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Rep. Barbara Lee: ‘Clear firewall’ between Congressional Black Caucus and PAC backing Clinton

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Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) emphasized in an interview on Thursday that Hillary Clinton’s endorsement by the Congressional Black Caucus PAC does not constitute one from the caucus itself.

“The Congressional Black Caucus PAC is a PAC that supports candidates,” Lee told Democracy Now host Amy Goodman. “It raises money, and it helps candidates win elections. And there’s a clear distinction between that—as I said earlier, we have a Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus. That has nothing to do with the Congressional Black Caucus PAC.”

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Lee added that she is not a member of the PAC, and repeated her assertion that “there’s a clear firewall. There’s a clear distinction.”

The congresswoman’s statement came shortly before fellow Rep. Keith Elison (D-MN) — who has endorsed Clinton’s Democratic primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — responded to the PAC’s support of the former Secretary of State by stating on Twitter that caucus members were not consulted regarding the issue, as seen below:

“The point it that endorsements should be the product of a fair open process,” Ellison wrote. “Didn’t happen.”

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Lee told Goldman that she has not made an endorsement yet.

“I don’t think my support really is that important at this point with regard to candidates,” she said, instead gushing over the caucuses’ other female members, as well as the group’s leader, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC).

Clyburn, Lee said, “represents many constituents, [and] really represents South Carolina, when you look at his constituency.”

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As the Washington Post reported, Clyburn has not endorsed a candidate yet.

Watch Lee’s interview with Goodman, as aired on Thursday, below.

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Elections 2016

Vietnamese women strive to clear war-era mines

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Inching across a field littered with Vietnam war-era bombs, Ngoc leads an all-women demining team clearing unexploded ordnance that has killed tens of thousands of people -- including her uncle.

"He died in an explosion. I was haunted by memories of him," Le Thi Bich Ngoc tells AFP as she oversees the controlled detonation of a cluster bomb found in a sealed-off site in central Quang Tri province.

More than 6.1 million hectares of land in Vietnam remain blanketed by unexploded munitions -- mainly dropped by US bombers -- decades after the war ended in 1975.

At least 40,000 Vietnamese have since died in related accidents. Victims are often farmers who accidentally trigger explosions, people salvaging scrap metal, or children who mistake bomblets for toys.

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Elections 2016

Chief Justice John Roberts issues New Year’s Eve warning to stand up for democracy

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In a progressive welcoming move, Chief Justice John Roberts issued his New Year's Eve annual report urging his fellow federal judges to stand up for democracy.

"In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public's need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital," he wrote. "We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary, a key source of national unity and stability."

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Trump’s next 100 days will dictate whether he can be re-elected or not — here’s why

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According to CNN pollster-in-residence Harry Enten, Donald Trump's next 100 days -- which could include an impeachment trial in the Senate -- will hold the key to whether he will remain president in 2020.

As Eten explains in a column for CNN, "His [Trump's] approval rating has been consistently low during his first term. Yet his supporters could always point out that approval ratings before an election year have not historically been correlated with reelection success. But by mid-March of an election year, approval ratings, though, become more predictive. Presidents with low approval ratings in mid-March of an election year tend to lose, while those with strong approval ratings tend to win in blowouts and those with middling approval ratings usually win by small margins."

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