President-elect Donald Trump says Democrats have shown “gross negligence” by allowing their servers to be hacked in the run-up to the November 8 presidential election.
Donald Trump made the comments after an intelligence report said Russian President Vladimir Putin had “sought to help Donald Trump win”.
He has stopped short of accusing Russia of interfering, saying only that the election outcome was not affected.
The Kremlin has not commented, but Russia has previously denied the claims.
Following the report’s findings, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that voting machines and other election databases would be classified as “critical infrastructure” and given more protection from cyber-attacks.
Emphasizing that the election outcome was not affected, Donald Trump added on January 7: “Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed!”
Image source Flickr
In an interview with ABC, President Barack Obama said that he was concerned that there had been “Republicans or pundits or cable commentators who seem to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans are Democrats.
“That cannot be.”
Asked whether Donald Trump was among them, President Obama said: “We have to remind ourselves we’re on the same team. Vladimir Putin’s not on our team.”
The unclassified report says that Russia developed a “clear preference” for Donald Trump.
Russia’s goals, the document added, were to “undermine public faith” in the US democratic process and “denigrate” Hillary Clinton, harming her electability and potential presidency.
However, the report gives no detailed evidence of Vladimir Putin’s alleged role.
The report says the Russian president liked Donald Trump because he had vowed to work with Russia and the Russian leader had had “many positive experiences working with Western political leaders whose business interests made them more disposed to deal with Russia, such as former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder”.
In contrast, Vladimir Putin had blamed Hillary Clinton for inciting anti-government protests in 2011 and early 2012 “and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him”.
According to an intelligence report, Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to help Donald Trump win the presidential election.
The unclassified report says Vladimir Putin “ordered” a campaign aimed at influencing the election.
Moscow has not commented, but Russia has previously denied the claims.
After being briefed on the findings, Donald Trump stopped short of accusing Russia of interfering, saying only that the election outcome was not affected.
The president-elect later went on to blame “gross negligence” by the DNC for “allowing” the hacking to take place.
Following the report’s findings, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that voting machines and other election databases would be classified as “critical infrastructure” and given more protection from cyber-attack.
The 25-page report says that Russia developed a “clear preference” for Donald Trump.
Russia’s goals, the document added, were to “undermine public faith” in the US democratic process and “denigrate” Hillary Clinton, harming her electability and potential presidency.
Image NBC News
The report said: “We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election.”
The unclassified version contained no detailed evidence of Vladimir Putin’s alleged role, but it said Russia’s actions included: hacking into the email accounts of the DNC and top Democrats; using intermediaries such as WikiLeaks, DCLeaks.com and Guccifer 2.0 persona to release the information acquired from the hackings; using state-funded propaganda and paying social media users or “trolls” to make nasty comments.
The identities of the Russian agents allegedly directly responsible for the hack are known to US authorities but have not been released publicly, reports say, citing intelligence sources.
The report, a cut-down version of the classified document presented to President Barack Obama on January 5, was released shortly after intelligence chiefs briefed Donald Trump on their findings.
Since winning the election on November 8, Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned US intelligence claims of Russian hacking.
In a statement after the briefing, Donald Trump declined to single out Russia, but said he had “tremendous respect for the work and service done” by those in the US intelligence community.
He said: “While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.
“Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses we need to aggressively combat and stop cyber-attacks. I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office.”
The meeting at Trump Tower involved National Intelligence Director Gen. James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey.
Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated on January 20, described their talks as “constructive”.
Vice-President Joe Biden has told Donald Trump to “grow up” and criticized his attacks on the intelligence community.
On January 6, Donald Trump will be briefed on allegations that Russia meddled in the US presidential election – claims he has cast doubt on.
Joe Biden said it was “absolutely mindless” for Donald Trump not to have faith in intelligence agencies.
Russia denies hacking alleged to have helped Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
On January 5, the president-elect questioned how intelligence agencies were confident about the alleged Russian hacking “if they never even requested an examination of the computer servers” belonging to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
In an interview with the PBS, Donald Trump: “For a president not to have confidence in, not to be prepared to listen to, the myriad intelligence agencies, from defense intelligence to the CIA, is absolutely mindless.
“The idea that you may know more than the intelligence community knows – it’s like saying I know more about physics than my professor. I didn’t read the book, I just know I know more.”
When asked what he thought of Donald Trump’s regular attacks on Twitter, Joe Biden said: “Grow up Donald, grow up, time to be an adult, you’re president. Time to do something. Show us what you have.”
The VP went on to call Donald Trump “a good man”.
Joe Biden said he had read a US intelligence agencies report outlining Russian involvement, the details of which are starting to emerge in media.
According to the Washington Post and NBC News citing intelligence sources, agencies had intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election showing senior Russian government officials celebrating Donald Trump’s win over rival Hillary Clinton.
US authorities had also identified Russian actors who delivered stolen Democratic emails to the WikiLeaks website.
NBC News says the alleged Russian hacking targeted not just the DNC but also the White House, joint chiefs of staff, the department of state and large US corporations.
An unclassified version will be made public next week.
Joe Biden said the report clearly details “that the Russians did, as a matter of policy, attempt to affect and… discredit the US electoral process”.
He said the hacking was part of a systematic campaign to undermine Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta was among those hacked on the DNC server.
On January 5, the Director of National Intelligence, Gen James Clapper, told a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the hack, and said the motive would be revealed next week.
President Barack Obama last week ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the US over the alleged hacking. Russia has said it will not reciprocate.
Donald Trump has repeatedly rejected allegations that the Russian government hacked into the computers of John Podesta or the servers of the DNC.
On January 4, the president-elect repeated a suggestion that “a 14-year-old” may have been responsible for the breach.
On January 5, he said he was a “big fan” of intelligence agencies, after months of casting doubt on the Russian link, but later went on to raise questions over how the Democratic Party responded to the security breach.
Last week, Donald Trump said he would announce information about hacking “on Tuesday or Wednesday”, but no announcement came.
Donald Trump has backed Julian Assange in casting doubt on intelligence alleging Russian hacking the US election.
The WikiLeaks founder said Russia was not the source for the site’s mass leak of emails from the Democratic Party.
The president-elect has now backed that view in a tweet, writting: “Assange… said Russians did not give him the info!”
Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to accept the conclusions of the US intelligence community.
Several US agencies including the FBI and the CIA believe Russia directed hacks against the Democratic Party and the campaign of its presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The information, released through WikiLeaks and other outlets, was intended to help Donald Trump win the election, say the FBI and CIA.
Image source RT
On January 3, Donald Trump said an intelligence briefing he was due to receive on the issue had been delayed.
“Perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!” he wrote.
However, intelligence officials insisted there had been no delay in the briefing schedule.
In an interview with Fox News, Julian Assange repeated his claim that Russia was not behind the leak.
He also said a 14-year-old boy could have carried out one of the hacks, on the email account of Hillary Clinton’s aide, John Podesta.
In 2010, several leading Republican figures were calling for Julian Assange to be imprisoned after his website published thousands of embarrassing diplomatic cables leaked by former Army Pte. Chelsea Manning.
Donald Trump tweeted twice on January 4 in support of what Julian Assange said on Fox News.
However, the president-elect has previously been critical of the WikiLeaks organization.
When asked by a Fox News reporter in 2010 to comment on leaks, Donald Trump responded: “I think it’s disgraceful, I think there should be like death penalty or something.”
Thirty five Russian diplomats have been expelled from the United States as punishment for alleged interference into this year’s presidential election.
The US will also close two Russian compounds used for intelligence-gathering, in Maryland and New York, as part of a raft of retaliatory measures.
President Barack Obama had vowed action against Russia amid accusations it directed hacks against the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Russia has denied any involvement.
The 35 Russian diplomats from the Washington DC embassy and the consulate in San Francisco have been declared “persona non grata” by state department, giving them and their families 72 hours to leave the US.
The Russian government is expected to respond in turn by expelling US diplomats.
The state department move follows calls from senior senators to sanction Russian officials who are believed to have played a role in the hacking, which some lawmakers referred to as America’s “political Pearl Harbor”.
President-elect Donald Trump has dismissed the claims as “ridiculous” and said Americans should “get on with our lives” when asked about the possibility of sanctions before the announcement on December 28.
Sanctions have also been announced against nine entities and individuals including the GRU and FSB Russian intelligence agencies.
The US Department of Treasury said that the move targeted those responsible for “undermining election processes or institutions”.
Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of the international affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament, told the RIA news agency the expulsion represented “the death throes of political corpses”.
In a statement President Barack Obama said “all Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions”.
The outgoing president called the moves a “necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm US interests”, adding it would not be “the sum total of our response to Russia’s aggressive activities”.
Barack Obama also announced the US would declassify technical information related to Russian cyber activity to “help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect, and disrupt Russia’s global campaign of malicious cyber activities”.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said in a statement that despite the measures being overdue “it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia”.
Paul Ryan added that “it serves as a prime example of this administration’s ineffective foreign policy that has left America weaker in the eyes of the world”.
Maryland Democrat Senator Ben Cardin applauded sanctions against Russia but called them insufficient.
Ben Cardin called for Congress to take action separately from the White House, and plans to introduce legislation to establish a committee “to further examine the attack and Russian’s efforts to interfere in our election”.
In a joint statement by the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Security, and the FBI, officials appeal to companies to “look back within their network traffic” and report any signs of “malicious cyber activity” to law enforcement.
The Russian hacking, which the intelligence agencies describe as a “decade-long campaign” included methods such as “spearphishing, campaigns targeting government organizations, critical infrastructure, think tanks, universities, political organizations, and corporations; theft of information from these organizations; and the recent public release of some of this stolen information”.
Emails stolen from John Podesta and from the servers of the DNC were released during the 2016 presidential election by WikiLeaks.
Several US agencies, including the FBI and CIA have concluded that the hacked information was released to cause damage to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in order to favor Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has won the Electoral College vote being certified as president, despite a last-ditch effort to deny him the White House.
Six weeks after winning the polls, Donald Trump has secured the 270 votes needed to formalize his victory.
Electors had been flooded with emails, letters and phone calls urging them not to support Donald Trump.
The process is usually a formality, but was beset this year by claims Russian hackers tried to sway the public vote.
Texas ultimately put Donald Trump over the 270 threshold, despite two of its electors voting against him.
According to the New York Times, four Democratic electors also cast their votes for someone other than Hillary Clinton.
The result will be officially announced on January 6 in a special joint session of Congress.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence hailed Donald Trump on Twitter as the results came in: “Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump; officially elected President of the United States today by the Electoral College!”
The movement to block Donald Trump had fought hard to convince Republican electors to abandon their party’s candidate.
Thousands of anti-Trump protesters had gathered at state capitols across the country.
In Pennsylvania, over 200 demonstrators braved sub-zero temperatures, chanting, “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!” and “No treason, no Trump!'”
In Maine, protesters beat drums and waved signs saying, “Don’t let Putin Pick Our President,” – a reference to allegations that Kremlin-backed hackers tried to sway the election in Donald Trump’s favor.
On December 19, the Electoral College is expected to certify Donald Trump as the next president of the United States, despite a last-minute effort to thwart the Republican.
The 538 electors will vote at state capitols nationwide.
A handful of Democratic electors have been organizing a long shot bid to persuade their Republican counterparts to cast ballots against Donald Trump.
The process is usually a formality, but takes place this year amid claims Russian hackers tried to sway the vote.
The Electoral College was set up by the founding fathers as a compromise between allowing Congress and the people to elect the president.
Technically, Americans cast votes on Election Day for electors, not the candidates themselves.
The electors are mostly elected officials or party functionaries whose names are not on the ballot. They are generally unknown to the public apart from one or two exceptions such as former President Bill Clinton, who is a New York elector this year.
There are 538 electors in all, one for each member of Congress. A candidate needs to take at least 270 electoral votes – half of the total plus one – to win the White House.
In November’s presidential election, Donald Trump won 306 electors from 30 states.
Under federal law, electors must gather on December 19, with each elector casting two votes – one for president and one for vice-president.
Their so-called Certificates of Vote must be transmitted by December 28 to Congress and the National Archives in Washington.
On January 6, Vice-President Joe Biden will preside as Congress officially tallies the electoral votes.
Once the votes are counted, the results are final, and Donald Trump would be all set for his noon inauguration on January 20.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a margin of nearly 3 million, but only gained 232 electors because she lost crucial swing states. This has fuelled renewed calls for the Electoral College to be scrapped, with critics arguing it is undemocratic and unfair.
Furthermore, US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia hacked the emails of the DNC – leaking embarrassing messages about Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street and party infighting – in an attempt to put its thumb on the electoral scales for Donald Trump.
Ten electors – nine Democrats and one Republican – asked unsuccessfully for an intelligence briefing about Moscow’s alleged role.
On December 18, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta upped the ante by suggesting the Trump team could even have colluded with Russia on the cyber-attack, which the Republican’s camp denies.
Millions of Americans who consider Donald Trump unfit to occupy the Oval Office have signed an online petition calling for Republican electors not to vote as directed by their state’s popular ballot.
Some have posted electors copies of founding father Alexander Hamilton’s writings in his Federalist Papers, which state that the meeting of the Electoral College “affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications”.
A handful of Democratic electors are so desperate to stop Donald Trump that they have even offered to vote against Hillary Clinton and unite with the other electors behind a consensus Republican candidate.
Nothing in the US constitution or in federal law requires electors to vote one way or another.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia bind their electors by law, though so-called “faithless electors” who defy the popular vote generally just face a fine.
History shows it is extremely unusual for an elector to defy the expressed will of his or her state’s voters.
It is highly unlikely the Electoral College will take the unprecedented step of changing the election’s outcome.
Only one Republican elector, Chris Suprun of Texas, has come forward to say he will not cast his electoral vote for Donald Trump. But 38 Republican electors would have to defect to deny Donald Trump.
Even that would probably only delay the inevitable.
If no candidate reaches 270 in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives must vote on the next president, and the Republican-controlled chamber would most likely choose Donald Trump anyway.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has claimed his campaign email account was hacked by Russians.
Sen. Lindsey Graham also told CNN that he believed “the Russians” hacked into the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and accused them of trying to “destabilize democracy all over the world”.
Russian officials have repeatedly denied hacking accusations.
Donald Trump rejected a CIA report that Russian hackers tried to sway the election in his favor.
Also this week, NBC News reported that US intelligence officials now believe with “a high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in a covert Russian campaign to interfere in November’s presidential election.
The attack targeted emails of the Democratic Party and of Hillary Clinton’s aide, John Podesta. The contents, passed to WikiLeaks and posted online, were embarrassing to the Democrats and shook up the presidential campaign.
The NBC report, quoting two unnamed senior officials, says that new intelligence shows how the hacked material was leaked and used.
According to the NBC report, the operation began as a “vendetta” against Hillary Clinton before becoming “an effort to show corruption in American politics and split off key American allies”.
Lindsey Graham, a member of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, said on CNN that “we were told by the FBI in August that we were hacked in June”.
He said: “I do believe the Russians hacked into the [DNC]. I do believe they hacked into [John] Podesta’s email account. They hacked into my campaign account.”
Lindsey Graham also said that he believed that “all the information released publicly hurt Clinton and didn’t hurt Trump.”
However, he stressed that the outcome of the election was not in doubt.
“I think Hillary Clinton lost because she wasn’t an agent of change and she tried to disqualify Trump and she wasn’t able to do it.”
He added that this was not “a Republican or Democratic issue” and must be tackled on a bipartisan basis.
Lindsey Graham accused Russia of attempting to destabilize democracy: “We should tell the Russians that on no uncertain terms, you interfere in our elections, we don’t care why, we’re going to hit you and hit you hard, we’re going to introduce sanctions.”
Top Republicans Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have said they will support further investigation of findings that Russian hackers meddled in the November election.
The House speaker and Senate majority leader said any foreign intervention in the polls was unacceptable.
Donald Trump has repeatedly poured scorn on the claims, made by the CIA.
The CIA concluded on December 9 that Russia’s motive was to help Donald Trump.
Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan said their respective intelligence committees would investigate the allegations.
“Any foreign breach of our cyber-security measures is disturbing and I strongly condemn any such efforts,” Senator Mitch McConnell told reporters, adding that “the Russians are not our friends”.
Paul Ryan echoed these remarks, but warned against exploiting the work of the intelligence community for “partisan purposes”.
The remarks came amid suggestions by Donald Trump that the claims were politically motivated.
On December 11, the president-elect told Fox News the Democrats were disseminating the “ridiculous” hacking reports because they lost the election.
Then on the next day Donald Trump tweeted: “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!
“Unless you catch <<hackers>> in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn’t this brought up before election?”
The FBI said two month ago that it believed Russia was behind the Democratic Party hacks, but on December 9 the CIA went further by concluding Russia’s motive was to help Donald Trump.
On December 12, the Hillary Clinton campaign, which lost to Donald Trump in last month’s election, said it was supporting an effort by a handful of members of the electoral college to request an intelligence briefing on the latest hacking allegations.
The Electoral College meets next week to ratify the results of the election.
Last week, President Barack Obama has ordered a complete review of the hacks, which targeted emails at the Democratic Party and John Podesta’s emails.
The contents of the emails, passed to WikiLeaks and posted online, were embarrassing to the Democrats and shook up the presidential campaign.
According to new reports, US intelligence agencies believe Russia acted covertly to boost Donald Trump in the election race.
The New York Times and the Washington Post reports say the agencies had “high confidence” about Russian involvement in hacking.
However, Donald Trump’s team dismissed the CIA line, saying: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”
Russian officials have repeatedly denied the hacking accusations.
On December 9, President Barack Obama ordered an investigation into a series of cyber-attacks, blamed on Russia, during the US election season.
Image source Flickr
The hacks targeted emails at the Democratic Party and John Podesta, a key aide to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
In October, US government officials pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of meddling in the campaign.
Now, senior administration officials quoted by the New York Times say they are confident that Russian hackers also infiltrated the Republican National Committee’s computer systems as well as those of the Democratic Party, but did not release information gleaned from the Republican networks.
According to intelligence agencies, the Russians passed on the Democrats’ documents to WikiLeaks, the Times reported.
Democrats reacted furiously when email accounts of the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, were hacked.
John Podesta’s emails were revealed by WikiLeaks and posted online.
Quoting an unnamed “senior US official”, the Washington Post said “intelligence agencies” had “identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman”.
At one point in the campaign, Donald Trump publicly encouraged Russia to “find” Hillary Clinton’s emails, although he later said he was being sarcastic.
Democrats claimed the hacks were a deliberate attempt to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said President Barack Obama wanted the investigation carried out on his watch “because he takes it very seriously”.
Donald Trump has described the Wisconsin vote recount as a “scam”.
The president-elect, who narrowly won Wisconsin, said the results “should be respected instead of being challenged or abused”.
Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein had initiated the recount. She also wants recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania, citing “statistical anomalies”.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has said it would participate in Wisconsin’s recount.
Results would need to be overturned in all three states to alter the outcome of the November 8 presidential election.
In a statement released by his transition team on November 26, Donald Trump accused Jill Stein of trying to “fill her coffers with money” on the pretext of asking for donations towards a recount.
“The people have spoken and the election is over,” the statement said.
Jill Stein defended her recount initiative, telling CNN that “the point to drive home here is that having a secure elections process benefits us all”.
The Green Party’s candidate also suggested that she was open to looking at recounts in other states – not just Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton campaign’s general counsel, Marc Elias, said the camp and outside experts had been “conducting an extensive review of election results, searching for any signs that the voting process had been tampered with”.
Marc Elias said there was no evidence to conclude the election had been sabotaged, but “we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported”.
He noted that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of the three states – Michigan – “well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount”.
However, Marc Elias said the campaign would join in “on principle” in the Midwestern states if Dr Stein followed through on her promise.
Jill Stein reportedly wants to be sure computer hackers did not skew the poll in favor of Donald Trump.
Concerns over possible Russian interference had been expressed in the run-up to the vote.
The US government has said Russian state actors were behind hacks on the Democratic National Committee, a claim denied by Moscow.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission said it had received recount petitions, and the process would begin after Jill Stein’s campaign had paid the fee, which the commission was still calculating.
Jill Stein’s campaign needs to raise millions of dollars to cover the fees for the vote recount in all three states.
Her website says nearly $6 million has already been raised toward a $7 million target. It says this is enough to fund the recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
The deadline for the petition for the recount in Wisconsin was November 25, while Pennsylvania’s deadline is November 28, and Michigan’s is November 30.
Michigan is yet to declare its final results.
Wisconsin provides only 10 electoral votes in the crucial Electoral College that gave Donald Trump victory in the November 8 election.
Wins there for Hillary Clinton, as well as in Michigan (16 electoral votes) and Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), would have clinched the presidency for the Democrat.
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.
Donald Trump is edging closer to the White House after a string of shock swing state victories over Hillary Clinton.
The republican won Florida, Ohio, Iowa and North Carolina, while Hillary Clinton took Virginia and Nevada, ABC projects. Pennsylvania is too close to call.
New Hampshire, Michigan and Wisconsin – which were meant to be part of the Clinton firewall – are deadlocked, too.
Markets lurched as Hillary Clinton’s path to victory began to narrow.
The US dollar and Mexican peso plummeted while the Dow futures dropped 800 points.
Donald Trump’s Ohio win was a big boost to him, as no Republican has ever taken the White House without winning the Midwestern bellwether.
Iowa last voted for a Republican in 2004.
The mood is dark at Hillary Clinton’s election night party in New York City.
Supporters were crying and staring stony-faced at the big screens showing election results.
At Trump headquarters across town, his fans were cheering and chanting about Hillary Clinton: “Lock her up!”
Donald Trump earlier racked up wins in the Midwest and South, while Hillary Clinton swept the Northeast, ABC News projects.
As expected, Donald Trump was victorious in the Republican strongholds of Utah, Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, Nebraska, Indiana, West Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas, ABC projects.
He also took Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho and Wyoming – all solidly conservative states.
Hillary Clinton won the Democratic heartlands of California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Delaware, Illinois, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Washington and District of Columbia, as well as New Mexico and Colorado.
A candidate must secure 270 of the 538 electoral college votes to declare victory.
Asian markets have tumbled after results from the American presidential polls suggested a victory for Donald Trump looked increasingly likely.
All major markets in the region are now lower, with money flowing into safe haven stocks, gold and currencies including the yen.
Meanwhile the Mexican Peso has hit an all-time low against the dollar.
As traders had expected a comfortable Hillary Clinton win, even a tight race is enough to spark volatility.
Image source Flickr
Japan’s Nikkei 225 is down by 5.2% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong is 3.8% lower and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.6%.
Australia’s ASX 200 dropped by 2.1% while the Kospi in South Korea is 3.1% lower.
Earlier, American and European markets closed higher – but US stock futures fell sharply with the Dow Jones index expected to lose more than 4% – 800 points – when trading resumes on Wall Street on November 9.
The Mexican peso has seen some of the most notable fluctuations, falling more than 10% against the dollar.
The peso’s movements are seen by many as a good indicator of the election’s likely outcome, with an upward movement suggesting Hillary Clinton is ahead.
Mexico is expected to suffer if Donald Trump was elected because of his pledges to build a wall along the US border with the country and renegotiate their trade agreement.
Meanwhile the Japanese yen is viewed as a safe haven currency in situations of international volatility, so a strengthening yen suggests traders see a Hillary Clinton victory as less likely.
All the 50 states and Washington DC voted across six different time zones to elect the 45th US president.
Many of the polling stations have closed. So far:
Image source U.S. Marine Corps
Donald Trump has projected wins in Ohio, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Mississippi, West Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas, N Dakota, S Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida.
Hillary Clinton has New York, Connecticut, Vermont, DC, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Colorado, California.
Ohio is a bellwether swing state that has backed the winner at every presidential contest except one since World War Two.
Donald Trump spent much of the end of his campaign claiming the election would be rigged – but at the moment, the New York Times is predicting he has a better chance of winning than his rival.
It also suggests Donald Trump could win enough electoral college votes to become president but lose the popular vote.
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
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.”
On the final day before the vote, both candidates will visit several key battleground states.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton will be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, before traveling to Allendale, Michigan, later in the day.
She will then return to Philadelphia, also in Pennsylvania, for a rally with President Barack Obama and the First Lady, Bill and Chelsea Clinton and a few more special guests, including Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi.
It had been touted as Hillary Clinton’s final rally, but she is now also scheduled to hold a midnight “get out the vote” event in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Donald Trump will once again be dashing across five states in one day as he seeks a route to the presidency.
The Republican candidate will appear in Sarasota, Florida, before traveling to Raleigh and then Philadelphia.
Donald Trump will then travel to New Hampshire, before a final rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, close to midnight.
FBI Director James Comey says the bureau has found no evidence of criminality in a new batch of Hillary Clinton emails.
In a letter to congressmen, he said the agency had finished its review and found nothing to alter its original conclusion.
In July, James Comey said Hillary Clinton had been careless but not criminal in handling sensitive material on her private email server while secretary of state.
The issue flared up again with the discovery of new “pertinent” emails.
They were reportedly found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of one of the Democratic presidential candidate’s closest advisers.
James Comey’s original letter late last month to lawmakers, revealing the bureau’s inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s emails had been revived, shook up the White House race and reinvigorated the campaign of Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Photo Getty Images
He had announced that the agency would investigate if the newly discovered messages contained classified information.
In a follow-up on November 6, James Comey wrote: “Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation.
“During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.
“Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”
On board Hillary Clinton’s campaign airplane, her team said they were always confident of the outcome.
Communications director Jennifer Palmieri told media: “We’re glad this matter has been resolved.”
However, the Trump team cried foul.
Donald Trump’s adviser Newt Gingrich tweeted: “Comey must be under enormous political pressure to cave like this and announce something he cant [sic] possibly know.”
His campaign manager Kellyanne Conway also tweeted: “If FBI conclusions remain unchanged, that means she still was reckless & careless, still lied about classified info, lied re: # of devices.”
Campaigning in Minnesota on November 6, Donald Trump made no mention of James Comey’s findings.
However, he did say Hillary Clinton “will be under investigation for a long, long time, likely concluding in a criminal trial”.
Donald Trump also renewed his claims that the Democrat was being “protected by a rigged system”.
The FBI has already established Hillary Clinton had classified information on a private email server that was run out of her upstate New York home.
James Comey said in July that her handling of sensitive material during her 2009-2013 tenure as secretary of state was “extremely careless”, but cleared her of criminal wrongdoing.
The revelation that Hillary Clinton handled sensitive information while breaking federal rules by running her own email server has dogged her campaign since last year.
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal opinion poll on November 6 before news broke of the FBI letter suggested a four-point lead for Hillary Clinton.
The latest Washington Post/ABC tracking poll put Hillary Clinton lead at five points.
Today’s campaign stops take Hillary Clinton to Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.
Also on Donald Trump’s itinerary were Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Republican nominee Donald Trump was rushed off the stage by Secret Service during a rally in Reno, Nevada, when a man appeared to rush the stage.
Donald Trump noticed a protestor in the crowd and told event security to remove him.
Security personnel ran to the stage and grabbed him by the shoulders and rushed him behind the curtain.
Images emerged on social media of armed guards encircling someone on the ground.
Security led a bald man out of the convention hall as the crowd cheered and also booed the protestor. Moments later, a rally speaker took to the stage to tell the unsettled crowd that “nobody is going to stop this movement”.
Image source CNN
Donald Trump returned to the stage moments later to continue his speech.
The incident took place about 35 minutes into his speech and he spoke for another 10 minutes after returning to the stage.
The Republican candidate, who didn’t appear unsettled, briefly addressed the incident before jumping back into his speech: “Nobody said it was going to be easy for us, but we will never be stopped. Never ever be stopped.
“I want to thank the Secret Service. These guys are fantastic – they don’t get enough credit.”
A few minutes later, he paused to thank his supporters for helping to protect him as the man rushed the stage.
“I want to thank all these people,” Donald Trump said, pointing to the area where the man was stopped.
“I saw what you were doing – that’s a tough group of people right there. I saw that, that was pretty amazing. Nobody messes with our people,” he added.
No weapon was found on the man, according to ABC News. However, shouts from the crowd about a gun elevated the Secret Service’s response.
Donald Trump’s campaign released a brief statement that echoed his appreciation for Secret Service, but did not provide any additional information as to what had occurred.
The incident came during a slew of Donald Trump rallies three days before the election, as the Republican presidential nominee and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton criss-cross the country before Election Day.
Donald Trump’s momentum in latest opinion polls forced Hillary Clinton to campaign in states that had been considered safe for the Democrats.
Both teams are now concentrating more on getting their supporters to vote, rather than swaying those undecided.
Thirty-seven million early ballots have already been cast.
Meanwhile, authorities say they are assessing the credibility of information on a possible al-Qaeda terror attack.
New York, Texas and Virginia are believed to be the potential targets mentioned in connection with a possible attack before Election Day on November 8, but a police spokesman said the information “lacks specificity”.
Officials say they regularly assess all possible threats before major events.
Photo CBS News
News of a possible attack came as both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made final pushes for support in battleground states across the US.
They both held rallies in Ohio and Pennsylvania on November 4, two states that may prove crucial on the Election Day.
Both candidates are due to campaign in Florida on November 5. Florida is seen as a key contest that could tip the election.
In Cleveland, Ohio, Hillary Clinton ended the day’s campaigning at a concert, where she was joined by Beyonce and Jay-Z.
“We have unfinished work to do, more barriers to break, and with your help, a glass ceiling to crack once and for all,” Hillary Clinton said.
Addressing the crowd, Jay-Z explained his support for Hillary Clinton. The rapper said that though he did not have any “ill will” towards Donald Trump, the Republican’s conversation was “divisive”.
“That’s not an evolved soul to me, so he cannot be my president. He cannot be our president,” the rapper said.
The free concert was part of a series of events put on by Hilalry Clinton’s campaign as she aims to encourage greater African-American participation in the election.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, told a crowd of supporters in New Hampshire that his rival wants a “550% increase” on Syrian refugees allowed into the US.
“Her plan would mean generations of terrorism, extremism, and radicalism spreading into our schools and communities,” the Republican nominee said.
Earlier, at a rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton said that her opponent was “unfit” for office because of his temperament and disparaging comments about women and minorities.
Donald Trump is currently ahead in Ohio, according to a state polling average by Real Clear Politics (RCP), while Hillary Clinton leads by a small margin in Pennsylvania.
In Florida, RCP’s poll average puts Hillary Clinton ahead, but poll analysis website FiveThirtyEight says Donald Trump has a 52.4% chance of winning the state’s 29 electoral votes.
National polls have suggested that Donald Trump has gained substantial ground on his rival in the last week or so. That momentum also appears to have helped Donald Trump in several key battleground states.
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”.
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.
Barack Obama has urged Democrats of all ethnic backgrounds to get out and vote for Hillary Clinton, warning that the fate of the US – and the world – is at stake.
The president said Donald Trump was a threat to hard-earned civil rights.
Barack Obama was speaking at a rally in North Carolina.
Donald Trump said Barack Obama should stop campaigning for Hillary Clinton and focus on running the country.
“The bottom line is, no-one wants four more years of Obama,” the Republican candidate told supporters in Pensacola, Florida.
Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton had become “unhinged” in recent days.
Americans will vote for the candidate they want to see in the White House on November 8, with recent polls showing the race tightening between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Barack Obama told supporters in the key battleground state of North Carolina: “The fate of the republic rests on your shoulders.
“The fate of the world is teetering and you, North Carolina, are going to have to make sure that we push it in the right direction.
“I am not on the ballot, but I tell you what – fairness is on the ballot; decency is on the ballot; justice is on the ballot; progress is on the ballot; our democracy is on the ballot.”
The FBI is now investigating new emails that may be linked to its probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
FBI chief James Comey has faced a fierce backlash for announcing the move just 11 days before the presidential election.
Earlier, Barack Obama implicitly criticized James Comey over the new inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s email use.
It emerged in March 2015 that Hillary Clinton had been breaking federal rules by operating a private email server while she was secretary of state from 2009-2013.
Hillary Clinton’s lawyers combed through the server and provided the state department with 30,000 work-related emails, but her campaign deleted another 33,000 messages, saying they were personal in nature.
James Comey concluded in July that Hillary Clinton had been “extremely careless” in handling classified information, but there were no grounds for any charges.