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Trump slams groping allegations as false, politically motivated

Published: Thursday, October 13, 2016 @ 1:46 PM
Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2016 @ 2:47 PM


            In this Sept. 24, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a rally in Roanoke, Va. Countless former Democrats in Ohio's blue-collar Mahoning Valley are transferring their adoration for late U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, to Trump, while those who knew Traficant say similarities between him and Trump end at the populist bravado and outsized hair. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
In this Sept. 24, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a rally in Roanoke, Va. Countless former Democrats in Ohio's blue-collar Mahoning Valley are transferring their adoration for late U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, to Trump, while those who knew Traficant say similarities between him and Trump end at the populist bravado and outsized hair. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday slammed recent reports that he sexually assaulted multiple women over the years, telling a crowd gathered in Florida that the allegations are false and questioning the timing of the reports.

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He blamed the allegations on rival Hillary Clinton and the agendas of The New York Times and other news outlets. The Times on Thursday published a report on a pair of women, one who said Trump groped her on an airplane in the 1980s and another who said Trump kissed her inappropriately in 2005.

"These attacks are orchestrated by the Clintons and their media allies," Trump said. "The only thing Hillary Clinton has going for herself is the press. Without the press she is absolutely zero."

>> Related: Donald Trump sexual assault allegations: 5 things to know

He slammed another report published by People Magazine in which writer Natasha Stoynoff claimed she was pushed against a wall and forcibly kissed by Trump while interviewing him and his wife, Melania, for a story in 2005 on the couple's first wedding anniversary.

Trump questioned the timing of her report, reminding the crowd that he was popular through his show "The Apprentice" at the time the alleged attack happened.

>> Related: Multiple women make sexual assault accusations against Donald Trump

"I was one of the biggest stars on television, on 'The Apprentice,' and it would have been one of the biggest stories of the year," he said. "You take a look, look at her, look at her words – you tell me what you think. I don't think so."

He promised to unveil evidence proving the allegations false "at the appropriate time." He did not elaborate on the evidence or when the appropriate time to release it would be.

Trump has faced heavy criticism over his alleged treatment of women since video and audio captured on a hot microphone in 2005 was obtained by The Washington Post and published on Friday.

>> Related: Does Trump's 'locker room banter' describe sexual assault?

In the video, Trump and "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush can be heard ogling actress Arianne Zucker's legs and talking about how the GOP presidential nominee's celebrity status allowed him to make sexual advances toward women.

"I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her," Trump says in the video while watching Zucker walk up to an "Access Hollywood" bus. "You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab them by the (expletive). You can do anything."

>> Related: 'Days of Our Lives' star Arianne Zucker on lewd Donald Trump tape: 'I choose to stand tall'

The comments have been widely criticized as describing sexual assault.

Trump has dismissed the recording and said his comments were little more than "locker room banter."

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Ohio Senators Portman, Brown criticize separating kids from parents at border

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 12:57 PM
Updated: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 12:57 PM

Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman
Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman

Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, and Republican Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington sharply criticized the Trump administration for separating children from parents trying to cross the border in the United States.

In a statement Tuesday, Portman, R-Ohio, repeated what he has said during the past few weeks, saying "is counter to our values. We can have strong border security without separating families at the border. They can be kept together and dealt with as a family unit.”

“The administration should change course immediately and use its executive authority to keep families together and expedite their cases,” Portman said. “If those changes aren’t made, Congress should act quickly on a legislative solution to fix this problem.”

RELATED: Hundreds of children wait in border patrol facility in Texas

“I’m working with my colleagues to develop a compassionate solution that upholds our immigration laws and keeps families together while their cases are being processed,” Portman said.

Brown, D-Ohio, who is seeking re-election against Republican Jim Renacci, said “all children should be treated with compassion. Tearing families apart is wrong and will not fix our broken immigration system.”

Stivers, who chairs the House Republican re-election effort, called on the administration “to stop needlessly separating children from their parents. If the policy is not changed, I will support other means to stop unnecessary separation of children from their parents.”

RELATED: Before Trump policy, immigrant families arrested at border were detained together

The spectacle of crying children being taken from their parents produced an avalanche of criticism and queasiness from most Democrats, a growing number of Republicans, and pro-Republican business organizations as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

The House is expected to consider two competing immigration bills this week which could include language preventing the border separations. But there are deep doubts either bill can pass the House or Senate in part because Republicans are so divided on the issue and Democrats believe neither bill solves the problem.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Niles, said what Trump “is doing to these families and children” is “abhorrent,” adding “we’re seeing faith-based communities, human rights groups, and even Republicans calling out the president for this immoral and destructive policy.”

“He can end this with a phone call but refuses to do so,” Ryan said, referring to Trump.

What You Need to Know: 'Zero Tolerance' Immigration Policy

In an appearance on MSNBC Monday night, Ohio Gov. John Kasich “this is not the America you and I have known throughout our lifetime here.”

Renacci, a House member from Wadsworth, said "protecting both American jobs and our security by securing our borders and fixing our broken immigration system must be a top priority," and urged swift passage of a bill to "enforce America's immigration laws" and prevent "the separation of children from their parents on our border."

Democrat Joyce Beatty of Columbus, called the Trump policy “immoral” and urged the House Republican leadership to “work on comprehensive solutions to fix our broken immigration system.”

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, solidly backed Trump saying “by choosing to cross the border illegally – and often in dangerous circumstances – illegal immigrants are putting their children at risk.”

“No one likes to see the images we have seen, but it's important to remember that this is not a new policy or new phenomenon at our southern border,” Johnson said.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, said “our country has great compassion for those who come to our nation seeking a better life for their family and join the American way of life. Yet, we are also a nation of laws.”

“Our southern border has become a hub of drug and human traffickers, preying on Americans and immigrants alike, and the current 

President to meet members of Congress tonight

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

By DUSTIN WEAVER and ALAN FRAM, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans on Capitol Hill frantically searched on Tuesday for ways to end the administration’s policy of separating families after illegal border crossings, ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss broader immigration legislation.

Top conservatives, including key Trump allies, announced they were introducing bills to stop the practice amid a public outcry over the administration’s “zero tolerance” approach to illegal crossings.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas introduced legislation that the White House said it was reviewing, and Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, a leader of the conservative Freedom Caucus, also introduced a measure.

Both bills were offered as alternatives in case broader GOP immigration legislation heading for a vote this week fails, as is likely. “This becomes a backup proposal,” Meadows told reporters at the White House.

Trump’s meeting late Tuesday with House Republicans comes as lawmakers in both parties are up in arms after days of news reports showing images of children being held at border facilities in cages and an audio recording of a young child pleading for his “Papa.”

Watch Video from Inside the Border Protection's Processing Detention Center in Texas

The issue boiled over Tuesday at a House hearing on an unrelated subject when protesters with babies briefly shut down proceedings.

Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, teared up as he pleaded with Republicans on the panel to end what he called “internment camps.”

“We need you, those children need you —and I am talking directly to my Republican colleagues— we need you to stand up to President Donald Trump,” he said.

Under the current policy, all unlawful crossings are referred for prosecution — a process that moves adults to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and sends many children to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services. Under the Obama administration, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May.

The House is already embroiled in an election-year struggle over immigration legislation that threatens to hurt Republicans in November.

Democrats have seized on the family separation issue. And now, Republicans are increasingly joining them in their call to stop separating families.

“While cases are pending, families should stay together,” tweeted Cruz, who is in an unexpectedly tough re-election battle. He introduced his own bill to speed up court proceedings to no more than 14 days. “Children belong with their families.”

Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton called for an immediate end to the “ugly and inhumane practice” of separation. “It’s never acceptable to use kids as bargaining chips in political process.” Kansas GOP Sen. Pat Roberts said he was “against using parental separation as a deterrent to illegal immigration.”

“The time is now for the White House to end the cruel, tragic separations of families,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

From afar, ailing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tweeted, “The administration’s current family separation policy is an affront to the decency of the American people and contrary to principles and values upon which our nation was founded. The administration has the power to rescind this policy. It should do so now.”

The Trump administration insists the family separations are required under the law. But after signaling Monday that it would oppose any fix aimed solely at addressing that issue, the White House said Tuesday it was reviewing the emergency legislation being introduced by Cruz to keep migrant families together.

The senator’s bill would add more federal immigration judges, authorize new temporary shelters to house migrant families, speed the processing of asylum cases and require that families that cross the border illegally be kept together, absent criminal conduct or threats to the welfare of any children.

At a White House briefing Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen declared, “Congress alone can fix it.” That line has been echoed by others in the administration, including Trump, who has falsely blamed a law passed by Democrats for the “zero tolerance” approach to prosecutions of families crossing the border.

Two immigration bills under consideration in the House could address the separations, but the outlook for passage is dim. Conservatives say the compromise legislation that GOP leaders helped negotiate with moderates is inadequate.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a member of the Freedom Caucus, said he’s skeptical that even a full-throated endorsement from Trump will be enough to get the compromise bill through the House.

The compromise bill shifts away from the nation’s longtime preference for family immigration to a new system that prioritizes entry based on merits and skills. It beefs up border security, clamps down on illegal entries and reinforces other immigration laws.

To address the rise of families being separated at the border, the measure proposes keeping children in detention with their parents, undoing 2-decade-old rules that limit the time minors can be held in custody.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte R-Va., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is reworking the family separation provision in the compromise bill, a GOP aide said Tuesday.

Faced with the prospect of gridlock in the House, senators appear willing to take matters into their own hands.

John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican leader, said Senate Republicans are working on language to address the family separations that could receive a floor vote, potentially as part of a spending bill package.

“I don’t think the answer to family separation is to not enforce the law. I think the answer to family separation is: Don’t separate families while you’re enforcing the law,” Cornyn told reporters. “It’s all within our power, and people have to overcome their desire to preserve an issue to campaign on.”

GOP senators including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine also said they’ve been discussing family separation legislation.

The administration, meanwhile, is hoping to force Democrats to vote for the bills or bear some of the political cost in November’s midterm elections. Democrats brushed aside that pressure.

“As everyone who has looked at this agrees, this was done by the president, not Democrats. He can fix it tomorrow if he wants to, and if he doesn’t want to, he should own up to the fact that he’s doing it,” said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

___

Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.

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Trump to meet House GOP amid furor over immigrant families

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 4:15 AM

As President Donald Trump lashed out at Democrats on Monday, demanding again that Congress act to tighten federal immigration laws, more Republicans in the Congress began to distance themselves from a recent Trump Administration policy change, which has resulted in the separation of some 2,200 illegal immigrant families detained by border authorities.

“As the son of a social worker, I know the human trauma that comes with children being separated from their parents,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), as he asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to “take immediate action to end the practice of separating children from families at the border.”

“We as compassionate Americans absolutely detest watching families being pulled apart,” said Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), who in a speech on the Senate floor said on one hand the President is correct to call for action in Congress on immigration – but that the Trump Administration has been wrong to separate so many families in the last six weeks, labeling the situation “a mess.”

At the White House, the President didn’t shy away from the controversy, again blaming Congress for not acting, and making it clear he wants to stop a recent surge in illegal immigration across the southern border.

“The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” the President said. “Not on my watch.”

The President will take that sharp message on Tuesday evening to a meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol, trying to rally them to get behind a piece of immigration legislation, which could solve a series of issues.

GOP leaders though have been trying for months to figure out a deal, but have found the party too splintered over what to do on DACA, younger illegal immigrant “Dreamers,” and ways to tighten what Mr. Trump says are odious loopholes in immigration law.

“A county without borders is not a country at all,’ the President declared, as he said that illegal immigrants are bringing “death and destruction” to America.

“They are thieves and murderers and so much else,” Mr. Trump added.

But Mr. Trump’s criticism of Democrats and Congress has drawn more opposition in recent days from within his own party, who feel the White House is wrongly trying to use the plight of immigrant children to force through immigration law changes.

“President Trump has chosen to implement this policy and he can put an end to it,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), “but he chooses not to do so and instead blames others.”

“The administration has the power to rescind this policy. It should do so now,” said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) via Twitter.

While Mr. Trump has repeatedly blamed Democrats for the separation of families, it was the Trump Administration that decided to take this step in early May, by prosecuting adults for illegally entering the country.

That move to enforce the law triggers a situation in which children are removed from their parents, leading to the uproar of recent days.

“This is the Trump administration’s policy,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “President Trump could put an end to this immoral policy right now.”

Republicans have floated various ideas in recent days – it wasn’t clear if any could make it through the House, as immigration has vexed GOP lawmakers for years, as this latest battle has turned up the heat even more.

“It’s not good policy to separate children at our border from their parents & release them into the US,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY). “It’s also not good policy to just immediately release an entire family together into the US when that family enters our country illegally.”

 

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Senate OKs $116 million for massive NASIC project at Wright-Patterson

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 6:36 PM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 6:36 PM

‘60 Minutes’ previews story about NASIC and Wright-Patt

The Senate late Monday passed a $716 billion defense bill that included $116 million expansion of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center - one of the largest projects in Wright-Patterson’s recent history.

By a vote of 85-10, the Senate passed its version of the defense bill, which authorizes defense programs for the 2019 federal spending year that begins in October. Both Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, voted in support of the bill.

The House version of the defense bill, which passed last month, authorized $182 million for the full NASIC project, but it would be paid out or appropriated over a number of years starting with $61 million in the first year.

RELATED: Some of U.S.’s most secretive work will be done in new NASIC building

The differences between the two versions will have to be worked out in a conference committee before a final appropriations bill is passed.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, whose district includes Wright-Patterson, had pushed for authorization of the entire construction cost.

The Air Force had asked for $116 million in its initial budget request and was expected to ask for the remainder in future years, according to a spokeswoman for Portman. Portman’s office had initially indicated the senator would pursue additional funding, but the Air Force had requested the additional amounts in 2020-2023, a spokeswoman said.

The expansion is expected to relieve overcrowding at the secretive intelligence center, where some employees share desks and work in shifts. NASIC has added about 100 people a year between 2000 and 2015, spokeswoman Michelle Martz said.

Loren B. Thompson, a Virginia-based senior defense analyst with the Lexington Institute and a defense industry consultant, said with the return of great power competition with Russia and China, NASIC’s intelligence analysis will be in growing and greater demand and bring “total job security.”

“Making China and Russia the focus of our military strategy increases the importance of what NASIC does. After all, terrorists and insurgents like the Taliban don’t have air forces or space programs, whereas China and Russia do,” he said in an email.

He added that NASIC “is central to understanding the state of aerospace technology from missile defenses to stealthy aircraft in the countries that will likely remain America’s key competitors through mid-century.

“China and Russia are the only two countries in the world that have the ability to destroy the U.S. economy, and perhaps our democracy, with their nuclear arsenals,” he said. “So working at NASIC in the years ahead is likely to offer the closest thing to total job security that you can find in modern-day America.”

Saves jobs at Research Lab

Separately, the defense bill also blocked the transfer of a manufacturing technology office with 55 jobs from the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson to the Pentagon.

The Pentagon had planned to move the office, which had been at Wright-Patterson since 1987, last Oct. 1, archives show. But Brown sponsored a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act to keep the jobs at Wright-Patt.

RELATED: Stealth bombers, UFO rumors among base’s first 100 years

Brown and three of his congressional colleagues had sent a letter last August to Secretary of Defense James Mattis warning the move could lead to “disorganized and haphazard development” of future programs and put at risk dozens of active projects.

Brown praised the inclusion of the provision in the defense bill Monday.

“The workers at the Lab have the deep institutional knowledge and experience we need to continue making these defense manufacturing investments, and to oversee the program to ensure current projects are successful and cost-effective,” he said.

Charlie Ward, chief of the AFRL manufacturing and technologies division, said in a statement there were no plans to move the manufacturing and industrial technologies division to Washington.

CONTINUING COVERAGE

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Back on the air with Jamie Dupree 2.0

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 12:15 PM

It was just another newscast this morning for WSB Radio in Atlanta. It was just another newscast on WDBO in Orlando, WHIO in Dayton, WOKV in Jacksonville, and KRMG in Tulsa. But it was much more than that for me, as my voice – my new, computer generated voice – went on the air today, getting me back on the radio for the first time in two years, after my voice was taken away by an unknown neurological disorder.

We call it, Jamie Dupree 2.0, a voice synthesized from recordings of my past news stories, which when paired with a special text-to-speech program, will allow me to go back on the radio,

I tuned in from home to see how it would sound. It all seemed so normal. The anchor reading the intro. “More from Jamie Dupree in Washington.” And then my story played on the radio, just like up until the spring of 2016.

A few hours later, I got to work, and there was breaking news from the Supreme Court, as the Justices sidestepped a ruling on two cases dealing with gerrymandering of legislative district lines.

It all felt so normal. I typed up my story, fed it out to my stations, and it hit the air.

At home it seemed normal. But at work in the Capitol, when it played out in real time – the moment hit home.

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