Donald Trump has been rebuked by President Joe Biden after proclaiming during a campaign rally in South Carolina that he would “encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” to any country that is “delinquent” in meeting its financial commitments to Nato.

President Biden was incensed by the remarks, commenting: “Serving as commander-in-chief is the ultimate responsibility and one that should weigh heavily on the individuals that hold this office.

“Trump’s admission that he intends to give Vladimir Putin a green light for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault against a free Ukraine, and to expand his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic States is appalling and dangerous.

“Sadly, they are also predictable coming from a man who is promising to rule as a dictator like the ones he praises on day one if he returns to the Oval Office.”

Mr Trump was also chastised by his primary opponent Nikki Haley, who warned him not to “take the side of a thug”, while his rhetoric drew a divided reaction from his fellow Republicans.

The candidate otherwise spent the Super Bowl weekend vainly courting the support of pop superstar Taylor Swift.

Key Points

  • Haley claps back at Trump questioning where her husband is

  • Judd Apatow skewers Biden and Trump in awards monologue

  • Kayleigh McEnany desperately claims Trump’s gaffes are on purpose

  • Liz Cheney hits Trump: ‘No sane American President would encourage Putin to attack our Nato allies’

  • Classified documents case: Smith accuses Trump team of trying to ‘smuggle’ entirely new defence into case

Former UK defence minister: ‘The most irresponsible comment that any former president has made on international security’

21:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump calls on Supreme Court to block ruling against ‘immunity’ defence on election conspiracy charges

21:44 , Alex Woodward

Donald Trump is asking the US Supreme Court to block a ruling that struck down his “immunity”defence against prosecution for crimes allegedly committed while he was in office, potentially setting up another major constitutional question involving the former president’s campaign in front of the nation’s highest court.

On Monday, Mr Trump’s attorneys filed their expected appeal of last week’s appellate court ruling that rejected his “immunity” defence from charges connected to his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The request comes days after Mr Trump’s legal team argued in front of the justices for a separate case, one that challenges a Colorado court ruling that disqualifies him from 2024 ballots.

His attorneys could be headed right back to the nation’s high court relatively swiftly if the justices agree to hear the “immunity” question, smack in the middle of a primary election calendar and Mr Trump’s busy schedule of multiple criminal and civil cases.

Progress in the election conspiracy case under special counsel Jack Smith has effectively been ground to a halt with Mr Trump’s ongoing appeal of a central question in the case, one that has so far been shot down at both the appeals court and by the federal judge overseeing the case.

Last week, appeals court judges wrote that “citizen Trump” is not shielded by executive immunity, and that his “alleged efforts to remain in power despite losing the 2020 election were, if proven, an unprecedented assault on the structure of our government.”

They rejected his premise that a president has “unbounded authority to commit crimes that would neutralise the most fundamental check on executive power – the recognition and implementation of election results”, as well as his “carte blanche” efforts “to violate the rights of individual citizens to vote and to have their votes count”.

“We cannot accept that the office of the presidency places its former occupants above the law for all time thereafter,” they added.

Biden calls Trump ‘the fella who’s running again’

21:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump’s ‘outrageous’ Nato comments make allies ‘wonder whether they can rely on America’, warns Romney

21:15 , Eric Garcia, Gustaf Kilander

Mitt Romney has told The Independent that former President Donald Trump’s comments about how he would urge Russia to attack Nato countries who don’t spend enough on defence makes US allies wonder if they can “rely on America”.

Mr Romney’s comments come after Mr Trump’s rally in Conway, South Carolina on Sunday, where he said: “If we don’t pay and we’re attacked by Russia, will you protect us?” Mr Trump said, claiming to remember a Nato member state leader asking him during his presidency. He then claimed to have responded: “No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want.”

Mr Romney, now a Utah Senator after being the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and serving as the governor of Massachusetts, told The Independent on Monday: “He says outrageous things to get people riled up. It works at the rallies. Unfortunately, it also has an impact around the world where our friends wonder whether they can rely on America.”

This comes after reports regarding Mr Trump telling top European Union officials that the US would never help Europe if it was attacked.

Thierry Breton, a French EU commissioner, said during a roundtable discussion in Brussels early last month that Mr Trump made the comments in January 2020 when speaking to the president of the commission, Ursula Von Der Leyen, a former German defence minister.

“You need to understand that if Europe is under attack, we will never come to help you and to support you,” Mr Trump said, according to Mr Breton. “By the way, NATO is dead, and we will leave, we will quit NATO.”

“And by the way, you owe me $400bn, because you didn’t pay, you Germans, what you had to pay for defence,” Mr Trump added at the time, Mr Breton said.

‘Massive mistake for Donald Trump to side with a thug like Putin,’ Haley says

21:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Political scientist criticises Washington Post over coverage of Trump’s Nato comments

20:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Recap: Haley claps back at Trump questioning where her husband is

20:00 , Joe Sommerlad

In case you missed it earlier, here’s how Trump’s Republican presidential rival responded to his silly and disrespectful attack on her husband, Major Michael Haley.

If anyone’s spouse is missing in action, it’s clearly Melania.

Michelle Del Rey has more.

Nikki Haley claps back at Trump questioning where her husband is

Judd Apatow skewers Biden and Trump in awards monologue

19:30 , Joe Sommerlad

The comedy producer got in a few nice digs at the president and his likely election rival during the Directors Guild of America Awards on Saturday night.

Apatow joked that November’s vote would be between “a guy old enough to have met Hitler and a guy who wishes he had”.

Ellie Harrison has more.

Judd Apatow skewers Biden and Trump in awards monologue

Kayleigh McEnany desperately claims Trump’s gaffes are on purpose

19:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Ingenious! But really rather a long way from the truth.

Chris Christie vengence tour continues

18:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s the former New Jersey governor also tutting about Trump’s Nato comments, enjoying himself on a Never-Ending Tour of the news studios almost as much as E Jean Carroll.

Liz Cheney hits Trump: ‘No sane American President would encourage Putin to attack our Nato allies’

18:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The final line of this is an overt challenge to Republicans to stand up to their orange leader. Will they listen?

Voices: ‘Trump is dangerously wrong about Nato – and he’ll hang us out to dry’

17:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s Sean O’Grady to sound the alarm over the permatanned authoritarian’s contempt for Nato.

Trump is dangerously wrong about Nato – and if he wins he’ll hang us out to dry

Trump claims it will be ‘disloyal’ if Taylor Swift endorses Biden. So what is the Music Modernization Act?

17:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Hours before Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, Trump made one last, desperate appeal for the political support of pop superstar Taylor Swift, knowing she was flying in to watch her boyfriend Travis Kelce in action and would dominate coverage of the big game.

“I signed and was responsible for the Music Modernization Act for Taylor Swift and all other Musical Artists,” the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination wrote on Truth Social.

“Joe Biden didn’t do anything for Taylor, and never will. There’s no way she could endorse Crooked Joe Biden, the worst and most corrupt President in the History of our Country, and be disloyal to the man who made her so much money.

He continued, bizarrely: “Besides that, I like her boyfriend, Travis, even though he may be a Liberal, and probably can’t stand me!”

Here’s an explainer on precisely what the Music Modernization Act is and why Trump’s claim to have been behind it all are, predictably, bogus.

Why is Trump claiming to have made Taylor Swift ‘so much money’?

Classified documents case: Smith accuses Trump team of trying to ‘smuggle’ entirely new defence into case

16:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Staying in Florida, Jack Smith’s team have called out the Trump side in a new filing in which they accuse the defendant’s lawyers of trying to “smuggle” an entirely new defence theory into the Mar-a-Lago case claiming that he’s a victim of vindictive prosecution.

Last week, Trump and his co-defendants claimed that the Justice Department’s rejection of criminal charges against Joe Biden were proof that Trump is being targeted.

“The defendants are, of course, entitled to attempt to satisfy the relevant standards,” Smith’s team wrote.

“But they must do so in a procedurally appropriate manner – by raising their arguments and evidence in a motion to which the government is entitled to respond, and where the defendants have a right of reply.

“They may not do so by smuggling this issue into a reply brief.”

Jack Smith (AP)Jack Smith (AP)

Jack Smith (AP)

Classified documents case: Trump attending behind closed doors hearing today

16:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The Republican front-runner and his attorneys are in Fort Pierce, Florida, today to hear a federal court hearing in front of Judge Aileen Cannon concerning access to evidence in the indictment brought against him by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith over Trump’s alleged illegal retention of sensitive material post-presidency.

We won’t be partial to any of it, alas, as it is taking place in private.

According to court filings cited by CNN, those present will be talking over the case “in detail” before Judge Cannon subsequently meets with Smith’s team later.

Trump’s lawyers are expected to argue that they should be allowed to access all materials in the case retrieved by the FBI after their raid on Mar-a-Lago in August 2022, although Smith’s side are reportedly unwilling to hand over more than summaries because of the high sensitivity of the material in question.

Whether the names of witnesses can be made public is also said to be up for discussion, with Smith and company worried about the naming of his agents or National Archives personnel less their personal safety come under threat.

Judge Cannon is having to carefully consider every aspect of the case given that the classified information the files contain remains confidential.

She is expected to announce on 1 March whether a trial can go ahead in May as provisionally announced.

Classified documents retreived by the FBI from Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida (Department of Justice/AP)Classified documents retreived by the FBI from Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida (Department of Justice/AP)

Classified documents retreived by the FBI from Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida (Department of Justice/AP)

Nato chief says Trump comments ‘put US and European soldiers at risk’

15:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Biden wasn’t the only person annoyed and alarmed by Trump’s comments.

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg wasn’t too keen either.

Arpan Rai reports.

Nato chief says Trump’s Russia comments ‘put US and European soldiers at risk’

Recap: Biden slams Trump’s ‘greenlight’ to Putin after he threatens Nato

15:16 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s Andrew Feinberg on his predecessor’s alarming attitude to America’s military allies, whom he seems only to happy to throw to the wolves over an unpaid bill or two.

Biden slams Trump’s ‘greenlight’ to Putin after he threatens to abandon Nato

‘I have zero concern’: Marco Rubio defends Trump over Nato comments

14:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s the Florida senator sinking to utterly Tim Scott/Ted Cruz levels of personal humiliation in defence of Trump’s latest appalling comments, having once called him out as a threat to American democracy.

Republicans insist Biden’s reportedly failing memory is ‘security risk’

14:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Democrats, however, consider such arguments in the wake of Robert Hur’s report “cheap trash” and are already producing the superior derisory slogans.

Eric Garcia and Katie Hawkinson have the latest.

Democrats slam ‘cheap trash’ on Biden’s memory, Republicans say he’s a security risk

Biden aiming to use Trump border deal failure as campaign weapon

13:30 , Joe Sommerlad

The president believes he can use the collapse of the Senate’s draft border deal last week as a means of illustrating the extent of Trump’s entirely counter-productive and malign influence over Republicans in Congress, arguing that they now work only for their orange overlord, not the American people who elected them to office.

Biden determined to use Trump-backed border deal collapse as weapon in 2024 campaign

New York fraud trial: Judge fires back at Trump attorneys in scathing letter

13:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s fraud trial is imminently expected to issue a final judgment in a sprawling civil case that could seriously damage the former president’s family business and brand-building real estate empire.

That is, if he can figure out if one of Trump’s co-defendants lied in his courtroom.

Judge Arthur Engoron is pushing Trump lawyers, the state attorney general’s office and the Manhattan district attorney for “anything” they can tell him about former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg reportedly negotiating a plea deal with New York City prosecutors for his testimony in the civil fraud trial.

If Weisselberg is now “admitting he lied under oath in my courtroom at this trial,” the judge wants to know about, he wrote to attorneys last week. “I do not want to ignore anything in a case of this magnitude,” he said, according to court documents.

Lawyers for Trump’s adult sons and co-defendants called the request “unprecedented, inappropriate and troubling.”

Alex Woodward has this on Judge Engoron’s response.

Trump’s fraud trial judge fires back at his attorneys in scathing letter

Trump says he saw migrant shoplifting a refrigerator ‘the other day’

12:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Trump’s Nato remarks were not the only odd things he had to say this weekend, naturally.

On Friday, he addressed a crowd of supporters at the National Rifle Association’s Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he made several surprising comments, including how he saw a migrant stealing a refrigerator and claimed the state’s name would be changed if he isn’t re-elected president.

Michelle Del Rey offers this dispatch from the frontlines of insanity.

Trump says he saw migrant shoplifting a refrigerator ‘the other day’

Biden sends up Taylor Swift-Super Bowl conspiracy theories with ‘Dark Brandon’ meme

12:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Classic.

Here’s Anthony Cuthbertson on his campaign’s surprise decision to join TikTok, despite the White House banning government agencies from using the app.

Biden joins TikTok despite White House banning government accounts

Truth Social: Trump appeals to Taylor Swift, gets scary and gloats over Biden’s memory

11:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Aside from all that excitement, the candidate otherwise spent the Super Bowl weekend vainly courting the support of pop superstar Taylor Swift, claiming that there was no way she would endorse Joe Biden this year because she could not be “disloyal to the man who made her so much money”, adding that he likes her boyfriend Travis Kelce “even though he may be a Liberal, and probably can’t stand me”.

He’s also been engaging in some frankly rather alarming “final battle” rhetoric (he definitely didn’t incite an insurrection, you say?) and gloating over Robert Hur’s Biden report from last week, in which the Republican prosecutor got in some fairly outrageous political jabs at the president’s mental wellbeing.

Trump draws further ire for attack on Haley’s husband

11:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Also on an appallingly disrespectful military theme, the Republican made a point of questioning the absence of Nikki Haley’s husband from the campaign trail.

“Where’s her husband?”, he scoffed in Conway. “Oh, he’s away. He’s away! What happened to her husband? What happened to her husband. Where is he? He’s gone.”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper was just one of tens of thousands of commentators on X only too happy to provide him with the answer to his questions as to Major Michael Haley’s whereabouts.

Incidentally, has anyone seen Melania lately?

Haley herself hit back with admirable restraint, as you might expect, but, perhaps more damagingly, so did his own former defence secretary Mark Esper and Georgia’s Republican governor Brian Kemp, both of whom questioned his respect for America’s servicemen and women.

The phrase “suckers and losers” comes to mind, as does “bone spurs”.

‘Stupid thing to say’: Republicans divided on Trump threat to violate Nato defence pledge

10:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Trump was also chastised by his primary opponent Nikki Haley over his Nato remarks, who warned him not to “take the side of a thug”.

His rhetoric meanwhile drew a divided reaction from his fellow Republicans, who might normally be expected to fall obediently in line.

John Bowden, Eric Garcia and Katie Hawkinson have more on that below.

Republicans divided on Trump threat to violate Nato pledge: ‘Stupid thing to say’

Trump draws angry reaction from Biden after saying US should not protect ‘delinquent’ Nato allies from Russia

10:02 , Joe Sommerlad

Donald Trump has been rebuked by President Joe Biden after proclaiming during a campaign rally in Conway, South Carolina, on Saturday night that he would “encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” to any country that is “delinquent” in meeting its financial commitments to Nato.

President Biden was incensed by the remarks, commenting: “Serving as commander-in-chief is the ultimate responsibility and one that should weigh heavily on the individuals that hold this office.

“Trump’s admission that he intends to give Vladimir Putin a greenlight for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault against a free Ukraine, and to expand his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic States are appalling and dangerous.

“Sadly, they are also predictable coming from a man who is promising to rule as a dictator like the ones he praises on day one if he returns to the Oval Office.”

Vishwam Sankaran has this report.

Trump wants Russia to ‘do whatever they want’ to Nato allies who fail to pay bills

Montana man is found guilty for role in Capitol riot

09:00 , Michelle Del Rey

A Montana appliance store owner and supporter of former President Donald Trump was convicted Wednesday for his role in the January 6, 2021, breach of the US Capitol that interrupted certifying the 2020 Electoral College vote.

The US Attorney’s Office in Montana announced the verdict.

Henry Phillip Muntzer of Dillon was arrested based on social media posts and videos taken inside the Capitol, according to court records.

Muntzer, 55, was found guilty of obstructing an official proceeding and civil disorder, both felonies, following a bench trial before US District Court Judge Jia M. Cobb. Muntzer was also found guilty of four misdemeanour charges. Sentencing is set for June 20.

Continue reading…

Montana man is found guilty in Jan. 6 insurrection

Navarro leaps to Biden’s defence: ‘Trump makes absolutely zero sense on a daily basis’

08:00 , Michelle Del Rey

CNN commentator Ana Navarro came out swinging against Trump last night, hitting out at his nonsensical “whales and windmills” ramblings in fine style.

Trump pushes to get Mar-a-Lago case thrown out

07:00 , Michelle Del Rey

Donald Trump‘s lawyers have filed multiple motions to have the criminal charges he’s facing in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case dismissed.

“Defendants currently plan to file on February 22, at minimum, a series of motions to dismiss the Superseding Indictment and certain of the charges therein,” Mr Trump’s attorneys Todd Blanche and Christopher Kise wrote in the motions, according to NBC News.

The mentioned superseding indictment claims that Mr Trump was involved in a plot to delete security video captured at Mar-a-Lago.

Graig Graziosi reports:

Trump team seeks to get Mar-a-Lago classified documents case thrown out

Biden comes out fighting after classified documents report questions his memory

06:00 , Michelle Del Rey

An angry and animated President Joe Biden hit back at a Republican prosecutor’s claim that his memory is faulty in last-minute remarks to reporters on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the Department of Justice released a report by special counsel Robert Hur, the former Maryland US attorney that attorney general Merrick Garland charged with probing how classified documents ended up at Biden’s home in Delaware and former office in Washington.

Hur did not recommend that Biden face criminal charges, citing what he described as significant “mitigating factors” that led him to state that charges were not warranted and would not have been warranted even if Biden were not president and barred from being prosecuted by Department of Justice policy.

More contentiously, the Republican prosecutor noted that Biden’s memory about the documents was “significantly limited” during his interviews with investigators and included details in the report about Biden’s presentation during interviews that appeared tailor-made to fit claims by former president Donald Trump and his allies that the president is not mentally competent.

At one point, he claimed that Biden did not remember what year his late son, Beau Biden, had died from brain cancer, and he described part of an interview in which the president, in his telling, had trouble keeping track of the years during which he served as vice president.

Responding, the president was having none of it.

Here’s Andrew Feinberg’s report.

Biden comes out fighting over claims about his memory at surprise press conference

Trump’s attorney admitted in court Capitol riot was ‘criminal’

05:00 , Michelle Del Rey

…which isn’t exactly how the former president has been framing the events of that “beautiful day”.

Alex Woodward reports on what was said in the nation’s highest court on Thursday and why it is important.

Trump called January 6 beautiful. His lawyer called it ‘criminal’

Why does Trump think Fulton County DA Fani Willis should be disqualified?

04:00 , Michelle Del Rey

Former president Donald Trump’s legal team is arguing that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be removed from his election interference case in Georgia, citing “extrajudicial racial comments.”

In a response to her latest filing, Mr Trump’s attorneys, Steve Sadow and Jennifer Little, filed a motion on Wednesday accusing Ms Willis of having “inappropriately injected race into the case and stoked racial animus” when she gave a speech at Big Bethel AME Church, a historic Black church in Atlanta, on Martin Luther King Jr Day.

In the speech, Ms Willis defended Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor hired to lead the case, with whom rumours had recently flared of her having a romantic relationship. In a court filing on Friday, Ms Willis admitted to a “personal relationship” with Mr Wade, but claimed it did not begin until after his hiring, and argued there had been no impropriety that justified removing them from the case.

Ms Willis did not mention Mr Wade by name in her speech, but said she had hired three lawyers — two white, and one Black — for the case, and that only the Black man had had his qualifications called into question.

Julia Reinstein reports:

Trump team cites ‘extrajudicial racial comments’ in bid to disqualify Fani Willis

Jack Smith slams Trump judge for causing ‘significant risks of threats’ to witnesses

03:00 , Michelle Del Rey

Special Counsel Jack Smith has slammed the judge overseeing the classified documents case against former president Donald Trump for causing “significant risks of threats” to witnesses.

Florida Judge Aileen Cannon has rejected calls to recuse herself from the case due to her appointed by Mr Trump to the bench.

On Thursday, the special counsel criticised her for ordering prosecutors to submit documents in the case without redacting names and other information about witnesses that could lead to “significant and immediate risks of threats, intimidation, and harassment”.

In a court filing, the government prosecutors argued that the reasons to make the information public isn’t strong enough to outweigh the risk to potential witnesses in the case.

Gustaf Kilander has the details:

Trump judge slammed for causing ‘significant risks of threats’ to witnesses

Mr Trump says Pennsylvania will change its name if he isn’t elected president

02:00 , Michelle Del Rey

While speaking at a National Rifle Association event in Pennsylvania, Mr Trump told a crowd of supporters that the state would change its name if he isn’t elected president.

See the remarks below:

ANALYSIS: Trump’s four ‘wins’ in one day means chaos for everyone else

01:00 , Michelle Del Rey

Alex Woodward writes:

For what felt like the first time in weeks, Thursday was a day of “good news” for the former president, who has spent years baselessly portraying himself as a victim of a Democratic conspiracy to keep him out of the White House.

He was satisfied with his attorney’s case in front of the US Supreme Court. He won another primary election. A federal judge overseeing his classified documents case seems to be ignoring prosecutors’ fears about his harassment campaign. And President Joe Biden’s US Department of Justice gave the former president enough validation to keep the “sleepy Joe” narrative alive through Election Day.

Even when his rivals get the same treatment, Mr Trump tells his supporters he’s the victim of a “weaponized” Justice Department and a “two-tiered system of justice,” ignoring thousands of pages of evidence against him. He’ll take the victories in elections he won and call any loss “rigged” against him. His own attorney stood in front of the nation’s highest court to call a violent attack that risked tossing out millions of Americans’ votes “criminal,” and none of the justices blinked.

Seen another way, a firehose of news on a “good” day for the likely Republican nominee for president – leaning into his autocratic campaign built on “retribution” – is a big red flashing light for our deteriorating democracy, its institutions too slow or ill-equipped to respond.

Continue reading…

Trump scored four ‘wins’ in a single day. That means chaos for everyone else

Recap: Trump wins uncontested Nevada caucuses after Nikki Haley is beaten by ‘no one’

00:00 , Michelle Del Rey

Donald Trump won the Nevada caucuses on Thursday, a victory even less surprising than his repeat performances in Iowa, New Hampshire, and earlier in the evening on the US Virgin Islands.

The former president was going to end the evening with more than 90 per cent of the vote, his highest margin of victory by far, thanks to his lone competitive rival Nikki Haley choosing to participate in a state-sanctioned primary on Tuesday which did not award any delegates. As a result, Mr Trump will leave the state with 26 more delegates to add to his total as he builds up his support for the Republican National Convention this summer.

Wait until you hear who Ryan Binkley is and how he did…

Donald Trump wins uncontested Nevada caucuses after Nikki Haley is beaten by ‘no one’

Sunday 11 February 2024 23:00 , Michelle Del Rey

Kamala Harris tears into Biden special counsel report

Careful candor needed from Biden campaign after candidate age moves to centre stage

Sunday 11 February 2024 22:00 , Michelle Del Rey

Eric Garcia writes:

President Joe Biden probably hoped that the 388-page report from special counsel would put a lingering question — the one of his handling of classified documents — to bed.

And indeed, while Special Counsel Robert Hur’s report said that Biden “willfully” held onto classified materials at his home in Delaware and the office of a think tank, it also said it would not recommend crimiminal charges for the president.

The good news ended there for the president. It should be noted that Attorney General Merrick Garland nominated Hur, a Republican whom Donald Trump nominated to serve as the US Attorney for Maryland. Garland did so after Trump sought to use the entire department as his personal legal defense arm. It was supposed to be a show of impartiality toward the current president.

But nominating Hur might have given Republicans their most potent weapon yet. It forced a conversation on Biden’s age and whether it makes him fit to be the president for another term into the foreground. The report became the equivalent of a rubber hose beating: it may not be fatal, but it will bruise him up a bit.

Continue reading…

Biden’s age is now under scrutiny. His campaign needs to respond with careful candor

Trump says he likes Taylor Swift’s boyfriend

Sunday 11 February 2024 21:26 , Michelle Del Rey

Donald Trump took to his Truth Social platform on Sunday to remark about all the money he’s made for Taylor Swift.

“I signed and was responsible for the Music Modernization Act for Taylor Swift and all other musical artists,” the president said.

“Joe Biden didn’t do anything for Taylor, and never will. There’s no way she could endorse crooked Joe Biden, the worst and most corrupt president in the history of our country, and be disloyal to the man who made her so much money.”

He continued by stating that he’s fond of Ms Swift’s new beau, who is playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday for the Kansas City Chiefs. “Besides that, I like her boyfriend, Travis, even though he may be a liberal, and probably can’t stand me!

ANALYSIS: Trump’s four ‘wins’ in one day means chaos for everyone else

Sunday 11 February 2024 21:00 , Michelle Del Rey

Alex Woodward writes:

For what felt like the first time in weeks, Thursday was a day of “good news” for the former president, who has spent years baselessly portraying himself as a victim of a Democratic conspiracy to keep him out of the White House.

He was satisfied with his attorney’s case in front of the US Supreme Court. He won another primary election. A federal judge overseeing his classified documents case seems to be ignoring prosecutors’ fears about his harassment campaign. And President Joe Biden’s US Department of Justice gave the former president enough validation to keep the “sleepy Joe” narrative alive through Election Day.

Even when his rivals get the same treatment, Mr Trump tells his supporters he’s the victim of a “weaponized” Justice Department and a “two-tiered system of justice,” ignoring thousands of pages of evidence against him. He’ll take the victories in elections he won and call any loss “rigged” against him. His own attorney stood in front of the nation’s highest court to call a violent attack that risked tossing out millions of Americans’ votes “criminal,” and none of the justices blinked.

Seen another way, a firehose of news on a “good” day for the likely Republican nominee for president – leaning into his autocratic campaign built on “retribution” – is a big red flashing light for our deteriorating democracy, its institutions too slow or ill-equipped to respond.

Continue reading…

Trump scored four ‘wins’ in a single day. That means chaos for everyone else

Trump questions the whereabouts of Nikki Haley’s husband Michael Haley

Sunday 11 February 2024 20:55 , Michelle Del Rey

Mr Trump publicly questioned the whereabouts of Nikki Haley’s husband while speaking to a crowd of supporters in Conway, South Carolina over the weekend.

“Where’s your husband? … Oh, he’s away … He’s away … What happened to her husband? What happened to her husband?! Where is he?! … He’s gone! He knew! He knew!” the former president said.

Mr Haley is currently on deployment in Africa.

Ms Haley responded, “Michael is deployed serving our country, something you know nothing about,” Haley said. “Someone who continually disrespects the sacrifices of military families has no business being commander in chief.”

Sunday 11 February 2024 20:30 , Michelle Del Rey

ANALYSIS: Trump’s four ‘wins’ in one day means chaos for everyone else

Sunday 11 February 2024 14:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Alex Woodward writes:

For what felt like the first time in weeks, Thursday was a day of “good news” for the former president, who has spent years baselessly portraying himself as a victim of a Democratic conspiracy to keep him out of the White House.

He was satisfied with his attorney’s case in front of the US Supreme Court. He won another primary election. A federal judge overseeing his classified documents case seems to be ignoring prosecutors’ fears about his harassment campaign. And President Joe Biden’s US Department of Justice gave the former president enough validation to keep the “sleepy Joe” narrative alive through Election Day.

Even when his rivals get the same treatment, Mr Trump tells his supporters he’s the victim of a “weaponized” Justice Department and a “two-tiered system of justice,” ignoring thousands of pages of evidence against him. He’ll take the victories in elections he won and call any loss “rigged” against him. His own attorney stood in front of the nation’s highest court to call a violent attack that risked tossing out millions of Americans’ votes “criminal,” and none of the justices blinked.

Seen another way, a firehose of news on a “good” day for the likely Republican nominee for president – leaning into his autocratic campaign built on “retribution” – is a big red flashing light for our deteriorating democracy, its institutions too slow or ill-equipped to respond.

Continue reading…

Trump scored four ‘wins’ in a single day. That means chaos for everyone else

Could the race for George Santos’ congressional seat offer clues for November?

Sunday 11 February 2024 08:00 , AP

A special election in the suburbs of New York to replace disgraced former Rep. George Santos could offer clues about the mindset of suburban voters everywhere as 2024 election contests ramp up across the country.

The Tuesday contest for the House seat held by Santos until his recent expulsion is shaping up to be a bellwether in the fight for control of Congress, as candidates test political messages their parties hope will appeal to suburban voters in the fall. It not only could subtract one more vote from Republicans’ narrow majority in the short run but will be monitored carefully for any signals it sends about what suburban voters elsewhere may be thinking entering the highly volatile 2024 election year.

Continue reading…

Might George Santos’ ex-congressional seat offer clues for the presidential election?

Jimmy Kimmel jokes he’s hiring Giuliani to sue Haley over ‘Mean Tweets’ segment

Sunday 11 February 2024 05:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Jimmy Kimmel had a thing or two to say to Republican candidate Nikki Haley after she uploaded a video that looked very similar to the host’s own show segment ‘Mean Tweets.’

Ms Haley’s parody video of ‘Mean Tweets’ had her reading critical online comments about herself on Thursday, which even included an almost identical title sequence to Kimmel’s bit, only it said ‘Nikki Haley Live!” instead of the host’s name.

The late-night show host woke up to a text asking if they had “Haley” on the show recently.

Amelia Neath has the story:

Jimmy Kimmel jokes he’s hiring Giuliani over Haley stealing his ‘Mean Tweets’ segment

MAGA civil war: Montana edition

Sunday 11 February 2024 02:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Former president Donald Trump endorsed a favourite candidate of the Republican establishment in Montana’s Senate race instead of the the more MAGA-friendly candidate on Friday afternoon.

Congressman Matt Rosendale, one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy, announced he will run for the Republican nomination for Senate in Montana to challenge incumbent Democrat Jon Tester.

But Mr Trump announced that he would endorse Tim Sheehy, whom establishment Republicans largely support, instead of Mr Rosendale.

Eric Garcia and Katie Hawkinson report from Washington, DC:

Matt Rosendale announces Senate run in Montana, setting up a Maga civil war

Everything you need to know about Super Tuesday but were afraid to ask

Saturday 10 February 2024 23:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Super Tuesday, the biggest day of the US presidential primary season, arrives early next month and promises to have a decisive if perhaps somewhat anticlimactic impact on the respective Republican and Democratic races.

As it stands, Donald Trump looks all but certain to be the GOP’s presidential candidate once again in 2024, having already chalked up big wins in the Iowa and US Virgin Islands caucuses and the New Hampshire and Nevada primaries.

All but one of his challengers have fallen away, leaving only the well-funded but under-performing ex-UN ambassador Nikki Haley still swinging.

But even she may not make it to Super Tuesday (although she has promised she will), as the next Republican primary takes place in her home state of South Carolina and current polling indicates the Palmetto State’s former governor could be in for another trouncing on her home turf, a further humiliation after she scored fewer votes than the “none of these candidates” box on Nevada ballot papers.

“Is there any way we can call the election for next Tuesday?” a cocky Mr Trump gloated on stage in Las Vegas after that result.

“That’s all I want. I want to call the election for next Tuesday.”

However, if Ms Haley can somehow conjure a surprise victory in either South Carolina on 24 February or Michigan on 27 February, it will be game on for Super Tuesday and we could find ourselves with a very interesting evening indeed.

The Democratic contest is looking equally one-sided, with President Joe Biden seemingly nailed-on to be his party’s candidate again as he seeks a second term in the White House, despite concerns about his advanced age and consistently poor polling.

Following the withdrawal of Marianne Williamson, Minnesota congressman Dean Phillips remains the president’s last remaining rival and is surely too low-profile to make an impact, President Biden having comfortably won the New Hampshire primary without even appearing on Granite State ballots thanks to a grassroots write-in campaign.

Here’s everything you need to know about Super Tuesday in good time for its arrival:

A beginner’s guide to Super Tuesday 2024

So, was January 6 ‘beautiful’ or ‘criminal’?

Saturday 10 February 2024 14:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump and his lawyer appear to differ in their opinions…

Alex Woodward explains why that might be a problem:

Trump called January 6 beautiful. His lawyer called it ‘criminal’

Trump’s hypocrisy on Supreme Court ballot eligibility hearing called out by Seth Meyers

Saturday 10 February 2024 11:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Seth Meyers reacts to the “convenient loophole” that Donald Trump’s lawyer was arguing in court for his client to stay in the presidential race – the same lawyer who also admitted in the same hearing that the insurrection was “criminal”.

During a Supreme Court oral arguments hearing on Thursday over whether Mr Trump should be allowed to stay on 2024 ballot papers based on the 14th Amendment’s insurrectionist clause, his lawyer, Jonathan Mitchell, dismissed that January 6 was an insurrection but did admit that it was a “riot” and called it “criminal.”

“We didn’t concede that it’s an effort to overthrow the government,” Mr Mitchell said during the hearing.

“This was a riot. It was not an insurrection. The events were shameful, criminal, violent, all of those things. But it did not qualify as insurrection.”

“Something tells me Trump isn’t exactly going to be thrilled with that argument,” Mr Meyers reacted. “It doesn’t really fit on a baseball cap: shameful, criminal, violent, but still eligible!”

Amelia Neath has the story:

Seth Meyers calls out Trump’s hypocrisy on Supreme Court ballot eligibility hearing

Profile: Jonathan Mitchell — the conservative lawyer arguing for Trump at Supreme Court

Saturday 10 February 2024 08:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Jonathan Mitchell, a well-known conservative lawyer, led arguments on behalf of Donald Trump at the Supreme Court on 8 February – as the former president seeks to convince the nation’s highest court to strike down a ruling that has kicked him off Colorado’s presidential primary ballot.

Mr Mitchell, 47, is a law professor, legal theorist and the former solicitor general of Texas known for finding loopholes to aggressively litigate in favour of his clients – often with conservative agendas.

He has submitted more than 20 amicus briefs to the Supreme Court, notably advocating for overturning Roe v Wade and urging them to declare affirmative action as unlawful. He’s also argued five cases before the justices.

Continued…

Who is Jonathan Mitchell, the conservative lawyer arguing for Trump at Supreme Court?

Trump motion for mistrial in E Jean Carroll case fails

Saturday 10 February 2024 05:00 , Oliver O’Connell

A federal judge has denied Donald Trump’s motion for a mistrial in E Jean Carroll’s defamation case against him.

Mr Trump lost the case and was ordered to pay $83m last month after Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled he had defamed the writer after she publicly accused him of sexual assault.

Attorneys for the former president called for a mistrial, arguing that death threats Ms Carroll deleted constituted the destruction of evidence.

But in a court filing on Wednesday, Mr Kaplan rejected the motion, saying it had been a fair trial and to allow a mistrial would be “entirely pointless.”

Julia Reinstein has the details:

Trump suffers another court loss as motion for mistrial in E Jean Carroll case fails

Why Trump is being charged over his classified documents and Biden is not…

Saturday 10 February 2024 03:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Special Counsel Robert Hur released his report saying that he would not recommend criminal charges against President Joe Biden despite the fact that he said that Mr Biden “wilfully” held onto classified materials from his time as vice president.

The report found that materials Mr Biden retained from his time as Barack Obama’s vice president included “marked classified documents about military and foreign policy in Afghanistan, and notebooks containing Mr Biden’s handwritten entries about issues of national security and foreign policy implicating sensitive intelligence sources and methods.”

The decision stands in stark contrast to the decision by a grand jury to indict former president Donald Trump for keeping documents at Mar-a-Lago. Inevitably, the former president and his allies crowed about how a grand jury supposedly unfairly indicted the former president for his storage of classified documents related to national defence but not his successor.

Here’s what’s going on…

Why Trump’s being charged over classified papers and Biden is not

Rove blasts ‘lunacy’ of ‘conspiratorial right’ claiming Michelle Obama will replace Biden

Saturday 10 February 2024 01:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Republican strategist Karl Rove blasted the “lunacy” of the “conspiratorial right” for bizarre theories that Michelle Obama would replace Joe Biden as the Democratic Party’s 2024 candidate.

Mr Rove, former deputy chief of staff to George W Bush, was being interviewed by Stuart Varney on Fox Business when the host brought up the idea of the former first lady replacing the incumbent president on the ticket ahead of November’s election.

The conspiracy is not new, having been floated as recently as last month by Georgia Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, and surfacing ahead of other recent elections.

Continue reading…

Karl Rove blasts ‘lunacy’ of claims Michelle Obama will replace Biden

Race tightens for George Santos’s former congressional seat

Saturday 10 February 2024 00:00 , Oliver O’Connell

A new poll shows a tight race between the two New York candidates running to replace disgraced former Rep. George Santos in Congress.

According to the Newsday/Siena College poll put out on Thursday, 48 per cent of likely voters support former Democratic Rep Tom Suozzi, and 44 per cent support Republican candidate Mazi Melesa Pilip. Another 7 per cent are undecided.

The neck-and-neck findings come days before the special election on 13 February, for which early voting has already begun.

Mr Suozzi, a moderate Democrat, previously held the seat from 2017 to 2023. Ms Pilip, a conservative, currently serves in the Nassau County Legislature.

Julia Reinstein reports:

New poll shows tight race to take over George Santos’ seat

How Trump soured on Ronna McDaniel after seven years of unyielding loyalty

Friday 9 February 2024 23:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, has told former President Donald Trump that she’s planning on leaving her role after the South Carolina primary on 24 February.

Mr Trump is set to push for the chair of the North Carolina Republican Party, fellow election denier Michael Whatley, to replace her, according to The New York Times.

Ms McDaniel has been under pressure for several months to step down as Mr Trump’s allies have attempted to push her out amid concerns about the RNC’s finances ahead of the general election campaign.

After she met Mr Trump at Mar-a-Lago on Monday, Mr Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform that Ms McDaniel was “now Head of the RNC, and I’ll be making a decision the day after the South Carolina Primary as to my recommendations for RNC Growth”.

Ms McDaniel has reportedly been thinking about resigning before the end of her term for quite a while.

Continue reading the full article…

Trump co-defendant alleges Fulton County DA misrepresented relationship with prosecutor

Friday 9 February 2024 22:23 , Oliver O’Connell

Chip Roy says Trump failed to ‘close the border’ during every year of his presidency

Friday 9 February 2024 21:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Republican Rep Chip Roy, known for his blunt speaking in the House of Representatives, served up a fact-check to Donald Trump concerning the southern border with Mexico and the flow of migrants.

Speaking after apparent the collapse of the bipartisan border bill, negotiated in the Senate, Mr Roy, who represents the 21st District of Texas between San Antonio and Austin, called out those who claim that no legislation is needed.

Continue reading…

Chip Roy says Trump failed to ‘close the border’ during every year of his presidency

Share.
2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.