Donald Trump told state attorneys during a deposition that he prevented a “nuclear holocaust” during his presidency and that the US “might have a nuclear war now” without him in the White House.

The former president’s testimony from April echoes many of the comments he delivered from the witness stand when he testified during the trial in lower Manhattan several months later.

Meanwhile, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination launched a fresh broadside against rival Nikki Haley ahead of the New Hampshire primary.

Referring to her as “Nimbra”, an apparently deliberate misspelling of her given name “Nimarata” to draw attention to her Indian heritage, Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social that she “doesn’t have what it takes”.

“She’s weak on China, Russia, Borders, and Crime, but never saw a war she didn’t like,” he added.

The attack came after Ms Haley said in a CNN town hall on Thursday about the prospect of Mr Trump once more squaring up to Joe Biden in November: “Do we really want to have two 80-year-olds running for president when we have a country in disarray and a world on fire? They are so distracted by their own investigations and their own grievances.”

Key Points

  • Trump holds NH poll lead over Haley and DeSantis ahead of final weekend of campaigning

  • Trump attacks ‘weak’ Haley with racist nickname and claims she ‘never saw a war she didn’t like’

  • Haley hits back at Trump for ‘too many lies’

  • DeSantis slams rivals for ‘basement campaigns’ as New Hampshire GOP debates axed

  • What to watch for in New Hampshire’s primary

Mr Trump appeared to confuse Ms Haley with Nancy Pelosi at a campaign event on Friday

17:20 , Michelle Del Rey

Mr Trump told attendees at his New Hampshire campaign event that Ms Haley was responsible for security during the January 6 US Capitol riot. The former president appeared to be confusing the former ambassador to the UN with the former speaker of the house.

Ms Haley has never served as a member of US Congress. Additionally, Ms Pelosi was not responsible for the security response to the incident. That duty lies with the Capitol Police Board.

Read more here.

Watch: Experts discuss what to expect in 2024 US election

14:00 , Oliver O’Connell

It’s no easy task to sum up what to expect from the 2024 race for the White House in just one hour – but that’s what The Independent’s latest virtual event did.

On Wednesday, The Independent hosted a live panel recapping the results of the Iowa caucuses and looking ahead to the New Hampshire primary and the general election.

What to expect in 2024 US election – from Trump’s legal woes to Biden’s age

Trump yet again gets confused between Biden and Obama

13:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, who served in the US House as a Florida Republican between 1995 and 2001, said on MSNBC on Friday morning that “Donald Trump is not well, we know this”.

“He really does think that Barack Obama is still president of the United States,” he added.

Gustaf Kilander has the story:

Trump confuses Biden and Obama… again

Haley hits back at ‘insecure’ Trump ahead of New Hampshire face-off

12:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Nikki Haley has hit back at Donald Trump after he ramped up his attacks on her ahead of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

The former South Carolina governor said Mr Trump’s personal attacks mean he is feeling “threatened” and “insecure” as they head towards the state’s 2024 GOP presidential contest.

It comes after the former president shared an article from far-right conspiracy site The Gateway Pundit which claimed Ms Haley is not a “natural born citizen” and is therefore not eligible to serve as President of the United States because her parents, Indian immigrants, were not American citizens when she was born in 1972.

Ms Haley, who served as Mr Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, was born in the United States and is therefore eligible to run for president, according to the 14th Amendment.

Martha McHardy reports:

Nikki Haley hits back at ‘insecure’ Trump ahead of New Hampshire face-off

Republican fantasies about Trump and the Democrats came crashing down this week

10:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

“People don’t think like I do and that’s the situation” could encapsulate the predicament the entire Republican Party faces. For the last few months, we at Inside Washington have said Republicans — all the way down from the squirreliest congress critters to the wealthiest donors to candidates — are engaged in a collective kind of magical thinking. Such wishful thinking has allowed the GOP to behave like they’re living in a world they would prefer, rather than the world as it is.

This week finally shattered that.

Continue reading:

This week, Republican fantasies about Trump and the Democrats came crashing down

DeSantis regrets shunning the media

08:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Ron DeSantis has said he now regrets shunning mainstream media appearances in the early stages of his campaign to earn the Republican presidential nomination.

The Florida Governor admitted he should have been “blanketing” major network shows to reach a “broader” range of primary voters.

Mr DeSantis scored a narrow victory over Nikki Haley in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, though he lagged far behind Donald Trump – the clear frontrunner in the race.

DeSantis says he regrets shunning the media

Gaetz says Trump doesn’t need women voters because ‘there’s a Julio and a Jamal ready’

06:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Matt Gaetz has argued that the demographic changes between the parties will help former President Donald Trump get back to the White House.

The Florida congressman who incited the ouster of former GOP speaker Kevin McCarthy appeared to suggest on Newsmax on Wednesday that as white women leave the Republican Party under the leadership of Mr Trump, they will be replaced by Latino and Black men moving towards the GOP.

Read the rest of Mr Gaetz’s comments below:

Matt Gaetz says Trump doesn’t need women voters because ‘there’s a Julio ready’

March for Life rallies against abortion with an eye toward the November elections

04:30 , AP

Thousands of opponents of abortion rights rallied under falling snow on Friday at the annual March for Life, as speakers urged the impassioned crowd to capitalize on the movement’s major victory in the Supreme Court and keep fighting until abortion is eliminated.

Months before a presidential election that could be heavily influenced by abortion politics, anti-abortion activists packed the National Mall carrying signs with messages such as “Life is precious” and “I am the pro-life generation.” After listening to speeches, the crowd, braving frigid temperatures, marched past the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court. One group planted in front of Court, beating a drum and chanting: “Everyone you know was once an embryo.”

Friday’s March for Life is the second such event in the nation’s capital since the June 2022 Supreme Court ruling that ended the federal protection for abortion rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade. Last year’s march was triumphant, with organizers relishing a state-by-state fight in legislatures around the country.

Speakers praised the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade but said it was more important now than ever to keep up the pressure on lawmakers to advance abortion restrictions.

Continue reading the full article…

Trump holds NH poll lead over Haley and DeSantis ahead of final weekend of campaigning

01:30 , Oliver O’Connell

According to a Boston Globe/Suffolk University/NBC-10 Boston tracking poll, Donald Trump is maintaining his lead over Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.

With less than four days left until voting begins, Friday’s poll results show the former president at 52 per cent, (+2 points from Wednesday’s poll). Former UN Ambassador Haley has 35 per cent of likely voters (+1 point), and Florida Governor DeSantis is trailing far behind at six per cent.

Mr Trump is scheduled to fly in from Florida to campaign over the weekend including getting a reported endorsement from Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, Ms Haley’s home state.

Pence’s former chief of staff endorses Trump

Friday 19 January 2024 23:30 , Joe Sommerlad

In another sign that Donald Trump is picking up endorsements from Republicans who had previously stayed out of the fray, Mike Pence’s former chief of staff Nick Ayers has endorsed the former president, according to reporting by Axios.

”What happened in Iowa was an overwhelming mandate that every dollar should be spent on consolidating the GOP, not attacking Republicans,” Ayers told Axios.

“How long are the candidates going to stay the race and continue to divert money to an intramural squabble?

“Let’s set aside the things we should be outraged over, and instead just evaluate the policy results.”

Of the remaining candidates in the race for the GOP nomination — Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley — Ayers observed: “They had two years to make their case to voters and they fell three-times short.”

Trump takes aim at Steve Doocy & Fox over NH voting rules…

Friday 19 January 2024 23:00 , Oliver O’Connell

You may recall an earlier post in which Steve Doocy, co-anchor of Fox & Friends, gave an on-air correction this morning concerning Donald Trump’s claim that Democrats can vote in New Hampshire’s Republican primary.

Well, the former president saw the clip too, and he’s not happy.

Here’s what he posted on Truth Social:

Unwatchable RINO Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends, which is suffering mightily from a lack of interest and Ratings Decline, with Steve being the principal factor, has just blurted out that I was wrong on the fact that Democrats can vote in the New Hampshire Republican Primary. He was so anxious to go against me, that he fell into the proverbial “Trump” trap, just like all others do. In actuality, Democrats can vote, they had to register by October 6, but they can come in as Independents, and then can be Democrats, and nobody’s going to know, so already we have 3,542 Democrats changed to Undeclared, 408 to Republican (all of whom will be voting), and others will come in as Liberals or Independents. Their rationale is that they are desperate to stop “Trump,” because they don’t want to run against me, they want to run against Nikki or Ron or anyone else. If an Independent is a Democrat, they can vote. That’s what they want to do, fill up the Roster with Democrats!

He wasn’t done yet, here’s “Page Two” and some fantasy scheduling advice for Fox News:

Page Two: So Steve, I know you don’t think people cheat in Elections, but they do! Nevertheless, I have an idea on how we can solve the problem with Steve—Exchange the Weekend Hosts with the Weekday Hosts, and everybody will be happy – except keep Lawrence, who is constantly defending me as he reports back to studio – “I know what you’re saying, but it’s not what I see in the field, all I see are Red Hats and Trump people!!!” Anyway, it’s Chris Sununu’s fault. He could have changed this, but was too lazy to do so!

DeSantis slams rivals’ ‘basement campaigns’ as GOP debates axed

Friday 19 January 2024 22:30 , Joe Sommerlad

The Florida governor has lashed out at his rivals Nikki Haley and Donald Trump after their refusal to take part in any further Republican debates led to the cancellation of ABC’s and CNN’s pre-New Hampshire bouts.

DeSantis slams rivals’ ‘basement campaigns’ as New Hampshire GOP debate axed

Trump resurrects racist birther smear against Haley as she surges in New Hampshire

Friday 19 January 2024 21:30 , Joe Sommerlad

If you’re wondering where the former president’s “Nimbra” slur against his rival comes from, it’s all part of the same racist tradition that argued Barack Obama and Kamala Harris were not real Americans, as Andrew Feinberg is here to explain.

Trump resurrects birther smear against Nikki Haley as she surges in New Hampshire

Haley quietly ramping up NH appearances

Friday 19 January 2024 20:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s an interesting insight into the former South Carolina governor’s strategy for the Granite State heading into next week as she responds to criticism of her low-key approach to campaigning in the state post-Iowa.

She’s still well behind in the polls, however, although roaring away from DeSantis.

Trump holds NH poll lead over Haley and DeSantis ahead of final weekend of campaigning

Friday 19 January 2024 19:51 , Oliver O’Connell

According to a Boston Globe/Suffolk University/NBC-10 Boston tracking poll, Donald Trump is maintaining his lead over Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis.

With less than four days left until voting begins, Friday’s poll results show the former president at 52 per cent, (+2 points from Wednesday’s poll). Former UN Ambassador Haley has 35 per cent of likely voters (+1 point), and Florida Governor DeSantis is trailing far behind at six per cent.

Mr Trump is scheduled to fly in from Florida to campaign over the weekend including getting a reported endorsement from Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, Ms Haley’s home state.

DeSantis called out for Covid falsehood

Friday 19 January 2024 19:30 , Joe Sommerlad

I regret to inform you but “the only candidate who will tell the truth” has been caught lying.

Haley hits back at ‘insecure’ Trump ahead of New Hampshire face-off

Friday 19 January 2024 19:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Nikki Haley has hit back at Donald Trump after he ramped up his attacks on her ahead of the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

The former South Carolina governor said Mr Trump’s personal attacks mean he is feeling “threatened” and “insecure” as they head towards the state’s 2024 GOP presidential contest.

It comes after the former president shared an article from far-right conspiracy site The Gateway Pundit which claimed Ms Haley is not a “natural born citizen” and is therefore not eligible to serve as President of the United States because her parents, Indian immigrants, were not American citizens when she was born in 1972.

Ms Haley, who served as Mr Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, was born in the United States and is therefore eligible to run for president, according to the 14th Amendment.

Martha McHardy has the full story:

Nikki Haley hits back at ‘insecure’ Trump ahead of New Hampshire face-off

Haley doubles down on bizarre claim US was never a racist country

Friday 19 January 2024 18:30 , Joe Sommerlad

In the same broadcast, she also tried to defend her odd contention that the US has “never” been a racist country.

Martha McHardy has this report on the candidate tying herself in knots.

Nikki Haley doubles down on bizarre claim US was never a racist country

Haley attacks prospect of Trump-Biden rematch: ‘We have a country in disarray and a world on fire’

Friday 19 January 2024 17:30 , Joe Sommerlad

This might be why Trump was so particularly nasty about Haley today.

The candidate attacked both her Republican rival and the president over their advancing years during her appearance on a CNN town hall last night.

Nikki Haley attacks prospect of Trump-Biden rematch: ‘We have a country in disarray’

Haley slams Trump for ‘too many lies’

Friday 19 January 2024 16:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Haley has hit back at Trump on X over his earlier rant, choosing to ignore the former president’s racist attempt to invoke her Indian heritage in a nod to a bogus “birther” conspiracy theory doing the rounds that falsely implies she was not born in the United States,

The former UN Ambassador and ex-South Carolina governor wrote: “Another reason we need to move on from Trump: too many lies.

“Democrats can’t vote in the NH primary. They haven’t been able to change their registration for months.”

She continued: “I was tougher on China and Russia than Trump ever was. He praised Xi a dozen times after China gave the world Covid.

“I passed the toughest illegal immigration law in the country as governor. I did more to protect South Carolinians than he did to protect Americans.

“But we all know that’s why he won’t debate me. Have a great day!”

Trump attacks ‘weak’ Haley with racist nickname and claims she ‘never saw a war she didn’t like’

Friday 19 January 2024 16:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Just before jetting out for New Hampshire this morning, Trump took time out to lambast the state’s governor Chris Sununu on Truth Social, also hitting out at Nikki Haley in a surprisingly brutal attack on an opponent he claims to be beating easily.

Referring to her as “Nimbra”, an apparently deliberate misspelling of her given name “Nimarata” to draw attention to her Indian heritage, the Orange One wrote on Truth Social that she “doesn’t have what it takes”.

“She’s weak on China, Russia, Borders, and Crime, but never saw a war she didn’t like,” he added.

Haley’s New Hampshire supporters sing her ‘Happy Birthday’ a day early

Friday 19 January 2024 15:30 , Joe Sommerlad

The candidate was out and about and being serenaded with birthday greetings in Newfields, New Hampshire, this morning, albeit a day before her actual birthday.

Still, the thought was there.

“A very merry unbirthday to you!”

“Who me?”

“Yes you!”

Yang warns 2020 rematch will only result in ‘Trump the sequel’

Friday 19 January 2024 13:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Andrew Yang, the 2020 Democratic presidential contender, appeared in Hanover, New Hampshire, to stump for long-shot Biden challenger and Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips yesterday, warning that backing the president again this year would only result in a second Trump administration.

Yang rebuked Democratic leaders who did not step forward and run against Biden “despite the fact that Joe is down by eight points in Georgia, down by eight points in Michigan — states he won — down by nine points in North Carolina, which is like a swing state.

“Like, Joe Biden, who I supported last time, in my view, is going to deliver us to Trump the sequel.”

He continued: “Dean Phillips saw this and said, ‘You know what? I am going to do something about it.’

“And Dean Phillips is the only one with the courage, the character and conviction to go against the grain, to go against the legion of followers in Washington, D.C., who would put their careers above their country and said, ‘You know what? America deserves a choice. America deserves a choice in its leaders.’”

His suggestion that Marianne Williamson drop out, however, drew this angry reaction from the candidate herself.

Trump preoccupied with immunity ruling in strained Hannity interview

Friday 19 January 2024 12:30 , Joe Sommerlad

The Republican front-runner was interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News last night and betrayed his preoccupation with the US Supreme Court’s upcoming consideration of the moves by Colorado and Maine to remove him from those state’s presidential primary ballots, citing Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting insurrectionists from returning to public.

Even his “closing message to the people of New Hampshire” was just another plea for absolute immunity, essentially a Monopoly-style get out of jail free card.

He also resumed his attack on President Biden’s economic record after the incumbent had mocked his own earlier in the day.

Here’s Alex Woodward on Trump’s earlier “chaos and bedlam” warning/threat to the justices.

Trump warns Supreme Court of ‘chaos and bedlam’ in ballot removal case

Haley hits Trump on fentanyl, national debt and veneration for authoritarian leaders

Friday 19 January 2024 11:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Nikki Haley appeared at a New Hampshire town hall on CNN with Jake Tapper last night at which she went on the attack against her former employer, slipping in a bit of “Wuhan flu” Sinophobia for good measure.

Speaking at New England College in Henniker, she said of the prospect of a rematch between Trump and Joe Biden in November: “Do we really want to have two 80-year-olds running for president when we have a country in disarray and a world on fire?

“They are so distracted by their own investigations and their own grievances.”

She also doubled down rather awkwardly on her contention that America has never been a racist nation, insisting the country’s “intent was to do the right thing” at all times.

Hmmm.

Here’s how that one went down in the studio.

Here’s Mike Bedigan on her original remarks earlier this week.

Nikki Haley claims the US has ‘never been a racist country’

What to watch for in New Hampshire’s primary next week

Friday 19 January 2024 11:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Republican candidates for president landed in New Hampshire this week after the bitterly cold Iowa caucuses ended in a landslide victory for Donald Trump early Monday evening.

Mr Trump’s two remaining competitive rivals, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, are now set up for their second showdown with the frontrunner in New Hampshire, which votes in a “semi-open” primary style which allows the state’s sizable population of independent voters to participate in the respective major party primaries.

This is the second chance for either of them to prove that this entire exercise isn’t just one long, drawn-out coronation.

John Bowden reports:

What to watch for in New Hampshire, the second contest of 2024

Nevada GOP can’t decide between a primary or a caucus… so they’re doing both

Friday 19 January 2024 10:00 , Joe Sommerlad

After Donald Trump stormed the Iowa caucuses on Monday night, blowing his nearest challengers for the Republican presidential nomination into a distant second and third, all eyes will be on New Hampshire next Tuesday to see if he can repeat the feat.

The race is now a three-way chase following the exits of Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy and Asa Hutchinson and survivors Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley have it all to do if they are to weaken Mr Trump’s stranglehold over their party with a strong showing in the Granite State.

Assuming they are still considered competitive after that, they will next head to Nevada – and find themselves thrust into one of the most bizarre electoral systems in the 50 states, where two competing nominating contests are being held.

Because why choose between a primary and a caucus when you could just have both and confuse everybody?

Here’s a quick guide for the baffled:

Nevada Republicans can’t decide between a primary or a caucus – so they’re doing both

Tucker for VP? Don Jr says he a ‘contender’

Friday 19 January 2024 08:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Ousted Fox News host Tucker Carlson is “certainly a contender” to be former President Donald Trump’s running mate in the 2024 election, Mr Trump’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr has said.

Mr Carlson is in the running despite the earlier revelation that he privately shared his disgust with the ex-commander-in-chief, writing in a text “I hate [Trump] passionately”.

The host’s candid view of Mr Trump was revealed in the discovery process in the lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox News for its defamatory and inaccurate coverage of baseless allegations that the voting machine manufacturer had helped rig the 2020 election in favour of President Joe Biden. They reached a settlement in April last year.

Appearing on Newsmax, Mr Trump Jr said that Carlson as a possible VP pick “clearly would be on the table”.

Gustaf Kilander has the story:

Tucker Carlson ‘certainly a contender’ for Trump’s VP pick, Don Jr says

Why is Biden missing from the New Hampshire primary ballot?

Friday 19 January 2024 06:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Democratic voters in New Hampshire hoping to support President Joe Biden in the state’s primary on Tuesday may be surprised to find his name missing from their ballot papers.

Instead, they will see only those of his challengers – Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips and eccentric self-help guru Marianne Williamson – and will have to write in Mr Biden’s name themselves if they wish to cast a vote for him.

His absence is a result of a disagreement between the Granite State and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) over the president’s request that South Carolina be the first state to have a say in his pursuit of a second term in the White House on the basis that it is more reflective of the party’s diverse demographic makeup, which is why he was not in contention in the Iowa Caucus on 15 January.

Continue reading…

Why Joe Biden is missing from the New Hampshire primary ballot

Trump trolls Haley with Hillary Clinton meme

Friday 19 January 2024 04:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has unleashed a barrage of disparaging memes against his political rival Nikki Haley, including a crudely photoshopped image seemingly comparing her to Hillary Clinton.

The former president made multiple posts on his social media platform Truth Social on Tuesday and Wednesday, following his decisive win at the Iowa caucuses, and ahead of their next clash in New Hampshire next week.

Many of the posts included graphics of Ms Haley, calling out her previous statements and blasting her performance in the Iowa caucuses, where the former governor of South Carolina finished in third place, behind Mr Trump and Ron DeSantis respectively.

Mike Bedigan reports:

Trump trolls Nikki Haley with Hillary Clinton meme image

Trump doesn’t need women voters because he can rely on Black and Latino men, says Gaetz

Friday 19 January 2024 02:00 , Joe Sommerlad

GOP congressman Matt Gaetz says the Republican front-runner doesn’t need to worry if female voters are deserting him in droves.

Why? Because, the gentleman from Florida reports: “For every Karen we lose, there’s a Julio and Jamal ready to sign up for the Maga movement.”

Honestly, with friends like these, who needs enemies?

Gustaf Kilander has more on Gaetz’s brilliant insights.

Matt Gaetz says Trump doesn’t need women voters because ‘there’s a Julio ready’

What to look out for in New Hampshire

Friday 19 January 2024 01:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s your guide to Tuesday’s Republican showdown, which already looks like the end of the road for Nikki Haley and/or Ron DeSantis.

What to watch for in New Hampshire, the second contest of 2024

Watch: Voter confronts DeSantis over Dr Seuss book

Friday 19 January 2024 00:00 , Joe Sommerlad

He had this one coming.

Voter confronts Ron DeSantis over Dr. Seuss book

DeSantis slams rivals’ ‘basement campaigns’ as GOP debates axed

Thursday 18 January 2024 23:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The Florida governor has lashed out at his rivals Nikki Haley and Donald Trump after their refusal to take part in any further Republican debates led to the cancellation of ABC’s and CNN’s pre-New Hampshire bouts.

DeSantis slams rivals’ ‘basement campaigns’ as New Hampshire GOP debate axed

‘It’s us vs extreme Maga Republicans,’ Biden warns

Thursday 18 January 2024 22:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s how the president responded to Donald Trump’s dominant performance in Monday’s Iowa Caucus.

Biden warns ‘it’s us vs extreme Maga Republicans’ after Trump Iowa victory

Watch: Haley slams Trump’s down ballot electoral record

Thursday 18 January 2024 21:47 , Oliver O’Connell

Sununu accuses Trump of ‘taking people for granted’ in primary states

Thursday 18 January 2024 20:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The New Hampshire governor, who has endorsed Nikki Haley, has gone after the front-runner, accusing him of taking voters in his state for granted and being too preoccupied by his unending legal problems to campaign.

DeSantis admits media strategy failures

Thursday 18 January 2024 19:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The Florida governor appears to be acknowledging that the end is in sight as he faces growing pressure to drop out of the race for the Republincan nomination and endorse Trump, despite finishing second in Iowa on Monday, small reward for his huge efforts campaigning in the Hawkeye State.

The Independent’s own Eric Garcia has an aphorism he would have done well to bear in mind.

New Hampshire could be ‘game over’ for Haley, pundit warns

Thursday 18 January 2024 18:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday, political correspondent Jonathan Lemire laid out precisely what’s at stake for the former UN ambassador in next Tuesday’s contest in the Granite State.

Meanwhile, Home Depot’s wealthy founder Ken Langone has said he intends to donate “a nice sum of money” to Haley’s campaign but only on the condition that she performs well against Trump.

“You don’t throw money down a rat hole,” he remarks, sagely.

Here’s more on her prospects from John Bowden.

What next for Nikki Haley as her New Hampshire showdown with Trump looms?

Nevada Republicans can’t decide between a primary or a caucus – so they’re doing both

Thursday 18 January 2024 17:00 , Joe Sommerlad

After Donald Trump stormed the Iowa caucuses on Monday night, blowing his nearest challengers for the Republican presidential nomination into a distant second and third, all eyes will be on New Hampshire next Tuesday to see if he can repeat the feat.

The race is now a three-way chase following the exits of Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy and Asa Hutchinson and survivors Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley have it all to do if they are to weaken Mr Trump’s stranglehold over their party with a strong showing in the Granite State.

Assuming they are still considered competitive after that, they will next head to Nevada – and find themselves thrust into one of the most bizarre electoral systems in the 50 states, where two competing nominating contests are being held.

Because why choose between a primary and a caucus when you could just have both and confuse everybody?

Here’s a quick guide for the baffled.

Nevada Republicans can’t decide between a primary or a caucus – so they’re doing both

Biden’s chief of staff apologises to Asa Hutchinson over cheap campaign jibe

Thursday 18 January 2024 16:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The Democratic National Committee’s joke about the former Arkansas governor suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination earlier this week has not gone down well and President Biden’s chief of staff Jeff Zients has reportedly apologised to the candidate.

Here’s John Bowden on his decision to drop out.

Asa Hutchinson suspends 2024 campaign after unnoticeable Iowa caucus showing

DeSantis challenged over banned books, Covid record

Thursday 18 January 2024 15:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Back to the Florida governor, who has been having a tough old time of it on the campaign trail over his record in the Sunshine State.

The pundits on MSNBC have meanwhile been joking darkly that his only real hopes of securing the GOP nomination rest on one of Trump’s criminal cases coming good or his surely-high rate of cholesterol imperilling his health.

Trump attending mother-in-law’s funeral before weekend of campaigning in New Hampshire

Thursday 18 January 2024 14:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The Republican front-runner has announced his temporary return to Florida for the funeral today of his mother-in-law, Amalija Knavs, reporting that he will be back on the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Friday.

Knavs, 78, passed away from an undisclosed illness on 9 January.

Trump to attend funeral for Melania’s mother at church near Mar-a-Lago

Trump claims you need ID to buy bread in rambling New Hampshire rally address

Thursday 18 January 2024 13:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Fresh from his tetchy appearance sitting in on E Jean Carroll’s testimony in New York, Donald Trump was back out on the rally circuit in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, last night, drumming up votes ahead of next Tuesday’s Republican primary.

It was the usual rambling mess of pet grievances and wounded victimhood, a few highlights of which follow.

En route back to New Hampshire, Trump says he’s the one who should be paid damages

Thursday 18 January 2024 12:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Moments after the conclusion of the second day of a jury trial to determine how much money he owes a woman he defamed for lying about sexually abusing her, Donald Trump claimed that he is the one who suffered damages.

The former president – on trial a second time for defaming E Jean Carroll, who has accused Trump of sexually assaulting her and then lying about never meeting her – briefly spoke at his 40 Wall Street property after jurors in a federal courtroom heard several hours of testimony from the former Elle magazine writer.

Trump, who baselessly casts his growing pile of legal challenges as a Democratic conspiracy to keep him away from the White House, called the trial “rigged” and “election interference” based on a “made-up, fabricated story”.

He has since continued his attack on Truth Social.

Alex Woodward has been following the trial.

Trump says he’s the one who should be paid damages in E Jean Carroll defamation trial

Haley says DeSantis ‘invisible’ in New Hampshire

Thursday 18 January 2024 11:34 , Joe Sommerlad

Nikki Haley has attacked Republican rival Ron DeSantis in a new interview with Fox News, saying he is “invisible” in New Hampshire and is “closer to zero than he is to me” in polling terms.

“It’s Trump we’re going after,” she insists.

The front-runner’s new cheerleader Vivek Ramaswamy has also turned his attention to the Florida governor, imploring him to drop out and arguing he would deserve “immense credit” if he did so now.

What to watch for in New Hampshire’s primary

Thursday 18 January 2024 11:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Republican candidates for president landed in New Hampshire this week after the bitterly cold Iowa caucuses ended in a landslide victory for Donald Trump early on Monday evening.

John Bowden looks at what we should be watching out for in the Granite State.

What to watch for in New Hampshire, the second contest of 2024

Haley refuses to condemn Trump’s sexual abuse of E Jean Carroll

Thursday 18 January 2024 10:00 , Oliver O’Connell

GOP presidential primary candidate Nikki Haley dodged commenting on Donald Trump‘s legal battle with columnist E Jean Carroll, saying she hasn’t “looked at” the case.

Ms Haley, a former UN Ambassador, sat down with CNN on Tuesday. When asked about the E Jean Carroll defamation case, she denied having knowledge of its details.

“You’re the only woman in this race. How do you feel about your party’s front-runner being held liable for sexual abuse?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked Ms Haley.

Read on to see how she responded…

Nikki Haley refuses to condemn Trump’s sexual abuse of E Jean Carroll

Bannon explodes as Speaker Johnson says Biden’s presidency is ‘God’s will’

Thursday 18 January 2024 08:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Steve Bannon, a former adviser to Donald Trump, ripped into House Speaker Mike Johnson after the Republican congressman said Joe Biden’s presidency was “God’s will.”

Mr Bannon has spent the last several years hosting his War Room right-wing podcast, and made clear on a recent episode that he disagreed with Mr Johnson’s take on Mr Biden’s presidency.

Mr Johnson made the comments on Wednesday during a press conference. He was asked if Mr Biden’s presidency was “God’s will.”

Graig Graziosi has the story:

Steve Bannon explodes as Speaker Mike Johnson says Biden’s presidency is ‘God’s will’

Harris responds to Haley claiming US has ‘never’ been racist country

Thursday 18 January 2024 06:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Kamala Harris has rejected Nikki Haley’s claim on Fox News that the United States has “never” been a racist country.

The vice president criticised the Republican 2024 hopeful a day after Ms Haley rejected the suggestion she finished third in the Iowa caucuses behind two white men because of the colour of her skin.

Ms Haley, Donald Trump’s former ambassador to the UN, made her comments during a Tuesday appearance on Fox News in response to comments by MSNBC host Joy Reid.

Continue reading…

Kamala Harris responds to Nikki Haley claiming US has ‘never’ been racist country

In bid to argue ‘political bias’ in classified documents case, Trump demands Biden administration papers

Thursday 18 January 2024 04:00 , Oliver O’Connell

In a new court filing, lawyers for former president Donald Trump argued that the federal case against him for allegedly holding onto classified documents is “politically motivated.”

The documents, which were filed Tuesday, lay out the possible legal strategy Trump’s defence team plans to use to combat the criminal charges against him.

Julia Reinstein reports:

Trump argues ‘political bias’ against him in classified documents case

Maga lawmaker reacts angrily after being called out over Trump family separation scandal

Thursday 18 January 2024 02:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Maga Republican lawmaker Anna Paulina Luna lashed out at an immigration expert after he laughed at her defence of the Trump administration’s policies of separating migrant children from their parents.

During a House of Representatives hearing on Wednesday, Ms Luna contested that the policies had inflicted psychological trauma on the children.

Responding to Cato Institute immigration expert David Bier, she said: “You talk about intentional trauma and that the Trump administration caused intentional trauma by separating these children from their quote-unquote ‘parents’.

“The fact is, is that… you don’t know what these people are like.” Ms Luna then paused to ask: “Mr Bier why are you laughing?”

Mike Bedigan reports on how he replied:

Maga Republican reacts after being called out over Trump family separation scandal

Trump trolls Haley with Hillary Clinton meme

Wednesday 17 January 2024 23:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has unleashed a barrage of disparaging memes against his political rival Nikki Haley, including a crudely photoshopped image seemingly comparing her to Hillary Clinton.

The former president made multiple posts on his social media platform Truth Social on Tuesday and Wednesday, following his decisive win at the Iowa caucuses, and ahead of their next clash in New Hampshire next week.

Mike Bedigan reports:

Trump trolls Nikki Haley with Hillary Clinton meme image

Macron says he could work with Trump: ‘I take the leaders people give me’

Wednesday 17 January 2024 22:20 , Joe Sommerlad

We’ve just heard about Justin Trudeau’s anxiety over the prospect of a second Trump administration.

By contrast, France’s president is rather more pragmatic.

Here’s Maroosha Muzaffar on what he had to say.

Macron says he could work with Trump: ‘I take the leaders people give me’

Hutchinson ‘gratified’ for rebuffing of ridicule over campaign ending

Wednesday 17 January 2024 22:10 , Oliver O’Connell

Harris responds to Haley claiming US has ‘never’ been racist country

Wednesday 17 January 2024 21:50 , Oliver O’Connell

Kamala Harris has rejected Nikki Haley’s claim on Fox News that the United States has “never” been a racist country.

The vice president criticised the Republican 2024 hopeful a day after Ms Haley rejected the suggestion she finished third in the Iowa caucuses behind two white men because of the colour of her skin.

Ms Haley, Donald Trump’s former ambassador to the UN, made her comments during a Tuesday appearance on Fox News in response to comments by MSNBC host Joy Reid.

“We’re not a racist country… We’ve never been a racist country,” she said.

Graeme Massie reports on what the vice president said in response:

Kamala Harris responds to Nikki Haley claiming US has ‘never’ been racist country

Trump re-election ‘won’t be easy’ for Canada, says Trudeau

Wednesday 17 January 2024 21:20 , Joe Sommerlad

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau has said that if Trump is re-elected as US president, it will not “be easy” for Canada.

His remarks on Tuesday echo concerns by Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, who previously warned that the re-election of the former president would be a threat to Europe.

Mike Bedigan has more.

Trump re-election ‘won’t be easy’ for Canada, says PM Justin Trudeau

Nevada GOP can’t decide between a primary or a caucus — so they’re doing both…

Wednesday 17 January 2024 20:50 , Joe Sommerlad

After Donald Trump stormed the Iowa caucuses on Monday night, blowing his nearest challengers for the Republican presidential nomination into a distant second and third, all eyes will be on New Hampshire next Tuesday to see if he can repeat the feat.

The race is now a three-way chase following the exits of Chris Christie, Vivek Ramaswamy and Asa Hutchinson and survivors Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley have it all to do if they are to weaken Mr Trump’s stranglehold over their party with a strong showing in the Granite State.

Assuming they are still considered competitive after that, they will next head to Nevada – and find themselves thrust into one of the most bizarre electoral systems in the 50 states, where two competing nominating contests are being held.

Because why choose between a primary and a caucus when you could just have both and confuse everybody?

Here’s a quick guide for the baffled:

Nevada Republicans can’t decide between a primary or a caucus – so they’re doing both

Analysis: Trump’s election lies are thriving. His GOP rivals aren’t challenging them

Wednesday 17 January 2024 20:20 , Joe Sommerlad

Trump’s supporters continue doggedly to adopt his bogus narrative that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, with nearly 70 per cent of his Iowa caucus voters falsely believing President Joe Biden was illegitimately elected.

Asked whether they believed President Biden was legitimately elected to the presidency in 2020, more than two-thirds of Iowa caucus goers said no, according to entrance polls from Monday night’s caucuses.

That includes 69 per cent of Iowa caucus goers who supported Trump. Only 11 per cent of his supporters in Iowa believe the president was legitimately elected.

Alex Woodward has more.

Trump’s election lies are thriving. His GOP rivals aren’t challenging them

Trump and Ramaswamy spark vice president rumours

Wednesday 17 January 2024 19:54 , Oliver O’Connell

Former President Donald Trump and former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy sparked vice president rumours while at a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

“He’s a fantastic guy. He’s got something that’s very special,” Mr Trump said of the businessman who dropped out of the race on Monday and endorsed him instead. “It’s an honour to have his endorsement,” Mr Trump continued.

“He’s going to be working with us and he’ll be working with us for a long time.”

Michelle Del Ray reports:

Trump and Ramaswamy spark vice president rumours at New Hampshire rally

Ted Cruz endorses man he once called ‘a pathological liar’ for Republican nomination

Wednesday 17 January 2024 19:20 , Joe Sommerlad

The Texas senator – whom Trump derided as “Lyin’ Ted” in 2016, whose wife he called ugly and whose father he suggested had been involved in the Kennedy assassination – has once again crawled out from under a hot rock to offer his grovelling endorsement to the front-runner.

Never Trumpers on social media wasted no time in calling him out on his screeching hypocrisy.

What next for Haley as New Hampshire showdown looms?

Wednesday 17 January 2024 18:20 , Joe Sommerlad

Nikki Haley is having a moment. Whether it will evolve into a disaster remains to be seen.

The former governor and UN ambassador entered the Iowa caucuses on Monday with the wind at her back, boosted by climbing poll numbers in every state and with campaign-watchers believing that a rout of her rival, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, was at hand.

Instead, she settled for third place. DeSantis came out ahead, barely but verifiably on top. Trump, the continued frontrunner for the nomination, was miles away — more than 30 points separated Trump and Haley’s final percentage totals.

Despite this, she was unbent on the stage of her caucus-night event in Clive, Iowa.

Appearing onstage after Vivek Ramaswamy showed up at his own event and dropped out, the ex-ambassador declared the 2024 GOP primary to be a two-person race going forward. DeSantis, she argued (somewhat questionably, given the result), is no longer a factor.

John Bowden has more on her prospects ahead of New Hampshire, where she is polling much more favourably.

What next for Nikki Haley as her New Hampshire showdown with Trump looms?

Jimmy Kimmel trolls Ramaswamy for kissing Trump’s ‘orange a**’

Wednesday 17 January 2024 17:20 , Joe Sommerlad

The late night host was on scathing form ridiculing the now-former Republican candidate on his show on Tuesday evening.

“Even though he was running against Trump, he never missed an opportunity to plant one on his big orange ass,” Kimmel said.

“And that call went straight to voicemail,” Mr Kimmel joked. “He’s never going to hook up with you, dude. It’s just not gonna happen.”

Martha McHardy has more.

Jimmy Kimmel trolls Ramaswamy for kissing Trump’s ‘orange a**’

Ramaswamy stumps for Trump and calls for Haley and DeSantis to drop out amid VP talk

Wednesday 17 January 2024 16:20 , Joe Sommerlad

Vivek Ramaswamy, who ended his own presidential campaign after Iowa, appeared on stage with Trump in Atkinson, New Hampshire, last night and enjoyed a warm reception, with the crowd chanting “VP” at one point, arguing for him as the Republican front-runner’s next running mate.

However, senior Trump adviser Jason Miller appears to have already ruled out that possibility.

Amazing that it was only this weekend that Trump attacked his then-rival as “not MAGA” and warned Iowa voters not to be “duped” into voting for him.

Ramaswamy also dutifully appeared on Fox News last night and called on Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis to follow his example by dropping out and endorsing Trump.

Laura Ingraham also advocated for the same outcome.

After unnoticeable Iowa caucus showing, Hutchinson drops out

Wednesday 17 January 2024 15:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson dropped out of the 2024 presidential race on Tuesday after a whisper of a performance in the Iowa caucuses.

Mr Hutchinson had been one of two prominent Republicans in the race most vocal about their concerns stemming from the candidacy of Donald Trump, who set a record with his own blowout performance in the caucuses, taking 51 per cent of the vote.

In a statement, he acknowledged that his message of opposition against the frontrunner had not gone over well among Republican voters.

John Bowden reports from Des Moines:

Asa Hutchinson suspends 2024 campaign after unnoticeable Iowa caucus showing

Analysis: Ramaswamy promised to set the world on fire. He barely made a sound

Wednesday 17 January 2024 14:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Vivek Ramaswamy tried to rile the masses through a 2024 presidential campaign punctuated with brazen claims and flashes of cash, but he ended up without a crowd at all.

The entrepreneur has dropped out of the race after racking up less than eight per cent of the Iowa caucus vote. Ahead of the caucuses, the Republican candidate encouraged his followers to “stick it to the media and shock the world.”

His campaign seemingly hinged on providing shock value.

Kelly Rissman reports:

Ramaswamy promised to set the world on fire. He barely made a sound

Biden warns Americans ‘it’s you and me vs extreme Maga Republicans’

Wednesday 17 January 2024 13:20 , Oliver O’Connell

President Joe Biden has responded to Donald Trump’s landslide win in the Iowa caucuses by warning American voters it’s “going to be you and me vs extreme Maga Republicans”.

Mr Trump was Monday night’s overwhelming winner, picking up 51 per cent of the vote in the Hawkeye State and bringing him closer to securing the Republican presidential nomination as primary season finally got under way.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis got 21 per cent of the vote, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley scored 19 per cent and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy scored just 8 per cent, prompting him to suspend his campaign and back the victor.

“Looks like Donald Trump just won Iowa. He’s the clear frontrunner on the other side at this point,” Mr Biden posted on X overnight.

Biden warns ‘it’s us vs extreme Maga Republicans’ after Trump Iowa victory

DeSantis slams rivals’ ‘basement campaigns’ as New Hampshire GOP debate axed

Wednesday 17 January 2024 12:40 , Rachel Sharp

Republican presidential contender Ron DeSantis has said he is the only candidate “who’s not running a basement campaign” after rival Nikki Haleydropped out of ABC News’ planned New Hampshire debate, forcing the network to cancel the event.

Mr DeSantis took part in a CNN town hall in the Granite State on Tuesday evening, where he hit out at his Republican rivals in the 2024 White House race.

“I’m the only candidate that actually agreed to come to New Hampshire to debate,” he said.

“I’m the only one who’s not running a basement campaign at this point.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Ms Haley posted on X that she would not be taking part in any further GOP debates unless front-runner Donald Trump finally agreed to join her and Mr DeSantis on stage.

Read the full story:

DeSantis slams rivals’ ‘basement campaigns’ as New Hampshire GOP debate axed

Haley spoils Trump’s clean sweep of Iowa by one vote in one county

Wednesday 17 January 2024 12:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Nikki Haley has managed to claw back a minor victory in the Iowa caucuses, beating Donald Trump in a lone county and ruining his clean sweep across the state.

The former ambassador to the United Nations and South Carolina governor trumped the former president by just one vote in Johnson County, with 1,271 votes to 1,270 and 99 per cent of votes tallied.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis trailed behind both candidates in the county with 755 votes.

Ms Haley’s win ultimately wiped out Mr Trump’s clean sweep of the Iowa caucuses, leaving him victorious in 98 out of 99 counties.

Rachel Sharp reports.

Iowa caucuses: Haley beats Trump with one vote in Johnson County

New Hampshire GOP primary debate axed

Wednesday 17 January 2024 12:05 , Rachel Sharp

ABC News has scrapped Thursday night’s Republican primary debate in New Hampshire after Nikki Haley vowed that she would only take part if Donald Trump faced his rivals on the stage.

“Our intent was to host a debate coming out of the Iowa caucuses, but we always knew that would be contingent on the candidates and the outcome of the race,” the network said in a statement.

“As a result, while our robust election coverage will continue, ABC News and [local news station] WMUR-TV will not be moving forward with Thursday’s Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire.”

The outlet said that neither Ms Haley nor Mr Trump had confirmed their participation by the deadline, leaving only Ron DeSantis.

After the Iowa caucuses, Ms Haley had posted on X that Mr Trump had “ducked all” of the GOP debates and now has “nowhere left to hide”.

“The next debate I do will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden. I look forward to it,” she said.

DeSantis fury after Trump is projected Iowa caucus winner before many had voted

Wednesday 17 January 2024 11:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Ron DeSantis’s campaign accused the media of “election interference” for projecting Donald Trump as the winner of the Iowa caucuses while voting was still taking place on Monday evening.

The Associated Press and other news organisations projected Mr Trump as the clear victor of the first contest in the Republican primary campaign just 30 minutes after voting began, with over 50 per cent of the vote.

At the time of writing, Mr DeSantis was running second with around 20 per cent, while Nikki Haley was close behind in third.

“It is absolutely outrageous that the media would participate in election interference by calling the race before tens of thousands of Iowans even had a chance to vote,” the campaign’s communications director, Andrew Romeo, said in a statement.

Richard Hall reports:

DeSantis campaign cries ‘election interference’ in Iowa caucuses as Trump win called

Haley says she will only participate in debates if it’s against Trump or Biden

Wednesday 17 January 2024 10:20 , Kelly Rissman

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley says she will only attend another debate if it’s against Donald Trump or President Joe Biden after coming in third place in the Iowa caucuses.

“We’ve had five great debates in this campaign. Unfortunately, Donald Trump has ducked all of them,” Ms Haley said in a statement on Tuesday. “He has nowhere left to hide. The next debate I do will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden. I look forward to it.”

The former South Carolina governor’s statement arrives after she garnered the third most support at the Iowa caucuses, trailing behind Mr Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis.

Still, following the caucuses, Ms Haley said, “I can safely say tonight Iowa made this Republican primary a two-person race.”

Last week, Ms Haley went head-to-head in a debate with Mr DeSantis. Their ratings on CNN were trounced by Mr Trump’s appearance at the same time on a Fox News town hall.

Continue reading…

Nikki Haley says she will participate in a debate if it’s against Trump or Biden

Ramaswamy drops out

Wednesday 17 January 2024 09:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Vivek Ramaswamy is ending his presidential campaign after finishing fourth in the Iowa Caucuses.

The 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur and anti-woke author endorsed Donald Trump after the former president’s overwhelming victory in the first contest in the Republican presidential primary.

“We did not achieve the surprise that we wanted to deliver tonight … as of this moment we are going to suspend this presidential campaign,” he told his supporters in the Hawkeye State on Monday night.

“There’s no path for me to be the next president absent things that we don’t want to see happen in this country,” he added.

Vivek Ramaswamy suspends campaign after coming fourth in Iowa

Analysis: Trump’s election lies are thriving. His GOP rivals aren’t challenging them

Wednesday 17 January 2024 08:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s supporters continue to adopt his bogus narrative that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, with nearly 70 per cent of his Iowa caucus voters falsely believing President Joe Biden was illegitimately elected.

Asked whether they believed President Biden was legitimately elected to the presidency in 2020, more than two-thirds of Iowa caucus goers said no, according to entrance polls from last night’s caucuses.

That includes 69 per cent of Iowa caucus goers who supported Mr Trump. Only 11 per cent of his supporters in Iowa believe the president was legitimately elected.

Alex Woodward reports:

Trump’s election lies are thriving. His GOP rivals aren’t challenging them

Trump gets ‘best case scenario’ in Iowa

Wednesday 17 January 2024 07:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump ended up with what could be described as a “best-case scenario” after he won the Iowa caucuses by a historic margin.

Mr Trump achieved blowout in the first-in-the-nation contest, with the fight for second being won by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on Monday night.

Ms Haley had the momentum going into the caucuses, but her progress was stunted by Mr DeSantis, Matt Fuller of The Daily Beast noted before all the votes had been counted. Ms Haley’s performance still did not allow Mr DeSantis to hit the ground running going into the New Hampshire primary on 23 January.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Trump gets ‘best case scenario’ in Iowa as GOP field struggles to keep up

Haley’s surge chilled by third place in frozen Iowa caucus

Wednesday 17 January 2024 05:20 , Oliver O’Connell

The former governor of South Carolina charged into Iowa as 2024 kicked off with the hopes of knocking off Ron DeSantis and snatching a second-place finish, buoyed by a late-game polling surge.

Instead, she ended the night in a close third — all the while declaring that, despite Mr DeSantis pulling off his own sort-of victory, that it was now a “two-person race”.

She now heads to New Hampshire, boosted by her rising poll numbers but with her momentum blunted, at least to some degree, by the lack of a result here tonight.

Ms Haley concluded her battle for the state with remarks at a Marriott in Des Moines that doubled as two caucus precincts; she lost both of them, with Ron DeSantis pulling off a near-upset of his own in one. But in her remarks closing down her campaign’s caucus-night watch party, the former ambassador and governor projected the image of a candidate on the upswing, headed to friendly territory with the wind at her back.

It remains wholly unclear if any of that is true, as John Bowden reports from Clive, Iowa.

Nikki Haley’s surge chilled by third place in frozen Iowa caucus

Iowa caucus-goers go full MAGA

Wednesday 17 January 2024 03:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Iowa caucus-goers are going full MAGA, with many expressing beliefs in debunked conspiracy theories as former President Donald Trump is projected to win the first-in-the-nation contest.

In a CNN entrance poll, 68 per cent of those who arrived early to caucus sites said they didn’t believe that President Joe Biden was legitimately elected. Among Trump voters, that number rose to 88 per cent, CBS noted.

Iowa caucus-goers go full MAGA as Trump projected to win in landslide

Wednesday 17 January 2024 02:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Former Democrat reveals he registered Republican to vote against Trump in Iowa

Biden records massive fundraising haul

Wednesday 17 January 2024 01:20 , Oliver O’Connell

President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee as well as their joint fundraising committees for the 2024 campaign took in more than $97m in the last three months of last year.

The campaign revealed the figures on Monday, showing that Mr Biden is ahead of where the Obama campaign was at a similar juncture, but behind then-President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, Politico notes.

During the last quarter of 2019, Mr Trump and the Republican National Committee had gathered more than $154m. In 2011, as then-President Barack Obama was running for re-election, his campaign and the DNC brought $68m during the last quarter.

In the third quarter of last year, Mr Biden and committees connected to his re-election effort gathered $71m. The Biden campaign noted on Monday that it has $117m in cash on hand.

Continue reading…

Biden campaign announces massive fundraising haul

American democracy in better shape than Britain’s, says Nigel Farage

Wednesday 17 January 2024 00:20 , Oliver O’Connell

Nigel Farage said he believes that American democracy is in better shape than Britain’s, even as polls show many Americans expect violence to follow the 2024 election, in a possible repeat of the January 6, 2021 insurrection after the 2020 election.

Appearing on the British right-leaning TV news channel GB News from Iowa, the Brexit campaigner said the Trump team are “pretty bullish. They really are. If the polls are right … he’s going to win this caucus this evening by quite a big margin”.

“To be here and to see the enthusiasm for the democratic process in America – it’s such a contrast to our country. It really is remarkable that all these people will turn out at seven o’clock tonight to vote and some will vote for Trump or some a vote for Haley or Ramaswamy. But it really is an exciting thing to be part of,” he added.

Another side to the enthusiasm Mr Farage, 59, is speaking about is that the strong feelings in US politics at times turn into real-world violence, as seen three years ago during the Capitol riot.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Nigel Farage says American democracy in better shape than Britain’s

‘Holy war’: How Iowa evangelicals rallied around Trump

Tuesday 16 January 2024 23:20 , Alex Woodward

Donald Trump’s closing message in Iowa before the first votes of the 2024 presidential election was a familiar one. He’s convinced his supporters that his legal problems are their own, and that he’s the only one who can stop them, while stringing along a fake narrative that the 2020 election was stolen from them.

As he targets a key Republican voting bloc of evangelical Christians, the former president is leaning into a fantasy among supporters and social media influencers depicting him as something of a messianic figure, who was sent by God as a “shepherd to mankind” who ends his week in the Oval Office “by attending church on Sunday,” according to one video shared by his campaign.

Mr Trump never joined a church during his presidency, nor was he seen attending services more than a handful of times. Nevertheless, he shared the video, from a group of meme creators who have worked closely with the former president’s campaign, hours before votes were cast in Iowa.

Continue reading the full article…

Watch: Ron DeSantis campaigns in New Hampshire

Tuesday 16 January 2024 22:31 , Oliver O’Connell

Which former Trump allies will not be voting for him?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 22:20 , Kelly Rissman

Donald Trump has maintained a sizable lead in the polls ahead of the 2024 primaries — but he faces a growing list of once-allies who have now ditched him, explicitly declaring opposition to a second Trump presidency.

Many people once close to the former president — members of his cabinet, supporters in Congress, and even his own attorneys — have now voiced their opposition to his 2024 candidacy.

They have cautioned against electing him again, concerned about the dangers a Trump second term would pose for democracy.

Whether the tipping point was the January 6 Capitol riot, one of Mr Trump’s federal indictments, or something else entirely, each of these former loyalists has arrived at the same conclusion: they don’t think Trump should be president again in 2024.

Over the weekend, ex-Trump White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci went so far as to say that if 2024 became another Biden-Trump matchup, he would back the Democratic incumbent.

Although he stands alone in that category, here is a list of every former Trump ally who has said they wouldn’t support him in 2024.

Let’s start with former members of Trump’s White House staff.

Former Trump allies who have said they won’t vote for him in 2024

ABC News cancels Thursday’s GOP New Hampshire debate

Tuesday 16 January 2024 22:17 , Oliver O’Connell

ABC News and WMUR-TV have cancelled the Republican primary debate scheduled for Thursday in New Hampshire.

Earlier today, Nikki Haley had said she would only participate if Donald Trump did.

The network said in a statement: “Our intent was to host a debate coming out of the Iowa caucuses, but we always knew that would be contingent on the candidates.”

Ron DeSantis was the only candidate who confirmed he would attend.

What next for Nikki Haley as New Hampshire showdown looms?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 22:00 , John Bowden

Nikki Haley is having a moment. Whether it will evolve into a disaster remains to be seen.

The former governor and UN ambassador entered the Iowa caucuses on Monday with the wind at her back, boosted by climbing poll numbers in every state and with campaign-watchers believing that a rout of her rival, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis, was at hand.

Instead, she settled for third place. Mr DeSantis came out ahead, barely but verifiably on top. Donald Trump, the continued frontrunner for the nomination, was miles away — more than 30 points separated Mr Trump and Ms Haley’s final percentage totals.

Despite this, Ms Haley was unbent on the stage of her caucus-night event in Clive. Appearing onstage after Vivek Ramaswamy showed up at his own event and dropped out, the ex-ambassador declared the 2024 GOP primary to be a two-person race going forward. Mr DeSantis, she argued (somewhat questionably, given the result), is no longer a factor.

Continue reading…

What next for Nikki Haley as her New Hampshire showdown with Trump looms?

Ex-Sunday Times editor faces US backlash over Iowa comment

Tuesday 16 January 2024 21:35 , Oliver O’Connell

Former Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil faced a backlash online from US political commentators for a remark made about the results of the Iowa caucuses.

As predicted, Donald Trump stormed to victory in the event, the first major contest of the year on Monday. Ron DeSantis squeaked to a close second place ahead of Nikki Haley.

The now trio – following the departures of Vivek Ramaswamy and Asa Hutchinson from the race – will now face voters in New Hampshire next week.

Neil, a veteran British broadcaster and editor of London’s Sunday Times from 1983 to 1994, wrote on X/Twitter: “US commentators slow to realise that Haley and DeSantis being effectively neck and neck for second place in Iowa is good news for Trump.

“Means neither heads to New Hampshire, where things will be tougher for Trump, with clear momentum.”

Mike Bedigan reports on the reaction to Neil’s comments:

Ex-Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil faces US backlash over Iowa comment

Haley claims the US has ‘never been a racist country’

Tuesday 16 January 2024 21:11 , Oliver O’Connell

Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley has claimed the US has “never been a racist country” as she dismissed the suggestion that she would struggle to gain the GOP nomination as a woman of colour.

One day after a national holiday celebrating US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, the former Governor of South Carolina described her experience as the “American dream” and also denied that the Republican party itself was racist.

Mike Bedigan reports:

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