The Latest: Clinton: FBI-Apple feud difficult policy dilemma


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on campaign 2016 (all times Eastern Standard Time):

2:15 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says the FBI’s legal battle with Apple over an encrypted iPhone amounts to a difficult public policy dilemma.

Clinton told a small group at a technology company in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Monday that there’s “got to be some way to protect the privacy of data information,” but also a way to “follow-up on criminal activity and prevent crimes of terrorism.”

Federal authorities want Apple’s help in bypassing iPhone security features so they can attempt to unlock the encrypted phone. Apple and other tech companies have objected, arguing that the government essentially wants Apple to create a “back door” that could make all iPhones vulnerable to hacking.

Clinton said the “real mistrust between the tech companies and the government right now is a serious problem that has to somehow be worked through.”

Clinton also questioned if there was a way to get this information “without opening the door and causing more and worse consequences.”

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2:14 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says that if she is the Democratic nominee she hopes that Bernie Sanders will support her “the way I supported President Obama when I dropped out.”

Clinton spoke to a small group gathered at a technology company in Grand Rapids, Michigan Monday. Asked about how to motivate Sanders supporters in a general election, she recalled her efforts to get Obama elected in 2008.

She said she and Obama ran in a, “really tough primary,” which Clinton lost. She recalled that she had “a lot of passionate supporters who did not feel like they wanted to support then-Senator Obama.” Clinton said that from then to Election Day, she worked hard and this year “would hope to be able to enlist Bernie” to enlist his supporters in her campaign.

Clinton also stressed her commitment to continuing to work on issues that Sanders has stressed throughout his campaign, like income inequality, saying that they both “are in vigorous agreement that we’ve got to take these issues on.”

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1:40 p.m.

Protesters are interrupting Donald Trump in North Carolina.

Teams of law enforcement and security officers removed more than a half-dozen groups of people who interrupted the businessman’s rally in Concord, North Carolina. Before Trump even took the stage, a group of more than a dozen young people, clad mostly in black, were escorted out of the building after linking hands and standing to the side of the stage.

The final two people escorted from the arena held three fingers in the air in a kind of salute. One of the men had on a yellow emblem reading, “Stop Islamophobia.”

Trump paused at each interruption as his supporters simultaneously booed the protesters and cheered on law enforcement. “Go home to mommy,” he said, as one man was removed. “Let her tuck you in bed.”

Trump spent much of his time on stage discussing trade and his ability to create jobs, including here in North Carolina, where his Trump National Golf Club sits about an hour from the arena where he spoke Monday. He also led the crowd in a pledge to cast their votes for him on March 15.

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1:16 p.m.

Bernie Sanders is accusing Hillary Clinton of mischaracterizing his position on the federal government’s 2008 bailout of the auto industry on the eve of Michigan’s presidential primary.

The Vermont senator says at a Monday rally in Kalamazoo, Michigan, that he voted in 2008 for the rescue of the auto industry in the Senate when it was a stand-alone issue and not included in a bailout for Wall Street. The Senate measure ultimately failed and President George W. Bush approved more than $13 billion in federal aid to the automakers.

Clinton accused Sanders of opposing the auto bailout during Sunday night’s presidential debate in Flint, Michigan. The state is home to the U.S. auto industry.

Sanders says Clinton is on the defensive because of his criticism of her for supporting bad trade deals, leading her to “say things that are just not quite correct.”

He says he will “make no apologies” for not voting to “bail out the crooks on Wall Street whose illegal behavior and greed brought this economy into the worst downturn since the 1930s.”

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1:03 p.m.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says he thinks comments by Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump damage U.S.-Mexico relations.

The Republican presidential frontrunner has pledged to build a wall along the two countries’ borders. He has also said Mexican immigrants bring crime and drugs to the U.S. and that many are “rapists.”

Pena Nieto said in an interview with the newspaper El Universal published Monday that he condemns Trump’s remarks.

Nieto says it appears to him that Trump’s comments “hurt the relationship we have sought with the United States.”

But the Mexican president says his country will try to work with whoever is elected U.S. president.

Pena Nieto until now has avoided direct comments on Trump, and said he would be “absolutely respectful” of the U.S. political process.

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12:52 p.m.

John Kasich is telling Michigan voters he has the tenacity and experience to make real change in Washington.

Kasich tells an audience at a community college in Monroe, Michigan, that, “to make things better, you have to step on toes, there are no two ways around it.”

The Ohio governor has been making the case that he understands the anger and anxieties of Donald Trump supporters. But Kasich says that unlike the GOP front runner, he also understands how to fix the country’s problems.

Kasich is using that same persistence in his long-shot bid for the GOP presidential nomination. A strong showing in Michigan’s Tuesday primary and a win in his home state of Ohio on March 15 are critical to his ability to continue in the race.

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12:50 p.m.

Protesters are being removed ahead of a Donald Trump rally in Concord, North Carolina.

The group of about a dozen young men and women, all clad in black, filed down to the floor of an arena on Monday and linked hands, forming a line to the side of the stage where the businessman planned to speak. Law enforcement officers spoke to the group, which ultimately filed out, some with one fist raised in the air.

Another group of a handful of men and women was similarly escorted out a few minutes later.

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12:40 p.m.

Donald Trump is spending some of his biggest money yet on campaign ads ahead of winner-take-all contests next week in Florida and Ohio.

He plans to spend about $2 million on Florida TV commercials and $1 million in Ohio by March 15, the day of the vote, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG. Trump’s campaign has also reserved about half a million dollars in TV time in Michigan, where voters go to the polls on Tuesday.

Overall, Trump – a master of free publicity – is on track to spend about $15 million in the primary race, CMAG shows. That’s a few million dollars less than Rubio, who has won far fewer contests than Trump, and a few million dollars more than Cruz, who so far has been Trump’s closest competitor.

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11:30 a.m.

The latest count of absentee and early voters in Florida is showing that more than 571,000 Republicans have already cast their ballots for next week’s crucial winner-take-all primary.

Just over 1 million Floridians have cast their ballots, according to University of Florida political science professor Daniel Smith, who tracks and analyzes early voting data. So far, he says, GOP voters outnumber Democratic voters by about 109,000.

Among Republicans, said Smith, 86 percent are white and 11 percent are Hispanic. Among Democrats, 68 percent are white, 19 percent are black and 10 percent are Hispanic.

Florida is a closed primary, meaning only party members can vote in their respective primary.

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