Trump news - live: Manhattan grand jury votes to indict Trump over Stormy Daniels hush money payment

·39 min read

The Manhattan grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s supposed role in a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels is looking into a payment to another woman, according to a report. It is not known whether this

The jury won’t hear any evidence in the proceedings for several weeks because of an already-planned hiatus. A schedule change is possible, but any indictment of Mr Trump will now come late next month at the earliest.

Former president Trump is continuing to campaign for the 2024 election, striking out at his closest (technically unofficial) rival Ron DeSantis, accusing the Florida governor of inexperience in foreign policy and bailing out insurance companies to the detriment of hurricane-hit Floridians.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Mr Trump has also issued dire warnings about an apparent impending threat of nuclear war that only he can save the US from… if he is re-elected as president.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump is fighting back against a court order that requires Mark Meadows, Dan Scavno, Stephen Miller, and other former aides to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the January 6 Capitol riot.

Key Points

  • Manhattan grand jury looking into second Trump hush money payment, report says

  • DeSantis ‘foolish’ for Putin comments says Trump in nuclear war fear-mongering video

  • Trump fights court order requiring Mark Meadows to testify in Jan 6 probe

  • Manhattan grand jury to go on one-month break – delaying potential indictment

  • Fox News contributor slams Trump’s ‘horrific’ interview with Sean Hannity

  • Trump widens advantage over DeSantis in latest Fox News poll

Report: NYPD again stepping up security around Trump grand jury courthouse

22:11 , Oliver O'Connell

MSNBC is reporting — citing three law enforcement sources — that additional security measures are once again in place around the New York City courthouse in which the grand jury investigating Donald Trump’s alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels meets.

Watch:

Fired Fox News producer speaks out on ‘coerced’ Dominion testimony

21:50 , Oliver O'Connell

A former producer at Fox News is becoming the network’s newest headache as the conservative media organisation reels from embarassing revelations about the network’s embrace of Donald Trump’s nonsense election fraud conspiracies in the wake of the 2020 election.

Abby Grossberg is now on somewhat of a media tour after being fired from the network; the former producer for Tucker Carlson and Maria Bartiromo lost her job after filing a lawsuit against her bosses, alleging that the company coerced her into watering down her testimony given as part of Dominion Voting Systems’s $1.6bn lawsuit against the channel.

John Bowden has the story for The Independent.

‘It felt awful’: Fired Fox producer speaks out on ‘coerced’ Dominion testimony

Full story: Manhattan grand jury looking into second Trump hush money payment, report says

21:35 , Oliver O'Connell

The Manhattan grand jury empaneled as part of District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into a hush payment made on Donald Trump’s behalf in 2016 is now reportedly looking at a second payment made to another woman — this time, a former Playboy model.

John Bowden has the full details.

NY grand jury reportedly looking into second Trump payment to former Playboy model

DeSantis ‘ignorant and foolish’ for Putin comments says Trump in nuclear war fear-mongering video

21:20 , Oliver O'Connell

In his latest campaign video posted to Truth Social, Donald Trump again took aim at Ron DeSantis, this time slamming him for his recent remarks on Russia which took a tougher stance regarding Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.

The former president sought to tie the Florida governor to remarks made in the past by Senator Mitt Romney and even the late Senator John McCain.

Read on:

Trump claims ‘ignorant’ DeSantis remarks about Putin could lead to nuclear war

‘Biggest insurance company bailout in globalist history’: Trump slams ‘Rino Ron’ over Florida hurricane response

21:07 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump hits out at “Rino Ron DeSanctimonious” over delivering the “biggest insurance company bailout in globalist history”.

The former president describes it as a gift to the insurance companies and a disaster for the people of Florida, especially those whose homes were destroyed in Hurricane Ian who he says are getting “pennies on the dollar”.

He then characterised the response to the hurricane as being handled very poorly.

Watch:

Watch: Bizarre static electric shock Trump 2024 campaign video

20:55 , Oliver O'Connell

Why is everyone being electrocuted? Why choose the aesthetic of a turn-of-the-century disaster movie probably found deep in Netflix?

We may never know.

Watch here:

Trump tells people to ‘drop-down and pray’ claiming ‘incompetent’ US leaders provoking nuclear conflict

20:42 , Oliver O'Connell

Another drop of campaign videos sees former president Donald Trump fixated on the “big stuff”, the n-word... nuclear.

After blaming “incompetent” US leaders he tells his followers to “drop-down and pray”.

Watch:

Pence reminds voters he was once more than Trump’s VP

20:35 , Oliver O'Connell

Mike Pence is best known as Donald Trump’s vice president, someone who, apart from one dramatic rejection of his boss ’s effort to overturn their 2020 election defeat, served as a steadfastly loyal, mostly uncontroversial No. 2 during his eight years in the White House.

But as Pence approaches a likely 2024 run for president, he’s hoping to project the record of a conservative fighter, opening up to audiences about the parts of his career before he served as Trump’s vice president -- his 12 years as a congressman and four years as Indiana governor.

Not just Trump's VP: Pence touts time as governor, US Rep

Trump hush money prosecutors probing payments to second woman, report says

20:21 , Oliver O'Connell

Citing people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors investigating Donald Trump’s role in paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels are also looking into a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who alleged that she had an affair with the former president.

This raises the prospect that Mr Trump could face charges connected to the silencing of both women.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has been presenting a grand jury with evidence of Mr Trump’s involvement in a $130,000 payment to Ms Daniels since January. During this investigation, prosecutors have also asked witnesses extensively about the earlier payment of $150,000 to Ms McDougal who says she had a 10-month relationship with Mr Trump in 2006.

While former Trump fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to charges in connection with payments to both women, the extent of prosecutors’ interest in Ms McDougal relating to Mr Trump has not been previously reported, the Journal says.

It is not known whether evidence relating to Ms McDougla could possibly lead to more charges, or whether it could be used to establish a pattern of conduct.

Mr Trump has denied his involvement with either woman and with the payments.

Matt Gaetz aide was convicted of war crimes

20:15 , Oliver O'Connell

A Florida congressman is standing by his top adviser on military issues after The Intercept reported Wednesday evening that he is a convicted war criminal who was found guilty of murdering an unarmed civilian.

Matt Gaetz’s office issued a statement defending the aide, former US National Guard member Derrick Miller, who was convicted in 2011 for an act that occurred during a combat mission that Miller’s unit conducted in Afghanistan’s Laghman province in the fall of 2010.

John Bowden has the details.

Matt Gaetz aide was convicted of war crimes for shooting Afghan civilian in head

Christie says ‘no, thank you’ to Trump’s talk of ‘retribution'

20:05 , Oliver O'Connell

In an appearance on the Hugh Hewitt show, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was asked by the host what his opinion of Donald Trump’s speech in Waco, Texas, at the weekend.

Mr Christie, who later clarified that he and the former president are no longer friends and have not spoken since December 2020, was not impressed:

I thought it was a snoozer. I think the act is getting very old. And I think that no leader who is backward looking is a leader who can be victorious. And I’m tired of hearing about his grievances. And I said this in New Hampshire on Monday. You know, when he says I am your retribution, no thank you. No, thank you. You know, the only retribution he will be is his own retribution. He cares about himself first and foremost, and exclusively. And that speech in Waco proves exactly that.

‘QAnon Shaman’ released from prison 14 months early

19:55 , Oliver O'Connell

Jacob Chansley, the January 6 rioter who became known as the “QAnon Shaman,” was reportedly transferred from a federal prison to a halfway house in Arizona months before he was planned to be released, CBS News reports.

Here’s the latest:

‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley released from prison 14 months early

Full story: Trump’s lead over 2024 GOP field grows, poll finds

19:35 , Oliver O'Connell

A majority of Republican primary voters support former president Donald Trump, according to a new poll from Fox News published Wednesday evening.

Support for Mr Trump jumped from 43 per cent among Republican primary voters in February to 54 per cent of Republican primary voters in March. The polling boost comes after Mr Trump has kicked off his presidential campaign in earnest, campaigning in Iowa and holding a rally in Waco, Texas.

Eric Garcia takes a look at the latest numbers.

Trump’s lead over 2024 GOP field grows, poll finds

Trump’s tough guy posture ahead of looming indictment isn’t fooling these insiders

19:10 , Oliver O'Connell

The Independent’s White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg writes:

[M]ultiple people who have been close to Mr Trump in the past and understand his way of thinking say the confidence he projects in interviews and in public appearances belies a complete inability to grasp what it will mean for him to become a defendant in a criminal case.

These former Trumpworld insiders told The Independent the ex-president’s decades of evading responsibility for his actions and his past ability to neutralise legal jeopardy with a combination of bluster and litigation tactics has left him incredibly ill-equipped for what could lie ahead of him if any of the grand juries hearing evidence against him votes out an indictment.

Read the full article:

Trump’s posture ahead of looming indictment isn’t fooling these insiders

What a difference a few hours makes...

18:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump on Wednesday afternoon:

Polls can be worse than the written word. The new Quinnipiac Poll that has me 2 points behind Biden is FAKE, because they didn’t sample nearly enough Republicans. These Polls are FAKE, just like most of the Media is FAKE. They all work together. We’re not going to let it be taken away again!

Donald Trump on Wednesday night:

I would be willing to bet that the FoxNews Viewers are VERY Happy about the just released FoxNews Polling that shows Ron DeSanctimonious being absolutely CRUSHED and, more importantly, dropping like a ROCK!

Watch: Trump defends Russia while attacking DeSantis over foreign policy

18:20 , Oliver O'Connell

In another campaign video posted to Truth Social, Donald Trump took aim again at Ron DeSantis, this time slamming him for his recent remarks on Russia which took a tougher stance regarding Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine.

The former president sought to tie him to remarks made in the past by Mitt Romney and John McCain.

“Calling Russia a gas station with a bunch of nuclear weapons, or calling Putin, quote, ‘an authoritarian gas station attendant with some legacy of nuclear weapons from the old Soviet Union’ is exactly the kind of simple-minded thinking that has produced decades of failed diplomacy and ultimately war,” said the former president.

“And where is that war going? Those such as Mitt Romney and Ron DeSantis, very much alike, who insist on arrogantly treating Russia as deeply inferior to the other nations of the world with no history or culture or pride, are not only ignorant and foolish, but their attitude makes it impossible to negotiate peace. Absolutely impossible,” he continued.

Mr Trump went on to claim his administration had a more nuanced understanding of Russia, its people, and history, and that such “neocon rhetoric” showed a “lack of sophistication on the subtleties and complexities of foreign policy”.

The former president said: “This is not the time for an on-the-job training as we face the possibility of nuclear war. And our leaders, if you call them, that, got us there. This is where we are. The word nuclear was never even mentioned during the Trump administration. Now it’s being mentioned every hour of every day.”

He added: “In 2024, I am the only candidate who can prevent World War III. I will prevent World War III. There’s nobody else that’s going to do that. Thank you very much.”

Mr DeSantis had previously called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a “territorial dispute” in a written statement to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, for which he received a great deal of condemnation from fellow Republicans.

He walked back those remarks in an interview with Piers Morgan, claiming the statement was out of context.

Trump lead over DeSantis greater with Republican women

17:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Feature: Would an indictment really boost Trump’s political fortunes?

17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The Independent’s Eric Garcia speaks to analysts, campaigners and Republicans themselves about whether that’s really true that Trump whipping up anger round an arrest could help carry him to re-election.

Conservatives are confident an indictment would boost Trump. Is that really true?

ICYMI: Trump posts Truth Social message threatening ‘war’ over indictment

17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump suggested that his supporters give their political opponents “a war” if the former president is indicted.

Mr Trump re-posted right-wing columnist Wayne Allyn Root on Truth Social that included a link to his column entitled “Democrats Want to Indict & Arrest President Trump. They Want a War? Let’s Give it to Them.”

Eric Garcia reports.

Trump posts Truth Social message threatening ‘war’ over indictment

Trump rages at ‘racist’ New York Times columnist over looming indictment

16:35 , Oliver O'Connell

In a Truth Social post this morning, Donald Trump raged at New York Times columnist Charles M Blow for an opinion column published two weeks ago on 15 March titled “Donald Trump Must Be Prosecuted”.

Mr Blow argues that if the former president were not rich and powerful he would have had charges filed against him long ago.

He wrote:

Trump is the impresario of incitement. He’ll use any attempt to hold him accountable to agitate and activate his loyalists.

That’s not a reason to avoid vigorously and swiftly pursuing him legally, but rather a reason to do it. If we establish a precedent that amassing a significant threat to society is a ward against enforcement of the law, it makes a mockery of the law.

It would reinforce what was already a persistent problem in the criminal justice system: unequal treatment of the rich and powerful, compared to that of the poor and powerless.

Further, Mr Blow said:

Prosecuting Trump wouldn’t break the country. On the contrary, it would be a step toward mending it, a step toward undergirding the flimsy promise of “equal justice under law.”

The column concludes:

To rehabilitate American justice, Trump must be prosecuted.

The former president is apparently not amused by the prospect of potentially being held accountable for his alleged actions.

On Truth Social, he wrote:

Racist Columnist Charles Blowhard of the Failing New York Times, a sick degenerate who doesn’t like our Country or the values that made it great, prior to its massive FAILURE over the last two years, writes that I should be prosecuted by Radical Left, Soros Backed Lunatics, even without evidence, because I’m WHITE. What has our Country come to? With Blowhard’s racist words and innuendo, dumb as he is, bad things happen, and we are now a Nation in Decline being stupidly led into World War lll.

You can read Mr Blow’s full opinion piece here.

Trump loses bid to narrow rape accuser E Jean Carroll’s defamation case

16:10 , Oliver O'Connell

A US judge on Tuesday denied Donald Trump’s bid to throw out E Jean Carroll’s defamation claim from next month’s high-profile trial over whether Trump raped the former Elle magazine columnist in the mid-1990s.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan rejected Trump’s claim that “absolute litigation privilege” immunised the former president for allegedly defaming Carroll last October 12 on his Truth Social media platform by denying the rape occurred.

Lawyers for Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump loses bid to narrow rape accuser E Jean Carroll’s defamation case

Trump appeals order for Mark Meadows to testify in Jan 6 probe

15:55 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorneys for former president Donald Trump have asked a federal appeals court to toss a District of Columbia judge’s order forcing his last White House chief of staff and other former White House aides to give evidence before a grand jury investigating his attempt to overturn his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.

Andrew Feinberg has the latest.

Trump appeals order for Mark Meadows to give evidence in January 6 probe

Trump widens advantage over DeSantis in latest Fox News poll

15:39 , Oliver O'Connell

A Fox News poll released on Wednesday shows a widening gap between former president Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a hypothetical Republican Party primary race.

Mr Trump was listed as first choice by 54 per cent of respondents, while Mr DeSantis — who is yet to officially declare his candidacy — came in a distant second with 24 per cent of the vote.

The latest polling was conducted from 24-27 March and had 1,007 respondents nationwide.

In the Fox News poll from late last month, Mr DeSantis did slight better with 28 per cent to Mr Trump’s 43 per cent.

Former vice president Mike Pence came in third with six per cent (down one); former Rep Liz Cheney and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley were in joint fourth place with three per cent each (up one and down four points respectively). Texas Governor Greg Abbott held steady at two per cent.

A slew of other notable Republicans, including Kristi Noem, Mike Pompeo, and Chris Christie — some once regarded as possible top contenders for the 2024 candidacy — hover around the one per cent mark.

Mr Trump is thrilled: “I would be willing to bet that the FoxNews Viewers are VERY Happy about the just released FoxNews Polling that shows Ron DeSanctimonious being absolutely CRUSHED and, more importantly, dropping like a ROCK!”

The full poll results can be viewed here.

Watch: Bizarre static electric shock Trump 2024 campaign video

15:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Why is everyone being electrocuted? Why choose the aesthetic of a turn-of-the-century disaster movie probably found deep in Netflix?

We may never know.

Watch here:

GOP strategists worry about down ballot effect of Trump indictment

15:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican strategists have spoken with ABC News about the challenge of former president Donald Trump’s legal woes and possible upcoming indictment(s) for down-ballot GOP candidates, who will likely be inundated with questions about it as they seek office or reelection.

The challenge of course is finding an effective message, being able to articulate it, and then sticking to it.

“Any Republican who's not prepared to answer a question about the indictment, if it should come, and not prepared to pivot away from questions about Trump and back to the economy, crime and Biden's shortcomings is going to have a really hard time,” said one GOP strategist who has worked on Senate campaigns.

Said another, currently working on down-ballot races: “You're gonna get asked about it. You need to decide what your position is on it. And you need to articulate it and stick to it.”

They added: “If you waffle on it, you're not going to pick up any votes on the other side, and you're gonna frustrate your voters.”

Read more at ABC News.

Trump claims China wouldn’t send spy balloon over US during his presidency, contradicting US intelligence

14:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has again claimed that China wouldn’t have sent a spy balloon over the United States during his presidency, despite the US air force revealing that they had.

In an interview with Sean Hannity, Mr Trump was asked how he would have handled the discovery of the Chinese spy balloon, which traversed across the country before being shot down in February over the Atlantic Ocean.

“I wouldn’t have done anything with the balloon because it wouldn’t have happened under me,” the former president claimed.

Read more:

Trump again claims China didn’t send spy balloon over US in his presidency

Mike Pompeo dismisses Trump’s claim he could solve war in Ukraine

13:30 , Rachel Sharp

Mike Pompeo has dismissed Donald Trump’s bold claim that he could solve the war in Ukraine within 24 hours if he was reelected president.

On Monday, Mr Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he would be able to orchestrate a “very easy negotiation” for peace because of his relationships with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“And there’s a very easy negotiation to take place. But I don’t want to tell you what it is because then I can’t use that negotiation. It’ll never work. But it’s a very easy negotiation to take place,” he claimed.

“I will have it solved within one day, a peace between them.”

“So you’d prefer if you were president, you think you would have a negotiated settlement?” Mr Hannity asked.

Mr Trump replied: “Within 24 hours.”

Mr Pompeo, who served as secretary of state in the Trump administration, scoffed at the idea on Tuesday.

“I don’t know what he’s talking about,” he said.

Trump goes after DeSantis on medicare and and social security

13:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Mr Trump criticised Ron DeSantis in a post on Truth Social, saying that “people are beginning to find out that Ron DeSanctimonious wanted to destroy Social Security and raise its minimum age to at least 70 — and he fought very hard to do it. He also had strong plans for cutting Medicare and still does”.

“You know, when they have policy in their head, they never change, they may say they change, but they always go back t it,” Mr Trump said in a video shared on the platform.

Trump and Pence expected to speak at NRA event, likely their first meeting after two years

12:30 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump and Mike Pence are scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Indianapolis in April, putting the former president and his vice president into the same room likely after two years.

Mr Pence has been vocal in recent times in his criticism about his former boss, who has lashed out as well. The ex-vice president is expected to officially challenge Mr Trump and throw his hat in the ring for the 2024 presidential elections.

One of the last reported meetings between the two Republicans had taken place in January 2021, almost a week after the Capitol riots where a pro-Trump mob had chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” That meeting had reportedly lasted for 90 minutes.

Read the full story here:

Trump and Pence expected to speak at NRA event, likely their first meet in two years

Former Republican Strategist says Christie can be ‘useful in taking down Trump'

12:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Former Republican Strategist Steve Schmidt, who woked on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, has said that former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie can be “useful in taking down Trump”.

“Chris Christie wants to be the leader of the Republican party for the purposes of taking out Trump. It’s not particularly noble, but it may be useful,” he said.

Trump defends Putin from DeSantis attacks, says he can end Russia-Ukraine war ‘within 24 hours’

11:30 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump again defended Vladimir Putin as he criticised fellow Republican Ron DeSantis for his comments calling the Russian president a “war criminal”.

The former president, who has launched his fervent pitch for the 2024 presidential election, posted new campaign videos, tearing into the Florida governor. Mr DeSantis has not yet declared his candidacy but remains one the top contenders for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

Mr Trump defended Mr Putin, criticising Mr DeSantis’s comments as “exactly the kind of simple-minded thinking that has produced decades of failed diplomacy and ultimately war”.

Read the full story:

Trump defends Putin from DeSantis attacks, says he can end war ‘within 24 hours’

Trump grand jury poised to take pre-planned hiatus from case

11:00 , AP

The Manhattan grand jury investigating hush money paid on Donald Trump’s behalf is scheduled to consider other matters next week before taking a previously scheduled two-week hiatus, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. That means a vote on whether or not to indict the former president likely wouldn’t come until late April at the earliest.

The break, which was scheduled in advance when the panel was convened in January, coincides with Passover, Easter and spring break for the New York City public school system.

The person who confirmed the grand jury’s schedule was not authorized to speak publicly about secretive grand jury proceedings and did so on condition of anonymity.

Read more:

Trump grand jury poised to take pre-planned hiatus from case

Trump fights court order requiring Mark Meadows to testify in Jan 6 probe

10:30 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump is fighting back against a court order that requires Mark Meadows and other former aides to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the January 6 Capitol riot.

Earlier this month, US Court Judge Beryl Howell ruled that former chief of staff Mr Meadows and other top aides including Dan Scavino and Stephen Miller must give testimony to the panel – rejecting Mr Trump’s claims of executive privilege.

On Wednesday, multiple outlets reported that Mr Trump’s team had filed an appeal against the decision.

Both the decision and the appeal were filed under seal, with a source telling NBC News that the appeal related to the judge’s ruling.

Trump claims China wouldn’t have sent balloon and Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine if he was still president

10:00 , Ariana Baio

Mr Trump assured Sean Hannity of Fox News that “[China] wouldn’t have done it… Just like Putin would have never gone into Ukraine.”

“I don’t like people who say ‘oh they fear me’ like a schmuck. I don’t want to say it. But did they fear me? I suspect they did,” Mr Trump said.

The former president’s claim comes nearly two months after the Pentagon revealed Chinese spy balloons entered US airspace three times during his presidency.

The Defence Department said in a statement in early February that “Chinese balloons briefly transited the continental United States at least three times during the prior administration”.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration was able to retroactively identify the presence of Chinese balloons in US airspace during Trump’s term after the US ”[enhanced] our surveillance of our territorial airspace.”

Trump reverses course and praises NYC grand jury claiming without evidence it doesn’t want to charge him

09:00 , Gustaf Kilander

In an all-caps rant on Truth Social, former President Donald Trump said he had “gained such respect” for the grand jury reviewing hush money payments allegedly made on his behalf during the 2016 campaign to women claiming they had previously had affairs with the then-candidate.

“I HAVE GAINED SUCH RESPECT FOR THIS GRAND JURY, & PERHAPS EVEN THE GRAND JURY SYSTEM AS A WHOLE,” Mr Trump wrote on Wednesday morning.

“THE EVIDENCE IS SO OVERWHELMING IN MY FAVOR, & SO RIDICULOUSLY BAD FOR THE HIGHLY PARTISAN & HATEFUL DISTRICT ATTORNEY, THAT THE GRAND JURY IS SAYING, HOLD ON, WE ARE NOT A RUBBER STAMP, WHICH MOST GRAND JURIES ARE BRANDED AS BEING, WE ARE NOT GOING TO VOTE AGAINST A PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE OR AGAINST LARGE NUMBERS OF LEGAL SCHOLARS ALL SAYING THERE IS NO CASE HERE. DROP THIS SICK WITCH HUNT, NOW!” he added.

Trump shares story calling DeSantis book tour ‘amateur hour'

08:00 , Gustaf Kilander

In a Truth Social post, Mr Trump shares an article by The Daily Beast reporting that Ron DeSanstis’s book tour looked like “amateur hour,” according to a GOP strategist.

The Daily Beast quoted Republican observers saying that the pre-campaign of the Florida Governor appeared to be “out over its skis”.

“There’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen,” one source told the outlet.

“Word is they quietly rescheduled some stuff… but it definitely feels like he’s peeled some back,” a Republican consultant in Florida told The Daily Beast about the book tour. “I think the soft launch is having an effect. I think it’s gone poorly, I hear nothing but they are unhappy.”

“People need to remember, when you peak too soon, that’s a problem. And DeSantis peaked too soon,” a campaign strategist said.

VIDEO: Donald Trump slams US government for Putin's nuclear escalation

07:00 , The Independent

Fox Business shares poll showing majority of Americans think Trump shouldn’t be president again

06:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Most Americans don’t want Mr Trump to be president again and most think the investigations into him are fair.

The poll was shown on Fox Business.

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll includes responses from 1,300 adults and shows that 61 per cent of Americans don’t want him to be president again while 38 per cent says they do.

A majority of Americans disagree with Mr Trump as 56 per cent say that the investigations into him are fair and not a “witch hunt” – 41 per cent take the opposing view, according to NPR.

There’s a massive partisan divide – about 90 per cent of Democrats think the probs are fair, while 80 per cent of Republicans think they’re a witch hunt.

Among independents, 51 per cent think they’re fair, while 47 per cent do not.

Trump supporter pulls knife on woman with toddlers outside Manhattan court amid hush money probe

05:00 , Rachel Sharp

A Donald Trump supporter has been arrested for pulling a knife on a woman with small children outside Manhattan Criminal Court – where the former president could soon appear to face charges.

Angelica Rucker, 39, was holding a sign that read “I’m With Trump Are You?” outside the courthouse at around 3.30pm on Monday afternoon when she got into an argument with two passers-by, a spokesperson for New York Courts told The Independent.

One of the passers-by was with two small children at the time – one of them in a stroller.

As the verbal argument continued, Ms Rucker allegedly pulled a knife from her right side belt hip area and “began menacing” one of the individuals with the knife, the spokesperson said.

At that point, court officers – who had converged on the area to investigate the commotion – drew their firearms and ordered the 39-year-old to drop the knife.

Read more:

Trump supporter pulls knife on woman with toddlers outside Manhattan court

Trump posts Truth Social message threatening ‘war’ over indictment

04:15 , Eric Garcia

Former president Donald Trump suggested that his supporters their political opponents “a war” if the former president is indicted.

The former president re-posted right-wing columnist Wayne Allyn Root on Truth Social that included a link to his column entitled “Democrats Want to Indict & Arrest President Trump. They Want a War? Let’s Give it to Them.”

The article suggests that Republican district attorneys and attorneys general indict everyone from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former president Barack Obama, Hunter Biden, Anthony Fauci, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former attorney general Eric Holder, Mark Zuckerberg, President Joe Bide, Vice President Kamala Harris and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Read more:

Trump posts Truth Social message threatening ‘war’ over indictment

Manhattan grand jury will take extended break in Trump hush money probe

03:45 , Eric Garcia

The grand jury in Manhattan that is looking into former president Donald Trump’s alleged payment of hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels is expected to take a monthlong break, someone familiar with the proceedings told Politico.

The source familiar told Politico that the break was previously planned. The break would likely mean that any potential indictment of Mr Trump would likely be delayed.

This comes after Mr Trump posted last Saturday on Truth Social that he would be indicted as early as that Tuesday, but it ultimately did not happen. The former president has urged his supporters to protest any potential indictment and he has vehemently denied the affair with Ms Daniels, which allegedly happened months after his wife Melania gave birth to their son Barron.

Read more:

Manhattan grand jury will take extended break in Trump hush money probe

Trump campaign questions how much DeSantis pre-campaign travel will cost taxpayers

03:15 , Gustaf Kilander

'Nobody should be untouchable because they have money or power'

02:53 , Io Dodds

Do you think Trump should get indicted, asks one of Stormy Daniels' OnlyFans subscribers?

Though noting that she is "not a lawyer", she says: "I think he should be held accountable for anything he has done wrong, and I am happy to turn over any and all evidence and speak my truth.

"I have proof of everything I said. I have phone records, eyewitnesses... if what he did was illegal, he should be held accountable. I don't think that anybody should be untouchable just because they have money or because they're in power."

Asked if she would be willing to testify, she said: “Absolutely. I've made it very clear. I am not afraid and I will not back down.”

With that, the live stream is over.

‘I’m just making orange juice out of oranges’

02:49 , Io Dodds

Going public about her alleged rendezvous with Donald Trump has derailed her career rather than boosting it, Stormy Daniels says.

Speaking in a live stream on her OnlyFans page, says she was respected and successful as a porn performer and director before the news came out.

Suddenly, she says, everything was about Trump, and now she goes back and forth on a daily basis on whether she regrets making her allegations public.

She is unapologetic about having used the furore to her advantage since then, such as by embarking on a cross-country patriotic stripping tour and writing a memoir called Full Disclosure.

She describes those ventures as simply making the best of a bad situation by "making orange juice out of oranges" (a reference to Mr Trump’s tangerine tan).

Stormy Daniels addresses her relationship with Donald Trump in an OnlyFans livestream on 29 March 2023 (Stormy Daniels via OnlyFans)
Stormy Daniels addresses her relationship with Donald Trump in an OnlyFans livestream on 29 March 2023 (Stormy Daniels via OnlyFans)

"I’m getting blasted for making more money right now," she says. "I’ve always done this. Everybody that has a business, you know to take the opportunity. Isn’t that what America is about?

"I just saw that Trump’s actually doing the same thing. He has segued into, you know, all the stuff going on right now, to help further his career and capitalise on it and raise money.

"That’s actually kind of brilliant. Like, he’s doing the same thing that I am doing. Why is it okay for him and it’s not okay for me?"

VIDEO: Trump claims China wouldn't send spy balloon over US during his presidency

02:45 , The Independent

‘I think Michael Cohen has changed'

02:26 , Io Dodds

Asked her opinion about Mr Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, Ms Daniels says: "I used to really hate him, but I do understand where he is coming from. He was just doing his job, he was trying to be loyal.

"He has apologised to me. I think he has changed. He’s trying to do the right thing. That’s all of it."

Porn star Stormy Daniels now talking about Trump on OnlyFans

02:23 , Io Dodds

Porn star Stormy Daniels is now giving a live stream on her OnlyFans page.

After a preamble teasing subscribers by answering non-Trumpy questions such as her favourite sex position and favourite lubricant, she is addressing various rumours about her relationship with Donald Trump.

First off, she says, she was not paid for (allegedly) having sex with the real estate tycoon. Though she did go to his sprawling hotel room, she says, there was no compensation for the encounter.

"There's no judgement for the girls that do that, and the guys that do it... I got a lot of hate from girls that do work in the [sex] industry saying that I broke the, you know, hooker-client privilege."

She says that coming into the meeting, "there was no talk about sex, no red flags, no discussion of money, no flirting".

She then reiterates the account she has previously given of the years since then, in which she attempted to tell the press at various points before signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

Mr Trump has denied her claims.

Former Republican Strategist says Christie can be ‘useful in taking down Trump'

02:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Former Republican Strategist Steve Schmidt, who woked on John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, has said that former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie can be “useful in taking down Trump”.

“Chris Christie wants to be the leader of the Republican party for the purposes of taking out Trump. It’s not particularly noble, but it may be useful,” he said.

Trump claims China wouldn’t send spy balloon over US during his presidency, contradicting US intelligence

01:45 , Ariana Baio

Donald Trump has again claimed that China wouldn’t have sent a spy balloon over the United States during his presidency, despite the US air force revealing that they had.

In an interview with Sean Hannity, Mr Trump was asked how he would have handled the discovery of the Chinese spy balloon, which traversed across the country before being shot down in February over the Atlantic Ocean.

“I wouldn’t have done anything with the balloon because it wouldn’t have happened under me,” the former president claimed.

Read more:

Trump again claims China didn’t send spy balloon over US in his presidency

VIDEO: Former President Trump's legal woes

01:15 , The Independent

Trump goes after DeSantis on medicare and and social security

Thursday 30 March 2023 00:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Mr Trump criticised Ron DeSantis in a post on Truth Social, saying that “people are beginning to find out that Ron DeSanctimonious wanted to destroy Social Security and raise its minimum age to at least 70 — and he fought very hard to do it. He also had strong plans for cutting Medicare and still does”.

“You know, when they have policy in their head, they never change, they may say they change, but they always go back t it,” Mr Trump said in a video shared on the platform.

Trump claims DeSantis is being ‘crushed’ in polls and that ‘RINOs’ are ‘beside themselves'

Thursday 30 March 2023 00:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Mr Trump went after Ron DeSantis in a video posted on Truth Social.

“Ron DeSanctimonious is being CRUSHED in the polls, all of them,” Mr Trump wrote in a post outlining his comments. “Many GLOBALISTS are having second thoughts. RINO’S Karl Rove, Pauline Ryan and Jeb, ‘Low Energy’ Bush, are beside themselves. They have rarely witnessed a CRATERING of this magnitude. Maybe they should have told Ron that trying to destroy Social Security and Medicare, three times, is not a good thing to do.”

Trump shares story calling DeSantis book tour ‘amateur hour'

Wednesday 29 March 2023 23:45 , Gustaf Kilander

In a Truth Social post, Mr Trump shares an article by The Daily Beast reporting that Ron DeSanstis’s book tour looked like “amateur hour,” according to a GOP strategist.

The Daily Beast quoted Republican observers saying that the pre-campaign of the Florida Governor appeared to be “out over its skis”.

“There’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen,” one source told the outlet.

“Word is they quietly rescheduled some stuff… but it definitely feels like he’s peeled some back,” a Republican consultant in Florida told The Daily Beast about the book tour. “I think the soft launch is having an effect. I think it’s gone poorly, I hear nothing but they are unhappy.”

“People need to remember, when you peak too soon, that’s a problem. And DeSantis peaked too soon,” a campaign strategist said.

Trump grand jury poised to take pre-planned hiatus from case

Wednesday 29 March 2023 23:15 , AP

The Manhattan grand jury investigating hush money paid on Donald Trump’s behalf is scheduled to consider other matters next week before taking a previously scheduled two-week hiatus, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. That means a vote on whether or not to indict the former president likely wouldn’t come until late April at the earliest.

The break, which was scheduled in advance when the panel was convened in January, coincides with Passover, Easter and spring break for the New York City public school system.

The person who confirmed the grand jury’s schedule was not authorized to speak publicly about secretive grand jury proceedings and did so on condition of anonymity.

Read more:

Trump grand jury poised to take pre-planned hiatus from case

VIDEO: Chris Christie Says ‘No way’ to Backing Trump as He Mulls 2024 Presidential Run

Wednesday 29 March 2023 22:45 , The Independent

Fox Business shares poll showing majority of Americans think Trump shouldn’t be president again

Wednesday 29 March 2023 22:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Most Americans don’t want Mr Trump to be president again and most think the investigations into him are fair.

The poll was shown on Fox Business.

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll includes responses from 1,300 adults and shows that 61 per cent of Americans don’t want him to be president again while 38 per cent says they do.

A majority of Americans disagree with Mr Trump as 56 per cent say that the investigations into him are fair and not a “witch hunt” – 41 per cent take the opposing view, according to NPR.

There’s a massive partisan divide – about 90 per cent of Democrats think the probs are fair, while 80 per cent of Republicans think they’re a witch hunt.

Among independents, 51 per cent think they’re fair, while 47 per cent do not.

Capitol Riot: FBI informant testifies for Proud Boys defense

Wednesday 29 March 2023 21:45 , AP

An FBI informant who marched to the U.S. Capitol with fellow Proud Boys members on Jan. 6 testified on Wednesday that he didn’t know of any plans for the far-right extremist group to invade the building and didn’t think they inspired the violence that day.

The informant, who identified himself in court only as “Aaron,” was a defense witness at the trial of former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio and four lieutenants charged with seditious conspiracy for what prosecutors said was a plot to keep Donald Trump in the White House after the 2020 presidential election.

The informant was communicating with his FBI handler as a mob of Trump supporters breached police barricades at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The Proud Boys “did not do it, nor inspire,” the informant texted his handler. “The crowd did as herd mentality. Not organized.”

The handler’s response was redacted from a screenshot that a defense attorney showed to jurors.

Read more:

Capitol Riot: FBI informant testifies for Proud Boys defense

Stormy Daniels destroys critic with three word response after being attacked for sex with married Trump

Wednesday 29 March 2023 21:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Porn actor Stormy Daniels hit back at critics on Twitter amid the ongoing investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office into the hush money payment she received from former President Donald Trump’s then-fixer Michael Cohen in 2016.

Ms Daniels alleges that she had an affair with Mr Trump in 2006. She was paid off to keep quiet about the supposed extramarital activity.

Mr Trump insulted Ms Daniels during his Saturday rally in Waco, Texas, rejecting all allegations of an affair.

“Sex with Stormy Daniels is traumatic enough. Hasn’t President Trump been punished enough?” one Twitter user said.

Read more:

Stormy Daniels destroys critic after she’s attacked for sex with married Trump

Trump supporter pulls knife on woman with toddlers outside Manhattan court amid hush money probe

Wednesday 29 March 2023 20:45 , Rachel Sharp

A Donald Trump supporter has been arrested for pulling a knife on a woman with small children outside Manhattan Criminal Court – where the former president could soon appear to face charges.

Angelica Rucker, 39, was holding a sign that read “I’m With Trump Are You?” outside the courthouse at around 3.30pm on Monday afternoon when she got into an argument with two passers-by, a spokesperson for New York Courts told The Independent.

One of the passers-by was with two small children at the time – one of them in a stroller.

As the verbal argument continued, Ms Rucker allegedly pulled a knife from her right side belt hip area and “began menacing” one of the individuals with the knife, the spokesperson said.

At that point, court officers – who had converged on the area to investigate the commotion – drew their firearms and ordered the 39-year-old to drop the knife.

Read more:

Trump supporter pulls knife on woman with toddlers outside Manhattan court

Trump posts Truth Social message threatening ‘war’ over indictment

Wednesday 29 March 2023 20:15 , Eric Garcia

Former president Donald Trump suggested that his supporters their political opponents “a war” if the former president is indicted.

The former president re-posted right-wing columnist Wayne Allyn Root on Truth Social that included a link to his column entitled “Democrats Want to Indict & Arrest President Trump. They Want a War? Let’s Give it to Them.”

The article suggests that Republican district attorneys and attorneys general indict everyone from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former president Barack Obama, Hunter Biden, Anthony Fauci, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, former attorney general Eric Holder, Mark Zuckerberg, President Joe Bide, Vice President Kamala Harris and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Read more:

Trump posts Truth Social message threatening ‘war’ over indictment

VIDEO: Is Trump's indictment ruling taking too long?

Wednesday 29 March 2023 19:45 , The Independent

Biden and administration officials set to visit states expected to be close in 2024

Wednesday 29 March 2023 19:15 , AP

Biden has said he intends to run for a second term but has yet to formally launch his reelection campaign.

His effort to highlight legislative victories could also give him an opportunity to present voters with images of an administration focused on governing as Trump braces for a possible indictment.

Trump is being investigated over payments during his 2016 campaign to two women who alleged affairs or sexual encounters with him. The ex-president denies being involved with either of the women — porn actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal.

Trump narrowly won North Carolina in 2020. Among the other states that Biden and administration officials will be visiting in the weeks ahead are Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin — crucial battlegrounds that Biden won in 2020 and states expected to be competitive again in 2024.

Biden: GOP policies would surrender tech economy to China

Wednesday 29 March 2023 18:45 , AP

President Joe Biden said Tuesday that Republicans’ ideas for cutting the budget could undermine U.S. manufacturing and help China dominate the world economy.

Speaking at a semiconductor maker in North Carolina to highlight his own policies, Biden is trying to shape public sentiment as he faces off with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., about whether the federal government should raise its legal borrowing capacity.

McCarthy sent a letter Tuesday saying that talks should start about possible spending cuts in return for the debt limit increase. Biden has said Republicans need to put forth their own budget plan before negotiations start. Without an agreement, the federal government could default on its financial obligations.

The president tried to ratchet up pressure on Tuesday by saying that the GOP demands on the budget would only empower China, the country’s key geopolitical rival. Being tough on China has been a core part of the identity of former President Donald Trump, who is seeking to return to the White House in 2024, and his Make America Great Again movement. The Democratic president said their objections to his policies would instead strengthen China.