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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Democratic primary may be over after California votes on June 7, but loyalists to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders appear to be on a collision course over what the Democratic Party stands for — especially on the issue of Israel.

On this week’s “Powerhouse Politics” podcast, ABC News’ Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein talked to two members of the Democratic Party’s important Platform Drafting Committee tasked with writing a unified platform but divided in their choice of candidates: Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Clinton ally, and Sanders supporter James Zogby.

Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute and a pro-Palestinian activist, says the party is in need of more “balanced” and even-handed platform language on Israel and Palestine to move toward what he sees as an emerging consensus.

“There needs to be a recognition that there are two wings of this Democratic Party and we need both wings to fly,” he continued, “and that is the approach that we will hopefully take as a committee.”

Zogby said he’s seen an “evolving Hillary Clinton” on the issue since her time as first lady, when she called for a Palestinian state.

“[There was] Hillary Clinton as first lady, then there was a Hillary Clinton as senator; now we’re talking about Hillary Clinton as president,” he said. “I see an evolving Hillary Clinton and I would like to see a Hillary Clinton that reflects this new consensus that is emerging.”

While Zogby is readying for battle in advocating changes to the platform language on Israel, Gutierrez said there should be a way to achieve language that strongly supports Israel while also being more inclusive of the aspirations of the Palestinian people.

“We have to maintain a very close relationship with our dear friend and ally Israel, but does that mean we cannot be more inclusive? Does that mean we cannot be more reflective of the goals and ambitions of the Palestinian people?” Gutierrez asked rhetorically. “I don’t think one thing negates the other.”

In what was perhaps a direct shot at Zogby, Gutierrez went on to say that the platform’s final language will not be about “the values of activists” but of the Democratic Party as a whole.

“I’m going to look for a Democratic Party consensus that reflects, not the values of activists that are all of a sudden put on a committee but of the people,” he said.

Gutierrez also scoffed at the notion that Clinton supporters are somehow less progressive than Sanders’ supporters.

“It’s almost as though, well, if you are with Bernie Sanders you must be progressive and for change, and all the rest of us are just some, I don’t know, sellouts to Wall Street and to the establishment. That’s just not the case,” he said.

Gutierrez also sought to make the case that Clinton already has all but clinched the nomination.

“Let’s be clear, she has the nomination,” the Illinois Democrat told ABC News.

“Hillary Clinton is now 80 delegates away from wrapping it up,” he said. “There is no political scientist or anybody that has any credibility that doesn’t believe that Hillary Clinton is not going to have the number of delegates required to become the nominee.”

But Zogby has a different take, arguing that the race is far from over and that much work remains to be done to unify the party.

“Sen. Sanders has about 50 percent of the Democratic votes to date, Sec. Clinton has about 50 percent of the Democratic votes to date," Zogby said.

Gutierrez, a Latino and immigrant rights activist, went on to accuse Sanders of not supporting immigrants.

“In 2007, Hillary Clinton voted for comprehensive immigration reform when Bernie Sanders turned his back on immigrants and went to brag about it on Lou Dobbs' program,” he said. “That’s why people are for her, that’s why Latinos have supported her across this country and why I expect her to be triumphant in California.”

While the two Democratic campaigns may locked in a battle over issues, Zogby said the divisions that do exist pale in comparison to what he called an existential crisis in the Republican Party with Trump at the helm.

“I don’t think there is anything near the divisions on the Democratic side that currently exist on the Republican side, their crisis is existential,” Zogby said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC (LOS ANGELES) — During his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday night, Bernie Sanders remained amenable to debating Donald Trump -- a proposition raised by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee during his visit to the late-night talk show the previous evening.

"You made it possible for us to have a very interesting debate about two guys who look at the world very, very differently," Sanders told Kimmel.

"Oh boy, do you guys look at it differently," Kimmel said, laughing.

Kimmel told Sanders his goal is to bring the two men together. "I don't build walls, I build bridges," he said, making an obvious nod to Trump's campaign promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

And Kimmel's vested interest? "I feel like I should be the moderator of this debate, right?"

Backstage at #Kimmel - NEW show tonight with Senator @BernieSanders 11:35|10:35c #ABC pic.twitter.com/bB6bicfQdP

— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) May 27, 2016

On Wednesday's program, Trump said he would welcome a debate with the Vermont senator. "If I debated him we would have such high ratings,” Trump told Kimmel. "If he paid a sum to charity I would love to do that."

Shortly after the show aired, Sanders took to Twitter, writing, "Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7 primary."

Sanders followed up Thursday afternoon with another tweet, writing, "I am delighted that @realDonaldTrump has agreed to debate. Let’s do it in the biggest stadium possible."

I am delighted that @realDonaldTrump has agreed to debate. Let’s do it in the biggest stadium possible.

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 26, 2016

As for having both Sanders and Trump on the show, Kimmel told Sanders, "I’m interviewing all the candidates so I can decide which one of them will be my running mate. Usually, I know vice presidents do it the other way around, but I’m not 'usually' and this is how I do it. I will say, if there’s anyone who knows the importance of having a good, solid No. 2, it’s Bernie Sanders."

Kimmel introduced the Democratic presidential hopeful as the "most popular 74-year-old in the United States" and the "biggest name to come out of Burlington since the coat factory."

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jackethead/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigation into the U.S. Secret Service’s disclosure of the personnel files of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has resulted in discipline for 41 agents.

The leaker has also resigned, according to a statement by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The conduct of 57 Secret Service personnel was reviewed, including 11 in the Senior Executive Service level, the highest levels of government. Of those, 41 are receiving some level of discipline, according to the statement by Johnson.

The discipline ranges from a letter of reprimand to suspensions from duty without pay for periods of up to 45 days.

The person who was found to have disclosed the private information the Washington Post, has resigned from the Secret Service, said Johnson.

"Like many others I was appalled by the episode reflected in the Inspector General’s report, which brought real discredit to the Secret Service," said Johnson.

In Oct. 2015, the Inspector General of Homeland Security found that agents dug into the confidential personnel files of Chaffetz, who was leading an investigation into a string of security lapses and scandals at the Secret Service.

The Congressman, who is is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, had applied for a job with the Secret Service years before he was elected to the House and agents were looking for something that might embarrass him, according to the IG report.

The IG found that the internal agency data search was launched just 18 minutes after a hearing chaired by Chaffetz slammed the Secret Service for lax discipline and poor performance.

"This should have never happened and should not happen again," Chaffetz said in a statement in response to Johnson's announcement.

Johnson said he found no basis to take any action with respect to Secret Service DirectorJoseph Clancy or Deputy Director Craig Magaw.

A spokesperson for the Secret Service said that "the incident occurred in March 2015, over a year ago, since that time an independent investigation was conducted and concluded."

"Discipline was issued to all employees who were found to have improperly accessed and distributed information contained within our personnel records," the spokesperson said.

The agency has taken corrective actions to establish new protocols and procedures to ensure employee accountability and restrict unauthorized access, according to the Secret Service.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- After Navy veteran Michael Rieker was declared dead last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs immediately cancelled his monthly benefit payments. Only problem, Rieker was alive and well.

Over the past five years, the VA has accidentally declared thousands of veterans dead and revoked their benefits.

“It was weird because I actually felt pretty good when I got up that morning,” Rieker jokingly told ABC affiliate WFTS.  “To have someone tell you you were dead?  I sort of took it with a grain of salt.”

But the financial implications are no joke. Rieker, a Vietnam veteran, receives $3,000 a month from the VA.

Rieker turned to his US Representative, David Jolly, R-Fla., who discovered the VA made the same clerical mistake more than 4,000 times between 2011 and 2015, according to correspondence between Jolly and the VA.

“They will tell you statistically it is a very small number that this is happening to. And I appreciate that argument, I understand that,” Jolly told ABC’s Mary Bruce. “But if you are in that small statistical number it is very real for you… That is a crisis for an individual.”

In the correspondence, the VA says it is working to address the errors, updating its systems and instituting a new policy that sends a letter to the beneficiary’s address to confirm deaths.

The department did not return multiple requests for comment.  

Jolly lauded the VA for “stepping up to get this done,” but said he is still learning of more cases.

“This is not a problem that is isolated but it is actually a problem that has been growing. We have not seen the impact of the VA’s new policy,” he said.

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(BISMARCK, N.D.) -- Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump brushed off President Obama’s comments that world leaders are “rattled” by him, arguing it's a “good thing” if so.

After wrapping his first day at the G7 summit in Japan Wednesday night, Obama told reporters his discussions with world leaders revealed that “they are not sure how seriously to take some of [Trump's] pronouncements but they’re rattled by him, and for good reason."

“The countries in our world, our beautiful world, have been absolutely abusing us and taking advantage of us,” Trump said Thursday in a press conference ahead of his speech in Bismarck, North Dakota at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference. “So if they're rattled in a friendly way, we’re gonna have great relationships with these countries. But if they're rattled in a friendly way, that’s a good thing.”

Trump also answered questions about a proposed debate between him and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders that was floated as an idea on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Wednesday night.

Trump said yes he would debate Sanders ahead of the California primary, but "how much is he going to pay me?"

“If he paid a nice sum toward a charity I would love to do that,” Trump told Kimmel.

Today, he said he would like the money raised from the event to “go to women’s health issues.”

“Why should the networks make a fortune and put the money in their coffers?” Trump said. “I would much rather give in this case to various groups involved with women's health issues. I think it's appropriate.”

The business mogul said he would “love" to debate Sanders, however, “the problem with debating Bernie, he's gonna lose,” Trump said.

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serggn/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- It doesn’t seem that unusual: Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch wrote an op-ed, posted on a local newspaper’s website Thursday morning, about his meeting with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Except for the fact that the two hadn’t met yet.

Hatch, a Republican on the Judiciary Committee whose opposition to Garland’s nomination this year is well known, wrote that the meeting, which hadn’t yet occurred, did not change his mind that the next president should be able to appoint the justice whom he or she wants to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat.

“Our meeting … does not change my conviction that the Senate should consider a Supreme Court nominee after this presidential election cycle,” Hatch wrote in an article posted on the Deseret News website.

Hatch also noted, as he frequently does when talking about Garland, that he thinks very highly of the judge, whom he says has an “excellent reputation among lawyers and fellow judges alike” and is a personal friend.

The News removed the op-ed from its website later in the morning, but it was too late: A cached version is still available online.

In a statement, Deseret News executive editor Paul Edwards said the paper’s website had inadvertently published a draft of Hatch’s statement before it received edits from Hatch that were to come after his meeting, which Hatch’s office said happened later Thursday. But by early Thursday evening, the op-ed, presumably with Hatch’s edits, had not yet been posted back on the website.

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Vladone/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The national debate over LGBT rights has made its mark on Capitol Hill, as a dispute over another gay rights amendment derailed the passage of a spending bill Thursday -- throwing the entire appropriations process into chaos.

More than 40 Republicans voted with Democrats Wednesday night to pass an amendment to prevent discrimination by federal contractors against LGBT employees. Republicans blocked the measure from getting attached to a separate spending bill last week.

Republicans returned to the Capitol divided on Thrursday, with moderates at odds with the conservative Republicans who pressured Speaker Ryan (and former Speaker John Boehner) to adopt the freewheeling “regular order” system that allowed Democrats to introduce the LGBT measure.

One Georgia conservative began the GOP morning conference meeting with a long prayer about the LGBT issue, reading quoting extensively from the Bible.

The House eventually voted down the entire energy spending bill because of the LGBT amendment, 305– 112. Conservatives Republicans opposed to the spending level and LGBT amendment voted against the bill, and were joined by nearly every Democrat – including Maloney – who opposed several conservative amendments tacked on by Republicans -- including one to prevent federal agencies from taking money out of North Carolina in response to the state’s controversial bathroom law.

“For me, I couldn’t, in good conscience, vote for the [North Carolina amendment] after I fought all week for workplace protections,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-NY, the openly gay member who introduced the LGBT amendment.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-South Carolina, accused Democrats of playing politics.

“If it was a vote on principle, the bill would have passed today with Democrats voting for it. It was a political move designed to shipwreck the appropriations process,” he said.

Maloney said he will “of course” plan to introduce the measure to future spending bills, which could further disrupt the process and make it impossible for the House to pass any more spending bills.

“What we will have to do when we return is get with our members and figure out how best we can move forward,” Speaker Ryan told reporters on Thursday.

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J. Countess/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he is “wide open” to the possibility of becoming a vice-presidential candidate, and said he’s looking forward to discussions with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, should they ask for a meeting.

Cuban, appearing on ESPN Radio's “Capital Games” podcast, said "what makes me a different candidate for vice president is that I'm a geek working in the tech industry. It's important for presidential candidates to be tech savvy, none are right now."

Cuban called himself "fiercely independent," and said he is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Still, he says he’s been in touch with Clinton aides after saying publicly that he’d be willing to discuss a spot on her ticket should she win the nomination.

"I’m wide open to it, and in terms of discussing the vice presidency. I got asked the question, ‘Would I consider it,’ and the answer is yes," Cuban said.

While he hasn’t been in touch with Donald Trump’s camp –- and he has been critical of Trump’s lack of substance as a candidate –- Cuban said he’d be willing to discuss a spot on the ticket with Trump as well.

“It’s not really a matter of whether or not I agree with them. It’s a matter about whether or not I can add value and whether or not I can impact any perspective and hopefully have a positive impact on the country,” he said.

“I’m not here to tell you that I’m the only person capable of doing this. I’m not. I’m not here to tell you I’m the smartest person capable of doing this. I’m not. But what I am -- what I will say is that I’m willing. And sometimes that’s the big difference.”

You can listen to the interview here: http://es.pn/25kpQzr

When asked what the chances were Cuban could be on either ticket in November, he said, "Slim to no chance I'm on the ticket this year,” but added, “slim hasn’t left town yet.”

Cuban said if he were to seek office he would not sell the Mavericks.

"I would remove myself from the group of decision makers,'' said Cuban. "It would be put in a trust. I wouldn't be able to deal with it on a daily basis. I wouldn't have to sell it.''

Clinton said during an interview on "Meet the Press" that "I appreciate his openness to it."

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump no longer needs California to secure his party's presidential nomination, but Democrats Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders are battling it out there in an increasingly tight race.

A new poll in California has Clinton leading Sanders by just 2 percentage points, with 46 percent to his 44 percent, which is within the margin of error.

The poll, conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California and released Wednesday, shows that the race has grown far closer since its most recent poll, released March 24, which had Clinton with a 7-point lead.

The win itself will be a big morale and possible fundraising boost for the winner, but it won't make a significant difference in terms of their delegate take-home numbers.

The state's total 475 Democratic delegates are allocated proportionally, so both candidates can expect a triple-digit delegate boost after the June 7 primary.

A closer look at the numbers shows that voters 45 years old and up are more likely to support Clinton, with 59 percent leaning her way, and younger voters are more likely to favor Sanders, according to the Public Policy Institute of California poll.

The support is split by gender as well, with 46 percent of men favoring Sanders over Clinton and 49 percent of women favoring Clinton over Sanders.

The poll was released the same day that the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) publicly released a state-wide report showing that there are more than 3.9 million Hispanic voters in California.

That number represents a 22 percent increase of Latino voters in the state since the 2012 election, when there were 3,157,000 who voted.

The group reports that Hispanic voters account for one in four voters in the state, and one-third of all Democratic voters.

Such Democratic support appears to be helping. Clinton comes out ahead in a presidential matchup between Clinton and Trump, with 49 percent for Clinton and 39 percent for Trump, according to the poll released Wednesday. There were 11 percent of likely voters who said they would vote for someone else or were undecided.

Both Clinton and Sanders have events scheduled in California Thursday, but Trump, who was in Anaheim Wednesday, has since moved on to North Dakota and Montana, which also have their Democratic primaries June 7.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump has reached the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican Party's presidential nomination.

Based on ABC News’ analysis of pledged delegates won and commitments made by unbound delegates, Trump has enough support to secure the Republican nomination for president. He now has 1,239 total delegates, according to ABC News' estimates of both pledged and superdelegates.

Trump has surpassed the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination. That said, he will not formally become the nominee until delegates cast their votes at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July.

He reached the magic 1,237 number with more than a half-dozen contests left to go, including California, the most delegate-rich state in the country.

He started being called the presumptive Republican nominee after his closest competitor, Sen. Ted Cruz, suspended his campaign after his loss in the Indiana primary May 3.

Trump became the presumptive nominee the next day when his last competitor, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, dropped out.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — The possibility of appearing to pander is among the reasons Donald Trump would be unlikely to pick a woman or a minority as his vice presidential running mate, his campaign chairman says.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort offered some insight into how the presumptive Republican nominee might pick his campaign partner.

Manafort said that selecting a woman or minority, which some have suggested as a way for Trump to strengthen ties to those voting groups, probably won't happen.

"In fact, that would be viewed as pandering, I think," Manafort said.

Trump has tried to appeal openly to those communities throughout the campaign, regularly asserting that he loves women, while his controversial Twitter post on Cinco de Mayo was widely criticized as an attempt at outreach.

Manafort went on to portray the race as Trump’s to lose.

"He's going to win... unless we — meaning people like me — screw it up. This is not a hard race," Manafort told The Huffington Post.

Manafort formally joined Trump's campaign in April as its convention manager, but his role has shifted and grown as it became clear that Trump would be the presumptive nominee.

He has also been known to predict a changed Donald Trump who has not necessarily materialized, at least not immediately.

Manafort said in late-April that Trump would be softening his tone, though there’s little evidence.

In The Huffington Post interview, however, Manafort said Trump has "already started moderating on" his initial proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Indeed, after five months of talking about the Muslim ban, Trump said on May 11 the idea was "just a suggestion."

"He operates by starting the conversation at the outer edges and then brings it back towards the middle,” Manafort said. “Within his comfort zone, he'll soften it some more.”

But there’s at least one thing Manafort doesn't see changing: Trump's unwillingness to release his tax returns.

"I will be surprised if he puts them out,” Manafort told The Huffington Post. “I wouldn’t necessarily advise him to. It’s not really an issue for the people we are appealing to.”

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The Hillary Clinton email controversy has dogged the former secretary of state for more than a year and has now reached new prominence as the Democratic presidential contender attempts to fight off a challenge by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

On Wednesday, a report released by the State Department’s Office of Inspector General said that Clinton shouldn't have used a private email server to conduct official business and would have not been allowed to do so had she asked. It also found that she violated department policy.

Clinton has not been charged with a crime and her spokesman, Brian Fallon, said the former secretary's email use was in line with former secretaries of state. He also said that political opponents were using the report in a misleading way.

Here are five important takeaways from the report:

This Report is About Rules, Not Laws

The report essentially says that Clinton (and a number of her predecessors) failed to comply with recommended email policy and established practices of record-keeping. In Clinton’s case, the report says she wouldn’t have been allowed to exclusively use a private email account during her tenure had she asked to do so -- which she did not. Furthermore she didn’t turn over all her email before leaving, which she was supposed to do. Questions about any potential crime are expected to be answered upon conclusion of an FBI investigation, which is completely separate. Instead of focusing on whether she should have been using private email, like this investigation did, the FBI is trying to find out if anyone is responsible for mishandling sensitive information.

Contradictory Statements?

If you visit Clinton’s campaign website, you will see talking points about her private email that say no rules were broken. “Was it allowed?” her website asks about her use of private email. “Yes. The laws, regulations, and State Department policy in place during her tenure permitted her to use a non-government email for work,” the answer reads. But Wednesday’s report offered a more nuanced answer. It said that guidelines produced by the State Department during her tenure discouraged the use of private email and identified the risks of doing so, also saying that official State Department email should be used in “most circumstances.” Clinton never used it in any circumstance. The report also says that Clinton should have handed over her official emails after leaving. “Because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act,” the report says.

Lack of Cooperation

Earlier this month Clinton, in response to questions about the FBI probe, Clinton said in an interview with CBS News that she would be willing to cooperate with any investigation. “I think last August I made it clear I'm more than ready to talk to anybody anytime,” Clinton said at the time. But according to this report, that’s not true. The Inspector General’s office says both Clinton and her aides declined to be interviewed for the report. The four other secretaries investigated in the report: Madeline Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and John Kerry, all participated in interviews.

Hacking Attempt

The report revealed that Clinton’s aides were very concerned about actual attempts to hack her email. In previously unseen emails between her email technician and one of her staffers, it’s revealed that they actually shut down her server at one point for fear that it was going to be breached by cyber intruders. On Jan. 9, 2011, the technician "notified the Secretary’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations that he had to shut down the server because he believed 'someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in i didnt [sic] want to let them have the chance to.'" Later that day, the adviser again wrote to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, “We were attacked again so I shut [the server] down for a few min,” the report said. The next day, the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations emailed the Chief of Staff and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Planning and instructed them not to email the Secretary “anything sensitive” and stated that she could “explain more in person,” the report said. Clinton has maintained that her private email was never successfully hacked.

Clinton Emails We Haven’t Seen

Another major revelation from this report is that the State Department has an undisclosed number of emails in its possession that weren’t released to the public. It turns out roughly 52,000 pages the State Department put online only accounts for the email she could find and turned over. However, the Department has emails it found on its own, but did not release in that massive tranche, the report said. In one previously unseen email between Clinton and her deputy chief of staff, they discuss her use of private email. “In November 2010, Secretary Clinton and her Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations discussed the fact that Secretary Clinton’s emails to Department employees were not being received,” the report reads. “The Deputy Chief of Staff emailed the Secretary that “we should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam.” In response, the Secretary wrote, “Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.”

Asked how many more unseen emails from Clinton the State Department has in its possession, State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said Thursday that he wasn’t sure. He insisted it’s not a large number.
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KIMIMASA MAYAMA/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- World leaders are “concerned” about how a Donald Trump presidency would affect relationships between their countries and the United States, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy said Thursday in Japan.

“I think people are concerned,” Kennedy, the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, told ABC News. “What they’re concerned about is the future, and so what does this mean for the American alliance.”

Kennedy, who said she hasn’t followed the presidential campaign closely, pointed to the case of Japan, saying the alliance between the two countries has grown to its strongest point in the past seven decades.

“We’ve seen this alliance go from 70 years, and it’s stronger than it’s ever been and it’s grown that way through Republican and Democratic administrations,” she said. “Obviously, they are concerned when somebody doesn’t seem to understand or value the efforts put into this and really what’s been built over time with the economic relationships, the scientific collaborations, the educational exchanges, cultural ties.”

Asked what her father, former President John F. Kennedy, and uncles -- Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy -- would think about the state of U.S. politics today, the ambassador said her family would have encouraged working in a “constructive way to do what’s best for the American people.”

“They always believed in working across the aisle and understanding people of different countries, different parties, different points of view,” Kennedy, 58, said. “I think that that’s what they would try to be focused on.”

Kennedy, who has served as U.S. ambassador to Japan since 2013, reflected on the president’s upcoming trip to Hiroshima Friday.

“I think what the Japanese people and really the American people are interested in is making sure it never happens again and looking forward,” she said. “We should all take a great deal of pride in the fact our two nations have built this incredible alliance.”

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(ISE, Japan) — President Obama said world leaders are "rattled" by Donald Trump as the likely Republican nominee for the U.S. presidency.

"They are paying very close attention to this election," the president told reporters Wednesday in Japan of his discussions with world leaders. "They are surprised by the Republican nominee. They are not sure how seriously to take some of his pronouncements but they’re rattled by him and for good reason."

Obama said Trump has shown an "ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what it is required to keep America safe and secure and prosperous."

The president made his comments after ending his first day of meetings at the G7 summit.

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ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday night, Donald Trump admitted that he wasn't sincere when he made glowing comments about Bill and Hillary Clinton prior to his bid for the presidency.

Kimmel asked the presumptive Republican presidential nominee about his once-effusive take on the Clintons, and Trump took the bait, acknowledging his past kind words. "She’s wonderful, the husband, everybody’s wonderful including contributions."

Kimmel interjected and asked, "So you were full of s***?”

Trump's response? "A little bit," he said, laughing.


Backstage at #Kimmel - NEW show tonight with @RealDonaldTrump 11:35|10:35c #ABC pic.twitter.com/sM4x8zmO2e

— Jimmy Kimmel Live (@JimmyKimmelLive) May 26, 2016


And while Trump has labeled many of his foes with nicknames during his campaign, he said he won't be anointing Bill Clinton with a nickname. "I don’t want to do anything like that," he said. "I have come up with 'Crooked Hillary,' and you know what’s going on, she’s very crooked."

As for Bernie Sanders, Trump said he would welcome a debate with the Vermont senator. "If I debated him we would have such high ratings,” Trump told Kimmel. "If he paid a sum to charity I would love to do that." He said he "enjoys watching" Sanders duke it out with Clinton. "It's getting nasty. I had no idea it was gonna be so nasty."

Sanders took to Twitter after the show aired on the East Coast, writing, "Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7 primary."


Game on. I look forward to debating Donald Trump in California before the June 7 primary.

— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 26, 2016


And when asked about the Washington Post investigation which speculated that Trump secretly posed as his publicist during a phone conversation using the alias "John Miller," he said, "It didn’t sound like me."

He added, "I’ve used aliases. I would use Barron,” a reference to his 10-year-old son with wife Melania. "I made a very good deal using that name."

During his opening monologue, Kimmel poked fun at Trump's suggestion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “Tonight, those of you watching at home will have the rare opportunity to see Donald Trump on television," Kimmel said. "Trump is here in Hollywood, and I thought this was interesting, he has promised to make Hollywood Boulevard great again, by building a wall around Bill Cosby’s star on the Walk of Fame. And Guillermo is gonna pay for it!”

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