The Latest: Sen. Warren expected to endorse Clinton soon

WASHINGTON (AP) — The latest developments in the 2016 campaign for the presidency. All times EDT:

9:30 p.m.

Two people with knowledge of Elizabeth Warren’s plans say the Massachusetts senator will formally endorse Hillary Clinton for president in the next week or two.

The hero of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing has so far withheld her endorsement, saying it was important for Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to fully debate the issues.

The two people say Warren has decided to throw her support behind Clinton now that she has secured the support of enough Democratic delegates to become the party’s presumptive nominee. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the endorsement before Warren makes it.

Warren’s endorsement is considered key to helping pull Democrats together as they look to the fall contest against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Many of Warren’s signature issues — fighting Wall Street and battling rising student loan debt — have echoed Sanders’ core issues.


Associated Press writer Steve LeBlanc in Boston contributed this report.


7:55 p.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has returned home to Vermont, while his campaign is declining to call Hillary Clinton the party’s presumptive nominee.

Sanders was greeted with cheers by about 30 supporters outside the South Burlington, Vermont, airport where he arrived after a flight from Los Angeles.

Sanders did not talk to reporters after landing, but campaign manager Jeff Weaver is declining to call Clinton the presumptive nominee, calling it a “term of art that the media uses.”

Weaver says that right now, “no one is the nominee. The nominee is elected at the convention.”

Sanders will travel to Washington on Thursday to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid on Capitol Hill. Sanders was holding a Thursday night rally in the District of Columbia ahead of its primary next Tuesday, the final one on the calendar.


7:40 p.m.

President Barack Obama says he hopes Democrats will start “pulling things together” over the next couple weeks after their divisive primary.

Obama’s first public comments on the end of the primary fight come during a taped appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

Obama isn’t explicitly endorsing Hillary Clinton or calling for rival Bernie Sanders to drop out.

He is instead praising Sanders for bringing “enormous energy” to the party. He says he thinks the fight made Clinton a better candidate.

Obama acknowledges there are plenty of bruised feelings after the bitter fight and says it may take some time for Democrats to unite to face Republican Donald Trump.

NBC released a clip Obama’s comment shortly after the taping Wednesday. The full interview with Jimmy Fallon is slated to air Thursday night.


5:17 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is opening her general election campaign against Donald Trump by accusing him of behaving like a “demagogue.” She likens his attacks on judges, the media, his opponents and their families to dark moments in world history.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Clinton says: “It’s classic behavior by a demagogue. We’ve seen it many, many places and times in the world, and that’s why I think it’s so dangerous.”

The presumptive Democratic nominee declared victory in her race against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday, a day after reaching the number of delegates needed to claim the nomination.

In the interview, she seemed to wonder whether Trump’s candidacy was little more than an elaborate political stunt.

She says, “I don’t know if this is just, you know, political gamesmanship that he thinks plays to the lowest common denominator, but whatever the reason for it is, it’s wrong and it should not be tolerated by anybody.”


5:05 p.m.

Donald Trump has finished the presidential primary season with an exclamation point.

Some Republicans in Congress might be uneasy about their party’s new standard-bearer. But with no one else left in the race, Republican voters have given him five overwhelming victories Tuesday, enabling the billionaire businessman to sweep all 303 delegates that were up for grabs.

Trump now has 1,542 delegates, including 1,447 who are required by party rules to vote for him at the convention. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.


3:35 p.m.

The White House says President Barack Obama is holding off on endorsing Hillary Clinton for president until after he meets with Bernie Sanders.

Obama plans to sit down with Sanders in the Oval Office on Thursday at 11:15 a.m. EDT. The call comes after Obama called Sanders and Clinton on Tuesday evening after voting wrapped up in some of the final primary contests.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Sanders has earned the right to make his own decision about the course of his campaign. He says Obama is respectful of that because of the way Sanders has inspired millions of Americans during the primary.

Earnest says Obama will congratulate Sanders during the meeting. He says the two will discuss how to further advocate for issues like fighting economic inequality and countering the influence of special interests in politics.


2:45 p.m.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is equating Donald Trump’s comments about a U.S.-born judge of Mexican heritage with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s description of herself as a “wise Latina.”

Republicans have widely criticized the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s claim that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel can’t preside fairly over a case involving Trump University because the judge is of Mexican heritage and Trump wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters Wednesday the public shouldn’t “have any more trouble with what Trump said” than with Sotomayor’s remarks.

In a 2001 speech, Sotomayor, then a judge on the appeals court, spoke of ethnicity and gender affecting judicial decisions, saying: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Grassley said, “I don’t hear any criticism of that sort of comment by a justice of the Supreme Court.”

At her confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court in 2009, Sotomayor denied racial bias and said the remark was a rhetorical device gone awry.

Grassley has come under criticism for blocking confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, insisting that the decision rests with the next president.


12:58 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden says it’s up to Bernie Sanders to decide when to end his increasingly futile campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Asked Wednesday if it was time for the Vermont senator to halt his effort, Biden said: “Oh, let him make that decision. Give him time.”

Asked how much time Sanders should have to make that decision, Biden said, “I’m being graceful.”

Biden answered a reporter’s questions as he left the House chamber after an address to Congress by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Hillary Clinton has won enough support from elected delegates and superdelegates — Democratic lawmakers and party leaders who can back whomever they’d like — to capture the nomination at the party’s national convention next month. She won contests in four of six states Tuesday, as the race for the Democratic nomination all but drew to a close.

Sanders has come under growing pressure from Democrats to drop his bid so the party can unite against the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump.


11:33 a.m.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada will meet Thursday with Bernie Sanders. The meeting comes amid growing calls from Senate Democrats for the Vermont senator to end his presidential candidacy and unite behind Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida said Wednesday that Sanders should “stand down.” Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania said Democrats must “come together and unify.” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said Hillary Clinton’s nomination was historic and she would like to see Sanders wind down his candidacy sooner rather than later.

Other Senate Democrats were still trying to give Sanders space to do things on his own terms. Reid himself has stopped short thus far of saying Sanders should drop out, although he said last week that “sometimes you just have to give up.”


11:20 a.m.

One of Donald Trump’s first supporters in the House says that Speaker Paul Ryan has reaffirmed his support for the presumptive Republican presidential candidate in a closed-door meeting with fellow GOP lawmakers.

New York Rep. Chris Collins says that Ryan opened Wednesday’s session by telling lawmakers that he remains comfortable backing Trump. Collins said “there was no controversy in the room” over the comments, but no applause, either.

It was Ryan’s first meeting with House Republicans since endorsing Trump last week after initially withholding his support.

It also came a day after Ryan called Trump’s assertion that an American-born judge of Mexican descent couldn’t handle a Trump lawsuit fairly the “textbook definition of a racist comment.” But Ryan said he would continue supporting Trump.

Trump’s comments prompted many congressional Republicans to chastise him.

A Ryan aide said the speaker described his thinking behind his Trump endorsement to his colleagues and told them he would continue criticizing the billionaire when needed. The aide said Ryan’s remarks were greeted by applause.

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the private remarks.

—Associated Press writer Alan Fram in Washington


10:55 a.m.

Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is downsizing as it reaches the final primary next week in Washington, D.C.

About half of the staff is being laid off with most of the jobs involving field staff and advance aides. That’s according to two people familiar with the plans.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the layoffs. Campaign officials declined comment.

Sanders had previously reduced his staff and redeployed most of his team to California ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

Hillary Clinton has secured enough pledged delegates and superdelegates combined to secure the Democratic nomination.

Clinton defeated Sanders in California, New Jersey and two other states Tuesday.

The cuts represent a winding down of Sanders’ campaign at the end of the primary calendar and as he shifts to influence the party’s platform at the Democratic convention.

—Associated Press writer Ken Thomas in Los Angeles


10:30 a.m.

Donald Trump’s media relationship with Joe Scarborough has gone from friendly to a full-on feud.

The MSNBC “Morning Joe” host, a former Republican congressman, on Wednesday ripped into Trump for acting like a “bush-league loser” and a bigot, and said he wouldn’t support his candidacy.

“Don’t use Hillary Clinton as a threat against me,” Scarborough said, looking into the camera. “Don’t use Hillary Clinton as an excuse, as a blank check to say racist things about people born in Indiana. No, Donald, you don’t get to play in that way. I’m not scared of you.”

Trump was a regular “Morning Joe” guest during the first few months of his campaign, and Scarborough boasted about taking his campaign seriously when others didn’t. Critics wondered if the relationship was too friendly.

Trump responded with a tweet on Wednesday: “Nobody is watching @Morning_Joe anymore. Gone off the deep end — bad ratings.”

“Morning Joe” was up 63 percent in viewers in May compared to May 2015, according to the Nielsen company.


6:13 a.m.

Hillary Clinton crowned a precedent-shattering quest for the Democratic presidential nomination with a strong victory in delegate-rich California.

For Clinton, it was the fourth victory in half a dozen contests Tuesday. Although she had already garnered enough delegates to assume the mantle of leadership for the party at its convention in Philadelphia next month, the electoral triumphs gave her even greater momentum heading into the fall general election campaign against real estate mogul Donald Trump, who’s set to be named the Republican standardbearer at the GOP convention in Cleveland.

Clinton’s rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, pledged anew late Tuesday to “continue the fight” all the way to the Philadelphia convention. But at the same time, he acknowledged that overcoming Clinton at this juncture would be a “very, very steep fight.”

3:25 a.m.

Donald Trump is tightening his grip on the Republican nomination for president, winning at least 297 delegates in Tuesday’s primaries — the last five contests of the primary season.

Six delegates in California are still left to be allocated because of incomplete results in individual congressional districts.

With no one else left in the race, Trump easily won all five Republican primaries Tuesday.

He has 1,536 delegates. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

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