<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - National & International News]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/national-international http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usThu, 28 Jul 2016 14:23:59 -0400Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:23:59 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Obama Says He Doesn't Eat Exactly 7 Almonds Every Night]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 12:00:17 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/Screen-Shot-2016-07-28-at-11.55.39-AM.jpg

President Barack Obama steers clear of soda and potato chips and prefers almonds as a snack, but contrary to a recent media report, he say she does not count out exactly seven almonds every night. 

"This has been really weighing on me,'' Obama joked as part of an interview with "Today's" Savannah Guthrie.

A story in The New York Times on July 2 quoted the Obamas' personal chef saying that he and first lady Michelle Obama joke that the president is so disciplined he eats exactly seven almonds at night, "not six, not eight."

Obama told "Today," that the first lady and Sam Kass teased that him that he won't even have a piece of cake. 

"And this is when Michelle said, 'And he just has seven almonds, that's it.'''

Kass relayed that joke to The New York Times, making it seem like Obama is obsessively counting out almonds.

"All my friends were calling me up and saying this seems a little anal, this is a little weird, and I had to explain to them, no, this was a joke,'' Obama said. 


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<![CDATA[Protests, Marches and More From the DNC in Philly]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:18:01 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-583802906-outside.jpg The Democratic National Convention began on July 25 with demonstrators, marchers and supporters battling the sweltering heat in Philadelphia, as the DNC officially apologized to Bernie Sanders amid a fresh email scandal. City officials expect thousands of protesters, delegates and members of the media to be in Philly for the four-day event.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[North Korea Warns US Over Kim Jong Un Sanctions]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:02:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/KimJongUn-AP_16189285702419.jpg

North Korea said Washington has declared war by putting leader Kim Jong Un on its list of sanctioned individuals, according to a diplomat who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday, NBC News reported. 

Although the country has been sanctioned internationally for its nuclear weapons and long-range missile development programs, Washington announced for the first time that Kim was personally sanctioned on July 6. 

Pyongyang cut off its official means of communication with Washington, saying it was the final straw. Director-general of the U.S. affairs department at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, Han Song Ryol, said everything between the two must now be death with under “war law.” 

Han also warned about a possible showdown if the U.S. and South Korea conduct joint military exercises next month. The two countries regularly conduct exercises, and Pyongyang usually responds with tough talk and threats of retaliation.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Meet Team USA: Athletes to Watch in Rio]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 11:50:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/3-split-athletes.jpg

Michael Phelps is a household name. In the next month, Simone Biles may become one.

Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals, has dominated four Olympics and come out of retirement in hopes of sweeping a fifth. It's likely to be his final Games.

Biles is on the other end of her career, but with similar expectations. The 19-year-old gymnast heads into her first Olympics with 14 world championship medals under her belt, 10 of them gold. The budding superstar is undefeated in the all-around and has been called "unbeatable" by gymnastics legend Mary Lou Retton.

Phelps and Biles are among more than 550 athletes who will represent Team USA in Rio, including 292 women, the most in Olympic history to ever compete for a single country. Of Team USA's 68 returning champions, 53 are looking to defend titles won during the 2012 London Games.

Here's a look at the American athletes to watch during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Swimming
At 31 years old, Phelps has 18 gold medals among the 22 medals he's earned in four Olympics. He set an Olympic record by taking home eight gold medals in Beijing in 2008 and is the first American swimmer to qualify for five Olympic Games.

He holds multiple world records and became the youngest male swimmer to break one at the age of 15. In August, Phelps clocked three of the year's fastest times. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Phelps will compete in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley.

Ryan Lochte, 31, has won 11 medals in three Olympics: five gold, three silver and three bronze. He has also taken home an impressive 62 world championship medals, including 36 gold. Lochte, who has set both individual and team world records, will compete in the 200-meter individual medley and the 4x200-meter freestyle.

Rio will mark the third Olympics for swimmer Nathan Adrian, who took home two gold medals and a silver in Beijing and London. With a time of 21.37 seconds, he holds the American record for fastest 50-meter freestyle.

Missy Franklin, the 21-year-old darling of the women's team, won four gold medals and a bronze in London. She has also taken home 17 world championship medals, including 11 gold, three silver and three bronze. Franklin, who grew up in Colorado and attended the University of California at Berkeley, will compete in the 200-meter backstroke, 200-meter freestyle and 4x200-meter freestyle.

Teammate Dana Vollmer, who has won four Olympic gold medals, will be competing in her third Games. She was back in the pool two months after giving birth to her first child last March.

Katie Ledecky, 19, will compete in her second Olympics. The Bethesda, Maryland, native won gold in London and has taken home nine world championship gold medals.

Gymnastics
Biles may be only 19, but her 10 golds at the World Championships are the most of any female gymnast. She's one of just three women in history to win four straight all-around titles at the P&G Gymnastics Championships, according to NBC Olympics. A native of Spring, Texas, Biles has also won the most world medals in U.S. history.

The most decorated U.S. gymnast in London, teammate Aly Raisman returns to defend her titles. The Needham, Massachusetts, native took home two gold medals and one bronze and was fourth all-around. She has also won four world championship medals: two gold, one silver and one bronze.

Also competing in her second Olympics is Gabby Douglas, who won all-around gold in London at the age of 16. Douglas, a Virginia native who lives in Los Angeles, won team gold at the 2011 and 2015 world championships and took home all-around silver last year.

Olympic newcomers Madison Kocian, a 19-year-old three-time world championship gold medalist, and Laurie Hernandez, 16, round out the women's team.

Leading the men's team is 23-year-old Sam Mikulak, who will compete in his second Olympics. From Newport Beach, California, Mikulak placed fifth in team vault in London and won bronze at the 2014 world championship. He took home two two gold medals and two bronze at the 2015 Pan American Games.

Also returning for his second Olympics is Jake Dalton, a 24-year-old native of Reno, Nevada, who attended the University of Oklahoma. Dalton has won four medals in four world championships. He did not medal in London.

London alternates Alex Naddour and Chris Brooks will also compete for Team USA, along with 2012 team member Danell Leyva. Leyva replaces John Orozco, who qualified for Rio after tearing his Achilles tendon, only to injure his ACL in June and withdraw from the team.

Basketball
Rio will mark the fourth Olympics for New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, the only U.S. men's basketball player in history to qualify for four Games. Anthony, 32, has won two Olympic gold medals and one bronze. He set a Team USA single-game scoring record in London with 37 points against Nigeria and took home bronze in the 2006 world championship.

Kevin Durant, 27, of the Golden State Warriors, will compete in his second Olympics. A member of the 2012 gold medal team, Durant was named MVP of the 2010 world championship game and was selected to play on that year's All-World Championship Team.

Indiana Pacers guard Paul George, 25, will compete in his first Olympics after overcoming a horrific leg injury, which caused him to miss most of the 2015 season. George's right tibia and fibula snapped on the court during the 2014 USA Basketball Showcase, stunning teammates and spectators alike. The NBA All-Star has made a full recovery and is expected to serve as a key member of the team in Rio.

The powerhouse U.S. women's basketball team includes half a dozen players from the University of Connecticut, a force to be reckoned with in the world of college basketball. Former UConn stars Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Tina Charles will help lead the team. Joining them is recent UConn graduate and Olympic newcomer Breanna Stewart, who went to the Seattle Storm as the No. 1 WNBA draft pick in 2016.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, 37, will also compete. The Indiana Fever forward and Duncanville, Texas, native has played in three world championships, earning two gold medals and a bronze. She's one of only nine players in history to have won an Olympic gold medal, world championship gold medal, NCAA title and WNBA championship, according to USA Basketball.

Track and Field
Champion sprinter Allyson Felix, 30, returns to compete in her fourth Olympics. The Los Angeles native has won four gold medals — three in London and one in Beijing — and two silver medals. She has also medaled 13 times in seven world championships and was named 2012 IAFF World Athlete of the Year.

Felix, who fought through an ankle injury during the Rio trials, fell a hundredth of a second shy of qualifying for the 200-meter dash — her first failure to qualify since she was 15 years old, according to NBC Sports. She will compete in the 400-meter and 4x400-meter dash.

Tianna Bartoletta, 30, will compete in the 100-meter dash and long jump. She won gold in the 4x100-meters during the 2012 London Games and has competed in six world championships, earning five gold medals and two bronze. Bartoletta also competed in 2012 for the U.S. national bobsled team alongside fellow track and field Olympian Lolo Jones. She took bronze in the 2012 bobsledding World Cup.

Devon Allen, 21, is a new face in the Olympic crowd. A wide receiver and runner at the University of Oregon, Allen has competed in three NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and one outdoor championship. He'll run the 110-meter hurdles in Rio.

Distance runner Galen Rupp, 30, qualified for Rio by winning the U.S. Olympic marathon trials in his first ever 26.2-mile race. He competed in both Beijing and London, where he took home silver in the 10,000-meter, becoming the first American to medal in that event since 1964. The five-time USA Outdoor champion has competed in six world championships, with a top finish of fourth in 2013. 

At age 41, Meb Keflezighi is the oldest American man to run the Olympic marathon the only one to make three Olympic teams. He won the 2014 Boston Marathon and 2009 New York City Marathon and the American record for the 20-kilometer. Keflezighi has competed in two world championships.

Soccer
Co-captain and midfielder Carli Lloyd, 34, hopes to clinch a third consecutive Olympic gold medal. Lloyd scored the game-winning goal in the 2008 gold-medal match against Brazil and netted both goals in Team USA's 2-1 victory over Japan in 2012. The New Jersey native has also won two world championship medals and in 2015 became the first player in team history to score in four consecutive FIFA World Cup games.

Despite concerns about the Zika virus, record-setting goalkeeper Hope Solo will join her team in Rio to compete in her third Olympic games. She won gold in both Beijing and London and served as an alternate in Athens in 2004. Solo is a FIFA World Cup Golden Glove Award winner and a member of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team.

Rio will be the second Olympics for 27-year-old forward Alex Morgan, who scored three goals in London, one of which sent Team USA to the gold-medal match. Morgan graduated early from the University of California at Berkeley and plays for the Orlando Pride.

Midfielder Megan Rapinoe was a toss up for Team USA after tearing her ACL last December, but recovered to qualify for her second Olympic Games. Rapinoe, 31, was a member of the U.S. women's national team when it won the World Cup in 2015 and was selected to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup All-Star Team.

The U.S. men's soccer team did not qualify to compete in Rio.

Other Sports
Beach volleyball champ Kerri Walsh-Jennings, 37, heads to Rio for her fifth Olympics without her partner of 11 years, Misty Mae-Treanor, who retired to start a family after the 2012 games. Together, the two won 21 consecutive Olympic matches and lost only one set — to Austria in 2012. Walsh-Jennings won gold in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games and will have the No. 3 seed in Rio with partner April Ross, whom she defeated in London.

Water polo captain Tony Azevedo will also compete in his fifth Olympics. The 34-year-old native of Brazil in 2012 became the first American men's water polo player to compete in four Olympics, along with teammate Ryan Bailey. Azevedo won a silver medal in Beijing and took gold in five Pan American Games. He has competed in eight world championships.

Dominant forces on the tennis court, sisters Serena and Venus Williams will take their talents to Rio to compete in their fourth and fifth Olympics, respectively. Together they are unstoppable, making the winningest doubles team in Olympic history. They go into the games with a perfect 15-0 doubles record and seek to tie the record for overall tennis medals — five.

Equestrian Phillip Dutton is one of only a handful of athletes in Team USA history to compete in the Olympics for a sixth time. At age 52, he is also the oldest athlete on Team USA. Dutton has won two Olympic gold medals and competed in six world championships. He moved from his native Australia to the U.S. in 1991 and became a citizen in 2006. 

The youngest member of Team USA, 16-year-old Kanak Jha, will compete in table tennis. The first-time Olympian has won multiple national titles and became the youngest ever World Cup participant in 2014.

First-time Olympic golfer Bubba Watson, has nine tournament victories under his belt, most recently the 2016 Northern Trust Open and the 2015 Travelers Championship. Watson, 37, has represented the U.S. three times in the Ryder Cup and twice in the Presidents Cup.

The women's rowing team heads to Rio with 10 consecutive world titles under its belt and a reputation for being one of the best sports teams in history, according to NBC Olympics. Leading the women's eight are third-time Olympian Eleanor Logan and second-time Olympian Meghan Musnicki, both members of the 2012 gold medal team. They're joined by coxswain Katelin Snyder, Amanda Elmore, Tessa Gobbo, Emily Regan, Lauren Schmetterling, Amanda Polk and Kerry Simmonds.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Look Inside the 2016 Democratic National Convention]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 23:50:27 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-583839536-dnc.jpg An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rio Olympic Torch Travels Around the World]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 18:38:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-579466538-rio.jpg The Rio 2016 Olympic Torch relay began its three-month journey on May 2, 2016, in Brazil. The torch will travel around the world before arriving in Rio de Janeiro on Aug. 5, to light the cauldron.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Dies After Seeing 2 Others Killed in Chicago Block Party Shooting]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 11:36:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Back+of+the+YArds.png

A 16-year-old girl died of an asthma attack after witnessing a shooting at a block party in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood that also left two others dead and two wounded, police said.

Police say a group of people were gathered near West 50th Place and South Halsted Street just after midnight Thursday when an argument broke out and someone started shooting. 

A 33-year-old woman and 25-year-old man were both killed by gunfire, according to authorities. Police say both are documented gang members.

Jacarra Reeves, 21, of Harvey, was among the other two wounded. She was hit by two bullets in the hand and transported to Saint Bernard Hospital, police said. A 25-year-old woman was also injured after being shot twice in the back. 

The 16-year-old girl who witnessed the shooting managed to escape the gunfire but suffered an asthama attack shortly after, police said. She was pronounced dead after being rushed to Saint Bernard Hospital.



Photo Credit: Captured News
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<![CDATA[Peru Swears in Kuczynski as New President]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:38:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/KuzynskiPeru-AP_16210598165121.jpg

After winning just over 50 percent of the vote, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski will be sworn in on Thursday as Peru’s new president, NBC News reported. 

Peru's economy has been on the rise and candidates like Kuczynski were pushing the country in a different direction, according to a recent Forbes article. PPK, as he's also known, promised that he would restore fiscal health and the country’s security. 

He has a long career in politics, having served as the Minister of Energy and Mines, Minister of Economy and Finance and most recently as Prime Minister. An Ivy-league graduate, PPK has a bachelors degree from the University of Oxford and a masters from Princeton, where he studied economics. 

Kuczynski was born in Peru — his Polish-German father was an accomplished doctor noted for his research on health issues in South America.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['Parkémon' Initiative in Texas Piggybacks on 'Pokémon Go']]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:44:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/arlington-parkemon.jpg The Arlington Parks and Recreation Department is taking advantage the hype around "Pokémon Go" in a unique way.

Photo Credit: Arlington Parks and Recreation]]>
<![CDATA[Wildest Moments in Convention History]]> Thu, 21 Jul 2016 11:47:51 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Abe+Lincoln+1860-96943976.jpg Republicans and Democrats will crown their presumptive nominees at back-to-back conventions this month, hoping to unify their parties behind the candidates. These now made-for-television publicity events were once critical to choosing candidates. The Constitution’s framers did not envision a system of parties and did not include provisions for how primaries or conventions should be run. For much of the nation’s history, most of the American electorate was excluded from the nominating process and presidential candidates were picked by party elites at sometimes rowdy gatherings. As candidates sought the nomination amid intra-party disputes, heated political disagreements could turn violent.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Drivers Shot at on Texas Highway]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:17:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/window+shot+anna.jpg

At least four people have reported being shot at while driving on a North Texas highway, according to police in Anna.

Investigators believe the shooter is using a high-powered pellet gun, but they are not ruling out the possibility a low-caliber rifle was used.

The shootings occurred along Texas Highway 5 between Anna and Melissa.

The first report came in Monday morning, and three more victims have since come forward, Anna police said.

None of the victims were injured.

"Someone is playing with people's lives," Anna Police Lt. Jeff Caponera said. "I've seen pellets kill people, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility it could've done some serious damage. We're not ruling out that it could've been a small-caliber .22."

Doug Page was driving to lunch on Monday when his SUV was shot.

"It sounded like somebody hit it with a hammer," Page said. "Any number of things could've happened. It could've been way worse than a ding on the side of the vehicle."

Although the shootings occurred in a rural area, police don't believe the shootings were accidental.

"This isn't shooting at birds and accidentally hitting a car. This was four vehicles and they were hit intentionally," Caponera said.

Anna is about an hour's drive northeast of Dallas.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Visualizing the Olympics: Medal Counts & More]]> Tue, 31 May 2016 08:53:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-149332217-edited.jpg Which countries have the most gold medals? And how much does it cost to host an Olympic Games? Get ready for the Rio Olympics – and the answers to those and many other Olympic-related questions – with this series of graphics. Click here for the visualization.
View Full Story

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fact Check: Democratic National Convention Day 3]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:10:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Obama-583835804.jpg

The president headlined the night’s speeches, and a few of his boasts of his record headline our fact-checking report:

  • President Barack Obama claimed that under his administration, “we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil,” but dependency on imported oil had begun to drop years before he took office.
  • The president repeated a frequent boast that the U.S. “doubled our production of clean energy” during his tenure. Monthly renewable energy production has gone up 40 percent.
  • Obama said deficits have “come down” under his administration. That’s true, but they are expected to rise again soon under his proposed budget.
  • Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine falsely referred to economist Mark Zandi as “John McCain’s chief economic adviser during the ’08 race,” in touting an estimate of job loss under Donald Trump’s proposals. In fact, Zandi is a Democrat.
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson wrongly said “we have not lost a single job, a single month” since Obama became president, and he was also off in saying the U.S. trades “more with Mexico than we do with China.”
  • Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta falsely claimed that Trump “says he gets his foreign policy experience from … running the Miss Universe pageant.” Trump didn’t say that was his foreign policy experience.
  • Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid claimed that the GOP ticket wanted to “gamble” Social Security “in the stock market.” But Trump’s campaign has called for making no changes to Social Security.
  • Kaine claimed that Trump said he “wants to abandon” our NATO allies. Trump has said that he doesn’t want the U.S. to leave NATO, but has suggested he would not automatically defend NATO allies that do not pay their share of defense costs.

Note to Readers

This story was written with the help of the entire staff, including some of those based in Philadelphia who are at the convention site. As we did for the Republican National Convention, we intend to vet the major speeches at the Democratic National Convention for factual accuracy, applying the same standards to both.

Foreign Oil Dependency

President Obama made a misstep when he said, “After decades of talk, we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil” under his administration.

Actually, U.S. dependency on imported oil had already begun to decline years before Obama first took office.

According to official figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, dependency peaked in 2005, when the nation imported 60.3 percent of the crude oil it consumed. But that percentage dropped to 57 percent in 2008, the year before Obama was sworn in.

It’s true that U.S. dependency had continued to drop during Obama’s time — down to 24 percent last year.

But the fact is the decline “began” well before Obama entered the White House. Also, dependency has now begun to rise again due to low oil prices and reduced U.S. drilling. The U.S. imported 26.6 percent of its crude oil in the first half of 2016.

And Clean Energy Growth

Obama also repeated his frequent, and inflated, boast that during his time in office the U.S. “doubled our production of clean energy.”

Monthly renewable energy production has increased by about 40 percent from January 2009 to April 2016, far from the 100 percent increase Obama claimed. While it is true that wind and solar power have more than doubled since 2008 (they’ve nearly quadrupled, in fact), they represent only part of the renewable energy picture. Less than a third of renewable energy consumption in April came from wind and solar.

As we wrote back in 2012 when Obama made a similar claim, the largest category of renewable energy is biomass, such as ethanol that is blended in gasoline. And the second-biggest category is hydropower — electricity generated from dams. Together, hydroelectric power and biomass accounted for nearly 70 percent of renewable energy consumption in April.

Deficits to Rise Again

Boasting of his post-recession record, President Obama said that “we’ve seen deficits come down.” They have, but deficits will soon begin to rise again under the president’s proposed budget unless his successor cuts revenues or increases taxes, or both.

It’s true that annual federal deficits have declined since peaking at $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2009 — a deficit Obama largely inherited from a budget signed into law by his predecessor, George W. Bush. The decline was slow at first with deficits stubbornly remaining above the $1 trillion mark for four straight years.

Since then, the yearly deficits have declined markedly. In fiscal year 2015, which ended last Sept. 30, the deficit was $438 billion, a drop of 69 percent from FY 2009.

In an analysis of Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects deficits will continue to fall for two more years. But it also warned about the return of growing deficits in the 10-year period covered by the analysis.

CBO, March: Under the President’s proposals, CBO estimates, the deficit would total $529 billion in 2016. It would fall to $433 billion in 2017, fall further to $383 billion in 2018, and then increase in most subsequent years, eventually growing to $972 billion in 2026.

In its analysis of the presidential budget proposal, the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said the plan would “stabilize the debt as a share of the economy,” but it “does not go far enough” to reduce the debt “from its current record-high levels.”

The CBO analysis showed that federal debt owed to the public was 73.6 percent of GDP in 2015, and will creep up under the budget plan to 77.4 percent by 2026.

Kaine Wrong on McCain Adviser

Vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine repeated a shopworn Democratic falsehood when he referred to economist Mark Zandi as “John McCain’s chief economic adviser.”

Kaine: John McCain’s chief economic adviser during the ’08 race … estimates that Trump’s promises would cause America to lose 3.5 million jobs.

It’s true that Moody’s Analytics, where Zandi is chief economist, issued a report last month concluding that the combined effects of Trump’s policy proposals on taxes, government spending, immigration and international trade — if fully implemented — would cause “a decline of 3.4 million jobs” during the four years of a Trump presidency.

Zandi was lead author of that study, and he’s a well-respected business economist. But he wasn’t the 2008 GOP nominee’s “chief” economic adviser. He’s not even a Republican. Kaine and other Democrats have adopted the bad habit of referring to him that way in the hope that it will give added weight to whatever Zandi says that’s critical of Republican policy.

Kaine is a serial offender in this bit of petty deceit. Nearly six years ago, in September 2010, Kaine described Zandi that way in a Sunday talk show, when Kaine was chairman of the Democratic National Committee. What we wrote then still goes:

FactCheck.org, Sept. 7, 2010: Kaine got it wrong when he called economist Mark Zandi “John McCain’s chief economics adviser.” … It’s true that Zandi was one of those who offered advice to McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. But as we’ve reported before, he says he’s a registered Democrat, and he was just one of several economists who advised McCain. His chief economic adviser was Douglas Holtz-Eakin.

What we reported prior to that was that Zandi said in a 2009 interview: “I’m a registered Democrat.” Zandi said in that same 2009 Washington Post interview that he had agreed to advise McCain at the request of an old friend, McCain’s chief economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin. Zandi also advises Democrats.

And last year, Zandi gave $2,700 — the legal maximum — to Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign.

Jesse Jackson, Off-Script

Rev. Jesse Jackson — departing from his prepared remarks — made two false claims, about trade and about Obama’s record on jobs.

Jobs: Jackson said: “He came in office, we lost 800,000 jobs. We have not lost a single job, a single month since Barack has been president.”

That’s off by a mile.

It’s true that the U.S. was losing jobs at the rate of hundreds of thousands per month at the time Obama first took office, but that hemorrhaging continued for months afterward as well.

The loss in total nonfarm employment, officially measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, was 769,000 in November 2008, 695,000 in December and 791,000 in January 2009.

Every month of Obama’s first year in office showed losses, and there were five months in 2010 that also showed losses. In all, the U.S. lost close to 4.4 million jobs in the months before Obama took office, but it lost a little more than 4.3 million more in the opening months of Obama’s term — not hitting bottom until February 2010.

Trade: Jackson said, “We trade more with Mexico than we do with China and Japan every day.”

Not so. It’s true that the U.S. trades more with Mexico than with Japan — but not more than it trades with China.

Total trade in goods (the value of all exports plus the value of all imports) between Mexico and the U.S. was $214 billion in the first five months of this year, according to the U.S Census Bureau. That’s a bit less than the $216 billion total trade with China.

And that’s been true for years. Trade in goods with China has exceeded that with Mexico for all of 2015, and for all of 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 as well. We had to go back more than a decade, to 2005, to find a year in which trade with Mexico exceeded that with China.

Foreign Policy and Pageants

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta falsely claimed that “Donald Trump says he gets his foreign policy experience from … running the Miss Universe pageant.”

Panetta was referring to a Trump interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier in May. As we’ve written before, Baier asked Trump whether he had talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump refused to answer, and went on to say that “I know Russia well” because “I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago,” referring to the 2013 pageant.

But Trump didn’t go so far as to say that the pageant was an example of his foreign-policy experience, and Baier never asked him that question.

Hillary Clinton has made similar claims, saying that Trump “says he’s qualified to be commander in chief because he took Miss Universe to Moscow.”

Reid’s Outdated Social Security Claim

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid dredged up an old Democratic talking point in claiming that, “Donald Trump and Mike Pence want to gamble with your retirement benefits in the stock market.” But Trump has said he wants to “leave [Social Security] the way it is.”

Pence supported a plan more than a decade ago that would have allowed younger workers to voluntarily invest part of their Social Security taxes in private mutual funds. Trump advocated something like that 16 years ago, but not now.

We’ve seen Reid’s claim over and over again, and it usually refers to a lawmaker’s support for President George W. Bush’s 2005 proposal for private accounts. And, in fact, Pence, then a congressman, did back Bush’s plan. But that called for voluntary private accounts and limiting how much workers could put into them — plus the accounts would have been government-approved mutual funds. The plan wouldn’t have forced anyone to have their Social Security taxes “gamble[d]” on the stock market.

Trump, however, hasn’t called for any such thing in this campaign. In fact, he said in a March GOP debate, “I will do everything within my power not to touch Social Security, to leave it the way it is.” And in response to an AARP request for information on his stance, Trump said, “The key to preserving Social Security and other programs that benefit AARP members is to have an economy that is robust and growing.” He went on to talk about “tax reform” and “immigration reform.” He didn’t outline any changes to Social Security.

Back in 2000, Trump did advocate private Social Security accounts, writing in his book “The America We Deserve”: “The solution to the Great Social Security Crisis couldn’t be more obvious: Allow every American to dedicate some portion of their payroll taxes to a personal Social Security account that they could own and invest in stocks and bonds.”

But 16 years later, that’s not a plan he has pushed on the campaign trail.

Abandonment Issues

Kaine said that Trump said he “wants to abandon” our NATO allies. Trump has said that he doesn’t want the U.S. to leave the international security alliance. However, he has recently suggested that he would not automatically defend NATO allies that do not pay their share of defense costs.

Kaine: I want to start off thanking my wife, Anne, and my three beautiful children, Nat, Woody and Annella. … You know, my son, Nat, deployed with his Marine battalion just two days ago. He deployed overseas to protect and defend the very NATO allies that Donald Trump says he now wants to abandon.

Trump’s most recent comments on NATO came during a July interview with David E. Sanger and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times. Trump said that he would be willing to defend fellow NATO members, “if they fulfill their obligations to us.”

Sanger, July 21: My point here is, Can the members of NATO, including the new members in the Baltics, count on the United States to come to their military aid if they were attacked by Russia? And count on us fulfilling our obligations.

Trump: Have they fulfilled their obligations to us? If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.

Haberman: And if not?

Trump: Well, I’m not saying if not. I’m saying, right now there are many countries that have not fulfilled their obligations to us.

Throughout his campaign, Trump has been critical of NATO, which was established in 1949 by the U.S., Canada and 10 Western European nations to defend against the former Soviet Union. One of Trump’s main criticisms of NATO, which now has 28 member nations, is that it is too costly to the U.S., which pays about 22 percent of direct spending by NATO, and an even larger share of indirect costs, according to budget information. In addition, only five member nations, including the U.S., spend the 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense called for by NATO guidelines, according to a CNN Money analysis.

But Trump didn’t actually tell the Times reporters that “he wants to abandon” allies that don’t make the required payments. He declined to say what he would do if countries had not fulfilled their financial obligations.

And as we wrote in May, Trump, despite his criticisms of NATO, has said that he doesn’t want the U.S. to leave the NATO alliance. Although, he also said that he would “certainly look at” doing so. But in his more recent interview with the Times, Trump at least suggested that he’s open to not defending those nations that don’t pay more.

— Eugene Kiely, with Brooks Jackson, Lori Robertson, Robert Farley, D’Angelo Gore and Zachary Gross

Sources

Congressional Budget Office. “Federal Budget Deficit Totals $1.4 Trillion in Fiscal Year 2009.” 6 Nov 2009.

Office of Management and Budget. “Fiscal 2017 Budget of the United States, Historical Tables: “Table 1.1—Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (-): 1789–2021.” 9 Feb 2016.

Congressional Budget Office. “An Analysis of the President’s 2017 Budget.” Mar 2016.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “Analysis of the President’s FY 2017 Budget.” 9 Feb 2016.

DNCC Announces Third Night Program for Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.” Press release. Democratic National Convention Committee. 27 Jul 2016.

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “Board Members.” Undated, accessed 28 Jul 2016.

Zandi, Mark and Chris Lafakis, Dan White and Adam Ozimek. “The Macroeconomic Consequences of Mr. Trump’s Economic Policies.” Moody’s Analytics. 20 Jun 2016.

Henig, Jess. “Sunday Replay.” FactCheck.org. 7 Sep 2010.

Keily, Eugene. “Sunday Replay.” FactCheck.org. 9 Aug 2010.

Murray, Shailagh. “Moody’s Economist Has Become a Go-To Guy on Stimulus Plan.” Washington Post. 3 Feb 2009.

U.S. Energy Information Administration. “Table 3.3a. Monthly Energy Review.” 26 Jul 2016.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey (National); Total Nonfarm Employment, Seasonally Adjusted.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – May 2016.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – December 2015.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – December 2014.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – December 2013.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – December 2012.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – December 2011.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – Total Trade, Exports, Imports; Year-to-Date December 2010.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Census. “Top Trading Partners – Total Trade, Exports, Imports; Year-to-Date December 2005.” Data extracted 27 Jul 2016.

U.S. Energy Information Administration. Total Energy: Monthly Energy Review.

Jackson, Brooks. “Obama’s Numbers April 2016 Update.” FactCheck.org. 06 Apr 2016.

Robertson, Lori. “Renewable Energy ‘Doubled’?” FactCheck.org. 14 Sep 2012.

U.S. Energy Information Administration. Biomass Explained.

Robertson, Lori. “A Decade-Old Democratic Claim.” FactCheck.org. 31 Aug 2015.

Washington Times. “House conservatives harden backing for Social Security plan.” 4 Feb 2005.

CNN. “Transcript of Republican debate in Miami, full text.” 15 Mar 2016.

AARP Bulletin. “Trump & Clinton: Find Out Where They Stand On Social Security.” 27 Jun 2016.

Excerpts from “The America We Deserve.” Ontheissues.org. accessed 28 Jul 2016.

New York Times. “Transcript: Donald Trump on NATO, Turkey’s Coup Attempt and the World.” 21 Jul 2016.

Gore, D’Angelo. “What’s Trump’s Position on NATO?” FactCheck.org. 28 Jul 2016.

Kottasova, Ivana. “These NATO countries are not spending their fair share on defense.” CNNMoney.com. 8 Jul 2016.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Funding NATO. Updated 3 Jun 2015, accessed 27 Jul 2016.

Rucker, Philip and Costa, Robert. “Trump questions need for NATO, outlines noninterventionist foreign policy.” Washington Post. 21 Mar 2016.

New York Times. “Transcript: Donald Trump Expounds on His Foreign Policy Views.” 26 Mar 2016.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DNC Day 3 Top Moments: Obama Backs Clinton, Knocks Trump]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 07:39:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-583840420.jpg

President Barack Obama excoriated Donald Trump's vision of America Wednesday night as he endorsed Hillary Clinton, telling Democrats Trump was betting he could get win in November by scaring enough people into voting for him. 

"That is another bet that Donald Trump will lose," Obama said. "Because he's selling the American people short."

Here are the top moments of Obama's speech and of the rest of the third day of the Democratic National Convention, inside the convention hall and out.

"We Don't Look to Be Ruled"

Obama told the DNC he was ready to pass the baton to Clinton and asked his audience to reject cynicism and fear and summon what was best in the country.

"Tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me," he said. "I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me. Because you're who I was talking about 12 years ago, when I talked about hope. It's been you who've fueled my dogged faith in our future, even when the odds are great, even when the road is long."

This election was not a typical one between Democrats and Republicans, he said. Republicans at their convention last week had presented a deeply pessimistic vision of a country turning against each other and away from the rest of the world.

"And that is not the America I know," he said. "The America I know is full of courage, and optimism and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous."

The United States does not depend on any one person, Obama said. It has never been about what one person says he will do but about what the country can achieve together, he said.

"We don't look to be ruled," he said. "Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that together, We, the People, can form a more perfect union."

There had never been a man or woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president, he said, not him, not Bill Clinton.

He acknowledged that Clinton had critics and had made mistakes, but compared her to the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt had once described — not timid souls on the sidelines but in the arena.

"Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena," he said. "She's been there for us - even if we haven't always noticed. And if you're serious about our democracy, you can't afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You've got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn't a spectator sport. America isn't about 'Yes he will.' It's about 'Yes we can.'"

"Lying Is Second Nature to Him"

Vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine of Virginia, a U.S. senator and the state's former governor, mocked Trump's credibility and his repeated use of the phrase "believe me."

"Believe me?" Kaine asked. "Believe me?"

Trump's ghostwriter on "The Art of the Deal" has said that lying was second nature to him, Kaine said. U.S. Sen. John McCain's former economic adviser said that Trump's policies would result in the loss of 3.5 million jobs. His tax plan would leave the country $30 trillion debt, according to an independent assessment, he said. Charity after charity believed Trump when he said he would contribute to them, he said.

"Folks, you cannot believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump's mouth," he said as the audience chanted "Not one word."

"Our nation is too great to put it in the hands of a slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting one-man wrecking crew," he said.

Bloomberg: "I’m a New Yorker and I Know a Con When I See One"

Vice President Joseph Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, another billionaire businessman from New York, went on the attack, calling Trump in succession a man of unbounded cynicism and a hypocrite.

His lack of compassion and empathy can be summed up in one of Trump's favorite phrases, Biden said: "You’re fired."

"He's trying to tell us he cares about the middle-class," Biden said. "Give me a break. That's a bunch of malarkey."

America is strong and has held together because of its middle class, Biden said. When the middle class does well, the rich do very well and the poor has hope, he said.

"This guy doesn’t have a clue about the middle class, not a clue," Biden said.

"He has no clue period," he added and the phrase quickly became a refrain on the convention floor.

Trump is appealing to fear, but Americans never bow, never bend and never break, Biden said.

"We are America, second to none, and we own the finish line," he said.

Bloomberg spoke to the convention as an independent. He was there, he said, to urge other independents to unite around the candidate who could defeat a dangerous demagogue.

"I built a business, and I didn't start it with a million-dollar check from my father," he said.

Bloomberg belittled Trump's business experience, calling attention to his bankruptcies, the lawsuits brought against him and the contractors who said he had cheated them. 

He said he watched Clinton work with Republicans in Congress to get the money New York City needed to recover from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. He did not always agree with her, but she always listened, he said.

"Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy," he said. "He wants you to believe that we can solve our biggest problems by deporting Mexicans and shutting out Muslims. He wants you to believe that erecting trade barriers will bring back good jobs. He's wrong on both counts."

"Russia, If You're Listening"

Far from the Democratic National Convention, Donald Trump caused a stir on Wednesday when - at a time Russia is suspected of trying to interfere in the U.S. presidential election - he appeared to ask Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton's emails.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said during a news conference in Florida. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

His comments immediately drew condemnation, with the Clinton campaign accusing Trump of encouraging a foreign power to conduct espionage against his opponent.

"This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue," Jake Sullivan, a Clinton spokesman, said.

Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House, called Putin a "devious thug" who should stay out of the U.S. election.

Trump has said he doubted Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers, but U.S. intelligence believe it was.

Clinton has said she deleted 30,000 emails from her personal email server, received while she was secretary of state, before turning others over to the U.S. State Department. FBI Director James Comey criticized Clinton's use of a private email server but recommended against her prosecution.

"Strong Women Get Things Done"

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head when a man opened fire at a constituent meeting five years ago, walked onto the stage on the convention's third night to endorse Clinton as the candidate who would be able to stand up to the gun lobby.

"Speaking is difficult for me, but come January I want to say these two words: 'Madame President,'" she said.

She described Clinton as a tough and courageous woman who would fight to make families safer.

"In Congress I learned a powerful lesson: Strong women get things done," she said.

Giffords was among those touched by gun violence to speak — survivors or the relatives of whose who had been killed. They demanded what they called common-sense gun legislation, expanded background checks and other similar measures.

Giffords' husband, former astronaut U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, said Clinton would work to close loopholes governing who could buy weapons. Clinton is ready to take on one of the country's greatest moral failings at home -- the gun violence that is tearing up so many communities, Kelly said. 

Erica Smeglieski, the daughter of the Sandy Hook Elementary School principal who was shot to death with five other staff members and 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Connecticut, said she did not want to be addressing the convention. She wanted to be at home watching the convention with her mother, Dawn Hochsprung, with whom she had planned her wedding, she said.

"My mom was murdered so I'm here," she said. "I'm here for the mothers and daughters who are planning weddings so you get to watch your daughter walk down the aisle."

Felicia Sanders and Polly Sheppard, survived the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, during Bible studies. Sanders said her son’s last words were, "We mean you no harm." Two days later she forgave the shooter, she said.

Sheppard said the shooter, like those in Orlando and Dallas, had hate in his heart.

"Love never fails and so I choose love," she said.

Christine Leinonen's son was killed in the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. It takes five minutes for a church bell to ring 49 times for the victims but only a minute to fire 30 rounds with the weapon used to shoot her son, she said.

When she went into labor with her son, said Leinonen, who was then a Michigan state trooper, her weapon was placed in a safe. She did not object because she knew common sense gun policy saves lives, she said.

"Where was that common sense the day that he died," she asked.

Emilie Plesset contributed information to this article.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA['Bird-Flipping' Delegate Stands by Making Obscene Gesture]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:56:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_birddelegate0728_1920x1080.jpg Hawaii delegate Chelsea Lyons Kent is defending her decision to make an obscene gesture on national television during the roll call vote at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, July 27, 2016. She was eventually dismissed from the delegation. KHNL's Mileka Lincoln reports.]]> <![CDATA[Watch: Flames Shoot Out of Engine on American Flight]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:36:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AA_Emergency_landing.jpg

An American Airlines flight landed safely back at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport late Wednesday after sparks were seen shooting from one of its engines.

American Airlines Flight 438 had taken off for Seattle at about 11 p.m. Wednesday when it experienced a mechanical issue with an engine compressor, according to an AA spokesperson.

Cellphone video from one of the 139 passengers on board the flight shows heavy sparks coming from what appears to the wing on the left side of the Airbus 321.

“The engine was not on fire,” an AA spokesperson emphasized in a statement to NBC DFW.

However, Lynn Lunsford, of the Federal Aviation Administration, appeared to indicate otherwise in a separate statement.

“The pilot reported an engine problem that was causing compressor stalls, which would shoot flames out the back of the engine and definitely be visible,” Lunsford said.

Matty Hops was a passenger on Flight 438, who tweeted multiple times during and after the ordeal.

“Flight to Seattle just had catastrophic engine failure…. So, love you guys,” Hops tweeted.

“It’s just a big concerning when there is an explosion on takeoff and then you see the one of the plane engines on fire. Not the best look,” Hops tweeted minutes later, once on the ground.

A statement from American Airlines, and subsequent tweets from the airline’s official account, indicated that the airline was rebooking passengers on other flights.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience, and we are working to get them to Seattle as soon as possible,” the statement noted.

]]>
<![CDATA[#DemsInPhilly Social Reaction: Kaine, Obama, Biden and Bloomberg]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 07:10:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DEM_CON_AP_16210124190186.jpg

One night before Hillary Clinton was set to address the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, a lineup of political heavy-hitters made the case for her to be the next president.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Vice Presidential nominee Tom Kaine and Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg headlined Day 3 of the convention. 

Obama called Clinton the most qualified candidate ever. Kaine introduced himself to the country before questioning Republican Donald Trump's trustworthiness. Biden and Bloomberg both hammered Trump's judgment, temperament and qualifications for the job.

On social media, reaction was swift.  



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Obama: Clinton More Qualified Than Me, Bill to Be President]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 06:48:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-583839280.jpg

Their political fates now entwined, President Barack Obama implored with voters Wednesday to elect Hillary Clinton, appealing to the women, minorities and young people who powered his rise and are now crucial to hers.

Obama told delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia there has never been a man or a woman — "not me, not Bill" — who's more qualified than his former secretary of state to be president of the United States and endorsed her as the woman to finish the job he started eight years ago. 

"Nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. Until you've sat at that desk, you don't know what it's like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war," Obama said. "But Hillary's been in the room and knows what's at stake."

Exactly 12 years to the day after the obscure Senator from Illinois delivered a rousing speech to the Democratic convention, Obama defended his White House legacy and argued that the former secretary of state would be the best choice to bequeath those policies.

Obama cast Clinton as a candidate who believes in the optimism that fuels the nation's democracy and warned against the "deeply pessimistic" vision of Republican Donald Trump.

"America is already great. America is already strong," he declared to cheering delegates Wednesday night at the Democratic convention. "And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump."

In addition to party loyalty, a big motivation for Obama's robust support is deep concern that the Republican nominee can win in November and unravel the president's eight years in office.

Obama acknowledged the economic and security anxieties that have helped fuel Trump's rise, but he argued they don't define the country.

"Through every victory and every setback, I've insisted that change is never easy, and never quick; that we wouldn't meet all of our challenges in one term, or one presidency, or even in one lifetime," Obama said, adding that he's "more optimistic of the future of America then ever before."

Wednesday night's Democratic lineup was aimed at emphasizing Clinton's own national security credentials, a shift from two nights focused more on re-introducing her to voters as a champion for women's issues, children and families. Among those were former Pentagon and CIA chief Leon Panetta, who served alongside Clinton in Obama's Cabinet.

Panetta, citing his experience working alongside nine U.S. presidents, said he believes, in this election, Hillary Clinton "is the only candidate that has the experience, judgment and temperament to be Commander in Chief."

Obama, too, was vouching for Clinton's national security experience, recalling their work together during trying times and saying she won't relent until ISIL is destroyed.  

"And she'll do it without resorting to torture, or banning entire religions from entering our country," Obama said. 

Touting Clinton's experience and judgment, Obama's speech was a direct rebuttal to Trump's attacks on Clinton at last week's Republican convention in Cleveland, when he claimed her tenure as secretary of state was marked by "death, destruction and weakness."

In a statement, Trump's campaign called the Democratic Party "disconnected from what's happening in our world," and said Democrats described a vision of America that "doesn't exist for most Americans."

"They resorted to the politics of fear, trying to convince Americans not to vote for change — they spoke on behalf of the big banks and the big elites, not on behalf of suffering Americans," Trump's campaign said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Takes Connecticut Woman Hostage Before Robbing Bank: Police]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 13:39:33 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Robert+DuPerry+TB+Bank+.jpg

A 65-year-old Bristol, Connecticut, woman working at a local business was abducted, blindfolded, held hostage and terrorized for two hours while her captor robbed a bank on Wednesday, police said.

Robert Du Perry, 51, is accused of walking into the Bristol a chapel with a BB gun before tying up and blindfolding the only employee there, Bristol police said.

Du Perry placed the woman in her own car and used her cell phone to make false bombing threats to Hartford police, saying several municipal buildings were in danger, police said. The victim told officers that Duperry told her several times that he had bombs with him.

After driving around, Du Perry pulled into the drive-thru of the TD Bank at 414 Broad Street with his gun aimed at the victim's head and told the teller that if she did not hand over money, he would kill his hostage, police said.

The teller handed over $3,000, according to officials. 

Police located a car that matched the description of the victim's car and Du Perry led officers on a pursuit into Wolcott, police said. At one point, he slowed down and ordered the victim out of the car. Eventually, Du Perry abandoned the vehicle and ran off, police said.

Bristol, Wolcott and Southington officers were able to locate Du Perry in a heavily wooded area and took him into custody. No bomb or materials used to make bombs were found.

The hostage sustained minor scrapes and bruises and was evaluated at the hospital for injuries and possible heat exhaustion. After he was released, police took him to the police department.

TD Bank released a statement about what happened.

 

"The safety and well-being of our employees and customers is our number one priority and we are grateful no one was hurt. We are cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation and therefore, we are unable to comment further."
Judy Schmidt, TD Bank Spokesperson

"The safety and well-being of our employees and customers is our number one priority and we are grateful no one was hurt. We are cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation and therefore, we are unable to comment further," TD Bank spokesperson, Judy Schmidt, said in a statement.

 

Du Perry was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree larceny, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree assault, assault of victim over 60, criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree burglary, first-degree threatening, engaging an officer in a pursuit and reckless driving.

He appeared in court on Thursday, where a public defender was appointed and bond was set at $1.3 million. 

He is due back in court on Aug. 11.

Police said the charges do not include the bomb threat allegations.

Du Perry is being held on $750,000 bond and will be arraigned in Bristol Superior Court today. It was unclear if he had a lawyer. 



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut and Bristol Police]]>
<![CDATA[Mysterious Light in California Sky Was Chinese Rocket]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:30:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/234*120/mustery-light-streak.JPG

A mysterious light that streaked across the sky Wednesday night, igniting a social media firestorm from California to Nevada and Utah, was a Chinese rocket re-entering Earth's atmosphere, according to U.S. Strategic Command.

Videos and photos from across Southern California poured into NBCLA's Twitter feed after the light went streaking across the sky. The light was seen in skies around 9:30 p.m. PST over the Inland Empire, Ventura County, Orange County and beyond. Social media users also reported seeing it in Nevada and Utah.

Matt Holt, a Bay Area resident, shot video in San Jose of a large cluster of lights shooting across the sky to the bemusement of a large crowd.

U.S. Strategic Command spokeswoman Julie Ziegenhorn wouldn't say if the Chinese CZ-7 rocket ever posed danger to people on the ground. She said the command often sees re-entries.

Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, told the Los Angeles Times the Chinese rocket launched on June 25.

"Anytime you have a report of a luminous object, it's a fair bet it's a natural event," said Ed Krupp, Griffith Observatory's director of 45 years. "It's likely space debris or a meteor produced by interplanetary debris."

Krupp said it wasn't so much what the object was composed of that caused the light, but what the atmosphere around it was doing.

"Typically a small pebble that enters the Earth's atmosphere at that high altitude and is heated up by the friction that it encounters will become so hot that it will in fact cause the air around it to glow -- kind of a tube of glowing air -- maybe as much as 10 miles in diameter."



Photo Credit: Matt Holt
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<![CDATA[Ex-NFL Star Bitten by Shark]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:08:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/160*120/032410+sapp.jpg

For over a decade and a half, Warren Sapp was a force to be reckoned with in both the college game with the University of Miami Hurricanes and later during his Hall of Fame career in the NFL.

This week, the former defensive lineman met something with just as much bite as he had on the field – all while trying to catch his dinner.

Sapp posted a photo on his Facebook page showing a bite he received from a shark while fishing for lobsters in the Florida Keys during mini-season (warning: some may find the image disturbing):

Jack Carlson, the captain of the charter company Two Conchs that Sapp used for his mission, said the boat was about seven miles away from Marathon in nine feet of water. Sapp reportedly reached into the water for a lobster when the shark, believed to be a nurse shark about four feet long, attacked.

Carlson told the Tampa Bay Times that Sapp may need some stitches, but the group kept fishing after the incident.

"We bandaged it up, put some gauze on there, some black electrical tape and hit a couple more spots, then headed in," Carlson said.

Sapp posted a photo to his Twitter page confirming that one bite wasn’t going to stop him from continuing on his journey to stock up on the delicacy:



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bloomberg Blasts Trump at DNC]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 07:45:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000012519182_1200x675_733583427877.jpg Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg took the stage at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday in a bid to reach independents and undecided voters. He blasted Donald Trump, calling him a "risky, reckless and radical choice," and says: "Trump says he wants to run the nation like he runs his business? God help us."]]> <![CDATA[Tim Kaine Dad Jokes Take Twitter by Storm]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:01:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_16210125790685.jpg

The Democratic Party may be losing the beloved goofiness of "Uncle" Joe Biden, but they could be gaining a new cult hero.

Tim Kaine, who was tapped by Hillary Clinton as her running mate, introduced himself to the Democratic Party at large Wednesday night at their national convention. And upon doing so, he struck a chord with many for what they interpreted as his ability to crack a corny dad joke.

"We all should feel the Bern. And we should all not want to get burned by the other guy," Kaine said.

Kaine, a dad of three kids, also attempted an impression of Donald Trump, repeating "believe me" a popular line from Trump's stump speeches.

"It’s gonna be great—believe me!" We’re gonna build a wall and make Mexico pay for it—believe me! We’re gonna destroy ISIS so fast—believe me! There’s nothing suspicious in my tax returns—believe me! By the way, does anyone here believe that Donald Trump’s been paying his fair share of taxes?"

Many to took to Twitter to offer their commentary on Kaine's dad humor:



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Trump's Reddit Q&A: Appeals to Youth, Sanders Fans]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 22:46:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TrumpScrantonRally-AP_16209751831494.jpg

As the Democratic National Convention prepared to receive President Barack Obama Wednesday, Republican nominee Donald Trump jumped online for an appearance of his own, answering questions from some of his most ardent supporters on Reddit.

The platform is extremely popular among young people — it's one of the most visited sites on the internet — and Trump was asked what he thinks is the greatest issue facing young people in the United States.

"The question most young people ask me is about the rising cost of education, terrible student debt and total lack of jobs," Trump wrote in response. "Youth unemployment is through the roof, and millions more are underemployed. It's a total disaster!"

Trump answered 11 other questions of the hundreds that were asked on a range of topics including political corruption, Hillary Clinton and space exploration. Trump kept most of his answers brief, and many repeated statements he's made on the campaign trail before.

Most high-profile "Ask Me Anything" sessions are posted on a dedicated Reddit page for them, but Trump's was hosted on a pro-Trump user-created subreddit called The_Donald that attracts millions of views each month, racking up nearly 52 million page-views in March alone, according to MSNBC.

The page, run by anonymous moderators, is unaffiliated with the Trump campaign. The "AMA" was not open to new users and moderators were quick to delete questions from posters who were deemed to be not true supporters.

Among his answers, Trump attempted to make his case for why Bernie Sanders supporters should vote for him instead of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"Though Bernie is exhausted and has given up on his revolution, many of his voters still want to keep up the fight. I expect that millions of Bernie voters will refuse to vote for Hillary because of her support for the War in Iraq, the invasion of Libya, NAFTA and TPP, and of course because she is totally bought and sold by special interests," he said, saying his campaign welcomes "all voters who want an honest government and to fix our rigged system."

Trump revealed his presidential role models: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Forrest E. Mars, Jr., CEO of Confectionery Empire, Dies at 84]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:06:19 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/MARS_GettyImages-452614796.jpg

Forrest E. Mars Jr., the billionaire scion of the Mars Inc., died Tuesday at the age of 84, the company confirmed in a statement Wednesday.

Mars is survived by his wife, four children, eleven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.

He inherited the business together with his brother and sister and grew it into a confectionery empire.

"Forrest was a great inspiration to all of us at Mars, Incorporated," said Grant F. Reid, CEO and Office of the President for Mars, Incorporated. "He was instrumental in building our business, while remaining committed to the founding principles of the Company. Forrest will be sorely missed, but his contributions and the legacy he leaves behind at Mars will be long-lasting."

Mars began his career in 1955 as a certified public accountant, working as an auditor for Price Waterhouse after serving in the United States Army for two years. He joined Mars, Incorporated - then, a business of less than $100 million in revenue - as a Financial Staff Officer for M&M's Candies in 1959.

Two years later, Mars was appointed General Manager of a new confectionery factory — now one of the largest chocolate factories in the world — in Veghel, Netherlands. Over the next two decades Mars exploded expanding Mars presence globally.

According to Forbes magazine, the Mars family, with an estimated worth of $78 billion, is the third-richest in the United States, behind only the Waltons of Walmart and the Kochs of Koch Industries.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Invested $3M Lotto Winnings in Meth Ring]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 16:25:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Ronnie+Music+Jr.jpg

A $3 million lottery winner pleaded guilty to using his prize to invest in a crystal meth ring, NBC News reported.

Ronnie Music Jr., 45, bought the drugs with his 2015 winnings and wanted to supply them to others who would resell them at a profit, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Georgia.

Agents recovered more than $1 million worth of methamphetamine, along with firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and $600,000 in cash.

He will be sentenced after the state's probation office conducts a pre-sentence investigation.



Photo Credit: Georgia Lottery]]>
<![CDATA['She Never, Ever Quits,' Obama Says of Clinton]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 23:48:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-583836952-obama.jpg "There has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America," said President Barack Obama at the DNC on its third day, July 27, 2016.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hillary Clinton Joins These 13 Historic Female 'Firsts']]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 04:53:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20160727+elizabeth+blackwwell+victoria+woodhull+first+women.jpg

Tuesday marked a historic moment as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated for president by a major political party. Clinton joined good company when she claimed the "first" title. Here are 13 powerful women who chipped away at the glass ceiling by achieving historic firsts.

Computer Scientist: Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) is considered to be the first female computer scientist. She worked with close friend Charles Babbage on plans for a computing machine in 1834 — they were some of the first people to come up with the concept.

Editor of Major U.S. Newspaper: Cornelia Walter became the first woman to serve as editor of a major U.S. newspaper when she took over as editor of the Boston Transcript in 1842. She was 27 at the time.

American Doctor: In 1849, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to get a medical degree at an American university.

American Lawyer: Arabella Mansfield of Iowa became the first woman officially recognized as a lawyer in the United States when she passed the bar exam in 1869. Although she did not go on to practice law, she taught at several colleges.

Presidential Candidate: Though she received no electoral votes, Victoria Woodhull ran for president in 1872 as the People's Party candidate — nearly 50 years before women could even vote. She was jailed on Election Day on obscenity charges.

Prime Minister: Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the first female prime minister or president of a country when she was elected as prime minister of Sri Lanka in 1960.

In Space: Valentaina Tereshkova was the first woman to fly in space when Russia's Vostok 6 launched June 16, 1963. Almost exactly 20 years later, Sally Ride became the first American woman to accomplish the feat when the Challenger launched June 18, 1983.

CEO of Fortune 500 Company: Serving as CEO of The Washington Post from 1963 to 1991, Katharine Graham was the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 Company.

Boston Marathon Runner: When Bobbi Gibb's 1966 application to run the Boston Marathon was rejected because she was a woman, she decided to join in anyway. After sneaking into the starting gate, she ran the marathon in 3:21:40.

Military Academy Graduate: Andrea Hollen was the first of 62 women to graduate from West Point University in the class of 1980. She also received a Rhodes scholarship.

Oscar-Winning Director: Winning an Oscar in 2010 for "The Hurt Locker," Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win Best Director at the Academy Awards. She was the fourth woman to be nominated for that award.

Head of Major U.S. Sports Magazine: ESPN hired Alison Overholt to be editor of ESPN The Magazine in January, making her the first woman to lead a major American sports magazine.

SEAL Candidates: In light of the recent law change that allows women to serve in more combat military roles, the first female SEAL candidates could start training in late August, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. That means a female Navy SEAL could be just a couple of years away.



Photo Credit: National Library of Medicine / Mathew Brady, Harvard Art Museum/Fogg Museum]]>
<![CDATA[Pope Francis' Papacy]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 10:15:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/pope_poland_3.jpg See photos of Pope Francis' papal visits, speeches and travels around the world.

Photo Credit: Czarek Sokolowski/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Fact-Checking Donald Trump's Press Conference]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 20:08:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/583804964-donald-trump-press-conference.jpg

Donald Trump made several false and misleading statements in an hour-long press conference — on Bernie Sanders, Vladimir Putin, Hillary Clinton’s emails and more.

  • The Republican presidential candidate wrongly said that Sen. Bernie Sanders had “lied” in saying Trump supported a minimum wage below $7.25. In fact, Trump told NBC News in May that he didn’t support a federal “floor” and would leave it up to the states. Sanders got it right.
  • Trump insisted again that Vladimir Putin called him a “genius,” even though Putin clarified just last month that he called Trump “flamboyant.”
  • We found no evidence to corroborate Trump’s claim that Putin “mentioned the N-word one time.” Two experts on Russia told us they had no idea what Trump was talking about.
  • Trump claimed with no evidence that Hillary Clinton deleted emails from her private server “after she gets a subpoena” from Congress.
  • There’s also no evidence for Trump’s repeated claim that “many people” saw or knew about “bombs lying all over the floor” of the San Bernardino shooters’ home and didn’t report it.
  • Trump said Blue Cross Blue Shield in Texas had “announced a 60 percent increase” in health insurance premiums. That’s a proposed increase for 2017 that has yet to be approved by regulators for certain plans purchased by those buying their own insurance.

In the press conference, Trump was right about one top Democrat, Vice President Joe Biden. Trump pointed out that Biden was wrong to say that Trump wanted to “carpet-bomb” in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State. Sen. Ted Cruz said that.

Minimum Wage: Sanders Was Right

Trump claimed that Sanders “lied” in saying that Trump “wants the minimum wage to go below $7.” But Sanders got his facts right. He said Trump “believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25.” And that’s what Trump said.

Today, Trump said the minimum wage should go up to “at least $10,” the first time we could find that he has said that.

First, here’s Trump today at his press conference:

Trump, July 27: The minimum wage has to go up. … At least $10 but it has to go up. But I think that states … I think that states should really call the shots. … But it has to go up. Now, Bernie Sanders lied. Bernie Sanders said in his speech the other day that Donald Trump wants the minimum wage to go below $7. I said, where did he come up with that one?

Trump went on to say, “In fact he was criticized by people that fact check for saying it because I never said it.” We at FactCheck.org did not criticize Sanders on this point. In fact, Trump did say he was in favor of having no federal minimum wage. He was asked by NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” on May 8, “should the federal government set a floor?” And he responded: “No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do.”

Here’s Sanders Monday night at the Democratic National Convention:

Sanders, July 25: He does not support raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a starvation wage. While Trump believes in huge tax breaks, huge tax breaks for billionaires, he believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25.

It may be difficult to follow Trump’s shifting position on the minimum wage: As Todd noted in that NBC News interview, Trump said in one of the debates that he was against raising it — “I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is,” he said in November — and then months later said he would be “open” to raising it.

He even told Todd in May that he “would like to see an increase of some magnitude,” but added that “I’d rather leave it to the states.” However, there is no doubt that he said in that interview that the federal government should not set a floor, leaving states, as Sanders said, “the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25.”

Here’s the full exchange from that May 8 NBC News interview:

NBC News’ Chuck Todd: Minimum wage. Minimum wage. At a debate, you know. You remember what you said. You thought you didn’t want to touch it. Now you’re open to it. What changed?

Trump: Let me just tell you, I’ve been traveling the country for many months. Since June 16th. I’m all over. Today I’m in the state of Washington, where the arena right behind me, you probably hear, is packed with thousands and thousands of people. I’m doing that right after I finish you.

I have seen what’s going on. And I don’t know how people make it on $7.25 an hour. Now, with that being said, I would like to see an increase of some magnitude. But I’d rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide. Because don’t forget, the states have to compete with each other. So you may have a governor —

Todd: Right. You want the fed– but should the federal government set a floor, and then you let the states–

Trump: No, I’d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other, Chuck. So I like the idea of let the states decide. But I think people should get more. I think they’re out there. They’re working. It is a very low number. You know, with what’s happened to the economy, with what’s happened to the cost. I mean, it’s just– I don’t know how you live on $7.25 an hour. But I would say let the states decide.

Putin Still Didn’t Call Trump a Genius

Trump continues to insist that Vladimir Putin called him a “genius,” even though Russian language experts told us Putin merely called Trump “colorful” or “bright” — depending on the translation — and even after Putin clarified just last month that he never called Trump a genius.

Trump, July 27: I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius.

Trump frequently claims that Putin called him a genius, but as we wrote on June 17, that relies on a faulty translation of the Russian president’s faint praise for Trump during a press scrum in December, after Putin was asked what he thought about the Republican candidate.

According to a translation by Russia Insider, which uploaded the video, Putin responded, “He’s a very colorful person. Talented, without any doubt. But it’s not our affair to determine his worthiness — that’s up to the United States voters. But he is absolutely the leader in the presidential race. He wants to move to a different level of relations, to more solid, deeper relations with Russia. And how can Russia not welcome that — we welcome that. As for his internal political issues and the turn of speech which he uses to raise his popularity, I repeat, it’s not our affair to evaluate them.”

It’s the word “colorful” in the first sentence of that translation that is at issue here. We reached out to several Russian language experts, and there was some disagreement about the precise meaning of Putin’s phrase, with some translating it as “colorful,” others “bold” or “bright.” But they all agreed that Trump was inflating Putin’s rather guarded praise, and that Putin most certainly did not go so far as to call Trump a “genius.”

In a speech in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 17, Putin set the record straight, explaining that he had only described Trump as “flamboyant.” According to Reuters, Putin added, with a smile, “He is, isn’t he? I did not give any other assessment of him.”

Putin Used the N-Word?

We could find no evidence to corroborate Trump’s claim that Putin “mentioned the N-word one time,” in a sign of “a total lack of respect for President Obama.”

Trump: Putin has said things over the last year that are really bad things. OK? He mentioned the N-word one time. I was shocked to hear him mention the N-word. You know what the ‘N’ word is, right? He mentioned it. I was shocked. He has a total lack of respect for President Obama. Number one, he doesn’t like him. And number two, he doesn’t respect him. I think he’s going to respect your president if I’m elected. And I hope he likes me.

We scoured the internet and published reports archived by Lexis-Nexis and could not find where Putin ever used that racial epithet. Neither could the Washington Post or CNN, which wrote, “There are no published reports to back up Trump’s allegation about Putin’s use of the racially derogatory term, however.”

Two experts on Russia told us via email that they had never heard of Putin using that term.

“In Russian, the N-word does not begin with ‘N’ — and Putin’s English is pretty rudimentary,” said Stephen Sestanovich, an expert on Russia and the former Soviet Union at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“I have no idea what [Trump] is talking about,” added Fiona Hill, an expert on Russian affairs and director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution. “Putin doesn’t really speak English. So perhaps Trump is referring to some speech in Russian–but again I have no idea what he is referring to.”

Hill, who co-authored the second edition of “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin,” added, “If it were something in Russian, then the word ‘negr’ is used widely by Russians who grew up in the Soviet era. It is the literal translation of Negro. When I was a student in the USSR in the late 1980s I heard it many times, used by teachers and students at my institute when talking about Africans and oppressed black Americans, and it was written in textbooks. I have heard it used by Russians of Putin’s generation since, including a couple of Russian officials in conversations. It does sound pretty similar to the “N” word to an English speaker, so it would certainly be shocking out of context.”

We did come across an article posted by the Conservative Tribune, which carried the headline “While Talking ISIS Strategy, Putin Just Dropped The “N” Word… This Could Change EVERYTHING.” But as the article quickly makes clear, the N-word in question there was “nuclear.”

Conservative Tribune: Russian President Vladimir Putin has not ruled out the possibility of deploying nuclear warheads when dealing with the Islamic State group, but he hoped it would never come that.

But the context of Trump’s comment makes clear that that’s not the N-word to which Trump was referring.

Clinton’s Emails

Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 emails from the private server she used as secretary of state after she received a congressional subpoena requesting her emails. But there is no evidence to support his claim. In fact, an FBI investigation found no evidence of a cover-up.

Trump: That a person in our government, Katy, would delete or get rid of 33,000 emails. That gives me a big problem. After she gets a subpoena. She gets subpoenaed, and she gets rid of 33,000 emails? That gives me a problem.

Trump, of course, is referring to Clinton’s use of a personal email system for government businesses. As we have written in “A Guide to Clinton’s Emails,” the State Department asked her in the summer of 2014 to turn over any work-related emails that she had in her possession after she had already left the department in February 2013. Her lawyers went through the emails stored on her server, and they identified 30,490 work-related emails and 31,830 private emails.

In December 2014, Clinton gave the State Department the work-related emails, and the others were deleted. But when did she delete them? We don’t know — and neither does Trump.

Clinton received a subpoena from the House Select Committee on Benghazi on March 4, 2015. The committee requested “any and all documents and communications in your possession.” The request came two days after the New York Times broke the story that she had been using a private email account exclusively for government business.

Six days after receiving a subpoena, Clinton held a press conference on March 10, 2015, to answer questions raised by the Times article. At that press conference, she first disclosed that she deleted her personal emails. “I didn’t see any reason to keep them,” she said.

Trump is assuming that the emails were deleted after March 4, when Clinton was subpoenaed, and perhaps before March 10, when she held her press conference. But her campaign told us for a previous article that the emails were deleted before March 4, although it did not provide us with a date.

FBI Director Jim Comey at a July 5 press conference announced the results of the agency’s investigation into whether Clinton or anyone on her staff violated federal law in the handling of classified information on a private server. He criticized Clinton and her staff for being “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” but cleared them of any criminal wrongdoing.

In his press conference, Comey said the FBI “discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton” to the State Department. He also said Clinton’s lawyers cleaned her server “in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery,” but he also said the FBI “found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

Health Insurance Premiums

Trump said Blue Cross Blue Shield in Texas had “announced a 60 percent increase” in health insurance premiums under Obamacare. To be clear, that’s a proposed increase for 2017 — it has to be approved by regulators — for certain plans purchased by those buying their own insurance.

Trump:In Texas, going through BlueCross/BlueShield they just announced a 60 percent increase. On November 1st, you’re going to have new numbers come out for Obamacare, having to do with increases. President Obama is trying to get it moved to December. Because it is election-defying. It is going to be a massive number, the biggest number ever in our country’s history for health care.

Trump has cherry-picked high rate increases for some plans on the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces before. As we wrote in April on this issue, there was wide variation in premium changes for plans that individuals purchase on the marketplaces — ranging from the high increases Trump has touted to double-digit decreases.

In this case, Blue Cross Blue Shield in Texas has requested rate increases of 57 percent and 59 percent. Any increase above 10 percent has to be submitted and approved by government regulators. A 60 percent jump could well be an outlier. The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed preliminary rates and estimated a 10 percent rise on average for the second-lowest-cost silver plan in 14 major metropolitan areas.

That’s double what KFF found actually happened in those metro areas — a 5 percent increase — for 2016. Experts have said the marketplace premiums initially came in lower than expected, in 2014, and now are being adjusted based on insurers’ actual experience with consumers. The Urban Institute wrote in November 2015 that it could take a few years before premiums stabilize.

Consumers can switch plans, and many do: The Department of Health and Human Services found 43 percent of returning customers chose a different plan for 2016. And 85 percent of customers qualified for tax credits, insulating them from higher rate hikes.

We can’t predict whether the final increases for the 2017 marketplace plans will be “the biggest number ever in our country’s history,” as Trump claims. But we’ll note that increases on the individual market before the ACA was passed topped 10 percent on average.

Those buying plans on the marketplaces totaled nearly 13 million in 2016. In contrast, more than 154 million people get health insurance through their employers. Those premiums rose an average of 4 percent for family plans in 2015, according to the latest employer survey by KFF.

San Bernardino Shooting

Trump repeated his claim that “many people” saw or knew there were “bombs lying all over the floor” of the San Bernardino shooters’ home and didn’t report it. There’s no evidence of that.

Trump: I think that the people in the community know what’s going on. Whether it’s in a mosque or whether it’s in the community and they have to report these people. When you look at San Bernardino, people knew — many people knew what was going on. They had bombs lying all over the floor. … I mean, this isn’t — you walk into somebody’s house, there are bombs lying on the floor — I think there’s a problem there. You got to report it.

Trump made a similar claim in mid-June about Muslims being complicit in the Dec. 2, 2015, shooting in San Bernardino, California. He said that “many people,” including neighbors of the shooters, saw “bombs all over the floor” of the couple’s apartment, but declined to report it because of concerns about racial profiling. As we wrote then, one friend of a neighbor said the neighbor noticed a lot of packages arriving at the house, and that the couple had been doing a lot of work in their garage — and the neighbor didn’t report it due to racial profiling concerns.

During the fifth Republican debate in December, Trump accused the mother of the shooter of having advance knowledge of the attack. The FBI was investigating the matter, but officials have not brought any charges or made any accusation against the mother, whose lawyer says that his client didn’t know what her son was planning.

Trump Right About Biden

Trump said that Biden “lied” when Biden said Trump stated that he wanted to “carpet-bomb” in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State. Biden was incorrect. Sen. Ted Cruz, not Trump, said that the U.S. should use carpet-bombing as a strategy against the terrorist organization known as ISIS.

Trump: Joe Biden lied today. He said that Donald Trump wants to carpet-bomb — he was on television — he said, Donald Trump wants to carpet-bomb the enemy in the Middle East. Now, that was Ted Cruz that said that. That was not Donald Trump.

Here’s what Biden said about Trump during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on July 27 (at 7:10 in the video):

Biden, July 27: And some of the things he says. Like, for example, I know he’s trying to be tough, but he’s gonna go out and carpet-bomb. You want to go out and make friends and influence people in the Middle East? You’re gonna go carpet-bomb innocent people and bad people at the same time and that’s going to help us fight against ISIS and Daesh?

We can’t say whether Biden “lied,” as Trump said. That would mean that Biden knew what he was saying was false. But Biden did get it wrong.

It was Cruz, the Texas senator and former Republican candidate for president, who talked about carpet-bombing ISIS.

“We will have a president who will make clear we will utterly destroy ISIS. We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion. I don’t know if sand can glow in the dark, but we’re going to find out,” Cruz said during a campaign event in Iowa on Dec. 5, 2015.

Carpet-bombing, generally, involves dropping many bombs over an area without a specific target. Such a tactic could result in unintended casualties since some ISIS fighters are embedded among civilian populations. That’s one of the reasons that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Cruz’s plan would not work.

“I think most rhetoric about carpet-bombing, about making the sand glow, about bombing them to death and so on is frankly just unrealistic,” Gates said in an interview on Fox Business Network in January.

Gates added: “It’s not going to accomplish the military objective — it takes no account of civilian casualties. It’s a simplistic answer to what’s a complex and long term problem.”

For his part, Trump has said multiple times that he would use bombs against ISIS. But he has said that he would specifically target oil fields that ISIS controls in Iraq, Syria and other areas.

On June 17, 2015, a day after he announced that he was running for president, Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that “I would bomb the hell out of them. I’d bomb the fields.”

Nearly a month later, he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper the same thing. “If I win, I would attack those oil sites that are controlled … by ISIS,” Trump said.

In mid-November, the Trump campaign released a radio ad in which Trump says, in a voice-over, “Yes, I will quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS.” That was after Trump, at a campaign rally in Iowa, on Nov. 12, said this:

Trump, Nov. 12, 2015: ISIS is making a tremendous amount of money because they have certain oil camps, right? They have certain areas of oil that they took away. They have some in Syria, some in Iraq. I would bomb the s— out of them. I would just bomb those suckers. And that’s right, I’d blow up the pipes. I’d blow up the refinery. I’d blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left.

So, Trump has called for specifically targeting ISIS-controlled oil fields. A strategy that some in the military have criticized. But that’s different from carpet-bombing, which is what Biden wrongly said Trump wants to do.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Man Donates Kidney to Friend: Video]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 00:48:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/graham+kidney.jpg

Born with a rare disease and just days away from kidney failure, Fort Worth nurse Danny Kolzow is getting a lifeline from a longtime friend. 

Graham McMillan is donating one of his kidneys to Kolzow. 

The operation took place Wednesday at Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth – the same hospital where Kolzow works.

Wednesday afternoon, Mary Kolzow, mother of Danny Kolzow, and Claire McMillan, wife of Graham McMillan, shared a joint statement: Danny and Graham are recovering, doing well and praising Jesus. We have felt loved, encouraged and cared for by the hospital staff. Praise God for his faithfulness through this process. Thank you for the many prayers that have been answered."

McMillan said he wanted to break the news to Kolzow in a special way, so he made arrangements with other nurses to give him the news at work. The moment, posted on Vimeo, has now been viewed more than 800,000 times. 

He showed up with a sign that read, "Heard urine need of a kidney. Want mine?" 

"Pretty funny, right?" McMillan said. "Let's do this." 

He walked down a hallway and delivered the news to his shocked friend. 

The two hugged as other nurses wept. 

"My kidney's going inside that body right there," McMillan said as the two embraced. 

The two met while they were students at Texas Christian University and kept in touch. 

McMillan, a youth pastor, agreed to get tested to see if one of his kidneys would be compatible. 

It was a match. 

"Just to get the news, something I've been waiting for for so long," Kolzow said. "And it's incredible news, that I get to not have to worry, I am going to get this lifesaving organ that I need. It's incredible." 

The two men credit their faith with making it happen. 

"I'm getting a transplant literally the week before I would have to start dialysis," Kolzow said. "It's just perfect timing."



Photo Credit: Graham McMillan/NBC 5
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<![CDATA[Tim Kaine Mocks Donald Trump's Common Phrase: 'Believe Me']]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 23:10:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-583832590-dnc.jpg Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's official running mate, did an impression of one of Donald Trump's common phrases. "Trump is a guy who promises a lot but you might have noticed, he has a way of saying the same two words every time he makes his biggest, hugest promises: ‘Believe me.’ ”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>