The Latest: Clinton basks in celebrity glow at LA fundraiser

AP News
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Posted: Jun 07, 2016 12:26 AM
The Latest: Clinton basks in celebrity glow at LA fundraiser

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the presidential campaign a day before voters choose their candidates in six states (all times Eastern Daylight Time):

12:20 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is basking in the glow of celebrity friends at a fundraising concert in Los Angeles.

Speaking at a star-studded fundraising concert at Greek Theatre in Griffith Park Monday, the presumptive Democratic nominee is urging people to vote in the California primary.

She is pledging to "come out of the primary even stronger to take on Donald Trump."

The sold-out concert lineup included John Legend, Christina Aguilera and Stevie Wonder. Tickets ranged from $45 to $5,000, with co-hosts raising at least $10,000 and sponsors raising $50,000. The money goes to the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee that allows Clinton to raise large checks.

Clinton did not mention the Associated Press report that she has reached enough delegates to clinch the nomination. She continued her attacks on likely Republican nominee Trump.

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12:05 p.m.

Celebrities at a Hillary Clinton benefit concert are noting the Associated Press report that Clinton has acquired enough delegates to become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee — but they are urging California supporters to vote Tuesday anyway.

Actress Eva Longoria is referencing the AP call but asking voters to "please find your polling place and help Hillary create history."

Singer John Legend says, "No matter what the AP says about who won the nomination we need folks to vote tomorrow in all the races."

The "She's With Us" concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles also featured musical numbers from Ricky Martin and Andra Day.

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9:10 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she is on the brink of a "historic, unprecedented moment" but there is still work to do in six states voting Tuesday.

Clinton is campaigning in California, the largest prize up for grabs Tuesday. Her comments come as the AP count shows her securing the delegates she needs to become the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Clinton will be the first woman nominated by a major U.S. political party. Even as she looks toward the general election, Clinton says she will "fight hard for every single vote" in the final Democratic contests.

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8:55 p.m.

Hillary Clinton's top campaign aide says the AP's call in the Democratic Party's presidential primary is an "important milestone."

Campaign manager Robby Mook says Clinton is still looking ahead to six states voting Tuesday, including New Jersey and California. He says Clinton "is working to earn every vote" and clinch the majority of pledged delegates up for grabs in the Democratic nominating process.

According to the AP count, Clinton now has the delegates needed to become the first woman nominated by a major U.S. political party. The count is based on pledged delegates awarded in primaries and caucuses, as well as superdelegates — the party insiders who can back the candidate of their choosing, regardless of how their states vote.

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8:45 p.m.

Bernie Sanders' campaign says Hillary Clinton's nomination as the Democratic Party's presidential pick is dependent on superdelegates who can still change their minds between now and the July convention.

The campaign's statement comes as The Associated Press count shows Clinton has commitments from the number of delegates needed to become the Democrats' presumptive nominee.

Sanders' spokesman Michael Briggs says the campaign's job is to convince the superdelegates — party insiders — that the Vermont senator is "by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump." He says calling the Democratic contest before superdelegates formally vote at the convention is a "rush to judgment."

The AP count of pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses and a survey of the superdelegates shows Clinton with the overall support of the required 2,383.

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8:19 p.m.

Hillary Clinton will be the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major U.S. political party, having captured commitments from the number of delegates needed to become the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee.

It was a victory that arrived Monday — nearly eight years to the day after she conceded her first White House campaign to Barack Obama and famously noted her inability to "shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling."

Campaigning this time as the loyal successor to the nation's first black president, Clinton held off a surprisingly strong challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to break through.

Clinton reached the 2,383 delegates needed to become the presumptive nominee with a decisive victory in Puerto Rico and a burst of last-minute support from party insiders known as superdelegates.

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7:20 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is keeping up her aggressive attacks on Donald Trump as she campaigns in California.

Before a crowd gathered in south Los Angeles Monday, Clinton says she can "take the fight to Donald Trump and defeat him in November."

Clinton says Trump's foreign policy is a "repudiation of basic American values, common sense and our security." She adds that foreign policy isn't always considered a top issue in a presidential election, but "Trump has made it about the biggest issue you can imagine."

Clinton is also attacking Trump for his criticism of a Latino judge overseeing a lawsuit involving Trump University, arguing that Trump was trying to distract people from the case.

Clinton says: "We're not buying that. We're not falling for that."

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7:05 p.m.

More Republican senators are criticizing Donald Trump for challenging U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel's ability to fairly handle a lawsuit because of his Mexican heritage.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune, a member of the Senate GOP leadership, told reporters Monday that "it's not a good place to be" for Republicans to have to repeatedly explain their party's presumptive presidential nominee's statements.

Thune says Trump is "going to have to adapt. ... They were inappropriate comments."

Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman says, "To suggest somebody is not capable of doing a job because of their ancestry is wrong and unacceptable."

No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas is eager to change the subject.

He told a reporter: "I'm not going to be sucked into talking about Trump 24/7."

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6 p.m.

The super political action committee backing likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is debuting its first television ad against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

It's an emotional appeal made by Chris and Lauren Glaros, the Columbus, Ohio, parents of a girl with spina bifida. The ad blasts Trump for an incident in November in which he appeared to ridicule a reporter with a disability.

Lauren Glaros says even her child's schoolmates know better than to make fun of her like that.

Chris Glaros says: "When I saw Donald Trump mock somebody with a disability, it showed me his soul. It showed me his heart. And I didn't like what I saw."

The minute-long spot will air soon in presidential battleground states such as Ohio. It is part of a $20 million summertime ad plan by Priorities USA.

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5:20 p.m.

President Barack Obama has called Bernie Sanders to talk about the future of the senator's presidential bid.

A Democratic official tells the AP the president called the senator on Sunday. Sanders is campaigning in California, where he is battling against Hillary Clinton in the last major contest of the Democratic primary.

The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the private conversation and spoke on condition of anonymity. The official would not reveal details of the conversation.

The phone call comes as Clinton is on the cusp of winning the nomination and Obama is preparing to formally endorse her.

The White House would not confirm the call or say whether Obama has also reached out to Clinton. White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the White House has been in regular touch with both campaigns throughout the primary.

Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs told reporters that the senator has spoken with Obama "on a number of occasions" but declined to say if they spoke Sunday.

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5:05 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is relishing a casual stop at a burger joint after some serious days on the campaign trail in California.

Clinton dropped by Hawkins House of Burgers in Los Angeles' Watts neighborhood, where she chatted with patrons and posed for selfies Monday afternoon.

"What do you order?" she asked one group of patrons in the cozy shop before noting her love for hot peppers.

Owner Cynthia Hawkins called Clinton "our next president" and served her the restaurant's fat bacon cheeseburger.

"You get everybody out to vote!" Clinton told her.

On her way to the car, Clinton chatted with two little girls before departing. "Will you come visit me if I end up living there?" she said, presumably referring to the White House.

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3:23 p.m.

Top Senate Democrat Harry Reid is going after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after the Kentucky Republican declined to label Donald Trump's criticism of U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel as racist.

The feisty Nevada Democrat Reid called McConnell, "the poster boy for Republicans' spinelessness that allowed Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee."

Trump has said several times that Curiel, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, can't be impartial in lawsuits against Trump University because his ancestry puts Curiel in conflict with Trump's plan to build a wall between the U.S and Mexico. Republicans and Democrats have rejected Trump's comments, with members of the GOP publicly telling him to stop. Curiel has not commented, and Trump's legal team has not sought his recusal from the case.

A day earlier, McConnell said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he wants Trump to stop talking about Curiel. McConnell said the GOP is behind the billionaire's presidential run because he is the presumptive nominee and the party wants to win the election.

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3:07 p.m.

President Barack Obama is ready to make it official.

He's poised to formally endorse Democrat Hillary Clinton, his former secretary of state, and start aggressively making the case against Republican Donald Trump.

Clinton is on the verge of clinching the delegates required to win the party's presidential nomination.

White House officials say Obama's announcement could come within days, although not before Democrats in New Jersey, California and four other states vote Tuesday. The contests are expected to solidify Clinton's claim on the title of presumptive nominee.

The timeline is expected to hold regardless of how Clinton rival Sen. Bernie Sanders reacts to the Tuesday outcome, the White House said Monday.

White House and Clinton campaign aides have been discussing the sequencing of the long-expected announcement and Obama's schedule has several possible opportunities for maximizing its impact. On Wednesday, he's due in New York City to address donors at Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Clinton's home state. He'll also scheduled to tape an appearance on the "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," a favorite with the coveted young demographic, for the show set to air Thursday night.

The news will likely be followed up by a first joint appearance in coming weeks, said one official, who was not authorized to discuss plans before they were finalized.

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3:04 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is on the cusp of becoming the Democratic party nominee, but she still says "it's not over until it's over."

Speaking to reporters at a community center in the Compton section of Los Angeles County Monday, Clinton said she remained focused on the states voting Tuesday, including California.

Clinton noted that she was on her way to having a clear lead in the popular vote and pledged delegates. She said should she become the nominee, she'll be "reaching out" to rival Bernie Sanders and would do what she could to bring the party together. She would not say if Sanders should concede after Tuesday.

Clinton said "having a woman president will make a great statement, a historic statement about what kind of country we are, about what we stand for."

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1:54 p.m.

A Democratic congressman says Donald Trump's comments about the Mexican heritage of a judge overseeing a lawsuit involving Trump University shows that the presumptive Republican nominee for president is a racist.

Rep. Filemon Vela of Texas says in an open letter Monday that Trump's "ignorant anti-immigrant opinions," border wall rhetoric and continued attacks on a sitting federal judge "are just plain despicable."

Vela, who represents a district along the U.S-Mexico border, says his great-great grandfather came to the U.S. in 1857 — well before Trump's ancestors.

Vela writes, "Mr. Trump you are a racist and you can take your border wall and shove it."

A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond.

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1:31 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump should apologize for questioning the impartiality of U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

In a pair of tweets Monday, the former GOP presidential candidate panned Trump's contention that Curiel cannot be fair in the lawsuits against Trump University. The presumptive Republican presidential candidate says that's because Curiel, who was born in Indiana, has parents who moved to the U.S. from Mexico. Trump wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which he says puts Curiel in conflict with the lawsuits.

Kasich's posts said attacking judges based on their race is "another tactic that divides our country. More importantly, it is flat out wrong."

He said Trump should apologize.

Kasich suspended his presidential campaign in May. He has refused to endorse Trump.

No Republican has been elected president without winning Ohio.

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1:29 p.m.

BuzzFeed says Donald Trump's rhetoric caused it to terminate a deal with the Republican National Committee to run political ads on the site this fall.

In an e-mail sent to BuzzFeed employees, CEO Jonah Peretti writes that BuzzFeed told the RNC Monday morning that it wouldn't accept Trump ads. Peretti says the GOP presidential frontrunner's campaign is "directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world." He says Trump's proposed ban of Muslims entering the U.S. would "make it impossible" for some employees to do their jobs.

In an e-mailed statement, GOP communications director Sean Spicer says "space was reserved on many platforms, but we never intended to use Buzzfeed."

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks declined comment.

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12:42 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is just 23 delegates short of clinching the Democratic presidential nomination after her big win in Puerto Rico.

With 60 delegates at stake, Clinton picked up at least 36. Bernie Sanders won at least 20. Four delegates remain to be allocated, pending final vote tallies.

Based on primaries and caucuses to date, Clinton now has 1,812 delegates to Sanders' 1,521.

When including superdelegates, her lead is much bigger — 2,360 to 1,567. It takes 2,383 to win.

The two candidates now head into the final batch of primaries on Tuesday, when six states offer a total of 694 delegates. The District of Columbia, which offers 20 delegates, is the last to vote on June 14.

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12:15 p.m.

Sen. Susan Collins is the latest Republican to reject GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's comments about the ethnic background of an American federal judge.

Trump is insisting that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, whose parents were born in Mexico, cannot be impartial overseeing the class action lawsuits against Trump University. Curiel's ethnicity, Trump says, puts him in conflict with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee's plan to build a wall with Mexico.

The Maine senator Monday called Trump's comments "absolutely unacceptable" and in conflict with what she called, "American values."

Other Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, have rejected Trump's remarks and urged him to unite the GOP.

Curiel has not commented and Trump's legal team has not sought his recusal from the case.

Trump on Monday said he's only defending Trump University from relentless questions from reporters and others.

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11:57 a.m.

It will be a little while longer before final vote totals are known in Puerto Rico's Democratic presidential primary, because the U.S. territory's election commission has taken the day off.

The island's Democratic Party chairman tells The Associated Press the commission will resume manually counting votes on Tuesday.

Roberto Prats says commission officials worked until nearly dawn Monday to count the results of Sunday's primary election.

He said a final certification will likely be issued Tuesday afternoon.

Hillary Clinton won the race over Bernie Sanders. She has just over 60 percent to Sanders' nearly 39 percent, with roughly two-thirds of the vote tallied.

Clinton is 26 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination, according to an Associated Press count.

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11:57 a.m.

It will be a little while longer before final vote totals are known in Puerto Rico's Democratic presidential primary, because the U.S. territory's election commission has taken the day off.

The island's Democratic Party chairman tells The Associated Press the commission will resume manually counting votes on Tuesday.

Roberto Prats says commission officials worked until nearly dawn Monday to count the results of Sunday's primary election.

He said a final certification will likely be issued Tuesday afternoon.

Hillary Clinton won the race over Bernie Sanders. She has just over 60 percent to Sanders' nearly 39 percent, with roughly two-thirds of the vote tallied.

Clinton is 26 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to win the nomination, according to an Associated Press count.