- News CBC
Two leaders vying to be the next prime minister of Canada repeatedly dodged questions from reporters today, with Justin Trudeau refusing to speak about electoral reform or post-election scenarios and Andrew Scheer deflecting calls for an explanation on allegations his party orchestrated a smear campaign against a rival political party.Instead, the Liberal Leader reverted to a message track about the dire consequences of Conservative cuts, while the Conservative leader warned about the "costly coalition" of the Liberals and NDP if voters don't elect a majority Tory government.In the final crucial days of the campaign, Scheer continued to raise questions about what a Liberal-NDP coalition would mean for the country's finances.He has been accused of trying to fear-monger by spreading disinformation that a Liberal-NDP coalition would raise the GST and that the Liberals plan to legalize hard drugs."We have been very open and clear with Canadians about what we are going to offer as a government. We will lower their taxes. We will put more money in their pocket. We will get back to balanced budgets over a responsible period of time," Scheer said, during an event in Toronto."On the contrary, what they don't have from Justin Trudeau is a clear explanation about what an NDP-Liberal coalition would look like … which taxes he would raise to pay for the NDP's promises. That's what Canadians have the right to know in the next few days before election day."Scheer was asked repeatedly about reports that Daisy Group, the firm led by former Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella, was behind a social media campaign to put the People's Party of Canada on the defensive and keep leader Maxime Bernier out of the federal leaders' debates.Documents obtained by CBC News outline the work done by several employees of Daisy on behalf of an unnamed client. A source with knowledge of the project told CBC News that client was the Conservative Party of Canada.Scheer refused to confirm or explain his party's involvement today."As a rule, we never make comments on vendors that we may or may not have engaged with," he said, at least a dozen times.Trudeau was asked if he had any concerns the Liberal Party may have been similarly targeted, but he turned it back to an attack on Conservative cuts."We've seen through this campaign that the Conservatives have had to use the policies of fear and division and indeed, just make stuff up in order to get their message across," he said, during an event in Hamilton. "Why? It's because they have nothing to offer Canadians except $53 billion worth of cuts."The leaders are making their final pitches and driving home their key messages in the final days of a campaign that's too close to call.Close national raceAccording to the latest CBC Poll Tracker, which aggregates all publicly available polling data, the Liberals have regained their seat advantage over the Conservatives, but remain in a close national race in public support and well below the numbers needed to win a majority government.After making considerable gains in the polls, the NDP and Bloc Québécois appear to have hit a ceiling, but they could hold the balance of power in a minority Parliament.Trudeau ducked a series of questions about what he will do if he wins a minority on Monday, and repeated his pitch for Canadians to elect a strong progressive government to stop Conservative cuts.Asked about whether the "marathon" tour of three provinces in a swing right across the country in the final days of the campaign is an act of ambition or desperation, Trudeau expressed confidence about Monday's results.He said Canadians get to make a choice about whether they want to tackle climate change, make life more affordable and get guns off the streets."That's what we need a progressive government for. We're not going to go for the Conservative cuts and an approach on climate change that does absolutely nothing and leaves it to future generations," he said. "On Monday, Canadians right across the country are going to choose forward."The NDP was quick to fire out a "Fact Check" bulletin about Trudeau's "dodged questions.""It's impossible to keep track of how many direct questions from reporters that Justin Trudeau has dodged. It's simpler to just list the straight answers he gave today," it read.A blank page followed.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh spent the day in battleground British Columbia, emphasizing his party's plan to make housing more affordable."Owning a place is no longer even a dream. They can't imagine renting a place that's affordable," he said."It's a real fear, and we want to change that."The NDP has promised to build 500,000 affordable housing units over 10 years. Asked by reporters if that's a realistic timeline, Singh said the affordable housing shortage is a "crisis" that needs ambitious solutions, not half measures.
- News The Daily Beast
Chip Somodevilla/GettyDuring a closed-door impeachment meeting on Capitol Hill, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) brought up a topic that surprised some attendees: the Steele dossier. The context, according to three sources familiar with the episode, was his effort to explain why President Trump might be “upset” about Ukraine. Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee that is leading the impeachment probe, said some of the dossier’s contents dealt with Ukraine, and that the Clintons paid for it. Some attendees said it seemed oddly divorced from the topic at hand-namely, whether Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate one of his political opponents.“It was nutso,” said one person familiar with the exchange. “It was awkward.” That source added that Ambassador Gordon Sondland-America’s envoy to the European Union, who was questioned at the meeting-appeared perplexed by Nunes’ commentary. A Nunes spokesperson said the congressman has made the argument described above in public.The dossier is at the crux of Republicans’ argument that the intelligence community conspired to take down Trump in 2016, and the president has tweeted about it dozens of times. Democrats view their focus on the document as conspiratorial and odd.Democrats called Sondland to Capitol Hill to answer questions about his role helping Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, develop a shadow foreign policy on Ukraine focused on pressuring its government to investigate the Bidens. Democrats were particularly interested in a series of text exchanges, which former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker gave them last week, that reveal alarm from the top American diplomat in Ukraine over the possibility of a quid pro quo involving $400 million in U.S. security aid. Sondland testified that Trump directed him to send a message to Volker and Bill Taylor, the charge d’affaires in Kyiv, explicitly stating there was “no quid pro quo.” He also discussed his high opinion of ousted Amb. Marie Yovanovich and his discomfort with Giuliani’s Ukraine work.Given the focus on Trump’s relationship with Ukraine, Nunes’ decision to bring up the dossier generated some raised eyebrows. But, in Nunes’ view, the dossier’s connection to Ukraine helps explain Trump’s frustration with the fragile Eastern European democracy. The dossier discussed, among many other things, Paul Manafort’s work in Ukraine. (Manafort was later convicted on tax and bank fraud charges, along with a charge of failing to disclose a foreign bank account.)The dossier is a series of documents assembled by former British spy Christopher Steele, working on contract for the research firm Fusion GPS. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, in turn, funded some of that Fusion GPS work. The dossier made a host of allegations, including that the Russian government had compromising material on Trump. Many of the dossier’s claims are unverified. But it circulated among high-level U.S. government officials, and alarmed them. Then-FBI Director James Comey discussed its contents with Trump two weeks before his inauguration. The counterintelligence investigation scrutinizing Trump associates for Russia ties was already underway when the dossier began circulating in government. The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court cited Fusion GPS’ work when it authorized surveillance of people affiliated with the Trump campaign. Republicans argue that this is evidence that the Intelligence Community conspired with the Clinton campaign to surveil Trumpworld and boost Clinton’s candidacy. The claim is widely rejected. Conservative talk show hosts, especially Sean Hannity, have made a cause célèbre of investigating the origins of the Russia probe, as well as the dossier itself. Attorney General Bill Barr has dispatched John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, to scrutinize the matter. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- entertainment Entertainment Tonight
Schwarzenegger also joked that it's all part of her 'plan' to make Pratt do all the cooking.