WASHINGTON — Coverage of the U.S. presidential race (all times EDT):

Pence says media fighting for Clinton

Updated 5:23 p.m.: Mike Pence is joining Donald Trump in relentlessly hammering the national media coverage of the presidential race.

The Republican vice presidential candidate told supporters Tuesday in Wilmington, North Carolina, that the election is not “exactly a fair fight” because “the media out there is doing half of Hillary Clinton’s work for her every day.”

Pence said the media is busy “chasing other stories” besides controversies surrounding the Democratic nominee. The Indiana governor went on to quote from a front-page USA Today story detailing “the nexus among private companies, Hillary Clinton’s State Department and the Clinton Family Foundation.”

The Indiana governor then cited ABC News reporting suggesting Hillary Clinton’s State Department aides in 2010 played favorites with vendors and other entities during recovery efforts for a Haiti earthquake. The story cited emails showing aides concerned with identifying groups close to former President Bill Clinton.

Trump urges supporters to ignore mainstream news media

Updated 4:06 p.m.: Donald Trump is encouraging his supporters to ignore the mainstream news media in the final stretch of the presidential race because he believes they’re trying to take him down.


Trump tells supporters at a rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to, “forget the press, read the internet, study other things, don’t go for the mainstream media.”

He said that, when it comes to the internet, “you do get some dishonesty, too, but at least you can separate. At least you have a choice.”

Trump has been escalating his anti-press message in recent weeks, accusing news outlets of conspiring with rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign to defeat him.

Trump wants term limits for Congress

Updated 3:26 p.m.: Donald Trump says he wants a constitutional amendment to impose term limits of members of Congress.

The Republican presidential nominee told supporters at a rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Tuesday that the limits should be part of a bigger plan to “drain the swamp” of Washington corruption.

He says Democratic rival Hillary Clinton is part of the problem.


Currently, House members can serve an unlimited number of two-year terms, while senators can serve an unlimited number of six-year terms.

Clinton campaign says rigged election is used as a distraction

Updated 3:23 p.m.: Hillary Clinton’s campaign says Donald Trump is warning of a rigged election to distract from bad press about his treatment of women and discourage Democratic voters.

Clinton aide Jen Palmieri says Trump is “losing and he wants to blame somebody else — and that’s what losers do.”

The Clinton campaign says they expect voting to run smoothly. Palmieri says Trump is trying to “turn off” Clinton backers. “They’re not gonna be deterred,” she says.

Kaine praises Clinton economic agenda

Updated 3:08 p.m.: Tim Kaine says he’s proud Hillary Clinton hasn’t “backed away” from the promises she made during the Democratic primary.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee made the comments Tuesday while highlighted Clinton’s progressive economic agenda during a speech at a Detroit job training center.


The Virginia senatgor said he’s “proud that Hillary hasn’t backed away from the bold, principled commitments that she made when she won a very fairly, and vigorously contested Democratic primary.”

Battling Sen. Bernie Sanders in a heated Democratic primary, Clinton tacked left on trade and other economic issues. But in private speeches to Wall Street firms she expressed a philosophy that clashes in some ways with the progressive vision she has articulated while campaigning. The private speeches were disclosed by Wikileaks.

Cuban, Whitman to be Clinton guests at debate

Updated 2:58 p.m.: Billionaire Mark Cuban and Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman will attend Wednesday’s last presidential debate as guests of Hillary Clinton.

Both have been outspoken backers of the Democratic presidential candidate. Cuban is famous for his role on a television game show and has questioned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s business acumen. Whitman is one of Clinton’s highest-profile Republican backers.

Trump’s campaign has invited as a guest Pat Smith, whose son, Sean, was one of four Americans killed during the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, when Clinton was President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

Smith gave an emotional speech the Republican National Convention blaming Clinton for her son’s death. Republicans have tried to make Benghazi a central issue in the campaign.


Pence insists ‘rigged’ means biased media 

Updated 2:50 p.m.: Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is struggling to defend his running mate’s assertions that the Nov. 8 election will be “rigged.”

Pence once again said that Donald Trump was talking about biased media. The Indiana governor was speaking to reporters Tuesday in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

But reporters noted that Trump has made frequent, though unsubstantiated, claims that there will be widespread voter fraud. Pence responded that there have been documented instances of voter fraud in the past. He suggested that Trump is only encouraging his supporters to “respectfully participate” at the polls “to ensure the integrity of the election.”

Pence did not directly answer when asked whether the Trump campaign wants more than the longstanding tradition of having poll watchers from the Democratic and Republican parties at every precinct.

Six people corroborate writer’s account of sexual assault

Updated 2:30 p.m.: People magazine is reporting that six people have come forward to corroborate its former writer’s account of being sexually assaulted by Donald Trump.

Trump has denied the accusations by the writer, Natasha Stoynoff.


Stoynoff wrote last week that Trump grabbed her and kissed her in 2005 while she was working on a story about the celebrity businessman and his wife for the magazine.

The magazine posted a story Tuesday quoting six of Stoynoff’s friends who say the writer told them about the alleged attack soon after it happened.

One of them, Liza Herz, said she was with Stoynoff when she ran into Melania Trump in the weeks after the attack.

Mrs. Trump has denied that she encountered Stoynoff and has demanded a retraction from the magazine.

Pence calls office fire ‘an act of political terrorism’

Updated 2:15 p.m.: Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence is condemning the firebombing of a local Republican office in North Carolina as “an act of political terrorism” and “an attack on the American political system.”

The Indiana governor on Tuesday toured the charred interior of the Orange County GOP office on his way to two rallies elsewhere in the state.


He praised Republican volunteers Hillsborough, North Carolina, for their “courage and resilience.”

Pence noted political figures across the spectrum have condemned the act committed over the weekend. But he complained that national media have paid little attention. He speculated that a similar attack on a Democratic office would get much wider coverage.

No one was hurt, and police are still investigating.


Bill Clinton to campaign in Florida

Updated 1:48 p.m.: Bill Clinton is headed for North Florida to campaign for his wife in an area that is whiter and more conservative than other parts of the state.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign says the former president will start in Orlando on Friday and continue in Jacksonville and the Florida panhandle on Saturday.

It’s Bill Clinton’s second Florida swing this month. He’s also had recent bus tours in Iowa and Ohio.


The former president has a complicated legacy in South Florida’s Cuban community because of his handling of the Elian Gonzalez case in 2000. The Clinton administration sided with the young boy’s Cuban father in a custody dispute with other relatives in South Florida and returned the boy to the communist island.

Pence visits N.C. GOP office destroyed by firebomb

Updated 1:40 p.m.: Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence is visiting a local North Carolina Republican Party office that was damaged by a firebomb.

The Indiana governor is meeting Tuesday with local Orange County Republicans ahead of two rallies elsewhere in North Carolina.

North Carolina has emerged as key battleground and is a must-win state for Republican Donald Trump.

No one was injured in the bombing last weekend. Police are still investigating. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have condemned the attack.

Orange County is a heavily Democratic county at the edge of the Raleigh-Durham metro area. President Barack Obama won 70 percent of the vote there in 2012, though he lost the statewide vote.


Walker defends Wisconsin elections

Updated 1:05 p.m.: Wisconsin’s Republican governor is defending the integrity of his state’s vote after Donald Trump made unsubstantiated claims that the U.S. election will be rigged.

Scott Walker said “it’s easy to vote, but hard to cheat” in Wisconsin because voters are required to show ID at the polls.

Walker, a former primary rival of Trump’s, spoke Tuesday in Kenosha, a day after Trump held a campaign rally in Green Bay. At that rally, some in the crowd joined in a chant against House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is from Wisconsin.

Walker said he doesn’t need to defend Ryan, noting Ryan won 84 percent of the vote in his primary.

Walker seems unlikely to campaign with Trump. He says he’s focused on candidates in Wisconsin and Republican governors.

Obama wants Trump to ‘stop whining’

Updated 12:35 p.m.: President Barack Obama is delivering a sharp rebuke to Donald Trump for his unsupported claims that the presidential election is being rigged against him.


Obama says the Republican nominee needs to “stop whining” and go make his case to voters.

Obama spoke during a news conference Tuesday with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the White House.

The president said there is simply no evidence of widespread fraud, and it says a lot about Trump that he’s complaining even before the election takes place.

Obama said that if a candidate starts whining before the game is over, “then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job.”

He is stressing that elections are run by state and local officials who come from both major political parties.

Obama denies State Department and FBI struck a deal

Updated 12:25 p.m.: President Barack Obama is playing down reports that a senior State Department official had asked the FBI last year to reduce the classification of an email from Hillary Clinton’s private server.


Obama said in a Rose Garden news conference Tuesday that some of the “more sensational implications or appearances” related to the report “are not based on actual events.” He said those types of interactions “happen a lot.”

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said the FBI records show a “criminal act.” But Obama says that notion is “just not true.”

The records indicated there were discussions about a deal that would have allowed the FBI to deploy more agents in foreign countries in exchange for the classification change. State and FBI officials say there was never a deal.

Obama puzzled by Trump’s affinity for Putin

Updated 12:15 p.m.: President Barack Obama says Donald Trump’s flattery of Russian leader Vladimir Putin is “unprecedented” in American politics. He says it’s “out of step” with values that the rest of the U.S. political establishment has long held.

The president is expressing dismay not only at Trump’s approach toward Putin, but at the way that many other Republican officeholders are falling in line with the Republican presidential nominee’s stance.

The president said that while Trump rarely surprises him anymore, he’s “much more surprised and troubled” that Republican officials now seem to echo Trump’s attitudes toward Russia.


The president added, “It’s quite a reversal. You’ll have to ask them to explain it.”

Obama spoke during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the Rose Garden.

Trump says American independence hinges on election

Updated 12:05 p.m.: Donald Trump is claiming that if he doesn’t win the presidential election, “history will remember 2017 as the year America lost its independence.”

Trump unleashed a series of tweets Tuesday suggesting that he will “#DrainTheSwamp” of corrupt Washington.

It comes the day after he discussed his government ethics reform plan, which includes tighter restrictions on former members of Congress and ex-White House officials taking jobs as lobbyists.

Trump has repeatedly called for Americans to reclaim their independence and has linked his candidacy to the “Brexit” vote in which the United Kingdom chose to leave the European Union.


His remarks also come as he doubles down on his unsubstantiated claims that the election will be “rigged.”

Topless statue of Hillary Clinton appears in Manhattan

Updated 11:45 a.m.: First there was a naked Donald Trump statue. Now there’s a statue of a topless, hoofed Hillary Clinton.

The life-size statue of the Democratic presidential nominee appeared outside a subway station Tuesday in lower Manhattan.

It wasn’t immediately clear who created the statue, but it caused quite a stir. Video by the New York Daily News showed it knocked down, with a woman stomping and at one point sitting on top of it to prevent others from putting it upright.

In August, an artist similarly displayed a naked statue of Donald Trump outside another Manhattan subway stop. It was removed because it wasn’t permitted.

Police and city officials haven’t said why and how the Clinton statue was removed.


Clinton’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pence campaigns in North Carolina with donations

Updated 11:35 a.m.: Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence is using campaign stops in battleground North Carolina to aid recovery efforts after Hurricane Matthew battered the state’s southeast quadrant.

Aides said the Indiana governor is bringing bulk canned food and other items to his Tuesday afternoon rally in Wilmington. The city was in the storm’s direct path. Supporters attending an evening rally in Fayetteville are being asked to bring non-perishable food items, as well.

Pence’s visit to the state comes two days after a local Republican Party office in Orange County, North Carolina, was damaged by a Molotov cocktail thrown through a window. No one was in the office at the time. Local Republicans resumed operations Monday outside their damaged office.

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