As it happenedended1613779967

Trump and Biden: Democrat opposes key Cabinet pick as president apologises to G7 for predecessor

Follow for all the latest from the White House, Congress and Mar-a-Lago

Trump: Biden is lying or 'mentally gone’ on vaccines

Joe Biden said the world can't return to a Cold War with Russia and China and must seek ways to cooperate on global challenges like the Covid pandemic even as the two countries pose security risks to the western alliance.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, Biden reaffirmed his commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization while apologizing to European leaders for the last four years under Donald Trump.

That apology came with the Biden administration returning the US to the Paris climate accord, another reversal of Trump-era policies of the past four years.

The focus on foreign policy came as the Biden administration continued to face domestic crises in its first weeks, including unprecedented winter weather that delayed 6 million doses of Covid vaccine.

While Biden toured the Pfizer vaccine manufacturing plant in Michigan, Republican senator Ted Cruz stayed out of the spotlight after coming under intense scrutiny for fleeing Texas for the warmer climes of Cancun.

Congress continued going through its motions, with Democrat Joe Manchin announcing his opposition to the nomination of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management & Budget, Neera Tanden.

The White House has refused to withdraw her nomination, hoping instead to convince Republicans to confirm her post.

Trump himself, meanwhile, “did things that were terrible” when contradicted on the coronavirus pandemic, Dr Anthony Fauci has said in an interview.

Fauci said Trump entirely lost interest in tackling Covid-19 as it became clear he had lost November’s presidential election.

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Dr Fauci says Trump did ‘terrible things’ to him and now has to live under armed security

Donald Trump would do "terrible things" anytime Dr Anthony Fauci disagreed with him publicly, the doctor revealed in a recently released interview.

During an interview with The Telegraph, Dr Fauci - who became a household name thanks to his press conference appearances in the early days of the coronavirus's spread throughout the US, oftentimes looking dismayed by Mr Trump's comments - said the former president was vindictive and used his loyalists in other government offices to undermine him.

“Like he allowed [White House trade adviser] Peter Navarro to write an editorial in USA Today saying that almost everything I’ve ever said was wrong,” the doctor said. “He allowed the communications department of the White House to send out a list to all of the media, all of the networks, all of the cables, all of the print press, about all of the mistakes I’ve made, which was absolute nonsense because there were no mistakes.”

Graig Graziosi reports.

Dr Fauci says Trump did ‘terrible things’ to him and now has to live under armed security

The doctor said he has been living under the protection of armed security since last April

Justin Vallejo19 February 2021 21:15
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The Republicans vying to replace Trump, from Ted Cruz to Marjorie Taylor Greene

With Donald Trump gone from the White House and Mitch McConnell demoted to Senate minority leader after the Georgia runoffs, the Republican Party finds itself in search of fresh leadership.

Further complicating the picture is the sharp divide within the GOP exposed by the US Capitol riot on 6 January, which saw fringe voters still loyal to Mr Trump ally with extremists movements like QAnon, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers to ransack the legislature, earning the condemnation of its more moderate wing embodied by the likes of Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger.

Joe Sommerlad reports.

The Republicans vying to replace Trump, from Ted Cruz to Marjorie Taylor Greene

Texas senator embarrassed over Cancun vacation scandal just one of emerging pack of GOP pretenders courting disenfranchised MAGA vote

Justin Vallejo19 February 2021 21:40
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Democrat Senator Joe Manchin opposes Biden budget pick over her ‘toxic’ tweets

Senator Joe Manchin has announced he opposes the nomination of Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management & Budget, Neera Tanden.

The West Virginia Democrat said in a statement: “Her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management & Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”

With the Senate split 50:50, his opposition could sink Ms Tanden’s nomination.

Oliver O’Connell reports.

Democrat Senator Joe Manchin opposes Biden budget pick over her ‘toxic’ tweets

‘No’ vote by Manchin will likely sink Neera Tanden’s nomination with the Senate split 50:50

Justin Vallejo19 February 2021 22:01
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Donald Trump Jr hits out ‘Democrat governor’ of Texas... who is actually Republican

In an attempt to defend Ted Cruz for going on vacation as Texas struggled with the aftermath of Winter storm Uri, Donald Trump Jr appeared to get one important detail wrong in accusing the lawmaker’s critics of hypocrisy.

The senator for Texas is being eviscerated by the public and media after it emerged he had taken his family to Cancun, Mexico, as his constituents endured record cold temperatures with no heat, power, or water,

The eldest son of former president Donald Trump took to Twitter and hit out at “the hypocrisy of those trying to cancel Ted Cruz,” adding that their silence “on their Democrat Governor’s incompetence is telling.”

Unfortunately for Mr Trump, and as many Texans were quick to point out, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is a Republican and was chair of the Republican Governor’s Association from 2019 to 2020.

Oliver O’Connell reports.

Don Jr attacks ‘incompetent’ governor in defence of Ted Cruz

Texas last had a Democrat governor more than 25 years ago

Justin Vallejo19 February 2021 22:25
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Billboard, posters, and signs mocking Ted Cruz go up around Texas

A billboard and posters blasting Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz for flying to Cancun in Mexcio as his state struggles with power outages and freezing temperatures have gone up around Texas. A truck was spotted driving around Houston with the message: “Texas froze. Ted Fled.”

A smaller message below the big letters reads: “Paid for by Occupy Democrats election fund and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.”

According to their website, Occupy Democrats is an advocacy group started in 2012 to counter the Republican Tea Party and claims to be “the largest and most active community of Democratic voters in the world”.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Billboard, posters, and signs mocking Ted Cruz go up around Texas

Pranksters posted images of mock posters saying that Mr Cruz was missing and last seen in ‘Cancun, Mexico, leaving his state in the middle of a natural disaster,’ and calling his beard ‘weird’​

Justin Vallejo19 February 2021 22:30
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So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Biden administration isn’t pulling Neera Tanden as its nomination for OMB despite her divisive tweets.

The latest comes via White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, who says they think there’s “still a chance”. How? A Republican might vote for her.

Justin Vallejo19 February 2021 22:53
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‘Take the vaccine’: Biden tells Americans to get Covid-19 shot as he blames ‘predecessor’ for failing to mobilise

President Joe Biden has pledged that a massive Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution effort underway has not undermined its safety, as he renewed his administration’s timeline to have shots available to most Americans by the end of July.

“It takes more time to do the check for safety than it does to make the vaccine. That’s how fastidious they are,” the president said after a tour of a Pfizer facility in Michigan to promote the effort.

“The vaccines are safe,” he said. “Please, for yourself, your family, your community, your country, take the vaccine when it’s your turn and available.”

The Independent’s Alex Woodward has a deeper dive on Biden’s visit to Michigan.

Biden urges Americans to ‘take the vaccine’ as he blames Trump for failing to mobilise effort

President urges swift passage of $1.9 trillion relief package as House Democrats unveil legislation

Justin Vallejo19 February 2021 22:55
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White House circles back on Neera Tanden

Jen Psaki released a statement on the Biden administration’s OMB pick, confirming earlier reports they weren’t pulling the nomination.

“Neera Tanden is an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent Budget Director and we look forward to committee votes next week and to continue to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties,” the statement read.

The “both parties” reference means they’ll be trying to get Tanden through by getting at least one Republican on side.

Let the back room dealing begin.

Justin Vallejo19 February 2021 22:59
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BREAKING: Nine Oath Keeper militia members charged with conspiracy to attack Capitol

Federal prosecutors have charged nine alleged members of the far-right anti-government Oath Keepers militia with conspiring to attack the US Capitol on 6 January to obstruct the certification of the 2020 election, among one of the largest indictments in the wake of the attack.

Six people believed to be involved with the militia group were added as defendants to an existing indictment for three other alleged members on Friday. Seven others were allegedly among a “stack” of rioters in tactical gear who coordinated their assault on the halls of Congress using messaging apps and social media, according to Justice Department prosecutors.

A 21-page indictment alleges that the defendants “did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate, and agree with each other and others known and unknown” to break into the Capitol building and obstruct the certification of electoral college votes from the 2020 presidential election during a joint session of Congress.

Alex Woodward reports.

Nine Oath Keeper militia members charged with conspiracy to attack Capitol

Federal prosecutors have charged nine alleged members of the far-right anti-government Oath Keepers militia with conspiring to attack the US Capitol on 6 January to obstruct the certification of the 2020 election, among one of the largest indictments in the wake of the attack.

Justin Vallejo19 February 2021 23:15
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AOC wants ‘full investigation’ of Cuomo nursing home deaths controversy

New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called for a “full investigation” of the allegation that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was hiding the real number of nursing home deaths during the pandemic in the state.

Ms Ocasio-Cortez put out a statement Friday, saying: “I support our state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for a full investigation of the Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19.”

She added: “Thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers lost their lives in nursing homes throughout the pandemic. Their loved ones and the public deserve answers and transparency from their elected leadership, and the Secretary to the Governor’s remarks warrant a full investigation.”

Gustaf Kilander reports.

AOC wants ‘full investigation’ of Cuomo nursing home deaths controversy

AOC says she supports ‘state’s return to co-equal governance and stand with our local officials calling for full investigation of Cuomo administration’s handling of nursing homes during COVID-19’

Justin Vallejo19 February 2021 23:30

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