WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential race (all times EDT):
Donald Trump made no mention of the sexual accusations that have rocked his campaign in his final rally on Thursday.
More than 10,000 people packed an arena in Cincinnati to cheer wildly for Trump and loudly boo the reporters covering the rally.
But while Trump devoted most of his morning rally in Florida to defending himself against the accusations and attacking the media that printed them, he didn’t discuss it during the evening rally in Ohio.
Several woman have come forward to claim Trump sexually assaulted them or made unwanted advances. The celebrity businessman has denied the accusations.
President Barack Obama says Republicans who are disavowing Donald Trump over his recent controversies about women don’t deserve any credit for distancing themselves.
He says they created Trump because they stood by while Republicans fed their base a “swamp of crazy” for years. Obama says Republicans knew better, but were silent because it was politically convenient.
Obama is speaking at an annual dinner in Columbus benefiting Ohio Democrats. He’s working to saddle Republicans with Trump’s unpopularity even if they’ve withdrawn their support for the GOP nominee. Obama is holding up Ohio Sen. Rob Portman as an example. The Republican is running for re-election and recently renounced his support for Trump.
Obama says he’s more forgiving of Republicans who actually believe what people like Trump say than the ones who disagree but have said nothing for years.
Melania Trump says portions of a People Magazine story alleging a sexual assault by her husband are “false and completely fictionalized.” She is demanding a retraction and apology and threatening to sue the publication.
The story was a first-person account by Natasha Stoynoff of an interview she did with Donald and Melania Trump at their home in Mar-a-Lago. Stoynoff says that when Melania Trump left the room, her husband pushed Stoynoff against a wall and sexually assaulted her. The Republican presidential candidate says the account is untrue.
Lawyers for Mrs. Trump wrote that the article’s description of an encounter between Melania Trump and Stoynoff after the interview is “false and completely fictionalized.”
Mike Pence is blaming the media and Hillary Clinton for what he characterizes as “a discussion of slander and lies” targeting his running mate Donald Trump.
Pence’s remarks Thursday evening are the first time the Republican vice presidential candidate has addressed multiple allegations of sexual assault leveled at Trump.
Pence is telling attendees at a GOP dinner in Orefield, Pennsylvania, that Trump denies accusations that he groped or forcefully kissed women against their will. Pence says the claims are “unsubstantiated.”
Pence blames Clinton for pushing the story. He says Democrats are trying to draw attention away from hacked emails that are unflattering to her campaign.
None of Wisconsin’s top Republicans will be appearing with Donald Trump when he campaigns in the state on Monday.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s spokesman on Thursday said “prior engagements” will keep him from attending. Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker will be out of state. Ryan is campaigning for House Republicans in Texas and Walker is the keynote speaker at a previously scheduled GOP candidate training event in New Jersey.
Trump plans to campaign Monday in both Green Bay and West Allis near Milwaukee. His state spokesman Matt Schuck says the schedule of who will be appearing with him is still being finalized.
Ryan had said Monday he would not defend or campaign with Trump. But he, Walker and Johnson have not revoked their support.
Donald Trump is saying he “never met” some of the women who have accused him of sexual assault and unwanted advances.
Trump told supporters Thursday in Ohio the accusations were “false claims,” and said that media has “slandered and lied about me with false accusations.”
He said he, “never met these people” and added he doesn’t “know who they are.” Trump said his accusers have “made up stories.”
Trump has threatened to sue the New York Times for printing the claims of two women. Earlier Thursday in Florida, he accused the press of coordinating with Hillary Clinton’s campaign to “conspire” against his White House bid.
Hillary Clinton says she doesn’t care if Donald Trump “goes after” her, adding “I signed up for this.”
But she adds a fund raiser in San Francisco that she will defend every person or group that he insults.
The Democratic presidential nominee says “disturbing stories” about Trump “just keep on coming” and there is hardly any part of America that “he has not targeted.”
She jokes that it’s enough to make you want to “turn off the news” or “unplug the Internet or just look at cat GIFs.” She says in the past few weeks she has “watched a lot of cats do a lot of weird and interesting things.”
Advance voting shows positive signs for Hillary Clinton in North Carolina and Florida, two states that could help her lock up the presidency.
There are encouraging signs for Donald Trump in Ohio. That’s a vital state for the Republican nominee, but a victory there would be one of many steps needed to win the presidency.
The latest data represent at least 756,000 ballots cast and millions more requested.
Even if Trump can capture two states he’s targeted — Pennsylvania and Ohio — he would need to pull off major upsets in multiple Democratic-leaning states.
Democrats are stepping up outreach in North Carolina and will launch “souls to the polls” programs in a bid to boost black turnout after in-person voting begins next week.
Donald Trump’s all-out effort to drag Hillary Clinton down by focusing on her husband’s sexual misconduct may be a relatively new strategy for him, but it’s not for the advisers whispering in his ear.
Four of Trump’s top advisers have waited a quarter-century to more deeply explore accusations that the former president assaulted women. Roger Stone, David Bossie, Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon comprise much of Trump’s brain trust outside his family.
The right has long harbored a grudge that the Clintons have built a political dynasty in spite of the allegations. Now, Republican operatives are seizing the moment, using Trump as their megaphone.
Bill Clinton says that even Donald Trump occasionally gets something right.
The former president campaigned for wife Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign at a college in Mt. Vernon, Iowa Thursday. He avoided naming her opponent, but recalled the moment in the last debate when the candidates had to praise each other.
“He committed a fact,” Bill Clinton said. “He said she is not a quitter and that is true.”
Bill Clinton decried the division and rhetoric in the race. He said social division may win votes, “but it’s a lousy way to run the country.”
No protesters came to the event, but Bill Clinton said he had a message for them when they show up. He likes to say “don’t boo them give them a hand, they’re having a bad week.”
Mike Pence is making campaign stops in Pennsylvania after ditching reporters who regularly travel with him.
The move by the Republican vice presidential candidate’s campaign comes as several women have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault.
Pence has yet to comment on the allegations. His campaign told reporters Thursday morning that Pence was attending two fundraisers that were closed to the press.
But Pence’s official Twitter account has since shown him meeting with faith leaders and stopping at a restaurant.
One tweet from the account shows Pence’s tour bus accompanied by the caption: “We’re glad to be back in Pennsylvania on the campaign trail!” Pence spokesman Marc Lotter could not be reached for comment.
Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance at a San Francisco campaign office that serves as a call center for the campaign. Clinton was presented with a home-made picture of herself by 7-year-old Bella Pelosi Kaufman, the granddaughter of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
Clinton noted, “We have 26 days left. I don’t think there has ever been a more important 26 days in American history.”
Clinton said, “This is such an election between two very different visions, views and sets of values.”
Many GOP officeholders and candidates are sticking with Donald Trump despite new allegations that he sexually assaulted women.
Several of these officials say Trump would still be better on key issues than Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson adds that although both candidates are flawed, he’s focusing on the economy, fighting terrorism and the Supreme Court.
Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, who is running for re-election, says Trump has a better chance of fixing health care, “out of control regulators or our terrible foreign policy.”
And West Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Cole says he won’t excuse what Trump says, but, “You have one candidate who wants to be there for our coal and our natural gas industry, and another one that wants to destroy them.”
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