Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump get face time with foreign leaders in New York
As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump vie to represent U.S. interests around the world, they had a series of dry runs on Monday with foreign leaders who were in town for the United Nations General Assembly.
Based on accounts from campaign officials and reporters who were able to glimpse snippets of the meetings, it was clear that Clinton, a former secretary of State under President Obama, had more experience than Trump, a New York businessman.
“It really is a great pleasure to see you here again,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Clinton during their meeting. He expressed his sympathy for the recent bombings in New York and New Jersey, and talked about trying to “create a society where women can shine.”
Clinton, who would be the first female U.S. president, thanked Abe and praised him for promoting the “inclusion of women in the economic, social and political life of your country.”
Both Clinton and Trump sat down with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi, separately, of course.
Trump expressed support for Egypt’s struggles with domestic terrorism and noted “his high regard for peace-loving Muslims,” according to a description from his campaign. It’s unclear whether they discussed Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, an idea he has recently recast as “extreme vetting.”
Clinton’s campaign said she talked with Sisi about counter-terrorism cooperation and raised concerns about human rights violations in Egypt.
Clinton also met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, whose country has been locked in a tug of war with Russia. Poroshenko’s predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, had closer ties with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president who Trump has praised despite his autocratic reputation.
“I am looking forward to our discussion about Ukraine’s progress, the challenges you face, the very real problems and threats from Russian aggression, and anxious to know how we can be supportive of those efforts,” Clinton told Poroshenko.
Donald Trump promises ‘extreme screening’ to combat ‘medieval times’
Donald Trump spoke of Islamic State in brutal terms Monday, promising “extreme screening” to fight terrorism, and excoriated Hillary Clinton as too weak to fight the fight or even voice the problem.
“We’re in medieval times,” he said, speaking in especially bleak terms to describe terrorist attacks, a “campaign of genocide” and torturous acts committed by the group, during his first rally, in Estero, Fla., since weekend attacks in three U.S. cities.
“These attacks and many others were made possible because of our extremely open immigration system,” he said. “Immigration security is national security.”
The man arrested in the bombings in New York and New Jersey, Ahmad Khan Rahami, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who emigrated from Afghanistan, reportedly in 1995 when he was 7.
Trump suggested that current policy coddles terrorist suspects, including Rahami, who was wounded in a shootout and captured afterward.
Trump lamented that Rahami would get hospitalization, the best doctors in the world, a top lawyer and “probably even have room service.”
Trump promised fair trials with “very harsh treatment” and alluded to prior pledges to practice harsher interrogations, suggesting current constitutional protections are too restrictive.
It was all part of a broader theme that painted Clinton and President Obama as too weak to prosecute the war on terrorism, and too politically correct to label the problem as “radical Islam.”
“Hillary Clinton talks tougher about my supporters than she does about Islamic terrorists,” Trump said.
“Weakness invites aggression,” he added. “We’re weak.”
Trump seized on a report from the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general released Monday that showed more than 800 immigrants were mistakenly granted U.S. citizenship, despite coming from countries noted as threats to national security or with high fraud rates. They were supposed to instead face deportation.
Trump cited the report to make the case that Clinton would not be able to properly vet refugees, leaving a gaping security hole for the person he accused of having “the most open borders policy of anyone ever to seek the presidency.”
Trump claimed that Islamic State would prefer that Clinton becomes president, even though the group has publicly called his presidency a priority.
“They want her so badly to be president, you have no idea,” he said. “It will be a field day.”
Did a Clinton advisor promote ‘birtherism’?
When Jim Asher, formerly the investigative editor in the Washington bureau of the McClatchy newspaper chain, tweeted Thursday that a former longtime aide to Hillary and Bill Clinton had “told me in person #Obama born in #kenya,” he set off yet another in the seemingly endless side debates over who is to blame for which seamy aspect of contemporary politics.
Evidence on the question, including written records and the recollections of people involved at the time, leave the question unsettled.
Asher’s account about his conversations with Sidney Blumenthal has become a hot issue among political activists since last week, when Donald Trump finally admitted the falseness of the so-called birther theories that he pushed for more than five years.
Topics for the first presidential debate are announced
The topics for the first presidential debate were announced Monday, a week before the highly anticipated encounter between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Lester Holt, the NBC anchor who is moderating the debate, will ask the candidates about “achieving prosperity,” “securing America” and “America’s direction.”
The grandly named topics are likely to include familiar debate fare on the economy, national security and what direction the country is going.
Additional topics could be included based on news developments, according to the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.
The debate is scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific Times at Hofstra University in New York.
The second debate is at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 9, and the third is at the University of Nevada Las Vegas on Oct. 19. The vice presidential nominees will debate once, on Oct. 4 in Virginia.
Clinton acknowledges that some voters’ dislike of Trump isn’t enough for her to count on their votes
Hillary Clinton made a direct appeal to young voters to get “off the sidelines” and behind her candidacy with an unusually personal address Monday, conceding she has to overcome doubts that they — and others — still harbor toward her even as they also reject her Republican opponent.
Speaking to 300 students at Temple University in Philadelphia, Clinton, who closely guards her personal life, acknowledged the difficulty of transitioning from a supporting role and service in non-elected offices to advocating for herself as a candidate. She still does not enjoy “doing some of the things that come naturally to most politicians, like talking about myself.”
But she shared the lessons she has drawn on throughout her life, particularly from her mother, that inspired her lifelong passion to help children and families, which she said would also be the “passion of my presidency.”
“I can’t promise you’ll agree with me all the time, but I can promise you this: No one will work harder to make your life better,” she said. “I will never stop, no matter how tough it gets.”
Hillary Clinton renews her call for Silicon Valley to target terrorists ‘more vigorously’
Hillary Clinton’s uneasy alliance with Silicon Valley is being tested yet again as she questions whether tech companies are doing all they can to find terrorists online and undermine their recruiting efforts.
“The recruitment and radicalization that goes on online has to be much more vigorously intercepted and prevented. I have been saying this for quite some time,” the Democratic presidential candidate said at a news conference Monday during which she responded to the bombings in New York and New Jersey over the weekend.
“The government cannot do this without the close participation of tech companies and experts online who can give us the tools and lead us to those who are attempting to promote attacks like we’ve seen.”
The role of tech in fighting terrorism was at the center of Clinton’s response to the latest attacks. She renewed her earlier calls for tech companies to step up, but those calls have been met with apprehension by firms that are struggling to balance the privacy demands of their clients -- and civil rights activists -- with demands from law enforcement that would enable more sophisticated and widespread surveillance.
The debate is reemerging as many tech activists demand former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden receive a presidential pardon for disclosing massive secret government surveillance efforts online and as tech firms warn that billions of dollars of business will move offshore if they can not ensure client privacy.
But Clinton made clear that she would put pressure on the tech firms to step up their efforts to root out terrorists. She is putting the focus on Silicon Valley even as most of the big donors in that sector support her. While Clinton talks of balancing the needs of the tech industry with national security, her GOP rival, Donald Trump, tends to frame the tension as tech companies needlessly undermining law enforcement.
Even so, both candidates have made tech executives uneasy as they vow law enforcement will be more aggressively taking the terror fight to the Internet.
“We need to work more closely with Silicon Valley and other partners to counter terrorist propaganda and recruitment efforts online,” Clinton said as she laid out her agenda for fighting Islamic State.
“Recruiters for ISIS and these other terrorists groups look for people who online demonstrate the mental profile, the level of paranoia, the level of delusion, the level of disappointment that then is exploited by quite able terrorist recruiters.”
Hillary Clinton warns that going after ‘an entire religion’ would boost Islamic State
Hillary Clinton warned an electorate rattled by the explosions in New York and New Jersey that Donald Trump’s national security plans would exacerbate the threat from Islamic State, and said she is the only candidate in the presidential race equipped with a workable plan to intensify the fight against terrorism.
“We’re not going to go after an entire religion and give ISIS exactly what it is wanting in order for it to enhance its position,” Clinton said of Trump’s call to ban immigration from unspecified Islamic nations. “We know Donald Trump’s comments have been used online for recruitment of terrorists.”
The bombings and the news that police have launched a massive manhunt for a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan create a political dilemma for Clinton, as she faces an opponent warning that the Obama administration anti-terrorism efforts that she helped design have been a failure. She sought to reassure voters by comparing her plans for fighting terrorism to Trump’s, and noting that some of the most prominent GOP national security experts support her.
“I am the only candidate in this race who has been part of the hard decision to take terrorists off the battlefield,” Clinton said at a news conference Monday. She vowed that as president, she would intensify the air campaign against Islamic State, provide more support to Kurdish ground forces and demand tech companies get more aggressively engaged in helping find terrorists online, as well as frustrating terrorist recruitment efforts on social media.
“There are millions and millions of naturalized citizens in America from all over the world,” Clinton said of the prospect that the manhunt for an immigrant could make skeptical voters reconsider Trump’s plan to curtain immigration.
“There are millions of law-abiding, peaceful Muslims..Let’s not get diverted and distracted by kind of campaign rhetoric we hear from the other side. This is a serious challenge. We are well-equipped to meet it. We can do so in keeping with smart law enforcement, good intelligence and in concert with our values.”
“I have sat at that table in the situation room,” Clinton said. “I have analyzed the threats. I know how to do this.”
Trump on GOP dissenters: ‘I don’t even really care about their support’
Donald Trump still doesn’t have John Kasich’s support. And he says he doesn’t care.
Speaking on “Fox & Friends” Monday, Trump again found himself discussing the long-since resolved primary battle for the GOP nomination, even as only 50 days remain until the general election. The Ohio governor has been defending what he calls his principled decision not to actively support his party’s nominee.
“They all want to run in four years, right? If I were the head of the Republican Party, I would say you can’t do it,” Trump said Monday.
“In the meantime, we’re either tied or leading.”
“It’d be nice to have their support. But at this point I don’t even really care about their support,” Trump said, referring to both Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
On average, recent polls have shown Trump and Hillary Clinton tied in Ohio, but Trump leads in the most recent surveys. The two are also in a close race in Florida. Both are must-win states for Trump.
On Sunday RNC Chairman Reince Priebus suggested a restriction on Republicans who do not endorse Trump. Republicans “need to get on board,” Priebus said CBS’ “Face the Nation,” where he referred to the pledge all Republican candidates took to support the nominee this year.
“And if they’re thinking they’re going to run again someday, you know, I think that we’re going to evaluate the process of the nomination process, and I don’t think it’s going to be that easy for them,” he said.
“It’s not a threat,” he later said. “It’s just a question that we have a process in place.”
A Kasich adviser later pushed back, saying the Ohio governor “will not be bullied by a Kenosha [Wis.] political operative that is unable to stand up for core principles or beliefs.”
“Reince should be thanking the governor for standing for an inclusive, conservative vision that can actually win a national election and improve the country,” Kasich strategist John Weaver said in a statement, noting the governor is traveling to try to prevent “a potential national wipeout.”
Trump on Monday referred not just to Kasich but also to Bush. Or Jeb Exclamation Point, as he said in a surprise cameo in the Emmy Awards broadcast Sunday that ended with him pulling away in a car featuring a Jeb 2020 bumper sticker.
Martha Stewart: ‘Obviously, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton’
Martha Stewart reignited a decade-old feud with Donald Trump this past weekend by announcing her plan to vote for Hillary Clinton.
“There is so much to know and so much to learn and so much diplomacy and kindness and introspection that goes with that kind of ... job — and it does not exist in the world of Donald Trump,” Stewart said on CNN’s “Money” on Sunday.
She and the Republican presidential nominee fell out in 2006 when he blamed low ratings for his show “The Apprentice” on Stewart’s spinoff, “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.” He wrote a harsh letter demanding Stewart take full responsibility for the failure. She later called his actions “unforgivable.”
Stewart, a businesswoman and lifestyle mogul, said America can’t elect a leader who enters the job “totally unprepared.”
“We have to be very certain that we elect a person who has experience, knowledge, a base of education in the world of world politics as well as domestic politics,” she said. “So obviously, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.”
Explaining close race, Obama sees unspoken factor at play: gender
Explaining why the race to succeed him is closer than many think it should be, President Obama said Sunday that one reason may be hidden gender bias.
That wasn’t the primary reason he offered: The nation has become “very polarized” with structural divisions that are hard to overcome, he said.
It “is not because of [Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s] flaws,” he added at a New York fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee.
But, he said, “I will also say that there’s a reason why we haven’t had a woman president.”
“We as a society still grappling with what it means to see powerful women. And it still troubles us in a lot of ways, unfairly, and that expresses itself in all sorts of ways.”
Obama said he nonetheless was confident that Americans will “make a good decision, and we’re going to win this thing.”
“If we do our jobs, if we don’t get distracted, and certainly if we don’t get discouraged, if we are focused and disciplined and provide the resources and the time and the effort and the energy to get this thing done, then we’re going to be successful,” he said.
“And I am absolutely confident that Hillary Clinton will be a great president.”
The president is in New York this week, attending meetings around the United Nations General Assembly. Clinton also will meet with foreign leaders there Monday after a campaign rally in Philadelphia.
The former secretary of State is set to meet with the presidents of Egypt and Ukraine and the prime minister of Japan.
Donald Trump warns of more attacks and boasts that he ‘called’ bombing in New York
Donald Trump predicted more terrorist attacks after explosions over the weekend in New York and New Jersey, blaming what he portrayed as an unfettered flow of immigration and even suggesting one solution was to limit “freedom of expression.”
Speaking on “Fox and Friends” on Monday, the Republican presidential nominee reverted to familiar lines of attack on national security in response to questions about crude bombs that exploded in lower Manhattan and near the start of a 5-kilometer race in Seaside Park, N.J. On Monday morning, another suspicious device detonated near an Elizabeth, N.J., commuter rail station.
Trump took a measure of credit for saying quickly Saturday night that a bomb had gone off in New York even as officials were still investigating the explosion.
“I should be a newscaster because I called it before the news,” he said.
“This is something that will happen, perhaps, more and more all over the country,” Trump said. “Because we’ve been weak. Our country’s been weak. We’re letting people in by the thousands and tens of thousands.”
Trump said he’s spoken to law enforcement officials who said there was no way to fully vet immigrants for suspected terrorist connections.
“We’re allowing these people to come into our country and destroy our country, and make it unsafe for people,” he said. “We don’t want to do any profiling. If somebody looks like he’s got a massive bomb on his back, we won’t go up to that person ... because if he looks like he comes from that part of the world, we’re not allowed to profile. Give me a break.”
Asked about how to prevent Americans from becoming radicalized or inspired to commit violence by groups such as Islamic State, Trump spoke about terrorist groups’ magazines that offered detailed bomb-making instructions.
“I’m totally in favor of freedom of the press. But how do you allow magazines to be sold?” he asked. “We should arrest the people that do that, because they’re participating in crimes. We should arrest them. Instead they say, ‘Oh no, you can’t do anything, that’s freedom of expression.’”
Trump also questioned why President Obama still continues to refuse to refer to “Islamic radicalization.”
“Nobody understands why,” Trump said, before suggesting some “have a thought process” that could explain it. He didn’t explain what he meant.
Obama has generally avoided the term “radical Islam” to avoid placing sweeping blame on a religion practiced by 1.6 billion people, or fraying relationships with Islamic countries that are key Mideast allies.
Voters on both sides increasingly see a Trump win as a possibility — and that may get more people to vote
Donald Trump is enjoying his strongest position in the presidential race since immediately after his nominating convention and, for the first time, has started to significantly close the gap with Hillary Clinton on the question of which candidate voters expect will win — a shift that could boost turnout on both sides.
The nominees have moved up and down in polls over the summer and into the fall, but until now, large majorities of voters, regardless of whom they supported, expected to see Clinton win.
That’s now changed, according to the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Daybreak tracking poll of the election. Although Clinton still holds an edge on that question, Trump has narrowed it to the point that the results are within the poll’s margin of error.