The Latest: Senate Dems defend Lynch after Clinton meeting

AP News
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Posted: Jun 30, 2016 11:12 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential campaign (all times EDT):

11:10 a.m.

Top Senate Democrats are defending Attorney General Loretta Lynch after she met with former President Bill Clinton.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer said nothing "discussed was related to the investigation" into presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's private email server and possible security lapses.

Bill Clinton and Lynch had an impromptu meeting Monday at the Phoenix airport. Lynch said they discussed Clinton's grandchildren and that "there was no discussion of any matter pending for the department."

The FBI is investigating the possible mishandling of sensitive information that passed through Clinton's server, which was used for personal and government correspondence while she was secretary of state. Some Republicans are calling for an independent counsel to look into the matter.

Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said no one has questioned Lynch's strong feelings about the rule of law and her ethics "are the best."

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9:40 a.m.

Donald Trump has hired the chief of staff of U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy to run his campaign operation in Wisconsin.

Trump's campaign confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that Pete Meachum has been hired to start immediately as state director. It is the second Trump hire in the state in recent week.

That's an indication that Trump will be making a push to win Wisconsin, a Midwestern industrial state that hasn't voted Republican since 1984.

Meachum has been Duffy's chief of staff since 2013. Duffy's northern Wisconsin congressional district is one of two that Trump won in the April primary.

Meachum joins Vince Trovato, who had worked for Trump in Wisconsin's primary, as his two paid staff members in the state.

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8:55 a.m.

Former President Bill Clinton spoke with Attorney General Loretta Lynch during an impromptu meeting in Phoenix, but Lynch says the discussion did not involve the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email use as secretary of state.

Lynch told reporters the meeting at a Phoenix airport on Monday was unplanned. She says it happened when the former president was waiting to depart and walked over to the attorney general's plane after she landed there.

Lynch was traveling with her husband and says her conversation with the former president "was a great deal about his grandchildren" and "primarily social and about our travels."

The exchange comes as the FBI is investigating the potential mishandling of sensitive information that passed through the server that Hillary Clinton used for personal and government email at State.

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7:50 a.m.

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is airing advertising in an Omaha congressional district, sending a signal that she may compete for support in Nebraska.

Clinton's campaign says it will begin airing two television ads in Nebraska featuring the Democratic presidential candidate's past work on efforts to help children.

Nebraska is a safe Republican state, but one of a few states that awards electoral votes by congressional districts. President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign won the Omaha-based district.

Clinton's team hopes to garner support in states where Republicans have performed well in the past, including North Carolina. Obama will hold his first joint event with Clinton next week in Charlotte.

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3:55 a.m.

Hillary Clinton is pocketing huge campaign money from tiny fundraisers, sometimes with as few as 10 people in the room.

An Associated Press review of her fundraising activities shows Clinton and allied Democrats netted at least $18 million from just 15 of these boutique events.

While helpful for the campaign's bottom line, these fundraisers open the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to criticism she's beholden to big donors.

Both Clinton and Republican Donald Trump can solicit checks of $350,000 or more from a single donor thanks in part to a Supreme Court ruling that lifted an overall per-person cap on contributions.

At one recent event, 10 people gathered at the home of the Pritzker family in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood, raising $1 million or more for Clinton and fellow Democrats.