<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Philadelphia Political News and Philadelphia Politics]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-usTue, 14 Aug 2018 13:30:59 -0400Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:30:59 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Omarosa: Trump Used 'Derogatory' Term for Puerto Ricans]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 12:33:19 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/getty-trump-ayuda-puerto-rico-0234.jpg

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman says in her new book that President Donald Trump and his chief of staff, John Kelly, "referred to Puerto Ricans with derogatory terms many times," NBC News reported. Manigault Newman did not detail what those terms were.

In "Unhinged," Manigault Newman also says that the president tossing rolls of paper towels to Hurricane Maria victims during his visit to the devastated island was a moment of "cavalier behavior in the face of human tragedy."

She also asserts "many of the problems and delays with getting aid to Puerto Rico were partly political." Kelly fought efforts to secure aid for Puerto Rico, believing its government was trying to exploit the tragedy to get money from Washington, she alleges.

Manigualt Newman instead cast herself and former homeland security adviser Tom Bossert as fighters for resources for Puerto Rico.

The White House had no immediate comment on Manigault Newman's allegations.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Tweets His Frustration at Omarosa, Calls Her a 'Dog']]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 12:09:08 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/NC_omarosafallout_1920x1080.jpg

President Donald Trump is ramping up his war of words with reality star and former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman after she released secretly-recorded conversations between herself and the president.

<![CDATA[ Ben Carson Moves to Roll Back Obama-Era Fair Housing Rule]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 23:23:37 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/carson-ben.jpg

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson is taking new steps to roll back an Obama-era rule intended to combat housing segregation.

The Trump administration on Monday formally began the process of dismantling a rule requiring cities and towns to create plans to combat historic patterns of housing segregation or risk losing federal funding, NBC News reported

The Trump administration said it would instead focus on increasing the supply of affordable housing across the country. Carson told The Wall Street Journal that he would "encourage the development of mixed-income multifamily dwellings all over the place" by making HUD money contingent on looser zoning rules.

The Obama-era rule is "suffocating investment in some of our most distressed neighborhoods that need our investment the most," Carson said in a statement.

But Sara Pratt, a former Obama official who helped develop the rule, said the Trump administration's moves would enable communities to ignore long-standing barriers to fair housing and integration.

Photo Credit: John Locher/AP, File ]]>
<![CDATA[FBI Fires Peter Strzok, Agent Behind Controversial Anti-Trump Texts]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 12:06:27 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/strzok1.jpg

FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team after the discovery of anti-Trump text messages, was fired by the FBI last week, his lawyer said Monday.

<![CDATA[Hundreds of Counterprotestors Gather at Unite the Right Rally]]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 13:32:24 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_59_13.Still004.jpg

Government and police officials in D.C. say they are confident the District can manage the events without violence.

<![CDATA[Trump Lashes Out, Calls Manigault a 'Lowlife']]> Mon, 13 Aug 2018 07:26:22 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_30_18.Still003.jpg

The president lashed out at the former White House aid during a meeting with supporters.

<![CDATA[Erdogan Warns Trump: Turkey Does Not Respond to Threats]]> Sat, 11 Aug 2018 11:56:53 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/ErdoganTurkeySacks.jpg

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the U.S. on Saturday that his country does not respond to threats, a day after President Donald Trump sent the lira into freefall by announcing he would double the rate of import tariffs on Turkish metals, NBC News reported.

The two governments have clashed over a range of issues including the Turkish detention of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges, the U.S.-backing of Kurdish troops in Syria and Turkey’s intention to buy Russian defense systems.

Turkey is also frustrated at U.S. unwillingness to extradite Turkish cleric Fetullah Gulen, who Erdogan accuses of staging a failed 2016 coup attempt.

"You can never bring this nation in line with the language of threats," Erdogan told a crowd of supporters in the Turkish town of Unye on the Black Sea coast. "I am once again calling on those in America: It is a pity that you choose a pastor over your strategic partner in NATO," he said.

Photo Credit: Burhan Ozbilici/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Facing Indictment, Rep. Collins Suspends Bid for Re-Election]]> Sat, 11 Aug 2018 11:36:59 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/collGettyImages-522835638.jpg

In an about-face, U.S. Rep. Chris Collins is suspending his re-election bid days after the Republican was charged with insider trading.

Collins released a statement Saturday morning saying his will suspend his campaign and fill out the rest of his term. Collins was indicted Wednesday on charges he used inside information about a biotechnology company to make illicit stock traders. He had said later that day he would remain on the ballot despite the indictment and fight the charges.

"I have decided that it is in the best interests of the constituents of NY-27, the Republican Party and President Donald Trump's agenda for me to suspend my campaign for re-election to Congress," the statement said.

He went on to say he will fill out his term and "continue to fight the meritless charges brought against me." He has denied any wrongdoing.

Wednesday's indictment charges Collins and two others, including his son, with conspiracy, wire fraud and other counts.

Prosecutors say the charges relate to a scheme to gain insider information about a biotechnology company headquartered in Sydney, Australia, with offices in Auckland, New Zealand.

Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for the New York state Republican party, said no decision has been made about a possible replacement for Collins on the ballot. She said the party is weighing its options.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/File]]>
<![CDATA[Delaware Primary Voter Registration Closes Saturday]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 20:30:37 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/voteAP_18212863482246.jpg

With a myriad of candidates on September’s primary ballot for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives seats, unregistered voters in Delaware better make sure they’re registered.

Primary voter registration in Delaware closes Saturday.

Voters wanting to vote in the primary must register with a party affiliation in order to choose the Democrat and Republican nominees for the U.S. Senate seat. Democrats will be able to choose from candidates Thomas Carper and Evelyn Harris Kerri, while Republicans will have three choices: Robert Arlett, Eugene Truono Jr. and Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, according to the Delaware Department of Elections.

The Republican primary also includes a U.S. House race where voters will choose between candidates Scott Walker and Lee Murphy. The winner of this race will face off against Democratic incumbent Lisa Blunt Rochester in November.

Previously registered voters hoping to change their party affiliation before the primary are out of luck as Saturday’s deadline only applies to unregistered voters. The deadline to change party affiliation was May 25.

Unregistered voters can register by visiting the state’s department of elections website.


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Kavanaugh Confirmation Hearings Set to Begin Sept. 4]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 17:13:51 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/kavanaughAP_18192735925468.jpg

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to begin confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 4, Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, announced Friday.

Grassley expects the hearings to last three to four days, his office said, with opening statements delivered on Sept. 4 and the questioning of Kavanaugh to begin on Sept. 5, NBC News reported.

The Judiciary panel has received more than 184,000 pages of records from Kavanaugh’s work as a White House lawyer and his work for Independent Counsel Ken Starr.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Brown's Mother Runs for Ferguson City Council]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 14:36:20 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-460418194.jpg

The mother of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, four years ago, said Friday that she is running for city council in the St. Louis suburb, NBC News reported.

Lezley McSpadden announced her candidacy along Canfield Drive, near the exact spot where her son, who was black, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by a white police officer.

"Almost four years ago to this day, I ran down this very street, and my son was covered in a sheet," McSpadden said, fighting back tears. "I learned to walk again, and this is one of my first steps." 

McSpadden said she plans to focus on three issues: community policing, economic equality and access to health care for Ferguson's young children. Anticipating that some people might ask why she was qualified to seek elected office, she said, "If a mother had to watch her son lay on the street for four hours, and watch our community be completely disrespected by the people we elected, what would you do? You would stand up and you would fight, too."

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Roger Stone Assoc. Skips Mueller Testimony, Held in Contempt]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 14:44:53 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-824672890.jpg

Attorneys for Andrew Miller, a former aide of ex-Trump adviser Roger Stone, said that Miller has been held in contempt of court for refusing to appear in front of the grand jury hearing testimony in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, his lawyers said Friday.

Miller had earlier fought to quash a subpoena from the special counsel's office but was ordered to appear Friday morning. He did not, said his lawyer Paul Kamenar outside U.S. District Court in Washington, and was "held in contempt, which we asked him to be in order for us to appeal the judge’s decision to the court of appeals."

His lawyers are challenging the legitimacy of the special counsel and how he was appointed. The U.S. District Court rejected the argument, and his lawyers are appealing.

Another Stone associate, Kristin Davis, is set to testify before the grand jury Friday afternoon. Known as the Manhattan Madam for providing prostitutes to New York's elite, Davis worked for Stone beginning in August 2017. She has done web design and office tasks for Stone's political consultancy and said she would have little to no information on the Trump presidential campaign as she was serving a prison sentence in 2016 for a charge unrelated to her role in providing escort services.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Politicon, File]]>
<![CDATA[The Nicaraguan Crisis: How a Peaceful Protest Turned Into a National Revolt]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 13:53:30 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/212*120/Nicaragua.jpg

Violence stemming from protests over the past four months has made Nicaragua, once the safest Central American country, now one of the most dangerous.  

The U.S. on July 6 ordered non-emergency government personnel to leave the country, encouraging citizens to do the same.

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega accused the Organization of American States (OAS), which is now investigating the unrest, of taking "right-wing measures" against his government and of being directly supported by the U.S. Others have cast the blame back at Ortega.

This has been the bloodiest protest in Nicaragua since the civil war ended in 1990 where close to 40,000 people were murdered. So far, 448 people have been killed, according to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Here’s what else to know:

The protests
Peaceful demonstrations began on April 12 when university students in Managua took the streets to protest the lack of response from the government to wildfires in the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve. The protest grew two days later when thousands joined the students against the government’s intention to cut pensions and social security, a policy that would greatly affect the elderly. Protesters and human rights activists claim people were beaten up by the opposition.

During the first days, several people were killed including policemen and many unarmed students. Angel Gahona, a journalist who reported on police abuse and drug trafficking, was killed while livestreaming the protests.

Although Ortega canceled the pensions policy a few days later, riots protesting violence and demanding the president’s resignation continued. Ortega, once a leftist icon, is now being compared to Anastacio Somoza, the right-wing dictator he fought against during the Sandinista Revolution. “Ortega y Somoza son la misma cosa” (Ortega and Somoza are the same thing) is the rallying cry.

Since the protests began, the government, along with the Sandinista Youth, have been accused of murdering, torturing, jailing and kidnapping hundreds of opponents. While the protests have ceased due to the brutality, the country is in such state of emergency that it is causing Nicaraguans to flee. 

Ortega has blamed protesters on gangs violently attacking one another. But the United Nations claimed Ortega’s government committed crimes against human rights, including killings, torture and freedom of expression.

A few days ago, the Nicaraguan Association for Human Rights closed its offices after receiving what it called “alarming threats.” The group, which has been reporting violence in the country for the past four months, said its workers have experienced death threats over the phone and other sorts of harassment. 

Daniel Ortega
Once known as “Comandante Daniel,” Daniel Ortega, 72, became first known for his role in the 1979 Sandinista Revolution, when Sandinistas overthrew the right-wing Somoza dynasty that ruled Nicaragua from 1936 to 1979. Since then, Ortega has climbed his way to power. He was elected president in 1984 and after losing elections in the 1990s was elected president again in 2006 following a divided vote. 

When he took office in 2006, Mr. Ortega, once a Marxist, vowed to be open to foreign investment in the country and sought reconciliation with opponents to fight poverty. Today, he has power over the four branches of the government and is head of the police.

His wife, vice-president Rosario Murillo, is known by many as "the power behind the throne." After appointing herself as "communications chief" and leading the role since 2006, she took office as vice-president in January 2017. Ortega was criticized by opponents for establishing an authoritarian dynasty. Murillo's daughter, Zoilamerica Narvaez Murillo, accused Ortega, her stepfather, of sexually harrasing her for many years since she was 11.  She tried to pursue legal action, however, Ortega has immunity as member of the Nicaraguan congress. Murillo denied the charges and claimed she was "embarrassed" her own daughter would claim such a thing. 

Ortega and his wife are compared by many to the Somoza dynasty and are accused of being corrupt, repressive, authoritarian and brutal.

Although Murillo and Ortega have blamed the violence on a “diabolic oppression” led by anti-Ortega right-wing groups, two weeks ago, 13 Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, called for immediate end to repression. Additionally, The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Organization of American States are further investigating the unrest. 

In an interview with journalist Max Blumenthal Ortega said, "what weakens the OEA the most is their revengeful attitude from right-wing Latin governments that have taken over most of Latin America."

On July 15, at least 10 were killed throughout the country, including two students trapped overnight inside a church while hiding from gunfire from pro-government supporters. Nicaragua’s Catholic Church had served as a mediator between the government and protesters. The church has since said it supports protesters due to the increasing violence and repression.

The opposition, which includes mainly students, clergy, activists, rural workers and business people, has claimed they will keep fighting to remove Ortega from power and attain a true democracy. In a recent essay published en El País by Nicaraguan author Sergio Ramírez, he wrote: "It's difficult not to believe that in Nicaragua, history is repeating itself with astonishing, terrifying accuracy."

The author stressed the importance of non-violent protest to make a real change: “If a transition from dictatorship to democracy can be achieved without civil war, we will avoid the risk-so often a reality- that from the country’s ruins a new tyrant will rise up to take the place of the tyrant who was violently overthrown.” 

Photo Credit: Alfredo Zuinaga]]>
<![CDATA[Omarosa Claims in New Book Trump 'Racist,' Used the N-Word]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 12:38:57 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/omarosaGettyImages-867190728.jpg

Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former "Apprentice" contestant who became a White House aide, claims in her new book that President Donald Trump is a "racist" who used the N-word, NBC News reported.

In her upcoming tell-all book entitled "Unhinged," to be published next week and obtained by NBC News directly from the publisher, Manigault Newman alleges that Trump was caught on a microphone saying the N-word "multiple times" during the filming of "The Apprentice," and says there is a tape to prove her allegation.

Manigault Newman wrote that she did not hear Trump use the slur, nor has she listened to the alleged tape. She cites three sources as having told her of the existence of the tape and what Trump says on it.

The Guardian first reported Friday on the quotes in the book and said it had obtained a copy. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the "book is riddled with lies and false accusations."

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[50 Dem Candidates Say They'd Oppose Pelosi for House Speaker]]> Fri, 10 Aug 2018 08:50:14 -0400 https://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/1000194870-Nancy-Pelosi-Democratic-Leader.jpg

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi faces a battle to stay leader of the Democratic party even as it fights to retake control of Congress, NBC News reported.

Forty-one Democratic congressional nominees and nine sitting lawmakers say they won't support the Californian for House speaker, according to an NBC News survey of candidates and their public statements.

Thirty-four more nominees are on the record as being neither for nor against Pelosi, a former House Speaker and the party's leader in Congress since 2003.

Pelosi's office said she hasn't asked anyone to back her for speaker should Democrats win the House back in November, and she's focused on winning.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images, File]]>