Political

Two men are facing charges in Montgomery County for allegedly attacking a man because he was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat in Germantown over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, police say a Germantown man was out enjoying the warm weather and walking through his neighborhood when he says two men walked up and became outraged by the hat that he was wearing. He says he was shocked when one of the men allegedly hit him from behind.

Nable says the two men began harassing him as soon as they spotted his MAGA hat — shouting that he take it off.

He told them he is entitled to his political views and tried to walk away but says they became violent and repeatedly hit him until he fell to the ground.

Nable says he came to the United States legally from Togo in West Africa in 2007 and is now a U.S. citizen. He says he has supported the Republican Party and President Donald Trump from the beginning, attending campaign events and even volunteering during Trump’s inauguration.

Witnesses called 911 and Montgomery County police say officers canvassing the area found the two suspects at a nearby basketball court attempting to hide among the children playing.

Jovan Crawford, 27, and Roberson, 25, are facing multiple charges each including robbery and second-degree assault.

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The Florida Legislature opened its annual session Tuesday as issues of sexual misconduct continued to overshadow policy with the release of video from a secret surveillance camera prompting two Miami-Dade senators to admit to having an extramarital affair.

An anonymous website that appeared early Tuesday claimed to have evidence of an affair between state Sens. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, and Anitere Flores, R-Miami.

Shortly before the Senate session began, the two veteran lawmakers issued a joint statement saying that they “do not want gossip and rumors to distract from the important business of the people.” However, they acknowledged, “our longtime friendship evolved to a level that we deeply regret.”

“We have sought the forgiveness of our families, and also seek the forgiveness of our constituents and God,” the statement read. “We ask everyone else to respect and provide our families the privacy that they deserve as we move past this to focus on the important work ahead.”

Braynon is the leader of the 15-member Senate Democratic Caucus. Flores chairs the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and is one of Senate President Joe Negron’s closest advisers. Both are married.

The website gave the impression that it was the work of a private investigator, complete with what appeared to be a written report and video clips claiming to show Flores entering and leaving Braynon’s condo in Tallahassee during the final week of the 2017 regular legislative session.

There is no information on the website regarding who owns it, who wrote the text that appears there, or who supplied the video.

But the issue cast another pall over a chamber that has been embroiled for months in sexual misconduct issues ranging from marital infidelity to sexual harassment.

In October, incoming Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Clemens of Lake Worth acknowledged an affair with a lobbyist and abruptly resigned. Politico Florida was the first to report that private investigators had documented at least four separate incidents involving Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, dining with a female lobbyist and that six women accused him of sexual harassment. Politico also reported that state law enforcement officers had investigated a covert camera at the Tennyson condominium, where Braynon and Flores reside during session.

Previous coverage: Someone’s spying on Florida legislators. Surveillance camera found at condo building.

After the Senate hired two investigators to review sexual harassment allegations against Latvala, and a special master found probable cause to conclude that he not only violated Senate rules but may have violated corruption laws, Latvala resigned, effective Jan. 5.

On the same day he announced his resignation, Dec. 20, 2017, the website domain, floresbraynonaffair.com, was registered with GoDaddy.com.

In the final week of the 2017 legislative session, Braynon found a covert surveillance camera on the sixth floor of the Tennyson condominium near the Capitol. Braynon and Flores rent condos across from each other on that floor.

Braynon alerted building officials, who called the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. FDLE investigated and learned that a video camera found in the hallway of the common area was owned by private investigator Derek Uman from Gainesville. His company, Clear Capture Investigations, specializes in insurance fraud and “infidelity surveillance,” as well as “political and corporate surveillance.”

The building’s own video cameras showed Uman moving the device to new positions over a period of days before Braynon found it.

Braynon told the Times/Herald in November that he spotted something that had fallen underneath a hall table. He reached for it, and found a camera with a power pack, its power light covered over with tape.

Braynon said he had reason to suspect he was being watched. Two weeks earlier, Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami, had resigned after apologizing for a tirade of racially charged remarks to fellow senators. Braynon’s Senate colleagues had told him that Artiles wanted revenge.

Moments after opening the annual session Tuesday morning, Negron addressed the issue that had consumed much of his time and attention for the previous two months.

“I would like to begin today by addressing a very important issue that addresses not only the Florida Senate, but also our counterparts in Congress, the entertainment industry, employers large and small across the country, and our culture in general,” Negron said.

“Let me be clear: The Florida Senate has zero tolerance for sexual harassment or misconduct of any kind against any employee or visitor,” he said.

He added that the Senate, led by Rules Chair Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, is working to revise its administrative policies regarding harassment. The special master’s report on Latvala urged the Senate to review its policies relating to Senate socializing, including the relationships between senators and lobbyists and the use of alcohol during work hours.

Negron told reporters the Senate “is addressing these issues.” He added: “In the end, it is up to each elected senator or House member. They have to come home to their communities.”

House Speaker Richard Corcoran predicted that with Latvala’s departure “the Senate will have a revival” and called Latvala’s “reprehensible behavior” a constant dividing force in the upper chamber.

But in what could be an ominous sign of the bitter divisions between them, Negron defended Latvala as a lawmaker who, as budget chair, worked to attend to the needs of both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate but wouldn’t buy Corcoran’s claim.

“That a narrative some folks may want to get out,” he said. “That’s not how I view the world.”

In his annual State of the State speech, Gov. Rick Scott urged the Legislature to pass laws that strengthen the state’s sexual harassment laws.

“Unfortunately, we have seen this play out all over the country, including Tallahassee,” he said. “The people of Florida deserve much better than what they are reading about in the news. It’s very important that we all stand together and send a very strong message: Florida stands with victims.’’

Negron told reporters that he spoke with Flores about how she and Braynon handled the situation.

“I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever that their personal relationship has adversely affected how the Senate is run,” he said. “To me, it’s a personal matter between them and their families and I intend to move on and don’t intend to comment further.”

Corcoran, a longtime Latvala adversary, was adamant that Latvala’s wrongs far exceeded those of Flores and Braynon.

“I will not defend somebody engaging in an extramarital affair, but what I will defend is it’s a hell of a lot different than being a sexual predator,” he said. “It’s a hell of a lot different than raping someone. It’s a hell of a lot different than committing a crime. It’s a hell of a lot different than being subject to bribery.”

He said he was referring to Latvala’s recent resignation amid allegations of sexual harassment and corruption.

Corcoran defended the ability of political consultants to hire private investigators with surveillance cameras as legal and expected. “In a democracy, comport yourself,” he said. “Wake up every day and do the best you can do to be a good person. We’re all going to fail. We’re all going to fall short but recognize that in this era the thing you fall short on could end up on video and, in most cases, is.”

Benacquisto said the Flores and Braynon affair is “a private matter” between the two senators.

“I think their priority is twofold, with their families and then serving their constituents the balance of this legislative session,” she said.

She acknowledged that with the emergence of social media, no public official can escape having private issues emerge in the public eye.

“We are all public officials, and we stand in the public square, and we do that willingly,” Benacquisto told reporters. “We all have an obligation to behave in a way that honors the time away from our family and our service on behalf of our constituents.”

Here’s the joint statement by Flores and Braynon, which was emailed out by Jenna Sarkissian, the deputy director of public relations for Sachs Media Group, at about 9:30 a.m

“As this 2018 session of the Florida Legislature gets underway, we do not want gossip and rumors to distract from the important business of the people. That’s why we are issuing this brief statement to acknowledge that our longtime friendship evolved to a level that we deeply regret. We have sought the forgiveness of our families, and also seek the forgiveness of our constituents and God. We ask everyone else to respect and provide our families the privacy that they deserve as we move past this to focus on the important work ahead.”

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PARKLAND, Fla. – The brother of one of the victims of the Parkland school shooting said he was shut out of a speaking slot during Saturday’s “March for Our Lives” event in Washington, D.C.

“I was going to give a speech about Meadow and how devastated I am and how we need to make change, but they won’t allow me to put my voice out,” said Hunter Pollack, whose sister, Meadow, was one of 17 people killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

Pollack previously said he was set to give a speech, but wasn’t allowed.

‘I was going to give a speech about Meadow and how devastated I am and how we need to make change, but they won’t allow me to put my voice out,’ he told local10.com.

Pollock was questioning if ‘their political agendas’ were the reason behind his omission from the rally – where many survivors spoke on gun control, according to Fox News.

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On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions instructed federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty in drug-related cases whenever it is legally permissible. Sessions added that the Justice Department must ramp up its efforts in the wake of the opioid epidemic. Sessions’ controversial mandate to prosecutors comes on the heels of a plan announced by President Donald Trump earlier this week, which called for executing opioid dealers and traffickers.

FACEBOOK CAUGHT WITH PANTS DOWN!!! Sept 6 FB Statement re Russian ads: “Ads did not reference particular candidate.” Sept 25 WaPo article: “Ads highlighted support for Democrat Hillary Clinton.” All Russian roads lead to DNC. MUELLER, WTF ARE YOU DOING???

These were ads, shown in public. Now, they won’t show them to the public. It is beyond a doubt who these ads supported.

Kicker is this”
“ad spending from June 2015 to May 2017”

So these “divisive” ads ran from a year before Trump was even the GOP candidate, to 7 months after he already won the election.

“ads took advantage of Facebook’s ability to send contrary messages to different groups of users based on their political and demographic characteristics”

These ads pandered to voters based on demographic characteristics that could be found on FB, such as race, sex, and religion.
Anyone who believes these ads were on behalf of Trump needs their head examined.

The first steps in what President Donald Trump hopes will be a new era in border security began Tuesday when construction crews broke ground on prototype designs for a border wall, starting a 30-day sprint to construct eight examples in a fenced-off area on Otay Mesa.

Amid heavy security from state, local and federal agents wary of potential large-scale protests against the controversial project that have not materialized, four of the six private companies that won a national competition to build the designs began work in the morning.

San Diego police officers and county sheriff’s deputies were out in force at intersections and along streets near the entrance to the construction site. Customs and Border Protection officers, Border Patrol agents, the Federal Protection Service and California Highway Patrol were also seen in the area.

Occasionally a flatbed truck with a piece of heavy machinery lumbered down Enrico Fermi Road, swung east and crept slowly down one of the dirt roads that stitch the mesa to the building site. But work at the site on the first day was slow, with only a few trucks and workers there.

FULL STORY HERE

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Cole McCafferty is an American schoolboy from Philadelphia. He drew attention to himself in 2015, during the 2016 presidential campaign by actively campaigning for Donald Trump, despite the condemnation of peers and other residents of the city, who, in general, supported Hillary Clinton. Now Cole has decided to become the ambassador of peace between the US and Russia.

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.

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Well before the deadly Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville and the ongoing violent clashes with white supremacists and other groups, federal authorities warned local officials the actions of left-wing extremists were becoming increasingly confrontational and dangerous.

Federal agencies warned of the growing likelihood of lethal violence between left-wing anarchists and right-wing white supremacists.

Some even classified their activities as “domestic terrorist violence.”

In previously unreported documents dating back to April 2016 and viewed by Fox News, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security wrote that “anarchist extremists” and Antifa groups were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies. They blamed these groups for attacks on police, government and political institutions, racists, fascists and “symbols of capitalism.”

The agencies warned the rise of fascist, nationalist, racist or anti-immigrant groups in U.S. political discourse could lead to violent backlash from these “anarchist extremists.”

The FBI and DHS had no comment on the assessments, saying they were not intended to be made public.

POLITICO was the first to report on the documents Friday.

Brian Levin, a former New York City police officer who monitors domestic militants at the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, cautioned calling all members of the Antifa movement “domestic terrorists,” and said not all tolerate the use of violence while protesting.

“People in this movement allow for confronting, jostling, committing low-level types of offenses, but there has been for some time a core that have tipped the movement to confrontational violence,” he told Fox News on Friday. “The hardest edge in the Antifa spectrum comes under that category…not all Antifa are busting heads”

He added the same could be said for members of the alt-right, some of whom tolerate and justify the use of violence.

In recent decades, authorities have focused almost exclusively on right-wing groups as the most likely instigators of domestic terrorist violence, especially after Timothy McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, killing 168 people.

But groups such as Antifa, which is short for anti-fascist, have been growing in numbers and becoming more tolerant about using violence.

The violent clashes in Charlottesville on Aug. 12 that left one woman dead was only one recent event that drew dozens — and in some cases hundreds — of people on both sides, many of whom were armed and looking for a fight.

Some DHS and FBI intelligence reports began flagging protesters before the election, POLITICO reported.

“The socio-political landscape has changed,” Levin said. “The same way white nationalists used Obama as a figure to rally about…now Antifa and anarchists see in Trump a broad-base [enemy] that has united them.”

He added: “There is a sense that we are getting divided.”

President Donald Trump on Thursday ramped up his rhetoric on North Korea again, saying his warning of bringing “fire and fury” to the isolated nation may not have gone been tough enough. When asked what could be tougher than “fire and fury,” the president responded: “we’ll see.” He also did not comment on whether the U.S. is considering a pre-emptive strike on North Korea.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/anthony-scaramucci-removed-from-role-as-white-house-communications-director/

President Trump has removed Anthony Scaramucci from his new job as communications director, exactly 10 days after he was named to the position, according to The New York Times.

This comes the same day that retired Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly was sworn in as the new White House chief of staff.