When is plagiarism not plagiarism? The saga over Melania Trump’s convention speech took another turn today with a letter released by Donald Trump’s campaign. Someone called Meredith McIver, who described herself as “an in-house staff writer from the Trump Organization” and a “longtime friend and admirer of the Trump family”, said she had written portions of Mrs Trump’s Monday evening address. Read more
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
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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
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
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
Donald Trump is clearly not satisfied with simply being the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. Watch the video he tweeted out today, which suggests that he sees himself as Luke Skywalker. His Republican opponents, who are scared stiff that he will destroy the party, might prefer to say Anakin Skywalker.Trump is facing the prospect of losing to Ted Cruz in the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday. That would increase the odds of a contested convention in July, which in turn would raise GOP hopes that the establishment could parachute in someone to save the party. Increasingly, the whispers in Washington are about Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has denied wanting the job, but has chastised Trump on several occasions recently. Read more
April Fools! These aren’t your real candidates. Oh, wait.
For every 2016-themed April Fools meme dominating the internet, there is yet another reminder that this campaign is very much for real. Read more
Ted Cruz is famous for having almost zero friends in Washington. But the Texas senator seems happy with that situation and is not about to add Donald Trump to his circle even after the New York property mogul visited the US capital to attempt to build bridges with the Republican Party. Appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday night, Cruz was asked whether he preferred President Barack Obama or Trump more. Here was his response:
“I dislike Obama’s policies more, but Donald is a unique individual,” Cruz told the comedian. “If I were in my car and getting ready to reverse and saw Donald in the backup camera, I’m not confident which pedal I would push.” Read more
The Easter Bunny has been unkind to Donald Trump. On Tuesday his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with “battery” after a reporter alleged that the former state trooper had yanked, and bruised, her arm at a campaign event. Trump defiantly dismissed the claims and urged people to watch the video of the incident, which police in Florida police released after charging Lewandowski.
In a campaign that has made House of Cards seem tame, it transpired that one of the lawyers representing Lewandowski resigned as a top prosecutor in Florida in 1996 after being accused of biting a stripper. Speaking to reporters on his plane, Trump said he had urged Lewandowski to fight the charges. Texas senator Ted Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich, the other Republican contenders, slammed Trump over the case. Read more
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With Republican elders’ anti-Trump battle shifting into desperation mode, party operatives are debating ways of torpedoing the tycoon’s candidacy at the GOP convention this summer.
One former candidate who has been on the wrong end of the establishment’s machinations is ex-congressman Ron Paul, who on Friday took to the airwaves to predict senior party figures would use any means necessary to block a Trump nomination. Read more
On Super Tuesday 2, the five primary races — in Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina — helped to draw the contours of the nomination for the White House. Donald Trump knocked Marco Rubio out of the Republican race by winning Florida and three more states, reinforcing his status as the party frontrunner, but lost to John Kasich in Ohio, complicating his path to Washington. Hillary Clinton secured overwhelming victories in Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, and a far narrower win in Illinois, putting her much closer to securing the Democratic nomination.Track the results and reaction as it happened:
Donald Trump’s press conference in Florida today was like a Peter Sellers movie. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon who recently quit the race, endorsed Trump and said there were “two different Donald Trumps” – the public persona and the private “cerebral” persona who would be appearing more frequently on the trail.
Asked about this, the cerebral Trump said: “Perhaps there are two Donald Trumps”. But minutes later his alter-ego corrected him: “I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps”. Trump likes to shout “Stand up!” to human props at his rallies. Well, would the @realDonaldTrump please stand up! Read more
The Republican debate on Thursday elevated farce to new heights. Donald Trump raised eyebrows when he hit back at earlier innuendo by Marco Rubio about his masculinity.
“He referred to my hands [suggesting that] if they are small, something else must be small. I guarantee you there is no problem. I guarantee,” he told the roughly 17m viewers who tuned in to the debate. Read more
(Charleston, South Carolina) Jeb Bush is wobbling. The last thing he needed the day before the crucial South Carolina primary was headlines like “Bush machine running on fumes” about his campaign coffers running dry and reports that – barring a miraculous surge in the state – friends will soon urge him to quit the race to clear the way for Marco Rubio.
That would narrow the establishment field to two: John Kasich, the Ohio governor whose relatively moderate stance makes him a difficult sell to conservatives in the Bible Belt states that dominate the Super Tuesday grouping of primaries on March 1, and Rubio. Mainstream Republicans increasingly view Rubio, a 44-year-old telegenic Cuban-American, as the candidate with the best chance of beating Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and giving the GOP its best shot at winning the White House in November. Read more
The Republican White House contenders took the stage at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas for their fifth and final presidential debate of 2015. With 56 days to go before the first caucus is held in Iowa, Donald Trump looked to have kept his lead in the national polls despite his call to ban Muslims from entering the US. Mr Trump faced a fresh challenger in Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who has displaced Ben Carson as the property mogul’s closest rival. Jake Grovum, US social media journalist, and Emiliya Mychasuk, US Online News Editor, curated the reaction to the debate from the FT’s Washington bureau and political watchers on social media.
♦ Michela Wrong thinks the events at Westgate mall jeopardise international justice because the west has realised that it needs Kenyatta and Ruto.
♦ On paper, Ted Cruz looks like a country club establishment Republican, but with every sentence he uttered in his 21-hour “filibuster” against Obamacare, he made clear that his primary mission in Washington was to rid his party of any lingering remnants of compromise.
♦ Xan Rice speaks to Ahmed Jama, the owner of a successful restaurant in London and a naturalised Briton, who decided to return to Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, and open a restaurant there, even while Somalia was at war.
♦ As conventional oil reserves diminish, the Kremlin is pinning its hopes on Siberian shale to maintain the nation’s standing, but stern geological and commercial challenges lie ahead.
♦ Dozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses in Qatar. A Guardian investigation reveals how Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day this summer labouring in preparation for the World Cup.
♦ Richard Gowan, associate director of the Centre for International Cooperation at New York University, asks how much the UN’s moral voice is worth as a peacekeeping tool. Read more