The Latest: Clinton lays flowers at Pulse nightclub


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Campaign 2016 between the Republican and Democratic nominating conventions (all times local):

3:21 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is making an impromptu stop at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the site of the deadly shooting rampage that killed 49 people.

Clinton was joined by Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, first responders and community residents at the makeshift memorial outside the club.

She placed a bouquet of white flowers at the site next to a candle and a framed picture of a cross.

Clinton made the brief visit after a somber meeting with community leaders and family members who were affected by the shooting.

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2:46 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says that Americans must confront “hate and bigotry” particularly against LGBT and minorities. The Democratic presidential nominee says during a visit Friday to Orlando, Fla., that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are more likely to be victims of a hate crime. She says: “It is still dangerous to be LGBT in America.”

Clinton is meeting with religious, government and social services leaders in the city, which was the site of a deadly shooting last month in a gay nightclub. Forty-nine people were killed and 53 injured by a shooter who pledged fidelity to Islamic militants. Most of the victims were LGBT and Latino.

Clinton is promising to “promote the kind of changes” that would prevent future attacks, including banning assault weapons and dismantling online terrorist networks that radicalize Americans.

She’s speaking a day after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump promised to do all he can to protect LGBT Americans.

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2:09 p.m.

The nation’s largest gay rights group is accusing Donald Trump of “pandering” to gay voters in his convention speech by denouncing violence and oppression against the LGBT community.

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin says it’s “bizarre” that Trump is being praised. He says Trump referenced gays and lesbians “for his own selfish, political advancement.” Griffin’s group has endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton for president.

In his speech, Trump noted the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida and pledged to do everything possible to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.

Before Trump spoke, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel became the first person to say he’s gay in a GOP convention speech.

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1:39 p.m.

Hillary Clinton will reveal her vice presidential choice on Friday in a text message to supporters and then appear with her running mate for the first time at a rally in Miami on Saturday.

That’s according to a person familiar with the process who spoke on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to discuss publicly the campaign’s internal plans.

The person did not say who Clinton would name as her running mate. The timing was first reported by NBC News.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine has emerged as the leading contender to become Clinton’s vice president, according to Democratic sources familiar with her plans. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is also under consideration, among a few others.

Clinton was kicking off a two-day swing through Florida on Friday with stops in Orlando and Tampa.

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12:33 p.m.

President Barack Obama is dismissing any perceptions that the country is on the “verge of collapse.”

Obama was responding to questions Friday about whether he watched the Republican National Convention, something he said he was too busy to do.

But the president responded to a litany of statistics that GOP nominee Donald Trump laid out at the convention and pointed out that illegal immigration and violence are less of a problem today than they were 20 or 30 years ago.

He spoke Friday during a joint news conference with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

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12:20 p.m.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says that he will not get involved in the American electoral process but he’s looking forward to a “frank, open dialogue” with whomever is elected.

Pena Nieto joined President Barack Obama in a joint White House press conference Friday. The two leaders outlined their commitment to strong bilateral relations between the two nations.

Pena Nieto avoided questions about Donald Trump’s vow to build a wall between the two countries and make Mexico pay for it. He has previously said that Mexico will not pay for the wall should Trump become president.

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12:05 p.m.

“Major loser,” ”total lightweight” and “fat pig” are among the Donald Trump phrases Facebook users can brand themselves with using a new app from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The Democrat launched the “Trump Yourself” app Thursday. It allows users to place one of 15 filters containing an insulting phrase from the Republican presidential nominee over their profile pictures. The pictures appear similar to special ones created by Facebook to show support for various causes.

Clinton’s Twitter account promoted the app Thursday with a tweet, “discover what @realDonaldTrump thinks about people like you.”

To use the app, users must give the campaign contact information through Facebook, including e-mail addresses. Users immediately receive an e-mail thanking them for registering for an account on the campaign’s website.

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11:41 a.m.

Ivanka Trump is using her big speech introducing her father at the Republican convention to promote her clothing line. The oldest daughter of GOP nominee Donald Trump says in a tweet from her official account: “Shop Ivanka’s look from her #RNC speech.”

The Ivanka Trump sleeveless sheath dress in light pink sells at Macy’s for $138.00.

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11:30 a.m.

Donald Trump says people who want a conservative justice to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court have no choice but to vote for him.

Trump on Friday said if he’s elected he will nominate someone with views as close as possible to those of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

He says no matter what people think of him as a Republican, “If you’re a great believer in the Constitution, you have no choice.”

Trump in May released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat. The list was meant to ease concerns about his conservative credentials in the Republican primary.

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11:15 p.m.

Donald Trump, GOP presidential nomination in hand, is re-litigating a pair of primary flaps he had with former rival Ted Cruz.

Trump is once again bringing up his own comments about Cruz’s father, Rafael, and wife, Heidi, which Cruz has cited in his decision to not endorse Trump. Trump on Friday said that’s okay, he wouldn’t accept Cruz’s endorsement anyway.

But then Trump dove back into the pair of controversies, which includes Trump’s retweet during the primaries of an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife, Heidi. On Friday, he praised Heidi as beautiful and suggested the incident started because Cruz supporters sent a risque photo of Trump’s wife Melania on a political ad. The Cruz campaign denied involvement.

Next, Trump praised the reporting of the National Enquirer, which had written a piece suggested that Cruz’s father had been photographed with Lee Harvey Oswald, President Kennedy’s assassin. There is no evidence of a link between the two men.

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11:05 a.m.

Donald Trump is saying he would not accept Ted Cruz’s endorsement if it was offered.

Trump, speaking to supporters in Cleveland the morning after accepting the Republican nomination for president, said Cruz “may have ruined his political career” with his convention speech.

Cruz declined to endorse Trump Wednesday night and was booed by the arena crowd when he urged Republicans to “vote your conscience.”

Trump did not touch upon the incident in his convention speech. But he changed course Friday morning, gleefully recalled that Cruz “was booed off the stage.”

“I like Ted, he’s fine,” Trump said. “But I don’t want his endorsement. If he gives it, I will not accept it.”

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10:40 a.m.

Donald Trump is calling the just-completed Republican National Convention “very special” and one of the most “love-filled” conventions in the nation’s history.

Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, addressed supporters at the campaign’s convention headquarters in Cleveland Friday morning.

Trump praised the convention’s organizers and Cleveland police, saying the event “was peaceful, one of the most beautiful, one of the most love-filled conventions and in the history of conventions.”

He also praised the “unity” the convention created despite the floor fight over the convention’s roll call and the loud boos that Ted Cruz received when he declined to endorse Trump in his convention speech.

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7:53 a.m.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she’s “probably not” Hillary Clinton’s choice of running mate.

The Massachusetts Democrat says “I think if it were me, I would know it by now.”

Warren made the comment Thursday night during an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Clinton’s campaign considered picking the liberal favorite for the job. Democrats familiar with the search tell AP that Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine has emerged as a leading contender.

Clinton is expected to end the guessing game soon and could introduce her choice as soon as Friday.

Warren told Colbert that Clinton “has lots of good choices and I’m excited to see who she’s going to pick.”

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3:15 a.m.

In the swirl of balloons and cheers of the masses, Donald Trump finally had his Rocky Balboa moment after a rocky convention.

Now Democrats are eager to step up for their own spectacle. Hillary Clinton is set to snatch attention from Republicans by naming her running mate in advance of the Democratic convention, with Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine the leading contender.

Trump’s forceful promises to be the champion of disaffected Americans closed out his convention on a high note for the party. That was not a moment too soon after shows of disharmony and assorted flubs before the closer Thursday night.

The Democratic convention in Philadelphia, which starts Monday, is expected to be a more disciplined affair. Clinton is, if anything, disciplined.

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This story has been corrected to fix spellings of National Enquirer and Rafael Cruz.

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