Mitch McConnell explains why he will still support Donald Trump

Donald Trump has said that he wouldn’t go back to Twitter if his ban was lifted during an interview in which he also boasted about Hispanic support for the Republican Party.

Mr Trump also told SiriusXM’s Americano Media people would be “very happy” about his plans for the 2024 election, which he said would be made public after the midterms in the fall.

Concerning Twitter, Mr Trump said that he “probably wouldn’t have any interest” in going back.

Meanwhile, two lawyers who served at the most senior level in the Trump White House are today set to talk to the committee investigating events leading up to the 6 January insurrection. Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his onetime deputy Pat Philbin are reportedly speaking to the committee on a semi-formal basis rather than giving full testimony.

Meanwhile, the latest Capitol riot defendant to go on trial is blaming his actions on Donald Trump and his false claims about a stolen election, in a rare mention of the former president’s role during the ongoing hearings.

Dustin Byron Thompson, an Ohio man charged with stealing a coat rack from the Capitol, did not deny that he joined the mob on 6 January 2021. But his lawyer vowed on Tuesday to show that Mr Trump abused his power to “authorise” the attack.

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Ex-Trump chief of staff says The Rock could ‘could give him a run for his money’ in 2024

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has said that actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson could give the former president a “run for his money” in the 2024 presidential election.

Mr Mulvaney told Politico on Tuesday that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “could give him a run for his money”, South Carolina Senator “Tim Scott can give him a run for his money” and The Rock “could give him a run for his money”.

“It’s a short list,” he added.

“By the way, there’s one other person who could beat him, which is himself,” he added.

Mr Mulvaney resigned from his position as special envoy to Northern Ireland after the 6 January insurrection.

“Donald Trump is sometimes his own worst enemy when it comes to campaigning,” Mr Mulvaney said.

Gustaf Kilander13 April 2022 18:29

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Kid at Trump rally says on TV that he’s excited to see Joe Biden

A video of a kid at a Trump rally in North Carolina has gone viral after he said he was excited to “see Joe Biden” and quickly being corrected by his parents.

Lawyer Ron Filipkowski shared the clip from the Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN), best known for its live streams of Trump events on its YouTube channel after its founding in 2015.

The video, filmed ahead of the rally on Saturday, had received around 2.7 million views as of Wednesday morning.

Child at Trump rally accidentally tells TV reporter he’s excited to see Joe Biden

In the footage, the RSBN reporter asks the parents how excited they were when they found out there was going to be a rally in Selma, southeast of Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Just as excited as he was,” the mother said, nodding towards the father. “He’s the one who told me about it.”

Gustaf Kilander13 April 2022 17:58

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Ex-White House chief removed from NC voter roll as he’s investigated for 2020 voter fraud

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has been removed from the North Carolina voter roll as he’s investigated for possibly committing voter fraud in the 2020 election.

North Carolina State Board of Elections spokesman Patrick Gannon said in a statement that on 11 April, officials in Macon County “administratively removed the voter registration of Mark Meadows … after documentation indicated he lived in Virginia and last voted in the 2021 election there”.

John Bowden has the story:

Gustaf Kilander13 April 2022 17:23

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GOP pollster Frank Luntz says Republicans are mocking Trump behind his back, think ‘he’s a child’

Republican pollster Frank Luntz has alleged that GOP lawmakers are laughing at Donald Trump behind his back and are mocking him because they “think he’s a child”.

After New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu said during the Gridiron Dinner in Washington, DC that Mr Trump is “f***ing crazy”, Mr Luntz told The Daily Beast that “I don’t know a single Republican who was surprised by what Sununu said”.

“The press often will ask me if I think Donald Trump is crazy. And I’ll say it this way: I don’t think he’s so crazy that you could put him in a mental institution. But I think if he were in one, he ain’t getting out!” Mr Sununu said.

Mr Luntz said Mr Sununu said what Republicans are already thinking.

“They won’t say it [in public], but behind his back, they think he’s a child. They’re laughing at him. That’s what made [Sununu’s comments] significant,” Mr Luntz told The Daily Beast.

“Trump isn’t the same man he was a year ago,” the pollster added. “Even many Republicans are tired of going back and rehashing the 2020 election. Everybody else has moved on, and in Washington, everyone believes he lost the election.”

Gustaf Kilander13 April 2022 16:55

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Questions from Trump’s first impeachment remain unanswered

Questions from Donald Trump’s first impeachment remain unanswered as the war in Ukraine enters a new phase.

In 2019, Mr Trump secretly withheld military aid to Ukraine before asking President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce investigations into then-candidate Joe Biden and his family.

Lawmakers and witnesses from the following impeachment say the scandal is directly connected to the current conflict, Politico reports.

The chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, told the outlet that Mr Trump’s actions “absolutely” negatively affected Ukraine’s preparedness to fight Russia and made them unsure of the commitment of the US to their security.

“Remember, this was the guy who tried to extort political favours from President Zelenskyy for his own personal political gain,” Mr Warner said. “But the fact is we need to continue to get all the aid we can, as quickly as possible.”



Democrats continue to insist that Trump bears some of the responsibility for the current crisis in Ukraine. The former president’s willingness to condition support on political investigations, Democrats say, signaled to Putin that the west wouldn’t be united behind Ukraine.

Politico

Gustaf Kilander13 April 2022 16:20

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Former Roger Stone aide urged Trump supporters to ‘descend on the Capitol’ week before insurrection

A former aide to Republican political operative Roger Stone urged Trump supporters to “descend on the Capitol” a week before the insurrection on 6 January 2021.

According to The New York Times, Right-wing communications advisor Jason Sullivan, a promoter of QAnon conspiracy theories, said during a conference call on 30 December 2020 that the election had been stolen and told Trump supporters to go to Washington, DC and make congressional representatives “sweat” before they certified President Joe Biden’s election victory.

“If we make the people inside that building sweat, and they understand that they may not be able to walk in the streets any longer if they do the wrong thing, then maybe they’ll do the right thing,” The Times quoted Mr Sullivan as saying.

A lawyer for Mr Sullivan told the paper that he wasn’t condoning any violence.

Gustaf Kilander13 April 2022 15:55

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Trump struggling to get evangelicals to support bid to oust Georgia governor

Donald Trump is struggling to get evangelical Christians to support his bid to oust Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp.

Mr Trump deemed Mr Kemp to be insufficiently supportive of his attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in the state.

While evangelicals support Mr Trump and like his preferred candidate for the governorship, former US Senator David Perdue, they also support Mr Kemp.

Mr Perdue and Mr Kemp will face off in the Republican primary on 24 May.

Evangelical voters make up a third of Republican voters in the state and half of GOP primary voters.

Mr Trump is backing candidates across the country who support his false 2020 election claims, but voters are concerned about other issues, Bloomberg noted.

Evangelicals in the state say they like Mr Kemp for pushing a bill that bans abortion when a heartbeat is found, for not closing churches during the pandemic, and for his opposition to mask mandates.

The executive director of the conservative Christian group Faith and Freedom Coalition, Tim Head, told Bloomberg that “most evangelicals do feel strongly that Brian Kemp has delivered very well”.

Gustaf Kilander13 April 2022 15:20

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Pence claims he “stood toe to toe” with Putin

As Donald Trump makes a haphazard effort to walk back his long history of remarks praising Vladimir Putin’s strength and supposed strategic brilliance, former vice president Mike Pence claimed yesterday that he had told Mr Putin some hard truths when encountering him during his own time in office.

Andrew Naughtie13 April 2022 14:45

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Lauren Boebert gets a primary challenger

Far-right Colorado representative and gun-themed restaurant owner Lauren Boebert, who infamously tweeted the words “This is 1776” on the day of the Capitol riot, has attracted a Republican primary challenger.

Longtime state legislator Don Coram says on his campaign website that “When the fringe leaders of both political spectrums have taken all the oxygen in the room and act more like out-of-touch celebrities than members of Congress, we have a problem” – a judgment shared by many less outré Republicans than Ms Boebert, but not by Donald Trump, who has endorsed her for re-election.

Andrew Naughtie13 April 2022 14:10