Jan 26, 2017

A sneak peek at Roger Stone's new book on Trump

Roger Stone met President Trump in 1979, when they were introduced by Roy Cohn, one-time counsel to Joseph McCarthy. Stone was a top adviser to Trump in the early months of this presidential campaign, then departed amid personality conflicts in August, 2015, with each side claiming to have fired the other.

Stone stayed in touch with Trump, and has kept notes on the advice he quietly gave Trump Tower throughout the campaign (some solicited, some not). His campaign memoir will be out Jan. 31: "The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution" — the title cheekily echoing the Teddy White classics. A copy of the book was "leaked" to Axios. Among the memorable passages:

  • "He looked me squarely in the eyes and, with a hint of a smile, said: 'Roger, I want to take the next step. I want to see if Donald Trump can win the White House. Is this country ready for President Trump? The one thing I do know is that I'm better than any of those assholes who are running.'"
  • "Drudge led the charge, posting a top center headline and photograph on June 16, 2015, the day Trump declared his candidacy, proclaiming 'Donald Goes for White House.'"
  • "On the Friday before Easter [2016], Trump called me at my south Florida home. 'Can they really steal this thing from me?' ... What should I do?' 'Call my former partner, Paul Manafort.' ... Trump asked for Manafort's cell phone number and I provided it."
  • "[I]n the final phase, Trump found Steve Bannon had genius ability to get his messages packed into the powerful mantras the thousands attending rallies planned on chanting, while Kellyanne Conway displayed equal acumen in keeping Trump's temperament level through the long airplane rides."

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The novel coronavirus has spread from China to infect people in more than 40 countries and territories around the world, killing over 2,700 people.

The big picture: Most of the 80,000 COVID-19 infections have occurred in mainland China. But cases are starting to surge elsewhere. By Wednesday morning, the worst affected countries outside China were South Korea (1,146), where a U.S. soldier tested positive to the virus, Italy (332), Japan (170), Iran (95) and Singapore (91). Just Tuesday, new cases were confirmed in Switzerland, Croatia and Algeria.

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

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4 takeaways from the South Carolina debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, makes a point during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders listens. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.