<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Politics and Political News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usThu, 17 Aug 2017 07:15:28 -0700Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:15:28 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Anti-Hate Groups Seize Charlottesville as a Teachable Moment]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:03:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/confederatebattleflagfeuerherd.jpg

Anti-hate groups in the United States are giving guidance on what individuals can do to combat hate-inspired violence in the wake of a deadly attack at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

To combat hate-inspired attacks in the U.S., Americans must join forces, speak out and educate themselves about the history and ideology of white nationalists and hate organizations, groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League argue.

The SPLC on Monday issued a step-by-step "community response guide" on how to fight hate after 32-year-old counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed at the rally. Her alleged killer, James Fields Jr., had been fascinated with Nazism and idolized Adolf Hitler, according to his high school teacher.

To show why the guide is needed now more than ever, the SPLC noted a number of recent U.S. hate crimes, including the 2015 Charleston church shooting and racist graffiti being found in a school in Stapleton, Colorado. 

The SPLC's 10-point blueprint includes guidance like "educate yourself," "speak up" and "join forces." 

"Others share your desire to stand against hate," the SPLC wrote in the guide, under the "join forces" section. "There is power in numbers. Asking for help and organizing a group reduces personal fear and vulnerability, spreads the workload, and increases creativity and impact." 

The guide adds, "A hate crime often creates an opportunity for a community’s first dialogue on race, gender identity, or religious intolerance. It can help bridge the gap between neighborhoods and law enforcement."

The ADL similarly published a curriculum for teachers on how the violence in Charlottesville is a "teachable moment." The curriculum noted it should be described in the correct historical context and could be used to further understanding of the First Amendment. 

"While freedom of speech means that you can share your opinions and exchange ideas freely without government control — even if it is hateful — there is some speech that is not protected by the First Amendment; this includes obscenity, defamation, true threats, and incitement to imminent lawless action," the curriculum stated. "Talk with students about the First Amendment and our freedoms and emphasize that condemning hatred, bias and white supremacy and vigorously protecting free speech are not mutually exclusive."

An NAACP leader told NBC that understanding the ideologies held by groups like the opposing sides that clashed in Charlottesville is instrumental in ending hate-inspired violence. 

"Understanding what the ideologies are, the arguments and the realities of the vision each side seeks, is crucial," said Hilary Shelton, the NAACP's Washington bureau director.

"On one side of the equation, you had those that believe in white supremacy, racial segregation and treating those leaders of the confederacy as heroes," Shelton said. "On the other side of the issue ... you had those that wanted to promote diversity, equal opportunity." 

To Shelton, if people truly grasp the difference between the two sides, hate groups will not thrive. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Dave Martin]]>
<![CDATA[Ben Carson Talks About Vandalism of VA Home, Charlottesville]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:04:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/081717+ben+carson+interview.jpg

The only African-American member of President Donald Trump's cabinet says his home in Northern Virginia was recently the target of anti-Trump vandals.

Ben Carson, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, told News4 in an exclusive interview inside his home Wednesday night that he believes dialogue can help overcome hate and bigotry.

He pointed out that many Confederate statues were erected "during the civil rights movement, to make a statement," and resisted "pointing fingers" at Trump's response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Carson said his home was vandalized while he was away.

"We were out of town and our house was toilet papered," Carson told News4's Meagan Fitzgerald. "They had painted 'F Trump' on it as well."

He said neighbors cleaned up the mess, and he took the high road.

"That really is the message that I try to get out to people. You can't necessarily control the animosity and the hatred of someone else, but you can control how you react," he said.

When asked about the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend and the removal of Confederate monuments, Carson said he believed education is key.

"We need to explain to people that many of the Confederate monuments that were put up were put up specifically during the Jim Crow era, specifically during the civil rights movement, to make a statement," he said.

Fitzgerald asked him several times if Trump's response to the deadly violence displayed the leadership the country needs.

"I want to push back and say it's not about pointing fingers about who should have done what and when they should have done it and when they should have said it," Carson said.

He added that strong leaders, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., have the power to bring a nation together. But, he said, it's not up to Trump to bring the country together; it's up to the American people.

Carson first spoke about the vandalism of his home in a Facebook post published Wednesday afternoon. He said that several years ago, after he and his family bought a farm in rural Maryland, a neighbor immediately put up a Confederate flag. Other neighbors put up American flags to shame him, Carson said.

"Hatred and bigotry unfortunately still exists in our country and we must all continue to fight it, but let's use the right tools," he wrote. "By the way, that neighbor who put up the Confederate flag subsequently became friendly. That is the likely outcome if we just learn to be neighborly and to get to know each other."

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Trump Says 'Fixing the Inner Cities' Is a Priority]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:05:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trumpinnercities_17319471_1-150292719607000001.jpg

President Donald J. Trump told reporters on Tuesday that "fixing the inner cities" is a priority for his administration. 

<![CDATA[Mayor of San Diego Wants GOP to Champion the Middle Class]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:35:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Kevin-Faulconer-011217.jpg

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has said he has no plans to run for governor of California. He is the only Republican mayor of a major U.S. city. Faulconer talked about his vision for the party when he spoke to the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

<![CDATA[Military Leaders Denounce Hatred After Charlottesville]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:27:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/TrumpCharlottesville.jpg

Five top U.S. military officers condemned bigotry following the white-nationalist led protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, even as President Donald Trump reverted to his initial position of blaming both sides for violence there.

Their comments appear to stray from those of Trump, who said the “alt-left” should also be held accountable.

“The shameful events in Charlottesville are unacceptable and must not be tolerated,” wrote Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson in a Facebook post on Saturday. “The Navy will forever stand against intolerance and hatred.”

Following Trump’s impromptu news conference Tuesday, in which he doubled down on previous statements placing the blame “on many sides,” officials from the Marine Corps, Army and Air Force released statements.

“[There is] no place for racial hatred or extremism in [the U.S. Marine Corps,]” Commandant of the Marines, Robert B. Neller, tweeted on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the Army chief of staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, tweeted “The Army doesn’t tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks.”

Later in the day, the Chief of Staff for the Air Force, Gen. Dave Goldfein, issued a statement in solidarity with his fellow service chiefs via Twitter: “We’re always stronger together.”

Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Joseph Lengyel, also took to twitter Wednesday, stating "I stand with my fellow Joint Chiefs in condemning racism, extremism [and] hatred. Our diversity is our strength." 

Jason Dempsey, an adjunct senior fellow for the Center for a New American Security, said that past difficulties combatting white-nationalism within the military ranks may be what caused the leaders to speak up.

“The U.S. military had a significant problem with white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in the late '80s, early '90s,” he said. “It was all codified that you cannot belong to these groups. You cannot espouse their views, you can’t say you’re a member.”

Since Saturday, it’s been revealed that two members of Vanguard America, one of the extremist groups involved in this weekend’s violent clashes, have links to the military.

One of those men was James A. Fields, who was accused of killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer when he drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors.

“James Alex Fields reported for basic military training in August of 2015,” Army Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson stated in an email. “He was, however, released from active duty due to a failure to meet training standards in December of 2015.”

Dillon Ulysses Hopper, the alleged leader of Vanguard America, was identified by news website Splinter as a veteran and former Marine recruiter. A representative from Vanguard America told Splinter that Hopper became a white supremacist in 2012, one year after he started working as a recruiter. Several other news outlets including CNN, later reported that according to Hopper's service records, he was a member of the Marine Corps from 2006 until 2017. 

Dempsey said the statements from the military leaders were most likely made in an attempt to reaffirm the military’s commitment to their rules barring hate groups and send a strong message to subordinates about what type of behavior is appropriate.

“None of them would directly go against the President just to go against the president, because that’s not the way the military was built,” said Dempsey, a combat veteran who previously served as a special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “The chiefs were walking a very fine line but they saw a threat to the force.”

In a post-draft era, promoting acceptance and tolerance has become more of a priority for the military.

“For the first time since World War II, the military has to think about ‘What does our image look like? How are we going to recruit? How do we make sure we have a broad enough talent pool?’” Dempsey said.

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[N. Korea Cools Down War Rhetoric With US]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:28:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NC_usnorthkorea0815_1500x845.jpg

North Korea is changing tack in the war of words with the United States, adopting a plan to pull back and observe after a stern warning on Monday from Defense Secretary James Mattis.

<![CDATA[Defense Secretary Uses Disparaging Term to Praise Sailors]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:07:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mattis_1200x675.jpg

Defense Secretary James Mattis praised Navy sailors for their service earlier this month and used an obscenity to make his point, NBC News reported.

Speaking at Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state, Mattis said the sailors "will have some of the best days of your life and some of the worst days of your life in the U.S. Navy."

He added, “That means you're living. That means you're not some pussy sitting on the sidelines, you know what I mean, kind of sitting there saying, ‘Well, I should have done something with my life.’”

The Pentagon made a transcript of the Aug. 9 speech available earlier this week.

Mattis, a former Marine who went on to serve as the head of U.S. Central Command and picked up the nickname "Mad Dog," said he wished he was “young enough to go back out to sea.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DOJ Wants Records on Visitors to Trump Protest Website]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:30:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/inauguration-protest1.jpg

What does the federal government want to do with records on everyone who visited an anti-Donald Trump website?

The Justice Department's demand is part of the ongoing case against people who allegedly broke laws while protesting President Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration in Washington, NBC News reported. Prosecutors say the website, DisruptJ20.org, was used to organize "a violent riot."

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington D.C., which is prosecuting the protesters in local courts, points out that the warrant has already been approved by a judge.

But the target of the search warrant, a web-hosting company that has provided information about the people who registered for the site, says federal officials have gone too far by seeking IP addresses for anyone who entered the site.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark Tenally]]>
<![CDATA[President Trump's Explosive News Conference in 7 Minutes]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:43:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT_TRUMP_PRESSER_081517-150283385815300001.jpg

At a press event that was supposed to focus on infrastructure, President Donald Trump answered questions about violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. He again blamed both sides for violence and described counter-protesters as the "alt-left."

<![CDATA[Trump on Steve Bannon: 'We'll See What Happens' ]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:37:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trump-on-bannon-150283249801700001.jpg

President Donald Trump won't say whether he plans to keep top White House strategist Steve Bannon.

At an impromptu press conference Tuesday, Trump answered questions about his confidence in his top adviser by saying "we'll see what happens."

<![CDATA[Trump Responds to Confederate Statues Being Torn Down ]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 14:00:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trump-on-confederate-statues-FULL_17307335-150282955283000001.jpg

Trump responds to reporters' questions about the Charlottesville rally over the weekend. 

<![CDATA[If Trump Cuts Obamacare Subsidies, Premiums Will Spike: CBO]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:45:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_17206719818863.jpg

The Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare premiums will increase by 20 percent next year and by 25 percent in 2020 — if President Donald Trump ends key federal subsidies to the program.

The CBO report released Tuesday also found that if the administration moves to cut the billions in subsidies to insurers, that would leave about 5 percent of Americans living in areas with no access to individual health care plans.

As CNBC reports, Trump has repeatedly threatened to end the billions of dollars in payments to insurance companies that sell individual health plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Insurers have warned they will be forced to raise premiums sharply to make up for the loss of cost-sharing reductions payments, or CSRs, if Trump cuts them off.

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Anniversary of DACA Protections Marked by Fear of Its End]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 07:02:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-150318932-DACA.jpg

Immigrant rights groups and allies are marking the fifth anniversary of protections for young immigrants with rallies and demonstrations Tuesday, as the future of an Obama-era program remains uncertain under the Trump administration, NBC News reports.

On Aug. 15, 2012, the Obama administration began accepting applications for the deportation relief and work permission program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. In five years, about 800,000 people have been granted DACA, which must be renewed every two years.

Texas and nine other states have set a Sept. 5 deadline for the president to end DACA, threatening to take the administration to court unless the program comes to an end.

Despite his tough stance on immigration, President Donald Trump said he would help DACA recipients. However, when White House chief of staff John Kelly was as homeland security secretary, he told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus last month that the administration would not commit to defending the program.

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[New Yorkers Annoyed by Security Measures for Trump Visit]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 20:51:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trump+tower+motorcade+-+00012309_WNBC_000000017434469.jpg

As the NYPD began shutting down streets hours before President Trump arrived in Manhattan Monday, New Yorkers couldn't hide their annoyance. 

"You can't even hear yourself think," griped Julianna Melamed of Midtown East. "There's helicopters and cabs and traffic and God knows what else, and everything's barricaded. They won't even let you down the street, even if you got into a cab." 

The NYPD blanketed streets and intersections across midtown, locking down several intersections hours before the president's arrival. Trump's motorcade would later sail up the FDR from lower Manhattan and through midtown. 

The high security made getting around a bit of a challenge in certain neighborhoods, especially in the area of Trump Tower. 

"I think this is a waste of resources. I think it's sad that New York is spending so much money on a president that's, simply put, unpopular," said Sherry Xia of the Upper East Side. "And we shouldn't be expending these resources."

Some street closures will stay put for the duration of his visit, including 58th Street between Sixth Avenue and Fifth Avenue, 56th Street from Sixth Avenue to Madison, dnd 55th Street from Fifth Avenue to Madison Avenue.

Not everyone was put out by the security. 

"It's New York City. We've had Barack Obama, we've had the pope, everybody -- U.N. week is a couple weeks from now," said Randy Walker of the Upper East Side. "So we're New Yorkers, we're used to it."

This was Trump's first visit Manhattan home and office since his inauguration. He has said he'd "love'' to go home to Trump Tower more often but it's "very disruptive to do.''

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Confederate Monument Toppled]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:54:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+CONFEDERATE+STATUE+THUMB.jpg

Protesters in Durham, N.C. toppled a Confederate monument Monday night. The statue, called "The Confederate Soldiers Monument," was dedicated in 1924. It was pulled down Monday and protesters stomped on it.

<![CDATA[Protesters Descend on Trump Tower for President's 1st Visit]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 01:59:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trump+lands+nyc.jpg

President Donald Trump arrived at his New York home for the first time since his inauguration as a throng of protesters lined the street.

The president's motorcade pulled up to Trump Tower on Monday night while avoiding the protesters, who chanted "Shame, shame, shame'' while awaiting him. 

Thousands of protesters had lined nearby blocks of Manhattan's Fifth Avenue to await him, along with a group of supporters numbering in the dozens. People chanted things like, "No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA" and "Not my president," and held signs reading, "The Trump/Pence regime must go" and "Silence is violence."

"I never voted for him, and everything he stands for is against America," said protester Laura Dieter. 

Supporters said, "God bless President Trump." 

Police said three people were arrested near Trump Tower. 

Security was heavy around the skyscraper: Streets were closed in the area, and massive sanitation trucks were lined up outside Trump Tower, acting as blocker vehicles. Metal barricades were set up across the street. Police sources say the department has an existing detail protecting the president's home and office at Trump Tower, and resources are flexible in the case of a protest or other unplanned event.

This is Trump's first visit Manhattan home and office since his inauguration. He has said he'd "love'' to go home to Trump Tower more often but it's "very disruptive to do.'' 

Some New Yorkers expressed their annoyance by the security measures: "You can't even hear yourself think. There's helicopters and cabs and traffic and God knows what else, and everything's barricaded."

Trump has said he'd ``love'' to go home to Trump Tower more often but it's ``very disruptive to do.'' He's said he'd "love'' to go home to Trump Tower more often but it's "very disruptive to do.''

Trump initially was supposed to head to the city Sunday, but briefly postponed the trip as deadly chaos unfolded amid a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. It's not clear if that's why he delayed the trip to New York City, but the president has been under fire for his response to the violence. 

"It's important to stand up against racism and all the terrible things that happened in Virginia and across the country in the last few months," protester Sheila Kelly said outside Trump Tower Monday. 

Two blocks away, in front of the Plaza Hotel, an artist collective called BravinLee set up a 15-foot inflatable balloon caricaturing Trump as a rat. The artists says on their website that "the inflatable rat, an enduring sign of resistance and ridicule, has been repurposed to help lead protest against Trump's policies." 

On Saturday, BravinLee posted a photo showing a Confederate flag on the sleeve of the inflatable figure and wrote: "#charlottesvillevirginia Our hearts are with you. As you can see Trump wears his on his sleeve." The balloon also shows a Russian flag pin. 

John Post Lee told News 4 he came up with the concept three months ago and raised $10,000 in a Kickstarter campaign. An Ohio company made the balloon, and it arrived last week. Monday was the first appearance of the balloon out in New York. He says he wants to station the balloon at Grand Army Plaza for a few days, then move it around New York for a couple of months. 

But the display only made Trump supporters wave their flags and banners higher. One said, "He is our president, and is doing a great job, in my opinion. People are induced by the media." 

Another group of protesters nearby wore black and staged a mock funeral for the people and things they said the president was killing. They held signs reading things like, "We mourn our healthcare," "We mourn trans lives" and "We mourn our diplomacy." 

The violence in Virginia Saturday stemmed from what is believed to have been the biggest gathering of white nationalists in a decade, a movement in protest of the planned removal of a Confederate monument. A young woman died when a driver intentionally plowed into a group of counter-protesters; two Virginia State Troopers patrolling the protests from the air died in a helicopter accident. 

In a statement later Saturday, Trump addressed the violence in broad strokes, saying that he condemns "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides."

A White House statement Sunday went further, naming "white Supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups" among the outlets he condemned, a sentiment echoed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a "Today" show interview Monday, but the president faced continued backlash for not personally and explicitly calling out those groups by name. He rectified that in an impromptu address from the White House early Monday afternoon, calling racism "evil" and specifically calling out the KKK, neo-Nazis and other supremacist groups. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Sen Cory Booker were among the elected officials who had said Trump's response to the violence was not strong enough. Meanwhile, protesters marched in Manhattan Sunday, events organized by Black Lives Matter and Refuse Fascism, and more demonstrations were planned leading up to — and throughout — the president's trip to New York. 

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Trump to Reporter: 'You're Fake News']]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:23:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/yourefakenews_FINAL_17295791-150274100066300001.jpg

President Donald Trump responds "you're fake news" to a reporter after being asked why he did not more quickly condemm the alt-right groups protesting the removal of a confederate statue in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. 

<![CDATA[Trump Condemns Hate Groups Two Days After Violence ]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:55:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trumpcontext.jpg

After much criticism, including from members of the Republican Party, President Donald Trump addressed the country and condemned hate groups such as the KKK, neo-nazis and white supremacists. The address was made two days after violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, when white supremacists clashed with counter-protesters.