TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Releases Eight Years of Tax Returns

Democratic Presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls for an end to the Cuban trade embargo as she gives a policy speech at the Florida International University on July 31, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images Democratic Presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls for an end to the Cuban trade embargo as she gives a policy speech at the Florida International University on July 31, 2015 in Miami, Florida.

Since 2007, the Clintons have paid $43.8 million in federal taxes

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released eight years of tax returns Friday, as well as a complete listing of the millions she and her husband have received for paid speeches over the years.

Clinton’s release of her returns from 2007-2014 bring to 38 the number of years of publicly released tax returns by the Clintons over the course of four presidential campaigns, topping former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s previous record of 33 years set last month.

Since 2007, the Clintons have paid $43,885,310 in federal taxes, with an effective tax rate of 35.7 percent in 2014—roughly the same as Bush’s average of 36 percent.

The Clintons reported devoting more than 10 percent of their income to charity, outpacing Bush’s reported 3.1 percent average from 2007-2013.

Earlier this year, Clinton filed her personal financial disclosure revealing she and her husband earned more than $30 million in paid speeches since January 2014.

In a statement coinciding with the release, Clinton reiterated her call for comprehensive tax reform, including closing the carried interest loophole and passing the so-called Buffett Rule, which would set a minimum effective tax rate for the highest earners. Contrasting her plan with Republicans, Clinton repeated her call to raise the short-term capital gains tax rate for those in the highest income bracket.

“They want to give me another tax cut I don’t need instead of putting middle class families first,” Clinton said of Republicans. “Families like mine that reap rewards from our economy have a responsibility to pay our fair share. And it’s not just the right thing to do—it’s also good for growth.”

TIME Hillary Clinton

Doctor: Hillary Clinton In ‘Excellent’ Physical Condition

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can be seen wearing special glasses while testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
MANDEL NGAN—AFP/Getty Images US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton can be seen wearing special glasses while testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on January 23, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

The letter has the most detail yet on her 2012 concussion

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in “excellent physical condition,” her doctor said in a letter released Friday.

According to Dr. Lisa Bardack, her physician, Clinton, is in good health, currently diagnosed with only hypothyroidism and seasonal pollen allergies. The letter is the first of its kind to be released in the 2016 cycle, and comes as Clinton, 67, has come under scrutiny from some Republicans for her age and questions about her health stemming from a 2012 incident in which she suffered from a blood clot and concussion.

Bardack’s letter provides the most detailed accounting of the 2012 episode, which came as Clinton was set to testify before Congress on the 2012 Benghazi attacks shortly before leaving office.

According to Bardack, Clinton fainted after becoming dehydrated from a stomach virus and suffered a concussion during the fall. During subsequent evaluations, Bardack said, Clinton was diagnosed with a “transverse sinus venous thrombosis,” a type of blood clot in the brain, and was given anticoagulants to dissolve the clot. After the concussion, Clinton experienced double-vision and wore glasses with a Fresnel Prism.

“Her concussion symptoms, including the double vision, resolved within two months and she discontinued the use of the prism,” Bardack wrote. “She had follow-up testing in 2013, which revealed complete resolution of the effects of the concussion as well as total dissolution of the thrombosis. Mrs. Clinton also tested negative for all clotting disorders.”

Clinton also suffered from deep vein thrombosis in 1998 and 2009, according to Bardack, as well as an elbow fracture in 2009, and takes Armour Thyoid and Coumadin daily.

“She does not smoke and drinks alcohol occasionally,” Bardack wrote. “She does not use illicit drugs or tobacco products. She eats a diet rich in lean protein, vegetables and fruits. She exercises regularly, including yoga, swimming, walking and weight training.”

Clinton’s last physical was March 21, 2015, and she is up to date on routine screenings, her doctor added.

“In summary, Mrs. Clinton is a healthy female with hypothyroidism and seasonal allergies, on longterm anticoagulation,” Bardack concludes. “She participates in a healthy lifestyle and has had a full medical evaluation, which reveals no evidence of additional medical issues or cardiovascular disease. Her cancer screening evaluations are all negative. She is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States.”

The full letter is below:


Morning Must Reads: July 31

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Republican candidates and their aides are locked in preparations for next week’s inaugural debate, but one thing they can’t control for is Donald Trump, whose presence is likely to dominate a substantial part of the debate. Strategies range from direct engagement and mockery to trying to fly under the radar, and are largely dependent on what Trump’s rivals need to accomplish, or not, next week.

In a preview of one potential general election matchup, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush will share the same stage Friday at the National Urban League conference as they each seek to win over black voters. After turning out at record rates for President Obama‘s campaigns, black voters are very much in the mix this time around. Clinton is looking to maintain the Obama coalition, as Bush is hoping to shave off just a few percent in hopes they will boost him to victory.

Bush will use his remarks to highlight his education reform efforts in Florida, as well call for economic growth in urban centers and reforms for the nation’s safety net programs. He will likely also address the ongoing national debate over mistrust between police and the communities they serve. Clinton, after early missteps, has embraced the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which will be key a component of her remarks.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Republicans Debate the Best Way to Debate Donald Trump
TIME goes inside the strategic dilemma the rest of the GOP is facing

Koch Brothers Brave Spotlight to Try to Alter Their Image
The billionaire mega-donors show off their softer side [New York Times]

Congress Takes Off for the Summer, Setting Up an Autumn Showdown
Another shutdown? [Washington Post]

For Young Voters, Crushing Student Debt Is Front And Center
The issue is taking center-stage in New Hampshire as candidates try to adjust [NPR]

Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush to Share Stage at National Urban League
An effort to re-assemble or break the Obama coalition [CNN]

Sound Off

“I think it is regrettable that Republicans are once again trying to undermine, even end those services that so many women have needed and taken advantage of. I think that it’s another effort by the Republicans to try to limit the health care options of women and we should not let them succeed once again.” — Hillary Clinton criticizing GOP efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of several controversial videos

“I think I would get along very well with Vladimir Putin. I just think so.” — Donald Trump

Bits and Bites

Obama Rallies Grassroots to Get ‘Active’ in Iran Deal Organizing [TIME]

Clinton Campaign Complains of’ ‘Egregious’ New York Times Reporting Errors [Politico]

Here’s What the Bernie Sanders Cocktail Tastes Like [TIME]

With Debate and Convention, G.O.P. Looks to Reclaim Ohio in 2016 [New York Times]

Elizabeth Warren Wants You to Run For Office [TIME]

Slide Back in Time with the GOP Candidates [ABC]

Clinton Campaign Donors Also Big Backers of Foundation [Wall Street Journal]

Activists Release Fourth Planned Parenthood Video [TIME]

Sen. Schumer in Tight Spot on Iran Pact [Wall Street Journal]

No, Donald Trump Can’t Land his Helicopter at the Iowa State Fair [Des Moines Register]

Hillary Clinton Delivers ‘Cautious’ Message on Trade to AFL-CIO [Wall Street Journal]

TIME 2016 Election

Republicans Debate the Best Way to Debate Donald Trump

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Visits His Scottish Golf Course
Jeff J Mitchell—Getty Images Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump visits his Scottish golf course Turnberry on July 30, 2015 in Ayr, Scotland.

"You can show that not only the emperor has no clothes—the candidate has no answers."

In windowless conference rooms and in the back seats of SUVs rumbling through Iowa and New Hampshire, Republicans hoping to become President have been memorizing talking points, practicing witty rejoinders and perfecting faux outrage in preparation for next Thursday’s debate in Cleveland.

But these practice sessions have inevitably been getting stuck on the same question: How can anyone debate with Donald Trump, the loud-mouthed billionaire who is atop polls of Republicans? Should he be treated as an inconsistent conservative who once backed abortion rights? Cast as an anti-immigrant firebrand who continues to alienate the fast-growing bloc of Hispanic voters? Or is the proper play to simply get out of the way as he panders to his base of frustrated, middle-class voters and hope one of the eight other people do the dirty work of deflating his sky-high poll numbers?

Interviews with campaign strategists, debate coaches and political consultants reveal that there is no single answer, and several different strategies that depend on whether the candidate is likely to be among Trump’s first targets on that televised stage. Begrudgingly, Trump’s rivals recognize they cannot continue to shrug him off. They’re going to have to treat him like a real candidate in Cleveland.

For some candidates, going after Trump has been seen as good politics. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have made the most of being anti-Trump, hoping to steal a share of his limelight in order to boost themselves onto the debate stage. (Not even a viral video responding to Trump is likely to lift Graham’s numbers sufficiently to earn him a podium on the main debate stage.)

Still others will be content to sit back and let others hammer their top rival for them. Their primary concern is to avoid Trump’s barbs that might do damage to their own campaigns. After all, taking on Trump seldom is a bloodless affair. “They will avoid getting hit by the shrapnel since nothing good can come of that engagement,” said one former senior adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign.

For Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, his silence, if not continued generosity towards Trump, will be less a matter of expediency than political necessity. He is betting that when Trump flames out, his supporters—many of them one-time Cruz backers—remember that he was never a vocal critic of their hero.

The unknown here, of course, is which version of Trump shows up that night. Some foresee the worst. “Imagine a NASCAR driver mentally preparing for a race knowing one of the drivers will be drunk,” tweeted John Weaver, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s strategist. “That’s what prepping for this debate is like.”

Will Trump be on his best behavior, or will he ignore the rules and time limits? Will he come briefed on policy or packing the rhetoric of a reality star that he is? Will any of it matter to voters who have been drawn to his political neophyte status?

“I think he will be more respectful that people expect,” predicts Sen. Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican who has helped presidential candidates prepare for debates since 2000. “He will try to counter the stereotypes. He should appear presidential and talk about policy and be respectful.”

Trump himself has been in preparing for the debate recently with some of his closest advisers before departing for Scotland late Wednesday for the Women’s British Open. An aide said the focus has been on condensing answers for the debate time-limits and reviewing potential attacks on his rivals.

Veteran debate adviser Brett O’Donnell, who is working with Graham, says it is a mistake for candidates to alter their strategy to engage Trump. Instead, the debaters need to have a plan in place and do their best to ignore Trump and his side-show theatrics.

“You don’t want to go in there reacting to what Trump does,” said O’Donnell, who has coached John McCain, Michele Bachmann and Romney for debates. “You have to have a message for the debate and you also have to make sure that you can create moments when you capture attention.”

Even one of the figures tasked with managing the already chaotic, 10-person debate says it could quickly go off the rails with the added phenomenon of Trump. In interviews, Trump often talks over his questioners, interrupts their queries and mocks their approaches. There’s no guarantees Trump will not completely ignore the moderators’ attempts to move on to another candidate. “I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say that I have woken up in cold sweats wondering how I’m going to deal with a Donald Trump who’s not listening,” debate co-moderator Bret Baier told TIME earlier this month.

For some of the lesser-known candidates, the debate will be their first shot at introducing themselves to voters. In that context, the smart candidate will make every chance to speak an opportunity to highlight a signature issue. For instance, Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign is rooted in the promises of liberty. Every answer, thus, should have a theme of liberty — regardless of the question, debate coaches say.

“Whatever it is, bring it back to that,” said Portman, who is not working yet with any candidates and plans to watch the Cleveland debate with supporters three hours south in Columbus. “I don’t have a role to play in this,” he says with more than a measure of relief.

And, if all else fails, a quick joke or quick rejoinder can elevate an also-ran to frequently played soundbite. “With this many people and Donald Trump in the mix, a premium will be placed on one-liners and humor,” Portman said.

If that doesn’t work, there’s always Trump’s record and proposals. The debate will be his first true test if he can master specifics. To this point, he has waved off detailed questions and responded with broad strokes of rhetoric. “We’re going to see what we’re going to see,” Trump told an interviewer last weekend when asked how he would deal with immigrants in the country illegally.

He won’t have the luxury of turning to vagaries at the debate if his rivals press him. “It comes down to specifics,” said Doug Heye, a veteran Republican strategist who has been critical of Trump’s rise. “If you allow him an open-ended question to where he can go back to name-calling and cell-phone talking and insults, then you can’t win. But if you drill down on specifics, you can.”

For instance, if Trump brings up the Veterans Administration, someone should press him, in Heye’s estimation: “Hey, Donald, which committee has jurisdiction over that?”

“It’s drilling down and getting into specifics of policy,” Heye said. “You can show that not only the emperor has no clothes—the candidate has no answers.”

Still, some Republicans grumble, Trump has already taken up so much oxygen in the political space. “The person who is benefiting from all of this Trump business is Hillary Clinton. The person who can refocus the debate on Hillary is the person who wins,” O’Donnell said.

Adds Heye: “Three weeks ago, Marco Rubio gave a really good education speech and no one heard. Rick Perry gave a speech about race and no one heard it.” That, he adds, needs to change if anyone is going to be ready to face Clinton in November 2016.

Read next: Here’s What Mark Cuban Has to Say About Running For VP on a Donald Trump Ticket

Download TIME’s mobile app for iOS to have your world explained wherever you go


Morning Must Reads: July 30

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

The GOP top-tier is not firmly established going into the first debate. At the top is Donald Trump, Scott Walker, and Jeb Bush. Then things get complicated — real complicated. Nine candidates are in a statistical tie in the latest Quinnipiac University Poll for 4th-12th place, making next week’s winnowing of the field to 10 candidates on the first debate state essentially arbitrary if coming polls produce similar results. With 17 GOP candidates declared—former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore entered the race Wednesday—there is unlikely to be a statistically significant polling difference between the person occupying the 10th spot on stage and the 11th person left off it.

Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server that allegedly contained classified information opens up a legal can of worms for the former Secretary of State if investigators determine that she knew the information was classified. The controversy is already leading to a major hit to her national poll numbers, as Bush and Walker now poll even with Clinton in hypothetical general election match-ups. Clinton’s favorability and trustworthiness ratings are also at new lows.

Elsewhere in politics, Rick Perry has an unusual challenge for Donald Trump, and Ben Carson‘s surgeon’s hands breeze through a game of “Operation.”

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Donald Trump Dominates in New National Republican Poll
Nine candidates in a statistical tie for 4th place [TIME]

Facebook Expands in Politics, and Campaigns Find Much to Like
The new advertising “monster” [New York Times]

Clinton’s Planned Parenthood ties run deep
Videos are “disturbing,” she says, but Clinton has long been a supporter [Politico]

The Legal Question Over Hillary Clinton’s Secret Emails
Her exposure depends on what she knew, TIME’s Massimo Calabresi writes

Koch Network Takes Cue from Obama Playbook
A 1,000-strong ground game more than a year from Election Day [Washington Post]

UBS Deal Shows Clinton’s Complicated Ties [Wall Street Journal]
Donations to family foundation increased after secretary of state’s involvement in tax case

Sound Off

“Let’s get a pull-up bar out there and see who can do more pull-ups.” — Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry challenges Donald Trump

“She wanted to breast pump in front of me and I may have said that’s disgusting, I may have said something else. I thought it was terrible. She’s a vicious, horrible person.” — Donald Trump on lawyer Elizabeth Beck, with whom he allegedly clashed with over breastfeeding

Bits and Bites

Hillary Clinton Losing Strength in New National Polling [TIME]

Facts in Clinton’s ‘Secret’ Emails Came From Five Intelligence Agencies [McClatchy]

The Trumpification of Congress [TIME]

How to Beat ‘Operation’ With Ben Carson [IJ Review]

Bernie Sanders Hosts Biggest Organizing Event of 2016 So Far [TIME]

Hillary Clinton to Call for Lifting Cuba Embargo [TIME]

James Gilmore, Ex-Virginia Governor, Files Papers to Run for President [New York Times]

Donald Trump Says His Past Politics Were Transactional [Wall Street Journal]

Judge Explodes Over Hillary Email Delays [Politico]

Planned Parenthood Website Hacked [CNN]

TIME Donald Trump

Donald Trump Dominates in New National Republican Poll

The results are huge one week before first Republican debate

Donald Trump sits firmly atop the Republican primary field one week before the inaugural GOP debate, according to the Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday.

The bombastic reality television star and real estate magnate has the support of 20% of Republicans, according to the poll, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker following at 13% and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush rounding out the top-3 at 10%. No other Republican candidate polls higher than 6%, with nine of the 12 remaining candidates polling within a statistical tie according to the survey.

The poll is likely to be one of the five surveys that will factor in determining eligibility for the GOP debate, with the Fox News using an as-yet-unknown method for averaging the results. The network has said it may allow more than 10 candidates on stage in the event of a tie.

The close results highlight the challenges inherent to using polling to attempt to winnow the massive Republican primary field.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Marco Rubio each polled at 6%, followed by Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 5%. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie polled at 3%, rounding out the top 10, with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry earning 2% each. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, and former New York Gov. George Pataki each pulled in 1%.

Among Republicans, 30% said they would under no circumstances vote for Trump—the highest of any candidate—with 15% saying they would never back Christie and 14% saying the same of Bush. Trump is viewed favorably by 50% of GOPers, with 33% viewing him unfavorably—among the lower net figures in the GOP field. Christie, though, is even worse, with 40% holding positive views and 37% negative.

Rubio and Walker remain the most beloved in the GOP, with more than three-fifths holding favorable opinions of the candidates and just single digits viewing them unfavorably. Bush saw a significant jump to his approval ratings, from the last Quinnipiac survey in May, rising from just 28% viewing him favorably to 43%, with the percentage viewing him unfavorably declining from 44% to 41% over the same period.

Americans of all stripes believe Trump possesses strong leadership qualities, with 58% of Americans and 61% of independent voters agreeing with that statement. Yet on two other key metrics of candidate performance, trust and caring about voters, Trump is underwater by roughly 2-1 margins.

The poll of 710 Republicans was conducted from July 23-28 and has a margin of error of ± 3.7 percentage points. The broader sample of 1,644 registered voters has a margin of error of ± 2.4 percentage points.

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Losing Strength in New National Polling

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Jim Cole—AP Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens to questions during a campaign stop on July 28, 2015, in Nashua, N.H.

She is strong against Democratic challengers, but weaker against Republicans

Six weeks after setting her candidacy into high gear, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers are continuing to fall, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Across nearly every key metric, from trustworthiness to caring about voters to leadership, Clinton has seen an erosion in public approval, as likely Republican rivals have erased her leads in the poll. Clinton has a net -11 favorability rating in the poll, with 40% of the American public viewing her positively and 51% negatively, with more than 50% of independents on the negative side.

If the election were held today, Clinton would be tied with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the poll—down from significant leads in a May 28 survey—but would top the current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

The poll, which was conducted amid new reporting on the existence of classified information on Clinton’s private email server, found further declines in Clinton’s perceived trustworthiness, with 57% of Americans now viewing her as neither honest nor trustworthy. And as Clinton has invested heavily in a campaign designed to appeal to Americans who feel left behind in the economic recovery, a majority of Americans now believe Clinton does not care about the needs or problems of people like them. But while the numbers have softened in recent months, Clinton is continued to be viewed as a strong leader by 58% of Americans.

Despite her struggles in general election match-ups, Clinton’s position as a front-runner for the Democratic nomination remains solid with 55 percent of Democrats supporting her—roughly unchanged from a year ago. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ gains, meanwhile, have slowed. The May poll found the avowed socialist’s support spiking from 8% to 15% from a month before; this month he has the backing of 17% of Democrats.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, meanwhile, has struggled for recognition, with 76% of Americans and 78% of Democrats saying they don’t know enough about him to form an opinion of him. Despite intense campaigning and jabs at Clinton and Sanders, O’Malley only garners the support of 1% of Democrats, unchanged from two months ago.

The poll of 1,644 registered voters has a margin of error of ± 2.4 percentage points and was conducted from July 23-28. The smaller sample of 681 Democrats has a margin of error of ±3.8 percentage points.


Morning Must Reads: July 29

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard will be released later this year, fulfilling a long-held request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The White House said it played no role in the parole decision, but speculation that it was tied to the Iran nuclear deal abounds. Republican Rep. Mark Meadows motioned Tuesday to overthrow Speaker of the House John Boehner amid frequent clashes between the GOP leader and the conservative wing of his conference. The motion is all-but-certain to fail, but it is another embarrassment to Boehner.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is signaling he will leave the Florida primary to the dueling campaigns of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio. The two native sons are locked in a pitched battle for the state’s delegates, and the outcome on March 15 may be one of the most decisive moments of next year’s primary season. Rubio, for his part, is laying low during a season of candidates making more and more outlandish statements to get attention. Content with running below the radar, the freshman senator with broad appeal needs to pick his moment to break out — and hope that his would-be supporters are still around.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Marco Rubio Takes Low-Key Approach

But when will he break out? [New York Times]

GOP congressman launches bid to oust John Boehner as House speaker

A mutiny attempt on the House floor [Washington Post]

Israeli Spy Pollard Will Be Released by U.S. in November
The White House says it was not a concession to Israel [Wall Street Journal]

Under Oath, Donald Trump Shows His Raw Side

Legal records paint unflattering portrait [New York Times]

Rand Paul defends campaign during N.H. swing

Stagnant, Paul says he’s playing the long game [Boston Globe]

What We Can Learn From Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Dick Cheney on 9/11

A never-before-seen look at a White House during crisis [TIME]

Sound Off

“Imagine a NASCAR driver mentally preparing for a race knowing one of the drivers will be drunk. That’s what prepping for this debate is like” —John Weaver, strategist for Ohio Gov. John Kasich on preparing for the GOP debate.

“This is President Obama’s decision and I’m not going to second-guess him. If it’s undecided when I become president, I will answer your question.” —Hillary Clinton, once again punting on the Keystone XL pipeline Tuesday.

Bits and Bites

Watch the Trailer for Michael Bay’s Benghazi Thriller ’13 Hours’ [Wall Street Journal]

Walker Tells Private Group He’ll Skip Florida Primary [RealClearPolitics]

The Kochs freeze out Donald Trump [Politico]

White House Responds to Petition Urging Obama to Pardon Edward Snowden [TIME]

Former members of Congress not invited to pope’s speech [Washington Post]

Small Businesses Bear Burden of Ex-Im Bank Shutdown [Wall Street Journal]

Feds call meeting with Christie and Cuomo to discuss new transit tunnel [Bergen Record]

The Unique Challenges of Vetting Hillary Clinton’s Email [Wall Street Journal]



Morning Must Reads: July 28

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

In the latest indication in recent months of corporate America wading in to provoke social change, Facebook and other corporate bigwigs are backing new protections for LGBT Americans, TIME’s Philip Elliott reports. This comes after the business community played a major role in halting a proposed “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” in Indiana over concerns it would sanction discrimination and encouraging South Carolina to remove the Confederate battle flag from its capital grounds.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is fading in the polls and in his influence in the GOP race. Overshadowed by Donald Trump, and marginalized on national security issues by a Republican base that has grown more hawkish with the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, Paul is resorting to stunts, like taking a chainsaw to the tax code, in order to get attention.

President Obama took a swing at his would-be GOP successors’ inflammatory rhetoric on Monday, which only emboldened those he criticized. In his first extended Spanish-language interview of the campaign, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke of the time his children were taunted for their skin tone. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is unveiling her climate change plan, but is remaining silent on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. And Obama, speaking at the African Union Tuesday morning, lamented not being able to run for another term. “I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” he said. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t.”

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Facebook, Corporate Giants Back New LGBT Protections
TIME’s Phil Elliott with the exclusive

President Obama Says GOP Criticism ‘Ridiculous’
Obama responds to Republican rhetoric [TIME]

U.S. Prepares to Fly Deeper into Syrian Civil War
TIME’s Mark Thompson on the latest anti-ISIS plan

‘The Most Interesting Man in Politics’ Isn’t Drawing Much Interest in New Hampshire
Rand Paul’s influence is waning [Washington Post]

Jabbing at Republican Rivals, Jeb Bush Calls for Civility
Having it both ways [New York Times]

Sound Off

“We are very Hispanic, in that we speak Spanish in the house. Columba is a good Mexican, proud of her citizenship of this country, of course, but we eat Mexican food in the home. My children are Hispanic in many aspects. We don’t talk about it, but the Hispanic influence is an important part of my life.” — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, speaking in Spanish in an interview with Telemundo

“I will refrain from commenting because I had a leading role in getting that process started and we have to let it run its course.” — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline during remarks about climate change

Bits and Bites

Donald Trump Is Not as Aggressive on Immigration As He Sounds [TIME]

Jon Stewart’s Secret White House Visits [Politico]

N.S.A. Will Not Be Allowed to Keep Old Phone Records [New York Times]

Jewish Americans Support the Iran Nuclear Deal [Washington Post]

Bush, Cruz, Rubio and Walker to Court Koch Donors [Politico]

Arizona Senator May be Best Shot for Bipartisan Support of Iran Deal [Wall Street Journal]

Trump Slams Walker as Governor Leads in Early Voting Iowa [Associated Press]




Morning Must Reads: July 27

Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

With just 10 days to the first GOP debate, the Republican National Committee is defending its efforts to take control of the debates process that will leave six candidates off the main stage next week. In anticipation of the culling, which will be determined by position in nationally polling, the candidates on the bubble are going up on television, increasing their travel schedule, and dialing up their rhetoric to gain attention. For instance, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee resorted to invoking the Holocaust over the weekend in a bid to highlight his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is out with the first leg of her climate change plan, but she can’t outrun lingering questions over her use of private email while at the State Department. A pair of inspector generals said Friday that there were at least four instances of classified information being found on her unsecured server in violation of handling rules. And she and the House Benghazi Committee remain locked in a war of words over the conditions under which she will testify later this year.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Officials: Classified Emails ‘Should Never’ Have Been On Hillary Clinton Server
More questions for Clinton over private email use [TIME]

Donald Trump Staffers Eye Third-Party Run
TIME’s Philip Elliott reports on the candidate’s flirtations with an independent run

Hillary Clinton Unveils Far-Reaching Climate Change Plan
500 million new solar panels by 2020 [New York Times]

Senate Smackdown: Ted Cruz, Mike Lee Efforts Squelched by Leaders
Drama in the Senate chamber [Politico]

Republicans Alter Script on Abortion, Seeking to Shift Debate
The GOP goes on offense after controversial videos emerge [New York Times]

Sound Off

“This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.” — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama.

“I think every state should strengthen their laws. Every state should make sure this information is being reported in the background system. We need to make sure that background system is working. Absolutely, in this instance, this man never should have been able to buy a gun.” — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on CBS “Face the Nation” after last week’s mass shooting in Lafayette

Bits and Bites

John McCain to Campaign for Lindsey Graham Next Week [TIME]

Dispute Continues Over Hillary Clinton Testifying Before Benghazi Panel [TIME]

Here’s Jeb Bush’s Underwhelming Review of Sharknado 3 [TIME]

George Pataki Is Wearing Two Hats: Presidential Candidate and Cattleman
[Wall Street Journal]

Jeb Bush to Seek Latino Support in Central Florida [Washington Post]

Marco Rubio, Absentee Senator [Politico]

American Crossroads Gears Up for 2016 Elections, Aims to Stay Top GOP Super PAC [Wall Street Journal]

Exodus from Puerto Rico Could Upend Florida Vote in 2016 Presidential Race [Washington Post]

GOP: It’s No Longer Playing Catch-Up to Clinton on Tech Outreach [San Francisco Chronicle]

Where Candidates Stash Their Cash [Bloomberg]



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