Sen. Harris calls shutdown a 'vanity project'

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) slams President Trump over the partial government shutdown in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper.

Posted: Jan 10, 2019 3:54 PM
Updated: Jan 10, 2019 4:09 PM

California Sen. Kamala Harris called the shutdown of the federal government a "crisis of the President's own making" in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Wednesday.

Harris, who published a new memoir this week ahead of likely 2020 presidential run, demurred on whether she will challenge President Donald Trump for the White House.

Harris said she would make a decision soon and she believes the country is ready for a woman of color as president.

"We have to give the American people more credit, and we have to understand that the American public and the people of our country are smart people, who will make decisions about who will be their leader, based on who they believe is capable, who they believe has an honest desire to lead, to represent, to see them, to be a voice for them even if they have no power," Harris said. "Those are the kinds of people who we are as a country. And so the pundits can talk all day, and all night, and there's a lot of chatter about which demographic will do this or that. It has been my life's experience that the American people are smart and they make decisions about what's in the best interest of their household, their family and their community. And I have faith that in 2020, and in any other election, that will be their motivation when they vote."

But she argued that the American people deserve better leadership than they are seeing under this President, stating that the shutdown has thrown lives into chaos.

"It is a false choice to suggest that we're going to hold 800,000 federal workers and all of the services that they provide hostage for this president's vanity project," Harris said on "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

In the interview, the Democratic senator spoke about how her heritage as the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica has shaped her outlook on the plight of immigrants under the policies of the Trump administration.

In her new memoir, "The Truths We Hold," Harris described her anger watching her mother become a target because she was "brown-skinned" and how that has driven her efforts to enhance the legal and humanitarian protections over immigrants coming into the US.

Harris said she was blessed with a nurturing, happy, healthy childhood, but has been dismayed by Trump's vilification of immigrants.

"When we talk about the immigration debate, I think there is no question that there are powerful forces, including this president, that are attempting to vilify immigrants because they were born in another country," Harris said, "and suggest that they are therefore any different in terms of their fundamental values or beliefs, or priorities."

"I think all of us as Americans should all be insulted by that suggestion," the Democratic senator said, "knowing that all of us are just a few generations, if not one generation away from immigrants who arrived in this country with the same hopes and dreams that we each have for our children."

The former California attorney general also expressed regret that she was not informed by her staff that her former top aide in that previous office was accused of gender harassment, a lawsuit that the attorney general'soffice settled for nearly $400,000 after she had moved on to the US Senate.

Harris said that as a leader of the #MeToo movement, "it was a very painful experience to know that something could happen in one's office of almost 5,000 people, granted, but that I didn't know about it."

"That being said, I take full responsibility for anything that has happened in my office," she said. "I always do, and I always will. The buck stops with me."

"Even in the office of someone who has been an advocate for women's rights, and all people's rights, there is no office that is immune from this kind of behavior, and that's something that we are also going to have to deal with. That's a sad statement," she added.

Larry Wallace, who headed the Bureau of Law Enforcement at the California Attorney General's office, was accused by his former assistant of forcing her to change the paper or the ink in a printer under his desk every day and refused to move the printer.

Wallace worked closely with Harris for many years, and she praised his efforts to help root out racial bias in the attorney general's office in her recent memoir.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 147382

Reported Deaths: 3763
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
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