Bill Clinton visits Pennsylvania last week. (Mark Makela/Reuters)

With Breanne Deppisch


PITTSBURGH—One-fifth of Donald Trump’s supporters view Bill Clinton favorably, according to our polling. Many of these white, working-class voters live in the Rust Belt. They helped Bill carry Pennsylvania twice, and their support for the GOP nominee in 2016 is partly why this state has become a battleground.

“I really liked Bill Clinton. He triangulated. It worked,” said Trump supporter Jerry Bernard, 61. “He got welfare reform done. It seems like we’ve gone backwards as a country since that time.”

Bernard, a chaplain at a local hospital, grew up here as a Democrat and recalls how much everyone in his Catholic family adored John F. Kennedy when he was a boy. He proudly voted for Bill in 1992 and again in 1996. He now considers himself “an anti-establishment independent,” and he really dislikes Hillary Clinton.

“You just can’t go with her,” Bernard said, using words like “carpetbagger” and “pathological liar” to describe the Democratic nominee. “Benghazi is a big concern of mine. I blame her. We lost men we should never have lost.”

Drinking a Coors Light as he waited for the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates game against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night, Bernard said he forgives Trump’s “verbal blunders” because “he’s not a politician like her.”

“Who’s perfect? Let’s give him a shot,” he added. “What the hell do we have to lose? He’s definitely better than a 30-year incumbent who hasn’t done crap.”

I have been struck during recent interviews by how many Trump voters go out of their way to tell me they abhor Hillary but admire Bill. They believe Bill felt their pain; they see Hillary as heartless. They thought of Bill as an Arkansas outsider taking on the established order; they think Hillary embodies that order. (A surprising number of folks talk about the former secretary of state as if she’s a sitting president seeking reelection…)

In a Washington Post/ABC poll last month, 56 percent of Americans had a favorable impression of Bill. For context, our most recent survey finds that 41 percent view Hillary favorably. In the early August poll, the last time we included a question on Bill, 19 percent of registered voters who support Trump said they view the former president favorably while only 3 percent of Trump supporters hold a favorable view of Hillary. And while 92 percent of Trump backers hold a “strongly unfavorable” view of Hillary, just 55 percent feel the same way about Bill.

I chatted with nearly two dozen voters at the Pittsburgh Pirates' game Saturday night. Here Jung Ho Kang celebrates with Josh Bell after hitting a home run during the third inning. The Cincinnati Reds won. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Andrew Rudisill, 30, was not old enough to vote for Bill, but without prompting he said that he would have if he could. He was never enthusiastic about voting for John McCain because he was “so old,” and he was not excited about Mitt Romney because he was “so stiff.” But he is eager to cast a ballot for Trump.

“We’re tired of feeling like we’re being sh** on by the top 1 percent of people in control,” said Rudisill, who works on supply chain management for an automobile company. “I look at Washington as a leech on our lives.”

He and his girlfriend, Andrea Tombesi, drove to Pittsburgh from York, Pa., to watch Penn State, where he went to college, play Pitt on Saturday.

“We’re not crazy conservative, but we understand this country needs a strong leader,” said Tombesi, 30, who works in credit card processing. “He might be an extremist about some things, but…”

“The stuff people say he’s an extremist about is never going to happen,” said Rudisill, finishing her sentence. “Congress is never going to let it happen.”

Sipping a Pabst Blue Ribbon, he explained: “Republicans in the 1990s stopped Clinton from doing bad things. Everything in the 1990s was bipartisan because they had checks and balances.”

He likes the idea of Trump in the White House and Democrats in Congress acting as a check on his impulsiveness, an arrangement that he imagines would look something like the battles between Bill and Newt Gingrich.

-- Undeniably, there is a gender dynamic too. “I don’t think America is ready for a woman to run this country – and that’s coming from a very strong woman,” said Tombesi. “I want someone who can protect this country, and I worry that if she gets elected we’ll be a sitting duck. … I don’t think America is strong enough to have a female running the country.”

“He’s a nut job, but I think he can do it,” she added of Trump. “Honestly.”

Donald and Melania pose for a picture with then President Bill Clinton and model Kylie Bax at the U.S. Open in New York on Sept. 8, 2000. This photo was released Friday by the Clinton Presidential Library.

-- The Clinton campaign deployed Bill to Pittsburgh on Friday to both galvanize the Democratic base and to extend an olive branch to these folks who like him but not his wife. “Look, I get it,” Bill said in a sometimes fiery 35-minute speech. “Well over 90 percent of the income gains have gone to just the top 1 percent. Most American families, including a lot of them in this part of Pennsylvania, after you adjust for inflation, are living on about what they were living on the last day I was president. And the cost of living has gone up. So we honor people’s disappointment and their frustrations.”

Bill said his wife is the only one with a plan to make their lives better. His mantra was that she has answers, and Trump has anger. “Don’t substitute anger for answers,” he told a crowd of 500. “Don’t substitute resentment for responsibility.”

He went on an extended riff about how his mother taught him that you should never make a decision when you’re angry. “You hear people say this: ‘What have I got to lose?’ Tell them 14 million jobs, thank you very much, and we don’t want to lose them,” Clinton said. “We’ve got enough road rage in America today and all over the world. … We’ve got one candidate rubbing salt in the open wound of resentment and the other taking responsibility to sew up the wound, sew us up and walk us into the future.”

Bill’s economic message resonated especially well in Western Pennsylvania 24 years ago. Pittsburgh, like the region at large, was already by then long suffering from the aftershocks of deindustrialization. His speech Friday heavily focused on the economy – echoing some of his language from his 1992 run – with only passing references to social or cultural issues. He said nothing about his wife’s plan for stricter gun laws, for example.

He nodded to the fact that many blue-collar whites in these parts have left the Democratic coalition. “We all know how her opponent’s done real well down in West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky,” Clinton said. “Because the coal people don’t like any of us anymore! They all voted for me. I won twice! And they did well. But they blame the president when the sun doesn’t come up in the morning now.”

But the subtle subtext of Clinton’s speech was that many of these voters will never come back to the Democratic Party. The venue was telling. He spoke at Homewood Coliseum, which is in a predominantly African American community on Pittsburgh’s east side. And more of his comments were directed at mobilizing core supporters, especially minorities, than persuading people who might be flirting with Trump.

Donald and Bill laugh in happier days. This is another in the batch of Sept. 2000 photos released by the Clinton Library. (Via Reuters)

Bill even suggested that Trump’s campaign is motivated in part by racial animus. “One candidate says, ‘I’ll make America great again,’” he said. “Hey folks, I’m a white southerner. I know exactly what he means!”

The former president synthesized Trump’s message down to this: “I will give you what you had 50 years ago economically, and I’ll move you back up the social totem pole and give you someone to look down on.”

Bill said Hillary wants to tear down the totem pole. “It wasn’t so great for a lot of people 50 years ago,” he noted to cheers.

“Saying I’ll make it the way it used to be is like me saying I’d like to be 20 again,” he added. “I would actually … But I wouldn’t vote for anybody who promised to make me 20 again.”

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter.
With contributions from Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck) and Scott Clement.

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Hillary leaves Chelsea's apartment yesterday. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

-- CLINTON CANCELS CALIFORNIA TRIP: Hillary has canceled events scheduled for today and tomorrow on the West Coast after falling ill at a 9/11 memorial service in New York City. Clinton's Wednesday and Thursday appearances are up in the air. 

After hours of caginess -- which made the story much worse for them -- the campaign finally announced last night that the candidate was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday. The campaign said a doctor advised her to rest and temporarily modify her schedule, but they only disclosed this after footage emerged of her buckling and stumbling into a vehicle.

Here's HRC departing the 9/11 event:

Here's a clip of Clinton leaving Chelsea's apartment a little bit later, saying she was feeling better:

-- “The incident inserts new speculation about her health into a presidential campaign in which [Trump] has called her weak and unfit,” Abby D. Phillip and Anne Gearan report.

-- “When it comes to personal health, Clinton has long opted for intense privacy, dating back to 1998 when she experienced what she later described as her ‘scariest moment’ with a blood clot in her right leg,” Todd C. Frankel reports. “At the time, President Bill Clinton’s White House said little about the first lady’s medical emergency, discreetly treated as an outpatient at Bethesda National Naval Medical Center. Doctors found a second clot in her legs in 2009, a fact not widely known until her Mount Kisco, N.Y., internist released a letter in July 2015 attesting to her good health ... Clinton’s third blood clot in 2012 — this time in her skull — was too serious to keep under wraps, since she was serving [at the State Department]. Now, the mysterious episode in New York has sharpened the focus on the health of the two major party presidential nominees and led to a growing clamor for the release of more complete medical histories.”

-- Trump advisers say their strategy for handling Clinton’s illness will be to keep quiet, Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs and Kevin Cirilli report. Strategists for the Republican nominee are urging him not to draw attention away from Clinton’s bad weekend, which they believe could be a defining moment in her campaign. “The Clinton campaign wasn’t prepared for the crisis,” said Rob Stutzman, a California-based GOP operative. “Let them struggle on their own.”

We seriously doubt that Trump can resist the urge to weigh in. Here's a video rehashing some of his past attacks:


-- The Secret Service followed “atypical protocol” when Clinton was forced to wait for a car to depart the ceremony, according to two former agents. The Service generally prefers for the protected individual not to wait for a car to arrive. In this instance, the agents said, they “clearly had to rush” and did not expect Clinton to leave at that time. (Carol D. Leonnig and Anne Gearan)

Firefighters work at the scene of a suspected arson at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, Florida, this morning. (St. Lucie Sheriff's Office via AP)

-- Florida officials are investigating a fire that burned the mosque where Pulse nightclub gunman Omar Mateen prayed and worshipped as arson. From the Sun-Sentinel: “‘Evidence has revealed that this fire was set intentionally,’ St. Lucie County Sheriff's Major David Thompson told reporters. According to Thompson, investigators were able to find surveillance video that shows someone approaching the east side of the Islamic Center. ‘Immediately after the individual approached, a flash occurred and the individual fled the area,’ he said. Thompson was asked about any coincidence between the blaze and the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. ‘We all know the implications of the date and the time of year that this is, the 9/11 anniversary. Is that related? I would not want to speculate but certainly that is in the back of our minds,’ he said.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks with the press today after performing the Eid al-Adha prayer at a mosque in a government-controlled area of Daraya. (AFP/Ho/Sana)

-- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reiterated his vow to reconquer all of Syria, just hours before a U.S.- and Russian-sponsored cease-fire aimed at ending five years of conflict is set to take effect. Liz Sly reports: “Assad’s comments, made during a visit to the Damascus suburb of Darayya, called into question whether his government will comply with the entirety of the agreement. The pact spells out a process that intends — at least according to the Obama administration — to culminate in Assad’s departure. Assad, however, made it clear he has no plans to completely stop fighting to crush the five-year-old rebellion against his regime.” The Syrian opposition has still not formally endorsed the cease-fire agreement, and a surge of violence over the weekend — which killed at least 90 -- has compounded skepticism that the deal will take hold.

The Al-Sidra oil terminal, in the so-called "oil crescent" along Libya's northern coast. Forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar seized this and one other export terminal yesterday, which together are capable of handling 700,000 barrels of oil per day. (AFP/Getty Images)

-- Fighters loyal to a Libyan military commander seized at least two key oil ports from the U.N.-backed government, spurring fears that a wider battle over the nation’s lucrative oil resources will soon ignite. (Sudarsan Raghavan)

Miss Arkansas Savvy Shields, 21, won Miss America last night. (Mark Makela/Reuters)

-- The newly-crowned Miss America has advice for Trump and Clinton: “Compromise.” From the AP: “Savvy Shields had only been Miss America for less than an hour, but she already had a clear vision of what she hopes America will look like at the end of her term next year. ‘I hope that at the end of my year, we’re starting to reward politicians for compromise,’ she said. Shields, who represented Arkansas in the pageant, won the crown Sunday night in Atlantic City. … The first openly gay contestant in the Miss America pageant, Miss Missouri Erin O’Flaherty, was eliminated Sunday night when the top 15 finalists were chosen.”

Stan Wawrinka celebrates last night. (Charles Krupa/AP)

-- Stan Wawrinka beat Novak Djokovic to win his first men’s U.S. Open title. (Chuck Culpepper)

The U.S.S. Zumwult sets sail in Maine. (AP/Robert F. Bukaty)


  1. The U.S. Navy launched the largest destroyer ever. The $4.4 billion, futuristic warship is headed up by none other than “Capitan Kirk.” (New York Times)
  2. NFL athletes walked a delicate line between protest and patriotism yesterday as players grappled with how to show dissent – and respect – on one of the most sacrosanct days in U.S. history. Several Dolphins players knelt and placed a hand over their hearts during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters held his right fist high in the air while the anthem played. (Rick Maese)
  3. The top general at West Point said there were “valid concerns” about an Army football coach directing another staffer to lead players in prayer after an upset victory. The celebratory prayer, which sparked controversy after it was posted online, has since been taken down. (Dan Lamothe)
  4. Uber will begin using self-driving taxis in Pittsburgh this week. The experiment begins as Pennsylvania has yet to pass basic laws to regulate testing of self-driving cars. (Elizabeth Dwoskin and Brian Fung)
  5. Elon Musk claimed that a new Tesla software upgrade could make its autopilot feature up to three times safer than traveling in a regular vehicle. The improvements are slated for release this month. (USA Today)
  6. U.S. bombers will fly over South Korea tomorrow as a show of force against North Korea after Pyongyang carried out its fifth nuclear test last week. (Reuters)
  7. Four British universities announced they will begin using a “name blind” admissions system, seeking to combat unconscious biases that some say lead to racial and gender discrimination. (Rick Noack)
  8. The number of U.S. children sent to the emergency room with soccer-related injuries has more than doubled over the last decade, according to new national study. The trend underscores a need for better safety education and injury prevention in the sport. (Lindsey Tanner)
  9. John Hinckley Jr. was formally released from a D.C. mental hospital this weekend, 35 years after he nearly assassinated President Reagan. His release has unsettled many residents in a Williamsburg gated community who are skeptical that their new neighbor is no longer a threat. (Shawn Boburg)
  10. Saudi authorities deployed drones to watch over nearly 2 million people as they descended Mount Arafat for the hajj pilgrimage, part of ramped-up safety efforts after some 800 travelers were killed last year. (Reuters)
  11. Three women were shot in Kenya after entering a police station armed with knives and a gasoline bomb. Officials say the women began stabbing at officers, shouting “Allahu akbar” and revealing the explosive device – before they were wounded. (Rael Ombuor)  
  12. The Israeli Foreign Ministry is investigating whether a group of Chinese tourists who paid more than $4,000 at a hummus restaurant were ripped off. (Ruth Eglash)
  13. A year after being led into society to receive health care treatment, two Amazon tribeswomen escaped back into the forest – shedding both clothes and civilization for the life they have always known. (Dom Phillips)
  14. A tractor-trailer carrying 45,000 pounds of pennies overturned on the interstate in Delaware, spewing the copper coins across the road and ensnaring traffic for 13 hours. (Katie Mettler)
  15. A highly-intoxicated woman in Tennessee was removed from a funeral after she attempted to grab at the corpse in the coffin, assuring aghast mourners that their loved one was "only sleeping.” (Peter Holley)
Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka (Jim Young/Reuters)

-- Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein said she would not have killed Osama bin Laden for his role in the 9/11 attacks: “I think assassinations … they’re against international law to start with,” she said in an interview with the Des Moines Register on the 15th anniversary of the attacks. “And to that effect … I think I would not have assassinated Osama bin Laden but would have captured him and brought him to trial.” Stein’s remarks came before her first Iowa campaign appearance, in which she called for deep cuts in military spending and referred to both Trump and Clinton as “war mongers.”

CIA Director John Brennan


-- CIA Director John Brennan pushed back on Trump’s claim that he could “read disapproval of President Obama” from the body language of intelligence officers during his confidential intelligence briefings, saying he was “fully confident” that the men had done no such thing. "I know the briefers that have been briefing the candidates," Brennan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” "They are the quintessential professional intelligence officers. They do their work very well. ... We don't give policy recommendations, so I am fully confident that they comported themselves with the utmost professionalism and demonstrated their real breadth and depth of intelligence capabilities." Trump’s comments at NBC's “Commander-in-Chief” forum sparked fierce backlash from the intelligence community.

-- Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani suggested that laws don’t apply during wartime as he defended Trump for saying the U.S. should “take the oil” in Iraq as part of the “spoils of war.” Giuliani said Trump does not necessarily want the United States to extract the oil itself but wants to "leave a force back there and take it and make sure it's distributed in a proper way." "That's not legal, is it?" ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked, as the Geneva Conventions forbid seizing the natural resources of a sovereign nation after invading it. "Of course it's legal. It's a war," Giuliani said, laughing. "Until the war is over, anything's legal." (Jenna Johnson)

-- Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson warned against “lone-wolf” style terror attacks. "We are safer when it comes to the 9/11-style attack. Our government has become pretty good at detecting plots against the homeland," Johnson told CNN’s Jake Tapper. "But we've got this new environment and new threat, which makes it harder, and we're now seeing attacks in Orlando and San Bernardino that we've got to protect against. … This is a new phenomenon."

He called for vigilance on "Meet the Press": "Invariably, the high-probability, higher-probability type of threat, another San Bernardino, another Orlando, is uppermost on our minds,” Johnson told Chuck Todd. “It is the thing that keeps me up at night the most."

Hillary Clinton climbs into her van outside Chelsea's apartment. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)


-- Clinton holds a 5-point advantage over Trump in a Post/ABC poll published yesterday, but the numbers suggest Clinton could be facing turnout and enthusiasm challenges. Clinton holds a 10-point lead among registered voters – 45 to 35 percent – but among likely voters, her lead shrinks to just five points.

  • More than 6 in 10 voters say neither candidate is honest or trustworthy.
  • Two-thirds of voters disapprove of Trump’s explanation of his policy for handling undocumented immigrants.
  • Six in 10 say Clinton granted special favors to donors of the Clinton Foundation.
  • Trump’s minority “outreach efforts” have done nothing to bolster his standing among black and Hispanic voters. In fact, said voters moved toward Clinton by six points. Among white registered voters, meanwhile, Trump saw a two-point edge. (Philip Bump)

“Trump’s supporters report greater interest in the campaign and voting, which could factor into turnout,” Scott Clement and Dan Balz report: “More than 60 percent of registered Trump voters say they are following the campaign ‘very closely,’ with 93 percent saying they are absolutely certain to vote. By contrast, 45 percent of Clinton supporters say they are paying close attention – with just 80 percent saying they are certain to vote. (One-fifth say they will probably or are less likely to cast a ballot.)”

But, but, but: Clinton continues to lead Trump across a range of issues and personal attributes, with a 26-point advantage on the question of who has the “better personality and temperament” to be president. Voters also see her as the more “honest and trustworthy candidate” (an area where she used to trail Trump), as well as the candidate who is best equipped to handle the economy and immigration. (Both are trusted about evenly to handle terrorism.)

-- Clinton edges out Trump by 1 point in a CBS News “battleground poll” of 13 states, compared to a 2-point advantage last week:

  • The race has tightened in Florida: Clinton leads by just 2 points, down from 5 points last month. Her lead in Ohio remains largely unchanged, however (46-39).
  • 40 percent now say Trump is prepared to be commander in chief – a four-point increase since last week. 51 percent say the same of Clinton.

-- Polling from the Wall Street Journal/ NBC and Marist shows that, while Clinton leads Trump by just a single percentage point in Nevada and New Hampshire, Trump is only up 1 point in Arizona (42 to 41) and 3 points in Georgia (46 to 43.)

-- “Being white, and a minority, in Georgia,” by The Boston Globe’s Annie Linskey in Norcross: “A generation ago, this Atlanta suburb was 95 percent white and rural with one little African-American neighborhood that was known as ‘colored town.’ But after a tidal wave of Hispanic and Asian immigrants who were attracted to Norcross by cheap housing and proximity to a booming job market, white people now make up less than 20 percent of the population. … It’s a shift so rapid that many of the longtime residents feel utterly disconnected from the place where they raised their children. Many say they feel isolated in their own hometown … But this year, in Norcross and places like it, resentment has found its voice [with Trump]. It’s an attitude that many in the elites of both parties are quick to dismiss as out-of-date, wrongheaded, and frankly kind of embarrassing. It sounds like racial prejudice, and sometimes is. But to simply ignore or belittle this sense of loss and isolation is to close your eyes and ears to nativist sentiments that predated Trump’s rise, and even if he loses, aren’t going away. The demographic tide all but guarantees it.”

-- “Trump expands House battleground map,” by Politico's Theodoric Meyer: “Longtime GOP strongholds like Orange County, Calif. and suburbs of Orlando, Minneapolis, Kansas City, look set to have competitive House races for the first time in decades. Indeed, he has accelerated decade-long changes in both parties’ coalitions, repulsing minority voters while driving more college-educated whites out of their traditional home in the GOP. [Democrats] are already targeting at least 18 of the 60 GOP districts with the highest share of college-educated white voters. ... And Democrats are looking at that formula as they seek to expand the House map even further this fall, beyond even first-ever challenges to veteran Republicans like Florida’s John Mica and California’s Darrell Issa.”

-- “N.H. Republican ties his fortunes to Trump,” by The Globe’s James Pindell: “Republicans running in major elections throughout New England have been doing all they can to keep their distance from [Trump] … Except one. Representative Frank Guinta of New Hampshire stands out not just for his full-throated endorsement of Trump but also because he is increasingly using his alliance with Trump in an attempt to save his political career. A few months ago, Guinta was politically left for dead. The [FEC] found he had accepted $355,000 in illegal contributions from his parents … and reaction was swift.” Just 6 percent of Republicans said they would definitely vote for him for reelection. “[But] a month later, Guinta endorsed Trump and began to plot his comeback … Now … before Tuesday’s primary, interviews with many Republicans in the district have yielded an optimistic prognosis for Guinta to win the nomination — thanks in part to backing from the bevy of steadfast Trump supporters.”

Trump at the 9/11 ceremony in NYC. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


-- Trump’s Old Post Office hotel in D.C. has its “soft opening” today – nearly two years ahead of schedule, the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reports. Current plans were reportedly pushed up and allow the facility to be finished in time for the January presidential inauguration. At the end of October, most of the rooms are expected to be finished and the hotel will host a grand opening.

-- Fifteen years ago, on 9/11, Trump called a New York television station to share what he had heard and seen from his skyscraper apartment – and to mention that he now owned the Financial District’s tallest building. "Forty Wall St. actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was, actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest," Trump told Fox 5 New York, when asked whether his building had been damaged. "And then when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest, and now it's the tallest." (Jenna Johnson)

Trump frequently invokes 9/11 on the campaign trail, though several claims about what he witnessed that day appear to be false, Johnson notes: “Trump has said that he watched from his apartment in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue as the second plane hit the World Trade Center and that he saw people jump to their deaths, even though the twin towers were more than four miles away. Trump has said that he went to Ground Zero to watch the clearing of the rubble and that he ‘helped a little bit,’ a claim others have challenged. Trump has said that he witnessed ‘thousands and thousands’ of Muslims in New Jersey publicly celebrating the attacks, a story that has been widely debunked. And Trump has been criticized for applying for and accepting a $150,000 federal grant given to businesses near the World Trade Center that were negatively affected by the attacks.”

-- Mike Pence released 10 years' worth of tax returns late Friday, revealing a “modest family income, relative to the top of the Republican ticket, and reliable contributions to charity.” The release comes as an uncomfortable contrast to his running mate, who refuses to release his returns. (Jose A. DelReal)

-- “11 Private Security Firms Guarding Trump,” by The Daily Beast's Olivia Nuzzi: “Throughout the 15 months he’s been running for president, the campaign has paid private security contractors at least $432,201 for protection—$320,453 of which was spent after he was given a Secret Service detail in November of 2015, according to [FEC] filings. … [And] the size and scope of his outside security operation comes with its own set of complications and risks. He is the only nominee to be insulated by a staff of his own security and the Secret Service simultaneously, a potential cause for conflict ... And it’s unclear if the campaign is abiding by federal campaign finance laws by using its funds to pay security personnel who, before his candidacy, were on the Trump Organization payroll."

-- A billionaire is putting up advertisements for Trump on billboards he owns in three swing states. From CNN's Theodore Schleifer: “Stephen Adams disclosed the spending this week in independent expenditure reports almost always filed by political action committees or nonprofits, rather than individuals: $150,000 in North Carolina, $200,000 in Pennsylvania and $300,000 in Michigan. ... If donated to a PAC -- staffed by professional operatives and fundraisers -- Adams would instantly become one of Trump's top donors.”

Tim Kaine (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)


-- Tim Kaine described his evolution on same-sex marriage at a dinner celebrating gay rights this weekend, predicting that the Catholic Church will eventually change its views as well. “My full, complete, unconditional support for marriage equality is at odds with the current doctrine of the church that I still attend,” the Virginia senator said. “But I think that’s going to change, too. … My church also teaches me about a Creator in the first chapter of Genesis who surveys the entire world including mankind and said, ‘It is very good. It is very good.’ Who am I to challenge God for the beautiful diversity of the human family? I think we’re supposed to celebrate, not challenge it.” (John Wagner)

-- Alan Gross, the political prisoner who was freed from Cuba in 2014 after five years behind bars, endorses Clinton in an op-ed for the Sun-Sentinel.

-- The Clinton campaign will release a “college calculator” today allowing families and students to estimate how much they would save under her college affordability plan. 

South Korean protestors hold signs during a protest denouncing North Korea's latest nuclear test in Seoul. (Jung Yeon-Jejung/Getty) 


-- “After nuclear test, a new push to stop North Korea from sending workers abroad,” by Anna Fifield: “As the international community looks for new ways to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test, one area is emerging as the next front to apply pressure: North Korea’s practice of sending workers overseas to earn money for the regime. At least 50,000 North Koreans … are working in more than two dozen foreign countries. While they’re abroad, the North Koreans are allowed to keep one-third of their earnings … and the rest goes to the regime. The Seoul-based Database Center for North Korean Human Rights estimates that the Kim regime now earns $300 million a year this way. ‘I think that there is clearly a benefit to allowing North Koreans to experience something of the outside world,’ said Go Myong-hyun, a research fellow …’But the downside is great.’ Some of the income is going toward North Korea’s developments of weapons of mass destruction, Go said. ‘This money isn’t just being spent on toys for Kim Jong Un.’”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confers with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in Jerusalem in May 2015. (Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images)

-- “U.S.-Israel deal held up over dispute with Lindsey Graham,” by Josh Rogin: “After long and arduous negotiations, Israel and the Obama administration have agreed on a landmark military aid package that would increase U.S. aid to Israel over the next 10 years. But the White House is reluctant to sign the deal because officials are upset one leading lawmaker won’t go along: Sen. Lindsey Graham. Graham, the chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees the foreign affairs budget, has already marked up a bill that would give Israel $3.4 billion next year, more than the number the White House negotiated. … The administration hasn’t complained to Graham directly; it told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about its problem, and he talked to Graham about it in a phone call last month. But in Graham’s view, Congress has no obligation to agree to the deal, given that it was not included in the negotiations. ‘The Israeli prime minister told me the administration is refusing to sign the MOU until I agree to change my appropriation markup back to $3.1 billion,’ Graham said. ‘I said, ‘Tell the administration to go F themselves.’”

Trump, right, waits with his brother Robert for the start of a Casino Control Commission meeting in Atlantic City. (AP)

-- In case you missed it: “How Trump retooled his charity to spend other people’s money,” by David A. Fahrenthold: “He was in a tuxedo, standing next to his award: a statue of a palm tree, as tall as a toddler. It was 2010, and Trump was being honored by a charity — the Palm Beach Police Foundation — for his ‘selfless support’ of its cause. His support did not include any of his own money. Instead, Trump had found a way to give away somebody else’s money and claim the credit for himself. Trump had earlier gone to a charity in New Jersey — the Charles Evans Foundation … and asked for a donation. The Evans Foundation said yes. In 2009 and 2010, it gave a total of $150,000 to the Donald J. Trump Foundation … Then, Trump’s foundation turned around and made donations to the police group in South Florida. Trump had effectively turned the Evans Foundation’s gifts into his own gifts, without adding any money of his own.”

  • “In five cases, the Trump Foundation told the IRS that it had given a gift to a charity whose leaders told The Post that they had never received it. In two other cases, companies listed as donors to the Trump Foundation told The Post that those listings were incorrect.”
  • "In two cases, he has used money from his charity to buy himself a gift – including spending $20,000 in money earmarked for charitable purposes to buy a six-foot-tall painting of himself."


Hillary's claim at a fundraiser Friday night that "half" of Trump’s supporters fit into a “basket of deplorables” drew strong rebukes and prompted the candidate to issue a clarifying statement. Here's the video of her comment:

White supremacist David Duke tweeted this in response:

Roger Stone helped circulate this version with an image (Pepe the Frog) from the alt-right:

Eric Trump tweeted this photo -- though it's from Dallas, not Pensacola:

Paul Ryan expressed outrage at Clinton:

Liberal commentators vigorously defended Clinton's comment:

The rapid response director for Obama's 2012 campaign thought Clinton erred:

On to Clinton's health scare:

The right had a field day with Clinton's health problems, including this Infowars reporter:

From this Daily Caller contributing editor:

Montel Williams came to Hillary's defense:

One of the more bizarre moments from a bizarre day. Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli waited outside Chelsea's apartment for Hillary:

The RNC accidentally tweeted that Clinton had said "deportables," instead of "deplorables":

From the world of Hollywood, Rob Lowe had this to say about players protesting during the national anthem on 9/11:

Here's how Kate Upton responded to Dolphins players taking a knee:

Lawmakers posted photos in memory of 9/11:

Gary Peters watched NASA’s OSRIS-REx launch:

He also hung out with Bill Nye:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz celebrated her husband's birthday:

The Racing Presidents got in the spirit of Oktoberfest:


-- Wall Street Journal, “New Tricks Make ISIS, Once Easily Tracked, a Sophisticated Opponent,” by Sam Schechner and Benoit Faucon: “Weeks before Islamic State militant Abdelhamid Abaaoud led the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris, French authorities thought he was holed up in northern Syria. Western Intelligence agencies pursuing Abaaoud had tracked him there using cell-phone location data and other electronic footprints. [But] the Paris attacks … showed how badly they were fooled. Abaaoud had slipped past the dragnet and entered the city unnoticed. The extremist group’s communications, once commonly conducted on phones and social media accounts easily tracked by authorities, have evolved into a mix of encrypted chat-app messages over WhatsApp and Telegram, face-to-face meetings, written notes, stretches of silence and misdirection. These techniques helped protect attackers from Western intelligence agencies by leaving few electronic clues in a sea of intercepted data. ‘We’re dealing with people who are well versed in clandestine operations, and who understand our capabilities,’ [said the head of France’s main domestic intelligence agency]. ‘We’re up against real professionals.’”


“Alabama pastor tells high school football crowd they should be shot if they don’t stand for anthem,” from Raw Story: “An Alabama pastor, who doubles as a high school football announcer, is under fire after telling the crowd they should be shot if they didn’t stand for the national anthem. ‘If you don’t want to stand for the national anthem, you can line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots at you since they’re taking shots for you,’ he announced to the cheers of the crowd.”



“‘Disadvantaged’ Beverly Hills Fashionista Worked No-Show VA Job, Took Millions From Feds,” From the Daily Caller: “Since 1997, Ronda Jackson has run Décor Interior Design, which seeks preference on government contracts by claiming to be disadvantaged because she is black, a woman and based out of a supposedly downtrodden ‘Historically Underutilized Business Zone.’ In fiscal years 2008 through 2010, the company had $222,000 in contracts with the VA." The last contract was signed with in 2009, meaning she was being paid as a full-time employee for almost a whole year while also working on a contract. Her job as an employee was to buy furniture for the VA, and her job as a contractor included selling it.”


On the campaign trail: Trump is in Baltimore and Asheville, N.C. Kaine is in Dayton, Ohio. And Bill will sit down with Charlie Rose today in New York for an interview. Part of it will air on the CBS Evening News, and then the whole thing will play during Charlie’s PBS show at 11 p.m.

At the White House: Obama meets with congressional leadership. Biden votes in the Delaware primary election, then heads to Charlotte, N.C. to speak at an event on community colleges. Later, he speaks in Fort Mill, S.C. for congressional candidate Fran Pearson, then for the Democratic Governors Association in Raleigh, N.C.

On Capitol Hill: The House meets at 2 p.m. for legislative business, with votes on 19 suspension bills postponed until 6:30 p.m.

For your radar: Michelle Obama will make the first of several appearances for Clinton this Friday in Virginia. "Mrs. Obama’s communications director … said the first lady’s focus would be on encouraging voters in swing states, particularly young people and African-Americans, to register and vote," Julie Hirschfeld Davis writes in the Times.


DSCC executive director Tom Lopach did not list the Ohio race as among the top eight races Democrats are focusing on during a private meeting last week with a D.C. trade association. The Columbus Dispatch reports that he said Ted Strickland could only win “if a wave comes.” When asked why, Lopach reportedly replied that Rob “Portman has run a damn fine race. The rest, I’ll have to tell you over a drink.” (The DSCC disputes the characterization of the meeting.)


-- FALL WEATHER IS FINALLY UPON US! The Capital Weather Gang brings us today’s blissfully refreshing forecast: “I have nothing bad to say about today. It starts off refreshingly cool in the 50s and 60s before a steady rise through the 70s by around midday. Under sunny skies, afternoon highs are mostly in the low 80s — moderated by a light breeze from the north and low humidity (dew points in the 50s).”

-- The Nationals beat the Phillies 3-2.

-- The number of D.C. students signing up for Advanced Placement exams has increased by 73 percent since 2010. The trend comes as a growing number of students have begun seeking access to the high-level coursework. Even if they do not pass the exam required to receive college credit, experts say, such courses can be invaluable in preparing students for the demands of higher education. (Alejandra Matos)


In this video posted by Debra Messing, Barbra Streisand performs a version of "Send in the Clowns" mocking Trump (click to watch):

Obama's remarks at the Pentagon 9/11 memorial ceremony:

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Clinton is "mentally impaired":

Gary Johnson apologized for his Aleppo flub:

Seth Meyers and Michelle Obama gave advice to freshmen at Howard University on how to adjust to school:

Meyers took a closer look at Trump and Clinton on national security:

In case you missed it, Ellen Degeneres showed off her vice-president generator:

Finally, James Spader said he used to stage faux attacks on John F. Kennedy Jr. at school to annoy the Secret Service: