The Latest: Fiberglass donkeys swarm Philly for convention

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential campaign (all times EDT):

10 p.m.

Fifty-seven fiberglass donkeys are being installed around Philadelphia ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

Workers began installing the donkeys Thursday.

They represent the 50 states, five territories, Washington, D.C., and overseas Democrats. Twenty-eight artists painted each donkey with up to six icons representing their state or territory such as a flag, bird or flower. They are being placed at landmarks including the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The DNC host committee will hold a scavenger hunt through a smartphone app. The app will encourage visitors to find and complete challenges on their phone at each donkey.

Delegates will have a chance to take home the donkeys after the convention. Any remaining will be auctioned off with proceeds being split among the artists.


9:55 p.m.

Donald Trump took a moment during a rally to offer a tongue-and-cheek warning as a plane flew over an outdoor rally in New Hampshire: Mexico could be getting ready to attack.

Speaking about free trade, Trump turned to Mexico and its trade with the United States. As he praised Mexico’s leaders as “so much smarter, so much sharper” than those in the U.S., he seemed to spot the plane.

He said, “In fact, that could be a Mexican plane up there. They’re getting ready to attack.”

His quip was greeted with laughter from the Manchester crowd, at a rally about 2,200 miles north of the Mexican border.


8:35 p.m.

Sen. Bernie Sanders isn’t directly addressing Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that Sanders has said he will indeed endorse Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for president.

Biden has told National Public Radio that he has talked to Sanders and that Sanders says he will endorse Clinton.

Asked on MSNBC about Biden’s comments, Sanders demurred and repeated his contention that his campaign and Clinton’s campaign are working on coming together on various issues and that he hopes they can reach an agreement at some point.

Sanders is more direct when it comes to Republican candidate Donald Trump’s assertion that Sanders actually hates Clinton. On that point, Sanders tells MSNBC that Trump “is lying as he always does.”


6:39 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden says Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is still technically running for president as a Democrat, will soon back Hillary Clinton.

Biden tells National Public Radio that he has “talked to Bernie. Bernie is going to endorse her.”

Sanders has said he’s going to vote for Clinton, but he has not formally endorsed her. The former secretary of state has locked up the delegates required to become the first woman to win a major party’s presidential nomination. Sanders was holding out for changes to the Democratic party platform.

Sanders’ endorsement would be another sign that the Democratic Party, split for more than a year between Sanders’ populist surge and Clinton’s second bid for the presidency, is mending. President Barack Obama has endorsed Clinton. Biden is set to appear with her in Pennsylvania next week.


5:51 p.m.

Donald Trump is pointing to a shuttered light-bulb factory in Manchester, New Hampshire, as evidence of harm caused by the North American Free Trade Agreement. But company officials say NAFTA had nothing to do with its choice to shut down the factory and move the jobs to a plant in Juarez, Mexico.

Glen Gracia is the spokesman for Osram Sylvania, the company that shut down the factory in 2014. Osram manufactures lightbulbs and lighting technology and has factories across the country and internationally.

Gracia said declining demand for traditional lighting products caused the consolidation of jobs. Many of the roughly 140 jobs at the Manchester plant went to Juarez, Mexico, and Foshan, China. Osram still employs about 850 people in New Hampshire in two other factories.

The Energy Independence and Security Act, signed by President George W. Bush in 2007, is part of what led to the use of more fluorescent lighting and caused the lower demand in traditional lightbulb products.


4:50 p.m.

Bernie Sanders has asked for and received another 45 days to disclose information about his personal finances.

Still a Democratic candidate for president, Sanders is required to file the paperwork. He has not been campaigning since the beginning of June, when Hillary Clinton effectively locked up the nomination.

But the Vermont senator’s lawyer is telling the Federal Election Commission that Sanders’ “current campaign schedule and officeholder duties” are causing delays in filing the personal finance paperwork; the lawyer gave a similar reason when seeking the first 45-day extension at the end of April.

The documents would provide a snapshot of how he and his wife, Jane Sanders, earned money last year.

Clinton and Republican Donald Trump both filed their annual financial information weeks ago.


4:41 p.m.

Donald Trump’s opening acts are even more provocative than he is, and the Republican presidential candidate is okay with that.

When conservative radio host and columnist Howie Carr opened for Donald Trump at a presidential campaign rally in Maine, he brought up Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a potential running mate for Democrat Hillary Clinton. Car then put his hand up to his mouth and issued a stereotypical Native American war cry. It’s the same call that Trump supporters sometimes let fly when Trump mentions the Massachusetts senator at events and calls her, “Pocahontas.” Warren says she has Native American ancestry.

Another Trump opener, South Carolina pastor Mark Burns, questioned Democrat Bernie Sanders’ belief in God.

In a Boston Herald column Thursday, Carr wrote that Trump has told him to never apologize. Apologizing, Carr says Trump told him, is what “killed Jimmy the Greek way back.”

That was a reference to Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, a sports commentator who was fired from CBS after saying that black athletes were “bred” while slaves to be better athletes than whites.


3:01 p.m.

Hillary Clinton plans to hold her first campaign event with Vice President Joe Biden next week in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, for the state Democratic Party.

Biden endorsed Clinton earlier this month and the former secretary of state is scheduled to make her first joint appearance with President Barack Obama in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday.

Biden, the former Delaware senator, put out his first fundraising email Wednesday night for Clinton, calling her “a force of nature.” He was born in Scranton and lived there for 10 years before moving to Delaware.

Clinton has her own Scranton ties: She often notes that her grandfather worked in a lace mill there and her late father, Hugh Rodham, grew up there.


1:00 p.m.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee says he can’t endorse Donald Trump for an assortment of reasons.

Among them, Lee says, is that Trump, “accused my best friend’s father of conspiring to kill JFK.”

Lee was referring to the father of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of Trump’s opponents in the GOP primaries. Trump at one point referred publicly to an unsubstantiated claim that Cruz’s father, Raphael, might somehow be linked to President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. There is no evidence that the two men had any connection.

Lee told Newsmax TV that he also is concerned about Trump’s plan to restrict Muslim immigration into the U.S. amounts to religious intolerance. He noted that Utah has a large Mormon population.

Lee says his state state “consists of members who were a religious minority church … and statements like that make them nervous.”

Lee said he hopes he can “get over” his concerns about Trump. Either way, Lee says he will not vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton.


12:34 p.m.

Some of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposals are getting public criticism on Capitol Hill.

Without mentioning Trump, GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina brought up the wall idea at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, only to dismiss it.

“The rhetoric is about building a wall,” Tillis said. “I don’t think anyone here thinks we’re going to build a 20-foot wall from one side of the Mexican border to another.”

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson later appeared to criticize a separate Trump proposal, the ban on Muslim immigration.

“I think it is counterproductive to our homeland security efforts to throw a veil of suspicion over an entire religion.”

Trump has now backed off the idea anyway.


11:10 a.m.

Top Senate Democrats are defending Attorney General Loretta Lynch after she met with former President Bill Clinton.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer said nothing “discussed was related to the investigation” into presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private email server and possible security lapses.

Bill Clinton and Lynch had an impromptu meeting Monday at the Phoenix airport. Lynch said they discussed Clinton’s grandchildren and that “there was no discussion of any matter pending for the department.”

The FBI is investigating the possible mishandling of sensitive information that passed through Clinton’s server, which was used for personal and government correspondence while she was secretary of state. Some Republicans are calling for an independent counsel to look into the matter.

Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said no one has questioned Lynch’s strong feelings about the rule of law and her ethics “are the best.”


9:40 a.m.

Donald Trump has hired the chief of staff of U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy to run his campaign operation in Wisconsin.

Trump’s campaign confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that Pete Meachum has been hired to start immediately as state director. It is the second Trump hire in the state in recent week.

That’s an indication that Trump will be making a push to win Wisconsin, a Midwestern industrial state that hasn’t voted Republican since 1984.

Meachum has been Duffy’s chief of staff since 2013. Duffy’s northern Wisconsin congressional district is one of two that Trump won in the April primary.

Meachum joins Vince Trovato, who had worked for Trump in Wisconsin’s primary, as his two paid staff members in the state.


8:55 a.m.

Former President Bill Clinton spoke with Attorney General Loretta Lynch during an impromptu meeting in Phoenix, but Lynch says the discussion did not involve the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use as secretary of state.

Lynch told reporters the meeting at a Phoenix airport on Monday was unplanned. She says it happened when the former president was waiting to depart and walked over to the attorney general’s plane after she landed there.

Lynch was traveling with her husband and says her conversation with the former president “was a great deal about his grandchildren” and “primarily social and about our travels.”

The exchange comes as the FBI is investigating the potential mishandling of sensitive information that passed through the server that Hillary Clinton used for personal and government email at State.


7:50 a.m.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is airing advertising in an Omaha congressional district, sending a signal that she may compete for support in Nebraska.

Clinton’s campaign says it will begin airing two television ads in Nebraska featuring the Democratic presidential candidate’s past work on efforts to help children.

Nebraska is a safe Republican state, but one of a few states that awards electoral votes by congressional districts. President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign won the Omaha-based district.

Clinton’s team hopes to garner support in states where Republicans have performed well in the past, including North Carolina. Obama will hold his first joint event with Clinton next week in Charlotte.


3:55 a.m.

Hillary Clinton is pocketing huge campaign money from tiny fundraisers, sometimes with as few as 10 people in the room.

An Associated Press review of her fundraising activities shows Clinton and allied Democrats netted at least $18 million from just 15 of these boutique events.

While helpful for the campaign’s bottom line, these fundraisers open the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to criticism she’s beholden to big donors.

Both Clinton and Republican Donald Trump can solicit checks of $350,000 or more from a single donor thanks in part to a Supreme Court ruling that lifted an overall per-person cap on contributions.

At one recent event, 10 people gathered at the home of the Pritzker family in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, raising $1 million or more for Clinton and fellow Democrats.


This story has been corrected to fix spelling of Osram spokesman’s name.

comments powered by Disqus