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Hillary Clinton aide says Bernie Sanders backers to come around

The Latest on the Democratic National Convention and 2016 presidential campaign. (all times EDT):

7:10 p.m.

A Hillary Clinton campaign adviser says he’s not worried about winning over Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

“Most of them are going to come around.”

That’s what John Podesta thinks.

Podesta says he knows there are some in the Sanders camp who are still “emotional” and wish Clinton didn’t win more votes than the Vermont senator in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But Podesta says most of Sanders’ supporters are looking at the election as a choice between Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

Podesta spoke after some Sanders delegates at the party’s convention wore neon yellow shirts to protest Clinton’s nomination.

6:50 p.m.

Some Bernie Sanders supporters are wearing glow-in-the-dark shirts on the final night of Democrats convention in Philadelphia.

They say it’s a way to remind presidential nominee Hillary Clinton that she hasn’t brought them all on board yet.

For Clinton, the silent protest probably is preferable to the heckling and booing from that marked the early days of the convention.

Sanders delegate Davena Norris says her bright shirt is meant to send a message that more needs to be done to curb the influence of money in politics.

6:45 p.m.

Donald Trump is campaigning in Iowa and largely avoiding the topic that earned him lots of criticism this week.

Only a day ago Trump encouraged Russia to find and make public missing emails deleted by his Democratic presidential opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s comments raised the question of whether he was condoning foreign government hacking of U.S. computers and the public release of information stolen from political adversaries.

Trump was condemned by Clinton and even some of his fellow Republicans. Running mate Mike Pence warned of “serious consequences” if Russia interfered in the election.

Trump has since insisted he was being sarcastic.

At the Iowa rally, he did say he wanted better relations with Russia and joked that writing letters was more secure than “putting something on a computer.”

5:40 p.m.

Donald Trump says “a lot of lies are being told” about him in the speeches at the Democratic National Convention this week.

The Republican presidential nominee is joking about it during a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa.

“Boy, I’m getting hit” by Democrats – he says. “I guess they have to do their thing.”

Trump is criticizing Democrats for not talking about terrorism or laying out a plan to aid the economy.

4:25 p.m.

Die-hard Bernie Sanders supporters from Oregon’s delegation say they’re demanding a nationally televised apology at the Democratic National Convention before Hillary Clinton takes the stage Thursday night to accept the presidential nomination.

The matter involves leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee that indicated party officials were biased against the Vermont senator.

The DNC has apologized and the party’s leader, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is resigning her post.

But Melissa Pancurak tells The Associated Press that those steps don’t go far enough. She says the Oregon delegates are part of a coalition of Sanders supporters working to get their demand to appropriate DNC officials before Clinton’s speech.

4:20 p.m.

Donald Trump’s stand on abortion has been inconsistent, but his running says Trump would be a “pro-life president.”

Mike Pence is campaigning in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he makes clear he opposes abortion. And the Indiana governor tells a town hall rally, “I don’t apologize for it.”

Pence drew the ire of abortion rights advocates in March after he signed a law banning abortions that were being sought because of fetal genetic defects. That law has since been blocked pending the outcome of a court challenge.

Pence says Trump would appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court who would send the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling to the “ash heap of history.”

4 p.m.


That’s what Elijah Cummings thinks of liberal supporters of Bernie Sanders who chanted an anti-trade slogan during the Maryland congressman’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.

But Cummings says he’s not upset about it because he’s a veteran of civil rights protests and understands the passion that drove the mostly young delegates to shout over his speech Monday.

Cummings says in an interview that most of those who were shouting probably didn’t know he worked with Sanders to draft the Democratic platform and he’s “never voted for a trade bill in 20 years in Congress.”

He says more than 100 people have apologized to him for the outbursts.

2:37 p.m.

President Barack Obama‘s mention of “fascists” and “homegrown demagogues” in his convention speech wasn’t aimed at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

That’s what White House press secretary Josh Earnest is telling reporters the day after Obama argued for Democrat Hillary Clinton’s election over Trump.

Obama said “anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end.”

Obama had criticized Trump several times before arriving at that particular line in the speech, including saying that American power “doesn’t come from a self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way.”

Trump said in his acceptance speech at last week’s GOP convention that “I alone can fix” a political system he says is rigged.

2:19 p.m.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is giving Hillary Clinton credit for her work on behalf of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Giuliani was asked at a Republican Party briefing Thursday in Philadelphia whether he took issue with the Democratic convention speakers who’d been praising Clinton. Giuliani said she was “enormously supportive and helpful.” Clinton was a U.S. senator from New York at the time.

He says Clinton “has a right to tell people that she worked hard on behalf of the 9/11 families.” He adds that, “She did.”

But Giuliani adds that “on all other aspects she fails the test.” Clinton and Democrats, he says, have “not done anything to prevent another attack.”

1:50 p.m.

This time, Bill Clinton will be the adoring spouse, rapt and smiling when the cameras cut away from the candidate in the spotlight.

He’ll be the He in the VIP box watching as She accepts the presidential nomination at the Democratic convention on Thursday.

It’s one small step in the role reversal Americans will need to get used to if Hillary Clinton wins the White House in November.

Already, satires and spoofs are circulating, taking note of Bill’s fashion choices, accessories and hair style. How about that fetching pantsuit! And that nice head of hair! Whose shoes is he wearing?

After all, that’s what political wives have come to expect.

Bill Clinton, utterly comfortable in his own skin, seems to be just fine with trading places with his wife, the former first lady.

10:28 a.m.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid says the CIA should give Donald Trump “fake intelligence briefings” because he can’t be trusted.

The Nevada lawmaker tells reporters in Philadelphia that “they shouldn’t give him anything that means anything because you can’t trust him.”

Reid was responding to Trump’s call for Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.

He says he’s sure the agency is aware of his suggestion.

He also says Trump may have violated the Logan Act that bars unauthorized U.S. citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.

9:56 a.m.

The North Carolina Republican Party has removed a tweet criticizing Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine for wearing a pin honoring his son’s military service.

The tweet posted during Kaine’s Democratic National Convention speech Wednesday night said Kaine “wears a Honduras flag pin on his jacket but no American flag. Shameful.”

The pin in question has a single blue star against a white background outlined in red. It’s the same design as the Service Flag, which is reserved for families who have members serving in the military during wartime. The flag of Honduras has five stars against a blue and white striped background. Kaine’s son is a Marine set to be deployed to Europe.

The party hasn’t responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Police and protesters credited with restraint at convention

Bernie Sanders‘ devoted followers were careful to pick up after themselves and wore hats embroidered with a dove to remind everyone to remain peaceful. And the police, instead of hauling demonstrators off to jail, issued them $50 tickets for disorderly conduct and released them with a complimentary bottle of water.

As the Democratic National Convention drew toward a close Thursday afternoon, Philadelphia police reported making a four-day total of only 11 arrests, and officers and protesters alike were credited with showing restraint and courtesy.

The rallies and marches that some feared would result in violence and mass disruptions instead brought a festival-like atmosphere at times to City Hall and Broad Street.

“I’m very happy so far with everyone,” Police Commissioner Richard Ross said. He said his officers “took pride in what they did all week. Very patient, tolerant and courteous is what I was hearing from a lot of people.”

Mary Catherine Roper, deputy legal director of Pennsylvania’s American Civil Liberties Union, said the department’s hands-off approach helped keep things calm.

“This is what it looks like when you just let people get their message out: lots of expression and very little conflict,” she said.

As of Thursday afternoon, in addition to the 11 people arrested, about 100 protesters had been ticketed and fined. The ticketed demonstrators were briefly detained, their hands zip-tied behind their backs, but not technically arrested.

Less than two months before the convention, the city passed legislation allowing police to write the equivalent of traffic tickets instead of making criminal arrests for many nuisance crimes, such as disorderly conduct, blocking a street and failure to disperse.

“I think it’s helped,” the police commissioner said. “What it does for us is that it gets people in and out of our hands. We’re able to get people back on those lines and keep things moving. I’m sure people appreciate being written up for a citation and handed a bottle of water.”

During the Republican convention in Cleveland last week, a heavy police presence and fewer than expected protesters helped authorities maintain order. Only about two dozen arrests were made.

In Philadelphia, the number of protesters was likewise much lower than expected. About 35,000 protesters each day were anticipated. But the turnout on Monday was put at about 5,500, and it dwindled to 1,500 by Wednesday.

Stifling humidity and temperatures in the high 90s may have kept the crowds down. Also, a severe thunderstorm that rolled through Monday evening scattered protesters gathered outside the Wells Fargo Center on the convention’s opening night, and heavy rain cut short a Sanders rally on Thursday afternoon.

Police de-escalated situations by separating groups of opposing protesters but allowing them to continue to express themselves, said Eric Ferrero, an Amnesty International deputy executive director who helped oversee teams of observers in Philadelphia and Cleveland.

“What we have seen so far in Philadelphia is largely peaceful protests around the city and police protecting people’s right to protest,” he said. He also gave credit to demonstrators, who are “protesting peacefully and who have a strong point of view they want to get across, but do it (in a) peaceful and orderly fashion.”

Andy Billotti, a Sanders supporter from Middletown, Maryland, has been protesting all week and said the police have been excellent. He also said the protesters have been courteous.

“Berners are a peaceful group,” he said. He attributed that to their general mindset and a desire not to “put a bad light on Bernie Sanders.”

Weeks before the convention, Philadelphia clergy teamed up with a legal collective to hold a series of workshops for demonstrators on protesting nonviolently.

Throughout the protests, some demonstrators have urged others to remain calm. It happened Tuesday night near the Wells Fargo Center when one demonstrator was shaking a temporary crowd-control fence and others told him to stop. He did.

Police also showed patience with protesters outside the convention hall. Demonstrators climbing the fences Tuesday were helped down safely by police before the officers zip-tied their hands. On Wednesday night, officers smiled and talked with protesters, allowing them to secure their belongings before taking them into custody.

Philadelphia wanted to avoid a repeat of 2000, when it arrested more than 400 protesters at the Republican National Convention, only to see most cases end in acquittals.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Lady Gaga hits stage for invite-only show for DNC delegates

Lady Gaga hit the stage at an invitation-only concert Thursday for delegates to the Democratic National Convention, covering classic songs from Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, the Beatles and others.

Gaga opened with a jazzy version of Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” and then Young’s “Old Man.” She was introduced by Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, who called her a star who’s not afraid to speak out about sexual violence and mental health.

She closed out her set with the Beatles’ “Come Together” and then sang Edith Piaf‘s “La Vie en Rose” as an encore.

Lenny Kravitz, who also performed inside the convention on Wednesday night, ended his set Thursday by shouting, “We, the people! We, the people! We, the people!” DJ Jazzy Jeff spun tunes in between their sets.

The show gives Camden, one of the country’s most impoverished cities, time in the Democratic convention spotlight.

George Norcross and Susan McCue, president of General Majority PAC and a former chief of staff to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, hosted the “Camden Rising” event, held hours before Hillary Clinton formally accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

Norcross is credited with working with Republican Gov. Chris Christie to help in redevelopment efforts in Camden, many partially funded through state grants and tax credits. The insurance executive is a Democratic superdelegate along with his brother, U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross. Both are supporting Clinton.

Clinton delegate Suzanne Perkins, 47, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, said she thinks celebrities can help influence delegates and voters.

After Kravitz’s set, she said Bernie Sanders supporters in her delegation who like his music and politics heard his support for Clinton and might think, “Maybe I ought to open my mind. Here’s a guy whose politics I agree with and he endorsed her.”

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Diane Roberts: Bernie Sanders supporters need to grow up

Santa Claus ain’t real. Nobody from Hogwarts is going to show up with a spell to cure what ails us. Captain Kirk will not be whooshing in on the Enterprise to make peace on the planet.

Millions of American voters seem to think one person can save the nation: defeat terrorism, bring our soldiers home, resuscitate dead industries, make us all rich, repair every rickety bridge and pot-holey road, solve climate change, get the lion to lie down with the lamb, and clear up that acne.

Last week at the Republican Convention last week, Donald Trump told the nation “I alone can fix it.” America, he means. This week at the Democratic Convention, Sandersnistas threw tantrums because their guy – who would give us free college and whip Wall Street – lost to Hillary Clinton.

Yes, lost. The nomination contest wasn’t stolen. It wasn’t rigged. Here’s the great Sarah Silverman, a Sanders supporter, Monday night: “Can I just say to the ‘Bernie-or-bust’ people, you’re being ridiculous.”

The Democratic National Committee’s obvious support of Hillary Clinton during the primaries was wrong. Moreover, their emails reveal serious bias – but not criminality. Not fraud.

There was no conspiracy to rob Bernie of his rightful votes. No DNC Illuminati meeting in candlelit rooms plotting his downfall. No Clinton Freemasonry.

It was just what you’d expect when a longtime Democrat’s primary opponent had only been a professed member of the party for about five minutes. You want the support of Democratic Party brass? Be a Democrat.

This is how party politics works. There’s a contest: somebody wins and somebody loses.

Yet a number of Sanders supporters pitched hissy fits as if the nation had just perversely rejected its one true savior. They walked out, booed, hollered “Lock her up!” (really?) and protested, announcing that they intended to vote for the Green Party or not vote at all or even vote for Donald Trump.

Which would add to America’s problems. Thanks, y’all.

For conservatives, everything’s good or bad, for us or against us. The Trumpsters not only assume that their candidate will ride into the White House on a bed of caviar and gold leaf, unite the nation, and stare down any dirty foreigner who dares challenge him, but do it single-handedly.

As if the Constitution, Congress, K-Street, the Supreme Court, state governments, international finance, treaties, and alliances did not even exist.

Progressives usually acknowledge the complexity of the world and know that no one person can ever be the answer to all our issues. But too many act like Bernie Sanders is some kind of wizard, some Brooklyn-born Gandalf, who will somehow rid American politics of big money influence and banish inequality. Single-handedly.

See the Constitution, Congress, K-Street, the Supreme Court, etc., above.

Looking to one man (emphasis on the word MAN) as The Answer, is not democracy. It’s magical thinking. Fairy-tale fascism.

Bernie Sanders certainly never wanted to be a dictator. He does not feel the need to crush his “enemies:” Trump is still going around insulting Sen. Ted Cruz, his nearest rival and Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the race months ago. To Sen. Sanders’s credit, he not only called last night for Hillary Clinton to become the nominee by acclamation, but he will also be out campaigning for her.

That’s grace. But some of Sen. Sanders’s acolytes act as though without his super powers, nothing positive can happen in this nation. They’ll take their whiffle ball and go home.

Then there’s Trump. He seems to want to be a strongman like Putin. Or Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Someone who quashes the free press (remember Trump said he wants to “open up” libel laws to destroy media he doesn’t like), threatens war, and doesn’t care that we need the goodwill of other nations.

Governing is a process. Good things can happen, but they don’t happen overnight. Or because of one person. Some Americans may long for an all-powerful, butt-kicking guy to waste our foes and Save the World, but nothing is ever that simple.

We need to grow up. Life isn’t a movie.


Diane Roberts’s book “Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America” will be out in paperback this fall. She teaches at FSU.

Mitch Perry Report for 7.28.16 — Hillary’s turn

President Barack Obama certainly set the bar high for Hillary Clinton‘s acceptance speech tonight at the Democratic National Convention, but most fair-minded people will know that going in. Even his harshest critics acknowledge that Barack Obama is one of the finest orators our nation has ever had in the White House, and the grading curve should be different from everyone else.

But by this point, it should be obvious about what we’re going to hear tonight — a healthy dose of optimism about this country, and criticism of Donald Trump‘s much darker, and OK, dystopian vision.

I wrote about those themes emerging in Clinton’s speech in Tampa last Friday afternoon.

She also criticized his Cleveland RNC speech where he said that he alone could fix so many of the ills that the nation is undergoing.

“I never heard of an American leader, or at least someone who wants to be an American leader, claiming that’s all we need. That’s not a democracy my friends, as I call recall, we had a revolution to make sure we didn’t have someone who said I can fix it alone!”

I saw on Twitter last night how some conservatives and Republicans feel like they’re message is being hijacked by the Democrats. There’s a reason for that. Out of power, the opposition party has to point out that there are problems in this country, and only they could solve that.

Bernie Sanders said the same thing in his own way.

Mrs. Clinton is the establishment, no doubt. By wanting to maintain another four years of Democratic rule after the past eight years, yes, she is portraying an America “that is already great,” another line we’ve repeatedly heard this week.

There were so many other interesting things that happened in the past 24 hours. The chants of “no more war!” being yelled at Leon Pancetta was interesting.

Of all the speeches from last night, I thought Michael Bloomberg’s was the most interesting.

Robbie Mook wants a few good Floridians to house Hillary Clinton staffers for the campaign.

Although it was purely symbolic, a bid to offer an alternative to Tim Kaine in the vice-presidential roll call last night died by indifference by the Democratic National Committee.

This DNC has been all about humanizing Hillary Clinton. A former staffer of hers, USFSP political science professor Judithanne McLauchlan, says the image portrayed by conservative talk show hosts isn’t the woman she knows.

Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, Martin O’Malley and Bill deBlasio all got their turns on the big stage at the DNC on Wednesday night.

Some of the state’s most prominent Democratic mayors took their turns before their fellow Democrats yesterday.

Bob Buckhorn fired up the crowd in Philadelphia.

Philip Levine touted the plan to bring a streetcar to Miami Beach in his speech in Philly.

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum spoke before the entire DNC yesterday, but spent some time a the Marriott Hotel in the morning.

Parts of the Democratic bench get their close-up in Philadelphia

Although it’s not much discussed much (and absolutely not at this week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia), one reason why Bernie Sanders was so successful this past year in his quixotic bid for president is that he became the only candidate challenging Hillary Clinton that had a message that resonated.

But it’s not like there were that many Democrats who even attempted to run against her. That’s because, for the past four years, she’s been the establishment choice in the party, freezing out most aspirants who realized that raising money and getting endorsements was going to be a herculean task. And that’s not including what we’ve learned about what the favoritism she received from the Democratic National Committee.

The only other major candidate that joined Sanders and Clinton in 2015 was former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who put all his chips on Iowa. Once he failed big time there, he bailed from the race the next day.

On Wednesday night at the DNC, O’Malley and some other Democrats of national stature with ambitions took to the stage at the Wells Fargo Center. O’Malley took relish in attacking Donald Trump.” Anger never built a great Republic,” said O’Malley, referring to Donald Trump.” I say to hell with Trump’s American nightmare.”

Referring to Trump’s comments that “wages are too high,” O’Malley got energized.

“Wages are too high? I’ll tell you what’s too high: … College tuition is too high. The cost of child care is too high. The number of American children who live in poverty is too high.”

“Donald Trump’s opinion of himself … that’s way too high!!” as the crowd cheered heartily.

New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio was once hailed as the great progressive hope after his election in 2013, but his Mojo has stalled of late. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager for her 2000 election to the Senate in New York, DeBlasio was dissed in a fashion by getting a 5:30 p.m. time slot, far, far away from prime time.

In his address, DeBlasio compared Clinton with another New Yorker, Donald Trump, and you can bet that the comparisons weren’t very favorable to the GOP presidential candidate.

“When she graduated from law school, she could have begun a lucrative career at a prestigious law firm of her choice,” he said. “Instead, her heart led her to do the noble job at modest pay at the Children’s Defense Fund, where she advocated for children and poor families who needed a champion.”

“What did Donald Trump do?” DeBlasio continued. “He was born rich; he made a career out of ripping people off, racking up debt and bankrupting his companies.”

Gavin Newsom could become the next governor of California, which used to make someone an automatic possibility for national prominence. The former San Francisco Mayor became a hero to the LGBT community in 2004 when he declared same-sex marriage legal in his home city (the courts later overturned his decision).

Newsom spoke at 7 p.m. Eastern, which he joked beforehand was “C-SPAN 2 status.”

In his speech, he called it “refreshing” to finally see an openly gay man — PayPal founder Peter Theil — address a GOP convention, but said it didn’t remove the “stain” of the selection of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as the Republican vice-presidential nominee, who he deigned “America’s most anti-LGBT Governor.”

Newsom, currently California’s Lieutenant Governor, blasted Pence for advocating for the controversial “conversion therapy,” which he said was not about “pray away the gay.” Instead, it was an “emotional torture” against our most innocent citizens. Our children.”

California’s current Governor, Jerry Brown, has previously run for president on three previous occasions — 1976, 1980 and 1992. And yet, the 78-year Democrat was being mentioned in some circles a year ago as a potential challenger to Clinton’s hegemony.

Greeted by chants of “Jerry, Jerry,” Brown told the crowd that he appreciated the positive buzz, but he only had five minutes to get his message out.

In his speech, Brown took on Trump’s views on climate change, and though not by name, Rick Scott.

In referring to how the GOP presidential candidate never mentioned the words “global warming ” or “climate change” in his 76-minute acceptance speech in Cleveland last week, Brown said what did you expect from a party that has banned state employees from mentioning those words in Florida,” which was reported that officials with Scott’s Department of Environmental Protection did in early 2015.

Viewer Guide: Hillary Clinton to make her own case Thursday

Hour after hour and speaker after speaker, Hillary Clinton has been extolled at the Democratic convention this week as a change-maker, an effective leader and a caring human being.

As the convention’s closer on Thursday, Clinton – one of most recognized politicians on the planet – takes center stage to reintroduce herself to Democratic delegates and tens of millions of television viewers. For those unswayed by the testimonials and touching anecdotes of others, only Clinton can make the case for why she deserves a second look.

Some things to watch for at the convention Thursday:


Clinton has multiple missions to accomplish with her speech: explain how she can build on the accomplishments of President Barack Obama without sounding like a defender of the status quo, win over Americans with lingering questions about her trustworthiness, make the case against Donald Trump‘s bleak vision of America, and rebut the hours of vitriol heaped on her at the GOP convention.


The convention’s roll call of the states is behind her; a bruising fall campaign is still to come. Clinton can afford to take a moment Thursday to savor the now. Whatever happens on Election Day, Clinton will always be the first female presidential nominee of a major U.S. party. Watch how much Clinton chooses to play up that milestone. She previewed her pitch in a satellite message to the convention on Tuesday, when she told little girls who might still be watching: “I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next.”


At the 1992 convention, when Bill Clinton first claimed the Democratic nomination, America got to know daughter Chelsea as a gangly 12-year-old who loved volleyball and ballet. She also was already a seasoned political offspring, schooled since she was 6 in the ways of campaigns. The girl named for the song “Chelsea Morning” is now 36 and a mother of two. She’ll take the stage Thursday to introduce her mother and continue the family’s effort to humanize her, which began with Bill Clinton’s speech on Tuesday.


Inside the convention halls and out, die-hard Bernie Sanders supporters have expended tremendous energy this week holding fast to their vanquished standard-bearer. With Sanders sounding a call for unity, watch for any lingering signs of “Bernie or Bust” sentiment.


The sight of Hillary Clinton holding forth on stage while her adoring husband looks on from a prime viewing location at the Wells Fargo Arena will offer Americans a glimpse into the type of role reversal they’re in for if Clinton wins. Clinton is still figuring out what her husband would be called – first gentleman, perhaps, or first dude? – but she’s already got some ideas about the division of labor at the White House. She said at a debate last year: “I am probably still going to pick the flowers and the china for state dinners and stuff like that. But I will certainly turn to him, as prior presidents have, for special missions, for advice.”


Will Trump sit on his hands during Clinton’s speech or live-tweet his reaction? He’ll be campaigning in Iowa on Thursday.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Donald Trump to Russia: Uncover, release deleted Hillary Clinton emails

Donald Trump encouraged Russia on Wednesday to find and make public missing emails deleted by his presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, setting off an instant debate over hacking and his urging of a foreign government to meddle in American politics.

Shortly after Trump’s extraordinary remarks, his Republican running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, took a different tack and warned of “serious consequences” if Russia interfered in the election.

Democrats — and some Republicans — quickly condemned the remarks by the Republican presidential standard-bearer.

They came as the Democrats met on the third day of their national convention in Philadelphia, where Clinton will accept the presidential nomination Thursday night to face Republican Trump in November.

Trump’s comments raised the question of whether he was condoning foreign government hacking of U.S. computers and the public release of information stolen from political adversaries — actions that are at least publicly frowned upon across the globe. His brief remarks managed to divert attention from an embarrassing leak of other hacked emails that exposed sensitive internal political communications that had divided Democrats.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said. He was referring to emails on Clinton’s private server that she said she deleted — because they were private — before turning other messages over to the State Department. The Justice Department declined to prosecute Clinton over her email practices, but FBI Director James Comey called her “extremely careless” in handling classified information as President Barack Obama‘s secretary of state.

The Clinton campaign called Trump’s statement the “first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against a political opponent.”

At a news conference in Doral, Florida, after Trump’s initial remarks, he was asked whether he had any qualms about asking a foreign government to hack into computers in the United States. Trump did not directly respond except to say, “That’s up to the president. Let the president talk to them.”

He later added: “If Russia or China or any other country has those emails, I mean, to be honest with you, I’d love to see them.”

Trump’s invitation was immediately contradicted by his running mate. Pence condemned any possible cyberespionage, breaking from Trump for the first time since being selected to run with him.

“If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences,” Pence said in a statement.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said bluntly: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”

A Trump campaign communications adviser, Jason Miller, sought to clarify Trump’s statements, saying on Twitter that Trump never urged or invited Russia to hack Clinton’s emails. Instead, he said, Trump was “clearly saying” that if Russia or anyone else already had Clinton’s deleted emails they should share them with the FBI.

Trump never mentioned the FBI in his comments.

It was not immediately clear where or how Clinton’s deleted emails might be recovered, unless an adversary had previously hacked the computer server she operated in the basement of her home in Chappaqua, New York, before she had deleted the messages.

The Associated Press, which discovered the basement server’s existence in March 2015, previously reported that it was connected to the internet in ways that made it more vulnerable to hackers. The FBI concluded it was possible hackers broke into her server but found no direct evidence.

Wednesday’s exchange occurred hours after Obama identified Russia as almost certainly responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee in a different case. WikiLeaks published on its website last week more than 19,000 internal emails stolen from the DNC earlier this year. The emails showed DNC staffers supporting Clinton when they were publicly promising to remain neutral during the primary elections between Sen. Bernie Sanders and her.

The head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigned over the disclosures.

Trump cast doubt on whether Russia was behind that hack. He said blaming Russia was deflecting attention from the embarrassing material in the emails.

“Russia has no respect for our country, if it is Russia,” Trump said. “It could be China. It could be someone sitting in his bedroom. It’s probably not Russia. Nobody knows if it’s Russia.”

Obama traditionally avoids commenting on active FBI investigations, but he told NBC News on Tuesday that outside experts have blamed Russia for the leak. Obama also appeared to embrace the notion that President Vladimir Putin might have been responsible because of what he described as Trump’s affinity for Putin. Trump said he has no relationship with Putin.

In Moscow on Wednesday, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia would never interfere in another country’s election.

“What the motives were in terms of the leaks, all that, I can’t say directly,” Obama said. “What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin.”

Obama said he was basing his assessment on Trump’s own comments and the fact that Trump has “gotten pretty favorable coverage back in Russia.” He added that the U.S. knows that “Russians hack our systems — not just government systems, but private systems.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday on CNN that “a lot more” material was coming.

Trump’s comments were not the first time he urged hackers to release information to damage a political opponent.

He tweeted in September 2014 about one of his favorite topics— Obama’s birthplace.

“Attention all hackers: You are hacking everything else so please hack Obama’s college records (destroyed?) and check ‘place of birth,'” Trump wrote.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

Robbie Mook wants Florida Democrats to open their homes for campaign staffers

The man who will be nominated as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, made a surprise impromptu appearance before the Florida Democratic Delegation breakfast on Wednesday.

Unfortunately, this reporter didn’t see any of it, and doesn’t have any quotes to offer you. A massive slowdown on I-95 South going into downtown Philadelphia delayed the commute — but I actually wasn’t late. Kaine showed up before the 8:30 a.m. starting time, before making the rounds no doubt to a few other delegation breakfasts, ginning up momentum for his acceptance speech tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.

Robbie Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, also made an appearance, and appeared to be mega-hyped up on caffeine — as is probably most people at the convention on Day 3 of the #DemsInPhilly.

“Let’s give it up for Bernie Sanders supporters!” Mook shouted out to the delegates. He then shouted out to the crowd leading questions regarding winning more House seats, the U.S. Senate seat, and the presidential election.

Mook was effusive in his praise for Sanders and his team, and mentioned how the two candidates had worked together on a plan for college affordability as well as the party’s platform, “the most progressive” in the party’s history, he emphasized.

Repeating the whole “Stronger, together” theme that the Democrats have been pounding into the consciousness of the public this week as their message leaving Philadelphia, Mook said that was why they would not be running the Hillary Clinton campaign in Florida, but instead would be running the “coordinated campaign in Florida.”

He said that the campaign had over 100 offices up in Florida, and “we need your help. We need to house all these staffers. We need core volunteers. We need to sign people up to vote absentee. We need to get people out to vote early. President Obama won Florida by less than one percent. And we’re going to win on the ground by turning people out.”

And then he was off.

Terror fears permeated GOP week — Dems barely mention them

After terrorism fears permeated Republican speeches a week ago, Democrats have barely mentioned the Islamic State group through two days of their convention.

That is perhaps a result of the militant group’s emergence from a localized, Middle East insurgency to a self-proclaimed caliphate and worldwide terrorism threat during President Barack Obama‘s time in office. It also reflects a Republican strategy to blame Obama — and, by extension, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — for allowing the Islamic State group to expand.

“After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have?” Republican nominee Donald Trump said at his party’s convention. “ISIS has spread across the region, and the entire world.”

Clinton served as Obama’s first secretary of state, but was out of government by the time IS began making territorial advances. She will have a chance to respond later this week. So far, few have directly addressed Trump’s charge in her place.

Instead, they’ve centered their national security criticism on Trump by calling him rash and irresponsible, ridiculing his suggestions of a weaker NATO and allowing more nuclear powers, or his occasionally favorable comments about authoritarian rulers.

Even Madeleine Albright, another onetime top U.S. diplomat, avoided any mention of IS or its various acronyms. President Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband, also didn’t refer to the group.

Clinton is “the only candidate with a specific plan to work with our allies and fight ISIS,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday in a rare reference.

Stephanie Murphy, a House candidate from Florida who worked for the Defense Department, said: “Democrats know we need to be strong and smart to destroy ISIS and protect America, not reckless and rash.”

Neither elaborated on the plan.

For his part, Trump said he had his own secret plan.

“You have no idea what my strategy on ISIS is, and neither does ISIS (a good thing),” he tweeted Wednesday to FOX News’ Megyn Kelly.

The dissonance between the parties reflects not just different campaign priorities, but starkly differing world views.

Whereas Trump and Republicans focused on recent jumps in crime rates and killings of police officers, Democrats have prioritized the longer-term declines in violent crime and the particular problem of police killings of unarmed black men. Republicans complained about high corporate taxes stifling growth; Democrats, particularly those backing runner-up Bernie Sanders, have railed against the power of “millionaires and billionaires.”

The Islamic State would appear to be one more topic of disagreement.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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