.

Sanders' campaign made sure to note the Vermont independent had his best single-day haul by shunning “big checks in wine caves” and by refusing "cash from billionaires and CEOs.”

However, actress and comedian Jane Lynch, who co-hosted another fundraiser for Buttigieg, defended billionaires in wine caves and accused Warren of engaging in “class warfare.”

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Buttigieg is doing well among all demographic groups, except for non-white voters.

Biden, who has strong support among African Americans, is leading in South Carolina at 35 percent, with Buttigieg at 8 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics average.

For his part, Buttigieg is courting grassroots donations on social media in the wake of his new frontrunner status and anticipating more friendly fire.

"I think as the race gets more competitive, for better or for worse, we can expect more of that," he told CNN.

Original Article

Salem mayor responds after Trump compares impeachment to ‘witch trials’

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Trump sends six-page letter to Pelosi condemning impeachment inquiry

Democrats take final step toward impeachment; former independent counsel Ken Starr weighs in.

The mayor of Salem, Massachusetts, got tired of a metaphor not based in reality.

Democratic Mayor Kim Driscoll tweeted that President Trump needs to “learn some history” after he claimed the women accused in the city’s infamous 17th century witch trials received more due process than he has as he faces impeachment.

Driscoll wrote on Twitter Tuesday that the trials in 1692 included “powerless, innocent victims” who were “hanged or pressed to death” on scant evidence.

Twenty people suspected of witchcraft were killed in Salem, a coastal city about 20 miles north of downtown Boston, during a frenzy stoked by superstition, fear of disease and strangers, and jealousy. Nineteen were hanged, and one man was crushed by rocks.

"More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch trials," Trump wrote in a blistering, no-holds-barred six-page letter Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., observing that even Ukraine's president has repeatedly said at the United Nations that he felt no undue pressure from the White House.

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The president argued that Democrats were trying to distract Americans from the strong economy and historically low unemployment numbers, and he pointed out that Democrats have openly called for impeachment since the day he took office.

He added: “One hundred years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it, and learn from it, so that it can never happen to another President again.”

Democratic Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, Massachusetts, right, said President Donald Trump needs to “learn some history” after he claimed those accused in the city’s infamous 17th century witch trials received more due process than he has as he faces impeachment. (Getty)

Democratic Mayor Kim Driscoll of Salem, Massachusetts, right, said President Donald Trump needs to “learn some history” after he claimed those accused in the city’s infamous 17th century witch trials received more due process than he has as he faces impeachment. (Getty)

The president also frequently dismissed investigations into his administration as “witch hunts.”

Trump used the phrase during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and the role then-candidate Trump and his campaign may have played.

Two votes in the House are expected Wednesday evening on the articles of impeachment against Trump. The first article alleges abuse of power over Trump pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations into Democrats that could benefit his reelection campaign — the president withheld aid at the time, but insists to this day that there was no "quid pro quo." The second alleges obstruction of Congress over Trump preventing the House from interviewing witnesses and obtaining documents for the impeachment investigation.

The allegations against Trump, in contrast to the Salem Witch trials, are against a powerful world leader and come with “ample evidence” and “admissions of wrongdoing,” Driscoll said.

“Right, will they ever learn some history?” Driscoll wrote in a follow-up tweet. “This situation is much different than the plight of the witch trial victims, who were convicted using spectral evidence + then brutally hanged or pressed to death. A dubious legal process that bears no relation to televised impeachment.”

Driscoll said comparing the impeachment proceedings to her city’s dark legacy is “offensive” to the victims and their descendants.

“People in Salem want this history remembered so that it acknowledges going forward what never, ever should happen again,” she said in an interview with WCVB-TV.

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White House spokespersons didn’t respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article