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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Trumplosion

A week ago, it actually looked as if Trump might overtake Clinton in the polls.

Then he botched the first debate with Clinton and did even worse in the days to follow.  No doubt, Democratic oppo guys were throwing accelerants onto the fire.
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Michael Barbaro, Maggie Haberman, and Alan Rappeport report at The New York Times:
The tweets started around 3:20 a.m. on Friday. Inside Trump Tower, a restless figure stirred in the predawn darkness, nursing his grievances and grabbing a device that often lands him in hot water.
On his Android phone, Donald J. Trump began to tap out bursts of digital fury: He mocked Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe and a popular Latin American actress, as a “con,” the “worst” and “disgusting.”

In a final flourish, before the sun came up, the Republican presidential nominee claimed — without offering any evidence — that she had appeared in a “sex tape.”

The tirade fit a pattern. It is when Mr. Trump is alone with his thoughts, and untethered from his campaign staff, that he has seemed to commit his most self-destructive acts.
Philip Rucker, Robert Costa, and Sean Sullivan report at The Washington Post:
Also this week, Trump raised former president Bill Clinton’s past extramarital affairs as a campaign issue, delivered his most direct attack yet on Hillary Clinton’s health and waged war with news organizations over alleged bias.
Reflecting upon Trump’s actions, Matt Borges, the Republican Party chairman in battleground Ohio, said, “Can this thing just end — please?”
“My God,” he sighed, “what a nightmare.”
...
At an intimate fundraiser Wednesday for Rep. Joseph J. Heck (R-Nev.), who is running for the Senate, McConnell asked the group of about a dozen supporters how many of them think Trump can win. About half of the attendees raised their hands. But when McConnell then asked how many thought Trump would win, no hands went up, and the room fell silent, according to a person familiar with the scene who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a closed event.
Donald Trump made an appearance in an explicit 2000 Playboy video.
Trump’s role in the porn is relatively benign and centers around him breaking a bottle of champagne on a Playboy-branded limo while several of the playmates are visiting New York City. BuzzFeed News obtained the footage from the online-only Buffalo, New York–based video store Cinema Cornucopia.
Oh yes, and he broke the law. Kurt Eichenwald reports at Newsweek:
The response of Donald Trump and his staff on September 29 to the revelation that one of his companies illegally violated the Cuban trade embargo during Fidel Castro’s presidency has exposed a growing problem for the Republican nominee: His campaign operation is disorganized and shares Trump’s disdain for facts.
Both the Trump campaign staff and the Trump Organization had been told for days byNewsweek that it was about to publish an article disclosing that a Trump company had paid at least $68,000 to explore business opportunities in Communist Cuba. Federal law at the time imposed tough restrictions against spending even a penny in Cuba, with the intent of financially starving the country, which for decades been categorized as an American enemy. While there were some exemptions, such as engaging in humanitarian work approved by the government, the Trump venture did not qualify for any of them, and once the Cuba business trip was over, consultants and Trump executives discussed ways to make the trip appear to be a charitable effort.
Newsweek’s requests for comments, documents and even an interview with Trump were ignored, which was unusual.
David A. Farenthold reports at The Washington Post:
Donald Trump’s charitable foundation — which has been sustained for years by donors outside the Trump family — has never obtained the certification that New York requires before charities can solicit money from the public, according to the state attorney general’s office.
Under the laws in New York, where the Donald J. Trump Foundation is based, any charity that solicits more than $25,000 a year from the public must obtain a special kind of registration beforehand. Charities as large as Trump’s must also submit to a rigorous annual audit that asks — among other things — whether the charity spent any money for the personal benefit of its officers.
If New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) finds that Trump’s foundation raised money in violation of the law, he could order the charity to stop raising money immediately. With a court’s permission, Schneiderman could also force Trump to return money that his foundation has already raised.
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.