Review Category : Poltics

Trump to Hold Meeting With Religious Leaders

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is expected to host a meeting of religious leaders Sept. 28. Sources within the Trump campaign say this private meeting is not affiliated with the campaign.

“I was privy to meet Mr. Trump and I immediately liked him,” said Pastor Darrell Scott of the New Spirit Revival Center, who plans to attend the meeting and met Trump several years ago. “I liked his style, his bravado, his charisma and for lack of a better word his honesty.”

Dr. Scott, who has led his Cleveland based church for 22 years, says he reached out to Trump after he announced his candidacy asking for this type of meeting and offered to help round up religious leaders from around the country.

“There will be Evangelical leaders, Pentecostal, there will be some Rabbis – it’s going to be a melting pot. Black, white and Hispanic representation as well,” said Scott.

Trump Organization EVP Michael Cohen says the event is being “organized by several very high profile evangelical preachers including Dr. Scott.”

On the campaign trail, Trump has not talked about his religious views except to say he is a Presbyterian and next to Trump: The Art of the Deal, which he wrote, his favorite book is the Bible.

Responding to a question from ABC’s Tom Llamas during his media avail Tuesday in Dubuque, IA Trump said “I love the bible. I’m a Presbyterian. I went to Sunday school. Dr. Norman Vincent was my pastor, to this day one of the great speakers I’ve seen,” he said.

“You hated to leave church. You hated when the sermon was over. That’s how great he was. One of the things that’s so incredible about the New Hampshire numbers is I lead with everybody…But one of the groups I lead with substantially Evangelicals.”

Dr. Scott, who is African American, dismisses the suggestion by some that Trump is a racist.

“I know for a matter of fact he is not. We’re going to exchange ideas and dispel any notion at this meeting because people’s opinions have been formed based on others. You can’t be a racist and be as successful as he is. He’s very genuine,” said Scott.

Scott also said he admires Trump’s leadership.

“I want to hear straight from him his view points, his ideas, his strategies for America and to see if we share common beliefs and goals. I want to expose him to the African American community,” says Scott who has one hope of Mr. Trump eventually attending one of his Sunday services in Cleveland. “I tell people if you knew him you’d like him.”

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Obama: Gun Violence ‘Breaks My Heart’

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama spoke about the shooting that left a pair of Virginia journalists dead on Wednesday with an ABC affiliate, calling their deaths heartbreaking.

“It breaks my heart every time when you read about or hear about these kind of incidents,” the president told WPVI-TV in a one-on-one interview. Acknowledging the ongoing investigation into the shooting of a television reporter and a cameraman from WDBJ, a CBS-affiliate in the Roanoke-Lynchburg television market, perpetrated by a former employee of the station, Obama expressed hope that action could be taken to stem the tide of gun violence.

“What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism,” Obama says in the interview. “We’re willing to spend trillions of dollars to prevent terrorist activities, but we haven’t been willing, so far at least, to impose some common sense gun safety measures that could save some lives.”

He went on to discuss how Congress is “bottlenecked” on gun control, but praised the cities and state legislatures who have taken action. “I hope that that grassroots movement to say that people can have guns for hunting and for protection but that we can also have some common sense rules – like background checks – that those will make a difference.”

“My hope,” Obama concluded, “is that public pressure continues to grow.”

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Hillary Clinton Vows to Tackle Gun Violence

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(ANKENY, Iowa) — Speaking to reporters on the Wednesday morning shooting in Virginia that left two television reporters dead, Hillary Clinton vowed to tackle the issue of gun violence if elected president.

“We have got to do something about gun violence,” Clinton said at a press event in Ankeny, Iowa, “and I will take it on.” She added that while “many people…face it,” some “turn away because it’s hard.”

Acknowledging that gun violence and legislation is a “very politically difficult issue in America,” Clinton said that she believes “we are smart enough, we are compassionate enough to balance the legitimate second amendment rights, with preventive measures and control measures so whatever motivated this murderer…we will not see more deaths.”

“I want to reiterate,” Clinton continued, “how important it is we not let another terrible instance go by without trying to do something more to prevent this incredible killing that is stalking our country.”

“Intentional, unintentional, murder-suicides, it happens everyday,” Clinton added, “and there is so much evidence that if guns were not so readily available, if we had universal background checks, if we could just put some time out between the person who’s upset because he got fired or domestic abuse or whatever other motivation may be working on someone who does this, maybe we could prevent this kind of carnage.”

“So, I hope that in addition to expressing sympathy to those directly affected, this is maybe for the media, for the public, for elected officials, for every American, what it hopefully will finally take for us to act,” she concluded.

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Jeb Bush to Release Memoir “Reply All” for Pre-Order Wednesday

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush will release his new book Reply All for pre-order on Amazon on Wednesday night.

The book is considered a memoir of Bush’s time as governor of Florida, using email exchanges with his staff, members of the media, and his constituents to showcase what Bush’s campaign calls “his mission of being the best leader possible for Floridians.” The book is set to be published in late October, according to Bush’s campaign website.

During his time as governor, his campaign says Bush spent 30 hours each week communicating via email. Among the topics discussed in the book are his work on education, his vetoing of thousands of earmarks, saving money for taxpayers and streamlining the Florida economy.

On his campaign website, Bush released a sample chapter on his handling of a number of hurricanes in 2004, titled “We Will Prevail.”

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Today on the Trail — 8/26/15

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Where will the 2016 presidential candidates be on Wednesday? Read below to find out their schedules:

Donald Trump

Trump is off the trail Wednesday, but is still in the spotlight after an tense moment at a news conference Tuesday. He threw Univision and Fusion’s Jorge Ramos out of his press conference after being asked questions from the influential anchor. This morning Ramos said on ABC’s Good Morning America it was Trump himself who threw him out and stressed he did not speak out of turn. “What I would expect is I can ask a question as a journalist,” Ramos said. He was eventually let back into the presser.

Hillary Clinton

The former secretary of state is leaving her Hamptons vacation to get back on the campaign trail and will be in the critical state of Iowa. She’s going to three events in three different corners of the state. Her first is focused on “strengthening agriculture and rural communities,” but expect more email questions to follow her back on the road, as well as queries about the possibility of a Biden bid.

Jeb Bush

The former Florida governor is in Pensacola Wednesday, where he’ll hold a town hall marking the 10th and 11th anniversaries of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, among the nation’s worst. But it’s likely the questions he may be asked — like he was Tuesday — will be about his controversial use of the term “anchor babies” last week and the messy clean up that ensued when he tried to explain what he meant. On Wednesday, he stressed his family life makes him essentially “bicultural” and said “it’s going to be really hard for me to get lectured to by anybody about the politics of immigration” It’s likely that won’t end the conversation around it.

Rand Paul

The senator from Kentucky continues his western tour Wednesday with stops in Washington State and Idaho.

Other candidates are on the trail today, including Marco Rubio and Martin O’Malley in New Hampshire, and Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker and Carly Fiorina in Iowa.

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Jorge Ramos: Donald Trump ‘Absolutely’ Gave Order to Eject Me

ABC News(NEW YOARK) — News anchor Jorge Ramos, who works for Univision and Fusion, was thrown out of a press conference with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Iowa Tuesday night after trying to ask questions about immigration.

“You haven’t been called…go back to Univision,” Trump told Ramos before a security guard forcibly removed him. (Ramos later returned and was able to pose questions to Trump).

“We’d love for Mr. Trump to sit down for an in-depth interview with Jorge to talk about the specifics of his proposals,” Isaac Lee, CEO of Fusion — ABC’s sister network — and president of news for Univision, said in a statement.

On Wednesday morning, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked Ramos on Good Morning America about the altercation and what happens next. Below is a Q&A with Ramos, edited for length:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is this what you were expecting from Trump?

RAMOS: “What I would expect is that I can ask a question as a journalist because that’s our responsibility and I would expect Mr. Trump to answer honestly about what he really wants to do because he hasn’t given us specifics. I saw your show on Sunday. You pushed him on how he’s going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and he didn’t answer your question and he didn’t answer mine. What I didn’t expect is to be thrown out of a press conference. Never in my life, and I’ve been a journalist for more than 30 years, I’ve been thrown out of a press conference.”

Do you think Trump was directing the security guard to take you out?

“Absolutely. He was in control of the press conference. It is very clear with his body language that he was giving orders and I did wait for my turn. You know how it is in those press conferences. Two reporters before me asked a question and then I said, ‘I have a question on immigration.’ He didn’t say anything. I stood up. I started my question. He didn’t like my question and when he didn’t like my question then he motioned so the one security guard would come where I was and then threw me out of the press conference.”

What happened backstage?

“I waited outside and thanks to our colleagues — and I really emphasize and thank Tom Llamas from ABC — Tom confronted Donald Trump and told him, ‘Come on. I’ve asked questions to President Obama. I’ve asked questions to other leaders. How come Mr. Trump,’ Tom said, ‘you are not allowing him to ask you questions.’ And then my other colleagues also confronted Donald Trump and somebody from his campaign came out of the room and told me if I wanted to come in and ask my question. And I did, of course, I came all the way to Iowa to do that. Remember I tried to have an interview with Donald Trump. He didn’t allow me to have an interview. He published my cell phone and that’s what I wanted to do so I came back and I asked those questions.”

Have you heard from Trump or his team since the incident?

“No, and that’s — I think — as journalists, we have to denounce and espouse the dangerous words and extreme behavior of Donald Trump. No, I didn’t hear anything new. He has to explain how he wants to deport 11 million people. Can you imagine? How’s he going to do that? Is he going to put people in stadiums? We have to denounce that he wants to deny citizenship to children being born here. They’re citizens just like his and it is impossible to build a 1,900-mile wall between Mexico and the United States so that’s the kind of questions that I was asking Mr. Trump and obviously he didn’t give answers.”

How do you respond to critics who say you’re more advocate than a journalist?

“As a journalist you have to take a stand. I think the best journalism happens when you take a stand and when it comes to racism, discrimination, corruption, public life, dictatorship or human rights, as journalists, we are not only required but we are forced to take a stand and clearly when Mr. Trump is talking about immigration in an extreme way, we have to confront him and I think that’s what I did yesterday.”

Do you think Trump will give you an interview now?

“He didn’t want to give me an interview before but right after the interview he said, ‘We’ll talk,’ so let’s see if he keeps his promise. I’m not sure.”

Trump is topping the polls. What does that say to you?

“It says it’s very clear that there are many Americans who think what Donald Trump is saying is right, that they support him. That’s exactly what’s happening. He continues to say that he’s winning the Hispanic vote. That is not true. 75 percent of Latinos have a negative image of him. However, as a journalist, I have to admit that as a journalist I’m still surprised. But the fact is that millions of Americans believe what Donald Trump is saying and millions of Americans are supporting him. That’s the only way to explain the polls.”

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Report: Pentagon Investigating Accuracy of Analysis in ISIS Fight

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Are American policymakers and the public getting an accurate picture of the fight against Islamic State terrorists? It’s a question that Pentagon investigators have reportedly begun to ask.

Citing officials familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports that the Pentagon’s inspector general wants to know whether military officials have been giving an inaccurate and overly optimistic view of the fight against ISIS.

The officials told the Times that the investigation began “after at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told the authorities that he had evidence that officials at United States Central Command — the military headquarters overseeing the American bombing campaign and other efforts against the Islamic State — were improperly reworking the conclusions of intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama,” the newspaper said.

Critics of the fight against the militant group say that the U.S.-led bombing campaign may not be enough, noting that ISIS has now extended its reach into North Africa and Central Asia.

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Why an Anti-Chris Christie PAC Is Saying Mission Accomplished

ABC/Randy Sager(WASHINGTON) — Chris Christie is still in the race for president, but an anti-Chris Christie PAC is declaring mission accomplished.

The fundraising group, dubbed “Stop Chris Christie PAC,” was set up last November to stop the New Jersey governor and GOP candidate from becoming the next president and it has announced it will shut down.

In an email sent to Federal Election Commission officials and posted to the PACs Facebook page Tuesday, “Stop Chris Christie” Treasurer Tom Bjorklund writes the PAC is shutting down based on recent polling and the “miserable showing” of the Christie campaign in this presidential race.

“Our committee believes that Mr. Christie has already performed the service of stopping his campaign in spirit, (without our aid) even if not by the letter of the law,” Bjorklund writes. “Therefore, we intend to stop (cause to come to an end) the Stop Chris Christie PAC within the next 30 days.”

Two national polls by Fox News and CNN after the first debate show Christie stalled at three percent support.

Because the PAC was not affiliated with Chris Christie but included Chris Christie in its name, the FEC told the fundraising group in mid-July to remove Christie’s name from the PAC or face “enforcement action against the committee.” Still, Bjorkland wrote that the PAC’s demise was not in response to that FEC request.

“It doesn’t look like we are in any danger of having a Chris Christie presidency,” Bjorkland told ABC News. “We really didn’t do much with it because we wanted to wait until the campaign got going. We thought we would have it ready.”

Christie’s campaign declined to comment.

The PAC, which was created by former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo before Christie announced his decision to run for president, says it will shut down the Chris Christie PAC within the next 30 days.

“Considering the fact that Christie’s campaign is in a death spiral, we see no need to expend the energy to reconstruct the PAC,” Tancredo told ABC News in a statement.

The fundraising group has raised $50 and spent $8 so far during the 2016 election cycle, according to FEC records.

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Why Donald Trump May Be Running Out of Time to Rule Out Third-Party Bid

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The clock is ticking on the possibility of a Donald Trump independent presidential bid.

The real estate mogul previously made headlines at the first GOP debate after saying he would not necessarily support the eventual Republican nominee, leaving the door open to a third-party run.

Trump didn’t say when he would decide, but now it looks like he may need to make up his mind soon if he wants to compete in the crucial South Carolina primary.

South Carolina, traditionally the third state to hold a nominating contest, is requiring every GOP candidate to pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee if they want to appear on the state’s primary ballot. The deadline to file the paperwork is Sept. 30.

It’s possible, of course, that Trump refuses to rule out a third party bid and skips the South Carolina primary, but such a move would be unprecedented.

The state’s Republican Party chairman, Matt Moore, says the state party has been in contact with the Trump campaign, and has not yet received any pushback.

“We’ve been communicating since June with the Trump campaign and have not heard anything negative,” Moore said. “At last check they were getting ready to possibly send the check in and file.”

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Taking the pledge would be a reversal for Trump, who has suggested a possible run as an independent candidate if he does not receive the Republican nomination.

Moore declined to say whether the pledge would be legally enforceable, but noted the party “would seek legal and other remedies to hold a candidate accountable for violating the pledge, including taking it to the court of public opinion.”

“We changed this form in early June to match existing South Carolina filing forms,” Moore said. “Candidates for state and local office sign a very similar pledge.”

The 2011 South Carolina filing form for the Republican presidential primary did not include the third party pledge, according to Moore.

Moore said four Republican candidates — Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, John Kasich and Marco Rubio — have already filed using this form, and Scott Walker and Ted Cruz plan to file this week.

South Carolina isn’t the only state where Trump may face a roadblock.

David D’Onofrio from the Virginia Republican Party told ABC News they are considering a mandatory pledge that candidates don’t mount third party bid, but a decision won’t be made until mid-September.

Brent Leatherwood, who leads the Tennessee Republican Party, told ABC News “all options are on the table” since the rules aren’t finalized yet.

And North Carolina officials are in talks with lawyers about how they could implement a third-party ban, according to Politico.

The head of the West Virginia GOP, Matt Dailer, said his state party has no intention of making a third-party pledge a requirement to appear on its primary ballot, but noted that its members are free to propose the idea.

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State Department Watchdog Says Ambassador Caroline Kennedy Used Personal Email for Official Business

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is embroiled in political controversy centered around her use of a private email server for official business, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy is also being accused of a similar offense.

The State Department Inspector General posted a report online Tuesday that says, in part, that Kennedy has used her private email to handle information marked “Sensitive but Unclassified” while serving as America’s top diplomat in Japan.

After receiving reports concerning the use of private email, the Office of the Inspector General “conducted a review and confirmed that senior embassy staff, including the Ambassador, used personal email accounts to send and receive messages containing official business,” the report states. It goes on to say that some emails were “labeled Sensitive but Unclassified.”

State Department Spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday that the practice of sending “Sensitive but Unclassified” information on private email is strongly discouraged, but not forbidden outright.

“We’ve seen no indication that Ambassador Kennedy violated any department policy with respect to her email practices and she … continues to use a government e-mail account for her official business,” Kirby said today.

The report also provides an explanation of the risks that come with using a commercial account.

“Such risks include data loss, hacking, phishing, and spoofing of email accounts, as well as inadequate protections for personally identifiable information,” the report says.

Kirby also noted that the report was focused on an overall review of the U.S. embassy in Japan, not solely the use of Ambassador Kennedy’s email.

Kennedy is the daughter of late President John F. Kennedy.

The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community — a federation of the 17 government agencies that conduct intelligence activities — has said that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a private email server to handle classified information. Kennedy is only said to be dealing in Sensitive but Unclassified material.

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