As he heads back out on the campaign trail today, a group of House Republicans have launched an effort to have Washington Dulles International Airport renamed after Donald Trump as a “symbol of freedom”.

The move is highly unlikely to succeed and has been met with derision from Democrats in northern Virginia where the airport is situated.

Meanwhile, the former president has posted the $175m bond in his New York civil fraud case late on Monday, temporarily halting enforcement of the full $464m in penalties the former president faces after his company was found guilty of misrepresenting the value of its assets over a ten-year to swindle banks and insurers.

The belated bond payment came as state officials were preparing to seize Mr Trump’s properties to fulfill the judgement.

Meanwhile, the judge in the Republican presidential candidate’s hush money trial has moved to tighten his gag order in accordance with a request from Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg over Mr Trump’s continued and “vitriolic” attacks on the justice’s family.

New York Supreme Court judge Juan Merchan said that the defendant’s statements represented a “very real” threat to the integrity of the trial.

Key Points

  • House Republicans push to rename DC airport after Trump

  • Donald Trump posts $175m bond in civil fraud case

  • Trump hush money judge extends gag order over ‘vitriolic’ attacks on his family

  • Hope Hicks expected to testify at Trump’s Manhattan trial

  • Truth Social stock tanks after new SEC filings reveals company losses

  • SNL skewers Trump for selling Bibles

Welcome to Trump International Airport

18:00 , Oliver O’Connell

House Republican lawmakers are pushing to rename Washington DC’s international airport after former president Donald Trump, who is no stranger to having his name plastered onto the side of large buildings.

Rep Guy Rechenthaler of Pennsylvania, the party’s chief deputy whip in the House, introduced bill HR 7845 on Friday, which proposes changing the airport’s name to “Donald J Trump International Airport”.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone is thrilled with the idea…

House Republicans propose renaming Washington DC’s international airport after Trump

17:45 , AP

Republicans in both states are in catchup mode as they appear to be far behind Democrats organizationally just six months before the first early votes are cast in the general election.

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Pete Hoekstra told The Associated Press last week that the Trump campaign and its partners at the Republican National Committee had yet to make significant general election investments in the state, with no general election field staff in place.

Republican lawmakers in Michigan have also found themselves entrenched in controversy in recent weeks. State Rep. Matthew Maddock falsely claimed that buses carrying college athletes to Detroit for March Madness were shuttling illegal migrant “invaders” into the city.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Democrats have touted their statewide organization, pointing to 44 field offices they already have operating across the state, along with a staff of over 50 so far.

The Trump campaign has yet to name any Wisconsin state party leaders or organizers.

The Wisconsin Republican Party has also been badly outraised in recent years and the state GOP’s executive director left in March just months ahead of the national convention coming to Milwaukee.

Democrats have been reveling in a string of victories including the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Republican-drawn legislative maps, which is expected to result in Democratic gains.

The visit will be Trump’s first in the state since 2022, when he held a rally to boost gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels, who lost his bid to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

Trump’s campaign has said it is working to catch up and will be opening dozens of offices and hiring hundreds of staff on a rolling basis over the next 30 to 45 days.

17:40 , AP

Trump’s event will be held at the DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids, located in a county he won in 2016 but lost to Biden in 2020. The closed event will include local law enforcement officials, while outside, the local county GOP chair has arranged a rally to welcome the former president.

Biden’s campaign, which has been hammering Trump for his role in killing a bipartisan border deal that would have added more than 1,500 new Customs and Border Protection personnel, in addition to other restrictions, preempted the speech by accusing Trump of politicizing the death.

“Tomorrow, Donald Trump is coming to Grand Rapids where he is expected to once again try to politicize a tragedy and sow hate and division to hide from his own record of failing Michiganders,” said Alyssa Bradley, the Biden campaign’s Michigan communications director.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said Monday that there is “a real problem on our southern border” and that it’s “really critical that Congress and the president solve the problem.”

“There was a solution on the table. It was actually the former president that encouraged Republicans to walk away from getting it done,” Whitmer said. “I don’t have a lot of tolerance for political points when it continues to endanger our economy and, to some extent, our people as we saw play out in Grand Rapids recently.”

Trump has been leaning into inflammatory rhetoric about the surge of migrants at the southern border. He has portrayed migrants as “poisoning the blood of the country,” questioned whether some should even be considered people, and claimed, without evidence, that countries have been emptying their prisons and mental asylums into the U.S.

He has also accused Biden and the Democrats of trying to “collapse the American system, nullify the will of the actual American voters and establish a new base of power that gives them control for generations.”

Continued…

17:36 , AP

“Under Crooked Joe Biden, EVERY state is now a border state. EVERY town is now a Border Town — because Joe Biden has brought the carnage, chaos, and killing from all over world, and dumped it straight into our own backyards,” Trump spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said in a statement previewing the former president’s speech.

FBI statistics show overall violent crime dropped again in the U.S. last year, continuing a downward trend after a pandemic-era spike. In Michigan, violent crime hit a three-year low in 2022, the most recent available data. Crime in Michigan’s largest city, Detroit, is also down, with the fewest homicides last year since 1966.

While Riley’s family attended Trump’s rally in Georgia last month and met with him backstage, it was unclear whether Garcia’s family would attend. Trump told conservative Michigan radio host Justin Barclay on Monday that he’d “love to have her family there, if they’d like to be there — it’d be in my honor” and asked him to try to coordinate.

Her sister pleaded on Facebook last week for reporters to stop politicizing her sister’s story.

Continued…

Trump to attack Biden on the border and crime in a visit to battleground Michigan and Wisconsin

17:32 , AP

Donald Trump is expected to attack President Joe Biden over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday when he visits Wisconsin and Michigan, both critical battleground states in the 2024 election.

Trump will first appear in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to deliver a speech about what his campaign calls “Biden’s Border Bloodbath.” He will then hold a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on the day the state holds its presidential primaries.

Polls suggest Trump has an advantage over Biden on immigration issues as many prospective voters say they’re concerned about illegal border crossings hitting record highs. In recent weeks, Trump and others in his party have seized on several high-profile cases of immigrants in the U.S. illegally being charged with crimes, including the killing of Laken Riley, a nursing student in Georgia, for which a Venezuelan man is charged.

Trump on Tuesday is expected to discuss the killing of Ruby Garcia, a Michigan woman who was found dead on the side of a Grand Rapids highway on March 22. Police say she was in a romantic relationship with the suspect, Brandon Ortiz-Vite. He told police he shot her multiple times during an argument before dropping her body on the side of the road and driving off in her red Mazda.

Authorities say Ortiz-Vite is a citizen of Mexico and had previously been deported following a drunken driving arrest. He does not have an attorney listed in court records.

Continued…

Trump clings onto his property empire after posting $175m bond — now what happens?

17:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Donald Trump has paid his $175m bond in his New York civil fraud case, a week after he was handed an extraordinary lifeline just as deadline day dawned.

Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in February that Mr Trump was liable for a decade-long scheme that saw the value of Trump Organization assets routinely inflated in order to obtain favourable loans from banks and insurers, ordering him to pay $354m in fines and a further $110m plus in interest.

As the interest ticked ever-upwards at 9 per cent or $120,000 a day, the exact total he owed as the deadline arrived was closer to $468.1m, with his lawyers arguing that he had been unable to find a surety company willing to stump up the cash – after approaching more than 30 – given the sheer scale of the money involved.

On 25 March, a panel of state Appellate Division judges unexpectedly granted the Republican presidential candidate a 10-day extension and slashed the $464m bond value.

Mr Trump subsequently pledged on Truth Social that he would “abide by the decision of the Appellate Division, and post either a bond, equivalent securities or cash”.

On Easter Monday, with the help of California’s Knight Specialty Insurance Company, Mr Trump posted that $175m bond.

This means that New York Attorney General Letitia James cannot yet begin seizing the former president’s assets – including some of the most prized property in his real estate empire.

Here’s what could happen next:

Trump clings onto property empire after posting $175m bond. Now what?

Biden and Xi held ‘candid and constructive discussion’

17:05 , Oliver O’Connell

Readout of President Joe Biden’s Call with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The call follows the two leaders’ meeting in Woodside, California in November 2023. The two leaders held a candid and constructive discussion on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, including areas of cooperation and areas of difference. They reviewed and encouraged progress on key issues discussed at the Woodside Summit, including counternarcotics cooperation, ongoing military-to-military communication, talks to address AI-related risks, and continuing efforts on climate change and people-to-people exchanges.

President Biden emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. He raised concerns over the PRC’s support for Russia’s defense industrial base and its impact on European and transatlantic security, and he emphasized the United States’ enduring commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. President Biden also raised continued concerns about the PRC’s unfair trade policies and non-market economic practices, which harm American workers and families. The President emphasized that the United States will continue to take necessary actions to prevent advanced U.S. technologies from being used to undermine our national security, without unduly limiting trade and investment. The two leaders welcomed ongoing efforts to maintain open channels of communication and responsibly manage the relationship through high-level diplomacy and working-level consultations in the weeks and months ahead, including during upcoming visits by Secretary Yellen and Secretary Blinken.

Biden: Trump doesn’t trust women

16:55 , Oliver O’Connell

In a new ad for his 2024 campaign focussed on reproductive rights, President Joe Biden says: “Donald Trump doesn’t trust women. I do.”

Watch below:

Biden and Xi Jinping speak for first time since San Francisco summit

16:39 , Oliver O’Connell

Andrew Feinberg reports:

President Biden and Chinese premier Xi Jinping have spoken by phone, their first telephone conversation since 2022 and their first interaction since the two leaders met outside San Francisco for a summit meeting in November 2023.

A senior administration official who briefed reporters on plans for the telephone call said the conversation between Mr Biden and Mr Xi is part of ongoing plans to “maintain regular open lines of communication to responsibly manage competition and prevent unintended conflict,” which both leaders agreed upon during their summit last year.

Continue reading…

Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping speak for first time since California summit

Jimmy Kimmel roasts ‘America’s number one Bible salesman’ Trump over Easter message

16:15 , Joe Sommerlad

The late-night hosts can’t get enough of this grift. Can you blame them?

Here’s more from Amelia Neath.

Jimmy Kimmel roasts ‘America’s number one Bible salesman’ Trump over Easter message

Did Trump go to church on Easter Sunday?

15:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Ha! You’re kidding, right?

Did Trump go to church on Easter Sunday?

Trump and Republicans unite in fury at Biden over Trans Visibility Day

15:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Republicans, led by Trump, spent the weekend sounding off on Joe Biden after he issued a statement recognising Trans Visibility Day because it happened to coincide with Easter Sunday this year.

Created by a Michigan-based transgender activist, Rachel Crandall, in 2009, International Transgender Day of Visibility (often shortened to Trans Visibility Day) falls on March 31 every year.

In 2024, that date coincidentally fell on Easter Sunday, which is determined annually by marking the first Sunday after the full moon occurring on or after the Spring Equinox.

President Biden marked the push for transgender rights with a statement recognising Trans Visibility Day on Friday that immediately set off alarm bells on the far right.

Here’s John Bowden with more.

Trump and Republicans unite in fury at Biden over Trans Visibility Day

Biden calls out ‘outrageous’ Florida reproductive health ruling

15:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Statement from President Joe Biden on Florida Supreme Court Decision

Yesterday’s extreme decision puts desperately needed medical care even further out of reach for millions of women in Florida and across the South. The Court not only upheld Florida’s current ban on women being able to make their own reproductive choices, it will likely trigger Governor DeSantis’ even more extreme law that would prevent women from accessing care before many even know they are pregnant. It is outrageous.

Florida’s bans – like those put forward by Republican elected officials across the country – are putting the health and lives of millions of women at risk. These extreme laws take away women’s freedom to make their own health care decisions and threaten physicians with jail time simply for providing the medical care that they were trained to provide.

Vice President Harris and I stand with the vast majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to choose, including in Florida, where voters will have the opportunity to make their voices heard in support of a reproductive freedom ballot initiative this November. We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting reproductive freedom in Florida and across the nation and will continue to call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade in every state.

RFK Jr argues Biden greater threat to democracy than Trump

14:45 , Joe Sommerlad

The independent presidential candidate mounted an utterly preposterous attack on the president during an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett yesterday.

He also got badly called out on some of his past positions, notably his comments about Ralph Nader’s run in the 2000 presidential election benefitting George W Bush.

House Republicans push for DC’s international airport to be renamed after Trump

14:35 , Oliver O’Connell

House Republican lawmakers are pushing to rename Washington, DC’s international airport after former president Donald Trump.

Rep Guy Rechenthaler of Pennsylvania, the party’s chief deputy whip in the House, introduced the bill on Friday. It is co-sponsored by six other GOP lawmakers.

“In my lifetime, our nation has never been greater than under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump,” Mr Reschenthaler told Fox News Digital. “As millions of domestic and international travelers fly through the airport, there is no better symbol of freedom, prosperity and strength than hearing ‘Welcome to Trump International Airport’ as they land on American soil.”

Washington Dulles International Airport, which straddles both Fairfax County and Loudoun County in northern Virginia was opened in 1962 and is named after John Foster Dulles, an influential secretary of state during the Cold War under President Dwight Eisenhower and an advocate of an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world.

Dulles International Airport’s landmark terminal designed by architect Eero Saarinen (Getty Images)Dulles International Airport’s landmark terminal designed by architect Eero Saarinen (Getty Images)

Dulles International Airport’s landmark terminal designed by architect Eero Saarinen (Getty Images)

Approximately 24 million passengers pass through the airport annually and it handles approximately 90 per cent of international traffic into the Washington-Baltimore area (Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Baltimore/Washington International Airport are the other two serving the region).

It is a major hub for United Airlines and its main terminal is a well-known landmark designed by architect Eero Saarinen.

Follow live: Trump Media & Technology Group share price

14:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Speaker Johnson reveals Trump influence on Ukraine and says Capitol rioters ‘people who were just there’

14:22 , Oliver O’Connell

Mike Johnson, under pressure from his own side in the inevitable shape of Majorie Taylor Greene, gave an interview to Newsmax on Monday evening in which he well and truly gave himself away and attempted another desperate rebrand of January 6.

Start the day the Trump way: With an all-caps screed about your legal woes

14:11 , Oliver O’Connell

It’s just after 9am on the East Coast and Donald Trump has already posted on Truth Social seven times — perhaps he thinks that will help with the share price?

Let’s take a look at this morning’s rant.

At 6.52am he thanked his favourite legal scholar Jonathan Turley for being one of the few people who continues to back him on the New York civil fraud trial ruling:

Thank you to professor Jonathan Turley for exposing the horrendous decision made by a corrupt New York State Judge, Arthur Engoron, on the “I will get Trump” worst in the Nation  A.G., Letitia James, unfair case against me. I just posted a $175,000,000 Bond just for the right to Appeal this travesty of a case, which I won at the Appellate Division, but this Judge refuses to accept- A FIRST. He is a whacked out nut job who just made up a number out of thin air, just like he did on the value of Mar-a-Lago. Businesses won’t enter New York because of this decision, and many are fleeing. Think of it – I had to pay an enormous sum for the right to Appeal the ridiculous decision of a CROOKED Judge and A.G. This is Election Interference, and it all comes directly from Joe Biden and the White House. An attack, along with ALL OF THE OTHERS, on his political opponent, ME!

At 7.15am he turned his attention to his upcoming criminal hush money trial coming up in just two weeks. The former president still doesn’t seem to get how gag orders work and why they are put in place:

I just was informed that another corrupt New York Judge, Juan Merchan, GAGGED me so that I can not talk about the corruption and conflicts taking place in his courtroom with respect to a case that everyone, including the D.A., felt should never have been brought. They can talk about me, but I can’t talk about them??? That sounds fair, doesn’t it? This Judge should be recused, and the case should be thrown out. There has virtually never been a more conflicted judge than this one. ELECTION INTERFERENCE at its worst!

Next, he turned to one of his favourite falsehoods — that Joe Biden is somehow behind all his legal woes — he wrote:

Please remember, ALL of these Lawsuits, Charges, and Indictments that have been brought against me have been orchestrated and coordinated by Crooked Joe Biden, the White House, and the DOJ, as an ATTACK ON CROOKED’S POLITICAL OPPONENT, ME. This has never happened before in our Country. MAGA2024!

This is completely untrue as the president has no jurisdiction over state and local civil and criminal proceedings and the federal cases are under the purview of special counsel Jack Smith who was specifically appointed to ensure there is no political influence on the case.

Further, all of the cases were brought before grand juries of members of the public who decided the cases should go forward having been presented with the evidence.

However, Mr Trump wasn’t done yet:

THE LEGAL SYSTEM IN OUR COUNTRY HAS BEEN CORRUPTED & POLITICIZED AT A LEVEL NEVER SEEN BEFORE. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

And stay tuned today — he’s back on the campaign trail:

WILL BE IN THE GREAT STATES OF MICHIGAN AND WISCONSIN TODAY. PLENTY TO TALK ABOUT. MAGA2024!

He’s on an all-caps streak:

UNDER CROOKED JOE BIDEN WE HAVE BECOME A THIRD WORLD NATION. OUR BORDERS ARE GONE, OUR LEGAL SYSTEM IS WEAPONIZED, OUR ELECTIONS ARE CORRUPT. IT DOESN’T GET ANY WORSE THAN THAT!!! MAGA2024

See above for context.

He then returned to the civil fraud trial ruling:

I had to pay New York State in order to appeal a corrupt decision by a biased, crooked and highly overturned judge. It’s supposed to be the other way around – you appeal before you pay. Is a crooked New York Judge allowed to make you pay for the “privilege” of appealing a wrongful & corrupt decision??? NOT IN AMERICA!!!

Lara Trump pushes employment lie during Fox appearance

13:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s Trump’s daughter-in-law, now co-chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), getting it wrong on Sean Hannity last night.

She otherwise spent her time talking up her “music career” and rubbishing a parody song about her – important matters for the RNC, I’m sure you will agree.

Trump’s Truth Social stock tanks after new SEC filings

13:15 , Joe Sommerlad

After a blockbuster debut on the Nasdaq last week, the share price of Trump’s tech company plummeted in trading on Monday after post-merger financial statements revealed new details of the company’s business.

Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of social media platform Truth Social, was down as much as 27 per cent in value by lunchtime, having opened at $61.92.

A regulatory filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) early yesterday showed the company had only achieved revenue of $4.1m in 2023, with net losses reaching $58.2m.

Oliver O’Connell has more.

Trump’s Truth Social stock tanks after new SEC filings reveal $58m loss in 2023

Trump hush money judge extends gag order due to ‘vitriolic’ attacks

12:45 , Joe Sommerlad

The judge in the Republican presidential candidate’s hush money trial has moved to tighten his gag order in accordance with a request from Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg over Trump’s continued and “vitriolic” attacks on the justice’s family.

New York Supreme Court judge Juan Merchan said that the defendant’s statements represented a “very real” threat to the integrity of the trial.

Here’s more from Io Dodds.

Trump hush money judge extends gag order due to ‘vitriolic’ attacks on his family

How did Trump pay his $175m fraud bond – and who helped him?

12:15 , Joe Sommerlad

The former president secured his bond yesterday through the Knight Specialty Insurance Company.

Here’s a little introduction.

How did Trump pay his $175m fraud bond – and who helped him?

Trump posts $175m bond in civil fraud case

11:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Donald Trump posted the $175m bond in his New York civil fraud case late on Monday, temporarily halting enforcement of the full $464m in penalties the former president faces after his company was found guilty of misrepresenting the value of its assets over a ten-year to swindle banks and insurers.

The belated bond payment came as state officials were preparing to seize Trump’s properties to fulfill the judgement.

Josh Marcus has the full story.

Donald Trump posts $175m bond in civil fraud case

Hicks set to testify at Trump’s hush money trial

11:15 , Joe Sommerlad

According to NBC News, former Trump administration aide Hope Hicks could be called as a witness at her former boss’s New York hush money trial, which is due to get underway on Monday 15 April.

Hicks was interviewed by prosecutors in the case last year about her role as Trump’s campaign secretary in 2016, the very period during which the payments were allegedly made to porn star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal on the candidate’s behalf to stay quiet about the affairs they are understood to have had with him a decade earlier.

Trump is accused by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg of falsifying his business records to hide the payouts and has 34 felony counts to answers. He has already pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Hope Hicks (Reuters)Hope Hicks (Reuters)

Hope Hicks (Reuters)

Analysis: Three reasons Biden is improving in the polls – and one why his numbers are still low

10:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Since the final quarter of 2023, Biden has seen brutal poll after brutal poll showing his numbers tanking. The reasons for his decline have been manifold: people continue to worry about his age, young Democratic voters are dissatisfied about his support for Israel and people still blame him for high inflation.

But the president’s numbers now seem to be improving to some degree.

A recent CNBC All-America Economic Survey showed Biden about even with Trump and a Quinnipiac University poll released last week also showed the race virtually unchanged from February but still too close to call.

Trump still has numerous advantages, given that his supporters seem more enthusiastic. At the same time, Biden has started to gain some structural advantages.

Here are three reasons why Biden is improving – and one reason why he still trails Trump – from Eric Garcia.

Three reasons Biden is improving in the polls – and one why his numbers are still low

Analysis: Trump says he watches videos of Gaza’s destruction every night. Will it shape his foreign policy?

10:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically quiet on what is likely to be one of the biggest foreign policy issues of his second term, should he win in November.

But in the few interviews and statements he has given on Israel and the war in Gaza, the former president has shown signs that he may be cooling in his support for the longtime US ally.

In a recent interview, the former president spoke about how he had been disturbed by images and videos showing civilians bearing the brunt of the onslaught and called for an end to the war.

Richard Hall has more.

Trump says he watches videos of Gaza bombing every night. Will it shape his policy?

Two wildly different Easter messages show choice for voters in November

09:45 , Joe Sommerlad

President Biden and Trump both issued social media posts on Sunday in which they wished their followers a Happy Easter, though their messages differed somewhat in tone.

Biden’s, written on Twitter/X, was short and simple, stating: “To all those gathering in churches and homes around the world today: Happy Easter. May God bless and keep you.”

In his own message, posted on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump also wished a “Happy Easter to all,” although he included an attack on those seeking to “put me in prison”.

Mike Bedigan reports from Los Angeles.

Biden and Trump share Easter messages with very different tones

‘The Bible does not need his endorsement’

09:15 , Joe Sommerlad

“The Bible does not need Donald Trump’s endorsement and Jesus, in the very last week of his life, chased the money changers out of the temple, those who would take sacred things and use them as cheap relics to be sold in the marketplace,” Reverend Raphael Warnock told CNN on Sunday.

Gustaf Kilander has more.

Democratic senator slams Trump hawking bibles

SNL mocks Trump over Bible sales pitch

08:45 , Joe Sommerlad

In case you missed this over the weekend, Saturday Night Live set its sights on Trump once again – this time over his ridiculous attempts to sell Bibles.

Days after late-night hosts skewered the former president for his unconvincing pivot to Bible salesmanship, the US sketch show lampooned him in a cold open during its latest episode, which was hosted by Ramy Youssef.

Last week, Trump released an infomercial in which, ahead of Easter Sunday, he endorsed a “God Bless The USA” Bible – a special version inspired by the patriotic Lee Greenwood anthem of the same name – worth $60.

Jacob Stolworthy has the story.

SNL roasts Trump over bizarre attempt to sell Bibles

Truth Social: Trump announces bond placement but insists New York career was ‘only success and HAPPY BANKS’

08:25 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s the latest from the desk of Don, who begrudgingly announces has made his $175m bond payment in time before having one final go at Judge Arthur Engoron, state attorney general Letitia James and “the sadly failing and very troubled State of New York”.

American Egg Board forced to respond to GOP conspiracy about White House Easter event

07:45 , Oliver O’Connell

On Monday, thousands of children and their families will gather on the White House South Lawn for the annual Egg Roll, an Easter tradition that dates back to the nineteenth century.

But this year’s celebrations have been marred as Republican politicians and commentators falsely accused President Joe Biden’s administration of banning religious themes and symbols from the celebration’s art contest — failing to note that the policy has been in place during every administration for almost 50 years.

Katie Hawkinson has the story:

American Egg Board forced to respond to GOP conspiracy about White House Easter event

Trump ‘threatens’ Biden with image of president bound and kidnapped

05:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Former president Donald Trump is being heavily criticised on social media after he shared a video of Maga-branded pickup trucks that included an image of president Joe Biden kidnapped and bound in the back.

Mr Trump posted the video with little added commentary on Truth Social. It shows two passing trucks decked out with flags and messages including “Trump 2024”.

On the back of one of the trucks is an image of President Biden with his hands and feet tied.

Stuti Mishra has the story:

Trump ‘threatens’ Biden with image of president bound and kidnapped

ICYMI: Trump and co-defendants appeal ruling keeping Fani Willis on Georgia election case

03:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump and eight of his co-defendants in the Georgia election interference case have appealed a judge’s decision to keep Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on the case.

In a filing submitted to the Georgia Court of Appeals on Friday afternoon, attorneys for the former president and his co-defendants claimed Ms Willis should not be allowed to preside over the case and allowing her to do so would result in errors in each trial and public mistrust in the judicial system.

Ariana Baio reports:

Trump and co-defendants appeal ruling keeping Fani Willis on Georgia election case

02:45 , Oliver O’Connell

SNL cold open mocks Donald Trump’s scheme to sell bibles: ‘My favourite book’

Donald Trump posts $175m bond in civil fraud case

02:12 , Graeme Massie

Donald Trump posts $175m bond in civil fraud case

Donald Trump hush money judge extends gag order due to ‘vitriolic’ attacks on his family

01:54 , Graeme Massie

Manhattan officials accused the former president of trying to undermine the money trial with ‘dangerous and reprehensible rhetoric’.

Io Dodds has the story.

Trump hush money judge extends gag order due to ‘vitriolic’ attacks on his family

Truth Social stock tanks after new SEC filings reveals company losses

01:45 , Oliver O’Connell

After a blockbuster debut on the Nasdaq last week, the share price of Donald Trump’s media and technology group plummeted in trading on Monday after post-merger financial statements revealed new details of the company’s business.

Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of social media platform Truth Social, was down as much as 27 per cent in value by lunchtime, having opened at $61.92.

A regulatory filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission early on Monday morning showed the company had only achieved revenue of $4.1m in 2023, with net losses reaching $58.2m.

Continue reading…

Trump’s Truth Social stock tanks after new SEC filings reveal $58m loss in 2023

Analysis: Between Ukraine and Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Johnson has a tightrope to walk

01:19 , Graeme Massie

Eric Garcia writes:

Johnson’s decision to name Greene to the committee, especially after his talk with Zelensky, shows how the leader of the US House of Representatives has tried to balance keeping conservatives happy while also fulfilling his basic duties of governing: for every one act of governing, he has to pull one outrageous stunt that keeps the extremists in his conference from throwing him into the volcano the way they did his predecessors.

Continue reading…

Between Ukraine and Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Johnson has a tightrope to walk

Trump hush money prosecutor asks judge for stronger gag order due to ‘extreme and deliberate provocations’

Tuesday 2 April 2024 00:42 , Graeme Massie

Trump hush money prosecutor asks for stronger gag order due to ‘extreme provocations’

GOP official who claimed 2020 election was rigged is found to have voted illegally nine times…

Monday 1 April 2024 23:45 , Oliver O’Connell

A Republican official in Georgia has been found by a judge to have voted illegally nine times even as he pushed former President Donald Trump’s false claims of fraud in connection to the 2020 election.

The first vice chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, Brian Pritchard, has been fined $5,000 for voting and registering to vote while serving a sentence for a felony.

Administrative Law Judge Lisa Boggs backed the State Election Board’s findings in a 25-page ruling on Wednesday, saying that Pritchard voted unlawfully nine times while under extended probation for felonies going back almost three decades.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Republican official who claimed voter fraud found to have voted illegally nine times

Watch: Fox News host defends Trump’s Bible sales pitch

Monday 1 April 2024 23:15 , Oliver O’Connell

ICYMI: Trump’s mental acuity questioned on Fox News

Monday 1 April 2024 22:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s mental acuity was questioned on Fox News by Democratic strategist, Jessica Tarlov, during a segment of The Five on Wednesday night.

Co-host Jeanine Pirro said, “You know, Jessica, Trump took a mental acuity test and aced it – why won’t Biden?”

Here’s how Tarlov responded:

Trump’s mental acuity questioned on Fox News

Analysis: Donald Trump says he watches videos of Gaza’s destruction every night. Will it shape his foreign policy?

Monday 1 April 2024 22:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Richard Hall writes:

Donald Trump has been uncharacteristically quiet on what is likely to be one of the biggest foreign policy issues of his second term, should he win in November. But in the few interviews and statements he has given on Israel and the war in Gaza, the former president has shown signs that he may be cooling in his support for the longtime US ally.

In a recent interview, the former president spoke about how he had been disturbed by images and videos showing civilians bearing the brunt of the onslaught and called for an end to the war.

Continue reading…

Trump says he watches videos of Gaza bombing every night. Will it shape his policy?

Hush money case: Trump lawyers will seek renewed motion to recuse judge

Monday 1 April 2024 22:10 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s lawyers announce they will seek leave to file a renewed motion to recuse Judge Juan Merchan from the Manhattan hush money criminal case due to “changed circumstances and newly discovered evidence”.

Analysis: Three reasons Joe Biden is improving in the polls – and one why his numbers are still low

Monday 1 April 2024 22:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

Since the final quarter of 2023, President Joe Biden has seen brutal poll after brutal poll showing his numbers tanking. The reasons for his decline have been manifold: people continue to worry about his age; young Democratic voters are dissatisfied about his support for Israel; people still blame him for high inflation.

But Biden’s polling numbers seem to be improving to some degree. A CNBC All-America Economic Survey showed Biden about even with Donald Trump. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week also showed the race virtually unchanged from February but still too close to call. My colleague Andrew Feinberg reported last week that the president has cut into Trump’s lead in multiple swing states.

Trump still has numerous advantages, given that his supporters seem more enthusiastic. At the same time, Biden has started to gain some structural advantages. Here are three reasons why Biden is improving – and one reason why he still trails Trump.

Continue reading…

Three reasons Biden is improving in the polls – and one why his numbers are still low

BREAKING: Florida supreme court allows six-week abortion ban but says voters will decide issue in November

Monday 1 April 2024 21:46 , Oliver O’Connell

Abortion rights will be on the ballot in Florida this November, the state’s Supreme Court said in a highly anticipated ruling on Monday.

Just hours before the 1 April deadline, the panel of seven justices – all appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis – said that a proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion should be put to voters this November.

At the same time, however, the judges overturned more than three decades of precedent to uphold ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which was signed into law by governor Ron DeSantis in 2022.

That will mean a more restrictive law signed last year, which bans nearly all abortions after six weeks, will now go into effect – until and unless voters choose to overturn it.

Ariana Baio and Io Dodds report:

Florida court allows six-week abortion ban – but voters can overturn it in November

Watch: What does the Bragg argument for clarification of gag order mean for Trump?

Monday 1 April 2024 21:35 , Oliver O’Connell

Monday 1 April 2024 21:28 , Oliver O’Connell

Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s opposition to the DA’s motion to clarify the gag order centres on the argument that it lacks merit because Mr Bragg has used the process to “further restrict President Trump’s constitutionally protected speech”.

Hush-money trial: Bragg files memo in support of request for judge to clarify terms of Trump gag order

Monday 1 April 2024 21:21 , Oliver O’Connell

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has filed a memo in support of his request from last week that Justice Juan Merchan clarify that the gag order imposed on Donald Trump ahead of his hush money trial includes family members of the Court, the DA, and all others mentioned in the order.

He also wants the judge to warn Mr Trump to cease and desist from attacks on those family members. The former president has been attacking the judge and his daughter on Truth Social over the past week.

Mr Bragg writes: “Family members of trial participants must be strictly off-limits. Defendant’s insistence to the contrary bespeaks a dangerous sense of entitlement to instigate fear and even physical harm to the loved ones of those he sees in the courtroom.”

Watch: Hope Hicks expected to testify at Trump hush-money trial

Monday 1 April 2024 20:55 , Oliver O’Connell

Georgia election interference: Meadows asks judge to hold hearing on Supremacy Clause

Monday 1 April 2024 20:48 , Oliver O’Connell

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has asked Judge Scott McAfee to hold a hearing in the sprawling Fulton County election interference case concerning immunity under the Supremacy Clause, a new filing shows.

Mr Meadows argues the Supremacy Clause makes him immune to the Fulton election interference charges and wants to move his case to a federal court.

Here’s the background on Mr Meadows’s attempts to move his case:

Mark Meadows’ bid to move Georgia election interference case dealt another blow

Did Trump go to church on Easter Sunday?

Monday 1 April 2024 20:30 , Oliver O’Connell

In years past, pictures have quickly been put out of former President Donald Trump attending church.

On Easter Sunday, all was quiet on the church front from team Trump even as he promoted his $60 Trump-branded Bibles in a video on Truth Social.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Did Trump go to church on Easter Sunday?

Watch: Biden to visit Baltimore as clean up continuesfollowing bridge collapse

Monday 1 April 2024 20:00 , Oliver O’Connell

‘The Bible does not need his endorsement’

Monday 1 April 2024 19:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Democratic Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock slammed former President Donald Trump for selling Bibles saying it “doesn’t need his endorsement”.

In a video shared on Truth Social, Mr Trump urged his followers to buy the $60 Bible.

“All Americans need a Bible in their home and I have many. It’s my favourite book,” he claimed. “It’s a lot of people’s favourite book, I’m proud to endorse and encourage you to get this Bible, we must make America pray again.”

The group selling the Bibles has said it paid to license Mr Trump’s name and image, allowing Mr Trump to make money off the sales. The former president has a long history of selling his name and image for various branded products.

Gustaf Kilander has the story:

Democratic senator slams Trump hawking bibles

Trans Visibility Day fell on Easter Sunday by chance, infuriating Trump and Republicans

Monday 1 April 2024 19:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Republicans, led by Donald Trump, are sounding off on Joe Biden after he issued a statement recognising Trans Visibility Day becasue it happened to coincide with Easter Sunday this year.

Created by a Michigan-based transgender activist, Rachel Crandall, in 2009, International Transgender Day of Visibility (often shortened to Trans Visibility Day) falls on March 31 every year. In 2024, that date coincidentally falls on Easter Sunday, which is determined annually by marking the first Sunday after the full moon occurring on or after the Spring Equinox.

President Joe Biden marked the push for transgender rights with a statement recognising Trans Visibility Day on Friday that immediately set off alarm bells on the far right.

John Bowden reports:

Trump and Republicans unite in fury at Biden over Trans Visibility Day

Watch: SNL ridicules Trump over Bible grift

Monday 1 April 2024 18:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Watch: Easter Bunny takes questions at White House press briefing

Monday 1 April 2024 18:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Live: Trump Media stock plummets in value as new filing reveals heavy losses

Monday 1 April 2024 18:04 , Oliver O’Connell

Biden campaign brands Trump ‘feeble and confused’ over Easter message

Monday 1 April 2024 18:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has been branded “feeble and confused” after he posted an angry Easter message lashing out at “PEOPLE I COMPLETELY & TOTALLY DESPISE”, including DOJ special counsel Jack Smith and Georgia attorney Fani Willis

The former president posted an unhinged all-caps rant on Truth Social: “HAPPY EASTER TO ALL… INCLUDING THOSE MANY PEOPLE I COMPLETELY & TOTALLY DESPISE BECAUSE THEY WANT TO DESTROY AMERICA.”

The Biden campaign seized on Mr Trump’s message, branding him “feeble and confused” for “spewing an unhinged all-caps tirade attacking America and talking about himself”.

Watch: New York GOP Rep Mike Lawler refuses to say if he’ll support Trump in November

Monday 1 April 2024 17:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Trump Media & Technology Group lost $58m in 2023

Monday 1 April 2024 17:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Trump Media & Technology Group, the owner of Donald Trump’s Truth Social platform, has posted new financial statements in a filing to the Securities & Exchange Commission today that give deep insight into the financial health of the company that went public last week.

In 2023, the firm generated just $4.1m in revenue, while racking up $58m in losses. In line with the “meme stock” craze the company’s dollar valuation at somewhere north of $6bn therefore defies logic.

As of 12.15pm the stock price was down 18 per cent on the opening at around $50/share. When it first listed last week, the company’s stock price peaked at $79/share.

American Egg Board forced to respond to GOP conspiracy about White House Easter event

Monday 1 April 2024 17:00 , Oliver O’Connell

On Monday, thousands of children and their families will gather on the White House South Lawn for the annual Egg Roll, an Easter tradition that dates back to the nineteenth century.

But this year’s celebrations have been marred as Republican politicians and commentators falsely accused President Joe Biden’s administration of banning religious themes and symbols from the celebration’s art contest — failing to note that the policy has been in place during every administration for almost 50 years.

Katie Hawkinson reports:

American Egg Board forced to respond to GOP conspiracy about White House Easter event

In pictures: White House Easter Egg roll

Monday 1 April 2024 16:38 , Oliver O’Connell

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden attend the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House (REUTERS)President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden attend the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House (REUTERS)

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden attend the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House (REUTERS)

 (AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

 (AP) (AP)

(AP)

Trump criticised for staying silent on Baltimore bridge collapse

Monday 1 April 2024 16:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Despite continuing to post attacks against Joe Biden on social media, including a problematic picture of him hogtied at the back of a Maga truck, Donald Trump has remained largely silent on the Baltimore bridge collapse.

Since Tuesday night when a cargo ship slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge, killing six people, all immigrants, the former president has only posted one clip of Sean Hannity criticising President Joe Biden for making only a brief remark and “making it all about himself by mentioning his personal connection”.

Mr Trump, who is usually known for his consistent and repeated posts on social media on any topic in the national news, is being criticised for remaining largely silent.

Republican strategist Scott Reed said this silence from Mr Trump is “a little weird,” journalist Mike Sington shared on Twitter.

“It was a national tragedy, it’s going to cost $2 billion, it’s going to screw up a lot of people’s lives and impact goods travelling around the world,” Mr Reed said, according to Mr Sington’s post on X.

“At a minimum, express sympathy toward the poor six men that died that were doing their jobs on the midnight shift, keeping commerce flowing.”

Trump campaign emails April Fool’s Day fundraising message

Monday 1 April 2024 16:18 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign joined in the April Fool’s Day fun this morning in its latest fundraising email, which went out with the subject line “I’m suspending my campaign…”

The body of the email then read: “Just Kidding — Happy April Fools Day”, before rattling through a now familiar list of his current complaints and conspiracies about the Biden administration: “Open borders, skyrocketing crime, record inflation, targeted prosecutions, humiliation overseas.”

A further message asked: “Did you really think I’d suspend my campaign?”

“I will never stop fighting for the American people. I WILL NEVER SURRENDER! We can’t sit back and watch Crooked Joe Biden continue to destroy our GREAT country.”

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