ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
92°
Mostly Clear
H 93° L 70°
  • cloudy-day
    92°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Clear. H 93° L 70°
  • clear-day
    93°
    Today
    Mostly Clear. H 93° L 70°
  • clear-day
    93°
    Tomorrow
    Mostly Clear. H 93° L 70°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

National Politics

    In the aptly named Harvester Restaurant, wheat farmer Roy Dube makes clear he's no fan of President Donald Trump's trade policy. 'We get him elected into office and he pulls us out of trade agreements,' Dube said last week as local farmers gathered to hear Democratic House candidate Lisa Brown. Dube says China is buying less wheat from eastern Washington farmers and Trump's policies have opened the door for Australia and Canada to wrestle away business. His frustration extends to his congressional representative, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who is the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House and running for an eighth term. 'I'm concerned that Cathy McMorris Rodgers didn't put up more resistance,' Dube said. The U.S. tariffs on agriculture products, sown by Trump, have grown into an election-year threat to Republicans in rural districts that are heavily reliant on exports for their economy. With the livelihoods of farmers at risk, opposition to the tariffs could make a difference in some races and help determine which party takes control of Congress. McMorris Rodgers has made it clear she opposes the president's actions on tariffs, but so far, the Republican-controlled House has not taken up legislation to block them. Democrats characterize GOP lawmakers as unable or unwilling to check Trump, who has declared that 'tariffs are the greatest.' 'My opponent, though she would say she's concerned and talking to the administration about these issues, she's still mostly a cheerleader for the president,' said Brown, a former state legislator. Facing what appears to be the tightest re-election race of her career, McMorris Rodgers is emphasizing that she has encouraged the president to 'move from tariffs to agreement.' 'I have made it very clear that I don't support the across-the-board tariffs, that we should take a more targeted approach,' McMorris Rodgers told The Associated Press. Clues that the president's trade policies will play a role in the November midterm elections can be seen in Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's travel schedule. Over the past few months, he's been to Eastern Washington to join McMorris Rodgers in meeting with farmers. He's also been to California's Central Valley to meet with farmers in the districts of Republican Reps. Jeff Denham and David Valadao. He also went to Iowa, where Republican Reps. David Young and Rod Blum are both in close races. The battle for the Senate could also be affected by the tariff issue, particularly in North Dakota, Indiana and Missouri, where Republicans hope to knock off three Democratic incumbents. The president has tried to allay farmers' concerns with an aid package of up to $12 billion to help them weather the trade war. J. Read Smith, a rancher near St. John, Washington, said he shares Trump's goal of seeking a level playing field in trade. 'But antagonizing our trading partners is not the way to do it,' said Smith, who emphasized that he is not a Democrat. 'I'm an American.' Aaron Flansburg, who runs a diversified farm near Pullman, Washington, said he's skeptical the tariffs will change the way most farmers vote, though. 'Farmers often vote for Republicans,' Flansburg said. 'Whether that will change, I have my doubts.' McMorris Rodgers said it's her sense that voters are willing to give the president time to negotiate better agreements. 'Yes, there's a lot of uncertainty. There's a sense that we need to get these trade agreements into place as soon as possible, but there's also a recognition that for too long America has not taken action, especially against China,' she said. In July, the United States began imposing a tax on $34 billion in Chinese imports. Last month, it added tariffs to $16 billion in Chinese goods and is readying taxes on an additional $200 billion worth. China retaliated with its own tariffs on U.S. products. The world's two biggest economies are clashing over allegations that China steals technology from American companies. The Trump administration also announced that it will begin taxing $200 billion in Chinese goods starting Monday. The tariffs will start at 10 percent and rise to 25 percent in 2019. The Trump administration also imposed a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum that included imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico — and just about everyone else — in the name of national security. Those tariffs also drew retaliation. For example, the EU targeted bourbon, a key industry in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's home state of Kentucky, where Republican Rep. Andy Barr and Democratic challenger Amy McGrath are battling in a close election. Overall, about 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of how the president is handling trade negotiations with other countries. Farm groups have testified in congressional hearings that retaliatory tariffs increase the cost of their products for customers abroad, giving foreign competitors an edge. 'The current tariffs, continuing back-and-forth retaliatory actions and trade uncertainties are hitting American agriculture from all sides and are causing us to lose our markets. Once you lose a market, it is really tough to get it back,' said Kevin Paap, president of the Minnesota Farm Bureau. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, who is overseeing Democratic efforts in House races, pointed to Iowa as a state where he believes the administration's tariffs could backfire. He said primary turnout was up, in part because small family farmers and the businesses they buy from are worried. 'I really believe that in those districts, you'll see people come forward and hold everyone accountable not standing up for them,' Lujan said. GOP lawmakers from Iowa, including Young and Blum, signed onto a letter calling on the president to act quickly to save rural economies. Blum also wrote Trump separately urging him to 'consider the consequences tariffs have on American manufacturers.' When the president visited Blum's district a few days later, he thanked him for his 'political courage' on trade. 'You've taken some heat for it in the short term, but in the long run, the farmers, the manufacturers, the employers are all going to be better off,' Blum told the president. His Democratic challenger, Abby Finkenauer, has seized on that thank you. 'There is no way he should stand there and thank the administration for throwing the livelihoods of Iowans in flux,' Finkenauer said. Republicans are putting their faith in the economy. Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma said that he personally views tariffs as damaging in the long term but that it's not an issue that constituents bring up. 'As long as the economy overall is doing well, it's hard to see losing on tariff issues,' Cole said. ___ Freking reported from Washington, D.C. Associated Press writer Juana Summers in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.
  • President Donald Trump says the Sept. 11 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, renewed his resolve to push for his stalled southern border wall. Trump tells Hill.TV in an interview published Wednesday that he marveled at the Flight 93 National Memorial during a visit last week. Trump tells the outlet, 'They built this gorgeous wall where the plane went down in Pennsylvania, Shanksville.' He says, 'What they did is incredible,' adding: 'They have a series of walls, I'm saying, it's like perfect. So, so, we are pushing very hard.' Trump also told the outlet that he's planning to take new immigration action soon. He says he'll 'be doing things over the next two weeks having to do with immigration, which I think you'll be very impressed at.' He declined to say what.
  • Jim Chilton stood before the four strands of barbed wire that separate his ranchland from Mexico and pointed at a nearby ridge. 'Very often, I see scouts on that mountain, right there,' he told Rep. Martha McSally. McSally, a Republican who represents a stretch of the Arizona border in the House of Representatives and is running for U.S. Senate, quickly said she wrote a bill to stiffen penalties for the spotters who help usher people illegally into the United States. The legislation has since been incorporated into one that would implement dramatic cuts in legal immigration and represents a rightward shift on the issue for McSally. But here on one of the wildest stretches of the border with Mexico — where Chilton brought a rifle for safety as he showed McSally around — the only issue that came up was security. For a decade, the fight against illegal immigration has helped Republicans win every statewide election in Arizona. Now, in what's shaping up to be a difficult November for the Republicans, they are counting on it helping extend their winning streak in Arizona and maintain their hold on the U.S. Senate. McSally faces Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in a race that could determine which party controls the Senate, where Republicans currently have a narrow two-vote majority. The two are competing for a seat vacated by Republican Jeff Flake, who retired after his criticisms of President Donald Trump's hawkish immigration stance and ethics made his re-election impossible. Mike Noble, a Phoenix-based GOP pollster, quipped that people in other states think the role of immigration in Arizona politics is crazy. 'We're very unique,' Noble said. 'We're just exposed to it a lot more with the border.' Immigration routinely polls as a top issue for Arizona Republicans, Noble said. But there's been a recent shift in a state where a growing Latino population has given Democrats hope. Independents, who comprise about one-third of the electorate, are more interested in education and health care, key Democratic issues. That may explain why the issue has remained an undercurrent since McSally won the Aug. 28 GOP primary against two immigration hardliners. Instead, McSally, a former air force colonel who was the first female combat pilot, attacked Sinema for the Democrat's anti-war protests against the Afghan and Iraq wars. Sinema, meanwhile, has focused on health care and veterans issues. Still, it's important for McSally to remind Republican voters of the issue — part of the reason that she has lobbied Trump, who has delivered several heated speeches on immigration in Arizona, to return to the state. In an interview at the Chilton ranch, McSally, viewed as a moderate in her Tucson-area swing district, sharply denied she had shifted on immigration. 'It's fake news,' she said. 'I've been a leader on border security since I've been in Congress.' McSally this year dropped her sponsorship of a bill that would have provided legal status to people brought to the country illegally as children after introducing the hardline bill she co-authored. That, she argues, is not a shift — she says she began work on the hardline bill before running for the Senate and never intended to vote for the more lenient measure she had co-sponsored. Sinema, meanwhile, has also moved rightward on immigration. As a state legislator, she opposed a raft of hardline GOP immigration measures. But she has moved toward the center and was one of the few House Democrats to support increasing legal penalties for people deported multiple times. While some Republicans fret McSally could alienate Hispanic voters with her tougher immigration stance, Petra Falcon, head of the Latino rights group Promise Arizona, condemned both congresswomen's maneuvers. 'I think the electorate his been disappointed at both candidates,' Falcon said. In an interview, Sinema noted she still supports legalizing many of people in the country illegally, as outlined in the last immigration bill to pass the Senate, in 2013, on a bipartisan basis. McSally opposed the bill, and House Republicans never voted on it. Sinema also opposes Trump's border wall. 'The wall is an 18th century solution to a 21st century problem,' Sinema said. It's one Chilton desperately wants. Last month, Chilton and his wife led a convoy of trucks to the stretch of their ranch on the border through canyons so rugged it took 90 minutes to travel the 19 miles (30 kilometers) of dirt road from their house to the edge of the country. Chilton and McSally rode in the lead truck, and his wife, Sue, drove the second one. 'This is no-man's land,' said Sue Chilton, 76, after she passed a spot where a border patrol agent was shot two months earlier. 'It's not controlled by the United States of America.' The Chiltons want a wall because constructing it would require the government to pave a road along the border that could help the Border Patrol arrive faster. Currently, the ranchers say, it takes agents hours to intercept smugglers who cross there. When the convoy finally reached the border, Sue Chilton laid out a picnic lunch of sandwiches and potato salad under the mesquite trees. The Chiltons and several other ranchers who accompanied them talked of how initially thousands of job-hungry migrants began crossing the land in the 1990s. Now they said there are fewer, but they're more likely to be heavily-armed drug cartels. 'We need to stop the drugs from coming into the United States,' Jim Chilton said, 'and this is the best place to do it.' Democrats were ready to strike a deal with Trump this year to fund the start of his border wall in exchange for protections for the immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. But the deal melted down after Trump insisted on additional cuts in legal immigration. With the Chiltons and other ranchers, McSally spoke fluently of the different techniques to secure the border — from drones to barricades to funding for port of entry border crossings — and bemoaned how political the issue has become. 'Border security used to be a unifying issue,' McSally said.
  • The Latest on President Donald Trump's visit to the Carolinas to review Hurricane Florence damage (all times local): 4 p.m. President Donald Trump says South Carolina is in for a 'rough few days' in the aftermath of Florence, but assures the state that the federal government 'is behind you.' Trump spoke Wednesday at an emergency management center in the city of Conway, near Myrtle Beach. He noted that he visited North Carolina earlier in the day to survey other damage caused by Florence. He tells South Carolina 'all that water is coming your way.' Trump says that, although the weather outside may be nice, 'it's really the calm before the storm.' South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said during the same briefing that 'the worst is yet to come' for his state. Both Carolinas are grappling with the effects of severe flooding, with more flooding expected as rivers crest. ___ 3:40 p.m. President Donald Trump is getting an update on how South Carolina is recovering from Hurricane Florence. Trump was participating in a briefing Wednesday with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and other officials. Television screens on the walls at the county emergency management center in Conway, South Carolina, showed scenes of flood damage from around the state. Officials say Conway hasn't seen the worst of the flooding yet. Trump surveyed flood damage earlier Wednesday in parts of North Carolina before arriving in Conway by helicopter. ___ 3:20 p.m. President Donald Trump has toured a South Carolina neighborhood that's bracing itself for more severe flooding due to Florence. Trump greeted people Wednesday as he walked along a flooded street in the city of Conway, near Myrtle Beach. He told people things are 'going to be OK,' and others thanked him for coming. Trump put his hands on people's shoulders and promised that a 'lot of money' will be coming from Washington. Trump arrived in South Carolina by helicopter a short time after he toured storm-damaged areas of neighboring North Carolina. __ 2:30 p.m. President Donald Trump has arrived in South Carolina on the second leg of a two-state trip to survey damage caused by Hurricane Florence. Trump arrived by helicopter Wednesday afternoon at an airport near the city of Conway, which is near Myrtle Beach. Earlier in the day, Trump visited the city of New Bern, North Carolina, which experienced severe flooding due to Florence. The president helped hand out meals at a Baptist church serving as a food distribution center and walked along a neighborhood street strewn with trash, branches and sodden furniture. He offered hugs and handshakes and posed for photos with people cleaning up their homes after the powerful storm. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also briefed the president on the recovery effort. ___ 1:10 p.m. President Donald Trump is touring a North Carolina neighborhood that sustained heavy flood damage during Hurricane Florence. Trump walked along a street strewn with piles of trash, branches and sodden furniture in storm-wrecked New Bern, offering hugs and handshakes and posing for photos outside of damaged houses. He's also asking how people are doing as he surveys the block. As he arrived, Trump's motorcade crossed a swollen river with busted docks and damaged boats, including one that had washed up against a hotel. New Bern's residential streets are lined by debris, including siding and furniture, with sofa cushions and mattresses scattered about. Trees are down and piles of destroyed furniture are stacked outside houses. New Bern is part of Craven County, which voted nearly 60 percent for Trump in 2016. ___ 12:10 p.m. President Donald Trump is handing out warm meals and a bit of encouragement to some North Carolinians recovering from Hurricane Florence. Trump is assisting volunteers at Temple Baptist Church in New Bern, North Carolina, Wednesday. He's passing out Styrofoam containers with food, including hot dogs, chips and fruit and asking how those driving through are doing. 'How's the house?' he was heard asking one person. 'You take care of yourself,' he said. Trump is also applauding organizers and thanking volunteers at the site as well as posing for photos and hugging volunteers, including a young boy. One volunteer said the site handed out 1,200 meals on Tuesday to those in need. ___ 11:55 a.m. President Donald Trump has arrived at a North Carolina church that is serving as a distribution center for supplies after Hurricane Florence. Trump is visiting Temple Baptist Church in New Bern. The area suffered significant damage, with branches down and piles of debris. Church volunteers have containers of hot dogs, chips and fruit and have been handing out food to people in need. The president is visiting the region Wednesday after the powerful storm left widespread destruction and flooding. Officials cautioned that the flooding is not over yet. Trump stressed his sympathy for the victims of the storm and pledged resources for recovery during an earlier storm briefing at a nearby marine base. __ 11:30 a.m. President Donald Trump is pledging to help the people affected by Hurricane Florence as he arrives in North Carolina to survey damage wrought by the powerful storm. Trump says during a briefing by local and federal officials, 'We will be there 100 percent' following flooding he described as 'epic' and 'hard to believe.' He says, 'There will be nothing left undone.' Trump at times has struggled to project empathy during national crisis. But on Wednesday he offered comforting words to families who suffered losses, saying, 'America grieves with you and our hearts break for you.' When the state's governor asked for federal support, Trump declared: 'I'll be there,' Trump is also praising first responders during his visit to a coastal marine base, the first of several stops on his schedule. __ 10:45 a.m. President Donald Trump has arrived in storm-ravaged North Carolina to take in the devastation left by Florence. Trump traveled south Wednesday as the state was still grappling with massive recovery efforts. He was heading to a briefing at a Marine Corps air station where Air Force One landed in the coastal town of Havelock, one of many communities hit by the torrential rains. Trump told reporters as he departed the White House that he will also visit South Carolina before he returns to the White House later Wednesday. The president says he wants to say 'hello' to everyone from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the military that are working hard to help residents recover from the storm. Adds Trump: 'I think it will be an incredible day.
  • The mother of Wisconsin congressional candidate Randy Bryce doesn't like to see her sons fight. Nancy Bryce, in an open letter Wednesday, called for an attack ad featuring Randy's brother James to be taken off the air. 'My family deserves better than this,' she wrote. 'All families deserve better than this.' Randy Bryce, known by the colorful nickname 'Iron Stache,' is a Democrat running to replace House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is leaving Congress. Bryan Steil, a former Ryan aide, is the Republican running in the southeastern Wisconsin district. Bryce burst onto the national scene with a slick campaign launch video last year where he wipes away tears as his mother talks about the pain she is in and drugs she's taking for multiple sclerosis. Her son James Bryce is a police officer and a Republican who has given money to Ryan and Steil and even contemplated running against his brother for the seat. In an ad released Tuesday that was paid for by the Ryan-aligned super PAC the Congressional Leadership Fund, James Bryce endorses Steil and says he can't vote for his brother because he has 'shown contempt for those in law enforcement.' Randy Bryce has been arrested nine times, first for drunken driving in 1998 and more recently for protesting the policies of Ryan and Republicans. The campaign ad shows an image of his mug shot and video of police taking him away in handcuffs at a protest. In her letter, Nancy Bryce doesn't criticize her son James for cutting the ad, but she blames Ryan, the Republican Party and the super PAC running the spot as part of a $1.5 million buy in the Milwaukee television market. 'I'm used to my sons getting into disagreements with each other -- every mom is,' she wrote. 'And I understand that my boys see the world differently when it comes to politics. ... Unfortunately, some political operatives see it as a chance to exploit those differences for their own benefit.' She said those behind the ad aren't considering 'a mother's pain at seeing her children used as tools in a political fight,' and she called on Steil to denounce the ad and to ask the Congressional Leadership Fund to pull it. Steil's campaign manager, Andrew Iverson, declined to comment but the super PAC stood by the ad. 'This ad explains everything Wisconsin voters need to know about the race. Randy Bryce is unfit to serve in Congress,' said CLF spokesman Michael Byerly. James Bryce has an unlisted phone number and Byerly did not respond to a request to speak with Bryce. ___ Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sbauerAP ___ Sign up for 'Politics in Focus,' a weekly newsletter showcasing the AP's best political reporting from around the country leading up to the midterm elections: https://bit.ly/2ICEr3D
  • As Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fights for his political life, some of the most devastating attacks aren't coming from Democrats. They're coming from a handful of former top officials from his own administration. Three former Walker Cabinet secretaries have blasted the two-term Republican incumbent publicly. It's a level of internal criticism for a sitting governor not seen in Wisconsin in recent memory — if ever. Walker is brushing it off, telling The Associated Press he does not think the criticism will be a political liability. He says, 'I don't put yes people around me. I put people who give me a variety of different views and opinions.' But Democrats say it speaks to problems with Walker's leadership. He faces Democrat Tony Evers in November.
  • President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he's not concerned about what his former campaign chairman is telling investigators in the Russia probe. Trump told reporters at the White House that if Paul Manafort tells the truth to special counsel Robert Mueller's team then he doesn't see a problem. Trump also batted away a question about whether he was considering a pardon for Manafort. 'I don't want to talk about it now,' the president said. Trump's comments come just days after Manafort ended his nearly yearlong fight against Mueller. Manafort pleaded guilty to two felony charges related to his unregistered Ukrainian lobbying and millions of dollars he laundered through offshore accounts. The plea headed off a second trial for Manafort less than a month after he was convicted on eight other counts of filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts and bank fraud. The plea deal provided Mueller with a key cooperator in Manafort, who led the Trump campaign for several crucial months and has extensive knowledge of powerful Russian and Ukrainian businessmen heavily involved in their country's politics. Manafort will also be debriefed by investigators about his time on the campaign as Mueller continues to investigate Russian election interference and any possible coordination with Trump associates. Those questions will almost certainly include Manafort's account of a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer that was attended by Donald Trump Jr. and Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The meeting has drawn scrutiny because it was described to Trump Jr. in emails as part of a Russian government effort to help the campaign. Trump Jr. was told the lawyer had damaging information on Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. and the president have downplayed the meeting, saying it was a waste of time and didn't amount to anything. But other attendees of the meeting have been before a grand jury used by Mueller, and the special counsel has been scrutinizing a public statement the president was involved in drafting when The New York Times publicly revealed the meeting in July 2017. That statement said the meeting primarily concerned a Russian adoption program and omitted any mention of Trump Jr. being promised information on Clinton. On Wednesday, Trump said he's not worried about Manafort's cooperation. 'Paul Manafort was with me for a short period of time. He did a good job. I was, you know, very happy with the job he did,' Trump said. 'And I will tell you this: I believe that he will tell the truth and if he tells the truth, no problem.' ___ Follow Chad Day on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChadSDay ___ Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed.
  • Eager to show heart in a moment of crisis, President Donald Trump handed out hot dogs, hugs and comforting words in the Carolinas on Wednesday as he surveyed the wreckage left by Hurricane Florence. With residents still recovering from torrential rains that left widespread destruction and injury, Trump sought to strike a balance between comforter and cheerleader, mindful that he has been criticized in the past for not showing sufficient empathy in the face of tragedy. During a packed day, he visited both North and South Carolina, distributed meals at a church, walked amid piles of sodden furniture in damaged neighborhoods, offered hugs and handshakes to residents and discussed the response efforts with local and state officials. 'America grieves with you and our hearts break for you. God bless you,' he said during a briefing at a marine base in Havelock, North Carolina. 'We will never forget your loss. We will never leave your side. We're with you all the way.' The emotional words and comprehensive itinerary stood in contrast with Trump's trip to Puerto Rico last year after Hurricane Maria, when he drew criticism for tossing rolls of paper towels into the crowd. Or his initial visit to Houston after Hurricane Harvey, when he did not meet with any storm victims. There were still flashes of Trump's outsized persona — he noted his love for Lake Norman, where he owns a golf club, and joked with a family who had a boat wash up against their house that 'maybe it becomes theirs.' Still, the whirlwind tour through the Carolinas showed Trump reaching out to connect with those reeling from a storm blamed for at least 37 deaths in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia since coming ashore on Friday. North and South Carolina both backed Trump in the 2016 election, and the president largely saw people who were happy to greet him. One man told the president he'd named his dog after Trump. After a briefing on the recovery effort, Trump helped hand out Styrofoam containers of hot dogs and chips at a Baptist church in New Bern, a riverfront city on the coast that experienced severe flooding. The president leaned over and checked in with people as they drove through to pick up food. 'How's the house?' he asked one person. 'You take care of yourself,' he said. Trump also praised the volunteers, at one point hugging a young helper and telling his parents, 'You did a good job.' Trump's motorcade then drove through a storm-damaged neighborhood where water-logged sofa cushions, mattresses and downed trees were piled up along streets and boats lay on their sides after washing up along a grassy shore. 'How's it doing?' the president asked after one woman pointed at a house. He chatted and shook people's hands as he walked along a street strewn with trash, branches and sodden furniture, offering hugs and handshakes and posing for photos. Some people applauded as he went by. Trump later traveled to Conway, South Carolina, where more flooding is expected still. 'Is everybody OK?' he asked those gathered, assuring them it was 'going to be OK.' 'Lot of money coming from Washington,' he promised. At Trump's first stop in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper and federal and state officials briefed the president at a Marine Corps air station in Havelock, which sits among areas Florence hit hardest. The governor asked for help 'cutting red tape' to get his state the federal assistance it will need to recover. Cooper said Florence was an 'epic' storm and noted that farmers suffered significant losses and scores of people lost their homes. Some 10,000 people remained in shelters. 'We will be there 100 percent,' pledged Trump, wearing a wind breaker and khaki pants. 'All of the folks from the federal government that are around the table are confirming it.' Cooper, a Democrat, said he'd told the president 'over and over again' that the state was 'going to need significant resources to recover ' 'He promised 100 percent support and we're going to hold them to it,' he said of Trump. Trump spent the run-up to the storm focused on criticism of the federal response to a hurricane that battered Puerto Rico last year, rejecting the official death toll of nearly 3,000 and claiming Democrats manufactured the number to make him 'look bad.' When Trump visited San Juan last October after Hurricane Maria, he pumped his fists in the air when he landed. The enduring image of the trip was of Trump at a church lobbing paper towels into the crowd as if shooting baskets. At the time, it seemed to reflect Trump's brand of playfulness. Many people in the crowd smiled and raised their phones to record the moment. But critics quickly dubbed it inappropriate for the grim crisis at hand. Before that, Trump's trip to Texas after Hurricane Harvey battered the Houston area generated blowback for his failure to meet with victims of the storm. Four days later, he returned — and urged people at a Houston shelter to 'have a good time.' He also cheered on volunteers and emergency workers and handed out hot dogs and potato chips to residents. Some critics said the president's trip took on the tone of a victory lap for successful disaster management. ___ Associated Press writers Jill Colvin and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.
  • President Donald Trump escalated his attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying, 'I don't have an attorney general.' Trump, in a Hill.TV interview released on Wednesday, said that he's 'so sad over Jeff Sessions,' whom he has repeatedly denounced for recusing himself from the Russia investigation. 'He was the first senator that endorsed me. And he wanted to be attorney general, and I didn't see it,' Trump said in the Oval office interview. 'And then he went through the nominating process and he did very poorly. I mean, he was mixed up and confused, and people that worked with him for, you know, a long time in the Senate were not nice to him, but he was giving very confusing answers. Answers that should have been easily answered.' The president softened his stance slightly when talking to reporters on the White House lawn hours after the interview's publication, saying, 'I'm disappointed in the attorney general for numerous reasons, but we have an attorney general.' Trump has repeatedly asserted that Sessions, a former U.S. senator from Alabama, did not need to step away from the Russia probe, a move the president believes in part led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russians. Trump, a Republican, suggested that Sessions' rocky Senate confirmation hearings may have impacted his performance as attorney general. 'He gets in and probably because of the experience that he had going through the nominating when somebody asked him the first question about Hillary Clinton or something he said, 'I recuse myself, I recuse myself,'' Trump said. Department of Justice guidelines recommended the attorney general step away because of his own contacts with foreign government officials during his time with the 2016 Trump campaign. Sessions told Congress that his decision was not due to any wrongdoing. Trump also broadened his attacks beyond the recusal, saying he's unhappy with Sessions' performance on several issues. 'I'm not happy at the border. I'm not happy with numerous things, not just this,' Trump said in the interview. Trump has repeatedly complained publicly and privately about Sessions, pushing him to curtail the Mueller probe, urging him to investigate Clinton and suggesting he should drop investigations into Republican congressmen until after the November midterm elections. He also said that he does not feel as though Sessions supports him like former attorneys general Eric Holder and Bobby Kennedy backed Presidents Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy, respectively. Trump has repeatedly considered firing Sessions, the nation's top law enforcement officer, only to be opposed by aides who think a dismissal would upend the Russia investigation, conservatives who applaud Sessions' hardline stances at the Department of Justice and Republican senators who have said they would not confirm a replacement. But there have been cracks in that blockade of late. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who once fought for Sessions, recently said that the president was 'entitled to having an attorney general he has faith in' while other Trump allies have suggested that a move could be made after the midterms. Sessions recently punched back against Trump, saying he and his department 'will not be improperly influenced by political considerations.' And Sessions has made clear to associates that he has no intention of leaving his job voluntarily despite Trump's constant criticism. Trump said in the interview that 'we'll see what happens' with Sessions' future. 'We'll see how it goes with Jeff,' Trump continued. 'I'm very disappointed in Jeff. Very disappointed.' ___ Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire
  • As Democrats called for a full FBI investigation of sexual misconduct allegations made against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Republican Senators on Wednesday said that if Dr. Christine Blasey Ford decides not to testify at a hearing set for next Monday, then the GOP should move forward to vote on the Kavanaugh nomination. “It is imperative the Judiciary committee move forward on the Kavanaugh nomination and a committee vote be taken ASAP,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who accused Democrats of an effort to delay action until after the November elections. “Republicans extended a hand in good faith,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). “If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote.” “The Judiciary Committee is attempting to investigate Dr. Ford’s allegation but can’t without her testimony,” added Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). One key member of that panel, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), pleaded with Ford to show up on Monday. When Dr. Ford came forward, I said that her voice should be heard and asked the Judiciary Committee to delay its vote on Judge Kavanaugh. It did so. I now implore Dr. Ford to accept the invitation for Monday, in a public or private setting. The committee should hear her voice. — Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) September 19, 2018 But Ford and Democrats argue a Monday hearing is too rushed – they want a broader investigation that looks into her allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party when they were teenagers in the 1980’s. “A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions,” Ford’s lawyer wrote in a Tuesday night letter to the GOP chairman, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). “Her allegations are credible and serious and should be treated as such,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). “The FBI must conduct an independent investigation before a hearing is held.” “Dr. Ford’s request for a basic investigation of these allegations before a public hearing is completely reasonable,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), as Democrats tried to shift the focus back on to Judge Kavanaugh. Brett Kavanaugh talking about his high school in 2015: “What happens at Georgetown Prep, stays at Georgetown Prep.” I can't imagine any parent accepting this view. Is this really what America wants in its next Supreme Court Justice? pic.twitter.com/WhL8YeZQ78 — Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 18, 2018 The feeling in the U.S. Capitol for much of Tuesday was one of uncertainty – an unusual situation where members in both parties weren’t sure where this political drama was going next. But as the day wore on – and Ford seemingly was balking at testifying on Monday – Republicans dropped some of their caution, as the White House also took aim at Democrats. “The Supreme Court is one of the main reasons I got elected President,” President Trump tweeted late on Tuesday night. “I hope Republican Voters, and others, are watching, and studying, the Democrats Playbook.” For now, the situation seems to boil down to two basic options: + If Ford decides to testify on Monday, then anything could happen to the Kavanaugh nomination in a politically explosive showdown on national television. + If Ford does not testify, then Republicans seem ready to push ahead for a vote on the President’s Supreme Court nominee.

News

  • Online scammers attacked the personal email account of the wife of Florida Gov. Rick Scott on two occasions and robbed her of $350,000, the Tampa Bay Times reported Wednesday. >> Read more trending news  The email account of Ann Scott was hacked in 2012 and 2014 and both incidents were connected to Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the newspaper reported. The investigations included the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service, Google and an IP address in Nigeria, home of many email scams. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed that in 2012, scammers used a fake email address to fool Ann Scott’s accountant into sending two wire transfers worth more than $349,000 to bank accounts in Miami and Australia, the Times reported. The scammers created a fake Gmail account by adding a third “n” to Scott’s email address. Then they emailed Scott’s accountant, Cathy Gellatly, to do the wire transfers, the Times reported. In 2014, a second wire transfer against Ann Scott was attempted when her Gmail account was compromised, the FDLE reported. Wire transfers in the amount of $397,330 were requested, but this time Gellatly did not transfer any money, according to the Times. Documents obtained by the newspaper showed that the FDLE investigated each case for more than a year. The agency recovered all of Scott’s money, but no one was charged with a crime in either case, the Times reported. 'In both cases, agents were not able to identify suspects based on the information developed,' FDLE spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said. 'The agents believe the crimes were committed by individuals outside the U.S., using techniques to conceal their identities.' 'The first lady was the victim of sophisticated email phishing scams involving her personal finances that was in no way related to the state business of Florida,' said McKinley Lewis, a spokesman for the Scotts. 'Once these scams were discovered, FDLE was notified and properly investigated.
  • The family of a Georgia Tech student who was shot and killed by a campus police officer told Channel 2 Action News they want the officer held accountable. Scout Schultz, 21, was killed September 16 of last year.  GBI officials said Schultz called campus police saying someone was standing outside their dorm with a knife and a gun. When police showed up, cell phone video shows them talking to a barefoot Schultz who was yelling at police to shoot. Police said the student had a knife but the family said Schultz was having a mental breakdown and had a multi-purpose tool in hand that wasn't related to the shooting. RELATED STORIES: Parents of student killed: 'Why did you have to shoot?' Katt Williams claims local radio host's husband pulled gun on him at comedy club Ga. Tech officer who killed student did not have crisis intervention training The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified the officer as Tyler Beck. According to his record, Beck did not have crisis intervention training. Last year, GBI Director Vernon Kennan told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that crisis intervention training gives officers skills to recognize someone in psychiatric crisis and deal with it appropriately. Beck has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting. Family members told Channel 2's Lauren Pozen they're tired of waiting for closure. Their fight for justice, on Channel 2 Action News at 4 p.m.   Scout Schultz was killed by a Georgia Tech Police Officer but did receive this diploma. I am live at 4 with the latest on this case. pic.twitter.com/xjUM3ybS7l — Lauren Pozen WSB (@LaurenPozenWSB) September 19, 2018
  • Delta Air Lines is increasing the fee to check bags, matching moves by some other carriers. >> Read more trending news Delta now charges $30 for a first checked bag and $40 for a second checked bag. That’s up $5 from the previous fees of $25 for a first checked bag and $35 for a second checked bag. United Airlines and JetBlue Airways have put in place similar baggage fee increases. By midday, American Airlines had not increased bag fees. Southwest Airlines lets passengers check up to two bags free. Airlines have been pulling in more revenue from extra charges for several years. Last year, U.S. carriers raised $7.4 billion from fees on checked bags and ticket changes, led by American, Delta and United. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The U.S. Forest Service says the largest wildfire on record in California is 100 percent contained. The agency made the announcement Wednesday about the so-called Mendocino Complex of twin fires that erupted in July. The fires north of San Francisco killed a firefighter, destroyed 157 homes and scorched 720 square miles (1,865 square kilometers). That's an area more than twice the size of New York City. Officials say 460 firefighters remain in the area, working to prevent erosion and monitoring spots that are still burning. The blazes prompted the evacuation of thousands of people in Mendocino, Lake, Colusa and Glenn counties. Authorities are still investigating what started the fires.
  • A new report from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that more than 2 million American teens have used an e-cigarette to vape marijuana >> Read more trending news  The new data, based on a representative sample of middle and high school students questioned in the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey, showed 8.9 percent of the 20,000 students surveyed had smoked cannabis via e-cigarettes. That means nearly 1 in 11 students answered, “Yes, I have used an e-cigarette device with marijuana, THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] or hash oil, or THC wax.” Nearly 1 in 3 high school students and about 1 in 4 middle school students reported using cannabis in the devices, amounting to about 2 million young people nationwide — figures much higher than researchers previously predicted. >> Related: Atlanta parents weigh pros and cons of letting their teens vape The number is worrying 'because cannabis use among youth can adversely affect learning and memory and may impair later academic achievement and education,' said lead CDC researcher Katrina Trivers. Vaping is generally considered less dangerous than smoking, because burning tobacco or marijuana generates chemicals that are harmful to lungs. But there is little research on e-cigarettes' long-term effects, including whether they help smokers quit. The rise in teenagers using e-cigarettes has alarmed health officials who worry kids will get addicted to nicotine, a stimulant, and be more likely to try cigarettes. >> Related: Community Voices: Many see e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking “Shifts in social acceptability and access to cannabis could occur as several states consider legalized cannabis sales for adults,” the researchers wrote in a letter published in JAMA Pediatrics on Monday. The letter comes on the heels of a recent statement from Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who last week declared youth vaping an “epidemic.” The FDA gave the five largest e-cigarette makers 60 days to produce plans to stop underage use of their products. >> Related: Vaping device that looks like USB drive popular with teens “In the largest coordinated enforcement effort in the FDA’s history, the agency issued more than 1,300 warning letters and civil money penalty complaints (fines) to retailers who illegally sold JUUL and other e-cigarette products to minors during a nationwide, undercover blitz of brick-and-mortar and online stores this summer,” the agency news release stated. While critics have often argued vaping is a partial solution to America’s cigarette smoking crisis, Gottlieb said there are “clear signs that youth use of electronic cigarettes has reached an epidemic proportion.” “Teenagers are becoming regular users, and the proportion of regular users is increasing,” he added. “We’re going to have to take action.” >> Related: US officials call teen vaping 'epidemic,' weigh flavor ban It's unclear whether marijuana vaping is increasing among teens or holding steady. The devices have grown into a multi-billion industry, but they are relatively new. The Associated Press contributed to this story.