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Long IslandPolitics

Your politics briefing: Clinton shows off party unity, a contrast with Trump’s GOP

Donald Trump, speaking at the Trump SoHo hotel

Donald Trump, speaking at the Trump SoHo hotel on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 in Manhattan, called Hillary Clinton a "world-class liar"; meanwhile fact-checkers say his speech was rife with distortion and falsehoods. Photo Credit: John Roca

It’s her party, mostly

Hillary Clinton is making a show of Democratic unity, a goal painfully absent for Donald Trump and the Republicans as the weeks wind down to the parties’ July conventions.

House Democrats greeted her warmly Wednesday at a Capitol Hill meeting, and Clinton promised to help downticket candidates. Across the aisle, the mutual disdain between Trump and GOP congressional leaders has not abated, nor have the latter’s fears he will drag down their fall campaigns.

On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a leader of the Democrats’ progressive wing, will campaign with Clinton for the first time, joining her in Cincinnati.

Not yet on board is Bernie Sanders, who took another step in his long walk into the sunset by telling C-SPAN in an interview, “It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee.” Sanders will speak at Manhattan’s Town Hall Thursday on “where we go from here.”

Trump: She’s corrupt

In a speech from his SoHo hotel, Trump said Wednesday that Clinton “may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency,” Newsday’s Emily Ngo reports.

Alluding in large part to donations to the Clinton foundation, Trump said Bill and Hillary Clinton have taken money from foreign governments whose values run counter to those of the United States, and “her decisions spread death, destruction and terrorism everywhere she touched.”

Clinton: He has no answers

Clinton shot back at Trump, accusing him of “outlandish lies and conspiracy theories” and, telling supporters in North Carolina, “He’s going after me personally because he has no answers on the substance.”

Defending the Clinton foundation, she said it “helps poor people around the world get access to lifesaving AIDS medicine. Donald Trump uses poor people around the world to produce his line of suits and ties.”

Who’s got a polygraph machine?

Trump also called Clinton “a world-class liar” in his speech, but that’s a title he may not be able to cede to his opponent.

Clinton indeed has told some whoppers, such as landing in Bosnia under imaginary sniper fire. Her explanation of the email scandal has stoked voter distrust, and some of her attacks on Trump Tuesday contained exaggerations.

But Trump’s liberties with the truth are spectacular. An Associated Press fact-checker found his speech rife with distortion. By PolitiFact’s count, the abundance of brazen Trump falsehoods leaves Clinton far behind.

The take-away: Power and limits

As Clinton and Trump paint each other as a threat to the nation’s future, Newsday’s Dan Janison points to an important debate that is not taking place: Is there danger, too, in the extraordinary powers of what some call the “imperial presidency”?

House Speaker Paul Ryan seems to be preparing to wage a battle on behalf of the legislative branch with the executive branch no matter who wins.

Distracting, with a Capitol 'D'

Crossfire between Trump and Clinton was eclipsed in the news cycle behind the Democratic sit-in demonstration on the floor of the House of Representatives over GOP refusal to take a vote on the no-fly-no-buy gun measures.

That probably makes Trump the bigger loser of the two. Money woes make him more dependent on the free exposure of media coverage. For either candidate, a  focus on guns could point up long-term flip-flops and changes of tune on issues related to gun regulation and the Second Amendment.

The story of owe

Trump repeated an unabashed claim in a “CBS This Morning” interview, one few office-seekers would boast about.

“I’m ‘the king of debt.’ I’m great with debt. Nobody knows debt better than me,” he said. “I’ve made a fortune by using debt, and if things don’t work out, I renegotiate the debt. I mean, that’s a smart thing, not a stupid thing.”

What else is happening

  • Trump’s golf resort in Scotland, which he will visit this weekend, is far from the success he claims, a Washington Post reporter found.
  • More than 50 business executives, some of them longtime Republicans, are set to endorse Clinton Thursday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser for Republican Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, endorsed Clinton Wednesday.
  • Donald Rumsfeld, who served as defense secretary under former President George W. Bush, said Wednesday he will vote for Trump.
  • Bill Weld, the former GOP governor of Massachusetts -- now running for veep as a Libertarian -- said Clinton is qualified to be president and Trump is not... 
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), in a reversal, announced he will seek re-election. His move had been encouraged by Trump, but Rubio kept his distance from the presumptive nominee.
  • Trump has spoken favorably of a referendum for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union but added a caveat on Fox Business News: “I don’t think anybody should listen to me because I haven’t really focused on it very much.”
  • This 'Brexit' vote really isn't about Trump since all politics is local, Politico reminds us...
  • Supporters of Sanders say they will file a legal challenge to the nomination of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as the chair of New York’s delegation to the Democratic convention.
  • Despite protests from fans of the champion Cleveland Cavaliers, an iconic LeBron James poster on a building across from Quicken Loans Arena will be removed for the July 18-21 Republican convention.
  • Recovering from the shock of Trump's unexpected primary wins, some analysts are carefully speculating that it already may be too late for him to win the election... 
  • Defection to the other party is rare for voters whose preferred candidate lost the primaries, a Washington Post piece suggests.... 
  • Mexican politicians find Trump to be a somewhat useful piñata, the Guardian reports...
  • Is Sen. Tim Kaine really at the top of the Clinton list for running mates?....

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