Report: Bannon apologizes for comments about Trump family in new book

Published: Sunday, January 07, 2018 @ 12:49 PM

Who is Steven Bannon

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon expressed regret Sunday for uncomplimentary words attributed to him in a controversial book, saying his support for President Donald Trump was “unwavering,” The New York Post reported.

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Bannon also said he regretted calling the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., “unpatriotic” for meeting a Russian lawyer in June 2016 who had ties to the Kremlin, the Post reported. Those comments were including in Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

“Donald Trump, Jr. is both a patriot and a good man. He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around,” Bannon said in a statement to Axios.

“My support is also unwavering for the president and his agenda as I have shown daily in my national radio broadcasts, on the pages of Breitbart News and in speeches and appearances from Tokyo and Hong Kong to Arizona and Alabama , ” added Bannon, who returned to the web news site after leaving the White House last August.

The president blasted Wolff’s book as “full of lies,” called the author a “total loser,” and referred to Bannon, his former campaign chairman, as “Sloppy Steve,” when book excerpts began to appear online last week.

“When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said.

Bannon tried to make amends Sunday.

“I regret that my delay in responding to the inaccurate reporting regarding Don Jr has diverted attention from the president’s historical accomplishments in the first year of his presidency, ” he said in the statement to the news web site.

In “Fire and Fury,” Bannon faulted Trump Jr., former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, for taking the meeting with the Russians during the presidential campaign and not reporting it to the FBI.

“Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic …and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately, ” Bannon was quoted in the book.

Sunday, a top White House aide called Bannon’s comments in the book “grotesque,” CNN reported.

“It's tragic and unfortunate that Steve would make these grotesque comments so out of touch with reality and obviously so vindictive,” White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

In the statement Sunday, Bannon said his ire was directed at Manafort.

“My comments were aimed at Paul Manafort, a seasoned campaign professional with experience and knowledge of how the Russians operate,” Bannon said in his statement. ” He should have known they are duplicitous, cunning and not our friends. To reiterate, those comments were not aimed at Don Jr.”

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LeBron James on Parkland shooting: 'How is it possible that we can have minors buy a gun?'

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:57 PM

WATCH: Florida High School Shooting Survivor Talks About NRA

When asked about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in which 17 people were killed, former Miami Heat star LeBron James had one question:

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“How is it possible that we can have minors go buy a gun?”

Nikolas Cruz, accused of the killings, is actually 19 and legally bought the AR-15 semiautomatic weapon that was used during the Feb. 14 incident. Still, James, the Cavaliers’ superstar, and other players with ties to South Florida could not make sense of the tragedy.

The players were asked about the shooting during Saturday’s media day for the NBA All-Star Weekend.

LeBron James stayed loose as he warmed up for the NBA All-Star Game.(Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

“We have a kid who wasn’t legally unable (sic) to buy a beer at a bar, but he can go buy an AR-15?” James said “It doesn’t make sense. I’m not saying it should be legal for him to go buy beer. But how is it possible that we can have minors go buy a gun?”

Heat guard Wayne Ellington, who was fourth in Saturday’s 3-point contest, said the nation has to “come together” to makes changes so these mass shootings do not continue to occur. The shooting was the ninth deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, five of those coming in the last six years.

WATCH: Florida school shooting survivor slams politicians, NRA in emotional speech

“I was at a loss for words,” Ellington said. “I couldn’t understand what’s going on, why (this) is going on in the world. Do we need to change? These young people doing unexplainable things, hurting each other and hurting innocent people it’s so unfortunate and sad, it’s something I don’t know how we can change but it’s something we need to come together and figure out.”

John Collins, the Atlanta Hawks rookie from Palm Beach County, was calling home to try to understand what was happening.

“It was a real shock to me,” said Collins, who played in Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge. “Obviously, I never expected something like that to happen. I know a couple of people that were affected by that tragedy. You got to say your prayers and sending your condolences and thoughts to the victims.”

What are the worst school shootings in modern US history?

James, though, was the most outspoken in calling for gun control.

“We’ve seen these schools and these tragedies happen in America and there’s been no change to gun control,” James said. “I don’t have the answer to this. But we have to do something about it. We’re all sending our kids to school, right? We drop them off at 8 o’clock. At 3:15 they’re going to be ready to get picked up. Either we’re picking them or someone in our family is picking them up or they have to take a bus or there’s aftercare and they stay until 5. If they have study hall they stay until 5:30 or whatever. But we all feel like our kids are going to return, right?

“To the families in Parkland, down in Broward County, it’s sad and I’m sorry and it’s just a tragedy and I hope we don’t continue to see this because it’s too many in the last 10 years with guns.”

James, meanwhile, has been embroiled in a social media debate with Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham, who said that athletes like James should "keep the political commentary to yourself.”

“Or as someone once said, 'Shut up and dribble,’” Ingraham said.

Ingraham was referencing an interview that James and Kevin Durant taped in January with ESPN’s Cari Champion for a show called “Uninterrupted.” The two NBA stars spoke about the political climate in the United States and had harsh criticism for President Donald Trump, ESPN reported.

Durant, in an interview with USA Today on Friday, said Ingraham's comments were "racist." 

“That was definitely an ignorant comment (by Ingraham). I do play basketball, but I am a civilian and I am a citizen of the United States, so my voice is just as loud as hers, I think -- or even louder.”

James, on his Instagram account, posted a photo of a neon sign that read “I am more than an athlete.”

#wewillnotshutupanddribble

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Ingraham released a statement Saturday defending her comments, ESPN reported.

"In 2003, I wrote a New York Times bestseller called 'Shut Up & Sing,' in which I criticized celebrities like the Dixie Chicks and Barbra Streisand, who were trashing then-President George W. Bush. I have used a variation of that title for more than 15 years to respond to performers who sound off on politics,” Ingraham wrote. “If pro athletes and entertainers want to freelance as political pundits, then they should not be surprised when they're called out for insulting politicians. There was no racial intent in my remarks -- false, defamatory charges of racism are a transparent attempt to immunize entertainment and sports elites from scrutiny and criticism."

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John Kasich rips Congress, urges 'common-sense gun laws'

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 1:56 PM

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is urging common-sense gun laws.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is urging common-sense gun laws.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who signed laws making it legal to carry concealed weapons at daycare facilities and college campuses, said he has “no confidence” Congress will approve what he called “common-sense gun laws” in the wake of a mass shooting last week at a Florida high school.

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During an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kasich, who earned the endorsement of the National Rifle Association during his 2014 re-election campaign, indicated he would support “reasonable things,” such as full background checks for people buying guns and banning what are known as bump stocks, which allow a semi-automatic weapon to fire like an automatic weapon.

“You’re never going to fix all of this,” Kasich said. “But common-sense gun laws make sense.”

In a major reversal, Kasich suggested he might support a ban on an the sale of AR-15 semiautomatic weapons like the one used in the Florida attack. Kasich said, “If all of a sudden you couldn’t buy an AR-15, what would you lose? Would you feel as though your Second Amendment rights would be eroded because you couldn’t buy a God-darned AR-15?”

“These are the things that have to be looked at and action has to happen,” Kasich said.

In 1994 as a member of Congress, Kasich voted to ban the production and sale of 19 semi-automatic assault weapons. But when he ran for president in 2016, Kasich called the ban “superfluous and we don’t need laws that are superfluous. It didn’t have any impact.”

>> Florida school shooting: What we know about the victims

The ban on the sale of semiautomatic weapons expired in 2004 when Congress failed to renew it.

Kasich said he has formed a committee “on both sides of the issue” in Ohio to “look at everything” about improving gun safety. Neither Kasich nor his aides have said who is on the committee, but he said he was “hopeful” they would produce recommendations.

“If they don’t produce anything, I’ll put my own stuff out,” Kasich said.

David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said he was “glad” Kasich is on national TV and “speaking out” on guns.

“Hopefully he’s got some ability to work with the statehouse to find solutions and roll back some of the worst pieces of legislation they pushed through in the last seven years,” Pepper said.

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Third-graders in Missouri selling raffle tickets for AR-15 weapon

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 2:52 PM

Shooter Reportedly In Custody In Florida High School Shooting

Selling raffle tickets to benefit an athletic team is not new, but having an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon as the prize is drawing heavy criticism in the wake of the shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 and injured dozens, The Kansas City Star reported.

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Third-graders in the southern Missouri city of Neosho were selling the tickets to benefit their traveling baseball team. Levi Patterson, the coach of a 9-and-under team in Neosho, said the idea was conceived before the Feb. 14 shooting at Parkland High School in South Florida, the Star reported.

The father of one of the players offered the weapon for the raffle. 

Patterson told the Star that he considered changing the prize after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, but decided to “turn it into a positive thing.”

The post, which has since been removed by Facebook, showed a weapon next to the mascot logo of South Elementary School in Neosho. 

The raffle is not affiliated with the Neosho School District, and the winner must pass a background check before receiving the gun, the Star reported.

“Are you all tone deaf?” Dan Weaver wrote in a Facebook post on Patterson’s page. “AR15 kills seventeen so you raffle a gun for child sports? Lord, people wake the hell up. Justify all you want but you are wrong, period.”

Patterson answered the post, noting that “gun raffles have been going on for years. Evil has and will always exist. Our hearts break for those involved, and we do not take that lightly.”

The Star originally linked to the exchange, but the link is no longer active.

Patterson told the Star that he understands the criticism, which has been fierce.

>> Florida school shooting: How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida?

“I applaud them for standing up for what they believe in. I just think they have feelings to this specific type of gun (that are) different than people around here do,” he said.

Tyler Tannahill of Kansas, who is running for Congress, was criticize this week for offering an AR-15 giveaway as part of his campaign, the Star reported.

Patterson stressed that the baseball players, who range in age from 7 to 9, are under no obligation to sell the raffle tickets.

“We appreciate your ‘concern’ but please understand, we are not, have not, and will not force one of our boys to sell raffle tickets for the Black Rain AR15 Spec 15, if they are uncomfortable doing so,” he wrote on Facebook.

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WATCH: Florida school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez slams politicians, NRA in emotional speech

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:43 AM
Updated: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 3:43 AM

WATCH: Florida High School Shooting Survivor Talks About NRA

A survivor of Wednesday's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, slammed President Donald Trump, lawmakers and the National Rifle Association in a scathing speech Saturday at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale.

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>> PHOTOS: Remembering Parkland Florida school shooting victims

"Every single person up here today, all these people should be home grieving," said Emma Gonzalez, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "But instead, we are up here standing together because if all our government and president can do is send thoughts and prayers, then it's time for victims to be the change that we need to see. Since the time of the founding fathers and since they added the Second Amendment to the Constitution, our guns have developed at a rate that leaves me dizzy. The guns have changed, but our laws have not."

>> Florida school shooting heroes: 3 coaches, teachers gave lives for students

Gonzalez called out one of Trump's tweets following the shooting that left 17 people dead.

>> See the tweet here

"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!" Trump wrote Thursday morning.

>> Florida school shooting: How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida?

Gonzalez said Saturday: "We did, time and time again. Since he was in middle school, it was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter. Those talking about how we should have not ostracized him, you didn't know this kid, OK? We did. We know that they are claiming mental health issues, and I am not a psychologist, but we need to pay attention to the fact that this was not just a mental health issue. He would not have harmed that many students with a knife."

>> Who is Nikolas Cruz, accused gunman in Florida high school attack?

She added: "If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I'm going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association."

>> Florida high school shooting suspect flagged as threat before tragedy

She went on to criticize him and other lawmakers.

"To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you!" she said, prompting the crowd to chant, "Shame on you" in response.

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"Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS,” Gonzalez said. “They say tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS. They say a good guy with a gun stops a bad guy with a gun. We call BS. They say guns are just tools like knives and are as dangerous as cars. We call BS. They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don't know what we're talking about, that we're too young to understand how the government works. We call BS."

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