As it happenedended1644529607

Trump news – live: Jan 6 committee finds gaps in White House call logs as president denies destroying records

Follow the latest on former president Trump

Trump tries to turn tables by claiming he was victim of attempted coup

It has emerged that the committee investigating the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol has identified gaps in the White House call logs from the day of the riot, posing another obstacle to establishing what Mr Trump said and did in the hours before and during the event. According to the New York Times, there is no evidence the records were deliberately deleted, but it is well known that Mr Trump frequently used his own and others’ cellphones to talk to his allies while in office.

Meanwhile, as the saga of the Trump administration documents wrongly taken to Mar-a-Lago continues to deepen, an new book has reported that Donald Trump himself clogged a White House toilet with torn-up documents that should have been preserved.

The story is featured in Confidence Man, a soon-to-be-released account of the president’s White House years written by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. Mr Trump has called the story “fake news” and accused Ms Haberman – whose work he follows closely – of making it up for publicity.

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Republican Governors’ Association breaks with Trump in Georgia

Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, is up for re-election this year – and Donald Trump has endorsed his opponent, former Senator David Perdue, largely because of Mr Kemp’s refusal to endorse the false claim that his state had been stolen for Joe Biden in 2020.

But in a sign that Mr Trump’s control of the GOP might not be as absolute as it sometimes appears, the Republican Governors’ Association has cut an ad for Mr Kemp, not his rival.

The eventual Republican nominee will almost certainly face Democrat Stacey Abrams in November, putting them up against one of the opposing party’s most recognisable national figures.

Andrew Naughtie9 February 2022 16:45
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A big Covid moment: New York drops mask mandate

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has officially scrapped her state’s indoor mask mandate, marking a major turning point for a state that was once one of the pandemic’s worst-hit places in the world.

Andrew Naughtie9 February 2022 16:59
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More reports of Giuliani’s involvement in effort to seize voting machines

The Washington Post has this story reporting that as part of his chaotic efforts to help overturn the 2020 election, Rudy Giuliani asked a prosecutor in Michigan to hand over their county’s voting machines to the Trump legal team.

Mr Giuliani was supposed to appear before the 6 January for an in-person deposition this week, but apparently declined to attend. The committee is meeting on Friday to discuss its next steps.

Andrew Naughtie9 February 2022 17:15
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Ethics watchdog calls for DOJ investigation into Trump’s Mar-a-Lago record cache

A Washington ethics watchdog known for its dogged criticism of President Donald Trump over his four years in office has issued a new call for the Justice Department to investigate the president and his team over the situation developing over documents that should have been returned to the National Archives.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wrote to the Department of Justice on Wednesday urging the agency to investigate the status of document turnovers to the National Archives after it was revealed this week that Mr Trump’s team was presently continuing to find records that should have been turned over to authorities in January of 2021.

John Bowden has the latest.

Watchdog calls for DOJ investigation into Trump’s Mar-a-Lago record dump scheme

Group has repeatedly demanded investigations of past Trump scandals

Oliver O'Connell9 February 2022 17:33
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Pence called a ‘Manchurian candidate’ on Steve Bannon show

Former Vice President Mike Pence was the target of fury from two ex-Trump White House officials on Tuesday after he reasserted the fact that he did not have the authority to halt the 2020 election’s certification in a speech.

Mr Pence found himself at the centre of criticism from his ex-boss and other Trump loyalists like former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley this week after he declared in a speech on Friday that Donald Trump was “wrong” to say he could have prevented Joe Biden from being elected president by interfering in the Electoral College process.

John Bowden reports.

Ex-Trump official warns Mike Pence: ‘You are dead politically’

Trump insiders who pushed election fraud lies rage against ex-VP

Oliver O'Connell9 February 2022 17:53
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Kellyanne Conway shifted Trump’s message to Evangelicals, NYT reporters claims

Former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway was the driving force behind Donald Trump’s appeal to evangelical voters, a book from a New York Times reporter claims.

Author Jeremy Peters’ book Insurgency details how Ms Conway, a key player in his 2016 bid for office, helped the New York businessman make inroads with rural religious voters who otherwise would have been turned off by his remarks.

“As a way of making their opposition to abortion sound less judgmental and uncompassionate, Conway counseled them to talk about a personal experience—for instance, seeing the ultrasound of their unborn child for the first time. For years, Trump had been telling the story of 'a friend' whose wife he said had become unexpectedly pregnant. The couple was leaning toward an abortion but then changed their minds and ended up with a beautiful, talented child, Trump would say,” reads Mr Peters’ book.

Read more at Raw Story:

John Bowden9 February 2022 19:14
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Jen Psaki rips GOP for mischaracterizations of drug abuse policy

White House press secretary Jen Psaki lashed out at a number of GOP politicians who have misconstrued facts or otherwise shared nonsense about a plan that would provide federal funding for safe injection sites and other drug abuse treatment measures.

Ms Psaki tore into Republicans who have spread false claims about a $30bn federal plan to fund efforts aimed at minimising the harm including risk of overdose resulting from use of illicit drugs as the US continues to battle the rise of fentanyl and other substances which have begun to appear in illegally-purchased narcotics.

Republicans have widely criticised the program, falsely characterising it with racist undertones as a plan to provide “crack pipes” (despite heroin and fentanyl being the major focus) to poor Americans, and in particular Black people.

“This program is focused on harm reduction strategies,” Ms Psaki said, while criticising the “misinformation” shared by GOP politicians on the issue.

John Bowden9 February 2022 19:42
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Madison Cawthorn threatens consequences if he is kept off the ballot

North Carolina congressman and Capitol riot conspiracy theorist Madison Cawthorn has issued a warning to state officials considering whether to disqualify him from the ballot due to his support for the Capitol insurrection.

Mr Cawthorn is one of the most prolifict spreaders of nonsense regarding the attack on Capitol Hill of any lawmaker in Congress. He has raised bizarre conspiracies about “false-flag” operations and supposed government interference, without a shred of evidence presented by him or his office, for months.

In an interview with Steve Bannon's War Room podcast on Wednesday, he warned of the possibility of violence should North Carolina Democrats succeed in their bid to push him off the ballot for 2022 based on his support for the riot that overwhelmed his workplace on Jan 6.

"This is only going to lead to one place if you want to try and take the right of the people away to be able to vote for their elected official," the congressman told host Steve Bannon. "This is going down a very dangerous path."

John Bowden9 February 2022 20:09
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Donald Trump Jr., Republicans continue “crack pipes” smear

Donald Trump Jr and other Republican figures continued on Wednesday to push misinformation about a federally-funded drug abuse program seeking to help addicts.

Mr Trump Jr posted his second tweet in as many days referring to the program, which exists as a federal grant funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, as an effort to give “crack pipes” to Americans.

He and other Republicans like Sen Roger Wicker of Kansas have spread nonsense about the Biden administration supposedly sending drug paraphernalia to Black Americans in recent days, and honed in on the phrase “crack pipes” despite the program being focused on America’s ongoing opioid epidemic, presumably due to the racist connotations of connecting Black people to crack cocaine usage.

Mr Wicker made a very similar reference to the program on Wednesday during a press conference hosted by Senate Republicans.

John Bowden9 February 2022 20:53
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QAnon follower pleads not guilty by reason of insanity to murdering wife

A follower of the right-wing QAnon conspiracy theory, which posits the nonsensical theory that Democrats are connected to a child sex trafficking ring and “Satanic” rituals, plead not guilty to murdering his wife on Tuesday.

Gratiot County prosecutors told reporters that the Michigan man was led to believe by other Q conspiracists that his own wife was actually Joe Biden’s offspring who had received a sex-change operation. Mr Biden does not have any daughters, and his son Hunter Biden has been a longstanding target of conspiracy theories led by the US right wing.

“He...said that [President] Joe Biden had twins, a daughter and a son, and that the son had a sex change and that’s who his wife was,” a prosecutor told reporters.

The man, 45-year-old Troy Burke, will undergo further psychiatric evaluation before his fate is determined.

Read more at The Morning Sun:

John Bowden9 February 2022 21:10

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