The TAKE with Rick Klein
Who wants to be a billionaire?
Even without a formal announcement, Michael Bloomberg is showing the promise and potential limitations of pouring unlimited wealth into the political process.
A massive online ad buy – “Paid for by Mike Bloomberg 2020 Inc.” – is hitting President Donald Trump in the digital world that the president has come to dominate.
It’s a small demonstration of the financial firepower the former New York City mayor would bring to the race. Bloomberg is already on the ballot in two states, and seeking to get in front of at least one of his high-profile vulnerabilities in renouncing the “stop-and-frisk” policies he once championed.
Bloomberg casts a shadow that will fall on Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Atlanta. His wallet and what it means is bound to be an issue brought up even by fellow billionaire Tom Steyer, particularly with former Gov. Deval Patrick opening the door to Super PAC support of his late-to-launch campaign.
Having money -- and your own plane -- is a huge asset, as Trump demonstrated last cycle. But wealth also raises complicated questions in the current environment, which Trump continues to demonstrate now.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
Four witnesses are slated to testify Tuesday to start the second week of public impeachment hearings. Here are four things to look out for:
Three of the witnesses including, national security adviser Jennifer Williams, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and departing National Security Council official Tim Morrison, were on the summer call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. So, the nuances of their firsthand accounts will be key to lawmakers. What do they say about tone, style and impression? Plus, some witnesses have claimed that the transcript memo released by the White House was missing key words or phrases. Will they fill in any gaps?
Williams has been detailed to the vice president’s team, so investigators will want to know anything she can share about what Vice President Mike Pence may have known or discussed.
Vindman is a high-ranking, decorated veteran still serving in the U.S. Army. It is unlikely Republicans will attack his character or credibility, but after last week, will the president?
Morrison previously testified in a closed-door session that the administration's policy was to continue a “longstanding bipartisan commitment to strengthen Ukraine's security remained unaltered,” according to a transcript. He could undercut Republicans' argument that government officials simply did not like the president’s moves, and it will be worth watching what he says about whether the president’s personal team was working counter to that official, stated foreign policy goal.
The TIP with Justin Gomez
For a campaign that openly acknowledges their need to improve with black voters, a new misstep for Mayor Pete Buttigieg could make that even more difficult after it was discovered that a stock photo on his website -- used to promote his economic agenda for black Americans -- featured a woman from Kenya.
The unidentified woman reached out to the Intercept’s Ryan Grim and said she wasn’t even aware of the mayor’s Douglass Plan, which also aims to deal with systemic racism. Sean Savett, Buttigieg’s Rapid Response Communications Director, says it’s standard practice for campaigns to use stock images, but apologized for using the photo and said it was taken down months ago.
“The stock photo in question, which is widely utilized across the internet, was initially selected while a contractor was running our site, and the website it was pulled from did not indicate the photo was taken in Kenya in any way,” Savett said in a statement to ABC News, adding that they’ve now brought all of the campaign’s web development in-house to “help guard against mistakes like this.”
Despite leading the field in recent polling in Iowa and towards the top in New Hampshire -- a new Quinnipiac University poll of South Carolina voters shows Buttigieg sitting at just 6% support overall. His biggest uphill climb continues to be with African American support as he’s not even registering at 1% support among that demographic.
ONE MORE THING
Two White House national security aides who expressed concerns about a July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s leader will appear on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning, becoming the first current White House officials testify publicly in Democrats’ impeachment investigation. Two more officials -- requested by Republicans -- will testify in the afternoon. Check here for live updates throughout the day.
ABC News' "Start Here" podcast.Tuesday morning’s episode features a preview of the day's televised hearings in the impeachment inquiry with ABC News' Trish Turner. Then, Americus Reed, a marketing professor and "identity theorist" at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, breaks down Chick-Fil-A's controversies with the LGBTQ community and how it's affected the fast food chain's business. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
ABC News' "The Investigation" podcast. Former Chicago mayor and chief of staff to President Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, joins “The Investigation.” Emanuel, now an ABC News contributor, offers that censure in a Senate trial may be the best option. The former White House chief strategist during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial also makes note of the stark difference between the two presidents' responses. https://apple.co/2BlcX0N
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