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Old 13th November 2016, 16:23
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Old 13th November 2016, 17:15
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Is Fashion’s Love Affair With Washington Over?

On Wednesday, when Hillary Clinton stood in the New Yorker Hotel for her farewell speech, she did so in one of her signature Ralph Lauren pantsuits. Dark gray, with purple lapels and a matching purple shirt (and a matching purple tie for Bill Clinton), it underscored, as so many of her fashion choices did in the run-up to the election, a point: the way two colors/factions — red and blue — can unite to make something new.

But it also symbolized, perhaps, the end of what might have been an extraordinary relationship. And possibly the end of fashion’s seat at the power table.

More than any other industry, fashion had pledged its troth to Mrs. Clinton. Vogue magazine formally endorsed her, the first time it had taken a public stand in a presidential election. The W magazine editor, Stefano Tonchi, declared his allegiance in an editor’s letter.

Diane von Furstenberg, the designer and chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue and artistic director of Condé Nast, had aggressively raised funds for her, during fashion weeks and beyond: The week before Election Day, they chaired a fund-raiser in Washington at the Georgetown home of Connie Milstein, a major Democratic donor.

Designers including Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs and Prabal Gurung created “Made for History” merchandise for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign store, and contributed to a runway show/benefit during September’s New York Fashion Week. Elie Tahari ran an ad campaign featuring a female president for his fall collection.

At the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards last Monday night, the traditional potpies were dusted with paprika letters urging “vote” and festooned with little paper “Hillary for America” flags (in case anyone was wondering for whom). Ralph Lauren became Mrs. Clinton’s de facto sartorial consiglieri, helping her shape her image from the Democratic National Convention to the debate floor.

It was to be the culmination of a relationship that began with Mrs. Clinton’s appearance on the cover of Vogue in December 1998, the first time that a first lady had done so.

The relationship gained momentum through the Obama administration, with Michelle Obama’s embrace of the fashion world writ large, from accessible brands such as J. Crew to young designers such as Jason Wu and Christian Siriano and established names like Michael Kors and Vera Wang. (Mrs. Obama also appeared on the cover of Vogue, in March 2009 and April 2013, and she will also appear, for the third time, in the December 2016 issue.)

In understanding how she could use fashion to “express ideas” — as Joseph Altuzarra, who made clothes for Mrs. Obama and contributed a T-shirt to Made for History, said — Mrs. Obama elevated the industry beyond the superficial to the substantive. She framed clothing as a collection of values: diversity, creativity, entrepreneurship. Mrs. Clinton seemed primed to continue that trend.

The Trumps, however, may not.

As their Washington revolution dawns, designers are assuming, Mr. Altuzarra said, that the main players “will have a different relationship to clothes” than fashion has come to expect from the White House, and on which it had placed its bets.

Not to mention a different relationship with the designers themselves. The political and social establishments are not the only establishments the Trumps have ignored.

It was striking that on election night, for example, while Melania Trump also wore Ralph Lauren (a white jumpsuit), the outfit was, according to the brand, one she had bought off the rack, as opposed to one that she had worked with the designer to create.

Indeed, all the clothes she wore on the campaign trail seem to have been part of a shopping spree, as opposed to a strategic plan. There’s nothing wrong with that. Arguably it is part of what makes a woman who lives in a gilded penthouse seem more normal (she buys, just like everyone else!) But it reflects her distance from the industry.

And it is striking that while Ralph Lauren is an American brand, which may indicate a decision to support homegrown talent and promote local industry, Mrs. Trump has also worn Fendi (Italian), Roksanda Ilincic (British) and Emilia Wickstead (British) on the campaign trail. When she went to cast her vote, Mrs. Trump threw a gold-buttoned camel Balmain military coat (French) over her shoulders.

Neither her wardrobe nor that of the rest of the family has been used in the traditional way (see: Jackie Kennedy and Nancy Reagan), to telegraph the virtues of Made in America — though that has been one of Mr. Trump’s most vociferously promoted platforms.

Mr. Trump himself has stuck closely to his uniform of Brioni suits and made-in-China fire engine red ties from his own brand. His daughter and public surrogate, Ivanka, has worn an assortment of styles and high-fashion names, including her own label, the Roland Mouret asymmetric top she wore to the third debate, and the Alexander McQueen dress she sported at her father’s acceptance speech, though they can all be pretty broadly categorized as “power sheath.”

If there is a unifying message to the Trump wardrobes, said Marcus Wainwright, chief executive of Rag & Bone (and another Made for History contributor), it is not about the on-shoring of manufacturing, but rather “looking rich.”

Indeed, on election night, when the family stood on stage surrounding the triumphant candidate, the lasting visual was not of the white (on Melania and Barron), blue (Ivanka and Tiffany) and red (Donald and daughter-in-law Lara) the Trumps wore — in part because they seemed more incidental than calculated, given there was also black and greige in there — but rather the sea of “Make America Great Again” red baseball caps in the wildly cheering audience.

Ultimately, it was the baseball cap that became the sartorial symbol that represented the winning campaign; that was the accessory imbued with meaning.

This may have to do with the fact that both Mr. Trump and Ivanka Trump have clothing lines of their own, and hence regard the products more as products than as vehicles for political expression. It may have to do with the fact that as far as Melania Trump goes, as a private citizen she has not really had to reflect on the way her choice of dress is interpreted.

(Though there was a flurry of excitement around the Gucci *****-bow blouse she wore after the leaking of the vulgar Trump tape, in the end, given that she doubled down on it for her final debate appearance, it seemed less a piece of insider commentary than a nod to more conservative female attire, and how she sees her role.)

And it is possible, Diane von Furstenberg said, referring to Mr. Trump’s conciliatory victory speech, that this attitude will change when he gets into office. Maybe, Mr. Wainwright agreed, Mr. Trump will use clothing to show his commitment to the idea of supporting the garment district and homegrown factories. But he didn’t sound very convinced.

This new reality has left fashion feeling bereft, in a way that goes beyond backing the losing candidate and to the core of the industry’s identity.

It ”makes you realize how powerless we are,” said Stefano Tonchi, the editor of W. According to Mr. Wainwright, it’s hard to see what fashion is going to have to do with the new administration. Clothes are a tool, but if they are not used where everyone can see them, can they have an impact? >>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Old 13th November 2016, 17:15
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Unbuttoned Part 2

Now the industry has to wrestle with what happens next: how it defines itself if it is marginalized — reduced to mere decoration — in a Trump administration, and whether there will be repercussions for either its pledge of allegiance to the president-elect’s opponent or some of the more angry postelection statements designers have made on social media.

Dao-Yi Chow of Public School and DKNY, for example, vented on Instagram, noting in part: “Thank you America for the wake up call. Thank you for setting the record straight. Thank you for smashing the grace and beauty I grew up around so I could see how much work I have to do to educate my children so they don’t get lulled to sleep like I did.”

Pointedly, Anna Wintour (who had attended Mr. Trump’s wedding to Melania in 2005 and featured her on her cover, dressed in a couture Christian Dior bridal gown designed by John Galliano) declined to comment for this article.

Spokespersons for Ralph Lauren and Alexander McQueen, while acknowledging on background that the Trumps had worn their clothes, did not issue the usual press releases boasting about the relationship.

But Ms. von Furstenberg quoted Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, and said fashion should heed her words and “do what we can” to accept a democratic result and work with the president.

Which is different from the president and his family wanting to work with them.

The first great test of both sides will be the inauguration: a time when the eyes of the world will be on the first family and what they wear — and if, especially for those family members who do not speak, there is more to the clothes than just, well, clothes.

Not one designer contacted said they would not dress Mrs. Trump if she asked, though Ms. von Furstenberg noted that Mrs. Trump may not need anyone’s help. “I’m sure she knows what to do,” she said, given that Mrs. Trump is a former model.

Mr. Altuzarra, who pointed out that Ivanka Trump has worn his clothes, got a little tangled up in his negatives but said, “I don’t want to not dress people I disagree with.”

Mr. Wainwright echoed his words: “It would be hypocritical to say no to dressing a Trump. If we say we are about inclusivity and making American manufacturing great again, then we have to put that before personal political beliefs.”

The question may prove moot: Given Mrs. Trump’s past choices, she may continue her own tradition of wearing a European high-fashion brand to what will probably be the most-watched black tie event of her life.

That would be a declaration of independence, of a sort.

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Old 14th November 2016, 18:14
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REUTERS Ahmad Sultan & Omar Fahmy KABUL/CAIRO
Nov 14, 2016 | 12:39am EST
Jihadists say Trump victory a rallying call for new recruits

From Afghanistan to Algeria, jihadists plan to use Donald Trump's shock U.S. presidential victory as a propaganda tool to bring new fighters to their battlefields.

Taliban commanders and Islamic State supporters say Trump's campaign trail rhetoric against Muslims - at one point calling for a total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States - will play perfectly in their recruitment efforts, especially for disaffected youth in the West.

"This guy is a complete maniac. His utter hate towards Muslims will make our job much easier because we can recruit thousands," Abu Omar Khorasani, a top IS commander in Afghanistan, told Reuters.

Trump has talked tough against militant groups on the campaign trail, promising to defeat "radical Islamic terrorism just as we won the Cold War."

The president-elect later toned down his call for a total ban on Muslim entry to say he would temporarily suspend immigration from countries that have "a history of exporting terrorism."

But he has offered few details on his plans to combat various radical groups, including IS, the Taliban and al Qaeda, which represent a wide spectrum of political views.

"He does not differentiate between extremist and moderate Islamist trends and, at the same time, he overlooks (the fact) that his extremism will generate extremism in return," Iraq's powerful Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said in a statement.

Sadr's political reform movement, which commands thousands of followers, is a staunch opponent of the radical Sunni movements IS and al Qaeda, and unlike them has not waged or promoted attacks in the West.

The United States has seen a handful of attacks inspired by Islamist militant groups, including the June massacre of 49 people at an Orlando nightclub by a gunman who called a TV station swearing allegiance to IS and the killing of 14 people at a San Bernadino, California, social services agency last December.

U.S. officials have warned the country will likely face a higher risk of similar attacks as IS urges supporters to launch attacks at home instead of joining its fight in the Middle East.

"Our leaders were closely following the U.S. election but it was unexpected that the Americans will dig their own graves and they did so," said IS's Khorasani, who described President Barack Obama as a moderate infidel with at least a little brain in comparison to Trump.

Al Qaeda, which has proven resilient more than 15 years after launching the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, has yet to comment on Trump's victory.

The militant group will likely respond after Trump's first speeches as president, anticipating they will be able to exploit his comments to win support, said Hisham al Hashemi, who advises the Iraqi government on Sunni jihadist movements.

"Al Qaeda is known for its recruitment strategy that heavily quotes speeches of the White House and other Western officials," he told Reuters.


Trump's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the statements from the militants.

Even if Trump tones down his anti-Muslim comments when he takes office in January, analysts say his statements during the campaign trail were enough to fuel the militants' propaganda machine.

"Militants will still use those quotes," said Matthew Henman, head of IHS Jane's Terrorism and Insurgency Centre.

"The key thing militant groups, particularly Islamic State and al Qaeda, depend on for recruitment purposes is convincing Muslims in the Western world that the West hates them and won't ever accept them as part of their society."

A senior Taliban commander in Afghanistan said the group, whose resurgence is undermining efforts to end America's longest war, had kept track of all of Trump's speeches and anti-Muslim comments.

"If he does what he warned in his election campaign, I am sure it will provoke Muslim Ummah (community) across the world and jihadi organizations can exploit it," said the militant leader, who declined to be identified because of strict Taliban policy that only its official spokesman can make statements.

Shortly after Trump's victory, several jihadist sympathizers took to social media to declare this as an opportunity for their cause.

"The dog Trump's victory in the U.S. elections is a gold mine for Muslims not a setback if they know how to use it," tweeted @alhlm200, who regularly posts statements in support of Islamic State.

And in Algeria, @salil_chohada, an Islamic State supporter whose name on the Twitter account is Mohamed Aljazairie, said: "Congratulations to the Muslim nation over the infidel Trump's victory. His stupid statements alone serve us." Jihadists say Trump victory a rallying call for new recruits | Reuters

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Old 14th November 2016, 18:33
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Anti-Trump protesters gather for third night, one shot in Portland Thousands of protesters took their frustrations over Donald Trump's election as the next U.S. president onto the streets on Friday and into Saturday in several cities, including Portland, Oregon, where one person was shot, according to Reuters.
UNIAN 12 Nov 2016

The unidentified person was wounded on Portland's Morrison Bridge at 12:45 a.m. local time as dozens of protesters crossed it during their demonstration, one of several across the country denouncing Trump's campaign rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims and women, Reuters wrote.
Hundreds of protesters also marched through the streets of Los Angeles, blocking traffic as they waved signs in opposition of Trump and chanted "We reject the president elect" and "Whose streets? Our Streets".

Several thousand activists marched through downtown Miami, with a few hundred making their way onto a highway, halting traffic in both directions.

In New York, demonstrators again gathered in Washington Square Park and by Trump Tower, where the Republican president-elect lives, on Fifth Avenue

Read more on UNIAN: Anti-Trump protesters gather for third night, one shot in Portland

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Old 14th November 2016, 20:00
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What Trump’s ‘America First’ Policy Could Mean for the World
TIME MAGAZINE Howard Stoffer 11/14/2016

If the President-elect does everything he promised

If President Obama’s foreign policy was characterized by “don’t do stupid stuff” and a retracted U.S. presence in the world, then Donald J. Trump’s will most certainly be characterized by fear and confusion as the world grapples with what “America First” really means. The real estate mogul turned President-elect has been known to change his view on everything from the Iraq War to Vladimir Putin. But if we are to forecast the consequences of Trump’s foreign policy based on his campaign declarations and promises, then the coming months could look something like this.

First, “The Wall” would be constructed and our immigration policy would change drastically, affecting relations with Mexico, the Arab and Muslim world, and others. We could see the construction of a 1,900-mile East German-style wall along the Mexican border, demanding a new budget funded by Mexico (which politely already refused), the federal government or states.

At the same time, the deportation of 11 million or more undocumented aliens (3% of the U.S. population) could begin as soon as Congress approves a special “deportation force” operating outside the existing immigration courts. Trump said Sunday he plans to keep his promise on deportation.

Exclusions and restrictions on all Muslims seeking entry into the U.S. could follow, including registration of Muslims within the U.S., resulting in contentious court challenges.

The U.S. would scrap several multilateral agreements, including the 2016 Paris Climate Accord, NAFTA and the Nuclear Pact with Iran. Some mutual defense treaties and other trade agreements could soon follow. The U.S. would opt out of any pending free trade agreements like TPP or TTIP.

Following the repudiation of defense treaties, the U.S. would pull back or reduce troops stationed in places including Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Germany, which serve as forward deployments in times of crisis or trip-wires in times of looming war, because Trump could argue that these allies are not paying their fair share. Intense military efforts would be used against ISIS, while the American use of torture, including waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse” against prisoners, enemy combatants and perhaps their families would increase. Finally, demands on NATO allies to meet their military spending obligations would increase along with substantial threats to those allies.

In return, there would be many consequences to our blind bulldozing of our agreements, commitment or respect for international law under an “America First” policy.

Backing out of the Paris Climate Accord would let global warming run wild without any comprehensive restraints. The shredding of NAFTA and other trade accords would result in the disruption of global supply chains that generate billions of dollars in trade between the U.S. and many other countries, especially Mexico. Potential foreign investment in the U.S. from around the world could be diverted. The imposition of heavy tariffs on imported goods, especially from China, would violate WTO rules and could spark a global trade war.

The abandonment of allies and friends would provoke the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons in place of the American nuclear umbrella in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere. Critical nuclear agreements such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty or plutonium agreements would be degraded or abrogated, encouraging our foes to also pursue increased nuclear development strategies. Scrapping the Iran nuclear pact would give a green light to Iran to go all-in with a nuclear capability. Israel would be under pressure to act alone to deal with a future Iranian nuclear bomb.

Current allies would increasingly turn to the next superpower for protection, probably Russia or China. Robust American military action against ISIS would result in many civilian casualties and will engineer new support for terrorism and violent extremism. NATO would not be able to offer assurances to the Baltic States and countries in Central Europe, as America’s commitment to them under Article V of the NATO Treaty would become negotiable. In turn, this would give the green light to Putin to keep Crimea and continue threatening parts of eastern Ukraine without any expectation of an American, much less continuation of Western, sanctions.

These are just a few of the immediate effects of Donald Trump’s foreign policy as he has articulated in his campaign. Of course, nobody is completely sure what Trump will actually do. His most recent claim in his acceptance speech was that “we will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us” and that “we’ll have great relationships.” Ultimately, the confusion and brashness of his approach could lead to self-destructive results for American interests and stability. Although some may be quick to label these situations as doomsday scenarios, they are the likely outcomes until Trump offers the world more clarity on his foreign policy approach. Unfortunately, it’s likely that we will no longer be theorizing doomsday scenarios; we will be living them.
What Trump's ‘America First’ Policy Could Mean for the World
Dr. Howard Stoffer is Associate Professor of National Security at the University of New Haven. Previously, he served in the Foreign Service of the United States and as the Deputy Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate of the U.N. Security Council

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Old 14th November 2016, 20:35
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Soros bands with donors to resist Trump, 'take back power'
Major liberal funders huddle behind closed doors with Pelosi, Warren, Ellison, union bosses, to lick wounds, retrench.
POLITICO Kenneth P. Vogel 11/14/16 05:03 AM EST

George Soros and other rich liberals who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to elect Hillary Clinton are gathering in Washington for a three-day, closed door meeting to retool the big-money left to fight back against Donald Trump.

The conference, which kicked off Sunday night at Washington’s pricey Mandarin Oriental hotel, is sponsored by the influential Democracy Alliance donor club, and will include appearances by leaders of most leading unions and liberal groups, as well as darlings of the left such as House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairman Keith Ellison, according to an agenda and other documents obtained by POLITICO.

The meeting is the first major gathering of the institutional left since Trump’s shocking victory over Hillary Clinton in last week’s presidential election, and, if the agenda is any indication, liberals plan full-on trench warfare against Trump from Day One. Some sessions deal with gearing up for 2017 and 2018 elections, while others focus on thwarting President-elect Trump’s 100-day plan, which the agenda calls “a terrifying assault on President Obama’s achievements — and our progressive vision for an equitable and just nation.”

Yet the meeting also comes as many liberals are reassessing their approach to politics — and the role of the Democracy Alliance, or DA, as the club is known in Democratic finance circles. The DA, its donors and beneficiary groups over the last decade have had a major hand in shaping the institutions of the left, including by orienting some of its key organizations around Clinton, and by basing their strategy around the idea that minorities and women constituted a so-called “rising American electorate” that could tip elections to Democrats.

That didn’t happen in the presidential election, where Trump won largely on the strength of his support from working-class whites. Additionally, exit polls suggested that issues like fighting climate change and the role of money in politics — which the DA’s beneficiary groups have used to try to turn out voters — didn’t resonate as much with the voters who carried Trump to victory.

“The DA itself should be called into question,” said one Democratic strategist who has been active in the group and is attending the meeting. “You can make a very good case it’s nothing more than a social club for a handful wealthy white donors and labor union officials to drink wine and read memos, as the Democratic Party burns down around them.”

Another liberal operative who has been active in the DA since its founding rejected the notion that the group — or the left, more generally — needed to completely retool its approach to politics.

“We should not learn the wrong lesson from this election,” said the operative, pointing out that Clinton is on track to win the popular vote and that Trump got fewer votes than the last GOP presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. “We need our people to vote in greater numbers. For that to happen, we need candidates who inspire them to go to the polls on Election Day.”

But Gara LaMarche, the president of the DA, on Sunday evening told donors gathered at the Mandarin for a welcome dinner that some reassessment was in order. According to prepared remarks he provided to POLITICO, he said, “You don’t lose an election you were supposed to win, with so much at stake, without making some big mistakes, in assumptions, strategy and tactics.”

LaMarche added that the reassessment "must take place without recrimination and finger-pointing, whatever frustration and anger some of us feel about our own allies in these efforts," and he said "It is a process we should not rush, even as we gear up to resist the Trump administration."

LaMarche emailed the donors last week that the meeting would begin the process of assessing “what steps we will take together to resist the assaults that are coming and take back power, beginning in the states in 2017 and 2018.”

In addition to sessions focusing on protecting Obamacare and other pillars of Obama’s legacy against dismantling by President-elect Trump, the agenda includes panels on rethinking polling and the left’s approach to winning the working-class vote, as well as sessions stressing the importance of channeling cash to state legislative policy battles and races, where Republicans won big victories last week.

Democrats need to invest more in training officials and developing policies in the states, argued Rep. Ellison (D-Minn.) on a Friday afternoon donor conference call, according to someone on the call. The call was organized by a DA-endorsed group called the State Innovation Exchange (or SiX), which Ellison urged the donors to support.

Ellison, who is scheduled to speak on a Monday afternoon panel at the DA meeting on the challenge Democrats face in winning working-class votes, has been a leading liberal voice for a form of economic populism that Trump at times channeled more than Clinton.

As liberals look to rebuild the post-Clinton Democratic Party on a more aggressively liberal bearing, Ellison has emerged as a top candidate to take over the Democratic National Committee, and he figures to be in high demand at the DA meeting. An Ellison spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday evening. Nor did a Trump spokesman.

Raj Goyle, a New York Democratic activist who previously served in the Kansas state legislature and now sits on SiX’s board, argued that many liberal activists and donors are “disconnected from working class voters' concerns” because they’re cluster in coastal cities. “And that hurt us this election,” said Goyle, who is involved in the DA, and said its donors would do well to steer more cash to groups on the ground in landlocked states. “Progressive donors and organizations need to immediately correct the lack of investment in state and local strategies.”

The Democracy Alliance was launched after the 2004 election by Soros, the late insurance mogul Peter Lewis, and a handful of fellow Democratic mega-donors who had combined to spend tens of millions trying to boost then-Sen. John Kerry’s ultimately unsuccessful challenge to then-President George W. Bush.

The donors’ goal was to seed a set of advocacy groups and think tanks outside the Democratic Party that could push the party and its politicians to the left while also defending them against attack from the right.

The group requires its members — a group that now numbers more than 100 and includes finance titans like Soros, Tom Steyer and Donald Sussman, as well as major labor unions and liberal foundations — to contribute a total of at least $200,000 a year to recommended groups. Members also pay annual dues of $30,000 to fund the DA staff and its meetings, which include catered meals and entertainment (on Sunday, interested donors were treated to a VIP tour of the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture).

Since its inception in 2005, the DA has steered upward of $500 million to a range of groups, including pillars of the political left such as the watchdog group Media Matters, the policy advocacy outfit Center for American Progress and the data firm Catalist — all of which are run by Clinton allies who are expected to send representatives to the DA meeting.

The degree to which those groups will be able to adapt to the post-Clinton Democratic Party is not entirely clear, though some of the key DA donors have given generously to them for years.

That includes Soros, who, after stepping back a bit from campaign-related giving in recent years, had committed or donated $25 million to boosting Clinton and other Democratic candidates and causes in 2016. During the presidential primaries, Soros had argued that Trump and his GOP rival Ted Cruz were “doing the work of ISIS.” >

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