AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Anne Frank’s stepsister, 86-year-old Eva Schloss, compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler in a column published by Newsweek on Wednesday.

“I think [Trump] is acting like another Hitler by inciting racism,” wrote Schloss, an Auschwitz concentration survivor. “During his U.S. presidential campaign he has suggested the ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,’ as well as pledging to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out.”

Schloss added, “If Donald Trump became the next president of the U.S. it would be a complete disaster.”

Schloss, who was once a Jewish refugee in Amsterdam, wrote the criticism of Trump as part of a larger opinion piece for International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27).

This year’s theme was “Don’t stand by.” Schloss noted the theme was “particularly important now with the refugee crisis going on as more people than ever are being bystanders.”

The 86-year-old said the refugee “situation today is worse than it was under Hitler because at that time all the Allies — the U.S., Russia and Britain — worked together to combat the terrible threat of Nazisim,” but such is not the case in the fight against terrorism today.

“I am very upset that today again so many countries are closing their borders,” she wrote. “It is even harder for today’s Syrian refugees who have a very different culture. We were Europeans as well as Jews — we were assimilated.”

She added, “I remember how upset the world was when the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 and now everybody is building walls again to keep people out. It’s absurd.”

Schloss is the daughter of Erich Geirginger and Elfriede Geiringer. Her father died in Auschwitz, and her mother — who survived — later remarried to Otto Frank, the father of Anne Frank.

Donald Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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Jim Watson/Getty Images(BALTIMORE, Md.) — He may have decided to sit out the presidential race, but Vice President Joe Biden still loves a good political fight.

In an energetic speech to House Democrats in Baltimore on Thursday, Biden urged members to run on Democrats’ achievements over the last seven years and their contrasts with Republicans.

“We don’t do it nearly enough,” he said. “We never talk about what they’re really for.”

He also said Democrats could benefit from the GOP presidential primary.

“By the way, we may be given a gift from the lord in the presidential race,” Biden said in a reference to the GOP field. “I don’t know who to root for more.”

“What’s that guy’s name? He’s having a fundraiser for veterans,” he joked.

Another election-year “gift” for Democrats? The Ryan budget passed by House Republicans in 2014, Biden said.

“You guys don’t have to make anything up,” he said to laughs. “It’s real. That’s what they passed.”

Biden, who acknowledged his tendency to be the “optimist, the new kid on the block,” believes House Democrats can “take back the House when nobody expects it.”

He also offered to campaign in members’ districts, “for you or against you, whatever helps the most.”

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is not interested in being a Supreme Court Justice after he leaves the White House, despite Hillary Clinton loving the idea of appointing her were she elected president.

“His aspirations for his post-presidency extend beyond a Supreme Court appointment,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told ABC News Thursday.

“I think as a constitutional lawyer that the president… would have plenty of things and plenty of ideas for how he would do a job like that. But I think his preferences for how he wants to spend his time after he leaves the White House would lie in areas that would give him the opportunity to handle a wider range of issues than just those issues that come before the court,” he said.

While the president has not ruled it out entirely, he previously told the New Yorker he thinks the Court is “too monastic” for him.

At a campaign event on Tuesday, Clinton was asked if she would consider appointing Obama to the Court is she becomes president.

“I love that!” she said.

“I would certainly take that under advisement,” she said. “I mean, he’s brilliant, and he can set forth an argument, and he was a law professor, so he has the credentials.”

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US Congress(WASHINGTON) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released his medical records on Thursday.

The Sanders campaign circulated a doctor’s note from Sanders’ physician for the last 26 years, Rear Adm. Brian P. Monahan, who is the attending physician of the United States Congress.

Monahan wrote that Sanders is in “very good health” and weighed 179 pounds at his most recent physical exam on Nov. 18, 2015.

Sanders, 74, is the oldest candidate running for president and would be the oldest president elected to office if he wins the race. The next oldest candidates are Donald Trump, 69, Hillary Clinton, 68, and Ben Carson, 64.

Politico reported last Sunday that David Brock, head of the Clinton super PAC Correct the Record, would call on the Vermont senator to release his medical records if the campaign did not do so voluntarily.

Clinton campaign chair John Podesta tweeted at Brock to “chill out.” Afterwards, Brock released a statement denying any truth to the Politico report and said Correct the Record will not be going after Sanders for his medical records.

Clinton released a health statement from her doctor over the summer saying that she is in “excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States.”

Michael Briggs, Sanders’ communications director, told ABC News in a statement that the campaign planned “all along” to release medical information from his physician before the primaries and caucuses.

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ABC News(DES MOINES, Iowa) — We’re just hours away from the final Republican presidential debate before next Monday’s Iowa caucuses. But there’s one major difference: Donald Trump won’t be on the stage.

The Republican front-runner is waging war with Fox News and decided this week to boycott Thursday night’s debate.

Seven other candidates will take to the main stage in Des Moines, Iowa, at 9 p.m. ET. Here are five things to watch for:

1. Without Trump, Ted Cruz will draw most of the fire.

For the first time, Sen. Ted Cruz will be standing behind the center lectern, a spot that Trump has previously claimed.

With Trump and Cruz locked in a tight battle for the lead in Iowa, other candidates like Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rand Paul will be attempting to boost their standing with Iowa voters.

Meanwhile, Cruz will be fending off attacks from his competitors on stage while also trying to win over any Trump voters who are still on the fence.

2. Will Trump’s absence help or hurt his campaign?

“Most Trump supporters are set on supporting him so perhaps it’s not as crucial for him to be on stage,” Matt Strawn, the former chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, told ABC News.

But according to David Yepsen, the director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, Trump risks alienating undecided and first-time caucus goers.

It’s unlikely that Trump’s poll numbers will see a dramatic dip given how he’s fared so far in the race.

“If past performance is any indication of future coverage, we’ll all be talking about Trump Friday morning,” Strawn said.

3. A change of heart in the 11th Hour?

Although Trump is holding an event at the same time as the debate, is it possible for Trump to change his mind last minute? Yes.

Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer said that “we can make the accommodations up to pretty close to go time” on MSNBC Thursday morning.

But even if Trump is not on stage, expect the moderators and the other candidates to bring him up.

4. Will Marco Rubio get his moment?

The Florida senator, who trails behind Cruz and Trump, will get the largest lift from Trump not being on stage.

Rubio told Megyn Kelly last night, “Obviously leaves more time for the rest of us.”

He’ll take the stage on the heels of a brand new NBC/WSJ/Marist poll in Iowa showing him at 18 percent support — a strong third place and his highest backing in any poll in the state yet.

5. Candidates make their final pitches to Iowa voters.

Ben Carson, who was once neck-and-neck with Trump at the top of the polls, will also find Trump’s absence valuable given that he spoke the least at the last debate.

Chris Christie, John Kasich and Jeb Bush will also be trying to woo undecided voters in Iowa.

Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Jim Gilmore — who hit 1 percent in a recent national poll for the first time since August — will be competing in the undercard debate for a last-ditch effort to gain any meaningful support.

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ABC/Randy Sager(NEW YORK) — One 20-year-old voter in Iowa presented Chris Christie with a wager: If the New Jersey governor could get him a ticket to Thursday night’s GOP debate in Iowa, he would caucus for him on Feb. 1.

“You’re in my top three of candidates. You would be number one if I could a ticket to the Republican debate on the 28th,” Sam Kuznetsov, a finance student at the University of Iowa, challenged Christie at a campaign event in Sioux City earlier this month.

Christie agreed to the wager.

“Write down your name and number, and I’ll see what I can do,” Christie told him. “I like your boldness. I like that. I like people who ask for what they want.”

“I figured why not try it and see what happens,” Kuznetsov told ABC News. “It was something that you might as well try to ask.”

A Christie campaign staffer approached Kuznetsov to get his contact information. But it wasn’t until this Tuesday that Kuznetsov got the call he had been waiting for: the Christie campaign had secured him a ticket to the debate.

Christie’s Iowa political director Kevin Poindexter wanted to make sure that Kuznetsov was still planning to follow through on his end of the bargain.

“[He] just asked if I would be caucusing for [Christie] … and then asked if I was still interested,” Kuznetsov recalled of his phone conversation with Poindexter.

Kuznetsov said he had listened to all of the Republican candidates’ pitches in Iowa. He had considered throwing his support behind Ted Cruz or Donald Trump but said he liked Christie’s direct tone and agreed with Christie’s values and policy proposals.

But ultimately it was the debate ticket that tipped the scale for Kuznetsov. And now, he said, he’s looking forward to Thursday night’s debate.

“I’m thrilled to get to go, I think it’s awesome,” Kuznetsov said. “It’s pretty rare for somebody to say yeah and actually give you one.”

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Most Americans expect that Hillary Clinton would prevail against her leading GOP opponent in November, while Bernie Sanders’ chances are rated less well. The thought of Donald Trump as president inspires high levels of public anxiety.

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll also finds Americans divided about the need for a third party in this country – but not so divided about a potential independent run by Trump, should he fail to win the GOP nomination. Fewer than a quarter say they’d even consider voting for him as an independent candidate for president.

With Trump as the GOP nominee vs. Clinton, 54 percent of Americans say they’d expect Clinton to win; among registered voters (a more GOP-leaning group), Clinton has 52 percent support. Clinton’s seen by much wider margins as beating Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. Sanders, for his part, is seen as beating Cruz or Rubio – but potentially losing to Trump.

See PDF with full results here.

Differences among partisans help explain the results in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are especially confident in a Clinton victory; 78 to 85 percent view her as the likely victor (including 89 to 94 percent of her own primary supporters). Leaned Democrats are less confident in Sanders; that’s particularly true of Clinton supporters.

Leaned Republicans are about as confident that Trump would beat Clinton (75 percent) as are leaned Democrats that Clinton would beat Trump (78 percent). But leaned Republicans are far less certain about either Cruz or Rubio beating Clinton – 63 and 61 percent, respectively, expect it. That fits with ABC/Post poll results, reported Tuesday, showing that Trump is viewed within his party as its most electable nominee.

Still, there are sharp divisions in expectations for Trump among leaned Republicans, reflecting the party’s polarization. Trump’s primary supporters almost unanimously see him defeating either Clinton or Sanders (by 93 and 98 percent, respectively). Eighty-two percent of those who support outsiders Cruz and Carson also think Trump would beat Clinton, but this slides to 57 percent of those who support any of the other GOP candidates. Supporters of more conventional candidates on the GOP side are skeptical of a Cruz victory vs. Clinton as well.

There also are substantial differences by education. Among those with college degrees, Clinton and Sanders clearly outpace the GOP competition. Those without a college degree have similar expectations about the chances of Cruz and Rubio, but are substantially more bullish on Trump, reflecting in part his strength in this group.

Anxiety vs. comfort

While Trump leads the top GOP candidates in expectations, he inspires significant concerns among Americans as they contemplate him as president. Seven in 10 say they’re “anxious” about the idea as Trump as president, including 51 percent who feel that way strongly. In contrast, a bare majority says a Clinton presidency would make them anxious.

Of the candidates tested, only Sanders comes out ahead in terms of comfort vs. anxiety: Fifty percent of Americans are comfortable with the idea of a Sanders presidency vs. 43 percent who are anxious about it. Americans are more nervous than calm about Cruz (-8 points), and slightly more concerned about Rubio and Clinton (both -5).

The differences across candidates largely reflect partisanship, with the exception of Trump; he generates anxiety even among 44 percent of leaned Republicans and 50 percent of conservatives (including 60 percent of “somewhat” conservatives vs. 38 percent of those who describe themselves as very conservative). Anxiety about Clinton in her own party is far lower.

Trump inspires particular anxiety among nonwhites and women:

  • Nine in 10 blacks and eight in 10 Hispanics are nervous about the thought of him as president vs. 62 percent of whites. Anxiety among nonwhites drops substantially for Rubio and Cruz.
  • Women are 17 points more likely than men to be anxious about a Trump presidency, while the gender gap is smaller for Rubio and Cruz. Men are cooler than women to the idea of a Clinton presidency, though no different than women in their reaction to Sanders as president.

Among other groups, Americans living in rural areas are much warmer to the idea of Trump as president. Half would be comfortable with it, compared with just 30 percent of suburbanites and 20 percent of city-dwellers.

Third party

Americans are as divided as ever about the idea of a third party; their 48-48 percent split on the question is nearly identical to its level at this time four years ago.

Desire for a third party is not strongly related to various measures of discontent, but instead divides more on modernist vs. traditionalist lines. It peaks among those who are not religious (65 percent), independents (60 percent) and 18- to 29-year-olds (59 percent). Liberals and moderates are more likely than conservatives to see a need for a third party. Nearly two-thirds of strong conservatives reject the idea, as do six in 10 seniors and evangelical Protestants. So do six in 10 blacks.

Overall, 31 percent of Americans say they’d want Trump to run as a third-party candidate if he fails to win the GOP nomination. A quarter of those who would want him to run wouldn’t consider actually voting for him – primarily Democrats, apparently hoping to damage the GOP nominee. That leaves just nine percent of Americans who say they’d definitely vote for Trump and 14 percent who say they’d consider it as an independent candidate.

Somewhat ominously for the GOP, nearly half of Trump’s current supporters among leaned Republicans say they’d definitely vote for him as an independent, with another quarter saying they’d consider it.

Further, four in 10 Americans who want an outsider for president, and four in 10 of those who think that immigrants mainly weaken society – Trump’s base groups – also say they’d at least consider him as an independent candidate. His chances of winning aside, that could be enough to seriously alter the dynamics in the general election contest.


This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by landline and cellular telephone Jan. 21-24, 2016, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,001 adults. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points, including the design effect, for the full sample, and 4 points for all registered voters. Partisan divisions are 34-23-34 percent, Democrats-Republicans-independents.

The survey was produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates of New York, N.Y., with sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York, N.Y. See details on the survey’s methodology here.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa) — Eight days before Iowans were set to participate in the first nominating contest for the White House, Rick Santorum, who carried the state’s GOP caucuses last time around, nodded off in a church in central Iowa.

The former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania has held a grueling schedule that has taken him to all 99 counties in the Hawkeye State, a feat long seen as an important notch in a candidate’s belt in a state where retail politics and face-to-face meetings are treasured. He did the same four years ago, propelling him to victory here.

But hitting every corner of Iowa may no longer prove as crucial in a year when some candidates have traded in a campaign car or bus for a private plane to strategically hit certain towns and cities. Ted Cruz is the only candidate at the front of the pack who is still attempting to do it, but it’s no longer a campaign requirement.

“The more you let people know that you take Iowa seriously, the better chance you have of doing it,” U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, after whom the statewide accomplishment, the “Full Grassley,” is named, told ABC News. “Visiting all 99 counties is one way of doing it, but it’s not the only way of doing it.”

The greatest knock against the process may be the fact that the only candidates who have accomplished it this cycle are two who have enjoyed the lowest levels of support in the polls: Santorum and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won the state’s Republican caucuses in 2008, after hitting all 99 counties then, too.

“It’s planting seeds,” Santorum told ABC News Sunday after a church service. He visited all the counties during the spring and summer last year, and has since returned to many. “If you plant the seeds, even, you know, from six months ago, people remember you, they’ve been with you, they’ve talked to you. It turned out, in the past, that that’s been a real big help for us.”

Cruz, who is holding upwards of seven campaign events per day across the state, told reporters this week he’ll complete the “Full Grassley” on Monday, just hours before Iowans make their picks.

Grassley said his eponymous voter-engagement tactic, which he carries out annually, may not necessary give a boost to past winners like Huckabee and Santorum. He said caucus-goers ultimately saw them lose their nominating races and may not think are best fit to run the country after it has undergone so much change since previous cycles.

“I would never assume that Iowans expect their presidential candidates to go to every county,” Grassley said, “but because of the reputation of the ‘Full Grassley,’ that’s one way for them to get publicity and, with a few words, say, ‘I’m interested in what every Iowan in the state has to say.’”

Completing the “Full Grassley” requires spending a significant amount of time in the state; Santorum has been in Iowa 90 days and Huckabee 76. But, frontrunner Donald Trump has only been in Iowa 33 days this election.

“Iowa voters, they decide late, and people who don’t think they do have not read history very carefully and looked at the caucuses,” Huckabee said on Fox News earlier this month. “I say they date everybody in the field, but they don’t put a ring on it until wedding day.”

But Trump has been out front in Iowa since July, and his supporters show no signs of abandoning him on caucus night Monday, if they turn out. Whether it helps Cruz remains to be seen.

Grassley said the reason he started traveling the state every year was that he didn’t want his constituents thinking that he only cared about them when it was election season. He said he believes Iowans see right through that.

“I want people to know that I’m interested in what they have to say when I’m not running for re-election as I am when I’m running for re-election,” he said.

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iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Republican presidential candidate and frontrunner, Donald Trump, said Wednesday night that he was “pushed away” from participating in the next GOP debate.

Trump, who withdrew from the contest, made the remarks on Fox News. He has been feuding with the network over what he says was mistreatment in the first GOP debate.

“I don’t like being taken advantage of…I’m not going to let our country be taken advantage of,” Trump said. “I don’t think it’s really a bad personality trait,” adding that he is not walking away, but rather “was pushed away.”

Trump said he will not forgive anchor Megyn Kelly, who moderated the debate and has drawn Trump’s scorn after she questioned his treatment of women.

“It’s called an eye for an eye,” Trump said.

“When you are mistreated as we were with the Iran deal, our country should have walked,” Trump said comparing his dealings with Fox to the Obama Administration’s negotiations with Iran.

O’Reilly repeatedly encouraged Trump to attend. “You have 60 seconds right off the top to tell any of the moderators you’re a pinhead, your questions are unfair and here is why and here is what I want to say. By walking away from it, you lose an opportunity to persuade people that you are a strong leader. That’s my opinion,” he said.

Trump in turn promoted his counter event Thursday night, also in Iowa, which he said will raise money for veterans’ organizations.

“I’ll have much more than 60 seconds…and I can do some good,” the billionaire said. “I just don’t like being used,” Trump said, referring to the ratings of the debates.

Trump’s event Thursday night will be held at Drake University beginning at the exact same time that the Fox News debate will kick off. The GOP frontrunner will be campaigning all weekend in Iowa, crisscrossing the state, ahead of the caucuses Monday night.

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Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images(MASON CITY, Iowa) – Actress and activist Susan Sarandon got teary as she introduced Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail Wednesday in front of an overflow crowd of 1,100 people during a town hall in northern Iowa.

Sarandon, who has helped raise money for the Vermont Senator’s presidential bid praised Sanders for his political courage, specifically his vote against the Iraq war and record on gay rights.

“Gender is not what’s important,” she said. “Issues are what’s important. I want a candidate who has the courage to stand to do the right thing when it is not popular.”

“It is one thing to be for gay rights and gay marriage once everybody else is for it,” she continued, taking another subtle jab at his primary opponent Hillary Clinton. Sarandon again referred to Clinton — without naming her — when she blasted another candidate’s unwillingness to take on the fight for a $15 minimum wage, as Sanders has.

“That is not pragmatic, that’s just cynicism. That’s giving up before you’ve even tried,” she said.

Later in the evening, the Democratic presidential hopeful blasted Clinton even more directly.

“I am delighted to be here with you tonight in Mason City,” he said. “My opponent is not in Iowa tonight, she is raising money from a Philadelphia investment firm. Frankly, I would rather be here with you.”

Clinton left the state earlier Wednesday to attend a fundraiser that was hosted by executives of Franklin Square Capital Partners investing firm in Philadelphia. In response to Sanders’ criticism, the Clinton campaign pointed out that she also met with African-American ministers in the city, prior to her fundraiser.

The former secretary of state has one more fundraiser scheduled Thursday morning in New York City before she returns to Iowa for campaign events in the afternoon.

Less than a week before the voting begins, Sanders took a break from the Hawkeye State as well. He held two large rallies in Minnesota yesterday and then flew to Washington, DC for a meeting with President Obama in the oval office Thursday morning, before returning to Iowa for his evening rally.

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