In it, but not of it. TPM DC

PHILADELPHIA-- Leon Panetta, the former CIA director and Defense secretary, slammed Donald Trump and the comments that he made Wednesday suggesting the Russians should hack Hillary Clinton's emails and release them publicly.

"In my over 50 years in public life, this is the screwiest damn election I've ever seen," Panetta said.

After noting that he had served under nine presidents, Republican and Democratic, Panetta said, "This is the first election where there's only one candidate who has the experience, temperament, the understanding of the world to be commander-in-chief."

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PHILADELPHIA – If there was anything the delegates at the Democratic convention had in common with many of their Republican counterparts in Cleveland, it's that they never expected Donald Trump to top the GOP ticket. But his unlikely takeover of the Republican Party has raised the stakes and added new dimensions to the coming election --for Hillary Clinton supporters and her progressive skeptics alike.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Whenever a speaker on stage Monday night mentioned Hillary Clinton, an impassioned Bernie Sanders delegate from Wisconsin reached into the air with a black and white sign that simply said “no.” The man next to him flung his “Thank You Bernie T-shirt” into the air as if he were flying his flag.

When Sanders rose to speak in prime time, the crowd erupted in applause so loud Sanders struggled to drown out the crowd and actually get started.

"I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process. I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am," Sanders said. "But to all of our supporters – here and around the country – I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved."

For the most part, by the time the primetime programming rolled around, the mood among Bernie Sanders supporters in the Wells Fargo Center was mellowing. But the earlier protests, the contentious delegate meetings, and disruptions of early floor speeches threatened Democratic aims for unity on day one of their convention. It was undeniable that even after Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton, his delegates weren’t all ready to.

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Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is urging Bernie Sanders supporters at the Democratic convention to come together and rally behind Hillary Clinton or risk electing Donald Trump.

As Sanders delegates hint they could walk out on Clinton's acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, Ellison – who endorsed Sanders– is urging them to think about the bigger picture.

"I am just saying the logic of playing spoiler to the advantage of Trump does not make any sense to me if you call yourself a Bernie supporter," Ellison told TPM in a phone interview Monday.

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CLEVELAND – As the Republican convention came to a close Thursday night, the resounding feeling on the convention floor, in the halls and parties within the arena was that Donald Trump – an anti-politician, a man who shattered the ceiling of political correctness and prescribed policies that the establishment in his own party have argued would fundamentally reshape the country – was the unifying answer to a vast and yet vague anger and anxiety penetrating the Republican Party.

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CLEVELAND- The shock was still wearing off Thursday afternoon as Republican lawmakers at the convention were contending with the reality that the brightest part of their convention – the selection of conservative Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to be vice president – had been overshadowed by their routinely rogue colleague Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

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A former ambassador to NATO said Thursday that Donald Trump's hesitance about supporting NATO allies against Russian aggression was "disturbing" and that his comments will cause anxiety in Europe about the United States' commitment to its allies.

"It was a shocking statement. It was reckless and deeply unwise," R. Nicholas Burns, who served as ambassador to NATO under President George W. Bush, told TPM. Burns is a career foreign service officer who served in the state department under Presidents Bill Clinton and Bush. He is now a professor at Harvard and serves as an adviser to Hillary Clinton.

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CLEVELAND – The religious right hasn’t got much play on the big stage of the GOP convention. To find the heart of the social conservative movement in Cleveland this week, you had to head to a luncheon at a steakhouse a few blocks away.

The lunch, sponsored by the Family Research Council Action and the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, served as a shadow convention of sorts. While many elected officials have shunned speaking slots at the convention, the stage at the two-hour luncheon featured three current or former governors, a senator, two U.S. representatives and a barbershop quartet. Their message, delivered in harmony: The thrice-married, dirty-mouthed New York-based reality TV star at the top of the Republican ticket has put nary a dint in their long-term political and policy agenda.

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