Bernie Sanders does not offer endorsement to Clinton -- yet


Hillary Clinton starts her attack of Donald Trump in the swing states as Trump loses some steam in general election popularity.

  • Hillary Clinton wins the AFL-CIO’s endorsement as Democrats and their allies start to unify
  • As Democrats and Republicans spar over gun laws, poll finds support for stricter reforms
  • Despite Donald Trump’s drop in popularity, his supporters still like him as is
  • A new poll shows 70% of Americans view Trump negatively
  • Clinton is set to invest heavily in advertisements targeting Trump in several swing states

Sanders signals he’s winding down campaign, but doesn’t quit

Sen. Bernie Sanders signaled Thursday night that he was winding down his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he did not explicitly quit the campaign or endorse rival Hillary Clinton.

“The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated, and defeated badly,” the senator from Vermont said in a live-streamed speech to supporters nationwide. “And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time.”

Sanders waged a far stronger than expected challenge to Clinton, carrying 22 states and winning more than 12 million votes. But she won nearly 16 million and secured enough delegates to win the nomination at next month’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

In his video address on Thursday, Sanders, who throughout the primary season amassed widespread support among young people and the party’s liberal base, said it was “no secret” that he and Clinton have disagreements, but that he hoped to work with Clinton in the weeks ahead.

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Ahead of speech, Bernie Sanders’ campaign manager signals the end

A senior advisor to Bernie Sanders said Thursday the campaign is no longer seeking the support of super-delegates, possibly signaling the Vermont senator’s exit from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Campaign manager Jeff Weaver made his remarks on MSNBC hours before Sanders was scheduled to address supporters in an online video address focused on the future of his candidacy.

Sanders has remained in the presidential contest despite Hillary Clinton securing enough delegates to become the presumptive Democratic nominee.

On Tuesday, Sanders and Clinton met to discuss the future of the Democratic Party as the nominating season wrapped with Clinton’s win in the District of Columbia primary.

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

In the MSNBC interview, Weaver said it’s a positive sign that day to day operations of the DNC have been turned over to a Clinton appointee.

The Clinton campaign on Thursday installed Brandon Davis, the former national political director for the Services Employees International Union, as the DNC’s new chief of staff.

Weaver said Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chair of the DNC, will likely stay on “in a titular role.”

After the contentious primary fight, Weaver said, Sanders and Clinton, as well as their staffs, were on good terms.

“The meeting between the secretary and the senator was very good,” Weaver said. “I think people are working together because we understand we need to defeat Donald Trump in the fall -- that’s an imperative.”

Sanders, who energized young people and progressives, has not yet endorsed Clinton.

Sanders is set to address supporters on Thursday night via a live video stream at 5:30 p.m. PT.


Trump’s one-year anniversary


Poll watch: After Orlando shooting, Americans back stricter gun controls

A poll released Thursday showed strong support among Americans for stricter gun laws, days after a gunman killed 49 people at a Florida nightclub.

The NBC News/Survey Monkey online poll found that 61% support tighter gun control laws, compared with 38% who do not. Moreover, 60% also said they support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, while 38% were in opposition.

Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, along with President Obama, have repeatedly called for new gun control measures in the aftermath of mass shootings that have plagued the country in recent years.

On Wednesday, Senate Democrats held a 15-hour filibuster to push their colleagues to consider legislation intended to block suspected terrorists from buying guns. The nightclub gunman, Omar Mateen, said he was inspired by the extremist grouop Islamic State. Mateen was on an FBI terrorism watch list in 2013 and 2014, but was taken off after it was determined he was not a serious threat.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has insisted that stricter gun laws, such as an assault weapons ban, would not have prevented the shooting, but said he does want to prevent suspected terrorists from buying firearms.

In recent days, Trump has also doubled down on his calls to ban Muslims from entering the country, a move assailed by Democrats and Republicans alike.

Yet the NBC News/Survey Monkey poll — which was conducted June 13-15 and surveyed 4,322 adults — showed Americans are split with 50% supporting a ban and 46% opposed. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.1 percentage points.


AFL-CIO endorses Hillary Clinton as labor, progressives begin to unify

The powerful AFL-CIO endorsed Hillary Clinton for president Thursday, another sign of Democrats and their allies unifying and marshaling forces to defeat Donald Trump.

Union leaders gave a nod to the “important voice” that Clinton’s rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, brought to the contentious primary campaign.

“His impact on American politics cannot be overstated,” said Richard Trumka, president of the 12.5-million-member labor organization.

“Hillary Clinton has proven herself as a champion of the labor movement, and we will be the driving force to elect her,” Trumka said. “We will run a sophisticated, targeted ground campaign. And with the dire consequences Donald Trump poses for America’s working families, it has to be.”

Clinton said she was honored by the endorsement. Trump shot back that union members will vote for him.

Trump has tried to make inroads with union voters through his populist attacks on trade deals and lost jobs in the shifting economy.

Clinton, he said in a lengthy press release, is the “enemy” of working people.

But Clinton appeared confident that labor was solidly on her side after the grueling Democratic primary in which many key unions withheld endorsements until now.

“Members of the AFL-CIO know, as I do, that we are stronger together,” she said. “We are stronger when we are investing in our country and our future.”


Speaker Paul Ryan, still backing Trump, but gives Washington Post last word


Media fostered Trump’s success, Kasich says

John Kasich accused the media of feeding the rise of Donald Trump in the Republican Party.

“Who’s kidding who? I’d call in, you’d get no ratings. He calls in, you get good ratings,” Kasich argued with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough in a taped interview.

A mountain of free media all but assured Trump would succeed, said Kasich, the governor of Ohio and last GOP rival to drop out of the presidential race against Trump. He said he still disagrees with Trump on immigration and a proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S., as well as on the presumptive GOP nominee’s attack on President Obama for his response to terrorism. Kasich vowed he won’t endorse Trump unless the candidate changes his ways.

However, he also said he worries that a Hillary Clinton presidency could cause a shift toward more government power, particularly in connection with who she might nominate to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

But Kasich said he doesn’t have plans to jump back into the GOP ring — for now.

“Right now I’m not intending to do that today,” he said. “We’ll see about tomorrow.”


Oprah endorses Hillary Clinton: ‘It’s a seminal moment for women’

Oprah Winfrey is backing Hillary Clinton’s presidential run, emphasizing the historic nature of a female presumptive nominee.

“Regardless of your politics, it’s a seminal moment for women,” Winfrey told “Entertainment Tonight” at the premiere of her new show, “Greenleaf.”

If a woman can step into the position of leader of the free world, anything is possible, Winfrey said.

“I really believe that is going to happen,” Winfrey said.

Winfrey, one of the most successful women in media and a prominent philanthropist, joins several celebrities who have pledged support for Clinton, including actors George Clooney and Kerry Washington.


Trump may be less popular than ever, but supporters still like him just the way he is

Donald Trump rallies supporters in Atlanta on Wednesday.
(Branden Camp / Getty Images)

In many ways, Tom and Wendy Box count as what one of Donald Trump’s warm-up speakers called the “good people” of the country — ordinary Americans who are tired of politicians they view as too strong on political correctness, too weak on national security.

The two are Christians, and pleasant company as they chatted while the sun set after a Trump rally here on Tuesday — he’s a retired flooring salesmen, she still works at a hospital. The event was “pretty cool,” she said.

And they said Trump’s plans to temporarily halt Muslims from entering the U.S. made sense even before the Orlando shootings, worried as they were that newcomers are arriving too quickly and adding unfamiliarity to a country they no longer always recognize.

“It just doesn’t seem there’s a cohesiveness to our culture any more,” said Tom Box, who laments that students no longer pray in school and today’s immigrants don’t seem to assimilate as did arrivals to Ellis Island.

“It’s not so much a nativist sentiment, but we better be watching ourselves,” he said. “If we’re not careful, we’ll lose our republic.”

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Donald Trump doesn’t brag about his poll numbers anymore, and no wonder

Donald Trump used to love nothing more than boasting about his poll numbers: His recitation of them was a staple of his campaign speeches.

There’s little to boast about now.

A new Washington Post/ABC News survey finds that the share of Americans with a negative view of Trump rose sharply since last month.

Half of respondents polled by CBS News disapproved of his response to the Orlando, Fla., shootings, and just one-quarter approved.

And a survey of key Midwestern battleground states shows him trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 9 percentage points among likely voters.

Now Trump has a new line: denouncing “phony polls.”

The bad news for Trump probably reflects several developments over the last couple of weeks. Fellow Republicans reacted negatively to his criticism of the federal judge presiding over a lawsuit concerning Trump University, and Democratic voters have begun to coalesce behind Clinton now that she has clinched the party’s nomination.

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