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Campaign 2016 updates: Hillary Clinton darts across California raising millions

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Kellyanne Conway says Donald Trump is staying true to his plans to deport approximately 11 million people.

Trump wavers on pledge to deport 11 million immigrants in U.S. illegally

(Steve Helber / Associated Press)

Donald Trump backed away Tuesday from his pledge to deport 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.

It was a dramatic shift for the Republican presidential nominee, whose vow to crack down on illegal immigration has been a pillar of his candidacy.

Trump’s reversal highlighted the difficulty he faces in trying to broaden his appeal without turning off his most fervent supporters.

His statements came in response to a Fox News question on whether he would adjust immigration laws to “accommodate those people that contribute to society, have been law abiding, have kids here.”

“There could certainly be a softening, because we’re not looking to hurt people,” Trump responded.

Trump said he’d spoken to many Americans who want tough enforcement of immigration laws, but “feel that throwing them out as a whole family, where they’ve been here for a long time, it’s a tough thing. They do feel that.”

Not that Trump has forgotten his core supporters.

Hours later, he returned to his combative posture on illegal immigration at a rally in Austin, Texas, where he encouraged the crowd’s chant of “Build that wall!”

“And who’s going to pay for the wall?” Trump shouted.

“Mexico!” the audience roared.

Trump went on to lament homicides, rapes, burglaries and other crimes committed in Texas by immigrants in the U.S. illegally, inviting several mothers of the victims to join him on stage and share their grief.

Trump went on to falsely accuse his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of favoring “a totally open border.” “She wants to gut immigration enforcement,” he said.

Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, added to the muddle of Trump’s mixed message on immigration when a CBS News correspondent asked him to explain Trump’s evolving stand on deportations.

“I think those are issues that will continue to be worked out in the days ahead,” Pence said.

As for Trump’s vow to deploy a “deportation force,” Pence responded, “People who have run afoul of the law got to leave immediately.” The details, he said, would be worked out with Congress.

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Can Donald Trump really round up and deport 11 million people?

(Angelo Merendino / Getty Images))

At rallies and debates over the last year, Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to round up and deport the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally, sometimes saying he would eject them all in two years.

Over the last four days, however, the GOP presidential nominee and his top aides have issued contradictory signals as to whether Trump is backing off that core campaign pledge.

Aides have not said whether Trump’s plan is under review because it appears politically unpalatable with moderate Republicans, or because forced deportations of millions of people would be prohibitively expensive and probably logistically impossible.

For now, the campaign has yet to provide specifics on how mass removals would be carried out, who would be targeted, and how much it would cost.

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That time Hillary Clinton, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel went into a photo booth

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Clinton raises millions of dollars in star-studded sprint across California

Collecting millions of dollars in campaign contributions, Hillary Clinton kicked off a second-day of star-studded fundraising in California on Tuesday with a stop at Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s Hollywood Hills house.

Among the 100 supporters who paid $33,400 per person for the luncheon were actors Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx and Tobey Maguire.

“Hillary Clinton continued to talk about how she believes that we are stronger together — that America succeeds when we work together to solve our problems and when everyone shares in the rewards — not just those at the top,” according to a Clinton aide. "[S]he also discussed how Donald Trump has shown that he is temperamentally unfit and unqualified to be president.”

The event was the third of eight fundraisers for her campaign and for Democratic organizations that Clinton is headlining during a three-day swing through California.

On Monday night, basketball superstar and businessman Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie, had a cocktail and appetizer reception under a tent in their backyard that attracted several hundred people.

“She looked terrific,” said lobbyist Harvey Englander, one of the co-hosts of the event, scoffing at rumors being spread by GOP nominee Donald Trump and his supporters that Clinton’s health is in peril. “She sounded great and had tremendous energy.”

Among the attendees at the Johnson event were Sen. Barbara Boxer; Mayor Eric Garcetti; former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Reps. Ted Lieu, Brad Sherman, and Maxine Waters; City Council members Bob Blumenfield, Curren Price and Joe Buscaino, and actor Samuel L. Jackson.

“Everyone came away very energized,” Englander said.

Later Monday night, Clinton attended a more imitate dinner at the home of entertainment mogul Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl. The ticket price for the 100 attendees was $50,000.

After Tuesday’s luncheon, Clinton was headed to two fundraisers in Laguna Beach and one in the Bay Area.

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African American supporters of Hillary Clinton reject Donald Trump’s efforts to court black voters

A bigot. Deceptive. Opportunistic.

These were just some of the harsh descriptions doled out by surrogates of Hillary Clinton on Tuesday as they condemned Donald Trump’s overt pleas in recent days for the support of African Americans and Latinos.

The Republican presidential nominee’s campaign has been been marked by divisive and racially coded rhetoric, yet in recent days he has softened his message and insisted that he’s best fit to improve schools, create jobs and foster safer communities for blacks.

Not so fast, says Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.).

“He’s willing to say whatever to reach the highest office in the land,” Meeks said on a call with reporters. “Trump has repeatedly proven himself to be a bigot.”

Meeks, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus whose district spans much of Queens, noted a housing discrimination lawsuit the Department of Justice filed against Trump in the 1970s, and the full-page newspaper ads Trump bought in the 1980s that called for the death penalty for five black and Latino teens wrongfully convicted of raping a woman in Central Park.

“Donald Trump has shown the African American community he has no concern for our well-being,” Meeks said.

Trump, though, has said it is Democrats who have hurt black communities. During rallies last week in Michigan, North Carolina and Virginia, Trump, speaking before primarily white audiences, called on blacks to join his campaign.

“You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good. ... What the hell do you have to lose?” Trump said in his pitch for support from African Americans.

On Monday, Trump blamed Democrats for “poverty, failing schools and broken homes” in inner cities that are predominantly black.

“Our government has totally failed our African American friends ... and the people of our country, period,” he said.

In a recent NBC News/Survey Monkey tracking poll, Trump netted just 8% support among blacks, compared with 87% for Clinton. Similar numbers are reflected in other national and swing state polls.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), another Clinton surrogate, said she was offended by Trump’s pitch to blacks.

“We reject his overtures. It’s too little, too late,” Clarke said.

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Melania Trump threatens to sue several news outlets over reports she worked as an escort

Melania Trump has threatened to sue several news organizations, including Politico and The Daily Mail, for defamation.

Charles Harder, an attorney representing Trump who previously represented Hulk Hogan in a successful lawsuit against Gawker Media, said on Monday that the outlets have been put “on notice” for “making false and defamatory statements about her supposedly having been an ‘escort’ in the 1990s.”

According to the Washington Post, the news organizations cited a Daily Mail article that referred to a report initially published in Slovenian publication Suzy magazine.

At least two outlets, Inquisitr and Bipartisan Report, have issued full retractions and another, Liberal America posted an apology, albeit a sarcastic one.

No lawsuits have been filed.

Donald Trump has frequently threatened to sue journalists and writers. His campaign banned seven news organizations from gaining media credentials to his events, alleging “inaccurate” coverage. He’s also said that if elected president, he would “open up libel laws.”

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Hillary Clinton to highlight Donald Trump’s alleged ties to conservative extremists in Nevada speech

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Hillary Clinton will deliver a speech in Nevada on Thursday designed to raise questions about alleged connections between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and conservative extremist groups.

“This ‘alt-right’ brand is embracing extremism and presenting a divisive and dystopian view of America which should concern all Americans, regardless of party,” the Clinton campaign said in a statement. “In her remarks, Clinton will contrast Donald Trump’s divisive views and dangerous temperament with her vision of an America that is stronger together and where everyone has a role to play in the future.”

The term “alt-right” describes a loosely affiliated group of hard-right, anti-immigration and anti-establishment conservatives. Critics have accused the movement of supporting white nationalist goals, including removing African Americans, Latinos and Jews from the United States.

Trump has struggled to win over minority voters due to his provocative statements, including calling Mexican immigrants “rapists,” attacking a federal judge over his Mexican heritage and calling for a ban on Muslim foreigners entering the U.S.

He was also heavily criticized for his initial refusal to disavow David Duke, a prominent white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana. Trump eventually did condemn Duke, who had declared his support for Trump.

Steve Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s campaign who arrived shortly before the resignation of Paul Manafort earlier this month, is the former editor of Breitbart News, a conservative media operation that has reported several unsubstantiated stories embraced by the alt-right, including reports that Hillary Clinton’s health is failing and that President Obama was not born in the United States.

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Video: Protesters line up outside a major Clinton donor’s estate

Protest outside Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s Hollywood fundraiser at the Beverly Hills estate of controversial billionaire Haim Saban.

Protesters lined up Monday in front of the Beverly Hills estate of Haim Saban, a billionaire and longtime Democratic backer who hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton.

Karen Pomer of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return argued that if Clinton plans to accept campaign funds from Saban, an entertainment tycoon and prominent supporter of Israel, she must answer for what Pomer’s group sees as a show of support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s harsh line on Palestinians.

“Palestinian human rights are not for sale,” she said.

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Trump campaign manager: ‘He’s said exactly the same thing all along’ on immigration

Donald Trump’s campaign manager scrambled Tuesday to reassure supporters that he is sticking to his immigration plan after days of muddled messages from the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump has no plans to step back from his hard line on deporting approximately 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, Kellyanne Conway said.

“He’s said exactly the same thing all along: ‘Let’s enforce the law,’” Conway told Fox News.

Conway denied what she called “distorted” rumors that Trump plans to soften his stance on deportations if elected president.

She said he postponed a planned speech on immigration this week in order to better prepare to address “such a complex issue.”

Conway said Trump wants to aid Americans who are frustrated about competing for jobs with those in the country illegally, and that he plans to do so by simply enforcing laws already in place.

“The conversation about immigration that he would like to have is the one that talks about fairness to everyone,” Conway said. “Not just fairness to the 11 million — which is the way the left always characterizes it — but fairness to the American workers.”

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Trump sticks to hard line on deporting 11 million immigrants

Donald Trump declined Monday to back down from his vow to deport 11 million immigrants in the country illegally, despite a top advisor’s signal that he might take a more moderate approach.

The Republican presidential nominee said he would enforce the law more rigorously than other presidents and that his first priority would be criminals, such as Los Angeles gang leaders.

“They’re going to be out of here so fast, your head will spin,” Trump told Fox News. “As far as the rest, we’re going to go through the process, like they are now — perhaps with a lot more energy.”

Trump’s remarks came a day after his new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, suggested that he might not honor his pledge during the Republican primaries to use a “deportation force” to expel 11 million immigrants who lack legal papers.

“To be determined,” she told CNN.

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Obama heads to Louisiana to tour flood-ravaged areas after criticism that he stayed away too long

Family and friends help Sheila Siener, center, clean out her flood-damaged home Saturday in St. Amant, La.
Family and friends help Sheila Siener, center, clean out her flood-damaged home Saturday in St. Amant, La.
(Max Becherer / Associated Press)

President Obama will tour flood-ravaged neighborhoods in Baton Rouge, La., on Tuesday and try to avoid the political minefields that the visit presents.

Obama has been under pressure for days to visit after flooding killed at least 13 people and displaced thousands from their homes this month. As the rains stopped, Obama was slammed for his decision last week to continue vacationing on the Massachusetts island resort of Martha’s Vineyard and instead dispatch Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate to Louisiana.

Now that the immediate emergency is past, Obama wants to see damage firsthand, highlight the plight of residents and talk with local officials about how his administration can help, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

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