A lawsuit over Facebook emails could prove Zuckerberg knew about Cambridge Analytica much earlier than he claimed

Facebook will appear in court Friday hoping to keep private internal company emails that could reveal CEO Mark Zuckerberg knew about the Cambridge Analytica scandal far earlier than he told Congress.

Zuckerberg and his COO Sheryl Sandberg told Congress last year that they learned about Cambridge Analytica in December 2015, when the Guardian broke the news of the UK-based company.

However, a court filing by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine suggests the company knew about the data scraping practices in September 2015 — and he wants to unseal employee emails to prove it.

Facebook admitted Friday that they were aware of an issue with Cambridge Analytica in September 2015 — but claim that issue was unrelated to the wider scandal that broke in December 2015 in which Global Science Research harvested the data of 87 million people before selling it to Cambridge Analytica, who then used it for political campaigns, including the 2016 U.S. election.

The outcome of the case is being closely watched by those seeking to hold Facebook to account for privacy violations.

Facebook will appear in court Friday hoping to keep private internal company emails that could reveal CEO Mark Zuckerberg knew about the Cambridge Analytica scandal far earlier than he told Congress.

Zuckerberg and his COO Sheryl Sandberg told Congress last year that they learned about Cambridge Analytica in December 2015, when the Guardian broke the news of the UK-based company.

However, a court filing by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine suggests the company knew about the data scraping practices in September 2015 — and he wants to unseal employee emails to prove it.

Facebook admitted Friday that they were aware of an issue with Cambridge Analytica in September 2015 — but claim that issue was unrelated to the wider scandal that broke in December 2015 in which Global Science Research harvested the data of 87 million people before selling it to Cambridge Analytica, who then used it for political campaigns, including the 2016 U.S. election.

The outcome of the case is being closely watched by those seeking to hold Facebook to account for privacy violations.

“If Racine loses this case then Facebook rules the USA,” David Carroll, an associate professor at Parsons School of Design in New York who is also suing Cambridge Analytica in U.K. courts, told VICE News.

Facebook did not respond to VICE News’ questions about the court filing, but in a statement to the Guardian, the company said it “absolutely did not mislead anyone about this timeline.”

The lawsuit

Racine filed a lawsuit against Facebook in December for allowing Cambridge Analytica to harvest the private data of tens of millions of users. Facebook has tried to dismiss the case, but Racine cited the emails as evidence in his opposition to the motion to dismiss.

The AG claims “as early as September 2015, a DC-based Facebook employee warned the company that Cambridge Analytica” was doing something. We don’t know what that something is, as it is currently redacted. Racine added that the employee “received responses [relating to] Cambridge Analytica’s data-scraping practices.”

Facebook’s top executives have repeatedly refused to give a detailed timeline of when the company first uncovered problems with how Cambridge Analytica was collecting and using user data.

“There is a lot of explaining to do about what was known by whom about what and when,” Emily Taylor, CEO of Oxford Information Labs, told VICE News.

“Consistently misled”

Facebook watchers across the globe are eagerly awaiting the outcome of Friday’s hearing.

“If Facebook gets the case dismissed tomorrow then it’s a nothing burger [but] I can’t see how it gets dismissed. Racine has the case pretty well laid out,” Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next who has chronicled the fallout of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, told VICE News.

Damian Collins, a British MP who has tirelessly sought to uncover the truth of how the Cambridge Analytica scandal unfolded, tweeted that Racine’s filing “could suggest that Facebook has consistently misled the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee about what it knew and when about Cambridge Analytica.”

Collins and his colleagues obtained the same emails during their investigation. In the committee’s final report they referred to the emails but did not publish them.

While it has been European lawmakers and regulators that have been at the forefront of investigations into Facebook’s data collection and privacy practices, U.S. authorities now appear to be stepping up.

The FTC is reportedly preparing a multi-billion dollar fine for privacy violations, and FTC Chairman Joe Simons told senators recently that the agency was planning a wide-ranging investigation of tech companies’ data practices.

READ: Facebook’s political ad tool let us buy ads “paid for” by Mike Pence and ISIS

Facebook has been on the receiving end of a continuous torrent of negative press for more than two years but it continues to make huge profits and the impact of these stories on its commercial viability appears minimal.

“While it seems like they are in the perpetual naughty corner from the lawmakers’ perspective, they continue to be an outstanding commercial success,” Taylor said.

Cover image: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (C) testifies at a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., United States, on April 10, 2018. (Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images)

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Can Fletcher Magee Be Wofford’s Steph Curry in March Madness Run?

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - MARCH 21:  Fletcher Magee #3 of the Wofford Terriers reacts in the second half against the Seton Hall Pirates during the first round of the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on March 21, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Fletcher Magee is a relatively unknown star. But after setting the Division I career record for three-pointers with 509 and producing a second-round showdown with Kentucky, Wofford’s senior marksman has a chance to follow in a legend’s footsteps.

Eleven years removed from Stephen Curry‘s memorable run with Davidson, Magee could propel a small school to the brink of college basketball excellence.

And then, millions of people would know his name.

Magee set the NCAA record Thursday during the second half of seventh-seeded Wofford’s 84-68 win over No. 10 Seton Hall. He knocked down a triplehis third of the contest and No. 505 overallto pass Oakland’s Travis Bader, setting off a raucous cheer in his home state of Florida.

Magee finished with seven threes and scored a team-best 24 points to dispatch Seton Hall.

With a shade over seven minutes remaining, Wofford trailed 60-59. Magee’s triple sparked a decisive 25-8 run in which he connected on a trio of three-pointers. That ability to take over a game is simply one of several striking similarities between Curry and Magee.

Both players led their program to a Southern Conference championship. Both players stood atop the nation in three-pointers for a single seasonwhile hitting at least 40 percent of them. Both players will have faced a No. 2 seed in the second round.

Longtime Wofford coach Mike Young has acknowledged the similarities.

“I’ve been in this league a long time, and I don’t think I’m going out on a limb to say Steph Curry’s the best player the SoCon’s ever seen,” he told Chris Dortch of The Athletic in 2017. “I don’t like to compare players, but in terms of Fletch’s ability to score and do it as efficiently as he’s doing it, from all points on the floor, let’s just say it reminds me of someone.”

That praise is merited. It will also be quickly forgotten if Magee and the Terriers don’t advance.

Up next for Wofford is Kentucky, which put together arguably the most impressive showing of March Madness’ Day 1. John Calipari‘s squad cruised to a 79-44 win over 15th-seeded Abilene Christian, which knocked down just five threes.

Unconventional though he is, Magee is fully capable of wrecking UK on the perimeter.

Heading into the Big Dance, the Wildcats ranked 223rd in three-point defense. This season, seven opposing players have drilled at least five threes, and Kentucky is 3-4 in those games. Magee has buried five-plus trifectas 20 times as a senior.

Incidentally, Curry connected on five-plus threes during each of Davidson’s three March Madness victories in 2008.

Sure, Magee isn’t doing this alone. Wofford boasts the country’s second-best clip from long distance, largely thanks to Magee and Nathan Hoover, a 45.7 percent shooter from long range who hit four threes Thursday. Curry didn’t have a perimeter sidekick of that caliber.

But the Calipari-coached team knows its biggest threat.

Wofford will go as Magee does.

Kentuckywhich may again be without star forward PJ Washington because of a sprained foot, per Alyssa Lang of the SEC Networkwill do everything it can to slow Magee. After all, he’s previously taken down a giant; Magee netted 27 points in the upset of North Carolina in Chapel Hill last season.

Yes, the ‘Cats will likely be favored, and nobody would be surprised if the powerhouse program topples the SoCon champions. That’s what second-seeded teams are supposed to do in March.

However, they can only prepare so much for the greatest three-point weapon college basketball has seen in a decade. He isn’t just a volume shooter; he’s exceptionally efficient while hoisting more than 10 threes per game. He’s the driving force of a potential Cinderella story.

Wofford is fully capable of beating Kentucky. And if that happens, he’ll no longer be the cult hero compared to Steph Curry.

The nation will know him as Fletcher Magee.

            

Statistics courtesy of KenPom.com or Sports Reference, unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.

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NCAA Tournament 2019: Thursday’s 1st-Round Winners and Losers

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    The biggest upset of the first day of the NCAA tournament was Murray State over Marquette, but that was a 12-5 upset, the most predictable upset of all. A couple of No. 10 seeds, Minnesota and Florida, won their games, but those weren’t big surprises. 

    Rallies by Belmont and New Mexico State fell short, and one of the trendiest upset picks, Northeastern, lost by 34 points. 

    The madness has not arrived yet. 

    That said, there were some big wins and humbling losses on Thursday. Auburn’s “swagger” suffered a blow, Ja Morant dominated a marquee matchup, and Tom Izzo lit up a freshman. 

    These are the winners and losers from day one of the NCAA tournament. 

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Michigan State, Maryland, Minnesota, Purdue and Michigan all won on Thursday, giving the Big Ten a 5-0 start in the NCAA tournament. 

    Most of those teams were the higher-seeded ones in their matchups, but 10th-seeded Minnesota upset seventh-seeded Louisville, 86-76, around an hour before No. 6 seed Maryland held off a rally from No. 11 seed Belmont for a 79-77 win. 

    These weren’t just wins, either. Big Ten teams won by an average of 11 points Thursday, leaving Iowa and Wisconsin to keep it going Friday. 

    The Big Ten wasn’t the only undefeated conference Thursday, though. The SEC went 4-0.

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Tom Izzo lit into Michigan State freshman Aaron Henry for not getting back on defense, and he did it to such a degree he was asked about it in the postgame press conference, the implication being Izzo might have crossed some kind of line. 

    He did not agree. 

    “What’s wrong with challenging a kid that makes some mistakes?” Izzo said. “Aaron Henry, trust me, did some things that you can’t do as a starter on a top-five team at the end of your freshman year. They were effort-related. I did get after him. He did respond. He did make a couple of big buckets. He did make some big free throws, but that’s not good enough. It’s one-and-done time. The ‘my-bads’ are out the window.”

    Henry told reporters he’d “heard worse” from Izzo before and didn’t seem bothered. It was a tough blow for the thin-skinned, a group that doesn’t seem to include Henry. 

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    This has been a weird season for Kansas. The Jayhawks have lost two of their November starters (one to injury, one to reasons unexplained), they’ve pulled the redshirt off a freshman (Ochai Agbaji), and they switched their playing style midway through the season. 

    For the first time in 14 years, Kansas didn’t win the Big 12 championship, and KU appeared to be limping to the end of this season. A No. 4 seed playing a hot-shooting 13-seed, the Jayhawks were a trendy upset pick. 

    And then they utterly wrecked Northeastern 87-53.

    The game was close-ish at the beginning of the second half, but before long it became clear Northeastern was hopelessly overmatched physically and wasn’t going to be able to do anything about it. Kansas guards dashed through the lane without obstruction, big men swatted shots without jumping, and Northeastern’s best player (Vasa Pusica) was completely taken out of the game (seven points, 2-of-13 shooting).

    It was what 4-13 games looked like 50 years ago, and it must have been cathartic for the Jayhawks. 

4 of 10

    Jeff Swinger/Associated Press

    In recent years, the three-point shot has become more important than ever. But on the first day of the NCAA tournament, the more traditional approach worked best. 

    Marquette’s Markus Howard, one of the most dangerous shooters in the country, went 4-of-14 from the three-point line in a blowout loss to Murray State (which made nine threes). Northeastern’s three-point shooting made it a popular pick to upset Kansas, but it went 6-of-28 from the arc, and Kansas (which made just eight threes) won by 34. Yale went 8-of-37 from the arc in a five-point loss to LSU. New Mexico State went 7-of-25 in a one-point loss to Auburn. 

    Almost every team that needed a good three-point shooting day didn’t get one, and one of the few who did—Vermont made 16 threes against Florida State—lost anyway. 

    This is probably not the start of a long-term trend, but it is a good example of how three-point shooting is great as long as the other team isn’t shooting layups and free throws all night, the way Kansas and Murray State were. 

    Things have changed in college basketball, but controlling the paint still goes a long way. 

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    Ja Morant vs. Markus Howard was supposed to be the first round’s premier one-on-one matchup. Marquette’s Howard is one of the country’s most prolific scorers, and Murray State’s Morant is a projected top-five pick in June’s NBA draft. 

    Adding to the intrigue was that Marquette was a No. 5 seed and Murray State was a No. 12 seed—a historically exciting combination. 

    Instead, Morant had a triple-double, Howard went 9-of-27 and Murray State won 83-64. 

    Morant’s 17 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists made for the fourth triple-double of his career and the first in the NCAA tournament since Draymond Green got one at Michigan State in 2012. 

    It wasn’t like Morant needed a big game against Howard and Marquette to prove himself as a prospect, but a little NCAA tournament heroism never hurts. 

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    Yale's Alex Copeland took an L despite a strong performance.

    Yale’s Alex Copeland took an L despite a strong performance.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    LSU’s Tremont Waters made the most spectacular move of the first day, and it looked like it about ruined poor Alex Copeland. 

    It’s a shame Copeland has to go out like that, because he had a great showing Thursday against LSU, scoring a game-high 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting to keep Yale in the contest, which it eventually lost 79-74.

    Outside Copeland, Yale was 5-of-32 from the three-point line, so there’s little chance the Bulldogs could have hung with LSU without him.

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    What a surprise: Jay Wright won another NCAA tournament game. He’s more reliable than a used Lexus. 

    This isn’t even that good of a Villanova team. It wasn’t supposed to be that good before the season started, and it had a decent campaign that came with nine losses and a resume that added to a No. 6 seed. 

    The reigning champions haven’t lost a first-round NCAA tournament game since 2013, though, when the ninth-seeded Wildcats lost to the eighth-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels. Since then, Villanova is 16-3 in NCAA tournament contests with two national championships. 

    It’s no surprise to see a No. 6 seed win a first-round game, so it’s not that Villanova’s 61-57 victory over St. Mary’s meant much—except for this: If you’re looking for somebody to blow it early, it’s best to look somewhere else. 

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    It’s not that swagger itself took the L, but the idea of swagger as an explanation for Auburn’s success suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Auburn coach Bruce Pearl.

    In the press conference after the Tigers’ 78-77 win over New Mexico State, Auburn’s J’Von McCormick was asked to describe the team’s swagger, and he told reporters: “I feel like—I don’t know. I can’t really tell you.”

    Pearl stepped in to offer further clarification:

    “Can I follow up on that swagger? I’m glad you think we have a swagger. But I think the hesitation in answering the question is because I’m not so sure our kids do in this sense. He came back with it. He says, We got a chip on our shoulder. J’Von was not a heavily recruited player. Most of our guys were 3 stars. So we’ve developed a confidence and a trust in one another and our depth as the season progressed. I don’t know that we really have a swagger. Yet.”

    So there you have it. No swag. 

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Wofford’s Fletcher Magee has been described as the Steph Curry of this year’s NCAA Tournament. He entered Thursday’s game with 502 career three-pointers, three away from breaking the NCAA record held by Travis Bader of Oakland. 

    And he got them. Magee made three-pointers 503, 504 and 505 early against Seton Hall, then added four more, going 7-for-12 from the arc to score 24 points and lead Wofford to an 84-68 win over Seton Hall. 

    The 6’4″ senior has been a monster scorer his whole Wofford career, averaging 13.8 points per game as a freshman and more than 20 ppg each of the last two years, shooting at least 42 percent from the three-point line the entire time. 

    Magee met with some NBA teams after last season but didn’t declare for the draft. Instead, he became just the second player in NCAA history to make 500 3s. 

    Curry, by the way, made 414 threes in his career … in 29 fewer games. 

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    Nevada was a No. 7 seed, so its first-round loss to 10th-seeded Florida wasn’t a shocker. Still, we’re talking about a team that won 29 games and is ranked 20th in the Associated Press poll. 

    The Wolf Pack represented the Mountain West’s best chance to keep a team alive deep into the tournament. The only other MWC squad in the Big Dance is Utah State, which is a No. 8 seed and will face No. 9 Washington on Friday. 

    The Mountain West’s national relevance comes and goes. It was a competitive league this year, with Utah State and Nevada both finishing 15-3 in conference play—and Fresno State two games back at 13-5. 

    But without a great team that shows out in the NCAA tournament, the Mountain West won’t make a countrywide impression.

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Ron Burgundy shows up to LA Kings Game

Will Ferrell is known for his love of LA sports. He’s a regular on the sideline of USC football games, owns part of Los Angeles Football Club and as for hockey, he loves LA Kings. But the limelight was stolen last night, by none other than Ron Burgundy.

The world’s best anchorman joined FOX Sports West’s Alex Faust and Jim Fox for the second half of Thursday’s game between the Kings and the San Jose Sharks.

Obviously, news reporting and sports commentating require a bit of a different skill set, but being the adaptable and talented TV personality he is, the play by play was like second nature for Burgundy, as he slid straight into the role, with only a few slip ups, and a lot of ‘knowledge’ on the Sharks.

Of all the sports to commentate, hockey is so fast paced that it can get hectic – and all that keeping up makes for hungry work. Luckily, the team’s mascot Bailey knew exactly what San Diego’s finest news anchor would be craving.

As we know, Ron loves Mexican food, so of course he was presented with a delicious, but filling, burrito. And, to wash it down, he was given a nice glass of milk. Let’s hope it wasn’t a bad choice this time.

He also gives us an insight in to his pre-broadcast superstitions – little did we know he has a trusty pair of ‘lucky underwear’ that he wears for every broadcast he’s done. After such a long, illustrious career though, he reveals he has to keep them together with ‘staples and duct tape’, as ‘they’re shredded’.

However, there might be more to Ron Burgundy’s appearance than first meets the eye.

Credit: DreamWorks Pictures
Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

Since the release of the second of the franchise’s films in 2013 – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – fans have been hoping for another instalment of Ron Burgundy and his crew.

Back in 2016, when asked about the possibility of a third, one of the films’ stars, Steve Carrell, told Good Morning Britain: “No, we never discussed it, but I heard in an interview [with director, Adam McKay] he mentioned that he might have an idea for Anchorman 3.

“But it might not happen for 10 or 15 years, so take a big deep breath.”

Then at the end of last year, again he said he’d be more than up for another film – it looks like fans of Anchorman might just be in luck.

Featured Image Credit: NHL

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Singer Justin Carter Dies In Accidental Shooting Whilst Filming Music Video

American singer Justin Carter has tragically died after accidentally shooting himself whilst filming a music video. He was 35-years-old.

The Country musician was on set creating a music video when his gun went off by mistake and discharged through his head and eye.

At the time of the accident, the gun was being used as a prop for the music video.

The up and coming musician’s mother confirmed the news to Fox News and said that the incident occurred on Sunday, just before the musician was due to head off on a tour of 10 states across the USA.

The singer was about to embark on a tour. Credit: Instagram
The singer was about to embark on a tour. Credit: Instagram

Cindy McClellen said: “He was a wonderful person, very loving and he loved our God very much.

“He had a Bible in his room, in the den, he had one in his truck. He gave to charities.

“He just loved music, he was very gifted and by God, his voice was spectacular.”

She also explained the incident, saying that a gun that was in his pocket “went off and caught my son in the corner of his eye.”

She added: “He was a wonderful artist, he was the voice, he was the total package and we’re trying to keep his legend [alive].”

Justin Carter leaves behind two young daughters, Dixie and Kaylee. His mother spoke of how his daughters were his motivation to succeed, saying that he wanted to carve out a successful music career so that he could ‘take care of his family’.Justin Carter. Credit: Instagram
Justin Carter. Credit: Instagram

The sad news was also shared on the singer’s social media pages. In an Instagram and Facebook post, Carter’s management said: “Please keep Justin’s family in your prayers and give them privacy in this hard time.

“Justin is no longer with us, he has passed away. He will be missed by us all, he was always full of joy, laughter, and loved on so many people in his life.

“Justin appreciated all of his fans and their support. Justin loved all of you. Thank you for your support.”

His management shared an emotional post. Credit: Instagram
His management shared an emotional post. Credit: Instagram

His management later added: “Justin had a potential to -you know, in our eyes, and a lot of people’s eyes – to be the next Garth Brooks.”

Mark Atherton, of Triple Threat Management added that his client was “kind of like the class clown, but when it was time to get down to business, he got down to it.”

Carter had recently released a song called ‘Love Affair’ featuring Nu Breed. A GoFundMe page has been set up by his family to help with burial costs and transporting his body back home.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram

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‘I know the fear of it’: How Pramila Jayapal shepherds the freshman Dems

Pramila Jayapal

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the first Indian-American woman elected to the House of Representatives, has vaulted from liberal backbencher to co-leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. | AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

Rep. Ilhan Omar stood alone near the back of the House chamber earlier this month, glancing at her phone and seemingly oblivious to the remarkable rebuke being leveled at her.

Lawmakers had gathered to vote on a resolution condemning hate speech — legislation sparked by the freshman Democrat’s latest controversial remarks about Israel. After several minutes, she spotted Rep. Pramila Jayapal a few rows ahead and darted toward the Washington Democrat. They embraced and soon doubled over in laughter.

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“She came up to me on the floor, and she gave me a big hug, and I told her that some of my gray hair was [from her] over the last week,” Jayapal said, recounting the scene in an interview.

For Jayapal, the moment on the floor was intended to offer a sense of solidarity that she rarely felt herself when she was sworn into Congress within days of Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Just two years later, Jayapal has vaulted from liberal backbencher to co-leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — carving out a crucial role within the newly emboldened Democratic Caucus and earning a seat at Nancy Pelosi’s leadership table each week.

Jayapal’s colleagues describe her as a mentor with a maternal touch, helping to shepherd a raucous faction that includes a pack of freshman superstars under immense scrutiny on the national stage and even within their own caucus.

Her restraint on issues like impeachment and her signature “Medicare for All” bill has made her a trusted ally of Democratic leaders, even as she has also deployed her caucus’ 90-plus roster to occasionally force leadership’s hand.

Amid debate on House Democrats’ sweeping anti-corruption bill, for instance, Jayapal and her progressive colleagues demanded a provision that would require Trump to disclose 10 years of tax returns. Pelosi agreed.

“The fascinating thing about Jayapal is that she was elected two years ago and so she’s gone through this process,” Omar said in a recent interview. “When people are giving you advice, it’s from decades ago as a freshman. And so her advice is very fresh.”

Like Omar, Jayapal has faced death threats. She’s been vilified by her political opponents. She’s been the only woman of color in a room. Now, in Congress, Jayapal has helped guide the largest-ever group of freshman women of color — particularly the squad of progressives that is frequently under attack.

“I’ve been through that myself, so I know the fear of it, and I also know what it takes to steel yourself and get yourself through that,” Jayapal said.

For Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Jayapal was a familiar and friendly face after the Michigan freshman ignited a firestorm of controversy just hours after being sworn into Congress with her call to “impeach the motherf—er” when speaking about Trump.

More recently, Tlaib said her longtime friend — the two met as immigration activists 15 years ago, and Jayapal was the first member of Congress to endorse her— pulled her aside before giving a speech on the floor about universal health care with some helpful advice. Personalize your speech, Jayapal counseled, tell the world what the real-world implications of access to health care would mean for your district.

Tlaib went on to describe in detail how growing up she thought it was normal her neighbors suffered from asthma, cancer and other serious health problems because of the poor air quality around her Detroit district and how having access to basic health care could have significantly improved their quality of life.

“It’s these little touches,” Tlaib told POLITICO afterwards. “She’s one of these incredible mentors that, at the forefront, is always about serving your district and doing it in a very authentic way.”

It’s not just Omar and Tlaib who seek her advice: Weeks after the election, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) came over to Jayapal’s house for a meal of boxed tomato soup — which was broadcast to thousands on Ocasio-Cortez’s Instagram account.

After a particularly grueling day at the Capitol, Jayapal will offer a spontaneous dinner invite to her fellow Democrats at her place near the Capitol, where Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) said Jayapal will whip up stew with homemade pita bread. Jayapal has plans to have freshman Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.), her mentee within the CPC mentorship program launched this Congress, over for dinner in the coming weeks.

“It’s almost comical, it’ll be at the last minute, and she’ll say, come over to my house for dinner,” Hayes said with a laugh. “I don’t know how she does it, I don’t even have time to go to the grocery store.”

The private gatherings are partly intended to help the new members navigate Congress, like when she counseled Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) on how to deflect attacks from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) in the Judiciary Committee. But they’re also intensely personal, discussing how to survive a deluge of daily attacks as women of color.

“What I tell them if they ask is, ‘It’s really important not to let the outside world define you, and to be strong in standing up for what you believe in, but also be strategic,” Jayapal said. “If you took on every single thing that drove you crazy, or was racist or sexist or unfair, you would be exhausted and you wouldn’t be able to get the work done that you need to get done.”

As she’s dispatching advice, Jayapal said, she thinks back to the years of discrimination she faced as an immigrant rights activist in the post-Sept. 11 era, and then as the first Indian-American woman elected to the House.

The snubs even followed her to the House floor.

In her first term, she was once interrupted mid-debate by senior Republican Don Young of Alaska, who called her “young lady” and asserted that she “doesn’t know a damn thing what she’s talking about.”

Jayapal later wrote on Twitter: “A message to women of color out there: stand strong. Refuse to be patronized or minimized.” Young ultimately apologized.

How Jayapal will leverage her newfound influence and if she’ll use it as a launching pad for a more prominent leadership post in the future is unclear. For now, her relatively cautious approach on controversial issues, even as some fellow liberals demand more radical action, is welcome within the broader caucus.

“I’ve seen a lot of people promise things, and they don’t necessarily care whether they can get there or not,” said Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.), who serves on the Judiciary Committee with Jayapal. “Pramila is very concerned that she can deliver … And I think it’s very smart of her to do that.”

Jayapal says for now that her focus is on working with her fellow CPC co-chair, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), to elect more progressives to Congress.

Jayapal stumped for California freshman Democratic Reps. Katie Hill and Katie Porter and was instrumental in getting the progressive caucus to back Omar during her crowded primary race.

Now the campaign arm of the CPC is hiring its first-ever political director, part of a larger effort overseen by Pocan and Jayapal to ensure the caucus plays an even more influential role in 2020, when Democrats will be defending the House majority and trying to win both the Senate and the White House.

Jayapal has been endorsed by Justice Democrats, an outside group trying to encourage liberal primary challenges to incumbents, but she has said that’s not where she’s spending her energy.

In the early months of Democratic control of the House, the progressive caucus leaders have taken what they describe as a sensible approach to pushing priorities from the campaign trail.

Jayapal and Pocan haven’t demanded floor votes on Medicare for All, which they acknowledge still lacks widespread buy-in within the party. Instead, they got Democratic leaders to agree to hold hearings on the proposal for the first time.

“We do know that in order to get where we need to get, we’ve got some convincing to do,” Pocan said. “It’s wise to make sure we’re having hearings to make sure we’re moving it forward, rather than try to force something that’s not ready.”

Her conciliatory approach may surprise those who recall her decision to get arrested at a protest last year condemning Trump’s family separation policies.

But Jayapal hasn’t strayed too far from her activist roots, Pocan insists.

“My guess is she would gladly still get arrested for something she believes in,” he said.

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Biden draws on Obama donor network to jump-start 2020 bid

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Barack Obama and Joe Biden arrive for the Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017. As Biden moves closer to a campaign for president, the question of how he would fund that campaign has loomed over his decision. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

2020 elections

The former vice president is counting on major Obama donors to help him keep pace with online fundraising dynamos early in 2020 campaign.

Top donors who helped power President Barack Obama’s campaigns are getting ready to boost Joe Biden for 2020.

The former vice president, whose fundraising lagged during his previous bids for the White House, would this time enter the race with a base of support from many of his party’s major givers, according to interviews with 20 top Obama fundraisers, who each raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help elect the former president.

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Many of Obama’s backers say deciding which candidate or candidates to support in 2020 is difficult. But Biden, who a number of Obama’s funders count as a friend and former coworker in the administration, comes out of the gate with a crop of top-tier fundraisers ready to back his bid and other donors willing to cut personal checks to jump-start Biden’s campaign, though they might wait to throw the full power of their networks behind him.

Biden’s ability to put together a network of donors is a major test for the vice president — possibly moreso than for any other 2020 candidate. The small-donor digital network now so critical to the Democratic Party did not exist the last time Biden ran for office on his own, and he does not have a pre-built base of support from grassroots donors, like potential rivals such as Beto O’Rourke have — though Biden did build an online presence last year for his PAC.

That would put a premium on Biden’s ability to attract high-dollar donors to sustain his campaign early — and give him time to try to build a broader fundraising program that could rival those of his competitors.

If [Biden] got in, I would be leaning in that direction because, simply put, he’s best qualified, he has the stature and the experience to win the race,” said Steve Westly, the former state controller in California who raised more than half a million dollars for Obama during each of the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. “I think a lot of people will be coalescing around him.”

Those offering their help to Biden include former colleagues like Denise Bauer, former United States Ambassador to Belgium and longtime Obama fundraiser who raised more than $4 million for his presidential campaigns.

“I have been encouraging Vice President Biden to run. I think the country needs him and if he gets in, I will be with him!” Bauer said in an email. “I have seen him interact with foreign leaders, colleagues, and everyday Americans. His depth of knowledge, skill, and compassion are extraordinary.”

As Biden, the front-runner in recent polls, moves closer to a campaign for president, the question of how he would fund that campaign has loomed over his decision. It has not been a strength of Biden’s past campaigns: As Obama and Hillary Clinton topped $100 million raised in 2007 in preparation for the 2008 primaries, Biden raised a total of $14.3 million before dropping out in January 2008.

This time, Biden would enter the race as a respected party elder and an heir to the Obama legacy, but he would need to compete with candidates who have excelled in a new fundraising world focused on small-dollar donors. Bernie Sanders and O’Rourke each raised roughly $6 million in 24 hours after announcing their presidential campaigns, well ahead of any other rivals and largely from online donors.

“His great strength is, he’s regarded as [a] very strong candidate to defeat Donald Trump and unite the party and the country,” said Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committee member and fundraiser. “The test of his candidacy will be engaging the diverse base of the Democratic Party and engaging [the] grassroots, which is the new small-dollar donor leadership.”

Like the majority of other Democrats, Biden has also indicated he would not rely on the help of a single-candidate super PAC to boost his name in the 2020 race, saying in February that he would “not be part of a super PAC” if he were to run for president.

“An awful lot of people have offered to help, and the people who are usually the biggest donors in the Democratic Party and I might add some major Republican folks,” Biden added during the appearance at the University of Delaware.

Supporters are not blind to the possible pitfalls of a Biden run. In particular, many wish he were younger and better positioned to connect with young voters.

But members of the Obama network have kept up with Biden in the years since Obama’s presidency. More recently, they have spoken with consiglieres like strategist Steve Ricchetti about the possibility of a campaign. And they believe he would be the candidate best-positioned to take on Trump in a general election.

“He compares and contrasts with the current president in a positive way for Democrats,” said Joseph Falk, a Miami lawyer who raised more than $1 million for Obama’s reelection and now describes himself as a “Biden loyalist” for 2020. “His fealty to the law, his honor, his ability to speak truth to power, his ability to not be an extremist on either side I think bodes well.”

Other Obama donors interviewed by POLITICO described a conundrum that echoes their initial decision to throw in with Obama over his rivals in 2008: They feel loyal to Biden and hopeful about the potential of his campaign — but they are simultaneously drawn to the idea of backing a charismatic newcomer for president, like the relatively untested O’Rourke or Pete Buttigieg, who has recently sparked intrigue among several Obama fundraisers.

Some of the fundraisers are dealing with these conflicting feelings by planning to support multiple candidates throughout the Democratic primary, including Biden, while others are putting off the decision or planning to back a different candidate.

In text messages and conversations, supporters of Obama — some of whom were not significant party donors before becoming involved with the former president’s 2008 campaign — have also nudged each other to attend fundraisers and watch CNN town halls for up-and-comers.

“I like Joe Biden of course, I think he’s a great guy. He’s on the old side, but he’s not too old to do the job,” said Bill Eacho, an Obama fundraiser and former ambassador to Austria. Eacho said he’s “waiting to learn more about the candidates” before making a decision on who to support.

Bill Stetson — who raised more than half a million dollars for each of Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012 and aided the 2008 campaign on environmental issues— said he discusses the race and who to support every night after watching the news with his wife, Jane, a former national finance chair of the Democratic National Committee. For now, he’s giving to multiple candidates, starting with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

“We’re very close to Joe Biden and we don’t know what he’s doing, and I like Beto, and I think a woman should be in the mix,” Stetson said. “We have to think about the very big picture, and we need to heal this country right now.”

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