65 days to Nov. 8th: The political stories from the last week...

65 days to Nov. 8th: The political stories from the last week of Summer 2016

An interesting political week had Donald Trump in Mexico, Hillary unveiling her new plane, President Obama insulted in China, and the polls getting closer.

WASHINGTON, September 5, 2016 – In an election year, Labor Day is more than the end of the summer, its the start to the final sprint to the White House.  Some of the top stories from the last week of summer are:

Donald Trump meets with President Peña Nieto and The Conservative Tribune writes

So despite President Barack Obama, Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton and the liberal media claiming nonstop how Trump’s candid rhetoric about illegal immigration would irrevocably harm our relationship with Mexico, it appeared that the relationship was just fine and dandy.

Moreover, the fact that Nieto conceded nearly every one of Trump’s points demonstrated that his tough-talking method of international diplomacy possessed more merit and future potential than Obama’s deliriously pitiful “do with me as you like” strategy of appeasement.

The Mexican president also reportedly took direct shots at Obama by complaining about the guns that were smuggled into his country during Operation Fast and Furious — and also scolding him for having ostensibly erected a “welcome” sign over the border that, incidentally enough, has spurred problems in Mexico as well as the U.S.

President Obama dissed by the Chinese on his visit to Hangzhou China. The AP reports:

Confrontations between Chinese officials and White House staff and other diplomatic dust-ups were out in the open from the moment Air Force One landed in Hangzhou, where world leaders were attending an economic summit.

The first sign of trouble: There was no staircase for Obama to exit the plane and descend on the red carpet. Obama used an alternative exit.

On the tarmac, a quarrel broke out between a presidential aide and a Chinese official who demanded the journalists traveling with Obama be prohibited from getting anywhere near him. It was a breach of the tradition observed whenever the American president arrives in a foreign place.

Donald Trump visit Detroit with Dr. Ben Carson and makes new friends receiving a prayer shawl that the church’s pastor, Bishop Wayne Jackson, has prayed and fasted over, draping the shawl over Trump’s shoulders before gifting him and Melanie their own Jewish Heritage Study Bible.

“This is a prayer shawl straight from Israel. Whenever you’re flying from coast to coast — I know you just came back from Mexico and you’ll be flying from city to city — there is an anointing. And anointing is the power of God,” Jackson said. “It’s going to be sometimes in your life that you’re going to feel forsaken, you’re going to feel down, but the anointing is going to lift you up. I prayed over this personally and I fasted over it, and I wanted to just put this on you.”

CNN reports:

Trump spoke to members of the Great Faith Ministries, a nondenominational church in Detroit, part of his outreach to what is typically a sizable Democratic voting bloc.

Sitting in a pew at the front of the congregation, Trump took a selfie with a church member and at one point held up a baby over his shoulders. He then addressed the congregation.

“For centuries, the African-American church has been the conscience of this country. So true,” Trump said, reading from prepared remarks. He added, “The African-American faith community has been one of God’s greatest gifts to America and its people.”

Trump told the audience he was there to “listen to your message” and said he hoped his appearance would “also help your voice to reach new audiences in our country.” He said he would lay out his plans for economic change and school choice — issues that he said would benefit black communities — in the future.

“When I see wages falling, people out of work, I know the hardships this inflicts and I am determined to do something about it. I will do something about it,” Trump said. “I do get things done, I will tell you. I’m going to get things done.”

Speaking in a measured tone, Trump lamented what he said was a nation that was “too divided.”

“We talk past each other and not to each other. And those who seek office do not do enough to step into the community and learn what’s going on. I’m here today to learn, so that we can together remedy injustice in any form, and so that we can also remedy economics so that the African-American community can benefit economically through jobs and income and so many other different ways.”

“I believe we need a civil rights agenda for our time,” said Trump, before he concluded by citing 1 John 4:12.

“No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us,” Trump said, adding, “That’s so true.

Hillary Clinton unveils her new plane. The Washington Post reports:

Hillary Clinton, who has had a standoffish relationship with the traveling press corps that follows her, made a point Monday of venturing to the back of her new campaign plane to offer greetings shortly before its maiden voyage — and promised a “more formal” conversation later.

“Hey, guys, welcome to our big plane,” Clinton told about three dozen members of the news media occupying the plane’s final seven rows. “It’s so exciting.”

“I am so happy to have all of you with me,” she said in response to a question about sharing a plane with the press corps. “ I have just been waiting for this moment.”

Before Monday, Clinton and the press corps had been traveling the country on separate charter planes, with limited interaction between the Democratic presidential nominee and those who cover her on a daily basis.

The plane is a Boeing 737 that the Clinton campaign noted was manufactured in the United States. The color scheme is described as scion blue and white, and it is prominently adorned with Clinton’s “Stronger Together” slogan and the campaign’s “H” logo.

Presidential Debate Moderators revealed. The Blaze reports:

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Friday who the moderators will be for the four upcoming presidential and vice presidential events.

The first presidential debate will be moderated by NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt. The showdown will be hosted at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, Monday, Sept. 26. This is a major moment for Holt, given he is the first black full-time anchor of a network nightly newscast.

Next in line is the singular vice presidential debate, which will be moderated by CBS News anchor Elaine Quijano at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, Tuesday, Oct. 4.

The second presidential event will be unlike its predecessor in that it will boast a town hall-style format and will be moderated by two hosts: Martha Raddatz, chief global affairs correspondent and co-anchor of ABC’s “This Week,” and Anderson Cooper, anchor of CNN’s “AC360.” The town hall will take place Sunday, Oct. 9, at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

The third and final presidential debate will be moderated by “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace and will be hosted by the University of Nevada in Las Vegas Wednesday, Oct. 19. This is a historic development not only for Wallace, but also for Fox News. The showdown will mark the first time a Fox anchor has moderated a presidential debate in the network’s 20-year history.

Hillary Clintons polling lead erodes as explained by the Atlantic Journal Constitution

Hillary Clinton’s once-hefty lead over Donald Trump is melting as the post-Labor Day final phase of the presidential contest approaches.

CNN’s poll of polls has Clinton at 42 percent to Trump’s 37 percent in five nationwide polls – down from her 10-point lead after the July convention. The Real Clear Politics poll analysis shows Trump narrowing Clinton’s lead to 4 points.

And some polls, including a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Friday, showed Trump has pulled into an effective tie with Clinton after his tough-talking immigration speech. Rasmussen Reports, too, shows Clinton trailing Trump for the first time since July.

Fox News Reports:

Top Trump campaign officials on Sunday expressed optimism about recent poll numbers amid the fallout from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s FBI email investigation and sought to defend the Republican presidential nominee’s immigration plan in advance of the White House race intensifying after Labor Day.

“The polling data that you showed earlier really tells the tale,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told ABC’s “This Week.” “Hillary Clinton is having a hard time being accepted as a truthful and honest candidate vis-à-vis the American people.”

Clinton’s poll numbers have dropped in recent weeks amid further revelations about her use of a private email server while secretary of state and connections between Clinton Foundation donors and the State Department during and after her tenure at the agency.

The RealClearPolitics polls average showed Clinton leading Donald Trump by as many as 8 percentage points in mid-August, when the first-time candidate made a series of campaign missteps that some political analysts predicted would be too damaging to overcome.

However, the RCP average is now at about 4 points, though Trump trails by larger margins in such key battleground states as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“We’re taking Pennsylvania very seriously,” said Conway, acknowledging Democrats have won there in the past six presidential elections but dismissing the argument that the state is do-or-die for Trump.

Democrats fear the October Surprise, writes NBC News

Now that U.S. authorities are confident Russian intelligence agencies are behind the hack of Democratic Party emails, political operatives and cybersecurity experts tell NBC News they are bracing for an “October Surprise” — a release of even more potentially damaging information timed to influence the outcome of the presidential election and the course of the next administration.

The big question isn’t whether more information will be disclosed, they say, but how destructive it might be to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and to broader U.S. foreign policy efforts.

Democratic Party and Clinton campaign officials are now doing an urgent “damage assessment” to determine what kind of information might have been stolen and the impact its release might have on a tight presidential race.

“That is a nightmare scenario, and let’s hope we don’t see that as an October Surprise — emails from Hillary Clinton’s server that have either been in the press or worse, the classified ones that no one in the public has seen,” said retired Adm. James Stavridis, who as the former Supreme Allied Commander for NATO is familiar with Russian information operations.

“I think it is a nightmare for all of us because it shows the degree to which our systems have been penetrated by Russian hackers potentially operating under the rubric of the Russian government,” said Stavridis, who was vetted as a possible Clinton running mate.

Hillary Clinton still being dogged by email scandal. Fox News reports:

Jason Miller, spokesman for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, said the files “reinforce Clinton’s “tremendously bad judgment and dishonesty.”

The several-dozen pages released Friday also show Clinton repeatedly claimed to have little training or understanding about the classification process — despite leading the department that handled such information on a regular basis and having a security clearance.

The document dump also revealed the gaps that remain in the record. Not only were numerous sections redacted, but the files showed the FBI could not obtain 13 Clinton mobile devices that may have been used to send emails from her personal email address, in addition to two iPads.

According to the files, Clinton claimed to have relied on the judgment of her aides and other officials to handle classified material appropriately. She even told investigators — when asked what the “C” marking meant before a paragraph in an email marked “Confidential” – that “she did not know and could only speculate it was referencing paragraphs marked in alphabetical order.”

The FBI document notes that the email was in fact marked “classified at the Confidential level.” And when asked about different classification types like “Top Secret,” Clinton went on to say she “did not pay

Clinton’s server was found to have more than 2,000 emails with classified material. Most were retroactively classified, but FBI Director James Comey has disputed Clinton’s insistence that none of them were marked as such at the time.

Clinton has repeatedly said her use of private email was allowed. But in July she told FBI investigators she “did not explicitly request permission to use a private server or email address,” the FBI wrote. They said no one at the State Department raised concerns during her tenure, and that Clinton said everyone with whom she exchanged emails knew she was using a private email address.

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