<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Political News, Bay Area Politics]]>Copyright 2018 https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area https://www.nbcbayarea.com en-usSat, 18 Aug 2018 00:20:11 -0700Sat, 18 Aug 2018 00:20:11 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Officials Worry Trump May Back Plan to Privatize Afghan War]]> Fri, 17 Aug 2018 09:34:18 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/erik-prince.jpg

President Donald Trump is showing renewed interest in a proposal by Blackwater founder Erik Prince to privatize the war, current and former senior administration officials told NBC News.

The idea envisions replacing troops with private military contractors who would work for a special U.S. envoy for the war who would report directly to the president.

It has raised ethical and security concerns among senior military officials, key lawmakers and members of Trump's national security team.

But a year after Trump approved boosting the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, his advisers are worried his impatience with the Afghanistan conflict will cause him to seriously consider proposals like Prince's or abruptly order a complete U.S. withdrawal, officials said.

Prince, a staunch Trump supporter whose sister is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, said he hasn't spoken directly to Trump about the plan, but told NBC News he plans to launch an aggressive media "air campaign" in coming days to try to get the president to embrace it.

Photo Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Zinke: 'Environmental Terrorist Groups' Enabled Wildfires]]> Thu, 16 Aug 2018 17:33:28 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/zinke5.jpg

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s claim that “environmental terrorist groups” created the conditions that enabled California’s wildfires triggered substantial blowback from environmental groups, who chastised the Trump administration official for downplaying the role of climate change in the blazes.

Zinke said in a radio interview with Breitbart News that environmental extremists were preventing the government from properly managing forests, leaving excessive fuel on the ground for the deadly blazes, NBC News reported.

The statement is just the latest as the Trump administration moves aggressively to open more public land to natural resource extraction, including logging.

Zinke later equivocated on his view, telling reporters on Thursday that “of course” climate change was among the reasons for the string of wildfires. But the Interior secretary’s precise position remained unclear, as he hours earlier had gone on Fox Business and cast doubt on the notion of humanity’s role in warming the planet.

Photo Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Revokes Brennan's Security Clearance]]> Wed, 15 Aug 2018 12:31:32 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_WH_BRIEFING_081518-153436107767000002.jpg

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump is revoking former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance. Brennan has been a prominent critic of Trump's policies, words and actions.

<![CDATA[Vermont Governor Faces Transgender Opponent]]> Wed, 15 Aug 2018 09:22:24 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hallquist-th.jpg

A former Vermont utility executive on Tuesday became the first transgender candidate from a major political party to be nominated for governor. Christine Hallquist is challenging Republican Governor Phil Scott.

<![CDATA[Pentagon's Top Spokeswoman Under Investigation]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 18:28:34 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dana-w-white-pentagon.jpg

The Defense Department is investigating allegations that a Pentagon official forced her subordinates to run personal errands and removed those who voiced complaints, NBC News reported, citing five current and former Pentagon officials.

The investigation into Dana W. White, the assistant to the secretary of defense for public affairs, focuses on multiple allegations of misconduct and abuses of power reported by at least four current and former staffers from the Office of Secretary of Defense Public Affairs.

The top Pentagon official, Defense Secretary James Mattis, is known to routinely pick up his own dry cleaning, to wait in line at CVS to buy his own office supplies and to carry his own luggage when traveling. In contrast, White allegedly instructed her staff to make phone calls to a foster care facility about adopting a child, to fetch personal care items, dry cleaning and meals and to act as her personal chauffeur in inclement weather.

Pentagon ethics guidelines say that "a DoD official may not direct or request subordinates to use official time to perform any activities other than official activities."

The five current and former officials told NBC News on Tuesday that investigators are also looking into allegations that White, a Trump administration political appointee, removed at least four Department of Defense employees — both uniformed and civilian — and had them reassigned as acts of reprisal.

Photo Credit: Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Fallout Continues Over Omarosa Tapes]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:43:38 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-8658796141.jpg

On Tuesday, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman released new recording of Trump campaign aides discussing his possible use of racial slurs and how they could spin the fallout. In a press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders doubled down on her defense of the President, saying Manigault Newman has "shown a complete lack of integrity" in her criticism of Trump.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WH: Cannot Guarantee Trump Didn't Use N-Word]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 13:24:39 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/WH_Defends_Trump_Dog_Response-153427725285400002.jpg

The White House defended President Donald Trump calling former protégée Omarosa Manigault-Newman a "dog" in a Tuesday press conference. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also could not guarantee that Trump has never used the N-word on record, but doubled down in his defense. 

<![CDATA[Omarosa: Trump Used 'Derogatory' Term for Puerto Ricans]]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 09:33:19 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/getty-trump-ayuda-puerto-rico-0234.jpg

Former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman says in her new book that President Donald Trump and his chief of staff, John Kelly, "referred to Puerto Ricans with derogatory terms many times," NBC News reported. Manigault Newman did not detail what those terms were.

In "Unhinged," Manigault Newman also says that the president tossing rolls of paper towels to Hurricane Maria victims during his visit to the devastated island was a moment of "cavalier behavior in the face of human tragedy."

She asserts "many of the problems and delays with getting aid to Puerto Rico were partly political." Kelly fought efforts to secure aid for Puerto Rico, believing its government was trying to exploit the tragedy to get money from Washington, she alleges.

Manigualt Newman instead cast herself and former homeland security adviser Tom Bossert as fighters for resources for Puerto Rico.

The White House had no immediate comment on Manigault Newman's allegations.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Tweets His Frustration at Omarosa, Calls Her a 'Dog']]> Tue, 14 Aug 2018 09:09:08 -0700 https://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/NC_omarosafallout_1920x1080.jpg

President Donald Trump is ramping up his war of words with reality star and former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman after she released secretly-recorded conversations between herself and the president.