The Latest: Kaine says there’s ‘existential gravity’ in race


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

10:15 a.m.

Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine is telling campaign workers there’s “existential gravity” to this election and is urging them to give a full effort in the 99 days remaining.

Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, visited a Democratic campaign office Monday in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia. The Kaines brought doughnuts for the young workers and thanked them for their work.

Kaine said GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s views on religious freedom, the economy and foreign policy were dangerous.

“I just want you to be impressed with the gravity, the existential gravity of this election,” Kaine said.

Kaine was Richmond’s mayor before becoming Virginia’s governor and then one of its senators. He is set to hold a rally Monday evening at a city high school.

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10 a.m.

Donald Trump is trying to explain comments that suggested he wasn’t aware that Russian troops were in Ukraine.

In an interview on ABC Sunday, Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “not going into Ukraine.” He added “You can mark it down. You can put it down.”

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has backed pro-Russian separatists in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Western governments accuse Russia of sending troops and weapons to Ukraine, but Moscow denies that.

Trump tweeted Monday that Putin is not going into Ukraine “if I am president. Already in Crimea!”

In another tweet, he said that “with all of the Obama tough talk on Russia and the Ukraine, they have already taken Crimea and continue to push. That’s what I said!”

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9:45 a.m.

President Barack Obama says the U.S. can’t “turn inward” and embrace protectionism because of economic anxieties that have been drawn out by the presidential election.

Obama is pushing back against the candidates running to replace him and says the country “can’t just walk away from trade.” Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal with Asia that Obama negotiated.

Obama’s comments come in an interview with The Straits Times newspaper ahead of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Washington on Tuesday.

Obama says his approach of boosting Asia ties will survive no matter who is president.

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9:05 a.m.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is set to introduce Hillary Clinton at a Nebraska campaign event as her campaign seeks to highlight support from the business community.

The Democratic presidential candidate was scheduled to appear in Omaha Monday, where she will talk about her plans for job creation. Buffett is the latest business leader to back Clinton over Republican Donald Trump. She appeared with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in Pittsburgh over the weekend and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke on her behalf at the Democratic National Convention.

Buffet, a famed investor and one of the wealthiest people in America, endorsed Clinton last year.

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8:30 a.m.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain has issued an extensive statement denouncing Donald Trump’s comments criticizing the parents of a Muslim Army captain killed in Iraq.

McCain said: “I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump’s statements. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers or candidates.”

McCain added: “While our party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us.”

Trump has previously said McCain shouldn’t be regarded as a war hero for being imprisoned in Vietnam, saying “I like people who weren’t captured.”

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8:10 a.m.

The parents of a decorated Muslim Army captain killed in Iraq say they would like to step away from the public feud with Donald Trump that has erupted over their comments about him at the Democratic convention.

Khizr Khan and his wife, Ghazala, have made multiple television appearances since last week’s convention, when Khan criticized Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.

Trump has responded by lashing out at Khan and suggesting that Khans’ remarks were actually prepared by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Trump also implied Ghazala Khan did not speak at the convention because she was not allowed to speak as a Muslim woman.

Khizr Khan told CNN on Monday that “We want to be out of this controversy. That is not our style…This is not our path.” He said “there was no need” for Trump to comment further, saying “We want to maintain our dignity.”

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3:15 a.m.

Donald Trump’s presidential bid has thrived on controversy of his own making. Now, the Republican nominee kicks off the first full week of the general election campaign having put his strategy of saying the politically unimaginable to its greatest test yet.

Trump broke a major American political and societal taboo over the weekend when he engaged in an emotionally-charged feud with Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the bereaved parents of a decorated Muslim Army captain killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq. He further stoked outrage by implying that Ghazala Khan did not speak alongside her husband at last week’s Democratic convention because they’re Muslim.

The outcry was swift and bipartisan, leaving Trump largely isolated among his fellow Republicans and potentially putting at risk whatever progress he made during his convention.

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