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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Tuesday tore into Donald Trump for sowing suspicion about the integrity of the U.S. election, telling the Republican presidential nominee to “stop whining” and focus on winning votes.

Obama called Trump’s intensifying, pre-emptive warnings about voter fraud “unprecedented” in modern politics. The rhetoric is not based on any evidence, Obama said, but is simply aimed at discrediting the election before the first votes are counted.

“You start whining before the game’s even over?” Obama said at a press conference. “Then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job.”

Obama delivered his biting rebuke at White House, where he hosted Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi for a state visit. The president initially said he would pull his punches when it comes to politics, respecting the official setting. But when he was asked about Trump’s rhetoric, he did not hold back.

The president also accused Trump of showering praise and modeling his policies on Russian President Vladimir Putin to a degree that is “unprecedented in American politics.”

He said is “surprised and troubled” by Republican lawmakers who he said are echoing their presidential nominee’s positions on Russia. Trump has praised Putin as a strong leader and criticized Obama and the Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, for Washington’s deteriorating relationship with Moscow.

In an interview Monday, Trump said Russia “can’t stand” either Democrat. Trump promised a closer relationship with Putin, if elected, starting with a possible meeting with Putin before the U.S. inauguration.

The president’s remarks come as Trump and his Republican allies are looking for ways to swing momentum their way after a damaging few weeks in the campaign.

Earlier Tuesday, Republicans seized the latest developments in the Clinton email controversy as an issue that could help Trump make up ground in the final presidential debate Wednesday night.

That followed news that the State Department had asked FBI officials to lower the classification of a sensitive email related to the attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya. FBI notes released Monday revealed discussion of a “quid pro quo” in trying to get the email reclassified, though it’s not clear who first raised the issue and both State and FBI officials deny any bargaining took place.

Obama said Tuesday the version Trump and other Republicans are talking about is “just not true.”

Trump called it “one of the great miscarriages of justice” in history.

As the final debate has approached, the GOP candidate has continued his warnings that the election is “rigged,” angering not only Democrats but fellow Republicans who worry his claims will hurt public faith in all elections. And as news about the emails hit, Melania Trump made her first public comments about the allegations of sexual assault and misconduct lodged against her husband.

In an interview with Fox News aired Tuesday, Mrs. Trump said she believes the accusations were coordinated by political rivals: “They want to damage the presidency of my husband, and it was all planned, it was all organized from the opposition.”

Her comments carried echoes of Clinton’s allegations of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” organized to raise similar allegations against her husband two decades ago. Trump notably tried to revive Bill Clinton’s history by inviting his accusers to the last debate. His guest list for Wednesday’s faceoff in Las Vegas signaled he hoped to change the subject.

The Trump campaign said Tuesday that Pat Smith, whose son, Sean Smith, was killed in the attack in Benghazi, will be attending the debate in Las Vegas as the candidate’s guest.

Smith was a featured speaker at the Republican National Convention, where she delivered an emotional speech blaming Clinton for her son’s death and accusing her of lying to families about what sparked it.

Clinton planned to spend Tuesday in New York preparing for the debate in Las Vegas. Trump was slated to hold rallies in Colorado.

The disclosure of FBI documents revives questions about Clinton’s use of personal email during her time as secretary of state. The issue that has dogged her campaign and damaged voters’ trust in her even as she remains the favorite ahead of the Nov. 8 vote.

The declassification of the Benghazi email never took place.

Meanwhile, Clinton is trying to expand her edge over Trump — even in Republican territory. Her campaign announced Monday it was launching a new push in Arizona, including a campaign stop in Phoenix by first lady Michelle Obama, one of Clinton’s most effective surrogates.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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9 thoughts on “‘Stop Whining,’ President Obama Tells Trump

  1. common on said:

    Hillary has being in this circus for 30+ years can any of you point out anything she has done or been involved in for the betterment of this nation, yourselves, communities etc.? yet Obama is smartly trying to influence us to vote for someone who has had more than enough time to involve herself but has not been apart of much of anything, keeping you focused on Trump is trying to deflect you from the real issues, Has he done much? its much of the NOTHING, I’m gone to give Trump a chance.

  2. common on said:

    Well Hillary is too traditional for me, that’s what keeps America in their power of corruption and dishonesty, the same o same o political words and ways of doing things that gets us nowhere, I’m going to give Trump a chance at least he’s not part of them that’s why they don’t want him there, he is attacking the wrong doings of both houses and they are highly upset. I think he wants to open up the floodgates for us all, I’m voting Trump for REAL change.

  3. Zpeach on said:

    That’s right – stop all the whining and blaming everybody else but yourself for this mess. Never once has he owned up to anything, i’ll be glad when the election is over.

  4. specialt757 on said:

    “voter fraud” is just trump’s way of explaining his loss in Nov. He’s already prepared in recession speech. Only losers give an excuse before the game begins. Stop whining B-OTCH!

  5. Cynthia Riddle on said:

    Yes…quit your whining! He is a master diverter. When things are going his way, he diverts attention away from what’s plaguing him to something else. Of course, he is losing in the poles in almost all states that can get him to his magic number, so he has to point the finger at someone or something else as the reason why he’s losing. Instead of acknowledging that his mouth has gotten him in trouble time and time again, he has to put the blame on others. Additionally, he is allowed to spew out lies after lies about Democrats, the election process and his own Republican surrogates, then call Hillary a liar, He brought up Bill Clinton’s past in the 1990’s and tried to make it a relevant topic in 2016, but when his accusers come out, the first thing he says is they are all lying and it was so, so long ago. Then to top that off, as if things can get any worse, he suggests Hillary needs to take a substance abuse test…REALLY?! When he sniffed his way through two debates. I thought he was needing his cocaine fix…He is unbelievable! Then his wife and his campaign pretty much pushed Billy Bush WAY under the bus by suggesting…oops…by saying Billy egged him on to say mean and ugly things…REALLY?! Like Donald would have never said mean and ugly things without Billy, when that’s been the course of his entire campaign thus far….way to go Trump…you are a class act…you and your wife…They hate the Obama’s so much, yet his wife steals portaions of Michell’s speach…they belong together!!

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