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The Latest: Trump seeks to boost Kelly, Barletta at rally

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump on the campaign trail (all times local):

8 p.m.

President Donald Trump is boosting Pennsylvania’s Republican candidates as he works to rally support ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Trump invited Reps. Mike Kelly and Lou Barletta up on stage with him Wednesday in Erie and urged attendees to vote for them.

He says, “A vote for Mike is a vote to make America great again.”

Kelly is facing a challenge from Democrat Ron DiNicola, while Barletta is mounting an uphill campaign to unseat two-term Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

Trump says that Barletta’s brother died Tuesday and that the men had been close.

Trump is calling him a “total winner” and says he’s the one who urged Barletta to run for the seat.

Trump, who narrowly won Pennsylvania in 2016, has made repeated visits to the state.

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7:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is kicking off a rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, by telling everyone in the path of Hurricane Michael that the nation’s thoughts and prayers are with them.

Trump says the storm that reached landfall on Florida’s panhandle Wednesday afternoon is one of the biggest the country’s ever seen.

And he’s wishing those affected “all the best,” saying: “Godspeed. God bless you all. It’s a bad one.”

Trump is also assuring those affected that the federal government is working in close coordination with local officials and says they will spare no effort, no expense and no resources “to help these great fellow citizens of ours who are going through a tough time right now.”

Asked why he didn’t cancel the rally and fundraiser because of the storm, Trump told reporters earlier he didn’t want to disappoint his audience.

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5:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the Federal Reserve “has gone crazy” after a major drop in stock prices Wednesday.

Trump, who has been critical of the central bank’s interest rate increases, tells reporters after landing in Erie, Pennsylvania, that he thinks “the Fed is making a mistake.”

He adds, “I think the Fed has gone crazy.”

But he’s also calling the drop “a correction we’ve been waiting for for a long time.”

U.S. stocks took their worst loss in eight months Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking 831 points and the Nasdaq composite logging its biggest loss in more than two years.

Trump has often pointed to stock market records set during his time in office as a measure of his success.

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5:30 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is focused on Hurricane Michael even as he travels to Pennsylvania for a fundraiser and rally.

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters says Trump spoke with the governors of Georgia and Alabama from aboard Air Force One while traveling from Washington.

He’s set to appear to Erie, where he will rally for Republicans ahead of next month’s midterm elections.

Walters says Trump will continue to get updates on Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in Florida this afternoon.

She says Trump decided not to skip the rally because “thousands of eager people” were already lined up.

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4:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is set to campaign in Pennsylvania as Hurricane Michael pounds Florida’s Panhandle.

Trump headed Wednesday to Erie, where he will rally voters for Republican candidates. Trump told reporters that “thousands of people” were lined up for the event, arguing it wouldn’t be fair to make them go home.

The rally comes as Trump is escalating his attacks on Democrats. Earlier Wednesday, Trump published an op-ed in USA Today that attacked Democrats over “Medicare for All” health care proposals.

Four-term Reps. Mike Kelly and Lou Barletta are expected to attend the rally. Kelly is facing a challenge from Democrat Ron DiNicola, while Barletta is mounting an uphill campaign to unseat two-term Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

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6:30 a.m.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is calling President Donald Trump’s remarks about her “ridiculous and an embarrassment.”

At a rally Tuesday night in Iowa, Trump accused Feinstein of leaking a letter written by California professor Christine Blasey Ford alleging Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers.

Feinstein has denied her office was the source of the leak.

The Iowa audience responded to Trump’s claim by chanting, “Lock her up!”




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