It is so concerning how the Donald Trump campaign has seized on the vague statement FBI Director James Comey made, initially first to eight Republican Congressmen, and only later did he bother to clue in the Democratic members of the committees. Trump seized on this revelation as 1) “bigger than Watergate” and 2) satisfying that in fact, the FBI was not part of the conspiracy to rig the election as he had previously charged. But it has fed into the Trump campaign strategy which, in face of dwindling poll numbers, has focused on suppressing turnout from those who would vote for Clinton.
Here’s how the Hillary for America campaign has responded:
“Yesterday, Republican Congressional leaders leaked an unprecedented letter from FBI Director James Comey, with initial reports including dire headlines for Hillary Clinton. But like most “bombshell” discoveries about Clinton over the course of this campaign, it fizzled rapidly as facts actually became available,” the Hillary for America campaign stated. Let’s review…
YESTERDAY’S BOMBSHELL: NBC News: FBI re-opening investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server
Rep. Jason Chaffetz: “FBI Dir just informed me, ‘The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.’ Case reopened”
GOP: “BREAKING NEWS: The FBI is re-opening their investigation into @HillaryClinton’s secret server.”
Investigation not reopened. Huffington Post: News Outlets Dial Back Reports Of FBI ‘Reopening’ Hillary Clinton Email Case
No emails had been withheld. NBC News: “the e-mails Comey announced today were NOT originally withheld by Clinton or campaign.”
Emails not from Clinton’s server.Bloomberg: New Clinton E-mails Not From Her Private Server, AP Says
Emails reportedly not to or from Clinton. Los Angeles Times: “The emails were not to or from Clinton”
No indication emails bear significance. Comey memo to employees: “we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails”
Many emails likely duplicates of ones already turned over.ThinkProgress: The ‘new’ Clinton emails might all be duplicates
Comey letter violates DOJ policy. Washington Post: Justice officials warned FBI that Comey’s decision to update Congress was not consistent with department policy
Comey overruled AG Loretta Lynch. CNN: “Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates disagreed with FBI Director James Comey’s decision to notify Congress about his bureau’s review…”
Former officials on both sides of aisle criticized Comey. New York Times: “Mr. Comey’s letter opened him up to criticism not only from Democrats but also from current and former officials at the F.B.I. and the Justice Department, including Republicans.”
Clinton and Trump both calling for more information. Huffington Post: “Both camps demanded that FBI Director James Comey disclose more details about the emails and the bureau’s investigation”
This is hardly the first time. It seems the script is always the same, the campaign noted:
Bombshell allegation is made hastily without facts available
Media breathlessly covers the latest supposed Clinton Scandal
Republicans declare that this time they’ve found the smoking gun
Initial explosive reports slowly fizzle on account of facts
Here are five of the many recent examples:
BOMBSHELL: @GOP, 8/30/16: “BREAKING: State Dept discovered 30 emails recovered from Hillary Clinton’s private server that discussed Benghazi.”
…facts emerge: Los Angeles Times, 9/7/16: “There appears to be only one new communication related to Benghazi… a complimentary note from a diplomat to Clinton, praising how she handled herself before a Senate panel investigating the matter.”
BOMBSHELL: @GOP, 5/5/16: “Hacker ‘Guccifer’ told news outlets that he repeatedly accessed Clinton’s unsecure email server & that ‘it was easy’”
…facts emerge: FOX News, 7/7/16: Comey: Hacker ‘Guccifer’ Lied About Accessing Clinton’s Emails
BOMBSHELL: @AP, 8/23/16: “BREAKING: AP analysis: More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation.”
…facts emerge: Vox, 8/24/16: “Except it turns out not to be true. The nut fact that the AP uses to lead its coverage is wrong, and Braun and Sullivan’s reporting reveals absolutely no unethical conduct…. the AP excluded from the denominator all employees of any government, whether US or foreign.”
…facts emerge: CNN, 10/7/16: “Okay, so what’s in this latest batch? Short answer: No bombshells. More than half of the emails are these so-called “near duplicates” of previously released emails… There are also a number of emails between Clinton and her close aides in which they discuss scheduling matters — timing for phone calls, meetings, etc…. None of the new emails contained information marked as classified or upgraded to classified.”
BOMBSHELL: The Hill, 7/5/16: FBI director: Clinton emails were marked as classified at the time
…facts emerge: MediaIte, 7/7/16: FBI Director Admits Hillary Clinton Emails Were Not Properly Marked Classified
On a press call led by HFA Chair John Podesta, Hillary for America called on Donald Trump to disclose all information related to his foreign investments and business dealings, divest his holdings in the Trump Organization to remove troubling conflicts of interest, and release his tax returns to meet the basic threshold for transparency. This week, Newsweek published a new bombshell report, “How The Trump Organization’s Foreign Business Ties Could Upend U.S. National Security.” The report offers a disturbing preview of the foreign entanglements that could influence Donald Trump, should voters make the grave mistake of electing him president. We now know that over the course of decades, The Trump Organization has been financially involved in more than a dozen countries on five continents — including Russia, Ukraine, Libya, Turkey, China, and Brazil. These new revelations also bring greater urgency to the need for Trump to release his tax returns, so the American people can see his sources of income, and what influences he might be subject to as president.
HFA also launched a new webpage, “Full Disclosure: Comparing the Two Candidates”, a one-stop shop to access each candidate’s financial records or lack thereof, medical information, professional correspondence – including emails – and other personal and professional records. Voters can compare Hillary Clinton’s sizable record of disclosure to that of Donald Trump, the least transparent candidate for president in modern history.
“We already knew that Donald Trump is the least transparent presidential candidate in modern history,” HFA Chair John Podesta said, “Now we’re learning that Trump is tied up in a web of personal and business relationships with countries that play key roles in our foreign policy decisions. Until Trump discloses his foreign business ties, divests from the Trump Organization, and releases his tax returns, there should be serious concern about who a President Trump would serve: the American people, or Trump’s bank account.”
In case you missed it, Newsweek’s upcoming cover story detailed a sample of the various foreign influences circling around Trump and the Trump Organization. Key excerpts, and the full story, can be found below:
The Newsweek article stated, “Never before has an American candidate for president had so many financial ties with American allies and enemies, and never before has a business posed such a threat to the United States. If Donald Trump wins this election and his company is not immediately shut down or forever severed from the Trump family, the foreign policy of the United States of America could well be for sale.”
ON TRUMP IN LIBYA: “But for the Trump Organization, Qaddafi was not a murdering terrorist; he was a prospect who might bring the company financing and the opportunity to build a resort on the Mediterranean coast of Libya.”
ON TRUMP IN TURKEY: “In other words, Trump would be in direct financial and political conflict with Turkey from the moment he was sworn into office. Once again, all his dealings with Turkey would be suspect: Would Trump act in the interests of the United States or his wallet?”
ON TRUMP IN UKRAINE: “The potential financial conflicts here for a President Trump are enormous.”
ON TRUMP IN SOUTH KOREA: “This relationship puts Trump’s foreign policies in conflict with his financial interests…. One of the primary South Korean companies involved in nuclear energy, a key component in weapons development, is Trump’s partner—Daewoo Engineering and Construction. It would potentially get an economic windfall if the United States adopted policies advocated by Trump.”
ON TRUMP IN INDIA: “In India, the conflicts between the interests of the Trump Organization and American foreign policy are starker… No doubt, few Indian political groups hoping to establish close ties to a possible future American president could have missed the recent statements from the Trump family that its company wanted to do more deals in their country.”
ON TRUMP IN UAE: “With Middle Eastern business partners and American allies turning on him, Trump lashed out… Once again, Trump’s personal and financial interests are in conflict with critical national security issues for the United States.”
ON TRUMP IN AZERBAIJAN: “If American intelligence concludes, or has already concluded, that his business partner’s father has been aiding Iran by laundering money for the military, will Trump’s foreign policy decisions on Iran and Azerbaijan be based on the national security of the United States or the financial security of Donald Trump?”
NEWSWEEK: “The dealings of the Trump Organization reach into so many countries that it is impossible to detail all the conflicts they present in a single issue of this magazine, but a Newsweek examination of the company has also found deep connections in China, Brazil, Bulgaria, Argentina, Canada, France, Germany and other countries.”
I’m disappointed that Hillary Clinton issued a statement pulling back on her statement that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are in a basket of “deplorable” and the other half are people who feel they have been left out and left behind by government. Her statement is founded in fact – surveys of Trump supporters that show solid percentages who favor building a wall, banning Muslims, even saying the Emancipation Proclamation was a bad idea. Nonetheless, hoping to have the same success as an attack on Hillary Clinton as Mitt Romney’s 47% comment (47% of Americans would not vote for him because they were “takers” which presumably included seniors on Social Security and veterans, and Barack Obama’s comment about “guns and God” and taking a tiny phrase out of context, “You didn’t build it”), Trump created a new ad.
Hopefully it will backfire because instead of coming back against Clinton, it will highlight who, indeed, is inspired by his campaign of hatred, bigotry and fear.
In response to Donald Trump’s new ad, HFA Deputy Communications Director Christina Reynolds offered the following statement:
“As we’ve come to expect, Donald Trump gets quite a bit wrong in his new TV ad, ignoring Hillary Clinton’s comments that she did not mean half of his supporters were deplorable and her reference to the economic concerns of many of his supporters. That said, if he’d like to argue against Hillary’s claim that people who are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamophobic are deplorable, we are happy to have that debate. Trump has spent the entire campaign offering divisive views that have given rise to far too much hatred and bigotry—Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine will continue to call that out.”
VOICEOVER:Speaking to wealthy donors, Hillary Clinton called tens of millions of Americans “deplorable”
CLINTON CLARIFIED REMARKS
Clinton Said She Regretted Being “Grossly Generalistic” In Her Comments. “Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ — that was wrong. But let’s be clear, what’s really ‘deplorable’ is that Donald Trump hired a major advocate for the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement to run his campaign and that David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values. It’s deplorable that Trump has built his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia and given a national platform to hateful views and voices, including by retweeting fringe bigots with a few dozen followers and spreading their message to 11 million people. It’s deplorable that he’s attacked a federal judge for his ‘Mexican heritage,’ bullied a Gold Star family because of their Muslim faith, and promoted the lie that our first black president is not a true American. So I won’t stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign.” [Hillary for America, Statement, 9/10/16]
IN THE FULL CONTEXT OF HER REMARKS, CLINTON SAID THANKFULLY, THE HATEFUL TRUMP SUPPORTERS “ARE NOT AMERICA”
Clinton Said We Have To “Understand And Empathize With” Trump Supporters Who Feel “The Government Has Let Them Down” And Who Are “Desperate For Change.” “…thankfully they are not America. But the other basket, the other basket, and I know because I see friends from all over America here. I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas, as well as you know New York and California. But that other basket of people who are people who feel that government has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they are just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroine, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.’” [Transcript via NPR, 9/10/16]
CLINTON HAS REPEATEDLY SAID THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS REJECT TRUMP’S BIGOTRY
Clinton: “As I Said, Many Of Trump’s Supporters Are Hard-Working Americans Who Just Don’t Feel Like The Economy Or Our Political System Are Working For Them.” “I also meant what I said last night about empathy, and the very real challenges we face as a country where so many people have been left out and left behind. As I said, many of Trump’s supporters are hard-working Americans who just don’t feel like the economy or our political system are working for them. I’m determined to bring our country together and make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top. Because we really are ‘stronger together.’” [Hillary for America, Statement, 9/10/16]
Clinton: “So There May Be Some Folks Who Buy Into His Dark, Negative Vision, And Think He Maybe Could Be Their Voice, But I Don’t Think That Represents The Vast Majority Of Americans.” “And you know, the other thing that struck me about his speech was when he said, ‘I am your voice.’ Now, look, I will admit, maybe he does speak for some people, but I think it’s kind of hard to imagine him speaking for immigrants, for people with disabilities, for African Americans, for Latinos, for women, or even for working people who he has a history of stiffing, not supporting. So there may be some folks who buy into his dark, negative vision, and think he maybe could be their voice, but I don’t think that represents the vast majority of Americans.” [Voter Registration Event in Charlotte, NC, 7/25/16]
Asked If Americans Are Becoming Desensitized To Trump’s Rhetoric, Clinton Said “The Vast Majority Of Americans Are People Who Are Decent And Caring And Looking For Ways That We Can Come Together, Not To Be Divided By Fear And Hatred.” “QUESTION: Do you worry that Americans are becoming desensitized to this kind of rhetoric? HILLARY CLINTON: I think the uproar from Americans across our country in response to a number of the comments that Trump has made, but in particular to his derogatory comments about the Khans shows to the contrary, that the vast majority of Americans are people who are decent and caring and looking for ways that we can come together, not to be divided by fear and hatred.” [Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine at Press Avail in Ashland, OH, 7/31/16]
Clinton On Trump Supporters: “I Think That The Core Of His Support Really Centers On The Disappointment In The Economy That So Many Americans Feel.” “YAMICHE ALCINDOR: My question is you’ve accused Donald Trump of using racist and sexist language, what does it say about the electorate that so many Americans are supporting him? HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I really believe that the core of his support — I’m not going to speak for everyone who supports him because I think there have been some quite distressing statements coming out of his rallies and his supporters and who has aligned themselves with him. But I think that the core of his support really centers on the disappointment in the economy that so many Americans feel. And what I have been saying is, you know, I want to bring this country together. I think we have three overarching goals: we need more economic opportunity; we need to protect our national security; and we have got to work toward American unity.” [Q&A at NABJ & NAHJ Convention in Washington, D.C., 8/5/16]
CLINTON GAVE AN ENTIRE SPEECH ABOUT HOW THE ALT-RIGHT USES TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE THEIR HATE MOVEMENT
Clinton: “Trump Is Reinforcing Harmful Stereotypes And Offering A Dog Whistle To His Most Hateful Supporters.” “Now, Trump’s lack of knowledge or experience or solutions would be bad enough. But what he’s doing here is more sinister. Trump is reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters. It’s a disturbing preview of what kind of President he’d be.” [Remarks on Trump’s Prejudice and Paranoia in Reno, NV, 8/25/16]
Clinton: “This Is A Moment Of Reckoning For Every Republican Dismayed That The Party Of Lincoln Has Become The Party Of Trump. It’s A Moment Of Reckoning For All Of Us Who Love Our Country.” “We wouldn’t tolerate this kind of behavior before and we wouldn’t tolerate it in our own homes. And we shouldn’t stand for it in a presidential candidate. My friends, this is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump. It’s a moment of reckoning for all of us who love our country and believe that America is better than this.” [Remarks on Trump’s Prejudice and Paranoia in Reno, NV, 8/25/16]
Clinton On Trump: “Every Day, More Americans Are Standing Up And Saying ‘Enough Is Enough’ – Including A Lot Of Republicans. And I Am Honored To Have Their Support In This Campaign.” “We can have our disagreements, and believe me, I understand that. I think that’s healthy. We need good debates, but we need to do it in a respectful way, not finger pointing and blaming, and stirring up this bigotry and prejudice. Every day, more Americans are standing up and saying ‘enough is enough’ – including a lot of Republicans. And I am honored to have their support in this campaign.” [Remarks on Trump’s Prejudice and Paranoia in Reno, NV, 8/25/16]
HILLARY CLINTON: You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. The racists, sexists, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.
TRUMP’S CANDIDACY HAS GIVEN THE ALT-RIGHT “LEGITIMACY THEY HAVE CRAVED FOR YEARS.”
HEADLINE: “Donald Trump’s Alt-Right Brain” [Editorial, New York Times, 9/5/16]
New York Times Editorial Board: Trump’s Candidacy Granted The Alternative-Right “The Legitimacy They Have Craved For Years.” “Mr. Trump says he isn’t signaling the alt-right when he says of immigrants, as he did again on Wednesday: ‘We have no idea who these people are, where they come from. I always say Trojan Horse. Watch what’s going to happen, folks. It’s not going to be pretty.’ Or when he said — in a line widely quoted on alt-right websites — ‘There is only one core issue in the immigration debate and it is this: the well-being of the American people.’ Mr. Trump’s white supremacist followers don’t take his disavowals too seriously. After all, he has enthusiastically retweeted bogus crime statistics and incendiary imagery from these websites and hired one of their biggest lights, Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, to manage his campaign. There aren’t enough of these people to put Mr. Trump in the White House. But his candidacy has granted them the legitimacy they have craved for years. For the first time, a candidate is using a major-party megaphone to shout the ideas they once could only mutter among themselves in the shadowy fringes of national debate.” [Editorial, New York Times, 9/5/16]
THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN FORTIFIED THE WHITE SUPREMACIST MOVEMENT
Donald Trump Was A Boon For White Supremacists, Who Used His Candidacy As A Tool To Expand Their Movement. “The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Trump as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike. And former Louisiana Rep. David Duke reports that the businessman has given more Americans cover to speak out loud about white nationalism than at any time since his own political campaigns in the 1990s. As hate group monitors at the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League warn that Trump’s rhetoric is conducive to anti-Muslim violence, white nationalist leaders are capitalizing on his candidacy to invigorate and expand their movement.” [Politico, 12/10/15]
Politico: “The Ku Klux Klan Is Using Donald Trump As A Talking Point In Its Outreach Efforts.” [Politico, 12/10/15]
Politico: “Stormfront, The Most Prominent American White Supremacist Website, Is Upgrading Its Servers In Part To Cope With A Trump Traffic Spike.” [Politico, 12/10/15]
Stormfront Founder Don Black: “Demoralization Has Been The Biggest Enemy And Trump Is Changing All That.” “As hate group monitors at the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League warn that Trump’s rhetoric is conducive to anti-Muslim violence, white nationalist leaders are capitalizing on his candidacy to invigorate and expand their movement. ‘Demoralization has been the biggest enemy and Trump is changing all that,’ said Stormfront founder Don Black, who reports additional listeners and call volume to his phone-in radio show, in addition to the site’s traffic bump.” [Politico, 12/10/15]
VOICEOVER:People like you, you, and you
TRUMP DESCRIBED THE AFRICAN AMERICAN AND HISPANIC COMMUNITIES AS IMPOVERISHED AND CRIME-RIDDEN
Trump On The African-American Community: “You Have So Many In Poverty And The Crime Is Horrible And The Education Is Terrible And They Live Terribly.” TRUMP: “But you have tremendous numbers of African-Americans that have really had a hard time. I mean, beyond belief. And, you know, I read the numbers where you have so many in poverty and the crime is horrible and the education is terrible and they live terribly. And I say, what do you have to lose? I say to them, what do you have to lose? Give it to me. I’m going to fix them. And a lot of people are agreeing with me. What do you have to lose. The Democrats and the Hillary Clintons of the world have done a terrible job. She has been there for 35 years. She has done a terrible job. But the Hillary Clintons of the world have done a terrible job, Eric, and I say, what do you have to lose? I will fix it and you know what? A lot of people are agreeing.” [O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, 9/1/16]
TRUMP HAS DESCRIBED AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES IN INSULTING AND IGNORANT TERMS
HEADLINE: “Donald Trump’s Description Of Black America Is Offending Those Living In It”[New York Times, 8/24/16]
New York Times: “The Unrelievedly Dire Picture He Has Painted Of Black America Has Left Many Black Voters Angry, Dumbfounded Or Both. Interviews With Roughly A Dozen Blacks Here Turned Up No One Who Found Any Appeal In Mr. Trump’s Remarks.” “But the unrelievedly dire picture he has painted of black America has left many black voters angry, dumbfounded or both. Interviews with roughly a dozen blacks here turned up no one who found any appeal in Mr. Trump’s remarks. More common was the suggestion that Mr. Trump was trying to appeal to whites who might support him.” [New York Times, 8/24/16]
TRUMP CRITICIZED A FEDERAL JUDGE’S ABILITY TO DO HIS JOB BECAUSE OF HIS HERITAGE
Trump Claimed Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel Could Not Preside Over His Case Without A Conflict Of Interest Because He Was “Of Mexican Heritage.” “Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had ‘an absolute conflict’ in presiding over the litigation given that he was ‘of Mexican heritage’ and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border.” [Wall Street Journal, 6/2/16]
TRUMP CALLED TO BAN AN ENTIRE GROUP OF PEOPLE BASED ON THEIR RELIGION
12/7/15: Trump Called For A “Total And Complete Shutdown Of Muslims Entering The United States,” Citing “Great Hatred Towards Americans By Large Segments Of The Muslim Populations.” “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim populations.” [Press Release, Donald Trump for President, 12/7/15]
Trump Said He Was Not Rolling Back His Ban On Muslims: “In Fact, You Could Say It’s An Expansion.” “Donald Trump made clear this weekend that he has not rolled back his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, despite top allies insisting that he had… ‘I don’t think so. I actually don’t think it’s a rollback. In fact, you could say it’s an expansion,’ Trump said. ‘I’m looking now at territory. People were so upset when I used the word ‘Muslim’: ‘Oh, you can’t use the word ‘Muslim.’ Remember this. And I’m okay with that, because I’m talking territory instead of Muslim.’” [Washington Post, 7/24/16; Meet the Press, 7/24/16]
TRUMP CALLED IMMIGRANTS CRIMINALS AND RAPISTS
Trump: “When Mexico Sends Its People, They’re Not Sending Their Best… They’re Bringing Drugs. They’re Bringing Crime. They’re Rapists.”TRUMP: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” [Trump Presidential Campaign Announcement, New York NY, 6/16/15]
TRUMP REPEATEDLY MADE SEXIST ATTACKS
Trump On Megyn Kelly: “You Could See There Was Blood Coming Out Of Her Eyes, Blood Coming Out Of Her Wherever.”“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Friday night that Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly ‘had blood coming out of her eyes’ when she aggressively questioned him during Thursday’s presidential debate. ‘She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions,’ Trump said in a CNN interview. ‘You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base.’” [Washington Post, 8/8/15]
Trump On Fiorina: “Look At That Face! Would Anyone Vote For That? Can You Imagine That, The Face Of Our Next President?”“When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump’s momentum, Trump’s expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. ‘Look at that face!’ he cries. ‘Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!’ The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. ‘I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?’ And there, in a nutshell, is Trump’s blessing and his curse: He can’t seem to quit while he’s ahead.” [Rolling Stone, 9/9/15]
Trump On Hillary Clinton: “Do You Think She Looks Presidential? I Don’t Think So.” “GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump went after Hillary Clinton Tuesday for the way she looks, saying she just doesn’t seem presidential. ‘Do you think she looks presidential? I don’t think so,’ Trump said to his crowd at a rally in Ashburn, Virginia.” [Huffington Post, 8/2/16; Trump Campaign Rally, Ashburn VA, 8/2/16]
TRUMP DEFENDED HIS SUGGESTION THAT SEXUAL ASSAULTS SHOULD BE EXPECTED IF WOMEN ARE ALLOWED TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY WITH MEN
Trump Defended His 2013 Tweet Suggesting Sexual Assault Was Inevitable “When They Put Men And Women Together” In The Military: “It Is A Correct Tweet. There Are Many People Think That’s Absolutely Correct.” LAUER: “In 2013, on this subject, you tweeted this. Quote, 26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military. Only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together? End quote.” TRUMP: “Well, it is a correct tweet. There are many people think that’s absolutely correct. We need to have a –“ [Commander In Chief Forum, MSNBC, 9/7/16]
TRUMP SAID HE WAS PROUD TO BE A BIRTHER
USA Today: Trump “Was Perhaps The Most Prominent Voice Of The ‘Birther’ Movement.”“Trump has been an outspoken critic of President Obama and was perhaps the most prominent voice of the ‘birther’ movement, which asserted, erroneously, that Obama was not a natural-born U.S. citizen. On Monday, he took a shot at the newest entrant to the 2016 Republican field, Jeb Bush, tweeting: ‘Do we really need another Bush in the White House — we have had enough of them.’ If there’s one thing Trump brings to the 2016 campaign, it’s confidence. ‘I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far,’ he told The Des Moines Register in a recent interview.” [USA Today, 6/16/15]
March 2011: Trump: “I’m Proud To Be” A Birther. “Well I thought he was very nice to me, though. I mean, I understand that. And he doesn’t want to be labeled as a birther, probably. I’m proud to be. I mean, I’m very proud of it. I don’t like the term. I think it’s a demeaning term to the people that believe that he should have a birth certificate. .” [Laura Ingraham Show,AUDIO 06:30-07:00, 3/30/11]
VOICEOVER: You know what’s deplorable?
TRUMP ATTACKED A GOLD STAR FAMILY WHO LOST THEIR SON IN IRAQ
HEADLINE: “Donald Trump Criticizes Muslim Family Of Slain U.S. Soldier, Drawing Ire” [New York Times, 7/30/16]
HEADLINE: “Donald Trump’s Slander Of Captain Humayun Khan’s Family Is Horrifying, Even For Trump” [Vox, 7/30/16]
Trump Claimed The Mother Of A Fallen Muslim Soldier Did Not Speak At The Democratic Nation Convention Because “Maybe She Wasn’t Allowed To Have Anything To Say, You Tell Me.” “Donald J. Trump belittled the parents of a slain Muslim soldier who had strongly denounced Mr. Trump during the Democratic National Convention, saying that the soldier’s father had delivered the entire speech because his mother was not ‘allowed’ to speak…But, he added, ‘If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say, she probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say, you tell me.’” [New York Times,7/30/16; This Week, ABC, 7/31/16]
Trump Suggested His Business Career Was A Sacrifice Comparable To The Loss Of Khizr Khan’s Son: “I Think I Have Made A Lot Of Sacrifices.” STEPHANOPOULOS: “How would you answer that father [Khan]? What sacrifice have you made for your country?” TRUMP: “I think I have made a lot of sacrifices. I’ve work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve done — I’ve had tremendous success.” STEPHANOPOULOS: “Those are sacrifices?” TRUMP: “Oh, sure. I think they’re sacrifices.” [This Week, ABC, 7/31/16]
VOICEOVER:Hillary Clinton viciously demonizing hard working people like you.
TRUMP QUESTIONED HOW STUPID THE PEOPLE OF IOWA AND THE COUNTRY WERE
Donald Trump: “How Stupid Are The People Of Iowa? How Stupid Are The People Of The Country To Believe This Crap?” “With his voice growing louder and louder, Trump questioned what sort of person would attack his mother. He questioned how a belt buckle could stop a blade, stepping away from the podium to demonstration how such an attack might happen and how his own belt buckle wouldn’t stay in place long enough to stop a knife. ‘Anybody have a knife?’ Trump asked the audience, which was screened by Secret Service agents who began protecting him this week. ‘You want to try it on me?’ Trump was flabbergast: ‘How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?’” [Washington Post, 11/13/15; Donald Trump Campaign Rally, Fort Dodge Iowa, 11/12/15]
TRUMP SAID HE LOVES THE “POORLY EDUCATED,” BRAGGING HE WON THAT GROUP OF VOTERS
Trump: “We Won With Poorly Educated — I Love The Poorly Educated.” TRUMP: “We won the evangelicals. We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated — I love the poorly educated. We’re the smartest people, we’re the most loyal people.’” [Trump Campaign Rally, Las Vegas NV, 2/23/16]
TRUMP MOCKED A DISABLED REPORTER
HEADLINE: “Trump Mocks New York Times Reporter With Disability” [Chicago Tribune,11/25/15]
Chicago Tribune: “Trump Appeared To Mock Kovaleski’s Physical Condition; The Reporter Has Arthrogryposis, Which Visibly Limits Flexibility In His Arms. ‘Now, The Poor Guy — You’ve Got To See This Guy, “Ah, I Don’t Know What I Said! I Don’t Remember!”’ Trump Said As He Jerked His Arms In Front Of His Body.” “On stage Tuesday, Trump berated Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski for his recent recollection of an article he had written a few days after the attacks. Trump appeared to mock Kovaleski’s physical condition; the reporter has arthrogryposis, which visibly limits flexibility in his arms. ‘Now, the poor guy — you’ve got to see this guy, “Ah, I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!”’ Trump said as he jerked his arms in front of his body. The gesture was all the more personal because Kovaleski covered Trump while reporting for the New York Daily News between 1987 and 1993, a tumultuous period for Trump in which he struggled through several financial setbacks.” [Chicago Tribune, 11/25/15]
DONALD J. TRUMP: I’m Donald Trump, and I approve this message.
This week, Hillary Clinton announced her comprehensive plan to support Americans living with mental health problems and illnesses. Recognizing that nearly a fifth of all adults in the United States — more than 40 million people — are coping with a mental health problem, Hillary’s plan will integrate the mental and physical health care systems. Her goal is that within her time in office, Americans will no longer separate mental health from physical health when it comes to access to care or quality of treatment. Hillary has been talking about mental health policy throughout her campaign, since hearing directly from American parents, students, veterans, nurses, and police officers about how these challenges keep them up at night.
According to a Fact Sheet provided by the Hillary for America campaign, Hillary will convene a White House Conference on Mental Health during her first year as President. In addition, her comprehensive agenda on mental health will:
Integrate our nation’s mental and physical health care systems so that health care delivery focuses on the “whole person,” and significantly enhance community-based treatment opportunities. Hillary’s plan will foster integration between the medical and behavioral health care systems (including mental health and addiction services), so that high-quality treatment for behavioral health is widely available in general health care settings. Hillary will expand reimbursement structures in Medicare and Medicaid for collaborative care by tasking the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to create and implement new such payment models.
Promote early diagnosis and intervention, including launching a national initiative for suicide prevention. The overall rate of suicide increased by 24 percent between 1999 and 2014, and is now at its highest level in 30 years. Hillary will direct all relevant federal agencies, including Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Education, to research and develop plans for suicide prevention in their respective settings, and create a cross-government initiative headed by the Surgeon General to coordinate these efforts. She also believes we must redouble our efforts around early screening and intervention – and that means training pediatricians, teachers, school counselors, and other service providers throughout the public health system, to identify mental health problems at an early age and recommend appropriate support.
Enforce mental health parity to the full extent of the law.The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, which Hillary co-sponsored, requires that mental health benefits under group health plans be equal to benefits for other medical conditions, and the Affordable Care Act requires insurance plans in the individual and small group markets to offer mental health coverage as an essential health benefit. But while the right laws are on the books, they are too often ignored or not enforced. As part of her commitment to fully enforcing the mental health parity law, Hillary will launch randomized audits to detect parity violations, and increase federal enforcement. She will also enforce disclosure requirements so that insurers cannot conceal their practices for denying mental health care and strengthen federal monitoring of health insurer compliance with network adequacy requirements.
Improve criminal justice outcomes by training law enforcement officers in crisis intervention, and prioritizing treatment over jail for low-level offenders. As many as 1 in every 10 police encounters may be with individuals with some type of mental health problem, and our county jails today house more individuals with mental illness than our state and local psychiatric hospitals. She will dedicate new resources to help train law enforcement officers in responding to conflicts involving persons with mental illness, and increase grant funding to support law enforcement partnerships with mental health professionals.She will also increase investments in local programs such as specialized courts, drug courts, and veterans’ treatment courts, which send people to treatment and rehab instead of the criminal justice system, and direct the Attorney General to issue guidance to federal prosecutors, instructing them to prioritize treatment over incarceration for low-level, non-violent offenders. Finally, she will work to strengthen mental health services for incarcerated individuals and ensure continuity of care so that they get the treatment they need, which will improve outcomes for them after they reenter society and will reduce recidivism.
Improve access to housing and job opportunities.As president, Hillary will expand community-based housing opportunities for individuals with mental illness and other disabilities. Hillary will launch a joint initiative between the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and HHS to create supportive housing opportunitiesfor thousands of people with mental illnesses and disabilities, who currently reside in or are at risk of entering institutional settings. The employment rate for people with serious mental illness is below 20 percent, even though many of these adults want to work and more than half could succeed with appropriate job supports. Hillary will work with private employers and state and local mental health authorities to share best practices around hiring and retaining individuals with mental health problems, and in adopting supported employment programs. She’ll also expand HHS’s “Transforming Lives Through Supported Employment” program, which already assists states and communities in providing supported jobs to people with mental illness.
Invest in brain and behavioral research and developing safe and effective treatments.Hillary believes we need a pioneering, multi-sector effort to transform our knowledge of this field—from mapping the human brain to generating new insights into what drives our behavior to investing in clinical and services research to understand the interventions that work best and how to deliver them to patients. As president, Hillary will significantly increase research into brain and behavioral science research.She will provide new funding for the National Institutes of Health; build on cross-collaborative basic research efforts like the BRAIN initiative; scale up critical investments in clinical, behavioral, and services research; and integrate research portfolios with pioneering work on conditions like PTSD and traumatic brain injury already underway at DoD, the VA, and HHS. She will develop new links with the private and non-profit sectors to ensure that federal government efforts are aligned with those of other sectors to ensure that progress occurs as quickly as possible. She will also commit to brain and behavioral science research based on open data.
The full comprehensive proposal is available on HillaryClinton.com here.
Barack Obama’s candidacy in 2008 got an extra dose of high-octane fuel by the history-making fact of becoming the first African-American president. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, seems more inclined to downplay her own history-making candidacy as the first woman to serve as President. Indeed, she’s gotten flack from younger women who are so liberated, they will vote against a woman just to show they can, asserting that they refuse to vote for a woman just because she is a woman (despite the fact that Hillary is the most skilled, experienced candidate who ever ran for the office). Running as a woman is a liability Hillary embraces at her peril, because her opponents will attempt to negate it as using the “gender card.”
Yet, at its core, her whole campaign is about the issues that are of concern to women, for as she says, she is running to break down the barriers that prevent every person from fulfilling their potential. The fact is women are part of each and every one of these marginalized groups.
And just as women’s reproductive rights are as much economic as they are about personal freedom, the long list of policies and agenda items Hillary is advocating for are as much women’s issues as they are matters of economic, social and political justice. But it takes a woman to prioritize them.
These issues include reproductive rights to be sure, but also universal health care, minimum wage, overtime pay, pay parity, paid family leave, access to quality, affordable child care and universal pre-K, student debt, protecting Social Security and Medicare, immigration reform and a path to legalization, gun violence prevention, clean air and water, climate change, clean energy. Add to this jobs creation and union rights, trade deals that protect American workers and the environment, investment in infrastructure, investment in Alzheimer’s research, medical research and innovation. Oh yes, and protecting voting rights, especially from Voter ID and other methods that disproportionately keep women from the polls.
As she said, at a Clinton Foundation “No Ceilings” event in 2015, “If we take bold steps to better the lives of women, we will be taking bold steps to better the lives of children and families too. Families rely on mothers and wives for emotional support and care. Families rely on women for labor in the home. And increasingly, everywhere, families rely on women for income needed to raise healthy children and care for other relatives.”
But 30 years of anti-Hillary propaganda have taken their toll, shaped an image and an argument. It is breathtaking that the question always posed to her – but not to the Republicans – has to do with “trust” and “honesty.” I am trying to figure out on what issue she has been less “trustworthy” or “honest”? Whitewater? Benghazi? Foster? A nurse in Florida told me that Hillary was responsible for 25 murders. I suggest that “dishonest” (or “shady”) is just a way around saying, “we can’t stand a woman who is competent and assertive” without admitting sexism.
Is she too cozy with Corporate America? In fact, that is the secret weapon to actually making progress. It is the strategy and the innovation that has been pursued since 2005 by the Clinton Global Initiative, which have forged partnerships among government entities, the private sector and NGOs that have funneled billions of dollars into 3400 constructive commitments that have benefited 430 million people around the globe. It’s a strategy that has been implemented by the Obama Administration in order to actually make social progress when Republicans just want to cancel programs aimed at uplifting people altogether.
But yes, the innovation that the Clintons have fashioned is to recruit as companies as allies, not enemies – getting Walmart, Coca Cola, The Hershey Corporation and others to invest in sustainable development, Goldman Sachs to create a new financing mechanism to save coral reefs, Proctor & Gamble to devise and distribute millions of packets that can purify water that saves millions of children from dying before the age of 5 from waterborne illnesses, and Monsanto Company to invest in revitalizing the honey bee population. CGI has fostered major cultural change within such massive multi-national organizations, and more than lip-service paid to social investing and economic sustainability. That’s not selling out, That’s converting the very entities that have the power to make real change.
Advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls has been a central focus of CGI and Hillary Clinton. There has been a recognition that if you improve education and family planning, create opportunities to be entrepreneurs or own businesses, you don’t just improve the lives of those women, you improve the lives of their children, their families, their villages and communities and their nations, with impacts far exceeding similar programs offered to men. That’s just fact.
When she was Senator, I recall Hillary Clinton sitting down with a woman’s panel that included the head of CARE, discussing how implementing micro-finance enabled a woman to borrow just $12 to buy a goat, so she could earn enough for school fees for her child.
“When more women enter the workforce, it spurs innovation, increases productivity, and grows economies,” Clinton said at CGI 2012. “Families then have more money to spend, businesses can expand their consumer base and increase their profits. In short, everyone benefits.”
She has brought on board the Buffet Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Nike Foundation, and a long, long list of powerhouses to address issues ranging from clean water and solar-powered lighting to training midwifes and creating the logistics to get vaccines to rural communities.
As Secretary of State, I recall Hillary Clinton’s commitment to CGI on behalf of the Obama Administration to sponsor millions of cooking stoves. Why was this so significant? Well it turns out that the method that women were using – burning carbon inside the house – was not only a leading cause of women dying, but also produced toxic, global-warming causing pollution.
In fact, First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” campaign uses the same CGI techniques of engaging important corporate partners to achieve a significant goal, including Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, JetBlue, Starwood Hotels.
It is stunning that Hillary is being held to account for policies from Bill Clinton’s presidency, when she was First Lady – DOMA, welfare reform, NAFTA and the Crime Bill (all of which were designed to fend off the incessant attacks from the right wing which were determined to undermine his presidency from Day One, just as they have to Obama. It didn’t work – they still impeach them.).
Indeed, she was pilloried for overstepping bounds of a wifely First Lady – how dare she! clearly forgetting how Eleanor Roosevelt was responsible for just about every progressive program FDR ever devised- in trying to achieve universal health care. Besides that, times are different than the mid-1990s, and certainly, we have learned from unintended consequences of legislation, even if initiated in good faith. More significantly, Hillary is not Bill Clinton. Hillary is her own person.
Overcoming the “woman’s issue” is also a factor in her more hawkish stance. She can’t afford to be seen as being a weak Commander-in-Chief. No such concern for Bernie Sanders.
Much like Obama had to downplay race, Hillary Clinton seems to have downplayed women’s issues in this campaign, lest she be attacked (as she already is, nonetheless), for playing the “gender card.
But she has been most constant in her sensitivity and advocacy of women’s rights and the plight of the marginalized.
On International Women’s Day, March 8, she issued a statement crystallizing “the unfinished work” toward insuring that women and girls achieve full equality:
“On International Women’s Day, we celebrate women around the world, in all stations of life — mothers, daughters, grandmothers, teachers, doctors, soldiers, artists, workers, employers, leaders of all kinds. We celebrate their achievements and their humanity. We celebrate the progress we’ve made to advance the full participation of women in economies and societies. And most importantly, we recommit to finishing the unfinished work that remains, and ensuring that women and girls are treated as the full and equal human beings they are.
“Advancing the status of women is not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. When women and girls participate fully, economies grow and nations are more secure. When their rights are denied, the opposite happens. No country can get ahead if half its people are left behind.
“I’ve spent my career working to break down barriers that hold back women here at home and around the world. As President, I will keep up the fight. I’ll fight to close the pay gap; make paid family leave a reality; ensure families have access to quality, affordable child care; increase the minimum wage; protect women’s health and reproductive rights; confront violence against women; and promote women’s rights around the globe. These issues ought to be core priorities of our government. They are not just “women’s issues”—they are family issues, economic issues, and they’re crucial to America’s competitiveness and security.
“This International Women’s Day, let’s take a page from the generations of women leaders around the world who never stopped working to make our world a better, more equitable place. And let’s always remember that women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights, once and for all.”
Being a woman head of state is no longer an issue in places as diverse as Croatia and Pakistan to Germany and the United Kingdom.
As a woman, Hillary Clinton would prioritize and approach issues differently, even from Bernie Sanders who claims to be the great progressive. She has intimate knowledge of these issues from a grass roots level that even Bernie Sanders doesn’t have (while each one of the Republican candidates would certainly roll back progress to “take America back” to the halcyon days when white men ruled).
And if she does become President, she will become President Hillary Rodham Clinton, and hopefully, bring a woman’s touch to the most powerful position on earth.
With five million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s today, and nearly 15 million expected to be affected by 2050, Hillary Clinton is pledging a new, groundbreaking $2 billion annual commitment to prevent, effectively treat and make a cure possible for Alzheimer’s disease by 2025, if she is elected President.
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and is the only cause in the Top 10 that we cannot currently prevent, cure, or even slow.
But scientists say that therapies that would prevent, cure or slow the progress are in reach, provided there is adequate, predictable funding for research. There is a “budget constraint, not a knowledge constraint” that is the main obstacle to success, scientists say.
While the incidence of major diseases is falling, the incidence of Alzheimer’s is rising. “Rates of incidence will only go up in future, as the population ages. But cure is at hand, just lacks funding. Impact of disease combined with the nearness of solution is what is causing Hillary Clinton to want to increase funding.”
The $2 billion a year that Secretary Clinton pledges to devote to research – almost quadrupling the $586 million that has been allocated to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – is a figure that comes out of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s disease which she co-chaired while in the US Senate, and from other professional panels. And the cost is miniscule compared to how much is spent now: Alzheimer’s is one of the costliest diseases in America – exceeding $200 billion in annual costs to the economy from the disease and related dementia. Recent reports suggest that by 2050 the total cost may exceed $1 trillion per year.
Women and communities of color are disproportionately affected by for this terrible disease. Two out of every three Alzheimer’s patients are women, older African Americans are twice as likely than older white individuals to be afflicted and older Latinos are 1.5 times as likely.
In developing this plan, Hillary Clinton has consulted with leading physician-scientists to understand what it would take to rapidly accelerate progress currently being made in the field.
“We owe it to the millions of families who stay up at night worrying about their loved ones afflicted by this terrible disease and facing the hard reality of the long goodbye to make research investments that will prevent, effectively treat and make a cure possible by 2025,” Clinton said. “The best scientific minds tell us we have a real chance to make groundbreaking progress on curing this disease and relieving the pain so many families feel every day. My plan will set us on that course.”
Clinton’s plan will:
Dedicate a historic, decade-long investment of $2 billion per year to Alzheimer’s research and related disorders – a fourfold increase over last year’s $586 million. Leading researchers including the research advisory council to the congressionally-authorized National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, have set out this goal of $2 billion a year to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s and make a cure possible by 2025.
Ensure a reliable stream of funding for fighting Alzheimer’s between now and 2025. This plan ensures predictability of funding between now and 2025, so that researchers can work consistently towards developing effective treatments and a cure. This gives researchers greater freedom to pursue the big, creative bets – including cross-collaboration with researchers in related fields – that can result in dramatic pay-offs.
Appoint a top-flight team to oversee this initiative and consult regularly with top researchers to ensure progress towards achieving the treatment target. At each stage, this plan will embrace a range of approaches to drive new knowledge into effective treatments.
Clinton’s new research investment in preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s will yield results not just in the fight against this disease, but for a range of neurodegenerative illnesses, from Parkinson’s disease to Lewy body dementia to frontotemporal dementia. The plan will also help medical professionals understand the intersection of Alzheimer’s with other conditions, including the high rate of individuals with Down syndrome who experience early-onset Alzheimer’s.
This commitment to Alzheimer’s research is only part of Clinton’s overall commitment to a substantial increase in investment at the National Institutes of Health to prevent, treat, and secure cures for the broad array of diseases that afflict Americans.
In addition to investing in research, Clinton announced today new parts of her agenda to support caregivers, like those who give critical care and support to the millions of families struggling with Alzheimer’s. Her plan will fight for Medicare to cover a comprehensive, care-planning session with a clinician following every new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or related diseases, work with Congress to reauthorize the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program and direct the Social Security Administration to raise awareness of the Medicare-covered annual wellness visits and their associated preventive and screening benefits, including the cognitive screening – which is especially critical for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and other related dementia, by presenting this information alongside Social Security payments that beneficiaries will open and read.
“An Alzheimer’s Epidemic – and No Survivors”
The United States is facing an Alzheimer’s epidemic. And there are no survivors. and while the incidence of other diseases have gone down, the incidence of Alzheimer’s is rising.
But scientists are confident that therapies can be found – “we don’t have a knowledge problem. We have a budget problem.”
“The proposed boost in funding could not have come at a better time – last couple of years, revelations, discoveries in this field that have been unprecedented,” said Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tanzi is Director of the Genetics and Aging Research unit at Massachusetts General, the Chair of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium and was named one of Time Magazines’ 2015 “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
“From a scientific side, it is reasonable, rational that if we can throw enough money into it, we have a chance to dramatically reduce incidence, stave off disease for folks at highest risk,” he said during a conference call hosted by the Hillary for America campaign.
This disease was described 1906 by Dr. Alzheimer after studying the pathology in the brain of a 56-year old patient and found a mutation in the brain, the same mutation as Alice portrayed in the movie, “Still Alice”.
He said that research into early onset Alzheimer’s has shown common conditions, but most importantly, that people can have the conditions for Alzheimer’s for 10, 15, and 20 years before the first symptoms emerge, but by then, it is too late to do anything about it.
Early research was done on mice brains and yielded incorrect results. The breakthrough came when researchers “grew” Alzheimer’s in a “minibrain” in a dish – a gel-like environment – “and lo and behold, after the amyloid formed, it created the tangles that kill nerve cells. This was the first proof of concept, that if we do the right experiment and use human nerve cells, not mice, the amyloid causes the tangles.”
He added, “We also learned that the third pillar of pathology of Alzheimer’s is inflammation, which is probably the most significant target in a patient who already has the disease, because the inflammation kills many of the nerve cells. Through the Alzheimer’s Genome Project we now know genes control inflammation – so the first drug target is to quell the inflammation in the brain.”
He pointed to research on “resilient brains where we see a person who dies in their 80s or 90s with no cognitive issues, but when we look at their brain, we see the tangles, but they don’t have the inflammation. So if can quell inflammation, we can better help patients.”
This could be a path to at least slowing the progress of the disease and the severity.
“If we can stave off the conversion of simply having plaques in the brain of a 50-60 years old – a picture like in a colonscopy so the brain would be assessed – for amyloid load, how much plaques – we would know if 10, 15, 20 years away the patient is at high risk of dementia (cognitive problems),” said Dr. Tanzi. “The goal would be that could be given a drug, together with lifestyle, that patient never gets to the point of dementia. You might have the precursors, but not the three -plaques, tangles, inflammation. If we can stave it off for 5 years, the savings to Medicare, Medicaid treatment, nursing home savings would be in the many, many billions of dollars. Once we have one or two of these drugs to slow down these pathologies.”
“I’m optimistic. The main bottleneck in the field is funding. We discovered the genes in the 1980s, 1990s. We discovered two dozen Alzheimer’s genes, but there has been very little work, including on genes that control the inflammation because there is no budget – the research is considered high risk because so far there has been little success. If we had more money, many more shots on goal, many more genes being studied – because most of what we know comes from studying genes,” he said, he is confident of success.
“We have budget constraint, not knowledge constraint. Hopefully with $2 billion a year, we finally can do the work we can do to stop the disease by 2025.”
The $2 billion a year that Clinton would allocate, compared to the $586 million that came from NIH last year, amounts to $20 billion commitment over 10 years.
“Our experts would validate that the predictability of funding is almost as important as the money itself,” said Robert Egge, the Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement. Mr. Egge previously served as Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Study Group – a blue ribbon task force of national leaders co-chaired by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey. “$2 billion is the amount we know will make a difference and is what was recommended … to help get us over the finish line. We know that, but we haven’t seen the will in Congress to match the recommendation.”
The $2 billion annual commitment is part of larger plan that Senator Clinton is unveiling today at an event in Fairfield, Iowa. Other elements would bolster Medicare so a physician could follow every diagnosis of Alzheimers, working with Congress on a patient alert program (which has lapsed) and a tax credit proposal that would allow caregivers to take 20% up to $6000 in care-related costs a year.
The focus on Alzheimer’s is the first piece of a larger commitment to increase the research investment that Hillary Clinton would seek. In addition to investment in manufacturing and infrastructure, she is proposing a plan to dedicate funds for research to help innovate and lead the world in next-generation cures of diseases that are ravaging Americans. This commitment for Alzheimer’s is just the first piece of that.
The campaign also noted that plan announced today “build on Hillary Clinton’s long and strong record of advocating for patients and families who bear the burden of Alzheimer’s disease. In the U.S. Senate, she consistently pushed for greater funding for Alzheimer’s research, including federally-funded stem cell research, and she co-chaired the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s disease. She also introduced legislation to restore funding for the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Contact Center and for Alzheimer’s disease demonstration grants. And she forged links across the aisle on the issue, appearing with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to promote a new study group on Alzheimer’s research. This record reflects her long-time understanding that this disease not only represents a physical, psychological, and financial burden to millions of Americans, but an overwhelming economic and budgetary threat to our country that we must address.”
A full fact sheet on the new plan is available here.