The Latest: Clinton dismisses Trump's outreach to blacks

AP News
Posted: Aug 19, 2016 7:45 PM
The Latest: Clinton dismisses Trump's outreach to blacks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on campaign 2016 (all times Eastern):

7:40 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is calling Donald Trump's effort to appeal to black voters "ignorant."

At a rally Friday in Dimondale, Michigan, Trump called on African-American voters to give him a shot at the presidency, asking, "What do you lose by trying something new like Trump?"

Trump argues that many black people are living in poverty, with poor schools and few jobs, in spite of supporting Democratic politicians for decades.

Clinton's Twitter account is linking to an excerpt from Trump's speech and says, "This is so ignorant it's staggering."

Trump has made several appeals to the demographic this week, despite his dismal standing in the polls among black voters.


5:45 p.m.

The second lobbying firm that worked to advance Ukrainian political interests in Washington at the covert direction of two top Trump campaign aides says it also has hired a lawyer to investigate the situation.

The move by Mercury LLC follows reports by The Associated Press that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's consulting firm — which worked for Ukraine's ruling political party — oversaw what was supposed to be an independent European nonprofit without disclosing its role to the Justice Department.

The attorney handling Mercury's review — Ken Gross of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom— also drafted the 2012 legal memo Mercury used to justify not notifying the Justice Department about its work under the U.S. Foreign Agent Registration Act.

Gross confirmed to the AP that he had been hired by Mercury


5:25 p.m.

Donald Trump is telling African American voters to give him a shot at the presidency, asking what they've got to lose.

At a rally in Dimondale, Mich., Friday, Trump asked the crowd, "What do you lose by trying something new like Trump?"

He said many are living in poverty and have no jobs.

"What the hell do you have to lose?" he asked. It's not the first appeal Trump has made to the demographic, despite his dismal standing in the polls.


5:20 p.m.

Donald Trump is vowing to win over African Americans if he is elected president, predicting that he will have "over 95 percent of the African American vote," at the end of his first term.

Addressing a boisterous crowd in Dimondale, Mich., Friday, Trump spoke to deteriorating conditions in Detroit, saying it is among the worst afflicted cities in America, with no jobs, poverty and bad schools. He said his rival Hillary Clinton would rather give jobs to refugees than American citizens.

Trump said, "it's time to hold democratic politicians accountable for what they've done for these communities."

Most polls show Trump trailing Clinton significantly among black voters in particular, though Trump has repeatedly claimed that has strong support from the demographic.


4:30 p.m.

A lobbying firm involved in the effort by Donald Trump's former campaign chairman to influence Washington on behalf of Ukrainian political leaders has hired a law firm to investigate the situation.

The chief executive for the Podesta Group Inc., Kimberley Fritts, said Friday her firm has hired Caplin & Drysdale LLP to determine whether it was misled into working on behalf of foreign governments or leaders.

The move came one day after The Associated Press reported that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — who resigned Friday — and deputy Rick Gates had overseen lobbying by a Brussels-based nonprofit while they were working for Ukraine's governing political party between 2012 and 2014. By law, agents of foreign governments in the U.S. must disclose their roles with the Justice Department.


3:30 p.m.

Another top official has left the Democratic National Committee in the wake of an email hack last month that revealed embarrassing messages.

Jordan Kaplan, the party's national finance director for more than three years, stepped down, becoming the scandal's fifth casualty. The first to go was DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Kaplan's resignation email, obtained by The Associated Press, makes no mention of the leaked emails. He says he is returning to consulting and in that capacity will continue to manage party fundraisers featuring the Obamas. Kaplan is a longtime Obama supporter, having first worked for him years ago during Obama's Illinois Senate campaign.

Among the emails published by WikiLeaks--and potentially hacked by Russian operatives, according to the White House--were messages in which DNC finance team members disparaged specific party donors.


2:15 p.m.

Donald Trump has left Louisiana after spending more than three hours touring communities devastated by the recent flooding.

The GOP nominee visited water-ravaged neighborhoods, where debris piled up in front lawns and on curbs as people continued to muck out their homes.

During the visit, Trump met with first responders who conducted rescues in the flooding even as their own homes were damaged. And he spoke with volunteers at a church that was helping nearby residents with cleanup.

Area residents cheered Trump's visit, lining up along streets to get a glimpse and thanking him for shining a national spotlight on the destruction.


1:55 p.m.

Donald Trump struck a somber tone as he toured the flood damage in Louisiana — but still managed to get in a jab at President Barack Obama.

In brief remarks in Ascension Parish, Trump made an appeal for more aid to the area and said he was "just here to help."

Trump was also there to strike a contrast to Obama, who is on vacation and has not visited the area.

When a woman told Trump she was happy he wasn't off playing golf, Trump replied: "Somebody is, somebody is that shouldn't be."

Trump later added that "nobody understands how bad it is."

The White House has said Obama has received regular updates about the flooding and the federal response during his vacation.

He is due back in Washington on Sunday.


1:50 p.m.

Rick Gates, Paul Manafort's deputy, will remain with Donald Trump's presidential campaign, despite Manafort's resignation.

Jason Miller, a campaign spokesman, tweeted Friday that Gates "will be taking over as the campaign's liaison to the RNC based in Washington."

The campaign has a turbulent relationship with the national party, which has largely run Trump's ground game and voter data efforts.

The job was previously held by Rick Wiley and Ed Brookover, both of whom were fired by the campaign.

Gates, along with Manafort, are under scrutiny for their dealings with pro-Kremlin elements in Russia and Ukraine.

Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that Manafort's firm orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine's then-ruling pro-Russia political party.

And neither man disclosed their work as foreign agents as required under federal law.


1:40 p.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager is calling the resignation of Paul Manafort as Donald Trump's campaign chairman a "clear admission that the disturbing connections" between Trump and pro-Kremlin elements in Russia and Ukraine "are untenable."

Campaign manager Robby Mook says in a statement that even with Manafort's departure, "that doesn't end the odd bromance Trump has" with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mook says Trump still has questions to answer about his "propensity to parrot Putin's talking points," a roster of adviser with ties to Russian and the recent Russian government hacking of Democratic Party records.


1:10 p.m.

Hillary Clinton has called Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards to discuss the state's devastating flooding and says the state's relief effort, "can't afford any distractions."

The Democratic presidential nominee says in a Facebook post that her "heart breaks for Louisiana," where a torrent of about 2 feet of rain deluged the southern part of the state, damaging tens of thousands of home and affecting more than 100,000 people.

Clinton's campaign released the post on the same day that Republican Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence traveled to Louisiana to inspect the flood damage.

Clinton is urging people to reach out to the Red Cross and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to help with flood relief.


12:30 p.m.

Donald Trump is showing his softer side as he consoles Louisiana homeowners hit by devastating flooding.

The Republican candidate's tour of the damage included a stop at the home of Jimmy and Olive Morgan in Denham Springs, Louisiana.

As Trump and his entourage visited, the couple was still sweeping out floodwaters from their home. A ruined couch, chair and bedroom furniture are heaped on their lawn.

Jimmy Morgan told Trump he spent his 79th birthday on the roof of his house.

Asked by Trump about whether he'll rebuild, Jimmy Morgan replied: "I Just don't know what we'll do."

Trump hugged the man and later told him: "You're going to rebuild. It's going to be so beautiful."


12:00 p.m.

Donald Trump is receiving a warm reception as he tours a heavily-damaged portion of East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana.

The GOP nominee and his running mate Mike Pence were greeted by a crowd of supporters after visiting a local Baptist church where volunteers have gathered.

"Thank you for coming, Mr. Trump," one woman screamed.

"We knew you would be here for us!" another shouted.

Trump greeted the crowd, shaking hands and signing hats.

But he turned down a plate of the south Louisiana specialty, jambalaya, offered to him.


11:35 a.m.

Donald Trump and Mike Pence have stopped at a Baptist church in a heavily damaged portion of East Baton Rouge Parish.

The Republican candidates met a group of volunteers who have been cooking meals for flood victims and helping the elderly gut their homes.

Trump asked questions about the extent of the damage and thanked volunteers for their efforts.

The candidate also met with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Perkins own home was flooded.

The prominent Christian conservative says he wants Trump to "let the country know" about the extent of the damage.

Many Louisianans feel the flooding has been ignored by the national news.


11:20 a.m.

Donald Trump's son, Eric Trump, says the campaign's outgoing chairman "was amazing" and he resigned because Trump didn't want to be distracted by outside controversy.

Eric Trump told Fox News Friday that Paul Manafort "did a great job with the delegates" ahead of the Republican National Convention last month, and that he resigned earlier Friday because Donald Trump didn't want to be "distracted by whatever things Paul was dealing with."

Manafort stepped down in the wake of a campaign shake-up, as well as revelations about his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Manafort's firm orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine's then-ruling political party. Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, never disclosed their work as foreign agents, as required under federal law.


11:20 a.m.

Republican nominee Donald Trump is surveying the damage in flood-ravaged Louisiana.

Trump's motorcade drove early Friday through the hard-hit community of Central in East Baton Rouge Parish, where ripped-up carpet and flooring, furniture and the entire contents of homes were piled on the curb.

In some cases, people who were still mucking out their homes came out to wave at the motorcade.

At least 13 people were killed and thousands were displaced in heavy rain that dumped as much as two feet of water on some areas.


10:30 a.m.

Donald Trump is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to tour flood-damaged neighborhoods.

Trump landed Friday morning at the Baton Rouge airport and was met on the tarmac by Republicans Rep. Steve Scalise, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Attorney General Jeff Landry.

The Republican candidate — wearing his signature "Make America Great Again" hat — shook hands briefly with the officials before heading to the motorcade.

His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, also met Trump at the airport and planned to join on the tour.

Trump's visit comes as his campaign continued to shake up its top ranks.

The campaign released a statement Friday morning saying chairman Paul Manafort has resigned.


10:11 a.m.

Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort is resigning from the campaign.

In a statement, Trump says Manafort offered his resignation Friday morning. Trump praised Manafort's work on the campaign and called him a "true professional."

Manafort is stepping down in the wake of a campaign shake-up, as well as revelations about his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Manafort's firm orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine's then-ruling political party. Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, never disclosed their work as foreign agents as required under federal law.

Earlier in the week, the campaign added two new top officials to the campaign in a move widely seen as a demotion for Manafort.


10:07 a.m.

Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort is resigning from the campaign.

In a statement, Trump praised Manafort's work on the campaign and called him a "true professional."

Manafort is stepping down in the wake of a campaign shake-up, as well as revelations about his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.


9:40 a.m.

Donald Trump is due to arrive Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a hastily planned tour of the flood-damaged city.

The Republican presidential candidate's plane was set to land Friday morning at a private facility at the Baron Rouge airport. His running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, has already arrive and was seen chatting on the tarmac with Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Attorney General Jeff Landry.

The officials are the highest-ranking Republicans in the state. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, says he won't be involved in Trump's visit.

The governor spokesman says Trump was welcome but not for a "photo-op."

Trump is expected to get a look at some of the neighborhoods devastated by flooding.


9:30 a.m.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is making his first visit to Minnesota this campaign, but not for any public appearance.

Trump was set to meet with wealthy Republican donors Friday evening to raise money, and doesn't plan to hold a public rally.

Suggested donations for the Trump event at the Minneapolis Convention Center are $1,000 to $100,000 per couple.

Federal Election Commission records show Trump has raised about $110,000 in Minnesota, far less than Hillary Clinton's $2 million.

Trump drew condemnation from some in Minnesota's large Somali community ahead of his arrival. Jaylani Hussein, director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, criticized Trump for "anti-Muslim and anti-Somali rhetoric."


8:10 a.m.

Donald Trump's first general election TV ad contrasts his strict approach to immigration with what he calls Hillary Clinton's plan to do "more of the same, only worse."

The Republican presidential nominee's ad is one of two different spots in a $5 million swing state as buy that begins Friday and runs for the next 10 days.

This first spot employs some of his signature lines, said by a narrator as images of what are supposed to be a crowd of Syrian refugees and border crossers being detained by police. It begins: "In Hillary Clinton's America, the system stays rigged against Americans."

It concludes after 30 seconds by saying Trump's plan to crack down on illegal immigration and halt some refugee programs is "change that makes America safe again."


8:00 a.m.

Hillary Clinton says her "heart breaks" for the family of a man from Lebanon living in Oklahoma who police say was fatally shot by his neighbor.

Khalid Jabara's family says the neighbor, Stanley Majors, called them "dirty Arabs," ''filthy Lebanese," ''Aye-rabs," and "Mooslems." The family is Christian.

Jabara was shot to death on his front porch Aug. 12. Police have arrested Majors on a first-degree murder complaint but prosecutors have yet to file formal charges in the case.

Clinton shared a Facebook post late Thursday from Jabara's family. The Democratic presidential candidate wrote on Facebook that the country must unite "to ensure that no other family loses a beloved son or daughter because of prejudice and bigotry."


7:15 a.m.

Donald Trump's new campaign manager says his expression of remorse for making offensive comments was of his own volition.

"It was not me," Kellyanne Conway told ABC's Good Morning America Friday, saying the Republican nominee's apology Thursday "was all Donald Trump." She added that "perhaps he felt it before," but he chose that moment to express them.

Conway was named Trump's new campaign manager as part of a staff shakeup earlier this week.

Conway said, "I absolutely hope that this campaign pivots to substance," saying that Trump is keen to take on rival Hillary Clinton on issues ranging from health care to national security.

She said that Trump is acting more presidential, pointing to his planned trip to Louisiana later Friday to visit the victims of mass floods there.


3:20 a.m.

In a highly uncharacteristic move aimed at resetting his struggling campaign, Donald Trump says for the first time he regrets some of the caustic comments he's made that may have caused people pain.

Trump told a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, Thursday night: "Sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don't choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that." He added: "And believe it or not, I regret it — and I do regret it — particularly where it may have caused personal pain."

It was a rare admission for Trump, who has said he prefers "not to regret anything." It underscored the dire situation he finds himself in with just 80 days left until the election.