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Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 12:34 PM
— Two former presidents have joined the growing chorus of political voices directly condemning racial bigotry in the wake of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
Former Presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush released a statement on Wednesday morning, addressing the past weekend’s violence. Their joint statement comes less than a day after a news conference by President Donald Trump exacerbated mounting outrage over his response to the incident, which critics said bolstered white supremacist groups.
"America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms,” the presidents said in the statement. “As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.”
The statement was tweeted by Jim McGrath, spokesman for the elder Bush and his wife, Barbara.
On Tuesday, Trump doubled down on blaming “both sides” for the violence on Saturday, effectively equating the anti-racism protesters who showed up in Charlottesville with the neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and white nationalists who had gathered to rally in the city.
Saturday’s violence left an anti-racism protester, Heather Heyer, dead after James Alex Fields Jr., an Ohio man, ran his car into a crowd of protesters. Fields has been charged with second-degree murder.
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:39 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:39 PM
— Rick Gates, a former aide in President Donald Trump's campaign, plans to plead guilty to charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, according to multiple reports.
Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of false statements in deal with special counsel in probe of Russian election interference. https://t.co/VkHK8LYNbM pic.twitter.com/AZFJ6OdM7C— Spencer Hsu (@hsu_spencer) February 23, 2018
READ MORE: Paul Manafort, Rick Gates face new charges: report | Mueller investigation: Lawyer pleads guilty to lying to investigators in Russia probe| Who is Rick Gates and why was he indicted by Robert Mueller? | Who is Paul Manafort, the man indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation? | What are Paul Manafort and Rick Gates charged with? | MORE
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:04 PM
— President Donald Trump addressed the Conservative Political Action Convention Friday, telling members of the group they would get their border wall, that he thought some teachers should be armed in school and that his administration "has had the most successful first year in the history of the presidency.”
CPAC, hosted by the American Conservative Union, is held annually and is a favorite gathering for conservative elected officials.
Trump has spoken at CPAC before – at the conferences held in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He skipped the conference in 2016 while he was campaigning for president.
Trump engaged with the crowd in the more than 75minute spee-ch. He smiled when the audience chanted, “Lock her up,” in response to a comment about Hillary Clinton.
Here is the president’s speech from CPAC. Trump’s remarks begin at the 41:15 mark.
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM
BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]
Follow along with our live updates as we learn more
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 11:59 AM
CLIFTON, Tenn. — Tennessee police acting on a tip last weekend thwarted a correction officer’s apparent plan to “shoot up” the church his estranged wife attended, officials said.
Daniel Vernon Toler, 35, of Huron, is jailed at the Wayne County Jail on weapons charges, according to Fox 17 News in Nashville. Toler is a jailer at South Central Correctional Center in Clifton.
Police, acting on the tip, approached Toler at work, where he was found to have an AR-15 assault rifle, two additional weapons and 1,500 rounds of ammunition in his vehicle, the news station reported. An AR-15 is the model of weapon used in the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and faculty members.
“This is what didn’t happen in Florida,” Brent Cooper, district attorney for Tennessee’s 22nd Judicial District, told Fox 17. “Law enforcement listened to a tip and a potential tragedy was avoided.”
In a news release shared on Facebook, officials stated that the tip was fielded by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, whose investigators passed the information to the Clifton Police Department because that was where Toler was employed.
Clifton investigators found Toler at work Sunday morning and, upon searching his vehicle, found the AR-15, an assault-style shotgun and a .17-caliber bolt-action rifle. An arrest warrant in the case stated that the AR-15 had a round in the chamber.
There were also multiple extra, loaded magazines for the assault rifle.
When questioned, Toler told detectives he planned to potentially carry out the shooting when he got off work that evening, the news release said.
“There were no specifics how it was going to be done, but (Toler) said the report was credible and that the threat would be possibly carried out after he got off work, which would have been Sunday evening,” Doug Kibbey, Clifton city manager, said in the news release.
Fox 17 reported that the apparent target was Emanuel Baptist Church in Huron. The head of the church’s security team told the news station that Henderson County sheriff’s deputies call him and warned that Toler had threatened to “shoot up a church and kill himself.”
Toler and his wife, who is a member of the church, are divorcing, the news station said.
Kibbey said in the news release that he has “the best officers in the state.” Cooper also praised Clifton police officers, particularly Investigator Steve Wilson, who handled the Toler case.
“It is a very good chance that Officer Wilson’s quick, thorough response saved a lot of lives,” Cooper said.
Kibbey said the quickness of the joint effort by investigators in Henderson County, Clifton and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which is assisting in the case, was “paramount” in getting Toler into custody.