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Man Accused of Stealing $1.2 Million from Groton Estate


A 69-year-old Groton man is accused of stealing $1.2 million from an estate. 

Police said they started investigating suspicious activity associated with an estate at the request of the Groton Probate Court and determined that more than $1.2 million was taken from it. 

Police arrested 68-year-old David Burrell, of Groton, last week, on July 20 and has been charged with first-degree larceny. Police said he was in charge of the state.

Burrell was released after posting $50,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court in New London on Aug. 1.

Trans Activist Sarah McBride to Make History at DNC


Sarah McBride will make history Thursday night when she takes center stage in Philadelphia as the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention, NBC News reported. 

In a phone interview with NBC News, the 25-year-old said she plans to address legislation needed to secure the rights of the LGBTQ community and the transgender rights debate during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. 

"I really want to use this moment to reinforce and underscore that behind this debate on trans equality, there are real people who are seeking dignity and fairness throughout their lives, people who hurt when we are ridiculed and mocked and discriminated against, people who are facing violence," McBride said. "I want to make sure that people realize the humanity behind the conversation."

McBride currently works as the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign and also interned at the White House Office of Public Engagement in 2012 as the first out trans woman. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Human Rights Campaign

2 Injured in Serious Crash That Closed I-84 West Southington


Two people were taken to the hospital after a serious three-car crash Thursday on Interstate 84 West in Southington that closed the highway for hours.

The crash happened in the area of exit 31 at 9:04 a.m. State police said 26-year-old Joanna McCarthy, of Waterbury, went off the road, through the grass median and hit a Dodge Ram driven by 51-year-old David Elward, of New Brunswick, Canada. 

The impact caused Elward's pickup to hit a FedEx truck driven by John Knowlton, 59, of Southwick, Massachusetts, state police said.  

LifeStar responded and transported McCarthy to Hartford Hospital. State police said her injuries are life-threatening. 

An ambulance transported Elward to Hartford Hospital to be treated for a possible injury and Knowlton didn't report any injuries at the scene, according to police. 

Traffic behind the crash was at a standstill through the morning commute and police diverted drivers who were stuck. However, some drivers elected to go over the median on their own.

Exit 31 reopened as of 2:05 p.m. yesterday.

Photo Credit: John Lounsbury

Flash Flood Watch in Effect Along Shoreline


The longest heat wave in 10 years is breaking with rain today and a flash food watch is in effect for the shoreline. 

The heaviest rain is happening thie morning and will result in a couple tenths of an inch to half an inch for some.

While most of the rain is expected to be over around early afternoon, morning conditions could create a flash flood issue later in the day.

With the cloud cover, temperatures will struggle to reach 80 degrees.

The weekend starts dry with sunshine and clouds Saturday. A late-day shower is possible in western Connecticut. Highs will be in the middle 80s.

By Sunday, more numerous showers and storms are possible. Temperatures will still be in the 80s.

By the middle part of next week, it warms up again with mostly sunny conditions returning by Tuesday.

3rd Sex Assault Suit Filed Against Boarding School


A third former student of a prestigious boarding school in Lakeville has filed a federal lawsuit, alleging he was sexually assaulted by two teachers and a headmaster while he was enrolled in the 1980s and school officials were aware but did nothing to stop it. 

The man who filed the suit says he was abused by staff members of at Indian Mountain School from 1980 to 1983 when, he was 12 to 15, according to the law firm representing him. 

NBC Connecticut is not identifying the victim because of the sexual abuse allegations. 

This is the third suit accusing the school -- for children in kindergarten through grade 9 -- of failing to stop teachers and the headmaster from “predatory sexual assaults and pedophilia” inflicted on minor boys, “including fellatio, anal sex, sodomy, voyeurism, fondling and forced masturbation,” according to attorneys for the plaintiff. 

“The monstrous sexual abuse perpetrated by the school and its nest of child molesters inflicted torture and suffering on (name deleted) that began when he was a defenseless, innocent little boy, and that continues to this day,” said the man’s attorney, Antonio Ponvert III of Bridgeport-based Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder. “Like other Plaintiffs who filed complaints against the school last year, (name deleted) was subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation by the very adults who had pledged to protect him.” 

The lawsuit accuses a former English teacher of sexually abusing, assaulting and exploiting dozens of boys at the school for more than a decade, taking photographs of the boys to blackmail them into silence and giving them marijuana, alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine and LSD. 

The man who filed the suit fears photos that show him naked or partially dressed have been or will be published on kiddie porn sites and viewed by pedophiles around the world, according to the law firm. 

The suit also claims the then-headmaster and several staff members knew what was happening and found hardcore child pornography in the English teacher’s possession. It also claims staff witnessed boys entering the teacher’s apartment after lights out and they saw him visiting dormitories late at night. 

“Not one staff member, including the Headmaster, the Assistant Headmaster, the school’s staff psychiatrist, the school’s registered nurse, members of the school’s Board of Trustees, and even the school’s lawyer – ever complied with mandatory child sexual abuse reporting laws,” Ponvert said in a statement. “Nor did anyone ever report Simonds’ possession of child pornography to the authorities, even though it clearly was against the law.” 

The lawsuit also accuses the then-headmaster of rubbing cream all over the victim’s penis, claiming it was to treat jock itch, frequenting the boys’ showers and commenting on their penises and pubic hair. 

The lawsuit accuses the then-French teacher of assaulting boys as well. 

“Indian Mountain was charged with the wellbeing of its students in their parents’ absence,” Ponvert said in a statement. “These were vulnerable children who, instead of being protected by the adults they relied on, were subjected to unfathomable abuse. Not one adult at this institution came to their rescue.” 

NBC Connecticut has reached out to the school. 

When the last lawsuit was filed in January 2015, Indian Mountain School's headmaster at the time, Mark A. Devey, responded with a statement promising to support its former students.

"Recently we notified our school community that we were conducting an investigation in order to identify any alumni who may have been victimized while a student at Indian Mountain School in the past. We believe that it is best for both the school and its alumni to deal with these issues now," Devey said in a statement. "It is heart wrenching to hear these allegations, and we are saddened by them. We will take the allegations very seriously, and we will support our alumni." 

Photo Credit: clipart.com

Stamford Man Faces Federal Charges for Online Threats: USAO


A Stamford man accused of making online threats had been indicted on federal charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Officials say Kendall J. Sullivan, 50, faces three counts of making threatening communications online.

The indictment alleges that Sullivan posted threatening, Anti-Semitic messages on internet forum Metrothrone.net on three separate occasions.

According to the indictment, on May 29 Sullivan posted “Israel, God and Synagogues. I will kill them. I have a few ‘Houses of Satan’ in my Town… If these Jews truly believe in their god Satan, I will upset their world. I will slaughter them and burn their Synagogue to the ground . . . kids, goldfish, old folks… Shove money down their throats. These Jews of 2016. They think they are safe.”

The indictment alleges that on June 10 Sullivan threatened another user with the following message: “I am going after YOU..Your Family, Wife, kids, Grandkids, Gold Fish . . . I am warning YOU, I will go after YOU. As I get older, I just don’t give a damn . . . I will meet you in Westport at the Carvel! And then I will shoot or run over you . . . it is not just YOU, but your fellow Satanists I want to track down and kill.. I will use YOU to find others…And Kill them . . . You are a [expletive] JEW! . . I want to kill you . . . If only that . . . Name a place . . . You are Satanic and must be destroyed. Wifes [sic], kids, Dogs, Cats, Goldfish . . . . All destroyed.”

The indictment also claims that on July 5 Sullivan allegedly wrote “[I] Am prepared to shoot YOU on sight! And shove Money down your dead [expletives]…Hole. Humans who define their entire existence thru that price tag – They are not human beings but Demons and must be destroyed…I am looking forward to my death thru Jesus Christ. I will be Free. I will be understood. Afterall, I am a Warrior of Jesus Christ and want to be his Soldier.”

US Attorney’s Office officials said that on July 15 the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Stamford Police executed a search warrant and a state risk warrant at Sullivan’s residence. They found more than two dozen firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and other firearm components, officials said.

Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the FBI, said she believes investigators may have prevented a "horrific hate crime" from happening.

Sullivan was charged in state court for unlawful possession of unregistered high capacity magazines and has been in custody since, according to officials.

Sending threatening communications in interstate of foreign commerce by phone, email, text, mobile messaging or other online communication is against federal law. Sullivan faces five years in prison on each count if convicted.

Photo Credit: KNBC

DEEP Emergency Crews Clean Spilled Acid in New Haven


Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) crews responded to an acid spill in New Haven on Thursday, the agency said. 

DEEP said its emergency team went to contain and clean acid that had spilled from a broken container in a basement storage area at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station on Huntington Street. 

Remains from the incident have been given to an environmental contractor proper disposal and the scene has been cleared, DEEP said. 

The building was evacuated during the clean up and air quality tests. The immediate area where the acid spilled was closed off to let it air out, DEEP said. 

There were no injuries reported. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Multiple Car Break-Ins Reported at Supply Pond in Branford


Branford police are warning the public to be on alert after multiple thefts from vehicles parked at Supply Pond.

Police said multiple hikers reported vehicle break-ins at Supply Pond on North Chestnut Street throughout the month of July.

In each case, there was a purse in plain view inside the car and the thief or thieves smashed a window to access the vehicle.

All of the crimes have occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., when the victims were hiking the Supply Pond Nature Trails.

In one incident, witnesses reported a white van with two males leaving the area.

Police remind residents to lock vehicles and keep valuables out of view.

Suspicious activity should be reported to police immediately and can be reported by calling (203) 481-4241 or by dialing 911 in an emergency.

Police said they are increasing patrols in the area.

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Millennials Cause Home Ownership to Drop


The nation’s home ownership rate fell to its all-time low, and could drop further in the months to come, NBC News reported. 

The rate fell to 62.9 percent, the same as it was in 1965, when the U.S. Census started tracking the metric.

The drop is largely due to a delay in home ownership by millennials, who are burdened by student loan debt and are delaying life choices like marriage and parenthood. They have the lowest ownership rate of their age group in history. 

"While the millennial home ownership rate continues to decline, it's important to note that the decrease could be just as likely due to new renter household formation as it is their ability to buy homes," wrote Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. "Certainly low inventory and affordability isn't helping their efforts to own, but moving out of their parents' basement and into a rental unit is also a good sign for the housing market." 

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Image Source

Multiple Arrests in Illegal Gambling Investigation: Police


Naugatuck police and Connecticut State police have arrested several people as part of an illegal gambling investigation.

Naugatuck police said the investigation into possible illegal gambling at the Main Street Social Club on North Main Street began in January. On July 27, Naugatuck police and members of the Connecticut State Police Statewide Organized Crime Task Force executed a search warrant at the club.

According to police, multiple employees were arrested and accused of organizing an running illegal gambling organization.

Stephen Kloc, 47, of Naugatuck, Andrew Kloc, 44, of Naugatuck, Michael Santos, 33 of Naugatuck, Domenic Mancini, 27, of Watertown, Marisa Mango, 29, of Bristol and Sarah Bernier, 35, of Naugatuck all face multiple gambling related charges.

Police said summons were also issued for several players at the club.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Russian Intelligence Hacked DNC Emails: Top U.S. Officials


Senior U.S. national security officials tell NBC News they are confident that Russian intelligence agencies hacked the Democratic National Committee.

The open question, they say, is whether those same intelligence agencies directly leaked material to WikiLeaks, in what would seem to be an unprecedented effort to influence the U.S. election.

The Russian government had the "motive, means and opportunity," one official said, and many officials believe it is likely the Russians gave the emails to WikiLeaks, but there is not yet definitive evidence.

A total of nearly 20,000 emails were stolen, among other data, officials say. The FBI and the NSA are now investigating who leaked the documents.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images, File
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Senator Chris Murphy: 'Trump Scares the Hell Out of Me'


In no uncertain terms, Senator Chris Murphy provided his personal feelings on the prospect of Donald Trump winning the presidency just hours after finished his speech at the Demcratic National Convention. 

"Donald Trump scares the hell out of me," Murphy said.

Murphy went a step further and said he could see Americans losing their lives as a result of Trump's ascent to the nation’s highest office.

"I think he'll get people killed the way that he's prepared to walk away from our alliances all over the world. I think he'll get people killed here in our country because of his insistence on putting guns in our schools. I just am very worried about this nation if Donald Trump becomes president."

Murphy spoke on the penultimate night of the convention about the need for stricter gun controls, specifically more stringent background checks, and the need to prevent anyone on a terror watch list from being able to purchase a gun.

The senator said he fears for what a Trump administration’s gun policies may look like.

Trump has promised that on his first day in office he will unwind all of President Obama's work to make our background check system safer and he will ban "gun-free school zones.”

Thursday night is the final evening of the DNC where Hillary Clinton will formally accept the party’s nomination for president.

Photo Credit: AP

Protesters Halt Olympic Torch Relay in Brazil


The passage of the Olympic torch through a southeastern Brazilian city was cut short Wednesday as police clashed with protesters who oppose the spending of federal funds on the Rio Games.

Residents in the coastal town of Angra dos Reis, outraged over cuts to public services and delayed salary payments to federal workers, took to the streets in the Japuiba borough and blocked the torch relay route, according to Brasil's TV OGlobo. [[377968171, C]]

Protesters carried signs and shouted slogans as they confronted law enforcement officials escorting the torch, Rio's local news agency EXTRA reported. Some of demonstrators began throwing rocks at police, who responded with rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray, according to EXTRA. At least one child was hospitalized, but her condition was unknown, OGlobo reported.

Videos posted on social media purport to show the torch extinguished as the runner carrying the Olympic symbol is escorted to safety by riot police. [[388591302, C]]

In recent months, Angra dos Reis has endured funding cuts that forced a local hospital to close in March and suspended the municipality's public transportation system, leaving residents without cars stranded.

One of the demonstrators wrote on social media that residents were not "revolting against the torch, but with the government that has done nothing in four years, yet made over the city in three days," Sidney Pinheiro wrote on Facebook, EXTRA reported.

On Thursday, the torch will travel through the northwest municipalities of Ilha Grande and Volta Redonda in Rio de Janeiro.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
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Trans Activist Makes DNC History


Before Hillary Clinton could take the stage Thursday night in Philadelphia to give a historic speech, a Wilmington, Delaware, native made some history of her own when she stood at the podium and said, "My name is Sarah McBride, and I am a proud transgender American."

McBride became the first openly transgender person to address a major political party convention. The American University graduate came out as transgender four years ago while serving as student body president. Today she is the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, and says that a lot of work remains on behalf of the transgender community.

"Will we be a nation where there's only one way to love, only one way to look, and only one way to live?" McBride said on stage Thursday night. "Or, will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally; a nation that's 'Stronger Together?' That's the question in this election."

McBride said the struggle for equality became more urgent for her when she learned that her future husband, a transgender man named Andy, was battling cancer.

"Even in the face of his terminal illness — this 28-year-old — he never wavered in his commitment to our cause and his belief that this country can change," McBride said.

The couple married in 2014, and Andy passed away just five days later.

"Knowing Andy left me profoundly changed," she said. "But more than anything else, his passing taught me that every day matters when it comes to building a world where every person can live their life to the fullest."

McBride has been a champion for transgender rights. After coming out in her college’s student-run newspaper, The Eagle, she later became the first out trans woman to work at the White House when she interned in the Office of Public Engagement. Several months ago she took a viral selfie inside a women’s restroom in North Carolina, where a controversial law enacted in the state bans transgender people from using government building bathrooms in line with their gender identities. 

The spotlight continued to shine on McBride Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention, and she used the attention to continue to work for her cause.

"Today in America, LGBTQ people are still targeted by hate that lives in both laws and in hearts,” she said. "Many still struggle just to get by. But I believe tomorrow can be different. Tomorrow, we can be respected and protected -- especially if Hillary Clinton is our president. And that's why I'm proud to stand here and say that I'm with her."

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images
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Accused Murderer Arrested in Groton for Cocaine Charges: PD


An accused murderer was arrested in Groton for various charges relating to cocaine possession, police said. 

During his initial contact with police, Vernon Horn, accompanied by Ivaniette Marie Lopez, gave officers an Ohio state identification card with false information, Groton Police said. 

When officers found medication bottles with Horn's name, they looked him up and discovered the New Haven man was wanted by the New Haven Police Department for failure to appear in court, according to Groton Police. 

While the suspect continued to deny his identity, he was brought into the police station and fingerprints confirmed that he was rightfully identified as Vernon Horn, an accused murder who was convicted in 2000 before his case was overturned in 2014, police said. 

After he appealed the conviction and the case was overturned, Horn was released on a bond pending retrial. 

In July, a re-arrest warrant was issued with a $2 million court set bond, police said. 

Groton Police charged Horn with cocaine possession, intent to sell, possession of marijuana greater than a half-ounce, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal impersonation.

Horn was also charged with third-degree criminal mischief for flooding a cell's toilet at the Groton Police Department Headquarters, police said.

The United States Marshal's Fugitive Task have Horn in cutosdy. He is expected to appear in court on Aug. 11. 

Lopez was charged with cocaine possession, intent to sell, possession of marijuana greater than a half-ounce, possession of drug paraphernalia.

Photo Credit: Groton Police

Yale Faculty Member Reflects on Clinton's Work with Children


Adorning the walls of Dr. James Comer’s New Haven Office are artifacts and photos that span a lifetime. They include photos of his grandchildren, awards and honors bestowed upon him, and one wall just above his desk bears three photos from a ceremony back in 1998.

It was the commemoration of thirty years of the Yale Child Study Center where he’s worked for nearly five decades.

“Hillary Clinton came back for that ceremony,” Comer said with a smile. Comer is seen in the photo with then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and then-Yale President Rick Levin.

Clinton graduated from Yale Law School and shortly thereafter, in 1974, she heard a lecture from Comer all about the development of children, the need for investment, and the societal importance of the making sure children and adolescents develop properly.

He said Clinton was enthralled.

“She was interested in and continues to be interested in the work that we do because she’s interested in early childhood.”

Throughout the Democratic National Convention, the Clintons’ time at Yale has been a key part of the narrative about Hillary’s early life. She worked for the Children’s Defense Fund.

Comer says that work led to a life where children and their development was always her focus.

“She’s always had that curiosity and it’s that kind of curiosity that’s rare in public figures and policymakers and that’s going to help an awful lot.”

He says the DNC has acted as a good springboard for more substantive conversations about how to ensure that children get the resources they need to develop properly.

“The connection between child development and all of the other issues that we’re concerned about will be made and we can begin to come up with realistic solutions and help with the development of children because we will begin to understand how important it is in this society and age.”

Comer sees Clinton from time to time and says decades after he gave that lecture, they still have a bond. “Every time I see her she says, ‘there’s that man!’ and he came with those ideas about children and families!”

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

911 Bomb Threat Call Connected to Abduction, Bank Robbery


The man suspected of abducting a woman from a Bristol business, blindfolding her and holding her hostage while robbing a bank on Wednesday is also accused of calling fake bomb threats into Hartford police and NBC Connecticut has obtained the 911 calls.

Police said Robert Du Perry, 51, used the victim’s cell phone to call 911.

“Bombs in buildings all over city. Put them on the phone now. This is ISIS calling. We are in your house,” he said.

Then the dispatcher responded.

“Oh, you’re in my house?” she asked.

“This is not a prank. Stop trying to get the location of the phone,” the caller responded. “You have 11 bombs in your Gold Building on Main Street. There are four bombs in the post office. You have three bombs in the police station. You have until 5 o’clock to evacuate the buildings and then they will be detonated.”

When the dispatcher asked the caller for his name, he hung up the phone.

The suspect has been identified as 51-year-old Robert Du Perry and police took him into custody on Wednesday.

The victim told police that Du Perry told her several times that he had bombs with him, but officers did not find any bombs or bomb-making material.

Du Perry has been charged in connection with the Bristol violations, but not for the alleged bomb threats. 

 Duperry was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree larceny, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree assault, assault of victim over 60, criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree burglary, first-degree threatening, engaging an officer in a pursuit and reckless driving.
Source: Man Takes Woman Hostage Before Robbing Bristol Bank: Police NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/1-in-Custody-After-Robbery-Turned-Hostage-Situation-Sources-388476572.html?abc=1233#ixzz4Fiu4kD9u 
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Bristol police charged him with two counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree larceny, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree assault, assault of victim over 60, criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, carrying a pistol without a permit, first-degree burglary, first-degree threatening, engaging an officer in a pursuit and reckless driving.

Du Perry appeared in court on Thursday, where bond was set at $1.3 million. 

A public defender is representing him and he's due back in court on Aug. 11.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut and Bristol Police

DNC Hack Exposes Vulnerabilities in Voting Systems


Although they say it’s unlikely foreign groups could hack into U.S. voting machines, officials are alarmed that the Democratic Party email hack has exposed vulnerabilities in the electoral voting system’s security, NBC News reported. 

The voting systems aren’t part of the safety net set up by the Department of Homeland Security and are not protected by the federal government because each state runs its own electoral system. 

According to an expert, 25 states still allow voting by email or the internet, and all states have some kind of on-line registration, which could make them wide open to hacking. Experts tell NBC News the computers running the state electoral systems are almost entirely unencrypted, and often don't have backups. 

Officials in Colorado, New York and California all stressed they're making sure no voting machines are ever connected to the internet. This "air gap" makes it impossible to manipulate individual machines remotely.

On Thursday, a bipartisan consortium of homeland security and counterterrorism experts plans to issue a statement raising concerns about the possibility that Russia is seeking to manipulate the U.S. election. The group wants Congress to investigate the hack into the DNC email system. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Fact Checking Clinton's Big Speech at DNC


On the night Hillary Clinton accepted her party’s nomination for president, Clinton and other Democrats played loose with some facts:

  • Clinton misrepresented Donald Trump’s “I alone can fix it” line, suggesting he said he could fix everything by himself. Trump was referring to a “rigged” system, and went on to talk about working with others.
  • Clinton said that “we’re going to pay for every single one” of the initiatives she has proposed. We can’t predict the future, but a nonpartisan analysis found her proposals would add to the national debt.
  • Clinton said “90 percent” of income gains “have gone to the top 1 percent.” But that is an outdated figure. It’s now 52 percent.
  • Clinton said 15 million private-sector jobs have been created since President Obama took office. The actual number is 10.5 million, and it’s less — 10.1 million — when accounting for the loss of 460,000 public jobs.
  • Clinton rejected Trump’s border security proposal, saying, “We will not build a wall.” As a senator, however, Clinton voted for and supported legislation to add more fencing along the southern border.
  • House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi cited the “91 Americans who are killed by gun violence each day,” urging Congress to “keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.” However, nearly 58 of those daily gun deaths are suicides — not criminal homicides.
  • Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney twisted Pay Pal co-founder Peter Thiel’s words, claiming Thiel at the GOP convention had called “equality” a “distraction.” Thiel was talking about the debate over bathroom access, not equality in general.
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro said Trump “defended” World War II internment camps. Trump cited the camps as a legal precedent for his proposal to ban all Muslim travel to the U.S. But he stopped short of defending internment camps.

Note to Readers

This story was written with the help of the entire staff, including some of those based in Philadelphia who are at the convention site. As we did for the Republican National Convention, we intend to vet the major speeches at the Democratic National Convention for factual accuracy, applying the same standards to both.


The ‘I Alone’ Refrain

Clinton misrepresented a quote from Donald Trump’s convention speech — “I alone can fix it” — suggesting he said he could fix everything by himself. In fact, Trump said that as a political outsider only he can fix a “rigged” system. He has spoken about working with others many times, including in that same speech.

Clinton: And most of all, don’t believe anyone who says: “I alone can fix it.” Those were actually Donald Trump’s words in Cleveland. And they should set off alarm bells for all of us. Really? I alone can fix it? Isn’t he forgetting? Troops on the front lines. Police officers and fire fighters who run toward danger. Doctors and nurses who care for us. Teachers who change lives. Entrepreneurs who see possibilities in every problem. Mothers who lost children to violence and are building a movement to keep other kids safe. He’s forgetting every last one of us. Americans don’t say: “I alone can fix it.” We say: “We’ll fix it together.”

Other Democrats used the talking point, too. Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm said, “Last week we heard about Trump’s hopeless vision of our country, and then he said, ‘I alone can fix it.'” Granholm went on to say that Trump’s version of the Constitution would be, “I, the person, in order to form a more perfect union.” Rep. Ted Lieu of California said, “The scariest part of Donald Trump’s acceptance speech wasn’t the apocalyptic vision of America that he believes he sees, it’s that he said, ‘I alone can fix it.'”

But Trump never said he’d be the only one to fix absolutely everything. Here’s what Trump said in accepting the GOP nomination for president on July 21:

Trump, July 21: I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders – he never had a chance.

He quickly went on to say “we are going to fix the system,” in talking about others joining his cause. And a few sentences later, he talked about working with his running mate, saying, “We will bring the same economic success to America that Mike [Pence] brought to Indiana.” There are other examples of Trump talking of “we” and not “I” in that same speech. For instance, he said that “we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terrorism.”

And, he said, “I will work with, and appoint, the best prosecutors and law enforcement officials to get the job properly done.”

A few days later, he said, “we will fix it,” in talking about his plans for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The first step of his 10-point plan, he said, was to “appoint a secretary of veterans affairs who will make it their personal mission to clean up the VA.”

So, Trump’s line may make for good rhetorical flourishes at the Democratic convention, but Trump didn’t say he “alone” can fix everything.

Clinton’s Payment Plan

Clinton listed a number of initiatives that she plans to get done as president and said that “we’re going to pay for every single one of them.” We can’t predict the future, but a nonpartisan analysis found Clinton’s spending proposals will increase the national debt.

Clinton: We’re not only going to make all of these investments, we’re going to pay for every single one of them. And here’s how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes.

But Clinton’s proposals would increase the debt by $250 billion over 10 years, according to a June 27 report from the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“For Clinton, this small increase in debt relative to current law is the result of spending increases that are largely but not entirely paid for by revenue increases,” the CRFB report says.

Clinton, according to the report, has proposed $1.45 trillion in new spending — mostly on infrastructure, paid leave and education proposals — but offsets that with just $1.2 trillion in new revenue from proposed tax increases for the wealthiest Americans.

The 1 Percent

Clinton said that she would raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for her spending proposals, because “90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent.” But that is an outdated figure.

Clinton: And here’s how: Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich are going to start paying their fair share of taxes. Not because we resent success. Because when more than 90 percent of the gains have gone to the top 1 percent, that’s where the money is.

The most recent data from economist Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, show that the top 1 percent of families captured 52 percent of the post-recession income growth from 2009 to 2015. In fact, Saez estimated that “the top 1 percent incomes captured 52 percent of the overall economic growth of real incomes per family over the period 1993-2015.”

Clinton’s mistake was to rely on a report that referred to outdated figures.

Her campaign pointed to an April 2015 article from PolitiFact.com, which gave Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont a “mostly true” rating for his claim that “99 percent of all new income today (is) going to the top 1 percent.”

To support the claim, the Sanders campaign cited the work of Justin Wolfers, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan. Wolfers, in a January 2015 post for the New York Times’ Upshot blog, wrote that only the top 1 percent saw any income gains from 2009 to 2013.

Wolfers, Jan. 27, 2015: After adjusting for inflation, the average income for the richest 1 percent (excluding capital gains) has risen from $871,100 in 2009 to $968,000 over 2012 and 2013. By contrast, for the remaining 99 percent, average incomes fell by a few dollars from $44,000 to $43,900.

Wolfers added: “That is, so far all of the gains of the recovery have gone to the top 1 percent.”

But Wolfers had based his calculations on Saez’s preliminary numbers for 2013, and Saez has updated his estimates for income growth twice since then.

In a June 2015 update, Saez said that from 2009 to 2014, during the economic recovery, 58 percent of real income growth went to the top 1 percent. And as of his June 2016 update, the figure had fallen to 52 percent, from 2009 to 2015.

Job Growth

Clinton overstated the number of jobs created since President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took office.

Clinton: Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs.

In fact, since January 2009, when Obama took office, the private sector has added 10.5 million jobs. Clinton only counted jobs created since the low point of employment during the Great Recession – February 2010 – and disregarded the months during Obama’s tenure when jobs were lost. A total of 14.8 million private-sector jobs were created between February 2010 and June 2016.

Private-sector jobs give an important look at overall labor market health but do not tell the whole story. Overall employment, including government jobs, has increased by 10.1 million since January 2009 and 14.4 million since February 2010.

The Great Wall Debate

Clinton dismissed one of Trump’s signature campaign pledges, saying, “We will not build a wall.” But while Clinton opposes Trump’s ambitious plan for a massive wall along at least half of the 2,000-mile border with Mexico, Clinton has herself voted for and supported legislation to add more fencing along the southern border.

As Clinton acknowledged at a town hall event on Nov. 9, 2015, “I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in. And I do think you have to control your borders.”

On Aug. 2, 2006, then Sen. Clinton was among a large, bipartisan majority of senators who voted in favor of $1.83 billion in funding to construct 370 miles of triple-layered fencing, and 461 miles of vehicle barriers along the southwest border.

In September of that year, Clinton was also among a majority of senators who supported the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which called for construction of 700 miles of fencing and enhanced surveillance technology, such as unmanned drones, ground-based sensors, satellites, radar coverage and cameras. It was signed into law by President George W. Bush.

In her book “Hard Choices,” Clinton said she supported the 2013 Senate immigration bill, S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (page 459).

Clinton, “Hard Choices”: I only wish that the bipartisan bill passed in the Senate in 2013 reforming our immigration laws could have passed the House.

In addition to providing a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally, the bill would have funded an enhanced border security plan, including additional border fencing.

Again, none of that comes close to Trump’s promise to build a “great wall” — 35 to 40 feet high — along 1,000 miles of the roughly 2,000-mile border with Mexico (natural barriers protect the remaining 1,000 miles, he said). But Clinton has voted for and supported more border fencing in the past.

Daily Gun Deaths

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said that there are “91 Americans who are killed by gun violence each day,” and urged Congress to “keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.” However, almost 58 of those daily gun deaths are suicides — not criminal homicides.

Pelosi: For the sake of the 91 Americans who are killed by gun violence each day, we must break the grip of the gun lobby on Congress and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists.

In 2014, 33,599 people died from firearm injuries, according to the most recent mortality report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (see Table 10). That averages out to more than 92 gun-related deaths each day.

But 63.5 percent of the gun deaths in 2014, or 21,334, were suicides. Homicides totaled 10,945, and the rest were accidental discharges (586), legal intervention/war (515) and undetermined (270).

Maloney Malarkey

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York twisted the words of a speaker at the GOP convention, claiming he called “equality” a “distraction.”

Maloney: Last week, a speaker at the Republican convention called equality a “distraction.” “Who cares?” he asked. Well, I care.

Maloney then went on to praise the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality. In reality, the person Maloney was criticizing cares about marriage equality, too.

Maloney, who is openly gay, was misquoting Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, the first gay person to openly declare his sexuality at a Republican convention (though not the first gay person to give a speech). It’s worth noting here that in 2014 Thiel raised money to fight Prop 8 in California, a measure that would have banned same-sex marriage. So he has demonstrated that he’s on the same side as Maloney on that issue.

What Thiel referred to specifically was the debate over bathroom access for transgender people — not marriage equality or gender equality in general. He said the bathroom debate was among “fake culture wars” detracting from the “real” issue of “economic decline” in America.

Here’s what Thiel really said:

Thiel, July 21: When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. And we won. Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?

…[F]ake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline, and nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump.

Maloney is entitled to disagree with Thiel’s opinion, but had he accurately quoted Thiel, he would have said Thiel called “bathroom access” a distraction, not “equality” in general.

Internment Camps

Rep. Joaquin Castro said Trump “defended” World War II internment camps. Trump cited the internment camps as precedent for his proposal to ban all Muslim travel to the U.S. But he stopped just short of defending the practice.

Castro: Grandchildren of Americans who suffered in World War II internment camps — the same camps Donald Trump has defended — and grew up to be business owners, war heroes, and public servants.

We reached out to the Clinton campaign for backup, and a spokesman pointed to a Dec. 8, 2015, story in the New York Times about Trump defending his call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

The Times wrote, “He cast it as a temporary move in response to terrorism and invoked President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s authorization of the detention of Japanese, German and Italian immigrants during World War II as precedent.”

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Dec. 8, 2015, host Joe Scarborough asked Trump if his proposal was unconstitutional. Trump cited Roosevelt’s decision to detain thousands of noncitizen Japanese, Germans and Italians. In that same interview, Mark Halperin, a political analyst for MSNBC, repeatedly asked Trump if the Japanese internment camps went against American values. Trump praised Roosevelt but repeatedly countered that he wasn’t proposing the same thing, and refused to answer.

When asked by Time whether he would have supported or opposed the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, Trump was noncommittal.
“I would have had to be there at the time to tell you, to give you a proper answer,” Trump said. “I certainly hate the concept of it. But I would have had to be there at the time to give you a proper answer.”
But when asked specifically on “Good Morning America” on Dec. 8, 2015, if he agreed with the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II, Trump said he did not.
George Stephanopoulos: I’ve got to press you on that, sir. You’re praising FDR there. I take it you’re praising the setting up of internment camps for Japanese during World War II.
Trump: No, I’m not. No, I’m not. No, I’m not. Take a look at presidential proclamations 2525, 2526 and 2527. Having to do with alien Germans, alien Italians, alien Japanese and what they did. You know, they stripped them of their naturalization proceedings. They went through a whole list of things. They couldn’t go five miles from their homes. They weren’t allowed to use radios, flashlights. I mean, you know, take a look at what FDR did many years ago, and he’s one of the most highly respected presidents by — I mean respected by most people. They named highways after him.

Trump seemed to walk right up to the line of endorsing Japanese internment — noting that FDR did it and is considered “one of the most highly respected presidents.” But when asked directly if he was praising Japanese internment, Trump said he was not.

— Robert Farley, with Eugene Kiely, Brooks Jackson, Lori Robertson, D’Angelo Gore and Zachary Gross


Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “Promises and Price Tags: A Fiscal Guide to the 2016 Election.” 27 June 2016.

Robertson, Lori, et al. “FactChecking Trump’s Big Speech.” FactCheck.org. 22 Jul 2016.

Kochanek, Kenneth D., et al. Deaths. Final data for 2014. National vital statistics reports; vol 65 no 4. National Center for Health Statistics. 30 Jun 2016.

Bump, Philip and Aaron Blake. “Donald Trump’s dark speech to the Republican National Convention, annotated.” Washington Post. 21 Jul 2016.

Berenson, Tessa. “Donald Trump Calls For ‘Complete Shutdown’ of Muslim Entry to U.S.” Time. 7 Dec 2015.

Haberman, Maggie. “Donald Trump Deflects Withering Fire on Muslim Plan.” New York Times. 8 Dec 2015.

YouTube.com. MSNBC “Morning Joe” interview with Donald Trump. 8 Dec 2015.

Halper, Daniel. “Hillary: I Voted for Border Fence to Keep Out Illegal Immigrants.” Weekly Standard. 10 Nov 2015.

U.S. Senate Website. S.Amdt. 4775 to H.R. 5631 (Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2007). Vote on 2 Aug 2006.

U.S. Senate Website. H.R. 6061, Secure Fence Act of 2006. Vote on 29 Sep 2006.

Congress.gov. H.R.6061 – Secure Fence Act of 2006.

White House Website. Fact Sheet: The Secure Fence Act of 2006. 26 Oct 2006.

Congress.gov. S.744 – Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

Brand, Anna. “Trump puts a price on his wall: It would cost Mexico $8 billion.” MSNBC.com. 9 Feb 2016.

Drabold, Will. “Read Peter Thiel’s Speech at the Republican National Convention.” Time. 21 Jul 2016.

Fuller, Jamie. “Meet the wealthy donor who’s trying to get Republicans to support gay marriage.” Washington Post. 4 April 2014.

Bradner, Eric, et al. “A gay Silicon Valley billionaire just made GOP history at the RNC.” CNN. 21 Jul 2016.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Did Donald Trump Commit Treason?


After Donald Trump urged Russia to find Hillary Clinton's deleted emails, there was a 76-percent spike in people searching the word "treason" on Merriam-Webster's website, NBC News reported.

Many have wondered if he was committing a crime. 

Trump and his campaign have said he wasn't encouraging anyone to hack into anything, though he did say at one point Wednesday, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing."

There is nothing to hack into now as clintonemail.com server was decommissioned long ago. Trump seemed to be saying, if anyone did hack into it in the past and still has the e-mails it contained, turn them over.

According to Carlton Larson, a professor at the University of California at Davis School of Law and one of the nation's few experts on the law of treason, what Trump said "does not amount to treason." Only a country or entity that has declared war or is in a state of open war constitutes an enemy, Larson said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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