Author: By Greg Sargent

Trump just opened the door to conceding the election if he loses

AP Photo/David Goldman Everybody is having a grand time mocking Donald Trump because he said this at a rally in Ohio today: “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to make a major announcement today. I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election — if I win.” It’s good to have Trump on record confirming that he is only claiming the outcome of the election will be rigged because he thinks he’s going to lose, even if it’s in the form of a joke. That aside, at the same rally, Trump also waxed serious, saying this: “America is a constitutional republic, with a system of laws. These laws are triggered in the case of fraud. Or in the event of a recount where it’s needed. Of course I would accept a clear election result. But I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.” In one sense, this actually is a walkback of sorts. Remember, Trump has not been saying that the outcome may be questionable. Rather, he has been insisting that it will be rigged, that is, that this is definitely in the process of happening. As Trump’s jokes above...

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This video might make it harder for Trump to attack Hillary over Bill’s affairs

Will Donald Trump step forward at one of the remaining debates and chivalrously defend their honor? (AFP/Getty Images) So it turns out there’s video of Donald Trump calling Paula Jones a “loser” in the late 1990s. This should — at least theoretically — cast more doubt on the likelihood that Trump will attack Hillary Clinton, in the high-profile setting of one of the remaining debates, for enabling her husband’s affairs, as his campaign has been hinting he might do. Trump’s disparagement of Jones has been incorporated into this new video compilation of Trump’s comments about Bill Clinton’s sexual past, which was created by the crack Post video team, and comes a little after the 20-second mark: Donald Trump regularly attacks Bill Clinton over his past sex scandals, but it turns out Trump had some harsh words for one of Clinton’s accusers in the past. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post) “Paula Jones is a loser, but the fact is that she may be responsible for bringing down a president indirectly,” Trump said. That’s from an interview with Chris Matthews on August 27, 1998, just days after Bill Clinton admitted to an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Bill’s initial false denial of sexual relations with Lewinsky came in a deposition related to Jones’ lawsuit against him, which alleged that as Governor of Arkansas, he had made inappropriate advances towards her, and was...

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Trump campaign: We will … won’t … will … won’t … will … won’t make an issue of Bill’s sex life

(Getty Images) Everyone is having a good laugh because Eric Trump claimed today that his pops showed “courage” and a level of moral fortitude that he’ll “always remember” in refraining from bringing up Bill Clinton’s infidelities on the debate stage. Per Buzzfeed: “I mean, he very well could’ve looked down — and he said it when he came off the debate stage, ‘I wasn’t gonna respond to that question because I saw Chelsea in the front row and I just wasn’t gonna go there out of respect for her,’” the younger son of the Republican nominee told host Simon Conway of 1040 WHO Iowa radio. “And that was a big moment for me and probably will actually become, my life and this campaign, and probably will be something I’ll always remember.” He continued, “I mean, he really took the high ground where he had the opportunity to go very, very low. And I’m proud of him for doing that. I mean, I’m really proud of him for doing that. And I think people recognize that. I mean, there are a lot of people who came up to me, including many in the media, who said listen, he could’ve just crushed her on that last question. And he would’ve probably hurt a family if he did. “I don’t know, I think that took a lot of courage in so many...

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Trump to debate moderators: Don’t even think about fact-checking me. My supporters are watching!

(AP Photo) This is a remarkable exchange from an interview with Donald Trump on Fox and Friends this morning: QUESTIONER: Lester Holt — should he be a moderator, and just ask questions, or should he be a fact checker, where he asks a question, and if somebody says something that he thinks is wrong, that he’s gonna try to correct the record? What would you like to see — a moderator, or a fact checker? TRUMP: Well, I think he has to be a moderator. You’re debating somebody, and if she makes a mistake, or if I make a mistake, we’ll take each other on. But I certainly don’t think you want Candy Crowley again. QUESTIONER: [Snickers knowingly.] She was wrong! TRUMP: I really don’t think you want that. That was a very pivotal moment in that debate. And it really threw the debate off. And it was unfair. So I don’t think you want that. No, I think you have to have somebody that just lets ’em argue it out. You know, I think there’s a lot of pressure on Lester. I think Lester’s a very good person, a very good man. I think there’s a lot of pressure on him. You know, when I had the town hall, last week with Hillary, I did well, and I had tough questions. But the polls all had her taking...

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If this new poll is right, Trump is absolutely shredding the GOP brand with Latinos

(AP Photo/Marco Ugarte) Donald Trump’s speech on immigration this week — with its full blown xenophobia, its broad brush portrayal of undocumented immigrants as invaders and criminals, and its flat-out nixing of any meaningful path to assimilation — is the stuff of nightmares for GOP operatives who believe their party’s perilous standing with Latinos has left it teetering on the edge of a demographic abyss. A new poll of over 3,000 Latino voters just released today will not do much to assuage these fears. The poll, which was commissioned by America’s Voice and conducted by Latino Decisions, finds Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 70-19 among Latinos. That’s substantially worse than Mitt Romney’s 27 percent in 2012. But buried in the crosstabs are these findings that suggest Trump may also be damaging the GOP’s image among them pretty badly: * Only 21 percent of Latinos say the Republican Party truly cares about the Latino community. (Forty five percent say the GOP doesn’t care too much about them, and 28 percent say it is hostile to them, a total of 73 percent.) By contrast, 56 percent say the Democratic Party truly cares about them. * 70 percent of Latinos say that Trump has made the Republican Party “more hostile” to them. By contrast, 58 percent of Latinos say Hillary Clinton has made the Democratic Party “more welcoming” to them. *...

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Stop getting played by Trump’s scam job on immigration

(Reuters/Carlo Allegri) You’ve probably heard a lot of people say that Donald Trump is “softening” on immigration. But this doesn’t reflect a meaningful shift in Trump’s priorities as much as it reflects a clever rhetorical trick his campaign has been playing. That should become clear when he delivers his speech on the issue tomorrow, though he may well try to keep this trick going. But now Don Trump Jr. has made it as clear as you could want that there is no significant overall shift in Trump’s posture. In an interview with Anderson Cooper that is set to air tonight, Don Jr. clarifies that under Trump’s plan, all the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country will remain targets for deportation. Here, from CNN’s transcript, is the exchange, which concerns the recent episode in which Trump seemed to poll his audience on whether they supported mass deportations (hat tip to Sopan Deb for the catch): DONALD TRUMP JR.: He wasn’t softening on anything. He didn’t change his stance on anything….He’s actually having a conversation. He basically surveyed the room….He’s actually having a conversation with the people of this country….He asked an opinion. He didn’t say, well my policies now changed. He didn’t say that. Now, the media will run with it however they want. But that’s not what actually happened and I was in the room. ANDERSON COOPER: It...

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Today, Clinton will accuse Trump of ‘mainstreaming’ hate and white nationalism. Here’s why.

(Reuters/Carlo Allegri) THE MORNING PLUM: Today, Hillary Clinton will give a speech about Donald Trump and the ‘alt right.” In an interview on CNN last night, Clinton previewed the speech by saying this: “Donald Trump has shown us who he is, and we ought to believe him. He is taking a hate movement mainstream. He’s brought it into his campaign. He’s bringing it to our communities and our country. “And someone who’s questioned the citizenship of the first African American President, who has courted white supremacists, who’s been sued for housing discrimination against communities of color, who’s attacked a judge for his Mexican heritage and promised a mass deportation force, is someone who is very much peddling bigotry and prejudice and paranoia. I will have more to say about this tomorrow when I give a speech in Reno.” This is sure to force a more open discussion over whether this is really what Trump is up to, and that will be a good thing. As I and many others have argued, the evidence is mounting that Trump is consciously trying to nurture a following created by his candidacy that is at least partly motivated by his appeal to their white nationalist or “alt-right” impulses. That following (one that is by no means only motivated by those impulses, to be clear) helped Trump win the nomination, and now that he appears to...

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Even after Khan battle, Trump voters overwhelmingly support ban on Muslims

America loves my proposed ban on Muslims, believe me. (Darren Hauck/Getty Images) The new Washington Post/ABC News poll — which shows Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by 50-42 among registered voters nationally — also provides more evidence of one of the most important subplots of Campaign 2016: The ways in which Trumpism is forcing a deep cultural split between college educated white voters and the non-college whites who overwhelmingly back Trump. The poll finds that Trump continues to hold a lopsided lead among non-college whites, 58-33. But Clinton leads Trump by 50-44 among college-educated whites, which is putting her on track to become the first Democratic nominee to win among those voters in half a century. But the poll also finds, crucially, that this split extends to one of the key pillars of Trumpism: His proposed temporary ban on non-citizen Muslims from entering the United States. Overall, American voters lean against the ban on Muslims by 53-40. Simultaneously, voters slightly favor Clinton as the candidate who will do more to keep America safer and more secure, by 48-45. But according to the crosstabs — which were provided by the Post polling team — the split on these questions among white voters is very pronounced indeed. The ban on Muslims is supported by non-college white voters (53-40); non-college white men (57-39); and white evangelical protestants (62-31). By contrast, college educated...

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