DES MOINES, Iowa -- Donald Trump on Saturday vowed to end the "war on the American farmer," telling a crowd in Iowa that rival Hillary Clinton "wants to shut down family farms" and implement anti-agriculture policies.
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Clinton on Saturday morning received her first national security briefing as the Democratic presidential nominee, meeting with intelligence officials for an overview of the major threats facing the nation from around the globe.
At the annual Roast and Ride fundraiser for Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, Trump skipped the 42-mile motorcycle ride. The event gave Trump a chance to talk to Republicans in the state, where polls show a tight contest.
Joining him onstage were top Iowa Republicans -- among them Ernst, Gov. Terry Branstad, Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Steve King -- in a show of support for a candidate who has struggled to unite his party.
In a hat tip to Iowa's agriculture industry, Trump renewed his commitment to continuing a requirement that all gasoline contain an ethanol-based additive, an issue important to corn growers.
Trump touted his plans to boost economic growth and help American farmers, including his proposal to lower the tax rate on family farms to 15 percent.
Trump told the crowd, which included many farmers, that "we are going to end this war on the American farmer."
"Hillary Clinton wants to shut down family farms just like she wants to shut down the mines and the steelworkers," he said in front of a wall of straw bales at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. "She will do this not only through radical regulation, but also by raising taxes on family farms -- and all businesses -- to rates as high as nearly 50 percent."
Clinton's campaign website touts a plan to increase funding to support farmers and ranchers, saying she'll create a "focused safety net to help family farms get through challenging times." It also says she plans to target federal resources in commodity payment, crop insurance, and disaster assistance programs to support family operations.
Branstad, in an interview before Trump's speech, said he felt that Trump could score points against Clinton by focusing on agricultural issues. Branstad, whose son runs Trump's campaign in the state, said he hopes Trump would release campaign ads there and that he sees the race as "about even."
"I don't like that, but hopefully that's going to change," Branstad said.
In his speech, Trump again pledged that as president he would help blacks living in cities with high crime and low employment. He offered no specifics for how he would achieve that goal. He also continued to criticize Clinton for branding young criminals as "super-predators" in comments more than 20 years ago.
"Remember that? 'Super-predators,'" he said. "And they were very, very insulted. But now people have forgotten." Clinton's opponent in the primaries, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, had criticized her for the remark, and she has since apologized for it.
Amid his ongoing appeal to black voters, Trump drew online backlash Saturday for a tweet he sent in response to the shooting death of NBA star Dwyane Wade's cousin, who was gunned down near the Chicago school where she had planned to register her children.
"Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!" Trump tweeted. He later sent a tweet offering his "condolences to Dwyane Wade and his family."
Campaigning in Florida, Clinton running mate Tim Kaine said, "We just ought to be extending our sympathy to the family," and added, "That's the only reaction that's appropriate right now."
Ernst on Friday had called on both presidential candidates to tone down their rhetoric. She declined to directly weigh in on the Republican nominee calling Clinton "a bigot."
"I'm not going to get into that," she said Friday evening. "To both of them, I'd say, they need to take this into a civil discourse. I don't like it when campaigns go that direction. I'd say to both of them, back down. And let's really talk about the policies and the issues. That's my advice to them."
At the Iowa event, Trump also previewed his immigration plans, saying he was developing an "exit-entry tracking system to ensure those who overstay their visas, that they're quickly removed." The proposal echoed the language of Trump's former primary rival, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is now advising him.
Clinton met Saturday for more than two hours with intelligence officials at the FBI office in White Plains, N.Y.
Trump received his briefing earlier this month, a customary move for major party nominees but one that has been the subject of a political tussle during the campaign.
Republicans have said that Clinton's use of a personal email server as secretary of state -- an action described as "extremely careless" by FBI Director James Comey -- should disqualify her from receiving classified briefings.
Clinton, the former secretary of state, arrived at the office at 9 a.m. Saturday and met, unaccompanied by aides, with several officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to a Clinton aide.
By contrast, Trump was joined by close associates Christie and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn when he got his first briefing.
Clinton's meeting came ahead of a trip to the Hamptons, a summer destination for affluent New York City residents, where she has multiple fundraisers planned.
On Friday, the government told The Associated Press that some of Clinton's daily schedules from her time as secretary of state would not be released before Election Day.
Seven months ago, a federal judge ordered the State Department to begin releasing monthly batches of the schedules. So far, it has released about half of them. The department's lawyers said in a phone conference with the AP's lawyers that the department now expects to release the last of the detailed schedules around Dec. 30, weeks before the next president is inaugurated.
The AP's lawyers late Friday formally asked the State Department to hasten that effort so the department could provide all of Clinton's minute-by-minute schedules by Oct. 15. The agency did not immediately respond.
The schedules drew new attention last week after the AP analyzed the ones released so far. The news agency found that more than half the people outside the government who met or spoke by telephone with Clinton while she was secretary of state had given money -- either personally or through companies or groups -- to the Clinton Foundation. The analysis focused on people with private interests and excluded her meetings or calls with U.S. federal employees or foreign government representatives.
Clinton has said the analysis was flawed because it did not account fully for all meetings and phone calls during her entire term as secretary of state. She also said the analysis should have included meetings with federal employees and foreign diplomats. The AP said it focused on her meetings with outsiders because those were more discretionary, as Clinton would normally meet with federal officials and foreign officials as part of her job.
Clinton said she met with people outside government regardless of whether they gave money or charitable commitments to her family's charity.
"These are people I would be proud to meet with, as any secretary of state would have been proud to meet with, to hear about their work and their insights," Clinton said last week on CNN.
Amid a fierce period of campaigning, Clinton and Trump are also taking time to warm up for their biggest showdowns.
The first of three presidential debates, on Sept. 26, is the first opportunity for voters to evaluate the candidates side by side and one of the last moments for either to alter the trajectory of the race.
Aides say Clinton is methodically preparing for the presidential debates, poring over briefing books thick with policy arcana and opposition research. They said she internalizes tips from the most seasoned debate coaches in her party, and she rehearses the pacing and substance of her presentation.
Trump is taking a different approach, his allies say. He's working with a select group of counselors, including former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, talk-radio host Laura Ingraham and former Fox News Channel Chairman Roger Ailes, at his New Jersey golf course for Sunday chats, aides say. Over bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs and glasses of Coca-Cola, they discuss ways to refine his pitch.
"Donald Trump is the unpredictable X-factor and Hillary Clinton is the scripted statist," Kellyanne Conway, Trump's new campaign manager, said in an interview. "I fully understand why Team Clinton feels the need to drown her in briefing books and Hollywood consulting."
Clinton's advisers said they are confident the debates will showcase her experience, judgment, gravitas and command of policy.
"She feels like it is a proving ground, that this is a job interview," Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon said. "I think she will approach the debate with a great deal of seriousness and a sense of purpose, and also keenly aware that Donald Trump is capable of anything."
The forum poses considerable challenges. Clinton must not only parry what her campaign expects will be a stream of attacks from Trump, but she also must overcome the perception among many voters that she is not trustworthy.
"People think that they have to land zingers and pivot and attack -- and that's true, but ultimately, you want your viewers to come away with a gut feeling that I like this person," said former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who co-chairs Clinton's transition committee.
For Trump, who trails Clinton in nearly all national and battleground-state polls, the debates represent an opportunity to change perceptions.
"You're going to see a very natural and normal guy -- someone who is comfortable with who he is, not someone who's highly scripted or nervous," Giuliani said. "The real risk is when a guy tries to be something other than what he is."
Information for this article was contributed by Scott Bauer, Ken Thomas, Jill Colvin, Alan Suderman and Ted Bridis of The Associated Press and by John Wagner, Philip Rucker, Robert Costa, Anne Gearan and James Hohmann of The Washington Post.
A Section on 08/28/2016
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