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As it happenedended1610924047

Trump news – Armed groups dwarfed by security at state capitals as president’s approval at new low

The latest updates from the White House and beyond on 17 January 2021

Oliver O'Connell,Chantal da Silva
Sunday 17 January 2021 22:54 GMT
Trump says impeachment moves causing anger, but 'I want no violence'

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has plummeted to an all-time low as the US leader prepares to exit the White House. 

In the wake of the deadly Capitol riots on 6 January, the president has seen his approval rating dive, with the change in perception being largely among Republicans. 

The worst polling came from Pew Research Center, which found Mr Trump’s disapproval rating to be at 68 per cent, with his approval rating falling to 29 per cent, the lowest yet, in a poll of 5,360 adults conducted between 8-12 January.

The findings come as states across the US brace for the possibility of inauguration week violence as President-Elect Joe Biden prepares to take office on Wednesday. Small armed groups appeared at statehouses on Sunday, but the size of the gatherings appeared dwarfed by the security presence.

On Sunday, former FBI director James Comey warned of the “very serious” risk of violence breaking out around the inauguration following deadly riots at the US Capitol last week. 


Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live blog following the latest in US politics. 

Chantal Da Silva17 January 2021 08:55

Ex-FBI director Comey warns of ‘very serious’ risk of violence at Biden’s inauguration

Former FBI director James Comey has warned of the “very serious” risk of violence breaking out at President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

Read this breaking news story here:

Ex-FBI director Comey warns of ‘very serious’ risk of violence at Biden’s inauguration

There is a “very serious” risk of violence at Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, former FBI director James Comey has warned.

Chantal Da Silva17 January 2021 08:57

Biden prepares 10-day action plan to overturn Trump policies

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to hit the ground running starting on his inauguration day, with a 10-day action plan aimed at reversing some of President Donald Trump’s most contentious policies. 

On his first day in office, Mr Biden is prepared to sign more than a dozen executive orders to take swift action to end policy shifts introduced under Mr Trump, including his ban on travel from majority-Muslim countries and his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

Oliver O'Connell and Alex Woodward have more on the action plan: 

Biden planning blitz of dozens of executive actions immediately after inauguration

Incoming administration to rescind Muslim travel ban and rejoin Paris climate accord on day one amid ‘moment of profound crisis’ 

Chantal Da Silva17 January 2021 09:03

Capitol rioter says Trump supporters who attended ‘deserve a pardon’

A Texas realtor who attended the Capitol riots on 6 January has said that Trump supporters who participated in the deadly insurrection should be pardoned as they were only “following” their president. 

Speaking with CBS 11, Jenna Ryan, of Carrollton, Texas, said she was “basically following my president” when she joined the riots. “I was following what we were called to do”.

Now that she is facing charges for knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority and “disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds”, she has said: “I would like a pardon from the president of the United States."

“I think that we all deserve a pardon. I’m facing a prison sentence. I think that I do not deserve that,” she said. 

Read more on what she had to say here: 

Realtor who live-streamed storming of Capitol wants pardon from Trump

‘He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there. So I was doing what he asked us to do,’ says Jenna Ryan

Chantal Da Silva17 January 2021 09:09

State capitals prepare for Inauguration Day protests as FBI flags risk of violence

State capitals are preparing for the possibility of protests on Wednesday, the day of President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, as law enforcement officials warn of a risk of violence. 

More than a dozen states have preemptively activated National Guard troops to help safeguard their capitol buildings, according to Reuters. 

Meanwhile, many have also erected fences or other barriers to secure their capitols, with Texas and Kentucky shutting down access to the public altogether. 

The ramping up of security measures comes after the FBI warned of armed protests amid fears that the deadly attack on the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC, on 6 January might embolden Trump supporters and right-wing extremists. 

Chantal Da Silva17 January 2021 09:16

Twitter misinformation on election fraud plunged 73% after Trump’s suspension

Online misinformation about election fraud plunged by 73 per cent on Twitter after President Donald Trump was suspended from the social media site, a new study has found.

According to The Washington Post, Zignal Labs found that mentions of election fraud dropped dramatically on the social media site following the president’s removal.

Following his suspension, the number of tweets discussing election fraud reportedly plunged from 2.5 million mentions to nearly 688,000.

Chantal Da Silva17 January 2021 09:32

Joe Biden to prioritise path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants

President-elect Joe Biden is reportedly set to announce legislation in his first day in office to provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants living in the US. 

Citing four people briefed on the president-elect’s plans, the Associated Press reported that Mr Biden would be revealing the plan on day one. 

The Democrat had campaigned on the promise to create a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million people living in the US undocumented. 

However, with the coronavirus pandemic and the economy taking a central focus, it was unclear whether the president would manage to enact his plans in the early days of his presidency.

Chantal Da Silva17 January 2021 09:43

France calls for suspension of ‘poisonous’ US-Europe trade dispute

France’s foreign minister has called for the suspension of a “poisonous” trade dispute between the European Union and the US to give EU leaders and the incoming Biden administration time to find common ground. 

In an interview published in Le Journal du Dimanche,  Jean-Yves Le Drian said a “moratorium” could prove beneficial to negotiations.

"The issue that's poisoning everyone is that of the price escalation and taxes on steel, digital technology, Airbus and more particularly our wine sector," he said, according to Reuters

The foreign minister said he hoped the EU and incoming administration could find a way to settle spat, asserting: “It may take time, but in the meantime, we can always order a moratorium.”

His pitch comes after the US moved to raise tariffs on French and German aircraft parts, wines and other spirits in a Boeing-Airbus subsidy dispute at the end of December.  

Chantal Da Silva17 January 2021 09:54

‘We the People’ pre-inauguration fundraising concert to launch tonight

An online fundraising concert announced by the Biden-Harris inauguration team is set to take place this evening, with Keegan-Michael Key and Debra Messing expected to host the virtual event.

Starting at 8PM ET, the ‘We the People’ concert will feature appearances from AJR, Michael Bivins, Connie Britton, Sophia Bush, Jaime Camil, Fall Out Boy, Ben Harper, Carole King, Kal Penn, James Taylor, and Will.i.Am. 

President-elect Joe Biden, Dr Jill Biden, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are also expected to make appearances. 

 Anyone hoping to attend the event will be asked to make a donation to help support the Biden-Harris inaugural programming. Once a donation is made, they will be sent a link. 

See what else is planned for Inauguration Week here: 

A day by day events guide to Biden’s Inauguration

 National Mall and Washington Monument both closed to public on Inauguration Day following safety concerns

Chantal Da Silva17 January 2021 10:15

Celebrities call on YouTube to ban Trump permanently

A number of celebrities are ramping up calls for YouTube to permanently ban President Donald Trump from its platform after the site temporarily suspended the US leader over his role in inciting the deadly insurrection on 6 January. 

After a study by Zignal Labs found that mentions of election fraud dropped by 73 per cent on Twitter following Trump’s permanent suspension from the social media site, celebrities Debra Messing and Mark Ruffalo called on YouTube to take longlasting action. 

"@YouTube, you want data? Here it is.

"73% DROP in misinformation since Twitter banned #Trump," Ms Messing tweeted.

“The only responsible thing to do is do the same in your platform.  Please don’t delay,” she said. 

Sharing results from the same study, Mr Ruffalo tweeted about Mr Trump: “He is clearly corrosive to a society based on facts. Now@YouTubeshould step up and permanently ban him too.”

Other celebrities have issued similar calls, with Amy Schumer having previously called out YouTube for giving the president a “platform to spread lies and conspiracies". 

Chantal Da Silva17 January 2021 10:49

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