The Latest: Catholic leader in Kansas criticizes Kaine

The Latest on the U.S. presidential race (all times EDT):

2:50 p.m.

A Catholic leader in Kansas, where Tim Kaine grew up, is calling the vice presidential candidate an "orthodox" Democrat and a "cafeteria Catholic."

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City said in his weekly column that Kaine is "picking and choosing the teachings of the Catholic Church that are politically convenient." Kaine grew up in Overland Park and attended a Jesuit high school in nearby Kansas City, Missouri.

At times, his governing choices as Virginia's governor and senator have run directly against his Catholicism.

Kaine is morally opposed to the death penalty but signed off on 11 executions during his four years as governor. After opposing gay marriage in his 2005 gubernatorial run, he later supported it. He's personally against abortion but has consistently voted in favor of abortion rights.


2:40 p.m.

Joe Biden is offering a searing takedown of Donald Trump's views on American democracy and foreign policy.

The vice president says Trump's claim the election may be "rigged" is an attack on "the very essence" of democracy. Biden was speaking Thursday in New Hampshire while campaigning on behalf of Hillary Clinton.

Biden said Trump's assertion in Sunday's debate that the U.S. doesn't know who is behind hacks of the Clinton campaign emails undermines the legitimacy of U.S. intelligence officials. They've said Russia appears to be behind the attacks. Trump says he does not believe that.

Biden said, "Ladies and gentlemen this guy is far beyond a bad character with women."

Biden also said Trump has made so many "asinine assertions" that a debate over policy ideas has been drowned out.


2:25 p.m.

Tim Kaine says there needs to be greater voter protection efforts because of Donald Trump's refusal to say he will accept the results of next month's election, regardless of who wins.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee said he does not expect there to be there to be trouble with voter intimidation on Election Day. But said the Hillary Clinton campaign will be well-prepared in case there is.

Kaine said: "We can't just take it as a joke when somebody like Donald Trump is attacking a very pillar of our democracy."

Campaigns typically use volunteer poll watchers to ensure voting laws are followed on Election Day.


2:10 p.m.

The No. 3 Senate Republican is criticizing Donald Trump for refusing to say he'll accept the results of next month's election.

John Thune of South Dakota said in a statement Thursday that America's electoral process is "the cornerstone of our democracy" and that "suggesting otherwise undermines an electoral system that is a model for nations around the world."

Thune did not mention Trump by name. At Wednesday's debate, the Republican presidential nominee refused to commit to accepting election results, citing unsubstantiated concerns about massive voter fraud.

Thune has wavered in support of Trump. He had said Trump should withdraw from the race after a video surfaced of Trump crudely talking about grabbing women. But Thune later said he would still vote for Trump.


1:50 p.m.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch has expressed confidence in the American election system, saying she doesn't see a threat to the integrity of the outcome.

Lynch spoke in Rome on Thursday, the day after Donald Trump refused to say whether he would honor the results of the election should he lose.

She told reporters that all 50 states have tools in place to protect voting systems "from attacks and hacks and the like." She added that it would be very difficult for "any outside actor to try to actually impact or alter election results."

Lynch says officials would investigate allegations of interference, but "at this point I don't think that it is helpful to speculate about what has not occurred, and we don't see as an actual threat."


1:40 p.m.

A group supporting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's candidacy is airing advertising in Georgia.

That's a sign that the normally Republican-leaning state is now viewed as competitive with less than three weeks left until Election Day.

Priorities USA officials say the group has reserved roughly $2 million in advertising in Georgia. Its first ad will feature the parents of a girl who has a congenital birth defect. The couple express disdain for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's on-camera mockery of a New York Times reporter with a different congenital condition that impairs his limb movement.

The ad was first run in June by the group in more typical battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida. The advertising comes as Republican pollsters say Clinton is competing neck-and-neck with Trump in Georgia.


1:28 p.m.

Hacked emails show Hillary Clinton personally pushed for a Clinton Foundation summit in Morocco last year that stoked public controversy over her family charity's reliance on large sum donations from foreign governments.

Clinton confidant Huma Abedin bluntly said in the January 2015 email that "if HRC was not part of it, meeting was a non-starter" and then warned: "She created this mess and she knows it."

It was uncharacteristic remark from an aide known for her abiding loyalty to Clinton over the years.

The hacked email was among more than 4,000 messages posted Thursday on the website of the WikiLeaks organization. The emails were stolen from the accounts of John Podesta, the chairman of the Democratic nominee's presidential campaign.

The king of Morocco committed $12 million to host the event.


1:20 p.m.

First lady Michelle Obama is emerging as perhaps the most effective Donald Trump critic in the Democrats' lineup and she's done it without ever uttering two key words: Donald Trump.

The first lady has never mentioned the Republican presidential nominee's name, in the five speeches she's given campaigning for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and isn't expected to today when she headlines a rally in Arizona.

As close as she's come is referring to "a candidate" or "this candidate," while dedicating much of her time to a searing indictment of Trump's words and positions.

The Clinton campaign and Obama's staff are reluctant to discuss the motives for the obvious omission. But Obama's rhetoric shows her trying to balance her position of first lady -- a figure long viewed as out of the political fray -- while also holding back little in a race she clearly feels strongly about.


1:17 p.m.

Donald Trump says he'll re-organize the way the government handles trade policy, creating what he'll name the "American desk" inside the Department of Commerce.

Trump says American trade policy is currently mismanaged by dozens of different government offices including the departments of state, treasury and agriculture.

Trump says the reorganization is necessary in order to streamline trade policy and prioritize it.

Trump says, "The mission of the American desk will be to protect the economic interests of the American workers and the national interests of the United States."


1:15 p.m.

Tim Kaine says Republican Donald Trump is willing to defend Russian President Vladimir Putin, but won't stand up for American democracy.

The Democratic vice presidential candidate blasted Trump's performance at Wednesday's debate. He said Trump's refusal to say he will accept the results of next month's election disqualifies him for the presidency.

Kaine said it was "surreal" that Trump also disputed that the Russian government was behind the hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee and others.

Kaine said: "You will not defend American democracy, but you're trying to defend Vladimir Putin on the stage and you want to be president of the United States?"

Kaine made the remarks at a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, where early voting started Thursday.


1:05 p.m.

Republican Sen. John McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama, says he conceded defeat "without reluctance" even though he didn't like the outcome.

McCain said in a statement that he doesn't know who will win this presidential election. But he says the loser has always congratulated the winner and called him "my president."

McCain said, "That's not just the Republican way or the Democratic way. It's the American way. This election must not be any different."

McCain did not mention Donald Trump by name in his statement Thursday following the Republican nominee's refusal to say whether he will accept the election result.

McCain withdrew his tepid endorsement of Trump after a video surfaced of Trump bragging about groping women.


12:55 p.m.

Donald Trump is saying he won't commit to honoring the results of November's election because he wants to reserve his right to file a legal challenge "in the case of a questionable result."

Trump, speaking in Ohio on Thursday, said "of course I would accept a clear election result." But he stressed that he was not sure he would receive one, citing misleading statistics on voter fraud. He alleged without evidence that Hillary Clinton's campaign was trying to "rig" the election.

Trump made the unprecedented assertion during the final presidential debate Wednesday. Asked if he would concede if he loses the election, Trump said, "I will look at it at the time."

He opened his rally in Delaware, Ohio by joking that he would honor the result "if I win."


12:50 p.m.

Donald Trump is mocking his much-derided comment at the presidential debate that he might not accept the results of the election.

Trump kicked off a rally Thursday in Delaware, Ohio, by saying that he "would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supports and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election."

But he added: "If I win."

Trump is continuing to raise concerns about the integrity of the election, despite a lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud in the country.


12:05 p.m.

President Barack Obama is hailing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's debate performance.

Obama tweeted on Thursday: "Outstanding 3 for 3 debate sweep for @HillaryClinton! Nobody has ever been more prepared to be @POTUS."

The White House said Obama is also contrasting Trump's refusal to commit to accept the election results with Obama's promise to follow tradition and escort the winner to the Capitol for the inauguration, regardless of who wins.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said aboard Air Force One "that will be some car ride" if Trump wins. But he said it is in the best interest of the nation.

He was speaking as Obama flies to Miami to encourage enrollment in health insurance coverage and to campaign at a separate event for Clinton.


7:45 a.m.

Donald Trump has dominated the Twitter conversation surrounding the third and final presidential debate.

Twitter says that the Republican nominee was the subject of nearly 60 percent of the tweets sent about the candidates.

The social media platform says the top tweeted moment was Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's discussion about treatment of women. The second most tweeted was Trump's refusal to say if he'll accept the results of the election should he lose.

According to Google Trends, the top issues researched were both candidates' stances on abortion, immigration and guns. It says people also googled the Clinton foundation, Trump's position on the Iraq war, and questions regarding Clinton's emails during her time as secretary of state.


3:45 a.m.

Threatening to upend a fundamental pillar of American democracy, Donald Trump refused to say he will accept the results of next month's election if he loses to Hillary Clinton. The Democratic nominee declared Trump's resistance "horrifying."

Trump had spent the days leading up to Wednesday's presidential debate warning voters that the election would be "rigged." Asked whether he would accept the outcome if Clinton emerges victorious, he said: "I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense."

Some Republicans recoiled at Trump's startling statement. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said his party's nominee was doing the country a "great disservice" by suggesting the election is rigged and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake called Trump's comments "beyond the pale."