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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton munch on pork chops in early rivalry over Iowa voters

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One dropped in by helicopter. The other accompanied a venerable local politician. Both dined on pork chop, on a stick.

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, their parties’ early front-runners in the 2016 presidential race, shared the spotlight on Saturday at the state fair in the early voting state of Iowa.

Clinton, walking with the former Democratic U.S. senator from Iowa, Tom Harkin, shook hands with supporters, with a large press pack in tow.

As the group neared a meat-on-a-stick stand, a helicopter began circling overhead.

“It’s the Donald!” yelled an onlooker, as eyes shifted to the sky.

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Trump, the brash, provocative real estate mogul and television personality who has rocketed to the top of the Republican polls, was making his entrance at the Iowa state fairgrounds outside Des Moines.

The fair has become a crucial proving ground for candidates because the Midwestern state holds the first party nominating contests in the 2016 campaign for the White House.

Nearly all candidates are making stops at the fair. Most spend 20 minutes at the “soap box” to deliver a brief speech and take questions. Nearly all pay respects to the famed “butter cow” sculpture. Various foods are served on sticks.

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But Clinton and Trump were working off a different script on Saturday. Neither spoke on the soap box and instead ad-libbed their way through the fairgrounds as the crush of onlookers grew.

After speaking to reporters behind the cattle barn where she talked to a boy with his cow, Clinton ducked into a display next to a food stand to talk with a supporter away from the glare of a dozen television cameras. An Iowa State Patrol officer asked onlookers to step back.

“I’m not moving,” said Maura Foster, 88, a self-declared Republican who was nevertheless waiting to meet Clinton.

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Clinton stopped, they shook hands and Foster’s granddaughter snapped a photo.

“She’s famous! You’ve got to have your picture taken with someone famous before you die,” said Foster’s daughter, Barb Jerome.

HELICOPTER RIDES

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About an hour later, Trump traced a similar path.

After landing by chopper in a nearby lot, Trump invited some children to take a ride in the helicopter and spoke to reporters before riding a golf cart to the entrance of the fair. Cellphones were taken out and pictures snapped.

“Get over here!” Trump called to a middle-aged woman, motioning her over for a photo as he walked through the crowd while security cleared a path.

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Shouts of “Keep stirring the pot, Donald!” and “You’ve got more people than Clinton!” came from the crowd, which swelled to hundreds within minutes.

“Say that again!” Trump called.

Both Trump and Clinton have stepped up their attacks on each other in recent days.

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“Hillary Clinton was the single worst secretary of state in the history of this country, the world collapsed around us,” Trump told reporters on Saturday.

Clinton referred to Trump on Friday evening as the “flamboyant front-runner” in the Republican race.

“But don’t let the circus distract you,” Clinton said at a Democratic fundraising dinner in Clear Lake, Iowa. “If you look at their policies, most of the other candidates are just Trump, without the pizzazz or the hair.”

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Trump, who has been pressed by the media for more policy specifics, told reporters he would outline his immigration policy on a Sunday morning talk show and release a paper on taxes in two weeks

“I know the press wants it. I don’t think the people care. I think they trust me,” he said.

Both candidates spent just over an hour touring the fair, without ever crossing paths.


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In rebuke to Trump, US Congress blocks Saudi arms sales

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The US House voted Wednesday to block $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other allies, a rebuke of Donald Trump that will likely lead to a veto by the president.

Lawmakers, many of whom are outraged with the kingdom over Riyadh's role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year, approved three resolutions that would prevent the controversial sales announced under emergency measures earlier this year by Trump.

The resolutions blocking the sales have already cleared the US Senate, and now go to the White House, where Trump is expected to issue a veto, the third of his presidency.

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‘Pure and simple evil’: MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika destroy Trump’s ‘racist and illegal’ taunts against Omar

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski warned that President Donald Trump's attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) were both illegal and racist -- as well as an incitement to violence.

The "Morning Joe" co-hosts were appalled by the crowd's reaction -- chanting "send her back" -- to Trump attacks at a Greensboro, North Carolina, rally.

"Republicans shamed themselves by not calling racism, racism," Scarborough said. "I saw some people actually write columns that used to be respected trying to excuse the president's language and saying it's not racist, but the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that Donald Trump oversees that enforces laws against discrimination, specifically outlined such language that the president used last night and that his crowd used last night as an example of bias."

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Blood-soaked ‘It’ sequel jolts Comic-Con to life

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San Diego Comic-Con kicked off with a chorus of shrieks -- and gallons of blood -- as New Line Cinema unveiled spine-chilling footage from "It: Chapter 2," the sequel to the highest-grossing horror movie of all time.

The Warner Bros-owned studio used Wednesday's preview night of the world's largest pop culture fan gathering to showcase its concluding film of Stephen King's 1986 novel about a terrifying clown who lurks in the sewers, preying on children's most nightmarish fears.

The adaptation was split into two by director Andy Muschietti -- the first part, released in 2017, took a stunning $700 million at the global box office.

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