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Thousands Protest To Protect Mueller Investigation After DOJ Shakeup

Protests in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago and other parts of the country erupted Thursday night as Americans called on their leaders to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe amid a major shakeup at the Department of Justice. The demonstrations follow President Donald Trump’s removal of Jeff Sessions as attorney general on Wednesday and…

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Thousands Protest To Protect Mueller Investigation After DOJ Shakeup

Protests in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago and other parts of the country erupted Thursday night as Americans called on their leaders to protect special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe amid a major shakeup at the Department of Justice.

The demonstrations follow President Donald Trump’s removal of Jeff Sessions as attorney general on Wednesday and his appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. Trump also tasked Whitaker with overseeing the special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, thus removing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein from the probe.

The move places the investigation in jeopardy, as Whitaker has previously expressed deeply critical views of it and may seek to end it altogether.

“We are in fact facing a countdown clock,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) at a demonstration in Chicago on Thursday.

“We are in fact facing a countdown clock,” says @SenatorDurbin at protest in Chicago to protect the Mueller investigation. @cbschicago pic.twitter.com/6oQ007Itrg

— Wendy Widom (@wendywidom) November 8, 2018

A network of activists called Nobody Is Above the Law set up a website where organizers around the country could list their demonstrations. As of Thursday evening, hundreds of cities in the U.S., Canada and even parts of Europe had protests listed.

Trump “crossed a red line” in appointing Whitaker to oversee the Mueller probe, the group wrote on its website. “We’re mobilizing immediately to demand accountability, because Trump is not above the law.”

RIGHT NOW: Protesters converging on Times Square with a message to #ProtectMueller the day after a massive shakeup in the Justice Dept.@samvanpee and I are on the ground for @MotherJones—follow along on Twitter and Instagram. pic.twitter.com/oBrLn9VDsM

— 🎥 Mark Helenowski (@MarkHelenowski) November 8, 2018

The protests kicked off Thursday night as media outlets began recirculating a 2017 interview Whitaker gave on “The David Webb Show” in which he argued that a U.S. president has the power to end any federal investigation without obstructing justice.

In the interview, first reported by Mother Jones, Whitaker discussed the reports at the time that Trump had asked former FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Whitaker, then the head of a conservative nonprofit group, argued there was no case for obstruction of justice regardless of Trump’s motives because the president’s executive power enables him to make such calls.

In D.C., hundreds of people gathered in front of the White House to protest Whitaker’s appointment and defend the Mueller probe. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) called the appointment “unconstitutional” while addressing the crowd.

Raskin ending his speech quoting Tom Paine’s “The Crisis” pic.twitter.com/aCi327hqJn

— Paul Blumenthal (@PaulBlu) November 8, 2018

Paul Blumenthal contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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El Paso

Thousand Oaks Shooter Was A ‘Ticking Time Bomb,’ High School Coach Says

MONTCLAIR, Calif. (AP) — A second high school coach of the gunman who killed 12 people at a Southern California bar recalled him on Sunday as volatile and intimidating, and said that repeated complaints to school administrators about his behavior failed to prompt any discipline. Evie Cluke coached Ian David Long on Newbury Park High…

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Thousand Oaks Shooter Was A ‘Ticking Time Bomb,’ High School Coach Says

MONTCLAIR, Calif. (AP) — A second high school coach of the gunman who killed 12 people at a Southern California bar recalled him on Sunday as volatile and intimidating, and said that repeated complaints to school administrators about his behavior failed to prompt any discipline.

Evie Cluke coached Ian David Long on Newbury Park High School’s track team in 2007 and 2008. In an interview with The Associated Press, she said Long was a “ticking time bomb” who constantly lost his temper, threw tantrums and would scream at coaches when he didn’t like their decisions. She said she once witnessed him assault a fellow coach.

That coach, Dominique Colell, said Long grabbed her rear and midsection after she refused to return a cellphone. Another time, he used his hand to mimic shooting her, Colell said, adding that she feared for herself whenever she was around him.

Cluke said she also witnessed Long pretending to shoot Colell.

“When Dominique turned around and saw that, she turned pale as a ghost and it was very, very scary.” Cluke said. “Just sadistic. … He was out of control. He would scream and cuss and his face would turn bright red and people would actually back away from him.”

Former high school track coach Evie Cluke said Ian David Long was volatile and sadistic and once told her he wanted to join t


ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former high school track coach Evie Cluke said Ian David Long was volatile and sadistic and once told her he wanted to join the military so he could kill people for his country.

Long, a 28-year-old former Marine machine-gunner who served in Afghanistan, opened fire during college night at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday night. He killed 11 people and a police officer who responded, and then fatally shot himself, police said.

Authorities have not determined a motive.

Colell kicked Long off the track team immediately after he assaulted her, but she and Cluke said the boy’s track coach urged her to reconsider because that could compromise Long’s goal of joining the Marines. The head track coach, Cluke said, reversed Colell’s decision to throw Long off the team and told her she didn’t have that authority, while the now-retired principal brushed it aside as a one-time incident.

Long rejoined the team after apologizing in front of several coaches and administrators.

Cluke said she, Colell, and her father, also a track coach at the school at the time, repeatedly reported Long’s behavioral problems, to no avail.

“You need to do something about this kid. He needs some help.” Cluke said she told administrators. “And they’re like, ‘Well, he’s got a good heart he’ll be fine. Just talk to him.’”

Emails to various administrators at the high school were not immediately answered Sunday. Attempts to get comment by phone and in person from officials at the school and its district were unsuccessful Friday, when both were closed because of a massive and deadly wildfire in the area.

Cluke recalled a time when she and her father sat down with Long for a talk and asked him why he wanted to join the military. His answer, she said, “is burned in my soul.”

“He said he wanted to be in the Marines because he wanted to go fight in the war for our country and he wanted to kill for our country,” she said. “When you hear somebody say they want to be in the military because they want to kill people in the name of our country, that’s chilling. It chilled me right down to my bones.”

She said it’s time for school administrators across the country to take behavioral problems seriously.

“It’s not the military or video games or music that causes this,” she said. “It’s the inaction of people in authority.”

She said that if other coaches and school administrators had acted following complaints about Long, “he could’ve gotten help and 12 innocent people wouldn’t be dead now.”

“The warning signs were there,” she said.

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U.S. Troops Will Likely Miss Thanksgiving At Home As They Wait For Migrant Caravan

The thousands of troops deployed to the southern U.S. border will most likely spend Thanksgiving setting up camp and eating prepackaged meals instead of being able to return to their families.  At Base Camp Donna, located between a highway and the border wall separating Texas and Mexico, troops barely have access to electricity, The New…

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U.S. Troops Will Likely Miss Thanksgiving At Home As They Wait For Migrant Caravan

The thousands of troops deployed to the southern U.S. border will most likely spend Thanksgiving setting up camp and eating prepackaged meals instead of being able to return to their families. 

At Base Camp Donna, located between a highway and the border wall separating Texas and Mexico, troops barely have access to electricity, The New York Times reported Saturday. Showers ― which weren’t installed until last week ― can only last a maximum of seven minutes in order to preserve water. Their tents don’t have air conditioning even though the heat is sweltering. 

The soldiers spend their time trying to make the outpost livable, according to the Times. They play cards and take turns charging their electronic devices. They build barbed wire fences. There’s no mess hall or access to hot food, so instead they eat prepackaged meals.

Their deployment orders expire Dec. 15, meaning that they most likely won’t be making it home for Thanksgiving. 

A caravan of thousands of migrants has spent weeks trekking through Central America toward the U.S.-Mexico border. President Donald Trump, claiming the caravan is filled with terrorists, gang members and drug dealers, decided to deploy additional forces to patrol the border in an attempt to keep people out of the country. 

Deploying troops to our own border for no national security reason is one of the biggest scandals of this Presidency. These dedicated, skilled, highly trained men and women will likely miss Thanksgiving w family, are near American cities but eating MREs. Let them go home.

— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) November 11, 2018

The Trump administration went ahead with plans to send more than 7,000 troops to patrol the border despite resistance from the Pentagon. The Defense Department rejected demands from the Department of Homeland Security that troops be armed in preparation for contact with migrants last month. Instead, the Pentagon agreed to allow the troops to provide air and logistics support.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis denied that the troop increases represented a political stunt to bolster Republicans ahead of last week’s midterm elections.

“The support that we provide to the secretary of Homeland Security is tactical support based on the request from the commissioner of customs and border police,” Mattis told reporters earlier this month.  “So we don’t do stunts in this department, thank you.” 

Yet many argue that the deployment is a waste of time and resources, especially given that the caravan is still weeks away from the border. 

“When you give a soldier a real mission, you have less of a morale problem, even if it’s Christmas or Thanksgiving,” said Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.), a veteran of the Iraq war. “But when you send a soldier on a dubious mission, with no military value, over Thanksgiving, it doesn’t help morale at all.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) criticized the deployment and suggested that the troops be allowed to return home for Thanksgiving. 

“Every member of Congress, including those that have not yet been sworn in, should be asked if they think that our Troops deployed to the southern border should be allowed to go home for the holidays,” he tweeted Sunday. 

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Michelle Obama Explains That Look On Her Face During Trump’s Inauguration

Former first lady Michelle Obama has revealed that she “stopped even trying to smile” during the 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump in an interview with ABC that aired Sunday night. Reading from her forthcoming memoir, Becoming, Obama said that the “vibrant diversity” of her husband’s two previous inaugurations “was gone” on the day Trump took office.…

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Michelle Obama Explains That Look On Her Face During Trump’s Inauguration

Former first lady Michelle Obama has revealed that she “stopped even trying to smile” during the 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump in an interview with ABC that aired Sunday night.

Reading from her forthcoming memoir, Becoming, Obama said that the “vibrant diversity” of her husband’s two previous inaugurations “was gone” on the day Trump took office.

“Someone from Barack’s administration might have said that the optics were bad ― that what the public saw didn’t reflect the president’s reality or ideals,” she said. “But in this case, maybe it did. Realizing it, I made my own optic adjustment: I stopped even trying to smile.”

“I stopped even trying to smile,” @MichelleObama shares what she was feeling during President Trump’s 2017 Presidential Inauguration. #MichelleObama #Michellehttps://t.co/GG1GiLxNVX pic.twitter.com/iBq38HR5hv

— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 12, 2018

Obama also recounted the rage and fear that she had felt in the lead up to the Trump’s election, especially after the surfacing of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape. 

Writing in her book, the former first lady said that she had faith that when Americans went to the polls, they would understand “the true nature of what they were choosing between.”


Pool via Getty Images

“I stopped even trying to smile,” Obama said.

“I implored people to focus and to think about what it takes to be the commander in chief,” she told the ABC’s Robin Roberts. “It’s amazing to me that we still have to tell people about the importance of voting … People have to be educated, they have to be focused on the issues and they have to go to the polls if they want their politics to reflect their values.”

Watch Obama discuss how she felt during Trump’s inauguration in the clip above. 

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