Donald Trump took a big chance in boycotting the Republican presidential debate Thursday night, held just days before Iowa casts the first ballots.
But the unorthodox strategy that has kept him at the top of the GOP field since his entry into the race last summer triumphed again, as Trump stayed out of the fray and watched his competitors pilloried.
It was the debate Republicans imagined before the New York real estate developer began his lengthy domination of the race. And it was also a good night for some of the establishment candidates who have found disdain more than success this presidential cycle.
The private email server Hillary Clinton used while secretary of State reemerged as a liability for her presidential run, as the State Department acknowledged Friday that 22 messages stored on the server contain top-secret information.
Clinton has long denied any of the messages that went through the unprotected server in her home contained highly sensitive material. The State Department said none of the messages were marked top secret at the time they were sent -- although it is looking into whether they should have been.
The administration refused to discuss the contents of the messages, which it acknowledged hours before the latest batch of about 1,000 pages of Clinton email is to be disclosed publicly. The messages marked top secret are being excluded from the disclosure.
Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday that rival Ted Cruz had intensified his negative advertising against him because he was scared of Rubio’s momentum in the lead-up to Monday's Iowa caucuses.
“Obviously, Sen. Cruz is worried about my candidacy and he has a lot to answer for,” Rubio told reporters after speaking to a couple of hundred voters at an event center on the banks of the icy Mississippi River. “You don’t spend money attacking a candidate you’re not concerned about.”
Cruz’s negative advertising has been focused on Donald Trump, with whom the Texas senator is in a tight battle for the top spot in Iowa. But on Friday, the New York Times reported that Cruz was shifting nearly all of his negative messaging to Rubio.
Hillary Clinton ramped up her attack on Bernie Sanders’ healthcare proposal on Friday, calling it a “theoretical debate” over an idea that “will never, ever come to pass.”
Sanders wants a universal healthcare system run by the federal government, a liberal ideal that has failed to gain support even among many Democrats. Clinton has repeatedly said the plan is unrealistic and that the country should instead build on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which leaves in place a system of private insurers.
“I don’t want to be thrown back into a terrible, terrible national debate,” she said during her stump speech on a college campus in Des Moines.
A history lesson on Donald Trump -- and not a flattering one -- is arriving in the mailboxes of Iowans on Friday.
The "Donald Trump Voter Guide" is aimed at the more than 100,000 Republican caucus-goers who will file into libraries, churches and recreation centers to cast votes on Monday. It provides a glimpse into what its sponsors see as Trump's cozy ties to Democrats and his harsh words against conservatives.
The voter guide is sponsored by Our Principles PAC, which was formed this month and is not known to be associated with any candidate. The group already has hit Trump with television ads in Iowa, calling into question his devotion to conservative positions.
The ratings for Fox News Channel's Republican presidential primary debate took an expected hit from Donald Trump's decision not to participate in the event, staged Thursday night in Des Moines.
The debate four days before Iowa's nominating caucuses averaged 12.5 million viewers from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern. It was the second-smallest audience of the seven GOP primary debates held so far and about half of what FNC scored with its first Republican debate back in August.
Even with the decline, the debate attracted the second-largest audience in Fox News' history and was the most watched program in prime time, according to Nielsen. Trump skipped the debate, claiming that Fox and moderator Megyn Kelly had treated him unfairly, and predicted the event would be a "total disaster" without him. But the audience exceeded the 11 million who watched his last debate appearance.
Billionaire investor Tom Steyer said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and the other Republican presidential candidates "have not done their homework" on climate change.
Speaking to House Democrats at their retreat in Baltimore, the high-dollar campaign donor noted that 2015 was the hottest year on record. He pointed to California's lead on renewable energy.
"I listen to Marco Rubio and all of the Republican candidates who say we can't afford to address this problem," Steyer told the group, according to Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), who arranged the retreat as chairman of the party's caucus. "They have not done their homework."
President Obama plans to return to the Illinois state capital of Springfield on Feb. 10, marking the ninth anniversary of his first presidential campaign as he also gears up to try to help elect a Democratic successor.
In an address to the Illinois General Assembly, where he served as a state senator, Obama will echo hopeful messages of his historic campaign in the 2008 election, especially about the country united rather than divided by partisan lines.
He’ll talk about “what we can do, together, to build a better politics, once that reflects our better selves,” said a White House official familiar with the plans.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at Liberty University on Jan. 18. He describes threats to Christianity and jokes about his book, "Trump: The Art of the Deal," being no match for the Bible.
Bemoaning the migration of U.S. jobs overseas, Donald Trump reminded an audience this week that Pfizer was moving its headquarters to Ireland.
"No more Viagra!" a man hollered.
"Shout that out once more," Trump responded with a grin.