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Campaign 2016 updates: Hillary Clinton ordered to answer questions surrounding her emails

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Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence toured flood-ravaged Louisiana on Friday.

Trump predicts landslide support from black voters if he gets to seek a second term as president

Donald Trump courts African American voters on Friday as he campaigns in Michigan.
(Getty Images)

In four years, Donald Trump predicts, he’ll get more than 95% of the African American vote.

The support will come if he is elected president and seeks a second term in 2020, he said Friday, explaining that African Americans will be moved to back him because of the great strides he will have made for inner-city communities.

“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose” by voting for Trump? the candidate asked. “At the end of four years, I guarantee I will get over 95% of the African American vote.”

The statement – highly unlikely given how poorly Republicans fare among black voters – continues a theme the GOP presidential nominee has pounded this week as he courted African American voters. He said Democrats take black voters for granted and have ignored their needs while governing cities with large African American populations.

“America must reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton, who sees communities of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future,” he said of his Democratic opponent.

In 2012, GOP nominee Mitt Romney won 6% of the black vote, according to exit poll data. Trump is seeing single-digit support among African Americans in most polls. In some states, polls Trump logged 0%.

Trump made his remarks while campaigning Friday night in Dimondale, a suburb of Lansing, Mich. The village was 92.7% white and 0.7% African American in the 2010 census.

Trump argued that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s policies on issues such as immigration and refugee resettlement harm African Americans.

Clinton’s campaign railed against Trump, pointing out that the real estate developer was a prime figure in questioning whether President Obama, the nation’s first black president, was born in the country and that he had been sued for housing discrimination.

“Donald Trump asks what the African American community has to lose by voting for him. The answer is everything from a man who questions the citizenship of the first African American President, courts white supremacists, and has been sued for housing discrimination against communities of color,” Marlon Marshall, Clinton’s director of state campaigns and political engagement, said in a statement. “Trump painting the entire community as living in poverty with no jobs continues to show he is completely out of touch with the African American community.”

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Pence is poor compared to ticket-mate Trump

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence released his financial disclosure forms, showing modest income and means, especially compared to billionaire ticket-mate Donald Trump.

Pence and his wife, Karen, receive nearly all their income from Pence’s $173,860 salary as governor of Indiana, according to the Federal Elections Commission document that was filed Thursday. Karen Pence earns less than $1,001 in each of her jobs, as a self-employed artist and with her company that makes charms allowing people to identify their beach towels.

The forms allow filers to report broad ranges in their assets and liabilities.

Pence reported a state pension worth between $500,001 and $1 million, and two other state retirement accounts worth up to $30,000. The couple also has a bank account worth up to $15,000 and two college-savings accounts worth up to $30,000 combined.

Their only liabilities come courtesy of their three daughters – college loans worth up to $280,000.

“Our family has been honored to serve our state and nation. Like many American families, we have been fortunate and blessed to raise three wonderful children and put them through college while doing work that we love,” Pence said in a statement.

Trump, who claims to be worth more than $10 billion, filed a financial disclosure this year that showed that he has assets worth at least $1.5 billion. The report showed he also has at least $61 million in stocks and bonds, income of least $615 million over the filing period and at least $315 million in liabilities.

The businessman turned reality television star’s finances would be clearer if he released his tax returns, but he has declined to do so, saying he is in the midst of an audit. Democrats have hammered Trump over the move, arguing that he has something to hide about his finances, overseas ties, taxation rate or charitable giving.

Pence is expected to release his tax returns later this year.

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Louisiana flood victims praise Donald Trump for visiting damaged areas

(Max Becherer / Associated Press)

Terry Phinney was not always a fan of Donald Trump, but when the Republican presidential candidate arrived at his Baptist church to meet flood victims Friday, Phinney was impressed.

“It was a good little boost for folks who are tired,” said Phinney, 42, a church maintenance supervisor whose father’s home flooded.

More than 70,000 people have registered for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and thousands of flood victims remained at about three dozen shelters across the region on Friday. Thirteen people died in the disaster.

During Trump’s stop at the large, modern Greenwell Springs Baptist Church on the outskirts of Baton Rouge, he and running mate Mike Pence spoke with a small group of flood victims and volunteers, asking a few questions, Phinney said.

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Hillary Clinton ordered to answer written questions in civil lawsuit

(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton must answer questions in writing but need not appear for a deposition in a lawsuit that challenges her use of a private email server while she was secretary of State, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The decision, in a civil case filed by the conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch, lets the Democratic nominee avoid interrupting her presidential campaign to give a sworn deposition but it hardly puts the controversy to rest.

Judicial Watch wanted Clinton to answer questions in person about whether she used the server to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests. But U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled her written responses would be sufficient.

The group has until Oct. 14 to submit the questions, and Clinton must respond within 30 days.

Clinton will “provide written answers under oath to some key questions about her email scandal,” Tom Fitton, the group’s president, said in a statement.

“We will move quickly to get these answers,” he added. “The decision is a reminder that Hillary Clinton is not above the law.”

Clinton’s campaign dismissed the group’s efforts as a political ploy to embarrass her and undermine her campaign.

“Judicial Watch is a right-wing organization that has been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s,” said Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton. “This is just another lawsuit intended to try to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

The lawsuit already has obtained several previously unreleased emails that suggested some of Clinton’s aides had sought to help the Clinton Foundation, a charity run by her husband and daughter, while she was still secretary of State.

In one message, a top Clinton aide appeared to try to help a wealthy donor get a meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon, after a Clinton Foundation executive had requested it.

Clinton faces several civil lawsuits stemming from her use of a private server, and damaging new emails could yet surface before election day.

The FBI declined to recommend criminal charges against her, however, after a lengthy investigation into whether she or her aides had misused classified information.

Clinton said this month that she had “short-circuited” her reply during a Fox News interview when she said FBI Director James B. Comey had concluded her public statements on the issue were truthful.

He had not. Comey had said there was no evidence she had lied to the FBI during its investigation.

Times staff writer Evan Halper contributed to this report.

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Donald Trump releases first television ad, but do his claims add up?

Donald Trump has sought to cast himself as the candidate who, if elected president, will restore what he calls “law and order” to the United States.

And Trump’s first television ad of the general election drives home this message, assailing Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, for her support of taking in Syrian refugees and her positions on immigration.

But some of the claims in Trump’s ad do not necessarily offer the full picture.

Here’s a look:

‘Syrian refugees flood in’

As the narrator makes this claim, a graphic highlights a September 2015 CBS News interview in which Clinton says she believes the United States should take in 65,000 Syrian refugees. Indeed, this is accurate. The move would be a big increase from the Obama administration’s plan of resettling 10,000 refugees this fiscal year.

Yet the notion that refugees would “flood in” to the country is misleading.

Human rights groups have called for the United States to accept higher numbers, and countries with populations much smaller have admitted far more refugees.

Turkey, which neighbors Syria, has taken in 2.5 million refugees and hundreds of thousands have fled to Germany.

On Friday, in the wake of a viral photo of a bloodied Syrian boy being carted away in an ambulance after his home was bombed, human rights groups called on the Obama administration to admit at least 200,000 refugees from around the world.

For her part, Clinton has remained steadfast in her calls to admit 65,000 Syrian refugees.

‘Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay, collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line’

It’s unclear what specific immigration policy proposal the narrator is referencing.

Clinton does support comprehensive immigration reform, which includes a path toward citizenship for the estimated 11 million people currently living in the country illegally.

Clinton also supports President Obama’s executive actions that would protect nearly 5 million people in the country illegally from facing deportation.

Those actions -- Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA, and an expansion of the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA -- give protection to people in the country illegally who have no felony convictions. No Social Security benefits would be collected under the executive actions.

The executive actions, however, are currently stalled by a preliminary injunction by federal courts.

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Signs of a shift in Trump’s campaign — too little, too late?

(Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

After a tumultuous stretch since accepting the GOP presidential nomination last month, Donald Trump tried this week to broaden his appeal to a wider swath of the electorate, aiming to sow the seeds for a competitive fall race with Hillary Clinton.

Trump shook up his campaign leadership, launched television ads, gave one of the best speeches of his candidacy and visited flood-ravaged Louisiana. But by making such moves fewer than 100 days before election day, an open question remains about whether he has enough time to capitalize on them.

“As a Republican, you have virtually no margin of error, and Trump’s campaign is nothing but errors,” said GOP strategist Reed Galen, who worked for former President George W. Bush. “They sort of tumble from one thing to the next really without much thought to where, when and how it’s going to happen.”

Galen pointed to the Friday announcement that Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort had resigned. Instead of news coverage focusing on the well-received speech Trump delivered the night before, or his low-key tour of the flooding in Louisiana, Manafort dominated the headlines.

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Clinton campaign manager: Paul Manafort’s resignation doesn’t ‘end the odd bromance’ between Trump and Putin

Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Hillary Clinton’s campaign scrambled to assert that the resignation of a top Donald Trump campaign operative would not end Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Paul Manafort quit Friday as Trump’s campaign chairman, two days after he was effectively demoted when Trump brought aboard a campaign CEO, Stephen K. Bannon, the former head of the right-wing Breitbart News site.

Manafort had come under fire in recent weeks for revelations about his work in Ukraine for a pro-Russia political party.

“Paul Manafort’s resignation is a clear admission that the disturbing connections between Donald Trump’s team and pro-Kremlin elements in Russia and Ukraine are untenable,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement. “You can get rid of Manafort, but that doesn’t end the odd bromance Trump has with Putin.”

Trump has long fought back against the assertion that he admires Putin, but has also called on supporters to imagine a world in which the U.S. and Russia got along.

In an interview scheduled to air on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” this weekend, Trump’s son Eric said Manafort left because his father wanted to avoid being “distracted by whatever things Paul was dealing with.”

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Some Louisiana flood victims look forward to Donald Trump’s visit

In Sorrento, La., cattle are herded down a flooded road toward trucks that will take them to dry land.
In Sorrento, La., cattle are herded down a flooded road toward trucks that will take them to dry land.
(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

As Donald Trump and Mike Pence prepared Friday for an expected visit to this flood-ravaged region, some victims expressed gratitude for the high-profile attention and questioned why President Obama has not yet toured the damage.

Thousands have been displaced by the floods and are living in nearly three dozen shelters statewide.

“Trump is a businessman who knows for sure revitalization efforts. Why not?” said Sharon Bell, who lost her home in Denham Springs. Bell, 56, who drives a taxi, said the controversy surrounding Trump’s often-combative nature did not prevent her from welcoming the GOP candidate. “His loose lips can’t sink a ship that is already sunk.”

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‘Those are his words’ of regret, Trump campaign manager says

Donald Trump wrote the words he used Thursday to publicly express regret for some of his hard-edged campaign rhetoric, the GOP nominee’s new campaign manager said.

“He took extra time yesterday going over that speech with a pen,” Kellyanne Conway told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday. “... Those are his words.”

Trump’s told a rally in Charlotte, N.C., that he regrets some of his language during primary debates and other campaign events, especially if he “caused personal pain.”

Trump, whose attacks have targeted Mexicans, women, a federal judge, parents of a slain U.S. soldier and fellow Republicans, among others, did not specify which comments he regretted.

Conway said Trump’s tone shows what he can bring to the White House.

“I certainly hope America heard him last night,” Conway said. “Because of all the people … who have been saying, ‘Hey, let’s get Trump to pivot, let’s get him to be more presidential’ — that is presidential.”

Conway did not rule out the possibility that Trump could apologize to Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the Muslim parents of an Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004, for his harsh criticism of their appearance at the Democratic National Convention.

“He may,” she said.

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Donald Trump spokeswoman with a history of false statements says Hillary Clinton suffers from a brain disorder

A spokeswoman for Donald Trump’s campaign said Hillary Clinton suffers from a rare language disorder caused by brain damage, a claim Clinton’s doctor quickly denied as false.

Katrina Pierson, who is not a doctor, issued her diagnosis on MSNBC, saying Clinton suffers from dysphasia, a disorder caused by brain disease or damage.

“What’s new are the other reports of the observations of Hillary Clinton’s behavior and mannerisms ... as well as her dysphasia, the fact that she’s fallen, she has had a concussion,” Pierson said Thursday.

She argued that Clinton’s health is in decline.

But Clinton’s longtime physician, Dr. Lisa Bardack, released a statement saying that the former secretary of State is in excellent health and that allegations that she suffers disorders are not based on “any medical facts.”

“These documents are false, were not written by me and are not based on any medical facts,” Bardack wrote. “… Secretary Clinton is in excellent health and fit to serves as President of the United States.”

Pierson has a record of making patently false claims.

On Aug. 13, she incorrectly said President Obama had led the United States into the war in Afghanistan.

President George W. Bush sent U.S. troops into Afghanistan shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The conflict became America’s longest war.

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Donald Trump’s embattled campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigns

(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press))

Donald Trump’s embattled campaign chairman Paul Manafort resigned Friday, two days after a campaign shake-up that left his power diminished.

“This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign,” Donald Trump said in a statement. “I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success.”

Manafort had been dogged by increasing questions about his work for a pro-Russian party in Ukraine.

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Donald Trump’s challenge in touring Louisiana flooding: Showing concern, not opportunism

(Molly Hennessy-Fiske / Los Angeles Times)

As GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump heads to Louisiana on Friday to survey the aftermath of deadly flooding, it’s worth remembering that disasters — whether natural or man-made — present a unique challenge for politicians. The goal is to appear statesman-like without seeming craven, using crises for political gain.

Trump can look to a recent history of Republican nominees making similar moves with mixed results.

In 2012, the day after Mitt Romney accepted the Republican nomination, he canceled a rally and headed to the Louisiana bayou to view the aftermath of a hurricane. He drove past flooded homes and discussed recovery efforts with then-Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. David Vitter, both Republicans.

Romney’s in-person visit was widely viewed as trying to avoid the criticism that befell President George W. Bush in 2005 when he surveyed damage from Hurricane Katrina with an Air Force One flyover.

In 2008, John McCain, the party’s nominee, suspended his presidential campaign to return to Washington because of the deepening financial crisis and to ostensibly help negotiate the Wall Street bailout.

McCain’s decision came after several stumbles; he had declared the economy “strong” a couple of weeks earlier, and said he hadn’t had time to read the three-page bailout proposal. His campaign suspension was immediately slammed by Democrats, who called it a political ploy designed in part to avoid a coming debate that would have exposed his weakness on the economy to a wide audience and risked McCain’s already-weakening poll numbers. His opponent, then-Sen. Barack Obama, stayed on the trail, a move that helped solidify the image his campaign was projecting of a nominee capable of confronting the challenges of the Oval Office.

Obama himself is facing criticism for not cutting short his annual summer vacation to visit the flood devastation in Louisiana, but the governor, Democrat John Bel Edwards, has publicly asked Obama to stay away, citing the drain on resources that a presidential visit demands and that he would prefer to devote to flood relief.

Edwards’ request may have contributed to the Trump campaign keeping the visit by the candidate him and running mate Mike Pence relatively quiet. The campaign has publicly released no details, and Edwards’ office said that as of Thursday night, Trump hadn’t called to say he was headed to the state.

“We welcome him to [Louisiana] but not for a photo-op,” an Edwards spokesman said in a statement. The governor’s office suggested Trump donate to flood relief instead.

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Trump shows a new emotion — regret

(Jeff Siner / Associated Press)

For a candidate who proudly stands behind his most caustic comments, it was a mea culpa of sorts.

On Thursday, Donald Trump expressed some regret over his behavior on the campaign trail, saying he hadn’t always used the “right words” in speeches and television interviews.

“Sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing,” the Republican presidential nominee told supporters at a rally in Charlotte, N.C. “I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.”

Trump, using a teleprompter, did not say which specific incidents he regretted.

In a tumultuous week for his campaign, the statement seemed gauged to turn the page on months of insults that have marked his campaign against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.

“Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues,” Trump said. “But one thing I can promise you is this: I will always tell you the truth.”

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