Ted Cruz: Yeah, I'll Help Donald With Debate Prep, And Let Me Tell You Again Why I Endorsed Trump

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was on The Hugh Hewitt Show earlier today, where the former presidential contender offered his thoughts about the debate and explain his endorsement of Donald Trump that caused some friction among conservatives. Cruz also said that he would certainly help Trump with debate preparation if they asked him to do so—on top of helping Republicans down ticket with their races as well:

Hugh Hewitt: This threat to the 2nd Amendment, the overturning of Heller, the threat to the 10th Amendment and the overturning of all federalism jurisprudence of which Justice Kennedy is a part. All of that goes out, and the expansion of the regulatory state is unchecked and it’s exponential in its growth. Given that, will you be out campaigning for Donald Trump? And if they ask you to help with debate prep, would you do so?

Ted Cruz: I am happy to help. I have conveyed that to them. I will do whatever I can to defeat Hillary Clinton. My heavy focus this cycle, in addition to defeating Hillary, is on preserving a Republican majority in the Senate, and I am working hard to help my colleagues get reelected. I’m working hard to raise money for them, to help turn out conservatives in their state. And then I’m also working hard in the state of Texas to turn out conservatives, because if conservatives stay home this cycle, we could see really bad results on down ticket ballots, on judicial races, on state rep races. I don’t want to see that happen. So I’m going to do everything I can to urge conservatives to come out and vote, even if they may not be thrilled at the candidates on the ballot. I’m urging them to come out and vote anyway, because the consequences of staying home, I think, are really quite significant.

Yet, this hasn’t been an easy road for Cruz. First, he was utterly eviscerated when he refused to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention. Now, he’s reemerged from the bunker to endorse Trump. What happened? That’s seems to be what was on now-ex-Cruz supporter Glenn Beck’s mind with this prolonged interview with the Texas senator yesterday, which Guy described as “messy.” Beck had endorsed Cruz during the 2016 primaries, but went on to apologize to his viewers, saying it’s his fault that he feels that men can be George Washington in today’s era of politics. He also said he probably should have endorsed Marco Rubio, despite his disagreements with him on immigration. Like on Beck, Cruz told Hewitt that Trump’s getting serious in the Supreme Court was the thing that was able to move him. Oh, and how his endorsement wasn’t political or anything of that nature. Cruz then gave a very, very long explanation of how this wasn’t political:

Ted Cruz: You know, I don’t know. I will say the questions didn’t naturally lend themselves to it. You and I would both have loved to have seen a much more direct discussion of the Supreme Court, of the Constitution, of the Bill of Rights. I think to some extent, the moderator can be faulted for that, and that was just not the direction the conversation was going. But to my mind, that is one of the biggest, if not the biggest distinction between the two candidates. And as you know, the developments last week were a major reason why I made the decision to vote for Trump in November, because on Friday, he put out a list of 21 judges, and a couple of important things. One, as you noted, he put my friend and colleague, Mike Lee, at the top of the list. Senator Mike Lee, I think, would make an extraordinary Supreme Court justice to replace Antonin Scalia. But secondly, and this was the most important part of the list, and much of the media missed this, when he put it out, he explicitly committed that the only people he would consider are the 21 names on the list. Previously, they had put out a list of 11 names, but there had been no commitment other than these are among the people we will look at. On Friday, they locked themselves in and said these 21 are the only ones up for consideration. That was a major new development, and it was a major new development exactly along the lines of what I had urged in Cleveland, which is that I wanted to see our nominee defend freedom, defend the Constitution, and the Supreme Court is going to be right at the crossroads of determining whether the Bill of Rights remains vibrant in protecting our liberties, or whether it is rendered a dead letter by a Hillary Clinton judicial activist Court.

Hugh Hewitt: Now Senator Cruz, I want to spend a moment on this, because I was on the Meet the Press panel on Sunday defending your endorsement, and arguing you made it because of that very reason, with some pushback from Mike Murphy, among others, with whom you have battled in the past, I have to note for the record, that oh, no, this is a primary challenge. Ted Cruz is worried about Mike McCaul, Rick Perry, you name it. and I just, I don’t think you’re vulnerable. So how do you respond to that?

Ted Cruz: Well, it is not surprising that there are a bunch of people throwing rocks, and I would note that the people who are throwing rocks are by and large people who have hated the fact that I have stood up to Washington and the Senate since I have been elected. They have hated that I’ve taken on leadership and have been willing to lead the fight against Obamacare, willing to lead the fight against the debt ceiling, willing to lead the fight against amnesty. And when you have liberal Republicans who don’t want to see conservatives doing that, their natural fallback, and the fallback of many of the mainstream media, is anytime you’re fighting for conservative principles, they accuse you of being just political. That’s just what they say. They say oh, this is just politics. This is political. You know, the Wall Street Journal had an editorial where they said oh, it must be political. What inevitably happens is the Washington establishment accuses anyone who stands up to them of doing what they in fact are doing. Here’s the simple reality. If I were being political, I would have endorsed Donald Trump back in Cleveland at the convention. That was the obvious political thing to do. If the goal were political, that’s the easy decision. It’s why almost every other elected official did so. You know, you can have lots of criticisms about me. Some people say that I fight and stick too hard to my principles and am not willing enough to compromise. That’s a fair criticism. We can have a discussion about when compromise is appropriate and when it’s not. But the reason I stood my ground in Cleveland is actually the exact same reason I made the decision on Friday, which is that I believe every voter should follow your conscience and do not stay home. Come out and vote up and down the ticket for candidates you trust to defend freedom and defend the Constitution. And I hoped in Cleveland to help push our candidate, push our nominee to the right, to embrace freedom, to embrace the Constitution, because I think that’s the only way we win. And in the weeks and months since Cleveland, I had been urging the Trump campaign repeatedly to give more specificity, especially on the Supreme Court. And so about three weeks ago when I sat down with Mike Pence, and we had a conversation about what it would take for me to come on board, that was the major issue I stressed, was the Supreme Court. Every one of our rights, whether it’s the 2nd Amendment, whether it’s religious liberty, whether it’s free speech, we’re one vote away from losing it. And for me, at least, I wanted to see greater specificity, a greater degree of comfort, that Justice Scalia’s replacement and the subsequent justices would be principled Constitutionalists. You and I both know many of the people on that list of 21. It is a terrific list, and the commitment on Friday they made that they would only nominate from that list, to me, was a big deal, and that was enough to move me over to a yes. Also, because by any measure, Hillary would be a disaster, and at this point, it is abundantly clear the election’s a binary choice. Either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is going to be president. So if you don’t want Hillary, and I am very much in the Never Hillary camp, the only choice that can beat Hillary is Donald Trump.

You know these things that Cruz said about Trump were still true during the convention, especially the notion that the billionaire is much better than Clinton. Also, Beck pointed out to Cruz that he seems to be blending or confusing voting your conscience with it’s now a binary choice in the sense that Trump is the only person that can beat Hillary. Voting your conscience, to Beck, means that someone is incapable to giving their vote to any of these candidates. Cruz obviously disagreed. As for the Supreme Court talk, Guy said, “the 'Mike Lee/SCOTUS' fig leaf is preposterous on its face.” Ted wasted a lot of airtime to explain how his political endorsement of Trump is somehow not political and calculating. In fact, and Guy mentioned this in his Beck post, Allahpundit aptly noted that Cruz’s entire political career has been one long calculation. In this case, it’s a recalculation:

You heard Ted Cruz calculate for the first time today? Ted Cruz? Cruz’s entire career has been a calculation, and I say that as someone who voted for him this spring. He became a populist outsider running against Washington only after his attempt to join the establishment failed. He staged his ObamaCare filibuster in 2013 with no hope of stopping the law from being implemented but knowing that it would be great for his insurrectionist brand in the 2016 primaries. During the Gang of Eight debate, he offered an amendment that would have expanded guest workers while removing the path to citizenship knowing that that would let him argue the amendment both ways during his presidential run. During the GOP primaries, he’d claim it was a poison pill to sink the bill; during the general election, had he made it that far, he’d be pointing to the guest-workers part as proof that he’s not a radical restrictionist. Cruz dodged questions on legalizing illegals literally for years, in fact, until pressure from Trump finally forced him to rule it out late last year.

His “bromance” with Trump was itself a giant calculation designed to build goodwill among Trump’s populist voters in hopes that Cruz would inherit them once Trump collapsed. Then he made his boldest calculation yet at the convention, betting that a non-endorsement would make him look good after Trump inevitably melted down on the trail this fall and ended up being crushed by Clinton. Now that that hasn’t panned out, he’s re-calculating and reluctantly endorsing him so as not to be blamed for a narrow Trump defeat (or frozen out by the White House next year if Trump pulls off the upset). All he does is calculate, and his calculations are always to his personal political advantage.

Watch Live: Clinton Holds Rally in Raleigh, North Carolina

Michael Moore To Liberals: Quit Dancing In The End-Zone, Trump Won The Debate

Trump got rolled, he choked, and Clinton won in a landslide. That’s the prevailing narrative from last night’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I tend to think last night was a draw, as both sides didn’t fall off the cliff. But if there’s someone who truly felt that Donald won the debate last night (and is slated to win the election), it comes from a most unlikely source: left wing activists and filmmaker Michael Moore.

Moore took to social media, tweeting to Clinton supporters to stop dancing in the end zone during the debate last night since Trump was going to win. While telling his fellow liberal comrades they better get used to a Trump win tonight, he also said that now is the time to do something to try and stop Trump from winning the election, even reaching out to Bernie Sander supporters who are fence sitting between voting for Clinton, staying home, or maybe even voting for Trump.

Moore has been saying Trump would win this election for quite some time, noting the issues surrounding Hillary (her appalling favorability numbers), Trump’s appeal to white voters and the Rust Belt, and Clinton’s inability to excite the base. For Moore, her vote to authorize the Iraq War was the last straw, though he said that he would cast a ballot for her to stop Trump. Here’s what he said to Bill Maher on his show during the Republican National Convention (via Real Clear Politics):

I'm sorry to be the buzzkill here," he said. "But I think Trump is going to win. I'm sorry."

"I lived in Michigan, an let me tell you. It's gonna be the Brexit strategy. The middle of England is Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. The total number of electoral votes in those states in the rust belt, 64. All he has to do is win those four states. I was there during the primary, he went down and said they moved this factory down to Mexico, I'm putting a tariff on the cars, and it was music to peoples' ears," he added.

"And more people in the primary in Michigan voted Republican than Democrat this year. That should be a disturbing thing for everyone."

He again made this known during the veepstakes, where he lamented that Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) does nothing for the Democratic ticket, whereas Pence is a solid social conservative, which was needed to balance Trump’s past social liberalism, and it excited the base.

Another thing that is music to people’s ears in the Rust Belt is bashing NAFTA, which Trump did for the first 30 minutes of the debate. How many people tuned out is another story, though Moore’s assessment of last night’s debate shows that politics can sometimes make for strange bedfellows.

(H/T The Hill)

State Department Fails to Produce Court Documents Because File Exceeded Bandwidth Limit

The State Department is still having an issue with emails. A court ordered the agency to provide documents to the Daily Caller News Foundation by Monday night, but a technical snafu caused them to miss the deadline. The file, the department explained, was just too big.

The size of the file attached to the email, however, exceeded the maximum file size allowed for the mobile device used by counsel for State, and thus transmission of the email did not complete.

SeeExhibit B. Counsel for State was unaware of this fact until this morning, September 27, 2016.

State sent a follow-up email at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday with the documents, along with an apology.

The Daily Caller had asked for documents to help with their investigation into whether Hillary Clinton and her staff took part in security training. In her interview with the FBI over the summer, Clinton said she didn’t remember if she had or not.

Her mishandling of classified information on a private server suggests one of three things: One, she didn’t receive briefings. Two, she did receiving training and, like she said, forgot it. Three, she received training and ignored it.

The Hill notes that this is an “embarrassing” headline for the State Department. The court ordered the next releases for Oct. 3 and Oct. 10.

Did Homicides Rise In New York? Yes And No

It’s the battle of the fact checkers. Who is right about crime in New York City? It became a point of contention between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last night concerning the constitutionality of stop and frisk, which the Republican nominee said had an impact in reducing crime in the city when things were out of control for about a quarter century, most notably the insane amount of homicides that occurred the early 1990s. Clinton responded by saying that stop and frisk is no more in the city under Bill de Blasio and that crime, including murders, have continued to drop. Trump interjected by simply saying “wrong,” but who’s right?

DONALD TRUMP: …In New York City, stop and risk, we had 2,200 murders and stop and frisk brought it down to 500 murders. Five hundred murders is a lot of murders. Hard to believe 500 is like supposed to be good? But we went from 2,200 to 500 and it was continued on by Mayor Bloomberg. And it was terminated by our current mayor. But stop and frisk had a tremendous impact on the safety of New York City, tremendous beyond belief, so when you say it has no impact, it really did. It had a very big impact.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, it's also fair to say, if we’re going to talk about mayors that under the current mayor crime has continued to drop, including murders. So there is-

DONALD TRUMP: You're wrong.

HILLARY CLINTON: No, I'm not.

DONALD TRUMP: Murders, murders are up.

CNN says one thing in their tweet and another thing in their fact check, calling Trump’s claim “true but misleading.” In fact, the CNN fact check really isn’t a fact check; it’s more of a chastisement [emphasis mine]:

The FBI's annual Uniform Crime Report, published hours before the debate, also showed a nationwide increase in murders for 2015. Perhaps Trump pored over the FBI report during debate prep or maybe he really does feel unsafe in the caverns of the Upper East Side. At the very least, as a salesman whose businesses rely on revenue from tourists, Trump should be a bit more measured discussing crime in New York, portray the nuance in the numbers and show some pride in his birthplace.

We rate this claim to be true, but misleading, because Trump seemingly only cited one data set and failed to acknowledge the NYPD's statistics, which indicate a downward trend.

National Public Radio’s Justice Correspondent Carrie Johnson simply wrote, “Homicides in New York remain low relative to the 1980s and 1990s, according to FBI data and the Brennan Center for Justice.”

In truth, this is actually a mixed bag. If you look at the 2015 numbers, homicides, rape and robbery did spike (via WSJ):

…while crime in the city continued its historic downward trend, led largely by a drop in burglaries and stolen vehicles, three of the most serious crimes rose in 2015: homicides were up 5.1%, rapes 6.3% and robberies 2.1%. Also, crime increased in two of the city’s five boroughs: Manhattan and the Bronx.

Politico had a post about the 2015 and 2016 homicide numbers so far, showing just 252 murders through September 25, a 5.3 percent decline from the same time last year. Yet, in August, it appeared to be a 23 jump in violent crime within the city’s parks over a nine-month period (via NBC NY):

The comparison, which covered more than 1,100 city parks, showed cases of rape increased 40 percent, felony assaults jumped 34 percent and robberies spiked 15 percent. Murders were up 200 percent, from two to six. In total, 417 people reported being the victims of violent crimes compared to 340 in the prior nine months.

“It’s pretty shocking,” says Geoffrey Croft, president of New York Parks Advocates. “A 23-percent rise in violent crime is very serious and the fact that more than one person a day is reporting being a victim of violent crime is very serious.”

So, maybe Trump should’ve cited the NYPD data, or maybe he should stay focused on his national narrative, which is that violent crime, including homicides, has risen, which was confirmed by the FBI last night (via WaPo):

Homicides in the United States went up by more than 10 percent in 2015 over the year before, while violent crime increased by nearly 4 percent in the same period, according to new statistics released Monday by the FBI.

All told, the country reported its highest estimated violent crime rate in three years, and while these numbers are far below those seen one or two decades earlier, they mark a sharp increase following two years of declines, the FBI’s summary of crime figures showed.

The long-awaited FBI report was released amid heightened scrutiny of violent crime in the United States, propelled by an increase in homicides in a number of major cities and repeated comments from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

“The report shows that there was an overall increase in violent crime last year, making clear what each of us already knows: that we still have so much work to do,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said Monday in Little Rock. “Violent crime endangers lives, destroys families and paralyzes neighborhoods … In some ways, violence affects all of us — and so all of us have a responsibility to end it.”

Now, Trump was specifically talking about New York—so he had little wiggle room to expound on the national implications of the FBI report, which would’ve vindicated his narrative about crime in the country. Are homicides down in New York? It appears to be on the downward trend; though it’s possible Trump was citing the 2015 numbers. There are many areas to find spike in crime in the Big Apple. The truth is this trip up will be forgotten as Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, and Clinton’s email fiasco will probably dominate the discussion—and Trump should double his efforts next debate to bring up those three points, especially on the emails. Clinton’s feeble response to that were only a few sentences. Follow up on that. In the meantime, Trump should keep in mind the NYC data, thank our brave police officers to keeping law and order, and then pivot to the national picture, where homicides did rise 10 percent last year.

LeBron James: "Standing for the National Anthem is Something I Will Do, That's Who I Am"

With the 2016-17 NBA season just a month away, rumors are spreading that significant amounts of players will remain seated during the national anthem to protest the recent tensions between police and black communities.

Reigning champion and 12-time all-star LeBron James made it clear to reporters on Monday that he would not partake in these types of protests.  

"Me standing for the national anthem is something I will do," James said at the annual media day. "That's who I am. That's what I believe in."

James did admit that he was worried about race relations in America, at times fearing for his 12-year-old son's life.

"For me, my personal feelings is that I got a 12-year-old son, a 9-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, and I look at my son being four years removed from driving his own car and being able to leave the house on his own, and it's a scary thought right now to think if my son gets pulled over," James said. "You tell your kids if you just apply [the lessons you teach them] and if you just listen to the police that they will be respectful and it will work itself out. And you see these videos that continue to come out, and it's a scary-ass situation that if my son calls me and says that he's been pulled over that I'm not that confident that things are going to go well and my son is going to return home. And my son just started the sixth grade."

He admitted that finding the perfect answers to the complex situation will not be easy.  He said all lives matter, not just black or white.

"We just wanted the conversation to continue to keep going, and I don't have the answer," James said. "None of us have the answer. But the more times that we can talk about it and the more times that we can [converse] about it [the better]. Because I'm not up here saying that all police are bad, because they're not. I'm not up here saying all kids are great or all adults are great, because they're not. But at the same time, all lives do matter. It's not just black or white, it's not that. It's everyone."

Yes, Clinton Said The Trans-Pacific Partnership Was The 'Gold Standard' Of Trade Agreements

During their first debate face-off, Donald Trump hit Hillary Clinton over her support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump slammed the former first lady, who originally supported the massive free trade agreement, for calling it the “gold standard” of trade agreements. The issue of trade provided Trump with a window to launch the first significant attack against her last night—and yes, Clinton did describe TPP as such. Clinton tried to wiggle her way out of this endorsement of a trade agreement the Trump says will bring about the death knell to American manufacturing. 

DONALD TRUMP: You called it the gold standard. You call it the gold standard of trade deals.

HILLARY CLINTON: You know what --

DONALD TRUMP: You said it’s the finest deal you’ve ever seen.

HILLARY CLINTON: No.

DONALD TRUMP: And then you heard what I said about it and all of a sudden you were against it.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, Donald, I know you live in your own reality, but that is not the facts. The facts are, I did say, I hoped it would be a good deal. But when it was negotiated, which I was not possible for, I concluded it wasn't. I wrote about that -- in my….

DONALD TRUMP: So is it President Obama’s fault?

HILLARY CLINTON: ...before you even announced.

DONALD TRUMP: Secretary, is it President Obama’s fault?

National Public Radio and The Association Press also said that Clinton referred to the trade agreements as the “gold standard” before Democratic opposition began to rise against it, namely from her then-primary opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT):

HILLARY CLINTON, denying Donald Trump's accusation that she called the Trans-Pacific Partnership the "gold standard" of trade agreements: "I did say I hoped it would be a good deal."

THE FACTS: Trump is correct. As secretary of state, Clinton called the deal that was taking shape the "gold standard" of trade agreements, in a 2012 trip to Australia, and championed the agreement in other venues around the world. She did not merely express the hope that it would turn out well.

Sounds like a flip-flop to me; one of many from Mrs. Clinton by the way.

Thomas Edison Was Just Inducted Into Congress—And He's Got Some Interesting Colleagues

Last week, a new statue was added to National Statuary Hall, that of scientist and inventor Thomas Edison. The statue was a gift from Ohio. Each state is allowed to donate two statues, meaning the collection consist of 100 pieces. Because of space issues, only 35 statues are actually located in National Statuary Hall, including Edison. The rest are on display throughout the U.S. Capitol building. Here are some of the most interesting faces to look out for. 

John Gorrie

Dedicated by Florida in 1914 

Located in National Statuary Hall

Gorrie, a physician and scientist, is considered the father of two very important inventions—refrigeration and air-conditioning.

Crawford W. Long

Dedicated by Georgia in 1926

Located in the Crypt

Long was the first to recognize the effects of ether in surgery. In other words, he discovered anesthesia. 

King Kamehameha I

Dedicated by Hawaii in 1969

Located in Emancipation Hall

Kamehameha I is credited with unifying all of the islands of Hawaii. His statue is also the heaviest in the collection and weighs over six tons. That’s quite a lot of rock and metal. 

Jeannette Rankin

Dedicated by Montana in 1985

Located in Emancipation Hall

Rankin was the first woman to serve in the U.S. Congress, specifically the House of Representatives. She also helped pass the 19th Amendment. Despite all this, she wasn’t the first woman statue in the National Statuary Collection. That honor belongs to Frances Willard, who was dedicated in 1905 by Illinois. 

Philo T. Farnsworth

Dedicated by Utah in 1990

Located in Emancipation Hall

Farnsworth is known as the “Father of Television,” for his invention of the first fully functional all-electronic television system, which included an "image dissector,” or what we would call a video camera tube. 

Washakie

Dedicated by Wyoming in 2000

Located in Emancipation Hall

Washakie is one of the most respected leaders in Native American history, and is the only known Native American to be given a full military funeral. Despite this, Sequoyah, not Washakie, received the first statue in the collection to honor a Native American. The Sequoyah statue was donated by Oklahoma in 1917. 

Dr. Norman E. Borlaug

Dedicated by Iowa in 2014

Located in National Statuary Hall

Borlaug is know as "the father of the Green Revolution” for his efforts to feed the world. He is credited with savings hundreds of million of lives, and has earned several awards for his work, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007. 

You can also see quite a few presidential faces throughout the Capitol, including George Washington, Andrew Jackson, James Garfield, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald R. Ford, and Ronald Reagan

A complete list of the National Statuary Hall collection can be found here


Why Lester Holt Is Being Called the 'Third Debater'

In Townhall's initial assessment, some of us concluded Lester Holt was a fair and neutral presence in Monday night's showdown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Other viewers, however, did not see it that way and make some good points.

Trump-friendly audiences were not happy that Holt spent countless minutes asking the GOP nominee about the birther controversy, his tax returns, and his past comments about women. The moderator also interrupted Trump more often (although that may be because Trump exceeded his time more often) and saved his only fact checks for Trump's answers on the Iraq War. This explains why Heat Street dubbed Holt the "Third Debater." 

Twitter agreed.

It's also worth noting what Holt did not ask. The GOP found an important list of topics Holt managed to avoid at the debate that would have put Clinton on her toes. They provided the list in a press release on Tuesday.

1: The 5 Aides Given Immunity By The FBI Or Her Reckless Secret Server

#2: The Multiple False Statements About How Her “Extremely Careless” Actions Endangered Our National Security

#3: Her “Basket Of Deplorables” Insult Toward Millions of Americans

#4: Clinton Foundation Pay To Play Accusations

#5: Her Failures And Lies On The Attacks In  Benghazi

#6: Her Support For Obamacare

#7: Her Deep Support From And Ties To Wall Street

#8: Veterans Affairs Scandal She Arrogantly Called “Not Widespread”

#9: Her Comments About Wanting To Put The Coal Industry Out Of Work

#10: Her Deception And Lack Of Transparency On Her Health

Will Clinton be forced to answer these questions in the following debates? Or will it be up to Trump to bring them up?

'Clock Boy' Family Suing Fox News for Defamation

The father of Ahmed Mohamed, better known as "clock boy," is suing Fox News and a number of conservative outlets and media figures for defamation. Ahmed, who is Muslim, made news last year when he built a clock for one of his teachers and the teacher mistook it for a bomb. She reported him and he was promptly arrested. The incident made him a national figure and generated sympathy for Muslims living in the country. He was even invited to the White House.

Some media outlets, however, were critical of the Mohamed family and accused them of manufacturing the incident. Conservative author Ben Shapiro claimed in October the clock incident was all a "hoax." 

Now, Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Mohamed, is suing Shapiro, along with Fox News, The Blaze, Glenn Beck, Center for Security Policy, and media personalities Ben Ferguson and Beth Van Duyne.

"The Mohamed family are peaceful Muslims who have been falsely accused of being terrorists and engaging in a jihad," the suit states. "The correction must also be made that the arrest and suspension of Ahmed Mohamed was not a stunt and it was not pre-planned, staged or engineered by anyone, including [his father]."

Analysis: Trump Opens Strong, Then Takes the Bait and Blows Opportunities

Thoughts on last night:

(1) On policy substance -- ideology aside -- Hillary Clinton was more informed and prepared than Donald Trump by a wide margin, as expected. She also remained mostly cool and collected, even as the debate threatened to veer off the rails on several occasions. She was smug, rehearsed and pedantic at times, and exhibited some breathtaking hypocrisy (yes, let's hear some more about the importance of data securityMadame Email Scandal), but my instinct is that she won this exchange overall. She did so over the last hour-plus of the debate, pulling away after Trump held his own early. He may have been a little heavy on the interruption over that opening stretch for someone with a temperament problem, but he hit his central themes hard and pretty effectively. When Clinton went on offense over tax returns, the federal race discrimination lawsuit against Trump's company and birtherism, his responses were woefully insufficient (despite some flashes of decent parrying, like highlighting her deleted emails, and noting her 2008 campaign's scurrilous anti-Obama tactics). She won because she baited him, and he took the bait every time, missing far too many chances to land obvious thematic and specific counter-punches -- on emails, on the Clinton Foundation, on Benghazi.  Rarely did he put her on the defensive, which isn't especially hard to do.  His lack of focused preparation was, once again, quite clear.

(2) Poor debate performances, temper flare-ups, and manifest ignorance occasionally dented Trump during the primary, but he always prevailed in the end. My instinct is that this night hurt him and helped her.  But my instinct also told me more than a year ago that he was an unserious candidate with no chance, which was wrong (and quickly abandoned as a working theory last summer). We will not have any solid grasp on how the public felt about this debate until a full round of solid, scientific polling is conducting, which will take several days. In the meantime, here is what CBS News' focus group concluded:

After impressing in the early stages, some of his worst moments with this panel of undecided Pennsylvania voters involved Birtherismtax returns and temperament. Did he come across as a plausible president for 90 minutes? We'll see what the voters say. I have my doubts. Then again, I'm not convinced his performance was as disastrous as many talking heads are already saying. As Trump pointed out several times over the course of the night, Mrs. Clinton has prosecuted many of these lines of attack against him in a massive bombardment of paid advertising, spread over many weeks. Her standing has fallen. Did swing voters learn anything negative tonight that they didn't already know? If Trump takes a polling hit, and he might, it'll be because he failed the plausibility test among people who've been giving him a chance so far.

(3) The debate over the moderator began before the evening concluded. Lester Holt did a fine job for most of the evening, not intervening too often, and using a light touch to allow the candidates engage each other. Some Trump supporters and surrogates believe his tougher questions and challenges were directed at their man, and not Hillary Clinton. They're right. On Birtherism (a legitimate question on which Trump did himself no favors), on his withholding of tax returns, on his Iraq war record, on 'say it to her face,' and even on the 'will you respect the election's outcome?' question, the sharper push-back and skeptical premises all went in one direction. Off the top of my head, I can't recall a single question slanted against her statements or record. I won't be surprised if voters at the town hall-style debate prod her with harder questions than Holt did.  So while he wasn't horribly biased, it seems clear that Holt took note of the Left's over-the-top outcry against his NBC colleague Matt Lauer, and overcompensated.  Working the refs works.  For Democrats.

(4) I saw a fair amount of this type of analysis immediately after the debate, and I think it's wrong:

That would be true of a conventional candidate in a conventional year. But this is Donald Trump and we're living through 2016. Trump personally rolling into the spin room after a debate isn't an indication of much of anything, other than the fact that he floods the media zone whenever possible.  He did this in the primary, he's doing it again in the general.  And he's pummeling away at his message every chance he gets.  It's that simple, I think.

(5) An incomplete hodgepodge of memorable moments: For Trump, his refrain about Hillary embodying the same old, disappointing, under-performing system broke through early. He turned her "experience" argument against her twice. First, when she stated that she'd thought about a lot of issues, he shot back "yeah, for 30 years." And toward the end of the debate, after her strong 'stamina' line, he recovered with, "Hillary has experience, but it's bad experience." Meanwhile, Clinton's ad-makers will be busy. When she attacked Trump for rooting for the housing crash in order to make money, he didn't deny it. "It's called business," he boasted. When she speculated that he hasn't turned over his tax returns (which he later conceded he could do, against his lawyers' advice) because he's avoided paying any income taxes, he appeared to confirm her suspicion. That's "smart," he said. But again, I ask: Will more seemingly devastating ads matter at all?  And when he was making a case against President Obama's record at one point, he gestured at Hillary and referred to Obama as "your president." I'm fairly confident he meant your party/your administration, but Democrats pounced all over it as a racial code word.  It will almost certainly be used to motivate black voters. Finally, another solid, clean hit for her was "admitting" to have prepared for the debate, as well as for the job she's seeking. The implication about Trump in that well-delivered (likely also prepared, ironically) soundbyte was obvious. 

It was a very unusual debate, which was always going to be the case. To my real-time eyes and ears, in the moment, she won -- despite not making much (any?) headway on likability. But hey, given the insanity and throw-out-the-rulebook vibe of this entire cycle, what do I know? Let's see how (and if) the polls move. My gut says that they will, a bit, toward her.  But there's a reasonable chance that they won't, or that any impact will be short-lived.

UPDATE - Various quasi-scientific "flash" polls (distinct from unscientific online polls) show a Clinton win of varying degrees, with a CNN focus group of undecided voters in Florida also breaking hard for her.  Video of Luntz's CBS focus group is HERE.  Also, Team Trump's spin doesn't seem terribly enthusiastic.

Clinton Runs from Reporters After Debate, Trump Speaks with CNN and Fox News

Immediately following the intense presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Monday night,  Clinton quickly exited the arena, dodging questions from major main stream media news outlets.  

However, Trump spoke directly to Sean Hannity of Fox News and Dana Bash of CNN answering numerous questions in the post-debate madness.  

Trump told CNN that he hates the way the U.S. government spends tax dollars.

Trump said that he thought the debate went better than he expected.

He talked with Hannity and said, "Do you think (General Patton) would have a website saying how he's going to defeat the enemy?" referring to Clinton's website listing her plan to defeat ISIS.  

Clinton left the debate without answering any questions.

From The Spin Room: Hillary Clinton is a Phony

Hempstead, NY - After watching Donald Trump take on rival Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University for the first time Monday night, former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani made an appearance in the spin room where he called Hillary Clinton a phony. 

Trump also stopped by and said he hates the way government spends money, among other things before moving through a sea of media.

Who Won the Night? Live Post-Debate Recap from Townhall Media

Was there a clear winner in tonight's presidential debate? Tune in to hear Hot Air's Ed Morrissey and Townhall's Matt Vespa, Cortney O'Brien, Christine Rousselle and Leigh Wolf break down the highlights of the first Trump and Clinton showdown. 

Share any questions you have on Facebook for a chance to hear them answered live on air. 

WATCH: Hillary Clinton Says She's Very Concerned About Cyber Hacking

During Monday night's debate at Hofstra University, Democrat Hillary Clinton expressed her concern about cyber hacking, particularly from the Russians.

"Clearly at this point we face two different kinds of adversaries. There are the independent hacking groups that do it mostly for commercial reasons to try and steal information which they can use to make money. But increasingly we are seeing cyber attacks coming from states, organs of states, the most recent and troubling of these has been Russia. There's no doubt now Russia has used cyber attacks against all kinds of organizations in our country," Clinton said." I am deeply concerned about this." 

How rich, indeed. I'm sure the Russians showed no interest in Clinton's unsecured, private server on which she hosted top secret, classified information during her time as Secretary of State. 

Howard Dean Suggests Donald Trump Uses Cocaine

Donald Trump had a case of the sniffles on Monday, and people certainly noticed. Various parody accounts were made:

And one former Democratic presidential candidate went as far as to suggest that Trump was a cocaine user:

Seriously? This is low, even for him.

People Are Putting Snapchat Filters on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

It's been a long election season, and people are quite understandably getting a little bored with the campaigns. Some innovative people have found a rather interesting way to liven up the first presidential debate: they're using a Snapchat filter to turn the candidates into a dog (or a bunny, a deer, or even into each other).

Here are some of the best examples:

Silly, yes, but certainly entertaining.

Trump: "Hillary Gives Her Plan to Fight ISIS On Her Website, I Don't Think Douglas MacArthur Would Like That"

During a back and forth argument over whose campaign website gave the most information, Republican nominee pointed out that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton went as far as to release her strategy to defeat ISIS.  

"Just go to her website, she tells you how to fight ISIS on her website.  I don't think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much," Trump said.  

Donald Trump Comments On The Federal Reserve

About a third of the way through Monday's debate, Donald Trump had some harsh thoughts about the current state of the Federal Reserve. Trump accused the Fed of doing "political things" with interest rates, and warned that when President Obama leaves office interest rates will increase and "bad things" will happen with the economy.

"We're in a big, fat, ugly bubble. And we had better be awfully careful."

Audience Breaks Rules, Cheers When Trump Mentions Deleted Hillary Emails

Lester Holt was forced to admonish the audience at Monday night's presidential debate based on how they reacted to GOP nominee Donald Trump's referencing his opponent's ongoing email scandal.

Holt asked Trump why he hasn't released his tax returns, to which Trump asked why Hillary Clinton's staff deleted 30,000 of her emails during her time in the State Department. As soon as he said the word "emails," the audience cheered and applauded. Holt then reminded the crowd they are supposed to hold their applause until the end of the debate.

"I made a mistake" and I take responsibility for using a private server, Clinton responded. 

"That's for sure," Trump agreed.

"That was not a mistake," he added. "That was done purposely. I think it's disgraceful. And the country thinks it's disgraceful too."

Big League: Debates Will Be 'Major Influence' For One-Third Of Voters

For a third of registered voters, the three debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be important factors when it comes to their decision of who to vote for this November. The race is statistically a dead heat, though some polls in Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina show Clinton ahead (though it’s a safe bet that the polls will remain within the margin of error from here on out). These debates could be one of the last opportunities for Clinton and Trump to get a significant edge on one another. For young voters, these debates are especially significant, as some might be giving Clinton a second look (via WSJ):

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 34% of registered voters think the three presidential debates would be extremely or quite important in helping them decide whom to support for president. About 11% of voters are considered “debate persuadables”—that is, they think the debates are important and are either third-party voters or only loosely committed to either major-party candidate.

Slightly more Republicans than Democrats said the debates would be important to them, 37% to 31%. But voter groups that seem poised to pay the most attention include several that Mrs. Clinton is counting on to win. Some 49% of Hispanics, 42% of African-Americans and 39% of voters under age 35 say that the debates will be extremely or quite important to them.

As the candidates take the stage, the final vestiges of the electorate are deciding. As we’ve said here before, a lot is on the line tonight for both Trump and Clinton.

Watch Live: Presidential Debate

Follow Team Townhall for analysis and reaction below as we cover the debate.

Trump, Clinton Presidential Debate Preview with Townhall Media

Townhall.com's Matt Vespa, Leigh Wolf, and Cortney O'Brien join Ed Morrissey with Hot Air to discuss what viewers can expect from the first 2016 presidential debate. Check out their discussion LIVE below.

Really, Hofstra? Trigger Warnings Placed At Presidential Debate Site

Well, we shouldn’t be shocked, though it’s one of those many moments where you have to ask yourself: dude, really? Hofstra University on Long Island, the site of tonight’s presidential debate, had placed trigger warnings placed near the event, warning the social justice warriors on campus that their precious, little feelings could get hurt. Emily Zanotti at Heat Street has more:

The Commission on Presidential Debates has, for several decades now…

[…]

Today, that tradition came to a screeching halt, as event administrators at Hofstra University gave in to student concerns about controversial debate content. They felt compelled to post a “trigger warning” outside the student center, warning students that they may be overcome with emotion at possible debate topics.

Zanotti added that the Commission has chosen college campuses to give students the experience of being part of the presidential election history. Not even presidential debates are safe from the suffocating grip of political correctness.

Also, uh oh:

Rollercoaster: New Polls Show Hillary Ahead in FL, NC, OH

If you're a Trump supporter, today's early release of national and state polls had you riding high. But in the interests of balance, here's an updated set of numbers for you to flippantly dismiss as rigged, biased MSM-concocted rubbish. First, a word of caution: Reuters/Ipsos takes a large national sample, then breaks out state-by-state subsamples that occasionally produce weird outliers -- like giving Trump the lead in Vermont, or showing a virtually tied race in Oregon. They are not scientific statewide polls. With that chunk of salt in place, here are some Trump-positive results from the poll (which also shows him leading comfortably in Iowa, and edging ahead in Colorado -- neither of which is an outlier):

Celebrate good times, Trump Train. Until you see these findings, that is:

If she's up in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Virginia, this race is over.  Feel free to discard all of the results from this specific survey based on its unusual methodology, but there are a few more freshly-released polls that lend some credence to Reuters' data.  Namely, here is a Chamber of Commerce poll showing Hillary slightly ahead in Florida.  And the first statewide survey in awhile giving her the edge in Ohio.  And another one giving her a razor-thin advantage in North Carolina.  And this one, confirming a tight contest in typically-red Arizona:

Since we're getting excruciatingly close to tonight's main event, we might as well play "pick your poll."  There are plenty of stats for loyalists on each side to latch onto as they bite their nails down to the nub awaiting 9pm ET.  Because starting tomorrow, none of these polls will matter anymore.  Only post-debate surveys will have any significance -- and we don't have any reliable information on that front for days.  Pre-date polls: Post 'em while you got 'em.  I'll leave you with the counterweight to this morning's Bloomberg's splashy "Trump is ahead!" national poll.  Over to you, Monmouth:

And now, we wait.