10 things you need to know today: September 15, 2016

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Clinton and Trump release more medical information
Hillary Clinton’s campaign released new details on her health on Wednesday in response to criticism over its lack of transparency surrounding her pneumonia diagnosis. On Sunday, Clinton left a 9/11 memorial service early due to dehydration, and only then did her team disclose her illness. Clinton’s personal physician Dr. Lisa Bardack said the Democratic presidential nominee has “mild” pneumonia but “normal” vital statistics, and is taking the blood-thinner Coumadin. Clinton has been resting and plans to return to the campaign trail on Thursday. Her rival, Donald Trump, released a brief account of his medical condition in an interview with Dr. Mehmet Oz to be broadcastThursday.Source: The Washington Post, CNN
2. Trump continues to gain momentum in polls
Another new national poll shows the presidential race tightening into a near dead-heat. Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump in a one-on-one race narrowed to five percentage points among likely voters in a Quinnipiac University national poll released Wednesday. That’s down from a 51 percent to 41 percent lead for the Democratic nominee over her Republican rival in August. In a four-way race including Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Clinton leads Trump by just two points, within the poll’s margin of error. A new CNN/ORC poll showed Trump opening leads over Clinton in the key battleground states of Florida and Ohio.

Source: USA Today, CNN

3. Influential New Hampshire paper endorses Johnson, calls Trump ‘a bully’
The New Hampshire Union Leader is endorsing Libertarian Gary Johnson over Donald Trump, the first time in more than 100 years the state’s leading paper has not backed a Republican for president. The editorial says many voters are dismissing Hillary Clinton because they are “understandably fed up with the status quo,” but Trump is “pretty much a part of that status quo as well.” The editorial also says Trump is not “qualified to competently lead this nation,” calling him a “liar, a bully, [and] a buffoon.” The paper praises the records of Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld, both former Republican governors and the first third-party ticket in two decades to make the ballot in all 50 states. “In today’s dark times, they are a bright light of hope and reason,” the editorial says.

Source: Union Leader

4. Obama says Myanmar sanctions to be lifted
President Obama announced Wednesday that he was prepared to lift sanctions on Myanmar in recognition of progress in its transition to democracy. Obama said the change would come “soon.” He made the announcement after meeting with the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is barred from the presidency under a constitution that reserves some power for the military. Obama also said Myanmar, also known as Burma, would be added to the U.S. list of developing countries granted special trade status allowing for duty-free imports of 5,000 products.

Source: CNN

5. Bayer agrees to buy Monsanto for $66 billion
Bayer AG has agreed to buy Monsanto in a $66 billion, all-cash deal, the companies announced Wednesday. The deal, if approved by regulators, will create a massive one-stop agricultural supply maker, combining Bayer’s pesticides and Monsanto’s market-dominating seed business. Regulators are expected to consider carefully whether letting the two agricultural giants merge would further hurt competition in a period already marked by consolidation in the agricultural sector. “They are in for a tough time, said David Balto, a former Federal Trade Commission policy director.

Source: Reuters

6. U.S. increases Israel military aid to $38 billion over 10 years
The Obama administration on Wednesday agreed to give Israel a record $38 billion in new military aid over the next decade, including $5 billion for missile defense. The package is “a reminder of the United States’ commitment to Israel,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said. The deal came after a period marked by tensions between the U.S. and Israel over differences over the Iran nuclear deal and other issues. “We can’t know what will happen in the next 10 years, but we do know that the U.S. will always be there for Israel,” Rice said.

Source: USA Today, Haaretz

7. Former Brazilian president charged with corruption
Brazilian prosecutors on Wednesday filed criminal corruption charges against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife, Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva. Prosecutor Deltan Dalagnol said Lula was the “big boss” of the corruption scandal at the state-run Petrobras energy company. “Lula was on top of the power pyramid,” he said. One of the da Silvas’ attorneys, Cristiano Zanin Martins, said they “publicly and vehemently” deny the charges. Lula has said the investigation was politically motivated.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, BBC News

8. Obama to designate first national monument in Atlantic Ocean
President Obama is expected to announce Thursday that he is creating the first national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, protecting a 4,913-square-mile area that is home to endangered sei whales and Kemp’s ridley turtles, as well as puffins and 1,000-year-old corals. The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is about 130 miles off the southeast coast of Cape Cod, and boasts three underwater canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon. Under the designation, commercial fishing will be banned in the area by 2023.

Source: The Boston Globe, National Geographic

9. Suspect arrested for arson at Orlando shooter’s mosque
St. Lucie County, Fla., sheriff’s officials said Wednesday that they had arrested a suspect, Joseph Michael Schreiber, in connection with an arson fire that damaged the mosque attended by Orlando night club attacker Omar Mateen. Authorities said Schreiber, 32, would face arson charges with a hate-crime enhancement. A law enforcement official said Schreiber had posted anti-Muslim comments on social media.

Source: NBC News, The Palm Beach Post

10. Typhoon Meranti hits China with 145 mph winds
Typhoon Meranti hit China’s mainland early Thursday, a day after it delivered a glancing blow to Taiwan. The storm is the most powerful of the year so far, with maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour. It was even stronger before Taiwan’s terrain slowed it down as its edges hit the island — killing one person and knocking out power to 500,000 homes before moving on to mainland China. Meranti is the strongest typhoon since Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in 2013.

Source: CNN

10 things you need to know today: September 14, 2016

Lars Baron/Getty Images

THE WEEK

1. Obama stumps for Clinton ahead of her return to trail
President Obama campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, as the Democratic presidential nominee stayed off the trail for a second straight day to recuperate from pneumonia. Obama said Clinton was the most qualified person ever to run for the presidency, having traveled to more countries than any other secretary of state. He said her rival, Republican nominee Donald Trump, is not qualified “in any way, shape, or form” to be commander in chief. “This is not me just going through the motions here,” Obama said. “I really, really, really want to elect Hillary Clinton.” Clinton plans to return to the campaign trail on Thursday, aides said.

Source: CNN

2. Trump unveils proposals to help working parents
Donald Trump on Tuesday unveiled several proposals to lower child-care costs for working parents. His plan, partly crafted by daughter Ivanka Trump, calls for six weeks of mandatory paid maternity leave, and expanded tax credits for child care. The “Child Care Affordability Plan” also would create new “Dependent Care Savings Accounts” to help finance such expenses as childhood development and elderly care. “It’s pro-family, it’s pro-child, it’s pro-worker,” Trump told a supportive crowd near Philadelphia in an appeal to women voters, many of whom have been alienated by Trump’s history of provocative remarks about women.

Source: The Washington Post, The New York Times

3. New York attorney general investigates Trump Foundation
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesdaythat his office had opened an investigation into whether the Donald J. Trump Foundation is “complying with the laws governing charities in New York.” The foundation, started by Trump in 1988, gives away proceeds from his book The Art of the Deal. Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that tax records show Trump has not made a donation to the foundation since 2008. Trump, now the Republican presidential nominee, paid the IRS a $2,500 penalty for making a political donation through the foundation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in 2013.

Source: Politico, The Washington Post

4. Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres suffers stroke
Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres was hospitalized Tuesdayafter suffering a stroke. Reports on his condition have varied — at first he reportedly was stable and conscious, then his office said he was under sedation, breathing with a respirator. Perez, who shared a Nobel Peace Prize for his work toward peace with the Palestinians, suffered a heart attack earlier this year and last week had a pacemaker implanted due to an irregular heartbeat. He is one of the last surviving leaders who helped found Israel in 1948.

Source: The New York Times

5. Bernie Sanders joins tribe members in pipeline protest
Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)on Tuesday joined members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other Native American groups outside the White House to protest construction of the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline. Sanders said the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline would carry “some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet.” The protesters say the project’s path under the Missouri River will threaten the Sioux reservation’s water supply, as well as sacred sites. An internal memo from Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, released Tuesday called the water-supply concerns “unfounded.”

Source: USA Today

6. Census Bureau: Household income rises by most in decades
The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that median household income jumped by 5.2 percent last year — from $53,700 in 2014 to $56,500 in 2015. That is the biggest one-year percentage increase since the agency started median U.S. income statistics a half century ago. The poverty rate dropped by 1.2 percentage points, the sharpest drop since 1968. Jason Furman, chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said the numbers were all “what you’d want to see or better.” Stephen Moore, an economic adviser to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, said the average American is “still poorer” than 15 years ago.

Source: The Washington Post

7. Prosecutors say militants conspired to intimidate wildlife refuge workers
Prosecutors said in their opening statement that militants who seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in January conspired to intimidate government workers and steal property. Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Barrow said the seven activists on trial, including ranchers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were not simply exercising their constitutional rights. “We all have a right to bear arms,” Barrow said. “This is a case about what the defendants did with those firearms.” Ammon Bundy’s lawyer, Marcus Mumford, said the action was a peaceful attempt to call attention to the federal government’s illegal control and mismanagement of public lands.

Source: Reuters

8. In leaked emails, Powell calls Trump ‘disgrace’
Several personal emails sent by former Secretary of State Colin Powell were leaked and published on the DCLeaks website on Tuesday. In a July 17, 2016, email to journalist Emily Miller, a former aide, Powell said Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was a “national disgrace,” but that Democrats did not need to attack him because he was “in the process of destroying himself.” Powell, who served as secretary of state under George W. Bush, expressed frustration in other emails about the Hillary Clinton campaign’s suggestion that he urged her to use private email while in the same job, saying, “I didn’t tell Hillary to have a private server at home.”

Source: The Washington Times, Politico

9. Chelsea Manning to get gender reassignment surgery
U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning ended her hunger strike on Tuesday after the Army said it would allow the 28-year-old private, who was born male, to get gender reassignment surgery, the American Civil Liberties Union said. Manning, who started the hunger strike on Friday, is serving a 35-year prison sentence for giving unclassified documents to WikiLeaks. “This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be me,” said Manning, who attempted suicide in July.

Source: Reuters

10. Russian hackers leak information on Simone Biles, Williams sisters
Russian hackers stole World Anti-Doping Agency files and posted confidential information on U.S. female athletes who competed at the Rio Olympics. The athletes whose data was compromised included gymnastics sensation Simone Biles, tennis players Serena and Venus Williams, and basketball player Elena Delle Donne. Biles, who won four golds in Rio, tested positive for substances normally banned but had exemptions allowing her to use them to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Biles said ADHD is “nothing to be ashamed of” and that she “always followed the rules.”

Source: The Washington Post

Clinton’s health is Obama’s birth certificate all over again: A barely disguised way for conservatives to wallow in bigotry

Clinton's health is Obama's birth certificate all over again: A barely disguised way for conservatives to wallow in bigotry

Hillary Clinton leaves her daughter Chelsea’s home in New York City, September 11, 2016. (Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder)

SALON

Any other year, a presidential candidate who got wobbly at a 9/11 memorial service because he was battling a minor case of pneumonia would be regaled as a hero. How tough and patriotic he is to brave the summer heat while wearing a Kevlar vest, even though his doctor told him to stay in bed for a couple days!

But since the candidate in question is a she and not a he, the narrative is very different this time around. Now that it’s Hillary Clinton, everyone’s wondering if Grandma is too weak and fragile for the job. Never mind that she’s running against a man who is himself an elderly grandfather or that most presidents have been older men. Or that, as Digby noted in Salon on Monday, previous male presidents have had a slew of common health problems, from the flu to cancer surgery. Or that getting sick occasionally is just the price you pay for being human.

“Have you told everyone every time you’ve come to work with a bad cold?” Sady Doyle, a feminist author whose upcoming book “Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear . . . and Why” looks at how women in the public eye are shamed for having human flaws that we tend to forgive in men.

“It’s very strange to me because we know that campaigns are long and grueling and candidates are working seven days a week. They don’t get a lot of sleep. They’re constantly on airplanes and buses and shaking hands with strangers,” Doyle added. “We know they get tired. We know they get sick. But with Hillary there is this weird, conspiratorial, possessive attitude.”

The hysteria over Clinton’s having health problems is “uniquely tied to her gender,” Doyle said.

“The fact is that Trump is older than her,” Doyle continued, noting that Bernie Sanders is 6 years older, as well.

“But she is the one we want to see as this withered up, useless old crone,” she said. “We want to believe that an older woman is not capable of contributing to the world in any important way. For that reason, people are exaggerating and exaggerating concerns about her age, which is coded as physical fitness.”

A huge part of the reason that this episode is catching so much media attention is that, for weeks now, Trump has been making insinuations about Clinton’s “stamina” and allowing his right-wing shock troops to spread ridiculous myths about her health. Even Wikileaks got in on the misogynist feeding frenzy by putting up a poll — which it quickly deleted — inviting people to speculate about Clinton’s body.

Previous presidential candidates have endured partisan chatter about their health, of course. Sen. John McCain’s disability has been the source of speculation, as has President Barack Obama’s history as a smoker. But there’s never been this much attention paid to a candidate’s body.

Women are perceived as public property in the way men are not, which is why “nip slips” and “upskirts” are a much bigger business than monitoring the state of celebrity penises.

Trump, in particular, has a long history of displaying outright disgust at any evidence that women have biological bodies. As I noted on a Facebook live video for Salon, the list of instances where Trump has shamed women for having normal and basic bodily functions is as long as your arm.

Or this lovely exchange, from “The Howard Stern Show”:

Trump: Howard let me just ask you. You said something a while ago about Beth that amazed me because it applies to Melania. You said you’ve never seen her do anything, like, bad, in terms of her own personal.

Stern: That’s true. She would never even do another chick.

Trump: No, no, not even that. You said you’ve never heard her fart.

Stern: Not only is that true, she doesn’t make doody. She hasn’t made doody . . .

Trump: I can say the exact same thing about Melania.

 I cut much of it because they talked, at length, about their shared obsession with believing that women don’t — or shouldn’t, anyway — have normally functioning digestive systems.

Or last December, Trump went on a rant shaming Clinton for using a commercial break during a primary debate to use the bathroom.

“I know where she went — it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it,” Trump sneered, though he clearly wanted to talk about it. “No, it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting.”

And who can forget what he said about Fox News host Megan Kelly, when he was angry with her for asking him tough questions during a primary debate: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

Or what attorney Elizabeth Beck said about how Trump reacted during a meeting when she asked for a break to breastfeed: “He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there.”

Ann Friedman wrote for the Los Angeles Times, “Historically, women’s physical weakness relative to men has been used as an excuse to prevent us competing for everything from corporate promotions to Olympic medals.” She added, “A similar fallacy about female fragility crops up in politics.”

But there is no evidence-based reason to think Clinton is fragile. In fact, quite the opposite is the case.

“A 68-year-old woman, with pneumonia, still kept a schedule that most of us wouldn’t make it through, flying here and there, holding multiple events and briefings a day,”Eric Schmeltzer wrote in The Huffington Post. “That’s not weak. That’s actually strong and tough as hell.”

If she were a man, it would be easy to see that, especially when the opponent is Trump, a man who rejects the grinding schedule of the typical presidential campaignin favor of flying home, in his private jet, to sleep in his own bed. It’s hard to not notice that Trump’s preferred outreach — rallies and phone calls to cable news shows — are exactly the sort of activities that make it a lot easier to sleep in your own bed at night, whereas Clinton maintains a grueling campaign schedule.

This fits into history, as well. Trump isn’t shy about his hatred of traveling overseas and he famously once nearly lost out on an important business deal because he didn’t want to travel to China and eat foreign food. Clinton, in contrast, was the secretary of state and kept a schedule — including mountains of foreign travel — so dense that her two-and-a-half year stint resulted in 3,721 pages of schedule.

(Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s new campaign manager, is reportedly trying to steer Trump away from the rally-heavy schedule and toward more time-intensive voter- outreach efforts, and it will be fun to see if her efforts have an influence over her notoriously stubborn — and travel-averse — candidate.)

The feigned concerns over Clinton’s health strongly resemble the feigned concerns that Obama was faking his natural born citizenship, right down to the posturing about how this is all the target’s fault for not providing more and more documentation — to drive home how much those of us who aren’t white men cannot be trusted. In both cases, it’s about wallowing in ugly stereotypes — that black people aren’t patriots, that women are inherently fragile — without admitting that’s what’s going on.

And no surprise that the person behind the Clinton health hysteria is also the same man who was pushing the Obama birth certificate hysteria: Donald Trump.

Amanda Marcotte

Colin Powell’s Office Apparently Said He Did Tell Hillary to Use Personal Email at Dinner Party

MEDIAITE

Nothing anyone learns about the Hillary Clinton“Emailgate” controversy seems to have any effect on the Democratic presidential nominee’s favorability ratings, but recent revelations could take a bit of a toll on fellow former Secretary of State Colin Powell‘s reputation. On the heels of a newly-uncovered email that contradicted some of what he’s said in the past, it turns out that when Powell denied advising Hillary Clinton to use personal email at a dinner party for former secretaries of state, he was denying something that he, himself, supplied.

Powell said, last month, that he never told Hillary anything about personal email until a year after she started at State, and through a spokesperson, denied talking about it at a dinner party that’s described in Joe Conason‘s new book. Or should I say, Powell’s spokesperson said he had “no recollection” of the dinner conversation at the home of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, an important detail given what Conason said Tuesday morning:

I think around the time she was sworn in, and that’s the time of the e-mail, January 2009, and then the dinner at Madeline Albright’s house that I talk about in the book happens months later, when she invited former secretaries to come and advise the new secretary what to do, and Powell repeated his advice there at the dinner, use your personal email, it was transformative for the department, and the problem of when he tried to deny what was in the book, I had an e-mail exchange with his principle assistant, a woman named Peggy Cifrino, who told me when the dinner was and what he said at it.

That’s right, the source of the anecdote that Colin Powell’s office denied knowing about was Colin Powell’s office. In fact, according to Peggy Cifrino‘s bio, she is Powell’s spokesperson. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice couldn’t remember the exchange, either, according to her spokesperson. Maybe Conason should check his email on that one, too.

by

Ohio is making it harder for inactive voters to become active again

A primary election voter casts a provisional ballot at a polling place in Westerville, Ohio. CREDIT: AP Photo/ Matt Rourke

This comes as no surprise since Ohio is a pivotal swing state which could go either way. Republicans maintain a majority in Ohio so this sort of thing was bound to happen. (KS)     #gopdirtytricks

THINK PROGRESS

Nearly two million Ohio voters — a full third of the swing state’s electorate — mailed in their ballots in 2012. This year, many who wish to do so may be denied that choice.

The state has been aggressively purging voters who have skipped three or more federal elections, as well as those who have moved and failed to update their address. Those purged have been disproportionately low-income, African-American, Democratic voters who live in inner-city Cleveland and Cincinnati.

In addition to the 200,000 registered voters already purged, more than a million still-eligible Ohioans who have skipped just one federal election have been placed on an inactive list. When the Secretary of State mailed out absentee ballot applications to every single registered voter in the state this week, one in seven Ohio voters did not receive one because they were on this list.

Mike Brickner with the Ohio American Civil Liberties Union, who sued the state claiming the voter purge is unconstitutional, told ThinkProgress that denying inactive voters ballot applications is “nonsensical.”

“You’re making it harder for the very voters most likely to be disenfranchised to get active in the system again,” he said. “We’re not sending them the very tool that could actually allow them to vote and get off the inactive list.”

Brickner emphasized that voters who did not receive an application can still print one off the state’s website or pick one up at the Board of Elections, but these steps can be burdensome for working class voters with little access to transportation and computers.

“You’re making it harder for the very voters most likely to be disenfranchised to get active in the system again.”

As Ohioans wait for a ruling that could come any day now on the constitutionality of the purge, an investigation by the Akron Beacon Journalfound that many on the purge or inactive lists may have been placed there in error. Tens of thousands of voters in a single county were placed on the inactive list and denied a ballot application, and the newspaper found that several had neither moved or skipped an election.

“No list is perfect,” Brickner said. “Inevitably some people fall through the cracks. But even if the list is correct, someone who missed one or two elections should get the same benefits as any other voter. They deserve the same opportunities as anyone else to cast their ballots.”

Inactive voters who do not receive an absentee ballot application will have even fewer opportunities to become active again, following a Supreme Court ruling Tuesday morning that backed Ohio’s decision to cut a full week of early voting. That week, known as “Golden Week,” was the only opportunity for Ohio voters to register and cast a ballot in a single visit to the polls.

Ohio implemented both Golden Week and no-fault absentee voting following the disastrous 2004 election in which Ohioans waited up to nine hours to vote. Now, both these tools are now being rolled back, and Brickner sees a partisan motive.

“We’ve seen the Republican legislature attempt to cut those opportunities because of political expediency,” he said. “They don’t want those voters who probably won’t vote for them to have those tools. It’s a real shame. They are trying to manipulate the system to achieve a certain result and the voter is always the one that suffers.”

 

Trump Tackles Child Care

Donald Trump

Evan Vucci—AP

TIME

Six weeks of paid maternity leave and new childcare incentives are among the policies proposed in Donald Trump’s child care plan. Spurred on by his daughter, Ivanka, Trump waded into topics more often discussed by Democrats

Hillary Clinton to Rejoin Campaign Trail Thursday

Hillary Clinton will be back on the campaign trail Thursday, after spending several days at home recovering from pneumonia. Clinton’s doctor diagnosed her with pneumonia on Friday and recommended she take five days off to rest

Taiwan Braces for Super Typhoon Meranti

Super typhoon Meranti will sweep across Taiwan before making landfall on mainland China with torrential rains and dangerous winds. The storm is the strongest since Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in 2013, and it is the biggest to near Taiwan since 1959

Russian Hackers Leak U.S. Athletes’ Medical Data: WADA

Russian hackers have been blamed for breaking into a World Anti-Doping Agency database and posting confidential medical data of some American athletes online. The attack targeted Simone Biles and some female members of the U.S. Olympic team

NY attorney general launches Trump Foundation inquiry

Getty Images

THE HILL

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating Donald Trump‘s foundation to see whether it’s complying with the state’s charity laws.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation is coming under increasing media pressure for misreporting a number of donations and using its money in a questionable fashion.

A source familiar with the matter confirmed to The Hill that the New York AG’s office has “opened an inquiry into troubling transactions with the Trump Foundation that have recently come into light.”

Schneiderman told CNN’s “The Lead” on Tuesday evening that his interest in Trump’s foundation connects with his role “as regulator of nonprofits in New York state.”

“We have been concerned that the Trump Foundation may have engaged in some impropriety from that point of view,” Schneiderman said.

“We’ve inquired into it and we’ve had correspondence with them. I didn’t make a big deal out of it or hold a press conference,” he added. “We have been looking into the Trump Foundation to make sure it’s complying with the laws governing charities in New York.”

NBC News reported correspondence between the New York AG’s office and the foundation began on June 9 of this year.

Schneiderman made an enemy of Trump when he began aggressively pursuing fraud allegations against Trump University. He launched an investigation into the operation in 2013.

Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller released a statement Tuesday, calling Schneiderman “a partisan hack who has turned a blind eye to the Clinton Foundation for years and has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president,” according to NBC.

He also said the inquiry into Trump’s foundation was a “left-wing hit job.”

The New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau has reportedly questioned a $25,000 donation the foundation made to “And Justice for All” in September 2013. “And Justice for All” is a political group which has a connection for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, according to NBC News.

Around that time, Bondi was deciding whether to join the multi-state Trump University investigation, but ultimately declined. That’s caused many to question the foundation’s actions, with a group of Democrats asking the Department of Justice on Tuesday to dig deeper.

For not disclosing the gift to the IRS, Trump paid a $2,500 penalty. Trump also paid back $25,000 to the foundation after people in the media started questioning the donation, NBC reported.

The attorney general reportedly also raised questions about the foundation paying $20,000 for a six-foot tall portrait of Trump, according to NBC.

Yahoo News reported last week that Trump’s nonprofit donated $100,000 to a conservative group that was suing Schneiderman as he was investigating the real estate education venture.

President Obama sharpened the national focus on Trump’s foundation when he made a mockery of the charity in a Tuesday campaign speech on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

Obama highlighted a detail revealed in Washington Post story last week: that Trump reportedly used foundation money to buy a 6-foot portrait of himself.

By Jonathan Swan

Colin Powell Calls Trump A “National Disgrace” In Personal Emails

Note:  Keep in mind General Powell is a Republican.  (Most sitting Republicans refuse to expose or admonish Trump’s bigotry and misogyny.  (KS)

Paul Morigi / Getty Images

BUZZFEED NEWS

The former secretary of state also blasted the Republican nominee for president for embarking on a “racist” movement, according to his private emails seen by BuzzFeed News.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a retired four-star general who served under three Republican presidents, slammed GOP nominee Donald Trump as a “a national disgrace” and an “international pariah,” according to his personal emails seen by BuzzFeed News.

The remarks came in a June 17, 2016, email to Emily Miller, a journalist who was once Powell’s aide. In that same email Powell also said Trump “is in the process of destroying himself, no need for Dems to attack him. [Speaker of the House] Paul Ryan is calibrating his position again.”

The website DCLeaks.com — which has reported, but not confirmed, ties to Russian intelligence services — obtained Powell’s emails. It may be the latest example of a Russian entity potentially trying to influence the US presidential election — in July, the FBI said it believed Russia was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s internal emails right before they party’s convention.

Steve Pope / Getty Images

In an Aug. 21 email from Powell to Miller, he blasted Trump for embarking on a “racist” movement that believes President Obama was not born in the US.

“Yup, the whole birther movement was racist,” Powell wrote. “That’s what the 99% believe. When Trump couldn’t keep that up he said he also wanted to see if the certificate noted that he was a Muslim.”

Powell told BuzzFeed News, “I have no further comment. I’m not denying it.”

“As I have said before, ‘What if he was?’ Muslims are born as Americans everyday,” Powell wrote to his former aide.

Powell then recounted President Obama’s qualifications, including his graduation from Harvard as an editor of the Law Review.

Powell went on to write that Trump’s reported adviser, Roger Ailes — the former chair and CEO of Fox News who left the company after allegations of sexual harassment — wouldn’t help Trump with winning over women voters.

“And Ailes as an advisor wont heal women, don’t you think?” Powell wrote.

In an email from May of this year, with the subject line “racism,” Powell reiterated a position he had taken in that past, writing, “Or as I said before the 2012 election, ‘There is a level of intolerance in parts of the Republican Party.’”

And in a December 2015 email to CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria, Powell recounted his aversion to speaking about Trump to the press, writing, “You guys are playing his game, you are his oxygen. He outraged us again today with his comments on Paris no-go for police districts. I will watch and pick the timing, not respond to the latest outrage.”

In another email, Powell wrote to a recipient about his aversion to giving Trump any more media attention: “To go on and call him an idiot just emboldens him.”

In a July 21, 2015, email, in response to a news article about Trump’s giving out US Sen. Lindsey Graham’s phone number, Powell called it a “Celebrification of society,” adding that “Trump has no sense of shame.”

176 Reasons Donald Trump Shouldn’t Be President

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GQ

In the debut episode of his new series, “The Closer,” GQ’s Keith Olbermann tallies the most outrageous of Donald Trump’s offenses in what is now his 15-month assault on American democracy.

VIDEO