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

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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

Obama appears to take shot at Trump over birther conspiracy

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

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

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

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

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'

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Report: GOP candidate claims to own nonexistent companies

13:40 , Andrew Naughtie

Controversial Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker has attracted Donald Trump’s endorsement, but his history of alleged violence against his ex-wife and steady stream of bizarre and mangled interviews have some Republicans worried that he might fail to knock off Raphael Warnock in the fall.

Now, another problem has presented itself. The Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger reports that Mr Walker’s various boasts about his achievements in business appear to be exaggerated or even downright false:

“The Republican Senate hopeful and longtime friend of Donald Trump has, for whatever reason, chosen to dramatically inflate his business record, according to a Daily Beast investigation. In doing so, Walker has established a parallel record of demonstrably false claims, many of which appear to bear no resemblance to reality whatsoever.

While Walker’s business record has been picked over before—including in an Associated Press review of “exaggerated claims of financial success”—The Daily Beast has reviewed documents and other records that shine new light on previously unexamined, and particularly egregious, false claims.

Those claims include running the largest minority-owned food company in the United States; owning multiple chicken plants in another state; and starting and owning an upholstery business which was also, apparently, at one point in his telling, the country’s largest minority-owned apparel company.

Read the full investigation here.

Herschel Walker (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Herschel Walker (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

“Faux patriot”: Kinzinger vs Greene on military service

13:10 , Andrew Naughtie

GOP Congressman and Trump critic Adam Kinzinger has torn into his extremist colleague Marjorie Taylor Greene for remarks she made equating military service to “throwing your life away”.

Mr Kinzinger, who has served in the military for several years, is currently one of Congress’s strongest advocates for arming Ukraine against Russia, putting him at odds with the so-called “America First” caucus to which Ms Greene belongs – a pro-Trump tendency that scorns American military involvement in foreign wars.

Mike Pence draws anger at Charlottesville memorial

12:40 , Andrew Naughtie

The deadly 2017 far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was one of the lowest moments of Donald Trump’s presidency, as neo-Nazis and white supremacists clashed violently with anti-racist counterprotestors. The nadir came when a man deliberately drove his car into a crowd, injuring several people and killing one, Heather Heyer, who was demonstrating against the extremists.

There is now a memorial to her at the mall where she died, a plaque that was yesterday visited by former vice president Mike Pence – who has never condemned Donald Trump for saying there were “some very fine people” on “both sides” on the day when Ms Heyer died.

Namita Singh has the story.

Pence provokes anger by visiting Heather Heyer memorial in Charlottesville

McConnell worries that “bizarre” candidates could cost GOP the Senate

12:10 , Andrew Naughtie

The national Senate map in this year’s midterms currently looks to be in Republicans’ favour, but some in the party hierarchy are worried that a rash of extreme and/or strange candidates could put several winnable races in jeopardy.

Among the concerned is Senate GOP leader and sworn Trump enemy Mitch McConnell, who conceded at an event in his home state that candidates without broad appeal could alienate the voters the party needs to win and hold the upper chamber.

The most concerning races for Republicans are in Georgia, where sometimes erratic sportsman Herschel Walker has been endorsed by Donald Trump, and Ohio, where a wide field of candidates have driven each other into increasingly extreme positions as they compete for the backing of the party faithful.

Former White House lawyers talking to 6 January committee

11:40 , Andrew Naughtie

Two key figures from the Trump White House are slated to talk to the 6 January committee today in what’s said to be a preliminary conversation. Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy Pat Philbin are both widely reported to have pushed back against some of the more radical suggestions for how to overturn the 2020 result, including the abortive plan to appoint a special counsel – perhaps even the extreme conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell – to investigate the alleged fraud that had supposedly robbed Mr Trump of a second term.

Politico has more.

Another Jan 6 rioter blames Trump

11:08 , Andrew Naughtie

As one man being charged for his alleged part in the Capitol riot seeks to blame Donald Trump for “authorising” the attack, another has written a letter seeking leniency in which he claims he took part in the protest-turned-riot at the then-president’s “urging”.

Mr Trump recently claimed that he himself wanted to join the 6 January crowd in their march to the Capitol, and that it was only because the Secret Service stopped him doing so that he remained at the White House.

Trump claims Secret Service stopped him marching to Capitol on Jan 6

Kellyanne Conway grilled on Trump’s Oz endorsement

10:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Many conservatives were surprised when Donald Trump endorsed Dr Mehmet Oz in the important Pennsylvania Senate race, and not in a good way. Many Trump supporters take the view that Dr Oz, like Mr Trump a longtime TV celebrity, is an insufficiently right-wing moderate; among the disgruntled is Fox News’s Laura Ingraham, who last night grilled longtime Trump confidante Kellyanne Conway on whether or not the endorsement wa sa mistake.

Ms Conway declined to go that far, but stopped short of defending the endorsement either.

Read more on the fallout from Mr Trump’s decision below.

Trump allies claim he was ‘played’ after endorsing TV’s Dr Oz for Senate seat

Proud Boys Jan 6 trial delayed by judge

10:01 , Andrew Naughtie

A judge has decided to delay the prosecution of several members of the Proud Boys for their alleged role in the 6 January riot. The case, which includes the group’s sometime leader Enrique Tarrio, revolves around a large volume of evidence of the men’s activities and planning in advance of the insurrection, where several Proud Boys members were seen.

Mr Tarrio was arrested and indicted last month. He and others are accused organising the attendance of many Proud Boys at the riot, distributing “paramilitary gear and supplies” to would-be rioters, and finally “directing, mobilizing and leading” members of the group into the Capitol itself during the riot.

How Donald Trump gave investigators a break by moving to Florida

09:33 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump has long sought to paint the various legal investigations into his affairs as politically motivated witch hunts, and has launched several futile legal actions to get them shut down. Among the probes is one by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which has been investigating allegations the Trump Organization inflated property values, lied on official documents, dodged taxes, misled banks, and sued mafia-style tactics dating back to the early 2000s, has lately run into problems, with two prosecutors resigning from it in frustration – but it seems that Mr Trump himself may have handed the investigators some rope.

Officials in New York usually have five years from the date of alleged crimes to file charges for most felonies, but Mr Trump’s move to Florida, made permanent in 2020, could give officials an extra five years.

Josh Marcus has the story:

Trump’s move to Florida may be unexpected gift to New York Trump Organization probe

Marjorie Taylor Greene blames gun control for Brooklyn shooting

09:00 , Stuti Mishra

Marjorie Taylor Greene blamed gun control for preventing Brooklyn subway victims from defending themselves against an active shooter.The Republican congresswoman used the shooting to argue against gun laws after the attack left at least 29 people injured.“With New York’s strict gun control laws, how many innocent people were carrying a gun when the bad guy with a gun broke the existing laws and started shooting people?” she said in a tweet.

Justin Vallejo has more:

Marjorie Taylor Greene uses Brooklyn subway shooting to argue against gun control

Tennessee senator mocked for wanting a wall on ‘our’ border

08:20 , Stuti Mishra

GOP Sen Marsha Blackburn amused more than a few of her Twitter followers on Tuesday when she insisted that residents of her state wanted a wall on “our” border, apparently referring to the US border with Mexico.

The Republican lawmaker’s state is nowhere near the US’s southern border with Mexico; as such, her insistence that residents of the state supported the construction of a border wall resulted in users mockingly questioning what Ms Blackburn’s beef was with the state of Alabama, one of its southern neighbours.

Read more:

Tennessee senator mocked for saying residents want a wall on ‘our’ border

Georgia’s Republican governor signs bill easing gun controls

07:47 , Stuti Mishra

Georgia governor Brian Kemp wants to ease gun controls amid the midterm primaries there, proposing to do away with the requirement that Georgians obtain a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public.

Mr Kemp, who rose to national notice in 2018 in part through a television ad that showed him brandishing a shotgun at an actor playing a suitor of one of his daughters, signed Senate Bill 319 on Tuesday.

It immediately allows permitless carry in Georgia, making it the 25th state with such a law, and the 10th added in the past two years.

Read more:

Georgia Gov. Kemp signs bill easing gun laws amid primary

DOJ denies panel details in Trump records probe

07:00 , Stuti Mishra

The Justice Department declined a request this week from the House oversight committee to disclose the contents of records that former president Donald Trump took to his Florida residence after leaving the White House, the Associated Press has reported quoting a person familiar with the matter.

The move could serve as a setback for Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform as it was ramping up its investigation into Mr Trump's handling of sensitive and even classified information during his time as president and after he left the White House. It remains unclear what implications the decision could have for the panel's probe, which was announced in March.

The Justice Department's decision is part of an effort to protect confidential information that may compromise an ongoing investigation, according to the person, who was not authorised to discuss the matter by name and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Ohio man blames Trump for storming the Capitol

06:30 , Stuti Mishra

Mentions of Donald Trump have been rare at the first few trials for people charged with storming the US Capitol, but that has changed: The latest Capitol riot defendant to go on trial is blaming his actions on the former president and his false claims about a stolen election.

Dustin Byron Thompson, an Ohio man charged with stealing a coat rack from the Capitol, doesn't 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.”

Read more:

Blame Trump? Jury hears that defense at Capitol riot trial

Trial date set in defamation suit against Fox News over US election claims

06:00 , Stuti Mishra

A trial date has been scheduled in Dominion Voting Systems Inc’s $1.6bn defamation lawsuit accusing Fox News of trying to boost its ratings by falsely claiming the voting machine company rigged the 2020 US presidential election against former president Donald Trump.

The trial will begin on 17 April 2023 and could go on for five weeks, which could be the first of several involving what Dominion describes as baseless claims made by a variety of news outlets and individuals about the company's technology.

Dominion filed its lawsuit against Fox News in March 2021.

People associated with Mr Trump’s campaign, including lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, floated conspiracy theories that Dominion rigged vote totals in the weeks after the 3 November 2020 election in which Democrat Joe Biden defeated the incumbent president Mr Trump.

Mike Pence should be no-platformed ahead of university event, says student paper

05:30 , Stuti Mishra

An upcoming speech by former vice president Mike Pence at the University of Virginia has reignited a debate over free speech on the Charlottesville campus.

Student newspaper says Mike Pence should be no-platformed ahead of university event

Vindman: Jan 6 was signal to Putin to attack Ukraine

04:45 , Stuti Mishra

January insurrection was a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to begin amassing troops on the border with Ukraine in preparation for the invasion.

The Ukrainian-born former director of European affairs at the US National Security Council said the division that emanated from the Capitol riot provided a path for the Russian invasion of its neighbour.

“Starting just months after January 6, Putin began building up forces on the border. He saw the discord here,” Lt Col Vindman told The New York Times Magazine. “He saw the huge opportunity presented by Donald Trump and his Republican lackeys.”

Gustaf Kilander reports from Washington, DC.

Trump impeachment witness says Jan 6 was signal to Putin to attack Ukraine

ICYMI: The moment Washington gave up on the pandemic

04:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia writes: As politicians across the spectrum test positive for Covid-19, neither party can agree to pass a bill to fund tests and vaccines that until recently was straightforward.

The moment Washington gave up on the pandemic

How white nationalists are using gaming to recruit for terror

03:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Experts are warning that far-right agitators are using online gaming platforms to spread hate and recruit a new generation of converts. Supercharged by the rise of gaming and social isolation during the pandemic, extremism academics say more needs to be done to police these platforms for grooming hate. Io Dodds reports.

How ‘supercharged’ white nationalists are using gaming to recruit for terror

Voices: What a Trump-district Democrat can teach her colleagues about how to win

02:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Cindy Axne represents one of only 16 rare ‘crossover districts’: a district that voted for a member of Congress opposite of how it voted for president. Eric Garcia looks at what other Democrats could learn from her.

What a Trump-district Democrat can teach her colleagues about how to win

‘Hence, our Country is going to hell’: Trump refuses to endorse ‘coward’ for governor

01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has made much of his disdain for Republican officials who refused to support him in his effort to overturn the 2020 election, and he has now lashed out at yet another: Pennsyvania gubernatorial candidate Bill McSwain, whom the former president blames for not aggressively pushing false claims of massive electoral fraud while serving as a US attorney.

Here’s Mr Trump’s statement:

One person in Pennsylvania who I will not be endorsing is Bill McSwain for Governor. He was the U.S. Attorney who did absolutely nothing on the massive Election Fraud that took place in Philadelphia and throughout the commonwealth. He said Barr told him not to do anything (because Barr was afraid of being impeached by the Democrats), but he should have done his job anyway. Without free and fair Elections, we don’t have a Country. Do not vote for Bill McSwain, a coward, who let our Country down. He knew what was happening and let it go. It was there for the taking and he failed so badly. Many of the U.S. Attorneys were probably told not to do anything by Barr. Hence, our Country is going to hell.

True the Vote’s findings are determinative and Bill McSwain should be ashamed of himself, as should many Republican leaders who didn’t act. They said Philadelphia and Detroit were two of the most corrupt places in the Country, with Georgia being one of the most corrupt states!

Donald J Trump

Trump endorsee formally files to take on Murkowski

Wednesday 13 April 2022 00:15 , Oliver O'Connell

As candidates line up for the 2022 midterm elections, Donald Trump’s coveted endorsement has gone to various Republicans trying to unseat members of their own party that the former considers insufficiently loyal.

Among his most hated GOP figures is Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, one of the handful of senators who voted to convict the ex-president after the 6 January insurrection – and now, his chosen challenger to Ms Murkowski, Kelly Tshibaka, has formally filed to begin her campaign.

Also on the Alaska ballot will be Sarah Palin, who recently secured Mr Trump’s endorsement for her campaign to take the state’s open House seat.

Trump-backed Alaska hopeful officially files for Senate run

Former cop convicted of Jan 6 offences

Tuesday 12 April 2022 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A federal jury convicted a former Virginia police officer of storming the U.S. Capitol with another off-duty officer to obstruct Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.

Jurors on Monday convicted former Rocky Mount police officer Thomas Robertson of all six counts he faced stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, riot, including charges that he interfered with police officers at the Capitol and that he entered a restricted area with a dangerous weapon, a large wooden stick.

His sentencing hearing wasn’t immediately scheduled.

Robertson’s jury trial was the second among hundreds of Capitol riot cases. The first ended last month with jurors convicting a Texas man, Guy Reffitt, of all five counts in his indictment.

Robertson didn’t testify at his trial, which started last Tuesday. Jurors deliberated for several hours over two days before reaching their unanimous verdict.

Kinzinger: Trump admitted attempting a coup

Tuesday 12 April 2022 22:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Adam Kinzinger, one of the two Republicans on the 6 January committee, has once again made clear his views on Donald Trump’s role in the Capitol riot he and his colleagues are investigating, as well as the prospect of holding the ex-president accountable.

“There’s no criminal component to what the House of Representatives can do,” he said, “but certainly we can put that information out there, and DoJ can take a look and do whatever they will with it.”

Watch: Tucker Carlson speaks to overtly racist academic

Tuesday 12 April 2022 22:13 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson has lately been making waves with his conspiracy-mongering about the 6 January riot and his increasingly Putin-sympathetic statements on the Ukraine conflict, including questioning the well-established facts of war crimes in places like Bucha.

However, he is still featuring guests with a variety of extreme views, and this week’s uproar comes from an interview he did with notorious Princeton academic Amy Wax, whom he hosted for an astonishing discussion of immigration and the intellectual faculties of students of different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.

Watch a segment of their interview below.

South Dakota attorney general impeached over fatal crash

Tuesday 12 April 2022 22:02 , Oliver O'Connell

The South Dakota House on Tuesday impeached state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg over a 2020 car crash in which he killed a pedestrian but initially said he might have struck a deer or another large animal.

Ravnsborg, a Republican, is the first official to be impeached in South Dakota history. He will at least temporarily be removed from office pending the historic Senate trial, where it takes a two-thirds majority to convict on impeachment charges. The Senate must wait at least 20 days to hold its trial, but has not yet set a date.

Ravnsborg pleaded no contest last year to a pair of traffic misdemeanors in the crash, including making an illegal lane change. He has cast Joseph Boever’s death as a tragic accident.

In narrowly voting to impeach Ravnsborg, the Republican-controlled House charged him with committing crimes that caused someone’s death, making “numerous misrepresentations” to law enforcement officers after the crash and using his office to navigate the criminal investigation. A Senate conviction would mean Ravnsborg would be barred from holding any state office in the future.

“When we’re dealing with the life of one of your citizens, I think that weighed heavily on everyone,” said Republican Rep. Will Mortenson, who introduced the articles of impeachment.

AP

Trump’s endorsement sees Dr Oz spend $1m on adverts

Tuesday 12 April 2022 21:54 , Oliver O'Connell

Dr Mehmet Oz is wasting no time letting people know of his victory in the first leg of Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary: The battle for Donald Trump’s favour.

A new ad released by the candidate this week contains a short clip of Mr Trump’s recent remarks to a cheering North Carolina rally crowd during which he confirmed his endorsement of the celebrity TV doctor.

John Bowden has the latest.

Dr Oz to spend $1m on adverts touting Trump’s controversial endorsement

Trump’s move to Florida may have been unexpected gift to Manhattan DA

Tuesday 12 April 2022 21:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s move to Florida may have given New York prosecutors extra time to carry out their flagging investigation into the former president under an obscure law.

Officials in New York usually have five years from the date of alleged crimes to file charges for most felonies, but Mr Trump’s move to Florida, made permanent in 2020, could give officials an extra five years.

And they need all the time they can get.

Josh Marcus reports.

Trump’s move to Florida may be unexpected gift to New York Trump Organization probe

Marsha Blackburn mocked for saying Tennessee residents want a wall on ‘our’ border

Tuesday 12 April 2022 21:16 , Oliver O'Connell

GOP Sen Marsha Blackburn amused more than a few of her Twitter followers on Tuesday when she insisted that residents of her state wanted a wall on “our” border, apparently referring to the US border with Mexico.

The Republican lawmaker’s state is nowhere near the US’s southern border with Mexico; as such, her insistence that residents of the state supported the construction of a border wall resulted in users mockingly questioning what Ms Blackburn’s beef was with the state of Alabama, one of its southern neighbours.

Tennessee senator mocked for saying residents want a wall on ‘our’ border

Vindman: Jan 6 was signal to Putin to attack Ukraine

Tuesday 12 April 2022 20:57 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman has said that the 6 January insurrection was a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin to begin amassing troops on the border with Ukraine in preparation for the invasion.

The Ukrainian-born former director of European affairs at the US National Security Council said the division that emanated from the Capitol riot provided a path for the Russian invasion of its neighbour.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Trump impeachment witness says Jan 6 was signal to Putin to attack Ukraine

White House condemns Oklahoma’s ‘disturbing’ abortion ban

Tuesday 12 April 2022 20:38 , Oliver O'Connell

An Oklahoma law criminalising abortion care as a felony with 10-year prison sentences and $100,000 fines for healthcare providers marks an “unconstitititional attack” on women’s health, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Alex Woodward reports.

White House condemns Oklahoma’s ‘disturbing’ law making abortion illegal

Highlights of Ted Cruz’s Yale event

Tuesday 12 April 2022 20:19 , Oliver O'Connell

Senator Ted Cruz was in New Haven, Connecticut on Monday night recording a live episode of his podcast in front of an audience of Yale students.

Some notable moments were tweeted out by The Recount.

On the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, Mr Criz said of the hearings: “Among the Republican senators, most of them went into this nomination scared of their own shadow. They didn’t want to be held up as the modern-day Klansman.”

On the sentencing of paedophiles, a topic that became a focus of GOP attacks on Judge Jackson, he said: “It may be news to the corporate media, but there are a lot of sexual offenders out there. I’ve worked in law enforcement a lot of years.”

And finally, when asked if he would fellate another man to end global hunger, Mr Cruz didn’t answer directly but did respond to the man who posed the question, asking whether he would vote for Donald Trump to meet the same goal.

Biden’s sister calls Lindsey Graham ‘sycophant in chief’

Tuesday 12 April 2022 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden’s sister railed against her brother’s former friend and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in her new memoir, according to Business Insider.

Valerie Biden Owens writes about the South Carolina Republican in her new book “Growing Up Biden” and notes how her brother had “strong relationships” with Republican Senators during his 36 years serving in the upper chamber. But she says Mr Graham became “became sycophant in chief” to former president Donald Trump.

Eric Garcia reports.

Biden’s sister calls Lindsey Graham ‘sycophant in chief’ in new book

McConnell warns GOP not to screw up midterms

Tuesday 12 April 2022 19:23 , Oliver O'Connell

Speaking at an event in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had some advice to Republicans ahead of the 2022 midterm elections in November — not to get complacent.

“This atmosphere for Republicans is better than it was in 1994 ... which leads you to ask the question: how could you screw this up? It’s actually possible and we’ve some experience with that in the past,” said Mr McConnell.

Reflecting on some of the nicknames he has been given over the years he also said that his favourite was “Old Crow”, adding: “It’s given to me by the former president, who’s apparently not a fan.”

Mr McConnell also suggested that former President Donald Trump came out against the bipartisan infrastructure bill because he “did not want anything like that to happen during his successor’s administration”.

Asked on whether enough is being done to hold people accountable for the Capitol riot on 6 January 2021, he replied: “I think we don’t know yet. But I think everyone who had complicity in that, and can be proven, should get the maximum sentence.”

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

Voices: What a Trump-district Democrat can teach her colleagues about how to win

Tuesday 12 April 2022 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Cindy Axne represents one of only 16 rare ‘crossover districts’: a district that voted for a member of Congress opposite of how it voted for president. Eric Garcia looks at what other Democrats could learn from her.

What a Trump-district Democrat can teach her colleagues about how to win

Tucker Carlson claims not to be vaccinated against Covid-19

Tuesday 12 April 2022 18:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox News host Tucker Carlson has finally made clear his own supposed vaccination status after spending months turning his show into one of the leading sources and platforms for Covid-19 conspiracies and misinformation in America.

Speaking at an event in California hosted by a church known for its own public flouting of Covid-19 guidelines, Mr Carlson opined that he wouldn’t get another booster shot provided by US health companies, quipping that he had not received the other three doses which previously have been made available to millions of Americans.

John Bowden reports.

Tucker Carlson has claimed that he’s not vaccinated against Covid-19

ICYMI: What Fiona Hill said about Trump

Tuesday 12 April 2022 17:49 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump has been riled by his former Russia adviser Fiona Hill before, but her recent interview with the New York Times Magazine has set him off more than usual. Here’s an excerpt of the remarks that led the former president to claim that Ms Hill would be “nothing” if she didn’t have “the accent”:

“In real time, I was putting things together,” she said. “The domestic political errands, the way Trump had privatized foreign policy for his own purposes. It was this narrow goal: his desire to stay in power, irrespective of what other people wanted.”

Hill was at her desk at home on the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, writing her memoir, when a journalist friend she first met in Russia called. The friend told her to turn on the television. Once she did so, a burst of horrific clarity overtook her. “I saw the thread,” she told me. “The thread connecting the Zelensky phone call to Jan. 6. And I remembered how, in 2020, Putin had changed Russia’s Constitution to allow him to stay in power longer. This was Trump pulling a Putin.”

Dr Fiona Hill (CBS)
Dr Fiona Hill (CBS)