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Trump news - live: President launches fresh attack on Parasite and Brad Pitt after defending Tulsi Gabbard at MAGA rally

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John T. Bennett,Joe Sommerlad,Alex Woodward
Friday 21 February 2020 22:38 GMT
Donald Trump launches fresh attack on Parasite at MAGA rally

Donald Trump has resumed his attack on Democratic 2020 candidate Michael Bloomberg on Twitter and posted a bizarre all-caps rant about bailing out America's farmers with federal funding.

The president unexpectedly lashed out at this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, the South Korean thriller Parasite, at his latest campaign rally in Colorado Springs on Thursday night, only for the movie’s US distributor Neon to mock him for not being able to read subtitles.

Trump also laid into Hollywood star Brad Pitt (“a little wise guy”), teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and Fox News - angered by negative coverage about him on Neil Cavuto’s show - otherwise stumbling over his words again and getting his conspiracy theories mixed up.

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

Joe Sommerlad21 February 2020 09:45

Trump mocks Parasite Oscar win and calls Brad Pitt 'little wise guy' at Colorado rally

Donald Trump has unexpectedly lashed out at the this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, the South Korean thriller Parasite, at his latest campaign rally in Colorado Springs, stating a suprise preference for Gone with the Wind and Sunset Boulevard (respect!) and calling Brad Pitt “a little wise guy” for speaking out against his administration at the awards ceremony earlier this month.

“How bad were the Academy Awards this year?” Trump asked the crowd, receiving a round of enthusiastic boos by way of an answer.

“The winner is a movie from South Korea, what the hell was that all about?” he continued. “We got enough problems with South Korea with trade and on top of it, they give them the best movie of the year.”

“Was it good? I don’t know. I’m looking for, like – can we get like Gone with the Wind back, please?” Trump continued to cheers from the presumably thousands of TCM viewers in the audience.

Neon, the studio that distributed Bong Joon-ho's film, has already responded to the president in withering style.

Here's Phil Thomas on an unexpected lurch into a film criticism from a man otherwise known to prefer Jean Claude Van Damme's Bloodsport - and to impatiently fast-forward through its dialogue scenes to get on with the punching.

He was also once apparently offered the chance to sit down for a screening of Steven Spielberg's The Post at the White House but opted for The Greatest Showman instead, which just says it all.

Joe Sommerlad21 February 2020 10:00

President lashes Fox News over negative coverage

In another garbled rally appearance peppered with crowd-pleasing digs at his rivals, Trump whipped up boos for teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and mocked Amy Klobuchar's debate performance in Nevada by saying she "choked" before miming throttling himself for almost half a minute.

Again mumbling simple words like "statistics", Trump fired out confused and often bewildering conspiracies, sensationalised local crime stories to stoke fears of "illegal aliens" carrying out crime sprees, resumed his assault on wind turbines, said Barack Obama should have been impeached and even criticised Abraham Lincoln's stovepipe hat, saying it was "too much".

Perhaps his most consistent line of attack was against the media, where he again took Fox News to task for having the temerity to feature a guest critical of him on Neal Cavuto's show, something he had already whined about on Twitter earlier in the day - attempting to pin the blame on former GOP House speaker Paul Ryan, now a Fox executive.

Andrew Naughtie has more below.

Joe Sommerlad21 February 2020 10:20

Rally crowd boos Greta Thunberg after president again gripes about her beating him to Time honour

Here's Clark Mindock on the president's attack on the 17-year-old Swedish environmental campaigner, who was named Time magazine's Person of the Year ahead of him in December - a defeat he CANNOT let go of.

Joe Sommerlad21 February 2020 10:40

Trump ridicules Amy Klobuchar over debate spat with Pete Buttigieg

One more from Colorado Springs.

Here's Clark again on the president's aforementioned attack on the Minnesota senator who fell out with rival Buttigieg (whom Trump again likened to Mad magazine posterboy Alfred E Neuman) on the debate stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday and - perhaps foolishly - asked him: "Are you saying I’m dumb?"

An open goal to the troll-in-chief.

Joe Sommerlad21 February 2020 11:00

Russia trying to seal president's re-election, Congress warned​

The House Intelligence Committee has meanwhile been warned that Russia is again plotting to sow the seeds of unrest in the United States and is attempting to subvert the 2020 presidential election in Trump’s favour.

Five panel members including chairman Adam Schiff were briefed on the subject by deputy director of national intelligence Shelby Pierson on 13 February, according to The New York Times, to the apparent fury of Trump, who fears his enemies will use it to discredit him.

I mean, sure. That might well be in their best interests.

Phil Thomas reports.

Joe Sommerlad21 February 2020 11:20

Trump tips loyalist Doug Collins as permanent director of national intelligence

As part of his Rolling Thunder post-aquittal revenge tour, the president announced on Twitter on Wednesday night that he would be replacing his current acting national intelligence director Joseph Maguire - who declined to block the initial whistleblower complaint about his imperfect call with Volodymyr Zelensky - with Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany.

Longer term, he is apparently consider Georgia peach and would-be senator Doug Collins for the role full-time after his stirling efforts defending Trump at any cost during the impeachment inquiry.

(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)

The president apparently revealed that Collins was in contention to be is first permanent replacement for Dan Coats to reporters aboard Air Force One where he was travelling to Colorado in the company of guest Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Because that is the world we live in now. White duly addressed the crowd at Colorado Springs last night.

Here's Conrad Duncan on Grenell, who may just be keeping a seat warm for Collins.

Joe Sommerlad21 February 2020 11:40

Roger Stone given 40 months in jail as Trump backs away from pardon

Republican "dirty trickster" and Adam West Batman antagonist Roger Stone was finally sentenced to three years and four months behind bars yesterday for lying to Congress and intimidating a witness, charges arising from the Mueller investigation and his attempt to get his immaculately-gloved paws on Democratic National Committee emails hacked by Russia in 2016 in the hope of discrediting Hillary Clinton.

Trump has teased the idea of pardoning Stone - and provoked a major furoure about the politicisation of the Justice Department under attorney general William Barr - but yesterday appeared to back away from the idea, for now, saying: "I'm following this very closely and I want to see it play out to its fullest because Roger has a very good chance of exoneration in my opinion."

John T Bennett has this report.

Joe Sommerlad21 February 2020 12:00

James Comey serves up Mariah Carey meme to ridicule Trump

Trump was STILL tweeting about the Stone case yesterday, despite Barr complaining it makes it hard for him to do his job, and got this delightful response from former FBI director James Comey, following a path trodden by Hillary and Joe Biden in the past. 

Here's Greg Evans for Indy100.

Joe Sommerlad21 February 2020 12:20

Resurgent Elizabeth Warren unveils draft contract to release Michael Bloomberg's employees from NDA agreements

Fresh from murdering Michael Bloomberg on the debate stage in Vegas on Wednesday, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren appeared on a CNN town hall with Erin Burnett last night to present a draft contract agreement she had drawn up for the former New York mayor to sign that would liberate his female employees from the non-disclosure agreements they signed, allowing them to speak out about his miscounduct.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Warren has admitted that Wednesday night - which broke viewership records - was "a lot of fun".

Here's Andrew Naughtie.


Joe Sommerlad21 February 2020 12:40

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