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Your politics briefing: What would Rudy tell Trump on Muslims?

Donald Trump says he might appoint Rudy Giuliani,

Donald Trump says he might appoint Rudy Giuliani, here at the Sept. 11 memorial in Manhattan in 2014, to chair a commission on "radical Islamic terrorism." Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Trump latest: Muslim ban a ‘suggestion’

Donald Trump says he might appoint Rudy Giuliani to chair a commission on “radical Islamic terrorism” — an intriguing prospect, given that the former New York mayor has called Trump’s plan to stop Muslims from entering the U.S. unconstitutional.

“I’m thinking about setting up a commission perhaps headed by Rudy Giuliani to take a very serious look at this problem. ... And we have to be smart,” Trump said in a phone interview on “Fox & Friends.”

So is Trump looking for big-name backup for a Muslim ban, which he has said would be temporary? Or could he be seeking cover to apply what he describes as his flexibility to this issue, as he has to others at a brisk rate? Curiously, in a Fox News radio interview Wednesday, he said the ban “is just a suggestion until we find out what’s going on.”

The presumptive GOP nominee constantly vows to bring in “the best people” to tackle problems, and presumably thinks the 9/11 mayor has credibility to fit that bill.

Giuliani said he voted for Trump in the New York primary. But he also said on Fox News last December, “We don’t have a right to ban all Muslims. … If you did that, you would really take that population and start radicalizing a lot more of them. ... To me, it’s not a sensible proposal.”

Poll: Trump, Clinton thisclose

A national Reuters/Ipsos poll says Trump’s support has surged, bringing him to a virtual dead heat with Hillary Clinton.

The former secretary of state led Trump 41% to 40%, with 19% undecided, in the survey, which came a day after Quinnipiac pollsters said the contest was tight in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

With six months to go, it’s hard to know whether this week’s polling snapshots will calm Republicans fearing routs up and down the ballot. Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon said on MSNBC her campaign is bracing for a “very tight” race.

Clinton: Where are his tax returns?

Clinton, addressing a south Jersey crowd, prodded Trump to release his income tax returns, which the businessman says he is withholding from public view until an IRS audit is completed — which he doesn’t expect until after the election.

“You’ve got to ask yourself why he doesn’t want to release them,” Clinton said. “We’re going to find out.” The Associated Press says the returns, if ever revealed, could be revealing.

Clinton also said Trump’s tax plan was “written by a billionaire for billionaires” and would hurt middle-class Americans. Newsday’s Laura Figueroa covered the speech.

The take-away: All voters count

Thousands of provisional ballots cast on Long Island in last month’s presidential primaries didn’t count because the voters were deemed to have failed to properly register as Republicans or Democrats.

Newsday’s Dan Janison asks why taxpayers should pick up the tab for the parties’ internal contests when some citizens aren’t able to participate.

LI Republicans cheer Trump

Trump roused a crowd estimated at 3,000 at a Nassau Republican fundraiser in Woodbury Wednesday night and vowed he would win New York State — a feat no one in his party has pulled off since Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Hitting on issues critical to many Long Islanders, Trump said he would cut off the flow of heroin from Mexico and repeal the Common Core education curriculum.

“Our country is falling apart,” he said. “It’s like a Third World country.”

Newsday’s Robert Brodsky covered the speech.

Trump: Leaders should follow me

On the eve of his big Washington meeting with Ryan, Trump professed to be unconcerned over whether he will be able to bridge his differences with the House speaker and other GOP leaders.

“If we make a deal, that will be great,” Trump told Fox News Channel. “And if we don’t, we will trudge forward like I’ve been doing and winning all the time.”

What else is happening:

  • The suspended Ted Cruz campaign may have just gone underground — it’s going to fight Trump for friendly delegates at nine state conventions, including Texas, this weekend, Politico reports ...
  • This Trump-Ryan "summit" sounds like the prelude to another public-relations display for the presumptive nominee, contrived as the GOP split may be... 
  • Bernie Sanders finally has a Trumpian nickname: “Crazy Bernie,” as bequeathed the candidate some already call "Donald the Bubble Boy."
  • Clinton's shooting back, mainly through surrogates, with all the obvious raps on Trump.
  • Those inclined to flee the U.S. if Trump is elected might not find it easy to do...
  • Trump went on a new Twitterstorm against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has been goading him via the social media site ...
  • Warren wouldn’t rule out accepting an offer to be Clinton’s running mate. She was interviewed by the website Mic ...
  • Vice President Joe Biden says he "would have been the best president" if he had run and won.
  • 'Family Guy' creator Seth MacFarlane spoofs Trump in an Emmy submission, prompting fans of the candidate to carp. 
  • GOP lawmakers who bowed early to their new leader may reap benefits, says the Wall Street Journal (pay site). One is upstate Rep. Chris Collins...
  • Sanders sounded really irritated when asked on MSNBC whether his criticisms of Clinton help Trump. “Please do not moan to me about Hillary Clinton’s problems,” he said.
  • Cartoonist Tom Toles sums up Clinton's move toward Medicare changes in light of Sanders' pressure.
  • Trump on “Imus in the Morning” agreed Sen. John McCain, tortured as a Vietnam War prisoner, is “a hero,” but he doesn’t regret when he said the opposite. “My poll numbers went up 7 points,” he said.

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