Michelle Obama joins Clinton on campaign trail - with a warning
Michelle Obama warned Democrats to turn out to vote in an election that could be decided "on a razor's edge", as she joined forces with Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for the first time yesterday.
There are fears in the Clinton campaign that recent polls putting Mr Trump significantly behind could lead to complacency among Democrats, who may not turn out on election day.
It came as Mrs Clinton's campaign was dealt a blow by new revelations about her charitable foundation.
Speaking at an event in North Carolina, Mrs Obama, who has proved one of Mrs Clinton's most valuable assets in the last few weeks of her campaign, also warned against "protest votes" in what she said was an "unprecedented election". She reminded her audience that her husband had lost the state in 2012 by just a few votes.
"That's how presidential elections go, they are decided on a razor's edge, so each of you in this stadium could swing an entire precinct and win this election for Hillary just by getting yourselves, your friends and family out to vote," the First Lady said.
"If Hillary doesn't win this election, that will be on us."
One poll this week put Mrs Clinton 14 points ahead of her rival Donald Trump, who has been dogged by sexual assault claims in the last few weeks of the campaign. Her lead is 5.7 points in an aggregate of recent polls from Real Clear Politics.
Yesterday Mrs Clinton faced new questions as it emerged her top aides had major concerns about how the handling of donations to the Clinton Foundation could affect her political career.
Newly released emails disclose that a senior executive at the charity secured tens of millions of dollars in speaking fees for Bill Clinton while simultaneously raising donations from the same groups.
Mrs Clinton's aides were concerned that the arrangement would prove controversial and harm her soon-to-be-launched presidential bid. "She created this mess and she knows it," Huma Abedin, an aide, wrote in January 2015.
A 2011 memo, attached to one of the thousands of emails stolen from John Podesta, Mrs Clinton's campaign chairman, and published by WikiLeaks, shows that an aide to Mr Clinton was working simultaneously to raise money for the foundation and arrange paid speeches for Mr Clinton.
Doug Band discussed in the memo his efforts to convince large corporations to donate to the foundation, and to hire Mr Clinton for paid speeches.
UBS, for example, donated $600,000 (¤550,000) and paid Mr Clinton $900,000 for speaking engagements, according to Mr Band's memo. The former president was paid $132m for speaking engagements between 2001 and 2015, pocketing an average of $207,255 per speech. Mr Band claims in the memo to have arranged $50m in past speeches and $66m more in potential future engagements.
There are no indications that anything illegal took place. However, Mr Clinton and his aides have been accused of failing to clearly delineate between his pro-bono work for the foundation and his for-profit activities.
Mr Trump criticised Mrs Clinton during a rally in Ohio yesterday. "If the Clintons were willing to play this fast and loose with their enterprise when they weren't in the White House, just imagine what they'll do if given the chance to once again control the Oval Office," he said.
Meanwhile, the Halloween festivities in the US have taken on a more political persuasion, with pumpkins featuring the face of Mr Trump, or 'Trumpkins', cropping up in windows, and shops selling out of Donald, Hillary and Bill costumes.
In the Eighties thousands of Americans dressed as the Reagans, while Mr Clinton - and his women - dominated the Nineties and may again this year.
The Washington Post has published a list of suggestions, including Trump's wall, Putin and his horse, a 'Nasty Woman' and Kanye 2020. (© Daily Telegraph London)
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