Trump pushes ISIS envelope further than ever

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump started his latest broadside by charging as before that the Obama administration created conditions that led to ISIS wreaking havoc in the Mideast and Europe. Then he took it to the next level.

In a Florida speech Wednesday night, he said President Barack Obama founded the Islamic State group, with Hillary Clinton in tow.

“In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama,” he said of ISIS. “He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS.”

That makes Clinton a “co-founder,” the candidate argued. Trump also used the president’s full name, “Barack Hussein Obama” in driving home the point.

On Thursday morning, Trump doubled-down on his claims during an interview on CNBC, where he said he “absolutely” considered Obama the founder of the terrorist group.

“What?” Trump said. “Are people complaining that I said he was the founder of ISIS?”

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Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani defended Trump’s remarks in a Thursday morning CNN interview, saying the comments were “legitimate political commentary.”

Once again, Trump’s stump performance will drive debate. Stay tuned.

Explaining her poll vault

Veteran Marist Institute pollster Lee Miringoff made two salient points about Clinton’s uptick in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Iowa, regarding the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist numbers, reports Newsday’s Yancey Roy.

One was that she has successfully raised Trump’s impulsive temperament as an issue.

Another was that the shift in her favor is not about warm feelings for Clinton.

“It’s not like her negatives have declined,” Miringoff said.

Clinton to talk taxes and Trump

Hillary Clinton will tout her economic agenda in Michigan on Thursday, days after Donald Trump laid out his economic plans in Detroit.

Clinton will speak in Warren, a heavily Republican suburb of Detroit, and is expected to make the case that her tax plan will give a boost to the middle class, while Trump’s plan will “only benefit millionaires like himself,” according to a preview of the address obtained by Politico.

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SOS from GOP: Save our Senate

State-by-state polls are providing fresh hope for the GOP to retain control of the Senate despite headwinds caused by having Trump at the top of the ticket.

One survey suggested that while Trump trails Clinton in Ohio by 5 points, that state’s Republican Sen. Rob Portman still leads his challenger by 5 points. He’s kept aloof from Trump.

It is more typical to see a party’s ticketmates poll in the same direction in national races.

Staying off the Trump train

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Trump’s GOP alienations continued Wednesday. Chris Shays, a former Republican congressman from Connecticut, told NBC that he’ll vote for Clinton. And the unusual list grows.

The RNC staff is affected by Trump rejectionism, too.

Disgraced pol has Trump’s back

While Trump on Wednesday ratcheted up the vitriol in Florida, calling Obama “the founder of ISIS,” former Florida congressman Mark Foley was seated prominently among the guests, sitting just over Trump’s left shoulder. Foley was forced to resign from the House in 2006 for reportedly sending sexually suggestive electronic messages to teenage boys who had served as congressional pages.

Skyscraping in the silly season

The Trump Tower climber, grabbed by the NYPD and hauled in at the 21st floor of the Manhattan building during his bizarre ascent on Wednesday, logically chose to time his stunt during the presidential campaign.

The symbolism was not lost on the Twittersphere, where political snark spread instantly.

“How can he keep people from climbing his wall if he can’t keep them off his building?” said one tweet. “I’m sorry but I like climbers who AREN’T captured, OK?” said another. And so it went.

In a video, the suspected climber, reportedly urged people to vote for Trump and asked the candidate for a meeting.

The man was identified by authorities on Thursday as Stephen Rogata, 19, of Great Falls, Virginia, but police sources told amNewYork that he was found with multiple identifications, and had recently changed his name from Michael Joseph Ryan.

What else is happening

  • Clinton helped deposed Democratic chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz campaign for re-election in Florida.
  • Before New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie can boost his pal Trump, he may need to help himself. A newly revealed text from his former aide calls him a liar about Bridgegate.
  • The National Rifle Association stands by its man Trump, who says his Second Amendment remarks were about unity.
  • Following up on her supporters’ responses to Trump’s Second Amendment statement, Clinton accused him of a “casual inciting of violence.”
  • Clinton’s bids for GOP support have a downside: suspicion from some progressives.
  • Libertarian Gary Johnson hired a Republican operative for his Latino outreach, according to Fox News.
  • The cyber attack on the Democratic National Committee may be more widespread than first appeared, with more than 100 private emails targeted in the hacking incident, according to The New York Times.
  • Trump told CNBC that if he doesn’t win in November, he’ll go on a very long vacation and “go back to a very good way of life.
  • Clinton is expected to release her 2015 tax returns in the coming days, giving her another opportunity to slam Trump for not releasing any of his tax documents to date, ABC News reports.
  • Clinton’s polling lead over Trump in the battleground state of Wisconsin has tripled since July, according to a new poll.
  • Former Trump campaign aides in North Carolina have filed a lawsuit alleging Trump’s campaign turned a blind-eye when they complained that another staffer had pulled a gun out on them.