<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Philadelphia Political News and Philadelphia Politics]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia https://www.nbcphiladelphia.comen-usSat, 24 Feb 2018 23:18:29 -0500Sat, 24 Feb 2018 23:18:29 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Read the Full Democratic House Intel Memo]]> Sat, 24 Feb 2018 16:51:05 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-918689774.jpg

The Democrat's House Intelligence Committee memo, drafted to counter GOP allegations about abuse of government surveillance powers in the FBI's Russia probe, has been released. Read the full document below.

Photo Credit: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Delaware Governor Seeks to Ban Assault-Style Rifles]]> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 23:38:22 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Delaware_Governor_Seeks_to_Ban_Assault-Style_Rifles.jpg

Gov. John Carney wants the First State to put an end to the sale of assault-style rifles like the AR-15. NBC10's Aaron Baskerville reports.

<![CDATA[Bridgegate: Christie Under Fire]]> Sun, 26 Jan 2014 12:06:14 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/christie+gwb+scandal+inset.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Asked About Assault Weapons Ban in Wake of Shooting]]> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 17:11:23 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+TRUMP+PRESSER+THUMB2.jpg

After praising Australia's merit based immigration program, President Donald Trump was asked if he would also consider Australia's decision to ban the sale of assault weapons in the wake of the Parkland school shooting last week.

<![CDATA[Trump Will Leave Security Clearance Decision Up to Gen. Kelly]]> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:24:06 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+TRUMP+PRESSER+THUMB.jpg

President Trump was asked to address interim security clearance for White House staff members after Rob Porter and Jared Kushner security clearances were scrutinized during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcom. Trump said that he will leave that decision up to chief of staff Gen. John Kelly.

<![CDATA[Woman With Gun Rams Van Into Security Barrier at White House: Police]]> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 21:36:05 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Car+into+security+barrier+022318.jpg

The woman who rammed a security barrier at the White House with her van was armed with a pistol, according to police records, and she had been arrested for trying to climb the White House fence twice in 2017.

U.S. Secret Service officers took 35-year-old Jessica Ford of La Vergne, Tennessee, into custody about 3 p.m. after she struck the pop-up barrier near the White House, at 17th and E streets, the Secret Service said.

No shots were fired and no one in law enforcement was injured in the incident, the Secret Service said, but a witness said he heard what he thought sounded like gunshots.

"After she hit the barricade, she just kept pressing on the gas and trying to push through, I guess," Chris Bello said. "That's what it looked like. And then they ordered her to stop, and they fire because she wouldn't stop."

He said it sounded like two or three shots.

It appears officers may have used something to smash the van's windows, possibly to get Ford out of the vehicle.

"I heard like a firecracker," witness Kimberlie Flauto said. "It didn't sound like a crash or anything and then I turned around and saw all the smoke and as soon as I saw all the smoke. And all the police were starting to pile out the back of the White House and from across the street. And then everybody's just screaming, 'Go, go!' and that's when I told all the kids, Go.'"

According to a police report, an officer saw a gun in Ford's hand before she was taken out of the van. The weapon was pointed in the opposite direction of the officers, and Ford ignored multiple commands from officers to drop the gun. Two officers had to take the gun from her hands before forcibly removing her from the van, the report said.

Officers arrested Ford and charged her with unlawful entry, carrying a pistol without a license, unregistered firearm, aggravated assault on a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon-car, destruction of government property and contempt of court.

Records state that while officers were taking Ford to jail she said "she had the 'BB gun' because if James Burris was the president the officers would shoot her to protect him and that she knowingly brought the gun with her."

A law enforcement official said the Secret Service knows Ford because she's been around the White House before. She's believed to have mental or emotional issues.

On May 17, 2017, Ford was caught scaling the White House fence. She was rearrested July 6 when she violated a stay-away order at the White House.

Ford was again charged with several criminal violations and taken to the Metropolitan Police Department.

The White House was locked down but concern about the incident was low, NBC News Justice Correspondent Pete Williams reported. Secret Service and George Washington University police officers blocked off the area.

Operations at the White House returned to normal before 6 p.m.

President Donald Trump had just met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the White House.

"Thank you to the great men and women of the United States @SecretService for a job well done!" the president tweeted.

The News4 I-Team has reported more than 20 White House security breaches in the past four years. Many of them involve people with mental or emotional issues, and many of them try to do it again.

Photo Credit: NBCWashignton]]>
<![CDATA[Students Demand Lawmakers Take Action on Gun Violence]]> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:23:01 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Protest-Washington-DC.jpg

Across the country, students are voicing their opinions about gun control, following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. NBC10's Randy Gyllenhaal has details on a West Chester rally.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Governors Announce Coalition to Fight Gun Violence]]> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 13:18:11 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NY-NJ-CT-RI+govs.jpg

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island announced the formation of the "States for Gun Safety" coalition, a new multi-state partnership to combat gun violence, and invited other states from across the nation to join the new effort.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo in unveiling the interstate initiative Thursday morning which will pool resources in an effort to combat gun violence.

The resources that will be shared among the states include research, law enforcement and intel.

The governors said states will be able to tackle issues related gun violence – including stopping the flow of black market guns, sharing information among law enforcement on individuals who may pose a violent threat and working on parallel tracks on gun safety legislation – while they wait for Congress and the President to take federal action.

"Gun violence is not a New Jersey problem, a New York problem, a Connecticut problem, a Rhode Island problem, or a problem for any particular state or region – it is a national problem,” Murphy said in a statement.

Under the "States for Gun Safety" coalition, the four states will create a multi-state task force to trace and intercept illegal guns in the region. They will also work together to gather information, while sharing information and response efforts related to gun violence. Participating states will also leverage collective investigative resources in order to determine coordinated plans for gun violence responses.

Cuomo said in a statement that rather than wait for the federal government to respond, the states decided "to take matters into our own hands."

Raimondo said in a statement that through the initiative they will "strengthen our gun laws and combat gun violence," while Malloy echoed similar sentiments saying that they cannot sit back and let guns into the hands of those who should not have them.

Participating states will also share information about individuals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm within each state.

The governors also announced that their states will designate institutes of higher education to create the nation’s first Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium to assess gun violence data across disciplines like criminal justice, public health, public policy, and social welfare. The federal government has largely been prohibited from funding gun violence research since 1996.

The announcement comes a little more than a week after the most recent mass shooting that took place Feb. 14 when Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing at least 17, according to authorities.

Cruz was a former student at the school who had a string of run-ins with school authorities that ended with his expulsion, authorities say.

Following the shooting Murphy, a Democrat, said he was “staggered” at the news and said New Jersey would join “like-minded” states to come up with regional solutions.

Murphy has repeatedly called for enacting what he calls common sense gun safety measures. He head a round-table talk earlier this month on gun legislation.

In January, Murphy announced that he was rescinding a Chris Christie-era rule that made it easier for residents to acquire carry permits for handguns.

Following the shooting, Cuomo said in a statement that the fatal incident is “another painful and infuriating reminder of the inaction in Washington,” when it comes to gun safety laws.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, New York passed the strongest gun safety legislation in the nation, Cuomo said, adding that “it’s far past time that the rest of the nation follows suit.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Doubles Down on Call for Armed Teachers in CPAC Speech]]> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 12:30:21 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/US-Trump-CPAC-2-CR-151940621053600002.jpg

President Donald Trump said Friday if teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida had been able to carry concealed weapons, they "would have shot the hell out of (the gunman) before he knew what happened."

<![CDATA[Trump Echoes NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre Following Florida Shootings]]> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 10:54:21 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/DIT+NAT+TRUMP+NRA+02232018.00_00_02_29.Still002.jpg

Hours after NRA chief Wayne LaPierre delivered his first remarks following the shootings in Florida, President Donald Trump used similar language in talking about what should be done.

<![CDATA[Former Trump Campaign Aide Gates Pleads Guilty]]> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 14:54:33 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-890291468.jpg

Former campaign aide Rick Gates pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy and making a false statement, becoming the third associate of President Donald Trump to make a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, NBC News reported.

The plea turns up the pressure on Paul Manafort, a close business associate of Gates who was the chairman of the Trump campaign. The two were indicted in October on conspiracy and other charges related to their lobbying work in Ukraine.

A criminal information filed ahead of the plea hearing says that between 2006 and 2007, Gates and others "conspired to defraud the United States by impeding impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful governmental functions of a government agency, namely the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury."

In addition, he admits he lied about a March 19, 2013, meeting attended by Manafort, a lobbyist, and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, and that he falsely denied that Ukraine was discussed and that he was preparing a report for Ukraine's leadership.

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[New Jersey Creates New Drug Response Program]]> Fri, 23 Feb 2018 09:33:59 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/New_Jersey_Creates_New_Drug_Response_Program.jpg

New Jersey announced a new partnership to battle the opioid crisis. Rana Novini reports.

<![CDATA[More Pa. Republicans Try to Halt New District Map ]]> Thu, 22 Feb 2018 17:13:47 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Pa+Congreassional+Map+2018+compare.jpg

Less than one week after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a new congressional map, candidates from both parties are scrambling to make sense of entirely new, and unexpected, political races. 

Republican representatives Ryan Costello, Lou Barletta, Lloyd Smucker and others filed a complaint Thursday in U.S. District Court over the new congressional map, which was unveiled by the state supreme court Monday. 

In the latest filing, Republicans accuse the Pennsylvania Supreme Court of violating a law that gives the state legislator control over redistricting and "mandates that the General Assembly be afforded an 'adequate opportunity' to craft a substitute plan should an initial plan be stricken for any reason."

Thursday's filing points out that the new map "destroyed any incumbency advantage" Costello once held in Chester County. His new district now includes Reading and some of southern Berks County, area in which he is not necessarily known.

"It puts me in almost entirely new territory," he told the Reading Eagle.

In a separate lawsuit filed Wednesday, Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block the new map and accused Democrats of partisan gerrymandering. 

House Speaker Mike Turzai and Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati said the state's highest court usurped legislative authority when it issued the new map on Monday, calling it an unprecedented decision.

"The Pennsylvania Supreme Court conspicuously seized the redistricting process and prevented any meaningful ability for the Legislature to enact a remedial map to ensure a court drawn map,'' they wrote in an electronic filing.

Meanwhile, Congressman Brendan Boyle announced via Facebook that he will seek re-election in Philadelphia’s new 2nd District, not Montgomery County’s 4th District.

“I am running for re-election in the place where I was born, raised and lived,” he said. “I know my friends, supporters, and constituents in Montgomery County who reached out to me this week and asked me to run in Montco will be disappointed with my decision.”

Democratic State Rep. Madeleine Dean also announced Thursday that she is dropping her bid for lieutenant governor and instead running for Congress in Montgomery County. She previously represented Abington and Upper Dublin.

“Pennsylvania sends 18 Congressmen and two Senators to represent us in Washington, and not one of them – not one – is a woman,” she said in a statement.

“We have a Republican-controlled Congress that isn’t doing its part to hold Donald Trump accountable – a majority that is undermining the education of our children, a woman’s right to choose, a delegation that refuses to support common sense gun safety measures.”

Dean said she made the decision after receiving encouragement from both former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Boyle represents the former 13th District, which comprised portions of both Philadelphia and Montgomery counties. The newly unveiled 2nd District just represents Philly while the updated 4th District is exclusively Montco.

Democrats have largely seen the recent redistricting as swinging between three to six seats. 

Gerrymandering is what caused the Pennsylvania court to issue a new map in the first place. The previous map was drawn up in 2010 along partisan lines after Republicans swept the governor’s seat and gained several seats in the legislature.

News came out Thursday that conservative super PAC, America First Action, is launching a $1 million ad-buy in support of state Rep. Rick Saconne in the former 18th District. He is running against 33-year-old Democrat and former Marine Conor Lamb. That race that will not be immediately impacted by the new map. 

Photo Credit: NBC1O
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<![CDATA[Poehler, Scott Slam NRA for Tweeting 'Parks and Rec' GIF]]> Thu, 22 Feb 2018 14:16:59 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-159938551.jpg

After the National Rifle Association invoked the spirit of Leslie Knope with a "Parks and Recreation" GIF on Twitter, the show's alumni slammed the organization for using their star to push a "pro-slaughter agenda."

The NRA had tweeted a thank you message to its spokeswoman Dana Loesch, who defended the group Wednesday night to survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre during a CNN town hall event. The NRA applauded Loesch along with a GIF of Amy Poehler's Knope showing off her supportive nature.

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"Parks and Rec" creator Michael Schur, using his Twitter handle @Ken Tremendous, delivered some choice words to the NRA, including ones from the Twitter-free Poehler.

"Hi, please take this down," Schur wrote. "I would prefer you not use a GIF from a show I worked on to promote your pro-slaughter agenda. Also, Amy isn't on twitter, but she texted me a message: "Can you tweet the NRA for me and tell them I said f--k off?"

Adam Scott, who played Ben Wyatt on the NBC series that ended in 2015, joined in, writing, "Hey @nra please stay the f--k away from Leslie Knope."

"@NRA @DLoesch our good-hearted show and especially our Leslie Knope represent the opposite of your pro-slaughter agenda - take it down and also please eat s--t," Nick Offerman.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Knope GIF was still among the NRA's tweets.

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The NRA has faced heated criticism after the Florida mass shooting, with many of the survivors railing against the organization and the politicians who receive campaign donations from it.

Loesch said at the town hall that she agreed the accused gunman "shouldn't have been able to get a firearm."

"He should have been barred from getting a firearm," Loesch said. "People who are crazy should not be able to get firearms. People who are dangerous to themselves and other individuals should not be able to obtain a firearm."

Thursday morning, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre continued defending his group at the Conservative Political Action Conference, accusing supporters of gun control of exploiting the mass school shooting to promote an anti-gun agenda and touting the solution to ending the violence is to "immediately harden our schools."

Loesch also spoke at CPAC but changed her tone from the town hall. She said many in the media "love mass shootings," adding, "crying white mothers are ratings gold."

She attacked the media organizations at the event as well, saying, "You can write whatever you want about me. And you can come find me in the hallways and scream at me. And you can try to confront me. But I'm here, we're here, we're not going anywhere. I call BS."

Loesch took language from Stoneman Douglas shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez, who led an impassioned call-and-response "we call BS" chant criticizing politicians who take campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association. She challenged them to stop taking money from the organization.

Photo Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[NRA Chief: It's Time 'to Harden Our Schools']]> Thu, 22 Feb 2018 16:42:40 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_01_26_29.Still003.jpg

NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference a week after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, arguing it is time “to harden our schools.”

<![CDATA[NJ School Tells Students Not to Stage Mass Shooting Walkout]]> Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:09:35 -0500 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Students_Stage_Walkouts_After_School_Shooting.jpg

Hundreds of students staged walk-outs across New Jersey to mark one week since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead, but at least one school told students they could be suspended if they demonstrated.

East Brunswick principal Michael Vinella told students planning a walkout "we're not looking for a quick soundbite. It’s more about a lasting message to help the cause." It comes on a day where students in Middletown and Stafford peacefully demonstrated for 17 minutes in the wake of the Valentine's Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

At lunchtime, a few East Brunswick students were permitted to be outside, but were warned that they could be suspended if they demonstrated.

“If students are outside the building we run the risk of students or unorganized fashion of somebody getting hurt or injured,” said Victor Valeski, the East Brunswick superintendent."

The announcement didn't sit well with at least one student's relative, who likened it to intimidation.

And the principal's announcement came just a day after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said "God love 'em" when asked if he supported students walking out. 

Despite pushback, students and faculty members said they were working together to figure out an alternative.

“Our students have been outspoken, they have been quite favorable, I want to hear what they have to say,” said Todd Simons, president of the East Brunswick school board.

The planned walkout in East Brunswick came just days after the school board voted to have armed police officers patrol the school.