A press conference called by Donald Trump to discuss his donations to veterans’ groups devolved into a lengthy bout of bickering between the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and members of the press over media treatment of his campaign.

While Trump has fought with the press throughout the campaign, repeatedly impugning individual reporters and banning many outlets, including Mother Jones, from his rallies, the press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday was one of the sharpest clashes yet, as Trump insulted reporters to their faces and several journalists attempted to fight back. He again called the press corps “dishonest” and potentially libelous before singling out ABC’s Tom Llamas as a “sleaze” and mocking the looks of CNN reporter Jim Acosta. Reporters at the event returned fire, arguing with Trump that he seemed to be trying to dodge scrutiny of his donations and mistook questions for criticism. “Is this what it is going to be like covering you if you are president?” one exasperated reporter asked.

In January, Trump pledged to donate $1 million to unnamed veterans’ organizations. But that donation appeared not to have been made until after the Washington Post started asking questions about the money last week, prompting Trump to give $1 million to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. (Trump responded to that story by calling the reporter “a nasty guy.”) At Tuesday’s press conference, Trump came prepared with a long list of organizations he said received a total of $5.6 million thanks to a fundraising event he held in January.

Trump also continued his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, a federal judge in California who has ordered documents unsealed in a lawsuit against Trump University, a school that charged students as much as $35,000 for real estate courses that promised Trump-like success and wealth. The lawsuit alleges that the school defrauded its students. Trump called Curiel an “unfair judge” on Tuesday after having attacked him on Friday as a “Trump hater” and bringing up his Latino heritage as a reason for his alleged anti-Trump bias. The documents are due to be released today.


Greg Sargent is a little tired of the current conventional wisdom about a Trump-Clinton general election:

Democrats should not underestimate Trump or imagine that defeating him will be easy….Democrats should obviously be prepared for any manner of attack that Trump will throw at [Hillary Clinton], and they’ll need to figure out how to create a more positive narrative around her.

Rather, the point is that we should stop over-inflating impressions of Trump’s strength. We should stop ascribing magical political powers to Trump based on the questionable notion that his “unconventional” and “unpredictable” campaign makes him a more formidable foe than anyone expected. Trump will be difficult to beat, but that might be mainly because these elections are always hard.

I’ll go a little further: chill out, people. Trump is likely to get at least 45 percent of the vote. That’s just the way our country works at the moment. Ditto for Hillary. There’s probably not much more than 10 percent of the electorate that’s really, truly undecided.

This means that at any given moment, all it takes is a tiny bump based on some outside event, combined with a little bit of normal poll error, to make either candidate look like a winner. Especially this early in the campaign, this stuff is meaningless. For what it’s worth, though, the very least you should do is rely on poll aggregations, not single polls. Sam Wang has personally investigated 2 quadrillion outcomes—and boy are his eyes tired—and figures that Hillary is currently likely to win the electoral college by 336-202. Likewise, Pollster puts Hillary ahead in the popular vote by 44-40 percent. This will flutter around, and there will be times when panic seems like the best response, but it’s probably not. It’s just life in 50-50 America.

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Pope Francis loves YouTubers as much as teens do.

In a meeting with 11 YouTube stars on Sunday, the pontiff discussed how digital stars can “harness their influence in helping promote tolerance, empathy, and understanding on the web,” YouTube said in a release.

The diverse group of creators — who collectively have 27 million subscribers — flocked to the Vatican from across the globe for the three-day summit for youth led by Scholas Ocurrentes, the organization founded in 2013 by the Pope to promote education and peace.

More about Anna Rf, Greta Menchi, Los Polinesios, Lucas Castel, and Louise Pentland

As the California primary looms, building a rapport with voters – an emotional connection with working Americans – must be Clinton’s biggest priority

This is a time of high anxiety for supporters of Hillary Clinton.

The polls show a tightening race between Clinton and a Republican nominee who, among other things, wants to date his own daughter, deport 11 million US residents and start a trade war with China.

Continue reading…


Over the weekend, Janell Ross interviewed a couple of experts in gender and politics to get their take on whether Hillary Clinton is held to a different standard than male candidates. Julie Dolan, a professor of political science at Macalester College in Minnesota, had this to say:

Clinton is the most experienced candidate in the field, but campaign rivals Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are leveling attacks against her that she’s not qualified for the job. In doing so, they’re playing into a long-standing narrative that women lack what it takes to succeed in the male-dominated world of politics. The fact that two less-experienced male candidates are leveling this attack against her is telling. Neither Trump nor Sanders feels compelled to shore up their own credentials or justify their own relative lack of experience because they don’t need to; they benefit from a gendered double standard where men are automatically presumed qualified for public office and women are not.

This illustrates the problem of viewing politics through too narrow a lens. For starters, Hillary Clinton isn’t the most experienced candidate in the field. Bernie Sanders has served in Congress since 1991. That’s more experience than Hillary even if you count her years as First Lady. And while Trump has no political experience, he’s running on his business background—just as lots of other candidates have. This year alone Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson joined Trump in the Republican primary as candidates with no political experience at all.

Nor is it true that Hillary’s opponents have been slamming her for being unqualified—aside from the usual sense in which political candidates always claim to be better qualified than their opponents. There was a single incident in April where Hillary tiptoed a bit around the question of whether Bernie was qualified, which led to a misleading Washington Post headline (“Clinton questions whether Sanders is qualified to be president”), which in turn led to Bernie losing his temper and kinda sorta saying she’s not qualified if she’s taking lots of money from Wall Street. But even there, Bernie was pretty obviously using “unqualified” in the sense of “bad policies,” not in the sense of having too little experience.

As for Trump, again, there was a single incident a couple of weeks ago in which Hillary called him unqualified, and he naturally hit back in his usual nanner-nanner way: calling her judgment bad and saying she’s the one not qualified to be president. Just the usual Trump bluster.

Hillary Clinton simply isn’t the target of an unusual number of attacks on her experience and qualification. She’s rather famously running on the fact that she has more of those qualities than anyone else in the race, and no one has really disputed that. Quite the contrary: this year, having a lot of experience is something of a problem, one that both Sanders and Trump have capitalized on. If Hillary Clinton is being slammed for anything, it’s for being too qualified, not the opposite.