Campaign 2016 updates: ‘We don’t operate on innuendo,’ Obama says of FBI investigation into newfound emails
Donald Trump campaigns in Florida. Hillary Clinton heads to Arizona and Nevada.
- President Obama condemns the FBI over making public its new investigation.
- A black church in Mississippi is tagged with pro-Donald Trump graffiti and burned.
- An Arizona woman born before women were granted the right to vote casts her ballot for Clinton.
- KKK newspaper indicates support for Trump, but the campaign denounces it.
- Clinton is unlikely to face criminal charges in the new FBI investigation, experts say.
How Hillary Clinton watched baseball history
Hillary Clinton is an Illinois native and grew up a Cubs fan.
But she’s also the Democratic nominee for president six days before election day. And so there was no breaking from her schedule to watch a decisive Game 7 of the World Series.
Clinton delivered her more than 40-minute speech as scheduled on the campus of Arizona State University as Chicago battled the Cleveland Indians.
But the baseball gods cooperated, with a brief rain delay and an extra-inning thriller that ultimately stretched on longer than her rally, which drew one of her largest crowds of the campaign.
So after leaving the stage, Clinton stayed behind to watch the game’s final moments.
According to a campaign aide, Clinton watched the final inning on an iPad that carried a live stream of the broadcast through Slingbox. Aide Connolly Keigher was among those nervously pacing as they watched the Cubs take the lead, give one run back but hang on for the title.
Keigher had brought the iconic “W” flag to hold up in triumph. Clinton would continue watching some highlights as she ultimately left the venue and traveled to her Phoenix hotel.
Aiming to boost turnout, Clinton warns minority groups they don’t have a place in ‘Trump’s America’
Hillary Clinton cast Donald Trump on Wednesday as indifferent, if not hostile, to minority groups — a troubling trait that has no place in the Oval Office, she said as she made a closing pitch to Latino voters.
“If you don’t fit into a very narrow category of people he can relate to, then somehow you don’t have a part of Trump’s America,” she said at a union hall in Las Vegas. “That really bothers me.”
Clinton, trying to both demonstrate confidence and motivate Democrats to vote, acknowledged that the election has posed a difficult choice for many Americans.
Though her campaign maintained that it expects to win, Clinton urged supporters to imagine what it would be like to have Trump sworn in as president in January.
“What kind of change are we going to have?” she asked. “Someone who demeans women, mocks the disabled, insults Latinos and African Americans. What would it be like to have that person in the most powerful office in the world?”
That is Clinton’s final pitch to Latinos — a reminder of what her campaign calls Trump’s “record of insults” against minority groups.
Clinton reminded voters of how Trump has denigrated the contributions of immigrants and the children of immigrants, such as the Mexican American judge overseeing the Trump University case, whose impartiality Trump repeatedly questioned.
In her first general election visit to Arizona later Wednesday, Clinton will also point to elected Republican officials, namely former Gov. Jan Brewer and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, dismissing the potential clout that Latino voters have in helping to turn the state from red to blue.
Clinton also debuted new English- and Spanish-language ads Wednesday. “Twenty-seven million are ready to put up a fight, and not be intimidated by hatred and spite,” the narrator says in the minute-long English-language spot.
Campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said it was important in the closing week to contrast Trump’s “dark” vision with Clinton’s record and experience in national security. She maintained that the campaign continued to see positive trends in early voting in key states such as Nevada and Arizona. Clinton herself noted here that no Democrat had won the state since her husband in 1996.
“It’s close and competitive. And it’s going to be a great honor to campaign in these last six days across this country. Because this, my friends, is not a normal election,” she said.
Trump campaign condemns burning of historic black church that was spray-painted ‘Vote Trump’
Donald Trump’s campaign denounced the burning and vandalizing of a historic black church in Mississippi on Wednesday.
“We are deeply saddened for the members of the Hopewell M.B. Church community and condemn in the strongest terms this terrible act that has no place in our society. We are grateful that no one was hurt and we urge witnesses with any information to come forward and help bring justice to those who are responsible,” the campaign said in a statement.
The church in Greenville caught fire Tuesday night, and the words “Vote Trump” were spray-painted below soot-blackened windows.
Authorities are investigating the fire as a hate crime and the city’s police chief called the incident “a form of voting intimidation,” according to WALB-TV.
Trump’s campaign manager dismisses anti-Semitic supporters as ‘fools’
Donald Trump’s campaign manager dismissed supporters who used anti-Semitic language at recent rallies as “fools” who do not represent the GOP nominee or his campaign.
“It’s not a lot and we denounce all of it, and I would not be part of a campaign that countenanced it, and you know it,” Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC. “… What are we supposed to do about fools? A 1st Amendment right, you can — you can sound like a fool.”
Conway was responding to a question about a man at a Miami rally Wednesday, who shouted at reporters that they “sell out for a shekel, for a few shekel.” Over the weekend, at a rally in Phoenix, another man chanted “Jew-S-A.”
Trump has been accused of stoking racial and ethnic tensions because of his inflammatory rhetoric about Mexicans, Muslims and others.
He has also galvanized white nationalists more strongly than any presidential nominee in decades, though his campaign has disavowed their support.
Conway noted that the man in Phoenix was removed by security, and said that his “idiotic” words “do not reflect our campaign or our candidacy.”
“And Donald Trump has said many times, he will be the president of all people ... even those who don’t agree with him,” she said.
Can early voters who have cast their ballots change their minds, as Trump is urging? It depends
Donald Trump’s new campaign argument is encouraging early Hillary Clinton voters with “buyer’s remorse” over the new FBI investigation to redo their ballots and support him instead. But voting rules and patterns make it unlikely that such a move would make a difference in the election.
Primarily, political operatives and researchers believe that voters who send in their ballots early are the most ardent supporters of either candidates and therefore unlikely to change their minds.
Beyond that, though more than two-thirds of states offer some form of early or absentee voting, rules vary dramatically on whether voters can change their minds once they cast their ballots.
In California, if a voter has already cast a ballot, he cannot change his vote, according to the secretary of state’s office.
In some states such as Minnesota, the deadline to request a new absentee ballot has already passed.
But Wisconsin, where Trump made his pitch, has among the most liberal rules, allowing voters to change their minds three times.
In battleground Pennsylvania, voters who requested absentee ballots can change their minds up to election day, but must cast their new ballot in person. The state does not have early voting, however.
The bottom line for voters who have changed their mind: Check with state elections officials.
White nationalist drops pro-Trump ad and apologizes for attacking Evan McMullin
The white nationalist who produced pro-Donald Trump audio spots attacking Evan McMullin’s personal life halted the robocalls Wednesday and apologized for the “mean-spirited message.”
“I am truly sorry,” said William Johnson, the Los Angeles lawyer and leader of the American Freedom Party and its related PAC. “I am sorry for the mean-spirited message and I humbly retract its contents.”
McMullin is the “Never Trump” independent who has drawn criticism from Trump for making gains on the nominee in Republican Utah. Trump complained that McMullin was a “nobody” who “takes votes away from me” in Utah.
This was the first time the white nationalist American National Super PAC acted to help Trump. Supremacists are energized over Trump’s campaign more than any major party nominee in decades. Trump denounced support this week from a Ku Klax Klan newspaper.
The phone-delivered ad that launched Monday in Utah tried to chip away at McMullin’s standing among the Beehive State’s Mormon and conservative voters.
It criticized McMullin’s support of his mother, who remarried a woman after she and his father divorced. It went on to suggest that McMullin, who is single, is gay.
McMullin stood by his mother and declared that he was “straight,” having earlier told the Salt Lake Tribune that he looked forward to becoming a husband and father.
Trump’s campaign repudiated the call, and Johnson said, “Many people from Utah and beyond have excoriated me for it as well.”
Donald Trump built a political movement. Now what?
Donald Trump has whipped up a political movement like none other in modern politics, but there’s a surprising ambivalence from his army of supporters — and even the candidate himself — over what to do next.
Beyond the bombast of taking up arms to storm the White House should Hillary Clinton become president, ardent Trump voters are beginning to think seriously about their post-election role in American politics.
Will they organize as a new political force, spark a revolution inside the GOP or, as some supporters at Trump rallies recently hinted, retreat into the background after an exhausting and divisive campaign?
Fighting the urge to declare a certain win, Trump tells supporters, ‘Pretend it’s close’
Donald Trump’s signature brand of braggadocio doesn’t particularly mesh well with the sense of urgency he’s hoping to instill in his supporters less than a week before election day.
In Miami on Wednesday, he openly wrestled with his natural inclination to declare certain victory with a more tactical admission that the race would be close. So he did both.
“The polls are all saying we’re going to win Florida,” Trump told an enthusiastic crowd at an outdoor amphitheater next to Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami. “Don’t believe it, don’t believe it. Get out there and vote. Pretend we’re slightly behind.”
Later he veered into his standard boasts of overwhelming support and record turnout that undoubtedly, in his view, point to a Nov. 8 victory.
“The polls have just come up — we’re way up in Florida,” Trump said before he caught himself mid-brag. “I shouldn’t say that because I want you to go vote!”
He urged his supporters to share in the fantasy of a tight race to keep them motivated.
“Ok, ready, we’re going to pretend we’re down,” he instructed. “We’re down! Pretend, right?”
Recent polls indicate that the race in Florida, a perennial battleground, is indeed close. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows a neck-and-neck race, with Trump currently holding a one-point advantage.
Donald Trump after Iowa shootings: ‘Attack on our police is an attack on all of us’
The ambush-style shooting deaths of two Iowa police officers Wednesday provided Donald Trump with the opportunity to tout a message central to his campaign: law and order.
Campaigning in Florida, Trump noted the deaths of the officers, saying an “attack on our police is an attack on all of us.”
“Law enforcement is the line separating civilization from total chaos,” Trump said.
On the stump, Trump often boasts about netting the endorsement of the National Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest police union. In July, when he addressed the Republican National Convention, Trump sought to cast his campaign as a so-called law-and-order ticket.
The two Des Moines-area officers were killed in separate shootings early Wednesday.
Talking more broadly about violence against police, Trump said, “It is a lack of respect for our nation. It’s a lack of respect for our leadership.
“To all the great men and women of law enforcement, I want you to know, we’re with you, we support you and we will stand by you,” Trump said. “We’re going to restore law, order and justice in America.”
On Twitter, Hillary Clinton voiced her condolences for the fallen officers.
“Heartbroken for the families of two brave officers who were killed in Iowa. There’s no justification for this kind of violence,” she wrote.
Obama on FBI investigation: ‘We don’t operate on innuendo’
President Obama faulted the FBI on Wednesday over its handling of the investigation into whether newfound emails are related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private server, condemning the bureau for falling short of standards.
“There is a norm that when there are investigations, we don’t operate on innuendo and we don’t operate on incomplete information and we don’t operate on leaks,” he said in an interview with NowThis. “We operate based on concrete decisions that are made.”
The remarks were Obama’s first public reaction to FBI Director James Comey’s decision last week to make the review public just days before the election.
He did not mention Comey by name and cautioned that he wasn’t trying to interfere with the investigation. Nonetheless, his comments were an extraordinary departure for a president who has withheld his fire on the FBI’s actions in a variety of cases, citing a longstanding precedent of presidents trying not to influence federal investigations.
Clinton’s campaign, most Democrats and even some Republicans excoriated Comey for reinjecting the emails into the forefront of the presidential race. More than three months earlier, Comey had said his agents had completed their investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information and concluded that they did not have enough evidence to recommend charges.
“When this was investigated thoroughly the last time, the conclusion of the FBI, the conclusion of the Justice Department, the conclusion of repeated congressional investigations was that she had made some mistakes but that there wasn’t anything there that was prosecutable,” Obama said.
Clinton heads to North Carolina with artist Pharrell Williams
Bernie Sanders gets fiery in call for oil pipeline constuction to stop
Sen. Bernie Sanders weighed in on the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline during an impassioned moment at a rally for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton Tuesday
“Damn right!” Sanders (I-Vt.) shot back when an attendee interrupted his speech to yell “Stop the Dakota pipeline!”
The path of a 1,172-mile-long crude oil pipeline — which crosses under the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and would pass through a burial ground and sacred site — has been a source of contention for the Native American community for years. Protests escalated recently with the large-scale arrest of activists who have been camped out at the construction site for months.
Sanders has long called for construction of the pipeline to end, including in an open letter to President Obama last week.
The Clinton campaign released a statement last week saying the Democrat thinks all voices and views should be considered in infrastructure projects.
Obama told NowThis news in an interview Monday that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing whether there are ways to reroute the pipeline, which is being built by a private company but is subject to federal approval.
Black church in Mississippi burned, tagged with ‘Vote Trump’ graffiti
A Mississippi church caught fire late Tuesday and the words “Vote Trump” were spray-painted below soot-blackened windows, a newspaper reported.
The fire at Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville began about 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, police said. No injuries were reported, and the majority of the fire damage was in the main sanctuary, according to the Delta Daily News.
Federal and state officials were investigating, and local police planned a news conference for later Wednesday.
Bill Clinton and Tim Kaine cancel Iowa event after police shootings
Arizona woman born before women’s suffrage votes for Clinton
A woman born six years before women earned the right to vote in 1920 wants to help make history with her vote for Hillary Clinton.
Geraldine “Jerry” Emmett, 102, was born before the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and lived through the women’s suffrage movement. She’s a Democrat and now lives in Arizona.
“I am getting to vote for Hillary Clinton for president, which has been my dream since Bill Clinton was president,” Emmett told the Daily Courier of Prescott, Ariz., on Tuesday.
Emmett first appeared as an honorary delegate at the July Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia when she announced Arizona’s 51 votes for Clinton. She told the Washington Post that moment made her cry because she believes Clinton deserves to win.
Back when Bill Clinton was president in the 1990s, Emmett started a fan club for the first lady and has supported her ever since.
“I knew even then she was the backbone of that outfit,” Emmett told the Arizona Republic. “I knew she would eventually be somebody on her own.”
Libertarian VP candidate: ‘I’m here vouching for Mrs. Clinton’
The Libertarian vice presidential candidate vouched for Hillary Clinton in what almost — almost — sounded like a concession of the race one week before the election.
“I’m here vouching for Mrs. Clinton,” former Republican Massachusetts governor Bill Weld said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” Tuesday. “I think it’s high time somebody did.”
Without qualifying for any presidential debates and remaining low in polling percentages, the Libertarian ticket doesn’t have much of a chance at winning the White House on Nov. 8. But their supporters’ votes could affect the GOP or Democratic tickets’ chances in key states.
Weld said he can’t support Donald Trump because the GOP candidate stirs up “envy,” “hatred” and “resentment.”
“I fear for the country if Mr. Trump should be elected,” he said.
He said he knows Clinton from personal experience and thought someone from outside the Democratic National Committee should “vouch” for her.
Despite prodding from show host Rachel Maddow, Weld did not officially endorse Clinton or say Libertarian voters in key states such as North Carolina and Ohio should cast their vote for the Democratic candidate.
Trump’s call for policing urban polls stirs defiant reaction among black voters
The Rev. Alyn E. Waller was appalled when he learned that Donald Trump was dispatching supporters to Philadelphia to watch for vote fraud on election day.
Most Trump supporters are white. Nearly half of Philadelphia’s population is black. The racial dimension was obvious.
“It is absolutely racist,” said Waller, the pastor of Ebon Tabernacle Baptist Church, Philadelphia’s largest black congregation. “He fundamentally believes that we are less than who he is, and therefore capable of robbing and stealing and being dangerous.”
It would take a bombshell for FBI to charge Clinton in email case, experts say
Even if FBI agents discover classified information on a newly seized laptop, Hillary Clinton is unlikely to face criminal charges, according to legal experts and former federal prosecutors.
That’s largely because the Justice Department and FBI Director James B. Comey have already declined to prosecute based on a legal conclusion that there was no evidence that Clinton and her aides intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, a key element of such a criminal offense.
To change the calculus, the FBI would have to find correspondence that clearly demonstrates Clinton or her aides knowingly broke the law, exchanged materials they knew to be classified or attempted to interfere with the investigation by withholding or destroying evidence, according to former federal prosecutors and legal scholars.