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ABC News(BEDORD, N.H.) -- Almost three months after the FBI declined to recommend charges be brought against Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email account while serving as secretary of state, Donald Trump on Thursday suggested that the Democratic candidate for president "probably" received “immunity” in the case.

Trump provided no specific evidence for his assertion, and ABC News has found no information to corroborate it.

Trump leveled the claim at a campaign rally in New Hampshire while referring to testimony given Wednesday by FBI Director James Comey to the House Judiciary Committee about the bureau's investigation of Clinton.

After first decrying the immunity deals given to some of Clinton’s associates, the Republican nominee turned to Clinton herself.

"They probably gave her immunity, too," Trump said. "Do you think Hillary got-- yeah she got the immunity. She had something."

Comey was ardent in his defense of the FBI on Wednesday, repudiating suggestions that the investigation was carried out in a partisan manner and justifying the use of immunity for five Clinton aides -- with two of the deals limited in scope. He called such deals necessary to access information in order "to see if you can make a case against your subjects."

"Our focus was on the subject," Comey said. "The subject at that point was Hillary Clinton.”

A federal law enforcement official said Trump's claim "doesn't make sense."

"We do not carry water for one side or the other. That’s hard for people to see because so much of our country, we see things through sides," Comey told the House committee. "We are not on anybody’s side."

Pressed by Rep Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, about the frequency of immunity agreements, Comey explained that the investigation acted in a standard way and described the goal of immunity, to “work up” towards higher-level individuals, making it unlikely Clinton would have received a similar arrangement.

“Fairly typical in a complex white collar case especially as you try and work your way up towards your subject,” said Comey. “So my overall reaction is, this looks like ordinary investigative process to me."

Comey additionally called an agreement made to obtain laptops from former Clinton staffers Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, “a fairly normal tool in investigations.”

Those two deals were limited to information acquired from the computers and did not entirely pardon Mills and Samuelson.

As is now a regular part of his stump speech, Trump on Thursday invoked the FBI’s finding that Clinton had cellular phones destroyed with a hammer, asking, as he has at earlier rallies, whether anyone in the crowd “has destroyed their phone with a hammer.”

He appeared equally perturbed by the lack of public testimony by former State Department IT employee Bryan Pagliano, who repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when called to speak with the House Select Committee on Benghazi last year.

Pagliano was later granted immunity by the FBI in exchange for his cooperation with their investigation but then failed to appear in front of the House Oversight Committee two weeks ago after being subpoenaed earlier in September.

"You saw what happened about taking the Fifth Amendment and her ringleaders getting immunity deals," said Trump in New Hampshire Thursday. "We'll call them, really, the 'FBI immunity five.' Nobody has ever seen it."

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ABC News(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- During a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday, Hillary Clinton called attention to a common theme in this contentious presidential campaign season: voting for one candidate solely because of a disdain for the other.

“I want this election to be about something, not against somebody,” Clinton said to a crowd of 2,000 at an outdoor park where Trump supporters protested across the street.

A Pew study on voter preferences last week reported findings that highlight the discord in the election cycle, saying that the main factor in choosing a candidate was a dislike for their opponent.

According to the study, 33 percent of Trump supporters and 32 percent of Clinton voters attributed their choice in candidate to an opposition for the other candidate, winning out over all other attributes, like “political outsider” status, policy position, experience and temperament. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

Both campaigns have contributed to and been influenced by this trend, increasingly dedicating their rallies to criticizing each other.

Trump’s comments in New Hampshire today followed the trend, bashing Clinton at almost every juncture. He referenced Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ rally in the state the previous day, claiming that not many people attended “because they don’t like Hillary and Bernie sold out to the devil.”

Clinton aimed to shift the narrative on Thursday, contrasting Trump's comments at Monday’s presidential debate with her “positive agenda” and her "fighting for kids and family."

Pew reported an overall negative perspective of the campaign this year among voters, with majorities of Americans saying they are “frustrated” and “disgusted” with the campaign.

Resounding support for both candidates is lacking from this election, according to Pew. Only 12 percent of those surveyed said they would be excited if Clinton won, and only 11 percent for Trump.

In her visit to Iowa, Clinton sought to appeal to voters who are on the fence, while Trump’s New Hampshire rally today sought instead to hold onto his current base.

Some 62 percent of Trump supporters and 50 percent of Clinton supporters acknowledged various downsides to their chosen candidates, with some offering harsh criticisms.

The study surveyed 4,538 randomly selected U.S. adult respondents, including 3,941 registered voters who participated in the survey via web survey or mail.

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Sean Pavone/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The White House slammed Congress for questioning the effects of a bill that would allow individuals to sue foreign governments after overriding President Obama's veto of the measure, saying that lawmakers were beginning to have "buyer's remorse" and saying that "ignorance is not an excuse."

Republican and Democratic representatives are now saying the measure, which will now allow families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for alleged involvement in the attacks, needs to be fixed.

“I think what we've seen in the United States Congress is a pretty classic case of rapid onset buyer's remorse,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in Thursday's briefing. “What's true in elementary school is true in the United States Congress -- ignorance is not an excuse.”

The bill in question is the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which the president vetoed but the House and Senate voted in overwhelming majorities to override for the first time in the administration’s history.

On Wednesday, Earnest called the override "the single most embarrassing thing the United States Senate has done” in over two decades.

After joining almost all of their colleagues to pass the bill Wednesday, a bipartisan group of 28 senators led by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., wrote to the top supporters of the bill, Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-NY and John Cornyn, R-TX, warning about “potential unintended consequences” of its passage.

“We would hope to work with you in a constructive manner to appropriately mitigate those unintended consequences,” the senators wrote.

Earlier Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed the White House for not doing enough to express its own concerns about the legislation to Congress.

“That was a good example, it seems to me, of failure to communicate early about the potential consequences of a piece of legislation that was obviously very popular,” he said. “I told the president that this was an example of an issue we should have talked about much earlier.”

But he also acknowledged that, in their zeal to support the families of 9/11 victims, lawmakers themselves did not fully consider the potential consequences of passing a bill that might leave the U.S. open to similar litigation.

“By the time everybody seemed to focus on the potential consequences of it, members had basically already taken a position,” he said. “Everybody was aware of who the potential beneficiaries were but no one had really focused on the potential downsides in terms of our international relationship.”

Earnest had a different characterization for what happened.

“The suggestion on this part of some members of the Senate is that they didn't know what they were voting for. They didn't understand the negative consequences of the bill. That's a hard suggestion to take seriously," Earnest said.

McConnell suggested that he would be open to considering changes to the JASTA bill once Congress returns after the November elections.

In the House, both Speaker Paul Ryan and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also signaled some openness to revisiting the bill later this session.

“I do think that perhaps it could have been written in a little bit of a different way that addressed some of the concerns,” Pelosi said during her own press conference.

Schumer, one of the key advocates of the bill, said he was also open to making tweaks, but only to a certain point.

“It has to be something that doesn't weaken the bill and limit the right of these families to get their day in court and justice,” Schumer, the incoming Senate Democratic leader, said.

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John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Newt Gingrich has some advice for Donald Trump: don’t bring up Bill Clinton’s past marital infidelities in the next presidential debate.

“You’re never going to beat the Clintons in the mud. It’s not possible. They’re the best gutter-fighters we’ve seen in our lifetime,” Gingrich said in an interview with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein on the ABC News’ Powerhouse Politics Podcast.

"I mean you have to go back to Richard Nixon to find anyone with the potential to fight with her. So you’ve got to stay above her. You’ve got to say look, ‘ I’m going to beat you on jobs, I’m going to beat you on trade, I’m going to beat you on taxes.’”

"I thought what he did last time in not bringing it up was to his advantage," he said.

Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House and an informal adviser to the Trump campaign, is himself a veteran of the debate stage. He said that while he thought Trump won the debate, he should do more preparing.

“At a tactical level, he’s not nearly as good as a debater," he said. "It wouldn’t take much for him to be 20 or 30 or 40 percent better than he is now.”

Still, he says, let Trump be Trump. “He’s an amateur, and he’s a businessman. He’s never going to match up with a Yale lawyer who’s spent her entire lifetime trying to be glib.”

Gingrich pointed at Clinton’s mention of Alicia Machado, the former pageant queen who says Trump called her “Miss Piggy” after she gained weight during her Miss Universe reign.

“You know, she’s got to win on the grounds that he doesn’t have the temperament to be president. And she’s got to win by scoring points off 20-year-old conversations with a woman who has a very dubious past, by the way,” said Gingrich. “I mean Machado is being glorified by the left as the perfect victim. And this is why you’ll see a temporary drop in Trump’s polls because for four days he’s been piled on by the media. Just go look at the coverage but I don’t think in fact that strategically she won that debate. And I think if anything she’s in trouble in the long run because she can’t answer any of the big questions."

In an interview on "Good Morning America," Machado said that as a mother, she's "very worried he could be president." "Maybe he will be saying bad things about me or try and discredit to me. But it's OK. I'm strong."

Gingrich is out next month with a political thriller, Treason, about a female president facing homegrown terrorism. When asked what he would call a novel about this stranger-than-fiction election, Gingrich had another one word title--an apparent nod to the unlikely Republican nominee--“Wildcard.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Hillary Clinton is still sounding off about her debate performance.

Campaigning in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday, the Democratic presidential nominee said her opponent Donald Trump was “unsettled” by the attendance of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban during the first presidential debate Monday.

"You know, at the debate the other night one of my well-known supporters, Mark Cuban, was there in the front row,” she told a crowd at an outdoor early voting event. “And he really, I think, unsettled my opponent.”

Cuban, a vocal Trump detractor, sat front-and-center during the debate between the two presidential nominees. After it was announced he had been given a ticket by the Clinton campaign, Trump appeared to lash out on Twitter -- floating the idea that he would invite Bill Clinton’s former mistress, Gennifer Flowers.

Cuban’s invite was seen as a way for the Clinton camp to at least try to get under Trump’s skin -- a tactic Clinton also used during the debate against her opponent and even today. (During her rally, Clinton described Cuban as a “real billionaire” -- a subtle yet clear jab at Trump’s own wealth.)

Clinton -- who took days off from the campaign trail to study and practice for the debate -- also took a jab at Trump for seeming unprepared.

"I have no idea what he'll say the next time,” she said, referring to the second debate on Oct. 9. “But, you know, I will spend some time preparing for it.”

The focus of Clinton’s Des Moines event today was getting out the vote. Early voting began Thursday in Iowa, and following the rally, the campaign organized to help bring voters to locations where they could cast their votes.

“The election will be close but we can win Iowa and we’re going to win on Nov. 8,” she said.

Clinton -- whose campaign is worried about voter turnout among Democrats -- also seemed to acknowledge that she may face an enthusiasm issue in her own party.

"I want this election to be about something,” she said, “not just against somebody.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said she’s not advising the Republican nominee to bring up former President Bill Clinton’s past infidelities as a way to attack his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“I’m not advising him to go there,” Conway said in an interview on ABC's The View Thursday, adding, “It’s fair game to think about how Hillary Clinton treated those women after the fact. She called Monica Lewinsky a loony toon.”

Following Monday’s debate, Trump expressed regret about not being able to address the “transgressions of Bill,” noting that he covered everything else he “wanted to say.”

"I didn't wanna say what I was going to say with Chelsea [Clinton] in the room," Trump told ABC News on Monday. "So, maybe they're well off to bring Chelsea all the time."

Conway also addressed the controversy surrounding Trump’s comments regarding former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.

Trump told Fox News on Tuesday morning that Machado had “gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.” On Wednesday night, he told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, “I saved her job because they wanted to fire her for putting on so much weight and it is a beauty contest.”

“Because she was in breach of contract and the company wanted her terminated. He gave her a second chance,” Conway said, adding, “This was 20 years ago and she obviously has a troubled past that I won’t get into.”

Asked by co-host Sara Haines how she felt about Trump’s remarks, Conway admitted she would not have done the same.

“Well I don’t discuss people’s weights and their looks,” she said. “I’m sure that on your Twitter feed you have viewers discussing my looks and my intelligence.”

Conway was also asked about a Newsweek report that Trump’s company violated the U.S.-Cuba trade embargo during Fidel Castro’s communist regime.

“People are going to have to read the whole story to find out that then he didn’t invest in it. No, they’re not treasonous,” she said. “It starts out with a screaming headline, as it usually does, that he did business in Cuba. It turns out that he decided not to invest there.”

Trump Hotels paid an American consulting firm in 1998 to help the company in the event the U.S. loosened trade restrictions, and ultimately made it look like a charity payment, according to Newsweek.

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Xinhua/Qin Lang via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ever since Donald Trump left the stage at Hofstra University after the first presidential debate of the season, he has been talking about all the things he would have done differently.

From the moment he made the unusual move of stopping by the "spin" room after Monday night's debate, Trump started laying the groundwork for his own assessment of punches pulled against Hillary Clinton.

Trump, who is married to his third wife and has himself been accused of cheating, said he had planned to talk about Bill Clinton’s “transgressions” during the debate but made no mention of it at Hofstra, he said, for a simple reason.

"I got everything I wanted to say. I got it out, other than the transgressions of Bill," Trump said after the debate of the former president's alleged infidelities.

"I didn’t want to do it with Chelsea [Clinton], who I think is a very wonderful young lady. I didn’t want to say what I was going to say with Chelsea in the room," he told ABC News of the Clintons' only child.

Trump added: "So, maybe they’re well off to bring Chelsea all the time."

Just as Trump raised the former president's past after leaving it off the debate stage, he doubled-back Wednesday to Hillary Clinton's recent health scare, which he also didn't mention Monday night.

"You see all the days off that Hillary takes? Day off, day off, day off. All those days off and then she can't even make it to her car -- isn't it tough?" he said at a Wednesday night rally in Iowa, referencing the incident at the New York 9/11 memorial service at which Clinton needed assistance before the revelation that she had pneumonia.

But with an eye to the next debate in St. Louis on Oct. 9., Trump isn't only relying on his own instincts and advisers.

The Trump campaign sent out a fundraising email Thursday morning that included a "debate preparation survey" asking recipients to give "your immediate feedback from the first debate in order to win the second one."

Despite such reflection, and what some have called missed debate opportunities, Trump denies the perception among many observers that he lost.

"I had a great time," Trump told Bill O'Reilly on his Fox News show Wednesday night. "I know you say the polls weren't scientific, but every single poll that was taken, I won the debate. And some of them by a lot."

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Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill fired back at Donald Trump’s criticism of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado's weight gain via Twitter Wednesday.

The D women Senators have talked & we're concerned about Donald's weight. Campaign stress? We think a public daily weigh-in is called for.

— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) September 28, 2016

The Missouri senator’s tweet came after Trump appeared on Fox News Tuesday to defend his criticism of Machado, who said he called her "Miss Piggy" when she gained weight after winning the Miss Universe Pageant.

"She was the winner, and, you know, she gained a massive amount of weight," Trump said. "It was a real problem."

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MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Donald Trump will have to “answer some questions” about a Newsweek story reporting that a Trump-owned company allegedly violated the United States' trade embargo with Cuba in the late 1990s.

“This is something they’re gonna have to give a response to. I mean, it was a violation of American law, if that’s how it happened,” Rubio said on the ESPN/ABC Capital Games podcast.

The report claims the Trump-owned company secretly conducted business on the island under Fidel Castro's communist regime.

According to Newsweek, Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts paid a consulting firm to help the company in the event that the U.S. loosened trade restrictions. The consulting firm and Trump company later attempted to cover up the transaction by making it look like legal spending for a charity.

Rubio, a former presidential candidate, insisted he would reserve judgment until he had learned all the facts.

"I hope the Trump campaign is gonna come forward and answer some questions about this because if what the article says is true -- and I'm not saying that it is, we don’t know with a hundred percent certainty -- I'd be deeply concerned about it, I would," he said.

Rubio has long been a strong supporter of the current embargo with Cuba. He endorsed Trump in late May, after a competitive primary that saw Trump win by a landslide in Rubio's home state.

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ABC News(WASHINGOTN) -- As the countdown to Election Day continues, the battle for the presidency is picking up steam and nowhere is that more obvious than the battleground states.

ABC News is breaking down the specific issues and ground games that are at play in five key battleground states: Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada and North Carolina. Based on reporting and analysis, ABC News has determined that these five states do not currently lean towards one party or another, making them theoretically up for grabs for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

Both campaigns are being supplemented with help from the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee, respectively.

On the Democratic side, the DNC and Hillary for America are running coordinated campaigns where door-knockers are stumping for both Clinton and state-specific senate and local races, according to a campaign aide. The majority of Democratic offices in battleground states are coordinated campaign offices, but there are a handful of DNC-specific offices as well.

The funding for the coordinated campaign offices has largely come from money raised through the Hillary Victory Fund which is a joint operation run by Hillary For America, the DNC and state parties, a campaign aide told ABC.

The Republican operation started well before Trump was in the picture, as RNC spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said that chairman Reince Priebus invested in permanent ground operations in battleground states back in 2013. When it became clear that Trump was the party’s nominee, his campaign reportedly welcomed the RNC’s set-up, Walters told ABC News.

“The RNC is the infrastructure for the entire GOP ticket, and the Trump campaign has embraced it,” she said, calling it “effective and efficient” to have all of their efforts run through the same team rather than having separate teams for Trump and the RNC.

Ad spending is going to be ramping up in many states, but the influx is even clearer in these five battleground states.

Here are primers on five states which could help break the election in one way or another:


Since its role in the 2000 presidential election, Florida has been a key part of the battleground conversation. Its residents have chosen the eventual Electoral College winner in the last five elections. Read the breakdown here.


A state that Trump lost in the Republican caucuses is key to Trump winning the presidency. Read the breakdown here.


There's an old saying -- As Ohio goes, so goes the nation. Read the breakdown here.


Luck has always played a pivotal role for fortune seekers in Nevada, and now Clinton and Trump and both trying to test their stuff in the Silver State. Read the breakdown here.

North Carolina

North Carolina wasn’t always a battleground state -- in fact, it’s gone red in five of the last six elections -- but since President Obama’s victory in 2008, Democrats have honed in on the state’s changing demographics and young population. Read the breakdown here.

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PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump's campaign team admits there were "some missed opportunities" at Monday's presidential debate after they've had time to "digest" the real estate mogul's performance, sources say. One senior staffer, in a shocking admission, says that Trump’s failures were his own and “more a lack of execution than preparation.”

At the same time, members of Trump’s family are standing behind the leadership of the campaign, contrary to reports of dissension.

"My siblings and I are thrilled with the current team, as we should be, given the success in the polls and in Monday's debate," Donald Trump Jr. told ABC News today in a statement. "There is no truth to this fabricated lie and we are excited to be working with these amazing professionals. The business continues to be tremendously successful as it has for years given our incredible assets and attention to detail in their management.”

The comments come amid intense finger-pointing from all levels of the campaign. Trump has blamed the moderator for not addressing topics he wished to discuss. Meanwhile, that staffer said that Trump “lost his nerve” in not hitting Clinton on certain issues like the attacks in Benghazi.

To blame the candidate is evidence of how shaken advisers were post-debate, seeking to shift blame from themselves and those who were responsible for prepping the candidate, to the candidate himself.

Sources say Trump prepared more than was reported but that he should have done mock debates and should have prepared for questions like those about the birther theory about President Obama he pushed for years (before disavowing it recently), as well as women's issues.

But Trump believed those issues and questions surrounding them, according to one source, were "well within the past." Three sources all said they were shocked Trump did not bring up Benghazi, another adding that it was a topic prepared for during sessions.

Hillary Clinton blasted Trump at the debate for language that he has used to describe women in the past and took him to task for pushing birtherism for years after the president released his birth certificate.

Sources say unfortunately Trump "did not get through the check list," but feel they have time to prepare for the final two debates. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will continue to be a part of sessions going forward and the team is hoping to emulate the town hall style of the next debate.

But sources say no new prep has happened yet for the next debate on Oct. 9 -- the focus right now is on campaigning.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Gary Johnson has once again demonstrated that foreign policy may not be his strong point.

On Wednesday night –- just three weeks after the Libertarian presidential candidate curiously asked an MSNBC host “What’s Aleppo?” when asked what he would do about the war-torn Syrian city –- Johnson stumbled over a question that again has left voters scratching their heads.

During a town hall on MSNBC with Johnson and his running mate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, host Chris Matthews asked the former New Mexico governor, "Who's your favorite foreign leader? Name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to. Anybody."

Gary Johnson had an "Aleppo moment" after @hardballchris asks who his favorite foreign leader is #JohnsonTownhall https://t.co/nRazpPL0q0

— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 28, 2016

Weld quickly responded, "Mine was Shimon Peres," choosing the former Israeli president who died Wednesday from a stroke at the age of 93.

"I'm talking about living," Matthews said, turning back to Johnson.

"You gotta do this," Matthews said to Johnson. "Anywhere. Any continent. Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa. Name a foreign leader that you respect."

With no leader apparently popping into his head, Johnson said, "I guess I'm having an 'Aleppo moment' in the former president of Mexico."

Matthews persisted, saying, "But I'm giving you the whole world. Anybody in the world you like. Anybody. Pick any leader."

Johnson repeated, albeit without specifically naming a leader, "The former president of Mexico."

"Which one?" a perplexed Matthews asked.

"I'm having a brain freeze," Johnson admitted, as Weld began to list the names of recent Mexican leaders.

"Fox! Thank you!" Johnson said when he heard former Mexican president Vicente Fox.

Weld, meanwhile, said his favorite world leader is German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Vladone/iStock/Thinkstock(FORT LEE, Va.) -- President Obama said Congress made a "mistake" in overriding his veto of a bill that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the terrorist attacks.

"It was a mistake," the president said during CNN's "Presidential Town Hall" in Fort Lee, Virginia on Wednesday. "If we eliminate this notion of sovereign immunity, then our men and women in uniform around the world could potentially start seeing ourselves subject to reciprocal laws."

"This is a dangerous precedent and it's an example of why sometimes you have to do what's hard. And, frankly, I wish Congress here had done what's hard," the president said.

He went on to describe why he believes the move was a "political vote."

"If you're perceived as voting against 9/11 families right before an election, not surprisingly, that's a hard vote for people to take," Obama said. "But it would have been the right thing to do."

The Senate voted 97-1 to override the president's veto, while the House voted to override by a large margin: 348-77 and one present vote. The votes cemented the first veto override for Obama of his eight years in office.

Some lawmakers have sided with the White House in expressing concerns about the bill, but that has not been enough to overcome the widespread congressional support for the bill.

"I look forward to the opportunity for Congress to override the president’s veto, provide these families with the chance to seek the justice they deserve and send a clear message that we will not tolerate those who finance terrorism in the United States," Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas said in a statement Friday, after the president had vetoed the bill.

Individuals with connections to the Saudi government are alleged to have helped shape the plot to hijack airplanes and destroy key U.S. landmarks like the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. Some say the intention was further revealed in what are known as the 28 pages -- previously classified parts of a congressional investigation into the 9/11 attacks, released earlier this year.

Saudi Arabia has strongly denied any involvement in the attacks.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest slammed the veto override after the Senate vote, calling it "the single most embarrassing thing the United States Senate has done, possibly since 1983" in an apparent reference to the last time Congress issued a veto override by such a wide margin.

"You had at least one prominent Republican senator today saying that the members of Senate Judiciary Committee were not quite sure what the bill actually did and to have members of the United States Senate only reasonably informed of the negative impact of this bill on our service members and our diplomats in itself is embarrassing," Earnest said. "For those senators to move forward in overriding the president’s veto that would prevent those negative consequences is an abdication of their basic responsibilities as elected representatives of the American people."

Obama has expressed concerns the bill would possibly damage relations with Saudi Arabia and, also, leave government officials and U.S. citizens vulnerable to lawsuits from other nations.

His top national security officials, including CIA Director John Brennan, have argued that it could also make Saudi Arabia less willing to share crucial intelligence that could disrupt terror plots at home.

"The Saudis provide significant amounts of information that feed into the system that allow us to disrupt these threats," Brennan said Wednesday afternoon. "It would be a absolute shame if this legislation influenced the Saudi willingness to continue to be among our best counter terrorism partners."

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Roel Smart/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Three members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a letter sent Wednesday to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, have asked the Justice Department to investigate whether EpiPen manufacturer Mylan incorrectly classified its lifesaving product to save millions of dollars in required payments to states.

Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, believe Mylan may have violated the False Claims Act by classifying EpiPen as a generic drug under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. That classification allowed the company to pay a lower percentage of its revenues back to states as rebates.

Because Mylan's EpiPen doesn't have an FDA-approved competitor, the senators argue, the company should have classified it as an "innovator" drug, which would have required paying a larger rebate to states.

“Just as they’ve overcharged consumers, they are also overcharging the government and, potentially, fraudulently lying to the government, and that’s a crime,” Blumenthal told ABC News today. “If Mylan misstated to the government the nature of its product so as to inflate its own profits, it should be held accountable.”

Congress has scrutinized the embattled pharmaceutical company since August after it dramatically raised the price of its EpiPen, which jumped from $100 for a two-pack in 2009, to more than $600 in 2016, according to medical literature.

Company CEO Heather Bresch appeared before a House committee investigating the company's pricing last week, and was criticized by Republicans and Democrats for nearly four hours for not offering a transparent picture of the company's finances.

Bresch did not apologize for the company's pricing system, calling the $600 price tag "fair." Armed with a number of posters showing the company’s earnings and expenses, she argued that Mylan only makes a profit of $50 on each pen, and has put the product in schools for free.

But, according to a new Wall Street Journal report, Bresch understated the company's profits to Congress while she was under oath. Mylan makes closer to $160 in profit before taxes for a two-pack of EpiPens, the Journal found.

That panel has given Mylan until Friday to provide additional financial documents to clarify the company's profits.

The company said in a statement today that it has "previously stated that the EpiPen Auto-Injector meets the definition of 'non-innovator' drug in the Medicaid rebate law. EpiPen Auto-Injector has been classified as a non-innovator since long before Mylan acquired the product."

"Mylan’s classification of EpiPen Auto-Injector as a non-innovator drug is consistent with longstanding written guidance from the federal government. Just this year, the government adopted a new rule intended to clarify ambiguities in the Medicaid rebate law. The rule establishes a new process for pharmaceutical companies to follow if they have products, like EpiPen®, approved under a [sic] what the FDA calls a 'new drug application' that they believe should continue to be treated as a non-innovator drug.

"The new process calls for the submission of an application for non-innovator status to be submitted to CMS on or before April 1, 2017. It would be premature to comment further on this issue until the CMS process has concluded.”

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Twitter(NEW YORK) -- Pepe the Frog, a ubiquitous internet meme, has been "hijacked by the racist right," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center -- backing up the Anti-Defamation League's decision to add Pepe to its list of hate symbols.

Mark Potok, a spokesman for the SPLC, told ABC News in a phone interview that while the SPLC doesn't formally track hate symbols, the group is aware of Pepe the Frog. He acknowledged that while the cartoon was not designed as a hate symbol, it has been re-purposed as one by white supremacist groups.

By adding Pepe to its list of hate symbols, the ADL has placed the frog in some bad company -- the cartoon now shares space with the swastika and the Confederate flag.

Pepe, as has been widely noted in the press, has evolved considerably in usage as a meme from its inception in the mid 2000s. Matt Furie, the artist who first drew the green frog and introduced him on his MySpace page in 2005, said that “Pepe is beyond my control" in an interview with New York Magazine this year.

These days, it is not entirely uncommon to see the frog wearing Nazi garb, although its usage does not appear limited to promoting hate.

The conservative website Breitbart News has used Pepe in its articles in the past, as it did in an explainer on the alt-right that shows Pepe leading a battle-worn GOP elephant to its grave.

Some supporters of GOP nominee Donald Trump's campaign, as a well as other political movements that have become popular with the alt-right -- a right-wing ideology presented as an alternative to mainstream conservatism that is highlighted by an opposition to multiculturalism, immigration and feminism -- embraced Pepe as an online symbol early on in his campaign.

As a result, the frog has surfaced -- sometimes awkwardly -- in the cycle of mainstream election news.

Trump himself quote-tweeted an image of Pepe the Frog in October 2015. Hillary Clinton, while giving a speech warning about the dangers of the alt-right earlier this year, was greeted by a heckler who yelled "Pepe!" at her from the crowd. The Clinton campaign published an explainer on its website earlier this month in which they declared that Pepe had been "co-opted by white supremacists."

Donald Trump Jr., while taking aim Clinton's description of some Trump supporters as "deplorables," posted an image on Instagram taken from the promotional material from the film "The Expendables" in which each of the characters' heads was replaced with the head of a prominent Trump supporter. Among the group of heads was Pepe, side-by-side with Mike Pence and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars, among others.

"I've never even heard of Pepe the Frog," Trump Jr. told ABC News on "This Week" when asked about his usage of the symbol. "I mean, bet you 90 percent of your viewers have never heard of Pepe the Frog. I thought it was a frog in a wig. I thought it was funny. I had no idea there was any connotation there."

Some Trump supporters have expressed anger online about the designation of Pepe as a hate symbol. In the Reddit group The_Donald, someone posted a image today of Pepe's face on a "Don't Tread on Me" flag under a headline that said "NOT HATE." Within the thread, some Trump supporters commiserated about Pepe's new designation. One user threatened to have Clinton's "H" symbol reported as a symbol of hate in an act of retaliation.

Reddit has been a popular hangout for some Trump supporters online, and the candidate answered questions from some of that group in July in an Ask Me Anything forum.

Milo Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart News writer and prominent supporter of Trump who drew criticism for his involvement in the trolling of "Ghostbusters" star Leslie Jones, receiving a permanent ban from Twitter as a result, mocked the designation of Pepe as a hate symbol in a comment to ABC News.

"Great news! We can rest easy now that the [ADL] has identified the real source of racial tension in the United States. It's not bad policing, it's not crappy schools and it's not the war on drugs-- it's frog memes!" he said in an email.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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