US politics

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You have to give it to the Trump campaign. It is nothing if not unorthodox.

Where other campaigns zig, they zag. Where other campaigns ostensibly trying to make inroads with black voters might have surrogates engage with the realities of black life in modern America, they…deny that racism existed before Barack Obama took office and argue that even talking about racism is itself divisive.

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Tonight, Fox News will air a town hall with Donald Trump on the subject of “African-American issues”.

Fox News is an odd place to hold such an event: at any given time, just 2 per cent of viewers are African-American, according to Nielsen ratings. Stranger still is the choice of host, Sean Hannity, who has been hostile to the Black Lives Matter movement and whose nightly show’s 2m viewers are about 1.5 per cent black. Read more

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Donald Trump has repeatedly come under fire for tweeting and retweeting white supremacists and racist memes.

Now it’s his namesake who has sparked an uproar. Read more

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Terrorist attacks in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota over the weekend have brought national security back to the forefront of the presidential campaign. It may be crass, but with 50 days to go in the race, political observers are debating who stands to benefit politically from this renewed focus.

Donald Trump clearly believes that terror attacks help his pitch to the American people. That explains why, as he has on similar occasions in the past, he congratulated himself on “calling” the Manhattan blast as a bomb before authorities had announced their findings.

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Hillary Clinton returned to the campaign trail after a bout of pneumonia just in time to see her poll lead over Donald Trump evaporate and the race tighten to a veritable draw.

Today’s NYT/CBS poll is the latest with grim news for Clinton. It shows her leading Donald Trump 46-44 among likely voters, while holding a wider edge among the broader pool of registered voters, up 46 per cent to 41 per cent. Read more

Much has been made of the tangled web of Hillary Clinton’s personal, professional and governmental ties, from her speeches to Goldman Sachs to the Clinton Foundation to a dozen or more -gates.

A new Newsweek investigation points to the many conflicts of interest a Trump administration would have, given the Trump Organization’s many “deals with international financiers and developers, many of whom have been tied to controversial and even illegal activities”. Read more

US election 2016: the what ifs

The US presidential election has taken a dramatic new turn with the sudden illness of Hillary Clinton, and a tightening in the opinion polls. Could Donald Trump actually win? Gideon Rachman discusses with the FT’s chief political commentator Philip Stephens and Shawn Donnan, the world trade editor based in the Washington bureau.

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The health of the presidential candidates took centre stage in the campaign after Hillary Clinton abruptly left a 9/11 memorial ceremony over the weekend after feeling “overheated”. Her campaign later revealed that she had been diagnosed with pneumonia last Friday.

Some have argued that the fact that she went to the memorial – and continued to campaign – despite her diagnosis proved her dedication and resilience. But it is bound to ignite speculation on the right, fuelled by rival Donald Trump, that she is physically unfit for office.

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“What is Aleppo?”

That was the question Gary Johnson, former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian Party candidate for president, posed to his interviewer on MSNBC this morning, when asked what he might do about the crisis in the Syrian city.

This wasn’t a philosophical question (“what is Aleppo, really?”) or an answer on Jeopardy (“What is Aleppo, Alex? I’ll take Potent Potables for $400″). This was, Johnson later said in a statement, a presidential candidate “blank[ing]” on a fairly basic foreign policy question.

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“When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me.”

That was Donald Trump at the first Republican primary debate last year, bragging about how he gets politicians to do his bidding. Now some are wondering whether the timeframe might be even shorter. Read more

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Is it time for Hillary Clinton to start panicking?

Two recent polls provide opposing – and seemingly contradictory – responses.

The first, a CNN/ORC national survey, shows Donald Trump topping Clinton 45 per cent to 43 per cent among likely voters. The second, a 50-state poll from the Washington Post and SurveyMonkey, illustrates just how much of a built-in electoral college advantage Clinton has – and even shows her leading in Texas.

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As we wrap up the week, here is one take-away: ageism is alive and well! At least in the world of campaign politics.For much of the past two weeks, conservative news sites have focused on the status of Hillary Clinton’s health. (Is she prone to seizures? Does she secretly wear a defibrillator?) – conspiracy theories Clinton tried to put to rest on a Monday appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

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You’re a racist! No, you’re a racist! Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took their bitter battle for the White House deeper into the political trenches on Thursday with duelling speeches in which each accused the other of being racist. Read more

 

Donald Trump will have an unusual special guest on stage tonight when he holds a campaign rally in Jackson, Mississippi: Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party who along with Boris Johnson spearheaded the populist movement in Britain that led to Brexit. Read more

Hillary Clinton was on late-night television on Tuesday having her pulse checked by chat show host Jimmy Kimmel, as well as forcing open a jar of pickles.

The gags on ABC television were a response to mutterings about Clinton’s health by allies of Donald Trump including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Earlier this month Trump himself asserted that Clinton “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on Isis”. Read more

Do you hear that leaky faucet? That’s the sound of the never-ending Hillary Clinton email saga, which 77 days out from Election Day continues to bring new revelations.

Today, Judicial Watch, the conservative legal group, revealed that Clinton and her lawyers had failed to release almost 15,000 work-related emails to the FBI. The State department now has one month to appraise those emails, after which it and Judicial Watch must set a timeline for them to be released. Read more

Another one bites the dust. Two months after firing his first campaign manager and two days after reshuffling his senior team, Donald Trump revealed on Friday morning that Paul Manafort, his campaign chairman who had been running the whole operation, ​had resigned. But was the departure a resignation? The evidence ​is unclear but ​​suggests otherwise.

Exhibit A: On Wednesday morning, Manafort told me he was “staying” when I asked if the revamp meant he was out. Read more

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One day after Donald Trump’s major campaign reshuffle, there is some more big news: for the first time since the general election began, Trump’s campaign is starting to air TV ads in crucial swing states, a sign that Trump is at least in some ways starting to play by the traditional campaign playbook.

On Thursday the Trump campaign started airing ads on TV networks in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and soon will begin airing ads in Virginia as well.

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Donald Trump has overhauled his campaign for the second time in two months as he falls further behind Hillary Clinton in the polls. In a move that surprised many people, he tapped Stephen Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker who runs the conservative anti-establishment Breitbart News to be chief executive of his campaign. He also promoted Kellyanne Conway, a veteran pollster, t​o campaign manager.

Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, told the Financial Times that he would remain in place, but some saw the changes as reducing the influence of the man who was tasked at building bridges between Trump and the Republican establishment.

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A fixture of the Donald Trump rally during the Republican primary was the candidate reading out the many polls that showed him ahead in state after state.

A pair of swing state polls out Tuesday, however, illustrated why Trump no longer spends too much time on the stump dwelling on the horse race. A Washington Post poll of Virginia found him trailing Hillary Clinton by 14 points among registered voters, while a Monmouth University poll of Florida showed Clinton with a nine-point lead. Read more