If you only read one thing: We spoke hours too soon about the end of October Surprises, as a pair on Donald Trump made it just under the wire Monday night. The first report, that Trump used questionable methods to avoid a large tax bill, further informs the public of the GOP nominee’s efforts to minimize his burden, sometimes through unsavory means. The second, that Trump’s former top campaign aide is under investigation over ties his foreign ties, renews questions about Trump benefiting from efforts by Russia to undermine the U.S. electoral process. Like the Clinton email investigation, these expand on what voters already know. But these are even less likely to move voters or to dominate the news cycle, or to significantly break Trump’s momentum—which comes from Republicans falling in behind the nominee.
With one week out, the state of the race is as it ever was. The Democratic demographic advantage holds, with Clinton seeing several paths to 270 Electoral College votes. To win, Trump needs to be about perfect, picking up Democratic states, in addition to holding the line in GOP ones.
The latest Clinton email drama is raising questions about what her potential presidency would look like, as Republicans prepare for permanent investigation. Meanwhile, it’s putting President Obama in a tough spot, defending Clinton—whose style of politics he’s never enjoyed—without throwing FBI Director James Comey under the bus.
A judge orders the Republican Party to detail its poll monitoring relationship with the Trump campaign. CNN parts ways with the interim DNC Chairwoman. And Obama meets a “lame duck” trick-or-treater.
Here are your must reads:
Your Questions About the New Hillary Clinton Emails, Answered
TIME’s Sam Frizell explains the latest developments
Donald Trump Used Legally Dubious Method to Avoid Paying Taxes
A shell game to minimize his tax burden [New York Times]
Obama Caught in Middle of Unseemly Spat Over Clinton Emails
Defending the politics he distastes [Associated Press]
Pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC Accepted Illegal Contributions
It is returning the money [Center for Public Integrity]
FBI Making Inquiry Into Ex-Trump Campaign Manager’s Foreign Ties
Former aide’s Russia ties draw scrutiny [NBC]
“The president doesn’t believe Director Comey is trying to influence the outcome of an election.” — White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who said he would neither defend nor criticize Comey for sending a letter to Congress about reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails
“I’m dressed up as what happens when young people vote.” — Obama to Samantha Bee on his Halloween costume
Bits and Bites
CNN severs ties with Donna Brazile [Politico]
Democrats Accuse Donald Trump and GOP of Intimidating Voters in Four States [Associated Press]
Supreme Court Considers Fashion v. Function in Cheerleading-Uniform Case [Wall Street Journal]
Richard Burr bans N&O from receiving notices of campaign events [News & Observer]