Donald Trump is facing a critical test in the final six weeks of the primary season: securing the 1,237 delegates needed to finally claim the Republican presidential nomination as his own. The prospect of a historic contested convention has surrounded Trump's candidacy for months. But Trump is much closer to winning the nomination outright following his resounding victories in Tuesday's East Coast primaries, which boosted his delegate count to at least 988 compared to 568 for his chief rival, Ted Cruz. Trump needs to win 49% of the remaining Republican delegates to capture the nomination, according to CNN estimates. He's been winning delegates so far at a rate of 49%, making that target well within reach. Still, he is facing headwinds as the primary calendar winds down: both in the newly forged alliance between Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the complex political terrain in Indiana and California will determine whether Trump can win the nomination outright. Cruz is also making a last-ditch effort to revitalize his campaign by saying Wednesday that Carly Fiorina would be his running mate if he won the GOP nomination. North Korea fired two midrange Musudan missiles Thursday, but both appear to have failed, South Korean Defense Ministry officials said. The first was fired about 6:10 a.m. local time (5:40 p.m. Wednesday ET). The military cannot confirm exactly when the missile exploded but said it "crashed shortly after it was launched," a Defense Ministry official said. A second Musudan missile was fired Thursday at 6:56 p.m. local time (6:26 a.m. ET), the official said. This launch, from the port city of Wonsan, is also believed to have failed, the official said. The missiles went an estimated 200 meters off the launchpad, U.S. military officials said. U.S. Strategic Command said its systems detected and tracked what were assessed as attempted North Korean missile launches, and determined they did not pose a threat to North America. Former House Speaker John Boehner called Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz "Lucifer in the flesh," in a withering interview at Stanford University published Thursday. In it, he repeated many of the same attacks he used last month while calling on his successor, Paul Ryan, to seek the Republican nomination. "Lucifer in the flesh," Boehner told Stanford's David Kennedy, a history professor emeritus, according to the Stanford Daily. "I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life." John Boehner's political career 23 photos: John Boehner's political career Boehner also said he was "texting buddies" with GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and friends with former House colleague and fellow Ohioan, John Kasich. The account in the student newspaper is accurate, a source close to Boehner confirmed Thursday. Cruz tweeted a response Thursday morning: "Tell me again who will stand up to Washington? Trump, who's Boehner's "texting and golfing buddy," or Carly & me?"
Behind the mic...
Anderson Cooper is the anchor of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360°, a global newscast that goes beyond the headlines with in-depth reporting and investigations. The show airs weeknights at 8:00pm ET on CNN and is simulcast to an international audience on CNN International.
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