Welcome to THE TRAIL 2016, your daily rundown from The Hill on all the latest news in the White House, Senate and House races. 

Five days after the bombshell release of the “Trump tapes,” it’s not getting any easier for Republicans. 

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says US has coronavirus 'totally under control' Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Collins breaks with GOP on attempt to change impeachment rules resolution MORE has shown no sign of easing up on his all out war against the GOP establishment, particularly House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanWarren now also knocking Biden on Social Security Biden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record MORE, the man his campaign CEO has long hoped to dethrone, The Hill’s Jonathan Swan says in an exclusive report. 


On Wednesday, Trump kept the fires burning by hinting that Ryan might be part of a “sinister deal” because of his refusal to stand by him or congratulate him for his Sunday night debate performance. 

The problems are much deeper than rhetoric, as poll numbers continue to show Democrats benefiting from the comments, Trump’s stumbles also present a significant challenge to the GOP’s turnout efforts in key down-ballot races, our own Reid Wilson reports. 

Stick with The Hill today and tomorrow for a ton of angles on the endless fallout from the “Trump tapes,” as well as more of the biggest campaign stories.



CHRISTIAN CRITICISM: Donald Trump’s campaign has hammered Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders holds four-point lead on Biden in new California poll Gabbard knocks Clinton's jab at Sanders: 'This isn't high school' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball rips op-ed comparing Sanders supporters to those of Trump MORE for new emails released by WikiLeaks showing a 2011 conversation between future staffers making what the campaign believes were “anti-Catholic remarks.”

 UTAH UP FOR GRABS: A new poll out of Utah shows Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton tied with presidential longshot Evan McMullin within striking distance. The state typically leans red, but its largest paper continues to shake things up by endorsing Clinton


DO WE HAVE TO?: The Hill’s Joe Concha reports: Senior Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin argued to top staffers that Clinton should consider not taking questions from the press for fear of overshadowing her presidential campaign's message, according to emails released by WikiLeaks. 

FORGIVE AND FORGET: The Hill’s Ben Kamisar reports: Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PencePence attends sermon where bishop says 'demonic spirit' is behind homosexual attraction Mike Pence invoked a racist president and a scoundrel senator to defend Trump — did he even know it? Trump, Pence visit MLK memorial MORE turned to his faith Wednesday when defending Donald Trump, telling students at a Christian university that the Republican presidential nominee should be forgiven for his vulgar remarks about women. 

MUSLIM AMERICANS AGAINST TRUMP: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: Muslim American women opposed to Donald Trump have launched a new political action committee aimed at boosting voter turnout among U.S. Muslims. Ghazala Khan, the mother of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq whose family spoke out against Trump during the Democratic National Committee, has joined the group. 

CORRUPT: The Hill’s Ben Kamisar reports: The Trump campaign’s new ad hits Hillary Clinton for “pay-to-play.”



ON SECOND THOUGHT: The Hill’s Jordain Carney reports: After Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneSenate fails to get deal to speed up fight over impeachment rules Senate to vote on Trump's Canada, Mexico trade deal Thursday Senate braces for Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-S.D.) called on Donald Trump to drop out of the presidential race, he admitted he’d likely vote for Trump in November. 

NOT A FAN: The Hill’s Jordain Carney reports: Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake: Republicans don't speak out against Trump 'because they want to keep their jobs' GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials The 5 most vulnerable senators in 2020 MORE, the Arizona GOP senator who has refused to back Donald Trump, criticized his pledge to put Hillary Clinton in jail if he wins the election. 

WHUPS: The Hill’s Nikita Vladimirov reports: Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott YohoThe Hill's Morning Report — Impeachment face-off; Dems go after Buttigieg in debate The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - An unusual day: Impeachment plus a trade deal GOP's Yoho announces retirement from Congress MORE, a GOP congressman from Florida, incorrectly said that the controversial Donald Trump comments from 2005 took place “in a locker room” when they in fact took place ahead of an interview with Access Hollywood. Trump has since tried to downplay the comments by arguing they were “locker room talk.” 

DONE: The Hill’s Lisa Hagen reports: The president of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women is stepping down, saying she is unable to support GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. 

THE FINAL MELTDOWN: The Hill’s Tim Devaney reports: Hillary Clinton’s campaign is needling Donald Trump with a new 80’s-themed video spinning off the song “The Final Countdown.” 

ELECTOR SANS FAITH: Politico reports: One Electoral College elector is floating refusing to cast his vote for Hillary Clinton if she wins his state of Washington, which would be against the state’s law.



TRUMP TRAILING ACROSS BOARD: The Hill’s Caitlin Yilek reports: Donald Trump is now trailing in every recent major poll after he fell behind Hillary Clinton in the Los Angeles Times/University of Southern California poll. Clinton’s lead has swelled to 8 points in Reuters/Ipsos’ new poll. 

SHOW ME A TRUMP LEAD: The HIll’s Nikita Vladimirov reports: Donald Trump leads by 5 points in a new poll of Missouri, while GOP Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntSenate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial McConnell keeps press in check as impeachment trial starts What to watch for as Senate organizes impeachment on day one MORE’s lead slips to just 2 points over Democrat Jason Kander. 

MIDWEST SUCCESS: The Hill’s Lisa Hagen reports: Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 7 points in Wisconsin, according to a new poll that found former Sen. Russ Feingold with a 2 point lead over incumbent Republican Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonBiden campaign releases video to explain 'what really happened in Ukraine' Trump lawyers urge senators to swiftly acquit Trump in impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: Barr asks Apple to unlock Pensacola shooter's phone | Tech industry rallies behind Google in Supreme Court fight | Congress struggles to set rules for cyber warfare with Iran | Blog site Boing Boing hacked MORE

CLINTON UP BIG IN OHIO: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: Hillary Clinton’s lead in Ohio is at 9 points in a new poll.



THE WHOLE THING IS RIGGED: The Hill’s Harper Neidig reports: Donald Trump hammered the Commission on Presidential Debates as rigged because one of its co-chairs used to work in President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump lawyer argues Democrats have 'absolutely no case' in first impeachment trial remarks McConnell drops two-day limit on opening arguments Chelsea Clinton unveils next 'She Persisted' book MORE’s White House. The group’s other co-chair is a former Republican National Committee chairman. 


THE TOM BRADY ANGLE: The Hill’s Mark Hensch reports: New England Patriots’ star quarterback Tom Brady, who has referred to Donald Trump as a friend, wouldn’t comment on the recent controversy over audio where Trump talks groping women without consent. Trump has described the comments as “locker room talk.”   

NOT GOOD: Buzzfeed reports: Four former teen beauty pageant contestants have accused Donald Trump of walking into the dressing room while they were changing in 1997, although others have disputed that accusation.



“We want the support of anybody who’s going to publicly endorse us, but enough of the pussyfooting around in terms of do you support us or do you not support us.”

--Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, about Republicans weighing whether to continue to support the nominee.




ACTUALLY:The Hill’s Nikita Vladimirov reports: Colorado Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, an early Trump supporter who called on him to step down after the controversial comments, is now back in Trump’s corner. 

DEMS SITTING PRETTY: The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports: Democrats believe that Senate control is safely within their grasp as Republican turmoil continues in the aftermath of the “Trump tapes” release. They’ve spent the past few days hammering Republicans on the issue, particularly those who haven’t withdrawn their endorsement. 

NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW DEBATE: Republican Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteGOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Trump makes rare trip to Clinton state, hoping to win back New Hampshire Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE and Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan will square off later this month in a newly announced debate where half of the questions will be pulled from New Hampshire residents, via a release. It will be a pivotal debate just weeks before Election Day and after Ayotte opened herself up to criticism last debate for describing Donald Trump as a role model.



ARE ALL SALES FINAL?: NBC News reports: A handful of GOP donors want their donations to Donald Trump’s campaign refunded after the candidate’s lewd comments became public. 

SHOW ME THE MONEY: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports: Democrat Jason Kander outraised Republican Sen. Roy Blunt in the most recent fundraising quarter as Democrats up their investment in the state.



(All times Eastern) 

Hillary Clinton will spend Wednesday night campaigning with Nevada Democratic Senate candidate in Las Vegas at 10:30 p.m. She’ll be off the trail Thursday to fundraise, but Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaSanders v. Warren is just for insiders Overnight Health Care: Trump reportedly lashed out at health chief over polling | Justices to hear ObamaCare birth control case | Trump rolls back Michelle Obama school lunch rules Trump to roll back Michelle Obama's school lunch rules on vegetables, fruits MORE will campaign for her in New Hampshire at 12:15, Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders holds four-point lead on Biden in new California poll Senate blocks push to subpoena Bolton in impeachment trial Sanders, Biden campaigns ramp up attacks over Social Security MORE will hold a Las Vegas rally at 3:45, and Bill Clinton will hold two Iowa early vote events. 

Donald Trump will head to West Palm Beach, Fla. for a noon rally before heading to Cincinnati to speak at a 7:30 p.m. rally.

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrJuan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump Hillicon Valley: Apple, Barr clash over Pensacola shooter's phone | Senate bill would boost Huawei alternatives | DHS orders agencies to fix Microsoft vulnerability | Chrome to phase out tracking cookies Senators offer bill to create alternatives to Huawei in 5G tech MORE (R-N.C.) and former state Rep. Deborah Ross (D-N.C.) will square off in a debate ahead of their election at 7 p.m. Thursday.




Write us with tips, suggestions and news: Jonathan Easley, Ben KamisarJonathan Swan, Lisa Hagen. 

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