The Latest: Trump makes direct appeal to women voters




WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential race (all times EDT):

7:42 p.m.

Donald Trump is making a direct appeal to women at a rally in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Trump tells a rally crowd that it should be easier to access and pay for college.

He says that, "Women also value security," pledging to provide "great security for this country."

Trump is also accusing rival Hillary Clinton of doing too little to help women and children — despite the fact that she has spent decades advocating on their behalf.

Trump asks why so many continue to live in poverty and claims Clinton "all of a sudden" ''wants to do childcare," even though Clinton rolled out a plan far earlier and has discussed the issue far more.

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7:34 p.m.

Donald Trump says the rioting currently taking place "in our streets is a threat to all peaceful citizens." He says that it "must be ended now."

Trump is delivering his law-and-order message at a rally in Chester Township, Pennsylvania.

His comments come after violent protests rocked Charlotte, North Carolina, following the police shooting death of an unarmed man.

The Republican presidential nominee has said that he wouldn't tolerate that kind of behavior if he makes it to the White House.

Trump is also going on attack against rival Hillary Clinton, claiming that she doesn't "have to worry" about "the sirens and the gunshots at night."

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7:05 p.m.

Donald Trump is playing a new song for his entrance to an evening rally Philadelphia: "Gonna Fly Now," the theme from the classic 1976 boxing film "Rocky."

It's an attempt to connect Trump to one of Philly's favorite sons, the plucky boxer Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone.

The soaring theme song played Thursday night as Trump took the stage in Chester Township, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles southwest of Philadelphia. A Rocky statue wearing a Trump campaign T-shirt also graced the stage.

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7:10 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine says society hasn't "even really started" discussing institutional racism in American's criminal justice system and is criticizing his GOP counterpart for not wanting to talk about it more.

Kaine says he disagrees with Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, who said U.S. society should "set aside talk" of institutional racism in the wake of more fatal police shootings of black men.

"We are imperfect people, we lock people up way more than other nations do and there's biases in the way we do it. And if we aren't willing to talk about that then we'll never solve the problem," Kaine said to reporters aboard his campaign plane.

Kaine added that he thinks Democrats and Republicans can find common ground on sentencing reform.

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6:55 p.m.

President Barack Obama says his advice to Hillary Clinton for Monday night's presidential debate against Republican Donald Trump is to "be yourself and explain what motivates you."

Obama, speaking with ABC News, said Thursday he believes Clinton is in the race for the right reasons, but he acknowledges she has a trust problem with some voters. Obama says he's gotten to know his former secretary of state and has seen her in tough times and good times.

"There's a level of mistrust and a caricature of her that just doesn't just jibe with who I know — this person that cares deeply about kids," Obama said.

Monday night's faceoff will take place at New York's Hofstra University.

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6:48 p.m.

Hillary Clinton has called Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts and North Carolina Congresswoman Alma Adams on Thursday to discuss the recent shooting and protests in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Clinton's campaign says the Democratic presidential nominee offered her assistance and discussed with the leaders steps needed to take to ensure that "everyone is respected by the law, and everyone has respect for the law."

Clinton talked to Roberts and Adams about the need to come together to stop the violence and restore the bonds of trust between police officers and the communities they serve, her campaign said.

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5:21 p.m.

Donald Trump Jr. says he was being straightforward and not dabbling in "microaggression" when he compared Syrian refugees to a bowl of poisoned Skittles candy in a tweet earlier this week.

The eldest son of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Thursday in Boise, Idaho, that he's surprised by the reaction because he viewed the post as raising concern about properly vetting people coming to the United States. He said it takes a special type a person to find a message that isn't there.

Trump Jr. tweeted a picture of a bowl of Skittles with the warning: "If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?" Monday's tweet went on: "That's our Syrian refugee problem."

Roughly 20 people holding signs and Skittles protested outside the event in Boise, which has more Syrian refugees than Los Angeles and New York City combined.

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4:55 p.m.

Donald Trump is sounding confident about his debate preparation just four days ahead of the first showdown against rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump was asked at Geno's cheesesteak joint in Philadelphia Thursday how his preparations were going. He suggested that his choice of activities — campaigning rather than private preparation — speaks for itself.

He said, "Well, I'm here at Geno's. I think it's going great."

Trump was also asked to explain his comment Wednesday that he'd finally acknowledged President Obama was born in the U.S. because he wanted people to stop asking about it. Trump declined to answer. Instead, a smile spread across his pursed lips.

He said, "Jobs, jobs everybody, jobs. We need jobs."

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4:05 p.m.

Donald Trump is paying a visit to the famous Geno's Steaks cheesesteak house in Philadelphia.

The Republican presidential nominee was greeted with shouts of "Trump for president!" ''We love you Donald!" and cheers of glee from patrons after pulling up in is motorcade.

As he ordered at the restaurant's window, Trump jokingly offered a taste to the gathered press and onlookers.

"Anybody want?" he asked. "Good stuff."

Trump also joked about maybe buying a sandwich for his rival, Hillary Clinton. "She'll choke on it," a bystander responded.

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3:50 p.m.

It was supposed to be her "47 percent" moment.

After Hillary Clinton said that half of Donald Trump's supporters belong in a "basket of deplorables," Republicans believed they'd found her campaign-ending blunder.

It was a way to cement her image as out-of-touch snob, just as Democrats did four years ago to Mitt Romney after he said "47 percent" of voters backed President Barack Obama because they are "dependent on government."

But a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds Clinton's stumble didn't have quite the impact that Trump and his supporters wanted.

Instead, it's Trump who's viewed as disconnected and disrespectful. Sixty percent of Americans say Trump does not respect "ordinary Americans," according to the poll. That's far more than the 48 percent who say the same about Clinton.

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3:40 p.m.

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence says U.S. society should "set aside talk" of institutional racism in the wake of more police killings of black men.

Pence told a group of evangelical church leaders Thursday in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that recent police shootings in Oklahoma and North Carolina require public officials to "speak with compassion" and assure the public that "justice will be served."

But he added that "Donald Trump and I both believe that there's been far too much of this talk of institutional bias or racism in law enforcement." Pence said "we ought to set aside this talk" that he described as "the rhetoric of division."

Pence did not mention the names of the latest victims: Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Keith Lamont Scott.

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3:15 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine says the list of black men fatally shot by police has "grown too long" and America needs to have a talk about racial tension with a "calm and peaceful spirit."

Kaine said he and running mate Hillary Clinton are dedicated to building stronger bridges between police and the communities they serve. He was responding to violent protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, following police shootings of black men there and in Oklahoma.

Kaine made the comments during a rally Thursday at the University of Nevada, Reno. Kaine did not mention Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump when discussing the protests and shootings.

Trump said Thursday the Charlotte protests show that the U.S. is a "wounded country" and called for a "national anti-crime agenda."

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2:15 p.m.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says he accepted the resignation of his Treasury secretary because the official had suffered a big blow to his reputation due to Donald Trump's visit to the country.

Pena Nieto said Thursday in an interview with Teleformula that it was his decision to meet with the Republican presidential candidate, but he acknowledged that then-Treasury Secretary Luis Videgaray played an important role.

He said that "without doubt" Videgaray was involved in arranging the Aug. 31 visit and "this blow led me to make the decision and accept his resignation."

Pena Nieto was widely criticized in Mexico for not confronting Trump more directly on his disparaging remarks about Mexico and migrants, or on the candidate's promise to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it.

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1:50 p.m.

The campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has accepted the resignation of its volunteer chair in a blue-collar Ohio county after the woman made a series of remarks disparaging blacks.

Mahoning County volunteer Kathy Miller told The Guardian newspaper in an article and video posted Thursday that she didn't believe there was "any racism until (President Barack) Obama got elected."

She also described the Black Lives Matter movement as "a stupid waste of time" and said blacks who haven't succeeded have only themselves to blame.

Trump Ohio director Bob Paduchik says Miller has resigned. He called the remarks inappropriate and said volunteers don't speak for the campaign.

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1 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is refusing to weigh in on Donald Trump's embrace of the "stop and frisk" policing tactic.

The Wisconsin Republican said Thursday that he hasn't given it enough thought to comment.

Trump asserted earlier Thursday that Chicago needs stop and frisk to bring crime under control.

A federal judge has ruled New York City had used the practice unconstitutional because of its overwhelming impact on minority residents.

Ryan said he doesn't know enough about the tactic to comment about its constitutionality or efficacy.

Ryan has deflected questions on other Trump proposals too by saying he doesn't know enough to comment.

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12:45 p.m.

Donald Trump says that drugs are playing a major role in the protests rocking Charlotte following a police shooting.

Speaking at an energy conference in Pittsburgh, the Republican nominee for president said: "if you're not aware, drugs are a very, very big factor in what you're watching on television."

Trump did not elaborate. There is no evidence that drugs have anything to do with the rioting.

The comment appeared to be an aside after Trump called for a "national anti-crime agenda" to make cities safe and "to dismantle the international cartels, gangs and criminal syndicates."

Trump vowed "to stop the drugs from flowing into our county and poisoning our youth and many other people."

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12:20 p.m.

Donald Trump is calling for a dramatic expansion in domestic energy exploration, combined with a dramatic scale-back of regulations meant to protect the environment and public land.

The Republican presidential nominee was speaking Thursday at the Shale Insight conference in Pittsburgh.

He said that as president, he would open federal lands and off-shore areas for energy exploration.

He also wants to eliminate regulations intended to protect America's fresh water and limit carbon emissions from power plants.

Trump has advocated an "America first" energy policy.

He is contrasting that with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who has advocated a move away from dirty fossil fuels.

"It's war," he says.

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12:10 p.m.

Donald Trump says the violent demonstrations taking place in Charlotte are a sign that the U.S. is a "wounded country." And he's calling for a "national anti-crime agenda" to make America safe.

Speaking at an energy conference Thursday in Pittsburgh, the Republican nominee said the country needs to embrace a spirit of togetherness.

He said: "We need to bring that spirit to every part of our county and become one American nation."

The violent protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, followed police shootings of black men there and in Oklahoma.

Trump said people have the right to protest, but not to threaten others people's public safety. He said law-abiding African Americans are the ones who suffer most.

He said: "This is a national crisis."

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10:05 a.m.

Hillary Clinton is taking tough questions on power ties, pant suits and the Scott Baio vote on the online comedy program "Between Two Ferns."

The five-minute interview with comedian Zack Galifianakis appeared on the Funny or Die website Thursday. Among Galifianakis' questions was whether she ever watched Donald Trump and thought "I should be more racist." Clinton just shook her head, smiling.

At one point Clinton said jokingly "I really regret doing this."

The two riffed about what Trump should wear to the first debate. Clinton said: "I assume he'll wear that red power tie." Galifianakis replied: "Or maybe a white power tie."

President Barack Obama appeared on "Between Two Ferns" in 2014 as he was trying to encourage young people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.

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8:10 a.m.

Donald Trump says debate moderator Lester Holt shouldn't try to fact-check the candidates at next week's presidential debate.

Trump says it's up to the candidates themselves to call out their rivals when they are wrong. Trump spoke Thursday in a telephone interview on "Fox and Friends." He says the candidates should "argue it out."

NBC's Matt Lauer has received criticism for not pointing out factual errors by Trump at a recent forum on national security.

Trump says there's pressure on NBC's Holt ahead of Monday's debate at Hofstra University. He likens it to the pressure former Indiana University basketball coach and Trump supporter Bobby Knight used to put on referees.

Trump says: "A lot of people are watching to see whether or not he succumbs to that pressure."

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7:50 a.m.

Donald Trump says there's a "lack of spirit" between blacks and whites after two high-profile police shootings of black men and violent protests in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In a phone interview Thursday on "Fox & Friends," Trump said "there has to be a unity message somehow that has to get out and it starts with leadership."

The Republican presidential candidate's comments comes as he increasingly reaches out to African-American voters, at the same time as maintaining the tough law-and-order stance that appeals to core supporters.

He repeated his support for "stop-and-frisk,"a tactic which allows police to stop and search anyone they deem suspicious. A federal judge has ruled it discriminatory.

Trump said "it's quite unbelievable" that it's not being used in Chicago.

He said: "Chicago is out of control."
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