<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth and Texas State Political News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.comen-usThu, 17 Aug 2017 10:37:28 -0500Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:37:28 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Who Are the Fascist-Fighting Coalition 'Antifa'?]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 09:56:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/antifaactivistsfeuerherd.jpg

During a combative press conference Tuesday, President Donald Trump dubbed the anti-racist protest groups the "alt-left" and blamed "both sides" for the violent clashes that resulted one death, and injured more than a dozen others, NBC News reported.

Who exactly are the protesters that violently clashed with white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia?

What is 'Antifa?'
Antifa is short for "anti-fascist." It is a loosely organized coalition of protesters, left-wing activists, and self-described anarchists who vow to physically confront "fascists" — meaning anyone who espouses bigoted or totalitarian views, NBC News reported.

How long have they been around?
Anti-government and anti-fascist protesters have disrupted protest movements in Europe for decades. Today, they are most frequently seen clashing with riot police during summits of major world leaders, as in last month's "Welcome to Hell" protest against G-20 leaders in Berlin.

What are they protesting?
In the wake of President Trump's election, Antifa organizations across the country issued rallying cries on social media to rise up and fight back against the wave of hate crimes and white nationalism that's spiked across the nation.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber, File]]>
<![CDATA[Anti-Hate Groups Seize Charlottesville as Teachable Moment]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:30:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/confederatebattleflagfeuerherd.jpg

Anti-hate groups in the United States are giving guidance on what individuals can do to combat hate-inspired violence in the wake of a deadly attack at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

To combat hate-inspired attacks in the U.S., Americans must join forces, speak out and educate themselves about the history and ideology of white nationalists and hate organizations, groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League argue.

The SPLC on Monday issued a step-by-step "community response guide" on how to fight hate after 32-year-old counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed at the rally. Her alleged killer, James Fields Jr., had been fascinated with Nazism and idolized Adolf Hitler, according to his high school teacher.

To show why the guide is needed now more than ever, the SPLC noted a number of recent U.S. hate crimes, including the 2015 Charleston church shooting and racist graffiti being found in a school in Stapleton, Colorado. 

The SPLC's 10-point blueprint includes guidance like "educate yourself," "speak up" and "join forces." 

"Others share your desire to stand against hate," the SPLC wrote in the guide, under the "join forces" section. "There is power in numbers. Asking for help and organizing a group reduces personal fear and vulnerability, spreads the workload, and increases creativity and impact." 

The guide adds, "A hate crime often creates an opportunity for a community’s first dialogue on race, gender identity, or religious intolerance. It can help bridge the gap between neighborhoods and law enforcement."

The ADL similarly published a curriculum for teachers on how the violence in Charlottesville is a "teachable moment." The curriculum noted it should be described in the correct historical context and could be used to further understanding of the First Amendment. 

"While freedom of speech means that you can share your opinions and exchange ideas freely without government control — even if it is hateful — there is some speech that is not protected by the First Amendment; this includes obscenity, defamation, true threats, and incitement to imminent lawless action," the curriculum stated. "Talk with students about the First Amendment and our freedoms and emphasize that condemning hatred, bias and white supremacy and vigorously protecting free speech are not mutually exclusive."

An NAACP leader told NBC that understanding the ideologies held by groups like the opposing sides that clashed in Charlottesville is instrumental in ending hate-inspired violence. 

"Understanding what the ideologies are, the arguments and the realities of the vision each side seeks, is crucial," said Hilary Shelton, the NAACP's Washington bureau director.

"On one side of the equation, you had those that believe in white supremacy, racial segregation and treating those leaders of the confederacy as heroes," Shelton said. "On the other side of the issue ... you had those that wanted to promote diversity, equal opportunity." 

To Shelton, if people truly grasp the difference between the two sides, hate groups will not thrive. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Dave Martin]]>
<![CDATA[Ben Carson Talks About Vandalism of Home, Charlottesville]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 10:08:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/081717+ben+carson+interview.jpg

The only African-American member of President Donald Trump's cabinet says his home in Northern Virginia was recently the target of anti-Trump vandals.

Ben Carson, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, told News4 in an exclusive interview inside his home Wednesday night that he believes dialogue can help overcome hate and bigotry.

He pointed out that many Confederate statues were erected "during the civil rights movement, to make a statement," and resisted "pointing fingers" at Trump's response to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Carson said his home was vandalized while he was away.

"We were out of town and our house was toilet papered," Carson told News4's Meagan Fitzgerald. "They had painted 'F Trump' on it as well."

He said neighbors cleaned up the mess, and he took the high road.

"That really is the message that I try to get out to people. You can't necessarily control the animosity and the hatred of someone else, but you can control how you react," he said.

A representative for the local police department said they did not receive a report of the incident.

When asked about the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend and the removal of Confederate monuments, Carson said he believed education is key.

"We need to explain to people that many of the Confederate monuments that were put up were put up specifically during the Jim Crow era, specifically during the civil rights movement, to make a statement," he said.

Fitzgerald asked him several times if Trump's response to the deadly violence displayed the leadership the country needs.

"I want to push back and say it's not about pointing fingers about who should have done what and when they should have done it and when they should have said it," Carson said.

He added that strong leaders, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., have the power to bring a nation together. But, he said, it's not up to Trump to bring the country together; it's up to the American people.

Carson first spoke about the vandalism of his home in a Facebook post published Wednesday afternoon. He said that several years ago, after he and his family bought a farm in rural Maryland, a neighbor immediately put up a Confederate flag. Other neighbors put up American flags to shame him, Carson said.

"Hatred and bigotry unfortunately still exists in our country and we must all continue to fight it, but let's use the right tools," he wrote. "By the way, that neighbor who put up the Confederate flag subsequently became friendly. That is the likely outcome if we just learn to be neighborly and to get to know each other."

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Trump Says 'Fixing the Inner Cities' Is a Priority]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:05:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/trumpinnercities_17319471_1-150292719607000001.jpg

President Donald J. Trump told reporters on Tuesday that "fixing the inner cities" is a priority for his administration. 

<![CDATA[SMU Graduate Named Interim White House Comms Director]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:23:27 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Recut_Hope_Hicks_White_House.jpg

The White House has named an interim replacement for the role of White House communications director, and she has a Texas connection. Hope Hicks is a 2010 graduate of Southern Methodist University, and she becomes the youngest person ever to hold the position.

<![CDATA[Military Leaders Denounce Hatred After Charlottesville]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:27:29 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TrumpCharlottesville.jpg

Five top U.S. military officers condemned bigotry following the white-nationalist led protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, even as President Donald Trump reverted to his initial position of blaming both sides for violence there.

Their comments appear to stray from those of Trump, who said the “alt-left” should also be held accountable.

“The shameful events in Charlottesville are unacceptable and must not be tolerated,” wrote Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson in a Facebook post on Saturday. “The Navy will forever stand against intolerance and hatred.”

Following Trump’s impromptu news conference Tuesday, in which he doubled down on previous statements placing the blame “on many sides,” officials from the Marine Corps, Army and Air Force released statements.

“[There is] no place for racial hatred or extremism in [the U.S. Marine Corps,]” Commandant of the Marines, Robert B. Neller, tweeted on Tuesday.

On Wednesday the Army chief of staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, tweeted “The Army doesn’t tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks.”

Later in the day, the Chief of Staff for the Air Force, Gen. Dave Goldfein, issued a statement in solidarity with his fellow service chiefs via Twitter: “We’re always stronger together.”

Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen. Joseph Lengyel, also took to twitter Wednesday, stating "I stand with my fellow Joint Chiefs in condemning racism, extremism [and] hatred. Our diversity is our strength." 

Jason Dempsey, an adjunct senior fellow for the Center for a New American Security, said that past difficulties combatting white-nationalism within the military ranks may be what caused the leaders to speak up.

“The U.S. military had a significant problem with white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in the late '80s, early '90s,” he said. “It was all codified that you cannot belong to these groups. You cannot espouse their views, you can’t say you’re a member.”

Since Saturday, it’s been revealed that two members of Vanguard America, one of the extremist groups involved in this weekend’s violent clashes, have links to the military.

One of those men was James A. Fields, who was accused of killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer when he drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors.

“James Alex Fields reported for basic military training in August of 2015,” Army Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson stated in an email. “He was, however, released from active duty due to a failure to meet training standards in December of 2015.”

Dillon Ulysses Hopper, the alleged leader of Vanguard America, was identified by news website Splinter as a veteran and former Marine recruiter. A representative from Vanguard America told Splinter that Hopper became a white supremacist in 2012, one year after he started working as a recruiter. Several other news outlets including CNN, later reported that according to Hopper's service records, he was a member of the Marine Corps from 2006 until 2017. 

Dempsey said the statements from the military leaders were most likely made in an attempt to reaffirm the military’s commitment to their rules barring hate groups and send a strong message to subordinates about what type of behavior is appropriate.

“None of them would directly go against the President just to go against the president, because that’s not the way the military was built,” said Dempsey, a combat veteran who previously served as a special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “The chiefs were walking a very fine line but they saw a threat to the force.”

In a post-draft era, promoting acceptance and tolerance has become more of a priority for the military.

“For the first time since World War II, the military has to think about ‘What does our image look like? How are we going to recruit? How do we make sure we have a broad enough talent pool?’” Dempsey said.

Photo Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[N. Korea Cools Down War Rhetoric With US]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:28:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NC_usnorthkorea0815_1500x845.jpg

North Korea is changing tack in the war of words with the United States, adopting a plan to pull back and observe after a stern warning on Monday from Defense Secretary James Mattis.

<![CDATA[Defense Secretary Uses Disparaging Term to Praise Sailors]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:07:08 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/mattis_1200x675.jpg

Defense Secretary James Mattis praised Navy sailors for their service earlier this month and used an obscenity to make his point, NBC News reported.

Speaking at Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state, Mattis said the sailors "will have some of the best days of your life and some of the worst days of your life in the U.S. Navy."

He added, “That means you're living. That means you're not some pussy sitting on the sidelines, you know what I mean, kind of sitting there saying, ‘Well, I should have done something with my life.’”

The Pentagon made a transcript of the Aug. 9 speech available earlier this week.

Mattis, a former Marine who went on to serve as the head of U.S. Central Command and picked up the nickname "Mad Dog," said he wished he was “young enough to go back out to sea.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[DOJ Wants Records on Visitors to Trump Protest Website]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:30:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/inauguration-protest1.jpg

What does the federal government want to do with records on everyone who visited an anti-Donald Trump website?

The Justice Department's demand is part of the ongoing case against people who allegedly broke laws while protesting President Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration in Washington, NBC News reported. Prosecutors say the website, DisruptJ20.org, was used to organize "a violent riot."

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington D.C., which is prosecuting the protesters in local courts, points out that the warrant has already been approved by a judge.

But the target of the search warrant, a web-hosting company that has provided information about the people who registered for the site, says federal officials have gone too far by seeking IP addresses for anyone who entered the site.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark Tenally]]>
<![CDATA[Congressman Pete Sessions: Work With Allies on North Korea]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:25:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Recut_JF_Sessions.jpg

U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, visited his home district Tuesday and spoke out on several key issues in national politics.

Sessions was touring the North Texas Food Bank, where he spent about two hours seeing the inner workings of the operation.

"I am here on a snapshot day, but every day there are hundreds of volunteers that are here to help North Texas families, children and seniors to get that is necessary and needed," Sessions said.

NBC 5 political reporter Julie Fine asked Sessions about the latest developments with North Korea. He said the United States does not need to fight fire with fire, because the U.S. military is far superior. He believes the U.S. must be prepared, but also strategic, without challenging North Korea.

"We are handling this in a way that I wish we would not try and up the ante. I believe the North Koreans want the attention, are enjoying the attention, and will continue doing what they are doing. The world needs to be involved. America has always been better when we work with allies, people who have a same or similar viewpoint," Sessions said.

Sessions tweeted quickly after the events in Charlottesville, Va., this past weekend, saying, "The racist white supremacist actions in Charlottesville are completely horrendous."

There have been calls for Confederate monuments to come down in the city of Dallas, so Fine asked Sessions if he agrees with the idea.

"I do not. I think my son attended Stonewall Jackson (Elementary School). It is one of the greatest elementary schools. In no way were they celebrating Stonewall Jackson and everything about him," Sessions said.

"What I am suggesting to you is, is that it is a motivation for us to look back 100 years in our past. This was life in America for some period of time about honoring these people that really ended the war, ended slavery, did those things. And that's what we should be celebrating."

<![CDATA[President Trump's Explosive News Conference in 7 Minutes]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:43:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/DIT_TRUMP_PRESSER_081517-150283385815300001.jpg

At a press event that was supposed to focus on infrastructure, President Donald Trump answered questions about violence that erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. He again blamed both sides for violence and described counter-protesters as the "alt-left."

<![CDATA[Athletes Rebuke President Trump After Press Conference]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:51:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-2864047.jpg

After days of politically charged protests and violence in Charlottesville — and a response that garnered significant condemnation from both political parties — President Donald Trump released a more wholesome statement on Monday.

Then, Tuesday afternoon, after consulting advisers on infrastructure reform, Trump held another press conference, hoping to get back to his political agenda. He took questions from the media, resulting in a combative Q-&-A exchange.

Trump argued there was "blame on both sides," on the Charlottesville protest and repeated his sentiment that most notable news outlets peddled fake news.

The president has received criticism from media pundits, Democratic politicians, celebrities and even some of his own advisers for his collective responses to the racism and violence displayed in Charlottesville.

At least four members of Trump's manufacturing council have resigned, and the CEO of Wal-Mart released a statement saying Trump's original response did not go far enough. 

Now, retired and current NBA stars are taking to Twitter, voicing their displeasure with the leadership of this country.

Retired point guard Steve Nash, who played for the Dallas Mavericks from 1998-2004, tweeted: Donald Trump's ability "to defend white supremacists... sums the man up."

Current NBA superstar LeBron James, a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, tweeted "Donald Trump just made [hate] fashionable again."  

James has mocked Trump on Twitter before, though most athletes typically avoid politics to avoid polarizing their brand.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Trump on Steve Bannon: 'We'll See What Happens' ]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:37:46 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/trump-on-bannon-150283249801700001.jpg

President Donald Trump won't say whether he plans to keep top White House strategist Steve Bannon.

At an impromptu press conference Tuesday, Trump answered questions about his confidence in his top adviser by saying "we'll see what happens."

<![CDATA[Trump Responds to Confederate Statues Being Torn Down ]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:00:31 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/trump-on-confederate-statues-FULL_17307335-150282955283000001.jpg

Trump responds to reporters' questions about the Charlottesville rally over the weekend. 

<![CDATA[If Trump Cuts Obamacare Subsidies, Premiums Will Spike: CBO]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:45:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP_17206719818863.jpg

The Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare premiums will increase by 20 percent next year and by 25 percent in 2020 — if President Donald Trump ends key federal subsidies to the program.

The CBO report released Tuesday also found that if the administration moves to cut the billions in subsidies to insurers, that would leave about 5 percent of Americans living in areas with no access to individual health care plans.

As CNBC reports, Trump has repeatedly threatened to end the billions of dollars in payments to insurance companies that sell individual health plans under the Affordable Care Act.

Insurers have warned they will be forced to raise premiums sharply to make up for the loss of cost-sharing reductions payments, or CSRs, if Trump cuts them off.

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP (File)]]>