TIME 2016 Election

Bill Clinton Considered Giving Speeches Connected to North Korea, Congo

Bill Clinton
Jacquelyn Martin—AP Former President Bill Clinton listens to a question after speaking at Georgetown University in Washington on April 21, 2015.

Emails show speeches could have netted big payday

Former President Bill Clinton sought approval from the State Department for speaking engagements related to North Korea and the Democratic Republic of Congo while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, according to emails obtained by ABC News. Both countries are thought to be complicit in a number of human rights violations.

In the emails, a representative for the Clinton Foundation passes along to a State Department official an invite to a speaking engagement in Brazzaville, Congo that would earn Clinton a speaking fee of $650,000. ABC notes the leaders of the Congo and Democratic Republic of the Congo required photos with the former president as a condition of the speech. DRC leader Joseph Kabila has been widely criticized for maneuvering to stay in power indefinitely past his term. A group that helps Clinton organize his speeches, called the Harry Walker Agency, recommended that he decline the invite.

In another set of emails that begin with the subject line “North Korea invitation,” the Clinton Foundation representative wrote to the state department, ““Is it safe to assume [the U.S. Government] would have concerns about WJC accepting the attached invitation related to North Korea?” A State Department official instructed the Clinton Foundation to decline the offer.

Huge speaking fees drawn by both Clintons, sometimes from controversial foreign governments and figures, have come under scrutiny amid Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“As a matter of course, all requests were run by the State Department,” a press official in Bill Clinton’s office told ABC News, arguing that the Clinton Foundation was not pushing to get the speeches approved. “Ultimately, the President did not give these speeches.”

[ABC News]

TIME

Morning Must Reads: August 28

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

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver dueling foreign policy speeches Friday in South Carolina. Rubio, who will focus his remarks on China, followed Walker’s lead this week in calling for the scaling back of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit next month. Walker, who has less experience on foreign policy issues, will deliver broad remarks as he hopes to regain his campaign’s footing amid declining poll numbers.

Democratic presidential candidates will face their party leadership in Minneapolis Friday, but one man, Joe Biden, will be missing, as he continues to ponder launching a bid for the Oval Office. Hillary Clinton faces frustration from many in her party over her seemingly flippant responses to questions about her use of a private email server. On Thursday, Clinton sought to keep the focus on Republicans, comparing them to terrorists on attitudes toward women.

Jeb Bush secured the endorsement of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who spurned the appeals of some of Bush’s rivals. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are teaming up to oppose the Iran deal. And Speaker of the House John Boehner had some choice words for Cruz at a recent fundraiser.

Here are your must-reads:

Must Reads

Univision’s Jorge Ramos: Reporters Need to Get Tougher on Donald Trump
The anchor talks to TIME’s Michael Scherer

Hacker Killed by Drone Was ‘Secret Weapon’
U.S. kills ISIS hacker in drone attack [Wall Street Journal]

Democrats Get The Keys To Obama’s Massive Campaign Email List
A long-sought victory for the DNC [BuzzFeed]

Hillary Clinton’s Handling of Email Issue Frustrates Democratic Leaders
They wish she’d take it more seriously [New York Times]

How Huma Abedin operated at the center of the Clinton universe
Overlapping public and private work [Washington Post]

Sound Off

“Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States.” —Hillary Clinton at a rally in Ohio Thursday in comments that immediately drew rebuke from Republicans.

“As President, I will send the following message: the retreat is over. American leadership is back and, together with our allies, we will not surrender another inch of ground to terrorists or any other power that threatens our safety.” —Prepared remarks of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on foreign policy Friday at the Citadel in Charleston, S.C.

Bits and Bites

Eric Cantor endorses Bush over Rubio, Walker, and Christie [TIME]

John Boehner Calls Ted Cruz A ‘Jackass’ At Fundraiser [Daily Caller]

Iran Deal Opens a Vitriolic Divide Among American Jews [New York Times]

Hillary Clinton, citing Tamir Rice and Virginia shootings, decries gun violence in Cleveland speech [Northeast Ohio Media Group]

DNC site mistakes foreign vets for former U.S. troops [Military Times]

Hillary Clinton to Coordinate Fundraising with Democratic Party [TIME]

Watch Donald Trump Try to Prove His Hair Is Real [TIME]

Cruz, Trump to hold anti-Iran deal rally in D.C. [Politico]

Rubio: How My Presidency Would Deal With China [Wall Street Journal]

TIME 2016 Election

Former House Leader Eric Cantor Endorses Jeb Bush for Republican Nomination

House Majority Leader Cantor leaves after a news conference
Yuri Gripas—Reuters U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) leaves after a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington June 11, 2014

"America needs a President that can re-energize our nation and recapture our greatness"

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor endorsed Jeb Bush Thursday, spurning several rivals who were aggressively courting the former GOP number two.

Cantor, who left Congress last year after a shocking loss in a primary to conservative upstart David Brat, will become co-chair of Bush’s campaign in his home state Virginia, providing the former Florida governor access to his extensive donor base in the finance and Jewish communities.

The endorsement is a blow to several of Bush’s rivals. According to a source close to Cantor, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were all striving to earn Cantor’s support.

“They pursued him for months and months,” the source said. “He still has a whole lot of friends in Congress and other prominent folks across the country in the party and the finance and fundraising communities.”

According to the source, Cantor weighed his options over the past several months and came to his decision to back Jeb “relatively recently.”

In a statement, Cantor said, “Governor Bush is a true conservative leader with a long-term vision for this country and the practical know how to implement it. After eight years of anemic growth and declining international relevance, America needs a President that can re-energize our nation and recapture our greatness — Jeb Bush is that man. I look forward to working closely with the Governor and his team as they chart a course to the White House.”

Cantor will appear with Bush at an event in Norfolk, Va., Friday. News of Cantor’s endorsement was first reported by Politico.

TIME Donald Trump

Univision’s Jorge Ramos: Reporters Need to Get Tougher on Donald Trump

Donald Trump media Jorge Ramos
Scott Olson—Getty Images Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump fields a question from Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos during a press conference held before his campaign event at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa, on Aug. 25, 2015.

A network anchor calls on his colleagues to do better

Days after exchanging heated words with Donald Trump, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has some words to share with his fellow national political reporters: Do more to make Trump answer the tough questions.

“He hasn’t been challenged enough,” Ramos said of Trump. “He hates to be challenged and it is time that we start doing it.”

At issue for Ramos are a set of immigration policies that Trump has announced, but not yet explained how he would implement. At the top of the list is Trump’s plan to make all of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants leave the country before many of them would be allowed back in under legal status. When asked by TIME, ABC News and others about how he would force millions from the country, Trump has so far only offered evasions. “It’s called management,” he told TIME.

Ramos says that sort of non-response is unacceptable from a leading presidential candidate, especially given the number of people who could be affected. “If he wants to do it in the short term, he would need to use the army, use stadiums, public places,” Ramos said. “The only way to do that would be to use trains and buses and airports to deport millions of people. It’s in a scale never seen before in the world. And it is incredibly dangerous.”

Ramos also thinks Trump needs to explain how he would fund a new wall along the southern border and how his plan to undo birthright citizenship would work in practice. “If he denies citizenship to newborns then we would have stateless babies, babies with no passport and no country,” Ramos said. “How do you deport them? Do you send ICE agents to hospitals? And where do you deport them? Do you send them to Mexico if the father is from that country or to Honduras if the mother is from that country?”

At a press conference in Iowa on Tuesday, Ramos tried to ask these questions of Trump, using his aggressive style. Initially, Trump said Ramos was acting out of turn. “Go back to Univision,” Trump said, before asking his security to expel Ramos from the room. Later, Trump invited Ramos to return and the two men spoke over each other for several minutes. However, the questions were left unanswered.

It was not the first time Trump has declined to describe the process of carrying out his stated policies. When asked on ABC News Sunday about the cost of building a wall, Trump said, “We need a wall. We have to get a wall.” When asked how he would round up 11 million people for deportation, Trump repeated his familiar “management” line.

Five days earlier, Trump offered a similar answer to TIME. “It’ll all work out,” he said on Aug. 18, while emphasizing his managerial credentials. “Politicians can’t manage. All they can do is talk.”

After Ramos was expelled from the Trump press conference, he was confronted by an apparent Trump supporter in the hallway, who told Ramos to “Get out of my country.” Born in Mexico, Ramos is a naturalized U.S. citizen. “What many people think and say in their houses now is being expressed in the streets and in their workplaces and in public spaces,” Ramos says. “And those biases and those rejections of immigrants have been legitimized by Mr. Trump’s dangerous words.”

Ramos has had a standing request to interview Trump for weeks. Instead of responding directly to one invitation, Trump posted a handwritten note from Ramos, which included the anchor’s cell phone number, on Instagram. Ramos, whose Univision broadcast has a nightly Spanish-language news audience of more than 2 million, still hopes to talk to the candidate. “If it happens, it will be an uncomfortable interview for him for sure,” says Ramos. “He can’t and he should not get away with empty promises. At stake is the future of this country.”

In a separate proceeding, Trump has sued Univision, alleging breach of contract after the network backed out of broadcasting the Miss Universe pageant. Univision’s decision not to air the pageant followed Trump’s claim that Mexico was sending rapists and criminals across the southern border. Trump subsequently ordered that Univision employees be denied service at his south Florida golf courses, including one near Univision headquarters that Ramos said he had previously visited. “It hasn’t changed anything at all,” Ramos says of the ban.

He added that he also recently dined at Jean Georges, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the Trump International Tower next to Central Park. “I was pleasantly surprised to realize the vast majority of the people working in the kitchen and the restaurant were Mexicans, from the state of Puebla,” Ramos said. “I used to go to those places, but I won’t anymore.”

Read next: Trump Proud of Kicking Jorge Ramos Out of Press Event

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TIME Military

Retired Generals Wage Letter War Over Iran Nuclear-Deal Vote

Controversial Heavy Water Plant Nears Completion In Iran
Majid Saeedi / Getty Images The Obama Administration argues Iran's Arak nuclear facility won't be capable of producing fuel for nuclear weapons under the proposed deal.

The Pentagon's new dead-letter office

Last week, nearly 40 retired U.S. generals and admirals urged Congress to endorse the deal the U.S. and five other nations have struck with Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions. “We, the undersigned retired military officers, support the agreement as the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” they wrote.

The other side, nearly 200 strong, lobbed a return brass barrage Wednesday. “In our judgment as former senior military officers,” they said, the deal “would threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States and, therefore, should be disapproved by the Congress.”

Sure, brigades of special interests, including arms-control organizations, foreign-policy shops and even rabbis have been urging Congress to vote the pact up or down. But these ex-military officers are different, aren’t they? They spent their careers fretting over national security. Maybe that’s why, if you doubt the deal makes sense, you squirmed over last week’s letter. But you cheered this week’s, with five times as many signatures.

What’s a poor fence-sitting American to think? Not much, according to a sampling of retired general officers. “Having signed neither is about all I wish to say about this sort of thing,” says one former four-star, although he declined to say so on the record. “Those with the most insights and knowledge of the deal,” adds another, also speaking privately, “were not among the signatories.”

“I’m convinced that 90% of the guys who signed the letter one way or the other don’t have any clue about whether it’s a good or bad deal,” says Anthony Zinni, a retired four-star Marine officer who says he refused requests from both sides to sign their letters. “They sign it because somebody’s asked them to sign it.”

So how would he vote? Zinni says he can’t say, because he hasn’t had the closed-door intelligence briefings offered to lawmakers that he says would answer his two critical questions:

First, how airtight is the inspection regime? The more intrusive the inspections, the better the deal for the U.S. and its negotiating allies.

Secondly, how united are the allies in re-imposing economic sanctions if Iran is found to be cheating? The weaker the prospect of future sanctions, the worse the deal is for Washington.

“Everyone is speculating on worst case or best case,” says Zinni, who oversaw U.S. military dealings with Iran from 1997 to 2000 as chief of U.S. Central Command. “The guys who like the deal are saying `It’ll all work!’,” he says. Among those signing are Marine general James Cartwright (vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, 2007-2011), Marine general Joseph Hoar (chief of Central Command, 1991-1994) and Air Force general Merrill McPeak (Air Force chief of staff, 1990-1994).

“Those who oppose it,” Zinni adds, “are saying `They can cheat here, and here, and there!’” Opponents include Navy admiral Leon Edney (vice chief of naval operations, 1988-1990), Navy admiral Timothy Keating (chief of U.S. Pacific Command, 2007-2009) and Air Force general William Bigert (commander, Pacific Air Forces, 2001-2004)

Their views, Zinni argues, are driven largely by their politics. “It’s basically a Democrat-Republican issue,” he says. Like the lawmakers they are trying to influence, the signers who oppose the deal tend to be conservative. Those supporting it lean liberal (at least for retired military officers). It’s no surprise the generals against the deal outnumber those who support it. Surveys show that conservative military officers handily outnumber their liberal comrades.

“The agreement’s fine, if you think it can work. But if this is a Neville Chamberlain,” Zinni adds, citing the British Prime Minister who signed a peace pact with Adolf Hitler shortly before World War II, “then you’re in a world of shit.”

TIME

Hillary Clinton to Coordinate Fundraising with Democratic Party

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 27:  Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to guests gathered for a campaign meeting on the campus of Case Western Reserve University on August 27, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. Clinton made her first official campaign stop in Ohio.     (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Jeff Swensen—2015 Getty Images Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to guests gathered for a campaign meeting on the campus of Case Western Reserve University on August 27, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.

The DNC aims to make similar agreements with the other candidates

In the latest sign that Hillary Clinton is looking ahead to the general election, the Democratic frontrunner’s campaign has signed an agreement with the Democratic Nation Committee party allowing her to raise additional funds for the November 2016 contest.

The agreement lets Clinton raise funds in excess of $2,700 from individual donors, the limit candidates can raise in primary dollars. The additional amount goes to a fund managed by the DNC and can be used to help the Democratic nominee in a general election.

“In the face of unlimited soft money donations from billionaires funding the Republicans, Democrats will need a strong effort to counter and we are glad for the opportunity to work with the DNC on this,” Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, said in a statement.

Clinton and the DNC have agreed to coordinate fundraising far earlier in the cycle than in previous years. In the last Democratic primary, then-Sen. Barack Obama didn’t sign a similar agreement with the DNC until May 2008. By signing the agreement early, Clinton can lay the groundwork for a tough general election contest against the Republican nominee—a contest most Democrats expect her to fight.

The Clinton campaign raised more than $45 million in the first fundraising quarter of the campaign, three times the amount her next rival for the nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But the pro-Clinton super PAC, Priorities USA has been struggling to bring in big-dollar donations compared with Republicans: Jeb Bush’s campaign and super PAC raised well over $100 million in the last quarter, while Priorities raised just $15 million.

Clinton can now effectively double the amount she is raising during house party fundraisers, and hand over the excess to a war chest controlled by the DNC. The DNC will then manage and allocate the money, spending it on technology, voter outreach, advertising and media. “This funding will go toward the eventual nominee, whoever that is,” a source with the campaign said. “We are confident that will be Hillary Clinton, but thought getting the fundraising going now was important.”

Though Clinton aides say she is squarely focused on the primary, she has kept an eye on November 2016. The frontrunner has recently increased her attacks on Republicans for their views on women’s health and voting rights, and invested in a 50-state effort to secure support across the country at the start of her campaign. She has also held numerous events in general election swing states.

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have accused the DNC of being biased in favor of a Clinton candidacy. They’ve pointed in particular to the schedule of six debates, which they argue is designed to limit Clinton’s exposure on a national stage.

The DNC said it hopes to sign similar agreements with the other Democratic candidates soon.

“The DNC has an impressive track record with presidential elections. Through this agreement and others we will sign with our party’s candidates, we are building the organization we will need now to make sure that whoever our nominee is, they are in the best possible position to win next November,” DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

The agreement was announced to state party chairs and members at the DNC’s summer meeting in Minneapolis on Thursday afternoon.

TIME abortion

Planned Parenthood Raises New Questions About Abortion Video Sting

Cecile Richards planned parenthood
Robert F. Bukaty—AP In this Oct. 3, 2014, file photo, Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood president, speaks in Orono, Maine.

Planned Parenthood claimed Thursday that undercover videos of its employees published by the Center for Medical Progress(CMP) contained hidden edits that raise new questions about the full context of recordings.

An analysis of the sting videos, undertaken by consulting firm Fusion GPS at Planned Parenthood’s direction, revealed at least 42 splices where video content had been edited out, but conversation appeared seamless. Congress is expected to debate continuing federal funding for Planned Parenthood when it returns from recess in September.

In a statement, CMP said the Planned Parenthood findings revealed nothing improper. “The absence of bathroom breaks and waiting periods between meetings does not change the hours of dialogue with top-level Planned Parenthood executives eager to manipulate abortion procedures to get high-quality baby parts for financially profitable sale,” the group said in a statement. “While even Planned Parenthood’s “experts” found “no evidence of audio manipulation” in the recordings, it is telling that Planned Parenthood is trying so hard to pretend that their staff did not refer to a dismembered fetus as ‘a baby’ and ‘another boy.'”

While the Planned Parenthood report concedes that it is “impossible” to determine the extent to which the edits distort the video, it also claims that the manipulation renders the videos with zero “evidentiary claim” in a legal context, unless supplemented by the original unaltered material by CMP.

In a letter written to Congressional leaders on Thursday, Planned Parenthood also contends that the Center for Medical Progress, led by anti-abortion activist David Daleiden, may have broken several laws, including California laws that prohibit non-consensual recording of individuals and the making of false charitable solicitations.

The National Abortion Federal has already filed a federal lawsuit against the CMP for illegally obtaining information. Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood, said in a press call Thursday morning that Parenthood “may consider” a similar lawsuit against Daleiden and his associates.

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Compares Republicans to ‘Terrorist Groups’ On Women’s Issues

Hillary Clinton
Daniel Acker—Bloomberg/Getty Images Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, listens during her introduction at an event in Ankeny, Iowa, on Aug. 26, 2015.

"Extreme views about women - we expect that from some of the terrorist groups"

Hillary Clinton swung hard at Republican candidates’ views on women’s health Thursday, comparing the GOP field to “terrorist groups.”

Speaking in Cleveland, Ohio Thursday, Clinton talked about Republicans’ attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, saying, “Extreme views about women – we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world. But it’s a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States. Yet they expose of out of date and out of touch policies,” NBC reports.

Republican National Committee Press Secretary Allison Moore put out a statement saying, “For Hillary Clinton to equate her political opponents to terrorists is a new low for her flailing campaign. She should apologize immediately for her inflammatory rhetoric.”

Many members of the Republican field have called to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood in the wake of leaked videos showing employees discussing the sale of fetal tissue. Clinton’s comment represents another escalation in the emerging battle between Democrats and Republicans on this issue.

TIME 2016 Campaign

Watch Donald Trump Try to Prove His Hair Is Real

The famous mane may be authentic

In response to frequent media references to his famous hair-do, presidential hopeful Donald Trump allowed a speech attendee to pet his hair on Thursday to prove that it is, indeed, real.

The leading 2016 GOP presidential candidate kicked off an event in Greenville, South Carolina by addressing a New York Times article in which a Latino broadcaster referred to Trump as “El hombre del peluquín,” which translates to “the man with the toupee,” according to Fox Carolina.

To debunk the claim, Trump invited a woman in the crowd on stage and proceeded to let her rub his head to see if it was real. When asked after her inspection whether or not she thought Trump’s mane was authentic, the woman responded “yes, I believe it is.”

Trump holds a commanding lead of the Republican presidential field with 28% of GOP voters’ support, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

TIME republicans

Conservatives Want Bust of Planned Parenthood Founder Removed From National Portrait Gallery

The Planned Parenthood logo
Dominick Reuter—Reuters The Planned Parenthood logo is pictured outside a clinic in Boston, June 27, 2014.

The controversy centers around her support for eugenics

A bust at a Smithsonian museum is the latest target in a heated back and forth between conservatives and Planned Parenthood.

Conservative groups are calling on the National Portrait Gallery to remove of a bust of Margaret Sanger from the Washington, D.C. museum, the Associated Press reports. Sanger, who died in 1966, founded two groups that eventually became Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood has been harshly criticized by conservatives following the release of a series of undercover videos that show employees of the healthcare organization negotiating the sale of fetal tissue. However, a group of ministers lead by former Republican politician E.W. Jackson and the conservative non-profit ForAmerica say their opposition to the bust is based on Sanger’s support of eugenics, a social movement that sought to remove undesirable traits from the gene pool through sterilization and selective breeding.

Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, told the AP that Sanger believed eugenics could be used to “sterilize out of existence the poor, the blacks.”

Republican politicians have echoed these claims. Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas have written a letter to lawmakers that calls the sculpture’s display by the museum “an affront both to basic human decency and the very meaning of justice.”

In a statement to TIME, Planned Parenthood acknowledged Sanger’s flaws, but dismissed the attacks as motivated by anti-abortion sentiment.

“This is a group with a longstanding political agenda to ban abortion,” said spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood. “There is no doubt that Margaret Sanger made some controversial, harmful statements that Planned Parenthood does not uphold. What we do know is that her fight for birth control access for all women — and her partnership with leaders like W.E.B. DuBois, Mary McLeod Bethune and Rev. Adam Clayton Powell — has helped millions of women and people to this day.”

Officials at the National Portrait Gallery say they won’t remove the bust, which has been on display since 2010. A spokesperson for the gallery told the AP that the museum’s displays include some people with “less than admirable characteristics.”

Sanger’s bust is included in the museum’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit, which highlights Americans who fought for the civil rights of disenfranchised or marginalized groups.

This is not the first time Planned Parenthood has had to defend Sanger. A 2004 fact sheet published by the group comes to the activist’s defense, while also separating the organization from some of her more antiquated beliefs. The fact sheet says that criticizing the family planning movement based on Sanger’s support for eugenics is like rejecting the Declaration of Independence because “it’s author, Thomas Jefferson, bought and sold slaves.”

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