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Trump vs. Clinton: So who are terrorists rooting for?

Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters about the bombing

Hillary Clinton speaks to reporters about the bombing in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood onboard her campaign plane at Westchester County Airport, in White Plains on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. Photo Credit: AP / Andrew Harnik

Dangerous charges

The weekend surge of terrorism in New York, New Jersey and Minnesota had Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump accusing each other of making the threat worse.

Clinton accused Trump of giving “aid and comfort” to Islamic terrorists Monday, declaring his anti-Muslim rhetoric helps groups such as ISIS recruit new fighters. “I’m the only candidate in this race who’s been part of the hard decisions to take terrorists off the battlefield,” she said.

Trump depicted Clinton as the terrorists’ choice. “They want her so badly to be president, you have no idea,” he told a rally near Fort Myers, Florida. “Hillary Clinton talks tougher about my supporters than she does about Islamic terrorists,” he said. Newsday’s Emily Ngo covered the rally.

On Monday morning, before suspect bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami was caught in New Jersey, Trump was boasting about calling the Chelsea blast a bombing before officials had announced that conclusion.

“I should be a newscaster because I called it before the news.”

Fear stalks Trump backers

A Quinnipiac poll last week found 68% of Trump voters very or somewhat concerned that they or someone in their family will be the victim of a terrorist attack. Only 29% of Clinton voters voiced the same level of dread.

Recent polls have given Clinton a slight edge on who would better handle terrorism. Also, here is an earth-based analysis of Donald Trump Jr. comparing Syrian refugees to Skittles. 

Hofstra: Three topics

NBC anchor Lester Holt, the moderator for next Monday’s leadoff debate at Hofstra University, announced his questions will cover three broad topics: “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity” and “Securing America.”

The debate format calls for six 15-minute time segments, and each of the topics will take up two of the six time slots.

The take-away: What about Gary?

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson didn’t make the cut for the Hofstra debate because polls showed him short of the 15% support need to qualify. Newsday’s Dan Janison says Johnson and his supporters raise some points worth hearing as they argue the call. Read his column here.

Prosecutors: Christie knew

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie heads Trump’s transition team and has been considered a top contender for a cabinet post such as attorney general in a Trump administration. His chances may he headed for a roadblock.

Federal prosecutors for the first time asserted Monday that Christie knew his top allies were involved in snarling traffic near the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 to punish the Fort Lee mayor who didn’t back Christie’s re-election. Christie has denied knowing in advance.

Clinton’s generation gap

Polls have shown Clinton increasingly vulnerable to a lack of enthusiasm among millennial voters, with some of them shifting support to Johnson or Green Party candidate Jill Stein, The Washington Post reports.

She made a direct appeal to millennials in a speech Monday at Temple University in Pennsylvania and an Op-Ed piece on the website Mic, recalling her own disenchantment with the system in her college days.

What else is happening

  • Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on MSNBC that terrorist attacks like those during the weekend show that “experience matters” in government and Clinton would be the better president. “This is not all intuitive, it is not all common sense,” he said.
  • Both Clinton and Trump are having meetings with world leaders who will be in New York for the UN General Assembly.
  • Trump's doctor mentions no orthopedic issues for the 70-year-old Republican candidate -- decades after his draft deferment for an alleged bone spur in one of his feet.
  • Bill Clinton said in an NPR interview that some foundation donors may have thought they were gaining influence with the State Department when it was led by Hillary Clinton, but “I trusted the State Department wouldn’t do anything they shouldn’t do.”
  • A New York Times/Siena poll in Florida has Clinton up by 1 point in a four-way race and tied with Trump in a two-way matchup.
  • Billionaire Trump is setting records in small-donor contributions to a Republican presidential campaign, despite saying he's self-funded, says Politico.
  • Ivanka Trump is now getting Secret Service protection.
  • Trump conflated the facts on immigration.

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