Trump blames ‘many sides’ for violent clashes in Virginia Associated Press 3 dead amid clashes at white nationalist gathering in Va.Video by NBC News BEDMINISTER, N.J. — President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed „many sides” for the violent clashes between protesters and white supremacists in Virginia and contended that the „hatred and bigotry” broadcast across the country had taken root long before his political ascendancy.That was not how the Charlottesville mayor assessed the chaos that led the governor to declare a state of emergency, contending that Trump’s campaign fed the flames of prejudice.Trump, on a working vacation at his New Jersey golf club, had intended to speak briefly at a ceremony marking the signing of bipartisan legislation to aid veterans, but he quickly found that those plans were overtaken by the escalating violence in the Virginia college town.He told reporters that he had just spoken to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., and „we agreed that the hate and the division must stop, and must stop right now. We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and … true affection for each other.”The president said that „what is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.”White nationalists had assembled in Charlottesville to vent their frustration against the city’s plans to take down a statue of Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee. Counter-protesters massed in opposition.A few hours after violent encounters between the two groups, a car drove into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the rally. One person died and at least 26 were sent to hospitals.”We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said.”It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. It’s been going on for a long, long time,” he said.Mayor Michael Signer said he was disgusted that the white nationalists had come to his town and blamed Trump for inflaming racial prejudices with his campaign last year.”I’m not going to make any bones about it. I place the blame for a lot of what you’re seeing in American today right at the doorstep of the White House and the people around the president,” he said.Disturbances began Friday night during a march through the University of Virginia before escalating Saturday.The White House was silent for hours except for a tweet from first lady Melania Trump: „Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts.”Trump later tweeted: „We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for.” He also said „there is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., took to Twitter to denounce the scene.”The views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant. Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry,” he said.In his remarks, Trump mentioned the strong economy and „the many incredible things in our country, so when I watch Charlottesville, to me it’s very, very said.”
World Chinese President warns Trump to tone down language after ‘fire and fury’ threats to North Korea Jon Sharman,The Independent 17 hours agoXi Jinping has urged Donald Trump to „avoid remarks and actions that escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula” following the US President’s repeated outspoken statements on the nuclear crisis.Mr Trump has warned North Korea it faces „fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continues to threaten the US with missiles, and issued similar threats after provocations from Pyongyang that included a claim it was planning a strike on Guam.In a phone call, Mr Trump and Mr Xi „agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behaviour,” the White House said in a statement, and reiterated their mutual commitment to removing nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula.It added the relationship between Trump and Xi was „extremely close” and „will hopefully lead to a peaceful resolution of the North Korea problem”.Mr Trump, holidaying at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort, tweeted on Friday that „military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely”.But he later insisted that „nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump.”China’s foreign ministry said Mr Xi told his US counterpart a peaceful resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue was essential, and urged calm.”Concerned parties must exercise restraint and avoid remarks and actions that escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula,” Mr Xi reportedly said.After the pair met in Washington earlier this year, Mr Trump admitted Mr Xi had given him a history lesson on the difficulties of dealing with North Korea.”After listening for 10 minutes, I realised it’s not so easy,” Mr Trump said.The weeks since North Korea’s latest weapons test, of an intercontinental ballistic missile with sufficient range to hit the US mainland, have seen aggressive posturing from both Mr Trump and the Kim regime.It has prompted dismay from the US’ international allies, with Angela Merkel saying „an escalation of the rhetoric is the wrong answer”, and that there was no military solution to the dispute over Mr Kim’s nuclear weapons programme.Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said: „Unfortunately, the rhetoric in Washington and Pyongyang is now starting to go over the top. We still hope and believe that common sense will prevail.”
Politics Trump’s fired chief of staff Reince Preibus ‘to be interviewed by Robert Mueller’ as part of Russia investigation Rachel Roberts,The Independent 5 hours agoThe man overseeing the probe into Donald Trump’s ties with Russia, Robert Mueller, intends to interview Reince Priebus, the recently deposed White House’s chief of staff, it has been reported.The special counsel plans to interview several current and former Trump administration officials as part of his ongoing investigation, according to the New York Times.Mr Mueller is asking for records including details of specific meetings with administration and campaign officials, and any related documents such as transcripts.The meetings he is asking about specifically include those related to Mr Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, according to the report.Mr Mueller is considering whether Mr Trump obstructed justice with his dismissal of Mr Comey, which would be grounds for impeachment.Mr Priebus is likely to be familiar with the details of all White House meetings.The sweeping investigation is looking at Russian interference in the 2016 US election, when state-sponsored hacking is believed to have helped propel Mr Trump into office ahead of Hillary Clinton.It is also examining possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign team or administration and Moscow.While not unexpected, Mr Mueller’s interest in Mr Trump’s most senior advisers is seen in Washington as evidence the probe is widening in scope and gathering momentum.Mr Priebus was forced out of his role in July and replaced with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly after he was subjected to a foul-mouthed tirade from new communications secretary Anthony Scaramucci, who lasted just 10 days in his job.Mr Priebus said he had resigned privately and Mr Trump thanked him for his service, although it was widely reported that he was effectively fired after being involved in all the major decisions made by the President during the transition period and the turbulent first months of his tenure.The special counsel to the President, Ty Cobb, said the White House would “continue to fully cooperate” with Mr Mueller’s investigation.The President has repeatedly said the swirling speculation around his ties to Russia is a “distraction” and “fake news” designed to undermine his position.Mr Trump denies claims he has threatened to fire Mr Mueller for not concluding the investigation more swiftly, insisting “I haven’t given it any thought”.A bipartisan group of senators recently introduced legislation designed to prevent the sacking of both Mr Mueller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, following fears there could be another “Saturday night massacre” – the name given to the evening in 1973 when Richard Nixon forced out his Attorney General amid the Watergate investigation.
Trump on Charlottesville violence: ‘To me, it’s very, very sad’ Colin Campbell 5 hours ago2:14 2:312:447:382:332:16Trump on Charlottesville violence: ‘To me, it’s very, very sad’President Trump on Saturday strongly condemned the turbulence in Charlottesville, Va., where white nationalists clashed violently with counterprotesters, leaving one person dead and more than 30 injured.“We’re closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville, Va. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence — on many sides, on many sides,” Trump said from his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J.Trump suggested that the clashes were especially unfortunate given his administration’s successful record. He touted his efforts to renegotiate trade deals and the unemployment rate.“Our country is doing very well in so many ways. We have a record — just an absolute record — employment. We have unemployment, the lowest it’s been in almost 17 years,” he said, speaking at an event meant to mark signing legislation addressing veterans’ issues.He continued: “We have companies just pouring into our country: Foxconn and car companies and so many others. They’re coming back to our country. We’re renegotiating trade deals to make them great for our country and great for the American worker. We have so many incredible things happening in our country. So when I watch Charlottesville, to me, it’s very, very sad.”Trump was speaking just moments after Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said a person had died when a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters. Shocking video of the incident showed the gray vehicle speeding into the group at high speed before reversing itself. The driver was later arrested with charges pending, police said. City officials said 19 people were injured from the crash, in addition to 15 other injuries related to the rally.“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of goodwill — go home,” Signer said.Related slideshow: Violent clashes erupt at ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Va. >>>Rescue personnel help injured people after a car ran into a large group of protesters during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. There were several hundred protesters marching in a long line when the car drove into a group of them. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)Both Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Charlottesville issued statements of emergency.The “Unite the Right” rally, which included neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members, was a protest against the planned removal of a Confederate statue from Charlottesville. The white supremacists clashed with counterprotesters Friday night going into Saturday afternoon.Some of the white nationalists, such as former KKK leader David Duke, said they were there to support Trump’s agenda. But Trump insisted Saturday that the issue predated his administration.“It’s been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama — it’s been going on for a long, long time,” he said. “It has no place in America. What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives.”He closed his comments with a call for respect in America.“We want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville. And we want to study it. And we want to see what we’re doing wrong as a country where things like this can happen,” he said.He continued: “My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens. Our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another.”White nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the “alt-right” clash with counter-protesters as they enter Lee Park during the “Unite the Right” Aug.12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Va. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Taylor Swift groping trial draws attention to hidden outrage ABC News 9 hours ago By COLLEEN SLEVIN, ASSOCIATED PRESS The Associated Press more +Taylor Swift’s allegation that a former morning radio host reached under her skirt and grabbed her backside during a photo op is bringing attention to a common but largely hidden outrage for many women, one that few report.A 2014 survey found nearly 1 in 4 women in the United States had been groped or brushed up against in a public place by a stranger at least once.But many never talked about it, let alone went to the police. A 2015 survey of more than 16,000 people globally found more than half of the respondents outside the U.S. had been fondled or groped.The then-girlfriend of former DJ David Mueller, who was standing with Mueller and Swift when the singer says he groped her, even testified that a co-worker had grabbed her backside at another concert.Mueller denies groping Swift and sued the singer, saying he was fired because of her false allegation.Late Friday, just as closing arguments were set to begin, the judge threw out Mueller’s claims against Swift — saying after he’d heard all of the evidence that Mueller could not prove Swift had anything to do with his losing his job. U.S. District Judge William Martinez also said there was no indication that Swift had made up her story.Even before that ruling, women around the world, not all of them fans of Swift’s music, had been cheering the pop superstar for confronting the issue in federal court and keeping an unflinching attitude on the witness stand.On social media, some are using a teal ribbon that represents opposition to sexual violence and praising Swift as an example for other women.Paige Brasington, 21, a Swift fan from The Woodlands, Texas, said she was groped on public transportation while studying abroad and was glad Swift was giving attention to the issue with the same honesty she brings to her music.The University of Georgia student was stunned the first time it happened to her on a crowded tram in Budapest, thinking there must have been an object pressed against her. After she reached down, she found a man’s hand on her butt. He exited at the next stop. When she told a male friend, he asked if she had enjoyed it.”The most important thing about this trial is it gets people talking about this issue,” Brasington said. „It forces them to confront that it is wrong and should never happen.”Holly Kearl, founder and director of Stop Street Harassment, which commissioned the 2014 U.S. survey, said women who speak out face not being believed or being blamed for groping, something many women have reported in sharing their stories on the group’s website.Sometimes they do not know their rights or what the law says, or lack the time or energy to report it. However, sharing those stories online, especially through video, is helping show victims it is not uncommon and proves to others it is a problem, she said.Kearl was standing outside a house after leaving a party in college when a group of men ran by and one of them grabbed her crotch.Even though she was a domestic violence advocate and well-versed in women’s issues, Kearl said she froze as the men left laughing, and she never reported it.”It’s just something that happens in our society, and if we don’t challenge it, it’s going to keep happening,” she said.Swift did not go to the police either. Her mother, Andrea Swift, testified they had hoped to keep the matter private and did not want it to define the singer’s life.As a star, Swift had another way to take action. Andrea Swift and other members of Swift’s team pushed for Mueller to be fired, which led to his lawsuit against Swift and her representatives.Mueller’s ex-girlfriend, Shannon Melcher, testified Friday that she saw nothing happen during the brief encounter at the photo session at a Denver arena in 2013 before a Swift performance.Swift and her legal team have pointedly framed what Mueller allegedly did to her as a sexual assault, not „inappropriate touching” as Mueller’s lawyer, Gabriel McFarland, refers to it.In Colorado, what Swift alleges is considered unlawful sexual contact or harassment, a misdemeanor, which victims have five years to report to police to prompt an investigation, said Karen Steinhauser, a former chief deputy prosecutor for the Denver District Attorney’s Office. It is unclear if Swift would reconsider pursuing a criminal charge.On the witness stand, the singer defiantly told McFarland that she was not going to let him or his client make her feel that what happened was her fault.Swift is countersuing Mueller, alleging assault and battery, and seeking a symbolic $1 judgment holding him responsible. Jurors will still get to decide that, along with whether Swift’s mother and radio liaison interfered with Mueller’s career.Even though she’s not a fan of Swift’s music, Samaria Alli, 21, lined up for a spot inside federal court to show to her support for Swift’s stand. Alli, a musician, said women often are harassed in her male-dominated field, then face a backlash for complaining about it.”I just want to see how this plays out for the sake of women anywhere,” she said.Swift has a somewhat complicated history with feminism. She is known for her „squad,” a group of famous girlfriends that includes Lena Dunham and Selena Gomez, showing off her female friendships in the entertainment industry. And she has posted music from rising female singers on her social media pages, giving them extra exposure.But Swift also has had a high-profile dispute with fellow female performer Katy Perry. And Swift was criticized by some when she tweeted about the Women’s March hours before it began in January because she did not personally attend, despite other celebrities showing up.Swift was supportive of fellow singer Kesha, who is at war with her former mentor and producer, Dr. Luke. Kesha claims Dr. Luke drugged, sexually abused and psychologically tormented her. He denies the allegations.Swift donated $250,000 to Kesha in a „show of support” to help in her legal fight. Adele, Lady Gaga and others also offered support to Kesha.—Associated Press writers P. Solomon Banda and Thomas Peipert in Denver and Mesfin Fekadu in New York contributed to this report.