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Bernie Sanders dismisses Clinton lead: ‘A lot of that came from the South’

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Appearing on ABC’s This Week, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — who has run off an impressive string of primary victories — dismissed actual vote totals that show former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a commanding lead, saying those votes “came from the South.”

Host George Stephanopoulos noted Clinton’s lead in delegates and asked the senator if he would take his fight for the nomination to the floor of the convention.

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“Well, here’s what I think,” Sanders replied. “I think at the end of the day, what Democrats all over this country want to make sure is that somebody like a Donald Trump or a Ted Cruz does not end up in the White House. And I think what more and more Democrats are seeing is that Bernie Sanders is the stronger candidate.”

“She’s getting more votes,” the host pressed.

“Well, she is getting more votes. A lot of that came from the South,” Sanders parried. “But if you look at the polling out there, we do a lot better against Trump and the other Republicans in almost every instance — not every one — than she does. And the reason is that we both get a lot of Democrats, but I get a lot more independents than she does.”

Sanders comments fall in line with statements made by his own campaign that Clinton is doing well in states that might not fall into the Democratic column in the November election despite inroads made by President Obama in 2012.

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Sanders also addressed the controversy from earlier in the week when he claimed Clinton is not “qualified” to be president, blaming his response on her campaign questioning his competency.

“Well, she didn’t quite say that. But her surrogates implied that,” he responded. “And all that I meant by that is that if you vote for the war in Iraq, which turned out to be the worst foreign policy blunder in the modern history of America, if you take, through your super PAC, tens and tens of millions of dollars from Wall Street and other special interests, if you support almost every disastrous trade agreement in this last 30 years…”

“Well, President Obama supported that,” the host interrupted. “Is he not qualified?”

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“No, he is very qualified. But my point is, it is a question of judgment. It is a question of judgment,” Sanders replied.

Watch the video below from ABC:

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WATCH: Ben Carson thanks God for Trump in bizarre prayer — and then asks Him to ‘Keep America Great’

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Monday opened up the White House cabinet meeting with a bizarre prayer that explicitly thanked God for the existence of President Donald Trump.

Carson began his prayer with a standard invocation thanking God for "the blessings that you have bestowed upon this country."

After that, though, Carson gave God a thumbs-up for the work He's done in putting Trump in the White House.

"We thank You for President Trump, who also exhibits great courage in face of constant criticism," Carson said. "We ask you give him strength to endure and wisdom to lead and to recognize you as the sovereign of the universe, with the solution to everything."

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Bill Barr sparks anxiety within the CIA as he investigates ‘origins’ of Mueller’s Russia probe: security analyst

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As the Justice Department, headed by Attorney General William Barr, investigates the origins of the Russia investigation, some CIA operatives who played a role in gathering intelligence for Robert Mueller's probe are hiring lawyers, according to NBC News national security reporter Ken Dilanian.

According to various reports, President Trump has granted Barr with "expansive powers" for the investigation and he's reportedly seeking to question CIA analysts.

Speaking to MSNBC's Morning Joe this Monday, Dilanian said that while it's not clear what Barr's intentions are, many in the CIA are "very rattled" at the news.

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White House personnel chief delivers a new blow to Trump: Top DHS candidates are not legally qualified

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President Donald Trump's quest to find an acting replacement for departed Department of Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen was dealt a significant blow on Monday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House personnel office chief Sean Doocey has informed the president that he doesn't believe either of his top two picks are legally qualified to hold the position.

As the Journal notes, "federal statute that governs vacancies states that acting officials in cabinet-level positions must either be next in line for a position or hold a Senate-confirmed position." Neither Ken Cuccinelli, who heads the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, nor Mark Morgan, who leads Customs and Border Protection, meet those standards, Doocey determined.

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