Trump says woman in MAGA dress has the ‘greatest outfit’
As the US’s Covid-19 death toll officially hits 1 million, Dr Anthony Fauci, the senior public health adviser who became a national figure during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, has confirmed that he would not want to serve in another Trump administration.
“Would you have confidence in his ability to deal with a pandemic of this nature?” he was asked by CNN’s Jim Acosta yesterday. “Would you want to stay on at your post?”
“Well, no to the second question,” he laughed. “The first question… if you look at the history of what the response was during the administration, I think, you know, at best you could say it wasn’t optimal. And I think just history will speak for itself.”
Pressed to say he would not serve with Mr Trump again, he was clearer: “Right. For sure.”
In a separate interview, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mused on the perverse impact Mr Trump has had on the judiciary. “Who would have ever suspected that a creature like Donald Trump would become president of the United States,” she said.
Biden reverses Trump’s Somalia withdrawal
President Joe Biden earlier this month signed an order redeploying hundreds of US ground forces to Somalia for efforts against Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda-aligned militant group based in the region.
His decision reverses a withdrawal of those forces ordered by former President Donald Trump and completed just three days before Mr Biden was sworn in last year.
Read more in The Independent:
John Bowden16 May 2022 18:33
ICYMI: Donald Trump is developing a Netflix alternative
A media company started by former President Donald Trump is devloping a streaming service that it hopes will be able to challenge big services like Netflix and Hulu.
The Trump Media and Technology Group made the announcement in an advertisement on Wednesday, which stated that the streaming service currently titled “TMTG+” would “be the home for a wide variety of non-scripted, scripted, and original content” once it was up and running.
The company also runs Mr Trump’s fledgling social media venture, Truth Social, which struggled to clear a lengthy waitlist and get up and running earlier this year. The platform’s popularity has sank in recent weeks and last month ceased trending in the Apple app store.
Read more from The Independent’s Sravasti Dasgupta:
John Bowden16 May 2022 18:05
Mike Pompeo visits Iranian resistance museum
Mike Pompeo was in Albania on Monday as the former secretary of State continues to establish his brand within the Republican Party and elevate his status as a potential 2024 candidate or even running mate for Donald Trump, his onetime boss.
A photo and video posted on the Twitter feed of Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, showed her meeting with Mr Pompeo at a museum dedicated to opposition efforts against Iran’s government. Mr Pompeo has long supported the NCRI and has previously spoken at the group’s events along with other hawkish Republican figures like Ted Cruz, Mike Pence, and others.
The image is a reminder that Mr Pompeo is maneuvering to launch a 2024 primary bid if his former boss does not run again, while a person close to Mr Trump told NBC News in late March that the former secretary was on a shortlist of potential running mates for the former president, who has fallen out with Mr Pence following the latter’s refusal to support his bid to overturn the 2020 election.
John Bowden16 May 2022 17:39
Ted Cruz scores a campaign finance win
The US Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Ted Cruz in a case focused on the amount political candidates can lend their campaigns, removing limits on how much a candidate can pay themselves back when they loan their campaigns money.
The ruling stems from Mr Cruz’s 2018 re-election effort, during which the Texas senator loaned his campaign a total of $260,000. The campaign began to pay him back after his victory, but the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act stipulates that campaigns can only pay a candidate back for contributions for more than $250,000 within 20 days after an election, and then the money is treated as a campaign contribution. That meant that Mr Cruz’s campaign could not refund him $10,000 of his own money.
In a dissent signed by the court’s three liberals, Elena Kagan criticised the implications of the ruling. “The politician is happy; the donors are happy. The only loser is the public. It inevitably suffers from government corruption.”
Eric Garcia has the story.
Andrew Naughtie16 May 2022 17:10
Kathy Barnette won’t support other PA candidates if they beat her
Kathy Barnette, the “ultra-Maga” Republican making a last-minute surge toward victory in the Pennsylvania Senate primary, has struck a combative tone against critics pointing to her long history of open Islamophobia – and now, she’s insisted she won’t be backing either of her leading rivals if they beat her.
Until Ms Barnette’s rise – largely fuelled by a dramatic rise in coverage in the hardcore right-wing media ecosystem – Dr Mehmet Oz was the prohibitive favourite for the Republican nomination. However, despite getting Donald Trump’s coveted endorsement, he has proven unable to pull away from the field, and many conservatives find his record of liberal positions impossible to stomach.
Read more from Andrew Feinberg on Ms Barnette’s controversial comments.
Andrew Naughtie16 May 2022 16:44
Man who staged bomb threat near Capitol to appear in court
Floyd Roseberry, who last year parked a truck on Capitol Hill that he claimed was carrying an explosive device, is set to appear in court today to ask for release from jail.
While he was found psychologically fit to stand trial, Mr Roseberry’s mental health at the time of the incident is a key part of the case. Scott MacFarlane reports that Mr Roseberry is claiming he was on the wrong medication at the time of the incident.
Andrew Naughtie16 May 2022 16:13
Poll: Should Trump be allowed back on Twitter?
While there have been some hiccups in his Twitter takeover lately, Elon Musk has confirmed that in his view, Donald Trump should be allowed back on the platform.
At a recent event, Mr Musk called the move to ban the ex-president after the 6 January insurrection “a morally bad decision”, saying that £it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
The Independent is keen to find out readers’ views. To let us know, vote in the poll below and feel free to tell us what answer you chose and why in the comments.
Andrew Naughtie16 May 2022 15:43
Trump announces a 2020 election book
Speaking at an event in Austin, Texas this weekend, Donald Trump was as ever full of complaints about the supposed theft of the 2020 election – and even announced to his assembled supporters that he will be penning a book about it.
The volume will be imperiously titled The Crime of the Century, a phrase Mr Trump has used to describe multiple separate actions he feels targeted him unfairly.
Trump is writing a book on how presidency was stolen from him
Read more from Indy100 here.
Andrew Naughtie16 May 2022 15:15
Tom Cotton sells book with ominous martial imagery
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, a hardline Republican who among other things called for troops to be sent into American cities to deal with Black Lives Matter protesters, is publishing a pre-presidential-run-style book railing against the left – and judging by the cover, its rhetoric will not exactly be conciliatory.
It comes at a time when concerns about the belligerence of right-wing rhetoric is increasingly viewed as a radicalisation threat, including among far-right-leaning former veterans who join groups such as the Oath Keepers.
Andrew Naughtie16 May 2022 14:45
Trump gets behind Madison Cawthorn
Posting on his bespoke platform Truth Social, Donald Trump has weighed in behalf of Madison Cawthorn, the embattled far-right congressman who faces a slew of Republican challengers in his primary tomorrow.
According to FiveThirtyEight, polling in the race has been scant, but Mr Cawthorn’s spending has topped $3m, giving him at least one edge. Depending on how he polls in the end, he may face a single Republican challenger in a July runoff.
Andrew Naughtie16 May 2022 14:15