January 22, 2016
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Former Ben Carson campaign manager and longtime Republican strategist Barry Bennett has jumped ship to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, The Washington Post reports. Both Bennett and Trump's campaign manager have confirmed that Bennett is now serving as an informal and unpaid adviser to Trump's campaign. Bennett's role is "one of counselor and resource to Trump's top aides as they begin to prepare for a possible general-election campaign," The Post reports.

Bennett says he left Carson's campaign after "growing frustrated with the candidate." He finalized his current relationship with the Trump campaign last week following a private meeting at Trump Tower in which Bennett volunteered to help with planning.

"I believe Trump is going to win and it's important that his campaign is ready for everything that is coming," Bennett told The Washington Post, noting that his goal is not strategy but "to help them think through it."

"I'm here to do what is needed. I'm not being paid and I'm going to be mostly focused on getting my business back up and running." Becca Stanek

1:25 a.m. ET

When Lena Draper, 10, needed someone to help her with a math problem, she decided the best person for the job was a police officer.

She messaged the Marion Police Department in Ohio on Facebook, and soon received a response from Lt. B.J. Gruber, who advised her to work within the parentheses first, moving from left to right. Draper's mother, Molly, saw the exchange between her daughter and Gruber, and told CBS News she was "happy, but not surprised" that someone from the department responded so quickly. "They are wonderful with their communication with the community." Molly shared on her own Facebook page the messages between Lena and Gruber, and even though his instructions weren't 100 percent accurate, Gruber hopes everyone remembers "it is truly the thought that counts." Catherine Garcia

12:46 a.m. ET

Their classmates and teachers didn't think it could be done, but J.T. Nejedlo and Aidan Deaven proved them all wrong by building a working roller coaster in Deaven's Delafield, Wisconsin, backyard.

When Nejedlo was a sophomore and Deaven a freshman, they decided it "would be fun" to build a roller coaster, Nejedlo told TMJ4. After lots of trial and error — and assistance from a father who used to be a physics professor — the teens built a coaster that starts inside an old treehouse and weaves its way around the yard. "We had a work schedule," Deaven said. "We would get up at 7 a.m. in the summers and come and work on it."

In their college applications, the teens wrote about their massive undertaking, and it helped them gain admittance to the University of Wisconsin — Nejedlo is a freshman studying business, and Deaven will begin taking engineering classes next year. Catherine Garcia

12:36 a.m. ET

President Trump is moving fast, if erratically, to fulfill his campaign pledges about kicking out undocumented immigrants and building a wall along the Mexico border in an attempt to keep them out. Seth Meyers said he's confused about the rationale for this push, because more Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than coming in, and immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than people born in the U.S. "And yet despite the reality about immigration, Trump is still moving ahead with his plans to ramp up deportations and build a border wall," he said on Wednesday's Late Night.

"Now, there are still many questions about Trump's wall, including who will build it," Meyer said. "And apparently before he even took office, Trump started reaching out to private developers to see if they'd be interested." One developer, Jorge Perez, a longtime friend and business partner of Trump in Miami, was underwhelmed by the offer he received to build the border wall, telling Bloomberg, "The wall is the most idiotic thing I've ever seen or heard in my life." "And for someone who has known Donald Trump for years, that's a high bar," Meyers said.

Then there's the shifting definition of what constitutes a "wall," with the barrier sketched out by Trump officials much different (and less solid) than the giant, "beautiful" wall Trump talked about during the campaign, and some Republicans, especially in Texas, are balking at Trump's wall plans. "So Trump wants to spend as much as $20 billion on a wall that even some Republicans think won't work, but don't worry, Trump adviser Stephen Miller said there's no need to worry about who will pay for the wall," because the wall will somehow pay for itself, Meyer said. "Look, these immigration policies are cruel, they're unnecessary, and ineffective — even many Republicans think so." He introduced a game called "douchebag charades" to illustrate what those Republicans and Democrats can tell Trump. Watch below. Peter Weber

February 22, 2017

Unable to reach their congressional representatives the old-fashioned way — by phone, email, and in person — Americans across the country are getting creative.

This week, Republican lawmakers like Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.) have faced angry constituents who peppered them with questions about everything from repealing the Affordable Care Act to President Trump's ties to Russia. Some of these representatives might run away from their meetings as fast as humanly possible, but at least they're showing up — the same can't be said for House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), and Rep. Paul Cook (Calif.), according to their constituents, who want to know why their congressmen aren't holding town halls or even letting people inside their offices.

In Wisconsin, the residents of Janesville are concerned over Ryan's whereabouts, so much so that they have placed a missing-person's ad in the Lost and Found section of the Madison Craigslist. "We had been planning on having an intervention at his recess town hall meetings, because he seems to be addicted to power, but he fled sometime in and around January 20, 2017, and hasn't been seen since," the ad states. To make sure people know who to look for, they included helpful photos of Ryan lifting weights while donning a backwards hat, a much different look than in this billboard in Wisconsin:

And last week, after a tussle at Rohrabacher's Huntington Beach office involving activists seeking a town hall meeting, one of his staffers, and a door, the California congressman accused the citizens of being "engaged in political thuggery, pure and simple." Here is an example of said thuggery on a local beach:

The search is also on in California's 8th District for Cook, who last appeared at an in-person town hall on Sept. 5, 2013. Anyone with any information is urged to visit Catherine Garcia

February 22, 2017
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Tom Cotton on Wednesday became the latest Republican lawmaker to face fired-up constituents at a town hall meeting, this time in the conservative stronghold of Springdale, Arkansas.

At least 2,000 people attended the event, with many carrying signs asserting that they were not paid protesters and others chanting "Do your job!" Dozens of people waited in line to ask questions, and Cotton was confronted by constituents like Kati McFarland of Springdale, who told the senator that without the Affordable Care Act, "I will die." Cotton said the Republicans are working on a replacement plan that will keep her covered, but when she pressed for details, Cotton didn't have any. Cotton was also asked to take a closer look at ties between President Trump and his associates and Russia, and one protester carried a banner that read, "If Hillary [Clinton] did this, you would have already locked her up."

It wasn't all combative — one woman praised Cotton and said a majority of residents support him. A majority of the room disagreed, as she was drowned out by boos and jeers. Catherine Garcia

February 22, 2017
Larry W. Smith/Getty Images

Police in Indiana are hopeful that the public will recognize the man heard in a grainy cellphone video taken by a young murder victim.

Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, disappeared on Feb. 13, and their bodies were found a day later in a wooded area outside Delphi, near the trail they planned to hike. During a press conference Wednesday, Indiana State Police announced there is a $41,000 reward for finding the killer, and played a clip from the video shot by German, featuring a man saying "Down the hill."

"She had the presence of mind to have the phone on and to capture video as well as audio," Capt. David Bursten said. Investigators are not certain if the man heard in the video is the same man seen in a photograph German also snapped from her phone; police say the man in the photo is the main suspect in the murders. Catherine Garcia

February 22, 2017
Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Trump administration reversed a directive issued in May 2016 by former President Barack Obama, which said transgender students should be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms at public schools that match their gender identity if it differs from their birth sex.

Obama's guidance was not legally binding, but advocates said it was needed to protect transgender students from being discriminated against. The Justice and Education departments sent letters to schools on Wednesday saying the earlier directive led to confusion and lawsuits, but anti-bullying measures won't be affected. Now, states and school districts will decide if federal anti-discrimination laws apply to gender identity. Catherine Garcia

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