Donald Trump’s presidential campaign released a letter late yesterday that claims the GOP frontrunner’s taxes since 2009 are being audited by the Internal Revenue Service. “Your personal tax returns have been under continuous examination by the Internal Revenue Service since 2002, consistent with the IRS’s practice for large and complex businesses,” reads the letter from the reality-TV star’s tax lawyers. Trump has come under pressure in recent months to release his tax returns, especially after former GOP nominee Mitt Romney suggested The Donald is hiding a “bombshell.” The candidate, however, claimed he cannot release them during an audit—even though the IRS said he does not need to wait.
Asked for comment early yesterday on Donald Trump’s threat to sue over the allocation of Louisiana presidential primary delegates, Ted Cruz responded: “Who cares?” The Republican frontrunner tweeted Sunday that the GOP primary is “unfair” because “I won the state of Louisiana and get less delegates than Cruz,” adding an ominous threat, “Lawsuit coming.” Cruz’s dismissive response preceded a rant about “Who cares what Donald is tweeting late at night? We need real solutions.”
Trump is increasing his outward attacks on Cruz in recent weeks, and many Republicans are seeing Cruz as perhaps the best option to derail the current front leader for various reasons.
One day after defending the screening of Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe at the Tribeca Film Festival, Robert De Niro announced that the controversial anti-vaccine movie, directed by Andrew Wakefield, has been removed from the schedule. “My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family,” De Niro said in a statement. “But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for.” The choice to remove the film has sparked renewed interest in the anti-vaccine movement and whether ideas should be censored when they run counter to available scientific evidence.
Donald Trump threatened to “spill the beans” on Ted Cruz’s wife in a tweet he quickly deleted and reposted Tuesday. Trump was apparently referring to Facebook ads from an anti-Trump super PAC mocking Melania Trump’s nude appearance in a GQ magazine spread years ago. “Lyin’ Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!” he wrote. And so it was revealed that the GOP frontrunner deleted the original tweet not because of shame, but because he wanted to add “Lyin’ Ted” to the threatening message. Less than an hour later, Sen. Cruz responded: “Pic of your wife not from us. Donald, if you try to attack Heidi, you’re more of a coward than I thought. #classless.” Trump continued his verbal assault on his top rival’s wife late last night with a crude retweet negatively comparing her looks to that of his ex-model wife Melania. Fulfilling his unassailable classiness, however, Trump then manually retweeted a supporter’s message showing side-by-side images of Heidi and Melania, with the caption, “No need to ‘spill the beans,’ the images are worth a thousand words.” Cruz responded shortly thereafter: “Donald, real men don’t attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life.”
Coordinated terrorist attacks in Brussels early this morning killed at least 26 people, according to Belgian authorities. A suicide bomber blew himself up at the departure hall at Brussels Airport, killing at least 11 people and injuring scores more. An hour later, at least one explosion rocked the Maalbeek Metro station, killing 15 people near the headquarters of the European Union. The EU’s capital is virtually locked down in the wake of the attacks and the subsequent manhunt for other potential perpetrators. The attacks occurred four days after the capture of the remaining Paris attack suspect, Salah Abdeslam, in a Brussels suburb. The terrorist cell that attacked Paris in November was believed to have been based in Brussels.
The New York Police Department is investigating a suspicious piece of mail containing white power that was sent earlier today to Donald Trump’s son. The letter was sent to Eric Trump’s apartment at Trump Parc East, a luxury building located on Central Park South, ABC News reports, citing a Trump organization source. The NYPD confirmed to ABC News it responded to call at the building, but declined to identify Trump’s 32-year-old son as the recipient of the suspicious mail. The letter is being examined and no one was hurt, the NYPD said. CBS News reports the Secret Service and FBI are also investigating the incident. Citing a source close to the investigation, CBS News reports the letter allegedly threatened to harm Trump’s children if he doesn’t withdraw from the presidential race.
Donald Trump winning the presidency is considered one of the top 10 risks facing the world this year, the Economist Intelligence Unit said in a global risk assessment. The economic and geopolitical research firm warned the Republican frontrunner could disrupt the global economy, raise political and security risks, and give terrorist recruiters a boost. A Trump presidency is considered riskier than Britain leaving the European Union or an armed confrontation in the South China Sea, according to the EIU. The ranking uses a scale of one to 25, with Trump rating at 12—the same risk level for “the rising threat of jihadi terrorism destabilizing the global economy.” The report warned Trump’s hostility and strong language toward Mexico and China “could escalate rapidly into a trade war.”
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump secured his lead tonight with victories in the Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina primaries. Trump won Florida with 46 percent of the vote—nearly 20 points ahead of the Florida senator. Following the devastating loss, Rubio announced his departure from the presidential race. Trump took Illinois with 39 percent of the vote, besting Ted Cruz by nearly 10 percentage points. Illinois and Florida are winner-takes-all states; North Carolina carves up its delegates proportionally. Trump remained locked in a virtual tie with Cruz in Missouri, where the GOP presidential primary was too close to call at this time.
Mitt Romney is planning to campaign with Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich early next week in Ohio before the state’s crucial primary. The 2012 Republican presidential nominee is not expected to endorse the Ohio governor, however. Romney has urged Ohio voters to vote for Kasich in an effort to stop Donald Trump from securing the necessary delegates to claim the party’s nomination outright. Romney has also urged Florida voters, who are also voting in Tuesday’s primary, to do the same for Senator Marco Rubio.
Hillary Clinton gave a defiant answer during Wednesday night’s debate when moderator Jorge Ramos asked if she would leave the presidential race if indicted as a result of the investigation into her private email server. “Oh for goodness,” Clinton said getting frustrated. “It’s not going to happen. I’m not going to answer that question.”
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won the big prize state of Michigan tonight, dealing a blow to Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton. The AP projected Sanders won 50 percent of the vote, compared with Clinton’s 48 percent. Earlier in the evening, Clinton easily won in Mississippi, continuing to demonstrate near unanimous approval among black voters in the South. Republican front runner Donald Trump secured primary wins in Mississippi, Michigan, and Hawaii, expanding his lead over Senator Ted Cruz in the race for the GOP nomination. Cruz nabbed the primary in Idaho, adding a seventh state win to his total in the presidential race.
The loss in Michigan for Clinton is most troubling because it was a state she had polled well in leading up to the vote and reflects concerns about her ability to carry some key battleground states in the general election.
CNN's Dylan Byers reports that according to rival campaign sources, Donald Trump broke debate rules at Fox News' Republican debate on Thursday night by consulting with his campaign manager during the first commercial break. Sources told Byers that Fox News had established rules that candidates were not allowed to contact their campaigns during the debate, but Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski flagrantly broke this rule by going up on stage to meet with Trump. Eventually, Fox had to allow all candidates to be visited by staffers to assure fairness within the debate.
The White House is reportedly in the process of vetting Jane L. Kelley as a possible nominee to fill the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's vacant seat. Kelley currently serves as a federal appellate judge, and was unanimous confirmed by the Senate just three years ago. Her nomination would make a difficult situation for Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican head of the judiciary committee, because he had heavily praised Kelly upon her confirmation: “I congratulate Ms. Kelly on her accomplishments and wish her well in her duties,” Grassley said in 2013 of his fellow Iowan. “I am pleased to support her confirmation and urge my colleagues to join me.” Grassley and other Republican legislative leaders have insisted they will not hold confirmation hearings on a SCOTUS nominee before the election.
Donald Trump won the Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas, and Vermont Republican primaries, sweeping the polls on Super Tuesday. Heading into the big voting day, Trump held a substantial lead over his rivals in key Southern states as well as Massachusetts. In Vermont, second-place John Kasich came within several thousand votes of beating Trump. During a lengthy press conference from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump said, “I feel awfully good,” before congratulating Ted Cruz on his Texas and Oklahoma victories, and proceeding to bash “loser” Marco Rubio. He added: “Once we get all of this finished, I am going to go after one person, and that’s Hillary Clinton.”