tv New Day With Alisyn Camerota and John Berman CNN February 19, 2019 5:00am-6:01am PST
up next, big breaking news in the 2020 race for president. a new candidate in the race. let's get right to it. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. good morning and welcome to your "new day." it is tuesday, february 19, 8:00 in the east. we begin with breaking news. vermont senator bernie sanders announced he's running for president. his second campaign. sanders released this campaign video moments ago. >> hi. i'm bernie sanders. i'm running for president. i'm asking you today to be part of an unprecedented grassroots campaign of one million active volunteers in every state in our country. >> senator sanders was the runner-up to hillary clinton four years ago. he wasted no time going after president trump in a new interview this morning. >> it is absolutely imperative
that donald trump be defeated because i think it is unacceptable and un-american, to be frank with you, that we have a president who is a pathological liar. it gives me no pleasure to say that, but it is true. we have a president who is a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe who is trying to divide us up. >> you will remember bernie sanders was the run nerunner-up the 2016 democratic race. he won more than 20 states shaking up the democratic party. cnn's ryan nobles is live in washington with the breaking details. ryan? >> reporter: good morning. of course bernie sanders' entry into the 2020 race doesn't likely come as a surprise to most americans. there was an intense deliberation amongst sanders and
his supporters. he made it official with an e-mail blast this morning including the video explaining his decision to run and how he expects to win this time around. the situation for sanders, of course, much different in 2020 than it was in 2016. he surprised many people four years ago by tapping into a disgruntled democratic base and waking up a powerful progressive movement which in many ways moved the entire democratic party left. many of the issues sanders championed four years ago were thought to be radical. on cbs this morning, sanders made sure to remind voters while many of the issues he first pushed four years ago are now the main stream, he was the one who led the charge. >> you will recall that in 2016 many of the ideas that i talked about -- medicare for all, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making public colleges and universities tuition-free,
all of those ideas people said, oh, bernie, they're so radical, the american people won't accept them. over three years, all of those ideas and more are now part of the political mainstream. >> still with several other candidates joining him now in the progressive lane, sanders will have to run a different campaign this time. he'll have to do much better with women and african-american voters. already his message has been targeted toward those two groups. attempting to make the case that his message of fixing economic inequality would benefit those groups. sanders must contend with issues of sexual harassment in his 2016 campaign. he's apologized and met with some of the accusers and promised things will be different this time. one advantage is he's already built a vast network of small dollar online donors who flooded the campaign with cash four years ago. sanders never turned that off
and it will likely be a big advantage for him in an era where many democratic candidates said they won't take corporate donations or support from super pacs. sanders consistently polls in the top five of the democratic field. can he leverage the recognition into results? republicans seizing on sanders pushing the democratic party left. a spokesman for the rnc saying the vast majority of voters oppose his radical agenda like they'll oppose all the 2020 democrats who rushed to embrace it. >> stand by, ryan. joining us, zjeff zeleny, chris cillizza and nia malika henderson. i want to start with you. the interview is a double-edged sword. bernie sanders is bragging about the fact that he moved the democratic party on major issues
like medicare for all, making public colleges affordable and free in some cases. he's right. the flip side of that is if they all agree with him, why do they need him at this point? >> that's exactly right. as i was watching that i was like, well, if you have already won the issues, why are you running again? you're going to be competing against these folks who he has moved to the left on any number of issues. medicare for all, college. you do see some people in the party. we saw last night in the town hall with amy klobuchar, she's saying she's not bernie sanders. essentially when she talked about paying for college. and kamala harris doing the same thing saying she's not a democratic socialist. they very well know the tag that democrats are too far left. they are flirting with socialism. it's something republicans will
use and we have seen them do it with obama to less effect back years ago. you saw the president in his state of the union address basically shout out socialism and say the american folks are going to battle socialism as if it's a real argument. in talking to people who worked for sanders last go around they talk about his campaign as a movement. they feel they can pick up the movement. you will find a lot of folks backing his campaign in 2016 aren't necessarily going to back it going forward. they have other choices. people who are younger who can put together a multi racial coalition than bernie sanders was able to in 2016. >> a couple of things, chris cillizza. it sounds like he wants credit for building this lane and who can blame him? he says i started this political revolution. i started talking about raising the minimum wage. i'm the person who talked about free public college.
so, remember, it's me. we also heard from mj lee last time that people on the trail were looking for their new bernie sanders. well, now they have vintage bernie sanders. maybe they need to look nowhere else. >> he was the o.g. as it relates to medicare for all, free college. everything nia said. those ideas were considered radical when he started running. i remind people in the 2016 debates with hillary clinton, she laughed off the idea of medicare for all. it won't work. it will undermine obamacare. now you have kamala harris, elizabeth warren, gillibrand and booker all behind the idea. i think the big problem for bernie sanders is he was the onlyiable alternative to hillary clinton. even then he had to really fight to be a viable alternative. there are really only two candidates in the race with apologies to martin o'malley.
there will be ten, and lots more. the issue is do you want bernie sanders or do you want what bernie sanders represented maybe in the form of beto o'rourke or kamala harris or kirsten gillibrand? there's going to be a lot of alternatives on that liberal left he'll struggle with. he's not the underdog at this point. he is a top tier candidate. it's a different race and a different position than 2016. >> the polling has him at number two behind joe biden. you can call that name recognition and it could be the holdover from the last time around for bernie sanders in the race. jeff zeleny, we have made you stand out in the cold up there. we were hearing from mj lee before that there are voters in iowa and new hampshire who are sampling as they do. it's the tradition in the states. in new hampshire where bernie sanders beat hillary clinton by a lot, there are a lot of bernie
sanders voters going to events and listening to other candidates. >> no question. that's how this works. the challenge for bernie sanders is, yes, he has true believers i. suspect he'll always have the true believers. the reality is people looking for an alternative have so many options. the question for bernie sanders is does he have a second act? is he able to convince some of his old supporters to stay in and also show that he can evolve. one advantage is he's run before. that's a huge advantage for a presidential candidate who has been through the wringer and all of this before. this will be so much different for him. i'm looking to see how he's able to expand his argument. is he going to define himself against these individual democratic candidates? it's a sense of ego here as well for bernie sanders. he liked what he did four years ago. he had a strong showing four
years ago particularly here. it depends. he's also seen by some democrats as a spoiler. if you talk to democrats in michigan, in wisconsin, places he won that hillary clinton ended up losing, he's seen by some as someone who essentially had a spoiling effect. we'll see what his next act is here. i would not write bernie sanders out of the conversation at all. it's just much more difficult for him. it's also a challenge for the others trying to soak up a piece of his support as well. >> sounds like bernie sanders is saying i don't need a second act. i have the old act. >> you still like the old act. >> everybody is imitating my old act. ryan, what's happening with claims of sexual harassment in his campaign from last time around? have those been put to rest? >> i don't think we can say that yet. people who considered themselves
victims of those claims do feel bernie sanders himself and the campaign at large have taken positive steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. what's interesting and a few people pointed to the loyal base of support for bernie sanders, that extends to even those who felt they were victims of sexual harassment during the campaign. i talked to several people who felt they were victims but they still believe in bernie sanders the man and his mission. they want to give him the opportunity to fix the problem going forward. in a crowded democratic field when you talk to rank and file democrats who are essentially looking for the best candidate, if you've got several other candidates that are essentially espousing the same things bernie sanders are and they don't also have the companion problem of a sexual harassment allegation hanging over their campaign it's something that could set bernie sanders aside. one thing about the sexual harassment claims is you don't
see a lot of criticism from the democratic opponents of bernie sanders. at least not yet. that's because there is a sense that this is something that happens in a lot of campaigns. if you start to probe into bernie sanders' campaign, all campaigns will be subject to that as well. we'll see how it plays out. >> to add to ryan's point, one other thing to remember about bernie sanders is he's a 77-year-old white male running in a party that in 2018 showed it is more diverse than ever. women both as candidates and as powerful voters. african-american, hispanic, native american, younger candidates. this is in some ways the same problem joe biden will have. does a party that's increasingly
diversifying across race, certainly getting younger, is this the person you want to nominate to front a party to face a septuagenarian president of the united states who is also a white male? that was an issue in 2016. we didn't know who the republican nominee would be. now we know donald trump is waiting at the end of the tunnel. >> all right, friends. thank you very much for that. bernie sanders now in the race, a field that's getting bigger with more familiar names. we are still waiting on others including the former vice president joe biden. >> maybe that will happen in the next 45 minutes. breaking news in the russia investigation. fired fbi acting director andrew mccabe now says he told top congressional leaders that the bureau was investigating president trump. reaction from a senator on the intelligence committee next. her, and a dock with a boat, maybe.
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breaking news. andrew mccabe with a new revelation from his tell-all book. mccabe says he informed top leaders in congress, the gang of 8, he ordered the fbi to launch a counter-intelligence probe on president trump in may of 2017. listen to this. >> the purpose of the briefing was to let our congressional leadership know exactly what we had been doing. opening a case of this nature. not something an fbi director, an acting fbi director would do by yourself. this was a recommendation from
my team. i reviewed it with our lawyers, discussed it -- >> did you tell congress? >> i told congress what we had done. >> did anyone object? >> that's the important part here, savannah. no one objected. not on legal grounds, constitutional grounds or based on the facts. >> joining us now is angus king, a member of the senate intelligence committee. we are just hearing it for the first time. mccabe said he said he was opening a counter-intelligence investigation. the fbi on the president. no one objected. what does that tell you that the members of congress didn't object? >> first, i want to give you breaking news. i have decided to announce on your program this morning i am not running for president. >> you're the first. >> there's got to be a first somewhere, at least in the u.s. senate. a serious question. i think an important point that
andrew mccabe did brief the gang of 8, leaders on both sides of the intelligence committee and members of the house and senate. obviously they can respond and say, yes, the briefing took place, no, it didn't or i objected or, no, i didn't. that's an important part of the story. the fbi had reason to believe there was something to investigate. they didn't reach conclusions. but that's their job is to protect the country from threats, particularly counterespionage threats. the fact that congress was briefed is an important part of the story. they weren't trying to do something subrosa, behind anybody's back or a secret coup. i'm sure you'll have interviews with mitch mcconnell, paul ryan, richard burr, the various people who were in the briefing.
>> you used the word coup which is a word some of the president's allies are using. the president used the word treason for the actions of andrew mccabe opening up the counter-intelligence investigation. is that how you see it? >> no, sir. that's a misuse of the term. the president is confusing himself with the united states of america. it was french kings who said, i am the state. in our system, that's not true. when you join an administration you take an oath to uphold the constitution. you don't take an oath to support any particular president or majority leader or anything else. no. that's an inappropriate use of that term. andrew mccabe apparently -- and i don't know all the facts. i only know what i have heard in the last few days. the team, the people on the fbi felt there was a threat to national security. they had an obligation to investigate it and notified congress that it was ongoing. >> the fact that they thought there was a threat to national
security, we lose sight of how remarkable that the. >> it is. i think they felt at the time it was extraordinary. he said in the little clip that nothing like this has ever happened. they were looking at the terms of the firing of jim comey, what the president said afterwards. and they had questions they felt needed to be answered. >> another development over the last 24 hours, chris ruddy, a friend of president trump's, he runs news max, said that the president is considering firing the director of national intelligence, dan coats because coats went before your committee testifying about threats around the world and answered questions. he said he didn't think kim jong-un would give up his pursuit of nuclear weapons. apparently that upset the president.
is that grounds for losing a job? >> no. it's bad news on a series of levels. dan coats is an honest, upright, thoughtful guy, a thorough-going republican, by the way. he enunciated his obligations clearly in the hearing. he said, my job, the job of the intelligence community is to speak the truth. worldwide threats is an annual hearing. the head of the agencies come in and give us the best data they have about what's going on in the world. the important thing here, john, is the message that sends if, in fact, dan coats is pushed out which i hope isn't the case. he's a great public servant. if he is, the message is don't give me the facts. don't give the people the facts. that's what the intelligence community is all about. when they start cooking the data to suit the policy preferences
of the president or the congress or the secretary of state or anybody else, that's when we get into trouble. that's vietnam, iraq. that's how we make big policy mistakes is when we start getting, pushing to have the data. what's the message dan coats pushed out? the message to the intelligence community is shade the data, cook it, slant it, don't tell the man what he wasndoesn't wan hear. >> the chairman, richard burr, said he's seen no direct evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and russia. you sit on the committee. you have seen almost the same evidence the chairman has. do you agree with his assessment? >> i think you have to parse his words carefully. the key word he used is direct. i think if you are looking for a smoking gun that's true. i think there is a great deal of circumstantial evidence. also, we're not finished yet.
there are important people we have to talk to, that we have to get information from who have a central role in this. i'm not ready to reach that conclusion. people heard what richard burr said and took it as a kind of blanket exoneration. if you are talking about a smoking gun, no. rarely in any legal matter is there a smoking gun. >> quickly, you announced you are not running for president of the united states. we were not expecting you to make an announcement. your independent senator colleague bernie sanders of vermont announced about two hours ago that he is running for president. what do you think of that? >> well, i think the more voices, the better. one of the things you have to observe, and i sit next to two presidential candidates. i sit near kamala harris and elizabeth warren. bernie sits a few seats away from me. i think the important thing is there is a series of very credible candidates, people who
have a lot of good thinking. people i have worked with for years. amy klobuchar announced last week. i think the important thing is the american people and the democratic party are going to have real choices. i don't think that's anything but good for democracy. >> senator angus king from maine, thank you very much for being with us this morning. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> all right, john. last month she took a break from twitter after saying she was harassed online. today she's back with an apology and a new viewpoint. why cnn contributor kirsten powers said she's not proud today. we'll have a great talk with her next. ♪
zone to reflect on the role i may have played in what has become a dangerously toxic culture. i'm not proud of what i have found. she joins us now. i'm glad we're having the conversation with you. who among us doesn't find twitter to be a toxic cesspool? i appreciate that you are sort of taking responsibility publicly for what you think your role is. what did you find during your twitter break? >> it's interesting now reflecting back. i did a thread on this. a lot of people walked away from it thinking i was just talking about covington, but i was talking about a much broader issue. that was one example where i felt that i wasn't proud of my role. but there are many other places where i could say that. honestly, there are places i could say that i haven't been proud of the way i behaved on
television or in my columns. it's something that permeates outside of twitter. we're in this culture where i feel like we have to make snap decisions about situations and this actually isn't even about the wait for information thing. even based on the information you have in front of you, we are often pushed to say should governor northam step down. should so and so who was accused by two women but there's been no trial, no investigation, should they have to step down. we are constantly asked to make snap judgments. i don't think there is enough of a conversation about there but for the grace of god go i, for example. there is a lot of finger-pointing and, oh, i'm better than this and i can cast judgment on that. that's not what i believe. alisyn, you know me pretty well. that's not my world view. i looked at the stuff i was
doing and thought this doesn't really reflect what i believe. this isn't what i want to be doing. i don't want to participate in this. >> let me read a little bit more of what you wrote. by the way, when i read it, i really took more than this is about twitter or covington. you said, i want to stand on the side of justice and equality and also of grace. i have failed to do that. part of grace is recognizing my own fallibility and imperfect judgment and reminding myself that there but for the grace of god go i. it's incredibly wonderful and brave for you to do this. but does it occur to you that you are going to unilaterally disarm in a way? you are going to do this, but what if all the other people don't do it also? the haters out there. >> yeah. i did get a lot of -- surprisingly most of the feedback was positive. i did have a lot of people saying, no, you need to be calling things out.
you need to say these things. i'm still going to call things out, stand up for justice and equality. we need to have a conversation at some point that addresses the fact that the punishment doesn't always fit the crime. by that what i mean is, you know, even in the case of the covington school, i guess what i would have wanted was for them to maybe be disciplined in some way by their school and there be a reconciliation. they would apologize for whatever part they played in it. nathan phillips could apologize for whatever part he played and there could be reconciliation. in the current climate we live in, that was naive of me. what happens to people is they don't get -- i know a lot of people are saying, no, there shouldn't have been any punishment. but for people who thought there should be punishment, in this day and age, that is never going to be the punishment. the punishment is going to be that you are going to have this
following you around for life. i don't think for teenagers or even for adults, i don't think people are the sum of their worst moments. instead, we create this caricature that this person is pros frozen in time around this one thing they did. people say, i would never do that. good for you. you have never done anything wrong. i can't say that. fortunately my stupid things aren't on camera. that didn't happen when i was a teenager. i look back on it. so i think there is a way to hold people accountable. but in a way that puts it in perspective. i don't know if that makes sense. >> it makes perfect sense. it's a challenge not to denigrate our own bread and butter. on cable news there is a feeling of you were asked to analyze and comment on outrageous things. sometimes outrageous things are happening and your challenge
will be how to do it in a nonjudgmental way and that will be a challenge in a 20-second sound bite. this is the vehicle that we used to have the national dialogue. it will be a challenge. >> yes. it's a challenge and also, i think, because what ends up happening is everything gets politicized. if you were to say, well, let's have grace and how do you know you wouldn't have done something like this. for a certain group of people they say, that shows you're not taking it seriously. no, no, no. i'm not saying it wasn't really bad. i'm just saying we have to keep it in perspective and not take this person and act like this is 100% who they are. that there is nothing else about them that's laudable or good. another thing i brought up in the thread is i was one of the people who called for al franken to resign. i have had friends come to me and say, we should have waited. there should have been an investigation.
the more i thought about it, in my need to be so consistent and pure in my principles, maybe that wasn't the right choice. do you know what i mean? i have to step back and think, maybe the right thing to do would have been to let it run its course. i want me too to be taken seriously, but we have to think about the individuals that are involved and bigger issues. >> part of analysis is self-analysis and self-awareness. i appreciate you are so radically honest about some of this stuff. we really appreciate having the conversation. >> thank you for having me on. >> self-reflection is rare and getting rarer. taking responsibility is getting rarer. >> we applaud her. here's what else to watch today.
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we have breaking news now. fashion designer carl lagerfeld has died. he had been in failing health recently. he was noticeably absent from chanel's fashion show in paris last month. he's best known as being the creative director for chanel for more than three decades. he was head designer and creative designer at fendi and had his own fashion label. he was 85 years old. >> a towering figure in the industry. a grand jury has been convened to look into new allegations against singer r. kelly. cnn viewed a videotape that
appears to show him engaging in sex acts with an underaged girls. some of the details you will hear are graphic. sarah sidner joins us live with the latest from chicago. >> reporter: we are standing outside of r. kelly's studio. we should mention this is 11 years since he was put on trial on 14 counts of child pornography. he was acquitted in the trial. now we are hearing from sources that a grand jury has been convened and it involves r. kelly and potentially an underaged girl. sources tell cnn a grand jury has been convened in connection with new allegations against r & b singer r. kelly. this comes just days after attorney michael avenotti says a videotape shows r. kelly engaged in illegal acts with a 14-year-old girl. >> i have been working on this for ten months on behalf of
multiple clients. we have engaged in exhaustive investigation. i'm happy we were able to locate this. >> reporter: cnn can confirm the existence of the tape and the content, but cannot verify the age of the girl as there is no date on the video. the vhs tape is 42 minutes long. it is clear and shows numerous sex acts. in one scene you see a naked man who appears to be r. kelly and a girl who repeatedly calls him daddy and at least half a dozen times refers to her 14-year-old genitalia. r. kelly also repeat it is age of her genitalia. the details on the video are important. they could be used as a piece of evidence if a case is brought against kelly. they mirror details in a 2008 child pornography case that was brought against kelly in which he was acquitted. the cooke county state's attorney would not confirm or deny if there is an investigation into kelly. his attorney said no one from law enforcement contacted me or
my client regarding any potential investigation. the grand jury proceedings are, by law, supposed to be secret. to the extent people are commenting on what may or may not be going on today are possibly violating the law. r. kelly has repeatedly denied al allegations of statutory rape. for decades he's been accused of inappropriate relationships with minors. >> you don't get over a lot of this stuff. >> you need to see how you have ruined lives. >> reporter: new information comes on the heels of a six-hour series called "surviving r. kelly" on lifetime. women came forward accusing r. kelly of sexually violating them when they were minors. following the series in january the cook county state attorney's office asked for alleged victims to come forward. >> we cannot do anything without the cooperation of victims and witnesses. that's why i am here today to encourage anyone who has information to please come
forward. >> reporter: we should also mention all of this coming as a group of women who created mute r. kelly have stopped his music from being played on radio stations and have managed to have some of his concerts cancelled. this as the grand jury has convened. >> thank you very much for the update on that disturbing story. now to this. two law enforcement sources are casting doubt on empire actor jussie smollett's allegations of a hate crime. >> and women who escaped sex trafficking to create a new beginning. here's today's impact your world. >> i was trafficked out of an apartment. several men on the hour every hour, one at a time. i was just a shell. how do you help somebody going through this? how do you get them back into life to be able to take care of themselves? my name is gabby.
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jussie smollett claims he was physically attacked by two men last month who were yelling racial and homophobic slurs. law enforcement believes he paid two brothers to perpetrate the attack on him. jussie smollett denies orchestrating the attack. what's next legally? joining us is cnn legal analyst jeffrey toobin, former federal prosecutor and chief legal analyst. let me start with you. jussie smollett says he was attacked. it sounds like from local news stations in chicago police may now have evidence of things from the brothers, the alleged suspects that they may have found receipts for evidence such as a rope and bleach two items
jussie smollett said he was attacked with. how will police determine who is telling the truth? >> a lot of it has to do with credibility. these two men who were brought in to be questioned by the police were originally thought to be suspects. now we hear from the chicago police department they are not suspects. but apparently they are cooperating with the chicago police department. the police department is going to look at things like the receipts for the items, bleach, rope. they are going to look at their records in terms of apparently they used a ride sharing vehicle to get to the location where the alleged attack occurred. they are going to collect the evidence and it will be the credibility of these witnesses. what are they saying? does their story make sense? does the story comport with the physical evidence the police have to date? we also know the police have talked to jussie smollett. even though it's not clear that he'll give a second or subsequent interview to the police, he did provide
information to the police. so they are going to look at his prior statements and comparing that to the statements of the two individuals to make determination about who is telling the truth. this has been a baffling story that started with what appeared to be a very serious, perhaps even a hate crime perpetrated against jussie smollett. now for him to be perhaps looked at as the person who orchestrated the entire event. rieg away there were questionable things about this. there was no videotape but lots of cameras in the well lit parking lot where he said it happened. if jussie smollett is found to have created this hoax, what's the punishment? >> well, filing false police reports is a crime. it is rarely prosecuted. but it can be a crime. frankly it probably should be if that's what happened here. i have followed this story with
one thought in mind. >> what is that? >> don't jump to conclusions. you saw politicians do it here. you saw people in the news media do it here. given the work we do, we're on live tv. react immediately, tell us who's guilty. it just is such a great lesson, this story. you have to take a breath, see what the evidence turns out to be because, first of all, it's just the right thing to do. second, you can wind up looking like an idiot as several politicians have, it seemed, in light of what happened here. that's the lesson at least selfishly that i have taken from the story. >> that's a very good lesson. also when you say allegedly and reportedly before some things that have come out, you can cover yourself because until the police say it, until the police say there is an indictment, everything is alleged. >> it's even alleged after --
>> i disagree with that. i agree that obviously people who are involved in live tv like those of us who are part of this conversation, we have to be careful what we say. jussie smollett didn't have a history of making false claims. this is not someone who had a criminal record or had been engaged in conduct to cause us to question or disbelieve the accusations he was making. so although i do think there is always room for judgment. there's always room to be analytical and more thoughtful in commentary, this isn't the case for me that would have caused us to disbelieve anything he said. this man had a promising career. he's on a successful series. he had a promising music career. the question has been what could he possibly have gained from making such allegations? >> what's the motive?
it's a head scratcher in terms of the motive. you're right. it is all alleged until a conviction. >> there is a great hbo documentary on about the great new york city columnist. one of the interesting parts is how jimmy breslin, when the central park joggers, the attackers were arrested he was one of the only people who said, slow down, let's not convict these people yet. they were unjustly accused. good lesson for all of us. >> he was right. thank you very much. we have big breaking 2020 news this morning. bernie sanders jumps in the race. what does that do to the field? we'll discuss it next. liberty mutual accident forgiveness
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a very good tuesday morning to you. poppy has the day off today. he was a lone voice on the far left in 2016. now bernie sanders is the newest voice to enter the 2020 democratic presidential race. it's a crowded one. he's far from alone, even in his most progressive positions. but the vermont independent said he has not changed, the country has. sanders announced his campaign on the web in a morning show te