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Donald Trump's pro-Israel address lacks his usual rhetorical flourish

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton address U.S. relations with Israel before the lobbying powerhouse AIPAC.

  • Trump gives a standard pro-Israel speech that's relatively low-key, for him
  • Some rabbis plan to walk out during Trump's speech
  • Clinton says Trump can't be trusted because he can't be pinned down on his foreign policy views
  • George Clooney bashes Trump in an appeal on behalf of Clinton
  • The millions of new voters spurred by Trump and other campaign myths, debunked

Hillary Clinton takes on Arizona Republicans

On the eve of Arizona’s primary, Hillary Clinton railed against the state’s Republican leadership for rejecting federal matching funds for children’s health, for spending too little on schools and for hard-line policies on illegal immigration.

“We are a nation of immigrants and exiles,” she said at a raucous rally in a high school gymnasium. “When I see people like Sheriff [Joe] Arpaio and others who are treating fellow human beings with such disrespect, such contempt, it just makes my heart sink. We are better than that.”

The crowd of about 2,000 booed at the mention of Arpaio, the Maricopa County sheriff who is nationally known for his strident stances on immigration. Arizona is the modern-day epicenter of the nation’s immigration wars, and the presidential candidates in both parties have seized on the issue here ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

Clinton has an enormous lead in the Arizona polls over Sen. Bernie Sanders. She mentioned her Democratic rival only once, detailing their differing approaches on how to make college more affordable. She spent far more time lamenting the tone of the GOP contest.

“The stakes in this election just keep getting higher and higher, and the rhetoric on the other side keeps getting lower and lower,” Clinton said.

She said that she understands Americans’ frustrations, but that she had never seen such a divisive, mean-spirited presidential race.

“Anger is not a strategy,” she said. “We have to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

Among the Democrats who introduced Clinton was former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was shot in the head during a constituent event in Tucson in 2011.

The crowd chanted Giffords’ first name when she entered the room and cheered at her halting words: "Speaking is tough for me, but come January, I want to say these two words: Madame President."

A subdued Donald Trump sticks to standard pro-Israel positions

 (Saul Loeb / AFP-Getty Images)
(Saul Loeb / AFP-Getty Images)

Donald Trump's much-anticipated address to a leading pro-Israel lobbying group Monday evening was light on his trademark improvisation and full of standard rhetoric favoring the U.S. ally.

In a departure from his shambolic, off-the-cuff approach at his campaign rallies, Trump mostly stuck to prepared remarks read from a teleprompter, declaring at the outset that he's "a newcomer to politics but not to backing the Jewish state."

Playing to his image as the anti-politician, Trump asserted that he “didn't come here tonight to pander about Israel. That's what politicians do — all talk, no action," he told the assembled members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

George Clooney bashes Donald Trump in Hillary Clinton fundraising letter

 (Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images)
(Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images)

George Clooney made his political proclivities known in an open letter that pointedly bashed Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

The Hillary Clinton campaign emailed Clooney's letter to supporters on Monday, in which he called for voters to rally behind the Democratic presidential hopeful and her "voice of tolerance and experience." The actor-activist and his wife, Amal, a human-rights lawyer, are hosting a fundraiser for Clinton at their Los Angeles home next month.

The Oscar-winning producer didn't actually use Trump's name in the letter but referenced the billionaire's inflammatory campaign rhetoric and slogan.

The millions of new voters spurred by Donald Trump and other campaign myths, debunked

 (Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)
(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

The 2016 presidential campaign, like most, has spawned many myths – half-truths, delusions and some outright falsehoods – that spread through the Internet and over the airwaves. We debunked four that have taken on outsized prominence.

Recap: Donald Trump speaks at AIPAC

In a Kasich administration, there will no more delusional agreements with self-declared enemies. No more.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, criticizing President Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran, during a speech at AIPAC's policy conference

Trump's prediction

Rabbis have a plan to counter Trump's speech: Teachings on 'boundless love'

 (Chuck Burton / Associated Press)
(Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

When Donald Trump addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy confab Monday afternoon, some attendees plan on extending the GOP presidential front-runner a chilly reception.

Rabbi David Paskin is co-organizer of a protest effort dubbed Come Together Against Hate, meant to signal opposition to Trump's campaign rhetoric, which Paskin called "hateful" and "ugly."

"We're telling people either simply don't show up  leave empty seats  or alternatively, show up, stay during the introduction and then silently leave before his speech," Paskin said in an interview Monday.

Instead of listening to Trump's address, Paskin and other rabbis will be offering teachings from the Torah and other sacred Jewish texts with the goal of "turning senseless hatred into boundless love," he said.

"We have listened to Mr. Trump now, since June, denigrate women, talk negatively about every group that is other than him. ... It's time to say enough," Paskin said.

In advance of Trump's AIPAC appearance, other Jewish groups have publicly signaled opposition to the tone Trump has struck on the campaign trail. The Anti-Defamation League announced Sunday it was redirecting contributions Trump had made to the group to anti-bias educational programs.

Paskin, who is from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., said the planned protest is not against any specific Trump policy proposal, nor is it an admonition to AIPAC for inviting him. 

And he recognizes that it may be difficult to persuade conference-goers to excuse themselves from the spectacle that typically marks a Trump appearance.

"If we only have a few hundred people walk out, he won’t even see it. But it's not about him," Paskin said.

"I'm not interested in trying to convince Donald Trump of anything, He’s not going to listen to me; he's not going to engage with me," he said. "But this has given people of faith an opportunity to talk to other people and get them to see that there is an alternative to hateful speech, an alternative to bigotry."

Democrats living abroad back Bernie Sanders

 (Tony Dejak / Associated Press)
(Tony Dejak / Associated Press)

Bernie Sanders picked up a handful of delegates on Monday after ballots from Democrats living overseas were totaled.

The Vermont senator netted nine delegates and Clinton won four from what's known as the Americans abroad primary.

"This political revolution that is gaining momentum across America is now resonating all over the world," Sanders said in a statement.

Although Clinton has recently expanded her delegate lead over Sanders, he has pledged to continue pressing forward with his campaign.

"There is a clear path to victory as we begin the second half of the delegate selection process,” he said. 

This is only half the process ... so he better start thinking through what a general election is going to look like and how he begins to address that if he’s going to be the nominee.

David Winson, pollster for the GOP leadership in Congress, on Donald Trump's failure, so far, to work to broaden his appeal beyond a hard-core base of support

Hillary Clinton challenges Donald Trump over 'dangerously wrong' views on Israel

 (Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)
(Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump's stated willingness to enter Mideast peace talks from a position of neutrality make him unfit to be commander in chief, Hillary Clinton told a major pro-Israel group Monday.

Speaking from the same stage where Trump, the Republican front-runner, will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee later Monday in Washington, Clinton alluded to a number of Trump's broad pronouncements on foreign policy and especially the U.S. relationship with Israel.

Clinton, the former secretary of State, questioned Trump's temperament as much as his overall foreign policy vision — or lack thereof. She warned against isolationist tendencies of Trump and others in the GOP.

“Candidates for president who think the United States can outsource Middle East security to dictators or that America no longer has vital national interests at stake in the region are dangerously wrong,” she said, adding that it would be a "serious mistake" for the U.S. to "cede the mantle of leadership for global peace and security to anyone else."

Donald Trump will release list of Supreme Court nominees

Donald Trump plans to release his own list this week of five to 10 judges worthy of a nomination to the Supreme Court.

“Those are going to be the first judges that I put up for nomination if I win,” the GOP front-runner told the Palm Beach County Republican Party on Sunday in Florida.

Trump intends to alleviate conservatives’ concerns that he would pick a liberal judge if he won the White House.

He had said at a debate last month that he likes federal appeals judges Diane S. Sykes and William H. Pryor Jr., both conservative. But the Republican Party remains wary of Trump’s history of opinions divided between conservative and liberal views.

President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the court last week, though Republicans have vowed that they will refuse to consider any nomination Obama makes, saying that a seat on the court shouldn't be filled by a president with less than a year left in office. 

Lena Dunham, America Ferrera: We're female millennials, and we choose Hillary Clinton

“There’s this narrative,” said America Ferrera, “about young women not being inspired by Hillary. And that’s just not the case.”

At least it wasn’t in Hollywood on Sunday evening, where a predominantly young female crowd gathered to hear Ferrera, Lena Dunham and Chelsea Clinton discuss their support for Hillary Clinton.

About 500 supporters showed up for the event, which was held at Neuehouse, a newly opened, invite-only workspace for creative types. It marks one of the first campaign stops ahead of California's June 7 primary, since candidates mostly just come to the state to raise money. The vibe, at first, seemed pretty casual: Security was light, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry songs played, babies and dogs crawled on the concrete floor.

But as soon as Ferrera, Dunham and the former first daughter took the stage, the mood became a bit more serious. Ferrera, dressed in a crisp white blazer, took out a few sheets of paper and began reading prepared remarks. She described herself as a first-generation American, one of six children raised by a single mother raised in Los Angeles.

This summer's Republican convention protests will be fueled by a volatile mix of forces

Protester Bryan Sanders, center left, is punched by a supporter of Donald Trump as he is escorted out of Republican presidential candidate's rally at the Tucson Arena on March 19. (Mike Christy / Associated Press)
Protester Bryan Sanders, center left, is punched by a supporter of Donald Trump as he is escorted out of Republican presidential candidate's rally at the Tucson Arena on March 19. (Mike Christy / Associated Press)

This summer, parallel swarms of Republican supporters and left-wing activists will descend on downtown Cleveland for what could be the most turbulent presidential nominating convention since the 1960s.

Republican national conventions are often protested by activists in large numbers. But this year, the forces converging on the convention threaten to make for an explosive mix: a city scarred by controversial police shootings and simmering with racial tension; a candidate who has threatened that his supporters will riot if he comes with the most delegates but leaves without the nomination; and a police force with a reputation for brutality.

“I’m really concerned all hell is going to break loose,” said James L. Hardiman, a vice president of the Cleveland NAACP, who noted community members are expressing concerns about the convention “every other day.” “The big concern is injury to people, damage to property, indiscriminate arrest. The people who actually live here – what are we going to be left with at the end of the day?”

What do residents of Trump's ancestral village in Germany think of him? Not so nice

Bernd Weisenborn says he is a distant cousin of Donald Trump. The resident of Kallstadt, Germany, finds the U.S. presidential candidate’s policy statements and outbursts of vulgarity difficult to digest. (Erik Kirschbaum / For The Times)
Bernd Weisenborn says he is a distant cousin of Donald Trump. The resident of Kallstadt, Germany, finds the U.S. presidential candidate’s policy statements and outbursts of vulgarity difficult to digest. (Erik Kirschbaum / For The Times)

This is not, at first glance, a very Trump-like place.

A tidy village in Germany's wine country, Kallstadt is home to modest people, modest houses and an open, welcoming attitude toward outsiders — immigrants, tourists and oenophiles alike.

It is also home to people who claim an ancestral relationship to Donald Trump, who can trace his roots to a Kallstadt family once known as the Drumpfs. And that connection is making the people of Kallstadt a little uneasy.

"At first we used to just laugh about Trump running for president, but it's not funny anymore," said Bernd Weisenborn, a 54-year-old grower whose immaculate vineyard lies just across the street from the house where Trump's grandfather Friedrich grew up. "It's actually becoming embarrassing; the things that Trump has been saying are just out of line."

'A good villain': Trump aids Latino activists in trying to turn Arizona blue

Volunteers Ana Valenzuela Estrada and Richard Estrada, no relation, in Glendale, Ariz., belong to one of several groups aiming to register 3 million new Latino voters across the nation by November. (Seema Mehta / Los Angeles Times)
Volunteers Ana Valenzuela Estrada and Richard Estrada, no relation, in Glendale, Ariz., belong to one of several groups aiming to register 3 million new Latino voters across the nation by November. (Seema Mehta / Los Angeles Times)

Richard Estrada, born in the United States, experienced his share of bigotry as a teen. He felt pressure not to speak Spanish. His white high school classmates in Tucson taunted him as "Rico Suave," the name of a 1990 Spanglish hit by an Ecuadorean singer.

But that was mild compared to what he sees as institutional bigotry today facing his three young children in Arizona, the modern-day epicenter of the nation's immigration wars.

"There's an angst, an anxiety in the air," he said.

So Estrada has dedicated much of his life to making the state more hospitable for his children and other people of color. The 40-year-old logs dozens of hours every week registering voters, urging them to vote in Tuesday's state primary and convincing them that whom they elect matters.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and his incendiary rhetoric — build a wall, deport everyone here illegally — are helping the cause, Estrada said.

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