Trump news - live: Trump suffers major defeat in Mar-a-Lago papers case as ally Kanye humiliates him further

Donald Trump defended hosting the rapper formerly known as Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago, writing on Truth Social on Thursday that “the story in AP, written by the untalented and very unreliable Jill Colvin, who I unfortunately got to know at the White House, is Fake News”.

“We have very strong security, especially with the extremely talented Secret Service Agents on premises, but when I know someone, as I did Ye, we’re not going to have my guests strip searched, thrown against walls, and otherwise physically beaten. The anonymous sources don’t exist. Stories to the contrary are FAKE NEWS!”

Mr Trump didn’t mention Ye’s latest antisemitic comments on Infowars in which he praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

“I see good things about Hitler,” Ye told host Alex Jones.

Late on Thursday, an appeals court dealt a blow to Mr Trump in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case.

Key points

  • Jan 6 panel to release ‘everything’ by end of December

  • House committee receives Trump’s tax returns at last

  • Pence slams Trump meeting with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes

  • Federal judge dismisses Trump’s claim of ‘presidential immunity’ from civil suit

  • Hogan raises money amid speculation of White House bid

Tax fraud case only trial to arise from Manhattan district attorney’s three-year investigation

05:00 , The Associated Press

Closing arguments at the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial got off to a rocky start Thursday as a lawyer for the company was caught showing jurors portions of witness testimony that had previously been stricken from the official court record.

The tax fraud case is the only trial to arise from the Manhattan district attorney’s three-year investigation of Trump and his business practices.

The Trump Organization’s longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg, has admitted that he came up with the long-running scheme on his own, that he did so to save money on his own personal income taxes, and that neither Trump nor Trump’s family knew what he was doing.

Prior to the interruption, Necheles was using excerpts from Weisselberg’s three days of testimony to underscore her argument that the executive was only intending to benefit himself, not the Trump Organization, and that the company shouldn’t be blamed for his transgressions.

VIDEO: Supreme Court Rejects Trump’s Plea to Stall Democrats on His Tax Returns

04:00 , Gustaf Kilander

‘DeSantis team doesn’t see upside in kicking off the fight with Trump this early'

03:00 , Andrew Buncombe

Florida governor Ron DeSantis is taking a calculated decision not to attack Donald Trump over his controversial dinner with a white supremacist, according to a new report.

“In ongoing discussions following his reelection, including this week, I’ve been asked to keep my powder dry,” Dan Eberhart, a longtime GOP donor and formerly a major backer of Mr Trump, told the magazine.

“My understanding is that the DeSantis team doesn’t see upside in kicking off the fight with Trump this early, even if it may be inevitable. Wading into the Fuentes fiasco just isn’t worth it for them.”

Mr Eberhart, who is now backing Mr DeSantis, added: “The media will harpoon Trump without Team DeSantis lifting a finger.”

Mr Trump has sought to brush off the controversy over the visit to Mar-a-Lago of the 24-year Mr Fuentes, a very popular livestreamer and YouTuber who often expresses views that are racist and antisemitic. He was accompanied by West, who has said several times he is suffering from mental health issues.

Ron DeSantis opts for ‘calculated silence’ on Trump’s dinner with antisemites

02:00 , Andrew Buncombe

Florida governor Ron DeSantis is taking a calculated decision not to attack Donald Trump over his controversial dinner with a white supremacist, according to a new report.

While a number of senior Republicans – among them Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell – have criticised the former president for meeting with Nick Fuentes, and Kanye West, both of whom have been accused of expressing racist and antisemitic views, Mr DeSantis has let it be known to his top aides not to weigh in.

Yet the report in Rolling Stone says the decision by the 44-year-old Mr DeSantis, who recently stormed to reelection with a 20-point margin, has nothing to do with helping Mr Trump, who last month announced his third bid for the presidency.

Rather, Mr DeSantis, believed to be considering his own run to become Republican nominee in 2024 and possibly confront Mr Trump in the primary, has calculated the media focus on the story will damage the former president, without the Florida governor using up his political capital, or potentially angering Republicans whose support he would need in any presidential run.

Read more:

Ron DeSantis opts for ‘calculated silence’ on Trump dinner with antisemites

Trump defends hosting Kanye at Mar-a-Lago and stays silent on latest antisemitic rant

01:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump defended hosting the rapper formerly known as Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago, writing on Truth Social on Thursday that “the story in AP, written by the untalented and very unreliable Jill Colvin, who I unfortunately got to know at the White House, is Fake News”.

“We have very strong security, especially with the extremely talented Secret Service Agents on premises, but when I know someone, as I did Ye, we’re not going to have my guests strip searched, thrown against walls, and otherwise physically beaten. The anonymous sources don’t exist. Stories to the contrary are FAKE NEWS!”

Mr Trump didn’t mention Ye’s latest antisemitic comments on Infowars in which he praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

“ I see good things about Hitler,” Ye told host Alex Jones.

“The Jews...I love everyone, and the Jewish people are not going to tell me ‘You can love us and you can love what we are doing to you with the contracts, and you can love what we are pushing with the pornography’, but this guy that invented highways, invented the very microphone that I use as a musician, you can’t say out loud that this person ever did anything good and I am done with that,” he added. “I am done with the classifications. Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”

Trump Organization defence lawyer scolded for using struck testimony in closing argument at tax fraud trial

00:00 , The Associated Press

Closing arguments at the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial got off to a rocky start Thursday as a lawyer for the company was caught showing jurors portions of witness testimony that had previously been stricken from the official court record.

Prosecutors objected to the display about an hour into lawyer Susan Necheles’ presentation. The judge, Juan Manuel Merchan, admonished Necheles and halted arguments so she could remove any other precluded testimony from a slideshow she was showing to jurors.

Necheles said she didn’t intend to show any testimony that had been stricken as a result of a sustained objection. Merchan noted that the objections themselves had been removed from the excerpts Necheles showed, but not the objectionable testimony.

Necheles resumed her closing argument after a half-hour break. Merchan briefly discussed the transcript issue with jurors and Necheles proceeded to show them the correct version, prefacing her remarks with a mea culpa: “Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize for that error.”

The transcript kerfuffle was just the latest dust-up involving Trump Organization lawyers. Earlier this week, Merchan scolded the defense for submitting hundreds of pages of court papers just before midnight Sunday.

The Trump Organization, the entity through which former President Donald Trump manages his real estate holdings and other ventures, is accused of helping some top executives avoid paying income taxes on company-paid perks, such as apartments and luxury cars.

Read more:

Trump Organization defence lawyer scolded for closing argument at tax fraud trial

House Judiciary Committee Republicans delete “Kanye. Elon. Trump.” tweet after West’s praise of Hitler

Thursday 1 December 2022 23:00 , Eric Garcia

The Twitter account for the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee deleted a tweet that said “Kanye. Elon. Trump.” after rapper Kanye West praised Adolf Hitler.

The Judiciary Republicans tweeted the first names of Mr West, Tesla executive Elon Musk and former president Donald Trump on 6 October of this year. But that was before Mr West began tweeting antisemitic remarks, including saying he wanted to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE.”

But Matt Gertz of Media Matters tweeted on Thursday that the tweet was taken down amid Mr West, who now goes by the name Ye, appearing on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s show and praising the late Nazi leader.

“You’re not Hitler, you’re not a Nazi, so you don’t deserve to be demonised,” Mr Jones said. In response, Mr West praised Mr Hitler.

“Well, I see good things about Hitler also,” he said. “I am done with the classifications. Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”

Read more:

House Judiciary Committee Republicans deletes “Kanye. Elon. Trump.” tweet

Appeals court says FBI can use all documents seized in Mar-a-Lago search and ends special master review

Thursday 1 December 2022 22:45 , Andrew Feinberg

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has reversed a Florida federal judge’s ruling that has prohibited the FBI from using nearly all documents seized during the 8 August search of former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club to further the criminal probe into the ex-president.

Read more:

Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg sentenced to 11 years in prison for charges including sex trafficking a minor

Thursday 1 December 2022 22:00 , Graeme Massie

Joel Greenberg, a friend and business associate of US Representative Matt Gaetz, has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for sex trafficking a minor and stalking a political opponent.

Greenberg became a person of public interest after the Justice Department announced it was investigating minor sex trafficking allegations against Mr Gaetz.

Mr Gaetz has denied any wrongdoing and no charges have been brought against the lawmaker.

Greenberg pleaded guilty to six federal crimes, which include sex trafficking of a minor, identity theft, stalking, wire fraud, and conspiracy to bribe a public official, according to court records.

Read more:

Gaetz associate Joel Greenberg to serve 11 years in prison for sex trafficking minor

VIDEO: Treasury Making Trump Taxes Available To House Committee

Thursday 1 December 2022 21:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Hogan raises money amid speculation of White House bid

Thursday 1 December 2022 20:30 , The Associated Press

Term-limited Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan raised money and launched a political action committee on Wednesday amid speculation he will run for president in 2024, telling hundreds of supporters he’ll make a decision after he leaves office in January.

Hogan has positioned himself to run as an alternative to Donald Trump. The former president already has announced he’s running for president in 2024.

The governor acknowledged the speculation about his political future in a speech to supporters.

“Next year, I’m going to sit down and talk to my family, talk to my friends and determine how I can best serve our great nation,” Hogan said.

Hogan, who has been a fierce critic of Trump, would be an underdog in a Republican primary, a point he noted that in his speech.

“I know there is no shortage of naysayers, but I’ve always been an underdog, and people have always counted us out, but every single time, we’ve beaten the odds,” Hogan added.

The Republican candidate Hogan endorsed for governor, Kelly Schulz, lost the GOP primary for governor in Maryland to Trump-endorsed Dan Cox. Cox, however, went on to lose by a large margin in the November general election to Democrat Wes Moore.

House panel says lax screening helped facilitate PPP fraud

Thursday 1 December 2022 19:45 , The Associated Press

Financial technology firms abdicated their responsibility to screen out fraud in applications for a federal program designed to help small businesses stay open and keep workers employed during the pandemic, a report by a House investigations panel said Thursday.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis launched its investigation of the firms in May 2021 after public reports that the firms were linked to disproportionate numbers of fraudulent loans issued under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Former President Donald Trump rolled out the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses stay open and keep their workers employed. President Joe Biden maintained the program and directed money to more low-income and minority-owned companies. All told, $800 billion was spent on the program.

The financial technology firms reviewed PPP applications for lenders, which would ultimately distribute PPP money to businesses.

The report said two start-ups, Blueacorn PPP and Womply Inc. — which reviewed one in every three funded PPP loans in 2021 — were connected to significant percentages of PPP loan applications with indicators of fraud.

It said the firms used questionable screening procedures and business practices in reviewing the loans, leading to “the needless loss of taxpayer dollars,” the report said. The firms “took billions in fees from taxpayers while becoming easy targets for those who sought to defraud the PPP.”

VIDEO: Supreme Court Rejects Trump’s Plea to Stall Democrats on His Tax Returns

Thursday 1 December 2022 19:00 , Gustaf Kilander

January 6 panel to release all evidence and witness transcripts alongside final report this month

Thursday 1 December 2022 18:15 , Andrew Naughtie

6 select committee is set to release all its evidence – including transcripts of testimony – along with its final report by the end of this month, according to one of its members.

Appearing on CNN, Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said that the panel is keen to make sure it does not leave its findings open to attack by the Republican leadership now poised to take control of the House.

“They’ve been pretty clear that they’d like to undermine the work that we’ve done,” she said, “but we’re going to prevent that. We’re going to release all the information we’ve collected so it cannot be selectively edited and spun.”

Confirming that “everything” would be released, Ms Lofgren declined to commit to a precise publication date, explaining that the vagaries of the official legislative printing process meant pinning one down is not possible; however, she did confirm that the report should be expected by the end of this month. She also said the committee is preparing to release the report in an “interactive” form, though what this will entail she did not say.

The committee’s summer hearings saw the panel screen video of testimony from a variety of witnesses close to Donald Trump himself, among them former attorney general Bill Barr, former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

Read more:

January 6 panel to release all evidence and transcripts alongside final report

Catch up: Why House Democrats want Trump’s tax returns

Thursday 1 December 2022 17:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump has lost his fight to stop House Democrats obtaining his tax returns just in time for the Ways and Means Committee to pore over them before Republicans take back the majority in January.

If you’re just arriving to the story, John Bowden has this explainer on what’s going on and why Mr Trump has fought so hard and so long to keep his finances private.

Why do Democrats care about Donald Trump’s tax returns?

Jan 6 investigators subpoena filmmaker’s footage

Thursday 1 December 2022 17:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Filmmaker Alex Holder’s documentary about the 2020 presidential election and Donald Trump’s effort to overturn it got plenty of press this summer, containing as it did footage of interviews with core members of the Trump inner circle before and after the attack on the US Capitol. It has since faded from prominence somewhat given the sheer quantity of evidence and testimony unveiled by the January 6 select committee – but now it seems Mr Holder is having a moment of relevance again, with Justice Department investigators subpoenaing him for raw footage he shot on the day of the riot itself:

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Herschel Walker hasn’t answered reporters’ questions in nearly two months

Thursday 1 December 2022 16:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Republican candidate Herschel Walker has not taken questions from reporters on the trail in nearly two months as the Georgia Senate race sets to conclude in a runoff next week.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Mr Walker’s last conversation with reporters was in early October. It remains unclear if he will gaggle with journalists again on the trail before the race concludes on 6 December, but at his events, he is being kept further and further away from the media:

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Herschel Walker hasn’t answered reporters’ questions in nearly two months

Mr Walker lost a vote from one of his would-be Republican state colleagues, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, who said he walked out of the ballot box after queueing for an hour only to fail to vote for either Mr Walker or Mr Kemp.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Mr Walker’s campaign manager is not amused at the news.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Jan 6 rioter claims he got drunk before attack

Thursday 1 December 2022 16:00 , Andrew Naughtie

The hundreds of January 6 defendants who have tried to convince judges to extend them leniency have made a number of arguments, the most common being some version of the claim that they “got caught up” in the events at the Capitol having turned up simply to protest peacefully.

Others, however, are taking a different tack:

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Lofgren: Jan 6 panel will release "everything”

Thursday 1 December 2022 15:31 , Andrew Naughtie

The January 6 select committee is set to release all its evidence – including transcripts of testimony – along with its final report by the end of this month, according to one of its members.

Appearing on CNN, Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said that the panel is keen to make sure it does not leave its findings open to attack by the Republican leadership now taking control of the House.

“They’ve been pretty clear that they’d like to undermine the work that we’ve done,” she said, “but we’re going to prevent that. We’re going to release all the information we’ve collected so it cannot be selectively edited and spun.”

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Read more:

January 6 panel to release all evidence and transcripts alongside final report

DeSantis aides keep quiet on Trump’s racist dinner party

Thursday 1 December 2022 14:30 , Andrew Naughtie

While many Republican leaders have condemned Donald Trump’s dinner with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, many of them have stopped short of castigating the former president himself – including one of his most notable rivals.

Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor widely considered Mr Trump’s most obvious challenger for the 2024 nomination, has so far held back on any criticism of Mr Trump himself over the debacle at Mar-a-Lago. And now, Rolling Stone reports that he and his aides have made a concerted effort to avoid taking on Mr Trump directly, the thinking being that the media and certain other Republicans will do the job for them and save them what could be a messy fight.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Is Marco Rubio running for president again?

Thursday 1 December 2022 14:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Florida Senator Marco Rubio lasted longer than most other Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential primary, but not before being roundly humiliated by Donald Trump, who derided him as “li’l Marco” and defeated him by a landslide in his home state, which was supposed to serve as a delegate firewall. However, he managed re-election to the Senate that year, as he did this November – but having moved like many other senators to be broadly behind Mr Trump and his agenda, a telltale sign has emerged that he may be considering another campaign:

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

While Mr Trump has announced he is running again, his flaccid launch, permanent state of legal crisis and continued missteps have more than ever opened up the idea that challenging him might be worth a try. Andrew Feinberg has this look at how the 2024 field is shaping up so far.

Who is running for president in 2024?

Rabbi who spoke at Trump inauguration laments West-Fuentes dinner

Thursday 1 December 2022 13:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Writing for the Hollywood Reporter, Rabbi Marvin Hier, who spoke at Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, has given a wrenching response to the former president’s dinner with two avowed antisemites, explaining in unsparing terms just how serious a matter it is:

I couldn’t help but wonder, what would other former presidents like Washington and Lincoln and Truman and Reagan, or civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bayard Rustin, say about such a meeting? It would have been like them hosting for dinner leaders of the KKK.

I cannot believe that a man with Jewish grandchildren, who was the first president to recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people by moving the U.S. Embassy to the holy city, and who invited this native of New York’s Lower East Side to lead our nation in prayer at his inauguration, could make such an ill-conceived decision.

Read the full column below.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Another notorious extremist joins nascent West campaign

Thursday 1 December 2022 13:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Along with Nick Fuentes and Milo Yiannopoulos, Kanye West appears to have picked up another comrade from the world of online racist extremism: Owen Benjamin, who was banned from most mainstream platforms during the Trump presidency for his antisemitic, racist and homophobic remarks. He went on to become a notable proponent of Covid-19 misinformation within the far-right echo chamber.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Trump calls Manhattan DA case against him “bulls***”

Thursday 1 December 2022 12:36 , Andrew Naughtie

The Manhattan District Attorney’s tax fraud case against the Trump administration is now headed for closing arguments after a trial that saw former top executives and longtime accountants taking the stand despite the former president’s outrage at his company being investigated.

Pending an outcome, Mr Trump’s response has been to try and delegitimize the trial based on claims that the case has “collapsed” – it has not – and a general characterization of the DA’s office as a failing operation.

Republican governor holds fundraisers as he eyes 2024 bid

Thursday 1 December 2022 12:00

Term-limited Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was holding fundraisers for future political activity Wednesday at events where the Republican is expected to talk about his eight years as governor, as well as plans for the future.

Hogan, who leaves office in January, has positioned himself to run as a legitimate alternative to former President Donald Trump, who already has announced he’s running for president in 2024.

Hogan to gather with supporters amid White House speculation

Fuentes/West: Kevin McCarthy misrepresents Trump’s denials

Thursday 1 December 2022 11:04 , John Bowden

Reporters on Tuesday pressed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about his false claim that former president Donald Trump denounced white supremacist Nick Fuentes four times.

“I don’t think anybody should be spending any time with Nick Fuentes,” he said. “He has no place in this Republican Party. I think President Trump came out four times and condemned him and didn’t know who he was.”

Mr Trump has not in fact denounced Mr Fuentes; he has simply said that he did not know who Mr Fuentes was.

Read more in The Independent:

Reporters press Kevin McCarthy over claims Trump denounced Nick Fuentes after dinner

Oath Keepers conviction is a win for Department of Justice in Jan 6 probes

Thursday 1 December 2022 10:00

The seditious conspiracy convictions of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and another leader in the far-right extremist group show that jurors are willing to hold accountable not just the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but those who schemed to subvert the 2020 election.

Tuesday’s verdict, while not a total win for the Justice Department, gives momentum to investigators just as the newly named special counsel ramps up his probe into key aspects of the insurrection fueled by President Donald Trump’s lies of a stolen election.

Sedition trial win bolsters Justice Dept. in Jan. 6 probe

Thursday 1 December 2022 09:00 , John Bowden

In his same Truth Social rant targeting Karl Rove, Donald Trump turned his fire on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Also 12-0 in Senate Endorsements against the Broken Old Crow, Mitch McConnell, who has, by the way, a 6 % Approval Rating - Not exactly great news for the Republican Party!” he wrote on Truth Social.

Mr McConnell was publicly warning for months after a handful of Mr Trump’s candidates won narrow primaries against conservative rivals that the untested newcomers selected by the former president could cost the GOP a chance at a Senate majority. With all but one races concluded, he appears to have been correct.

Far-right provacateur claims he set up dinner with Trump and white supremacist ‘to make Trump’s life miserable’

Thursday 1 December 2022 08:05 , John Bowden

Donald Trump’s meeting with one of the US’s most prominent racists came as a result of the plans and schemes of Milo Yiannopoulos, a disgraced ex-Breitbart News editor who now appears to be running the 2024 politcal efforts of rapper Kanye West.

The former president has claimed in the days since the meeting to not have known Mr Fuentes or the extent of his hateful views before sitting down with him. Regardless, he faces a torrent of criticism from members of both parties in a scandal reminiscent of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally-turned-riot in Charlottesville, Virginia — which Mr Fuentes coincidentally attended.

That torrent of incoming fire appears to be the result of Mr Yiannopoulos’s efforts to “make Trump’s life miserable”, an explanation he gave to NBC News on Tuesday. A former right-wing provocateur who toured the country hosting events with a small entourage in front of young, right-wing audiences, Mr Yiannopolous lost his funding and political connections thanks to comments he made in 2017. Those comments appeared to condone paedophilia and evoked massive backlash.

Read more from John Bowden:

Milo Yiannopolous says he set up dinner with Fuentes ‘to make Trump’s life miserable’

Trump excoriates Karl Rove

Thursday 1 December 2022 07:05 , John Bowden

Donald Trump attacked GOP strategist Karl Rove in a late-night Truth Social meltdown on Wednesday evening, and bizarrely claimed that his candidates did better than ones endorsed by Mr Rove. It was not clear which candidates he was talking about.