The Latest: Biden calls Putin a ‘dictator’ embraced by Trump


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on the Democratic National Convention (all times EDT):

9:45 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden is calling Vladimir Putin a “dictator” — a term the U.S. government doesn’t use when referring to the Russian president.

Biden says in his speech at the Democratic convention that GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is belittling U.S. allies while embracing “dictators like Vladimir Putin.”

Earlier in the day, Trump said: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” He was referring to emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server as secretary of state that she said she deleted — because they were private — before turning other messages over to the State Department.

The U.S. regularly chastises Putin for cracking down on dissent, but doesn’t consider Russia a dictatorship. Putin has won three presidential elections, most recently in 2012.

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9:43 p.m.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is endorsing Hillary Clinton — and that’s giving her the support of an independent who says he votes based on the candidate, “not the party label.”

Bloomberg says at the Democratic National Convention that the country must unite around Clinton because she can “defeat a dangerous demagogue.”

He’s offering a tough critique of businessman Donald Trump, saying, “I’m a New Yorker and I know a con when I see one.”

Bloomberg points to his work to build a business and compares that with Trump’s beginning in real estate:

“I didn’t start it with a million dollar check from my father.”

9:37 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden has wrapped up his speech to the Democratic convention by making a forceful case for American exceptionalism.

He says the United States “does not scare easily,” and when confronted with crisis, “we endure, we overcome and we always move forward.”

Biden says the 21st century “is going to be the American century.”

He says that will happen because the U.S. leads “not only by the example of our power but by the power of our example.”

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9:33 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden is casting Donald Trump as too dangerous to trust with the presidency.

Biden says “no major party nominee in the history of this nation has ever known less or been less prepared to deal with our national security.”

The vice president tells the Democratic National Convention that Trump — the GOP presidential nominee — offers policies that are more in line with the United States’ adversaries.

Biden says Trump backs “torture” and “religious intolerance.” Biden says that “betrays our values” and makes it harder for the United States to defeat Islamic State militants.

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9:27 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden is skewering Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for suggesting he represents the middle class.

Biden says the billionaire real estate mogul “has no clue about what makes America great.”

The vice president is telling the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that he’s known as “middle-class Joe” in the nation’s capital — and he says that’s not a compliment.

He says it actually means … “you’re not sophisticated.”

Biden says Trump isn’t actually a friend to the middle class, but instead is a wealthy man who “doesn’t have a clue” about middle America.

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9:25 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden says Hillary Clinton’s election will have a major impact on young girls. He says when she walks into the Oval Office as president, “it will change their lives.”

Biden is vouching for Clinton in a speech to the Democratic National Convention. He recalls his weekly breakfasts with Clinton when she served as secretary of state during the Obama administration.

Biden says everyone knows that Clinton is smart and tough but he says, “I know what she’s passionate about. I know Hillary.”

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9:20 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden is paying tribute to his late son Beau, who introduced him at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Beau Biden went on to become attorney general of Delaware. He died in 2015 after a battle with cancer.

The vice president tells delegates in Philadelphia that the nation got to see “what an incredibly fine young man” Beau Biden was when he nominated his father for vice president.

Biden says his challenge in dealing with his son’s death makes him appreciate “the unbreakable spirit of the people of America” who deal with problems every day with “so much less support,” but still “put one foot in front of the other.”

The vice president was considered to be a potential 2016 presidential candidate, but cited his son’s death as a reason he wasn’t up for a national campaign.

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9:17 p.m.

Donald Trump’s running mate is sounding a humble tone during his first solo campaign event since joining the ticket.

Mike Pence is calling himself a “B-list Republican celebrity.”

The Indiana governor was introduced in Waukesha, Wisconsin, by a fellow GOP governor, Scott Walker, and Pence is playing up his self-effacing Midwestern persona.

Waukesha overwhelmingly voted for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during Wisconsin’s presidential primary — and Cruz won the state handily.

But Pence tells a crowd of several hundred people to vote for Trump because of the conservatives he’d nominate to the Supreme Court if he’s elected president.

He says they should vote Trump for the sake of the Constitution, the sanctity of life, the Second Amendment and “all our God given liberties.”

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9:15 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden is paying tribute to President Barack Obama at the Democratic convention, calling Obama the “embodiment of honor, resolve and character.”

Biden says Obama is “one of the finest presidents we have ever had.”

Biden reminds delegates it’s been eight years since he accepted the nomination to become vice president.

He says he and his wife, Jill, now considers the Obamas “family.” Biden says of the president, “He’s become a brother to Jill and me.”

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9:10 p.m.

WikiLeaks has released 29 voicemails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, and they include several from unidentified party members upset by Bernie Sanders’ influence on the party.

The anti-Sanders messages are included with mostly run-of-the-mill messages about upcoming Democratic events that WikiLeaks selected for release Wednesday.

One caller objects to Sanders’ choices for the party’s platform committee and doesn’t even want the Vermont senator to have a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention.

The caller — speaking about Sanders — says “he’s not a Democrat. Please stop this man now.” Another complains about the role given to Sanders supporter Cornel West, who’s been highly critical of President Barack Obama.

The release follows more than 19,000 stolen DNC emails that WikiLeaks published on its website last week.

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9:05 p.m.

Leon Panetta’s critique of Donald Trump’s preparation for the presidency has drawn dueling chants from the audience at the Democratic National Convention.

Chants of “No more war!” broke out during Panetta’s speech. The former defense secretary and CIA director questioned Trump’s ability to become commander in chief.

Later in Panetta’s speech, chants of “USA!” filled the arena.

It was one of the first times that chant was heard during the Democratic convention. It was common during last week’s Republican gathering.

Panetta promoted Hillary Clinton’s national security credentials.

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9 p.m.

Democratic convention delegates are watching a video tribute to Vice President Joe Biden in which he proclaims he’s more optimistic than ever about the country’s future.

The video recaps Biden’s long career and is being shown just before his speech in Philadelphia.

Biden is praised for taking on the National Rifle Association in pushing for an assault weapons ban in the 1990s. The video says that’s the “kind of courage we need today in Congress to stand up to the NRA.”

It also alludes to personal loss in Biden’s life — the deaths of his first wife and daughter in 1972, and son Beau Biden from cancer last year.

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8:50 p.m.

Former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says Donald Trump is taking Russia’s side, and that means Trump can’t become commander in chief.

Panetta is making the case for Hillary Clinton in a speech Wednesday night at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

He’s citing Trump’s earlier comments that encouraged Russia to find and make public emails deleted by Clinton from the private account and servers she used as secretary of state.

Panetta is criticizing Trump for — as he puts it — “asking one of our adversaries to engage in hacking or intelligence efforts against the United States to affect our election.”

To Panetta, “it’s inconceivable to me that any presidential candidate would be this irresponsible.”

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8:45 p.m.

A retired Naval admiral is criticizing Republican Donald Trump for encouraging a foreign government — Russia — to spy against his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

John Hutson says at the Democratic National Convention that earlier Trump, earlier Wednesday, “personally invited Russia to hack us.”

In Hutson’s view, “that’s not law and order. That’s criminal intent.”

Hutson also points to Trump’s mocking of Arizona Sen. John McCain for being captured as a prisoner of war during Vietnam.

Hutson’s take on Trump: “You’re not fit to polish John McCain’s boots.”

Hutson’s speech came on the first night at the convention that the Islamic State group and national security are getting extensive attention.

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8:40 p.m.

Vice President Joe Biden is tweeting out his admiration for Hillary Clinton in advance of his convention address on the Democratic nominee.

He writes: “I’ve seen Hillary in the Senate & the Situation Room” and he calls her “clear-eyed. Steady. Understands working with people. Exactly the leadership we need.”

The vice president also is savoring the campaign ahead.

“It’s good to be back, folks. … Let’s go elect some Democrats.”

Biden addresses the convention later Wednesday.

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8:30 p.m.

Gabby Giffords — the former Arizona congresswoman nearly killed in a 2011 shooting — is telling the Democratic National Convention that “speaking is difficult for me. But come January, I want to say these two words: Madam President.”

Joining Giffords on the convention stage is her husband, Mark Kelly, as they talk about the need to challenge the gun lobby and place new restrictions on firearms.

Giffords calls Hillary Clinton — the Democratic nominee for president — “tough” and “courageous,” and Giffords says Clinton, as president, will “stand up to the gun lobby.”

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8 p.m.

Democrats are paying tribute to the victims of the June attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

Christine Leinonen tells the crowd at the Democratic convention that her son — Christopher “Drew” Leinonen — always brought people together and started a gay-straight alliance in school.

He was one of the 49 patrons killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. She says her son’s grandparents met in a Japanese internment camp “so it was in his DNA that love always trumps hate.”

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy says he’s “furious” about the lack of progress on gun control in the years since 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at the Connecticut school.

Murphy says Republicans in Congress have done “absolutely nothing to prevent the next massacre.”

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7:45 p.m.

On the same day Hillary Clinton is set to claim the Democratic presidential nomination, the National Rifle Association is coming out with an ad saying Americans’ “right to own a gun for self-defense is at risk in this election.”

The group says it plans to begin airing the 30-second ad on Thursday. It features a rape victim who confronted President Barack Obama over gun right at a town hall meeting this year. She tells viewers that “self-defense is your right. Don’t let it be taken away.”

Word of the ad campaign comes as the Democratic Convention features speeches Wednesday night from relatives of the nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, and the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

The ad’s narrator says Clinton “would take away your rights.”

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7:30 p.m.

Some Hillary Clinton supporters at the Democratic convention are becoming noticeably agitated by the continued protests of Bernie Sanders’ most vocal supporters.

Danielle Adams is a Clinton delegate from North Carolina. She says, “I’m so exhausted by it.”

Some in the Colorado delegation at the Wells Fargo Center have scratched out letters in signs that say “Stronger Together” — and those signs now say “stop her.”

Delegates from Louisiana and Delaware are standing in front of them holding their own signs and attempting to block the view.

In California, an older woman in tears had to be led out of the arena because she was upset by some of the protesting Sanders backers.

Cheryl Brown is a state representative from California. She says the way some Sanders delegates are behaving is exacerbating tensions between the two campaigns.

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7 p.m.

Harry Reid is speaking at his final Democratic National Convention as a senator, and the Senate’s Democratic leader is blasting Republicans and Donald Trump for wanting to — in his words — “tear down the pillars of middle-class security.”

The retiring Nevada lawmaker has some harsh words for the Senate’s Republican leader, Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell.

Reid says McConnell and the GOP have slandered the country’s first black president, whipped up fear of Muslims and sown hatred of Latinos.

Reid says parents are right to worry about their kids hearing what comes out of Trump’s mouth. He says Trump learned it from watching Republicans.

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6:50 p.m.

Movie director James Cameron is calling Donald Trump “a madman,” and “incredibly reckless, incredibly dangerous” when it comes to global warming.

The director of “Titanic” and “Avatar” has made a short film — airing Wednesday night at the Democratic convention — about how climate change is harming the United States.

The film shows wildfires, heat waves and the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy — and then segues to Trump calling man-made global warming a hoax.

Cameron tells reporters that attacking Trump on his rejection of mainstream climate change science is a winning strategy for Democrats.

He calls Trump’s positions “incredibly reckless, incredibly dangerous” and later refers to Trump as “a madman saying we’re going to tear up” the landmark climate change agreement negotiated in Paris.

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6:35 p.m.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says Hillary Clinton can be trusted to fight for issues such as a fair Supreme Court, gun control and progressive policies.

The former presidential candidate says Clinton understands the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and the shooting deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Alton Sterling.

Jackson also is congratulating Bernie Sanders for energizing the campaign with “ideas and hope.”

In Jackson’s words: “The Bern must never grow cold.”

Still, he says, “It’s healing time. It’s hope time. It’s Hillary time.”

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6:30 p.m.

California’s governor is criticizing Donald Trump for failing to mention the words “climate change” or “global warming” during his acceptance speech at the Republican convention.

Jerry Brown says it’ll take “heroic efforts on the part of many people and many nations” to combat climate change. But, the Democratic governor adds, “You wouldn’t know it by listening to Donald Trump.”

Brown is speaking at the Democratic convention later Wednesday, and in his prepared remarks, he notes Trump has called global warming a hoax.

That’s why Brown isn’t holding back: “I say Trump is a fraud.”

Brown’s also disputing Trump’s assertion there’s no drought in California — only water mismanagement.

Brown’s response: “I say Trump lies.” He says Trump and others who reject climate science “are dead wrong — dangerously wrong.”

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6 p.m.

President Barack Obama has a message for fellow Democrats, and all those watching the Democratic convention at home: There’s never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president.

It’s a theme Obama is stressing in his convention speech later Wednesday night.

According to the White House, Obama plans to say “nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office.”

He intends to vouch for Clinton as someone who’s been part of his biggest decisions in the Oval Office and a leader who never quits — no matter the odds or “how much people try to knock her down.”

The president is set to describe his 2008 campaign rival as someone who listens to people, keeps her cool and treats everybody with respect.

Obama says, “that’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire.”

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5:50 p.m.

President Barack Obama plans to tell the Democratic convention that the America he knows is “full of courage and optimism and ingenuity.”

The White House released a preview of Obama’s Wednesday speech to the convention a few hours before he’ll address delegates in Philadelphia.

Obama says Americans have “real anxieties,” including paying their bills, protecting their children, frustrations with political gridlock and racial divisions.

But he says during his travels as president, he’s “seen, more than anything, is what is right with America.” That includes people working hard and “a younger generation full of energy and new ideas.”

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5:31 p.m.

Six drafts and a few late nights went into the speech President Barack Obama will give at the Democratic convention.

White House officials say work on the speech started in June and Obama got a first draft on July 18.

Officials say Obama stayed up until 3:30 a.m. this past Monday revising it.

The White House officials who provided reporters with details about Wednesday night’s speech spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the address publicly before Obama gives it.

Obama rehearsed the speech for the first and final time Tuesday in the White House Map Room. It clocked in at 30 minutes, with no applause.

Set to introduce Obama is Sharon Belkofer, a 73-year-old retired nurse whose son died in Afghanistan.

— Josh Lederman in Washington

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5:30 p.m.

The White House says President Barack Obama’s convention speech will focus on Hillary Clinton.

Obama plans to go into detail about Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state and try to make the case she’s qualified to be commander in chief.

White House officials say Obama doesn’t plan to mention Donald Trump’s name more than a few times.

Obama also plans to praise Clinton’s chief Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, and his supporters — paying tribute to the fervor they ignited in the primary season.

The White House officials who provided reporters with details about Wednesday night’s speech spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to discuss the address publicly before Obama gives it.

— Josh Lederman in Washington

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4:45 p.m.

A warning from Donald Trump to women.

He says if Hillary Clinton’s elected president, “she’ll set you back a long way, women, if that happens.”

The GOP presidential nominee — during a rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania — is warning women to “be careful what you wish for.”

Public opinion surveys have found Trump ahead among male voters, but trailing Clinton among women.

Trump has said he’d “cherish” women if he becomes president. But he hasn’t discussed in detail how he would address such as equal pay and affordable child care.

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4:40 p.m.

The Democrats are back in session in Philadelphia, and they quickly dispatch with the day’s first order of business: nominating Tim Kaine for vice president.

The Virginia senator’s name was the only one offered, and a half-full convention hall at the Wells Fargo Center decided by a voice vote to suspend the rules and nominate Kaine by acclamation.

Some supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had talked about challenging Kaine’s nomination. They were upset that nominee Hillary Clinton didn’t pick a more liberal running mate.

Some delegates from Washington state chanted “roll call.” Some from California made some noise during the voice vote. But most in the arena cheered as Kaine was nominated.

The former Virginia governor is set to address the convention Wednesday night.

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