Trump’s confirmation hearings: nominees in the spotlight
A series of confirmation hearings for president-elect Donald Trump’s controversial cabinet nominees began in the Senate this week, with Democrats eager to grill candidates. How smooth is the process likely to be and who is vulnerable? Gideon Rachman puts the question to Courtney Weaver, the FT’s White House correspondent, and Barney Jopson, the US policy correspondent in Washington.
Sign up for our daily US politics newsletter here.
Put simply (but with a massive hedge): probably not. Read more
By Gideon Rachman
The assault on the Iraqi city of Mosul that began this week underlines the fact that the next three months will be a perilous period in international politics. Fighting is intensifying in the Middle East. Tensions are rising between Russia and the west. And relations between China and its Asian neighbours are getting edgier. All this is happening while the US is diverted by the Trump-Clinton melodrama and the transition to a new president.
Sign up for our daily US politics newsletter here.
There are exactly four weeks until election day, and with his poll numbers plummeting in the wake of a video that showed him bragging about sexually assaulting women, Donald Trump has found his true enemy: Republicans. Read more
By Gideon Rachman
How did it come to this? The presidential election debates should represent US democracy at its finest. Instead, the second Clinton-Trump debate centred around sordid allegations of sexual assault, threats, lies and mutual contempt.
The second US presidential debate brought the expected volley of accusations and insults but came to an unexpectedly dignified close in final remarks by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The action and reaction is followed here by the FT DC bureau team, led by Barney Jopson and Courtney Weaver, while Anna Nicolaou recorded the mood among supporters at the Trump Tower bar, curated by US online news editor Emiliya Mychasuk.
The much-awaited showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is the first of the three presidential debates comes as the latest polls show the Republican and Democratic candidates for the White House neck and neck with only 43 days until the November 8 election. Our DC bureau track the action and reaction.
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.
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
Donald Trump ended another turbulent week sarcastically. Yesterday we covered the Republican’s out-there statement that Barack Obama was the “founder of Isis”, an unambiguous claim that he repeated multiple times while turning down invitations to retract or revise it. But today he said we shouldn’t have taken it so seriously after all. “They don’t get sarcasm?” he tweeted of CNN (and the rest of us) who covered it.
Aside from Trump’s ability to dominate a day’s news cycle, the episode also highlighted a couple of other things. One is what Newt Gingrich, a steadfast Trump ally, described as the imprecision of his language. “He sometimes uses three words when he needs 10,” Gingrich said, exasperatedly. The other is that Mr Trump is ramping up the time he spends bashing the media. Reporters like myself have been getting emails from the campaign highlighting a daily “media bias offender”. Read more
It’s possible to become inured to Donald Trump’s outlandish statements. Trump perhaps knows that the bar for attention is gradually rising, but he has made a huge splash with his latest effort – a claim that Barack Obama is “the founder of Isis”.
Yes, that’s as barefaced as it came. Trump did not mean to say Obama was an “enabler” of Isis, or that he created the messy environment from which Isis emerged. He meant to say what he said: Obama founded Isis. Read more
It is a question often raised by Donald Trump’s seemingly glib or off-the-cuff opinions on minefield subjects that other politicians would avoid: “What does that mean?”
Today it was Barack Obama who was asking it, as he was quizzed at a press conference on Trump’s suggestion that this year’s election could be rigged. “That’s ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense,” the president said, before mentioning kids who lose playground games and say they were cheated. Read more
The dream script for Democrats in Philadelphia tonight would have Hillary Clinton closing out their convention with a rousing crescendo. But can she manage it as she accepts the party nomination?
Democrats have already savoured speeches from their party’s most talented orators – Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden – who set a high bar. Clinton is not a natural speechmaker and John Podesta, her campaign chair, predicted to the New York Times: “Maybe she doesn’t hit those soaring notes.” Read more
Discord at the Democratic Convention
The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia got off to a turbulent start this week, revealing deep divisions between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The FT’s World News editor Ben Hall discusses what this means for Clinton’s campaign for the White House with Washington bureau chief Demetri Sevastopulo and Gideon Rachmann, the FT’s chief foreign affairs commentator.
By Federica Cocco
Analysts are cranking up the odds of a Donald Trump presidency, with researchers at Citigroup saying the possibility “cannot be ruled out” and the statistics site FiveThirtyEight rating the odds of the Republican candidate at 40 per cent. Read more