Former President Bill Clinton, Tim Kaine jab Trump for comments about Khan family

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Hillary Clinton continues her bus tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Democrats step up criticism of Donald Trump for comments about Khan family

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Former President Bill Clinton and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine took aim at Donald Trump Saturday evening, lambasting him for comments he made about the Muslim parents of a fallen soldier.

Earlier in the day, during an interview with ABC News’ “This Week,” Trump criticized Khizr Khan, who, with his wife, Ghazala, at his side, delivered an emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, condemning the wealthy businessman for his calls to ban Muslims.

The couple’s son, Humayun, an Army captain, was killed by a car bomb while protecting his unit in Iraq in 2004.

In the interview, Trump suggested, among other things, that Khan’s speech had been written by the Clinton campaign and that Ghazala Khan’s silence might have been mandated by her Muslim faith.

Khizr Khan spoke during the convention without notes or a script. Ghazala Khan said in interviews Saturday that her son’s death remained too painful for her to talk about in public.

Kaine, who is traveling through Pennsylvania and Ohio with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, said Trump’s comments demonstrated a lack of temperament to be president.

“He was kind of trying to turn that into some kind of ridicule,” Kaine said after a campaign event in Pittsburgh, according to the Associated Press. “It just demonstrates again kind of a temperamental unfitness. If you don’t have any more sense of empathy than that, then I’m not sure you can learn it.”

The former president said: “I cannot conceive how you can say that about a Gold Star mother.”

The controversy likely will continue. Khizr Khan is scheduled to appear on at least two Sunday morning public affairs shows, and Democrats are likely to try to continue to seize on Trump’s comments.

On Saturday evening, as he criticism mounted, Trump issued a statement calling Humayun Khan a “hero,” but adding that he believed he had been treated unfairly by the Khan family.

“While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr. Khan who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, which is false,” he said.

During Khizr Khan’s speech, he said that if Trump had had his way, his son never would have been able to serve the U.S. and that Trump had never made sacrifices for the country.

“Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America,” said Khan, whose son was awarded a Bronze Star. “You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Trump’s initial response on Saturday was that he had made sacrifices – especially when it comes to his business dealings.

“I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures,” Trump said in the ABC interview. “I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”

Hillary Clinton offered a statement on Saturday, saying ‘this is a time to honor the sacrifice of Captain Khan and all the fallen.”

“Captain Khan and his family represent the best of America, and we salute them,” she said.

Later in the day, in Youngstown, Ohio, she grew more pointed:

“This is not a normal election. Donald Trump is not a normal presidential candidate,” she said.

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It’s billionaire versus billionaire as Mark Cuban targets Donald Trump for Hillary Clinton

(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Mark Cuban, the flashy billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, made a surprise stop here in his hometown to support Hillary Clinton and mock Donald Trump.

“Leadership is not yelling and screaming and intimidating,” Cuban said. “You know what we call a person like that in Pittsburgh? A jagoff,” using some local slang for an idiot.

“Is there any bigger jagoff in the world than Donald Trump?” he said as the crowd roared.

Cuban has been taunting Trump during the campaign, questioning whether he’s as rich as he says and criticizing his business skills.

Cuban met with John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman, in Brooklyn recently, and called on Thursday to talk about making a public endorsement, according to a campaign spokesman.

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Trump brags that he snubbed Koch brothers, but they say they never asked for a meeting

As conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch kick off their biannual summit with their extensive network of donors, Donald Trump lobbed a preemptive shot, claiming he had rebuffed the industrialists’ request for a meeting.

But top officials to the Koch operation threw cold water on that Saturday afternoon, saying they had no knowledge of a meeting request.

“I know a meeting didn’t happen. You’ll have to talk to him about what his facts are,” said Mark Holden, a top official for Freedom Partners, which oversees the network’s myriad of advocacy, grass-roots and philanthropic arms.

The Kochs have steadfastly stayed on the sidelines of the presidential campaign this season, and Holden reiterated the network will train its efforts on six Senate races, rather than targeting the top of the ticket.

“We’re focused on the Senate,” was his repeated refrain, adding that while the group will not engage in explicit efforts to oppose Trump, it will not run purely anti-Hillary Clinton ads either.

Clinton will be featured in Senate ads run by the network, Holden said.

“We’re going to tie the Democrat candidates to Hillary Clinton and the failed policies she supports, and highlight the differences with the Republican candidates we favor,” he said.

His remarks came at the outset of a three-day donor summit held at a sprawling Colorado Springs resort at the base of the Rocky Mountains. About 400 donors, a quarter of whom are first-time participants, are attending, as well as a handful of Republican elected officials, including House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner.

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Bill Clinton is a silent partner on campaign trip

(Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AFP/Getty Images)

Bill Clinton did a lot of things on stage at his wife’s campaign stop in a factory here. He laughed at jokes, he looked inquisitively at the crowd of union workers and he chewed a piece of gum.

The one thing he didn’t do is talk.

As Hillary Clinton sets off on her first trip since accepting the Democratic nomination, one of the most famous and talented talkers in American politics has been unusually quiet.

He’s been on stage at each event — a rally in Philadelphia, a visit to a factory in Hatfield, another rally in Harrisburg — but he’s only spoken once, to introduce his wife’s running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Instead he’s been mainly sitting back with Kaine’s wife, Anne Holton, as their spouses do the talking.

“He’s very much of the mind that this is [Hillary’s] opportunity to be out there and make her argument,” said John Podesta, the campaign chairman.

The former president was planning to join the bus tour only on Friday, but he tagged along Saturday as well.

“President Clinton is having a great time meeting voters and decided to join for another day,” said Angel Urena, a spokesman.

Of course, he could be called upon to take a more vocal role at a moment’s notice. He barnstormed around the country during the primary, speaking to crowds at his own events and glad-handing voters in coffee shops. And he delivered a high-profile speech about his wife at the Democratic convention this week, extolling her commitment to public service.

But for now, the words have been few and far between.

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Many GOP foreign policy experts see Donald Trump as unfit to be president

To the extent Donald Trump has articulated a coherent foreign policy, it appears a dark shoot-from-the-hip unilateralism that puts him at odds with thinking that has dominated the GOP for generations.

As Trump starts his general election campaign, many Republican foreign policy and national security advisors and thinkers who have spent decades promoting America’s preeminent role in world affairs remain deeply skeptical of his views.

They say they are aghast that the GOP nominee boasts of reading little and ignoring expert advice, and instead gleaning his knowledge of global events from Sunday TV talk shows.

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#TrumpSacrifices turns up on Twitter

Donald Trump’s response to a Muslim father of a fallen soldier in which he insists he’s made sacrifices, caused a stir on Twitter Saturday.

The hashtag #TrumpSacrifices began to trend and millions chimed in. Here’s a lighthearted tweet:

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John McCain’s granddaughter endorses Hillary Clinton: ‘I’ve been nursing a grudge’

John McCain has backed Donald Trump, but his granddaughter says she is still “nursing a grudge” against the Republican nominee, who famously questioned the Arizona senator’s heroism a year ago.

Caroline McCain endorsed Hillary Clinton in an essay on Medium this week.

“Trump’s statement, in my view, is unforgivable, and speaks to the kind of man he is,” she wrote. “A coward who has never faced danger in his life, an insecure brat who shirked duty for comfort, and a man who is wholly unfit to serve as commander-in-chief.”

Last year, Trump said of John McCain, a former POW in the Vietnam War: “He’s not a war hero...He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

Caroline McCain went on to cite other reasons, including “brick after brick in a wall of racist comments, lies, misogyny and ignorance.” McCain said she still identifies as Republican, but that could change with a Trump victory.

John McCain, the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee who is facing a tough Senate reelection in his home state of Arizona, has urged fellow Republicans to follow the will of Republican primary voters and rally behind Trump.

Still, McCain has conceded sharp disagreements with Trump, particularly over foreign policy. Trump has questioned the relevance of NATO and said that if elected president, he may not defend allies as the treaty requires.

“I think we shouldn’t forget that our NATO allies have been fighting side by side with us in Afghanistan for a long time,” John McCain told News Talk 550 KFYI this week in Phoenix, in an interview reported by the Washington Times.

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In response to Muslim father of fallen soldier, Donald Trump insists he’s made ‘a lot’ of sacrifices

(Alex Wong/Getty Images )

Donald Trump responded Saturday to criticism from the Muslim father of a fallen soldier, who in an emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention said the billionaire businessman has “sacrificed nothing” for the country.

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Trump insisted that Khizr Khan, whose son, Humayun, was killed in 2004 by a car bomb in Iraq, was misguided in his criticisms. Trump said he has sacrificed, mostly when it comes to his business dealings.

“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures,” Trump said in the interview. “I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”

On Thursday, Khan, with his wife, Ghazala, at his side, castigated Trump for his calls to ban Muslims from entering the country.

“Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America,” said Khan, whose son was awarded a Bronze Star. “You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Trump also questioned if Ghazala Khan’s silence during the convention appearance was perhaps related to her Muslim faith.

While speaking on MSNBC on Friday evening, Khan called on GOP leaders, such as House Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, to repudiate Trump.

“What he has said, what he has threatened to do … you must say ‘enough,’ ” Khan said.

In the ABC News interview, Trump said that Khan’s speech was written by Hillary Clinton’s “script writers.”

Moreover, Trump suggested that as a Muslim woman, Ghazala Khan was able only to stand at her husband’s side and was not allowed to speak during his speech.

“If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me,” he said.

Ghazala Khan said Friday the whole experience, on stage with her husband at the DNC, was very nerve-racking.

In a statement, Clinton said she was moved by the Khans sharing their story.

“This is a time for all Americans to stand with the Khans, and with all the families whose children have died in service to our country,” she said. “And this is a time to honor the sacrifice of Captain Khan and all the fallen. Captain Khan and his family represent the best of America, and we salute them.”

Updated - 2:41 p.m. This post was updated to include a comment from Clinton.

Khizr Khan, the father of a soldier killed in Iraq, speaks at the Democratic National Convention.

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Donald Trump -- finally -- set to spend on television ads in the general election

Donald Trump has released his first television ad of the general election, assailing Hillary Clinton’s leadership.

The ad from Trump, released Friday on social media, comes as Clinton’s campaign and her allies have already spent a deluge of cash on advertising in several battleground states.

Jason Miller, a strategist for Trump, told Bloomberg Politics that the campaign is putting money behind the general-election ad but hasn’t released details about the ad buy.

In the 30-second spot, a narrator jabs Clinton’s leadership for, among other things, allowing terrorism to spread around the world.

So far, since the general election began in earnest last month, Trump and his allies have spent little on advertising, instead relying on big rallies to help pass along his message to voters.

Earlier this month a report from NBC News and SMG Delta, a firm that tracks ad spending, found that Trump and his supporters are being outspent by a 15-to-1 margin in television and radio ad spending by Clinton.

Still despite being outspent nationally, several swing state polls show a tight race between Trump and Clinton, with about 100 days until election day.

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In Colorado, Donald Trump sides with Democrats and environmentalists on fracking

(Jason Connolly/AFP )

Donald Trump waded into Colorado’s fracking debate this week, siding with a position popular among Democrats and environmentalists in the state, while leaving many Republicans dismayed.

Trump, who held rallies on Friday in Colorado Springs and Denver, said that while he supports fracking, he believes voters should have a say in whether they want to ban it.

“I think that voters should have a big say in it,” he told a local Denver television station. “I mean, there’s some areas, maybe, that don’t want to have fracking, and I think if the voters are voting for it that’s up to them.”

Trump’s comments echo those of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, who supports allowing local bans on fracking.

Steve House, Colorado’s Republican Party chairman, said the comment from Trump amounts to a misunderstanding of the issue.

“While we want the state to be able to control its destiny, we don’t want voters to be able to take mineral rights away from people who own them,” House, who said Saturday, “dozens” of local Republicans have called to express concern over Trump’s comments. A request for comment from Trump’s campaign was not immediately returned.

For several years now, as fracking has expanded throughout the West, battles over whether local jurisdictions can impose bans on oil and gas drilling have been fierce with both sides spending tens of millions of dollars.

In recent years, several Colorado towns – mostly in liberal pockets of the state – have either placed bans or moratoriums on fracking.

Still, those efforts have not always held up. In May, the Colorado Supreme Court overturned a five-year fracking moratorium imposed by voters in Fort Collins, Colo., in 2013. Moreover, a ban on fracking supported by voters in Longmont, Colo., about 40 miles north of Denver, was also overturned. In both cases, the court ruled the efforts “materially impeded” state power.

Despite the rulings, environmentalists and Democrats in the state are currently working to gather enough signatures to have an initiative placed on the ballot this fall which would place a statewide ban on fracking.

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Mike Pence is the anti-Trump on the trail, just the way the campaign wants it

Mike Pence looked out at a few hundred supporters gathered in a county expo center here to see his first solo appearance as the GOP vice presidential nominee and made a self-deprecating joke.

“I recognize I’m kind of a B-list Republican celebrity, so thank you for coming out tonight,” the Indiana governor said to warm applause, adding that he was “humbled” and “honored.”

The contrast with the rallies of running mate Donald Trump, who attracts thousands who wait in line for hours, then fill event spaces and overflow rooms with crackling energy, was stark.

But Pence wasn’t picked to amplify the attraction of Trump, the former reality television star. Instead, as he showcased in stops this week in Wisconsin and in Ohio and Michigan, he was brought aboard the Republican ticket to employ his steady demeanor and conservative bona fides to reassure hard-right voters who remain wary of Trump.

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FBI expanding its hacking probe into a network used by Clinton campaign and other Democratic groups

Hillary Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention.
(Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images)

Federal authorities are investigating what the Hillary Clinton campaign says was a hack into a computer network used by it and other Democratic groups.

The revelation follows what appears to be a similar attack last month against the Democratic National Committee and another on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“The FBI is aware of media reporting on cyber intrusions involving multiple political entities, and is working to determine the accuracy, nature and scope of these matters,” the FBI said in a statement late Friday. “The cyber threat environment continues to evolve as cyber actors target all sectors and their data.”

Federal law enforcement officials have said the hack likely was carried out by Russian intelligence agents, raising the troubling scenario that an adversarial nation is trying to influence the U.S. election.

The Clinton campaign said in a statement Friday that “an analytics data program maintained by the DNC, and used by our campaign and a number of other entities, was accessed as part of the DNC hack.”

“Our campaign computer system has been under review by outside cyber security experts,” the statement continued. “To date, they have found no evidence that our internal systems have been compromised.”

The release of convention emails by Wikileaks last week just ahead of the Democratic National Convention created a political mess for the party, revealing embarrassing fundraising details and comments suggesting the party was violating its commitment of neutrality in the presidential primary by aiding Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Democratic Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was forced to resign her post.

Republican candidate Donald Trump appeared to relish the spectacle, daring the Russians to track down the more than 30,000 emails that Clinton deleted from a private email server she maintained while serving as secretary of State. Her lawyers said the deleted emails were not work-related, but FBI investigators recovered some and determined they were not personal and should not have been deleted.

Trump later said he was being sarcastic about encouraging Russia to hack into U.S. computers to hurt his presidential rival.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange told CNN this week that he has more material that could damage Clinton in the election and may release it later.

Times staff writer Del Quentin Wilber contributed to this story.

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Opinion: Hillary Clinton’s speech combines Bernie’s economics with JFK’s resolve

(David Horsey/Los Angeles Times )

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