<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Political News and Chicago Politics]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.comen-usTue, 23 Aug 2016 21:51:57 -0500Tue, 23 Aug 2016 21:51:57 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Justin Timberlake Hosts HRC in LA]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 18:14:57 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/205*120/08-23-2016-timberlake-clinton.jpg

On the narrow street leading to the home of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, there are orders for no parking and no stopping.

Unless you're invited, there is no way to reach the house serving as backdrop for the third Hillary Clinton campaign fundraiser in SoCal in just two days.

The Democratic presidential nominee will wrap her a two-day visit to Los Angeles and Orange counties Tuesday with a star-studded fundraiser at the Timberlake-Biel Hollywood Hills abode before heading on to two fundraisers in Laguna Beach.

It's at the home of the iconic pop singer where a luncheon running at $33,400 per person will be held.

Everyone from actors Tobey Maguire and Jennifer Aniston to TV producer Shonda Rhimes are expected. 

The event was punctuated by a tweet from the super-star couple with Clinton sandwiched in the middle, featuring the hashtag "I'm with her."

The event was originally scheduled to be hosted by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. A change in the production schedule for DiCaprio's upcoming climate change documentary meant the Oscar winner could not attend, according to People magazine, which cited a source close to the event. 

Clinton will then hold another $33,400 per person lunch fundraiser in Laguna Beach, which includes a photo with Clinton. Couples paying $100,000 are also admitted to a host reception with Clinton, according to an invitation obtained by City News Service.

Clinton will conclude her Southland visit with another Laguna Beach fundraiser, with tickets priced at $2,700, the maximum individual contribution to a presidential candidate in the general election under federal law. Guests raising $27,000 are admitted to a host reception with Clinton.

The $33,400 figure is the maximum amount an individual can contribute to a national party committee in a year.

Clinton began the visit Monday by taping an appearance on the ABC late- night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and holding two fundraisers. In her appearance with Kimmel, Clinton made light of both the revelation that the FBI collected nearly 15,000 new emails in its investigation of her and Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani questioning her health.

Clinton told Kimmel "my emails are so boring and I'm embarrassed about that."

When Kimmel asked 68-year-old Clinton about the questions about her health, she offered up her hand and said "take my pulse," explaining "to make sure I'm still alive."

Kimmel then took her hand and gasped, telling the audience, "Oh my god, there's nothing there."

Clinton implied that the stories are baseless, saying sarcastically, "With every breath I take, I feel like it's a new lease on life."

Much of the speculation stems from a concussion Clinton sustained in December 2012 after fainting, an episode her doctor has attributed to a stomach virus and dehydration. Giuliani urged voters to "go online and put down `Hillary Clinton illness,"' in an interview with Fox News on Sunday, saying the next morning that she "looks sick." Trump has questioned her stamina at campaign rallies and speeches, saying in a foreign policy address earlier this month that she "lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS".

When Kimmel asked about her preparations for the three debates with Trump, Clinton said she's taking the match-up seriously but is getting ready for "wacky stuff."

Her first fundraiser Monday was at the home of Basketball Hall of Fame member Earvin "Magic" Johnson near Beverly Hills, with co-hosts including actors Denzel Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. The second fundraiser at the Beverly Hills home of Haim Saban, the chairman and CEO of the Saban Capital Group, Inc., whose assets include the Spanish-language television network Univision.

Tickets began at $2,700 per person, according to an invitation obtained by City News Service.

Like nearly all fundraisers for presidential candidates, the events were closed to reporters.

Clinton's visit began one day after the Republican National Committee released a 19-second paid web ad critical of "Hillary Clinton's liberal elite summer tour with frequent stops in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Cape Cod."



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Emanuel Announces Improved TSA Wait Times at O'Hare Airport]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 16:46:37 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rahm+tsa+presser+0823.jpg

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday that wait times at O’Hare International Airport’s peak Transportation Security Administration checkpoint have improved by more than 90 percent as a result of additional federal resources.

Reports of long delays at security checkpoints at the airport began to surface in May. At the time, the peak average wait time was 105 minutes.

The mayor’s office credited Emanuel, Sen. Dick Durbin, federal officials, city officials, the airlines and the TSA for working to reduce wait times at both O’Hare and Midway.

“I want to thank our federal partners, especially TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger, for recognizing the impact Chicago’s airports have on the national aviation system and providing additional resources to address the unacceptably long wait times last spring,” Emanuel said in a statement. “These improved wait times, and the safety and security of travelers, must be maintained, which is why I urge Congress to continue to fully fund the TSA to ensure airports have the staffing and resources required to operate safely and efficiently.”

Emanuel’s release credited the mayor for working with the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security to secure additional screeners and canine teams to Chicago’s airports. On Tuesday, Emanuel and the TSA promised to continue pushing for additional resources and staff for the airports.

Durbin lauded the progress Tuesday.

“After unacceptable security wait times in Chicago this spring, I was pleased to see TSA step up for the busy summer travel season,” Durbin said in a statement. “I thank TSA Administrator Neffenger for coming to Chicago and providing necessary resources like additional screening officers and canine teams at O’Hare and Midway.”

“I will continue to make certain that TSA has the necessary funding and proper plans in place to ensure security and efficiency at our nation’s airports in the long-term."

Passenger volume at O'Hare and Midway has increased since the previous year, while the TSA has substantially increased the number of canine units and screening officers at both airports.

According to recent TSA performance reports, the average wait time at O’Hare is now two minutes, down from 15 in May. The average wait time at Midway is four minutes, down from 11 minutes in May. Peak wait times are down to seven minutes at O’Hare from 105 minutes in May. Additionally, peak wait times at Midway are down to 10 minutes from 65 minutes in May.

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<![CDATA[Duckworth Urges Kirk to Apologize for 'Drug Dealer' Comment]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 16:33:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/duckworth+GettyImages-186385453.jpg

Rep. Tammy Duckworth addressed the City Club of Chicago Tuesday, laying out her economic plan and urging Sen. Mark Kirk to apologize for likening President Barack Obama to “the drug dealer in chief” last week.

“Senator Kirk has just joined the rogue’s gallery for the president’s fiercest, and most unhinged critics, and for that he should be ashamed,” Duckworth said. "What he said is beneath the dignity of the office he now holds, and Senator Kirk should apologize immediately to the President of the United States, as well as to the people of Illinois.”

During an interview with the State Journal-Register last week, Kirk claimed Obama was “acting like the drug dealer in chief” for making a $400 million cash payment to Iran that was tied to the release of American prisoners. Last week, the Obama administration claimed the $400 million payment was used as leverage to push for the release of four U.S. prisoners.

The payment was announced in January, a day after the Americans were freed and on the same weekend U.N. sanctions against Iran were lifted. The White House and State Department have denied Republicans’ claims that the transaction served as a ransom payment, claiming that the timing was coincidental.

According to the State Department, the $400 million was used by Iran to purchase military weapons and equipment from the U.S. while the shah was still in control, prior to the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

During her speech, Duckworth referenced a Monday Chicago Sun-Times editorial that outlined some of Kirk’s past gaffes.

“If it was just the first time, I would chalk it up to a momentary lapse of judgment,” Duckworth said. "But with him, it’s a pattern, both of irresponsible, offensive rhetoric, as well as of personal insults directed at this president.”

Kirk’s campaign responded to Duckworth’s speech Tuesday, outlining the senator's opposition to the administration's plan.

“The actions of the administration, including the use of unmarked cargo planes, pallets full of clean packs of foreign cash and an agreement with Iran that they only get the cash once the hostages are released, seems more representative of nefarious deals than the conduct of the world’s greatest democracy,” Kirk spokesperson Kevin Artl said in a statement. “Senator Kirk believes the administration’s actions, which Tammy Duckworth has supported, were reckless in the extreme and will ultimately endanger more Americans abroad and is almost certain to fund terrorism.”

During her speech, Duckworth went on to challenge Kirk’s record as “a social moderate, a fiscal conservative, and a national security hawk.”

Duckworth faulted Kirk for inserting a “poison pill provision” into a Congressional Zika funding bill last month that blocked Planned Parenthood from “receiving funds for vital public health efforts,” like family planning to prevent against the sexually transmitted spread of the disease. She also blasted Kirk for opposing equal pay for women.

"When it comes to social moderation, it seems like Mark Kirk is only there when you don’t really need him, especially in an election year,” Duckworth said. "But when you do need him, he’s either a no-show, or ineffective."

The congresswoman challenged Kirk’s stance as a fiscal conservative, noting that he voted for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq War, as well as former President George W. Bush’s “tax cuts for the wealthy” and the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Duckworth also claimed that Kirk only started crusading against the national deficit after Obama took office.

"Kirk’s not a fiscal conservative," Duckworth said. "He’s a fiscal phony."

Duckworth claimed Kirk is “guilty as charged when it comes to being a national security hawk,” noting that he has been “quick to sound the drums of war." Duckworth referenced her own experience as a combat veteran to make the point that she has worked to exhaust "diplomatic options” before engaging with military force, noting that "war should be the last option."

"We clearly have different visions on what this state can be, and how best to get there," Duckworth said. "Ultimately, through my own experiences — as well as talking to people all across this great state who want nothing more than to feel that economic opportunity is within reach — I believe that America is at its best when we’re investing in our people."

Duckworth also laid out her economic vision, which includes plans for infrastructure, manufacturing and renewable energy, as well as job training and a response to the fallout from job loss created by trade deals.

The Kirk campaign responded to Duckworth’s plan Tuesday.

“Throughout her political career, Duckworth has consistently supported more government spending, higher taxes and greater debt,” Artl said. “Even doubling down on her calls for tax hikes, she supports Speaker Madigan who has called for higher income taxes for every Illinois family.”

“Senator Mark Kirk supports lower taxes on working families, controlling government spending and reforms that root out waste and fraud so that the programs Americans rely on the most get the funding they need,” Artl added.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pence Cancels Chicago Appearance Amid Planned Protests]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 13:13:14 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/166*120/GettyImages-586220286.jpg

Indiana Gov. and Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence canceled a scheduled event in Chicago Tuesday as Illinois Democrats and community leaders staged a protest of his appearance.

Pence, who is running alongside GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, was scheduled to address the City Club of Chicago Tuesday at Mariano’s Banquets. The appearance was canceled following recent shake-ups to the Trump campaign, Crain’s Chicago Business reported.

A group of Democratic leaders and demonstrators, including state Sen. Daniel Biss and Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, protested Pence’s trip at Trump Tower Tuesday, condemning Trump's "hateful and dangerous plan to deport 11 million immigrants.” The event also featured leaders from immigrant communities speaking out against Trump’s deportation policy.

Pence is scheduled to attend a big-ticket fundraising dinner in Chicago Tuesday. Tickets for the event range from $1,000 to $25,000, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

However, it is unclear if Pence will still attend the event given the shake-ups to the campaign. The Indiana governor is scheduled to make a pair of campaign stops in Pennsylvania Tuesday, NBC Philadelphia reported.

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<![CDATA[Trump's History Undermines New Outreach to Black Voters]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 10:45:09 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/trump40.jpg

Donald Trump began to reach out to African-American voters over the past week and boasted that he would win 95 percent of the black vote in a theoretical re-election bid in 2020. Don't count on it. 

Right now the Republican presidential nominee receives the support of just 8 percent of black voters, according to the latest NBC News Survey Monkey weekly election tracking poll.

Allegations of racism have rocked Trump's campaign from the beginning. NBC News has broken down several reasons why black voters appear cool to the candidate.

Among the reasons: Trump and his father were accused in the past of systematically discriminating against black tenants seeking rentals in their buildings; his past support of the so-called Central Park Five, a group of wrongfully convicted black and Latino teens accused of beating and raping a white female jogger; More recently, Trump retweeted an image of a gun toting, unidentified African-American next to bogus crime statistics; and Trump's break with precedent by ignoring or turning down invitations from predominately black groups.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Duckworth to Speak at City Club of Chicago Tuesday]]> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 12:26:07 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-584263966+%281%29.jpg

Rep. Tammy Duckworth is scheduled to address a City Club of Chicago event Tuesday at Maggiano’s Banquets downtown.

Tickets for the event cost $35 for members and $45 for non members. Sponsor tickets for the event cost $750.

Duckworth, who is locked in a tight race for Sen. Mark Kirk’s Senate seat, also released a new campaign ad Friday highlighting the adversity the congresswoman faced growing up.

In the 30-second spot, Duckworth reflects on her father, a Marine who faced unemployment. The congresswoman notes that her family was forced out of their house and left to use food stamps.

“He didn’t want a handout, he just wanted a chance to keep working,” Duckworth says in the ad. “I know what it’s like to overcome tough times.”

During the ad, Duckworth promises to “fight China’s unfair trade deals that take our jobs” and to “cut taxes for our middle class families.” The congresswoman also claims she is dedicated to giving "everyone a fair shot at overcoming adversity."

Duckworth’s campaign team expounded on the ad’s message Monday.

“Tammy is running for Senate to help families like her own — families that have been knocked down but haven’t given up,” Duckworth spokesman Kaitlin Fahey said in a statement. “Tammy’s own experience inform her priorities, and as she often says on the stump, she embraces the notion that lifting one another up doesn’t cost nearly as much as leaving other Americans behind."

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<![CDATA[Thousands More Clinton Emails to Be Released]]> Tue, 23 Aug 2016 06:03:04 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Clinton-AP_16233409737100.jpg

The State Department said Monday it is reviewing nearly 15,000 previously undisclosed emails recovered as part of the FBI's now-closed investigation into the handling of sensitive information that flowed through Hillary Clinton's private home server.

Lawyers for the department told U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg on Monday that they anticipate processing and releasing the first batch of these new emails in mid-October, raising the prospect new messages sent or received by Democratic nominee could become public just before November's presidential election. The judge is overseeing production of the emails as part of a federal public-records lawsuit filed by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch.

Representing the State Department, Justice Department lawyer Lisa Olson told Boasberg that officials do not yet know what portion of the emails is work-related rather than personal. Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. She has claimed that she deleted only personal emails prior to returning over 55,000 pages of her work-related messages to the State Department last year.

The State Department has publicly released most of those work-related emails, although some have been withheld because they contain information considered sensitive to national security.

Republicans are pressing to keep the issue of Clinton's email use alive after the FBI closed its investigation last month without recommending criminal charges. GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump routinely criticizes Clinton for her handling of emails containing classified information.

Olson told the judge that State earlier this month received seven disks containing "tens of thousands" of emails Clinton sent or received during her tenure as the nation's top diplomat. The first disk, labeled by the FBI as containing non-classified emails not previously disclosed by Clinton, contains about 14,900 documents, Olson said. The second disk is labeled as emails containing classified information.

Olson told Boasberg she could not immediately say how many emails are contained on the rest of the disks or how many might be copies of emails Clinton already has provided.

Given the large volume of messages, Olson said it was "extremely ambitious" for the agency to complete its review and begin releasing the first batches of emails to Judicial Watch by Oct. 14.

Judicial Watch lawyer Lauren Burke told Boasberg that the proposed schedule is too slow and pressed for faster release of the emails from the first disk. The judge ordered the department to focus its efforts on processing the emails from the first disk and to report back to him on its progress by Sept. 22.

As part of proceedings in a separate Judicial Watch lawsuit, a federal judge on Friday ordered Clinton to answer written questions from the group about why she chose to rely on a private server located in the basement of her New York home, rather than use a government email account.

Clinton's spokesman Brian Fallon said Monday: "As we have always said, Hillary Clinton provided the State Department with all the work-related emails she had in her possession in 2014. We are not sure what additional materials the Justice Department may have located, but if the State Department determines any of them to be work-related, then obviously we support those documents being released publicly as well."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Giuliani Continues to Fuel Clinton Health Rumors]]> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 13:03:06 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-589923060.jpg

Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and now Donald Trump's adviser, continued to insist Monday that Hillary Clinton's physical and mental health is failing, citing debunked theories on the Internet, NBC News reported.

While on Fox News over the weekend, he urged people to look for videos on the Internet that support such theories. He continued the attack on Monday, saying on Fox News that the Democratic presidential candidate is "tired" and recently "looked sick."

Conservative media outlets have fueled speculation about Clinton's health in recent weeks, showing old photos and debunked reports, such as Clinton faking medical records or false accusations that she uses a defibrillator. Trump himself said last week that Clinton "lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS."

In response to the rumors, Clinton's physician, Lisa Bardack, said the candidate "is in excellent health and fit to serve as President of the United States."



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Kingmaker Sheldon Adelson Continues to Snub Donald Trump]]> Mon, 22 Aug 2016 05:39:02 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-456491900.jpg

With fewer than 80 days until election day, Republican kingmaker Sheldon Adelson still hasn't put any money toward Donald Trump's campaign for president, according to newly released filings from the Federal Election Commission.

The snub from Las Vegas casino magnate, who is one of the GOP's largest donors, is another example of the concerns some members of the Republican Party still has with its presidential nominee.

Adelson spent at least $100 million during the 2012 election, making him the biggest spender in that election.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump's Deportation Force 'To Be Determined': Conway]]> Sun, 21 Aug 2016 13:50:46 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/KellyanneConway-AP_16230629394268.jpg

Donald Trump’s new campaign manager said Sunday that the creation of a new “deportation force” for undocumented immigrants under a Trump administration was yet “to be determined,” NBC News reported. 

Trump supported the forcible removal of the 11 million undocumented immigrants estimated to be living in the U.S.

Last November, he called for a deportation force to do the job. 

When pressed by CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, manager Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s new campaign manager, avoided the question, but responded “To be determined.”



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Campaigns to Report Finances; Trump Starts to Buy Ads]]> Sat, 20 Aug 2016 10:16:54 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Trump-AP_16232796760347.jpg

New data this weekend will show whether Donald Trump’s low-spending campaign has started to burn the cash it says it raised, according to CNBC, NBC News reports. 

The campaigns are expected to report their finance activity to the Federal Election Commission for July on Saturday.

Both campaigns announced initial fundraising numbers earlier this month. Clinton’s said it raised nearly $90 million — with about $63 million going to the campaign. Trump’s campaign reported raising in about $80 million, but it was unclear how much went to the campaign itself. 

Trump has relied on news coverage and social media to push his message, pushing back against traditional advertising — and he has only started to buy ad space in battlegrounds.

In June, Trump reported just over $1.6 million in expenses for "digital consulting/online advertising."         



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump, Clinton Would Bring Ethics Baggage to White House]]> Sat, 20 Aug 2016 07:43:50 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-encuestas.jpg

The financial entanglements of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump could pose significant conflicts of interest if either is elected to the White House — and there is no law regulating them, according to ethics efforts, NBC News reports. 

Since federal ethics rules don’t apply to the president, there is nothing stopping Bill Clinton from doing business with interested parties while his wife is in the Oval Office. Donald Trump may be able to demand a tax break for a new golf course from a country that wants U.S. aid. 

"Trump and Clinton are different" from recent past presidents in this regard, said Stephen Gillers, a professor and legal ethics scholar at New York University. "The last time I think we asked these questions might have been Kennedy." 

Experts say the law won’t be much help. That means the Clintons should transfer the assets and programs of the $2 billion Clinton Foundation to another charity. And Trump needs to, according to experts, sell his holdings overseas.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump to African-American Voters: What Do You Have to Lose?']]> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 19:22:20 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/trump-592220512.jpg

Citing poverty, high unemployment and broken education systems, Donald Trump on Friday continued to court African-American voters with the simple question: "What do you have to lose?"

"Look at how much African-American communities have suffered under Democratic control. To those hurting, I say: What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump?" he read from a teleprompter at a rally in the overwhelmingly white town of Diamondale, Michigan.

The Republican presidential nominee said he would be a better candidate for African American issues compared to Hillary Clinton, and that, if elected, he would win "over" 95 percent of black voters in a potential reelection campaign in 2020.

Most surveys now show Trump polling in the low single digits among African-American voters compared to Clinton. Mitt Romney earned the support of about six percent of black voters in 2012.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Judge: Hillary Clinton Must Answer Written Questions in Email Suit]]> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 16:45:41 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Hillary-589997744.jpg

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. ruled Friday that Hillary Clinton must answer written questions from a group that filed a lawsuit over her private email server, NBC News Reported.

Lawyers for Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog organization, asked to interview her under oath as part of their Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department.

Judge Emmet Sullivan said Friday that the group "has failed to demonstrate that it cannot obtain the discovery it seeks through other, less burdensome or intrusive means such as interrogatories."

He gave the group until October 14 to give her the questions, and she has 30 days to answer them.

The group is seeking the details of Huma Abedin's relationship with the State Department that permitted her to do outside work while she was a top aide to Secretary Clinton.



Photo Credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Man Behind 'Naked Trump' Statues]]> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 14:00:36 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NC_trumpartist0819_1920x1080.jpg Las Vegas artist Joshua "Ginger" Moore discusses the inspiration for his "Naked Trump" statues installed in cities across the country on Aug. 18, 2016.

Photo Credit: KSNV]]>
<![CDATA[Clinton Told FBI Colin Powell Recommended Private Email: Sources]]> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 12:39:31 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Clinton+Powell-454548566.jpg

Hillary Clinton told the FBI that former Secretary of State Colin Powell recommended on two occasions that she use a private email account for unclassified communication, sources told NBC News early Friday.

According to the Democratic nominee, Powell made the suggestions at a small dinner party shortly after Clinton took over at the State Department in 2009 and in an email exchange around the same time, The New York Times first reported.

Two sources later confirmed to NBC News that Clinton gave that account to investigators in July.

Clinton's testimony was included in a report the FBI delivered to Congress Tuesday explaining Director James Comey's decision not to recommend charges against the former secretary of state over her use of a personal email server, the sources said.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump Apologizes, But to Whom?]]> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 11:50:40 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/DonaldTrump-AP_16232036197416.jpg

Donald Trump has insulted ethnic groups, entire nations, as well as public and private citizens since he launched his presidential bid in June of 2015. 

But on Thursday, the GOP nominee appeared to apologize for something. There was no indication as to whom he was apologizing — and for what. 

"Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing," Trump said at North Carolina rally. "I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it." 

Click to read a full list of who Trump may regret offending, as compiled by NBC News. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Admits Regret, Wrongdoing for 'Heat of Debate']]> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 00:56:44 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/TRUMP_AP_16232051260870.jpg

Donald Trump just made one of his biggest changes yet: he expressed regret and admitted wrong doing - though it's unclear for what, NBC News.

In prepared remarks given Thursday night in battleground North Carolina, Trump explained his past year of controversy-filled remarks as misspeaks in the "heat of debate."

"Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing," Trump said. "I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it. And I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues."

In a moment apparent self-reflection Trump said "sometimes I can be too honest" — which, he is not — but then called Clinton "the exact opposite: she never tells the truth."

"I speak the truth for all of you," he said. "And for everyone in this country who doesn’t have a voice."



Photo Credit: AP ]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Trump Aide Paul Manafort Scrutinized for Russian Business Ties]]> Thu, 18 Aug 2016 19:53:00 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MANAFORT_AP_16230447513637.jpg

Donald Trump's campaign chairman was a key player in multi-million-dollar business propositions with Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs — one of them a close Putin ally with alleged ties to organized crime — which foreign policy experts say raises questions about the pro-Russian bent of the Trump candidacy.

"The relationships that Trump's advisors have had with pro-Russian forces are deeply disturbing," said David Kramer, a former senior State Department official in the George W. Bush administration and a former adviser to Marco Rubio's presidential campaign. "Trump's attitude on Russia is not in line with most Republican foreign-policy thinking. Trump has staked out views that are really on the fringe."

In 2008, according to court records, senior Trump aide Paul Manafort's firm was involved with a Ukrainian oligarch named Dmytro Firtash in a plan to redevelop a famous New York hotel, the Drake. The total value of the project was $850 million. Firtash's company planned to invest over $100 million, the records say.



Photo Credit: AP ]]>
<![CDATA[Naked Trump Statues Around USA]]> Fri, 19 Aug 2016 02:45:19 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/08-18-2016nakedtrump4.jpg

Unflattering, flesh-toned statues of naked Donald Trumps popped up in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Seattle on Thursday morning, a sight that had many gawking and talking about the political art titled “The Emperor Has No Balls.”

The looming, painted clay statues placed in traditionally liberal cities drew many laughs, especially over Trump's protruding gut, and miniscule you-know-what.

"I think it's brilliant," Curtis Jensen said taking a picture of said private part in San Francisco's predominantly gay Castro district on Thursday alongside his partner. "He needs to be brought down a peg."

In San Francisco, a permit had not been issued for the installation so the Department of Public Works planned to remove the statue overnight. Supervisor Scott Wiener scheduled a news conference for Friday morning to announce his plan to relocate the statue at Lefty O'Doul's restaurant on Union Square.

While many real-life Trump critics were nary to be found, at least in the San Francisco Bay Area, some jumped on social media in the Republican's defense. They wondered aloud what the Left would say if the same type of mockery had been made of Hillary Clinton.

"Again the Leftists are showing how low class they are...wonder how well this would go over if conservatives did something similar too Hillary," Facebook user Christina Anderson wrote. 

The same sentiment was echoed elsewhere, too.

"I do kind of wish whoever did it would do Hillary as well," said Ken Warchol of New Haven, Connecticut.

A self-described anarchist group called INDECLINE was the mastermind behind the painted statues, first reported by the Washington Post. Six people helped the group set up the statues in each of the five cities Thursday morning.

The group posted a well-produced video of the creation of the statues. A soundtrack peppered with Trump's voice saying things like "You want some?" "The American dream is dead" and "I will build a great wall" bleats to a mashup of the national anthem.

The Post reported that the group asked an artist called Ginger to create the statues, based on his past designs of monsters for haunted houses and horror movies. Ginger's signature was on the base of the statue in San Francisco.

"When the guys approached me, it was all because of my monster-making abilities," Ginger said in an interview with the Post about how INDECLINE reached out to him for the four-month project. "Trump is just yet another monster, so it was absolutely in my wheelhouse to be able to create these monstrosities."

A spokesman for INDECLINE asked for anonymity in the article and could not be immediately tracked down on Thursday. An email sent to INDECLINE's website was not immediately returned. The group's website showed an image of a roadside sign showing Interstate 880 in Oakland as its main art, indicating its headquarters may have ties to the Bay Area.

Trump also had not tweeted about the display as of Thursday evening. 

People across the country had plenty to say about their feelings regarding the Trump statues that showed off the billionaire and his bottom.

On Thursday, onlookers stopped at the corner of Castro and Market streets to snap pictures of the statue, which also featured a second, tiny Donald Trump, wearing a suit and red tie, placed curiously underneath the ominous larger Trump.

Passersby chortled about the Trump statue’s orange-hued, but “lifelike” pallor, quipping that the figurine had “better hair” than the man in question. The creation was also deemed "creative," "impactful" and "misdirected."

But some described feeling torn because such a stunt could drive a deeper wedge between already polarized voters. Others disagreed, saying all public figures are fair game.

Tourists from Los Angeles whipped out cell phones to document the odd sight. One man with curly hair smiled as he tried to see if he was taller than the eight- or nine-foot statue.

Like others, Myces Garcia said the statue was perfect. "He's the guy with the biggest ego, an idiot." He said the city of San Francisco "should keep it. It looks great."

When Dylan Higgins-Kiang of Alameda was asked what he might change about the Trump statue, the 9-year-old replied: "I think it’s fine, but just make the head a lot bigger.”

Why?

“Because he’s all about himself. I’m number one. I love myself. I’m great," came the reply.

In Central Los Angeles, the statue of Trump, who has repeatedly said he would build a wall to prevent Mexicans from entering the United States, was placed in the Los Feliz neighborhood. The statue stood directly in front of the La Luz Jesus Gallery, showing the naked figure angrily looking out against a backdrop of colorful, Mexican designs.

In New York’s Union Square, the statue drew crowds before it was ultimately taken down by the Dept. of Parks and Recreation.

Marcos Alvarado, 10, of Queens passed by with his mother, pointing out the irony: "It's funny because he's being mean to everybody that is not from this country. It's funny because they're making fun of him."

INDECLINE, the Post reported, was also behind covering up the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with the names of African Americans who have been killed by police.

In the past, the collective has also claimed responsibility for an anti-Trump “Rape” mural on the U.S.-Mexico border and a massive piece of graffiti art in California’s Mojave Desert.

NBC Bay Area's Pete Suratos and Jean Elle contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[CTU Preps for Possible Strike as CPS Readies for School Year]]> Wed, 17 Aug 2016 18:46:52 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/cps+ctu+0817.jpg

Chicago Public Schools is set to open for a new school year in less than three weeks, but the question remains - will schools stay open?

The Chicago Teachers Union is telling its members to prepare for a strike, just as CPS laid off nearly 1,000 teachers and staff members.

Hundreds of people looking to be hired by the district, including teachers who were recently laid off, made their way to a job fair Wednesday, even as the school system faces a financial crisis and the very real possibility of a strike looms overhead.

"I was really surprised because you don't expect that," said CPS teacher Abeni Hester. "But when you are not tenured, things can happen that are out of your control, the budget issues."

"I'd like to make it to 20 years, which I thought would be no problem but I don't know at this point," Tom Borst, another CPS teacher added.  

The teachers who weren't laid off are threatening to walk out like they did four years ago, especially if CPS demands the new contract will include phasing in the 7 percent pension payment now paid by the city.

"I want the teachers to be part of the solution, there's a pay raise in there for them," Mayor Emanuel said. "There are changes to also make sure they get a pension. It's their pension, they individually retire on it."

As for the timing of a strike, CTU president Karen Lewis said schools will open on time. 

"I think we have to because we need to have conversations with our members," Lewis said. "We haven't haven't had them yet."

And even though teachers voted already and approved a strike, they may be asked to vote again.

"We're thinking about it," Lewis added. "We haven't made our decision but it may be a good organizing tool."

So as students get ready to return to the classroom, those at the job fair looking for a new position at CPS say even with the threat of a strike, they still want to work.

"It's kind of iffy, but I'm willing to take a chance," said Gresinda Griffin.

"Having CPS on your resume means you worked as a teacher," added Alexis Nwankwo.

Some are suggesting there won't be a strike until after September 16th, which is when teachers receive their first paycheck of the school year. Meanwhile, weekly negotiations continue between the union and the district.

CPS schools are set to open the day after Labor Day, on Tuesday September 6th.

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<![CDATA[Illinois Comptroller Proposes ‘No Budget, No Pay’ Bill]]> Wed, 17 Aug 2016 16:44:46 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/leslie+munger.jpg

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger proposed a “No Budget, No Pay” bill Wednesday to encourage Illinois lawmakers to pass an annual balanced budget.

Under the legislation, lawmakers would need to pass a balanced budget in order for state constitutional officers and legislators to receive their salary. The comptroller outlined her plan at the Illinois State Fair Wednesday.

“I don’t know of an employer that would pay someone that is not doing their job,” Munger said in a statement. “Why should taxpayers settle for less?"

"We tell small businesses, nonprofits, hospitals, schools and others to wait in line for months for what they’re owed by the state — it’s unconscionable that we would prioritize politician pay and move them to the front,” she added.

As a result of the state’s budget stalemate, Munger announced in April that lawmakers would have to wait in line to receive paychecks with other state vendors.

Earlier this month, Rich Carter, spokesperson for Munger’s office, told Ward Room that paychecks are cut in the order that they are received, with the exception of certain court orders for things like payroll payments to state employees.

Carter noted that paying lawmakers "depends on the amount of revenue that comes in." The state’s current bill backlog is nearly $8 billion.

Munger, who was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, is up for reelection in November. She will face Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza. In her release, Munger faulted Mendoza for voting in favor of tax increases, pension holidays and budget proposals from House Speaker Mike Madigan as a state representative.

"I, like many Illinois voters, have seen enough of the machine politics that have made Susana Mendoza," Munger said. "Enough is enough. When I look at her record, I can’t help but ask, what’s the deal?"

Mendoza responded Wednesday, slamming Munger for her ties to Rauner and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“If, like Leslie Munger, I was supporting Donald Trump, taking campaign contributions from his Illinois campaign chair and referred to myself as the self-proclaimed wingman of Governor Rauner, I too would say or do anything to distract voters away from that fact,” Mendoza said in a statement. “But after throwing seniors, disabled children and every other vulnerable population under the bus in order to push Rauner’s political agenda, she won’t be able to hide from her detestable record in November.”

Mendoza’s campaign site features a petition urging Munger to disavow Trump. The comptroller hasn’t disavowed the divisive billionaire, although she skipped the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last month.

Some Democratic lawmakers have claimed Munger’s decision to delay paychecks is politically motivated.

Earlier this month, Rep. Jaime Andrade told Ward Room that he thinks the decision to delay lawmakers’ paychecks is a political move by Munger as she faces a tough reelection bid. Andrade, who has resorted to driving Uber to pay his bills as Illinois’ budget woes continue to delay paychecks, claimed the delay has had "zero effect of moving the needle" on legislative budget action in Springfield.

Additionally, Rep. Robert Martwick published a Facebook post earlier this month claiming that Munger and Rauner were engaging in "extortion and corruption" by putting Andrade "in a very difficult financial situation."



Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Trump's Temperament Questioned]]> Wed, 17 Aug 2016 08:05:12 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/NC_campaignpm0816_1920x1080.jpg New poll finds only 17% of registered voters believe Donald Trump has the "personality & temperament" to serve as president. NBC's Steve Handelsman reports.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Mayor Emanuel Announces New Library on Chicago's Far South Side]]> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 20:42:11 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/mre+altgeld+library+0815.jpg

A new public library is slated to open on Chicago's Far South Side, but area residents say that while a library is nice, it's not at the top of their wish list.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel stopped by the Altgeld Gardens public housing project Tuesday to briefly tour the community's Chicago Public Library and announce that a new facility is on the drawing board. But some residents said that while they're grateful, they'd like to see some other improvements as well.

"This is the only community throughout the city of Chicago that does not have a grocery store," said Lamar Herron. "The school closed down which is right in front of you."

Herron voiced his concerns after Emanuel announced the new library, saying it would be built in partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority.

"There's going to be a new day in the community library here at the Altgeld Gardens," Emanuel said, though he did not take any questions about financing the project, or a timeline on when it would be completed.

"The mayor is pushing us to do something dynamic and that's what we're going to deliver on," Eugene Jones of the Chicago Housing Authority added.

But Herron insisted that he'd like to see other improvements to the community, saying there are more pressing needs for Altgeld Gardens.

"Why not a grocery store? Why not a gas station?" Herron asked. "Why not something that is needed for the community whereas the residents don't have to continue to go out of their elements to do what they have to do?"

9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale said there have been great strides made to the housing units.

"We have transformed this community," Beale said. "I think a library is just another avenue of the transformation of the area, and so we're not going to minimize a library."

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<![CDATA[CTU Offers Training for Potential Teachers Strike]]> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 16:41:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/ctu+generic.jpg

The Chicago Teachers Union sent an email to teachers Tuesday offering training for a potential fall strike.

According to the email, the training is aimed at bringing "educators together with union members from other public sector unions to share common realities and strategize together” about gaining leverage through using “combined power.”

Chicago Public Schools released their $5.4 million budget earlier this month. The proposal includes a 7 percent pension payment for teachers that would help pay for the district’s $300 million deficit. That pension pick-up was paid for by the city for more than 20 years by the city. Additionally, the budget includes layoffs of roughly 1,000 teachers and staff.

Shortly after the budget announcement, the CTU once again ramped up talks of a potential strike this fall.

“If the Board of Education imposes a seven percent slash in our salaries, we will move to strike,” CTU President Karen Lewis said after the budget announcement. “Cutting our pay is unacceptable.”

At the time, Lewis encouraged teachers to save money in preparation for a strike. The union president also noted that Emanuel might not be able to stand another CTU strike because "confidence in his leadership is at an all-time low.” 

The union last staged a strike in 2012. It lasted a week.

Earlier this month, CPS CEO Forrest Claypool said the district plans to “negotiate in good faith” with the CTU.

“We have two objectives,” Claypool said. “One is to protect teacher jobs and pensions. The second is to protect our kids in our classrooms and that’s the most important thing of all."

The email to CTU members was written by a representative from Labor Works, a nonprofit organization that deals in labor activism.

“Chicago’s issues are bigger than one workplace,” the email said. “Our bully mayor, billionaire governor, and greedy corporations in Illinois are pushing a coordinated agenda. They want to slash wages, abolish pensions, outsource jobs, and gut public services.”

The training is scheduled to take place Saturday at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Regular registration costs $25, while student and low-income registration costs $10. However, the email notes that “no one will be turned away for lack of funds.”

Workshops will focus on one-on-one conversations, taking action and planning and winning strikes. Sponsors include the CTU, as well as other unions, like SEIU Local 73 and the United Electrical Workers union.

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<![CDATA[John McLaughlin of TV's 'The McLaughlin Group' Dies]]> Tue, 16 Aug 2016 22:23:23 -0500 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/112416566-john-mclaughlin-group.jpg

John McLaughlin, the longtime host of public affairs TV show "The McLaughlin Group," died Tuesday at 89, according to a message on the show's Facebook page. 

"As a former jesuit priest, teacher, pundit and news host, John touched many lives," the post said. "For 34 years, The McLaughlin Group informed millions of Americans. Now he has said bye bye for the last time, to rejoin his beloved dog, Oliver, in heaven. He will always be remembered."

The unrehearsed show features political pundits discussing the latest goings on in Washington, D.C. Among the regular faces in the group is former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan.

Panelist and columnist Tom Rogan confirmed McLaughlin's death in a video posted to Facebook, saying "We are all very sad, everyone at the group, but we're remembering him in the best way that we can."

"He was energetic and he would call me and say, with profanity sometimes, you need to improve upon this — in a more aggressive way than that," Rogan said, laughing. "I will miss him very, very much."

Ordained a priest in 1960 after earning undergraduate and graduate degrees at Boston College and a Ph.D. at Columbia University, McLaughlin worked in the Nixon and Ford administrations, then created "The McLaughlin Group" in 1982. He also hosted a show called "McLaughlin" on CNBC for five years starting in 1989.

McLaughlin missed this week's show, which began with a note to viewers saying McLaughlin was under the weather: "My spirit is strong and my dedication to the show is absolute!" the note concluded.

Deadline reported Sunday that it was the first show he'd missed in 34 years as host. 

The show's Facebook page had last week encouraged followers to send their best to McLaughlin. 



Photo Credit: FilmMagic, File
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