We’re going to close our rolling coverage of politics for the day with a summary of the day’s developments.

  • Donald Trump suggested that Japan and South Korea should build nuclear weapons or pay protection fees to the US – and then said his greatest fear is the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
  • “Maybe they would be better off if they defended themselves from North Korea,” he said in one interview. “I think if somebody gets nuclear weapons that’s a disaster,” he said in another.
  • He also almost admitted regret over his statement that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who seek abortions. “As a hypothetical question I would have rather answered it in a different manner, yeah,” he told Fox News.
  • The Republican frontrunner refused to condemn his campaign manager, who has been charged with battery against a reporter. He instead suggested that the aide’s lies about what happened were acceptable because the reporter may have exaggerated her feelings. Asked by CBS, “Is it OK for a man to put his hand on a woman?” Trump paused. “No, I would say not.”
  • Bernie Sanders won the Nevada county convention, which may help him win a few more delegates in the state he lost to Hillary Clinton in February.
  • The senator also defended his claims that Clinton receives millions in donations from fossil fuel interests, although employees of the industry have given her about $308,000 and him about $54,000. He cited a Greenpeace study that links the contributions of lobbyists, fundraisers and Super Pacs to the industry.
  • The Republican party chairman, Reince Priebus, downplayed the chances that a “fresh face” could win the nomination through a brokered convention.
  • He warned, however, that there are consequences to withdrawing from a pledge to support the party nominee, and that candidates who fail to organize well will suffer defeats of their own making. Campaign’s don’t win delegates “automatically”, he said. “It has to be done through work and preparation.”

Hillary Clinton will be with New York governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday when he signs a $15 minimum wage into law, per the campaign reporters with her.

She briefly said, while speaking at the Mount Pisgah Baptist Church in Brooklyn, “I’ll be with Gov. Cuomo tomorrow when he signs the rise of the minimum wage.”

Cuomo endorsed Clinton months ago, and the photo-op on Monday will act as prologue to her campaign’s descent on New York for the 19 April primary election. It’s also an implicit nod to the voters who’ve flocked to Bernie Sanders’ call to confront inequality.

Clinton has embraced New York and California's $15 minimum wage, but hasn't called for expanding nationwide, unlike Sanders

— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) April 3, 2016

The top two Republican candidates are both in Wisconsin, where Ted Cruz is tired of the frontrunner and the frontrunner is meeting voters at a diner.

Cruz to @jesshop23 on Trump's "mistake" RT: "It's gotten to the point where I could not care less about Dnld Trump."

— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) April 3, 2016

Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager charged with battery against a reporter, is on the far left, with the cellphone.

Here's the Trump #squad, at Miss Kitty's Diner in Milwaukee having breakfast and shaking hands.

— Jose A. DelReal (@jdelreal) April 3, 2016

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and candidate who backed Donald Trump after ending his own campaign, has given his most tepid endorsement yet: “Are there better people? Probably.”

Speaking in an interview with John Catsimatidis, a billionaire and radio show host, Carson at first praised Trump’s business skills. “Now, does it mean that he’s perfect? No, he has some major defects, there’s no question about it, just like the rest of us,” he said.

“But I think he is willing to listen to other people. He may not say that publicly because there is a humility issue there that could perhaps use some polishing.

“Nobody believes in the government anymore. Everybody believes that we are weak. We are weak on the world stage. We are not doing things that make sense economically. And he’s probably the person who is most likely to do that. Are there better people? Probably.”

Ben Carson on @realDonaldTrump: "Many of his policy people now are my former policy people. And I tell you, we have dynamite policy."

— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) April 3, 2016

Carson, who believes ancient Egyptians built pyramids grain, has a misspelt Bible verse engraved on a wall in his home, and has no political experience, courted evangelicals and disaffected voters who wanted an “outsider” candidate.

He said that Trump’s status as a newcomer to politics was perhaps the most important element of his candidacy, which would disrupt “the established political class” of both parties. “The Republican Party is scared out of their wits about the possibility of someone like Donald Trump coming in, who they don’t have control over,” he said.

“I believe the established Republicans would prefer to see someone like Hillary Clinton win than they would Donald Trump, because she’s part of the established political class, is predictable and is controllable.”


North Dakota is holding its Republican convention this weekend to select its 28 unbound delegates to send to the convention, and the frenetic race to 1,237 has descended on Fargo.

It’s as chaotic there elsewhere on the Republican trail, as Ted Cruz tries to wrest any free delegates away from Donald Trump and party officials are struggling to contain the crowds.

By voice vote, motion lost, boos from crowd. Shouts of "call the roll" as chairman takes standing vote; still fails

— Alexandra Jaffe (@ajjaffe) April 3, 2016

Motion on the floor to make ND unbound delegates show their cards and say who they're picking! More on @MSNBC soon.

— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) April 3, 2016

Sanders wins Nevada convention

Bernie Sanders has won Nevada’s county convention, stealing up on Hillary Clinton in a state whose caucuses she won in late February.

Clinton still has more delegates than Sanders in the state: she won 53% of the vote to the senator’s 47%, and a proportional number of Nevada’s 23 district-level delegates.

The county convention, held Saturday in Clark County, decides who goes to Nevada’s state convention in May, an event that will award 12 more delegates to the candidates. Nevada is one of a handful of states that has a multi-stage delegate process.

The Las Vegas Sun reports:

Nearly 9,000 delegates were elected on caucus day in late February, but only 3,825 showed up to Saturday’s convention. An additional 915 elected alternates and 604 unelected alternates also turned out to support their favored candidate.

The final delegate count was 2,964 for Sanders and 2,386 for Clinton. That means the Sanders campaign will send 1,613 delegates to the state convention, while the Clinton campaign will send 1,298.

“We pretty much won Nevada,” said Sanders’ state director, Joan Kato, smiling as the results were announced.

What that means is the delegates from Clark County — along with the delegates selected by Nevada’s other counties Saturday — will attend the state convention in May, where they will help select delegates to go to July’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. But, because of the way delegate-selection rules work in Nevada, they will only get to decide the proportion of 12 delegates — five pledged party leaders and elected official delegates and seven at-large delegates — that go to each candidate.

The Sun also reported that a top party official was suspended from her post after Clinton’s general counsel sent a letter asking for her removal, on the grounds that she was biased in Sanders’ favor. The official, Christine Kramer, denied the allegations.

“I’m just in shock,” Kramar told the paper. “I’m trying to keep it equal and fair. I pissed off an equal number of Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters.”

On NBC’s Meet The Press, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton gave her most expansive remarks for some time about her position on abortion rights, following Donald Trump’s flap earlier this week.

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton. Photograph: Mike Groll/AP

In doing so, however, she may have supplied fodder for future conservative attack ads, by pointing out bluntly out that unborn foetuses do not have rights.

“Well under our laws currently, that is not something that exists,” Clinton said. “The unborn person doesn’t have constitutional rights.

“Now that doesn’t mean we don’t do everything we possibly can in the vast majority of instances to help the mother who is carrying a child and wants to make sure that child will be healthy, to have appropriate medical support.

“It doesn’t mean that you don’t do everything possible to fulfil your obligations, but it does not include sacrificing the woman’s right to make decisions and I think that’s an important distinction that under Roe v Wade we have enshrined under our constitution.”

Clinton said her own stance dovetailed with the 1973 supreme court ruling that Republican candidates are keen to have overturned.

“My position is in line with Roe v Wade,” Clinton said, “that women have a constitutional right to make these most intimate and personal and difficult decisions based on their conscience, their faith, their family, their doctor. And it is something that really goes to the core of privacy.”

“I want to maintain that constitutional protection under Roe v Wade. There is room for reasonable kinds of restrictions after a certain point in time. I think the life and the health of the mother are clear and those should be included even as one moves on in pregnancy.”

Reince Priebus makes two more talk show visits, to ABC’s This Week and NBC’s Meet the Press.

On the NBC show, host Chuck Todd asks the Republican chairman about the convention rules and delegates.

“The selection of delegates, who’s in those seats, is something that happens at the state party level,” Priebus points out – and that means there are 50 different sets of rules for how states figure out which delegates get which jobs at the convention.

In South Carolina, for instance, a candidate who reneges on the pledge to support the Republican nominee could pay for that decision by losing delegates.

Priebus says it’s up to the campaigns to make “sure that the people they want get in those seats. It doesn’t just happen automatically. It has to be done through work and preparation.”

Cruz has managed a far more coordinated and larger campaign than Trump, whose skeletal campaign has given few resources on the state level – and already begun suffering for it in states such as Louisiana.

“We have rules in place that if a candidate gets to 1,237 delegates those delegates are bound,” Priebus told ABC.

”We will know where everyone stands on delegates on June 8,” he continued, meaning the final day of primaries and that delegates will be bound according to state results for the first ballot. “There will be no mystery.”

As for the rules of the convention – who’s eligible, how the voting works after the first ballot, etc – Priebus says: “The 2016 rules committee will review the rules and they will decide what the rules are for the convention.”

“Major changes to the rules are not very common,” he told ABC, although in general on the second and third ballot “more and more delegates are unbound”.

He insisted on NBC that Democrats are the ones in trouble, saying, without evidence: “They’re the ones who could have an open convention and Joe Biden could be the candidate.”

The CBS host presses the businessman on his disputes with the Republican party – and the way he’s being outmaneuvered by the veterans on Ted Cruz’s campaign.

In Louisiana, for instance, the senator’s allies have taken powerful committee roles that will shape the coming convention, and may help him gain more delegates than Trump in a state the businessman won.

Trump is incensed. “I won the state of Louisiana. I won and had speeches,” he rambles, highlighting one speech at an airplane hanger – “Boeing!” – before Dickerson interrupts him.

“They’re beating you at the game. You wouldn’t play every angle to win?”

Trump tries to escape the criticism of his deal-making skills. “It’s not American. You go in and you win and you get less delegates,” he says, ungrammatically.

He thinks it might be “illegal”. “I think there’s a real legal consequence to winning the state and not getting the most delegates.”

What about the pledge to support an eventual nominee?

“I want to support the party, but if Ted or somebody else doesn’t want to support me, that’s OK.”

He goes back to Louisiana: “I’m the one that’s being discriminated against.”

After the interview, Dickerson reads off a statement from the Trump campaign clarifying his position on abortion. “Mr Trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today, and made clear it should stay,” the statement reads in part. “He will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn.”

Trump: if somebody gets nuclear it's a disaster

Dickerson presses Trump on his comments that women should face “some form of punishment” for seeking abortions, and his subsequent retraction.

“I think it’s set,” Trump says about the law. He hems and haws, refusing to come down on any side really. “I’m pro-life, sure. I do have my opinions.”

Dickerson asks whether he believes that abortion is murder. Trump says he has “opinions” but would rather not comment at the moment. “I don’t disagree with it.”

The CBS hosts changes tack, and asks Trump about his suggestion that Pacific countries should develop their own nuclear weapons to counter North Korea and China.

“Look, nuclear’s a horror show,” Trump says, but: “You have to have cards on the table.”

“At what point and at what cost do we continue to protect Japan and Germany and many other countries?” He repeats his demand that countries pay the US for protection.

Then he completely contradicts himself: “The single biggest problem the world has is nuclear.”

“I think if somebody gets nuclear weapons that’s a disaster,” he continues. Dickerson asks him what he’s talking about. “I think it could be many people, not even countries, splinter groups, it’s people.”


Trump refuses to condemn manager

Donald Trump also had an interview with CBS’s John Dickerson for Face the Nation.

The held it in Trump Tower, near an audible but unseen “very large indoor waterfall” (Dickerson’s words).

Trump. Photograph: Getty

You had a bad week, Dickerson tells Trump. Those comments that women should face punishment for abortion, for instance, and your subsequent contortions to get out of it.

“The bottom line is it is the doctor’s fault,” Trump says, insisting that his week was not so bad. Then Dickerson brings up the fact that the man running Trump’s campaign has been charged with battery against a reporter.

Trump blames the reporter, and says she lied. “Her statement was like this horrible thing happened,” he says. “By the way she grabbed me.”

He says: “She vaulted in from nowhere, she went in between secret service.”

“I didn’t really feel threatened,” he admits. “But I didn’t like somebody grabbing me, and I didn’t like

Dickerson cuts in to point out that the campaign manager lied, and said he didn’t touch her when video clearly shows he grabbed her. Your manager lied, didn’t he?

“I don’t know because I can’t tell you what context,” Trump says. “You don’t even see her grabbed.” He seems to argue that it’s OK for his campaign manager to lie because the reporter may have exaggerated what happened.

Dickerson: “Is it OK for a man to put his hand on a woman?”

Trump pauses. “No, I would say not.”


Kasich on abortion: 'I hope Roe v Wade will be repealed'

John Kasich appeared on ABC’s This Week this morning, and addressed the controversy over Donald Trump’s attitude to abortion, an issue on which the Ohio governor has a strongly conservative record. Jon Swaine was watching for us…

John Kasich
John Kasich. Photograph: Nam Y. Huh/AP

“I hope they do repeal Roe v Wade,” Kasich said, referring to the 1973 supreme court ruling which guaranteed a woman’s right to an abortion, “and then it’ll be up to the states how they want to proceed.”

But what about Kasich’s own past talk of imposing constitutional restrictions on abortion? ”I don’t know what I said or why I said it ... I am opposed to abortion except in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother. I hope Roe v Wade will be repealed.”

How do you enforce that?

“That’ll be up to the states to figure out what they wanna do … I think it’s going to take people in a reasonable way working through it.”

Asked about the universally disapproving reaction to Trump’s remarks this week, about whether women who have abortions should be punished, Kasich said: “It’s the first time I’ve seen the pro-life and the pro-choice folks come together.”

But why not punish the woman involved?

“Because I think it’s difficult on her to begin with … I’ve said what I have to say about the subject.”

Should doctors be punished?

“We’re going to leave this up to the states to work this out the way they want to.”

So you’re taking no position?

“This way I’m not, today I’m not.”

Asked, meanwhile, about the likelihood of a contested Republican convention, Kasich said that should such a thing come to pass, kids would spend less time thinking about Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian and more about how we select our president.


Republican party chairman Reince Priebus is back on TV, also sitting in with Wallace on Fox News Sunday.

Wallace asks about the pledge to stay within the party that Trump has waffled on so vocally. It’s “posturing,” Priebus says.

Priebus. Photograph: Reuters

“If a candidate isn’t willing to commit to the principles and values of our party, they ought to just tell us,” he adds. “These candidates are running to be the nominee of our party.”

He says he’s never heard of it ever working out when someone says: “Well, we don’t know if we want to be part of this group but we want to be the chairman or president of this group anyway.”

“I really do believe though that this is posturing, and I know that posturing has an effect,” he adds.

Are you prepared to sue Donald Trump?

“No one’s broken the pledge. Talking about what might be hypothetical,” Priebus answers, it doesn’t provide standing to do anything, it’s just a bunch of talk at this point. We expect that when candidates make promises they keep them.”

Then Wallace asks about the convention – if no one has 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination, will the party keep a rule in place that requires candidates to have won eight states/territories to be eligible?

Priebus says that the convention will be “made up mostly of Trump and Cruz delegates, and they will likely have an incentive to probably not change that rule.”

Would it be possible for someone new to jump in the race, though?

“If in fact that rule stays in place,” Priebus says, “I think they can be, but that would be an extreme hypothetical, I think, extremely unlikely.”

“It’s possible that a person could be nominated that’s not one of the three,” he concedes, but he thinks it’ll be one of the guys running.

“I think it’s interesting how far out we can play this out, but it’s possible.”

Finally Wallace asks Trump about his pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee. Trump doesn’t really answer whether he’ll stay within the party.

“I will be looking at who the nominee is and I think people will be very happy with my decision.”

Should he win the primary, will Trump at least swing toward the center, rather than exploding tweets into lurid, weeks-long affairs?

“You’re going to say this is the most boring human being you have ever interviewed,” Trump says.

Trump: nuclear arms race or pay the US

The conversation again turns to national security and foreign affairs, namely Trump’s notion that Japan and South Korea might be better off by developing nuclear weapons.

“At some point they have to pay us. They pay us peanuts,” Trump says.

Wallace notes that they do pay the United States billions of dollars, and Trump interrupts: “That’s peanuts compared to what we’re talking about.”

“In many ways, and I say this, in many ways the world is changing, right now you have Pakistan and North Korea and you have China and Russia. A lot of tother countries have nukes, it’s not like nobody else has them. Maybe they would be better off if they defended themselves from North Korea.”

So Trump would let there be a nuclear arms race in the Pacific, and potentially nuclear war in US allies and where hundreds of millions of people live.

“My number one choice is to leave it the way it is but they have to pay us,” Trump says.

Wallace asks about Trump’s assertion that Nato is “obsolete” – and points out that many Nato soldiers have died in Afghanistan fighting terrorism.

“I’m not saying it’s a bad thing,” Trump says. “Excuse me, we are paying so much money. … It’s not fair to the United States, not fair to the citizens, and not fair to the taxpayers. I think Nato’s fine. I think Nato has to be readjusted. I think Nato should be on terrorism.”

Then it’s a question about his decision to attack Ted Cruz and to bring his wife into a bizarre spat involving an anti-Trump Super Pac. Why accuse Cruz of being involved in this when the original source was the Super Pac, and not his campaign?

“My evidence is total common sense,” Trump says, to account for the total lack of evidence that Cruz broke the law and coordinated with a Super Pac. “I have no doubt about it in a million years.”

Do you regret turning a tweet into a tabloid saga? Trump creeps toward regret.

“I would say probably not, if I had to do it again I probably wouldn’t have sent it. But this was a response, this wasn’t me starting something.”

On to his defense of Corey Lewandowski, his campaign manager charged with battery against a female reporter. Why not just apologize to her in the first place, when security footage clearly shows he grabbed her?

“I’m a loyal person, number one,” Trump says. The reporter “lied” by saying she felt like she could have been thrown to the ground, he insists.

“At least it shows I’m loyal. Because the easiest thing for me to do would’ve been to destroy his life,” Trump continues. “The easiest thing would’ve been, ‘Corey, your’e fired.’ … The man has a wife and four beautiful children. He lives in New Hampshire.

He’s a good person, Trump says. “I don’t want to destroy him.”

Trump: abortion question 'hypothetical'

Donald Trump has sat down with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, where he’s questioned about abortion, nuclear weapons and his personal attacks on the wife of Ted Cruz.

The interview was taped Friday at Trump Tower in New York.

Trump. Photograph: AP

Are you blowing your campaign, Wallace asks.

“I don’t think so,” Trump answers. “Don’t forget, you’ve been asking me that question many a time.”

“All I can do is do what I do. I’m self-funding my campaign, I’m not one of these politicians totally controlled” by money, he says. Trump is not being honest here, really: he solicits donations on his website and is not unfriendly toward Pacs.

“Was this my best week, I guess not, I could’ve done without the retweet, etc, etc.”

How big a loss is it if you Wisconsin goes to Cruz?

“I’d like to win it. Is it a big setback? I’d like to win it. It would always be better to win.”

Did you make a mistake in your statement that women should face “punishment” for seeking abortions?

“That was a hypothetical question,” Trump says, before coming as close to an apology as possible. “As a hypothetical question I would have rather answered it in a different manner, yeah.”

Trump changed positions several times within a few hours last week on the question of abortion.


Hillary Clinton has said she’s “confident” her campaign will work out a debate with Bernie Sanders’, but her press secretary said yesterday that the senator’s campaign is “playing games” over the timing.

The acrimony, inevitably, finds expression on Twitter.

Clinton: Let's debate during the NCAA finals.
Sanders: No.
C: Middle of the night?
S: No.
C: 6am Sunday?
S: No.

— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) April 2, 2016

Priebus: Paul Ryan won't run

Priebus concedes that a lot of bile has risen up in the course of the Republican primary.

“Certainly people are afraid in this country, and they’re angry at a president who hasn’t delivered,” he says. “When people are afraid and when they’re angry, sometimes they say things that they regret.”

“I get that we’ve got some drama on our side of the aisle, I won’t shy away from that,” he says, and then he argues that things are somehow worse for Democrats at the moments.

“I think they’re on the verge of a fiasco in terms of their convention, and I don’t know what [FBI Director James] Comey will do with the FBI [investigation into Clinton’s email server] either.”

He says Clinton is losing to a socialist from Vermont, although Clinton is not losing and Bernie Sanders is not a socialist.

Then Tapper asks about the possibility of a “fresh face” Republican swooping in to be the consensus nominee at the party convention. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, for instance, was raised by the former speaker John Boehner.

Ryan. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

Priebus rejects the idea outright. “No, because number one he doesn’t want to do it. I know Paul very well, he doesn’t seek out these things.”

He says Ryan is a rarity in Washington DC: “His ego’s not even there and he’s not selfish and he doesn’t think like that.

“So. Here’s the thing: if anything like that were to happen which I think is highly, highly unlikely … That candidate would actually have to have a floor operation and an actual campaign going on with the delegates to make something like that even possible.

“Our candidate is someone who’s running.”


Republican party chairman Reince Priebus is next up on CNN, where host Jake Tapper asks him about the public’s incredibly unfavorable view of the frontrunner, Donald Trump.

“Our party is the party of the open door,” Priebus says. “There’ll be plenty of time to speak to the genearl public but right now we’re having a conversation in a pretty confiend space.”

Priebus. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

How does “the open door” make any sense with Trump’s promise to build a wall, Tapper asks.

“Immigration and secure borders is something every American should care about,” Priebus says, not really answering the question.

Tapper asks about Priebus’ past calls for a more civil and respectful tone. “Sure, candidates have to watch their mouth, they have to watch their tone, their tenor.”

“My obligation to work with the candidates when we get to the general election,” he adds. “No one really knows, obviously, who’s going to be the nominee, but it’s our job to be fair.”


Tapper then asks Sanders whether he’s “trying to have it both ways” by not criticizing Clinton personally but allowing his surrogates, including actor Rosario Dawson, to do so.

On Friday Dawson raised the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, and scolded Clinton for claiming that Sanders is insufficiently concerned for women’s rights. “Shame on you,” Dawson said.

Dawson. Photograph: Getty Images

Sanders defends her and maintains he does not criticize Clinton, directly or indirectly, except for her positions on the issues. “We have dozens of surrogates, and Rosario is doing a great job for us,” he says.

“She will say what she wants to say, that is not what I want to be focusing on and I hope my surrogates [will not].”

“What we have chosen to do is run an issue-oriented campaign,” he says.

Tapper then asks about a potential Democratic debate in New York, and a scheduling spat between the campaigns. “You know, who knows. if you look at some of those Democratic debates in the past,” he says, “they’re often scheduled on days when the viewer turnout would [not be high].”

“She has a rough schedule, I have a rough schedule,” he says. “I think we can work that out.”

Finally Tapper asks about whether Sanders will release a more comprehensive version of his tax returns. Sanders says his wife does them.

“We will get out as much information as we can. There ain’t going to be very much exciting in that. I get a salary from the United States Senate.”


Sanders defends fossil fuel claims

First up this morning is Bernie Sanders, who’s on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper. The host asks Sanders about his claim that Hillary Clinton has received millions from the fossil fuel industry.

“According to Greenpeace analysis,” Sanders says, Clinton has received a total of 4.5m from fossil fuel industry. He says that 43 lobbyists have made maximum contributions.

Sanders. Photograph: Getty

Clinton said earlier this week that she’s “sick of the Sanders campaign’s lies” about the contributions. “No, we were not lying, we were telling the truth,” Sanders says.

“The point here is climate change is one of the great crises facing our country,” he says.

Tapper points out that Clinton has received about $308,000 and Sanders has received about $54,000 from people who work for fossil fuel companies – both tiny fractions of their overall fundraising. Sanders says he’s talking about the broader total, including Super Pacs. The Greenpeace analysis lumps money from different sources together, including “bundlers”, people who fundraise from various sources. Lobbyists who are registered to work for fossil fuel companies are also often registered to work for other industries.

“Let the voters decide whether paid lobbyists represent the fossil fuel industry,” Sanders says, “whether or not these same people are out in some cases bundling, trying to bring in more money.”

He says the lobbyists are “people who are working day and night in defense of that industry.”

“I don’t think we have distorted reality,” he adds, conceding that the distinctions between workers, lobbyists and others is not clear. “And that has been a confusing point, workers yes, we get workers from every industry across the country.”

More than 97% of contributions from people linked to the oil and gas industry have gone to Republican candidates. You can read more untangling the sources and beneficiaries of fossil fuel money over at Politifact.


Good morning, and welcome to our live-wire coverage of another day in the presidential race. Alan will be here shortly, so for now for me it’s a question of what have we this morning? We have talk shows.

Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

For the next two hours, at least, Washington is talking on, and talking about, the five main talk shows – and so we shall watch and blog and fact-check as it does. And for your delight today, we have none other than Reince Priebus, chair of the Republican National Committee and thus the man charged with somehow saving the Grand Old Party from itself, doing “the full Ginsburg”.

What’s that, you ask? According to the resplendent and in no way overly snarky, it’s when:

…a PR hack or spokesperson making appearances on all five major Sunday morning talk shows in one day to push a pre-crafted talking-points message. It takes its name from William H Ginsburg, attorney for Monica Lewinsky, who was the first person to do so during the Clinton/Lewinsky sex scandal.

It’s a little harsh to call Priebus a PR hack but he is a spokesperson for the Republican establishment, which it is fair to say has been having conniptions, gibbering or otherwise, about the state of the race. Why?

  • Because Donald Trump is leading it. Today, he’s due to appear on Fox (10am ET) and CBS (10.30am ET.) Yesterday, he said he wouldn’t be that bothered if nuclear North Korea went to war with Japan or South Korea, and also said some more things, or indeed tellingly did not say some more things, about abortion. He met Republican leaders this week and may or may not have promised to play nice. Anyway, he leads the delegates race nationally but lags Ted Cruz in polls in Wisconsin, which votes on Tuesday.
  • Cruz, it turns out, isn’t down to appear on any shows today. Perhaps he’s still fighting Trump surrogate Ben Carson to influence Republican delegates in North Dakota.
  • On ABC at 10am ET, Republican Ohio governor John Kasich will once again try to explain why he’s not fighting a hopeless battle in distant third place.
  • For the Democrats, Bernie Sanders will speak to CNN (9am ET) and ABC, and Hillary Clinton, who doesn’t take as much time for the shows as most, will talk to NBC at 10.30am ET.
  • Oh, and Senator Ron Johnson is popping up on NBC too – presumably to repeat his reasons why the Republicans won’t give Merrick Garland a supreme court hearing.

And so there you have it. Lots to talk about, and watch, and discuss.

And while we wait for it to begin, as some sort of primer for what we’re about to see, here’s Ben Jacobs’ fascinating take on what’s going on in Priebus’s party:


Alan Yuhas

The GuardianTramp

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20, Mar, 2016 @5:58 PM

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Donald Trump sued over campaign violence – as it happened
Follow along for the latest news from the trail, as Trump does damage control with GOP leadership and Clinton and Sanders spar ahead of critical primaries

Scott Bixby (now) and Alan Yuhas (earlier)

01, Apr, 2016 @10:51 PM

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Trump train stops in New York as Bernie attracts 6,000 in Albany – as it happened
Bernie Sanders and John Kasich make pitches upstate ahead of New York primary – and Ted Cruz sets sights on California

Amber Jamieson in Albany (now) and Tom McCarthy in New York (earlier)

12, Apr, 2016 @2:54 AM

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Hillary Clinton: 'I'm sick of the Sanders campaign's lies' – as it happened
Trump is in Washington DC to meet with Republican party leaders, while a crowd of Bernie Sanders supporters came to a Clinton rally in New York

Scott Bixby (now) and Alan Yuhas (earlier)

01, Apr, 2016 @2:25 AM

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Trump wins in South Carolina as Clinton tops Sanders in Nevada – as it happened
Round three of the 2016 election begins with Clinton beating Sanders in Nevada while Republicans try to overtake Trump in South Carolina

Scott Bixby in Columbia, South Carolina, Nicky Woolf in Las Vegas, and Alan Yuhas in New York

21, Feb, 2016 @3:48 AM

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Trump and Clinton net big wins but Sanders and Cruz also see gains – as it happened
Clinton takes Louisiana after Sanders wins Nebraska and Kansas while Cruz wins Kansas and Maine and Trump takes Louisiana and Kentucky

Nicky Woolf

06, Mar, 2016 @4:32 AM

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Trump denies role in Cruz tabloid story, blames rival – as it happened
‘He’s the one who started it,’ Republican frontrunner says of rival while claiming senator ‘knew all about’ Super Pac ad on his wife

Alan Yuhas

27, Mar, 2016 @4:55 PM