Midland City, Alabama (CNN)Roy Moore’s wife, Kayla, argued that her husband is no bigot at a Monday night campaign rally, saying that “one of our attorneys is a Jew.”
Her comments came a week after Roy Moore attacked George Soros, the Jewish liberal mega-donor, saying Soros “is going to the same place that people who don’t recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going. And that’s not a good place.”
Kayla Moore also listed other examples of her husband supporting groups he’s faced criticism for targeting in previous comments and writings.
“Fake news would also have you think that my husband doesn’t support the black community,” she said. “Yet my husband appointed the very first black marshal to the Alabama Supreme Court, Mr. Willie James. When he first took office as the chief justice many years ago he brought with him three people from Etowah County. Two were black, and one of them is here tonight.”
Moore is running to fill the US Senate seat vacated by fellow Republican Jeff Sessions, who was confirmed as attorney general following US President Donald Trump’s victory.
The former Alabama Supreme Court justice faces Democrat Doug Jones in a special election Tuesday. Moore has cast himself as an outsider to Washington, hoping to strike the anti-establishment chord that helped Trump win last year. Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, has been one of Moore’s most prominent backers.
Though Alabama is considered a reliably Republican state, the election is expected to be closer than usual. Moore has been besieged by allegations of sexual misconduct, including pursuing relationships with teenage girls while in his 30s.
Moore has consistently denied the allegations. During a rally Monday, he denounced the “terrible, disgusting” reporting of The Washington Post, which first reported a woman’s accusation that he had pursued a sexual relationship with her when she was 14 and he was 32.
Even before the allegations of pursuing sexual relationships with teens, Moore was the most controversial major-party Senate nominee in recent memory.
He was booted as an Alabama Supreme Court chief justice for refusing to remove a two-ton statue of the Ten Commandments he’d ordered placed on state property. He was elected back to the job, but ousted again in 2016 for refusing to institute the US Supreme Court’s decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
West Palm Beach, Florida (CNN)President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that he turned down a potential offer to be TIME Magazine’s coveted “Person of the Year” after, Trump says, the magazine told him he would “probably” be given the honors.
“Time Magazine called to say that I was PROBABLY going to be named “Man (Person) of the Year” like last year, but I would have to agree to an interview and a major photo shoot,” Trump tweeted from his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where is spending his Thanksgiving holiday.
“I said probably is no good and took a pass. Thanks anyway!” Trump wrote.
The magazine issued a statement disputing the President’s account.
“The President is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year. TIME does not comment on our choice until publication, which is December 6,” a spokeswoman told CNN.
In 2015, for example, the magazine selected German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was neither interviewed nor photographed for the issue. Instead, she was represented on the cover by a painting.
Time Inc.’s chief content officer, Alan Murray, later said the President’s tweet didn’t have “a speck of truth.”
“Amazing. Not a speck of truth here—Trump tweets he ‘took a pass’ at being named TIME’s person of the year,” Murray tweeted, along with an article about the incident.
The President’s tweet came after a day of talking to world leaders and playing golf with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson.
Last summer, TIME asked for the fake magazines to be removed after reports surfaced that at least five of Trump’s golf clubs featured the fakes bearing his photo.
The President was named TIME’s “person of the year” in 2016, following his victory over Hillary Clinton. It would have been unlikely he would have been named a second year in a row, and unusual for him to turn it down.
In 2015, he predicted TIME would never name him person of the year.
“I told you @TIME Magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite They picked person who is ruining Germany,” he tweeted on December 9, 2015.
(CNN)“My children are not broken,” Amy Wright insists.
Most parents don’t have to declare their children’s fundamental value, but after two of 2017 CNN Hero of the Year Amy Wright’s kids were born with Down syndrome, it was clear that she would have to back them up every step of the way.
“When you become a parent of a child with special needs, you are instantly thrust into becoming an advocate,” Wright explained. “Trying to make people see the beauty in their lives that we see.”
Wright’s advocacy took the form of a coffee shop. She opened Bitty & Beau’s Coffee in January 2016, named for her two children.
On Sunday, it was clear that Wright, Bitty, Beau and the 40 disabled employees at the Wilmington, North Carolina, shop have an army of supporters.
Wright was named the 2017 CNN Hero of the Year for her efforts to advocate for disabled people. The award is determined by online voters who selected Wright from among the top 10 CNN Heroes finalists.
Wright will receive $100,000 to grow her cause. All of the top 10 CNN Heroes for 2017 will receive a $10,000 cash award. Donations made to each of their designated nonprofit organizations are also being matched up to $50,000.
“It hit me like a lightning bolt: a coffee shop!” Wright said. “I realized it would be the perfect environment for bringing people together. Seeing the staff taking orders, serving coffee — they’d realize how capable they are.”
Wright was presented with her top 10 CNN Hero award by actress Diane Lane, who said: “She opened a business where people like her son and daughter could work and shine.”
Sunday’s CNN Heroes tribute show was a night of shining stars, salutes and tears — and a few laughs, too.
Hosts Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper kicked things off live from New York’s American Museum of Natural History with a unique rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings,” complete with jazz hands by Kelly.
Presenters Christian Bale, Diane Lane, Alfre Woodard, Christopher Meloni, Gaten Matarazzo and others added star power to the night.
Singer Andra Day and rapper-actor Common serenaded the crowd with their hit “Stand Up for Something” to wrap up the inspirational evening.
“This is emotionally taxing,” joked comedian Jim Gaffigan.
‘A new lens’
Heading to New York City to be honored among the other top 10 CNN Heroes was a special moment for Wright.
“I’m so emotional, just reflecting on this journey,” she said during Saturday’s rehearsal. “I would’ve never imagined 13 years ago, when my son Beau was born, that I would be doing what I’m doing today. I’m just overwhelmed with emotion thinking about where we’ve been and where we hope to go.”
Wright told CNN her goal with the shop is to improve the lives of employees and change the viewpoints of customers.
“Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is a new lens, one that changes the way people see other people. It’s about human value. It’s about acceptance. It’s about inclusion. It’s about much more than a cup of coffee.”
“Bitty & Beau’s has helped me a lot with my confidence,” said employee Matt Dean.
“My employees are not broken; 200 million people across the world living with an intellectual or developmental disability are not broken,” Wright said Sunday night, when accepting her top 10 CNN Hero award. “What is broken is the lens through which we view people with disabilities.”
All of the top 10 CNN Heroes are impacting their communities in immeasurable ways:
Stan Hays, a Grand Champion pitmaster uses his barbecuing skills to feed people in need during disasters through Operation BBQ Relief.
Samir Lakhani established the Eco-Soap Bank, which recycles used hotel soap for better hygiene and job creation in Cambodia.
Jennifer Maddox‘s after-school program, Future Ties, provides a safe space for more than 100 children to learn, grow and succeed in Chicago.
Andrew Manzi‘s nonprofit, Warrior Surf, provides free six-week surf camps for veterans and their families, complete with therapy sessions on the beach.
Rosie Mashale and the organization Baphumelele provide care for more than 5,000 orphaned, abandoned or sick children in South Africa, many of whom have lost parents to AIDS.
Leslie Morissette‘s project, Grahamtastic Connection gives computers, iPads and robots to ill kids so they stay connected to friends, family and school.
Mona Patel created the San Antonio Amputee Foundation, which offers peer support, education, recreation and financial help for people who need prosthetic limbs.
Khali Sweeney‘s Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program provides around 100 Detroit children with training and academic tutoring five days a week.
Aaron Valencia founded the Lost Angels Children’s Project, an after-school program that focuses on classic car restoration.
Also honored at Sunday’s event were the 2017 CNN Heroes Young Wonders, kids and teens who got an early start with their passion for giving. This group is determined to promote literacy, environmentalism, coding skills, nutrition and compassion.
Donations made to the designated nonprofit organization of each Top 10 CNN Hero, via CNNHeroes.com and crowdrise.com/cnnheroes, will be matched up to $50,000 per CNN Hero through January 7, 2018.
Now in its 11th year, the Peabody Award and Emmy-winning “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” has profiled more than 300 heroes and has received upward of 85,000 nominations from more than 100 countries.
To learn more, like CNN Heroes on Facebook, follow @CNNHeroes on Twitter and use hashtag #CNNHeroes. Behind-the-scenes images can be seen on the CNN Heroes Instagram account.
Donate to any of the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2017 by clicking the button below.
It is expected that the prime minister will deal with the issue in questions after her speech, which will address the UKs involvement in Middle East security, including training for Iraqi forces to clear Mosul and Raqqa of explosive devices left by Isis as it fled, and more security assistance for Jordan.
Among the likely questions will be whether she regrets being the first overseas leader to visit Trump after his inauguration, and his planned state visit to the UK.
Justine Greening, the education secretary, said the row should not undermine the UKs long and close relationship with the US.
Asked if she was shocked that Trump was directly attacking a close ally, Greening told the BBCs Today programme: The UK and US have been longstanding allies and our relationship with America is a hugely important one, and I dont think we should allow this tweet to undermine that in any way.
[Our relationship] will succeed long after presidents come and go I dont agree with the tweet President Trump has made but I also dont believe it should distract from the agenda we have domestically or detract from the close relationship the UK has had for many, many years and will go on to have with the American people.
However, Sajid Javid, the local government secretary, who is Muslim, took a much harder line. He posted on Twitter: So POTUS has endorsed the views of a vile, hate-filled racist organisation that hates me and people like me. He is wrong and I refuse to let it go and say nothing.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who has previously clashed with Trump, also issued a strongly-worded statement of condemnation, calling on the prime minister to demand an apology.
The feud marks a new, unexpected twist in the special relationship that has benefited from personal chemistry between leaders such as Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, and Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.
There had been hopes that May and Trump whose mother was British would achieve a similar rapport. She was the first foreign leader to visit after he took office, they were photographed holding hands at the White House and she invited him on a state visit to the UK. But that has yet to take place after a series of controversies and warnings that protesters will take to the streets to show he is not welcome.
Hostility in the UK deepened on Wednesday when Trump highlighted videos from the feed of Jayda Fransen of Britain First that purported to show a group of Muslims pushing a boy off a roof. Another claimed to show a Muslim destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary, and a third claimed to show a Muslim immigrant hitting a Dutch boy on crutches.
The credibility of the last video was immediately undermined when the the Dutch embassy in the US said the perpetrator of the violent act in the video was born and raised in the Netherlands. Fransen has been charged with using threatening or abusive language following an appearance at a far-right rally in Belfast this summer.
Mays spokesman made clear Trumps invitation still stood but said it was wrong for the president to have done this. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, added: UK has a proud history as an open, tolerant society & hate speech has no place here.
The Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, described the retweets as abhorrent, dangerous and a threat to our society. He and several other members of parliament called for the state visit to be cancelled.
The Labour MP David Lammy posted: Trump sharing Britain First. Let that sink in. The President of the United States is promoting a fascist, racist, extremist hate group whose leaders have been arrested and convicted. He is no ally or friend of ours. @realDonaldTrump you are not welcome in my country and my city.
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, urged Trump to remove the retweets. And Brendan Cox, widower of Jo Cox, an MP murdered last year by a man reportedly shouting Britain first as he shot and stabbed her, told CNN: I think we probably got used to a degree of absurdity, of outrageous retweets and tweets from the president, but I think this felt like it was a different order.
Here he was retweeting a felon, somebody who was convicted of religiously aggravated harassment, of an organisation that is a hate-driven organisation on the extreme fringes of the far, far right of British politics. This is like the president retweeting the Ku Klux Klan.
US Democrats joined the condemnation. Keith Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee and a Muslim member of Congress, branded the president a racist.
But the White House defended the retweets. The principal deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, told reporters on Air Force One: We think that its never the wrong time to talk about security and public safety for the American people. Those are the issues he was raising with the tweets this morning.
Asked if Trump was aware of the source of the tweets, Shah replied: I havent spoken to him about that.
The spokesman insisted: The president has the greatest respect for the British people and for Prime Minister May.
Trumps new salvo echoed his criticism in June of Londons mayor, Sadiq Khan, after seven people were killed and 48 injured in a terror attack in the city. Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a western European capital city, hit back on that occasion and tweeted on Wednesday: Britain First is a vile, hate-fuelled organisation whose views should be condemned, not amplified.
(CNN)Oprah Winfrey accepted her Cecil B. DeMille Award on Sunday night at the Golden Globes with a message to the young girls watching: “A new day is on the horizon.”
This year’s ceremony was one of the most political yet and saw the red carpet awash with A-list actresses wearing black.
Some of the biggest names brought with them activists for gender and racial justice, including #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, who started the hashtag campaign which exposed the scale of sexual harassment against women worldwide.
Part of the mission of anti-sexual harassment group Time’s Up, which led the night’s all-black fashion movement, has been to raise awareness of sexual harassment occurring outside of Hollywood.
Winfrey made the same point in her speech, saying sexual harassment “transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics or work place.” Read the full speech.
“So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue,” she said. “They’re the women whose names we’ll never know.”
Winfrey is the first black woman to receive the honor. She was announced as a recipient back in December.
“I want all the girls watching here, now to know that a new day is on the horizon,” she said. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight — and some pretty phenomenal men — fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say #MeToo again.”
West Palm Beach (CNN)President Donald Trump, on vacation in balmy Florida, suggested that climate change could be a good thing on Thursday, tweeting that cities gripped by freezing temperatures on the East Coast could use some warming.
“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Bundle up!”
Despite Trump’s assertion, 2016 was the hottest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization, and some studies show 2017 is on pace to overtake it. If it does, it will be the fourth consecutive year to rank hotter than all previous.
A White House official did not respond when asked what Trump’s tweet means for administration policy. Journalists have previously been told that Trump’s tweets should be considered official statements from the White House.
The tweet is the latest in a series of Trump tweets that links the temperature in any one place to the existence of global warming, something climate scientists have long said is an entirely inaccurate way to view global warming.
“It’s freezing and snowing in New York — we need global warming,” Trump tweeted in 2012.
A year later, he added, “Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee – I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!”
As a candidate for president, Trump put his views on climate change at the forefront.
“Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax,” he said in 2016. “A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. I’d be — received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change.”
As President, Trump has made those views administration policy by pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, and his Environmental Protection Agency has made a series of moves that curbed the agency’s focus on climate science.
“I was elected by the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump said during a White House event where he announced his decision to withdraw from the global climate accord signed by former President Barack Obama. Arguing that the deal hurts American businesses, Trump said foreign countries were using the deal to hamper American enterprise.
Even amid these comments, Trump administration agencies have continued sounding alarm bells on global warming.
The Government Accountability Office released a report in October that said the US government has spent more than $350 billion over the past decade in response to extreme weather and fire events and estimated that the US would incur far higher costs as the years progress if global emission rates don’t go down.
The report called on Trump to use the information GAO compiled to help identify risks posed by climate change and “craft appropriate federal responses.”
Additionally, the Climate Science Special Report released in November by the federal government found “no convincing alternative explanation” for the changing climate other than “human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases.”
Washington (CNN)A Trump judicial nominee struggled to answer basic legal questions posed to him by a Republican senator on Wednesday, including his lack of experience on trial work, the amount of depositions he’d worked on and more.
Petersen is up for a seat on the US District Court for the District of Columbia.
During the hearing, Petersen had to acquiesce on many occasions that his “background was not in litigation,” despite the role he was up for. He added, “I understand the challenge that would be ahead of me if I were fortunate enough to become a district court judge.”
The testimony has since been widely shared on social media. Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island tweeted out a video of the incident Thursday night writing, “MUST WATCH: Republican @SenJohnKennedy asks one of @realDonaldTrump’s US District Judge nominees basic questions of law & he can’t answer a single one. Hoo-boy.
Petersen’s testimony followed the narrow confirmation of another one of the president’s judicial nominees, Leonard Steven Grasz, to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals despite the fact that he had received a “not qualified” rating from the American Bar Association.
The White House said earlier this week that it would withdraw the nomination of Brett Talley who was also unanimously rated by the ABA as “not qualified.” He was originally nominated to serve as a district judge in Alabama. The administration is also withdrawing the name of Jeff Mateer, who was up for a seat on the district court in Texas, following comments that have surfaced where he called transgender children part of “Satan’s plan.”
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Tuesday taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, warning Kim about US nuclear capabilities as tensions worsen between the two nations.
“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Trump tweeted.
Kim said Monday in his annual New Year’s Day address that “The entire mainland of the US is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office. They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality.”
In the address, Kim also expressed a desire for a peaceful resolution with South Korea, a break from the aggressive language he used to threaten the US.
Trump, as part of his Tuesday morning tweetstorm, said the potentially warm gesture to South Korea from Kim is “perhaps” good news, “perhaps not,” and referred to “sanctions and ‘other’ pressures” on North Korea.
Press secretary Sarah Sanders said at the White House news briefing that the US approach to North Korea had not changed, that the US continues to regard North Korea as a global threat and seeks an international solution while keeping “all of our options on the table.”
Trump has repeatedly made statements about North Korea via Twitter. The President said it was a waste of time for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to negotiate with North Korea — referring to Kim in the tweet as “Little Rocket Man” — shortly after the US diplomat said he hoped to de-escalate the standoff through talks. After a North Korean statement insulted Trump by calling him a “dotard,” the US President tweeted that he would “NEVER” call the North Korean leader “short and fat,” while also saying that “maybe someday” he would be Kim’s friend.
South Korea initially receptive to possible dialogue
Recent years have seen North Korea display increasing strength in its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development, while Kim makes provocative statements threatening to attack his enemies. In November, North Korea claimed it had the capability to attack any part of the US mainland.
The UN Security Council has voted to ratchet up sanctions in response to the continued development of North Korea’s nuclear program. Last month, the US conducted another round of military exercises with South Korea, which Kim called for South Korea to end in his New Year’s statement.
But Kim’s call for talks between the two countries at the beginning of the year struck many observers as noteworthy, and South Korean leadership has been receptive to Kim’s potential openness to dialogue. The spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in said South Korea also hoped for a resolution between the two countries.
Moon said he would look to restore communication between the South and the isolated North, and that he welcomed North Korea participating in the Winter Olympic Games, which South Korea is hosting next month.
Washington (CNN)The woman who gave President Donald Trump’s motorcade the finger in late October is speaking out after she said she was fired for the incident that went viral.
“My finger said what I was feeling,” Briskman said. “I’m angry and I’m frustrated.”
She flipped off the motorcade twice, and after the moment went viral, she told her employer.
“I thought that it would probably get back to my company eventually,” Briskman said in an interview with CNN’s Jeanne Moos.
She said she was told she had violated the company’s social media policy, and said the company in turn fired her.
“I said, ‘Well, that was me,’” Briskman told Moos, recalling her conversation with her former company’s HR representative. Akima LLC did not respond to multiple messages seeking comment, and the White House declined to comment.
Briskman said she had been at the company for about 6½ months before the incident, and was working in the marketing department.
She added that she’s “really not” the bird-flipping type.
“Health care doesn’t pass, but you try to dismantle it from the inside,” Briskman said. “Five-hundred people get shot in Las Vegas; you’re doing nothing about it. You know, white supremacists have this big march and hurt a bunch of people down in Charlottesville and you call them good people.”
This story has been updated to reflect CNN’s repeated outreach to Akima LLC.
(CNN)Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York told CNN on Monday that President Donald Trump should resign over allegations of sexual assault.
“These allegations are credible; they are numerous, ” said Gillibrand, a leading voice in Congress for combating sexual assault in the military. “I’ve heard these women’s testimony, and many of them are heartbreaking.”
If he does not “immediately resign,” she said, Congress “should have appropriate investigations of his behavior and hold him accountable.”
Responding to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley saying Sunday that Trump’s accusers “should be heard,” Gillibrand said, “Not only should women be heard, but they should be believed.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to Haley’s comments at the press briefing Monday, where she reiterated that Trump “thinks it’s a good thing that women are coming forward” but noted that he denies the allegations.
“As the President said himself, he thinks it’s a good thing that women are coming forward but he also feels strongly that a mere allegation shouldn’t determine the course,” Sanders said. “And in this case, the President has denied any of these allegations, as have eyewitnesses … several reports have shown those eyewitnesses also back up the President’s claim in this process, and again the American people knew this and voted for the President and we feel like we’re ready to move forward in this process.”