Campaign 2016 updates: Donald Trump says he stopped lying about Obama’s birthplace ‘to get on with the campaign’


Donald Trump heads to Toledo, Ohio. Hillary Clinton rallies in Orlando, Fla.

  • Trump faces his first questions over controversies involving his foundation and “birther” comments.
  • Despite concerns that stop-and-frisk policies are racially discriminatory, Trump wants to see the tactic expanded.
  • Clinton had nearly $20 million more cash on hand than Trump at the end of August.
  • Trump says black communities are in the worse shape “ever, ever, ever.”
  • Trump’s campaign tries to use gender to undercut Clinton’s candidacy.
  • The two candidates’ responses to the weekend’s bombings show voters a stark difference in approaches to national security.

Donald Trump would increase national debt far more than Hillary Clinton, new analysis says

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has a plan to reduce the national debt, but a new analysis has concluded that one candidate would increase it far more than the other.

The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said Trump’s proposals would boost the debt by $5.3 trillion over the next decade. Meanwhile, Clinton would keep the country on its current trajectory, increasing the debt by about $200 billion over the same time period.

Put another way, the national debt would rise more than 25 times faster under Trump.

The difference is that Clinton would pair her plans for higher spending with additional taxes to cover the costs. The new revenue would include $1.05 trillion from income taxes on the wealthy and $150 billion more in taxes from businesses, according to the analysis.

Meanwhile, Trump would cut spending by $1.2 trillion but at the same time institute tax cuts that sacrifice $5.8 trillion in revenue. That’s a difference of $4.6 trillion -- plus $700 billion in interest.

The report left open the possibility that those numbers could be off, because Trump has been ambiguous about what tax rate would apply to businesses.


New report compares Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump foundations

(J. Emilio Flores / AFP-Getty Images)

With all the controversies swirling around the Clinton and Trump foundations, an organization that tracks nonprofits, GuideStar, decided to take a closer look.

The report, released Wednesday, concluded that the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has been the more transparent of the two.

GuideStar noted that the foundation tracks its philanthropic programs to determine how many people around the world are benefiting, such as women receiving job training. Such tracking “makes it far easier for donors and citizens to meaningfully analyze the institution’s value to society.”

Meanwhile, the Donald J. Trump Foundation “provides no such metrics.” Publicly available tax forms that detail donations to groups like the Ronald McDonald House and the Palm Beach Opera, the report said, “appear to indicate an unfocused generosity.”

The report also said it appeared that the Clintons had donated more money to charity -- largely through their own foundation -- than the Trumps. However, the figure is impossible to know for sure because Trump has declined to release his tax returns.


Hillary Clinton wonders why she doesn’t have a bigger lead over Donald Trump

(Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel)

Donald Trump has perplexed and confounded the country’s political establishment, and Hillary Clinton added her voice to the puzzlement on Wednesday.

“Why aren’t I 50 points ahead, you might ask?” Clinton said during a fiery speech to the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

Clinton, who has struggled with questions about her trustworthiness and her handling of a private email server while secretary of State, didn’t answer her own question as she asked the union to help mobilize voters.

“The choice for working families have never been clearer,” Clinton said. “I need your help to get Donald Trump’s record out to everybody. Nobody should be fooled.”

Clinton’s remarks came in the middle of a speech on her proposals to help the labor movement and criticisms of Trump for his record of stiffing contractors.

Her comments echoed Democrats and liberals who are frustrated that the campaign appears close even though they believe, as Clinton has charged, Trump is uniquely unfit to be president.

“If you do know somebody who may be thinking of voting for Trump, stage an intervention,” Clinton said. “Try to talk some sense into them. Lay out the facts. The facts are on our side.”

She added, “Friends don’t let friends vote for Trump.”


Donald Trump evades questions on foundation problems, ‘birther’ falsehoods

(Steve Helber / Associated Press)

Donald Trump has generally been avoiding questions from the media, but he made an exception for a local television reporter on Wednesday in Ohio.

The reporter from ABC6 had time only for three short questions, but it was the first time a journalist had asked about the recent controversies over Trump’s foundation and his history of spreading lies about where President Obama was born.

Trump skirted both issues.

Asked why his charitable foundation’s money went to personal purposes -- the Washington Post revealed he used its cash to settle legal disputes -- Trump said “it’s really been doing a good job.”

Trump also didn’t say why he reversed years of questioning whether Obama was born in the country and eligible to serve as president.

“Well I just wanted to get on with, you know, we want to get on with the campaign,” he said.

The reporter also asked whether Trump thinks he needs support from Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican who ran against him in the primary, to win the state. Kasich has declined to endorse him.

“I don’t think so, actually,” Trump said. “We’re doing very well.”

Hillary Clinton’s campaign criticized Trump’s comments on the “birther” issue.

“Donald Trump hasn’t actually changed his mind,” said spokesman Jesse Ferguson in a statement. “He only gave his 36 second press statement last week to try to change the subject -- and it didn’t work.”


‘West Wing’ actors hit the trail for Hillary Clinton

Anyone feeling nostalgic for a “West Wing” reunion can head to Ohio this weekend, where members of the cast are stumping for Hillary Clinton.

The television show, which depicted a fictional, left-leaning presidential administration, aired its last episode in 2006, although it remains popular with fans who continue to binge-watch old episodes.

Martin Sheen, who played the president, isn’t participating. But Richard Schiff, Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford, Dulé Hill, Joshua Malina and Mary McCormack (better known as Toby, C.J., Josh, Charlie, Will and Kate) are expected to make the rounds.


Donald Trump lauds stop-and-frisk policies widely condemned as racial profiling

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Donald Trump wants police to use stop-and-frisk tactics more aggressively in black communities even though a federal judge has ruled that the practice violates the rights of minorities.

Asked in a town hall on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Wednesday how he would combat violence in poor black neighborhoods, the GOP presidential nominee said police should stop and frisk people.

“I would do stop-and-frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York; it worked incredibly well. And you have to be proactive,” Trump said.

The policy, once used by many police departments, gained traction in New York under two former mayors, Rudolph W. Giuliani, now a top Trump surrogate, and Michael R. Bloomberg, now a fierce Trump critic.

The tactic drew dozens of lawsuits by people who argued that they were unfairly targeted by police on racial grounds as they walked the city’s streets.

In 2013, a federal judge ruled that New York’s stop-and-frisk policy had violated the rights of minorities.

Former U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, who ruled in the case, told BuzzFeed on Wednesday that the policy was “destructive.”

A study from the New York Civil Liberties Union found that blacks and Latinos were disproportionately stopped by police from 2002 until 2013 under the stop-and-frisk policy. Few had committed any crimes.

On Wednesday, Trump lauded the experience in New York, saying “it was so incredible the way it worked.”

“I think that would be one step you could do,” he said when asked how to reduce violence in inner cities.

In recent weeks Trump has made overt pitches to black voters, who have largely shunned his campaign.

Political analysts say those appeals may be aimed at easing concerns of moderate white voters, who view some of his rhetoric as racist.

Polls show Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, has overwhelming support among black voters, a key segment of the party’s base.


Hillary Clinton still outpacing Donald Trump in ad spending as polls remain tight

Hillary Clinton and her allies continue to outpace Donald Trump and his supporters in television and radio ad spending with less than two months until election day.

Clinton has spent $96.4 million in ads in the general election, compared with $17.3 million for Trump’s campaign, according to a report from NBC News and Advertising Analytics, a firm that tracks ad spending.

Outside groups supporting Clinton, such as the super PAC Priorities USA Action, have spent nearly $60 million. By contrast, groups backing Trump, like the National Rifle Assn., have doled out a total of $16.3 million.

Trump and his allies have reduced what started as a significant spending gap. A similar report released in July showed Clinton and her supporters outpacing Trump and his backers by a 15-to-1 margin.

Still, Clinton’s substantial spending advantage over Trump has not resulted in a strong lead in the polls.

A national average of polls complied by Real Clear Politics shows Clinton outpacing Trump by about a percentage point. In the battleground state of Florida, which boasts 29 electoral votes, the race is a tie. And in Ohio, another battleground state, Trump leads Clinton by 1.2%, based on an average of several recent polls.


Hillary Clinton lays out education and jobs plans for Americans with disabilities

(Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images)

One of the most infamous moments from the Republican primary was Donald Trump’s mockery of a disabled reporter who questioned his false claim that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Hillary Clinton didn’t mention that incident during her speech in Orlando, Fla., where she talked about helping people with disabilities. But it probably wasn’t far from her mind as she rattled off a list of ways they contribute to society.

“Across the country, people with disabilities are running businesses, teaching students, caring for our loved ones,” she said. “They’re holding public office, making breakthrough scientific discoveries, reporting the news, and creating art that inspires and challenges us.”

People with disabilities “have so much to offer, but are given too few chances to prove it,” she said.

“Whether they can participate in our economy and lead rich, full lives . . . is a reflection on us as a country,” Clinton said. “And right now, in too many ways, we are falling short.”

If elected, Clinton said she would work to make colleges more accessible, increase economic opportunities for people with disabilities and eliminate lower minimum wage standard for their paychecks.


‘Unbearable’ police shootings should become ‘intolerable,’ Hillary Clinton says

The two major party presidential nominees react to the Tulsa shooting. Clinton with a plan to implement national standards for police shootings, Trump with tweets and conjecture

Hillary Clinton addressed “two very upsetting” deadly shootings of black men by police in Tulsa, Okla., and Charlotte, N.C.

“We have two more names to add to a list of African Americans killed by police officers in these encounters,” she said Wednesday at the start of a speech in Orlando, Fla. “It’s unbearable. And it needs to become intolerable.”

Clinton also expressed concern about wounds suffered by officers in Charlotte during protests of the shooting.

“We are safer when communities respect the police and police respect the communities,” she said.

Terence Crutcher, who was killed in Tulsa, was unarmed. Police said Keith Lamont Scott, who was killed in Charlotte, had a gun, an allegation his family disputes.

Trump addressed the Tulsa shooting earlier Wednesday while stumping in Ohio, saying he was “very troubled” by the case.

Referring to the officer who opened fire, Trump said, “Now did she get scared? Was she choking? What happened?”


Donald Trump, sticking to script, promises change

(Evan Vucci / AP)

An increasingly teleprompter-dependent Donald Trump appears to have settled on a clear campaign message: change.

“Her campaign message is things must never change,” the Republican nominee said at a rally in Toledo, Ohio, as Hillary Clinton was speaking in Florida. “My campaign message is things have to change. And they have to change right now.”

Without specific policies to tout, Trump presented himself as the vehicle for expressing frustration with a corrupt political establishment.

“The arrogance of Washington, D.C., will soon come face to face with the righteous verdict of the American voter and worker,” he said.

Breaking from script at one point, he called out to ask whether any miners were in the audience. Apparently few responded — the region he was in was more a manufacturing hub than energy producer. Some farmers apparently did make their presence known.

Still, Trump vowed a major effort to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure by putting steel back in the nation’s spine.

“American hands will rebuild our nation. Not the hands of people from other nations,” he said.

The two major party presidential nominees react to the Tulsa shooting. Clinton with a plan to implement national standards for police shootings, Trump with tweets and conjecture


Bill Clinton says the case to approve TPP trade pact is ‘clear’

(Abdeljalil Bounhar / Associated Press)

Bill Clinton suggested a proposed major trade deal between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim nations was in the nation’s foreign policy interests, but he stopped short of endorsing the plan.

The Trans Pacific Partnership is a major priority for the Obama administration, but is opposed by Clinton’s candidate spouse.

“The geopolitical reasons for it from America’s point of view are pretty clear,” the former president said of the TPP in an interview with CNBC. “It’s designed to make sure that the future of the Asia-Pacific region economically is not totally dominated by China.”

But he said Hillary Clinton has been “pretty clear” about her desire to see some additional provisions to ensure tough enforcement of currency manipulation and provide additional economic safeguards for Americans who may suffer from lowering barriers for foreign goods to enter the U.S.

According to edited video posted online by the network, Clinton said the TPP doesn’t “have anything to do with NAFTA,” the North American trade deal which was negotiated before he took office, but which he championed after taking office. Because Mexico and Canada are also party to TPP, the Obama administration has argued it is effectively a renegotiation of NAFTA and addresses many criticisms of it.

Obama has vowed to make an aggressive case for lawmakers to approve the trade deal before he leaves office, potentially in a post-election lame-duck session. Clinton has reiterated her opposition to the deal repeatedly.

“I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election, and I’ll oppose it as president,” she said in Ohio in August.

In another part of the CNBC interview, Bill Clinton said he thought his wife would win the presidency, but added that he has predicted all along that the race would be tougher than many thought, citing similar anti-establishment sentiment around the world. His advice?

“Just go out there and talk to people, and, you know, not be affected by all the meanness and all this stuff that we’ve seen,” he said. “I still think that she’ll be all right. But nothing much has surprised me that’s happened.”


A lesson in how to misread a poll: Blip in black voter support for Trump comes and goes quickly

Don King, right, stumps for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
(Evan Vucci / AP)

A few days ago, Donald Trump’s support among African American voters in the USC Dornsife/L.A. Times Daybreak tracking poll of the election appeared to shoot upward.

Since early summer, when the poll started, Trump’s support among black voters had been in the low single digits in the poll, as it is in most surveys. Suddenly, he seemed to be nearing 20%.

Some of Trump’s supporters cheered and began developing theories for why their candidate had finally started breaking through to black audiences. Outraged liberal critics of the poll denounced it anew.

And then, just as quickly as the line on the chart had turned upward, it turned back down. As of Wednesday, Trump’s black support in the poll is back to the single digits, near where it had been all along.

Detailed results from the USC Dornsife/LAT daily tracking poll >>

What happened is an object lesson in how not to read polls, particularly a daily tracking poll such as the Daybreak survey.

All polls are subject to random statistical noise. Tracking polls, because they take a sample every day, are particularly likely to jump around for no reason other than chance. That’s especially true with a small sub-group like African Americans, who make up about one-eighth of the electorate.

The change in Trump’s support was always well within the poll’s margin of error for black voters, meaning there was a good likelihood that what appeared to be a shift was just random. Now that the level of support has returned to where it was, that seems likely to have been what happened.

The lesson for poll watchers: Be wary of short-term fluctuations, particularly those involving subgroups. Take margins of error seriously. And don’t leap to conclusions until the evidence is solid.


Only in America: Don King stumps for Donald Trump in Cleveland

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Boxing promoter Don King introduced Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a convention of black pastors in Cleveland on Wednesday, hailing him as a “doctor of humanness” who would take on a broken political system.

King was hardly the picture of political correctness, as one might expect at a Trump event. Wearing a bedazzled jean jacket that featured his own face and an American flag tie, King at one point used the N-word as he shared advice he had given Michael Jackson about being black — “do not alienate because you cannot assimilate.” (He had repeatedly been using the term “Negro” during his remarks, but appeared to slip.)

King said Trump was the only candidate who could advocate for “the left-outs,” including women and African Americans.

“The system is the problem, and he’s the only gladiator that will take on the system,” he said.

King talked about the “miracle” of the first black president being elected and put Trump’s possible victory in similar terms.

“The party doesn’t want him. The system doesn’t want him. The lying politicians [don’t] want him,” he said. “He’s here by the will of the people.”

Trump returned praise on King as he followed him on the stage. “There’s only one Don King,” he said. “He’s a phenomenal person.”

The Republican nominee vowed to deliver real progress for minority communities after years of what he said was lip service by Democrats. Inner cities, he said, couldn’t get much worse.

“Our political system has failed the people and works only to enrich itself. I want to reform that system so that it works for you. All of you,” he said at the New Spirit Revival Center, whose pastor Rev. Darrell Scott has become a prominent supporter of the businessman.

After the appearance, Trump was set to tape a town hall meeting with his supporter and Fox personality Sean Hannity that will air later on Fox News Channel.


Donald Trump ‘troubled’ by Tulsa, Okla., shooting, questions actions of police officer: ‘Was she choking?’

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Donald Trump said Wednesday that he was “very troubled” by footage of an unarmed black man being shot and killed police in Tulsa, Okla., last week, suggesting the female officer involved, Betty Shelby, may have been frightened and mishandled the situation.

Speaking to a gathering of pastors at a Cleveland church at an event that also featured boxing promoter Don King, the Republican presidential nominee said the victim, Terence Crutcher, appeared to be doing “everything you’re supposed to do” by complying with police orders.

“He looked like a really good man,” Trump said. “To me he looked like somebody that was doing what they were asking them to do.”

Now did she get scared? Was she choking? What happened? But maybe people like that, people that choke, people that do that, maybe they can’t be doing what they’re doing. 

— Donald Trump

Trump said maybe his perception was “a little clouded” because he also saw Crutcher’s family talking about him. But he said police officers are also troubled by incidents like this one.

“Now did she get scared? Was she choking? What happened?” he asked. “But maybe people like that, people that choke, people that do that, maybe they can’t be doing what they’re doing. OK?”

“We all respect our police greatly. And they will just have to get better and better and better,” he said.

Clinton addressed the incident Tuesday during an interview with Steve Harvey on his morning radio show.

“We have got to tackle systemic racism,” Clinton said. “This horrible shooting again. How many times do we have to see this in our country?”


Mexican ranchera icon serenades Hillary Clinton with an endorsement

Hillary Clinton won a song and an endorsement from famed Mexican ranchera singer Vicente “Chente” Fernández, her latest snap up of support from the Latino community.

“Queridos hermanos, su voz es su voto,” Fernández says — dear brothers, your voice is your vote. “Juntos se puede” — together we can.

The video flashes through clips of Clinton campaigning with Latino voters around the country, with Fernández serenading in the background. The singer put the song together with the help of Latino Victory Project, a group whose political branch, Latino Victory Fund, endorsed Clinton in February.

He also takes a few swings at Donald Trump, referring to the Republican candidate’s insults directed at Mexico.

“A mi pueblo le dolió que alguien hiciera una ofenza,” he says — it hurt my people that someone offended us.

As he closes, he adds that Clinton would be the voice for Latinos in America if she were elected in November.


Hillary Clinton sketches a vision of Tim Kaine as her vice president

Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine are both investing a lot of time in debate prep these days. But they’re also testing each other out in veep prep.

“I’m storing up what I’m learning about him from people,” Clinton told People in a newly released interview. “I intend to interrogate his three children.”

In the interview, the Democratic ticket gave an early assessment of how they see working together in the White House with a job description for Kaine that sounds an awful lot like what Joe Biden does in the Obama administration.

“I’ve seen it up close and know how important it is,” Clinton said of the vice presidency. “This is the person - the last person in the room. This is the person that you see every day, that you sit down and talk with. And yes, there’s a lot of serious stuff to talk about, but kidding each other, getting some release from all of the constant stress, that’s a big part of it, too.”

Asked about specific policy areas Kaine might focus on, Clinton first cited his experience as a city councilor and mayor of Richmond, Va.

“We’ve got work to do in a lot of our cities, and I’m going to want him helping to give direction to that,” she said.

She also pointed to his experience in Latin America as a former missionary, and his fluency in Spanish.

“We want to make sure that our neighbors to the south are going to be good partners with us in so many ways, to fight climate change, to enhance security, to create more links between our people. So it’s a broad menu of possibilities,” she said.

As part of his implementation of the president’s stimulus program, Biden -- who earned the title “sheriff”-- interacted regularly with local government officials, often insisting they reach out to him directly to report problems.

Biden also has played a big role in the administration’s policy in the Western Hemisphere, traveling often to Central America in particular and working closely with Brazil. He’s joked that Obama told him: “You do the hemisphere.”

For his part, Kaine said he expects to play a role, but noted that ultimately “the president is the boss.”

“The vice president has a wonderful ability to make a case and influence and promote the administration being its very, very best. But at the end of the day it’s the president who has that weight on the shoulders,” he said.

Kaine joked about the hours he and his wife spent with the entire Clinton family before he was named to the ticket, and when Bill Clinton pulled him aside for a private conversation.

“I felt like a prospective son-in-law getting interviewed,” he said. “I really felt like he had to kick the tires, too.”


‘Broad shoulders’ and ‘a presidential look’: The Trump campaign uses gender to try to undercut Clinton’s candidacy

What do voters hear when Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, in interview after interview, praises his running mate Donald Trump’s “broad shoulders”?

What do they hear when Trump repeatedly criticizes Hillary Clinton for not looking presidential — “and you need a presidential look”? Or when he time and again calls into question her strength and stamina?

Many people, to use one of Trump’s favorite phrasings, hear an effort to raise questions about whether a woman can serve as president.

“Could it be more obvious?” asked pollster Christine Matthews, who has studied women voters for years amid work on Republican political campaigns.

Gender now is being wielded in a somewhat more subtle fashion than in the primary season, when Trump blistered Clinton for playing “the woman card” and said if she hadn’t been a woman, “I don’t think she’d get 5% of the vote.”

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