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As it happenedended1556051982

Trump news: President launches series of wild attacks on 'enemy of the people' US media as impeachment threat grows

Take a look below for our live updates from throughout the day on Tuesday

Clark Mindock
New York
,Joe Sommerlad
Tuesday 23 April 2019 17:01 BST
'We are completely rebuilding our military' Trump boasts about military at Easter Egg event

Donald Trump has lashed out at The New York Times, Morning Joe, CNN, Democrats, and the EU on Twitter — as well as the social media platform itself — during a busy morning in which a new state visit to Britain was also confirmed.

As the president continues to gloat over the outcome of the Mueller report, Democrats are busy formulating their response. Mr Trump has claimed the report exonerates him, but Democrats see grounds for potential impeachment, with 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren the most vocal among a growing choir calling for that measure: “If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and put in jail.”

President Trump yesterday took part in the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll in characteristic style, bragging to an audience of children about his rebuilding of the US military and stressing the need for his forthcoming border wall.

While Tuesday proved to be a relatively quite day in Washington compared to the events of te week prior, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could have a dramatic impact on American politics in the years to come.

The court heard arguments related to a challenge to the Trump administration's push to include a question about citizenship on the 2020 census, which could lead around 6.5 million people to avoid the national head count.

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The court appeared divided along party lines on Tuesday, which could lead to a 5-4 split decision in favour of the Trump administration on the issue.

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Hello and welcome to The Independent's rolling coverage of the Donald Trump administration.

Joe Sommerlad23 April 2019 09:06

As Donald Trump continues to gloat over the outcome of the Mueller report, senior Democrats are formulating their response, with 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren the most vocal in calling for the president to be impeached: “If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they would be arrested and put in jail.”

Speaking at a televised CNN town hall event in New Hampshire, fellow presidential candidates Kamala Harris and Julian Castro agreed the FBI special counsel's report contained enough damning evidence of Trump's behaviour in the Oval Office to merit impeachment proceedings.

Harris said Mueller had portrayed a president bent on stopping the probe into Russian meddling and that said Congress should “take the steps towards impeachment”.

In a letter to colleagues ahead of a party conference call to talk tactics, House speaker Nancy Pelosi - so far, more reserved on the matter - wrote: “While our views range from proceeding to investigate the findings of the Mueller report or proceeding directly to impeachment, we all firmly agree that we should proceed down a path of finding the truth.”

Among the other 2020 runners, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg said Trump "deserves" impeachment but the decision on how to proceed should be left up to the House and Senate while Bernie Sanders expressed his belief that further pursuit of the president could be counterproductive for Democrats. 

“If for the next year and a half all the Congress is talking about is ‘Trump, Trump, Trump,’ and ‘Mueller, Mueller, Mueller’ and we’re not talking about the issues that concern ordinary Americans, I worry that works to Trump’s advantage,” the veteran Vermont senator said.

For his part, the president says he is not worried about impeachment. "Not even a little bit".

Not even a little teenie-weenie bit?

Joe Sommerlad23 April 2019 09:17

The president did have more to say on the matter on Twitter over the Easter weekend.

The familiar blustering defiance was followed by a flurry of retweets, recirculating favourable coverage from Fox News cronies like Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, Mark Levin and Maria Bartiromo and friendly Republican congressman like Devin Nunes, Mark Meadows, Louie Gohmert and Jim Jordan, all of which attempted to turn fire on the Democrats, Justice Department and Obama administration.

The below is a classic of its type.

In amongst all that axe-grinding was an attempt to appear presidential by mentioning calls with the prime ministers of Sri Lanka and Italy, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Guiseppe Conte.

There was also this:

The remark was demonstrably untrue and quickly and easily shot down by Trump detractors.

Here's Tom Barnes with more.

Joe Sommerlad23 April 2019 09:33

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nalder would spearhead impeachment proceedings should they be given the go ahead.

Since attorney-general William Barr released a redacted version of the 448-page Mueller report last Thursday, Nadler has called for the original to be made available to Congress and said Democrats would “see where the facts lead us” after completing their own investigation.

“Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press.

Apparently ignoring Nancy Pelosi's plea for caution, Nadler has wasted no time and already issued a subpoena summoning ex-White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before his committee.

Here's Clark Mindock's report.

Joe Sommerlad23 April 2019 09:48

Buckingham Palace is expected to announce this morning that President Trump will be make a state visit to the UK in June to honour the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Last summer the arrival of Air Force One sparked protests across London and Edinburgh and the surreal spectacle of an inflatable "Baby Trump" flown over Parliament Square in Westminster.

Further demonstrations are likely but whether Theresa May will still be around to hold his hand on the steps of 10 Downing Street remains to be seen.

Chris Baynes has more.

Joe Sommerlad23 April 2019 10:00

The fallout from the Mueller report has also seen Trump's approval rating plummet by five points, descending to all-time low levels.

Following Barr's publication of the FBI special counsel's findings on Thursday, just 39 per cent of Americans approve of the president, down from 44 percent, according to a new survey from Politico/Morning Consult.

The last time that happened was in August 2017, when his failure to condemn deadly street fighting at the white nationalist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, inspired widespread disgust.

Some 57 per cent actively disapprove of Donald Trump, according to the poll, but only 34 per cent want to see Congress begin impeachment proceedings against him.

Joe Sommerlad23 April 2019 10:15

And now to sillier matters.

President Trump yesterday took part in the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll in characteristic style, bragging to an audience of children about the state of the armed forces and stressing the need for his forthcoming border wall.

“We are completely rebuilding our military, it was very depleted as you know, a lot of the military folks can tell you and it is being rebuilt to a level that we have never seen before,” he told the kids, no doubt sunburnt, bored and impatient for chocolate.

Is there anything funnier than the sight of a man attempting to make a sincere political address while flanked by the Easter bunny?

Here's Tom Embury-Dennis on a splendidly strange American custom.

Joe Sommerlad23 April 2019 10:30

Trump also said this yesterday:

Is that entirely accurate, Donald? The Mueller report would appear to suggest otherwise.

Here's Narjas Zatat for Indy100.

Joe Sommerlad23 April 2019 10:45

Trump has been forced to withdraw the nomination of businessman Herman Cain to the board of the Federal Reserve after it became clear the candidate did not have the necessary Republican backing to survive a potentially embarrassing confirmation hearing.

The president is of course portraying the decision on behalf of the former Godfather's Pizza executive and derailed 2012 presidential candidate to step aside as a gracious and patriotic gesture, rather than a pragmatic move to shield himself from a humiliating ordeal.

Trump's other nominee to the board, economist Stephen Moore, is meanwhile also under fire for suggesting women should be barred from refereeing or covering men's basketball games unless they are good-looking. Yeesh.

Where does he find these guys? Under a hot rock?

Joe Sommerlad23 April 2019 11:00

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also currently finds herself simmering in hot water.

The Mueller report's publication last week revealed she admitted under oath to the special counsel's investigators she had made a series of false statements to the press after Trump fired FBI director James Comey in May 2017.

Sanders told Mueller her comment that "countless" FBI employees had told her they supported the president's decision was "a slip of the tongue." 

CNN analyst April Ryan has led the call for Sanders to be fired, declaring: "The American people can't trust her. They can't trust what's said from the president's mouthpiece, spokesperson from the people's house. Therefore, she should be let go, she should be fired."

"When there is a lack of credibility there, you have to start and start lopping the heads off," Ryan said, a phrase Sanders choose to interpret literally in her rebuttal.

"Look I’ve had a lot of reporters say a lot of things about me. They’ve said I should be choked. They said I should deserve a lifetime of harassment. But I’ve certainly never had somebody say I should be decapitated. This takes us to a new low even for the liberal media," Sanders said on Monday.

Ryan also entered into a heated row on Twitter with the press secretary's father, ex-Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who suggested her credentials should be revoked.

All very desperate but Ryan is surely right - even in this administration, how can a spokesperson for a president known for taking to task "fake news" remain in place when she has openly admitted lying?

Joe Sommerlad23 April 2019 11:15

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