Decision 2016

On The Trail


Washington Post Reporter Says He Was Patted Down, Barred From Pence Event

A Washington Post reporter said he was patted down and prohibited from entering a Mike Pence event Wednesday night in Wisconsin.

"First, press credentials for The Washington Post were revoked by Donald Trump," Washington Post editor Marty Baron said, according to the paper. "Now, law enforcement officers, in collusion with private security officials, subjected a reporter to bullying treatment that no ordinary citizen has to endure. All of this took place in a public facility no less. The harassment of an independent press isn't coming to an end. It's getting worse."

"Our events are open to everyone, and we are looking into the alleged incident," Pence press secretary Marc Lotter said in a statement to the Post.

Flashback: Hillary Clinton at the 1992 Convention

Watch NBC News' Tom Brokaw describe Hillary Clinton's arrival at the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York where Bill Clinton accepted the party's presidential nomination:

Erik Ortiz

Trump: I Was Being 'Sarcastic' About Russian Hacking

Donald Trump's controversial call for Russian hackers to spy on Hillary Clinton's emails and make them public was meant to be sarcasm, the Republican presidential nominee said Thursday.

In an interview on FOX News, Trump downplayed the latest firestorm and took issue with how Clinton's campaign manager suggested that he wants a "foreign power to commit espionage" in the U.S.

"You have to be kidding me. His client ... deleted 33,000 emails illegally, you look at that, and when I'm being sarcastic with something," Trump said.

"Were you being sarcastic?" FOX's Brian Kilmeade interrupted.

"Of course I'm being sarcastic," Trump said, adding that his concern was what was said on the 20,000 internal emails from the Democratic National Committee that were stolen and leaked publicly. U.S. officials and cyber security experts have suggested state-sponsored Russian hackers are behind the move.

"You take a look at what was said on those emails, it's disgraceful," Trump said. "They talk about religion, they talk about race, they talk about all sorts of things, including women — and what they said on those emails was a disgrace."

Clinton's camp claims the emails were released to sway favor for Trump, who has heaped praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his leadership style over President Barack Obama's.

Trump said he thinks it would "be a good thing and not a bad thing" if the U.S. could get along with Russia. And, he added, Obama is to blame for Russia exerting it influence, including with Russian warships interfering with U.S. Navy ships in the Mediterranean.

"You know why? You know why they do that?" Trump asked. "Because they have no respect for our leader."

Did President Obama Win Over Republicans?

His speech was praised across the political spectrum, but did it convince any Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton?

6 Takeaways From Democrats' Marquee Night

Wednesday night featured what had to be among the densest concentrations of marquee names on a single night of a party confab — including the sitting president, his second-in-command, and the debut of the party's new vice presidential nominee.

But the night, like the entire convention thus far, could not be condensed into a single coherent theme beyond, "Let's elect a sane, competent person," as unlikely surrogate Michael Bloomberg ad-libbed. Here are six big takeaways from the night:

Leigh Ann Caldwell

Obama Said the RNC Did Not Represent 'The America I know'

President Barack Obama challenged the ideas and tone of last week's Republican Party's nominating convention, calling it "a deeply pessimistic vision."

"But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn't particularly Republican - and it sure wasn't conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems - just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate," Obama said. "And that is not the America I know."
"The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous," he added.

Former Defense Secretary: Trump 'Took Russia's Side'

Leon Panetta, former CIA director and defense secretary, made a national security argument for Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

I have worked alongside nine presidents, Republican and Democrat, all experienced, all believing in the U.S. role in world leadership. I can tell you this -- in this election, there is only one candidate for president who has the experience, temperament and judgment to be commander-in-chief, and that's Hillary Clinton.

Panetta said Clinton would have the trust of America's military and diplomatic corps, adding that U.S. troops "know she will always have their back."

"This is no time to gamble with our future," Panetta said.

Panetta also weighed in on Trump's call for Russian hackers to infiltrate U.S. servers to uncover missing Hillary Clinton emails, saying, "Today, Donald Trump took Russia's side."

"As someone who was responsible for protecting our nation from cyberattacks, it is inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be that irresponsible," he said.

Trump's Love-Hate Relationship with Hackers

In light of Donald Trump's supposed encouragement of hackers to look for deleted emails on Hillary Clinton's private server, MSNBC's Cal Perry dug up these tweets from Donald Trump over the past few years.

Trump Claims Putin 'Mentioned the N-Word'

Donald Trump on Wednesday told reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin "mentioned the N-word" at least once -- even though Trump claims to have never met Putin.

"Putin has said things over the last year that are really bad things. He mentioned the n-word one time," Trump said from his resort in Doral, Florida.

"I was shocked to hear him mention the n-word. You know what the n-word is, right?" Trump continued. "He has a total lack of respect for President Obama."

Putin doesn't like Obama, Trump told reporters.

"I think he's going to respect your president if I'm elected, and I hope he likes me," Trump said.

Earlier in the news conference, Trump claimed he had never met the Russian leader.

Trump: 'I Hope' Russia Finds Missing Clinton Emails

Donald Trump on Wednesday asked Russia to help find the missing emails from Hillary Clinton's private server.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump proposed from a podium at his Doral Resort. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

Trump faced questions about whether he endorses foreign governments meddling in America's election and domestic affairs, an allegation that he balked at despite issuing the above challenge just moments later. "What do I have to do with Putin?" Trump retorted when asked if he'd tell Putin to stay out of the election. "I'm not going to tell Putin what to do."

Trump called the idea that Russia was behind the hack and leak of Democratic National Committee emails a "total deflection" he did say he "hopes" the Russians have Clinton's emails if they are found responsible.

The GOP nominee, who has often reminded of Russian President's Putin's favorable comments about him, told reporters in a press conference at Trump's Doral Club that he'd treat Russia "firmly" as president but that he'd rather have them "friendly" as opposed to the way they are currently.

Trump: Baltimore Prosecutor Should Prosecute Herself

Bill O'Reilly: Slaves Who Built White House Were 'Well-Fed'

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has picked up the ball tossed by critics who have tried to undermine first lady Michelle Obama's popular DNC speech — and he's running with it.

On his prime-time show Tuesday, O'Reilly joined the chorus of detractors who tried to poke holes in Obama's statement that she lives in a "house built by slaves."

"Slaves that worked [at the White House] were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802," he said on "The O'Reilly Factor." "However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well."

According to Politifact, the first lady is not just "essentially" correct, she is totally correct. And while not all of the laborers who built the White House were slaves, and while those that were may have been "well-fed," that did not erase the indignity and brutality of living without their freedom — which should be a surprise to no one.

Meanwhile, the first lady's foes continue to miss the substance of what she was trying to say: That her family's residence in the White House is a symbol of racial progress and a tribute to how far our country has come.

But because this message was delivered by a Democratic first lady, it's become yet another partisan talking point.

Case in point, conservative radio shock jock Rush Limbaugh complained that the Obamas "can't stop talking about slavery."

Limbaugh also took a shot at the president's multiracial ancestry: "They love to wax eloquent about the early days and how they were 3/5 of a person, even though they never have been 3/5 of a person," he said. "He doesn't even have any slave blood. She does, but he doesn't, but they will admit they're never going to let it go."

McAuliffe Clarifies Comments on Clinton and TPP

Longtime Hillary Clinton ally Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe kicked up controversy by saying that the Democratic presidential nominee would, in fact, support the TPP trade deal, provided there are tweaks to it, if she is elected president. He made the remark after speaking at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night.

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta quickly pushed back on the governor's comment. "Love Gov. McAuliffe, but he got this one flat wrong. Hillary opposes TPP BEFORE and AFTER the election. Period. Full stop," he tweeted.

NBC News' Mark Murray explains that "This was a clear "Kinsley" gaffe — saying something that's actually true. And that's why it could leave a mark. And don't be surprised if Trump tries to seize on it more today."

Wednesday morning, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell landed an interview with McAuliffe, who worked to clarify his remarks.

"Let's be very clear, she would only go forward if the changes that she wants are implemented and that everyone is in agreement — the labor folks would be in agreement — all of us would be in agreement," he said. "She is not going forward as it is today."

Can Trump Win? 'Anything Is Possible,' Obama Says

Just six months after telling Matt Lauer he couldn't imagine Donald Trump giving a State of the Union address — except in a "Saturday Night Live" skit — President Barack Obama now says "anything is possible" in November.

"It is the nature of democracy that until those votes are cast and the American people have their say, we don't know," Obama explained in an exclusive interview with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie.

Trump to Visit His Rowdy Reddit Fab Club

Donald Trump on Wednesday will answer questions from supporters on Reddit, one of the most visited sites in the world and one whose Trump fan page has become an unlikely viral sensation.

Trump's "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session is a crowning achievement for r/The_Donald, a user-created "subreddit" that's attracted tens of millions of pageviews a month since rising to prominence in February. The site serves as a hub for a prankish and sometimes outrageous band of conservative users who skew young and male and take special pleasure in tweaking liberal sensitivities on topics like gender, race and immigration.

In DNC Video, Clinton Breaks Through Glass Ceiling

Hillary Clinton briefly addressed the Democratic Convention at the end of Tuesday night's program, "breaking through" the glass ceiling via satellite to wrap up a day on which she became the first woman ever nominated to head a major party's presidential ticket.

Trump Jumps on McAuliffe TTP Comments

Donald Trump's campaign was quick to jump on comments Virginia Gov, Terry McAuliffe made to Politico after speaking at the Democratic National Convention in which he said Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will eventually support the Trans-Pacific Partnership if she wins the White House. A spokesperson for McAuliffe, a longtime friend of the Clintons, clarified the remarks and the Clinton campaign said she would remain opposed to the trade agreement in office.

Tuesday night, both Trump and his campaign chair, Paul Manafort, made their thoughts clear:

Bernie Loyalists Stage a Walk-Out

A contingent of Bernie Sanders supporters protesting Hillary Clinton's presidential nomination left the arena hosting the DNC and staged a sit-in at nearby tent housing media.

The exact nature of the protest varied depending on who you asked. But the group temporarily cut off access to the media center where journalists were covering the convention. Police restored access after about one hour.

The group of about 100 staged a walk out after Clinton officially become the Democratic nominee. Some said they were planning to re-enter the arena if permitted.

Kaine's Wife, Anne Holton, Leaves Virginia Ed. Post

Anne Holton, wife of Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, has resigned her post as Virginia's Secretary of Education. In a statement, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that the resignation was effective on July 25, saying, "as Virginia's Secretary of Education, Anne has been a tireless advocate on behalf of the students of the Commonwealth and an essential leader in securing historic investments in public education during the most recent General Assembly session."

As she prepares for the fall campaign trail, McAuliffe added, "I wish Anne the very best, and I know she will take her passion for education to the national stage and continue to make the Commonwealth proud."

Leigh Ann Caldwell

Koch-backed Group Puts $1 Million Infusion Into Indiana Senate Race

The political organized run by conservative activists Charles and David Koch has announced a $1 million digital and television advertising buy in Indiana's Senate race. This brings Koch network spending on Senate races to $20 million.

The ad attacks former Sen. Evan Bayh for voting for the Wall Street bail out, in 2008 and then receiving compensation from one of the banks that received TARP funds after he left the Senate in 2011.

"Billions of our tax dollars handed over to the biggest banks, and Washington insider Evan Bayh voted for it," the narrator says in the ad. "Then, right after leaving office, Bayh took a job with a bank that got billions in bailout cash. He made nearly a million—and left Indiana behind."

"The Koch Brothers are trying to buy another Senate seat for their radical agenda, and they have found their newest special interest pawn in Congressman Todd Young," Bayh's Campaign Manager Paul Tencher responded. "Congressman Young and the Koch Brothers have called Social Security a 'Ponzi scheme' and the 'ultimate pyramid scheme.'"

The ad buy comes two weeks after the Indiana Senate race became more competitive.

Bayh decided to jump in the race after a five-year break from the Senate, giving Democrats a better chance to pick up another seat. Cook Political Report changed the rating of the race from red to toss up. He is running against Republican Rep. Todd Young.

The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee released its own six-figure ad by to help Bayh on Monday, according to Roll Call. And Bayh has already been up on the air for more than a week.

Top videos

Hillary Clinton Greets President Obama With Hug


Hillary Clinton joins President Obama onstage at the DNC.

NBC News Battleground Map







270 Needed to win
LikelyDemocratLeanDemocratTossupLeanRepublicanLikelyRepublicanStripes indicate splits in ME and NE's votes, whichare awarded by district and statewide popular vote.
State State Votes
FL Florida 29
PA Pennsylvania 20
OH Ohio 18
MI Michigan 16
GA Georgia 16
NC North Carolina 15
VA Virginia 13
AZ Arizona 11
WI Wisconsin 10
MO Missouri 10
CO Colorado 9
NV Nevada 6
IA Iowa 6
UT Utah 6
NH New Hampshire 4
NE Nebraska (CD2) 1
ME Maine (CD2) 1

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