1,237 delegates are needed to clinch the GOP nomination. Donald Trump just got 1,238

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Donald Trump has enough delegate support to be crowned the nominee at the GOP convention.

Focused on Trump, Bernie Sanders reminds supporters of the birther movement

Bernie Sanders wanted to offer a quick history lesson about Donald Trump to supporters here Thursday evening, so he asked them to think back a few years.

“Not so many years ago, before he was a candidate, he was involved in a so-called birther movement,” Sanders said about Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. “The birther movement was delegitmizing President Obama by claiming that he was not born in the United States.”

Indeed, Trump was among a vocal group of Republicans who early on in Obama’s first term questioned whether he was born in the United States. (Trump, in his quest for the GOP nomination, also questioned the citizenship of rival Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father.)

Eventually, in 2011, Obama made his birth certificate public to quiet his detractors. But as early as last year, Trump was still expressing unease about Obama’s citizenship.

“That was very ugly effort to delegitimize the presidency of the first African American president in our history -- not acceptable,” Sanders said to applause from supporters huddled on the football field of Ganesha High School, the same place where former President Bill Clinton campaigned last weekend on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination.

Sanders did not mention Hillary Clinton, who is outpacing him in delegates, but instead focused on Trump.

For much of Thursday, Sanders’ campaign pressed Trump to debate him in California, while the billionaire businessman joked that he would.

“He’s prepared to debate,” Sanders said. “And I’m very excited about it.”

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Clinton on Trump: ‘Dangerous and divisive’

So this is probably what the next five months will sound like: scathingly harsh and relentlessly negative.

At a Thursday evening stop in San Francisco, Hillary Clinton -- the presumptive Democratic nominee -- delivered a withering assault against Donald Trump, her Republican counterpart.

The 25-minute fusillade included attacks on his economic policies, which she described as a collection of failed trickle-down nostrums; his bombastic style, which she described as unsuited for a commander in chief; and his penchant for insults, which, she said, threatens to push a divided country even further apart.

The essence was captured in a single line: “He is both dangerous and divisive,” she told several hundred of the Democratic faithful, who roared their affirmation.

Clinton still faces a tough fight in California’s June 7 primary. But in recent days she has taken to largely ignoring her Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, focusing almost entirely on Trump and their likely November match-up.

She praised the Vermont senator and commended both her rival and herself for running a largely issue-oriented campaign.

She vowed to unify Democrats and rally Sanders’ supporters, resistant though they may seem, saying the disagreements between the two party rivals pale in contrast to their differences with Trump.

More -- much, much more -- on that between now and November.

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Snapshot from the trail: Bernie Sanders in Pomona

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Fashion scenes from the city, as San Francisco awaits Hillary Clinton

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Was Trump kidding about a debate with Bernie Sanders? Not according to Bernie Sanders

(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Who knows if the purported debate between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders will come off?

The Republican seemed to be half-joking when he suggested at a North Dakota appearance that he’d debate Sanders, the Vermont senator running for the Democratic nomination, if the event could raise money for women’s health groups.

But Sanders, at least, took him seriously.

“Let me begin by telling you something I just learned a few moments ago and which excites me very much,” Sanders said as he opened a speech Thursday in Ventura. “We asked Donald Trump if he would be prepared to debate and it appears that Donald Trump is prepared to debate. I’m very excited about it and we’re going to have to rent out the largest stadium that you have here in California.”

Both men have something in common as they publicly negotiate a joint appearance: embarrassing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. She had agreed to a debate in California earlier in the campaign but this week refused a Fox News request that she and Sanders meet before the June 7 primary.

Sanders didn’t mention Clinton in his remarks, but he used the subject to go after Trump, and fiercely.

“We’re gonna ask Mr. Trump why he thinks giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the richest people in this country is a good idea,” Sanders said.

“We’re gonna ask him why he thinks that wages in America are too high. We’re gonna ask him why he thinks we shouldn’t raise a $7.25 starvation minimum wage. We’re gonna ask him how come he thinks that climate change is a hoax when the scienctific community is almost unanimous that climate change is causing devastating problems.”

And, he added to sustained applause, “mostly we’re going to be asking him why he thinks that, in a nation in which our diversity is our strength, why he thinks it is appropriate to be insulting Mexicans and Latinos, why he thinks it’s appropriate to be insulting Muslims and women. Why he thinks it’s appropriate to be insulting veterans like John McCain. And maybe he can tell us why he was one of the leaders of the so-called birther movement designed to delegitimize the presidency of the first African American president we have ever had.”

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Donald Trump celebrates clinching the nomination with a Big Mac

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Hillary Clinton expresses regrets, but no political concern, over email report

Hillary Clinton brushed aside a harshly critical report on her use of a private email server as secretary of State, saying Thursday that the findings were nothing new and she has repeatedly expressed her regrets.

“As I’ve said many times, if I could go back, I’d do it differently,” she said in a brief interview with a television pool reporter after addressing labor supporters in Las Vegas.

In a report to Congress delivered Wednesday, the State Department’s inspector general said Clinton had broken the agency’s rules by using a private email server in the basement of her New York home, creating a security risk and violating transparency and disclosure policies.

The report also said Clinton disregarded department policies that discouraged such methods of private communication and failed to promptly turn over all relevant correspondence to the department.

Clinton insisted, however, that she has provided all of her work-related emails and asked they be made public — a sign, she said, of her openness.

Federal prosecutors investigating the possible mishandling of classified materials have begun setting up formal interviews with some of her closest aides but not yet with Clinton, she said.

“I have offered since last August” to meet with investigators, Clinton said, “and I am looking forward to seeing this matter wrapped up.”

She minimized the political fallout from the controversy, which has dogged her presidential candidacy since it was revealed last year.

“Voters are going to be looking at the full picture of what I have to offer, my life and my service and the full threat that Donald Trump offers our country,” Clinton said, referring to the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

The Democrat made her remarks before flying to California for afternoon stops in San Jose and San Francisco. She also called in to CNN and MSNBC to make the same points.

Pressed on CNN about the report’s implication that Clinton knew she was violating the rules when she used the personal email account, she responded, “I thought it was allowed.”

Clinton was also asked on CNN why she refused to be interviewed by department investigators. Other former secretaries agreed to such interviews.

“When they reached out to me, I had already said everything I could on this matter,” she said, pointing to her testimony before the House Benghazi Committee, press interviews and material on her campaign website. “Everything I had to say was out there.”

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Obama can’t endorse during the Democratic primary, so he’s just pointing out how hard the job is instead

He met with heads of state, lawmakers and a battery of dissidents, in between lifting a half-century-old trade embargo and negotiating access to key ports.

By the time President Obama filed past more than 2 million people lining the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and flew to Japan for Thursday’s Group of Seven summit, his trip abroad had not so subtly served a purpose beyond foreign relations: to help Democrats campaign against Donald Trump.

Pledging to stay neutral in the Democratic primary, Obama has instead struck a middle ground to help the party’s likely nominee, Hillary Clinton. He has engaged in a twist on the so-called Rose Garden campaign strategy, in which incumbent presidents lean on the trappings of their office to remind voters of their power and achievements. Obama is instead reminding voters of the seriousness of the job and, by extension, his apparent belief that Trump isn’t fit for it.

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No change after review of Democratic primary in Kentucky

Bernie Sanders had asked for a review after falling fewer than 2,000 votes short to Hillary Clinton in Kentucky’s primary.

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Meet Donald Trump’s unlikely energy advisor ahead of North Dakota speech

Among those listening intently to Donald Trump’s energy speech Thursday in Bismarck, N.D., will be U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), who has emerged as an unlikely policy advisor of sorts to the candidate.

Cramer, a two-term congressman and early Trump backer, was tapped by the campaign to provide thoughts on energy policy, drawing on his decade as a public service commissioner overseeing North Dakota’s booming energy sector.

“I sort of got dubbed the energy advisor,” said Cramer, a climate change skeptic first elected to Congress 2012. “I always tell people, I’m one of the many.”

Cramer takes a mostly traditional Republican “all of the above” approach to energy policy -- rolling back environmental regulations, including the landmark Clean Power Plan now making its way through the courts, and continuing production of oil and coal. Though he has made headlines with his thoughts on a modest carbon tax, he is skeptical of climate change.

Cramer has met briefly with Trump, and put together several pages.

“I went to work writing high-level thoughts,” he said this week in short chat in the Capitol halls.

Trump’s talk is expected to focus on oil and gas in the state where energy production has boomed. And Cramer will be listening for an echo of his input.

“I’m confident I’ll like the high level, whatever it is,” he said.

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A Trump-Sanders debate in California? Yes! (But probably not really)

Bernie Sanders can’t get Hillary Clinton to debate him in California, so now he’s turning to another rival: Donald Trump.

Both men seem to agree the ratings would be YUGE.

But is Trump really game?

That is unclear. He told ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel that it is something he’d consider. “If he paid a sum toward charity, I would love to do that,” Trump said on Kimmel’s late-night television show. The event, Trump said, “would have such high ratings.” Sanders wasted no time announcing that he was all for it.

Then the backpedaling began. Trump advisors put word out that the billionaire was, well, just joking. Sanders, though, is dead serious. His campaign repeated that the Vermonter is ready to go.

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Donald Trump reaches number of delegates needed to clinch GOP nomination

Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign.

Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party’s unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention. Among them is Oklahoma Republican Party Chairwoman Pam Pollard.

“I think he has touched a part of our electorate that doesn’t like where our country is,” Pollard said. “I have no problem supporting Mr. Trump.”

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The Weeknd and Belly cancel ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ performance because of Donald Trump

Amid a tempestuous swing through Southern California on Wednesday, Donald Trump made a stop in Hollywood for a taping of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” drawing a small crowd of protesters and prompting singer the Weeknd and rapper Belly to cancel their performances on the show.

Outside the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, the crowd blasted Trump and criticized host Jimmy Kimmel for giving the Republican presidential candidate such a prominent platform on late-night television.

“Shame on you, Jimmy Kimmel,” one man chanted in a microphone. Gina Hernandez, 28, drove from Pomona after learning of Trump’s appearance on the show to protest his stance on immigration.

“He has no clue what he’s talking about,” Hernandez said of the billionaire developer.

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Obama: World leaders are ‘rattled’ by Trump — and for good reason

President Obama said Thursday that world leaders are “rattled” by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and that he doesn’t blame them for being worried about the real estate mogul’s political rise.

“They are not sure how seriously to take some of his pronouncements but they’re rattled by him, and for good reason,” Obama said. “A lot of the proposals that he has made display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what it is required to keep America safe.”

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Those polls showing Donald Trump catching up with Hillary Clinton: Really?

A raft of polls in recent days has shown a sharply tighter presidential race, with Hillary Clinton‘s lead over Donald Trump shrinking to just a couple of percentage points. Those polls have generated a lot of questions: Just how reliable is polling this far in advance of an election? What’s causing the polls to shift? Can Trump actually win?

Here are some key questions and answers.

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At a rowdy but peaceful rally in Anaheim, Trump hits immigration hard

Donald Trump showed no sign of letting up on his harsh immigration rhetoric as he returned to California on Wednesday with a message decidedly out of step with a state that has roundly rejected a hard-line approach to the issue.

“Build that wall!” Trump chanted along with the crowd at the Anaheim Convention Center, playing up his pledge to seal the U.S. border with Mexico.

Outside, demonstrators held a rowdy but largely peaceful demonstration, a contrast with the violence that broke out after Trump rallies last month in Costa Mesa and Tuesday night in Albuquerque.

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