<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Politics and Political News]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego https://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usTue, 20 Mar 2018 16:32:52 -0700Tue, 20 Mar 2018 16:32:52 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[White House Defends Trump's Congratulatory Putin Call]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:24:44 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/US-WH-Briefing-CRx-152157941726700002.jpg

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defends President Donald Trump's congratulatory call to Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election, noting that then-President Barack Obama made a similar call in 2012.

<![CDATA[Politically Speaking: Celebrities Who Ventured Into Politics]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 13:52:58 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/celebs-to-poli-thumb.jpg Donald Trump might be the most notorious celebrity to enter the White House as Commander-in-Chief, but he isn't the first to make the switch from entertainment to politics. See which other actors, hosts and athletes ditched the small screen for office.]]> <![CDATA[SD Councilmember Opposes Mayor's Transitional Storage Center For Homeless]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:07:21 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/David_Alvarez_Propose_Homeless_Stay_at_Chargers_Camp.jpg

San Diego City Councilmember David Alvarez is holding a public meeting in San Diego Tuesday afternoon to oppose a proposal from Mayor Kevin Faulconer. 

The Mayor has proposed a 1,000-bin storage center in Logan Heights. The facility would be a place where homeless people could store their personal belongings. 

In January, Faulconer announced he wanted to open the storage center at Commercial and 20th streets in the spring. 

Alvarez opposes the idea, saying the area is within close proximity to a school, about 15-20 feet away. He added a residential neighborhood in the area is already experiencing issues with public safety and quality-of-life.

Alvarez added that hundreds of residents have said they do not want the storage facility for a number of different reasons, including safety concerns due to a lack of specific public safety plans with metrics to ensure the safety of neighbors and students. 

An online petition opposed to the project started by a Logan Heights resident has over 350 signatures so far. 

Alvarez also added there was no formal community input considered by the mayor before he proposed the location. 

The public meeting with Alvarez will take place at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday at San Diego Concourse, located at 202 C Street in San Diego. 

<![CDATA[Cambridge Analytica Suspends CEO Pending Probe]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 13:12:37 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-607814904.jpg

The chief executive of Cambridge Analytica claimed his company ran all the digital operations for the Trump campaign and used a secret email system where messages self-destruct, according to a new report from NBC News' U.K. partner ITN Channel 4 News.

The new article and video were posted Tuesday afternoon. The CEO, Alexander Nix, was suspended with immediate effect, the company said.

In the video posted by Channel 4, Nix is heard saying the company did much of the work behind Trump's campaign, which resulted in a shocking upset victory over Hillary Clinton in November 2016.  Nix also ripped into House Intelligence Committee members who interviewed him as part of their investigation into Russian election meddling, and talked about using "proxy organizations" to "put information into the bloodstream to the internet." 

Cambridge Analytica said in a statement that it was not under investigation and "there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the company."

Photo Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Concordia Summit]]>
<![CDATA[Ex Model Sues to Break Silence on Alleged Trump Affair]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 12:29:30 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trumpplayboy.jpg

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal filed a lawsuit Tuesday to be released from a 2016 legal agreement prohibiting her from discussing an alleged affair with President Donald Trump, NBC News confirmed Tuesday.

The lawsuit was first reported by The New York Times.  

McDougal filed suit against American Media Inc, the company that owns The National Enquirer. According to the New York Times, McDougal was paid $150,000 by the company, whose chief executive is a friend of Trump's, and required to remain silent.

"AMI lied to me, made empty promises, and repeatedly intimidated and manipulated me," McDougal said in a statement. "I just want the opportunity to set the record straight and move on with my life, free from this company, its executives, and its lawyers."

McDougal is the second woman to step forward, along with porn star Stormy Daniels, alleging an intimate relationship with Trump.

Also on Tuesday, NBC News confirmed Daniels had taken a polygraph in 2011 supporting her assertion of an affair with Trump. The polygraph showed Daniels was being truthful when she said she had unprotected sex with Trump around July 2006. She took the polygraph at the request of InTouch magazine, which interviewed her in 2011 but didn't publish the content until this year.  

Polygraph results are not generally admissible in court.

Trump spokespeople have denied that he had a sexual relationship with Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.

McDougal and Daniels are both arguing their agreements are invalid.

Meanwhile, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled Tuesday that a defamation lawsuit filed by former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos, can go forward. In 2016, Zervos accused Trump of groping and pressing his groin against her during a 2006 encounter. Trump later suggested she fabricated the incident.

“In Clinton v Jones the United States Supreme Court held that a sitting president is not immune from being sued in federal court for unofficial acts,” Justice Jennifer Schecter wrote in a ruling released Tuesday, citing the sexual harassment suit that led to the 1998 impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton for lying under oath about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

“It left open the question of whether concerns of federalism and comity compel a different conclusion for suits brought in state court. Because they do not, defendant’s motion to dismiss this case or hold it in abeyance is denied,”  Schecter ruled.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[36,000 Pounds of Cocaine Arrive in San Diego]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:10:06 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/cocainecoastguard0238.JPG

Tens of thousands of pounds of cocaine came into San Diego Tuesday morning after the U.S. Coast Guard made a huge bust.

The cocaine was retrieved in the middle of the ocean. There were 36,000 pounds that was transported to San Diego.

The Coast Guard said it seized the drugs off the coast of Central and South America.

Service members aboard the USCGC Bertholf worked to intercept the drugs before they reached the U.S.

The Coast Guard added all of the cocaine was found during a one month period of counter-drug patrols that ended earlier this month. 

The operation successfully haulted 17 suspected smuggling vessels by five Coast Guard cutters from early February to early March. 

“This offload by the Bertholf represents the great work being conducted in the Eastern Pacific combating the transnational organized crime groups, behind the drug trade which spread instability, fear and harm to people, communities and entire nations,” said Rear Adm. Todd Sokalzuk, the 11th Coast Guard District commander. 

The drugs will be offloaded at the B Street pier late Tuesday morning.

The cocaine is valued at more than half a billion dollars.

"We’re seizing record amounts of cocaine for the third year in a row," added Rear Adm. Soklazuk. 

The Coast Guard said the operation is part of a new Western Hemisphere Strategy implemented in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and Caribbean regions. These areas are known drug-transit zones for Central and South America. 

Service members track and locate suspect vessels then board them. 

The Department of Homeland Security as well as the Defense and Justice Department helped in the efforts. 

<![CDATA[Docs Show Trump Admin.'s War to End Teen Pregnancy Program]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 10:00:16 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/71656346-Department-of-Health-and-Human-Services.jpg

When the Trump administration abruptly canceled a federal teen pregnancy prevention program last year, it did so over the objections of career experts in the Department of Health and Human Services, according to internal notes and emails obtained by NBC News.

Three political appointees with pro-abstinence beliefs guided the process in spite of the the objections, according to the cache of documents. The notes show that Evelyn Kappeler, the $213 million Teen Pregnancy Program's long time administrator, appears out of the loop on decisions and describes being "so rattled" at one point that her reaction "was to cry."

Many medical professionals credit the program, which had bipartisan support in Congress, with lowering the national teen pregnancy rate to its lowest point. An outside group claims the effort to end it violated a federal law.

The department has claimed the program was ineffective and also did not conform to President Donald Trump's proposed budget. It did not respond to emails or answer questions about who was responsible for ending the program, instead directing NBC News to a fact sheet and announcement on the agency's website that says most of the projects that received funding "had no impact or had a negative impact on teen behavior."

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Mayor Fires Back After Trump Blames Mass. City for NH Opioids]]> Tue, 20 Mar 2018 02:42:30 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Donald+Trump+Dan+Rivera.jpg

President Donald Trump singled out the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, as a significant source of the drugs pouring into New Hampshire during a speech on his new opioid plan Monday.

Speaking at Manchester Community College, Trump said Lawrence is "one of the primary sources of fentanyl in six New Hampshire counties," according to a Dartmouth College study. He tied this to the fact that Lawrence is a so-called sanctuary city, and also cited the recent arrest of 15 MS-13 gang members in Boston.

"Every day, sanctuary cities release illegal immigrants, drug dealers, traffickers, gang members, into our cities," Trump said. "They're protected by these cities, and you say, 'What are they doing?' They're safe havens for just some terrible people, and they're making it very dangerous for our law enforcement officers.

"You see it all the time," he continued. "As the people of New Hampshire have learned firsthand, ending sanctuary cities is crucial to stopping the drug addiction crisis."

Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera fired back at Trump later Monday afternoon.

"I've got a lot of emotions running through me right now, because it's not very often that the president takes your city's name in vain. So I'd like to start by saying shame on the president'" Rivera said. "He's trafficking in pain and divisiveness, creating boogiemen where we need solutions."

Furthermore, Rivera argued, Trump's proposed solution is one that has failed in the past.

"I'm a Reagan baby, I'm a kid from the 80s. I remember the crack epidemic. I remember the 'Just Say No' to drugs campaigns. I remember the increased prison time for dealers and users," he said. "But you know what beat the crack epidemic and the cocaine epidemic? It was police practicing community policing, jobs for inner-city kids and treatment, treatment, treatment. Serious, long-term, expensive treatment."

U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, a Democrat from Massachusetts and a member of the bipartisan Heroin Task Force, agreed that the epidemic should not be combated as a crime.

"Over a decade and a half ago, as Norfolk County district attorney, I started an opioid task force, and what I learned from my experience is that the president has it all wrong," Keating said in a statement. "Back then, I was tasked with the responsibility of approaching it from a criminal side, but I learned this is much more a public health issue. That is why the Centers for Disease Control advocates for an approach of combining medically assisted and behavioral health treatment as the best course."

"Massachusetts has been a leader in treatment and prevention natinwide," Keating added. "While interdiction and law enforcement have a place, the narrow approach that dominated the president's remarks today simply won't work. President Trump is taking us backwards."

Rivera pointed to Trump's earlier criticisms of the Granite State and accused him of politicizing a deadly crisis.

"Talking out of both sides of his mouth today, he went to New Hampshire, smiling in New Hampshire's face, after calling them a 'drug-infested den.' This is not a political problem, this is not a crime problem, this is not an immigration problem. This is a human problem," Rivera said. "This is an American problem, with more than 175 Americans dying every day. And the president continues to treat every problem that faces our country like a campaign rally, and it's not."

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican whom Trump praised in his speech Monday, offered similar criticism of Lawrence a year ago, accusing the city of fueling the Granite State's drug crisis.

Sununu labeled Lawrence as the prime source of fentanyl coming into his state and warned that he was about to "get tough" on dealers across the state border.

Rivera hit back at the time, accusing Sununu of "threatening the sovereignty" of Massachusetts and failing to build enough treatment beds in New Hampshire.

"The opioid crisis is so large that no community is without a problem, and to make it about Lawrence is the trap," Rivera said.

Sununu and Rivera later spoke on the phone, after which Sununu said Lawrence has been "doing a good job" on the opioid issue.

Sununu wasn't the first New England governor to accuse Lawrence, a city of many immigrants, of fueling the region's drug crisis. Maine Gov. Paul LePage said black and Hispanic drug dealers from Lawrence and Lowell were trafficking drugs into his state.

Trump was in New Hampshire on Monday to unveil his plan to combat the country's opioid crisis. His plan calls for stiffer penalties for drug traffickers, including the death penalty where it's appropriate under the current law.

Trump's three-part plan includes multiple steps to raise awareness, cut the illicit drug flow and expand proven treatment options.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Boston]]>
<![CDATA[9 Juvenile Cases Charged For School Threats in San Diego]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 17:33:25 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/school-threats-generic.jpg

The San Diego County District Attorney's Office is taking tough action against kids making threats on schools. 

Nine juveniles cases are now being charged, that have been reported since the deadly school shooting in Florida that killed 17 people. 

There have been 19 reported school threats since the massacre on February 14. Two of the 19 cases are still under investigation. 

None of the treats turned out to be credible. However, the District Attorney is proceeding with filing charges. 

One of the incidents happened at Rancho Bernardo High School, after someone spray painted violent threats on walls. 

Becky Macbain, a parent NBC 7 spoke with at Rancho Bernardo High School Monday, agrees that the D.A. should file charges against the juveniles. 

"I'm sad for the kids, but I'm glad they're getting charged because other kids need to see that therer is consequences for their actions," said Macbain. 

Other schools that reported threats included Madison High School, Rincon Middle School and Torrey Pines High School, which received threats twice.

Some of the threats were painted on school grounds, while others were menacing messages on social media.  

"If a child is going to make such a threat, whether they did it or said it, they they should be punished," said parent Rosa Murguia. 

The D.A.'s office is charging nine juvenile cases, which will be handled by the juvenile court. 

Those charged could face a wide range of punishment from diversion programs to custody.

The names of the juveniles are not being released at this time. 

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Security Chief to Leave in Wake of Scandal: Report]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 17:40:49 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-490832273.jpg

Facebook Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos is reportedly leaving after disagreements over how the social media network should handle the spread of disinformation, the New York Times reported.

In a tweet, Stamos said he was still employed, but that his role had changed to "exploring emerging security risks and working on election security."

Stamos has been a strong advocate for disclosing Russian activity on Facebook. 

The Times report said that Stamos's roles had been reassigned in December, but Facebook persuaded him to stay on until August. In a tweet, Reuters independently reported that Stamos would leave in August. 

Facebook did not immediately return CNBC's request for comment.

Photo Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Facebook Shares Tumble Following Reports of Data Breach]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:42:03 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+CAMBRIDGE+ANALYTICA+THUMB.jpg

Facebook shares tumbled Monday following reports that user data had been inappropriately obtained. Cambridge Analytica, whose clients included Donald Trump's presidential campaign, reportedly used the data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission.

<![CDATA[Hidden Camera Exposes Cambridge Analytica's Tactics]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:07:11 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-872186612.jpg

In a meeting with the head of Cambridge Analytica — the political data firm used by the Trump campaign in 2016 — reporters from NBC News’ U.K. partner ITN Channel 4 News posed as potential clients interested in changing the outcome of the Sri Lankan elections.

The reporters, who were trying to find out how the company operated, quickly learned about the novel and deceptive methods employed by the company, including bribes, blackmail, and misinformation campaigns. The findings were broadcast by the network on Monday.

On hidden camera, the reporters recorded Alexander Nix, chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, discussing the idea of hypothetically entrapping an opposition leader.

He described how the company could record a person accepting a bribe, "an offer he can't refuse," or "send some girls around to the candidate’s house."

Photo Credit: Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Judges Gather in Coronado to Combat Opioid Epidemic ]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 13:19:41 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Attorney_General_Praises_Opioid_Efforts_at_JFK_Airport.jpg

Every day, 144 people are killed in the United States from opioid overdoses, according to the Center for Disease Control. 

Courts within the criminal justice system are on the frontline of the epidemic, seeing adults with substance use disorders and children in families with opioid addiction. 

That's why a conference is being held in Coronado this week to bring awareness of what is going on in the juvenile justice system and how judges can take leadship roles in helping families and children through the court system.

This coming in light of President Donald Trump's announcement Monday calling for stiffer penalties for drug traffickers, including embracing the death penalty.

The multi-day conference will feature guest speakers discussing current juvenile justice issues, solutions and judiciary actions for future solutions. 

The meeting will be an educational opportunity for judges, family law attorneys, probation officers and those interested in the juvenile justice system. 

The conference will highlight new programs and current research having to do with the opioid epidemic in connection to the court and justice system. 

There will also be film screenings, topics of technology and teen dating violence, child sex trafficking informational meetings and brain science lectures. 

Guests at the conference will include Judge Tony Capizzi of Montgomery County Juvenile Court in Dayton Ohio, Joey Ordunda Hastings, the CEO of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in Reno, Nevada, and others. 

The conference will take place at Loews Coronado Bay Resort from March 18-21. 

<![CDATA[Lawyer Who Supports Conspiracy Theory Joins Trump's Team ]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:54:03 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/diGGettyImages-754597.jpg

President Donald Trump has added a longtime Washington lawyer to his legal team who has publicly promoted a conspiracy theory that officials in the FBI and Justice Department are plotting to frame the president with a "false crime" in the Russia investigation.

Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, recently joined Trump's legal team, Jay Sekulow, one of the president's lawyers, confirmed to NBC News Monday.

"I have worked with Joe for many years and have full confidence that he will be a great asset in our representation of the president," Sekulow said in a statement.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SD City Council to Consider Salary Increases for Councilmembers, Mayor]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:28:31 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/money+generic+Connecticut.jpg

The City Council will consider a proposal at their meeting Monday afternoon to increase City Council salaries, including the mayor. 

The proposal would increase City Council salaries from $75,386 to $80,361. 

The mayor's salary would increase from $100,464 to $107,095. Kevin Faulconer is currently the Mayor of San Diego. 

This increase would take effect on July 1, 2019. 

“I oppose the vote to have you increase your own pay,” said one San Diego resident during the city council meeting. “There is a conflict of interest that exists when you vote on your own pay.”

The resident added there should be an ethics reform to allow voters to decide council salaries. 

Another San Diego resident said the money should go towards road repairs and adding more books into the city library. 

The meeting is in accordance with a city charter that says the Salary Setting Commission should meet every two years to make recommendations to the City Council on salaries for the Mayor and councilmembers for the following two fiscal years. 

The City Council may adopt the salaries as recommended, or in some lesser amount, but may not increase the amount. 

The report from the Salary Setting Commission was first released February 2, 2018. 

“What I think is a complete and utter disgrace is the salary of our mayor,” said Councilmember Lorie Zapf. “We are one of the top ten cities in the United States of America and what we are paying the chief executive, who works 24/7 presiding over this huge budget, is embarrassing.” 

“I do perceive that it is a conflict of interest to vote on our own salaries,” said Council President Pro Tem, Barbara Bry. 

The City Council passed a motion to deny the requested recommendations from the Salary Setting Commission and adopt the resolution directing the City Attorney to have no change to the Mayor of Councilmmember salaries for Fiscal Year 2019.

The motion passed 7-2 with councilmembers Chris Ward and Scott Sherman voting no. 

Also on the agenda is a proposed reduction in taxicab insurance requirements.

It is a resolution that would authorize the Mayor to tell the MTS CEO that the City of San Diego will reduce taxicab insurance requirements to $350,000.

The public meeting is at 2 p.m. Monday at San Diego City Administration Building on the 12th floor in the Council Chambers. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[5 Ways Trump's Tweet on Mueller Stretched the Truth]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 10:10:17 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trump-mueller-foto-doble-01234.jpg

President Donald Trump made his most direct — and explicit — criticism of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation in a tweet this weekend that contained at least five inaccuracies or distortions, NBC News reported.

Trump wrote: “The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!”

In fact, the probe started after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey and Mueller was appointed as special counsel by the No. 2 official in Trump’s Justice Department.

The Mueller probe has since charged 19 different individuals with crimes.

Although Trump says there was “no collusion,” Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have concluded they "found no evidence of it." Democrats on the panel disagree.

Both Democrats and Republicans have said the original inquiry began with George Papadopoulos’ conversation with an Australian diplomat about Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton, not with information from the Steele dossier Trump referred to as the "Fake Dossier."

Finally, the FISA court order to begin surveillance on Carter Page took place after Page left the campaign.

<![CDATA[Final Battle for Democratic Civil War in Chicago's Suburbs]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 07:41:48 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/newman-lipinski-split.jpg

Liberal Democrats have used language like "horrible," "shameful" and "one of the worst" to describe one of their own members of Congress, the moderate, anti-abortion Rep. Dan Lipinski, NBC News reported.

The suburban Chicago Democrat is facing a challenge in Tuesday's congressional primary from Marie Newman, a nonprofit executive who has lined up endorsements from Planned Parenthood, MoveOn.org, Indivisible, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and well-known former advisers to Barack Obama, among others.

Democratic centrists, including the Blue Dog Coalition, support Lipinski.

"I've done 25 or 30 races over the years, and I've never seen a party turn away from a lawmaker like this," Thom Serafin, a former Democratic consultant who is now an independent political analyst, told NBC News.

Lipinski voted against the Affordable Care Act and declined to endorse Obama's re-election in 2012. A pro-Lipinski mailer featured Obama's image, infuriating Obama administration alums.

The district is considered safe for Democrats in the general election.

Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Democrats Hold Double-Digit Lead for Midterm Elections: Poll]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 05:25:53 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-912375890.jpg

Democrats have a 10-point advantage over Republicans when registered voters were asked this month who they want controlling Congress, NBC News reported.

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that congressional preference in the 2018 midterm elections was 50 percent for Democrats and 40 percent for Republicans. The difference is four points higher than in January's poll, though the change is within the margin of error.

The poll also found that President Donald Trump's job approval rating ticked up four points since the last poll to 43 percent, while 53 percent of adults disapprove of the president's handling of the job.

"Trumpism may well help Donald Trump in his 2020 election, but the buck stops there — which is a flashing red light for Republicans in 2017 or 2018," said Democratic pollster Fred Yang, who conducted the poll with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Takes Aim at McCabe and Muller on Twitter]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 04:38:45 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trump-muller-tweets-th.jpg

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted his displeasure with special counsel Robert Mueller and the Russia investigation.

<![CDATA[Why Trump Is Thrilled About McCabe's Firing: Analysis]]> Sun, 18 Mar 2018 05:26:40 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trump-cabinet-mtg.jpg

President Donald Trump had to cheer the firing of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe to sell the narrative that he is the victim of a bipartisan conspiracy, carried out over two administrations, to deny him the presidency and then discredit him once he won it.

For the president's version of events to hold up, according to NBC News, the FBI and Justice Department have to be infested with his political enemies, with those so bent on destroying him that they will violate the public trust to do it. It's a case Trump and his allies have been making for so long and with such conviction that condemning the FBI, the Justice Department and special counsel Robert Mueller has become conservative liturgy by now.

And it's the predicate to push the case that the Russia probe should end, as Trump's lawyer did Saturday.

But for Trump's supporters to believe he's the victim of an un-American conspiracy, he has to position himself as the force cleansing a corrupt justice system — a victim-turned-conqueror who has been exonerated by the missteps of his foes. He has to politicize the FBI and Justice Department by arguing that they already were politicized. That's how he's trying to use McCabe.

Photo Credit: Evan Vucci/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[FBI Deputy Director Fired Two Days Before Retirement]]> Sat, 17 Mar 2018 10:46:21 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+SEQUENCE.00_00_28_21.Still001.jpg

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was a regular target of President Donald Trump's anger and criticism.

<![CDATA[Read McCabe's Full Statement on His Termination From the FBI]]> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 19:46:08 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_17131530697588.jpg

Below is Andrew McCabe's full statement on his termination from the FBI:

I have been an FBI Special Agent for over 21 years. I spent half of that time investigating Russian Organized Crime as a street agent and Supervisor in New York City. I have spent the second half of my career focusing on national security issues and protecting this country from terrorism. I served in some of the most challenging, demanding investigative and leadership roles in the FBI. And I was privileged to serve as Deputy Director during a particularly tough time.

For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an unrelenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country. Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false, defamatory and degrading allegation against us. The President’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all. He called for my firing. He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service. And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about us.

No more.

The investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has to be understood in the context of the attacks on my credibility. The investigation flows from my attempt to explain the FBI’s involvement and my supervision of investigations involving Hillary Clinton. I was being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan, accused of closing down investigations under political pressure. The FBI was portrayed as caving under that pressure, and making decisions for political rather than law enforcement purposes. Nothing was further from the truth. In fact, this entire investigation stems from my efforts, fully authorized under FBI rules, to set the record straight on behalf of the Bureau, and to make clear that we were continuing an investigation that people in DOJ opposed.

The OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter. It was the type of exchange with the media that the Deputy Director oversees several times per week. In fact, it was the same type of work that I continued to do under Director Wray, at his request. The investigation subsequently focused on who I talked to, when I talked to them, and so forth. During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me. And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.

But looking at that in isolation completely misses the big picture. The big picture is a tale of what can happen when law enforcement is politicized, public servants are attacked, and people who are supposed to cherish and protect our institutions become instruments for damaging those institutions and people.

Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey. The release of this report was accelerated only after my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President. The OIG’s focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn. The accelerated release of the report, and the punitive actions taken in response, make sense only when viewed through this lens. Thursday’s comments from the White House are just the latest example of this.

This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.

I have always prided myself on serving my country with distinction and integrity, and I always encouraged those around me to do the same. Just ask them. To have my career end in this way, and to be accused of lacking candor when at worst I was distracted in the midst of chaotic events, is incredibly disappointing and unfair. But it will not erase the important work I was privileged to be a part of, the results of which will in the end be revealed for the country to see.

I have unfailing faith in the men and women of the FBI and I am confident that their efforts to seek justice will not be deterred.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File]]>
<![CDATA[White House: 'No Immediate Personnel Changes at This Time']]> Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:05:17 -0700 https://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/US-WH-Briefing-2-CR-152123000579100002.jpg

Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the press Friday that no more staff changes were coming, and that the Chief of Staff told staffers they "shouldn't be concerned."