TIME

Why Donald Trump’s Kids Were a Liability This Week

Morning Must Reads: September 16

If you only read one thing: Donald Trump, the birther-in-chief, may be shifting on his skepticism that President Obama was born in the United States. But late Thursday, his campaign issued a statement saying that in fact Trump does believe Obama was born in Hawaii—and taking credit for the “proof” emerging in 2011. The statement defies reality on multiple levels—Trump dodged questions just hours before the statement was released on that exact question—not to mention that Trump has continued questioning the president’s place of birth since 2011 and that it was not launched by Hillary Clinton. The “birther” controversy, determined to undermine Obama’s legitimacy, has long been viewed as a racially charged assault on Obama, and until Trump himself weighs in—and accounts for his previous statements—the issue will only remain a rallying cry for Obama loyalists against the GOP nominee.

Donald Trump’s children have emerged as some of his best surrogates on the campaign trail, but in recent days they have emerged as potential liabilities. Ivanka Trump, who co-authored her father’s early childcare policy plan, struggled to defend her father’s past statements critical of pregnant women in the workforce. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, Jr., has come under fire for seemingly injecting the Holocaust into the presidential race and for being unable to defend the record of the Trump foundation, on which he is an officer.

Hillary Clinton returned to the campaign trail a more subdued candidate, refraining from taking many direct shots at Donald Trump as she tried to project a more positive image for her candidacy. Slipping in the polls somewhat, she will be campaigning in Philadelphia on Monday to step up her outreach to millennials, who are less enthusiastic about voting for her. And Clinton thinks Al Gore can help with voters flirting with third party candidates.

The fallout from Colin Powell’s hacked emails. How a GOP Senator may win re-election by bucking his party on guns. And assessing Obama’s record on transparency.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Donald Trump’s Campaign Says He’s No Longer a Birther. But Trump Won’t Say It
Campaign says the issue was settled in 2011, but Trump has been raising doubts for years [TIME]

The Not-So-Most Transparent Administration in History
Weighing a core Obama promise as his administration comes to a close [Yahoo]

Obama Rallies Latino Congress Members to Reject ‘Bluster and Falsehoods’ of Trump
Seeking to drive turnout for Clinton [Washington Post]

The Puerto Rican Wave That Could Boost Hillary Clinton in Florida
TIME’s Sam Frizell reports on the increase of mofongo and alcapurrias on the campaign trail

Concern Over Colin Powell’s Hacked Emails Becomes a Fear of Being Next

Washington and Hollywood scrub their accounts [New York Times]

Trump Defiant as Poll Numbers Rise, Won’t Say Obama Was Born in United States
Maintains he’s confident about the debates [Washington Post]

Sound Off

“This man wants to be our next president? When will he stop this ugliness, this bigotry?” — Hillary Clinton responding to Trump’s refusal to personally say that Obama was born in the United States

“In 2011, Mr. Trump was finally able to bring this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate. Mr. Trump did a great service to the President and the country by bringing closure to the issue that Hillary Clinton and her team first raised. Inarguably, Donald J. Trump is a closer. Having successfully obtained President Obama’s birth certificate when others could not, Mr. Trump believes that President Obama was born in the United States.” — Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller in a statement, blaming Hillary Clinton for starting “birtherism” and ignoring the long list of Trump comments questioning Obama’s place of birth since 2011

Bits and Bites

Hillary Clinton Takes Aim at Voters Drifting Toward Third Party [New York Times]

GOP Sen. Toomey hopes to save his seat by bucking his party on guns [Yahoo]

‘When will he stop this ugliness?’: Clinton blasts Trump’s refusal to say Obama was born in U.S. [Washington Post]

Donald Trump Gets His Hair Messed Up on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show [TIME]

Hillary Clinton Returns to the Campaign Trail to Talk About Kids [TIME]

These Are the States That Allow You to Vote Early [TIME]

U.S. Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Fighting U.S. Army to Honor Buddies’ Sacrifices [TIME]

Anti-Defamation League Blasts Donald Trump Jr. for ‘Holocaust Joke’ [TIME]

Trump ditches, then mocks his press corps [Politico]

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