Welcome to October. Welcome to the homestretch of the campaign. Welcome to the perhaps the most insane week for DONALD TRUMP yet. Here are a just a few of the stories that have plagued the GOP presidential nominee over the past week:
• Early, early Friday morning, Trump launched into a wild rant on Twitter that, among his attacks on HILLARY CLINTON, called former Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado "disgusting" and urged America to "check out [her] sex tape." While journalists couldn't find any sex tape, other than a grainy sex scene in a reality TV show, Buzzfeed did find that Trump himself had made a cameo in an actual softcore porn video, which included fully nude women "rubbing honey on themselves."
• One Newsweek investigation discovered that a Trump company had apparently violated the Cuban trade embargo, going so far as to disguise the violation by tying its spending to a charity.
• The New York Attorney General ordered the Trump Foundation to stop soliciting donations, as it had been violating state law by soliciting money without certification.
• Trump responded to a military veteran's question about post-traumatic stress disorder by saying that some people are "strong" when confronted with the horrors of war "but a lot of people can't handle it." He was immediately accused of calling veterans with PTSD weak. But here, even some of Trump's ardent critics reluctantly defended him, noting that in the full context of his remarks, he'd expressed deep empathy for veterans with PTSD and called for improving the mental health care system.
• The New York Times got its hands on three pages of Trump's tax returns from 1995, showing that the real estate tycoon might have been able to avoid paying taxes for as long as 18 years. Critics pounced upon the revelation as evidence of how the American tax system favored the wealthy, and noted the hypocrisy of Trump's statements criticizing low-income Americans for not chipping in. Defenders, on the other hand, called Trump a "genius" for avoiding taxes. But this exposed Trump to a whole new round of mockery: The tax returns showed the supposed genius' reckless investments had cost him nearly $1 billion in a single year. In other words, want to avoid paying taxes? Lose an ungodly amount of money. (DANIEL WALTERS)