In our news wrap Friday, both President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama are hitting the campaign trail on the final Friday before the midterm elections. Obama was in Miami to boost Democratic candidates in the state’s governor and Senate races. President Trump seemed to backtrack on his suggestion that U.S. soldiers could shoot migrants who throw rocks at them.
Read the Full Transcript
It is the final weekend before the midterm elections, and the verbal combat is heating up tonight between President Trump and his predecessor.
In Miami this afternoon, former President Obama rallied for Democrats in Florida's governor and Senate races. Without naming Mr. Trump, he urged voters to reject political division.
I'm hopeful that we will cut through the lies, block out the noise, and remember who we are and who we are called to be. I'm hopeful that out of this political darkness, I see a great awakening of citizenship all across the country.
Later, President Trump rejected the Obama criticism, as he campaigned in Huntington, West Virginia.
President Donald Trump:
But I heard President Obama speak today. I had to listen. I was in the plane. I had nothing else to do. And I heard him talk about telling the truth.
Lie after lie, broken promise after broken promise, that's what he did. Unlike President Obama, we live by a different motto. It's called promises made, promises kept.
Meanwhile, the president's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, says Mr. Trump repeatedly used racist language. In a "Vanity Fair" interview, he recalls watching a campaign rally on TV, and noting the crowd was mostly white.
According to Cohen, Mr. Trump responded — quote — "That's because black people are too stupid to vote for me."
Cohen has pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, and is now cooperating with federal prosecutors.
The president appeared to backtrack today on suggesting that U.S. soldiers might shoot migrants who throw rocks at them. Instead, he said rock-throwers will be locked up for a long time. Later, he also said he hopes there will be no more shooting.
The FBI has recovered a second apparent pipe bomb addressed to billionaire Tom Steyer. Officials say it is similar to others allegedly mailed to top Democrats and critics of President Trump. The man accused of sending the packages, Cesar Sayoc, agreed today to be transferred to New York to stand trial. He appeared briefly in court in Miami.
The U.S. economy turned in a strong performance last month, the last numbers before the election. The Labor Department says employers added a net 250,000 jobs, more than expected. Average pay rose 3.1 percent over the last 12 months. That's the most since 2009. And unemployment held at 3.7 percent, a figure that White House economist Kevin Hassett welcomed.
There's a big increase in labor force participation, and since President Trump was elected, 1.3 million people who were out of the labor force, who were disconnected from work, and, you know, and satisfying, productive life and occupation, have reconnected and gotten jobs.
Separately, the U.S. trade deficit expanded in September for the fourth straight month. It was fueled by a record imbalance with China. We will take a closer look at all this after the news summary.
This was the final day of the funerals for victims of the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh. In all, 11 people were killed by a gunman last Saturday. The oldest, 97-year-old Rose Mallinger, was laid to rest today.
New warnings today from the United Nations, on famine conditions in Yemen. The U.N. Population Fund said that some two million Yemeni mothers face starvation.
And in New York, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that Yemen is standing at a precipice.
On the humanitarian side, the situation is desperate. We must do all we can to prevent the already dire conditions from deteriorating into the worst famine we have seen in decades. But, on the political side, there are signs of hope, and we must do all we can to maximize the chances for success.
Earlier this week, the United States also called for a halt to the fighting in Yemen. It pits a Sunni coalition led by Saudi Arabia against Shiite rebels aligned with Iran.
Back in this country, drug overdose deaths rose to an all-time high in 2017, driven by the opioid crisis. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reports 72,000 people died of overdoses last year. That's about 200 a day. And that is nearly twice the numbers of traffic fatalities and gun deaths each year.
The U.S. Supreme Court late today refused to delay a trial over adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census. A dozen states and cities are challenging the decision to include the question for the first time since 1950. The trial is now set to begin Monday.
And on Wall Street, the rally ended as tech shares slumped. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 110 points to close at 25270. The Nasdaq fell 77, and the S&P 500 slipped 17. But all three indexes still gained more than 2 percent for the week. For the S&P and the Nasdaq, it was the best week since May.