Update: Donald Trump blames media for 2nd Amendment flap

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential race(all times EDT):

Update 3:50 p.m.: Donald Trump is suggesting that if Hillary Clinton gets to pick federal judges as president, there is nothing that can be done to protect the right to bear arms.

But then he adds without elaboration that maybe supporters of the Second Amendment could figure out a way.

He says Tuesday at a rally in North Carolina, “By the way if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what Trump meant. 

Clinton’s campaign manager immediately denounced Trump’s remarks, saying that the Republican nominee was trying to incite violence.

Robby Mook says: “This is simple_what Trump is saying is dangerous. A person seeking to be the President of the United States should not suggest violence in any way.”

But Trump’s communications director Jason Miller says the celebrity businessman was referring to the “power of unification.”

He said: “Second Amendment people have amazing spirit and are tremendously unified, which gives them great political power. And this year, they will be voting in record numbers, and it won’t be for Hillary Clinton, it will be for Donald Trump.”

The Republican presidential nominee made the comment Tuesday at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The Second Amendment provides a constitutional right to citizens to own guns.

During the event, he said falsely that Clinton “essentially wants to abolish the Second Amendment.” Clinton supports some new restrictions on gun ownership, but has not advocated overturning the amendment.

Clinton wants Zika legislation passed now

Updated 3:35 p.m.: Hillary Clinton is calling on Congress to immediately return to Washington and pass legislation to combat Zika.

Clinton is asking Republican leaders to bring Congress back to either pass stalled bipartisan legislation or craft a new bill to provide emergency funding for testing, treatment and research on the disease.

The Democratic presidential candidate says she’s “very disappointed” that Congress left for recess without passing legislation.

She also says that Donald Trump’s remarks last week that Florida has the epidemic “under control” did a “great disservice” to efforts to fight the disease.

Clinton is touring a Miami health clinic close to the Wynwood neighborhood where 21 non travel-related Zika cases have been diagnosed.

Florida is an important battleground state in the presidential race.

Trump pushes for  stronger voter ID laws

Updated 2:50 p.m.: Donald Trump, in North Carolina, is stressing the need for stringent voter ID laws in the wake of a federal court ruling against the state’s restrictive voting law.

Trump at a rally Tuesday in Wilmington asked “Why are we not having voter ID?”

He then told the crowd that he would “never ask you to vote 15 times” but implied that his opponent would. His comments come in the wake of last month’s ruling that North Carolina’s law was restrictive and targeted black voters.

North Carolina is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay on the ruling.

Rudy Giuliani also connects Clinton emails to executed Iranian scientist

Updated 2:30 p.m.: Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is fanning the flames of Donald Trump’s assertion that Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails may have contributed to the death of an Iranian nuclear scientist.

The State Department denies there’s any connection.

Giuliani, introducing Trump in North Carolina, said that Clinton was “extremely careless” and “lied” about not keeping any confidential information on her private email server. And he said that the name of Shahram Amiri appeared in the emails.

Iran said Sunday that Amiri was executed. Trump tweeted Monday that “Many people are saying that the Iranians killed the scientist who helped the U.S. because of Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails.” He didn’t say who those people were.

Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has also linked Clinton to the execution.

Rudy Giuliani appears at Trump rally

Updated 2:20 p.m.: Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is making a surprise appearance to introduce Donald Trump Tuesday before a rally in the battleground state of North Carolina.

Giuliani called Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, the leader of “a movement” which would defeat Hillary Clinton this November.

But Giuliani quieted the Wilmington crowd when it began to shout “Lock her up!” the anti-Clinton chant that has become popular at Trump rallies since it started at last month’s Republican National Convention.

Giuliani said the nation needed Trump to reform Washington, and that he was the right person to wield “a broom to clean the damn place out!”

Orlando shooter’s father seen at Clinton event

Updated 1 p.m.: The father of the Orlando gay nightclub shooter was spotted at a campaign event for Hillary Clinton in central Florida.

Seddique Mateen was standing in a crowd behind Clinton during the Monday night event in Kissimmee, south of Orlando. A campaign official told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he wasn’t invited to attend the 3,000-person, open-door public event and that the campaign wasn’t aware he was there until it ended.

Mateen told news outlets after the rally that he loves “the United States.”

Omar Mateen fatally shot 49 people and injured another 53 at Pulse nightclub on June 12. He was killed by law enforcement officers following a three-hour standoff.

The father says his family has been cooperating with investigators.

During her speech, Clinton expressed support for the survivors of the attack and the loved ones of those killed.

Clinton campaign targets Georgia and Arizona

Updated 12:50 p.m.: Hillary Clinton is expanding her presidential battleground map to include Georgia and Arizona, according to officials aware of the plans.

A source with knowledge of the campaign’s plans says aides at Clinton’s New York headquarters spoke Monday with Democratic Party officials in Georgia and Arizona to discuss a six-figure investment across the two states. The source wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss campaign strategy.

The move comes amid a shift in Clinton’s favor since the July party conventions. Polls suggest Clinton has widened her national lead over Republican Donald Trump and positioned herself to compete even in some traditionally GOP-leaning states.

Arizona and Georgia have growing non-white populations. That, combined with Trump’s struggles among white Republicans, gives Clinton an opening.

Both states also have Republican senators up for re-election this fall.

—By Lisa Lerer

Benghazi parents blame Hillary Rodham Clinton in lawsuit

Updated 9:05 a.m.: The parents of two Americans killed in attacks in Benghazi, Libya, say in a lawsuit that Hillary Clinton is responsible for the deaths of their children.

The wrongful death lawsuit against Clinton was filed Monday in federal court in Washington, DC. Clinton was secretary of state at the time of the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks.

The plaintiffs are Pat Smith of San Diego and Charles Woods of Portland, Oregon. State Department employee Sean Smith and security contractor Tyrone Woods were among four Americans killed in the attacks.

The suit says Clinton’s “negligent and reckless” use of a private e-mail server compromised the Americans’ security. House Republicans blamed the Obama administration for loose security, but not Clinton personally.

Attorney Larry Klayman is representing the parents. Klayman is a longtime Clinton critic.

Donald Trump predicts big growth under economic plan

Updated 8:15 a.m.: Donald Trump says his plan for the U.S. economy will produce annual growth of at least 4 percent, a figure not seen since the final year of Bill Clinton’s presidency.

The Republican nominee says that the proposal he unveiled Monday to cut taxes and create jobs makes a 4 percent growth rate “easily attainable and I think even more than that.” He was interviewed Tuesday on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”

Democratic rival Hillary Clinton has dismissed Trump’s plan as offering “super big tax breaks” to huge companies and rich people.

The economy’s average annual growth rate since the last recession ended in June 2009 is just over 2 percent, the slowest since the 1930s.

Trump faces fresh GOP pushback

Updated 3:16 a.m.: Donald Trump is seeking to quell concerns he lacks the discipline or policy know-how to make a competent president, even as the list of fellow Republicans deeming him unfit for the Oval Office grows.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is the latest Republican to announce her intent not to vote for her party’s nominee. Collins said late Monday she’d thought “long and hard” about whether she was obligated to support the GOP nominee and decided she could not.

She says she’s become “increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments” and his inability to apologize.

The defection from a respected senator adds to a chorus of GOP voices insisting they can’t back Trump. It comes as Trump is trying to shift attention to his revamped plan for far-reaching tax cuts.


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