Donald Trump has just announced he will “business in total” to focus on presidency and avoid perceived conflicts of interest.
The president-elect said he would be expanding on his plans at a press conference with his children next month.
Donald Trump previously dismissed concerns over potential conflicts between his businesses and the presidency.
Meanwhile, former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin confirmed he had been picked as treasury secretary.
Steve Mnuchin, who was Donald Trump’s former campaign finance director, also said billionaire investor Wilbur Ross had been chosen for commerce secretary.
Donald Trump and his transition team have yet to confirm the appointments.
Image source Flickr
Instead, the president-elect chose to focus on his plans to distance himself from his business in a series of four tweets released over 20 minutes.
The tweets read: “I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country in order to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
“While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.
“Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations. The Presidency is a far more important task!”
There is no legal requirement to liquidate assets but past presidents have set aside their business dealings. Donald Trump’s rivals have raised repeated concerns this may cause problems in the coming months.
Donald Trump, who takes office on January 20, had previously indicated to the New York Times that he was considering separating his two areas of responsibility but was confident he could run both “perfectly”.
The billionaire’s three eldest children already hold roles within the Trump empire which boasts golf clubs, office towers and other properties in several countries.
However, Reince Priebus, Donald Trump’s incoming White House chief of staff, refused to say on MSNBC’s Morning Joe whether he was handing the business to his children or putting it into a blind trust, which would place the management of his assets in the hands of other experts.
Donald Trump has said it was a “great honor” to meet President Barack Obama for transition talks at the White House.
President Obama said he was “encouraged” by their “excellent” and “wide-ranging” conversation, lasting over an hour.
During the election campaign, Donald Trump vowed to dismantle Barack Obama’s legacy and he has previously questioned his US citizenship.
Barack Obama, meanwhile, had called Donald Trump “uniquely unqualified”.
However, following Donald Trump’s shock defeat of Hillary Clinton in November 8 election, President Obama appealed for national unity and said he was “rooting” for him.
After today’s behind-closed-doors meeting in the White House, President Obama said: “My number one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful.”
He said they had discussed domestic and foreign policy and he had been “very encouraged” by the president-elect’s interest in working with President Obama’s team on issues facing the US.
Image source AP
President-elect Donald Trump said he would “very much look forward” to dealing with President Barack Obama in future.
“I have great respect, the meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half, and it could’ve, as far as I’m concerned, it could’ve gone on for a lot longer,” Donald Trump said.
“We discussed a lot of different situations – some wonderful and some difficulties.”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the two men did not resolve their differences but “the meeting might have been at least a little less awkward than some might have expected”.
“President Obama came away from the meeting with renewed confidence in the commitment of the president-elect to engage in an effective, smooth transition,” he said.
Donald Trump flew from New York on his private jet and landed at Reagan National Airport, just outside the nation’s capital.
He was accompanied by his wife, Melania, who had a meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama. President-elect Donald Trump, along with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence, then met Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, saying they “can’t get started fast enough, whether it’s healthcare or immigration”.
Paul Ryan described it as a “fantastic, productive meeting”.
President Obama congratulated Donald Trump in a phone call in the early hours of November 9.
The defeated Hillary Clinton also told supporters Donald Trump had to be given a “chance to lead”.
Thousands of people have taken to the streets of several cities to protest against the election of Donald Trump.
Many of them shouted the slogan “Not my president”. Others burned orange-haired effigies of the businessman.
Donald Trump will become the 45th president after securing a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton.
The president-elect is due to meet current White House incumbent Barack Obama for talks aimed at ensuring a smooth transition.
President Barack Obama – who had branded Donald Trump “unfit” for office and campaigned against him – urged all Americans to accept the result of Tuesday’s election.
“We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country,” he said.
Image source Getty Images
Hillary Clinton also told supporters Donald Trump had to be given a “chance to lead”.
Despite their calls, protesters gathered in several cities across the country.
In New York, thousands marched on Trump Tower, attacking Donald Trump’s policies on immigration, gay rights and reproductive rights. Fifteen people were arrested, the New York Times reported.
Protests were largely peaceful but in Oakland, California, some demonstrators smashed shop windows and threw missiles at riot police, who reportedly responded with tear gas.
A mass anti-Trump rally shut down the key 101 freeway in Los Angeles.
In Chicago, crowds blocked the entrance to Trump Tower, chanting: “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascists USA”.
In Portland, Oregon, demonstrators temporarily closed an interstate highway.
In Washington DC, protesters held a candlelit vigil. Organizer Ben Wikler told the crowd: “We are here because in these darkest moments, we are not alone.”
Demonstrations also took place in Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco, among other cities.
In his victory speech, Donald Trump vowed to “bind the wounds of division”, after an acrimonious election contest, and to be “president for all Americans”.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest has insisted Barack Obama will be sincere about ensuring a smooth handover when he meets Donald Trump, although he added: “I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy meeting.”
Donald Trump will be accompanied to the White House by his wife, Melania, who will have a meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House residence.
The president-elect’s transition team for the 10-week period until inauguration will be led by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Donald Trump, who has never held elected office, has said his immediate priorities will be restoring the country’s infrastructure and doubling its economic growth.
In her concession speech, Hillary Clinton said President-elect Donald Trump must be given a chance to lead.
Appearing in public for the first time since conceding defeat, Hillary Clinton said she hoped Donald Trump would be a successful president for all Americans.
“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought,” she said.
Donald Trump will become the 45th US president after a surprising victory.
The Republican will hold his first transition meeting with outgoing President Barack Obama at the White House on November 10.
President Barack Obama, who congratulated his successor in a phone call in the early hours of the morning, said it was “no secret” that he and Donald Trump had pretty significant differences.
“Ultimately we’re all on the same team,” Barack Obama said, and people had to remember that “we are Americans first, patriots first, we all want what’s best for this country”.
Barack Obama was heartened by what he heard in Donald Trump’s remarks last night, he said.
Hillary Clinton also urged her supporters to respect the election result, saying the constitution enshrines the peaceful transition of power.
“I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country,” she told her supporters in her address in New York.
“We have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling. But some day, someone will,” she said, referring to her failure to become the first female US president.
“To all the little girls watching… never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world,” Hillary Clinton said.
President-elect Donald Trump told cheering supporters at his campaign rally in the early hours of Wednesday that Americans must now “bind the wounds of division”, after the grueling, acrimonious electoral battle.
“I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone,” Donald Trump said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan paid tribute to Donald Trump, saying he had “turned politics on its head” and would lead a unified Republican government.
Paul Ryan, a lukewarm supporter of the president-elect, said that his party’s strong showing in elections to the Senate and House of Representatives was thanks in no small part to Donald Trump.
He referred repeatedly to Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, as “my good friend” and “a good man”.
From January the GOP will control the presidency and both houses of Congress – defying pollsters’ predictions.
European markets are taking stock after sharp initial falls following Donald Trump’s victory in US presidential election.
The UK’s FTSE 100 index fell 2% at the start of trading before paring back some losses to trade 0.7% lower at midday.
Image source Wikipedia
Other major European stock markets also fell, with money flowing into safe haven stocks, gold and currencies including the yen.
Traders had expected Hillary Clinton to beat Donald Trump to become the next US president.
France’s Cac index and Germany’s Dax are each down about 1.5% after heavier falls at the start of trading.
Some analysts have likened the shock of a Trump victory to the Brexit result earlier this year.
However, neither markets nor currencies have swung as wildly as they did after June’s EU referendum.
US stock futures fell dramatically overnight as Donald Trump’s lead became clear, although the Dow Jones index is now expected to lose 2% – about 400 points when it reopens – compared to earlier predictions of a 4% fall.
Asian markets were described as a “sea of red” at one point, before seeing their losses narrow towards the end of Wednesday trading.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 finished 5.4% lower, but the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Composite – which closed later – lost 2.2% and 0.6% respectively.
Republicans have kept their hold over Congress, capping a dire night for the Democrats.
With Donald Trump elected as the 45th US president, the GOP retained its majorities in the House and Senate.
Republican dominance over Congress in principle enables Donald Trump to turn his policy plans into law.
However, how easily this will happen is unclear given that key GOP leaders had refused to back him.
Image source Wikipedia
The night began with majority control of the Senate up for grabs, with 34 of the 100 seats available.
However, the Democrats have so far gained just one seat in the Senate, with Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee Iraq war veteran, taking Mark Kirk’s place in Illinois. During a TV debate last month Mark Kirk mocked Tammy Duckworth’s Thai heritage, but later apologized.
Another bright spot was in Nevada, which Cortez Masto retained for the Democrats, beating Republican Joe Heck to become the first Latina senator.
Democrats also failed to significantly dent Republican advantage in the House, with just five Republican incumbents losing.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had distanced himself from Donald Trump after previously endorsing him, won re-election to the House of Representatives in Wisconsin.
Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American legislator, with victory in a House race in Minnesota. She came to the US while still a child, escaping Somalia’s civil war with her family and spending four years in a Kenyan refugee camp.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has visited a black church in Detroit in an attempt to claw some of the minority vote away from Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump, 70, told the congregation he “fully understands that the African American community has suffered discrimination”.
According to recent polls, Donald Trump, who is lagging behind Hillary Clinton, has low support among black and Hispanic voters.
Donald Trump was accompanied by Ben Carson, the former Republican presidential hopeful who grew up in Detroit.
The New York businessman arrived at the church to the sound of protests against him taking place outside. Inside, Donald Trump gave a scripted one-on-one interview with the church’s pastor, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, which will be aired by Bishop Jackson’s own Impact TV network next week.
Donald Trump then attended a service at the church before addressing the congregation with a prepared speech, during which he struck an unusually measured tone.
He said: “Nothing is more sad than when we sideline young black men with tremendous potential.”
Donald Trump also said there were “wrongs that need to be made right” for the black community, and praised black churches, adding: “For centuries the African American church has been the conscience of our country.”
The Republican pledged to revive Detroit, which has fallen behind economically since the decline of its once-dominant car industry, promising “new roads and bridges everywhere”.
In his interview with Bishop Jackson, Donald Trump answered a set of pre-approved questions with replies prepared by his campaign staff and the Republican National Committee, the New York Times reported.
The Times published a leaked copy of the 12 questions and answers, which covered police killings, racial tension, and accusations that Donald Trump is racist.
He did not initially intend to address the congregation, the Times said, but a spokesman for Donald Trump’s campaign later said plans had changed to incorporate a five to 10 minute scripted address.
Donald Trump has attempted in recent weeks to appeal to both black and Hispanic voters, claiming he would create jobs in poor cities.
On September 2, he met black religious and community leaders in Philadelphia and days earlier saw black and Latino Republicans in New York.
However, months of hard-line rhetoric on immigration and social issues have done little to endear Donald Trump to minority groups.
He has been criticized by some for addressing black issues in front of largely white audiences, and for making critical statements about black communities.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Democratic Representative Brenda Lawrence are expected to speak against Donald Trump in the city on September 3.
Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, is officially suing Daily Mail and blogger Webster Tarpley for $150 million over allegations she was an escort in the 1990s, her lawyer says.
The Daily Mail suggested Melania Trump may have worked as a part-time escort in New York, and met her future husband earlier than previously reported.
The claims were “outright lying”, lawyer Charles Harder said.
Both the Daily Mail and Webster Tarpley have since retracted their articles.
Charles Harder said in a statement: “These defendants made several statements about Mrs. Trump that are 100% false and tremendously damaging to her personal and professional reputation.
“Defendants’ actions are so egregious, malicious and harmful to Mrs. Trump that her damages are estimated at $150 million.”
Photo Flickr Marc Nozell
Charles Harder has filed the complaint before the Circuit Court for Montgomery County in Maryland.
Melania Trump, 46, was born in Slovenia and moved to the United States to work as a model in the 1990s. She married Donald Trump in 2005.
Webster Tarpley had written that Melania Trump feared her past becoming public.
The Daily Mail article quoted claims published in Slovenian magazine Suzy that the modeling agency Melania Trump was working for also functioned as an escort agency, court papers show.
The British newspaper also quoted Slovenian journalist Bojan Pozar, author of an unauthorized biography, who claimed Melania met Donald Trump in 1995, three years before their reported first meeting in 1998.
Melania Trump’s lawyers say she moved to the United States in 1996.
Webster Tarpley meanwhile alleged that Melania Trump was “reportedly obsessed by fear of salacious revelations by wealthy clients from her time as a high-end escort” and had suffered a “full-blown nervous breakdown”.
The Daily Mail‘s retraction, published late on September 1, insisted it had not suggested the escort claims were true but said that, even if false, they could affect the US presidential campaign.
In July, Melania Trump was embroiled in a row over plagiarism, after her speech at the Republican convention. Lines matched almost word for word those delivered by Michelle Obama at the Democrats’ convention in 2008.
In a major immigration speech in Phoenix, Arizona, Donald Trump has insisted Mexico will pay for a border wall “100%”.
The GOP nominee told a cheering crowd that he would secure the border, and left open the possibility that millions of illegal immigrants be deported.
Hours earlier, Donald Trump met Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto but said they had not discussed financing the wall.
President Pena Nieto later insisted he had told Donald Trump Mexico would not pay.
There had been speculation that Donald Trump would back off his plan to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the US.
In his speech in Phoenix, there were conflicting signals about this. The Republican said their fate was not a “core issue” and that deporting “criminal aliens” would be the priority.
“We will treat everyone living or residing in our country with great dignity,” he said.
Later Donald Trump struck a more uncompromising note when he added: “Anyone who has entered the United States illegally is subject to deportation. That is what it means to have laws.”
He said it was the right of the US to choose immigrants that “we think are the likeliest to thrive and flourish and love us”.
Elaborating on that idea, Donald Trump said his “extreme vetting” would involve an ideological test for immigrants applying to live in the US.
“Applicants will be asked for their views about honor killings, about respect for women and gays and minorities, attitudes on radical Islam,” he said.
Donald Trump stormed to an unlikely victory in the Republican primaries partly due to his tough talking on immigration.
In Phoenix he vowed to protect the interests of Americans who he said lose out to new arrivals: “We have to listen to the concerns that working people, our forgotten working people, have over the record pace of immigration and its impact on their jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills and general living conditions.”
Donald Trump accused his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton of wanting to grant amnesty to undocumented immigrants and of advocating “open border” policies.
Reacting to Donald Trump’s visit to Mexico, Hillary Clinton said he had “choked” by not asking his hosts to pay for his wall.
Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort has resigned just two months after taking the helm.
Paul Manafort has come under fire for his ties to Russian interests and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
He has denied any wrongdoing and it is not yet clear why he left.
Donald Trump’s campaign team was overhauled earlier this week with the addition of a new campaign chief executive and a new campaign manager.
The Republican presidential nominee, who arrived in Louisiana on August 19 to meet flood victims, has come under pressure in recent weeks after a series of controversial remarks and falling poll numbers.
Photo Getty Images
Donald Trump said in a statement: “This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign.
“I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his work guiding us through the delegate and convention process.”
Paul Manafort has faced public scrutiny in recent weeks after the New York Times reported that the Ukrainian government had uncovered ledgers pledging more than $12 million in undisclosed cash payments for his work with Viktor Yanukovych, who fled after an uprising in November 2013.
Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Bureau is also investigating business deals worth millions of dollar that are linked to Paul Manafort.
Paul Manafort has vehemently dismissed the claims and denied any wrongdoing.
Hillary Clinton’s spokesman Robbie Mook said Paul Manafort was another example of Donald Trump’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“You can get rid of Manafort, but that doesn’t end the odd bromance Trump has with Putin,” he said.
“Trump still has to answer serious questions hovering over his campaign given his propensity to parrot Putin’s talking points.”
Paul Manafort, a former adviser to George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole, only joined the Trump campaign in March, to help the billionaire secure the party’s nomination. He was promoted to campaign manager in June.
The announcement of new campaign chief, Kellyanne Conway, and campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, earlier this week raised questions about whether it would diminish Paul Manafort’s role.
Paul Manafort was considered a guiding hand in steering Donald Trump toward a more conventional campaign as opposed to the anti-establishment brand of politics that made his primary campaign successful.
A hotel developer with no previous experience of politics, Donald Trump stunned the political world by beating far more experienced figures in the Republican Party.
Donald Trump faces Hillary Clinton, who has come under intense criticism over her email arrangements while secretary of state, in November’s election.
Donald Trump has overhauled his election campaign team for the second time in two months, bringing in a new manager and CEO.
Kellyanne Conway becomes campaign manager and Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News the CEO. Paul Manafort remains as campaign chairman.
Donald Trump told AP the new leaders were “terrific people… they’re champs”.
The Republican presidential candidate has seen his poll ratings slip since the GOP conventions last month.
Donald Trump trails rival Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton both nationally and in key battleground states.
The latest shake-up comes just 82 days before the election.
Speaking to Associated Press news agency about Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of the politically conservative news and opinion website Breitbart, and pollster Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump said: “I’ve known both of them for a long time. They’re terrific people, they’re winners, they’re champs, and we need to win it.”
AP said the details of the new hierarchy were hammered out at a lengthy senior staff meeting at Trump Tower on August 16 and that more senior appointments were expected in the coming days.
An article in Bloomberg in October 2015, described Stephen Bannon as “the most dangerous political operative in America”.
Stephen Bannon says his role at Breitbart is “virulently anti-establishment”.
Kellyanne Conway has previously worked for Republican politicians Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich.
Although Paul Manafort stays in his job, analysts say the new appointments, which come two months after campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was sacked, represent a demotion.
The Washington Post cited Donald Trump campaign aides as saying the Republican candidate respected Paul Manafort but felt “boxed in” by people “who barely knew him”.
Paul Manafort, a former adviser to George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole, only joined the Trump campaign in March.
Donald Trump has been pressed by some Republicans to tone down his fiery rhetoric in the wake of a number of controversial comments in the past two weeks and the subsequent drop in poll ratings.
However, Donald Trump appears to want to stand by the campaign style that won him the Republican nomination.
He said on August 16: “You know, I am who I am. It’s me. I don’t want to change.
“Everyone talks about, <<Oh, well you’re going to pivot, you’re going to>>. I don’t want to pivot. I mean, you have to be you. If you start pivoting, you’re not being honest with people.”
Paul Manafort has had a troubled week, following a report in the New York Times that ledgers in Ukraine showed he was earmarked for $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments from the former pro-Russian government between 2007 and 2012. He denied receiving any “off-the-books cash payment”.
The Trump team’s alleged pro-Russia links have been a key issue of the campaign, and the latest allegations sparked a call from the Clinton campaign for a full disclosure.
Opinion polls since the national conventions have made grim reading for the Trump team, both nationally and in key states.
The national lead for Hillary Clinton is currently between seven and eight points, the polls suggest.
The New York Times said on August 15 that no modern candidate trailing by this much three weeks after the conventions had won the election.
An opinion poll in the state of Virginia, carried in the Washington Post on August 16, gave Hillary Clinton a 14 point lead there.
In a speech in Ohio, Donald Trump has said that he would enact “extreme vetting” of immigrants.
The Republican presidential nominee outlined his plans to combat Islamic extremism, including a new screening test for arrivals to the United States.
Applicants will be tested to determine if they share Western liberal values like LGBT and religious tolerance.
Donald Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton poured scorn on his plan, labeling it a “cynical ploy”.
“This so-called <<policy>> cannot be taken seriously,” said her spokesman.
“How can Trump put this forward with a straight face when he opposes marriage equality and selected as his running mate the man [Mike Pence] who signed an anti-LGBT law in Indiana?”
Under Donald Trump’s plan, citizens from countries with a history of terror will be banned but it is not clear which nations.
Photo Getty Images
In the speech, the New York billionaire did not lay out his own military strategy for defeating ISIS.
He did repeat his claim he was opposed to the Iraq War before it began, which fact-checkers say is untrue.
Donald Trump also said that the oil in Iraq should have been seized by the US government to prevent it from becoming the property of ISIS.
In his speech, he also promised to:
Ban immigration from countries where terrorism is widespread and vetting is poor
Make alliances with all countries fighting against terrorism
Introduce an ideology test for new immigrants arriving to the US
Keep Guantanamo Bay prison open
Establish a presidential commission to investigate Islamic terror
Work with NATO, despite previously calling it “obsolete”
Donald Trump initially proposed a blanket ban on all Muslims but has changed it to one that is based on an unspecified list of countries that export terror.
The latest proposal includes creating an ideological test for immigrants entering the US, with questions addressing how each applicant views American values such as religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights.
“Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country,” Donald Trump said.
The Republican nominee said that the test will not only expose terrorist sympathizers, but also will “screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles”.
Donald Trump heavily criticized Hillary Clinton, saying that she lacks the “mental and physical stamina” to defeat ISIS.
He attacked her plan to increase the rate of Syrian refugees arrivals, which he claimed would cost $400 billion.
Donald Trump is still facing a backlash for repeatedly describing President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as “founders” of Islamic State.
Vice President Joe Biden speaking at a campaign event with Hillary Clinton said that Donald Trump’s claim that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had “founded” ISIS proved his views to be “dangerous” and “un-American”, and that it had made US soldiers in Iraq less safe already.
Recent polls show Donald Trump significantly trailing Hillary Clinton in key battleground states.
In a letter signed by more than 70 Republicans, the GOP’s National Committee head is being urged to stop funding Donald Trump’s campaign.
The signatories said Donald Trump’s “divisiveness” and “incompetence” risked drowning the party in November’s election.
The letter said that the GOP should instead focus on protecting vulnerable candidates in elections to the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Former members of Congress are among the signatories of the letter.
“We believe that Donald Trump’s divisiveness, recklessness, incompetence, and record-breaking unpopularity risk turning this election into a Democratic landslide,” said a draft of the letter published by Politico.
“Only the immediate shift of all available RNC resources to vulnerable Senate and House races will prevent the GOP from drowning with a Trump-emblazoned anchor around its neck.”
The letter added: “This should not be a difficult decision, as Donald Trump’s chances of being elected president are evaporating by the day.”
Reacting to the move, Donald Trump said he was not concerned that the party could cut him off.
“All I have to do is stop funding the Republican Party,” he said.
According to a Time Magazine report on August 11, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus had threatened to withdraw funding from the Trump campaign, and instead direct it to Congressional campaigns.
Donald Trump denies that this conversation ever took place.
The Republican presidential nominee has endured 10 days of negative headlines after a string of controversial comments.
In recent weeks, several leading Republicans have deserted Donald Trump over his outspoken attacks.
Polls suggest support for Donald Trump has been falling in key battleground states in recent weeks.
Donald Trump has blamed the media after being accused of urging supporters to kill Hillary Clinton.
The Republican candidate told Fox News “dishonest” reporters had twisted his remarks, which appeared to suggest that gun rights advocates could stop Democratic rival Hillary Clinton if elected.
Donald Trump denied incitement and said he was exhorting his supporters to vote.
His gun rights comments made on August 9 sparked a firestorm of criticism.
Some interpreted his comments as a dark suggestion that gun owners could take up arms against Hillary Clinton, while others said they were at the very least irresponsible remarks that could have violent consequences.
The highest-ranked Republican, House Speaker Paul Ryan, said it was an inappropriate joke.
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said it was a death threat by a “pathetic coward” who was sore because he was trailing in the polls to a woman.
The controversial remarks were made at a rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, and refer to a future president’s power to nominate a judge to fill a vacancy on the US Supreme Court.
Donald Trump said of his Democratic opponent: “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish the Second Amendment, by the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks.
“But the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
The Second Amendment enshrines the right to bear arms in the US Constitution, and there is no evidence that Hillary Clinton wants to abolish it, although she does want to tighten some restrictions.
Within minutes of him uttering the words, the criticism began to mount and Donald Trump issued a statement saying he was referring to the political power of gun rights advocates.
Hours later, Fox News host Sean Hannity told him the media had been “spinning it” differently.
Donald Trump answered by saying there could be no other interpretation of his words other than the one he had given: “Even reporters have told me, I mean give me a break. But they’re dishonest people.
“What it is there’s a tremendous power behind the Second Amendment.
“It’s a political power, and there are few things so powerful, I have to say, in terms of politics.”
Donald Trump’s remarks come after eight days of negative headlines and falling poll numbers.
Donald Trump “would be the most reckless president” in US history, a group of 50 Republican national security officials has warned in an open letter.
The group, which includes the former CIA director Michael Hayden, said Donald Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president.
Many of the letter’s signatories had declined to sign a similar note in March.
In response, Donald Trump said they were part of a “failed Washington elite” looking to hold on to power.
The open letter comes after a number of high-profile Republicans stepped forward to disown the New York billionaire.
Donald Trump has broken with years of Republican foreign policy on a number of occasions.
He has questioned whether the United States should honor its commitments to NATO, endorsed the use of torture and suggested that South Korea and Japan should arm themselves with nuclear weapons.
Photo LA Times
“He weakens US moral authority as the leader of the free world,” the letter read.
“He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the US Constitution, US laws, and US institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary.”
“None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” the letter states.
In a statement, the Republican candidate said the names on the letter were “the ones the American people should look to for answers on why the world is a mess”.
“We thank them for coming forward so everyone in the country knows who deserves the blame for making the world such a dangerous place,” Donald Trump continued.
“They are nothing more than the failed Washington elite looking to hold on to their power and it’s time they are held accountable for their actions.”
Also among those who signed the letter were John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence and later deputy secretary of state; Robert Zoellick, who was also a former deputy secretary of state and former president of the World Bank; and two former secretaries of homeland security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff.
The letter echoed similar sentiment shared by some Republican national security officials in March, but the new additions came after Donald Trump encouraged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email server, according to the New York Times.
Donald Trump later said he was “being sarcastic” when he made the remarks about hacking his rival’s emails.
Missing from the letter were former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, James Baker, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
Some of the latest letter’s signatories plan to vote for Hillary Clinton while others will refuse to vote, but “all agree Trump is not qualified and would be dangerous,” said John Bellinger, a former legal adviser to Condoleezza Rice who drafted the letter.
The open letter follows a fresh round of Republican defections in the wake of recent controversy surrounding Donald Trump.
Lezlee Westine, a former aide to President George W. Bush, announced her support for Hillary Clinton in a statement to the Washington Post on Monday.
Wadi Gaitan, a prominent Latino official and chief spokesman for the GOP in Florida, announced he would leave the party over Donald Trump’s candidacy.
Meanwhile, George P. Bush broke with his father – Jeb Bush – to lend his support to Donald Trump on August 7, the Texas Tribune reported.
George P. Bush urged party members to unite behind his father’s former Republican primary rival.
Donald Trump has insisted that his campaign is united despite reports of deep divisions in the GOP after he made a series of missteps.
Speaking at a rally in Florida, the Republican presidential nominee said the campaign was “doing really well”.
According to media outlets, it was in turmoil after Donald Trump repeatedly attacked parents of a fallen Captain Humayun Khan.
Staffers told CNN that they “feel like they are wasting their time”.
Donald Trump said in Dayton Beach: “I just want to tell you the campaign is doing really well.
“It’s never been so well united… I would say right now it’s the best in terms of being united that it’s been since we began.”
Earlier Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort blamed reports of disunity on Trump’s opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“This is another Clinton narrative that she put out there and the media is picking up on,” he said.
“Mr. Trump has appeared this week at crowds that are overflowing into the street,” Paul Manafort added.
Donald Trump has been sharply criticized for his attacks on the bereaved parents of the Muslim soldier killed in Iraq.
His ongoing war of words with Khizr and Ghazala Khan has intensified rifts within the Republican Party.
NBC News reported that senior Republicans plan to stage an “intervention” to get the campaign back on message, stressing issues such as jobs and trade deals.
According to NBC, the effort will be led by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Donald Trump allies, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“I think some of what Trump has done is very self-destructive,” Newt Gingrich told Fox Business Network on August 3.
Three prominent Republicans – including New York Congressman Richard Hanna – have said this week that they would vote for Hillary Clinton, saying Donald Trump was unfit to serve as president.
Many Republicans opposed to Donald Trump have stopped short of supporting Hillary Clinton, saying they would vote for a third candidate instead.
One person who did say he would back Donald Trump on August 3 was Clint Eastwood.
While stopping short of endorsing Donald Trump, Clint Eastwood said he would vote for him.
“I can understand where he’s coming from, but I don’t always agree with it,” Clint Eastwood, 86, told Esquire magazine.
Clint Eastwood also said Donald Trump was an enemy of political correctness, adding: “We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist.”