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Clinton expands lead over Trump to 13 points: Reuters/Ipsos poll

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton widened her lead over likely Republican nominee Donald Trump to 13 percentage points in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.

The July 1-5 poll included responses gathered mostly over the holiday weekend, before the Federal Bureau of Investigation recommended on Tuesday that no criminal charges be filed against Clinton over her use of private email servers and what it called her “extremely careless” handling of classified information while she was U.S. secretary of state.

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The presumptive Democratic nominee led Trump, a New York businessman, by 9 percentage points in a previous Reuters/Ipsos poll that ran from June 27 to July 1.

Tuesday’s poll showed that 46 percent of likely voters supported Clinton, while 33 percent backed Trump. Twenty-two percent said they would not support either candidate for the Nov. 8 election.

Throughout the campaign, Clinton has been dogged by her use of a personal email server during her years as the nation’s top diplomat. Over the past several months, she has handed over thousands of pages of emails to investigators and responded to a number of government inquiries.

Clinton has repeatedly said she never sent or received classified documents on her private servers, yet the public appears distrustful of her, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. In early May, 63 percent of Americans, including 36 percent of Democrats, said they did not believe Clinton was “honest and truthful.”

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But Clinton has led Trump most of the year among likely voters. Since mid-May, she has maintained a relatively consistent level of support among likely voters, while Trump’s popularity has eroded as his campaign wrestled with a variety of issues.

Republican leaders distanced themselves from Trump after he suggested a federal judge was biased because of his Hispanic heritage and after he doubled down on a pledge to block Muslims from entering the country. On Tuesday, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan criticized a tweet posted by Trump over the weekend that many deemed to be anti-Semitic.

Trump’s level of support among likely voters was about 10 points below what 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney received in early July 2012.

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Among Clinton’s supporters, nearly half said they were backing her because “I don’t want Donald Trump to win.” A further 39 percent said they “agree with her positions,” and about 13 percent said they “like her personally.”

The online national poll of 1,441 American adults had a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 3 percentage points.

(Editing by Caren Bohan and Peter Cooney)

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Ex-AG Matt Whitaker ‘pretty much acknowledges abuse of power’ in Fox News interview

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The former acting Attorney General of the United States argued that presidential abuse of power is not a crime during a Tuesday evening appearance on Fox News.

Abuse of power is not a crime,” Matt Whitaker told Fox News personality Laura Ingraham.

Tufts University Professor Daniel Drezner was fascinated by the admission.

"Interesting that Whitaker pretty much acknowledges abuse of power but doesn’t think it’s egregious," Drezner noted.

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2020 Election

‘Abuse of power is not a crime’: Former acting AG Matt Whitaker makes a brazen claim on Fox News

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Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker told a Fox News audience that it is not a crime for President Donald Trump to abuse the power of his office.

Whitaker made the comments while complaining about "global elitists" during an interview with Laura Ingraham.

"What evidence of a crime do you have?" Whitaker asked, despite Trump, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and defense lawyer Rudy Giuliani all admitting Trump sought foreign election interference to help his struggling re-election campaign.

"Abuse of power is not a crime," the nation's former top law enforcement office argued.

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2020 Election

Joe Biden apologizes for ‘partisan lynching’ comments about Bill Clinton’s impeachment

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Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday apologized for comments he made saying impeachment could be viewed as a "partisan lynching."

The comments from a 1998 interview were reported after Biden said it was "abhorrent" and "despicable" for President Donald Trump to refer to impeachment as a lynching.

"Even if the President should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that in fact met the standard, the very high bar, that was set by the founders as to what constituted an impeachable offense," Biden said in 1998.

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