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ABC News(NEW YORK) — As millions of voters tune in to watch the first presidential debate of the 2016 campaign, there are several key factors to keep in mind.

The general election has been playing out for about two months now, with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton taking direct aim at one another, but Monday night will be the first time that they square off directly.

Watch the first presidential debate on ABC News and ABCNews.com at 9 p.m. ET. on Monday.


Debate Prep Plays Out on Stage

Clinton has been preparing for her 35th presidential election debate for weeks. Aides say the former secretary of state — who is known for doing her homework — has been poring over briefing books and practicing in mock debates with a Trump stand-in, whose identity has not been confirmed.

Clinton herself has said she expects it to be a "difficult, challenging" debate. Clinton's campaign has even consulted with The Art of the Deal ghostwriter Tony Schwartz on how to beat him in a debate.

Trump was in debate prep meetings all day Friday after focusing more on campaigning than studying up for the showdown. Though no mock debates occurred, the nominee was asked rounds of possible questions he will face from Monday night's moderator.

The sessions were led by former New York City mayor and current Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani along with the campaign leadership.

Testing Their Tones


Acknowledging that there are concerns about his tone, Trump has repeatedly said that he plans to be "respectful" of his competitor, but only to a point.

"I'm going to be very respectful of her," Trump said during a interview on Fox News on Thursday.

"I think she deserves that and I'm going to be nice. And if she's respectful of me, that’ll be nice. We'll have something that I think people will respect as a debate but we'll see where it all goes. You really never know exactly how it's going to turn out and that's why we going to have a lot of people watching," he said.

For her part, Clinton and her team have spoken about how they had to prep for her to face off against one of two versions of Trump: the more professional, contained version that has been present on the trail more recently or the more bombastic uncontrolled version that was seen more during the primaries.

Famous Faces in the Audience


Chelsea Clinton will attend the debate, a first for her this election cycle after not attending any of the Democratic primary debates.

And another familiar face is expected to be in the front row supporting Team Clinton: Mark Cuban.

The billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner is a vocal Clinton supporter and reportedly went so far as to volunteer to play Trump in Clinton's mock debates. He said earlier this week that the Clinton team never returned his email offer, but they did keep him in mind for another move.

If Cuban is being put in the front row as some kind of psychological fake-out for Trump, the television audience shouldn't expect to enjoy his presence. Peter Eyre, a senior adviser with the Commission on Presidential Debates, the independent organization that sponsors the events, told ABC News that the viewing audience will not be in the camera shot during the debate.

All told, there are expected to be about 1,000 people in the viewing audience at Hofstra University Monday night.

The Role of the Moderator


Lester Holt from NBC's Nightly News has been tasked with moderating Monday night's debate, and he's under some pressure.

NBC hosted a Commander in Chief forum during which both candidates fielded questions about their plans for the military, but Holt's colleague Matt Lauer was widely criticized after the forum for his performance.

Critics complained that he focused more on Clinton's email scandal than anything to do with the military, and that he let Trump make claims that were false without any intervention.

The question of how much fact checking moderators should do during the debates has been raised. Trump has said that he does not believe the moderators should intervene to fact check, while Clinton raised money off Lauer's lack of fact checking after the Commander in Chief forum, indicating that she would be in favor of moderators playing a role.

The Spin Efforts Afterwards


While estimated tens of millions of people will be watching the debate in real time, many more are going to be influenced by the social media spin that happens in the aftermath, when the debate about the debate ensues online.

Clinton's campaign is well aware that the outcome of the debate isn't just about what the two candidates say on stage, but also about the conversation that takes place around it.

On a conference call with supporters on Friday, a top aide to Clinton directly asked their supporters to use social media during and after the debate to help shape the conversation positively around the Democratic nominee.

The campaign's digital director Jenna Lowenstein said that two of the campaign's goals for the night include amplifying Clinton's best moments online and influencing the narrative about who is winning.

"It's important that we're not just turning this into the Donald Trump show," Lowenstein said.

She instructed: "Tweet early, tweet her name, use those hashtags."

Watch the first presidential debate Monday at 9 p.m. ET. Full live coverage and analysis of the debate will begin on ABCNews.com/Live at 7 p.m. ET.

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Mark J Sullivan/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Each of the major-party U.S. presidential candidates met with the prime minister of Israel Sunday in New York, sources in the two campaigns told ABC News.

Republican nominee Donald Trump met with Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday morning at Trump Tower. Democrat Hillary Clinton met the Israeli leader Sunday evening at The W Hotel USQ in Manhattan.

Netanyahu has been in New York for the United Nations General Assembly meeting.

The press was barred from covering Trump's meeting with the prime minister but offices for both said they discussed Israeli security and efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. Their meeting lasted over an hour and included discussion of the Iran nuclear deal, of which Trump and Netanyahu are fierce critics; military assistance; security; and regional stability.

"Mr. Trump recognized that Israel and its citizens have suffered far too long on the front lines of Islamic terrorism," said a statement from Trump’s office. "He agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the Israeli people want a just and lasting peace with their neighbors, but that peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State,”

According to Netanyahu’s office, "Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Mr. Trump for his friendship and support for Israel.”

Trump, in 2013, recorded a video endorsing Netanyahu.

The candidates' meetings with the Israeli leader take place a day before Trump and Clinton face off at their first general election presidential debate Monday night at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

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ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- The race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has narrowed to essentially a dead heat nationally in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, raising the stakes dramatically for the first presidential debate Monday night.

A vast 74 percent of Americans plan to watch the debate. And while eight in 10 say it won’t change their minds, that leaves more than enough to shift the balance in an increasingly closely fought contest, with unprecedented levels of qualms about both major-party candidates.

Trump, in particular, is running competitively despite persistent doubts. Around six in 10 Americans continue to see him as unqualified, untrustworthy, temperamentally unsuited or insufficiently knowledgeable of world affairs to serve effectively as president. Yet he’s capitalizing on strength in his core support groups and on Clinton’s own weaknesses, including concerns about her health.

You can see a PDF with the full results of the poll here.

In all, 44 percent of likely voters say they’d vote for Trump if the election were today, numerically his best since spring. Forty-six percent prefer Clinton, unchanged from an ABC/Post poll early this month and virtually unchanged since June. The 2-point gap between them is not significant, given the survey’s margin of sampling error. The race has closed from an 8-point Clinton lead in early August.

Support for third-party candidate Gary Johnson slipped to a new low, 5 percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, with the biggest departure among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents -- thus mainly benefiting Trump.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on Sunday called the NBC Nightly News anchor who will preside over Monday night’s presidential debate a "respected, brilliant newsman," a sharp change in tone for the campaign, which in recent days has claimed that Trump will not be treated fairly in the debates.

"He’ll do a good job tomorrow night as a moderator," Conway said of Lester Holt.

Trump this past week said Holt will be under tremendous pressure to be tough on the Republican presidential candidate and called him a Democrat when in fact Holt is a registered Republican.

Conway took a much softer tone on Sunday, telling ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week that she trusts all the moderators for the upcoming debates and believes they will ask questions "that benefit the voter."

In advance of Monday’s event, the campaigns for Trump and Hillary Clinton have differed on whether Holt and the moderators of subsequent debates should fact-check the candidates or leave it to the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to challenge each other’s statements.

The Clinton campaign has been pushing for moderators to act as a truth squad.

"All that we're asking is that if Donald Trump lies that it is pointed out," Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said on This Week.

Conway, in her appearance on This Week, disagreed. She said moderators should stay out of the fray and not challenge candidates in instances where they may be bending, or breaking, the truth.

"I really don't appreciate campaigns thinking it is the job of the media to go and be these virtual fact-checkers and that these debate moderators should somehow do their bidding," she said.

In a bit of pre-debate hype, Conway likened Trump’s debating skills to a baseball legend, echoing a favorite line of Trump supporter Newt Gingrich.

Trump "is the Babe Ruth of debating," Conway said.

Asked about her expectations of the event, she said: "We certainly hope this debate tomorrow night will be about substantive issues."

As the first general election debate, it will be the first time Americans will see Trump and Clinton go head to head on the same stage, Conway said, adding that she wants it to be about "how do we defeat radical Islamic terrorism" and "how do we stimulate the economy."

"A victory for Donald Trump tomorrow night is answering the questions and showing America that he's ready to be president and commander-in-chief on day one," she concluded.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hillary Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook said the campaign is concerned about a "double standard" at Monday night's debate where Donald Trump "lies" and still receives a "passing grade."

"All that we’re asking is that if Donald Trump lies, that it’s pointed out," said Mook on ABC's This Week. "It’s unfair to ask that Hillary Clinton both play traffic cop with Trump, make sure that his lies are corrected, and also to present her vision for what she wants to do for the American people."

Mook called Trump "special," explaining that in past election cycles, presidential candidates have laid out extensive plans before the debate on what they would do as president. The Clinton campaign fears that Trump's lack of details about his plans has lowered expectations for how well he answers questions from debate moderator Lester Holt.

"I think Hillary is going to have to press the point. I think she’s going to have to at times challenge him to reveal what his plans are," Mook told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. "This is a time for him to present those plans and maybe he will, but we’ll have to see."

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George Frey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate and former governor of New Mexico, said that the future of the human race will depend upon learning to inhabit other planets.

“We do have to inhabit other planets. The future of the human race is space exploration,” Johnson told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on This Week in offering a response on how to address the challenges posed by climate change.

Johnson was also asked about a comment he made about climate change back in 2011, when he said that “in billions of years the sun is going to actually and encompass the earth.” The Libertarian candidate said on Sunday that this remark had been a joke.

“Can’t we have a little humor once in a while?” he said. “And that is long term. Plate tectonics, at one point Africa and South America separated, and I am talking now about the earth and the fact that we have existed for billions of years and will going forward.”

Johnson vowed to stay in the race even though he won’t be on the debate stage with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Monday night due to polls showing that support for his candidacy falls short of the 15 percent minimum set by the Commission on Presidential Debates as a standard of inclusion.

He criticized the Commission on Presidential Debates over their formula for deciding who will be included in the debates, saying that the panel is “made up of Republicans and Democrats that just have no intention whatsoever in seeing anyone other than a Republican or Democrat on the debate stage."

Although he has previously said it would be “game over” for his campaign if he failed to qualify for the debates, Johnson said Sunday that it is “an ongoing process” to try to reach the 15 percent threshold for subsequent debates this fall.

The Libertarian Party nominee has been pulling a 9 percent average in recent polls and registered 5 percent support in the most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll published Sunday.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said Sunday that Gennifer Flowers has not been invited to the first presidential debate on Monday.

Bill Clinton acknowledged in the late 1990s that he had a sexual relationship with Flowers in the late 1970s, and in a tweet Saturday, Trump appeared to threaten to bring her to the debate.

“If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!” Trump tweeted on Saturday. Flowers reportedly told The New York Times in a text message, “Yes I will be there.”

But in separate show appearances on Sunday, both Conway and Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, indicated there is no plan for Flowers to be at the debate.

“She has not been invited by the campaign,” Conway said on ABC News’ This Week, referring to Flowers. “She has a right to be there if somebody else gives her a ticket.”

Pence appeared to go a step further, asserting on Fox News Sunday that Flowers “will not be attending the debate.”

Earlier this week, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign confirmed that they had invited Dallas Mavericks owner and Trump antagonist Mark Cuban to the debate at Hofstra University in New York.

Cuban endorsed Clinton in July, and a Clinton campaign aide told ABC News that he will have "one of the best seats we have available.”

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook was asked in his appearance on This Week about the possibility of Flowers attending the debate.

Mook said the debate "is supposed to be about how the candidates are going to make a difference" in Americans' lives. "It’s a time for them to reveal their plans,” Mook told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. “If this is what Donald Trump wants this debate to be about, that’s up to him.”

Mook added on Trump, "He's a reality TV star. He’s very experienced at providing television entertainment. The presidency is not about entertainment. It’s about serious decisions.”

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A day after Mark Cuban announced he had a front row seat for the first debate courtesy of the Clinton campaign, Donald Trump threatened to have his own special guest.

On Friday, the billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner and Hillary Clinton supporter said he was invited by her campaign to sit front row for Monday's presidential debate at Hofstra University.

 

Just got a front row seat to watch @HillaryClinton overwhelm @realDonaldTrump at the "Humbling at Hofstra" on Monday. It Is On !

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) September 23, 2016

 

Trump then tweeted on Saturday he would invite "Jennifer Flowers," then deleted the tweet to correct his spelling.

 

If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2016

 

"If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!" Trump tweeted.

Gennifer Flowers has said she had a sexual relationship with Bill Clinton in the 1990's.

She tweeted to Donald: "You know I'm in your corner and will definitely be at the debate!"

 

Hi Donald. You know I'm in your corner and will definitely be at the debate!...????

— Gennifer Flowers (@gennflowers) September 24, 2016

 

The Clinton campaign issued a statement Saturday night in response.

"Hillary Clinton plans on using the debate to discuss  the issues that make a difference in people's lives. It's not surprising that Donald Trump has chosen a different path," said Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri in a statement to ABC News.

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ABC News(CLEVELAND) -- Six people who know their way around the White House -- or at least a fictional version of it -- are lending their support this weekend to Hillary Clinton's campaign to live and work inside the real thing.

Actors from television's "The West Wing" are supporting the Democratic presidential nominee on the campaign trail in Ohio on Saturday and Sunday in an attempt to register and organize voters in the battleground state.

Richard Schiff, Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford, Dulé Hill, Joshua Malina and Mary McCormack, who each played members of fictional President Josiah Bartlett's White House staff for parts of seven seasons, are making stops a number of major cities in the state, including Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton and Columbus.

The attending actors portrayed a number of roles in the White House Office of President Bartlett -- played by Martin Sheen -- among them: press secretary, communications director and deputy chief of staff.

Several of the actors reunited in 2012 to produce a video encouraging citizens to vote on the non-partisan portion of their ballots. McCormack's sister, a candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court, was involved in the production.

"The West Wing," which ran from 1999 to 2006, won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) --  The mystery has been solved.

Hillary Clinton's longtime aide Philippe Reines has been chosen by the campaign to play the role of Donald Trump in mock debate sessions with the Democratic nominee ahead of the upcoming presidential debate, a source familiar with the debate prep told ABC News.

Reines' role, first reported by the New York Times on Saturday, has been a tightly guarded secret by the campaign. For weeks, reporters and politicos have been speculating over who had been tapped to play opposite Clinton in her mock debates, which is one of the ways she has been preparing for the first debate at Hofstra University in New York on Monday.

 Clinton's aides had been looking for someone to play Trump who would not be afraid to rattle Clinton, as they expect the Republican nominee may attempt to do, or confront her about her husband's past sex scandals.

Reines' personality -- which Clinton described as "passionate, loyal, and shrewd" in her memoir "Hard Choices" -- is seen as a good fit for the part.

"I can always trust him to speak his mind," Clinton wrote in her book.

Reines, currently a political consultant, began working with Clinton more than 10 years ago when she was a senator from New York. He went on to become a senior adviser to Clinton at the State Department.

Although he has no formal or public role in her current campaign, it is known that Clinton still consults with him behind the scenes.

Clinton -- who is not new to presidential debates (Monday will be her 35th) -- has been preparing for her first debate against Trump for weeks. According to aides, she has been poring over briefing books at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., studying footage of Trump's past debates, and practicing in mock debate sessions. Her campaign has also consulted with Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter for Trump's "The Art of the Deal," on ways to get under his skin.

Much of her prep is focused on the unpredictable nature of Trump's personality, her campaign says.

"You're not sure who is going to show up," Clinton's communications director Jennifer Palmieri told reporters this week. "He may be aggressive or laid back."

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Official Whie House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama used his weekly address to commemorate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

"And this museum tells a story of America that hasn’t always taken a front seat in our national narrative," he said. "As a people, we’ve rightfully passed on the tales of the giants who built this country.  But too often, willful or not, we’ve chosen to gloss over or ignore entirely the experience of millions upon millions of others."

He went on to say that the museum isn't just the African story, its an American story.

"That’s what we’ll celebrate not just this weekend, but in the years and generations ahead – a fuller account of our glorious American story.  It’s a chance to reflect on our past and set a course for the future."

Read the president's full address:

Hi everybody.  This weekend, we’ll dedicate the newest American icon on our National Mall – the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  It’s a beautiful building, five stories high and some 70 feet below the ground, situated just across the street from the Washington Monument.
 
And this museum tells a story of America that hasn’t always taken a front seat in our national narrative.  As a people, we’ve rightfully passed on the tales of the giants who built this country.  But too often, willful or not, we’ve chosen to gloss over or ignore entirely the experience of millions upon millions of others.
 
But this museum chooses to tell a fuller story.  It’s doesn’t gauze up some bygone era or avoid uncomfortable truths.  Rather, it embraces the patriotic recognition that America is a constant work in progress; that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is within our collective power to align this nation with the high ideals of our founding.
 
That’s what you’ll see inside.  You’ll see it in the shackles of an enslaved child and in the hope of Harriet Tubman’s gospel hymnal.  You’ll see it in the tragedy of Emmett Till’s coffin and in the resilience of a lunch counter stool and in the triumph of a Tuskegee Airplane.  You’ll see it in the shadow of a prison guard tower and in the defiance of Jesse Owens’ cleats and in the American pride of Colin Powell’s uniform.
 
All of that isn’t simply the African-American story; it’s part of the American story.  And so it is entirely fitting that we tell this story on our National Mall, the same place we tell the stories of Washington and Jefferson and our independence; the story of Lincoln who saved our union and the GIs who defended it; the story of King who summoned us all toward the mountaintop.
 
That’s what we’ll celebrate not just this weekend, but in the years and generations ahead – a fuller account of our glorious American story.  It’s a chance to reflect on our past and set a course for the future.  Because here in this country, all of us, no matter what our station in life, have the chance to pick up the pen, and write our own chapter for our time.
 
Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.


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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) delivered this week's GOP address to talk about the the threat of terrorism on American soil and his party's dissatisfaction with the Obama administration's handling of recent attacks.

Rubio discussed the evolution of the terror attack from broad scale to lone wolf attacks.

"Americans should not accept this as the new normal. We should not have to constantly look over our shoulder every time we visit a public place with our children, or take a walk down the street," he said in regards to the bombings in New York and New Jersey last week.

Read the Republican's full address:


Hello, I’m Marco Rubio. It’s my honor to represent Florida in the United States Senate.
 
In recent days, the evil face of radical Islamic terrorism has again appeared on American soil. We’ve seen attacks in Minnesota, New Jersey and New York.
 
Many innocent people were injured, and we continue to pray for their recovery. But fortunately, this time, the only loss of life was one knife-wielding terrorist, who was taken down by an off-duty police officer before more harm could be done.
 
These attacks remind us once again that evil is real, and that we remain a nation at war against radical Islamic terrorism.
 
This is a war against our country that has evolved, from terrorists with box cutters hijacking airplanes and flying them into buildings 15 years ago, to the threat of bombs targeting the Boston Marathon and charity 5K runs, speeding trucks being rammed into large crowds, makeshift bombs built with instructions obtained online, and knives and guns being used to massacre people in places like Orlando, Fort Hood, Chattanooga and San Bernardino.
 
Americans should not accept this as the new normal. We should not have to constantly look over our shoulder every time we visit a public place with our children, or take a walk down the street.
 
But we must also understand that this war will not end soon, and we can’t become fatigued or complacent about that reality.
 
This is a war we must win.
 
And winning this war requires American resolve – the kind shown by so many of our men and women in uniform over the past 15 years.
 
It requires the best intelligence community, equipped with the best intelligence-gathering tools – so that we can hunt down terrorists before they attack us, and bring swift justice to those who aren't stopped in time.
 
It requires American ingenuity – to keep up with the modes of communication and coordination being used by these terrorists.
 
It requires American patriotism – like the kind shown by countless Muslims who have refused to let their Islamic faith be tarnished by extremists acting in its name, and have informed law enforcement about plots or suspicious individuals they encounter.
 
It requires an immigration system based on common sense – which says if we can’t fully vet someone and verify that they don’t have terrorist ties, then we simply can’t allow them inside our country or make them citizens.
 
It requires working with our partners to target this hateful ideology at its roots, dismantle its organizations, and deprive them of safe havens anywhere in the world.
 
All of these things need to happen to stop the worst threats from striking us here at home.
 
Unfortunately, President Obama has proven himself unable to meet these challenges for the past eight years.
 
The world is now a more dangerous place than when he came into office. Because instead of seeing the chaos and threats that all of us see, he dismisses the enemy and underestimates the challenges they pose to our very way of life.
 
And yet, the worst of his presidency may still be yet to come.
 
With just four months left in office, President Obama and his allies in Congress want to release every single terrorist from the military's custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
 
We’ve already seen why this is a dangerous mistake, as many have been released to other countries, only to quickly go missing. Others have returned to the battlefield, and replenished the forces of evil.
 
The terrorists still behind bars are the worst of the worst, but President Obama and his misguided allies in Congress still want to send them to other countries, or even bring these terrorists here to U.S. soil.
 
If Congress and the American people don’t stop this terrible plan, these terrorists could join the ranks of al Qaeda or ISIS, at the same time our troops are trying to defeat them.
 
Thanks to a Republican Congress, we have successfully blocked President Obama from bringing terrorist detainees to U.S. soil. And I’ve introduced legislation to prevent the White House from evading restrictions in current law and allowing them to release all the terrorists from Guantanamo anyway.

But the president and his allies remain committed to getting this done – even though it helps these groups grow even stronger, and even though it increases the risks to Americans at home and abroad.
 
Even while other policies – like the disastrous deal with Iran – are providing the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism with billions of dollars in sanctions relief and ransom payments, money they will use to fulfill their dreams of 'death to America' and wiping Israel off the planet. Most of the Democrats in Congress supported this flawed deal too, and they continue doing everything they can to salvage it.
 
All these challenges underscore the need to rebuild our military, to reassure our traditional allies, and reassert American leadership on the world stage. Unless we take these actions, we will be unable to leave the world more secure for future generations of Americans.
 
The next four months could be President Obama’s most damaging yet as he works to fulfill these last ditch legacy projects. But it’s up to the American people and those of us in Congress to stop him.
 
Thank you for listening. May God bless you. And may God always bless the United States of America.


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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(NEW YORK) -- President Obama vetoed a bill that would allow survivors of the 9/11 attacks, along with victims' families, to sue the government of Saudi Arabia.

“I am returning herewith without my approval S. 2040, the ‘Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act’ (JASTA), which would, among other things, remove sovereign immunity in U.S. courts from foreign governments that are not designated state sponsors of terrorism,” Obama notes in the veto message.

“I have deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11), who have suffered grievously. I also have a deep appreciation of these families' desire to pursue justice and am strongly committed to assisting them in their efforts.”

The veto comes at the end of a 10-day constitutional window after Congress' overwhelming approval of the legislation, setting up a fight that's likely to hand the outgoing president his first veto override.

Suffering his first veto override so late in his second term would be significant, especially considering the president's high approval ratings relative to the rest of his presidency. By comparison, former President George W. Bush was overridden twice during his two terms in office and only in his final two years when his approval rating had plummeted.

The last president to make it through a full presidency without a veto override is Lyndon B. Johnson.

If passed into law, the legislation would allow victims of terrorism to sue foreign governments for damages.

Obama and the White House have argued that language in the bill could potentially compromise the principle of “sovereign immunity,” and put the U.S. government and entities at risk of being sued by other countries.

"Overriding the president's veto means that this country will start pursuing a less forceful approach in dealing with state sponsors of terrorism and potentially opens up U.S. service members and diplomats and even companies to spurious lawsuits in kangaroo courts around the world," White House press secretary Josh Earnest explained to reporters today.

"Our concern extends not just to the impact this would have on our relationship with Saudi Arabia, but rather the impact that this could have on the United States' relationship with countries around the world."

But the showdown has also put the Obama administration at odds politically with the wishes of countless 9/11 families who argue they haven't had their day in court against all parties responsible for the terror attacks. Saudi Arabia has itself spoken critically of and personally lobbied against the effort, maintaining it had no role in assisting the 9/11 terrorists.

The House and Senate each passed the measure by unanimous consent. A veto override requires a two-thirds vote by each chamber, and the White House says it has been working diligently behind the scenes to rally enough Democrats to block the override effort.

Obama's former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has also indicated she would sign the legislation into law if she wins the presidential election.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) --  Election Day may be more than six weeks away but, starting today, some voters can cast votes at a physical polling place as statewide in-person, no-excuse voting gets underway in Minnesota and South Dakota.

With more than two-thirds of states offering some kind of early voting, the practice will trend upward in 2016, as it has in recent decades, and will play a major factor in battleground state ballots, some election experts predict.

An estimated 34 percent of voters will vote early, according to Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida and fellow at the Brookings Institution. The steep climb in early voting has resulted from states’ making early voting more widely available, along with incremental year-to-year increases as voters become more familiar with early-vote procedures, McDonald told ABC News.

 While all states offer absentee voting, 37 states and Washington, D.C., will allow some form of early in-person voting this year before Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Early voting comprises both early absentee voting and early in-person voting. New York, South Carolina and Michigan are among the states that don't allow early, no-excuse voting.

Voting early offers flexibility and convenience to voters who may not be able to show up to the polls on Nov. 8, or prefer to avoid long lines on Election Day.

Whatever the motivation, early voting is likely to make up a significant chunk of the total vote in some key battleground states, Josh Putnam of the election blog Frontloading HQ told ABC News. He expects large early turnout in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina.

High early-vote turnout in battleground states is borne out by data from the previous elections. In 2012, early voting made up more than half the overall vote in Florida, Nevada and North Carolina. In Georgia, early voting accounted for 48 percent of the overall 2012 vote, and in Iowa that percent grew to 43 percent in 2012, up from 35 percent in 2008.

While Ohio traditionally does not have a big early vote, more than 524,000 absentee ballots had been requested as of this week, according to The Associated Press.

That marks an 8 percent increase of 40,000 compared to this time in the last presidential election. Early voting in Ohio in 2012 and 2008 comprised some 30 percent of the overall vote.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Hillary Clinton has added her name to the growing list of people calling on police in Charlotte to release video of the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott.

Charlotte should release police video of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting without delay. We must ensure justice & work to bridge divides. -H

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 23, 2016

Beyond just the tweet, Clinton will now also be traveling to Charlotte on Sunday, according to a campaign aide.

Scott was fatally shot by officers on Tuesday and police reportedly have video that shows that he was holding a gun, though it is unclear if he was pointing a gun in their direction.

Scott's family has said he was holding a book, not a gun, while waiting for his son to be dropped off from school. After reviewing the footage, the family's attorney said in a statement that it's "impossible" to detect what Scott is holding and at no point did Scott appear or act aggressively.

"After watching the videos, the family again has more questions than answers," Justin Bamberg, a lawyer representing Scott's family, said in the statement Thursday. "When told by police to exit his vehicle, Mr. Scott did so in a very calm, non-aggressive manner. While police did give him several commands, he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time. It is impossible to discern from the videos what, if anything, Mr. Scott is holding in his hands."

Family members were privately shown the police video, and they want it to be released publicly.

Law enforcement officials have said that they intend to release the video but have not determined the appropriate timing.

The city's mayor and police chief have said they believe that the video should be released but suggested that if it was released too soon it could impact the ongoing investigation. The State Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation.

Scott's family released footage shot by his wife that shows his confrontation with police officers and the moments before the shooting as well as the aftermath, but it does not show the shooting itself.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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