The Latest: Democrats release draft of party’s platform


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. presidential campaign (all times EDT):

3:20 p.m.

Democrats are releasing the draft of their party’s platform, calling it the “most progressive” potential platform in the party’s history.

The platform is a statement of the party’s values. Highlights include saying that American workers should earn at least $15 an hour, the death penalty should be abolished and that no bank can be too big to fail.

It was developed by representatives of the campaigns of presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and the Democratic National Committee.

Sanders has said he will push for stronger language that what’s in the draft opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, seeking a $15 an hour minimum wage and a ban on fracking.

The full 187-member platform committee will meet in Orlando, Florida, next week to review and adopt the draft.

It then will be considered later this month at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

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3:15 p.m.

The third-ranking House Republican says Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s comments about her impromptu meeting with former President Bill Clinton raise more questions than answers.

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana says Lynch should recuse herself from any investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account and server while serving as secretary of state.

Scalise said if Lynch is truly concerned about preserving the public’s trust in the investigation, she must appoint a special prosecutor to handle the inquiry.

Scalise says in a statement Friday that Lynch’s comments raise questions about her judgment and the “apparent belief by the Clintons that they don’t need to follow the same rules as other Americans.”

Lynch said Friday that the meeting “cast a shadow” over the public’s perception of the case.

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2:15 p.m.

Donald Trump says Bill Clinton’s meeting Attorney General Loretta Lynch has “opened up a Pandora’s box.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee took on the recent private meeting between the former president and Lynch aboard her plane while speaking Friday to a gathering of conservatives in Denver.

Trump says, “It shows what’s going on, it shows what’s happening with our laws, with our government.” He adds: “Hillary is so guilty.”

Lynch said Friday she understands that the impromptu meeting with Bill Clinton aboard her plane “cast a shadow” over the public perception of the neutrality of the FBI-led investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account and server while serving as secretary of state.

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1:35 p.m.

Donald Trump is starting to embrace the tool he once despised: the teleprompter.

Trump took note of the device after taking the stage at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver on Friday.

He says, “If I knew they had these teleprompters, I would have used them. I’m starting to love these teleprompters.”

Trump has repeatedly mocked other politicians for using the devices and joked in the primaries that anyone running for president should be barred from using them.

But he’s increasingly turned to delivering speeches from prepared remarks in recent weeks as he’s tried to professionalize his once-unscripted campaign.

Still, Trump says that it’s much more exciting when he stand ups and talks off the cuff. He says, “I know the folks from Colorado and they’re wild.”

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1:25 p.m.

Police in Denver say they’ve arrested three people after clashes between Donald Trump supporters and protesters.

Police moved in outside the Western Conservative Summit after a man grabbed pro-Trump bumper stickers from a woman outside the city’s convention center, ripped them up and threw them in her face.

A pushing match followed and people spilled into the street.

Police swarmed the crowd and ordered people to get out of the street. They led two men and a woman away, including the man who took the bumper stickers.

Until then the crowd had been lively, but peaceful. Some protesters sang “We Shall Overcome” and others waived the Mexican flag, saying “No justice, no peace.”

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1:19 p.m.

Hillary Clinton begins this month with $44 million in cash to continue hammering Donald Trump in the race for the White House.

The presumptive Democratic nominee raised $40.5 million in June. Her campaign announced the fundraising numbers on Friday.

Clinton has spent far more than Trump building a voter contact operation and beginning to advertise ahead of the November election.

Trump has not disclosed his June fundraising numbers. One recent email solicitation from the presumptive Republican presidential nominee claims he raised $11 million in a few days and set a goal of raising another $10 million by Thursday.

Trump paid for most of his primary campaign with personal loans and has been slow to begin fundraising.

He brought in just over $3 million from donors in May, compared to Clinton’s more than $26 million.

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12:55 p.m.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will meet with Donald Trump over the weekend amid speculation that he could join the Republican’s presidential ticket.

A spokesman for the Pence’s re-election campaign said Friday that Pence will “spend a little time” with Trump this weekend.

Spokesman Marc Lotter says Friday the meeting is consistent with other meetings Trump is having with GOP party leaders in the run-up to the GOP’s summer convention.

When asked about Pence as a potential running mate this week, Trump described him as “somebody we respect a lot.”

Pence is well regarded among conservatives and has strong backing among many evangelical leaders in the Republican Party. He faces a difficult re-election battle in Indiana, due in part to his support for socially conservative policies.

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12:51 p.m.

Despite a little bit of rain, about a hundred people are protesting outside Donald Trump’s appearance at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver.

Friday’s peaceful gathering outside the city’s convention center included everyone from veteran protesters from the Occupy movement, some wearing bandanas across their faces, to a small group of students from Colorado Christian University.

An institute based at Colorado Christian University organized Friday’s conference, which is billed as the largest gathering of conservatives outside of Washington.

Some sang “We Shall Overcome” and others waived the Mexican flag, saying “No justice, no peace.”

At a park a several blocks away, other Trump opponents are building a box out of cardboard boxes to protest Trump’s promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.

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12:43 p.m.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign says it won’t comment about Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s acknowledgment that her impromptu meeting with Bill Clinton this week “cast a shadow” on public perception of the Justice Department’s investigation into her email practices at the State Department.

A campaign spokesman for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee declined to comment Friday.

A spokesman for former President Bill Clinton also declined to address Lynch’s remarks.

Speaking at a conference in Colorado on Friday, Lynch said the meeting this week with Bill Clinton is not something she would do again.

Lynch says she understands the private meeting aboard her plane in Phoenix “cast a shadow” over the public perception of the neutrality of the FBI-led investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account and server while serving as secretary of state.

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12:15 p.m.

Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton “probably” orchestrated the meeting between her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee says on Twitter, “As Bernie Sanders said, Hillary Clinton has bad judgment. Bill’s meeting was probably initiated and demanded by Hillary!”

He adds, “Does anybody really believe that meeting was just a coincidence?”

The Justice Department is investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Lynch said Friday that her impromptu meeting this week with Bill Clinton aboard her plane “cast a shadow” over the public’s perception of the neutrality of that investigation.

A spokesman for Bill Clinton declined to comment Friday about the meeting with Lynch.

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11:46 a.m.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch says she won’t overrule the findings of an FBI-led investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

She also acknowledged that an impromptu meeting this week with Bill Clinton that caused a political firestorm is not something she would do again.

Lynch addressed her part in the investigation at a conference in Colorado.

She said she understood that her private meeting with Clinton aboard her plane in Phoenix “cast a shadow” over the public perception of the neutrality of the investigation.

Her pledge seems aimed at tamping down criticism that the investigation is politically tainted.

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