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Matt Shuham

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

Articles by Matt

Hillary Clinton said in an interview that aired Monday that she wouldn’t rule out challenging the legitimacy of the 2016 election based on the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the election.

“Democrats have said that they think there was Russian interference in the election, but that they’re not challenging the results of the election,” “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross asked Clinton in the interview. “As more and more information comes out about the depth of Russia’s interference in the election, do you think, at some point, that it would be legitimate to challenge the legitimacy of the election?”

“I don’t know if there’s any legal constitutional way to do that,” Clinton said. “I think you can raise questions.”

Gross returned to the point: “Would you completely rule out questioning the legitimacy of this election if we learn that the Russian interference in the election is even deeper than we know now?”

“No. I would not. I would say —” Clinton began.

“You’re not going to rule it out?” Gross pressed.

“No, I wouldn’t rule it out,” Clinton said.

“What would be the means to challenge it, if you thought it should be challenged?” Gross asked.

“Basically, I don’t believe there are,” Clinton said. “There are scholars, academics who have arguments that it would be, but I don’t think they’re on strong ground. But people are making those arguments. I just don’t think we have a mechanism.”

Clinton loosely compared the American election to the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, and the recent presidential election in Kenya, the results of which were tossed out over irregularities. Clinton pointed out that Cambridge Analytica, the data analysis firm closely aligned with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, was involved in all three contests.

“What happened in Kenya, which I’m only beginning to delve into, is that the Supreme Court there said there are so many really unanswered and problematic questions, we’re going to throw the election out and re-do it,” she said. “We have no such provision in our country. And usually we don’t need it.”

Listen to the full interview, and read NPR’s transcript of it, here.

Young undocumented activists disrupted a press conference held by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other congressional Democrats Monday, in which the lawmakers had planned to advocate for passage of the DREAM Act.

The legislation, first introduced in the Senate in 2001, is similar to DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Former President Barack Obama created DACA via executive action in June 2012, and President Donald Trump ended the program on Sept. 5, passing the buck to Congress to “legalize” the program.

DACA, like the DREAM Act, provides protection from deportation and other benefits for certain qualified undocumented young people. But many advocates for undocumented immigrants argue that it creates that smaller, protected class of undocumented people “worthy” of legal protections at the expense of others left vulnerable to expulsion.

That was the protesters’ message Monday: Holding signs reading “Fight 4 All 11 Million” and “Democrats Are Deporters,” they chanted “All of us or none of us,” seemingly demanding that Democrats fight to protect all undocumented immigrants from deportation, rather than just those eligible for DACA. 

“We want protections for our parents and us,” one protester was overheard on a microphone telling Pelosi on stage.

Earlier, according to MSNBC footage, the protesters used the so-called “human microphone” technique, in which a crowd repeats in unison the statement of a single speaker, to announce: “Democrats created an out-of-control deportation machine and handed it over to Trump. We demand accountability. We are immigrant youth, undocumented and unafraid. We are an immigrant liberation movement.”

RawStory reported that protesters “chanted and yelled for more than 30 minutes.” Pelosi, unable to respond to the crowd without being drowned out by their response, eventually left the event.

“This group today is saying don’t do the DREAM Act unless you do comprehensive immigration reform,” Pelosi told reporters after the event, according to a transcript provided to TPM by her staff. “Well we all want to do comprehensive immigration reform – that has been our fight.”

“But a long time ago the groups all decided that it was okay to go with the DREAM Act,” she added. “We passed the DREAM Act when we had the majority, we didn’t have 60 votes in the Senate. So now we’re revisiting that. The public supports it and we think it’s a giant first step. I understand their frustration, I’m excited by it as a matter of fact, but the fact is they’re completely wrong.”

ASPIRE, an activist group that describes itself as the “First Pan Asian Undocumented Youth led organization in the Nation,” posted a livestream of the disruption, with the hashtag #All11Million, seemingly a reference to estimates of the total number of undocumented people in the United States.

Afterward, ASPIRE tweeted that it was demanding Pelosi stop deportations, stop the funding of immigrant detention centers, and introduce “a clean Immigrant Youth Bill w/o criminalizing us.”

Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Jared Huffman (D-CA), and “Bay Area DREAMers and Immigration Rights Advocates” were also scheduled to attend the interrupted event, according to a press release from Pelosi’s office.

The umbrella advocacy group California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA) later wrote of the disruption that “Pelosi moved forward with the negotiation without consulting immigrant youth and community members who have been frustrated by her lack of support for immigrant justice in California.”

Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently announced that they had agreed to pursue a deal with President Donald Trump with the aim of protecting DACA recipients from deportation once the first work permits from the program begin expiring after a six-month delay.

“Do you trust the president of the United States?” a reporter asked Pelosi of the promised deal on Thursday.

“Now is that a fair question?” she responded, before saying that she trusted Trump “is sincere in understanding that the public supports, overwhelmingly supports, not sending these young people back.”

Reached by phone Monday, CIYJA statewide coordinator Sandy Valenciano called the DREAM Act a “stepping stone,” but said she could not support it at the cost of more deportations, harsher immigration enforcement mechanisms or the increased militarization of the border.

“Yes, we’ve tried for over a decade to pass the DREAM Act, this being a stepping stone to something greater,” she said. “But we also don’t want to give the ammunition to the administration to be able to carry out its mass deportation plan.”

“We want to make sure that the protection of DACA recipients doesn’t come at the expense of our families and other community members,” she said.

Watch below via ABC News:

This post has been updated.

Contrary to President Donald Trump’s claims, there aren’t any “obvious signs” of gas lines in North Korea, according to the Washington Post.

At the United States’ urging, the United Nations Security Council recently passed additional sanctions against the totalitarian state for its leader Kim Jong Un’s continued testing of nuclear-capable missiles, and recently, another underground nuclear test. The sanctions slash North Korean oil imports by 30 percent, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said. The U.S. had originally requested a complete oil embargo but faced potential vetoes from China and Russia, the Post reported.

Trump claimed Sunday that there were “[l]ong gas lines forming in North Korea,” but that the claim wasn’t supported by on-the-ground accounts, according to the newspaper:

One foreign resident of Pyongyang told the Post, “we are not aware of any long queues at the gas stations,” adding: “At least, I haven’t noticed anything. I asked a few Koreans, and they haven’t seen anything either.”

Another foreign resident told the newspaper that traffic “was as heavy here as I’ve seen it” on Friday, “normal” on Saturday and “quieter” on Sunday.

Though the Post reported that there were “no obvious signs” of gas lines forming in the country, it did note a roughly 25 percent uptick in gas prices after the nuclear test, according to the Seoul-based Daily NK, which cited unnamed “inside informants on the ground in North Korea.”

Daily NK reported there was precedent for the North Korean regime restricting the oil supply in anticipation of global sanctions.

The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos, in a lengthy profile on Kim and the prospect of nuclear war, reported, referring to the North Korean capital: “For decades, there were few cars on the streets, but now frequent foreign visitors marvel at the growth in traffic.”

President Donald Trump opened his first remarks at the United Nations Monday by complimenting the Trump-branded property across the street.

“I actually saw great potential right across the street, to be honest with you, and it was only for the reason that the United Nations was here that that turned out to be such a successful project,” he said, immediately after thanking those in attendance at a meeting on UN reform.

Trump World Tower is across 1st Avenue from the UN, between East 47th and 48th streets in New York City. 

The United States’ ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, introduced Trump by saying he had “a businessman’s eye for seeing potential, and he sees great potential not just in this reform movement, but in the United Nations itself.”

After Trump won the 2016 election, his transition website, greatagain.gov, incorrectly claimed that he owned the property, Bloomberg reported. The same publication noted in March that, amid Russian domestic financial turmoil in 2001, Trump World Tower “became a prominent depository of Russian money.”

Top White House aide Kellyanne Conway criticized the Emmys Monday morning for being politically slanted against the President.

You’re showing the world that you are so easy with an insult about our leader,” she told Fox News of the stars in attendance. “I think that’s really unfortunate, actually.”

In an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Conway said the television awards show fit a pattern.

“Between the Emmys… the Miss America pageant was very politicized, our sports are very politicized, and it looks like the ratings are suffering,” she said. “It looks like America is responding by tuning out because they want you to stick to your knitting.”

“They want you to, I guess in this case, read the stuff other people write for you. And so they’re welcome to their opinion, but how does it really fit?”

Conway congratulated former White House Communications Director Sean Spicer for his “introspection and good humor,” referring to his cameo on the award show, but then pivoted back to criticizing the event.

People have the right to speak freely,” she said. “That’s very obvious. We live in the greatest democracy in the world that allows that. We’re doing it presently. But again, to what end? In other words, it doesn’t really — You’re alienating at least 63 million Americans who supported this President last time. But you’re alienating many more who want the President to succeed. And you’re showing the world that you are so easy with an insult about our leader. I think that’s really unfortunate, actually.”

She predicted that Trump would not congratulate Alec Baldwin on his award for impersonating the President.

“He probably barely noticed,” Conway said of Trump.

A Fox Sports Radio host tried to make a point about ESPN’s speech norms Friday by pointing to the only things he believed in “completely”: “The First Amendment and boobs.”

Clay Travis was invited on CNN to discuss the White House suggesting that ESPN should fire Jemele Hill because she called President Donald Trump a white supremacist.

He compared the story to when ESPN fired Curt Schilling for posting an offensive meme about transgender people on his Facebook page in April.

“I think that’s a bad move,” Travis said of Schilling’s case. “I’m a First Amendment absolutist. I believe in only two things completely: The First Amendment and boobs. And so once they made the decision that they were not going to allow–  “

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin interjected.

“I just want to make sure I heard you correctly as a woman anchoring the show,” she said. “What did you just say? You believe in the First Amendment and b-double-o-b-s?”

“Boobs,” Travis confirmed. He had come on television to make a point, and he repeated it about four times before the interview ended. “Two things that have only never let me down in this entire country’s history, the First Amendment and boobs. So those are the only two things I believe in, absolutely, in the country.”

Keith Reed, a former ESPN senior editor who had previously worked with Hill, pointed out that Travis’ double-minded focus was reflective of a broader pattern in sports commentary of devaluing women’s opinions in favor of their bodies.

“One of the things that Jemele’s had to deal with her entire career,” he said, “is sexism, blatant sexism, comments about her appearance, comments about her racially, comments about her inability — or perceived inability — to be able to comment on sports because of her gender.”

“It’s astonishing,” he added.

Baldwin again attempted to get Travis to clarify what he said.

Boobs, Travis repeated. He believed in boobs. And the First Amendment.

“Why would you even say that live on national television and with a female host? Why would you even go there?” Baldwin asked.

“I say it live on the radio all the time because it’s true and that’s what I do,” Travis said. “Because I like boobs and the First Amendment, which is exactly what I said.”

Reed jumped in, trying to steer the conversation back on track.

“I’m done. I’m sorry. I’m done. This is conversation over,” Baldwin said, as Reed and Travis’ faces dissolved off-air.

“Forgive me, that it took me a second,” she told the viewer, rattled. “It’s like, live television happens, and you think you hear something but you’re not entirely sure, and then you realize it happened.”

“So I apologize for him, and that,” she said.

Travis played up the moment for all it was worth. He began broadcasting a celebratory live video shortly after the CNN segment ended — “What do people want me to do, tip-toe up to my opinion?” — and announced a solicitation for “I love the First Amendment and boobs” t-shirt designs on Twitter. “All proceeds to breast cancer awareness for rest of year,” he wrote. He also claimed CNN had invited him back on air.

“He has not been invited back on,” wrote Pamela Gomez, a CNN communications manager, to TPM in an email Friday afternoon.

A CNN spokesperson later said that, prior to his appearance with Baldwin, Travis had been tentatively scheduled to appear Monday on HLN, but that the appearance had been canceled.

Watch below via CNN:

This post has been updated.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster tried his best to clean up President Donald Trump’s comments on a London subway bombing Friday, claiming that Trump did not mean to criticize Scotland Yard when he said the unknown suspect, or suspects, behind the bombing had been “in the sights of Scotland Yard.”

Trump’s tweet was largely seen as critical of the British law enforcement agency. According to the New York Times, 29 people were hospitalized after a crude improvised explosive device detonated in London’s subway.

Asked about the tweet, British Prime Minister Theresa May said, “I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation.”

Did the President share information that he was not supposed to? If not, why was he speculating?” a reporter asked McMaster at a press briefing Friday.

“I think what the President was communicating is that, obviously, all of our law enforcement efforts are focused on this terrorist threat, for years,” McMaster said. “Scotland Yard has been a leader, as our FBI has been a leader.”

“So, I think if there was a terrorist attack here, god forbid, that we would say that they were in the sights of the FBI,” he said. “So I think didn’t mean anything beyond that.”

A Washington, D.C. Superior Court judge on Thursday rejected defense attorneys’ motions to dismiss charges against nearly 200 people accused of felony rioting, among other charges, for their activities in Washington, D.C. during President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

According to the Hill, which reported on Judge Lynn Leibovitz dismissing the motions, there are 194 cases remaining to be tried of the 234 protesters originally charged. Nineteen have pleaded guilty, the outlet noted.

Charges were filed against both protesters accused of destroying property and attacking police, and those there to document the protest, including journalists and legal observers. Defense lawyers for the accused have called prosecutors’ actions in the case — particularly the blurring of lines between individuals who attacked police and property, and those who merely attended or planned the protest — “unprecedented.”

Leibovitz criticized defense attorneys in April for their insistence on taking time to review the hundreds of hours of available footage of the protest.

“These will be dragged out until everyone here are grandparents. Unless that is the goal,” she told the Washington Post in April, after a grand jury added even more charges for the then more than 200 charged protesters, including inciting or urging to riot, conspiracy to riot and multiple counts of destruction of property, according to the Post.

The new charges made it easier to prosecute individuals based on others’ actions.

On Thursday, Leibovitz rejected attorneys’ motions to dismiss the charges and to release the instructions given to the grand jury, which the defendants had argued were confusing and led to excessive or “defective” charges.

After the secondary charges were announced in April, a spokesperson for Dead City Legal Posse, a support group for the defendants, told DCist the government’s approach was expected, but extreme.

“We were fully aware of the possibility of additional charges, but the indiscriminate nature of the charges is outrageous,” Sam Menefee-Libey told the paper, adding: “The charges were draconian before, they’re even more draconian now.”

British Prime Minister Theresa May seemed to criticize President Donald Trump on Friday for his assumptions about an improvised explosive device that detonated in London’s subway system Friday morning.

“I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” May said, according to interview footage aired by CNN. “As I’ve just said, the police and security services are working to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and to identify all those responsible.”

Trump tweeted about the attack just a few hours after it was first reported. He advocated for limiting Internet access, making his travel ban on Muslim-majority countries “larger, tougher and more specific” and being “proactive & nasty” against ISIS, though he was presumably speculating that the group was involved in the attack.

According to CNN, a spokesperson for Scotland Yard said directly that Trump’s comments were “pure speculation given we don’t know who is involved.”

”Any speculation is unhelpful,” the spokesperson said, according to CNN.

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