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Hillary Clinton to target Trump in swing state television ads

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A new poll shows 70% of Americans view Donald Trump negatively.

  • Hillary Clinton is set to invest heavily in advertisements targeting Trump in several swing states
  • MoveOn.org, a staunch supporter of Bernie Sanders, is now applauding Clinton
  • What it would look like if Trump’s broader immigration plan were implemented
  • Russian groups are accused of hacking into Democratic computers looking for information about Trump

What it could look like if Donald Trump’s broader immigration ban were implemented

(John Bazemore / Associated Press)

Donald Trump’s expansion of his proposal to bar Muslims from entering the U.S. to include people from countries with a history of terrorism has been panned in both parties. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called it “overly simplistic.” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said it’s neither in America’s interests nor “reflective of our principles.”

Yet after the Orlando massacre heightened fears of terrorism, Trump renewed and expanded his call for such a ban, and polls have shown a high level of support, particularly among Republican primary voters. But as with many of Trump’s proposals, the details have been sketchy at best. Immigration specialists say that most, but not all, of the elements would be impossible to apply, and that diplomatic repercussions could be severe on those provisions that could be enacted.

What did Trump propose?

After the San Bernardino attack, Trump called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Then, this week, after a gunman killed dozens at a a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., Trump claimed vindication. He also seemed to expand the parameters of his proposal to include “areas of the world where there’s a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we fully understand how to end these threats.”

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Hillary Clinton set to make major advertising push in swing states

Hillary Clinton is set to storm the airwaves in a host of battlegrounds states as she looks to showcase a stark contrast between her vision for America and Donald Trump’s.

Clinton purchased airtime beginning Thursday in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, according to a Democrat who tracks media buys.

Trump, who advertised little in the Republican primary, has yet to go on the air in swing states but has traveled to several, including North Carolina and Florida, in recent days.

Clinton’s push in what are expected to be closely contested states five months before the election highlights her campaign’s effort to define Trump early on in the race, a tactic that President Obama successfully leveraged against Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.

Clinton also has a money advantage, beginning the general election phase with about $30 million in the bank, compared with Trump’s $2.4 million, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

The ads are part of an eight-figure, initial six-week television buy, according to the campaign.

At its core, Clinton’s ads seek to portray a nation under a Trump administration as divided, while she would unite the country.

In one ad, a minute-long spot released over the weekend and narrated by Clinton, she walks viewers through some of Trump’s statements, where he appears to incite violence among his supporters and mocks a reporter who has a condition that limits arm movement.

Since Sunday’s attack on an Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub, the two have sparred over national security, with Trump doubling down on his calls to ban Muslims from entering the country -- a move assailed by Democrats and Republicans alike.

Update June 16, 9:34 a.m.: This post was updated with information about the cost of the ad buy.

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Donald Trump, facing new lows in polls, pledges ‘to do it by myself’

(John Bazemore / Associated Press)

Donald Trump appeared well aware Wednesday of his newfound unpopularity as the general election battle begins, striking a more measured tone — even sounding surprised, at times — that his campaign for president has come this far.

Trump did not mention new polling that put his unfavorability rating at an eye-popping 70% but acknowledged his limitations among voters — and the Republican establishment.

“My problem is, they either love me or they hate me,” he told thousands who gathered for a noontime rally at a historic theater in downtown Atlanta.

But he also gave committed supporters what they waited all morning to see: a brash, unflinching candidate who vowed to go it alone, with or without his party’s backing.

“Republicans ... either stick together or let me just do it by myself,” he said. “Endorsements, if I don’t get them, it’s OK.”

Trump was nearly an hour late to the rally after a joint fundraiser with the Republican National Committee, and he sent supporters into an afternoon rainstorm afterward.

But voters didn’t seem to mind, thrilled to hear their candidate riff on his now well-worn campaign promises of bringing jobs, security and, perhaps most emphasized here in the South, respect back to the nation.

Trump focused, as he has all week, on the link between immigration and terrorism, interrupted about a dozen times by protesters, some yelling, “You lie!”

He attacked Hillary Clinton and President Obama as part of the “stupid people” allowing immigrants and refugees who he said he warned would harm the country.

Even though the gunman in Orlando was American-born, Trump reminded attendees that Omar Mateen’s parents are immigrants.

“He was born here, but his parents weren’t. His ideas weren’t,” Trump said.

“I hate to say it: It’s going to happen again and again,” he said.
“I don’t want to be right.”

Protesters supporting immigrants and gay rights lined the streets outside the historic Fox Theatre. Inside, they interrupted Trump multiple times, but he was not roused by the outbursts, as he sometimes is, chiding one activist that he was “late to game.”

At one point, Trump, who celebrated his 70th birthday this week, marveled that it has been one year since he rode the escalator at Trump Tower in New York to announce his candidacy.

“Who knew this was going to happen?” he chuckled, sounding almost surprised himself.

“There are a lot of people right now who are not happy, and we’re not going to take it any longer.”

Perhaps thinking aloud, he said he could envision that people who criticize him now would be saying in a few years that he was right, and he would be off building buildings somewhere.

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In yet another sign of party unity, liberal group that backed Sanders applauds Clinton

A powerful liberal group that backed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary is now lauding Hillary Clinton as the party looks to unite after a contentious nominating contest.

In a statement Wednesday, MoveOn.org applauded Clinton for her “glass-ceiling-shattering campaign” and urged Democrats to adopt liberal policies at their July convention in Philadelphia.

“The Democratic Party needs to embrace a bold progressive platform that will, amongst other priorities, tackle economic inequality, pursue diplomacy over war, fight to get big money out of politics,” said the group, which has mobilized liberals online for Democrats in past elections.

MoveOn also called for the party to alter its nominating process, echoing Sanders. During his presidential run, he has decried the party’s reliance on superdelegates to help choose its nominee.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is looking to bring Sanders and his supporters into the fold for her general election fight against Donald Trump.

Clinton and Sanders met Tuesday night to discuss the future of the Democratic Party as the nominating season wrapped with Clinton’s win in the District of Columbia primary. Sanders has not actively campaigned since the California primary, save for one rally last week in Washington.

Sanders is seeking new leadership at the Democratic National Committee as well as changes to the party’s nominating process.

President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and liberal stalwart Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts all endorsed Clinton last week.

“The best way to defeat Donald Trump and those who support and enable his toxic and hateful campaign is for the Democratic party to welcome Bernie Sanders’ supporters and unite behind a bold progressive agenda for the future,” MoveOn said in its statement.

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Trump says he’s meeting with NRA about gun laws after Orlando shooting

Donald Trump says he’ll meet with the National Rifle Assn. in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre — and a proposal to limit gun purchases might be on the table.

Trump plans to meet with the group about whether people on terrorist watch and no-fly lists should be able to purchase firearms. Though Trump did not make his view clear on the idea, it is Democrats, not Trump’s fellow Republicans, who have introduced legislation banning such sales.

The NRA said it is open to meeting with Trump and that it opposes the proposal because of the risks that someone could be put on a watch list in error.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

Gun violence has been front-and-center on the campaign trail in the aftermath of the Orlando, Fla., nightclub shooting. Congress is considering legislation that would prevent people on terrorist watch and no-fly lists from buying guns. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein tried to pass a similar proposal last year, but it was defeated.

Democratic leaders have already conceded that the Orlando shooting was unlikely to inspire comprehensive change to U.S. gun laws.

The NRA endorsed Trump last month, saying that a Hillary Clinton presidency would endanger gun owners.

A statement from the NRA’s legislative advocacy branch said the group “does not want terrorists or dangerous people to have firearms,” but that it is concerned with people who are wrongly put on any list being unable to purchase them.

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Potential Clinton V.P. pick lays into Trump for criticism of military

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who has been talked about as a potential running mate for Hillary Clinton, said Wednesday that he wants to “go through the screen and shake” Donald Trump for what he characterized as insults and criticisms of the American military.

“We do not need a commander in chief who is going to talk about our troops with disrespect and contempt,” Kaine said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“We ought to have a commander in chief who talks about our troops with respect and gratitude.”

Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee, condemned a remark Trump made at a rally Tuesday in North Carolina, in which he said that American military personnel had stolen large sums while deployed to Iraq.

Trump’s campaign later said that the wealthy businessman had meant to refer to Iraqi soldiers, not Americans, but Democrats were quick to jump on the remark.

Politics aside, the Center for Public Integrity reported in 2015 that in more than 100 cases, the U.S. military had convicted personnel for theft, fraudulent contracts and bribery in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Attacking the other side is one of the roles that running mates typically play in a campaign, and several potential vice presidential aspirants on the Democratic side have seemingly been auditioning recently, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro.

Despite widespread talk about Kaine being on Clinton’s list of vice presidential candidates, he deflected questions about that, saying, in the time-tested manner, that he’s focusing his efforts on campaigning for her in his home state of Virginia.

“The only role I’m playing is trying to help win Virginia, and that’s plenty enough work for me,” he said.

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Donald Trump’s image, already bad, has gotten worse, new poll finds

Donald Trump’s standing with the American public has worsened significantly over the last month, according to a new survey that finds 70% of Americans viewing him negatively, including 56% who feel “strongly unfavorable.”

Hillary Clinton also has more negative impressions among the public than positive ones, the new Washington Post/ABC News poll found, but her problems pale in comparison with Trump’s, the survey indicates.

Among all American adults surveyed, 55% had a negative view of Clinton, and 43% viewed her positively. Only 29% of adults had a positive view of Trump.

Among registered voters, the results were almost the same for both. Trump stood at 69% negative and 31% positive among registered voters, Clinton at 56%-43%.

The poll was conducted Wednesday through Sunday -- after Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination, but with most of the interviews conducted before the the terrorist attack in Orlando in which 49 people were killed.

The polling came after a week in which Trump received extensive criticism, including from Republican leaders, for his attacks on U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel. The judge is overseeing a fraud lawsuit brought against the businessman by former students of the now-closed real estate school that he called Trump University; Trump has claimed Curiel is biased because of his Mexican heritage.

Through most of the campaign year so far, about six in 10 Americans have held a negative view of Trump. His image worsened this spring, then improved somewhat after he clinched the Republican presidential nomination. The new survey shows it deteriorating again.

Clinton’s image worsened notably last spring when she moved from being seen as the former secretary of State to being a presidential candidate. Her standing slipped a little further this spring as the competition for the Democratic nomination heated up between her and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Clinton continues to have the most trouble with white men, three-quarters of whom have a negative impression of her, the survey found. A majority of white men have sided with Republicans in presidential elections for decades, but Clinton does significantly worse with that group than an average Democrat.

Trump’s biggest problems come with minorities. Among Latinos and among non-white Americans overall, about nine in 10 have a negative view of him, with three-quarters holding a strongly unfavorable view.

About one in three Republicans in the survey had negative views of Trump, while about one in four Democrats voiced a negative view of Clinton.

The poll surveyed 1,000 American adults on cellphones and landlines. It has a margin of error for the full sample of 3.5 percentage points in either direction.

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Russian groups accused of hacking Democratic computers, seeking opposition research on Trump

Donald Trump speaks at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., on June 13.
(Jim Cole / Associated Press)

Hackers affiliated with the Russian government have been tapping into the files of the Democratic National Committee for nearly a year, targeting in particular the party’s opposition research about Donald Trump, officials say.

DNC officials on Tuesday confirmed the break-in, which was first reported by the Washington Post. The party’s research on Trump had been obtained by the hackers, they said, adding that the party’s internal emails and chat communications also were accessible to them.

The cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which the DNC brought in to shore up its system once the breaches were discovered, detailed on its website how it had traced the intruders back to the Russian government.

The hackers were also believed to have targeted the Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns. Neither campaign has publicly reported any related breaches.

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