Rep. Frederica Wilson: Trump’s call ‘not a good message’

Rep. Frederica Wilson said Friday that President Donald Trump’s message to the late Sgt. La David Johnson’s family is “not a good message to say to anyone who has lost a child at war.”

“You don’t sign up because you think you’re going to die,” the Florida Democrat told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.” “You sign up to serve your country.”

She also said that instead of responding to Trump’s tweet Thursday night — the president said Wilson made a “total lie” about his condolence call to Johnson’s widow — she wants to shift the focus on receiving more information from the Pentagon about the Niger attack.

“My emphasis today is on my constituents and helping them lay our hero to rest,” she said. “That’s where my head is today. I’m also concerned about (Sgt. La David Johnson) and his last moments. I want to know why he was separated from the rest of the soldiers.”

She continued: “Why did it take 48 hours to find him? Was he still alive? Was he kidnapped? What’s going on? … I am distraught and so is the family. There are so many questions that should be answered.”

Johnson was among the four U.S. soldiers killed by 50 ISIS fighters in Niger in an ambush earlier this month.

Her comments come after Trump again refuted Wilson’s account of his call, deeming it a “total lie” hours after his own chief of staff said she mischaracterized the call.

“The Fake News is going crazy with wacky Congresswoman Wilson (D), who was SECRETLY on a very personal call, and gave a total lie on content!” Trump tweeted Thursday evening.

Trump and Wilson have engaged in a public dispute over the highly sensitive call for the past several days.

Wilson said Tuesday evening that Trump told the widow that her husband “knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt.”

Wilson, who listened in on the call via speakerphone because she is close with the family, said on CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday morning that Trump didn’t appear to know Johnson’s name and that his widow “broke down” after her call with the president.

The chief of staff said he was “stunned” that Wilson had listened to the call on speakerphone, but he added that the message the president tried to convey included the idea that “he knew what he was getting himself into.”

Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Thursday that the “U.S. military does not leave its troops behind” but did not provide additional details into why Johnson’s body was recovered nearly 48 hours after his 12-member team was ambushed.

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Parents upset with school’s handling of racist message

The parents of an African-American high school freshman in Texas say they are livid with their daughter’s school district for not doing enough to discipline a student who sent her a racist message saying, “we should have hung all u n*****s while we had the chance.”

The white male student — who also is a ninth-grader at The Woodlands High School in Conroe — sent the direct message, adding, “trust me it would make the world better.”

R.J. King, the father of the 13-year-old girl who received the harassing text, said it was sent via Snapchat on September 24. His daughter took a screen shot and saved it.

The matter has not been addressed swiftly enough by the school, King told CNN.

“Immediately after she received the message, she showed it to me,” he said about his daughter. “It was a traumatizing statement. It has traumatized my daughter and makes her fear for her life right now,” King said. “It took me a few times to read it for it to sink in. I was disturbed.”

The conversation between the teens began after they were discussing the “recent NFL protests” and “white supremacy marches on the East Coast,” King told CNN. While the two teens involved “followed each other on social media” and were classmates at the school, “they were not friends,” according to the girl’s parents.

King said the incident happened late on a Sunday night, so he and his wife went to the school “first thing Monday morning to contact the principal.”

“Initially, their reaction was serious, and we thought this was going to be handled in a serious manner,” King told CNN. “We want to know what happened.”

The student did have his electronics taken away from him while in class, according to King, as well as his class schedule changed as a way to “make sure the kids didn’t see each other at school,” King said.

Even so, the two found each other face-to-face in the halls a few days after the incident. His daughter, King said, “suffered a panic attack.”

“Although the comments made on Snapchat occurred over a weekend and not on campus, Conroe ISD does not tolerate behavior of this type,” the Conroe Independent School District said in a statement to CNN.

“The campus administered several levels of disciplinary consequences and continues to work with the students involved and their parents,” the district said. “While student privacy laws will not allow us to comment specifically about student discipline, this matter is being addressed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.”

That’s not enough accountability for the Greater Houston Coalition for Justice, which is representing the King family. It said “the school is showing a nonchalant attitude.”

“[The student] should have been sent away to another school,” coalition official Johnny Mata told CNN. “He should have been disciplined. This gives an example to other students that nothing is going to happen to them if they do something like it.”

“It seems that the Conroe ISD has already made up their mind that next to nothing will happen,” King family attorney Randall Kallinen said.

A spokeswoman for the Conroe district told CNN that, in addition to contacting an on-campus police officer, officials referred the case to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. An official at the sheriff’s office said it was “not involved in the case” and referred all comments to the county district attorney.

Montgomery County’s chief juvenile prosecutor told CNN that while the incident is “frustrating,” it would not have qualified for a criminal offense.

“For it to qualify as an offense in Texas, with this particular scenario, I would need an actual specific threat to the person,” Marc Brumberger told CNN. “The statement was offensive and racially bigoted, but it was not threatening anyone.”

“There’s a harassment charge in Texas which could encompass offense remarks, but I would have had to have repeated instances of it. This, as I understand it, was not,” he said.

“The school said they would do everything they can,” King told CNN. “The punishment should fit what he did, by removing him from the district.”

“When something of this magnitude happens, you’re sending a message to black kids, not only my daughter, but another 4½-thousand black kids that are part of this district that that message wasn’t serious enough to take action. That message wasn’t serious enough to hold this kid accountable to saying these types of evil and disturbing things.”

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Facebook acquires beloved teen app ‘tbh’

Facebook just nabbed a popular new teen app called tbh.

Teens have been flocking to the app — named after the acronym frequently used in texts, “to be honest” — to participate in anonymous polls and give feedback to friends.

The app creators control the content of the polls, like “Best person to go on a roadtrip with.” It’s a measure that’s meant to keep the sentiments expressed on the app positive, which is something that other anonymous apps have struggled with.

The concept has spread like wildfire amongst teens. The app is designed for people who are 13 and older, and according to the company, over 5 million people have downloaded it in just the past few weeks. And it’s only available on iOS for now.

On Monday, tbh announced it has also attracted the attention of Facebook — which has acquired the company.

The move isn’t surprising given that the social media giant has shamelessly sought out teenagers in recent years amid reports that younger users are abandoning its platform in favor of newer apps and services.

“We were compelled by the ways [Facebook] could help us realize tbh’s vision and bring it to more people,” read a blog post from tbh, which has four cofounders. They wrote that the app’s experience “won’t change.” It will, however, now have “plenty more resources,” it said.

The app is just several months old. It first launched on August 3rd, 2017 in Georgia and is currently available only in 34 states to date “to ensure the reliability of the app.”

Facebook also confirmed the acquisition news to CNN Tech. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the social media company said tbh’s four co-creators Nikita Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza, and Nicolas Ducdodon will join Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters.

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#WomenBoycottTwitter protest erupts over Rose McGowan’s suspension

Woman all over the world have joined a call to boycott Twitter over the platform’s treatment of actress Rose McGowan.

It started as a reaction to McGowan’s temporary suspension from Twitter earlier this week and quickly escalated to the number one global trend on the social media platform on Friday as #WomenBoycottTwitter.

The actress, known for the television series “Charmed” and the movie “Scream,” is on a growing list of woman that have accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape, abuse and other forms of misconduct and has been tweeting about the scandal.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for the disgraced movie mogul said, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”

McGowan instagrammed the notification she received from the company, adding: “TWITTER HAS SUSPENDED ME. THERE ARE POWERFUL FORCES AT WORK. BE MY VOICE.”

The social network responded with a tweet, clarifying that McGowan’s account was temporarily locked because one of her Tweets included a private phone number,” which they said violated their Terms of Service.

“She had been tweeting powerfully about sexual harassment and bias in Hollywood, and her own experience as a survivor of sexual assault, and she spoke for many women who felt they couldn’t,” said Heidi N. Moore, a New York-based business editor, who was among the first to popularize the boycott.

“Twitter seems to be sending a message that they’d rather see us silenced than take real, meaningful action to fix a problem that’s plagued Twitter since the beginning … when Rose McGowan was temporarily blocked by Twitter, that amplified the perception of silencing victims of various forms of abuse. The idea behind the boycott is to show Twitter that silence they seem to prefer, so we wanted to show them what it looks like.”

Moore suggested the boycott last 24 hours, and advised users to completely log out of the popular social media platform starting at midnight Eastern Daylight Time. She added that if folks want to keep tweeting they should amplify women’s work and voices instead.

McGowan joined in on the boycott, tweeting: “At midnight we RISE.”

Celebrities, like Alyssa Milano, Chrissy Teigen, Kathy Griffin and Anna Paquin also tweeted their support, as well as media organizations IndieWire and Refinery29.

Twitter could not be reached for comment.

Male twitter users, like comedian Michael Ian Black and actor Mark Ruffalo, joined in on the movement as well, but there were also female users who questioned the validity of volunteering a silence.

“Some visible users have left the platform, but it hasn’t seemed to make Twitter sit up and take notice. This was a different idea for trying to get that message across,” said Kelly Ellis, a software engineer from San Francisco, who created the hashtag. “I hope to see some meaningful changes come out of it, including better tools for dealing with dogpile-style harassment.”

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Trump praises NFL for anthem crackdown that hasn’t happened

President Donald Trump praised the NFL for cracking down on players who don’t stand during the National Anthem. But the league hasn’t done that.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is now ordering that all players stand during the national anthem.

“It is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY,” he said in an early-morning tweet.

The only problem is Goodell stopped well short of demanding or ordering players to stand.

“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” said Goodell in a letter sent to teams on Tuesday. “We want to honor our flag and our country, and our fans expect that of us.” He said it is important that the league “move past this controversy.”

The letter came the same day that Trump called for the elimination of unspecified tax breaks the league receives because of the National Anthem protests.

But Goodell vowed in the letter to continue an unprecedented dialogue with players. He did not make any threat of disciplinary action against players who take a knee or sit during the playing of the National Anthem. His letter certainly did not vow to cut, ban, bench or “fire” any players who join the protest, as Trump has advocated.

Trump’s call to fire players who protest during the anthem has only prompted an increase in the number of players who now kneel or otherwise protest during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. Several NFL owners have affirmed the right of their players to peacefully protest during the National Anthem.

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