Trump hits out at judge’s wife as fraud trial gag order reinstated: Live

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A state appeals court in New York has reinstated a gag order in Donald Trump’s fraud trial after a wave of death threats and abuse targeting members of the court staff.

Justice Arthur Engoron put the gag order in place to protect his chief clerk and others from the former president’s posts and subsequent menacing messages that have flooded his office. Mr Trump has now posted about the judge’s wife.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has lashed out at “globalist” foes in the traditional conservative establishment for their support of his Republican primary rival, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.

In the firing line were Americans for Prosperity Action, a Charles Koch-controlled donor network; the Wall Street Journal, and proprietor Rupert Murdoch; and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, who implored even liberal Democrats to help Ms Haley’s campaign to give the GOP a choice other than Mr Trump.

Meanwhile, Newsweek published an op-ed by the former president in which he appeals for the votes of young people by playing on their financial concerns saying many have had to put their lives on hold. A Gen Z voter group has vigorously pushed back on the former president’s assertions.

Key Points

  • Appeals court reinstates gag order in Trump’s fraud trial

  • Faced with new gag order covering court staff, Trump attacks judge’s wife

  • Trump lashes out at Koch network, Murdoch, WSJ, and Jamie Dimon for backing Nikki Haley

  • ‘I will make America great again for young people’ says Trump in dark Newsweek op-ed

  • Trump can’t control fraud trial death threats, lawyers argue

  • Trump’s fraud trial court flooded with credible death threats and antisemitic abuse

Analysis: Trump’s violent rhetoric charts his campaign warpath

Thursday 30 November 2023 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward writes:

News networks should be taken off air and investigated for treason. The nation’s top military official should be executed. A state judge presiding over a trial against him, and the attorney general suing him, should be arrested. People seeking asylum in the US are “poisoning the blood of our country” and should be turned away if they don’t accept “our religion.” Drug dealers should get the death sentence. “Liberal Jews” are voting to “destroy America and Israel.” The regime will “root out” political opponents who “live like vermin”.

Donald Trump’s latest violent, authoritarian visions in his 2024 campaign for the presidency are building on his platform of self-described retribution.

They are also increasingly colliding with the multiple criminal investigations and lawsuits against him, as prosecutors and judges hope to rely on gag orders to rein in his rhetoric, which has invited hundreds of abusive messages and credible death threats from his supporters against the judges and prosecutors involved.

Trump’s violent rhetoric charts his campaign warpath

Full story: Trump immediately attacks judge’s wife after gag order reinstated in fraud trial

Thursday 30 November 2023 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Moments after a New York appeals court reinstated a gag order in Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial, the former president unleashed a series of baseless Truth Social posts attacking the wife of the judge presiding over the case.

Mr Trump reshared several conspiratorial “reports” from far-right activist and failed congressional candidate Laura Loomer about the wife of New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron.

He also accused her of making anti-Trump memes that included AI images of Mr Trump in orange prison jumpsuits with captions saying he’s “headed for the big house.”

A statement from the court on Thursday denied that the judge’s wife had anything to do with those posts.

Trump immediately attacks judge’s wife after gag order reinstated in fraud trial

Did McCarthy swear at Trump over the phone? He says so...

Thursday 30 November 2023 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Kevin McCarthy’s downfall reportedly included a blow-up with former President Donald Trump, who he blamed for not calling off a faction of House conservatives including Matt Gaetz bent on his ouster.

The California congressman’s tenure as speaker of the House lasted less than one full year; a grinding election process ended up being a prelude to a weak, ineffective leader failing to maintain trust among his party’s right wing and facing the axe after cutting a deal with Democrats to keep the government funded.

Most frustratingly for Mr McCarthy: the leader of the pack of wolves at his heels was none other than Matt Gaetz, the grandstanding House Republican from Florida, Donald Trump’s adopted home state, who is known to be a close ally of the former president. The battle for Mr McCarthy’s fate ended up looking as much a microcosm of the GOP’s ongoing civil war as it was an intra-caucus personality fight. The ex-speaker clearly expected to maintain his position, having told journalists that he would be “fine” and would “survive” heading into the vote; afterwards, he waged a campaign of vengeance-by-proxy against Democrats who refused to save him, as his allies ordered several kicked out of their Capitol offices.

Now, multiple people familiar with a conversation between the former speaker and the ex-president after Mr McCarthy’s removal have told The Washington Post that he was so hurt by the ordeal that he exploded at Mr Trump for not ordering Mr Gaetz to back down.

John Bowden has the tea.

McCarthy claims he swore at Trump in tense phone call, report says

Tucker throws support behind Trump

Thursday 30 November 2023 22:39 , Oliver O'Connell

Tucker Carlson, the former Fox News host whose texts revealed he hates Donald Trump “passionately” and thinks of him as a “demonic force” as part of the evidence in the Dominion defamation case, has — naturally — now endorsed the former president’s campaign to return to the White House in 2024, according to a tweet by Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington.

In a recent appearance on Roseanne Barr’s podcast, he said: “I’ve always agreed with Trump’s policies. I became an active Trump supporter when they raided Mar-A-Lago last summer. That can’t stand. I agree with Trump on a lot but even if I disagreed with Trump on a lot I’d still be a Trump supporter because you cannot allow that. You cannot allow the regime, the president of the United States to use the Justice Department to knock the frontrunner out of the race. You can’t do that. … So I’m voting for Trump. If they convict him, I will send him the max donations and I will lead protests. … And by the way, if I thought that he had committed some real crime, I wouldn’t feel that way. But he didn’t. He and Biden are both found with classified documents at home. along with every other former high-level federal official in history, but only Trump is indicted? Tell me how that works.”

Fulton County: Coming up tomorrow...

Thursday 30 November 2023 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Friday may prove an interesting day in the Georgia election subversion case as Judge Scott McAfee will hear motions for the dismissal of the case, evidence sharing, and whether to extend the deadlines for discovery and pretrial motions.

It is also expected to be the first major appearance of Steven Sadow, the lead attorney in the defence of Donald Trump in the case. So far he has kept a low profile in the state election interference case as it has played out in the Fulton County Courthouse, listening as lawyers representing other defendants have argued points before the judge.

However, per The New York Times:

The quiet period may soon be coming to an end. This week, Mr Sadow filed a motion arguing that before any trial, the Georgia courts should weigh whether the 13 felony charges against Mr Trump should be thrown out because his claims about voting fraud after he lost the 2020 election were protected by the First Amendment.

And on Friday, Mr Sadow is expected to make his first significant court appearance in the case, to argue that Mr. Trump should be granted access to evidence gathered by federal prosecutors in his separate election interference case in Washington.

The hearing could provide early hints of Mr Sadow’s long-game strategy, and how he might incorporate lessons learned over decades of defending a colorful roster of clients including rappers and the occasional tabloid demi-celebrity.

The former president is one of 15 co-defendants in the sprawling racketeering case. Four others have struck plea deals with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and are cooperating with the prosecution.

Faced with new gag order covering court staff, Trump attacks judge’s wife

Thursday 30 November 2023 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump responded to the reinstatement of the gag order in his New York civil fraud trial with a series of Truth Social posts accusing Judge Arthur Engoron’s wife of posting anti-Trump memes. He also reshared several conspiratorial “reports” from far-right activist and failed congressional candidate Laura Loomer about the judge’s wife.

The memes included AI images of Trump in orange prison jumpsuits with captions saying he’s “headed for the big house”.

“This is the Judge’s Wife and Family that are putting these things out,” Trump wrote in one post. “I am not entitled to a Jury under this Statute. Can this be happening in America? This is the most unfair Trial in the History of New York, and I’ve had some pretty unfair Trials!”

A statement from the court on Thursday denied that the judge’s wife had anything to do with those posts.

“Justice Engoron’s wife has sent no social media posts regarding the former president. They are not hers,” according to a statement from Office of Court Administration spokesperson Al Baker.

The gag order only covers court staff.

Gag order reinstated in Trump’s fraud trial

Thursday 30 November 2023 21:40 , Oliver O'Connell

A state appeals court in New York has reinstated a gag order in Donald Trump’s fraud trial, after court officials revealed the wave of death threats and attacks against members of the court staff.

New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron put the gag order in place to protect his chief clerk and other court staff from the former president’s abuse and subsequent attacks that have flooded his office.

A state appellate court judge temporarily froze the orders earlier this month, “considering the constitutional and statutory rights at issue”.

Judge Engoron and his principal law clerk Allison Greenfield received “hundreds of threats, disparaging and harassing comments and antisemitic messages” that followed the former president’s harassment, according to a recent court filing.

Alex Woodward reports:

Gag order reinstated in Trump’s fraud trial

What will happen at the GOP convention if Trump is convicted? RNC rules offer no clues...

Thursday 30 November 2023 21:28 , Oliver O'Connell

The Republican National Committee’s rules for next year’s nominating contest and convention were released this week without addressing a question the GOP could well face next summer: can the party’s delegates vote for a different candidate if the presumptive nominee is convicted of a felony?

Former President Donald Trump is under four criminal indictments that will proceed through the GOP primary season, an overlap of legal and political calendars with no precedent in American politics. Fifteen states and American Samoa hold their GOP primaries on 5 March, known as Super Tuesday, which is also the day after his first trial is scheduled to begin in Washington on charges that he unlawfully sought to overturn the 2020 election.

Trump is dominating the Republican field and may secure much of the support he needs by Super Tuesday, by which time almost half of the delegates who select the nominee at the GOP convention will have been awarded. Even if he were to be convicted in Washington or another trial, top party leaders and many voters have indicated they would stand by Trump anyway. And Trump and his allies are pushing to dismiss and delay the trials and have worked with state parties to craft rules favourable to him.

The RNC rules don’t include any provisions specific to the unprecedented scenario unfolding.

Read the full article...

Giuliani continue to push for jury at defamation trial

Thursday 30 November 2023 21:17 , Oliver O'Connell

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to request that his defamation trial should take place in front of a jury. It is currently a bench trial before a judge to determine how much he should pay in damages to Georgia poll workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, who it has already been ruled he defamed.

In a new filing, Mr Giuliani’s lawyers argue: “If the Court allows a jury to determine damages, Giuliani will be severely prejudiced because a default sanction is inherently prejudicial, underscoring the case law holding that the Court—and not a jury—must determine damages in this scenario. The Court should sustain the objection and remove the case from the jury trial docket, instead holding an evidentiary hearing.”

In response, attorneys for Ms Freeman and Ms Moss wrote: “Defendant Giuliani nevertheless indicates that he intends to argue to the jury (even though he has offered no jury instruction on this point) that Plaintiffs “must prove the extent that Giuliani’s conduct proximately caused” the harm that resulted from the injuries alleged in the Amended Complaint. … But that part of the case is over.”

They add: “There can be no serious dispute that this Court’s Default Judgment Order has already found that Defendant Giuliani’s conduct proximately caused the harm alleged in the Complaint. The only remaining question for the jury should be to quantify that harm, as a matter of dollars and cents owed to Plaintiffs.”

Alex Woodward has been covering the case for The Independent:

Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis could testify in election workers’ defamation trial

Rep Clay Higgins makes not-so-veiled threat against Special Counsel Jack Smith

Thursday 30 November 2023 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

GOP Congressman Clay Higgins warned that Special Counsel Jack Smith’s “days are numbered” because he is bringing federal charges against Donald Trump.

Mr Smith is leading the charge in prosecuting Mr Trump both for his alleged retention and attempts to hide sensitive government documents at his Mar-a-Lago home after his presidency, and for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Mr Higgins issued the ominous warning during an appearance on far-right media outlet Newsmax on Wednesday. He painted a recent court filing Mr Smith made to obtain a list of accounts that liked or retweeted Mr Trump’s Twitter account as a back-door tactic for spying on regular Americans.

Graig Graziosi has the full story.

GOP lawmaker makes not-so-veiled threat against Jack Smith

Top Ramaswamy aide ditches campaign for Trump

Thursday 30 November 2023 20:40 , Oliver O'Connell

A top political aide for Vivek Ramaswamy has left the Republican presidential hopeful’s campaign and joined that of his rival – former president Donald Trump.

Brian Swensen, who has served as Mr Ramaswamy’s national political director since the spring, confirmed his departure to CBS News.

According to the network, he directed further questions about his future role to the Trump campaign.

“We love Brian,” Tricia McLaughlin, Mr Ramaswamy’s communications director, told CBS. “It’s a good move for Brian and we’re happy for him.”

Mike Bedigan reports from Los Angeles.

Top aide ditches Ramaswamy’s campaign – and moves to Trump’s

Voices: Newsom and DeSantis face off in the name of recognition and desperation

Thursday 30 November 2023 20:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

Neither Gavin Newsom nor Ron DeSantis will be president come 20 January 2025.

But they won’t be president for different reasons. Mr Newsom, the slick-haired, chiclet-smile-wielding governor of California opted not to seek the White House in 2024. While he won re-election overwhelmingly given the lack of a legitimate GOP presence in California, he also underperformed, which likely meant downballot Democrats suffered, killing his chances at a presidential run. As a result, he has elected to become President Joe Biden’s junkyard dog, willing to bark and howl on Fox News and take on Republicans.

By contrast, Mr DeSantis, the aggressive hardline conservative Florida governor whose penchant for “owning the libs” turned him into a right-wing media hero, has seen his presidential campaign sputter. Now, Mr DeSantis is falling behind not just former president Donald Trump, but now other competitors like businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and now former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who this week received support from the influential Koch network.

The two men are known for their sense of flair and their respective states have become emblems for the very things members of their respective parties love and their opponents hate.

Read the full article...

What to expect from DeSantis v Newsom

Thursday 30 November 2023 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The increasingly strange spectacle of the 2024 Republican primary will continue to develop on Thursday as a one-of-a-kind debate plays out on Fox News.

Typically, Republicans and Democrats don’t debate each other in person until a nominee from each respective party is chosen. Typically, a sitting governor who insists he isn’t running for president is not among the participants. But we’re throwing out the rulebook this year, and as such Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — currently polling at No 2 in the Republican primary field — will face off against Gavin Newsom, governor of California and definitely-not-candidate for the presidency.

Mr DeSantis and Mr Newsom will meet for a one-on-one debate moderated by Sean Hannity, a staunch conservative who has said that he has no plans to hide his views during the face-off. A top defender and known confidante of former President Donald Trump, Mr Hannity’s primetime opinion show has also been a refuge and reliably safe interview spot for the Florida governor as he faces sharper criticism from other conservatives.

Not present (or likely thrilled about this): Joe Biden and Donald Trump, the two presumptive nominees according to all available polling.

John Bowden breaks it down.

What to expect from tonight’s one-of-a-kind showdown between DeSantis and Newsom

ICYMI: Trump vows to save young voters from ‘crushed dreams’ in op-ed

Thursday 30 November 2023 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has argued in a Newsweek op-ed that President Joe Biden is “crushing” the dreams of young people with “debt, taxes, and inflation,” claiming that he’s “paving the way for a future of anger and despair”.

The oped, titled I Will Make America Great Again for Young People, was published early on Wednesday and is a raging screed against what the former president calls Mr Biden’s “reign of failure, incompetence, and corruption”.

For his part, Mr Trump became the first president to leave office with fewer jobs than when he entered since the presidency of Herbert Hoover which coincided with the Great Depression. Economists have said that Mr Trump’s lack of leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic made the financial impact of the health crisis worse, pointing to policies that helped the wealthy and international trade plans that pushed away US allies and hurt domestic industries.

In the face of all this, Mr Trump still wrote in Newsweek that his administration “created the strongest and most prosperous economy in the history of the world”.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Trump vows to save young voters from ‘crushed dreams’ in op-ed

As another GOP debate looms with no sign of Trump participating, what will he be doing instead?

Thursday 30 November 2023 19:16 , AP

As his Republican primary rivals return to the debate stage next week, former President Donald Trump will be headlining a closed-door fundraiser in Florida.

Trump’s campaign has been advertising a chance to win tickets to the “end-of-year reception” in Hallandale Beach, Florida, near Miami on Dec. 6.

The former president has chosen to skip his party’s three previous primary debates, citing his commanding lead in early state and national polls. But his decision not to schedule a public counterprogramming event to upstage the debate in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, marks a change in strategy.

Trump held a rally in Hialeah, a Miami suburb, during the last debate, which felt, in many ways, like the main event. He traveled to Michigan in lieu of the second debate to rail against President Joe Biden at an auto-parts manufacturing plant during an autoworkers’ strike. And he sat for a pretaped interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that was released on X, the platform previously known as Twitter, to coincide with the first GOP gathering.

A senior Trump aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity to address the decision, cited waning interest in the debates given Trump’s dominant front-runner status.

Next Wednesday’s debate comes as former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has seen a surge in support that has threatened Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ status as the distant runner-up to Trump.

The two are expected to continue to clash on a stage that will feature just a handful of candidates, as the Republican National Committee ups the threshold for participation. To make the stage, candidates must garner at least 6% in two approved national polls, or 6% in polls from two separate early-voting states. They will also need to have raised money from at least 80,000 unique donors.

Several high-profile candidates, including Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and former Vice President Mike Pence, have already dropped out of the race.

Trump and his campaign have called on the RNC to cancel the remainder of the debates and instead focus on backing him against Biden.

Jimmy Kimmel mocks claim Trump too depressed to eat after Jan 6

Thursday 30 November 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Jimmy Kimmel joked about Donald Trump’s “insurrection depression” and suggested that his son was actually behind any negative feelings following the Capitol riots.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, Mr Kimmel referenced the recent claim that Mr Trump was “depressed” to the point that he stopped eating following the attacks on January 6.

Former US representative Liz Cheney made the claim in her upcoming book Oath and Honor, saying that is what she had been told by House colleague Kevin McCarthy after he visited Mr Trump at Mar-a-Lago three weeks after the insurrection.

Mr Kimmel was beyond amused by the account of the man Ms Cheney called “Orange Jesus” - joking that Mr Trump went through his own version of the stages of grief after his loss to President Joe Biden.

Amelia Neath reports on what Kimmel said:

Jimmy Kimmel mocks claim that ‘depressed’ Trump stopped eating after Jan 6

Trump wants to re-litigate 2020 results during federal election interference trial

Thursday 30 November 2023 18:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for Donald Trump made the clearest signal yet that they intend to question the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in a federal criminal trial over his attempts to subvert the results.

Lawyers for the former president want to investigate several government agencies about their handling of investigations into an election Mr Trump still falsely claims was stolen from and rigged against him.

A 37-page filing in US District Court in Washington DC on Monday asks prosecutors to produce mountains of documents surrounding “the impact of foreign influence” and “actual and attempted compromises of election infrastructure” as well evidence of alleged “political bias”.

Courtrooms, election officials, and Mr Trump’s own attorney general and White House counsel, among others, have repeatedly rejected the idea that widespread fraud affected the outcome of an election he lost. US Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith argues that Mr Trump ignored those findings in his multi-state campaign to reverse the outcome.

Whether Mr Trump “genuinely believed that the election was stolen” is a matter for trial, his lawyers wrote. But they contend that the case against him is a politically motivated conspiracy to keep him from the White House in 2024, and that it was not “unreasonable” nor “criminal” for Mr Trump to “rely instead on the independent judgment that the American people elected him to use while leading the country.”

Read the full article...

Thursday 30 November 2023 18:20 , Oliver O'Connell

There’s another big debate tonight that doesn’t involve Trump...

Thursday 30 November 2023 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

...but doubtless, his shadow will somehow loom over proceedings.

Josh Marcus writes:

It’s been more than two decades since a state governor was elected to the White House, but you wouldn’t know it looking at the 2024 presidential race.

Five current or former governors are still in the running for the Republican nominee so far.

But no statehouse rivalry is more pronounced in US politics than the one between Florida governor and 2024 Republican candidate Ron DeSantis, and his Democratic counterpart from California, governor Gavin Newsom.

The pair, both seen as promising presidential picks one day, have been trading barbs for years, and things have only heated up as a presidential election season approaches. Their battles have much to say about where each party is going, and the political fate of these two men could suggest which vision of politics and leadership the American people want more.

Now, the duelling duo are going to get a chance to spar in real-time in a debate on Fox News.

Read on, for what you need to know about tonight’s clash:

The long, bitter rivalry between Ron DeSantis and Gavin Newsom

New poll: Biden takes lead over Trump nationally

Thursday 30 November 2023 17:40 , Oliver O'Connell

A survey of American citizens taken last week shows President Joe Biden holding a very slim advantage over former president Donald Trump in a hypothetical national popular vote matchup, even as respondents remain unimpressed by a re-run of the 2020 presidential election.

The poll of 1,500 US citizens was commissioned by The Economist and conducted by YouGov from 25 November to 27 November. It found that of the 1,500 respondents, 44 per cent of them said they would cast ballots for the 46th President were the 2024 election to be held at the time they were surveyed.

By contrast, 42 per cent of respondents said they would cast a ballot for Mr Trump.

Andrew Feinberg has the details.

Biden now holds slight lead over Trump in new national poll

Engoron says gag orders to be enforced ‘rigorously and vigorously'

Thursday 30 November 2023 17:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Upon hearing the news of the reinstatement of the gag orders on Donald Trump, Judge Arthur Engoron told those present at the Trump Organization civil fraud trial at the New York State Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan: “I intend to enforce the gag orders rigorously and vigorously and want to make sure that counsel informs their clients of that.”

Trump attorney Christopher Kise responded: “We’re aware, you’re honour. It’s a tragic day for the rule of law but we’re aware.”

Analysis: Trump’s violent rhetoric charts his campaign warpath

Thursday 30 November 2023 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward writes:

News networks should be taken off air and investigated for treason. The nation’s top military official should be executed. A state judge presiding over a trial against him, and the attorney general suing him, should be arrested. People seeking asylum in the US are “poisoning the blood of our country” and should be turned away if they don’t accept “our religion.” Drug dealers should get the death sentence. “Liberal Jews” are voting to “destroy America and Israel.” The regime will “root out” political opponents who “live like vermin”.

Donald Trump’s latest violent, authoritarian visions in his 2024 campaign for the presidency are building on his platform of self-described retribution.

They are also increasingly colliding with the multiple criminal investigations and lawsuits against him, as prosecutors and judges hope to rely on gag orders to rein in his rhetoric, which has invited hundreds of abusive messages and credible death threats from his supporters against the judges and prosecutors involved.

Continue reading...

Trump’s violent rhetoric charts his campaign warpath

BREAKING: Gag order reinstated in Trump’s fraud trial

Thursday 30 November 2023 16:29 , Oliver O'Connell

A state appeals court in New York has reinstated a gag order in Donald Trump’s fraud trial, after court officials revealed the wave of death threats and attacks against members of the court staff.

New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron put the gag order in place to protect his chief clerk and other court staff from the former president’s abuse and subsequent attacks that have flooded his office.

A state appellate court judge temporarily froze the orders earlier this month, “considering the constitutional and statutory rights at issue”.

Judge Engoron and his principal law clerk Allison Greenfield received “hundreds of threats, disparaging and harassing comments and antisemitic messages” that followed the former president’s harassment, according to a recent court filing.

Alex Woodward is reporting on this developing story...

Gag order reinstated in Trump’s fraud trial

Watch: What do Trump’s attacks on MSNBC mean in practice?

Thursday 30 November 2023 15:55 , Oliver O'Connell

MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes and former CNN host Brian Stelter sat down to discuss Donald Trump’s recent attacks on MSNBC and note how there are parallels to his attacks on CNN during his presidency.

Report: Lawyer warned Trump it would be a crime to not comply with classified docs subpoena

Thursday 30 November 2023 15:38 , Oliver O'Connell

Per ABC News:

One of former president Donald Trump’s current attorneys told special counsel Jack Smith’s team that, within days of the Justice Department issuing a subpoena last year for all classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, she “very clearly” warned Trump that if he failed to fully comply -- but then swore he did -- “it’s going to be a crime,” according to sources familiar with the matter.

Sources said the lawyer, Jennifer Little, told investigators Trump “absolutely” understood the warning, which came during a pivotal meeting at Mar-a-Lago with Trump and another attorney, Evan Corcoran, who had recently joined Trump’s legal team.

What Little allegedly told Smith’s team earlier this year may shed further light on how Smith came to accuse Trump of knowingly violating the law, saying in his June 9 indictment against Trump that the former president defied a subpoena by hiding more than 100 classified documents from the FBI and even his own legal team, and then having his legal team certify otherwise.

Trump claims he has done more for Black Americans than any other president

Thursday 30 November 2023 15:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump labelled himself a greater friend to Black Americans than Abraham Lincoln on Wednesday as he made his latest half-baked play for Black voters.

The ex-president was touting his endorsement from Mark Fisher, a founder of a small Black Lives Matter offshoot group in Rhode Island, in a Truth Social posting when he made the claim. It was just the latest in a long line of remarks from the former president that have betrayed a poor understanding of American history (at a minimum) while also provoking its own racist narrative — namely, that the end of slavery was inconsequential compared to Mr Trump’s presidency.

John Bowden has the story.

Trump suggests he has done more for Black Americans than Lincoln

Today, in non-Trump tantrums...

Thursday 30 November 2023 14:51 , Oliver O'Connell

Embattled Rep George Santos (R-NY) delivered a defiant press conference early Thursday morning as he braces for an expulsion vote to kick him out of Congress.

The embattled Republican freshman rolled into his press conference in a black Jaguar SUV and criticised the fact that he would be joining five other members of Congress who were either members of the Confederacy or convicted criminals.

“So if I am to get expelled tomorrow, I will be number six in the history of the first Republican and the only one without a conviction or without having committed treason,” he said.

Eric Garcia reports live from Capitol Hill.

Santos throws tantrum press conference on eve of expulsion from Congress

This morning on Truth Social: Bird on the brain

Thursday 30 November 2023 14:38 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is not happy.

This morning he opened up his Truth Social machine and unleashed an attack on The Wall Street Journal (and by extension Rupert Murdoch) and Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan.

Their crime? Their support for rival Republican primary contender and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, aka in the former president’s mind “Birdbrain”.

Here’s what he had to say about the Journal:

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page is really a MESS! The Globalist “paper” sucks, its influence is badly waning, and the concept of, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, is not exactly music to their ears. They fought me hard in 2016, but when I WON, Rupert Murdoch was the first to call. “Great going,” he said, “lets have lunch.” He called often, never getting what he wanted to get, or hearing what he wanted to hear. How did that work out, Rupert? Now he’s given up on a hopeless Ron DeSanctimonious, who became Florida’s Governor because of me, only to be pushing Nikki “Birdbrain” Haley, an even more disloyal candidate than Ron. Just like 2016 (In 2020 I got millions of more votes than I did in 2016, but the ELECTION WAS RIGGED!), 2024 will be a GLOBALIST DEFEAT, and a rebuke to the losers at the WSJ, who have gotten almost nothing right for years. Remember, I am leading Haley & DeSanctus by 50 Points, & Crooked Joe by a lot, & the Radical Left Democrats want no part of MAGA, or TRUMP!

There was similar scorn for Mr Dimon who spoke at a New York Times event yesterday, encouraging even liberal Democrats to help Haley’s campaign: “Even if you’re a very liberal Democrat, I urge you, help Nikki Haley, too. Get a choice on the Republican side that might be better than Trump.”

Mr Trump responded this morning:

Highly overrated Globalist Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMORGAN, is quietly pushing another non-MAGA person, Nikki Haley, for President. I’ve never been a big Jamie Dimon fan, but had to live with this guy when he came begging to the White House. I guess I don’t have to live with him anymore, and that’s a really good thing!

There is a growing momentum among the traditional conservative establishment to back Haley in the hope that, as the primaries progress and the former president’s legal troubles worsen, she will be poised to win the party’s 2024 nomination.

Earlier this week, she won the endorsement of the Charles Koch-controlled Republican donor network Americans for Prosperity Action. John Bowden reported on the news:

Republican megadonor network backs Haley over DeSantis

Full story: Trump immediately attacks judge’s wife after gag order reinstated in fraud trial

Thursday 30 November 2023 22:57 , Oliver O'Connell

Moments after a New York appeals court reinstated a gag order in Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial, the former president unleashed a series of baseless Truth Social posts attacking the wife of the judge presiding over the case.

Mr Trump reshared several conspiratorial “reports” from far-right activist and failed congressional candidate Laura Loomer about the wife of New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron.

He also accused her of making anti-Trump memes that included AI images of Mr Trump in orange prison jumpsuits with captions saying he’s “headed for the big house.”

A statement from the court on Thursday denied that the judge’s wife had anything to do with those posts.

Trump immediately attacks judge’s wife after gag order reinstated in fraud trial

Trump embraces Jan 6 rioters on the trail. In court, his lawyers hope to distance him from them

Thursday 30 November 2023 14:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has embraced the rioters who attacked the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, as patriots, vowed to pardon a large portion of them if he wins a second term and even collaborated on a song with a group of jailed defendants.

In his election interference case in Washington, his lawyers are taking a different tack.

Despite losing a bid to strike from the indictment references to that day’s violence, defence attorneys have made clear their strategy involves distancing the former president from the horde of rioters, whom they describe as “independent actors at the Capitol.” At the same time, special counsel Jack Smith’s team has signalled it will make the case that Trump is responsible for the chaos that unfolded, and point to Trump’s continued support of the Jan 6 defendants to help establish his criminal intent.

The competing arguments highlight the extent to which the riot serves as an inescapable backdrop in a landmark trial set to begin on 4 March 2024 in a courthouse just blocks away from the Capitol.

Read on...

Trump lawyers hope to distance him from Jan 6 rioters he embraces

Voices: Trump’s Obamacare ‘repeal and replace’ revival is just a distraction from his revenge plans

Thursday 30 November 2023 14:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg writes...

Remember “repeal and replace?”

For almost a decade, that was the mantra of the various Republicans in Washington who’d tasked themselves with the mission of eradicating Obamacare, the signature accomplishment of the nation’s first Black president.

And when Donald Trump moved into the White House along with Republican majorities in both the House and Senate in 2017, it looked as if this goal was within reach, even though it was never quite clear what the GOP would do to fulfill the “replace” part of their plan.

Similarly, it was never 100 per cent clear what the Republican objection to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was, particularly since the concept behind the legislation — mandating the purchase of private health insurance coverage in lieu of a government-run health care system like the NHS — was birthed in a GOP-aligned think tank and first implemented by then-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney years before he and Mr Obama squared off in the 2012 general election.

To make a long story short, neither the “repeal” nor “replace” ever came together after the “repeal” part of the plan died at the hands (or more accurately, the downturned thumb) of the late Arizona Senator John McCain during one late July vote in 2017.

Read on to see how Mr Trump has revived the “long-dead, now quite unpopular GOP pipe dream”...

Cheney: Trump knew he’d lost election but needed to go through ‘stages of grief’

Thursday 30 November 2023 13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy believed that Donald Trump had accepted his defeat in the 2020 election and was going through the “five stages of grief” in the days immediately following the contest, according to a new book by Liz Cheney.

The former House Republican conference chair is out with a new book, publishing on 5 December, revealing new insights from her time in the GOP caucus in the days leading up to and following the January 6 attack on Congress. In Oath and Honor, Ms Cheney writes that Mr McCarthy summed up then-president Trump’s mood to her after a meeting at Mar-a-Lago between the two men.

“He knows it’s over,” said the former speaker, according to excerpts published on Wednesday by CNN. “He needs to go through all the stages of grief.”

Despite that remark, Ms Cheney continues, Mr McCarthy went on national television and lied to the American people about the 2020 election results.

John Bowden has the story:

Trump knew he’d lost election but needed to go through ‘stages of grief’, Cheney says

Democrats mock Biden impeachment inquiry as GOP trying to make Trump happy

Thursday 30 November 2023 13:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The latest round of opposing claims to reality regarding the Biden impeachment inquiry played out in front of the cameras on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning (29 November) as both Republicans and Democrats reacted to Hunter Biden’s acceptance of an offer to testify before the House Oversight Committee.

The president’s son called the bluff of House Republicans by agreeing to appear before the panel on 13 December at the invitation of committee Chair James Comer.

Earlier this month, Mr Comer issued subpoenas compelling testimony from Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden, as part of a long-running probe into President Joe Biden’s family — an investigation which has thus far produced no evidence that the 46th president violated any laws or was improperly influenced by any family member’s business interests. Mr Biden’s team has issued their own subpoenas.

The younger Mr Biden’s response, delivered via his lawyer this week, forced Republicans to quickly backtrack and insist that it was important to first have a closed-door deposition from the younger Mr Biden.

Each side took to morning cable news shows to argue their case before each party held their weekly congressional press conference to further push its point.

Read on...

Democrats mock Biden impeachment inquiry as GOP making Trump happy

In furious denial that he’s ‘cognitively impaired’, Trump claims he deliberately muddles Biden and Obama

Thursday 30 November 2023 12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump claimed that he deliberately mixes up Joe Biden and Barack Obama’s names as he angrily denied that he is “cognitively impaired.”

Mr Trump took to Truth Social to defend himself and claimed he had deliberately mistaken Mr Biden for Mr Obama to show that “others” may have a “very big influence” in running the country.

“Whenever I sarcastically insert the name Obama for Biden as an indication that others may actually be having a very big influence in running our Country,” Mr Trump wrote in the post on Monday.

“Ron DeSanctimonious and his failing campaign apparatus, together with the Democrat’s Radical Left ‘Disinformation Machine,’ go wild saying that ‘Trump doesn’t know the name of our President, (CROOKED!) Joe Biden. He must be cognitively impaired.”

And he added: “No, I know both names very well, never mix them up, and know that they are destroying our Country.”

Graeme Massie has the story.

Trump claims he deliberately muddles Biden and Obama in furious denial

Which congressman called Trump ‘the orange Jesus’? Liz Cheney tells all...

Thursday 30 November 2023 12:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Republican Representative Liz Cheney called Donald Trump‘s supporters in Congress “enablers and collaborators” in a new book, and revealed that at least one member called the former president “orange Jesus.”

Ms Cheney reportedly does not hold back from critiquing her former colleagues in the new book, Oath and Honor, according to CNN.

She claims that her fellow Republican lawmakers were “willing to violate their oath to the Constitution out of political expediency and loyalty to Donald Trump.”

The former congresswoman called the former president “the most dangerous man ever to inhabit the Oval Office”, and blasted her fellow Republicans for their “cowardice.”

Graig Graziosi reports on which of them called Mr Trump “Orange Jesus” behind his back...

GOP congressman called Trump ‘the orange Jesus’, new book claims

Gen Z voter group reacts to Trump op-ed pitching younger voters

Thursday 30 November 2023 11:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Voters of Tomorrow, a Gen Z activist group, released the following statement in response to Donald Trump’s Newsweek op-ed targeting the younger electorate.

“Donald Trump is lying to young people again, but we are not falling for it. In his deeply misguided op-ed, he writes that young people would be better off electing him rather than Joe Biden in 2024. Trump also claims that young people thrived and prospered under his administration — and will once again if he takes back the White House.

“These are flat-out lies. But here are the facts: Donald Trump failed Gen Z when he was president. He tried to take away health care and food security for millions of us, allowed corporations to pollute our environment, rolled back gun violence prevention measures, targeted immigrant communities, and only served to benefit the richest, most privileged Americans. Not to mention, the former president’s far-right judicial appointments resulted in the Dobbs decision — a loss of our reproductive freedoms that has since fueled waves of high youth voter turnout in elections across the nation.

“In case Trump forgot, young voters played a key role in Republicans losing their congressional majority in 2018 and his loss to Joe Biden in 2020. And we will give him another taste of what it feels like to lose again in 2024.”

The group then fact-checked the assertions made by the former president in the article:

  • False: “Under Joe Biden, we are a nation in decline and rapidly losing the American Dream.”

  • True: Earlier in 2023, youth unemployment hit its lowest point in 70 years. The Biden-Harris Administration has delivered historic investments in American education, infrastructure, environment, and mental health care.

  • False: “Biden’s war on American energy is making everything more expensive.”

  • True: ​​The Biden-Harris Administration’s investments in clean energy, infrastructure, and semiconductor manufacturing will create millions of good jobs, including union jobs, with fair pay and safe working conditions.

  • False: “The Democrats’ radical promotion of Critical Race Theory, transgenderism, and other inappropriate racial, sexual, and political content in our schools has divided our communities and frayed the bonds of national unity.”

  • True: Trump’s racist, homophobic, and transphobic rhetoric harms young Americans and incites violence. Young people instead stand behind an agenda that advances LGBTQ+ equality, racial justice, educational freedoms, and inclusivity.

  • False: “Joe Biden’s unimaginable weakness on the world stage is threatening to drag the United States into World War III, which would devastate an entire generation of young Americans.”

  • True: The Pew Research Center reported a “decline in America’s global image during Donald Trump’s presidency and a rebound in ratings for the U.S. following the election of Joe Biden.”

  • False: “Next November, tens of millions of young Americans will be casting their vote to end Joe Biden’s failed presidency, and to finish the job of making America great again.

  • True: Young Americans defeated Trump once, and then we showed up again and again to defeat his ideology in elections across the nation. We will do so again in 2024.

Full story: Trump vows to save young voters from ‘crushed dreams’ in op-ed

Thursday 30 November 2023 10:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has argued in a Newsweek op-ed that President Joe Biden is “crushing” the dreams of young people with “debt, taxes, and inflation,” claiming that he’s “paving the way for a future of anger and despair”.

The oped, titled I Will Make America Great Again for Young People, was published early on Wednesday and is a raging screed against what the former president calls Mr Biden’s “reign of failure, incompetence, and corruption”.

For his part, Mr Trump became the first president to leave office with fewer jobs than when he entered since the presidency of Herbert Hoover which coincided with the Great Depression. Economists have said that Mr Trump’s lack of leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic made the financial impact of the health crisis worse, pointing to policies that helped the wealthy and international trade plans that pushed away US allies and hurt domestic industries.

In the face of all this, Mr Trump still wrote in Newsweek that his administration “created the strongest and most prosperous economy in the history of the world”.

Read full article

Students for Trump co-founder arrested for assaulting woman with gun

Thursday 30 November 2023 09:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Ryan Fournier, the co-founder of Students for Trump, has been arrested in North Carolina on misdemeanour charges of assaulting a female and assault with a deadly weapon.

According to court records from Johnston County, Mr Fournier, 27, is accused of grabbing the woman by her right arm and striking her in the head with a 9mm SIG Sauer firearm on 21 November.

Axios reported that the woman involved in the attack sustained minor injuries in the incident. Identifying information for the woman has been redacted from court records.

The Independent has reached out to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for additional details.

Students for Trump co-founder arrested for assaulting woman with gun

As Trump embraces Jan 6 rioters, his lawyers seek to distance him from them...

Thursday 30 November 2023 22:09 , AP

Donald Trump has embraced the rioters who attacked the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, as patriots, vowed to pardon a large portion of them if he wins a second term and even collaborated on a song with a group of jailed defendants.

In his election interference case in Washington, his lawyers are taking a different tack.

Despite losing a bid to strike from the indictment references to that day’s violence, defence attorneys have made clear their strategy involves distancing the former president from the horde of rioters, whom they describe as “independent actors at the Capitol.” At the same time, special counsel Jack Smith’s team has signalled it will make the case that Trump is responsible for the chaos that unfolded, and point to Trump’s continued support of the Jan 6 defendants to help establish his criminal intent.

The competing arguments highlight the extent to which the riot serves as an inescapable backdrop in a landmark trial set to begin on 4 March 2024 in a courthouse just blocks away from the Capitol.

Continued...

Trump lawyers hope to distance him from Jan 6 rioters he embraces

Sununu reveals who he’ll vote for in Trump-Biden matchup

Thursday 30 November 2023 08:30 , Oliver O'Connell

New Hampshire’s moderate Republican governor has walked a fine line as a centre-right Republican in a party that is trending more and more to the extremes.

For example, while criticising the implementation of Mr Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill over what he viewed as insufficient highway funds for his state, for example, the governor also issued a stern rebuke aimed at members of his own party’s conservative wing who sought retribution against those members who had voted for the legislation.

John Bowden reports on what he said when asked about a Trump-Biden showdown in 2024...

Moderate GOP governor reveals who he’ll vote for in Trump-Biden matchup

Cheney: McCarthy visited Mar-a-Lago after Jan 6 because Trump was depressed

Thursday 30 November 2023 06:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican house speaker Kevin McCarthy visited Donald Trump three weeks after January 6th because he was “depressed” and “not eating” following his election defeat, a new book has claimed.

In her new memoir, former congresswoman Liz Cheney accuses her fellow Republicans of “cowardice” and “craven” behaviour in going along with Mr Trump’s claims of a stolen election despite knowing they were nonsense.

In one passage, she describes confronting McCarthy, who was then speaker of the House of representatives, about his decision to visit the president’s estate at Mar-a-Lago so soon after the violence at the Capitol.

“Mar-a-Lago? What the hell, Kevin?” Ms Cheney reports asking McCarthy, according to extracts seen by CNN.

Read Io Dodds’ full article

Something for you Maga-loving uncle and aunt...

Thursday 30 November 2023 04:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump is cashing in on his legal troubles any way he can.

According to Mr Trump’s campaign website, his office is now selling “never surrender” Christmas items emblazoned with his mugshot, including wrapping paper and a stocking.

Mr Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” baseball caps are also being offered in the traditional red and green with a Christmas lights embellishment.

The hats are currently on sale for $50 each, while the wrapping paper is being sold for $35. The stocking is priced at $25.

Stock up!

Trump campaign unveils new mugshot-themed wrapping paper

GOP megadonor Koch network backs Haley over DeSantis

Thursday 30 November 2023 03:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The Republican donor network controlled by billionaire Charles Koch is getting off the sidelines and backing Nikki Haley for the 2024 Republican nomination, a major boon for her campaign as she battles with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for the runner-up spot.

Americans for Prosperity Action announced on Tuesday that it was throwing its support behind Ms Haley’s campaign in what is sure to have been a major disappointment for Mr DeSantis, who had long been considered Donald Trump’s main rival for the GOP nomination but has seen his bid for the White House falter in the wake of Ms Haley’s rise.

“When we announced our decision to engage in our first ever Republican presidential primary, we made it clear that we’d be looking for a candidate who can turn the page on our political dysfunction – and win. It’s clear that candidate is Nikki Haley,” CEO Emily Siedel said.

John Bowden has the story.

Republican megadonor network backs Haley over DeSantis

NY fraud trial: Deutsche Bank was keen to land a ‘whale’ of a client in Trump, documents show

Thursday 30 November 2023 02:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Deutsche Bank viewed Donald Trump as a “whale” of a client, was eager to land him and eagerly cultivated a relationship that grew from $13,000 worth of revenue to $6 million in two years, according to documents presented Wednesday at the former president’s civil fraud trial.

The bank’s dealings with Trump are a key issue in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, which accuses Trump, his company and some executives of hoodwinking lenders and insurers by presenting them with grossly inflated statements of his asset values.

The defendants deny any wrongdoing. They have sought to show that the bank felt delighted, not deceived, by Trump and courted his business.

Deutsche Bank was keen to land a 'whale' of a client in Trump, documents at his fraud trial show

Thursday 30 November 2023 01:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Students for Trump co-founder arrested

Ryan Fournier, the co-founder of Students for Trump, has been arrested in North Carolina on misdemeanour charges of assaulting a female and assault with a deadly weapon.

According to court records from Johnston County, Mr Fournier, 27, is accused of grabbing the woman by her right arm and striking her in the head with a 9mm SIG Sauer firearm on 21 November.

Axios reported that the woman involved in the attack sustained minor injuries in the incident. Identifying information for the woman has been redacted from court records.

Michelle Del Rey reports.

Students for Trump co-founder arrested for assaulting woman with gun

Thursday 30 November 2023 00:30 , AP

Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, noted Georgia’s election results were tallied three times in 2020: the initial Election Day count, the hand-counted audit and a final recount by voting machine requested by Trump’s campaign. All three times, Biden prevailed.

“It’s misleading to claim this is fraud,” Bullock said by phone. “Were there errors? Yes. But they were not malicious.”

Corbitt, the Fulton County spokesperson, declined to address Trump’s claims directly, but stressed elections in the county have undergone numerous reviews besides the audit investigation.

“In the face of this intensive scrutiny, no fraud has ever been identified in Fulton County elections,” she wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, various parties continue to spread misinformation about previous Fulton County elections.”

Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung maintained that the audit errors suggest more than 4,000 “false votes for Joe Biden” were counted.

“These errors from one county, in one category of votes (absentee ballots), could certainly have impacted the results, given that no other counties or vote categories were checked,” he wrote in an email. Cheung didn’t respond to requests to elaborate on the figures he cited.

But experts agree with the review’s findings that the errors could not have swung the election decisively to Trump.

“There’s nothing nefarious here,” Trey Hood, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, said by phone Monday. “It’s irrelevant to the election outcome.”

Trump and 18 other people are facing charges in Georgia that include participating in a wide-ranging scheme to illegally try to keep Trump in power after his 2020 loss.

Four people have pleaded guilty after reaching deals with Georgia prosecutors. The remaining 15 have pleaded not guilty, and no trial date has been set.

Thursday 30 November 2023 00:20 , AP

But the errors don’t change the outcome of the 2020 election in Georgia, in which Biden garnered more than 12,000 votes than Trump to take a surprise win in a traditionally red state, election officials and experts say.

It also isn’t evidence of criminal wrongdoing or voter fraud, as Trump and others imply.

“There was, in fact, no crime,” Jessica Corbitt, a spokesperson for the Fulton County Board of Elections, responded in an email this week. “The consent order addresses procedural issues but there were no accusations or admissions of criminal activity.”

The order identified 36 inconsistencies in batch tally sheets for the audit, but found they were due to “human error” and not “intentional misconduct.” It also found they did not affect the final election results as they represented a “fractional number” of the votes cast.

The purpose of the risk-limiting audit was to confirm whether the results of the original tabulation were accurate, which the audit confirmed,” reads the order.

The county agreed to take remedial steps to prevent repeat issues, according to the order. Those policies and procedures were put in place in time for the 2022 election.

The court filing additionally states that it represents a “civil settlement” with “no criminal ramifications” and is not an admission of guilt or liability by Fulton County officials.

Continued...

AP Fact Check: Trump misleadingly cites ‘duplicate’ ballots in disputed Georgia county as proof of election fraud

Thursday 30 November 2023 00:10 , AP

CLAIM: A recent court filing revealed that 3,600 “duplicate” ballots were cast for Biden and illegally counted in Fulton County, Georgia during the 2020 election.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Missing context. A state review of the county’s audit of the 2020 presidential race found errors and inconsistencies in the vote count, including some double counting of ballots. But the errors weren’t enough to alter the election results, according to the review and outside experts. They also weren’t deemed criminal, as social media posts claim.

THE FACTS: Former President Donald Trump is continuing to cast doubt on the 2020 election results in Georgia as he seeks a return to the White House amid myriad legal cases, including election interference charges in the Peach State.

In recent days, he’s taken to social media to claim a legal filing in Georgia’s Fulton County, which includes Atlanta, proves that thousands of ballots were illegally double counted in the battleground state he narrowly lost to President Joe Biden in 2020.

“Fulton County, Georgia, acknowledges, in a major Consent Decree, that 3,600 individual ballots were DUPLICATED,” the Republican wrote in a post on his social media platform Truth Social. “THAT’S A LOT OF CRIME. When are the rest of the facts coming out? We are all waiting. This is just the beginning. UNBELIEVABLE!”

The claim has since been widely shared on other social media sites including Instagram and X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“3,600 duplicate ballots in Georgia? What are your thoughts?” wrote one user on Instagram who shared a video of Trump’s comments.

Trump’s posts refer to a June consent order that found Fulton County election workers “misidentified and duplicated” voting results during the state-mandated audit of the 2020 election, which was a hand recount of the presidential race results.

Continued...

Sununu reveals who he’ll vote for in Trump-Biden matchup

Wednesday 29 November 2023 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

New Hampshire’s moderate Republican governor has walked a fine line as a centre-right Republican in a party that is trending more and more to the extremes.

For example, while criticising the implementation of Mr Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill over what he viewed as insufficient highway funds for his state, for example, the governor also issued a stern rebuke aimed at members of his own party’s conservative wing who sought retribution against those members who had voted for the legislation.

John Bowden reports on what he said when asked about a Trump-Biden showdown in 2024...

Moderate GOP governor reveals who he’ll vote for in Trump-Biden matchup

Report: Lawyer warned Trump it would be a crime to not comply with classified docs subpoena

Wednesday 29 November 2023 22:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Per ABC News:

One of former president Donald Trump's current attorneys told special counsel Jack Smith's team that, within days of the Justice Department issuing a subpoena last year for all classified documents at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, she "very clearly" warned Trump that if he failed to fully comply -- but then swore he did -- "it's going to be a crime," according to sources familiar with the matter.

Sources said the lawyer, Jennifer Little, told investigators Trump "absolutely" understood the warning, which came during a pivotal meeting at Mar-a-Lago with Trump and another attorney, Evan Corcoran, who had recently joined Trump's legal team.

What Little allegedly told Smith's team earlier this year may shed further light on how Smith came to accuse Trump of knowingly violating the law, saying in his June 9 indictment against Trump that the former president defied a subpoena by hiding more than 100 classified documents from the FBI and even his own legal team, and then having his legal team certify otherwise.

Voices: Trump’s Obamacare ‘repeal and replace’ revival is just a distraction from his revenge plans

Wednesday 29 November 2023 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg writes...

Remember “repeal and replace?”

For almost a decade, that was the mantra of the various Republicans in Washington who’d tasked themselves with the mission of eradicating Obamacare, the signature accomplishment of the nation’s first Black president.

And when Donald Trump moved into the White House along with Republican majorities in both the House and Senate in 2017, it looked as if this goal was within reach, even though it was never quite clear what the GOP would do to fulfill the “replace” part of their plan.

Similarly, it was never 100 per cent clear what the Republican objection to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was, particularly since the concept behind the legislation — mandating the purchase of private health insurance coverage in lieu of a government-run health care system like the NHS — was birthed in a GOP-aligned think tank and first implemented by then-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney years before he and Mr Obama squared off in the 2012 general election.

To make a long story short, neither the “repeal” nor “replace” ever came together after the “repeal” part of the plan died at the hands (or more accurately, the downturned thumb) of the late Arizona Senator John McCain during one late July vote in 2017.

Read on to see how Mr Trump has revived the “long-dead, now quite unpopular GOP pipe dream”...

Trump’s ‘repeal and replace’ revival is just a distraction from his revenge plans

Democrats mock Biden impeachment inquiry as GOP trying to make Trump happy

Wednesday 29 November 2023 22:05 , Oliver O'Connell

The latest round of opposing claims to reality regarding the Biden impeachment inquiry played out in front of the cameras on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning (29 November) as both Republicans and Democrats reacted to Hunter Biden’s acceptance of an offer to testify before the House Oversight Committee.

The president’s son called the bluff of House Republicans by agreeing to appear before the panel on 13 December at the invitation of committee Chair James Comer.

Earlier this month, Mr Comer issued subpoenas compelling testimony from Hunter Biden and his uncle, James Biden, as part of a long-running probe into President Joe Biden’s family — an investigation which has thus far produced no evidence that the 46th president violated any laws or was improperly influenced by any family member’s business interests. Mr Biden’s team has issued their own subpoenas.

The younger Mr Biden’s response, delivered via his lawyer this week, forced Republicans to quickly backtrack and insist that it was important to first have a closed-door deposition from the younger Mr Biden.

Each side took to morning cable news shows to argue their case before each party held their weekly congressional press conference to further push their point.

Read on...

Democrats mock Biden impeachment inquiry as GOP making Trump happy

Cheney: Trump knew he’d lost election but needed to go through ‘stages of grief’

Wednesday 29 November 2023 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy believed that Donald Trump had accepted his defeat in the 2020 election and was going through the “five stages of grief” in the days immediately following the contest, according to a new book by Liz Cheney.

The former House Republican conference chair is out with a new book, publishing on 5 December, revealing new insights from her time in the GOP caucus in the days leading up to and following the January 6 attack on Congress. In Oath and Honor, Ms Cheney writes that Mr McCarthy summed up then-president Trump’s mood to her after a meeting at Mar-a-Lago between the two men.

“He knows it’s over,” said the former speaker, according to excerpts published on Wednesday by CNN. “He needs to go through all the stages of grief.”

Despite that remark, Ms Cheney continues, Mr McCarthy went on national television and lied to the American people about the 2020 election results.

“McCarthy knew that what he was saying was not true,” she explained.

John Bowden reports.

Trump knew he’d lost election but needed to go through ‘stages of grief’, Cheney says

Wednesday 29 November 2023 21:28 , AP

Over the years, she and colleagues spoke enthusiastically among themselves about the potential for building on Deutsche Bank’s Trump ties. The bankers envisioned offering him estate planning services, presenting him investment options and netting more clients through word-of-mouth — “given the circles this family travels in, we expect to be introduced to the wealthiest people on the planet,” Vrablic wrote in a 2011 email.

She advocated within the bank for lending to Trump Organization ventures. In a 2012 email to then-Executive Vice President Ivanka Trump, Vrablic promised to ensure that a Deutsche Bank lending executive knew “how important you and your family’s business have become to the bank.”

Eventually, though, the bank started saying no. In 2016, when Donald Trump was on the campaign trail and his company sought a loan for its golf course in Turnberry, Scotland, the bank decided it didn’t “want to increase its exposure,” Vrablic testified.

“The bank felt that the increased exposure, scrutiny – it was an unprecedented situation to have a customer who was about to become president of the United States,” she said.

Judge Arthur Engoron will decide the verdict. He ruled before the trial that Trump and other defendants engaged in fraud and he ordered that a receiver take control of some of Trump’s properties, putting their future oversight in question. An appeals court has put that order on hold for now.

The trial concerns remaining claims of conspiracy, insurance fraud and falsifying business records. James is seeking more than $300 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.

Wednesday 29 November 2023 21:23 , AP

James maintains that Trump’s allegedly inflated financial statements were critical to netting his company the Deutsche Bank loans at favorable rates, saving him many millions of dollars in interest.

Trump says the financial statements actually underestimated his wealth and that a disclaimer on them absolves him of liability for any problematic figures. Trump, the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, claims that James, a Democrat, is trying to harm his prospects of returning to the White House.

Trump personally guaranteed the loans at issue — standard practice for loans made by Deutsche Bank’s division that caters to rich individuals, Vrablic said. The deals came with conditions about Trump’s net worth and, sometimes, liquidity, and they often required annual submissions of his financial statements.

Other current and former Deutsche Bank executives have testified that while they expected the information to be accurate, they came up with their own numbers.

Documents show the bank sliced Trump’s $4.2 billion estimate of his net worth to $2.4 billion when considering the Doral loan, for example. Asked Wednesday whether the cut had concerned her, Vrablic said that if the bank’s credit experts “were comfortable with it, I would be comfortable with it.”

The $125 million loan went ahead, with one banker writing in an email that Trump had “among the strongest personal balance sheets we have seen.” A top executive agreed to sign off but insisted on an “iron clad” guarantee from Trump.

Trump provided it, Vrablic said Wednesday.

Continued...

Wednesday 29 November 2023 21:18 , AP

The bank’s revenue from its Trump business shot up from about $13,000 in 2011 to a projected $6 million in 2013, according to a bank document prepared for the then-co-chairman, Anshu Jain, before a lunch with Trump in early 2013.

The briefing document suggested “key asks” for Jain to make: “Obtain more deposits and investment management assets,” and “strategically discuss leveraging Mr. Trump’s personal and professional network within the real estate industry in NY” for the bank’s benefit.

And how did it go?

“It was a very, very nice, productive lunch,” Vrablic recalled on the stand.

Behind the scenes, she told a colleague at the time in an email: “It went great. Donald was low key and demure. Unbelievable. The conversation was fantastic. Not sure he could do it again for a second meeting but hey … miracles can happen.”

Adding that the two were planning to golf together that spring, she wrote: “I bet the real D shows up for that one.”

The next year, her direct boss went to lunch with Trump to thank him and “ask whether we can work on other opportunities with them,” according to a document for that meeting.

Continued...

NY fraud trial: Deutsche Bank was keen to land a ‘whale’ of a client in Trump, documents show

Wednesday 29 November 2023 21:13 , AP

Deutsche Bank viewed Donald Trump as a “whale” of a client, was eager to land him and eagerly cultivated a relationship that grew from $13,000 worth of revenue to $6 million in two years, according to documents presented Wednesday at the former president’s civil fraud trial.

The bank’s dealings with Trump are a key issue in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit, which accuses Trump, his company and some executives of hoodwinking lenders and insurers by presenting them with grossly inflated statements of his asset values.

The defendants deny any wrongdoing. They have sought to show that the bank felt delighted, not deceived, by Trump and courted his business.

“We are whale hunting,” then-bank managing director Rosemary Vrablic wrote colleagues in November 2011, after she had been introduced to Trump’s son Donald Jr. but had yet to meet the elder Trump. The bankers used “whale” to refer to a very wealthy client, Vrablic testified Wednesday.

Vrablic first came into contact with the Trumps when they were looking for a loan to buy the Doral golf resort near Miami. Over the next three years, that contact blossomed into loans for that project, then two others in Chicago and Washington, as well as multimillion-dollar deposits in the bank.

Continued...

Gen Z voter group reacts to Trump op-ed pitching younger voters

Wednesday 29 November 2023 20:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Voters of Tomorrow, a Gen Z activist group, released the following statement in response to Donald Trump’s Newsweek op-ed targeting the younger electorate.

“Donald Trump is lying to young people again, but we are not falling for it. In his deeply misguided op-ed, he writes that young people would be better off electing him rather than Joe Biden in 2024. Trump also claims that young people thrived and prospered under his administration — and will once again if he takes back the White House.

“These are flat-out lies. But here are the facts: Donald Trump failed Gen Z when he was president. He tried to take away health care and food security for millions of us, allowed corporations to pollute our environment, rolled back gun violence prevention measures, targeted immigrant communities, and only served to benefit the richest, most privileged Americans. Not to mention, the former president’s far-right judicial appointments resulted in the Dobbs decision — a loss of our reproductive freedoms that has since fueled waves of high youth voter turnout in elections across the nation.

“In case Trump forgot, young voters played a key role in Republicans losing their congressional majority in 2018 and his loss to Joe Biden in 2020. And we will give him another taste of what it feels like to lose again in 2024.”

The group then fact-checked the assertions made by the former president in the article:

  • False: “Under Joe Biden, we are a nation in decline and rapidly losing the American Dream.”

  • True: Earlier in 2023, youth unemployment hit its lowest point in 70 years. The Biden-Harris Administration has delivered historic investments in American education, infrastructure, environment, and mental health care.

  • False: “Biden’s war on American energy is making everything more expensive.”

  • True: ​​The Biden-Harris Administration’s investments in clean energy, infrastructure, and semiconductor manufacturing will create millions of good jobs, including union jobs, with fair pay and safe working conditions.

  • False: “The Democrats’ radical promotion of Critical Race Theory, transgenderism, and other inappropriate racial, sexual, and political content in our schools has divided our communities and frayed the bonds of national unity.”

  • True: Trump’s racist, homophobic, and transphobic rhetoric harms young Americans and incites violence. Young people instead stand behind an agenda that advances LGBTQ+ equality, racial justice, educational freedoms, and inclusivity.

  • False: “Joe Biden’s unimaginable weakness on the world stage is threatening to drag the United States into World War III, which would devastate an entire generation of young Americans.”

  • True: The Pew Research Center reported a “decline in America’s global image during Donald Trump’s presidency and a rebound in ratings for the U.S. following the election of Joe Biden.”

  • False: “Next November, tens of millions of young Americans will be casting their vote to end Joe Biden’s failed presidency, and to finish the job of making America great again.

  • True: Young Americans defeated Trump once, and then we showed up again and again to defeat his ideology in elections across the nation. We will do so again in 2024.

In furious denial that he’s ‘cognitively impaired’, Trump claims he deliberately muddles Biden and Obama

Wednesday 29 November 2023 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump claimed that he deliberately mixes up Joe Biden and Barack Obama’s names as he angrily denied that he is “cognitively impaired.”

Mr Trump took to Truth Social to defend himself and claimed he had deliberately mistaken Mr Biden for Mr Obama to show that “others” may have a “very big influence” in running the country.

“Whenever I sarcastically insert the name Obama for Biden as an indication that others may actually be having a very big influence in running our Country,” Mr Trump wrote in the post on Monday.

“Ron DeSanctimonious and his failing campaign apparatus, together with the Democrat’s Radical Left ‘Disinformation Machine,’ go wild saying that ‘Trump doesn’t know the name of our President, (CROOKED!) Joe Biden. He must be cognitively impaired.”

And he added: “No, I know both names very well, never mix them up, and know that they are destroying our Country.”

Graeme Massie has the story.

Trump claims he deliberately muddles Biden and Obama in furious denial

Report: Pence told special counsel he initially decided to skip Jan 6 proceedings

Wednesday 29 November 2023 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Vice President Mike Pence initially decided that he would skip the January 6 proceedings to certify President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory before changing his mind.

Much of what Mr Pence recently told the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith are statements he has previously made publically, according to ABC News.

Investigators got ahold of personal notes that Mr Pence jotted down after meetings, including with former President Donald Trump, from the National Archives.

One such note reveals that Mr Pence had decided that he would skip the certification because there were “too many questions” and that it would be “too hurtful to my friend” before he concluded that it was his duty to appear.

Gustaf Kilander has the full details

Which congressman called Trump ‘the orange Jesus’? Liz Cheney tells all...

Wednesday 29 November 2023 19:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Republican Representative Liz Cheney called Donald Trump‘s supporters in Congress “enablers and collaborators” in a new book, and revealed that at least one member called the former president “orange Jesus.”

Ms Cheney reportedly does not hold back from critiquing her former colleagues in the new book, Oath and Honor, according to CNN.

She claims that her fellow Republican lawmakers were “willing to violate their oath to the Constitution out of political expediency and loyalty to Donald Trump.”

The former congresswoman called the former president “the most dangerous man ever to inhabit the Oval Office”, and blasted her fellow Republicans for their “cowardice.”

Graig Graziosi reports on which of them called Mr Trump “Orange Jesus” behind his back...

GOP congressman called Trump ‘the orange Jesus’, new book claims

Univision’s friendly Trump interview condemned by star anchor

Wednesday 29 November 2023 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Univision anchor and reporter Jorge Ramos has joined the growing list of voices criticising his network’s recent airing of an interview with Donald Trump which was widely regarded as a PR spectacle and avoided serious questions.

The former president and current candidate for the Republican presidential nomination sat down with Enrique Acevedo earlier in November; their conversation marked the former president’s first formal interview with the Spanish-language broadcaster, as well as Univision’s first with any current or former Republican president. The questions posed to the former president stayed far away from interrogating his continued insistence of victory in the 2020 election and other sensitive topics.

What’s more, it was apparently attended in person by Univision corporate executives, a highly irregular move for any journalist sitting down with a political candidate.

John Bowden has the story.

Univision anchor joins condemnation of channel’s friendly Trump interview

Trump claims he has done more for Black people than any other president

Wednesday 29 November 2023 19:11 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump — who is having an especially active day on Truth Social — is claiming that he has done more for Black people than any other president perhaps even including Abraham Lincoln. Here’s what the former president had to say:

Spoke with Mark Fisher yesterday, a great guy, very honored to have his and BLM’s support. I have done more for Black people than any other President (Lincoln?), including 10 year funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, where they had none, Opportunity Zones, Criminal Justice Reform, and much more. Thank you to Mark!

Mr Trump made the remarks in reference to an interview Mark Fisher, who was co-founder of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island, gave to Fox & Friends about Black voters who have left the Democratic Party.

DC judge denies Trump’s Jan 6 committee fishing expedition

Wednesday 29 November 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s election interference case has rejected what she likened to a bad-faith “fishing expedition” for documents from the congressional committee that investigated the events surrounding the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

US District Judge Tanya Chutkan shot down the attempt from the former president’s legal team to obtain what it labelled “missing” records from the committee, which had turned over reams of documents to federal archivists and publicly shared thousands of pages of transcripts from hearings and interviews as part of its mammoth report.

“The broad scope of the records that [Mr Trump] seeks, and his vague description of their potential relevance, resemble less ‘a good faith effort to obtain identified evidence’ than they do ‘a general ‘fishing expedition,’” the judge wrote in a filing on Monday.

Alex Woodward reports.

Trump’s Jan 6 committee ‘fishing expedition’ denied by DC judge

Students for Trump co-founder arrested

Wednesday 29 November 2023 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Ryan Fournier, the co-founder of Students for Trump, has been arrested in North Carolina on misdemeanour charges of assaulting a female and assault with a deadly weapon.

According to court records from Johnston County, Mr Fournier, 27, is accused of grabbing the woman by her right arm and striking her in the head with a 9mm SIG Sauer firearm on 21 November.

Axios reported that the woman involved in the attack sustained minor injuries in the incident. Identifying information for the woman has been redacted from court records.

The Independent has reached out to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for additional details.

Michelle Del Rey has more details in this report.

Lincoln Project responds as Trump paints dark economic picture

Wednesday 29 November 2023 18:39 , Oliver O'Connell

Ramaswamy political director joining Trump campaign, report says

Wednesday 29 November 2023 18:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Per The Messenger:

A former top aide to GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is leaving his campaign this week to join Donald Trump’s re-election effort, The Messenger learned Wednesday.

Brian Swensen, Ramaswamy’s national political director, confirmed that he will take a new job working closely with Trump campaign senior adviser Susie Wiles in the upper echelon of the Trump campaign. Swensen directed further questions to the Trump and Ramaswamy campaigns.

The move is a blow to Ramaswamy, who soared to prominence over the summer but has struggled to maintain his momentum in the Republican primary. Ramaswamy is polling at around 5% in support in the average of national Republican polling compiled by 538. Trump’s lead in the race has climbed to about 60% nationwide, according to 538.

Christie blames Trump for rise in antisemitism and Islamophobia

Wednesday 29 November 2023 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie accused Donald Trump of contributing to a rising trend of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the United States on Sunday.

The ex-governor appeared on CNN as reports emerged about the shooting of three college students in Burlington, Vermont, as they walked to a Thanksgiving dinner; reports indicated that the three were of Palestinian descent and were wearing traditional keffiyehs signaling their identities at the time of the shooting.

His rival for the 2024 GOP nomination, current frontrunner and former president Donald Trump, has long faced accusations of embracing the farthest-right wings of his party including white nationalists such as Nick Fuentes, who dined at Mar-a-Lago with the former president alongside Kanye West in 2022. Those critics who say he has not sought to distance himself from such figures first emerged in force after the Charlottesville riot in 2017, when white nationalists clashed with counterprotesters and a woman was killed when a neo-Nazi sympathiser hit her with a vehicle.

On Sunday, Mr Christie blamed his former ally for giving “permission” to racists and other forms of hatred in America by using intolerant language in public.

Read the full report by John Bowden.

Sununu reveals who he’ll vote for in Trump-Biden matchup

Wednesday 29 November 2023 18:15 , Oliver O'Connell

New Hampshire’s moderate Republican governor has walked a fine line as a centre-right Republican in a party that is trending more and more to the extremes.

For example, while criticising the implementation of Mr Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill over what he viewed as insufficient highway funds for his state, for example, the governor also issued a stern rebuke aimed at members of his own party’s conservative wing who sought retribution against those members who had voted for the legislation.

John Bowden reports on what he said when asked about a Trump-Biden showdown in 2024...

Moderate GOP governor reveals who he’ll vote for in Trump-Biden matchup

Full story: Trump vows to save young voters from ‘crushed dreams’ in op-ed

Wednesday 29 November 2023 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has argued in a Newsweek op-ed that President Joe Biden is “crushing” the dreams of young people with “debt, taxes, and inflation,” claiming that he’s “paving the way for a future of anger and despair”.

The oped, titled I Will Make America Great Again for Young People, was published early on Wednesday and is a raging screed against what the former president calls Mr Biden’s “reign of failure, incompetence, and corruption”.

For his part, Mr Trump became the first president to leave office with fewer jobs than when he entered since the presidency of Herbert Hoover which coincided with the Great Depression. Economists have said that Mr Trump’s lack of leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic made the financial impact of the health crisis worse, pointing to policies that helped the wealthy and international trade plans that pushed away US allies and hurt domestic industries.

In the face of all this, Mr Trump still wrote in Newsweek that his administration “created the strongest and most prosperous economy in the history of the world”.

Gustaf Kilander has the full story.

Trump vows to save young voters from ‘crushed dreams’ in op-ed

Biden impeachment inquiry like GOP ensuring Trump ‘being fed’ at Mar-a-Lago

Wednesday 29 November 2023 17:28 , Oliver O'Connell

This morning, Democratic rep and House caucus chair Pete Aguilar mocked the Biden impeachment inquiry as yet another Republican attempt to make former president Donald Trump happy comparing it to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy allegedly going to visit a depressed Mr Trump who had stopped eating after the January 6 Capitol riot.

Meanwhile, at this morning’s Republican House leadership press conference, Arthur Delaney of HuffPost asked an important question about the inquiry and the alleged facts surrounding it:

There were duelling narratives on cable news this morning.

Elise Stefanik was on Fox Business with Maria Bartiromo arguing why Republicans want a closed-door deposition of Hunter Biden and not a public televised hearing as he has requested, calling their bluff:

And over on MSNBC, Reps Dan Goldman and Jared Moskowitz explained that if Republicans had a shred of evidence against the president and his son, they would be more than willing to get it out in public:

Jimmy Kimmel mocks Marjorie Taylor Greene’s request to be on his show

Wednesday 29 November 2023 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel roasted Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene after the congresswoman requested to be on his show.

Rep Greene sarcastically asked Mr Kimmel if she could go on his show in a thinly-veiled effort to promote her new book, MTG.

“Hey @jimmykimmel since most of your show content is your nonstop lies about me, why don’t you have me on your show? I’ll bring you a copy of my book and we can chat about what needs to happen to SAVE AMERICA!” she tweeted on 22 November.

But Mr Kimmel did not seem receptive to the idea on Monday night.

Martha McHardy reports.

Jimmy Kimmel brutally shuts down Marjorie Taylor Greene’s request to be on his show

Jamie Dimon: ‘Help’ Nikki Haley’s 2024 primary run

Wednesday 29 November 2023 16:51 , Oliver O'Connell

Per CNBC:

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has a message for some of the world’s wealthiest corporate leaders: Help Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign.

“Even if you’re a very liberal Democrat, I urge you, help Nikki Haley, too. Get a choice on the Republican side that might be better than [Donald] Trump,” Dimon said Wednesday at a conference hosted by The New York Times’ DealBook franchise.

Present in the audience for Dimon’s remarks was a who’s who of Wall Street titans, including hedge fund veteran Bill Ackman. Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk, media titan David Zaslav and Disney CEO Bob Iger were all scheduled to speak later in the day.

Dimon was clearly addressing his remarks to the people in the room, and not to all liberal Democrats.

As Trump rages about Biden economy, Q3 growth revised up

Wednesday 29 November 2023 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

As Donald Trump rages about the economy under Joe Biden in an effort to win over young people who read Newsweek, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis has revised up Q3 2023 growth figures for the US economy from 4.9 per cent to 5.2 per cent.

White House officials are understandably thrilled...

Democrats jump on Trump comments on healthcare

Wednesday 29 November 2023 16:15 , Oliver O'Connell

As NBC News’s Garrett Haake notes, it’s “definitely been a messaging gift for Dems” and fits well into their narrative of mocking Republicans for being so unproductive.

Trump breaks silence on Koch network’s endorsement of Nikki Haley

Wednesday 29 November 2023 16:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has broken his silence on the Charles Koch-controlled Republican donor network, Americans for Prosperity Action, announcing it is throwing its support behind former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley in the party’s 2024 presidential primary.

Here’s what the former president had to say on Truth Social this morning:

The Globalist Koch Fake “Network,” Americans for China Prosperity, who constantly admit that they did better in Business under President Trump than EVER BEFORE, have decided to back Nikki “Birdbrain” Haley over Ron DeSanctimonious, a minor hit for Ron. I was never in the running because I’m all about Making America, not the outside World, Great Again! These losers have fought me from 2016 to the present. They are bad for our Country, and so is a very weak and ineffective Birdbrain, who still says that “President Trump was a GREAT President, I will never run against him.” She’s down 50 Points, she better start running FAST!

John Bowden filed this report earlier this week:

Republican megadonor network backs Haley over DeSantis

Speaking of dark things and World War III

Wednesday 29 November 2023 15:41 , Oliver O'Connell

Vladimir Putin will not consider ending his invasion of Ukraine until he knows the result of the 2024 US presidential election, a senior official from the Joe Biden administration has said.

Experts have said Russia appears content to grind down Ukraine’s resolve in the conflict rather than risk losing yet more troops in an all-out assault, and that wearing down the patience of Kyiv’s Western allies appears to be a key part of that strategy.

Since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, the Biden administration has dedicated over $60bn in aid to Ukraine, with a significant portion exceeding the $43bn budget allocated for military assistance. Further funding is being held up by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, with Democrats outraged by the latest GOP efforts to tie Ukraine aid to a crackdown on immigration to the US.

A senior US State Department official made the suggestion after a meeting of Nato foreign ministers in Brussels during which they agreed that a peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia was unlikely to come within the next year.

“My expectation is that Putin won’t make a peace or a meaningful peace before he sees the result of our election,” said the official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Read Shweta Sharma’s full report.

‘I will make America great again for young people’ says Trump in dark Newsweek op-ed

Wednesday 29 November 2023 15:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Newsweek has published a Donald Trump bylined op-ed that is framed as an appeal for the votes of young people (who famously read Newsweek).

It is ostensibly an economic argument centred on financial concerns and the cost of living causing Gen Z and Millennial couples to put their lives on hold in terms of marriage, further education etc and “you practically have to be a rich person to afford a new car”. Obviously, he blames all of this on Joe Biden.

The article takes a darker turn toward traditional Maga territory with boilerplate Trump speech warnings about “the Radical Left”, violent crime, World War III, Critical Race Theory, and transgenderism.

You can read the full piece here.

Wednesday 29 November 2023 15:00 , Oliver O'Connell

And finally... Mr Trump offered his take on the latest testimony in his civil fraud trial in New York from a senior banker at Deutsche Bank:

The big and respected bank yesterday said the loans were great, they got their money, and that I did nothing wrong. There was no defaults, no “nothing.” This is a RIGGED AND VICTIMLESS CASE THAT SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN BROUGHT by the Corrupt New York State Attorney General and her Puppet Judge. Election Interference and WEAPONIZATION of JUSTICE. DISGRACEFUL! VIOLENT CRIME AT AN ALL TIME HIGH, BUSINESSES FLEEING NEW YORK!

The former president will be the final witness for the defence on 11 December, as Alex Woodward reports:

Donald Trump will take the stand again at fraud trial

The trial resumes at 10am ET today at the New York State Supreme Court in Lower Manhattan. Stay tuned for the latest developments...

Wednesday 29 November 2023 14:56 , Oliver O'Connell

The former president then doubled down on his threat to turn the justice system against his political foes, namely President Joe Biden, if he retakes the White House in 2024. He accused Mr Biden of persecuting him by suing him “wherever and whenever possibl” and said such actions have opened “a very big and dangerous Pandora’s Box” saying Democrats should “be careful what you wish for”.

I’m 12 Points up on Crooked Joe Biden - But he’s got the Justice Department and others suing me wherever and whenever possible - WEAPONIZATION, it’s called, and maybe that can make a difference. This has never been done on this scale before, not in our Country, but it opens up a very big and dangerous Pandora’s Box. Joe Biden should stop his Election Interfering Thugs before it is too late for him and the rest of the Country. As the leader of the Opposition Party, I should not be forced to campaign from inside a courthouse, which is very doable, but not very Democratic or convenient. This is where they want me to spend my time and money, but is not the way our system is supposed to work. If they filed these cases years ago, which they could have, this would not be a problem. But they want it to be a problem because they are BAD! Voters have, and will, reject it. To ALL Democrats, be careful what you wish for. God Bless America!

It’s not the first time Mr Trump has made these threats, as Rachel Sharp reported earlier this month:

Trump says he would weaponise DOJ and FBI against political enemies

Wednesday 29 November 2023 14:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Obviously, Mr Trump took a couple of potshots at two of his rivals for the Republican nomination (though has stayed silent on Nikki Haley winning the backing of Charles Koch):

Ron DeSanctimonious has become an Absentee Governor of Florida, never there, not working. The same thing happened to Sloppy Chris Christie. He failed in New Jersey, and left with an 8% approval rating, lowest ever for a governor. Get back to Florida, Ron, and do what you campaigned on, which was NOT running for President. Fix the highest in the Nation Insurance problem. Oh, and you’re 54 Points down!

More on Haley’s political win over DeSantis:

Republican megadonor network backs Haley over DeSantis

Wednesday 29 November 2023 14:48 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Trump then called on New York Mayor Eric Adams and Andrew Cuomo to fight against the Adult Survivors Act under which they were all accused of sexual assault (Trump by E Jean Carroll):

I hope that Mayor Eric Adam’s, Andrew Cuomo, and all of the others that got sued based on this ridiculous law where someone can be sued decades later, and with no proof, will fight it on being totally unfair and UNCONSTITUTIONAL. I got sued, decades later (she has no idea when her made up event took place!), by a woman - I HAD NO IDEA WHO SHE WAS. It was a made up fairytale that was brought and funded by political operatives for purposes of Election Interference.

Here’s more on where the E Jean Carroll case stands now:

Judge rejects Trump’s ‘frivolous’ fourth attempt to block E Jean Carroll case

Wednesday 29 November 2023 14:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Mr Trump then shared his thoughts on healthcare:

Getting much better Healthcare than Obamacare for the American people will be a priority of the Trump Administration. It is not a matter of cost, it is a matter of HEALTH. America will have one of the best Healthcare Plans anywhere in the world. Right now it has one of the WORST!

I don’t want to terminate Obamacare, I want to REPLACE IT with MUCH BETTER HEALTHCARE. Obamacare Sucks!!!

More on that here:

Trump will renew efforts to overturn ‘Obamacare’ if he wins second term

Wednesday 29 November 2023 14:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Next up Mr Trump attacked MSNBC for being critical of him:

MSNBC (MSDNC) uses FREE government approved airwaves, and yet it is nothing but a 24 hour hit job on Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party for purposes of ELECTION INTERFERENCE. Brian Roberts, its Chairman and CEO, is a slimeball who has been able to get away with these constant attacks for years. It is the world’s biggest political contribution to the Radical Left Democrats who, by the way, are destroying our Country. Our so-called “government” should come down hard on them and make them pay for their illegal political activity. Much more to come, watch!

Here’s a compilation video Morning Joe put together of all his recent gaffes:

Last night on Truth Social was... a lot...

Wednesday 29 November 2023 14:38 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has been on quite a social media spree over the past twelve hours railing against the criminal and civil cases against him, MSNBC, healthcare, the Adult Survivors Act, Ron DeSantis and Chris Christie (no surprises there), before threatening President Joe Biden hot on the heels of his own threats to weaponise the justice system against his enemies.

Let’s recap by starting at the beginning with his catch-all complaint about the cases against him:

All of these Fake Lawsuits against me are the work of the Radical Left Democrat Party. They could have been brought years ago, but they waited and waited, and brought them right in the middle of my very successful campaign for President - Strictly Third World Country “Stuff.” The good news is that the PEOPLE get what is going on and want to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN - AND WILL!!!

Cheney: McCarthy visited Mar-a-Lago after Jan 6 because Trump was depressed

Wednesday 29 November 2023 14:09 , Oliver O'Connell

And had stopped eating?

Io Dodds reports:

Republican house speaker Kevin McCarthy visited Donald Trump three weeks after January 6th because he was "depressed" and "not eating" following his election defeat, a new book has claimed.

In her new memoir, former congresswoman Liz Cheney accuses her fellow Republicans of "cowardice" and "craven" behaviour in going along with Mr Trump's claims of a stolen election despite knowing they were nonsense.

In one passage, she describes confronting McCarthy, who was then speaker of the House of representatives, about his decision to visit the president's estate at Mar-a-Lago so soon after the violence at the Capitol.

"Mar-a-Lago? What the hell, Kevin?" Ms Cheney reports asking McCarthy, according to extracts seen by CNN.

Continue reading:

McCarthy visited Mar-a-Lago after Jan 6 because Trump was depressed, book claims

Watch: Cheney writes Speaker Johnson wanted Trump’s flattery and will do what he wants in 2024

Wednesday 29 November 2023 13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump attorneys claim Pence cooperated with DOJ to avoid classified docs criminal charges

Wednesday 29 November 2023 13:15 , Oliver O'Connell

In a court filing late on Monday, Donald Trump’s legal team in his federal election interference case suggested that Mike Pence was cooperating with federal prosecutors in order to avoid criminal charges for retaining classified documents.

The filing links the investigation into the former vice president over that matter with testimony he gave to Special Counsel Jack Smith at the Department of Justice regarding the events leading up to the January 6 Capitol riot.

President Donald Trump (L) speaks as Vice President Mike Pence (R) looks on in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on 24 November 2020 (Getty Images)
President Donald Trump (L) speaks as Vice President Mike Pence (R) looks on in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on 24 November 2020 (Getty Images)

Here’s what Mr Trump’s attorneys allege about Mr Pence’s possible motivation for cooperating with the DOJ investigation into the aftermath of the 2020 election:

In January 2023, Vice President Pence reportedly turned over at least a “dozen” documents bearing classification markings. In February 2023, the FBI found at least one additional classified document at Vice President Pence’s home in Indiana in connection with a search that was “described as consensual after negotiations between Pence’s representatives and the Justice Department.”

DOJ’s National Security Division, which also participated in the investigation of President Trump, reviewed the documents in question. In June 2023, the National Security Division “informed Pence’s attorney that it had closed its investigation and that based on the ‘results’ of that probe, no charges will be filed against the former vice president.”

The potential criminal charges faced by Vice President Pence gave him an incentive to curry favor with authorities by providing information that is consistent with the Biden Administration’s preferred, and false, narrative regarding this case

ABC News reports that investigators have the former vice president’s personal notes from the time which show his friendship with Mr Trump unravelled over the “crank” lawyers the former president had brought in and Mr Pence’s warnings not to try and overturn the election. He even thought about skipping the vote certification in Congress until reminded of his oath to the Constitution by his son, a marine.

The filing suggests the former president intends to re-litigate the results of the 2020 election when the case comes to trial in March 2024.

McCarthy schooled for false claim about American history

Wednesday 29 November 2023 12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Stay in school kids...

Kevin McCarthy was given a savage fact-checking for his seemingly poor grasp of American history.

The former Speaker of the House, a Republican from California, claimed at a recent event that “in every single war that America has fought, we have never asked for land afterwards.”

And he added: “Except enough to bury the Americans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for that freedom we went in for.”

Mr McCarthy, who was voted out of his job in October, was so proud of his assertion that he went on to post a video clip on Elon Musk’s X social media platform, with the caption “Think for one moment.”

Graeme Massie explains why what he said was so wrong:

GOP considers holding formal vote to authorise Biden impeachment

Wednesday 29 November 2023 21:11 , AP

House Republicans are considering holding a formal vote next month to authorize the impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden as the party looks to legitimize a process that has yet to yield any direct evidence of wrongdoing by the president.

GOP leaders floated the possibility of a vote during a closed-door meeting with Republican lawmakers Wednesday morning, according to a person familiar with the private discussion who was granted anonymity to discuss it.

The possible reversal from House Republicans comes amid a growing standoff with the White House over requests for information related to Biden and his family. Republican leaders have long said a vote on the impeachment investigation was unnecessary, but are reconsidering as White House lawyers use the lack of formal House authorization to argue that the entire investigation lacks “constitutional legitimacy.”

Yet holding a vote on the impeachment investigation would be a high-stakes gambit by House Republican leadership, with no guarantee of success, given their narrow 222-213 majority. With Democrats united against the impeachment push, GOP leaders would need near-unanimous support from their side for the vote to succeed.

Watch: Liz Cheney’s book reveals McCarthy went to see ‘depressed’ Trump who was ‘not eating’ after Jan 6

Wednesday 29 November 2023 12:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Something special for your Maga-loving uncle and aunt...

Wednesday 29 November 2023 11:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump is cashing in on his legal troubles any way he can.

According to Mr Trump’s campaign website, his office is now selling “never surrender” Christmas items emblazoned with his