Trump news – live: Trump defends hosting Kanye at Mar-a-Lago and stays silent on latest antisemitic rant

Donald Trump defended hosting the rapper formerly known as Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago, writing on Truth Social on Thursday that “the story in AP, written by the untalented and very unreliable Jill Colvin, who I unfortunately got to know at the White House, is Fake News”.

“We have very strong security, especially with the extremely talented Secret Service Agents on premises, but when I know someone, as I did Ye, we’re not going to have my guests strip searched, thrown against walls, and otherwise physically beaten. The anonymous sources don’t exist. Stories to the contrary are FAKE NEWS!”

Mr Trump didn’t mention Ye’s latest antisemitic comments on Infowars in which he praised Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

“ I see good things about Hitler,” Ye told host Alex Jones.

“You can’t say out loud that this person ever did anything good and I am done with that,” he added. “I am done with the classifications. Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler.”

Key points

  • Jan 6 panel to release ‘everything’ by end of December

  • House committee receives Trump’s tax returns at last

  • Pence slams Trump meeting with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes

  • Federal judge dismisses Trump’s claim of ‘presidential immunity’ from civil suit

House panel says lax screening helped facilitate PPP fraud

19:45 , The Associated Press

Financial technology firms abdicated their responsibility to screen out fraud in applications for a federal program designed to help small businesses stay open and keep workers employed during the pandemic, a report by a House investigations panel said Thursday.

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis launched its investigation of the firms in May 2021 after public reports that the firms were linked to disproportionate numbers of fraudulent loans issued under the Paycheck Protection Program.

Former President Donald Trump rolled out the Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses stay open and keep their workers employed. President Joe Biden maintained the program and directed money to more low-income and minority-owned companies. All told, $800 billion was spent on the program.

The financial technology firms reviewed PPP applications for lenders, which would ultimately distribute PPP money to businesses.

The report said two start-ups, Blueacorn PPP and Womply Inc. — which reviewed one in every three funded PPP loans in 2021 — were connected to significant percentages of PPP loan applications with indicators of fraud.

It said the firms used questionable screening procedures and business practices in reviewing the loans, leading to “the needless loss of taxpayer dollars,” the report said. The firms “took billions in fees from taxpayers while becoming easy targets for those who sought to defraud the PPP.”

VIDEO: Supreme Court Rejects Trump’s Plea to Stall Democrats on His Tax Returns

19:00 , Gustaf Kilander

January 6 panel to release all evidence and witness transcripts alongside final report this month

18:15 , Andrew Naughtie

6 select committee is set to release all its evidence – including transcripts of testimony – along with its final report by the end of this month, according to one of its members.

Appearing on CNN, Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said that the panel is keen to make sure it does not leave its findings open to attack by the Republican leadership now poised to take control of the House.

“They’ve been pretty clear that they’d like to undermine the work that we’ve done,” she said, “but we’re going to prevent that. We’re going to release all the information we’ve collected so it cannot be selectively edited and spun.”

Confirming that “everything” would be released, Ms Lofgren declined to commit to a precise publication date, explaining that the vagaries of the official legislative printing process meant pinning one down is not possible; however, she did confirm that the report should be expected by the end of this month. She also said the committee is preparing to release the report in an “interactive” form, though what this will entail she did not say.

The committee’s summer hearings saw the panel screen video of testimony from a variety of witnesses close to Donald Trump himself, among them former attorney general Bill Barr, former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

Read more:

January 6 panel to release all evidence and transcripts alongside final report

Catch up: Why House Democrats want Trump’s tax returns

17:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump has lost his fight to stop House Democrats obtaining his tax returns just in time for the Ways and Means Committee to pore over them before Republicans take back the majority in January.

If you’re just arriving to the story, John Bowden has this explainer on what’s going on and why Mr Trump has fought so hard and so long to keep his finances private.

Why do Democrats care about Donald Trump’s tax returns?

Jan 6 investigators subpoena filmmaker’s footage

17:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Filmmaker Alex Holder’s documentary about the 2020 presidential election and Donald Trump’s effort to overturn it got plenty of press this summer, containing as it did footage of interviews with core members of the Trump inner circle before and after the attack on the US Capitol. It has since faded from prominence somewhat given the sheer quantity of evidence and testimony unveiled by the January 6 select committee – but now it seems Mr Holder is having a moment of relevance again, with Justice Department investigators subpoenaing him for raw footage he shot on the day of the riot itself:

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Herschel Walker hasn’t answered reporters’ questions in nearly two months

16:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Republican candidate Herschel Walker has not taken questions from reporters on the trail in nearly two months as the Georgia Senate race sets to conclude in a runoff next week.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Mr Walker’s last conversation with reporters was in early October. It remains unclear if he will gaggle with journalists again on the trail before the race concludes on 6 December, but at his events, he is being kept further and further away from the media:

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Herschel Walker hasn’t answered reporters’ questions in nearly two months

Mr Walker lost a vote from one of his would-be Republican state colleagues, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, who said he walked out of the ballot box after queueing for an hour only to fail to vote for either Mr Walker or Mr Kemp.

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Mr Walker’s campaign manager is not amused at the news.

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Jan 6 rioter claims he got drunk before attack

16:00 , Andrew Naughtie

The hundreds of January 6 defendants who have tried to convince judges to extend them leniency have made a number of arguments, the most common being some version of the claim that they “got caught up” in the events at the Capitol having turned up simply to protest peacefully.

Others, however, are taking a different tack:

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Lofgren: Jan 6 panel will release "everything”

15:31 , Andrew Naughtie

The January 6 select committee is set to release all its evidence – including transcripts of testimony – along with its final report by the end of this month, according to one of its members.

Appearing on CNN, Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said that the panel is keen to make sure it does not leave its findings open to attack by the Republican leadership now taking control of the House.

“They’ve been pretty clear that they’d like to undermine the work that we’ve done,” she said, “but we’re going to prevent that. We’re going to release all the information we’ve collected so it cannot be selectively edited and spun.”

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Read more:

DeSantis aides keep quiet on Trump’s racist dinner party

14:30 , Andrew Naughtie

While many Republican leaders have condemned Donald Trump’s dinner with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, many of them have stopped short of castigating the former president himself – including one of his most notable rivals.

Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor widely considered Mr Trump’s most obvious challenger for the 2024 nomination, has so far held back on any criticism of Mr Trump himself over the debacle at Mar-a-Lago. And now, Rolling Stone reports that he and his aides have made a concerted effort to avoid taking on Mr Trump directly, the thinking being that the media and certain other Republicans will do the job for them and save them what could be a messy fight.

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Is Marco Rubio running for president again?

14:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Florida Senator Marco Rubio lasted longer than most other Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential primary, but not before being roundly humiliated by Donald Trump, who derided him as “li’l Marco” and defeated him by a landslide in his home state, which was supposed to serve as a delegate firewall. However, he managed re-election to the Senate that year, as he did this November – but having moved like many other senators to be broadly behind Mr Trump and his agenda, a telltale sign has emerged that he may be considering another campaign:

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While Mr Trump has announced he is running again, his flaccid launch, permanent state of legal crisis and continued missteps have more than ever opened up the idea that challenging him might be worth a try. Andrew Feinberg has this look at how the 2024 field is shaping up so far.

Who is running for president in 2024?

Rabbi who spoke at Trump inauguration laments West-Fuentes dinner

13:30 , Andrew Naughtie

Writing for the Hollywood Reporter, Rabbi Marvin Hier, who spoke at Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, has given a wrenching response to the former president’s dinner with two avowed antisemites, explaining in unsparing terms just how serious a matter it is:

I couldn’t help but wonder, what would other former presidents like Washington and Lincoln and Truman and Reagan, or civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bayard Rustin, say about such a meeting? It would have been like them hosting for dinner leaders of the KKK.

I cannot believe that a man with Jewish grandchildren, who was the first president to recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people by moving the U.S. Embassy to the holy city, and who invited this native of New York’s Lower East Side to lead our nation in prayer at his inauguration, could make such an ill-conceived decision.

Read the full column below.

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Another notorious extremist joins nascent West campaign

13:00 , Andrew Naughtie

Along with Nick Fuentes and Milo Yiannopoulos, Kanye West appears to have picked up another comrade from the world of online racist extremism: Owen Benjamin, who was banned from most mainstream platforms during the Trump presidency for his antisemitic, racist and homophobic remarks. He went on to become a notable proponent of Covid-19 misinformation within the far-right echo chamber.

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Trump calls Manhattan DA case against him “bulls***”

12:36 , Andrew Naughtie

The Manhattan District Attorney’s tax fraud case against the Trump administration is now headed for closing arguments after a trial that saw former top executives and longtime accountants taking the stand despite the former president’s outrage at his company being investigated.

Pending an outcome, Mr Trump’s response has been to try and delegitimize the trial based on claims that the case has “collapsed” – it has not – and a general characterization of the DA’s office as a failing operation.

Republican governor holds fundraisers as he eyes 2024 bid

12:00

Term-limited Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan was holding fundraisers for future political activity Wednesday at events where the Republican is expected to talk about his eight years as governor, as well as plans for the future.

Hogan, who leaves office in January, has positioned himself to run as a legitimate alternative to former President Donald Trump, who already has announced he’s running for president in 2024.

Hogan to gather with supporters amid White House speculation

Fuentes/West: Kevin McCarthy misrepresents Trump’s denials

11:04 , John Bowden

Reporters on Tuesday pressed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about his false claim that former president Donald Trump denounced white supremacist Nick Fuentes four times.

“I don’t think anybody should be spending any time with Nick Fuentes,” he said. “He has no place in this Republican Party. I think President Trump came out four times and condemned him and didn’t know who he was.”

Mr Trump has not in fact denounced Mr Fuentes; he has simply said that he did not know who Mr Fuentes was.

Read more in The Independent:

Reporters press Kevin McCarthy over claims Trump denounced Nick Fuentes after dinner

Oath Keepers conviction is a win for Department of Justice in Jan 6 probes

10:00

The seditious conspiracy convictions of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and another leader in the far-right extremist group show that jurors are willing to hold accountable not just the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but those who schemed to subvert the 2020 election.

Tuesday’s verdict, while not a total win for the Justice Department, gives momentum to investigators just as the newly named special counsel ramps up his probe into key aspects of the insurrection fueled by President Donald Trump’s lies of a stolen election.

Sedition trial win bolsters Justice Dept. in Jan. 6 probe

09:00 , John Bowden

In his same Truth Social rant targeting Karl Rove, Donald Trump turned his fire on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Also 12-0 in Senate Endorsements against the Broken Old Crow, Mitch McConnell, who has, by the way, a 6 % Approval Rating - Not exactly great news for the Republican Party!” he wrote on Truth Social.

Mr McConnell was publicly warning for months after a handful of Mr Trump’s candidates won narrow primaries against conservative rivals that the untested newcomers selected by the former president could cost the GOP a chance at a Senate majority. With all but one races concluded, he appears to have been correct.

Far-right provacateur claims he set up dinner with Trump and white supremacist ‘to make Trump’s life miserable’

08:05 , John Bowden

Donald Trump’s meeting with one of the US’s most prominent racists came as a result of the plans and schemes of Milo Yiannopoulos, a disgraced ex-Breitbart News editor who now appears to be running the 2024 politcal efforts of rapper Kanye West.

The former president has claimed in the days since the meeting to not have known Mr Fuentes or the extent of his hateful views before sitting down with him. Regardless, he faces a torrent of criticism from members of both parties in a scandal reminiscent of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally-turned-riot in Charlottesville, Virginia — which Mr Fuentes coincidentally attended.

That torrent of incoming fire appears to be the result of Mr Yiannopoulos’s efforts to “make Trump’s life miserable”, an explanation he gave to NBC News on Tuesday. A former right-wing provocateur who toured the country hosting events with a small entourage in front of young, right-wing audiences, Mr Yiannopolous lost his funding and political connections thanks to comments he made in 2017. Those comments appeared to condone paedophilia and evoked massive backlash.

Read more from John Bowden:

Milo Yiannopolous says he set up dinner with Fuentes ‘to make Trump’s life miserable’

Trump excoriates Karl Rove

07:05 , John Bowden

Donald Trump attacked GOP strategist Karl Rove in a late-night Truth Social meltdown on Wednesday evening, and bizarrely claimed that his candidates did better than ones endorsed by Mr Rove. It was not clear which candidates he was talking about.

Kari Lake tries to claim conflict of interest in Arizona governor’s race

06:00 , John Bowden

Republican Kari Lake and supporters of her failed campaign for Arizona governor are attacking Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs as having a conflict of interest for overseeing the election she won.

Secretaries of state across the country routinely oversee their own races, and Republicans had no such criticism when one of their own was secretary of state in Georgia and oversaw his own election for governor four years ago. The criticism on Hobbs has persisted after one heavily Republican rural county declined to certify its own election results, forcing Hobbs to sue.

Read more from the Associated Press

In Arizona, losing candidate points to perceived conflict

MyPillow Trump fanatic Lindell running for RNC chair

05:00 , John Bowden

No-one in the Republican Party is safe from the ambition of Donald Trump’s followers, especially not when they’re perceived to be insufficiently loyal or effective in carrying out his wishes – and that includes Ronna McDaniel, the longtime RNC chair now up for re-election. She has a new challenger in the form of unhinged conspiracy theorist and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who reportedly advocated for the Trump administration to send in the military to seize voting machines after the 2020 election.

True to extremist form, he announced his long-shot run on Steve Bannon’s podcast.

Read more from John Bowden:

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he’ll run to be chairman of the Republican Party

Netanyahu condemns Trump’s Fuentes dinner

04:00 , John Bowden

Returning Israeli prime minster Benjamin Netanyahu, a Trump ally of some standing, has not minced his words when it comes to the former president’s dinner with exuberant antisemite Nick Fuentes and disgraced rapper Kanye West.

“I condemned Kanye West’s antisemitic statements,” Mr Netanyahu told journalist Bari Weiss. “Straight away, I thought that was just wrong and misplaced. And I think that that’s what I would say about President Trump’s decision to dine with this person I think is wrong and misplaced. I think it’s a mistake. He shouldn’t do that.”

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Herschel Walker struggles to explain why Trump is not campaigning for him in Georgia Senate runoff

03:00 , John Bowden

Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker struggled to explain to why former president Donald Trump is not campaigning for him in the final week of Georgia’s Senate runoff race.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked why the former president will not rally with Mr Walker, when former president Barack Obama will campaign with Mr Walker’s Democratic opponent, Senator Raphael Warnock, on Thursday.

His answer was less than convincing. Watch below:

Herschel Walker struggles to explain why Trump is not campaigning in Georgia runoff

Herschel Walker says ‘I live in Texas’ in recording as Georgia Senate candidate’s residency status scrutinised

02:00 , John Bowden

Herschel Walker, the scandal-plagued Republican candidate in a closely watched Senate runoff election in Georgia, said he lives in Texas in a newly unearthed recording.

In a January speech to the University of Georgia’s College Republicans, the former football star stated plainly, “I live in Texas,” despite competing against Democrat Raphael Warnock for Georgia’s US Senate seat.

It’s a new, bewildering angle to a race that has already dominated 2022 in terms of scandal and political intrigue.

Herschel Walker says ‘I live in Texas’ in unearthed 2022 recording

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes guilty of seditious conspiracy

01:00 , John Bowden

Members of a far-right anti-government militia group have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy against the United States in connection with the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, 2021.

After a nearly two-month trial with testimony and arguments from federal prosecutors and defence attorneys, as well as the defendants themselves, Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs were found guilty by a federal jury in Washington DC after three full days of deliberations.

Three other Oath Keepers associates were charged in the case but were found not guilty.

Read more about the trial involving the most serious charges to stem from the attack on Congress so far:

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes found guilty of seditious conspiracy against US

A white nationalist and a 2024 rival: What happened at Trump’s dinner with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West?

00:00 , John Bowden

Donald Trump once again finds himself in hot water – this time even incurring the disapproval of his fellow Republicans – for sitting down to dinner at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, with the increasingly wayward Kanye West and the rapper’s “campaign adviser” Nick Fuentes.

Now plotting a hopelessly unlikely presidential run in 2024 – theoretically pitching him against Mr Trump – West again sought out the one-term president and former luxury real estate magnate, this time for advice on that project.

Here’s what we know happened at that now infamous Mar-a-Lago summit:

What happened at Trump’s dinner with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West?

Jemele Hill savages Trump, GOP for Fuentes association

Wednesday 30 November 2022 23:00 , John Bowden

Commentator Jemele Hill, formerly of ESPN, ripped into the GOP and former President Donald Trump on Twitter for their association with Nick Fuentes, the avowed white nationalist and antisemite.

Ms Hill posted a clip of Mr Fuentes deriding to Black voters — and Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s desire to see Republicans do better with that demographic — using the n-word. The obscenely racist term “slipped out”, Mr Fuentes concedes seconds later.

“This is who Kanye West is working with. This is who Trump met with. This is who Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep Paul Gosar are cozying up to,” she wrote.

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Roger Stone attacks GOP congresswoman’s appearance over Trump disloyalty

Wednesday 30 November 2022 22:30 , John Bowden

Donald Trump’s longtime ally and adviser Roger Stone attacked the physical appearance of Rep Kat Cammack on Telegram after the Florida Republican congresswoman appeared to hedge between endorsing Donald Trump or Gov Ron DeSantis for her 2024 pick.

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Mr Stone’s comments are hardly surprising, given his long history of controversial and crude remarks about women — not to mention his reputation as a “dirty trickster”.

Nick Fuentes posts ‘I love Donald Trump’ as fallout continues over Mar-a-Lago dinner

Wednesday 30 November 2022 22:00 , John Bowden

White nationalist Nick Fuentes is disputing a claim from Kanye West’s campaign manager Milo Yiannopolous that he intended to politically damage Donald Trump by meeting with him at Mar-a-Lago.

The avowed racist denied that assertion on Telegram on Wednesday, stating: “My intention was not to hurt Trump by attending the dinner, that is fake news. I love Donald Trump.”

Read more in The Independent:

Nick Fuentes posts ‘I love Donald Trump’ as fallout continues over Mar-a-Lago dinner

The House Ways and Means Committee has Trump’s tax returns

Wednesday 30 November 2022 21:30 , John Bowden

A powerful House committee has obtained six years’ worth of Donald Trump’s tax returns, the Treasury Department confirmed on Wednesday.

The development brings an end to a six-year legal battle that reached the Supreme Court and ended in favour of House Democrats who have long pushed to investigate Mr Trump’s finances.

CNN first reported the news. Eric Garcia has more:

House Ways and Means Committee has Trump’s tax returns

Kevin McCarthy faces increasingly uphill battle for House speaker gig

Wednesday 30 November 2022 21:03 , John Bowden

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would very much like to become speaker when the new House of Representatives convenes in January, but, thus far, he’s having trouble finding the votes that would confirm him to the chamber’s top position.

Mr McCarthy, a Californian, has led the Republican caucus since 2019. He needs a majority of voting members of the House to support him in a vote on the House floor on 3 January, but there are signs that he might have trouble getting to that number.

Abe Asher takes us inside the growing rebellion that threatens GOP leadership’s status quo in the House:

Kevin McCarthy faces increasingly uphill battle for House speaker gig

Amid everything, Trump still fixated on ratings and mail-in ballots

Wednesday 30 November 2022 20:10 , John Bowden

With lawsuits, criminal cases and the firestorm of criticism after his white supremacist dinner last week all hanging over him, Donald Trump is clearly in a foul mood – and true to form, he is using his bespoke platform Truth Social to vent his spleen about well-worn topics that he considers it safe to rant about when he needs to let off steam:

Mr Trump’s reference to mail-in ballots specifically refers to Kari Lake’s defeat in the Arizona gubernatorial election, which both he and she falsely attribute to electoral malfeasance. There is little popular momentum behind the effort to get Ms Lake into office despite her defeat – and Mr Trump is noticeably not bothering to make similar claims on behalf of his chosen Senate candidate in the state, defeated right-wing hardliner Blake Masters.

Herschel Walker hasn’t answered reporters’ questions in nearly two months

Wednesday 30 November 2022 19:40 , John Bowden

Republican candidate Herschel Walker has not taken questions from reporters on the trail in nearly two months as the Georgia Senate race sets to conclude in a runoff next week.

Mr Walker’s campaign remains beset by scandal and mistrust; The Daily Beast and other news organisations have reported that amid a barrage of stories about secret children and the pro-life candidate having supposedly funded an abortion his own staff now do not trust Mr Walker to make honest statements about his past.

He trailed Senator Raphael Warnock in an intitial round of voting last month and by all credible indications appears poised to fall further behind the Democrat next week without the buoying effect of other, more popular Republican candidates on the ballot. Many polls showed Mr Walker leading into the first round of voting in November; in actuality, he trailed the Democrat by one percentage point when all votes were counted.

Read more about how this race is playing out in its final days:

Herschel Walker hasn’t answered reporters’ questions in nearly two months

Top Florida officials added to lawsuit over Martha’s Vineyard migrant flights

Wednesday 30 November 2022 19:10 , John Bowden

A civil rights group that has sued Florida governor Ron DeSantis for tricking two planeloads of South and Central American asylum seekers into boarding charter flights bound for the liberal Massachusetts community of Martha’s Vineyard has added two top of the governor’s top officials as defendants in their lawsuit.

“The object of this scheme was not to help immigrants find a better life in northern cities but to use political fervor over immigration to boost Defendant DeSantis’ national profile,” the attorneys wrote in the lawsuit.

Read more about the growing legal battle over the political stunt that has caused headaches for Democrats and made Mr DeSantis a rising star in the GOP:

Top Florida officials added to lawsuit over Martha’s Vineyard migrant flights

Herschel Walker struggles to explain why Trump is not campaigning for him in Georgia Senate runoff

Wednesday 30 November 2022 18:40 , John Bowden

Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker struggled to explain to why former president Donald Trump is not campaigning for him in the final week of Georgia’s Senate runoff race.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked why the former president will not rally with Mr Walker, when former president Barack Obama will campaign with Mr Walker’s Democratic opponent, Senator Raphael Warnock, on Thursday.

The candidate’s response was a bit awkward. Watch below:

Herschel Walker struggles to explain why Trump is not campaigning in Georgia runoff

Netanyahu condemns Trump’s Fuentes dinner

Wednesday 30 November 2022 18:10 , Andrew Naughtie

Returning Israeli prime minster Benjamin Netanyahu, a Trump ally of some standing, has not minced his words when it comes to the former president’s dinner with exuberant antisemite Nick Fuentes and disgraced rapper Kanye West.

“I condemned Kanye West's antisemitic statements,” Mr Netanyahu told journalist Bari Weiss. “Straight away, I thought that was just wrong and misplaced. And I think that that's what I would say about President Trump's decision to dine with this person I think is wrong and misplaced. I think it's a mistake. He shouldn't do that."

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McCarthy’s speaker vote nightmare isn’t over

Wednesday 30 November 2022 17:40 , Andrew Naughtie

Kevin McCarthy may have a majority in the House of Representatives, but it is so small that to win the vote for speaker, he can scarcely afford to lose the support of a single member of the GOP conference – and it seems some of his most extreme members are still preparing to raise hell.

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The whole-House vote comes at the start of January. To win it, Mr McCarthy needs a majority of the votes cast on the day – meaning he does not need a majority of all members provided enough of them either decline to take part.

Catch up: What happened at Mar-a-Lago?

Wednesday 30 November 2022 17:10 , Andrew Naughtie

If you’re behind on the story of Donald Trump’s dinner with antisemitic rapper Kanye West and racist toll Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago, here’s a piece running through what you need to know – from the events as described by those involved to the ensuing fallout, as the Republican Party and even many in Magaworld speak out against Mr Trump’s decision to host such exceptionally objectionable people at his private residence.

What happened at Trump’s dinner with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West?

Marco Rubio brands Nick Fuentes an ‘a** clown’ and ‘disgusting person’

Wednesday 30 November 2022 16:40 , Andrew Naughtie

Senator Marco Rubio had a particularly aggressive rebuke of Nick Fuentes, one of America’s most infamous white nationalists and antisemites, on Monday after former President Donald Trump faced another day of questions and criticism surrounding the Mar-a-Lago meetup with Mr Fuentes and rapper Kanye West.

It comes as the governor of his state, Ron DeSantis, is looking more competitive than ever against Donald Trump in 2024, coming off a strong reelection victory alongside victories for Republicans around the state.

Read more from John Bowden:

Marco Rubio brands Nick Fuentes an ‘a** clown’ and ‘disgusting’ after Trump meeting

What we learned from the Oath Keepers trial

Wednesday 30 November 2022 16:10 , Andrew Naughtie

Stewart Rhodes told his supporters to prepare their “mind, body and spirit” for “civil war” in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, an election he falsely believes was “unconstitutional” and “stolen” from Donald Trump.

On 29 November, Rhodes and co-defendant Kelly Meggs were found guilty of seditious conspiracy against the United States. They face up to 20 years in prison.

Rhodes and Meggs – who were also charged alongside Jessica Watkins, Kenneth Harrelson and Thomas Caldwell – are among the first Americans to be convicted of treason-related charges in decades, representing the biggest case yet in the sprawling criminal investigation from the US Department of Justice into the Capitol attack.

Here’s Alex Woodward with a look at what the trial entailed, and why it matters so much.

How Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes was found guilty of sedition

Far-right provacateur claims he set up dinner with Trump and white supremacist ‘to make Trump’s life miserable’

Wednesday 30 November 2022 15:40 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump’s meeting with one of the US’s most prominent racists came as a result of the plans and schemes of Milo Yiannopoulos, a disgraced ex-Breitbart News editor who now appears to be running the 2024 politcal efforts of rapper Kanye West.

The former president has claimed in the days since the meeting to not have known Mr Fuentes or the extent of his hateful views before sitting down with him. Regardless, he faces a torrent of criticism from members of both parties in a scandal reminiscent of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally-turned-riot in Charlottesville, Virginia — which Mr Fuentes coincidentally attended.

That torrent of incoming fire appears to be the result of Mr Yiannopoulos’s efforts to “make Trump’s life miserable”, an explanation he gave to NBC News on Tuesday. A former right-wing provocateur who toured the country hosting events with a small entourage in front of young, right-wing audiences, Mr Yiannopolous lost his funding and political connections thanks to comments he made in 2017. Those comments appeared to condone paedophilia and evoked massive backlash.

Read more from John Bowden:

Milo Yiannopolous says he set up dinner with Fuentes ‘to make Trump’s life miserable’

Amid everything, Trump still fixated on ratings and mail-in ballots

Wednesday 30 November 2022 15:10 , Andrew Naughtie

With lawsuits, criminal cases and the firestorm of criticism after his white supremacist dinner last week all hanging over him, Donald Trump is clearly in a foul mood – and true to form, he is using his bespoke platform Truth Social to vent his spleen about well-worn topics that he considers it safe to rant about when he needs to let off steam:

Mr Trump’s reference to mail-in ballots specifically refers to Kari Lake’s defeat in the Arizona gubernatorial election, which both he and she falsely attribute to electoral malfeasance. There is little popular momentum behind the effort to get Ms Lake into office despite her defeat – and Mr Trump is noticeably not bothering to make similar claims on behalf of his chosen Senate candidate in the state, defeated right-wing hardliner Blake Masters.

Trump defends Fuentes dinner on Fox: “I gave them the embassy"

Wednesday 30 November 2022 14:40 , Andrew Naughtie

Donald Trump is incensed by the coverage of his dinner with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West – and in a statement to Fox News Digital last night, he sought to distance himself from their views, insisting that nothing of note was discussed – and that it was Mr West who set the meeting up on the pretext of seeking “advice” with various “difficulties”.

As Fox reports:

“He asked me to meet with him,” Trump said.

“If you see him, the fake news media will create a problem,” Trump said. “If you don’t see him, the fake news media will claim I’m a racist.”

“The meeting was uneventful,” Trump continued, noting that with regard to white supremacy it “is standard for the media” to accuse him.

“They know it is not true,” he said.

The former president, who announced his 2024 presidential campaign earlier this month, told Fox News Digital that “there’s nobody that has proven to be more of a friend of Israel than Donald Trump.”

“Nobody has to prove or be defensive of me and Israel,” Trump told Fox News Digital. “They have acknowledged that I’m the best friend and president to Israel.”

“I gave them the embassy in Jerusalem.”

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Key Jan 6 Secret Service agent testifies to Jan 6 committee

Wednesday 30 November 2022 14:10 , Andrew Naughtie

Tony Ornato, who served in Donald Trump’s Secret Service detail at the end of his presidency, has been testifying to the January 6 select committee about what he saw and was told about events on the day of the riot – specifically, the alleged incident in which Mr Trump apparently tried to seize the wheel of his presidential car when he was told he was being taken back to the White House from his rally rather than to the Capitol.

Mr Ornato has previously denied testimony to this effect from former Mike Pence aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who claims the story was told to her by him.

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MyPillow Trump fanatic Mike Lindell running for RNC leader

Wednesday 30 November 2022 13:40 , John Bowden

No-one in the Republican Party is safe from the ambition of Donald Trump’s followers, especially not when they’re perceived to be insufficiently loyal or effective in carrying out his wishes – and that includes Ronna McDaniel, the longtime RNC chair now up for re-election. She has a new challenger in the form of unhinged conspiracy theorist and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who reportedly advocated for the Trump administration to send in the military to seize voting machines after the 2020 election.

True to extremist form, he announced his long-shot run on Steve Bannon’s podcast.

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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he’ll run to be chairman of the Republican Party

New DeSantis book on the way...

Wednesday 30 November 2022 13:10 , Andrew Naughtie

It is usual practice for prospective presidential candidates to publish self-promoting books before announcing their campaigns, sometimes well in advance – think Joe Biden’s Promises to Keep, leading up to his ill-fated 2007-8 campaign, or Kamala Harris’s 2019 effort The Truths We Hold. And as the Republican 2024 shadow primary warms up, Ron DeSantis is making his latest contribution: a book trumpeting Florida’s political and economic model as a template for “America’s renewal”:

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Mr DeSantis’s anti-woke posturing, hardcore approach to policing supposed voter fraud and his general scorn for Covid-19 regulations have all made him an appealing figure to both establishment and grassroots Republicans, an increasing number of whom look to Florida as a developing right-wing utopia that stands in opposition to Democratic-dominated states like California.

Wednesday 30 November 2022 12:40 , John Bowden

Donald Trump seethed on Truth Social yesterday with a new rant about people blaming him in whole or in part for the Republican Party’s mortifying shortfall in the 8 November midterms.

It’s worth noting that even if the Trump-backed Herschel Walker wins next week’s Georgia runoff, the GOP will still have failed to make a net gain in the Senate – and that it was Dr Mehmet Oz, a key Trump endorsee, who failed to keep Pennsylvania’s open seat in Republican hands.

Trump won’t drop lawsuit against Twitter despite being reinstated to platform, lawyer says

Wednesday 30 November 2022 12:10 , Andrew Naughtie

The lawyer representing former president Donald Trump in the lawsuit he filed after he was previously banned from Twitter has said he will not drop the case despite having been reinstated to the platform by the company’s new owner, Elon Musk.

Attorney John Cole told Bloomberg News that Mr Trump will continue to appeal the case’s dismissal by a California federal judge unless the company enters into an agreement to formally settle the lawsuit.

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Trump won’t drop lawsuit against Twitter despite being reinstated to platform

Fuentes/West: Kevin McCarthy misrepresents Trump’s denials

Wednesday 30 November 2022 11:40 , Andrew Naughtie

Reporters have pressed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about his false claim that former president Donald Trump denounced white supremacist Nick Fuentes four times.

“I don’t think anybody should be spending any time with Nick Fuentes,” he said. “He has no place in this Republican Party. I think President Trump came out four times and condemned him and didn’t know who he was.”

Mr Trump has not in fact denounced Mr Fuentes; he has simply said that he did not know who Mr Fuentes was.

Reporters press Kevin McCarthy over claims Trump denounced Nick Fuentes after dinner

McConnell condemns Trump’s meeting with West and Fuentes

Wednesday 30 November 2022 11:10 , Andrew Naughtie

On Tuesday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell condemned Donald Trump’s meeting with antisemite Kanye West and white supremacist Nick Fuentes and said that it may have ruined the former president’s chances in 2024.

“There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy,” he said at his weekly press conference.

“Anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States.”

Mr McConnell is just the latest figure to condemn the meeting at Mar-a-Lago, while Mr Trump is yet to speak out to condemn Mr Fuentes and his beliefs.