Donald Trump

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

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

By Gideon Rachman

The rise of Donald Trump has been accompanied by predictable murmurs of “only in America”. But the Trump phenomenon is better understood as part of a global trend: the return of the “strongman” leader in international politics.

By Gideon Rachman

The rise of Donald Trump has been accompanied by predictable murmurs of “only in America”. But the Trump phenomenon is better understood as part of a global trend: the return of the “strongman” leader in international politics.

Every presidential nominee over the past four decades has released his tax returns for all to devour, but Donald Trump says his effective tax rate is “none of your business”. That snippy response to an ABC interviewer’s question dominated the presidential news.

He did say “you’ll see it when I release it’, then added something that has got less attention: “I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.” That’s hardly unusual coming from a canny billionaire, but it carries a certain irony as Trump doesn’t seem to think it’s OK for other businesses to do the same thing. Read more

By Gideon Rachman

The news that Donald Trump has in effect secured the Republican party’s nomination for the US presidency took me back to Europe in 2002. Back then it was a huge shock when Jean-Marie Le Pen, a far-right candidate, made it through to the last two in the French presidential election. I remember going to the EU press room in Brussels the morning after Mr Le Pen’s initial success, and witnessing the horror and shame of my French colleagues.

Donald, show us your sums.

At the end of a week when Donald Trump became the Republican nominee, he’s getting a taste of the ever-increasing scrutiny – if it wasn’t high enough already – that he’s going to face in the run-up to the November election. 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

Are we headed for a Trump vs. Clinton general election race?
The latest round of the US presidential election has seen big victories for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. So is it now all-but-certain that we are looking at a Trump-Clinton contest in November? The FT’s digital comment editor Sebastian Payne puts the question to Gideon Rachman and Washington bureau chief Demetri Sevastopulo​.

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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As the race for the White House candidates reaches a critical stage in the state of New York, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton held onto their frontrunner status for their respective parties. This blog curates the results and reaction, with despatches from our DC bureau chief Demetri Sevastopulo at the Trump party held – where else – at Trump Tower, while the Clinton party took place five blocks away at the Sheraton in Times Square. 

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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

Donald Trump has had a tough few weeks. He was hammered in Utah and Wisconsin and failed to win any delegates in Colorado which has a complicated multi-tiered electoral process that the tycoon says shows that the system is “rigged” against outsiders like him. But he is heading into the New York primary on Tuesday with a commanding lead of more than 30 points over John Kasich and roughly 35 points over his main rival, Ted Cruz. Trump also learned today that Florida prosecutors have decided not to prosecute his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who had beencharged with “battery” for allegedly manhandling a female reporter at a rally.

Cruz appeared with his wife Heidi, a Goldman Sachs banker, and their two young daughters at a CNN town-hall debate last night. The presence of the children helped humanise Cruz who is sometimes compared to a vampire and has almost no friends in Washington. This is just one of the jokes about Cruz in the US capitol: “Why do people take an instant dislike to Ted Cruz? Because it saves time!” Read more

Welcome to the Scottish edition of #Trumpistan. Donald Trump is busy wooing the people of Scotland. The tycoon, whose mother was born on the Isle of Lewis, this week penned his inaugural column for The Press and Journal, a newspaper in Aberdeen, near where he built a controversial golf course.

“When I just arrived on the scene in Aberdeen, the people of Scotland were testing me to see just how serious I was – just like the citizens of the United States have done about my race for the White House,” writes Trump, before continuing with, “I had to win them over … Well, Scotland has already been won – and so will the United States.” Read more

Paul Ryan, the popular House Speaker, poured cold water on the idea that he would rescue his party from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the main rivals for the Republican nomination, at July’s convention in Cleveland. Trying to end speculation about his ambitions, he said he would not accept the nomination should the Republican race end up being decided by a contested convention in July.

“Let me be clear. I do not want, nor will I accept the nomination for our party,” the 46-year old Wisconsin congressman declared following a trip to the Middle East where he was repeatedly quizzed about the 2016 race. Read more

Donald Trump has a big poll lead in New York ahead of the April 19 primaries in the Empire State. But the mogul revealed on Monday that he has already lost the votes of two key supporters: his children Ivanka and Eric. The pair were not registered as Republicans and failed to meet the registration deadline. “They had a long time to register, and they were, you know, unaware of the rules, and they didn’t register in time,” Trump told Fox News. “So they feel very, very guilty.” Watch the interview in which he also poured cold water on suggestions that he would pick Ivanka as his VP.

Trump lashed out at the GOP electoral process after Ted Cruz won most of the delegates in Colorado over the weekend. The Texas senator notched up 34 delegates in the state where voters are excluded from a process in which party members pick the representatives that will head to the Republican convention in Cleveland. “That is not the way that democracy is supposed to work,” Trump railed. “The system is rigged. It is crooked.” Read more

We know that Pope Francis was unimpressed with Donald Trump after the pontiff accused the mogul of not being Christian because of his stance on immigration and wanting to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. But is the Pontiff leaning towards Bernie Sanders? The Vermont senator announced with pride on Friday that the Vatican has invited him to speak at a conference about social and economic issues – one of his signature subjects. But it turned out the invitation did not come from Pope Francis himself, so we might have to hold our breath a little longer. The Vatican story was a nice break for Sanders who has spent much of this week trying to explain why he was unable to explain one of his main goals – to break up the banks. Here is our story on what Sanders wants to do.

The Democrats and Republicans are focusing on New York, which holds its primary on April 19. Trump is back in force on Twitter after recovering from his disappointing loss to Ted Cruz in Wisconsin. He reminded people on Friday that running for president is not the only thing he does every day. “So great to be in New York. Catching up on many things (remember, I am still running a major business while I campaign) and loving it!” Read more

Donald Trump had a terrible night on Tuesday, although you would not know that from his Twitter feed, which went uncharacteristically dark for hours after it emerged that Ted Cruz had crushed him in Wisconsin, aka the Badger State. Looking beyond the headline results should make the tycoon even more concerned, as his Texas rival has started making inroads into some groups – lower-educated and lower-income voters – that had been fertile terrain for Mr Trump.

The creator of this Trump colouring book may need to add some kryptonite to the superhero image of the billionaire on the cover. As for Mr Cruz’s image, he likes to make a virtue out of the fact that he is anti-establishment (which has inspired T-shirts like this), but the Texan may need to change his tune now that the establishment is coming on board to defeat Trump. Read more

After a 10-day lull in the primary calendar, we are back to the races with Tuesday’s Democratic and Republican primaries in Wisconsin. Over the past week, the parties’ contenders have fought it out in Wisconsin, aka “America’s Dairyland” – a key battleground. Read more