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Sep 19, 2016

Bloomberg Politics | The Brief: Terror Politics - September 19, 2016

The Brief: Terror Politics
There are 50 days until 50 states decide one of the most bizarre, divisive, and critical United States presidential elections of a lifetime. And as most of the country returns to the weekday grind, the issue that has so often dominated electoral politics of late is leading the headlines yet again. At least four incidents in 36 hours have put terrorism on the tips of tongues across the country. The New York area is on particularly high alert after 29 people were injured in a homemade bomb blast in Manhattan on Saturday night, and then pipe bombs were found near a New Jersey train station last night. The latter incident follows the discovery of a pipe bomb at the site of a planned 5K in New Jersey, and a stabbing attack (that may be linked to the Islamic State) at a Minnesota mall on Saturday. There are multiple reports that authorities in New Jersey have captured a man wanted in connection with the New York and New Jersey incidents, but this story is far from over.
The candidates, of course, are weighing in. This morning in an interview with Fox News, Donald Trump criticized the U.S. response to terrorism and the stigma associated with police profiling. Earlier, he took to Twitter to blame Hillary Clinton and President Obama for domestic threats and for allowing what he calls a “cancer from within” to flourish. When asked on Fox what he would do to remedy the issue, the Republican nominee said, “We’re going to have to do something extremely tough" like "knock the hell out of them." Later Clinton addressed reporters at a New York airport before heading to a campaign event in Philadelphia. The Democratic nominee positioned herself as the most qualified candidate to combat terrorism, telling reporters, "I have sat at that table in the Situation Room" and "I know how to do this." She also took a few shots at her opponent, saying the country must reject his approach to terrorism and that his rhetoric has been used as a recruitment tool by extremist groups. How are the candidates handling this situation, and terrorism policy in general? And who stands to gain more politically from his or her approach?
After a weekend spent campaigning for Clinton and the Democrats, President Obama is in New York for U.N. General Assembly meetings, where the events of the weekend could overshadow much of his agenda. This morning, the president issued a statement, praising law enforcement and saying Americans "do not, and never will, give in to fear." We'll discuss Obama's response to the situation and the war against terror in the waning days of his administration with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
Mark Halperin, John Heilemann and the rest of the Bloomberg Politics team will cover the politics of terror from all angles—including its implications down the ballot—tonight on With All Due Respect
—Rob Gifford @giff18

—Hillary Clinton, speaking to reporters at a NY airport before leaving for a campaign event on Monday morning


Terrorism and 2016: Clinton Says Trump’s Terrorism Talk Plays Into Extremist Hands, from Bloomberg Politics' Jennifer Epstein and Jennifer Jacobs
"Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said the country must reject Donald Trump’s approach to terrorism, saying his rhetoric has been used as a recruitment tool by extremist groups such as Islamic State. Hours after the Republican nominee said the U.S. response to domestic terrorism is inhibited by police officers afraid they’ll be accused of profiling if they single out Muslims, Clinton said the key to preventing attacks like the bomb blast in New York is building up trust between law enforcement and the American Muslim community."
Paging Pinocchio: Christie’s claim that Trump did not ‘on a regular basis’ spout birther nonsense after 2011, from the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler
"This is why Americans hate politics. A sitting governor goes on national television and when he is called out for an obvious falsehood, he simply repeats the inaccurate talking points over and over. This will possibly be our shortest fact check ever.... This is such bogus spin that we have to wonder how Christie manages to say it with a straight face. Regular readers know we shy away from using the word “lie,” but clearly Christie is either lying or he is so misinformed that he has no business appearing on television. Kudos to Tapper for refusing to let Christie get away with it. Four Pinocchios"
Legacy lament: Obama Asks for Reality Check as ‘Frivolous’ Issues Dominate Election, from the New York Times' Julie Hirschfeld Davis
"...President Obama was basking again in the electricity of a campaign rally. But for a moment last week, he could not hide his exasperation at the circuslike atmosphere of this year’s presidential race. “Do you mind if I just vent for a second?” he said on Tuesday at an outdoor event for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia, after marveling aloud at the news media’s preoccupation with “frivolous” things....."the bottom line is,” he added, “is that we cannot afford suddenly to treat this like a reality show.” The off-script broadside was the rhetorical equivalent of a presidential eye roll. The remark was delivered by a commander in chief who is ever more incredulous at the tone and substance of the race to succeed him, and who has limited opportunities in his last months in office to shift the public focus to the issues he prefers. Mr. Obama continued the theme at a Congressional Black Caucus gala on Saturday night in Washington...“I don’t know about you guys, but I am so relieved that the whole ‘birther’ thing is over,” Mr. Obama said. “I mean, ISIL, North Korea, poverty, climate change — none of those things weighed on me like the validity of my birth certificate.”"
CGI 411: Clinton Global Initiative Ends Run With Some of Shine Worn Off, from Bloomberg Politics' Margaret Talev and Bill Allison
"When the Clinton Global Initiative opens Monday for its 12th and final annual meeting, it’ll be a little less global, lighter on initiative and absent one Clinton. The event in New York, for years considered a prime forum for movie stars, captains of industry and global leaders to put their good names to good works, is ending its run with a formidable list of accomplishments but burdened by the political complications of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president and the attendant scrutiny of the family’s ties to wealthy interests. Some well-known supporters of CGI, notably President Barack Obama, are missing from the guest list for this year’s meeting, when the door will close on an institution that’s won praise for reshaping philanthropy but also drawn derision for an atmosphere of pay-for-access."
Bloc of granite: New Hampshire Carries Outsize Stakes for the 2016 Elections, from Bloomberg View's Al Hunt
"New Hampshire is in the bottom quarter of states in terms of its electoral and popular votes in the U.S. presidential contest. But no other place has more competitive races with national implications. The presidential contest, a Senate race, both House seats and the gubernatorial election all are up for grabs. The outcomes could shape the 2017 political map....Naturally, much of the national focus is on big battlegrounds such as Florida and Ohio. But the Granite State may provide important indicators early on election night. If Trump loses the state, any path to victory will be elusive. Likewise, Democratic hopes of taking control of the Senate may be dashed if Hassan loses."
Russia response: Blaming Russia for U.S. Hacks Is Easier Than Responding to Them, from Bloomberg's Chris Strohm
"Determining that the Russian government has been hacking political groups andelection systems may have been the easy part for the U.S. intelligence community. Now the Obama administration has to decide what, if anything, to do about it. While officially the FBI and intelligence agencies are still investigating a series of hacks that have roiled the U.S. presidential campaign, a number of cyber specialists who have reviewed the evidence as well as U.S. officials familiar with the investigation say withhigh confidence that Moscow is to blame. That’s raising the pressure on the administration to respond."

Daybook (All times eastern)

  • 12:00 p.m.: Hillary Clinton gives speech about college tuition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 12:30 p.m.: House Speaker Paul Ryan addresses economic club of New York
  • 3:00 p.m.: Donald Trump holds rally in Fort Myers, Florida
  • 3:00 p.m.: Tim Kaine speaks to millennials at Iowa State University in Ames
  • 4:00 p.m.:  POTUS holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq (Pool Spray at the Bottom)
  • 4:00 p.m.: Mike Pence holds a town hall in Mason City, Iowa
  • 8:00 p.m.: Pence holds rally in Dubuque, Iowa
  • 11:35 p.m.: Clinton appears on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on NBC

From “With All Due Respect”

Donald Trump Flip-Flops, Says President Obama Was Born in U.S.

Mark Halperin and John Heilemann discuss Donald Trump’s event in Washington, during which he said that President Obama was born in the United States.

Jesse Jackson: Donald Trump Saw a Lie as a Victory

Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow Push Coalition, discusses Trump’s repudiation of the birther movement, saying that the Republican nominee should apologize to the president.

Does Donald Trump Really Have a Chance of Winning?

John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine, and political strategist Mark McKinnon discuss the tightening of the polls and the state of the 2016 race.

With All Due Respect: Best of the Week (09/17/16)

Halperin and Heilemann present some of the biggest moments from the political week that was.

Photo of the day

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio take a tour of the damage after a bomb went off in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on Saturday. (Pool photo by Justin Lane/UPI)