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Donald Trump rejects claims he is too ‘immature’ to be president

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Donald Trump has hit back at claims that he needs to become “more mature” to win the Republican nomination as he patched up his feud with Fox News in an interview defending his controversial campaign style.

Speaking to network presenter Bill O’Reilly, the Republican frontrunner pushed back at criticisms that he needed to be “kinder and more mature” and did not behave in a sufficiently presidential manner.

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Trump replied: “I think the word mature is not appropriate.”

O’Reilly, who took pains to ask Trump whether each question he asked was fair, singled out the real estate mogul’s description of Republican rival Marco Rubio as “a clown” at conference of social conservatives on Friday.

Trump said that he was “a counterpuncher” and insisted “I was getting along with him and then he attacks me about nothing”.

The GOP frontrunner then bashed Rubio for missing votes on Capitol Hill and being “weak on immigration”.

But Trump did concede that he understood why using the word clown had been controversial before saying that Rubio had “hit me very viciously”.

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During the interview in New York, Trump also weighed in on foreign policy and said he was relaxed about Russian armed forces being deployed in Syria to aid the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The Republican frontrunner cited the cost to the United States of the Iraq war before adding: “Putin is now taking over what we started … there’s very little downside of Putin fighting Isis”.

The billionaire took questions about his tax plan , unveiled Monday, which dramatically cuts taxes on many of the richest Americans.

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Trump brushed off concerns about whether his plan, which cuts taxes by an estimated $12 trillion over a ten-year period, would be revenue neutral.

He expressed his confidence that he could avoid increasing the national debt by reducing the size of government. “I am a cost cutter, I know how to cut costs,” said Trump. He said there was tremendous waste and abuse in government that he could find and cited the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency as two government agencies where he could slash spending dramatically.

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Trump fell out with Fox News after what he considered unfair treatment by moderator Megyn Kelly during the first presidential debate in August.

After Trump accused Kelly of having “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” during her questioning of him, a comment widely construed as referring to menstruation, he was blackballed from a conservative event and engaged in a brief boycott of Fox.

Roger Ailes, the chief executive of Fox News, initially released a statement backing Kelly. Ailes assured Trump he would be “treated fairly” and the GOP frontrunner returned to making appearances on Fox News.

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Trump resumed the feud last week, tweeting “@FoxNews has been treating me very unfairly & I have therefore decided that I won’t be doing any more Fox shows for the foreseeable future”.

The billionaire seemed to draw particular ire when a conservative pundit said that former Hewlett Packard boss Carly Fiorina “cut [Trump’s] balls off” during the second Republican presidential debate. However, this boycott ended after a mere six days on Tuesday when Trump appeared on O’Reilly’s show.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015


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Trump’s next 100 days will dictate whether he can be re-elected or not — here’s why

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According to CNN pollster-in-residence Harry Enten, Donald Trump's next 100 days -- which could include an impeachment trial in the Senate -- will hold the key to whether he will remain president in 2020.

As Eten explains in a column for CNN, "His [Trump's] approval rating has been consistently low during his first term. Yet his supporters could always point out that approval ratings before an election year have not historically been correlated with reelection success. But by mid-March of an election year, approval ratings, though, become more predictive. Presidents with low approval ratings in mid-March of an election year tend to lose, while those with strong approval ratings tend to win in blowouts and those with middling approval ratings usually win by small margins."

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After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare

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With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California

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As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.

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