Trump news – live: Gaetz ‘wanted pardon’ in sex investigation, as Trump fat shames friend ahead of Ohio rally

The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot will likely not release its report about the attempted insurrection before the midterms, but at the same time chair Bennie Thompson says October “won’t be a quiet period” and some information will be “pushed out” ahead of the election in the form of an interim report, Axios reported.

Meanwhile, a Florida judge has appointed Donald Trump’s nominee as special master in the Justice Department’s investigation into top secret papers seized by FBI agents from his Mar-a-Lago estate. Judge Raymond Dearie will now review materials seized during the raid of the former president’s estate after Mr Trump successfully demanded someone be appointed.

The Department of Justice’s request to resume its criminal investigation into the classified documents was also rejected with Judge Aileen Cannon saying she was not willing to accept the government’s assertions that nearly 100 documents taken from Mr Trump’s estate were classified.

Meanwhile, the former president has been lashing out on Truth Social attacking “absolute loser” Senator Mitch McConnell for being the Democrats’ “lapdog”, and posting a nasty photo fat-shaming former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Key points

Matt Gaetz wanted Trump to give him pre-emptive pardon over sex investigation, report says

18:16 , Gustaf Kilander

Matt Gaetz told a former White House staffer that he was hoping to get a pre-emptive pardon from then-President Donald Trump concerning an investigation into him by the Department of Justice, a report has said.

The allegation came in testimony given to the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, The Washington Post reported.

People with knowledge of his testimony say Johnny McEntee told the panel that the Florida Republican told him during a short meeting “that they are launching an investigation into him or that there’s an investigation into him”. Mr McEntee didn’t specify who was investigating the congressman.

Read more:

Gaetz wanted Trump to give him pre-emptive pardon over sex investigation, report says

MAGA dating app sent cease and desist letter over name struggling to recruit women

18:15 , Gustaf Kilander

The MAGA dating app The Right Stuff has yet to be launched but it’s struggling to recruit women and has been sent a cease and desist letter over its name, The Daily Beast has reported.

The app, supported by billionaire Peter Thiel, is set to be launched later this month. It was co-founded by Johnny McEntee, Donald Trump’s former body man. He was brought in by Ryann McEnany, the sister of former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

The Daily Beast writes that Ryann McEnany “has been assigned a particularly tough task: convincing attractive, conservative women to sign up”.

“Hi, I’m working with John McEntee’s team on an exclusive conservative dating app called The Right Stuff that’s expected to launch this summer! We would love to get you on our list for early access to the app,” she has written in Instagram messages to possible users, according to The Daily Beast.

Jan 6 panel: ‘Trump’s pressure campaign spanned numerous contested states’

17:30 , Gustaf Kilander

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Ted Cruz urges GOP governors to send half a million migrants to Washington, DC

16:45 , Gustaf Kilander

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DeSantis hammered by Florida newspapers for 'political stunt' flying Venezuelan to Martha's Vineyard

16:04 , Gustaf Kilander

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Migrants sent to VP’s residence from Texas for second time this week

15:30 , Gustaf Kilander

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Will the Jan 6 committee bring an October surprise for midterms?

15:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The House select committee investigating the riot on January 6 will likely not release its report about the attempted insurrection before the election, Axios reported. But that doesn’t mean it could not make news before 8 November.

Chairman Bennie Thompson told reporters that he didn’t want the committee to be “perceived as a partisan committee ... we’ve been fairly free of those kind of complaints, and we would not want to interfere with the election.”

At the same time, the chairman said that the time before 28 September, before the House leaves for campaign season, “won’t be a quiet period” and “the goal is to have … some information pushed out, obviously, before the November election,” though the committee might have an interim report during that time.

Eric Garcia reports from Capitol Hill.

January 6 committee could bring October surprise for the midterms

Fox News poll: Trump was wrong over Mar-a-Lago papers

14:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A new Fox News poll shows a solid two-thirds majority of voters believe it was “inappropriate” for former president Donald Trump to have taken a stash of more than 11,000 documents belonging to the government at the end of his term in the White House.

The survey also found that just 26 per cent of US voters believe Mr Trump’s actions were “appropriate,” compared with the 65 per cent who said it was not.

Andrew Feinberg looked at the survey.

Fox News’ own poll says Trump was wrong in Mar-a-Lago paper case

Just like Dr Oz... Doug Mastriano was registered to vote in New Jersey until last year

13:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, was registered to vote in neighbouring New Jersey until he launched his gubernatorial campaign last year, The New Jersey Globe reported.

Mr Mastriano, whom former president Donald Trump endorsed in the gubernatorial primary, reportedly was registered to vote in the state neighbouring Pennsylvania until 2021, when election officials changed his voter status to inactive.

Eric Garcia has the story.

Pennsylvania GOP candidate Mastriano was registered to vote in New Jersey until 2021

Trump tried twice to appoint loyalists as AG to fire Mueller, book reveals

12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump was so intent on firing the Department of Justice special counsel charged with investigating his 2016 campaign’s potential ties with Russia that he offered the job of attorney general to two members of his cabinet on condition that they would carrying out his wish.

In their upcoming book The Divider: Trump in the White House 2017-2021, authors Peter Baker and Susan Glasser report how Mr Trump responded to then-White House counsel Don McGahn’s refusal to order the firing of ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller by asking members of his cabinet to relieve then-attorney general Jeff Sessions and promptly sack the widely-respected ex-prosecutor.

Andrew Feinberg has the story for The Independent from Washington, DC.

Trump asked two different cabinet members to fire Robert Mueller, book reveals

Trump amplifies and openly embraces QAnon conspiracy theories

12:00 , Oliver O'Connell

After winking at QAnon for years, Donald Trump is overtly embracing the baseless conspiracy theory, even as the number of frightening real-world events linked to it grows.

On Tuesday, using his Truth Social platform, the Republican former president reposted an image of himself wearing a Q lapel pin overlaid with the words “The Storm is Coming.” In QAnon lore, the “storm” refers to Trump’s final victory, when supposedly he will regain power and his opponents will be tried, and potentially executed, on live television.

As Trump contemplates another run for the presidency and has become increasingly assertive in the Republican primary process during the midterm elections, his actions show that far from distancing himself from the political fringe, he is welcoming it.

Trump openly embraces, amplifies QAnon conspiracy theories

The FBI seizure of Mike Lindell’s phone — Everything we know so far

11:15 , Oliver O'Connell

MyPillow CEO and Trump ally Mike Lindell makes a lot of outrageous claims related to the 2020 election, but this one was serious.

On Tuesday, the millionaire businessman and prominent 2020 election denier said he had his phone seized by the FBI in Minnesota while driving through a fast-food pickup window, which the agency later confirmed.

Here’s everything you need to know about what happened.

Everything we know about the FBI seizure of Mike Lindell’s phone at Hardee’s

Trump helped release drug prisoners but now he wants to execute them

10:15 , Oliver O'Connell

After helping release people convicted of drug crimes, Donald Trump now wants the death penalty for those same offences. Experts and the people given a reprieve by the former president warn The Independent’s Josh Marcus and Alex Woodward against the dangers of his rhetoric.

Donald Trump helped release drug prisoners. Now he wants to execute them

Lindsey Graham called Trump ‘a lying motherf***er’, book reveals

09:15 , Oliver O'Connell

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham attempted to defend his defence of then-president Donald Trump’s conduct during his first impeachment, describing him to a pair of veteran Washington reporters as a liar and using expletives.

In their upcoming book The Divider: Trump in the White House 2017-2021, authors Peter Baker and Susan Glasser recall how they met with Mr Graham outside a Washington DC steakhouse less than 48 hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into whether Mr Trump had extorted the president of Ukraine in a now-infamous July 2019 phone call. The Independent obtained a copy ahead of its 20 September publication date.

Andrew Feinberg reports on the South Carolina senator’s colourful choice of words.

Lindsey Graham called Trump ‘a lying motherf***er’ during Ukraine impeachment

Nevada’s GOP governor nominee says he would fight against national abortion ban

08:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Nevada’s GOP governor nominee said Thursday he would fight against a national abortion ban if congress were to pass one.

“It’s the vote of the people within the state of Nevada, and I will support that,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who is anti-abortion, said in a press gaggle next to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin after the two spent the day campaigning across the state. “That is an issue that doesn’t need to be in politics.”

Nevada voters codified the right to abortion up to 24 weeks into law in a 1990 referendum vote.

GOP governor nominee says he'll fight US abortion ban

ICYMI: Judge picks Trump’s nominee as special master in Mar-a-Lago probe

07:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A Florida Judge has appointed Donald Trump’s nominee as special master in the FBI investigation into top secret papers seized by agents from his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Judge Raymond Dearie will now review materials seized during the raid of the former president’s estate in August after Mr Trump successfully demanded one be appointed.

The request was approved by US District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Mr Trump, and Judge Dearie was a candidate that the Justice Department had said earlier this week that it could also accept.

Graeme Massie reports.

Judge appoints Trump’s nominee as special master to oversee secret files

King Charles’ history with US presidents

06:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Hanging out with Richard Nixon‘s daughter Tricia at a White House “supper-dance.” Swapping stories with Ronald Reagan about horseback riding. Bending the ears of Donald Trump and Joe Biden about climate change.

King Charles III, who became head of state following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has made the acquaintance of 10 of the 14 U.S. presidents who have held office since he was born in 1948.

Charles' history with US presidents: He's met 10 of past 14

White House press secretary loses patience with Fox reporter’s repetitive question on migrants

04:15 , Oliver O'Connell

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday ended up in a testy exchange with Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich after the reporter asked a question that had already been covered in the day’s daily briefing.

Ms Jean-Pierre spent a significant portion of Friday’s session discussing the Biden administration’s response to Republican governors using buses and airplanes to send asylum-seekers to Democratic-led jurisdictions to punish state and local leaders for not supporting harsher border policies.

Andrew Feinberg reports on what happened next.

White House press secretary loses patience with repetitive question from Fox reporter

Fox News cuts migrant interview as reporter can’t speak Spanish

03:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A Fox News reporter admitted he wasn’t able to fully translate comments in Spanish as he interviewed a group of mostly Venezuelan migrants who were bused outside of vice-president Kamala Harris’s residence in Washington, DC, by Texas governor Greg Abbott on Thursday.

Josh Marcus reports.

Fox News cuts off interviewing migrants on buses as reporter can’t speak Spanish

Trump shares nasty body-shaming photo of Chris Christie

02:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump has continued using his custom-built Twitter knockoff Truth Social to bully his political detractors, this time taking aim at former Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie.

Mr Trump’s account posted an image of a man leaning over a buffet counter with his back to the camera, along with a caption needling Mr Christie.

Graig Graziosi reports.

Trump shares nasty photo of Chris Christie for criticising him in interview

Concerns for midterms over breaches of voting machines

01:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Sensitive voting system passwords posted online. Copies of confidential voting software available for download. Ballot-counting machines inspected by people not supposed to have access.

The list of suspected security breaches at local election offices since the 2020 election keeps growing, with investigations underway in at least three states -- Colorado, Georgia and Michigan. The stakes appeared to rise this week when the existence of a federal probe came to light involving a prominent loyalist to former President Donald Trump who has been promoting voting machine conspiracy theories across the country.

While much remains unknown about the investigations, one of the most pressing questions is what it all could mean for security of voting machines with the midterm elections less than two months away.

Midterm elections 2022 - live: Will ‘October surprise’ shake up the campaign?

CBS News: Some Jan 6 defendants arrested again since Capitol riot

Saturday 17 September 2022 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

CBS News reports:

A CBS News review of US Justice Department court filings shows a growing number of Jan 6 defendants have been arrested again, for subsequent crimes involving guns, drugs and domestic abuse. The new charges complicate their ability to secure lenient sentences in their cases related to the rioting on Jan 6, 2021, and they potentially jeopardize attempts by other Capitol riot defendants to secure pretrial releases in their cases.

The Justice Department has charged approximately 870 people with crimes in relation to the Capitol attack. A small percentage — several dozen — are being held in pre-trial detention. Thirty of the defendants are being detained in the Washington, DC, jail.

Trump invited to US service for Queen Elizabeth II

Saturday 17 September 2022 00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump has been invited by the British government to a memorial service for Queen Elizabeth II in Washington DC, after being left out of the guest list for the funeral in London.

An invitation to the event describes it as “a Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” reported The Telegraph.

Invitations to Mr Trump and other living ex-presidents, including Barrack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and their spouses, were sent out on Thursday.

Sravasti Dasgupta reports.

Trump invited to US service for Queen Elizabeth II after being snubbed from funeral

‘It doesn’t look that bad’: Tucker Carlson backs DeSantis’s Martha’s Vineyard migrant planes

Friday 16 September 2022 23:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox’s Tucker Carlson raged at “liberals” for what he perceived as their uneven and hypocritical reaction to migrants being flown into Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

In a segment on his Thursday night program, the right-wing pundit specifically took filmmaker Ken Burns to task over comments the American documentarian had made earlier that day that compared the Florida governor to an authoritarian leader.

Johanna Chisholm has the story.

Tucker Carlson backs Martha’s Vineyard migrant planes: ‘It doesn’t look that bad’

Fox News poll: Trump was wrong in Mar-a-Lago paper case

Friday 16 September 2022 22:50 , Oliver O'Connell

A new Fox News poll shows a solid two-thirds majority of voters believe it was “inappropriate” for former president Donald Trump to have taken a stash of more than 11,000 documents belonging to the government at the end of his term in the White House.

The survey also found that just 26 per cent of US voters believe Mr Trump’s actions were “appropriate,” compared with the 65 per cent who said it was not.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Fox News’ own poll says Trump was wrong in Mar-a-Lago paper case

Don Jr jokes about violence against migrants after DeSantis flight stunt

Friday 16 September 2022 22:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump Jr appeared to joke about violence against migrants arriving in the US, while he voiced his support for Gov Ron DeSantis’s programme to send two flights of the recently arrived people to Martha’s Vineyard this week.

The former president’s son, who is executive vice president at his father’s Trump Organization, took to multiple social media platforms on Thursday to tear down people who support more progressive border policies by sharing a series of memes that depict scenes where migrants were attacked by border officials on the US southern border.

Don Jr jokes about migrants in Instagram post as he backs Martha’s Vineyard flights

Trump could face October Surprise from Jan 6 committee

Friday 16 September 2022 21:50 , Oliver O'Connell

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot on January 6 will likely not release its report about the attempted insurrection before the election, Axios reported. But that doesn’t mean it could not make news before 8 November.

Chairman Bennie Thompson told reporters that he didn’t want the committee to be “perceived as a partisan committee ... we’ve been fairly free of those kind of complaints, and we would not want to interfere with the election.”

At the same time, the chairman said that the time before 28 September, before the House leaves for campaign season, “won’t be a quiet period” and “the goal is to have … some information pushed out, obviously, before the November election,” though the committee might have an interim report during that time.

Eric Garcia has the latest.

January 6 committee could bring October surprise for the midterms

Sarah Huckabee Sanders reveals thyroid cancer operation

Friday 16 September 2022 21:27 , Oliver O'Connell

Former Trump press secretary and current Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders has revealed she underwent successful surgery to remove her thyroid and surrounding lymph nodes following a cancer diagnosis.

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Kristi Noem rants about Newsom’s abortion billboard campaign in her state

Friday 16 September 2022 21:20 , Oliver O'Connell

California Governor Gavin Newsom launched a multi-state billboard campaign in parts of the country where abortion is the most restricted, to play up his state’s progressive laws that protect a person’s right to the procedure.

South Dakota Kristi Noem was not amused.

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Johanna Chisholm has the full details.

Governors call out Newsom’s abortion-rights billboard campaign in red states

Tomi Lahren evacuated as crowd of protesters pound on doors of speech

Friday 16 September 2022 21:05 , Oliver O'Connell

A speech from right-wing commentator Tomi Lahren at the University of New Mexico ended in chaos on Thursday night, as a large, fiery crowd of student protestors prompted state and campus police to shut down the event and evacuate guests.

Josh Marcus has the story.

Tomi Lahren evacuated as protesters pound doors at University of New Mexico speech

Trump has gone full QAnon in recent weeks

Friday 16 September 2022 20:50 , Oliver O'Connell

In the summer of 2020, as an obscure conspiracy ideology called QAnon began growing in prominence, then-president Donald Trump said he hadn’t really heard of the movement, but though its supporters were patriots and should be praised for backing his administration.

“I’ve heard these are people that love our country,” he said at a White House press briefing that August. “I don’t really know anything about it, except that they do supposedly like me,” he added.

The president didn’t seem deterred when a reporter laid out just how outlandish the movement’s claims really were: that a cabal of Satan-worshiping paedophile Democrats controlled the “deep state,” and could only be vanquished by Mr Trump.

“I haven’t heard that, but is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?,” he said, continuing, “If I can help save the world from problems, I’m willing to do it.”

Two years later, the former president has gone full QAnon as he positions himself for a potential 2024 president run.

Josh Marcus reports for The Independent on what has changed.

Donald Trump has gone full QAnon in recent weeks

‘Literally human trafficking’: Hillary Clinton slams DeSantis migrant flights

Friday 16 September 2022 20:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Hillary Clinton has branded the situation in Martha’s Vineyard “literally human trafficking” after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis unexpectedly flew a group of migrants to the Massachusetts island.

The former secretary of state appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday morning where she agreed with host Joe Scarborough that the migrants were being “taken advantage of” by Republican lawmakers.

Rachel Sharp reports.

Hillary Clinton says sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard is ‘human trafficking’

John Fetterman is searching for votes in ‘ruby red’ Trump country - will the strategy pay off?

Friday 16 September 2022 20:02 , Oliver O'Connell

Richard Hall reports for The Independent on how Pennsylvania Democratic candidate for the Senate is hoping to chip away at Trump’s support in rural parts of the state.

John Fetterman is searching for votes in ‘ruby red’ Trump country. Will it work?

Trump attacks Chris Christie with nasty body-shaming post

Friday 16 September 2022 19:56 , Oliver O'Connell

After calling Mitch McConnell an “absolute loser” this morning, the former president has climbed further into the gutter by taking aim at former New Jersey governor Chris Christie with a nasty body-shaming post on Truth Social.

Could House Jan 6 committee release interim report before midterms?

Friday 16 September 2022 19:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Axios reports that the January 6 committee is on a potential collision course with the midterm elections in November.

The panel investigating the attack on the US Capitol plans to hold at least one more hearing in late September and release early findings and recommendations before the 8 November election.

There is a virtual meeting today to set a schedule for upcoming hearings, keeping in mind that the committee has an expiration date of 31 December.

Committee members told Axios that the final report will likely come after the election, but there will be plenty of news before voters head to the ballot box.

Chairman Thompson told the outlet that the time between an expected 28 September hearing and the election “won’t be a quiet period”.

He added that “the goal is to have … some information pushed out, obviously, before the November election”.

The panel may release its interim report in that window.

Some committee members say that whatever they do will be denounced as partisan, but that they have a job to do and that’s too important to base on one date in November.

National Guard activated to assist with DeSantis migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard

Friday 16 September 2022 19:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced he plans to activate the National Guard, among the relief efforts his administration is supplying for the 50 migrants who were flown into Martha’s Vineyard under Governor Ron DeSantis’s controversial relocation program.

“The island communities are not equipped to provide sustainable accommodation, and state officials developed a plan to deliver a comprehensive humanitarian response,” said the governor’s office in a statement released Friday.

Johanna Chisholm reports.

National Guard activated to assist migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard by DeSantis

Only 26 per cent of voters say appropriate for Trump to take home government documents

Friday 16 September 2022 18:40 , Oliver O'Connell

A new Fox News poll shows a solid two-thirds majority of voters believe it was “inappropriate” for former president Donald Trump to have taken a stash of more than 11,000 documents belonging to the government at the end of his term in the White House.

The survey also found that just 26 per cent of US voters believe Mr Trump’s actions were “appropriate,” compared with the 65 per cent who said it was not.

Andrew Feinberg takes a look at the latest data.

Two-thirds of voters say Trump’s removal of documents ‘inappropriate,’ poll finds

Book reveals Trump tried replacing AG with two cabinet members in order to fire Mueller

Friday 16 September 2022 18:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump was so intent on firing the Department of Justice special counsel charged with investigating his 2016 campaign’s potential ties with Russia that he offered the job of attorney general to two members of his cabinet on condition that they would carrying out his wish.

In their upcoming book The Divider: Trump in the White House 2017-2021, authors Peter Baker and Susan Glasser report how Mr Trump responded to then-White House counsel Don McGahn’s refusal to order the firing of ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller by asking members of his cabinet to relieve then-attorney general Jeff Sessions and promptly sack the widely-respected ex-prosecutor.

Andrew Feinberg has the latest excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book.

Trump asked two different cabinet members to fire Robert Mueller, book reveals

Tucker Carlson claims ‘liberal’ Ken Burns compared DeSantis’ treatment of migrants to Holocaust

Friday 16 September 2022 17:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Fox’s Tucker Carlson raged at “liberals” for what he perceived as their uneven and hypocritical reaction to migrants being flown into Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

In a segment on his Thursday night program, the right-wing pundit specifically took filmmaker Ken Burns to task over comments the American documentarian had made earlier that day that compared the Florida governor to an authoritarian leader.

Joanna Chisholm reports on Carlson’s comments.

Tucker Carlson claims Ken Burns compared DeSantis’ treatment of migrants to Holocaust

Biden slams GOP governors’ migrant flights: ‘Playing politics with human beings’

Friday 16 September 2022 17:10 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden on Thursday slammed Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ for using bus and plane-loads of migrants as a way to punish leaders of Democratic-led state and local governments.

Speaking at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s annual gala, Mr Biden hit out at the GOP governors less than a day after Mr Abbott sent two busloads of South and Central American asylum seekers to Washington and Mr DeSantis funded a planeload of migrants’ transportation from Texas to Massachusetts.

Andrew Feinberg reports on the president’s comments.

Biden slams GOP governors’ migrant flights: ‘Playing politics with human beings’

Marjorie Taylor Greene accused of kicking gun control activist

Friday 16 September 2022 16:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene appeared to kick a young gun control activist outside the Capitol when the pro-gun Republican was confronted about mass shootings in the US.

Ms Greene also asked another activist questioning her about gun safety to move to another country.

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar reports.

Marjorie Taylor Greene appears to kick gun control activist

Trump oversaw ‘coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn an election'

Friday 16 September 2022 16:20 , Oliver O'Connell

House select committee chair Bennie Thompson: “There can be no doubt that there was a coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn an election overseen and directed by Donald Trump... And so, there needs to be accountability. Accountability under the law. Accountability to the American people.”

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Martha’s Vineyard community galvanised to aid migrants sent as part of DeSantis stunt

Friday 16 September 2022 16:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida faced international condemnation and scrutiny as the latest GOP governor escalating the party’s widely derided scheme of shipping vulnerable groups of migrants out of their states in cold protest of President Joe Biden.

But the arrival of 50 migrants on Martha’s Vineyard – known as a summer getaway for wealthier Americans – has galvanised communities across the small island off the coast of Massachusetts, providing immediate shelter and relief for a group of people and families deceptively collected into planes out of Texas, more than 2,000 miles away, at taxpayers’ expense.

Alex Woodward reports on how a community came together to help the new arrivals.

The GOP sent migrants to Martha’s Vineyard to stoke panic. It didn’t work

Trump and his aides pushed for AT&T to sell CNN to Rupert Murdoch

Friday 16 September 2022 15:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump and his aides pushed for AT&T to sell CNN to Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch as the then-president was pushing to block the telecommunications company’s merger with Time Warner in the early days of his presidency.

According to a pre-release copy of authors Peter Baker and Susan Glasser’s book The Divider which The Independent obtained ahead of its’ 20 September publication date, Mr Murdoch twice offered to buy CNN as a way to smooth the way for the merger by taking over an independent news outlet which Mr Trump viewed as an enemy.

Andrew Feinberg has the details.

Trump tried to get AT&T to sell CNN to Rupert Murdoch, book reveals

Trump helped release drug prisoners... now he wants to execute them

Friday 16 September 2022 15:26 , Oliver O'Connell

After helping release people convicted of drug crimes, Donald Trump now wants the death penalty for those same offences.

Experts and the people given a reprieve by the former president warn The Independent’s Josh Marcus and Alex Woodward against the dangers of his rhetoric.

Donald Trump helped release drug prisoners. Now he wants to execute them

Not just Dr Oz... Mastriano was registered to vote in New Jersey in 2021 despite running in Pennsylvania

Friday 16 September 2022 15:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Doug Mastriano, the Republican nominee for governor in Pennsylvania, was registered to vote in neighboring New Jersey until he kicked off his gubernatorial campaign last year, The New Jersey Globe reported.

Eric Garcia reports.

Pennsylvania GOP candidate Mastriano was registered to vote in New Jersey until 2021

Lindsey Graham called Trump ‘a lying motherf***er’ during Ukraine impeachment, book reveals

Friday 16 September 2022 14:54 , Oliver O'Connell

South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham attempted to defend his defence of then-president Donald Trump’s conduct during his first impeachment, describing him to a pair of veteran Washington reporters as a liar and using expletives.

In their upcoming book The Divider: Trump in the White House 2017-2021, authors Peter Baker and Susan Glasser recall how they met with Mr Graham outside a Washington DC steakhouse less than 48 hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry into whether Mr Trump had extorted the president of Ukraine in a now-infamous July 2019 phone call. The Independent obtained a copy ahead of its 20 September publication date.

Andrew Feinberg has the story of what Mr Graham told the authors.

Lindsey Graham called Trump ‘a lying motherf***er’ during Ukraine impeachment

QAnon embraced by Trump, analysis finds

Friday 16 September 2022 14:40 , Gino Spocchia

Rather than distancing himself from the fringes of his American conservatism, Donald Trump has appeared to embracing it post-presidency, according to an Associated Press report on Friday.

Analysis found that more than a third of the almost 75 accounts “reTruthed” by the former president on his Truth Social profile in the past month have promoted QAnon, the fringe conspiracy theory about a secret cabal of child abusers who conspired against Mr Trump while in office.

Through sharing the movement’s slogans, videos or imagery, the report suggested that Mr Trump was seeking support from some of his most loyal supporters – no matter the absurdity, or previous attempts at distancing himself from QAnon.

Trump openly embraces, amplifies QAnon conspiracy theories

New York could sue former president

Friday 16 September 2022 13:55 , Gino Spocchia

Donald Trump could soon be faced with a civil action lawsuit in New York over a fraud investigation into his real estate and licensing conglomerate, the Trump Organization, which ended with a disagreement over a settlement.

Citing three sources “with knowledge of the matter,” The New York Times reported on Thursday New York State Attorney General Letitia James had rejected an offer to settle the long-running fraud investigation – a strong indicator that Ms James intends to sue.

Andrew Feinberg has more:

New York attorney general may sue after rejecting Trump fraud probe settlement offer

Special master was what Trump lawyers were ‘looking for'

Friday 16 September 2022 13:10 , Gino Spocchia

The judge appointed to review materials taken from Mar-a-Lago has been described as being “exceptionally slow in his pace” following the news of his appointment on Thursday.

Maggie Haberman, of The New York Times, tweeted that Judge Raymond Dearie was known for his steady hand and that lawyers for Mr Trump were “looking for” such a person to serve as special master in the Justice Department’s case against hthe former president.

“A NY operative reminds me a key fact about Dearie, whose courthouse I covered two decades ago: he is known as exceptionally slow in his pace. That is what the Trump team is we looking for,” she wrote.

Judge Dearie has until 30 November to review the documents taken by FBI agents from Mar-a-Lago.

Judge appoints Trump’s nominee as special master to oversee secret files

Trump calls McConnell a ‘loser’

Friday 16 September 2022 12:25 , Gino Spocchia

Taking to Truth Social again on Thursday night, Donald Trump issued a statement attacking Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell for “giving the Democrats everything they want”.

While it was unclear what exactly prompted the tirade against Mr McConnell, the senior Republican has faced criticism from some conservatives in recent weeks for “allowing” Democrats to agree and pass a $740bn bill on climate, health and taxes.

This week, Mr McConnell was also forced to politely put down senator Lindsey Graham’s calls for a nationwide abortion ban after 15 weeks amid widespread unpopularity for the idea amongst American voters ahead of November’s midterms.

Mr Trump wrote: “The Republican Senate must do something about this absolute Loser, Mitch McConnell, who folds every time against the Democrats—and he’s only getting worse!”

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Former president helps Melania sell baubles

Friday 16 September 2022 11:39 , Gino Spocchia

Taking a break from considering multiple investigations against him on Thursday, Donald Trump issued a rare flirtatious message to followers on Truth Social, his own social media network, who were told about Melania Trump’s “beautiful” Christmas ornaments.

The former first lady received the ringing endorsement after she announced a new range of digital festive ornaments and corresponding decorations – some of the proceeds from which will go to charity.

“Really beautiful (the ornaments, I mean!),” wrote Mr Trump, along with a picture of his wife.

Trump makes flirty comment about Melania’s Christmas baubles

Trump invited to Washington DC event honouring Queen

Friday 16 September 2022 10:45 , Gino Spocchia

Although not attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral with Joe Biden on Monday, Donald Trump has reportedly been invited to a memorial service in Washington DC next week to remember the late British monarch.

A British embassy invitation to the event “a Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” was sent to Mr Trump in recent days, according to The Telegraph.

Other living ex-presidents, including Barrack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and their spouses, were also sent out on Thursday by the British embassy. The service will take place at Washington’s National Cathedral on Wednesday next week.

Sravasti Dasgupta reports:

Trump invited to US service for Queen Elizabeth II after being snubbed from funeral

Judge open to Trump privilege claims

Friday 16 September 2022 10:05 , Gino Spocchia

Writing in an order on Thursday, US District judge Aileen Cannon said she was open to the possibility that the former president could use executive privilege as a defense against some records seized by FBI agents from Mar-a-Lago last month, the Associated Press reported.

Although widely disputed by legal experts and the current US president, the Trump appointed judge also noted ongoing disagreements between Trump lawyers and Justice Department officials about the “proper designation of the seized materials”, which were marked classified.

While blocking a Justice Department request to continue reviewing the classified material, the judge appointed a special master at the request of Mr Trump to review the Mar-a-Lago material “neutrally”.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the former president’s lawyers made clear on Thursday that they were satisfied with the appointment. That decision is expected to be appealed.

Trump threatens ‘big problems’ for US if he’s indicted over Mar-a-Lago papers

Friday 16 September 2022 09:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump on Thursday hinted that his supporters could engage in a protracted campaign of violence if he were to be indicted for any crimes discovered in the myriad criminal investigations into his conduct.

Speaking on the conservative broadcaster Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Mr Trump said an indictment would not deter him from running for president because he would have “no prohibition against running”.

“But I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps, we’ve never seen before. I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it,” he added.

Asked what kinds of problems he was predicting if he were to be charged with a crime, Mr Trump added ominously: “I think you’d have big problems — big problems”.

Andrew Feinberg reports on the former president’s threat to the stability of the US.

Trump threatens ‘big problems’ for US if he’s indicted in stolen documents scandal

New book says Trump offered West Bank to king of Jordan

Friday 16 September 2022 08:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump once offered Jordan’s King Abdullah II control of the West Bank, which he characterised at the time as being a “great deal”, according to a forthcoming book on behind-the-scenes accounts of the Trump White House.

When Abdullah II received the message from Mr Trump, he reportedly told an American friend: “I thought I was having a heart attack.”

Understandable.

Trump offered the West Bank to Jordan’s king, according to a new book

Biden approval rating jumps up

Friday 16 September 2022 08:15 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden’s approval ratings have improved from their lowest point this summer, according to a new poll.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll showed the president’s approval ratings increased to 45 per cent from 36 per cent in July.

Sravasti Dasgupta reports.

Biden approval rating jumps up to 45%

Trump won’t pick Pence as running-mate in 2024 after former VP’s ‘political suicide’

Friday 16 September 2022 07:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump says in a new book that he will not pick his former vice president Mike Pence to serve as his running mate if he launches another White House bid in 2024.

Mr Trump made the remarks in The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, written by Peter Baker of The New York Times and Susan Glasser of The New Yorker, The Guardian reported. Mr Baker and Ms Glasser interviewed Mr Trump in April and November of last year.

Eric Garcia reports.

Trump says he won’t pick Pence as running-mate: ‘Mike committed political suicide’

John Fetterman is searching for votes in ‘ruby red’ Trump country — can he find them?

Friday 16 September 2022 06:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The Independent’s Richard Hall reports on how John Fetterman, a very different kind of Democrat, is hoping to chip away at Trump’s support in rural Pennsylvania.

John Fetterman is searching for votes in ‘ruby red’ Trump country. Will it work?

ICYMI | Melania told Trump he was ‘blowing this’ in handling of Covid

Friday 16 September 2022 06:39 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, was reportedly so disturbed by her husband’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic that she took to characterising his response as “screwing up”.

The news of one of the former president’s closest confidants, among others, expressing doubts in his ability to handle critical geopolitical issues comes from a forthcoming book from New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker and New Yorker staff writer and CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser.

CNN obtained an early copy of the book.

In one of the book’s more damning passages, the pair of veteran reporters cite interviews with Trump insiders who were able to confirm that the one-term president’s partner was concerned with how his administration was responding to the pandemic.

Johanna Chisholm reports.

Melania told Trump he was ‘blowing this’ in handling of Covid outbreak, book claims

New York AG may sue Trump after rejecting settlement offer in fraud probe

Friday 16 September 2022 06:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The state of New York’s chief law enforcement officer may soon file a civil lawsuit against former president Donald Trump, his eponymous real estate and licensing conglomerate, and at least one of his adult children after the twice-impeached ex-president’s proposed settlement that would have ended a years-long probe into whether his companies defrauded state tax authorities was rejected.

Andrew Feinberg has the details.

New York attorney general may sue after rejecting Trump fraud probe settlement offer

Trump threatens ‘big problems’ if he’s indicted

Friday 16 September 2022 05:52 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Former president Donald Trump on Thursday hinted that his supporters could engage in a protracted campaign of violence if he were to be indicted for any crimes discovered in the criminal investigations into his conduct.

Speaking on the conservative broadcaster Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Mr Trump said an indictment would not deter him from running for president because he would have “no prohibition against running”.

“But I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps, we’ve never seen before. I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it,” he added.

Asked what kinds of problems he was predicting if he were to be charged with a crime, Mr Trump added ominously: “I think you’d have big problems — big problems”.

“I just don’t think they [his supporters] would stand for it. They will not,” he said. “They will not sit still and stand for this ultimate of hoaxes”.

Andrew Feinberg has more.

Trump threatens ‘big problems’ for US if he’s indicted in stolen documents scandal

Biden nominates US attorney for Florida Mar-a-Lago district

Friday 16 September 2022 05:15 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden has nominated a Miami litigator and longtime government lawyer to serve as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, the office currently involved in the Justice Department‘s investigation of classified records at former President Donald Trump‘s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Markenzy Lapointe would replace Juan Antonio “Tony” Gonzalez, who has been a top prosecutor in Southern Florida involved in the investigation of the classified records and the debate over whether a judge should appoint a special master to review the documents taken by FBI in the search.

Biden nominates US attorney for Florida Mar-a-Lago district

Democrats push same-sex marriage vote until after midterms

Friday 16 September 2022 04:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Democrats are punting a vote to protect same-sex and interracial marriages until after the November midterm elections, pulling back just days after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to put the Senate on the record on the issue “in the coming weeks.”

Democrats punt same-sex marriage vote until after election

Trump claims ‘absolute authority’ to declassify files

Friday 16 September 2022 03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has claimed he had “the absolute right” to declassify top secret documents that federal agents found at his Mar-a-Lago mansion.

The one-term president made the claim during an appearance on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show this week and insisted that he will not be prosecuted over it.

Graeme Massie listened to the interview.

Trump claims he had ‘absolute authority’ to declassify files found at Mar-a-Lago

Mitt Romney defends GOP governors over sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Friday 16 September 2022 03:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican Senator Mitt Romney had no sympathy for Democratic leaders in cities and states around the country on Thursday after news broke of GOP governors stepping up efforts to bus groups of migrants to their jurisdictions.

The campaign, begun by Texas’s Greg Abbott and now joined by Florida’s Ron DeSantis, aims to embarrass the Biden administration by taking the issue of immigration enforcement into state hands. Over the past several months, the governors have found groups of undocumented migrants and enticed them with various means to accept bus rides, a dozen or so at a time, out of state to destinations unknown.

John Bowden has the story.

Mitt Romney defends GOP governors busing migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Protesters heckle GOP senators over Lindsey Graham’s proposed national abortion ban

Friday 16 September 2022 02:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican senators were heckled in downtown Washington DC Tuesday evening as they attended a gala hosted by an anti-abortion group celebrating the downfall of Roe vs Wade.

A handful of GOP lawmakers were guests of honour at an event hosted by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, an anti-abortion nonprofit organisation named after the famous (and staunchly reglious) women’s rights activist. Among those who attended were both of South Carolina’s US senators, Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham.

Roughly 100 protesters gathered outside the National Building Museum late in the afternoon and chanted slogans which included “our bodies our choice”, and “pro-life is a lie, you don’t care if people die”.

John Bowden reports.

Protesters heckle GOP senators after Lindsey Graham unveils national abortion ban

Biden stresses necessity of calling out white supremacy at White House summit

Friday 16 September 2022 01:30 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden on Thursday said Americans must speak openly about the dangers posed by white supremacy and not be complicit by refusing to talk about the threat it poses to the country.

Speaking at the White House’s first “United We Stand” summit, Mr Biden told an audience of civil society experts and civil rights activists that the internet has given racial and ethnic hatred too much room to breathe in recent years.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

‘We can’t remain silent’: Biden stresses necessity of calling out white supremacy

House passes bill to curb political interference in census

Friday 16 September 2022 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The House passed legislation on Thursday intended to make it harder for future presidents to interfere with the once-a-decade census that determines political power and federal funding, a move that comes in response to the Trump’s administration’s failed effort to make a citizenship question part of the 2020 headcount.

House OKs bill to curb political interference with census

Judge appoints Trump’s nominee as special master in Mar-a-Lago secret papers probe

Friday 16 September 2022 00:34 , Graeme Massie

A Florida Judge has appointed Donald Trump’s nominee as special master in the FBI investigation into top secret papers seized by agents from his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Judge Raymond Dearie will now review materials seized during the raid of the former president’s estate in August after Mr Trump successfully demanded one be appointed.

Judge appoints Trump’s nominee as special master to oversee secret files

Roger Stone denies filming video for ‘QAnon Queen of Canada’

Friday 16 September 2022 00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The self-proclaimed “Queen of Canada,” a QAnon adherent named Romana Didulo, is apparently trying to raise funds for her conspiracy-fuelled movement using what appeared to be a Cameo video made by Roger Stone.

However, Mr Stone says he has no idea what the group is talking about.

Graig Graziosi has the story.

Roger Stone denies filming video for ‘QAnon Queen of Canada’

Watch: How Oath Keepers responded to Trump’s Jan 6 tweet

Thursday 15 September 2022 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

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White House expresses deep alarm at GOP governors’ migrant flights

Thursday 15 September 2022 22:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The White House on Thursday said Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ use of migrants to punish leaders of Democratic-led state and local governments is a “deeply alarming” stunt that placed innocent children in danger to score political points.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the two governors were disrupting the federal process for handling migrants and using the migrants as “political pawns”.

“It is shameful, it is reckless, and just plain wrong,” she said.

Andrew Feinberg reports about the administration’s reaction.

White House calls GOP governors’ migrant flights ‘deeply alarming’

Trump rants about ‘bad’ McConnell, ‘Schumer’s favourite senator'

Thursday 15 September 2022 22:27 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump has take aim at Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in his latest diatribe on Truth Social.

He began: Mitch McConnell is giving the Democrats everything they want. He is their lapdog! He didn’t stop trillions of dollars in spending by refusing to use the Debt Ceiling as a negotiating tool. He gave it up for nothing. Now he wants to give Manchin the thing he wanted in order to destroy America, and even the People of West Virginia.

Continuing, he said: How about his tax on coal? The Republican Senate must do something about this absolute Loser, Mitch McConnell, who folds every time against the Democrats—and he’s only getting worse!

Further, the former president wrote: Finally, some Republicans with great Courage! Rick Scott, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee are working hard to stop Chuck Schumer and his favorite Senator Mitch McConnell from ramming through a disastrous Continuing Resolution that would do nothing to Stop Inflation, Grow our Economy, or Restore the American Dream—it would only put Big Government First and give Manchin his terrible deal.

In conclusion, he suggested: Instead, we need a LONG-TERM Continuing Resolution, so we can deal with the real Emergency at hand, the Radical Left’s destruction of America, and once again, put AMERICA First. McConnell is so bad!

Mark Meadows complies with DoJ’s Jan 6 subpoena

Thursday 15 September 2022 22:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has reportedly complied with a Justice Department subpoena tied to the investigation into the events surrounding the Jan 6 Capitol riot.

CNN broke the story and cited “sources familiar with the matter.” Per the unnamed sources, Mr Meadows turned over the same materials that he gave the House select committee probing the Capitol riot.

Mr Meadows’ compliance makes him the highest ranking member of former President Donald Trump’s administration to comply with the Justice Department subpoenas.

Graig Graziosi reports.

Mark Meadows complies with DoJ’s Jan 6 subpoena, turns over texts and emails

Biden to talk economy, midterms, war in Ukraine on 60 Minutes

Thursday 15 September 2022 21:59 , Oliver O'Connell

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Despite widespread criticism, DeSantis hails Martha’s Vineyard stunt as ‘innovative'

Thursday 15 September 2022 21:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis boasted about his “innovative” strategy of sending two planes full of Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

“We are not a sanctuary state, and it’s better to be able to go to a sacntuary jurisdiction,” Mr DeSantis said at an event. “And yes, we will help facilitate that transport for you to be able to go to greener pastures.”

Eric Garcia reports on the governor’s comments.

DeSantis boasts about Martha’s Vineyard flight of migrants despite criticism

Tucker Carlson segment may have inspired DeSantis migrants to Martha’s Vineyard stunt

Thursday 15 September 2022 21:20 , Oliver O'Connell

A segment by Fox News host Tucker Carlson may have inspired Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard.

Mr DeSantis sent around 50 migrants to the island off the coast of Massachusetts on Wednesday.

The move may have been inspired by a segment on Tucker Carlson Tonight from late July.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Tucker Carlson may have inspired DeSantis move to send migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Trump plugs Melania’s Christmas ornaments with flirty comment on Truth Social

Thursday 15 September 2022 20:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump issued a rare flirtatious message to followers on Truth Social, his own social media network, who were told about Melania Trump’s “beautiful” Christmas ornaments.

The former first lady received the ringing endorsement on Thursday, when the former president “reTruthed” a post by his wife who this week announced a new range of digital and real brass festive ornaments.

“Really beautiful (the ornaments, I mean!),” wrote Mr Trump.

Trump makes flirty comment about Melania’s Christmas baubles

Swap Puerto Rico for Greenland? Trump once proposed it, new book claims

Thursday 15 September 2022 20:20 , Oliver O'Connell

When Donald Trump floated the controversial idea to buy Greenland in 2019, it was not because of conversations with administration officials, as he said at the time. It was the by-product of a suggestion posed by one of his billionaire friends, a new book reports.

Johanna Chisholm has the story.

Trump floated idea of swapping Puerto Rico for Greenland, new book claims

Thursday 15 September 2022 19:50 , Oliver O'Connell

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Boebert was not the first ...remember this moment?

Thursday 15 September 2022 19:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Rep Lauren Boebert is not the first lawmaker to mistakenly bring food into a speech.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene was roundly mocked online in March for a video in which she confuses the name of the Nazi secret police with that of chilled tomato soup.

Marjorie Taylor Greene mocked for confusing Nazi secret police with cold tomato soup

Rep Boebert mocked for hilarious ‘wonton killings' speech blunder

Thursday 15 September 2022 19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Lauren Boebert has been mocked for warning of “wonton killings” during a reading of a Bible passage.

The GOP Representative was reading a passage from Romans that in The Message edition of the Bible refers to “wanton killing.”

But video of the event shows the lawmaker from Colorado getting the phrase mixed up with the Chinese dumpling.

Graeme Massie has the story.

Lauren Boebert mocked over ‘wonton killings’ gaffe: ‘Where you dumpling the bodies’

Biden approval rating jumps up to 45%

Thursday 15 September 2022 18:50 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden’s approval ratings have improved from their lowest point this summer, according to a new poll.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll showed the president’s approval ratings increased to 45 per cent from 36 per cent in July.

Sravasti Dasgupta reports.

Biden approval rating jumps up to 45%

Trump threatens ‘big problems’ for US if he’s indicted

Thursday 15 September 2022 18:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump on Thursday hinted that his supporters could engage in a protracted campaign of violence if he were to be indicted for any crimes discovered in the myriad criminal investigations into his conduct.

Speaking on the conservative broadcaster Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Mr Trump said an indictment would not deter him from running for president because he would have “no prohibition against running”.

“But I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps, we’ve never seen before. I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it,” he added.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Trump threatens ‘big problems’ for US if he’s indicted in stolen documents scandal

Fox Poll shows reaction to end of Roe v Wade

Thursday 15 September 2022 17:50 , Andrew Naughtie

The political implications for the end of Roe v Wade are becoming clear, and they don’t look good for Republicans – a fact that is even showing up on Fox News:

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GOP leaders have struggled to pivot the midterm campaign away from turning into a referendum on abortion rights, but their efforts were badly muddled this week when South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham introduced legislation that would ban abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy under federal law.

John Bowden writes:

Lindsey Graham gifts Democrats an anti-abortion bogeyman in final stretch of campaign

Trump ‘won’t run with Pence again'

Thursday 15 September 2022 17:20 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump says in a new book that he will not pick his former vice president Mike Pence to serve as his running mate if he launches another White House bid in 2024.

Mr Trump made the remarks in The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021, written by Peter Baker of The New York Times and Susan Glasser of The New Yorker, The Guardian reported. Mr Baker and Ms Glasser interviewed Mr Trump in April and November of last year.

“It would be totally inappropriate,” the former president said. Mr Trump’s main objection to his former vice president is that Mr Pence refused to overturn the 2020 presidential election results on 6 January 2021. “Mike committed political suicide,” Mr Trump told the authors.

Read more from Eric Garcia:

Trump says he won’t pick Pence as running-mate: ‘Mike committed political suicide’

Schumer casts doubt on Democrats’ midterm chances

Thursday 15 September 2022 16:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Even after a run of special election victories and encouraging polls, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has issued a pessimistic prediction for House Democrats’ chances in the midterm elections.

In comments reported by Punchbowl News, Mr Schumer told Senate colleagues at a restaurant dinner that were the midterms to be held today, there would be “a 60 per cent chance we hold the Senate, and a 40 per cent chance we hold the House”.

The outlet cited numerous restaurant patrons as its sources, reporting that they overheard Mr Schumer as he “loudly” described how Nancy Pelosi is “in trouble” in her efforts to hold on to the majority in the lower chamber.

The majority leader’s prediction of losing the House puts him at odds with Ms Pelosi, who has said in the last few days not just that she thinks the Democrats can hold the chamber but that they can in fact widen their ultra-narrow majority.

Read more:

Chuck Schumer predicts Democrats are unlikely to hold House majority in midterms

Trump insists (again) that Mar-a-Lago documents were declassified

Thursday 15 September 2022 16:18 , Andrew Naughtie

In an interview with right-wing radio host Hugh Hewitt this morning, Donald Trump was given a chance to riff on the Mar-a-Lago search and its aftermath.

Aside from boasting about his poll numbers and saying that “the people are not going to stand for” the search, he also fixated on John Durham’s fading probe into the Russia invesitagtion, insisted that “alternate slates” of electors submitted to overturn presidential are “common” rather than illegal, confirmed he had not been asked to appear before a grand jury (it was not clear which one), and also insisted a president has the “absolute right” to declassify classified documents.

This is inaccurate, and is also not the only matter at issue in the Mar-a-Lago case.

He also said that were he indicted, he “would have no prohibition” on running for president – and warned of “big problems” thanks to the uproar that would result. Asked if he was inciting violence, he replied: “I’m just saying what my opinion is”.

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Where Trump got the idea to buy Greenland

Thursday 15 September 2022 15:50 , Andrew Naughtie

When Donald Trump floated the controversial idea to buy Greenland in 2019, it was not because of conversations with administration officials, as he said at the time. It was the by-product of a suggestion posed by one of his billionaire friends, a new book reports.

In August 2019, the former president compared the purchase of Greenland to a “large real estate deal”, stating that the notion had been planted in his head after ongoing conversations with members within his cabinet.

“The concept came up and....strategically it’s interesting,” he told a group of reporters on board Air Force One at the time. Later, a report from The Wall Street Journal would claim that the former real estate mogul became fixated on the semi-autonomous territory of Denmark after learning about its vast natural resources and geopolitical importance.

“First we have to find out whether or not they have any interest,” he said.

Johanna Chisholm has the story.

Trump’s idea to buy Greenland came from a billionaire cosmetics friend, book claims

What has the 6 January committee obtained from the Secret Service?

Thursday 15 September 2022 15:20 , Andrew Naughtie

Bennie Thompson, chair of the House January 6 committee, has said the panel has obtained “thousands of exhibits” from Secret Service agents in relation to the panel’s investigation.

Mr Thompson told reporters on Wednesday that the materials obtained by his committee were a combination of different communications including “text messages, radio traffic ... thousands of exhibits”, as Axios reported.

The receipt of “thousands” of materials comes three months after the committee issued a subpoena for Secret Service communications from the day of the assault on the US Capitol and the day before.

It remains unclear what, if any, new information has been obtained by the panel, which has recently announced a second round of hearings for September.

Gino Spocchia reports.

Jan 6 committee has ‘thousands’ of communications from Secret Service

The race that could decide whether Trump can steal the 2024 election

Thursday 15 September 2022 14:50 , Andrew Naughtie

Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race has gotten plenty of attention thanks to GOP candidate Doug Mastriano, an outright Christian nationalist who attended the 6 January rally that preceded the attack on the US Capitol.

Mr Mastriano, an election conspiracy theorist who currently trails in the polls, has previously said he would order a purge of the state’s voter rolls if elected – and given that Pennsylvania’s secretary of state is appointed by the governor, not elected, he would have more leeway than most governors in the nation to reshape the way elections in his state are carried out.

Eric Garcia looks at what a Mastriano win could mean for the next election.

How Pennsylvania governor’s race could determine if Trump could steal a 2024 election

Georgia Senate contest marked by gender and race gaps

Thursday 15 September 2022 14:20 , Andrew Naughtie

As Republican Herschel Walker struggles in his challenge to incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, polling indicates that even as the contest features two Black men, the gendered and racial gaps in whom voters are supporting are extremely stark:

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Mr Warnock’s campaign has been hampered from the off by his history of domestic abuse, his steady stream of bizarre and rambling public statements, and his habit of repeating outright false claims – including lies about his professional and educational history.