Trump news – live: Special master calls Trump’s bluff over allegedly planted papers

Trump claims he can declassify top secret documents just ‘by thinking about it’

Donald Trump’s attorneys have been ordered to say one way or the other whether they actually believe the FBI planted incriminating evidence in the documents seized from Mr Trump’s home — or whether the former president is merely bluffing to save face.

The ex-president meanwhile has claimed that as president he had the authority to declassify top secret documents just “by thinking about it”, as he blamed banks themselves for failing to check his company’s valuations.

He was speaking on Fox News after New York’s attorney general accused the Trump Organisation of inflating his net worth by billions of dollars and habitually misleading banks.

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How Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez inadvertently sparked the New York attorney general’s Trump lawsuit

As New York’s attorney general announces a massive civil lawsuit aimed at holding Donald Trump accountable for allegedly fraudulent business practices, the spotlight is returning to Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her questioning of a former Trump ally that led to this week’s news.

In 2019, Mr Cohen testified against his former boss before the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee. At the time, Ms Ocasio-Cortez asked questions about whether Mr Trump ever provided inflated assets to an insurance company.

Letitia James acknowledged Ms Ocasio-Cortez’s role this week, declaring: “I will remind everyone that this investigation only started after Michael Cohen, the former lawyer, his former lawyer, testified before Congress and shed light on this misconduct.”

Read more in The Independent:

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Pro-Trump host Alex Jones shouts ‘I’m done apologising’ at Sandy Hook parents crying in court

The second defamation trial of Alex Jones got off to a rocky start this week as the beleaguered Infowars host continues to face comeuppance for abetting years’ worth of right-wing harassment at the families of slain elementary schoolers.

The courtroom in Connecticut descended into chaos on Thursday as the far-right conspiracy theorist took the stand in his defamation case and refused to acknowledge any responsibility for causing a decade of harassment to the victims’ families.

“I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times. And I’m done saying sorry,” he shouted across the courtroom.

Read more from Rachel Sharp:

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Trump fires off torrent of Truth Social posts about 2024 run: ‘History is calling Donald Trump’

Amid a torrent of criminal investigations and lawsuits blaming him for fraudulent business practices, Donald Trump is trying to gin up support for a 2024 run.

That’s how the ex-president spent his day on Thursday, as he turned to his Truth Social platform to get the word out among his closest fans.

In one pair of posts, Mr Trump linked to a text on the website American Thinker with the headline “Donald Trump Must Be The 2024 Republican Nominee” before linking to a CNN report stating that “Trump fields calls from Republican allies to speed up 2024 bid after FBI raid”.

Read more from Gustaf Kilander:

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Mike Lindell under investigation over identity theft and damage to computer connected to voting machine

Mike Lindell’s efforts to aid Donald Trump and the campaign to overturn the 2020 election may have finally gotten him into trouble.

NBC News reported on Wednesday that the hybrid pillow vendor and political operative is under federal investigation for a number of serious crimes related to his efforts to prove that widespread voter fraud or other election-related shenanigans cost Donald Trump the election in 2020.

Read more from John Bowden:

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Trump lawyers ordered to say whether they believe FBI planted evidence

The Brooklyn federal judge in charge of reviewing the 11,000 documents which the FBI seized from former president Donald Trump’s home during an 8 August search has ordered the ex-president’s legal team to declare one way or the other whether they believe agents planted evidence to incriminate the former president.

The baseless accusations have floated for weeks, shared by the president himself and his closest allies. They’ve sparked conspiracies among his fans of a FBI-led political campaign to destroy Mr Trump, and led to an increase in violent threats targeting the agency.

In an order released on Thursday, the special master called for by Mr Trump’s team gave those attorneys until 30 September to say whether any of the items on the 11-page inventory provided by the department are described incorrectly.

Read more in The Independent:

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Trump to host fundraiser for right-wing GOP candidate

Donald Trump will host a fundraiser next month for Dan Cox, the Republican nominee for governor in Maryland, at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Mr Cox has bought in to the former president’s falsehoods about the 2020 election and was not endorsed for the nomination (or, so far, for the office at all) by Maryland’s incumbent retiring GOP governor, Larry Hogan. His victory in the GOP primary was one instance in which Democrats successfully boosted, through tactical campaign spending, an election denier against a more moderate opponent in a Republican-on-Republican matchup.

Read more at The Hill from Julia Manchester.

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Trump flinging paper towels at Puerto Rico residents resurfaces as Biden pledges full support after hurricane

Donald Trump tossing paper towels into a crowd of Puerto Rico residents in October 2017 resurfaced on social media overnight Wednesday as President Joe Biden pledged full support for the island, which was once again struck by a natural disaster.

Twitter users were quick to contrast the Democratic president’s response with the resistance to aiding the island that some conservatives showed during the Trump administration as well at the ex-president’s own tone deaf photo op during which he threw rolls of paper towels at waiting residents.

Read more from Gustaf Kilander:

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Capitol rioter who dressed as Hitler and was defended by Trump sentenced to four years in federal prison

A Capitol rioter who dressed up as Adolf Hitler and whose case has been championed by former President Donald Trump has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for participating in the attack.

Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, 32, was convicted in May after trying — and failing — to convince a jury he was unaware that Congress was in session at the Capitol.

Naval investigators spoke to 34 of his former co-workers during a probe. They told investigators he held “extremist or radical views pertaining to Jewish people, minorities, and women,” with some saying they were “afraid” of him.

Read more about this rioter, whose cause has been personally supported by Donald Trump, in The Independent:

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Jamie Raskin unloads on GOP congressman for obsessing over ‘poor schmuck’ Ray Epps

Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin on Wednesday smacked down one of his Republican colleagues after he was asked to respond to a repeatedly debunked conspiracy theory regarding an alleged agent provocateur who has become a central figure in Trumpworld claims about the January 6 riot.

Rep Thomas Massie, a darling of the far right, was pressing Mr Raskin on a long-debunked tale about Ray Epps, a man whom Trump supporters have latched onto as a supposed government agent who they claim provoked others to violence during the attack. The conspiracy has allowed many on the far right, including Mr Massie, to shift blame from their own actions leading up to the riot.

“He’s just trying to survive and he’s on your side. You don’t have many voters left — you might want to try to hang on to them without demonising and vilifying your own people,” Mr Raskin told his Republican rival.

Read more in The Independent:

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Trump-backed Republican House candidate misrepresented military service

A Trump-backed Republican campaigning for an Ohio congressional seat has some explaining to do after it was revealed he has misrepresented his time in the military.

JR Majewski, who is running for Ohio’s 9th Congressional District seat, was at Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday in Youngstown, Ohio, where he received a shout-out from the ex-president himself. But now he’s taking new criticism after it was revealed that he released a statement claiming to have a desire to go “back” to Afghanistan and serve personally — despite having never been deployed to the country. He’s also never been in combat.

Read more in The Independent from Graig Graziosi:

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