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ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Bernie Sanders campaign is calling to remove Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank from leadership positions on Democratic committees at the national convention, arguing that their allegiance to Hillary Clinton will compromise their neutrality.

In a letter to the Democratic National Committee, Brad Deutsch, counsel to the Sanders campaign, called Malloy and Frank “aggressive attack surrogates for the Clinton campaign.”

"The appointment of two individuals so outspokenly critical of Senator Sanders, and so closely affiliated with Secretary Clinton's campaign, raises concerns that two of the three Convention Standing Committees are being constituted in an overtly partisan way designed to exclude meaningful input from supporters of Senator Sanders' candidacy," Deutsch wrote in a letter to the co-chairs of the DNC rules and bylaws committee, which the Sanders campaign posted on its website.

Malloy is co-chairman of the platform committee, and Frank is head of the rules committee.

Jim Roosevelt and Lorraine Miller, the co-chairs of the Rules and Bylaws Committee, wrote in a letter to Deutsch that they are "compelled to dismiss" his challenge, because there is no allegation that the selection of Malloy and Frank violated any rules of the Democratic Convention.

 

DNC responds to Sanders campaign call for convention leadership change, say they are "compelled to dismiss it" pic.twitter.com/e7p1i1Dz47

— Alana Abramson (@aabramson) May 28, 2016

 

DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced this week that five Sanders supporters would serve on the platform committee, which is responsible for managing the process of drafting the party's platform. In a release announcing the committee members the DNC said 75 percent of the committee's seats have been allocated to the two presidential campaigns, awarded proportionally according to vote tally, "in an effort to make this the most representative and inclusive process in history."

Concerns about discontent from the Sanders campaign at the convention increased after Nevada's state convention, where Sanders supporters grew rowdy after Clinton received more delegates and maintained the process was usurping democracy.

"People in America have the right to demonstrate. It's kind of what the constitution of the United States is," Sanders said on ABC's "The View" earlier this week when asked about concerns of violence at the convention in Philadelphia.

"It goes without saying that I will condemn any and all forms of violence," he said. "Secretary Clinton and I have different points of view on many of these issues. I don't see anything wrong with a vigorous debate."

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ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fight for the Democratic nomination is "all but over," adding that the nation would be "better off" if he worked to bridge the party’s divides ahead of the general election.

Feinstein, one of the earliest members of Congress to endorse Hillary Clinton, encouraged Sanders to view his campaign from a "real perspective."

"Senator Sanders has the right to run, no question. He ought to be able to read the signposts as well as anybody else, and if he did that he would know that it's all but over," Feinstein told Jonathan Karl in an interview for ABC News' "This Week" that will air Sunday.

"I know the passion of a campaign. I know when you're in it, you just keep go, go, go until the last hour is there. Well, the last hour is close by," Feinstein added.

The California senator, who previously criticized Sanders for delaying Clinton's pivot to a general election showdown with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, suggested Sanders should work to fortify the Democratic Party before November.

"It would be, I think, a very positive gesture for reconciliation if Senator Sanders were to consider putting his campaign in the very real perspective that it's in, and doing those things that can bring the party together," Feinstein said. "I think the nation is better off if that were to happen."

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Alex Stone/ABC News(SAN DIEGO, Calif.) -- Police in riot gear were called in to separate Donald Trump protesters and supporters Friday afternoon after they clashed outside a rally for the presumptive Republican nominee in San Diego, California.

According to San Diego Police, 35 people were arrested. There was no property damage and no injuries reported, police added.

**Final Update** 35 arrests were made today during the protest. No property damage was reported. No injuries were reported.

— San Diego Police (@SanDiegoPD) May 28, 2016



 The roughly 1,000 demonstrators were gathered on both sides of the street outside the San Diego Convention Center.

Some protesters holding Mexican flags and flags from other countries yelled, "Dump Donald Trump."

Trump supporters chanted, "You can't vote," and, "Build that wall!"

A helicopter loudspeaker and ground loudspeakers repeatedly made announcements that unlawful assembly was declared, and anyone in the area would be arrested if they stayed.

Police forced protesters out of the area by firing pepper spray balls at the crowd.

Trump took to Twitter to thank the San Diego Police Department, while referring to the anti-Trump protesters as "thugs." He wrote, "Fantastic job on handling the thugs who tried to disrupt our very peaceful and well attended rally. Greatly appreciated!"


.@SanDiegoPD- Fantastic job on handling the thugs who tried to disrupt our very peaceful and well attended rally. Greatly appreciated!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 28, 2016

 

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Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama reflected on the meaning of Memorial Day in his weekly address.

He stressed the difference between thanking veterans for their service every day of the year, and the Monday holiday.

"Memorial Day, which we’ll observe Monday, is different," the president said. "It’s the day we remember those who never made it home; those who never had the chance to take off the uniform and be honored as a veteran.  It’s the day we stop to reflect with gratitude on the sacrifice of generations who made us more prosperous and free, and to think of the loved ones they left behind."

President Obama called on Americans to remember U.S. servicemen and women "who died in our defense."

"The debt we owe our fallen heroes is one we can never truly repay," he said. "But our responsibility to remember is something we can live up to every day of the year."

Read the president's full address:

Hi, everybody.  Right now, there are American troops serving in harm’s way and standing sentry around the world.  There are veterans who’ve served honorably in times of war and peace, and often came home bearing the invisible and visible wounds of war.  They may not speak the loudest about their patriotism – they let their actions do that.  And the right time to think of these men and women, and thank them for their service and sacrifice, is every day of the year.
 
Memorial Day, which we’ll observe Monday, is different.  It’s the day we remember those who never made it home; those who never had the chance to take off the uniform and be honored as a veteran.  It’s the day we stop to reflect with gratitude on the sacrifice of generations who made us more prosperous and free, and to think of the loved ones they left behind.
 
Remembering them – searing their stories and their contributions into our collective memory – that’s an awesome responsibility.  It’s one that all of us share as citizens.
 
As Commander-in-Chief, I have no more solemn obligation than leading our men and women in uniform.  Making sure they have what they need to succeed.  Making sure we only send them into harm’s way when it’s absolutely necessary.  And if they make the ultimate sacrifice – if they give their very lives – we have to do more than honor their memory.
 
We have to be there for their families.  Over the years, Michelle and I have spent quiet moments with the families of the fallen – husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.  They’ve shared their pain – but also their pride in the sacrifices their loved ones made under our proud flag.
 
It’s up to the rest of us to live our lives in a way that’s worthy of these sacrifices.
 
The idea to set aside a Memorial Day each year didn’t come from our government – it came from ordinary citizens who acknowledged that while we can’t build monuments to every heroic act of every warrior we lost in battle, we can keep their memories alive by taking one day out of the year to decorate the places where they’re buried.
 
That’s something that so many of our fellow Americans are doing this weekend.  Remembering.  Remembering the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who died in our defense.  Remembering those who remain missing.  Remembering that they were our fellow citizens and churchgoers, classmates and children, and more often than not, the best of us.
 
So this Memorial weekend, I hope you’ll join me in acts of remembrance.  Lay a flower or plant a flag at a fallen hero’s final resting place.  Reach out to a Gold Star Family in your community, and listen to the story they have to tell.  Send a care package to our troops overseas, volunteer to make a wounded warrior’s day a little easier, or hire a veteran who is ready and willing to serve at home just as they did abroad.
 
Or just pause, take a moment, and offer a silent word of prayer or a public word of thanks.
 
The debt we owe our fallen heroes is one we can never truly repay.  But our responsibility to remember is something we can live up to every day of the year.
 
Thanks.  May God watch over our fallen heroes and their families, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) delivered this week's Republican address and honored American veterans for Memorial Day.

Ernst, who is the Senate’s first female combat veteran and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said to "push past" a "divided America" this holiday weekend.

“Unfortunately, all too often folks hear in the media talking about a divided America," she said. "But this Memorial Day, I implore you to push past the 30 second sound bites and instead join me in honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our nation since its founding in 1776."

The senator also mentioned bipartisan legislation introudced with Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) that would ensure Women Airforce Service Pilots could have their ashes placed at Arlington National Cemetery.

Read the Republican's full address:
 
Hi, I’m Joni Ernst and I have the honor of serving the great state of Iowa in the United States Senate.
 
It’s a long way from Red Oak, Iowa to Washington, D.C., but often I think back to even more distant places I’ve traveled to like Kuwait and Iraq, where I served as a company commander, leading 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom 13 years ago. I also often think of the nearly 4,500 Americans who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our nation during the Iraq War.
 
I have been so fortunate that my 23 years of service in the military has introduced me to some of the most patriotic and selfless Americans who woke up each day willing to put their lives on the line in defense of our freedom.
 
Unfortunately, all too often folks hear in the media talking about a divided America. But this Memorial Day, I implore you to push past the 30 second sound bites and instead join me in honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our nation since its founding in 1776.
 
While Memorial Day is a day to honor our fallen heroes, I would also like to say a few words about our veterans whose sacrifices must never be forgotten.
 
From those who responded after the shocking attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, to those sent around the globe after the tragic events of September 11th 2001, we honor them.
 
This Congress recognizes the service and sacrifice that veterans like the Women Airforce Service Pilots, also known as WASP, made during the 1940s.
 
You see, during World War II, these bold, revolutionary women flew non-combat service missions for the Army Airforce to free up their male counterparts for combat duty overseas.
 
The WASP willingly put their lives on the line for this country during a time of war. This work wasn’t easy and in fact, 38 WASP died in service to our great nation, such as Beverly Moses, who was born in Des Moines; and Gleanna Roberts who grew up near Iowa City.
 
These women served our nation with great honor – and put their lives on the line.
 
You and I know that their sacrifice and love for this nation deserves to be celebrated, and always remembered. Unfortunately, these pioneers of aviation have long struggled to gain the recognition and honor they earned.
 
With this in mind, I helped introduce bipartisan legislation along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswomen Martha McSally and Susan Davis to ensure the WASP ashes could be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery. A seemingly simple thing, that means so much.
 
This Congress passed this legislation honoring these historic women and it is now law.
 
Now, this Congress is getting to work on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This legislation includes measures to make sure our men and women have access to the top equipment and training they need on the battlefield. The NDAA includes many critical provisions to help keep our military members safe so they do return home to their families.
 
We’ve already gotten to work on the NDAA, and later this summer, the Senate will consider the Defense Appropriations Act. These measures will provide some level of certainty to our brave service members now serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and in other places around the world.
 
As Memorial Day approaches, let us pause and remember all of the men and women who have given their lives so we can be free.
 
Let’s pause and honor the families of the fallen who have also given so much.
 
On Memorial Day—and every day—let us give thanks for these outstanding heroes. They serve as a testimony to the character of America.
 
May God always bless you, our servicemen and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice, the great state of Iowa, and these wonderful United States of America.

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The White House(NEW YORK) --  As a witness to the removal of fallen U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Army Chaplain Christopher John Antal can’t recall a time when that solemn ceremony wasn’t conducted without the presence of drones passing along the horizon.

They were sleek and quiet, making a gentle humming noise as they flew over the flight lines — where aircraft can be parked and serviced — of the Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan, where he was stationed in 2012. Not everyone had access to the flight lines, according to Antal, but he was responsible for participating in dignified transfer ceremonies, also known as ramp ceremonies, which were set there to greet the caskets of fallen service personnel as they were returned to base, en route to the U.S. On these occasions, he would watch the drones drift in and out, loaded with Hellfire missiles.

“It was [a] stark contrast to the solemnity of what I was doing at the ceremonies,” Antal, a Unitarian Universalist minister, told ABC News about watching the drones during the ceremonies. “When I would watch them and think about where they had been and where they were going, it would break my soul.”

 On April 12, Antal resigned his commission as an officer in the Army because of his conscientious objection to the United States’ drone policy. In a letter addressed to Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, Antal wrote, “The executive branch continues to claim the right to kill anyone, anywhere on Earth, at any time, for secret reasons, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials. I refuse to support this policy of unaccountable killing.” In doing so, he joined other previous members of the armed forces who have addressed Obama to criticize his drone strike policy, including four former members of the Air Force who penned a letter in November of 2015 warning the president that the strikes “served as a recruitment tool similar to Guantanamo Bay.”

The White House has defended the use of force in certain situations. "Since his first day in office, President Obama has been clear that the United States will use all available tools of national power to protect the American people from the terrorist threat posed by al-Qa’ida and its associated forces," reads a 2013 fact sheet on policies and procedures for counter-terrorism operations outside the U.S. and areas of active hostilities.

Christopher Antal’s Resignation Letter

Earlier this year, the Obama administration agreed to publish a redacted version of the so-called playbook for U.S. drone operations overseas. Antal hopes that with the publication, Americans will open their eyes to what is really happening with armed drones. The administration has not made clear when the documents will be released.

Civilian Casualties

The release of the drone playbook by Obama administration officials could provide the clearest window yet into a military program that has been shrouded in mystery since it began during George W. Bush’s administration in the early stages of the war in Afghanistan.

The numbers of civilians killed by U.S. drone strikes has been a source of controversy for years now, and precise data have been difficult to verify because of government secrecy on the subject and a scarcity of firsthand reports from areas where drone strikes take place.

In April, Obama told the press in reference to drone strikes, “There’s no doubt that civilians were killed that shouldn’t have been” — a change in tone from 2012, when he told an online forum, “Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.”

According to documents that a whistleblower provided to The Intercept in 2015, drone strikes frequently kill civilians, and “nearly 90 percent” of the people killed in airstrikes during Operation Haymaker, a five-month military operation in 2012 targeting al-Qaeda operations in eastern Afghanistan, were “not intended targets.” A current U.S. official and a former one who were involved in drone operations told ABC News at the time that the unintended targets were often suspected militants traveling to or at meetings with intended targets.

London’s nonprofit Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which says it pursues “research, investigations, reporting and analysis which is of public benefit,” estimated that from 2004 to 2014, there were 2,379 casualties from U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. Of the 704 people killed who have been identified by the bureau, only 295 were reported to be militants, meaning that about 58 percent were believed to be noncombatants.

The organization reported in 2012 that dozens of civilian rescuers and mourners at victims’ funerals were targeted in drone strikes in Pakistan.

 In 2011, U.S. officials told ABC News that the bureau’s numbers were “way off the mark” but did not address the subject of civilian casualties killed in drone attacks.

New America, formerly the New America Foundation, a nonprofit public policy think tank in Washington, D.C., said the number of civilians killed in drone strikes in Pakistan is much lower. It estimated that in 403 strikes since 2004, 2,284 to 3,625 people were killed and that 7 to 14 percent of them were civilians, 5 to 12 percent were unknown and the remainder were militants.

Strikes in large-scale military operation theaters (Iraq and Afghanistan) are handled by the Pentagon, while the CIA is responsible for strikes elsewhere (for example, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia), according to officials familiar with the drone program. But these officials said there is also some overlap in areas of responsibility.

The CIA referred ABC News to the National Security Council on the matter of civilian casualties due to U.S. drone strikes. The NSC referred ABC News to previous remarks by Obama about drone strikes.

The bulk of U.S. targeted drone strikes take place in Pakistan, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and New America, but also occur in countries like Yemen and Somalia, which do not border any country with which the U.S. is at war but are home to suspected militants. In 2013, Ben Emmerson, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, supported Pakistan’s position that it did not consent to the U.S. policy of using targeted drone strikes on its soil, issuing a statement that the drone campaign “is therefore a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty."

That year, however, The Washington Post reported that top-secret CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos demonstrated that top Pakistani officials tacitly supported the strikes.

Congress has not formally authorized military operations in any of those countries, with the exception of Afghanistan in 2001. Drone strikes are also conducted in Iraq in the fight against ISIS. Congress authorized military actions there in March 2003.

A diverse group of commentators, including representatives from the human rights organization Amnesty International and conservatives such as judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano, have speculated publicly that these strikes in Pakistan constitute war crimes because of the numbers of noncombatants killed and questions surrounding the legality of the operations.

CIA Director John O. Brennan has invoked the U.N. charter’s self-defense article as a legal justification for conducting airstrikes in countries with which the U.S. has not declared war.

That Obama — who as a candidate promised to run the “most transparent” presidential administration in U.S. history — has been secretive about one of the most central parts of his foreign policy has been a subject of frustration for critics like Antal.

Antal told ABC News that he lacked the expertise to comment on whether the drone strikes under Obama are war crimes but said that his desire as a conscientious objector was to bring targeted drone strikes to “a complete and total halt.”

In 2013 the White House defended the use of drone strikes against U.S citizens suspected of high-level terrorist activity but declined to detail the criteria for ordering such attacks.

“Sometimes we use remotely piloted aircraft to conduct targeted strikes against specific al-Qaeda terrorists in order to prevent attacks on the United States and to save American lives,” said Jay Carney, the White House press secretary at the time.

“We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats, to stop plots, to prevent future attacks and, again, save American lives. These strikes are legal, they are ethical, and they are wise,” he said.

Americans have been inadvertently killed by drone operations. In 2015 the White House admitted to accidentally killing an American al-Qaeda hostage in Pakistan, Warren Weinstein, along with an Italian hostage named Giovanni Lo Porto, in a drone strike. Adam Gadahn, who was described as the American mouthpiece of al-Qaeda, was killed in a drone strike last year in which he wasn’t the target.

A Growing Sense of Disillusionment

Antal’s resignation concluded nearly eight years of service as an Army chaplain that began on Dec. 3, 2008, less than a month after Obama was first elected president. Inspired by Obama’s optimistic message as a presidential candidate, Antal said, he joined the Army with aspirations of being an agent of change.

Drones were on the periphery of his awareness at that time but loomed larger as he learned of the administration’s reliance on them in the war on terrorism. His concerns about the killings intensified when he arrived in Afghanistan in September 2012, and he publicly voiced them in a Veterans Day sermon Nov. 11, 2012, when he gave a lyrical sermon criticizing drones on his base in Afghanistan and posted it online so other ministers could read it.

“We made war entertainment,” he said in the sermon, “enjoying box seats on the carnival of death.”

Antal said that his superiors disagreed with his tactic and that he was called into the office of a general who told him to take down the sermon.

“He told me that my message did not support the mission,” Antal said.

He told ABC that he was released from active duty in January 2013 and was stationed in Fort Bliss, an Army post on the New Mexico–Texas border. He remained in the Army, holding out hope that Obama would reform his drone policy. When the Stimson Center, a nonprofit nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., released a highly critical report this February titled “Grading Progress on U.S. Drone Policy” — around the same time that the Obama administration announced a $1 trillion revitalization of the U.S. nuclear program — Antal told ABC News that he felt “devastated” and began the process of leaving the Army for good.

The Stimson Center report was a follow-up to recommendations on U.S. drone policy made by the organization in 2014 under the direction of Rachel Stohl, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. U.S. officials did not comment on the seriousness with which they took the center’s recommendations.

 Antal said that in 2015, the Army revised a formal document describing the role of chaplains, asking them to “speak with a prophetic voice against issues of moral turpitude,” in his words, as an effort to discourage criticism of military policy. He worried that his views about drones could land him in a military prison if did not leave his post. The Army is still processing his resignation, which he estimates might take several months to complete.

A representative for the Army confirmed Antal’s claim of the policy change and told ABC News it was part of an effort to make the post more inclusive of the diverse religions represented by Army chaplains.

“The reference to a prophetic voice has a Judeo-Christian background and history. The concept of a prophet may not be common to other religions such as Buddhist or Hindu. The function of speaking truth to power by Army chaplains still exists in our regulation,” the representative said.

While discouraged by his experience in the Army, Antal told ABC News that he hopes that the release of the drone playbook can serve as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on a secretive and violent military policy and spur a public call for reform.

“I’m a man of hope and optimism,” Antal said about the administration’s promise to release the playbook. “There’s so much we don’t know about our president’s use of armed drones, and I’m hopeful that the American people can wake up to what is really happening with them.”

Missing From the 2016 Race

Antal said that a discussion about U.S. drone policy has not factored significantly in America’s presidential election and that the subject is not discussed enough in the mainstream press.

Donald Trump told “Fox and Friends” in December that he would “take out the families of terrorists.” In April he told Syracuse.com that he would use drones for surveillance on the United States’ borders with Mexico and Canada. According to the article, he said he would not advocate using armed or military drones in the U.S.

Hillary Clinton told the Global Terrorism Forum in Turkey in 2012, “We will always maintain our right to use force against groups such as al-Qaeda that have attacked us and still threaten us with imminent attack.”

She continued, “In doing so, we will comply with the applicable law, including the laws of war, and go to extraordinary lengths to ensure precision and avoid the loss of innocent life.”

 She has not spoken about drones at any length during her presidential campaign, but she is regarded by many political observers as more hawkish than Obama when it comes to foreign policy.

Bernie Sanders told ABC News in August that he would “not end” the U.S. drone program, but he has been more critical of it than Trump and Clinton.

In an interview with The New York Daily News editorial board in April, Sanders said that when “bombing wedding parties of innocent people and killing dozens of them,” the drone program is “not effective” and “enormously counterproductive.”

Antal told ABC News that he believes the lack of public debate about drones in an election year was “partly philosophical and partly psychological,” adding that the unmanned approach of “drone assassinations” enables the U.S. to wage war with fewer American casualties. And without American casualties, he said, the public can “ignore” violence abroad.

He said he “hopes to see greater empathy” among Americans for the victims of the U.S. drone program and is “deeply saddened by the numbing of our culture” to U.S.-led violence abroad.

“It’s becoming very easy for Americans to just go shopping and forget that this violence is happening,” Antal said.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump backed down from much-hyped hypothetical debate he wanted to have with Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Trump, who has now secured enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination, said that "now that I am the presumptive nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher," he said in a statement released Friday. Both Trump and Sanders said they wanted the debate to happen.

Trump reiterated his claim that "the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged" and said that "Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win," he added, referring to the party chair.

Neither Clinton or Sanders have enough delegates to win at this point.

The prospect of a debate originated from a question Sanders submitted to Jimmy Kimmel ahead of Trump's appearance on the late night talkshow Wednesday. At a press conference in North Dakota on Thursday, Trump was asked about it and said that money from the event should be raised "for maybe women's health issues or something."

Now, Trump is stepping back and taking the more traditional approach of waiting for the Democrats to nominate a candidate.

"I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be," he said in the statement.

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Constitution Center(PHILADELPHIA) -- Ken Starr was perceived as one of Bill Clinton's most notable critics during the controversial investigations of the 1990s, but the former president seems to have left a favorable impression.

Starr made somewhat unexpectedly flattering comments about Clinton recently, before news broke that Starr himself was demoted from his role as president of Baylor University to that of chancellor amid concerns about the school's handling of sexual assault allegations.

"President Clinton was, and perhaps still is, the most gifted politician of the baby-boomer generation," Starr said at an event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia earlier this month.

Starr, 69, who investigated members of the Clinton administration as an independent counsel, praised Clinton's "remarkable gifts," specifically highlighting his "genuine empathy."

"I've spent a lot of time in the great state of Arkansas and, leave aside the unpleasantness, his genuine empathy for human beings is absolutely clear. It is powerful, it is palpable and the folks in Arkansas really understood that," Starr said.

The panel discussion focused on the presidency and the Constitution, with Starr and other participants comparing different aspects of various administrations.

In talking about post-presidential careers, Starr praised Clinton for his charitable work, and talked about how former presidents’ work after leaving the White House can become a "redemptive" process.

"President Carter set a very high standard, which President Clinton clearly continues to follow," Starr said.

The subjects of some of Starr’s investigations -- including former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and the suicide of former deputy White House counsel Vince Foster -- have resurfaced in this year's presidential campaign.

Donald Trump released a campaign video on Instagram that included an audio clip of Lewinsky and he has spoken about unsubstantiated conspiracy theories surrounding Foster's death.

Starr led one of multiple investigations into Foster's death and issued a 114-page report in 1997 confirming the outcome of the earlier findings, which ruled the death a suicide.

Starr's investigation of Monica Lewinsky grew out of his initial probe into the Whitewater real estate controversy.

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Greensboro Police Department(GREENSBORO, N.C.) -- The Greensboro Police Department in North Carolina has rescinded its offer to send 50 police officers to Cleveland in July to help secure the Republican National Convention, citing a lack of workers' compensation insurance provided by the city for visiting officers, as well as staffing challenges and a failure of logistics and planning for the large-scale event.

Lt. Brian James, Greensboro deputy chief of police, told ABC News that police administrators in other jurisdictions have also expressed a lack of confidence in Cleveland and its preparedness for the upcoming event. He said some departments are declining to send officers while others are still “on the fence.”

“Police work is dangerous by nature. But of course in any situation, we try to plan and prepare as best we can,” James said. “Of course, we will be officers working out of jurisdiction, so we are totally reliant on the Cleveland Police Department for direction. We didn’t have enough information at this time to send our officers there, so we decided we are not going to send them.”

Cleveland's mayor's office released a statement of its own this afternoon, saying they've asked hundreds of agencies to help out, and that none have expressed any concerns.

“Despite rumors, the Division of Police will be prepared and is on track with its planning goals. Plans concerning outside agency support are still being drafted. No outside agencies have expressed preparedness concerns directly to the Division of Police or to the City of Cleveland," the statement reads. It goes on to say that members of the police have received extensive training and instruction on the use of force, crowd management, free speech, freedom of assembly, due process, and reasonable search and seizure. Some officers will also be assigned body cameras.

But Greensboro police might not be the only ones bowing out. Dan Ball, assistant director of media relation's in Cleveland's mayor's office, had confirmed that the Cincinnati Police Department had pulled its officers from the event because of a scheduling conflict. Ball later told ABC News that the police department had not in fact been asked to attend. The Cincinnati Police Department has not returned ABC News' request for comment.

Ball said police departments pull out for various reasons and disputes claims that Cleveland is ill-prepared to host the RNC.

“It’s not true. I don’t understand the motivation. There’s even processes in place to rescind your offer, you call and explain, but you don’t go straight to the media,” Ball said. “I don’t understand the motivation to do that.”

Cleveland's Chief of Police Calvin D. Williams is weighing in, too.

“Cleveland Division of Police is working closely with our law enforcement partners on the federal, state, and local levels to ensure we are prepared for the convention,” Williams said. “We remain on schedule in the planning process, and to reiterate, we will be prepared.”

Cleveland has 1,200 police officers and the Cleveland Police Department is hoping to secure more from other jurisdictions to patrol the city when the convention begins on July 18. Ball says 5,000 officers is a "good estimate" but would not give a final number that they are aiming for because of security concerns. An estimated 50,000 people will attend the convention, according to Cleveland officials.

The RNC has not returned ABC News' request for comment.

James expressed concern over workers' compensation insurance to his boss, arguing that officers would not be compensated for any medical bills if they were injured during patrol in Cleveland.

“In 2012, we assisted the City of Charlotte with the Democratic National Convention and workers' compensation insurance was provided to our officers working this event,” James wrote in a memo. But the lack of insurance this time around for officers in Cleveland “will cause the city of Greensboro to assume responsibility for any reported injuries of our officers serving in their normal capacity but outside of our jurisdiction.”

He was also wary about sending officers because it would leave Greensboro in a “vulnerable” position due to 30 vacancies in its patrol division.

“While we always make a concerted effort to assist our law enforcement partners, we have a responsibility to ensure that we are sending our officers to an event that is well planned and that we do not leave ourselves in a vulnerable situation here at home while we send our officers to assist in another jurisdiction,” he said.

James said his boss, Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott, agreed with his concerns and informed Cleveland police of the decision.

Thousands are expected to converge on Cleveland for the political convention, including high-profile politicians, celebrities and protesters. The presence of likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has already raised security concerns, as his political rallies are often fraught with riots, protests, and sometimes violence.

In December, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that Cleveland would receive a $50 million grant in security funding for the convention.

“Ensuring the safety of convention goers and the Cleveland community is a critical component of the convention planning process,” Portman said during the announcement.

James said police are aware that political conventions can breed civilian unrest -- as was the case in 2012 -- but that this time around, his officers received “no clear direction” in terms of particular patrolling assignments.

“People are exercising their first amendment rights, but at the same time you have to have a plan in place,” James said. “Any political convention is going to be pretty heavily protested from all sides and political views.”

Despite Greensboro's decision to pull out – and potentially other police departments as well – James did not say Cleveland would be unsafe for those attending the convention.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump is making peace with former rival and presidential candidate Marco Rubio, encouraging him to run for re-election for his Florida senate seat.

Trump expressed his support on Twitter Thursday, saying: “Poll data shows that @marcorubio does by far the best in holding onto his Senate seat in Florida. Important to keep the MAJORITY. Run Marco!"

However, the junior senator from Florida has said repeatedly he has no plans on running for re-election.

Trump’s support came just hours after Rubio announced he would attend the GOP convention in July. Rubio told CNN that he would release his 165 delegates to vote for Trump at the convention.

"I want to be helpful. I don't want to be harmful, because I don't want Hillary Clinton to be president," Rubio said in a clip of an interview that’s set to air in full Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

The Florida senator, who was once part of the #NeverTrump movement, has still not formally endorsed Trump, but insists he would be “honored” to help defeat Clinton.

“I don't want Hillary Clinton to be president. If there's something I can do to help that from happening, and it's helpful to the cause, I'd most certainly be honored to be considered for that,” Rubio said.

Rubio took to Twitter Friday to say he will not be voting for Clinton in November.

With less than a month left to meet the filing deadline, Rubio expressed uncertainty after he leaves the Senate in January 2017, and did not shut down the possibility of returning to elected office.

"I can tell you I enjoy public service. If there's an opportunity to serve again in a way that I feel passionate about, I'll most certainly think I would explore it," Rubio said. "But I don't know where I'm going to be in two years. I don't know what my life will look like then."

Republicans are deeply concerned about losing Rubio's Senate seat to a Democrat.

Republican officials expressed confidence in the field of five GOP candidates to replace Rubio in Florida, though none have emerged as a clear favorite in the August primary.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Controversial former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli will support Donald Trump for president in a matchup against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, according to a tweet sent out Thursday night.

 

I haven't been called by the Trump camp. I support him vs. Hillary. He should find a VP candidate who is seasoned in politics, an ugly game.

— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) May 27, 2016

 

The "Pharma Bro," criticized by members of Congress for his behavior during a February congressional hearing on drug prices, had previously supported Sen. Bernie Sanders for president and claimed to have contributed to his campaign.

 

Damn @BernieSanders is my boy with that Kosovo reference. Gets my full endorsement. I did donate to him...

— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 14, 2015

 

Shrekli, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, famously hiked the price of Daraprim, an anti-parasitic drug used to treat infections, by 5,000 percent overnight. He was arrested in December on multiple securities and wire fraud charges related to an alleged defrauding of pharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc.

He is due back in court on June 6 and could face additional charges.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Attorneys representing a group of Bernie Sanders supporters informed San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera Thursday night that they plan to file an "emergency request" with U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup in the city Friday "for a preliminary injunction" in California's June 7 presidential primary," Herrera's office said.

"I think it's unfortunate -- and selfish, frankly -- that these plaintiffs would inject confusion and uncertainty into an election that has been underway for weeks," Herrera said in a statement Thursday night. "San Francisco's Department of Elections and its employees have been doing an exemplary job, and I'm equally confident that our co-defendants are also meeting or exceeding their legal duties. This lawsuit is without merit, and there is no basis for an emergency injunction. I intend to fight it aggressively."

Voting by mail began in California May 9.

A news release from the Office of the City Attorney, noted, "San Francisco, Alameda County, and state elections officials were sued last week by an unincorporated association of Sanders backers called the 'Voting Rights Defense Project,' who together with the American Independence Party and two San Francisco voters leveled an array of allegations in their May 20 civil complaint that Herrera calls wholly baseless."

The release continued, "The activists are seeking sweeping injunctive relief in their suit, including provisions to force 58 counties to segregate ballots already cast by unaffiliated voters; to allow "re-votes" by those voters for presidential primary candidates; and to extend the state's voter registration deadline -- which passed on May 23 for eligibility to vote in the June 7 primary -- until election day itself."

Two lawyers for the group -- William M. Simpich and Stephen R. Jaffe -- did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Sanders has not issued a statement on the matter.

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iStock/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) — While Donald Trump indulges in fries and a big Mac to celebrate beating 16 Republican candidates and effectively winning his party’s nomination, another party is huddling to plan a new threat.

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Libertarian Party will be holding its convention in Orlando to put forth its presidential and vice presidential candidates. The party has largely been ignored in previous cycles, but party leaders are hoping that this year might be different.

Libertarians are trying to appeal to voters disenchanted with the prospect of a Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency. The party is banking on the fact that Trump and Clinton have the highest unfavorability ratings of any candidate -- on either side of the aisle -- in recent history.

“We are seeing record interest in the party,” the national Libertarian Party’s political director, Carla Howell, recently told Politico Magazine. “Membership has spiked; it has gone up about 30 percent in the last few months. We’re also seeing record media interest."

What is the Libertarian Party?


"Libertarian” is defined as “a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action," according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

The Libertarian Party tends to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. It vehemently opposes any government intervention in citizens’ private and business decisions (the party’s current front-runner, for instance, supports abortion rights and legalizing drugs).

“Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another. In a nutshell, we are advocates for a smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom,” the party says on its website.

The Orlando convention will be themed “Legalize Freedom.”

The party was first formed 45 years ago. Prominent Libertarians include Rand Paul and his father Ron Paul, who both ran as Republican presidential candidates, as well as David Koch, the billionaire political activist (Koch ran as Libertarian vice president in 1980).

How Have They Done In The Past?


In 2012, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson earned almost 1.3 million votes – the most votes a Libertarian nominee has ever garnered. Still, it only amounted for 0.99 percent of the total popular vote, and the party was far from winning any electoral votes.

The party reached more than 1 percent of the popular vote just once in its history when Ed Clark headlined the Libertarian ticket in 1980.

Alaska has been the best state for Libertarians in the past, according to an analysis from the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. Libertarians also average over 1 percent of support in Montana, Arizona and Wyoming.

Could They Do Better This Year?


Some Libertarians hope that this could be a breakthrough year for the party, usually reduced to a footnote in the overarching narrative of the general election.

Libertarians want their eventual nominee to receive at least 15 percent support in national polls so that he or she can debate the presumptive GOP and Democratic nominees.

A Fox News poll in mid-May shows Johnson garnering 10 percent support in a race against Trump and Clinton. A Monmouth poll in March showed Johnson hitting 11 percent support.

That might be enough for the Libertarian Party to become a spoiler.

The party has also been working hard to ensure its candidate is listed on every state’s ballot — so far, the party has made it to 32 states and is confident it can reach its goal.

Who’s Running For Their Nomination?


There are a total of 12 candidates running to win the Libertarian Party’s nomination.

Former two-term New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson is currently expected to clinch the nomination (Johnson was also the nominee in 2012).

Other viable candidates include millionaire software entrepreneur John McAfee, who fled Belize after he was cited as a “person of interest” in the murder of his neighbor, and Austin Peterson, former Fox Business producer and Libertarian activist.

Johnson recently announced he would want former Republican Massachusetts Gov. William Weld as his vice president. Weld might help make a Libertarian ticket more attractive to Democrats — in 1997, Bill Clinton nominated him as ambassador to Mexico (the nomination was eventually blocked). He also wound up supporting President Obama in 2008, though he has since said he regretted it.

Weld has been very outspoken in his criticism of Trump.

“I can hear the glass crunching on Kristallnacht in the ghettos of Warsaw and Vienna when I hear that, honest,” he told The New York Times, blasting Trump’s policy to round up and deport undocumented immigrants.

The party's convention will feature a vice presidential and presidential debate. Presidential candidates have already debated each other three times.

Party operatives have shot down speculation that a dark horse candidate like Mitt Romney might try to win the party’s nomination. It is possible, but highly unlikely, they’ve said.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Democratic primary may be over after California votes on June 7, but loyalists to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appear to be on a collision course over what the Democratic Party stands for — especially on the issue of Israel.

On this week’s “Powerhouse Politics” podcast, ABC News’ Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein talked to two members of the Democratic Party’s important Platform Drafting Committee tasked with writing a unified platform but divided in their choice of candidates: Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Clinton ally, and Sanders supporter James Zogby.

Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute and a pro-Palestinian activist, says the party is in need of more “balanced” and even-handed platform language on Israel and Palestine to move toward what he sees as an emerging consensus.

“There needs to be a recognition that there are two wings of this Democratic Party and we need both wings to fly,” he continued, “and that is the approach that we will hopefully take as a committee.”

Zogby said he’s seen an “evolving Hillary Clinton” on the issue since her time as first lady, when she called for a Palestinian state.

“[There was] Hillary Clinton as first lady, then there was a Hillary Clinton as senator; now we’re talking about Hillary Clinton as president,” he said. “I see an evolving Hillary Clinton and I would like to see a Hillary Clinton that reflects this new consensus that is emerging.”

While Zogby is readying for battle in advocating changes to the platform language on Israel, Gutierrez said there should be a way to achieve language that strongly supports Israel while also being more inclusive of the aspirations of the Palestinian people.

“We have to maintain a very close relationship with our dear friend and ally Israel, but does that mean we cannot be more inclusive? Does that mean we cannot be more reflective of the goals and ambitions of the Palestinian people?” Gutierrez asked rhetorically. “I don’t think one thing negates the other.”

In what was perhaps a direct shot at Zogby, Gutierrez went on to say that the platform’s final language will not be about “the values of activists” but of the Democratic Party as a whole.

“I’m going to look for a Democratic Party consensus that reflects, not the values of activists that are all of a sudden put on a committee but of the people,” he said.

Gutierrez also scoffed at the notion that Clinton supporters are somehow less progressive than Sanders’ supporters.

“It’s almost as though, well, if you are with Bernie Sanders you must be progressive and for change, and all the rest of us are just some, I don’t know, sellouts to Wall Street and to the establishment. That’s just not the case,” he said.

Gutierrez also sought to make the case that Clinton already has all but clinched the nomination.

“Let’s be clear, she has the nomination,” the Illinois Democrat told ABC News.

“Hillary Clinton is now 80 delegates away from wrapping it up,” he said. “There is no political scientist or anybody that has any credibility that doesn’t believe that Hillary Clinton is not going to have the number of delegates required to become the nominee.”

But Zogby has a different take, arguing that the race is far from over and that much work remains to be done to unify the party.

“Sen. Sanders has about 50 percent of the Democratic votes to date, Sec. Clinton has about 50 percent of the Democratic votes to date," Zogby said.

Gutierrez, a Latino and immigrant rights activist, went on to accuse Sanders of not supporting immigrants.

“In 2007, Hillary Clinton voted for comprehensive immigration reform when Bernie Sanders turned his back on immigrants and went to brag about it on Lou Dobbs' program,” he said. “That’s why people are for her, that’s why Latinos have supported her across this country and why I expect her to be triumphant in California.”

While the two Democratic campaigns may locked in a battle over issues, Zogby said the divisions that do exist pale in comparison to what he called an existential crisis in the Republican Party with Trump at the helm.

“I don’t think there is anything near the divisions on the Democratic side that currently exist on the Republican side, their crisis is existential,” Zogby said.

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ABC (LOS ANGELES) — During his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday night, Bernie Sanders remained amenable to debating Donald Trump -- a proposition raised by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee during his visit to the late-night talk show the previous evening.

"You made it possible for us to have a very interesting debate about two guys who look at the world very, very differently," Sanders told Kimmel.

"Oh boy, do you guys look at it differently," Kimmel said, laughing.

Kimmel told Sanders his goal is to bring the two men together. "I don't build walls, I build bridges," he said, making an obvious nod to Trump's campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

And Kimmel's vested interest? "I feel like I should be the moderator of this debate, right?"

Backstage at #Kimmel - NEW show tonight with Senator @BernieSanders 11:35|10:35c #ABC pic.twitter.com/bB6bicfQdP

— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) May 27, 2016

On Wednesday's program, Trump said he would welcome a debate with the Vermont senator. "If I debated him we would have such high ratings,” Trump told Kimmel. "If he paid a sum to charity I would love to do that."

Shortly after the show aired, Sanders took to Twitter, writing, "Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7 primary."

Sanders followed up Thursday afternoon with another tweet, writing, "I am delighted that @realDonaldTrump has agreed to debate. Let’s do it in the biggest stadium possible."

I am delighted that @realDonaldTrump has agreed to debate. Let’s do it in the biggest stadium possible.

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 26, 2016

As for having both Sanders and Trump on the show, Kimmel told Sanders, "I’m interviewing all the candidates so I can decide which one of them will be my running mate. Usually, I know vice presidents do it the other way around, but I’m not 'usually' and this is how I do it. I will say, if there’s anyone who knows the importance of having a good, solid No. 2, it’s Bernie Sanders."

Kimmel introduced the Democratic presidential hopeful as the "most popular 74-year-old in the United States" and the "biggest name to come out of Burlington since the coat factory."

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