May 23, 2022

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The Passionate of Travel

Trump news today: Ex-president finally settles inauguration hotel lawsuit and complains about Roe v Wade leak

Biden roasts Trump ‘plague’ at White House Correspondents Dinner

Donald Trump has settled a long-running lawsuit brought by the DC attorney general over the financing of his 2017 inauguration, specifically focused on the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue.

In a statement, Mr Trump claimed to be settling the case “with absolutely no admission of liability or guilt” and couched the news in the context of violent crime, essentially saying he was giving the capital’s law enforcement agencies a break. The settlement reportedly totals some $750,000.

Meanwhile, the sometime president has also joined other Republicans in decrying the leak of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade in a case that has yet to be formally decided.

Mr Trump today told a right-wing radio show that the leak was “a terrible thing”, calling it “demeaning and not good”. With the prospect of an end to legal abortion highly unpopular across the country, many Republicans and right-wing commentators are already training their focus hard on the release of the draft.

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Ohio primary: JD Vance “not worried” about Trump forgetting his name

JD Vance, the Hillbilly Elegy author whose sudden conversion to hardcore Trumpism won him the former president’s endorsement in today’s Ohio Senate primary, has shrugged off the embarrassing incident this weekend where the president appeared to forget his name at a rally.

“He gives, what, thousands of words of speeches every single week,” Vance told CBS News. “Sometimes he’s going to misspeak. Everybody’s going to do that…I’m not worried about it at all.”

Mr Vance is loathed by many in the Republican ranks for his longtime opposition to Mr Trump, whom he once said could turn into “America’s Hitler” after being elected on an openly racist platform.

Andrew Naughtie3 May 2022 14:35

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Trump rails at Georgia grand jury on Truth Social

As he finally embraces his formerly moribund platform Truth Social, Donald Trump has fired off a statement ranting about the grand jury being convened in Fulton County, Georgia to hear evidence that could result in him being prosecuted for pressuring state officials to illegally overturn the 2020 election in his favour.

Andrew Naughtie3 May 2022 14:00

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Poll shows Americans think Trump should face Jan 6 charges

A new poll commissioned by the Washington Post and ABC News has found that more than half of Americans think Donald Trump should be charged with a crime for his role in the events of 6 January 2021.

The survey did not ask what specific crime respondents thought the president had committed – but it is notable that fully 56 per cent of independents think he is culpable in some way, perhaps signalling that Republicans’ efforts to delegitimise the investigation into the riot as a “witch hunt” may yet prove counter-productive.

Andrew Naughtie3 May 2022 13:23

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Trump endorsee vanishes from university website

Dr Mehmet Oz, the TV medic and Pennsylvania candidate who has won Donald Trump’s endorsement over the objections of many conservatives, has apparently been all but completely removed from the Columbia University medical school’s website.

The move comes after an erroneous report in January that claimed the school had changed his title to “professor emeritus”. Since then, the school has removed his biography from the site and modified pages that mention him so they do not link to the defunct page.

Dr Oz is controversial on the right because of his long-held support for abortion and gun control, core issues on which he has now reversed his positions as he seeks the GOP nomination. Before he entered the political fray, he was already a contentious figure because of his long history of promoting cures and therapies that he himself admitted often “don’t have the scientific muster to present as fact”.

Andrew Feinberg has more.

Andrew Naughtie3 May 2022 11:16

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The truth about Truth Social

Truth Social, Donald Trump’s bespoke “free speech” alternative to Twitter, fell disastrously flat when it went live earlier this year. Would-be users were stranded on a growing waiting list after the confused quasi-launch, and executives soon departed as its various technical and branding troubles became clear. Downloads and user engagement soon reached dire lows.

More to the point, Mr Trump himself declined to post on the app, despite the fact that his presence was supposed to be one of its main selling points. However, after the news broke that Elon Musk was buying Twitter, Mr Trump returned with an exuberant message: “I’M BACK! #COVFEFE”

Does this mean that despite all predictions, Truth Social is going to survive and thrive? The Independent’s Alex Woodward has signed up to find out.

Andrew Naughtie3 May 2022 10:30

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ICYMI: Jan 6 committee asks three congressmen for information

The select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol yesterday wrote to three Republican House members requesting that they explain what they knew about the riot and those participated in it, both before and after the fact.

Among them are Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks – who recently lost Donald Trump’s endorsement in the Alabama Senate race – and Ronny Jackson.

Dr Jackson’s letter in particular is of interest as it cites messages mentioining him that were sent during the riot by members of the Oath Keepers, an extremist militia whose leaders are now facing charges of seditious conspiracy over their role in the insurrection.

Andrew Feinberg has more.

Andrew Naughtie3 May 2022 09:55

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What’s at stake for Trump in tonight’s Ohio primary?

Tonight marks the end of the bitterly fought Republican Senate primary in Ohio, where multiple candidates have been duking it out for the chance to fight for an open seat – one that their party will almost certainly need to hold if it wants to be assured of a majority after the November midterms.

The last major turn in the race was Donald Trump’s decision to endorse JD Vance, the Hillbilly Elegy author and bitter Trump critic who reinvented himself as a right-wing culture warrior for the purposes of the election. His most conspicuous rival, the equally hardline Josh Mandel, has become a target of scorn from many in Mr Trump’s orbit since the president’s endorsement came down, but as evidenced by Mr Trump mangling the two men’s names together at his rally this weekend, it is unclear what weight the endorsement will actually carry at the ballot box.

John Bowden has this report from the ground.

Andrew Naughtie3 May 2022 09:20

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Trump rails against establishment Republicans in Nebraska, backs candidate facing sexual assault allegations

Former president Donald Trump railed against establishment Republicans during a rally in Nebraska and backed a gubernatorial candidate facing several sexual assault allegations.

Mr Trump boosted for Nebraska Republican Charles Herbster, who has been accused by eight women of groping them or focrcing himself on them. He has denied the allegations, and Mr Trump – who also was the subject of sexual assault allegations – advocated for his character. The sexual assault allegations were first published by the Nebraska Examiner.

“It’s a shame,” Mr Trump said. “That’s why I came out here. I defend people when I know they’re good. He’s a good man. He was with us from the beginning … he’s an innocent human being.”

He also took shots at Senator Ben Sasse, who he called an “embarassment.”

Graig Graziosi3 May 2022 08:00

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Twenty three Republican Secretary of State candidates in 19 states believe that Trump won the 2020 election

There are 23 Republican candidates for Secretary of State postings in 19 states who believe that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 election, and that massive voter fraud occurred.

Many of the candidates echoing Mr Trump’s lies have been endorsed by the former president in their races.

Those candidates, if they win, could reshape the way elections occur, which some experts fear they could abuse to help Mr Trump win if he were to run again in 2024.

Graig Graziosi3 May 2022 07:00

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Jared Kushner to write White House memoir

Former president Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kusher is releasing a memoir of his time in the White House this summer.

He will be the first member of the Trump family to release a memoir about his time working alongside Mr Trump in the White House.

The book is titles Breaking History: A White House Memoir, and will be released on 9 August.

Graig Graziosi3 May 2022 06:00