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Clinton hits Trump over comments on women ahead of vice presidential debate

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Hillary Clinton speaks at the first presidential debate on September 26 (Screenshot)

Democrat Hillary Clinton slammed Republican Donald Trump on Tuesday for making disparaging comments about women’s physical appearance, accusing Trump of taking the issue of female body image “to a new level of difficulty and meanness.”

Hours before vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine and Mike Pence face off in Virginia in their sole debate, Clinton urged women at an event in the Philadelphia suburbs billed as a “family town hall” to stand up to online bullying about how they look.

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“It’s shocking when women are called names and judged solely on the basis of physical attributes,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in response to a 15-year-old girl’s question about the problem of body image and the “damage Donald Trump does” when he talks about how women look.

“My opponent insulted Miss Universe,” Clinton said, resurrecting her Republican rival’s comments last week about former beauty queen Alicia Machado’s weight gain after she won the Miss Universe contest in 1996.

“I mean, how do you get more acclaimed than that? But it wasn’t good enough,” Clinton said. “We can’t take any of this seriously anymore. We need to laugh at it. We need to refute it.”

Clinton, the first woman to be nominated for the presidency by a major U.S. party, has rushed to capitalize on Trump’s public feud with Machado, who he once called “Miss Piggy” because of her weight gain, and make inroads with women voters five weeks before the Nov. 8 election.

Clinton and Trump’s running mates, Democrat Kaine, a U.S. senator, and Republican Pence, governor of Indiana, will meet in a debate in Farmville, Virginia, starting at 9 p.m. EDT on Tuesday (0100 GMT on Wednesday.)

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The debate will provide voters their first extended chance to evaluate the No. 2’s in the White House race and is the only showdown between the vice presidential candidates. Trump and Clinton will meet in their second debate on Sunday.

Pence could find himself frequently on the defensive about Trump, a New York businessman who has been dealing with a torrent of bad news in the last week.

That includes a New York Times report that he took an almost $1 billion loss in 1995 that may have allowed him to avoid paying federal income taxes for up to 18 years. While Democrats have slammed him over the report, Trump, who made much of his business acumen on the campaign trail, has said he “brilliantly used” U.S. tax rules to his advantage to limit his tax bills.

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In another blow to Trump’s campaign, the New York attorney general ordered on Monday that Trump’s charitable foundation should stop soliciting donations in the state after a series of reports suggesting improprieties, including using its funds to settle legal disputes involving Trump businesses.

On the campaign trail on Tuesday, Trump met with about a dozen energy executives in Denver, Colorado, querying them mainly about their concerns about regulations that he said had “gotten out of control.”

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John Harpole, chief executive of Mercator Energy, said he did not understand why the Obama administration’s response to the shale boom and Clinton’s energy positions had not come up during the first presidential debate last week.

Others told Trump they faced more immediate concerns with state-level regulators. Scott Stewart of Gilbert-Stewart Operating said his company had largely moved operations to Kansas because of stiff rules in Colorado.

At the Pennsylvania event with her daughter Chelsea and actress Elizabeth Banks, Clinton discussed substance abuse, caring for children and family members with health problems, college affordability and mental healthcare, among other topics.

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Clinton has led Trump in national opinion polls in recent months. On Tuesday, an average of polls aggregated by RealClearPolitics website showed her with 48.1 percent of support compared to Trump’s 44.3 percent.

(Writing by John Whitesides; Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson in Colorado; Editing by Frances Kerr


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Rod Rosenstein secretly crippled the Mueller investigation: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had a hand in limiting the scope of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and the Russians by secretly curtailing an FBI counterintelligence probe.

The report from Michael Schmidt of the Times begins by stating, "The Justice Department secretly took steps in 2017 to narrow the investigation into Russian election interference and any links to the Trump campaign, according to former law enforcement officials," before adding, "But law enforcement officials never fully investigated Mr. Trump’s own relationship with Russia, even though some career F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators thought his ties posed such a national security threat that they took the extraordinary step of opening an inquiry into them."

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‘Meanest and most disrespectful’ senator: Trump lashes out at Kamala Harris in latest presser

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At Tuesday's White House press conference, President Donald Trump spent a considerable portion of the time attacking Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who was just announced to be former Vice President Joe Biden's running mate.

Harris, complained Trump, was the "meanest and most disrespectful person in the U.S. Senate." He particularly dwelled on her sharp interrogation of Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court hearings.

Trump also added that she "lied" about a number of issues, claimed repeatedly she wants to raise taxes, said she is for "open borders and sanctuary cities ... which is also protecting a large number of criminals," and that she would destroy the Second Amendment.

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Elections 2016

California bill to establish nation’s second public bank applauded as ‘historic challenge to Wall Street domination’

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"If California is serious about addressing racial and income inequities, we must create a banking system that centers people not profits."

In a move advocacy groups celebrated as a "historic challenge to Wall Street domination of municipal finances," a pair of California state lawmakers on Thursday unveiled legislation that would establish the nation's second publicly-owned bank and empower the institution to lend to businesses and local governments fighting to stay afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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