Obama to Trump: ‘Stop ‘whin­ing’

Pres­i­dent chides Repub­li­can can­di­date over pre-emp­tive claims of voter fraud

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE -

“Stop whin­ing,” Pres­i­dent Barack Obama re­buked Don­ald Trump on Tues­day, speak­ing out as sel­dom be­fore about next month’s elec­tion and chid­ing the Repub­li­can for sow­ing sus­pi­cion about the in­tegrity of Amer­ica’s pres­i­den­tial vote.

Obama also ac­cused Trump of cozy­ing up to Rus­sia’s Vladimir Putin to a de­gree “un­prece­dented in Amer­i­can pol­i­tics.”

The pres­i­dent said Trump’s in­ten­si­fy­ing pre-emp­tive warn­ings about voter fraud are un­heard of in mod­ern pol­i­tics. The rhetoric is not based on any ev­i­dence, Obama said, but is sim­ply aimed at dis­cred­it­ing the out­come be­fore the first votes are counted.

“You start whin­ing be­fore the game is even over?” Obama said at a Rose Gar­den news con­fer-

ence. “If when­ever things are go­ing badly for you and you lose you start blam­ing some­body else — then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job.”

Cam­paign­ing in Colorado, the GOP can­di­date re­peated his as­ser­tions about “cor­rupt” elec­tions but did not re­spond di­rectly to the pres­i­dent. Trump vowed to “drain the swamp” in Wash­ing­ton, and for the first time promised to push for a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment to im­pose term lim­its on all mem­bers of Congress.

The pres­i­dent’s re­marks came as Trump and his Repub­li­can al­lies look for ways to re­gain mo­men­tum af­ter a dam­ag­ing few weeks in the cam­paign. Head­ing into the third and fi­nal de­bate Wed­nes­day night, Trump is trail­ing in the polls and run­ning out of time for a come­back be­fore Nov. 8.

Obama waded into the race to elect a suc­ces­sor, speak­ing at the White House where he was host­ing his fi­nal state visit. Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Mat­teo Renzi at his side, the pres­i­dent ini­tially said he would pull his punches when it came to pol­i­tics, re­spect­ing the of­fi­cial set­ting. But when he was asked about Trump’s rhetoric, he hardly held back.

“I would in­vite Mr. Trump to stop whin­ing and go try to make his case to get votes,” he said.

The GOP can­di­date has ramped up warn­ings about potential fraud. That’s drawing criticism not only from Democrats but from Trump’s own party, par­tic­u­larly

the state and county of­fi­cials who run lo­cal elec­tions. They fear the rhetoric will give losers li­cense to dis­pute any re­sults.

“They even want to try and rig the elec­tion at the polling booth, where so many cities are cor­rupt and you see that and voter fraud is all too com­mon,” Trump said at a rally in Colorado Springs.

In­de­pen­dent stud­ies and elec­tion of­fi­cials in both par­ties say they see no ev­i­dence that voter fraud — in­di­vid­u­als im­per­son­at­ing oth­ers to cast bal­lots — is a wide­spread prob­lem.

Asked about Trump’s claims on Tues­day, run­ning mate Mike Pence dodged and sug­gested Trump’s point ac­tu­ally was about the “over­whelm­ing bias in the na­tional me­dia.”

Pence spoke af­ter tour­ing the burned-out of­fices of the Repub­li­can Party in Hills­bor­ough, N.C. The GOP of­fice was fire­bombed over the week­end in what Pence called an “act of po­lit­i­cal ter­ror­ism.” Trump pointed at Clin­ton sup­port­ers, but Pence did not as­sign blame. Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Clin­ton held no pub­lic events Tues­day while she pre­pared for the de­bate, in which she is cer­tain to be asked about the lat­est reve­la­tions in­volv­ing her use of a pri­vate email server dur­ing her time as sec­re­tary of state.

New FBI doc­u­ments re­leased Mon­day re­vived ques­tions about whether she re­ceived clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion and whether State Depart­ment al­lies sought to pro­tect her from criticism over the email ar­range­ment.

The FBI notes show a State Depart­ment of­fi­cial

asked the FBI to lower the clas­si­fi­ca­tion of a sen­si­tive email found on her server. The email was re­lated to the at­tack on the U.S. com­pound in Beng­hazi, Libya.

The doc­u­ments re­vealed dis­cus­sion of a “quid pro quo” in try­ing to get the email re­clas­si­fied, though it’s not clear who first raised the is­sue. Both State and FBI of­fi­cials deny any bar­gain­ing took place.

Trump called it an “elab­o­rate and de­lib­er­ate coverup” and called for the State Depart­ment of­fi­cial, Un­der­sec­re­tary for Man­age­ment Pa­trick F. Kennedy, to be fired.

The Repub­li­can is hop­ing to turn the con­ver­sa­tion away from the allegations of sexual mis­con­duct that partly dom­i­nated his last de­bate against Clin­ton.

In an in­ter­view with Fox News aired Tues­day, Me­la­nia Trump vouched for her hus­band and blamed the ac­cu­sa­tions on po­lit­i­cal ri­vals: “They want to dam­age the pres­i­dency of my hus­band, and it was all planned, it was all or­ga­nized from the op­po­si­tion.”

Her com­ments car­ried echoes of Clin­ton’s allegations of a “vast right-wing con­spir­acy” or­ga­nized to raise sim­i­lar allegations against her hus­band two decades ago. Trump no­tably tried to re­vive Bill Clin­ton’s his­tory by invit­ing his ac­cusers to the last de­bate. His guest list for Wed­nes­day’s face­off in Las Ve­gas in­cludes Pat Smith, whose son, Sean Smith, was killed in the at­tack in Beng­hazi. Smith was a fea­tured speaker at the Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion, where she de­liv­ered an emo­tional speech blam­ing Clin­ton for her son’s death.


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