<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Political News, Bay Area Politics]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usTue, 23 May 2017 00:42:04 -0700Tue, 23 May 2017 00:42:04 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Trump Asked Intel Officials to Push Back on Russia Probe]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 18:29:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rogers-461191572.jpg

President Trump asked two top U.S. intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between the Russian government and his campaign team, a former senior intelligence official confirmed to NBC News.

According to the official, Trump asked both the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.

Coats and Rogers both deemed the requests to be inappropriate and did not comply, according to officials cited by The Washington Post, which first reported on the president's request.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. The NSA did not respond to a request for comment.

Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[DOJ Narrows Possible Sanctions for Sanctuary Cities]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 14:08:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AGjeffsessions_1200x675.jpg

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday that local governments refusing to cooperate in deporting convicted criminals risk losing their Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security grant money, NBC News reported.

Sessions issued a memo in response to an executive order issued by President Trump in late January directing the attorney general and the secretary of Homeland Security to ensure that sanctuary cities will not be eligible to receive federal funds.

A federal judge last month issued a nationwide injunction on enforcing that part of the executive order after San Francisco said it could lose all its federal grant money.

But in his memo, Sessions said the order "will be applied solely to federal grants administered by the Department of Justice or the Department of Homeland Security, and not to other sources of federal funding." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Netanyahu, Trump Speak in Israel About Regional Stability]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 13:26:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TrumpNetanyahu_16465883_1-149548261825500001.jpg

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship, the international nuclear deal with Iran and Middle Eastern stability at a joint press conference in Israel on May 22, 2017.

<![CDATA[Melania Trump Appears to Slap Away Husband's Hand]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 12:59:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/Screen+Shot+2017-05-22+at+1.08.26+PM.png

Melania Trump appeared to slap away her husband's outstretched hand during events staged to welcome President Donald Trump to Israel. The Trumps were welcomed on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv at the start of a two-day visit.

<![CDATA[Unwelcome Selfie, Melania Hand Slap: Trump Arrives in Israel]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 10:20:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trump-selfie.jpg

The red carpet moments on the tarmac kept coming.

President Donald Trump had a bumpy landing in Israel on Monday with a series of apparent faux pas, from the first lady slapping away his hand to a lawmaker whipping out a cell phone to take a selfie with him.

Trump arrived in Tel Aviv for a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories and as he tried to take his wife’s hand on a red carpet on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion International Airport, the first lady appeared to push it back. It was unclear what prompted the videotaped moment. 

Oren Hazan, a politician in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Likud party did take his hand in what The Associated Press described as a characteristically aggressive handshake, then took out his a cell phone for a selfie. Netanyahu tried to swat Hazan’s arm away, unsuccessfully, and Likud politicians later said that not only was Hazan not invited to the ceremony but that he had caused “a great embarrassment” to the prime minister.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett used the welcome ceremony to press Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Trump, who had promised during the campaign to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem but has since backed away from the pledge, told Bennett, “That’s a good one,” according to the AP.

Boarding the Marine One helicopter for Jerusalem, Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, was caught on microphone commiserating about media coverage.

“The majority of people in Israel, unlike the media, they love us, so we tell them how you are great, and they love you,” she said, the Washington Post reported.

“We have something very much in common,” Trump replied.

“Very much in common,” said Sara Netanyahu, who has come under media attention as the subject of official investigation over her spending on the couple’s private home.

Trump soon found himself defending an Oval Office meeting on May 10 when he disclosed classified information about an Islamic State threat to the Russian former minister and ambassador to the United States. The information came from Israel, according to officials.

“I never mentioned the word or the name Israel,” he said.

But he never was accused of naming Israel, just of revealing enough details that could lead others to that realization.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Federal Budget Expected to Cut Billions from Medicaid, Food Stamps]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 08:53:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/TRUMP-CHECKS-+BALANCES.jpg

The White House sends its budget to Congress as Donald Trump tours Israel and the West Bank. Scott McGrew reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Handicapping Trump's New FBI Director Selection]]> Sun, 21 May 2017 12:28:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/getty-trump-investigacion-fbi-001.jpg

NBC Bay Area political analyst Larry Gerston reviews the issues concerning the appointment and suggests some possible candidates.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump's Israel Visit: 5 Key Issues]]> Sun, 21 May 2017 23:54:16 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-635655088.jpg

President Donald Trump's two-day visit to Israel began Monday morning and there are five key issues that are expected to be the focus of his time in the country, NBC News reported.

The most recent issue to come up is the security relationship between Israel and the U.S. It was reported that the intelligence Trump discussed with Russian officials came from Israel. Though an Israeli official said the relationship is unchanged, many wonder if Trump's discussion will affect it.

Trump will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall, a holy site in Jerusalem. However, his administration has given conflicting statements about whether the wall is located in Israel.

Also looming over the visit is the issues of moving the U.S. embassy, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians and building a new coalition of the U.S., Israel and Sunni Arab leaders.

Photo Credit: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA['I Was There for Democracy': Woman Beaten at Turkish Embassy Speaks Out ]]> Sat, 20 May 2017 04:50:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/216*120/Borazan.png

Protesters who said they were beaten by the Turkish president's security detail in Washington are speaking out about the incident.

A protester who says she was beaten by the Turkish president's security detail outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington is speaking out about the attack.

Video shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bodyguards violently breaking up a protest outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington following Erdogan's meeting with President Trump Tuesday.

"I was there for democracy and for human rights, it was a peaceful demonstration," protester Ceren Borazan said.

Borazan said one of Erdogan's bodyguards put her in a headlock. The headlock she described is visible in the video. She said it caused the blood vessel in her left eye to pop.

Borazan and the other protesters showed up to the ambassador's residence to demonstrate against Erdogan and bring attention to repression in Turkey, she said.

Several others were injured during the violence.

"They were beating me in the head," Lucy Usoyan, a protester, said.

Mehmen Tankan, another protester, said that a Turkish bodyguard attacked him.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona said Thursday that America "should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America." Borazan agrees with with McCain's statement. 

"There should be something," she said. "All I want is justice."

<![CDATA[Artist Aims to Challenge People in Power With Projections]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 21:34:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Trump+Projection.jpg

One D.C. artist is gaining popularity after projecting pictures, phrases and hashtags about President Donald Trump and other powerful Republicans onto buildings in the nation's capital.

Robin Bell cast two major displays over D.C. this week. Thurday's was on the Department of Justice building, aimed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions. On Monday, Bell lit up the entrance to Trump International Hotel with the words "Pay Trump Bribes Here" and "Emoluments Welcome."

He uses a projector and computer program to create modern messages that he says meld art and protest.

"We're trying to process the information just like the viewer," he said. "We're trying to understand what's going on. So, I don't see a separation between politics and art."

Bell spoke with lawyers and experts about the legality of his art. According to police, it's not a form of trespassing. 

While the Trump administration is the focus of his current projects, he did similar displays about former President Barack Obama when he was in office. He said he was fully prepared to create protest art about Hillary Clinton had she been elected.

"It's a whole institution. It's a whole system and in order for it to work, we have to look at corruption and we have to look at the issues that affect everybody," he said.

Bell said the response he's gotten has been overwhelmingly positive and has sparked a dialogue.

Photo Credit: NBC Washington
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<![CDATA[Comey to Testify in Open Session on Russia Investigation]]> Sat, 20 May 2017 00:26:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Comey-James-file.jpg

Former FBI Director James Comey will testify in open session before one of the legislative committees investigating possible collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia, committee leaders announced Friday.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will schedule the open hearing for sometime after Memorial Day.

“The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media,” said Burr.

Earlier Friday, the AP reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has told members of Congress he stands by a memo he wrote that preceded the president's firing Comey.

The Justice Department on Friday distributed prepared remarks that Rosenstein delivered to Congress in separate briefings.

In the remarks, Rosenstein said he learned a day before Comey's firing that Trump wanted to dismiss him. He says he thought that move was appropriate and produced a memo summarizing what he said were his "longstanding concerns" over Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation.

He says he asked career Justice Department lawyers to review the memo.

He says his memo is not a finding of official misconduct and is not a statement of reasons to justify Comey's firing.

Photo Credit: Alex Brandon/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Senior WH Adviser Is 'Person of Interest' in Probe: Report]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 15:31:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trump-walking-wh-alone.jpg

A senior White House adviser has been singled out as a “significant person of interest” in the federal law enforcement probe of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

A report published Friday by The Washington Post cites people familiar with the matter, who would not identify the individual under scrutiny by name. They did say that the senior adviser is “someone close to the president.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded in a statement: "As the President has stated before - a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity."

The news comes as the FBI investigation appears to be entering a more active phase, with grand jury subpoenas being issued and interviews being conducted. Sources told the Washington Post that the intensity of the probe will probably accelerate over the next few weeks.

Photo Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago's Whimsical Pothole Artist Gets Political With 'Liar' Mosaic]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 13:25:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/liar0518.png

A Chicago artist known for filling city potholes with his colorful and sometimes comical mosaics has now left a political message at the president's doorstep.

A mosaic of a Russian flag, with “LIAR” spelled out in white, sits ahead of a weathered sewer grate on Wabash Avenue not far from Trump Tower.

The artist behind the statement, Jim Bachor, is known for less overtly partisan Chicago pothole art like ice cream sandwiches and flowers, which he has been producing for years in the city. 

This is Bachor's first overtly political work on display, aaccording to the Chicago Tribune

Bachor posted two photos Tuesday on Instagram of the anti-Trump mosaic. The posts garnered thousands of likes and comments—some encouraging, some dissenting.

“Public art reaches hundreds of thousands, starts conversations [and] provokes thought,” one user commented. “Hateful comments only reach a few. That's why they hate. They lack an audience.”

“I hope you trip [and] fall into the next pothole,” another wrote.

Bachor told the Tribune he hopes to explain the art as a form of protest to his 11-year-old twin sons.

"I wanted to have an answer for them when they get older (when they asked) if I did anything to protest those dark Trump months when he was in office," Bachor told the newspaper. "I didn't want to look back and say, 'Geez, I just sat on my hands and didn't do anything.'"

Bachor's previous works of art have include floral, food or city-themed designs that have attracted the attention of residents as the pothole issue in Chicago continues to be a point of contention.

"I just think it's fun to add that little bit of spark into (an) issue that people moan about," he told NBC Chicago in 2014.

According to city data, there have been more than 540 potholes filled in Chicago in the last week alone. 

Bachor said he was first drawn to the ancient art form because of its ability to last.

The artist added that he has a few other pieces related to President Donald Trump but has not decided if they will be filling any potholes anytime soon, the Tribune reported.

Chicago's Department of Streets and Sanitation could not immediately comment on whether the city plans to pave over the latest work of art. 

Trump has vigorously denied any connections to Russia, calling investigations into possible collusion "a witch hunt" that "hurts our country terribly."

"There is no collusion between, certainly myself, and my campaign, but I can always speak for myself and the Russians--zero," Trump said during a news conference on Thursday. "We have a very divided country because of that and many other things." 

Trump Tower in Chicago has been the scene of numerous protests and demonstrations since the president took office. In November, nearly 2,000 protesters rallied around the tower chanting slogans and carrying signs.

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<![CDATA[Amid Crisis at Home, Trump Makes 1st Trip Abroad]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 04:54:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/US-Trump-Trip-Preview-CR-149519403916300001.jpg

Four months into a turbulent term with his White House in chaos, President Donald Trump is embarking on his first international trip, a five-stop marathon through the Middle East and Europe.

<![CDATA[VP Mike Pence Was Never Informed About Flynn: Source]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 03:27:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/634630578-Mike-Pence-Michael-Flynn.jpg

Vice President Mike Pence and his team were not made aware of an investigation into former national security adviser Mike Flynn's lobbying for Turkey, a source close to the administration told NBC News, a potential "pattern" of not informing Pence that would be "malpractice or intentional, and either are unacceptable."

Flynn was fired for lying to Pence about his conversations with a Russian diplomat, and a new report, which the White House has denied, claims Flynn told Trump transition lawyer Don McGahn, now White House Counsel, that he was under federal investigation for lobbying.

The source called the report "stunning." It would be the second time Pence claims he was kept in the dark about Flynn's alleged wrongdoings while the White House knew of them. Pence was running the presidential transition.

The source close to the administration did not blame President Donald Trump for allegedly not making the vice president aware, suggesting it was likely the president had assumed Pence and his team were "in the loop." Instead, the source said blame would lie with McGahn and whoever he told.

Photo Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[What to Expect with Mueller Leading Russia Probe]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 19:29:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Robert-Mueller.jpg

Democrats and many Republicans are praising the special counsel appointment. For some context, our political analyst Larry Gerston examines the appointment.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Get In, Serve and Get Out': Chaffetz to Resign]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 17:14:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Chaffetz_to_Resign_From_Congress-149515094661300001.jpg

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced he will resign from Congress before his term ends in 2018. Chaffetz, serving his fifth term, was a lightning rod for criticism over his dogged investigations over Hillary Clinton's handling of government emails prior to the 2016 presidential election. 

<![CDATA[The House May Need to Vote on Health Care Again]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 17:19:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dgaf-2.jpg

There's a chance the House might have to vote on the American Health Care Act again before the Senate can take it up, NBC News reported.

Republicans are using the budget "reconciliation" process to pass their health care bill, which allows them to push legislation through the Senate with a simple majority. But that depends on the bill meeting certain requirements — and one of them is that it reduces the deficit by at least $2 billion over the next decade.

Bloomberg News reported Thursday and NBC News has confirmed that House leaders have not formally sent their bill to the Senate on the chance that it fails to meet the deficit requirements.

If that happens, the House would have to vote again on changes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>