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Donald Trump has taken another step to convince Republican donors to back his White House ambitions by extinguishing the $50m in personal loans he has given his campaign over the past year. Wealthy Republicans have stayed on the sidelines for many reasons – but one was concern that the tycoon might use contributions to pay back the debt rather than hiring more staff and building up election campaign operations in key states across the country. Read more

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Donald Trump must be looking forward to his trip to Scotland later this week, where most people will be more focussed on the outcome of the Brexit referendum than the terrible headlines that have plagued the tycoon in recent weeks. After firing his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Monday, it emerged later that evening that Hillary Clinton ended May with $41m more in the bank than Mr Trump whose campaign raised a paltry $3.1m in the month. Read more

Donald Trump has disappointed millions of people in America – and probably the head of every television network who hoped to make a killing – by deciding not to debate with Bernie Sanders. On Thursday he revealed that the campaigns were in discussions about a debate, which would have been a huge television hit. But on Friday he reversed course, saying it would be “inappropriate” because Sanders has no way to beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Read more

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Donald Trump held a press conference to celebrate crossing the 1,237 delegate line, which ensures victory when the Republican Party holds a formal nomination vote at its July convention in Cleveland. He took the occasion to hit out at Barack Obama for doing a “horrible job” after the US president said in Japan that world leaders were “rattled” by the property mogul’s rise and the isolationist “America First” message of his campaign for the White House. “When you rattle someone, that is good,” said Trump, who has spent the past 10 months rattling everyone from Mexican immigrants to the Republican establishment. Read more

Hillary Clinton had a rough day after the state department, which she ran as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, rapped her on the knuckles for using a personal email account and private server when she was the top US diplomat. In a report sent to Congress, the inspector-general declared that Clinton did not ask for legal approval to set up what critics refer to as her “home brew” server and would not have been given permission by officials had she asked. Here is our story on emailgate, which threatens to dog Clinton as she fights to keep Donald Trump out of the White House. Read more

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After earning a reputation for some of the toughest questioning of Donald Trump during the Republican race, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly threw in the towel on Tuesday night with a very soft interview with the tycoon. The man who once said she had “blood coming out of her wherever” and retweeted comments that described her as a “bimbo” said in the interview that, “I like our relationship right now”. Read more

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Donald Trump faces yet another barrage over his stance on women. Priorities USA, an outside group supporting Hillary Clinton, released the first in a series of political attack ads that will air on television in the swing states of Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Nevada. The video shows numerous women speaking but with their voices dubbed over by Trump delivering some of his controversial comments on women. Some of the lines include, “Does she have a good body? No. Does she have a fat ass? Absolutely” and “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter perhaps I would be dating her.” Read more

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Donald Trump spent much of the past day on Twitter attacking a New York Times story that depicted his treatment of women as “degrading”. The paper quoted a former model who described how he urged her to change into a swimming costume when they met at a pool party that he was hosting at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. She later accused the paper of mispresenting her, saying Trump had been a gentlemanRead more

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There are few things as American as Budweiser, even though there are many craft breweries across the US that produce beer that this Irishman finds more palatable. But the legendary brand is undergoing a temporary makeover by renaming itself as “America” for the summer months. The push to tap into the patriotic mood as the US election approaches is a novel way to jump on the Trump bandwagonRead more

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When Donald Rumsfeld was asked in 2006 how the search for Osama bin Laden was going, his response was: “If you’re chasing the chicken around the chicken yard and you don’t have him yet and the question is ‘how close are you?’ the answer is ‘it’s tough to characterise because there’s lots of zigs and zags’.”

What does this have to do with the 2016 election? Well Hillary Clinton, who tussled with Rumsfeld as a member of the Senate armed services committee, might be forgiven for feeling that chasing those chickens was easier than pinning down Donald Trump over his zigzags on economic policy from tackling the US debt to tax policy. Read more

The Trumpistan rollercoaster is running at full tilt. Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, declared that he was “not ready” to endorse Trump. Given that Ryan is the most powerful and most popular Republican in the country, that is a blow to Trump who claims that he wants to unify the party. Trump hit back by saying that he was “not ready” to support Ryan’s agenda.

Trump also reversed policy on accepting big donations and revealed that a former Goldman Sachs partner would help him raise money. That is a stunning development as, over the past three months, most of the people I have talked to at Trump rallies have listed the tycoon mostly funding his own campaign as one of the reasons that they were supporting him. Trump needs a lot of money to compete against Hillary Clinton, but he also risks losing some of his core support unless he can convince people, once again, that he is Houdini. Read more

Polls in Indiana close at 6pm and 7pm depending on where you live in the state. Ted Cruz will be hoping that the protester with a “Cruzin for a Luzin” sign outside his rally in La Porte on Sunday had it all wrong. But the omens are bad for the Texan who once looked like he might cross the finish line in first place in the relatively conservative state. Read more

Ted Cruz is a world-class debater. But he met his match in Marion, Indiana when he engaged a Donald Trump fan who said the senator would find out when the Hoosier State votes on Tuesday that “Indiana don’t want you”. Cruz has been campaigning furiously, in what could be his last chance to derail Trump from getting the delegates needed to win the GOP nomination without a contested convention.

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Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are poised for one of their final duels in Indiana on Tuesday when the Hoosier State will help decide if the Texas senator can block the New York businessman from clinching the Republican nomination. John Kasich has basically pulled all of his resources out of the state as he makes his long-shot pitch in Oregon and California. Read more

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John Boehner has been out of the spotlight since he was ousted as the Republican Speaker of the House last year. One of his most memorable appearances since then came via a photo he tweeted of mo​wing his new lawn in Florida. But the former Ohio congressman is back – with a vengeance. In an interview at Stanford University, he told people what he thinks about Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who is backed by the same Tea party members who dethroned him. Read more

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Less than 24 hours after he was trounced by Donald Trump in the Acela primaries, Texas senator Ted Cruz made the unorthodox move of naming Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard boss, as his running mate – something that in most elections only happens when the presumptive nominee, which Cruz certainly is not, arrives at the convention.

Speaking in Indiana which votes next week, Cruz gave a few reasons for the move, including the need to “give the American people a clear choice”. It came across as a desperate effort to change the narrative after he lost his mathematical path to reaching 1,237 delegates – the number needed to win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention on Tuesday. Read more

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The race for the White House has moved to the northeast with five states – Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware – served by the so-called “high-speed” Acela train voting on Tuesday. In the Republican race, Donald Trump is hoping to build on the momentum from his big win in New York last week as he tries to reach the 1,237 delegates needed to avoid a contested convention.

To help understand the convoluted battle for delegates, we have compiled an explainer on contested conventions. If you’re confused, believe me you belong to a big club, including Trump who has been slower than Ted Cruz in learning the ropes. Trump recently brought in Paul Manafort, a veteran Republican operative, to help him win the shadow battle for delegates, but there are signs that the billionaire is unhappy with Manafort’s efforts to make him sound and appear more presidential. Read more

Bernie Sanders brought his “Feel the Bern” revolution to Gettysburg where Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches in US history. Playing tag-team with Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a rising star in the Democratic party, he recited part of Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address: “This nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.” Watch his speech for yourself.

Sanders frequently talks about the need to reform the criminal justice system. In Gettysburg, he lambasted a system that allows private companies to run prisons. He also reminded the packed room about the infamous “kids for cash” scandal in the state that involved a businessman who ran prisons bribing a judge to send more business – jailed kids – in his direction. Read more

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Donald Trump is hoping for a big victory in the Republican primary in New York tomorrow to erase the painful memories of the past few weeks, which have included losses to Ted Cruz in Utah and Wisconsin. The Texan has also vacuumed up, and locked in, delegates in states in ways that will help him if the GOP presidential battle ends up in a contested convention. Read more

After a rough and tumble debate with Hillary Clinton on Thursday night in Brooklyn, Bernie Sanders flew overnight to Rome for a conference on inequality where he was scheduled to meet Pope Francis. Unfortunately for Sanders, whose trip cost him two days of valuable campaigning time in New York: the pontiff had to cancel the meeting to travel to Greece.

Instead of a photo-op with one of the strongest voices for tackling inequality, Sanders ended up sitting beside Evo Morales, the leftist president of Bolivia, whose appearance in the same shot probably does not help Sanders an awful lot with American voters. Read more