By Michelle Conlin and Grant Smith NEW YORK (Reuters) - Within minutes of Jeb Bush dropping out of the presidential race Saturday night, some of his donors were preparing to throw their financial support behind Marco Rubio, who has emerged as the strongest candidate among the establishment wing of the party. "Jeb's network is already naturally migrating to Marco," said Gaylord Hughey, a top Bush fundraiser from Texas, echoing what four other top donors told Reuters. "It's the clear path." "It's a stampede," added another donor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wanted to give Bush some time after dropping out before he went public with his support of Rubio, the U.S. senator from Florida. Three other Bush donors, who declined to be named, also said they now planned to support Rubio. Although he has failed to win any of the first three nominating contests, Rubio is considered by many political strategists as the best positioned to challenge frontrunner Donald Trump, a billionaire political outsider, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has campaigned on an anti-Washington message. The likelihood that some of Bush's deep-pocketed donors will back Rubio comes at an opportune time for his candidacy, as he heads into a series of contests in March that will be crucial for building momentum. Brian Ballard, who raised money for Bush last year but switched allegiances last summer to Rubio, said: "It's flooding tonight. Ninety-five percent of Jeb's money is going to end up with Marco." Rubio had only $5 million in cash on hand at the end of January, federal campaign finance reports released Saturday night show, a slim buffer by modern campaign standards. Conservative Solutions, a political spending group that supports his campaign, had $5.6 million on hand at the end of January, but spent an additional $9.3 million on advertising in the first 19 days of February. By contrast, Right to Rise, Bush's political spending group, had $24.5 million on hand at the end of January but spent $6.6 million of that in February on ads. And his network of donors have proven their financial might, helping Bush at one point to amass a war chest of $150 million. Even before Bush dropped out, some donors privately complained about the missteps of the campaign, expressing concern about the strength of Trump's candidacy and Bush's lackluster debate performances. In January, a dozen top Bush donors interviewed by Reuters said they were angry that Bush was using their money to lob attack ads at Rubio, damaging the candidate they thought had the best chance to win. They also said they had privately signaled to the Rubio campaign that they would support him once Bush dropped out. But they wouldn't go public at the time because they feared displeasing the Bush dynasty. In addition to the Bush money, Rubio is expected to reap the support of the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers and their donor network, which is expected to spend $400 million in the presidential race, according to several network donors and Koch political organization officials. The Koch brothers are also in the midst of planning efforts to undercut Trump's candidacy, network officials and members said at a recent private retreat in California. Their focus group research has shown that when voters learn more about how Trump's past business behavior has hurt ordinary people, they sour on him, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. (Reporting By Michelle Conlin; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Mary Milliken)
- Business Insider
Ex-official who investigated Hillary Clinton's emails said the documents recovered by the FBI at Trump's Mar-a-Lago were particularly 'stunning' and 'egregious'
"Whether this investigation transforms into an outright criminal prosecution remains to be seen," David Laufman said on CNN.
Trump sent cryptic message to Merrick Garland before warrant was unsealed: 'The country is on fire. What can I do to reduce the heat?'
Donald Trump reached out to Attorney General Merrick Garland before the warrant to search Mar-a-Lago was unsealed, The New York Times reported.
Trump lawyer says she's told him all litigation involving the former president 'will stop' if he announces he's not running for office in 2024
"I told him this is going to actually increase your support in your base," Alina Habb said about the FBI raid, noting Trump was "honestly not surprised" by it.
The former president also slammed the FBI as "corrupt" for confiscating the material. Some of it was marked as classified and top secret, according to a warrant.
Ex-Clinton aide implies 'President of France' file found at Trump's home during Mar-a-Lago raid could be valuable to Putin as 'kompromat'
The FBI found "info re: President of France" during the Mar-a-Lago raid. In a tweet, Jennifer Palmieri implied it could be used as "kompromat."
Mary Trump speculates that Jared Kushner could be the 'Mar-a-Lago mole' after reports say an informant close to Trump guided FBI agents to the documents
Sources told The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek that someone told the FBI about the documents at Mar-a-Lago and where they were stored.
Ex-White House chief of staff said Trump stashed records at Mar-a-Lago because 'he didn't believe in the classification system'
Trump has denied any wrongdoing by keeping White House records at his Mar-a-Lago resort, saying, "Everyone ends up having to bring home their work."
- The Hollywood Reporter
Robyn Griggs, known for her roles on soap operas Another World and One Life to Live, has died. She was 49. The actress’ passing was announced on her Facebook page Saturday. She had been battling cervical cancer and was open about her health struggles on social media, with Griggs posting last month that she had been diagnosed […]
Trump's lawyer signed a statement months ago saying all classified documents had been turned over, report says. The FBI found more during its raid on Mar-a-Lago.
The FBI recovered 11 boxes of classified materials from Mar-a-Lago, but the NYT reported Trump's lawyer said in June all of them had been returned.
Rand Paul calls for repeal of Espionage Act amid DOJ investigation into Trump taking classified documents to Mar-a-Lago
The DOJ is investigating if Donald Trump broke the Espionage Act. But Rand Paul, a GOP senator, wants it repealed, he said Saturday.
GOP lawmaker says he was notified by FBI that his 'life was in danger' by 'some of these same people' threatening law enforcement in wake of Mar-a-Lago raid
"I myself have been notified by the Bureau that my life was put in danger recently by some of the same people," Fitzpatrick said Sunday.
"Alarm has grown when you talk to advisers of the former president," Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey tells MSNBC.
- The Root
After a midsummer meeting in June 2021, newly hired police chief RaShall Brackney felt the need to double down on her personal safety, unholstering her gun as she left headquarters. Brackney’s fear however was not prompted by the activity on the streets, or even the ongoing public threats made against the police department over the years. Instead, she found herself afraid of her own subordinates, cops who wanted her gone after making some controversial, yet necessary shake ups throughout the for
Trump's latest defense for Mar-a-Lago documents is everyone 'brings home their work from time to time' and the files were automatically declassified
Trump's statement on the Mar-a-Lago documents was featured on Fox News. He claimed a "standing order" declassified files "the moment" they left the Oval Office.
- The Telegraph
Most couples with young children dream of upsizing to give their growing brood more space to spread their wings.
The far right is calling for civil war after the FBI raid on Trump's home. Experts say that fight wouldn't look like the last one.
"People's sense of the civil and civic ways of resolving disputes" is "out the window," Fiona Hill told Insider, warning of the potential for "civil conflict."
Marjorie Taylor Greene is trying to impeach Merrick Garland, saying the Trump Mar-a-Lago raid was a 'a blatant attempt to persecute a political opponent'
The FBI during its search recovered 11 boxes containing classified records that Trump took with him from the White House once he left office.
- The Hill
Republicans, including Greene, have repeatedly accused the Justice Department of going after Trump for political reasons.
- Country Living
Molly Ephraim starred as the original Mandy on the Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing. The actress currently appears in A League of Their Own.
"My students aren’t the snowflakes Gov. DeSantis assumes they are... and neither am I."