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Campaign 2016 updates: Donald Trump loses support of some Latino leaders who had backed his campaign

Donald Trump campaigns in Ohio as Joe Biden stumps for Hillary Clinton in the same state.

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Latinos for Trump founder: ‘You’re gonna have taco trucks on every corner’

Marco Gutierrez’s comments came after several of Donald Trump’s Latino advisors resigned following his immigration speech in Phoenix.

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Trump’s immigration speech decoded: What he said, what it means and how it would work

(Getty Images )

Donald Trump delivered a 10-point immigration plan in a fiery speech this week in Phoenix, but behind the bluster was the outline of one of the most sweeping and far-right immigration proposals in years.

Here’s a breakdown of some of Trump’s statements and what they signal about his plan for immigration reform.

“We will build a great wall”

Trump promises an “impenetrable, physical, tall, power, beautiful southern border wall.” But it’s an idea that has vexed lawmakers for years.

Homeland Security launched the Secure Border Initiative in 2005, and Congress later required double-layer fencing along the 2,000-mile border with Mexico. They quickly realized how hard it would be to finish. Anyone who has traveled to Big Bend National Park or to the Arizona desert knows the unforgiving terrain.

Costs soared, hitting nearly $4 million a mile in some areas, according to the Government Accountability Office, especially when property was in private hands.

An effort to build a virtual wall was a $1-billion flop, though radar and tunneling technology are currently used.

What exists today is a 650-mile fence in the most-trafficked areas. President Obama has declared that region essentially “secure.”

The prospect for building Trump’s wall? “Fantasy,” said Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.).

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Melania Trump sues Daily Mail over reports that she worked for escort service; Daily Mail issues retraction

(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Melania Trump is suing the Daily Mail and Maryland-based blog Tarpley for $150 million, claiming defamation related to reports that she once worked for an escort service.

Trump, represented by Hulk Hogan’s former lawyer Charles Harder, threatened last week to sue several news organizations over the reports. The first to publish the allegation was Slovenian outlet Suzy magazine, which the Daily Mail cited.

Harder’s statement reads: “These defendants made several statements about Mrs. Trump that are 100% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation.”

Tarpley retracted its report last week after being threatened with the lawsuit. After Trump filed her lawsuit Thursday, The Daily Mail retracted its original report, saying, “The Daily Mail newspaper article stated that there was no support for the allegations ... The point of the article was that these allegations could impact the U.S. presidential election even if they are untrue.”

Update: This post has been updated with more details.

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Network of Latino conservatives wants voters to leave ballot space blank, rather than vote for Trump or Clinton

Last month, a group of Latino conservatives met with Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York as part of an effort to temper his stands on immigration. Wednesday’s speech in Phoenix has killed their effort, seemingly for good.

“I thought we would try to move him to the center on immigration, to get him to support some sort of legalization,” Alfonso Aguilar, the head of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, said in a telephone interview.

On Thursday, Aguilar decided to withdraw his support for Trump.

“It was certainly a nativist speech, and it was very scary,” Aguilar said. “I thought it was a terrible speech. I decided to withdraw my support. It was clear I couldn’t support him.”

“You could tell it [the speech] was written by people who have that restrictionist philosophy and are obsessed with population control,” he said. “When was that a conservative position?”

Aguilar, who was the head of the office of citizenship in the George W. Bush administration, said he is encouraging fellow Latino conservatives to vote Republican in state and local races but to leave the space for president blank.

“We want people to vote, but not for Hillary and not for Trump and not for any of the other candidates,” he said.

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Snapshot from the trail: Tim Kaine in New Hampshire

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Hillary Clinton had her biggest fundraising month yet in August

(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton’s campaign enters September with $68 million banked after her biggest fundraising month to date.

When other affiliated fundraising committees are included, the Democratic Party and its standard-bearer headed into September with a combined $152 million to spend.

“We are heading into the final two months of the race with the resources we need to organize and mobilize millions of voters across the country,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a statement Thursday.

Clinton raised $143 million in August, her campaign said, $62 million directly for her campaign and $81 million for joint fundraising committees with the Democratic National Committee — the Hillary Victory Fund and Hillary Action Funds.

That’s an increase from the more than $89 million she and the joint committees raised in July, the month she accepted the Democratic presidential nomination.

The campaign said 2.3 million people have donated directly to her campaign, at an average of about $50.

Clinton spent much of August courting bigger checks at wealthy enclaves across the country, including a trip last week through Southern California and the Bay Area.

What she has not done as much is actually campaign. On Labor Day, she is scheduled to return to the trail in Ohio.

Republican Donald Trump has not yet announced his fundraising totals for August. He ended July with $38.4 million in cash on hand.

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Enrique Peña Nieto says -- again -- Mexico will not pay for a wall

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto insisted on Twitter on Thursday that Mexico would not pay for a wall on the U.S. border.

“I repeat what I told you in person, Mr. Trump: Mexico will never pay for a wall,” he tweeted in Spanish.

It followed similar comments he made a day earlier.

His response was to this tweet earlier on Thursday by Donald Trump.

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Mexican president calls Trump’s ideas ‘a threat to the future of Mexico’

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Donald Trump prepare to deliver a joint news conference Wednesday in Mexico City.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Donald Trump prepare to deliver a joint news conference Wednesday in Mexico City.
(Yuri Cortez / AFP/Getty Images)

Reversing a more diplomatic tone he set during a joint appearance with Donald Trump in the Mexican capital, President Enrique Peña Nieto called the Republican presidential candidate’s ideas a “threat to the future of Mexico.”

Peña Nieto’s hostile words came Wednesday night, hours after he met privately with Trump and shortly after the real estate mogul delivered an incendiary speech in Phoenix in which he repeatedly portrayed immigrants in the U.S. as dangerous criminals and vowed to force Mexico to pay for construction of a border wall.

Peña Nieto said Trump’s proposal to end free trade agreements and deport millions of immigrants are a danger to Mexico. “Imagine what that represents, and tell me it is not a risk to Mexico,” he said.

When the president appeared side by side with Trump after their meeting at his residence in Mexico City, Peña Nieto described the meeting as “open and constructive,” and said there had been “misunderstandings” about Trump’s comments about Mexicans in the past. They shook hands before they parted.

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Several of Donald Trump’s Latino advisors resign after his immigration speech

(Gerald Herbert / Associated Press)

Donald Trump has held photo ops with his National Hispanic Advisory Council and in recent weeks boasted about his increasing support from this crucial voting demographic.

But that was before his speech on immigration this week.

On Thursday, several who sit on the council announced their resignation, citing Trump’s refusal to truly listen to their views on immigration reform.

Jacob Monty, a Houston-based immigration lawyer who was a member of the council, said in a Facebook post that he gave Trump a plan that would “improve border security, remove hardened criminal aliens and most importantly, give work authority to millions of honest, hard-working immigrants” in the country.

“He rejected that,” wrote Monty, announcing his resignation from the council after Trump’s speech. “So I must reject him.”

In his immigration address Wednesday, Trump put forward several hard-line proposals, including new limits and entry criteria for legal immigrants, while also reaffirming a pledge to deny legal status to anyone who remains in the country illegally.

CBS News reported Thursday that 15 of nearly two dozen members on the council had resigned.

Ramiro Pena, a Texas pastor on the council, told Politico that Trump’s speech had potentially cost him the election. Pena added that he’d have to reconsider being part of a “scam.”

Alfonso Aguilar, who oversees Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, is not on the council but was another prominent surrogate of Trump’s who backed off his support Thursday.

“For the last two months, he said he was not going to deport people without criminal records,” Aguilar said on CNN. “And then we heard yesterday, and I was totally disappointed — not surprised, but disappointed — and slightly misled, because he gave the impression and the campaign gave the impression until yesterday morning that he was going to deal with the undocumented in a compassionate way.”

Trump’s remarks came after he visited Mexico earlier in the day, offering subdued remarks alongside the country’s president. During the visit, Trump noted that he has “tremendous feeling for Mexican Americans.”

The comments, a clear shift in tone, were far from his invective this election cycle when he denounced Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and drug runners in his first campaign speech

Last month, Trump held a roundtable meeting with members of the council, where they discussed creating jobs and the Republican presidential nominee’s plans on immigration.

Among those who attended was Colorado state Rep. Clarice Navarro, who said she left feeling optimistic about Trump.

“I’ve always felt he does care about the Latino community, and now it’s on us to get him elected,” she said at the time.

On Thursday, she could not be reached for comment.

Florida Pastor Alberto Delgado said on MSNBC he would remain a member of the council.

“This is the plan he has, so we have to work with what he has and we must try soften that projection,” he said in reference to Trump’s combative tone.

Updated at 12:48 p.m.: This post was updated with additional comments.

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Joe Biden: Trump’s choking on the ‘silver spoon in his mouth’ by backtracking

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Trump uses friendly words about Mexico to soften combative rhetoric on illegal immigration

(Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

Donald Trump pressed forward Thursday with his new two-pronged approach to illegal immigration, using friendly rhetoric about Mexico to take some of the edge off his strict border-enforcement agenda.

“We are going to uphold the laws of the nation and defend our sovereignty and security, and we are going to defend our border,” the Republican presidential nominee told an American Legion conference in Cincinnati.

“I just came back from a wonderful meeting with the president of Mexico, where I expressed my deep respect for the people of his country, and for the tremendous contributions of Mexican Americans in our country.”

Trump’s remarks came the morning after a combative speech on illegal immigration in Phoenix. He affirmed his opposition to granting legal status to any of the estimated 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally, but left unclear whether he still favors deporting all of them.

For weeks, Trump has struggled to soften his immigration rhetoric to broaden his appeal for the general election without turning off the white blue-collar voters who backed him in the GOP primaries.

The Phoenix speech was preceded by Trump’s surprise meeting in Mexico City with President Enrique Peña Nieto. On Thursday morning, Trump did not mention that Peña Nieto had contradicted his statement that the two did not discuss his pledge to force Mexico to pay for a border wall.

Peña Nieto, facing sharp criticism in Mexico for inviting Trump, said he told the Republican candidate that Mexico would not pay for the wall.

Reading from a teleprompter in Cincinnati, Trump thanked Peña Nieto “for his gracious hospitality.” Mexico and the U.S. can work together to accomplish great things for both countries,” he said.

“We agreed in the meeting on the need to stop the illegal flow of guns, drugs, cash and people across the border and to take out the cartels,” said Trump, who has previously accused Mexico of sending rapists and other criminals into the U.S.

After months of fuming over the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs as companies shift operations to Mexico, Trump was less confrontational in Cincinnati, saying he and Peña Nieto had “talked about the importance of working to keep jobs and wealth in our hemisphere.”

“A more prosperous Mexico means fewer illegal border crossings, and a better market for products made in the United States,” Trump said. “When I am president, I am going to look at every trade deal we have across the world and see what steps must be taken to protect American jobs and create new opportunities for the American worker.”

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Analysis: In immigration speech, Donald Trump spurns softened tone and threatens Republican future

Donald Trump’s aggressively tough speech on immigration buried the notion that he planned to pivot away from the posture that got him the Republican nomination to a gentler position tailored for more moderate general election voters, Republicans included.

It also may have buried his party’s strategy for long-term survival — the effort to appeal to the Latino and Asian voters who are replacing the waning numbers of white voters on whom the GOP has long depended.

Trump’s Wednesday night remarks made clear that he intends to try to win the presidency with the group that won him the nomination — mostly male, white voters who feel stressed by the economy, the rapid changes in American society or both — in defiance of fears even among other Republicans that such a base is not big enough to secure the White House.

Nothing in his speech served to expand his reach among minority Americans. For some Republicans who have worked for decades to diversify their party, the result felt apocalyptic.

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The 2 sides of Donald Trump, in 1 day

(Getty Images)

Donald Trump displayed the two competing personas of his campaign on Wednesday — the instinct-based, aggressive, blaring personality that won him the GOP primary and the more sedate, traditional politician facade he increasingly has employed to win support during the general election.

The GOP presidential nominee was downright subdued when he appeared in Mexico City at a joint news conference with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, talking about his appreciation for Latinos and their work ethic and not getting baited by a question about one of his long-standing campaign promises: to make Mexico pay for an enormous border wall.

Hours later, Trump was throwing the reddest meat to thousands of boisterous supporters as he outlined his immigration plan in Phoenix.

“Together, we can save American lives, American jobs and American futures,” he thundered. “Together, we can save America itself.”

The day followed a pattern in Trump’s presidential run. Whenever he tried to contain his impulses, he frequently lashed out in the aftermath.

Take the time in late April when he delivered an important foreign policy speech and then a few days later questioned whether the father of his then-rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. Or in June, when he spoke about the gravity of being the GOP’s nominee, only to shortly thereafter mock his vanquished GOP rivals and the party whose standard-bearer he had become.

In recent weeks, the question has been whether and how long Trump’s most recent reboot, including teleprompter speeches and far fewer frequent stream-of-consciousness asides would last.

Wednesday may offer a clue: By the evening rally, Trump returned to form with his manner and gut-level connection with his core voters. But he largely stuck to his prepared remarks.

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Twitter flabbergasted at new ‘Make Mexico Great Again Also’ hats

Donald Trump first promised to “Make America Great Again.” Now, he and his supporters will extend the same pledge and “Make Mexico Great Again Also.”

After the GOP nominee visited with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico City on Wednesday, hats with the new phrase appeared on the heads of top Trump backers — former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

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Tim Kaine calls Trump’s visit to Mexico ‘diplomatic amateur hour,’ warns of making U.S. ‘deportation nation’

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine on Thursday dismissed Donald Trump’s foray to Mexico as a bumbling “choke,” and warned that the Republican presidential candidate’s immigration plan will turn the U.S. into “deportation nation.”

“This is kind of a diplomatic amateur hour by Donald Trump,” Kaine said on NBC’s “Today” show.

Trump’s wild Wednesday was a landmark moment in the presidential campaign -- he made a hastily arranged visit to see Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and then delivered a fiery immigration speech in Phoenix.

Trump initially won praise from some after his trip to Mexico City portrayed him in a more presidential manner, speaking alongside Mexico’s president about building a cooperative relationship.

But conflicting accounts afterward concerning what was said about Trump’s signature issue -- having Mexico pay for his proposed new border wall -- handed Democrats an opening to attack the GOP candidate’s self-touted negotiating skill as a weakness.

Rival Hillary Clinton’s team seized on the issue after Trump said the issue of paying for a wall didn’t come up, but the Mexican president said he made it clear that his country would not be paying for it.

“That did not come up in a meeting?” Kaine asked Thursday. “He suddenly just choked and forgot to say that?”

If true, Kaine said, Trump “sort of folded under pressure.”

In his speech in Phoenix, Trump doubled-down on his hard-line immigration plans in a fiery address reminiscent of his crowd-pleasing rallies during the primary season, instead of a more measured general-election appeal to swing voters.

Trump reiterated that Mexico would pay for the wall. “100%,” he said.

Kaine called out Trump on the two approaches, noting that the Republican’s proposal will essentially turn America into a “deportation nation.”

“Leadership is you got to be consistent -- you can’t say different things to different audiences,” Kaine said.

“When he’s looking the leader of Mexico in the eye, he can’t bring himself to say it, that tells me something about his backbone and his resolve.”

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Trump backs away from mass deportation, but his immigration speech packs a slew of hard-line proposals

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, left, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shake hands after a joint statement in Mexico City on Aug. 31.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, left, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump shake hands after a joint statement in Mexico City on Aug. 31.
(Dario Lopez-Mills / Associated Pres)

Donald Trump on Wednesday backed off his plan to forcibly deport the estimated 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, but the Republican presidential candidate’s speech outlining his immigration policy was hardly the “softening” he had previously floated.

In a much-anticipated address, Trump delivered a raft of hard-line proposals, including new limits and entry criteria for legal immigrants, promises to crack down on welfare abusers, proposals to end the automatic renewal of visa programs and a pledge to deny legal status to anyone who remains in the country illegally.

“Our message to the world will be this: You cannot obtain legal status or obtain citizenship in the United States by illegally entering our country,” Trump said to cheers from thousands of supporters here. “People will know that you can’t just smuggle in, hunker down and wait to be legalized. ... Those days are over.”

By cutting off any chance of legal status for those here illegally, Trump would force those not deported under his plan to return home on their own before applying for entry.

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Transcript: Donald Trump’s full immigration speech, annotated

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Times journalists are annotating this speech. If you see a passage highlighted in yellow, you can click on it to see what we have to say about it. You can also highlight passages and leave your own comments.

Speech as delivered.

Wow. Thank you. That’s a lot of people, Phoenix, that’s a lot of people.

Thank you very much.

Thank you, Phoenix. I am so glad to be back in Arizona.

The state that has a very, very special place in my heart. I love people of Arizona and together we are going to win the White House in November.

Now, you know this is where it all began for me. Remember that massive crowd also. So, I said let’s go and have some fun tonight. We’re going to Arizona, OK?

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