Trump news – live: President claims vaccine was held back to hurt him, as Fox cuts away from McEnany presser

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 (AP)
(AP)

Donald Trump has accused the FDA and Democrats of holding back a Covid-19 vaccine until after the election.

Mr Trump took to Twitter to attack his opponents and of manipulating the virus response to harm his re-election chances.

On Monday drug maker Pfizer announced that early data from its coronavirus vaccine trial shows it is more than 90 per cent effective.

Earlier Donald Trump has "terminated" Mark Esper, his defence secretary, as White House personnel are told that anyone found to be looking for another job will also be fired.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused the president of trying to “sow chaos” in his final days in office. In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave his backing to the president seeking to use legal channels to challenge the election results.

However, some Republicans are moving away from so far baseless accusations of mass electoral fraud, with former elected officials and four Senators congratulating president-elect Joe Biden.

Watch: Trump media spokeswoman cut away from by networks during speech

On Monday afternoon Fox News dropped a live feed of a press conference after Kayleigh McEnany made unsubstantiated claims regarding voter fraud. Host Neil Cavuto said: “I can’t in good countenance continue showing this.”

Mr Trump's inner cicle have been told the president is not backing down on his objections to the result of the US presidential election after losing to Mr Biden — though there is now speculation that were the president leave office, he might run again in 2024.

Meanwhile, there are reports that first lady Melania Trump is allegedly planning to leave him and end their 15-year marriage.

“Melania is counting every minute until he is out of office and she can divorce,” former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman told The Mail on Sunday, suggesting Mrs Trump would wait until January to save the president the “ultimate humiliation” of leaving his side while still in office and avoid any possible retaliation.

Read more: Follow live updates in our dedicated election liveblog

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