Biden mocks Trump as ‘the great MAGA King’ in speech on economy
The Trump Organization has announced the sale of a long-term lease of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which has been picked up by the CGI Merchant Group of Miami for $375m.
The Pennsylvania Avenue hotel had served as a symbol of Donald Trump’s clout with politicians and other figures who gathered there, but had also attracted multiple accusations of corruption, from questions over its use during the 2017 inauguration to concerns that bills paid by foreign delegations staying there could violate the Constitution’s emoluments clauses.
Meanwhile, in New York, the former president has been ordered to pay $110,000 in fines as a judge lifted a contempt order against him stemming from a legal dispute over Trump Organization documents.
On another front, a hardcore pro-Trump candidate running from outside the GOP establishment is surging in the polls in Pennsylvania’s Republican primary, which is held next Tuesday. Mr Trump has endorsed Dr Mehmet Oz for the open Senate seat, but many conservatives are disgusted by the TV medic’s record of liberal positions.
The controversial Ms Barnette has been criticized as “ultra-Maga” by her detractors, but has suddenly attracted millions of dollars in ad spending by right-wing campaign groups.
Former US attorney general on prosecuting Trump
Eric Holder, who served as US attorney general during the Obama administration, last night appeared on MSNBC to discuss the delicate issue of whether and how Donald Trump should be indicted over his suggested role in the events of 6 January 2021. Mr Holder has previously raised concerns about the potential impact of having the Justice Department prosecute a prior president – but in his interview, he also pointed out that holding Mr Trump to account for his actions could have important positive effects.
“There’s a whole range of things that I think a prosecutor has to take into consideration before you ultimately decide to bring a case,” he said. “But I think here, it would be a divisive thing, but given the nature of what it is we’re looking at…people have to be held accountable, but just as importantly, there has to be a deterrent effect so that people in the future will know that if you try something the likes of which were tried by the Trump crowd, you will be held accountable, you will have to face some kind of serious consequences.”
Watch Mr Holder’s remarks below.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 12:07
Right-wingers continue attacks on Ukraine aid
Two of the most intensely right-wing members of Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, have continued railing against the US’s support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian assault – invoking the US’s domestic problems as a pretext for rejecting the $40bn aid package passed by the House this week.
Also angry about the amount allocated to Ukraine is far-right North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn, who complained that the US should spend $40bn on its veterans – apparently unaware that the VA’s budget is more than seven times that size. Maroosha Muzaffar has the story.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 11:22
Dr Oz tears into surging “ultra-Maga” rival
Trump endorsee Dr Mehmet Oz may be at the top of the polls in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate primary, but he faces an increasingly concerning challenge from an unexpected figure: previously obscure right-winger Kathy Barnette, who is now closed the polling gap at the top of the field to within the margin of statistical error.
In response, many on the Trump-aligned right are trying to tarnish Ms Barnette as much as possible in the few days remaining until the final vote. And Dr Oz himself made an appearance on Fox News yesterday to join the pile-on:
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 10:50
Texas AG fundraising off 2020 election conspiracy theory movie
Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general who spoke at the 6 January rally outside the White House before the Capitol riot, is hosting a fundraiser for himself – and for his donors’ entertainment he’s putting on a screening of 2000 Mules, a falsehood-driven documentary created by pro-Trump conservative maven Dinesh D’Souza.
The film, which Mr Trump himself has enthusiastically praised, claims that (debunked) cellphone data proves that Democrats engaged in a massive election fraud scam to throw the presidency Joe Biden’s way.
Mr Paxton is facing disciplinary action from the Texas state bar over his involvement in post-election lawsuit challenging Mr Biden’s victory; nonetheless, he is running for re-election this year with Mr Trump’s endorsement. Having placed first in the GOP primary field, he will face George P. Bush, scion…