Trump momentum forces new Clinton effort ahead of election

Hillary Clinton has been holding rallies in states considered safe for the Democrats as opinion polls suggest Donald Trump is gaining support ahead of the US election.

Report says both teams are now concentrating more on getting their supporters to vote rather than swaying those undecided.

Thirty-seven million early ballots have already been cast.

Possible terror attack
US authorities say “they are assessing the credibility of information on a possible al-Qaeda terror attack.’’

New York, Texas and Virginia are believed to be the potential targets mentioned in connection with a possible attack before election day on Tuesday, but a police spokesman said the information “lacks specificity.”

Officials say they regularly assess all possible threats before major events.

News of a possible attack came as both Mrs Clinton and Mr Trump made final pushes for support in battleground states across the US.

They both held rallies in Ohio and Pennsylvania, two states that may prove crucial on Tuesday.

In Cleveland, Ohio, Mrs Clinton ended the day’s campaigning at a concert, where she was joined the rapper Jay Z and his wife, the singer Beyonce.

“We have unfinished work to do, more barriers to break and with your help, a glass ceiling to crack once and for all,” Mrs Clinton said.

Addressing the crowd, Jay Z explained his support for Mrs Clinton. He said that though he did not have any ‘ill will’ towards Mr Trump, the Republican’s conversation was “divisive”.

“That’s not an evolved soul to me, so he cannot be my president. He cannot be our president,” he said.

Encouraging greater Americans
The free concert was part of a series of events put on by the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign as she aims to encourage greater African-American participation in the election.

Mr Trump, meanwhile, told a crowd of supporters in New Hampshire that his rival wants a ‘550% increase’ on Syrian refugees allowed into the US.

“Her plan would mean generations of terrorism, extremism, and radicalism spreading into our schools and communities,” the Republican candidate said.

At a rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mrs Clinton had said that her opponent was “unfit” for office because of his temperament and disparaging comments about women and minorities.

The Democrats’ campaign chief, John Podesta, said Mr Trump should ask the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, to step down as the head of his transition team after two of his aides were found guilty of orchestrating traffic jams in New Jersey as an act of political retribution against a local Democratic mayor.

Mr Christie has denied any involvement.

Mr Trump is currently ahead in Ohio, according to a state polling average by Real Clear Politics, while Mrs Clinton leads by a small margin in Pennsylvania.

National polls
National polls have suggested that the Republican candidate has gained substantial ground on his rival in the last week or so. That momentum also appears to have helped him in several key battleground states.

The Democratic nominee has had a tough few days after the FBI said last week it was looking into emails that may be connected to her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state in the Obama administration.

Mrs Clinton says “she is confident the new inquiry will not change the FBI’s original finding in July, which criticised her but cleared her of any illegal acts.’’

The Clinton camp have questioned the timing of the announcement and two senior Democrats have now called for an investigation into Trump surrogate and former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani’s role in it.

In an interview on Fox News on Friday morning, Mr Giuliani appeared to suggest he knew about the inquiry before it was announced, saying: “I had no role in it. Did I hear about it? You’re darn right I heard about it.”

Democratic Representatives Elijah Cummings and John Conyers wrote to the Justice Department on Friday afternoon asking for an investigation into the source of the information to Mr Giuliani.

“Leaking this information to former FBI officials as a conduit to the Trump campaign is equally intolerable,” they wrote in the letter. But Mr Giuliani later denied having prior knowledge of the inquiry, telling CNN he had not received advance notice from FBI: “No, I’ve spoken to no current FBI agents.”

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere