Fox News host says Trump must ‘learn to lose’
A new interview airing on NPR hears Donald Trump irritably ending his discussion with the broadcaster over questions about the Capitol insurrection and his fixation on non-existent election fraud in 2020.
Speaking to interviewer Steve Inskeep, Mr Trump disowned Republicans who have recognised his fraud claims as false, calling Mitch McConnell a “loser” for agreeing and decrying all those in his party who agree as “RINOs”. According to Mr Inskeep, the interview was meant to go on for 15 minutes but in the end only lasted nine because Mr Trump left the call.
The ex-president is facing further pressure from the select committee investigating the events of 6 January 2021, with the panel issuing subpoenas to a former White House speechwriter and aides to Donald Trump Jr. So far, many White House and Trump associates have refused to comply with the panel’s demands, but many others are thought to have given evidence in private and handed over relevant documents.
Meanwhile, the one-term president’s middle son, Eric Trump, lashed out at New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is leading a long-running probe into whether he or his company violated New York tax laws. Coming off the back of a lawsuit claiming Ms James’s efforts “are in no way connected to legitimate law enforcement goals, but rather, are merely a thinly-veiled effort to publicly malign Trump and his associates”, the president’s son claimed that her probe was unconstitutional.
The younger Trump made the incorrect statements during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News in which he claimed Ms James’s investigation into whether his family business violated New York tax laws is meant to keep his father from running for president in 2024 and amounts to “effectively handing” that election to President Joe Biden.
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January 6 committee subpoenas Kevin McCarthy
The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol moved on Wednesday to request that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the top-ranking House Republican, voluntarily provide information to the panel.
The move is a significant step for the panel, which so far has requested the same from just one other member of Congress, Rep Jim Jordan. Mr Jordan refused to comply with the committee’s request, and Mr McCarthy is likely to do the same.
The requests from the committee raise the potential that the lawmakers could face congressional subpoenas from the panel in the months ahead.
John Bowden12 January 2022 20:55
Three in four Americans say ‘political instability’ is US’s greatest threat while Trump spreads election lies
Three in four Americans said in a new Quinnipiac University poll that “political instability” is the greatest threat facing the US today. The feeling is widespread and Americans of all political backgrounds named it when responding to the survey.
One finding of the poll, which also saw dismal approval ratings for both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, was particularly bleak: “A majority of Americans, 58 – 37 percent, think the nation’s democracy is in danger of collapse.”
The survey comes as former President Donald Trump continues to push his baseless complaints of election fraud more than a year after losing the 2020 election, and simultaneously looks to be the favoured pick for GOP voters in the 2024 primary thus far.
John Bowden12 January 2022 20:23
Donald Trump Jr groans about ‘Lord Fauci’ being a victim of Rand Paul
Donald Trump Jr. went after Dr Anthony Fauci on Twitter after the latter chastised Sen Rand Paul at a committee hearing for spreading misinformation that Dr Fauci said was leading to death threats against him and his family.
In a pair of tweets, the former president’s eldest son reacted to the footage of Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
“If @RandPaul was a democrat people would also remember he was at the congressional baseball shooting and violently attacked by a neighbor on top of the below. But as a conservative/libertarian that will all be conveniently forgotten. Fauci ain’t seen nothing compared to Rand,” said Mr Trump Jr.
“Remember Lord Fauci is always the victim folks, no one else! Not your dead relatives, not your kids or their education, not your destroyed businesses/livelihoods, not Freedom as we knew it. It always has been and always will be about him,” he added.
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John Bowden12 January 2022 19:46
Washington Post: NPR interview with Trump didn’t change any minds
The Washington Post’s Philip Bump analysed former President Donald Trump’s disastrous interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep on Wednesday, describing it as doing little to move the dial in terms of support for Mr Trump’s falsehoods regarding the 2020 election.
The Post went on to explain that it was necessary for reporters to continue challenging falsehoods with facts, even if supporters of the former president were basing their beliefs about election fraud on emotions rather than facts.
“No one’s mind was changed by Inskeep’s interaction with Trump. But an honest actor should call him out on his falsehoods. It’s important to challenge a dishonest assertion that continues to power dangerous anger in the country. And, I would argue, it’s revealing that Trump’s attempts to parry Inskeep were so wan that he simply had to give up the fight,” wrote Mr Bump.
John Bowden12 January 2022 19:23
GOP senators refuse to back Trump’s election lies
A handful of GOP senators including members of Senate Republican leadership are coming to the defence of Mike Rounds, a South Dakota senator who ignited a feud with former President Donald Trump over the weekend.
Mr Rounds earned Mr Trump’s ire with a comment made during an ABC News interview, in which he said that the 2020 election had not been stolen by President Joe Biden. The quip resulted in a furious statement issued by the former president and a jab at Mr Rounds and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during an NPR interview.
Mr McConnell defended Mr Rounds on Tuesday, telling CNN that he agreed with Mr Rounds’s assessment of Mr Trump’s 2020 falsehoods.
“I think Sen. Rounds told the truth about what happened in the 2020 election,” he said.
Sen John Thune, another South Dakota senator and the Senate Minority Whip, added: “I don’t think re-litigating or rehashing the past is a winning strategy. If we want to be a majority in 2023, we’ve got to get out and articulate what we’re going to do with respect to the future the American people are going to live and the things they’re going to care about when it comes to economic issues, national security issues.”
John Bowden12 January 2022 18:11
Ex-girlfriend of Trump ally Gaetz set to testify on Wednesday
An ex-girlfriend of Congressman Matt Gaetz entered a federal courtroom to testify before a grand jury on Wednesday as it considered an indictment for Mr Gaetz, who is under federal investigation for sex trafficking.
A lawyer for the woman declined to comment to CNN. Mr Gaetz is accused of having sexual contact with a woman who was 17 at the time, and allegedly paid for her travel expenses.
Mr Gaetz has strongly denied the accusations, and portrayed the Justice Department’s investigation as a supposedly partisan effort by the agency to attack one of former President Donald Trump’s most loyal acolytes in the House.
His former confidant, Joel Greenberg, pleaded guilty to several similar charges last year and is thought to be cooperating with federal authorities in their pursuit of Mr Gaetz.
John Bowden12 January 2022 17:47
Conspiracy theories about insurrection continue to spread…
Many of the more lurid (and baseless) counter-narratives about what happened on 6 January are being driven by hosts at Fox News, in particular Tucker Carlson, who held Ted Cruz’s feet to the fire last week.
HuffPost’s Christopher Mathias has charted how, in just a few days, the Texas senator went from calling the Capitol riot a “terrorist attack” to floating a conspiracy theory about it in the very building where it occurred.
Andrew Naughtie12 January 2022 17:00
Biden to meet with Democrats to discuss voting rights legislation
Reports are coming thick and fast that Joe Biden will be having lunch with Democratic senators tomorrow as they try to hammer out a path forward on voting rights legislation – specifically on whether and how to change the chamber’s rules to pass it without Republican votes.
Andrew Naughtie12 January 2022 16:39
West Virginia governor feeling “extremely unwell” with Covid-19
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, a Democrat-turned-Republican who has often spoken out in favour of vaccination, will be skipping his State of the State address after developing Covid-19 symptoms.
In a statement, the governor – who has been vaccinated and boosted – said he is “surprised” to have tested positive but is thankful for the shots he’s received, and that he is receiving monoclonal antibody treatment.
“For this to happen just one night before the State of the State – knowing I won’t be able to be there – saddens me … but, because of this pandemic, we all must adjust and realise that our lives aren’t the same as they were a few short years ago,” he said.
Andrew Naughtie12 January 2022 16:20
Catch up: Trump’s implicit attack on Ron DeSantis
Donald Trump’s latest defence of Covid-19 vaccines – which he recently described as one of humanity’s all-time great achievements – saw him attacking Republicans who won’t say they’ve received their booster shots.
“I watched a couple of politicians be interviewed,” he said, “and one of the questions was, ‘Did you get the booster?’ Because they had the vaccine, and they’re answering like – in other words, the answer is ‘yes,’ but they don’t want to say it, because they’re gutless. You gotta say it, whether you had it or not, say it.”
Many have interpreted the ex-president’s words as an attack on Ron DeSantis, the Florida Governor who is widely seen as a likely successor to Mr Trump if he does not or cannot run in 2024. Mr DeSantis has repeatedly dodged questions about his vaccination status.
Andrew Naughtie12 January 2022 16:01