Trump sues ‘Russia dossier’ ex-spy as fraud court date set: Latest news

Donald Trump is suing an ex-British spy over the Steele dossier which made a string of explosive claims against the former president and his alleged links to Russia.

Mr Trump has brought a data protection claim against Christopher Steele and his company Orbis Business Intelligence in the UK’s High Court, records show.

Lawyers for the former president have also told a Georgia court that he will not try and move his election subversion case in the state to federal court.

Meanwhile, the crowd at his Wednesday speech in Michigan has come under suspicion after some attendees reportedly revealed they don’t fit in that category.

Mr Trump visited Drake Enterprises, a non-unionized auto parts factory, on Wednesday night while seven of his rivals in the 2024 election faced off in California.

In a speech during his visit, Mr Trump claimed “thousands of people” had gathered to meet him in Michigan.

But the composition of the audience is now under scrutiny after a report by The Detroit News claimed one attendee holding a “union members for Trump” sign admitted that she is not in a union, while another holding an “auto workers for Trump” sign said he was not an auto worker.

Meanwhile, a civil trial stemming from a multi-million dollar fraud lawsuit targeting Mr Trump, his adult sons and chief associates will proceed next week after a New York appeals court rejected a last-ditch attempt to stall the hearings amid a mountain of criminal and civil cases facing the former president.

Key Points

  • Trump’s fraud trial will begin on Monday after appeals court rejects attempts to delay

  • Trump sues ex-British spy Christopher Steele over infamous Russia dossier

  • Trump ally Kari Lake to announce Arizona senate run against Kyrsten Sinema

  • Scott attacks Haley over expensive curtains installed when she was Trump’s UN rep... but there’s more to it

  • Chris Christie doubles down on ‘Donald Duck’ nickname for Trump

Trump reviews GOP rivals in second Republican Party debate report card

12:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Governor of North Dakota Doug Burgum

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

“Doug Burgum did a very good job, solid & smart!”

Former Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie

Election 2024 Debate (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Election 2024 Debate (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“Sloppy Chris Christie was a DISASTER, A TRUMP DERANGED LUNATIC!”

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley

Election 2024 Debate (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Election 2024 Debate (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“Nikki ‘Birdbrain’ Haley was exposed for her caustic DISLOYALTY & LIES about the Republican Party, and me. Doesn’t have what it takes, NEVER DID!”

Former Vice President Mike Pence

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX Business Network and Univision, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 (AP)
Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX Business Network and Univision, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 (AP)

“Lyin’ Mike Pence has lost a lot of his energy. Very flat, needs me badly! Actually, quite sad to watch, but he’ll get better. Too much J-6!”

Senator Tim Scott

 (AP)
(AP)

“Tim Scott stepped it up. Wonderful guy. Looking forward to getting his Endorsement!”

Vivek Ramaswamy

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX Business Network and Univision, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP)
Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX Business Network and Univision, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP)

“Vivek said I was a great President. Thank you. Good Job!”

Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis

 (AP)
(AP)

“Ron DeSanctimonious had a bad night. He can feel the end is near. Dropping like a rock!”

Retired US general likens Trump’s attacks on military to Nazi Germany

12:00 , Mike Bedigan

A retired US general has said that attacks by Donald Trump and his Maga-supporting Republicans on the US military are similar to “the 1930s in Nazi Germany”.

Gen Barry McCaffrey said that the movement, which has been branded as “extremist” by president Joe Biden, was a “lawless cult and a major threat to the armed forces” in the US and national security.

It comes following comments made online last week by former president Trump, in which he suggested that outgoing chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, should be executed for treason.

Discussing the remarks, which were made on Mr Trump’s social media platform Truth Social, Gen McCaffrey told MSNBC: “During the follow-on to Trump’s lost election he actually made moves which… to run a coup against the United States government.

“What we are seeing is a parallel to the 1930s in Nazi Germany.”

Read more

Second GOP debate drew in lowest TV ratings since advent of Trump

11:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The second GOP primary debate drew in the lowest number of TV viewers since Donald Trump first became a presidential candidate back in 2016.

Fewer than 10 million people tuned in to watch the Republican primary debate, which was not attended by Mr Trump, on Wednesday night, according to the Nielsen ratings service.

Meanwhile, streaming platforms attracted around 200,000 viewers, as reported by Fox News.

That is compared to the 12.8 million people who tuned in to watch the first GOP primary debate at the end of August, also shunned by the former president.

Read more...

Second GOP debate drew in lowest TV ratings since Trump became candidate in 2016

GOP witness admits no evidence to impeach Biden at first impeachment hearing

11:00 , Andrew Feinberg

House Republicans’ first effort to justify the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden demanded by former president Donald Trump and far-right members of the GOP conference ended without a single piece of evidence presented linking Mr Biden to any wrongdoing whatsoever.

The panel’s chairman, Representative James Comer of Kentucky, opened the hearing by claiming that his GOP colleagues had assembled “a mountain of evidence” that will show that the president “abused his public office for his family’s financial gain,” adding later that his committee would “follow the money and the evidence to provide accountability” for Mr Biden’s alleged wrongdoing.

Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the oversight committee’s top Democrat, derided the panel’s efforts as “an impeachment drive based on a long debunked and discredited lie” and said the Republicans “don’t have a shred of evidence against President Biden for an impeachable offence”.

The all-day session before the House Oversight Committee took place just days before the federal government is set to run out of operating funds at the end of the 2023 fiscal year, and focused largely on widely-discredited and long-ago debunked conspiracy theories about Mr Biden and his son, attorney and former lobbyist turned artist Hunter Biden.

The allegations against the 46th president, which centre around the younger Mr Biden’s work on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, were first prolmugated by disgraced former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 2018 and 2019, and formed the basis of Mr Trump’s attempt to extort Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky during a now-infamous July 2019 phone call — an incident which led to the first of Mr Trump’s two impeachment trials.

Read more

Last night on Truth Social: Trump reviews GOP rivals’ debate performances

10:35 , Oliver O'Connell

After posting a slew of bizarre campaign videos on Thursday morning, Donald Trump was back on Truth Social later in the day complaining that the Republican Party debates were a waste of time and reviewing the performances of his GOP rivals.

The former president began his post: “I’m up 56 Points, so the Debates would seem to be a complete waste of time. I’m also up 10 on Crooked Joe! What is the RNC doing? They should be fighting against Election Interference & the Pennsylvania Voter Registration Scam. The Debates should be ENDED, BAD for the Republican Party!”

He continued: “I was in Michigan last night with Autoworkers & others. Watched Debate = REPORT CARD: Doug Burgum did a very good job, solid & smart! Sloppy Chris Christie was a DISASTER, A TRUMP DERANGED LUNATIC! Nikki ‘Birdbrain’ Haley was exposed for her caustic DISLOYALTY & LIES about the Republican Party, and me. Doesn’t have what it takes, NEVER DID! Lyin’ Mike Pence has lost a lot of his energy. Very flat, needs me badly! Actually, quite sad to watch, but he’ll get better. Too much J-6! Tim Scott stepped it up. Wonderful guy. Looking forward to getting his Endorsement! Vivek said I was a great President. Thank you. Good Job! Ron DeSanctimonious had a bad night. He can feel the end is near. Dropping like a rock!”

Mr Trump then continued by taking another shot at former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: “Do people realize that Sloppy Chris Christie only had an 8% Approval Rating when he was Governor of New Jersey. His Financial and Economic Results were even WORSE. In other words, he was TERRIBLE! Why would the great people of the USA want a Governor to run our very troubled Country, when he couldn’t even run his own State. Chris is a loser, he always was, and always will be. Very BAD for the Republican Party!”

In a pair of posts slightly later in the evening, he asked for more praise from New Gingrich: “’Trump is a phenomenon like nobody I’ve ever seen!’ Newt Gingrich on The Ingraham Angle. Thank you Newt, but couldn’t you be just a little bit more praiseworthy???”

And had a go at Fox News for the low viewership of Wednesday’s debate: “The second Republican Primary Debate on FoxNews had the Lowest Viewership since 2016. Their overall Ratings are down 30%. FOX NEEDS MAGA, THEY JUST DON’T KNOW IT YET. STOP WITH THE BAD DEBATES & NEGATIVE ADS, NO MORE. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE! DJT”

Bank that handles Infowars money appears to be cutting ties with Alex Jones' company, lawyer says

10:00 , Dave Collins

A bank recently shut down the accounts of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones‘ media company, citing unauthorized transactions — a move that caused panic at the business when its balances suddenly dropped from more than $2 million to zero, according to a lawyer for the company.

The action last week by Axos Bank also exposed worry and doubt at the company, Free Speech Systems, about being able to find another bank to handle its money.

Jones, a conservative provocateur whose Infowars program promotes fake theories about global conspiracies, UFOs and mind control, is seeking bankruptcy protection as he and his company owe $1.5 billion to relatives of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut.

The debt is the result of the families winning lawsuits against Jones for his calling the massacre that killed 26 people a hoax and his supporters threatening and harassing the victims’ families.

A lawyer for Free Speech Systems, Ray Battaglia, told a federal bankruptcy judge in Houston on Tuesday that Axos Bank had shut down the company’s accounts on Aug. 21 “without notice or warning.”

Read more

Michael Cohen says he may not testify against Trump because of the threats the ex-president is generating

09:00 , Graig Graziosi

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen said he may not testify against his former boss because he’s scared of the blowback from the former president’s loyalists.

Cohen made the comments on MSNBC on Wednesday. He said Donald Trump’s rhetoric needs to be checked before he gets witnesses in his criminal cases hurt or killed.

The New York State court system has increased its security after a ruling found this week that Mr Trump and his adult sons are liable for civil fraud.

“Let me tell you something, I think it’s incumbent now upon government — I listen again to a lot of pundits on the various different stations talking about how they have to do something to curb Donald Trump’s language,” Cohen said. “What, are we going to wait until something, God forbid, happens, and then everyone is going to say thoughts and prayers to the family?”

Cohen added that Mr Trump should “not be permitted to do what he’s doing.”

Read more

Chris Christie doubles down on ‘Donald Duck’ nickname for Trump

08:00 , William Mata

Chris Christie has doubled down on his “Donald Duck” jibe against Donald Trump, claiming he “lives in the head” of the former president.

Using language often employed by Mr Trump, the Republican candidate took aim at his former ally on Thursday after mocking him during the GOP debate on Wednesday night.

Mr Trump is the runaway leader for the Republican nomination to take on Joe Biden in next year’s US election but did not take part in the televised event. This left the floor open for Mr Christie, who worked as Mr Trump’s transition manager in 2016, to call him “Donald Duck”.

“He’s ducking these things,” Mr Christie said. “Donald, I know you’re watching… If you keep doing that, no one up here is going to call you Donald Trump anymore. They’re gonna call you Donald Duck.”

Mr Trump is a big fan of giving playground nicknames to his rivals, with Sleepy Joe Biden, Crooked Hilary Clinton and Lyin’ Ted Cruz being three of his favourites. He had previously called the former New Jersey governor Sloppy Chris Christie. The former president said of the comparison to the Disney character that anyone who made a joke like that “should not be running for president”.

Read more

AOC undermines GOP’s Biden impeachment with one simple question

07:00 , Hayden Vernon

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez undermined the suitability of the Republican witnesses at the House Oversight Committee’s first hearing on the impeachment inquiry of U.S. President Joe Biden with one simple question.

“In your testimony today, are you presenting any first-hand witness account of crimes committed by the president of the United States?” Ocasio-Cortez asked Jonathan Turley, the conservative legal scholar who the Republicans have called as a witness.

“No, I’m not,” he replied.

Ocasio-Cortez asked the same question to the two other Republican witnesses - Bruce Dubinsky and Eileen O’Connor - and received the same answer from both, immediately undermining their usefulness as witnesses in the case against Biden.

Mark Milley finally responds to Trump’s suggestion he should be ‘executed’ for ‘treason’

06:00 , Martha McHardy

Outgoing chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said he is taking “adequate safety precautions” after Donald Trump suggested he should be executed for treason.

In comments made last week on Truth Social, the former president said the top general should face the death penalty for a conversation he had with his Chinese counterpart.

He claimed Mr Milley went behind his back to communicate with China during the final months of the Trump administration.

“This guy turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States,” Mr Trump wrote. “This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH! A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act.”

His comments prompted former House speaker Nancy Pelosi to say Mr Trump should be barred from public office.

Read more

Republicans on Biden ‘impeachment’ panel refuse to say they believe laws should apply to Trump

05:30 , Kelly Rissman

During the first hearing in the impeachment hearing against President Joe Biden, a Democrat on the House Oversight panel asked whether Republicans on the panel would hold the president’s son — whose business dealings are at the heart of the inquiry — and former President Donald Trump to the same standard.

Texas Democratic Rep Greg Casar asked the committee: “Will members of the Oversight Committee please raise your hand if you believe both Hunter and Trump should be held accountable for any of the indictments if convicted of a jury of their peers?”

Only the Democrats could be seen raising their hands. Some even laughed at the question, to which Mr Casar said, “No it’s serious. This is a serious matter.”

“If y’all need to think about it, we can take a moment and think about it,” he added, before repeating the question. Still, Republicans kept their hands down.

The Texas Democrat then added, “Raise your hand if you think that equal justice under the law applies and if Trump should be held accountable.”

Read more

Will Donald Trump go to prison?

05:00 , John Bowden

Donald Trump faces four criminal indictments in three separate jurisdictions. Nearly 100 felony criminal charges are leveled against the former president, who remains the odds-on favourite to win the 2024 Republican primary.

As his legal battles grow more complex by the day, a serious question has emerged: Whether Mr Trump will win the nomination and campaign for the general election as a convicted criminal.

That possibility, in turn, raises another, simpler question: Will the 45th President of the United States go to prison?

Between his 91 felony counts, Mr Trump faces a total of roughly seven centuries in total jail time, spread between dozens of various charges of differing seriousness. Obviously, Mr Trump is not going to be sealed inside a federal penitentiary for all eternity, but the increasingly wide range of actions for which he is now being prosecuted is slowly chipping away at the likelihood that he will evade the inside of a cell forever.

Here, we take a look at the four prosecutions Mr Trump currently faces, and how each affects his chances of campaigning behind bars next year.

When will the next US presidential election be held?

04:15 , Joe Sommerlad

US President Joe Biden formally announced his intention to seek a second term in the White House on 25 April, shrugging off concerns about his advanced age to set up a possible rematch with Donald Trump next year.

Mr Biden, 80, reaffirmed his commitment to fighting for freedom and democracy in a video posted to social media, just months after Mr Trump announced his candidacy.

The short film opened with footage of the deadly Capitol riot of 6 January 2021 and warned against the threat posed by “MAGA extremists”, whom he cautioned are hell-bent on cutting social security while offering tax breaks to the wealthy and assaulting abortion rights, oppressing LGBT+ values, limiting voting access and banning books.

The campaign clip also offered a defiant vision of a more tolerant, multicultural America, clearly establishing a positive alternative narrative for the nation at odds with the apocalyptic forecasts of Mr Trump, 77, and his supporters.

While current polling might indicate that a majority of the American public has little appetite for a rematch between the ageing Mr Biden and Mr Trump in 2024, that is beginning to look like the most likely outcome.

Read more

House Republicans release trove of 700 pages of documents in Hunter Biden whistleblower probe

03:30 , John Bowden

The House Ways and Means Committee has released hundreds of pages of documents related to the Hunter Biden investigation as it seeks to cement the far-right’s case for impeaching President Joe Biden.

In the pages released by the panel, investigators can be seen discussing the case against the younger Biden that would eventually lead to misdemeanour tax charges and three felony gun charges. The former would later be dismissed, but are expected to be refiled. The communications depict a routine multi-agency investigation that has led to the first criminal indictment of a sitting president’s family member in many years.

They also include communications between Hunter Biden and his associates, including instances in 2017, when his father was not in government, where Hunter referred to access to his father as an asset.

Rep Jason Smith, the committee’s chairman, said on Wednesday that the documents “show a clearer connection between Joe Biden, his public office, and Hunter Biden’s global influence peddling scheme that resulted in over $20 million in payments to the Biden family.”

“This evidence makes clear Hunter Biden’s business was selling the Biden ‘brand’ and that access to the White House was his family’s most valuable asset – despite official claims otherwise,” Mr Smith said in a prepared statement.

Read more

‘Long arm, but little hands of Donald Trump all over this impeachment,’ Democrat argues

02:45 , Gustaf Kilander

New Mexico Democrat Melanie Stansbury asked on Thursday, “What is this hearing actually about?” during the first proceedings of the GOP impeachment of Joe Biden.

“It’s a campaign strategy. It’s a misuse of official resources. It is this committee and loyalists of Donald Trump doing his bidding to bolster his chances of winning back the White House and securing their majority in the next election,” she argued.

“And in the process, to diminish the name of impeachment which is enshrined in the US Constitution, which we take an oath to uphold and to make Donald Trump’s crimes including his two impeachments and his 91 criminal indictment counts look like they’re not serious crimes,” she added.

“When you think about it, it’s chilling. It’s truly chilling. It’s another attack on our democracy and our institutions. It’s another attack on fair and free elections and the use of this committee to try to carry it out. So I just want to say I think it’s obvious who the grand puppet master is here. He tweeted about it on his own social and we see the long arm, but little hands of Mr Donald Trump, whose fingerprints are all over this hearing and this sham impeachment,” she added.

“But we know that the American people are smart, that they’re not going to be fooled by what’s happening here today, and especially as they shut the government down in two days with catastrophic impacts for our communities,” Ms Stansbury said.

Did Trump fake union turnout at his Michigan rally?

02:23 , Graeme Massie

Ex-president’s claim to have organised an audience of ‘hundreds’ of union members remains unlikely.

Did Trump fake union turnout at his Michigan rally?

Republicans refuse to say if Trump and Hunter Biden should be held accountable for crimes

02:00 , Gustaf Kilander

The Republicans on the panel refused to say if Donald Trump and Hunter Biden should be held accountable for any crimes they may have committed.

Rep Greg Casar of Texas asked: “Will members of the oversight committee raise their hands if you believe both Hunter and Trump should be held accountable for any of indictments if convicted?”

While the Democrats raised their hands, the Republicans remained still.

Donald Trump suing ex-MI6 spy Christopher Steele at High Court

01:15 , Jess Glass

Donald Trump is suing a former MI6 officer and the intelligence consultancy he founded, High Court records show.

The former US president is bringing a data protection claim against Orbis Business Intelligence and its founder Christopher Steele, who previously ran the Secret Intelligence Service’s Russia desk.

According to a court order published on Thursday, a two-day hearing in Mr Trump’s legal action is set to start on October 16, which is thought to be the first hearing in the claim.

No other details of the case have been made available, but Mr Trump is not expected to attend.

Mr Steele was the author of the so-called Steele dossier, which included allegations that Mr Trump had been “compromised” by the Russian security service, the FSB.

The dossier, leaked to BuzzFeed in 2017, also alleged that Mr Putin “supported and directed” an operation to “cultivate” Mr Trump as a presidential candidate for “at least five years”.

Mr Trump denied the claims.

Mr Steele and Orbis Business Intelligence were previously sued for libel by Russian national Aleksej Gubarev over the publication of the dossier, claiming they were legally responsible for BuzzFeed publishing the dossier.

However, in a judgment in October 2020, Mr Justice Warby dismissed the claim.

Michael Cohen says he may not testify against Trump because of the threats the ex-president is generating

Friday 29 September 2023 00:52 , Graeme Massie

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen said he may not testify against his former boss because he’s scared of the blowback from the former president’s loyalists.

Cohen made the comments on MSNBC on Wednesday. He said Donald Trump’s rhetoric needs to be checked before he gets witnesses in his criminal cases hurt or killed.

The New York State court system has increased its security after a ruling found this week that Mr Trump and his adult sons are liable for civil fraud.

“Let me tell you something, I think it’s incumbent now upon government — I listen again to a lot of pundits on the various different stations talking about how they have to do something to curb Donald Trump’s language,” Cohen said. “What, are we going to wait until something, God forbid, happens, and then everyone is going to say thoughts and prayers to the family?”

Cohen added that Mr Trump should “not be permitted to do what he’s doing.”

Read more

Trump says he will not try to have his Georgia election interference case moved to federal court

Friday 29 September 2023 00:24 , Graeme Massie

Former president and 18 other defendants have all pleaded not guilty in sprawling Fulton County Rico case.

Trump says he will not try to have Georgia election case moved to federal court

Elon Musk confirms he is cutting election integrity staff from X/Twitter ahead of 2024

Thursday 28 September 2023 23:45 , Graeme Massie

Elon Musk has cut staff from the X team that combats election disinformation claiming they were actually “undermining election integrity.”

The platform, formerly known as Twitter, got rid of half of the global team, including four people at its Dublin office and its head, sources told The Information.

Mr Musk later confirmed the move on X, stating: “Oh you mean the ‘Election Integrity’ Team that was undermining election integrity? Yeah, they’re gone.”

With the 2024 US presidential election just over a year away, the team may now have only six staff members, most of them in North America, reported The Messenger.

The Independent has reached out to the platform for comment on the cuts and received a message back stating, “Busy now, please check back later.”

Read more

Michael Cohen says Trump ordered by judge to give deposition 3 October

Thursday 28 September 2023 23:35 , Graeme Massie

Who attended Trump’s rally for striking auto workers? It may not have been striking auto workers...

Thursday 28 September 2023 23:00 , Martha McHardy

Donald Trump skipped the second GOP debate to hold a rally for auto workers on strike in Michigan - but the crowd has come under suspicion after some attendees reportedly revealed they don’t fit in that category.

Mr Trump visited Drake Enterprises, a non-unionized auto parts factory, on Wednesday night while seven of his rivals in the 2024 election faced off in California.

In a speech during his visit, Mr Trump claimed “thousands of people” had gathered to meet him in Michigan.

But the composition of the audience is now under scrutiny after a report by The Detroit News claimed one attendee holding a “union members for Trump” sign admitted that she is not in a union, while another holding an “auto workers for Trump” sign said he was not an auto worker.

Read the full story...

Trump attacks ‘bum’ Chris Christie over ‘boring’ GOP debate

Thursday 28 September 2023 22:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump took aim at former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, his one-time ally now major foe and Republican rival for the 2024 nomination, following the party’s second primary debate on Wednesday night.

Mr Christie had hit out at Mr Trump for skipping the debate – avoiding answering questions on his record as president.

The former president didn’t take kingly to the criticism levelled against him and attacked the former New Jersey governor on Truth Social going after his record as a Republican governor of a blue state.

Trump takes aim at ‘bum’ Chris Christie over ‘boring’ GOP debate

Trump sues ex-British spy Christopher Steele over infamous Russia dossier

Thursday 28 September 2023 22:00 , Graeme Massie

Donald Trump is suing an ex-British spy over the Steele dossier which made a string of explosive claims against the former president and his alleged links to Russia.

Mr Trump has brought a data protection claim against Christopher Steele and his company Orbis Business Intelligence in the UK’s High Court, records show.

The dossier was published by Buzzfeed just 10 days before Mr Trump took office in January 2017 after beating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential election.

Mr Steele, who used to work on MI6’s Russia desk, was hired to put together the dossier by Washington DC-based research firm Fusion GPS.

Perkins Coie, the law firm for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, later acknowledged its role in funding the dossier by retaining Fusion GPS.

Read more

Thursday 28 September 2023 21:40 , Oliver O'Connell

‘Good night, sweet prince’: Trump team responds to DeSantis’ one-on-one debate dare

Ron DeSantis challenged Donald Trump to a one-on-one showdown on Wednesday as he skipped the second GOP debate - drawing mockery from the former president’s team.

The Florida governor, who is currently second in the polls behind Mr Trump, slammed the former president for being “missing in action”, saying he “owes it to” Republican voters to show up.

“You know what, maybe we can say since the former president didn’t come here, maybe he’d be willing to do one with you and I,” Mr DeSantis told Fox News’ Sean Hannity after the second GOP primary debate.

“I think he owes it to our voters to come and make the case,” Mr DeSantis argued. “Let’s do it right … one’s entitled to anything.”

Martha McHardy reports on how Team Trump responded...

DeSantis still insists campaign is on track... despite 37-point gap with Trump

Thursday 28 September 2023 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Ron DeSantis has refused to throw in the towel on his campaign to be the Republican pick for the next election, despite being given a sober look at the current polling numbers.

The governor of Florida was informed by Laura Ingraham on the right-wing Fox News network that he faces a 37-point deficit to Donald Trump in one early primary state.

On her show, Ms Ingraham said: “Now, governor, the latest CBS poll out of New Hampshire shows that you’re in second, albeit a distant second behind Trump ... You’re at 13 per cent, he’s at 50 per cent.”

Despite the charges against him and his loss in the 2020 vote, Mr Trump is the heavy favourite to be the GOP nominee, but Mr DeSantis says he has not given up hope.

William Mata reports.

DeSantis says campaign is not over as Fox host reveals 37-point poll gap to Trump

Trump’s Michigan rally for union auto workers may have drawn the wrong crowd

Thursday 28 September 2023 20:54 , Martha McHardy

Donald Trump skipped the second GOP debate to hold a rally for auto workers on strike in Michigan - but the crowd has come under suspicion after some attendees reportedly revealed they don’t fit in that category.

Mr Trump visited Drake Enterprises, a non-unionized auto parts factory, on Wednesday night while seven of his rivals in the 2024 election faced off in California.

In a speech during his visit, Mr Trump claimed “thousands of people” had gathered to meet him in Michigan.

But the composition of the audience is now under scrutiny after a report by The Detroit News claimed one attendee holding a “union members for Trump” sign admitted that she is not in a union, while another holding an “auto workers for Trump” sign said he was not an auto worker.

The event drew a crowd of about 400-500 Trump supporters, according to The Detroit News, while Drake Enterprises only has around 150 employees.

Read more

Trump’s fraud trial will begin on Monday after appeals court rejects attempts to delay

Thursday 28 September 2023 20:46 , Alex Woodward

A civil trial stemming from a multi-million dollar fraud lawsuit targeting Donald Trump, his adult sons and chief associates will proceed next week after a New York appeals court rejected a last-ditch attempt to stall the hearings amid a mountain of criminal and civil cases facing the former president.

The two-page appellate court decision on 28 September dismissed Mr Trump’s lawsuit against the judge presiding over his case in an effort to stall the civil trial’s 2 October start date.

A ruling comes just days after the judge’s blockbuster decision finding Mr Trump and others liable for more than a decade of fraud after a years-long investigation from the state attorney general.

A bench trial will begin as scheduled on Monday. Judge Arthur F Engoron will preside without a jury.

His scathing order on 26 September granted a partial judgment in favour of Letitia James, whose blockbuster lawsuit alleges Mr Trump and his business empire defrauded banks and insurers by grossly overvaluing assets and exaggerating his net worth on documents to secure deals and financing.

Read more

Trump ally Kari Lake to announce Arizona senate run against Kyrsten Sinema

Thursday 28 September 2023 20:20 , Gustaf Kilander

Kari Lake is set to announce a Senate run, taking on Arizona’s Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema following the former broadcaster’s failed run for governor of the state in 2022.

Ms Lake told The Wall Street Journal that she will officially announce her candidacy on 10 October. The race is set to be a three-way battle between a Republican, likely to be Ms Lake; incumbent and former Democrat turned Independent Ms Sinema; and US House Representative Ruben Gallego who’s set to campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Ms Lake is still falsely claiming that fraud cost her the 2022 gubernatorial election.

But, despite repeated efforts, she has been unable to prove her claims – much like former president Donald Trump and his false claims over the 2020 presidential election.

Continued...

Scott attacks Haley over expensive curtains installed when she was Trump’s UN rep... but there’s more to it

Thursday 28 September 2023 19:40 , Ariana Baio

Among the numerous heated arguments that transpired between Republican presidential candidates on the debate stage, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and South Carolina senator Tim Scott got into a particularly frivolous argument over expensive curtains.

While addressing government spending, Mr Scott claimed Ms Haley was “someone who has never seen a federal dollar she doesn’t like”, opening the door for the two to verbally spar.

With a coy smile, Ms Haley welcomed Mr Scott’s accusations, saying: “Bring it, Tim.”

Read more...

Chris Christie doubles down on ‘Donald Duck’ nickname for Trump

Thursday 28 September 2023 19:19 , Graeme Massie

Former Trump apprentice takes on master of nicknames with latest jibe.

Chris Christie doubles down on ‘Donald Duck’ nickname for Trump

Analysis: How the far-right of the GOP is sending US hurtling towards a government shutdown

Thursday 28 September 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The Independent’s Eric Garcia and Andrew Feinberg report on how far-right-wing Republicans could lead to a government shutdown and the ousting of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

How far-right arm of the Republicans are sending US towards a government shutdown

GOP candidates refuse to say who should be voted ‘off the island’

Thursday 28 September 2023 18:20 , Martha McHardy

The Republican candidates faced a Survivor-style elimination ceremony on Wednesday night during the second GOP primary debate.

The seven candidates were asked by moderator Dana Perino who should sacrifice themselves in order to defeat the party’s current frontrunner Donald Trump – but each and every one of them refused to answer.

“So which one of you onstage tonight should be voted off the island?” Ms Perino asked, asking the candidates to each name the individual they most think should drop out of the race.

Leading the charge, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dismissed the question outright.

Republican candidates refuse to answer ‘Survivor’ question at debate

Kill Bill, Kim Jong-Un and more feature in string of chaotic Trump videos on Truth Social

Thursday 28 September 2023 17:40 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump had an unusual response to his Republican presidential rivals hitting out at him during the second GOP debate.

Late on Wednesday night, the former president took to his Truth Social platform to post a string of bizarre, chaotic videos featuring montages of movie clips including Kill Bill: Vol. 2 and clips of him meeting controversial figures including Kanye West and Kim Jong-Un.

One video, lasting 1 minute 38 seconds, begins with spliced clips from several iconic movies including Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Napoleon Dynamite of moments where people gathered around the TV screens.

But instead of watching the likes of a spaceship taking off, the viewers are of course watching Mr Trump.

Among the movie footage, Mr Trump has thrown himself into the mix.

More...

Trump goes on incoherent and incorrect rant on electric vehicles

Thursday 28 September 2023 17:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump went on an incoherent and inaccurate rant about electric cars as he gave a speech to a non-union auto parts factory in Michigan and avoided the second Republican debate.

The former president visited the 2024 battleground state the day after Joe Biden joined the United Auto Workers union picket line to support striking workers there.

Mr Trump accused the president of a “cruel and ridiculous” policy on electric vehicles that would be the death of the American car industry, despite Tesla being the highest-valued company in the industry,

He told workers at Drake Enterprises, an automotive manufacturing plant in Clinton Township, that EVs were actually bad for the environment.

Read on...

Trump goes on incoherent and incorrect rant on electric vehicles in Michigan speech

Trump defence team in New York fraud case proposes 127 witnesses

Thursday 28 September 2023 16:57 , Oliver O'Connell

...and the Trump team has released its list of 127 defence witnesses.

Which you can read here.

New York attorney general releases proposed witness list for Trump fraud trial

Thursday 28 September 2023 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

New York Attorney General Letitia James has released her proposed witness list for Donald Trump’s fraud trial.

Included are Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr, and Eric Trump, as well as Ivanka Trump, Michael Cohen, Allen Weisselberg, various Trump Organization employees, and representatives of finance, insurance, and property firms that had dealings with the company.

The extensive list of 28 witnesses is supplemented by an additional 25 who could be called on as rebuttal witnesses if necessary.

Read the full list

Full story: Trump ally Kari Lake to announce Arizona senate run against Kyrsten Sinema

Thursday 28 September 2023 16:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Kari Lake is set to announce a senate run in Arizona against Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema following the former broadcaster’s failed run for governor in 2022.

Ms Lake told The Wall Street Journal that she will officially announce her candidacy on 10 October. The race is set to be a three-way battle between the Republicans, likely represented by Ms Lake, Ms Sinema, the incumbent and a former Democrat, and US House Representative Ruben Gallego who’s set to campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Ms Lake is still claiming that fraud lost her the 2022 gubernatorial election but she has been unable to prove it, much like former President Donald Trump in his similar quest regarding the 2020 presidential election.

Read on...

Kari Lake to announce Arizona senate run against Kyrsten Sinema

‘Good night, sweet prince’: Trump team responds to DeSantis’ one-on-one debate dare

Thursday 28 September 2023 16:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Ron DeSantis challenged Donald Trump to a one-on-one showdown on Wednesday as he skipped the second GOP debate - drawing mockery from the former president’s team.

The Florida governor, who is currently second in the polls behind Mr Trump, slammed the former president for being “missing in action”, saying he “owes it to” Republican voters to show up.

“You know what, maybe we can say since the former president didn’t come here, maybe he’d be willing to do one with you and I,” Mr DeSantis told Fox News’ Sean Hannity after the second GOP primary debate.

“I think he owes it to our voters to come and make the case,” Mr DeSantis argued. “Let’s do it right … one’s entitled to anything.”

Martha McHardy reports on how Team Trump responded...

Who attended Trump’s rally for striking auto workers? It may not have been striking auto workers...

Thursday 28 September 2023 15:30 , Martha McHardy

Donald Trump skipped the second GOP debate to hold a rally for auto workers on strike in Michigan - but the crowd has come under suspicion after some attendees reportedly revealed they don’t fit in that category.

Mr Trump visited Drake Enterprises, a non-unionized auto parts factory, on Wednesday night while seven of his rivals in the 2024 election faced off in California.

In a speech during his visit, Mr Trump claimed “thousands of people” had gathered to meet him in Michigan.

But the composition of the audience is now under scrutiny after a report by The Detroit News claimed one attendee holding a “union members for Trump” sign admitted that she is not in a union, while another holding an “auto workers for Trump” sign said he was not an auto worker.

Read on...

Trump’s Michigan rally for union auto workers may have drawn the wrong crowd

Trump attacks ‘bum’ Chris Christie over ‘boring’ GOP debate

Thursday 28 September 2023 15:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump took aim at former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, his one-time ally now major foe and Republican rival for the 2024 nomination, following the party’s second primary debate on Wednesday night.

Mr Christie had hit out at Mr Trump for skipping the debate – avoiding answering questions on his record as president.

The former president didn’t take kingly to the criticism levelled against him and attacked the former New Jersey governor on Truth Social going after his record as a Republican governor of a blue state.

Trump takes aim at ‘bum’ Chris Christie over ‘boring’ GOP debate

Kill Bill, Kim Jong-Un and more feature in string of chaotic Trump videos on Truth Social

Thursday 28 September 2023 14:45 , Rachel Sharp

Donald Trump had an unusual response to his Republican presidential rivals hitting out at him during the second GOP debate.

Late on Wednesday night, the former president took to his Truth Social platform to post a string of bizarre, chaotic videos featuring montages of movie clips including Kill Bill: Vol. 2 and clips of him meeting controversial figures including Kanye West and Kim Jong-Un.

One video, lasting 1 minute 38 seconds, begins with spliced clips from several iconic movies including Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, Napoleon Dynamite of moments where people gathered around the TV screens.

But instead of watching the likes of a spaceship taking off, the viewers are of course watching Mr Trump.

Among the movie footage, Mr Trump has thrown himself into the mix.

More...

Trump posts string of chaotic videos featuring movie clips montage

GOP candidates refuse to say who should be voted ‘off the island’

Thursday 28 September 2023 14:30 , Martha McHardy

The Republican candidates faced a Survivor-style elimination ceremony on Wednesday night during the second GOP primary debate.

The seven candidates were asked by moderator Dana Perino who should sacrifice themselves in order to defeat the party’s current frontrunner Donald Trump – but each and every one of them refused to answer.

“So which one of you onstage tonight should be voted off the island?” Ms Perino asked, asking the candidates to each name the individual they most think should drop out of the race.

Leading the charge, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dismissed the question outright.

Read more...

DeSantis says Trump ‘missing in action’ from debate stage

Thursday 28 September 2023 14:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Florida governor Ron DeSantis tore into Donald Trump on Wednesday for skipping the second 2024 Republican presidential debate, complaining the former president was “missing in action.”

“Where’s Joe Biden,” he said. “He’s completely missing in action from leadership. You know who else is missing in action? Donald Trump is missing in action. He should be on this stage tonight.”

“He owes it to you to defend his record where they added $7.8 trillion to the debt,” he added. “That set the stage for the inflation we have now.”

Josh Marcus reports.

DeSantis hits out at Trump for not attending GOP debate: ‘Missing in action’

Trump says he won’t pick any Republican 2024 rivals as running mate

Thursday 28 September 2023 13:30 , Graeme Massie

Donald Trump says he will not pick any of the Republicans running against him for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination to be his running mate if wins the primary.

The former president skipped the second GOP debate and poked fun at the “job candidates” taking part during his own competing speech at a Michigan auto parts factory.

“We are competing with the job candidates, they are all running for a job. They are all job candidates. They will do anything, secretary of something, they even say VP. Has anyone seen a VP in that group? I don’t think so,” Mr Trump told the crowd at Drake Enterprises, an automotive manufacturing plant in Clinton Township.

And he added: “They don’t have a crowd like we have, thousands of people outside who couldn’t get in.”

Continued...

Donald Trump calls Joe Biden a ‘wretched old vulture’

Thursday 28 September 2023 13:01 , Graeme Massie

Donald Trump calls Joe Biden a ‘wretched old vulture’ as he skips GOP debate

Trump rails against electric vehicles and windmills in Michigan

Thursday 28 September 2023 12:33 , Graeme Massie