<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Politics]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usSat, 30 Jul 2016 22:05:41 -0400Sat, 30 Jul 2016 22:05:41 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Clinton and Kaine Talk DNC, Trump ]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 21:44:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/230*120/lauren+mayk+clinton+kaine.jpg NBC10 Lauren Mayk's exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine This is the first local interview the Democratic presidential and vice presidential candidates have done together.

Photo Credit: NBC10 Jason Ryan]]>
<![CDATA[Koch Donor Retreat Convenes Under Trump's Shadow]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 17:05:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_118692503003.jpg

Wealthy Republican donors are descending on Colorado Springs, Colorado, this weekend to attend the Charles and David Koch bi-annual retreat where the cloud of Donald Trump hovers over the rich influencers, NBC News reported.

The wealthy conservative activists and the sum of their vast donor network have shunned Trump throughout the entire presidential election. But as they gather this weekend, Trump is sure to be a topic of discussion as it's the first time the group is meeting since Trump was crowned as the Republican nominee.

Trump, coincidentally or not, held a rally in Colorado Springs Friday despite being 10 points behind in the latest poll in Colorado, a gap that explains why Democrat Hillary Clinton pulled advertising from the state.

On Saturday he tweeted, "I turned down a meeting with Charles and David Koch. Much better for them to meet with the puppets of politics, they will do much better!"



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Slain Soldier's Dad: GOP Must Take 'Moral Stand' on Trump]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 09:48:19 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-584274482-construction.jpg

One of the standout speeches at the Democratic National Convention came not from the slew of politicians or celebrities but from the parents of a Muslim-American war hero who shared a stirring reprimand for GOP candidate Donald Trump. But that was only part of their message.

Khizr Khan appeared on MSNBC's "Last Call With Lawrence O'Donnell" on Friday with his wife Ghazala Khan and said there were two other individuals he wanted to address: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Khan called both men "patriots" and "decent human beings" and appealed to them: "Isn't it time to repudiate Trump?"



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Kaine Contradicts Clinton on Abortion Funding]]> Sat, 30 Jul 2016 08:16:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/kaineImages-583760378.jpg

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine seemingly contradicted the assertion, made by Hillary Clinton's campaign and his own spokesperson, that he would work with the nominee on restoring Medicaid funding for abortion, NBC News reported.

Clinton has come out strongly in favor of repealing the Hyde Amendment, which bans public funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest and life endangerment. The current Democratic platform contains the strongest language yet against Hyde.

In an interview with CNN Friday, Kaine said, "I have been for the Hyde Amendment. I haven't changed my position on that." He then repeated it: "I have not changed my position. Have not changed my position on that."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pence: 'Name Calling' Has No Place in Politics]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 19:31:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/MikePenceMichiganRally-AP_16211005187404.jpg

Mike Pence called out President Barack Obama on Friday for indirectly referring to Donald Trump as a demagogue, saying “name calling” has “no place in public life,” NBC News reported. 

Pence told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt he felt it was “unfortunate” that the president would use a term like that during his comments about Trump during his speech at the Democratic National Convention. 

The president took a swipe at Trump on Wednesday, but didn’t attach the demagogue label directly to Trump: “Anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end," Obama said. 

Pence has promised to run a campaign free from personal attacks. But his comments back up against Trump’s use of derogatory nicknames over the last year including: "Little Michael Bloomberg", "Crooked Hillary" [Clinton], "Corrupt [Tim] Kaine", "Liddle Marco [Rubio]", "Lyin' Ted" [Cruz], "Crazy Bernie" [Sanders], "Goofy" [Elizabeth Warren] and "Low Energy Jeb" [Bush].



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA['This Is the Job': Great Balloon Pop Follows DNC]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 13:40:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DNC+Balloon+Pop+Gif.gif

A massive drop of red, white and blue balloons capped off four days of Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia late Thursday night.

But once the balloons dropped and the delegates began to leave the arena, the arena operations crews -- used to normally transition the arena from Sixers to Flyers games -- armed with sharp points began cleaning up by popping the patriotic balloons.

"We have the job," said Brian, wearing a Flyers cap and a smile as he bent over to pop balloon after balloon.

"There's a lot of work to do," said co-worker Odeen, wearing a Phillies cap.

"We do a lot. We do the breakdown, setup of the court, setup for concerts, basketball, hockey. We do a little bit of everything, we're operations," said Brian.

But the operations team had the unique task overnight of balloon poppers.

"This is the job to have right now, all you gotta do is 'pop, pop, pop,'" said Brian.

So what's the tool of the trade for these building-converting experts? Brian, bent down, used a 2016 Twitter pin to pop some of the thousands of balloons scattered over the arena floor.

"A fine pin will bust all these balloons," Brian said.

Brian showed off his pin while shouting "Hillary!"

After about an hour, the crew of balloon poppers expanded as people carrying long poles with pins on the end attacked the balloons.

"Pop, pop, pop," rang throughout the arena and then all the balloons were gone after about two hours. Somewhere, Nena must be singing.



Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[The Great DNC Balloon Drop of 2016]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 00:37:05 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_16211130893385-dnc.jpg

After all of the speeches, and the videos, and the cheers, and the tears, and a historic speech by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, there was still one final order of business Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention -- the balloon drop.

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And what a drop it was. By the time they finished falling from the sky, the crowd had to nearly wade through a lake of red, white and blue to exit the Wells Fargo Center.

The massive balloon barrage also led to some entertaining moments on stage:

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Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Watch Hillary Clinton's Full Speech at the 2016 DNC]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 07:56:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000012534105_1200x675_734481475835.jpg All eyes were on Hillary Clinton as she stepped into history formally accepting the Democratic nomination for president and becoming the first woman to lead a political party's ticket. ]]> <![CDATA[Did Donald Trump Commit Treason?]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 13:58:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/583804964-donald-trump-press-conference.jpg

After Donald Trump urged Russia to find Hillary Clinton's deleted emails, there was a 76-percent spike in people searching the word "treason" on Merriam-Webster's website, NBC News reported.

Trump and his campaign have said he wasn't encouraging anyone to hack into anything, though he did say at one point Wednesday, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."

There is nothing to hack into now as the clintonemail.com server was decommissioned long ago. Trump seemed to be saying, if anyone did hack into it in the past and still has the e-mails it contained, turn them over.

But suppose he was urging a foreign government to hack a political candidate? Would that be a crime?

According to Carlton Larson, a professor at the University of California at Davis School of Law and one of the nation's few experts on the law of treason, what Trump said "does not amount to treason." Only a country or entity that has declared war or is in a state of open war constitutes an enemy, Larson said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Week Ahead: Olympic Games Begin]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 16:33:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20141205+The+Week+Ahead.jpg

Rio Olympics get under way, Clinton and Trump begin their stretch-run battle, fresh employment numbers are released -- and Bradleigh breaks down the Atlantic City bailout.


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<![CDATA[The Week Ahead: GOP Convention Rocks Cleveland]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 16:35:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20141205+The+Week+Ahead.jpg

The Republican National Convention kicks off, Hillary hits the campaign trail, a Vietnam War hero receives the Medal of Honor -- and Bradleigh breaks down the White House Global Development Summit.


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<![CDATA[The Week Ahead: Democrats Gather in Philadelphia]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 16:36:11 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20141205+The+Week+Ahead.jpg

The Democratic Convention nominates Hillary, President Obama makes the case for Clinton -- and Bradleigh breaks down the Federal Reserve interest rate decision.


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<![CDATA[Fact Checking Clinton's Big Speech at DNC]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 07:43:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hillary+clinton+acepta+2.jpg

On the night Hillary Clinton accepted her party’s nomination for president, Clinton and other Democrats played loose with some facts:

  • Clinton misrepresented Donald Trump’s “I alone can fix it” line, suggesting he said he could fix everything by himself. Trump was referring to a “rigged” system, and went on to talk about working with others.
  • Clinton said that “we’re going to pay for every single one” of the initiatives she has proposed. We can’t predict the future, but a nonpartisan analysis found her proposals would add to the national debt.
  • Clinton said “90 percent” of income gains “have gone to the top 1 percent.” But that is an outdated figure. It’s now 52 percent.
  • Clinton said 15 million private-sector jobs have been created since President Obama took office. The actual number is 10.5 million, and it’s less — 10.1 million — when accounting for the loss of 460,000 public jobs.
  • Clinton rejected Trump’s border security proposal, saying, “We will not build a wall.” As a senator, however, Clinton voted for and supported legislation to add more fencing along the southern border.
  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi cited the “91 Americans who are killed by gun violence each day,” urging Congress to “keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.” However, nearly 58 of those daily gun deaths are suicides — not criminal homicides.
  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney twisted Pay Pal co-founder Peter Thiel’s words, claiming Thiel at the GOP convention had called “equality” a “distraction.” Thiel was talking about the debate over bathroom access, not equality in general.
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro said Trump “defended” World War II internment camps. Trump cited the camps as a legal precedent for his proposal to ban all Muslim travel to the U.S. But he stopped short of defending internment camps.

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.

Analysis

The ‘I Alone’ Refrain

Clinton misrepresented a quote from Donald Trump’s convention speech — “I alone can fix it” — suggesting he said he could fix everything by himself. In fact, Trump said that as a political outsider only he can fix a “rigged” system. He has spoken about working with others many times, including in that same speech.

Clinton: And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.” Those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us. Really? I alone can fix it? Isn’t he forgetting? Troops on the front lines. Police officers and fire fighters who run toward danger. Doctors and nurses who care for us. Teachers who change lives. Entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem. Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe. He’s forgetting every last one of us. Americans don’t say: “I alone can fix it.” We say: “We’ll fix it together.”

Other Democrats used the talking point, too. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said, “Last week we heard about Trump’s hopeless vision of our country, and then he said, ‘I alone can fix it.'” Granholm went on to say that Trump’s version of the Constitution would be, “I, the person, in order to form a more perfect union.” Rep. Ted Lieu of California said, “The scariest part of Donald Trump’s acceptance speech wasn’t the apocalyptic vision of America that he believes he sees, it’s that he said, ‘I alone can fix it.'”

But Trump never said he’d be the only one to fix absolutely everything. Here’s what Trump said in accepting the GOP nomination for president on July 21:

Trump, July 21: I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders – he never had a chance.

He quickly went on to say “we are going to fix the system,” in talking about others joining his cause. And a few sentences later, he talked about working with his running mate, saying, “We will bring the same economic success to America that Mike [Pence] brought to Indiana.” There are other examples of Trump talking of “we” and not “I” in that same speech. For instance, he said that “we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terrorism.”

And, he said, “I will work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials to get the job properly done.”

A few days later, he said, “we will fix it,” in talking about his plans for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The first step of his 10-point plan, he said, was to “appoint a secretary of veterans affairs who will make it their personal mission to clean up the VA.”

So, Trump’s line may make for good rhetorical flourishes at the Democratic convention, but Trump didn’t say he “alone” can fix everything.

Clinton’s Payment Plan

Clinton listed a number of initiatives that she plans to get done as president and said that “we’re going to pay for every single one of them.” We can’t predict the future, but a nonpartisan analysis found Clinton’s spending proposals will increase the national debt.

Clinton: We’re not only going to make all of these investments, we’re going to pay for every single one of them. And here’s how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes.

But Clinton’s proposals would increase the debt by $250 billion over 10 years, according to a June 27 report from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“For Clinton, this small increase in debt relative to current law is the result of spending increases that are largely but not entirely paid for by revenue increases,” the CRFB report says.

Clinton, according to the report, has proposed $1.45 trillion in new spending — mostly on infrastructure, paid leave and education proposals — but offsets that with just $1.2 trillion in new revenue from proposed tax increases for the wealthiest Americans.

The 1 Percent

Clinton said that she would raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for her spending proposals, because “90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent.” But that is an outdated figure.

Clinton: And here’s how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes. Not because we resent success. Because when more than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, that’s where the money is.

The most recent data from economist Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, show that the top 1 percent of families captured 52 percent of the post-recession income growth from 2009 to 2015. In fact, Saez estimated that “the top 1 percent incomes captured 52 percent of the overall economic growth of real incomes per family over the period 1993-2015.”

Clinton’s mistake was to rely on a report that referred to outdated figures.

Her campaign pointed to an April 2015 article from PolitiFact.com, which gave Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont a “mostly true” rating for his claim that “99 percent of all new income today (is) going to the top 1 percent.”

To support the claim, the Sanders campaign cited the work of Justin Wolfers, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan. Wolfers, in a January 2015 post for the New York Times’ Upshot blog, wrote that only the top 1 percent saw any income gains from 2009 to 2013.

Wolfers, Jan. 27, 2015: After adjusting for inflation, the average income for the richest 1 percent (excluding capital gains) has risen from $871,100 in 2009 to $968,000 over 2012 and 2013. By contrast, for the remaining 99 percent, average incomes fell by a few dollars from $44,000 to $43,900.

Wolfers added: “That is, so far all of the gains of the recovery have gone to the top 1 percent.”

But Wolfers had based his calculations on Saez’s preliminary numbers for 2013, and Saez has updated his estimates for income growth twice since then.

In a June 2015 update, Saez said that from 2009 to 2014, during the economic recovery, 58 percent of real income growth went to the top 1 percent. And as of his June 2016 update, the figure had fallen to 52 percent, from 2009 to 2015.

Job Growth

Clinton overstated the number of jobs created since President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took office.

Clinton: Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs.

In fact, since January 2009, when Obama took office, the private sector has added 10.5 million jobs. Clinton only counted jobs created since the low point of employment during the Great Recession – February 2010 – and disregarded the months during Obama’s tenure when jobs were lost. A total of 14.8 million private-sector jobs were created between February 2010 and June 2016.

Private-sector jobs give an important look at overall labor market health but do not tell the whole story. Overall employment, including government jobs, has increased by 10.1 million since January 2009 and 14.4 million since February 2010.

The Great Wall Debate

Clinton dismissed one of Trump’s signature campaign pledges, saying, “We will not build a wall.” But while Clinton opposes Trump’s ambitious plan for a massive wall along at least half of the 2,000-mile border with Mexico, Clinton has herself voted for and supported legislation to add more fencing along the southern border.

As Clinton acknowledged at a town hall event on Nov. 9, 2015, “I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders.”

On Aug. 2, 2006, then Sen. Clinton was among a large, bipartisan majority of senators who voted in favor of $1.83 billion in funding to construct 370 miles of triple-layered fencing, and 461 miles of vehicle barriers along the southwest border.

In September of that year, Clinton was also among a majority of senators who supported the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which called for construction of 700 miles of fencing and enhanced surveillance technology, such as unmanned drones, ground-based sensors, satellites, radar coverage and cameras. It was signed into law by President George W. Bush.

In her book “Hard Choices,” Clinton said she supported the 2013 Senate immigration bill, S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (page 459).

Clinton, “Hard Choices”: I only wish that the bipartisan bill passed in the Senate in 2013 reforming our immigration laws could have passed the House.

In addition to providing a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally, the bill would have funded an enhanced border security plan, including additional border fencing.

Again, none of that comes close to Trump’s promise to build a “great wall” — 35 to 40 feet high — along 1,000 miles of the roughly 2,000-mile border with Mexico (natural barriers protect the remaining 1,000 miles, he said). But Clinton has voted for and supported more border fencing in the past.

Daily Gun Deaths

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said that there are “91 Americans who are killed by gun violence each day,” and urged Congress to “keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.” However, almost 58 of those daily gun deaths are suicides — not criminal homicides.

Pelosi: For the sake of the 91 Americans who are killed by gun violence each day, we must break the grip of the gun lobby on Congress and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.

In 2014, 33,599 people died from firearm injuries, according to the most recent mortality report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (see Table 10). That averages out to more than 92 gun-related deaths each day.

But 63.5 percent of the gun deaths in 2014, or 21,334, were suicides. Homicides totaled 10,945, and the rest were accidental discharges (586), legal intervention/war (515) and undetermined (270).

Maloney Malarkey

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York twisted the words of a speaker at the GOP convention, claiming he called “equality” a “distraction.”

Maloney: Last week, a speaker at the Republican convention called equality a “distraction.” “Who cares?” he asked. Well, I care.

Maloney then went on to praise the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality. In reality, the person Maloney was criticizing cares about marriage equality, too.

Maloney, who is openly gay, was misquoting Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, the first gay person to openly declare his sexuality at a Republican convention (though not the first gay person to give a speech). It’s worth noting here that in 2014 Thiel raised money to fight Prop 8 in California, a measure that would have banned same-sex marriage. So he has demonstrated that he’s on the same side as Maloney on that issue.

What Thiel referred to specifically was the debate over bathroom access for transgender people — not marriage equality or gender equality in general. He said the bathroom debate was among “fake culture wars” detracting from the “real” issue of “economic decline” in America.

Here’s what Thiel really said:

Thiel, July 21: When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. And we won. Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?

…[F]ake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline, and nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump.

Maloney is entitled to disagree with Thiel’s opinion, but had he accurately quoted Thiel, he would have said Thiel called “bathroom access” a distraction, not “equality” in general.

Internment Camps

Rep. Joaquin Castro said Trump “defended” World War II internment camps. Trump cited the internment camps as precedent for his proposal to ban all Muslim travel to the U.S. But he stopped just short of defending the practice.

Castro: Grandchildren of Americans who suffered in World War II internment camps — the same camps Donald Trump has defended — and grew up to be business owners, war heroes, and public servants.

We reached out to the Clinton campaign for backup, and a spokesman pointed to a Dec. 8, 2015, story in the New York Times about Trump defending his call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

The Times wrote, “He cast it as a temporary move in response to terrorism and invoked President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s authorization of the detention of Japanese, German and Italian immigrants during World War II as precedent.”

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Dec. 8, 2015, host Joe Scarborough asked Trump if his proposal was unconstitutional. Trump cited Roosevelt’s decision to detain thousands of noncitizen Japanese, Germans and Italians. In that same interview, Mark Halperin, a political analyst for MSNBC, repeatedly asked Trump if the Japanese internment camps went against American values. Trump praised Roosevelt but repeatedly countered that he wasn’t proposing the same thing, and refused to answer.

When asked by Time whether he would have supported or opposed the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, Trump was noncommittal.
“I would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer,” Trump said. “I certainly hate the concept of it. But I would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer.”
But when asked specifically on “Good Morning America” on Dec. 8, 2015, if he agreed with the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II, Trump said he did not.
George Stephanopoulos: I’ve got to press you on that, sir. You’re praising FDR there. I take it you’re praising the setting up of internment camps for Japanese during World War II.
Trump: No, I’m not. No, I’m not. No, I’m not. Take a look at presidential proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527. Having to do with alien Germans, alien Italians, alien Japanese and what they did. You know, they stripped them of their naturalization proceedings. They went through a whole list of things. They couldn’t go five miles from their homes. They weren’t allowed to use radios, flashlights. I mean, you know, take a look at what FDR did many years ago, and he’s one of the most highly respected presidents by — I mean respected by most people. They named highways after him.

Trump seemed to walk right up to the line of endorsing Japanese internment — noting that FDR did it and is considered “one of the most highly respected presidents.” But when asked directly if he was praising Japanese internment, Trump said he was not.

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

Sources

Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “Promises and Price Tags: A Fiscal Guide to the 2016 Election.” 27 June 2016.

Robertson, Lori, et al. “FactChecking Trump’s Big Speech.” FactCheck.org. 22 Jul 2016.

Kochanek, Kenneth D., et al. Deaths. Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 4. National Center for Health Statistics. 30 Jun 2016.

Bump, Philip and Aaron Blake. “Donald Trump’s dark speech to the Republican National Convention, annotated.” Washington Post. 21 Jul 2016.

Berenson, Tessa. “Donald Trump Calls For ‘Complete Shutdown’ of Muslim Entry to U.S.” Time. 7 Dec 2015.

Haberman, Maggie. “Donald Trump Deflects Withering Fire on Muslim Plan.” New York Times. 8 Dec 2015.

YouTube.com. MSNBC “Morning Joe” interview with Donald Trump. 8 Dec 2015.

Halper, Daniel. “Hillary: I Voted for Border Fence to Keep Out Illegal Immigrants.” Weekly Standard. 10 Nov 2015.

U.S. Senate Website. S.Amdt. 4775 to H.R. 5631 (Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2007). Vote on 2 Aug 2006.

U.S. Senate Website. H.R. 6061, Secure Fence Act of 2006. Vote on 29 Sep 2006.

Congress.gov. H.R.6061 – Secure Fence Act of 2006.

White House Website. Fact Sheet: The Secure Fence Act of 2006. 26 Oct 2006.

Congress.gov. S.744 – Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

Brand, Anna. “Trump puts a price on his wall: It would cost Mexico $8 billion.” MSNBC.com. 9 Feb 2016.

Drabold, Will. “Read Peter Thiel’s Speech at the Republican National Convention.” Time. 21 Jul 2016.

Fuller, Jamie. “Meet the wealthy donor who’s trying to get Republicans to support gay marriage.” Washington Post. 4 April 2014.

Bradner, Eric, et al. “A gay Silicon Valley billionaire just made GOP history at the RNC.” CNN. 21 Jul 2016.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DNC Day 4: Clinton Makes History and Other Top Moments]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 07:52:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-584451814.jpg

To President Barack Obama, she is a leader who will “blast through glass ceilings.” To former President Bill Clinton, she is the “best darn change agent” he has ever seen. To former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, she is the “sane, competent” candidate in the race.

On Thursday, the last night of the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton got the chance to talk about herself - and what she would do as president.

Her biggest deficit: With 54 percent of Americans saying they have a negative opinion of her, she is not seen as trustworthy. She took to the stage after an evening featuring accomplished women and issues they care about.

"We Are Not Afraid": Hillary Clinton Accepts the Presidential Nomination

Clinton told the country it was facing a moment of reckoning, as it had 240 years ago when the founders came together in Philadelphia and the revolution hung in the balance.

"Then somehow they began listening to each other, compromising, finding common purpose,” she said. “And by the time they left Philadelphia, they had begun to see themselves as one nation. That's what made it possible to stand up to a king."

The country's founders had the courage that was needed then, and that courage is needed again, now that Donald Trump has taken the country from Ronald Reagan's "Morning in America" to "Midnight in America," she said. 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had the perfect rebuke to Trump more than 80 years ago, during a much more perilous time: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, she said.

"Now we are clear-eyed about what our country is up against," she said. "But we are not afraid. We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have."

Her speech presented her vision of America and lambasted Trump's. She called Trump "a man you can bait with a tweet" and "not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons."

She thanked U.S. Sen.Bernie Sanders and his supporters for putting economic and social justice front and center at the campaign, and talked about what she wanted to accomplish.

"My primary mission as president will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States from my first day in office to my last," she said.

And she contrasted her America with Trump's. She would: build an economy for everyone, offering a path to citizenship for immigrants already contributing to the economy; refuse to ban a religion, as Trump wants to do with Muslim immigrants; work with all Americans to fight terrorism.

The first woman nominated as president by a major political party, she acknowledged the milestone, saying "After all, when there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit."

A Proud Daughter

Chelsea Clinton introduced her mother as her hero and biggest role model, describing the "special window" she has had to watch her mother's hard work.

Clinton, who spoke a day after her father, former President Bill Clinton, sought to show voters her mother's softer side, talked about how Hillary Clinton embraces her roles as a mother and as a grandmother.

"My mom can be about to walk on stage for a debate or a speech and it just doesn't matter," she said. "She'll drop everything for a few minutes of kisses and reading 'Chugga Chugga Choo Choo' with her granddaughter."

She described the many times she watched her mother throw herself into public service, working diligently to improve the lives of families and children around the world.

"People ask me all the time how does she do it, how does she keep going amid the sound and the fury of politics? Here's how: It's because she never ever forgets who she's fighting for," she said.

Clinton, 36, has been in the public eye her entire life, growing up in the White House. Throughout the primary season, Clinton traveled around the country acting as a passionate surrogate for her mother.

Chelsea Clinton's introduction of her mother paralleled remarks delivered by Ivanka Trump, who introduced her father at last week's Republican convention.

Before Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump rivaled each other in the race for the White House, their daughters shared a close friendship.

Though the two have not appeared in public together since the start of the election, Chelsea maintained that she and Ivanka are still friends Thursday on "Today."

Another First 

Before Clinton accepted the nomination for president, there was another historic moment Thursday evening.

"My name is Sarah McBride, and I am a proud transgender American."

With those words, McBride became the first transgender person to address a political convention.

A graduate of American University, she came out four years ago when she was the student body president.

"At the time I was scared," she said. "I worried that my dreams and my identity were mutually exclusive."

McBride, 25, interned at the White House Office of Public Engagement, helped to pass legislation in her home state of Delaware banning discrimination based on gender identity and is now the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.

“Will we be a nation where there’s only one way to love, only one way to look and only one way to live?” she asked. “Or will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally, a nation that’s stronger together. That is the question in this election.”

Her husband, a transgender man who fought for equality, died four days after they married.

From his death, she learned that every day mattered when it came to building a more equal world.

“Will we be a nation where there’s only one way to love, only one way to look and only one way to live?” she asked. “Or will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally, a nation that’s stronger together. That is the question in this election.”

Fallen Police Officers

The Dallas County sheriff and the families of three slain police officers described their legacies — a counter to Republican criticism that Democrats cared little about law enforcement, only those who had been killed by police.

The sheriff, Lupe Valdez, the daughter of migrant workers, said her father was angry when she told him she was joining the police. He and her older brothers had been beaten by the police for no reason. 

“We put on our badge every day to serve and protect, not to hate and discriminate,” she said, and asked for a moment of silence.

Wayne Walker, the mother of 19-year-old Moses Walker, a Philadelphia police officer, said, "While we’re here, we must do the good we can."

The mother of Derek Owens, a Cleveland police officer, said her son had left a legacy of service, integrity and love.

“We never want the sacrifice and all of the other fallen officers to ever be forgotten,” Barbara Owens said.

And the wife of Thor Soderberg, a Chicago police officer, said he once got charges against a boy who had stolen a belt dropped. The boy only had a rope to hold up his pants, Jennifer Loudon said. Soderberg also paid for the belt.

“He knew effective policing required treating people with kindness and respect, especially when he was most often called to their worst moments,” she said.

A Muslim Soldier

The father of an Army captain killed in a suicide bombing in Iraq challenged Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration, saying his son, Army Capt. Humayun Khan, would never had been in the country if it had been up to Trump. Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims and disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party’s leadership, Khizr Khan said.

“Donald Trump you are asking Americans to trust you with their future,” Khan said. “Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States Constitution. I will gladly lend you my copy.”

Holding up that copy, he told Trump: “In this document, look for the words liberty and equal protection of the law.”

Humayun Khan, 27, died in a suicide car bombing at the gates of his base in Iraq in 2004. Khan told his troops to get back but he took 10 steps toward the car when it exploded. After his death he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

Khizr Khan said his son, who was born in the United Arab Emirates and moved with his family to Maryland when he was 2, had wanted to be a military lawyer.

He urged Trump to visit Arlington Cemetery, where he would see graves of all faiths, genders and ethnicities.

“You have sacrificed nothing and no one,” he told Trump.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[News4 Team Coverage of Hillary Clinton's Historic DNC Speech]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 00:36:47 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Clinton+Balloons.jpg News4 Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey and reporter Aaron Gilchrist report live from the Democratic National Convention where Hillary Clinton officially accepted the presidential nomination.]]> <![CDATA[DC Women's Democratic Group Hails Clinton's Nomination]]> Fri, 29 Jul 2016 00:22:06 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Woman+Dem.jpg Hillary Clinton is closer than any woman has ever been to becoming president of the United States. News 4’s Meagan Fitzgerald watched Clinton’s speech with some women who weren’t always sure this day would come.]]> <![CDATA[Transcript: Hillary Clinton Accepts Presidential Nomination at the Democratic National Convention]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 23:19:24 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Hillary+clinton-584447920.jpg

Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president on the final evening of the Democratic National Convention. Here are her remarks as prepared:

Thank you! Thank you for that amazing welcome.

And Chelsea, thank you.

I'm so proud to be your mother and so proud of the woman you've become.

Thanks for bringing Marc into our family, and Charlotte and Aidan into the world.

And Bill, that conversation we started in the law library 45 years ago is still going strong.

It's lasted through good times that filled us with joy, and hard times that tested us.

And I've even gotten a few words in along the way.

On Tuesday night, I was so happy to see that my Explainer-in-Chief is still on the job.

I'm also grateful to the rest of my family and the friends of a lifetime.

To all of you whose hard work brought us here tonight…

And to those of you who joined our campaign this week.

And what a remarkable week it's been.

We heard the man from Hope, Bill Clinton.

And the man of Hope, Barack Obama.

America is stronger because of President Obama's leadership, and I'm better because of his friendship.

We heard from our terrific vice president, the one-and-only Joe Biden, who spoke from his big heart about our party's commitment to working people.

First Lady Michelle Obama reminded us that our children are watching, and the president we elect is going to be their president, too.

And for those of you out there who are just getting to know Tim Kaine – you're soon going to understand why the people of Virginia keep promoting him: from city council and mayor, to Governor, and now Senator.

He'll make the whole country proud as our Vice President.

And… I want to thank Bernie Sanders.

Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary.

You've put economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.

And to all of your supporters here and around the country:

I want you to know, I've heard you.

Your cause is our cause.

Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion.

That's the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America.

We wrote it together – now let's go out there and make it happen together.

My friends, we've come to Philadelphia – the birthplace of our nation – because what happened in this city 240 years ago still has something to teach us today.

We all know the story.

But we usually focus on how it turned out - and notenough on how close that story came to never being written at all.

When representatives from 13 unruly colonies met just down the road from here, some wanted to stick with the King.

Some wanted to stick it to the king, and go their own way.

The revolution hung in the balance.

Then somehow they began listening to each other … compromising … finding common purpose.

And by the time they left Philadelphia, they had begun to see themselves as one nation.

That's what made it possible to stand up to a King.

That took courage.

They had courage.

Our Founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together.

America is once again at a moment of reckoning.

Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart.

Bonds of trust and respect are fraying.

And just as with our founders, there are no guarantees.

It truly is up to us.

We have to decide whether we all will work together so we all can rise together.

Our country's motto is e pluribus unum: out of many, we are one.

Will we stay true to that motto?

Well, we heard Donald Trump's answer last week at his convention.

He wants to divide us - from the rest of the world, and from each other.

He's betting that the perils of today's world will blind us to its unlimited promise.

He's taken the Republican Party a long way... from "Morning in America" to "Midnight in America."

He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.

Well, a great Democratic President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, came up with the perfect rebuke to Trump more than eighty years ago, during a much more perilous time.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Now we are clear-eyed about what our country is up against.

But we are not afraid.

We will rise to the challenge, just as we always have.

We will not build a wall.

Instead, we will build an economy where everyone who wants a good paying job can get one.

And we'll build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are already contributing to our economy!

We will not ban a religion.

We will work with all Americans and our allies to fight terrorism.

There's a lot of work to do.

Too many people haven't had a pay raise since the crash.

There's too much inequality.

Too little social mobility.

Too much paralysis in Washington.

Too many threats at home and abroad.

But just look at the strengths we bring to meet these challenges.

We have the most dynamic and diverse people in the world.

We have the most tolerant and generous young people we've ever had.

We have the most powerful military.

The most innovative entrepreneurs.

The most enduring values.Freedom and equality, justice and opportunity.

We should be so proud that these words are associated with us. That when people hear them – they hear… America.

So don't let anyone tell you that our country is weak.

We're not.

Don't let anyone tell you we don't have what it takes.

We do.

And most of all, don't believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.”

Those were actually Donald Trump's words in Cleveland.

And they should set off alarm bells for all of us.

Really?

I alone can fix it?

Isn't he forgetting?

Troops on the front lines.

Police officers and fire fighters who run toward danger.

Doctors and nurses who care for us.

Teachers who change lives.

Entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem.

Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe.

He's forgetting every last one of us.

Americans don't say: “I alone can fix it.”

We say: “We'll fix it together.”

Remember: Our Founders fought a revolution and wrote a Constitution so America would never be a nation where one person had all the power.

Two hundred and forty years later, we still put our faith in each other.

Look at what happened in Dallas after the assassinations of five brave police officers.

Chief David Brown asked the community to support his force, maybe even join them.

And you know how the community responded?

Nearly 500 people applied in just 12 days.

That's how Americans answer when the call for help goes out.

20 years ago I wrote a book called “It Takes a Village.” A lot of people looked at the title and asked, what the heck do you mean by that?

This is what I mean.

None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community or lift a country totally alone.

America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger.

I believe that with all my heart.

That's why “Stronger Together” is not just a lesson from our history.

It's not just a slogan for our campaign.

It's a guiding principle for the country we've always been and the future we're going to build.

A country where the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school, no matter what zip code you live in.

A country where all our children can dream, and those dreams are within reach.

Where families are strong… communities are safe…

And yes, love trumps hate.

That's the country we're fighting for.

That's the future we're working toward…

And so it is with humility. . . determination . . . and boundless confidence in America's promise… that I accept your nomination for President of the United States!

Now, sometimes the people at this podium are new to the national stage.

As you know, I'm not one of those people.

I've been your First Lady. Served 8 years as a Senator from the great State of New York.

I ran for President and lost.

Then I represented all of you as Secretary of State.

But my job titles only tell you what I've done.

They don't tell you why.

The truth is, through all these years of public service, the “service” part has always come easier to me than the “public” part.

I get it that some people just don't know what to make of me.

So let me tell you.

The family I'm from . . . well, no one had their name on big buildings.

My family were builders of a different kind.

Builders in the way most American families are.

They used whatever tools they had – whatever God gave them – and whatever life in America provided – and built better lives and better futures for their kids.

My grandfather worked in the same Scranton lace mill for 50 years.

Because he believed that if he gave everything he had, his children would have a better life than he did.

And he was right.

My dad, Hugh, made it to college. He played football at Penn State and enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor.

When the war was over he started his own small business, printing fabric for draperies.

I remember watching him stand for hours over silk screens.

He wanted to give my brothers and me opportunities he never had.

And he did. My mother, Dorothy, was abandoned by her parents as a young girl. She ended up on her own at 14, working as a house maid.

She was saved by the kindness of others.

Her first grade teacher saw she had nothing to eat at lunch, and brought extra food to share.

The lesson she passed on to me years later stuck with me:

No one gets through life alone.

We have to look out for each other and lift each other up.

She made sure I learned the words of our Methodist faith:

“Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.”

I went to work for the Children's Defense Fund, going door-to-door in New Bedford, Massachusetts on behalf of children with disabilities who were denied the chance to go to school.

I remember meeting a young girl in a wheelchair on the small back porch of her house.

She told me how badly she wanted to go to school – it just didn't seem possible.

And I couldn't stop thinking of my mother and what she went through as a child.

It became clear to me that simply caring is not enough.

To drive real progress, you have to change both hearts and laws.

You need both understanding and action.

So we gathered facts. We built a coalition. And our work helped convince Congress to ensure access to education for all students with disabilities.

It's a big idea, isn't it?

Every kid with a disability has the right to go to school.

But how do you make an idea like that real? You do it step-by-step, year-by-year… sometimes even door-by-door.

And my heart just swelled when I saw Anastasia Somoza on this stage, representing millions of young people who – because of those changes to our laws – are able to get an education.

It's true... I sweat the details of policy – whether we're talking about the exact level of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the number of mental health facilities in Iowa, or the cost of your prescription drugs.

Because it's not just a detail if it's your kid - if it's your family.

It's a big deal. And it should be a big deal to your president.

Over the last three days, you've seen some of the people who've inspired me.

People who let me into their lives, and became a part of mine.

People like Ryan Moore and Lauren Manning.

They told their stories Tuesday night.

I first met Ryan as a seven-year old.

He was wearing a full body brace that must have weighed forty pounds.

Children like Ryan kept me going when our plan for universal health care failed…and kept me working with leaders of both parties to help create the Children's Health Insurance Program that covers 8 million kids every year.

Lauren was gravely injured on 9/11.

It was the thought of her, and Debbie St. John, and John Dolan and Joe Sweeney, and all the victims and survivors, that kept me working as hard as I could in the Senate on behalf of 9/11 families, and our first responders who got sick from their time at Ground Zero.

I was still thinking of Lauren, Debbie and all the others ten years later in the White House Situation Room when President Obama made the courageous decision that finally brought Osama bin Laden to justice.

In this campaign, I've met so many people who motivate me to keep fighting for change.

And, with your help, I will carry all of your voices and stories with me to the White House.

I will be a President for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.

For the struggling, the striving and the successful.

For those who vote for me and those who don't.

For all Americans.

Tonight, we've reached a milestone in our nation's march toward a more perfect union:

the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for President.

Standing here as my mother's daughter, and my daughter's mother, I'm so happy this day has come.

Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between.

Happy for boys and men, too – because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit.

So let's keep going, until everyone of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves.

Because even more important than the history we make tonight, is the history we will write together in the years ahead.

Let's begin with what we're going to do to help working people in our country get ahead and stay ahead.

Now, I don't think President Obama and Vice President Biden get the credit they deserve for saving us from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes.

Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs. Twenty million more Americans with health insurance. And an auto industry that just had its best year ever. That's real progress.

But none of us can be satisfied with the status quo. Not by a long shot.

We're still facing deep-seated problems that developed long before the recession and have stayed with us through the recovery.

I've gone around our country talking to working families. And I've heard from so many of you who feel like the economy just isn't working.

Some of you are frustrated – even furious.

And you know what??? You're right.

It's not yet working the way it should.

Americans are willing to work – and work hard.

But right now, an awful lot of people feel there is less and less respect for the work they do.

And less respect for them, period.

Democrats are the party of working people.

But we haven't done a good enough job showing that we get what you're going through, and that we're going to do something about it.

So I want to tell you tonight how we will empower Americans to live better lives.

My primary mission as President will be to create more opportunity and more good jobs with rising wages right here in the United States...

From my first day in office to my last!

Especially in places that for too long have been left out and left behind.

From our inner cities to our small towns, from Indian Country to Coal Country.

From communities ravaged by addiction to regions hollowed out by plant closures.

And here's what I believe.

I believe America thrives when the middle class thrives.

I believe that our economy isn't working the way it should because our democracy isn't working the way it should.

That's why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them. And we'll pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United!

I believe American corporations that have gotten so much from our country should be just as patriotic in return.

Many of them are. But too many aren't.

It's wrong to take tax breaks with one hand and give out pink slips with the other.

And I believe Wall Street can never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again.

I believe in science. I believe that climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.

I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to kick them out.

Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together - and it's the right thing to do.

Whatever party you belong to, or if you belong to no party at all, if you share these beliefs, this is your campaign.

If you believe that companies should share profits with their workers, not pad executive bonuses, join us.

If you believe the minimum wage should be a living wage… and no one working full time should have to raise their children in poverty… join us.

If you believe that every man, woman, and child in America has the right to affordable health care…join us.

 

 

 

 

 

If you believe that we should say “no” to unfair trade deals... that we should stand up to China... that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers…join us.

If you believe we should expand Social Security and protect a woman's right to make her own health care decisions… join us.

And yes, if you believe that your working mother, wife, sister, or daughter deserves equal pay… join us...

Let's make sure this economy works for everyone, not just those at the top.

Now, you didn't hear any of this from Donald Trump at his convention.

He spoke for 70-odd minutes – and I do mean odd.

And he offered zero solutions. But we already know he doesn't believe these things.

No wonder he doesn't like talking about his plans.

You might have noticed, I love talking about mine.

In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.

Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business, and infrastructure.

If we invest in infrastructure now, we'll not only create jobs today, but lay the foundation for the jobs of the future.

And we will transform the way we prepare our young people for those jobs.

Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all!

We will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt.

It's just not right that Donald Trump can ignore his debts, but students and families can't refinance theirs.

And here's something we don't say often enough: College is crucial, but a four-year degree should not be the only path to a good job.

We're going to help more people learn a skill or practice a trade and make a good living doing it.

We're going to give small businesses a boost. Make it easier to get credit. Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks.

In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it.

We're going to help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the “woman card,” then Deal Me In!

(Oh, you've heard that one?)

Now, here's the thing, we're not only going to make all these investments, we're going to pay for every single one of them.

And here's how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes.

Not because we resent success. Because when more than 90% of the gains have gone to the top 1%, that's where the money is.

And if companies take tax breaks and then ship jobs overseas, we'll make them pay us back. And we'll put that money to work where it belongs … creating jobs here at home!

Now I know some of you are sitting at home thinking, well that all sounds pretty good.

But how are you going to get it done? How are you going to break through the gridlock in Washington? Look at my record. I’ve worked across the aisle to pass laws and treaties and to launch new programs that help millions of people. And if you give me the chance, that’s what I’ll do as President.

But Trump, he's a businessman. He must know something about the economy.

Well, let's take a closer look.

In Atlantic City, 60 miles from here, you'll find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills.

People who did the work and needed the money, and didn't get it – not because he couldn't pay them, but because he wouldn't pay them.

That sales pitch he's making to be your president? Put your faith in him – and you'll win big? That's the same sales pitch he made to all those small businesses. Then Trump walked away, and left working people holding the bag.

He also talks a big game about putting America First. Please explain to me what part of America First leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado.

Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan. Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio. Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin.

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again – well, he could start by actually making things in America again.

The choice we face is just as stark when it comes to our national security.

Anyone reading the news can see the threats and turbulence we face.

From Baghdad and Kabul, to Nice and Paris and Brussels, to San Bernardino and Orlando, we're dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated.

No wonder people are anxious and looking for reassurance. Looking for steady leadership.

You want a leader who understands we are stronger when we work with our allies around the world and care for our veterans here at home. Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do it will be my highest priority.

I'm proud that we put a lid on Iran's nuclear program without firing a single shot – now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel's security.

I'm proud that we shaped a global climate agreement – now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.

I'm proud to stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia.

I've laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS.

We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen.

We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country.

It won't be easy or quick, but make no mistake – we will prevail.

Now Donald Trump says, and this is a quote, “I know more about ISIS than the generals do….”

No, Donald, you don't.

He thinks that he knows more than our military because he claimed our armed forces are “a disaster.”

Well, I've had the privilege to work closely with our troops and our veterans for many years, including as a Senator on the Armed Services Committee.

I know how wrong he is. Our military is a national treasure.

We entrust our commander-in-chief to make the hardest decisions our nation faces.

Decisions about war and peace. Life and death.

A president should respect the men and women who risk their lives to serve our country – including the sons of Tim Kaine and Mike Pence, both Marines.

Ask yourself: Does Donald Trump have the temperament to be Commander-in-Chief?

Donald Trump can't even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign.

He loses his cool at the slightest provocation. When he's gotten a tough question from a reporter. When he's challenged in a debate. When he sees a protestor at a rally.

Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.

I can't put it any better than Jackie Kennedy did after the Cuban Missile Crisis. She said that what worried President Kennedy during that very dangerous time was that a war might be started – not by big men with self-control and restraint, but by little men – the ones moved by fear and pride.

America's strength doesn't come from lashing out.

Strength relies on smarts, judgment, cool resolve, and the precise and strategic application of power.

That's the kind of Commander-in-Chief I pledge to be.

And if we're serious about keeping our country safe, we also can't afford to have a President who's in the pocket of the gun lobby.

I'm not here to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

I'm not here to take away your guns.

I just don't want you to be shot by someone who shouldn't have a gun in the first place.

We should be working with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and all others who would do us harm.

For decades, people have said this issue was too hard to solve and the politics were too hot to touch.

But I ask you: how can we just stand by and do nothing?

You heard, you saw, family members of people killed by gun violence.

You heard, you saw, family members of police officers killed in the line of duty because they were outgunned by criminals.

I refuse to believe we can't find common ground here.

We have to heal the divides in our country.

Not just on guns. But on race. Immigration. And more.

That starts with listening to each other. Hearing each other. Trying, as best we can, to walk in each other's shoes.

So let's put ourselves in the shoes of young black and Latino men and women who face the effects of systemic racism, and are made to feel like their lives are disposable.

Let's put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous and necessary job.

We will reform our criminal justice system from end-to-end, and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

We will defend all our rights – civil rights, human rights and voting rights… women's rights and workers' rights… LGBT rights and the rights of people with disabilities!

And we will stand up against mean and divisive rhetoric wherever it comes from.

For the past year, many people made the mistake of laughing off Donald Trump's comments – excusing him as an entertainer just putting on a show.

They think he couldn't possibly mean all the horrible things he says – like when he called women “pigs.” Or said that an American judge couldn't be fair because of his Mexican heritage. Or when he mocks and mimics a reporter with a disability.

Or insults prisoners of war like John McCain –a true hero and patriot who deserves our respect.

At first, I admit, I couldn't believe he meant it either.

It was just too hard to fathom – that someone who wants to lead our nation could say those things. Could be like that.

But here's the sad truth: There is no other Donald Trump...This is it.

And in the end, it comes down to what Donald Trump doesn't get: that America is great – because America is good.

So enough with the bigotry and bombast. Donald Trump's not offering real change.

He's offering empty promises. What are we offering? A bold agenda to improve the lives of people across our country - to keep you safe, to get you good jobs, and to give your kids the opportunities they deserve.

The choice is clear.

Every generation of Americans has come together to make our country freer, fairer, and stronger.

None of us can do it alone.

I know that at a time when so much seems to be pulling us apart, it can be hard to imagine how we'll ever pull together again.

But I'm here to tell you tonight – progress is possible.

I know because I've seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up.

And I know it from my own life. More than a few times, I've had to pick myself up and get back in the game.

Like so much else, I got this from my mother. She never let me back down from any challenge. When I tried to hide from a neighborhood bully, she literally blocked the door. “Go back out there,” she said.

And she was right. You have to stand up to bullies.

You have to keep working to make things better, even when the odds are long and the opposition is fierce.

We lost my mother a few years ago. I miss her every day. And I still hear her voice urging me to keep working, keep fighting for right, no matter what.

That's what we need to do together as a nation.

Though "we may not live to see the glory," as the song from the musical Hamilton goes, "let us gladly join the fight."

Let our legacy be about "planting seeds in a garden you never get to see."

That's why we're here...not just in this hall, but on this Earth.

The Founders showed us that.

And so have many others since.

They were drawn together by love of country, and the selfless passion to build something better for all who follow.

That is the story of America. And we begin a new chapter tonight.

Yes, the world is watching what we do.

Yes, America's destiny is ours to choose.

So let's be stronger together.

Looking to the future with courage and confidence.

Building a better tomorrow for our beloved children and our beloved country.

When we do, America will be greater than ever.

Thank you and may God bless the United States of America!



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kaine Up Close: One-On-One With Julie Carey]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 20:39:58 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000015584348_1200x675_734270531917.jpg Northern Virginia bureau Chief Julie Carey talks with News4's Aaron Gilchrist about her one-on-one interview with vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine.]]> <![CDATA[Inside the DNC Protest Lifestyle]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 17:46:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/DNC+Day+4+BXM+home+with+dog+lead+image.jpg

Taralei Griffin began to cry shortly after 9 a.m. and, moments later, became the nucleus of a 20-person hug.

It was during the wake up meeting for protest group Democracy Spring, inside the tiny front room of a row house in Mantua, on the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

"I’ve been diagnosed with MS," Griffin told the activist assemblage. She brought it up during the "I feel like” portion of the program. Griffin’s began: "I’m not feeling very well today."

Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease of the body’s nervous system. Griffin isn’t sure yet how serious or far along her illness is. She’ll find out more the week after the DNC.

The 25-year-old comes from all over. She grew up in Minnesota, but in recent years her family has lived in Tennessee. Not that she’s been there much the past year. She learned of Democracy Spring while watching a video by online liberal news outlet, The Young Turks. After a couple days thinking about the protest lifestyle, Griffin reached out to Democracy Spring in December last year.

The group is part of a diverse and varied protest faction that came to Philadelphia for the DNC. Democracy Spring specifically advocates for the elimination of corporate donors and the wealthy’s influence on government. Members believe that all other issues — climate change, education, poverty —can be addressed more efficiently if Big Money is taken out of the political process. The group’s motto is: "Money ain’t speech. Corporations aren’t people.”

Griffin’s been part of the inner circle of Democracy Spring since April when she met Kai Newkirk in Washington D.C. Newkirk is in charge of the protest group, which sprung from a larger organization called 99Rise.

She was one of 1,400 arrested on the steps of the Capitol in the spring, what activists like Newkirk describe as the largest action of civil disobedience in American history. Members of Democracy Spring are prideful of their arrest records. Brendan Orsinger, who quit his job at the Pentagon to join the movement, has been arrested eight times. Mary Zeiser, a California nomad and student of the art of non-violent resistance, has been arrested three times.

In Philly, Democracy Spring wanted to bring their non-violent “risk arrest” approach to the protests of the Democratic National Convention. After a march Monday afternoon down South Broad Street from Marconi Plaza, Newkirk and 10 others from his group succeeded in getting arrested -- after much effort. They jumped a police barricade, were taken into custody temporarily, then given $50 citations.

Griffin was not one of those arrested. So soon after being diagnosed with MS, she served the group in an auxiliary and communications role. 

"It’s been stressful," Griffin said Monday morning, prior to the first actions of the DNC week. “I want to stay with Democracy Spring. I’m heading back to D.C. after this week to find out more. There’s a lot up in the air.”

Griffin said she was very quiet, an introvert even, before joining the activist ranks.

"It all changed when I joined. Now, I’m very talkative," she said, petting her nine-year-old dog, Layla.

The first sign that Griffin had a deep-seated interest in politics and activism was one Halloween early on in her life.

"First, I was a witch. Then, the next year, I was Princess Leia. Then I wanted to be an American flag."

When she goes back to Washington, D.C., this weekend, she’ll return to Democracy Spring’s base of operations, a rented house in Cheverly, Maryland. About six others have lived there when Griffin stayed in the house the past several months.

TaraLei grew up in a conservative family in a conservative part of Minnesota. And she thought she was conservative, until a high school teacher in her hometown of Arden Hills gave her class a test with questions to rate where one falls on the political spectrum 

"I took one of those tests that puts you in a liberal category or conservative," she said. "I said, 'Is this right?' after looking at the result. He said, 'Yeah, you’re very liberal.'"

Anywhere from 10 to 20 people lived in the two-story house on Brandywine Street since the beginning of July. People go five or six to a room, sleeping bags covering every inch of the bedroom floors. One room has a set of bunk beds.

No one seems to mind the clutter: a pile of shoes in the corner near the front door, a bushel of apples under a table crowded with laptops and printed signs.

Tofu is on the menu most days. On Monday, Nicole Hazzard, a North Carolina woman who in Her 40s is one of the oldest members of the group, cooked tofu over potatoes. Some ate cereal while everyone prepped for the first day’s actions.

Griffin made a run to Target in one of the collective’s vehicles. An hour later, she returned with supplies for the house and the March.

She worried about her legs in the heat. Extreme conditions, she said, brought about her MS symptoms -- loss of feeling in her extremities after initial "pins and needles all over."

Hours later, after Newkirk and several others had been hauled off by police, Griffin sat on the outskirts of the protests near the AT&T Station of SEPTA’s Broad Street Line. By 6:30, she and a couple other protesters packed some things and were heading back to Mantua to regroup. 

"It’s been an awesome day," Griffin said in the grassy median of South Broad Street, over the still-strong chants of "Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!" And "Lock Her Up!"

There would be more protesting tomorrow for Griffin and Democracy Spring. Two days later, on Wednesday, another contingent of Democracy Spring members would be arrested -- or, according to Philadelphia police, taken into custody and given citations for disorderly conduct.

On Thursday, Griffin said she believed the week went well. Soon, she’d be hopping a ride back to D.C. To find out more about her future. She saw herself staying in the Democracy Spring house, and perhaps she’d help the group find a new home for when their lease runs out at the end of August.

Asked about her future, she pondered life in D.C. And in the activist community, and in the workplace. She enjoys writing.

"After my (doctor’s) appointment on Monday, I’ll be figuring things out," she said.

She paused for a moment, then she let out a single laugh.

"I think I may try to get a part-time job with the Young Turks," Griffin said.



Photo Credit: NBC10 Brian X. McCrone
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<![CDATA[Fact Check: Looking at Trump's Comments on Torture]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:30:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_16209592514214.jpg

FactCheck.org is a non-partisan non-profit organization that will hold candidates and key figures accountable during the 2016 presidential campaign. FactCheck.org will check facts of speeches, advertisements and more for NBC.

Donald Trump said that “enhanced interrogation … works.” But scientists have shown that the stress and pain induced by techniques like waterboarding can impair memory, and, therefore, inhibit a person from recalling information.

Enhanced interrogation can entail techniques such as slapping a person in the face, sleep deprivation, cramped confinement and waterboarding — the last of which involves reducing airflow with water to trigger the feeling of drowning.

This isn’t the first time Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has claimed enhanced interrogation works. Back in February, he said:

Trump, Feb. 17: Torture works. OK, folks? You know, I have these guys—”Torture doesn’t work!”—believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they asked me the question: What do you think of waterboarding? Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding.

More recently in a July 27 press conference, Trump doubled down on his claim and said, “I am a person that believes in enhanced interrogation, yes. And by the way, it works.”

But research in neuroscience and psychology suggests otherwise. In a 2009 Trends in Cognitive Sciences review paper, Shane O’Mara, a brain researcher at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, wrote, “The use of [enhanced interrogation] techniques appears motivated by a folk psychology that is demonstrably incorrect.”

What is that folk psychology? O’Mara describes it as “the idea that repeatedly inducing shock, stress, anxiety, disorientation and lack of control is more effective than are standard interrogatory techniques in making suspects reveal information.”

It is also assumed that this information is “reliable and veridical, as suspects will be motivated to end the interrogation by revealing this information from long-term memory,” O’Mara says. But this idea is “unsupported by scientific evidence,” he adds.

O’Mara goes on to say that “[s]olid scientific evidence of how repeated and extreme stress and pain affect memory and executive functions (such as planning or forming intentions) suggests that these techniques are unlikely to do anything other than the opposite of that intended by coercive or ‘enhanced’ interrogation.”

So what does the scientific literature say on the matter? In his review, O’Mara looked at research on how increased stress affects brain regions and mechanisms involved in memory function.

To start, while many brain functions remain elusive to neuroscientists and psychologists, memory formation and recall relies, in part, on a relatively well-understood mechanism — long-term synaptic potentiation, or LTP.

Scientists have investigated this mechanism through anatomical dissection and brain imaging, among other techniques, in both lab animals and humans since the 1970s. In particular, researchers have found that this mechanism is disrupted by extreme and prolonged stress and pain, explains O’Mara. Studies on rats and mice dating back to 1987 support this conclusion.

O’Mara also explains that the hippocampus and prefrontal cortices, regions of the brain, are both “essential for normal memory function.” These regions of the brain are involved in LTP. When an individual is stressed, especially for long periods, these brain regions become compromised.

How? Stress causes the release of hormones like cortisol, which impair the function in these brain regions, sometimes even resulting in tissue loss, explains O’Mara. And when these regions are compromised, people have trouble recalling both short- and long-term memories. “[P]rolonged and sustained sleep deprivation, in part because it results in a substantial increase in cortisol levels, has a deleterious effect on memory,” he says.

For example, in a 2009 paper published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, which O’Mara cites, Amy F. T. Arnsten, an expert at Yale in both neuroscience and psychology, reviewed both human and animal studies that looked at the effect of stress on the prefrontal cortex.

Arnsten writes that studies have found, “Even quite mild acute uncontrollable stress can cause a rapid and dramatic loss of prefrontal cognitive abilities, and more prolonged stress exposure” can permanently change the structure of the region for the worse.

It may also be difficult to “determine during interrogation whether the information that a suspect reveals is true,” argues O’Mara. Why? Information “presented by the captor to elicit responses during interrogation might inadvertently become part of the suspect’s memory, especially because suspects are under extreme stress and are required to tell and retell the same events that might have happened over a period of years.”

His argument relies on the science behind confabulation, or the production of false memories, as it’s “a common consequence of frontal lobe disorders,” explains O’Mara. And as already noted, prolonged and extreme stress has a negative effect on this brain region’s function and structure. Thus, he says, “distinguishing between confabulations and what is true in the verbal statements of tortured suspects will be difficult.”

O’Mara also cites studies that looked at the function of the frontal lobes in individuals with post traumatic stress disorder. “Brain imaging in people previously subjected to severe torture suggests that abnormal patterns of activation are present in the frontal and temporal lobes … leading to deficits in verbal memory for the recall of traumatic events,” O’Mara writes.

O’Mara concludes his paper stating that “coercive interrogations involving extreme stress are unlikely to facilitate the release of veridical information from long-term memory, given our current cognitive neurobiological knowledge.” On the contrary, he adds, “these techniques cause severe, repeated and prolonged stress, which compromises brain tissue supporting memory and executive function.”

To top it off, a 2012 Central Intelligence Agency report on the matter concluded: “The CIA’s use of its enhanced interrogation techniques was not an effective means of acquiring intelligence or gaining cooperation from detainees.” The report adds, “The CIA’s justification for the use of its enhanced interrogation techniques rested on inaccurate claims of their effectiveness.”

In sum, while Trump says that enhanced interrogation “works,” scientific evidence from neuroscience and psychology — and the CIA — says that it doesn’t.

Editor’s Note: SciCheck is made possible by a grant from the Stanton Foundation.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Melania Trump's Website Taken Down]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 19:35:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/melania+speech1.jpg

Melania Trump's website, which gave her biography and linked to products she designed, has been taken down from the web, after reports began to question her educational history.

The URL, melaniatrump.com, redirects to the Trump Organization's website, trump.com, as of Thursday afternoon. That page advertises the company's many golf and resort properties and doesn't mention Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

It was taken down Wednesday, the Huffington Post first reported. The removal of her website comes after several news sources poked holes in Melania Trump's educational biography.

Her website, which is preserved by the Internet Archive, stated she had earned a design and architecture degree at "University in Slovenia" before continuing her modeling career.

According to The New York Times, she only spent a year at the University in Ljubljana, Slovenia, before dropping out to pursue modeling opportunities in Milan. 

Trump released a statement about the website on Twitter Thursday: "The website in question was created in 2012 and has been removed because it does not accurately reflect my current business and professional interests."

Besides her marriage to the Republican nominee, Trump is known for modeling, and her jewelry and watch company.

Though she stayed out of the spotlight for much of her husband's campaign for president, her speech to the Republican National Convention last week garnered controversy for including several phrases apparently borrowed from Michelle Obama's Democratic convention speech in 2008.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Wikileaks Posts Alleged Dem Voicemails During DNC]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:27:42 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-115218062.jpg

WikiLeaks posted 14 minutes of audio of what it claimed were hacked voicemail messages from top Democratic officials Wednesday, NBC News reported.

The audio was released just before Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama addressed the Democratic National Convention.

The leaded audio appears to mirror some of the more than 19,000 hacked Democratic National Committee email messages that have been published in the last week. Information in some of those messages led to the ouster of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said last week that more leaks are in the works to damage Clinton.

The FBI said it had no comment on the alleged voicemails, telling NBC News on Wednesday that it continues to investigate the hacking. 

The FBI said it had no comment on the alleged voicemails, telling NBC News Wednesday that it continues to investigate the hacking. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Trump Jr. Says Obama Lifted Line From His RNC Speech]]> Thu, 28 Jul 2016 14:37:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-577716054.jpg

Donald Trump Jr. suggested Thursday that President Obama lifted a phrase from his Republican National Convention speech. Donald Trump's son pointed out that his RNC speech and Obama's remarks at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, included the line "That's not the America I know."

It's a line Obama, along with other past presidents, has used frequently in the past, NBC News reported. Other than the brief sentiment about the version of America known to both men, the context of their statements are very different.

Turmp Jr.'s charge comes after Melania Trump was criticized for lifting portions of her address to the RNC from Michelle Obama's 2008 convention speech. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![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[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[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[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"

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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."

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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.'"

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"Lying Is Second Nature to Him"

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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.

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"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"

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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."

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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. 

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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"

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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.

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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"

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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. 

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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[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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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<![CDATA[Read President Obama's Speech to the DNC]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 23:30:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Obama-583835804.jpg

President Barack Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday evening. Here are his remarks as prepared:

Hello, America.

Twelve years ago tonight, I addressed this convention for the very first time.

You met my two little girls, Malia and Sasha - now two amazing young women who just fill me with pride. You fell for my brilliant wife and partner Michelle, who's made me a better father and a better man; who's gone on to inspire our nation as First Lady; and who somehow hasn't aged a day.

I know the same can't be said for me. My girls remind me all the time. Wow, you've changed so much, daddy.

And it's true - I was so young that first time in Boston. Maybe a little nervous addressing such a big crowd. But I was filled with faith; faith in America - the generous, bighearted, hopeful country that made my story - indeed, all of our stories - possible.

A lot's happened over the years. And while this nation has been tested by war and recession and all manner of challenge - I stand before you again tonight, after almost two terms as your President, to tell you I am even more optimistic about the future of America.

How could I not be - after all we've achieved together?

After the worst recession in 80 years, we've fought our way back. We've seen deficits come down, 401(k)s recover, an auto industry set new records, unemployment reach eight-year lows, and our businesses create 15 million new jobs.

After a century of trying, we declared that health care in America is not a privilege for a few, but a right for everybody. After decades of talk, we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil, and doubled our production of clean energy.

We brought more of our troops home to their families, and delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. Through diplomacy, we shut down Iran's nuclear weapons program, opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba, and brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save this planet for our kids.

We put policies in place to help students with loans; protect consumers from fraud; and cut veteran homelessness almost in half. And through countless acts of quiet courage, America learned that love has no limits, and marriage equality is now a reality across the land.

By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started.

And 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.

So tonight, I'm here to tell you that yes, we still have more work to do. More work to do for every American still in need of a good job or a raise, paid leave or a decent retirement; for every child who needs a sturdier ladder out of poverty or a world-class education; for everyone who hasn't yet felt the progress of these past seven and a half years. We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer; our homeland more secure, and our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation. We're not done perfecting our union, or living up to our founding creed - that all of us are created equal and free in the eyes of God.

That work involves a big choice this November. Fair to say, this is not your typical election. It's not just a choice between parties or policies; the usual debates between left and right. This is a more fundamental choice - about who we are as a people, and whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self-government.

Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there's nothing wrong with that; it's precisely this contest of ideas that pushes our country forward.

But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn't particularly Republican - and it sure wasn't conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems - just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.

And that is not the America I know.

The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous. Sure, we have real anxieties - about paying the bills, protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent. We get frustrated with political gridlock, worry about racial divisions; are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice. There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures; men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten; parents who wonder whether their kids will have the same opportunities we had.

All that is real. We're challenged to do better; to be better. But as I've traveled this country, through all fifty states; as I've rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I've also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America. I see people working hard and starting businesses; people teaching kids and serving our country. I see engineers inventing stuff, and doctors coming up with new cures. I see a younger generation full of energy and new ideas, not constrained by what is, ready to seize what ought to be.

Most of all, I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together - black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young and old; gay, straight, men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love.

That's the America I know. And there is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, and has devoted her life to it; a mother and grandmother who'd do anything to help our children thrive; a leader with real plans to break down barriers, blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American - the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton.

Now, eight years ago, Hillary and I were rivals for the Democratic nomination. We battled for a year and a half. Let me tell you, it was tough, because Hillary's tough. Every time I thought I might have that race won, Hillary just came back stronger.

But after it was all over, I asked Hillary to join my team. She was a little surprised, but ultimately said yes - because she knew that what was at stake was bigger than either of us. And for four years, I had a front-row seat to her intelligence, her judgment, and her discipline. I came to realize that her unbelievable work ethic wasn't for praise or attention - that she was in this for everyone who needs a champion. I understood that after all these years, she has never forgotten just who she's fighting for.

Hillary's still got the tenacity she had as a young woman working at the Children's Defense Fund, going door to door to ultimately make sure kids with disabilities could get a quality education.

She's still got the heart she showed as our First Lady, working with Congress to help push through a Children's Health Insurance Program that to this day protects millions of kids.

She's still seared with the memory of every American she met who lost loved ones on 9/11, which is why, as a Senator from New York, she fought so hard for funding to help first responders; why, as Secretary of State, she sat with me in the Situation Room and forcefully argued in favor of the mission that took out bin Laden.

You know, 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. But Hillary's been in the room; she's been part of those decisions. She knows what's at stake in the decisions our government makes for the working family, the senior citizen, the small business owner, the soldier, and the veteran. Even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds; no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.

That's the Hillary I know. That's the Hillary I've come to admire. And that's why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America.

And, by the way, in case you were wondering about her judgment, look at her choice of running mate. Tim Kaine is as good a man, as humble and committed a public servant, as anyone I know. He will be a great Vice President, and he'll make Hillary a better President. Just like my dear friend and brother Joe Biden has made me a better President.

Now, Hillary has real plans to address the concerns she's heard from you on the campaign trail. She's got specific ideas to invest in new jobs, to help workers share in their company's profits, to help put kids in preschool, and put students through college without taking on a ton of debt. That's what leaders do.

And then there's Donald Trump. He's not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who've achieved success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated.

Does anyone really believe that a guy who's spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice? If so, you should vote for him. But if you're someone who's truly concerned about paying your bills, and seeing the economy grow, and creating more opportunity for everybody, then the choice isn't even close. If you want someone with a lifelong track record of fighting for higher wages, better benefits, a fairer tax code, a bigger voice for workers, and stronger regulations on Wall Street, then you should vote for Hillary Clinton.

And if you're concerned about who's going to keep you and your family safe in a dangerous world - well, the choice is even clearer. Hillary Clinton is respected around the world not just by leaders, but by the people they serve. She's worked closely with our intelligence teams, our diplomats, our military. And she has the judgment, the experience, and the temperament to meet the threat from terrorism. It's not new to her. Our troops have pounded ISIL without mercy, taking out leaders, taking back territory. I know Hillary won't relent until ISIL is destroyed. She'll finish the job - and she'll do it without resorting to torture, or banning entire religions from entering our country. She is fit to be the next Commander-in-Chief.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump calls our military a disaster. Apparently, he doesn't know the men and women who make up the strongest fighting force the world has ever known. He suggests America is weak. He must not hear the billions of men, women, and children, from the Baltics to Burma, who still look to America to be the light of freedom, dignity, and human rights. He cozies up to Putin, praises Saddam Hussein, and tells the NATO allies that stood by our side after 9/11 that they have to pay up if they want our protection. Well, America's promises do not come with a price tag. We meet our commitments. And that's one reason why almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago.

America is already great. America is already strong. And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump.

In fact, it doesn't depend on any one person. And that, in the end, may be the biggest difference in this election - the meaning of our democracy.

Ronald Reagan called America "a shining city on a hill." Donald Trump calls it "a divided crime scene" that only he can fix. It doesn't matter to him that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they've been in decades, because he's not offering any real solutions to those issues. He's just offering slogans, and he's offering fear. He's betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election.

That is another bet that Donald Trump will lose. Because he's selling the American people short. We are not a fragile or frightful people. Our power doesn't come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order. We don't look to be ruled. 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.

That's who we are. That's our birthright - the capacity to shape our own destiny. That's what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny and our GIs to liberate a continent. It's what gave women the courage to reach for the ballot, and marchers to cross a bridge in Selma, and workers to organize and fight for better wages.

America has never been about what one person says he'll do for us. It's always been about what can be achieved by us, together, through the hard, slow, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately enduring work of self-government.

And that's what Hillary Clinton understands. She knows that this is a big, diverse country, and that most issues are rarely black and white. That even when you're 100 percent right, getting things done requires compromise. hat democracy doesn't work if we constantly demonize each other. She knows that for progress to happen, we have to listen to each other, see ourselves in each other, fight for our principles but also fight to find common ground, no matter how elusive that may seem.

Hillary knows we can work through racial divides in this country when we realize the worry black parents feel when their son leaves the house isn't so different than what a brave cop's family feels when he puts on the blue and goes to work; that we can honor police and treat every community fairly. he knows that acknowledging problems that have festered for decades isn't making race relations worse - it's creating the possibility for people of good will to join and make things better.

Hillary knows we can insist on a lawful and orderly immigration system while still seeing striving students and their toiling parents as loving families, not criminals or rapists; families that came here for the same reasons our forebears came - to work, and study, and make a better life, in a place where we can talk and worship and love as we please. She knows their dream is quintessentially American, and the American Dream is something no wall will ever contain.

It can be frustrating, this business of democracy. Trust me, I know. Hillary knows, too. When the other side refuses to compromise, progress can stall. Supporters can grow impatient, and worry that you're not trying hard enough; that you've maybe sold out.

But I promise you, when we keep at it; when we change enough minds; when we deliver enough votes, then progress does happen. Just ask the twenty million more people who have health care today. Just ask the Marine who proudly serves his country without hiding the husband he loves. Democracy works, but we gotta want it - not just during an election year, but all the days in between.

So if you agree that there's too much inequality in our economy, and too much money in our politics, we all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders' supporters have been. We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, and then hold them accountable until they get the job done.

If you want more justice in the justice system, then we've all got to vote - not just for a President, but for mayors, and sheriffs, and state's attorneys, and state legislators. And we've got to work with police and protesters until laws and practices are changed.

If you want to fight climate change, we've got to engage not only young people on college campuses, but reach out to the coal miner who's worried about taking care of his family, the single mom worried about gas prices.

If you want to protect our kids and our cops from gun violence, we've got to get the vast majority of Americans, including gun owners, who agree on background checks to be just as vocal and determined as the gun lobby that blocks change through every funeral we hold. That's how change will happen.

Look, Hillary's got her share of critics. She's been caricatured by the right and by some folks on the left; accused of everything you can imagine - and some things you can't. But she knows that's what happens when you're under a microscope for 40 years. She knows she's made mistakes, just like I have; just like we all do. That's what happens when we try. That's what happens when you're the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt once described - not the timid souls who criticize from the sidelines, but someone "who is actually in the arena...who strives valiantly; who errs...[but] who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement."

Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena. 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." And we're going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that's what the moment demands.

You know, there's been a lot of talk in this campaign about what America's lost - people who tell us that our way of life is being undermined by pernicious changes and dark forces beyond our control. They tell voters there's a "real America" out there that must be restored. This isn't an idea that started with Donald Trump. It's been peddled by politicians for a long time - probably from the start of our Republic.

And it's got me thinking about the story I told you twelve years ago tonight, about my Kansas grandparents and the things they taught me when I was growing up. They came from the heartland; their ancestors began settling there about 200 years ago. They were Scotch-Irish mostly, farmers, teachers, ranch hands, pharmacists, oil rig workers. Hardy, small town folks. Some were Democrats, but a lot of them were Republicans. My grandparents explained that they didn't like show-offs. They didn't admire braggarts or bullies. They didn't respect mean-spiritedness, or folks who were always looking for shortcuts in life. Instead, they valued traits like honesty and hard work. Kindness and courtesy. Humility; responsibility; helping each other out.

That's what they believed in. True things. Things that last. The things we try to teach our kids.

And what my grandparents understood was that these values weren't limited to Kansas. They weren't limited to small towns. These values could travel to Hawaii; even the other side of the world, where my mother would end up working to help poor women get a better life. They knew these values weren't reserved for one race; they could be passed down to a half-Kenyan grandson, or a half-Asian granddaughter; in fact, they were the same values Michelle's parents, the descendants of slaves, taught their own kids living in a bungalow on the South Side of Chicago. They knew these values were exactly what drew immigrants here, and they believed that the children of those immigrants were just as American as their own, whether they wore a cowboy hat or a yarmulke; a baseball cap or a hijab.

America has changed over the years. But these values my grandparents taught me - they haven't gone anywhere. They're as strong as ever; still cherished by people of every party, every race, and every faith. They live on in each of us. What makes us American, what makes us patriots, is what's in here. That's what matters. That's why we can take the food and music and holidays and styles of other countries, and blend it into something uniquely our own. That's why we can attract strivers and entrepreneurs from around the globe to build new factories and create new industries here. That's why our military can look the way it does, every shade of humanity, forged into common service. That's why anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end.

That's America. Those bonds of affection; that common creed. We don't fear the future; we shape it, embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own. That's what Hillary Clinton understands - this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother and grandmother, this public servant, this patriot - that's the America she's fighting for.

And that's why I have confidence, as I leave this stage tonight, that the Democratic Party is in good hands. My time in this office hasn't fixed everything; as much as we've done, there's still so much I want to do. But for all the tough lessons I've had to learn; for all the places I've fallen short; I've told Hillary, and I'll tell you what's picked me back up, every single time.

It's been you. The American people.

It's the letter I keep on my wall from a survivor in Ohio who twice almost lost everything to cancer, but urged me to keep fighting for health care reform, even when the battle seemed lost. Do not quit.

It's the painting I keep in my private office, a big-eyed, green owl, made by a seven year-old girl who was taken from us in Newtown, given to me by her parents so I wouldn't forget - a reminder of all the parents who have turned their grief into action.

It's the small business owner in Colorado who cut most of his own salary so he wouldn't have to lay off any of his workers in the recession - because, he said, "that wouldn't have been in the spirit of America."

It's the conservative in Texas who said he disagreed with me on everything, but appreciated that, like him, I try to be a good dad.

It's the courage of the young soldier from Arizona who nearly died on the battlefield in Afghanistan, but who's learned to speak and walk again - and earlier this year, stepped through the door of the Oval Office on his own power, to salute and shake my hand.

It's every American who believed we could change this country for the better, so many of you who'd never been involved in politics, who picked up phones, and hit the streets, and used the internet in amazing new ways to make change happen. You are the best organizers on the planet, and I'm so proud of all the change you've made possible.

Time and again, you've picked me up. I hope, sometimes, I picked you up, too. Tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me. I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me. Because you're who I was talking about twelve 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. Hope in the face of difficulty; hope in the face of uncertainty; the audacity of hope!

America, you have vindicated that hope these past eight years. And now I'm ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen. This year, in this election, I'm asking you to join me - to reject cynicism, reject fear, to summon what's best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation.

Thank you for this incredible journey. Let's keep it going. God bless the United States of America.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![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[Read Sen. Tim Kaine's Speech at the DNC]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 22:24:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TKaine-583832380.jpg

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine accepted the nomination for vice president at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday evening. Here are his remarks as prepared:

I want to thank my beautiful wife Anne and my three wonderful children, Nat, Woody, and Annella. Nat deployed with his Marine battalion two days ago to protect and defend the very NATO allies that Donald Trump now says he would abandon. Semper Fi, Nat!My parents and in-laws are here, our siblings and their spouses, our nieces and nephews, hundreds of friends from Virginia and beyond, including my great friend, Representative Bobby Scott.We love you all.

Today, for my wife Anne and every strong woman in this country; for Nat, Woody, and Annella, and every young person starting out in life to make their own dreams real; for every man and woman serving in our military, at home and abroad; for every family working hard to get ahead and stay ahead; for my parents and in-laws and every senior citizen who hopes for a dignified retirement with health care and research to end diseases like Alzheimer’s; for every person who wants America to be a beloved community, where people aren’t demeaned because of who they are, but rather respected for their contributions to this nation; for all of us who know the brightest future for our country is the one we build together; and for my friend Hillary Clinton, I humbly accept my party’s nomination to be Vice President of the United States.

I never expected to be here. But let me tell you how it happened.

I was born in Minnesota and grew up in Kansas City. My folks weren’t much into politics. My dad ran a union ironworking shop. My mom was his best salesman. My brothers and I pitched in to help during summers and on weekends. That’s how small family businesses work. My parents, Al and Kathy, taught me about hard work, and about kindness, and, most importantly, faith.

I went to a Jesuit boys school – Rockhurst High School. The motto of our school was “men for others.” That’s where my faith became vital, a North Star for orienting my life. And I knew that I wanted to fight for social justice.

That’s why I took a year off law school to volunteer with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. I taught kids welding and carpentry. Aprendí los valores del pueblo – fe, familia, y trabajo. Faith, family, and work. Los mismos valores de la comunidad Latina aquíen nuestro pais. Somos Americanos todos.

And here’s what really struck me. I got a first-hand look at a system – a dictatorship – where a few people at the top had all the power and everyone else got left out. It convinced me that we’ve got to advance opportunity for everyone. No matter where they come from, how much money they have, what they look like, how they worship, or who they love.

Back in 1970, in Virginia, the Republican Governor Linwood Holton believed exactly the same thing. He integrated Virginia’s public schools, so black and white kids would finally learn together, and the family enrolled their own kids, including his daughter, Anne, in those integrated inner-city schools.

When Anne went off to college, she brought with her the lessons borne of that experience. And one day, in a study group, she met this goofy guy who had been off teaching kids in Honduras. Anne and I have now been married for almost 32 years, and I am the luckiest husband in the world.

Anne’s parents, Lin and Jinks, are here today, 90-plus and going strong. Lin’s still a Republican. But he’s voting for a lot of Democrats these days. Because any party that would nominate Donald Trump for president has moved too far away from his party of Lincoln. And if any of you are looking for that party of Lincoln, we’ve got a home for you right here in the Democratic Party.

Lin’s example helped inspire me to work as a civil rights lawyer.Over 17 years, I took on banks and landlords, real estate firms and local governments, anyone who treated people unfairly – like the insurance company that was discriminating against minority neighborhoods all across America in issuing homeowners’ insurance.

These are the battles I’ve been fighting my whole life. And that’s the story of how I decided to run for office. My city of Richmond was divided and discouraged. An epidemic of gun violence overwhelmed our low income neighborhoods. People were pointing fingers and casting blame instead of finding answers. I couldn’t stand it. So I ran for city council.

I won that first race, more than 20 years ago, by 94 votes. And I’ve said ever since – if I’m good at anything, it’s because I started at the local level, listening to people, learning about their lives and trying to get results. Later, I became Mayor of Richmond, Lieutenant Governor, and then the 70th Governor of Virginia. I was a hard times Governor – steering my state through the deepest recession since the 1930’s. But tough times don’t last – tough people do. And Virginians are tough. Smart, too.

We achieved national recognition for our work – best managed state, best state for business, best state for a child to be raised, low unemployment, high family income. We shed tears in the days after a horrible mass shooting at Virginia Tech, but we rolled up our sleeves, and fixed a loophole in our background check system to make us safer. And we invested in our people – expanding pre-Kand higher education, because education was the key to all we wanted to be.

Now I have the honor of serving in the Senate. I work on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees to keep us safe at home and strong in the world. I work on the Budget Committee with Bernie Sanders, a great leader, fighting for investments in education, health care, research, and transportation. And I serve on the Aging Committee, making sure that seniors have a secure retirement and don’t get targeted by rip-off artists who will scam them out of their savings or overcharge them for prescription drugs. And here’s a funny thing: I spend time with a lot of Republican Senators who, once they’ve made sure nobody’s listening, will tell you how fantastic a Senator Hillary Clinton was.

My journey has convinced me that God has created a rich tapestry in this country – an incredible cultural diversity that succeeds when we embrace everyone in love and battle back against the dark forces of division. We’re all neighbors and we must love our neighbors as ourselves.

Hillary Clinton and I are compañeros del alma. We share this belief: Do all the good you can. Serve one another. That’s what I’m about. That’s what you’re about. That’s what Bernie Sanders is about. That’s what Joe Biden is about. That’s what Barack and Michelle Obama are about. And that’s what Hillary Clinton is about.

Now, last week in Cleveland, we heard a lot about trust. So let’s talk about trust. I want to tell you why I trust Hillary Clinton.

First, she’s consistent. She has battled to put kids and families first since she was a teenager – in good times and bad, in victory and defeat, in and out of office, through hell or high water. Fighting for underprivileged kids at the Children’s Defense Fund. Fighting to get health insurance for 8 million kids when she was First Lady. Fighting for the well-being of women and girls around the world.

Here’s a little tip for you: When you want to know about the character of someone in public life, look to see if they have a passion, one that began before they were in office, and that they have consistently held on to throughout their career. Hillary’s passion is kids and families. Donald Trump has a passion too: It’s himself.

And it’s not just words with Hillary, it’s accomplishments. She delivers. As Senator, after 9/11, she battled Congressional Republicans to care for the first responders who saved victims of that terrorist attack. As Secretary of State, she implemented tough sanctions against Iran to pave the way for a diplomatic breakthrough that curtailed a dangerous nuclear weapons program. She stood up against thugs and dictators and was a key part of the Obama national security team that decided to go to the ends of the earth to wipe out Osama bin Laden.

Hey, remember Karla, the little girl we heard from on Monday who feared her parents would be deported? She trusts Hillary to keep them together. And remember the Mothers of the Movement we heard from last night? They trust Hillary to keep other mothers’sons and daughters safe.

And as he’s serving our nation abroad, I trust Hillary Clinton with our son’s life.

You know who I don’t trust? Donald Trump. The guy promises a lot. But you might have noticed, he has a habit of saying the same two words right after he makes his biggest promises. You guys know the words I mean? “Believe me.”

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? Do you believe he ought to release those tax returns like every other presidential candidate in modern history? Of course he should. Donald, what are you hiding?

And yet he still says, “Believe me.” "Believe me?" Here’s the thing. Most people, when they run for President, they don’t just say “believe me.” They respect you enough to tell you how they will get things done.

For example, you can go to HillaryClinton.com right now and find out exactly how she’ll make the biggest investment in new jobs in generations, and how she’ll defend and build on Wall Street reform. You can see how she’ll reform our immigration system and create a path to citizenship, and how she’ll make it possible to graduate from college debt-free. You can see how she’ll guarantee equal pay for women and make paid family leave a reality. With just one click we can see how she’ll do it, how she’ll pay for it and how we’ll benefit.

Not Donald Trump. He never tells you how he’s going to do any of the things he says he’s going to do. He just says, “believe me.” So here’s the question. Do you really believe him? Donald Trump’s whole career says you better not.

Small contractors – companies just like my dad’s – believed him when he said that he’d pay them to build a casino in Atlantic City.They did the work, hung the drywall, poured the concrete. But a year after opening, Trump filed for bankruptcy. He walked away with millions. They got pennies on the dollar. Some of them went out of business. All because they believed Donald Trump.

Retirees and families in Florida believed Donald Trump when he said he’d build them condos. They paid their deposits, but the condos were never built. He just pocketed their money, and walked away. They lost tens of thousands of dollars, all because they believed Donald Trump. Charity after charity believed Donald Trump when he said he would contribute to them. And thousands of Trump University students believed Donald Trump when he said he would help them succeed. They got stiffed.

He says “believe me.” Well, his creditors, his contractors, his laid-off employees, his ripped-off students did just that. Folks, you cannot believe one word that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth.Our nation is too great to put it in the hands of a slick-talking, empty-promising, self-promoting, one man wrecking crew.

Don’t take it from me. Take it from former First Lady Barbara Bush. She said she didn’t know how any woman could vote for him after his offensive comments. Or John McCain’s former economic advisor – who estimates Trump’s promises would cost America 3.5 million jobs. Or the independent analysts that found Trump’s tax plan, a gift to the wealthy and big corporations, would rack up $30 trillion in debt.

Or John Kasich, the Republican Governor who had the honor of hosting the Republican Convention in Cleveland but wouldn’t even attend it because he thinks Trump is such a moral disaster. Or take it from the guy who co-wrote Trump’s autobiography. For Trump, he said, “lying is second nature to him.” So, do you believe him?Does anybody here believe him?

The next President will face many challenges. We better elect the candidate who’s proven she can be trusted with the job. The candidate who’s proven she’s ready for the job. And, by the way, I use the word “ready” for a specific reason. When I lived in Honduras, I learned that the best compliment you could give someone was to say they were “listo”– ready.

Not “inteligente”– smart. Not “amable”– friendly. Not “rico” – rich. But “listo.” Because what “listo” means in Spanish is prepared, battle-tested, rock-solid, up for anything, never backing down. And Hillary Clinton is “lista.”

She’s ready because of her faith. She’s ready because of her heart.She’s ready because of her experience. She’s ready because she knows in America we are stronger together. My fellow Democrats, this week we begin the next chapter in our proud story.

Thomas declared all men equal, and Abigail remembered the women. Woodrow brokered peace, and Eleanor broke down barriers. Jack told us what to ask, and Lyndon answered the call.Martin had a dream, Cesar y Dolores said si se puede, and Harvey gave his life. Bill bridged a century, and Barack gave us hope.

And now Hillary is ready. Ready to fight, ready to win, ready to lead. Thank you, Philadelphia. God bless you all.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[O'Malley to Address Democratic National Convention]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 20:06:35 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000015570535_1200x675_733456451743.jpg Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker talks about what he expects to hear from former Maryland governor and presidential hopeful Martin O'Malley, when he addresses the DNC Wednesday. News4's Aaron Gilchrist reports.]]> <![CDATA[Trump Bashes Kaine Ahead of DNC Speech]]> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 20:02:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000015570362_1200x675_733445699700.jpg During an almost hour-long press conference, Donald Trump attacked Hillary Clinton's running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine. But the vice presidential hopeful had a few words of his own for the GOP nominee. News4's Aaron Gilchrist reports.]]> <![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.



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