The Latest: Clinton promises to compete in all 3 debates

AP News
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Posted: Aug 08, 2016 10:21 PM
The Latest: Clinton promises to compete in all 3 debates

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

10 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she will participate in all three presidential debates.

A statement released Monday night by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta charges Donald Trump with engaging in "shenanigans" around the fall debates.

Trump has claimed that Clinton is rigging the debates because two of them are scheduled for the same time as NFL games. The schedule was set last fall by a nonpartisan commission.

Podesta says it is not clear if Trump "is trying to avoid debates, or merely toying with the press to create more drama."

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9:20 p.m.

Sen. Susan Collins says she's not voting for Donald Trump for president.

The Maine Republican is citing Trump's "complete disregard for common decency," evidenced by his insistence than a judge of Hispanic origin could not be impartial and his criticism of Muslim parents whose son was killed in the Iraq war. She says she's "increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologize."

Collins concludes that, "Mr. Trump lacks the temperament, self-discipline and judgment required to be president."

She also suggests she doesn't "support" the other major party nominee, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Collins' comments were published online by The Washington Post on Monday night.

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8:39 p.m.

Hillary Clinton's spokesman says Donald Trump is making up reports of "many people" linking her emails to the execution of an Iranian scientist.

Trump earlier Monday night tweeted: "Many people are saying that the Iranians killed the scientist who helped the U.S. because of Hillary Clinton's hacked emails."

He didn't say which people he meant.

Later, Nick Merrill tweeted back: "'Many people are saying' = 'I made this up.'"

Trump's provocation came a few hours after an unusually disciplined speech on his economic plans for the country. The speech was intended in part to reassure Republicans unnerved by his multiple stumbles over the previous week.

Merrill added: "After a morning on the teleprompter, the muzzle was bound to come off."

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8:33 p.m.

Mike Pence says he met with the parents of a young woman who was killed in a car accident by a driver who was living in the country illegally.

Donald Trump's running mate is campaigning in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in a convention center where the young woman's college graduation ceremony was held.

Sarah Root was killed earlier this year after her car was hit by another. News reporters say the driver, who was drunk, was a Honduran immigrant living in the country illegally. The man fled after he was released from jail on bond and has not been found.

Pence says he had a private meeting with Root's parents and brother. He says he feels pain for the family, "not as a candidate, not as a governor, just as a dad." He says a Trump-Pence administration will sign "Sarah's Law," a bill introduced by Iowa senators to tighten laws around people living here illegally who commit crimes.

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7:33 p.m.

Republican Donald Trump is suggesting that Hillary Clinton's emails may be responsible for the death of an Iranian nuclear scientist who was executed for spying for the United States.

Trump says on Twitter Monday evening that, "Many people are saying that the Iranians killed the scientist who helped the U.S. because of Hillary Clinton's hacked emails."

Trump didn't say which people he meant.

Trump was referring to Shahram Amiri, who defected to the U.S. at the height of Western efforts to thwart Iran's nuclear program.

Emails during Clinton's tenure as secretary of state that have been released publicly appeared to obliquely reference the scientist and his movements.

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7:17 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is taking shots at Donald Trump's team of economic advisers.

At a rally in Kissimmee, Fla., Monday, Clinton said Trump's team was made up of Wall Street bankers, an oil baron and multiple "men named Steve." She said they all care about the same things as Trump and are seeking ways for the wealthy to avoid "paying their fair share."

In contrast, Clinton said she intends "to make the wealthy pay their fair share."

Clinton continued her criticism of Trump's economic proposals, unveiled in Detroit Monday, saying "there wasn't a lot in it for most Americans."

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6:42 p.m.

Donald Trump says a group of Republican former national security officials who are openly opposing him are the reason the world is "a mess."

Fifty Republicans signed an open letter calling Trump the most reckless candidate in history. Many are longstanding Trump critics, but the letter has some new names.

Trump says their signatures make clear they're to blame for making the world so dangerous. He says they are "failed Washington elite" who must be held accountable.

Trump is tying the signatories to Hillary Clinton and says together they are responsible for the rise of the Islamic State group.

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5:37 p.m.

Desperate conservatives are circulating a petition calling for the Republican National Committee to host a special meeting where Donald Trump could be replaced as the party's presidential nominee.

Organizers — some of the same Republicans who tried to prevent Trump from winning the GOP nomination — acknowledge the effort is a long shot at best.

But fearing an Election Day disaster, they have appealed to RNC members across the nation in recent days to intervene.

The conservatives are concerned by Trump's behavior since he won the nomination last month. RNC officials are dismissing the effort, point out that Trump won the presidential nomination fairly.

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5:08 p.m.

More than a dozen protesters interrupted Donald Trump's economic speech Monday in what appeared to be a coordinated effort. But it's not clear they sneaked in. Attendees at the speech say the audience was made up of Detroit Economic Club members and their invited guests.

A group called the Michigan People's Campaign is taking responsibility for organizing women to protest Trump during his speech. In all, 14 protesters interrupted Trump — almost all women.

Detroit Economic Club President and CEO Beth Chappell apologized to Trump after his speech for the interruptions. She says that's not what the club is about.

The Detroit Economic Club is a prestigious group eight decades old that has hosted presidential candidates and every sitting president going back to Richard Nixon, according to its web site.

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4:43 p.m.

Florida's election officials say no credible threat to elections has been reported this year.

Chris Chambless, the president of the group representing the state's election supervisors, said in a letter posted online Monday that most voters in Florida use a paper ballot that could be used if there was a disruption in vote counting.

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump last week said in an appearance that the election may be "rigged." Additionally there has been speculation about whether voting systems are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Florida has overhauled its voting systems twice since the chaotic presidential election of 2000.

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3:59 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is replying to Donald Trump's economic address on Monday by saying it would benefit rich corporations and the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the working class. She's promising to raise taxes on the wealthy because, she says, "that's where the money is."

During a campaign swing through St. Petersburg, Florida, Clinton wryly advised her supporters: "Don't let a friend vote Trump."

Clinton says his scripted speech amounts to Trump scrambling to do "damage control" with a steadier performance designed to reassure Republicans who had grown nervous after a disastrous week.

She says, "Don't be fooled," adding, "There is no other Donald Trump."

Clinton is expected to deliver an economic address in Detroit on Thursday. Aides are billing the speech as a response to Trump's remarks.

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3:43 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says she will meet with health professionals combatting the Zika virus in Florida.

Speaking at a rally in St. Petersburg Monday, Clinton said she would be visiting people working on the "front line of Zika" on Tuesday.

She added that, "Washington cannot keep ignoring the needs of the families of Florida."

The Republican-controlled Congress left town in mid-July for a seven-week recess without approving any of the $1.9 billion that President Barack Obama requested in February to develop a vaccine and control the mosquitoes that carry the virus.

Abortion politics played a central role in the impasse.

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3:28 p.m.

A group of 50 former GOP national security officials has signed an open letter opposing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Those who signed worked for former Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and say they are convinced that Trump would be "the most reckless president in American history."

The letter is similar to one issued by some of the same Republican former officials and foreign policy experts in March. The letter released Monday does contain some new names, however, including former U.N. Ambassador John Negroponte, former CIA director Michael Hayden and former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.

None of the living former Republican secretaries of state signed the letter, although Condoleezza Rice's ex-chief of staff, Brian Gunderson, is among the signatories.

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3:14 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is being asked about the Green Bay Packers, not his Republican primary, during a campaign swing.

Ryan is making a final push across his southeast Wisconsin congressional district Monday in advance of a primary where he faces a challenge from Republican Paul Nehlen (KNEEL-in). Nehlen has been praised by Donald Trump, but Trump on Friday endorsed Ryan.

Ryan took questions from employees at A&E Tools in Racine after a tour of the manufacturer on Monday. The first question was about what he thought after watching a recent Packers practice.

No one asked Ryan about Nehlen or Trump and Ryan didn't take questions from reporters.

Nehlen posted a video Monday making a final pitch, saying Ryan has failed to secure the border and enforce immigration laws.

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3:03 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is promising more support for small businesses as she tours a brewery in Florida.

At 3 Daughters Brewing, a craft beer brewery in St. Petersburg, Florida, Clinton said she wanted to help small companies grow, pledging to be a "small business president." She criticized Republican nominee Donald Trump's business record, saying he had "stiffed" small companies throughout his career.

Trump assailed Clinton's economic promises in a speech in Detroit Monday, arguing that he would do more for jobs and the economy through tax cuts. Clinton did not directly address his remarks at the brewery.

Clinton's tour came as part of a campaign swing through the battleground state focused on jobs and the economy. She also has two rallies scheduled in Florida Monday.

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