<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Politics]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usTue, 24 Jan 2017 02:36:00 -0500Tue, 24 Jan 2017 02:36:00 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Senate Committee Indefinitely Delays Votes on Perry, Zinke]]> Tue, 24 Jan 2017 01:40:19 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/rick-perry3.jpg

A Senate committee on Monday night abruptly postponed its scheduled votes Tuesday on President Donald Trump's nominations of Rick Perry and Ryan Zinke to lead the Energy and Interior departments.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee gave no explanation for the postponement, which it said was in effect "until further notice."

During his hearing before the committee last week, Perry — the former governor of Texas who unsuccessfully challenged Trump during the Republican presidential primaries — walked back controversial statements from his past campaigns promising to abolish the Energy Department.

Meanwhile, Zinke, a Republican U.S. representative from Montana, contradicted his would-be new boss during his confirmation hearing, testifying that he accepts the scientific conclusion that climate change is real.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Obamacare Replacement Plan Would Grant States More Power]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:05:50 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/obamacare-que-pasara-thumbnail.jpg

Republican senators introduced a partial replacement to the Affordable Care Act on Monday that would let states keep some aspects of the Obamacare law while eliminating the mandate requiring citizens to carry health insurance.

The measure is being billed as an "Obamacare replacement plan" aimed at empowering states and broadening health insurance access, NBC News reported.

The move comes days after President Donald Trump's issuance of an executive order directing the Health and Human Services Department to "waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" any ACA requirement that would impose a fiscal burden.

For now, however, the executive order that Trump signed Friday night has changed very little.



Photo Credit: Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Spicer: 'Our Intention is Never to Lie to You']]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:08:43 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Spicer_Facts_Presser_15262244_1200x675_860917827624.jpg White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in his first White House press conference that his intention to the press and the public is to always tell the truth, stating that his "intention is never to lie to you."]]> <![CDATA[Spicer Doubles Down on Inauguration Audience Claim]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:03:37 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Spicer_CrowdSize_Presser_15262276_1200x675_860916291565.jpg White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday doubled down on his claim that President Donald Trump's Friday inauguration was the most-watched in history.]]> <![CDATA[Spicer Talks TPP, Mexico City Policy and Hiring Freeze]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2017 16:00:23 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Spicer_TPP_Briefing_15261157_1200x675_860835907558.jpg White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced that President Donald Trump issued memorandums on his first day on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Mexico City Policy and a hiring freeze on the executive branch of the federal government. ]]> <![CDATA[Trump, Israeli PM Have ‘Very Warm’ Conversation]]> Sun, 22 Jan 2017 22:46:20 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TrumpIsraeliPM.jpg

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a "very warm" conversation with President Donald Trump on Sunday, NBC News reported. 

Netanyahu's office said the two leaders discussed Iran and the Palestinian peace process. However, they did not discuss Trump's campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city of Jerusalem. 

"We are at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told NBC News.

In a statement, the White House said that peace between Israel and the Palestinians could be achieved only through direct negotiation.

Trump and Netanyahu agreed to a White House visit next month.



Photo Credit: Ronen Zvulun/Andrew Harnik/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Analysis: How Women Upstaged President Trump]]> Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:33:21 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dc-womens-march.jpg

For President Trump, the inauguration should have been his Super Bowl – the kind of spectacle everybody talks about at work all day Monday and beyond.

But for once Trump, the self-styled showman who upended media and politics to become chief executive, got upstaged. The Women's March on Saturday, a day after the inauguration, gave the world a far bigger and better show. 

The event packed all the elements of a yuge spectacular: epic scale (a cast of hundreds of thousands spread across the globe); family drama (emotional moments shared by multiple generations); humor (creative signs and chants, the cleverest of which can't be repeated here); colorful costumes (most prominently those pink hats); celebrities (Scarlett Johansson, among many others); songs (Alicia Keys sang “Girl on Fire”); and high stakes (the future of women's rights).

It marked a defiant, raucous and joyful display of force by masses angry about Trump's taped vulgar comments declaring his carte blanche to accost women and fearful of life under his leadership.

As comedian Aziz Ansari put it on "Saturday Night Live," a program Trump went from hosting to regularly decrying: “Yesterday, Trump was inaugurated. Today, an entire gender protested against him. Wow."

The New York Times reported three times as many people participated in the main march in Washington than attended Trump's inauguration. The rookie president, though, wasn't only behind in the in-person audience category. In another sense, the marchers, all performers of a sort for the day, outnumbered him on the world stage.

That seemed to unnerve the now officially powerful Trump, who vastly exaggerated inauguration attendance Saturday and scapegoated journalists for using photographic evidence to show Obama attracted a far larger crowd to the National Mall eight years ago. Meanwhile, Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, made the demonstrably erroneous claim that his boss commanded the "largest audience ever to witness an inauguration – period – both in person and around the globe."

On Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that his inauguration ratings were bigger than President Obama’s 2013 numbers (true, though Trump’s viewership tally landed well below that of Obama’s history-making 2009 festivities). The new president said he watched march coverage and suggested something that he could not possibly know: that the protesters hadn’t cast ballots: “Why didn't these people vote?”

He later posted a tweet that most would recognize as presidential: “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”

Still, the overall tone Trump set in his first weekend as star of the biggest reality show of them all echoed his attention-at-all-costs campaigning style.

The point of Trump's sore-winner act remains unclear. The inauguration, despite a lack of major performers (Toby Keith, Sam Moore and the Rockettes were among the bigger names), offered some memorable moments.

The limited dancing prowess Trump exhibited while shuffling to "My Way" with his wife, Melania, actually helped humanize him. The stylish new first lady showed signs of becoming a fashion leader (unlike his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, whose Paddington Bear-like outfit inspired mocking memes).

Some folks, on both sides of the political aisle, likely found something comforting and elegant in the pageantry and tradition surrounding the peaceful transfer of power, even amid Trump's speech, with its jarring "American carnage" declaration.

His strong words, like his attempts to steal back the show from the marchers (and just perhaps deflect attention from the major challenges facing his administration), defy presidential precedent.

But it's not unprecedented behavior for Trump.

After Arnold Schwarzenegger debuted Jan. 2 as the new ringmaster of "Celebrity Apprentice," then-President-elect Trump taunted his successor via Twitter.

"Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got 'swamped' (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT," read the tweet, written in the third-person with Trump referring to himself by his initials.

This weekend, President Donald J. Trump got swamped, if not in the ratings, then in the race for notice that appears to drive him. The throngs from around the world who marched grabbed the spotlight and beat him at his own game.

Jere Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Reversing Campaign Pledge, Trump Won't Release Taxes: Aide]]> Sun, 22 Jan 2017 21:05:03 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kellyanneeee.jpg

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, said Sunday the president would not be releasing his tax returns, reversing months of repeated campaign-trail promises to do so after an audit is completed, NBC News reported.

The comments were a response to a Whitehouse.gov petition with more than 200,000 signatures calling on Trump to release his tax returns.

Conway also added that Trump's returns are irrelevant. "They voted for him, and let me make this very clear: Most Americans are very focused on what their tax returns will look like while President Trump is in office, not what his look like," Conway said in an interview on ABC's "This Week."

Conway's statements are false — multiple polls showed a majority of Americans believe Trump should release his tax returns, including an ABC News/Washington Post survey out last week that found three-fourths of Americans believe he should release them.



Photo Credit: Carolyn KasterAP Photo]]>
<![CDATA['Despicable': Ex-CIA Boss Rips Trump Speech at Memorial]]> Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:40:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/trumpattheciafeuerherd.jpg

Donald Trump traveled to CIA headquarters Saturday to offer reassurance to the workforce after he spent weeks criticizing American intelligence, but his unscripted, self-referential remarks before a wall of stars memorializing fallen officers are drawing criticism, including a pointed denunciation from the agency's recently departed director, NBC News reported.

"Former CIA Director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump's despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA's Memorial Wall of Agency heroes," Nick Shapiro, a former aide to John Brennan at CIA, told NBC News' Andrea Mitchell.

Brennan, Shapiro said, believes Trump "should be ashamed of himself."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Conway: White House Gave 'Alternative Facts' on Crowd Size]]> Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:26:35 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/conwayfeuerherdINB.jpg

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, said the White House press secretary gave "alternative facts" when he inaccurately described the inauguration crowd as "the largest ever" during his first appearance before the press this weekend.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gathered the press to deliver a five-minute statement Saturday in which he issued multiple falsehoods, including declaring erroneously that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe," NBC News reported.

Asked on "Meet the Press" why Spicer used his first appearance before the press to dispute a minimal issue like the inauguration crowd size, and why he used falsehoods to do so, Conway pushed back.

 "You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that," she told NBC's Chuck Todd.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Analysis: How Russia Plans to Trump US as Superpower]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 19:54:17 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Putin.jpg

This week, Moscow hosted a summit of divided Palestinian factions that yielded a fresh unity agreement. And on Sunday, Russian diplomats will again unite prominent Syrian rebel groups and regime negotiators in Kazakhstan for a peace summit.

Promoting Russia's status as a major global power is part of Putin's push to compensate for domestic failures, Alexey Malashenko, a Russia analyst with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Moscow Center, told NBC News.

Russia's ambitions may get another boost following Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday.

"I think the common thread is [Putin] positioning in view of a deal with Trump," said said Mattia Toaldo, a Middle East analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations. "The interesting thing is that in most cases, Russia is in the driving seat and Trump will simply react."



Photo Credit: Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP]]>
<![CDATA[From Antarctica to Europe: Women's Marches Around the World]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 17:01:20 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/London_England_1_March1.jpg From Antarctica to the Netherlands, global marches and rallies for women's right were held around the world in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of people gathered for the Women's March in Washington, as well as the 600 "sister marches" held across the United States, on Jan. 21, 2017. See the photos.

Photo Credit: Dan KitwoodGetty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Women's March Mosaic: Social Posts from Washington, DC]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 15:16:19 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dc-social-mosaic.jpg

The day after President Donald Trump's inauguration, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in rallies and marches across the globe in support of women's rights. The largest such march was in Washington, D.C., where authorities estimated 500,000 gathered. The above mosaic shows social posts from people at the march, overlaid on a photo of the crowd itself. Were you there tweeting? Use the 'Find Yourself' tool to find your post or click on the faces to see posts by others. 

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<![CDATA[Watch Women's Marches From Across the Country]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:49:06 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/marches-streams-th.jpg
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<![CDATA[Follow the Inaugural Parade in Real Time]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 14:28:58 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ap-inaug-parade-th.jpg

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[WhiteHouse.gov Switches Hands, Gets Trump Refresh]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 20:45:54 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-632199332.jpg

Many of the pages on the White House's website were taken down Friday, shortly after Donald Trump's inauguration as president, including pages on LGBTQ rights, climate change and the Affordable Care Act.

However, those pages are still accessible online. Anything that was at WhiteHouse.gov under the Obama administration has been moved to ObamaWhiteHouse.gov. The plan to do so was announced earlier in the week.

Everything on the archived version of the Obama White House page is marked as "historical material" that's "frozen in time."

The new version of WhiteHouse.gov lists Trump and Mike Pence as president and vice president, and made no mention of LGBT or climate change Friday afternoon. A new page calling for an "America first energy plan," however, was live.

"For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule," the new page reads

The Department of Labor's page on advancing LGBTQ rights in the work place appears to have been scrubbed from the department's website. The many pages that were once devoted to explaining and helping Americans sign up for the Affordable Care Act appear to have taken down. 

Meanwhile, the first online petition of Trump's presidency appeared on whitehouse.gov shortly after his inauguration. 

The petition calls for the White House to "Immediately release Donald Trump's full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance." 

It had received more than 2,000 signatures hours after the inauguration. 

NBC has reached out for comment to President Trump's team. 



Photo Credit: Jim Bourg/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Inaugural Words: America, Country, People, Carnage]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:32:11 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/trump-inaug-speech-wordcloud.gif

America. Country. People. These were the most commonly used words by President Donald Trump in his inaugural address on Friday. 

Trump used either "America" or "American" 33 times in his speech, in which he spoke of the problems that have plagued the country in recent years, and promised to fix them. He said "country" 11 times and "people" 10 times. 

Those three words have been used in nearly every inaugural speech in the country's history, according to a database of the speeches compiled by the Washington Post. But Trump also had at least one unusual word choice: "Carnage." 

"But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential," he said.

"This American carnage stops right here and stops right now," Trump added.

According to the Post, this was the first time "carnage" was used in an inaugural address.

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<![CDATA[Inauguration Mosaic: Social Posts from the National Mall]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:32:27 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/trump-mosaic.jpg

People from across the country gathered at the National Mall to watch the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United Stated. The above mosiac shows social posts from people watching the mosaic, overlaid on a photo of the crowd itself. Were you there tweeting? Use the 'Find Yourself' tool to find your post or click on the faces to see posts by others. 

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<![CDATA[Full Text: President Donald Trump's Inaugural Address]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:46:25 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-632195944.jpg

The full text of President Donald J. Trump's inaugural address, as delivered:

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world, thank you. We the citizens of America are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people.

Together we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges, we will confront hardships. But we will ge the job done. Every four years we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power. And we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent, thank you.

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.

For too long, a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have born the cost. Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories, their triumphs have not been your triumphs.

And while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here, and right now. Because this moment is your moment it and it belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America, this is your day, this is your celebration, and this-- the United States of America-- is your country.

And while they celebrated in our nation's capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here, and right now. Because this moment if your moment it and it belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America, this is your day, this is your celebration, and this-- the United States of America-- is your country.

It belongs to everyone gathered here today. And everyone watching, all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country.

What truly matters is not which party controls our government. But whether the government is controlled by the people.

January 20, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

Everyone is listening to you now. You came by tens of millions to become a part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.

At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction, that a nation exists to serve its citizens.

Americans want great schools for their children. Safe neighborhoods for their families. And good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public. But for too many of our citizens this is not a reality that exists.

Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities. Rusted out factories scattered like tomb stones across the landscape of our nation. An education system flush with cash but which leaves young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge. And the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of such much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

We are one nation, and their pain is our pain, their dreams are our dreams, and their success will be our success. We share one heart one home and one glorious destiny.

The oath I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

For many decades we've enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military. We defended other nation's borders while refusing to defend our own and spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas while America's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We've made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence our country has dissipated over the horizon.

One by one the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world, but that is past and now we are looking only to the future.

We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward it's going to be only America first, America first.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breathe in my body and I will never ever let you down.

America will start winning again. Winning like never before.

We will bring back our jobs, we will bring back our borders, we will bring back our wealth, and we will bring back our dreams.

We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways, all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.

We will follow two simple rules - buy American, and hire American.

We will seek friendship and good will with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first.

We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone. But rather, to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones. And unite the civilized world against Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.

At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.When you open your heart to patriotism,  there is no room for prejudice. .

The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly debate our disagreements honestly but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable.

There should be no fear we are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and woman of our military and law enforcement. And most importantly we will be protected by God.

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger. In America we understand the nation is only living as long as it is striving. We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action. Constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.

The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour for action. Do not allow anyone to tell you that it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again. We stand at the birth of a new millennium ready to unlock the mysteries of space to free the earth from the miseries of disease and to harness the energies, industries, and technologies of tomorrow. A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions. It's time to remember that old wisdom, our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.

We all salute the same great American flag — and whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the wind swept planes of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breathe of life by the same almighty creator.

So to all Americans in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny and your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.

Together, we will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again, and yes, together, we will make America great again. Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.



Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[3 D.C. Council Members, Mayor to Watch Parade]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:52:34 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ap+story.jpg

Only three of the District of Columbia's 13 council members plan to view the presidential inauguration from the Wilson Building.

Normally, the district's elected officials jostle with hand-picked constituents for a premier view of the inaugural parade. This year, The Washington Post reports only three council members and Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser have said they'll be watching.

Republican President-elect Donald Trump had the support of only 4.1 percent of the city's voters in November.

Some council members describe their absence as a political gesture. Others have personal or public business elsewhere.

Democratic Council member Jack Evans says he can't remember a similarly small turnout in his 26 years in office. He's planning on coming to watch what he says he views as "a historic occasion." 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Obama's Final Moments in the Oval Office]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:44:39 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Obama_Oval_Final_Getty.jpg Watch some of President Obama’s final moments in the Oval Office as he leaves a letter for President-elect Donald Trump on the desk.

Photo Credit: White House Pool]]>
<![CDATA[217 Arrested as Police, Protesters Clash in DC]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 20:06:01 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20170120+Limo+Fire.jpg

Demonstrations turned violent in the nation's capital as protesters clashed with police, damaged vehicles, destroyed property and set small fires in a chaotic confrontation blocks from Donald Trump's inauguration Friday. At least 217 people were arrested.

The majority of the day's protests were peaceful, but police clad in riot gear faced off against hundreds of demonstrators downtown near 12th and K streets, about six blocks from where Trump would soon hold his inaugural parade, D.C. police said.

Police charged with batons, pepper spray and concussion grenades to disperse crowds. MPD Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham denied claims his agency used tear gas on demonstrators, telling NBC Washington, "We have not deployed tear gas."

The 217 people arrested have been charged with rioting, Newsham said.

Later in the evening, a crowd surrounded a bonfire near 14th and K streets NW, burning newspapers and furniture. Some protesters sat in the middle of intersections to block traffic.

"We're here to protest out of compassion and to be here and to show that, you know, we're all in this together," protester Savannah Ingall told News4.

President Trump supporters and protesters screamed when they came face-to-face along 14th St.

Protests eventually died down and there appeared to be no incidents involving protesters outside of the three inaugural balls.

Before nightfall, a limousine was set on fire a few blocks away from where Trump made his way down Constitution Avenue with a military escort. The fire sent a plume of black smoke into the sky and Fox News crew SUV parked behind the limo also caught fire, officials tell NBC News.

While several peaceful demonstrations unfolded near the Captiol, about a mile away police gave chase to a group of about 300 protesters, who smashed windows of downtown businesses during a pre-inauguration march.

Police dressed in riot gear used pepper spray to quell the disturbance and eventually cordoned off the large crowd near Franklin Square. As protesters fled the scene, six officers suffered "minor injuries" in what Newsham called "coordinated attacks."

Several hours later, the crowd of protesters still at the scene had grown to about 1,000, The Associated Press reported. Some wore gas masks, and had arms chained together.

During the height of the clash, some in the crowd threw newspaper boxes in an attempt to block police and smashed windows of cars, police cruisers and businesses in the area, including along K Street NW. 

As officers tried to surround them, protesters hurled rocks and bottles at them. Flash-bang devices could be heard exploding, but it was not immediately clear whether protesters or officers had set them off.

By about 11:30 a.m., police had successfully surrounded about 20 to 30 protesters at the corner of 12th and L streets NW. Police brought in several transport vans and appeared to be preparing to make the first mass arrests of the day.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser condemned the vandalism, saying at a news conference, "We will not tolerate the destruction of our neighborhoods and we absolutely will not tolerate violence against our police officers and the thousands who have joined us to help with the peaceful inauguration."

This raw video from the protests may contain graphic language.

In a series of coordinated demonstrations designed to cut off spectator access, protesters blocked or caused bottlenecks in front of several security checkpoints outside the National Mall in the hours ahead of the swearing in.

Dozens of protesters lined up at the entrance to a seating area on the West Front of the Capitol, holding signs that said "Free Palestine" and "Let Freedom ring." 

Some protesters wore orange jumpsuits with black hoods over their faces, showing their disapproval of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

Another group of about 10 protesters tied themselves together to block an entrance for ticket holders at 10th and E streets NW. As they sat on the ground, a larger group cheered them on, chanting phrases such as, "We won't be silent." 

Eventually, police used pepper spray after things got physical between protesters and supporters. News4's Mark Segraves said "you can taste the pepper spray in the air."

Ticket holders were allowed to make their way through the gate despite the protests. On the other side of the Capitol, things were quiet and orderly at a second gate.

No arrests were made in those incidents, Segraves reported.

Meanwhile, at Union Station, supporters and protesters arriving in the District were able to find some common ground.  

Linwood Yarborough, a Trump supporter from South Carolina, spent some time Friday chatting with a man who traveled from California to protest the inauguration. 

"I just think it is wonderful to see people pro and con. Freedom is great and we are so fortunate in this country that we can have freedom of speech and we can have a difference of opinion," Yarborough said. "But we should all come together as a nation and move forward, and I hope to see some of that." 

In another exchange, a group of Trump supporters from Tennessee asked a protester from New York to take a picture with them. The group laughed and talked as the supporters gave a thumbs-up and the protester gave a thumbs-down. 

Officials estimate that 800,000 to 900,000 people will attend Inauguration Day festivities, a celebration that takes over the city, closing roads and taxing the city's Metro transit system.

The ceremony began at about 11:30 a.m. ET with a musical prelude.

Just after noon, Trump took the oath of office, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts. Trump then delivered his inaugural address, calling for an "new vision" of "America first."

Stay with NBC Washington for more.

Daniel Barnes contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Aimee Cho
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<![CDATA[Donald Trump Is Getting the Nuclear Football]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:36:20 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/trumGettyImages-632105686.jpg

Sometime before he's sworn in Friday, President-elect Donald Trump will sit down with the top military officers who control America's massive military arsenal and get "THE Briefing," the one that provides him with an understanding — and the tools — of how he would wage nuclear war.

According to those who have witnessed it previously, the briefing is both daunting and sobering, NBC News reported.

Trump will take control of more than 4,000 nuclear warheads.

The options for nuclear war, called courses of action, are contained in both the "Presidential Decision Handbook" which is handed off, as well as in other more detailed briefings that Trump will receive after the inauguration.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Over 600 Sister Marches Join Women's March on Washington]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:11:22 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/marches-map-th.jpg
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<![CDATA[The Perks of Donating to Trump's Inauguration]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:09:57 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_17013713721598-Trump-head.jpg

How much is lunch with members of Donald Trump's cabinet and House and Senate leadership worth?

According to the Presidential Inaugural Committee, a cool $1 million.

In addition to four tickets to what's billed as an exclusive "leadership luncheon" for anyone who can part with that kind of cash in support of Trump's inaugural festivities, those donors will also enjoy the perks available to other levels of sponsorship, according to a document detailing the "58th Presidential Inaugural Committee Underwriter Benefits."

Those perks include a luncheon with "the ladies of the first families," an "intimate dinner" with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, and a "candlelight dinner" with "special appearances" by Trump, Pence and their wives, according to NBC News.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Why Kanye Isn't in Inauguration]]> Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:06:50 -0500 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/trump+kanye.png

Despite being famous friends, President-elect Donald Trump’s team passed on considering Kanye West as a performer for his inauguration Friday.

Tom Barrack, the chair of Trump’s Presidential Inaugural Committee, told CNN's Erin Burnett on Wednesday that the controversial hip-hop mogul was not the right fit for such an event. 

"He considers himself a friend of the president-elect, but it's not the venue,” Barrack told CNN. “The venue we have for entertainment is filled out, it's perfect, it's going to be typically and traditionally American."

Country music star Toby Keith, actor Jon Voight and rock band 3 Doors Down are among the “traditionally American” entertainers slated to perform. Several prominent artists had publicly declined to participate in Trump's inauguration festivities.

“Kanye is a great guy but we just haven't asked him to perform,” Barrack said in his interview with CNN. “We move on with our agenda."

Military bands will also participate, and a fireworks show will follow the "Welcome Celebration."

Trump and West made headlines in December for what many perceived to be an unusual friendship after being photographed together. West was one of several black celebrities Trump met with to talk about issues facing inner city African-Americans.

West refused to comment with reporters after the meeting, instead saying only "I just want to take a picture right now" as he posed for pictures with Trump.

Trump said the two were meeting as "just friends" and were talking about "life."

"He's doing well, he's a good man," he said. 

Trump added, "we've been friends for a long time." 

West announced last year at the Video Music Awards that he would run for president in 2020. That means he would face Trump if the president-elect seeks a second term. After meeting with Trump, West hashtagged a tweet #2024, the first time someone would be able to run for president outside of a possible two-term Trump presidency.



Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images]]>