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National Govt & Politics
LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report
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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

Official Washington is focused primarily today on the release of a redacted version of a report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed almost two years ago by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 elections, a probe which has generated fierce criticism since the outset by President Donald Trump and many of his political allies.

First, this is the link to the 448 page Mueller report.

There are two parts to the report - Volume 1 covers questions about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.  Volume 2 covers matters related to possible obstruction of justice by the President on the Russia probe.

Here's where we stand:

+ 1:20 pm - The Mueller report raises the specter that associates of the Trump campaign and/or allies of the President may have deleted emails and other electronic evidence, which impeded the Mueller investigation.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 1:10 pm - While the Special Counsel was never able to get an in-person interview with the President, this report does include his written answers to questions submitted by the Mueller legal team.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 1:00 pm - The report goes into a lot of detail about the interactions between President Trump and former FBI Director James Comey, which ultimately resulted in Comey's firing in May of 2017.  

+ 12:50 pm - While Attorney General Barr talked earlier today of all the cooperation that the White House had provided in the investigation, the Mueller reports paints a different picture, especially when it comes to the question of getting testimony from President Trump.  The Special Counsel's office determined that an effort to subpoena the President would require an enormous amount of legal effort and time, even though simple written responses from President Trump were viewed as insufficient.  “We viewed the written answers to be inadequate,” the report stated.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 12:30 pm - The report details a number of contacts and calls made by the President to top intelligence officials, asking for their help in refuting the Trump-Russia story.  Top officials at the National Security Agency were so alarmed that they immediately wrote out a memo after the conversation, and put it in a safe.   Like White House aides, intelligence officials basically ignored the President's demand for help.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 12:10 pm - The Mueller report basically says that because top aides to the President consistently refused to carry out his orders to rein in - or even terminate - the Russia investigation, they saved the President from committing illegal acts, and obstruction of justice.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 12:00 pm - As mentioned earlier, President Trump had ordered his White House Counsel to fire Robert Mueller.  Don McGahn had refused.  Months later, the issue surfaced in the press, and the Mueller report says the President then demanded that McGahn deny the reports.  McGahn refused.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 11:55 am - The Mueller report says President Trump personally intervened to change a statement from his son, Donald Trump, Jr., about the infamous Trump Tower meeting, deleting a reference to how the meeting was to offer information about Hillary Clinton, and instead saying the meeting was about adoption policies. 

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 11:50 am - After telling the White House Counsel to fire Mueller in June of 2017, President Trump kept pressing aides to help limit the Russia probe.  He asked Corey Lewandowski to get Attorney General Jeff Sessions to publicly declare the Russia probe, “very unfair.”  Lewandowski said he would do that, but refused - and tried to get another aide to do the same thing, who also refused.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 11:40 am - As the Mueller report was being released, President Trump was making comments about it during a White House event with wounded warriors. 

+ 11:35 am - In testimony from White House Counsel Don McGahn, the Mueller report spells out how President Trump ordered his top lawyer to fire the Special Counsel in 2017, once stories emerged that the President was under investigation for possible obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 11:30 am - A reminder in the report from the Special Counsel that a number of people connected to the Trump campaign lied about their contacts during and after the election when questioned by the feds.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 11:25 am - Here is the conclusion of Special Counsel Mueller when it comes to whether President Trump should have been charged with Obstruction of Justice:

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 11:20 am - While there were indications the report was 'lightly redacted,' that's not the case in some areas, where entire pages were blacked out.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 11:10 am - The redactions give us little new information on links between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 11:06 am - The first redaction is in the table of contents, dealing with materials linked to Wikileaks and the Trump Campaign.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 11:05 am - The Mueller report has been released.  It is 448 pages.

+ 11:00 am - Don't forget, this report is not just about President Trump.  It also will spill into the race among Democrats to try to replace him.

+ 10:55 am - My ten year old kid asks me, “Have they released the Mueller report yet?”  Soon, I tell him.

+ 10:50 am - President Trump's scheduled 10:30 am event with Wounder Warriors at the White House still has not started.  With the Mueller report scheduled to be delivered to Congress at 11 am, it will be interesting to see if the President is speaking at that moment.  A President has the power to dominate the airwaves in a way that no other person can in the United States.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 10:45 am - As we await the exact details of the Mueller report, it is a good time to remember how important actual documents are in any investigation, and how politicians deal with public discussion of that material.  This from one House Democrat from Florida:

+ 10:40 am - Donald Trump Jr. did not mention his initial reaction to the offer of 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton, which he welcomed. 

+ 10:35 am - President Trump's son is echoing the declarations of his father as the Mueller report is released.

+ 10:30 am - Democrats are furious about the news conference of Attorney General Barr, claiming it was nothing more than Barr acting like President Trump's defense lawyer.

+ 10:25 am - Not long after the Attorney General said he had no opposition to the idea, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee are now officially asking for public testimony from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

+ 10:20 am - Here is how the Barr news conference ended.

+ 10:15 am - The Trump White House is ready for today.  This was tweeted out soon after the end of the Barr news conference.

+ 10:10 am - Even on Fox News, there were not universally good reviews for the Attorney General.

+ 10:05 am - Here's some of the Attorney General's news conference.

+ 10:00 am - The news conference ends on a somewhat testy note, as the Attorney General sparred with reporters over how he characterized the impact of the investigation on President Trump, labeling the probe an 'unprecedented situation.'

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 9:55 am - Barr says he has no opposition to the idea of Special Counsel Mueller testifying before Congress.

+ 9:50 am - Barr confirms that the President's legal team was allowed to see the Mueller report before Congress.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 9:45 am - Here is a link to Barr's statement he is giving to reporters.

+ 9:40 am - In his news conference, the Attorney General keeps repeating a main theme over and over again - that there was no collusion or coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.  “The Special Counsel did not find any conspiracy,” Barr says. “So, that's the bottom line.”

+ 9:35 am - Attorney General William Barr says the redacted report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be delivered to Congress at 11 am, and then it will be posted on line for the public to read.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

+ 9:25 am - As we wait for the news conference of Attorney General William Barr, Democrats are denouncing Barr, ridiculing his decision to hold this session with reporters before the report is even released.

+ 9:20 am - President Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, is making his own noise today, saying he's ready to fill in any of the blanks left by redactions in the Mueller report.  Cohen's lawyer - Lanny Davis - was emphasizing the same as well.

+ 9:10 am - A quick reminder of what we know so far about the Russia investigation.  We know the basics already from the charges brought - or not brought by the Special Counsel.  Russian intelligence agents hacked Democratic Party emails and documents, and gave them to Wikileaks during the campaign. There were numerous contacts between Russians and people affiliated with the Trump campaign, both before and after the elections. But we also know that no indictments were ever returned for any Trump-Russia conspiracy, or collusion. 

+ 9:05 am - Congress is not in session this week, but the miracle of social media will make it very easy for lawmakers to weigh in on today's events as they transpire.  Republicans are backing the President, while Democrats are raising questions about the actions of Attorney General William Barr, who is scheduled to hold a news conference at 9:30, before the release of the report.

+ 9:00 am - It's been a busy morning on Twitter for President Trump, who has been again voicing his displeasure with the Mueller investigation, and re-tweeting items related to Hillary Clinton and the investigation of her emails from her time as Secretary of State.

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LIVE UPDATES: Mueller report

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  • A senior White House official on Sunday confirmed that President Donald Trump has raised the issue of the United States possibly trying to buy the island of Greenland from Denmark, even though Danish officials say the North Atlantic outpost is not for sale. 'Greenland is a strategic place,' top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said at the end of an interview with Fox News Sunday, acknowledging that the President is interested. 'The President - who knows a thing or two about buying real estate - wants to take a look,' Kudlow added. The comments came even as officials in Denmark and Greenland said the island was not for sale. Kudlow noted that President Harry Truman had raised the same possibility when he was in office, but the idea went nowhere. 'We're open for business, not for sale,' said Greenland's official representative to the U.S. in a tweet. Reaction from Congress to the news reports about the idea of buying Greenland was muted. GOP Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee said on Twitter that he wouldn't support such an idea during a time of budget deficits. “I think it's Trump's Folly,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). The New York Daily News may have had the most fun with the story, printing a headline on Saturday which echoed one of the tabloid's most famous headlines ever.
  • The maker of the painkiller OxyContin has agreed to provide access to proprietary research and other data to researchers at Oklahoma State University. The goal is to find causes and treatments for drug addiction.  Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma announced the agreement Thursday in a statement with the university.  Purdue said it will provide Oklahoma State's National Center for Wellness & Recovery access to 'research molecules and certain associated data' that will help with research into addiction. Purdue settled a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma for $270 million.  
  • In the aftermath of the mass shootings this month in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee will meet in early September to act on a series of gun control measures, including ten round limits on ammunition magazines, red flag laws, and adding new reasons for blocking someone from buying a firearm. 'For far too long, politicians in Washington have only offered thoughts and prayers in the wake of gun violence tragedies,' said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. 'Democrats in the House will continue to make good on our promise to work to keep our communities safe,' Nadler added, trying to put more pressure on Senate Republicans to act on gun bills approved by the House. 'House Democrats are serious about protecting our communities from the epidemic of gun violence,' said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). 'All of these gun violence prevention bills would save lives, and it’s really important that the House is taking action,' said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). 'We must act now to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country and keep our kids safe,' said freshman Rep. Joe Negeuse (D-CO). Democrats also tried to turn up the heat on GOP leaders in the Senate, where a bill to expand background checks to all private gun sales has been languishing for months. 'The Majority Leader should call the Senate back to Washington to debate and vote on gun violence legislation,' said Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). Some Democrats also want to force a vote on banning certain assault weapons - Congress approved such a measure back in 1994, but the expired after ten years. While the Congress isn't back for votes until the week of September 9, the announcement by the House Judiciary Committee will bring lawmakers back just after Labor Day for committee work - with the goal of votes on the various gun bills in the House later that month. 'Our community is relying on us to pass gun safety legislation, which is why we need a federal red flag policy to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,' said Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA). Some Republicans quickly made clear their opposition to some of the gun plans from Democrats. 'The problem with Red Flag laws is you’re guilty until proven innocent,' said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). President Donald Trump has held talks with some Democrats on the issue of expanding background checks, but his language at a campaign rally on Thursday night in Manchester, New Hampshire did not signal any compromise on guns, as he focused more on the issue of mental health. “It's not the gun that pulls the trigger. It's the person holding the gun,” the President said. The bills on the schedule in September before the House Judiciary Committee include: + H.R. 1186, the Keep Americans Safe Act. This bill would ban high capacity ammunition magazines. + H.R. 1236, the Extreme Risk Protector Order Act, designed to help states formulate 'Red Flag' laws. + H.R. 3076, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which would allow people to go into federal court to take a firearm away from a mentally unstable person. H.R. 2708, the Disarm Hate Act, which would add misdemeanor hate crimes to the list of items disqualifying someone from buying a weapon, under the current background check system. H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which stems from the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. In that case, the shooter was able to buy his firearms - even though he would have failed the background check - because the feds did not conduct a check within three business days. = Click here to read more stories from Jamie Dupree.
  • Aiming to put his mark on the world map, President Donald Trump has talked to aides and allies about buying Greenland for the U.S. A Trump ally told The Associated Press on Thursday that the president had discussed the purchase but was not serious about it. And a Republican congressional aide said Trump brought up the notion of purchasing Greenland in conversations with lawmakers enough times to make them wonder, but they have not taken his comments seriously. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. Still, it wouldn’t be the first time an American leader tried to buy the world’s largest island, an autonomous territory of Denmark. In 1946, the U.S. proposed to pay Denmark $100 million to buy Greenland after flirting with the idea of swapping land in Alaska for strategic parts of the Arctic island. Neither the White House nor Denmark immediately commented Thursday. Trump is set to visit Denmark next month. The story was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
  • A day after the Israeli government refused to allow two Democrats in Congress to visit that nation this weekend, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) rejected a separate offer to visit her 90 year old grandmother on the West Bank, because Israeli officials would not allow her to speak out against the policies of the Netanyahu government during that trip. 'I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in - fighting against racism, oppression & injustice,' Tlaib wrote Friday morning on Twitter. 'Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me,' Tlaib said. The decision by the Michigan Democrat came a day after Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) had been blocked by Israel from an official visit - but then, the Israeli government allowed Tlaib to visit, only if she did not voice her support for efforts to boycott Israel. In the end, Tlaib backed out. In order to visit the West Bank, Tlaib had to promise not to engage in criticism of the Israeli government. 'I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my vist,' Tlaib wrote in a letter to the Israeli Interior Minister on Thursday. But in the end, Tlaib could not stomach those restrictions, even as she said, 'This could be my last opportunity' to see her aging grandmother. - Click here to read more stories from Jamie Dupree.

Washington Insider

  • A senior White House official on Sunday confirmed that President Donald Trump has raised the issue of the United States possibly trying to buy the island of Greenland from Denmark, even though Danish officials say the North Atlantic outpost is not for sale. 'Greenland is a strategic place,' top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said at the end of an interview with Fox News Sunday, acknowledging that the President is interested. 'The President - who knows a thing or two about buying real estate - wants to take a look,' Kudlow added. The comments came even as officials in Denmark and Greenland said the island was not for sale. Kudlow noted that President Harry Truman had raised the same possibility when he was in office, but the idea went nowhere. 'We're open for business, not for sale,' said Greenland's official representative to the U.S. in a tweet. Reaction from Congress to the news reports about the idea of buying Greenland was muted. GOP Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee said on Twitter that he wouldn't support such an idea during a time of budget deficits. “I think it's Trump's Folly,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). The New York Daily News may have had the most fun with the story, printing a headline on Saturday which echoed one of the tabloid's most famous headlines ever.
  • In the aftermath of the mass shootings this month in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee will meet in early September to act on a series of gun control measures, including ten round limits on ammunition magazines, red flag laws, and adding new reasons for blocking someone from buying a firearm. 'For far too long, politicians in Washington have only offered thoughts and prayers in the wake of gun violence tragedies,' said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. 'Democrats in the House will continue to make good on our promise to work to keep our communities safe,' Nadler added, trying to put more pressure on Senate Republicans to act on gun bills approved by the House. 'House Democrats are serious about protecting our communities from the epidemic of gun violence,' said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). 'All of these gun violence prevention bills would save lives, and it’s really important that the House is taking action,' said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). 'We must act now to end the epidemic of gun violence in our country and keep our kids safe,' said freshman Rep. Joe Negeuse (D-CO). Democrats also tried to turn up the heat on GOP leaders in the Senate, where a bill to expand background checks to all private gun sales has been languishing for months. 'The Majority Leader should call the Senate back to Washington to debate and vote on gun violence legislation,' said Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA). Some Democrats also want to force a vote on banning certain assault weapons - Congress approved such a measure back in 1994, but the expired after ten years. While the Congress isn't back for votes until the week of September 9, the announcement by the House Judiciary Committee will bring lawmakers back just after Labor Day for committee work - with the goal of votes on the various gun bills in the House later that month. 'Our community is relying on us to pass gun safety legislation, which is why we need a federal red flag policy to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,' said Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA). Some Republicans quickly made clear their opposition to some of the gun plans from Democrats. 'The problem with Red Flag laws is you’re guilty until proven innocent,' said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). President Donald Trump has held talks with some Democrats on the issue of expanding background checks, but his language at a campaign rally on Thursday night in Manchester, New Hampshire did not signal any compromise on guns, as he focused more on the issue of mental health. “It's not the gun that pulls the trigger. It's the person holding the gun,” the President said. The bills on the schedule in September before the House Judiciary Committee include: + H.R. 1186, the Keep Americans Safe Act. This bill would ban high capacity ammunition magazines. + H.R. 1236, the Extreme Risk Protector Order Act, designed to help states formulate 'Red Flag' laws. + H.R. 3076, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, which would allow people to go into federal court to take a firearm away from a mentally unstable person. H.R. 2708, the Disarm Hate Act, which would add misdemeanor hate crimes to the list of items disqualifying someone from buying a weapon, under the current background check system. H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which stems from the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina. In that case, the shooter was able to buy his firearms - even though he would have failed the background check - because the feds did not conduct a check within three business days. = Click here to read more stories from Jamie Dupree.
  • A day after the Israeli government refused to allow two Democrats in Congress to visit that nation this weekend, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) rejected a separate offer to visit her 90 year old grandmother on the West Bank, because Israeli officials would not allow her to speak out against the policies of the Netanyahu government during that trip. 'I have decided that visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in - fighting against racism, oppression & injustice,' Tlaib wrote Friday morning on Twitter. 'Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me. It would kill a piece of me,' Tlaib said. The decision by the Michigan Democrat came a day after Tlaib and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) had been blocked by Israel from an official visit - but then, the Israeli government allowed Tlaib to visit, only if she did not voice her support for efforts to boycott Israel. In the end, Tlaib backed out. In order to visit the West Bank, Tlaib had to promise not to engage in criticism of the Israeli government. 'I will respect any restrictions and will not promote boycotts against Israel during my vist,' Tlaib wrote in a letter to the Israeli Interior Minister on Thursday. But in the end, Tlaib could not stomach those restrictions, even as she said, 'This could be my last opportunity' to see her aging grandmother. - Click here to read more stories from Jamie Dupree.
  • Offering no evidence to support a charge of major election fraud in the 2016 elections, President Donald Trump again claimed on Thursday that he lost the state of New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton because of widespread illegal voting, which he said involved 'thousands and thousands' of people coming in from other states to cast ballots against him. 'New Hampshire was taken away, it was taken away from us,' the President said at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.  'We should have won New Hampshire,' he told the crowd. Before flying to New Hampshire, the President made the same claim - again without any evidence - as he stood on the tarmac before boarding Air Force One. 'New Hampshire should have been won last time, except we had a lot of people come in at the last moment,' as the President once again repeated a conspiracy theory that voters from Massachusetts and other states came en masse to New Hampshire to vote against him in 2016. Granite State officials said last year there was no evidence to support Mr. Trump's claim of fraud. Back in 2018, Mr. Trump told reporters that Massachusetts voters came 'by the hundreds' in buses to vote against him - this time, he said it was in the 'thousands.' 'Thousands and thousands of people, coming in from locations unknown,' the President added, as he ignored questions from reporters about where the illegal voters were from. In 2018, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner undertook a full review of the votes cast in New Hampshire in the 2016 election - flagging 142 cases of possible fraud, not the 'thousands' President Trump has talked about. The New Hampshire Attorney General's office in 2018 found there were examples of buses with out-of-state license plates transporting voters to the polls - but no evidence that the voters on board those buses were from actually from Maine, Vermont, or Massachusetts. During his time in office, President Trump has repeatedly raised questions about voter fraud, claiming in February of 2019 that there was widespread evidence in California of illegal voting. 'They found a million fraudulent votes,' the President told reporters at the White House, after being asked about a GOP election fraud case which invalidated a Congressional race won by Republicans in North Carolina. But instead of fraudulent votes being cast, California has been removing over 1 million 'inactive' voters from the rolls - people who were registered to vote, but who had not cast a ballot in several elections. Just this week, the President re-tweeted a claim from a conservative activist, Charlie Kirk, that said the state of California has more people registered than the number of eligible voters. But the facts don't back that up. 'I'll retweet this stupidity and debunk it, only because the President retweeted it,' said elections expert Tom Bonier on Tuesday, as he showed how Kirk was talking about 'inactive' registered voters. 'Inactive, meaning they haven't voted (and often their mail ballots have been returned as undeliverable),' Bonier tweeted.
  • The race for President in the Democratic Party shrank on Thursday, as former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced that he was ending his long shot bid for the White House, unable to get any traction in the polls and debates with his more moderate brand of politics. 'In almost every regard, this journey has been more exciting and more rewarding than I ever imagined,' Hickenlooper said in a video released by his campaign. 'Although, of course, I did imagine a very different conclusion,' Hickenlooper said with a smile. In the first debates in June and July, Hickenlooper had made little in the way of any impact on the Democratic race, as he tried to argue that his colleagues were moving too far to the left on a number of issues. 'I think that the bottom line is, if we don't clearly define that we are not socialists, the Republicans are going to come at us every way they can and call us socialists,' Hickenlooper said in the first NBC debate in Miami. Hickenlooper repeatedly tried to break through in the debates with that more moderate message. 'I share their progressive values, but I'm a little more pragmatic,' Hickenlooper said in the CNN Democratic debate in Detroit, as he made the case that Democrats needed to slow down on the Green New Deal and Medicare For All. 'Last year Democrats flipped 40 Republican seats in the House, and not one of those 40 Democrats supported the policies of our front-runners at center stage,' Hickenlooper said at the CNN debate, as he criticized major changes in health care proposed by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others. 'You might as well Fed Ex the election to Donald Trump,' Hickenlooper said at the CNN debate. Unless there had been some kind of miraculous change in the trajectory of his candidacy, Hickenlooper was not going to qualify for the next two debates, as he was not registering in the polls, and not raising enough money. The Wall Street Journal also reported that Hickenlooper had spent more money in the last quarter than he raised - another red flag about a campaign which wasn't catching on. The lack of momentum for Hickenlooper was crystallized in a quiet moment at the CNN debate in Detroit that I witnessed. After participating in the first night of the CNN debate, Hickenlooper arrived at the press filing center the next morning to do interviews, but he attracted little in the way of attention from reporters as he walked through the work space with an aide. After chatting with former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Hickenlooper sat down at a press table to watch experts on CNN go over the first debate night. As he sat and watched the TV, his name wasn't mentioned for almost 15 minutes. To have candidates drop out at this point in the race for President is nothing unusual; it was happening four years ago at this time in the GOP race as well.