Eric Trump claims Putin could tell Donald Trump was ‘a very strong person’
Former president Donald Trump began his day with a bizarre phone interview on Fox Business in the course of which he referred to Vladimir Putin’s nuclear threats as “the n-word”, dismissed climate change as “a thing called weather”, and insisted he would continue running on the supposed theft of the 2020 election despite the host’s suggestion it could hurt Republicans at the polls.
His excitable morning comes after an event over the weekend during which he appeared to promise a return to the White House.
“With the support of everyone in this room, we will take back the House, we will take back the Senate and we will take back our country,” he said at the “American Freedom Tour” in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “And then most importantly in 2024, we are going to take back our beautiful White House”.
Following his remarks, Republican US Rep Liz Cheney warned that the ex-president could face criminal penalties over attacks on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021, telling NBC that the House select committee investigating the assault is considering whether to recommend criminal punishment for the “kind of supreme dereliction of duty that you saw with President Trump”.
Twitter suspends ‘satire’ account for misgendering Biden administration’s assistant health secretary
US Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine – the first openly transgender four-star officer in any of the US – is a frequent target among transphobic and anti-LGBT+ right-wing figures. She was recently honored by USA Today as one of the publication’s women of the year.
Twitter suspended the account of right-wing satire website the Babylon Bee for posting “The Babylon Bee’s Man Of The Year is Rachel Levine.”
CEO Seth Dillon suggested he won’t deleted the post to gain access to the account.
“They could, of course, delete the tweet themselves. But they won’t. It’s not enough for them to just wipe it out. They want us to bend the knee and admit that we are engaged in hateful conduct,” he said on Twitter.
Last week, Twitter flagged a similar post from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton – whose state is seeking to prosecute gender-affirming healthcare for minors as “child abuse” – but the platform left the post up with a warning label.
Alex Woodward22 March 2022 02:00
Trump’s PAC has more cash than both parties combined – but he’s not spending much of it
Trump’s Save America PAC amassed $110m by the end of February after collecting $m that month but spending just $1.2m, according to FEC filings.
His PAC war chest is bigger than those of the Democratic and Republican national committees combined.
So far, Trump seems to be keeping the money for himself, with no new donations or independent expenditures backing Trump-endorsed candidates, according to Politico.
But the filings “reveal substantial payments to two law firms representing high-profile witnesses” sought by the House select committee investigating the Capitol attack.
Alex Woodward22 March 2022 01:00
‘A thing called weather’
In an interview with Fox Business on Monday, Donald Trump – asked whether he believes the climate crisis is happening – said in his “opinion” there’s “a thing called weather.”
“The climate’s always been changing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Florida – home of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort – is at the center of the nation’s sea-level rise.
Even with conservative projections of sea level rise, water could be sloshing over his home’s manicured lawns from the intracoastal waterway in the next 30 years, according to Climate Central’s coastal risk screening tool based on the latest NOAA data.
Alex Woodward22 March 2022 00:00
Giuliani says Trump threatened to blow up Russia’s churches in Putin call
In an interview with right-wing cable network Newsmax, Rudy Giuliani claimed that Trump once threatened Putin with a campaign of church bombings.
Alex Woodward21 March 2022 23:15
Trump says Putin is ‘constantly using the n-word’ – as in ‘nuclear’
In an interview with Fox Business, Trump said Vladimir Putin keeps using the “n-word” – as in “nuclear” – and claimed that the Russian president is a “different” man than the one he interacted with during his time in the White House.
“I listen to him constantly using the n-word, that’s the n-word, and he’s constantly using it, the nuclear word,” he said on Monday.
Alex Woodward21 March 2022 22:40
New York AG responds to Trump attempts to refuse subpoenas in Trump Organization probe
New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office is presiding over a sweeping civil investigation into the Trump family business, said she is undeterred by their latest attempt to delay or overturn a subpoena request for their testimony.
“Despite continuous efforts to impede this investigation, no one can stop our pursuit of justice, no matter how powerful they are,” she said in a statement. “We will continue to follow the facts without fear or favor.”
Alex Woodward21 March 2022 22:00
New Mexico residents sue to remove county commissioner from office over Jan 6 participation
New Mexico county commissioner Couy Griffin should be removed from office and disqualified from holding future office under the 14th Amendment after participating in the events surrounding the Capitol attack, according to a lawsuit filed by a group of residents.
Griffin – founder of Cowboys for Trump – is currently on trial for two misdemeanor charges (entering a restricted area at the Capitol and disruptive or disorderly conduct) related to the assault. He is not accused of entering the building.
Noah Bookbinder, president of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said Griffin “has used his public platform to spread the false narrative that the election was stolen from Donald Trump and to defend the attack on our Capitol,” and that “his actions on January 6th were part of and contributed to an insurrection, and his tenure in government continues to be a threat to our democracy.”
“It’s time for Couy Griffin to be removed from office,” he said.
Alex Woodward21 March 2022 21:30
Ketanji Brown Jackson’s husband tearful as she delivers opening remarks while daughter looks on smiling
As Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson delivered her opening statement during her Senate confirmation hearings for the US Supreme Court, her husband Dr Patrick Jackson was understandably emotional behind her.
The Independent‘s John Bowden in Washington has more on the historic moment:
Alex Woodward21 March 2022 21:09
Pro-Trump Senate hopeful Mo Brooks says he will ‘fire’ Mitch McConnell if he’s elected
Alabama US Rep Mo Brooks, who is in a three-way primary for the Republican nomination to replace retiring Senator Richard Shelby, accused Mitch McConnell of being a “weak-kneed, debt junkie” in a new campaign advert.
His ad arrives just days after Trump said he might withdraw his endorsement of Brooks, who said the former president is in “a war for the heart and soul of the Republican Party” against the GOP Senate leader.
The Independent‘s Bevan Hurley has more on the Senate hopeful’s attempts to bring Trump back in his favor and the GOP’s battle over insufficient deference to the ex-president.
Alex Woodward21 March 2022 20:28
Ketanji Brown Jackson vows transparency and to serve ‘without fear or favour’
Ketanji Brown Jackson closed the first day of her confirmation hearings with a pledge to remain transparent and serve without “fear or favour” if she is confirmed as the 116th US Supreme Court justice.
“If I am confirmed, I commit to you that I will work productively to support and defend the Constitution, and this grand experiment of American democracy that has endured over these past 246 years,” she said at the opening of her remarks.
“I evaluate the facts and I interpret and apply the law to the facts of the case before me without fear or favor consistent with my judicial oath,” she said.
More follows from The Independent‘s Eric Garcia in Washington:
Alex Woodward21 March 2022 20:02