If you only read one thing: It’s been an unprecedented few days in politics. The Republican Party nominee has continued his fight with a Gold Star family and picked a new one with a baby. That candidate has also suggested that the November election would be rigged against him, said he always wanted a Purple Heart, and refused to endorse his party’s 2008 presidential nominee and sitting Speaker of the House in their upcoming primary races. Meanwhile, his spokeswoman suggested that Obama was to blame for the death of a U.S. soldier years before he entered the White House. Donald Trump is struggling to maintain his grip on the Republican Party, as Establishment-types make themselves scarce, or even plot their defections to Hillary Clinton. All the while, a sitting President declared one of his would-be successors “unfit” for the job at a joint press conference with a foreign leader. There are still 97 days left until November 8, but the sheer magnitude of these statements and events rivals anything we’ve seen yet this cycle, and further feeds the question that has hung over this race: Will any of this matter to voters?
Obama also had strong words for Hillary Clinton at his press conference. When asked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, Obama said he’d continue to push for it, despite opposition from Clinton and Trump. “Right now I’m president and I’m for it. And I think I’ve got the better argument,” he said, before linking the agreement to national security and the credibility of the nation abroad, warning that if the deal goes down both could be damaged. Obama went on to imply that some of the opposition to the agreement was due to politics, rather than facts—viewed as a rebuke to Clinton. Clinton’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment on Obama’s rebuke.
Shakeup at the Democratic National Committee. Trump’s team agreed to limiting rally sizes. And a new pro-Clinton super PAC ad features Republicans bashing Trump.
Here are your must reads:
President Obama: Donald Trump Is ‘Unfit’ to Serve as President
An unprecedented statement by a sitting president [TIME]
Heads Roll at the DNC
Three top officials were ousted Tuesday, as the organization struggles to right itself [Politico]
Donald Trump Steps Up Criticism of Khans and G.O.P. Leaders
Party schism in the works [New York Times]
For Trump, a New ‘Rigged’ System: The Election Itself
A move to question the outcome in advance if he doesn’t win [Washington Post]
“His opponent is a big fan of what I’m saying. Big fan. His opponent who’s running a very good campaign obviously. You may have heard. His opponent sent me a very scholarly and well thought out letter yesterday. All I did was say thank you very much for your very nice letter.” — Donald Trump on Paul Ryan’s primary challenger
“He said, ‘that’s my real Purple Heart I have such confidence in you.’ And I said, ‘Man that’s like big stuff. I’ve always wanted to get the real Purple Heart.’ This was much easier.” — Trump after a veteran presented him with a Purple Heart at a rally
Bits and Bites
Judge blocks release of Trump’s video testimony [Associated Press]
Donald Trump transcript: The Republican nominee in his own words [Washington Post]