Iran-Contra Figure Oliver North Named President of the NRA - NBC 7 San Diego

Iran-Contra Figure Oliver North Named President of the NRA

North will be replacing Pete Brownell, who decided not to seek a second term

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Iran-Contra Figure Oliver North Named President of the NRA
    AP
    Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, USMC, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Committee annual conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 7, 2014.

    Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North, the gung-ho Marine at the center of the Iran-Contra affair three decades ago, was named president Monday of the National Rifle Association, giving it star power as it faces a powerful backlash over the massacres in Florida and Las Vegas.

    North, 74, will be the biggest celebrity to lead the 5-million-member gun lobby since Hollywood leading man Charlton Heston, who famously declared in 2000 that his guns would have to be taken "from my cold, dead hands."

    "Oliver North is a legendary warrior for American freedom, a gifted communicator and skilled leader," NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said.

    Momentum for gun control has been building since the mass shooting in Las Vegas last fall that killed 58 people and the Feb. 14 rampage at a Parkland, Florida, high school that left 17 dead.

    Biden Says Trump Must Be Impeached

    [NATL] Biden Says Trump Must Be Impeached
    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday said for the first time that President Donald Trump should be impeached.
    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019)

    North was picked by the NRA's board of directors, which elects a president every two years, and is expected to assume office within the next several weeks. He succeeds Pete Brownell, who decided not to seek a second term.

    LaPierre remains as vice president and chief executive, running the powerful lobbying group's day-to-day operations.

    North will lead the board, and NRA observers say they anticipate he will take on a more public role in the style of Heston, a fiery presence who used his acting background to energize members.

    Backlash Against NBA Continues in China

    [NATL] Backlash Against NBA Continues in China

    More NBA events scheduled in China were cancelled Wednesday as backlash from a tweet sent by Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey supporting anti-government protests in Hong Kong created tension between the Chinese Government and the NBA.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019)

    North was a military aide to the National Security Council during the Reagan administration in the 1980s he emerged into the spotlight for his role in arranging the clandestine sale of weapons to Iran and the secret diversion of the proceeds to the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

    He was convicted in 1989 of obstructing Congress during its investigation, destroying government documents and accepting an illegal gratuity. Those convictions were overturned in 1991.

    He has since run for office, written several books, gone on the speaking circuit and served as a commentator on Fox News.

    House Subpoenas Pentagon, WH Chiefs in Ukraine Probe

    [NATL] House Subpoenas Pentagon and WH Chiefs in Impeachment Inquiry

    House Democrats issued two new subpoenas Monday as part of their growing impeachment inquiry, asking the Secretary of Defense and acting White House Budget Director for documents about the timing and reasons President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2019)

    In a statement, North said he was honored to be selected and "eager to hit the ground running."

    North's appointment was hailed by gun-rights supporters who consider him a patriot who will vigorously push back against efforts to restrict access to firearms. Gun-control advocates called his appointment symptomatic of an NRA tone-deaf and unwilling to seek solutions to gun violence.

    "For an organization so concerned with law and order, picking a new leader who admitted that he lied to Congress is a truly remarkable decision," said Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign. The gun lobby "will be led by a man whose own concealed carry permit was revoked because he was 'not of good character.'"

    WH: American Troops to Pull Out of Syria for Turkey

    [NATL] WH: American Troops to Pull Out of Syria for Turkey

    The White House says Turkey will soon move troops into northern Syria as U.S. troops withdraw. Kurdish fighters who remain in the region to help the U.S. push ISIS out of Syria are calling the move a betrayal. The Turkish government regards the Kurds as terrorists, raising fears about their fate.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2019)

    Robert J. Spitzer, chairman of political science at the State University of New York at Cortland and an expert on firearms and Second Amendment issues, called North the closest thing the NRA has to a celebrity.

    "And maybe they figure they need a more prominent person at the helm, as opposed to the string of relative unknowns who have served in recent years," Spitzer said.

    Heston, who died in 2008, served from 1998 to 2003. In 2000, he sought to rally NRA supporters against Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore, warning that Gore was going to "slander you as gun-toting, knuckle-dragging, bloodthirsty maniacs."

    2nd Whistleblower Comes Forward on Trump-Ukraine Call

    [NATL] 2nd Whistleblower Comes Forward on Trump-Ukraine Call

    A second whistleblower with "first-hand knowledge" has come forward with information about President Trump's controversial July phone call with the president of Ukraine.  The White House is dismissing the new development, saying "It doesn't matter how many people decide to call themselves whistleblowers...It doesn't change the fact that [President Trump] has done nothing wrong."

    (Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2019)

    Hoisting a flintlock rifle, Heston declared: "From my cold, dead hands!"

    It was a time similar to today, an election following a high-profile mass shooting — the one at Columbine high school in 1999.