Trump news – live: Jared Kushner says he stopped ex-president from attacking Murdoch

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Jared Kushner says he intervened in 2015 to stop Donald Trump from publicly attacking media mogul Rupert Murdoch, in a development that could have had major consequences for Fox News’ coverage of his 2016 campaign.

In his new memoir Breaking History, Kushner writes about how Mr Trump was upset with Mr Murdoch for his criticism at the outset of the former’s foray into politics.

Mr Trump is in hot water for hosting the contentious LIV Golf series at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. Both he and his son Eric joined a pro-am round there on Thursday.

And in an interview broadcast on Sunday, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers spoke out against Trumpism after the former president called him a “RINO coward” during a rally in the state.

“They rule by thuggery and intimidation. So you know, they found a niche, they found a way and it’s fear, and people can use fear, demagogues like to use fear as a weapon. And they weaponise everything, and we all know it. But that’s not leadership to me to use thuggery”, Mr Bowers told ABC News.

Key Points

  • Trump slams suggested US prisoner swap with Russia

  • Paul Manafort claims that Michael Cohen spied on the 2016 Trump campaign

  • Trump blasts Verizon for dropping far-right One America News Network

  • ‘Completely ridiculous’: Family member of 9/11 victim hits out at Trump comments

  • Jon Stewart schools Ted Cruz after senator votes against burn pits bill

Trump ‘has to be rattled’, says biographer

08:30 , Namita Singh

With the House committee probing the Jan 6 attack on the US Capitol, former president Donald Trump “has to be rattled”, his biographer Tim O’Brien said on Sunday.

The author of TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald made the comments on MSNBC when asked about the panel’s possible plans to interview his former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.

Former US president Donald Trump and son Eric Trump react to his putt on the 14th green during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on 28 July 2022 (Getty Images)
Former US president Donald Trump and son Eric Trump react to his putt on the 14th green during the pro-am prior to the LIV Golf Invitational - Bedminster at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster on 28 July 2022 (Getty Images)

“Mike Pompeo said he’s considering talking to the committee about possibly testifying. Do you think Trump is rattled by these senior members of his administration cooperating?” asked the host.

“I can’t get inside his head that completely, but Trump has always believed in unwavering loyalty....And I think throughout most of his presidency that was a pretty firm wall,” Mr O’Brien responded.“I don’t think you saw many people in his inner circle—they quit before they really decided to rat him out.”

He told the outlet that the substance of questions directed at high-ranking Trump officials were aimed at enquiring “whether or not they were alarmed by what happened on January 6 that they wanted to invoke 25th Amendment and force Trump’s removal from office”.

“So he has to be rattled by that because these are people in the past… I think who never would have publicly gone on the other side against him.”

Top election official races feature deniers of 2020 results

07:31 , Namita Singh

An Arizona lawmaker endorsed by former president Donald Trump and another lawmaker who believe that the 2020 presidential results should be overturned are among four Republicans in race for the top election officer in Arizona.

Tuesday’s primary elections feature similar candidates in Kansas and Washington state.n Kansas, voters will choose between a challenger who questions the 2020 presidential results and the incumbent Republican who believes the election was secure in his state.

Washington state’s open primary also has a candidate who backs Trump’s unsupported claims, although that’s not the toughest challenge the Democratic incumbent faces.

So far this year, Republican primary voters have split on whether to put election skeptics on the November ballot.

Read the details here:

Top election official races feature deniers of 2020 results

‘Rule by thuggery’: Rusty Bowers speaks out against Trumpism after Jan 6 testimony

06:31 , Namita Singh

Republican Arizona State House Speaker Rusty Bowers has spoken out against Trumpism in a deepening row with former president Donald Trump over his testimony to the January 6 committee.

Responding to the attacks from former president for testifying before the select committee, Mr Bowers said: “I have thought at times that someone born how he was raised how he was – he has no idea what a hard life is and what people have to go through in real in the real world. He has no idea what courage is, and the last place on Earth that I would want to do evil would be the state of Arizona.”

“How do you explain the hold that he has, though, on Republicans, including a lot of Republican leaders right here in Arizona?” ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl asked.

“They rule by thuggery and intimidation. So you know, they found a niche, they found a way and it’s fear, and people can use fear, demagogues like to use fear as a weapon. And they weaponise everything, and we all know it. But that’s not leadership to me to use thuggery”, Mr Bowers said.

Read the details in this report by Gustaf Kilander:

‘Rule by thuggery’: Rusty Bowers speaks out against Trumpism after Jan 6 testimony

Trump apologised to Cruz for insulting his wife and father during campaign, reveals memoir

05:54 , Namita Singh

Donald Trump apologised to Ted Cruz for insulting his wife and father during the 2016 campaign trail, revealed a new memoir from the former president’s then campaign manager Paul Manafort.

“On his own initiative, Trump did apologise for saying some of the things he said about Cruz, which was unusual for Trump,” Mr Manafort wrote in his book Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted, But Not Silenced, reported the Guardian.

In 2016, Mr Trump had insinuated that Mr Cruz’s wife was ugly, linked his father to the assassination of John F Kennedy and questioned if he was born in Canada.

Donald Trump greets Ted Cruz (R), Republican of Texas, during a campaign rally at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, 22 October 2018 (AFP via Getty Images)
Donald Trump greets Ted Cruz (R), Republican of Texas, during a campaign rally at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, 22 October 2018 (AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Manafort, who was Mr Trump’s campaign manager between May and August 2016, said his former top boss, while apologising to Mr Cruz, told him that “he considered him an ally, not an enemy, and that he believed they could work together when Trump was president.”

While Mr Cruz did not initially endorse him at the Republican convention, however, he eventually “came around to supporting Trump and Trump harboured no ill will”

‘America’s tired’ of Trump says Arizona GOP house speaker Rusty Bowers

05:07 , Namita Singh

In a stunning volte-face, Arizona House speaker Rusty Bowers vowed to never vote for former president Donald Trump, saying “America’s tired”.

“I’ll never vote for him, but I won’t have to,” Mr Bowers told ABC News. “Because I think America’s tired and there’s some absolutely forceful, qualified, morally defensible and upright people, and that’s what I want. That’s what I want in my party and that’s what I want to see.”

The statement comes almost a month after he told the Associated Press in June this year, that he would back his former top boss “if he is the nominee, if he was up against Biden”.

Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies during the fourth hearing on the January 6th investigation in the Cannon House Office Building on 21 June 2022 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)
Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies during the fourth hearing on the January 6th investigation in the Cannon House Office Building on 21 June 2022 in Washington, DC (Getty Images)

“Simply because what he did the first time, before Covid, was so good for the county. In my view it was great.”

The Republican, who has also testified before the House select committee probing the 6 January capitol riot, told the outlet that he does not “trust that authority” that Mr Trump “would exercise”.

“I have thought, at times, someone born how he was, raised how he was — he has no idea what a hard life is. And what people have to go through in real — in the real world. He has no idea what courage is.”

VIDEO: Three witnesses in Department of Justice’s investigation into Capitol riot receive subpoenas

03:20 , Gustaf Kilander

Joe Biden sends pizza to burn pit protesters after Republicans block bill for veterans

02:20 , John Bowden

Joe Biden is using his Covid isolation time to highlight the GOP’s resistance to passing legislation aimed at helping sick US veterans.

In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday the president highlighted protesters who are camped out on the steps of the US Capitol to denounce Republicans who have yet to put their support behind legislation that would mandate the Department of Veterans affairs to assume that US veterans who worked around so-called “burn pits” during their military service be presumed to have been exposed to toxic substances.

Republicans led by Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are demanding an amendment to the bill that would tie its funding to the annual appropriations process, rather than giving it a direct, set line of funding. Democrats have accused their rivals of instigating pointless delays in supposed retaliation for the ressurection of the Build Bact Better Act in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act, a slimmed-down piece of legislation aimed at both battling inflation and addressing other issues like prescription drug prices and climate change.

On Sunday, Mr Biden released a video filled with images of sick veterans holding signs denouncing the GOP for inaction on the bill, which Democrats are hoping to force a vote on in the coming days.

“I’d planned to stop by the Capitol and visit families fighting to pass burn pits legislation. Covid got in the way, so I FaceTimed them and sent some pizza. It’s our sacred obligation to care for our veterans. I won’t stop fighting alongside them to get this bill passed,” tweeted Mr Biden.

Read more:

Biden sends pizza to protesters on Capitol steps after GOP blocks bill for veterans

Doctor: Biden tests positive for COVID for 2nd day in a row

01:20 , The Associated Press

President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 for the second straight day, in what appears to be in a rare case of “rebound” following treatment with an anti-viral drug.

In a letter noting the positive test, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the White House physician, said Sunday that the president “continues to feel well” and will keep on working from the executive residence while he isolates.

Biden tested positive on Saturday, requiring him to cancel travel and in-person events as he isolates for at least five days in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

After initially testing positive on July 21, Biden, 79, was treated with the anti-viral drug Paxlovid. He tested negative for the virus on this past Tuesday and Wednesday, clearing him to leave isolation while wearing a mask indoors.

Research suggests that a minority of those prescribed Paxlovid to experience a rebound case of the virus. The fact that a rebound rather than a reinfection possibly occurred is a positive sign for Biden’s health once he’s clear of the disease.

Read more:

Doctor: Biden tests positive for COVID for 2nd day in a row

‘Rule by thuggery’: Rusty Bowers speaks out against Trumpism after Jan 6 testimony

Monday 1 August 2022 00:20 , Gustaf Kilander

Republican Arizona State House Speaker Rusty Bowers has spoken out against Trumpism in a deepening row with former president Donald Trump over his testimony to the January 6 committee.

Mr Bowers testified in front of the House Select Committee investigating January 6 after voting for Mr Trump in 2016 and 2020. But the speaker hasn’t bought into the lie spread by the former president and his allies that the 2020 election was stolen from Mr Trump.

Mr Bowers, 69, was censured by the Arizona GOP a month after his testimony. On 21 June, Mr Bowers told the committee that Mr Trump pressured him to overturn the results in Arizona, a state President Joe Biden won narrowly.

“I do not want to be a winner by cheating, I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to”, he said at the time.

“Rusty Bowers is a RINO coward who participated against the Republican Party in the totally partisan unselect committee of political thugs and hacks the other day and disgraced himself and he disgraced the state of Arizona”, Mr Trump told a rally crowd in Prescott Valley on 22 July.

Mr Bowers responded to Mr Trump’s attacks during an interview with ABC News.

“I have thought at times that someone born how he was raised how he was – he has no idea what a hard life is and what people have to go through in real in the real world. He has no idea what courage is, and the last place on Earth that I would want to do evil would be the state of Arizona,” he said in the interview broadcast on Sunday.

Read more:

‘Rule by thuggery’: Rusty Bowers speaks out against Trumpism after Jan 6 testimony

Fights with Bannon and calls with Murdoch: Five revelations from Jared Kushner’s White House memoir

Sunday 31 July 2022 23:20 , John Bowden

Jared Kushner is joining the long list of former Trump White House officials publishing memoirs in an attempt to capitalise from four years serving a celebrity president whose ex-employees have launched an empire of media gigs and pet projects.

The president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser is publishing a book next month titled Breaking History, which like the memoirs of his colleagues contains a number of descriptions of lurid, explosive moments that would seem deeply out of place in any administration other than Donald Trump’s. What may be unique about Mr Kushner’s, however, is the pairing of unflattering portrayals of the Trump White House with the unlikelihood that Mr Trump himself will denounce the work or its author.

That’s thanks to Mr Kushner’s marriage to Ivanka Trump, who as the president’s eldest daughter avoided criticism herself after the January 6 committee played testimony from her in which she admitted that she accepted ex-Attorney General Bill Barr’s assessment that her father’s claims of election fraud were, in his words, “bullshit”.

Let’s take a look at the most newsworthy findings from the latest offering to arise from the ignominious end of the Trump presidency.

Read more:

Five things we learned from Jared Kushner’s White House memoir

Trump calls WNBA star Brittney Griner ‘spoiled’ and says he wouldn’t make deal for her release

Sunday 31 July 2022 22:20 , Gustaf Kilander and Bevan Hurley

Donald Trump blasted the proposed prisoner swap between the US and Russia, involving WNBA star Brittney Griner and ex-marine Paul Whelan in exchnage Russian weapons dealer Viktor Bout.

Mr Trump appeared on The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show on Saturday.

Ms Griner has been in jail in Russia for months and is now on trial on drug charges.

“She knew you don’t go in there loaded up with drugs, and she admitted it”, Mr Trump said.

“It certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade, does it?” he added, concerning Bout. “He’s absolutely one of the worst in the world, and he’s going to be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs.”

Concerning Russian laws, he said: “They don’t like drugs. And she got caught. And now, we’re supposed to get her out — and she makes, you know, a lot of money, I guess. We’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world. Killed many Americans. Killed many people.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he urged Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to accept a prisoner swap for Ms Griner and Mr Whelan in their first talks since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Blinken said he had a “frank and direct conversation” with Mr Lavrov on Friday, which focused primarily on the prisoner exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, the Associated Press reported.

“I urged Foreign Minister Lavrov to move forward with that proposal,” Mr Blinken said.

He said the Russian officials gave no indication if they would accept the US proposal.

“I can’t give you an assessment of whether that is any more or less likely.”

Mr Blinken said the call centred primarily on the proposal for the release of the Americans.

Read more:

Trump calls Brittney Griner ‘spoiled’ and says he wouldn’t make deal for her release

Manchin declines to say if he wants Dems to retain control

Sunday 31 July 2022 21:20 , The Associated Press

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the Democrats’ most conservative and contrarian members, declined on Sunday to say whether he wants Democrats to retain control of Congress after the November elections.

The senator told NBC‘s “Meet the Press” that will be determined by the choices of voters in individual states, rather than his own preferences. He added that people “are sick and tired of politics” and want their representatives in Washington to put country over party.

“I’ve always taken the approach, whoever you send me, that’s your representative and I respect them and I respect the state for the people they send and I give it my best to work with them and do the best for my country,” Manchin said.

Manchin faces reelection in 2024 in a state where Donald Trump prevailed in every county in the past two presidential races, winning more than two-thirds of West Virginia’s voters. But in distancing himself from fellow Democrats, Manchin also tried to decry the rise of partisanship.

“We’re not working for any party. We’re not working for any political idealism,” he said, bemoaning “bickering over political outcomes and who’s going to be in charge of what” at a time of global tensions, war and economic uncertainty fueled by rising inflation.

Read more:

Manchin declines to say if he wants Dems to retain control

Joe Manchin evades question about whether he’ll support Joe Biden in 2024

Sunday 31 July 2022 20:20 , John Bowden

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin dodged a question from CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday regarding whether he’d throw his support behind Joe Biden should the president go through with plans to run for reelection in 2024.

The senator was asked whether Mr Biden would have his endorsement by Mr Tapper in response to new polling showing the president’s approval rating lower than ever among his own party and with record-low support for a potential reelection bid.

Mr Manchin responded by decrying the Washington media’s constant focus on the next election cycle, while touting his partnership with the president and at the same time very carefully avoiding making any statements about 2024.

“Jake, I’m not getting involved in any election right now, 2022, 2024, I’m not speculating on it. President Biden is my president right now, I’m going to work with him and his administration to the best of my ability to help the people in my state of West Virginia and this country,” he said.

His non-response would not be notable were it not for the public call from one of his Democratic colleagues in the House just a few days ago for Mr Biden to step down and let another Democrat head the party’s presidential ticket in 2024.

Congressman Dean Phillips of Minnesota this week became the first member of Mr Biden’s party on Capitol Hill to publicly join the calls for “generational” change in the party, a shot at the geriatric leadership of the Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House.

Read more:

Joe Manchin evades question about whether he’ll support Joe Biden in 2024

Vulnerable House Dems see abortion as winning campaign theme

Sunday 31 July 2022 19:20 , The Associated Press

A rare Democrat in a deeply Republican state, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas is one of the most vulnerable incumbents seeking reelection this year. In the final months of her congressional campaign, she is focusing on Republicans’ strict opposition to abortion rights.

An online ad she released last week highlights how Amanda Adkins, the Republican favored to emerge from Tuesday’s primary for a rematch with David in November, opposed abortion without exceptions. The ad points to Adkins’ support of an amendment to the Kansas Constitution on the ballot Tuesday that would make clear there is no right to abortion in the states.

“There were a lot of people who would not have known that I have an opponent who is extreme on this issue,” Davids, who beat Adkins in 2020, said in an interview. “It’s not hypothetical anymore.”

That’s a sign of how the Supreme Court’s decision in June to repeal a woman’s federal constitutional right to abortion has scrambled the political dynamics heading into the fall elections, when control of Congress is at stake. A half-dozen of the most vulnerable House members — all of them women, all representing swaths of suburban voters — see the issue as one that could help them win in an otherwise difficult political climate.

In addition to Davids, these incumbents include Reps. Angie Craig of Minnesota, Cindy Axne of Iowa, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria of Virginia, and Susan Wilds of Pennsylvania. They all face Republican opponents who support the high court’s abortion ruling. Some are contending with rivals who back efforts to ban abortion in all circumstances, including when the mother’s life is at risk.

Read more:

Vulnerable House Dems see abortion as winning campaign theme

Nancy Pelosi’s itinerary for Asia visit released – and there’s no mention of Taiwan

Sunday 31 July 2022 18:20 , Sravasti Dasgupta

US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her itinerary for a trip to Asia on Sunday but made no mention of a controversial reported plan to visit Taiwan.

In a statement, Ms Pelosi said she will be leading a congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan this week to discuss trade, the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, security and “democratic governance”.

Last week, the Financial Times reported that Ms Pelosi planned to visit Taiwan in the next month. She was originally scheduled to visit in April but had to postpone after testing positive for Covid.

President Joe Biden has said that her to Taiwan visit might not be a “good idea.”

Read more:

Nancy Pelosi’s itinerary for Asia visit released – and there’s no mention of Taiwan

Sen. Warnock cites 'bipartisanship,' avoids Biden in Georgia

Sunday 31 July 2022 17:20 , The Associated Press

Democrats in Georgia predict dire outcomes should Sen. Raphael Warnock lose to challenger Herschel Walker this fall and Republicans regain control of Capitol Hill.

“They’re going to take away our democratic rights one after another,” longtime state lawmaker Nan Orrock warned partisans at a birthday party for the senator, who turned 53 on July 23. “Failure,” she said, “is not an option.”

Warnock took a different tack.

“I work with anybody to get something good done for the people of Georgia,” he told the same crowd, highlighting a trio of Republican senators with whom he has made legislative deals. Warnock mentioned President Joe Biden‘s name just once and referred several other times only to “the president of the United States,” trying to distinguish himself from Biden — and the rising inflation that has marked his term.

Running for his first full Senate term, Warnock is pitching himself as a senator willing to do whatever it takes to help his state. That’s a shift from his approach in what were nationally elevated twin runoff campaigns won by Warnock and fellow Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff in January 2021, giving their party Senate control two months after Biden was elected president.

Read more:

Sen. Warnock cites 'bipartisanship,' avoids Biden in Georgia

Jon Stewart schools Ted Cruz after senator votes against burn pits bill

Sunday 31 July 2022 16:20 , Gustaf Kilander

Jon Stewart has been blasting Republicans for blocking a bill that would aid veterans exposed to burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The former Daily Show host has appeared on Fox News and Newsmax to speak to right-wing audiences to slam GOP senators for what he says is “a disgrace”.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz accused Mr Stewart of misrepresenting the bill, saying that Democrats were attempting a “budgetary trick” in the PACT Act. Mr Cruz voted against the bill despite having said he support its and having said he supports veterans.

“What Ted Cruz is describing is inaccurate, not true, bulls***t”, Mr Stewart said in a video posted on Twitter, mocking Mr Cruz for saying that the Democrats put “discretionary” funds in the legislation that they made “mandatory”.

Mr Cruz was speaking about a budget disagreement initially objected to by retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey. The Pennsylvanian claimed that the legislation would mean that $400bn in already decided spending on veterans wouldn’t be controlled by annual congressional appropriations.

Read more:

Jon Stewart schools Ted Cruz after senator votes against burn pits bill

Trump slams suggested US prisoner swap with Russia

Sunday 31 July 2022 15:25 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump blasted the proposed prisoner swap between the US and Russia, involving Brittney Griner, Paul Whelan, and Russian weapons dealer Viktor Bout, who’s known as the “Merchant of Death”.

Mr Trump appeared on The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show on Saturday.

Ms Griner has been in jail in Russia for months and is now on trial on drug charges.

“She knew you don’t go in there loaded up with drugs, and she admitted it”, Mr Trump said.

“It certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade, does it?” he added, concerning Bout. “He’s absolutely one of the worst in the world, and he’s going to be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs.”

Concerning Russian laws, he said: “They don’t like drugs. And she got caught. And now, we’re supposed to get her out — and she makes, you know, a lot of money, I guess. We’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world. Killed many Americans. Killed many people.”

Paul Manafort claims that Michael Cohen spied on the 2016 Trump campaign

Sunday 31 July 2022 14:25 , Gustaf Kilander

Paul Manafort has claimed that Michael Cohen spied on the 2016 Trump campaign.

The former chairman of the Trump campaign and a convicted felon writes in his upcoming book Political Prisoner: Persecuted, Prosecuted but Not Silenced that the former Trump lawyer and fixer put himself in charge of the campaign’s server to gain status.

Manafort alleges that Cohen got access to all emails sent by staffers on the campaign, according to Vox.

“He had access to everybody’s communications. He had knowledge and he would be sitting in his office, gaining knowledge by virtue of spying on the campaign”, Manafort writes.

In a statement to the outlet, Cohen rejected the claims.

“Not surprisingly, Manafort is distorting the truth. I requested administrative access to only Corey Lewandowski’s campaign email address after he was terminated. The purpose was to prove to Trump that it was Corey who was leaking negative information on Jared and Ivanka to the press. The information was located and turned over to Donald”, he said.

Trump blasts Verizon for dropping far-right One America News Network

Sunday 31 July 2022 13:25 , Gustaf Kilander

‘Completely ridiculous’: Family member of 9/11 victim hits out at Trump comments

Sunday 31 July 2022 09:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

The son of one of the victims of the 9/11 attack has said that statements made by Donald Trump as he hosted the Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf event at his country club in New Jersey are “completely ridiculous”.

In an interview on MSNBC with presenter Katie Phang, Mathew Bocchi – who lost his father in the attack on the World Trade Center said: “But the reality is as much as his statements are completely ridiculous…we’re obviously all hurt by them.”

Read more:

‘Completely ridiculous’: Family member of 9/11 victim slams Trump comments

Near-total abortion ban in Indiana passes GOP-controlled Senate

Sunday 31 July 2022 08:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Indiana’s Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill on Saturday which would ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy with limited exceptions.

Indiana is one of the first Republican-controlled states to debate tighter abortion laws since the US Supreme Court last month over Roe v Wade ruling that guaranteed legal abortions to women across the country.

On Saturday, 10 Republicans crossed party lines to vote against the bill, with some of them saying the near-total ban did not go far enough.The Indiana bill authored by the GOP states that those seeking an abortion following rape or incest would have to sign an affidavit attesting to the attack.

“The decision whether to have a baby is a complicated balancing of responsibilities and opportunities that must be weighed by each woman, not made by politicians or Supreme Court justices,” said Democratic state senator Jean Breaux, adding that it was a “flawed bill” which “strips a woman of her right to choose”.

 (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Loren Culp: Trump-endorsed election denier looking to oust ‘a traitor’

Sunday 31 July 2022 07:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe meets Republican Loren Culp, the hardline, anti-abortion, America-first, election denying 61-year-old who is Donald Trump’s man in eastern Washington’s fourth congressional district, long considered the state’s most conservative.

“I told my campaign from the very beginning that President Trump is a very smart man, he’ll figure out who the best person is. And I felt confident he would choose me. So we didn’t pursue his endorsement. But I got it in February, [and] he saw what I did in 2020,” he said.

This year’s congressional primary, being held on August 2, contains a total of eight candidates, seven of them Republican.

The top two, irrespective of their party, go through to general election in November.

Read more:

Meet the Trump-endorsed election denier looking to oust ‘a traitor’

Jan 6 hearings loosening Trump’s hold on GOP, report says

Sunday 31 July 2022 06:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Political observers have noted that Republicans are veering away from the former president ahead of the next presidential election.

“I think one of the vulnerabilities for Trump running again in 2024 is that he doesn’t have a lot of new material,” Sarah Longwell, a Republican political consultant opposed to Trump who has conducted a number of focus groups with Trump voters since the January 6 committee hearings began, told NPR.

While Mr Trump is still a big player in the Republican party, he appears to be losing favour in several circles.

Editorial boards once friendly to him, like the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post and Wall Street Journal have in the last week called him “unworthy” to be president again, citing his “character” and conduct on Jan 6.

Recent surveys have also shown an increase in those blaming the former president for last January’s Capitol Hill insurrection.

There has also been a drop in Republicans saying the election was stolen, surveys have shown.

 (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Jan 6 hearings won't change Donald Trump's behaviour, says niece Mary

Sunday 31 July 2022 05:30 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Donald Trump’s niece Mary has said that the proceedings of the January 6 committee will not result in a change of behaviour for the former president.

In an interview with Bloomberg executive editor Tim O’Brien, Ms Trump said: “The good news too, is that although the country is paying attention and re-evaluating. Donald’s paying attention to January 6, but it’s not going to modify his behaviour in any way.”

The former president’s niece was asked if the hearings around the Capitol riot will “activate” and “enrage” the former president.

“He’s a toddler,” Mr O’Brien suggested.

“That’s exactly what I meant,” Ms Trump said.

Capitol Riot Investigation (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Capitol Riot Investigation (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Kushner says he stopped Trump from attacking Murdoch in 2015

Sunday 31 July 2022 04:54 , Sravasti Dasgupta

Jared Kushner says he intervened in 2015 to stop Donald Trump from publicly attacking media mogul Rupert Murdoch, in a development that could have had major consequences for Fox News’ coverage of his 2016 campaign.

In his new memoir “Breaking History”, Kushner writes about how Mr Trump was upset with Mr Murdoch for his criticism at the outset of the former’s foray into politics.“Trump called me. He’d clearly had enough.

‘This guy’s no good. And I’m going to tweet it,’” the former president said to him.

Mr Kushner claims to have said: ‘You don’t need to get on the wrong side of Rupert. Give me a couple of hours to fix it.’”

Despite reports of tension between the two, Mr Murdoch continued to support the former president through his term in office.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 11, 2020 US President Donald Trump listens to Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner (AFP via Getty Images)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 11, 2020 US President Donald Trump listens to Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner (AFP via Getty Images)

Trump appointees two of six applying for upcoming Tennessee attorney general vacancy

Sunday 31 July 2022 00:00 , The Associated Press

Six people have applied to replace Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, who won’t be seeking another term.

The Tennessee Supreme Court announced that Don Cochran, Jerome Cochran, Michael Dunavant, R. Culver Schmid, Jonathan Skrmetti and Bill Young submitted applications for the opening by Friday’s deadline.

Don Cochran served as the U.S. attorney in the Middle District of Tennessee based in Nashville from 2017 until 2021. He was appointed by former President Donald Trump. He is now a law professor at Belmont University.

Jerome Cochran is as an administrative law judge and previously served as a two-term Republican state House representative, elected to his first two-year term in 2002.

Michael Dunavant served as the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee based in Memphis from 2017 to 2021. He was appointed by Trump. Dunavant currently is the chief investigative counsel for the Tennessee comptroller’s office in Nashville.

Schmid is an attorney working as the Knoxville office managing shareholder for the firm Baker Donelson.

Skrmetti served as chief deputy attorney general in Slatery’s office from 2018 until 2021 before joining Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s administration in December 2021 as his general counsel.

Young is the executive director of the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance. He previously served as a chancery court judge in Nashville and director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, and filled multiple roles in the attorney general’s office.

Tennessee is the only state in which the attorney general is appointed by the Supreme Court. The position runs in eight-year terms. The new term begins Sept. 1.

The court’s justices selected Slatery in 2014 after he previously served as former Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s chief legal counsel. Slatery announced in May that he would not seek another term.

Meet the Trump-endorsed election denier looking to oust ‘a traitor’

Saturday 30 July 2022 23:00 , Andrew Buncombe

Every Tuesday evening Republican Loren Culp lets rip with a live-streamed speech packed full of red meat.

He makes addresses in person as well, at events that give him the chance to meet people and speak to them one-on-one.

But it is at these regular Tuesday appearances, one senses, that the hardline, anti-abortion, America-first MAGA-chomping 59-year-old has most effectively distilled his message to voters.

“Welcome to the show you guys. I appreciate you being here,” he says, in one recent stream, seeking to address the “disinformation” and old “smears” he claims are being leveled at him by opponents.

“I want you guys to know and be reminded, and share with other people, what I stand for – I stand for truth, logic and common sense. God, family and country, the Constitution, smaller government. We need to build a wall, we need to impeach Biden and Harris. We need to cut government spending. I’m pro-American energy.”

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Meet the Trump-endorsed election denier looking to oust ‘a traitor’

Dems seem headed, finally, toward triumph on climate, health

Saturday 30 July 2022 22:00 , The Associated Press

It’s been more than a year in the making and has seen plenty of ups and downs. Now, a Democratic economic package focused on climate and health care faces hurdles but seems headed toward party-line passage by Congress next month.

Approval would let President Joe Biden and his party claim a triumph on top priorities as November’s elections approach. They have not forgotten that they came close to approving a far grander version of the bill last year, only to see Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., one of their most conservative and contrarian members, torpedo it at the eleventh hour.

This time, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has crafted a compromise package with Manchin, to the surprise of everyone, transforming the West Virginian from pariah to partner. The measure is more modest than earlier versions but still checks boxes on issues that make Democrats giddy.

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Dems seem headed, finally, toward triumph on climate, health

What abortion access looks like in every state after the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v Wade

Saturday 30 July 2022 21:15 , Alex Woodward

The US Supreme Court has overturned key rulings enshrining abortion rights across the country, leaving states to determine whether to ban the procedure and force women to carry pregnancies to term.

Without protections under the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v Wade, roughly half of US states are likely to move to outlaw abortion, including 13 states with so-called “trigger” bans in place – laws designed to take effect without Roe.

In the hours after the Supreme Court’s decision on 24 June, state officials across the US declared their anti-abortion laws were in effect. Others are expected to take effect within 30 days of the decision. Most do not include exceptions for rape and incest.

As of 30 July, temporary restraining orders have blocked such laws in Kentucky, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming while their legal challenges play out in court.

At least eight states – Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana. Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin – have outlawed abortion entirely in nearly all instances, and more legal challenges are expected as more laws take effect. As many as 26 states could outlaw abortion without Roe, with states legislatures poised to draft more-restrictive laws unbridled from constitutional obligations to protect access to care.

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What abortion access looks like in every state without Roe v Wade

Republican Senators not sure Trump is best 2024 candidate

Saturday 30 July 2022 20:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Several Republican senators have shared their scepticism that Donald Trump is their best hope to take back the White House in 2024 as the former president is struck again and again by damning revelations from the January 6 committee.

“I don’t think he’ll run again, and that’s a good thing, because of the whole cascade of events”, an anonymous GOP senator told The Hill.

“I could count on one hand the number of Republican senators who want Donald Trump to be our nominee”, another anonymous GOP senator said.

“I could count it on one finger”, the lawmaker added.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune said on Wednesday that “there are different polls and surveys and focus groups that are all trying to assess what the impact of all this and how it affects 2024. I think it’s too early to tell”.

“I also think people are going to be looking at taking into consideration the strongest and best candidate in a general election setting and trying to get the White House back”, he added.

“There are folks who aren’t in one camp or the other that are probably susceptible to new information, and there’s been some new information that’s come out”, Mr Thune said.

“Elections get decided, national elections at least, by the people in the middle. That’s who everybody, in the end, is going to have to win. The two sides will go to their respective corners, their respective camps, and there’s probably nothing that changes their minds about any of this, but those independent voters that decide late … or maybe aren’t paying all that much attention right now are probably going to decide it”, he added, according to The Hill. “Some of these things, cumulative effect, probably gets people looking at other possibilities.”

Overturning Roe v. Wade isn't the end for abortion opponents

Saturday 30 July 2022 19:45 , The Associated Press

Now that Roe v. Wade has been toppled, abortion opponents are taking a multifaceted approach in their quest to end abortions nationwide, targeting their strategies to the dynamics of each state as they attempt to create new laws and defend bans in courts.

One anti-abortion group has proposed model legislation that would ban all abortions except to prevent the death of a pregnant woman. New legal frontiers could include prosecuting doctors who defy bans, and skirmishes over access to medication abortions already are underway. Others hope to get more conservatives elected in November to advance an anti-abortion agenda.

“For Republicans, the post-Roe world will be significantly different, from a legal perspective,” said Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School. “For the last 50 years, Republicans have been on the offense by chipping away on the edges of Roe. Now they are going to be playing defense in all 50 states.”

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade said abortion is not a right under the Constitution, creating an opening for states pushing to get more restrictions on the books. Most recently, lawmakers in West Virginia and Indiana have pushed ahead with new restrictions, with varying success.

James Bopp Jr., general counsel for National Right to Life, has worked on model legislation for states, but said with few legislatures in session “the process of adopting new laws is really just beginning.”

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Overturning Roe v. Wade isn't the end for abortion opponents

Open US House seats draw large field of Missouri Republicans

Saturday 30 July 2022 19:00 , The Associated Press

Dozens of aspiring Missouri Republican candidates are jumping at the chance to run in November for two rarely open U.S. congressional seats.

U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long are running for the Senate in Tuesday’s GOP primary, leaving Hartzler’s central 4th Congressional District and Long’s southwestern 7th Congressional District seats open.

The Republican primary for Hartzler’s seat includes state Sen. Rick Brattin, cattle rancher Kalena Bruce, former Kansas City-area news anchor Mark Alford, former Boone County Clerk Taylor Burks and former St. Louis Blues player Jim Campbell. Burks and Campbell were the top two fundraisers as of mid-July, although Campbell is primarily self-funded and has not been spending money.

Republicans seeking Long’s seat include state Sens. Eric Burlison and Mike Moon and former state Sen. Jay Wasson, along with pastor Alex Bryant and Dr. Sam Alexander. Wasson is leading in fundraising.

All but two sitting Missouri representatives won their seats when the positions became open, which is rare in Missouri.

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Open US House seats draw large field of Missouri Republicans

Phil Mickelson heckled as he tees off at Trump's controversial Saudi-backed LIV golf tournament

Saturday 30 July 2022 18:15 , Gustaf Kilander