* Matea Gold reports that Donald Trump is extending his creative accounting practices to his campaign:
Donald Trump’s hiring of pollster Tony Fabrizio in May was viewed as a sign that the real estate mogul was finally bringing seasoned operatives into his insurgent operation.
But the Republican presidential nominee appears to have taken issue with some of the services provided by the veteran GOP strategist, who has advised candidates from 1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole to Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The Trump campaign’s latest Federal Election Commission report shows that it is disputing nearly $767,000 that Fabrizio’s firm says it is still owed for polling.
Trump campaign officials declined to provide details about the reason the campaign has declined to pay the sum to Fabrizio Lee, the pollster’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based firm. “This is an administrative issue that we’re resolving internally,” said senior communications adviser Jason Miller. Fabrizio did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump has repeatedly been accused of failing to pay vendors and contractors hired by his real estate empire, including painters, dish washers, real estate brokers and a music store that provided pianos for his Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. The billionaire has said he pays fairly and that he has withheld payments only when he was dissatisfied with someone’s services.
Word of advice: If you’re doing work for Donald Trump, you might want to demand to get paid up front.
FBI Director James Comey argued privately that it was too close to Election Day for the United States government to name Russia as meddling in the U.S. election and ultimately ensured that the FBI’s name was not on the document that the U.S. government put out, a former FBI official tells CNBC.
The official said some government insiders are perplexed as to why Comey would have election timing concerns with the Russian disclosure but not with the Huma Abedin email discovery disclosure he made Friday…
An FBI spokesperson declined to comment on Comey’s role in the decision making surrounding the Oct. 7 statement.
According to the former official, Comey agreed with the conclusion the intelligence community came to: “A foreign power was trying to undermine the election. He believed it to be true, but was against putting it out before the election.” Comey’s position, this official said, was “if it is said, it shouldn’t come from the FBI, which as you’ll recall it did not.”
This is based on one anonymous source, so it’s possible it isn’t accurate. But it’s getting hard to argue that Comey was applying objective standards that had nothing to do with concern about his own reputation, which ironically has now suffered considerable damage.
Sen. Richard Burr privately mused over the weekend that gun owners may want to put a “bullseye” on Hillary Clinton, according to audio obtained by CNN.
The North Carolina Republican, locked in a tight race for reelection, quipped that as he walked into a gun shop “nothing made me feel better” than seeing a magazine about rifles “with a picture of Hillary Clinton on the front of it.”
“I was a little bit shocked at that — it didn’t have a bullseye on it,” he said Saturday to GOP volunteers, prompting laughter from the crowd in Mooresville, North Carolina.
When Trump said not long ago that if Clinton wins the White House, the “Second Amendment people” might have recourse, he, too, of course, was joking. — gs
* This ad from pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA running in battleground states starts off as an inspiring feel-good message aimed at women, featuring cameos by Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Sally Ride, then about 45 seconds in becomes a punch in the gut.
* A new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll shows Clinton’s lead sticking at six points, with no change before and after the Comey letter.
* A new WMUR poll shows Clinton leading Trump in New Hampshire by 45-38 — and half of this poll was taken after the FBI news broke.
* Julian Sanchez has a good, detailed explainer on why, whatever you might think of what Clinton did with regard to her emails, it wasn’t criminal, and Comey made the right call in recommending against charges.
* Heather Digby Parton argues that those with long memories could have seen something like Comey’s latest trick coming.
* David Wasserman reports that so far in early voting Clinton looks to be getting stronger turnout than Obama did four years ago in heavily Latino areas, but weaker turnout in heavily African-American areas.
* Kira Lerner rounds up some of the voter intimidation tactics we’ve seen so far in this election.
* And John Hudak argues that there could be “cannabis coattails” in Maine, Nevada, and Arizona as young people turn out to vote for marijuana legalization initiatives and wind up pulling the lever for Democrats.