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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 19 March, 2018

Donald Trump just confused 9/11 with 7-Eleven

The GOP candidate made the gaffe in New York. Both Democrats and Republicans go to the polls in the eastern state today.

GOP 2016 Trump Source: John Minchillo

Updated 8.30am

DONALD TRUMP DROPPED something of a clanger at a campaign rally last night in advance of the crucial New York primaries which are to be held today.

Speaking at a rally in Buffalo in upstate New York, Trump flubbed his words somewhat when describing the heroes of 9/11 – confusing the phrase with 7-Eleven – a brand of American convenience store.

Discussing the events of 11 September, 2001, Trump said “it’s very close to my heart”.

I watched our police and our firemen down on 7-Eleven, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down, and I saw the greatest people I’ve ever seen in action.
Source: CNN/YouTube

It wasn’t the Republican front-runner’s only gaffe of the night. Having been introduced to the raucous crowd by former New York Jets’ (an American football team) coach Rex Ryan, Trump proceeded to congratulate Ryan on his AFC championship wins during his tenure, something Ryan never accomplished.

The mistakes and verbal slip-ups don’t seem to have done Trump too much harm with the listening crowd however, while Ryan himself endorsed the businessman wholeheartedly:

“We’re all here tonight because we all support Donald Trump,” the New York Post reports Ryan as saying.

This man is one of the great businessmen, obviously, you know, that we could ever remember. There’s no question about that.

Trump is expected to emerge victorious over Texas senator Ted Cruz in today’s primary in his home state, but he has another battle on his hands at present – he’s facing a $4 million (€3.5 million) defamation case brought by a Republican strategist.

Cheri Jacobus took the lawsuit last Monday, in which she claims that Trump attempted to smear her reputation after she criticised him while working as a television pundit.

Jacobus says that the smear campaign began in the aftermath of her refusing a job with the Trump campaign in 2015, stating that she didn’t believe she could work with Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who himself faced charges regarding the alleged manhandling of a journalist in recent times.

The strategist alleges that the billionaire businessman deliberately targeted her “with the purpose of making her an object lesson, to those who might question Trump and his fitness for office, to incite a virtual mob against her, to destroy her reputation, and to bully her”.

Home state

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders go toe-to-toe today in New York’s Democratic primary, both aiming for a “home state” win.

Both candidates, and Republican Trump, have tried to portray themselves as authentic locals and defended the “New York values” that Republican candidate Ted Cruz of Texas has derided throughout the campaign.

While Trump is expected to win his race comfortably, Clinton is looking for an emphatic win to beat back Sanders’ momentum.

The two have been fighting to prove their credentials to New York voters for weeks, but are fundamentally different examples of the Empire State.

Sanders’ father, a Polish Jew, arrived in the United States as a penniless 17-year-old. Sanders was born in Brooklyn, grew up in a humble apartment and attended neighbourhood public schools.

The 74-year-old recently held a rally in front of his childhood home, and snacked on a hot dog in Coney Island.

He likes to point out that his wife, Jane, was also born in Brooklyn, and that his opponent Hillary Clinton is a New Yorker by recent relocation.

But Sanders also thought New York subway riders still use tokens, which were abandoned in 2003.

DEM 2016 Debate Source: AP/Press Association Images

Sanders eventually left New York, taking his thick Brooklyn accent to the small northeastern state of Vermont.

The former First Lady, by contrast, was born in Chicago, but served as a senator for New York from 2001 to 2009.

She owns a home in Chappaqua, about an hour north of New York, purchased in 1999 to make her eligible to run for the senate position.

Clinton, 68, says she has visited every corner of New York state. “I think I know the state a lot better” than Sanders, she said.

“New Yorkers took a chance on me, and I will never forget it,” the Democratic frontrunner told supporters at the iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem last month.

To prove her New York bona fides, Clinton recently rode on the city’s subway, though it took her five tries to successfully swipe the magnetic card at the stubborn turnstile.

The person who has won over the majority of New York Democrats will take the majority of the state’s 291 delegates.

A decisive win for Clinton puts her within touching distance of the magic number of 2,383 delegates. She is currently around 600 short. However, a stronger than expected performance from Sanders would keep his campaign alive long after many commentators expected it to be over.

On the Republican side, Trump could take up to 95 delegates, but he still needs to take around 500 of the 838 remaining delegates to avoid a contested Republican Convention in July.

With Cianan Brennan and AFP

First published 6am

Read: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had a seriously heated debate last night

Read: The Trump camp has hit another bump on the campaign trail

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