Trump news: First arrests made in Ukraine scandal, as Trump offers to mediate between Turkey and the Kurds

Joe Sommerlad, Clark Mindock, Chris Riotta
Reuters

Two associates to Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have been indicted on federal campaign finance violations after allegedly scheming to undermine Joe Biden’s 2020 candidacy and purchase political influence on behalf of a Ukrainian official.

The news arrives as the GOP has been conspicuous by its absence from American TV screens in recent days, with usually loyal Trump supporters on Capitol Hill making themselves scarce and declining media opportunities to defend the president, clearly unnerved by the White House’s refusal to co-operate with the House of Representatives’ inquiry into his dealings with Ukraine.

Mr Trump is meanwhile under fire for washing his hands of responsibility for the Turkish assault on Kurdish fighters in Syria, made possible by his decision to withdraw US troops from the territory earlier this week, with #TrumpGenocide and #TrumpBetrayedTheKurds trending on Twitter and protesters hanging a banner outside Trump Tower in Las Vegas denouncing the betrayal.

He is set to host a rally in Minneapolis this evening, where he has begun a feud with the Democratic mayor, Jacob Frey, over $530,000 in costs associated with the event that the mayor says remain outstanding.

It might be a pretty decent idea to try and get the Trump campaign to pay upfront — while they have raised more than $100 million for Mr Trump's re-election in 2020, they are notorious for skipping out on rally bills.

But, the president's campaign has threatened Mr Frey and his city with a lawsuit, claiming extortion.

On the silly side of news, Mr Trump's ally Lindsey Graham was reportedly duped by a couple of Russian comedians in August, who pretended to be a Turkish official. Mr Graham appeared to contradict his public comments about Kurds, at least his recent comments.

Please allow a moment for our live blog to load