Campaign 2016 updates: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton prepare for final debate

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton prepare for the final presidential debate.

Trump accuses ‘Saturday Night Live’ of doing a ‘hit job’ on him

For years, Donald Trump has been poked and parodied on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” even semi-mocking himself when he happily appeared as the guest host last November.

Apparently it’s not so funny any more.

On Sunday, the Republican presidential nominee tweeted that actor Alec Baldwin’s most recent portrayal of him is part of a nationwide media campaign that he says is ganging up on his White House bid.

“Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me. Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!” Trump tweeted.

Clinton also took her lumps in the opening sketch about last week’s presidential town hall debate. But only Trump complained.

During the sketch, Baldwin-as-Trump is asked if he likes kids and says, “I love the kids, OK? I love them so much I marry them.”

After the “moderator” notes that Trump has said former President Bill Clinton’s female accusers should be believed, the faux Trump says of his own accusers: “They need to shut the hell up.”

The fake Trump skulks behind Clinton and then races past her, an over-the-top take on Trump’s repeatedly marching around the stage last week while Clinton answered questions. She later said he appeared to be stalking her.

But the most biting bit in the sketch came when a black man in the audience asks the fake Trump if he can be a “devoted president to all the people.”

The candidate responds by calling the man “Denzel” and begins harping on violence in the inner cities. He then calls for jailing Hillary Clinton.

“She’s committed so many crimes, she’s basically a black,” Baldwin-as-Trump says.

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GOP office in North Carolina is burned, and nearby building is vandalized

A local Republican Party office in North Carolina was damaged by fire, and someone spray-painted an anti-GOP slogan on a nearby wall, authorities said Sunday.

A news release from the town of Hillsborough said someone threw a bottle filled with flammable liquid through the window of the Orange County Republican Party headquarters overnight. The substance ignited and damaged furniture and the interior before burning out.

The news release said an adjacent building was spray-painted with the words “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.”

State GOP director Dallas Woodhouse said that no one was injured and that a security alert would be sent to party offices around the state.

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Pence and Trump disagree over whether election is ‘rigged’

Republican vice presidential candidate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks during a campaign rally, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, in Newton, Iowa.
(Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)

Mike Pence said Sunday that Republicans would accept the results of the presidential election and that Donald Trump’s claims that the race has been rigged referred to a biased news media and not elections officials.

But within hours of Pence’s comments, Trump took to Twitter to partly disagree with his running mate, as he has several times in recent days.

Trump wrote, without providing any evidence, that “many polling places” were trying to tilt the Nov. 8 election to his opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary - but also at many polling places – SAD,” Trump tweeted.

Pressed on the issue on two Sunday TV talk shows, Pence said he and Trump would not contest the election results if Clinton won.

“We will absolutely accept the results of the election,” Pence told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Pence added that “the American people are tired of the obvious bias in the national media. That’s where the sense of a rigged election goes here, Chuck.”

Trump, who is trailing Clinton in national and battleground state polls, has complained that the media is trying to torpedo his campaign by focusing on women who have made sexual assault allegations against him.

In recent days Trump also has argued that the election is “rigged,” raising concerns that he and his followers might challenge the legitimacy of the vote if he loses.

“It looks to me like a rigged election,” Trump said Saturday at a 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.”

Pence said Trump was clear in the first presidential debate that he would accept the results at the polls.

Pushed twice on the issue at the Sept. 26 debate by moderator Lester Holt, Trump said, “The answer is, if she wins, I will absolutely support her.”

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a top Trump surrogate, also denied that Trump was questioning the integrity of election officials.

“When he talks about a rigged election, he’s not talking about the fact that it’s going to be rigged at the polls,” Giuliani said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “What he’s talking about is that 80% to 85% of the media is against him.”

But when pressed, Giuliani added that “there have been places where a lot of cheating has gone on over the years” and that “dead people generally vote for Democrats, rather than Republicans.”

To say “that I think the election in Philadelphia and Chicago is going to be fair, I would have to be a moron to say that,” Giuliani said.

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Kaine says some Democratic emails released by Wikileaks could be fakes

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine talks to the crowd during a rally at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016.
Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine talks to the crowd during a rally at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016.
(David T. Foster III/The Charlotte Observer via Associated Press)

Tim Kaine said Sunday that Democratic campaign emails released by Wikileaks could be “doctored” and called for ramifications for Russia, which the Obama administration has blamed for the hacking.

“When a foreign nation tries to destabilize an American election…there has to be a consequence,” the Democratic nominee for vice president said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

But Kaine also cast doubt on the authenticity of emails purportedly from aides to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, saying “you can’t assume” they are all accurate.

“One of the emails that came up this week referred to me. It was completely inaccurate,” Kaine said. “And I don’t know whether it was inaccurate because the sender didn’t know what he or she was talking about or if it had been doctored.”

“But anybody who is going to try to cyber-attack and then try to destabilize an election, you can’t trust that they’re going to maintain scrupulous honesty about the content of what they’re dumping out for the world to see,” he said.

The U.S. intelligence community and the Department of Homeland Security said this month that they were “confident that the Russian government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations.”

Kaine said Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had encouraged Russian hacking when he said at July news conference, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

But Kaine said he wasn’t aware of a connection between Trump and the Wikileaks release.

“I can’t discern any direct link except for Donald Trump’s encouragement,” Kaine said.

The release of about 10,000 emails purportedly from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta has been potentially damaging to the Democratic ticket.

They contained comments that Clinton made in paid speeches to Wall Street banks before she ran for president. She has declined to release transcripts of those speeches.

The White House reportedly is considering an array of punitive cyber countermeasures to respond to the Russian hack.

Vice President Joe Biden told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the U.S. was “sending a message” to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the hacking.

“We have the capacity to do it,” Biden said.

Asked by “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd if Putin will know the message when he receives it, Biden said, “He’ll know it. It will be at the time of our choosing. And under the circumstances that have the greatest impact.”

Asked if the public would know what the U.S. message was, Biden said, “Hope not.”

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Donald Trump has turned to scorched-earth campaigning. It could affect a lot more than the election

(Logan Cyrus / AFP/Getty Images)

As he fell further behind in polls and battled allegations of sexual misconduct in recent days, Donald Trump moved to darker corners. He sketched out conspiracies involving global bankers, casually threatened to jail his political opponent, and warned in increasingly specific terms that a loss by him would spell the end of civilization.

The distrust of U.S. institutions that Trump has nurtured among his core supporters is readily apparent.

One North Carolina man predicted in an interview that the military would probably assassinate Hillary Clinton if she’s elected president. A woman at an Iowa town hall for Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, offered to join a revolution if Clinton prevails. Another man at an Ocala, Fla., rally was certain Trump would clean house at the FBI and scores of other federal bureaucracies if he wins.

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