<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Miami Political News and South Florida Politics]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usMon, 24 Oct 2016 21:47:10 -0400Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:47:10 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Saturday Night Live: Tom Hanks Hosts, Lady Gaga Performs]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 06:41:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Tom-Hanks-SNL-Debate.jpg

With Halloween around the corner, it’s fitting that “Saturday Night Live” would open this week’s episode with something unsettling, like the latest presidential debate. Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump returned to go hair-to-head with Kate McKinnon’s Hillary Clinton in this sendup, moderated by the night’s guest host, Tom Hanks, as Fox News’ Chris Wallace.

The unprecedented discourse in this election cycle, particularly from the GOP candidate, allows a mean-mugging Baldwin to draw laughs by simply repeating some of the real Trump’s words verbatim.

For instance, Trump dropped two new terms at the debate this week: “bad hombres” and “nasty woman,” the latter of which was directed specifically at Clinton. In the sketch, Baldwin pulls out a notecard to make sure he'd said everything he'd intended; one side of the card reads in large handwriting, "Nasty woman" and the other, "Bad hombres." 

And, as McKinnon illustrated by playing a self-congratulating, sometimes smug Clinton, Trump’s consistent choice to cross such lines of generally acceptable social conduct might give Clinton the feeling that she’s got the election on lock.

Baldwin’s Trump did point out, though, that he’s ahead in every poll (well, every poll that’s conducted at a Cracker Barrel restaurant), and that, anyway, the election system is rigged against him. The media are to blame for much of that, he said.

Hanks’ Wallace asked Trump how it is that the media are making him look bad.

“By taking everything I say, and everything I do, and putting it on television,” he replied.

When McKinnon’s Clinton was asked about Wikileaks and the emails from her private server, she masterfully dodged the question and pivoted right to Trump’s treatment of women.

“Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Baldwin’s Trump said, at which point cameras panned out to the SNL audience to show everyone laughing, hard, at the claim, which real Trump has made on more than one occasion. As Michael Che said later on the Weekend Update segment, “Nobody has more respect for women than you do? What about other women? What about RuPaul?”

The debate cold open ended with the Democratic candidate pledging to be a “stone-cold B” if elected, while Trump promoted the probably-not-real Nov. 9, 2016, launch of Trump TV.

Nine-time host Tom Hanks ("Inferno," “Sully”) performed a monologue in a cardigan as “America’s dad,” gently coaching the country through difficult times as one might an adolescent daughter or son (“Sure, China might be popular right now, but you, you are so dang creative!”) and lamely offering up cautionary advice (“You’ve got a lotta guns, kiddo — do you need all those guns?”) that will likely go unheeded.

Kenan Thompson hosted "Black Jeopardy!" in the episode’s first post-opening sketch. Cast members Sasheer Zamata and Leslie Jones took two of the contestant spots, while Hanks' character Doug, a stereotypical "blue collar" Trump supporter, took the third. Despite all low expectations, white contestant Doug performed competitively, impressing the host and other contestants with his distrust of the government and his appreciation for sturdily built females and Tyler Perry films. But just as everyone was feeling like maybe they weren’t so different from one another after all, it was time for Final Jeopardy. The category? “Lives That Matter.”

“Well, it was fun while it lasted, Doug,” Thompson said, closing out the sketch.

As Saturday saw the 11th in a series of women come out to publicly accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, the Weekend Update segment went for the GOP candidate right away.

On Trump alleging that his women accusers are just looking for their "10 minutes of fame”: “He’s so cheap, he’s lowballing them on their minutes of fame.”

Mocking the GOP candidate’s seeming inability to keep from behaving like a reality show personality: “‘I’ll tell if you if I’m going to tear apart the fabric of our democracy…right after this break.”

Cast member Leslie Jones guested on Weekend Update, addressing cybersecurity in the wake of this week’s massive DDoS attacks on a DNS company in New Hampshire. Major sites from Twitter to Netflix to Soundcloud were all taken down Friday in a highly coordinated attack.

Jones was personally the victim of hackers earlier this year, and on Saturday’s show she called out trolls for sitting behind their screens rather than confronting people in real life. Also, she said, she’s not trying to hide anything, so why bother hacking her? “If you want to see Leslie Jones naked — just ask!” she said.

Cecily Strong appeared as her “Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party” character, sloshing white wine and passionately mispronouncing hot takes on the election.

Alec Baldwin joined Tom Hanks for a Sully-related sketch.

Several other sketches were Halloween-themed, including one featuring Hanks debuting a character, David Pumpkins, who may or may not be the scariest Halloween character of all time.

Lady Gaga performed two songs from her new album “Joanne”: “A-Yo” and “Million Reasons.”

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<![CDATA[Miley Cyrus Campaigns for Clinton at College Dorm in Virginia]]> Sun, 23 Oct 2016 07:26:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Miley+Cyrus+GMU.jpg

She came in like a wrecking ball.

Singer and entertainer Miley Cyrus went door-knocking for Hillary Clinton at a George Mason University dorm Saturday afternoon.

Dressed in an “American flag” outfit that consisted of an oversize blue bow and a red-and-white striped skirt, Cyrus told students she agrees with Clinton’s views.

“Me and Hillary share equality for all. Everyone gets stuck on voting for her out of fear of what could be, but I would vote for her anyway,” she said. “Trump doesn’t understand how personal it is for women to be in control of their own health – access to checkups, birth control.”

She spoke about a recent trip home to Nashville that she described as a “wakeup call.”

“I saw one Hillary poster in a sea of terrifying Trump supporters and posters. This election has been super hateful, not only for the nominees themselves, but within our own community. When I post support for Hillary on Instagram, I can’t believe the hate that I get,” Cyrus said. “It seems like you’re just talking to different people that live on different planets.”

She added that “it’s not like I don’t understand the other side, because I grew up with a super conservative family.”

Many of the students told her they will be voting for Clinton, including Vashti Aveirls, who described meeting Cyrus as “surreal.”

“It was super cool. She’s beautiful and she’s a good person,” Aveirls said. “It’s nice to know that Hillary has people out here that actually care about her message, coming door to door, knocking on college student’s doors, so I felt really happy.”

GMU student Lauren Henry also met Cyrus.

“I’m pretty sure all of us are registered to vote already and are definitely planning on it, so having her there to hype us up and try to extend that excitement to other family members and community was really exciting,” Henry said.

Cyrus suggested to students that they convince their friends to vote on Election Day by making it a social event.

“You can go out to eat and celebrate afterward. Make a whole day out of it. It’s just fun to go. It’s important,” she said.

Cyrus’ visit caused a big stir on campus. Dozens of students camped out in the lobby of Piedmont Hall, the dorm where Cyrus was. The students told News4 they had been waiting for three hours to catch a glimpse of her. Outside the dorm, a long line of students sang “Wrecking Ball” as they waited, then cheered when they saw her in a window.

Donald Trump was in Virginia too this afternoon, holding a rally at Regent University.

Garren Shipley, the Virginia communications director for the Republican National Committee, said in an email, “Hillary Clinton has often said that this campaign is about role models. Miley Cyrus is campaigning for her today in Northern Virginia. Foam finger manufacturers could not be reached for comment."

[[398052231, C]]

Cyrus wasn't the only star musician stumping for Clinton with college voters. 

Katy Perry also hit the dorms on Saturday. The "Roar" singer knocked on doors at UNLV in the hopes of convincing young Nevada voters to support Clinton. Her shirt read "Nasty Woman" in a reference to a comment Trump made against Clinton at the final presidential debate. 

Photo Credit: Aimee Cho/NBCWashington
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<![CDATA[Woman Accusing Donald Trump of Sexual Conduct Speaks Out]]> Sat, 22 Oct 2016 18:43:31 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000026128562_1200x675_791621187522.jpg The eleventh women accusing Donald Trump of inappropriate sexual conduct spoke out at a press conference Saturday. NBC 6 political reporter Steve Litz has the latest.]]> <![CDATA[11th Woman Accuses Trump of Inappropriate Sexual Conduct]]> Sat, 22 Oct 2016 20:59:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/jessica-drake-and-allred.jpg

An adult film performer came forward Saturday alleging Donald Trump kissed her without permission 10 years ago and offered her money and the use of his private jet, becoming the 11th woman to accuse the Republican presidential candidate of inappropriate sexual behavior since the leaked footage of Trump making inappropriate comments. 

Jessica Drake appeared with prominent attorney Gloria Allred, who warned Trump at the start of a press conference that if he sued all of the accusers as he pledged hours earlier, the women involved would have the option to file cross complaints. 

"Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Trump," Allred said. "If you sue the accusers, the lawyers who represent these woman will have the opportunity to depose you." 

Drake who worked for Wicked Pictures as an adult performer and director, accused Trump of grabbing her and kissing her without permission in a California hotel room in 2006. She showed a photo of herself with Trump at the time they met.

"I understand I may be called a liar or an opportunist but I will risk that in order to stand in solidarity with women who share similar accounts that span many, many years," Drake said. 

She said she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe and alleged that he flirted with her, asked her for her number and invited her to his penthouse suite. She said she "didn't feel right going alone" so she took two colleagues with her. 

Trump grabbed all of the women "tightly in a hug" and kissed them without their permission when they entered the room, she said. 

Drake said after she left, several invitations that night to meet with Trump followed that she declined. First a man called her; then the businessman did, she said.  

"Donald then asked me, 'What do you want? How much?'" Drake said of a phone conversation. 

After that, Drake claims another call came from "either Donald" or someone on Trump's behalf offering her $10,000 which she also declined. 

She also claimed that Trump even offered her the use of his private jet so she could return to work in Los Angeles afterward. 

Drake said she told some friends afterward what happened and that she might be a "tiny grain of sand but clearly this is an enormous beach." 

"I am choosing to share my personal exchange in light of the recently released tapes in order to lend my voice, my strength and my support to the other women who are coming forward," Drake said. 

Trump, who has has denied all past claims of sexual misconduct, said Drake's story "is totally false and ridiculous."

"The picture is one of thousands taken out of respect for people asking to have their picture taken with Mr. Trump," Trump's campaign said in a statement. "Mr. Trump does not know this person, does not remember this person and would have no interest in ever knowing her. This is just another attempt by the Clinton campaign to defame a candidate who just today is number one in three different polls."

The statement went on to reference Trump's claims that Hillary Clinton was allegedly involved in paying people to cause fights at a Trump rallies. An Associated Press fact check found that a selectively edited video released by conservative activist James O'Keefe showed a Democratic operative appearing to boast about provoking a violent reaction. But the activist was not directly employed by the Clinton campaign or Democratic National Committee and both have denounced the comments.

"Anyone who would pay thugs to incite violence at a rally against American citizens, as was released on video, will stop at nothing," Trump's statement said. "Just another example of the Clinton campaign trying to rig the election."

Allred, who previously held news conferences with two other Trump accusers, served as an elected delegate during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia for Clinton in July. 

A Trump campaign representative last week alleged a "coordinated" attack between Allred and the Clinton campaign, which Allred denies. 

Earlier on Saturday, Trump threatened legal action against every woman who has accused him of sexual misconduct. 

"All of these liars will be sued once the election is over," Trump vowed during a speech in in Gettysburg, adding, "I look so forward to doing that." 

Allred in return vowed an "army of lawyers" would come forward to defend the women should he file a lawsuit and predicted members of the public would fund a campaign on the women's behalf.

Clinton, speaking on her campaign plane on Saturday, called it "not accurate" that her campaign or Democrats were encouraging women to come forward with accusations, The Associated Press reported. 

"I saw where our opponent Donald Trump went to Gettysburg, one of the most extraordinary places in American history, and basically said if he's president he'll spend his time suing women who have made charges against him based on his behavior," Clinton said.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[US Election Will Be 'Brexit Times Five,' Predicts Trump]]> Sat, 22 Oct 2016 03:26:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trumGettyImages-616060152.jpg

Donald Trump held three rallies in North Carolina and Pennsylvania on Friday in which he compared the inaccurate early predictions of Britain's "Brexit" to his own presidential campaign.

The Republican nominee, down in the polls, told crowds the U.S. presidential election would be "beyond Brexit," "Brexit plus" and even “Brexit times five." In June, voters in the U.K. elected to leave the European Union in a result that defied predictions.

Trump over the summer and in early fall has been fond of telling crowds he correctly predicted the outcome of that referendum, NBC News reports.

Trump also took aim at the media again Friday, calling them out for perpetuating a "rigged system" designed to keep him from the White House. "They're the most dishonest people," Trump said of the media. The crowds’ boos turned to chants of "CNN sucks."

Photo Credit: Brian Blanco, Getty Images
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<![CDATA[With Women as Key Planners, Events at Trump Venues Are Down]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 14:27:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/marGettyImages-515752270.jpg

There is growing evidence that Donald Trump's mud-slinging is tarnishing his gold-plated name, and industry observers say the Republican presidential nominee risks doing permanent damage to his brand.

"There are certainly groups and event planners shying away [from Trump-related venues] just because they don't want to offend anybody," said David Loeb, managing director and senior real estate research analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co.

Already, the Susan G. Komen Foundation is considering relocating an annual fundraiser held at Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, NBC News reported. In addition, the PGA announced this summer that it was moving the WGC-Cadillac Championship from the Trump National Doral in Florida to Mexico City next year.

"The majority of the meeting planning community is female, and when you have a candidate who's been very polarizing… it just kind of makes sense that might impact their decision-making," said Kevin Iwamoto, a senior consultant at GoldSpring Consulting. "Planners and buyers are going to vote with their dollars." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Abortion Becomes Debate Flashpoint With 'Late-Term' Question]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 11:34:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16294052406753.jpg

Abortion became a topic in the debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for the first time Wednesday night when moderator Chris Wallace focused on access to what he called "late-term, partial-birth" procedures.

"Well, I think it’s terrible," Trump said. "If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.

"And, honestly, nobody has business doing what I just said, doing that, as late as one or two or three or four days prior to birth," he said. "Nobody has that."

Abortion is one of the most polarizing social issues in America. A May 2016 Gallup poll showed that 29 percent of respondents believed it should be legal under any circumstances, 50 percent only under certain circumstances, and 19 percent illegal in all circumstances. Only 2 percent of those surveyed had no opinion.

"Late-term abortion" is a non-medical term that varies in definition. Most laws agree that it encompasses abortions near the end of the second trimester, when viability -- the fetus' ability to exist independently of the mother -- comes into question. There are three methods used in "late-term" abortion: dilation and evacuation, where the contents of the uterus are surgically removed after dilating the cervix; early labor induction; and intact dilation and extraction, in which the fetus is taken out as it appeared in the womb and which is widely prohibited.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of reproductive rights, only 1.2 percent of abortions in the United States occur after 21 weeks gestation. Despite their infrequency, Columbia University professor Rachel Adams said that "late-term" abortions have been a hot topic in the political sphere and have served as a means for conservatives to promote an anti-abortion agenda.

"It allows you to make a more viable argument that you're talking about a baby and not a fetus, which I think is a more dividing ethical line," said Adams, who specializes in gender and sexuality studies.

Americans' attitudes toward late-term abortion seem to be changing as a result of microcephaly, the birth defect that can be caused by the Zika virus. A July poll from Harvard University and STAT, the Boston Globe's publication about health and medicine, found that 61 percent did not think a woman should be able get an abortion after 24 weeks, while 23 percent did. But if the respondents were told that there was a serious possibility that the fetus had microcephaly caused by Zika, the numbers flipped: 59 percent favored allowing a woman to get an abortion and 28 percent disapproved.

Adams criticized Trump's incendiary language of "rip(ping) the baby out of the womb" for its violence toward women and the use of the charged word "baby" for an unborn fetus.

Others took exception to Wallace referring to "partial-birth abortion" in his question.

"Partial-birth abortion is a political term, it's not a medical term," said Laura Ciolkowski, the associate director at Columbia’s Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality. "The language that we use to talk about abortion really matters."

Terminology aside, Trump's comments revealed a lack of knowledge of gynecological medical practice, according to experts.

"First of all, there’s no such thing as ninth-month abortions," Ciolkowski said. "We call that Cesarean sections."

Lisa Perriera, a staff physician at Philadelphia Women's Center and associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University, called Trump's comments at the debate "completely medically inaccurate."

"Abortion procedures are usually performed until viability, which is nowhere near complete nine-months of pregnancy," she said.

Daniel Grossman, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, has also told Politifact that if there was a risk to a mother's life on her due date "the treatment for that is delivery, and the baby survives.”

In Pennsylvania, "viability" is legally defined as 23 weeks and six days, but almost all of Perriera's patients have abortions within the first trimester. Among those who don't, it's usually due to a problem with access to healthcare. Because many are on government-issued Medicaid, their procedures aren't covered by insurance and they have to save to be able to afford an abortion, which takes time.

In the rare event of an abortion after 23 weeks and six days, it's often a situation when "the baby is incredibly sick," and the mother finds out late in the pregnancy, Perriera said.

In the debate, Trump said that if his nominees were appointed to the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade would be reversed "automatically" and issues of abortion would be legislated by the states.

Overturning Roe v. Wade would just make abortion unsafe, according to Perriera.

"It will have really dramatic health outcomes for women," she said. "You will see more women try to self-induce abortion and possibly have an increase in deaths from unsafe abortion."

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said Donald Trump would block access to Planned Parenthood, attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade, and believed women should be punished for having an abortion.

The comment was a reference a March 30 town hall event when Trump told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that women who had abortions should receive "some form of punishment." He walked back those remarks the same day to say that women should not be punished.

"Make no mistake, Donald Trump would ban abortion in this country," Richards told NBC. "And that's why women will be the reason he's not elected this November."

Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said the moment the candidate mentioned reversing the 1973 Supreme Court case "was literally when Donald Trump support bottomed out with independents... His willingness to say that puts him on the wrong side of the vast majority of Americans."

After pushing hard for moderators to ask candidates about abortion access since the primary debates, NARAL activists were thrilled to see Wallace highlight the issue.

"The voters were able to hear a pretty stark contrast in the two candidates," Hogue said.

Some conservatives were annoyed Trump did not directly answer the question of whether he wanted Roe v. Wade overturned.

Evan McMullin, the independent presidential candidate, tweeted: "Why can't @RealDonaldTrump actually say the words 'I want Roe v Wade overturned?' I'm the only pro-life candidate in the race."

Others denounced Clinton’s position.

"Hillary is an extremist on abortion and admitted last night that she is part of a very small, extreme minority of Americans who believe there should be zero restrictions on abortion throughout all nine (months) of pregnancy for any reason," Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, wrote to NBC, emphasizing that she was commenting in a personal, and not official, capacity as a Christian and mother of four.

"While demanding that crimes against children in war torn countries must stop and touting her pro-toddler agenda, she clearly stated that she thinks everyone is worthy of life except children still in their mothers' womb," Hawkins wrote. "You can't claim you are for all rights of women while simultaneously demanding the right to kill pre-born children, half of which are female."

Matt Batzel, national executive director at American Majority Action, tweeted, "Trump: Ripping the baby out the womb, may be okay with Hillary, but is NOT OKAY WITH ME #debatenight #prolife #neverhillary."

However, few pro-life organizations have directly addressed Trump's comments during the debate.

Clinton has taken a position that abortions should be "safe, legal, and rare." In the debate, she emphasized that abortion policy has to take into account the life and health of the woman, especially during "late-term" procedures.

"You should meet with some of the women that I have met with, women I have known over the course of my life," Clinton said on Wednesday night. "This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make. And I do not believe the government should be making it."

Many abortion-rights supporters were cheered by Clinton's performance.

"Hillary did a wonderful job of bringing it back to the real crisis of access in this country," said Hogue with NARAL Pro-Choice America. "We have now a presidential candidate in Hillary Clinton --partly because she's a woman, partly because she's an excellent leader -- (who) has chosen to listen to real stories of women."

Photo Credit: Mark Ralston/AP
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<![CDATA[Trump's Media Attacks: 'Biting the Hands That Fed Him'?]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 08:39:24 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-615754408-%281%29.jpg

Donald Trump's increased hostility towards the media is not only a dangerous approach because it erodes voters' faith in the integrity of the electrical system, but the strategy is also somewhat ironic for the former reality TV star. After all, without it, he would never have become the nominee of the Republican Party.

"He's biting the hands that fed him for all those months," said Temple University journalism professor Larry Atkins, author of "Skewed: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Media Bias."

Trump earned close to $2 billion worth of free media attention — dwarfing that of his Republican competitors in the primaries, according to the New York Times, NBC News reported.

Kurt Bardella, Breitbart's former spokesman, said that by setting up a narrative that the media are corrupt, he's building the foundation for another business venture. 

"Everything he says and does — and this has been the case for weeks — has been laying down the case for the rationale for a Trump TV," Bardella said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump, Clinton Trade Insults at Dinner]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:14:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DINNER_AP_16295003411913.jpg Bitter presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had one more face-to-face showdown before Election Day. They tried to make it funny but plenty of the jokes bombed, and some even earned scattered boos. Watch each of the candidates' roasts in their entirety here.

Photo Credit: AP ]]>
<![CDATA[Dem Group to Warn Millennials Third-Party Vote Helps Trump]]> Fri, 21 Oct 2016 07:42:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/johnson-stein.jpg

A deep-pocketed environmental group aligned with Hillary Clinton will blanket 1.1 million households in battleground states with mailers warning millennials that a vote for a third-party candidate only helps Donald Trump, the group told NBC News.

The League of Conservation Voters plans to spend $2.6 million before Election Day, most of which will go towards their efforts to prevent Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein — polling at about 7 percent and 3 percent, respectively — from siphoning votes away from Clinton.

"There are high stakes for young voters in this election, including the opportunity to meet the climate crisis head-on, and they overwhelmingly dislike Trump. But some may still be leaning towards a third-party candidate instead of Hillary," said LCV National Campaigns Director Clay Schroers. "This is a group of young people who don't want to risk a Trump presidency, and it's important that they know that a vote for anyone but Hillary is a vote for Trump."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fact Check: Trump and Clinton's Debate Claims]]> Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:27:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/US-Debate-Fact-Check-CR-147697937763800001.jpg Donald Trump painted an inaccurately dark portrait of manufacturing in America while Hillary Clinton stretched credulity in boasting that her spending plans won't add to the country's debt. Associated Press writer Chris Rugaber breaks down those claims and more.]]> <![CDATA[Karena Virginia Accuses Trump of Groping Her at 1998 US Open]]> Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:01:08 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trump-accuser-karena-virginia-147697857243500001.jpg Karena Virginia said Trump touched her breast while she was waiting for a car after attending the US Open tennis tournament in Queens in 1998.]]> <![CDATA[Fact Checking the Final Presidential Debate]]> Thu, 20 Oct 2016 07:53:04 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16294052406753.jpg

The third — and final — presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump was held Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and moderated by Fox News’ Chris Wallace. We found plenty of factual inaccuracies:

  • Trump defended his recent claims about rampant voter fraud by citing a Pew Charitable Trust report that found millions of errors in voter registration rolls but didn’t allege any actual voting violations.
  • Trump falsely claimed that allegations of sexual harassment against him “have been largely debunked.” Trump has eight female accusers. In one case, a man claiming to be an eyewitness offered a conflicting account without providing evidence.
  • Trump also denied calling any of his accusers unattractive. But he implied it when he told his supporters, “Yeah, I’m gonna go after her. Believe me, she would not be my first choice.”
  • Clinton accused Trump of threatening to deport “undocumented workers” during the Trump Tower project in 1980. There is no evidence that Trump made such threats.
  • Clinton claimed she opposed a 2008 Supreme Court decision striking the Washington, D.C., handgun ban, because the city was trying “to protect toddlers from guns.” But she didn’t make that distinction last year in speaking at a private fundraiser.
  • Trump wrongly said that $6 billion was “missing” from the State Department when Clinton was secretary of state. The State Department Office of the Inspector General said that department records of $6 billion in contracts — not the money — were missing or incomplete.
  • Trump said the federal debt had doubled to $20 trillion under Obama. Clinton said annual deficits had been cut by two-thirds. Both were straining the facts.
  • Clinton and Trump disagreed about what Trump had said about more countries getting nuclear weapons. Clinton was closer to the truth. Trump did say perhaps Japan and South Korea should have nuclear weapons to protect themselves.
  • Trump falsely claimed that billionaire investor Warren Buffett, a Clinton supporter, did “the same thing” Trump did to avoid paying federal income taxes. Buffett said that’s not true and that he has “paid federal income tax every year since 1944.”
  • Trump and Wallace disagreed over whether Trump used money from his own foundation to settle his lawsuits. Trump did.
  • Each candidate misrepresented the other’s position on abortion. Trump suggested Clinton supported abortions on the “final day” of pregnancy, when she’s open to some late-term restrictions. Clinton said Trump favored “some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions.” He quickly walked back that comment months ago.
  • Trump implied a link between Chicago’s tough gun laws and gun violence in the city. But the opposite correlation — fewer gun laws and higher rates of gun deaths — has been shown, and a causation between the two factors is impossible to prove.

And there were more claims that we have fact-checked before: on NAFTA, NATO, hacking, Iraq and more.

Note to Readers: Staff writer D’Angelo Gore was at the debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This story was written by Gore with the help of the entire staff, based in the Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., areas.


Voter Fraud

Trump defended his recent claims about rampant voter fraud by citing a Pew Charitable Trust report that found millions of people whose voter registrations contained errors. But that’s not evidence of voter fraud, nor does the report allege wrongdoing. Rather, the Pew report said that it is evidence of the need to upgrade voter registration systems.

In fact, numerous voting experts told us that in-person voter fraud is rare.

In light of Trump’s recent comments about a “rigged” election process, Wallace asked Trump if he would accept the results of the election. Trump responded that he would ” look at it at the time.” Trump then went on to cite the Pew report as evidence of voter fraud.

Trump: If you look at your voter rolls, you will see millions of people that are registered to vote, millions. This isn’t coming from me, it’s coming from Pew report and other places. Millions of people that are registered to vote, that shouldn’t be registered to vote.

In a speech in Wisconsin on Oct. 17, Trump cited the same report as evidence that “people that have died 10 years ago are still voting.” That’s not what the report says.

The report, “Inaccurate, Costly and Inefficient: Evidence That America’s Voter Registration System Needs an Upgrade,” found that approximately 24 million voter registrations in the United States “are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate.” It also found that “more than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters” and “approximately 2.75 million people have registrations in more than one state.” The report found that these inaccuracies could feed the “perception” that the system “could be susceptible to fraud.” But it did not allege that such voter fraud was occurring.

Indeed, researchers say voter fraud involving ballots cast on behalf of deceased voters is rare, as are instances of people voting in numerous states. In the case of “dead people” voting — typically determined by matching voting records to Social Security death records — a bit of digging almost always reveals these cases to be due to clerical errors or as a result of people who legally voted via absentee ballots or the early voting process but later died before Election Day, said Lorraine Minnite, a professor at Rutgers University and author of “The Myth of Voter Fraud.”

“There are a handful of known cases in which documentation shows that votes have been cast in the names of voters who have died before the vote was submitted,” wrote Justin Levitt in a 2007 report, “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” for the Brennan Center for Justice. “It is far more common, however, to see unfounded allegations of epidemic voting from beyond the grave.”

Many election experts say the kind of voter fraud Trump is talking about — voter impersonation — is extremely rare, and not enough to tip even a close presidential election. And there is plenty of research to back that up.

A December 2006 report by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission interviewed more than two dozen researchers and experts on voter fraud and intimidation, including Minnite. That report concluded that “impersonation of voters is probably the least frequent type of fraud because it is the most likely type of fraud to be discovered, there are stiff penalties associated with this type of fraud, and it is an inefficient method of influencing an election.”

We took an in-depth look at this issue and others raised by Trump regarding voter fraud in our story “Trump’s Bogus Voter Fraud Claims.”

Trump’s Female Accusers

Trump has been accused by eight women of sexual harassment — all of them stepping forward after an Oct. 8 story in the Washington Post about a video that shows Trump boasting of groping women and forcing himself on them.

During the debate, Trump denied the allegations and claimed “those stories have been largely debunked.”

Trump: Well, first of all, those stories have been largely debunked. Those people — I don’t know those people.

First of all, Trump does know some of his accusers. They include Natasha Stoynoff, a People magazine writer who wrote that Trump pushed her against a wall and forcibly kissed her on the mouth during a 2005 interview, and Summer Zervos, a former “Apprentice” contestant who claimed Trump “very aggressively” kissed her and “placed his hand on my breast” at a hotel in 2007. (CNN has compiled a list of his accusers.)

We asked the Trump campaign what evidence it has that the allegations made by the eight women “have been largely debunked.” But the campaign had a response for only two of the eight cases, including the allegations made by Zervos.

In Zervos’ case, the Trump campaign put out a statement by John Barry, who said he is a first cousin of Zervos. The statement does not debunk Zervos’ allegations; it merely questions them. Barry said he was “completely shocked and bewildered” by Zervos’ allegations, because in the past “she has had nothing but glowing things to say about Mr. Trump.”

The Trump campaign also pointed us to a man who challenged the story of Jessica Leeds, who claimed that Trump kissed and groped her on a plane more than three decades ago. In that case, the New York Post reported that the Trump campaign arranged an interview with Anthony Gilberthorpe, a 54-year-old British man who claimed to be on the plane with Trump and Leeds.

Gilberthorpe told the Post that he saw nothing inappropriate between the two during the flight and that Leeds “was the one being flirtatious.”

The New York Post also wrote, “Gilberthorpe has no evidence to back up his claim — just his self-described excellent memory.” It also noted that Gilberthorpe “made headlines in 2014, when he went public with a claim that as a 17-year-old he procured boys (some who “could have been” underage”) for sex parties with high-ranking British politicians.”

We also note that six people have stepped forward to corroborate Stoynoff’s story of Trump’s unwanted sexual advances and contact. One of those people — Stoynoff’s former journalism professor Paul McLaughlin — “says that the writer called him in tears looking for advice the very night of the harrowing encounter. However, he cautioned her to remain quiet in fear of how Trump may retaliate,” People wrote in a follow-up story.

The accusations by Leeds and Stoynoff also factored into another debate exchange when Trump denied that he ever described any of his accusers as “not attractive.”

Clinton: Well, he held a number of big rallies where he said that he could not possibly have done those things to those women because they were not attractive enough for them to be assaulted.

Trump: I did not say that. I did not say that.

Trump may not have used the words “not attractive,” but in denying their accounts he told supporters that Leeds “would not be my first choice” and urged them to visit Stoynoff’s Facebook page if they did not believe his denials. “Check out her Facebook page — you’ll understand,” he said.

Trump Tower Laborers

In a discussion about people who live and work illegally in the U.S., Clinton made the unsupported claim that Trump threatened to deport “undocumented workers” who complained about low wages during the construction of Trump Tower.

Clinton: Now, what I am also arguing is that bringing undocumented immigrants out from the shadows, putting them into the formal economy will be good, because then employers can’t exploit them and undercut Americans’ wages.

And Donald knows a lot about this. He used undocumented labor to build the Trump Tower. He underpaid undocumented workers, and when they complained, he basically said what a lot of employers do: “You complain, I’ll get you deported.”

Clinton gets her facts wrong.

As we have written before, Trump was sued in 1983 by union workers who accused him of shortchanging their welfare fund by hiring undocumented workers to help demolish a building in New York City as part of the Trump Tower project.

The New York Times wrote that Trump testified in 1990 that he did not know the workers were in the country illegally and he did not hire them. He said the demolition project and the hiring for it was handled by a subcontractor, Kaszycki & Sons Contractors.

The Times article said the subcontractor hired about 200 undocumented workers and paid them $4 to $5 per hour — far less than the $11 per hour minimum wage that should have been paid to union workers.

The Clinton campaign refers on its website to a story last year by the Daily Beast that says some undocumented workers complained to Trump about not being paid. But the story also said that Trump testified that he did not recall speaking to the demolition workers, and it does not support Clinton’s claim that Trump threatened to deport the workers.

“During the 16-day non-jury trial, a number of the Polish workers testified that Trump underlings had threatened them with deportation if they caused trouble,” the Daily Beast wrote.

The website did not explain the term “Trump underlings” and whether they were Trump employees or subcontractors. Either way, there is no evidence that Trump himself told workers, “You complain, I’ll get you deported.”

Footnote: A federal judge in 1991 ruled against the Trump Organization and its partner in the project, the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. The judge ordered the plaintiffs to be paid $325,415 plus interest. Trump appealed that decision, and the case was settled in 1999 for an undisclosed sum.

Not Just Toddlers

Clinton claimed she was just sticking up for “toddlers” when she said in 2015 that “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get.”

Clinton: [W]hat I was saying … was that I disagreed with the way the court applied the Second Amendment in that case, because what the District of Columbia was trying to do was to protect toddlers from guns and so they wanted people with guns to safely store them. And the court didn’t accept that reasonable regulation, but they’ve accepted many others.

The core holding in the court’s landmark 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller was that the city’s total ban on possession of handguns violated the Second Amendment, and that the amendment conferred on individuals a right to bear arms for self-defense.

“In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment,” then-Chief Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the 5-4 majority.

As a secondary matter, the decision also struck down a D.C. requirement than any lawful firearms kept at home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock at all times. Scalia wrote that this prohibition rendered any lawful firearm in the home inoperable for the purpose of immediate self-defense, and also violated the Second Amendment.

But Clinton made no such fine distinction when she spoke in 2015 at a small, private fundraising event in New York City, when she simply said the Supreme Court was “wrong on the Second Amendment.”

Audio of her remarks later was made public. In that private event, she said, “I’m going to speak out, I’m going to do everything I can to rally people against this pernicious, corrupting influence of the NRA [National Rifle Association] and we’re going to do whatever we can.”

That was when she was facing an unexpectedly stiff primary challenge from the left by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom she criticized for voting against gun legislation opposed by the NRA.

State Department ‘Missing’ $6 Billion?

Trump said that $6 billion was “missing” from the State Department when Clinton was secretary of state. That’s inaccurate.

Trump: The problem is you talk, but you don’t get anything done, Hillary. You don’t. Just like when you ran the State Department. $6 billion was missing. How do you miss $6 billion? You ran the State Department, $6 billion was either stolen — they don’t know, it’s gone — $6 billion! If you become president, this country is going to be in some mess. Believe me.

We reached out to the Trump campaign to get the source of his claim, but we did not hear back.

Trump may be referring to reports about a management alert issued by the State Department Office of the Inspector General in March 2014. The alert said that the OIG found that, in the previous six years, the State Department had failed to maintain the complete records of more than $6 billion in government contracts.

Office of Inspector General, March 20, 2014: The Office of Inspector General (OIG), in recent audits, investigations, and inspections, has identified significant vulnerabilities in the management of contract file documentation that could expose the Department to substantial financial losses. Specifically, over the past 6 years, OIG has identified Department of State (Department) contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located at all. The failure to maintain contract files adequately creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions.

But State Department Inspector General Steve Linick said that his office’s report did not say that $6 billion was “missing.”

In a letter to the editor of the Washington Post in April 2014, Linick wrote:

Linick, April 13, 2014: The April 3 news article “State Department’s IG issues rare alert” reported on the management alert issued recently by my office. In the alert, we identified State Department contracts with a total value of more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located. The Post stated, “The State Department’s inspector general has warned the department that $6 billion in contracting money over the past six years cannot be properly accounted for . . . .

Some have concluded based on this that $6 billion is missing. The alert, however, did not draw that conclusion. Instead, it found that the failure to adequately maintain contract files — documents necessary to ensure the full accounting of U.S. tax dollars — “creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions.”

So it was the records of the $6 billion that were either incomplete or missing, not the money.

Furthermore, the Washington Post Fact Checker found that most of the faulty paperwork concerned contracts that were issued when George W. Bush was president.

Debt and Deficit

Trump said the federal debt had doubled to $20 trillion under Obama. Clinton said annual deficits had been cut by two-thirds. Both were straining the facts.

Trump: [D]uring President Obama’s regime, we’ve doubled our national debt. We’re up to $20 trillion.

Clinton: When President Obama came into office, he inherited the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. He has cut the deficit by two-thirds.

First, the debt. Total federal debt hasn’t quite yet reached $20 trillion, and it hasn’t doubled.

It was just under $19.77 trillion as of Oct. 18. That is 86 percent higher than it was when Obama took office. That figure includes money the government essentially owes to itself.

The figure that has doubled — but only to $14.3 trillion — is the more economically important sum that the federal government owes to the public. It’s up 126 percent.

Clinton’s claim is also inflated. The deficit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 went onto the Treasury Department’s books officially at $587.4 billion.

And that’s a reduction of less than 59 percent — not 66 percent — from the fiscal year 2009 deficit of $1.417 trillion

Furthermore, as we’ve documented elsewhere, Obama didn’t inherit all of that FY 2009 deficit from his predecessor. During his first months in office, he signed spending measures that contributed as much as $203 billion to FY 2009’s red ink. Adjusting for that, we calculate that the deficit last fiscal year was down only 51 percent from the amount Obama inherited.

Nuclear Quotes

Clinton claimed that Trump “advocated more countries getting” nuclear weapons, including “Japan, Korea, even Saudi Arabia.” Trump countered that “all I said is, we have to renegotiate these agreements, because our country cannot afford to defend Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, and many other places.” But Trump did say that perhaps Japan and South Korea should have nuclear weapons to protect themselves.

Here’s that exchange, edited:

Clinton: I find it ironic that he’s raising nuclear weapons. This is a person who has been very cavalier, even casual about the use of nuclear weapons. He’s …

Trump: Wrong.

Clinton: … advocated more countries getting them, Japan, Korea, even Saudi Arabia. He said, well, if we have them, why don’t we use them, which I think is terrifying. …

Trump: All I said is, we have to renegotiate these agreements, because our country cannot afford to defend Saudi Arabia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, and many other places. We cannot continue to afford — she took that as saying nuclear weapons. …

Look, she’s been proven to be a liar on so many different ways. This is just another lie.

Clinton: Well, I’m just quoting you when you were asked …

Trump: There’s no quote. You’re not going to find a quote from me.

Clinton: … about a potential nuclear — nuclear competition in Asia, you said, you know, go ahead, enjoy yourselves, folks. That kind…

Trump: And defend yourselves.

Clinton: … of language — well…

Trump: And defend yourselves. I didn’t say nuclear. And defend yourself.

Let’s start with what Trump did say about Japan and South Korea and nuclear weapons. He’s wrong to claim that “there’s no quote” from him on that topic, and he has gone beyond saying only “we have to renegotiate these agreements.” Clinton “took that as saying nuclear weapons,” as Trump says, because Trump in fact mentioned nuclear weapons.

In an April 3 interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, Trump said:

Trump, April 3: So, North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that. Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea.

Wallace: With nukes?

Trump: Maybe they would be better off — including with nukes, yes, including with nukes.

The New York Times had reported about a week prior that Trump had told the newspaper that “he would be open to allowing Japan and South Korea to build their own nuclear arsenals rather than depend on the American nuclear umbrella for their protection against North Korea and China.”

On March 29, Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper: “I don’t want more nuclear weapons,” but also said, “wouldn’t you rather in a certain sense have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons?” Here’s more of that exchange:

Trump, March 29: At some point we have to say, you know what, we’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we’re better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself, we have…

Cooper: Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons?

Trump: Saudi Arabia, absolutely.

Cooper: You would be fine with them having nuclear weapons?

Trump: No, not nuclear weapons, but they have to protect themselves or they have to pay us.

Here’s the thing, with Japan, they have to pay us or we have to let them protect themselves.

Cooper: So if you said, Japan, yes, it’s fine, you get nuclear weapons, South Korea, you as well, and Saudi Arabia says we want them, too?

Trump: Can I be honest with you? It’s going to happen, anyway. It’s going to happen anyway. It’s only a question of time. They’re going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely.

But you have so many countries already, China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia, you have so many countries right now that have them.

Now, wouldn’t you rather in a certain sense have Japan have nuclear weapons when North Korea has nuclear weapons? And they do have them. They absolutely have them. They can’t – they have no carrier system yet but they will very soon.

Wouldn’t you rather have Japan, perhaps, they’re over there, they’re very close, they’re very fearful of North Korea, and we’re supposed to protect.

Cooper: So you’re saying you don’t want more nuclear weapons in the world but you’re OK with Japan and South Korea having nuclear weapons?

Trump: I don’t want more nuclear weapons.

So, yes, there are plenty of quotes from Trump suggesting that he would be OK with other countries, specifically Japan and South Korea, having nuclear weapons.

But the one quote that Clinton mentions in this exchange isn’t as clear. She said that Trump said of “nuclear competition in Asia”: “Go ahead, enjoy yourselves, folks.”

Trump said that in an April 2 campaign appearance in Wausau, Wisconsin, in talking about Japan and North Korea potentially fighting.

Trump, April 2: We’re protecting Japan from North Korea. … I would say to Japan you gotta help us out. … And I would rather have them not arm. But I’m not going to continue to lose this tremendous amount of money. And frankly, the case could be made, that let them protect themselves against North Korea. They’d probably wipe them out pretty quick. And if they fight, you know what, that would be a terrible thing, terrible. “Good luck folks, enjoy yourself.” If they fight, that would be terrible, right? But if they do, they do.

Clinton also said that Trump said of nuclear weapons, “Well, if we have them, why don’t we use them.” That’s according to MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and based on an anonymous source, not a verified quote from Trump. Scarborough said in early August that an anonymous source, “a foreign policy expert” who “went to advise Donald Trump” several months earlier, had said that Trump three times asked “if we had them why can’t we use them.” The Trump campaign denied that account.

Trump’s and Buffett’s Taxes

Trump falsely claimed that billionaire investor Warren Buffett — who supports Clinton — did the same thing Trump did to avoid paying federal income taxes.

Clinton first said Trump “has not paid a penny in federal income tax,” a statement Trump did not deny during the debate. Instead he tried shifting the blame to Clinton:

Trump: So let me just tell you very quickly, we’re entitled because of the laws that people like her passed to take massive amounts of depreciation on other charges, and we do it. And all of her donors — just about all of them — I know Buffett took hundreds of millions of dollars. … Most of her donors have done the same thing as I do.

What Trump did of course, as recently reported, was to claim a $916 million loss on his 1995 tax returns, which could erase any federal income-tax liability for as many as 18 years through what are called loss carryforwards. Trump refuses to release his own federal income-tax returns, but he hasn’t denied that he was able to pay zero federal income taxes for many years while amassing a net worth he claims to be over $10 billion.

But he’s wrong to accuse Buffett of doing “the same thing.” Buffett has said publicly that’s not true, and that he has never claimed a loss carryforward like Trump’s in any of his tax returns since the first one he filed as a teenager in 1944. He also said he’s never reduced his tax bill to zero.

Buffett, Oct. 10: I have paid federal income tax every year since 1944, when I was 13. (Though, being a slow starter, I owed only $7 in tax that year.) I have copies of all 72 of my returns and none uses a carryforward.

Trump Foundation

Trump and Wallace disagreed over whether Trump used money from his own foundation to settle his lawsuits. Trump did.

Trump claimed that the money from his foundation “goes 100 percent — 100 percent goes to different charities.” Wallace responded, “Wasn’t some of the money used to settle your lawsuits, sir?”

Wallace went on to explain that Trump settled a lawsuit with Palm Beach with money from his foundation. Trump replied that “the money that you’re talking about went to Fisher House, where they build houses for veterans and disabled vets.”

In fact, the lawsuit Trump faced from Palm Beach is one example of him using foundation money to settle his business legal issues. In 2007, he paid $258,000 from his foundation to settle various lawsuits, one of which was a settlement with the town of Palm Beach, Florida, over the height of a flagpole at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club, the Washington Post reported.

Here are other ways that Trump spent his foundation’s money on noncharitable causes and groups, according to the Post‘s reporting:

  • In 2013, the foundation gave $25,000 to a political group connected to Florida’s attorney general, Pam Bondi. This year Trump paid a $2,500 penalty to the IRS because of the improper gift, according to Jeffrey McConney, a senior vice president and controller at the Trump Organization.
  • The foundation also famously paid $10,000 for a portrait of Trump, which ended up on the wall of a Florida golf course he owns outside Miami. (A spokesman said Trump was doing the foundation a favor by “storing” it there.)
  • The foundation also paid $20,000 for another, six-foot-tall portrait of Trump reportedly shipped to another of Trump’s golf courses in Briarcliff Manor, New York.

Positions on Abortion

Each candidate misrepresented the other’s position on abortion.

Trump claimed that “based on what [Clinton’s] saying … you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day.” But Clinton has said she’s open to restrictions on late-term abortions, with exceptions for cases involving the mother’s health issues. Clinton claimed Trump said “there should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions.” He said that, but quickly walked back the comment.

We’ll start with the issue of late-term abortions. First off, they are rare. As we wrote in September 2015, 1.2 percent of all the abortions in the United States occur after 20 weeks gestation, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which conducts research on reproductive health.

Second, Daniel Grossman, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco told our fact-checking colleagues at Politifact: “Nobody would talk about abortion on the woman’s due date. If the mother’s life was at risk, the treatment for that is delivery, and the baby survives.” He added, “Medically, it does not compute.”

Trump repeated his claim during the debate three times, first claiming, “If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”

But as we wrote during the eighth GOP debate in February, “It is certainly true that Clinton has been a staunch defender of abortion rights. But Clinton has said she’s open to restrictions on late-term abortions, provided exceptions would be given when the health and life of the mother are an issue.”

So Trump skewed Clinton’s position on late-term abortions.

But Clinton also misrepresented Trump’s current position. She claimed that Trump said “there should be some form of punishment for women who obtain abortions.”

He did say that, but he also walked back that statement only hours later.

On March 30, Trump told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that women who get abortions should receive “some form of punishment” if the procedure is banned in the United States. He also added that the man who impregnates the woman should not be responsible under the law for the abortion.

But on the same day, he put out a statement recanting the punishment claim.

Trump, March 30: If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed — like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.

Gun Laws and Gun Violence

When asked about his opposition to gun control measures, Trump said that Chicago “has the toughest gun laws in the United States” and yet “more gun violence than any other city.” That implies a causation between gun laws and gun violence that’s impossible to prove. And even such a correlation is disputed by statistics showing the opposite: that states with fewer gun laws have more gun deaths.

The relationship between gun laws and gun crimes isn’t clear-cut, as Trump suggests.

Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump about his opposition to measures such as limits on assault weapons and limits on high capacity magazines. Trump responded:

Trump: Well let me just tell you before we go any further, in Chicago, which has the toughest gun laws in the United States — probably you could say by far — they have more gun violence than any other city. So we have the toughest laws and you have tremendous gun violence.

We looked at this issue of gun laws and gun violence last year, when GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina also singled out Chicago, saying: “That is why you see in state after state after state with some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation also having the highest gun crime rates in the nation. Chicago would be an example.” And we looked at the research again when Sen. Ted Cruz claimed that most “jurisdictions with the worst murder rates” have “the very strictest gun control laws.”

We found both were wrong in stating there was such a clear correlation.

Using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data on firearm death rates for 2013, we found nine of the 10 states with the highest firearm death rates got an “F” for their gun laws, and one got a “D-” from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. And seven of the 10 states with the lowest gun death rates got a “B” or higher.

But homicide rate statistics — with 70 percent of homicides by firearm — didn’t show the same pattern. Eight of the 10 states with the highest homicide rates and eight of the 10 states with the lowest homicide rates all got “D” or “F” grades from the Brady Campaign analysis.

Some research has found a correlation between more gun laws and lower gun fatalities —#8212; but not a causation. For instance, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health looked at all 50 states from 2007 to 2010, concluding: “A higher number of firearm laws in a state are associated with a lower rate of firearm fatalities in the state, overall and for suicides and homicides individually.” But the study said that it couldn’t determine cause-and-effect.

In fact, it’s likely impossible to determine causation, as we’ve also written before. A scientific random study, in which one group of people had guns or permissive gun laws, and another group didn’t, can’t be done.

As for a correlation between gun laws and gun deaths in cities, an August 2013 CDC report found that for 2009-2010, the top gun murder rate areas, among the 50 most populous metropolitan areas, were: New Orleans, Memphis, Detroit, Birmingham, St. Louis, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Chicago. Six of those cities are in states with poor scores for their gun laws, while the other four get a “C” or better. Chicago — the last among the top 10 at the time — had a ban on handguns then, so its gun laws were even tougher then than they are now.

In other words, there’s no discernible pattern among those cities.

Also, while Chicago is often noted for a high number of murders, other cities have a higher murder rate — adjusted for population. The city ranked 35th in 2014 in terms of its murder rate among cities with a population of 100,000 or more.

And There Were Repeats — Again

As in all the other general election debates, the candidates repeated claims we’ve checked before:

NAFTA: Trump repeated again, like in the last debate, that the North American Free Trade Agreement was “signed by her husband,” referring to President Bill Clinton. NAFTA was negotiated and signed by President George H.W. Bush. Clinton signed the implementing legislation. Trump also said “jobs are being sucked out of our economy” because of the trade agreement, but a 2015 report from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service called the net impact “relatively modest,” saying “NAFTA did not cause the huge job losses feared by the critics or the large economic gains predicted by supporters.”

Father’s loans to Trump: Trump and Clinton disagreed on the size of the loan Trump took from his father to start his business. Trump said, “I started with a $1 million loan,” while Clinton claimed he borrowed “$14 million from his father to start his business.” As we noted when this was brought up during the first debate, Clinton is right and Trump is wrong. According to the Wall Street Journal, “a casino-license disclosure in 1985 … shows Mr. Trump taking out numerous loans from his father and his father’s properties near the start of his career in the late 1970s and early 1980s,” which totaled around $14 million. As Politico points out, that’s $31 million in today’s dollars. And as we wrote during the 11th GOP debate, these loans included more than $3 million illegally transferred to the Trump Castle Casino in Atlantic City in poker chips in 1990. To top it off, Trump’s father also co-guaranteed the construction loan on his first Manhattan project, the Grand Hyatt. So Trump sells his father’s contributions short by a long shot.

Iraq War: As he did in the first and second debates, Trump denied that he supported the invasion of Iraq before it began — interjecting “Wrong!” — when confronted by Clinton. Trump indicated his support for war in a radio interview with Howard Stern on Sept. 11, 2002 — a little more than six months before the war started. Stern asked Trump directly if he supported going to war with Iraq, and Trump hesitantly responded, “Yeah, I guess so.” Trump has in the past cited a January 2003 TV interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. In the TV interview, Trump told Cavuto that President Bush needed to make a decision on Iraq. “Either you attack or you don’t attack,” he says. But he offered no opinion on what Bush should do. We have found no evidence that Trump was publicly against the Iraq War before it began.

Hacked emails: As she did in the second presidential debate, Clinton claimed that “cyberattacks” on email systems, including that of the Democratic National Committee “come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election.” And Trump again contested her assessment, saying, “She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China, or anybody else” and that “our country has no idea.” As we wrote after the second debate, the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security issued a joint statement on Oct. 7 saying they were “confident” that recent hacks into the email systems of the Democratic Party were directed by the Russian government. And, they wrote, “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.” A senior U.S. intelligence official told NBC News that both Clinton and Trump have been briefed extensively about the U.S. intelligence community’s evidence pointing to culpability by the Russian government. “To profess not to know at this point is willful misrepresentation,” the official said.

Clinton’s tax plan: Trump said there would be a “massive, massive tax increase” under Clinton’s tax plan that would “raise taxes and even double your taxes.” But the tax increases Clinton has proposed would fall almost entirely on the top 10 percent of taxpayers, according to analyses by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and the pro-business Tax Foundation. Hardest hit would be the less than 0.1 percent of taxpayers who earn more than $5 million per year. “Nearly all of the tax increases would fall on the highest-income 1 percent; on average, low- and middle-income households would see small increases in after-tax income,” the Tax Policy Center concluded.

Trump on health care premiums: Trump said that Obamacare “premiums are going up 60, 70, 80 percent,” predicting that they would “go up over 100 percent” next year. These are cherry-picked facts. Some insurers have requested high 2017 premium rates, but the rates vary across states. The Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed preliminary rates in cities in 16 states and Washington, D.C., and found the second-lowest cost silver plan would increase by a weighted average of 9 percent from this year if the rates hold. Additionally, 80 percent of people buying exchange plans receive government subsidies that lower their premium costs.

Open borders: Trump repeatedly claimed Clinton “wants to have open borders,” which Clinton called “a rank mischaracterization.” Wallace asked Clinton to explain comments she made to a Brazilian bank — revealed via WikiLeaks — that “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.” But as Clinton noted, that wasn’t the whole quote. It continues: “… some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.” Clinton said she was “talking about energy. … And I do want us to have an electric grid, an energy system that crosses borders.” In fact, Clinton said at the debate, “I have been for border security for years. I voted for border security in the United States Senate. And my comprehensive immigration reform plan of course includes border security.” We have found all of that to be true. Her campaign website says she supports “humane, targeted immigration enforcement,” and that she would “focus enforcement resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety.”

NATO: Clinton claimed that Trump is “willing to … break up NATO.” Trump did say NATO is obsolete or may be, because it does not focus enough on terrorism. He also previously suggested in an interview with the New York Times in July that he would not automatically defend NATO allies that do not pay their share of defense costs. But he hasn’t said that the international security alliance should be eliminated, even though he once said that he would “certainly look at” leaving NATO. More recently, during the first presidential debate, Trump said that he is “all for NATO.” And Trump has since said, “When I am president, we will strengthen NATO.”

ISIS: Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton “gave us ISIS” — referring to the terrorist Islamic State. He claimed Clinton and President Obama “created this huge vacuum” when the U.S. left Iraq in 2011. That may be a contributing factor, but as we have written the origin of ISIS dates to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the decision to immediately disband the Iraqi army and ban the Baath Party. Experts also cite the rule of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who alienated and radicalized the Sunnis, and the Syrian civil war that provided the space for ISIS to grow in 2011.

Clinton emails: Trump repeated his claim from the second debate that Clinton “destroyed 33,000 emails criminally, criminally, after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.” Trump is referring to 31,830 emails that Clinton’s lawyers had deemed personal and, as a result, did not have to be turned over to the government. As we have written, the department’s policy allows its employees to determine which emails are work-related and must be preserved. It is true that the emails were deleted after Clinton received a subpoena on March 4, 2015, from a Republican-controlled House committee investigation into the 2012 deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. But there is no evidence that Clinton knew that the emails were deleted after the subpoena was issued. According to FBI notes of its investigation, an employee of Platte River Networks – which at the time was managing Clinton’s private server – deleted the emails in March. Clinton told the FBI that she was not aware that they were deleted in late March 2015. The FBI did not say when Clinton learned when the emails had been deleted.


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Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Refuses to Say He'll Accept Result of Election]]> Thu, 20 Oct 2016 07:22:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16294050561462.jpg

Donald Trump is no longer saying he will accept the result of the presidential election in November, which would be a break from one of the oldest and most fundamental American political traditions.

One of Trump's main talking points at rallies in recent days has been his allegation that the election is being rigged — he has offered no evidence — and debate moderator Chris Wallace asked at Wednesday's debate if he would accept the result on Nov. 8.

"I will look at it at the time," Trump said, suggesting that the media's reporting on the current state of the election is distorted and that Clinton should be disqaulified for office. 

Wallace explained the political tradition that the losers of elections in the United States concede to the winner, keeping the peace, then asked again if Trump would accept the result. Trump said, "I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense."

Hillary Clinton quickly replied to Trump's remark, saying "that's horrifying."

Clinton said that not accepting losses is common for Trump, saying he was even bothered by losing an Emmy — Trump interjected, "Should have gotten it."

"This is how Donald thinks," Clinton said, as some in the audience at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas laughed. "It's funny but it's also really troubling."

Both Trump's daughter, Ivanka, and vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence said earlier Wednesday they believed Trump would accept the result. 

"We'll certainly accept the outcome of this election," Pence said on CNN before the debate.

"I believe he'll accept the outcome either way," Ivanka Trump said at a summit on women in Southern California.

Trump has also said he'll accept the result of the election, but his new response — the culmination of days of complaints about the election being rigged — marked a major and possibly unprecedented change in American politics.

Immediately after the debate, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told NBC's Hallie Jackson that Trump will accept the results of the election. He later released a statement that did not mention the controversy, but called Trump "the only candidate ready to shake up Washington and give a voice back to the American people."

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway reacted to the remark on MSNBC by saying Trump would accept the results because he will win. When Chris Matthews pressed her on what would happen if he lost, she pointed to Al Gore challenging the 2000 election results in Florida — though Gore sought a recount only when the vote totals showed a margin of less than 2,000 votes, and he never called the result into question beforehand.

The reaction online was swift, with many people, even Trump supporters, repudiating the comment. 

"Based on that answer alone, I hope Mr Trump loses all 50 states. He deserves to. He is attacking democracy itself," tweeted a scholar at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute.

Already not a fan of Trump, Jerry Springer, the former talk show host and mayor of Cincinnati, tweeted that he is "an outrage" for not saying he would accept the election. "Is he planning a coup?"

Photo Credit: John Locher/AP
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<![CDATA['Nasty,' Suspenseful Moments Top the Final Debate]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:46:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trump-clinton-debate-split.jpg

The third presidential debate was to focus on debt and entitlements, immigration, the economy, the Supreme Court, foreign hotspots and fitness to be president — serious and somber topics. 

But that did not factor in the unpredictability of this long and often nasty campaign. In the week and a half since the second debate, Donald Trump was accused of sexual misconduct by nine women, allegations he denies; repeatedly warned of a rigged election without evidence and turned his ire on his party's most senior official, House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, faced questions raised by leaked information supposedly from John Podesta’s emails — made public by WikiLeaks and allegedly stolen by Russian hackers from the Clinton campaign chairman's personal account.

Here are some of the top moments from the final debate before Election Day.

Accepting the Results?
Trump, who has warned of a rigged election that will deny him a victory, refused to say whether he would accept the results of the presidential election.

"I will look at it at the time," he told debate moderator Chris Wallace, provoking a gasp from some in the audience.

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Explaining his stance, he repeated a frequent accusation that the media was corrupt.

"I will tell you at the time," he said. "I'll keep you in suspense."

Clinton called the statement "horrifiying."

'Such a Nasty Woman'
As Clinton discussed how she would continue to finance Medicare and Social Security, she said she would not cut benefits but would raise taxes on the wealthy. Her Social Security payroll contribution would rise, she said.

"As will Donald’s, assuming he can't figure out how to get out of it," she said, in a dig at Trump, who reportedly used a $916 million loss to avoid paying personal federal income tax for years.

"Such a nasty woman," Trump retorted.

Earlier in the debate, Trump said, "no one respects women more than I do," a claim he often makes.

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Sexual Misconduct Returns
Trump denied at the debate that he engaged in any sexual misconduct, after nine women have accused him of doing so in the last 10 days.

"I didn't even apologize to my wife who is sitting right here because I didn't do anything," he said.

He said he believed that Clinton's campaign had gotten the women to step forward together at a politically opportune time. 

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Clinton said his response to the allegations was to mock the appearance of his accusers, saying they were not attractive enough or not his first choice.

"Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger," she said.

Trump pivoted to a charge that Clinton had illegally destroyed emails on her private server.

Clinton, for her part, avoided a question about whether what her husband had done was worse.

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'We Need a Wall'
Trump promoted one of his biggest selling points: building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, which he has said Mexico would pay for. Drugs are flowing across the border, he argued, and he said he would stop it by sending drug dealers back.

"We have some bad hombres here," Trump said.

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Clinton responded that when Trump met with the Mexican president, Enrique Pena Nieto, he failed to raise the issue at all.

"He choked," she said.

Wallace asked Clinton about a speech that she had made to a Brazilian bank in which she dreamed of open borders — to which Clinton responded that she was talking about energy and an electric grid.

In a tit for tat, Trump taunted Clinton with wanting a wall but failing to get one built because, he said, she never got anything done.

Clinton argued that she voted for a border security plan that called for wall in some places and then accused Trump of using undocumented labor to build Trump Tower. Anyone who complained was threatened with deportation, she said.

Who's Putin's Puppet?
When the hacking of Clinton's emails came up at the debate, the conversation quickly pivoted to the leader of Russia, and Trump and Clinton debated who Vladimir Putin really wants as president.

Trump repeated a frequent refrain from his stump speeches: "Wouldn't it be nice if we got along with Russia?" Then he said that Putin "has no respect for [Clinton], he has no respect for our president."

Clinton countered that Russia and the U.S. would get along with Trump as president "because he'd rather have a puppet as president."

"You're the puppet," Trump parried.

The candidates talked over one another, before Wallace interjected to ask if Trump would condemn Russia if they did hack a Clinton campaign email, as the Obama administration has said.

"Of course I condemn. I don't know Putin," Trump replied, then continued, "Putin has outsmarted her or Obama at every single step of the way."

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No Handshakes
The debate began on a less than cordial note. As they did at the second debate, the candidates stepped behind their lecterns without a handshake.

It ended the same way. Clinton stepped forward to shake Wallace's hand, then straight into the crowd. Meanwhile, Trump waited behind his lectern.

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New Contentious Guests
Trump again invited some uncomfortable guests for the Clinton side, among them Leslie Millwee, a former Arkansas television reporter who has come forward to accuse Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting her while he was the state’s governor in 1980. An interview with Millwee was published on the right-wing website Breitbart on Wednesday. At Sunday's debate, Trump showcased three other women who have accused Clinton of sexual misconduct: Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick.

Other guests invited by Trump to attend the Wednesday debate in Las Vegas: former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Patricia Smith, the mother of an American killed in Benghazi, Libya, during the 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound. Smith, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, has said she holds Clinton accountable for "murdering" her son Sean.

The potential embarrassment for the Clintons reportedly prompted organizers to change the way the families would enter the debate hall so as to avoid any awkward handshakes.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Presidential Debate Fact Check — in Real Time]]> Thu, 20 Oct 2016 06:24:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-589473806-debate.jpg

The third presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is being held in Las Vegas Wednesday night. Watch the event above live at 9 p.m. ET, and follow along below as FactCheck.org and PolitiFact fact check the candidates' statements in real time.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Could Quickly Build a TV Network: Expert]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 18:05:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16288684509624-Donald-Trump-North-Carolina-Rally.jpg

Donald Trump could soon be hitting your TV screen more often than you thought.

The Republican presidential candidate’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly met with an investment firm to discuss the possibility of a Trump TV network, according to NBC News.

Even though Variety later cited sources saying the meetings didn’t go anywhere — and Trump has denied "a false rumor" he wants his own TV station — it sparked speculation that Trump will try to capitalize on the influence he gained from his presidential run.

And an industry expert said that these meetings don’t have to be the end of his bid; there are alternatives. New, low-cost streaming models could put a Trump TV Network on air in three months.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Ivanka Trump: 'I'm Not a Surrogate' for Donald Trump]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:43:40 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/615654550-Ivanka-Trump-Fortune-Women-Surrogate.jpg

Ivanka Trump appeared to distance herself from her father's presidential run Wednesday, saying hours before Wednesday's debate that she is not a surrogate for Donald Trump or a "campaign mastermind."

"No, I'm not a surrogate, I'm a daughter," Trump said at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit in Dana Point, California. Her role is a private one, she said, at a time when sexual misconduct allegations have dragged down Donald Trump's poll numbers nationwide and reporters.

Ivanka Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, has been one of Trump's closest advisers, and she, two of her brothers and her half sister all spoke at July's Republican National Convention, and they are sometimes asked about his run for the White House.

At Wednesday's summit, in fact, Trump was asked what her father said to her about the lewd 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape that recently surfaced showing him telling Billy Bush he can do anything he wants to women because he is famous.

Ivanka Trump, who has already called the comments offensive, didn't say what Trump told her in private, but said she's "certainly not sheepish" about sharing her personal opinions with her father.

Nevertheless, her involvement with the Trump campaign hasn't only been private. Besides her RNC speech, she helped roll out Donald Trump's child care policy, an issue she has long cared about.

But she said Wednesday that issue is the exception, and that she dismisses the idea she is a surrogate.

"I don't think it appreciates the role that I'm playing as my father's daughter," she said, adding, "I love him very much, and I'm very, very proud of what he's accomplished, and he's been a great dad to me. But I'm not, I'm not the campaign mastermind, as people love to portray and speculate."

Trump's comments didn't stop her from speaking on behalf of her father on whether he would accept the outcome of the election — "my father is in this to win it," she said, but believes he will accept either winning or losing.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Fortune
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<![CDATA[Paul Ryan Campaigns With Carlos Curbelo in South Florida]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 17:35:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/101916+carlos+curbelo+paul+ryan.jpg

In an effort to hang on to as many Republican congressional seats as possible this November House Speaker Paul Ryan paid a visit to South Florida Wednesday to stump for Congressman Carlos Curbelo.

The politicians visited Caribbean Elementary in South Miami-Dade where they discussed Curbelo's push of the English Language Learners Program.

"So I'm here to learn about how right here you've made the successful education reforms so that you can put young people on the road of upward mobility," Ryan said.

At one point, they visited with students before heading to campaign offices to thank Curbelo volunteers.

"This is your country and your future that you're here fighting for and you are fighting for the right man," Ryan said.

Ryan told the group to forget about what they see on TV and Twitter and to think about the ideas. He left without answering reporter questions.

Curbelo turned one answer into a shot at his opponent, Joe Garcia, when asked about a rigged election and wide-spread voter fraud.

"We don't believe that. We believe in the integrity of our elections," Curbelo said. "However, everyone knows that my opponent's campaign has been convicted of federal crimes and state crimes so it is a very serious issue in our community."

Curbelo shied away from offering opinion on whether Donald Trump turned the election cycle into a circus but called both presidential candidates "the most unpopular in American history."

He was also asked if he'll support his party's candidate on Nov. 8.

"My position on the presidential campaign has been consistent for a very long time and it's not changing today," Curbelo said.

Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Warren Calls Trump a 'Creepy' Bully]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 13:43:09 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Trump-Warren.jpg

Ahead of the final presidential debate, one of Donald Trump's most vocal opponents went on a Twitter rampage targeting the Republican presidential nominee.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren sent out a series of tweets in response to Trump's recent allegations that the election is rigged in favor of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"Give me a break, @realDonaldTrump," Warren said in her first tweet Wednesday. "You're not losing because it's rigged. You're losing because we see through your creepy bullying."

Warren went on to say that anyone with kids knows that whining about imaginary cheating is "the last refuge of the sore loser," echoing President Barack Obama's comments from Tuesday. She added that Trump can't expect to win when he is running a campaign based on hating women, African Americans, Muslims and immigrants.

"It's not rigged, @realDonaldTrump. You're losing fair & square. Put on your big-boy pants because this is what accountability looks like."

This election cycle, Trump has called Warren "goofy" and "Pocahantas," a skeptical reference to her Native American heritage.

Trump and Clinton will debate at 9 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Warren is scheduled to campaign with Clinton in New Hampshire on Monday. Details of their visit have not yet been released.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Trump Stokes Fears of Voter Fraud: Checking the Claims]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 11:21:01 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trumGettyImages-615457768.jpg

Donald Trump isn’t letting up on his claims that a rigged system threatens his victory on Election Day, although repeated investigations have found no evidence of widespread fraud at the polls.

As he and Hillary Clinton prepare for their last debate of the presidential race, he continues to tweet about fraud at polling places and about "a dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary." At a rally on Tuesday in Colorado, he again urged his supporters to watch the polls closely.

"They even want to try and rig the election at the polling booths, where so many cities are corrupt, and voter fraud is all too common," Trump said. "And then they say, oh there's no voter fraud in our country, there's no voter fraud, no, no, there's no voter fraud. Take a look at St. Louis, take a look at Philadelphia, take a look at Chicago."

The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law — the publisher of Justin Levitt’s widely quoted study, "The Truth About Voter Fraud" — calls fraud at the polls "vanishingly rare," so unusual that it does not come close to what would be needed to rig an election.

Levitt wrote in The Washington Post two years ago that he had found 31 allegations since 2000 of someone pretending to be someone else at the polls. More than 1 billion ballots were cast in that period in general and primary elections.

The Carnegie-Knight News21 program -- made up of journalism students and graduates -- analyzed 2,068 alleged cases in 50 states in the decade before 2012 and could document only 10 instances of in-person voter impersonation. There were 491 cases of absentee ballot fraud and 400 cases of registration fraud —out of 146 million registered voters.

Another investigator, Lorraine Minnite, the author of the book "The Myth of Voter Fraud" and a professor of political science at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey, says the claim that voter fraud threatens American elections is "itself a fraud." 

"It’s a rare occurrence," said Minnite, who has been studying voter fraud for 15 years. "I'm talking specifically about the kind of fraud that voters might commit, which really is mostly limited to misrepresenting their identity or misrepresenting their eligibility."

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called Trump's attempt to discredit the election irresponsible. No serious person would suggest it was possible to rig U.S. presidential elections because they involve too many votes and are so decentralized, he said.

"So I'd invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go make his case to get votes," Obama said.

Although Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, said on Tuesday that voter fraud was real in pockets of the country, other Republicans are refuting claims of a rigged election. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a former Trump rival, said that there was no evidence for Trump's statements.

"We have 67 counties in this state, each of which conduct their own elections," he said. "I promise you there is not a 67-county conspiracy to rig this election."

Another Trump rival for the GOP nomination, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, strongly disagreed with Trump's claims.

"To say that elections are rigged and all these votes are stolen, that's like saying we never landed on the moon, frankly, that's how silly it is," Kasich told CBS Wednesday. "No, I just, I don't think that's good for our country, for our democracy, and I don't believe that we have any massive fraud."

Even Trump surrogate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pushed back, telling NBC News, "I'm convinced that the election will be a fair one and that the process will be one that will accepted by the American people."

Here's a closer look at some allegations of voter fraud:

Dead Man Voting
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, another Trump surrogate, said on CNN over the weekend that, "Dead people generally vote for Democrats rather than Republicans."

In New York in 2002 and 2004, 2,600 dead voters were alleged to have cast ballots, based on a match of voter rolls to death records. No cases of fraud were substantiated, the Brennan Center says. Seven were found to be a result of a database mismatch or an accounting error. Even if all of the 2,593 remaining cases involved fraud, the rate would be 0.02 percent, the Brennan Center said.

In New Jersey, Republican officials compared voter registration lists, Social Security death records and other public information to allege that 4,755 dead people had voted. "No follow-up investigation appears to document any substantiated cases, and no allegedly deceased voter voted in 2005," the Brennan Center says.

And in Michigan, allegations of votes cast by 132 dead people in Detroit were challenged by the state's Republican secretary of state in 2006. The office said that 132 absentee ballots were mailed to voters who died in the weeks before Election Day, Minnite wrote in a 2007 study, "The Politics of Voter Fraud." Ninety-seven were never returned, 27 were returned before the voters' deaths — a correction ignored by activists, Minnite said.

Double Voting
Allegations of double voting in New York can be found from elections in 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002 and possibly others, according to the Brennan Center. In 2004, between 400 and 1,000 voters were alleged to have voted both in New York and Florida, according to matches between New York and Florida voting rolls. The Brennan Center said it as aware of only two cases being substantiated.

However, a 2013 New York City investigation of the city's Board of Election found systemic problems with accountability, transparency and dysfunction, including defects in the voters rolls, improper instructions that voters should "vote down the line" and a persistent failure to address ballot design issues.

In New Jersey, 4,397 people were alleged to have voted twice and 6,572 who were registered in New Jersey and five other states: New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and South Carolina. The Brennan Center found that only eight cases were actually documented through signatures on poll books with at least five signatures appeared to match. If all eight cases were proved, the double voting rate would be 0.0002 percent, according to the Brennan Center.

Other cases were alleged in New Hampshire in 2004 — of voters listed multiple times on city rolls or of people voting from improper addresses. The Brennan Center says that of the 676,227 ballots cast in 2004 general election in New Hampshire, two invalid cases were substantiated and two others were still under investigation. Even of all four were substantiated, the rate would be 0.0006 percent.

Voting by Non-citizens
The Brennan Center says it found no documented cases in which non citizens intentionally registered to vote or voted knowing they were ineligible. In Washington state in 2004, documentation appears to show that two votes were cast by non citizens in King County, the center says. The rate: 0.0002 percent.

Another example: In Hawaii in 2000, 553 apparent non citizens were alleged to have registered. Of those 144 documented that they had become citizens and at least 61 asked to cancel their registration. Others were stopped at the polls.

The students participating in the Carnegie-Knight News21 program found 56 cases of non-citizens voting.

Voter Impersonation
The Carnegie-Knight News21 program, as part of an investigation into the need for photo IDs, found 10 cases of voter impersonations -- in Alabama, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Hampshire and Texas. There were 146 million registered voters in the United States at the time.

"All were isolated and showed no coordinated efforts to change election results," the students wrote in 2012.

Dogs at the polls
The Brennan Center found two cases of ballots submitted in the name of a dog -- one from "Duncan MacDonald" in 2006 and 2007, although it notes that the ballot was labeled VOID and signed with a paw print; and one from "Raku Bowman" in 2003. The second was counted by volunteers in local elections in Venice, California.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rubio Warns GOP: Don't Talk About WikiLeaks]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 10:29:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16291853091709.jpg

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida warned his Republican colleagues not to discuss the WikiLeaks dump of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta. 

"I will not discuss any issue that has become public solely on the basis of WikiLeaks," said Rubio in a statement to NBC News, breaking with Donald Trump's approach. "As our intelligence agencies have said, these leaks are an effort by a foreign government to interfere with our electoral process and I will not indulge it."

Rubio did not mention Trump by name, but he is clearly departing from his former rival on the issue. Trump has repeatedly brought up the WikiLeaks' hack, accusing the media of ignoring the stolen emails in an effort to protect Clinton.

"I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks," Rubio said. "Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Why Dead Voters Won't Tip Presidential Election]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 07:22:03 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/clinton-trump-segundo-debate-thumbnail.jpg

While Donald Trump has raised the specter of voter fraud involving the identities of dead voters on Nov. 8, elections experts say such fears are based in more fantasy than fact, NBC News reported.

"It is possible to have some votes stolen in this way, but it's not possible to be done on a wide scale," said Dick Simpson, a University of Illinois-Chicago political science professor, who said there are many safeguards in place to prevent such fraud.

And Simpson would know — he's also a former Chicago alderman.

"The voting process is decentralized from state to state," he said. "There's no one button you can push to rig an election" and have thousands of votes be cast by dead people.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taco Trucks Form 'Wall' at Trump's Vegas Hotel]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 14:31:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/taco-truck-wall-las-vegas.jpg

While the presidential candidates debate in Las Vegas Wednesday, a fleet of taco trucks has lined up to create a "wall" outside the Trump International Las Vegas hotel, NBC News reported.

It's a response to Donald Trump's pledge to build a wall separating the U.S. and Mexico, and a cheeky reaction to a Trump supporter's warning in early September that the unchecked expansion of Latino culture in the U.S. would lead to "taco trucks on every corner." (Many viewers welcomed that notion.)

Over 35 taco trucks were already helping to register eligible voters on Tuesday, Nevada's voter registration deadline, according to American Bridge PAC.

"We did not come up with the idea for the wall, Donald Trump came up with building the wall," said Yvanna Cancela, political director of the Culinary Workers Union 226 in Las Vegas. "We are all coming together to make sure that Donald Trump never becomes president."

Photo Credit: Pili Tobar
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<![CDATA[Poll: Meteor vs. Trump, Clinton]]> Wed, 19 Oct 2016 16:17:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trump+clinton+debate+GettyImages-613699268.png

A new national poll by the University of Massachusetts Lowell finds that nearly a quarter of millennials would prefer to see a meteor strike Earth than either of the major 2016 presidential candidates in the White House.

The Millenials Poll, a joint effort by UMass Lowell and Odyssey, released on Tuesday, was conducted Oct. 10 through 13 and asked Americans ages 18 to 35 about their attitudes and opinions on the upcoming election. Questions covered irreverent options about the candidates as well as serious issues such as race relations, immigration and the legalization of marijuana.

Respondents were asked to choose their preference in the race for president, with Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump 61-22, with Gary Johnson at 9 percent and Jill Stein at 5 percent.

Clinton also fared well up against Trump, a random lottery to choose the president from all American citizens, President Barack Obama appointing himself to a life term or a giant meteor striking Earth and extinguishing all human life. Thirty-three percent of respondents ranked her first, followed by Obama staying in the White House for life at 27 percent. Trump's 16 percent just edged out the meteor and the lottery, which pulled 12 percent each.

But when asked about their preference a different way, the poll found that 39 percent of those surveyed said they preferred Obama serve a life term over either a Clinton or a Trump presidency. Twenty-six percent prefer a random lottery to choose the next president over the two leading candidates winning and 23 percent (nearly 1 in 4) prefer a giant meteor strike to them.

"We do not take our respondents at their word that they are earnestly interested in seeing the world end, but we do take their willingness to rank two constitutional crises and a giant meteor ahead of these two candidates with startling frequency as a sign of displeasure and disaffection with the candidates and the 2016 election," said Prof. Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMass Lowell's Center for Public Opinion, who wrote and analyzed the independent, nonpartisan poll, in a statement.

The poll was based on responses from nearly 1,250 people and has a margin of error of 3.2 percent, which rises to 4.3 percent for likely voters.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>