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Witnesses describe aftermath of attack on Rand Paul

Witnesses to last week’s attack on Rand Paul described the alleged assault of the senator from Kentucky by his neighbor as a case of a man who “snapped,” CBS News reported.

>> Read more trending news

Rene Boucher pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges that he attacked Paul while the lawmaker mowed his lawn. Initially, police said Paul had suffered minor injuries, but the senator later tweeted that he suffered six broken ribs and had excess fluid in his lungs, CBS News reported.

Neighbor Alicia Stivers said she saw Paul right after the incident.

"He was having trouble breathing and talking. He had lacerations on his face," Stivers told Kentucky's NPR station, WKU.

The two men, both doctors, are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but neighbors insist the altercation was trivial and had nothing to do with politics.

Jim Skaggs, another longtime neighbor, told CBS News that "Both men have really nice lives, really nice houses."

"It does appear to be a one-sided attack, that to my knowledge Boucher has not denied. In fact, he just broke," Skaggs said.

Boucher appeared in court Thursday and his attorney said he is remorseful about the incident.

"He's deeply regretful. This -- I don't think this would happen again in a million years," Matt Baker said.

Baker said his client and Paul were talking when Paul was working in his yard, CBS News reported. But Paul's chief strategist called the attack a "blindside" and dismissed reports of a longstanding dispute, saying the two neighbors haven't spoken in many years.

"I think blindsided is a very unfair characterization," Baker told CBS News..

Paul has retained a personal injury lawyer and contends he was violently attacked. 

‘America first,’ Trump tells leaders at Pacific Rim economic summit

Vowing not to let the United States “be taken advantage of anymore,” President Donald Trump issued a stern warning at an economic summit of Pacific Rim leaders on Friday, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

“I am always going to put America first, the same way I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first,” Trump said in a speech at the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Trump repeated his criticism of previous U.S. administrations, saying they ignored imbalances in trading practices.

“The current trade imbalance is not acceptable,” Trump said. “I do not blame China, or any other country, of which there are many, for taking advantage of the United States on trade. If their representatives are able to get away with it, they are just doing their jobs."

"I wish previous administrations in my country saw what was happening and did something about it," Trump said.

Who is Danica Roem? Virginia elects first openly transgender state legislator

Many political contenders earned new titles as the results from Election Day rolled in Tuesday, but one Virginia politician also became a history maker as the first openly transgender woman elected and seated in a U.S. state legislature.

>> Chris Hurst, whose girlfriend was killed on live TV, wins Virginia delegate seat

Democrat Danica Roem, a wife and stepmother of one, beat out 25-year, 13-term incumbent Republican Del. Bob Marshall for the House of Delegates position. 

“Discrimination is a disqualifier,” Roem said Tuesday night as the votes were still being counted. “This is about the people of the 13th District disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias ... where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it.”

>> Read more trending news 

This is Roem’s first political position. Want to learn more about her? Here are five things you should know:

Roem’s race with Marshall was contentious.

Marshall helped introduce the controversial “bathroom bill," which would restrict the bathrooms transgender individuals would use. While the legislation did not pass, Marshall continued to voice his opinions about the LGBT community. The self-proclaimed “chief homophobe” refused to debate Roem in person and referred to her using male pronouns. He also produced several ads denouncing Roem’s transgender identity. One read, “Danica Roem In His Own Words,” and another stated, “Danica Roem, born male, has made a campaign issue out of transitioning to female.”

>> On AJC.com: Spelman College to admit transgender female students

The Democrat raised more money than her Republican opponent.

The Virginia native raised $500,000, according to The Washington Post. Many of the donations came from LGBT advocates and supporters. While District 13 only has 52,471 registered voters, she reportedly knocked on doors more than 75,000 times. Marshall’s campaign said staffers knocked on voters’ doors about 49,000 times. 

She began her physical transformation about four years ago.

The 33-year-old started her transgender transition in 2013. She began hormone replacement therapy and later changed her name from “Dan” to “Danica."

Roem was an award-winning newspaper reporter.

She graduated from St. Bonaventure University in New York with a degree in journalism. For nine years, she worked for the Gainesville Times and Prince William Times as a reporter and editor. During her stint as a journalist, she was awarded by the Virginia Press Association seven times. 

She plays in a metal band in her spare time. 

Roem sings in a metal band called Cab Ride Home. She’s the lead vocalist of the five-member ensemble, and they have performed more than 100 shows, including in the U.K., according to their website

Donna Brazile criticizes Barack Obama's 'titanic ego' in her new book

Former interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile apparently had much to say about former President Barack Obama in her revealing book.

An excerpt from Brazile’s newest book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House,” focused heavily on the relationship between certain high-profile Democrats and how certain egos and competencies affected the DNC’s debt, reports The Daily Caller.

>> Donna Brazile tells critics of her new book to 'go to hell'

“We had three Democratic parties: The party of Barack Obama, the party of Hillary Clinton, and this weak little vestige of a party led by [Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz] that was doing a very poor job getting people who were not president elected,” Brazile wrote, criticizing the former DNC chairwoman for incompetence. Her criticisms focused primarily on the three. She even wrote at one point, “[Obama] left it in debt. Hillary bailed it out so that she could control it, and Debbie went along with all of this because she liked the power and perks of being a chair but not the responsibilities.”

Brazile accused Obama of caring “deeply about his image” and using the DNC to fund “his pollster and focus groups.” This was especially odd considering Obama was in his second term as president, so he was unable to run for the position again, she said.

>> On Rare.us: President Trump uses Democratic primary 'rigging' allegations to blast his Justice Department

“As I saw it, these three titanic egos – Barack, Hillary and Debbie – had stripped the party to a shell for their own purposes,” she added.

Brazile said Obama, Clinton and Schultz loved the Democratic Party dearly and sincerely but “leeched it of its vitality and were continuing to do so.”

In another portion of the book, which was highly publicized, Brazile stated that she found “proof” that the DNC rigged the nomination process in favor of Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Several Democrats shared their support of Brazile’s claim, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Warren told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Friday, “What we’ve got to do as Democrats now is we’ve got to hold this party accountable.”

>> Read more trending news

Brazile walked back her statements on Sunday, telling George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s “This Week,” “I found no evidence. None whatsoever.”

Brazile took over as interim chair for the DNC in July 2016 after Schultz was forced to step down, the result of an email leak that revealed DNC staffers aided Clinton’s campaign over Sanders’ in the primary. Schultz later argued that the primary was “by the books” and “followed the rules.” A WikiLeaks email leak a few months later revealed that Brazile provided Clinton's team with some key details of the presidential debate questions ahead of time.

'I can't do this again': Congressman walks out of moment of silence for Texas victims

On Monday, a U.S. lawmaker walked out of a moment of silence on Capitol Hill meant to mourn the victims of Sunday’s deadly attack on churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and instead called for action on gun control in a video posted to Facebook.

>> Read more trending news

“I respect their right to do that,” Rep. Ted Lieu, D-California, said in the video, shot outside the House of Representative chambers as lawmakers within held their moment of silence Monday. “I myself have taken part in many of them. But I can’t do this again.”

Lieu said he was “heartbroken” by news that 26 people were shot dead and 20 others injured in an attack at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday. Authorities identified the gunman as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, and said on Monday that the shooting might have been prompted by a domestic spat between himself and his mother-in-law, who sometimes attended the church.

Investigators said those killed ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years old.

>> Related: Texas church shooting: Pastor's daughter, mother of 3 among victims of shooting

“I’ve been to too many moments of silence. In just my short career, three of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history have occurred,” Lieu said, referencing attacks in Florida and Las Vegas.

Lieu was sworn into office in January 2015. On June 13, 2016, 49 people were killed when a gunman opened fire on revelers at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. On Oct. 1, 58 people were killed while attending an outdoor country music festival in Las Vegas.

The Sutherland Springs shooting on Sunday was the fifth-worst mass shooting in the U.S. going back to August 1966, according to information compiled by the Austin American-Statesman.

“We need action,” Lieu said. “We need to pass gun safety legislation now.”

Lieu called for laws to ban assault rifles and bump stocks, and to mandate a universal background check for gun sales.

The Senate Judiciary Committee said Monday that a hearing will be held on bump stocks, The Hill reported. It was unclear when the hearing would be held, although Senate Judiciary Chair Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told Politico that the hearing will be "soon."

Authorities said the man behind the Las Vegas shooting fitted guns used in the attack with bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at nearly the same rate as automatic weapons.

Jesse Jackson accused of sexual harassment by The Root journalist

The Root writer and producer Danielle Young has come forward with sexual harassment allegations against the Rev. Jesse Jackson that she says occurred at a prior employer, a “popular” media company.

In an article titled "Don't Let the Smile Fool You. I'm Cringing on the Inside," Young says a meeting at the previous employer's company on an unspecified date ended with a “keynote speech” by Jackson. After his speech, which she says was about the responsibility of black journalists, she joined her colleagues in line for a photo with Jackson.

>> On Rare.us: Jesse Jackson: President Trump would 'not qualify' to get into Heaven

“One by one, we stepped up, shared a few words and thank-yous with Jackson, snapped photos and went back to our desks,” she writes. “Simple enough, right?”

But Young alleges that when she went for a photo with Jackson, it wasn’t simple.

She says he gave her a look up and down and “reached out a hand and grabbed my thigh, saying, ‘I like all of that right there!’ and gave my thigh a tight squeeze.”

Young says the encounter was “something that was so casual, I almost didn’t even consider it sexual harassment, even though it was beyond my desire.” She includes a number of photographs of the encounter in her story that she says show how “visibly uncomfortable” she was.

>> Richard Dreyfuss’s son, Harry, accusing Kevin Spacey of groping him, too

When contacted for the story, Young says a former coworker noticed that Jackson had been “inappropriate with all the women.”

“And I also remember you telling me that he did something more with you,” the coworker reportedly continued. “And then we brushed the [expletive] off and chalked it up to him just being a dirty old man.”

Young says she is coming forward about the alleged thigh grab — something she admits was “barely a blip on anyone’s radar, even my own” — in the interest of speaking out “against men who simply can’t keep their hands to themselves. Because that’s where it starts.”

“My silence gave Jackson permission to continue grabbing at the next pair of thick thighs he liked,” Young says. “I’m hoping that my voice does the opposite.”

>> Read more trending news 

She is the second person to come forward with sexual harassment allegations against Jackson. In 2011, Tommy R. Bennett, a former employee of Jackson, filed a formal complaint with the city of Chicago Commission on Human Relations against Jackson and his Rainbow PUSH Coalition organization in Chicago.

Bennett, a gay man, alleged sexual harassment and discrimination because of his sexuality. 

Miley Cyrus responds to criticism over Texas church shooting comments

Miley Cyrus responded to criticism of her initial reaction to the news of the deadly church shooting in Texas with a commentary on white men, guns and President Donald Trump.

>> Chelsea Handler's tweet about Texas church shooting draws ire

On Sunday, Devin Kelley, 26, killed 26 people after he opened fire in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Cyrus wrote that the shooting was a “TERRORIST act by a WHITE AMERICAN MAN” and said she was “mortified by our country" and its "lack of control/laws” in an Instagram post. 

>> See the post here (WARNING: Linked page contains profanity)

Fans were divided by the post.

“Gun laws are not the issue!” one Instagram user argued. “Without guns, the shooter would probably still be alive and have killed a lot more people! But since there was a GOOD GUY WITH A GUN he was able to put a stop to the shooter! Drugs safe illegal, people still find a way to get them. Drinking and driving is illegal, people are dying everyday because of it. Laws do not stop people.”

>> Chelsea Handler doubles down on Texas church shooting comments

Another wrote, “Thank you Miley for the passion and love you speak with not everyone will agree with you and that’s ok but the point is a discussion most be had and something most be done.”

In a follow-up post, Cyrus said she was “aghast” by the reaction to her first post.

"It is completely amazing to me how defensive and in denial this country really is!" she wrote. "You are not focused on the horrific tragedy I addressed but more angered that I am putting a BIG bright spotlight on the fact it was a 'WHITE AMERICAN MALE' terrorist that walked in & killed 26 people (including children) leaving 20 severely injured!"

>> See the post here (WARNING: Linked page contains profanity)

She also criticized Trump for saying the focus should be on mental health, not guns, while on a foreign policy trip to Japan.

“We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn’t a guns situation,” Trump said in a press conference.

>> Trump says Texas church shooting result of 'mental health problem,' not guns

“I’d like to believe that EVERY person who takes the life of another being is 'mentally ill'…. it’s hard to conceptualize that a sane human could commit such a hideous crime. BUT I am sorry Donald Trump this absolutely is a 'GUNS SITUATION,'” Cyrus wrote.

She then received backlash for speaking on the part that external factors such as gender, race and religion played after a mass shooting.

>> Read more trending news

In her final post, Cyrus told her fans that it was not her intention to “generalize or stereotype.” She shared pictures of the men in her family with the caption, “Just a few of my favorite WHITE AMERICAN MALES.”

“You are all correct to believe every human deserves the same respect …. but please keep that in mind when you’re judging others. NOT just with the race, religion, gender or sexuality which YOU identify with. Deal?” she wrote.

Cyrus ended her statements with a heart emoji.

>> See the post here

Chelsea Handler doubles down on Texas church shooting comments

Chelsea Handler continued tweeting her criticisms after blaming Republicans for a deadly church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

>> Chelsea Handler's tweet about Texas church shooting draws ire

“I don’t know how these poor people are supposed to accept that their government watches these mass shootings and does nothing. It’s so sick,” she said Sunday night.

>> See the tweet here

On Monday, Handler tweeted a “Call your representative!” template.

>> See the tweet here

The tweets came after Handler insinuated that Republicans were responsible after Devin Kelley, 26, walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and opened fire on parishioners, killing 26. She wrote, “Innocent people go to church on Sunday to honor their God, and while doing so, get shot in [sic] killed. What country? America. Why? Republicans.”

>> See the tweet here

Social media users lambasted Handler for remaining quiet on the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) in July. They were also quick to share their distaste for her words. One user accused her of politicizing the tragedy with the “disgusting statement,” while another said, “You really have a dark heart.”

>> Read more trending news 

Handler also went after President Donald Trump after he tweeted, “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.” Handler responded negatively by saying, “You have no capacity to monitor anything that doesn’t involve lining your pockets.”

>> See her tweet here

After hearing of the shooting, Trump focused on the shooter’s mental health rather than guns.

>> Trump says Texas church shooting result of 'mental health problem,' not guns

“Mental health is your problem here. This was a very, based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time,” he said in a press conference that was held while he was on a foreign policy visit in Japan.

“We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn’t a guns situation.”

Texas church shooting: Vice President Mike Pence to visit Sutherland Springs

In the wake of the church shooting that left 26 dead in Sutherland Springs, Vice President Mike Pence announced Monday on Twitter that he will make a trip to the Texas town later this week.

>> Read more trending news

Pence said that he will travel to Texas on Wednesday. Second lady Karen Pence will join him on the trip. Pence tweeted that he will meet with families, the injured and law enforcement.

“We are with you Texas,” he wrote.

>> See the latest on Statesman.com

President Donald Trump is currently on his first presidential trip to Asia. In Tokyo on Monday, Trump said that Sunday’s mass shooting wasn't "a guns situation" but instead a “mental health problem at the highest level.”

On Sunday, a gunman opened fire on First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, leading to what Gov. Greg Abbott called the deadliest shooting in modern Texas history. Among the reported dead are 14-year-old Annabelle Pomeroy, the daughter of the church’s pastor, and an 18-month-old child. In addition to the 26 confirmed dead, more than 20 were injured.

The suspected shooter, New Braunfels resident Devin Patrick Kelley, was later found dead. Preliminary details from investigators indicate that the 26-year-old likely took his own life.

Trump says Texas church shooting result of 'mental health problem,' not guns

At a press conference in Japan, President Donald Trump attempted to squash the narrative that gun regulation was needed following another mass shooting in the United States.

“Mental health is your problem here. This was a very, based on preliminary reports, a very deranged individual. A lot of problems over a long period of time,” Trump said Monday.

>> Mass shooting at Texas church: Live updates

“We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn’t a guns situation.”

On Sunday afternoon in Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26-year-old Devin Kelley, a former member of the United States Air Force, shot and killed 26 people who were attending a Sunday church service, The Associated Press and other media outlets reported, citing officials. Kelley’s victims included the 14-year-old daughter of the local pastor and a pregnant mother.

>> Watch Trump's remarks here

“We could go into it, but it’s a little bit soon to go into it; fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction,” Trump said. The president was alluding to the citizen who exchanged gunfire with Kelley before he fled the church.

Johnnie Langendorff recounted that act of heroism to ABC.

>> Read more trending news

“I pulled up to the intersection where the shooting happened and I saw two men exchanging gunfire, the other being a citizen of the community,” Langendorff said. “The shooter of the church had taken off, fled in his vehicle, and the other gentleman came and he said, ‘We need to pursue him,’ that he just shot up the church. So that’s what I did. I just acted.”

Langendroff and the other man, who has been identified as Stephen Willeford by the Daily Mail, were hailed as heroes after the event.

Trump hailed Willeford and Langendorff for their bravery while condemning the killer.

“This is a mental health problem at the highest level … These are great people and a very, very sad event, but that’s the way I view it.”

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