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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigns amid sex abuse allegations

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is expected to resign at 5 p.m. PDT Wednesday amid allegations from five sex abuse accusers. 

>> Watch the news report here

Murray made the announcement in a written statement at 1:07 p.m. PDT Tuesday, about two hours after a fifth man accused him of sexual abuse decades ago.

>> On KIRO7.com: Read a timeline of Seattle mayor’s alleged sexual abuse of teens, as well as his attorney’s responses, here

"While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our city government to conduct the public’s business," he wrote. 

>> Read more trending news

A cousin of the Seattle mayor was the fifth man to accuse Murray of sexual abuse – this time alleging he was repeatedly molested as a teenager in the 1970s. The Seattle Times broke the story shortly after 11 a.m. PDT when Murray was expected to announce a plan for KeyArena. Murray’s staff canceled the press briefing.

More coverage from KIRO7.com:

>> Document shows foster-guardian relationship between Seattle mayor, accuser

>> Man accusing Seattle Mayor of sex abuse goes public for first time

>> Man who sued Seattle mayor over alleged sex abuse now seeks millions from city

>> Seattle LGBTQ commission wants mayor's resignation; others say that's not in city's best interest

>> Could Mayor Murray be impeached? Skepticism expressed in council meeting

With an upcoming election in Seattle, Murray has publicly denied all the claims.

Read more at KIRO7.com.

ESPN apologizes after Jemele Hill calls Trump a 'white supremacist'

ESPN anchor Jemele Hill may find herself in hot water with the network after she called President Donald Trump a "white supremacist" on Twitter.

"Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists," she wrote Monday. "The height of white privilege is being able to ignore his white supremacy, because it's of no threat to you. Well, it's a threat to me."

>> Read more trending news

She added: "Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period."

Her tweets quickly went viral. Read her full remarks below:

The network released an apology, which was shared by ESPN PR on Twitter:

“The comments on Twitter from Jemele Hill regarding the President do not represent the position of ESPN,” the statement read. “We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate.”

>> Read the statement here

Read more here. 

Reports: Florida GOP leader once beat female classmate with claw hammer until it broke

Florida GOP officials find themselves in an unusual position after they learned that a newly elected member of the Broward County executive board was once charged with attempted murder in connection with the brutal claw hammer attack of a female classmate at his California prep school.

Rupert Tarsey, 28, was elected secretary of the Broward County GOP chapter four months ago, according to the Miami Herald. His new position came into question after a fellow member made the discovery earlier this month. 

That member informed Broward County GOP chairman Bob Sutton about Tarsey’s past over the Labor Day weekend.

“We were blindsided,” Sutton told the Herald. “He’s a member of the Knights of Columbus, for Christ’s sake. And he came highly recommended by the former chair. We had no idea what his background is.

“We want him out, but he is refusing to resign. He deceived us. It looks like he even used a reputation management firm to make sure we wouldn’t find out who he is.”

Tarsey, who volunteered on President Donald Trump’s campaign, admitted that he has no intention of resigning his post. 

“Why should I resign?” Tarsey asked. “I did nothing wrong, and I was elected. This is just party politics.”

Sutton suspended Tarsey from party functions last week. 

Tarsey’s real name is Rupert Ditsworth, the Herald reported. He changed his name to Tarsey, his mother’s maiden name, when he moved to Fort Lauderdale two years after the 2007 incident, the newspaper said. 

Los Angeles Times story reported that Tarsey, then 17, was accused of attacking Elizabeth Barcay, an 18-year-old classmate at Harvard-Westlake School in L.A., on May 14, 2007, with a claw hammer, hitting her at least 40 times and splitting open her head. Barcay’s mother, Barbara Hayden, told the Times that her daughter also suffered a shattered leg and a broken nose in the attack. 

Tarsey’s parents admitted him to a psychiatric hospital immediately after the assault, the Times reported. He was initially charged as a juvenile with both attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

The juvenile case was dropped, and he was rearrested in June 2007, the day after his 18th birthday, so he could be tried as an adult.

Prosecutors at the time told the Chronicle, the online newspaper of Harvard-Westlake School, that Tarsey was tried as an adult because of the seriousness of the injuries suffered by the victim. If convicted of the charges, he faced a possible life sentence.

The Times reported that the attack started after Tarsey invited Barcay to ride with him to a juice bar after a big Advanced Placement exam at school. After drinking smoothies and returning to his Jaguar, he grabbed a backpack from the rear seat and placed it between his legs, according to Barcay.

Barcay told police that instead of returning to school, Tarsey parked in a residential neighborhood in Studio City, not far from campus. Appearing anxious, she said he told her he was contemplating suicide.

When she urged him to return to school to seek help from a counselor, she said he told her, “It isn’t going to happen that way,” the Times reported.

Telling her he wasn’t going to kill himself alone, he pulled a claw hammer from his backpack and attacked her, the newspaper said. 

A witness walking nearby saw the struggle inside the Jaguar and called 911, the newspaper said. 

Tarsey got out of the car, pulled open the passenger-side door and pulled Barcay out by her hair, the Times said. He continued hitting her with the hammer until the tool broke.

He then choked her until she bit his finger, the Times reported. That’s when Tarsey got back behind the wheel and drove off. 

>> Read more trending news

Tarsey ultimately claimed self-defense in the case.

“In the end, I pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor,” Tarsey told the Herald. “It’s not the charges that matter, it’s what happens in court.”

He argued that he did not change his name to hide who he was, but did so after his parents divorced. He said he is estranged from his father. 

After moving to Florida, Tarsey went to college and earned an MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. He is now married with two children and a third on the way.

Barcay, who went to prom and graduation in a wheelchair following the attack, went on to study at Williams College. Her alumni information shows that she went on to earn a master’s degree in education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. 

She is now an elementary school teacher in the Boston area. 

MTV VMAs: Transgender service members walk red carpet, speak out about military ban

Just days after President Donald Trump issued guidance on his transgender military ban, trans service members walked the red carpet Sunday at the MTV Video Music Awards.

>> PHOTOS: Stars arrive for the 2017 MTV VMAs

According to Billboard, MTV invited Air Force Airman 1st Class Sterling James Crutcher, Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan B. Ireland, Army Capt. Jennifer Peace, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Akira Wyatt, Army veteran Laila Ireland and former Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brynn Tannehill to the awards show. They joined Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD.

>> PHOTOS: 2017 MTV VMAs

"Any patriot who is putting their own life at risk to fight for our freedom and stand for equality is a hero at MTV and to young people everywhere," MTV President Chris McCarthy said in a statement, Billboard reported.

In a pre-show interview with MTV, Peace offered some advice to young trans people pursuing a military career in the wake of Trump's ban.

>> Read more trending news

"It doesn't matter who you are; our nation is only safe if we have the best and brightest in our country serving the military," Peace said. "There was a time where blacks couldn't serve, where women couldn't serve, where gays and lesbians couldn't serve, and there was a time when trans people couldn't serve. But today, the Armed Forces are open to everyone, regardless of your race, gender, religion or anything else. If you're willing to serve our country and you're among the most qualified in the nation, you should be welcome in the United States Armed Forces just like everyone else."

>> Watch the clip here

Tannehill spoke to CNN about what's next for the trans service members.

"Our people are naturally concerned about what's going to happen next, but we're going to continue to do our jobs day-in, day-out, the way we've done before and the way we'll continue to do."

>> Watch the clip here

Trump likely to end DACA immigrant program for 'Dreamers,' reports say

President Donald Trump is reportedly likely to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, according to ABC NewsNBC News and other news outlets.

>> Read more trending news

Passed by former President Barack Obama's administration, DACA provides illegal immigrants who entered the country as children, or “Dreamers,” access to work and study permits and protections from deportation.

The change would come after 10 Republican state attorney generals wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions in June asking the administration to phase out the program.

>> On Rare.us: John McCain slams President Trump for his decision to pardon former Sheriff Arpaio

“Immigrant youth fought to create the DACA program, and we will fight like hell to defend it,” promised Greisa Martinez Rosas, Advocacy Director and DACA-beneficiary of United We Dream, in a statement, according to Reuters.

The legislation currently covers anywhere from 600,000 to 750,000 people in the country, Axios reported.

'Blacks for Trump' supporter behind president at Arizona rally has strange past

He’s been seen several times at President Donald Trump events, usually behind the commander in chief.

>> Trump's Arizona rally: 5 must-see moments from the president's speech

You can’t miss his “BLACKS FOR TRUMP” sign and his T-shirt that has his website – Gods2.com – advertised on it.

But who is the Trump supporter who calls himself "Michael the Black Man," aka Michael Symonette, Mikael Israel and Maurice Woodside?

>> Secret Service says Trump’s travel, large family have depleted funds to pay agents, report says

According to the Washington Post, he’s a “radical fringe activist from Miami (who) once belonged to a violent black supremacist religious cult, and he runs a handful of amateur, unintelligible conspiracy websites.”

>> Read more trending news

His brother said Michael quit the cult after their mother died. He also claimed that Michael helped beat a man who was then taken to the Florida Everglades and beheaded.

"In the 1990s, he was charged, then acquitted, with conspiracy to commit two murders,” the Post reported.

Want to know more? Read the full story here.

Melania Trump thanks Chelsea Clinton for defending Barron Trump

First lady Melania Trump thanked former first daughter Chelsea Clinton for coming to Barron Trump’s defense after he was criticized for his clothing choices.

On Monday, The Daily Caller published an article titled “It’s high time Barron Trump starts dressing like he’s in the White House.”

>> Chelsea Clinton comes to Barron Trump’s defense after he was criticized for his clothing choices

The article’s author said that he’s been on the “Barron Trump train from the start,” but “it’s about time the president’s son starts dressing the part.”

"Think about how many times your parents forced you to dress up when you were a kid for a special occasion. No matter how hard you resisted, it was inevitable, you weren’t leaving the house until you had your tie tied, your shirt tucked in nice and neat with your hair combed and a blazer on," the story said.

"That’s not how it goes for the president’s youngest child."

After the article was published, Clinton tweeted out a defense of the first son, writing, “It’s high time the media & everyone leave Barron Trump alone & let him have the private childhood he deserves.”

>> See the tweet here

She later defended the 11-year-old again, writing in another tweet, “Dear Matty-Barron is A KID. No child should be talked about in the below manner-in real life or online. And for an adult to do so? For shame."

>> See the tweet here

The tweet Clinton was responding to on Tuesday was deleted after she responded.

The first lady appreciated the fact that Clinton defended her son and thanked her via her Twitter account, writing in a tweet Tuesday evening, “Thank you @ChelseaClinton – so important to support all of our children in being themselves! #StopChildhoodBullying.”

>> See the tweet here

While campaigning with her husband last year, Melania Trump said one of her focuses as first lady would be to fight cyber-bullying.

>> Read more trending news

“Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” she said on Nov. 3, 2016, just days before her husband won the election. “We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other. We must find better ways to honor and support the basic goodness of our children, especially in social media. It will be one of the main focuses of my work if I’m privileged enough to become your first lady.”

Trump's Arizona rally: 5 must-see moments from the president's speech

President Donald Trump spoke to supporters Tuesday night at a headline-grabbing campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona.

Here are five must-see moments from his 77-minute speech:

>> What is Trump’s plan for Afghanistan?

>> Click here or scroll down for more

Secret Service says Trump’s travel, large family have depleted funds to pay agents, report says

What happens if the Secret Service can’t afford to pay its agents? Those agents might soon find out, according to a USA Today report.

The director of the Secret Service, Randolph “Tex” Alles, told USA Today that more than 1,000 agents have already maxed out their salary and overtime allowances — allowances that were supposed to last all year.

>> Secret Service investigating Missouri lawmaker’s post

Alles said the service must protect 42 people, including 18 Trump family members, the report said. Under the Obama administration, that number was 31.

Adding to Alles’ woes is a recent exodus of agents, thanks to travel and work demands, the report said.

>> Read more trending news

Read the full story here.

Alles clarified his comments in a statement Monday.

"The Secret Service has the funding it needs to meet all current mission requirements for the remainder of the fiscal year and compensate employees for overtime within statutory pay caps," the statement read. "The Secret Service estimates that roughly 1,100 employees will work overtime hours in excess of statutory pay caps during calendar year 2017. Our agency experienced a similar situation in calendar year 2016 that resulted in legislation that allowed Secret Service employees to exceed statutory caps on pay."

>> What is Trump’s plan for Afghanistan?

Alles added: "This issue is not one that can be attributed to the current administration’s protection requirements alone, but rather has been an ongoing issue for nearly a decade due to an overall increase in operational tempo."

Read the full statement here.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Trump slams Lindsey Graham, media over Charlottesville backlash

Update:  Sen. Lindsey Graham has responded to President Donald Trump’s tweets Thursday morning.

Graham, also using Twitter as a forum, has challenged the president, saying, “Mr. President, like most I seek to move our nation, my state and our party forward - toward the light - not back to the darkness.”

Original story: President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Thursday to respond to the backlash over his comments on the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, slamming Sen. Lindsey Graham and the media.

>> Trump again blames ‘both sides’ for violence in Charlottesville

"Publicity seeking Lindsey Graham falsely stated that I said there is moral equivalency between the KKK, neo-Nazis & white supremacists ... and people like Ms. Heyer," he wrote, referring to Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed Saturday while protesting the white supremacist Unite the Right rally. "Such a disgusting lie. He just can't forget his election trouncing. The people of South Carolina will remember!"

Trump added: "The public is learning (even more so) how dishonest the Fake News is. They totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry etc. Shame!"

On Wednesday, Graham, R-S.C., issued the following statement:

"Mr. President, I encourage you to try to bring us together as a nation after this horrific event in Charlottesville. Your words are dividing Americans, not healing them," Graham said, according to CNN. "Through his statements yesterday, President Trump took a step backward by again suggesting there is moral equivalency between the white supremacist neo-Nazis and KKK members who attended the Charlottesville rally and people like Ms. Heyer."

>> Read more trending news

In a news conference Tuesday, Trump blamed "both sides" for the violence.

“You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists," he said. "The press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”

He added: "You also had some very fine people on both sides."

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