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Lindsey Graham: GOP must reject ‘demagogue’ Donald Trump or party will ‘deserve to lose’

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South Carolina senator calls the business mogul a ‘wrecking ball’ and warns if Republicans don’t challenge views on immigration they deserve to lose

The Republican party must reject Donald Trump’s views on immigration as those of a “demagogue” and a “wrecking ball”, a competing candidate for the GOP presidential nomination said on Sunday, or it will face losing “the moral authority to govern”.

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Related: ‘I’m, like, a really smart person’: Donald Trump exults in outsider status

On Friday and Saturday Trump, the business mogul and reality TV star who has refused to back down on controversial comments about Mexico and illegal immigrants to the US that have cost him international condemnation and a series of business relationships, spoke to crowds in Los Angeles , Las Vegas and Phoenix.

In Arizona, in an hour-long, extemporised speech to thousands in a convention centre , he said: “This has become a movement. The silent majority is back, and we’re going to take our country back … the word is getting out that we have to stop illegal immigration.”

On Sunday, South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham responded by saying: “We have to reject this demagogue. If we don’t we will lose and we will deserve to lose.”

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Graham lags some way behind Trump in polls of the 14-strong Republican field – as the first debate approaches, in Cleveland on 6 August, Trump is maintaining second place behind frontrunner Jeb Bush. Only the top 10 candidates will participate in the first debate.

Appearing on CNN, Graham cited lessons from the party’s defeat by Barack Obama in 2012 and said: “I’m very worried about where we’re headed as a party. I don’t think this is how you get the latino vote.”

Graham said if the party did not reject Trump’s ideas immigration as a whole, “we’ll have lost the moral authority to govern this great nation”.

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He added: “After 10 years of working on illegal immigrants, I’ve come to conclude that most illegal immigrants are decent, hardworking people.”

Trump’s stance had created a “defining moment” for all Republican presidential candidates, Graham said, calling on all of them – as well as Reince Preibus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee who this week called Trump, fruitlessly, to ask him to tone down his rhetoric – to reject his ideas.

Reaction among Republican candidates has varied, from support expressed by Texas senator Ted Cruz to condemnation from Bush and Florida senator Marco Rubio. Graham said he thought some candidates approved of Trump’s comments and even considered him vice-presidential material.

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Related: Donald Trump and the Friends of Abe: tycoon brings immigration fight to LA

But, he said, “I think he’s a wrecking ball for the future of the Republican party with the hispanic community and we need to push back. We can’t worry about what Donald Trump might do, we have to focus as a party on what we should do.”

The Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, also spoke to CNN. Asked about Trump, she said: “I’m very disappointed in those comments. I feel very bad and very disappointed with him and with the Republican party for not responding immediately and saying ‘Enough, stop it’.

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“But you know they are all in the same general area on immigration. They don’t want to provide a path to citizenship. They range across a spectrum of being either grudgingly welcome or hostile towards immigrants, and I’m going to talk about comprehensive immigration reform.”

Wtach video below , uploaded by Wochit News:

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015

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Elections 2016

Intelligence official directly contradicts Trump administration’s excuses for suppressing whistleblower

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A top official in the intelligence community has disputed the factual basis for the Trump administration’s suppression of a whistleblower complaint believed to regard the potential misconduct of the president himself, a new letter released Thursday revealed.

The letter was made public by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). He is locked into a fierce and potentially explosive dispute with an array of forces within the administration to obtain the complaint, which was made through proper channels by an intelligence official last month to the community’s inspector general. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson determined that the complaint was “credible” and “urgent,” and subsequent reporting from the Washington Post found that it concerns a “promise” made by Trump in communication with a foreign leader.

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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Elections 2016

Japan wants to dump Fukushima radioactive water into ocean

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Japan's top government spokesman slapped down the environment minister on Tuesday after he said there was "no other option" but to release radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.

"It is not true that we have decided on the disposal method," Chief Cabinet Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters after Environment Minister Yoshiaki Harada's comments earlier in the day.

The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), is storing more than one million tonnes of contaminated water in tanks at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Plant that was wrecked by the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

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