A staffer had to tell Bill Clinton about the infamous Trump-Rubio fight in 2016 over penis size

trump rubio
Donald Trump and Marco Rubio debated below the belt during the 2016 GOP presidential primaries.

  • Former President Bill Clinton missed the debate when then-candidate Trump bragged about his manhood.
  • A staffer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign had to tell him about it.
  • It was “one of the more awkward moments in my life,” Josh Schwerin told Insider.
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The moment when then-candidate Donald Trump boasted about his manhood during a 2016 Republican primary debate was particularly memorable for a staffer who had to brief former President Bill Clinton on what happened.

The former president had been in a meeting in Louisiana and missed the debate when Trump, responding to an attack from his opponent Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, assured a crowd that neither his hands nor “something else” were small.

Josh Schwerin, who served as the national spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, said briefing the former president on the debate was “one of the more awkward moments in my life.”

“He didn’t at first believe me that this was the topic of a debate,” said Schwerin, who spoke to Insider as part of an oral history project on Trump’s takeover of the GOP. “I had to show him the CNN headline. I tried to not add any commentary and just let him read it for himself. Because it was not the most comfortable conversation to have with the former president of the United States.”

Read more: The definitive oral history of how Trump took over the GOP, as told to us by Cruz, Rubio, and 20 more insiders

Tired of Trump calling him “little Marco,” Rubio seized on the size of Trump’s hands that year during a rally in Roanoke, Va. “You know what they say about men with small hands? You can’t trust them,” he said.

Trump brought up the comment days later at the debate. “Look at those hands, are they small hands?” he said, holding up his hands for the crowd. “And, he referred to my hands – ‘if they’re small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”

Rubio later said he apologized to Trump for his comments.

Bill Clinton’s extramarital sex scandals generated embarrassing headlines during his presidency and led to his impeachment. But the Rubio-Trump schoolyard antics still surprised him.

“He was amused, but also really aghast that this is what they had devolved to,” Schwerin said of Bill Clinton.

To read the full oral history story, click here.

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Hillary Clinton says Republicans have been flirting with Putin’s authoritarianism by denying 2020 election results

Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin
Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin during a meeting in March 2010.

  • Hillary Clinton said the GOP is doing Putin’s work for him by denying the 2020 election results.
  • Clinton said Republicans have been flirting with Putin’s authoritarian model of governance.
  • Her comments came as Biden met with Putin in Geneva.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday said there are people within the US who doing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s work for him by continuing to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 election. Her comments came as President Joe Biden held a historic summit with Putin in Geneva, Switzerland.

“We never thought we had to worry about domestic enemies. We never thought we had to worry about people who didn’t believe in our democracy,” Clinton said. “Sadly, what we’ve seen over the last 4 years, and particularly since our election in 2020, is that we have people within our own country who are doing Putin’s work … to sow distrust, to sow divisiveness, to give aid and comfort to those in our country who, for whatever reason, are being not only disruptive but very dangerous.”

Biden is aware of the problem, Clinton said, and knows he has to work to do on “both fronts.”

“There has been … a big flirtation by some on the right in the Republican Party with the Putin model. They really resonate to the authoritarianism,” Clinton said. “They find that kind of macho approach to everything quite attractive.”

Clinton, who’s also met with Putin on behalf of the US, said the Russian leader is “the great disruptor” and “has a clear mission to undermine democracies, first and foremost, the United States.”

The former secretary of state said Biden needs to make clear to Putin that “ridiculing the United States, undermining us, allowing – as well as overseeing attacks – on our election structure, on our energy delivery system, on so much else, has to stop.”

Clinton said she’s confident that Biden will be far more assertive with Putin than former President Donald Trump, and that she hopes the president will address issues like nuclear arms agreements and cyber attacks in his summit with the Russian president.

“We don’t have Trump being, in effect, a spokesperson for Putin any longer,” Clinton said. “We have a president who will stand up and defend American interests.”

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Bernie Sanders says the Biden campaign made him feel welcome while Hillary Clinton’s ‘tolerated’ him

Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders said he was treated differently by Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns.
  • He told CNN that he and Biden spoke, and that Biden’s team made him feel “very welcome.”
  • But by Clinton’s team he was only “tolerated,” he said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Bernie Sanders said he got warmer treatment from President Joe Biden’s campaign team than that of Hillary Clinton.

The Vermont senator told CNN’s Gloria Berger on Sunday that Biden’s team made him feel “very welcome” when Sanders was running against him during the 2020 presidential election, according to a clip of the interview reposted by Mediaite.

He said that Biden reached out to him to talk, and they had “very useful conversations and friendly conversations.”

Berger indicated that that was different to the Clinton campaign when they were opponents in the 2016 election, and Sanders agreed.

“I was tolerated,” replied Sanders.

He added: “They wanted my support, obviously.”

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A former associate of Trump ally Roger Stone appeared to gesture for Hillary Clinton to be hanged at a conference with QAnon attendees

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton.

  • Jason Sullivan, an ex-social media adviser to Roger Stone, seemd to imply Hillary Clinton should be hanged.
  • Sullivan made a gesture appearing to resemble a noose while talking about Clinton at a QAnon conference.
  • The conference, lasting three days, has attracted crowds of supporters who cheered at Sullivan’s gesture.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A former aide to Roger Stone, a longtime friend and former adviser to Donald Trump, appeared to indicate at a QAnon conference over the weekend that Hillary Clinton should be hanged.

Referring to Clinton as a “godawful woman who shall not be named,” Jason Sullivan, Stone’s ex-social media adviser, made a noose gesture with his hand on a stage. His action was received with loud applause from a crowd of QAnon gatherers.

A former attorney for Sullivan did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Clinton was Trump’s Democratic rival in the 2016 presidential election. Trump frequently berated her using sexist and misogynistic remarks, and has continued to do so years after he won the election.

Even while campaigning for the 2024 election, Trump lambasted Clinton, taking every opportunity in front of a crowd to target her.

“We went through the greatest witch hunt in political history,” Trump told supporters at his official campaign launch in Orlando, Florida, in June 2019. “The only collusion was committed by the Democrats, the fake news media, and their operatives, and the people who funded the phony dossier: Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC.”

In response to Trump’s vitriolic behavior and remarks, “lock her up” chants often broke out among his supporters.

The QAnon conference is a three-day event that took place over the weekend in Dallas, Texas. Its main attraction was Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser under the Trump administration.

While up on stage, Flynn suggested to a crowd that there should be a coup in the United States that mirrors the one taking place in Myanmar.

Hundreds have died since the military overthrew the democratically elected government.

Flynn in 2017 pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election. He received a pardon from Trump last year.

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‘Maybe I just wasn’t good enough’: Elizabeth Warren reflects on unsuccessful presidential campaign in new book

Elizabeth Warren
Then-US presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks during a rally at Washington Square Park in New York on September 16, 2019.

  • Sen. Warren reflects on her unsuccessful 2020 presidential bid in her upcoming book, “Persist.”
  • After entering the race to much fanfare, she was unable to translate that enthusiasm to votes.
  • “Maybe I just wasn’t good enough to reassure the voters,” she wrote.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts entered the 2020 presidential race, she didn’t really need a national introduction.

A former professor at Harvard Law School, she was also the architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was started under then-President Barack Obama in 2011 to oversee consumer protection in the financial sector.

After Warren was elected to the Senate from Massachusetts in 2012, defeating then-GOP Sen. Scott Brown, the presidential buzz immediately followed.

When Warren announced her candidacy in February 2019, she was seen as a Democrat who could win progressives and blue-collar Democrats with her populist economic message. After many rural voters abandoned former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, Warren felt that robust economic plans on tax reform and proposals for tackling student loan debt would resonate with a wide swath of voters.

However, after disappointing showings in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, she tried to turn her campaign around on Super Tuesday. It didn’t work.

After Biden unexpectedly won the Massachusetts Democratic primary that day, with Warren securing a third-place finish in her home state, she soon exited the race.

Read more: Here’s how Biden is reshaping gender and reproductive rights with policies that are even more progressive than past Democratic presidents

What happened?

In Warren’s upcoming book, “Persist,” set to be released on May 4, she reflects – quite candidly – on why her campaign failed to launch her into a one-on-one battle with former President Donald Trump for the White House.

“In this moment, against this president, in this field of candidates, maybe I just wasn’t good enough to reassure the voters, to bring along the doubters, to embolden the hopeful,” Warren wrote.

She wrote that the possibility of this notion being true was “painful.”

For Warren, who has kept a somewhat low profile since Biden took office, the book reveals a chapter of her life that had the potential to make her the first female president in US history.

In the book, Warren points to questions about the cost of her health care overhaul as part of her downfall, as well as what she says were the lingering suspicions that plagued high-profile female candidates like 2010 Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley and Clinton.

“I had to run against the shadows of Martha and Hillary,” she said, suggesting that some voters may have been leery of nominating a woman to take on Trump.

Warren also said that with the dozens of policy proposals that were drafted during the campaign, there was a lot to juggle.

“It can be risky to learn on the run, particularly if some of that learning is happening in public,” she wrote.

While Warren takes time to tackle her loss in the book, as a sitting senator, she still wants to empower her ideas.

“This book is about the fight that lies ahead,” Warren emphasizes on the back of the book.

In the book, she also offers praise for former 2020 competitor Biden, describing him as a “steady, decent man,” as well as Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whom she describes as “fearless and determined.”

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Pelosi says in new book that Trump’s 2016 victory felt ‘like a mule kicking you in the back over and over again’

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) arrives for an event on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021.

  • After Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016, Nancy Pelosi said that Trump’s victory was “stunningly scary.”
  • “How could they elect such a person – who talked that way about women,” she wondered.
  • Trump’s win drove Pelosi to stay in the House and continue her work in Washington.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In 2016, then-Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California was looking forward to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ascension to the White House.

In “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” an upcoming book about Pelosi’s life written by biographer and USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, Pelosi described how Clinton winning the election would have secured hard-fought legislative victories, including the Affordable Care Act.

Pelosi, then 76, saw herself spending time with her nine grandchildren and enjoying her retirement years.

But then Donald Trump won the presidency that November, throwing Pelosi’s plans into chaos.

When Pelosi spoke with then-Rep. Bob Brady of Pennsylvania about Clinton’s performance in the state, he was initially upbeat. But by the end of the night, he called and said the former secretary of state’s path to victory in the Keystone State was no longer realistic.

Clinton needed Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes to win the presidency, and with that state gone, along with narrow losses in the longtime Democratic strongholds of Michigan and Wisconsin, the Trump era would soon begin.

Pelosi expressed that she was “horrified” by Trump’s win and felt “physical” pain, saying it was “like a mule kicking you in the back over and over again.”

Read more: Imagine a 20-car motorcade taking you to dinner. That’s the White House bubble Joe Biden now finds himself living in.

Not only did Trump win, but Republicans retained their House and Senate majorities, leaving Democrats out of power in Congress.

Pelosi, who had led the House Democratic conference since 2003 and served as Speaker from 2007 to 2011, found herself faced with the prospect of another two years in the minority and without a legislative partner in the White House.

She was concerned about the new conservative-oriented direction on everything from healthcare and climate change to education and environmental regulations.

While Pelosi was upset that a woman would not occupy the White House, she thought it was “scary” that Trump could have been elected in the first place.

“That was saddening, but the election of Donald Trump was stunningly scary, and it was justified to be scared,” she said. “How could they elect such a person – who talked that way about women, who was so crude and … to me, creepy.”

Pelosi believed that Trump was “unfit” to sit in the Oval Office, and by the end of that Election night, she knew that her time in leadership would not come to an end, aware of the political turbulence ahead.

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Hillary Clinton mocks Ted Cruz after he reportedly left his pet dog, Snowflake, behind amid Texas’ storm

cruz airport police
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., checking into Cancun International Airport on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.

  • Hillary Clinton blasted Ted Cruz for reportedly leaving his dog behind amid a winter storm in Texas.
  • A picture taken by a journalist went viral after it showed the dog looking out from the family home.
  • “Don’t vote for anyone you wouldn’t trust with your dog,” Clinton tweeted on Friday.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton jabbed Republican Sen. Ted Cruz for his decision to travel to Cancun, Mexico, amid a catastrophic winter storm in Texas and allegedly leaving behind his pet dog, Snowflake.

“Don’t vote for anyone you wouldn’t trust with your dog,” Clinton tweeted on Friday after a picture of Snowflake looking out from Cruz’s dark family mansion went viral on social media.

The picture of the pooch was taken by Houston-based journalist Michael Hardy, who wrote an article in New York Magazine on Friday titled: “Ted Cruz Abandons Millions of Freezing Texans and His Poodle, Snowflake.” 

In the article, Hardy described driving down to the senator’s home in the River Oaks neighborhood to “check out” his “power situation” after Cruz claimed his family, like millions of others, were without heat and water.

Upon his arrival at the “dark and uninhabited” mansion, Hardy described hearing a bark before noticing a small, white dog looking out of the front door window. 

“As I approached to knock, a man stepped out of the Suburban parked in Cruz’s driveway. ‘Is this Senator Cruz’s house?’ I asked. He said it was, that Cruz wasn’t home, and identified himself as a security guard,” Hardy wrote, according to New York Magazine.

“When asked who was taking care of the dog, the guard volunteered that he was. Reassured of the dog’s well-being, I returned to my car,” Hardy added.

It was shortly after this conversation that the journalist took a picture of the dog and tweeted it out to his followers, writing: “Also, Ted appears to have left behind the family poodle.”

Hardy later added: “Just to clarify, this was taken around 1 pm central on Thursday. It’s possible Ted brought the poodle back from Cancun with him, or that a family member was staying behind to take care of the dog.”

 

Cruz left his home state as millions struggled with extreme winter conditions that resulted in severe food shortages, power loss, and a clean water crisis. At the time of writing, at least 47 people have died due to the freezing conditions, although this number is expected to be much higher, according to the Texas Tribune.

Upon realizing his mistake, the Texas Senator cut his trip short and flew back to Texas almost 24 hours after departing.

In an interview with reporters, he explained that he was only dropping off his daughters on a vacation with their friends because his family had “lost heat and water.” He also added that he had planned to return the following day.

“Look, it was obviously a mistake. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it. I was trying to be a dad,” Cruz said.

But several hours later, a text from Heidi Cruz’s group chat that was leaked to Insider (and confirmed by the New York Times) revealed that the family had been planning to escape Texas for several days and invited others to go along with them.

“Is everyone warm? That’s a must! We could all huddle in one house, [name’s] had heat,” Heidi wrote. “Anyone can or want to leave for the week? We may go to Cancun, there is a direct flight at 445pm and hotels with capacity. Seriously.”

United Airlines confirmed later that Cruz’s flight back to Houston was originally scheduled to return on Saturday, according to NBC News.

Cruz is not the first politician to have been embroiled in dog-related drama.

In 2007, Sen. Mit Romeny found himself the subject of negative media attention after it was reported that in 1983, he had traveled 12 hours to Canada with his Irish Setter, Seamus, strapped to the roof of the car in a kennel.

Romney’s dog reportedly had diarrhea during the trip, which was only noticed after Romney’s son saw brown liquid dripping down the back window. The senator, who was still a businessman at the time, had to hose the dog off and stuffed him back into the crate. 

This incident, condemned by PETA, was used to attack Romney in both his 2008 and the 2012 presidential elections.

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Hillary Clinton says conspiracies about her spread by QAnon followers are ‘rooted in ancient scapegoating of women’

Marjorie Taylor Greene Hillary Clinton
In an interview published Friday, Hillary Clinton (R) sounded off about QAnon and those who spread such theories, including Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (L).

  • In an interview with The New York Times, Hillary Clinton addressed conspiracy theories about her.
  • She addressed the role of Marjorie Taylor Greene and social media in the spreading of false theories.
  • “We are facing a mass addiction with the effective purveying of disinformation on social media,” she said.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, senator, secretary of state, and nominee for president, in an interview with The New York Times published Friday addressed the rampant and baseless conspiracy theories about her and her family, including those spread by Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

“For me, it does go back to my earliest days in national politics, when it became clear to me that there was a bit of a market in trafficking in the most outlandish accusations and wild stories concerning me, my family, people that we knew, people close to us,” Clinton said in an interview with New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg.

Clinton, who served as secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first term in the White House, said that the attacks against her relying on baseless theories, like ones that allege she belongs to a satanic cult, are part of larger cultural sexism and misogyny.

“This is rooted in ancient scapegoating of women, of doing everything to undermine women in the public arena, women with their own voices, women who speak up against power and the patriarchy,” she told The New York Times. “This is a Salem Witch Trials line of argument against independent, outspoken, pushy women. And it began to metastasize around me.”

Read more: Apple’s battle with Facebook comes down to privacy, but the iPhone maker has a conflict of interest issue of its own

The former first lady also addressed how theories against her had been propagated on social media, appearing to blame social-media platforms for the views and theories that have been espoused by individuals like Greene, who this week was stripped through a House vote of her committee assignments as a result of her past and recent comments.

“We are facing a mass addiction with the effective purveying of disinformation on social media,” Clinton said. “I don’t have one iota of sympathy for someone like her, but the algorithms, we are now understanding more than ever we could have, truly are addictive. And whatever it is in our brains for people who go down those rabbit holes, and begin to inhabit this alternative reality, they are, in effect, made to believe.”

As Insider’s Rachel E. Greenspan previously reported, Greene has acknowledged numerous baseless theories about Clinton, including “Pizzagate” and “Frazzledrip,” a fictitious video that conspiracy theorists claim shows Hillary Clinton and an aide sexually assault a child, slice off her face, and wear it as a mask.

Democrats, generally, have accused social media companies of being complicit in the spreading of misinformation and disinformation, while Republicans lash out at companies like Facebook and Twitter when their attempts to limit such content involve actions against Republicans, like its permanent suspension of former President Donald Trump in January.

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