San Bernardino attack is subtle undercurrent in Clinton speech
Two standbys of Hillary Clinton’s stump speech — riffs on guns and national security — assumed added resonance in San Bernardino, the city that was shaken by a terrorist attack six months ago.
Speaking at CSU San Bernardino on Friday night, Clinton’s message was subtle but unmistakable: Here, these issues are personal.
“You here in this beautiful city know the horrors, the losses associated with gun violence are just unimaginable,” Clinton told about 1,000 attendees, as she vowed to “take on the gun lobby.”
Later, she added that residents “know so well here that the most important responsiblity of any president is to be the commander-in-chief.”
The rally took place around 10 miles from the Inland Regional Center, the site of the mass shooting in December, in which a radicalized husband and wife gunned down 14 people.
On both guns and national security, Clinton has often differentiated herself from her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders. Clinton has positioned herself to the left of Sanders on gun control and has leaned on her foreign policy experience, particularly as secretary of state, to make the case that she is better prepared to be president.
Julio Santos, a 26-year-old history teacher from San Bernardino, said before the event that he had hoped Clinton would address gun control in light of the shooting as well as this week’s murder-suicide on the UCLA campus.
“What happened at UCLA — it’s happening more often now. Something needs to be done,” he said.
Sanders notably did not mention the terrorist attacks when he held a rally in San Bernardino last week.
Not all attendees were interested in revisiting the shooting. Mariana Sanchez, a student at CSU San Bernardino, said the attack “didn’t really affect us as much as a lot of people would think.”
Instead, the 21-year-old math major said she was more interested in Clinton’s proposals to control tuition costs. She and her friend Richard Torres, a 20-year-old public administration major, said they were still deciding between whether to vote for Clinton or Sanders in Tuesday’s primary.
“He’s very relatable,” Torres said. “A lot of students are on his side because of free education. But in my opinoin, that’s unrealistic.”
Clinton made no reference Sanders on Friday night, her final event of the day on which she alternately ignored and swiped at him in the run-up to the primary.
Instead, she trained her attention solely on presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, who she said was “running a whole campaign based on nothing but denigrating immigrants.”
Clinton treated Trump as both a farce — “at some point, you have to ask, is this just nothing but a political stunt?” — and as an ominous threat.
“We are trying to elect a president, not a dictator,” she said.
As California primary nears, Hillary Clinton returns to criticizing Bernie Sanders
Before an audience in Orange County’s Little Saigon, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton seized on an opponent whose name she has barely uttered in the days leading to Tuesday’s California primary: Bernie Sanders.
She criticized his past votes against a Senate immigration reform measure — mentioning that it was authored by liberal icon Ted Kennedy — and several times for measures protecting gun sellers and makers from liability for shootings that involved their weapons.
Calling the 2007 immigration measure “one of the big differences in this campaign,” Clinton described the vote as “our last best chance” to change immigration laws for the benefit of millions in the country without proper papers.
“I voted for the bill that Ted Kennedy put together — I was proud to do it,” she told several hundred supporters at a Westminster community center. “Sen. Sanders voted against it six times. ... Come next January, we’re going to put forward comprehensive immigration reform and we’re going to work hard to get it accomplished.”
Clinton’s criticisms on the gun measure echoed ones she had made in debates and earlier in the campaign but had dropped lately in an effort not to antagonize the Vermont senator and his followers.
“We know we can stop some and save lives… if we reverse this terrible law that gave gunmakers and sellers liability protection from their own actions,” she said. “He and I really disagree on this.”
She also pushed back against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s assertion that she wanted to void the 2nd Amendment.
“We think about how we can save lives — that’s my goal,” she said. “This has absolutely nothing to do with taking away the rights of responsible gun owners. We can do this consistent with the 2nd Amendment.”
Clinton repeated criticisms she’s made of Trump in recent days — and earlier Friday in West Los Angeles — calling him unfit for the presidency. She also said he had wrongly insulted the federal judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is hearing a case brought by participants in Trump University, a money-making venture. Trump said the judge has a conflict of interest because he’s “Mexican.”
She noted that the judge was “appointed on his merits, a man born in Indiana, which last time I checked was part of America, to Mexican parents.”
At one point the audience began tittering as Clinton talked about “Trump U,” as if she were forwarding a vulgarism. Clinton laughed and added: “If he gets anywhere near the White House, you know what he’s going to do? He’s going to Trump U.”
Clinton later traveled to Santa Ana for a campaign event before heading to San Bernardino.
‘Oh my God, we’re in it’: Firsthand accounts of violence at the anti-Trump protests in San Jose
Juan Hernandez donned a blue “Make America Great Again” hat Thursday night before attending Donald Trump’s rally in San Jose.
When he and a friend left the rally a few hours later, they found themselves in a scene of chaos.
“There were different riots happening, people getting their hats taken and getting them burned,” he said. “We saw people getting hit, so we kept walking.”
A few beats later, Hernandez said he and his friend were surrounded on both sides by protesters. “I thought, “Oh my God, we’re in it,’” he said.
“About 100 of them looked at us. They started taking pictures. Mexican and American flags were on fire,” he said. “Then they came right up to us, pulled our hats off and just started swinging.”
Hernandez said he was hit several times in the head. “As soon as they got my nose, it was just like pouring blood. It wouldn’t stop.”
Hernandez and his friend were able to escape to their car. He said he is angry that police did not act more forcefully.
The San Jose Police Department made four arrests for incidents that included assault with a deadly weapon and unlawful assembly.
A statement from the department Friday said police were reluctant to wade into the protest because they feared their presence might make things worse.
“While several physical assaults did occur, the police personnel on scene had the difficult task of weighing the need to immediately apprehend the suspects against the possibility that police action involving the use of physical force under the circumstances would further [incite] the crowd and produce more violent behavior,” the statement said.
Hernandez doesn’t buy that.
“The cops, they weren’t doing anything. They were just standing there,” he said. “They failed.”
Not all anti-Trump protesters participated in the violence.
The South Bay Labor Council, which represents dozens of unions in the Silicon Valley, helped organize a large protest before Trump’s rally about a block away from the convention center.
“It was entirely peaceful,” said Ben Field, who leads the group.
Eventually, his group marched to the convention center, where a large crowd was gathered. Fields said he left before any violence broke out, and said he was disappointed to hear about it.
“It’s very disappointing that a few people in that crowd decided to stoop to violence,” he said. “It taints the otherwise positive message we were trying to send. It is disappointing that instead of talking about why Trump’s message is divisive and hateful, we’re talking about disruptions by a small number of protesters.”
Another protester, Engels Garcia, went inside Trump’s rally and listened to his speech. He carried a “No Trump” sign with him.
He said Trump supporters were antagonizing his group of friends throughout. When his friends threatened to respond with violence, Garcia talked them down and persuaded them to leave.
“It’s not worth it,” he said. “And there’s no way you can have a conversation with people who are close-minded.”
Donald Trump defends his ‘beautiful’ temperament
Donald Trump rebutted Hillary Clinton’s claim that he is “temperamentally unfit” to be president with a staunch defense of what he called his “beautiful” temperament during a rally in Redding on Friday afternoon.
“I really believe I have the greatest temperament there is,” Trump said. “I have a tough temperament, but we need a tough temperament…. My temperament is totally controlled, so beautiful.”
The speech was also notable for a tangent in which he referred to the race of one supporter in the crowd.
“Look at my African American over there,” Trump said.
The comment was an aside, while Trump was telling a story about a violent eruption during a previous rally that he said had been misconstrued by the press.
Trump said the African American in the previous rally, who was allegedly assaulted by a white man in the crowd, was actually a Trump supporter.
Trump seemed to be making the point that he is well-liked by African American voters, despite polls showing his support in the black community is quite low.
It was a typically wide-ranging speech, delivered in a scorching sun in which Trump continued a series of brash attacks of his own against Clinton. He criticized the Iran deal, said he would be more respected around the world than Clinton, and backtracked on a prior comment suggesting he wanted a nuclear-armed Japan.
“Hillary Clinton is a weak person. Hillary Clinton is totally scripted. Hillary Clinton is a thief, and Hillary Clinton should be in jail for what she did to our national security,” Trump said.
He said Bill and Hillary Clinton actually hate President Obama, and are only falling in line with him to avoid prosecution over her private email server.
“Hillary will do anything he says,” Trump said. “You know why; she doesn’t want to go to jail.”
Hillary Clinton on rally violence: ‘I want it to end’
Hillary Clinton unequivocally condemned the violence that erupted against Donald Trump supporters at a rally in San Jose on Thursday night — but she also accused Trump of playing no small role in instigating it.
“He set a bad example,” Clinton said in an interview on CNN. “He created an environment in which it seemed to be acceptable for someone running for president to be inciting violence, to be encouraging his supporters. Now we are seeing people who are against it respond in kind.”
“It should all stop,” she said. “It is not acceptable.”
Asked about the political fallout that could come from Trump’s opponents pelting his supporters with eggs and throwing punches at them, Clinton would not engage.
“I just want it to end,” she said. “I don’t want to parse it. I don’t want to talk about the political implications. I want it to end.”
Trump said at his rally in Redding on Friday that the violence outside his event the night before had been unprovoked. “It was a love fest inside, no problems whatsoever,” he said. “Then they walk out and they get accosted by a bunch of thugs burning the American flag … and you know what they are? They’re thugs.”
Bill Clinton says Trump should be able to speak without facing violent protests
Former President Bill Clinton condemned the violent protests outside Donald Trump’s campaign rally Thursday in San Jose, calling Friday for peace and respectful listening.
“If people want to protest Mr. Trump or Hillary or me or anyone, fine, but it should be peaceful. People should be able to have their say,” Clinton told The Times after rallying supporters for his wife, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, in a Burbank park. “We should listen to everybody respectfully. We can win this argument; we don’t need to shout it down.”
The Clintons are barnstorming California in the lead-up to the primary Tuesday. Clinton is expected to clinch the nomination before the polls even close in California, but her campaign is working hard to avoid an embarrassing loss here to rival Bernie Sanders.
Clinton urged his wife’s supporters to not take her victory for granted.
“If you have a ballot and you haven’t mailed it in yet, for goodness sakes, do it,” he told supporters at the noontime rally.
Clinton pointed out without mentioning his name that Sanders and Hillary Clinton had Senate voting records that were 93% identical, with his wife voting for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that Sanders did not support.
Hillary Clinton’s pragmatic approach and track record of accomplishments are the reason so many Democratic leaders, including Gov. Jerry Brown, are supporting her, the former president said.
“Not because they’re against him, but because they want to get something done and they think she is a real leader,” Clinton said.
Trump keeps saying Mexican American judge is unfair because ... he is Mexican American
Donald Trump is doubling down on his charge that the San Diego judge overseeing cases against Trump University cannot be trusted to handle the litigation fairly because he is Mexican American.
Trump repeatedly said on CNN on Friday afternoon that the ethnicity of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel has precluded him from issuing fair rulings. Then Trump denied that such remarks, which he first made in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, are in any way racist.
“He is a Mexican. We are building a wall between here and Mexico,” Trump said when asked what basis he has for alleging the bias, referring to the border wall he has proposed to build.
“And the answer is he is giving us very unfair rulings. Rulings people can’t even believe.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper pointed out that Curiel is not from Mexico, but Indiana. He asked Trump how his charges about the judge’s ethnicity biasing him do not meet the definition of racism. “I don’t think so at all,” Trump said. “He is proud of his heritage, OK? I am building a wall.”
Trump also claimed that attorneys were shocked when the case was not dismissed on summary judgment. Then he mentioned his plans for a wall and the judge’s Mexican heritage yet again.
“That’s why he is doing it,” Trump said.
Trump’s charge against the judge has been widely disavowed, including by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who endorsed Trump Thursday after wavering for weeks. “I completely disagree with the thinking behind that,” Ryan told Milwaukee radio station WISN-AM. He called Trump’s comments “out of left field.”
Vox suspends editor who called for anti-Trump riots
Amid the arguments erupting on the left about the clashes outside the Donald Trump rally in San Jose on Thursday night, Vox journalist Emmett Rensin emerged as a forceful defender of the protesters who got physical and destroyed property.
He mocked liberals who condemned the behavior as unacceptable and unproductive, arguing on Twitter that if Trump is the fascist and an existential threat to American democracy that many on the left brand him, rioting is in order.
Then, Rensin, deputy editor of the Vox “first-person” section, went a step further.
“Advice: if Trump comes to your town, start a riot,” he tweeted.
On Friday afternoon, Rensin was suspended from his job. “Direct encouragement of riots crosses a line between expressing a contrary opinion and directly encouraging dangerous, illegal activity,” Vox chief Ezra Klein said in a statement.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell worries Trump will lose Latinos for GOP for years to come
The usually reserved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voiced perhaps his strongest worry yet that Donald Trump could lose Latino voters for the GOP for a generation.
Speaking Friday on MSNBC, McConnell shared his own story of casting a “protest” vote as a young man against Barry Goldwater at the 1964 Republican presidential nominee because of the candidate’s opposition to civil rights.
“My party has been struggling with African American voters ever since,” McConnell said.
“I dont wan’t to see that mistake made with Latinos -- it’s a big, important part of America,” he said.
McConnell noted that when Ronald Reagan was first elected, the electorate was 84% white voters -- today it is 70%.
“For our party to be competitive, we have to be able to reach out to all kinds of people.”
The Republican leader’s comments come as GOP officials are distancing themselves from Trump’s latest attack on the San Diego judge overseeing the Trump University fraud lawsuit.
Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had a “conflict of interest” because “I’m building a wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border and the judge is of Mexican heritage.
Curiel was born in Indiana to immigrants from Mexico.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Friday dismissed Trump’s comment as “reasoning I don’t relate to.”
McConnell, like Ryan, has been trying to nudge Trump to appear more presidential in policy and practice. Each has offered a somewhat lukewarm endorsement of the New York businessman.
The Senate leader said he chatted with Trump recently at the National Rifle Assn. convention in his home state of Kentucky and suggested that the presumptive Republican nominee stick to his notes during his speech.
Trump, he said, called that “boring.”
“Put me down in favor of boring,” McConnell recounted. “I’m in favor of more scripts, more boring.”
Like her husband did, Michelle Obama takes on Donald Trump without naming him
First Lady Michelle Obama took aim at Donald Trump during a commencement speech in New York on Friday at a college that prides itself on diversity – a haven, she said, where students have never had to “hide their last names or their accents.”
She never mentioned Trump by name while she spoke at the City College of New York, but she criticized the billionaire’s plan to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep out immigrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally.
“Here in America, we don’t give in to our fears,” she said. “We don’t build up walls to keep people out because we know that our greatness has always depended on contributions from people who were born elsewhere but sought out this country and made it their home.”
The tone stood in contrast to her husband’s own Trump-focused address just two days before. Though he also didn’t name Trump, President Obama critiqued – even mocked – the economic proposals of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
For her part, the first lady delivered an upbeat ode to an American immigrant population rattled by Trump’s campaign rhetoric. Immigrants, she said, have brought the country recent innovations like Google and EBay and inventions from previous generations like the artificial heart, the telephone and blue jeans.
She stood before a graduating class whose Manhattan campus is home to students of more than 150 nationalities and 100 languages.
However long they have been American, she said, they are proof that their differences make Americans smarter and more creative.
“Some folks out there today seem to have a very different perspective,” Obama said. “They seem to view our diversity as a threat to be contained rather than as a resource to be tapped. They tell us to be afraid of those who are different, to be suspicious of those with whom we disagree. “
“That is not what this country stands for,” she said. “No, here in America, we don’t let our differences tear us apart. Not here. Because we know that our greatness comes when we appreciate each other’s strengths, when we learn from each other, when we lean on each other.”
San Jose protests: ‘Like there was a simmering tension about to boil over’
As Democrats cringe over the violent bedlam at Donald Trump’s rally in San Jose on Thursday night, Republicans were reeling from the egg-throwing, harassment and physical skirmishes directed at his supporters.
For those caught in the chaos, it was a harrowing scene.
Harmeet K. Dhillon, the vice chairwoman of the California GOP, led the Pledge of Allegiance at the event at the San Jose Convention Center. She then got caught betwen protesters and police as she left and ended up seeking refuge in a nearby hotel restaurant.
“People were driving muscle cars, driving slowly, flying the Mexican flag, spoiling for a fight,” she said, adding that demonstrators were “snatching hats off people’s heads, shoving, pushing. It was scary.”
Dhillon, a Sikh American lawyer who was born in India, said the scene was reminiscent of a tumultuous political event she attended in India’s Punjab region in the 1980s.
“It was like that feeling, like there was a simmering tension about to boil over,” she said. “I did not feel safe last night in downtown San Jose.”
Dhillon predicted that the clashes would drive people into Trump’s camp, and said the ordeal backed up some of the candidate’s race-inflected rhetoric.
“Trump’s made his initial comments about Mexico not sending their best people. Well, that’s what I saw on TV last night,” she said. “It was people literally draping themselves in Mexican flags, waving 6-foot Mexican flags. It was very specifically Mexican-on-American violence.”
Hector Barajas, a Latino GOP consultant, had been cool on the Trump candidacy and had planned to leave his ballot blank in Tuesday’s presidential primary. But he said that seeing the “thuggish” behavior of the protesters has inspired him to vote for Trump.
“I’m just tired of it,” said Barajas, who lives in the Sacramento area. “I’m not what you would call a Trump supporter, but I’m really not a supporter of this type of violence against someone expressing their support for a candidate.”
The violent display from Trump detractors could hurt his side, acknowledged Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat and ardent Hillary Clinton backer.
“It’s very important for us to speak out when things are said that cross that line, that are unacceptable, that are un-American. But somebody who thinks they’re being helpful by throwing an egg, I would say that’s a tactical mistake,” he said.
“I know the depths of emotions that have come out because of the hateful things Donald Trump has said about an entire class of people, but 99.9% of people opposed to Donald Trump continue to express that in civil ways and passionate ways that don’t cross that line,” Garcetti said.
Hillary Clinton: ‘It would be hard’ to make up the Trump lines she repeated
Four days before a clash in California with her Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton had eyes Friday on another opponent: Donald Trump.
A day after she lanced Trump in a speech focused on foreign policy, Clinton cast that address as “the opportunity to just repeat what Donald Trump has said — I didn’t make any of that up; I mean, it would be hard to make that up.”
And before hundreds of cheering women at West Los Angeles College, she reiterated her bottom line: “I believe absolutely that he is not only unprepared to be president, he is temperamentally unfit to be president.”
The primary wasn’t entirely out of mind, however. In her brief remarks. Clinton implored Californians to cast their ballots.
“We have to, starting in the California primary on Tuesday, send an unmistakable message: We are stronger together, we are going to work together for a better and fairer nation,” she said. “And that’s why I need you to send in those ballots that are sitting on your kitchen counter.”
“If all goes well, I will have the great honor as of Tuesday to be the Democratic nominee,” she said, her last words lost to the roar of the crowd.
Clinton made no mention of Sanders, nor of the violence after Trump’s event Thursday in San Jose.
Dianne Feinstein calls Donald Trump’s rhetoric ‘deeply frightening’
Sen. Dianne Feinstein called Donald Trump’s no-holds-barred campaigning “deeply frightening” on Friday, pointing to the turbulence in her own career to express her deep concern about the Republican nominee.
“Instead of bringing people together, he’s dividing America. And that’s a real problem,” Feinstein told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
“As a former mayor of San Francisco that became mayor as the product of assassination, I know what division does in a populace. And it’s the one thing that you don’t want.”
Feinstein, now California’s senior senator, was president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978 when the city’s mayor, George Moscone, and fellow supervisor Harvey Milk were shot to death at City Hall. She succeeded Moscone as mayor and went on to win two terms of her own.
Her comments Friday were in response to questions about Trump’s assertion that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over a fraud case involving Trump University, should be removed because, in his view, he has a conflict of interest because of his Mexican heritage.
“I’m building a wall,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s an inherent conflict of interest.”
“Any time he doesn’t like whatever it is that’s said, he strikes out. And he strikes out with such vehemence that it’s really, in a sense, deeply frightening,” Feinstein said.
She went on to argue that Hillary Clinton’s “calm, rational, positive demeanor” would increasingly contrast with Trump.
“Hillary is a uniter. She’s not a divider, and Donald Trump is clearly a divider.”
Speaker Paul Ryan, Donald Trump and the judge: A new (old) chapter in GOP history
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan had few good options when deciding to end his standoff and endorse Donald Trump.
As the highest-ranking elected Republican, Ryan could have held out for a more perfect candidate to become his party’s presidential hopeful.
But that would have left adrift many rank-and-file Republicans who reluctantly support Trump -- especially as the “never Trump” movement offered no viable alternatives.
Or Ryan could do what he did this week in trying to unify the party by backing Trump -- even though the move triggered swift and unforgiving criticism against him.
“Mr. Ryan capitulates,” read the Washington Post editorial in Friday’s print editions.
“The House speaker’s principled stand collapses as he endorses Mr. Trump for president,” the subhead read. The piece went on to call it a “sad day.”
It’s not every election year that offers an existential battle for the future of a political party.
But that struggle is playing out real-time in a 2016 election that could define both parties, but particularly Republicans, for years to come.
“My goal has been to unite the party so we can win in the fall,” Ryan wrote in announcing his Trump endorsement in his hometown newspaper.
“I feel confident he would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives. That’s why I’ll be voting for him this fall.”
What Ryan hopes to do is nudge Trump toward the House Republicans’ forthcoming agenda project --- a policy wish list on taxes, national security and other issues that could be put into place by a Trump White House.
As if on cue, Trump showed just how far apart they remain in both style and substance.
Trump kick-started a fresh news cycle by claiming the American-born judge in the Trump University fraud case, Gonzalo Curiel, has a conflict of interest because of his Mexican ancestry.
“I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal.
Legal scholars gasped at Trump’s position -- Curiel was born in Indiana to immigrants from Mexico.
Even Ryan moved swiftly to distance himself from Trump’s remark, calling it “out of left field... It’s reasoning I don’t relate to. I completely disagree with the thinking behind that,” he told a Wisconsin radio station.
Advocates for Latinos and minorities said the Republican Party was hopelessly alienating them.
Professor John Pitney at Claremont McKenna College noted the echoes of the GOP’s loss of African-American voters during the civil-rights era.
Republicans averaged 30% of the black vote between 1948-60. “Since 1964, the average has been 5.6%,” Pitney wrote in a tweet.
Latinos voters could be similarly lost to Republicans for the next generation, many have said -- including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who worried aloud of a Barry Goldwater effect by Trump.
“Let’s face it, everyone knows what Republicans are against,” Ryan said.
“We can get angry and we can stay angry, or we can channel that anger into action.”
Ryan announced he will unveil the first flank of his ambitious agenda, on poverty, in a predominantly African-American neighborhood Tuesday in Washington.
But that agenda is being overshadowed by the scenes of angry protesters taunting one another at a Trump rally Thursday in California: “Make America Great Again” posters competing with “Make America Hate Again " signs.
Even Ryan seemed unsure of whether his policy agenda would be adopted by Trump -- insisting he had extracted no promise from Trump as part of their new partnership.
In exchange for his Trump endorsement, Ryan told the Associated Press, there were no “deals.”
The education of Donald Trump has quietly begun -- and yes, he’s taking notes
Donald Trump has many qualities, but being a deep-dive policy wonk isn’t one of them.
That may be changing as the Trump campaign quietly schools the Republican presidential hopeful, with the help of experts, on the public policy ways of Washington.
Call it the education of Trump.
Here’s a look at Trump in ways yet unseen -- studious, scribbling notes and, above all, listening.
Will it work? And does it matter?
As Trump prepares to face one of the most exprienced wonks of Washington, presuming Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee, we’re about to find out.
The violence at Donald Trump’s rally is unwelcome news for Democrats
The violent protests that erupted outside Donald Trump’s rally in San Jose on Thursday night, which included punches thrown, eggs pelted and Trump supporters’ hats stolen off their heads and set ablaze, are likely to have political fallout for Democrats.
The scene was an unwelcome one for the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Campaign Chairman John Podesta quickly moved to condemn this brand of civil disobedience, admonishing the violence in a tweet in which he included video of a Trump supporter being beaten.
Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon reiterated the point on MSNBC on Friday morning, saying: “We absolutely reject and condemn the violence that we saw in California last night.”
Still, Friday is sure to be full of charges and counter-charges about who is at fault. Critics of Trump, including some Republicans, have been warning for weeks that his incendiary rhetoric was going to lead to people getting seriously hurt. Only hours before he took the stage on Thursday, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley repeated just such a warning in an interview with the Associated Press.
Some on the far left argued the protesters owed no apologies.
Republicans, meanwhile, moved to associate the thuggish behavior by some in the crowd with Clinton.
Trump’s own immediate reaction was to shrug it off.
Trump staffers eject a reporter from San Jose rally
Donald Trump campaign staffers threw a Politico reporter out of the candidate’s San Jose rally on Thursday night for failing to present press credentials.
The reporter, Ben Schreckinger, couldn’t obtain credentials from the Trump campaign to cover the rally — a problem several reporters have faced on the trail — so he said he instead got a general admission ticket to the event. While typing on his laptop, he said a staffer approached him and later brought security to remove him for reporting on the rally without the campaign’s permission.
“In ejecting unwelcome attendees, the campaign often argues that its rallies are private events ‘paid for by Mr. Trump,’” Schreckinger wrote. “American taxpayers, however, foot the bill for Trump’s Secret Service protection at the events, and local governments often incur costs for policing the disruptions the events cause.”
Schreckinger was also denied access to the press pen for a Trump rally later Friday in Redding, Calif.
The episode was Trump’s latest salvo against the press, coming days after he lashed out at the media at a news conference where he called a reporter a “sleaze” for questioning his donations to veterans groups. Trump has also referred to reporters as “scum” and threatened to change libel laws to crack down on the press if he becomes president.
“We’re going to open up libel laws, and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before,” Trump promised in February.
Trump changes tone and says he now wants the endorsement of New Mexico’s governor
Donald Trump now wants the endorsement of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a surprising reversal from his strong criticism of her last week while he campaigned in the state.
Trump told the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper Thursday that he respects Martinez, a Republican, and has “always liked her.”
“I’d like to have it,” he said of her endorsement after she repeated earlier in the day that she planned to withhold it until he addresses the issues New Mexico faces, including federal budget cuts.
Last week, Trump went after Martinez, the nation’s only Latina governor, at a rally in Albuquerque for failing to create more job opportunities for residents.
“She’s got to do a better job, OK?” Trump said. “Your governor has got to do a better job.”
His complaints gained notice not only because Martinez is the head of the Republican Governors’ Assn. but because she represents two groups who polls indicate have largely rejected Trump: Latinos and women.
Protesters punch, throw eggs at Trump supporters in San Jose
A group of protesters attacked Donald Trump supporters who were leaving the candidate’s rally in San Jose on Thursday night. A dozen or more people were punched, at least one person was pelted with an egg and Trump hats grabbed from supporters were set on fire.
Police stood their ground at first but after about 90 minutes moved into the remaining crowd to break it up and make arrests. At least four people were taken into custody, though police didn’t release total arrest figures Thursday night. One officer was assaulted, police Sgt. Enrique Garcia said.
There were no immediate reports of injuries and no major property damage, police said.
The crowd, which had numbered over 300 just after the rally, had thinned significantly. Still, those that remained, filling about a city block near the San Jose Convention Center, were rowdy and angry.
Sanders campaign bankrolled partly by donors who don’t work
Small-dollar contributions have been the fuel that has propelled Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid, making it one of the most successful insurgent campaigns in Democratic party history, but little has been known about those donors because campaigns don’t have to publicize the names of people who give $200 or less.
Now, a Times analysis of nearly 7 million individual contributions has provided unprecedented detail about the army of people behind the $27 donations Sanders mentions at virtually every campaign stop.
Many resemble Emily Condit, 40 of Sylmar, who has contributed three times — $5 each — to the Vermont senator’s campaign.