<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Politics]]>Copyright 2017https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/politics http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California https://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usMon, 20 Nov 2017 11:25:00 -0800Mon, 20 Nov 2017 11:25:00 -0800NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Gun Theft From Legal Owners Is on the Rise, Fueling Violence]]> Mon, 20 Nov 2017 10:28:47 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/missingpieces-poster.jpg

Hundreds of thousands of firearms stolen from the homes and vehicles of legal owners are flowing each year into underground markets, and the numbers are rising. Those weapons often end up in the hands of people prohibited from possessing guns. Many are later used to injure and kill.

A yearlong investigation by The Trace and more than a dozen NBC TV stations identified more than 23,000 stolen firearms recovered by police between 2010 and 2016 — the vast majority connected with crimes. That tally, based on an analysis of police records from hundreds of jurisdictions, includes more than 1,500 carjackings and kidnappings, armed robberies at stores and banks, sexual assaults and murders, and other violent acts committed in cities from coast to coast.

"The impact of gun theft is quite clear," said Frank Occhipinti, deputy chief of the firearms operations division for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "It is devastating our communities."

Thefts from gun stores have commanded much of the media and legislative attention in recent years, spurred by stories about burglars ramming cars through storefronts and carting away duffel bags full of rifles and handguns. But the great majority of guns stolen each year in the United States are taken from everyday owners.

Thieves stole guns from people’s closets and off their coffee tables, police records show. They crawled into unlocked cars and lifted them off seats and out of center consoles. They snatched some right out of the hands of their owners.

In Pensacola, Florida, a group of teenagers breaking into unlocked cars at an apartment complex stole a .22-caliber Ruger handgun from the glovebox of a Ford Fusion, then played a video game to determine who got to keep it. One month later, the winner, an 18-year-old man with an outstanding warrant for his arrest, fatally shot a 75-year-old woman in the back of the head who had paid him to do odd jobs around her house. She had accused the gunman of stealing her credit cards.

In Gilbert, Arizona, a couple left four shotguns out in their bedroom and two handguns stuffed in their dresser drawers even though they had a large gun safe in the garage. They returned home to find their sliding backdoor pried open and all six of the weapons missing. Police recovered one of the shotguns eight months later on the floor of a getaway car occupied by three robbers who held up a gas station and led officers on a harrowing chase in the nearby city of Chandler.

In Atlanta, a thief broke through a front window of a house and stole an AK-47-style rifle from underneath a mattress. The following year, a convicted felon used the weapon to unleash a hail of bullets on a car as it was leaving a Chevron gas station, sending two men to the hospital. Two months later, the felon used the rifle to fatally shoot his girlfriend’s 29-year-old neighbor. A 7-year-old girl who witnessed the killing told police the crack of the gunfire hurt her ears. She ran home crying to her mother.

After the Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs mass shootings, attention fell on exotic gun accessories and gaps in record keeping. Last week, a new measure intended to shore up the federal background check system was introduced by eight U.S. senators. But many criminals are armed with perfectly lethal weapons funneled into an underground market where background checks would never apply.

In most cases reviewed in detail by the Trace and NBC, the person caught with the weapon was a felon, a juvenile, or was otherwise prohibited under federal or state laws from possessing firearms.

More than 237,000 guns were reported stolen in the United States in 2016, according to previously unreported numbers supplied by the National Crime Information Center, a database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that helps law enforcement track stolen property. That represents a 68 percent increase from 2005. (When asked if the increase could be partially attributed to a growing number of law enforcement agencies reporting stolen guns, an NCIC spokesperson said only that "participation varies.").

All told, NCIC records show that nearly two million weapons have been reported stolen over the last decade.

The government’s tally, however, likely represents a significant undercount. A report by the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning public policy group, found that a significant percentage of gun thefts are never reported to police. In addition, many gun owners who report thefts do not know the serial numbers on their firearms, data required to input weapons into the NCIC. Studies based on surveys of gun owners estimate that the actual number of firearms stolen each year surpasses 350,000, or more than 3.5 million over a 10-year period.

"There are more guns stolen every year than there are violent crimes committed with firearms," said Larry Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade group that represents firearms manufacturers. "Gun owners should be aware of the issue."

On a local level, gun theft is a public safety threat that police chiefs and sheriffs are struggling to contain. The Trace requested statistics on stolen weapons from the nation’s largest police departments in an effort to understand ground-level trends. Of the 80 police departments that provided at least five years of data, 61 percent recorded per-capita increases in 2015 compared to 2010.

The rate of gun thefts more than doubled in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Madison, Wisconsin; and Pasadena, California, our analysis found.

More than two-thirds of cities experienced growth in the raw number of stolen-gun reports, not accounting for population change.

There were 843 firearms reported stolen in St. Louis in 2015 — a 27 percent increase in reports over 2010.

"We have a society that has become so gun-centric that the guns people buy for themselves get stolen, go into circulation, and make them less safe," said Sam Dotson, a former St. Louis police chief.

Identifying the precise nexus between stolen firearms and other forms of crime is a question that has flummoxed researchers and journalists for years, in part because of strict legal limits on the public’s access to national data. The ATF is barred under a rider to a Department of Justice appropriations bill from sharing detailed crime gun data, which could include information about whether a weapon was stolen, with anyone outside of law enforcement.

The Trace and NBC sidestepped federal restrictions, in part, by obtaining more than 800,000 records of both stolen and recovered firearms directly from more than 1,000 local and state law enforcement agencies in 36 states. Matching the serial numbers of guns contained in the two sets of records enabled our reporters to identify crimes involving a weapon that had been reported stolen.

The trend is unambiguous: Gun theft is on the rise in many American cities, and many of those stolen weapons are later used to injure and kill people.

A research paper published this year, using responses from the Harvard and Northeastern survey, estimated that three million Americans carry loaded handguns in public every day. About nine million people carried a handgun at some point during the month before the survey was conducted, researchers found. Six percent of respondents who said they carried a gun had been threatened with a firearm in the previous five years.

In the past two decades, dozens of states have passed legislation easing restrictions against carrying in public. Some, like Georgia, have made it possible to legally carry a concealed weapon in restaurants and churches. At least a dozen, including Missouri, Arizona, and West Virginia, have done away with all training or licensing requirements, meaning anyone legally allowed to own a gun can carry it concealed in public.

People who owned guns for protection or carried a gun in the previous month were more than three times as likely to have experienced a theft in the previous five years, according to a study published this year that was based on the Harvard and Northeastern survey results. People who owned six or more guns and stored their guns loaded or unlocked — or kept guns in their vehicles — were more than twice as likely to have had their firearms stolen.

In Texas, gun owners have reported thousands of thefts. Austin alone tallied more than 4,600 reports of lost or stolen guns between 2010 and 2015, more than 1,600 of which were swiped from cars, The Trace and NBC found. Over that same period in Austin, lost and stolen guns were recovered in connection to at least 600 criminal offenses, including more than 60 robberies, assaults, and murders.

Many gun-rights advocates, including Jerry Patterson, a former Texas state senator, believe that owners have a responsibility to guard their weapons from theft.

"You’re negligent if you don’t exercise good judgment," he said. "There’s too many guns in the hands of dumbasses that don’t know how to use it, don’t know how to store it."

In Houston about a decade ago, someone broke into Patterson’s truck, making off with a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver. "Now I don’t leave handguns in the car," he said.

Instead, Patterson now keeps a shotgun under the back seat.

"It’s harder to steal a long gun discreetly," he said.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police recently tasked a team of top of law enforcement officials to develop a program that police officers and sheriff’s deputies can use to press gun owners into safeguarding their weapons. At the organization’s annual conference in Philadelphia in October, the team premiered a public service announcement that showed a burglar stealing a gun from an unlocked car and then embarking on a robbery spree.

"We leave our cell phones in our cars, and we go crazy. But you leave your firearm and it’s like we forget," said Armando Guzman, a chief of police from Florida who was one of the principal architects of the prevention effort. "Look at the consequences."

Most states don’t require gun owners who leave weapons in a car or truck to secure them against theft. Kentucky’s law specifically says that owners may keep firearms in a glove compartment, center console, seat pocket, or any other storage space or compartment regardless of whether it is "locked, unlocked, or does not have a locking mechanism."

Homes are generally a more secure place to store firearms, but even indoors, guns can be a magnet for thieves.

Researchers at Duke University and The Brookings Institution found in 2002 that thieves were more likely to break into homes in areas where gun ownership rates were high. The researchers concluded that instead of being a deterrent to crime, guns enticed thieves looking for a lucrative score.

In a large share of the burglaries in which a gun was stolen, it appeared that was the only item taken, suggesting that the thief knew the house had a gun in it and went after it, said Philip Cook, a professor at Duke who co-authored the study.

"That’s why people who put up signs that say, ‘This house is protected by Smith & Wesson,’ are taking a chance, just like people who put NRA stickers on their cars are taking a chance," Cook said. "It signals that this might be worth breaking into."

Of the nearly 150,000 records of stolen weapons analyzed by The Trace and NBC in which the type of gun was listed, 77 percent were handguns.

Law enforcement officials and researchers say that stolen guns are usually sold or traded for drugs. "Guns are the hottest commodity out there, except for maybe cold, hard cash," said Kevin O’Keefe, the chief of the ATF’s intelligence division. "This is a serious issue."

Most stolen guns were recovered within the same city or state as the scene of the theft, sometimes years or even decades later, The Trace and NBC found.

The Trace and NBC identified more than 500 guns that were stolen and then crossed state lines, sometimes traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles, before turning up at the scene of a crime. Many of those guns followed trafficking routes that are well known to law enforcement, flowing from states with looser laws to states with stricter ones.

A Smith & Wesson stolen from an unlocked pickup truck in Florida was recovered in connection to a shooting in Camden, New Jersey. A revolver stolen in Hampstead, New Hampshire, found its way to Boston, where police stopped a gunman at a high school graduation. A .380-caliber Jimenez pistol stolen from a house in Hammond, Indiana, came into the possession of an 18-year-old gang member in Chicago, who tossed it onto a front porch while he was running from police.

In South Carolina, a former state trooper reported his .40-caliber Glock stolen from his unlocked pickup in 2008. The gun was recovered during a drug arrest and the former trooper got it back, only to have it stolen from his truck again in 2011. Four years later, New York Police Officer Randolph Holder, 33, was responding to reports of a shooting in East Harlem when he encountered Tyrone Howard, a 30-year-old felon who had been in and out jail since he was at least 13. Howard pulled out the stolen Glock pistol and fatally shot Holder in the head.

Few states require gun owners to report theft

When a gun store is burglarized, it must report any missing firearms. Under federal law, licensed firearms dealers have to maintain records — including the make, model, and serial number of each gun in their inventory — and provide them to investigators so they can attempt to recover the weapons.

Everyday gun owners are not held to the same record keeping requirements. Only 11 states and the District of Columbia have a version of a law that requires gun owners to report the loss or theft of a firearm to police. Law enforcement officials say stolen-gun reports help them spot trends, deploy resources, and get illegal weapons off the street.

Keane, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president, said that while gun owners should lock up their weapons when they’re not in use, he opposes penalizing gun owners who don’t report a theft. "The focus has to be on criminals," he said. "If they’re using stolen firearms then there should be severe consequences from that."

Law enforcement experts and advocates of gun-violence prevention say that the attention should be on preventing thefts from happening in the first place.

Massachusetts is the only state where gun owners must always store firearms under lock and key, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. California, Connecticut, and New York require guns to be locked in a safe or with a locking device in certain situations, including when the owner lives with a convicted felon or domestic abuser.

All four states experience theft rates well below the national average, according to NCIC data.

"There ought to be some obligation in the law for gun owners to responsibly secure their firearms," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat. "Congress should not only be looking at this issue, they ought to be acting on this issue."

— Daniel Nass, Max Siegelbaum, Miles Kohrman, Mike Spies of The Trace contributed to this story.

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<![CDATA[Moore Accuser Details How Ala. Senate Candidate 'Seduced Me']]> Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:05:09 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2017-11-20+at+8.22.28+AM.png

The woman who alleges that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore had sexual contact with her when she was 14 and he was 32 says she feels "like a weight has been lifted" since she came forward, after waiting for nearly four decades.

Leigh Corfman appeared on the "Today" show Monday for her first television interview since accusing Moore, the Republican candidate vying to fill the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Moore has denied that he's committed sexual misconduct after Corfman and eight other women alleged sexual misconduct.

Asked about Moore's denial — he's said he doesn't know Corfman — she was skeptical: "I wonder how many mes he doesn't know."

Corfman said she has, over the years, told friends and her children her story: Going to Moore's house in 1979, where he laid blankets on the floor and "proceeded to seduce me," she said, recounting the meeting to Savannah Guthrie.

Moore took off her clothes down to her underwear, Corfman said, took off his own pants, touched her over her underwear and tried to get her to do the same. She said she felt uncomfortable, got dressed and had him take her home.

"I was a 14-year-old child trying to play in an adult's world," she explained, adding that it wasn't what she expected after reading Harlequin romance novels. "I was expecting candlelight and roses and what I got was very different."

Some of Moore's defenders have questioned why Corfman and the other accusers hadn't come forward with their stories before, suggesting they were motivated by politics.

Moore made national headlines in 2003 for defying a Supreme Court order order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments he commissioned for the Alabama Judicial Building when he was chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He recently beat the candidate President Donald Trump supported in the U.S. Senate primary and faces Democrat Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney known for prosecuting the Ku Klux Klan, in the December special election.

Moore has lost support from many Republicans in Washington since Corfman and other women came forward. The White House said Trump has found the accusations "very troubling."

Moore's wife, Kayla Moore, has said he won't step down from the race, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called for. She's also alleged that Corfman was paid for speaking to The Washington Post, which first reported Corfman's story earlier this month.

In Monday's interview, Corfman, a longtime Republican, denied both that coming forward was a political act and that she's been paid for speaking up.

"If anything this has cost me," she said. "I've had to take leave from my job, I have no tickets to Tahiti and my bank account has not flourished. If anything it has gone down."

Corfman said that she immediately told two friends about the incident after it happened, and later told her family. "I spent a lot of time every time he came up railing against him and what he had done to me when I was 14 years old," she said, but noted that she was a single parent of small children.

She did eventually tell her children about her story, once they were in junior high and elementary schools, but they decided together not to come forward so as not to have the kids be ostracized.

But after the Post persuaded her to go on the record about what happened after speaking to three other women who alleged sexual misconduct with Moore when they were much younger than him, Corfman said she's received lots of "amazing" support. More women have since come forward.

Though she cut off contact with Moore after the blanket incident, Corfman said it left her feeling guilty and without some self-confidence. "It took away a lot of the specialness of interactions with men," she said.

Shown a photo of herself at 14, Corfman said, "She sure did have a lot of promise ahead of her and she didn't deserve to have a 32-year-old man prey on her."

Photo Credit: "Today" Show
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<![CDATA[NewsConference: Failed Policies Cause of High Crime: Cooley]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:13:37 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NewsConference_Failed_Policies_Responsible_for_High_Crime_Co.jpg

Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley discusses the death of Sheriff Dept. David March and how authorities were able to capture his killer only after laws were changed. Cooley also says that crime is going up because of recent propositions and legislative acts. "People who should be in, are out," Cooley says.

<![CDATA[NewsConference: Book Chronicles Fallen Officers]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:10:42 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NewsConference_Book_Chronicles_Fallen_Officers.jpg

Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley talks about his new book, "Blue Lives Matter: In the Line of Duty." The book tells the story of eight law officers and a K9 who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

<![CDATA[NewsConference: House GOP Tax Bill Not Good for Calif.: Issa]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:07:50 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NewsConference_House_GOP_Tax_Bill_Not_Good_for_Calif__Issa.jpg

NBC4's Conan Nolan talks with Rep. Darrell Issa, one of the few Republicans to vote against the House GOP tax reform plan this week, about why he cast a no vote. Issa also discusses why he wants to name names when it comes to sexual harassment in Congress and whether he supports a congressional fix to the DACA program.

<![CDATA[NC Extra: Andrea Mitchell on GOP Tax Plan, Sex Harassment]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 15:05:08 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/NC_Extra_Andrea_Mitchell_on_GOP_Tax_Plan_Sex_Harassment.jpg

Sitting in for Chuck Todd of Meet the Press, Andrea Mitchell talks with NBC4's Conan Nolan about some of the tax deductions being eliminated for Californians in the news tax reform bill passed by the House of Representatives. Mitchell touches on the bill's chances in the Senate. In addition, Mitchell discusses whether people are ready to name names on Capitol Hill when it comes to sexual harassment.

<![CDATA[Trump 'Doesn't Know Who to Believe' About Moore: Mulvaney]]> Sun, 19 Nov 2017 08:36:46 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/transgender-trump.jpg

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, defended President Donald Trump for his silence on the sexual allegations against Roy Moore, saying Trump "doesn't know who to believe."

"He has said that he thinks that the voters of Alabama should decide," Mulvaney told Andrea Mitchell on NBC's "Meet The Press" Sunday. "I think that's the most commonsense way to look at it."

"He doesn't know who to believe. I think a lot of folks don't," Mulvaney said of the president, adding that he personally believes the allegations "are credible."

Nine women have come forward with accusations against Moore, the Republican nominee and former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, including one woman who said she was 14 when Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when he was 32. Moore has denied the allegations.

Photo Credit: AP/Evan Vucci, File]]>
<![CDATA[Harassment Claims Shine Light on California Capitol Partying]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 12:16:31 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-25762872.jpg

California's Capitol is awash in allegations of sexual harassment, creating an atmosphere that's affecting how men and women interact.

Holding meetings over drinks or winding down at a bar after a hectic day in the Legislature is a regular part of business in Sacramento, where policymaking and deal-cutting often depend on personal relationships. After-work campaign fundraisers and other evening events provide numerous opportunities for colleagues to do business and socialize.

Those days may not be gone, but there's unquestionably a changed sensitivity toward them.

Jodi Hicks, a lobbyist and partner at the women-led Sacramento firm DBHK, said after she gave a radio interview about the Capitol culture, a man emailed her to say he wouldn't hire her firm because he'd have to "walk on eggshells."

"We're hearing grumblings, and men are upset" about having to think about where and when they meet women, and if alcohol is involved, Hicks said.

"That's something we deal with all of the time," she said. "Every time someone asks to have drinks, women have to be concerned with what that means and where they're having drinks and making sure it's in public."

Even in public places behavior has crossed into inappropriate territory.

It was recently revealed that Democratic Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, of Los Angeles, was disciplined in 2009 when he was a legislative staff member. Elise Gyore, another Capitol staffer who had never met him, accused him of stalking her around a Sacramento nightclub and putting his hands down her blouse.

Following an Assembly Rules Committee investigation, Bocanegra was told to stay away from Gyore but wasn't otherwise punished. She had wanted him banned from attending work-related social events involving alcohol, but the Assembly said it couldn't control after-work behavior.

Gyore, who still works at the Legislature, said alcohol is nearly always present at after-hours gatherings.

"It can make people who have already decided that they're OK with doing some not-good things even more brazen," she said.

It also causes other problems.

The Senate in 2015 briefly offered free round-the-clock transportation to lawmakers in Sacramento after four lawmakers in five years were accused of drunken driving. Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon discontinued the practice after the perk was revealed.

While lawmakers can't require their office staff to go to after-hours political and campaign events, many see attendance as critical to their jobs. The events are plentiful when the Legislature is in session and lawmakers from out of town stay in Sacramento from Monday through Thursday.

Lawmakers held at least 30 evening fundraisers over a five-day period in August, according to invitations compiled by Capitol Morning Report.

The Legislature has faced criticism over its handling of sexual misconduct allegations since nearly 150 women signed a letter in October outlining a pervasive culture of sexual harassment and a system that does little to stop perpetrators.

On Friday, de Leon recommended fellow Democrat Tony Mendoza be stripped of his chairmanship of the Insurance, Banking & Financial Institutions Committee. De Leon, until recently a housemate with Mendoza in Sacramento, made the move after it was revealed a third woman who worked for Mendoza had alleged inappropriate behavior, including several one-on-one meetings over drinks or dinner.

For lobbyists, evening events are an "extension of our workplace," said Jennifer Fearing, who owns a firm.

"Part of your influence-peddling, above board, involves needing to be at these events," Fearing said.

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia said it is men who choose to misbehave, not the events, that create problems.

"I would say that most of the public realizes that our job is based on relationships, and so we are expected to go out there and socialize," said Garcia, a Bell Gardens Democrat who co-chairs the Legislative Women's Caucus. "I think our public also expects us to hold ourselves to a higher standard."

Fearing said there are plenty of ways for lawmakers, staff members and lobbyists to socialize and build essential relationships that don't involve alcohol. Some lawmakers hold fundraisers at breakfasts or at special events, like a cooking class.

"I think developing a level of diversity with regard to these types of events would be healthy. It could be productive," she said.

Hicks said ensuring women feel safe in all settings is paramount. She and her co-partners recently held sexual harassment training for their employees that included creation of safe words that female staff members can use if they feel uncomfortable at events.

It's all part of what she hopes will bring lasting change for men, willingly or not.

"If men's behavior changes just out of fear of it no longer being covered up, then that's a good thing too," Hicks said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clintons Call Out Trump, Putin at Political Event]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:45:46 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/clintons+irving.JPG

Former president Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared together onstage Friday for the first time since the 2016 presidential election to answer a host of political and personal questions.

The former First Couple was very casual during the hourlong discussion at the Toyota Music Factory in Irving.

They cracked a few jokes and were very candid on a number of topics — chief among them President Donald Trump, the 2016 election and the way forward for the Democratic Party.

When asked what they would tell Trump if he were seated next to them, Bill Clinton said Trump should, "stop seeking enemies and look for people to work with."

"We're the same age," he added. "What do you want your legacy to be?"

Hillary Clinton said Trump, as president, should do more to unite the country. She also discussed some of her own missteps during the campaign.

"It was the first reality TV campaign. He was the first reality TV candidate and I was the candidate of reality. I was not as entertaining and I admit that," she said.

The former Democratic presidential candidate also urged Trump to fix the Republican tax overhaul and push Congress to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, which she helped establish.

"It's a budget-busting, debt-increasing giveaway. It's not going to deal with our infrastructure problem, not going to provide better education, and it's not going to solve our health care problems," she said. "It's not too late for you [Trump] to demonstrate that you really understand the job, how awesome the responsibility is. You're looking for ways to bring people together and not divide us, so don't let the Republican Congress hurt people."

The pair spent several minutes discussing what happened during the 2016 election. Much of the conversation focused on Russian meddling.

"Vladimir Putin is an internal threat to our democracy and a national security threat. They were sewing discord in America. We were slow to defend ourselves," Hillary Clinton said.

The night ended with the couple being asked what they wanted their legacy to be.

Bill Clinton demurred, saying it all depends on how you keep score.

Despite calls for her to leave politics for good, Hillary Clinton said she's not worried about her legacy, because she is not done fighting for the causes she believes in.

"Anything I can do to bring people together, solve problems, help tackle the challenges we face is what I'm committed to right now," she said. "It's too soon to start thinking about legacy, because I'm not going anywhere."

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Trump to Pay His Own Legal Bills in Russian Probe]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:26:57 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/862049442-Trump-McConnell-Press.jpg

President Donald Trump has began paying for his own legal defense in connection with the FBI's investigation into the influence of Russian meddling in national elections, CNBC reported. 

The Republican National Committee and his campaign were paying for Trump's steep legal fees.

Bloomberg first reported the president would be paying his own legal bills Friday.

An interview with investigators could cost more than $30,000, according to the Bloomberg article.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Moore Scandal Ignites Fundraising Explosion for Opponent]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 13:52:37 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/jonesAP_17318718341273.jpg

The Roy Moore scandal has unleashed a torrent of online donations to Democrat Doug Jones, who was collecting around $250,000 per day in its immediate aftermath, according to two sources familiar with the matter who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity.

Democrats may end up in the unlikely situation of dramatically outspending the GOP in the Senate contest in deep red Alabama now that national Republicans have abandoned Moore. The Republican candidate's bank account had been depleted by a tough primary battle even before nine women came forward to accuse of him of sexual impropriety.

The scandal has super-charged Jones' already robust online fundraising to "Ossoff-level money," as one Democrat put it, referring to failed Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff, who amassed a staggering $30 million in a Georgia special election earlier this year.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[White House Defends Trump's Reaction to Franken Allegations]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:41:12 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_SHS_FRANKEN_MOORE_111717-151095147671400002.jpg

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Donald Trump has responded to sexual misconduct allegations against both Alabama Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore and Minnesota Senator Al Franken.

<![CDATA[Senators Hatch, Brown Trade Barbs in Tax Debate]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:11:20 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/US-Taxes-Hatch-Brown-Lon-NR-151093378913800002.jpg

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch and Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown exchanged heated words in a Senate Finance committee hearing debating the tax bill overhaul. The Senate version of tax bill was approved and sent to the full Senate after four days of often fierce partisan debate.

<![CDATA[Franken Fallout: Colleagues Respond to Allegations]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 05:08:51 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LV50FWEB11172017_MP4-151092304922800002.jpg

U.S. Senator Al Franken is asking his colleagues to investigate his own behavior after new allegations of sexual misconduct.

<![CDATA[Congress' Delay Risks Millions of Kids' Health Insurance]]> Fri, 17 Nov 2017 04:09:02 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pll_20171118_chip_russo_10_fc7316e06197590903fff4b9d54d55a9.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

The Children's Health Insurance Program covers annual check-ups and more medical procedures for nearly 9 million kids in low-income families, but congressional bickering is putting it at risk, NBC News reported.

The program has enjoyed bipartisan support since it was created in 1997, but legislators have let this year's reauthorization deadline pass in the debate over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Now funding in 11 states will run out by the end of the year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and 21 more states by March.

CHIP gives health insurance to children and pregnant mothers who don't qualify for Medicaid but can't afford private insurance, and Census data shows the rate of uninsured children has dropped from 14 to about 4.5 percent in the past 20 years, experts say.

It's helped Roland Williams, 11, a St. Louis boy with an extremely rare form of lung cancer whose mother was told last year that "he would make it to see his 10th birthday."

Photo Credit: Eva Russo / for NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Sanders: Trump Believes Moore Should Step Aside If Allegations Are True]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:10:55 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/SHS_roy+Moore.jpg

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders answers questions about President Donald Trump’s position on Alabama Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore and recent sexual misconduct allegations against him.

<![CDATA[Alabama GOP Senate Candidate Roy Moore Holds News Conference After Two New Accusers Emerge]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:25:12 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_ROY_MOORE_PRESSER_111617-151086703980900002.jpg

Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore held a news conference surrounded by religious leaders Thursday after two more women accused him of pursuing them when they were teenagers.

<![CDATA[Radio Host Tweeden Accuses Sen. Franken of Nonconsensual Groping, Kissing]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 12:41:07 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_AL_FRANKEN_ACCUSER_111617-151086421239900002.jpg

Radio host and Fox News panelist Leeann Tweeden held a press conference Thursday detailing her experience on a 2006 USO tour with then-comedian Al Franken and alleged that Franken forcibly kissed her during a skit written by Franken. She also said he groped her while she was asleep, providing photographic evidence. Sen. Franken has issued an apology and is open to a Senate Ethics Committee investigation. Tweeden accepted Franken’s apology.

<![CDATA[Trump: 'The Tax is Going Really Well']]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:01:49 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/US-Trump-House-2-CR_1200x675_1097522755698.jpg

President Donald Trump emerged from a meeting with House Republicans on Capitol Hill on Thursday and told reporters, "the tax is going very well."

<![CDATA[Sen. Menendez's Bribery Trial Ends in Hung Jury]]> Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:03:19 -0800 https://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/US-NJ-Menendez-CR-151086197097200002.jpg

The federal bribery trial of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez ended in a mistrial Thursday when the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on all charges against the New Jersey politician and a wealthy donor. Prosecutors did not immediately say whether they plan to retry the lawmaker.