Hillary Clinton has ‘nothing to say’ about Trump accusing her of enabling her husband’s affairs

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Bernie Sanders is making stops in Northern California on Monday and Tuesday.

  • Hillary Clinton won’t address Donald Trump’s claims about former President Clinton’s infidelities
  • Trump says he won’t raise taxes on the rich
  • Clinton’s supporters are fighting attacks against her by taking on the Internet
  • Sarah Palin says she will work to oust Paul Ryan because he opposes Trump

Bernie Sanders stays on the attack in California’s capital

Bernie Sanders reprised some of his tougher criticisms of Hillary Clinton during a rally in Sacramento on Monday night, blasting her vote for the war in Iraq and her ties to Wall Street.

The crowd of 15,000, which gathered on a soccer field under a clear night sky, booed even the mention of Clinton’s name at one point in the speech.

California’s primary is June 7, but even a victory here could leave Sanders short of the delegates he needs to prevent Clinton from winning the Democratic nomination.

Nonetheless, he told supporters he still has a shot at an upset victory.

“With your help, we’re going to win the biggest prize of all, the California primary,” he said.

Sanders also said he supported a state ballot measure that would limit the cost of prescription drugs when state health agencies are footing the bill.

Although the crowd booed Clinton, several people said they would still vote for her if she was the nominee.

“I don’t want Trump to win,” said Heather Rodgers, 25. “I don’t want any possibility of Trump to win.”

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A divided House leadership will meet with Donald Trump

When House Speaker Paul D. Ryan brings his GOP leadership team to meet Thursday with Donald Trump at party headquarters, it will be a divided front.

Much like the GOP itself, the top four Republicans in the House have split over Trump.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield said he would back the eventual nominee, and now that means Trump. Same for House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Lousiana, aides said.

But Ryan very publicly let it be known last week that he was not “yet” ready to back Trump, despite having earlier said he would back the nominee.

And the No. 4 House GOP leader, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state — the highest-ranking woman in congressional Republican leadership — is taking a similar position.

“I would like to have a conversation with him,” McMorris Rodgers told the Spokesman Review, mentioning Trump’s much-criticized comments about women. “I would like to ask him questions about some of the statements he’s made.”

In some ways, the divide benefits the internal politics of the House GOP majority, providing rank-and-file members cover for either position when they are confronted with questions about where they stand on Trump.

But it also means Thursday’s meeting is more of a meet-and-greet session than any formal negotiation with the presumed GOP nominee. It comes on the same day that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and GOP leaders also meet with Trump amid divisions among Republicans in that chamber.

Ryan had laid down conditions for his endorsement of Trump: a show of conservative principles and a more inclusive tone as the presumed nominee tries to broaden his appeal for the general election.

The speaker said Monday he was simply hoping to get to know Trump better and start unifiying the party ahead of the November election.

But expectations beyond that are low. Ryan and Trump have a wide policy gulf between them. And the Washington Post reported that the bigger goal was simply to not let relations between Trump and party leaders deteriorate further.

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Jewish leaders look to Hillary Clinton for help -- with Methodists

Supporters of Israel eager to stop the United Methodist Church from endorsing a boycott of some companies that do business with the Jewish state have sought help from one of the world’s best known Methodists, Hillary Clinton.

In a letter to Clinton, the Jewish Federations of North America asked for her help slowing the momentum of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, or BDS. At its General Conference, which starts tomorrow in Portland, Ore., the church will be weighing whether to endorse the call for a boycott plan.

Over the last two years, both the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church (USA) have endorsed BDS campaigns, as have numerous church and civic groups in Europe.

Clinton has previously suggested anti-Semitism has been a factor in BDS resolutions. The proposals that the Methodists will consider call for divestment from companies including Hewlett-Packard and Caterpillar, which Palestinian activists charge are working with the Israeli military to secure settlements in the West Bank.

The former secretary of State made no promise to intervene at the Methodist conference, which convenes once every four years and is the church’s highest-level decision-making body.

But in a detailed letter to the Jewish Federation, she restated her opposition to the BDS campaign, declaring it “seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve core issues of their conflict. That is not the path to peace.”

Clinton’s Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, has been more critical of Israel during the race. But he has stopped short of supporting the BDS campaign. In March, Sanders said on MSNBC that he agreed with Clinton’s assertion that some supporters of the BDS campaign are motivated by anti-Semitism.

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Want a third-party candidate? You’re almost out of time

Monday marks an important milestone for people hoping for an independent candidate for president who isn’t Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton; it’s the deadline for submitting signatures to get on the Texas ballot.

Don’t have a candidate with 79,939 valid signatures of registered Texas voters ready to go? Sorry, you can cross Texas’ 38 electoral votes off your list.

The Texas deadline illuminates the big problem for any talk of a new entrant who could replicate the independent presidential bid that Ross Perot (shown above) made in 1992: The clock is ticking, and many of the requirements are tough.

North Carolina’s deadline (89,366 signatures) comes up in four weeks. A few weeks later comes Florida, which demands 119,316 signatures, according to Ballotpedia. (The odd numbers, which vary widely from state to state, are based on percentages of the total vote cast in the last election for a top office, usually governor or president.)

Twenty-seven minor party and independent candidates joined President Obama and Mitt Romney on presidential ballots in 2012. Those who would like to add yet another to the list this year have three possible routes: Form a new party, take over an existing party or run as an independent. Each has different requirements and pluses or minuses.

In some states, an independent bid is easier to pull off than a new party; in other states it’s the other way around. But in nearly all states, the deadlines are either approaching or already past, and in most cases, getting on the ballot requires collecting a lot of signatures — an expensive and time-consuming process not easily accomplished in a matter of a few days or even weeks.

Taking over an existing party could, in theory, work more smoothly. Two parties — the Greens and the Libertarians — are slated to appear on all 50 state ballots this year, and a smattering of others have ballot lines in some major states.

The more successful existing parties, however, guard their independence and are not likely to just give in to the entreaties of, say, a Republican who would like to represent establishment figures who can’t accept Trump as their nominee.

The Libertarians, for example, have held some primaries this year. At their convention over Memorial Day weekend, they are expected to nominate Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor who won just under 1.3 million votes nationwide as the party’s candidate four years ago. (Obama won just under 66 million.)

The other big question mark on any independent campaign would be deciding its purpose. Some commentators have speculated that adding a high-profile third-party candidate to the mix could prevent either Trump or the Democratic nominee from receiving a majority of electoral votes, throwing the election into the House of Representatives, which the Republicans control.

That would only happen, however, if the independent candidate actually won one or more states, which seems extremely unlikely. Otherwise, like Perot or Ralph Nader in 2000, the independent candidate would simply siphon votes from one of the major-party candidates, allowing the other to win some states with a plurality rather than a majority.

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Hillary Clinton stonewalls on Donald Trump’s attacks about her husband’s affairs

Hillary Clinton refused on Tuesday to address Donald Trump’s claims that she helped enable her husband’s bad behavior with women.

“I have nothing to say about him and how he’s running his campaign,” she said to reporters who asked about Trump during a campaign stop at a Virginia coffeeshop.

Trump raised the issue of Bill Clinton’s infidelities during a recent campaign rally in Oregon.

“She was a total enabler,” Trump said. “She would go after these women and destroy their lives.”

Clinton, who has tried to direct attention toward Trump’s track record of misogynistic comments, told reporters that she would stay focused on issues she feels voters care about.

“I’m running my campaign, what I want to do as president, what I stand for, what I’ve always stood for, and what I believe is going to make a difference to the people of this country,” she said.

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Paul Ryan says he’d step down as GOP convention chairman if Donald Trump asked

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Monday he would step down from his role as chairman of the Republican National Convention this summer if Donald Trump asks.

Ryan’s comments, after he very publicly said he was not ready to support Trump, the presumed party nominee, come ahead of a meeting between the two this week in Washington.

“He’s the nominee. I’ll do whatever he wants with respect to the convention,” Ryan said told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in an interview. His office confirmed the remarks.

Ryan told the paper he is trying to unify the GOP and hoped to get to know Trump better at the meeting.

“I just want to get to know the guy. ... We just don’t know each other,” Ryan said.

But common ground between the two appears slim.

Ryan, the party’s highest elected official, is also among its most prominent conservative thought leaders. Trump, meanwhile, has panned party orthodoxy for a shifting political ideology.

After Ryan withheld his support last week, Trump said he wasn’t ready to support Ryan’s policy ideas, either.

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Donald Trump says he felt ‘blindsided’ by Paul Ryan’s refusal to endorse him

Donald Trump said Monday that he felt “blindsided” that Paul Ryan said he wasn’t ready to endorse him as the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Trump said Monday.

“I’ve always liked him,” he said during an interview with CNN’s “New Day.” “I thought everything was fine, and then I got blindsided.”

After the last of Trump’s rivals dropped out last week and he became the presumptive nominee, Ryan responded to calls to endorse Trump by saying he’s “not ready.” Trump fired back that he, too, “isn’t ready” for the speaker’s agenda.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, an outspoken Trump supporter, said she plans to support a primary challenger to Ryan in Wisconsin, though Trump stopped short of backing her plan.

“Sarah is very much a free agent,” Trump said.

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Trump says his tax proposal was misrepresented

Donald Trump blamed NBC News for misrepresenting his tax proposal as a plan to raise taxes for the rich, which he said Monday he does not intend to do.

Trump laid out a change in his tax proposal Sunday on “Meet the Press,” and said he may need to increase taxes for the rich, but not the middle class. But he clarified Monday that he meant he might increase that tax rate he has proposed for the wealthy, not raise the existing tax rate.

“I said that I may have to increase it on the wealthy,” he said, explaining in an interview with CNN’s “New Day” that taxpayers would still pay less than what they do now.

Trump argued that his proposal still offers the biggest tax decreases compared with other presidential candidates. He also said he plans to focus on reducing taxes for the middle class and for businesses.

“The middle class is being decimated in our country,” he said.

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Be nice to Hillary Clinton online — or risk a confrontation with her super PAC

When the Internet’s legions of Hillary hecklers steal away to chat rooms and Facebook pages to vent grievances about Clinton, express revulsion toward Clinton and launch attacks on Clinton, they now may find themselves in a surprising place – confronted by a multimillion dollar super PAC working with Clinton.

Hillary Clinton’s well-heeled backers have opened a new frontier in digital campaigning, one that seems to have been inspired by some of the Internet’s worst instincts. Correct the Record, a super PAC coordinating with Clinton’s campaign, is spending about $1 million to find and confront social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner.

In effect, the effort aims to spend a large sum of money to increase the amount of trolling that already exists online.

The plan comes as Clinton operatives grapple with the reality that her supporters just aren’t as engaged and aggressive online as are her detractors inside and outside the Democratic Party.

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Obama is more popular than he has been in years. So why is he complaining?

With approval ratings in the low 50s, President Obama is more popular than President Reagan was during his final year in office.
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

President Obama has been criticized, blamed and pilloried over the years, but he seems to be suffering from a new affliction. He feels misunderstood.

Obama is embarking on a legacy-burnishing media tour, giving lengthy magazine interviews and addresses in which he has mourned the American public’s lack of awareness of his big wins in foreign and economic policy and bemoaned his inability to better communicate those achievements in a fractured media environment.

“Saving the world economy from a Great Depression — that was pretty good,” he deadpanned recently.

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