Hunter Biden shrugs off Trumps’ criticism
The White House announced its border coordinator, who was leading the Biden administration’s attempts at halting the surge of migrants, would step down at the end of the month. The announcement on late Friday came just hours after border czar Robert Jacobson outlined the president’s plans to approach US companies to invest in Mexico and Central America to reduce migration.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, announced a $1.5trn budget proposal for 2022, with a 16 per cent increase in domestic spending. The White House outlined the proposal in its “discretionary request”, which is separate from Biden’s latest $2trn spending bill, and the $1.9trn coronavirus aid bill recently passed by the Senate.
The president also ordered a 180-day study of the Supreme Court that includes the possibility of adding more justices. Increasing the number of justices, colloquially known as “packing the court”, could reverse the current conservative majority into a progressive majority, or, depending on the results of future elections, create a supermajority for one side or the other.
Newly reported emails between Trump administration officials show them bragging about persuading or pressuring the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to alter its releases on Covid-19 transmission and deaths among younger Americans.
As he continues to promote his new memoir detailing his story of grief, addiction and recovery, Hunter Biden used an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show last night to take a sideways shot at the Trump family, mocking Donald Trump Jr for accusing him of nepotism – an accusation he mocked as “wildly comical” given the source.
As he writes in his book: “Do you think if any of the Trump children ever tried to get a job outside of their father’s business that his name wouldn’t figure into the calculation? My response has always been to work harder so that my accomplishments stand on their own.”
Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, has begun a lawsuit against the Biden administration to overturn a no-sailing directive that is depriving his state’s cruise industry of billions of dollars. Mr DeSantis, who has long been a critic of lockdowns and social distancing restrictions, said at a press conference yesterday that “we don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data”.
- Hunter Biden mocks ‘wildly comical’ Don Jr in Kimmel interview
- Video shows Donald and Melania Trump meeting man accused in Matt Gaetz trafficking scandal
- Emails reveal how Trump officials celebrated getting CDC to change official language on Covid risks
- Q unmasked: Did the QAnon conspiracy founder start life as a shy kid from Washington?
Trump accused of profane tirade against Boehner aide at golf tournament
Donald Trump called one of John Boehner’s aides “some kind of idiot” in a profane tirade during a golf tournament fundraiser, the former House speaker has claimed in his new memoir.
Mr Boehner, 71, a former Republican Ohio representative, detailed the exchange in an excerpt from his upcoming book, On The House: A Washington Memoir, which was obtained by Punchbowl News’ Daily Punch podcast on Thursday.
Mr Boehner wrote that Mr Trump confronted Mr Boehner’s aide and asked if he was “some kind of idiot,” before telling him to “f****** LISTEN” when people introduce themselves.
‘This was more than New York bluster,’ writes former House speaker
US Olympic athlete suffers anti-Asian abuse in park as bystanders do nothing
The latest target of anti-Asian hate is a United States Olympic athlete.
Sakura Kokumai, a karate champion who will represent the US at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, says she was minding her own business at a park in Orange, California when a stranger began cursing at her.
“You’re a loser! Loser! Go home, stupid b****!” the man yelled.
Nathan Place reports.
‘You’re a loser! Loser! Go home, stupid b****!’ a stranger yelled at Sakura Kokumai, an American karate champion
‘Never slowed down’, Joe Biden leads US tributes to Prince Phillip
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden have led US tributes to Prince Philip following his death at the age of 99.
In addition to a formal statement released by the White House on Friday morning, Mr Biden made some brief comments to reporters during an Oval Office meeting in the afternoon.
“Jill and I and the entire administration send our condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the loss of Prince Philip. He was a heck of a guy.”
The president noted “his bravery, serving in World War Two, as well as his being champion of the environment as well as the charitable things he set up.”
He added: “I think he’s going to be missed, particularly in the United Kingdom. 99 years old and never slowed down at all, which I admire the devil out of.”
Oliver O’Connell reports.
News of the duke’s death broke during morning news shows on the east coast of the US
Biden budget proposal to address ‘legacy of chronic underinvestment’
A look at the president’s budget priorities for the coming fiscal year, set to begin in October, includes investments in efforts to combat the climate crisis, reduce poverty and expand housing as part of a $1.52 trillion request to Congress, writes The Independent’s Alex Woodward.
The administration’s budget outlook – with proposed boosts in spending to several social services agencies – aims to reverse cuts and spending priorities under former president Donald Trump.
“The president is focused on reversing this trend and reinvesting in the foundations of our strength,” press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Friday.
White House aims to ‘reverse’ cuts to programmes addressing poverty, public health and climate crisis
Ex-Speaker John Boehner calls fellow Republican Jim Jordan a ‘political terrorist’
John Boehner, the Ohio Republican who served as Speaker of the House between 2011 and 2015, has charged some members of his own party with being “political terrorists”.
Speaking to CBS in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday, Mr Boehner said that the Capitol riot on 6 January grew out of the changes in his own party that he witnessed during his time as Speaker.
He specifically called out fellow Ohio Republican Jim Jordan when asked about the phrase “political terrorists”.
Mr Boehner said: “Oh yeah, Jim Jordan especially, my colleague from Ohio. I just never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart – never building anything, never putting anything together.”
Former Ohio Representative says he ‘never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart’
Biden’s border czar resigns hours after urging private companies to help stem migrant surge
The White House announced its border coordinator, who was leading the Biden administration’s attempts at halting the surge of migrants, would step down at the end of the month.
The announcement on late Friday came just hours after Biden’s border czar Robert Jacobson outlined the president’s plans to approach US companies to invest in Mexico and Central America to reduce migration.
Ms Jacobson, a former ambassador to Mexico, told Bloomberg News that officials would begin talking to businesses in the coming weeks to develop the plan to address the root cause of migration to the US.
“We can expect to see progress in the president’s first term,” Jacobson said Friday in an interview with Bloomberg News.
“It is not going to turn around 100 per cent in these countries in four years or even eight years,” she said. “It has to be a longer-term effort. But I do think you can expect to see changes within four years that show us things are working and we will adjust along the way.”
National security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement that Jacobson’s decision to step down was “consistent with her commitment at the outset to serve in the Administration’s first 100 days”.
Vice president Kamala Harris has taken the lead on illegal immigration at the border, where more than 172,000 migrants were apprehended in March, a 71 per cent increase from February, according to US Customs and Border Protection data.
Ted Cruz calls John Boehner a drunk after former GOP speaker dubs Texan Senator a jerk
Them’s fighting words.
Texas senator Ted Cruz and his former GOP colleague John Bohner are in the midst of a public spat, with one called a drunk after the other a was called a jerk.
"The Swamp is unhappy. I wear with pride his drunken, bloviated scorn," Mr Cruz said in a tweet.
Mr Bohner, a noted connoisseur of wine, threw the first stone during the publicity tour of his new memoir, On the House, saying that Mr Cruz was a false prophet he'd maybe like to beat up.
"I don't beat anybody up, It's not really my style, except that jerk," Mr Bohner said of Mr Cruz.
After referencing a rumoured penchant for a tipple, Mr Cruz added "please don't cry", referring to Mr Boehner's proclivity to show public outpourings of emotion during his time in office.
While Mr Cruzlevelled drink-based insults, it was an ally to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that outright accused Mr Boehner of being a lazy “alcoholic”.
Among the private emails of Ms Clinton released in 2015, long-time confidante Sidney Blumenthal gave his assessment on the Speaker after the GOP gained control of the House.
“Boehner is despised by the younger, more conservative members of the House Republican Conference,” Mr Blumenthal wrote. “They are repelled by his personal behaviour. He is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle.”
Ms Clinton replied to thank Mr Blumenthal, “as always, for your insights”.
Fox News accused of ‘revenge porn’ after airing embarrassing photos of Hunter Biden
Fox News has been accused of airing “revenge porn” after the network showed explicit images of Hunter Biden engaging in sex acts.
But amid the outrage over the illicit images of illicit acts is the seeming concession that the so-called “laptop from hell” – banned from Twitter and called “Russian disinformation” by Joe Biden – does, in actuality, belong to Hunter Biden.
Hunter himself has said it very likely could be his, whether he left it at the repair shop, or it was hacked or it was stolen. Although he can’t be sure or remember either way. Given the crack cocaine.
“Fox News has released stolen Hunter Biden laptop photos – there is nothing incriminating or illegal, they are just embarrassing,” journalist Amee Vanderpool tweeted.
“I won’t post it but @seanhannity is straight up airing revenge porn to shame Hunter Biden’s sex life,” the lawyer and writer Bradley P. Moss wrote. “I am without words.”
Nathan Place has the story.
Critics have questioned the news value of such images, given that Mr Biden has been open about his rock-bottom moments
Nancy Pelosi: House Speaker considered retirement in 2016 but stayed after Trump’s election
Susan Page, a USA Today journalist and author of a new book Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power, documented the House Speaker’s decision.
When Trump defeated Hilary Clinton, Ms Pelosi reportedly decided she had to remain in her position to try to safeguard Democratic policies.
“That was saddening, but the election of Donald Trump was stunningly scary, and it was justified to be scared. How could they elect such a person – who talked that way about women, who was so crude and … to me, creepy,” she said.
Graig Graziosi reports
New book claims California Democrat was ready to move on – once Hillary Clinton was elected
Feature story: Did the QAnon conspiracy founder start life as a shy kid from Washington?
By now, the impact of the QAnon mass conspiracy is clear, but details are still emerging about the origins of the men believed to be the masterminds behind the movement, writes The Independent’s Josh Marcus.
“Ron Watkins is remembered by an old classmate as being a shy kid, who seemed like he needed a friend. Words like “quiet” and “easily forgotten” were used to describe the teenager who, despite being active in jazz choir and drama, could barely be recalled by his old drama teacher. Since high school, his name has attracted rather more attention.”
A former classmate of the man believed to be Q tells Josh Marcus he was stunned to see the teenager he once knew hitting headlines around the word
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies