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NATION POLITICS ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

Ahead of their convention, the Democratic Party chair is under fire.

  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz says she's resigning effective at the end of the convention
  • Hillary Clinton has all kinds of policy positions, and that's the problem
  • In their first rally as running mates, Clinton and Tim Kaine assail Donald Trump as unfit to lead
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich continues feud with Trump, suggesting he can't win the must-carry state
  • Florida, the backdrop this weekend for the newly minted Democratic ticket, is also critical this fall

Trump doubles down on NATO pullback, slaps at GOP Senate Leader McConnell for second-guessing him

Donald Trump reiterated his call for the U.S. to pull back from its commitment to NATO and said the Republican leader of the Senate was wrong to ascribe the proposal to "a rookie mistake."

"He's 100% wrong. OK?" Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "He's 100% wrong if he said that."

Trump shocked many in the country's defense and foreign policy establishment when he said Wednesday in a New York Times story that, as commander in chief, he would not automatically come to the defense of America's NATO allies if they were attacked.

The assurance of such all-for-one assistance is a fundamental underpinning of the defense pact between the U.S and key allies.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who had given a less-than-rousing speech in support of Trump's nomination at the Republican National Convention, responded by suggesting the remark showed the political neophyte's inexperience and the need for guidance  from more seasoned lawmakers.

"Frankly it's sad," Trump said. "We have NATO, and we have many countries that aren't paying for what they're supposed to be paying, which is already too little, but they're not paying anyway. And we're giving them a free ride or giving them a ride where they owe us tremendous amounts of money. "

Trump defended a portion of his convention speech in which he painted an unsparingly bleak portrait of the country and suggested he alone could fix it.

He said he was simply comparing himself to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

"We know Hillary and we look at her record," Trump said. "Her record has been a disaster. And I am running against Hillary. It's not like I'm running against the rest of the world."

"I know people that are very, very capable that could do a very good job," Trump added, "but they could never get elected."

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