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Analysis, background reports and updates from the PBS NewsHour putting today's news in context.

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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump applauds after introducing Indiana Governor Mike Pence (L) as his vice presidential running mate as Trump's daughter Ivanka (R) looks on in New York City, U.S., July 16, 2016.    REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - RTSIB6S

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump applauds after introducing Indiana Governor Mike Pence, left, as his vice presidential running mate as Trump’s daughter Ivanka, right, looks on in New York City on July 16, 2016. Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    CLEVELAND — Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is banking on this week becoming a turning point in the GOP quest for the White House.

    After Donald Trump’s somewhat clumsy introduction of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, during which Trump spent most of the time talking about himself and “crooked” Hillary Clinton, Priebus said Sunday that he expects Trump to debut his presidential side during this week’s convention in Cleveland.

    “I think Thursday night’s a critical night for him, delivering a great speech, the balloon drop, the people in this country saying, ‘I can see Donald Trump being in the White House. I think he’s presidential,'” Priebus told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

    The Trump-Pence pairing was designed in part to bring together fractious elements of the Republican Party on the eve of its national convention.

    Yet the usual trappings of a presumptive nominee’s most significant announcement were missing in the Manhattan hotel ballroom where a few hundred supporters gathered Saturday morning. Nowhere in sight were “Trump/Pence” signs, for example, and Trump’s decision had been tweeted the previous day, stealing any sense of surprise from the event. Choosing a venue in a state Trump has little chance of winning also broke with traditional politicking strategy.

    Trump and his new running mate appeared on stage together only briefly before Trump disappeared and Pence gave a speech that closely hewed to the populist themes that Trump has voiced, describing himself as “really just a small-town boy.” He praised Trump effusively as “a good man,” a fighter, a legendary businessman and a patriotic American.

    “The American people are tired,” Pence said in remarks that included many of the same talking points that until recently he was using in his bid for re-election. “We’re tired of being told that this is as good as it gets. We’re tired of having politicians in both parties in Washington, D.C., telling us we’ll get to those problems tomorrow.”

    Trump returned for a round of photos with the Trump and Pence families.

    The lack of hoopla contrasted with Mitt Romney’s introduction four years ago of running mate Paul Ryan on the deck of a Navy battleship, the USS Wisconsin, off the shore of swing-state Virginia. With cheering, flag-waving crowds and a soaring patriotic soundtrack, the pair faced the nation for the first time flanked by a massive red, white and blue banner displaying their new campaign logo.

    The underwhelming rollout of the GOP ticket continued when Pence flew back home to Indiana without Trump. A few hundred people greeted him at a suburban Indianapolis airport hangar bereft of any “Trump-Pence” signs. He spoke for only a few minutes, telling the crowd that he and his family were headed home for “pizza night.”

    Priebus told “Fox News Sunday” that he expects Trump to bring a message of unity to this week’s convention, also working to attract women, young people and minorities into the party. Some have questioned whether Pence’s strong conservative stance on social issues might alienate demographic groups that lean Democrat.

    Priebus described Trump and Pence as being “somewhere in the middle of each other” and says Trump plans an engagement tour soon to attract Latino voters.

    Priebus also said “there is no religious test on the table,” despite Trump’s statement in December calling for a temporary ban of foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. until elected leaders could figure out “what is going on.”

    Priebus told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that Trump is calling for a temporary ban on immigration from countries that harbor and train terrorists until the U.S. has a better vetting system.

    The proposed ban is an example of where Trump differs from his pick for vice president. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence immediately called Trump’s proposal in December unconstitutional.

    Priebus says the selection of Pence shows Trump didn’t want to surround himself with “yes people.”

    Associated Press writers Josh Lederman and Steve Peoples in Cleveland and Brian Slodysko in Zionsville, Indiana, contributed to this report.

    The post RNC Chair expects Trump’s transformation in Cleveland appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Pedestrians walk past an unassembled stack of security barricades as setup continues in advance of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio July 15, 2016.  REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RTSI7YT

    Pedestrians walk past an unassembled stack of security barricades as setup continues in advance of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio July 15, 2016. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

    CLEVELAND — Cleveland’s chief of police said Sunday barricades have been placed at key streets and intersections in the city’s downtown before the start of the Republican National Convention to thwart the type of terrorist attack that occurred in France when a man drove a large truck into crowds, killing 84 people.

    “Things that happen around the country and around the world do affect to some degree how we respond here in Cleveland,” Chief Calvin Williams said during an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

    There have long been concerns about violent protests and clashes between those who support the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, and those who oppose the real estate mogul and his inflammatory rhetoric. But recent events, including a terror attack in Nice, France, last week and the fatal ambush of police officers in Dallas have heightened concerns about what might happen in Cleveland during the four-day convention that begins Monday.

    There have been reports that anarchists and black separatists also plan to protest in Cleveland during the convention, Williams said.

    It seems, he said, that “everyone is coming to Cleveland to protest or exercise their First Amendment rights.”

    An issue on the minds of many is the possibility that people might openly carry firearms during protests, marches and rallies given that Ohio is an open-carry state. Williams said during a morning news briefing that Cleveland police commanders will inform those who choose to open carry what their responsibilities are under Ohio law.

    “We try to get across to people, if you carry that weapon, you have that right to do it, but you also have responsibilities to the general public and people around you to make sure that everybody else is safe,” Williams said.

    [Watch Video]

    Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said Sunday during ABC’s “This Week” that city officials “aren’t strangers to unrest and demonstrations and protests” and insisted that the city is prepared for an event that could draw tens of thousands of people.

    The Republican National Convention is a big moment for Cleveland, which is being hailed as a comeback city thanks, in part, to its revitalized downtown. The city also has drawn unwanted national attention because of high-profile police shootings and use-of-force incidents that helped lead to an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to reform the 1,500-member police department.

    About one third of those officers will be joining thousands of law enforcement officers from around the state and the country in providing security during the convention.

    The post How is Cleveland preparing security for the RNC? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Protesters gathered in London to support Black Lives Matter and call for an end to police violence. Photo by Vincentchapters

    Last week, as the Black Lives Matter movement approached its third anniversary, Shane Vincent was in the streets of London watching it take hold around the world.

    He was photographing a protest in London, one that came just weeks after the UK’s decision to exit the European Union exposed stark differences in how UK citizens view the future of their country.

    Recent police killings — such as the shooting deaths of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — have inspired protests throughout the country and beyond U.S. borders.

    This month, demonstrators in Britain, Germany, South Africa, the Netherlands and Canada have held marches against police violence.

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    In London, where Vincent joined a protest on July 10, police shootings are rare. The Washington Post’s Griff Witte wrote in June 2015 that police shot and killed two people over the previous three years.

    But Vincent, who uses the name Vincentchapters in photography, said the protest reflected the current mood of “frustration” among the city’s youth that followed the Brexit decision and news of police violence in the U.S.

    “With much of the youth voting to stay in the EU, with the opposite happening, and being exposed to injustice through police brutality across social media, there’s a lot of passion and frustration in the air,” Vincent said in an email to the NewsHour.

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Vincent said he felt a sense of solidarity in the crowd during the marches.

    “When we were marching down Oxford St., a lot of the bus drivers were beeping and putting their fists up in support of the people. It felt like the city just understood and came together,” Vincent said.

    Maryam Ali, an 18-year-old lead organizer of Black Lives Matter in London, told the local newspaper Voice that the protests showed support for “our American brothers and sisters.”

    “By these people coming here to stand and unite, they are showing that they are against police brutality and that’s the most important thing,” she said.

    Vincent said his favorite photographs showed the energy of young people involved in the protests. “It was beautiful to see the youth coming out passionately and peacefully fighting for justice,” he said.

    You can see more of Vincent’s photos below:

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    Photo by Vincentchapters

    The post Photos: Black Lives Matter movement takes hold in London, where police shootings are rare appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A woman works at the Brazilian Laboratory of Doping Control during its inauguration before the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 9, 2016. Photo by Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

    A woman works at the Brazilian Laboratory of Doping Control during its inauguration before the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 9, 2016. Photo by Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

    Anti-doping agents from at least 10 nations are preparing to press Olympic leaders to ban the entire Russian delegation from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil if allegations of a state-run doping scandal at the 2014 Winter Games are verified by an upcoming report, Reuters reported.

    The country’s track and field team has already been barred from participation in the international competition.

    The controversy is ongoing as officials already are dealing with concerns over Zika, contaminated water sources and other problems, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    In a leaked draft letter to the International Olympic Committee, United States Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart and Paul Melia, CEO of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports, called for an expanded ban.

    “The only appropriate, and permissible, course of action in these unprecedented circumstances is for the IOC to immediately suspend the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committees from the Olympic Movement…and declare that no athlete can represent Russia at the Rio Olympic Games,” Tygart and Melia wrote.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency’s report, which is expected to be released on Monday, will most likely implicate the Russian delegation, according to Joseph de Pencier, chief executive of the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations.

    “It seems very likely that the report will confirm what will be one of the biggest doping scandals in history, implicating the Russian government in a massive conspiracy against the clean athletes of the world,” de Pencier said in an email reviewed by The New York Times. “This will be a ‘watershed moment’ for clean sport.”

    Questions on the ethics of Russia’s operations emerged after the Times reported in May that dozens of Russian athletes, including at least 15 medal winners, participated in a state-run doping program leading up to the 2014 Winter Games, which were held in Sochi, Russia.

    The post Officials push to bar Russian Olympic delegation if doping allegations true appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Cleveland mounted police officer Abraham Cortes leans on his horse Paco with fellow officer Michael Herrin (R) on Bas during a demonstration of police capabilities near the site of the Republican National Convention July 14, 2016. Police in Cleveland say they aim to avoid mass arrests at the protests planned for next week's Republican National Convention, but the fact that the city's courts are preparing to process up to a 1,000 people a day has some civil rights activists worried. Photo By Rick Wilking/Reuters

    Cleveland mounted police officer Abraham Cortes leans on his horse Paco with fellow officer Michael Herrin (R) on Bas during a demonstration of police capabilities near the site of the Republican National Convention July 14, 2016. Police in Cleveland say they aim to avoid mass arrests at the protests planned for next week’s Republican National Convention, but the fact that the city’s courts are preparing to process up to a 1,000 people a day has some civil rights activists worried. Photo By Rick Wilking/Reuters

    With an estimated 50,000 people heading to Cleveland for the 2016 Republican National Convention next week and thousands expected to protest, the city’s police force is under renewed scrutiny following last year’s deal with the federal government to reform law enforcement practices.

    The consent decree was formed in May 2015 between the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Ohio’s second-largest city after decades of complaints lodged by residents over excessive use of force and civil rights violations by members of the Cleveland Police Department.

    A DOJ investigation found a pattern of “unnecessary and excessive use of deadly force,” retaliatory force with “Tasers and chemical spray and fists” and the “employment of poor and dangerous tactics,” among a slew of other conclusions.

    But many of the stipulations forged in the agreement will not be installed in time for the Republican National Convention (RNC), according to interviews with the DOJ, legal and civil rights organizations and a court-designated independent monitor of the Cleveland Police Department.

    “The milestones and the benchmarks are not being met,” said Jacqueline Greene, co-coordinator of the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and a civil rights attorney. “Therefore it won’t apply during the RNC”

    Cleveland police bomb squad technician Sgt. Tim Maffo-Judd demonstrates a Remotec F5A explosive ordnance device robot during a demonstration of police capabilities near the site of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking - RTSHXNN

    Cleveland police bomb squad technician Sgt. Tim Maffo-Judd demonstrates a Remotec F5A explosive ordnance device robot during a demonstration of police capabilities near the site of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 14, 2016. Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

    The issues of police abuse in Cleveland were also raised by federal authorities more than a decade ago when the city agreed to voluntary reforms. Reforms were brought to the forefront again between 2012 and 2014 after the police shootings deaths of several unarmed African Americans, including 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

    After a federal investigation in 2013, a subsequent consent decree was established between the city and the DOJ, which requires sweeping changes in the police department and lays out hundreds of stipulations, from training and use of firearms and force to community outreach and “bias-free policing.”

    A DOJ spokesperson told the NewsHour in an email that the department “would remain actively involved” during the rollout of the court-approved consent decree to amend police practices.

    “However, although significant change is currently underway, this process typically takes years due to the thorough nature of the reform,” it read.

    A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, Gary Daniels, said the consent decree has been delayed for now “and wouldn’t have been in place fully even without the RNC.”

    The timing of the 2016 GOP convention follows recent police shooting deaths of two unarmed black men in Louisiana and Minnesota as well as the deaths of five police officers killed in early July by a lone gunmen, leading to widespread demonstrations across the country.

    Advocates are concerned the increased tensions may lead to a crackdown on those demonstrating at the convention, like the kind recently seen in Baton Rouge and St. Paul, where many police officers donned riot gear and in some cases arrested protesters en masse.

    Others are concerned Ohio’s open carry laws will leave police under-prepared for demonstrators exercising their Second Amendment rights to bear arms outside of the convention, particularly following the recent shooting incidents of police officers in Dallas.

    The union representing many of the 1,500 men and women on Cleveland’s police force has lodged complaints over a lack of resources, with more than 3,000 outside law enforcement members expected to be on hand. The Secret Service will oversee security inside the convention where guns will be banned.

    On Sunday, after at least six Louisiana police officers were shot, Cleveland’s police union requested that Ohio Gov. John Kasich declare a state of emergency in order to ban open carry laws during the RNC.

    Kasich, however, denied the request because “governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested,” according to a statement released by his spokesperson.

    The Quicken Loans Arena is seen as setup continues in advance of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 16, 2016. Photo By Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

    The Quicken Loans Arena is seen as setup continues in advance of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, July 16, 2016. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

    Cleveland received $50 million in federal funding in preparation for the convention. Dan Williams, a spokesperson for the office of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, said about 60 percent of the figure was earmarked for “safety and security forces.”

    But he declined to discuss security details during the four-day convention to select the country’s Republican presidential nominee or how federal oversight related to the consent decree might play out during the large scale political gathering.

    “We’re not talking about security plans,” he said. “We can rest assured that we do have plans and we will use them.”

    Greene said the National Lawyers Guild is concerned about the prospect of mass arrests, probable cause issues, crowd control tactics and heavy-handed use of force by police, in a city long-strained by racial tensions.

    “Because of that history we’re more concerned about it happening here,” she said. “The reform process is in its infancy. What the consent decree calls for is constitutional policing.”

    Matthew Barge, a court-appointed federal monitor in charge of overseeing the agreement in Cleveland since October, said the department has “a long way to go” to meet the demands of the decree, which would take five years to fully implement.

    “Strategic kind of work has been underway for some time,” he said. “The decree is definitely focused on the findings in the DOJ report in respect to force.”

    The post As GOP convention nears, Cleveland police reform rules still not in place appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    YoungDonald

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    Read the full transcript below: 

    LISA DESJARDINS: Let’s go all the way back to his childhood, which I think might be one of the least talked about items.

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: Well, you know, the defining moment of Donald’s childhood was when he was sent off to military school at age 13. But here’s a kid who’s been raised in luxury, attended by servants. He even had a chauffeur take him on his paper route when it rained. But he was a kind of wild little boy and his father got tired of answering calls from the school. So in August Of his 13th year, Donald is packed up. And his four siblings get to stay home. And this place, New York Military Academy, was a pretty rough place for a little boy to be ensconced. So I think this moment of being essentially banished and then placed in this very disciplined, very hierarchical environment taught him, you know, life is tough. It’s always a fight. And you’re supposed to win at everything. And he did thrive there. I think you see even in his posture, when you see how sort of straight he stands, that’s New York Military Academy visible in a man who’s now 70-years-old.

    DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: He and his brothers also as boys were trained by dad in the business. So they would sweep out basements, collect coins from the coin-operated laundry machines in the apartment buildings. Sometimes do little repairs. And when they got a little older, dad would have them collect rents. Because he expected them to all go into the business with him.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Fred Trump, as you’re saying, he was a real estate developer. He’s the one who really built that initial business. When you look at Fred Trump, the father, how much of a role did he have in this idea Donald Trump has that he must win at all costs? And that he must have an incredible drive, a work ethic?

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: I think what’s really fascinating is to see the drive that Fred implanted in Donald in part by rejecting him. You know, I actually think a lot of what Donald is doing today is still seeking his father’s love.

    LISA DESJARDINS: How much of a role did his father play in funding Trump’s business and in establishing him?

    DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: So when Donald was still in diapers, he had an annual trust fund income of $12,000, which was about four times what the typical American family with a full-time worker made back then. When he stand out, his father put him into deals. His father’s lifelong friend Abe Beame became mayor of New York. So Donald got all sorts of deals from the city, including 40 years of no property taxes on the Grand Hyatt Hotel that– Donald had rebuilt from the wreck of the old Commodore.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Sort of how he made his first mark was that–

    DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: That’s right.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Grand Hyatt project.

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: What’s really kind of laughable is he says, “I borrowed $1 million from my father.” Well, he got access to $40 million in financing for that Commodore Hotel renovation. So if you can walk into a bank, and they’ll say, “You’re Fred Trump’s son. Here’s $40 million in construction funds.” That’s a pretty big advantage.

    LISA DESJARDINS: No question. But what was he able to do? How creative was he, and how good of a deal maker was the young and middle-aged Donald Trump?

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: The Trump Tower deal was impressive. Donald went to Tiffany’s and made an arrangement with them where he got their air rights. Then he got the Bonwit Teller building. You can’t take that deal away from him. Now, it was aided by his dad and it stands as, I think, the singular achievement of his career. But that was a long time ago.

    DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: He owns the Chicago Trump Tower. He owns an apartment building a couple blocks from Trump Tower New York. He owns 19 golf courses, which are his. Where he’s gotten into trouble is he has issued things saying, “A Donald Trump development.” Or “I’m a builder. People follow me.” And then when you find out later that a) he’s only licensed the use of his name. And here’s the really bad part, Lisa, you decide to put your money into a building because the Trump name, it’ll be a more valuable apartment. And what you don’t know is that, well, he’s not only, only licensed his name. There’s renewal clauses and he can take his name off the building. He could build one right next door and nobody told you that. And that’s what’s led to a lot of litigation against Donald accusing him of civil fraud.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Mr. Trump has also said that the Trump name, his brand itself is worth a billion dollars. How big of an asset is that for him?

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: I think it’s a substantial part of his wealth. He is a pioneer of self-promotion. And, and our culture has changed radically in his lifetime. I write about how in the ’60s when kids were asked what they wanted when they grew up, they said, “I’d like to have a nice marriage and some kids and be well-known in my community.” By the ’70s, it was, “I want to be rich and famous.” And that rich and famous response has become more intense as time has passed. Donald led the way in this. He was doing selfies before anybody else knew what a selfie was.

    LISA DESJARDINS: What in his past do you think informs his decision to make statements on the campaign trail that are very controversial? Statements about Muslims, for example, or about Mexicans?

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: I think he understands who Archie Bunker is. Donald’s from Queens. He knows the anxieties of people facing change and how they resent that change. I don’t think that he is in his heart– a superficially racist guy. But I think he knows what will reverberate with people.

    DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: That’s where I would disagree with you, Michael. I mean, the, the, the Trump family has a long history of findings of racial discrimination in the rental of housing. The federal government got an agreement with them. As soon as the supervision was over, they went right back to coding so that Blacks were not in the buildings. And Donald tried to describe this as [not] wanting people on welfare, when these were people who had jobs and incomes. But they were Black. They didn’t want them in the buildings.

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: David is right that in the early ’70s, the first thing, the first chance he got, he, he cried reverse racism when the Trump Organization was accused of not renting to minorities. And his lawyer called the feds Gestapo and Storm Troopers.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The Trump campaign, of course, has said, and Donald Trump himself has insisted that he’s not racism; he’s just fighting a culture of political correctness. But I want to talk to something else that gets a lot of attention in Donald Trump’s business career. Let’s talk about Atlantic City.

    DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Donald never had a dollar invested in Atlantic City. He borrowed every dollar he had. And in his own book The Art of the Deal he boasts about how he deceived his partners, the Harrah’s Company, Holiday Inns, in the building of the first casino.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Some of his casinos filed for bankruptcy in Atlantic City. Most of them. But who lost in that deal, Michael?

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: Oh, bond holders. People who bought Trump stock. There was a Trump stock. There, people who worked in these facilities, contractors who didn’t get paid. There were a lot of victims in this.

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: I don’t think he lost a penny.

    DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Oh, he made money.

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: With Donald, there have been real victims. You know, this Trump University thing is a terrible scandal. You know, I interviewed the people who invested up to $35,000 to be educated by Donald Trump. And many of them were pressured to put the money on their credit card. So it’s a really slippery slope, I think, from– being tricky and crafty and sucking money out of Atlantic City and profiting on gambling and truly exploiting people who are vulnerable.[2]

    LISA DESJARDINS: One overall theme that I cannot miss in this whole conversation is Donald Trump’s ability to adapt. I think Trump and some of his supporters say, “Maybe we don’t need to know exactly what he’s going to do, because we know that he’s able to adapt. Maybe it’s okay that he’s changed his position on abortion, because he’s adapted to what the voters wanted.”

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: He is so adaptable that there’s not really a core there.

    LISA DESJARDINS: But he’s making the argument that it is not about proposals but instead about his own skills and abilities.

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: Yes. And, he thinks that he is supremely gifted at decision making and leadership. I think people do admire his flexibility, his adaptive qualities. He’s gone through the tabloid press era, the television era, the internet era, the social media era. He’s mastered all of this. This brand building promotional skill is breathtaking to behold. But whether that really tells us anything at all about how he’d act as President, I think, is uncertain.

    DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Well, Lisa, as a businessman and as a TV host, he can say, “You’re fired,” and get rid of you. And say, “I don’t want to deal with you.” The President of the United States doesn’t have that luxury. He has to deal with foreign dictators, with democratically elected foreign governments that he has no control over. He has to deal with Congress, which may not want to do what he wants to do. He doesn’t have the unilateral power to impose tariffs, which are a kind of tax, to build a wall, to do almost any of the things he says he’s going to do, because our Constitution doesn’t provide for that.

    LISA DESJARDINS: What in his past has prepared him for this complicated moment in world and national politics?

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: He is pretty resilient. He’s a very buoyant person. So I think he’s learned that the moment of defeat is not necessarily permanent. And in fact, he’s very good at turning what the rest of us would see as a defeat into a victory.

    DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: Donald’s very good at bouncing back. And when things don’t work out the way he wanted, moving somewhere else. And you’ve got give him credit for that. So he’s made himself a household name. I don’t know how that helps you as President, but bouncing back and, and shifting when it’s going to make him look bad, Donald’s real good at that.

    The post Meet young Donald Trump, a ‘pioneer of self-promotion’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement on the shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from the White House in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTSIFIM

    U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement on the shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, from the White House in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2016. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The attacks on public servants and the rule of law “have to stop,” President Barack Obama said Sunday after another shooting spree targeting police killed three officers in Baton Rouge and wounded three others.

    Obama said the motive for Sunday’s attack, the second targeting police in less than two weeks, was unknown, but there is no justification for violence against law enforcement.

    “These attacks are the work of cowards who speak for no one,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House. “They right no wrongs. They advance no causes.”

    Obama called Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden to hear the latest on the investigation into the shootings and pledge federal support. He is also expected to address the nation from the White House later Sunday afternoon.“These are attacks on public servants, on the rule of law, and on civilized society, and they have to stop.” — Pres. Barack Obama

    Obama has spent most of the last week focused on defusing tensions and rebuilding trust between police departments and the communities they serve.

    Now, a second attack has further placed a nation on edge as Americans anxiously watch the spate of violence at home and abroad with Friday’s attack in Nice, France, contributing to a picture of a troubled world.

    “The officers in Baton Rouge, the officers in Dallas, they were our fellow Americans, part of our community, part of our country, with people who loved and needed them, and who need us now – all of us – to be at our best,” Obama said.

    On July 7, an Army veteran opened fire on law enforcement in Dallas, killing five and wounding seven other officers. The shooter said he wanted to kill white people, “especially white officers.” Obama spoke at the memorial service for the five officers killed and told Americans not to despair, that the nation is not as divided as it might seem.

    The next day, he held an extraordinary four-hour meeting at the White House’s executive offices with police officers, community activists and elected leaders. He emerged from the session saying “we’re not even close” to the point where minority communities could feel confident that police departments were serving them with respect and equality or where police departments could feel adequately supported at all levels.

    “We have to, as a country, sit down and just grind it out, solve these problems,” Obama said after the meeting.

    The shooting of the police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge were preceded by police shootings of two black men, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, which sparked protests around the country. Dallas police were defending protesters in that city when the black gunman opened fire on them.

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that agents from the FBI and ATF are on the scene of the shooting in Baton Rouge, and the Justice Department will make available victim services and assist the investigation to the fullest extent possible.

    This report was written by Kevin Freking of the Associated Press.

    The post Obama condemns attack on Baton Rouge officers appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Activists hold placards during a march ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 17, 2016.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson - RTSIFGF

    Activists hold placards during a march ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 17, 2016. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    CLEVELAND — Dissident delegates making a last-gasp attempt to prevent Donald Trump’s nomination at the Republican National Convention say they will try forcing a state-by-state vote on the rules governing the gathering when it opens on Monday.

    But even if the rebels succeed in even getting such a roll call to occur, it’s one they seem very likely to lose.

    “What will happen on the floor, if there’s any attempt, is the party and Trump are going to rise against it,” Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, told reporters on the convention floor on Sunday.

    The convention’s rules committee decisively defeated the dissidents seeking to make the changes late last week, thanks to an alliance between the Trump campaign and RNC leaders on that panel. Manafort said there was no longer a viable “stop Trump” movement, only some “malcontents” who don’t represent the broader Republican Party.

    The Trump opponents want to change the rule that requires delegates to vote for the candidate to which they were committed after state primaries and caucuses. Trump’s nomination is essentially automatic under the current rules, as he has far more than the 1,237 delegates to required to win.

    In what has become a bitter internal battle, a group of social conservatives also want to shift party decision-making away from GOP leaders to rank-and-file activists. They also want to ban lobbyists from serving on the 168-member Republican National Committee and prevent states from allowing independents and Democrats to vote in Republican primaries, which helped Trump.

    Ken Cuccinelli, a former Virginia attorney general and Cruz adviser who’s helped organize the conservative effort, said in an interview Sunday that Trump “had a chance to be the anti-establishment candidate, but he got in bed with the RNC” at the rules committee meeting.

    Some rebellious delegates are threatening to walk out if they are thwarted, perhaps on Monday. Should that occur in significant numbers, that could leave television cameras panning across rows of empty seats.

    “We won’t sit around and coronate a king,” said Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh, who like many insurgents has backed vanquished presidential contender Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

    The full convention will consider the rules approved last week on Monday, and the rebels want to force a state-by-state roll call, with the chairman of each state delegation announcing the vote of its delegates.

    They say if the question is decided by a voice vote of the entire convention, they don’t trust the presiding officer to announce the results fairly.

    To force that roll call vote, the rebels must gather signatures of a majority of delegates from at least seven states and submit them to convention officials.

    It’s questionable they have that level of support, and even if they managed to force a roll call vote, it is not likely to succeed. Shawn Steel, a RNC national committeeman from California, said Sunday his delegation was behind Trump “100 percent.”

    “It’s the ultimate firewall,” he said, referring to California, the largest of any delegation.

    Separately, Cuccinelli and his allies would need signatures from at least 28 members of the 112-member rules committee to force votes on specific rules changes they want — a threshold they reached only rarely during the rules committee votes last week.

    AP senior video journalist John Mone contributed to this report.

    The post Dissident delegates seek showdown vote at GOP convention appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    In anticipation of politicians and protesters who have flocked to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention, Julian Raven, a supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, holds his artwork at the Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 17, 2016.  REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

    Julian Raven, a Donald Trump supporter, holds his artwork at the Public Square in Cleveland, Ohio on July 17. Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters

    CLEVELAND — Donald Trump sailed through the primaries, relying on his celebrity status and showmanship to overcome a glaring lack of political experience. But as the Republican National Convention opens here on Monday, and Trump enters a tougher phase of the 2016 presidential election, he is still struggling to deliver a consistent performance on the campaign trail.

    Trump has had more than a month to prepare for this moment. After he clinched the Republican nomination in early June, party leaders and some of his closest advisers urged him to drop his racially divisive rhetoric, start fundraising and take the other steps needed to build a competitive general election campaign.

    READ MORE: What you need to know about Trump’s VP pick, Mike Pence

    The real estate mogul agreed to make some adjustments, like replacing his controversial campaign manager Corey Lewandowski with a seasoned political operative. But Trump also committed several damaging unforced errors, from criticizing a judge’s ethnicity to the messy rollout of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate last week.

    The chaotic vice presidential selection process underscored a central problem for Trump’s campaign: his insistence, even now, on veering dangerously off-script and making things up as he goes along.

    Ever since launching his White House bid, Trump has largely gotten by on his natural talent and instincts alone. That was enough to carry him to the nomination. The question now: is Trump capable — or willing — to put in the work to reach a new level as a presidential candidate?

    The question now: is Trump capable — or willing — to put in the work to reach a new level as a presidential candidate?

    As the convention got under way on Monday, anti-Trump forces in the Republican Party seemed skeptical that Trump could improve.

    “Anything is possible, but I think it’s unlikely based on what we’ve seen,” said Mike Murphy, a Republican strategist who ran former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s Super PAC before Bush dropped out of the presidential race earlier this year. “So far he hasn’t been able to.”

    But Trump supporters pushed back on the notion that he should overhaul his approach to appeal to voters beyond his conservative base, arguing that his method was working. Cindy Costa, a member of the Republican National Committee, said she thought Trump would make a greater effort going forward to stay on message.

    “I think he will realize that this is too big to fly by the seat of your pants, and he’ll get more focused,” Costa said.

    Of course, members of Trump’s inner circle have for months been holding onto the hope that Trump would reign himself in, as have party insiders who fear that he could lose badly to Hillary Clinton in November and potentially also cost Republicans control of the Senate.

    But both Trump and Clinton already have historically low approval ratings, and some political observers argued that it was too late for him to make a new impression.

    “I imagine there’s another version of Donald Trump that’s more disciplined,” said Shadi Hamid, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “He has been able to run a company, and he has been very successful at branding and self-promotion.”

    But since Trump entered the presidential race, he seems to “believe based on his experience in the GOP primary that you can say crazy things and not worry about the effect,” Hamid added.
    “There does seem to be something in his personality that makes it difficult for him to make these shifts.”

    With less than four months left before the November election, time is running out for Trump to shift strategies and run as a more traditional candidate. The Republican convention represents perhaps Trump’s last chance to recast himself as a less divisive leader, though some Trump supporters insisted that Trump would have other opportunities to do so.

    “I don’t think there’s any one make-or-break moment,” Lewandowski said in an interview.

    Near the end of the primaries, Trump signaled that he was interested in staging an unorthodox convention, one featuring fewer political speeches and more appearances from sports stars and other celebrities. At one point, Trump floated a proposal to speak each night of the convention — possibly from different cities — in a format that would have been entirely unprecedented.

    The RNC is going to great lengths to produce an orderly affair, one that presents Trump in a warmer light and focuses on uniting a deeply divided party.

    But in the days leading up to the RNC, party officials and the Trump campaign indicated that it would be not be that different from past conventions, albeit with an unusual candidate at the top of the ticket. In a small break from tradition, Trump will introduce his wife, Melania Trump, on stage at the Quicken Loans Arena on Monday night.

    Beyond some small changes, however, the RNC is going to great lengths to produce an orderly affair, one that presents Trump in a warmer light and focuses on uniting a deeply divided party.

    But there were early signs on Monday that the convention could get unruly anyway, despite the RNC and Trump campaign’s best efforts to control the proceedings.

    On Monday afternoon, reports began circulating that a coalition of anti-Trump delegates had secured enough support to hold a roll call vote on the floor to approve the convention’s rules, a move intended to embarrass Trump by exposing the internal divisions still remaining in the party.

    The protests outside the secure zone around the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland could also impact the convention in ways that nobody, including Trump, can predict.

    Soon after, the effort failed, but it pointed to the potential for more anti-Trump activity inside the arena as the week wears on.

    The protests outside the secure zone around the Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland could also impact the convention in ways that nobody, including Trump, can predict.

    Demonstrations from both pro- and anti-Trump groups started here over the weekend, and are slated to continue through the end of the convention. Ohio’s open-carry law, which allows gun owners to carry firearms in the city, has also raised fears that the protests could turn violent, a turn of events that would overshadow the action on the floor of the arena.

    As the convention’s first evening was set to begin, Republicans sought to distance Trump from the protests taking place around the city.

    “People are clearly smart enough to know the difference between those protests and the person who is the nominee of the party,” Mike Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas who ran for president in 2016, said in an interview. “I don’t think it will undermine [Trump’s] message.”

    The post Is the RNC Trump’s last big chance to recast himself? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Baltimore Police Lieutenant Brian Rice, the highest-ranking Baltimore police officer charged in the death of black detainee Freddie Gray, is shown here in this undated booking photo provided by the Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. Police Department.    REUTERS/Baltimore Police Department/Handout

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: And our coverage will start tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

    Tune in from your car or the couch for our special NPR/”PBS NewsHour” coverage of the Republican National Convention Cleveland — now back to Hari in Washington.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Thanks, Judy and Gwen.

    In the day’s other news: The fourth Baltimore police officer to stand trial for the death of Freddie Gray was acquitted today. Lieutenant Brian Rice was the highest-ranking officer charged. Gray died in April 2015 after being critically injured during a ride in a police van. Two other officers have been acquitted, and two more are awaiting trial. The trial of a sixth officer ended in a hung jury.

    An Afghan teenager attacked passengers on a train in Germany tonight with an axe and a knife. Several were seriously wounded. Police say it happened on a regional train near the city of Wurzburg and Bavaria. Police killed the 17-year-old attacker. There’s no word on a motive.

    In France, there’s new evidence that the man who killed 84 people in a truck attack in Nice had been radicalized just recently. The uncle of Mohamed Bouhlel said today an Islamic State militant recruited him in the last two weeks.

    And a prosecutor said there’s further evidence.

    FRANCOIS MOLINS, Paris Prosecutor (through translator): Another witness told us that he started growing a beard 10 days ago, explaining — and I quote the witness — that the beard was for religious purposes. He had also mentioned the Islamic State, saying he didn’t understand why ISIS could not claim a territory.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, France held a nationwide moment of silence today. And in Nice, thousands gathered on the promenade where the attacker plowed into crowds of people last Thursday.

    A document tied to last year’s Iran nuclear deal has surfaced, and it indicates that key restrictions will start to lapse within 11 years. The Associated Press reports that, beginning in 2027, Iran will be allowed to install more powerful machines to enrich uranium. That could reduce the time needed to build a bomb to six months or even less.

    An investigative report today for the World Anti-Doping Agency details extensive state-supported doping by Russia since 2011. Its findings go well beyond previous allegations of Russian cheating at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

    The report’s author, Richard McLaren, said in Toronto that the biggest surprise is the extent of state oversight and control.

    RICHARD MCLAREN, Author of World Anti-Doping Report: From all of this comes a picture which emerges of an intertwined network of state involvement. It was a failsafe method of permitting cheating Russian athletes to compete while using performance-enhancing substances.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The Anti-Doping Agency called for the International Olympic Committee to ban all Russian athletes from next month’s Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin said all officials — quote — “directly responsible” for the cover-up will be suspended.

    Wall Street got off to a slow start. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 16 points to close at 18533. The Nasdaq rose 26 points and the S&P 500 added five.

    And President Obama has awarded the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War veteran nearly 50 years after he helped save more than 40 U.S. soldiers. Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Charles Kettles received the nation’s highest military award today for repeatedly flying his helicopter into enemy fire.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: To the dozens of American soldiers that he saved in Vietnam half-a-century ago, Chuck is the reason they lived and came home and had children and grandchildren, entire family trees made possible by the actions of this one man.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Kettles originally received the Distinguished Service Cross, but the Veterans History Project campaigned to upgrade it to the Medal of Honor.

    That’s it from Washington for now. I’m Hari Sreenivasan.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And stay with us all night long for our special “PBS NewsHour”/NPR coverage of the Republican National Convention. It all starts at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

    And from Cleveland, that’s the “NewsHour” for now. I’m Judy Woodruff.

    GWEN IFILL: And I’m Gwen Ifill.

    Join us online and again here later tonight. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank you, and good night.

    The post News Wrap: Top ranking officer in Freddie Gray death acquitted, Nice death truck driver ‘recently radicalized’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, visits the "spin room" after the Republican presidential candidates debate sponsored by CNN at the University of Miami in Florida on March 10. Photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

    Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, visits the “spin room” after the Republican presidential candidates debate sponsored by CNN at the University of Miami in Florida on March 10. Photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

    Melania Trump insists she’s her own person, more than window dressing in her husband Donald Trump’s run for the White House.

    That’s one thing the Slovenian-born former model has made clear, even as she’s stayed largely in the background as her husband’s No. 1 fan ahead of the Republican National Convention where Trump is poised to accept the party’s nomination for president.

    So who is she? According to her official biography on the Republican National Committee’s website, Mrs. Trump is an “aqua-eyed beauty” with “natural elegance” who has “a passion for the arts, architecture, design, fashion and beauty.”

    But most Americans probably know her better as Trump’s third wife who is 24 years his junior and who once posed pregnant in a gold bikini on the steps of her husband’s jet.

    “I have my own mind,” she told Harper’s Bazaar in an interview published in January. “I am my own person, and I think my husband likes that about me.”

    Mrs. Trump’s prime-time speaking slot Monday, her highest profile appearance to date, will give her a chance to tell Americans what type of first lady she would be — something she’s mostly steered clear of doing so far.

    If Trump were to be elected president, Mrs. Trump would be the only first lady who is the third wife of a president and the first to be born and raised in a communist nation, according to Carl Anthony, historian at the National First Ladies’ Library. She wouldn’t be the first model — Pat Nixon and Betty Ford had modeled too. And Louisa Adams, who was born in England, was the first president’s wife to be born in another country.

    Mrs. Trump remains a mystery to many. Dressed in high fashion couture, even on the campaign trail, she has tried to stay out of the spotlight. But she briefly became an issue in the race in March, when an anti-Trump super PAC released an ad showing a risque photo of her from a GQ photo shoot, showing her handcuffed to a briefcase, lying on a fur blanket.

    “Meet Melania Trump. Your Next First Lady,” the ad said.

    Trump responded by re-tweeting side-by-side images of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife, with an unflattering grimace, and Mrs. Trump in a gauzy, glamorous pose.

    Mrs. Trump, 46, is often seen, but rarely heard. Instead of taking a leading public role, she has instead focused her time on the couple’s 10-year-old son, Barron.

    She didn’t make her first appearance on the campaign trail until November, joining other family members on the stage at a rally.

    “Isn’t he the best?” Mrs. Trump asked the crowd in heavily accented English. “He will be the best president ever. We love you!”

    The glitter and glitz of being Donald Trump’s wife, and joining him in the run for president, is a far cry from the sleepy southeastern industrial town of Sevnica, where she was born in 1970 as Melanija Knavs. Her father, Viktor Knavs, was a car dealer while her mother, Amalija, worked in a textile factory. The family lived in an eight-story building right next to their daughter’s brightly painted primary school.

    Then a part of Communist Yugoslavia, she grew up in apartment blocks overlooking a river and smoking factory chimneys.

    She found an escape through modeling.

    Her fashion career became a reality after she moved to the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, to attend high school, and a photographer spotted the 5-foot-11 blue-eyed teen in the street. At age 16, she took modeling jobs in Milan, Paris and other fashion hubs, becoming proficient in English, German, French and Italian in addition to Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian, which was spoken all across Yugoslavia.

    She changed her name to Melania Knauss and settled in New York in 1996. Two years later, she met her future husband at a party in Manhattan.

    The post Melania Trump insists she’s her own person. So who is she? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Delegates listen to a speech by Pat Smith, whose son Sean was killed in the attacks on Benghazi, Libya in 2012, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: So let’s now take a look behind the scenes at what it takes to put a convention like this together.

    John Yang is our guide.

    JOHN YANG: People have come to the Republican Convention in Cleveland for many reasons.

    DELEGATE: The number one thing that we need to achieve here at convention is unity.

    DELEGATE: We want to make the party seem more relevant.

    DELEGATE: I’m looking forward to seeing Donald Trump.

    JOHN YANG: The person in charge of making it all happen? Convention executive producer Phil Alongi.

    PHIL ALONGI, Executive Producer, Republican National Convention: Believe it not, this is my 17th political convention.

    JOHN YANG: For 15 of them, he was a top producer for NBC News. Now he’s doing it for the Republican Party.

    PHIL ALONGI: I always feel that any opportunity to give voters information and fulfill our responsibility is what we should do. This is a news event and it should be handled by a news person.

    JOHN YANG: Alongi is in charge of planning every detail of the program you’ll see on your screens, from the balloon drop, setting up signs, even the audio and video displays inside the hall. He and his team started planning it all in April…of 2015.

    As you go through that period and once you get down to the actual presumptive nominee, are there tweaks and changes you have got to do?

    PHIL ALONGI: Always. We didn’t know who the nominee was going to be. We wanted to be able to make them feel they were part of the process and engage.

    JOHN YANG: What sort of personalization did the Trump campaign want?

    PHIL ALONGI: Certainly, the look of the lectern. What we’re able to do with this set is achieve, through lighting, through the screens, any kind of mood or whatever.

    JOHN YANG: His favorite features? The two giant video screens on the podium.

    PHIL ALONGI: It’s 1,711 square feet of LED screens, something like 10 million pixels.

    The upper screen is a convex screen, so it comes out to you. And the lower screen is a concave, so it draws you in, and so that’s what we’re hoping. It keeps everything flowing.

    JOHN YANG: Alongi’s first position as executive producer for the party was 2012 in Tampa.

    This is a political year unlike any other. How does this compare to the last time?

    PHIL ALONGI: Well, we had Governor Romney earlier in the process, a different candidate, a different type of race.

    JOHN YANG: Delegates we spoke with, each want to came away with something different.

    DELEGATE: I’m going to take away all this memory, all this nice time.

    DELEGATE: Then I feel as a delegate that I made a difference.

    JOHN YANG: For Alongi, the goal is clear.

    PHIL ALONGI: The challenge of working on this event from here is you have to keep 20,000-plus people entertained here and interested, and you have the millions of people that are back home watching.

    Now, I just want to bring whatever I can into that control room and give the people the best show that they can possibly get.

    JOHN YANG: That show starts tonight, as Melania Trump and Republican notables take this stage.

    For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang in Cleveland.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And our coverage will start tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

    Tune in from your car or the couch for our special NPR/”PBS NewsHour” coverage of the Republican National Convention Cleveland — now back to Hari in Washington.

    The post Meet the man planning every detail of the RNC appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    GWEN IFILL: And we pick it up there with syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New York Times columnist David Brooks, joined tonight — special treat — by Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report.

    Welcome, everybody.

    Another convention. Another four years, another convention.

    Let’s start by talking about what we’ve seen happening playing out already on the floor today. They have only been in for a few hours. They’re on dinner break now.

    But, David, there was kind of a little bit of an uprising. And various Trump supporters and mainstream people like Paul Ryan have been going around today trying to say, where is the party, where is the party?

    Where is the party?

    DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times: It’s not united, but it’s not opposed.

    And that is to say, there is a lot of disagreement here, but there’s no opposition to Trump. And, as we saw today, as we have seen all year, really, the Trump forces are willing to take more risks than the anti-Trump forces.

    And so what happened today was that a bunch of people were on the verge of confronting the party, what is now the Trump party establishment. And they sort of got beat back, partly by strong-arm tactics, partly by pressure, oh, we can’t help Hillary, and they got beat. And so it’s a question of morale and courage. And the Trump people have it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Amy, do you think they’re likely to pull themselves together by the end of this week?

    AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: The anti-Trump forces? This has been a problem with the Never-Trump movement, is that they have always had an antagonist in Donald Trump. They have never had a protagonist.

    They have never had somebody who is going to fill the space. If not Trump, then who? And so wanting to be a different party, wanting to have a different kind of candidate, that’s fine, but put that person forward.

    I also think that this has been the goal of this convention, is not necessarily what happens down there on the floor, but what happens after this convention? Will we see a party that looks more united among voters?

    GWEN IFILL: How does this compare, Mark, to conventions we have all sat around the table and talked? I have never seen anything quite like that over something as obscure as the rules of the convention.

    MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: Well, last time I saw something like that was 1980 in New York, when the Kennedy people opposing Jimmy Carter’s renomination tried to turn it into a moral issue, that delegates should be able to vote their own conscience, which is philosophically interesting, but politically indefensible, because you run as a Cruz delegate or a Trump delegate.

    I’m not running for Mark Shields in most places.

    GWEN IFILL: You would have my vote, Mark Shields.

    MARK SHIELDS: And I appreciate that. But it’s a rationalization.

    The problem for the anybody-but-Trump group is, it’s been a concept without a candidate. They have never had — they have never been able to put a face. They can agree that there ought to be somebody, but they can never agree who that somebody is.

    And the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll show that 38 percent of Republicans are satisfied with this choice. So, there is a major task this week, not as much in the hall, but in the country, to unite the party, to unite the campaign.

    GWEN IFILL: And, David, how much does Pence — how much help does Mike Pence bring in that regard?

    (CROSSTALK)

    (LAUGHTER)

    DAVID BROOKS: This is — one of the things — the weird thing about this party, it’s not a normal party. It’s one person.

    The campaign is one person. And whether Trump is disciplined or not is really the story here. What I’m finding is, as everybody tries to get him to tone himself down, he gets Trumpier. And so he…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Trumpier.

    DAVID BROOKS: Gave a rally in Cincinnati where he was just off into weird land, doing free association.

    And let’s face it. The Pence rollout session was one of the weirdest vice presidential rollout sessions in presidential history, where the candidate could not keep his focus on his subject, which was Pence. But he just — gravitational pull, he had to talk about himself. And if he’s going to do that for the next few months, then there will be no shared campaign. It will just be Donald Trump on a one-man band.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, Donald Trump, one-man band and his staff.

    We saw Paul Manafort, his — I guess he’s his campaign manager. I don’t think he has an official title.

    MARK SHIELDS: No.

    GWEN IFILL: Criticizing the governor of Ohio, who is not at this convention here in Ohio, and actually saying pretty harsh things about him.

    AMY WALTER: Well, not only that.

    If your issue is unity, and Paul Manafort came out — we were at his press conference yesterday — he said, that is going to be the goal.

    (CROSSTALK)

    GWEN IFILL: That was today.

    AMY WALTER: That was today. Today is unity day.

    And then you come out and hit the governor of Ohio, who you beat, and say that it’s a mistake for him not to be there. He’s getting in a Twitter war, Paul Manafort is, with the Ohio state Republican Party chairman.

    Again, you may not — you may see them as the establishment and part of the problem, but it would be at least good not to antagonize them. And this has been the problem all along, which is, this is a campaign, it looks like beyond just Donald Trump, but into his campaign manager, too, they are not magnanimous winners. They are not gracious losers.

    And that’s going to make it hard for at least a certain segment of the population, you know, the Republican electeds, at least, to get around him.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Shields, not only going after John Kasich, but after the Bushes. I was at that briefing today with Paul Manafort.

    MARK SHIELDS: That’s right.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: He was very critical of George W. Bush and his father for not being here.

    MARK SHIELDS: Well, you want to be humble in victory and proud in defeat.

    And you want to be seeking converts, and not heretics. And it seems that the first 24 hours, they’ve been looking for heretics, banished to the outer darkness, the Bushes and John Kasich, when they ought to be saying, I’m confident they’ll come over. They’ll be convinced by this convention. They will join us, that it will be great, and I look forward to their support on Columbus Day or Labor Day or wherever.

    You don’t start punishing people.

    GWEN IFILL: Except, when have we ever seen that from this campaign? The one thing Donald Trump keeps saying is, hey, this worked. I beat 16 of them, so why should I change now?

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes.

    I would say two things are happening. They’re running an objectively bad campaign, and the world is conspiring to help Donald Trump, because if — we got the violence in Nice, we got violence in the streets in America.

    And if you wanted a cultural climate where an authoritarian figure was going to be — people might flock to him, this is that climate.

    MARK SHIELDS: I agree.

    But just to come back to what Peter Hart, the Wall Street Journal/NBC pollster, said, he said this is a change election, and there is no question. And we’re having earthquake after earthquake, aftershock after aftershock.

    But in a change year, Donald Trump has become the chaos candidate. And that’s what he can’t project is chaos. And there has got to be order and discipline and a sense of magnanimity, as Amy mentioned. And I just think that’s what’s missing. And if that’s not here this week, it is going to be a severe body blow to his chances.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, Amy, what we hear is that they’re going to try to tie all this chaos in the world and here in this country with the violence we have seen in the last weeks directly to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

    AMY WALTER: Well, listen, there’s a good case to be made by Republicans…

    MARK SHIELDS: That’s right.

    AMY WALTER: … that a Democratic administration has not taken care of — or what they’re going to argue is they have actually exacerbated the chaos in the world. And there is a good case to prosecute there.

    They just have a very terrible person doing the prosecuting at this point, in part because — and I think this is the most important thing he needs to do here, is look like the kind of person who has the temperament to be able to make these sorts of decisions in times of crisis in a very chaotic world.

    And I think that’s the most important thing that he needs to do. All the talk about unity is nice and fun, but at the end of the day, if he comes out of here with more voters saying, you know what, I can see him now, give him — I can see the opportunity for him to lead in a time of crisis.

    Right now, it’s not there. The polls are not showing it. That’s what this is about.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, we have a convention opening tonight. And we’re going to hear from Rick Perry, someone who actually did endorse him.

    We’re going to hear from other people who ran against him and endorsed him. We don’t know where Chris Christie has gotten to, but we are going to hear from other people. And in the end, this may be just a typical convention, albeit with a couple of sitcom stars added in.

    DAVID BROOKS: Well, Scott Baio, let’s not underestimate the — and that guy from “The Bold and the Beautiful,” whatever his name is, that guy.

    MARK SHIELDS: That guy. That guy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: “Charles in Charge.”

    (LAUGHTER)

    DAVID BROOKS: But it is — it’s actually kind of weird.

    Like, we come here and you think Trump has changed everything.

    GWEN IFILL: No.

    DAVID BROOKS: The stage, it looks like a normal convention stage. The crowd looks like a normal convention.

    The one thing that is different, as you talk to people in the delegations, for a lot of people, this is their first convention. There really is recycling of the human — the people who are here, this is their first time for a whole chunk of them.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Some people very happy, proud, they say, that there aren’t many politicians here.

    AMY WALTER: And that’s another difference, is that all the establishment folks that would be hosting parties, or we’d be going to press conferences and talking to and using as sources, none of them are here today.

    And that’s exactly what Donald Trump is arguing, which is, that is a segment of the party that has failed them.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, thank you all.

    We will see a lot of you over the next two weeks, Amy Walter, David Brooks, Mark Shields.

    The post Trump’s GOP opponents get nowhere fast at convention appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The delegates of the Republican National Convention pose for a group photo at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

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    GWEN IFILL: From reality TV to the top of the GOP, Donald Trump has been in the spotlight for decades. What do we know about his past that gives hints to where he wants to lead the country in the future?

    Tonight, we begin our series on the likely Republican nominee with a look at Trump’s early years.

    Donald Trump was and is a child of New York, born and raised in the borough of Queens to a life of hard-earned privilege. He was the fourth of five children born to a Scottish immigrant mother, Mary, and a housing developer father, Fred, who left an important mark on his son.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presumptive Presidential Nominee: My father was great. Good salesman. Good builder. He loved to build houses. He was a good builder. I learned so much from him. And he was a great guy, a lovely guy. I loved my father.

    GWEN IFILL: Fred Trump, a shrewd and political businessman, made a fortune building low-income housing in Brooklyn and Queens beginning in the late 1920s.

    GWENDA BLAIR, Author, “The Trumps”: The family lived in a 23-room house. They had a chauffeur, a maid. The kids got taken by the chauffeur to their private school every morning.

    GWEN IFILL: The children were all raised to be high achievers, but Donald, in particular, patterned himself after his father.

    Author Gwenda Blair.

    GWENDA BLAIR: Dad worked 24/7. If it was Sunday, you wouldn’t take that day off. You would put the kids in the car and go over to a construction site. You would look for unused nails, because why would you waste a nail? He was a very tough and demanding guy, said to have told his boys, be killers, win, very competitive. And that competitive streak came out double in Donald.

    GWEN IFILL: But that same pressure didn’t sit well with Trump’s oldest brother, Freddy.

    Here’s author Timothy O’Brien.

    TIMOTHY O’BRIEN, Author, “TrumpNation”: Fred Jr. really couldn’t stand the pressure. He ended up not going into his father’s real estate business, wanted to become a pilot. He ended up an alcoholic, and he died of alcoholism.

    GWEN IFILL: Trump cites Freddy’s experience as why he doesn’t drink.

    DONALD TRUMP: I probably wouldn’t be here talking to you today if — if we didn’t — if I didn’t have my brother Fred, because he kept me off alcohol. Now, maybe, with my kind of a personality, I would be a serious alcoholic. I just don’t know. But I have never had a glass of alcohol in my life.

    GWEN IFILL: Biographer Michael D’Antonio says young Donald’s thirst for attention often landed him in trouble at school.

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO, Author, “The Truth About Trump”: He said to me that he was wise guy. He’s the fellow who threw an eraser and gave the teacher a black eye, and would throw cake around a birthday party. So, I can imagine him as being a little terror.

    GWEN IFILL: It proved even too much for Fred Trump to handle. So, at age 13, Donald’s parents shipped him upstate to the New York Military Academy.

    GWENDA BLAIR: Many kids, of course, are desperately homesick, can’t wait to go home. He apparently loved military school. He liked the — the kind of out-front, I think, competitiveness of it. There were so many different ways that you could excel and get medals and ribbons, cleanest room, shiniest shoes, all that kind of stuff.

    GWEN IFILL: Donald Trump thrived, rising in rank, and he was socially popular with men and women. He also gravitated toward sports, or, rather, winning in sports, in soccer, wrestling, football, and baseball.

    TIMOTHY O’BRIEN: He excelled at baseball, to the point where I think his coaches felt that he could become a professional baseball player. I think military school at least wrung some of his adolescent excesses out of him for a brief period of time.

    But the thing to remember about Donald Trump is that his wealth sort of created a bubble around him, and he’s been able to pursue his appetites and really do whatever he wanted to do for most of his life with very few restraints.

    GWEN IFILL: After graduation, he lived at home while commuting to Fordham University in the Bronx.

    GWENDA BLAIR: His sister told me that the reason he went to Fordham — I asked, and she said, it’s where he got in.

    GWEN IFILL: Two years later, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Finance and Commerce.

    MICHAEL D’ANTONIO: You won’t find people at Penn who will say, well, I was Donald’s really good friend, I was in a fraternity with him, or we socialized.

    He didn’t do any of those things. He studied. And then, come Friday, as soon as he could, he’d jump in his car and go back to Queens, where he worked with his dad. So, from the very start with Donald, it was about getting control of the family business, building it, growing it, and becoming the rich and famous and powerful person that he eventually became.

    GWEN IFILL: Trump graduated from Penn in 1968 to start what quickly became a celebrity real estate career.

    The post All about Donald Trump’s early years, from troubled teen to military academy and business school appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republicans cast Donald Trump as the right man for turbulent times as they opened their presidential convention Monday against a backdrop of unsettling summer violence and persistent discontent within their own party.

    The glue keeping Republicans together was disdain for Hillary Clinton. Convention speakers planned to relentlessly paint the presumptive Democratic nominee as entrenched in a system that fails to keep Americans safe.

    While safety and security was the focus of Monday’s opening session, Trump was also trying to shore up Republican unity, in part by assuring party leaders and voters alike that there’s a kinder, gentler side to what many see as merely a brash businessman. Trump’s family is playing a starring role, beginning Monday with an evening speech by his wife, Melania Trump, who has kept a low profile throughout the campaign.

    In a surprise, Trump announced he would come to Cleveland and go onstage on opening night to introduce her.

    The convention comes amid a wrenching period of violence and unrest, both in the United States and around the world. On the eve of the opening, three police officers were killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the city where a black man was killed by police two weeks ago.

    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus welcomed delegates with a brief acknowledgement of the “troubling times” swirling outside. The chairman called for a moment of silence out of respect for “genuine heroes” in law enforcement.

    “Our nation grieves when we see these awful killings,” he said.

    In a matter of weeks, Americans have seen deadly police shootings, a shocking ambush of police in Texas and escalating racial tensions, not to mention a failed coup in Turkey and gruesome Bastille Day attack in Nice, France.

    Trump has seized on the instability, casting recent events as a direct result of failed leadership by President Barack Obama and by Clinton, who spent four years in the administration as secretary of state. But Trump has been vague about how he would put the nation on a different course, offering virtually no details of his policy prescriptions despite repeated vows to be tough.

    Campaign chairman Paul Manafort said Trump would “eventually” outline policy specifics but not at the convention.

    Clinton, during remarks Monday at the NAACP’s annual convention, said there was no justification for directing violence at law enforcement.

    “As president, I will bring the full weight of the law to bear in making sure those who kill police officers are brought to justice,” she said.

    Clinton was expected to be a frequent target of the eclectic group of lawmakers, military service members and entertainers headlining opening night of the convention. They include Sens. Joni Ernst of Iowa and Jeff Sessions of Alabama, actor Scott Baio and Willie Robertson, star of Duck Dynasty, as well as immigration advocates and a Marine who fought in the Benghazi attack that occurred during Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.

    The speakers’ line-up of speakers and no-shows for the four-night convention was a visual representation of Trump’s struggles to unify Republicans. From the party’s former presidents to the host state governor, many leaders were staying away from the convention stage, or Cleveland altogether, wary of being linked to a man whose proposals and temperament have sparked an identity crisis within the GOP.

    Trump’s team insists that by the end of the week, Republicans will plunge into the general election campaign united in their mission to defeat Clinton. But campaign officials undermined their own effort Monday by picking a fight with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is not attending the convention and has yet to endorse Trump.

    Manafort called Kasich “petulant” and said the governor was “embarrassing” his party in his home state.

    Even some of those participating in the convention seemed to be avoiding their party’s nominee. When House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke to Wisconsin delegates Monday morning, he made no mention of Trump in his remarks.

    Disaffected delegates were still pressing for a way to derail Trump. As Monday’s working sessions opened, anti-Trump delegates claimed they’d collected enough signatures to force a state-by-state roll call vote on changing party rules, a battle that party leaders hoped to avoid.

    Republican Party leadership and officials from Donald Trump’s campaign said Monday they’d held 11th-hour talks with anti-Trump delegates to see if they could avert a messy floor fight, live on television, over the rules. But one official said the negotiations had failed, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe private discussions.

    The roll call vote on the nomination is expected Tuesday, with Trump scheduled to close the convention with an acceptance speech Thursday night. Vice presidential pick Mike Pence, who left Indianapolis for Cleveland on Monday, is to speak Wednesday.

    The summer disturbances had tensions running high outside the heavily secured convention site in Cleveland.

    Hundreds of Trump supporters and opponents held rallies a half-mile apart, with a few of the Trump supporters openly carrying guns as allowed under Ohio law. The president of the police union had asked Kasich to suspend the law allowing gun owners to carry firearms in plain sight. But Kasich said he didn’t have that authority.

    The post Chaos on GOP convention floor over last-ditch effort to stop Trump appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The delegates of the Republican National Convention pose for a group photo at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s been an action-packed day already here in Cleveland. We’re excited about our first ever joint “PBS NewsHour”-NPR coverage of the 2016 conventions.

    “Weekend Edition Sunday” host Rachel Martin will be with us this week and next. She’s at the podium here right now with a preview of what we expect to see tonight — Rachel.

    RACHEL MARTIN, NPR Host: Hi, Judy.

    I’m actually down on the floor of the convention arena. This is where all the action is going to take place tonight. Delegates are on a break, but we can expect them to fill this hall in, in the next little while.

    As you know, the Trump campaign has set up a theme for every night, and tonight the theme is make America safe again, so you can be sure there is going to going to be a lot of conversation about national security issues. And a word you are going to hear a lot tonight, Benghazi.

    They are going to put out guests who are really going to try to target Hillary Clinton on the issue of Benghazi. We are going to hear from a mother of one of the four Americans who was killed there. We’re also going to hear from some of his supporters in Congress.

    Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions will speak. It will be up to him to try to bridge that divide between Donald Trump and some of the establishment that is still not yet on the board. And, of course, the marquee event, Melania Trump is going to be introducing her husband.

    She is going to try to give a more personal look at this candidate. She might get upstaged, though. The candidate himself is expected to introduce her — back to you, Gwen and Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we will be watching and talking to you, Rachel.

    Right now, we get the perspective of the Trump campaign from one of the candidate’s senior advisers. She is Kellyanne Conway.

    Thank you for joining us in our sky booth.

    KELLYANNE CONWAY, Advisor to Mike Pence: Thank you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Kellyanne Conway, how united are the Republicans tonight? We saw a little bit of chaos break out a couple of hours ago when the delegates were asked about nominating Donald Trump.

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: Well, that was a couple of the never Trump delegates’ last-ditch attempt.

    We thought the other day was a last-ditch attempt. There have been three or four of them to really either try to embarrass Mr. Trump or rob him of the nomination. They failed again and again.

    But, look, this is what conventions are for. This is direct democracy. I think, in terms of party unity, there is no Bernie Sanders equivalent in the Republican Party right now to Hillary Clinton, no one who won 22 or 23 states, millions of votes, and just last week decided to drop out and endorse.

    I think this is healthy for parties to have some growing pains, shed some skin, and have these debates, whether they’re out in public or behind closed doors, as we are more accustomed to.

    GWEN IFILL: I saw House Speaker Paul Ryan today.

    And he was talking about — everyone is talking about unity and how ones finds a way to make sure that party is on the same page. He talked about being a party of ideas. We hear less about ideas. But among the ideas are about building a wall or the ideas are about banning a religion from coming in the country, those kinds of ideas.

    And when we asked Paul Ryan about that, he kind of bit his tongue. Do you feel like the unity is where it needs to be in that front?

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: Well, what I think is Donald Trump has many more ideas, like the 10-point VA reform plan he laid out in Virginia Beach just a week ago, Gwen, where he — it’s 10 points.

    Anybody can read it. He basically said if we don’t do what’s right by our veterans, if we don’t provide them basic care and health services and care about them who fought for all of our freedoms, the right to sit here and converse with each other, frankly, what are we doing as a nation?

    Then he went and gave a 10-point road map that anybody can examine. They can agree or disagree with it. But at least it’s there. And you will hear more substance this week from Donald Trump. He’s got a tax plan that’s been out there for a while.

    He has a repeal-and-replace an Obamacare plan. Nobody seems to want to talk about it or cover. I am on TV every day. Nobody has yet asked me to compare the two health care plans or the two national security plans.

    So, I, for one, agree with…

    (CROSSTALK)

    GWEN IFILL: Here’s your chance. Here is your chance.

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: And I’m happy to do that.

    I, for one, agree with Speaker Ryan in this regard. I would love for all of us to move from this cacophony of content-free campaigning into a more substantive debate. I think voters deserve that. And I know voters want that.

    I feel like a religious debate on the issues, then people will see they have a very stark choice in the future vision of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and that those who want a change election will go for the outsider, for Donald Trump, much the way they went for Barack Obama in ’08 and Bill Clinton in ’92, after two terms of the party in power.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You used the term shedding skin.

    And I want to ask you about that, because today the campaign manager, Paul Manafort, told a group of reporters. He said, this is a convention about the future. It’s a campaign about the future, not about the past, when he was asked about the fact that both former Presidents Bush are not here, as well as Mitt Romney and John McCain.

    You worked for President George H.W. Bush’s vice president, Dan Quayle.

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: Yes.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you feel about the Bushes and others not being here?

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: Well, that is their right. We certainly welcome them. We’re glad that they have devoted so much of their lives to public service.

    We understand that Jeb Bush wanted to be here this week accepting the nomination, and that there are some hard feelings there. But Dan Quayle himself, Judy, the former vice president, has endorsed Donald Trump.

    The other Bush — Vice President Dick Cheney has endorsed Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich. So there’s a little bit of a split that way of those who have and those who haven’t. But, again, I wouldn’t want to belong to a party where everybody was meant to talk the same, either say the — agree on the same things.

    We hope that they’re cheering for the party from afar. And, also, I also just want to say that this party is always looking for the next Ronald Reagan. Do you ever listen to the candidates? They channel Ronald Reagan. We’re looking for the next Ronald Reagan. And they were picking Bushes for a while.

    So it is — I said on a different station last night, this campaign will be about the future, not the past. And I believe the selection of Mike Pence broadcast that loud and clear to voters also, because he’s a fresh face to many Americans. They’re unfamiliar with him.

    (CROSSTALK)

    GWEN IFILL: I want to ask you about Mike Pence. What kind of reaction are you hearing now that the delegates are here in town? Is it a sigh of relief? Is it an embrace? Is it a who — isn’t this guy a part of the establishment? What kind of reaction are you getting?

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: He’s pure excitement.

    Actually, Mike Pence, in his 12 years in Congress, Gwen and Judy, he voted against a lot of the Bush spending bills, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part B prescription drug, of course, TARP.

    And so he was able to — he was willing to stand up to leaders of both parties. It’s very refreshing, frankly, to have someone in your own party say to a president of that party, I’m sorry, I just don’t agree with you, something Bernie Sanders has done with President Obama again and again.

    And also I believe Mike Pence is somebody who was in Washington who never was of Washington, Rust Belt Midwestern governor, sitting on $2 billion surplus, gave tax cuts across the board to employers and individuals, spurring that kind of growth.

    When he got there after Mitch Daniels, 8.4 percent unemployment, now less than 5 percent. There’s a great story to tell there.

    And I just wanted to note that John McCain and Mitt Romney could not win those Midwestern states. They lost them all twice to President Obama. Let’s at least give Trump-Pence a try to state their case in those states and see how they fare.

    GWEN IFILL: Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to Donald J. Trump, who later this week will be the — no longer be likely — will be the Republican nominee.

    Thank you.

    KELLYANNE CONWAY: Thank you for having me.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you.

    The post Donald Trump’s coronation week as GOP standard-bearer begins appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    An East Baton Rouge Sheriff vehicle is seen with bullet holes in its windows near the scene where police officers were shot  in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S. July 17, 2016.  REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman.    TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSIFUZ

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    HARI SREENIVASAN: Now back to this country and the latest round of violence involving police.

    Last week, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the site of protests following the police killing of Alton Sterling. Yesterday saw an ambush that left three officers killed and three wounded.

    Jeffrey Brown reports.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Mourners laid flowers today outside the Baton Rouge gas station where Sunday’s slaughter took place. And investigators confirmed the attack was definitely planned.

    COL. MIKE EDMONSON, Superintendent, Louisiana State Police: There is no doubt whatsoever that these officers were intentionally targeted and assassinated. It was a calculated act against those who work to protect this community every single day.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The gunman was former Gavin Long of Kansas City, Missouri, who served in the Marine Corps from 2005 to 2010, including six months in Iraq.

    He carried out the attack on his 29th birthday, before dying in a shoot-out with police. Long had previously posted messages on social media saying he was fed up with the treatment of African-Americans.

    GAVIN LONG: You got to fight back. That’s the only way a bully knows to quit. He doesn’t know words.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The slain officers were identified as sheriff’s Deputy Brad Garafola, and police officers Montrell Jackson and Matthew Gerald. Their killing came less than two weeks after the death of Alton Sterling, who was fatally shot by Baton Rouge police during a scuffle.

    Sterling’s death and the killing of Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota, triggered protests nationwide. After a protest in Dallas, a sniper shot dead five police officers, saying he wanted revenge for police killings of black men.

    Today, Attorney General Loretta Lynch condemned the bloodshed during a conference of black law enforcement officers in Washington.

    LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. Attorney General: And we are determined to do everything that we can to bridge divides, to heal the rifts and to restore trust.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The killings rippled through the presidential campaign as well. Democrat Hillary Clinton said today there can be no justification for killing police. And Republican Donald Trump blamed President Obama’s leadership and said, “We demand law and order.”

    And from Louisiana Public Broadcasting in Baton Rouge, we’re joined now by the superintendent of Louisiana state police, Colonel Michael Mike Edmonson.

    And, first, our condolences to you and members of your force. I know this is all very fresh. Can you tell us the mood there? How have your officers and community responded?

    COL. MIKE EDMONSON: Well, I think they’re doing an incredible job.

    These police officers, certainly the ones that we talked about in the press conference today, those police officers, the two Baton Rouge city police officers that were killed, the one East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy, the one that is fighting for his life now, true heroes.

    It was an ordinary Sunday. And I think what took place from 8:40 that morning and beyond was nothing less than extraordinary. The mood is somber. It’s sad, but I can promise you that my police officers and my state troopers are committed, they’re dedicated, they’re professional and they’re ready to do the job that’s called upon. They’re public servants. That’s what they do.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You said at the press conference that the police officers were assassinated, that it was clearly deliberate. What tells you that? Why were these officers targeted?

    COL. MIKE EDMONSON: It was intentional and it was calculated. As I watched the film and the video that we had from the scene on that particular — just yesterday morning, not even 30 hours ago, a little more than 30 hours ago, was a gentleman, the shooter that went to that location.

    And based on his actions and based on what he did at that location, he was targeting specifically police officers. He was amongst the civilians. He saw civilians in the area. He didn’t even engage them. He discounted them. He didn’t even look at them. He went specifically for a location of a Baton Rouge city police car. He was engaged on that police car.

    When no one was in there, he backed off, and he went back around, went to another location, which was right next door to that, parked his car, went towards a Baton Rouge police officer that was vacuuming his car before. He had left. At that point, police starting being called in that area because people see someone with a gun.

    As they’re responding, he has backtracked around one of the side buildings, and he engages two Baton Rouge police officers. He kills them. He engages a sheriff’s deputy. The sheriff’s deputy was going back to one of those police officers who had been shot just to try to render first aid. He kills him.

    He then moves around, works himself back around to the other side, engages a sheriff’s deputy who was in his car, shot through that car, and that is the one that is grasping for his life right now. And that’s when he was shot and killed by Baton Rouge SWAT.

    His intentions were clear. You can see it on the tape. You can watch it unfold as he moves forward. They were deliberate and they were calculated. No doubt in our mind he was aiming for police officers.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Now, that’s his intentions. There is still a lot of questions of his motives. What questions do you have? Are you sure, first of all, that it was just him? Do you think that perhaps there were others involved? Do you know why he came to Baton Rouge?

    COL. MIKE EDMONSON: A lot of unanswered questions.

    What we clearly do know is that the young individual is a shooter, that the Baton Rouge police department SWAT team shot and killed, was indeed the individual who killed those police officers. We believe him to be acting alone in that particular scenario.

    But we want to find out what brought him to Baton Rouge, what brought him to that location and what brought him to kill those police officers? We have got to backtrack that car. We have got to go to 8:40 yesterday morning and go backwards and try to work that timeline. Where did the car come from, where did it travel to, what are the cities he go to, why was he in Baton Rouge? Was he actually looking for the locations?

    Was he trying to find locations where police officers were? And while he was here, who else was he talking to? For those unanswered questions, we will look at social media and we will starting filing each of those. It’s a large puzzle, a lot of pieces. We just need to put it together.

    (CROSSTALK)

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes, excuse me for interrupting you, because you referred to other cities that he went to. There are reports that he was in Dallas.

    COL. MIKE EDMONSON: We’re hearing all of those.

    And that’s why I say we need to look at the footprint of that particular vehicle, find out where it went prior to 8:40 that morning, work it as far back as we can, and try to find out was anyone else involved, was he looking at other locations, what other possible crimes he’s committed, how do he get those guns, all the things that need to be to put that puzzle together, so that we can completely tell the story.

    Let me tell you something. Those three, those three police officers, they deserve that we get it right.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And just very briefly, if I could, because there’s so much talk today around the country about how police are responding to these shootings, are you changing your procedures at all in terms of how your officers respond to emergencies, for example?

    COL. MIKE EDMONSON: I wouldn’t do anything different than what I have seen.

    I have been a police officer for 36 years. I have been superintendent for nine. The foundation of our training is solid. It’s built around principles. I think what we need to do, every time there’s an incident anywhere in this country and around the world that involves police, we take it, and work through it in Louisiana.

    We ask our officers, how would you act in this situation? And we talk those things through. That type of training has got to continue. But I believe the training that we have, that foundation is there. We just need to build upon it.

    We need to go wherever it takes us, any other thing we can do, because here’s the deal. You can’t get enough training. You can’t get enough talking about scenarios to where you can continually to be proactive. I think that’s what the public expects from us. And that’s certainly what we need to do.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Colonel Michael Edmonson, thank you very much.

    COL. MIKE EDMONSON: Thank you, sir. God bless you. And we need you. We need your prayers, please. Tell the country, please pray for us. We need it.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Thank you.

    The post Baton Rouge reels after Sunday’s ambush murders of three police officers appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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