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Trump says he won against ‘beautiful Hillary’ at Iowa rally as Giuliani accused of Jan 6 sex assault - latest

Donald Trump held a rally in Dubuque, Iowa where he said he would win “three” presidential elections – once again pushing the lie that he beat President Joe Biden in 2020.

“We’ve run twice, but I’ve never seen the spirit that we have this time,” he said.

Mr Trump added that “we won the election against beautiful Hillary” to cheers from the audience.

This comes as Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and a top witness for the House Select Committee investigating January 6, writes in her new book Enough that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani sexually assaulted her on the day of the insurrection.

An adviser to Mr Giuliani forcefully rejected the allegations in a statement to The Independent.

The former New York mayor was “like a wolf closing in on its prey”, Ms Hutchinson, 27, writes according to a copy of the book obtained by The Guardian ahead of it being published on Tuesday.

She writes that she encountered Mr Giulaini, 79, backstage at then-President Donald Trump’s speech at the Ellipse.

She writes that Mr Giuliani put his hand “under my blazer, then my skirt”.

Key Points

Marjorie Taylor Greene joins Trump push to shutdown US government to protect former president

12:58 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump attacks Christie as ‘grifter'

12:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has attacked longtime foe former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as a grifter — a charge more often levelled at the former president himself — and revived the “beachgate” scandal of 2017 when the governor and his family were seen on a deserted beach during a holiday weekend, while state parks were closed because of a state government shutdown.

Voting rights advocates sound alarm on Alabama’s defiance of Supreme Court

12:40 , Ariana Baio

Several voting rights organisations, including the NAACP and American Civil Liberies Union, have asked the US Supreme Court to deny Alabama state lawmakers’ request to not redraw congressional lines that provide a fair opportunity for Black voters to elect a candidate of their choosing.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that Alabama Republicans’ congressional map likely violated the Voting Rights Act by packing most of the state’s Black residents into one single district – despite making up 27 per cent of Alabama’s population.

In a second attempt to redraw lines, state lawmakers made one district containing more than 50 per cent of Black residents and another district with 39 per cent of Black residents and refused to re-draw them even after a lower court ordered it.

Read more...

MBS says Saudi to keep money with Jared Kushner fund if Trump re-elected

12:20 , Josh Marcus

Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, said he would keep his government’s $2bn investment in a private equity firm founded by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner if the former president is re-elected.

“It’s a commitment that [Public Investment Fund] PIF has, and when PIF has a commitment with any investment around the globe, [we] keep it,” the Saudi crown prince told Fox News anchor Brett Baier.

He also downplayed any idea that the massive investment would affect the decision-making of a hypothetical Trump administration during an interview aired on Wednesday.

“Saudi Arabia is so big, so I’m quite sure mostly any person around the world, directly or indirectly, you have something to do with Saudi Arabia,” he added. “So if that can affect President Trump’s decision, if he becomes president, that means it can affect every president in the world’s and every person in the world’s decision.”

Read more...

MBS says Saudi Arabia will keep investments with Jared Kushner if Trump is re-elected

Zelensky returns to DC to face growing dissent among GOP over US spending for Ukraine

12:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky returns to Washington on Thursday for a whirlwind one-day visit, this time to face the Republicans now questioning the flow of American dollars that for 19 months has kept his troops in the fight against Russian forces.

Zelensky will meet with President Joe Biden at the White House, speak with US military leaders at the Pentagon and stop at Capitol Hill to talk privately with Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate as the world is watching Western support for Kyiv.

It is Zelensky’s second visit to Washington since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and comes as Biden’s request to Congress for an additional $24bn for Ukraine’s military and humanitarian needs is hanging in the balance.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby called the Ukrainian president “our best messenger” in persuading US lawmakers to keep vital US money and weapons coming.

Continued...

Pennsylvania's Senate wants an earlier 2024 presidential primary, partly to have a say on nominees

12:00 , Marc Levy, AP

Pennsylvania‘s state Senate approved a bill Wednesday to move up the state’s 2024 primary election by five weeks to March 19, aiming to avoid a conflict with the Jewish holiday of Passover and give voters more of a say in deciding presidential nominees.

The bill passed, 45-2, although it still requires passage in the state House of Representatives.

Under the bill, the primary election would move from April 23 to March 19, the same primary date as in Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Arizona. Still, that date comes after primaries in other big delegate states, including California, Texas, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts and Tennessee.

Under that scenario, Pennsylvania would leap over New York, Delaware, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Democrats have warned that the change would compress the primary calendar, giving courts and counties less time to handle election-related duties.

Read more:

Pennsylvania's Senate wants an earlier 2024 presidential primary, partly to have a say on nominees

Schiff says Trump wants shutdown ‘in service of himself'

11:40 , Josh Marcus

Democrat Rep Adam Schiff took issue with Donald Trump’s call for Republicans to “use the power of the purse and defend the country”, noting that it was in fact a call to try and get the prosecutions against him dropped.

Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social on Wednesday night: “A very important deadline is approaching at the end of the month. Republicans in Congress can and must defund all aspects of Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government that refuses to close the Border, and treats half the Country as Enemies of the State. This is also the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots. They failed on the debt limit, but they must not fail now. Use the power of the purse and defend the Country!”

To which Mr Schiff responded: “Let’s be clear about what the former president is saying here. House Republicans should shut down the government unless the prosecutions against him are shut down.”

He continued: “He would deny paychecks to millions of working families & devastate the US economy, all in the service of himself.”

In face of climate crisis, Trump promises to ‘drill, baby, drill!'

11:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Taylor Swift call to action drives 13,000 people every 30 minutes to voter registration site

10:00 , Inga Parkel

Taylor Swift managed to drive record-breaking numbers to voter registration website Vote.org after urging her 232 million followers on Instagram to take action.

On Tuesday (19 September), hours after the pop star, 32, called on her US fanbase to register to vote in honour of National Voter Registration Day, Vote.org’s communication director, Nick Morrow, announced that “our site was averaging 13,000 users every 30 minutes”.

“Fun fact: after @taylorswift13 posted on Instagram today directing her followers to register to vote on @votedotorg, our site was averaging 13,0000 users every 30 minutes,” Morrow wrote on X/Twitter.

“13! Let’s just say her reputation for being a mastermind is very well-earned.”

Earlier that day, the “Anti-Hero” singer had posted to her Story, asking followers: “Are you registered to vote yet?”

Read more:

‘Mastermind’ Taylor Swift drives hoards of fans to voter registration site

VOICES: The obsession with John Fetterman Clones shows a larger problem

09:00 , John Bowden

Republicans can bash Guy Incognito all they want — they still have to beat him in 2028.

John Fetterman returned to Capitol Hill this month, along with the rest of Congress, and now finds himself at the centre of Washington’s weirdest new conversation: “Not Fetterman”.

For days right-wing communities on Twitter and other social media sites have been accusing the freshman Democrat from Pennsylvania of having been “replaced” by a secret cabal of shadowy elites, claiming that photos of the senator sporting a new mustache and possibly looking a bit thinner are proof that a body double has taken his place.

The senator responded in his typical cheeky fashion, telling a group of reporters this week: “It’s all true. I’m Senator Guy Incognito.”

He then pulled up the corresponding image of Homer Simpson, whose alias he had stolen, on his phone.

Read more:

The obsession with John Fetterman Clones shows a larger problem

‘I could be living a very nice life,’ but instead he’s in Iowa, Trump says

08:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump's New York hush-money criminal trial could overlap with state's presidential primary

07:00 , Anthony Izaguirre, AP

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday signed a bill setting the state’s presidential primary for April 2, potentially putting former President Donald Trump on the ballot as he stands trial in Manhattan for a hush-money criminal case.

The new primary date could add a new layer to an increasingly chaotic calendar for Trump next year, as the Republican frontrunner attempts to navigate court cases in multiple states while he seeks a return to the White House.

His New York trial is set to begin on March 25, and though the date could change, it may set up an extraordinary scenario in which the former president might find himself in court as Republican voters in the state are picking their next presidential candidate.

Trump became the first former U.S. president in history to face criminal charges when he was indicted this year on charges in New York state stemming from hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to bury allegations of extramarital sexual encounters. He has pleaded not guilty.

Read more:

Trump's New York hush-money criminal trial could overlap with state's presidential primary

Former federal prosecutor who resigned from Trump-Russia probe says she left over concerns with Barr

06:00 , Susan Haigh, Eric Tucker, AP

A former top federal prosecutor who resigned from the investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe said Wednesday she left because of her concerns with then-U.S. Attorney General William Barr‘s public comments about possibly releasing an interim report before the 2020 presidential election and the fact that she strongly disagreed with a draft she had seen.

“I simply couldn’t be part of it. So I resigned,” Nora Dannehy told Connecticut state legislators during her confirmation hearing as a nominee to the state Supreme Court. It marked the first time Dannehy has spoken publicly about her sudden resignation from the probe overseen by former special counsel John Durham.

Durham, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut, was appointed in the spring of 2019 by Barr to investigate potential wrongdoing by government officials and others in the early days of the FBI probe into ties between the Trump 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. Trump expected the investigation to expose what he and his supporters alleged was a “deep state” conspiracy to undermine his campaign, but the slow pace of the probe – and the lack of blockbuster findings – contributed to a deep wedge between the president and Barr by the time the attorney general resigned in December 2020.

Read more:

Former federal prosecutor who resigned from Trump-Russia probe says she left over concerns with Barr

Talking about inflation, Trump focuses on the price of bacon

05:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump launches his fall push in Iowa to lock in his lead before the first Republican caucuses

04:00 , Thomas Beaumont, AP

Donald Trump began a fall press Wednesday to lock in thousands of Republican caucusgoers in early-voting Iowa, where the former president faces sky-high expectations in his campaign for a White House comeback.

Having campaigned far less often in Iowa than his 2024 rivals, Trump was making his first of five Iowa visits planned through the end of October, aimed at converting what polls in Iowa show as a commanding lead into committed supporters and volunteers.

“In less than four months from now, we’re going to win the Iowa caucuses in a historic landslide,” Trump predicted as he addressed a crowd of more than 1,000 people in small-town Maquoketa.

On display was his team’s promised commitment to better organize in Iowa than it did in 2016, when Trump finished a close second to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Supporters from across northeast Iowa lined up outside the expo building at the Jackson County fairgrounds hours before Trump’s arrival. His campaign aimed to collect signed cards from the crowd pledging to back him in the Jan. 15 caucuses. While the cards do not bind voters to a candidate, they give campaigns valuable contacts to get out the vote and recruit volunteers and precinct leaders.

Read more:

Trump launches his fall push in Iowa to lock in his lead before the first Republican caucuses

How the far-right arm of the Republican party is sending US hurtling towards a government shutdown

03:15 , Eric Garcia and Andrew Feinberg

The US government will run out of money in 10 days, but the House of Representatives is nowhere close to finding a deal to keep the lights on.

If both the House and Senate can’t pass identical versions of all 12 annual government funding bills — or a resolution continuing to fund the government at Fiscal Year 2023 levels — the federal government will enter its sixth partial or full shutdown since 1994.

Most times, these impasses have been the result of disagreements between Democrats and Republicans — either a Democratic White House and GOP Congress, or a Republican Senate and Democratic House, or some other conflict. But unlike the other five such conflicts over the last three decades, the latest row that could shutter the US government is the result of intractable intra-party bickering in the GOP-led House of Representatives.

And with just 10 days until the end of the fiscal year, all eyes are on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

The California Republican, who took hold of the speaker’s gavel after a marathon of 15 separate ballots in January, needs to craft a compromise that can satisfy each of the myriad factions within his conference, ranging from the moderate to centrist Main Street Caucus to the hard-right members whose votes he courted to earn his current position.

Read more:

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

Trump makes outrageous claims on border crossings in Iowa speech

02:30 , Gustaf Kilander

According to the Pew Research Center, “The Border Patrol reported 1,659,206 encounters with migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border last fiscal year, narrowly exceeding the prior highs of 1,643,679 in 2000 and 1,615,844 in 1986”.

Garland pushes back on Republican critics: ‘I am not the president’s lawyer’

01:45 , Andrew Feinberg

US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday used testimony before the House Judiciary Committee to hit back at Republican critics — including former president Donald Trump — who have accused him without evidence of doing the political bidding of the Biden administration.

Mr Garland, who appeared on Capitol Hill for a scheduled oversight hearing before the GOP-led panel, opened his remarks with a defence of his department’s work and its independence from both the White House and the US legislative branch.

“Our job is not to take orders from the president, from Congress, or from anyone else, about who or what to criminally investigate,” he said.

“I am not the president’s lawyer. I will add I am not Congress’s prosecutor. The Justice Department works for the American people”.

Mr Garland’s testimony before the House committee was his first appearance at the Capitol since his department levelled charges against Mr Trump, who has been indicted by federal grand juries in Florida and Washington DC.

Read more:

Garland pushes back on Republican critics: ‘I am not the president’s lawyer’

‘Messy, chaos, s***’: Nearly two thirds of Americans are ‘exhausted’ by politics

01:00 , Ariana Baio

The US still has more than a year to go before the 2024 presidential election, but more than half of Americans say they’re already exhausted and angry when thinking about the nation’s politics.

In a comprehensive study of 8,480 adults, the Pew Research Center found that a majority of Americans have little confidence in the current or future US political system and have mostly negative things to say about US politics.

When asked to describe the US political system in one word, respondents gave suggestions like “Chaos”, “Divisive”, “Corrupt”, “Messy”, “S***” and “Disgusting”.

The grim feeling toward US politics has no bounds – across all political parties and branches of government, the public is deeply unhappy.

Although Pew’s study did not find a “single focal point for the public’s dissatisfaction”, several common themes seemed to be the increasingly polarising environment, the role of money in politics, the two-party system and indelible political positions.

Read more:

‘Messy, chaos, s**t’: Nearly two thirds of Americans are ‘exhausted’ by politics

Trump bashes critical race theory and trans athletes in Iowa speech

Thursday 21 September 2023 00:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Mayor candidate says she didn’t know she worked for an escort service in college after arrest revealed

Wednesday 20 September 2023 23:30 , Gustaf Kilander

A woman running what has been described as a “morality campaign” for mayor in Franklin, Tennessee has confirmed that she was arrested for promoting prostitution three decades ago.

Gabrielle Hanson, a MAGA Republican and Franklin alderman, claims she believed that she was working for a modelling agency when she worked answering phones for what turned out to be an escort service while she was a college student.

Seven hours after Nashville’s NewsChannel5 reached out to Ms Hanson about her criminal past, she shared a video in which she said: “One day the police came knocking at my door.”

She was detained in Dallas, Texas in the mid-1990s.

“I was shocked, I was devastated. Everything I worked for for 13 years was about to come true. It should have been the happiest, most exciting time of my life, and it ended up being the absolute lowest,” Ms Hanson said. “That was definitely not who I was, but I was definitely in the middle of all of it.”

Read more:

Tennessee mayor candidate says she didn’t know she worked for an escort service

Cassidy Hutchinson claims Rudy Giuliani sexually assaulted her on Jan 6 in new book

Wednesday 20 September 2023 22:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and a top witness for the House Select Committee investigating January 6, writes in her new book Enough that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani sexually assaulted her on the day of the insurrection.

An adviser to Mr Giuliani forcefully rejected the allegations in a statement to The Independent.

The former New York mayor was “like a wolf closing in on its prey”, Ms Hutchinson, 27, writes according to a copy of the book obtained by The Guardian ahead of it being published on Tuesday.

Read more:

Cassidy Hutchinson claims Rudy Giuliani sexually assaulted her on Jan 6 in new book

McCarthy: Still time to prevent government shutdown, but others are looking at options

Wednesday 20 September 2023 22:00 , AP

With no clear strategy, no sure support and not much time left to prevent a government shutdown, Speaker Kevin McCarthy nevertheless vowed on Wednesday he would not give up trying to convince his colleagues to pass a temporary funding bill through the House.

But lawmakers watching and waiting for the beleaguered leader to deliver are looking at other options.

The Republican speaker insisted as he arrived at the Capitol for another grueling day of negotiations that he still had time to win over hard-line conservatives and keep the government funded before money runs out before the end of the month.

“It’s not September 30 — the game is not over,” McCarthy told reporters.

But even if McCarthy is able to accomplish the seemingly impossible and unite his all-but-ungovernable House Republican majority around a conservative spending plan, the victory would be short-lived. The hard-right bill, with steep 8% cuts to many services, would be rejected by the Senate, where Democrats are in control but even Republicans reject the House GOP’s severe reductions.

Continued...

Wanting more of a say on nominees, Pennsylvania's Senate wants an earlier 2024 presidential primary

Wednesday 20 September 2023 21:30 , AP

Pennsylvania‘s state Senate approved a bill Wednesday to move up the state’s 2024 primary election by five weeks to March 19, aiming to avoid a conflict with the Jewish holiday of Passover and give voters more of a say in deciding presidential nominees.

The bill passed, 45-2, although it still requires passage in the state House of Representatives.

Under the bill, the primary election would move from April 23 to March 19, the same primary date as in Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Kansas and Arizona. Still, that date comes after primaries in other big delegate states, including California, Texas, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts and Tennessee.

Under that scenario, Pennsylvania would leap over New York, Delaware, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Continued...

Voices: The obsession with John Fetterman Clones shows a larger problem

Wednesday 20 September 2023 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

John Bowden writes:

Republicans can bash Guy Incognito all they want — they still have to beat him in 2028.

John Fetterman returned to Capitol Hill this month, along with the rest of Congress, and now finds himself at the centre of Washington’s weirdest new conversation: “Not Fetterman”.

For days right-wing communities on Twitter and other social media sites have been accusing the freshman Democrat from Pennsylvania of having been “replaced” by a secret cabal of shadowy elites, claiming that photos of the senator sporting a new mustache and possibly looking a bit thinner are proof that a body double has taken his place.

The senator responded in his typical cheeky fashion, telling a group of reporters this week: “It's all true. I'm Senator Guy Incognito.”

He then pulled up the corresponding image of Homer Simpson, whose alias he had stolen, on his phone.

Read on...

The obsession with John Fetterman Clones shows a larger problem

‘Absurd’: Tucker Carlson denies claim about DeSantis in bombshell new book

Wednesday 20 September 2023 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

After Florida Gov Ron DeSantis was accused of kicking Tucker Carlson’s dog in Michael Wolff’s new book, the former Fox News host pushed back, calling the claim “absurd.”

The forthcoming book, The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty, details many prominent individuals in the world of Fox. According to The Daily Beast, which obtained a copy of the book, Wolff outlined one particular incident during a lunch between the former Fox News host and Mr DeSantis, who was reportedly considered to be Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s “favoured candidate” for the 2024 election.

Mr DeSantis and his wife Casey DeSantis were invited to the Carlsons’ Florida home, where Wolff reported that the Florida governor failed the “Susie Carlson test.”

Read on...

Tucker Carlson denies ‘absurd’ claim that Ron DeSantis kicked his dog

‘You’re fired’: Tim Scott gives baffling response to auto workers strike

Wednesday 20 September 2023 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

As a candidate for a party that has in recent years pivoted toward framing itself as the voice of the forgotten blue-collar worker, this might not be the vote-winner that he thinks it is, but nevertheless, in his pursuit of the White House, Republican candidate Tim Scott is weighing in on current issues like the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike to try to prove to voters that he would make a good president.

However, Mr Scott may have stumbled over his understanding of the strike while speaking with potential voters in Iowa on Monday – claiming they were federal workers who should be fired for striking.

Calling on the likeness of Ronald Reagan, Mr Scott said if he were president he would be dealing with the strikers in a much different manner.

“I think Ronald Reagan gave us a great example when federal employees decided they were going to strike. He said, ‘you strike, you’re fired,’” Mr Scott said.

Ariana Baio reports.

Tim Scott gives baffling response to auto workers strike

Ron DeSantis says Trump’s abortion remarks show ‘the danger’ in re-electing him

Wednesday 20 September 2023 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

GOP presidential hopeful Governor Ron DeSantis has leapt on Donald Trump‘s recent comments about abortion, arguing that the former president’s less-extreme views are out of step with modern-day Republican values.

Mr Trump recently took the position that six-week abortion bans — bans that Mr DeSantis signed into law in Florida — were a “terrible mistake.” He told NBC’s Meet the Press that he would sit down with people from “both sides” of the abortion debate and negotiate a deal that would leave everyone in “peace” on the long-contested issue.

Mr DeSantis called the soundbite a “terrible statement” and questioned Mr Trump’s loyalty to the Republican project of using state power to force women into giving birth.

“Donald Trump may think it’s terrible. I think protecting babies with heartbeats is noble and just and I’m proud to have signed the heartbeat bill in Florida and I know Iowa has similar legislation,” the Florida governor told Radio Iowa. “I don’t know how you can even make the claim that you’re somehow pro-life if you’re criticising states for enacting protections for babies that have heartbeats.”

He went on, saying Mr Trump was “changing in a way that is not consistent with the values of the people in Iowa” and moving away from promises he made in 2016.

Continued...

Ron DeSantis says Trump’s abortion remarks show ‘danger’ in re-electing him

Cassidy Hutchinson claims Rudy Giuliani sexually assaulted her on Jan 6 in new book

Wednesday 20 September 2023 19:24 , Gustaf Kilander

Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and a top witness for the House Select Committee investigating January 6, writes in her new book Enough that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani sexually assaulted her on the day of the insurrection.

An adviser to Mr Giuliani forcefully rejected the allegations in a statement to The Independent.

The former New York mayor was “like a wolf closing in on its prey”, Ms Hutchinson, 27, writes according to a copy of the book obtained by The Guardian ahead of it being published on Tuesday.

Read more:

Cassidy Hutchinson claims Rudy Giuliani sexually assaulted her on Jan 6 in new book

Fetterman says he’ll wear a suit if GOP ‘jagoffs’ stop government shutdown threats

Wednesday 20 September 2023 19:15 , Oliver O’Connell

John Fetterman says that he will return to wearing a suit in Congress if his “jagoff” Republican critics stop threatening to shut down the government.

The US senator from Pennsylvania has come under fire after the high chamber relaxed its dress code to seemingly allow the burly Democrat to wear his trademark shorts and hoodie on the floor.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made the change, telling the sergeant at arms to no longer enforce the tradition of male senators wearing a jacket and tie on the floor.

“If those jagoffs in the House stop trying to shut our government down, and fully support Ukraine, then I will save democracy by wearing a suit on the Senate floor next week,” the Democrat wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Graeme Massie reports on the latest from the sartorial star of the Senate.

John Fetterman says he’ll wear suit if GOP ‘jagoffs’ stop government shutdown threats

Hunter Biden whistleblower allegations in question following new testimony

Wednesday 20 September 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

FBI and IRS officials have cast fresh doubt on allegations of political interference in the criminal investigation into Hunter Biden’s taxes, according to a CNN report.

In closed-door testimony before a House Republican-led inquiry, several officials reportedly told lawmakers they could not remember US Attorney David Weiss saying he lacked the authority to prosecute the president’s son or was denied special counsel status, the network reported.

The claims made by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley had been central to GOP’s efforts to uncover evidence of bias in the criminal probe into Hunter Biden and led to Kevin McCarthy opening an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden last week.

The report came as US Attorney General Merrick Garland appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to answer Republican accusations that the Justice Department had been “weaponised”.

Read the rest of Bevan Hurley’s report.

Prosecutors: Pro-Trump conspiracy theorist lawyer Lin Wood is a witness in Georgia election case

Wednesday 20 September 2023 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Lin Wood, a prolific conspiracy theorist who joined spurious efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, appears to be cooperating with prosecutors in Georgia as the state’s sprawling criminal case against Donald Trump and 18 others heads to at least two trials.

A special grand jury tasked with reviewing evidence in the case surrounding the former president recommended that Mr Wood face criminal charges connected to an alleged criminal scheme to subvert the outcome of Georgia’s election results, but Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis ultimately declined to do so.

Mr Wood, instead, is among “witnesses for the State in the present case,” according to court filings.

Continued...

Conspiracy theorist Lin Wood is a witness in Trump’s Georgia election case

Special counsel Weiss objects to Hunter Biden virtual plea

Wednesday 20 September 2023 17:58 , Oliver O'Connell

Special Counsel David Weiss, who is investigating President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, has objected to his request to enter a not-guilty plea virtually: “An in-person hearing is important to promote the public’s confidence that the defendant is being treated consistently with other defendants in this District and in other Districts.”

Mr Weiss argues that since the expiration of Covid-19 pandemic protocols in June 2022 “the Court has almost always held in-person initial appearances and arraignments for defendants”.

“This defendant should be treated no differently,” he adds.

Here’s Alex Woodward reporting on the not-guilty plea:

Hunter Biden will plead not guilty to gun charges

Trump highlights endorsement of Jim Banks for Senate

Wednesday 20 September 2023 17:53 , Oliver O'Connell

The former president was happy to see that, after his endorsement, “some talented and professional people, but not talented and professional in a league with Jim, all drooped out of the race” [sic].

Here’s the full Truth Social post:

Endorsing Congressman Jim Banks for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Indiana was a very easy thing for me to do. I was happy to see that, after the Endorsement, some talented and professional people, but not talented and professional in a league with Jim, all drooped out of the race. Jim has no choice but to be GREAT because Indiana’s other Senator, Todd Young, has been weak & ineffective! Jim will be replacing a very good and talented Senator, Mike Braun, who is running for Governor!

‘I am not the president’s lawyer’: Garland pushes back on Republican critics

Wednesday 20 September 2023 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday used testimony before the House Judiciary Committee to hit back at Republican critics — including former president Donald Trump — who have accused him without evidence of doing the political bidding of the Biden Administration.

Mr Garland, who appeared on Capitol Hill for a scheduled oversight hearing before the GOP-led panel, opened his remarks with a defence of his department’s work and its’ independence from both the White House and the US legislative branch.

“Our job is not to take orders from the president, from Congress, or from anyone else, about who or what to criminally investigate,” he said.

“I am not the president’s lawyer. I will add I am not Congress’s prosecutor. The Justice Department works for the American people”.

Continued...

Garland pushes back on Republican critics: ‘I am not the president’s lawyer’

Gaetz motion to vacate Speaker McCarthy ‘found discarded in men’s restroom’

Wednesday 20 September 2023 17:00 , Kelly Rissman

What appears to be a draft of a motion to vacate the House Speaker written by Florida Rep Matt Gaetz was found in a men’s restroom below the House floor, according to a report.

A Raw Story reporter discovered the discarded draft on a baby changing table in the men’s restroom. The draft has “Mr Gaetz” written all over it.

The top of the page reads: “Declaring the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant.” The draft was dated 15 September 2023.

This finding isn’t too surprising as the Florida Republican has repeatedly threatened to remove House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his post. Mr Gaetz recently told reporters: “If we have to begin every single day in Congress with the prayer, the pledge and the motion to vacate.”

Continued...

Watch: Zelensky asks Trump what US is willing to give from its territories?

Wednesday 20 September 2023 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that if Donald Trump’s idea for peace between Russian and Ukraine — the details of which he has not revealed — includes taking Ukrainian territory to give to Vladimir Putin, then he is “not presenting the global idea of peace.”

Fake electors want Georgia election subversion charges against them moved to federal court

Wednesday 20 September 2023 16:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Lawyers for three Georgia Republicans, who falsely claimed that Donald Trump won the state and they were “duly elected and qualified” electors, are set to argue today that criminal charges against them should be moved from state to federal court.

David Shafer, Shawn Still and Cathy Latham were among the 18 people indicted last month along with Trump on charges they participated in a wide-ranging scheme to keep the Republican president in power after his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. All 19 defendants have pleaded not guilty.

US District Judge Steve Jones is set to hear arguments Wednesday on why Shafer, Still and Latham believe the case against them should be tried in federal court rather than in Fulton County Superior Court. Jones already rejected a similar effort from Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who has appealed that ruling. He held a hearing Monday on a similar bid by former U.S. Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and has yet to rule.

Continued...

Rupert Murdoch often wishes Trump was dead, according to bombshell new book

Wednesday 20 September 2023 16:17 , Oliver O'Connell

Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury about the tumultuous Trump White House tenure, is back with another book, this time focused on the Murdoch dynasty and Fox News.

The initial key takeaway from The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty is that media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose news empire was instrumental in pushing Donald Trump to electoral success in 2016, has since become “a frothing-at-the-mouth” adversary of the former president.

While Mr Murdoch may not be alone in that regard — there are plenty of former Trump allies who now oppose him — according to Mr Wolff, his hatred of Mr Trump goes as far as wishing he was dead...

Gustaf Kilander has the story...

Bombshell new book claims Rupert Murdoch often wishes Trump was dead

After Zelensky challenged him to end war Trump joins GOP infighting over US spending on Ukraine

Wednesday 20 September 2023 16:00 , Kelly Rissman

Former President Donald Trump added some fuel to the fire of Republican discord over whether to give more aid to Ukraine, arguing that the US has already sent too much money to the embattled country.

Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social on Wednesday morning: “Our Country has spent almost 200 Billion Dollars more than the countries of Europe in fighting go Ukraine. Does anybody think this is fair and reasonable? Europe should equalise before we go forward!”

This isn’t the first time the GOP 2024 frontrunner has shared an opinion about the ongoing conflict. He previously claimed that he could end the war in Ukraine in just 24 hours — but didn’t offer many details on how that would occur. During the CNN town hall in May, when asked whether he wants Ukraine to win the war, he didn’t answer directly and instead said: “I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people.”

Read more...

Trump joins GOP infighting over Ukraine aid after Zelensky challenged him to end war

Trump hits out at Biden over weapons policy

Wednesday 20 September 2023 15:53 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump continues to subtweet (subtruth?) his successor, offering his own take on President Joe Biden’s speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

He wrote:

Crooked Joe Biden announced yesterday that he has permanently ended certain very powerful & effective (but horrible!) Weapons of Mass & Lethal Destruction, but that other countries, which have similar weapons, have not followed suit. Can you imagine doing this without a deal for others to simultaneously do the same? We no longer have that powerful bargaining chip!!! Biden is a fool who is being laughed at all over the World. He is only good at ELECTION INTERFERENCE & WEAPONIZING our ELECTIONS!

Prosecutor says Trump unwittingly admitted to two of the charges against him

Wednesday 20 September 2023 15:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump unintentionally admitted to two of the charges against him in his recent interview with NBC, a former prosecutor who was a part of the Russia investigation led by then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller has said.

Andrew Weissmann appeared on MSNBC on Monday night, noting to host Lawrence O’Donnell that Mr Trump told Meet The Press that he knew by 10pm on the night of the election that he had won, despite the fact that many votes still had to be counted.

“That was something that’s got very little attention, and that was something of an effort to stop the count of votes,” Mr Wiessman said. “And the president and his allies had talked about this before the election and then tried to put it into effect on the night of the election. They knew there would be this thing called the ‘red mirage’.”

Continued...

Trump unwittingly admitted to two charges, prosecutor says

Report: Trump told aide to pretend to ‘know nothing about boxes’ of secret papers

Wednesday 20 September 2023 15:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A former assistant to Donald Trump has reportedly said she was told by the former president to pretend she didn’t know anything about the boxes containing classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Mr Trump’s long-time assistant Molly Michael told investigators that the former president told her to hush up about the boxes after he learned that federal investigators wanted to quiz her following the raid at her house, a person familiar with her comments to investigators told ABC News.

“You don’t know anything about the boxes,” Mr Trump allegedly told Ms Michael.

She was interviewed by the investigators as part of the probe into the former president’s handling of secret government documents which were found stashed in his home during a raid on 8 August last year.

Shweta Sharma has the story.

Trump told aide to pretend to ‘know nothing about boxes’ of secret papers – report

Trump snipes at Biden over UN speech

Wednesday 20 September 2023 14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump called President Joe Biden “an embarrassment”, sniping at his successor following his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

The former president wrote on Truth Social: “If I would have made that speech yesterday at the United Nations, for all of the World to see, including the HORRENDOUS delivery, I would have been run out of politics! An EMBARRASSMENT to our Country.”

Here’s an excerpt of President Biden’s speech:

Eric Trump enjoyed his brother’s Twitter hack

Wednesday 20 September 2023 14:24 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump Jr’s brother Eric Trump appeared to be highly amused by the hacking of his brother’s Twitter account, replying to one post in which it was alleged that the elder son of Donald Trump had had an affair with the girlfriend of UFC fighter Logan Paul.

He wrote: “I don’t want @DonaldJTrumpJr to get his account back - this is all too entertaining.”

Eric then followed that by posting: “What was @donaldtrumpjr password? Don2024? 😋”

One of the hacked posts had Don Jr saying his father had passed away and he was taking over his 2024 presidential run.

Donald Trump Jr’s Twitter account appears to have been hacked... and announced his dad’s death

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:58 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump Jr’s account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, appears to have been hacked as it announced the death of former President Donald Trump and that Mr Trump Jr would be running for president in 2024 instead.

“I’m sad to announce, my father Donald Trump has passed away. I will be running for president in 2024,” the account posted to immediate assumptions from other users that the ex-president’s oldest son had had his account hacked.

The account of Mr Trump Jr also wrote: “Some interesting messages with Jeffrey Epstein...”

Gustaf Kilander is following this developing story...

Donald Trump Jr’s Twitter account appears to have been hacked

VOICES: Republican supporters of Ukraine don’t sweat the GOP critics

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:30 , Eric Garcia

The fight amongst Republicans about how to keep the government open has many facets, but perhaps one of the most fraught ones includes whether to include support for Ukraine. And it is coming just as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is about to come to Washington.

Earlier this year, I reported how Republican backing for Ukraine was always fraught, with some being sceptical about US support for the country as Russian President Vladimir Putin continues his assault and some elected officials are outright hostile to Ukraine and Mr Zelensky. The split between pro-Ukraine and anti-Ukraine Republicans came on full display during the first GOP presidential primary debate as well.

Read more:

Republicans at war over Ukraine funding as Zelensky flies into town

Watch: Trump GOP allies paralyse House government funding bills

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:24 , Oliver O'Connell

Sahil Kapur of NBC News sums up how House Republicans have paralysed the lower chamber of Congress:

Speaker Kevin McCarthy is faced with an impossible task to try and unite his party and fund the government. Here’s a full explanation of what he has to deal with:

Speaker McCarthy faces an almost impossible task trying to unite House GOP and fund the government

VIDEO: Russia the ‘aggressor’ stands ‘in the way of peace’, Joe Biden tells United Nations

Wednesday 20 September 2023 13:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Garland set to face his GOP critics as DOJ under heavy scrutiny

Wednesday 20 September 2023 12:30 , AP

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday is set to come face-to-face with his most ardent critics as House Republicans prepare to use a routine oversight hearing to interrogate him about what they claim is the “weaponization” of the Justice Department under President Joe Biden.

Garland is appearing before the House Judiciary Committee for the first time in two years and at an unprecedented moment in the Justice Department’s history: He’s overseeing two cases against Donald Trump, the first former president to face criminal charges, and another against the sitting president’s son, Hunter Biden.

“Our job is not to take orders from the president, from Congress, or from anyone else, about who or what to criminally investigate,” Garland will say, according to prepared remarks.

Republicans on the committee were tight-lipped about what they planned to ask Garland, telling The Associated Press on Tuesday that they wanted to keep that under wraps until the hearing.

Continued...

John Fetterman gives hilarious response to online conspiracy theorists claiming he uses body double

Wednesday 20 September 2023 12:00 , Bevan Hurley

John Fetterman employed a classic Homer Simpson meme to troll online conspiracy theorists who falsely claim he uses a body double.

The Pennsylvania senator responded to a post on X from a BBC disinformation reporter who noted there was a “community of people online who regularly share images of John Fetterman to figure out whether he’s real or has been replaced by a body double”.

“Senator Guy Incognito (D-PA),” Mr Fetterman wrote alongside an image of the Homer Simpson doppelgänger of the same name.

Using doctored images and deceptively cropped screenshots, social media users on X, formerly Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and other sites have been spreading baseless claims that the 54-year-old uses a body double.

“It looks like John Fetterman no longer has tattoos on his forearms,” one wrote on X in a 14 September post.

Read more:

John Fetterman gives hilarious response to online claims he uses body double

Overnight on Truth Social...

Wednesday 20 September 2023 11:43 , Oliver O'Connell

It was 2.25am on the East Coast when Donald Trump flexed his fingers and opened the Truth Social app for his latest middle-of-the-night posts thoughts.

With the UN General Assembly underway in New York and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in town to urge more support for his country in the face of Russian aggression, the former president had some thoughts:

Our Country has spent almost 200 Billion Dollars more than the countries of Europe in fighting go Ukraine. Does anybody think this is fair and reasonable? Europe should equalize before we go forward!

He followed this up with an all-caps:

RECIPROCAL TRADE AGREEMENT!

House Democrat Chair says it’s ‘unfortunate that carrying forward in a bipartisan manner’ makes the GOP want to remove McCarthy

Wednesday 20 September 2023 11:00 , Gustaf Kilander

With Hollywood on strike, Biden leans on Broadway stars in hunt for campaign cash

Wednesday 20 September 2023 10:00 , Brian Slodysko, Aamer Madhani, AP

President Joe Biden‘s reelection campaign is getting some big-name fundraising help Monday from Broadway’s top stars.

With members of the Writers Guild of America and actors from SAG-AFTRA on strike, Biden is avoiding Hollywood for now and turning to the theater, with Sara Bareilles, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt among those scheduled to appear at a fundraising concert on behalf of the president.

Theatrical work in the U.S. is overseen and contracted by the Actors’ Equity Association, whose some 51,000 American actors and stage managers remain on the job.

Both Biden and first lady Jill Biden will attend the event, with tickets ranging from $250 to $7,500. Biden will also take part in another private fundraiser in Manhattan on Monday.

Biden, who is set to address the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, arrived in New York on Sunday evening so he could squeeze in the fundraisers as the end of the quarter for federal election reporting on fundraising nears. The early arrival also allowed him to attend a birthday celebration for one of his grandchildren at a swanky downtown restaurant.

Read more:

With Hollywood on strike, Biden leans on Broadway stars in hunt for campaign cash

GOP gubernatorial candidate signals support for rape, incest exceptions to Kentucky abortion law

Wednesday 20 September 2023 09:00 , Bruce Schreiner, AP

Republican gubernatorial nominee Daniel Cameron appeared to soften his hardline opposition to abortion on Monday, telling a Kentucky radio station that he would support amending the state’s abortion ban to add exceptions allowing for the termination of pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

Cameron, the state’s attorney general, has steadfastly supported the current Kentucky law banning all abortions except when carried out to save a pregnant woman’s life or to prevent a disabling injury.

But during an interview with WHAS-AM, Cameron signaled that if elected governor he would be willing to sign legislation providing abortion exceptions for instances of rape and incest.

“There’s no question about that,” the GOP challenger said.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s campaign accused Cameron of trying to hide his well-established “extreme views” on the abortion issue.

Read more:

GOP gubernatorial candidate signals support for rape, incest exceptions to Kentucky abortion law

DeSantis claims Disney feud lost him Super PAC funding

Wednesday 20 September 2023 08:00 , Gustaf Kilander

US gun laws are failing to protect elections as political violence spreads, report finds

Wednesday 20 September 2023 07:00 , Alex Woodward

Last year, armed far-right activists in tactical gear were accused of intimidating voters at ballot drop boxes in Arizona, an incident that magnified the threats facing voters and election workers in the volatile aftermath of 2020 elections.

Law enforcement officials and civil rights groups have been sounding alarms about growing threats and potential for political violence, following a surge in pro-gun policies and a landmark US Supreme Court case that limits the scope of legal protections to combat the proliferation of firearms across the country.

There are now “big holes” in protections for voters and election workers ahead of crucial 2024 elections, and “with more guns and more political polarization and violence, states need strong laws to limit risk,” according to a report from gun violence prevention group Giffords Law Center and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law.

The Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc v Bruen recognized that prohibiting firearms at “sensitive places” like “polling places” were “presumptively lawful” – but only 12 states and Washington DC expressly prohibit both open and concealed carry of firearms at polling places, the report found.

Read more:

US gun laws risk election safety as political violence spreads, report finds

Trump could face an extensive list of trials next year. Here are all the court dates

Wednesday 20 September 2023 06:00 , Ariana Baio

Donald Trump’s 2024 calendar is quickly booking up with court dates corresponding to his plentiful criminal indictments and civil lawsuits.

The ex-president and his legal team are preparing for a busy year ahead as they attempt to juggle the many trial dates while Mr Trump continues his campaign for 2024 president.

So far, Mr Trump has been criminally indicted four times – two of which are on the federal level and two are on the state level. This is on top of two civil lawsuits the ex-president is involved in New York City.

Though Mr Trump’s legal team has continuously pushed judges to delay trial dates until after the 2024 election, nearly all of the dates for his criminal indictments have been set for next spring.

Here are the trial dates for Mr Trump thus far:

When is Donald Trump going on trial?

Tim Scott argues workers who go on strike should be fired

Wednesday 20 September 2023 05:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump, January 6 and a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election: The federal investigation, explained

Wednesday 20 September 2023 04:15 , Alex Woodward

A former president has been charged with crimes connected to his attempts to overturn the results of an American election.

The federal investigation into the efforts from Donald Trump and his allies to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential election has yielded four criminal charges in a 45-page indictment, outlining three alleged criminal conspiracies and the obstruction of of Joe Biden’s victory and detailing a multi-state scheme built on a legacy of lies and conspiracy theories to undermine the democratic process.

A charging document under US Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith follows a grand jury vote to indict Mr Trump after months of evidence and witness testimony. A tentative trial date has been set for 4 March, 2024 in Washington DC.

Mr Trump and 18 co-defendants are separately charged in Georgia in a sprawling racketeering case outlining the multi-state scheme to pressure state officials and then-Vice President Mike Pence to subvert election results against the will of Georgia voters.

The indictments follow a separate, lengthy House select committee investigation into the events surrounding and leading up to the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, including a series of blockbuster public hearings laying out evidence and witness testimony describing the depth of Mr Trump’s attempts to remain in office at whatever cost.

Read more:

The federal investigation into Trump and January 6, explained

White House hits back after House sets first Biden impeachment hearing scheduled for 28 September

Wednesday 20 September 2023 03:30 , Gustaf Kilander and Andrew Feinberg

The White House on Tuesday hit back at House Republicans after the House Oversight Committee announced that the first hearing in a GOP-led impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden would take place on 28 September.

Ian Sams, a spokesperson for the the White House Counsel’s Office, said in a statement that the timing of the announcement and of the hearing itself — just 48 hours before the federal government will run out of funds at the end of the fiscal year — shows that the House GOP is “already telegraphing their plans to try to distract from their own chaotic inability to govern and the impacts of it on the country”.

“Staging a political stunt hearing in the waning days before they may shut down the government reveals their true priorities: to them, baseless personal attacks on President Biden are more important than preventing a government shutdown and the pain it would inflict on American families,” Mr Sams said.

Read more:

First Biden impeachment hearing scheduled for Thursday 28 September

DeSantis reacts to McCarthy saying ‘he’s not at the same level’ as Trump

Wednesday 20 September 2023 02:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump’s public statements are being influenced by his lawyers, legal expert says

Wednesday 20 September 2023 02:20 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump’s public statements have changed in line with advice from his lawyers, a legal expert has suggested.

Harry Litman, a former US attorney and former deputy assistant attorney general for the Western District of Pennsylvania, wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, on Monday night that the former president “continues to employ the same braggadocio. But listen carefully, he’s begun to pepper his proclamations with hedges, such as ‘in my opinion’ or ‘that’s what I think.’ That’s lawyer-prescribed to try to shield him from outright lies”.

Read more:

Trump’s public statements are being influenced by his lawyers, legal expert says

Trump slams Biden over US-Iran prisoner deal

Wednesday 20 September 2023 02:00 , Ariana Baio

Five Americans previously imprisoned in Iran are now home thanks to a deal President Joe Biden struck with Iran, but self-proclaimed great dealmaker Donald Trump doesn’t seem to think it was the right negotiation.

On Monday, Mr Biden announced that after years-long negotiations between Iran and the US, the country agreed to release five wrongfully detained people, some of whom have spent years in the infamous Elvin Prison.

In exchange for the five Americans, the US agreed to unfreeze $6bn in Iranian oil assets for a South Korean account.

But Mr Trump, the man who “knows deals … better than anybody knows deals”, believes the negotiation will make the US appear weak.

“This absolutely ridiculous 6 Billion Dollar Hostage Deal with Iran has set a terrible PRECEDENT for the future,” Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social on Monday.

Read more:

Trump slams Biden over US-Iran prisoner deal

Ron DeSantis says Trump’s abortion remarks show ‘the danger’ in re-electing him

Wednesday 20 September 2023 01:30 , Graig Graziosi

GOP presidential hopeful Governor Ron DeSantis has leapt on Donald Trump‘s recent comments about abortion, arguing that the former president’s less-extreme views are out of step with modern-day Republican values.

Mr Trump recently took the position that six-week abortion bans — bans that Mr DeSantis signed into law in Florida — were a “terrible mistake.” He told NBC’s Meet the Press that he would sit down with people from “both sides” of the abortion debate and negotiate a deal that would leave everyone in “peace” on the long-contested issue.

Mr DeSantis called the soundbite a “terrible statement” and questioned Mr Trump’s loyalty to the Republican project of using state power to force women into giving birth.

“Donald Trump may think it’s terrible. I think protecting babies with heartbeats is noble and just and I’m proud to have signed the heartbeat bill in Florida and I know Iowa has similar legislation,” the Florida governor told Radio Iowa. “I don’t know how you can even make the claim that you’re somehow pro-life if you’re criticising states for enacting protections for babies that have heartbeats.”

He went on, saying Mr Trump was “changing in a way that is not consistent with the values of the people in Iowa” and moving away from promises he made in 2016.

Read more:

Ron DeSantis says Trump’s abortion remarks show ‘danger’ in re-electing him

Fox News slammed for tweeting out Trump’s false claim about Pelosi and Jan 6: ‘It has been fact-checked ad nauseam’

Wednesday 20 September 2023 01:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Sir Keir Starmer says he speaks to Barack Obama ‘frequently’

Wednesday 20 September 2023 00:30 , Archie Mitchell

Sir Keir Starmer “frequently” speaks with Barack Obama, he has revealed as he set out plans to “restore the UK and its reputation on the world stage”.

The Labour leader said Mr Obama is the former US president he talks to most often. He also said his team are in talks with Joe Biden’s administration.

He has not been invited to meet Mr Biden yet, but asked whether he wanted the president to beat Donald Trump in next year’s election, he said: “It’s clear what my desired outcome would be.”

Speaking to Politico’s Power Play podcast, Sir Keir also said: “I feel very strongly that since Brexit, there’s been a sense that we’ve not just exited the EU, that we’ve somehow turned our back on the world and wherever you go people feel almost the absence of the UK, once a leading voice, now rarely consulted.”

The revelation comes before a meeting in Paris between Sir Keir and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Read more:

Sir Keir Starmer says he speaks to Obama ‘frequently’

AOC slams Marjorie Taylor Greene over her dress code complaint: ‘Aren’t you the one who did revenge porn in a hearing’

Wednesday 20 September 2023 00:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticised Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene over her complaint against the relaxing of the dress code in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer quietly told the Senate Sergeant at Arms to no longer enforce the dress code in the upper chamber, allowing Pennsylvania Democratic Senator John Fetterman to be on the floor in his trademark outfit of gym shorts and a hoodie.

“The Senate no longer enforcing a dress code for Senators to appease Fetterman is disgraceful. Dress code is one of society’s standards that set etiquette and respect for our institutions. Stop lowering the bar!” the Georgia far-right Republican wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

“Aren’t you the one who did revenge porn in a hearing,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez responded.

Read more:

AOC slams Marjorie Taylor Greene over her dress code complaint

As Biden speaks at UN, clip of world leaders laughing at Trump in 2018 resurfaces

Tuesday 19 September 2023 23:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Political divide emerges on Ukraine aid package as Zelenskyy heads to Washington

Tuesday 19 September 2023 23:00 , Kevin Freking, AP

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Washington this week comes at a critical juncture for his alliance with the United States as Republican leaders in Congress diverge on how to send more military and humanitarian aid to the country.

President Joe Biden is seeking an additional $24 billion in security and humanitarian aid for Ukraine, in line with his promise to help the country for “as long as it takes” to oust Russia from its borders.

But ratification of Biden’s request is deeply uncertain thanks to a growing partisan divide in Congress about how to proceed.

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has told reporters that he wants more Ukraine aid to be debated on its own merits as a standalone bill, rather than attaching it to other priorities like government funding.

But the Senate has other ideas. Leaders in the chamber would like to combine the Ukraine aid with other priorities, such as a short-term spending bill that will likely be needed to avoid a shutdown at the end of September.

Read more:

Political divide emerges on Ukraine aid package as Zelenskyy heads to Washington