Politics August 12, 2016: Senate Republicans take on possible corruption over State Dept and Clinton Foundation

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Senate Republicans take on possible corruption over State Dept and Clinton Foundation

By Bonnie K. Goodman

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 06:  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) speaks during a news briefing July 6, 2016 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Senate GOPs held a weekly policy luncheon to discuss Republican agenda.Ê  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 06: U.S. Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) speaks during a news briefing July 6, 2016 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Senate GOPs held a weekly policy luncheon to discuss Republican agenda.Ê (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Republican are taking the news that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton might have abused her power as Secretary of State seriously. Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, questioning why the State Department and Department of Justice refused to investigate a potential conflict of interest between Clinton’s high-ranking aides working at the department and her husband former President Bill Clinton’s foundation.

In the past couple of days, two troubling incidents have shown a possible conflict of interest or at worst abuse of power during Clinton’s tenure. First, was when Conservative Watchdog group Judicial Watch published previously unreleased emails from Clinton’s aide with emails to and from Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin, two trusted aides to Clinton.

The emails consisted of a request from to find a position for someone close to the foundation by a close aide to Bill Clinton, and to help a donor meet the Lebanese ambassador. Next came the CNN investigation report which uncovered that Mills interviewed candidates to head the Clinton Foundation, while she was Chief of Staff at the State Department.

Although Clinton’s campaign and the State Department defended Mill’s actions, Republicans are not accepting those responses. Cornyn in his letter said the State Dept and DOJ “favors Secretary Clinton.” The Majority Whip wrote, “This contrast does little to instill faith in the Department, part of why I called for an appointment of the Special Counsel in the email matter. But greater clarity for the public on the basis for your decision may.”

The Texas Senator called the recent discoveries “unacceptable” behavior. Sen. Cronyn continued, “It violates the commitment Secretary Clinton made to Congress and the Executive Branch following her nomination to be Secretary of State. That and her proven record of extreme carelessness with national security warrant a careful examination of Secretary Clinton’s other conduct and that of her staff.”

Additionally, Cronyn asked about CNN’s report, and why the FBI asked the DOJ to “open a case and pursue criminal charges,” however, the DOJ decided against an investigation. The DOJ claims they did not investigate because of lack of “evidence.” Cronyn wanted to know if DOJ employee, who decided against pursuing the case were questioned. The Majority Whip was concerned that at Lynch’s meeting with former President Clinton at a tarmac in Phoenix earlier this summer they discussed the conflict of interest.

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Politics August 10, 2016: New Clinton emails released show possible abuse of power

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New Clinton emails released show connection between Foundation and State Dept

By Bonnie K. Goodman

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 09:  Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at the Borinquen Health Care Center on August 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida.  Clinton used the opportunity to call on Congress to pass emergency funding for the Zika virus response during the visit to a neighborhood dealing with the first U.S. outbreak of the disease.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 09: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at the Borinquen Health Care Center on August 9, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Clinton used the opportunity to call on Congress to pass emergency funding for the Zika virus response during the visit to a neighborhood dealing with the first U.S. outbreak of the disease. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is not over yet. Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch released on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016, more emails from Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. The 296 pages of emails include 44 emails Clinton did not give the State Department when she handed over the 55,000 pages of work-related emails in December 2014. The emails show a connection between the State Department and former President Bill Clinton’s foundation during his wife’s tenure.

In 2015, Judicial Watch sued the State Department to release Deputy Chief of Staff and longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s emails from Clinton’s tenure. The emails were not directly to or from Clinton but are related more important they shed light on possible impropriety and abuse of power during Clinton’s time as Secretary of State. When Clinton took on the post, she promised that there would be no connection between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department but the emails prove otherwise.

There is three particularly eye-raising emails. The first email dated April 22, 2009, was by Doug Band, a longtime Bill Clinton aide who is an official at the foundation to Abedin. In that email, Band asked Abedin to find a State Department job for an associate, who name was withheld. The email was from Band to Abedin, Clinton’s former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and aide Nora Toiv. Band wrote, “It’s important to take care of [redacted],” to which Abedin answered, “Personnel has been sending him options.”

In another email from Band made a request to Abedin and Mills about a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire, who was a Clinton Foundation Donor. In that 2009 email Band wanted them to connect the donor to the State Department and according to ABC News, “introduce the donor to former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman.” Band wrote, “We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance person re Lebanon. As you know, he’s a key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp.” Abedin responded, “It’s Jeff Feltman. I’m sure he knows him. I’ll talk to Jeff.”

A third email proved how much Clinton and her aides were trying to cover-up that fact that she was using a private email server. In the email, Mills falsely responded to a freedom of information request that asked for all of Clinton State Department email accounts in that response Mills said there were no accounts obviously ignoring the private email account Clinton regularly used.

Judicial Watch President Tom Filton issued a press release along with the emails being made public. Filton wrote, “No wonder Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin hid emails from the American people, the courts, and Congress. They show the Clinton Foundation, Clinton donors, and operatives worked with Hillary Clinton in potential violation of the law.”

State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau responded defending Clinton, “We feel confident that all the rules were followed.” Trudeau also said, “State Department officials are regularly in touch with a range of outside individuals and organizations including non-profits, NGOs, think tanks, and others.”

Clinton’s campaign also implied there was no wrongdoing. Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin issued a statement, writing, “Neither of these emails involve the secretary or relate to the foundation’s work. They are communications between her aides and the president’s personal aide, and indeed the recommendation was for one of the secretary’s former staffers who was not employed by the foundation.”

Continuing Clinton’s favorite right wing conspiracy against her and her husband, her campaign blamed Judicial Watch. Schwerin wrote, “The right-wing organization behind this lawsuit has been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s, and no matter how this group tries to mischaracterize these documents, the fact remains that Hillary Clinton never took action as secretary of state because of donations to the Clinton Foundation.”

Clinton’s opponent Republican nominee Donald Trump and his campaign had a field day with the new emails. Trump’s national policy director Stephen Miller commented, “This is yet more evidence that Hillary Clinton lacks the judgment, character, stability and temperament to be within 1,000 miles of public power.”

Continuing Miller said, “She views public office as nothing more than a means to personal enrichment — and every dollar she takes comes at the expense of the public welfare. This latest finding is an unseemly, disturbing window into a corrupt office, and yet more evidence that Hillary Clinton has been lying from the beginning — and by any reasonable definition attempted to obstruct the investigation of the FBI.”

Personally, Trump tweeted, “When is the media going to talk about Hillary’s policies that have gotten people killed, like Libya, open borders, and maybe her emails?” At a Tuesday rally in Abingdon, Virginia, Trump also attacked “Crooked Hillary Clinton” about the emails. Trump pointed out, “A couple of very bad ones came out, and it’s called pay for play. And some of these were really, really bad and illegal. If it’s true, it’s illegal. You’re paying and you’re getting things.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also issued a statement, saying, “Anything less than a full release of these public records before voting begins will only further prove that we have a rigged system that has one set of rules political elites and another for everyone else.”

The FBI supposedly contacted the State Department about a connection between the department and the foundation earlier in the year, but the FBI and its director James Comey denied there was or is any investigation. The State Department OIG is also looking into to seeing if there was any conflict that has to be dealt with an “administrative remedy.”

Although their implication in the emails there is still no concrete proof, that Clinton explicitly abused her power at the State Department. CNN indicated, “For there to be criminal conflict of interest there would have to be evidence showing a government employee received something of value in exchange, such as a job post-employment or money.”

Even if Clinton’s activities were not illegal, she at the very least had a conflict of interest and crossed an official line. Clinton’s whole time at the State Department pushed boundaries and verged on abuse of power. The problem is throughout the campaign; the media is more interested in Trump’s missteps than Clinton’s wrongdoings.

Politics April 10, 2016: Cruz captures all Colorado delegates was it a conspiracy to block Trump

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Cruz captures all Colorado delegates was it a conspiracy to block Trump 

By Bonnie K. Goodman

April 10, 2016 6:18 AM MST

Texas Senator Ted Cruz swept all of Colorado's delegates at after their local district and state conventions but was Cruz part of the Colorado Republican Party's plan to block Donald Trump while aligning with the Never Trump movement, April 9, 2016
Texas Senator Ted Cruz swept all of Colorado’s delegates at after their local district and state conventions but was Cruz part of the Colorado Republican Party’s plan to block Donald Trump while aligning with the Never Trump movement, April 9, 2016
Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images

Politics August 9, 2016: Trump implies second amendment supporters assassinate opponent Clinton

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Trump implies second amendment supporters assassinate opponent Clinton

By Bonnie K. Goodman

WILMINGTON, NC - AUGUST 9:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the audience during a campaign event at Trask Coliseum on August 9, 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina. This was TrumpÕs first visit to Southeastern North Carolina since he entered the presidential race. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

WILMINGTON, NC – AUGUST 9: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the audience during a campaign event at Trask Coliseum on August 9, 2016 in Wilmington, North Carolina. This was TrumpÕs first visit to Southeastern North Carolina since he entered the presidential race. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)

Another day and another controversy surrounding Republican nominee Donald Trump, this time, the nominee implied assassinating his opponent Hillary Clinton would solve problems. At a Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 9, 2016, rally at the Trask Coliseum at North Carolina University in Wilmington, Trump said the Second Amendment people could stop Clinton from picking Supreme Court Justices and other federal judges.

At the rally, Trump shocked supporters, saying, “Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.” Continuing the GOP nominee said, “But I tell you what, that will be a horrible day, if Hillary gets to put her judges in, right now we’re tied.”

Although Trump meant to imply the second amendment voters, the double entendre seems to suggest Trump thought they could assassinate Clinton as a solution. The implication immediately caused a firestorm.

Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook immediately responded on Twitter, writing, “This is simple — what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the president of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”

Clinton did not respond immediately, but her vice presidential running mate did, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine that Trump has “just no understanding for the role of leader. I just think it’s a window into the soul of a person who is temperamentally not suited for the task.”

Trump’s senior communications adviser, Jason Miller, issued a statement afterward, clarifying, “It’s called the power of unification — 2nd Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”

Meanwhile, Trump also tried to clarify his remarks telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity in the evening, “This is a political movement. This is a strong political movement, the Second Amendment. And there can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me. I mean, give me a break.”

Trump vice presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, backed up him. Pence gave an interview with local Philadelphia TV station NBC10. The VP nominee told them, “Donald Trump is clearly saying is that people who cherish that right, who believe that firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens makes our communities more safe, not less safe, should be involved in the political process and let their voice be heard.”

The National Rifle Association also supported Trump’s remarks with getting out the vote tweets. The NRA wrote, “@RealDonaldTrump is right. If @HillaryClinton gets to pick her anti-#2A #SCOTUS judges, there’s nothing we can do. #NeverHillary,” and “But there IS something we will do on #ElectionDay: Show up and vote for the #2A! #DefendtheSecond #NeverHillary.”

One member of the House, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. asked the Secret Service to investigate Trump’s remarks, and wrote on Twitter, that Trump “suggested someone kill Sec. Clinton.” A leading proponent of gun control legislation, Connecticut Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy, also tweeted. Murphy who filibustered the legislation in June, wrote, “This isn’t play. Unstable people with powerful guns and an unhinged hatred for Hillary are listening to you,” Murphy also tweeted, “Don’t treat this as a political misstep. It’s an assassination threat, seriously upping the possibility of a national tragedy & crisis.”@realDonaldTrump.”

Politics August 7, 2016: Trump criticizes Clinton’s mental state says she short circuited

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Trump criticizes Clinton’s mental state says she short circuited

By Bonnie K. Goodman

WINDHAM, NH - AUGUST 06:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Windham High School on August 6, 2016 in Windham, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

WINDHAM, NH – AUGUST 06: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Windham High School on August 6, 2016 in Windham, New Hampshire. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

After a disastrous and controversial week, Republican nominee Donald Trump decided to play it safe and criticize his opponent Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at a rally he held in Windham, New Hampshire Saturday evening, Aug. 6, 2016, and on Twitter. Trump questioned Clinton’s mental state and claims she is unfit for the presidency, saying she “short-circuited” on her email server and she is “brainwashed.”

Trump first criticized Clinton for being “short circuited” in a series of posts on Twitter on Saturday morning. Trump went after Clinton’s responses in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace about the private email server shed used during her tenure as Secretary of State. The Democratic nominee tried to spin why she stated in a recent that FBI Director James Comey said she was “truthful” and “consistent” about her server when he did not and criticized her for the server. Trump responded on Twitter in his first comment of the day, “Hillary Clinton is being badly criticized for her poor performance in answering questions. Let us all see what happens!”

Trump used Clinton’s own words against her, writing, “Crooked Hillary said loudly, and for the world to see, that she “SHORT CIRCUITED” when answering a question about her e-mails. Very dangerous!” Then Trump continued writing, “Anybody whose mind “SHORT CIRCUITS” is not fit to be our president! Look up the word “BRAINWASHED.”

Later at a rally in a New Hampshire high school gym Trump continued his attacks about Clinton being unfit for the presidency. Earlier in the week, President Barack Obama said the same Clinton also had made the same accusation about Trump. Trump told supporters, “She short-circuited, she used the term ‘short-circuited.’ She took a little short circuit in the brain.”

Continuing Trump said, “She’s got problems, I mean, if we had real people, this would be a real problem for her, but I think that the people of this country don’t want somebody that’s going to short circuit up here.” Trump also questioned Clinton’s mental state, “Honestly I don’t think she’s all there,” and using a page from Jeb Bush playbook; Trump called Clinton “totally unhinged.”

After a week of missteps, Trump has turned his focus and his comments at attacking his opponent particularly her mental state. On Friday, August 5, Trump called Clinton a “monster” and “unstable” at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. Trump said, “Unstable Hillary Clinton, lacks the judgment, temperament and moral character to lead this country – and I believe that so strongly.” Continuing his attacks on her state of mind to run the country, the GOP nominee accused, “She’s really pretty close to unhinged, and you’ve seen, you’ve seen it a couple times. The people in the background know it, the people who know her know it and she’s like an unbalanced person.”

Trump is not only depicting Clinton as mentally unstable but also weak, pointing to her disastrous legacy as Secretary of State. At the Des Moines rally, Trump indicated, “The legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, chaos, and weakness. She’s weak. She’s a weak person. I know her. She’s a weak person.” Later on Friday, Trump further expressed that Clinton is unfit for the presidency at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Trump told his supporters, “In one way, she’s a monster. In another way, she’s a weak person. She’s actually not strong enough to be president.”

Politics August 7, 2016: Obama arrives in Martha’s Vineyard for last presidential summer vacation

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Obama arrives in Martha’s Vineyard for last presidential summer vacation

By Bonnie K. Goodman

US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia(upperR) and Sasha step off Air Force One at Cape Cod Air Force Station in Massachusetts on August 6, 2016 as they arrive for a two-week holiday at nearby Martha's Vineyard. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia(upperR) and Sasha step off Air Force One at Cape Cod Air Force Station in Massachusetts on August 6, 2016 as they arrive for a two-week holiday at nearby Martha’s Vineyard. / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Barack Obama is marking his last summer vacation as president. Obama along with First Lady Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha arrived Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts for their annual two-week vacation. The president will have no official engagements during his vacation.

The president and family in addition to dogs BO and Sunny flew on Air Force One to Cape Cod on Saturday. There the Obamas met with members of the military before continuing to Martha’s Vineyard flying on Marine One.

The president and his family vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard each year of his presidency except in 2012 when Obama ran for re-election. The Obamas again are renting a house on the island in the tony Chilmark. CNN is describing the house as a wooded compound far from the busier Edgartown and Oak Bluffs.

The Obamas usually stay out of the limelight on their vacations, the exception when they are sited at local shops or dining in town, biking or especially in the president’s case golfing. Last year President Obama made the rounds at all of the island’s golf courses playing at each one, often will high profile friends accompanying him.

This year youngest daughter Sasha, 15 will be particularly busy; the first daughter is working at local restaurant Nancy’s seafood restaurant heading the taking out the window. The Obama’s are friends with the owner and eat there often during their vacations.

Sasha has also been working busing tables. A fellow worker at the restaurant recounted to the Boston Herald “She’s been working downstairs at takeout. We were wondering why there were six people helping this girl, but then we found out who it was.” First Lady Michelle recently told Entertainment Tonight that she and the president are trying to “‘normalize’ their daughters’ lives “as much as possible.'”

Politics August 7, 2016: Obama celebrates 55th birthday at star-studded bash

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Obama celebrates 55th birthday at star-studded bash

By Bonnie K. Goodman

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama make their way to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on August 6, 2016.  Obama and his family were headed to Martha's Vineyard for their summer vacation. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama make their way to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on August 6, 2016.
Obama and his family were headed to Martha’s Vineyard for their summer vacation. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama commenced his annual vacation in Martha’s Vineyard after partying the evening before on Aug. 5, 2016, at his 55th birthday bash. The star-studded party held at the White House included a bevy of celebrities and politicians deemed Obama’s closest friends.

On Friday evening, Obama celebrated his milestone and last birthday as president at a party paid for by the Obamas at the White House. Although the official guest list has not been made public, the news media has been able to piece together some of the attendees from social media post from party guests.

Among the celebrities in attendance were “Alfre Woodard, movie executive Harvey Weinstein and former basketball star Grant Hill,” “Ellen DeGeneres, Sarah Jessica Parker and husband actor Matthew Broderick, “Star Wars” producer George Lucas” and basketball star Magic Johnson and wife Cookie. Usher and Stevie Wonder provided the evening’s entertainment. It is believed that singer and rappers Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Kendrick Lamar also attended.

The party also included political friends “Interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile, former Obama senior advisor David Axelrod and Reverend Al Sharpton. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was Obama’s former chief of staff and National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Some news media personalities attended including, “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts and ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts and husband Al Roker.

A White House official said, “The guest list includes a large number of family members and friends to mark the occasion. The private event will be paid for with the family’s personal funds.” While a party attendee described it as “A real birthday bash with lots of old friends, cabinet officials, members of Congress, celebrities.” The party lasted past midnight.

Obama turned 55 on Thursday, Aug. 4. The president celebrated Thursday evening with his wife and children at a smaller intimidate dinner at the White House. The last time the Obamas celebrated with a big bash was Michelle’s 50th birthday party in January 2014. Michelle also gave a birthday shout out to her husband on Instagram writing, “55 years young and that smile still gets me every single day. Happy birthday, Barack. I love you. -mo”

Politics August 6, 2016: Trump finally endorses Paul Ryan, John McCain, and Kelly Ayotte

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Trump finally endorses Paul Ryan, John McCain, and Kelly Ayotte

By Bonnie K. Goodman

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 05: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally on August 5, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Trump endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) during the rally in an effort to heal rifts within the Republican Party. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

GREEN BAY, WI – AUGUST 05: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally on August 5, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Trump endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) during the rally in an effort to heal rifts within the Republican Party. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

After a couple of days of drama, Republican nominee Donald Trump endorsed Speaker of the House and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, Arizona Senator John McCain and New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte in their re-election bids for their Congressional and Senate seats. Trump made the endorsements official on Friday evening, Aug. 5, 2016, at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Trump expressed that he wanted to be a “big tent” Republican like Ronald Reagan in a speech that was rather unusual for Trump in that he read it off prepared remarks.

Trump in announcing his endorsements stated, “This campaign is not about me or any one candidate, it’s about America. I understand and embrace the wisdom of Ronald Reagan’s big tent within the party. So I embrace the wisdom that my 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy.” Trump emphasized that he would need the support of the House and Senate as president.

Then after 10 minutes into his speech, Trump endorsed Speaker Ryan. Trump remarked, “We will have disagreements, but we will disagree as friends and never stop working together toward victory. And very importantly toward real change. So in our shared mission to make America great again, I support and endorse our speaker of the house Paul Ryan.” Trump’s endorsement comes only days before Ryan’s primary on Tuesday, Aug. 9, where he leads his opponent Paul Nehlen by 66 percent.

Continuing Trump endorsed McCain, both have been highly critical of the other. The GOP nominee said, “And while I’m at it, I hold in the highest esteem Senator John McCain for his service to our country in uniform and public office, and I fully support and endorse his reelection Very important. We’ll work together.”

After the rally, Trump’s campaign sent a fundraising email to supporters touting party unity and the endorsements. The email read, “It’s time to unite our Party and deny the third term of Obama. I have officially endorsed Paul Ryan — and together, we will fight for YOU, and together we will Make America Great Again!”

The controversy over the Ryan endorsement commenced on Tuesday, Aug. 2 when Trump spoke to the Washington for an interview. Trump echoed Ryan earlier comments about endorsing him back in May. The GOP nominee said, “I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country. We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet. I’m not quite there yet.”

Trump running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence broke with Trump over the endorsements choosing to endorse Ryan on Wednesday, Aug. 3. Pence endorsed Ryan in a phone interview with Fox News, stating, “I strongly support Paul Ryan, strongly endorse his re-election. He is a longtime friend. He’s a strong conservative leader. I believe we need Paul Ryan in leadership in the Congress of the United States.”
Pence later tweeted that he told his running mate in advance of his decision, “I talked to @realDonaldTrump this morning about my support for Paul Ryan and our longtime friend ship….” According to a Trump campaign insider, the GOP nominee is giving Pence “latitude” to speak his mind and convictions, and Pence’s endorsement was hardly a falling out.

Trump’s withholding the endorsement, however, was causing friction with fellow Republicans, who were quickly abandoning the GOP nominee. Even Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, a friend of Ryan’s and also from Wisconsin, was upset at Trump veering off the script.

Trump’s decision to endorse Ryan came only hours after Ryan suggested he could be easily unendorsed Trump if he sees fit. On Friday morning, Ryan told local Wisconsin radio WTAQ’s Jerry Bader, “None of these things are ever blank checks, that goes with any situation in any kind of race.” Continuing Ryan explained why he endorsed Trump in the first place, “he won the delegates, he won the thing fair and square it’s just that simple.”

Politics August 2, 2016: Timeline of the Trump-Khan Controversy and backlash

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Timeline of the Trump-Khan Controversy and backlash

By Bonnie K. Goodman

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 28: Khzir Khan, the father of fallen soldier Humayun Kahn, addresses the crowd during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 28:
Khzir Khan, the father of fallen soldier Humayun Kahn, addresses the crowd during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday, July 28, 2016. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

On the last day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Thursday, July 29, 2016, Khizr Khan, the father of slain Capt. Humayun Khan who died in 2004 during the Iraq War from a car bomb, spoke about his son at the convention and criticized Trump’s proposed Muslim ban. Khan asked Trump from the stage, “Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America – you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Trump never one to let anything insult or slight go went on the attack. At first, Trump dismissed Khan‘s convention comments, saying, Khan “was, you know, very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me.” Trump repeatedly implied the soldier’s mother, Ghazala Khan who stood beside her husband at the convention but did not speak was not allowed because of her Muslim faith. Trump questioned, “If you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”

Mr. Khan first explained it was because of his wife’s blood pressure that she did not speak, then Ghazala Khan explained her silence on MSNBC’s “Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell” on Friday, July 29.  Mrs. Khan said, “I cannot even come in the room where his pictures are. That’s why when I saw the picture at my back [on stage in Philadelphia] I couldn’t take it, and I controlled myself at that time.”

Trump also claimed the Khans were pawns of the Clinton campaign and that Khan read from a campaign script, saying, “Who wrote that? Did Hillary’s script writers write it?” Trump chose to make himself the victim in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, taped on Saturday, July 30 and aired on Sunday, July 31, claiming, “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard… Created thousands and thousands of jobs” and “built great structures.” Trump also defended his response on Twitter, writing, “I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!”

Forgotten from Trump remarks was that he told ABC News affiliate WSYX-TV in Columbus, Ohio that he had “great honor” for the fallen Captain Khan who the GOP nominee also called a “hero.” Later Trump’s running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence issued a statement, “Donald Trump and I believe that Captain Humayun Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American…. Donald Trump will support our military and their families and we will defeat the enemies of our freedom.” Pence also blamed Obama and Clinton for terrorist organization ISIS, which is at the heart of Trump’s proposed Muslim ban.

The remarks insulted not only the Khans but also military and gold star families. Khan, however, chose to fight back at Trump each time baiting him on a Sunday, July 31 on CNN’s “New Day” where he expressed, “The world is receiving us like we’ve never seen. They have seen the blackness of his character, of his soul.” On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Khan said Trump “lacks” a “moral compass” and has “no empathy.”

The Khans did not stop playing the moment to the maximum making a media firestorm. While Khizr Khan attacked Trump, his wife explained her silence in heroic fashion. Ghazala Khan even wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post published on Sunday, July 31, “Without saying a thing, all the world, all America, felt my pain. I am a Gold Star mother. Whoever saw me felt me in their heart.”

Clinton also used the moment to her advantage saying in a speech at Cleveland Church on Sunday, July 31, “Mr. Khan paid the ultimate sacrifice in his family, didn’t he? And what has he heard from Donald Trump? Nothing but insults and degrading comments about Muslims – a total misunderstanding of what made our country great, religious freedom, religious liberty. It’s enshrined in our Constitution, as Mr. Khan knows because he’s actually read it.” Concluding, “I think this is a time” for Republicans “to pick country over party.”

On Monday, Aug. 1, Mr. Khan appeared on NBC’s Today show continuing his barrage on the GOP nominee, “This candidate amazes me. His ignorance – he can get up and malign the entire nation, the religions, the communities, the minorities, the judges and yet a private citizen in this political process.… I cannot say what I feel?”

Trump again responded on Twitter on Monday, Aug. 1, writing, “Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same – Nice!” Another tweet said, “This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!” Later in the evening, Trump appeared on Fox News‘ “Hannity,” saying, “If I were president, his son wouldn’t have died because we wouldn’t be in a war. I wouldn’t have been in the war.”

Although Trump was right to point out, Clinton was more to blame for Khan’s death because she voted for the Iraq War as a New York Senator, Trump faced a backlash from his party and the American public. Arizona Senator and veteran John McCain and Jeb Bush both condemned Trump’s remarks on the Khans. McCain released a statement on Aug. 1, claiming, “I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump’s statement.”

Trump also faced criticism from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on his Muslim travel ban. McConnell expressed on July 31, “I agree with the Khans and families across the country that a travel ban on all members of a religion is simply contrary to American values.” Ryan also praised the Khans and criticized the travel ban; however, neither revoked their endorsement for the GOP nominee.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room,” I believe these Gold Star families are off limits, and they’re to be loved and cherished and honored.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) who was on the short list for Trump’s VP running also criticized the nominee, calling his remarks “inappropriate.”

President Barack Obama also stepped into the controversy defending the Khans on Aug. 1, saying, “no one has given more for our freedom and our security than our Gold Star families.” The next day, on Tuesday, Aug. 2 Obama called Trump “unfit” for the presidency during a press conference. Obama also called for Republican leaders to withdraw their endorsements, “If you are repeatedly having to say in very strong terms that what he has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him? There has to come a point at which you say, ‘enough.'”

The public also disapproved of Trump’s reaction, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 56 percent of voters strongly disapproved of Trump’s remarks about the Khans, with 6 out of 10 Republican also disapproving. No matter the response and backlash; Trump had no regrets. The GOP nominee told ABC7 in an interview on Aug. 2, “I said nice things about the son, and I feel that very strongly but of course I was hit very hard from the stage and you know it’s just one of those things, but no I don’t regret anything.”

Politics July 29, 2016: Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic nomination and place in history

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Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic nomination and place in history

By Bonnie K. Goodman

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 28: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 28: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton made history on Thursday evening, July 28, 2016, becoming the first woman to accept a major party’s nomination for president. Capping off the last night Clinton addressed the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where Clinton tried to define herself and get Americans to vote for her by attacking her Republican opponent, Donald Trump.

Clinton’s speech topped off a Democratic convention that had a multitude of speakers, with women and Hollywood celebrities from the 1960s to today taking center stage. Clinton faced the monstrous task of delivering her address after the Democratic Party’s most dynamic speakers: First Lady Michelle Obama on the convention’s opening day, Monday, July 25, her husband former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday, July 26, and Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama, who gave the speech of his political career on Wednesday, July 27.

Her party formally nominated Clinton on Tuesday. On Thursday evening she was introduced by her daughter Chelsea Clinton. Clinton faced the formable task of generating excitement for her campaign from the American electorate who according to polls deeply do not trust her after the scandal revolving her private email server as Secretary of State.

Clinton tried to shape the 2016 election as a “moment of reckoning.” The newly minted Democratic nominee mixed her campaign slogan with history, “Our Founders embraced the enduring truth that we are stronger together. America is once again at a moment of reckoning.”

Clinton proclaimed that she accepted the Democratic nomination, with “humility, determination and boundless confidence in America’s promise.” She expressed, “Today, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: The first time that a major party has nominated a woman for President. Standing here as my mother’s daughter’s, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come.”

Continuing her emphasis on being the nation’s first woman in history to be nominated to a major party, Clinton said, that she is “Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. Happy for boys and men, too, because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”

Clinton also tried to unify the party, attempting to appeal to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters, who have been protesting Clinton’s nomination throughout the convention. Clinton reached out saying, “Bernie, your campaign inspired millions of Americans, particularly the young people who threw their hearts and souls into our primary. And to all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I’ve heard you. Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion.” Despite her calls, Clinton still faced protesters’ wrath during her speech.

Although she touched on her historic moment, Clinton’s focus was her rival Trump. Clinton criticized Trump, acceptance speech at the Republican convention the week before, saying “He’s taken the Republican Party a long way, from ‘Morning in America’ to ‘Midnight in America.’ He wants us to fear the future and fear each other.”

Clinton also criticized Trump’s remarks on the military, foreign policy, and terrorist group ISIS, claiming, “Ask yourself: Do you really think Donald Trump has the temperament to be commander in chief? Donald Trump can’t even handle the rough-and-tumble of a presidential campaign. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with nuclear weapons.”

Trump and his campaign were quick to respond and attack back, Trump on Twitter, wrote, “No one has worse judgment than Hillary Clinton – corruption and devastation follows her wherever she goes. Hillary’s wars in the Middle East have unleashed destruction, terrorism and ISIS across the world.”  While Trump’s senior policy adviser Stephen Miller called Clinton’s speech an “insulting collection of cliches and recycled rhetoric.” Miller continued, saying, “She spent the evening talking down to the American people she’s looked down on her whole life.”

Although post-speech reviews for Clinton were mixed, President Obama’s seemed to have approved. The president is campaigning this election not only for the Democratic nominee but for his legacy. Obama took to Twitter, writing, “Great speech. She’s tested. She’s ready. She never quits. That’s why Hillary should be our next @POTUS. (She’ll get the Twitter handle, too).” Clinton supporters enjoyed her speech more than detractors did; however, more Americans viewed her rival Trump’s speech than Clinton, 34.9 million to 33.3 million despite the historic nature.

Politics July 26, 2016: Clinton makes history becomes the first woman nominated for president garners Dem nom

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Clinton makes history becomes the first woman nominated for president garners Dem nom

By Bonnie K. Goodman

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26:  Delegates cheer as a screen displays Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivering remarks to the crowd during the evening session on the second day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 26: Delegates cheer as a screen displays Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivering remarks to the crowd during the evening session on the second day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the number of votes needed to secure the party’s nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton has finally broken the glass ceiling and made history. On Tuesday, July 26, 2016, Clinton was formally nominated as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee during the roll call vote on the second day of the convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Former opponent Bernie Sanders proclaimed Clinton the nominee, while many of his supporters walked in protest. Clinton later addressed the convention by video from New York accepting the nomination.

During the roll vote on Tuesday, Clinton was formally nominated after South Dakota announced their delegate count. Then, Clinton, had enough delegates put her over the top of the necessary 2,383 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) formally nominated Clinton. As the first and longest-serving woman in the Senate, Mikulski noted the historic moment, saying, “It is with a full heart that I am here today as we nominate Hillary Clinton to be the first woman president. She wants to break barriers so you won’t have barriers. You can count on her. She’ll fight for your day-to-day needs and the long range needs of the country.”

Civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) seconded the nomination. Rep. Lewis said, “We have come too far, we’ve made too much progress and we are not going back, we are going forward. Eight years ago our party, the Democratic Party nominated and elected the first person of color to serve in the White House. Tonight, on this night, we will shatter that glass ceiling again.”

The roll call was state-by-state with Vermont the last to cast their votes to honor Sanders whose endorsement of Clinton, speech on Monday evening, and efforts during the roll call were aimed at unifying the Democratic Party after a divisive primary.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) nominated Sanders’ praising the Vermont Senator, “My friends, because this is a movement fueled by love it can never be stopped or defeated. Now on the behalf of millions inspired by aloha, determined to seek a future rooted in love, compassion and justice for all and dedicated to a government of the people by the people and for the people. I’m honored to nominate Bernie Sanders for president of the United States.”

Before Clinton was officially declared the nominee, the party carefully orchestrated a tribute to Sanders. The Vermont Senator’s older brother Larry, who lives in Oxford, England, announced the delegate tally for Democrats Abroad. Larry Sanders gave an emotional tribute to their parents and his brother’s revolution.

Sanders expressed, “I want to bring before the convention the names of our parents, Eli Sanders and Dorothy Glassberg Sanders. They did not have easy lives, and they died young. They would be immensely proud of their son and his accomplishments. They loved him. They loved the New Deal of Roosevelt and would be especially proud that Bernard is renewing that vision. It is with enormous pride that I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders.”

Afterward, the Vermont Senator formally proclaimed, “I move that Hillary Clinton be selected as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.” Sanders’ proclamation angered his supporters many of whom walked out of the convention hall chanting, “This is what democracy looks like.”

In the evening, Clinton spoke via video to the Convention, accepting the nomination. The video commenced with images of all 44 male presidents before coming to breaking glass, for the glass ceiling Clinton broke with her history-making nomination. After, Clinton told her supporters, “What an incredible honor that you have given me, and I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet. This is really your victory. This is really your night. And if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say I may become the first woman President. But one of you is next.”

Politics July 25, 2016: Trump overtakes Clinton leads with post-GOP convention poll bump

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Trump overtakes Clinton leads with post-GOP convention poll bump

By Bonnie K. Goodman

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party’s nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

GOP nominee Donald Trump is basking in the post-convention glow. Now Trump is leading rival presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in new polls released on Monday, July 25, 2016, the first day of the Democratic convention. Trump leads by three points in a new CNN/ORC poll, published on Monday, and Trump now ties with Clinton in the latest CBS News poll also released Monday. Election forecaster Nate Silver is also predicting that Trump could win now if the election happened today.

According to the new CNN/ORC poll, Trump gained six percent support post-convention. Now Trump is leading Clinton 48 to 45 percent. In the last CNN poll, Clinton had a 7-point lead 49 to 42 percent. In a four-way race with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, Trump leads Clinton by five percent, 44 to 39 percent, showing a reversal of fortune.

Trump’s favorability and perception of honesty and trustworthiness are also increasing post-convention. Among voters, 46 percent view him favorably up 7 points, while 43 percent find him honest and trustworthy up four points, and now 39 percent would be proud to have President Trump up 7 points. American voters still find Clinton not honest or trustworthy, with 68 percent feeling that way.

According to the new CBS News survey, Trump and Clinton are tied at 42 percent. The CBS poll looked at the improved post-GOP convention “perception” of Trump, with 50 percent “feeling better” about the GOP nominee. Unfortunately, 58 percent of voters still think Trump is “unprepared for the presidency.” Unlike the CNN poll 56 percent do not think Trump is honest, and “61 percent said he lacks the temperament and personality” for the presidency. Meanwhile, 50 percent think Clinton is prepared for the presidency, think she is a strong leader and has the temperament to be president. Still, 66 percent deem her untrustworthy.

The poll good news continues with the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls, which gives Trump a slight advantage over Clinton of 0.2 points, with Trump having 44.1 percent to Clinton’s 43.9 percent.

Statistician Nate Silver on his site FiveThirtyEight is now predicting that Trump could win the election if it were held today. Silver tweeted, “If the election were today, Trump would likely win. But Clinton’s still favored long-term: https://t.co/2uB2oqpXy4 pic.twitter.com/HUTQMaVrBx – FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) July 25, 2016″ Trump’s odds to win are 57.5 percent to Clinton’s 42.5 percent. The prediction comes after two forecasts that gave Trump less than a 25 percent of winning the election in November.

Politics July 24, 2016: Wasserman Schultz resigning as DNC chair after emails leaked opposing Sanders

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Wasserman Schultz resigning as DNC chair after emails leaked opposing Sanders

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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After a scandal that showed that the Democratic National Committee favored presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz will resign. Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation on Sunday afternoon, July 24, 2016, after a three-day drama over emails, which saw her position within the party shrink before she was forced out of her role as chair. Wasserman Schultz resignation will be effective after the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia concludes on July 28.

In her statement announcing her resignation, Wasserman Schultz said, “Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention. As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats but all Americans.”

On Friday, July 22, Wikileaks released nearly 20,000 emails from DNC staff members. The emails detailed the DNC’s plans to undermine Sanders’ campaign during the primary season for Clinton. During the primaries, a party is supposed to remain impartial regarding their candidates running for a nomination.

The emails from the DNC chair were the most damning. According to the Hill, Wasserman Schultz wrote in May that Sanders “isn’t going to be president” and in April that he “has no understanding of” the Democratic Party. Wasserman Schultz also planned to use Sanders’ religion to undermine him with voters in the South, although they both are Jewish.

The emails showed Wasserman Schultz as defiant and arrogant and completely against Sanders’ campaign. According to Politico, the DNC chair called “Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver a ‘damn liar’ and an ‘ASS’ and said the senator has ‘never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do.'” There was enough evidence to show that the DNC was biased against Sanders’ from the start of his campaign, for Clinton.

At first, the party just wanted to limit Wasserman Schultz’s involvement in the Democratic Convention. On Saturday, party officials stripped her of actively being the chair and removing her as a speaker to avoid protests from Sanders’ supporters. Then the “DNC Rules Committee named Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio as the permanent chair of the convention.” Fudge will now be responsible for gaveling each day in order and closed. However, Wasserman Schultz and her allies insisted, and now she will have a limited role, and she will address the convention, but afterward will resign her post.

Sanders called for the DNC chair’s resignation for a long time during his campaign claiming bias against him. After the emails released proved the longtime suspicion, Sanders again called for  Wasserman Schultz’s resignation on Sunday morning. Sanders told Jack Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union, “I don’t think she is qualified to be the chair of the DNC, not only for these awful emails, which revealed the prejudice of the DNC, but also because we need a party that reaches out to working people and young people, and I don’t think her leadership style is doing that.”

Continuing, Sanders said, “Aside from all of that, it is an outrage and sad that you would have people in important positions in the DNC trying to undermine my campaign. It goes without saying: The function of the DNC is to represent all of the candidates — to be fair and even-minded.” On ABC’s “This Week” Sanders said, “I think she should resign, period. And I think we need a new chair who is going to lead us in a very different direction….I’m disappointed, and that’s the way it is.”

Sanders received support in his call for the DNC’s resignation from Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who wanted Wasserman Schultz to resign even before the emails were leaked. Neither did House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi come to her colleague’s defense. Additionally many party leaders wanted her removed after the embarrassing and damaging emails.

After the DNC chair had announced her resignation, Sanders issued a statement, saying, “Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party. While she deserves thanks for her years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people. The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.” Sanders is set to address the Democratic convention on Monday evening.

After the resignation, both President Barack Obama and Clinton praised Wasserman Schultz in statements. President Obama said, “For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful.” As well, presumptive nominee Clinton issued a statement, “I am grateful to Debbie for getting the Democratic Party to this year’s historic convention in Philadelphia, and I know that this week’s events will be a success thanks to her hard work and leadership. There’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie.”

GOP nominee Donald Trump has long said the Democratic Party, has been mistreating Sanders. Trump also remarked about Wasserman Schultz’s resignation via Twitter, “Today proves what I have always known, that @Reince Priebus is the tough one and the smart one, not Debbie Wasserman Shultz (@DWStweets.)” Trump tweeted a second time, saying, “Crooked Hillary Clinton was not at all loyal to the person in her rigged system that pushed her over the top, DWS. Too bad Bernie flamed out.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus also commented, “I think the day’s events show really the uphill climb Democrats face this week.” Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort also issued a statement, saying, “Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned over her failure to secure the DNC’s email servers and the rigged system she set up with the Clinton campaign. Now Hillary Clinton should follow Wasserman Schultz’s lead and drop out over her failure to safeguard top secret, classified information both on her unauthorized home server and while traveling abroad.”

DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile will be the interim chair of the party throughout the election. The DNC will vote this week on Brazile taking over, although she has already temporarily filled that role in 2011. There is speculation that Clinton wants Housing Secretary Julian Castro to succeed Wasserman Schultz as DNC chair.

The party’s primary concern now is party unity. The emails complicate the already the delicate agreement between the Sanders and Clinton campaigns. Democrats are concerned about Sanders’ supporters rebelling at the convention; one Democrat called the situation, “gas meets flame,” all of which might backfire and hand the election to the Republicans and Trump.

Politics July 20, 2016: GOP formally nominates Trump during convention roll call

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GOP formally nominates Trump during convention roll call

By Bonnie K. Goodman

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 19:  A screen on stage projects Donald Trump Jr., along with Ivanka Trump, taking part in the roll call in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 19: A screen on stage projects Donald Trump Jr., along with Ivanka Trump, taking part in the roll call in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on the second day of the Republican National Convention on July 19, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is officially the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. On Tuesday afternoon, July 19, 2016, state delegates officially nominated Trump during the roll call vote on the second day on of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Trump hit over the top of the threshold of necessary delegates after votes were announced from his home state of New York. Trump appeared via video afterward to accept the nomination.

The nominee’s son Donald Jr. was the Republican delegate from New York that announced the votes for his father putting Trump over the 1,237 delegates necessary to clinch the nomination. After announcing the 89 delegates for Trump, his son shouted, “It is my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top tonight… Congratulations Dad, we love you!” His siblings, Ivanka, Eric, and Tiffany Trump, joined Donald, Jr. for the delegate reading. New York was the only state not to go alphabetically waiting until Trump reached the point he would go “over the top” with the necessary delegates.

The roll vote went off for the most part without incident. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan commenced the proceedings. The convention secretary went alphabetically through the states. Each chair of their state’s delegation announced their vote tally and also highlighted what makes heir state unique. When a state announced their delegates for Trump they would say, “the next president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.” Only the District of Columbia tried to deny Trump his delegates instead calling them for Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions was the one to put Trump’s name officially into consideration for the nomination. Sessions praised Trump, “The American voters heard this message, and they rewarded his courage and leadership with a huge victory in our primaries. He dispensed with one talented candidate after another, momentum started and a movement started. Democrats and independents responded. He received far more primary votes than any Republican candidate in history… Mr. Speaker, it is my distinct honor and great pleasure to nominate Donald J. Trump for the office of president of the United States.” Rep. Chris Collins (N.Y.) seconded the nomination. Both Sessions and Collins are Trump’s top supporters in Congress.

After the roll call vote was complete, the nominee appeared from his Trump Tower in New York in a pre-recorded video. In his message, Trump accepted the nomination, “A little over one year ago I announced my candidacy for president, and with your vote, today, this stage of the presidential process has come to a close. Together we can see historic results with the largest vote totals in the history of the Republican Party. This is a movement, but we have to go all the way. I’m so proud to be your nominee for president of the United States.”

The newly minted nominee also mentioned his vice presidential running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence, saying, “It’s an honor to run on a ticket with Mike Pence, who is an extraordinary man and will make a great, great vice president.”

Trump also discussed the broad policy themes he would be speaking about in his nomination acceptance address on Thursday, July 21, the last night of the convention. The nominee promised, “This is going to be a leadership by the way that puts American people first. We’re going to get back our jobs. We’re going to rebuild our military and take care of our great veterans. We’re going to have strong borders and defeat ISIS and restore law and order and so many other things. I’ll be discussing that Thursday night, and we’ll be talking all about it. We are going to make America great again.”

Trump has been breaking convention precedent, addressing the convention once each day, rather than the traditional waiting until the last night to give their acceptance address. Trump introduced his wife Melania on Monday, July 18 before the Tuesday recorded a message. Trump also plans to be at the convention on Wednesday evening, July 20, when running-mate, Gov. Pence addresses the convention.

Politics July 19, 2016: Melania Trump’s political plagiarism scandal is not the first, and not the last

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Melania Trump’s political plagiarism scandal is not the first, and not the last


Did Melania Trump really plagiarize Michelle Obamas 2008 Democratic convention speech?

By Bonnie K. Goodman

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18:  Melania Trump, wife of Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, delivers a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND, OH – JULY 18: Melania Trump, wife of Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, delivers a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It was supposed to be presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s wife, Melania’s big campaign debut, instead, it descended into controversy, as does everything in the Trump campaign. On Monday evening, July 18, 2016, Melania Trump gave the keynote address on the first night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. Introduced by her husband, Melania’s job was to humanize Trump, who has been caricatured for much of his career and the campaign. Instead, her big moment was overshadowed by the similarities of two paragraphs with First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention speech and accusations of plagiarism.

Both Melania and Michelle’s passages in their speeches emphasized family values imbued by their parents and passing them to the next generation. The themes were similar and also common for the type of convention speech. Although the words were similar, the sentences were for the most part different with some similar points, and certain keywords, possibly invoking the paraphrasing or copying for verbatim debate. Only one phrase was copied verbatim, “your dreams and your willingness to work for them.” Plagiarism is described as “The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.”

According to Harvard University‘s Faculty of Arts and Science “In academic writing, it is considered plagiarism to draw any idea or any language from someone else without adequately crediting that source in your paper. It doesn’t matter whether the source is a published author, another student, a Web site without clear authorship, a Web site that sells academic papers, or any other person: Taking credit for anyone else’s work is stealing, and it is unacceptable in all academic situations, whether you do it intentionally or by accident.” Harvard also lists different types of plagiarism, which include” “verbatim, mosaic, inadequate paraphrasing, uncited paraphrase, uncited quotations.” The only exception according to Harvard is “common knowledge.”

Melania’s speech excerpt read:

“My parents impressed on me the values: that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. They taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

To compare here is Michelle’s speech from 2008:

“And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Almost immediately, after Melania delivered her speech, a journalist specializing in interior design and not politics, Jarrett Hill called Melania out on Twitter accusing her of plagiarism. In his tweet, Hill wrote, “Melania must’ve liked Michelle Obama’s 2008 Convention speech since she plagiarized it.” Hill, who is African-American, has a history of Trump bashing and is a fan of the Obamas, already, had a biased view of the situation. Still, the news media picked up on the story, and it swept through a media who already negatively bashes Trump and his rhetoric and policy positions. Melania’s similar words just was another chance for criticism.

Just as quickly Trump’s campaign denied the accusation. Senior communications adviser Jason Miller issued a statement after the accusations, which read, “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking. Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”

According to the campaign, chairman Paul Manafort appearing on CNN’s “New Day” telling Chris Cuomo that the allegation is “just really absurd.” Manafort dismissed the claims, saying, “To think that she would do something like that knowing how scrutinized her speech was going to be last night is just really absurd.” Continuing Manafort explained, “There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values. She cares about her family. To think that she’d be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”

Manafort then, in turn, blamed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Trump campaign manager made his accusation, saying, “This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It’s not going to work.”

According to a Republican close to the situation, recounted the process involved in crafting Melania’s speech. According to the “operative”, several aides edited the speech and gave suggestions to Melania. Manafort approved the speech in the end. The recount contradicts the account from Trump’s wife who claims to have a written the speech herself. Melania revealed to to NBC‘s Matt Lauer, “I read once over it, that’s all, because I wrote it … with (as) little help as possible.” Melania is not facing the brunt of the backlash but rather Trump’s speechwriters and even Manafort, although no one has been fired for the error.

President Obama’s former speechwriter, Jon Favreau, who was partly responsible for Michelle Obama’s speech, did not seem offended or upset by the possibility of plagiarism. After the accusations had started flying, Favreau tweeted and joked, “(To be honest), I was more offended by just about every other speech than Melania’s plagiarized paragraphs.”

The problem is writers, and academics and even students get away with plagiarism all the time. With the vast amount of information on the internet, many believe that it is fair game, especially if it is a blog or non-traditional source. Academics who plagiarize believe they will not be caught because they are taking ideas from someone they deem less educated and less well known. More often than not if someone does not bring the plagiarized passages up the one, who plagiarizes usually gets away with it.

As a writer, I have experienced being plagiarized, from a woman posting an entire article of mine that was an excerpt from my thesis taken verbatim without any credit, with listing it as her own. To a former professor who for years continually liberally borrows my ideas, themes from my articles for his, even phrases but manages to get away with it because they have the doctorate and the professorship although according to Harvard’s definitions what they have done is considered plagiarism.

Just last week in the UK’s the Guardian Higher Education section a writer on the Academic Anonymous blog recounted finding a creative writing Ph.D. dissertation with 100 passages plagiarized verbatim. When the academic discovered the plagiarism reported it to the dissertation advisor at the British university, the professor protected their student by ensuring copies of the dissertation were removed from the university’s library and made unavailable in any other form to the public. Only a year later was the thesis put back on the shelves, but the Ph.D. graduate was never stripped of their degree or even reprimanded for the extensive and blatant plagiarism, in the most important capstone project of their university education.

Melania Trump’s plagiarism case is hardly the first involving politicians that rocked the political world. The most famous case is Vice President Joe Biden who in 1987, had to withdraw from the 1988 Democratic presidential race after it was discovered that he plagiarized a speech with passages from former Democratic candidates Hubert Humphrey, Robert Kennedy, and former President John F. Kennedy. Other notable political plagiarism scandals include Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Montana Senator John Walsh, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, and even President Barack Obama.

In 2007, then Democratic candidate Obama lifted some passages from then-Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s lines from a 2006 speech when he delivered a speech at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Wisconsin. Rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign revealed what Obama did. Obama dismissed it all as nothing much saying, “Deval and I do trade ideas all the time, and you know he’s occasionally used lines of mine. I would add I’ve noticed on occasion Sen. Clinton has used words of mine as well. As I said before, I really don’t think this is too big of a deal.”

Donald McCabe, a retired business professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, conducted a survey in 2010 and determined a prevalence of cheating and plagiarism among college undergraduate and graduate students.

The following are the results of his survey:

  • 36% of undergraduates and 24% of graduate students admit to “paraphrasing/copying few sentences from Internet source without footnoting it.”
  • 38% of undergraduates and 25% of graduate students admit to “paraphrasing/copying few sentences from written source without footnoting it.”
  • 14% of undergraduates and 7% of graduate students admit to “fabricating/falsifying a bibliography.”
  • 7% of undergraduates 4% of graduate students and admit to copying materials “almost word for word from a written source without citation.”
  • 7% of undergraduates and 3% of graduate students admit to “turning in work done by another.” Finally, 3% of undergraduates and 2% of graduate students admit to “obtaining a paper from term paper mill.”

Another survey conducted in 2011 by the Pew Research Center and The Chronicle of Higher Education asked college presidents about plagiarism and cheating at their respective colleges among students. Of the 1,055 presidents asked, 55 percent said that there had been an increase in plagiarism in the ten preceding years, and they predominately, 89 percent, blamed the internet for rampant cheating.

In this case, Melania or most precisely her speechwriters used a common theme for conventions and wives’ of the running mates but made the mistake of staying too closely to a recent and famous speech from a beloved first lady. Viewed by millions, with enough people opposed to Trump, Melania’s first major foray was bound to be scrutinized.

The moment caught the press the Trump campaign wanted but not for the reasons they wanted. Trump, however, will survive the plagiarism scandal as the world can be forgiving just ask historian Doris Goodwin Kearns and even Joe Biden and Barack Obama, who plagiarized speeches once and still ended becoming a popular vice president and president.

Politics July 18, 2016: Never Trump’s last stand GOP convention erupts in chaos over rules vote

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Never Trumps last stand GOP convention erupts in chaos over rules vote

By Bonnie K. Goodman

TOPSHOT - Delegates wave signs on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The Republican Party opened its national convention Monday, kicking off a four-day political jamboree that will anoint billionaire Donald Trump as its presidential nominee. Some 2,000 delegates descended on a tightly secured Cleveland arena where Trump's wife will take center stage later in the day to make a personal pitch to voters that her billionaire husband is the best candidate for the White House. / AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS        (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – Delegates wave signs on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
The Republican Party opened its national convention Monday, kicking off a four-day political jamboree that will anoint billionaire Donald Trump as its presidential nominee. Some 2,000 delegates descended on a tightly secured Cleveland arena where Trump’s wife will take center stage later in the day to make a personal pitch to voters that her billionaire husband is the best candidate for the White House. / AFP / ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Never Trump movement made their last attempt to derail presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump’s nomination. At almost the start of the Republican National Convention on Monday afternoon, July 18, 2016, Never Trump delegates tried to disrupt the convention rules vote, hoping they could still change the rules to not vote for the presumptive nominee.

During a voice vote for the procedural rules that Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack presided over he determined the procedural vote passed during the first voice vote. Womack took a break walking off the stage and then conducted a second voice vote, which he determined passed. In response, Never Trump delegates starting shouting “Roll call vote” and “USA.”

Utah Sen. Mike Lee commented during the chaos, “I have never in all my life… seen anything like this. There is no precedent for this and parliamentary procedure. There is no precedent for this in the rules of the Republican National Convention. We are now in uncharted territory. Somebody owes us an explanation. I have never seen the chair abandoned like that. They vacated the stage entirely.”

Womack recognized a Utah’s delegate request for a roll vote. However, only six states voted for a roll call, failing the threshold of seven states. Some states dropped off afterward, and Womack determined the vote passed. Womack declared, “The secretary received requests from a total of nine states requesting roll call vote on adoption of report on the committee on rules.” Subsequently, the secretary received withdrawals, which caused three states to fall below the threshold required under the rule. Accordingly, the chair has found insufficient support for the request for a record vote.”

Before the vote, Delegates Unbound believed they had enough support to force a roll call vote. They wanted the rules package to fail to add a rule that allows unbounded pledged delegates to vote their conscious for the nominee rather than Trump, who they were pledged to vote. If the vote had failed, the rules would have gone back to the rules committee for reconsideration.

Delegates Unbound co-founder M. Dane Waters said in a statement, “Despite every obstacle thrown in our way, the movement of all the stakeholders involved in this effort have gained a majority of the delegates in 10 states. Now we take this fight to the floor.” Although the attempt failed, it was still a display of party disunity as the world all had eyes on the Republican Party.

Politics July 18, 2016: Republican National Convention program and schedule announced

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Republican National Convention program and schedule announced

By Bonnie K. Goodman

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The full schedule for the 2016 Republican National Convention is finally here. On Sunday, July 17, 2016, Jeff Larson, CEO of the 2016 Republican National Convention issued a press release announcing a full schedule, and speakers list for the convention. The GOP convention nominating businessman Donald Trump is entitled “Make America Great Again,” and is being held from July 18 to 21 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The press release describes the lineup as “unconventional.” Larson says, “Veterans, political outsiders, faith leaders and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s family members will lead an unconventional lineup of speakers who have real-world experience and will make a serious case against the status quo and for an agenda that will make America great again.”

Daily Themes & Headliners:

Monday: Make America Safe Again about creating “a national security strategy and foreign policy that will strengthen our military and make America safe again.”

Headliners: Melania Trump, Lieutenant General (ret.) Michael Flynn, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Jason Beardsley and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke (Mont.).

Additional speakers include: Willie Robertson of “Duck Dynasty,” former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, actor Scott Baio, Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, Sen. Tom Cotton, Sen. Jeff Sessions and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Tuesday: Make America Work Again about “getting America’s economy up and running … and get Americans working again.”

Headliners: Donald Trump, Jr., U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Ben Carson and Kimberlin Brown.

Additional speakers include: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Wednesday: Make America First Again focusing on making America “once again be a beacon of progress and opportunity.”

Headliners: Lynne Patton; Eric Trump; former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista; and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, whom Donald Trump has chosen as his vice presidential running mate.

Additional speakers include: Radio host Laura Ingraham, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Ted Cruz.

Thursday: Make America One Again emphasizing that “Trump will move our country beyond the divisive identity politics that have been holding us back by restoring leadership, building trust, and focusing on our shared love of country and our common goal of making America great again.”

Headliners: Peter Thiel, Tom Barrack, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump

Additional speakers include: Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Politics July 15, 2016: Democratic National Convention releases schedule and speaker list

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Democratic National Convention releases schedule and speaker list

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The Democratic National Convention organizers issued a press release on Friday afternoon, July 15, 2016, which included the schedule and preliminary speaker list for the convention nominating Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was given a primetime speaking slot, indicating the influence of his history-making primary campaign and proving he is not part of Clinton’s vice presidential shortlist. The schedule will eventually include Clinton’s running mate in a primetime post. The Democratic convention will be held July 25 to 28 in Philadelphia.

The following is the preliminary schedule and speaker list.

Monday: “United Together” focusing on “putting the future of American families front and center and how we’re stronger together when we build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.”

First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator Bernie Sanders, and DREAMer Astrid Silva
Gavel time at 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday: “A Lifetime of Fighting for Children and Families” focusing  on “how Hillary has spent her entire career working to make a difference for children, families, and our country.”

President Bill Clinton
Gavel time at 4:00 p.m.

Mothers of the Movement members: Gwen Carr, Mother of Eric Garner; Sybrina Fulton, Mother of Trayvon Martin; Maria Hamilton, Mother of Dontré Hamilton; Lucia McBath, Mother of Jordan Davis; Lezley McSpadden, Mother of Michael Brown; Cleopatra Pendleton-Cowley, Mother of Hadiya Pendleton; Geneva Reed-Veal, Mother of Sandra Bland.

Wednesday: “Working Together”
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden
Gavel time at 4:30 p.m.

Thursday: Clinton “will speak about her vision for our country — her belief that we are stronger together and that America is at its best when we work together to solve our problems.”

Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton
Gavel time at 4:30 p.m.

Politics July 15, 2016: Trump announces that Mike Pence is his pick for vice presidential running mate

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Trump announces that Mike Pence is his pick for vice presidential running mate

By Bonnie K. Goodman

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 16:  Donald Trump introduces Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as Vice Presidential running mate at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel on July 16, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Steve Sands/WireImage)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 16: Donald Trump introduces Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as Vice Presidential running mate at a press conference at the Hilton Hotel on July 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Sands/WireImage)

The worst kept secret in the 2016 presidential campaign is no longer a secret. On Friday morning, July 15, 2016, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. Trump was supposed to make the formal announcement at a press conference in New York Friday morning. After the terror attacks in Nice, France on Bastille Day that killed over 80 people, Trump postponed the formal declaration until Saturday morning same time and place, 11 a.m. Trump Tower, New York City.

On Friday morning, Trump made his decision official ending a day of rampant speculation in the news media about his choice of running mate. The GOP nominee wrote, “I am pleased to announce that I have chosen Governor Mike Pence as my Vice Presidential running mate. News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.”

On Thursday afternoon, July 14, the news media was already announcing that Trump chose the Indiana Governor. Pence emerged as the frontrunner from a pool of four candidates, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and Alabama Rep. Jeff Sessions.

CNN reported late Thursday afternoon; that Trump had phone Pence offering him the post and Pence agreed. Later Pence was seen arriving in New Jersey with a police detail accompanying him. Even the Indianapolis Star reported that Pence decided to be Trump’s running mate forgoing running for re-election as Indiana’s Governor, withdrawing from that race, as the law does not permit him to do both.

Trump’s campaign, however, kept denying that the nominee chose Pence. Trump added fuel with his Fox News interview with Greta Van Susteren Thursday evening. Trump said, “I haven’t made my final, final decision. I mean, I’ve got three people that are fantastic. I think Newt (Gingrich) is a fantastic person. I think Chris Christie is a fantastic person, been a friend of mine for 15 years. Just a fantastic person. And there’s Mike, and Mike has done a great job as governor of Indiana. You look at the numbers, and it’s been great — he’s done really a fantastic job. But I haven’t made a final, final decision.”

With Pence, Trump pleases the GOP establishment, who has been reticent about the nominee and reluctant to support him. Trump is hoping to unify the party with his VP choice, a social and fiscal conservative, with experience in the House of Representatives and executive experience governing Indiana for one term. Pence has the support of the Tea Party, as well as influential donors including the Koch brother, who Trump needs in the general election, and have not yet supported his nomination.

Although Pence differed with Trump on policy during the primary opposing his Muslim ban and endorsing rival Texas Senator Ted Cruz before Indiana’s May primary, Trump won him over, with Pence praising him and vowing to help the nominee will the election in November. Pence emerged as the frontrunner this week after a rally on Tuesday, July 12, in Indiana, where the governor introduced Trump and fiercely criticized presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton declaring she “must never become president of the United States.”

Recently, Pence praised Trump to reporters, telling them, “I think he is going to be a great president. I think he is someone who has connected with everyday Americans like no one since Ronald Reagan. I think he has spoken into the frustration and the longings of the American people as no one since the 40th president, and I think you’re going to continue to see him do that.” Trump and Pence will be formally nominated as the party’s official nominees at next week’s Republican National Convention.

Politics July 14, 2016: GOP National Convention speaker list released

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GOP National Convention speaker list released

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The first draft of the speakers list for the Republican National Convention has been released, and it includes and a mix of political figures, leaders, entertainment personalities and Donald Trump’s family members. RNC CEO Jeff Larson released the list of 60 speakers on Thursday morning, July 14, 2016.

Larson in his announcement said, “The convention’s theme, ‘Make America Great Again,’ will focus on the core themes of Republican Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump’s campaign: national security, immigration, trade, and jobs.”

The list includes Trump’s former primary rivals, “Ted Cruz of Texas, Dr. Ben Carson, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.” Lawmakers and Congressional leaders will also speak including, “House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa.”

Among the Trump supporters and usual suspects are some glaring absences including Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, fueling Vice President speculation. Some of the more buzz-worthy speakers are “astronaut Eileen Collins, football star Tim Tebow, actor Antonio Sabàto Jr., golfer Natalie Gulbis, and president of Ultimate Fighting Championship Dana White.

Additionally, co-founder of PayPal Peter Thiel, real estate investor Tom Barrack; and Las Vegas casino owner Phil Ruffin” will be speaking. Survivors of the 2012 Benghazi, Libya attack Mark Geist and John Tiegen will also discuss former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s incompetence.

Larson said the list is a work in progress, “A final list of speakers and information on convention themes will follow.” Trump spokesman Jason Miller commented, “This impressive lineup of veterans, political outsiders, faith leaders and those who know Donald Trump the best – his family and longtime friends – represent a cross-section of real people facing the same challenges as every American household.”

The following is the full list of GOP Convention speakers; the convention starts on Monday, July 18.

Pastor Mark Burns
Phil Ruffin
Congressman Ryan Zinke
Pat Smith
Mark Geist
John Tiegen
Congressman Michael McCaul
Sheriff David Clarke
Congressman Sean Duffy
Darryl Glenn
Senator Tom Cotton
Karen Vaughn
Governor Mike Huckabee
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Melania Trump
Senator Joni Ernst
Kathryn Gates-Skipper
Marcus Luttrell
Dana White
Governor Asa Hutchinson
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Michael Mukasey
Andy Wist
Senator Jeff Sessions
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn
Alex Smith
Speaker Paul Ryan
Congressman Kevin McCarthy
Kerry Woolard .
Senator Shelley Moore Capito
Dr. Ben Carson
Co-Chair Sharon Day
Natalie Gulbis
Kimberlin Brown
Antonio Sabato, Jr.
Peter Thiel
Eileen Collins
Senator Ted Cruz
Newt Gingrich
Michelle Van Etten
Lynne Patton
Eric Trump
Harold Hamm
Congressman Chris Collins
Brock Mealer
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
Governor Mary Fallin
Darrell Scott
Lisa Shin
Governor Rick Scott
Chairman Reince Priebus
Tom Barrack
Ivanka Trump
Attorney General Pam Bondi
Jerry Falwell Jr.
Rabbi Haskel Lookstein
Chris Cox
Senator Mitch McConnell
Tiffany Trump
Governor Chris Christie
Donald J. Trump Jr.
Governor Scott Walker

Politics July 14, 2016: Trump to announce VP running mate Friday, will it be Christie, Gingrich or Pence?

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Trump to announce VP running mate Friday, will it be Christie, Gingrich or Pence?

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Presumptive US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) and Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) take the stage during a campaign rally at Grant Park Event Center in Westfield, Indiana, on July 12, 2016.  / AFP / Tasos KATOPODIS        (Photo credit should read TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Presumptive US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) and Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) take the stage during a campaign rally at Grant Park Event Center in Westfield, Indiana, on July 12, 2016. / AFP / Tasos KATOPODIS (Photo credit should read TASOS KATOPODIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The finale of the Donald Trump veepstakes is coming to a close. The presumptive nominee announced on Wednesday evening, July 13, 2016, on Twitter that he will reveal his vice presidential running mate on Friday morning, June 14 in New York City. Trump seems to have narrowed his search down to three candidates, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday evening about his VP reveal, “I will be making the announcement of my Vice Presidential pick on Friday at 11am in Manhattan. Details to follow.” Trump might be choosing one of the three most buzzed about possibilities or choose someone else, with Alabama Rep. Jeff Sessions being a possibility. Trump told Fox News host Bret Baier on Wednesday about his VP list. Trump said, “I’m narrowing it down. I mean, I’m at three potentially four. But in my own mind, I probably am thinking about two.”

Former GOP candidate Ben Carson says that Trump, a master showman might surprise with his VP and not choose the usual suspects. Carson is working with Trump’s campaign on vetting potential running mates. All three have tried out with Trump at recent rallies. The frontrunners have met with the nominee and are still arguing their cases to Trump. Pence is the GOP establishment’s favorite choice; he is also a safe option. Pence introduced Trump at an Indiana rally on Tuesday, July 12 further adding to speculation.

The speakers list for the GOP convention released on Thursday, July 14, might give an indication as to Trump’s choice for vice president. Christie, Gingrich, and Sessions are scheduled, but Pence is not. Another glaring omission and possible VP candidate is former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who is an ardent supporter and campaign trail surrogate fueling possible speculation that Trump may opt for the veteran nominee. Trump intends to notify his candidates as to his decision on Thursday afternoon.

Politics July 13, 2016: Clinton lead over Trump narrows as he leads in swing states

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Clinton leads over Trump narrows as he leads in swing states

By Bonnie K. Goodman

This combination of file photos shows Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton(L)on June 15, 2016 and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on June 13, 2016.  / AFP / dsk        (Photo credit should read DSK/AFP/Getty Images)

This combination of file photos shows Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton(L)on June 15, 2016 and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on June 13, 2016. / AFP / dsk (Photo credit should read DSK/AFP/Getty Images)

Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead over presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has narrowed. A new McClatchy-Marist poll published on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, shows the presidential race is getting tighter, with Clinton leading Trump by only three percentage points. Meanwhile, a Quinnipiac University poll also published Wednesday indicates that Trump is leading Clinton in the all important swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania and ties his rival in Ohio. Winning these battleground states are essential to winning the election.

According to the McClatchy-Marist poll, Clinton leads Trump 42 percent to 39 percent. Independents are key to the close race, 36 percent support Clinton, 33 percent Trump with 23 percent undecided. In a four-way match with third party candidates Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, Clinton’s leads increases, with a five percent advantage over Trump 40 percent to 35 percent support.

According to the Quinnipiac University poll looking at crucial battleground states, Trump has a three-point lead over Clinton 42 percent to 39 percent. Trump has a two percent lead over Clinton in Pennsylvania, 43 to 41 percent. The two tie in Ohio 41 percent each. When third party candidates are factored in Trump’s lead grows and he also leads in Ohio. In Florida, Trump leads Clinton by five percent, 41 to 36. In Pennsylvania Trump leads by six percent, 40 to 34 and in Ohio, Trump get a marginal one point lead, 37 to 36 percent.

Demographically the two nominees are divided as well. Clinton has the support of “African-Americans, 81 to 6 percent; Hispanics, 52 to 26 percent; and women, 51 to 33 percent.” Additionally, Clinton has the support of college graduates, millennials and Americans who earn “less than $45,000 a year.” Trump on the other hand has the support of white voters, “49 to 34 percent, and men, 47 to 33 percent.” Additionally, Trump leads in support from “non-college graduates and those ages 60 and older.”

Both candidates are very unpopular, with high negative favorable ratings. Clinton has a 60 percent unfavorable rating, while Trump has 64 percent. Voter support of each respective candidate has a lot to do with voting against the rival candidate. With 48 percent of Clinton supporters backing her because they oppose Trump and 56 percent of Trump supporters opposing Clinton.

Clinton’s tumble in the polls is because of the FBI’s harsh non-indictment against Clinton over her usage of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll analyzed, “While there is no definite link between Clinton’s drop in Florida and the U.S. Justice Department decision not to prosecute her for her handling of e-mails, she has lost ground to Trump on questions which measure moral standards and honesty.” Meanwhile, momentum is increasing for Trump as he is set to name his vice presidential running mate.

Politics July 12, 2016: Sanders endorses Clinton vows to help beat Trump

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Sanders endorses Clinton vows to help beat Trump

By Bonnie K. Goodman

PORTSMOUTH, NH -  Democratic Presumptive Nominee for President former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a rally with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at Portsmouth High School Gymnasium in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

PORTSMOUTH, NH – Democratic Presumptive Nominee for President former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a rally with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at Portsmouth High School Gymnasium in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Vermont Senator and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has finally endorsed rival and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Sanders endorsed Clinton at a joint rally at Portsmouth High School, New Hampshire. To gain the endorsement, Clinton relented to many of Sanders’s progressive requests for the Democratic Party’s platform, including health care, college tuition, climate change and raising the minimum wage.

Speaking at the rally surrounded by banners reading, “Stronger Together,” Sanders announced he is endorsing Clinton. The Vermont Senator declared, Clinton “will be the Democratic nominee for president and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States. I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president.”

Continuing, Sanders explained why he is supporting Clinton after the divisive primary season. Sanders said, “I have come here today not to talk about the past but to focus on the future. That future will be shaped more by what happens on November 8 in voting booths across our nation than by any other event in the world. I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president.”
Sanders took aim at presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. Sanders pointed out, “This campaign is changing soon. Trump is expected to announce his running mate any day now, and the GOP platform is taking shape. This is the last week we can pull together and show how unified we are before Trump and the Republicans come after us – and the values we hold dear – in Cleveland.”

Clinton in turn also gave some remarks. The presumptive nominee said, “I cannot help but reflect how much more enjoyable this election is going to be now that we are on the same side.” Clinton vowed to beat Trump, “We are joining forces to defeat Donald Trump, win in November and, yes, together, build a future we can all believe in.”

Clinton also praised Sanders and the way he created a movement, saying he “brought people off the sidelines and into the political process.” Clinton said Sanders “has energized and inspired a generation of young people who care deeply about our country and are building a movement that is bigger than one candidate or one campaign.” Clinton also expressed, “Thank you for your endorsement, but more than that, thank you for your lifetime of fighting injustice.”

At the same time as the rally, Clinton’s campaign sent out a fundraising email. The email read,  “Today, I am so honored that Senator Sanders is joining me on the campaign trail and is ready to take on Trump and the GOP,” Clinton also asked the Vermont Senator’s supporters to “stand with Senator Sanders and me.”

Trump’s campaign criticized Sanders’ decision to endorse Clinton. Trump’s senior policy adviser Stephen Miller commented, “Bernie’s endorsement becomes Exhibit A in our rigged system – the Democrat Party is disenfranchising its voters to benefit the select and privileged few.”

Sanders appearance with Clinton ends the primary campaign and unifies the party’s leadership. Although it remains to be seen whether Sanders’ supporters will follow their candidate and support Clinton. Many Sanders supporters appeared at the rally shooting “Bernie” while others shouted “unity.” When Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) spoke introducing Sanders and Clinton, some in the crowds chanted “no.” Both Clinton and Sanders’s campaign are still negotiating further joint events and campaigning.

Politics July 11, 2016: Majority of Americans disapprove of the FBI deciding to not charge Clinton over email server

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Majority of Americans disapprove of the FBI deciding to not charge Clinton over email server

By Bonnie K. Goodman

UNITED STATES - JULY 8: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the African Methodist Episcopal Church conference held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, July 8, 2015, where she remarked on recent gun violence. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

UNITED STATES – JULY 8: Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the African Methodist Episcopal Church conference held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, July 8, 2015, where she remarked on recent gun violence. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

American voters agree with Republicans that the FBI should have charged former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for using her private server and mishandling classified information during her tenure. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll published on Monday, July 11, 2016, shows that a majority of Americans disagree with the FBI’s decision. Voters are also worried about how Clinton will deal with the “responsibilities” of the presidency.

According to the poll, 56 percent of Americans disagree with “FBI Director James Comey’s recommendation not to charge Clinton,” while only 35 percent agree with his decision. American even worried about how Clinton would act as president, although 39 percent are not worried about how she would perform as president.

There are partisan divisions over the FBI’s decision, with 90 percent of Republicans objecting to Comey’s decision. Democrats are not too pleased with Clinton’s actions either with 30  percent believing she should have faced charges, while 60 percent agree with the FBI and Attorney General Loretta Lynch closing the case on their presidential nominee.

Although Clinton will not face any criminal charges, 28 percent of Americans are less likely to vote for Clinton in November after the yearlong investigation into her handling of classified information. Last week when Comey announced he would not charge Clinton, he still expressed that she and her aides’ treatment of classified information were “extremely reckless.”

Politics July 8, 2016: Obama to return early from Europe to visit Dallas after police shooting

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POLITICS

Obama to return early from Europe to visit Dallas after police shooting

By Bonnie K. Goodman

President of United States Barack Obama, at the media statements after meeting whit Polish President Andrzej Duda on NATO Summit in Warsaw, 08 June, 2016, Poland (Photo by Krystian Dobuszynski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

President of United States Barack Obama, at the media statements after meeting whit Polish President Andrzej Duda on NATO Summit in Warsaw, 08 June, 2016, Poland (Photo by Krystian Dobuszynski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

President Barack Obama is cutting his trip to Europe short after the worst attack on police since 9/11. President Obama made a statement about the shooting in Dallas on Friday, July 8, 2016, from the NATO conference in Poland, calling it “a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.” On Thursday evening, July 7, a sniper purposely opened fire on police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest where 11 police officers were shot and five killed.

The White House announced the president’s intended visit to Dallas early next week late Friday afternoon. Earlier in the day, President Obama ordered the flags to fly at half-staff and made a statement condemning the attack.

Speaking from Poland, Obama said, “I believe I speak for every single American when I say we are horrified over these events, and we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas. There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement. Anyone involved in the senseless murders will be held fully accountable. Justice will be done.”

The statement was Obama’s second in two days after police officers shot and killed African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota. Police killed Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and the incidents were recorded and posted online. The shootings sparked the protest in Dallas.

The sniper Micah Xavier Johnson, 25 was former Army reservist, acted alone and specifically targeted white police officers. Police took out the shooter. Dallas Police Chief David Brown told the public that Johnson was “upset about Black Lives Matter, he said he was upset about the recent police shootings.”

Both presumptive nominees, Republican Donald Trump, and Democrat Hillary Clinton, responded to the attack in the morning and canceled their campaign events on Friday. Trump issued a statement and video condemning the shooting as an “an attack on our country” and a “coordinated, premeditated assault on the men and women who keep us safe.”

Clinton’s first response was on Twitter where she wrote, “I mourn for the officers shot while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protesters, for their families & all who serve with them. -H.” Clinton later spoke at the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s conference in Philadelphia.