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Pres. Obama gives statement on economy, Trump

Posted: 11:45 AM, May 06, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-06 13:25:32-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign (all times Eastern):

1:05 p.m.

President Barack Obama says "you have to ask (Paul) Ryan" what it means for the Republican party that the House speaker won't swing behind Donald Trump as the GOP's presumptive nominee.

Obama says Republican officials and voters will have to decide for themselves whether they feel comfortable with Trump as their representative.

Ryan, in a televised interview Thursday, said he was not yet ready to support Trump as the GOP nominee.

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12:45 p.m.

In his first remarks about Donald Trump's presumptive nominee status, President Barack Obama has a message for the media: "This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show."

Obama is urging reporters to take Trump seriously and vet him thoroughly. At a brief news conference at the White House on Friday, Obama told reporters to scrutinize the candidates closely, to fact check their policies and to hold them to their past statements.

He says, "emphasizing the spectacle and the circus, that's not something we can afford."

Obama says if reporters do their job and people are well informed "I'm confident our democracy will work."

Asked about Trump's taco bowl tweet Thursday saying "I love Hispanics," Obama said he wouldn't comment on Trump's twitter feed.

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11 a.m.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is threatening a floor fight over rules and platform planks at the party's summer convention if the Democratic National Committee stacks the committees with supporters of Hillary Clinton.

Sanders writes in a letter to Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz that the makeup of the standing committees should reflect the level of support that he and Clinton received in the primaries and caucuses.

He says many of his supporters have not been included and notes Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy will be in charge of the convention's platform committee and former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank will run the rules committee. He calls both "aggressive attack surrogates" for Clinton.

Sanders says if the process is unfair, he'll challenge platform planks, electoral reform planks and rules changes.

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9 a.m.

The Republican party chairman says he supports Donald Trump as the party's presidential nominee. Reince Priebus is breaking with House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said Thursday he's not ready to back Trump.

Priebus says he backs Trump even if he disagrees with ideas like banning Muslims from entering the U.S.

The chairman says a meeting next week will help the party start to unify behind Trump. He says Ryan is "just being honest," that Ryan is "not there yet, but he wants to get there."

Priebus says it will take some time for some people to work through their differences with Trump.

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8:45 a.m.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says Britain is "better off without" the European Union.

That's in contrast with President Barack Obama, who has cautioned British voters against leaving the EU. Britain will vote June 23 on whether to remain in the 28-nation bloc.

"I would say that they're better off without it, personally," Trump told Fox News on Wednesday.

"But I'm not making that as a recommendation, just my feeling. I know Great Britain very well. I know, you know, the country very well. I have a lot of investments there. I would say that they're better off without it. But I want them to make their own decisions."

Trump said the migration crisis "has been a horrible thing for Europe; a lot of that was pushed by the EU."

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8:20 a.m.

Former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson says he was "personally very disappointed" to hear House Speaker Paul Ryan withhold his support for Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee.

Carson tells MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show that "if we divide the party, we ensure the victory of the opposite party. And we've got to be more mature than that."

Carson, who is helping Trump decide on a vice presidential running mate, said Friday: "I hope Speaker Ryan and many others, as time goes on, realizes that."

On the vice presidential selection, Carson told an interviewer that if there's a Democrat who subscribes to the Republican Party's beliefs, "let me know."

"This is such an important position," Carson added. "You don't want to exclude anybody just on the basis of one characteristic."

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7:35 a.m.

Donald Trump says he was surprised by House Speaker Paul Ryan's declaration that he wasn't ready to support Trump as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

Trump tells the Fox & Friends news show the rejection doesn't bother him. Still, Trump says, Ryan's refusal to swing behind him is "not a good thing" and "something the party should get solved quickly."

Trump says he's meeting with Ryan next week, possibly on Wednesday. As for whom he wants to be his running mate, Trump would only say that the person will have to be a Republican, not a Democrat.