Trump Sticks by Claim Muslims in NJ Cheered on 9/11: “I Was 100% Right”
Donald Trump is not going to let facts get in the way of his narrative. Even though the Republican frontrunner has been unable to come up with evidence to prove there were Muslims in New Jersey cheering on September 11, 2001, he isn’t backing down. "I saw it. So many people saw it,” Trump said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “So, why would I take it back? I'm not going to take it back.”
When NBC’s Chuck Todd challenged him about where exactly he saw this, Trump said he remembers the clips. "I saw it on television. I saw clips. And so did many other people. And many people saw it in person,” the frontrunner in the Republican presidential contest said. “I've had hundreds of phone calls to the Trump Organization saying, 'We saw it. It was dancing in the streets.’” Besides, it’s just logical to think that if there were protests “all around the world” there were also protests in New Jersey, which has a “huge” Muslim population. "Why wouldn't it have taken place? I've had hundreds of people call in and tweet in on Twitter, saying they saw it and I was 100% right."
"I have a very good memory, I'll tell you," Trump said. "I saw it somewhere on television many years ago. And I never forgot it." The real estate mogul did recognize it was proving to be particularly challenging to find copies of those supposed TV clips. “For some reason, they're not that easy to come by,” Trump said.
Paris Protests Turn Violent as Hundreds of Thousands Rally for Climate Worldwide
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world got together for rallies and demonstrations on Sunday to demand action on climate change from global leaders who are gathering in Paris for a major summit on the issue. In Paris itself, things got off to a violent start as police fired tear gas at protesters and 208 people were detained after clashing with riot police, 174 of whom were being held for possible charges. French President Francois Hollande called the violence “scandalous,” noting that it took place at Place de la Republique, which has been used as a memorial square for the 130 people killed in the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks.
Demonstrations are essentially banned in Paris as part of the state of emergency imposed after the attacks. Instead, activists laid out more than 20,000 shoes in the Place de la Republique to symbolize the marchers who would have been there. Pope Francis even sent a pair of plain black shoes to be included in the protest.
Around the world, there were more than 2,000 events ahead of the summit that officially begins on Monday. Initial estimates put the number of people who took to the streets at 570,000, although activists say the number will easily surpass 600,000 once events scheduled for later in the day take pace.
"These are the biggest set of global marches in history," said Sam Barratt from Avaaz, one of the organizers of the rallies.
Republican Candidates Deny Link Between Anti-Abortion Rhetoric and Colorado Shooting
After staying silent since a gunman opened fire in a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, several Republican presidential contenders condemned the attack on Sunday. But they uniformly refused to accept any kind of connection between the hateful anti-abortion rhetoric many of them have been espousing on the campaign trail and the shooting.
Carly Fiorina called efforts to link the shooting to anti-abortion rhetoric part of “typical left-wing tactics.” Lest we forget, Fiorina has been one of the most adamant in espousing lies against Planned Parenthood, even going as far as to falsely claim in a debate that undercover video shot in the organization had shown “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”
“This is so typical of the left, to immediately begin demonizing the messenger because they don’t agree with the message,” Fiorina said on Fox News Sunday. “What I would say to anyone who would try to link this terrible tragedy to anyone who opposes abortion or the sale of body parts, is this is typical, left-wing tactics.” She said protesters should be peaceful, regardless of their cause. “Any protesters should always be peaceful, whether it’s Black Lives Matter or pro-life protesters,” she said. “Protesters should always be peaceful and respectful.”
Mike Huckabee called the shooting “domestic terrorism” but said it was “disingenuous” to blame anti-abortion activism for the attack. “Regardless of why he did it, what he did is domestic terrorism,” Huckabee told CNN. “And what he did is absolutely abominable, especially to those of us in the pro-life movement because there’s nothing about any of us that would condone or any way look the other way at something like this.” But Huckabee later went on to conveniently link Planned Parenthood to murders. “There's no excuse for killing other people, whether it's happening inside the Planned Parenthood headquarters, inside their clinics where many millions of babies die, or whether it's people attacking Planned Parenthood.”
Donald Trump also condemned the shooting but quickly dismissed possible links between rhetoric and the shooting. "No, I think he is a sick person," Trump said on NBC’s Meet the Press. And when he was asked about reports that the shooter talked about “baby parts” Trump took the opportunity to again criticize Planned Parenthood. "I will tell you there is a tremendous group of people that think it's terrible, all of the videos that they've seen with some of these people from Planned Parenthood talking about it like you're selling parts to a car,” he said. “There are a lot of people that are very unhappy about that.” He also said he sees “a lot of dislike for Planned Parenthood” on the campaign trail. “There’s no question about that.”
Ben Carson, meanwhile, also condemned the shooting but when he was asked about possible connection to political views, he linked it to political divisions as a whole. "Unfortunately, there is a lot of extremism coming from all areas," Carson said on ABC News. “There’s no saint here in this equation.”
Newborn Baby Found Buried Alive Under Pieces of Asphalt in Los Angeles
Angelica Blount didn’t quite believe her sister that the noise they were hearing while walking along a bike path in Compton the day after Thanksgiving was a baby. "She told me, 'Can you hear the baby crying?'" Blount told KABC. "And I said, 'I don't know; it might be a cat.' And my sister said, 'No, it's a baby crying.'" They immediately called the police, and said they were heaing muffled cries from a baby but weren't sure where it was coming from.
When two deputies from the LA Sherriff’s Department arrived they found a newborn under pieces of asphalt and rubble inside a crevice on the bike path. "Deputies removed the pieces of asphalt and debris and rescued the baby from the crevice. The baby was wrapped in a blanket and cold to the touch,” notes a statement posted on the Sheriff’s department Facebook page. The way the baby was wrapped up in a hospital blanket leads officials to believe she was born in some type of medical facility. She was transferred to a hospital in stable condition.
Planned Parenthood Gunman Hints at Motive: “No More Baby Parts”
Authorities still don’t know why Robert Lewis Dear decided to take a break from what sounds like a loner life to pick up a weapon and open fire at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. But the four words he uttered after his arrest seem to pretty clearly suggest to anti-abortion sentiment for his attacks. The 57-year-old told police “no more baby parts” after his arrest, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press. Planned Parenthood also says witnesses claim the gunman was motivated by abortion.
The words "baby parts" seems to be a clear reference to widely discredited undercover videos released by an anti-abortion group that claimed to show how Planned Parenthood profited from selling fetal organs. The group behind the videos, the Center for Medical Progress, condemned the "barbaric killing spree in Colorado Springs by a violent madman."
Three people were killed in the shootout but it now seems the tragedy could have been much worse. Police found propane tanks outside Dear’s car, leading investigators to believe his plan was to shoot at them from the clinic to spark an explosion.
Dear has been cooperating with authorities. But sources tell CBS News that Dear “has been behaving erratically” during questioning. That hardly comes as a surprise considering that those who knew him say he was someone who barely spoke to others, and when he did often uttered words that didn’t make much sense. He had been in trouble with the law before and was arrested for domestic violence, animal cruelty, and being a peeping tom. His ex-wife in South Carolina once called the police, claiming Dear had assaulted her and locked her out of her house. “I know everyone has a lot of questions,” Pamela Ross, who divorced Dear in 2000, told the Charleston Post and Courier. “We all do. ... We’re living it just as everyone else is.”
People who knew him say even though Dear was barely talked to others, he sometimes got into arguments with neighbors. He lived with a woman in a remote trailer park without running water or electricity. "It looks like white-trash living at its finest—like a bomb went off and everything was thrown in the air," his neighbor, Zigmond Post, tells the Denver Post.
He also spent time in a shack in the woods, and whenever he went to stay there his neighbors decided to keep their kids indoors. “He was the kind of person you had to watch out for,” one neighbor tells the Washington Post. “He was a very weird individual. It’s hard to explain, but he had a weird look in his eye most of the time.” Another neighbor said that Dear once asked him to do work on his property but he was so scared after the brief interaction that he refused the job. "I wouldn't ride with that fellow from here to the mailbox now," he told the Asheville Citizen-Times. "I was just thankful to get home."
France Uses Emergency Laws to Place Climate Activists Under House Arrest
At least 24 activists who advocate for climate change have been placed under house arrest ahead of the highly anticipated United Nations talks in Paris. France used emergency laws that were implemented after the Paris shootings to arrest the green campaigners, the French government confirmed on Saturday. Earlier, the Guardian had reported the news, noting that the warrants delivered to the activists cited state of emergency laws that were imposed after 130 people were killed in terrorist attacks earlier this month.
Author and activist Naomi Klein, said French leaders are carrying out “a gross abuse of power that risks turning the summit into a farce.” Hearing the voice of activists is important at an event where lots of world leaders will be present, she added. “Climate summits are not photo opportunities to boost the popularity of politicians,” she told the Guardian. “Given the stakes of the climate crisis, they are by their nature highly contested. That is democracy, messy as it may be. The French government, under cover of anti-terrorism laws, seems to be trying to avoid this, shamefully banning peaceful demonstrations and using emergency powers to pre-emptively detain key activists.”
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve insisted the activits were planning to carry out violent protests at the talks. "These 24 people have been placed under house arrest because they have been violent during demonstrations in the past and because they have said they would not respect the state of emergency," Cazeneuve said in a speech, according to Reuters.
It’s not that the French government thinks green campaigners are tantamount to terrorists, but rather that their actions could distract law enforcement from the most important task. "These people have no connection at all with the terrorist movement, but our forces need to be totally focused on the protection of the French people," Cazeneuve added.
Republican Congressman Blasts Planned Parenthood on TV During Shooting
While police officers were still engaging with the shooter at the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs on Friday, one Republican lawmaker apparently thought the best thing to do was criticize the organization during an interview on CNN. “We saw these barbaric videos, and that was something that many of us have a legitimate concern about,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger said. He was, of course, referring to the widely discredited videos that claim to show Planned Parenthood executives profiting from harvesting fetal tissue.
Kinzinger also criticized Planned Parenthood for issuing a statement on the incident that broadly criticized “extremists” and “a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism.” The Illinois lawmaker said the statement was irresponsible.
“When I heard that statement, I thought that was very premature. We may find out this person was targeting Planned Parenthood. If we find out he was not targeting Planned Parenthood, I would fully expect an apology from the Planned Parenthood director for saying that,” he said. And almost in the same breath, Kinzinger seems to know a lot about the gunman: “Obviously this is a person that has a mental health issue that is to some level psychotic and crazy.” If it turns out that he is targeting the organization, the gunman “has taken a legitimate disagreement with the practice and turned it into an evil response.”
Many were quick to blast not only Kinzinger but also CNN for inviting a known Planned Parenthood critic while police were still trying to apprehend the gunman.
Appalled @CNN would have an anti-PP congressman on during an active shooter situation— Erin Matson (@erintothemax) November 27, 2015
Obama Calls for More Gun Control After Planned Parenthood Shooting: “Enough is Enough”
President Obama is once again responding to a mass shooting with calls for increased gun control. "This is not normal. We can't let it become normal," Obama said in a statement. “If we truly care about this—if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience—then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is Enough.”
Obama released his call for more gun control a day after a shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs killed three people, including one police officer. The Colorado Springs Police Department confirmed on Saturday morning that the gunman was Robert Lewis Dear, 57, of North Carolina. He is being held behind bars without a bond until a court appearance Monday, according to ABC News. Jail records did not list charges against Dear.
Dear apparently surrendered to police after he realized he was cornered and had nowhere to go, reports CBS News. He is now reportedly cooperating with law enforcement.
Police have released little information about Dear beyond his name so the motive for the shooting remains far from clear. Although Planned Parenthood recognized there is still a lot of information missing, it also did not hesitate to draw a link between anti-abortion rhetoric and terrorist action against reproductive health centers. "We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.
Statement regarding situation in Colorado Springs: pic.twitter.com/n31EqwYYh8— PPRM (@PPRockyMountain) November 27, 2015
Dear spent some of his time in a North Carolina cabin with no electricity or running water. His neighbors say he wasn’t very talkative and when he did speak it didn’t quite seem like he was fully there. "If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive—topics all over place," James Russell tells the Associated Press.
Support for Trump Plunges 12 Points: Did The Donald Finally Go Too Far?
Donald Trump is still the frontrunner in the GOP presidential contest but support among Republicans has plunged 12 percentage points in less than a week, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll. The drop, which marks the sharpest plunge since Trump became the frontrunner in July, means the real estate mogul was the top choice for 31 percent of Republicans, down from 43 percent on Nov. 22.
Trump’s decline was measured in a five-day rolling poll that ended on Nov. 27. Whether it actually means anything remains to be seen considering Trump has dropped in polls before only to bounce back again. But it’s difficult to ignore that this latest plunge comes shortly after Trump seems to have taken his hateful rhetoric to new highs. After the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, for example, Trump said he would back requiring all Muslims in the United States to register in a database. He was also roundly criticized for mocking a New York Times reporter who has a disability.
Trump is not alone in seeing his support dwindle. Ben Carson also appears to be falling out of favor, dropping to a distant second place with 15-percent support. The retired neurosurgeon was once six points away from Trump. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, meanwhile, are tied for third place with eight percent each.
If his controversial statements did cause Trump’s poll numbers to decline, it would pretty much be a first. After all, Trump started his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists, proceeded to mock John McCain’s war record, made fun of a journalist by referring to her menstruation, and even mocked Iowans for being dumb. And none of that hurt his frontrunner status. The Washington Post’s Phillip Bump writes:
It's certainly possible that Trump will say or do something that finally turns most Republicans against him. But by now, it seems unlikely. Trump has literally called voters stupid and seen his poll numbers rise. By now, mocking or insulting people of whom voters are already skeptical seems like a pretty safe bet.
Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Shooting: Three Killed, Nine Injured
UPDATE: After a five-hour standoff, police arrested a gunman who opened fire inside a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic in an attack that left three people dead and injured nine others. The dead included one police officer for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs who joined the city police in responding to the first reports of shots fired. The nine people who were injured with gunshot wounds, including five police officers, are all in good condition.
There is almost no information about the man—wearing a white T-shirt and with a white beard—who was arrested and taken out of the clinic after the standoff. The suspect apparently told the police officers he acted alone, reports the Denver Post. Three sources tell CBS News the suspect is Robert Lewis Dear, 59. Investigators still don’t know the motive of the attack. "To even speculate on a motive would not be reasonable,” a police spokesman said. In a statement, Planned Parenthood urged caution, noting that it was still not clear whether the clinic was the target:
Planned Parenthood has strong security measures in place, works closely with law enforcement agencies, and has a very strong safety record. We don't yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don't yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack. We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country. We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.
The Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic seems to have been particularly sensitive to safety issues as it had been a target of repeated protests in the past. It had recently moved to a new location that critics said was a “fortress,” notes Reuters. Two months ago, the FBI warned reproductive health providers were likely to see an increase in attacks amid a heated debate in Washington and across the country about funding for Planned Parenthood, reports CBS News.
The shooting in Colorado comes at a time when there has been an increase in violence against women’s health clinics and abortion providers. It’s hardly a coincidence that this spike in violence has coincided with an increase in legislative rhetoric by politicians against abortion and abortion providers, David S. Cohen and Krysten Connon wrote in Slate earlier this year. NARAL Pro-Choice America has called on the media to begin reporting attacks against abortion providers as domestic terrorism, noted Nora Caplan-Bricker last month.
Original post at 5:26 p.m.: At least four police officers and an unknown number of civilians were injured Friday afternoon when a gunman opened fire inside a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. Commander Kirk Wilson told KKTV that the situation was contained. But that information was contradicted by a different police spokesperson, Lt. Catherine Buckley, who said it was “very much an active situation” because law enforcement “can’t confirm where the shooter is at this point.”
Police engaged with the shooter inside the Planned Parenthood health center and are receiving gunfire. Buckley did not discard the possibility of hostages. "There is that possibility,” Buckley said. “There are a lot of possibilities with this scenario.” The gunman, however, does not appear to have made any demands. “We do not know about this person’s mentality or ideology,” Buckley added.
Planned Parenthood has not said whether the shooting began inside its health center but police say that’s where the initial call to police came from. The manager at a nearby hair salon told the Associated Press that she heard as many as 20 shots in a span of less than five minutes.