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The Note: Democrats flirt with politics of anger in age of Trump

The TAKE with Rick Klein

On Capitol Hill it was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brushing back a reporter who asked if she hated the president: “Don’t mess with me.”

In Iowa it was former Vice President Joe Biden calling out an aggressive questioner asking about unfounded allegations made by the president: “You’re a damn liar.”

Both were reacting to something involving President Donald Trump. Both were also reacting in ways that might have been harder to comprehend if not for Trump.

There’s an element in the impeachment push being led by Pelosi that argues that this president has earned a particular type of tone in addition to a specific rebuke. It may also be that Biden’s response was understandable, given the personal nature of Trump’s allegations.

What Democrats cannot and do not know is whether anger will be rewarded by voters when it counts. Maybe voters want street fighters pushing for impeachment, or vying for the Democratic nomination to go up against Trump.

However that is answered, Trump’s dominance of the political conversation extends clearly into subject matter as well as tone. That’s been a net positive for him earlier in his still-young political career.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Democrats are demanding answers to why and how exactly a boy died of the flu while in U.S. government custody last spring.

New heart-breaking and shocking video, obtained by ProPublica, appears to show the child suffering for hours on the floor of a detention center, before he died and was found by his roommate, a fellow minor at the center.

Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Karen Bass, said the death of 16-year-old, Guatemala native Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez amounted to “state-sponsored child abuse” and “negligent homicide.”

The video seems a direct counter to what the public was first told — that the boy had been checked on and was found unresponsive by authorities. Now there are urgent questions about whether initial accounts from law enforcement were intentionally misleading and whether evidence from the center could even have been manipulated to try and cover up negligence in the case.

Democrats from the House Homeland Security Committee tweeted Thursday, “The inconsistencies between Border Patrol’s official account and this video regarding the death of a migrant child is disturbing. We need answers from Border Patrol on why their account doesn’t match up with this video.”

Vasquez was one of seven minors since early 2018 who were known to die after being in U.S. custody. The big questions now: Will the administration also seek answers? Will anyone be held accountable? And will conditions change?

The TIP with John Verhovek

Biden is hoping for a boost in Iowa from a familiar face who has a comeback story of his own in the Hawkeye State: former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. He overcame lagging early poll numbers to win the 2004 caucuses.

Kerry endorsed Biden on Thursday, calling him “the candidate with the wisdom and standing to fix what Trump has broken.” On Friday, he will join the former vice president on his “No Malarkey” bus tour through Iowa.

The similarities between Biden and Kerry’s candidacies, including a much-needed Iowa comeback, were not lost on the former vice president when he was asked about the endorsement and the 2004 campaign.

“I hope it plays out the same way in Iowa,” Biden told ABC News in New Hampton, Iowa.

ONE MORE THING

As impeachment drama marches forward in Washington, D.C., focusing on a call between President Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine, Rudy Giuliani traveled to Kyiv. The president’s personal attorney is meeting with current and former Ukrainian officials who have served as key sources for his questionable theories about Ukrainian corruption and election meddling as part of a documentary series by far-right network One America News Network that is intended to discredit the impeachment process.

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News’ “Start Here” Podcast. Friday morning’s episode features ABC News Senior Editorial Producer John Santucci, who explains why Rudy Giuliani’s recent whereabouts may be of interest to House impeachment investigators. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEKEND

– President Donald Trump participates in a small business roundtable at 2 p.m. and then a Christmas reception at 3:15 p.m.

-Campaigning in New Hampshire through the weekend: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

-Campaigning in Iowa through the weekend: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Tom Steyer.

-Speaking at the Iowa Farmers Union “Candidate Conversations” forum on Friday, starting at 3 p.m. (CST): Klobuchar, Steyer, former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., Booker, Sanders and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

-Speaking at the Local America Presidential Forum starting at 4:30 p.m. (CST) in Waterloo, Iowa, with mayors from across the U.S.: Klobuchar, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Booker, Steyer and Buttigieg.

-Speaking at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Presidential Candidate Forum in Iowa on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. (CST): Former Vice President Joe Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Sanders and Steyer.

-Buttigieg campaigns in New Hampshire Friday morning. He then travels to Iowa, where he will campaign for the rest of the weekend.

-Biden campaigns in Iowa on Friday and Saturday and then in New Hampshire on Sunday.

-Former Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., campaigns in New Hampshire on Friday.

-Andrew Yang hosts a fundraiser in Dallas on Friday evening.

-Delaney and Castro campaign in Iowa on Friday.

-Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., campaigns in New Hampshire Friday and Saturday. She travels to South Carolina on Sunday.

Sunday on “This Week”: The Powerhouse Roundtable discusses all the week’s politics, with former New Jersey Governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie, former Chicago Mayor and ABC News Contributor Rahm Emanuel, Democracy for America CEO and ABC News Contributor Yvette Simpson, and Republican Strategist and CNN Political Commentator Alice Stewart.

Download the ABC News app and select “The Note” as an item of interest to receive the day’s sharpest political analysis.

The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the day’s top stories in politics. Please check back Monday for the latest.

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