By Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

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

9 p.m.

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence says running mate Donald Trump is unstoppable.

Pence told a rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Wednesday that despite the best efforts of the Democratic Party and the news media, “The next morning they turn on the television and there is Donald Trump, standing taller than before and fighting to make America great again.”

The most recent Trump controversies include his feud with the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in combat and his refusals to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan and Arizona Sen. John McCain in their respective re-election bids.


8:20 p.m.

Arizona Sen. John McCain says he’s not going back on his pledge to support Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee despite a series of Trump comments that have brought rebukes from McCain and other top Republicans.

McCain said Wednesday that he intends to support the nominee of the party, period.

The 2008 GOP presidential nominee is declining to expand on the lengthy statement he issued in response to Trump’s criticism of the parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq in 2004. McCain says he “has talked about it as much as I am going to.”

McCain is also declining to address Trump’s comments that he would not support McCain’s re-election because he hasn’t done enough to help veterans.


7:50 p.m.

Donald Trump is saluting some Gold Star military families attending a Florida rally days after he fought with the family of a slain U.S. soldier.

Trump, speaking Wednesday in Jacksonville, said he met with some Gold Star families - those who have lost relatives in combat - before a rally in Jacksonville. He then led the crowd in cheering for them.

The Republican presidential nominee says one of the families presented him with a campaign donation and told him it “was more than they could afford.”

The families were not identified. Trump also showed off the Purple Heart he was given by a veteran in Virginia the day before.

The nods to the veterans community comes after Trump’s feud with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son was killed in Iraq in 2004. The flap has earned Trump denouncements from Republicans and Democrats alike.


5:59 p.m.

Hillary Clinton has launched a new website to hit Donald Trump for making products outside the country.

During an event in Commerce City, Colorado Wednesday, Clinton said the site provides information on places in the United States that are making ties, suits, furniture and barware. Clinton and her supporters have been attacking Trump for producing such items in other countries.

Clinton showed off a scarf she bought from a Denver company that was made in Colorado, saying “I hope more people will start making things in America again.”


5:52 p.m.

Mike Pence is urging supporters in battleground Colorado to convince their neighbors to vote for Donald Trump. But the Indiana governor and Trump’s running mate declined to echo Trump’s claim that the election could be “rigged.”

A man in the audience at a rally in Denver on Wednesday said Hillary Clinton had stolen delegates from Bernie Sanders and asked Pence what the campaign was going to do to prevent her from stealing the election. Pence didn’t comment on the claim and said the campaign was working closely with state elections officials across the country to “ensure ballot integrity.”

He urged Trump supporters to volunteer to help at the polls to make sure the election is conducted fairly.


4:40 p.m.

When Donald Trump cried foul over what he describes as a “rigged” electoral system, his loosely defined claims challenged the essence of America’s democratic process and more than 200 years of peaceful transfers of power from one president to the next.

He also added a new element of uncertainty in an extremely heated race: How would Trump and his supporters react to a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton, whom they view as crooked?

Trump raised concerns Monday after courts rejected tough voter ID rules put in place for the first time in a presidential election in states including North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

The rulings cited a risk of disenfranchising the poor, minorities or young people who were less likely to have acceptable IDs - and who are more likely to vote Democratic.


4:35 p.m.

Donald Trump is declaring his support for Marco Rubio’s Florida senate run.

Trump declared his support for Rubio at a rally in Daytona Beach, Florida, Wednesday.

“I endorsed Marco Rubio. He endorsed me. He’s doing well,” said Trump.

Trump and Rubio traded several bitter verbal barbs during the Republican primary. But Rubio eventually backed Trump and appeared at last month’s Republican National Convention via video.

But Trump this week has refused to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan or Sen. John McCain, both of whom are locked in fierce primary battles.


4:25 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says North Carolina offers even more attractive voting opportunities after the lower courts threw out a restrictive voter ID law.

Lower courts found that the law was designed to suppress participation from poor, minority and young voters - many of whom tend to vote Democratic.

Kaine said Wednesday in Greensboro, North Carolina, the court ruling last week means that an additional 100,000 voters could cast ballots this fall.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the wide ranging law was in violation of the Constitution and U.S. Voting Rights Act.


4:20 p.m.

Donald Trump is reassuring his supporters that, despite a tumultuous week, his campaign “has never been more united.”

At a rally in Daytona Beach, Florida, Trump said “the campaign is doing really well.”

“I would say right now it’s the best we’ve been in terms of being united,” he said.

Trump has rattled many Republicans with his moves in recent days. He has escalated his feud with the family of a Muslim-American soldier killed in Iraq. He refused to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. John McCain. And he suggested that the general election could be “rigged.”


4:15 p.m.

Donald Trump is denouncing U.S. foreign policy while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state - and suggested that that she should be recognized “as the founder of ISIS.”

Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, said Wednesday that he believed President Barack Obama regretted picking Clinton for his Cabinet. He blamed her Middle East policies for causing the creation of the Islamic State group.

“It was Hillary Clinton,” Trump said in Daytona Beach, Florida. “She should get an award from ISIS as the founder of ISIS.”


3:55 p.m.

Clinton is using ties to slam Trump. Literally.

Hillary Clinton was at a Denver tie company Wednesday where she was attacking her Republican rival.

Clinton visited Knotty Ties in Denver on Wednesday. A staff of largely refugee workers makes ties there. Clinton contrasted that with Trump, whose name brand ties are made in China.

“I wish Donald Trump could meet with all of you and see what you are making here,” Clinton told the workers. “I really would like him to explain why he paid Chinese workers to make Trump ties… instead of deciding to make those ties right here in Colorado.”


3:40 p.m.

The White House says President Barack Obama’s national security team is considering designating the nation’s elections systems as critical infrastructure.

The designation would trigger additional protections and make available federal dollars to help protect elections systems that are run by local governments in each part of the country. The Homeland Security Department has been examining the issue.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says there are cybersecurity risks to elections systems but that the public should be confident the government can address those threats.

The discussions come amid heightened concern about the fidelity of voting in the U.S. Officials say hackers breached Democratic National Committee computers.

Republican nominee Donald Trump has suggested - without proof - that the election may be rigged against him.


2:25 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is officially planning for her White House.

In paperwork filed Wednesday, the campaign formed a new non-profit, called the Clinton-Kaine Transition Fund, taking one of the first formal steps to plan for the possibility of becoming president. The filing comes after weeks of meetings between the White House and representatives of Donald Trump and Clinton’s campaigns.

Campaign chairman John Podesta and long-time aide Minyon Moore have been tapped to prepare Clinton’s transition-planning effort.

On Friday, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough informed the campaigns that that Trump and Clinton are now eligible to receive intelligence briefings and a government-provided workspace for transition planning. Traditionally, the outgoing administration helps potential successors with their planning to ensure a smooth transition.


2:20 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine says there’s a stark difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump when it comes to dealing with small businesses.

He said Trump has hurt suppliers to his casino companies by declaring bankruptcy. Meanwhile, he said, he and Clinton are familiar with the operating pressures on small businesses because his father owned a welding and iron-working company. Clinton’s father ran a drapery business.

Kaine spoke Wednesday while visiting Amerifab International, a High Point, North Carolina, company that cuts and sews customized window treatments for motel chains.

Kaine demonstrated his fluency in Spanish, engaging with a sewing-machine operator who was unable to respond in English when he asked how long she had worked at the company.


1:55 p.m.

Donald Trump’s running mate Mike Pence is breaking with the Republican nominee by endorsing House Speaker Paul Ryan in his primary fight.

Pence said in a phone interview with Fox News Channel that he’s pleased to endorse Ryan.

The move comes a day after Trump said in an interview that he’s “just not quite there yet” when it comes to backing Ryan, who has at times been critical of Trump’s most controversial comments.

Pence says that he spoke with Trump Wednesday morning about his “support for Paul Ryan and our longtime friendship.”

He says Trump, “strongly encouraged me to endorse Paul Ryan in next Tuesday’s primary. And I’m pleased to do it.”


1:40 p.m.

Scott Walker’s campaign says the Republican governor won’t join Donald Trump at a Green Bay campaign stop on Friday.

Walker says he’ll be visiting northern Wisconsin then, meeting with residents and local officials recovering from flash flooding last month. The campaign says Walker will join Trump at future events if they don’t interfere with his work in Wisconsin.

Walker is a close friend of House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Trump has declined to endorse Ryan in his primary race.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, also says he won’t attend the Trump event, citing a scheduling conflict.

Johnson, who is running for re-election, has criticized Trump’s actions in a dispute with the family of slain Army captain, but continues to support him for president.


1:25 p.m.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is among a handful of high-profile Republicans considering whether to confront Donald Trump about his approach to his presidential campaign.

That’s according to a Republican official with direct knowledge of Priebus’ plans, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal party strategy.

Republicans inside and outside of Trump’s campaign are brainstorming how to influence the brash billionaire after a series of startling statements, including his Tuesday refusal to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan’s re-election.

Priebus and Ryan are both from Wisconsin and close friends.

The official says Priebus may join a small group of well-respected Republicans to confront Trump in the coming days. The plan is not final, but the official says the group may include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Both are Trump allies.

Priebus has already been speaking with campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the billionaire’s children, who are said to agree that Trump needs to stop picking fights within his own party and back off his criticism of the family of a slain soldier.

-By Steve Peoples


This story has been corrected to reflect that Clinton’s father ran a drapery business.

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