Trump aides told him over a McDonald’s meal to stop bitching about losing in Iowa to Ted Cruz in 2016

President Donald Trump admiring fast food at the White House.
President Donald Trump talks to the media about the table full of fast food in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, for the reception for the Clemson Tigers.

  • Trump was told over a McDonald’s meal to stop whining and get his act together after losing the 2016 GOP Iowa caucuses.
  • “If he wants to continue to bitch about the results in Iowa … this race was over,” Corey Lewandowski said he warned Trump at the time.
  • Lewandowski and 21 other insiders spoke to Insider for its definitive history of Trump becoming the king of the GOP.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

It’s long been known that former President Donald Trump has an affinity for fast food.

His love affair with burgers and fries also features prominently in a key part of the story into how Trump aides thought he was on the verge of nearly blowing his chance of becoming the Republican presidential nominee in 2016.

Upset about losing the Republican Iowa caucuses in 2016 to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the future president’s aides placated him over a McDonald’s meal in New Hampshire.

“I called the grown children – Don, Eric, and Ivanka – told them what was happening, brought Mr. Trump in, and, over a meal of McDonald’s in the back room of our Manchester office, told him that if he wants to continue to bitch about the results in Iowa and not lay out his vision for what he wanted to achieve for America to the people in New Hampshire, this race was over,” Corey Lewandowski, who was Trump’s 2016 campaign manager at the time, told Insider in the definitive oral history of how his boss took over the GOP.

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

Insider spoke with nearly two dozen insiders who had front-row seats for Trump’s ascent to king of the party.

“It was a very candid conversation, it was just he and I in the room,” Lewandowski added. “He listened intently. You walked out of that room. He went to a town-hall meeting with CNN that afternoon and Manchester. He came and ran a positive message.”

Trump would go on to win the New Hampshire Republican primary.

After he lost in Iowa in 2016, Trump made it no secret that he was enraged. Offering a preview of how he would eventually respond to losing the 2020 election, Trump accused Cruz of fraud.

“Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!” Trump said in a February 2016 tweet.

Throughout the 2016 campaign cycle, Trump relentlessly attacked Cruz – often referring to him as “Lyin’ Ted.” At one point, the former reality TV star alleged that Cruz’s father was linked to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Trump also insulted the appearance of Heidi Cruz, the Texas Republican’s wife. Cruz responded to the attack in a tweet, stating, “Donald, real men don’t attack women. Your wife is lovely, and Heidi is the love of my life.”

Though Cruz and Trump frequently butted heads during the 2016 campaign season, the Texas senator swiftly morphed into a close ally of real-estate mogul-turned-politician once he was in the White House. The drastic shift in the dynamic between the two was emblematic of how Trump rapidly consolidated power in the GOP and demanded loyalty.

To read the full Trump oral history story, click here.

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Iowa officials rejected more than 21,000 vaccine doses as the state experiences a ‘slowdown’ in demand for shots

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Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Officials in Iowa confirmed they rejected nearly 22,000 vaccine doses from the federal government.
  • The state rejected 18,300 Moderna vaccine doses and 3,510 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • A state spokesperson told the Des Moines Register Iowa has seen a “slowdown of vaccine administration.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Officials in Iowa rejected nearly 22,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government due to waning interest, state officials confirmed to the Des Moines Register.

According to the report, published Saturday, state officials rejected 18,300 Moderna doses of the 34,300 doses the state had expected to receive from the federal government. They also rejected some 3,510 Pfizer doses of the 46,800 they originally anticipated.

“Along with several other states, we are seeing a slowdown of vaccine administration, but we are working with our local partners and community leaders to determine where additional education is needed and to gain an understanding of the needs of each county’s unique population,” Sarah Ekstrand, a spokesperson for the state health department, told the Des Moines Register.

Read more: Uber and Lyft asked Congress to bail out their drivers. Now they can’t get enough drivers to come back to work.

According to CDC data, about 55% of the Iowa adult population is at least partially vaccinated against the disease.

There are growing concerns that vaccine hesitancy will slow the rate of vaccination in the US and prolong the effects of the pandemic. A Monmouth poll conducted earlier this month found 1 in 5 American adults were unwilling to get one of the shots.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses for full efficacy, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires just one shot for full vaccination. There are concerns that some people in the US are skipping out on the required second dose.

The US Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week gave the go-ahead to resume the single-shot J&J vaccinations after a pause that lasted just over a week while regulators examined the vaccine’s link to rare blood clots.

Health officials said the potential risk of rare blood clots, which impact women under the age of 50, does not outweigh the benefit of the vaccine. The CDC said they found about 15 cases of these blood clots in the roughly 8 million doses of the J&J vaccine that have been administered nationwide.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that the J&J pause should help people hesitant about all three vaccines believe they are safe because regulators paused the vaccine to investigate a potential safety risk.

In total, more than 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the US.

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77 inmates receive ‘6 times the recommended amount’ of COVID-19 vaccine in Iowa

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Dozens of inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary were given doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine far in excess of what is recommended.

Officials at a maximum-security prison in Iowa gave 77 inmates doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine that were several times more potent than recommended, the Des Moines Register reported.

The incident, which occurred Tuesday, took place at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

The mother of one inmate told the Register her son received a dose that was “six times the recommended amount,” according to doctors.

“The affected inmates have been notified and are being closely monitored by medical staff. At this time, the only side effects experienced by the inmates are those commonly associated with the Pfizer vaccine,” a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Corrections told the paper.

It is not clear how the incident happened. Two nurses who delivered the vaccine doses have been placed on leave pending an investigation.

The Pfizer vaccine comes in a vial that contains six doses, a fact that has led to mix-ups before. In Australia, two residents of a nursing home were given four times the recommended amount. And in Germany, eight nursing home staffers each received five times the advised dose, with several reporting flu-like symptoms.

Similar incidents happened in Israel.

“In these cases, the practitioners are forgetting to do the dilution and injecting the vaccine concentrate as it is,” Amiram Ariel, head of the Israeli Immunological Society, told Australian broadcaster ABC.

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Texas isn’t the only state lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Here’s how 11 other states and cities are easing lockdowns, despite the CDC insisting that ‘now is not the time.’

greg abbot coronavirus vaccine texas
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

  • Texas on Tuesday became the largest US state to ease its lockdown restrictions.
  • Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order that would end all COVID-19 restrictions, including a mask mandate, on March 10.
  • Mississippi, Louisiana, and Michigan also made announcements to ease restrictions.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Texas on Tuesday became the largest state in the US to lift its mask mandate.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order set to end all COVID-19 restrictions on March 10. He tweeted that “Texas is OPEN 100%,” and said “people and businesses don’t need the state telling them how to operate.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Monday of a potential resurgence of coronavirus infections in the US, despite a dip in numbers of new cases nationally.

“At this level of cases, with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” Rochelle Walensky, the head of the CDC, said. “Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

Texas isn’t the only place in the US easing restrictions. Mississippi, Louisiana, and Michigan, as well as Chicago and San Francisco, all made announcements to ease restrictions on Tuesday, though the details varied.

Montana, Iowa, North Dakota, and Mississippi have already waived mask-wearing restrictions, and Michigan has eased other lockdown restrictions. Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina have not enforced state-wide mask mandates throughout the pandemic.

In Florida and South Dakota, schools and businesses have been widely open for months.

More than 35 US states have kept their mask-wearing rules in place, albeit with variable enforcement.

Here is how some other states, as well as some cities, are easing their restrictions.


Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot arrives at a University of Chicago initiative event for the science in Chicago, Illinois, on July 23, 2020.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Chicago announced Tuesday that hospitality, sports, and performance venues could increase to 50% capacity, up from 40%. The maximum number of people is 50, or 20 people for indoor fitness classes. Curfews were also extended. The changes were effective as of Tuesday.

San Francisco

Mayor London Breed of San Francisco said Tuesday that indoor dining, indoor fitness, museums, and movie theaters would be allowed to reopen Wednesday at limited capacity.


Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana said on Tuesday that starting Wednesday, businesses could operate at 75% capacity, except in indoor event halls, which were limited to 50% capacity at a maximum of 250 people.

Live music could also resume indoors. He said that the state’s mask mandate would continue, and the new rules would remain in place for at least 28 days, until March 31.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan announced easing of restrictions on Tuesday, set to take effect on Friday.

Restaurants would be able to operate at 50% capacity – increased from 25% – and retail, entertainment, and sports facilities could open at increased capacity, she said. People can also visit a nursing home after a negative COVID-19 test.

Michigan has a state-wide mask-mandate, and Whitmer said mask-wearing, social distancing, and washing hands was “more important than ever.”


Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves.

Mississippi rescinded a state-wide mask order in September, but Gov. Tate Reeves of Mississippi said Tuesday that county-specific mandates would be lifted too. He also said that the only COVID-19 restrictions that would remain were a 50% cap on the number of people in indoor arenas, and that certain restrictions would remain in schools.

North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina eased restrictions starting February 26, lifting a curfew and allowing indoor venues to operate at limited capacity. There is still a mask mandate.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson on February 26 lifted capacity limits for bars, restaurants, gyms, and large venues. He said that the state’s mask mandate would remain in place until March, provided the number of cases and hospitalizations were low.


Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts said February 25 that restaurants could open at full capacity – albeit with social distancing and table size and time restrictions – starting Monday.

Other venues could open at 50% capacity, with no more than 500 people allowed inside. A state-wide mask mandate is still in place.


Gov. Jay Inslee lifted restrictions for five counties in the state on February 14, and allowed restaurants to open up at 25% capacity.


Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana terminated the state’s mask mandate February 12.


Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa lifted restrictions February 5. Iowans no longer have to wear face coverings in public. Businesses can have as many people as they want inside and don’t have to abide social-distance guidelines.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Iowa and New Hampshire shouldn’t vote first anymore, says former DNC chair Tom Perez: ‘The status quo is clearly unacceptable.’

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), (R), greets DNC Chairman Tom Perez, (L) on stage as he gets ready to speak to a crowd of supporters at a Democratic unity rally at the Rail Event Center on April 21, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • Former DNC chair Tom Perez said his party should change how it votes for a presidential nominee.
  • “The status quo is clearly unacceptable,” Perez said in an interview with The New York Times.
  • Perez said a more diverse state or set of states should vote before either Iowa or New Hampshire.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Democrats cannot keep voting like it’s 1972, according to former party chairman Tom Perez, who said it’s time to let others go first when it comes time to select a presidential nominee.

“The status quo is clearly unacceptable,” Perez, who headed the Democratic National Committee during the 2020 nomination process, said in an interview published Sunday by The New York Times.

For nearly 50 years, Iowa has been the first state to weigh in on who should lead the Democrats into the general election, followed soon after by New Hampshire. In 1972, that was a progressive reform: Previously, party elites made the choice with little direct input from their party’s voters.

But both states are overwhelmingly white, far more so than the general public and the Democratic electorate in particular.

“A diverse state or states need to be first,” Perez said. “The difference between going first and going third is really important. We know the importance of momentum in Democratic primaries.”

In 2020, the Iowa caucuses were narrowly won by now-Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders taking New Hampshire. Sanders also won the next state, Nevada, the first with a significant population of color.

However, it wasn’t until the fourth contest, in South Carolina, that a state with a large Black population voted. That state was won by President Joe Biden.

“This is the Democratic Party of 2020,” Perez said. “It’s different from the Democratic Party in how we were in 1972. And we need to reflect that change. And so I am confident that the status quo is not going to survive.”

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The governor of Iowa lifted mask-wearing restrictions despite a new coronavirus variant in the state

kim reynolds iowa
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks at a news conference on the state’s guidance for returning to school in response to the coronavirus outbreak on July 30, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa.

  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds rolled back several health restrictions in response to the pandemic.
  • Reynolds said on Friday that Iowans no longer need to wear masks in public, for example.
  • This update comes as Iowan health officials say they’ve detected new coronavirus variants.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Friday lifted several health restrictions intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

Reynolds rolled back health practices like mask-wearing and capacity limitations indoors, despite officials noting in early February that the state has seen three coronavirus mutations

Reynolds said Iowans no longer have to wear face coverings in public, according to the Omaha World-Herald. She also said businesses no longer have to cap the number of people entering their establishing and can drop social distance guidelines. 

Meanwhile, Iowa county officials continue to urge caution. 

“Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and persist. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic,” Dr. Caitlin Pedati, an Iowa medical director and epidemiologist, said in a news release from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

“Public health will continue to work with our partners at [the State Hygienic Lab] to monitor these trends and it is very important that we all keep practicing good public health protective measures,” Pedati said. 

The state’s health department’s website encourages people to wash their hands often, continue to social distance, and wear a mask around others.

Reynolds’ office did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Iowa has had at least 323,000 confirmed cases, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that, more than 5,000 people have died from the coronavirus. 

In the last week, Iowa almost topped its record-high number of deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data. Between December 6 and December 12 of last year, the state recorded 492 deaths from the coronavirus. Last week, the state hit 490 new deaths.

Reynolds’ updates to the state’s coronavirus health restrictions are in effect starting Sunday, the Omaha World-Herald reported. 

These new coronavirus variants can spread more easily and faster, according to the Iowa health department. Scientists are still trying to figure out whether the new variants lead to higher mortality rates.

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