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Your politics briefing: Trump’s Gumby-like flexibility

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally Saturday, May 7, 2016, in Lynden, Wash. Credit: AP

Trump’s stands, they are a-changin’

During the Republican primary fights, Donald Trump opposed increasing the minimum wage. But now, the presumptive nominee said on ABC’s “This Week” and NBC’s “Meet The Press,” he thinks it should be raised.

“Sure, it’s a change. I’m allowed to change. You need flexibility,” he said.

“I don’t know how people make it on $7.25 an hour,” Trump said of the current federal level. “I would like to see an increase of some magnitude.” But Trump said the decisions should be made by the states.

That’s not Trump’s only shift. The income tax plan Trump unveiled in September called for cutting the top rate on the wealthiest to 25% from 39.6%. But Trump told NBC, “I’m not under the illusion that that’s going to pass.” (Video here.)

“On my plan, they’re going down. But by the time it’s negotiated, they’ll go up,” he said on ABC. “The rich [are] probably going to end up paying more,” he said. (Video here.)

Unchanged is Trump’s plan to temporarily ban Muslim immigration, which is one of the reasons some Republicans shun him. He isn’t worried about the effect on America’s Muslim allies? “If anything, you make them stronger toward you,” he said.

Hillary’s GOP welcome mat

Clinton said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” she’s been hearing from Republicans who are thinking about supporting her campaign.

“I’ve had a lot of outreach from Republicans in the last days who say that they are interested in talking about that.”

She attributed the nonendorsements of Trump by former presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush as well as “high-ranking” congressional Republicans to “their deep concern about what kind of leader he would be.” (Read the transcript here. See video excerpts here.)

Sanders’ fans see the score

Bernie Sanders is still drawing big crowds even as his chances of overtaking Clinton are slipping away, and some of his supporters recognize that, reports Newsday’s Emily Ngo.

Waiting for Sanders to speak at Rutgers University in New Jersey, sophomore Kevin Fisher, 20, said a Democratic nomination for his favorite was “likely not going to happen.” Fisher said he would like Sanders to run as a third-party candidate, but the Vermont senator has said he wouldn’t do that.

The take-away

One thing that made it easier for some Northeast Republicans lined up behind Trump is that he dispatched right-wingers like Ted Cruz, who would reject their kind as RINOs — Republicans in Name Only — writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

Does Trump coattail help Zeldin?

Freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who is seeking re-election, is touting his personal connections to Trump and taking note of the presumptive presidential nominee’s popularity in the Suffolk district.

“If the election was held today, at least in the 1st Congressional District, it’s a blowout,” Zeldin told Newsday’s Tom Brune. “In my home election district, he got over 83 percent of the vote [in the New York GOP primary],” he said.

A prospective Democratic opponent, Anna Throne-Holst, attacked Zeldin for “throwing his support behind a racist misogynist because he thinks it will help his political career.”

McCain wants Trump retraction

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is now supporting Trump, but he says he wouldn’t appear with the mogul unless he takes back what he said in July doubting the heroism of former prisoners of war.

At the time, Trump said, “I like people who weren’t captured,” and that McCain was “not a war hero.”

On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, McCain said, “There’s a body of American heroes that I’d like to see him retract that statement. Not about me, but about the others.”

Palin to Ryan: Gonna getcha

Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP candidate for vice president, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who ran for that office in 2012, aren’t bonding over that shared experience.

Palin, an ardent Trump supporter, said Ryan will suffer politically for not endorsing him. “His political career is over but for a miracle because he has so disrespected the will of the people,” she said of Ryan on “State of the Union.”

Palin said she will campaign for Ryan’s Wisconsin Republican primary opponent, Paul Nehlen.

What else is happening:

  • Clinton said she hasn’t yet been contacted for questioning in the FBI probe of her private email server while secretary of state, but “I’m more than ready to talk to anybody, anytime” ...
  • With Sanders still aiming to chip away at Clinton’s advantage in superdelegates, Newsday’s Laura Figueroa explains their role and who they are ...
  • A leader of the Southern Baptist Convention tells The Washington Post that many evangelicals are “horrified” with the choice of Trump or Clinton ...
  • Women are giving more money than ever to political campaigns, The New York Times finds ...
  • Top officials of Ted Cruz’s failed campaign tell CNN they might have stopped Trump if only Marco Rubio had agreed back in early March to be his running mate ...
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) waged a Twitter war with Trump. He called her “goofy.” She said he “spews insults and lies” ...

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