Biden mocks Trump as ‘the great MAGA King’ in speech on economy
A hardcore pro-Trump candidate running from outside the GOP establishment is surging in the polls in Pennsylvania’s Republican Senate primary – and her rise is apparently making Mr Trump “nervous” about the implications for TV Dr Mehmet Oz, whom he endorsed despite many conservatives’ disgust at his record of liberal positions.
The controversial Ms Barnette has been criticized as “ultra-Maga” by her detractors, but has suddenly attracted millions of dollars in ad spending by right-wing campaign groups.
Meanwhile, the Trump Organization has announced the sale of a long-term lease of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which has been picked up by the CGI Merchant Group of Miami for $375m.
The Pennsylvania Avenue hotel had served as a symbol of Donald Trump’s clout with politicians and other figures who gathered there, but had also attracted multiple accusations of corruption, from questions over its use during the 2017 inauguration to concerns that bills paid by foreign delegations staying there could violate the Constitution’s emoluments clauses.
Report: Kathy Barnette’s rise makes Trump “nervous” about Oz’s prospects
As “ultra-Maga” candidate Kathy Barnette continues her out-of-nowhere surge in Pennsylvania, CNN reports that Donald Trump is increasingly concerned about the implications for his chosen candidate, Dr Mehmet Oz:
Read the full report.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 13:38
Trump embraces Biden’s “Maga King” label on Truth Social
Joe Biden’s derisive description of Donald Trump as the “Great Maga King” comes as the president tries to amp up his messaging for the midterm elections – and it seems to have gone down well with Mr Trump himself, at least going by his latest post on Truth Social:
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 13:00
Former US attorney general on prosecuting Trump
Eric Holder, who served as US attorney general during the Obama administration, last night appeared on MSNBC to discuss the delicate issue of whether and how Donald Trump should be indicted over his suggested role in the events of 6 January 2021. Mr Holder has previously raised concerns about the potential impact of having the Justice Department prosecute a prior president – but in his interview, he also pointed out that holding Mr Trump to account for his actions could have important positive effects.
“There’s a whole range of things that I think a prosecutor has to take into consideration before you ultimately decide to bring a case,” he said. “But I think here, it would be a divisive thing, but given the nature of what it is we’re looking at…people have to be held accountable, but just as importantly, there has to be a deterrent effect so that people in the future will know that if you try something the likes of which were tried by the Trump crowd, you will be held accountable, you will have to face some kind of serious consequences.”
Watch Mr Holder’s remarks below.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 12:07
Right-wingers continue attacks on Ukraine aid
Two of the most intensely right-wing members of Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, have continued railing against the US’s support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian assault – invoking the US’s domestic problems as a pretext for rejecting the $40bn aid package passed by the House this week.
Also angry about the amount allocated to Ukraine is far-right North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn, who complained that the US should spend $40bn on its veterans – apparently unaware that the VA’s budget is more than seven times that size. Maroosha Muzaffar has the story.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 11:22
Dr Oz tears into surging “ultra-Maga” rival
Trump endorsee Dr Mehmet Oz may be at the top of the polls in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary, but he faces an increasingly concerning challenge from an unexpected figure: previously obscure right-winger Kathy Barnette, who is now closed the polling gap at the top of the field to within the margin of statistical error.
In response, many on the Trump-aligned right are trying to tarnish Ms Barnette as much as possible in the few days remaining until the final vote. And Dr Oz himself made an appearance on Fox News yesterday to join the pile-on:
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 10:50
Texas AG fundraising off 2020 election conspiracy theory movie
Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general who spoke at the 6 January rally outside the White House before the Capitol riot, is hosting a fundraiser for himself – and for his donors’ entertainment he’s putting on a screening of 2000 Mules, a falsehood-driven documentary created by pro-Trump conservative maven Dinesh D’Souza.
The film, which Mr Trump himself has enthusiastically praised, claims that (debunked) cellphone data proves that Democrats engaged in a massive election fraud scam to throw the presidency Joe Biden’s way.
Mr Paxton is facing disciplinary action from the Texas state bar over his involvement in post-election lawsuit challenging Mr Biden’s victory; nonetheless, he is running for re-election this year with Mr Trump’s endorsement. Having placed first in the GOP primary field, he will face George P. Bush, scion of the presidential dynasty, in a Republican runoff on 24 May.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 10:15
GOP donors split over support for Trump ahead of midterms
Ahead of midterm elections some GOP donors are spending millions of dollars to oppose primary candidates endorsed by Donald Trump, reported ABC News.
In several high-profile primaries, GOP donors have given large sums in supporting Republicans running against Trump-backed candidates, according to Federal Election Commission disclosure filings.
The filings show for instance that GOP groups have spent more than $20 million to attack Dr. Mehmet Oz who has been endorsed by Mr Trump and support his primary rival David McCormick in Pennsylvania.
In North Carolina, $18 million has come in outside GOP spending, split among Trump-backed candidate Ted Budd and his rivals.
Club for Growth President David McIntosh refused to comment on the alleged split in funding.
“What it means is, there are just a lot of people who are energized and ready to win back the majority, and people who are able to raise a lot of money and spend a lot of money,” Mr McIntosh was quoted as saying.
Sravasti Dasgupta12 May 2022 09:30
Audio reveals Lindsey Graham blasting Trump after Jan 6 riot
Senator Lindsey Graham hit out at former president Donald Trump and said president Joe Biden was the best person to help the US “reset” and come out “stronger” from the aftermath of the 6 January 2021 attack on the Capitol, according to recordings released by a pair of New York Times reporters and played on CNN.
A recording captured Mr Graham saying he thought Mr Trump “misjudged the passion” of his supporters and slamming the ex-president for speaking at the rally which immediately preceded the riot.
“He plays the TV game and he went too far here,” Mr Graham said. “That rally didn’t help, talking about primarying Liz [Cheney] — he created a sense of revenge”.
Sravasti Dasgupta12 May 2022 08:34
Trump sells DC hotel to Miami based investor group
Donald Trump’s family’s hotel in Washington has been sold to a Miami based investor group.
The Trump Organisation announced on Wednesday that it had completed the sale of a long-term lease of the Trump International Hotel to the CGI Merchant Group of Miami.
Trump news today: Rise of extreme Senate candidate Barnette leaves ex-president ‘nervous’