Trump news – live: Trump ramps up 2024 speculation in Truth Social spree as Facebook mulls his return

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

Donald Trump 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.

Dubbing it “the art of the steal”, Letitia James in her suit has also named his children Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump as defendants.

The 222-page suit detailed instances of alleged fraud, many involving claims made on annual financial statements that Mr Trump would give to banks, business associates and financial magazines as proof of his riches as he sought loans and deals.

Also under probe for removing government-owned documents from the White House and taking them to his Florida estate, Mr Trump told Sean Hannity that “there doesn’t have to be a process” for declassifying documents “if you’re the president of the United States”.

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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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The 20 properties in Trump’s alleged fraud scheme

Donald Trump’s real estate empire engaged in an “astounding” level of fraud and deceptive business practises over more than a decade, during which the former president and his associates “grossly and fraudulently” inflated the value of his properties to obtain tax, loan and insurance incentives while boosting his financial ambitions, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

The Independent’s Alex Woodward combed through the 222-page document. These are the properties and assets that the office of the attorney general alleges were central to a fraudulent scheme orchestrated by Mr Trump and his business allies.

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Nick Clegg will make the call on Trump’s potential Facebook reinstatement

Meta executive Nick Clegg says he will make the final call on whether to reinstate Donald Trump’s Facebook account when his suspension from the social media platform runs out next year.

Mr Clegg, the company’s head of Global Affairs, told an event in Washington DC that allowing the one-term president to potentially return to Facebook is “a decision I oversee and I drive.”

Graeme Massie reports.

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‘Radical left’ running National Archives, according to former president

Former president Donald Trump has said that the National Archives and Records Administration (Nara) is run by a “radical left group”.

The former president’s comments came during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday night.

“You know, Nara is a radical left group of people running that thing and when you send documents over there, I would say there’s a very good chance a lot of those documents will never be seen again,” he added.

However, he did not elaborate on what he meant by the statement.

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

Donald Trump has fired off a stream of Truth Social posts about a possible 2024 run for the White House.

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 “Trump fields calls from Republican allies to speed up 2024 bid after FBI raid”.

He then shared a story from Townhall.com saying “The Washington Establishment Fears A Second Term Trump”.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

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Trump says bank shouldn’t have relied on his numbers

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday blamed banks for lending money based on bogus valuations after he was sued for “numerous acts of fraud”.

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Jan 6 rioter who testified for House panel sentenced to probation

Stephen Ayres, a former Donald Trump supporter, who participated in the attack on the U.S. Capitol and testified before the January 6 committee, was sentenced to 24 months probation and 100 hours of community service on Thursday.

He had previously pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building in June.

During a virtual sentencing hearing, Ayres was emotional and expressed remorse for his participation in Capitol riot.

He told Judge John Bates that he wanted to apologise to “the court and the American people.”

“I went down there that day not with the intention to cause any violence or anything like that,” Ayres said.

“But I did get caught up on all the stuff online, on Facebook, which ultimately I felt like was steering me in the wrong direction.”

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When in doubt, or backed into a corner, reach for an old classic

Truly one of the most bizarre moments of the Sean Hannity interview with Donald Trump was when the former president said this:

There’s also a lot of speculation because of what they did, the severity of the FBI coming and raiding Mar-a-Lago. Were they looking for the Hillary Clinton emails that were deleted but they are around someplace? They may have thought that it was in there!

Combined with his claim that he could declassify documents just by thinking about them, it really is quite staggering that anyone could say such things while keeping a straight face.

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Trump claims FBI took his last will and testament from Mar-a-Lago

Former president Donald Trump claimed the FBI agents who executed a court-authorised search of his Palm Beach, Florida home took his last will and testament in addition to the 100 classified documents found in his office and a nearby storage room.

“They took a lot. I think they took my will. I found out yesterday,” said the twice-impeached ex-president during an appearance on Fox News’ host Sean Hannity’s eponymous nightly programme.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

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Three key questions Ginni Thomas must answer and the Jan 6 committee must ask

Members of the January 6 committee announced this week that Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, had agreed to testify under oath.

John Bowden looks at what questions must be answered by Ms Thomas.

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