Delegates in hand, Trump says he’s got GOP nomination

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — With a triumphant pile of delegates in hand, Republican Donald Trump on Thursday claimed support from “almost everybody” in his party and turned his attention to his likely Democratic presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, who is still locked in a divisive primary contest.

The New York billionaire reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination hours earlier, according to the Associated Press count, just before a North Dakota campaign stop. It completed his unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the stage for a bitter fall campaign.

“Here I am watching Hillary fight, and she can’t close the deal,” he told reporters. “We’ve had tremendous support from almost everybody.”

Trump’s good news was tempered by his own continuing campaign problems. Those include the abrupt departure of his political director and continuing resistance by many Republican leaders to declare their support for his upstart candidacy.

Trump was put over the top in the AP delegate count by a small number of the party’s unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the national convention in July. Among them was Oklahoma GOP chairwoman Pam Pollard.

“I think he has touched a part of our electorate that doesn’t like where our country is,” Pollard said. “I have no problem supporting Mr. Trump.”

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. Trump has reached 1,239. Of those, 95 are unbound delegates who have endorsed him.

With 303 delegates at stake in five state primaries on June 7, Trump will easily pad his total, avoiding a contested convention in Cleveland.

Trump, a political neophyte who for years delivered caustic commentary on the state of the nation from the sidelines but had never run for office, fought off 16 other Republican contenders in an often ugly primary race.

Many on the right have been slow to warm to Trump, wary of his conservative bona fides. Others worry about his crass personality and the lewd comments he’s made about women.

But millions of grass-roots activists, many of them outsiders to the political process, have embraced him as a plain-speaking populist.

Steve House, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party and an unbound delegate who confirmed his support of Trump to the AP, said he likes the billionaire’s background as a businessman.

“Leadership is leadership,” House said. “If he can surround himself with the political talent, I think he will be fine.”

Trump’s pivotal moment comes amid a new sign of internal problems.

Hours before clinching the nomination, he announced the abrupt departure of political director Rick Wiley, who was in the midst of leading the campaign’s push to hire staff in key battleground states. In a statement, Trump’s campaign said Wiley had been hired only until the candidate’s organization “was running full steam.”

His hiring about six weeks ago was seen as a sign that party veterans were embracing Trump’s campaign.

Some delegates who confirmed their decisions to back Trump were tepid at best.

Cameron Linton of Pittsburgh said he will back Trump on the first ballot since he won the presidential primary vote in Linton’s congressional district.

“If there’s a second ballot I won’t vote for Donald Trump,” Linton said. “He’s ridiculous. There’s no other way to say it.”

Trump’s path to the Republican presidential nomination began with an escalator ride.

Trump and his wife, Melania, descended an escalator into the basement lobby of the Trump Tower on June 16, 2015, for an announcement many observers had said would never come: The celebrity real estate developer had flirted with running for office in the past.

His speech then set the tone for his ability to dominate the headlines with provocative statements, insults and hyperbole. He called Mexicans “rapists,” promised to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and proposed banning most Muslims from the U.S. for an indeterminate time.

He criticized women for their looks. And he unleashed an uncanny marketing ability in which he deduced his critics’ weak points and distilled them to nicknames that stuck. “Little Marco” Rubio, “Weak” Jeb Bush and “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz, among others, all were forced into reacting to Trump. They fell one-by-one — leaving Trump the sole survivor of a riotous Republican primary.

His rallies became magnets for free publicity. Onstage, he dispensed populism that drew thousands of supporters, many wearing his trademark “Make America Great Again” hats and chanting, “Build the wall!”

The events drew protests too— with demonstrators sometimes forcibly ejected.

When voting started, Trump was not so fast out of the gate.

He lost the Iowa caucuses in February, falling behind Cruz and barely edging Rubio for second. He recovered in New Hampshire. From there he and Cruz fiercely engaged, with Trump winning some and losing some but one way or another dominating the rest of the primary season — in votes or at least in attention — and ultimately in delegates.

He incurred relatively low campaign costs — just $57 million through the end of April. He covered most of it with at least $43 million of his own money loaned to the campaign.

Trump entered a new phase of his campaign Tuesday night by holding his first major campaign fundraiser: a $25,000-per-ticket dinner in Los Angeles.

Trump, 69, the son of a New York City real estate magnate, had risen to fame in the 1980s and 1990s, overseeing major real estate deals, watching his financial fortunes rise, then fall, hosting “The Apprentice” TV show and authoring more than a dozen books.

10 Things to Know for Thursday

The Associated Press

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:

1. AUDIT FINDS CLINTON DISREGARDED SECURITY GUIDANCE IN USING PRIVATE EMAIL

Campaigning in California, Donald Trump noted that Clinton had received “a little bad news” and then railed against her “horribly bad judgment.”

2. WHICH STATES ARE SUING OVER OBAMA’S SCHOOL TRANSGENDER DIRECTIVE

The states are Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia.

3. HOW FEMALE CEOS ARE FARING COMPARED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS

For the second year in a row, female CEOs earned more than their male counterparts and received bigger raises. But only a small sliver of the largest companies are run by women.

4. JAPAN’S PRIME MINISTER REJECTS IDEA OF VISITING PEARL HARBOR

Coming ahead of President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima later this week, Shinzo Abe’s comments laid bare the complex politics of reconciliation.

5. WHO WAS CHOSEN TO BE THE NEW LEADER OF THE AFGHAN TALIBAN

Opposition within the group emerged just hours after little-known extremist cleric Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada was selected to replace his predecessor, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

6. WHERE 768 NEW SCREENERS WILL BE SENT TO DEAL WITH LONG AIRPORT SECURITY LINES

The Transportation Security Administration will send the new screeners to the nation’s busiest airports in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other hubs by mid-June.

7. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES THAT A PREGNANT WOMAN WITH ZIKA WILL HAVE A BABY WITH BIRTH DEFECTS

The largest study to ever look at the question says the risk of one type of birth defect, microcephaly, is “substantial” — in the range of 1 percent to 14 percent.

8. HOW MANY AMERICANS LIE TO THEIR PARTNER ABOUT MONEY MATTERS

Two in five Americans who have combined finances admit to lying to their partner about financial matters, according to a study by Harris Poll for the National Endowment for Financial Education.

9. WHO MIGHT BE BANKROLLING HULK HOGAN’S LEGAL MATCH WITH GAWKER

News reports say Hogan is secretly backed by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who was outed as gay by a Gawker-owned website in 2007.

10. WHERE THE OBAMAS MIGHT LIVE WHEN THE PRESIDENT LEAVES OFFICE IN JANUARY

Real estate circles are buzzing over reports that Obama and his wife, Michelle, have decided to lease a nine-bedroom mansion in one of Washington’s poshest neighborhoods.

More layoffs coming at Volvo plant in Dublin

Staff Report

Sources tell The Patriot that more layoffs are coming at the Volvo truck plant in Dublin.

While no number of employees to be laid off has been released by the company, sources say the layoffs are due to reduced demand in the truck market.

Layoffs are expected to occur following the plants annual summer shutdown in July.

Production, sources say, will decline to 46 trucks per shift or 92 a day – currently that number is 120.

This round of layoffs follows February’s reduction of just over 500 employees.

 

The Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain documentary at Radford Theatre

RADFORD, VA-Experience a piece of Radford’s and Dublin’s heritage at an exclusive screening of the local historical documentary, The Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain at the Radford Theatre, 1065 E. Main Street.

The docudrama was made by Virginia Tech graduate Gary Cox who filmed a re-enactment of this historical event in April 2014.  Cox’s great-great-grandfather, Isaac Sumner, fought in the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain.

The Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain is based on the book of the same name by Howard McManus, who published his work about the historic battle in 1989.

The documentary will be shown at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 26th and 12 p.m. on Monday, May 30th.  A live Q and A with filmmaker Gary Cox will follow both showings.  Reenactors from New River Rifles will be attending in full battle dress.  On Thursday, there will also be pre-show music with The Black Twig Pickers.

Tickets for the film are $6.50 for regular admission and $5.00 for kids, seniors, military and students.  More details are available at RadfordTheatre.com

Clinton faulted on emails by State Department audit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton and her team ignored clear guidance from the State Department that her email setup broke federal standards and could leave sensitive material vulnerable to hackers, an independent audit has found. Her aides twice brushed aside concerns, in one case telling technical staff “the matter was not to be discussed further.”

The inspector general’s review also revealed that hacking attempts forced then-Secretary of State Clinton off email at one point in 2011, though she insists the personal server she used was never breached. Clinton and several of her senior staff declined to be interviewed for the State Department investigation.

Earlier this month, Clinton declared that she was happy to “talk to anybody, anytime” about the matter and would encourage her staff to do the same.

Opponents of her Democratic presidential campaign pointed to the audit Wednesday as proof that Clinton has not been truthful about her private email use and fresh evidence she is not trustworthy or qualified to be commander in chief.

A spokesman for Clinton, who served as the nation’s top diplomat from 2009 to 2013, declared the audit showed her email use was consistent with what others at the department have done.

The 78-page analysis, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, says Clinton ignored clear directives. She never sought approval to conduct government business over private email, and never demonstrated the server or the Blackberry she used while in office “met minimum information security requirements.”

Twice in 2010, information management staff at the State Department raised concerns that Clinton’s email practices failed to meet federal records-keeping requirements. The staff’s director responded that Clinton’s personal email system had been reviewed and approved by legal staff, “and that the matter was not to be discussed any further.”

The audit found no evidence of a legal staff review or approval. It said any such request would have been denied by senior information officers because of security risks.

The inspector general’s inquiry was prompted by revelations of Clinton’s email use, a subject that has dogged her presidential campaign.

The review encompassed the email and information practices of the past five secretaries of state, finding them “slow to recognize and to manage effectively the legal requirements and cybersecurity risks associated with electronic data communications, particularly as those risks pertain to its most senior leadership.”

Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon underscored that point Wednesday.

“The inspector general documents just how consistent her email practices were with those of other secretaries and senior officials at the State Department who also used personal email,” Fallon said, noting that the report says “her use of personal email was known to officials within the department during her tenure, and that there is no evidence of any successful breach of the secretary’s server.”

The audit did note that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had also exclusively used a private email account, though it did not name any other prior secretaries who had done so. But the failings of Clinton were singled out in the audit as being more serious than her predecessor.

“By Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the department’s guidance was considerably more detailed and more sophisticated,” the report concluded. “Secretary Clinton’s cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives.”

Republicans said Wednesday the audit shows Clinton was in clear violation of the Federal Records Act.

“The inspector general’s findings are just the latest chapter in the long saga of Hillary Clinton’s bad judgment that broke federal rules and endangered our national security,” said Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee. “The stakes are too high in this election to entrust the White House to someone with as much poor judgment and reckless disregard for the law as Hillary Clinton.”

The State Department has released more than 52,000 pages of Clinton’s work-related emails, including some that have since been classified. Clinton has withheld thousands of additional emails, saying they were personal.

Critics have questioned whether her server might have made a tempting target for hackers, especially those working with or for foreign intelligence services.

Separately from the State Department audit, the FBI has been investigating whether Clinton’s use of the private email server imperiled government secrets. It has recently interviewed Clinton’s top aides, including former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin. Clinton is expected to be interviewed.

Clinton has acknowledged in the campaign that the homebrew email setup in her New York home was a mistake. She said she never sent or received anything marked classified at the time, and says hackers never breached the server.

The audit said a Clinton aide had to shut down the server on Jan. 9, 2011, because he believed “someone was trying to hack us.” Later that day, he said: “We were attacked again so I shut (the server) down for a few min.”

The next day, a senior official told two of Clinton’s top aides not to email their boss “anything sensitive,” saying she could “explain more in person.”

On CBS’ “Face the Nation” this month, Clinton said, “I’ve made it clear that I’m more than ready to talk to anybody, anytime. And I’ve encouraged all of (my staff) to be very forthcoming.”

The audit said three of her closest State Department aides — Mills, Abedin and policy chief Jake Sullivan — declined interview requests.

10 Things to Know for Today

The Associated Press

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT OUTSIDE TRUMP RALLY IN NEW MEXICO

Demonstrators throw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at officers, overturn trash cans and knock down barricades; police fire pepper spray and smoke grenades.

2. AFGHAN TALIBAN NAME HAWKISH SUCCESSOR TO SLAIN LEADER

Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, one of Mullah Akhtar Mansour’s chief deputies, will assume the top spot. Mansour was killed Saturday when his vehicle was struck by a U.S. drone.

3. WHAT DEFENSE BILL COSBY’S LAWYERS SUGGEST THEY’LL MOUNT

Before a judge orders the entertainer to stand trial on sex assault charges, the attorneys argue that Cosby’s accuser never said no to his advances.

4. NETANYAHU LURCHES FURTHER TO THE RIGHT

As part of a deal to expand the coalition government, Avigdor Lieberman, one of Israel’s most polarizing politicians, will take over as defense minister.

5. OBAMA TAKES PARTING SHOT BEFORE LEAVING COMMUNIST VIETNAM

The president uses a light moment with a rapper to espouse free speech: “You’ve got to let people express themselves.”

6. US SEEKING DEATH FOR DYLANN ROOF

Though federal executions are exceedingly rare, the Justice Department wants the death penalty for the suspect in last year’s deadly church shootings in Charleston, South Carolina.

7. CEO PAY CLIMBS AGAIN, EVEN AS COMPANY STOCK PRICES DON’T

The 4.5 percent raise is almost double the typical American workers’ and a lot more than investors earned from owning their stocks.

8. HOW TIES CAN BE BOUND BETWEEN JAILED WOMEN, CHILDREN

The AP looks inside the Bedford Hills (N.Y.) Correctional Facility, one of the very few prisons in the U.S. that allow inmates and their babies to live together.

9. TRENDING ON TWITTER: #GIVECAPTAINAMERICAABOYFRIEND

An online campaign emerges calling for significant LGBT characters in superhero movies. But dissenters weigh in, too.

10. THUNDER PUSH WARRIORS TO BRINK OF ELIMINATION

Oklahoma City takes a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Finals as Golden State loses consecutive games for the first time this season.

VDOT: Emergency lane closures on Route 60 in Giles between Narrows and Rich Creek

SALEM – Due to a collapsed retaining wall, Route 460 traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. The left eastbound and left westbound lanes of Route 460 are currently closed along westbound Route 460 in the area known as “The Bluffs” between Narrows and Rich Creek, about four miles south of the West Virginia state line.

The lane closures will remain in place until the Virginia Department of Transportation can assess the area and determine what is needed to make repairs.

Drivers are advised to expect delays on Route 460, watch for flaggers and pilot trucks and use caution.

Traffic alerts and traveler information for Virginia’s roads can be obtained by dialing 511 and at 511Virginia.org.  VDOT’s Salem District Twitter feed is at@VaDOTSalem.

Virginia governor: I followed the law in accepting donations

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday he’s confident he followed the law in accepting donations that now appear to be part of a federal criminal investigation.

McAuliffe defended his actions to reporters, a day after a law-enforcement official told The Associated Press on Monday that McAuliffe is the subject of a federal investigation looking at donations to his 2013 gubernatorial campaign.

McAuliffe said he believes the investigation centers around a donation connected to a Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang. Federal law forbids foreigners from contributing to U.S. political campaigns, but McAuliffe said Wang has held a green card for nearly a decade and is a legitimate donor.

“He was vetted by the campaign and this gentleman is certainly entitled to give money to the campaign,” McAuliffe told reporters, after speaking at a preplanned event at a parole and probation office in Alexandria.

He described Wang as “a very substantial individual” who has made major donations to Harvard University and is on the board at New York University.

McAuliffe said he doesn’t think he has even met Wang, though he believes he’s met people from Wang’s company.

He said he is “100 percent” confident that he did not take any illegal donations. “I rely on the people who did the vetting. They have unequivocally said he was entitled to write a check.”

The FBI and Justice Department have declined to comment on the long-running investigation.

McAuliffe said he is not particularly worried about an investigation, and that he was totally unaware of it before Monday.

“No one’s alleged any wrongdoing on my part,” he said. “If you haven’t done anything wrong, what should you be worried about?”

McAuliffe, a Democrat and longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, said he’s also confident the investigation won’t harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.

“I don’t think this has anything to do with Hillary Clinton,” McAuliffe said.

Gov. McAuliffe takes state plane to Final Four, Cuba

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Records show that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has used a state airplane to fly to Cuba and a University of Virginia basketball game in Chicago, among other destinations.

The Daily Press (http://bit.ly/1s4Hitp) obtained the Department of Aviation records by invoking the Freedom of Information Act to learn flights that McAuliffe or his cabinet members took since September.

McAuliffe took the plane all over Virginia, with short trips to Hampton Roads, the Shenandoah Valley and the District of Columbia.

The governor, first lady and three of their children also used it to travel to Chicago to watch U.Va’s basketball team play in the NCAA tournament. At the state-set rate of $985 per flight hour, the trip cost about $4,800. Spokesman Brian Coy said the trip was an official one, since McAuliffe was representing the state at the game.

 In January McAuliffe traveled to Cuba, a trip that was months in the making. Virginia ships more agricultural goods to Cuba than any other state, and McAuliffe has said he wants that relationship to grow.

The Democrat will reimburse the state for two trips, both out-of-state weddings of political advisers, Coy said.

McAuliffe’s flights have been scrutinized since he used the plane last year to attend a U2 concert and former President Bill Clinton’s birthday party.

 

Grayson County schools buck Obama directive on bathrooms

INDEPENDENCE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia school board has approved an ordinance requiring students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that corresponds with the gender listed on their birth certificate.

Media outlets report that the ordinance was unanimously approved by the Grayson County School Board on Friday.

The move comes after President Barack Obama’s administration told public schools that transgender students should be allowed the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

Federal officials have said schools that refuse to comply could be hit with lawsuits from the government and face a cutoff of federal funding.

The Grayson County ordinance says a student can ask to use a separate facility, like a single-stall restroom. Superintendent Kelly Wilmore says the district does not currently have any transgender students.