Trump Would Deport ‘Criminal Illegal Immigrants’

“Donald Trump sought to reassert control of an immigration story line that has bedeviled his campaign in the last week, telling an Iowa audience that he would deport ‘criminal illegal immigrants’ immediately upon being sworn into office,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Yet the Republican presidential nominee didn’t offer any detail on whether he would abide by his primary-campaign pledge to install a ‘deportation force’ to remove 11 million illegal immigrants from the country. Instead, he blamed the media for focusing on his old campaign promises instead of what he deemed more pressing issues.”

Related for members: The GOP Is Like a Rat in a Skinner Box

A Conspiracy Election?

Associated Press: “It’s a conspiracy: The 2016 campaign features one candidate who warned against the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ and another who was a leader of the so-called ‘birther’ movement.”

“Donald Trump and his surrogates hint at a mysterious ‘illness’ afflicting rival Hillary Clinton. Pushing back, Clinton warns of murky ties between Trump and the Russian government, insinuating that her Republican opponent may be a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

“Rumors and innuendo long confined to the far reaches of the Internet are dominating the presidential race, forcing Clinton to grapple — once again — with the kinds of whispers that have dogged her family for decades.”

Two Different Approaches to Debate Prep

Washington Post: “Hillary Clinton is methodically preparing for the presidential debates as a veteran lawyer would approach her biggest trial. She pores over briefing books thick with policy arcana and opposition research. She internalizes tips from the most seasoned debate coaches in her party. And she rehearses, over and over again, to perfect the pacing and substance of her presentation.”

“Donald Trump is taking a different approach. He summons his informal band of counselors — including former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, talk-radio host Laura Ingraham and ousted Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes — to his New Jersey golf course for Sunday chats. Over bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs and glasses of Coca-Cola, they test out zingers and chew over ways to refine the Republican nominee’s pitch.”

“Trump’s aides have put together briefing books, not that the candidate is devoting much time to reading them. Trump is not holding any mock debates, proudly boasting that a performer with his talents does not need that sort of prepping. Should Trump submit to traditional rehearsals, some associates are talking about casting Ingraham, an adversarial chronicler of Clinton scandals, to play the Democratic nominee.”

Newspaper Apologizes for Gov. Paul LePage

A Portland Press Herald editorial:

Dear America: Maine here. Please forgive us – we made a terrible mistake. We managed to elect and re-elect a governor who is unfit for high office.

He has a gruff exterior and blunt way of talking that some of us find refreshing, but he has shown again and again that he governs by grudge, and uses his power to beat up on people who cannot fight back.

Racial Bias Has Been a Constant for Trump

An investigation by the New York Times — “drawing on decades-old files from the New York City Commission on Human Rights, internal Justice Department records, court documents and interviews with tenants, civil rights activists and prosecutors — uncovered a long history of racial bias at his family’s properties, in New York and beyond.”

“That history has taken on fresh relevance with Mr. Trump arguing that black voters should support him over Hillary Clinton, whom he has called a bigot.”

“While there is no evidence that Mr. Trump personally set the rental policies at his father’s properties, he was on hand while they were in place, working out of a cubicle in Trump Management’s Brooklyn offices as early as the summer of 1968.”

Trump’s Repellent Inner Circle

Michael Gerson: “Consider this list of Trump’s chosen: Former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had a brutal and demeaning style that resulted in a staff revolt, and his manhandling of a female reporter overshadowed the Trump campaign for weeks. Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was paid lucrative consulting fees by foreign interests and resigned after reports that Ukraine anti-corruption investigators were scrutinizing millions in alleged payments there.”

“Longtime adviser Roger Stone is a crackpot conspiracy theorist who asserts that Bill and Hillary Clinton are “plausibly responsible” for the deaths of roughly 40 people and that Hillary Clinton should be “executed for murder.” Confidant Roger Ailes recently stepped down from his job at Fox News under a cloud of sexual harassment claims. And Steve Bannon, Trump’s new campaign chief executive, is known for his bullying tactics and for running a website (Breitbart News) that flirts with white nationalism.”

“There are a few exceptions to this pattern — Kellyanne Conway and Mike Pence come to mind — but Trump has hired and elevated some of the very worst people in American politics, known for their cruelty, radicalism, prejudice and corruption.”

Roger Ailes Had Opposition Research on Journalist

CNN obtained a 400-page opposition research file on journalist Gabriel Sherman, which was compiled for Roger Ailes as Sherman wrote a book about the ex-Fox News chief.

“It has all the markings of ‘opposition research’ about a political enemy — which is precisely how Ailes viewed Sherman. The memo, obtained by CNNMoney from two anonymous sources, is a stunning display of Ailes’ campaign-like strategies. It includes, among other things, property records, voter registration information, and a note that the researchers could find no criminal record for Sherman.”

GOP Fears Its Future in the West

“Republicans in Western states fear that Donald Trump could imperil their party for years to come in the country’s fastest-growing region as he repels a generation of Hispanics, Asians and younger voters who have been altering the electoral map,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Trump, with his insult-laden, culturally insensitive style of campaigning, is providing fuel for the demographic trends that are already reshaping the political composition of this once-heavily Republican territory. And now many Republicans are contemplating the possibility that states like Colorado or Nevada could soon become the next California: once competitive but now unwinnable in presidential contests.”

And this from Arizona: “Recent polls show Hillary Clinton is close to tying Mr. Trump here. And her campaign has responded by teaming up with local Democrats on a statewide get-out-the-vote operation, which has grown to 160 staff members across 20 offices.”

The Fix: Leading Republicans aren’t rushing to defend Trump on race.