Trump news – live: Trump in mob photo scandal as Georgia judge weighs whether to release grand jury report

A judge in Georgia is set to hear arguments on Tuesday over the public release of a grand jury report following an eight-month probe into Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in that state.

The panel heard testimony and evidence about the abuse and harassment of election workers, a fake elector scheme, and Mr Trump’s infamous phone call to election officials to “find” enough votes for his victory.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump – who appears ready to ditch his Truth Social posting regimen and return to Twitter as he seeks the 2024 Republican nomination for president – is facing questions after posing for a photograph and flashing “thumbs up” with a notorious Philadelphia mob boss at his Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach earlier this month.

Joey “Skinny Joe” Merlino was imprisoned for nearly 12 years after he was convicted in 2001 of racketeering charges including extortion, bookmaking and receiving stolen property.

Key points

  • Trump turns memorial to vlogger into grievance-filled speech

  • What’s at stake in the Georgia grand jury investigation

  • Trump and his lawyer fined nearly $1m for Hillary Clinton lawsuit

  • Retreating Trump drops NY Lawsuit after $1m fine for Hillary case

  • Trump calls for arrest of Roe v Wade leak reporter after Court fails to find source

Trump fires at McConnell over debt ceiling fight: ‘stone cold CROOK’

17:46 , Alex Woodward

On his Truth Social account, Trump called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell either “the WORST negotiator” in politics or a “stone cold CROOK” after the Republican senator insisted that the US would not default on its debt and expected negotiations with the Biden administration to avert a disaster.

“There can be no other explanation as to why he has become such a rubber stamp for the Democrats. Republicans, use Debt Ceiling to get it all back!” Trump said on Monday.

House Republicans, meanwhile, are pushing the White House to agree to major spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling after GOP lawmakers voted to raise the debt ceiling three times during the Trump administration.

“In the end, I think the important thing to remember is that America must never default on its debt. It never has, and it never will,” Mr McConnell told reporters last week. “We’ll end up in some kind of negotiation with the administration over what the circumstances or conditions under which the debt ceiling be raised.”

What’s at stake in the Georgia grand jury investigation?

17:20 , Alex Woodward

A special grand jury investigating whether Trump and his allies illegally tried to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election in Georgia has wrapped up its work. But key questions remain, as a judge hears arguments about opening up the grand jury’s findings:

Key Georgia special grand jury hearing will discuss Trump probe. What’s at stake?

Breaking: Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk found guilty

17:07 , Alex Woodward

Roughly two years after his brush with viral fame, the man who boasted about writing a “nasty note” for Nancy Pelosi after kicking back in her chair and putting his workboot on her desk has been found guilty on all eight charges against him.

Richard “Bigo” Barnett testified in his own defense last week in one of the highest-profile trials connected to the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021. It took a jury only two hours to deliver a verdict.

Capitol rioter who put his feet on Pelosi’s desk found guilty

Donald Trump may need to wait months for Twitter return due to Truth Social contract

16:20 , Alex Woodward

Trump is currently subject to a “social media exclusivity” clause that requires him to post “any and all social media communications” to his Truth Social for six hours before posting to rival platforms, according to recently disclosed FEC filings.

The six-month rolling contract runs out in June and Trump does not plan to renew it, sources told Rolling Stone, as he plans to use all channels available for his 2024 presidential campaign.

Donald Trump’s Truth Social contract means he needs to wait months for Twitter return

ICYMI: Trump turns memorial for vlogger Diamond into campaign speech - and complains the service wasn’t 15 minutes

15:46 , Alex Woodward

The former president struggled to meet the mood of a memorial service for Ineitha Lynnette Hardaway, better known as “Diamond” of the pro-Trump duo Diamond and Silk, The Independent;s John Bowden reports.

Speaking Saturday at the gathering in North Carolina, Trump sounded more like a candidate delivering a stump speech than an ex-president memorialising a valued friend or political ally.

At one point, he even quipped that the service had gone on much longer than the “15 minutes” he was promised to deliver his remarks and leave.

Trump turns memorial for vlogger Diamond into rally speech - and gripes about length

A brief history of Donald Trump’s war on the media

15:25 , Alex Woodward

Following the “leak” of a draft of what became the US Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down Roe v Wade, Mr Trump has repeatedly demanded that the journalist and outlet that published the draft be thrown in jail if they don’t reveal their source, accelerating the former president’s public war on the media.

“It won’t take long before the name of this slime is revealed,” he said in a statement on his Truth Social account on 19 January.

It follows a pattern of attempts to undermine and vilify a press on which he once relied to develop his public persona as a self-made model of success that he used to propel himself to the White House.

Now facing a wave of criminal investigations, convictions against his company and credible accusations of misconduct in his second bid for the presidency, the former president is threatening to imprison journalists and using lawsuits to target First Amendment protections:

Lawsuits, jail threats and ‘enemy of the people’: Donald Trump’s war on the media

McCarthy to block Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from House intelligence committee

15:00 , Alex Woodward

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave committee seats to far-right conspiracy theorists Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar after they were removed by House members in the formerly Democratic-led chamber.

Now the Republican leader has vowed to remove Democratic members Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from their seats on the House intelligence committee, escalating his clashes with Democrats as he clings to a slim GOP majority ceding authority to a far-right flank.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries wrote a letter to Mr McCarthy arguing that he has no justifiable reason to block his appointments.

“It is my understanding that you intend to break with the longstanding House tradition of deference to the minority party Intelligence Committee recommendations and deny seats to Ranking Member Schiff and Representative Swalwell,” Mr Jeffries wrote in the letter obtained by The Washington Post. “The denial of seats to duly elected Members of the House Democratic Caucus runs counter to the serious and sober mission of the Intelligence Committee.”

Fulton County judge to decide release of grand jury report on Trump probe into election crimes

14:33 , Alex Woodward

Two weeks after the dissolve of a grand jury looking into whether Trump and his allies broke the law with his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, a judge will decide whether to release the panel’s final report.

The 23-member special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia convened for eight months and heard from prominent Trumpworld figures, including Rudy Giuliani and Lindsey Graham, as well as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and dozens of other witnesses, questioned aoubt the former president’s attempts to subvert the outcome of the election in the state.

The case has brought up the abuse and harassment of election workers in the state, the fake elector scheme, and Trump’s call to Georgia election officials to “find” enough votes for his victory in the state, which several audits have confirmed Joe Biden won.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could file criminal charges following the report’s public release, which Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney will determine after a hearing in the case on Tuesday.

Federal judge rules DeSantis wrongfully suspended twice-elected state attorney

14:00 , John Bowden

A federal judge has determined that Florida’s governor (and Donald Trump’s likely 2024 rival), Ron DeSantis, unconstitutionally suspended an elected state attorney who criticised the governor’s positions on abortion and transgender healthcare, but the judge said he did not have authority to return the prosecutor to office.

Alex Woodward reports.

DeSantis wrongfully suspended twice-elected state attorney, federal judge rules

ICYMI: Trump reacts to Monterey Park shooting by complaining about treatment of Jan 6 defendants

13:30 , John Bowden

Donald Trump offered an outlandish reaction Sunday morning to a mass shooting that left at least 10 people dead in California - using it to complain about the treatment of January 6 defendants.

“10 dead in California shooting, horrible gun wielding ANTIFA protest against our great police in Atlanta - Nothing will happen to them despite night of rage and destruction,” the former president posted on Truth Social. “Yet our January 6th protestors, over a Rigged Election, have had their lives ruined despite nobody killed except true Patriot Ashli B. This situation will be fully rectified after 2024 Election. Thank you!”

The post referred to a shooting that left at least 10 people dead and 10 others wounded in Monterey Park outside Los Angeles on Saturday night during Lunar New Year celebrations.

New Brett Kavanaugh documentary ‘picks up where FBI investigation fell short’, says director

13:00 , John Bowden

Director Doug Liman claims his new documentary about US Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh “picks up where the FBI investigation fell short”.

In 2018, Kavanaugh faced accusations from at least three women that he sexually assaulted them, or that they witnessed him sexually assaulting others.

The accusations were made after Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court by former president Donald Trump.

Peony Hirwani reports on Bourne Identity director’s latest project.

Doug Liman speaks about his new Brett Kavanaugh documentary

White House to McCarthy: No negotiations on debt limit

12:30 , John Bowden

The White House has some bad news for Kevin McCarthy as the newly-elected Speaker of the House prepares for a showdown with Democrats over the debt limit in the hopes of appeasing his far-right caucus members.

Joe Biden’s team is signaling that they will not accept any demands for concessions from Republicans over the issue, potentially setting Mr McCarthy up for a showdown with his own party.

Read more:

White House to McCarthy: No negotiations on debt limit

Bannon confronts Ronna Romney McDaniel as she hopes to be reelected chair of GOP

12:00 , John Bowden

Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, is arguing that she should remain in her current role as she is best able to convince Donald Trump not to run a third-party candidacy in 2024 should he not get the party’s nomination.

A report published on Thursday in The Washington Postsays Ms McDaniel is attempting to thwart challenges to her leadership of the RNC by stirring up fears of a Trump third-party run splitting the GOP’s base.

Ms McDaniel has faced criticism from RNC members for presiding over the disappointing 2022 midterm election results which saw the party only narrowly win the House of Representatives and lose a seat in the Senate. Many had predicted a red wave sweeping the nation two years into the Biden presidency and propelling the GOP into full control of Congress.

With some party members blaming Mr Trump for the poor electoral performance many also appear to believe that Ms McDaniel is far too tied to him to continue to lead the party and that it is time to move on.

Steve Bannon asked Ms McDaniel about the criticism of her leadership on his show. Accusing her main challenger Harmeet Dhillon of lying about her, Mr Bannon asks her to be specific:

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Trump posts another poll showing him ahead of Ron DeSantis

11:00 , John Bowden

Donald Trump remains keen to remind his would-be 2024 rivals that he is still the Republican Party base’s top choice for their nominee, at least for now.

The ex-president “truthed” a graphic made by his team from a bimonthly tracking poll taken by Big Village polling; the survey shows Mr Trump supported by more than half of all GOP voters. Mr DeSantis was, once again, the only other Republican cracking double digits.

He has posted such data with more intensity in recent weeks following a dismal showing by many of his chosen candidates and the GOP as a whole in November’s midterms; many party elites have publicly signaled their growing disdain for the former president in the wake of those results.

Top Biden aide Ron Klain expected to leave White House within weeks

10:00 , John Bowden

White House chief of staff Ron Klain, who has spent more than two years as President Joe Biden's top aide, is preparing to leave his job in the coming weeks, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mr Klain's expected departure comes not long after the White House and Democrats had a better-than-expected showing in the November elections, buoyed by a series of major legislative accomplishments, including a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a sweeping climate, health care and tax package that all Republicans rejected.

Read more:

Top Biden aide Ron Klain expected to leave White House within weeks

ICYMI: Active duty US Marines charged over Capitol riot

09:00 , John Bowden

Three US Marines have been charged with participating in the January 6 riots after one of them posted photos from inside the US Capitol to their Instagram account.

Micah Coomer, Dodge Dale Hellonen, and Joshua Abate were slapped with federal misdemeanor charges after allegedly joining hundreds of Trump supporters in storming the Capitol to prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election, according to a criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday.

Bevan Hurley has the details.

Three active duty US Marines charged over Jan 6 riot

Biden: ‘no there there’ with classified documents

08:00 , John Bowden

Joe Biden is insisting that there is“no there there” following the discovery of classified documents at the president’s home and his post-vice presidential office.

Mr Biden used the phrase, first coined by the writer Gertrude Stein, as he dismissed the scandal during a visit to storm-ravaged California.

Graeme Massie reports from California.

Biden insists there’s ‘nothing’ in classified paper scandal, polls tell otherwise

Voices: Trump thinks Politico journalists should be jailed. This should be a turning point

07:00 , John Bowden

Clayton Weimers of Reporters Without Borders writes:

This push to jail journalists for doing their jobs — their Constitutionally protected jobs — echoes a speech Trump gave last November, during which he mused about the same reporter being sexually assaulted in jail: “The reporter goes to jail. When the reporter learns he’s going to be married to a certain prisoner that’s extremely strong, tough, and mean, he will say, ‘You know, I think I’m going to give you the information.’”

This isn’t mere idle talk. According to the New York Times, while president, Trump told FBI Director James Comey “to consider putting reporters in prison” during an Oval Office meeting. More recently, Rolling Stone reported that Trump gathered advisors to discuss ways around the First Amendment in order to emulate authoritarian leaders’ crackdowns on journalists.

Read on:

Trump thinks Politico journalists should be jailed. This should be a turning point

ICYMI: Press freedom advocate calls Trump’s demand to jail reporters ‘appalling’

06:00 , John Bowden

Donald Trump’s demand to jail a reporter who broke the story of a leaked Supreme Court draft has been denounced as “appalling” by a leading press freedom activist.

The top court has said that an eight-month investigation to try and identify who had leaked the draft of decision to overturn Roe v Wade had been unable to uncover the source of the leak.

The leaked draft, and its shuddering implications for the country, were published in May by Politico.

The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe reports from Seattle:

Trump’s demand to jail reporter condemned as ‘appalling’ by press freedom activist

Hillary Clinton supporters goad Trump over lawsuit fine

05:00 , John Bowden

Hillary Clinton supporters are taunting Donald Trump after he withdrew a $250m lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James, which followed a warning from a federal judge regarding a lawsuit against his 2016 opponent and other officials.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Hillary supporters goad Trump as he’s fined $1m for ‘revenge’ lawsuit against her

‘Insult to the rule of law’: White House blasts Trump call to jail Supreme Court leak journalists

04:00 , John Bowden

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has forcefully condemned Donald Trump’s call to jail the Politico journalists who reported on the Supreme Court’s leaked decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

The twice-impeached ex-president, who during his term repeatedly disparaged the press as “the enemy of the people” and suggested White House reporters who reported unflattering information about him and his administration could be tried for treason, took to his Truth Social platform on Thursday after ater a Supreme Court leak investigation failed to identify a person responsible for leaking a draft of the high court’s Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization opinion to Politico last year.

Andrew Feinberg reports from the White House.

White House forcefully condemns Trump’s ‘complete insult to the rule of law’

Federal judge rules DeSantis wrongfully suspended twice-elected state attorney

03:00 , John Bowden

A federal judge has determined that Florida’s governor (and Donald Trump’s likely 2024 rival), Ron DeSantis, unconstitutionally suspended an elected state attorney who criticised the governor’s positions on abortion and transgender healthcare, but the judge said he did not have authority to return the prosecutor to office.

Alex Woodward reports.

DeSantis wrongfully suspended twice-elected state attorney, federal judge rules

New Brett Kavanaugh documentary ‘picks up where FBI investigation fell short’, says director

02:00 , John Bowden

Director Doug Liman claims his new documentary about US Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh “picks up where the FBI investigation fell short”.

In 2018, Kavanaugh faced accusations from at least three women that he sexually assaulted them, or that they witnessed him sexually assaulting others.

The accusations were made after Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court by former president Donald Trump.

Peony Hirwani reports on Bourne Identity director’s latest project.

Doug Liman speaks about his new Brett Kavanaugh documentary

The Trump v Clinton lawsuit: a brief history

01:00 , John Bowden

Donald Trump and one of his attorneys have been fined almost $1m by a federal judge in Florida over what he ruled had been a “frivolous” lawsuit launched against ex-US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and 30 other defendants.

Mr Trump had claimed his opponents had attempted to rig the 2016 US presidential election to try to prevent him from winning.

Joe Sommerlad takes a look at how that panned out:

A brief history of Donald Trump’s failed lawsuit against Hillary Clinton

Trump touts new poll showing overwhelming GOP support

00:00 , John Bowden

Donald Trump is still seeing heavy support from Republicans - and he’s not being quiet about it.

Taking to Truth Social on Saturday, the ex-president shared a news story about a new poll which showed him well ahead of his 2024 rivals.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released to The Hill shows Mr Trump at the top of a theoretical eight-way primary with 48 per cent of voters indicating they’d pick him.

That’s miles ahead of the 28 per cent who favoured Mr Trump’s main rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Trailing far behind in third place with 7 per cent was former vice president Mike Pence, followed by former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Senator Marco Rubio tied at just 3 per cent.

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel claims being able to wrangle Trump is why she should keep job, report says

Sunday 22 January 2023 23:00 , John Bowden

Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, is arguing that she should remain in her current role as she is best able to convince Donald Trump not to run a third-party candidacy in 2024 should he not get the party’s nomination.

A report published on Thursday in The Washington Postsays Ms McDaniel is attempting to thwart challenges to her leadership of the RNC by stirring up fears of a Trump third-party run splitting the GOP’s base.

Ms McDaniel has faced criticism from RNC members for presiding over the disappointing 2022 midterm election results which saw the party only narrowly win the House of Representatives and lose a seat in the Senate. Many had predicted a red wave sweeping the nation two years into the Biden presidency and propelling the GOP into full control of Congress.

With some party members blaming Mr Trump for the poor electoral performance many also appear to believe that Ms McDaniel is far too tied to him to continue to lead the party and that it is time to move on.

Steve Bannon asked Ms McDaniel about the criticism of her leadership on his show. Accusing her main challenger Harmeet Dhillon of lying about her, Mr Bannon asks her to be specific:

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ICYMI: Trump reacts to Monterey Park shooting by complaining about treatment of Jan 6 defendants

Sunday 22 January 2023 22:30 , John Bowden

Donald Trump offered an outlandish reaction Sunday morning to a mass shooting that left at least 10 people dead in California - using it to complain about the treatment of January 6 defendants.

“10 dead in California shooting, horrible gun wielding ANTIFA protest against our great police in Atlanta - Nothing will happen to them despite night of rage and destruction,” the former president posted on Truth Social. “Yet our January 6th protestors, over a Rigged Election, have had their lives ruined despite nobody killed except true Patriot Ashli B. This situation will be fully rectified after 2024 Election. Thank you!”

The post referred to a shooting that left at least 10 people dead and 10 others wounded in Monterey Park outside Los Angeles on Saturday night during Lunar New Year celebrations.

The gunman - who police have only described as a male - is still at large after opening fire at a dance ballroom.

Operative jumps from Haley PAC to Pence's amid 2024 jostling

Sunday 22 January 2023 22:00 , John Bowden

Mike Pence may be picking up steam as he tries to establish himself as a plausible national contender in a 2024 GOP primary.

The executive director of former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley‘s political action committee is leaving to help run PAC efforts for former Vice President Mike Pence, a defection that comes as both former Trump administration officials consider 2024 Republican presidential bids.

Donald Trump himself is also running for the White House once again.

Read more in The Independent:

Operative jumps from Haley PAC to Pence's amid 2024 jostling

White House to McCarthy: No negotiations on debt limit

Sunday 22 January 2023 21:30 , John Bowden

The White House has some bad news for Kevin McCarthy as the newly-elected Speaker of the House prepares for a showdown with Democrats over the debt limit in the hopes of appeasing his far-right caucus members.

Joe Biden’s team is signaling that they will not accept any demands for concessions from Republicans over the issue, potentially setting Mr McCarthy up for a showdown with his own party.

Read more:

White House to McCarthy: No negotiations on debt limit

Trump posts another poll showing him ahead of Ron DeSantis

Sunday 22 January 2023 21:00 , John Bowden

Donald Trump remains keen to remind his would-be 2024 rivals that he is still the Republican Party base’s top choice for their nominee, at least for now.

The ex-president “truthed” a graphic made by his team from a bimonthly tracking poll taken by Big Village polling; the survey shows Mr Trump supported by more than half of all GOP voters. Mr DeSantis was, once again, the only other Republican cracking double digits.

He has posted such data with more intensity in recent weeks following a dismal showing by many of his chosen candidates and the GOP as a whole in November’s midterms; many party elites have publicly signaled their growing disdain for the former president in the wake of those results.

Trump turns memorial for vlogger Diamond into campaign speech - and complains the service wasn’t 15 minutes

Sunday 22 January 2023 20:30 , John Bowden

Donald Trump struggled to meet the mood of a memorial service for Ineitha Lynnette Hardaway, better known as “Diamond” of the pro-Trump duo Diamond and Silk.

Speaking Saturday at the gathering in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the former president at times sounded more like a candidate delivering a stump speech than an ex-president memorialising a valued friend or political ally.

At one point, he even quipped that the service had gone on much longer than the “15 minutes” he was promised to deliver his remarks and leave.

Watch the moment below:

Trump turns memorial for vlogger Diamond into rally speech - and gripes about length

Top Democrats say Biden should be ‘embarrassed’ by classified documents case after more papers found

Sunday 22 January 2023 19:59 , John Bowden

Senior Democrats, dismayed by a steady stream of startling disclosures, expressed criticism Sunday of how President Joe Biden handled classified material after leaving office as vice president and disappointment that the White House has not been more forthcoming with the public.

Lawmakers who might have anticipated questions focusing on the debt limit or Ukraine aid when they were booked last week for the Sunday news shows found themselves quizzed about the latest development over the weekend in the document drama that has put Biden’s presidency on the defensive: During a search Friday of Mr Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, the FBI found additional documents with classified markings and took possession of some of his handwritten notes, the president’s lawyer said Saturday.

It’s an embarrasing situation for Joe Biden as he moves into the new year with a Republican majority in the House for the first time.

Read more:

Top Democrats say Biden should be ‘embarrassed’ by classified documents case

‘Insult to the rule of law’: White House blasts Trump call to jail Supreme Court leak journalists

Sunday 22 January 2023 19:30 , John Bowden

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has forcefully condemned Donald Trump’s call to jail the Politico journalists who reported on the Supreme Court’s leaked decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

The twice-impeached ex-president, who during his term repeatedly disparaged the press as “the enemy of the people” and suggested White House reporters who reported unflattering information about him and his administration could be tried for treason, took to his Truth Social platform on Thursday after ater a Supreme Court leak investigation failed to identify a person responsible for leaking a draft of the high court’s Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization opinion to Politico last year.

Andrew Feinberg reports from the White House.

White House forcefully condemns Trump’s ‘complete insult to the rule of law’

George Santos celebrated engagement to a man while he was married to a woman

Sunday 22 January 2023 19:00 , John Bowden

The politics world continues to be rocked by new revelations around Republican Congressman George Santos - with a new report claiming that he invited friends over to celebrate his engagement to a man, which he was reportedly still married to a woman.

In a 2014 Facebook “engagement dinner” invitation, Mr Santos — or Anthony Devolder, depending on the day — invited his friends to celebrate his engagement to someone who wasn’t his wife, The Daily Beast reports.

“Good evening everyone! As you all may already know Pedro and I have decided to join our toothbrushes! Lol and a very few friends have been selected to share this special moment with us,” Mr Santos wrote in the invitation.

Mr Santos and his wife would not divorce until five years later.

The Daily Beast learned of the invitation from Mr Santos’ old roommate, Greg Morey-Parker. Pedro Vilarva, the man mentioned in the invitation, also confirmed that Mr Santos planned the celebration.

The Independent’s Graig Graziosi has more:

George Santos celebrated engagement while he was already married, report says

Voices: Trump thinks Politico journalists should be jailed. This should be a turning point

Sunday 22 January 2023 18:30 , John Bowden

Clayton Weimers of Reporters Without Borders writes:

This push to jail journalists for doing their jobs — their Constitutionally protected jobs — echoes a speech Trump gave last November, during which he mused about the same reporter being sexually assaulted in jail: “The reporter goes to jail. When the reporter learns he’s going to be married to a certain prisoner that’s extremely strong, tough, and mean, he will say, ‘You know, I think I’m going to give you the information.’”

This isn’t mere idle talk. According to the New York Times, while president, Trump told FBI Director James Comey “to consider putting reporters in prison” during an Oval Office meeting. More recently, Rolling Stone reported that Trump gathered advisors to discuss ways around the First Amendment in order to emulate authoritarian leaders’ crackdowns on journalists.

Read on:

Trump thinks Politico journalists should be jailed. This should be a turning point

Pro-Trump former congressman joins anti-McDaniel push

Sunday 22 January 2023 18:00 , John Bowden

Madison Cawthorn isn’t keen to fade away from the political scene now that he is once again a private citizen.

The former congressman left the House in January after being booted out in a primary last year — though by all accounts, he had ceased providing constituent services months earlier.

Now, he’s in Florida, attending rallies against the reelection of GOP chair Ronna Romney McDaniel with none other than Congressman Matt Gaetz.

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Clinton supporters goad Trump over ‘frivolous’ lawsuit fine

Sunday 22 January 2023 17:30 , John Bowden

Hillary Clinton supporters are taunting Donald Trump after he withdrew a $250m lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James, which followed a warning from a federal judge regarding a lawsuit against his 2016 opponent and other officials.

Read more from The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander:

Hillary supporters goad Trump as he’s fined $1m for ‘revenge’ lawsuit against her

Trump continues war against McConnell

Sunday 22 January 2023 17:00 , John Bowden

Mitch McConnell is officially Donald Trump’s #1 target on Truth Social — after Joe Biden and the various law enforcement agencies closing in around him.

The ex-president posted another “Truth” about the GOP Senate minority leader on Saturday evening, blaming him for Joe Biden’s success.

“Mitch McConnell has made the Biden Presidency “look” MUCH better than it would have without the Old Crow pushing massive Green New Deal type funding for the Radical Left Democrats. Inflation and Debt will be the end result, however, not good for anybody, especially our Country!” he wrote.

Trump gripes about length of his supporter’s funeral - from the podium

Sunday 22 January 2023 16:30 , John Bowden

Donald Trump was in Fayetteville, North Carolina this weekend for the funeral of Ineitha Lynnette Hardaway, better known as “Diamond” of the duo Diamond and Silk. The two were top supporters of his during the 2016 and 2020 elections.

Mr Trump was invited onstage to give remarks during the event — and, shockingly, chose to gripe about the length of the funeral service he was sitting through.

Watch below:

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Lawsuits, jail threats and ‘enemy of the people’: Donald Trump’s endless war on the media

Sunday 22 January 2023 16:00 , John Bowden

After paving his path to celebrity with a media image of enormous wealth and self-made success, Donald Trump has spent years attacking critical coverage, falsely accusing reporters of lying, and publicly suggesting they should be imprisoned for imaginary crimes.

The former president’s rhetoric has alarmed civil rights groups and press freedom advocates, warning his potentially chilling remarks pose a threat to constitutionally protected speech.

During the four years of his presidency, he called journalists and news outlets “fake news” roughly 2,000 times, averaging more than one daily broadside against the press and continuing a long legacy of attempts to undermine his critics that has continued well after his time in the White House.

Alex Woodward takes a look at the ex-president’s long, contentious relationship with the media as he prepares to battle them again in 2024:

Lawsuits, jail threats and ‘enemy of the people’: Donald Trump’s war on the media

Trump reacts to Monterey Park shooting by complaining about treatment of Jan 6 defendants

Sunday 22 January 2023 15:27 , John Bowden

Donald Trump offered an outlandish reaction Sunday morning to a mass shooting that left at least 10 people dead in California - using it to complain about the treatment of January 6 defendants.

“10 dead in California shooting, horrible gun wielding ANTIFA protest against our great police in Atlanta - Nothing will happen to them despite night of rage and destruction,” the former president posted on Truth Social. “Yet our January 6th protestors, over a Rigged Election, have had their lives ruined despite nobody killed except true Patriot Ashli B. This situation will be fully rectified after 2024 Election. Thank you!”

The post referred to a shooting that left at least 10 people dead and 10 others wounded in Monterey Park outside Los Angeles on Saturday night during Lunar New Year celebrations.

The gunman - who police have only described as a male - is still at large after opening fire at a dance ballroom.

Trump touts new poll showing overwhelming GOP support

Sunday 22 January 2023 14:00 , Megan Sheets

Donald Trump is still seeing heavy support from Republicans - and he’s not being quiet about it.

Taking to Truth Social on Saturday, the ex-president shared a news story about a new poll which showed him well ahead of his 2024 rivals.

The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll survey released to The Hill shows Mr Trump at the top of a theoretical eight-way primary with 48 per cent of voters indicating they’d pick him.

That’s miles ahead of the 28 per cent who favoured Mr Trump’s main rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Trailing far behind in third place with 7 per cent was former vice president Mike Pence, followed by former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Senator Marco Rubio tied at just 3 per cent.

The Trump v Clinton lawsuit: a brief history

Sunday 22 January 2023 12:00 , Megan Sheets

Donald Trump and one of his attorneys have been fined almost $1m by a federal judge in Florida over what he ruled had been a “frivolous” lawsuit launched against ex-US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and 30 other defendants.

Mr Trump had claimed his opponents had attempted to rig the 2016 US presidential election to try to prevent him from winning.

Joe Sommerlad takes a look at how that panned out:

A brief history of Donald Trump’s failed lawsuit against Hillary Clinton

Voices: Trump thinks Politico journalists should be jailed. This should be a turning point

Sunday 22 January 2023 10:00 , Megan Sheets

Clayton Weimers of Reporters Without Borders writes:

This push to jail journalists for doing their jobs — their Constitutionally protected jobs — echoes a speech Trump gave last November, during which he mused about the same reporter being sexually assaulted in jail: “The reporter goes to jail. When the reporter learns he’s going to be married to a certain prisoner that’s extremely strong, tough, and mean, he will say, ‘You know, I think I’m going to give you the information.’”

This isn’t mere idle talk. According to the New York Times, while president, Trump told FBI Director James Comey “to consider putting reporters in prison” during an Oval Office meeting. More recently, Rolling Stone reported that Trump gathered advisors to discuss ways around the First Amendment in order to emulate authoritarian leaders’ crackdowns on journalists.

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Trump thinks Politico journalists should be jailed. This should be a turning point