Good morning. The weekend is nigh. Let’s get to it.
1. Thanks, Hillary
Governor McCrory—who was criticized by certain media outlets for his radio silence after Trump suggested that “Second Amendment people” could stop a President Hillary Clinton from appointing liberal judges—has finally broken that silence.
Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday that he has no problem with Donald Trump’s statement in Wilmington that “Second Amendment people” might do something to stop Hillary Clinton from making judicial nominations.
McCrory – who spoke at the Wilmington rally Tuesday before Trump took the stage – did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Tuesday and Wednesday. He broke his silence on the topic Thursday morning when he was asked about it during an interview on Fayetteville radio station WFNC.
“I don’t think anyone in the auditorium even recognized there was controversy until Hillary Clinton tweets came out and made it into a controversy,” McCrory said on the radio show. “I don’t think anyone in the crowd even realized anything controversial was said or took it the way CNN or Hillary Clinton’s spin machine made it to be. So I was kind of shocked driving home and hearing the spin and reading the tweets that came right out of the Hillary Clinton camp.”
Of course, as Colin Campbell notes, that’s not entirely an accurate retelling of the chronology of this gaffe.
Hundreds of social media users immediately criticized the Trump comment, noting that the presidential candidate appeared to be suggesting violence. … Clinton’s campaign did not issue a statement condemning the comment until about an hour after Trump spoke.
But even if Team Hillary had been the first to flag it, that doesn’t change the fact of what Trump said: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.” In other words: If she becomes president, she will pick liberal judges unless gun enthusiasts stop her. Hahaha smirk. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Who could have a problem with that?
2. More from the Trump Mouth Diarrhea Desk.
Yesterday, Trump said—and then repeated when given multiple chances to walk it back—that President Obama was the “founder of ISIS.” Now he says he was being “sarcastic,” and it’s the media’s fault for not realizing it.
Republican Donald Trump is now saying that his description of Barack Obama as a founder of the Islamic State group was sarcasm.
At a rally Wednesday, Trump said that Obama ‘‘is the founder of ISIS,’’ using one acronym for the group. He repeated that in two interviews Thursday.
But in a tweet Friday criticizing CNN’s coverage, he said the network reported his claim ‘‘so seriously.’’ Trump tweeted: ‘‘THEY DON’T GET SARCASM?’’
Trump’s comments were seen as accusing Obama of creating conditions that allowed IS to thrive. But asked about that Thursday, Trump seemed to go further. He told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt ‘‘No, I meant that he’s the founder of ISIS, I do.’’
3. Trump’s North Carolina director allegedly pulled a gun on a staffer.
At least, that’s according to a lawsuit filed in Charlotte earlier this week.
A former Charlotte staffer for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign alleges in a lawsuit that Trump’s then-state director pulled a gun on him, and top campaign officials refused to do anything about it.
Vincent Bordini filed the suit this week in Mecklenburg County Superior Court against Charlottean Earl Phillip and the Trump campaign.
Phillip served for months as Trump’s campaign director in North Carolina, a key battleground state. He was replaced last week, but said he was taking on a new role as deputy chair of Trump’s national diversity coalition.
Bordini, described in the suit as “a passionate Donald J. Trump supporter,” claims to have described the February incident to Trump campaign officials, including then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
He says officials took no action. The Trump campaign did not comment on the suit.
4. And here’s the Hillary Clinton story we’d be talking about if Trump could get out of his own way.
The FBI wanted to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s ties to the State Department.
Officials from the FBI and Department of Justice met several months ago to discuss opening a public corruption case into the Clinton Foundation, according to a US official.
At the time, three field offices were in agreement an investigation should be launched after the FBI received notification from a bank of suspicious activity from a foreigner who had donated to the Clinton Foundation, according to the official.
FBI officials wanted to investigate whether there was a criminal conflict of interest with the State Department and the Clinton Foundation during Clinton’s tenure. The Department of Justice had looked into allegations surrounding the foundation a year earlier after the release of the controversial book “Clinton Cash,” but found them to be unsubstantiated and there was insufficient evidence to open a case.
As a result, DOJ officials pushed back against opening a case during the meeting earlier this year. Some also expressed concern the request seemed more political than substantive, especially given the timing of it coinciding with the investigation into the private email server and Clinton’s presidential campaign.
5. George Zimmerman 2.0 in Raleigh?
A high-profile attorney representing the family of a 20-year-old man who police say was shot and killed by a homeowner likened the case to the Florida shooting of Trayvon Martin during an emotional news conference Thursday.
Attorney Justin Bamberg referred to Chad Copley, the man charged in the Raleigh shooting, as “George Zimmerman 2.0.” Zimmerman was a self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman who was charged with killing Martin during an altercation in 2012. He was later exonerated.
Copley has been charged with first-degree murder in the early Sunday shooting in North Raleigh of Kouren-Rodney Bernard Thomas. Police say Thomas was shot when Copley fired a shotgun from inside his garage.
Flanked by family members of Thomas on Thursday, Bamberg said he is confident that justice will be served for the man’s family. He commended the Raleigh Police Department for charging Copley, who claimed he was a neighborhood watchman and was protecting his family from a bunch of “hoodlums.”
6. North Carolina man released after serving twenty-eight years for a murder he maybe didn’t commit.
A man convicted of murder as a teenager and imprisoned 28 years ago is luxuriating by sleeping on his cousin’s living room sofa after a North Carolina judge ruled he did not get a fair trial.
Johnny Small, 43, said Thursday night that he looks forward to a hot bath and getting used to an amped-up world full of cellphones he never knew now that he’s left prison after nearly three decades. After prison cots, he said he preferred the sofa in a big, open room to a private bedroom.
Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Parsons ruled Thursday that there was not enough evidence to justify Small’s conviction for the 1988 murder of tropical fish shop owner Pam Dreher in Wilmington.
Parson’s decision came after Small’s teenage buddy testified this week he was pressured by police to testify at the murder trial that both were at the scene. David Bollinger says a Wilmington homicide investigator made up the story, and his grandfather pressured him to lie on the witness stand.
State attorneys argued that Small deserved neither a new trial nor to be freed from prison.
Small was given a $100,000 unsecured bond and was released late Thursday. He will be under electronic house arrest while charges are pending.
7. Another homicide in Durham.
This is number twenty-six. Last year’s total was twenty-eight.
Police say a man died Thursday afternoon after being shot multiple times outside the La Quinta Inn on Westpark Drive.
Officers were dispatched at 1 p.m.
The man was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Police have not yet released the man’s name.
That’s all for today, folks. See you on the other side.