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Trump claims African American communities are in ‘worst shape ever’

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Statement joined a list of controversies the Republican fended off Tuesday, including a report that he had used money from his charity for legal settlements

Fending off several controversies on Tuesday, Donald Trump started another when he proclaimed at a North Carolina rally that our African-American communities are in the worst shape theyve ever been … Ever. Ever. Ever.

The plainly inaccurate statement, which was immediately lambasted on social media for failing to consider the long history of slavery and racial discrimination against African Americans, marked the latest misstep by the Trump campaign as the Republican nominee has struggled to harness the terrorist attacks in New York and New Jersey for his political advantage.

A day after the apprehension of suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami, Trump made his remarks in Kenansville, North Carolina, and repeated familiar themes to crowds at multiple rallies across the swing state. Immigration security is national security, he said, and repeatedly read the lyrics of the The Snake, a 1960s soul song about a woman who finds a dying snake and nurses it back to health. The snake then fatally bites her. To Trump, this was a parable about the consequences of the United States taking in refugees.

The Republican nominee went on to describe Clinton as the vessel for all the global special interests seeking to run our lives and said that the failed political establishment had vested in her all of their money, all of their hopes for another generation of corruption. Trump also argued that the dishonest media had bled this country dry.

But, Trump ran into more controversy when the Washington Post reported that the billionaire converted $258,000 in donations to the Donald Trump Foundation to settle lawsuits against himself. The payments represent an apparent violation of tax laws that could potentially even force the IRS to shut down the Trump Foundation. Trump further stoked controversy by bragging on Tuesday about spending OPM other peoples money.

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A child holds a sign as at the Trump rally in North Carolina. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Theres nothing wrong with doing things with other peoples money, said the nominee when talking about his business career.

His campaign also had to deal with criticism after his oldest son, Donald Trump Jr, compared Syrian refugees with poisoned skittles in a tweet on Monday night. The tweet set off a major firestorm and even the candy maker distanced itself from it with a spokesperson saying: Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. Trump Junior followed up on Tuesday morning when he shared an article from a far right wing website that claimed, without evidence, that tens of thousands of British women have been tortured and raped by gangs comprised almost exclusively of Muslims.

The firestorm caused by the younger Trumps tweet even forced a response from running mate Mike Pence who told NBC Newss Kelly ODonnell in an interview: It is remarkable to me to see the level of outrage about a metaphor used by Don Jr, when Hillary Clintons calling for a 550% increase in the Syrian refugee program.

Trumps comments on Tuesday came against the backdrop of another fatal shooting by police of an unarmed black man, this time in Oklahoma. Video footage released on Monday showed law enforcement in Tulsa fatally shoot Terence Crutcher, 40, as he approached his SUV with his arms raised in the air. The local police chief later acknowledged that no weapon was found either on Crutcher or inside his vehicle.

Pence downplayed the Tulsa shooting on Tuesday, saying that while he supported a thorough investigation of what took place there was no institutional bias within law enforcement.

What I find offensive is when Hillary Clinton and others refer to implicit bias or institutional bias within the ranks of our law enforcement community broadly, Pence told news anchor Brian Williams on MSNBC.

Im proud of our law enforcement community, we stand strongly with them, he added.
Obviously when mistakes are made and tragedy occurs, they should be fully investigated. But enough already of this reference to law enforcement and institutional or implicit bias.
The bulk of public research on the subject provides evidence that black people are more likely to be stopped by police. Young black men were also nine times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than other people, according to data compiled by The Guardian on police killings.

The Republican nominee suffered another potential blow when it was reported that former President George HW Bush would vote for Hillary Clinton in November. Bush apparently told Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the daughter of Robert F Kennedy and former Democratic lieutenant governor of Maryland, that he would be casting his ballot for Clinton. She shared the news in a Facebook post, which the Guardian obtained.

Jim McGrath, a Bush family spokesman, told the Guardian: The vote President Bush will cast as a private citizen in some 50 days will be just that: a private vote cast in 50 days. He is not commenting on the presidential race in the interim.

Trumps busy day came as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton stayed off the trail in advance of Mondays presidential debate, the first between the two candidate. Although the former secretary of state did a radio appearance and held a conference call with national security advisors, she held no public events. As a result, Trump jibed on Twitter: Hillary Clinton is taking the day off again, she needs the rest. Sleep well Hillary – see you at the debate!

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/20/donald-trump-african-american-communities-north-carolina

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