<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Miami Political News and South Florida Politics]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usMon, 27 Jun 2016 00:16:37 -0400Mon, 27 Jun 2016 00:16:37 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Dump Trump Movement Planning for Convention Floor Fight]]> Mon, 27 Jun 2016 00:09:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16171043306152.jpg

The grassroots movement aimed at ousting Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention is planning for a convention floor fight, hiring staff, establishing a command center in Cleveland and rolling out ads in key states over the next week, NBC News reported

Organizers of the effort held their second weekly conference call Sunday night.

Former Bogota, New Jersey, Mayor Steve Lonegan, a Ted Cruz supporter and spokesman for a super PAC backing the effort, said he plans to hire East, West and Central regional field directors to begin building a "comprehensive list of every single delegate" to get to know their interests and issues.

The group is also planning to hire a full-time executive director, because the current staff is working on a volunteer basis, Lonegan said. An advance team is heading to Cleveland this week to build a command center outside the convention center.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[What Stands Between Trump and a US Brexit Effect]]> Sat, 25 Jun 2016 06:44:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/542736486-donald-trump-brexit-vote-election.jpg

Even as Donald Trump drew parallels on Friday between the British vote to leave the European Union and the American presidential election, migration experts cautioned against too close a comparison of anti-immigrant sentiment in the two countries.

There are lessons to be taken from the Brexit decision, but more important are the very different heritages of U.S. and the United Kingdom, they said. 

Together with Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling blocking President Barack Obama's immigration reforms, the vote did put some wind back in Trump’s sails, said Kevin Appleby, the director of international migration policy at the Center for Migration Studies of New York. And it showed that an anti-establishment movement is not unique to the United States.

But the presidential election is months off. American voters are more diverse and the country’s history is one of immigrants building the country, he said.

"It doesn't mean that we'll have the same result on this side of the pond as Britain did, because I think our nation is different in a lot of ways," he said.

Tapping a 'Well of Anxiety' on Immigration
The EU is the world's largest zone of free movement, letting anyone with its passport settle in any of its member nations, and the Brexit victory was as much a referendum on open borders and immigration policies as on British sovereignty. An Ipsos MORI poll found last week that immigration was the most important issue to voters in the UK.

"Free movement is basically the defining achievement of the European Union," said Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan, assistant director of the Migration Policy Institute's International Program.

But although economists agree that globalization brings benefits, the effects can be jarring locally. When the EU opened up to 10 new member states in 2004, the result was an influx of Eastern European workers to the UK. 

"It's harder to point your finger at this amorphous, global event, and it's much easier to point your finger at a foreign worker who's still employed," Banulescu-Bogdan said. 

The decision to leave reflected a populist, anti-elite sentiment and prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to announce he would step down in October. 

In Scotland on Friday for the re-opening of his historic golf course in Turnberry, Trump praised the results and said that the British had reasserted control over their politics, their borders and economy. In November, Americans also will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put Americans first, he said.

"They took their country back, just like we will take America back," the presumptive Republican nominee tweeted.

Since he entered the race last June, Trump has promised to build a wall to stop undocumented immigrants from Mexico whom he has called rapists and criminals, and wants a temporary ban on Muslims coming into the country as a way to combat terrorism.

"Both are tapping into this well of anxiety about the fast pace of change that has brought about unfavorable conditions for a lot of people, and they've really tapped into this sense that people are being left behind," Banulescu-Bogdan said. 

But the British experience of immigration largely began after its colonies became independent and, more recently, after the formation of the European Union, according to Muzaffar Chishti, the director of the Migration Policy Institute’s office at New York University School of Law.

The U.S., by contrast, is a country that has long thought of itself as a destination for people hoping to improve their lives, and throughout American history, impulses to close borders or restrict immigration have largely failed, he said. Phenomena such as the Know-Nothing Party, the anti-immigrant party of the mid-1800s and the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 1880s, prohibiting immigration of Chinese laborers, are looked back at with disapproval. Even Trump focuses on "illegal" immigration, he said.

"In our history there have been many moments of anti-immigrant sentiment and we have gone beyond them," Chishti said.

Today, in the U.S., only one third of people say immigrants are a burden to the country by taking jobs, housing and health care, while about 60 percent say their hard work and talent strengthen the country, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in March. 

Referendum vs. General Election
Plus, Chishti said, the U.S. elections are not determined by popular vote. If the British parliament had taken that vote instead of opening it up into a referendum, the outcome would have been very different, he said.

Henry Fernandez of the Center for American Progress Action Fund faulted Cameron for allowing the far right and its anti-immigrant message to play an outsized role in the Conservative Party's policy and campaign messages.

Republicans leaders in the United States have allowed a similar anti-immigrant feeling to flourish, he said. That Trump is the party's presumptive nominee should come as no surprise, he said. 

"David Cameron rolled the dice on a very bad gamble in order to try to appease that extreme right wing of his party," he said. "That's very similar to what Republican leadership has done in the United States. They rolled the dice, and the dice came up Trump."

But he also predicted that the Americans would reject targeting immigrants.

"Allowing the card of racism and anti-immigrant sentiment to be played again and again will have toxic results," he said. "But what I think it will do in the United States is create very severe electoral problems for the Republican Party."

Activists say they are prepared to fight Trump's portrayal of immigrants as dangerous and a drain on the economy.

"We're worried but we're also ready to fight back against Trump's scare tactics and lies," said Pili Tobar, the director of communications at the Latino Victory Project. 

NBC's Asher Klein contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['No Fly, No Buy' Gun Measure Survives Senate]]> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 07:15:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GUNS_AP_16173672808809.jpg

A Republican-backed compromise amendment to prevent people on the "no-fly list" from acquiring firearms survived an effort to kill the measure Thursday — but at the moment it likely lacks the votes to pass it.

The amendment, sponsored by moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, would allow the Justice Department to block people on the no-fly list and one other watchlist from buying guns, but would give them an ability to appeal.

A procedural vote to table, or essentially kill, the amendment failed 46-52. Eight Republicans voted against tabling the bill. If Thursday's motion is seen as a test vote, supporters of the amendment lack a handful of votes to pass it.

"I'm very pleased with where we stand," Collins said after the vote. "Obviously I'd like to get to 60 but this was a good day."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Says He 'Heard' Clinton's Email Server Was Hacked]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 16:52:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/TrumpNightlyNews.png

Donald Trump insisted Thursday that Hillary Clinton’s private email server was hacked, but could not say where he learned the information. 

"I think I read that," Trump said. "And I heard it, and somebody--"

Trump was pressed for evidence to back up his claims during an interview with NBC Nightly News’ Lester Holt, which will air Thursday.

"—that also gave me that information. I will report back to you," Trump said.

Trump’s comments come after he argued that Clinton’s server, which she used as secretary of state, left her vulnerable to blackmail if she were president.

Clinton’s campaign said there is no evidence that her server was ever hacked. U.S. officials have also told NBC News there is no evidence anyone hacked into the server, although there was evidence of phishing attempts. 



Photo Credit: NBC News
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<![CDATA[Civil Rights Icon Rep. John Lewis No Stranger to Sit-Ins]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 00:44:00 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/SIT_IN_AP_16174617154578.jpg

Rep. John Lewis, 76, led a sit-in on Wednesday in a quest to force a vote on gun control.

And the Civil Rights icon has faced angry mobs hurling racial epithets, jail and a beating by cops wielding night sticks that was so brutal that his skull was fractured.

Over 50 House Democrats participated in the historic protest which went into Wednesday evening.

"This is an important moment. I never dreamed that one day, after coming to Congress, I would have to sit in on the floor of the House, sit down, occupy the well of the House," Lewis said Wednesday. "We've been waiting, waiting for a long time, for the leadership to bring a piece of legislation, or maybe more than one piece, to deal with gun violence. There are too many people, too many children, babies, teachers, our mothers, our fathers, our sisters and brothers, people going out to dance and have fun, to die because of gun violence."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rubio Move Part of GOP Strategy to Keep Senate Even if Trump Loses]]> Thu, 23 Jun 2016 07:21:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/RUBIO_GettyImages-515906890.jpg

Marco Rubio's decision on Wednesday to run for re-election for his Florida U.S. Senate seat, at the urging of party leaders, is part of an aggressive series of moves the GOP is taking in the hopes of keeping control of the Senate, even if Donald Trump is badly defeated in the presidential race.

Key party officials, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, passed over several Republicans who were already running for the Florida seat to implore Rubio to seek a second term, even though the former presidential candidate had spent months saying that he was leaving the Senate.

Former President George W. Bush, who has largely stayed out of politics since he left office, is holding fundraisers for Republican Senate candidates in close races, even as his aides have said that he will not attend the GOP convention in Cleveland that will nominate Trump. And groups affiliated with the conservative Koch brothers are already investing heavily in campaign ads and ground operations to win key Senate races in states like Ohio and Wisconsin.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Time's Running Out for Bernie Sanders to Make a Deal]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:43:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/topNews-AP_16161617906947.jpg

The last Democratic primary is done, President Obama, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Oprah have all endorsed Hillary Clinton, and Sen. Bernie Sanders is increasingly out of the limelight.

With the country now focused on the race between Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, how much bargaining power does Sanders still have? Can the Democratic socialist from Vermont push the Democratic party any further toward the left?

"People are paying less attention to him with each passing day," said Seth Masket, an associate professor of political science at the University of Denver. "Without contests, without media attention, he doesn't have anything. He has every incentive to try and make some sort of deal pretty quickly."

Sanders still has not ended his campaign two weeks after Clinton became the Democrats' presumptive nominee, the first woman to do so for either major party. But in a C-SPAN interview on Wednesday, Sanders conceded, "It doesn't appear that I'm going to be the nominee."

He will address his supporters about what comes next for his campaign in a speech in New York on Thursday called "Where We Go From Here."

"Real change never takes place from the top on down or in the living rooms of wealthy campaign contributors," he said last week when he talked about continuing to press for economic and social justice. "It always occurs from the bottom on up when tens of millions of people say loudly and clearly, 'Enough is enough,' and they become engaged it the fight for justice."

Leah Wright Rigueur, an assistant professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, said it continued to be important for Democrats to get the support of Sanders and his backers. He will campaign energetically against Trump, she said.

Clinton met with Sanders last week and in an interview with USA Today the former secretary of state appeared to acknowledge Sanders' success in the primaries when talking about "progressive" Democrats being vetted as vice presidential candidates. Sanders said on C-SPAN that it would be a terrible mistake for Clinton to pick someone with roots in Wall Street.  

The Vermont senator could force fights at the convention over positions where he differs with Clinton -- over the U.S. relationship with Israel, whose prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, he has criticized, and the Glass-Steagall Act's banking regulations, which he would reinstate. He has called for imposing a ban on fracking and for federally administered single-payer health care, neither of which Clinton supports. He would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour -- Clinton has said she backs $12 an hour though would encourage some states and cities to go higher. And Sanders opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal Clinton championed while it was being negotiated but now is against.

Sanders has already won an unprecedented say over the party's platform. He was awarded almost as many members on the committee writing the platform as Clinton, five to her six of the 15, and among his picks are James Zogby, an advocate for a more even-handed approach to Palestinian rights, and Cornell West, who challenged former Attorney General Eric Holder on why no banks were held accountable for the economic collapse in 2008.

"His delegates to the platform committee are going to put forward a radical vision of what they imagine the Democratic Party to be," Rigueur said. "And so what happens after that is the hammering out of the platform."

But presidents are not bound by a party's platform and most voters know little about them, said Keena Lipsitz, an associate professor at Queens College in New York City. Activists use them when they try to win over lawmakers and they can show how a party has evolved over time, but ordinary people care little about what's in them.

"They don’t really matter," she said.

John Hudak, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, said that although Sanders' performance in the primaries gave him some power to seek changes, he needed to be careful not to overplay his hand.

"He is not going to get everything he wants because at the end of the day he did not win the nomination," Hudak said. "The longer that he holds out on endorsement and a sign of party unity, the less eager Democrats will be to meet whatever demands he has."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday that she hoped Sanders would endorse Clinton before the convention. Sanders knows what is at stake in November, she said. "Two words: 'Donald Trump.'"

Sanders persists in calling for a fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party. He wants a change in its leadership, primaries open not just to registered Democrats, same-day registration and the elimination of super delegates, the party officials and leaders who are free to vote for any candidate at the national convention at the end of July in Philadelphia.

Sanders wants the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to be replaced. In the USA Today interview, Clinton noted that she did not choose Wasserman Schultz but also praised the congresswoman's commitment to defeating Trump. 

Masket said that he thought that the party would resist open primaries, which could enable voters other than Democrats to pick the nominee. Sanders might win a commitment for a task force to study the nominating process, maybe with Sanders as the chairman, he said.

The national party has traditionally given state parties latitude about how to conduct their primaries.

"It's not as if — and it's important for Sanders supporters to understand this —the DNC can wave a magic wand and change every nominating contest in the United States overnight," Hudak said.

That said the Democratic Party could prompt nationwide changes if it wanted to, Masket said. The national committee protects Iowa's and New Hampshire's first in the nation voting status, for example.

Eliminating super delegates could also be a sticking point, especially considering Trump's success in the Republican primaries. The Republican Party does not have super delegates.

"It's sort of a tough sell for Sanders because in one sense there's a lot of skepticism of super delegates in the Democratic Party but if you look at what Republicans are doing this year, I imagine they wish to God that they had super delegates," Hudak said. "So I think the irony might be that if anything undermines Sanders desire to get rid of Democratic super delegates, it's the Republican nominee who is standing in the way."

The Vermont senator should focus on building his movement, supporting candidates who share his views, finding a position that would allow him to further his goals, Lipsitz said. Were Democrats to regain control of the Senate, she could imagine him head of its budget committee.

"Ultimately what matters is what Bernie Sanders does with all the excitement he's created and all these people who are following him," she said. "He needs to somehow turn that into something that’s more long term."

Only about half of his supporters plan to vote for Clinton in the national election, according to a Bloomberg poll of likely voters conducted earlier this month. Some of his supporters plan to demonstrate in his favor at the convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28. A group called Occupy DNC Convention, whose goal is to swing super delegates in Sanders' favor, has more than 28,000 members on Facebook.

And more than a dozen former staff members from his campaign already have joined NextGen Climate, the group founded by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer to build political power to fight climate change.

The question now for Sanders is whether he becomes an integral part of the Democrats' strategy, Rigueur said.

"Given how exciting this primary season has been, I don't think Bernie Sanders is going to walk off into the sunset and disappear," she said.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Sen. Marco Rubio to Run for Re-Election]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2016 17:29:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/031216Rubio.jpg

One year ago, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination while promising to not seek re-election.

After failing in his run for the White House, the Florida senator is now reversing his stance and announcing that he will indeed run for a second term. The news was initially reported by the Washington Post and confirmed by NBC News.

Rubio was elected in 2010 as part of the Tea Party movement that put several Republicans into both chambers of Congress.

After dropping out of the running for the GOP nomination, Rubio was approached by Senate leadership in an effort to convince him to reconsider his initial pledge. Republicans who had announced they would run for the office said they would drop out if Rubio did run, including U.S. Rep. David Jolly and Lt. Gov.Carlos Lopez-Cantera.

Several potential opponents on both sides of the aisle came out against Rubio for not keeping his promise to stay out of the race. Businessman and GOP candidate Carlos Beruff said that Rubio is “more worried about keeping the job than doing the job”, while U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, said Rubio is treating Floridians like "a consolation prize.”

Rubio released a statement admitting that he changed his mind and said he has no problem with potential opponents using it against him, saying "I have never claimed to be perfect." Rubio went on to say that he is running because he feels Washington needs "principled, persuasive leaders" no matter who is elected President.

Recent polls show Rubio easily winning the Republican primary despite his late decision, while being a slight favorite against both Democratic contenders.

"Keeping Florida’s US Senate seat Republican is a top priority for our party and for hardworking Floridians who reject Democrats’ policies of ineffective government that put Washington first. That is why we welcome Senator Rubio’s decision to run for reelection," Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said in a statement. "From the chambers of the Florida House to the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio has proven himself as bold leader who is focused on real solutions to the issues facing Floridians across the state and to the nation."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump and the 'Mad Men' Ad Agency Mystery]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 17:23:41 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP16170075104020_opt.jpg

Donald Trump's latest campaign finance filing contains the names of dozens of companies that were paid for services, but one really stands out: Draper Sterling, a play on the name of the fictional ad agency from the cable TV series "Mad Men," NBC News reports.

The firm that collected $35,000 from Trump for "web advertising" in late April isn't headquartered in Madison Avenue offices filled with mid-century modern furniture and stylish secretaries; it traces back to a private home in suburban New Hampshire that's about a 15-minute drive from the home of ousted Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Unraveling what it is and how it wound up getting a big chunk of Trump change is a bit like trying to figure out Don Draper's true identity.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to questions about Draper Sterling and the work it did, and efforts to reach people connected with the firm were unsuccessful.



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Republican Senator Seeks Bipartisan Support for Gun Deal]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 15:00:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP_16173674394575.jpg

A moderate Republican senator was seeking broad support Tuesday for a compromise to block guns from suspected terrorists, a day after the chamber split along partisan lines to derail each party's more sweeping proposals. 

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was discussing her plan with GOP leaders and said she expected the Senate to vote on her proposal. 

"I remain encouraged," she said.

There was no immediate word from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on whether a vote would occur. And it remained unclear whether she could attract enough support to win if a vote were held. 

In an ominous sign, the National Rifle Association's chief lobbyist criticized Collins' emerging effort, though he stopped short of outright opposition to it. 

"According to reports, Sen. Collins and others would prefer to continue to talk about gun control and ignore the growing threat from ISIS," an acronym for the Islamic State group, the NRA's Chris W. Cox said in a statement. 

Cox said keeping guns from terrorists and "providing meaningful due process are not mutually exclusive." 

That could be aimed at a provision in Collins' bill that allows people to appeal to federal courts after they've been denied a gun, not before it happens.

Collins was pushing her proposal at a time when election-year politics has made partisan compromise on guns difficult to achieve. 

Even after the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando by a sympathizer of Islamic State extremists that left 49 people dead, neither party has seemed eager to cut a deal that might anger its most loyal voters — NRA-backing conservatives and pro-gun control liberals. 

The government's overall terrorist watch list has 1 million people on it. Collins' proposal would let federal prosecutors bar guns to two narrower groups of suspected terrorists: the no-fly list with 81,000 people and the selectee list with 28,000 people. 

Selectees are people who can fly after unusually intensive screening. Nearly all the people on all three lists are foreigners. 

Under Collins' proposal, Americans denied guns could appeal their rejection to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

In addition, the FBI would be notified if someone who's been on the broader terrorist watch list in the past five years buys a gun. 

Senators expressing support for Collins' plan included Democrats Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Tim Kaine of Virginia, along with independent Angus King of Maine, who usually backs Democrats. 

Republicans supporting her included Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Women Who Ran for the Presidency]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 14:02:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Presidency-thumb.jpg Hillary Clinton made history as the first woman to become the presumptive presidential nominee of a major political party. But the first woman to try for the White House ran 144 years ago. Here are some of Clinton's female predecessors, who in seeking the presidential nomination, one by one splintered the glass ceiling that Clinton would eventually break.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hastert's Last Hours of Freedom]]> Tue, 21 Jun 2016 07:09:47 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Hastert2.png

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is enjoying his last 48 hours of freedom.

Hastert has until 2 p.m. Wednesday, to surrender to the Federal Medical Center prison in Rochester, Minnesota, where he will begin serving a 15-month sentence.

While the former speaker’s jail term is technically a financial crime, he admitted in court that the hush-money case stemmed from the sexual abuse of athletes in his care, when he was wrestling coach at Yorkville High School.

“I am deeply ashamed,” Hastert told Judge Thomas Durkin. “I mistreated some of the athletes that I coached.”

With credit for good behavior, he will be released from custody in about 12 and a half months.

Upon arrival in Rochester, Hastert will be required to submit a DNA sample, and will be required to attend a mandatory admission session, where his physical and psychological needs will be assessed. The disgraced speaker’s incoming and outgoing mail and parcels will be opened, read, and examined. His movements around the facility will be strictly controlled in various ten minute periods throughout the day. If he is deemed medically fit, he will be given a job shortly after arrival, which he will hold for at least three months. 

Upon rising every day, Hastert will be expected to have his bed made by 7:30, according to the prison’s inmate handbook, and he is to sweep and wet mop his cell daily. He will be allowed to post photos of immediate family, but outside clothing is strictly prohibited. If he wants to watch television in any of the facility’s common areas, he will be required to bring his own chair. 

The halls at Rochester have been walked by familiar and notorious names. Former Chicago congressman Dan Rostenkowski did his time there, as did televangelist Jim Bakker, mob boss Joey Aiuppa, and County Commissioner Bill Beavers. Disgraced Chicago detective chief William Hanhardt also served at Rochester, and Jared Loughner, the assailant of congresswoman Gabby Giffords is housed there now serving a life sentence.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Anti-Trump Republicans Allege 'Intimidation' by Party Leaders]]> Mon, 20 Jun 2016 07:25:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/TrumpArizona-AP_16171030319864.jpg

Republicans who do not support Donald Trump as their presidential candidate said that "intimidation" tactics were being used by party leaders against them to prevent any subversion at the party's convention next month, NBC News reported.

A North Carolina delegate said the delegates in her state "are very much under direct threat from our state with a $10,000 fine," adding that she had been "threatened" by the state GOP "vice-president" over Facebook and asked about the possibility of a legal fund being established to defend them.

"I think that that's definitely going to affect very many people who are not going to be willing to step up in front of the committeemen" and contest votes for Trump at the convention, she said.

She also noted that delegates in Arizona are required to sign a pledge committing to vote for Trump or they'll be barred from the convention.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Speaker Ryan Talks Obligation to Support Trump]]> Sun, 19 Jun 2016 12:42:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/split2-ryan-trump.jpg

Paul Ryan says it's his obligation as the Speaker of the House to support presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, but he won't force fellow Republicans to do the same.

In an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, Ryan said it's his responsibility as Speaker of the House to keep the Republican Party united and promised to continue criticizing Trump if he says or does "something that puts a bad label on conservatism."

"Imagine the Speaker of the House not supporting the duly elected nominee of our party, therefore creating a chasm in our party that splits us in half which basically helps deny us the White House, and strong majorities in Congress.”

Ryan explicitly denied that he was choosing party over country, arguing that he remains behind Trump because Republican primary voters chose him.

"He won the election. The voters voted for him…That's the choice they made." He continued, "That's not something I can control."



Photo Credit: Illustration by Daniel Sircar/NBC; Photos by Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Marco Rubio Laying Groundwork for Potential Senate Bid]]> Sat, 18 Jun 2016 00:14:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/RUBIO_GettyImages-515906890.jpg

Signs are growing that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is moving towards a run for reelection, a reversal of his past statements committing to retire from the Senate at the end of his term, NBC News reported.

A major fundraiser for Rubio's presidential bid confirmed the senator and his advisers are instructing operatives and donors to begin laying the groundwork for a run — but emphasized Rubio hasn't made the final decision yet.

"I think it's making sure things are in place should he make the decision," the fundraiser said.

Rubio is expected to announce his decision as early as Monday, after consulting with his family this weekend.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Vows to 'Save' Gun Rights at Texas Rally]]> Sat, 18 Jun 2016 08:33:57 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP16170075104020_opt.jpg

Donald Trump emphatically told a Texas crowd Friday night that when he wins the presidency, people will call the White House to say they "can't believe you've saved the Second Amendment,” NBC News reported.

"We're going to save your guns," Trump roared to the thousands in a Houston hotel ballroom. "They're not going to take away your bullets. They're not going to shorten up your magazines. They're not going to do anything."

Trump also said it would have been a "beautiful sight" to see the Orlando gunman shot by someone armed at the nightclub last week.

"If we had people where the bullets were going in the opposite direction, right smack between the eyes of this maniac," Trump began to openly consider. He then added: "That would've been a beautiful, beautiful sight, folks." 

But despite his colorful denouncement of gun restriction efforts, Trump did not specifically refer to the gun measures that the Senate is expected to vote on next week.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dump Trump Campaign at GOP Convention Emerges]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 19:19:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Trump-AP_16169030171563.jpg

Anti-Donald Trump forces are launching a "multi-pronged" approach to stop the presumptive nominee at the Republican National Convention, which could lead to chaos on the floor, NBC News reported.

Kendal Unruh, a Colorado delegate, is the leader of the effort, which centers around changing convention rules to include a "conscience clause" that would allow delegates bound to Trump to vote against him -- even on the first ballot in July.

According to Unruh, there's been growing interest in her proposal since last week, and many delegates she's hearing from already believe they aren't bound under RNC rules to back Trump.

Trump's strategists involved with delegate operations have downplayed the prospect, with one adviser telling NBC News they believe they have the "overwhelming majority" of delegates on the Rules Committee supporting Trump.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders Backers Keeping Eye on Clinton's College-Ed Plans]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 16:20:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/173*120/GettyImages-519597112.jpg

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign has now slowed to a halt, but that isn't to say his run was for nothing. The candidate may be best remembered for his ability to shake up the election, inspire young voters and bring attention to back-burner issues — like higher education, NBC News reports.

Sanders drew considerable support from young voters with his promises of free tuition at public four year colleges and universities, a plan that Tax Policy Center said would cost $800 billion over 10 years.

And many of his young supporters say college affordability is the issue keeping them from embracing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

What Clinton has proposed is a debt-free model where students will still pay for the fees associated with college — and ensuring higher education institutions maintain affordable costs — without having to borrow money. Clinton also called for allowing those with student loans to refinance at today's rates.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ryan Lets GOP Voters Follow 'Conscience' on Trump]]> Fri, 17 Jun 2016 15:30:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/PaulRyan-AP_16161559614348.jpg

In a "Meet the Press" interview set to air Sunday, House Speaker Paul Ryan essentially gave Republicans license to follow their conscience in whether to support Donald Trump.

"The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that's contrary to their conscience," Ryan said.

"[Trump is] a very unique nominee," he went on to say. "But I feel as a responsibility institutionally as the speaker of the House that I should not be leading some chasm in the middle of our party. Because you know what I know that'll do? That'll definitely knock us out of the White House."

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is beginning her battleground-state ad blitz while Trump campaigns in Texas.

According to The New York Times, "Trump's campaign schedule is being driven by his fund-raising needs, prompting him to appear in heavily Republican states like Georgia and Texas and diverting his attention from battlegrounds where Hillary Clinton is spending her time."



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Trump Campaign Brushes Off RNC Advice, Sources Say]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 19:05:42 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/539034324-reince-priebus-donald-trump.jpg

Tensions are growing between Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican National Committee as the presumptive GOP nominee's operation proves sluggish to adopt suggestions from party leaders, NBC News reports.

Six sources — granted anonymity in order to speak freely — detailed to NBC News how trust between the two camps has steadily deteriorated as the Trump campaign seems to brush off RNC advice on personnel, messaging and what it will take to win a national election come November.

Behind the scenes, the RNC is struggling to get Trump's team to staff up, the sources say.

But Trump communications director Hope Hicks told NBC Nes there is "no truth" to reports of tension: "The campaign has a great relationship with the RNC."



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Hacked Docs Allege DNC's Donald Trump Attack Plan]]> Wed, 15 Jun 2016 21:05:22 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/trump-AP_16165715343393.jpg

A hacker has leaked a trove of documents purportedly stolen from the Democratic National Committee, including a 200-page opposition research book detailing aspects of the party's battle plan against Donald Trump, NBC News reported.

The dossier is mostly filled with previously reported-on public comments and biographical information about the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. But it also provides insights into where Democrats may view Trump most vulnerable, including the possibility of reviving his ex-wife's rape allegation.

The DNC confirmed Tuesday that its computer networks had been breached by hackers apparently working for the Russian government; the DNC did not respond to a request for comment. The Republican National Committee has also declined to state if it was targeted. 



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[8th-Grade Speech Apes Candidates]]> Thu, 16 Jun 2016 14:21:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/207*120/aiello+grad+speech.png

Whoever wins this year’s presidential election might want to call this Chicago-area eighth-grader up as a speech writer.

Jack Aiello is a young teen with big dreams ahead of him — and potentially a slot on "Saturday Night Live" or in the White House.

The Arlington Heights middle schooler has quickly garnered Internet praise for his hilarious graduation speech, which included impersonations of the 2016 presidential candidates. 

Aiello’s entire roughly 350-student graduating class was tasked with writing a graduation speech as part of an English assignment. The speeches were then evaluated by teachers and staff before three finalists were selected.

"He was hands down No. 1 because it was going to speak to the kids," principal Brian Kaye said.

Video of the eight-minute speech was posted to YouTube last week and has since received more than 23,000 views. It was also shared on Twitter by his school, Thomas Middle School.

"I’ve decided that since we’re in the middle of an election year, that I would do my graduation speech in the style of some of the 2016 presidential candidates," Jack begins in the video.

But what unfolds after that is a series of spot-on impersonations that few in the audience could have anticipated from the soon-to-be-high-schooler described by many as "humble."

"We’re learning languages from Spain, from France, from Germany and China," he said during his first impersonation of Donald Trump. "You know, people say I don’t like China, I love China. I mean, I love China. I mean, I have so many terrific friends in China. But I took Spanish and let me just tell you, by the way, that it was fantastic. Muy fantastico."

Trump is followed in the speech by Ted Cruz, President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and finally, Bernie Sanders.

"I’d like to start off by thanking the great hardworking teachers of Thomas Middle School,” he said during an impersonation of Clinton. "They’ve been our champions. They’ve given us the skills to get us through sixth grade and through seventh grade and through eighth grade. And now we’re going to take those skills and apply them to high school."

Each impression was met with laughs and cheers from the crowd.

"As far as schools go, TMS is in the top one half of one half of one percent of schools in the entire country," he said as Bernie Sanders, ending his speech as the hundreds of people in the audience cheered and gave him a standing ovation. 

Jack’s parents say the teen has been doing impressions since he was a child and they weren’t surprised by his desire to do the speech as the 14-year-old is very much into politics.

"He’s been doing them since he was very young — family members, teachers, he even makes up his own silly voices and he’s been doing that for a very long time," said his mother, Carla Aiello. "And then with the election, he watches the news clips and he just absorbs everything."

Jack, who is as much a fan of Dana Carvey as he is of politics, hopes to have a career in politics or comedy in the future, his parents said, noting that his current dream is to meet Carvey. 

"If you were to ask him what he really wants to do, he really truly does want to be president someday. He feels a great desire to be a leader," said his father, John Aiello. "A politician or a comedian, which the lines do sometimes blur."

The family even took the teen to Iowa for the caucuses earlier this year, where they say he met Sanders and former Republican hopefuls Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul. 

"He’s a unique 14-year-old, but a humble kid," John Aiello said. 

And as for the viral fame he’s since received for his speech, the family says they’re just trying to take it all in.

"We’re enjoying it," John Aiello said. "We’re trying to look at it as a blessing, as fun. Be yourself and don’t change and smile a lot."



Photo Credit: John Aiello]]>
<![CDATA[Dold Pushes for Gun Control ]]> Tue, 14 Jun 2016 14:24:41 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Robert+Dold_GettyImages.jpg

Illinois Rep. Robert Dold broke with fellow Republican lawmakers Tuesday, calling for expanded gun control legislation in the wake of Sunday’s massacre at an Orlando nightclub.

“Thoughts and prayers are not enough and it’s time for action,” Dold said in response to the attack.

“The hateful terrorist attack targeting America’s LGBT community in Orlando is another reminder of the pressing need to come together and work across party lines to root out terrorism, prevent gun violence and put an end to bigotry of all kinds,” Dold said Tuesday. “An attack on one American is an attack on all of us.”

Dold joined Democratic lawmakers Tuesday, pushing lawmakers to take votes on bills that would prevent terror suspects from buying guns or explosives, require universal background checks for gun purchases and bolster the system for background checks.

Additionally, Dold introduced legislation last year with Rep. Debbie Dingell that would prevent people who have abused their partners from buying or owning guns, expanding prohibitive measures on people convicted of spousal abuse. Dold also pushed this measure Tuesday.

"We cannot allow partisanship to define this debate,” the congressman added.

During the speech, Dold claimed these were “common-sense proposals” for gun control that wouldn’t impede on Americans’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms.

“There is no quick and easy solution to all the problems underscored by the Orlando terrorist attack, but if we are able to set aside partisan differences and unite in the best interest of our nation, we can make serious strides in the ongoing efforts to keep Americans safe and prevent future atrocities,” Dold concluded.

In the wake of the shooting, House and Senate Democrats are pushing for increased gun control measures.

Democratic lawmakers erupted on the House floor Monday, criticizing House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans for not addressing the nation's gun laws, NBC New York reported.

Following a moment of silence for victims of the shooting, some Democrats yelled "where's the bill?" and "no leadership."

Omar Mateen opened fire early Sunday morning at Pulse Orlando, a popular gay dance club, killing 49 people and leaving 53 more wounded, police said. Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS during the attack. The shooting is being called the worst in the country’s history.

Dold, who is facing a tough bid for re-election against Brad Schneider in November, has held moderate positions on gun control in the past, including the legislation proposed alongside Dingell.

Schneider served as the representative for Illinois' 10th Congressional district from 2013 to 2015 before being ousted from office by Dold in the 2014 election. Schneider defeated Dold in the 2012 general election to win the seat.



Photo Credit: Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fact-Checking Donald Trump's Orlando Response Speech]]> Mon, 13 Jun 2016 21:29:06 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/539920694-donald-trump-speecjh.jpg

In Donald Trump's first formal response Monday to the Orlando massacre, he said that the attack is a result of U.S. immigration policy.

He also attacked presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her position on guns, immigration and intelligence gathering. Trump also directed his ire the Obama administration, NBC News reported.

"Even our own FBI director has admitted that we cannot effectively check the backgrounds of the people we are letting into America," he said.

NBC News fact checked many of Trump's claims, including that Clinton plans a "500 percent increase in Syrian refugees," she would abolish the Second Amendment as president and that Trump can suspend immigration from many areas of the world.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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