Trump news – live: Ex-president says he ‘probably wouldn’t have any interest’ in returning to Twitter

Two lawyers who served at the most senior level in the Trump White House are today set to talk to the committee investigating events leading up to the 6 January insurrection. Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his onetime deputy Pat Philbin are reportedly speaking to the committee on a semi-formal basis rather than giving full testimony.

Meanwhile, the latest Capitol riot defendant to go on trial is blaming his actions on Donald Trump and his false claims about a stolen election, in a rare mention of the former president’s role during the ongoing hearings.

Dustin Byron Thompson, an Ohio man charged with stealing a coat rack from the Capitol, did not deny that he joined the mob on 6 January 2021. But his lawyer vowed on Tuesday to show that Mr Trump abused his power to “authorise” the attack.

Describing Mr Trump as a man without scruples or integrity, defence attorney Samuel Shamansky said the former president engaged in a “sinister” plot to encourage Mr Thompson and other supporters to “do his dirty work.”

Key Points

  • Ohio man blames Trump for storming the Capitol

  • McConnell warns GOP not to screw up midterms, says Trump not a fan

  • Trump launches personal attack on Fiona Hill after comparison to Putin

  • Will Donald Trump be charged over Jan 6? An evolving question for the DOJ

  • Canadian billionaire hit with ‘record-breaking’ fine for illegal $1.75m donation to Trump fund

GOP pollster says party mocks ‘child’ Trump in private

05:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

A Republican pollster says that the party mocks Donald Trump as a “child” in private and is “laughing” at the one-term president.

Frank Luntz made the comment in the wake of New Hampshire’s Republican governor, Chris Sununu, telling the annual Gridiron Club dinner that Mr Trump is “f***ing crazy.”

Read the full story here:

GOP pollster says party mocks ‘child’ Trump in private

Trump says he ‘probably wouldn’t have any interest’ in returning to Twitter

04:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump has said that he wouldn’t go back to Twitter if his ban was lifted during an interview in which he also boasted about Hispanic support for the Republican Party.

Mr Trump also told SiriusXM’s Americano Media people would be “very happy” about his plans for the 2024 election, which he said would be made public after the midterms in the fall.

“I’ll tell you this: I think a lot of people are going to be happy. I’ll announce it after the midterms, but a lot of people are going to be very happy,” Mr Trump told La Política.

He also claimed credit for Hispanic support for the GOP in the interview obtained by Fox News Digital.

“I think we really have a relationship … I think I started it and did very well in 2016. We did much better in almost every way – as you know I got 12 million more votes in the second election in 2020. But we did really well with the Hispanics,” he said.

Read more:

Trump says he ‘probably wouldn’t have any interest’ in returning to Twitter

Texas Governor Abbott buses migrants from border and leaves them at Fox’s DC HQ

03:15 , John Bowden

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is going forward with his plan to bus undocumented migrants to Washington DC despite concerns from most legal experts regarding his total lack of authority to do so.

The Texas Republican’s administration oversaw the first arrival of a busload of undocumented migrants to the nation’s capital on Wednesday; the bus arrived at the headquarters of right-leaning network Fox News, which was the first to report on the scene and had a story published within minutes of their arrival.

The building also houses C-SPAN and NBC News’s offices, but Fox’s coverage touted news of the event as an “exclusive” while NBC did not publish an article on the subject until after noon on Wednesday.

The White House has blasted Mr Abbott’s efforts as a publicity stunt. State officials do not have legal authority outside of their own jurisdiction, and it’s not clear if the group of migrants that arrived on Wednesday did so with the cooperation, consent or knowledge of Washington DC city officials.

The Biden administration recently announced that the CDC would rescind the Title 42 authority granted under the Trump administration to turn away asylum-seekers at the border, a move which Republicans argue is going to further drive illegal migration and asylum claims, which are legal but require a person to be physically present at the US border or inside the country for claims to be processed.

Read more:

Texas Governor Abbott buses migrants from border and leaves them at Fox’s DC HQ

‘Idea that’ Trump is ‘invincible among Republicans is far from proven,’ political science professor says

02:02 , Gustaf Kilander

Political science professor Jonathan Bernstein wrote in an opinion piece for Bloomberg that the idea that Donald Trump is “invincible among Republicans is far from proven”.

Dr Bernstein went on to note that Mr Trump’s 2016 nomination was “narrow” and that it was “aided by all sorts of odd events” and “a fair amount of luck”.

“He also has an electoral record now, and it’s not exactly an impressive one; after all, he lost re-election, and Republicans lost the House (in 2018) and the Senate (in 2020) while he was in office,” the professor wrote.

“His tantrum over losing the presidency and his false claims about fraud have widely been credited for the loss of two Senate seats in Georgia. Republicans may trust Trump more on policy than they once did, but they should have even less confidence that he’ll be a team player now,” he added.

This could all mean “more opposition from party actors” in 2024 compared to previous races.

“None of this is to say that Trump won’t be the nominee,” Dr Bernstein concluded. “It’s just a case for uncertainty.”

Trump supporters trick airport workers to page fake passengers at airports

Thursday 14 April 2022 00:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump supporters are tricking airport workers to page fake passengers at airports, according to The Daily Beast.

The new trend comes after years of conservatives fighting mask mandates on planes and involves tricking airport staff into paging fake passengers with names that sound like right-wing memes, such as “Let’s go Brandon”, which is code for “f**k Joe Biden”.

Daily Beast political reporter Will Sommer said the trend is a sign of “the prankishness of the American right right now”.

He added that one of the more well-known pranksters “does it and has his little snicker at the Cinnabon”.

“These videos rack up tens of thousands of views,” he said.

Ingraham says Trump and Hannity endorsing Dr Oz was a ‘mistake'

Wednesday 13 April 2022 23:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Fox News host Laura Ingraham has said that she thinks that fellow Fox Anchor Sean Hannity and Donald Trump endorsing Mehmet Oz for senate in Pennsylvania was a mistake.

On Tuesday night, Ms Ingraham said she couldn’t support Dr Oz because of his previous statements on guns and abortion.

She ran a short clip on her programme showing the celebrity doctor questioning that a fetus has a heartbeat at the age of six weeks.

Alongside former Trump aide Kellyanne Conway, they said that Dr Oz has never rejected his previous comments. He has said that he’s pro-life.

“A Trump endorsement, and waving the Trump flag, doesn’t make you Donald Trump,” Ms Conway said.

Mr Trump “did something I don’t see Oz doing” on the issue of abortion – “he’s had a conversion”, she added.

“Hannity, I believe, endorsed Oz … I think it was a mistake. I’m not afraid to say it. It was a mistake to endorse Oz,” Ms Ingraham said.

Trump to host Ohio rally as race to replace retiring senator heats up

Wednesday 13 April 2022 22:12 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump will hold a rally in Ohio as the race to replace retiring GOP Senator Rob Portman is intensifying.

The rally will be held on 23 April in Delaware, a town north of the state capital of Columbus.

The GOP candidates are competing for Mr Trump’s endorsement in the race. Fighting for his support are the author and venture capitalist JD Vance, businessman Mike Gibbons, the previous state Treasurer Josh Mandel as well as the former Ohio Republican Chair Jane Timken.

Most polls have shown a tight race so far.

Democrats have largely stepped in line behind Representative Tim Ryan, one of many Democrats who ran for president in 2020.

Trump PAC throws money on Georgia governor’s race

Wednesday 13 April 2022 21:02 , Gustaf Kilander

The political action committee of Donald Trump, Save America PAC, has transferred half a million dollars to a PAC aiming to unseat Georgia GOP Governor Brian Kemp.

It’s Mr Trump’s first large financial stake in a midterm race, according to Politico.

People close to Mr Trump say it’s an initial cash boost as the campaign nears the 24 May primary between Mr Kemp and former Senator David Perdue, who has been endorsed by Mr Trump.

Mr Trump’s PAC has more than $110m on hand, meaning it’s one of the wealthiest political organisations.

Book reveals Trump put McConnell in tight spot as GOP leader scrambled to win Georgia senate runoffs

Wednesday 13 April 2022 20:35 , Gustaf Kilander

After the 2020 election, Donald Trump was sure he could overturn the results, telling then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he had been speaking to officials in Pennsylvania and Michigan, states that Joe Biden won, who told him that they would be able to keep Mr Trump in the White House.

“I’ve been calling folks in those states and they’re with us,” Mr Trump said, according to a new book by New York Times political reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns.

A CNN excerpt details how Mr Trump’s false claims put Mr McConnell in a tight spot while he was trying to focus on the two Senate runoffs in Georgia, both of which were later won by Democrats.

Mr McConnell stayed quiet about Mr Trump’s lies to try to stop him from ruining the GOP’s chances in Georgia, the book – This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future – states.

“We’ve got to stay focused on Georgia,” Mr McConnell told colleagues after getting off the phone with Mr Trump.

“What it looks to me like he’s doing is setting this up so he can blame the governor and the secretary of state if we lose,” Mr McConnell told the reporters. “He’s always setting up somebody to blame it on.”

Conservative activist Charlie Kirk claims higher buildings leads to more liberal voters

Wednesday 13 April 2022 20:01 , Gustaf Kilander

Conservative activist Charlie Kirk has claimed that living in higher buildings leads to people becoming more liberal voters.

“We have a huge housing crisis in our country, the likes of which we have not seen in a long period of time,” Mr Kirk said during an event hosted by Turning Point USA – Mr Kirk’s organisation pushing conservative ideas on high school and university campuses.

“I believe that we need to build horizontally, not vertically. It’s one of my speeches – developers don’t like it when I say this, but it’s true,” he added. “The higher the building, the more liberal the voter. It just is. The closer to the ground you are, the more conservative you are.”

“We should encourage people to spread horizontally and not vertically. Look at Denver. The higher the high rises – has Denver become less free, or more free? It’s become a dystopian nightmare,” he claimed.

“Now, you might say, ‘Charlie, it’s a correlation with causation’. Think about it. If you’re on the 32nd floor, renting not owning, if you’re not in the weeds and in the yard and understanding what it takes to grow food and to maintain the land – are you gonna be more or less likely to actually be a conservative?” he asked.

“The higher the building, every single study shows, they become more liberal over time,” he said. “It’s happening in Phoenix, it’s happened in Denver, happened in Atlanta, happened in Dallas, happened in Chicago – everywhere, and yet few people actually say that out loud.”

While it’s unclear what studies Mr Kirk was referring to, The Atlantic staff writer Derek Thompson wrote in September 2019 that it’s “conceivable that living in a city might naturally promote ideologies that correspond with the modern Democratic Party”.

“The modern city brings its residents into constant interaction with the fact of, and necessity for, state intervention. Urban residents trade cars for public transit, live in neighborhoods with local trash codes, and deal with planning commissions about shadows, ocean views, and parking rights,” he added.

Mr Thompson noted that those who live in cities “are exquisitely sensitive to the consequences of individual behavior in a dense place where one man’s action is another man’s nuisance. As a result, residents of dense cities tend to reject libertarianism as unacceptable chaos and instead agitate for wiser governance related to health care, housing policy, and climate change”.

Obama appears to take shot at Trump over birther conspiracy

Wednesday 13 April 2022 19:29 , Gustaf Kilander

Former President Barack Obama appeared to take a shot at Donald Trump over his past false claims that his predecessor in the White House wasn’t born in the US.

Mr Obama appeared on NBC’s Today programme to promote his Netflix show Our Great National Parks. Together with host Al Roker, Mr Obama led a group of kids on a scavenger hunt in the Great Falls National Park in Virginia.

Mr Obama at one point remembered seeing whales migrating in Hawaii and one of the kids noted that he was born in the island state.

“I was born in Hawaii, yeah … Honolulu. See, you know more than some people know about where I was born,” he said.

After providing his long-form birth certificate, Mr Obama joked at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner that “no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald”.

“That’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like: Did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?” he added.

Trump says he wouldn’t go back to Twitter if he was allowed

Wednesday 13 April 2022 19:02 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump has told SiriusXM’s Americano Media that he wouldn’t go back to Twitter if his ban was lifted during an interview in which he also boasted about Hispanic support for the Republican Party.

Mr Trump also said people would be “very happy” about his plans for the 2024 election, which he said would be made public after the midterms in the fall.

“I’ll tell you this: I think a lot of people are going to be happy. I’ll announce it after the midterms, but a lot of people are going to be very happy,” Mr Trump told La Política.

He also claimed credit for Hispanic support for the GOP in the interview obtained by Fox News Digital.

“I think we really have a relationship … I think I started it and did very well in 2016. We did much better in almost every way – as you know I got 12 million more votes in the second election in 2020. But we did really well with the Hispanics,” he said.

“I did great with the Hispanics. And you know why? Because they’re very incredible people with great energy, and they’re very entrepreneurial. And they also understood the border. You know, they understand the border better than anybody else. And they want security at the border,” he added.

In the summer of 2015 when Mr Trump announced his 2016 bid for the White House, he said: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems.”

“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting,” he added at the time.

Concerning Twitter, Mr Trump said in the interview set to air on Wednesday night that he “probably wouldn’t have any interest” in going back.

“You know, Twitter has become very boring. They’ve gotten rid of a lot of their good voices … a lot of their conservative voices,” he added.

Ex-Trump chief of staff says The Rock could ‘could give him a run for his money’ in 2024

Wednesday 13 April 2022 18:29 , Gustaf Kilander

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has said that actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson could give the former president a “run for his money” in the 2024 presidential election.

Mr Mulvaney told Politico on Tuesday that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “could give him a run for his money”, South Carolina Senator “Tim Scott can give him a run for his money” and The Rock “could give him a run for his money”.

“It’s a short list,” he added.

“By the way, there’s one other person who could beat him, which is himself,” he added.

Mr Mulvaney resigned from his position as special envoy to Northern Ireland after the 6 January insurrection.

“Donald Trump is sometimes his own worst enemy when it comes to campaigning,” Mr Mulvaney said.

Kid at Trump rally says on TV that he’s excited to see Joe Biden

Wednesday 13 April 2022 17:58 , Gustaf Kilander

A video of a kid at a Trump rally in North Carolina has gone viral after he said he was excited to “see Joe Biden” and quickly being corrected by his parents.

Lawyer Ron Filipkowski shared the clip from the Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN), best known for its live streams of Trump events on its YouTube channel after its founding in 2015.

The video, filmed ahead of the rally on Saturday, had received around 2.7 million views as of Wednesday morning.

In the footage, the RSBN reporter asks the parents how excited they were when they found out there was going to be a rally in Selma, southeast of Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Just as excited as he was,” the mother said, nodding towards the father. “He’s the one who told me about it.”

Kid at Trump rally says on TV that he’s excited to see Joe Biden

Ex-White House chief removed from NC voter roll as he's investigated for 2020 voter fraud

Wednesday 13 April 2022 17:23 , Gustaf Kilander

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has been removed from the North Carolina voter roll as he’s investigated for possibly committing voter fraud in the 2020 election.

North Carolina State Board of Elections spokesman Patrick Gannon said in a statement that on 11 April, officials in Macon County “administratively removed the voter registration of Mark Meadows … after documentation indicated he lived in Virginia and last voted in the 2021 election there”.

John Bowden has the story:

Trump chief of staff purged from NC voter rolls, under investigation for voter fraud

GOP pollster Frank Luntz says Republicans are mocking Trump behind his back, think ‘he’s a child'

Wednesday 13 April 2022 16:55 , Gustaf Kilander

Republican pollster Frank Luntz has alleged that GOP lawmakers are laughing at Donald Trump behind his back and are mocking him because they “think he’s a child”.

After New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu said during the Gridiron Dinner in Washington, DC that Mr Trump is “f***ing crazy”, Mr Luntz told The Daily Beast that “I don’t know a single Republican who was surprised by what Sununu said”.

“The press often will ask me if I think Donald Trump is crazy. And I’ll say it this way: I don’t think he’s so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution. But I think if he were in one, he ain’t getting out!” Mr Sununu said.

Mr Luntz said Mr Sununu said what Republicans are already thinking.

“They won’t say it [in public], but behind his back, they think he’s a child. They’re laughing at him. That’s what made [Sununu’s comments] significant,” Mr Luntz told The Daily Beast.

“Trump isn’t the same man he was a year ago,” the pollster added. “Even many Republicans are tired of going back and rehashing the 2020 election. Everybody else has moved on, and in Washington, everyone believes he lost the election.”

Questions from Trump’s first impeachment remain unanswered

Wednesday 13 April 2022 16:20 , Gustaf Kilander

Questions from Donald Trump’s first impeachment remain unanswered as the war in Ukraine enters a new phase.

In 2019, Mr Trump secretly withheld military aid to Ukraine before asking President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations into then-candidate Joe Biden and his family.

Lawmakers and witnesses from the following impeachment say the scandal is directly connected to the current conflict, Politico reports.

The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, told the outlet that Mr Trump’s actions “absolutely” negatively affected Ukraine’s preparedness to fight Russia and made them unsure of the commitment of the US to their security.

“Remember, this was the guy who tried to extort political favours from President Zelenskyy for his own personal political gain,” Mr Warner said. “But the fact is we need to continue to get all the aid we can, as quickly as possible.”

Democrats continue to insist that Trump bears some of the responsibility for the current crisis in Ukraine. The former president’s willingness to condition support on political investigations, Democrats say, signaled to Putin that the west wouldn’t be united behind Ukraine.

Politico

Former Roger Stone aide urged Trump supporters to ‘descend on the Capitol’ week before insurrection

Wednesday 13 April 2022 15:55 , Gustaf Kilander

A former aide to Republican political operative Roger Stone urged Trump supporters to “descend on the Capitol” a week before the insurrection on 6 January 2021.

According to The New York Times, Right-wing communications advisor Jason Sullivan, a promoter of QAnon conspiracy theories, said during a conference call on 30 December 2020 that the election had been stolen and told Trump supporters to go to Washington, DC and make congressional representatives “sweat” before they certified President Joe Biden’s election victory.

“If we make the people inside that building sweat, and they understand that they may not be able to walk in the streets any longer if they do the wrong thing, then maybe they’ll do the right thing,” The Times quoted Mr Sullivan as saying.

A lawyer for Mr Sullivan told the paper that he wasn’t condoning any violence.

Trump struggling to get evangelicals to support bid to oust Georgia governor

Wednesday 13 April 2022 15:20 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump is struggling to get evangelical Christians to support his bid to oust Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp.

Mr Trump deemed Mr Kemp to be insufficiently supportive of his attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.

While evangelicals support Mr Trump and like his preferred candidate for the governorship, former US Senator David Perdue, they also support Mr Kemp.

Mr Perdue and Mr Kemp will face off in the Republican primary on 24 May.

Evangelical voters make up a third of Republican voters in the state and half of GOP primary voters.

Mr Trump is backing candidates across the country who support his false 2020 election claims, but voters are concerned about other issues, Bloomberg noted.

Evangelicals in the state say they like Mr Kemp for pushing a bill that bans abortion when a heartbeat is found, for not closing churches during the pandemic, and for his opposition to mask mandates.

The executive director of the conservative Christian group Faith and Freedom Coalition, Tim Head, told Bloomberg that “most evangelicals do feel strongly that Brian Kemp has delivered very well”.

Pence claims he “stood toe to toe” with Putin

Wednesday 13 April 2022 14:45 , Andrew Naughtie

As Donald Trump makes a haphazard effort to walk back his long history of remarks praising Vladimir Putin’s strength and supposed strategic brilliance, former vice president Mike Pence claimed yesterday that he had told Mr Putin some hard truths when encountering him during his own time in office.

Lauren Boebert gets a primary challenger

Wednesday 13 April 2022 14:10 , Andrew Naughtie

Far-right Colorado representative and gun-themed restaurant owner Lauren Boebert, who infamously tweeted the words “This is 1776” on the day of the Capitol riot, has attracted a Republican primary challenger.

Longtime state legislator Don Coram says on his campaign website that “When the fringe leaders of both political spectrums have taken all the oxygen in the room and act more like out-of-touch celebrities than members of Congress, we have a problem” – a judgment shared by many less outré Republicans than Ms Boebert, but not by Donald Trump, who has endorsed her for re-election.