Sen. Kamala Harris says she won’t comment again on the investigation into a reported attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett until it’s completed.
Speaking Monday to reporters in Concord, New Hampshire, during her first presidential campaign trip to the state, the U.S. senator from California says that “the facts are still unfolding” and that while she is “very concerned” about Smollett’s initial allegation and it should be taken seriously, “there should be an investigation.”
Harris previously tweeted that the alleged attack was “an attempted modern day lynching.” Police in Chicago say their investigation into the report that the actor was attacked by two men yelling slurs has “shifted” after two brothers were questioned and released.
Smollett’s lawyers say the actor feels “victimized” by reports that he played a role in the assault.
The Presidents Day holiday weekend brought Harris and other Democratic presidential candidates to New Hampshire, the state with the first-in-the-nation primary in 2020. Also campaigning in the Granite State were Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York was back in Iowa, the leadoff caucus state. Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, who also is running for president, campaigned in Iowa as well.
Highlights from the trail:
Harris let voters in New Hampshire know that she does not consider herself a democratic socialist — a not-so-veiled distinction setting her apart from New Hampshire voters’ favorite 2016 primary candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Sanders, a potential rival for the party’s 2020 nomination, has described himself as a democratic socialist, and the Vermont independent didn’t abandon the politically fraught label for his previous campaign.
Harris was asked by a reporter whether she would have to tilt her politics leftward — in the direction of democratic socialism — to win the state’s primary. Sanders handily defeated Hillary Clinton when they competed for the state’s delegates three years ago.
“The people of New Hampshire will tell me what’s required to compete in New Hampshire, but I will tell you I am not a democratic socialist,” Harris said in response to the question, posed as she toured Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord ahead of a Portsmouth town hall.
Warren is planning to unveil a universal child care plan that would guarantee American families access to child care.
The U.S. senator from Massachusetts would use part of the revenue from her proposed tax on the ultra-wealthy to fund her child care plan. A person familiar with the plan outlined it ahead of its release Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
Warren’s plan would set up a federal program to guarantee child care from birth until children’s entry into school. Families with income less than 200 percent of the poverty line would get free access. Other families would pay no more than 7 percent of their income.
Her plan would guarantee compensation for child care program workers at rates comparable to public school teachers in their areas.
Gillibrand stopped short of agreeing with fellow New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s comments celebrating Amazon’s plans to cancel building a second headquarters in the state.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., hailed the cancellation as a day “dedicated, everyday New Yorkers and their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed.”
Campaigning for president in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gillibrand said she thinks Ocasio-Cortez’s point is that subsidies given to Amazon were outrageous, not that she didn’t want the jobs in New York.
Amazon faced opposition from some New York officials who were unhappy with the tax incentives the retailer was promised.
Gillibrand told reporters that taxpayers were going to be “left holding the bag” and that shows the deal was outrageous.
The Democratic Minnesota senator spoke to voters Monday during a campaign stop at The Village Trestle tavern in Goffstown, New Hampshire. She was set to hold a CNN town hall Monday night.
By JUANA SUMMERS , Associated Press