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On The Trail

2016 Election

Rick Santorum Endorses Trump, '100 Percent'

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Tuesday night threw his support behind his party's presumptive nominee.

The Literal Clown Show at Trump's Rally

"Clowns For Trump" join protesters outside the candidate's Albuquerque rally. Follow NBC News' Jacob Rascon for more on the ground @Jacobnbc.

Jeb! Has a New (Old) Job

Jeb Bush will go back to chairing the Foundation for Excellence in Education, a foundation he founded. The former Republican presidential candidate will replace Condoleezza Rice, who took on the role of chairman in January 2015 when Bush first left to campaign for president.

"One of the greatest challenges and opportunities we have in America today is to create a 21st century education system that ensures all students have the skills, teachers and educational options they need to succeed in life," Jeb Bush said.

Trump's California Fundraiser Win

NBC News' Hallie Jackson reports that tomorrow's Donald Trump fundraiser in California is set to bring in 5 million dollars which is twice what the campaign was aiming for.

Originally aiming to bring in $2-2.5 million, Jackson reports the event will bring in double that -- more than $5 million.

While acknowledging "this is just the beginning," a high-level source close to the Trump campaign argues it's still a solid haul for the newly-formed Trump Victory committee, which began operations less than a week ago.

Sanders: If We Win, Trump is 'Toast'

Bernie Sanders at the end of his rally in Anaheim, California implied that he could win the Democratic nomination. "And if we win big in California, we're going to go marching into the Democratic Convention with a lot of momentum," Sanders said, adding, "And if we go marching into the Democratic convention with a lot of momentum, we're going to march out with the Democratic Nomination. And if we march out with the Democratic nomination, Donald Trump is toast."

Andrew Rafferty

RNC Announces Trump Victory Team

Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee took a major step in strengthening their partnership on Tuesday by announcing the formation of a "victory committee."

The committee, chaired by RNC head Reince Priebus, will both work to help the presumptive Republican presidential nominee win the general election and promote other Republicans running in 2016.

"We are proud to have put together an experienced and motivated leadership team which is going to raise the support our nominee will need to win the White House," Priebus said in a statement.

"The money raised is an investment in the Republican Party and the future of our country, which, as president, I am going to make better and stronger than ever before," Trump added.

Carrie Dann

Trump in 1998: Paula Jones Is a 'Loser'

During his presidential run, Donald Trump has frequently invoked Bill Clinton's sexual indiscretions, but the real estate mogul gave a different take on the president's scandals back in 1998.

In an interview with Chris Matthews in August of that year, Trump called Clinton accuser Paula Jones a "loser" and said that the president should have invoked the Fifth Amendment to avoid comment on the matter.

"I would have done something certainly different than what they did. I mean, that all started it. Paula Jones is a loser, but the fact is that she may be responsible for bringing down a president indirectly," Trump said.

"It's a terrible thing for a president to take the Fifth Amendment," he added. "But he probably should have done it. I don't think he could have done any worse than what's happened."

Political Rewind

Here's some more 1990s rehash: Kenneth Starr -- the former independent counsel whose pursuit of Bill Clinton in the '90s ultimately led to the former president's impeachment -- is now PRAISING Bill Clinton and saying he regrets that his legacy is tarnished by the "unpleasantness" of that era. The New York Times reports he made these remarks in a panel in Philadelphia at that National Constitution Center last week.

Trump Goes for the Jugular With Clinton Conspiracy Theories

Donald Trump has a well-chronicled history of repeating conspiracy theories, especially when they cast his rivals in a suspicious light.

But the latest is regarding the Clintons. Trump posted an provocative Instagram video Monday mashing together rape allegations against Bill Clinton. The former president was never charged and denied the allegations when they were first made in the 1990s. Trump then tweeted: "Is Hillary really protecting women?" with a link to the video.

AND, in an interview with the Washington Post, Trump floated that there was something "very fishy" about the death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster, linking the suicide to the Clintons.

Related: Trump is obsessed with race-baiting conspiracy theories

Sanders on That 'Messy' Convention

"The media often takes words out of context," Sanders said in an interview with NBC News. "The context was that Democracy was messy -- that people will have vigorous debate on the issues."

Sanders came under fire after chaos erupted at the Nevada Democratic State convention earlier this month. Sanders supporters threw chairs, started fights, booed officials, and vandalized Hillary Clinton headquarters there.

Asked if the DNC convention will be messy, Sanders replied, "Of course it will be."

Democratic divide hurting Clinton?

"These decisions are up to [Bernie Sanders], but the sooner we unify, the better it will be for Democrats because we have to stop Donald Trump..." Clinton's chief strategist Joel Benenson said on MTP Daily Monday. "This is a guy who has no interest in helping anybody in America except himself and promoting himself. That's a danger to people's economic lives." See the interview here.

Monica Alba

Clinton Won't Debate Sanders in California

She's got bigger fish to fry.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has "declined" an invitation from Fox News to participate in a debate with rival Bernie Sanders in California before that state's June 7 primary.

"We have declined Fox News' invitation to participate in a debate in California," Campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement to NBC News Monday evening. "As we have said previously, we plan to compete hard in the remaining primary states, particularly California, while turning our attention to the threat a Donald Trump presidency poses."

She added, "We believe that Hillary Clinton's time is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands."

Earlier Monday, speaking after a rally in Los Angeles, Sanders said he hoped "that Secretary Clinton will keep her word in terms of engaging in a debate here in California."

Sanders later put out statement saying he was "disappointed but not surprised."

"I am disappointed but not surprised by Secretary Clinton's unwillingness to debate before the largest and most important primary in the presidential nominating process." Sanders said. "I also would suggest that Secretary Clinton may want to be not quite so presumptuous about thinking that she is a certain winner. In the last several weeks, the people of Indiana, West Virginia and Oregon have suggested otherwise."

Fox News later put out a statement saying they were just "disappointed."

"Naturally, Fox News is disappointed that Secretary Clinton has declined our debate invitation, especially given that the race is still contested and she had previously agreed to a final debate before the California primary," said Bill Sammon, Fox News VP and Washington managing editor.

Trump Leaves Wiggle Room on Transgender Bathrooms

Donald Trump said states should make their own guidelines for the bathroom use of transgender students but added "we have to protect everybody" in an interview on Fox News Monday.

Trump told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly in a taped interview that he is "not fine" with an Obama administration directive to allow transgender students to in public schools to use bathrooms that match their gender identities. But in the same answer, the presumptive GOP nominee seemed to leave himself wiggle room on the issue.

"Obama is getting into very tricky territory," Trump said. "The amazing thing is so many people are talking about this now and we have to protect everybody, even if it's one person. This is such a tiny part of our population. With that being said, protect everybody, but I would really leave it up to the states in this case."

Andrew Rafferty

Clinton Calls Trump a 'Bully' Who Threatens Economy

Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump "a bully" and warned he could "bankrupt America like he's bankrupted his companies" in a speech Monday to Service Employees International Union members.

"We need a president who will use the bully pulpit to stand up for working families," Clinton said in the speech in Detroit. "But the last thing we need is a bully in the pulpit."

The influential SEIU endorsed Clinton last year and has campaigned for her throughout the primaries. She told the nearly 3,000 members gathered Monday that Trump threatens to shrink wages and does not care about working families.

"He could bankrupt America like he's bankrupted his companies," Clinton said. "I mean ask yourself: How can anybody lose money running a casino? Really."

What Went Down at Trump-Corker Meeting

Check Out That Bern Rate

The official fundraising numbers are out for April.

CLINTON

  • Raised: $26.4 million
  • Spent: $26.3 million
  • Burn rate: 99%
  • Cash on hand: $30.2 million

SANDERS

  • Raised $26.9 million
  • Spent: $38.6 million
  • Burn rate: 143%
  • Cash on hand: $5.8 million

TRUMP

  • Raised: $9.7 million
  • Spent: $9.4 million
  • Burn rate: 97%
  • Cash on Hand: $2.4 million
Hallie Jackson

That Trump-Corker Meeting Is Happening Today

Tennessee Republican Senator and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker, will have a personal meeting with Donald Trump in New York today. What's on the agenda: foreign policy, according to a senior aide. (Note that Corker came out against Trump's temporary proposed Muslim ban.)

But, Trump being Trump, any topic is on the table.

Corker's name has been bandied about as possible VP pick, though aides indicate that's rather unlikely. Are veepstakes the reason why Corker's visiting Trump today? "Absolutely not," the source said.

Mark Cuban Open to Being VP

NBA owner and billionaire investor Mark Cuban said he's open to a conversation about running for vice president in 2016 with either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. But Cuban, who describes himself as "fiercely independent," does have a few caveats.

Hillary Clinton Questions Trump's 'Level of Success'

On NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, Clinton said, "There's no evidence [Donald Trump] has any ideas about making America great, as he advertises. He seems to be particularly focused on making himself appear great. And as we go through this campaign, we're going to be demonstrating the hollowness of his rhetoric." Read more here.

Mark Murray

Clinton's Lead Over Trump Shrinks

Hillary Clinton's advantage over Donald Trump has narrowed to just 3 points — resulting in a dead-heat general-election contest with more than five months to go until November, according to a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Read more here.

Top videos

Trump's $1 million lie

 

Donald Trump's campaign said he had fulfilled his promise to give $1 million to veterans charities. Trump just admitted otherwise.

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