The take-away: Gladiators

Bernie Sanders wants to do it in “the biggest stadium possible.” Donald Trump said he might do it, but someone’s gotta pay millions to charity. Fox News, ABC News and CBS News are interested in hosting it.

They’re talking about a debate before the June 7 California primary between Trump, who has clinched the Republican nomination, and Sanders, still a long shot to wrest the Democratic nomination from Hillary Clinton as the primary season nears an end.

If Trump and Sanders cross swords, it could be quite the spectacle, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison, letting them take unreturned shots at Clinton as well as each other.

The idea from Sanders was raised with Trump by comic Jimmy Kimmel on his ABC show Wednesday night, and Trump indicated interest. “If I debated him, we would have such high ratings, I think I should take that money and give it to charity,” he said. (Video here.)

“Game on,” Sanders tweeted. Since then, there has been vacillation from Trump and his camp, even as Sanders’ campaign manager taunted that he shouldn’t “chicken out.”

“I’d love to debate Bernie. The problem is he’s going to lose,” said Trump.

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Sanders wanted to debate Clinton ahead of the California voting, but she said no — she’d rather focus on Trump. She said she is looking ahead to her own debates with the Republican candidate in the fall.

Taking his turn on Kimmel's show Thursday night, Sanders responded to a Trump-planted question from the host about whether he could stage an independent run.  "I think there is a little bit of self service there from Donald Trump," the senator replied.

Over the top

Trump now has the majority of delegates needed to win nomination on the first ballot of the Republican national convention, according to counters at The Associated Press and the major networks.

He crossed the 1,237 mark with pledges from a number of delegates not previously bound to any candidate.

See our delegate tracker for both the Republican and Democratic races here.

Sweet and sour 16

Trump is keeping tabs of who among his 16 former GOP rivals is supporting him, and who is not. Follow along with a story and score card from Newsday’s William Goldschlag.

Marco Rubio just took a step away from the fence by saying he would speak on Trump’s behalf at the Republican convention if asked.

Shake, rattle and troll

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At a Group of Seven meeting in Japan, President Barack Obama said world leaders are “rattled by Trump — and for good reasons” because he shows “an ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines.”

Nothing wrong with that, Trump said at a news conference. “When you rattle someone, that’s good,” he said. “If they’re rattled in a friendly way, that’s a good thing ... not a bad thing.”

Tax returns: You wouldn’t get it

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort told the Huffington Post that he would be “surprised” if the real estate mogul releases his tax returns during the campaign, and he wouldn’t advise it.

“His tax returns are incredibly complicated,” Manafort said. “I wouldn’t understand them, so how are the American people going to?” He added, “The financial disclosure he put out gives the salient points. The only people who want the tax returns are the people who want to defeat him.”

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Trump: won’t go there (again)

Trump said Thursday that the 1993 death of Clinton White House aide Vincent Foster, which multiple investigations found to be a suicide, should not be brought up in the campaign unless new information emerges.

In an interview in Tuesday’s Washington Post, Trump had called the circumstances of Foster’s death — fodder for conspiracy theorists in the 1990s — “very fishy.” His comments were assailed as “cruel” in a Thursday Post Op-Ed by Foster’s sister, Sheila Foster Anthony.

What else is happening:

  • Clinton, defending how she handled emails at the State Department, told ABC News: “It was allowed. And the rules have been clarified since I left” ...
  • Trump said he would support the Canadian Keystone oil pipeline project, but the U.S. government should get a “better deal” for a share of the revenue.
  • His energy remarks  inspire confusion as he expresses singular disdain for wind turbines...
  • The Clinton-Sanders primary battle in California is looking like a close contest, potentially harming her "break-it-up-folks-nothing-to-see" posture...
  • Sanders stays on message to a fault as he moves around the Golden State, delivering speeches that glaringly ignore the particulars of where he happens to be....
  • A Chinese factory makes Trump masks , and the photos offer a surreal sight ...
  • The touch-and-go future of Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz as DNC chair has become a sideshow for those watching the Sanders-Clinton competition.
  • Speaking to a labor group in Las Vegas, Clinton praised workers at Trump’s hotel there for their effort to unionize ...
  • A recanvass of voting in Kentucky’s Democratic primary confirmed Clinton won. Sanders accepted the result ...
  • Trump predicted to Bloomberg Businessweek that the GOP will look like a “different party” in 5 to 10 years. “You’re going to have a worker’s party,” he said ...
  • Cleveland officials are growing more worried about how to deal with expected mass protests and other trouble outside the Republican convention ...
  • Trump told Kimmel he has used aliases throughout his career in real estate because “otherwise, they find out it’s you, and they charge you more money” ...
  • Democrats could outgun Republicans in their ground operations set for key battleground states.
  • Trump is seen as determined to alienate Hispanic voters...