Sanders, Clinton Walk in Memorial Day Parades on Opposite Coasts

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Both Democratic presidential hopefuls took to the streets on opposite coasts Monday to walk in Memorial Day parades: Frontrunner Hillary Clinton, joined by husband Bill, walked in the annual Newcastle Memorial Day parade in their hometown of Chappaqua, New York, while Bernie Sanders walked with a largely veteran crowd in a parade in San Francisco.

Joined by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local officials, the Clintons walked the short parade route from the town's fire station to the train station, waving at spectators along the route.

The Clintons were in stride with each other, fashion-wise, wearing matching blue ensembles: The former Secretary of State wore a bright blue pantsuit and matching pair of chic sunglasses, while Bill wore bright blue running shoes.

One man followed Clinton down the parade route holding a sign that read "The Silent Majority Stands with TRUMP."

Towards the end of the parade, reporters asked Clinton what the event meant to her, to which she replied, "I love it. I love being here. It's my favorite parade."

On the other side of the country, Sanders marched in a San Francisco Memorial Day parade. He walked the short parade route with veterans and honored guests. Then, he later sat onstage joined by the mayor and police chief at the historic Presidio, overlooking the bay, next to the city's national cemetery.

Other than one female spectator who booed him, the crowd appeared excited by his surprise visit, shaking his hand and waving from the sidelines.

"As the former chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, the needs of veterans and the needs of those families who made the ultimate sacrifice is something that is very important," Sanders said.

Sanders also delivered a brief statement to reporters after the event, standing on the edge of the cemetery grass with military gravestones behind him. He did not take questions, saying he did not want to talk politics.

"Today [Monday] is not just a day for picnics and for ball games," he said. "It is a day to remember. The cost of war is very very real. Not only in terms of death but in terms of the kind of pain that the veterans carry with them who have come back. So today is a day to remember the sacrifices of those who gave their lives and of their families."

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The Most Interesting Characters From the Libertarian Convention

iStock/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- It's not just Republicans and Democrats gearing up for the 2016 election -- Libertarians from across the country huddled in Orlando this past  weekend to choose their presidential nominee.

They're the voters who don't fit into the customary two-party divide: As social liberals and fiscal conservatives, they're pushing their own movement to create a viable third party. One delegate from Texas wore bunny ears throughout the convention, arguing, “these things need a little levity.” Another wore a red clown nose.

But that's not all: Here are the characters you don't want to miss from the convention.

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld

Libertarians say they now have their most viable general election ticket in their party's history: the two former GOP two-term governors will likely be on the ballot in all 50 states this year.

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld say that Americans' dissatisfaction with major party nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump means they have a chance to compete this year.

A recent Fox News poll places Johnson at roughly 10 percent support. But polls tend to overestimate third-party support: Johnson got one percent of the popular vote in 2012.

The Rapping Doctor Presidential Candidate

Libertarian presidential candidate Marc Allen Feldman won over the crowd with his witty one-liners and closing statement rap.

When asked in the debate whether he supports gender-divided bathrooms, the doctor quipped that he backs one for people who wash their hands and one for those who don't. He also compared the joint-security organization NATO to Facebook, saying it lets you know what your friends are doing, but it's a waste of time.

He fell short in the presidential race, but his medical skills came in handy: delegates applauded him after he helped a pedestrian who got hit by a car outside the convention center.

Freedom From Clothes?

One Libertarian candidate for party chair took his idea of liberty to another level.

The delegate stripped down to his underwear on stage, immediately dropping out of the race and telling delegates he was dared to do strip down.

Most of the delegates booed the man, complaining that the party needed to be taken seriously during the election season. One delegate moved to kick the stripper out of the party, but it was ruled out of order.

The Delegate Called 'StarChild'

A delegate from California who goes by the name of StarChild wore a see-through raincoat with only a Speedo underneath it to “demand transparency.”

StarChild, a sex worker, describes the Libertarian party as “trans-partisan.”

“I think we tend to appeal both equally to right and left,” he told ABC News.

"We need to get away from this two-party cartel,” he added.

StarChild wore different outfits every day of the convention.

The Anti-Virus Software Founder

John McAfee was one of Johnson’s most serious competitors for the presidential nomination.

Founder of the computer software of the same name, he fled Belize a few years ago after he was listed as a person of interest in the murder of his neighbor.

In a bid to convince delegates to vote for him, McAfee threw an eccentric party while the convention was still ongoing, complete with neon lights, women on stilts, and acrobats.

Vermin Supreme Makes an Appearance

New Hampshire’s Vermin Supreme also stopped by the convention to seek the Libertarian nomination. Supreme, who ran for president in his home state both this year and in 2012, is known for wearing a boot on his head.

His platform? Mandatory tooth-brushing laws, free ponies for all Americans, time-travel, and preparing for the zombie apocalypse. He received one vote.

Supreme, however, made it a point to tell ABC News he was not representative of the party, “and I think the party would appreciate me saying that.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Obama Calls for True Remembrance of Nation's Fallen Through Actions

iStock/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- President Obama Monday honored the nation’s fallen service members by calling for true remembrance of their sacrifices – through actions and deeds – in a Memorial Day address at Arlington Cemetery.

“The Americans who rest here and their families, the best of us, those from whom we asked everything ask of us today only one thing in return, that we remember them,” the president said of the fallen in an address that followed a wreath-laying ceremony at the Virginia cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

True remembrance, the president said, means supporting the families who lost their loved ones and living a life that embodies the values for which the fallen sacrificed their lives.

“Truly honoring these fallen Americans means being there for spouses and their children,” the president said.

The president also said “we have to do better” in true remembrance of the sacrifices made by the veterans still among us by ensuring they are supported in accessing good health care and jobs upon their return home.

“Truly remembering means that after our fallen heroes gave everything to get their battle buddies home we have to make sure our veterans get everything that they have earned from good health care to a good job,” he said. “And we have to do better, our work is never done. We have to be there not only when we need them but when they need us.”

And in a reminder that the United States remains a nation engaged in active fighting, the president paused to acknowledge the 20 Americans who have given their lives in Afghanistan since last year’s Memorial Day, as well as three in Iraq in the fight against ISIS.

In an emotional moment, Obama told the story of Master Sgt. Josh Wheeler, who died in Iraq, and whose wife, Ashley, was present at Arlington Ceremony along with their 10-month-old son, David. The audience offered an extended applause as the president paused in recognition of the Wheeler family.

“Today [Monday] this husband and father rests here at Arlington in Section 60, and as Americans, we resolve to be better, better people, better citizens because of Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler,” the president said.

Prior to his visit to Arlington Monday morning, the president hosted a breakfast honoring military service organizations at the White House.

The U.S. flag and and the POW/MIA flag are flying at half-staff at the White House Monday.

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Trump Celebrates Memorial Day Weekend with Veterans at Rolling Thunder Rally

ANDREW CABALLERO/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump spent part of his Memorial Day weekend supporting veterans at a motorcycle run through the nation's capital.

At the 29th annual Rolling Thunder rally, which supports Vietnam War veterans, Trump complimented the riders with "the most beautiful bikes I've ever seen in my life" and said Memorial Day was "so important."

"It's our day and we have to be very proud of, and we are very proud of it," he said. "And it's an honor to be with you."

He also railed against the Department of Veteran's Affairs, which has been criticized for having long wait times for veterans at its medical facilities.

"If there's a wait, we're going to give the right for those people to go to a private doctor or even a public doctor, and get themselves taken care of, and we're going to pay the bill," he said. "And that should've happened a long time ago."

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Bernie Sanders Mocks Trump's 'Genius' on California Drought

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(VISALIA, Calif.) -- Bernie Sanders mocked the presumptive Republican nominee for his recent comments on the drought in California, calling out Donald Trump over his dismissal of climate change.

"You see, we don't fully appreciate the genius of Donald Trump, who knows more than all the people of California, knows more than all the scientists," Sanders told the crowd of more than 5,000 people who braved 92 degree heat to hear the senator speak.

Sanders mentioned Trump's recent campaign stops in the Golden State ahead of the June 7 primary.

"[Trump] knows there is no drought. Not to mention, and I love this one, that Trump has concluded that climate change itself is a hoax," Sanders said.

Last week, the businessman made headlines when he argued the state was not actually suffering from drought.

"There is no drought. They turn the water out into the ocean," Trump declared during an event in the San Joaquin Valley less than an hour from where Sanders spoke Sunday.

The businessman blamed the state's water crisis on environmental policies, although the state has experienced record drought. Last year, California capped its driest four-year period on record and the state imposed emergency water restrictions after extremely low rainfall and snow in 2015.

Looking past his primary challenger, Hillary Clinton, Sanders continued to focus on Trump. He said that "despite Donald Trump's brilliant conclusions," every scientist he had talked to agreed climate change was real and the people of California were well aware of the problems it was causing.

"Together, despite Mr. Trump and his Republican colleagues, we are going to take on the fossil fuel industry. We are going to tell them that their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet," the senator added.

Sanders will continue his marathon rally schedule up the state, heading to Frenso and the Bay Area next.

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Will Trump's Muslim Ban Be Included in the GOP Platform? 

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- For those who worry that Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will stray from the party’s core ideology, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso wants to be clear: he won’t.

Sen. Barrasso, who will chair the Republican Platform Committee at the party's convention in Cleveland this summer, said he believes Trump will "embrace" the GOP platform.

What’s still unclear is what that platform will include, as the GOP struggles between traditional party policy and Trump’s key campaign promises.

Chief among those promises is Trump’s temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

When asked by ABC News' Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl whether the ban would be part of the platform, Barrasso did not say no.

“It's going to be a conservative platform that's going to be positive, optimistic, looking to the future, focused on things like jobs, the economy, and national security," Barrasso said on "This Week” on Sunday. "And what he was focused on with that ban is national security.”

When pressed, Barrasso deferred to the delegates who will meet in July.

“It's 112 members of the platform committee, and we've asked Donald Trump to allow the process to play out. He has agreed to do that. And I've asked him personally to embrace the platform and I believe he will. National security will be a big part of it,” he said.

On reforming Social Security and Medicare, an issue close to the heart of House Speaker Paul Ryan and other fiscal conservatives, Trump has also stood in contrast to most Republicans, saying he would not touch any entitlement programs.

Barrasso took a harder line against that.

“They need to continue and be reformed and strengthened so they're there for future generations. And I believe that will be part of the Republican platform coming out of the convention,” he said.

But on immigration, the Republican leader said there will be negotiation with Trump, who has campaigned on a strong anti-illegal immigration platform, centered around building a southern border wall and deporting 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally.

“The platform committee is going to meet on talking about all of these things, and there's going to be agreements with Donald Trump, there's going to be disagreements,” said Barrasso, noting that there may be a “maze” of discussions for the Republican Platform Committee to work through this summer, but the Democrats are going to have to work “through a minefield, which could be explosive.”

“They are deeply divided," he said, but regarding his own party, "I believe we're going to come out of Cleveland united so we can win in November and get the country headed in the right direction.”

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Gary Johnson Wins Libertarian Nomination For President

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson has won the Libertarian nomination for president.

Hoping to emerge as a viable contender against the two major parties' nominees in the general election, Johnson says he aims to tap into voters' broad reluctance to fall in line behind Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

But Johnson needed to fend off challengers from more extreme wings of his party, originally falling five votes short of winning the 463 delegates needed for the nomination on the first ballot. Delegates voted a second time, giving Johnson the majority he needed (55.8 percent).

Johnson defeated five hopefuls to secure his place on top of the Libertarian ticket, which will likely be the only third party on the ballot in all 50 states.

Delegates have yet to vote on Johnson's hand-picked vice presidential pick, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld. Many Libertarians here are wary of Weld, who joined the party less than two weeks ago and endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the Republican primary earlier this election cycle.

Unlike the primary and caucus system used by the Republican and Democratic parties, Libertarian presidential candidates have spent much of the past week debating and wooing delegates, who were free to vote for whomever they choose at the party's national convention.

The Libertarian Party faces an uphill climb to become viable in the general election. A recent Fox News poll shows Johnson at 10 percent in a race against Trump and Clinton, although polling tends to overstate the support of third party candidates.

Johnson was also the party's nominee in 2012, when he received 1 percent of the popular vote - topping 1 million votes for the first time in the party's history.

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Trump Campaign Chief: 'Trouble Follows the Clintons Everywhere'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As he begins to build his strategy for the general election, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump will not only attack his likely Democrat opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but also her husband and family, according to Trump’s campaign chairman and chief strategist.

“Trouble follows the Clinton’s everywhere,” Paul Manafort told ABC News’ Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, during an interview Sunday on This Week.

“People are frustrated with all of the drama around the Clinton family and the history of the Clinton family," he said. "And certainly, if they're going to be back in the political milieu, then their history is relevant to what the American people can expect.”

Manafort added that because Hillary Clinton recently suggested her husband could potentially be in charge of fixing the economy in her administration, “the whole family is up for discussion.”

Manafort also responded to the reversal by his boss who earlier this week appeared eager to debate Sen. Bernie Sanders. "I'd love to debate Bernie, actually,” Trump said during a press conference Thursday.

“I mean, the problem with debating Bernie, he's gonna lose,” he added.

Manafort said Trump's change of heart on the matter came when he secured enough delegates on Thursday to clinch the GOP presidential nomination.

"The question should be, why is Hillary Clinton afraid to debate Bernie Sanders?” he said. (Clinton has rejected multiple offers from the Sanders campaign to debate ahead of the California primaries in just over a week.)

“Bernie should have that chance,” Manafort said, adding that Trump would “debate [whomever] it is that emerges from the system” and becomes the Democratic nominee.

Manafort, who was promoted to his current role as head of the campaign two weeks ago, also dismissed recent media reports citing that some Trump staffers claimed their offices in Trump Tower might have been wiretapped.

“There's a lot of good work going on there and we've been able to develop a campaign that is cohesive, that's working together, and in a record time thanks to a great candidate who has got a vision and connected to the American people, put the campaign in a position to win the presidency," Manafort said.

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Highlights From the Libertarian Party Presidential Debate

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Johnson faced off against his four main rivals on the debate stage on Saturday night, earning some of the night's loudest cheers and boos as he tried to sell his viability in the general election without alienating his party's more hardcore members.


• When asked whether it was wrong for the United States to intervene in WWI? In WWII? Johnson's entire answer was "I don't know." This response got a lot of traction on Twitter as a major red flag for any Libertarian Party momentum.

• Gary Johnson also received boos for saying he would have signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Libertarians object to Title 2 as a violation of the freedom of association.) This response also got traction on Twitter.

• Johnson was the only candidate who said he would require drivers to have licenses, citing possible dangers -- such as blind drivers. The crowd responded by booing loudly.

• Johnson: "If we legalized all drugs tomorrow, the world would be a much better place."

• "I'm not smart enough to say whether global warming is man-made,” said Johnson.

• On immigration: Johnson believes the U.S. should make it "as easy as possible" for people to get work visas. "We need to embrace immigration," said Johnson, adding immigrants "are the cream of the crop. They are not taking jobs that U.S. citizens want."


• Libertarian candidate Austin Petersen, seen widely as Johnson's stiffest competition, said we don't need the government to build roads because "in the future, we’ll have jetpacks."

• Libertarian candidate Marc Feldman says he supports separate bathrooms -- one for people who wash their hands and one for those who don't.

• On global warming: "Whether or not global warming is real not, it’s not the government’s business to fight it,” said Petersen. Only John McAfee acknowledged man-made climate change.

• When asked how they would fund things like healthcare and the military, some of the candidates insisted they would depend on citizens' "voluntary contributions." "The military should be as big as can be on donations and bake sales," said Darryl Perry.

• On immigration: All Libertarian candidates who made the debate agree that the U.S. should have an open-borders policy. "I'd like to build a wall around Donald Trump and make Bernie Sanders pay for it," Petersen said. “If Donald Trump wins the election, we should revolt,” he added.

Delegates at the Libertarian convention in Orlando, Florida, will decide the nominee on Sunday. Most party insiders expect Johnson to win the presidential nod, but stiff competition from extreme wings of the party threatens to drag the voting out for multiple ballots.

Delegates will then vote separately on vice presidential nominations, where leaders here believe the race is more unpredictable. Johnson is pushing for former GOP Gov. Bill Weld, but some delegates are wary, saying he's not a true Libertarian.

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Sanders Campaign Calls for Committee Leadership Changes at Convention 

ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- The Bernie Sanders campaign is calling to remove Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy and former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank from leadership positions on Democratic committees at the national convention, arguing that their allegiance to Hillary Clinton will compromise their neutrality.

In a letter to the Democratic National Committee, Brad Deutsch, counsel to the Sanders campaign, called Malloy and Frank “aggressive attack surrogates for the Clinton campaign.”

"The appointment of two individuals so outspokenly critical of Senator Sanders, and so closely affiliated with Secretary Clinton's campaign, raises concerns that two of the three Convention Standing Committees are being constituted in an overtly partisan way designed to exclude meaningful input from supporters of Senator Sanders' candidacy," Deutsch wrote in a letter to the co-chairs of the DNC rules and bylaws committee, which the Sanders campaign posted on its website.

Malloy is co-chairman of the platform committee, and Frank is head of the rules committee.

Jim Roosevelt and Lorraine Miller, the co-chairs of the Rules and Bylaws Committee, wrote in a letter to Deutsch that they are "compelled to dismiss" his challenge, because there is no allegation that the selection of Malloy and Frank violated any rules of the Democratic Convention.



DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced this week that five Sanders supporters would serve on the platform committee, which is responsible for managing the process of drafting the party's platform. In a release announcing the committee members the DNC said 75 percent of the committee's seats have been allocated to the two presidential campaigns, awarded proportionally according to vote tally, "in an effort to make this the most representative and inclusive process in history."

Concerns about discontent from the Sanders campaign at the convention increased after Nevada's state convention, where Sanders supporters grew rowdy after Clinton received more delegates and maintained the process was usurping democracy.

"People in America have the right to demonstrate. It's kind of what the constitution of the United States is," Sanders said on ABC's "The View" earlier this week when asked about concerns of violence at the convention in Philadelphia.

"It goes without saying that I will condemn any and all forms of violence," he said. "Secretary Clinton and I have different points of view on many of these issues. I don't see anything wrong with a vigorous debate."

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