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President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have made an unannounced Christmas visit at the al-Asad airbase in Iraq.

The first family traveled there “late on Christmas night” to thank troops for “their service, their success and their sacrifice”, the White House said.

President Trump said the US had no plans to pull out of Iraq, Reuters reports.

The trip came days after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis quit over divisions about strategy in the region.

The US still has some 5,000 troops in Iraq to support the government in its fight against what remains of the ISIS.

President Trump, the First Lady and National Security Adviser John Bolton traveled on Air Force One to al-Asad airbase, west of the capital Baghdad, to meet military personnel in the base’s restaurant.

The president spent about three hours at the base in what is his first visit to the region.

During the visit President Trump got a standing ovation from troops as he entered a dining hall and walked around greeting them, posing for selfies with them and signing autographs.

He tweeted: “.@FLOTUS Melania and I were honored to visit our incredible troops at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq. GOD BLESS THE U.S.A.!”

The president had planned to spend Christmas at his private golf club in Florida, but stayed behind in Washington because of the current partial government shutdown.

“We’re no longer the suckers, folks,” he told American servicemen and women at the base.

“We’re respected again as a nation.”

President Trump said the US could use Iraq as a forward base if “we wanted to do something in Syria”, Reuters news agency reports.

He defended his decision to withdraw US troops from Syria during the visit, saying: “A lot of people are going to come around to my way of thinking.

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“I made it clear from the beginning that our mission in Syria was to strip Isis [another name for IS] of its military strongholds.

“Eight years ago, we went there for three months and we never left. Now, we’re doing it right and we’re going to finish it off.”

President Trump said there would be no delays in the withdrawal and added that the US “cannot continue to be the policeman of the world”.

He also said that security considerations had prevented him from visiting US troops in the region several weeks ago.

President Trump announced the decision to pull US troops out of Syria last week.

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President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have marked the 17th commemoration of the 9/11 attacks by visiting a memorial in Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump delivered a speech commemorating the airplane passengers who are thought to have charged the cockpit to stop the attackers.

Ceremonies are also being held at NYC’s 9/11 Memorial plaza on the World Trade Center site.

2,996 people were killed in the deadliest foreign attack ever on US soil.

President Trump said in Shanksville on September 11: “America’s future is not written by our enemies. America’s future is written by our heroes.

“As long as this monument stands, as long as this memorial endures, brave patriots will rise up in America’s hours of need and they, too, will fight back.”

He spoke at the newly inaugurated Tower of Voices memorial, a 93ft tall structure with 40 wind chimes.

On September 11, 2001, hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

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Another plane, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

It is believed hijackers were planning to aim that aircraft at the Congress or White House in Washington DC before it went down, killing all 40 people aboard.

Cockpit voice recordings of the hijackers and mobile phone calls from those aboard to loved ones indicate passengers tried to fight their way into the cockpit to regain control before the plotters nosedived the plane.

President Trump praised the passengers’ “incredible valor” and said their revolt was “the moment America fought back”.

He said: “A band of brave patriots turned the tide on our nation’s enemies and joined the immortal rank of American heroes.”

Donald Trump is the third sitting president to attend the crash site, 70 miles south-east of Pittsburgh.

Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, was among those who noted this is the first year that Americans born after the attacks will be old enough to enlist in the US military.

During remarks at the Pentagon, VP Mike Pence told audience members they “must learn the lessons of 9/11 and remain ever vigilant”.

The ceremony in New York was attended by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as former mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani.

Relatives of victims read out the names of the dead, and moments of silence were observed at 08:46 and 09:03 to mark the times when passenger jets struck the two skyscrapers.

In the years since the attacks, cancer cases in lower Manhattan – especially among first responders who dug through the toxic rubble – have increased.

The 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Fund has paid out $4 billion to fund medical expenses for survivors of the terror attacks.

According to the World Trade Center Health Program, nearly 10,000 of them have had some form of cancer.

Tens of thousands of people inhaled fumes in the days after the attack, and the number of patients coming forward with tumors has increased in recent years, according to the fund.


Image source Wikipedia

First Lady Melania Trump has backed LeBron James, hours after President Trump made insulting remarks about the NBA star on Twitter.

LeBron James had said in an interview that President Trump was divisive and had emboldened racists.

In response, Donald Trump questioned LeBronJames’ intelligence, saying it was not easy to make the NBA player “look smart”.

However, Melania Trump’s spokeswoman said LeBron James was “working to do good things” with a school in his Ohio hometown.

The spokeswoman said the first lady wanted “to have an open dialogue about issues facing children”.

Earlier this week, LeBron James told CNN during an interview with Don Lemon that sport had offered him the opportunity to meet people of different backgrounds and race.

He said: “Sports has never been something that divides people. It’s always been something that brings someone together.

“He [President Trump] is dividing us and what I noticed over the last few months is that he’s kinda used sport to divide us and that’s something I can’t relate to, because I know that sport was the first time I was ever around someone white.”

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LeBron James also argued that President Trump’s actions had encouraged racists, saying: “I think [racism’s] always been there. But I think the president in charge now has given people – they don’t care now, they throw it to your face.”

On August 4, President Trump responded on Twitter by saying: “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”

The president also suggested that he prefers NBA legend Michael Jordan over the LA Lakers star.

His endorsement of Michael Jordan was perhaps a reference to the long-standing debate over whether Jordan or James is the better all-time player.

However, Michael Jordan also expressed support for LeBron James. He told media outlets through his spokesperson: “I support L.J. [LeBron James]. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”

Donald Trump has taken a harsh stance on the ongoing debate over players in the National Football League (NFL) who refuse to stand for the national anthem in protest against racial injustice and police brutality.

The president has repeatedly said that anyone who kneels during the anthem should be fired.

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President Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, has undergone surgery for what the White House described as a benign kidney condition.

The first lady’s office said surgeons had performed an embolization procedure at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

According to her spokeswoman, the surgery was successful and there were no complications.

Stephanie Grisham said in a statement: “The first lady looks forward to a full recovery so she can continue her work on behalf of children everywhere.”

Image source Wikimedia

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Melania Trump, 48, is expected to spend the rest of the week recovering at the medical center, in Bethesda, Maryland.

President Trump tweeted that he was on his way to visit her: “Heading over to Walter Reed Medical Center to see our great First Lady, Melania. Successful procedure, she is in good spirits. Thank you to all of the well-wishers!”

According to specialists, embolization is most often used to block the blood supply to a tumor, benign or cancerous.

Last week, Melania Trump unveiled a “Be Best” initiative aimed at teaching children the importance of social, emotional and physical health.

The first lady said the campaign aimed to promote healthy living and to combat opioid abuse.

First Lady Melania Trump has responded through a spokeswoman to the president’s ex-wife Ivana, who claimed during an ABC’s Good Morning America interview that she is the actually the first lady.

Melania Trump’s spokeswoman described comments made by Ivana Trump as “attention seeking and self-serving noise”.

Ivana Trump told GMA she was “basically first Trump wife, I’m first lady”.

Donald Trump’s ex-wife said she had a direct line to the White House but did not want to “cause any kind of jealousy”.

Ivana Trump is promoting her book Raising Trump, to be released on October 10.

She was married to Donald Trump in 1977 but they divorced in the 1990s over his affair with Marla Maples, who became his second wife.

Ivana and Donald Trump had three children – Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump.

She described President Trump as a dad: “He was not the father which would take a stroller and go to Central Park.”

Image source Wikipedia

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Ivana Trump also told GMA she spoke to her former husband about once a fortnight.

“I have the direct number to White House, but I no [sic] really want to call him there because Melania is there,” she said.

“I don’t want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that because I’m basically first Trump wife. I’m first lady, OK?”

First Lady Melania Trump responded with a barbed statement through her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham.

The statement read: “Mrs. Trump has made the White House a home for [their son] Barron and The President.

“She loves living in Washington, DC and is honored by her role as First Lady of the United States. She plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books.

“There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. Unfortunately only attention seeking and self-serving noise.”

The exchange is thought to be the only public row between a first lady and a president’s former wife.

Before Donald Trump, Ronald Reagan was the only divorcee president.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have decided not to attend the Kennedy Center Honors to allow those taking part “to celebrate without political distraction”, the White House announces.

Some of those due to take part in the arts awards ceremony had said they would boycott the White House reception held before the awards ceremony.

The Kennedy Center Honors recognize the lifetime contributions of performing artists.

Many artists have been angered by President Trump’s plans to scrap funding.

In his budget outline in March, the president pushed for the end of federal support for public broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Donald Trump is also mired in controversy over his response to recent violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Image source Wikimedia

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Republicans and Democrats alike have criticized the president for insisting that anti-racism protesters were equally to blame for the violence that ended in the death of a woman.

The White House said in a statement: “The president and first lady have decided not to participate in this year’s [Kennedy Center Honors] activities to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.

First Lady Melania Trump, along with her husband President Donald J Trump, extend their sincerest congratulations and well wishes to all of this year’s award recipients for their many accomplishments.”

Dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, who is due to be honored at the December ceremony, said earlier this week that she would boycott the related White House reception for honorees.

She said in a statement: “In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our existing leadership is choosing to engage in, and in keeping with the principles that I and so many others have fought for, I will be declining the invitation to attend the reception at the White House.”

Lionel Richie had also suggested he might not attend, telling the NBC’s Today: “I’m not really happy with what’s going on right now with the controversies. They’re weekly, daily, hourly.”

TV producer Norman Lear, who is to receive a lifelong artistic achievement award, also said he would not attend the White House reception.

He said: “It is more important now than ever that we stand up for artists, for artistic expression, and for the valiant fight that artists fight to reveal the wonder and oneness of the human spirit.”

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President Donald Trump has joined French President Emmanuel Macron the Bastille Day parade in Paris, where US and French troops marched together down the Champs-Élysées.

Donald Trump was guest of honor as the annual parade this time marked 100 years since the Americans entered World War One.

President Emmanuel Macron said “nothing will ever separate” France and the US, and President Trump’s presence showed “a friendship across the ages”.

Earlier Emmanuel Macron stood in a military jeep and inspected the troops.

He is now in Nice, attending a commemoration for last year’s Bastille Day terrorist attack, in which a Tunisian-born man drove a huge lorry into a celebrating crowd on the beachfront, killing 86 people.

Image source Wikimedia

At the start of the ceremony people were honored for their heroism on the night.

They included Franck Terrier, the man who drove his scooter alongside the speeding truck and jumped on to its cab, punching the driver through the window in a desperate attempt to force him to stop.

Franck Terrier was given a lengthy ovation and awarded the Légion d’honneur – France’s highest order of merit.

France remains under a state of emergency, following a spate of terror attacks by jihadists.

In Paris earlier, President Donald Trump and the First Lady warmly embraced their French counterparts – Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte.

Donald Trump called Bastille Day “a wonderful national celebration”.

“Our two nations are forever joined together by the spirit of revolution and the fight for freedom,” he said.

Earlier, he suggested he could review his position on climate change, after Emmanuel Macron argued in defense of the 2015 Paris accord.

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“Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord,” President Trump said.

“We’ll see what happens.”

Last month President Trump had said the US would withdraw from the Paris accord, citing moves to negotiate a new “fair” deal that would not disadvantage US businesses.

Yesterday, First Lady Melania Trump toured Notre Dame cathedral with Brigitte Macron, and prayed before a statue of the Virgin Mary.

First Lady Melania Trump and Donald Trump’s 11-year-old son Barron have moved into the White House – five months after the president took office.

Melania and Barron Trump had stayed behind in New York so the president’s son could finish the school year.

The decision was seen as strange by some, as Melania Trump was the first presidential spouse in recent years not to relocate to the capital immediately.

Her predecessor, Michelle Obama, even moved to Washington early to get her daughters settled in their new school.

Image source Wikimedia

However, it seems Melania Trump is delighted by the move, tweeting a picture looking out across the White House lawn, marking the occasion.

The move will also no doubt be welcomed by New Yorkers, who have footed a hefty security bill keeping Melania and Barron Trump safe in Trump Tower.

Their presence in New York has also been known to create a fair few traffic problems. The New York Post warned of a potential “traffic apocalypse” if they did not make the move.

Meanwhile, President Trump – who did not acknowledge the move on his personal Twitter account – has turned his attention to eldest daughter Ivanka’s appearance on Fox and Friends on June 12.

It is not known what Ivanka Trump will be discussing.

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President Donald Trump’s 11-year-old son, Barron, will attend St Andrew’s Episcopal School outside Washington when he moves into the White House this summer.

Barron Trump and his mother, Melania, are expected to leave Trump Tower in New York after the end of the current school year.

He will go to St Andrew’s Episcopal School in Maryland, where tuition costs almost $40,000 per year.

There had been questions about when the First Family would move to Washington.

First Lady Melania Trump said in a statement that St Andrew’s was “known for its diverse community and commitment to academic excellence”, adding: “We look forward to the coming school years.”

Image source Wikipedia

Barron Trump will be the first child of a president to attend the school, which is a 30-minute drive from the White House.

St Andrew’s has refused to comment on their newest student, citing reasons of privacy.

Former First Daughters Sasha and Malia Obama have attended Sidwell Friends, a Quaker school with campuses in Washington and Maryland.

The White House announcement comes after St Andrew’s sent a letter to parents on May 12, informing them of the First Family’s decision.

According to the Washington Post, St Andrew’s had intended to wait until the summer to make the announcement in order to stave off possible protests while school was in session.

However, after parents began to hear rumors, the school sent out a letter, prompting today’s statement from the White House.

President Donald Trump has launched another fierce attack on the media at a “campaign rally for America” event in Melbourne, Florida.

He told the crowd the media did not want “to report the truth” and had their own agenda.

President Trump also defended the achievements of his presidency so far, insisting that a spirit of optimism was sweeping the United States.

He had attacked the media at a press conference on February 16, as pressure mounted on his presidency.

President Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn quit earlier in the week. Donald Trump is to interview candidates for the role on February 19.

Image source Flickr

On February 18, Donald Trump and his wife Melania were greeted by thousands of supporters at the rally in a state he won in November’s election, while hundreds protested outside.

In his speech, Donald Trump said he wanted to speak to Americans “without the filter of fake news”.

Describing the media as “dishonest”, the president repeated his assertion that some outlets “don’t want to report the truth” and were making up their stories about him.

He said: “We will continue to expose them.”

It is unusual for a sitting president to hold a rally in the style of those held during election campaigns.

Throughout the week, President Trump launched attacks on the media while indicating his excitement at facing crowds in Florida again.

On February 16, Donald Trump held a 76-minute press conference where he told reporters their level of dishonesty was out of control, citing coverage of his campaign’s alleged contacts with Moscow.

Michael Flynn, President Trump’s national security adviser, resigned on February 13 after he misled VP Mike Pence about whether he had discussed US sanctions with Russia’s ambassador before his own appointment.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported earlier this week that members of Donald Trump’s campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.

While in Florida, President Trump is staying at his Mar-a-Lago resort for the third weekend in succession. In a tweet, he referred to the property as the “Southern White House”, although the private club is part of Donald Trump’s portfolio and is not government property.

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New York Times reporter Jacob Bernstein, who was reprimanded for referring to First Lady Melania Trump, as a “hooker” has identified himself and apologized.

Jacob Bernstein said his remark was “stupid” and based on “unfounded rumors”. The NYT said the remark was “inappropriate”.

His comment was made public after actress and model Emily Ratajkowski shared it on Twitter.

Melania Trump then tweeted in praise of women who stand up for women.

Photo Flickr Marc Nozell

Jacob Bernstein, who is a features writer for the NYT, wrote a series of tweets in which he took ownership of the remark.

In a statement, the publication did not identify the reporter, but condemned the comments.

“At a party last night, a Times reporter who does not cover Washington or politics referred to an unfounded rumor regarding Melania Trump,” it said.

“The comment was not intended to be public, but it was nonetheless completely inappropriate and should not have occurred. Editors have talked to the reporter in question about the lapse.”

On February 13, Emily Ratajkowski, who danced in Robin Thicke’s controversial Blurred Lines video, criticized the reporter for the remarks, without identifying him.

Earlier this month, Melania Trump re-filed a legal case against Daily Mail over allegations that she once worked as an escort. The newspaper later retracted the article.

Melania Trump is seeking damages of $150 million.

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to unify America as he addressed cheering supporters at Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration concert on the eve of his presidential inauguration.

Speaking on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Donald Trump also pledged to bring change.

Among attendees at the two-hour event were his family, actor Jon Voight and Soul Man singer Sam Moore.

President-elect Donald Trump earlier laid a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.

Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration on January 19 was open to the public and featured performances by country stars Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood.

In brief remarks at the end of the concert, Donald Trump said: “We’re going to unify our country.

“We’re going to make America great for all of our people. Everybody, everybody, throughout all of our country. That includes the inner cities.”

Image source Getty Images

Donald Trump’s supporters have been streaming into Washington DC, and he reminded them that many had doubted the campaign’s chances of success.

“They forgot about a lot of us,” he said.

“On the campaign, I called it the forgotten man and the forgotten woman. Well, you’re not forgotten anymore.”

Pledging to bring back jobs, build up the military and strengthen the border, Donald Trump added: “We’re going to do things that haven’t been done for our country for many, many decades.

“It’s going to change, I promise you. It’s going to change.”

Donald Trump’s first stop on January 19 was at his Trump International hotel, located just blocks from the White House.

Donald Trump appeared with his wife Melania at a luncheon for members of his incoming administration.

Melania Trump briefly spoke, telling the crowd: “Tomorrow we’re starting the work.”

Donald Trump told the crowd in the presidential ballroom: “We have a lot of smart people. I tell you what, one thing we’ve learned, we have by far the highest IQ of any cabinet ever assembled.”

He hinted that Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets NFL team, would be US ambassador to the UK.

After the welcome concert, Donald Trump spent the night at Blair House, the presidential guest residence located just steps from the White House.

He is due to be sworn in at noon on Friday, January 20.

Despite Donald Trump’s appeal for unity, billionaire investor George Soros launched a stinging attack on him.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, George Soros labeled Donald Trump “an imposter, a conman and a would-be dictator”.

Donald Trump has nominated all 21 members of his cabinet as well as six other roles that require Senate confirmation, according to his team.

The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote on January 20 to confirm General James Mattis, the defense secretary nominee, and retired General John Kelly, the pick for Homeland Security.

Donald Trump has asked about 50 senior Obama administration officials to stay on until they are replaced, spokesman Sean Spicer told a news conference.

They include Brett McGurk, the special envoy to the US-led coalition fighting the so-called Islamic State, as well as Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work.

Down the road at the White House, President Barack Obama spent his last day in office with the daily briefing and lunch with Vice-President Joe Biden.

Barack Obama also spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in his final conversation with a foreign leader as president, according to the White House.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Angela Merkel’s husband, Joachim Sauer, also joined the call.

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American Music Awards co-host Gigi Hadid has apologized for her impression of Melania Trump at the ceremony.

Gigi Hadid wrote: “I apologize to anyone that I offended and have only the best wishes for our country.”

Melania Trump is set to become first lady in January when her husband takes up the US presidency.

Gigi Hadid imitated Melania Trump’s European accent, also making reference to claims Donald Trump’s wife copied a speech made by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

“I removed or changed anything in the script that I felt took the joke too far, and whether or not you choose to see it, what remained was done in good humor and with no bad intent,” Gigi wrote.

“I too have been the centre of a nationally televised comedy skit that poked fun at my actions, and was able to find the humor in it.

“I believe Melania understands show business and the way shows are written and run.”

Gigi Hadid’s co-host, Jay Pharoah, called for people to “leave Gigi alone” and shared a message of support on his Instagram feed.

“Everybody pump on the brakes one minute,” he wrote.

“Over the last eight years the beautiful Michelle Obama has been the victim of excessive slurring.”

Reaction on the night to Gigi Hadid’s imitation of Melania Trump was mixed.

Other artists also used the event to pass comment about the forthcoming Trump presidency.

Green Day turned a performance of their track Bang Bang into an anti-Trump song.


Republican candidate Donald Trump cast his vote at a polling station in Manhattan, New York City.

Donald Trump greeted voters before casting his vote in the presidential election.

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

He was accompanied by his wife, Melania, and daughter, Ivanka, who also cast their ballots.

Speaking earlier by phone to Fox News, Donald Trump said: “I see so many hopes and so many dreams out there that didn’t happen, that could have happened, with leadership, with proper leadership. And people are hurt so badly.”

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have reiterated attacks on each other’s fitness for office as polls suggest the race for the White House is tightening.

The Democratic candidate – who has seen her national opinion poll lead shrink in recent days – targeted her Republican rival’s temperament and attitude to women.

Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton would be followed into the White House by criminal investigations.

The New York billionaire has gained ground on Hillary Clinton in some swing states, polls suggest.

On November 3, Melania Trump made a rare campaign appearance in the Philadelphia suburbs.

In her first speech since the GOP convention in July, Melania Trump spoke about being an immigrant and a mother and said her husband would “make America fair”.Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump anti Muslim rhetoric

Donald Trump’s wife also vowed to lead a campaign against cyber-bullying if she becomes first lady, and to combat a culture that has “gotten too mean and too rough”.

Melania Trump made no reference to her husband’s record of name-calling on social media.

Donald Trump has gained ground on Hillary Clinton in a number of swing states, including Florida and North Carolina, according to polls. Some national tracker polls are now suggesting the two candidates are neck-and-neck.

According to the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project, Hillary Clinton’s odds of winning the necessary 270 Electoral College votes on November 1 at about 90%, down from 95% last week.

The momentum appears to be with Donald Trump, who has joked about having to stay on message, as the final weekend of campaigning approaches.

The Republican candidate has capitalized on a new FBI investigation into a Hillary Clinton aide’s emails.

At a rally in Jacksonville, Florida, Donald Trump’s fourth appearance in the state, he said: “Here we go again with the Clintons – you remember the impeachment and the problems.

“That’s not what we need in our country, folks. We need someone who is ready to go to work.”

Later, at a night-time rally in North Carolina, Donald Trump delivered a speech on defense in which he said he could not imagine Hillary Clinton as commander-in-chief.

Hillary Clinton continued to focus on Donald Trump’s character, telling a rally in North Carolina: “He has spent this entire campaign offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters.

“This has never happened to a nominee of a major party.”

The democratic candidate added: “If Donald Trump were to win this election we would have a commander-in-chief who is completely out of his depth and whose ideas are incredibly dangerous.”

President Barack Obama has been working almost as hard as Hillary Clinton, as he attempts to rally support among young voters and African Americans.

Analysis of early voting returns suggests black voters may not be turning out in the kinds of numbers they did for Barack Obama in 2012.

Alluding to Donald Trump’s past as a reality TV show host, Barack Obama told students at Florida International University in Miami: “This isn’t a joke. This isn’t Survivor. This isn’t The Bachelorette. This counts.”

Hillary Clinton also got a boost from her one-time rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders. He appeared alongside her at a rally in North Carolina on November 3, praising her commitment to increasing the minimum wage and tackling inequality.

Pharrell Williams was also at the event, hailing Hillary Clinton’s record on women’s rights.

Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, has insisted that her husband is a “gentleman” and that the women who allege that he assaulted them are lying.

Melania Trump also said that inappropriate remarks her husband made about women that were caught on videotape were unacceptable but did not represent the man she knows.

Donald Trump was guilty of “boy talk” but was “egged on” by TV host Billy Bush, she added.

Photo Flickr Marc Nozell

Photo Flickr Marc Nozell

The 2005 tape prompted dozens of Republicans to drop their support for Donald Trump.

In the video, Donald Trump tells Billy Bush, who was then host of NBC’s Access Hollywood, that he can force himself on women because he is a star.

Several women have since come forward and accused the Republican nominee of assault, which he denies.

“I know he respects women but he is defending himself because they are lies,” Donald Trump said in an interview with CNN.

Melania Trump said: “I believe my husband.

“My husband is kind and he is a gentleman and he would never do that.”

The former model claimed the scandal had been “organized and put together to hurt his candidacy” by Hillary Clinton’s campaign team and the media.

“With the details [the media] have got, did they ever check the backgrounds of these women? They didn’t have any facts,” Melania Trump added.

Speaking for the first since the scandal began Melania Trump defended her husband’s conduct with women, saying he had never behaved inappropriately over the years.

Women commonly approached her husband in front of her to give him their phone numbers and behave inappropriately, she said.

Reflecting on the 2005 Access Hollywood videotape leaked to the media 10 days ago, Melania Trump said: “I said to my husband that, you know, the language was inappropriate. It’s not acceptable.

“And I was surprised, because that is not the man that I know.”

After the taped comments became public, Melania Trump issued a statement saying she found the words he spoke to be offensive but she accepted his apology.

Now Melania Trump believes Billy Bush, who was fired by NBC over the tape, was the main culprit.

Donald Trump, his wife said, “was led on – like, egged on – from the host to say dirty and bad stuff”.

Melania Trump also justified her husband’s tactic of appearing with the women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of assault.

With three weeks to go before Americans cast their vote, polls show Donald Trump with considerable ground to make up on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in key battleground states.

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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

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.

Melania Trump has rejected suggestions that she violated visa rules when she started working as a model in New York.

In a statement, Donald Trump’s said she had followed immigration laws “at all times”.

Melania Trump has yet to clarify what type of visa she used during a 1995 photo shoot in New York.

The Republican candidate has taken a hard line on illegal immigration in his campaign.

So far, the Trump campaign has refused to say exactly which visas Melania Trump had, and when she had them.

Photo Flickr Marc Nozell

Photo Flickr Marc Nozell

The development comes during a turbulent week for the billionaire property developer.

There are reports of deep divisions in the GOP after a series of controversial statements by the nominee.

Melania Trump said she began working as a model in the US in 1996, but photos published at the weekend by a New York tabloid appear to have been taken in 1995 for a now defunct French magazine.

This discrepancy has raised questions about Melania Trump’s immigration status at the time and whether she had the right to work.

Paolo Zampolli, the owner of one modeling agency, says he sponsored Melania Trump for an H1B work visa in 1996.

Melania Trump has said that she had to go back to her native Slovenia every few months to renew her permit – something that is only generally necessary for tourist and business visas that do not permit work.

Donald Trump has also railed against the use of the H1B visa specifically, suggesting abuse of it is widespread and rampant.

Republican Donald Trump has secured his nomination for US president on day two of GOP’s National Convention.

House Speaker Paul Ryan urged delegates to unite behind Donald Trump, a day after splits in the party were evident as the convention opened.

The Trump campaign also faces accusations a speech by Melania Trump on July 18 was plagiarized from First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention speech.

On the second day of the Republican National Convention, speakers focused almost exclusively on attacking Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former prosecutor, held a mock trial for Hillary Clinton as the crowd chanted “lock her up”.Donald Trump hails Brexit referendum result

Chris Christie and others criticized Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account while she was serving as secretary of state.

An FBI investigation said Hillary Clinton was “extremely careless” but found her actions didn’t warrant criminal prosecution. However, Gov. Chris Christie and the crowd disagreed as he repeatedly yelled “guilty”.

Chris Christie said Hillary Clinton has “selfish, awful judgment” and was to blame for various foreign policy problems in Libya, Syria and elsewhere.

Donald Trump is expected to accept the nomination on July 21.

His children played a prominent role on July 19, standing with the New York delegation as he was declared winner and delivering remarks.

Donald Trump youngest daughter, Tiffany Trump, whose mother is former model and dancer Marla Maples, told some personal stories about her father.

Tiffany Trump recalled scribbling notes in her school report cards and how excited she becomes when introducing her father to her friends.

Donald Trump is a “natural-born encourager” who has motivated her to work hard, his daughter said.

His son, Donald Trump Jr., described him as his best friend and role model.

“When people tell him it can’t be done, that guarantees it will get done,” he said of his father.

Donald Trump Jr. said Hillary Clinton was a risk the US could not afford to take and that “if she were elected, she would be the first president who can’t pass a background check”.

Donald Trump addressed the audience via a live-stream and said the nomination was an honor.

“This is a movement, but we have to go all the way,” he said.

“This is going to be a leadership that puts American people first.”

Parts of Donald Trump Jr.’s speech used segments of an article that had already appeared in the journal The American Conservative.

However, the article’s author, FH Buckley, said it was not plagiarism, as Buckley himself acted as one of the family’s speechwriters.

Melania Trump is facing accusations of plagiarism after her speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention.

Commentators noticed similarities with First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention speech.

Melania Trump’s speech also praised her husband as a “compassionate” man who would “fight for the country”.

It was her first speech of the campaign and she had the help of a speechwriting team.

In a section, Donald Trump’s wife said: “My parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect.”

Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008 carried the lines: “Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.”

Melania Trump speech continued: “[My parents] taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow, because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Michelle Obama said: “And Barack Obama and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generations. Because we want our children, and all children in this nation, to know that the only limit to the height of your achievement is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”Melania Trump Michelle Obama plagiarism

Donald Trump’s communications adviser Jason Miller issued a statement saying: “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.

“Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”

Melania Trump, a Slovenian-born former model, had used the speech to portray her husband as a tough but compassionate unifying force.

“He’s tough when he has to be but he’s also kind and fair and caring,” she said.

“The kindness is not always noted, but it’s there for all to see. That is one reason I fell in love with him to begin with.”

Melania Trump has kept a lower profile compared with other spouses of major candidates. Her adult children have often filled the role.

Her mostly personal speech contrasted with the night’s other speakers who spoke about “making America safe again”.

She said: “If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you, he is the guy.”

A wide range of speakers, including a county sheriff, a decorated combat veteran and a former model, told stories of military service, urban crime and the dangers of illegal immigration.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton took aim at presumptive Democratic nominee State Hillary Clinton, questioning her judgement in foreign affairs.

“Who would trust Hillary Clinton to protect them?” said Rudy Giuliani, whose rousing speech fired up the crowd at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

“I wouldn’t.”

Many GOP leaders – such as Ohio Governor John Kasich whose state is hosting the convention – have decided not to attend this year’s festivities, turned off by Donald Trump’s controversial stances on immigration and foreign policy.

Donald Trump has called for a ban on Muslims entering the US and also advocated deporting almost 11 million undocumented immigrants.

A speech by Wisconsin police sheriff David Clarke strongly defended police officers in the wake of the deadly shooting in Baton Rouge, which killed three officers over the weekend.

“Blue lives matter!” David Clarke said to huge cheers from the delegates in the convention hall.

The killings prompted Donald Trump to say the country was falling apart – a claim strongly disputed by President Barack Obama.

Earlier, anti-Trump delegates failed in their final push to block Donald Trump’s nomination.

The vote that would have allowed delegates to back a candidate of their choice was quashed when three states reportedly backed out.

Some said the GOP officials had sabotaged their efforts on purpose.

The push was the last gasp for those who hope to see a different Republican candidate get the nomination.

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz’s feud is becoming increasingly personal, with the Texas senator accusing “sleazy Donald” of spreading rumors.

Ted Cruz told reporters that Donald Trump was behind a story in the National Enquirer that alleged Cruz has had extramarital affairs.

The Texas senator called the story “garbage, complete and utter lies”.

“It is a tabloid smear and it has come from Donald Trump and his henchmen.”

As evidence that Donald Trump planted the story, Ted Cruz pointed out that the only person quoted by name in the Enquirer story was Roger Stone, a former top adviser to the Trump campaign.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Ted Cruz also noted that Donald Trump and National Enquirer CEO David Pecker are close friends.

Asked whether he would still support Donald Trump, the current Republican frontrunner, if he won the nomination, Ted Cruz did not answer directly.

However, he said: “I’m not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and my family.”

Donald Trump said in a statement: “I had absolutely nothing to do with it.”

On March 22, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who had been on good terms earlier in the campaign, began trading insults on Twitter.

Mistakenly believing the Cruz campaign had produced an attack advert about his wife Melania, Donald Trump on Twitter threatened to “spill the beans” on Cruz’s wife, Heidi.

Ted Cruz responded saying his campaign did not produce the advert, calling Donald Trump “classless” and a “coward”.

On March 23, Donald Trump continued, posting an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz on Twitter.

Ted Cruz responded, calling Donald Trump a “sniveling coward” and told him to “leave Heidi the hell alone”.