US election

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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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If Republican leaders were looking for a more palatable Donald Trump, on Wednesday they got it.

In his long-awaited speech attacking Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Republican nominee mostly stuck to a prepared speech in which he lambasted Clinton as a “corrupt” politician and “world class liar” who had “spread death, destruction and terrorism everywhere she touched”. He also criticised his Democratic rival for taking money from regimes that repress women and gays. 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

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He had survived a dust-up with a Breitbart News reporter, a scuffle with a Trump protester, and reports of infighting between him and nearly everyone else on the Trump campaign. But on Monday, Corey Lewandowski was finally dismissed from his post as Donald Trump’s campaign manager, not for any new controversies but rather because of an accumulation of old grievances. Read more

Two weeks ago Paul Ryan announced he would be endorsing Donald Trumpas the Republican presidential nominee in an effort to beat Hillary Clinton.Does Ryan now regret that decision? Hard to say.

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When you’re coming off a primary with 20 presidential contenders, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all the candidates. Luckily, here is a short primer courtesy of Jack Aiello, an Illinois eighth grader.

For his middle school graduation ceremony, Aiello decided to give his graduation speech in the styles of four past and present presidential candidates, plus Barack Obama. The (very) witty speech – which you can watch here – earned Aiello a shout-out from Ted CruzRead more

On Tuesday, the Democratic National Committee announced that its trove of opposition research on Donald Trump had been hacked by alleged Russian government hackers.

Today, Gawker has published a 200-page document which appears to be the DNC’s Trump playbook. Read more

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Barack Obama cancelled his first joint campaign event with Hillary Clinton this week following the Orlando shooting. Yet he lost no time in taking shots at Clinton’s main opponent on Tuesday in the wake of the Florida attack and Donald Trump’s comments about a proposed ban on Muslims entering the country. Read more

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One day after the worst mass shooting in modern US history, American officials both on and off the campaign trail are still struggling to find reason in the event’s aftermath.

On Monday, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump gave speeches about Sunday’s attack at an Orlando gay club that left 49 people dead and more than 50 people injured – but with very different messages. Read more

As Elizabeth Warren, the progressive Democratic senator, dropped in for a chat with Hillary Clinton at the latter’s colonial brick residence on Whitehaven Street in Washington DC on Friday, it was easy to forget how rapidly the political mood has shifted in the capital this week.

Last weekend, Clinton was contemplating the possibility of an embarrassing defeat by Bernie Sanders in California, one of the Democrats’ stronghold states, and the socialist senator from Vermont was growling menacingly about a “contested convention” in Philadelphia this summer. Read more

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The party host has confirmed it was a great night, thanked everyone for coming, and wished you all a safe journey home. But one guest is still clinging to the drinks table and opening himself a new bottle of beer. That guy is Bernie Sanders.

On Thursday the Vermont senator took his refusal to officially admit that the good times were over to a poignant new venue: the White House. Read more

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Last night, eight years after her failed 2008 presidential bid, Hillary Clinton declared herself this year’s Democratic presidential nominee and the first woman to claim her party’s nomination.

On Wednesday, she did something almost as momentous: she took the day off. Read more

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If Hillary Clinton were able to handpick an evening to claim the Democratic nomination, she could hardly have picked a better moment than tonight.

With polls soon to close in New Jersey, California, Montana, New Mexico and the Dakotas, Clinton is at long last in spitting distance of the Democratic nomination, an achievement that will make her the first woman in US history to secure her party’s nomination. Read more

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Another day, another Donald Trump scandal.

While winning the Republican primary was meant to herald the beginning of an easier campaigning period for the New York billionaire, today Trump is facing almost as many daily controversies as he was in February. As usual, his biggest obstacle tends to be himself.

For days now, Trump has been trying to defend comments he made last week about the judge presiding over a case against Trump University, a now defunct educational group which purported to teach students how to invest in real estate like Trump. (Gina Chon and I wrote about the history of Trump University and its potential legal ramifications for Trump back in January.) Read more

The three remaining candidates in the race – Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders – are all out in California today – and for good reason.

New polls show that Clinton and Sanders are locked in a tightening Democratic primary there, while Trump has declared plans to put California in play come November. (The deeply blue state has voted Democratic in every presidential election since George H W Bush ran against Michael Dukakis in 1988.) Read more

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Okay, Hillary, you’re giving it a shot.

In yesterday’s newsletter I said Hillary Clinton had not found an effective line of attack on Donald Trump. Today she was a different person, throwing everything at him in her first all-out assault on the Republican presidential nominee.

We’ll still have to see whether the mud sticks, but it was fierce stuff as she assailed him for being “temperamentally unfit” and pushing a “dangerously incoherent” foreign policy, as Demetri Sevastopulo reportsRead more

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With Hillary Clinton casting around for an effective attack line on Teflon Donald Trump, Barack Obama had another shot at the task for her on Wednesday.

The president went for the “false consciousness” approach, telling the middle-class they were deluding themselves if they thought Trump’s economic policies would help them rather than the mega-rich. Read more

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Among all of Donald Trump’s punching bags, few top the media, at once Trump’s sworn foe and his greatest ally.

Today, the emphasis was on foe, as Trump faced off against his press corps at Trump Tower in a news conference that was ostensibly about the media’s coverage of a Trump fundraiser for veterans in January, yet ended up being more about Trump’s relationship with the media. 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