Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants: The new list is here

Fox News slams Donald Trump as 'crude and sexist'

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton strengthen their leads in delegates in Tuesday night's primaries.

  • Donald Trump and Fox News continue to tussle
  • Mitt Romney will be voting for Ted Cruz in Utah's caucuses
  • Bernie Sanders says if he wins the presidency, he'd ask President Obama to withdraw his Supreme Court pick
  • For John Kasich, religion is a focus while campaigning in Utah
  • Andrew Breitbart predicted Donald Trump's threat to Republicans, but not to his media empire
  • Hillary Clinton wins the Missouri primary
  • Republicans in the anybody-but-Trump camp can cross Paul Ryan off their wish list

Are you sure he's a Mormon? Are we sure?

Donald Trump joking about Mitt Romney in remarks to supporters at a rally Friday night in Salt Lake City

Fox News slams Donald Trump for 'crude and sexist verbal assaults' on Megyn Kelly

After days of Donald Trump calling Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly “crazy” on Twitter, the network struck back Friday in a statement saying that his “sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate.”

Fox released the statement shortly after the Republican presidential front-runner urged his 7 million Twitter followers to boycott Kelly’s show. “She is sick, & the most overrated person on tv,” Trump wrote.

Fox called Kelly a phenomenal journalist who would maintain the network’s support through "Trump’s endless barrage of crude and sexist verbal assaults.”

“As the mother of three young children, with a successful law career and the second highest rated show in cable news, it’s especially deplorable for her to be repeatedly abused just for doing her job,” the Fox statement said.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks put out a statement saying Kelly “constantly disparages Mr. Trump with negative and inaccurate reports.”

“Despite the fact he wants nothing to do with her and will not appear on her show due to her extremely biased reporting, much of the program is about him anyway on a nightly basis,” Hicks said.

Fox News “begged Mr. Trump to do a prime-time special” with Kelly, Hicks said, and he declined.

The feud started at the first Republican presidential debate in August, when Kelly asked Trump about his history of calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.” She questioned whether that sounded like the temperament of a president and asked how he would respond to charges he was part of “the war on women.”

The next day, Trump said she had “blood coming out of her wherever,” a remark many found sexist. Trump’s insults against Kelly escalated until Fox News infuriated him with a sarcastic statement saying he had a “secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers.”

Trump reacted by refusing to participate in a Fox News debate just before the Iowa caucuses. The conflict eventually subsided. Trump and Kelly had civil interactions in a debate in Detroit in early March. But since then, Trump has repeatedly ridiculed her on Twitter.

Video: Donald Trump speaks in Salt Lake City

Snapshot from the trail -- Bernie Sanders in Utah

I campaigned with Mitt, I like Mitt, and ... it's a place where we disagree.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaking on MSNBC about Mitt Romney's endorsement of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Mitt Romney backs Ted Cruz to block Donald Trump

Mitt Romney is backing Ted Cruz as the Republican Party tries to establish a last line of defense against Donald Trump's ascent to the party's presidential nomination.

Romney, the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee, said the only way the party can stop Trump is by helping Cruz amass enough delegates to force a showdown at the party convention in July.

He urged fellow Utah Republicans to start by voting Tuesday for Cruz.

"Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism," Romney wrote on Facebook. "Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence. I am repulsed by each and every one of these."

Romney became one of the highest-ranking Republicans to speak out against Trump, as many others in the GOP have been unwilling to do so. 

But it had little effect. And conservatives, including tea party supporters, are split between Trump and Cruz.

Romney's move to Cruz wasn't as much a ringing endorsement as a break-glass effort.

He said that as much as he likes John Kasich, a vote for the Ohio governor "makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail."

"I will vote for Senator Cruz and I encourage others to do so as well, so that we can have an open convention and nominate a Republican," he said.

Team Kasich was not pleased.

 John Weaver, chief strategist for Kasich for America, said, "The establishment has gotten it wrong this entire primary, and it is unfortunate to see that Mitt Romney is getting bad political advice.

"Kasich is best positioned to stop Donald Trump in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Pacific coast states," Weaver said. "This is just the old establishment trying again to game the political system, but John Kasich's defeated the Republican establishment his entire career."

For John Kasich, religion is a focal point in Utah

 (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)
(Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

In New Hampshire, he touted his moderate political views. In Michigan, it was his Rust Belt roots, and in Ohio, Gov. John Kasich showcased job growth in a state he's overseen since 2011.

Kasich had strong showings in nominating contests in each of those states  -- he won Ohio this week -- and now days after beating front-runner Donald Trump, he has his sights on Utah, which holds its Republican caucuses on Tuesday.

His theme: religion. 

"I know that the people of this state believe in the fact that the Lord has made every single person special, no one has been made like you, no one will ever be like you again," he said Friday during a town hall at Utah Valley University, where many of the students are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In Utah, Mormons make up nearly 55% of the population and dominate GOP caucuses. Kasich has had the support of a key figure: Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, who is Mormon and resides in Utah. (Romney did formally endorse Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday.) Trump and Cruz are also scheduled to make appearances in Utah this weekend. 

At Kasich's town hall, which was his first of three scheduled in Utah on Friday, Kasich stressed -- as he has repeatedly on the campaign trail --  that he will remain positive in his quest for the GOP nomination, noting that he's the best candidate to challenge likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton this fall. 

But for Kasich, his faith in God was a key element to his visit with students. 

"We have certain gifts and those gifts are supposed to be used. ... Many of you will go on missions," he told the students. "The fact of the matter is, by finding your gifts and going out and healing the world as part of a community that can make a difference, that's how you find satisfaction in life."

Hillary Clinton marks million-donor milestone

The Sanders campaign chimed in with a reminder of its own strength among grass-roots donors:

Secret Service investigating the posting of Donald Trump's personal information on the Internet

 (Chuck Burton / Associated Press)
(Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating after the hacking group Anonymous made public some personal information of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. 

In a YouTube video titled #OpWhiteRose posted late Thursday, the hacking group provided links to pages with information that included Trump's Social Security number and contact information of his agent in Los Angeles. 

"Donald Trump has set his ambitions on the White House in order to promote an agenda of fascism and xenophobia," a narrator says in the video. 

In a statement, the Secret Service said it was aware of the situation and working with the FBI to investigate. 

Trump, who has angered some with his comments about, among others, Mexicans and Muslims, has had Secret Service protection since last year. 

Anonymous has become notorious for exposing personal information about people and groups it believes are detrimental to society. In October, the group shut down a Twitter account associated with the Ku Klux Klan and vowed to expose the personal information of KKK members. 

Trump's campaign did not respond immediately to a request for comment. On Twitter on Friday, Trump made no mention of the posting of his personal information. 

Just three of California's congressional Republicans have picked a side in the presidential race

California U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) isn't going to bother making his third presidential endorsement of the year. 

His first choice, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, ended his bid early. Then Sen. Marco Rubio, who was LaMalfa's pick the second time around, dropped out. 

“I’m done. I’m already 0-2,” LaMalfa told Sarah Wire when she asked what he'll do ahead of California's June 7 primary. “The voters are the ones deciding so, we’ll let them keep deciding.”

And he's not the only one. Find out which candidates the California delegation backs with our handy tracker

Bill O'Reilly defends his coverage of Donald Trump

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Thursday again defended his coverage of Donald Trump, arguing that other media are misleading when they label Trump's statements on immigration and deportation as racist.

“It is becoming clear that many — perhaps most in the media — believe that journalists are not acting responsibly unless they are condemning Trump, labeling the man a bigot or worse,” O’Reilly said on his show, “The O’Reilly Factor.”

Univision anchor Jorge Ramos joined O’Reilly a day earlier and called him out for failing to ask Trump “tough” questions. O’Reilly followed up the criticism on Thursday by identifying several instances in which he challenged Trump on his views — warning him that mass deportation and barring Muslims would fail in legislation, and that “mudslinging rhetoric” can’t solve America’s problems.

“I also allow him his say, and to his credit he comes into this tough forum,” O'Reilly said. “He’s not afraid as many other politicians are.”

Bernie Sanders: I'd ask Obama to let me pick a more progressive Supreme Court nominee

Bernie Sanders has backed President Obama in his fight to place a new justice on the Supreme Court despite Republican opposition. But if the Vermont senator manages to succeed Obama in the White House, he'd want the president to withdraw his nominee so he could pick a more progressive candidate for the job.

Sanders made the comments in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Thursday night.

Obama's choice of Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia is "not the most progressive pick that he could have made," Sanders said, echoing criticisms of the president from activists who hoped for a more liberal nominee.

Maddow asked Sanders if he would ask Obama to withdraw Garland's nomination in the lame-duck period between the November election and the January inauguration of the next president.

"Yes, I would," Sanders said.

Garland is "clearly very knowledgeable and can serve ably on the Supreme Court," he said, "but between you and me, I think there are some more progressive judges out there."

Meet the Israelis praying for a Trump win

Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Las Vegas. (John Locher / Associated Press)
Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Las Vegas. (John Locher / Associated Press)

"Trump was sent to us by God," said Michael Yigal Mimon, a former intelligence officer in the Israeli army who proudly counts himself among a growing number of Donald Trump supporters in Israel.

Like the United States, Mimon said, Israel longs for a return to a “purist” conservative politics – one characterized by individualism, strong national defense policies and the conviction that Israel is a key buffer against a “Muslim takeover” in the West.

“Obama decided to destroy America’s credibility in order to help his Muslim friends, but now we are witnessing a rebellion of the masses, people who feel they are being dominated or shut up by the radical left elite,” Mimon said. And though Trump has not revealed his strategy for the Middle East, he added, he has expressed a “healthy fear of Islam.”

About 61% of Israelis see Trump as “moderately” or “very” friendly to Israel, according to an Israel Democracy Institute study released this month. And 34% of respondents said that a Republican candidate would be pro-Israel, as opposed to 28% who said the same about a Democratic candidate.

Conservative outlet Breitbart News engulfed by Republican battle over Donald Trump

"If these guys don’t learn how to play the media ... we’re going to probably get a celebrity candidate,” Andrew Breitbart warned the Republican Party in 2011. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
"If these guys don’t learn how to play the media ... we’re going to probably get a celebrity candidate,” Andrew Breitbart warned the Republican Party in 2011. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Back in 2011, the feisty right-wing media personality Andrew Breitbart made a prediction about Donald Trump that turned out to be prophetic.

"Celebrity is everything in this country," Breitbart said in an appearance on Fox News, calling Trump "not a conservative."

Breitbart, who launched an irreverent, anti-establishment conservative news site that shares his name, said then that Trump's media savvy and his plans for a presidential run should be a warning to the Republican establishment. "If these guys don't learn how to play the media ... we're going to probably get a celebrity candidate."

Breitbart, who died in 2012, was right: Trump has become that celebrity candidate who threatens to redefine conservatism itself. Ignoring establishment orthodoxy, Trump has gained endless TV attention and overpowered establishment opponents, which has threatened to start a civil war over the future of the Republican Party.

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