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Jeb Bush: I’d still support Trump over Clinton because ‘anybody is better than Hillary’

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Jeb Bush would support Donald Trump if the real-estate billionaire were to win the Republican presidential nomination, “because anybody is better than Hillary Clinton”.

Related: What will it take to stop Donald Trump?

The former Florida governor thinks that outcome unlikely, however, because the more voters hear of Trump, particularly on foreign policy, “the less likely he’s going to get the Republican nomination”.

Bush, who trails Trump by some distance in polls regarding the sizeable Republican field, was speaking to CBS in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday morning, excerpts of which were published by Politico. Though Trump’s lead fell by 12 points in one recent poll , he has surfed a number of controversies over comments made on the campaign trail to maintain a healthy advantage.

Before his run-in with the New York Times this week, over his appearing to mimic a reporter’s disability during a campaign speech, Trump caused uproar when he appeared to agree with a suggestion that all Muslims in the US should be registered and mosques closed.

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He has also repeatedly insisted that Muslims in New Jersey were seen to celebrate the 9/11 attacks – a claim refuted by Jersey residents , fact checkers, the New York Times reporter and police.

On Saturday, at a rally in Sarasota , Florida, he widened his approach to the subject, saying: “Worldwide, the Muslims were absolutely going wild.”

“Look, I just think he’s uninformed,” Bush told CBS. “He knows what he’s saying. He’s smart. He’s playing you guys like a fiddle – the press – by saying outrageous things and garnering attention. That’s his strategy, is to dominate the news.”

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The entire Republican field has grappled with the issue of security and the correct attitude to refugees from the Syrian civil war, particularly in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris this month that killed 130 and injured hundreds more and were claimed by Islamic State militants.

Their responses have prompted extensive criticism for alleged Islamophobia. This weekend Ben Carson, who compared Syrian refugees to “rabid dogs”, was in Jordan visiting a refugee camp. In a statement from his campaign, he said the US should not take in any of the people he met .

Related: Ben Carson meets Syrian refugees in Jordan but says none should come to US

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Bush, like Texas senator Ted Cruz and Florida senator Marco Rubio, has called for Christian refugees to be given priority concerning entry to the US, a position which President Obama called “shameful” .

“We do not have religious tests for our compassion,” the president said.

Speaking to CBS, Bush said of Trump: “The simple fact is that he’s been wrong on Syria and on the refugees pretty consistently. And no one’s holding him to account.”

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Asked if he would support Trump for the presidency if he won the primary contest which begins in Iowa on 1 February, Bush said: “Look, I’ve said … because anybody is better than Hillary Clinton. Let me just be clear about that.

“But I have great doubts about Donald Trump’s ability to be commander-in-chief … I’ll let the voters decide about Donald Trump. I’m pretty confident that the more they hear of him, the less likely he’s going to get the Republican nomination.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2015


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Elections 2016

Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls

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When Robert Mueller completed his long-awaited investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he left many questions unanswered.

But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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Elections 2016

Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans

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The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.

In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.

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Elections 2016

Conservative Ben Shapiro tweeted something many found offensive — so now he’s calling his critics ‘garbage’

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Right wing "thought leader" Ben Shapiro appeared today to say not using the "N" word is nearly impossible as he defended conservative, pro-gun teen Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland survivors who just had his acceptance to Harvard rescinded over his racist remarks, which included repeated use of the "N" word.

To be clear, Shapiro denies that's what he meant.

Here is Shapiro on Twitter, in what many took as him appearing to call not using the "N" word – in Kashuv's case, repeatedly, over and over and over again, "an insane, cruel standard no one can possibly meet."

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