Bloomberg pounded at debate debut; Bolton speaks out on Trump impeachment trial

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Bloomberg pummeled in debate debut – with Warren leading the onslaught
The Democrats’ showdown Wednesday night in Las Vegas repeatedly put former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his primary rivals’ crosshairs as the surging billionaire made his debate-stage debut. But the event quickly expanded into an all-out melee and was easily the most aggressive debate of the nomination season to date, as each of the 2020 presidential candidates took sharp and often personal shots at one another.

The fight started out white-hot when, in her first turn at the microphone, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., asserted she would support whoever wins the nomination, but warned that Democrats "take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another."

She said the field is running against somebody "who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians -- and no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg."

In another explosive moment, attendees erupted in the hall when Warren called on Bloomberg to release women from nondisclosure agreements they have signed concerning their civil complaints that he harassed them in the workplace. After a disappointing fourth-place finish in New Hampshire, Warren was particularly combative as she tangled with multiple rivals in a bid to distinguish herself once more ahead of Saturday’s Nevada caucuses. Click here for more on our top story.

Democracy 2020: Other developments Wednesday's debate:
- Mary Anne Marsh: In fierce Democratic presidential debate, one winner and five losers
- Bloomberg tears into Bernie Sanders: ‘We’re not going to throw out capitalism’
- Sanders challenges NBC moderator over question about unfavorable poll on socialism
- Klobuchar hits back at 'perfect' Pete Buttigieg as feud flares
- Trump slams Bloomberg at Phoenix rally, pushing MAGA message during Dem debate

Former national security advisers Susan Rice, left, and John Bolton take part in a discussion on global leadership at Vanderbilt University, Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Former national security advisers Susan Rice, left, and John Bolton take part in a discussion on global leadership at Vanderbilt University, Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Bolton: 'I sleep at night' following Trump impeachment drama
Former national security advisers John Bolton and Susan Rice engaged in a sometimes-tense debate over Russia and President Trump’s impeachment trial in front of a crowd of 1,500 people Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn.

The pair came together for a lecture series titled "Defining U.S. Global Leadership" at Vanderbilt University two weeks after the Senate acquitted Trump without subpoenaing Bolton to testify. He said he didn't expect the Senate to vote against having him testify.

Rice, citing security clearance procedures for her own book, said she couldn't imagine "withholding my testimony, with or without a subpoena" or going public with information if she thought it was of national importance. But Bolton insisted his testimony would not have mattered.

“People can argue about what I should have said and what I should have done," he said. "I would bet you a dollar right here and now, my testimony would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome.”

He added, "I sleep at night because I have followed my conscience." Click here for more.

A passenger talks on a mobile phone on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored at a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

A passenger talks on a mobile phone on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored at a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Coronavirus claims lives of two Diamond Princess passengers from Japan, health officials say
Two passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked off Yokohama, Japan, have died of coronavirus, Japan's health ministry said Thursday.

The Japanese man and woman, both in their 80s, reportedly had existing chronic diseases. They were the first among the ship’s passengers to die from the disease, officials said. Both passengers were removed from the ship last week and hospitalized.

Japan now has three coronavirus-related deaths. The 621 confirmed coronavirus cases among the cruise ship’s 3,711 passengers represent the largest outbreak outside China. The Diamond Princess has been under a two-week quarantine since Feb. 5. Click here for more.

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