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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to the crowd at a event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 28, 2016. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP)

Trump's quick-and-dirty variety hour raises cash, avoids debate

01/28/16 11:21PM

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Donald Trump played host to a veteran-themed variety hour that drew two other candidates, veterans, YouTube’s Trump-loving sister duo Diamond and Silk, and some rich friends on stage for a handful of quick speeches interspersed with a little Trumpian rhetoric.The event was thrown together to be counter programming: anything... read more

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, answers a question during a Republican presidential primary debate, Jan. 28, 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Cruz won't back down on carpet bombing ISIS

01/28/16 10:14PM

Republican candidates offered full-throated vows on Thursday to stop ISIS.Ted Cruz, who has been criticized for vowing on the campaign trail to “carpet bomb” ISIS, said Thursday that he will “apologize to nobody” for that promise.“It is not tough talk, it is a different fundamental military startegy than what we’ve seen from Barack Obama,” Cruz... read more

Donald Trump reacts to applause as he walks on stage at Drake University instead of participating in a Fox News debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 28, 2016. (Photo by Larry W. Smith/EPA)

Donald Trump, the 'elephant not in the room' at GOP debate

01/28/16 09:58PM

Donald Trump may not have physically been on stage at Thursday’s Fox News GOP debate in Des Moines, Iowa. But his presence was still very much felt.In the first question of the night, debate moderator Megyn Kelly -- the primary reason for Trump’s absence -- brought up the brash real estate mogul, referring to him as “the elephant not in the room... read more

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at an event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 28, 2016. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP)

Trump: I skipped Fox debate out of respect for myself'

01/28/16 09:58PM

Speaking just miles away from the Republican debate that he chose to boycott, Donald Trump said Thursday he skipped the FOX-sponsored clash "out of respect for myself."Trump told an audience in Des Moines that unnamed employees of FOX News apologized to him for their treatment of the GOP frontrunner and urged him to attend the debate... read more

President Barack Obama speaks at the House Democratic Issues Conference in Baltimore, Md., Jan. 28, 2016. (Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Obama in final address to Dem caucus: 'We will win In November'

01/28/16 09:49PM

BALTIMORE — In his final address to the House Democratic Caucus retreat as president, Barack Obama on Thursday expressed confidence in his party's ability to retain the White House."Democrats will win in November and we will have a Democratic president succeed me," he said.Despite a legislative agenda that has greatly reduced... read more

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a campaign rally at Music Man Square on Jan. 27, 2016 in Mason City, Iowa. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty)

Bernie Sanders: 'It’s easy to swim with the tide'

01/28/16 08:58PM

FAIRFIELD, Iowa – Bernie Sanders touted his consistency on progressive issues Thursday, subtly contrasting himself with Hillary Clinton as he stumped in this progressive bastion. “It’s easy to swim with the tide,” Sanders said to a crowd of 900 as he ticked a laundry list of issues he’s on the liberal side of over the years. “But when the going... read more

A large poster of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is displayed in a residential neighborhood in West Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 28, 2016. (Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Trump foundation has given little to vets groups

01/28/16 07:49PM

Donald Trump has vowed to donate the donations he receives tonight to the Trump Foundation to veterans groups. But a look at The Donald J. Trump Foundation's history of giving shows that the organization has given a small percentage of its donations to veterans groups.Since 2010, Trump has donated just $35,000 to veterans groups, according... read more

A 1992 Des Moines Register newspaper President Bill Clinton's win is displayed during an event in support of Hillary Clinton at the Clinton campaign office in Ames, Ia., Jan. 26, 2016. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty)

Tales from the trail: It's throwback Thursday for Clinton supporters

01/28/16 05:04PM

Want to know what the NBC News Embeds saw? Follow their daily journey to the inside of the 2016 presidential campaign here:Throwback ThursdayWAVERLY, Iowa — Rachel Wohrlin said she had tears in her eyes after watching former President Bill Clinton campaign here Thursday on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton."When I was first able to caucus... read more

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at Wellman's Pub & Rooftop in West Des Moines, Ia., Jan. 27, 2016. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/AP)

Marco Rubio reduces ad buy in New Hampshire, South Carolina

01/28/16 09:44AM

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has again reduced advertising buys in two early nominating states just days before the primary process officially begins.The campaign cut $102,000 from its television advertising buy in New Hampshire, whose primary is February 9th, and $32,000 from advertisements in South Carolina. South Carolinians... read more

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets people during a campaign event at the University of Iowa on Jan. 26, 2016 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty)

Trump strong in three early states as Clinton and Sanders battle: Poll

01/28/16 06:02AM

With just five days to go until the Iowa caucuses, Donald Trump has pulled ahead of Ted Cruz with a seven point lead among likely Iowa GOP caucus-goers, while Hillary Clinton remains locked in a tight race with Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, according to new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls.In New Hampshire, where voters will... read more

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters during a campaign rally in St. Paul, Minn., Jan. 26, 2016. (Photo by Eric Miller/Reuters)

Sanders camp suspicious of Microsoft's influence in Iowa Caucus

01/27/16 06:05PM

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is raising questions about the involvement of Microsoft in the Iowa Caucuses and built a independent system to check the official results.For the first time this year, Microsoft partnered with both the Iowa Democratic and Republican Parties to provide a... read more

Republican presidential candidates line up for a photo op before the CNN Republican Debate begins at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for MSNBC)

GOP rivals prepare for a Trump-less debate

01/27/16 04:39PM

DES MOINES, Iowa --What do you do in a debate that’s missing the frontrunner? That’s the question Republican candidates will have to work out for Thursday’s nationally televised event, assuming Donald Trump makes good on his pledge to abandon it over a feud with Fox News – specifically the network’s top female anchor, Megyn Kelly. Do they attack... read more