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‘I’m running for president in 2016’: Jeb Bush caught announcing campaign early

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Republican Jeb Bush appears to have unintentionally announced his candidacy for president in 2016 in a conversation with reporters on Wednesday that was caught on video.

Speaking in Nevada, the former Florida governor seemed to acknowledge he was a candidate but right afterward indicated he had not made up his mind.

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“I’m running for president in 2016, and the focus is going to be about how we, if I run, how do you create high sustained economic growth,” Jeb Bush said.

He also made clear earlier in his exchange with reporters that he was not yet a candidate. “No, no I’m not an official candidate. I’ve been traveling the country for the last three months and making up my mind, trying to determine the support I may have should I go forward,” he said.

A transcript of the exchange was provided by a Bush aide.

Bush announced in December that he would “actively explore” a run for the White House, but he has yet to formally declare he is running.

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The difference between considering a run and actually jumping into the race affects what he can and cannot do under the law with regard to fundraising. Once candidates formally enter the presidential race they face tighter restrictions on raising money.

Bush has appeared at fundraisers across the country for Right to Rise, a political action committee that was created by Bush’s legal team. If he were to declare he is running, he could still appear at the group’s functions but would be prohibited from coordinating with it over messaging.

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Larry Noble, senior counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, said his group has complained to federal election officials that Bush is running and should already be following rules for candidates’ fundraising.

“He’s going to say it was a slip of the tongue, but that’s absolute nonsense at this point,” Noble said.

Bush was responding on Wednesday to a question about what he would have done differently than his brother, former President George W. Bush. Jeb Bush has taken heat from some Republicans and Democrats this week over comments he made in a Fox News interview about his brother’s decision to go to war in Iraq.

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Bush said in the interview, which aired on Monday, that given the intelligence available at the time, he too would have authorized the invasion. On Tuesday, he said he misinterpreted the question and that the invasion was based on bad intelligence about weapons of mass destruction.

Other Republicans who are weighing presidential runs offered different takes.

Ohio Governor John Kasich told The Columbus Dispatch that, knowing the intelligence was wrong, he “wouldn’t have seen it as vital to national interests” to launch the invasion.

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(Reporting by By Emily Stephenson and Emily Flitter; Additional reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Diane Craft)

Watch footage of Bush’s remarks, as posted online on Wednesday, below.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump Twitter-rages at ‘evil propaganda machine’ New York Times

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President Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning by going on a multi-tweet rant about the New York Times where he blamed them for his poor poll numbers and called them "an evil propaganda machine.'

Trump began with, "The Failing New York Times, in one of the most devastating portrayals of bad journalism in history, got caught by a leaker that they are shifting from their Phony Russian Collusion Narrative (the Mueller Report & his testimony were a total disaster), to a Racism Witch Hunt....., " before adding, "'Journalism' has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke...But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM."

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Trump suggests hitting France with 100 percent tariff on wine over dispute with Macron

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According to a report from Bloomberg, President Donald Trump publicly suggested that he would consider a 100 percent tariff on wines coming from France.

The report states that the president recently made the suggestion as part of his trade war that has crippled American manufacturers and farmers while at the same time hitting American consumers' wallets.

Trump's comments came during a recent Long Island fundraiser and were tied to his unhappiness with President Emmanuel Macron and his tax on multinational technology companies.

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Gun found in FedEx package sent from US to China

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Chinese authorities have found at least one firearm in a FedEx package sent from the US, local police said Sunday, in the latest incident to befall the logistics firm in China.

Police in Fuzhou, eastern Fujian province, said "in recent days" they had received a tip about a package sent to a Fujian-based sporting goods company.

The parcel was sent by a US client and contained at least one firearm, said Jin'an district police through their official Twitter-like Weibo account.

The firearm has been seized and officers are investigating, they added, without specifying the number of weapons in the package.

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