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Campaign 2016 updates: Donald Trump discusses campaign, immigrants in video deposition over hotel dispute

Donald Trump heads to Michigan on Friday, while Hillary Clinton swings through Florida.

  • About 95% of campaign donors who gave to Donald Trump’s primary rivals have chosen to sit out the general election
  • After rough debate, Trump releases new ad in hopes of making up for missed opportunities
  • Trump continues attacks on a former Miss Universe with middle-of-the-night tweets
  • Trump leads Hillary Clinton in marriages, 3 to 1, but that may not stop him from attacking hers
  • USA Today offers its first presidential endorsement — against Trump
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Ivanka Trump plugs her father’s child care policy in new campaign ad

Hoping to boost her father’s standing among female voters, Ivanka Trump is starring in a new campaign ad that touts the GOP nominee’s proposals to aid working women caring for their children.

“The most important job any woman can have is being a mother, and it shouldn’t mean taking a pay cut,” says Trump’s daughter, speaking to directly to the camera in the 30-second ad.

The ad features images of women caring for children and Donald Trump interacting with women in the workplace. It promotes the Trump child-care plan, which was rolled out earlier this month and includes tax credits for child care and paid maternity leave.

The Washington Post reports that the commercial will be part of the campaign’s $7.5-million ad buy, targeting cable networks and prime-time shows with large female audiences such as Lifetime and “Dancing with the Stars.”

Earlier Friday, the Trump campaign released a separate ad with a sharper tone, hitting Hillary Clinton on her email controversy and her remark describing half of Trump’s supporters as “deplorables.”

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Trump urges mostly white crowd in suburban Detroit to stand guard for election fraud

(Associated Press)

Donald Trump has been trying to counter accusations that he is racist by casting himself as a defender of minorities.

But at a rally in the Detroit suburbs Friday, he urged the mostly white crowd to travel to monitor other polling places on election day -- a plea that civil rights groups say is code for preventing blacks from voting.

“Make sure it’s on the up and up,” the Republican presidential nominee told thousands of supporters gathered at an expo center.

In court cases around the country, civil rights groups are arguing that Republicans are using bogus allegations of vote fraud to suppress the black vote on Nov. 8. Trump is least popular in urban centers such as Detroit, which is predominantly black.

“Make sure it’s on the up and up, because, you know what? That’s a big, big problem in this country, and nobody wants to talk about it; nobody has the guts to talk about it,” he said at the rally.

If Trump’s supporters follow through on his request, legitimate voters could be blocked from the polls, voting rights groups have warned. Intimidation tactics at the polls were a hallmark of the Jim Crow era.

It’s not the first time Trump has raised the specter of poll monitoring.

Last month, he told a largely white crowd in rural Altoona, Pa., that he was hiring “a lot of law enforcement people” as poll sentinels in Pennsylvania. He said they would “go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don’t come in and vote five times.”

What’s changed since then is that Trump has started selling himself as a champion of minorities.

At the Michigan rally, he said his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, had been a disaster for African Americans. “They’re too smart, and they know they are being used,” he said.

He also made this plea: “To the African American community, let me ask this question: Are you better off than you were eight years ago? If not, why not give Donald Trump a chance?”

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Obama plans homecoming fundraisers next weekend in Chicago

(Jessica Kourkounis / Getty Images)

President Obama is planning a homecoming weekend in Chicago next week, campaigning for local and national Democrats with two major fundraising events, Democratic campaign officials say.

Obama will be the keynote speaker at a fundraising luncheon Friday for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee featuring House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. Tickets range from $10,000 a person to $66,800 per couple, the latter including a VIP reception.

The event is scheduled at the North Side home of Democratic mega-donor Fred Eychaner, who on Wednesday hosted Vice President Joe Biden for a campaign fundraiser on behalf of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth, a two-term congresswoman challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk.

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Gary Johnson, a triathlete, is ‘extremely physically fit and healthy,’ per doctor’s note

Gary Johnson at the Utah State Capitol after meeting with with legislators, in Salt Lake City on May 18.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

Gary Johnson’s doctor has given him a bill of “extraordinary good health,” according to a note released by his campaign Friday afternoon.

The letter details Johnson’s unusually active lifestyle; the Libertarian presidential contender has competed in 17 marathons and four Ironman Triathlons, and he has climbed the highest mountain peaks on each of the 7 continents.

Even while mounting a third-party presidential bid, Johnson still manages to squeeze in an hour of exercise each day, writes his doctor, Dr. Lyle Amer of Santa Fe. (That’s scaling back from his typical two-hour exercise routine when not on the campaign trail.)

Johnson has not consumed alcohol for nearly 30 years and is on a gluten-free diet due to having Celiac’s disease, which affects how gluten is digested.

The note says Johnson does not smoke cigarettes. It makes no mention of marijuana, of which Johnson is a recreational user, although he says he has abstained during his presidential run.

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Hillary Clinton pounces on Donald Trump’s overnight Twitter ‘meltdown’

Hillary Clinton told a crowd of Florida voters that Donald Trump’s overnight Twitter attacks on a former beauty queen were “unhinged, even for him.”

Trump’s decision to continue criticizing Alicia Machado, whom he called “Miss Piggy” when she gained weight as Miss Universe, showed he’s “temperamentally unfit” to be president, Clinton said.

“Who gets up at 3 o’clock in the morning to engage in a Twitter attack at a former Miss Universe?” she said, describing his tweets as a “meltdown.”

Clinton contrasted Trump’s statements on Machado with his unwillingness to discuss his proposed border wall with the Mexican president. Although he has insisted that Mexico will pay for it, he didn’t bring it up when the two men met in August.

“He finds it a lot easier to insult women than talk to the president of Mexico,” Clinton said.

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Trump calmly discusses campaign, immigrants in video deposition over hotel dispute

Video released Friday shows a decidedly sedate Donald Trump discussing the impact of his presidential campaign on his businesses and his controversial comments about immigrants.

The videotaped deposition, which Trump fought to keep sealed, is part of a legal dispute involving a restaurant owner who backed out of Trump’s new hotel in Washington after Trump referred to some Mexican immigrants entering the country as “rapists.”

Here’s the transcript.

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Mexico raises interest rates, cites Trump as threat to country

A family rides their bicycles past a piñata depicting U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump in Mexico City.
(Marco Ugarte / Associated Press)

The head of Mexico’s central bank says U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump represents a “hurricane"-sized threat to Mexico.

Banco de Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens told the Radio Formula network Friday that a Trump presidency “would be a hurricane and a particularly intense one if he fulfills what he has been saying in his campaign.”

Trump has proposed building a wall along the border and renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico’s central bank raised its prime lending rate by half a percentage point to 4.75% Thursday, citing “nervousness surrounding the possible consequences of the U.S. elections, whose implications for Mexico could be particularly significant.”

Mexico’s peso had lost about 6% in value against the dollar since mid-August. It recovered slightly after the rate hike.

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After rough debate, Donald Trump releases new ad in hopes of making up for missed opportunities

While Donald Trump mostly failed during the first debate to hammer Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of State, his campaign is seeking to rectify missed opportunities.

In a television ad released Friday, set to air in several battleground states, Trump assails Clinton over issues including her emails and her labeling half of his supporters “deplorables.” She has since apologized.

“Why aren’t I 50 points ahead, you might ask,” Clinton says in video footage at the outset of the 30-second spot.

The narrator then offers a response: FBI Director James Comey’s criticism of Clinton’s handling of sensitive information.

The ad also castigates Clinton for allowing the Islamic State extremist group to “spread.”

With fewer than 40 days until the election, Clinton and Trump are locked in a close contest. An average of national polls shows Clinton up by about 3 percentage points.

In Florida, which has 29 electoral votes and where Clinton campaigned Friday, she edges Trump by 1.2 percentage points, based on an average of polls from the state.

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Trump talks late-night Twitter attacks on former Miss Universe

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Commission acknowledges Donald Trump’s audio troubles in debate, without explanation

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are seen during the presidential debate at Hofstra University.
(Rick Wilking / EPA)

Almost immediately after Monday’s presidential debate, Donald Trump complained he was saddled with a “defective mic.” Now, the Commission on Presidential Debates is acknowledging some technical difficulties with Trump’s audio.

The commission put out a succinct statement Friday that read, in its entirety: “Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump’s audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall.”

The statement likely will raise more questions than settle them. There’s no detail on what was the audio issue and what exactly was the impact for the live audience. It also makes no mention of the effect, if any, on sound levels for television viewers. Around 84 million people tuned in to watch Monday’s faceoff, a record for a presidential debate.

The commission did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

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Hillary Clinton phones former Miss Universe Alicia Machado after Trump tweets attacks

Hillary Clinton spoke to Alicia Machado by phone Friday to thank the former Miss Universe for her support and “courage,” according to a campaign spokesman.

The phone call came after Donald Trump lashed out at the former beauty queen in a dead-of-night tweet storm, in which he accused Machado of having a “terrible” past and called her “disgusting.”

Machado, who has said Trump called her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” while she served as Miss Universe nearly 20 year ago, has become a potent political weapon for the Clinton campaign. It has used her story to highlight Trump’s crass talk about women and Latinos.

The Democratic nominee thanked Machado for showing courage as her story has become more prominent, said Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton.

According to Merrill, Machado said she’s continued to support Clinton, calling the former secretary of State an inspiration for young women and saying she looked forward to Clinton being elected president.

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In Florida, Hillary Clinton pushes new plan for volunteering

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton on Friday called for a new national focus on volunteer service, drawing a contrast between her vision of communal assistance with Donald Trump’s claim that “I alone can fix” the country’s problems.

The Democratic candidate said she wants to triple the size of AmeriCorps, a domestic service program created by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in 1993, and double the amount of college scholarships available for people who sign up.

She also suggested a “national service reserve” -- sort of like the Army Reserve -- for people who don’t want to quit their jobs but are still looking for part-time opportunities to volunteer.

“There is so much work to be done, and so many people who want to help do it,” Clinton said.

Clinton and Trump are locked in a virtual tie in the crucial battleground state of Florida, according to opinion polls.

She said people may wonder why she’s focusing on volunteering instead of “beating up on your opponent and doing everything you can do get the vote out.”

“Well, I’ll do that,” she said with a smile.

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Former Miss Universe: ‘I will continue standing up’ to Trump

(Luis Alonso Lugo / Associated Press)

The former Miss Universe whom Donald Trump repeatedly attacked this week fought back Friday, insisting she would continue to stand up to him on behalf of women.

During Monday’s debate, Hillary Clinton cited Trump’s harsh treatment of the beauty queen, Alicia Machado, as an example of his flawed judgment. Trump, who owned the pageant when Machado was Miss Universe, called her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeper” and once brought reporters in to watch her work out after she gained weight.

“When I was barely a young woman, the current candidate humiliated me, insulted me, and publicly disrespected me, as he used to do in private in the most cruel way,” Machado wrote on Instagram in Spanish.

“Just like what happened to me, it’s clear through the years that his actions and conduct have been repeated with other women through the decades. Therefore, I will continue standing up and sharing my story, my absolute support to Mrs. Clinton in the name of women, my sisters, aunts, grandmothers, cousins, friends and the feminine community.”

Trump dedicated significant time this week defending his insults of Machado, and he and surrogates have attacked Machado’s character.

In tweets early Friday morning, Trump called Machado “disgusting” and a “con” and said Clinton’s citing her as an example was a sign of bad judgment. Machado has campaigned for Clinton since June and appeared in a commercial for the former secretary of State.

Trump also encouraged his Twitter followers to look for a sex tape of Machado, but no evidence exists that Machado ever made one. She was filmed on a reality show embracing a man while they lay in bed, under covers.

The Venezuelan actress was also once accused of driving the vehicle her boyfriend was in after he shot his former brother-in-law to death in a dispute. A judge ruled that evidence to charge Machado was insufficient.

“The Republican candidate and his campaign team are again generating attacks, insults and trying to revive defamations and false accusations about my life. All this in order to intimidate, humiliate and unbalance me once more,” Machado wrote in her post. “The attacks that have emerged are slander and cheap lies generated with bad intentions, which have no foundation.”

Clinton also jumped into the fray, praising Machado for standing up to Trump’s “Machado meltdown.”

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Donald Trump digs in on birther lie about Hillary Clinton

(Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

Unbowed by charges of racism, Donald Trump is sticking by his fictional story that Hillary Clinton tried to force President Obama to release his birth certificate.

“Hillary Clinton was unable to get there, and I will tell you she tried,” Trump told an NH1 television reporter Thursday.

It was Trump, not his Democratic rival, who spread the lie that Obama was born in Kenya and falsely accused him of producing a fake birth certificate that shows he was born in the United States. Trump taunted Obama for years, demanding release of the president’s college records to see the place of birth listed on the application.

After a rally Thursday in Bedford, N.H., the Republican presidential nominee stuck to his lie about Clinton, who has never questioned Obama’s birthplace of Hawaii.

“You look at her campaign, and everybody knows it happened,” Trump told NH1, referring to Clinton’s 2008 race against Obama in the Democratic primaries. “And I would say that pretty much everybody agrees with me. But she tried, and she was unable to do it. And I tried, and I was able to do it. So I’m very proud of that.”

In 2008, a volunteer for Clinton was fired for sending out an email perpetuating the birther tale, according to Patti Solis Doyle, who managed Clinton’s first presidential campaign. A confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s was also said to suggest at the time that reporters look into the rumor, but no evidence has emerged that he did.

In their debate Monday, Clinton accused Trump of building his political career “on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen,” then reminded viewers that the Justice Department sued Trump in 1973 for allegedly refusing to rent apartments to African Americans.

Trump responded that he’d done Obama “a great service” by forcing him to produce his birth certificate; settled the racial bias suit with no admission of guilt; and opened a Palm Beach country club that does not discriminate against African Americans or Muslims.

Campaigning for Clinton in Philadelphia on Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama accused Trump, without naming him, of raising “hurtful, deceitful questions deliberately designed to undermine” her husband’s presidency and said he “traffics in prejudice, fears and lies.”

Trump, who occasionally refers to the president by his full name of “Barack Hussein Obama,” conceded two weeks ago that the president was born in the U.S., but did not apologize for suggesting otherwise. Trump has not explained what evidence made him finally accept that Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve as commander in chief.

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Hillary Clinton tells Mary J. Blige that yes, it’s hard to be both tough and likable as a woman

(Matt Rourke / Associated Press)

Mary J. Blige launched her new interview series, “The 411,” by sitting down with Hillary Clinton and asking the question that has dogged her political aspirations for years — why does she struggle to bridge the gap between how she wants to be perceived and the way people perceive her?

“I’ve always been the same person,” Clinton said. “When you’re in the public eye, whether it’s in entertainment or politics, you do have the challenge of presenting yourself and have people perceive you as you think you are.”

She added, “I think some of the misperception is manufactured, and some of it I take responsibility for, that I’m not communicating clearly enough what I care about and what I do.”

Asked by Blige if it’s hard to be seen as both tough and likable as a woman, Clinton laughed and said, “Yes, I think it’s really hard, to be honest.”

“I think it’s rooted in tens of thousands of years of how people’s lives have been defined, what it’s meant to be a woman or a man,” she said. “For women to be assuming leading roles ... it still is not fully understood because there’s no blueprint for doing it.”

The interview had already gained some notoriety for a preview clip showing Blige singing to Clinton.

The song, “American Skin (41 Shots)” by Bruce Springsteen, was written about a 1999 police shooting in New York.

“This is how I believe people feel,” Blige told Clinton about recent killings of unarmed black men by police.

“I have been so heartbroken about what’s going on,” Clinton responded.

“There needs to be a greater opening of our hearts to one another, we’ve got to put ourselves in each other’s shoes, feel the pain that a mother and a father feels when their son and daughter can go out the door, and they don’t know what’s going to happen to them,” Clinton said. “I particularly want white people to understand what that’s like, and feel like they must be part of the solution.”

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Chicago Tribune editorial board endorses Gary Johnson

(Bryan R. Smith / AFP)

The Chicago Tribune’s editorial board endorsed Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson Friday.

“Libertarians Gary Johnson of New Mexico and running mate William Weld of Massachusetts are agile, practical and, unlike the major-party candidates, experienced at managing governments. They offer an agenda that appeals not only to the Tribune’s principles but to those of the many Americans who say they are socially tolerant but fiscally responsible,” it states.

Except for endorsing President Obama in 2008 and 2012, the Tribune has endorsed only Republican presidential candidates for the past 169 years. Friday’s endorsement is the latest in a string of conservative and non-partisan editorial boards not endorsing Republican nominee Donald Trump.

In an editorial, the board said that it cannot endorse Trump and will not endorse Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“We reject the cliche that a citizen who chooses a principled third-party candidate is squandering his or her vote,” the editorial states.

The Tribune’s editorial board said in March that it “could not, would not” endorse Trump.

“Trump has gone out of his way to anger world leaders, giant swaths of the American public, and people of other lands who aspire to immigrate here legally. He has neither the character nor the prudent disposition for the job,” the editorial states.

The editorial board calls Clinton “undeniably capable,” but says it is concerned about her plans to expand federal programs, and questions her honesty and trust.

“Time upon time, Clinton’s behavior affirms the perception that she’s a corner-cutter whose ambitions drive her decisions,” the editorial states.

Also Friday, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s editorial board backed Clinton, the first time the newspaper has endorsed a Democrat in its 148 years.

Calling Trump “vengeful, dishonest and impulsive” the paper’s editorial board compared the Republican nominee to former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. It referred to Clinton as the “safe choice for president.”

9:39 a.m. This post has been updated with the Union-Tribune’s endorsement.

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Reagan’s son: Trump doesn’t know when to ‘shut up’

Donald Trump doesn’t know when to shut up and listen, the son of former Republican President Ronald Reagan wrote in a blog post.

Michael Reagan, a conservative political strategist, criticized Trump for his first debate performance and not pivoting to acting like a politician in the general election.

“Trump has two more chances to prove he’s not as awful, incompetent and stupid as he was Monday,” Reagan wrote in his column Thursday for Cagle Cartoons. “Maybe he can learn a lot from his mistakes. Let’s hope so because he made too many of them to count.”

Reagan pointed to Trump’s week of feuding with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado as an example of how the candidate fell into Hillary Clinton’s trap on Monday. Trump handed Machado the top of the news cycle instead of commanding it for his own message, he argued.

“Donald’s main problem was the same one I talked about weeks ago: He doesn’t know when it’s time to just shut up,” he wrote.

Reagan has attacked Trump’s candidacy since he refused to vote for him during the primaries. He also has said that his father would not support Trump if he were alive.

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Trump continues attacks on former Miss Universe with middle-of-the-night tweets

Alicia Machado campaigns for Hillary Clinton in Miami on Aug. 20.
(Gustavo Caballero / Getty Images)

Donald Trump said Friday that Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton was “duped” into using his comments about a “disgusting” former Miss Universe to attack him.

Trump has repeatedly gone after 1996 Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado, now a U.S. citizen living in Los Angeles, after Clinton brought her up in Monday night’s presidential debate.

She said Trump called Machado “Miss Piggy” when she gained weight after the pageant, and “Miss Housekeeping,” a dig at her Venezuelan ethnicity.

“Donald, she has a name: Her name is Alicia Machado,” Clinton said. “She has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet she’s going to vote this November.”

Trump told Fox News the next morning that the moment “rattled” him, and he’s attacked Machado’s character in a series of television interviews in the days since. Machado has defended herself in a series of interviews as well, saying Trump’s criticism of her body contributed to her eating disorder.

His push back against Machado and Clinton is reminiscent of Trump’s criticism of the Muslim parents of a U.S. soldier who died in Iraq following their emotional appearance at the Democratic National Convention.

In a series of early morning tweets Friday, Trump alluded to a 1998 accusation against Machado of being an accomplice to an attempted murder (the charges were dropped) and speculated about how Machado became a U.S. citizen.

No evidence exists that Machado ever made a sex tape.

Trump also said that unnamed sources quoted by news outlets about him were made up.

It’s unclear whether the 3:20 a.m. EDT tweet was referring to a specific story. Several recent stories about the Republican nominee that relied at least in part on unnamed sources suggested dissent within the campaign, including a New York Times article about campaign advisors frustrated he didn’t prepare enough for Monday’s debate.

And on Thursday evening, the Washington Post reported that Trump’s foundation lacks state certification needed for charities to solicit contributions.

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They gave to Trump’s GOP rivals. Now 95% are sitting out the general election

Most of Donald Trump’s Republican presidential primary rivals have come around to his candidacy, but their donors are staying away.

Nearly 95% of those who first gave to his GOP primary opponents are sitting out the general election, and of those who are still giving money, many are lining up behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton instead, according to a Times analysis of donations over $200.

Trump has out-raised Clinton, $7.4 million to $2 million, among donors who supported his 16 GOP rivals. But that much support for Clinton is notable in a race in which her Republican rival is struggling in the money contest.

Clinton brought in $292 million to Trump’s $82 million through the end of August. Add in loans, transfers from joint fundraising committees and super PAC money and the gulf grows, with $530 million for Clinton and $186 million for Trump, according to Federal Election Commission records through Aug. 31, the most recent period for which figures were available.

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