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Campaign 2016 updates: Donald Trump draws scorn for tweeting about death of Dwyane Wade’s cousin

Donald Trump travels to Iowa, where he’ll attend Sen. Joni Ernst’s second annual “Roast and Ride,” an event that combines motorcycles, food and politics.

Opinion: Trump calling Hillary Clinton a bigot is the tactic of a 5-year-old

(David Horsey/ Los Angeles Times )

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Wavering on immigration, Donald Trump talks tough in Iowa

(Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

After days of toggling back and forth on his immigration views -- specifically on deportations -- Donald Trump returned to his tough talk on Saturday, vowing that it will be his No. 1 issue should he win the presidency.

“From the first day in office, I promise the first thing I’m going to do, the first piece of paper I’m going to sign, is we’re going to get rid of these people,” Trump, addressing supporters at Sen. Joni Ernst’s annual “Roast and Ride” gathering in Iowa, said of “criminal illegal immigrants” in the country.

The Republican nominee, reading from a teleprompter as he has done more frequently in recent weeks now, also reaffirmed that he would build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Still, despite his comments on Saturday, Trump, who is trailing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, appears to be considering a shift in his position.

In a Fox News interview Wednesday, Trump expressed openness to being flexible about who he would deport, suggesting he might offer exemptions for those who have no criminal records and agree to pay back taxes.

On Thursday, in an interview on CNN, Trump noted that “you can’t take 11 [million] at one time and just say, ‘boom, you’re gone.”

During the GOP primary Trump called for mass deportations of all nearly 11 million people in the country illegally.

In response to his latest comments, some Republicans, such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, have said Trump’s wavering could hurt his standing with his base supporters.

For Trump, Saturday was about stressing that he’s not wavering on immigration – particularly when it comes to immigrants in the country illegally who have criminal records. (He did not talk about the millions who have no criminal records.)

“We’re going to get rid of the criminals and it’s gonna happen within one hour of when I take office, we start,” he boasted. “Bring them back where they came from.”

Snapshot from the trail: Sen. Joni Ernst’s ‘Roast and Ride’ in Iowa

Donald Trump under fire for comments about shooting death of Dwyane Wade’s cousin

(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

Donald Trump sought to use the shooting death of basketball player Dwyane Wade’s cousin as a political statement on Saturday, a move that drew scorn from some on social media.

On Friday, Nykea Aldridge, 32, was shot and killed while she pushed her baby in a stroller near an elementary school on Chicago’s South Side. The baby was not harmed in the shooting.

Trump, after a year of waging a presidential campaign marked by divisive and racially coded rhetoric, has recently sought to appeal to African American voters. The effort, note many political observers, is also an attempt to boost his poll numbers with moderate whites, who in surveys view past rhetoric by Trump to be racist.

At several rallies in recent weeks, Trump has insisted that African Americans have a right to walk down the street and not get “shot” in what he has described as neighborhoods worse than war zones.

The death of Wade’s cousin offered fodder to Trump on Saturday, who initially spelled Wade’s first name wrong.

“Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP,” he tweeted, though his polling numbers among blacks nationally are in the single digits. He later followed up with a tweet offering his condolences to Wade and his family.

Dozens of Twitter users assailed Trump for showing what they saw as a lack of sympathy.

Everytown, a group that works to pass stricter gun laws nationwide, tweeted that Trump truly does not care about ways to address gun violence.

The group cited Trump’s comments during the Republican primary, in which he said he could “shoot somebody” and would not lose votes.

On Saturday, Wade, a shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls, noted his cousin’s death as “senseless” gun violence and did not respond to Trump.

Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, dismissed Trump’s tweet when asked about it while campaining in Florida.

“We just ought to be extending our sympathy to the family. That’s the only reaction that is appropriate right now and maybe a sadness about this gun violence issue, which we know it’s complicated ... we should redouble our efforts to really adopt and promote smart strategies on that,” he said. “But the sympathy issue is the one that ought to be our strong first reaction.”

Updated - 4:41 p.m. This post was updated with comments from Tim Kaine.

Hillary Clinton receives first national security briefing

((John Locher / Associated Pres)

Hillary Clinton spent Saturday morning with officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, who briefed her on major threats facing the United States around the world.

Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, traveled to the FBI offices near her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., for the meeting, which lasted nearly two hours. The intelligence briefing was Clinton’s first and comes with just a little over two months until election day.

While secretary of State, Clinton regularly received intelligence briefings.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, received his first intelligence briefing 10 days ago. At the meeting, Trump was joined by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn.

Since the general election began earlier this summer, Clinton and Trump have lobbed attacks questioning each other’s temperament.

Clinton has insisted that Trump, who has called on banning Muslims from entering the country, would hurt the United States on the world stage.

Meanwhile, Trump has castigated Clinton for her support of the Iraq war (for which he also initially indicated support) and her call for allowing more Syrian refugees into the country — a move, he says, that would hinder the security of the country.

Vice President Joe Biden, on the U.S. role in the world: ‘It’s like “Ghostbusters” ’

(Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images Europe)

Vice President Joe Biden compared the U.S. role in the world to “Ghostbusters” as he said the nation must be involved but selective in responding to global crises.

“It’s like ‘Ghostbusters,’ man. When there’s a problem anywhere else, call Ghostbusters,” Biden said, referring to the 1984 movie — and 2016 reboot — about scientists who took on the paranormal, which was remade this year, and the signature line from its theme song: “If there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!”

“We’re Ghostbusters,” Biden went on, “so it makes sense that we are there to help them because it helps us.”

Biden made the remarks in a wide-ranging interview with the Atlantic in which he also discussed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s demeanor and foreign policy.

Biden spoke about his meetings with Clinton when she was secretary of State, saying that she came to him seeking advice, and pushing back at the notion that she is “stiff-necked.”

“She is much better than people think,” Biden said. “… Hillary has an open mind. I know she knows this, and I think that she can use her reputation for being hard-edged to some advantage. Everybody talks about her having a terrible relationship with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. That’s not such a bad thing right now because he knows he can’t push her around.”

Biden, who ran for president himself and considered another run this cycle, said he thought Clinton would be successful. Still, he offered some advice to the first woman to ever lead a major party’s presidential ticket.

“I am more optimistic about her chances, in large part, because of [Donald Trump]. But the truth is, and she says she’s no Bill Clinton, she’s not a natural — and sometimes paranoia is justified, you know? She has been so battered for so long,” Biden said. “But you understand my advice to Hillary to open up, to show your soul a little more, show your vulnerability. I could understand why, given her experiences, after 40 years of what she’s been through, that’s a hard thing to do.”

Opinion: Ties to Clinton Foundation are a knotty problem for Hillary’s campaign

(David Horsey/Los Angeles Times )

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