<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - National & International News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/national-internationalhttp://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.pngNBC 10 Philadelphiahttp://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usFri, 28 Apr 2017 13:59:01 -0400Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:59:01 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations<![CDATA[How Trump's Tweets Have Changed in 100 Days as @POTUS]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:49:09 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/632863052-realdonaldtrump-potus-donald-trump-twitter.jpg

President Donald Trump is known for his quick-fire tweeting, a habit he believes helped him win the election. But as his term progressed, the number of likes and retweets each post received started to fall.

As he approaches his 100th day in office, @realDonaldTrump's rate of interactions is about a quarter of what it was on the week of his inauguration, according to data from CrowdTangle, the social media-monitoring platform. The official @POTUS account's interaction rate is about one-eighth of what it was the week of Jan. 20.

While the drop-off in likes and retweets, known as engagement, may seem like a blow for someone so committed to winning, social media experts say it's unsurprising.

"The dust is settling on social media" as people are winding down after a social-media frenzied election, said Jennifer Grygiel, an assistant communications professor at Syracuse's Newhouse School of Public Communications. 


Despite a fall in interactions, the following for Trump's two accounts has continued to grow, by a combined 27 percent — though the rate they've grown has also slowed down as he settled into the White House. Today @realDonaldTrump has 28.4 million followers, while @POTUS has 16.8 million followers.

@realDonaldTrump's most popular tweets as president all came in the first few weeks of his presidency — his most popular remains a Jan. 22 tweet noting the right to peaceful protest after the Women's March on Washington. (@POTUS tweets get much less engagement than Trump's personal account.)

Since then, most tweets have had much less engagement. The most popular tweet from March, in which he called Barack Obama a "Bad (or sick) guy!" and alleged without evidence that his predecessor tapped his phones at Trump Tower, received the 25th most likes and retweets since Jan. 20. April's most popular message wished "Happy Easter to everyone!" and was his 25th most popular as president.

On average, the accounts collected a combined 2.14 million interactions each week since the inauguration, according to the CrowdTangle analysis. Interactions with @realDonaldTrump spiked the week after the inauguration, while those with @POTUS spiked around his late-February address to Congress. 

The decline in interactions isn't necessarily indicative of an unsuccessful administration, Grygiel said.

"People are moving on with their lives, and also just consuming updates about the new administration by way of more traditional means, such as reading stuff that's published by journalists," she said.


Engagement could be falling because people find his tweets to be less helpful, according to Tom Hollihan, a communications professor at the Annenberg School of Journalism at the University of Southern California.

"One gets a sense even his hardcore supporters think [his] tweets are less helpful to his cause," Hollihan said, based on polling he's seen. 

Two-thirds of millennials, consummate social media users, found Trump's tweeting to be inappropriate, according to a Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics survey conducted in March. A January NBC/WSJ poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans thought Trump's Twitter habit was a bad idea.

The White House didn't respond to requests for comment for this story.

The president's tone varies greatly between his Twitter accounts, said USC professor Hollihan and Grygiel, the Syracuse professor. They had different explanations for why.

The @realDonaldTrump account frequently talks about the news cycle and "fake news" — something that isn't usually discussed on the @POTUS account, according to data that Grygiel collected through Sysomos, a social media analytics company.

Other popular words on @realDonaldTrump include "great," "big" and "Trump." @POTUS frequently mentions @realDonaldTrump — a sign of cross promotion, Grygiel said — along with "POTUS," "VP" and "White House," according to her analysis.

Hollihan said the @POTUS account is clearly being run by his advisers, while the @realDonaldTrump account is run from the president's cellphone.

But Grygiel said she believes Trump has split his time between his personal and official accounts, a strategy she calls "brilliant."

"He’s essentially split himself in two, and he has two strikingly different tones," Grygiel said.

Grygiel likened Trump's tone on @realDonaldTrump to that of "a mafia boss" — it appeals to the part of his base that wants him to be more aggressive. On the other hand, @POTUS has a more diplomatic tone she believes appeals to people outside of his base.

"It’s a really amazing strategy," Grygiel added. "I think he's essentially pandering to two populaces in this country."

Hollihan doesn't believe there is much of a strategy, and that Trump's tweets seem to sow confusion among his advisers and cabinet.

"I think instead what we see is that he's continuing this set of practices that seemed to work for him during the campaign," when Trump's reactiveness to news developments dominated his feed. "In fact, he's conducted himself in the first 100 days of his presidency exactly the same way he sought to conduct himself during the campaign."

Trump seems to tweet about a series of different issues every day in the White House, like health care, tax reform or renegotiating NAFTA, Hollihan added, rather than picking one to focus on so he can rally public and congressional support.

As for Trump's predecessor, Grygiel said there's no way to really compare Trump's Twitter habits and Obama's. Twitter and Facebook "really came of age" when Obama was in office, she said.

"Social media was something Obama had to adopt and grow over the eight years he was in office," Grygiel said. "He was probably one of the first presidents to hand over large-scale social media accounts to a new administration."

Hollihan said Obama used Twitter in a more reflective way.

"Nothing about Obama's temperament suggested he acted without...reflection, and yet that's what defines Trump’s use of social media," he said.

Both presidents' Twitter habits are vastly different, both in how often they tweeted and in content. Obama occasionally tweeted from his @POTUS account to comment on policy or current events, such as when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.

Trump, on the other hand, has tweeted nearly every single day since taking office. He tweets from @realDonaldTrump five times per day on average, according to CrowdTangle data. @POTUS sends out three tweets per day. 

"This is pretty remarkable that we have a president who's so willing to reveal that he is influenced by the last thing he hears on TV, or reads," Hollihan said.



Photo Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Trump Reflects on Presidency: 'I Thought It Would Be Easier']]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 09:24:55 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_17111745236067.jpg

Donald Trump misses his old job, struggles with the workload of the presidency and finds it brings a lack of privacy, he told Reuters ahead of his 100th day in office, NBC News reported.

"I loved my previous life. I had so many things going … this is more work than in my previous life," he told Reuters. "I thought it would be easier."

The interview comes as Trump proposes a major tax reform plan, signs a slew of executive orders and tries to get a health care bill passed. He is also working to contain the nuclear threat in North Korea by negotiating with other major Asian leaders.

"I'm a details oriented person. I think you would say that, but I do miss my old life," Trump said. "I like to work, so that's not a problem, but this is actually more work."



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik]]>
<![CDATA[Looking Back: Trump's First 100 Days]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:43:23 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Trump1000427_MP4-149333632682600001.jpg

President Trump came to Washington with an aggressive legislative agenda dubbed the "100-day Action Plan to Make America Great Again."

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<![CDATA[Former Pres. George H.W. Bush Discharged From Hospital]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:06:27 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/georgne+h+w+bush+hospital+discharged+houston.jpg

Former president George H. W. Bush is at home after a mild case of pneumonia led to a stay in a Houston hospital.

Bush was being treated at Houston Methodist Hospital for mild pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, and was discharged Friday, according to a statement.

Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, are "pleased to be home spending time with family and friends," the statement said.

The former president was admitted to the hospital over a week ago and remained under observation since the beginning of the week. He was also hospitalized ahead of his appearance at the Super Bowl, where he tossed the coin before the game. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images for HBO, File]]>
<![CDATA[Osprey Recalls Child Backpack Carriers Due to Fall Hazard]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:39:54 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/osprey-backpack-recall.jpg

Osprey is recalling 82,000 child backpack carriers due to a fall hazard.

The recall involves all models of Osprey’s Poco, Poco Plus and Poco Premium child backpack carriers manufactured between January 2012 and December 2014.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a child seated in the carrier can slip through the leg openings, posing a fall hazard to children.

Osprey says it has received four reports of children falling through the carrier, including one report of scratches to the head and another sustained a skull fracture.

The nylon child carriers were sold in three colors, “Romper Red,” “Koala Grey” and “Bouncing Blue.” They have a metal frame and a gray padded child’s seat inside.

The production date is stamped on a black label sewn into the interior of the large lower zippered compartment on the back of the carrier. “Osprey” is printed on the fabric above the kick stand. The model name is printed on the back at the bottom.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled carriers and contact Osprey for a free Seat Pad Insert for use along with the existing safety straps to secure the child in the carrier.

Consumers who previously received and installed the free Seat Pad Insert in their carriers are not required to take further action.

The products were sold at REI and specialty outdoor stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com from January 2012 to December 2015 for between $200 and $300.



Photo Credit: CPSC]]>
<![CDATA[California Gears Up to Fight Trump on Car Emissions]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 11:18:00 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/134002821-405-traffic-generic.jpg

Even as President Trump pulls back on regulations governing car emissions, part of a broader policy of overturning environmental protections enacted by the Obama administration, California is determinedly headed in the opposite direction with stricter rules it alone is authorized to enact.

During a visit to Detroit last month, Trump halted the imposition of standards that would cut car emissions almost in half by 2025, including greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming. The administration instead will reopen a review of the standards at the request of the major automakers, giving them the chance to argue that the rules should be eased.

"This is going to be a new era for American jobs and job creation," Trump said in Detroit.

But California is moving forward with the more stringent tailpipe rules, setting up an expected showdown with the Trump administration. A week after Trump's announcement, the California Air Resources Board not only voted to reaffirm the standards and but also began to consider new ones to take effect after 2025. Likely to join the fight will be the dozen other states that follow California's standards rather than the national ones. States can choose either.

"The Trump administration really is very aggressively proclaiming that we should not be addressing climate change at the federal level," said Sean B. Hecht, the co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the UCLA School of Law. "And the auto companies have taken this as an opportunity…to say, 'Hold on, let's try to back out of this deal where we have these federal fuel economy standards through 2025.'"

Trump has had a mixed record in his first 100 days in office. He began dismantling former President Barack Obama's major climate change policy, the Clean Power Plan, with an executive order lifting carbon restrictions, but has made little headway on many of his other campaign promises. His travel ban is tied up in the courts and an overhaul of Obamacare was withdrawn from the House because it had little support. Now California and other, mostly blue states are vowing to fight any easing of regulations governing car emissions.

California needs to control emissions to meet its ambitious plans for battling climate change, with zero-emission vehicles such as electric cars from Tesla and Chevrolet part of the mix. Last year, legislators passed a bill requiring that by 2030, the state cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below its 1990 levels. To send a message about their willingness to take on Trump, Democratic leaders of the California legislature hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to represent them in legal fights with the White House.

California Gov. Jerry Brown and the state's other top Democrats called Trump's move to roll back the emissions standards a cynical ploy.

"President Trump's decision today to weaken emission standards in cars is an unconscionable gift to polluters," Brown wrote to the EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on March 15. "Once again you've put the interests of big oil ahead of clean air and politics ahead of science."

Electricity production accounted for most of the greenhouse gases produced in 2014 at 30 percent, but transportation was right behind at 26 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's website. In California, that percentage was even higher: Transportation generated 37 percent of its emissions in 2014.

"For sure California is gearing up," said Deborah Sivas, an environmental litigator at Stanford Law School. "Part of it depends on the next moves by the administration."

The EPA did not respond to a request for comment about its plans for the emissions standards. In a statement last month, Pruitt said that along with the Department of Transportation, the EPA would consider whether the emissions standards were good not only for the environment but also for consumers.

"These standards are costly for automakers and the American people," he said. "We will work with our partners at DOT to take a fresh look to determine if this approach is realistic."

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao echoed his statement, calling Trump's position a "win" for the American people.

Attempts to undercut the standards will prompt drawn-out litigation from states such as California or New York, Sivas predicted. To reverse an earlier decision, the EPA will have to go through the same series of elaborate steps that were taken to put the rules into place.

"They can't just say, 'Oh yeah, well forget that,'" Sivas said.

California earned its unique authority to set regulations tougher than national ones through its pioneering efforts to curb air pollution. When Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1970, it gave the EPA authority to restrict air pollution from tailpipes as a way to tackle smog. But because California had established its own laws a decade earlier, and because it successfully argued that its air pollution was naturally worse than other states', it was given special status in the law. California may ask the EPA administrator for a waiver to restrict pollution more stringently than the federal government if, in the law's language, the state's standards are at least as protective of public health and welfare and needed to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions.

The EPA has denied California's request for a waiver just once, during the administration of President George W. Bush, when California first moved to regulate greenhouse gases in addition to more traditional pollutants. California sued but the case was never decided because Obama was elected.

If the Trump administration were to deny future waivers, California would certainly push back. 

Hecht said that in the past, California has argued that it has compelling and extraordinary circumstances because it has a very large economy and sells many cars, and so its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases will make a difference. It also has said that climate change will have specific, negative effects on the state: the loss of the snow pack which will threaten its water supply, for example.

"They were accepted by the Obama administration, and the question will be, Will California win that court fight?'" he said.

Nor is there anything in the law giving the EPA administrator the authority to withdraw a waiver already granted.

"It doesn't speak to the issue one way or the other," said Richard Frank, an environmental law professor at the University of California-Davis.

The Trump administration would likely argue that it has the discretion to revoke any waivers granted by a previous administration, while California would say that absent specific language in the law, the EPA lacks the authority, he said.

"Given all that it will be tough for EPA to say we're going to rescind your waiver," Sivas said. "So I think California has the upper hand in that fight if it comes down to that."

At Pruitt's confirmation hearing, he refused to commit to keeping the waiver in place. Pressed by California's Sen. Kamala D. Harris, a Democrat, he said, "I don't know without going through the process to determine that. One would not want to presume the outcome."

If the Trump administration were to try to withdraw the waiver, Sivas thought California would win in court.

"It's pretty clear under the statue that the deference goes to California not to the EPA on whether the waiver is appropriate," she said. "The Congress wrote the statute that way."

The EPA has already concluded both that elevated levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere "may reasonably be anticipated to endanger" public health and that emissions from new cars contribute to the dangerous levels of greenhouse gases.

The so-called "endangerment finding" came about after Massachusetts sued the EPA under the George W. Bush administration to force it to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. The U.S. Supreme Court determined that greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act's "capacious definition of 'air pollutant,'" meaning the EPA had the statutory authority to regulate their emissions from new cars and other vehicles.

When it was challenged, the finding was upheld in a federal court, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

"It is there, and it needs to be enforced and respected," Pruitt said during his confirmation hearing. "There is nothing that I know that would cause it to be reviewed."

Massachusetts — which along with Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington follow California's lead — is committed to the stricter standards, said Ed Coletta, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

As with California, Massachusetts is relying on lower car emissions to achieve its climate change goals. The administration of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker wants to place 300,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road in Massachusetts by 2025 as part of a multi-state effort.

"Any weakening of those standards would raise concerns about Massachusetts' ability to meet emissions reduction goals and maintain ozone standards," Coletta said.

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation also said it would stick with the California standards to try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050.

"While federal leadership is essential, New York will not stand idly by while clean air protections are eviscerated, and will take any and all actions necessary to ensure public health and our environment are protected," it said.

Meanwhile, the attorneys general of eight of the states plus the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection criticized Trump's position as a dramatic wrong turn for the country that would undermine successful efforts to combat pollution.

"An extensive technical study by the Environmental Protection Agency already found that the standards are fully and economically achievable by the auto industry," their March 16 statement said. "Relaxing them would increase the air pollution that is responsible for premature death, asthma, and more – particularly in our most vulnerable communities."

The standards that Trump wants to ease were set in 2012 in an ambitious effort that also created consistency across the country. The agreement, which grew out of an accord that Obama crafted in 2009 after the financial melt-down, brought together the Obama administration, the car manufacturers and the California Air Resources Board. The rules require each company's fleet of vehicles for the model years 2022 through 2025 to achieve on average 54.5 miles per gallon and they enable the manufactures to avoid making two versions of vehicles for different states.

As part of the agreement, the EPA undertook an evaluation mid-way through the period, but expedited its analysis just before Obama's term ended. In November, with Trump about to take office, it announced it would leave the regulations in place.

That decision left many of the car companies crying foul, saying the review had been rushed, and urging Trump to intervene and weaken the standards. Manufactures warned of price hikes over what consumers could pay, and the loss of 1 million automotive jobs, and pointed to the popularity of pickup trucks and other less fuel-efficient vehicles.

"The Trump Administration has created an opportunity for decision-makers to reach a thoughtful and coordinated outcome predicated on the best and most current data," the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement after Trump’s announcement.

Now that the review has been reopened, a final decision from the EPA could come as late as April 2018.

Meanwhile in court, the alliance is arguing that the EPA's speeded up review was arbitrary and capricious. California responded by asking the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit that it be allowed to defend the feasibility of the standards in court.

An earlier analysis by the EPA found that the standards would reduce oil consumption by nearly 40 billion gallons of refined gasoline and diesel fuel, decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 540 million metric tons and save consumers more than $1,650 per vehicle, the California politicians said.

"Your action to weaken vehicle pollution standards — standards your own members agreed to —breaks your promise to the American people," Brown wrote to the automobile manufacturers. "Please be advised that California will take the necessary steps to preserve the current standards and protect the health of our people and the stability of our climate."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump Through the Years]]>Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:34:36 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Trumpthumb.jpgWhat Donald Trump's presidency will look like is unclear to many observers. He has not previously worked in politics, and has made contradictory statements on policy issues in several areas during his campaign. Despite the unknowns, Trump has an extensive public profile that, along with his real estate empire and the Trump brand, grew domestically and internationally over the last few decades. Here is a look at the president-elect's personal and career milestones and controversies.

Photo Credit: AP, Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[From Spicey to Kush: 'SNL's' First 100 Days of Trump]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:08:25 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SNL_Trump.jpg

There have been seven episodes of “Saturday Night Live” during the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the program’s been handed plenty of material by the administration, from the president’s tweeting and press secretary Sean Spicer’s gaffes to Stephen Bannon’s perceived influence behind-the-scenes and Jared Kushner’s sunglasses-and-blazer fashion statement in Iraq.

The most consistent "SNL" target is the president himself, played by Alec Baldwin on five of the seven episodes.

When Trump's travel ban got stymied in the courts, "SNL's" Trump took his case to "The People's Court." On another episode, Baldwin's Trump spoke to supporters worried about their jobs by comparing his followers to people who "find a finger in their chili" but eat it anyway. After Trump wore a flight jacket while speaking to members of the Navy, "SNL" parodied the commander in chief by having Baldwin give a less-than-inspirational speech during an alien invasion. 

Baldwin also branched out, playing both Trump and ousted Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on a split screen in a "No Spin Zone" segment.

The response to Baldwin’s version of Trump has been, on average, favorable. Trump, who hosted NBC's "SNL" during the campaign, has been quiet about the impression since he took office. But before his inauguration, Trump argued that Baldwin's send-up “stinks.”

"He's gone from funny to mean and that's unfortunate," Spicer told "Extra" back in February. "'Saturday Night Live' used to be really funny and I think there's a streak of meanness now that they've kind of crossed over into." 

Of course, audiences became familiar with Baldwin’s Trump long before the inauguration — he’d been making "SNL" appearances since before the election, facing off as a presidential candidate in debates with Kate McKinnon's Hillary Clinton.


Baldwin's parody had become a mainstay by the time the real Trump took office.

Melissa McCarthy, not Baldwin, became the surprising breakout star of the first 100 days of "SNL’s" Trump administration in playing Spicer.

McCarthy first showed up, unannounced, on the Feb. 4 episode to riff on Spicer’s first press conference, during which the public face of the White House took an adversarial stance toward the press corps. 

Spicer had scolded the media for “deliberately false reporting.” One instance referred to an incorrect tweet from a pool reporter that a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. It hadn't, and the reporter had apologized. Spicer also criticized reports on Trump's inauguration crowd size.

On "SNL," McCarthy played up Spicer’s defensive stance. 

“Now I’d like to begin today by apologizing — on behalf of you, to me, for how you have treated me these last two weeks. And that apology is not accepted. Because I’m not here to be your buddy. I’m here to swallow gum, and I’m here to take names,” she said, the gum being a reference to Spicer’s reported fondness for downing pieces of Orbit

She ended the press conference by shooting a reporter with a water gun for asking about the White House’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day that didn’t mention Jews.


Real-life Spicer responded to the portrayal in an interview later with "Extra." He said it was funny, but over-exaggerated — presumably what "SNL" was going for. He offered some seemingly good-natured advice for McCarthy, suggesting she tone it down on the gum.

McCarthy returned for her second of three appearances the following week. “I have been told that I am going to cut back on the gum chewing, so I’ve cut back to one slice a day,” she said, just before pulling out a giant stick of gum. This time she used a leaf-blower on a reporter in response to a question about the president’s statements on Chicago’s murder rate. “That was me blowing away their dishonesty,” she said.


Robert Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, said it’s unusual that the press secretary would become the central person in the comic pantheon of an administration. But in Spicer's case it was “inevitable,” he said. That's because Spicer appears on television every weekday, then his performance is aired and re-aired and repackaged by networks, cable news and late-night shows. 

McCarthy’s third Spicer spoof came the Saturday after the real Spicer made an inaccurate, off-base remark on Passover in which he suggested Hitler never used chemical weapons on his own people. He’d been trying to highlight Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s inhumanity.

Spicer tried to clarify his intentions throughout the day but kept flubbing it, referring to concentration camps as “Holocaust centers.” By the evening he admitted to his mistake and asked for forgiveness.

McCarthy appeared that week as Spicer in an Easter Bunny costume. Not only was it the night before Easter Sunday, but Spicer had previously played the role of Easter Bunny at the White House Easter Egg Roll during the George W. Bush administration. 

"SNL's" Easter Bunny begrudgingly admitted that she’d done wrong.

“You all got your wish this week,” she snarled. “Spicey finally made a mistake.” She clarified that she of course meant to say “concentration clubs,” not Holocaust centers then climbed into a car shaped like an Easter egg shell and crashed it into her podium.


There have been other standout Trump administration characters since Jan. 21.

The makeup department transformed Kate McKinnon into Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was portrayed as Forrest Gump, offering chocolates to passengers waiting at a bus stop and occasionally making unsolicited confessions about his meetings with Russians. This came after the revelation that the newly appointed attorney general had neglected to let lawmakers know during his confirmation hearing that he had met with Russia's top diplomat during the Trump campaign when he was a prominent adviser.


Early into the first 100 days, McKinnon played Kellyanne Conway “Fatal Attraction”-style in an attempt to get CNN's Jake Tapper to give her airtime. The "SNL" sketch came after CNN reconsidered its booking of Conway over credibility issues. “You don’t get it, Kellyanne. You made up a massacre. We can’t have you on,” Beck Bennett said as Tapper.


Other characters, whose roles in the administration’s first 100 days have been more behind-the-scenes, made recurring appearances on "SNL."

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president and possible election-meddler, was played week-after-week by a greased-up, shirtless Bennett. 


Trump's chief strategist Stephen Bannon was portrayed as a grim reaper/puppet-master figure at the helm of the Resolute desk. Baldwin's Trump, by contrast, was relegated to a kiddie desk.


But with Bannon's perceived influenced waning by April amid reports of a West Wing power struggle, "SNL" had Baldwin's Trump choose son-in-law Jared Kushner in a reality show-style showdown over who would occupy the Resolute desk.   

Jimmy Fallon, who played Kushner while hosting "SNL" on April 15, stayed mum and wore a stylish outfit underneath a flak jacket, in a mocking reference to the real Kushner's visit with ground troops in Iraq.


Then, there was the pre-taped commercial parody for a fictional Ivanka Trump (played by host Scarlett Johansson) fragrance called “Complicit.” CBS' Gayle King referenced the sketch while asking the real Ivanka Trump whether she felt “complicit” with what happened in the White House. Ivanka Trump replied that, "If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit." 

If Ivanka Trump's reaction to "SNL's" ribbing was lukewarm, Spicer has seemed to take McCarthy’s jabs in stride. He was seen wearing an Easter bunny necktie during the press briefing the Monday after the Easter bunny episode aired.

President Trump hasn't shown the same penchant to laugh at himself. 

That contrasts with former President Gerald Ford, who wrote the book on humor and the presidency. 

Ford was repeatedly lampooned as an oafish klutz by Chevy Chase on "SNL" in the 1970s, in the program’s earliest days. Ford responded by making a cameo on "SNL". 

Ford reflected in his book “Humor and the Presidency” that, “It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a measurable correlation between humor in an administration and the popularity of that administration’s policies.” 

Of course, quantifying humor isn’t a science, and the jury is out on how effective Trump has been in his first 100 days. Trump's approval with 82 percent of Republicans is strong, though nearly two-thirds of Americans overall give him fair or poor ratings, according to NBC News.   

"SNL," for its part, is having its most-watched season in 23 years.



Photo Credit: NBCUniversal
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<![CDATA[Family of Calif. Teen's Abductor to File Wrongful Death Claim Against FBI]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 12:35:54 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Hannah-Dimaggio-File-Pic.jpg

The attorney for the family of James DiMaggio, the man killed by FBI sharpshooters after allegedly kidnapping teenager Hannah Anderson in 2013, will file an amended wrongful death claim in the case.

Attorney Keith Greer will file the amended $20 million claim in Federal Court in Idaho on Friday. The suit claims FBI agents used excessive and unjustified force in killing DiMaggio in Idaho after a 6-day manhunt.

“We have serious concern that they were waiting for an opportunity to kill him and not waiting for an opportunity to apprehend him,” said Greer.

DiMaggio’s sister has much stronger words.

“I believe that a kill squad went in and hunted my brother down like an animal and shot and killed him. I believe my brother was murdered,” said Lora DiMaggio Robinson.

DiMaggio was shot and killed by FBI sharpshooters on August 10, 2013. Investigators claim he fled to Idaho after allegedly kidnapping the then-16-year-old Anderson. Days earlier, the bodies of her mother and brother were found in DiMaggio’s burned down home in Boulevard, Calif., east of San Diego.

Federal and state prosecutors say agents acted reasonably when they shot and killed DiMaggio.

But attorney Greer says FBI drone surveillance video shows agents had ample time to apprehend DiMaggio.

“If we allow the enforcers, in this case, the hostage rescue team, to be the executioner and the judge and jury, the system falls apart. We can’t have the police coming in and shooting people because they think they’re bad people,” said Greer.

“We want the same thing I’ve wanted from the beginning. I want answers. I want the truth. I want to know what happened to my best friend,” said DiMaggio Robinson.



Photo Credit: NBC San Diego]]>
<![CDATA['Major, Major Conflict' Possible With North Korea: Trump]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:40:59 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Un_Trump_Split.jpg

President Donald Trump warned on Thursday that the U.S. could be headed toward a "major, major conflict" with North Korea over the country's nuclear and missile programs, NBC News reported.

The president said so in an interview with Reuters, adding, "We'd love to solve things diplomatically, but it's very difficult."

Trump also said he hoped the North's 33-year-old leader, Kim Jong-Un, is "rational." The president said taking over a regime at a young age is "a very hard thing to do."

The interview comes just hours after a North Korean propaganda outlet released a video simulating an attack on America, with targets superimposed on the White House and American aircraft carriers.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP Images, Files]]>
<![CDATA[Starbucks’ App Has Been Overwhelming Some Baristas]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:43:58 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/511143580-Starbucks-generic.jpg

Starbucks' mobile order and pay system has been bringing some of its busiest locations to a standstill, NBC News reported.

The system lets people order ahead and swoop into a store to pick up their coffee, food or unicorn frappucino. It was so popular in the first quarter of 2017 that store traffic ground to a halt as baristas contended with a wave of orders, prompting some walk-in customers to leave.

In 1,200 Starbucks locations, at least 20 percent of transactions in peak hours came from customers using mobile order and pay, the company said.

So the company has been experimenting with new ways to "more efficiently handle increased demand" from both mobile and walk-in customers during peak hours.



Photo Credit: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Top News: Protesters at UC Berkeley to Support Ann Coulter]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 10:20:14 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-674175560.jpgView daily updates on the best photos in domestic and foreign news.

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Delaware Standoff Comes to Deadly End]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:44:08 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Delaware0427_MP4-149333567697200001.jpg

A man suspected of fatally shooting a Delaware state trooper is dead, shot by police after barricading himself in a house overnight and then opening fire on responding officers.

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<![CDATA['Frederick Douglass' Bill Aims to Combat Trafficking]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:37:29 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/417px-Frederick_Douglass_portrait.jpg

Members of Congress have introduced a bipartisan bill, named for American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, that would seek to curb human trafficking, NBC News reported.

The "Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act of 2017," is co-sponsored by New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith and California Democrat Rep. Karen Bass.

Seven other sponsors have put their support behind the bill, which would reauthorize $130 million in funding to stop human trafficking and provide aid to victims.

The bill will go before the Committee on Foreign Affairs on May 2.



Photo Credit: National Archives]]>
<![CDATA[Flynn Was Warned About Accepting Foreign Payments in 2014]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:22:16 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Flynn_Investigation_Full-149330824475800001.jpg

President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned by the military in 2014 not to accept foreign payments without prior approval, according to documents released on Thursday by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the House oversight committee. Separate letters released Thursday show no evidence that Flynn ever sought that approval.

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<![CDATA[2 Members of US Military Die in Afghanistan ISIS Operation]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 10:30:37 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/pentagon0GettyImages-136114173.jpg

Two members of the U.S. military were killed in an operation on an ISIS target in Afghanistan, NBC News reported. Another was wounded.

More information on the soldiers, including what service they were in, wasn't immediately available, pending notification of their next of kin, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in a statement Thursday.

The operation took place in the Achin area, where the military dropped a massive, non-nuclear bomb called the "mother of all bombs" on an ISIS target in Afghanistan two weeks ago, the weapon's first-ever use in combat.

Another American soldier died this month during an operation against ISIS in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and ISIS are fighting over territory, and with government and American coalition forces.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA['I Finished Her': Florida Man Beat Wife to Death With Pipe Wrench]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:05:35 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/042717+Claude+Sejour.jpg

A Hollywood man beat his wife to death with a pipe wrench while their four children were home after learning she was pregnant with another man's baby, police said.

Claude Sejour, 48, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of premeditated homicide in the killing of 40-year-old Marie Carmel Joseph, Hollywood Police said.

Authorities said an officer responded to the couple's home on the 5900 block of Thomas Street Wednesday night after Sejour called 911 and said he killed his wife and was waiting outside for police.

An officer found Sejour outside the home with blood on his hands and cheek, according to a police report. Sejour told the officer that his wife had called her boyfriend, put the phone on speaker and the boyfriend revealed she was carrying his child, the report said.

"I did it. I finished her and called the police and went outside. I'm not crazy," Sejour told the officer, according to the report.

Inside the home officers found Joseph's body. She had severe trauma to her face and head, police said. Sejour told investigators that he hit her with a pipe wrench during an altercation.

The couple's four children, who range in age from 17 to 4, were also inside the home. The children are staying with a family member, the report said.

Sejour was being held without bond Thursday, Broward jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.



Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Little Green Men? Alien Prank Calls Flood New ICE Hotline]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:50:26 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/AP_17116593407075.jpg

Reports of space aliens and UFOs have flooded the telephone lines at Immigration and Customs Enforcement's newly launched VOICE hotline, established Wednesday through an executive order, which aims to provide public information and resources to the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, NBC news reported.

The calls are part of a protest campaign started on Twitter by Alex McCoy, 28, who encouraged others online to call the hotline and report encounters with extraterrestrial beings.

"I thought this was a chance to push back on how Trump has demonized the immigrant community. [The idea] really took off," McCoy told NBC News.

ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox confirmed to NBC News that the office received alien-related prank calls. He said additional operators will be added if future data reveals long wait times.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Susan Walsh]]>
<![CDATA[Pentagon Probes Flynn Payments]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:45:00 -0400http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_trumpflynn0427_1500x845.jpg

Michael Flynn, President Trump's former National Security Advisor, is being investigated by the Defense Department to determine whether he failed to get permission to receive payments from a foreign government.

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