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Trump: GOP challengers ‘a laughing stock’

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WASHINGTON US President Donald Trump dismissed Republican challengers to his 2020 re-election as "the Three Stooges" on Monday.

"They're a joke. They're a laughingstock," Mr Trump told reporters when asked whether he would agree to debate them during the 2020 nominating contest.

Three Republicans - former US representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina, former Massachusetts governor William Weld and former US representative Joe Walsh of Illinois - are mounting long-shot campaigns.

Mr Sanford, who announced his candidacy on Sunday, said he did not believe Mr Trump's popularity would last.

"I sincerely believe Trump is misguided on a whole host of issues. He's out of sync with voters in South Carolina. I think he has lost touch with the very voters that sent him to office," he told MSNBC on Monday.

Mr Walsh has called Mr Trump a bully and a coward who is unfit for office. Mr Weld says another Trump term would be bad for the US.

Mr Trump also said he planned at some point to put out an "extremely complete" statement on his finances.

He has refused for years to release his tax returns.

He said the financial statement would make clear he did not need whatever revenue was produced when US military personnel stayed at his Turnberry golf resort in Scotland while on refuelling stops.

"...You'll be extremely shocked that the numbers are many, many times what you think," he said.

On his challengers, he said: "The Three Stooges, all badly failed candidates, will give it a go."

He also denied having anything to do with the cancellation of Republican nominating primaries in four states, including critical early voting states Nevada and South Carolina, meaning he will face no opposition there.

"The four states that cancelled it don't want to waste their money. If there was a race, they would certainly want to do that," Mr Trump said. - REUTERS