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The Latest: Trump lawyers demand Times retract story

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pumps his fist during a campaign rally, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016, in Panama City, Fla. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
October 12, 2016 - 9:46 PM

WASHINGTON - The Latest on the 2016 presidential race (all times EDT):

12:40 a.m.

Lawyers representing Donald Trump are demanding The New York Times retract a story published Wednesday in which two women claim Trump touched them inappropriately and against their will.

Lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz has sent a letter to the Times saying the article is "reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel."

Trump's lawyer says the Times article is "nothing more than a politically motivated effort to defeat Mr. Trump's candidacy."

The Times said Jessica Leeds, of New York, told the newspaper she encountered Trump on an airline flight three decades ago. Leeds said Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.

Rachel Crooks, of Ohio, told the Times she met Trump at Trump Tower in 2005. Crooks said Trump kissed her "directly on the mouth" against her will.

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9:15 p.m.

A Clinton adviser is accusing Donald Trump of lying on the debate stage about having not groped or kissed women without consent.

Communications director Jennifer Palmieri is responding to a New York Times story in which two women describe being touched inappropriately by Trump.

Palmieri says the story "sadly fits everything we know about the way Donald Trump has treated women." She also says the story shows that the "disgusting behaviour" Trump brags about in a video released last Friday "is more than just words."

Trump is heard on the 2005 tape saying his fame allows him to kiss and grab women. He denied during Sunday's debate that he'd ever done that without a woman's consent.

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9:05 p.m.

A Florida newspaper is reporting that a woman says Donald Trump groped her at his Mar-a-Lago estate 13 years ago, an allegation Trump's campaign says "lacks any merit or veracity."

The Palm Beach Post reports that 36-year-old Mindy McGillivray of Palm Springs, Florida, didn't report to authorities her 2003 encounter with Trump at the time but had shared the story with close friends and family. A man who had accompanied her to Mar-a-Lago that day, Ken Davidoff, tells the newspaper he vividly remembers McGillivray telling him that Trump had groped her.

McGillivray says she considered making a scene at the time but decided "to stay quiet." She says Trump's remarks at the second presidential debate, in which he denied groping women, changed her mind.

The New York Times has published interviews with two other women who say they were touched inappropriately by Trump without their permission.

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8:52 p.m.

An aide to Hillary Clinton aide says Donald Trump's campaign needs to explain its "possible ties to foreign espionage."

Spokesman Glen Caplin says it's "clear" that the hacking of top Clinton adviser John Podesta's email "is the work of the Russian government." Caplin attributes that to the FBI, though the bureau has not said so publicly. Russia's ambassador to the United States has denied that his country is interfering in the American presidential election.

Caplin also says it's "disturbing" that longtime Trump associate Roger Stone has confirmed he had communications with Wikileaks, the organization that released Podesta's emails. Stone told the AP that he has had "back-channel communications" with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Stone separately told the AP that it was "categorically false" that he had advance warning about Podesta's hacked emails, as the Clinton adviser has suggested.

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7:10 p.m.

The New York Times has published interviews with two women who say they were touched inappropriately by Donald Trump without their permission.

The Times says Jessica Leeds of New York told the newspaper she encountered Trump on an airline flight three decades ago. Leeds says Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.

Rachel Crooks of Ohio told the newspaper she met Trump at Trump Tower in 2005. Crooks says Trump kissed her "directly on the mouth" against her will.

The Times reports both women told others about what happened with Trump.

Trump denies the accusations. He tells the Times, "None of this ever took place."

Trump's presidential campaign has been reeling since the release Friday of a 2005 videotape in which he is heard talking about grabbing women's genitals.

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6:01 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is joining the Trump campaign in criticizing Hillary Clinton aides for comments about Catholics.

In a statement Wednesday, Ryan said the April 2011 email exchange between current Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri and John Halpin, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, showed a disdain for the Catholic faith that was "staggering."

Halpin wrote that "the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic" and described their positions as "an amazing bastardization of the faith."

Ryan earlier this week said he wouldn't campaign for Trump although he still supports the GOP presidential nominee. He says the email reflected the Clinton campaign's "hostile attitude toward people of faith in general."

Palmieri told reporters travelling with Clinton on Wednesday that she doesn't recognize the hacked email, although she wouldn't say explicitly whether she believes it had been forged.

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4:33 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is showing a little sympathy for Donald Trump supporters who keep disrupting her event.

As security escorted one man out of a rally in Pueblo, Colorado, Wednesday, Clinton said: "You have to feel a little sorry for them, they've had a really bad couple of weeks."

Multiple Clinton events have been interrupted this week by hecklers, including some targeting her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton said Trump is running a "scorched earth strategy" shows how desperate his campaign is. He says all Trump has left is "pure negativity, pessimism."

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4:18 p.m.

Donald Trump is ramping up his calls for an investigation into Hillary Clinton and insisting that she "has to go to jail."

Trump has in recent weeks dramatically escalated his rhetoric into the FBI investigation into Clinton over the use of her private email server. The FBI director criticized Clinton but did not recommend criminal charges.

Last summer when Republicans chanted "Lock her up!" at his rallies, Trump would respond: "Let's just win in November."

But that changed Sunday when Trump said to Clinton across the debate stage that she'd be 'in jail' if he's ever president. On Wednesday he amped it up further by suggesting Clinton "has to go to jail."

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3:52 p.m.

The House Republican campaign organization is airing an ad for a House candidate that is premised on the party's presidential nominee losing to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The spot says that House Republican candidate Claudia Tenney will "stand up to Hillary Clinton." The Republican presidential nominee is Donald Trump, whose campaign is staggering after the revelation of a recording in which he brags about groping women. House Speaker Paul Ryan on Monday told Republicans that he would no longer campaign for Trump, a move that suggests he fears Trump is headed for defeat and will drag down Republican House candidates.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is following that strategy with the 30-second TV ad for Tenney.

Tenney is running against Democrat Kim Myers and independent Martin Babinec in a tight race for the central New York seat held by retiring GOP Rep. Richard Hanna.

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3:12 p.m.

President Barack Obama says Florida voters have "no excuse" for failing to register to vote after a federal judge extended the deadline by six days, to next Tuesday.

Obama told Miami radio station WHQT on Wednesday that the stakes on Nov. 8 are "just too high" to "sit this one out."

He says Florida can determine the election outcome.

Obama also urged Ohio voters to take advantage of the opportunity they have to cast ballots before Nov. 8. Early voting in Ohio opened Tuesday.

The president joked during an interview with Cleveland radio station WZAK that the city is like Chicago in that it can start snowing anytime.

He says Ohio's weather is still nice, so people shouldn't wait any longer to vote.

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2:45 p.m.

Donald Trump is claiming without evidence that the Islamic State group will "take over this country" if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

Trump asserted that Islamic State fighters are "hoping and praying" that his Democratic nominee wins the White House.

He then warned that the terror group, which he said controls a portion of the Middle East, would then "take over this country, they'll take over this part of the world."

Trump made the incendiary claim at a rally Wednesday in Ocala, Florida. Both Trump and Clinton have claimed that IS uses the other's rhetoric as a recruiting tool.

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2:30 p.m.

Bill Clinton is taking a shot at Donald Trump's slogan.

The former president spoke at a college in Indianola, Iowa, Wednesday on behalf of wife Hillary Clinton. He noted that that he was a "white Southerner," and said that his memory is that the phrase "Make America Great Again" means: "Here's your tobacco, here's your shotgun, you're in charge."

Clinton avoided mentioning Trump as he addressed students and supporters at Simpson College. He stressed Hillary Clinton's qualifications and asked voters to stay away from the "venom" of the race.

He concluded with advice he said he borrowed from a friend: "If you don't want somebody to drive a truck off the cliff, don't give them the keys."

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2:07 p.m.

Donald Trump says if he loses the presidential election, it will have been the biggest waste of time and money in his life. Also, he doesn't know what comes next for him.

The Republican presidential candidate told supporters in Ocala, Florida Wednesday: "If we don't win this election, I don't know what I'm going to do."

Trump is struggling to steady his flagging campaign after a recording of him degrading women sent it reeling.

He's seeking to reframe the competition as a referendum on Democrat Hillary Clinton's fitness for office in light of revelations included in documents released by Wikileaks.

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2:05 p.m.

At least four Republican lawmakers who just days ago said that Trump should step aside as their party's presidential nominee now say they'll support him after all.

Three of the four are running for reelection: Sen. John Thune of South Dakota and Reps. Scott Garrett of New Jersey and Bradley Byrne of Alabama. The fourth, Sen. Deb Fischer Nebraska, isn't on the ballot until 2018.

They were among the lawmakers who had said Trump should withdraw because of his inflammatory comments about women. They've been taking heat from party loyalists.

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1:50 p.m.

Hillary Clinton's campaign is keeping an eye on a trio of traditionally Republican states that could be up for grabs in November: Arizona, Georgia and Utah.

Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri says running mate Tim Kaine will soon be doing interviews in Utah and Arizona. While neither Clinton nor Kaine has plans to travel to those states, Palmieri said the campaign is looking "to see if that makes sense."

Democrats have been particularly intrigued by polling suggesting a close race in Utah, one of the most conservative states in the country. Several political leaders there have pulled their endorsements from Trump in recent days.

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1:45 p.m.

Oops. Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he didn't mean to call Donald Trump an "authoritarian" figure. He says he meant to call him "authoritative."

The Republican governor on Wednesday clarified comments he made a day earlier on a radio show.

He says Trump's "powerful personality" and "authoritative persona" mean he wouldn't have to "go behind closed doors" to get things done.

LePage also called President Barack Obama a "dictator" for his use of executive orders — and he meant to say that.

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News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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