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March 10, 2016

Donald Trump's campaign finally responded to Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields' accusation that campaign manager Corey Lewandowski yanked her to the ground while she attempted to ask a question at a press conference Tuesday night.

While Fields says that The Washington Post's Ben Terris identified Lewandowski as the man who grabbed her "tightly by the arm and yanked [her] down," nearly taking her to the ground, Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks said in a statement Thursday afternoon that neither Fields nor Terris has ever met Lewandowski and that no one else at the event seemed to have noticed the incident:

Fields offered her take on the incident earlier Thursday, calling Lewandowski's behavior "out of line" and insisting that she "never sought to be part of the story." Becca Stanek

2:03 p.m. ET

As Donald Trump fends off accusations that he knowingly scammed Trump University students, The New York Times has uncovered a second apparent scam involving his seminar business, Trump Institute.

Opened in 2005, the Trump Institute charged people up to $2,000 to learn Trump's "wealth-creating secrets and strategies." While Trump didn't own the business, the institute allegedly lied about the extent of Trump's involvement despite Trump vowing that he was "teaching what I've learned." The program was actually run by a couple who had an extensive record of committing fraud, and the manual used to teach the students was largely plagiarized:

Unbeknownst to customers at the time, though, even the printed materials handed out to seminar attendees were based on a lie. The Trump Institute copyrighted its publication, each page emblazoned with "Billionaire's Road Map to Success," and it distributed the materials to those who attended the seminars.

Yet much of the handbook's contents were lifted without attribution from an obscure how-to guide published by Success magazine in 1995 called "Real Estate Mastery System."

At least 20 pages of the Trump Institute book were copied entirely or in large part from "Real Estate Mastery System." Even some of its hypothetical scenarios — "Seller A is asking $80,000 for a single-payer residence" — were repeated verbatim. [The New York Times]

Unsurprisingly, the Trump Institute eventually earned an F from the Better Business Bureau. "What criminals they are," one student said afterward. "They wanted to steal my money." Read the entire investigation at The New York Times. Jeva Lange

1:50 p.m. ET
Ron Sachs-Pool via CNP

President Obama will finally hit the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton next Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina. The pair will appear in the battleground state for a discussion about "building on the progress we've made," the Clinton campaign said.

Obama was initially going to make his campaign debut two weeks ago in Wisconsin, but that appearance was canceled due to the mass shooting in Orlando. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said "busy schedules" prevented the pair from syncing up any earlier.

Obama is expected to be a powerful surrogate for Clinton, though he did lose the contested state of North Carolina in the 2012 presidential election. In his endorsement of Clinton earlier this month, Obama said he's unsure if "there's ever been someone so qualified [as Clinton] to hold this office." Becca Stanek

1:37 p.m. ET
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Fresh off the hullabaloo over his latest music video, Kanye West has another big announcement to make: More Yeezy gear is coming your way.

After a contentious relationship with Nike, West teamed up with Adidas in late 2013 and released his Yeezy 750 Boost and Yeezy 350 Boost sneakers in 2015. The kicks became an immediate sensation — so popular, in fact, that the 750 model recently sold out in just 13 seconds. Inspired by that success, Adidas and West announced Wednesday that they will extend their partnership to include apparel and accessories in addition to shoes.

In a press release Wednesday, Adidas called West a "creative pioneer" and said the "unprecedented new alliance [between the rapper and the company] makes history as the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand. It will redefine the future." The collaborative effort will field a dedicated team at Adidas to lead the Yeezy project.

Adidas and West have entered a "long-term" partnership, the release states — so there’s still time for you to somehow worm your way into the Kardashian-Jenner clique and snag yourself some Yeezy swag. Kimberly Alters

1:31 p.m. ET

It didn't take a mathematician to figure out that Wednesday's Wimbledon match between Roger Federer (arguably the best tennis player of all time) and Marcus Willis (who?) was going to be a blow-out. But Willis, ranked No. 772 in the world, embraced his 250-1 odds with a delightful sense of humor:

Still, the gap between the players was so glaring that ESPN actually ran a graphic comparing how many houses each player owns (Federer has three and Willis, well, he lives with his parents, so he's got zero). Still, Willis, who had all but given up his professional career earlier this year, was all smiles over the chance to play the tennis legend who he has never even spoken to in his life.

It's hard not to be totally charmed by Willis' attitude. "I'm not sure [Federer] can play on grass. That's good," he joked earlier this week. The Snickers bar-devouring athlete added, "No, it's an amazing dream come true. I get to play on a stadium court. This is what I dreamed of when I was younger."

Second set: Federer* 6-0, 6-3 Willis But Federer wastes little time in wrapping up the second set. Willis is beaming away here — he's enjoyed every one of the 52 minutes this match has lasted. [The Guardian]

While Federer finally won 6-0, 6-3, 6-4, if there was a Wimbledon for good sports, the world champion would be obvious. Jeva Lange

12:53 p.m. ET

Despite the nail-biting polls, statistician Nate Silver predicted Wednesday that Hillary Clinton has a whopping 79 percent chance of winning a general election against Donald Trump. Silver correctly predicted the results of 49 out of 50 states in 2008 and correctly guessed the results of every single state in 2012. Still, Silver predicted that Trump had a mere 2 percent chance of winning the GOP nomination last August.

But Silver asserted himself on Good Morning America, claiming that his 2 percent estimate wasn't based on looking at the polls. "One big lesson of [Trump's] campaign is, don't try and out-think the polls and try and out-think the American public," Silver warned. He added that states like Arizona, Georgia, Missouri, and North Carolina — all of which are usually red — could be toss-ups in this "crazy year."

"Here's how to think about it," Silver said. "We're kind of at halftime of the election right now, and [Clinton's] taking a seven-point, maybe a 10-point lead into halftime. There's a lot of football left to be played, but she's ahead in almost every poll, every swing state, every national poll." Jeva Lange

Jeva Lange

12:21 p.m. ET

Ben Carson is certain that his mother would not have taken kindly to how "dishonest reporters" covered his bid for the Republican presidential nomination earlier this year. In fact, in response to a question on CBS Radio's Brown and Scoop podcast about what his mom, Sonya, would've thought about her son running for president, Carson said Wednesday he thinks she might have chosen to exercise her Second Amendment rights.

"She has Alzheimer's," Carson said, correcting the question's implication that his mother was dead. "She's not really cognizant of that, which is a good thing because my mother is really a fighter. She probably would have taken a gun and gone out and shot some of the dishonest reporters."

In case that quote doesn't make it clear, Carson seems to think that the media was one of the reasons his campaign ended when it did. He pointed out that "one of the reasons that our founders said that our system and our freedom depends on a well-informed and educated populace is because they recognize that if people were not well-informed and well-educated, they can be easily manipulated by a dishonest media." Carson concluded: "That's exactly what happens in our society today."

Listen to the interview, below. Becca Stanek

11:24 a.m. ET

While it is still uncertain which terrorist organization targeted Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on Tuesday, killing at least 41 when three suicide bombers detonated at a security checkpoint, many current indications point to the Islamic State. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio might agree: After all, he predicted such a large-scale ISIS attack in Turkey just two days before the bombings.

On Sunday, appearing on Face the Nation, Rubio stressed the importance of NATO in the face of Islamic terrorism. "We've seen already the attacks in Belgium. We've seen the attacks in France. We've seen attempted and thwarted attacks elsewhere, so because of all of that I think NATO takes on a special purpose," he said.

Then Rubio added his forboding prediction. "One of our NATO allies, right now, that faces the greatest threat of ISIS is Turkey," he said. "I would not be surprised over the next few weeks to see major ISIS operations within Turkey, itself."

It might not have been as brilliant a prediction as it first appears — ISIS has already launched deadly attacks in Turkey over the past year. However, Rubio's words just days before the bombings are undeniably ominous. Watch the interview below. Jeva Lange

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