Trump’s taco bowl diplomacy
Facing disapproval ratings north of 70% among Hispanic voters, Donald Trump reached out Thursday, with a fork.
He tweeted a photo of himself at his desk in Trump Tower, smiling and giving a thumbs-up, with a taco bowl in front of him.
“Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” the tweet said.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign fired back in a tweet from her account:
“I love Hispanics!” —Trump, 52 minutes ago
“They’re gonna be deported.” —Trump, yesterday.”
Janet Murguia, president of the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization, said on Twitter that Trump’s post was “clueless, offensive and self-promoting.”
Robert Zimmerman, a Clinton supporter and Long Island member of the Democratic National Committee, saw a similarity to an Iranian ayatollah posting a picture of himself enjoying matzoh ball soup "and claiming he loves Jews."
Asked for response, Trump pouted on "Fox & Friends": "That’s a terrible thing that a guy can say that." To which Zimmerman replied: "I am honored to be the first Long Islander that Donald Trump has dared to take on. He’s getting in over his head."
Trump's giddy gastronomic gesture came after former Mexican President Vicente Fox apologized to Trump in a Breitbart News interview for an obscenity-laced tirade earlier this year about Trump’s plan to build a multibillion-dollar wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it.
“If I offended you, I’m sorry,” Fox said. “But what about the other way around?” Told about Trump’s taco bowl lunch during a Fox News interview, Fox said, “I hope that he will not get indigestion.”
Ryan won’t board Trump train
In the biggest rebuke to the presumptive nominee from his own party, House Speaker Paul Ryan — the Republicans’ highest-ranking officeholder — said he isn’t endorsing Trump. “I’m not there right now,” Ryan said.
“I hope to. And I want to, but I think what is required is that we unify this party,” said Ryan, who was the party’s vice-presidential candidate in 2012. “We don’t always nominate a Lincoln and Reagan, but we hope that that person advances the principles of our party and appeals to a wide, vast majority of Americans.”
Trump was unmoved.
“I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda,” his statement said. “Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people. They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first!”
Ryan’s reticence could prove particularly awkward in his role presiding over the Republican convention.
Not hot on Cleveland
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee who tried to rally stop-Trump forces, will skip the July convention.
Also staying away are John McCain, the 2008 nominee, and both former Presidents Bush.
The only past GOP presidential candidate to attend will be Bob Dole, the 1996 nominee, but a representative for the 92-year-old former Kansas senator told ABC News his attendance should not be considered an endorsement of Trump. He’s going for a law firm reception.
Clinton email probe in homestretch
Federal investigators have questioned some of Clinton’s closest aides, including Huma Abedin, as the FBI nears completion of its probe into the security of her private email server while secretary of state, CNN reported.
The probe hasn’t found evidence to prove that Clinton willfully violated the law, said the network, whose sources were described as U.S. officials briefed on the investigation. Clinton is expected to be interviewed by the FBI in the coming weeks, CNN said.
The take-away: X factors for Clinton
The polls, and Trump’s many vulnerabilities, suggest the election is Clinton’s to lose — but there are numerous ways it can go wrong for her, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.
The investigations over her private email server at the State Department are still hanging over her. Bernie Sanders hasn’t stopped attacking her. Her voters are more anti-Trump than pro-Clinton. But Republican defections from Trump can work in Clinton’s favor.
McCain fears anti-Trump fallout
Sen. John McCain was heard on a tape obtained by Politico from a private fundraiser last month worrying about running for re-election on a Trump-led ticket.
“If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life,” McCain said. He added, “The Hispanic community is roused and angry in a way that I’ve never seen in 30 years.”
But McCain said Thursday, he will support “the nominee.”
Trump names fundraising chief
A hedge fund manager, Steven Mnuchin, was chosen by Trump to build a fundraising operation to raise the hundreds of millions of dollars he’ll need for the general election campaign.
Mnuchin is chairman and CEO of Dune Capital Management LP.
Earlier in the campaign, hedge fund honchos were a target of Trump’s wrath. “They are very smart. But a lot of them — they are paper-pushers. They make a fortune. They pay no tax. It’s ridiculous,” Trump said.
Who’s got the ticket?
Trump says he won’t announce his running mate until the convention, though he has been offering possible clues.
“I will announce it at the convention. A lot of people are interested,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press.
In other interviews, he said South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is not under consideration. He said there was “probably a 40 percent chance” that he will choose one of his former Republican presidential rivals.
There’s still math
To formally lock in the nomination, Trump must still win 184 delegates in the remaining primaries, writes Newsday’s Laura Figueroa.
That should happen on June 7 when five states vote — California, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota.
Clinton and company, meanwhile, face the likelihood Bernie Sanders will win more primaries, in West Virginia and Oregon. "It's a nuisance, it's a distraction," complained Clinton defender Joe Trippi.
What else is happening:
- Only days after wailing that the primaries were "rigged" against him, Trump preened at a rally over having won them.
- Done with demonizing the GOP "establishment" he ran against, Trump kisses up to its operatives.
- Departing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says GOP lawmakers are clearly behind letting Trump set the Supreme Court's course.
- Could Sen. Rand Paul or another conservative make a third-party bid to draw conservatives in the #neverTrump spirit?
- In a reversal, Trump is saying he’ll consider supporting an increase in the federal minimum wage. He described himself as “very different from most Republicans” on the issue.
- Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is worried about Trump having access to classified intelligence information as the presumptive GOP nominee ...
- Former Gov. George Pataki won’t support Trump. “Trump needs to change his position on deporting 11 million Latinos to earn Governor Pataki’s support,” a spokesman said ...
- Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone says he is “all in” for Trump, telling CNBC, “I think he’ll do a hell of a good job. At least I’m hoping” ...
- Trump said he “totally disavows” comments by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke that hailed the businessman’s looming nomination as a defeat for “Jewish supremacists” ...
- Facebook will provide “financial and other support” to both parties’ conventions, despite pressure from anti-Trump groups to quit the GOP event, Politico says. Google has come under similar criticism for plans to live stream the Republican convention ...
- Trump disputed an account by former boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya depicting him as a golf cheat. “Not only didn’t I cheat, I didn’t play with him,” Trump said.