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Campaign 2016 updates - Donald Trump decries a ‘rigged’ election as he battles sexual assault allegations

Donald Trump heads to New Hampshire as Hillary Clinton does debate prep.

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Another woman alleges Donald Trump grabbed and kissed her

(Associated Press)

Donald Trump is on the defensive -- again.

On Saturday, another woman stepped forward and alleged that nearly two decades ago Trump made unwanted advances.

“He took my hand and grabbed me and went for the lips,” Cathy Heller, now 63, told the Guardian newspaper.

The incident, alleges Heller, occurred at a Mother’s Day brunch at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

While greeting brunch attendees, she said, Trump made his move.

“He said, ‘Oh, come on.’ He was strong. And he grabbed me and went for my mouth and went for my lips,” she recalled.

A spokesman for Trump forcefully denied the allegations.

“There is no way that something like this would have happened in a public place on Mother’s Day at Mr. Trump’s resort. It would have been the talk of Palm Beach for the past two decades,” Jason Miller, a spokesman for Trump, said in a statement.

“The reality is this: For the media to wheel out a politically motivated Democratic activist with a legal dispute against this same resort owned by Mr. Trump does a disservice to the public,” Miller added.

Heller denied to the Guardian that she has a legal dispute with Trump’s resort. She is supporting Trump’s opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Heller is the ninth woman to come forward in the past week with allegations that Trump groped or forcibly kissed them before he ran for president last year.

He has denied all the allegations as false and politically motivated.

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Donald Trump rakes in $100 million in September, his largest haul to date

(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Donald Trump raised $100 million in September, his largest haul of the election cycle but still much less than Hillary Clinton raked in for the month.

The total, which includes contributions to TMAGA and Trump Victory, Trump’s joint fundraising ventures with the Republican National Committee, is $10 million more than Trump raised in August.

Trump’s joint fundraising operation finished September with about $75 million cash on hand, records show.

Clinton and her joint fundraising operation with the Democratic National Committee raised $154 million in September.

Trump and Clinton are scheduled to meet in their third and final campaign debate Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

Trump’s campaign has struggled in recent weeks, and a recent national poll by Fox News shows Clinton outpacing Trump 45% to 38%.

An average of national polls, tallied by Real Clear Politics, shows Clinton leading Trump by about 6.7 percentage points.

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Michael Bloomberg as secretary of State in a Clinton administration? The possibility’s mentioned in leaked emails

(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times )

Michael Bloomberg opted against running for president this election cycle. But he still may have a political future.

In a batch of newly leaked emails, purportedly from the Clinton campaign, that were posted online Saturday by WikiLeaks, an aide to Bloomberg confirmed to Hillary Clinton’s aides in June 2015 that the former New York City mayor would not run for president.

Neera Tanden, a longtime Clinton confidante, messaged Howard Wolfson, a senior advisor to Bloomberg, asking “what is up” in regard to reports that the billionaire businessman might run for president.

Wolfson called the reports “laughable.”

“Is there something Mike Bloomberg would want to do in his life in an Admin? Is like Ambassador to China way too small,” replied Tanden, who heads the Center for American Progress, a liberal public policy and advocacy group in Washington.

“Secty of state Which ain’t gonna happen,” wrote Wolfson.

Still, Tanden took the statement seriously enough to forward the email to John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman.

“Something to know for down the road,” she wrote.

Bloomberg, who is a registered independent, has endorsed Clinton and called her Republican rival, Donald Trump, a “con man.”

As in previous leaks, the Clinton campaign has refused to confirm or deny whether the latest batch of emails are authentic.

Citing U.S. intelligence officials, they blame the Russian government for hacking Democratic officials’ digital networks in an attempt to help elect Trump.

WikiLeaks has released thousands of emails between Clinton aides regarding campaign strategy, speeches and gossip.

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Donald Trump decries a ‘rigged’ election as he battles sexual assault allegations

(Associated Press )

Now that his campaign appears to be losing, Donald Trump claims it’s a rigged election.

With early voting already underway in several states, and polls showing Trump trailing Hillary Clinton in most battleground contests, the Republican nominee on Saturday questioned the fairness of the election.

“It looks to me like a rigged election,” Trump told supporters at an outdoor rally in Portsmouth, N.H. “The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect (Clinton) president.”

In a barrage of tweets early Saturday, Trump pushed a similar narrative as fallout from his lewd comments in a 2005 audio recording continued to shadow his campaign.

Half a dozen women have come forward in the last week to describe encounters in which they said Trump had groped or forcibly kissed them.

Trump has dismissed the women’s allegations as “total fiction” and in at least two cases, appeared to suggest they weren’t attractive enough for him.

One of the women, Jessica Leeds, 74, told the New York Times that Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to slip his hand up her skirt in the first-class cabin of a plane more than three decades ago.

On Saturday, Trump denied her allegation in mocking tones.

“How about that crazy woman on the airplane?” he said to laughs from the crowd.

No major party candidate has ever suggested a presidential election was rigged. Trump’s argument raised concerns that his supporters might not accept the legitimacy of the Nov. 8 vote if he loses.

Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, rejected Trump’s claims that the election is rigged.

“Campaigns should be hard-fought and elections hard-won, but what is fundamental about the American electoral system is that it is free, fair and open to the people,” Mook said in a statement.

“Participation in the system — and particularly voting — should be encouraged, not dismissed or undermined because a candidate is afraid he’s going to lose,” he added. “This election will have record turnout, because voters see through Donald Trump’s shameful attempts to undermine an election weeks before it happens.”

Trump did not target any Republicans on Saturday, but his campaign in the critical swing state of Ohio announced it was cutting ties with the state GOP, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Clinton has edged ahead in polls in Ohio, according to four newly released polls, but the race there remains tight.

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As women continue to step forward alleging Donald Trump groped them, he continues to push back, calling the accusations false.

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Hillary Clinton keeps fishing for big money while lagging behind with smaller donors

Shortly after Michelle Obama finished a rousing speech denouncing Donald Trump’s behavior toward women, Hillary Clinton’s campaign texted supporters asking them to “chip in $1 to fight for women.”

But that wasn’t where the big dollars were coming from. Later that night, Clinton flew to Beverly Hills for a dinner with donors and a performance from Elton John — the minimum ticket was $33,400, and $100,000 earned supporters premium seating.

Although it’s not unusual for a presidential nominee to hold fundraisers close to the finish line — President Obama attended at least eight in October 2012 — Clinton’s schedule, which included three such events on the West Coast this week, reflects her deep reliance on wealthy contributors. Trump, who far outpaces her in the share of small donations that make up his fundraising total, has accused her of being beholden to special interests buying influence through large donations to her campaign.

“Why don’t you put $10 million or $20 million or $25 million or $30 million into your own campaign? It’s $30 million less for special interests that will tell you exactly what to do,” he said at their second debate Sunday in St. Louis.

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Opinion: Trump demeans women and slanders men with his ‘locker room talk’

(David Horsey/Los Angeles Times )

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