Advertisement

Trump loses last-ditch bid to delay hush money trial as jury questionnaire revealed: Live updates

Donald Trump has lost a last-ditch bid to delay his hush money trial just days before the 15 April start date.

The former president had argued that the trial should be postponed while he fights to change the venue to move the case out of Manhattan.

On Monday, a state appeals court judge rejected his argument. The court will also hear arguments on Mr Trump’s attempts to lift the gag order on Tuesday.

The former president has made a series of last-ditch efforts to stall his first of four criminal trials, including suing New York Justice Juan Merchan on Monday.

That same day, the judge released the jury questionnaire for the case – revealing it includes questions asking prospective jurors if they ever supported or belonged to the QAnon movement or the Proud Boys.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has also released a video on Truth Social announcing his policy on abortion. He boasted about being responsible for ending Roe v Wade, made false claims about the Democrats’ position on the subject, and said that he supported IVF. In not pushing for a national abortion ban, Mr Trump has disappointed figures on the right including Senator Lindsey Graham.

Key Points

  • Florida judge denies motion to dismiss classified documents case based on Presidential Records Act

  • Georgia judge denies Trump’s bid to dismiss election interference case on First Amendment grounds

  • New York attorney general questions insurer behind Trump’s $175m bond

  • Candidate posts video claiming ‘Biden and the Democrats are the party of violence’

Trump sues hush money judge in last-ditch effort to stop criminal trial

11:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports:

Donald Trump has sued the judge overseeing the Manhattan hush money case against him in another last-ditch effort to stop his first-ever criminal trial, less than one week before jury selection is scheduled to begin.

A state appellate court docket indicates the former president has filed litigation against New York Justice Juan Merchan, who imposed a gag order preventing parties in the case from targeting members of the court, attorneys and their families. The documents remained under seal.

Mr Trump is expected to ask appeals court judges to block the gag order and move the case out of Manhattan, among the latest attempts to delay the proceedings after failing to stop the first among the four criminal trials he is expected to face in the coming months.

Continue reading...

Trump sues hush money judge in last-ditch effort to stop criminal trial

Watch: Trump abortion remarks fact-checked by CNN

11:15 , Rachel Sharp

David Cameron holds talks with Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago surprise meeting

10:42 , Rachel Sharp

Lord Cameron has held face to face meetings with Donald Trump in Florida during his push for the US to back more funding for Ukraine.

The foreign secretary is visiting the former US president despite previously calling him “divisive, stupid and wrong”. It was the first meeting between a senior British minister and the former Republican president since he left office in 2021.

Lord Cameron is on a high profile visit to the US to press Congress to pass the blocked aid package for Ukraine and will also discuss Israel’s war in Gaza.

It is the latest of several interventions made by the foreign secretary over the additional funding for Ukraine. Earlier this year, he warned Congress not to show “the weakness displayed against Hitler” in the 1930s.

His previous comments drew the ire of right-wing congresswoman and staunch Trump ally Marjorie Taylor Greene, who told him to “kiss my ass” and “worry about his own country”.

Read the full story:

David Cameron holds talks with Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago surprise meeting

ICYMI: Lindsey Graham disagrees with Trump on abortion

09:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Senator Lindsey Graham — one of Donald Trump’s most loyal allies — disagrees with the former president’s remarks on abortion as a states’ rights issue.

“I respectfully disagree with President Trump’s statement that abortion is a states’ rights issue. Dobbs does not require that conclusion legally and the pro-life movement has always been about the wellbeing of the unborn child – not geography.”

Biden reacts to Trump abortion comments with scathing statement

08:45 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden has reacted to his predecessor’s remarks about abortion rights in the US in a scathing statement released this morning.

Here’s what he said:

“Donald Trump made it clear once again today that he is – more than anyone in America – the person responsible for ending Roe v. Wade. He is – more than anyone in America – responsible for creating the cruelty and the chaos that has enveloped America since the Dobbs decision.

“Trump once said women must be punished for seeking reproductive health care – and he’s gotten his wish. Women are being turned away from emergency rooms, forced to go to court to seek permission for the medical attention they need, and left to travel hundreds of miles for health care. In states like Florida, abortion will likely soon be illegal before many women know they’re pregnant. Because of Donald Trump, one in three women in America already live under extreme and dangerous bans that put their lives at risk and threaten doctors with prosecution for doing their jobs. And that is only going to get worse. With all his empty words on fertility treatments, Trump doesn’t tell you the MAGA Republicans he controls in Congress have put forward bills that could ban fertility treatments and that the Speaker of the House he empowered is one of the strongest supporters for a national abortion ban in the nation. Let there be no illusion. If Donald Trump is elected and the MAGA Republicans in Congress put a national abortion ban on the Resolute Desk, Trump will sign it into law.

“Here’s what Donald Trump doesn’t understand: When he ripped away Roe v. Wade, he ripped away a fundamental right for the women of America that the United States Supreme Court had affirmed and reaffirmed for 50 years. As a fundamental right, it didn’t matter where you lived. It was granted to you as an American, not as a resident of any state. Generations of women had come to rely on that right. Now we’re in the extraordinary position where women today have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers. That has never happened before in America. And it cannot be allowed to stand. I am determined to restore the federal protections of Roe v. Wade. So it won’t matter where you live in America: The fundamental right to choose for women will once again be the law of the land. If you give me and Vice President Harris a Democratic Congress, that is exactly what we will do.

“Trump is simply lying. There was no groundswell of support in America for overturning Roe. In fact, support for Roe is higher today in America than it has ever been. The real truth is Trump made a political deal in 2016. He promised to appoint a Court that would get rid of Roe. And he had to make good on that debt. So he did. It was never about public policy or what was right or what Trump believed. It was always about politics.

“Trump admits as much in his statement today. Having created the chaos of overturning Roe, he’s trying to say, ‘Oh, never mind. Don’t punish me for that. I just want to win.’

“Trump is scrambling. He’s worried that since he’s the one responsible for overturning Roe the voters will hold him accountable in 2024. Well, I have news for Donald. They will. America was built on personal freedom and liberty. So, there is nothing more un-American than having our personal freedoms taken away. And that is what Donald Trump has done.

“As I have said many times since the Dobbs decision, Donald Trump and all those responsible for overturning Roe don’t have a clue about the power of women in America. But they are about to find out.”

Manhattan DA shoots down Trump’s latest attempt to get Judge Merchan off the case

06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has shot down Donald Trump’s latest attempt to get Judge Juan Merchan removed from his criminal hush money trial, set to begin on 15 April.

In a court filing on Monday morning, Mr Bragg’s office wrote:

Defendant’s motion is not a good-faith effort to identify legitimate grounds for this Court’s recusal. Instead, this motion is no more than an effort to end-run the order restricting extrajudicial speech and pollute the court file with ad hominem attacks against the Court and the Court’s family as part of a meritless effort to call the integrity of these proceedings into question. And the motion is yet another last-ditch attempt to address defendant’s real objective, which is—as the Court has already recognized—to delay this proceeding indefinitely. As this Court has repeatedly held, there is no valid ground to avoid or adjourn the forthcoming trial. Defendant’s current motion should be denied.

Read the full filing

Trump claims record-busting $50m haul from single Palm Beach fundraiser featuring ex-president and Melania

04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The Trump campaign says that it raised $50.5m at a Saturday evening fundraiser in Palm Beach attended by the former president and wife Melania.

The financial boon is nearly double President Joe Biden’s haul of $26m from a New York City event last month.

The Florida soiree was held at the mansion of billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, who hosted the event with his girlfriend Alina de Almeida.

Mr Trump spoke to the 117 guests in the home’s backyard for about 45 minutes after joining them for pictures, according to a campaign spokesperson, describing those gathered as “leaders”.

The former president spoke about energy production, border control, limiting inflation, extending tax cuts from his first term, and bashed President Biden for pushing carmakers to make more electric vehicles.

READ MORE

Trump’s abortion policy to include exceptions for rape and incest

03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has hinted that his long-awaited policy on abortion would include exceptions for rape and incest as well as protection for the life of the mother.

The Republican presidential candidate said he would outline the policy on Monday. Although he did not provide further details, it is expected to call for a federal abortion ban less restrictive than the six-week prohibition passed in Florida and Georgia.

In the past, the former president has argued that a more moderate position on abortion is necessary for Republicans to prevail in the November election.

Read the full story:

Trump’s abortion policy to include exceptions for rape and incest

ICYMI: Trump releases video setting out his position on abortion

02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has again boasted about the being the person “proudly responsible” for ending Roe v Wade in a video setting out his views on abortion.

In a four-minute video uploaded to his Truth Social channel, the former president and Republican candidate said he believed the issue of abortion should be decided by individual states, but said that “like Ronald Reagan” he supported exceptions based on rape, incest and the life of the mother.

He also misstated the position of Democrats, saying they wanted to “execute” children after birth, and said he supported IVF treatment, something some Republicans have come out against in recent weeks.

His views on abortion have changed over the years: while previously pro-choice, he claimed during his 2016 campaign that women who have abortions should be “punished”, a stance he later dropped. He has boasted that by appointing three conservative justices to the Supreme Court during his term he was responsible for overturning Roe v Wade, the constitutional right to an abortion.

Full story:

Trump says he’d leave abortion rights to states in Truth Social video

SNL thinks Trump made unintentional confession with wild Joe Biden claim

01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Saturday Night Live comedically threw suspicion on Donald Trump’s claims that President Joe Biden was on drugs during his recent State of the Union address.

Trump outrageously suggested future presidential debates should be “drug tested” after Biden’s eyebrow-raising speech, which occurred in March.

His quotes didn’t go unnoticed by US sketch showSNL who, one week after lampooning Trump for his bizarre attempts to sell Bibles, poked fun at his comments during the Weekend Update segment.

Trump told conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt earlier this week: “I think what happened is, you know, that white stuff that they happened to find, which happened to be cocaine in the White House, I don’t know, I think something’s going on there.

“I watched his State of the Union, and he was all jacked up at the beginning. By the end, he was fading fast. There’s something going on there.”

SNL thinks Trump made unintentional confession with wild Joe Biden claim

WATCH: Republican lawmaker says Russian propaganda has ‘infected’ the party

Tuesday 9 April 2024 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump wildly claims Biden ‘soiled’ himself on White House Resolute desk in latest baseless rant

Monday 8 April 2024 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has claimed that President Joe Biden “soiled” himself in the Oval Office in yet another baseless, wild rant about his political nemesis.

The former president made the remarks during a speech at a fundraiser hosted by billionaire financier John Paulson in Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday night – an event that the Trump campaign claims raked in a record-busting $50.5m haul.

In his 45-minute presentation, Mr Trump lambasted Mr Biden’s border policy and mocked him for making what he claims to be poor decisions behind the Resolute Desk, the iconic Oval Office desk which was gifted to the US by Queen Victoria in 1880.

“The Resolute Desk is beautiful,” Mr Trump allegedly said, an attendee told The New York Times.

Read the full story:

Trump wildly claims Biden ‘soiled’ himself on White House Resolute desk

Voices: As he struggles to keep the cash flowing, Trump hands Democrats a win on abortion

Monday 8 April 2024 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

John Bowden writes:

“We have abortion where everybody wanted it.”

That was what Donald Trump said on Monday. Two years after the fall of Roe vs Wade and multiple states running referenda and trying out potential bans on abortion, it was a perplexing stance for the presidential candidate to take. It’s also a stance that puts the GOP squarely on defence for the remainder of the election cycle.

Trump made the declaration in a prepared video message posted to his Truth Social platform early Monday morning. By noon, it had already been denounced by both his political rival, Joe Biden, and Trump’s supposed allies, the anti-abortion right.

Right where everybody wants it, indeed.

Continue reading...

As he struggles to keep the cash flowing, Trump hands Democrats a win on abortion

Republican congressman warns that Russian propaganda has ‘infected’ parts of the GOP

Monday 8 April 2024 22:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Two Republican congressmen have warned that Russian propaganda has “infected” parts of the GOP.

During an interview on Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union, House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Turner said Russian propaganda has “absolutely” seeped its way to Congress, adding that some of his colleagues have repeated false claims made by the Russians on the Congress floor.

Martha McHardy reports:

Republican congressman warns that Russian propaganda has ‘infected’ parts of the GOP

Updated: Trump sues hush money judge in last-ditch effort to stop criminal trial

Monday 8 April 2024 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A state appeals court judge has denied Donald Trump’s 11th hour attempt to move his New York hush money case out of Manhattan as the former president makes a series of last-ditch efforts to indefinitely stall his first-ever criminal trial, less than one week before it is set to begin.

An appeals court docket on Monday indicated that the former president filed litigation against New York Justice Juan Merchan, who imposed a gag order preventing parties in the case from targeting members of the court, attorneys and their families. The documents remained under seal.

Mr Trump’s attorneys also pressed the court to move the case out of Manhattan, arguing that New Yorkers are biased against him and he would be denied a fair trial. An appellate judge rejected those arguments on Monday afternoon.

The appeals court will hear arguments on his attempts to lift the gag order on Tuesday.

Alex Woodward reports:

Trump sues hush money judge in last-ditch effort to stop criminal trial

Trump lashes out at Lindsey Graham over abortion

Monday 8 April 2024 22:19 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is again attacking Senator Lindsey Graham and Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America, over their opposition to his statement on abortion this morning.

The former president wrote on Truth Social:

I blame myself for Lindsey Graham, because the only reason he won in the Great State of South Carolina is because I Endorsed him!

Senator Lindsey Graham and Marjorie Dannenfelser should study the 10th Amendment and States’ Rights. When they do, they should proudly get on with helping Republicans to WIN ELECTIONS, rather than making it impossible for them to do so!

He then posted:

People forget, fighting Roe v. Wade was, right from the beginning, all about bringing the Issue back to the States, pursuant to the 10th Amendment and States’ Rights. It wasn’t about anything else. After we won, Marjorie Dannenfelser of SBA, and Lindsey Graham, started saying, “No, let’s go back to the Federal Government with 0 weeks,” and when they got nowhere, they upped it to 6 week, and more recently they upped it to 15 weeks, and were obviously willing to take the number UPWARD, UPWARD, UPWARD because they were getting nowhere with the Democrats, and they never will, because the Democrats would never give up on this Issue no matter how many weeks the Republicans went - even if they went, “Unlimited Abortion!” We had a Great Victory, it’s back in the States where it belongs, and where everyone wanted it. The States will be making the decision. Republicans are now free to run for Office based on the Horrible Border, Inflation, Bad Economy, and the Death & Destruction of our Country!

Mr Trump concluded:

You know the Democrats are “reeling” when they have no response to my recent Statement on Abortion, other than, “He’s only kidding. He will change it” or, “He won’t do that, he’ll do something else.” I guess this means that we’ve WON because they are so bad on everything else that this is the only Issue they are focused on!

Could Ohio keep Biden off November election ballot?

Monday 8 April 2024 22:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The Republican who serves as Ohio’s top election official has warned that President Joe Biden might not be legally permitted to appear on the Buckeye State’s ballot because of the Democratic National Convention’s timing this year.

Andrew Feinberg explains:

Ohio could keep Biden off November election ballot

Another bad day for Trump Media

Monday 8 April 2024 21:51 , Oliver O'Connell

It was another bad day of trading in Trump Media & Technology Group with the price of shares in the recently floated company falling by another 8.43 per cent, closing at $37.17.

The price has been dropping each day since an SEC filing revealed that the company lost $58.2m in 2023.

Donald Trump's social media company lost more than $58 million last year

Why is Trump repeating a smear about Democrats wanting to ‘execute’ babies?

Monday 8 April 2024 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

John Bowden reports:

Why Donald Trump is repeating a smear about Democrats wanting to ‘execute’ babies

Fulton County DA asks Georgia appeals court to refuse Trump’s challenge of Fani Willis ruling

Monday 8 April 2024 21:39 , Oliver O'Connell

The Fulton County district attorney's office has asked the Georgia Court of Appeals to refuse to consider Donald Trump's appeal of Judge Scott McAfee's decision not to disqualify Fani Willis from the election interference case.

Ms Willis writes that Mr Trump's appeal “reflects the applicants’ dissatisfaction with the trial court’s proper application of well-established law to the facts. Because the applicants have wholly failed to carry their burden of persuasion, this Court should decline interlocutory review.”

Read the full brief here

Amicus briefs filed against Trump immunity argument

Monday 8 April 2024 21:28 , Oliver O'Connell

Amicus briefs have been filed against Donald Trump’s argument to the Supreme Court that he is immune from prosecution for actions taken while in office — a key part of his defence of Jack Smith’s charges in the federal election interference case.

Writing in opposition to the former president are a group of retired four-star admirals and generals, and former secretaries of the US Army, Navy, and Air Force; a group of constitutional scholars; and a number of former officials and prosecutors including Ty Cobb.

The military group writes: “The notion of such immunity, both as a general matter, and also specifically in the context of the potential negation of election results, threatens to jeopardize our nation’s security and international leadership. Particularly in times like the present, when anti-democratic, authoritarian regimes are on the rise worldwide, such a threat is intolerable and dangerous.”

The constitutional scholars argue: “Trump argues that he enjoys absolute immunity from criminal prosecution for actions committed during his tenure as president, and that his acquittal at an impeachment trial bars his subsequent prosecution. Both arguments reflect a misreading of constitutional text and history as well as this Court’s precedent. The court below was right to reject them.

“As an initial matter, Trump’s argument that former presidents are forever immune from criminal prosecution for actions taken while in office finds no support in the Constitution’s text and history.”

And Mr Cobb and his associates write: “Defendant’s position cannot be squared with the Constitution’s text or history. He repeatedly invokes implied separation-of-powers principles, contending that the imposition of criminal liability on him would unduly impair the Executive Branch. But it is defendant’s claimed immunity—not his prosecution—that would undermine those principles. The immunity he seeks would severely impair the ability of the current President, in whom all executive powers are vested [...] to take care that Congress’s laws proscribing obstruction of federal elections are faithfully executed. And by asking the Judicial Branch to fashion a sweeping atextual immunity from whole cloth, he draws the Judiciary and the Executive into conflict.

'Donald Trump did this’

Monday 8 April 2024 21:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The Biden 2024 campaign has unveiled a new ad focusing on abortion and the painful story of a young Texas woman who sued the state after she almost died from a miscarriage.

Watch: Biden reacts to Trump abortion video with promise to restore Roe v Wade

Monday 8 April 2024 21:09 , Oliver O'Connell

Biden ‘not stopping’ student debt relief efforts announcing five new initiatives

Monday 8 April 2024 20:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Andrew Feinberg reports:

President Joe Biden on Monday said his latest efforts to cut down on Americans’ student debt loads would be a boon to the US economy as he unveiled a series of new executive actions to reduce or eliminate student debt for many borrowers at an event in Madison, Wisconsin.

Mr Biden said his administration’s newest initiatives are an outgrowth of his promise to find “alternative paths to reduce student debt” loads that have become “so burdensome” that many borrowers simply can’t repay what they owe, making student debt problem because it keeps Americans from starting businesses or buying homes or starting families in many cases.

Continue reading...

Biden unveils new student debt relief initiatives

Pence hits out at Trump over abortion remarks

Monday 8 April 2024 20:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Vice President Mike Pence has hit out at Donald Trump over his remarks regarding abortion being left up to individual states.

Mr Pence wrote on X: “President Trump’s retreat on the Right to Life is a slap in the face to the millions of pro-life Americans who voted for him in 2016 and 2020. By nominating and standing by the confirmation of conservative justices, the Trump-Pence Administration helped send Roe v. Wade to the ash heap of history where it belongs and gave the pro-life movement the opportunity to compassionately support women and unborn children. In the landmark Dobbs decision, the Supreme Court returned the question of abortion to the states and the American people.”

He continues: “The American people elect presidents, senators and congressmen, and a majority of Americans long to see minimum national protections for the unborn in federal law. But today, too many Republican politicians are all too ready to wash their hands of the battle for life. Republicans win on life when we speak the truth boldly and stand on the principle that we all know to be true – human life begins at conception and should be defended from womb to tomb. However much our Republican nominee or other candidates seek to marginalize the cause of life, I know pro-life Americans will never relent until we see the sanctity of life restored to the center of American law in every state in this country.”

Trump hits out at Lindsey Graham in response to abortion criticism

Monday 8 April 2024 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has turned his attention to Lindsey Graham after the South Carolina senator criticised his stance on abortion. Mr Graham said earlier: “I respectfully disagree with President Trump’s statement that abortion is a states’ rights issue. Dobbs does not require that conclusion legally and the pro-life movement has always been about the wellbeing of the unborn child – not geography.”

The former president wrote this afternoon on Truth Social:

Senator Lindsey Graham should spend more time focusing on all of the many people being killed because of our now non-existent Border, and the millions of people dying in senseless, never-ending Wars that he constantly favors and promotes, and should spend less time on taking away our Great Roe v. Wade Victory of sending a complicated and controversial Issue back to the States where, according to Highly Respected Legal Scholars on both sides, it belongs. The Democrats are thrilled with Lindsey, because they want this Issue to simmer for as long a period of time as possible. They are destroying our Country, and they don’t want to talk about Inflation, a Bad Economy, the Horrible Open Border, Rigged Elections, Afghanistan, Ukraine/Russia, or the Attack on Israel, all of which would never have happened if I were President. Great job Lindsey!

He then added:

Senator Lindsey Graham is doing a great disservice to the Republican Party, and to our Country. At first he wanted no Abortions under any circumstances, then he was up to 6 weeks, where you’re allowed Abortion, now he’s up to 15 weeks, where you’re allowed Abortion, but what he doesn’t understand, or perhaps he does, is the Radical Left Democrats, who are destroying our Country, will never approve anything that he or the Republicans want. They love this Issue, and they want to keep it going for as long as Republicans will allow them to do so. Terminating Roe v. Wade was, according to all Legal Scholars, a Great Event, but sometimes with Great Events come difficulties. Many Good Republicans lost Elections because of this Issue, and people like Lindsey Graham, that are unrelenting, are handing Democrats their dream of the House, Senate, and perhaps even the Presidency…

Page 2: By allowing the States to make their decision, and hoping that most Republicans running for Office will have the sense, although they must always follow their heart, to require the EXCEPTIONS for Rape, Incest, and Life of the Mother, we have taken the Abortion Issue largely out of play. When the Supreme Court had the courage to do the right thing LEGALLY, and terminate Roe v. Wade, all of those people, including Lindsey Graham and Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony that were “hardliners”, one day after the Victory, were gone and of absolutely no help, as the Democrats staged rallies and won Elections they should never have won. Lindsey, Marjorie, and others fought for years, unsuccessfully, until I came along and got the job done. Then they were gone, never to be heard from again, until now. We cannot let our Country suffer any further damage by losing Elections on an issue that should always have been decided by the States, and now will be!

Schumer mocks Trump’s latest position on abortion

Monday 8 April 2024 19:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer doesn’t have much time for former president Donald Trump’s remarks on abortion rights being left up to the states.

He scathingly wrote on X: “Let’s wait a few weeks and see what his new position will be.”

Trump trolled ahead of eclipse for time he stared directly at sun

Monday 8 April 2024 19:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Among everything else that happened in his four years in office, perhaps one of the most enduring images of Donald Trump’s presidency is of the then-president standing with the first lady on the terrace of the White House, staring directly into the sun during a solar eclipse.

It was 21 August 2017 and Mr Trump and Melania, alongside members of the cabinet and White House staffers, emerged from the executive mansion to witness the celestial phenomenon.

Against the advice of every expert to not look directly at the sun, no matter how much of it is covered, the then-president stared straight up.

People have not forgotten...

Trump trolled ahead of eclipse for staring directly at the sun

Anti-abortion group rebukes Trump over remarks

Monday 8 April 2024 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Following Donald Trump’s remarks on abortion in which he said the issue should be left up to individual states, the US’s leading anti-abortion group has rebuked the former president for not taking a more absolute position on the issue — pushing for a federal ban.

“We are deeply disappointed in President Trump’s position,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America.

“Unborn children and their mothers deserve national protections and national advocacy from the brutality of the abortion industry. The Dobbs decision clearly allows both states and Congress to act.

“Saying the issue is ‘back to the states’ cedes the national debate to the Democrats who are working relentlessly to enact legislation mandating abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. If successful, they will wipe out states’ rights.

“With lives on the line, SBA Pro-Life America and the pro-life grassroots will work tirelessly to defeat President Biden and extreme congressional Democrats.”

‘Don’t be silly, folks’: Biden trolls Trump over eclipse

Monday 8 April 2024 18:15 , Oliver O'Connell

‘Accountability is coming'

Monday 8 April 2024 18:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Legal expert and former ambassador Norm Eisen said of Donald Trump’s latest attempt to delay his criminal hush-money trial via the Defend Democracy Project:

“Because he did not get the delay he desperately seeks as a result of any of his prior eight attempts, Trump is now resorting to a truly hopeless effort and suing the judge. He will not succeed in delaying the trial date. Trump will be forced to confront the thing he rightly fears: a jury of everyday Americans who will likely deliver a criminal conviction for his original 2016 election interference and voter deception attempts to grasp power. Accountability is coming.”

Trump sues hush money judge in last-ditch effort to stop criminal trial

Monday 8 April 2024 17:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Alex Woodward reports:

Donald Trump has sued the judge overseeing the Manhattan hush money case against him in another last-ditch effort to stop his first-ever criminal trial, less than one week before jury selection is scheduled to begin.

A state appellate court docket indicates the former president has filed litigation against New York Justice Juan Merchan, who imposed a gag order preventing parties in the case from targeting members of the court, attorneys and their families. The documents remained under seal.

Mr Trump is expected to ask appeals court judges to block the gag order and move the case out of Manhattan, among the latest attempts to delay the proceedings after failing to stop the first among the four criminal trials he is expected to face in the coming months.

Continue reading...

Trump sues hush money judge in last-ditch effort to stop criminal trial

Watch: Biden campaign uses Trump’s own words against him

Monday 8 April 2024 17:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A reminder from Hillary Clinton

Monday 8 April 2024 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Watch: Trump abortion remarks fact-checked by CNN

Monday 8 April 2024 16:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Lindsey Graham disagrees with Trump on abortion

Monday 8 April 2024 15:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Senator Lindsey Graham — one of Donald Trump’s most loyal allies — disagrees with the former president’s remarks on abortion as a states’ rights issue.

“I respectfully disagree with President Trump’s statement that abortion is a states’ rights issue. Dobbs does not require that conclusion legally and the pro-life movement has always been about the wellbeing of the unborn child – not geography.”

Biden reacts to Trump abortion comments with scathing statement

Monday 8 April 2024 15:31 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden has reacted to his predecessor’s remarks about abortion rights in the US in a scathing statement released this morning.

Here’s what he said:

“Donald Trump made it clear once again today that he is – more than anyone in America – the person responsible for ending Roe v. Wade. He is – more than anyone in America – responsible for creating the cruelty and the chaos that has enveloped America since the Dobbs decision.

“Trump once said women must be punished for seeking reproductive health care – and he's gotten his wish. Women are being turned away from emergency rooms, forced to go to court to seek permission for the medical attention they need, and left to travel hundreds of miles for health care. In states like Florida, abortion will likely soon be illegal before many women know they're pregnant. Because of Donald Trump, one in three women in America already live under extreme and dangerous bans that put their lives at risk and threaten doctors with prosecution for doing their jobs. And that is only going to get worse. With all his empty words on fertility treatments, Trump doesn't tell you the MAGA Republicans he controls in Congress have put forward bills that could ban fertility treatments and that the Speaker of the House he empowered is one of the strongest supporters for a national abortion ban in the nation. Let there be no illusion. If Donald Trump is elected and the MAGA Republicans in Congress put a national abortion ban on the Resolute Desk, Trump will sign it into law.

“Here's what Donald Trump doesn't understand: When he ripped away Roe v. Wade, he ripped away a fundamental right for the women of America that the United States Supreme Court had affirmed and reaffirmed for 50 years. As a fundamental right, it didn't matter where you lived. It was granted to you as an American, not as a resident of any state. Generations of women had come to rely on that right. Now we're in the extraordinary position where women today have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers. That has never happened before in America. And it cannot be allowed to stand. I am determined to restore the federal protections of Roe v. Wade. So it won't matter where you live in America: The fundamental right to choose for women will once again be the law of the land. If you give me and Vice President Harris a Democratic Congress, that is exactly what we will do.

“Trump is simply lying. There was no groundswell of support in America for overturning Roe. In fact, support for Roe is higher today in America than it has ever been. The real truth is Trump made a political deal in 2016. He promised to appoint a Court that would get rid of Roe. And he had to make good on that debt. So he did. It was never about public policy or what was right or what Trump believed. It was always about politics.

“Trump admits as much in his statement today. Having created the chaos of overturning Roe, he's trying to say, ‘Oh, never mind. Don't punish me for that. I just want to win.’

“Trump is scrambling. He's worried that since he's the one responsible for overturning Roe the voters will hold him accountable in 2024. Well, I have news for Donald. They will. America was built on personal freedom and liberty. So, there is nothing more un-American than having our personal freedoms taken away. And that is what Donald Trump has done.

“As I have said many times since the Dobbs decision, Donald Trump and all those responsible for overturning Roe don't have a clue about the power of women in America. But they are about to find out.”

Manhattan DA shoots down Trump’s latest attempt to get Judge Merchan off the case

Monday 8 April 2024 14:56 , Oliver O'Connell

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has shot down Donald Trump’s latest attempt to get Judge Juan Merchan removed from his criminal hush money trial, set to begin on 15 April.

In a court filing on Monday morning, Mr Bragg’s office wrote:

Defendant’s motion is not a good-faith effort to identify legitimate grounds for this Court’s recusal. Instead, this motion is no more than an effort to end-run the order restricting extrajudicial speech and pollute the court file with ad hominem attacks against the Court and the Court’s family as part of a meritless effort to call the integrity of these proceedings into question. And the motion is yet another last-ditch attempt to address defendant’s real objective, which is—as the Court has already recognized—to delay this proceeding indefinitely. As this Court has repeatedly held, there is no valid ground to avoid or adjourn the forthcoming trial. Defendant’s current motion should be denied.

Read the full filing

Trump claims record-busting $50m haul from single Palm Beach fundraiser featuring ex-president and Melania

Monday 8 April 2024 14:00 , Gustaf Kilander

The Trump campaign says that it raised $50.5m at a Saturday evening fundraiser in Palm Beach attended by the former president and wife Melania.

The financial boon is nearly double President Joe Biden’s haul of $26m from a New York City event last month.

The Florida soiree was held at the mansion of billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, who hosted the event with his girlfriend Alina de Almeida.

Mr Trump spoke to the 117 guests in the home’s backyard for about 45 minutes after joining them for pictures, according to a campaign spokesperson, describing those gathered as “leaders”.

The former president spoke about energy production, border control, limiting inflation, extending tax cuts from his first term, and bashed President Biden for pushing carmakers to make more electric vehicles.

READ MORE

WATCH: Trump stares directly at solar eclipse without protective eyewear in resurfaced video

Monday 8 April 2024 13:45 , Rachel Sharp

Trump stares directly at solar eclipse without protective eyewear in resurfaced video

Trump’s abortion policy to include exceptions for rape and incest

Monday 8 April 2024 13:15 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump has hinted that his long-awaited policy on abortion would include exceptions for rape and incest as well as protection for the life of the mother.

The Republican presidential candidate said he would outline the policy on Monday. Although he did not provide further details, it is expected to call for a federal abortion ban less restrictive than the six-week prohibition passed in Florida and Georgia.

In the past, the former president has argued that a more moderate position on abortion is necessary for Republicans to prevail in the November election.

Read the full story:

Trump’s abortion policy to include exceptions for rape and incest

Trump releases video setting out his position on abortion

Monday 8 April 2024 12:54 , Phil Thomas

Donald Trump has again boasted about the being the person “proudly responsible” for ending Roe v Wade in a video setting out his views on abortion.

In a four-minute video uploaded to his Truth Social channel, the former president and Republican candidate said he believed the issue of abortion should be decided by individual states, but said that “like Ronald Reagan” he supported exceptions based on rape, incest and the life of the mother.

He also misstated the position of Democrats, saying they wanted to “execute” children after birth, and said he supported IVF treatment, something some Republicans have come out against in recent weeks.

His views on abortion have changed over the years: while previously pro-choice, he claimed during his 2016 campaign that women who have abortions should be “punished”, a stance he later dropped. He has boasted that by appointing three conservative justices to the Supreme Court during his term he was responsible for overturning Roe v Wade, the constitutional right to an abortion.

Full story:

Trump says he is ‘proudly the person responsible’ for ending Roe v Wade

SNL thinks Trump made unintentional confession with wild Joe Biden claim

Monday 8 April 2024 12:45 , Jacob Stolworthy

Saturday Night Live comedically threw suspicion on Donald Trump’s claims that President Joe Biden was on drugs during his recent State of the Union address.

Trump outrageously suggested future presidential debates should be “drug tested” after Biden’s eyebrow-raising speech, which occurred in March.

His quotes didn’t go unnoticed by US sketch showSNL who, one week after lampooning Trump for his bizarre attempts to sell Bibles, poked fun at his comments during the Weekend Update segment.

Trump told conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt earlier this week: “I think what happened is, you know, that white stuff that they happened to find, which happened to be cocaine in the White House, I don’t know, I think something’s going on there.

“I watched his State of the Union, and he was all jacked up at the beginning. By the end, he was fading fast. There’s something going on there.”

READ MORE

Trump’s viral 2017 moment during the solar eclipse

Monday 8 April 2024 12:15 , Rachel Sharp

Back in August 2017, the then-president went viral for an infamous moment during the last solar eclipse.

Mr Trump was joined by then-first lady Melania Trump and their son Barron on the Truman balcony at the White House to watch the rare phenomen.

While Melania and Barron both sported eclipse glasses, the former president was seen staring repeatedly at the eclipse without proper eye protection.

At one point, an aide was heard shouting “don’t look” while Melania also appeared to encourage her husband to put on the protective eyewear. Looking directly at an eclipse without protective glasses can lead to severe eye damage and even blindness.

The moment began doing the rounds on social media – and has resurfaced once again ahead of Monday’s phenomenon.

 (AFP/Getty)
(AFP/Getty)

Trump wildly claims Biden ‘soiled’ himself on White House Resolute desk in latest baseless rant

Monday 8 April 2024 11:45 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump has claimed that President Joe Biden “soiled” himself in the Oval Office in yet another baseless, wild rant about his political nemesis.

The former president made the remarks during a speech at a fundraiser hosted by billionaire financier John Paulson in Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday night – an event that the Trump campaign claims raked in a record-busting $50.5m haul.

In his 45-minute presentation, Mr Trump lambasted Mr Biden’s border policy and mocked him for making what he claims to be poor decisions behind the Resolute Desk, the iconic Oval Office desk which was gifted to the US by Queen Victoria in 1880.

“The Resolute Desk is beautiful,” Mr Trump allegedly said, an attendee told The New York Times.

Read the full story:

Trump wildly claims Biden ‘soiled’ himself on White House Resolute desk

WATCH: Republican lawmaker says Russian propaganda has ‘infected’ the party

Monday 8 April 2024 11:45 , Rachel Sharp

Trump to announce his abortion policy today

Monday 8 April 2024 11:15 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump has said that he will announce his abortion policy today.

In a Truth Social post on Sunday night, the former president teased a statement about “Abortion and Abortion Rights” on Monday morning.

According to his post, his statement will include exceptions in the case of rape and incest and when the woman’s life is in danger.

“I will be putting out my statement on Abortion and Abortion Rights tomorrow morning. Republicans, and all others, must follow their hearts and minds, but remember that, like Ronald Reagan before me, I, and most other Republicans, believe in EXCEPTIONS for Rape, Incest, and Life of the Mother,” he said.

“Great love and compassion must be shown when even thinking about the subject of LIFE, but at the same time we must use common sense in realizing that we have an obligation to the salvation of our Nation, which is currently in serious DECLINE, TO WIN ELECTIONS, without which we will have nothing other than failure, death, and destruction. We will not let that happen. We will, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

The return of Melania

Monday 8 April 2024 10:45 , Oliver O'Connell

She’s back! Soon.

Former US first lady Melania Trump, who has largely been missing-in-action throughout her husband Donald Trump’s latest presidential run, is due to make her first campaign appearance of 2024 later this month – albeit without leaving the comfort of her own home.

According to Politico, Ms Trump will host a fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republicans (LCB) group on Saturday 20 April, an event being held at the Trumps’ Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.

LCB describes itself as “the nation’s largest Republican organisation dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies”.

Joe Sommerlad has the story:

Melania will finally join Trump’s campaign trail from the confines of Mar-a-Lago

Trump posts bizarre solar eclipse ad – with his head blocking out the sun, plunging US into darkness

Monday 8 April 2024 10:15 , Rachel Sharp

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it the moon crossing the sun? No, it’s Donald Trump’s head.

Seven years on from the notorious moment where he stared directly at the sun during the last solar eclipse over the US, the former president is jumping on the sungazing bandwagon yet again.

On Sunday night, Mr Trump posted a bizarre campaign ad on Truth Social where his own head takes on the role of the moon – blocking out the sun and plunging America into total darkness.

The video begins with the words “the most important moment in human history is taking place in 2024” emblazoned over an image of the flaming sun, while dramatic music plays in the backdrop.

Read the full story here:

Trump posts bizarre solar eclipse ad – with his head plunging US into darkness

VIDEO: Would Gov. Abbott serve in Trump Administration?

Monday 8 April 2024 08:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump suggests Biden was ‘higher than a kite’ at State of the Union

Monday 8 April 2024 06:45 , Trump suggests Biden was ‘higher than a kite’ at State of the Union

Donald Trump has made the outrageous claim that President Joe Biden was on drugs when he delivered his barn-storming State of the Union address last month, without providing any evidence to substantiate the allegation.

The Republican presidential candidate, who will take on his successor in November in a rematch of the 2020 election contest, made the off-hand remark about the president’s performance at his 7 March address during an appearance on conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt’s show on Thursday.

Asked by Mr Hewitt about his probable rival, Mr Trump said: “I think what happened is, you know, that white stuff that they happened to find, which happened to be cocaine in the White House, I don’t know, I think something’s going on there.

“I watched his State of the Union, and he was all jacked up at the beginning. By the end, he was fading fast. There’s something going on there.”

Here’s what else he said:

Trump suggests Biden was ‘higher than a kite’ on cocaine at State of the Union

VIDEO: SNL shares wild theory about Trump’s claim Biden took cocaine

Monday 8 April 2024 04:45 , The Independent

Marjorie Taylor Greene says NYC earthquake is a ‘sign from God’ to repent

Monday 8 April 2024 02:45 , Dan Gooding

“God is sending America strong signs to tell us to repent,” Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene posted to X/Twitter on Friday, after a 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit the New York City area.

The conpsiracy theorist’s post came nearly two hours after tremors were felt across New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Ms Greene suggested God was responsible for the geological event, adding that it was a sign of things to come.

“Earthquakes and eclipses and many more things to come,” she said. “I pray that our country listens.”

Ms Greene did not specify what the US needed to repent from, but appeared to also suggest that the solar eclipse coming on Monday, known about for many years, was also a sign from above.

Her post later had a community note added to it, denouncing the messages.

“Earthquakes happen all the time, all around the world, we can follow them realtime using USGS resources,” it said. “Eclipses are not random, they follow strict mathematical rules and can be predicted centuries before they happen. NASA has a site listing eclipses until the year 3000.”

READ MORE

Lauren Boebert ‘refused alcohol and pulled away from Trump’ at rowdy GOP Christmas gala

Monday 8 April 2024 00:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Just months after being escorted out of a Denver theatre for lewd behaviour, a new report has spilled details on Lauren Boebert’s antics at a GOP Christmas party.

The Colorado representative was allegedly cut off from alcohol by a server at the New York Young Republican Club’s Manhattan gala, an incident seen by several witnesses, according to CNN.

The Secret Service was also reportedly forced to intervene in her repeated attempts to take selfies with the event’s guest of honour, former president Donald Trump.

In a statement to The Independent, Gavin Wax, president of the New York Young Republican Club, said: “If you’re asking if Congresswoman Boebert had a good time at one of our galas, the answer is ‘I hope so’.

“Everyone knows the New York Young Republican Club throws the best galas. Congresswoman Boebert was in NYC for a good time not a long time. We will happily welcome her back this year.”

READ MORE

Where has Melania been? Donald Trump explains wife’s absence from the campaign trail

Sunday 7 April 2024 22:45 , Graig Graziosi

Donald Trump has explained why wife Melania has been largely absent from his 2024 presidential campaign.

The former first lady was last seen on Easter Sunday after lunch at Mar-a-Lago with her teenage son Barron but has been almost entirely absent from both Mr Trump’s campaign events, and his multiple criminal and civil trials.

During the 2016 and 2020 campaigns, Ms Trump often stayed at home while Mr Trump was campaigning. In an interview with 20/20 in 2015, she explained that she wanted to be there for Barron who was nine at the time.

After Mr Trump won the White House in 2016, Mrs Trump didn’t move from the family’s New York penthouse until June 2017.

READ MORE

Dwayne Johnson says he won’t endorse Joe Biden again

Sunday 7 April 2024 20:45 , Jacob Stolworthy

Dwayne Johnson has said he regrets endorsing Joe Biden in his successful presidential campaign in 2020.

The Hollywood star, also known by his wrestling moniker The Rock, shared the surprise revelation in an interview with Fox News in the run-up to WWE event WrestleMania 40, where he performed in the ring for the first time since 2016.

His reversal arrives four years after the Jungle Cruise and Black Adam star threw his support behind Biden over Republican candidate Donald Trump, telling his fans: “[Endorsing] is something that I’ve certainly not done in the past, so I’m gonna go big.

“As a registered independent for years now with centrist ideologies, I do feel that vice president Biden and senator Harris are the best choice to lead our country, and I am endorsing them to become president and vice president of our united states.”

However, Johnson has now expressed regret over his decision to share the news and said he will not be endorsing Biden for his rematch against Trump in the forthcoming US election, telling Fox News: “I will keep my politics to myself.”

READ MORE

SNL thinks Trump made unintentional confession with wild Joe Biden claim

Sunday 7 April 2024 18:45 , Jacob Stolworthy

Saturday Night Live comedically threw suspicion on Donald Trump’s claims that President Joe Biden was on drugs during his recent State of the Union address.

Trump outrageously suggested future presidential debates should be “drug tested” after Biden’s eyebrow-raising speech, which occurred in March.

His quotes didn’t go unnoticed by US sketch showSNL who, one week after lampooning Trump for his bizarre attempts to sell Bibles, poked fun at his comments during the Weekend Update segment.

Trump told conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt earlier this week: “I think what happened is, you know, that white stuff that they happened to find, which happened to be cocaine in the White House, I don’t know, I think something’s going on there.

“I watched his State of the Union, and he was all jacked up at the beginning. By the end, he was fading fast. There’s something going on there.”

READ MORE

The return of Melania

Sunday 7 April 2024 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

She’s back! Soon.

Former US first lady Melania Trump, who has largely been missing-in-action throughout her husband Donald Trump’s latest presidential run, is due to make her first campaign appearance of 2024 later this month – albeit without leaving the comfort of her own home.

According to Politico, Ms Trump will host a fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republicans (LCB) group on Saturday 20 April, an event being held at the Trumps’ Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.

LCB describes itself as “the nation’s largest Republican organisation dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies”.

Joe Sommerlad has the story:

Melania will finally join Trump’s campaign trail from the confines of Mar-a-Lago

Trump claims record-busting $50m haul from single Palm Beach fundraiser featuring ex-president and Melania

Sunday 7 April 2024 16:13 , Gustaf Kilander

The Trump campaign says that it raised $50.5m at a Saturday evening fundraiser in Palm Beach attended by the former president and wife Melania.

The financial boon is nearly double President Joe Biden’s haul of $26m from a New York City event last month.

The Florida soiree was held at the mansion of billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, who hosted the event with his girlfriend Alina de Almeida.

Mr Trump spoke to the 117 guests in the home’s backyard for about 45 minutes after joining them for pictures, according to a campaign spokesperson, describing those gathered as “leaders”.

The former president spoke about energy production, border control, limiting inflation, extending tax cuts from his first term, and bashed President Biden for pushing carmakers to make more electric vehicles.

READ MORE

Trump suggests Biden was ‘higher than a kite’ at State of the Union

Sunday 7 April 2024 14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has made the outrageous claim that President Joe Biden was on drugs when he delivered his barn-storming State of the Union address last month, without providing any evidence to substantiate the allegation.

The Republican presidential candidate, who will take on his successor in November in a rematch of the 2020 election contest, made the off-hand remark about the president’s performance at his 7 March address during an appearance on conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt’s show on Thursday.

Asked by Mr Hewitt about his probable rival, Mr Trump said: “I think what happened is, you know, that white stuff that they happened to find, which happened to be cocaine in the White House, I don’t know, I think something’s going on there.

“I watched his State of the Union, and he was all jacked up at the beginning. By the end, he was fading fast. There’s something going on there.”

Here’s what else he said:

Trump suggests Biden was ‘higher than a kite’ on cocaine at State of the Union

No Labels national director would pick Biden over Trump as group steps back from third-party run

Sunday 7 April 2024 12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The centrist group No Labels announced that it was ending its bid to generate support for a third-party bid for the 2024 presidential election cycle, ending a number of headaches for the Biden re-election campaign.

Members of the group, who had faced calls to disclose the fundraising backing the effort, said in a statement on Thursday that while Americans supposedly remain “open” to the concept of a third-party candidate, they had been unable to identify a credible and willing figure to take up that mantle.

In an interview on Fox News on Thursday, when pressed by Neil Cavuto on who he would vote for, No Labels National Director Joe Cunningham said he would vote for Joe Biden over Donald Trump.

Read John Bowden’s report:

Centrist group says it won’t run third-party candidate against Biden and Trump

Trump’s Spotify playlist revealed

Sunday 7 April 2024 10:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is a man of simple pleasures: he likes steaks and Big Macs, model wives, massive skyscrapers and a sparkling chandelier dangling above his golden bidet.

You might characterise it as Frank Sinatra in Vegas by way of Liberace.

And it turns out that’s actually not too far from the truth when it comes to the twice-impeached, four-times-indicted Republican presidential candidate’s musical taste too.

Joe Sommerlad has the story:

Trump’s Spotify playlist revealed – and what his favourite songs say about him

Trump’s $175m fraud bond thrown into doubt

Sunday 7 April 2024 08:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s $175m bond in his New York civil fraud case has been thrown into doubt by New York Attorney General Letitia James after she filed a notice asking for evidence that the out-of-state firm that underwrote it really has the money to pay up.

Joe Sommerlad reports:

Trump’s $175m fraud bond thrown into doubt as attorney general questions insurer

Sunday 7 April 2024 06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump makes surprise appearance at Nigel Farage’s 60th birthday party

No, the Presidential Records Act doesn’t let you hoard classified papers, judge tells Trump

Sunday 7 April 2024 04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The judge overseeing the classified documents case against Donald Trump has denied his motion to dismiss the case based on the Presidential Records Act (PRA), which the former president claims gives him the authority to retain papers containing national security information.

In a Thursday afternoon filing, District Court Judge Aileen Cannon denied Mr Trump’s request to dismiss the case saying the counts in the indictment made, “no reference to the Presidential Records Act” and that it “does not provide a pre-trial basis to dismiss.”

Ariana Baio reports on the latest from Florida:

Judge rejects Trump’s President Records Act defence in classified documents case

Fulton County: Judge denies Trump’s latest bid to dismiss election interference case

Sunday 7 April 2024 02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A Georgia judge has rejected Donald Trump and his co-defendants’ attempt to dismiss the state election interference trial for violating their right to free speech.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee on Thursday denied the defendant’s latest attempt to delay or dismiss the case, saying the unsubstantiated claims of election fraud that the defendants made were allegedly, “in furtherance of criminal activity and constitute false statements knowingly and willfully made in matters within a government agency’s jurisdiction which threaten to deceive and harm the government.”

Ariana Baio reports:

Georgia judge denies Trump’s latest bid to dismiss election interference case

The best and the worst of Rudy Giuliani

Sunday 7 April 2024 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Rudy Giuliani’s political career has certainly followed a highly unusual trajectory.

He went from being known as “America’s Mayor,” praised as a hero for his handling of the aftermath of 9/11 in New York City, to a rather more infamous stint as Donald Trump’s personal attorney, accused of spreading voter fraud lies after the 2020 election.

He has made infamous appearances on TV shows and in movies and unforgettably gave a press conference with dark hair dye streaking down his sweaty face.

Continue reading...

Dripping dye to Four Seasons Total Landscaping: Giuliani’s best worst moments

Why were Trump’s bond documents rejected?

Saturday 6 April 2024 22:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Documents for Donald Trump’s $175m bond in his New York civil fraud case were rejected and “returned for correction” to the former president due to missing financial information.

A docket appeared on the New York County Supreme Court website on Wednesday, detailing that a “Bond/Undertaking” had been “returned for correction”.

The court said that the reason for the rejection was that some of the documentation filed on behalf of the Republican presidential candidate failed to include a current financial statement, power of attorney or list an attorney-in-fact.

Joe Sommerlad looks at what happened:

Why were Trump’s bond documents rejected and what is next for his civil fraud appeal?

Who is the billionaire and ‘king of subprime car loans’ behind Trump’s $175m fraud bond?

Saturday 6 April 2024 20:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump managed to post the $175m bond in his New York civil fraud case on Monday thanks to the help of a California lender called the Knight Specialty Insurance Company.

“As promised, president Trump has posted bond,” the former president’s attorney Alina Habba told ABC News in a statement.

“He looks forward to vindicating his rights on appeal and overturning this unjust verdict.”

Knight Specialty is owned by Malibu-based businessman Don Hankey, whom MSNBC legal correspondent Lisa Rubin described as “the king of subprime car loans” – specialising in lending to automobile buyers with poor credit ratings at high rates of interest.

Joe Sommerlad has the details:

Who is Don Hankey? The billionaire behind Trump’s $175m fraud bond

Saturday 6 April 2024 18:45 , Oliver O'Connell

What would a President Trump 2.0 look like?

What did Trump and MBS discuss in their mysterious chat?

Saturday 6 April 2024 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump has mystery chat with Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman

Joe Sommerlad reports:

Donald Trump has recently spoken by phone with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, The New York Times reports.

The newspaper states that it is not known precisely what the Republican presidential candidate discussed with the prince – his country’s de facto leader, commonly referred to simply as “MBS” – or whether this was their first exchange since the former president left the White House in January 2021.

The Independent has reached out to Mr Trump’s campaign team for more details about the reported conversation with His Majesty.

House Oversight Democrats have a few thoughts:

Democrats troll Trump by offering to rename a building in his honour – Miami’s federal prison

Saturday 6 April 2024 15:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Earlier this week you may recall that some House Republicans wanted to honour Donald Trump by renaming Washington DC’s international airport after him.

Well, House Democrats also want to honour the former president by named a different piece of infrastructure after him — a federal prison in Florida.

Reps Gerry Connolly of Virginia and Jared Moskowitz of Florida will introduce legislation to rename Federal Correctional Institution, Miami — currently home to Mr Trump’s former trade adviser Peter Navarro for four months — as the Donald J Trump Federal Correctional Institution.

CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane had the scoop:

The legislation reportedly says: “Any reference in any law, regulation, map, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the institution referred to in subsection (a) shall be considered to be a reference to the ‘Donald J Trump Federal Correctional Institution’.

Rep Connolly criticised the proposal to rename Washington Dulles in remarks to Politico, suggesting that given his multiple criminal indictments: “If Republicans want to name something after him, I’d suggest they find a federal prison.”

That could now happen...

‘I saw the bullsh*t’: Son of Oath Keepers militia leader explains why he’s running for office as a Democrat

Saturday 6 April 2024 14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The Independent’s Richard Hall spoke with Dakota Adams, son of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes, about breaking away from the echo chamber his militia leader father built for him.

Son of Oath Keepers militia leader explains why he’s running for office as a Democrat

Saturday 6 April 2024 13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Tough week for Trump Media as stock closes out Friday 12% down

Having only listed on the Nasdaq last week, Trump Media & Technology Group has fallen 39 per cent from its closing high of $66.22 on 27 March.

Today alone it fell 12 per cent, closing at $40.59.

Donald Trump owns a 60 per cent stake in the company, the value of which has head south since Monday. Ouch.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, he’s also suing the co-founders of Truth Social and in 2022 the business was propped up by a Russian-American businessman who is under criminal investigation.

Here’s more of what you need to know:

Trump’s Truth Social stock tanks after new SEC filings reveal $58m loss in 2023

No, the Presidential Records Act doesn’t let you hoard classified papers, judge tells Trump

Saturday 6 April 2024 12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The judge overseeing the classified documents case against Donald Trump has denied his motion to dismiss the case based on the Presidential Records Act (PRA), which the former president claims gives him the authority to retain papers containing national security information.

In a Thursday afternoon filing, District Court Judge Aileen Cannon denied Mr Trump’s request to dismiss the case saying the counts in the indictment made, “no reference to the Presidential Records Act” and that it “does not provide a pre-trial basis to dismiss.”

Ariana Baio reports on the latest from Florida:

Judge rejects Trump’s President Records Act defence in classified documents case

Fulton County: Judge denies Trump’s latest bid to dismiss election interference case

Saturday 6 April 2024 10:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A Georgia judge has rejected Donald Trump and his co-defendants’ attempt to dismiss the state election interference trial for violating their right to free speech.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee on Thursday denied the defendant’s latest attempt to delay or dismiss the case, saying the unsubstantiated claims of election fraud that the defendants made were allegedly, “in furtherance of criminal activity and constitute false statements knowingly and willfully made in matters within a government agency’s jurisdiction which threaten to deceive and harm the government.”

Ariana Baio reports:

Georgia judge denies Trump’s latest bid to dismiss election interference case

Trump said he spoke with murder victim’s family — they say he didn’t

Saturday 6 April 2024 08:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s latest effort to weaponise the death of an American against Joe Biden and his management of the situation at America’s southern border has enraged family members of his most recent target.

John Bowden has the story:

Family of murder victim Ruby Garcia deny speaking with Trump

ICYMI: Judge Merchan denies Trump’s immunity claim in hush money case

Saturday 6 April 2024 06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A Manhattan judge denied Donald Trump’s efforts to have his criminal trial delayed on presidential immunity grounds, saying the former president’s filing was “untimely.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Juan Merchan submitted a six-page filing denying Mr Trump’s last-ditch effort to delay the trial concerning alleged hush-money payments even further after Mr Trump’s team successfully delayed the trial 30 days.

Ariana Baio has the details:

New York judge denies Trump’s immunity claim in hush money case

Trump’s $175m fraud bond thrown into doubt

Saturday 6 April 2024 04:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s $175m bond in his New York civil fraud case has been thrown into doubt by New York Attorney General Letitia James after she filed a notice asking for evidence that the out-of-state firm that underwrote it really has the money to pay up.

Joe Sommerlad reports:

Trump’s $175m fraud bond thrown into doubt as attorney general questions insurer

Truth Social ‘propped up in 2022 by Russian-American under criminal investigation’

Saturday 6 April 2024 02:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), the parent company behind his Truth Social network that made its Wall Street debut last week, had to be kept afloat in 2022 through a series of emergency loans provided, in part, by a Russian-American businessman under scrutiny as part of a federal investigation into insider trading, according to a report by The Guardian.

Joe Sommerlad has the details:

Trump’s Truth Social company ‘propped up by Russian-American under investigation’

Two investors in Trump Media insider trading scheme plead guilty

Saturday 6 April 2024 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Two investors connected to an insider trading scheme regarding the merger of Digital World Acquisition Corporation (DWAC) with Trump Media & Technology Group have pled guilty to securities fraud in connection to the scheme.

On Wednesday, brothers Michael Shvartsman and Gerald Shvartsman each pled guilty to one count of securities fraud in New York City.

Ariana Baio has the details:

Two investors in Trump Media insider trading scheme plead guilty

Biden vows ‘we will not rest’ until Baltimore’s Key Bridge is rebuilt

Saturday 6 April 2024 00:15 , Oliver O'Connell

As workers continue efforts to cut apart and remove the twisted wreckage of what was once the Francis Scott Key Bridge, President Joe Biden vowed that he and his administration “will not rest” until a replacement span is rebuild and carrying vehicles across the Patapsco River once more.

Standing outside the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Department headquarters not far from where the bridge once stood, Mr Biden repeated the promise he made in remarks delivered from the White House, mere hours after the container ship Dali struck one of the half-century-old span’s supports, bringing it down and blocking all maritime traffic in and out of Baltimore’s harbour.

As Maryland Governor Wes Moore, Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and a bevy of other Old Line State dignaries looked on, Mr Biden said: “We’re going to move heaven and earth to rebuild this bridge.”

Andrew Feinberg reports:

Biden vows ‘we will not rest’ until Baltimore’s Key Bridge is rebuilt

Marjorie Taylor Greene says NYC earthquake is a ‘sign from God’

Friday 5 April 2024 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

And don’t get her started on the eclipse...

Dan Gooding has the story:

Marjorie Taylor Greene says NYC earthquake is a ‘sign from God’ to repent

Trump’s Spotify playlist revealed

Friday 5 April 2024 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is a man of simple pleasures: he likes steaks and Big Macs, model wives, massive skyscrapers and a sparkling chandelier dangling above his golden bidet.

You might characterise it as Frank Sinatra in Vegas by way of Liberace.

And it turns out that’s actually not too far from the truth when it comes to the twice-impeached, four-times-indicted Republican presidential candidate’s musical taste too.

Joe Sommerlad has the story:

Trump’s Spotify playlist revealed – and what his favourite songs say about him

Watch: Fox News’s Jessica Tarlov schools co-hosts on state of economy

Friday 5 April 2024 22:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Jessica Tarlov, one of the few Democrat hosts on Fox News’s line-up, talked her co-hosts through today’s positive economic news with the 39th straight month of job growth.

Eric Garcia filed this report earlier today on the excellent jobs news:

US economy blows past expectations to add 303,000 jobs in March

Here’s what Tarlov told her co-hosts on The Five:

And here’s the zinger that seemed to make Judge Jeanine Pirro smile:

The panel discussion this morning on Fox Business was a little different, as Joe Sommerlad reported:

Fox host vexed by Biden’s job numbers finds a solution – give the credit to Trump

RFK Jr walks back campaign email calling Jan 6 rioters ‘activists’

Friday 5 April 2024 22:20 , Oliver O'Connell

The campaign for independent presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr backpedalled after his message to donors labelled January 6 defendants as “activists” who have been “stripped of their Constitutional liberties.”

A Thursday “Team Kennedy” campaign email, obtained by NBC News, read: “This is the reality that every American Citizen faces — from Ed Snowden, to Julian Assange to the J6 activists sitting in a Washington DC jail cell stripped of their Constitutional liberties.”

“Please help our campaign call out the illiberal actions of our very own government,” the email continued.

On Friday, his team sent out a statement to “clarify” his stance on the events of January 6, noting that he has “not examined the evidence in detail” and was “concerned about the possibility” that January defendants’ sentences were motivated by “political objectives.”

Kelly Rissman reports:

RFK Jr walks back campaign email calling Jan 6 rioters ‘activists’

What is Trump’s policy toward Israel and Gaza?

Friday 5 April 2024 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Richard Hall writes:

Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically quiet on what is likely to be one of the biggest foreign policy issues of his second term, should he win in November. But in the few interviews and statements he has given on Israel and the war in Gaza, the former president has shown signs that he may be cooling in his support for the longtime US ally.

Continue reading...

Trump calls for Israel to ‘stop killing people’ in Gaza. So what is his policy?

Democrats troll Trump by offering to rename a building in his honour – Miami's federal prison

Friday 5 April 2024 21:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Earlier this week you may recall that some House Republicans wanted to honour Donald Trump by renaming Washington DC’s international airport after him.

Well, House Democrats also want to honour the former president by named a different piece of infrastructure after him — a federal prison in Florida.

Reps Gerry Connolly of Virginia and Jared Moskowitz of Florida will introduce legislation to rename Federal Correctional Institution, Miami — currently home to Mr Trump's former trade adviser Peter Navarro for four months — as the Donald J Trump Federal Correctional Institution.

CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane had the scoop:

The legislation reportedly says: “Any reference in any law, regulation, map, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the institution referred to in subsection (a) shall be considered to be a reference to the ‘Donald J Trump Federal Correctional Institution’.

Rep Connolly criticised the proposal to rename Washington Dulles in remarks to Politico, suggesting that given his multiple criminal indictments: “If Republicans want to name something after him, I’d suggest they find a federal prison.”

That could now happen...

Tough week for Trump Media as stock closes out Friday 12% down

Friday 5 April 2024 21:23 , Oliver O'Connell

Having only listed on the Nasdaq last week, Trump Media & Technology Group has fallen 39 per cent from its closing high of $66.22 on 27 March.

Today alone it fell 12 per cent, closing at $40.59.

Donald Trump owns a 60 per cent stake in the company, the value of which has head south since Monday. Ouch.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject, he’s also suing the co-founders of Truth Social and in 2022 the business was propped up by a Russian-American businessman who is under criminal investigation.

Here’s more of what you need to know from this week:

Trump’s Truth Social stock tanks after new SEC filings reveal $58m loss in 2023

The return of Melania

Friday 5 April 2024 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

She’s back! Soon.

Former US first lady Melania Trump, who has largely been missing-in-action throughout her husband Donald Trump’s latest presidential run, is due to make her first campaign appearance of 2024 later this month – albeit without leaving the comfort of her own home.

According to Politico, Ms Trump will host a fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republicans (LCB) group on Saturday 20 April, an event being held at the Trumps’ Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.

LCB describes itself as “the nation’s largest Republican organisation dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies”.

Joe Sommerlad has the story:

Melania will finally join Trump’s campaign trail from the confines of Mar-a-Lago

Trump thinks Biden was ‘higher than a kite’ at State of the Union

Friday 5 April 2024 20:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has made the outrageous claim that President Joe Biden was on drugs when he delivered his barn-storming State of the Union address last month, without providing any evidence to substantiate the allegation.

The Republican presidential candidate, who will take on his successor in November in a rematch of the 2020 election contest, made the off-hand remark about the president’s performance at his 7 March address during an appearance on conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt’s show on Thursday.

Asked by Mr Hewitt about his probable rival, Mr Trump said: “I think what happened is, you know, that white stuff that they happened to find, which happened to be cocaine in the White House, I don’t know, I think something’s going on there.

“I watched his State of the Union, and he was all jacked up at the beginning. By the end, he was fading fast. There’s something going on there.”

See what else he said:

Trump suggests Biden was ‘higher than a kite’ on cocaine at State of the Union

Friday 5 April 2024 20:31 , Oliver O'Connell

Lashing out at Biden over Israel, Trump makes no mention of aid workers killed in Gaza

Friday 5 April 2024 20:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump criticised President Joe Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict and seemingly stepped back his support for the country as they wage war in Gaza – but made no mention of the seven World Central Kitchen workers killed by Isaraeli airstrikes on Wednesday.

In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, the former president asserted that Mr Biden was “grossly incompetent” – citing the chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan – and advised Israel not to follow the president’s advice as tensions heat up between Israel and the US.

Ariana Baio reports:

Trump doesn’t mention aid workers killed in Gaza while speaking about Israel

Never sleep on a story’s Trump angle...

Friday 5 April 2024 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

You may be aware from social media hysteria, and the state and city getting a solid rehearsal of their emergency management measure, that there was a 4.8 magnitude earthquake near Lebanon, New Jersey, this morning at around 10.20am that rattled New York City and the surrounding region.

What’s the Trump angle, you might ask?

Well... the epicentre of the earthquake was right by Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

No, really.

Hush money trial: Judge denies Trump’s effort to subpoena NBC for Stormy Daniels documents

Friday 5 April 2024 19:43 , Oliver O'Connell

Another day, another denial from a Trump trial judge.

Judge Juan Merchan has denied a motion by Donald Trump in the hush money criminal trial to subpoena NBC for all materials related to the documentary Stormy, about the adult film star Stormy Daniels, whom the former president is alleged to have paid off to cover up a sex scandal ahead of the 2016 election.

Here’s the background to the ruling from the judge’s order:

On April 4,2023, Donald J Trump, the Defendant, was arraigned before this Court on an indictment charging hrm with 34 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, in violation of PenalLaw S 175.10. On March 11,2024, Defendant issued a subpoena duces tecum to NBC Universal (hereinafter “NBCU”) seeking all materials related to the documentary film titled “Stormy” hereinafter “Documentary”) that involves a witness in the instant matter, Stormy Daniels (hereinafter “Daniels”). On March 20, 2024, NBCU filed a motion to quash the subpoena. Defendant responded on March 27 , 2024 and NBCU filed a reply on Apnl 1, 2024.

Judge Merchan ruled in favour of NBC’s motion to quash to subpoena in its entirety.

The judge said Mr Trump has not met the “very heavy burden” to “rifle through the privileged documents of a news orgarization”.

Read the full ruling here

Fox host vexed by Biden’s good job numbers finds a solution

Friday 5 April 2024 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Joe Sommerlad reports:

Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo risked ridicule on her own show on Friday when she asked whether the latest better-than-expected US job numbers delivered by Joe Biden’s administration were “too good”.

The American economy again blew past expectations in March, adding a further 303,000 jobs for the 39th straight month of employment growth in what is surely good news for Mr Biden as he seeks re-election in November.

After a panellist admitted the latest figure was “a good number, no question”, Bartiromo – who helped promote Donald Trump’s false claims that he was cheated out of victory in the 2020 election – seemed determined to put a negative spin on what is unequivocally great news for the president.

Continue reading...

Fox host vexed by Biden’s job numbers finds a solution – give the credit to Trump

WATCH: What would President Trump 2.0 look like?

Friday 5 April 2024 19:00 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump makes surprise appearance at Nigel Farage’s 60th birthday party

Friday 5 April 2024 18:40 , Rachel Sharp

Former US president Donald Trump made a surprise appearance via video at Nigel Farage’s 60th birthday party.

Trump was cheered by a crowd of politicians, journalists and Mr Farage’s family and friends as he appeared on screen with a birthday message for the 60-year-old on Wednesday night (3 April).

Trump said: “You’re a historic figure as a prophetic leader and I know that the people of the UK are grateful for your patriotism and service

“In fact. I’m very much looking forward to watching what your next move is gonna be, it’s gonna be an interesting one.

“You’re not done yet and hopefully the best is yet to come, so Nigel: enjoy this day.”

Donald Trump makes surprise appearance at Nigel Farage’s 60th birthday party

Melania will finally join Trump’s campaign trail from the confines of Mar-a-Lago

Friday 5 April 2024 18:20 , Rachel Sharp

Former US first lady Melania Trump, who has largely been missing-in-action throughout her husband Donald Trump’s latest presidential run, is due to make her first campaign appearance of 2024 later this month – albeit without leaving the comfort of her own home.

According to Politico, Ms Trump will host a fundraiser for the Log Cabin Republicans (LCB) group on Saturday 20 April, an event being held at the Trumps’ Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida.

LCB describes itself as “the nation’s largest Republican organisation dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies”.

Ms Trump has long-running ties to the collective and was presented with an award at its 2021 gala dinner at Mar-a-Lago while Mr Trump himself addressed its 2022 gathering at the club.

Read the full story:

Melania will finally join Trump’s campaign trail from the confines of Mar-a-Lago