Hillary Clinton's first comments about the constantly evolving situation in Ukraine may be late, but they packed a punch. At a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach, Calif., the former secretary of State compared Moscow's policy of issuing Russian passports in the Crimean region to the "population transfers" that occurred under Nazi Germany, people who attended the fundraiser tell BuzzFeed. She spoke at length on the subject, showing off her knowledge of pre-WWII diplomatic minutia. "If this sounds familiar, it's what Hitler did back in the '30s," Clinton said, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram:
All the Germans that were... the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they're not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that's what's gotten everybody so nervous. [Via Long Beach Press-Telegram]
Although Hillary implicitly compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hitler, she isn't the first to use WWII rhetoric to describe the Ukrainian conflict. On Saturday, a Russian professor named Andei Zubov compared Russia's actions in the Ukraine to Germany's takeover of Austria in 1938. On Tuesday, he said that he has been fired from his job at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. Celeste Mora
Donald Trump downplayed evidence of his early support for the war in Iraq — an invasion he has insisted throughout his campaign that he opposed from the get-go — when confronted by Fox News' Bret Baier on Thursday evening.
After Trump mentioned his criticism of the war, Baier pointed out that during an interview with Howard Stern in 2002, Trump answered, "Yeah, I guess" when asked whether he backed the invasion. Trump's account to Baier was a little different: "I'm talking to Howard Stern, weeks before, the first time anybody had ever asked," he said, "and don't forget, I was a civilian. The first time anyone ever asked me about the war, about should we go in, because it was a question, are we going in? And I said very weakly, well, blah, blah, blah, yes, I guess."
Baier then recalled Trump's declaration of the war as "a tremendous success from a military standpoint" on its very first day. "What I said is it was a success, because they thought it was a success," Trump countered, before insisting again, contrary to the available reports, that he opposed the invasion before it happened.
But hey, if Trump doesn't want to dwell on his Iraq record, perhaps the real story here is that The Donald said he did something "weakly." Bonnie Kristian
If you're not watching the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs, well, you should be. The powerhouse franchises of late have already been knocked out of the running, so the race for the Cup from here on out is between a bunch of scrappy teams who haven't touched it in a while. And if you're inexplicably unimpressed by incredible feats of dexterity and grace alone — while balancing on ice with knives strapped to your shoes, mind you — well, just check out the ecstasy in this photo of the Nashville Predators bench, after the team outlasted the San Jose Sharks in triple-overtime to even their second round series at two games apiece:
— #StanleyCup Playoffs (@NHL) May 6, 2016
Does the long road to November stretch out before you like a dry and dusty wilderness of endless horse-race polls and infinite hypothetical delegate counts?
HBO CEO Richard Plepler is here with a balm for your weary soul: Jon Stewart might be back on TV before the election. Plepler said he is "hopeful" that the former Daily Show host, who signed a deal with HBO this past fall, would be installed in a new show within the next few months.
And when Stewart's new show does happen, Plepler added, the network will give him significant latitude to play with the format. "It is a perfect example of bringing a remarkable original voice into the house, giving a new opportunity of expression to that original voice and saying, 'We now have the flexibility to let you paint however you want to,'" he explained. "My hunch is it will evolve over time." Bonnie Kristian
Donald Trump's spokesperson Katrina Pierson thinks that if House Speaker Paul Ryan can't get behind Trump as the Republican Party's presumptive nominee, then he shouldn't be speaker at all. Even if Ryan doesn't like Trump, Pierson said, he should at least align his actions with all his calls to "bring unity."
Pierson's comments came during a Friday morning interview with CNN's John Berman, who asked her whether Ryan is "still fit to be speaker" if he doesn't jump on the Trump train. "No, because this is about the party," Pierson said. On Thursday, Ryan declined to endorse Trump, saying he was "just not ready to do that at this point."
"We were told to hold our noses and vote for the sake of the party," Pierson said. "These same people are now telling us that because their guy didn't want to win, they want to hurt the party. If you can't hold yourself to the standard that you're holding everyone else, the problem is with you."
Nearly half of likely Hillary Clinton voters say they are only supporting her to keep Donald Trump out of the White House — but before Trump backers start cackling, they ought to keep in mind that they're in the same boat. Nearly half of Trump supporters are only backing the Republican candidate in order to keep Clinton out of office.
The uninspiring situation was discovered in a new Reuters/Ipsos survey that claims many voters this election season are only going to the ballot boxes to keep the opposition out of the White House, rather than to get their candidate in. With Trump supporters, a whole 47 percent are voting just to keep Clinton out; by comparison, only 43 percent are voting for Trump because they like his political positions, and only 6 percent because they like Trump personally.
Among likely Clinton voters, 46 percent are voting for her just to keep Trump out of office, with 40 percent backing her because they like her politics and 11 percent because they like her personally.
The results come from likely voters who were interviewed online between April 29 and May 5, with the margin of error for Trump supporters being plus or minus 5.3 and for Clinton supporters, plus or minus 4.7. Jeva Lange
In an interview Friday with Fox & Friends, Donald Trump shut down Ben Carson's suggestion that he would consider a Democrat or an independent to join his presidential ticket. "I would rule him out. Or her out," the presumptive Republican nominee said, denying Carson's comment to The Wall Street Journal Thursday that they were considering people who "are Americans," rather than just Republicans.
"I want to have a great ticket," Trump said. "The Democrats have been in there a long time, the economy is terrible. The real unemployment rate is probably 20 percent. Jobs are leaving. Look at Carrier, look at so many companies. They're leaving."
Instead, Trump says, he is "going to pick a great Republican" to sail towards a "tremendous victory" with him. "We're going to win," he said.
Watch the exchange below. Becca Stanek
— FOX & Friends (@foxandfriends) May 6, 2016
U.S. employers added 160,000 jobs in April — fewer than expected — the Labor Department reported Friday. Economists had forecast a gain of 200,000 jobs. Analysts interpreted the number, the lowest in seven months, as an indication that slow first-quarter economic growth had sapped momentum from the nation's hiring binge. March's gains were revised down to 208,000 from 215,000 new non-farm jobs. The unemployment rate remained at 5 percent due to people dropping out of the labor force. Hourly wages rose by 0.3 percent, a bright spot in the report. Jeva Lange