Trump set to launch website assailing Hillary Clinton
Trump claims Clinton’s faith is an open question, but she’s talked about her religion for years
When Donald Trump claimed Tuesday in a private meeting with evangelical leaders that Hillary Clinton’s faith is an unknown, he ignored years of her openly discussing the topic.
“We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion,” Trump said in video posted online by E.W. Jackson, a minister who attended the meeting at a Manhattan hotel. “Now, she’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no — there’s nothing out there.”
Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is a Methodist. While she doesn’t speak about her faith every day on the campaign trail, she has, over the years, frequently discussed the role religion has played in her life.
Clinton has discussed babysitting the children of migrant workers with her church’s youth group, the role a youth counselor had in her transformation from a Goldwater girl to a Democrat and the importance of the Bible.
She also has spoken about the churches she has attended, including the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., which the Clintons attended when Bill Clinton was president.
“In place after place after place, the Methodist church and my fellow Methodists have been a source of support, honest reflection and candid critique,” she said at the church’s 200th anniversary in 2015, according to the Washington Post.
Trump has a long history of using innuendo to attack his rivals’ backgrounds. In the 2016 Republican primary, he questioned Sen. Ted Cruz’s evangelical faith because of his Cuban heritage. Last week, Trump dusted off his false insinuations that President Obama is a Muslim who was born outside of the U.S. Obama is a Christian from Hawaii.
Trump made the remark about Clinton as he courted hundreds of evangelical leaders, many of whom are wary of the presumptive GOP nominee because of his past stances on issues such as abortion and his multiple marriages and admissions of adultery.
Trump was accompanied by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Dr. Ben Carson, two favorites of evangelicals who also unsuccessfully ran for the GOP nomination. Trump spoke with the group for about 90 minutes and answered prescreened questions.
Afterward, several people in attendance said they appreciated the conversation with Trump, but they were not ready to commit to backing him.
“It was good for him to spend as much time as he did with this group,” said Paul Weber, president of the Family Policy Alliance. “He has extended a hand. We will be watching, listening and waiting to see how he continues to relate on the critical issues of life, family and religious liberty.”
Here’s everything you need to know about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
From his early business days to his recent candidacy, take a look at the life of Donald Trump.
Once a first lady, now the Democratic Party’s front-runner, scroll through our coverage of Hillary Clinton.
Ex-colleagues say former Secret Service officer’s book attacking Hillary Clinton rings untrue
The book portrays Hillary Clinton as erratic and uncontrollable, a volatile first lady.
But its author, Gary Byrne, a Secret Service agent during the Clinton administration, has rankled his former colleagues, who are denouncing his assertions as false and arguing that Byrne has a political agenda centered on disparaging Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
“There is no place for any self-moralizing narratives, particularly those with an underlying motive,” the board of directors of the Assn. of Former Agents of the U.S. Secret Service wrote in a statement Tuesday.
The public condemnation of the book was an extraordinary move by the group, which has largely remained out of the political fray since its founding in the 1970s.
Critics of the book, “Crisis in Character,” have noted that Byrne, who served as a uniformed Secret Service officer, the lowest level of security at the White House, would not have had the close access to the Clintons that protective agents do.
“Operationally, one who has the working knowledge of how things are done there would realize that certain of those statements do not coincide with the operational plan,” Jan Gilhooly, the group’s president and a former Secret Service agent, told Politico.
In the book, Byrne, who has been retired from the Secret Service for more than a decade, describes Clinton as moody and unrestrained, often shouting obscenities both at former President Bill Clinton and agents.
“What I saw in the 1990’s sickened me,” Byrne wrote in the book’s introduction, according to excerpts provided to the New York Post. “Clinton is now poised to become the Democratic nominee for president of the United States, but she simply lacks the integrity and temperament to serve in the office. … From the bottom of my soul, I know this to be true.”
Byrne’s book became fodder for Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, whose campaign emailed some of its claims to supporters Tuesday.
The book “should be put in the fantasy section of the bookstore,” said Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton.
Byrne did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In its statement, the Secret Service group said, “One must question the veracity and content of any book, which implies that its author played such an integral part of so many [claimed] incidents.”
The group added, “Why would an employee wait in excess of 10 years after terminating his employment with the Service to make his allegations public?”
Democratic convention CEO: ‘We’re ready’ in Philadelphia
To Leah Daughtry, the CEO of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, her party has a “distinct opportunity” to make its convention stand out from its Republican counterpart next month.
She thanked the Cleveland Cavaliers in part for the advantage.
“I don’t watch basketball, but I watched this year, because, go Cavs,” Daughtry joked to reporters Tuesday.
The Republican National Convention will be held at the home arena of the Cavaliers, who won the NBA championship Sunday with a Game 7 finals win — a lengthy playoff season that was cause for celebration in the city but limited Republicans’ access to the facility to prepare for their convention.
Daughtry believes that gives her team an advantage.
“We know that the world is watching,” she said. “We are committed to building a convention that is reflective of America.”
While Daughtry did not address the protests that have devolved into violence at Trump rallies and prompted concern about escalations at the Republican convention, she dubbed the GOP’s gathering, “the chaos in Cleveland.”
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said protesters at the Democratic convention will be kept across the street from the convention but within the view of delegates.
“You do your best to keep the peace,” Kenney said, adding that the city is prepared to let people protest as long as it’s done safely.
But violence at the Nevada state Democratic Convention last month, largely traced to Bernie Sanders supporters, raised concerns that the same violence could erupt in Philadelphia.
Despite those concerns, Kenney said the city does not plan to purchase tactical gear for police officers patrolling the convention.
He said officers will have bicycles to canvass the area surrounding the convention, a tactic that has worked well in the past.
Elizabeth Warren: Clinton is a fighter
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has penned a fundraising note for Hillary Clinton’s email list, heaping praise on the presumptive Democratic nominee.
She also calls Donald Trump “a man who built his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia. ... A man who should never, ever be allowed to set foot in the White House.”
Clinton, armed with zingers, goes after Trump on the economy
Hillary Clinton warned Tuesday that Donald Trump’s business record disqualified him from overseeing the nation’s financial health, arguing that his economic policies and temperament risked sending the U.S. into a recession and setting off a global panic.
The Democrat’s address to a battleground state audience here followed the same template as one she delivered on national security on the eve of the California primary, featuring several barbed attacks on her general-election opponent.
“Just like he shouldn’t have his finger on the button, he shouldn’t have his hands on our economy,” Clinton said.
And just as she did in her national security address in San Diego, Clinton repeatedly used Trump’s own words and the few policy details he’s offered against him – confessing at one point even she had to ask her own staff: “He really said that?”
She saved some of her most stinging criticisms for Trump’s own finances and business practices.
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Trump: I’ll fund my own campaign, with or without the GOP
Donald Trump said Tuesday that he’s again considering funding his campaign himself as he heads into the general election.
“I spent $55 million of own money to win the primaries. … I may do that again in the general election,” Trump told NBC’s “Today.”
After lending his campaign money during the primary season, Trump changed course in May, saying he would raise money from others as he assumed the mantle of presumptive nominee. Now, with election filings showing he had $1.2 million hand at the end of May compared with Hillary Clinton’s $42 million, Trump said he’s once again ready to self-fund his campaign.
Trump blamed some of his campaign’s financial woes on a lack of support from the Republican Party. He said he has more difficulty getting backing from party members than Clinton has from Democrats, but if they don’t want to get on board with him, he will win by himself.
“I have a lot of cash; I may do it in the general election,” Trump said. “But it would be nice to have some help from the party.”
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By abruptly sacking his campaign manager, Donald Trump sought to end an internal power struggle that persistently undermined his White House bid. But if Corey Lewandowski’s departure Monday was supposed to end doubts about Trump or the direction of his struggling campaign, it apparently did neither.
“He’s going to be the nominee; that doesn’t change. The real question is his viability in a general election,” said Tom Rath, a longtime Republican strategist in New Hampshire, who backed Ohio Gov. John Kasich over Trump in the rancorous Republican nominating fight.
“What you want is clear direction and a coherent strategy that allows you to get to 270 electoral votes,” Rath said. “If you didn’t have that confidence before, you don’t have it now.”
Lewandowski, who was unceremoniously escorted from Trump’s Manhattan headquarters, lost his job after weeks of inner turmoil that came to a head last week when Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, delivered a him-or-me ultimatum, according to one campaign insider.
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Joe Biden: ‘Some of the rhetoric I’m hearing’ sounds like it aims to radicalize all Muslims
Vice President Joe Biden called anti-Muslim rhetoric “deeply, deeply damaging to our national security” on Monday and warned that proposals like those supported by Donald Trump only threaten to further inflame Arab-world sentiment against the U.S.
Biden never named Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, during an address to a national-security think tank in Washington. But the vice president clearly stepped into the campaign fray in casting Trump’s approach to the world as antithetical to American values.
“There are 1.4 billion Muslims in the world,” Biden said. “Some of the rhetoric I’m hearing sounds designed to radicalize all 1.4 billion.
“Wielding the politics of fear and intolerance -- like the proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, profiling Muslim Americans, slandering entire religious communities as complicit in terrorism, calls into question America’s status as the greatest democracy in the history of the world,” he said. “It doesn’t make the situation better. It makes it worse. And it plays into the narrative of extremists.”
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