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Trump news: President accuses Biden of using performance enhancing drugs for primary debates amid accusations administration siphoned money away from 9/11

Follow the latest updates 

Gino Spocchia,Justin Vallejo
Friday 11 September 2020 23:33 BST
Trump calls Bob Woodward a 'whack job' during Michigan rally

Donald Trump traveled to the memorial of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania to mark the anniversary of 9/11. He praising troops in the United States' conflicts that followed the terror attack in 2001 and said all faiths came together in the days and weeks after to rebuild.

The US Navy was forced to cancel a flyover of New York to mark the 19th anniversary after it was branded as tone deaf and insensitive, while the Trump administration was accused of withholding $4 million in funding for a 9/11 FDNY health programme.

On a day that remembered conflict, the president was nominated for a second Nobel Peace Prize in the span of three days following an historic peace deal signed between Serbia and Kosovo.  

It came two days after Mr Trump was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize the peace deal signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Trump may be expecting a third after announcing another breakthrough in the Middle East peace process, with Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain establishing diplomatic ties.  

While the anniversary of 9/11 was a mostly solemn occasion on the political calendar, that didn't stop the usual amount of vitriol from percolating online. Allegations that Joe Biden took performance-enhancing drugs during his Democratic primary debate with Bernie Sanders resurfaced, while Mr Trump resumed his regular tweeting about Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer standing in the way of a coronavirus relief package.

Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load. 


More Oregon voters approve of Trump’s response to Portland protests than the state’s governor, mayor and police

New polling from DHM Research found that while most Oregon voters disapprove of everyone response to ongoing protests in Portland, 25 per cent approved of Donald Trump’s response.

That is ahead of governor Kate Brown’s 10 per cent approval, mayor Ted Wheeler at 8 per cent, and the police at 19 per cent.

One thing that most people seemingly agree on is that they’re helpful to either black Portlanders, race relations or efforts to reform the police.

And a majority of Oregonians, 56 per cent, believe Portland protests have been mostly violent and not mostly peaceful, as is mostly reported. 

Specifically, 55 per cent of the state believe that “riot” is a more accurate description compared to 37 per cent who think “protest”. Even in the more left-leaning liberal area, the split is 49 per cent “riot” vs 43 “per cent” protest.

John Horvick from DHM Research has a Twitter thread pulling out some of the most interesting results.

Justin Vallejo11 September 2020 22:22

BREAKING: Prosecutor looking into the origins of Russia probe resigns

A federal prosecutor who was helping lead the investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe has resigned from the Justice Department, a spokesman said Friday.

Nora Dannehy was a top prosecutor on a team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut, who was appointed last year to lead an investigation into how the FBI and other federal agencies set out to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign had coordinated with the Kremlin.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Connecticut confirmed Dannehy’s departure, which was first reported by The Hartford Courant, but declined to comment further.

Her departure could complicate the final stretch of an investigation already slowed by the coronavirus pandemic but eagerly anticipated by President Donald Trump and his supporters to uncover what they see as wrongdoing within the FBI. It leaves the investigative team without one of its veteran prosecutors as key decisions presumably await before the probe wraps up.

Durham’s appointment by Attorney General William Barr was made public soon after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian election interference. In the year and a half since, he has questioned former law enforcement and intelligence officials — former CIA Director John Brennan among them — about decisions made during the course of the Russia probe.

The investigation has not yet produced the results that Trump supporters had been hoping for. There is also pressure to wrap up given that Justice Department policy frowns on investigative steps that could affect an election, though Barr has said that would not apply here since Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is not a target of the probe. It’s also not clear that Durham’s work would be permitted to continue if Trump loses in November and Democratic leadership assumes control at the Justice Department.

Trump himself has indicated that he wants results soon, saying at a White House press conference on Thursday that Durham was a “very, very respected man” and that his work would involve a “report or maybe it’s much more than that.”

The investigation has produced one criminal charge so far, against a former FBI lawyer accused of doctoring an email related to the surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide. But that prosecution did not allege a broader conspiracy within the FBI, and the conduct it involved had largely been laid out in a Justice Department inspector general report from last December.

It is not clear if Durham will be able to wrap up before the election, though Barr did not rule out the possibility of additional criminal charges.

Associated Press

Justin Vallejo11 September 2020 22:02

Democrats want trillions. Republican offer billions.

And we’d just be happy with one of those six packs of beer Biden was handing out earlier today.

After the Senate killed the Republican’s $300 billion coronavirus relief package, Trump today lamented the Democrats call for $2.2 trillion.

Untangle the president’s latest pretzel.

Justin Vallejo11 September 2020 21:35

FURTHER READING: Trump baselessly accuses Biden of using performance enhancing drugs in primary debates

The Independent’s Richard Hall goes deeper into Donald Trump’s claims that Joe Biden used drugs during the Democratic debate with Bernie Sanders.

Trump baselessly accuses Biden of using performance enhancing drugs in primary debates

It is the second time in a month the president has made the claim, without providing any evidence 

Justin Vallejo11 September 2020 21:15

Trump’s businesses bring in $1.9bn in revenue during first three years of presidency, report reveals

Donald Trump’s businesses have brought in $1.9bn in revenue over the first three years the president was in office, according to Forbes.

The president agreed when he took office that he would not take a salary for the position and would also not be actively involved in his business. But Mr Trump has still profited the last three years through his company’s many ventures, as he held onto ownership of his assets while moving into the White House.

Documents obtained by Forbes’ Dan Alexander, whose upcoming book White House, Inc. further details Mr Trump’s profitable businesses, came from sources like private lenders, local governments, federal officials and overseas regulators. Together, these documents gave insight into just how much the Trump business has profited from 2017 to 2019 and what areas excelled the most.

Danielle Zoellner opens the books on this one.

Trump’s businesses bring in $1.9bn during first three years of presidency

The president made $313m in profit from commercial real estate, his most lucrative business venture 

Justin Vallejo11 September 2020 20:45

BREAKING: Democrat running against QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene suddenly drops out of Georgia race for 'personal reasons'

Democratic candidate Kevin Van Ausdal, who was running against QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene, has announced he would be dropping out of the Georgia congressional race due to “personal reasons”.  

“I am resigning from my race against Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Mr Van Ausdal said in a statement on Friday. “I am deeply saddened by the personal and family reasons that prevent me from continuing on as a candidate for Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.” 

Follow the story as it unfolds.

Democrat running against QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene suddenly drops out of race

'I am deeply saddened by the personal and family reasons that prevent me from continuing on as a candidate,' Kevin Van Ausdal says 

Justin Vallejo11 September 2020 20:23

‘We have the power’: Trump vows to ‘put down’ any protests arising from his re-election

Donald Trump is vowing to use federal force on US soil to turn back any “insurrection” on election night if Democrats or leftist groups green-light massive protests should voters hand him a second term.

“We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that. We have the right to do that, we have the power to do that if we want,” the president told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a sit-down interview taped on Thursday. She asked him about the possibility of riots that night if he defeats Democratic nominee Joe Biden on 3 November.

“Look, it’s called ‘insurrection.’ We just send in and we do it, very easy. I mean, it’s very easy,” Mr Trump said.

Those seem to be references to the 1807 Insurrection Act, a law that has been used seldomly but allows the commander in chief to deploy troops on US soil in times of crises. Mr Trump floated the idea he would use it to put American military troops in the path of protesters after the killing of George Floyd, a black man, while being choked by the knee of a white police officer.

John T Bennett reports.

‘We have the power’: Trump vows to ‘put down’ any protests arising from his re-election

“Look, it’s called ‘insurrection.’ We just send in and we do it, very easy,” president said of 1807 law he opted against using during George Floyd protests

Justin Vallejo11 September 2020 20:00

Trump’s allegations of Biden drug use doing the rounds on Twitter

Donald Trump repeated his allegation that Joe Biden used performance enhancing drugs during the Democratic primary debates.

“There’s probably, possibly drugs involved, that’s what I hear. I don’t know how you can go from being so bad where you can’t even get out a sentence, I mean you saw some of those debates with the large number of people on the stage, he was, I used to say how is it possible that he can even go forward,” he said.

Trump made the comments on Fox News on Thursday, but they began to circulate on Friday after Vox journalist Aaron Rupar made one of his signature clips of the president’s most bombastic statements.

This vector of attack dates back to mid(ish)-August when the president began calling for drug tests ahead of the presidential debates.

In an Oval Office interview with Washington Examiner, Trump said there was “no way” the improvement in Biden’s performances during the primaries could have been natural.

“Frankly, his best performance was against Bernie. We're going to call for a drug test, by the way, because his best performance was against Bernie. It wasn't that he was Winston Churchill because he wasn't, but it was a normal, boring debate. You know, nothing amazing happened. And we are going to call for a drug test because there's no way — you can't do that," Trum said.

He continued that Biden was “close to incompetent” during the debates but was normal against Sanders.

"He didn't know where he was. And all of a sudden, he was not good, he was normal, and I don't understand how. I don't know if there is or not, but somebody said to me, 'He must be on drugs.' I don't know if that's true or not, but I'm asking for a drug test. Both candidates. Me, too. I take an aspirin a day."

The Trump campaign was quick to amplify the suggestion, posting a poll on Twitter that currently has 86 per cent of people saying Biden should take a drug test before debating Trump. That’s down two per cent from when the poll first posted.

Justin Vallejo11 September 2020 19:23

Trump announces Bahrain will establish diplomatic ties with Israel as president says it is 'interesting that it's on 9/11'

Donald Trump announced on Friday that Bahrain has indicated it intends to normalise relations with Israel, another significant step in the Middle East that comes after the president and his administration helped broker a similar pact between the United Arab Emirates and the Jewish state.

“This is a truly historic day. ... So interesting that it’s on 9/11,” Mr Trump told reporters in a previously unplanned Oval Office availability. “When I took office, the Middle East was in a state of absolute chaos.”

The Independent’s Washington Bureau Chief, John T Bennett, will have more on this story as it unfolds:

Trump announces Bahrain will establish diplomatic ties with Israel

The latest breaking news, comment and features from The Independent.

Justin Vallejo11 September 2020 18:37

Bahrain and Israel sign peace deal. More Nobel nominations inbound?

Fresh off his second Nobel Peace Prize nomination, Trump has been celebrating the peace deal signed between Israel and Bahrain – the second Arab country to establish diplomatic relations with Israel in the past month.

Justin Vallejo11 September 2020 18:30

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