Washington (CNN)Reality Check: Clinton says Trump presidency a top risk to global economy (June 22, 2016)

By Tony Marco, CNN
Clinton said economists consider a Trump presidency a top risk to the the global economy. “That is just astonishing, and it’s no wonder that the group called the Economist Intelligence Unit, one of the leading firms that analyzes the top threats to the global economy now ranks a Trump presidency number three right behind problems in China and volatility in the commodities markets,” explained Clinton.
    The UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit did, in fact, list a Trump presidency in its top global risks this month, saying the chances of this happening have increased since he became the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee. The EIU cited terrorism on U.S. soil, international trade, his militaristic tendencies towards the Middle East, a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. and how he would deal with an economic downturn as concerns.
    ‘”Although we still do not expect Mr. Trump to defeat Ms. Clinton, there are risks to this forecast, especially given the terrorist attack in Florida in June,” says the risk report, issued last week. “It is worth noting that the innate hostility within the Republican hierarchy towards Mr Trump, combined with the inevitable virulent Democratic opposition, will see many of his more radical policies blocked in Congress — albeit such internal bickering will also undermine the coherence of domestic and foreign policymaking,” concluded the report.
    Verdict: TRUE.
    Reality Check: Clinton’s role getting NATO involved in Libya (April 14, 2016)
    By Eve Bower, CNN
    During an extended exchange about America’s role in the downfall of Gadhafi, Clinton and Sanders clashed over the nature of Clinton’s influence within the Obama administration in early 2011. And though numerous senior officials at the time painted a picture of an active and influential Clinton, on the Brooklyn debate stage five years later, Clinton seemed to downplay her own role in crafting U.S. policy in Libya.
    In a recent interview, President Barack Obama said that his administration’s “failing” to plan for the aftermath of the 2011 U.S.-led NATO intervention in Libya was among his biggest mistakes in office. Echoing this, Sanders accused Clinton of having contributed to a “very dangerous foothold” for ISIS in Libya through her “active effort for regime change” as part of the Obama administration at the time.
    In her response, Clinton emphasized that the decision to intervene was Obama’s, and that her role as secretary of state was — merely, she implied — one of “due diligence.”
    But as the President announced his administration’s decision to enforce a no-fly zone in March 2011, senior U.S. officials were clear that Clinton had been instrumental in persuading U.S. allies to join the coalition.
    Clinton traveled between Washington, Paris, Cairo, and Tunisia, pressuring her counterparts in other countries to send planes to Libya and support a United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing intervention.
    In these actions, she is widely described as having been part of a strong alliance of powerful voices within Obama’s administration that included U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice and National Security Council member Samantha Power. Clinton’s advocacy put her at odds, however, with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who had publicly argued against a no-fly zone, and Vice President Joe Biden, who was said to favor a much more cautious approach.
    Perhaps some of the clearest signs that Clinton herself, at one time at least, saw the importance of her own role can be found in emails she exchanged with advisers in 2011, and later made public as part of congressional inquiries into the deaths of four Americans in the 2012 Benghazi terror attack. In one email, she complained to staffers about timelines they had compiled for the media that did not show “much of what I did.” One such timeline detailed a “tick-tock” of 22 milestones in Clinton’s “leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s Libya policy from start to finish.”
    Clinton’s minimized her efforts at Thursday’s debate as mere “due diligence.” Because the statement obscures the real impacts she had, we rate her statement as FALSE.
    Reality Check: Clinton on Iran’s nuclear program (March 13, 2016)
    By Ryan Browne, CNN
    When Clinton was asked whether her record in office was overly interventionist, she referenced her role in helping lay the foundations for the international effort to curb Iran’s nuclear program. She described the Iranian nuclear program as being highly advanced when President Barack Obama took office.
    Clinton said, “You know, when President Obama went into office and I became secretary of state, the Iranians had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle. They had built covert facilities, they had stocked them with centrifuges. All of that happened while George W. Bush was president, and we had done, you know, sanctions and everything that we could think of as the United States government and Congress, but it hadn’t stopped them. And there were a lot of other countries in the region who said they would take military action if necessary.”
    Iran’s nuclear program dates all the way back to the 1980s. In 1996, President Bill Clinton signed off on sanctions against Iran to penalize it for pursuing a nuclear program. But the Iranian government did not announce it had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle until the end of 2010, nearly two years into Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
    Iran now produces everything it needs for the nuclear fuel cycle, making its nuclear program self-sufficient, the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization told state media Sunday.
    While Iran’s nuclear program made great strides during the Bush presidency, the fuel cycle was mastered during the early years of the Obama administration, and Iran’s use of covert facilities dates all the way back to the 1990s.
    Clinton’s statement that these developments occurred while Bush was in office is FALSE.
    Reality Check: Clinton on her role in the Iran nuclear deal (March 13, 2016)
    By Laura Koran, CNN
    Clinton took credit for bringing Iran to the negotiating table for a deal that would restrict its nuclear program.
    Clinton conceded that some sanctions on Iran were imposed under George W. Bush’s administration, but went on to suggest that these did nothing to slow Iran’s weapons-related nuclear activities.
    “So I led the effort to impose sanctions on Iran, to really bring them to the negotiating table,” said Clinton, adding, “the negotiations started under my watch.”
    Talks did in fact begin during Clinton’s tenure leading the State Department, and she did play an important role galvanizing international support for tougher sanctions, but Clinton’s statements Sunday minimize significant contributions by both Congress and the Bush administration.
    In her 2014 memoir, “Hard Choices,” Clinton wrote about how negotiations emerged from back-channel discussions through the Sultan of Oman, who ultimately suggested the talks. Clinton later sent a top aide to Oman to meet with the Iranians, paving the way for a critical phone call between President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and the commencement of more formal negotiations.
    Clinton also argued successfully for harsher U.S. and United Nations Security Council sanctions that increased the pressure on Iran’s economy in the months leading up to negotiations.
    In particular, Clinton lobbied foreign powers to sign on to nuclear-related sanctions in early 2010, helping build unity among the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China behind the measures.
    Congress also imposed new unilateral sanctions against Iran around that time, but in some cases, those measures actually went further than the Obama administration wanted to go, and were in fact publicly opposed by State Department officials.
    Clinton’s statements Sunday also undervalue the usefulness of measures taken by the Bush administration, led by then-Undersecretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey.
    In fact, in the last three years of the Bush administration, the U.N. Security Council imposed several rounds of tough international sanctions against Iran in connection with the country’s nuclear activity. It’s possible these sanctions, in addition to the ones Clinton promoted, affected Iran’s calculus in deciding to pursue diplomatic talks.
    Verdict: MOSTLY TRUE. Clinton played a major role in bringing about the Iran talks, but those initiatives were bolstered by congressional action — some of which her department opposed — and by Bush-era measures.
    Reality Check: Clinton on NATO-Arab coalition in Libya (February 23, 2016)
    By Ryan Browne and Amy Gallagher, CNN
    When Cuomo followed up on a voter’s question to Clinton by asking her about Libya, Clinton highlighted the fact that European and Arab nations had joined the U.S. during the 2011 intervention in the country. “We formed the first coalition between NATO and Arab nations,” she asserted. In the course of this campaign, many of the presidential candidates have said that such a coalition will be key to fighting ISIS, so being a part of the team assembling the first such coalition would be important experience for Clinton to tout in her quest for the presidency.
    Clinton is correct in saying that the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector in Libya involved a coalition that included the Arab nations of Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. However, this was not the first time NATO led a coalition with Arab participants. In Afghanistan in 2003, NATO took the lead of the International Security Assistance Force, which included the Arab states of Bahrain, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.
    Prior to Afghanistan, there was military cooperation between many of the same nations during the first Gulf War in 1991. At that time, 14 of the 16 NATO member nations joined forces with nine Arab states, including Bahrain, Qatar, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.
    While Clinton was correct that the coalition in Libya included NATO and Arab nations working together, it was not the first time. Therefore, we rate her claim FALSE.
    Reality Check: Clinton on Iraq War vote (February 3, 2016)
    By Ryan Browne, CNN
    When asked about her 2002 Senate vote that authorized military action in Iraq, Clinton said she regretted the vote but at the time thought it would help compel Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s government to allow the U.N. to continue inspections for possible weapons of mass destruction.
    Clinton said: “The very explicit appeal that President Bush made before announcing the invasion that getting that vote would be a strong piece of leverage in order to finish the inspections. And he made that comment. And the U.N. inspector, Hans Blix, said give us the time, we will find out, give us the hammer over their head, namely the vote, and we will be able to find out what they still have in terms of (weapons of mass destruction).”
    While Clinton during the time of the vote did say that it was not a vote for unilateralism, the then-senator from New York opted to vote against an amendment to the resolution that would have stressed a U.N.-centric approach.
    The amendment by Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, would have limited U.S. military action to enforcing a new U.N. resolution to eliminate Iraq’s nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. If the United Nations did not act, Congress would immediately be convened so the president could seek a second vote to move against Iraq without U.N. support.
    Blix, who was the U.N. chief weapons inspector at the time, never voiced support for a unilateral military authorization in Iraq.
    While speaking to the U.K. Iraq War inquiry in 2010, Blix acknowledged the pressure of the U.S. military buildup in the region had led Saddam to permit U.N. inspectors to return in September 2002.
    However, Blix also said that he did not believe the U.S. was entitled to invade Iraq without a U.N. Security Council resolution specifically authorizing military action.
    Clinton’s statement seems to suggest that Blix requested the Senate vote to aid inspections. There appears to be no evidence of this.
    Verdict: FALSE.
    Reality check: Hillary Clinton on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (October 13, 2015)
    Clinton said, “I did say when I was secretary of state three years ago that I hoped it would be the gold standard. It was just finally negotiated last week and in looking at it, it did not meet my standards.”
    Negotiations on the TPP trade agreement began while Clinton was secretary of state, but the significant details were worked out after she left that office.
    In fact, Clinton did not say she “hoped” the TPP would be the gold standard, at the time she said the deal set the gold standard.
    “This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field,” Clinton said at an event in Australia in 2012. “And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world’s total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment.”
    Nearly three years have passed, and Clinton has been out of office for most of that time as talks have proceeded on the important details of the deal. As such, it is reasonable for Clinton to claim that the deal has changed since she supported it and was involved in its negotiation.
    However, in some ways, the deal has strengthened over the years in areas that Clinton has cited as key concerns.
    Clinton now says the deal doesn’t do enough to address currency manipulation. But the deal didn’t include clear language on that topic in 2013 either, when critics in Congress were calling for it to be added.
    She also says she is concerned about the benefits the deal gives to pharmaceutical companies — which are strengthened under TPP, but less than they would have been under the deal in its 2013 state.

    VERDICT: Clinton’s claim she said she “hoped” TPP would be the gold standard is FALSE. She said it was the gold standard and fully supported the negotiations. Her broader point about the deal changing since she left office is TRUE, BUT MISLEADING. The deal has changed in the past three years, but in some instances those changes have improved the very deficiencies she cites.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/25/politics/hillary-clinton-foreign-policy-fact-check/index.html

    Washington (CNN)Reality Check: Jobs and college degrees in 2020 (August 11, 2016)

    By Eve Bower, CNN
    Speaking to a crowd gathered at a tool manufacturing plant in Michigan, Hillary Clinton called for a national campaign to address the changing job climate facing many American factory workers.
      “I think we have to reverse what has become a commonplace view, which is that everybody needs to go to college,” she said. “In fact half of the jobs that are going to be available by 2020 do not require a college four-year degree.”
      “Let’s get the word out that there are really good jobs for people right now and there will be more in the future if you get the skills in high school, at community college, in an apprenticeship, or other training program,” she said.
      A recent study supports this claim for the year 2020.
      The report, by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, found that, through the year 2020, of the 55 million jobs that will become available in the United States, only 35% will require a bachelor’s degree or more.
      The same study found that 65% of all jobs in 2020 will require “post-secondary education and training beyond high school.” The center also said that “individuals that only possess a high school diploma will have fewer employment options” than those who have more education.
      Secretary Clinton’s statistics were roughly accurate. For this reason, we rate Clinton’s claim as TRUE.
      Reality Check: Clinton on jobs her economic plan would create (August 11, 2016)
      By Patrick Gillespie, CNNMoney
      Hillary Clinton said in a Thursday economic speech in Warren, Michigan, that the nation would create more than 10 million new jobs under her tenure, while it would lose 3.4 million under Donald Trump.
      “According to an independent analysis by a former economic advisor to Senator John McCain, if you add up all of Trump’s ideas…the result would be a loss of 3.4 million jobs,” she said in Detroit. “By contrast, that same analyst found that with my plans, the economy would create more than 10 million new jobs.”
      Clinton is referring to Moody’s economist Mark Zandi. He reviewed each candidate’s plan and issued reports that said Trump’s policies would cause a net loss of 3.4 million jobs, while there would be 10.4 million jobs created under a Clinton presidency.
      However, when contacted by CNNMoney, Zandi said a more accurate comparison to the 10 million jobs created under Clinton would be 400,000 jobs lost under Trump, not 3.4 million. The difference stems from a change in the time frame. It appears Clinton chose one time frame from Zandi’s report on the number of jobs she claims she would create and another time frame for when she said Trump’s policy would lose jobs.
      Also, Clinton is exaggerating the number of jobs her policies would create. If neither candidates’ agendas were implemented – essentially if nothing changed – the economy would add 7.2 million jobs on its own, Zandi says.
      So Clinton’s policies would only add an extra 3.2 million jobs on top of what would already be created.
      While Clinton calls Zandi’s analysis “independent,” it’s important to note that Zandi has donated to Clinton’s campaign and Trump’s staff has heavily criticized Zandi’s analysis of the Republican nominee’s plans.
      Therefore, we rate this claim as TRUE BUT MISLEADING.
      Reality Check: Clinton on Trump’s Atlantic City contractors (July 28, 2016)
      By Sonam Vashi, CNN
      Clinton attacked Trump’s record, saying, “In Atlantic City, 60 miles from here, you will find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills.”
      CNN reported on this claim last month.
      In June, both USA Today and The Wall Street Journal published investigations on this subject, reporting that Trump’s companies face hundreds of claims that the businessman has not paid contractors — including waiters, painters, a banking firm and more.
      USA Today looked at 60 lawsuits and more than 200 mechanic’s liens, and interviewed businesses like an Atlantic City cabinet builder who claimed that the Trump Organization did not pay more than $80,000 owed to him, which started the closure of the builder’s business. Hundreds of other contractors in the 1980s made similar claims. Additionally, the investigation found 21 citations against the now-defunct Trump Plaza for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act in the same city.
      The Wall Street Journal cited a well-known controversy where contractors on Trump’s Taj Mahal casino were told by the organization that they should agree to accept “less than full payment or risk becoming unsecured creditors in bankruptcy court,” the paper reported. A year later, the Taj Mahal Casino went bankrupt.
      In response to the reports, Trump told USA Today in an interview that he only stiffs or shorts bills if the work is unsatisfactory, and he told the Journal that he pays “thousands of bills on time.”
      These are just cases in Atlantic City, but both investigations cite examples in other cities such as Miami as well.
      Based on the reporting of these two news outlets, we rate Clinton’s claim as TRUE.
      Reality Check: Clinton on economy (July 28, 2016)
      By Tami Luhby, CNNMoney
      Clinton praised President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for turning around America’s economic fortunes.
      “Our economy is so much stronger than when they took office. Nearly 15 million new private-sector jobs. Twenty million more Americans with health insurance. And an auto industry that just had its best year ever. That’s real progress,” she said.
      When Obama took office in January 2009, the country was in the midst of the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Over the course of his administration, the economy has grown 2% a year. It’s not spectacular growth, but the economy is certainly stronger than during the recession. We rate that claim as TRUE.
      The nation has added 14.8 million private-sector jobs between the low point of February 2010 and June 2016, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. But if you look over Obama’s two terms, the nation is up only 9.8 million jobs. We rate that claim as TRUE, BUT MISLEADING.
      Health Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in May that 20 million more people have coverage now thanks to Obama’s signature health reform law. It includes both people who have gained coverage on the Obamacare exchanges and through Medicaid expansion, as well as young adults who have been able to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26. We rate that claim as TRUE.
      The auto industry sold more cars and trucks in 2015 than ever before. We rate that clam as TRUE.
      Reality Check: Clinton on unemployment gap (June 22, 2016)
      By Kate Grise, CNN
      In her campaign speech in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Wednesday, Clinton said, “You know, it’s not by accident that the unemployment rate now among black Americans is twice as high as among whites. Back in the ’90s, we were closing that gap.”
      Today, the unemployment rate for African Americans is 9.6% — twice as high as the unemployment rate for white Americans, which sits at 4.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
      So we rate that claim as TRUE.
      Clinton then claimed that the gap was shrinking in the 1990s.
      In the 1990s, the total unemployment rate did drop dramatically — from 7.5% in 1992 to 4% in 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
      However, the gap in unemployment between whites and blacks didn’t shrink as Clinton suggested. The unemployment rate for African-Americans was consistently double that of white Americans throughout the decade.
      The unemployment rate for white Americans dropped from 6.6% in 1992 to 3.5% in 2000.
      For African-Americans, it dropped from 14.2% in 1992 to 7.6% in 2000.
      We rate Clinton’s claim as FALSE.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/25/politics/hillary-clinton-economy-jobs-fact-check/index.html

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      (CNN)Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Hillary Clinton Sunday night at a New York hotel, after conferring earlier in the day with Donald Trump for nearly 90 minutes at Trump Tower.

      Clinton, the Democratic nominee, talked with Netanyahu during a closed-door meeting at the W Hotel in Union Square. It was hardly their first discussion — the pair often held talks during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
        Her meeting with the prime minister was somewhat shorter than his talk Sunday morning with Trump. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser to his presidential campaign, and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, were also on hand for the meeting, which comes the day before the first presidential debate, according to Israeli news outlet Haaretz.
        Per a readout provided by Trump’s campaign, the two discussed “military assistance, security and regional stability.”
        And — in a nod to Trump’s calls to build a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico — Trump’s campaign said the two “discussed at length Israel’s successful experience with a security fence that helped secure its borders.”
        The Trump meeting came as part of Netanyahu’s trip to New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. He met with President Barack Obama last week, in what was likely their last bilateral meeting during Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office.
        The Trump campaign said Trump and Netanyahu also discussed Israel’s biotech economy and its cyber-defense advances.
        “Mr. Trump recognized that Israel and its citizens have suffered far too long on the front lines of Islamic terrorism,” the Trump campaign said. “He agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the Israeli people want a just and lasting peace with their neighbors, but that peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State.
        “Finally, Mr. Trump acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/25/politics/netanyahu-trump-clinton-meetings/index.html

        Washington (CNN)Shifting terrain in three battlegrounds, the ‘debate expectations’ game in full effect, and how historically black colleges and universities factor into 2016. It’s all a part of our ‘Inside Politics’ forecast.

        1) Battleground Ohio: Trump has momentum — and Clinton Is MIA

          Is Hillary Clinton conceding Ohio?

          Arizona,

          Arizona,

            JUST WATCHED

            Arizona, a swing state?

          MUST WATCH

          Georgia and Arizona are two traditionally red presidential states that have come up as potential Clinton targets this year. The smart money is that both stay red.
          But The Atlantic’s Molly Ball recently traveled to Arizona for some on the ground reporting, and suggests that while Democrats know it is difficult terrain, they still see possibilities as we shift into the final six weeks.
          “It’s a been a solidly red state but both campaigns are actually making a play for it on the presidential level and they both acknowledge it shouldn’t be in play in a normal year,” explained Ball. “But this is not a normal year and a combination of the split in the Republican party over Trump and an unusually mobilized Latino electorate may bring that state on to the board depending on how things go nationally.”

          4) HBCU campuses are busy — especially in the battlegrounds

          There are more than 100 campuses with the designation Historically Black University and Colleges, and so it is not a surprise that these are organizing hotbeds as the campaign season winds down.
          Eleven of those campuses are in North Carolina, making them a key battleground-within-a-battleground state that Donald Trump must win to have a viable path to 270 electoral votes.
          CNN’s Nia Malika Henderson shared reporting on how the campaigns are looking for votes at HBCUs.
          “You see Hillary Clinton rolled out a plan, $25 million in funding to private HBCUs,” she said. “But you’re also seeing Republicans be on campuses. HBCU campuses in North Carolina, RNC officials in Charlotte, they are planning to have a presence…in some of these homecoming events as well, which are huge events where the alumni and students gather and so we’ll see that in October.”

          5) Debate expectations: remember — they are applying for the same job!

          Yes, there are different goals and priorities as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton prepare for their first debate.
          And yes, Hillary Clinton has more experience at these things.
          But does that mean the bar is lower for Donald Trump when it comes to grading their performance? There will be a lot of “expectations game” chatter in the next two days, but much of it is useless.
          This is a smart take: veteran pollster Peter Hart says Donald Trump’s challenge is professional; Hillary Clinton’s more personal.
          As far as what Trump’s weaknesses are, the view is he isn’t up to speed on policy, and doesn’t have the temperament to be president. And Clinton is viewed as deeply experienced and prepared, but many voters doubt her honesty and whether she understands the pressures in their lives.
          Assessments like that are helpful as we watch the 90-minute encounter unfold. You can also look at strengths and weaknesses in polling to get a sense of why each candidate might seem to be targeting their answers to a specific audience.
          But the bottom line is this: the two candidates are now at the job interview phase. The title is the same. The winner gets the same house, the same office, the same challenges and, yes, the same salary.
          So, in my view, they should be graded on the same standard.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/25/politics/ip-forecast-9-25-swing-state-ohio-nc-debate/index.html

          The final hours before the first 2016 presidential debate on Sunday seemed more like the eve of Super Bowl — with experts offering predictions and strategies, the Clinton and Trump campaigns posturing and Americans wondering who indeed has first-row tickets.

          Arguments about whether Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump or Democratic rival Hillary Clinton would do better on substance or style were indeed largely overshadowed this weekend by Trump suggesting Saturday that hed invite Gennifer Flower, with whom Clintons husband, former President Bill Clinton, has acknowledged having a sexual encounter.

          GOP vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence told Fox News Sunday that Trump was merely mocking the Clinton campaign for confirming that Trump nemesis-entrepreneur Mark Cuban was indeed invited to a front-row seat at the Hofstra University debate.

          He argued the campaign was really trying to distract attention from where the American people are going to be focused, which is picking a president to chart the future of America.

          However, the Indiana governors comments did little to end the debate sideshow.

          Its legitimate to have a business person sitting there who’s been advocating for you because of your economic policies, Clinton campaign strategist Joel Benenson told Fox News Sunday.

          The latest headlines on the 2016 elections from the biggest name in politics. See Latest Coverage →

          Former Obama campaign official Stephanie Cutter later told NBCs Meet the Press” that Clinton and Trump are trying to throw each other off their game.

          The difference is that Hillary Clinton is doing it with a legitimate businessman, also a celebrity, she said. Trump is just jumping right down in the sewer and swimming by inviting Gennifer Flowers.

          Clinton, a former New York senator and secretary of state, and Trump, a first-time candidate and reality TV star, are essentially tied with Election Day about six weeks away, according to essentially every major poll.

          And their debate preparations are reflective of their paths to success — with Clinton off the campaign trail to study briefing books at her Westchester, N.Y., home and participate in mock debates

          Longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines, a combative political operative, is purportedly playing Trump in the rehearsals. And President Clinton has sat in on some sessions, offering advice from his own White House debates.

          Trump has eschewed traditional debate preparations but has held midflight policy discussions with a rotating cast of advisers. He’s also spent numerous Sundays batting around ideas with aides.

          He remained on the campaign trail this weekend, with a stop Saturday in southwestern Virginia.

          Trumps loose approach is potentially risky, considering he is new to the many policy issues expected to come up during the debate. But advisers contend he will compensate by being quick on his feet and point to his experience at performing under pressure.

          “Imagine the practice and the training of 13 years of reality television on ‘The Apprentice’ and then imagine Hillary’s experience reading hundreds of papers,” said Newt Gingrich, the former GOP House speaker and a Trump adviser who has been talking through policy with the candidate in recent days.

          The 90-minute debate in Long Island, N.Y., is expected to attract 75 million viewers — many of them disenchanted with both candidates, the least-popular presidential hopefuls in history.

          On Sunday, Clinton campaign aides express concern about Trump’s habit of saying things that might be untrue and voters general distrust of Clinton.

          Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, on ABCs This Week  called on NBC debate moderator Lester Holt to correct inaccuracies made by the candidates. But Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said it’s not the job of debate moderators to fact check.

          The Clinton aides also fear Trump will be judged more for his performance than his grasp of the numerous challenges that pass across a president’s desk.

          Trump will likely need to prove to voters that he has the policy depth and gravitas to serve as commander in chief. Clinton will likely need to connect with Americans who question whether she can be trusted.

          Clinton will be the first woman to take the stage in a presidential general election debate.

          Trump emerged as the Republican nominee in an improbable primary run in which he gave an overall, solid debate performance amid a huge field of established politicians and debaters.

          However, he will not likely be able to resort on Monday to the personal attacks that doomed such primary rivals as GOP Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

          People familiar with Clinton’s preparations say she has been working on addressing possible questions about her lack of trustworthiness, a problem that has dogged her throughout the campaign.

          Supporters cringed during a candidate forum earlier this month when Clinton was pressed about her use of a private server system while running the State Department and became defensive, rather than apologizing and trying to move on quickly.

          Clinton has debated more than 30 times at the presidential level, including several one-on-one debates with Barack Obama in 2008 and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2016.

          But this will be her first presidential debate against a candidate from an opposing party.

          “It’s a lot more comfortable running against people in the other party than it is debating in the primary,” said Anita Dunn, who worked on debate preparations with Obama. “The differences don’t have to be manufactured. The differences exist.”

          The Associated Press contributed to this report.

          Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/25/clinton-trump-take-distinct-paths-to-debate-now-prime-time-mega-event.html

          When Romney trounced Obama

          (CNN)The sheer panic Democrats felt in 2012 after Mitt Romney demolished Barack Obama at their first presidential debate in Denver can’t be overstated.

          It wasn’t one of those classic debate gaffes: Richard Nixon mopping his sweaty brow; Michael Dukakis’s robotic response to whether he’d favor the death penalty if someone raped and murdered his wife; or George H.W. Bush checking his watch; or even Al Gore’s audible sighs.
            With Obama, it was more nuanced. The usually witty and at times-electrifying President who could fire up a crowd better than anyone was confined to a stage he did not want to be on — and viewers saw that immediately.
            The cacophony of Democratic criticism of Obama’s performance was intense, and his advisers were blunt in their assessment of his performance. The only way out of the hole he had created was practice. Advisers worked with him on finding the right tone — sounding less defensive; showing passion about how his policies had translated into helping people; and steering him away from sounding like Professor Obama — honing his points so they were crisp, clear, concise. And in the end, he won the race convincingly.

            What lessons can Clinton learn?

            As the Clinton campaign prepares for their matchup with Donald Trump, they clearly trying to avoid any mistakes of that kind.
            Holed up in a hotel room near her home in Chappaqua, Clinton has delved into the kind of cramming that she does best.
            She has carefully anticipated the factually inaccurate arguments that Trump has used on the trail, preparing to fact check him in real time. She is ready with specifics on what he said during the primaries to guard against any attempt at shape-shifting to a more moderate version of himself.
            Trump’s debate prep has been serious, but more informal. Advisers close to the real estate magnate said he has been formulating his answers through in-depth talks about the issues with allies like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and General Michael Flynn.
            His advisers expect him to be cool and composed, but ready with fierce counterpunches when Clinton attacks. (His flirtation with inviting Gennifer Flowers to sit in the front row via Twitter may have only been the beginning, one Trump confidant hinted).
            Facing an unpredictable Trump, former Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Clinton’s main task must be to execute her strategy “and not define success based on whether Trump melts down on stage.”
            “She wins by seeming calm, collected and presidential — by not getting sucked into Trump’s absurdity,” said Pfeiffer, a CNN contributor.
            With Romney’s shape-shifting in mind, Axelrod noted that Clinton has to be be equally ready to take on both the outrageous Trump and the presidential Trump.
            If he uses the stage to try to redefine himself, shed policy positions or express remorse for past statements, Axelrod said, “then her task is going to be to remind people of the voluminous evidence to the contrary.”
            “She’s going to be a tougher opponent than he’s ever faced,” the former Obama adviser noted. “And he’ll be a stranger opponent than she’s ever faced.”

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/25/politics/obama-debate-election-2012/index.html

            Washington (CNN)Reality Check: Clinton on out-of-state guns in New York crimes (April 14, 2016)

            By Kate Grise and Eve Bower, CNN
            Clinton has recently suggested that places such as Sanders’ home state of Vermont are responsible for much of the gun violence in New York.
              She didn’t go that far Thursday night, but she did say: “The facts are that most of the guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from out of state. They come from the states that don’t have the kind of serious efforts to control guns that we do in New York.”
              The statistics on where guns used in crimes come from are complicated.
              The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives recovered a total of 7,686 guns in 2014, but only 4,585 of those were traced back to the states where they were last registered. That means that a full 40% of those guns cannot be linked definitively to any state at all — a fact that severely limits the validity of Clinton’s claim.
              Of the 4,585 that can be linked to a state, more than 30% come from inside New York state itself.
              Furthermore, the ATF’s database of traced weapons is itself limited to begin with. The ATF says “not all firearms used in crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime.” So we don’t even know that all of the guns traced were used in violent crimes, as Clinton implies. Because of the imperfections in the data set, the ATF says the data “should not be considered representative of the larger universe of all firearms used by criminals.” Even though the ATF’s data is incomplete, it is still the best record of weapons that have been recovered by law enforcement and then traced.
              Clinton avoided wading into more trouble by staying away from her statement earlier in the week that “the state that has the highest per capita number of those guns that end up committing crimes in New York come from Vermont.”
              Of the guns traced to a state, only 55, or just over 1%, were traced to Vermont. Her emphasis on the phrase “per capita” makes all the difference: just 55 of the 4,585 guns that the ATF traced in New York in 2014 came from Vermont. As a share of Vermont’s total population of some 626,000, that ends up being 8.7 guns per 100,000 residents. South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia are the next closest states with 5.3, 4.74, and 3.82 per capita, respectively.
              Both during Thursday night’s debate and in her comments last week, Clinton is making a claim that is a big leap based on the evidence available. But because the evidence is too incomplete to prove her wrong, our verdict has to be IT’S COMPLICATED.
              Reality Check: Clinton on toy guns (April 14, 2016)
              By Lisa Rose, CNN
              During a contentious discussion of gun control, Clinton criticized Sanders for his vote supporting a 2005 law that protects firearms dealers and manufacturers from consumer lawsuits. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act limits the liability of gun companies when crime victims try to sue.
              Clinton described the law as a “gift” to the gun industry. She declared, “We have tougher standards holding toy gun manufacturers and sellers to account than we do for real guns.”
              There actually are not rigorous rules for toy gun manufacturers and sellers, beyond the usual consumer product safety protections. Imitation firearms like air rifles and BB guns must be marked with an orange tip, in accordance with a law passed in 1990, but there are no further federal regulations on the controversial toys.
              Although it’s clear that Clinton was trying to punctuate her point by comparing manufacturers of real guns with those of fake guns, her suggestion that there are tough standards for toy guns is, at the very least, an overstatement.
              Verdict: FALSE.
              Reality Check: Clinton on gun used in Sandy Hook shootings (March 3, 2016)
              By Sonam Vashi, CNN
              Speaking about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Hillary Clinton said, “I want people in this audience to think about what it must feel like to send off your first-grader, little backpack maybe on his or her back, and then the next thing you hear is that somebody has come to that school using an automatic weapon, an AR-15, and murdered those children.”
              On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 first-graders and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
              Lanza brought three guns into the school and left one in his car, according to search warrants and a statement from a top prosecutor.
              The weapons were:
              – A semiautomatic Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, which is a brand name of a type of an AR-15, was the primary rifle used;
              – A Glock 10 mm handgun;
              – A Sig Sauer P226 9 mm handgun;
              – And a 12-gauge shotgun that Lanza left in his car.
              All of the weapons were purchased legally by Lanza’s mother, who Lanza shot and killed at their home before the shooting at Sandy Hook.
              When the trigger of an automatic weapon is pulled, the gun will constantly fire bullets until pressure is removed from the trigger, or until the magazine is empty. In semiautomatic mode, only one bullet is released when the trigger is pulled. To fire another bullet, the trigger must be pulled again.
              Clinton says that Lanza used an automatic weapon, when the AR-15 used by Lanza was a semi-automatic.
              Verdict: FALSE.

              Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/25/politics/hillary-clinton-guns-fact-check/index.html

              Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/09/24/miami-airport-maintenance-official-charged-in-5-million-scheme/

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              From left, Ohio House of Representatives Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., applaud during the unveiling of the statue of Thomas Edison in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

              The elephant in the room, is, well, in this case, the elephant in the room.

              The room in question is National Statuary Hall, the old House chamber in the U.S. Capitol. The elephant is a dead circus pachyderm named Topsy. And the question centers on a loose connection between Topsy and the latest addition to the Capitols statuary collection: Thomas Alva Edison.

              Known as the The Wizard of Menlo Park, historians credit Edison with developing the light bulb, the phonograph, the stock ticker and a camera to shoot movies. His prolific inventions earned Edison nearly 1,100 U.S. patents. And in a ceremony this week, congressional leaders dedicated the new Edison statue, representing Ohio.

              When I heard we were unveiling a statue of Thomas Edison, my first thought was We dont have one already? House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said at the statue convocation.

              Although Edison is closely associated with New Jersey, he was a native of Milan, Ohio. Congress permits each state to send two statues each to Capitol Hill. After years of debate, Ohio elected to scrap the statute of obscure Ohio Gov. William Allen (a vocal critic of Abraham Lincoln) in favor of someone else. Compared to other notable Ohioans, history simply bypassed Allen.

              Ohio considered a robust catalogue of luminaries for representation at the capitol. During his remarks at the ceremony, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio,  mentioned Neil Armstrong and 23 other astronauts. He discussed Ohios eight presidents — though a statue of President James Garfield already graces the Capitol Rotunda.

              We also had a couple of guys named Orville and Wilbur who were in the running, Portman said. So this was not easy.

              Ohio also considered Harriet Beecher Stowe. Jesse Owens. Even Barberton, Ohio native Bo Schembechler who became the legendary University of Michigan football coach.

              Ahem.

              Did someone really think they could hornswoggle Ohio into letting the University of Michigan football coach represent the Buckeye State in the U.S. Capitol for time immemorial?

              Were a state with a lot to be proud of. But I think we got it right, said Portman of Ohio settling on Edison.

              In the statue, Edison stands tall, proudly hoisting in his right hand toward the sky what is thought to be his most prominent invention: the incandescent light bulb.

              More than 20 inventors engineered versions of incandescent lamps prior to Edison. But Edison perfected the bulb and coupled the idea of a singular lamp to a system of lighting an entire room or street.

              Of course, a matrix of lamps requires power. Historians believe Edison rose above his rivals by connecting the incandescent bulb with the development of mass power generation and distribution systems.

              This brings us to what is known as the War of Currents.

              A race ensued in the late 19th Century between Edison, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla to electrify the world.

              Tesla crafted something called an induction motor, which helped boost the use of alternating current (AC.) But Edison preferred direct current (DC.)

              In 1885, Tesla came to work for Edison with the opportunity to redesign his direct current generators.

              Tesla says Edison offered him $50,000 for the gig, though Edison didnt have that sort of cash. Tesla completed the task, and Edison never coughed up the $50,000. Edison offered Tesla a significant raise, telling him you dont understand our American humor.

              Tesla quit on the spot and went back to perfecting his alternating current system.

              Edison saw the advantages of alternating current power but was reluctant to switch. It was expensive. Plus, Edison didnt want to torpedo his DC work and lose out to Westinghouse and Tesla.

              So what do you do if youre working with Edison? Demonstrate that AC isnt safe.

              Edisons team tried to taint AC and its development by Tesla to reveal its dangers.

              Edison loyalists helped supply New York an electric chair system that ran on AC. Edison opposed capital punishment himself. But by making sure the device used Westinghouse generators, Edison thought he might scare people into never wanting AC brought into their home or business if it was used in the first execution via electric chair.

              News reports characterized the exercise as grotesque. Reporters described horrific stenches, burning bone and singed flesh.

              They would have done better using an ax, declared Westinghouse of the gruesome affair.

              In other words, Edisons team played Westinghouse and Tesla. Edisons aides managed to orchestrate a well-publicized event to sully the reputations of his rivals and turn the public against the use of AC.

              This is where Topsy the elephant comes in.

              Topsy was a performer in the Forepaugh Circus and wound up at Coney Island in New York in 1903. There was a plan to execute Topsy for a variety of violent incidents. Edisons movie cameras were on hand to film Topsys execution in another highly-publicized episode to demonstrate the problems with AC.

              Edison didnt appear at Topsys execution. And theres nothing that directly links Edison to the film company or the power industry at that point. But news accounts of the time said Topsy was electrocuted by electricians of the Edison Power Company.

              The film was also credited on screen to Thomas A. Edison.

              But it didnt matter. Alternating current killed Topsy. And if AC is really so powerful to fell an elephant, shouldnt people consider something else like direct current?

              The 74-second Electrocuting an Elephant was one of the first films available for the public to watch on Edisons kinetescopes, a device he crafted to show the earliest movies.

              Edison may have a statue in the U.S. Capitol today. But since the mid-1950s, power companies distribute most electricity via alternating current rather than Edisons direct current.

              But who do we think of when it comes to power? Edison, not Tesla. After all, the power company in the New York region is known as ConEdison, not ConTesla.

              The brand Westinghouse certainly remains in the vernacular of the American consumer. But theres no statue of George Westinghouse at the U.S. Capitol. And there certainly isnt a statue of Nikola Tesla on Capitol Hill, either.

              Edison clearly possessed better marketing. Despite Edisons minimal involvement, PR disasters for alternating current with the electric chair and Topsy helped propel his electricity inventions to the forefront at the time, leaving rivals behind.

              The Sacramento-based, 1980s hair band Tesla indirectly helped propel Nikola Tesla back into the public consciousness as it opened for acts like David Lee Roth and Def Leppard. Elon Musks Tesla Motors didnt hurt either. However, in a bizarre twist, it was Edison who invented the first electric car battery. Tesla is virtually synonymous today with electric vehicles.

              The focal point of the Capitols Edison statue is unquestionably the incandescent light bulb he thrusts above his head. The light bulb is symbolic. Its as if to say Edisons gotten another idea. Come up with a new invention. Developed a new device.

              The statute by artist Alan Cottrill virtually declares Let there be light!

              The light of ideas, invention and progress.

              Of course the bulb Edisons statue wields is an incandescent one — like the ones he perfected.

              But in 2007, Congress passed a law mandating the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs in favor of fluorescent ones. Brazil, the European Union, Canada and a host of other countries also voted to ban incandescent bulbs, too.

              And who developed the first practical fluorescent bulb? Nikola Tesla.

              Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/24/elephant-in-room-edison-becomes-one-ohios-statues-on-capitol-hill.html

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              Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/09/24/japanese-prime-minister-visits-cuba-paves-way-for-his-nation-companies-to-do/

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