Donald Trump lambasted the “dishonest press” in a speech in Loudon County, Virginia, today, pointing to the case of Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, an information management officer with the United States Foreign Service who was killed during the 11 September attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
“I mean, when they don’t… take Patti Smith,” Trump said. “When they don’t take Pat, and – who’s an unbelievable woman and they give her virtually no air time and they give other people unbelievable amounts of air – it’s just so unfair. So unfair. We’re running against a rigged press. We’re running against dishonest people, okay? Really dishonest people.”
Smith spoke at the Republican National Convention two weeks ago at what can be described as “Benghazi Night,” an evening where the majority of the speakers were focused around the attack on the American consulate that killed four people, including the ambassador. Smith gave a tearful speech in which she declared that she personally blamed Clinton for the death of her son and accused the former secretary of state of lying.
Trump’s timeline isn’t exactly accurate – Smith’s speech ran live on CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN and Univision. The only cable network not to carry it live was Fox News, which was on commercial break during the beginning of Smith’s speech and then went to a telephone interview of Trump himself.
In the same interview on Fox Business this morning in which Donald Trump proposed doubling the amount of money his opponent has suggested be spent on infrastructure and paying for it with a nebulously defined sovereign wealth fund, Trump suggested today that Americans should avoid placing their retirement funds in the stock market because of “some very scary scenarios.”
“I don’t like a lot of things that I see,” Trump said of the stock market, in which he said he is not heavily invested. “I don’t like a lot of the signs that I’m seeing. You have some very scary scenarios. The only reason the stock market is where it is is because you get free money.”
Trump declared that the current bull market is the result of artificially low interest rates pegged by the Federal Reserve, stating that if rates rose to more realistic levels, the stock market would tank.
“I did invest, and I got out, and it was actually very good timing,” Trump continued. “I’ve never been a big investor in the stock market.”
Despite that concern, Trump predicted that the market will grow if he is elected.
“I think it’s going to go great,” Trump said. “I built tremendous wealth for myself. I built a tremendous company with some of the greatest assets in the world.”
Has the Washington Post blacklist been lifted? The paper’s Dana Milbank was actually allowed to attend a Donald Trump rally in Loudon County today:
Hillary Clinton has responded to Donald trump’s assertion that he’s “always wanted” to receive a Purple Heart, which is awarded to members of the American military who are killed or wounded in the line of duty:
Trump: ‘Get the baby out of here’
Donald Trump, speaking in Loudon County, can’t decide whether or not he wants a crying baby in the same room as himself.
“Don’t worry about that baby – I love babies,” Trump said, to the mother of a baby that started crying during his stump speech. “I love babies. I hear that baby crying, I like it. What a baby, what a beautiful baby. Don’t worry, don’t worry. The mom’s running around, like, don’t worry about it, you know? It’s young and beautiful and healthy and that’s what we want.”
The audience laughed and clapped politely.
Later, when the baby continued crying, however, Trump was a little rougher.
“Actually, I was only kidding – you can get the baby out of here,” Trump said firmly. “That’s alright, don’t worry. I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking. That’s okay. People don’t understand. That’s okay.”
at 12.54pm EDT
Barack Obama: Donald Trump ‘unfit to serve as president’
President Barack Obama dismissed Donald Trump as “woefully unprepared” for the office of the presidency this morning, addressing reporters at the same time Trump held a campaign event in Loudon County, Virginia.
“I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president,” Obama said, speaking alongside Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong. “I said so last week, and he keeps on proving it. The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that had made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge around critical issues in Europe, in the Middle East, in Asia means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job.”
Obama continued, saying that even though he fought hard against his opponents for the White House in past elections, he never doubted that they could safely execute the duties of the office of the presidency.
“I think I was right and Mitt Romney and John McCain were wrong on certain policy issues, but I never thought that they couldn’t do the job,” Obama said. “And had they won, I would have been disappointed but I would have said to all Americans, ‘This is our president, and I know they’re going to abide by certain norms and rules and common sense – will observe basic decency, will have enough knowledge about economic policy and foreign policy and our constitutional traditions and rule of law that our government will work, and then we’ll compete four years from now to try to win an election.’ But that’s not the situation here.”
“And that’s not just my opinion – that’s the opinion of many prominent Republicans,” Obama continued. “There has to come a point at which you say: Enough. And the alternative is that the entire party, the Republican party, effectively endorses and validates the positions that are being articulated by Mr. Trump. And as I said in my speech last week, I don;’t think that actually represents the views of a whole lot of Republicans out there.”
at 12.54pm EDT
Here’s the video of Donald Trump declaring that he has “always wanted” to receive a Purple Heart:
Trump declared that the Purple Heart was authentic, but the veteran who gave it to him told NBC that it was a copy.
Donald Trump, apparently steamed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign raised nearly three times what his did in the month of July, tells the crowd in Ashburn that Clinton “raised like 50 or 60 million [dollars], and 20 people gave it. I’m gonna get a list of those twenty people – I wanna find out how many I know.”
That number appears to be pulled out of the clear blue sky. According to Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, 54% of the the Democratic nominee’s donations came from new donors, with an average donation for the month of $44, compared to what Trump tells the audience was a $61 average for his own campaign’s donations in July – although he said it was $69 at an event last night.
“I know the game better than anybody, and the game is played that way. They own her.”
“We have tremendous crowds of people outside – would anybody like to give up your seat?” Donald Trump asks the crowd, which boos in the negative. “We’re gonna have to start using, I think, the basketball arenas, don’t you think?”
Trump shows off a Purple Heart, a military decoration given to those injured in combat, given to him by a veteran before the speech.
“That’s, like, big stuff – I always wanted to get the Purple Heart,” Trump says. “This was much easier.”
The New York Times published a story this morning detailing the opaque nature of Trump’s statements about his numerous draft deferments during the Vietnam war – feel free to take a look.
at 11.43am EDT
Donald Trump holds campaign rally in Ashburn, Virginia
Watch it live here:
On the heels of Donald Trump thanking Paul Ryan’s primary opponent for his “kind words”:
Clinton campaign announces $90m in fundraising in July
Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has announced that between her campaign and joint fundraising committees with the Democratic party, it raised nearly $90m in July and has more than $58m in cash on hand.
According to campaign manager Robby Mook, 54% of the the Democratic nominee’s donations came from new donors, with an average donation for the month of $44. $8.7m of that haul was brought in during the 24 hours surrounding her acceptance speech last Thursday during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
“We come out of the Democratic National Convention with our party united and our supporters energized for the final 98 days of this campaign,” Mook said in a statement. “Our goal for the next 98 days is to take the remarkable outpouring of support we saw as Hillary Clinton took the stage in Philadelphia and build on our efforts to organize and mobilize millions of voters to elect progressive candidates up and down the ballot in November.”
Roughly $63m of that total was brought in by the campaign itself, with an additional $26m raised for the Democratic National Committee and state parties.
Donald Trump’s campaign has not yet released its official fundraising totals for July, but the candidate himself declared yesterday during a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio, that he had brought in $35.8m to his campaign and the Republican party.
Speaking with Fox Business anchor Stuart Varney, Donald Trump proposed spending “at least double” the $275 billion opponent Hillary Clinton has pledged to spend on American infrastructure, before suggesting that “we’ll get a fund” to pay for it.
“I would say at least double her numbers, and you’re going to really need more than that,” Trump said. “We have bridges that are falling down. I don’t know if you’ve seen the warning charts, but we have many, many bridges that are in dangers of falling, and-”
“Where does that money come from?” Varney interrupted. “If that’s the number you’re talking about, where do you get that money from?”
“We’re going to go out with a fund – we’ll get a fund,” Trump responded airily. “We’ll make a phenomenal deal with the low interest rates, and we’re going to have to rebuild our infrastructure. We have no choice.”
When twice asked who would put money into that fund, Trump suggested that “people, investors” would put money into the fund. “The citizens would put money into the fund. And we will rebuild our infrastructure with that fund and it will be a great investment and it’s going to put a lot of people to work.
Video: The mother of a US airman was booed at a campaign rally held by Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence last night when she asked about Donald Trump’s recent attacks on the Muslim American parents of a decorated soldier killed in Iraq.
Catherine Byrne asked Pence how he could tolerate Trump’s “disrespect” towards military families. Pence attempted quiet the crowd by saying: “It’s alright, that’s what freedom looks like and that’s what freedom sounds like.”
Eric Trump adds to controversy over Trump sexual harassment comments
Donald Trump told an interviewer on Monday that if daughter Ivanka Trump was sexually harassed at work, “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case,” an answer that provoked anger from commentators who said that the onus of ending workplace harassment should not be on the victim.
This morning, Ivanka’s younger brother Eric doubled down on his father’s remarks, telling CNBC’s John Harwood that a “strong, powerful woman” like his sister wouldn’t allow such harassment to occur in the first place.
The implication that victims of workplace sexual harassment are, unlike Ivanka, not strong or powerful, or somehow “allow” themselves to be subjected to such treatment, sparked a single-word response from Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.
The issue of workplace sexual harassment was raised after allegations surfaced against Kelly’s former boss, Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who has been accused of sexual harassment by more than 20 women since former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against him in July. One former booker for the network revealed to New York Magazine that she had been paid a $3.5 million settlement by the network to maintain silence about a decades-long cycle of sexual harassment and blackmail. Kelly has also told investigators Ailes sexually harassed her, New York magazine reported, although she has been silent on the subject in public.
Ailes has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.
Trump, a longtime friend of Ailes, defended the ousted news chief in an interview with Chuck Todd on the Meet the Press on 24 July. “All of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him. It’s very sad,” Trump said. “Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he’s done. So I feel very badly.”
Donald and Eric Trump’s comments on the nature of sexual harassment in the workplace come as a poll indicates abysmal numbers for the Republican nominee with female voters: the CNN/ORC survey released Monday showed Trump trailing Clinton by a margin of 57% to 34% among women.
at 10.54am EDT
Good morning, and welcome to the Guardian’s campaign liveblog.
New York congressman Richard Hanna has become the first sitting Republican member of Congress to come out in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, writing in an op-ed published in the Syracuse Post-Standard that unlike Donald Trump, “she stands and has stood for causes bigger than herself for a lifetime”.
“While I disagree with her on many issues, I will vote for Mrs. Clinton,” Hanna wrote. “I will be hopeful and resolute in my belief that being a good American who loves his country is far more important than parties or winning and losing.”
Hanna, who refused to endorse Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee and has previously declared that he could never vote for him, wrote in the editorial that although he had long since resigned himself to seeing Trump as anathema to “kindness, honesty, dignity, compassion and respect”, his most recent feud with the parents of an army captain killed in the line of duty have crystallized the view that “it is not enough to simply denounce his comments: He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country”.
“Where do we draw the line?” Hanna asked his fellow Republicans. “I thought it would have been when he alleged that U.S. Sen. John McCain was not a war hero because he was caught. Or the countless other insults he’s proudly lobbed from behind the Republican presidential podium.”
Hanna concluded by exhorting his compatriots in the Republican party to look beyond “attempts to run the table in two- and four-year cycles that produce few results”, and instead “live to win or lose another day with a real candidate”.
“Our response to the public’s anger and the need to rebuild requires complex solutions, experience, knowledge and balance,” Hanna said. “Not bumper sticker slogans that pander to our disappointment, fear and hate.”
But Trump’s five-days-and-counting feud with the Khan family may not be the political death knell that some have speculated it to be – Trump’s candidacy has, after all, survived racist comments about federal judges, personal attacks on McCain’s status as a war hero and a multi-day war of words with the pope – but barely more than a week since the Republican national convention concluded, Trump is adrift within his own party.
Having been denounced by House speaker Paul Ryan, McCain, esteemed members of the military and chided even by his running mate, Trump has refused to back down from controversial comments directed at the family of Cpt Humayun Khan. Instead, Trump appears to be attempting to divert attention from Khan’s family by labelling rival Hillary Clinton “the devil”, praising Ryan’s primary opponent and suggesting that women who are sexually harassed at work simply find new jobs.
In the meantime, there are 98 days to go until election day – the same number of millions raised by the Trump campaign up to June, including cash from Super Pacs. That’s $277m less than Hillary Clinton.
Where the candidates are today:
- Clinton, whose post-convention polling bounce has been as pronounced as Trump’s collapse, has no scheduled public events today, but running mate Tim Kaine is hosting an organizing event in Daytona Beach, Florida, at 1pm ET. We expect to hear plenty of Spanish from the famously fluent El Senador, as campaign materials released in advance described him.
- Trump will hold a rally at Briar Woods high school in Ashburn, Virginia, at 11am ET. The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs and Sabrina Siddiqui will both be in attendance.
- Indiana governor Mike Pence will be holding a town hall at Fox Tucson theater in Tucson, Arizona, at 2pm MT (4pm ET) and will later be holding a town hall at the Phoenix convention center at 7pm MT (9pm ET).
Caught up? Good – on with the show …
at 10.12am EDT