The Latest: Head of black congressional group blasts Trump


Published September 16, 2016 6:15PM (EDT)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential race (all times EDT):

1:55 p.m.

The head of the Congressional Black Caucus is calling Donald Trump a "disgusting fraud" after the Republican presidential nominee reversed course after five years and said President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina made the comments Friday shortly after Trump, who has been a leader of the "birther" movement for several years, made his statement.

Other members of the CBC told reporters that Trump has tried to delegitimize Obama, the first African-American president. California Rep. Barbara Lee called Trump a liar.


1:30 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says the presidential election is "almost surreal" and stranger than fiction.

He says if the story of the election were pitched in Hollywood, it would be rejected as too unbelievable.

The former Republican presidential candidate made the comments at the White House Friday. Kasich met with President Barack Obama and other backers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Kasich tried to resist commenting on campaign and his party's nominee. But shortly before he spoke, Republican Donald Trump announced he does accept that Obama was born in the United States, after years of questioning that fact.

Kasich joked that Bruce Springsteen has to be happy by the news, "because 'Born in the USA' is probably going to sell a lot more albums."


1:20 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says on Twitter that Donald Trump's news conference about President Barack Obama's citizenship was a "disgrace," and her Republican rival expressed "zero regret" for years of "pushing a racist conspiracy theory."

Clinton said in a series of tweets Friday that when Trump tries to "deflect blame" for denying that Obama was born in the United States, her Republican opponent "is lying."

The Democratic presidential nominee said "leading the birther movement is deplorable," and trying to say that Trump "did a great service" to Obama "is asinine."

Trump had made brief remarks earlier Friday in which he finally acknowledged that Obama was born in the United States. He also claimed he had put falsehoods about the president's birth to rest. Trump had long been the most prominent "birther," the name given to those who propagated the false claim that Obama was born outside of the country.


1 p.m.

A federal judge in San Diego has denied Donald Trump's request for a five-week delay to a trial to determine whether the now-defunct Trump University defrauded customers.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel ruled Thursday that the trial will begin Nov. 28, as previously scheduled.

Trump attorney Daniel Petrocelli asked the judge to delay the trial to Jan. 2 because he must be in Los Angeles Nov. 15 for another trial. The judge in that case rejected a delay.

Trump has repeatedly criticized Curiel's handling of the case, suggesting bias because of the judge's Mexican heritage.

Curiel says the class-action lawsuit targeting Trump University is more than six years old and Trump's attorneys did not raise scheduling concerns until late August.


12:45 p.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager is calling Donald Trump's actions "disgraceful" after the Republican presidential nominee finally acknowledged that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, then claimed credit for putting the issue to rest.

Robby Mook said in a statement Friday that after five years of "pushing a racist conspiracy theory into the mainstream, it was appalling to watch Trump appoint himself the judge of whether the president of the United States is American."

Mook says this "sickening display" shows why "Trump is totally unfit be president."

Mook's statement came shortly after Trump, at his Washington hotel, made brief remarks aimed at putting the false conspiracy theory to rest. Trump also claimed the so-called birther movement was started by Clinton. There is no evidence that is true.


12:20 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine says he's not thinking about preparing to become president should anything happen to running mate Hillary Clinton.

In an interview for "On Air with Ryan Seacrest" that aired Friday, the Virginia senator was asked how someone in his position prepares to suddenly become president. Kaine laughed and said, "You don't think about that."

Instead, Kaine said he's focused on making an eventual Clinton administration successful.

Kaine insists that Clinton's recent health scare didn't increase pressure on him to look presidential in case he is unexpectedly pushed into the White House.

Clinton took three days off to recover from pneumonia this week. But she returned to campaigning Thursday saying the time away gave her new perspective on why she's running.


11:55 a.m.

Donald Trump ignored reporters shouting questions after he delivered his brief statement reversing his long-held position that President Barack Obama was born outside of the United States.

Trump addressed the so-called "birther" controversy Friday at a campaign event at his new hotel in Washington.

Trump was the nation's most prominent birther, which helped fuel his political rise. As recently as this week, he declined to say where he believes Obama was born. He did not say Friday why he changed his mind or when.

Trump spoke only after first extolling the virtues of his new hotel and after more than 20 minutes of veterans touting the Republican nominee, allowing the candidate to drape himself in patriotism — and receive free publicity from the cable networks carrying the event live.


11:40 a.m.

Donald Trump has finally acknowledged the fact that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

Trump said Friday that "that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period."

As he did so, the Republican nominee repeated the conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign for president started the so-called the "birther controversy."

There is no evidence that is true, and Clinton and her allies have strongly denied that suggestion.

Trump says of the "birther" movement: "I finished it. You know what I mean."

The Republican nominee has for years been the most prominent "birther," the name given to those who propagated the falsehood that Obama was born outside of the country.


11 a.m.

President Barack Obama says he thinks most people know he was born in the United States, and he hopes the election to replace him focuses on "more serious issues."

Obama responded briefly Friday morning to a reporter's question about Republican Donald Trump's recent refusal to say that Obama was born in the United States. A campaign statement later acknowledged Trump's American birth.

Trump helped fuel the so-called birther movement, which falsely claimed Obama was born outside the U.S.

Obama says he's "pretty confident about where I was born, I think most people were, as well."

He said he was "not that shocked" that the question would come up. Obama made the comment before a meeting to discuss free trade.

Obama says, "We've got so many other things to do."


10:05 a.m.

Hillary Clinton says rival Donald Trump owes President Barack Obama and the American people an apology for his role in the so-called "birther" movement that questioned the president's American citizenship.

Clinton said at an event with black women that Trump's campaign was "founded on this outrageous lie" and "there is no erasing it."

She says Trump is feeding into the "worst impulses, the bigotry and bias" that lurks in the nation.

Clinton responded to a Trump campaign statement released late Thursday that acknowledged Obama's U.S. birth. Trump was expected to talk to reporters Friday morning at his new hotel in Washington, less than a mile from where Clinton was speaking.


10 a.m.

Hillary Clinton's running mate says his views on immigration were "definitely" shaped by living in Honduras as a Roman Catholic missionary in the 1980s.

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition that aired Friday, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine recalled Donald Trump decrying immigrants, many from Mexico, as rapists and criminals. But Kaine said that what he saw in Honduras was the value of "family and faith and hard work."

Kaine said that taught him to never "tolerate somebody just using a broad brush to trash somebody because of their national origin."

Asked about Americans frightened about violence spilling into the United States from the southern border, Kaine said he supports "comprehensive" immigration reform, including better border protection.

He said of enhanced border security: "of course you need to do it."


9:55 a.m.

Donald Trump says he's "going to make a big announcement" about whether he still believes President Barack Obama was born outside the U.S. in a statement Friday.

Trump has convened the press at his new Washington hotel.

He said on Fox Business Network earlier Friday that he's "going to be making a major statement on this whole thing" and what he claims his rival Hillary Clinton "did" to fuel it.

Trump is repeating the unsubstantiated claim that Clinton questioned Obama's birthplace during the 2008 Democratic primary.

He said: "She is the one that started it, and she was unable or incapable of finishing it. That's the way it worked out."

Trump is also taking credit for successfully getting Obama to release his birth certificate in 2011.


9:30 a.m.

Bernie Sanders is urging his supporters not to vote for a third-party candidate in November because doing so might deny Hillary Clinton the support she needs to defeat Donald Trump.

Sanders is the longest-serving independent in the history of Congress and was Clinton's opponent in the Democratic primary. But he says trying to buck the two-party system in this particular presidential election is too risky.

In an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Sanders said anyone casting a protest vote should imagine four years of Trump as president.

He added: "Let us elect Hillary Clinton as president, and the day after, let us mobilize millions of people around the progressive agenda" adopted as part of the Democratic platform.


8:55 a.m.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says he thinks some supporters of Donald Trump "are motivated by dark emotions."

Kaine was trying to explain on National Public Radio the remark by Hillary Clinton that half of Trump's backers belong in a "basket of deplorables."

Kaine said Thursday that Clinton has a duty to draw attention to the messages of some Trump supporters.

Kaine said some "are motivated by dark emotions that are not in accord with American values." He says "silence in the face of divisive, bigoted comments allows it to grow."

Kaine also touched on Clinton's bout with pneumonia, saying she wasn't trying to hide the illness but that she just decided to try to power through it.


8:30 a.m.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid is bristling at Donald Trump's attempt to make fun of him.

Trump told The Washington Post that Reid "should go back and start working out again with his rubber work-out pieces." Reid fell and broke several ribs and facial bones last year when an exercise band snapped during a workout.

Reid said in a statement Thursday that Trump can make fun of the injury that crushed the side of his face and cost him the sight in his right eye. Reid said, "I've dealt with tougher opponents than him."

Reid said that with his good eye, he sees that Trump inherited his money but pretends he earned it.

The Republican nominee lashed after being told Reid had said that Trump is "not slim and trim."


7:50 a.m.

Donald Trump Jr. says his father recognizes that President Barack Obama was born in the United States, but he doesn't know if his father will say so himself.

Speaking Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Trump's son said a statement by the campaign Thursday night acknowledging Obama's U.S. birth "should be the definitive end" of questions about Trump's views.

The Republican presidential nominee has been most prominent proponent of the "birther" movement casting doubt on Obama's birthplace. On Thursday, Trump declined to address the matter when asked about it by The Washington Post. The campaign later issued its statement.

Trump Jr. said the statement reflected his father's views. He said, "This is coming from him."

Asked if his father would say it, Trump Jr. said, "I don't know."


3:30 a.m.

Hillary Clinton returned to campaigning without offering apologies for keeping her pneumonia a secret, focusing on criticizing opponent Donald Trump instead of the three-day rest ordered by her doctor.

To the strains of James Brown's "I Feel Good," Clinton reappeared on the campaign trail Thursday at a North Carolina rally. It was the Democratic presidential nominee's first public outing since she stumbled and needed support from aides while leaving a 9/11 memorial in New York last Sunday. The episode, caught on video, was attributed to dizziness and dehydration, and led to an acknowledgement that she'd been diagnosed with pneumonia two days earlier.

In New York, Trump announced plans to lower taxes by $4.4 trillion over a decade and cut regulations. A revised tax code is a centerpiece of Trump's plan.



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