Trump news –live: Ex-president revives false Obama spying claims, amid new book revelations

‘I’m a more honest man than you’: Trump ends Piers Morgan interview

Donald Trump’s disgraced former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is being sued by the Department of Justice for $3m he owes in penalties having failed to report foreign financial interests for several years.

Mr Manafort was sentenced to jail in 2019 after being found guilty of various offences including bank fraud, money laundering and illegal lobbying. The charges emerged from Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russian agents and interests.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has finally posted on his Truth Social app after months of silence. “I’M BACK! #COVFEFE,” he wrote, alongside a photo of the ex-president on the phone at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Despite the hopes of various right-wing Republicans, Mr Trump has insisted that he would not return to Twitter even if Elon Musk reinstated his account. In fact, he has said that he doesn’t view the social platforms as rivals.

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Trump demands VA Secretary’s five-year-old texts in bizarre statement repeating false spying allegation

Former President Donald Trump released a bizarre statement accusing VA Secretary Denis McDonough of trying to overturn the 2016 election when he served as former President Barack Obama’s chief of staff.

Mr Trump also repeated the unsubstantiated claim that Mr Obama’s staff had “spied” on his presidential campaign.

Read more in Andrew Feinberg’s report.

Graig Graziosi29 April 2022 17:46

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Republican Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert had to be separated during argument, report says

Representatives Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene may seem like an ideal extreme-right tag team, but reports from sources close to the lawmakers claim there may be bad blood between the two.

Despite their similarly MAGA-focused rhetoric, Ms Boebert reportedly can’t stand being lumped in with Ms Greene and the two allegedly had to be seperated during an argument earlier this year.

Gustaf Kilander has more in the report below.

Graig Graziosi29 April 2022 17:35

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Watch: Nancy Pelosi on “dangerous” GOP members

At her press conference today, Nancy Pelosi was asked by Eric Garcia what she made of Kevin McCarthy’s January 2021 remarks about certain of his Republican members potentially inciting violence against their colleagues. She was not to be drawn into too much detail – but did note the two incidents in which Madison Cawthorn was recently cited for bringing guns into airports.

Andrew Naughtie29 April 2022 17:30

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Trump puts out rambling statement about Obama team

In one of his signature messages issued via his Save America mailing list, Donald Trump has out of nowhere revived the nebulous conspiracy he for a while referred to as “Obamagate” – a baseless claim that there was an organised effort by his predecessor’s team “to overturn the 2016 Presidential Election” by spying on him, his transition team and his White House.

Read the statement below:

Andrew Naughtie29 April 2022 16:53

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Analysis: Why Republicans want Madison Cawthorn gone for good

In his dispatch for today’s edition of The Independent’s Inside Washington newsletter, Eric Garcia takes a look at the deepening troubles of Madison Cawthorn – the extreme North Carolina Republican whose party colleagues in the House of Representatives seem keener than ever to get rid of.

At the end of the day, Cawthorn has done most of this to himself. Just this week, he was reportedly cited for trying to bring a gun onto a plane — this is the second time he’s been caught trying to do so. He was also recently cited for driving on a revoked license and given two speeding tickets. All these actions mean Republicans just need to keep shoveling till they finally pile up enough extra dirt.

None of this means Cawthorn is definitively toast. Firstly, he spoke at one of Trump’s rallies earlier this month, indicating he all but certainly has the former president’s imprimatur. Second, because the North Carolina legislature lowered the threshold to avoid a runoff from 40 to 30 percent, he needs fewer voters than ever to survive the split primary in his district.

But if Cawthorn does lose, it will be because enough Republicans didn’t like how he pissed all over them – and they intend to make sure it ends with him soiling himself.

Read his full dispatch below.

Andrew Naughtie29 April 2022 16:10

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Report: Governor thought Trump was “having a nervous breakdown” over George Floyd protests

Next Tuesday sees the release of long-awaited book This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future by New York Times journalists Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns. Much of the coverage of its sensational revelations has focused on the period between the 2020 election and Joe Biden’s inauguration, but there’s plenty else in there besides.

Among the stranger tales is a description of a conference call involving Donald Trump and several governors during the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd in 2020. According to the authors, Mr Trump’s behaviour on the call was so bizarre that one of the governors, Janet Mills of Maine, called in a member of her security team to listen with her.

“You gotta sit here and listen to this,” she reportedly told them, “because I think the president of the United States is having a nervous breakdown or something, and it’s scary.”

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

Andrew Naughtie29 April 2022 15:40

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Marjorie Taylor Greene clashes with CNN reporter over “Marshall law” message

CNN’s Jim Acosta yesterday accosted far-right Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene in Washington to discuss a message she sent to Mark Meadows after the 6 January attack – one in which she said “Marshall law” had been discussed by Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Ms Greene, who herself is known for haranguing people including school shooting survivors on the streets of the capital, did not take kindly to the questioning, and shared a clip of it herself.

Read more from Johanna Chisholm below.

Andrew Naughtie29 April 2022 15:08

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Jan 6: Raskin on why interviewing Trump is such a delicate matter

6 January committee member Jamie Raskin has talked to the Washington Post about his panel’s ongoing work, explaining that only a “fraction” of the evidence it’s gathered has so far become public, predicting an early September release date for a report, and laying out some of the committee’s thinking as it considers how to go about asking Donald Trump himself to testify.

“ We just need to frame very specific questions that we want him to answer based on all of the testimony that has come before… Trump’s lawyers will not allow him to testify, because they think he will either subject himself to perjury prosecution – or, if in the unlikely case he tells the truth, he will essentially convict himself and all of his political confederates of major offenses.

“Nobody believes that we are going to figure out exactly the mechanics of the coup and the insurrection by having Donald Trump explain it to us. Nonetheless, I, as one member of the committee, have not given up on the idea of posing very specific questions to the former president about what he did, how and why.”

The committee’s chair, Bennie Thompson, said yesterday that the committee will be holding at least eight public hearings starting in June, with a mixture of daytime and evening sessions meant to “tell the story” of the riot.

Read the Post’s report below.

Andrew Naughtie29 April 2022 14:30

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JD Vance gets boost from Josh Hawley

Donald Trump’s decision to endorse JD Vance in the Ohio Senate race has sent many conservatives into a flap, and it’s put him on a different team to various Fox News pundits and even sitting senators including Ted Cruz.

But as the formerly lagging Mr Vance bounces to the top of the crowded field on the back of the endorsement, he has started to attract support from other establishment types – and the latest to enter the fray is Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who along with Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk will be stumping for Mr Vance starting this weekend.

Mr Hawley, lest it be forgotten, stood alongside Mr Cruz to object to the 2020 election result even after Trump supporters had violently stormed the halls of Congress in an attempt to subvert Joe Biden’s victory.

Andrew Naughtie29 April 2022 14:00

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Far-right congressman retweets “war on white people” claim

Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar, one of the most extreme members of the House GOP, recently drew outrage for speaking to an openly white nationalist conference – and while he claimed at the time that he had not fully aware of the event’s racist bent, he has now shared a remarkably blunt tweet from Charlie Kirk, the notoriously trollish organizer of hardcore conservative group Turning Point USA.

Andrew Naughtie29 April 2022 13:30

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