Campaign 2016 updates: Donald Trump indicates allowing those in the country illegally to stay if they join military


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will appear back-to-back at a town hall on military issues in New York..

Trump offers people in the country illegally a way to stay: Join the military

Under a Donald Trump administration, there could be at least one way for people here illegally to avoid deportation: Join the military.

Asked whether plans to join the armed forces might provide a path to legal residence, the Republican presidential nominee said it was likely.

“I could see myself working that out, absolutely,” he said Wednesday in New York at the “Commander in Chief Forum” hosted by NBC. “Military is a very special thing.

“It would be a very special circumstance,” he said.

Throughout the Republican primary, Trump insisted that anyone in the country illegally would be deported under his administration. He also questioned the constitutional guarantee of U.S. citizenship to anybody born here.

In recent weeks, however, he has dialed back, saying that mass deportation is unlikely and that he would focus on immigrants without legal status who have criminal records.

Trump has said he opposes President Obama’s executive action known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which allows exemptions from deportations to some young people in the country illegally.

Those who have served in the military are eligible, though federal courts have halted applications.


Trump stands by tweet blaming sexual assaults in military on men and women serving together

Donald Trump is standing by a tweet he wrote in which he blamed thousands of sexual assaults in the military on men and women serving together.

“Well, it is a correct tweet. There are many people that think that’s absolutely correct,” Trump said when asked at a town hall forum by moderator Matt Lauer on Wednesday night about a tweet he posted in 2013.

Three years ago, Trump tweeted: “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”

Lauer asked whether that meant that men and women should not serve together.

“Well, it’s happening, right? And since then it’s gotten worse,” Trump responded. “Not take them out, but something has to happen. Right now part of the problem is nobody gets prosecuted.… You have the report of rape and nobody gets prosecuted. There are no consequences.”

In 2014, then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel put forth initiatives designed to address rape and other sexual assaults in the military. A Pentagon report estimated that 19,000 troops were victims of “unwanted sexual contact”--down from an estimated 26,000 two years earlier.

Trump appeared with Lauer at a forum sponsored by NBC News in New York.


A 2009 email exchange between Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton is released

A newly released email exchange between former Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell shed light on how much advice he gave her about how to balance the desire for timely communication with security concerns.

The exchange is from Jan. 23, 2009, as Clinton took office. As Clinton has come under fire during her presidential campaign for using a personal server to conduct government business, Powell has said that he hadn’t discussed the matter until a year after Clinton’s tenure began.

The newly public email shows Clinton asked him for advice, saying she’d heard he used a BlackBerry “but no one ‘fesses up to knowing how you used it!”

Powell corrected her, saying he didn’t use a BlackBerry but described his own workaround for using email outside State Department servers.

Last month, Powell accused Clinton’s campaign team of trying to “pin” her use of a private server on him.


Trump cites resignation of Mexican official as proof his Mexico visit was successful

Donald Trump pointed to the resignation earlier Wednesday of a high-ranking Mexican official as proof that his trip to Mexico last week was a success.

“If you look at what happened, look at the aftermath today, the people who arranged the trip in Mexico have been forced out of government,” Trump said in a commander-in-chief forum hosted by NBC News in New York. “That’s how well we did, and that’s how well we’re going to do have to do.”

Trump was referring to the resignation of Finance Minister Luis Videgaray, who reportedly lobbied hard to invite Trump to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto last week. Trump did not explain why the departure of Videgaray, long considered Peña Nieto’s closest advisor, constituted a success for his campaign.

The meeting in Mexico City stirred controversy on both sides of the border. Trump said he did not discuss one of his signature campaign issues – making Mexico pay for an enormous border wall – with Peña Nieto. The Mexican president later said he told the GOP nominee at the start of their meeting that his nation would not be paying for a border wall.

Trump made his remarks about the finance minister in response to a question by moderator Matt Lauer about whether his temperament--and his acknowledgment that he sometimes says things he later regrets--undermined his ability to be the nation’s commander in chief.

In addition to mentioning Videgaray, Trump answered the question about temperament by pointing to his success in the GOP primary.

“When you say regret, yeah, sure, I regret, but in the meantime I beat 16 people and here I am. I would have liked to have done it in nicer manner, but I had 16 very talented people I had to go through,” Trump said.


Clinton says her email practices don’t disqualify her

Pressed during a prime-time town hall about why her email scandal did not disqualify her to be commander in chief, Hillary Clinton pushed back on Wednesday, saying that while she made a mistake in using a private server to conduct government business, her actions did not compromise national security.

“The real question is the handling of classified material,” she said, adding that she had experience dealing with such sensitive matters because of her time on the Senate Armed Services Committee and as secretary of State. “Classified material has a header which says, ‘Top secret, secret, confidential.’ Nothing — and I will repeat this, and this is verified in the report by the DOJ — none of the emails sent or received by me had such a header.”

That is true, but FBI documents released Friday said that email contained the notation (c), standing for confidential. Clinton told investigators that she thought it might reference “paragraphs marked in alphabetical order.”


Hillary Clinton can’t escape questions about her support for the Iraq war

She regrets her support for the invasion of Iraq, but it’s an issue that continues to dog Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

At the outset of a forum Wednesday on national security and veterans issues, Clinton was pressed about her 2002 vote in favor of sending troops into Iraq.

“The decision to go to war in Iraq was a mistake, and I have said that my voting to give President Bush that authority was, from my perspective, my mistake,” she said.

During the 2008 Democratic primary, then-candidate Barack Obama consistently assailed Clinton for her vote, and this election cycle Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made it a wedge issue.

Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, has in recent weeks hit Clinton for her support, while saying he opposed the war. However, Trump, in a 2002 interview with radio host Howard Stern indicated his support for the war.

“He supported it before it happened, he supported it as it was happening,” Clinton said during the forum.


Clinton immediately focuses on experience and temperament in commander-in-chief forum

Hillary Clinton immediately turned to her experience in government and her temperament as she argued during Wednesday’s prime-time town hall on military issues that she is most qualified to be the nation’s commander in chief.

Asked by moderator Matt Lauer the most important quality for the leader of the nation’s armed forces, Clinton replied: “Steadiness. An absolute rock steadiness mixed with strength to be able to make the hard decisions. I’ve had the unique experience watching and working with several presidents, and these are not easy decisions because if they were, they wouldn’t get to the president in the first place.”

Clinton repeated an experience she frequently describes on the campaign trail: being in the Situation Room as secretary of State while the raid that killed Osama bin Laden unfolded.

Though she agreed at the outset not to attack rival Donald Trump, the argument was an implicit criticism of the GOP nominee’s lack of experience in government, and some of the incendiary statements he has made about foreign policy. Eleven minutes into the forum, she directly attacked Trump by name by raising his conflicting statements on the invasion of Iraq.


Hillary Clinton grilled on emails during forum on national security


Donald Trump, down nearly 20 points in New York, insists ‘we are going to play so hard and win’ it

Donald Trump spoke for about 20 minutes in front of some of the people who know him best, New Yorkers noshing pasta and hand-carved turkey in a hotel ballroom near Times Square.

Trump, down an average of nearly 20 points in the polls here, sounded as if he had it in the bag.

“We are going to play so hard and win,” he said.


Sure, Trump is down big in New York. So what? ‘He’s one of us.’

Polls have Donald Trump losing New York state by an average of nearly 20 percentage points. And yes, it’s about as solidly blue as you can get.

But don’t tell that to the couple hundred members of the state’s Conservative Party who were mingling over beer, wine and hand-carved turkey Wednesday night in a Marriott Marquis hotel ballroom near Times Square.

The party was set to give Trump its endorsement Wednesday night. And the candidate, who has been criticized for spending his scarce time in states that are considered uncompetitive, planned to show up, just before a live network television candidates’ forum being filmed nearby at NBC.

“I think he believes he can win New York,” said Mike Long, chairman of the Conservative Party. “Not all the staff is on board, but a good portion of the staff is on board.”

So is Long, who insists Trump is being underestimated and that Hillary Clinton has no enthusiasm behind her.

“That blunt style is real New York style,” said David Curcio, a 38-year-old attorney from Staten Island, perhaps the only conservative enclave in the region.

When a reporter mentions that Clinton is a former New York senator, Curcio’s mother interjects with a bit of her own New York style.

“She’s a carpetbagger!” said Carol D’Amato, who dispels any notion that she is related to Alfonse D’Amato, the former Republican senator, before the question is asked.

She admits New York is tough for Trump, because there are so many liberals. But she makes an appeal that she believes will carry the day.

“He’s one of us,” she said. “You should vote for one of your own.”


Mitt Romney weighs in on the upcoming debates


Ted Cruz blasts Obama’s comments about Kaepernick

Sen. Ted Cruz castigated President Obama for defending NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s right to protest by kneeling during the national anthem.

“I’m disappointed to see President Obama stand with Kaepernick and say, ‘That’s right, disrespect the flag.’ That’s not the job of the president,” Cruz said, according to a TMZ video released Wednesday. “The president should be standing up for America and the president should be encouraging every American to honor the flag that so many have bled and died for, and to honor the freedom that it stands for.”

Cruz made the remarks in response to a question about Kaepernick, whom he labeled a “rich, spoiled athlete” who failed to recognize the nation’s greatness.

Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, created headlines when he protested police brutality and the treatment of minorities in this country by kneeling during the national anthem late last month. The move was met with condemnation and praise -- some fans responded by burning his jersey; others sent sales of the jersey skyrocketing.

Asked about the controversy, Obama on Monday said that for some it is a “tough thing” to see Kaepernick kneel, but also said he was “exercising his constitutional right to make a statement.” He added that the flap has prompted people to talk about issues of race, equality and discrimination.


Why a conservative California mega-donor gave more than $100,000 to Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign

B. Wayne Hughes Jr., the Malibu-based conservative mega-donor and registered Republican, has never given to a third-party candidate in his life as far as he can recall.

But two weeks ago, the businessman and philanthropist ponied up $117,000 to Gary Johnson’s Libertarian bid for the presidency — the legal limit one can give directly to a campaign.

“A third-party voice is necessary to the public discussion,” Hughes said in an interview Wednesday. “I’m tired of all the mudslinging.”

Hughes, whose father founded the self-storage company Public Storage, said he was attracted to the “Libertarian mindset [of] less government, less interference, more freedom.”

A criminal-justice-reform advocate who put more than $1 million behind California’s 2014 initiative to reclassify certain drug and theft crimes as misdemeanors, Hughes said Johnson, the former GOP governor of New Mexico, and his running mate, Bill Weld, are similarly committed to overhauling the country’s approach on crime.

“My sense is that they agree with the Supreme Court that we have an over-incarceration problem,” said Hughes, who decided to back the ticket after a 90-minute phone call with Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts.

Hughes’ six-figure donation is a boost to Johnson’s campaign, which has raised $3 million through July. But Hughes said he would limit his help to direct campaign contributions, as opposed to aiding an outside super PAC that can take in unlimited contributions to assist Johnson.

He is no stranger to independent efforts; Hughes sat on the board of the conservative American Action Network in 2010, when it helped power a Republican wave to take over the House of Representatives.

“You don’t know where that money’s going. You don’t know what fees are being paid to the people that are running it,” Hughes said of outside political groups. “I just didn’t want to play that game.”

For now, he said, the biggest task for Johnson is to qualify for the presidential debates. To be eligible, the Libertarian contender must get an average of 15% support in five post-Labor Day national polls. So far, Johnson has hovered just short of that threshold.

“He has to get on stage,” Hughes said. “He has to get the chance to make the Libertarian case to American public, to stand there and contrast himself to the two other candidates. I think the contrast will be breathtaking.”


While discussing what Clinton’s cough means about her health, Gingrich starts coughing

(Mary Altaffer / Associated Press)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took to the radio waves to discuss Hillary Clinton’s health – a favorite meme among conservative conspiracy theorists as of late. But moments after he called the Democratic nominee’s recent coughing fit “a little disturbing,” Gingrich had to pause for a brief throat spasm himself.

Gingrich, speaking on Sean Hannity’s radio show, said Monday that he hoped Clinton was OK, and recalled former President Bill Clinton’s cough during the 1990s that Gingrich said was caused by acid reflux.

“Her cough is much deeper than his and lasts much longer, so I don’t know what her problem is,” said Gingrich, who unsuccessfully ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. “But I would think both for her own help and to reassure the country, that she ought to do something about this. And I’m really surprised her doctors are not more aggressive.”

Hannity said that Clinton’s Labor Day coughing attack lasted 4 minutes 22 seconds, before adding that he had issues with his throat because of his job, and has lost his voice when he was doing radio and television and giving speeches at the same time.

“It’s a pretty scary thing if that’s how you make your living,” he said.

Minutes later, as the pair discussed the presidential campaign, Gingrich abruptly coughed in a dry, hacking manner.

“Now you sound like Hillary. Can I get you a drink of water?” Hannity said before adding that Gingrich’s cough “didn’t last 4 minutes and 20 seconds, thank God.”

“No, I’m in good shape. At least I’m in better shape than Hillary,” Gingrich replied.

His throat dries out because he flies so much, Gingrich said.

He made no mention that Clinton herself is doing much the same as she crisscrosses the nation for rallies and fundraisers.


Donald Trump doesn’t want to talk about his ‘birther’ comments, but Mike Pence speaks up

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Donald Trump won’t talk about his role as a so-called “birther,” those who have questioned the citizenship of President Obama.

But his running mate wants to end the conversation.

“I believe Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. I accept his birthplace,” Indiana Gov. Mike Pence told reporters on Wednesday, declining to say if he thinks Trump should apologize.

Earlier this week, Trump, with Pence at his side aboard the Republican nominee’s plane, refused to answer questions about his past comments in which he consistently speculated that Obama was not born in the United States.

In 2011, Trump was a vocal spokesman for the fringe conservative “birther” movement, raising questions in television interviews about whether nation’s first black president was actually born in Kenya. He called on Obama to release his birth certificate — which Obama did in 2011. Many viewed Trump’s rhetoric as racially charged.

Asked by reporters traveling with him this week, Trump declined to speak about it.

“I don’t talk about it because if I talk about that, your whole thing will be about that,” Trump said. “So I don’t talk about it.”

His response has been similar when asked about it in local television interviews in recent weeks.

These questions come as Trump has sought to court the support of black voters, who in national polls overwhelmingly support Obama and the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

On Tuesday, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who challenged Trump for the GOP nomination and has now become a top surrogate in helping him try to boost support among blacks, indicated that walking back those comments could benefit Trump.

An apology, he said, would be a “good idea.”

Watch Trump speak on the birther issue in a 2011 interview:


Political fallout from Trump’s Mexico visit continues

Mexico’s finance minister, who urged President Enrique Peña Nieto to invite Donald Trump to a meeting last week that was widely panned as a political disaster, has stepped down.

Peña Nieto said Wednesday that he had accepted Finance Minister Luis Videgaray’s resignation. He quickly appointed a replacement Wednesday morning.

One of the president’s closest confidants, Videgaray is believed to have been a leading advocate for the Trump visit.

After the controversial meeting last Wednesday, which led to the Republican presidential candidate and Peña Nieto emerging with competing narratives about whether Mexico would pay for construction of a border wall, Videgaray was one of few public figures who publicly defended the president amid an avalanche of criticism.

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About those 30 ‘missing’ Benghazi emails...

Republicans hopeful that a batch of 30 Hillary Clinton emails apparently unearthed by the FBI would reveal new embarrassing details of how she handled the Benghazi, Libya, attacks while she was secretary of State were dealt some disappointment Wednesday.

There appears to be only one new communication related to Benghazi in the emails the FBI found, Politico reported , and it isn’t that interesting. It’s a complimentary note from a diplomat to Clinton, praising how she handled herself before a Senate panel investigating the matter.

The State Department had earlier reported that as many as 30 new emails related to Benghazi would be released before the presidential election. But government lawyers said in a court filing Wednesday that it turns out all the documents other than the fan letter from the diplomat had previously been disclosed or were “near duplicates” of messages already disclosed.

Judicial Watch, the conservative group that sued the State Department to force disclosure of Benghazi-related documents, is skeptical of the “near duplicate” characterization. It is asking the court to order the State Department to turn over those documents.


Could OkCupid be the latest source for GOP voter data?

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield is confident Republicans will retain control of the House.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images))

House Republicans are fighting to retain control of the chamber this fall, and they face looming priorities like stemming the Zika crisis and averting a government shutdown on a Sept. 30 funding deadline.

But on Wednesday, they spent some a few lighter moments reviewing how the partisan divide can often be found on popular dating sites like OkCupid.

At their first private session after returning from the long summer recess, House Republicans closed with a cheeky presentation on the interests most cited by liberals and conservatives in their dating profiles.

Among the findings? “Yoga” ranked high among liberals; “Marines” by conservatives, according to a GOP source granted anonymity to discuss the private meeting. The presentation was based on a study released in July by OkCupid.

GOP Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield is known for lightening up the often rocky GOP huddles, sometimes by showing movie clips.


Mexican minister who pushed for Trump visit resigns

The Mexican Cabinet minister who reportedly lobbied hard to invite Donald Trump for a visit with President Enrique Peña Nieto has resigned, according to news reports. Mexican officials did not give a reason why Finance Minister Luis Videgaray has vacated his post.

But the way the Trump visit played out surely did not help his career in politics.

The meeting stirred outrage in Mexico, where Peña Nieto already was grappling with dismal approval ratings. Resentment among Mexicans only grew after Trump flew back across the U.S. border and delivered a blistering anti-immigration address just hours after the meeting, renewing his vow that Mexico would be paying for the massive border wall he envisions.

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Donald Trump says he would restore hundreds of billions in military cuts, but it’s unclear how he’d pay for it

(Evan Vucci / AP)

Donald Trump released a plan to restore hundreds of billions of dollars in military cuts if elected president, but did not say how he would pay for it.

Trump has long called the state of the military a “disaster,” blaming President Obama for neglect. Trump, who planned to deliver his military plan during a speech at Philadelphia’s Union Club Wednesday morning, is wading into a budget debate that has at times consumed Obama’s second term.

Obama too has repeatedly called upon Congress to end the mandatory federal spending cuts that were imposed as part of a last-resort deficit deal in 2011 that was intended to be so unpalatable to Republicans and Democrats alike that they would never be enacted.

But the so-called sequestration cuts — $1 trillion worth of deep reductions over the decade, hitting almost every aspect of government — took effect in 2013 after lawmakers failed to reach a compromise to avert them.

Republicans in Congress have supported ending the military portion of the cuts, but have failed to strike a permanent deal with Obama because they do not want to also end other cuts in domestic spending, as Obama has demanded.

If Trump wins and keeps a Republican Congress, he could accomplish the goal without restoring other domestic spending cuts. But it would add about $500 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years unless other cuts are made, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a fiscally hawkish think tank.

Trump’s military plan would also put an added priority on cyber defense and missile defense, and would ask generals to submit a plan within his first 30 days to defeat Islamic State militants, something the military has been working on for years.

Though current and former commanders agree that sending thousands of more troops to Iraq may hasten Islamic State’s defeat there, many worry it is not likely to have a long-term effect that is in the U.S. interest.

The Obama administration, which is in close contact with battlefield commanders, hopes if Iraqi forces deliver defeat to the militant group, they will be less reliant upon the U.S. to fight against future insurgents.

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When can you call it a news conference? Trump’s tracking of Clinton avoiding the media hits a snag

Donald Trump had his media blacklist, but Hillary Clinton has been no big fan of political reporters, either.

She has spent most of the campaign avoiding interactions with them, and her aversion is a favorite target of Republicans. Trump and others have been keeping a running clock of the number of days since Clinton last held a media availability. By Labor Day weekend, it had surpassed 270 days.

But lately, the strategy has hit a glitch. When Clinton began flying on the same plane as reporters last weekend, she started to engage. Twice already she has responded to the queries of the media scrum for extended periods.

Republicans, though, are refusing to pause their no-news-conference clocks. The predictable flurry of debate on media Twitter has ensued.


The Internet asks Evan McMullin, who is Nathan Johnson?

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin thought he could use a placeholder name as his running mate in applications to appear on state presidential ballots.

Now, McMullin, running as a conservative alternative to Donald Trump, is stuck with “Nathan Johnson” as a vice presidential candidate on the ballots in eight of the nine states in which he qualifies.

That has Twitter users wondering, who is Nathan Johnson?

“Nathan is a guy who’s on the ballot right now with the full understanding that this is going to swap out in the immediate future,” McMullin senior advisor Rick Wilson told Politico.

McMullin already faced setbacks due to his late entry into the race and missed deadlines to qualify for the ballot in several states, including California, Texas and Alabama.


Trump ends media blacklist

For months, Donald Trump has been banning news outlets that fell out of favor with him from attending his campaign events. It hasn’t proved a particularly effective strategy.

The outlets, which included the Washington Post, Politico and Huffington Post, continued to cover him, and Trump often couldn’t resist engaging directly with the very news organizations he had sworn off.

The blacklist became a news event itself, feeding a narrative from Hillary Clinton’s campaign that Trump is thin-skinned and not transparent. Now, CNN reports, it is over.


The Trump campaign’s Roger Ailes factor

Former Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes has been actively involved in advising Donald Trump since his recent resignation from the network amid allegations that he sexually harassed women employees. The optics are not good for Trump, particularly after Fox just agreed to pay a multimillion-dollar settlement to one of Ailes’ accusers. Here, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway tries to explain Ailes’ role.


Clinton makes pitch to conservative Latinos

Hillary Clinton is reaching out to conservative Latinos in the hard-fought battleground state of Florida with a new Spanish-language advertisement starring the secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush.

In the ad, Carlos Gutierrez, the former Cabinet official, talks about how he has been a Republican all his life but cannot bring himself to vote for Donald Trump. He says he is an “American first” and a Trump presidency would be dangerous for the country. The video includes a photo of Gutierrez with Bush.

The ad targets what will be a crucial demographic in a state that could once again decide the election. Unlike other Trump strongholds, Florida is a place the Republican cannot win without a coalition that includes a large share of minority voters. He has been scrambling to reach out to them, but the efforts have been hampered by the hard line Trump continues to take on immigration.

Clinton sees an opening to win over the conservative Latinos in the state who typically vote Republican. Gutierrez is just the latest of several prominent Republicans nationwide to endorse Clinton, as her campaign sharpens its pitch to GOP-leaning voters unsettled by Trump.

The campaign also released on Wednesday another Spanish-language ad, to run in Florida and Nevada, that mirrors some of the English-language ads it is already running. It features Trump disparaging immigrants in the U.S. illegally as criminals and rapists.


Hannity hopes for Wikileaks founder’s freedom

I do hope you get free one day. I wish you the best.

— Sean Hannity, host of Fox News’ “Hannity.” He interviewed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Sept. 6 and asked Assange about a future release of documents on Hillary Clinton.


Hillary Clinton is not the only one with foundation problems

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Hillary Clinton has tried every imaginable argument to confront voter concerns about the Clinton Foundation and her ties to its big donors. She has touted its charitable work, denied vehemently any conflicts of interest and warned about all the impoverished people who would be hurt if its work were to stop.

None of the talking points have assuaged voter concerns.

Now, Clinton is working to shift the spotlight onto foundation work that may have compromised Donald Trump. She and Bill Clinton are aggressively attacking a Trump nonprofit’s $25,000 political donation to a group supporting Florida Atty. Gen. Pam Bondi at the same time Bondi’s office was looking into allegations that Trump University defrauded its students.

Bondi never filed charges against Trump or his real-estate course, saying her office was satisfied that litigation set in motion elsewhere would address the matter.

But the IRS fined Trump’s nonprofit $2,500 for violating rules that prohibit charities from making political contributions. The Clintons call it a classic pay-to-play and the campaign’s surrogates have been arguing that the media holds Hillary Clinton to a double standard.

Trump’s relationship to Bondi is not a new development. It was discussed when Trump University emerged as an issue earlier in the presidential race. But the Clinton campaign is digging into it aggressively after the IRS fine came to light and as Trump makes allegations of corruption by Clinton the focal point of his campaign. Clinton is hoping to neutralize those allegations.

The focus on Trump’s foundation also presents Clinton yet another opportunity to raise one of her campaign’s favorite subjects: Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns. He is the first presidential nominee in decades to fail to do so.

“The list goes on and on: the scams, the frauds, the questionable relationships, the business activities that have stiffed workers,” Clinton said on her campaign plane Monday. “Clearly, his tax returns tell a story the American people deserve and need to know.”


Dallas Morning News breaks 75-year tradition to endorse Clinton

The Dallas Morning News has not endorsed a Democrat for president since before World War II. Nearly 20 elections have come and gone since then and the paper has stuck with the Republican nominee in every one of them, its editorial board notes, saying the party more closely shares its values of free markets and strong national defense.

This election, it is going in another direction. The Texas paper has endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Donald “Trump’s values are hostile to conservatism,” the editorial board wrote. “He plays on fear — exploiting base instincts of xenophobia, racism and misogyny — to bring out the worst in all of us, rather than the best. His serial shifts on fundamental issues reveal an astounding absence of preparedness. And his improvisational insults and midnight tweets exhibit a dangerous lack of judgment and impulse control.”

Texas has long been a stronghold for Republicans, and it is a must-win state for Trump. Most polls show him leading there – but not as comfortably as Republicans have in the past, suggesting Democrats are gaining ground in their years-long push to at least turn the state purple.

They are getting a boost from a population that is growing increasingly diverse. The uneasiness that many Latinos have with Trump is hampering his efforts to lock down Texas in this cycle, and Democrats are confident that growing share of the electorate will stick with them.

In an extensive 50-state poll released this week by the Washington Post and SurveyMonkey, Clinton and Trump were in a dead heat in Texas, a finding that surprised strategists who anticipated the state would not be in play this cycle. The poll surveyed more than 5,000 Texans.