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Friday's Mini-Report, 10.14.16

10/14/16 05:47PM

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Right message, right messenger: "President Obama on Friday implored voters [in Cleveland] to 'reject a dark and pessimistic vision' offered by Donald J. Trump and urged a robust turnout on behalf of Hillary Clinton in a state where the presidential candidates are locked in a razor-thin contest."

* This is not all right: "Two Donald Trump supporters flashed their firearms outside a campaign office in Virginia on Thursday night, in what they said was an effort to protest Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and unite likeminded voters."

* This won't end well: "The Nevada state Assembly on Friday approved legislation that will devote $750 million in public tax money to the construction of a new NFL stadium. The subsidy is the largest ever for an American sports stadium."

* Overdue: "The Justice Department said Thursday that it would begin collecting nationwide data on deadly police encounters early next year, starting the most ambitious effort the federal government has ever undertaken to track police killings and the use of force after a series of episodes embroiled cities across the country in protests and investigations."

* Ginsburg's walkback: "Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is apologizing for characterizing as 'dumb and disrespectful' the national anthem protests by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other athletes. The court released a statement from Ginsburg on Friday in which she said she was barely aware of the anthem protest and that her comments were 'inappropriately dismissive and harsh.'"

* Age of the Geek: "I'm a science geek. I'm a nerd, and I don't make any apologies for it," President Obama said yesterday.
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U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally in Prescott Valley, Ariz., Oct. 4, 2016. (Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters)

As more accusers come forward, Trump presents a new defense

10/14/16 05:22PM

After several women this week came forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, many wondered whether or not others would raise additional allegations. It didn't take long to find out.

Today, a woman named Kristin Anderson told the Washington Post about an incident from the 1990s in which, she alleges, Trump slid his fingers "under her miniskirt, moved up her inner thigh, and touched her vagina through her underwear." Though Anderson "recounted the story to people she knew" over the years, and it's consistent with Trump's own recorded boasts about his private behavior, a spokesperson for the Republican's campaign said he "strongly denies this phony allegation."

Soon after, Summer Zervos, a former contestant on "The Apprentice," held a press conference to claim that Trump sexually accosted her at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

As for the GOP ticket, Trump said yesterday, "We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies and it will be made public in an appropriate way at an appropriate time very soon." Mike Pence added this morning we should expect this evidence "before the day is out."

So far, the Republican campaign, which continues to deny the veracity of the allegations, doesn't appear to have come up with much in terms of evidence disputing the claims brought forward by Trump's accusers. The candidate did, however, offer this.
Trump went further to say he'd never met these people, despite one of the accusers, Natasha Stoynoff, having done an in-person interview with Trump and his wife Melania early in their marriage. Trump flatly called Stoynoff "a liar" and directed the crowd to "check out her Facebook page - you'll understand."

Trump said another accuser, Jessica Leeds, who alleges Trump groped her on an airplane thirty years ago, "Would not be his first choice."

"When you looked at that horrible woman last night," Trump said in an apparent reference to her appearance on CNN, "you said, I don't think so, I don't think so.
The not-so-subtle implication was that Trump doesn't find one of his accusers physically attractive, so we shouldn't believe her claims of sexual assault.

The GOP nominee went on to say today that a Mexican billionaire should be blamed, at least in part, for the allegations, and that when Hillary Clinton walked in front of him during the second presidential debate, "believe me, I wasn't impressed."

With 25 days remaining before Election Day, Donald Trump is no longer being subtle about his misogyny. The Republican has no use for subtext, relying instead of text, and transitioning to an overtly misogynistic message to voters.
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally, Oct. 13, 2016, in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Evan Vucci/AP)

Donald Trump puts his messianic message in a new light

10/14/16 12:48PM

When Donald Trump told a Florida audience yesterday that Hillary Clinton is plotting with international financiers to "plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty," it marked a new level of crazy in the Republican presidential hopeful's campaign. But the GOP nominee also took another step yesterday in packaging his candidacy's increasingly messianic message.

This week, the Republican ticket unveiled an ad with an unusual message: "Donald Trump will protect you. He is the only one who can." It wasn't a throwaway line: Trump has said repeatedly in recent months that he "alone" can solve the nation's problems. In May, he went so far as to declare, "I will give you everything. I will give you what you've been looking for for 50 years. I'm the only one."

Yesterday, however, Trump's savior complex took an even creepier turn:
"They knew they would throw every lie they could at me and my family and my loved ones. They knew they would stop at nothing to try to stop me. But I never knew, as bad as it would be, I never knew it would be this vile, that it would be this bad, that it would be this vicious.

"Nevertheless, I take all of these slings and arrows gladly for you. I take them for our movement so that we can have our country back.

"Our great civilization, here in America and across the civilized world has come upon a moment of reckoning."
Later in the speech, Trump added, "In my former life I was an insider, as much as anybody else. And I knew what it's like, and I still know what it's like to be an insider. It's not bad, it's not bad. Now I'm being punished for leaving the special club and revealing to you the terrible things that are going on having to do with our country. Because I used to be part of the club, I'm the only one that can fix it."

His followers shouldn't trust journalists, because news organizations represent "a political special interest" that's at "war" with Americans' interests. His followers shouldn't look to congressional Republican leaders, either, because they're in on a "sinister deal." Trump fans must also reject corporations, the finance industry, and the "global power structure," because they're all part of a conspiracy that puts "our civilization" at risk.

What these voters should do, apparently, is trust just one man. Trump will tell you the truth. Trump will keep you safe. Trump will solve your problems. Trump can "make possible every dream you've ever dreamed."
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