ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) — The Democratic National Convention is halfway over, and while there was a hefty dose of drama in the first two days, some serious political star power was saved for the final days.
Here are five storylines to watch out for Wednesday: From the Present to the Future
The convention heard from two former presidents last night (President Jimmy Carter by video and President Bill Clinton in person) and now tonight, delegates are going to be hearing from current and soon-to-be former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Both men have already publicly spoken about Clinton and supported her campaign, and Obama held a joint campaign appearance with Clinton in North Carolina earlier this month.
At that appearance, he said that no one has ever been “more qualified for this office than Hillary Clinton.” Meanwhile, Biden went on the offensive against Donald Trump and his running mate Mike Pence during an interview with ABC News on Tuesday at the DNC, saying that “these guys don't know what they're talking about” when it comes to ISIS. Pitting One Billionaire Against Another
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg very publicly considered running as a third party candidate for president but, in March, penned an op-ed calling it “The Risk I Will Not Take.”
Now, four months later, he is expected to endorse Clinton at the convention tonight.
In the op-ed, he didn’t mention Clinton once, yet explained that his decision not to run was because “my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience,” he said of the two Republicans who were in the midst of their party’s primary at that time.
Bloomberg detailed the issues he took with Trump’s campaign in the article, and it seems likely that he will reiterate some of those points later Wednesday night. Meeting Tim Kaine
While Wednesday night may seem like a lineup of familiar political figures, one of the most anticipated speeches comes from Clinton’s vice presidential pick, Tim Kaine.
Though Kaine has been a Virginia Senator since 2013 and was the chair of the Democratic National Committee for two years, the rest of his political career was largely focused around the state level.
Wednesday night will be an opportunity for him to introduce himself to the nation and help highlight some of the reasons why Clinton went with him. Racial Justice Issues Likely Subject
The intersection of race and police has been a hot-button issue in light of the shooting deaths of several African-American men at the hands of police in recent weeks, as well as targeted deadly attacks against police officers.
Those events are likely going to be addressed on the convention stage tonight because two of the best-known leaders in their respective communities are slated to speak.
Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson is due to speak at the Wells Fargo Arena as well as former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, who was part of President Obama’s 21st Century Policing Task Force. Bernie in the Background
Even though Bernie Sanders addressed the convention on the first night, he was still very much on the minds of attendees on Tuesday, when he nixed the roll call vote in an emotional moment.
As the week goes on, however, his planned presence is going to be lessened. There is no planned action on the floor, and he isn’t slated to make another address to the convention.
His supporters are still out in force, both inside and outside the arena, but the leader of that movement isn’t scheduled to still be a regular figure in the party’s convention.
Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America(PHILADELPHIA) -- Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday night as the first female major party nominee in the country's history -- after her rival, Bernie Sanders, threw his support behind her and nixed the roll call vote.
The moment was marched with cheers, tears and anger from some Sanders supporters who were dissatisfied with the outcome of the primary, which included hundreds of controversial superdelegates.
More than 1,800 delegates -- short of the 2,382 needed to clinch the nomination -- cast their votes for Sanders who surprised observers with strong showings early on and built a movement of supporters with his grassroots campaign, built on the foundation of small donations and railing against Wall Street.
The final delegate tally was 2,838 for Clinton, 1,843 Sanders and 55 abstentions. Vermont's 22 delegates for Sanders and four for Clinton were not included in the count because Sanders ended the vote early.
Moments earlier, when Clinton reached the magic number, she marked the occasion with a single-word tweet.
Prior to clinching the historic vote, speeches for both candidates, including calls for unity, were met with rollicking applause from the audience.
Tulsi Gabbard, a Sanders delegate from Hawaii, and a vocal supporter of his throughout the race, spoke before the start of the roll call vote about the potential legacy of Sanders’ campaign, calling it a “movement of love.”
Some Sanders’ supporters raised their fists in solidarity while Gabbard spoke. A woman waved a sign that read, “Hey DNC save the party—nominate Sanders.”
“I am truly honored to nominate Bernie Sanders for president of the United States,” Gabbard concluded.
Gabbard was the first of several Sanders supporters to testify on his behalf at the start of the roll call. Sanders could be seen smiling warmly while listening to the speakers.
Sanders supporters in the crowd could be seen weeping during the testimony.
Rep. John Lewis, from Georgia, a prominent Clinton backer and Civil Rights activist, said “we are not going back, we are going forward” in endorsing his candidate, and called Clinton “one of the most qualified candidates to ever run for president.”
Competing chants of “Bern-ie” and “Hill-a-ry” broke out as states announced their votes. Larry Sanders, brother of Bernie Sanders, spoke emotionally of his brother and their family while Democrats Abroad announced their tally.
Bernie Sanders appeared to well up while listening to his brother speak.
When it came time for the Vermont delegation to speak, Sanders grew emotional a second time. He reached for the microphone, and endorsed Clinton a final time, saying that all votes be moved to her total.
Competing cheers for both candidates broke out on the convention floor, and many celebrated feelings of unity. But amid a sea of jubilation, some Sanders supporters walked out of the arena.
The opening night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday was a rowdy one, underscored by disagreements between supporters of the two candidates.
Delegates and supporters of Sanders jeered at several speakers including perceived progressive allies like Elizabeth Warren and even Sanders himself for voicing their support for Clinton.
Outside of the convention floor Monday, protesters voiced anger with the DNC and with Clinton on a number of issues, including the environment, legalized drugs, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Some observers viewed Tuesday's roll call as the final opportunity for Sanders supporters to voice their displeasure with Clinton. Both Clinton and Sanders were up for the nomination at the DNC, which was largely considered to be a symbolic gesture for Sanders supporters. Each candidates' supporters will have 20 minutes of floor time to make speeches in support of their candidates.
ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- Former President Bill Clinton offered up a spirited endorsement of his wife at the Democratic National Convention, calling her "the best darn change maker I ever met in my entire life" and saying that she was never satisfied with the status quo.
In the speech, the two-term president recounted the beginnings of his relationship with the former Secretary of State, detailed her decades of advocacy work and extolled her drive in public service.
"In the spring of 1971 I met a girl," the 42nd president told the crowd in Philadelphia.
"She had thick blond hair, big glasses, wore no makeup and she exuded this sense of strength and self-possession that I found magnetic," he said.
Clinton told how it took three marriage proposals before Hillary agreed to marry him.
"I married my best friend. I was still in awe after more than four years of being around her at how smart and strong and loving and caring she was and I really hoped that her choosing me and rejecting my advice to pursue her own career was a decision she would never regret," he said.
The former president went year-by-year detailing his budding relationship with Hillary Clinton and the work she was doing at the time.
"She's been around a long time. She sure has. And she's sure been worth every single year she's put into making people's lives better. I can tell you this, if you were sitting where I'm sitting and you heard what I have heard at every dinner conversation, every lunch conversation on every long walk, you would say this woman has never been satisfied with the status quo in anything," he said. "She always wants to move the ball forward. That is just who she is."
And he described her as "the best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life."
"This is a really important point This is a really important point for you to take out of your convention. If you believe in making change from the bottom up, if you believe the measure of change is how many people lives are bettered," he added.
Clinton has been a regular speaker at Democratic conventions since at least 1980 and returned to the convention arena in 2012, when he gave a rousing 48-minute speech in support of President Obama's re-election. He was given the headlining spot on the third night of the 2012 convention -- one typically reserved for vice presidents.
The situation is understandably different this year.
"He thinks that it's important for other people to know the Secretary as well he does. So, tonight's speech will very much be a personal one for him," a Clinton aide told ABC.
ABCNews.com(PHILADELPHIA) -- An emotional moment during the Democratic National Convention came when the mothers of African-Americans who were the victims of gun violence or police-involved deaths made a plea to voters to choose Hillary Clinton in November because she "isn't afraid to say black lives matter."
The women, called “The Mothers of the Movement,” took turns speaking of their anguish of losing their children.
“I lived in fear my son would die like this,” said Lucia McBath, the mother of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who was fatally shot by man who was upset about the volume of the music in the car her son was in. The man who shot Davis, Michael Dunn, was sentenced to life in prison in 2014.
“I even warned him that because he was a young, black man, he would meet people who didn’t value his life. That is a conversation no parent should ever have with their child. Hillary Clinton isn’t afraid to say that black lives matter," McBath said. "She isn’t afraid to sit at a table with grieving mothers and bear the full force of our anguish."
The crowd broke into chants of “Black Lives Matter” during the speech.
The third and final mother to speak was Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen who was fatally shot in Florida by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in 2012. Zimmerman was acquitted of murder and manslaughter in the case.
“I am an unwilling participant in this movement. I would not have signed up for this or any other mother that’s standing here with me today. But I am here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who is in heaven,” Fulton said.
“I didn’t want this spotlight. But will I do everything I can to focus some of that light on a path out of this darkness,” she said.
Fulton was the first to specifically say that Clinton has the “courage to lead the fight for common-sense gun legislation.”
A visibly emotional Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland, who was found dead in a Texas jail cell days after she was arrested during a traffic stop, ended her speech on an optimistic note.
“What a blessing tonight to be standing here, so that Sandy can still speak through her mama,” she said, noting that today marks the one year-and-one-day anniversary of her daughter’s burial. “And what a blessing it is for all of us if we seize it, we gotta seize it, to cast our votes for a president who will help lead us down the path toward restoration and change.
Former Vermont governor and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean reprised his infamous "Dean Scream" Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention.
"This race is going to be won on the ground, and it's going to be won in Colorado and in Iowa and North Carolina and Michigan and Florida and Pennsylvania and then we go to the White House!" Dean screamed in a self-depreciating manner.
Dean was widely ridiculed more than a decade ago for his yell in a speech to supporters after a third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses behind then Sens. John Edward of North Carolina and John Kerry of Massachusetts.
ABCNews.com(PHILADELPHIA) -- It was an emotional moment on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Tuesday night when the Democrats Abroad cast their votes for the presidential nomination.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' brother, Larry -- who lives in the United Kingdom -- announced the group’s votes.
"I want to bring before this convention the names of our parents Eli Sanders and Dorothy Sanders," Larry Sanders said. "They did not have easy lives and they died young." Eli died in 1962, and Dorothy died in 1960.
Larry Sanders continued, "They would be immensely proud of their son’s accomplishments. They loved him."
Bernie Sanders appeared to tear up during the tribute to his parents.
Concluded Larry Sanders, "It is with enormous pride that I cast my vote for Bernie Sanders."
ABCNews.com(PHILADELPHIA) -- If Vice President Joe Biden were a betting man, he’d guarantee no Bernie Sanders supporters would go into the voting booth and cast a ballot for Trump, he told a group of reporters at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Tuesday.
“I wish we could put something on every Sanders delegate walking into a booth. If we were able to find out I’d betchya everything I have that hardly anyone is going to pull a lever for Trump. Come on, man. You kidding me?” he said.
Biden, responding to questions following the DNC email leak about questions of party unity, said he doesn’t believe there is any faction in the party and that Sanders supporters helped change the party for the better.
"They did more to change the attitude in the party than anything has happened in a long, long time and it's all for the better," he said.
“We have to be a little graceful here. The delegates work their tail off and they are here in large numbers. Give 'em a chance," Biden added.
When asked in a separate interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos about the moment at the DNC when comedian Sarah Silverman called out Sanders' supporters for being "ridiculous," Biden laughed it off and commented that they are still in the process of getting over the fact he is not the Democratic nominee.
"Look, it's a process," Biden said in the interview. "You gotta give people a chance to kinda get over it, and they're getting over it."
Following that, they will eventually be convinced to vote for Clinton, Biden added, but right now "they're just angry"
He was resolute that the party is not fractured, saying he is "convinced" Democrats will not vote for Trump, noting that while the DNC emails didn’t help, it wasn’t the cause of Sanders losing the nomination.
“They're not gonna pull the lever for Trump, for God's sake,” Biden said, noting that "if they're gonna be consistent with the essence of what they say they're about," such as "getting big money out of politics, making sure the people have an even chance, education for people. How are they gonna vote for Trump?”
While on the floor, Biden also spoke with a group of students about why people come to the United States and how in all of his travels there is “not a single leader in the world that wouldn’t trade places with us in a heartbeat.”
"I promise you they are going to be fine. I do not think there is any fraction in the party,” he said, noting that while the DNC emails didn’t help, it wasn’t the cause of Sanders losing the nomination.
Biden also spoke with a group of students about why people come to the United States and how in all of his travels there is “not a single leader in the world that wouldn’t trade places with us in a heartbeat.”
He focused on the U.S. being a nation of immigrants since the 1740s and that in many ways the U.S. gets to "cherry-pick" the best of the best.
“Imagine what it takes to be sitting some place. In some god-awful place anywhere else in the world and say, 'I’ve got an idea. Let's sell everything we have, give it to some coyote, have him take us across the border. Drop us in the desert in a place they don't want us. Won't that be fun,'” Biden said rhetorically.
“The people who come are the people who have courage. The people who come are the people who are dreamers. The people who come are the people who are the people who never give up. The people who come are the people who are the people who are vibrant," Biden added. "That's why we are the nation we are. And that’s why you guys are going to make a difference. I really mean this.”
Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America(PHILADELPHIA) -- It’s Bill Clinton’s big night. The former president will take the stage as the highlighted speaker at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia Tuesnight, following a tense first day marked by heckling and protests.
Bill Clinton cheered on his fellow Democrats from the private suites and the skybox during some of the prime-time speeches Monday night. But the mere mention of his wife and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, riled up clusters of Bernie Sanders supporters who relentlessly booed.
The speakers have largely ignored the heckling while on stage, and Bill Clinton may face the same protesters during his speech Tuesday night. But the former president is no stranger to those who disagree with him or badmouth his spouse. In fact, rather than ignore them, he often engages demonstrators, sometimes asking them questions about what they are protesting or even downright arguing with them.
In April, Bill Clinton had a tense and prolonged exchange with Black Lives Matter protesters at a Hillary Clinton campaign event in Philadelphia. The demonstrators held signs that read “Black youth are not super predators,” “Clinton’s crime bill destroyed our communities” and “Welfare reform increased poverty.” They continuously interrupted the former president, questioning the aftershocks of his 1994 crime bill, which imposed tougher prison sentences and gave money for tens of thousands of police officers and drug courts, among other things. He spent the majority of his speech arguing.
A day later, Bill Clinton stopped short of apologizing to the Black Lives Matter protesters when he explained that attacks on his wife are personal and he prefers not to talk over people.
"I rather vigorously defended my wife, as I am wont to do, and I realized, finally, I was talking past [the protester] the way she was talking past me. We got to stop that in this country. We got to listen to each other again," he said to another Pennsylvania crowd.
Coal miners in states like West Virginia and Kentucky have also picketed Bill Clinton’s events on the campaign trail. He has directly addressed them during his speeches, attempting to heal their wounds cut open by rapid job loss and a drug addiction epidemic. He regularly claims that Hillary Clinton will be there for the “left out and left behind” if she’s elected president.
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have been vocal too. In February, a man holding a Trump sign interrupted a Hillary Clinton rally where Bill Clinton was speaking and accused the former president of taking money from the real estate mogul. Bill Clinton fired back: “I certainly did. I took his money for my foundation and used it better than he’s using it now.”
Bill Clinton got into another heated exchange at a campaign event in February in South Carolina with a man claiming to be a military veteran. The protester repeatedly interrupted his speech and brought up the 2012 terror attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans. Hillary Clinton was serving as U.S. secretary of state at the time.
The back-and-forth quickly escalated into a shouting match. As security escorted the man and another protester out of the event, Bill Clinton yelled: “Do you have the courage to listen to my answer? Don’t throw him out. If he’ll shut up and listen to my answer, I’ll answer it.”
The next day, Bill Clinton addressed another crowd in Florida and encouraged people to have healthy debate. He claimed that protesters like the those in South Carolina were trained to not let people answer them.
“I let them make their point twice, both of them, and I tried to answer and they just kept screaming because they were afraid of the answer. We can’t be like that,” he said.
Bill Clinton has admitted to being quite the protester himself back in college, which is why he welcomes it. However, he has said he does expect to be able to speak and explain his position once the protesters make their point.
The former president may encounter protests yet again Tuesday night -- this time from Sanders supporters who are still fuming over internal Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks that appear to show party officials strategizing how to harm the Vermont senator politically during the primaries. Sanders, who has not technically dropped out of the race, delivered a much anticipated address at the convention Monday night that was met with an odd mix of cheers, boos and chants when he said Hillary Clinton “would make an outstanding president.”
Speaking at conventions is nothing new for Bill Clinton, of course. Tuesday night will mark his 10th consecutive convention address.
A party official close to Bill Clinton told ABC News the former president is immensely proud of his wife and will be speaking from the heart Tuesday night. He’ll be promoting Hillary Clinton’s days as a child advocacy lawyer, her policy campaigns as first lady and her work as a New York senator, the official said.
A Clinton aide told ABC News that he has been working hard writing the speech and is aware of the importance it holds.
“President Clinton is still working on the speech, which he’s writing himself,” the aide said. “He thinks that it’s important for other people to know the secretary as well as he does. So tonight’s speech will very much be a personal one for him.”
ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- When WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 emails from top Democratic National Committee officials last week, it led to the ouster of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and stirred unrest within the party days before the Democratic National Convention kicked off Monday in Philadelphia.
Hillary Clinton's communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, told ABC News that even more emails could become public.
“The WikiLeaks [release] was obviously designed to hurt our convention,” Palmieri said.
Palmieri said "you can’t ever really know" when emails will be leaked but “it’s part of the reason why we wanted people to understand our belief that the Russians are behind this, because people understand when these leaks happen what they’re designed to do.”
On ABC News' Good Morning America Tuesday morning, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told George Stephanopoulos that the email hack was a “concerning situation," adding that Russia was likely behind the leak.
“It's a concern that an aggressive regime like Vladimir Putin's could be trying to not just infiltrate the email system of the Democratic Party but actually influence the outcome of the election. I think it's also very troubling that we heard Donald Trump not just praise Vladimir Putin, but...we heard Donald Trump talk about how he would not necessarily defend our eastern European NATO allies from Russian aggression,” Mook told Stephanopoulos.
Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, denied accusations that Russia was responsible for the hack.
"We're still witnessing attempts to use the Russian issue — in a paranoid way — during the U.S. election campaign," he told reporters Tuesday. "There's nothing new here, it's a sort of traditional pastime of theirs. We think it's not good for bilateral ties but we realize that we have to go through this unfavorable period."
Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort has disputed claims that the candidate was somehow connected to the email release. In an interview Sunday on ABC's This Week, he noted that “[Democrats] don’t want to talk about is what’s in those emails."
The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- The first few hours of the Democratic convention were rowdy, with some delegates and supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders jeering at several speakers. Day two of the DNC could be just as raucous on the floor.
The roll call vote of each state, which is going to take place later Tuesday, will pose an even bigger opportunity for disgruntled Sanders supporters to show their displeasure with the presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton.
Both Clinton's and Sanders' names were placed into nomination for president at the DNC, largely a symbolic gesture for Sanders supporters. They will have 20 minutes of floor time to make speeches about the Vermont senator and Clinton.
In order to be technically placed for nomination, a candidate had to personally give his or her written approval to the convention secretary along with 300 signatures by 6 p.m. Monday. Both Sanders and Clinton did that.
How Tuesday Will Be Different from 2008’s Roll Call
Back when Clinton lost to then-Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton moved to stop the roll call and nominate President Obama by acclamation.
“I move that the convention suspend the procedural rules and suspend the further conduct of the roll call vote. All votes cast by the delegates will be counted. And I move Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this convention by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for president of the United States,” she said at the time.
After that, it took just a moment and a quick “aye” vote for him to officially be the nominee of the Democratic Party.
That same gesture of party unity will be expected from Sanders Tuesday night.
The Theatrics of a Roll Call
Every state is called upon alphabetically and a selected delegate or official from each state will speak before announcing how the state’s delegate vote should be allocated.
Once Clinton secures 2,382 total delegates, she’ll be "over the top" and have enough to clinch the nomination.
At the Republican convention last week, there was a procedural move that swapped the order of the states so that Donald Trump received the requisite delegates from his home state of New York.
His eldest son Donald Jr., who is a New York delegate, was the one to announce the state’s tally and give his dad the final push to become the party’s nominee.
State of Indiana(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- While addressing thousands of Veterans of Foreign Wars members Tuesday, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence criticized Democrats for not naming ISIS at the Democratic National Convention Monday night.
“It is extraordinary to think that yesterday in Philadelphia 61 speakers came to the podium and not one of the named ISIS by name," Pence told the national veterans' group in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"This man will name our enemies without apology and he will defeat them,” Pence added, pointing to his running mate Donald Trump, who stood behind him at the podium.
The Indiana governor also touted his home state's record when it comes to veterans, saying the Hoosier State has the second lowest unemployment rate for veterans in the nation. He briefly spoke about his son, a Marine, and his father, a combat veteran.
When Trump took the podium at the Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention, the GOP presidential nominee basically recited his speech from a month ago promising to take care of America’s veterans –- going line by line over his bullet points again.
Trump did attack Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on the usual points. During his remarks, some people in the crowd chanted “lock her up," the same chant that echoed throughout the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week.
"And to think she was here yesterday,” Trump said to laughter. "I guess she didn’t do very well.”
Trump described veterans as the “bravest and the finest people on earth,” later adding that “our debt to you is eternal.” The real estate mogul continued his call to reform the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and slammed Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, for "trying to sweep it under the rug."
"Four more years of the same if she ever got in, but that’s not going to happen," Trump said.
ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) — The massive email hack on the Democratic National Committee, purportedly by Russian government agents, has drawn new and unwanted attention to longstanding ties between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Russian business interests.
“The hack at least seems to have come from Russian government entities, specifically from some of their military intelligence communities,” John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, told ABC News Monday. “So that’s very worrisome. Whether they’re actively trying to interfere in the U.S. election, that’s something that I guess we’ll need to see.”
Clinton presidential campaign manager Robby Mook went further on ABC News’ This Week Sunday, saying that “experts” told his team that “this was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.”
Trump speculated in a speech Monday that “China, Russia or one of our many, many friends… hacked the hell out of us,” but the GOP candidate and his top advisers have rejected the suggestion that the Russians were motivated to help the business mogul. Trump tweeted Monday morning prior to his speech, “The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails … because Putin likes me.”
Suspicions about the Russian interest in Trump’s candidacy stem in part from the Republican businessman’s comments and long history of work with Russian business interests. Trump has long hinted that he would have a warm relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin hates us. He hates [Barack] Obama. He doesn’t hate [me],” Trump told reporters last fall. “I think he’d like me. I think I’d get along great with him, if you want to know the truth.”
Trump has made repeated trips to Russia, including in 2013, when a Russian billionaire bought the rights to host the Miss Universe pageant. Sergio Millian, a Russian consultant based in New York, told ABC News that during that trip he helped arrange a series of meetings between Trump and Russian businessmen.
“My colleagues and I helped arrange presentations at the Millionaire Fair in Moscow that featured billionaires and multimillionaires,” Millian said. “He met primarily with businesspeople, with several billionaires.”
Trump spent the most time, Millian said, with the Russian real estate tycoon Aras Agalarov, who heads the firm Crocus International. “He was one of those who the conversation was going on for a long time,” Millian said.
Trump started exploring real estate options in Russia in the 1990s, touring Moscow with close friend Howard Lorber. A real estate developer who has done business there, Lorber appeared during the Republican National Convention in the biographical video of Trump that appeared on jumbotrons before his acceptance speech.
Carter Page, an energy expert Trump tapped as a foreign policy adviser, spent three years living in Moscow working on key transactions with Gazprom, a Russian oil giant that is largely state owned. Page was in Moscow last month to give a speech at a Russian business school.
“If you don’t treat others with respect, they won’t treat you with respect,” he told the audience. “This applies not only on the personal level in the daily lives of individuals but especially when we venture out into the international arena and any level of interaction. Respect is not something which magically appears, but rather it needs to be earned on both sides of a relationship, often through a lot of hard work amidst very difficult negotiations.”
More recently, speculation about Trump’s posture toward Russia surfaced after two members of the Platform Committee at the Republican convention in Cleveland were quoted in The Washington Post questioning why the Trump campaign watered down a pledge to give Ukraine weapons to fend off Russian aggression. The new language pushed by Trump officials eliminated the GOP’s call for “providing lethal defensive weapons.” Instead, the platform calls for providing Ukraine with “appropriate assistance.”
Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who did consulting work in Ukraine for a political candidate with Russian ties, dismissed outright the notion that Russian hackers were looking to help the Republican nominee.
Asked by George Stephanopoulos on ABC News’ This Week on Sunday if there were any ties between Trump’s campaign and Putin, Manafort said, “No, there are not. That’s absurd. And you know, there’s no basis to it.”
iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Hillary Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook said on ABC’s Good Morning America that he was concerned an "aggressive regime" like Russian President Vladimir Putin's could be trying to "infiltrate the system of the Democratic Party" and also "influence the outcome of the election."
Mook was responding to a question this morning regarding the email hack from WikiLeaks that showed that several staff members of the Democratic National Committee were biased against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the campaign primary. Michael Buratowski, a cyber analyst with the firm that investigated the hack, told ABC News on Monday he's "very confident" that Russian actors were behind the cyber attack. According to Buratowski, the hackers were using Russian internet addresses and typing on keyboards configured in Cyrillic.
Mook added that it was "also very troubling" that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appeared to be pushing for a pro-Russian platform. Trump has praised Putin and recently declared that, if he becomes president, the United States would defend fellow NATO countries only if the nations in question were contributing their fair share to the alliance’s budget — a stance that would bode well for Russia.
"Obviously, this is a concerning situation," Mook said.
Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort has called the accusations that Trump colluded with Russia in the DNC email hack “absurd.”
Mook was optimistic Democrats would come together in support of Clinton despite the email controversy, which has triggered protests and forced Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign from her post, effective later this week.
Although supporters of Sanders protested against Clinton’s campaign at the convention last night, Mook noted that Sanders still gave a “rousing” endorsement along with other Democratic officials. At last week's Republican convention, Sen. Ted Cruz refused to endorse Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich was absent from the event.
“The contrast between our convention and the Republican’s could not be greater," Mook said. “We are working hard to unify this party.”
ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) — Democrats brought the drama to Pennsylvania and we’re only a day in.
Big name political stars — including Hillary Clinton’s former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and First Lady Michelle Obama — took the stage Monday, but it was the action on the floor that created the most fireworks. Reeling from the Fallout
The Democratic convention did not get off to a smooth start on Monday.
It started with a last-minute switch of the opening speaker. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who announced that she would be resigning at the end of the week after the convention, decided not to be the one to gavel the convention into session because of the drama surrounding the Democratic National Committee’s email leak, which appears to show party officials showing support of Clinton over Sanders.
Instead, Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake formally started the convention. And at first, she forgot to use the actual gavel.
Beyond that, the first three hours were full of outbursts and boos from Sanders supporters. Roll Call Could Get Raucous
The very first hours of the convention were rowdy as the floor broke into jeers throughout several speakers’ addresses.
The very first time that Clinton’s name was mentioned sparked a round of “Bernie!” chants, which continued for much of the beginning of the program.
The roll call vote of each state is going to pose and even bigger opportunity for any disgruntled Sanders voters to show their displeasure. Maternal Movement
One of the more emotional moments from tonight’s speeches will likely come when “Mothers of the Movement” will take the stage.
The group includes Trayvon Martin’s mom Sybrina Fulton, Michael Brown’s mother Lezley McSpadden and Eric Garner’s mother Gwen Carr among others.
The circumstances of their childrens deaths may be different, but all of the mothers have endorsed Clinton’s campaign. Protests in Philadelphia
Hundreds of protesters took different routes in Philadelphia on Monday and the drama in the city and outside of the convention center seems unlikely to let up.
The demonstrations have generally been bigger than the ones held in Cleveland last week during the Republican National Convention, but like them, there have not been significant reports of violence.
As of Monday night, there were no arrests even though multiple people have been detained, police told ABC. Bill Clinton Takes the Stage
One of Hillary Clinton’s most active surrogates was been her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and now he’s headed to the main stage.
He arrived in Philadelphia on Monday and attended a reception for members of Congress before heading out of the facility.
Clinton has a history of making an impact at Democratic National Conventions. His speech at the 2012 convention in Charlotte was lauded after his 48 minute, wonky speech where he made a case for President Obama’s re-election.