Review Category : Poltics

Donald Trump Again Says He Saw Cheering in New Jersey on 9/11

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump defended comments he made Saturday saying he saw thousands of people in Jersey City, New Jersey cheering when the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001.

“There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey where you have large Arab populations,” he told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week on Sunday. “They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down. I know it might be not politically correct for you to talk about it, but there were people cheering as that building came down — as those buildings came down, and that tells you something. It was well covered at the time.”

In response, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said Trump “has memory issues or willfully distorts the truth, either of which should be concerning for the Republican Party.”

“Trump is plain wrong, and he is shamefully politicizing an emotionally charged issue. No one in Jersey City cheered on September 11th,” Fulop said. “We were actually among the first to provide responders to help in lower Manhattan. Trump needs to understand that Jersey City will not be part of his hate campaign.”

Trump first claimed to have seen the images of people cheering in New Jersey while speaking at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday.

“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down, and I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down,” he said.

While there were images of people cheering the towers’ collapse in parts of the Middle East, there is no record of such celebrations in New Jersey. There were some Internet rumors of Muslims celebrating the towers’ fall in Paterson, New Jersey, but those rumors were discounted by local police at the time.

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Ben Carson Further Defends Foreign Policy Credentials

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson further defended his foreign policy credentials Sunday, refuting claims that his lack of experience makes him unqualified to be commander in chief.

“I hope everyone is on a learning curve,” the retired neurosurgeon said on ABC’s “This Week.” “In medicine, we have something that is called CME — continuing medical education. It recognizes the fact that things are always in the process of changing, and if you stay stagnant, and you say, ‘Well, I’m up on it and I’ll go relax,’ you’re not going to be very competent.”

Noting the world changes at a rapid pace, Carson emphasized that foreign policy experience comes down to practical experience — not political experience.

“Yes, we should have in place protocols to deal with that 2 a.m. call in the morning, but we also need to have the ability to think quickly and to be flexible,” Carson said, noting that he likely has more early morning calls than anyone else running for president, and greater experience making life or death decisions. “I don’t know that it necessarily comes down to politics. It comes down to practical experience, solving difficult problems, doing things quickly and efficiently, and using the resources available to you to get that done.”

His comments came as he faced a number of foreign policy mistakes last week in the wake of the Paris terror attacks — with his own advisers even saying he still has a lot to learn.

“He is not perfect,” Carson adviser Armstrong Williams told Bloomberg News last week. “We’ll never be perfect. But he continues to surround himself with people and engage people that can enhance his foreign policy.

In The New York Times, Duane R. Clarridge, who has advised Carson, also offered a candid critique.
“Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” Clarridge told the Times, adding that Carson needs weekly conference calls on foreign policy so “we can make him smart.”

But Williams insisted that Carson is learning, telling ABC News “he is learning, gaining confidence and making tremendous progress.”

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Donald Trump Isn’t Ruling Out Independent Run

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump would not rule out making a run for president as an Independent despite signing a pledge in September saying he would support the eventual GOP nominee instead of running a third-party bid.

“I’m going to have to see what happens. I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly,” Trump said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” when asked about a new guerrilla effort by operatives within the Republican Party to derail Trump’s candidacy. “When I did this, I said I have to be treated fairly. If I’m treated fairly, I’m fine. All I want to do is [have] a level playing field.”

Trump pointed out that he’s currently content with his position in the polls.

“I’m leading every poll by a lot,” Trump said. “It’s not even a little bit anymore — it’s a lot.”

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Donald Trump Says He Would Bring Back Waterboarding

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Donald Trump would “absolutely” bring back waterboarding as an accepted form of interrogation, he said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

Trump characterized waterboarding as a form of “strong interrogation” that is “peanuts” when compared to tactics used by ISIS against its hostages.

“I think waterboarding is peanuts compared to what they do to us,” the Republican presidential candidate said. “What they’re doing to us, what they did to James Foley when they chopped off his head, that’s a whole different level and I would absolutely bring back interrogation and strong interrogation.”

The technique of waterboarding involves putting a cloth over a subject’s face and pouring water over the cloth, which causes the sensation of drowning. The form of enhanced interrogation was utilized by the CIA to interrogate some terrorist suspects in the wake of the September 11th attacks and has been defined as torture by the United Nations.

Trump also said he does not want to close any mosques in the United States but he does want to put them under surveillance. He previously said it may be necessary to close some mosques if it is determined “bad things are happening” in them.

When asked if he wants blanket surveillance across all the nation’s mosques, Trump said “strong measures” are necessary.

“The people that are involved in those mosques, they know who the bad ones are and they know who the good ones are, but they don’t talk,” he said. “We have to surveil the mosques.”

Trump also said those on terror watch lists should be restricted from purchasing guns if they are a known “enemy of state.” Currently, someone one a terror watch list can legally purchase a gun in the U.S.

“If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it’s an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely,” Trump said, while emphasizing that he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

“If we have an enemy of state, I don’t want to give him anything,” Trump said. “I want to have him in jail — that’s what I want. I want to have him in jail.”

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President Obama: Overcoming Fear ‘Most Powerful Tool’ to Fight ISIS

Alex Wong/Getty Images(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) — The “most powerful tool” to fight ISIS is to prevent the group’s recent terror attacks in Paris from injecting fear in communities or governments around the world, President Obama said Sunday during his trip to Malaysia.

“We do not succumb to fear,” Obama said during a news conference closing out the final leg of his nine-day, three-nation trip overseas. “The most powerful tool we have to fight ISIL is to say that we’re not afraid. To not elevate them and to somehow buy into their fantasy that they’re doing something important.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur, the president sought to reassure allies that the U.S. will continue as an effective leader of the global coalition to destroy ISIS.

“Destroying ISIL is not only a realistic goal,” Obama said, using a preferred acronym for the terror group. “We’re going to get it done and we’re going to pursue it. It’s going to get done.”

Obama, who is set to visit Paris at the end of the month for a major climate conference, said world leaders would be sending an important message by not letting last week’s attack in Paris, in which 130 people were killed, prevent them from attending.

“I think it is absolutely vital for every country, every leader to send a signal that the viciousness of a handful of killers does not stop the world from doing vital business,” he said.

The president also decried news headlines that sought to label the recently-deceased ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, as a “mastermind.”

“He’s not a mastermind,” Obama said. “He found a few other vicious people, got [his] hands on some fairly conventional weapons, and sadly, it turns out if you’re willing to die, you can kill a lot of people.”

The president added that ISIS “cannot strike a mortal blow” to the U.S., France, or even Malaysia.

“They’re a bunch of killers with good social media,” he said. “Our way of life is stronger. We have more to offer. We represent 99.9 percent of humanity and that’s why we should be confident that we will win.”

Obama also gave his first public acknowledgment of ISIS being behind the downing of a Russian airliner over Egypt late last month, killing more than 200 people. An image included in the latest issues of an ISIS magazine shows a soda can and what explosives experts told ABC News earlier this week are a blasting cap and an electric initiator.

The ISIS magazine said the image showed “the IED [improvised explosive device] used to bring down the Russian airliner.”

“I do think that as a consequence of ISIL claiming responsibility for bringing down their plane, there is an increasing awareness on the part of [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin that ISIL poses a greater threat to them than anything else in the region,” said the president.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice said after the press conference that the U.S. agrees ISIS took down the plane.

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Democrat John Bel Edwards Elected Governor of Louisiana

iStock/Thinkstock(BATON ROUGE, La.) — The state of Louisiana has elected a new governor.

On Saturday night in a run-off election to replace Bobby Jindal, Democrat John Bel Edwards defeated Republican Sen. David Vitter.

The win marks the first Democratic statewide victory since 2008.

“I love our great state and it’s wonderful people,” said Edwards to a crowd at his campaign headquarters. “I am especially grateful tonight to my beautiful wife.”

Vitter meanwhile in his concession speech: “We came up short, let me re-phrase that – I came up short, you all were fabulous.”

The senator also told supporters he would not seek re-election in 2016.

Vitter, originally the frontrunner, suffered from questions about his character and could not recover from a prostitution scandal in 2007 that became a discussion point in the race.

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Hillary Clinton Knew American Killed in Mali, Describes Her as ‘Loving Mother’, Mali) — Hillary Clinton knew Anita Datar, an American woman who died in the violent hostage crisis in Mali, describing her a “loving mother” and the representation of “the best of America’s generous spirit.”

“I knew Anita as the loving mother of a wonderful 7-year-old boy and the former partner of David Garten, one of my senior policy advisers in the Senate,” Clinton said in a statement Saturday.

“My prayers are with the Datar and Garten families, especially Anita and David’s son,” Clinton said. “My heart breaks thinking of the burden he will now bear on his small shoulders and the courage he will have to show in the days ahead.”

Datar, 41, was one of 18 guests killed Friday — according to the Mali Ministry of Interior — when gunmen stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali, a hotel popular with Westerners and the United Nations. Datar was a public health worker who once volunteered for the Peace Corps, her family said.

Clinton’s statement added that Datar “was a bright light who gave help and hope to people in need around the world, especially women and families. From her service in the Peace Corps to her career in international health and development to her work with Tulalens, an NGO she helped start to connect poor women with health care, Anita represented the best of America’s generous spirit.”

According to Datar’s family, she worked as a senior manager at the consulting firm Palladium Group and was a founding board member of Tulalens, a non-profit “connecting underserved communities with quality health services.”

Datar’s family said she served in the peace corps in Senegal from 1997 to 1999 and “has spent much of her career working to advance global health and international development, with a focus on population and reproductive health, family planning, and HIV.”

“Everything she did in her life she did to help others— as a mother, public health expert, daughter, sister and friend,” the family statement said. “And while we are angry and saddened that she has been killed, we know that she would want to promote education and healthcare to prevent violence and poverty at home and abroad, not intolerance.”

Clinton’s statement added, “As I said this week, America must wage and win an immediate battle against ISIS, al Qaeda, and other terrorist networks, as well as a generational struggle against radical jihadism.”

“We face a choice between fear and resolve,” Clinton said, adding that, “Anita’s murder should deepen our resolve.”

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Trump Says Immigration Database Would Be for Syrian Refugees, Not All Muslims

Scott Olson/Getty Images(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) — Donald Trump said he wants a database and surveillance for all Syrian refugees allowed into the country, clarifying on Saturday that he does not want a database for all Muslims in the United States.

“I do want database for those people coming in,” the Republican presidential candidate said at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama. “Here is the story, just to set it clear: I want surveillance of these people. I want surveillance if we have to.”

Trump also said it would be necessary to institute surveillance of some of the country’s mosques.

“I want surveillance of certain mosques, OK?” Trump said, drawing applause from the crowd. “I want surveillance. And you know what? We’ve had it before and we’ll have it again.”

Trump’s clarification came after he told an NBC News reporter Thursday he would “certainly” and “absolutely” implement a database for the country’s Muslims. His answer to the reporter came after he had been asked earlier in the day if he thought a database or IDs for Muslims was necessary, and he did not reject the idea.

Trump said Saturday he didn’t properly hear the question posed to him by the NBC News reporter on Thursday, who he referred to as “a little wise guy” and whose question he said he thought was about building a wall along the southern border with Mexico.

In a tweet on Friday, Trump said that he had never suggested creating a database but that the reporter did.

I didn’t suggest a database-a reporter did. We must defeat Islamic terrorism & have surveillance, including a watch list, to protect America

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2015

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Republican Presidential Candidates Attack Obama’s Handling of ISIS at Iowa Forum

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Seven Republican presidential candidates speaking at a forum meant to focus on family instead focused much of their time criticizing President Obama’s policies on ISIS.

Sitting next to one another at the Presidential Family Forum in Des Moines on Friday, Sen. Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rick Santorum avoided attacking one another directly. Instead, they focused on President Obama.

“The policies he’s advancing are helping the other team,” said Cruz, who called the president, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry “apologists for terrorists.”

Cruz called for Kerry’s resignation, drawing cheers from the 1,500 in attendance.

Huckabee went a step further, saying Kerry was “only doing the bidding of the person who appointed him.”

“I’ve got a better idea — instead of getting rid of John Kerry, I’d like Barack Obama to resign if he’s not going to protect America and instead protect the image of Islam,” he said.

Rubio continued the criticism, saying the president “hasn’t even defined what victory means.”

When asked why President Obama hadn’t used more aggressive tactics to fight ISIS, including establishing a ground force with Sunni and Kurdish fighters, Rubio replied, “well, he’s a bad president.”

Santorum referred to the Obama administration’s handling of ISIS as “delusional,” saying it cost lives in Paris, Mali, and in the United States.

Fiorina said more needed to be done to stop ISIS from gaining territory.

“What we must do is deny ISIS territory and that means we must cut off their supply lines, we must cut off their money,” she said.

Paul turned his focus to the three Democrats running for president and a question from their debate last weekend in Des Moines.

“Nobody on the other stage will even call it what it is — radical Islam,” he said.

The candidates were also asked how they would handle a terrorist attack in New York City’s Times Square on the anniversary of September 11 in 2017. While Rubio listed federal and statement departments he would reach out to, Carson said the work preventing another major terrorist attack on U.S. soil would have been done beforehand.

“In medicine, you know, we anticipate these kinds of things and we have a bunch of protocols already in place, so you already know how to activate the cascade of activities,” he said. “You don’t really have to sit there and think about what is the first call you are going to make.”

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This Iowa Man Plowed a Quarter-Acre Sign for Bernie Sanders

Mike Pattavina(WASHINGTON) — A Bernie Sanders supporter has taken an unusual approach to supporting the Democratic presidential candidate by plowing a roughly one-quarter of an acre area of his farm to spell out “Bernie.”

“I was on my tractor one day and thought, ‘Well, I’ll just try this,’” Mike Pattavina told ABC News about the sign plowed into his soybean field. “It worked out pretty good.”

The 68-year-old farmer said the “B” alone is 60-feet tall. Pattavina said he “free-handed” the lettering and the plowing would not affect the field because the soybean had already been harvested.
“It only took 20 minutes,” he said. “Maybe 30, max.”

Pattavina said he has farmed his whole life but this was the first time he has used his land for a political statement. He said his goals were simple.

“I just want people to see it, and maybe, hopefully, some people can see it from the air,” he said. “Just to show support for Bernie.”

The Sanders supporter said he was moved to make the sign after he had a few traditional ones stolen from his yard.

“I thought, ‘Well, I’d like to see them steal this one,’” he joked.

When asked about the reaction from his neighbors, he described his town of Clarinda, Iowa, as “ultra-conservative.” Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the county by 25 percentage points in the 2012 presidential election.

Pattavina said he plans to caucus for Sanders this February and volunteer for him — canvassing and knocking on doors — ahead of time. He said he likes the Vermont senator because he’s “honest.”
“I think he is for the working-class people,” said Pattavina.

Pattavina said he would vote for Clinton if she secured the Democratic nomination, but that he is not a fan of the former secretary of state.

“I don’t like the way she handled the Keystone [pipeline]. It took her a long time to come out against it,” he said. “I still don’t trust her. She’s got the big banks behind her, and I just don’t like that.

“That’s what I like about Bernie,” he continued. “He doesn’t have commitments to people.”

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