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As it happenedended1555453209

Trump news: President 'doesn't regret' tweeting 9/11 video about Ilhan Omar, as first 2020 Republican challenger emerges

President also pledges his support to the people of France

Sarah Harvard
New York
,Ben Kelly,Chelsea Ritschel
Tuesday 16 April 2019 17:09 BST
Michelle Obama compares Donald Trump to 'divorced dad' in O2 Arena

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President Trump has pledged his support to the people of France after the iconic Notre Dame cathedral suffered a devastating fire last night. On Twitter, the president noted it was “horrible” to watch the scenes from Paris, and suggested “flying water tankers could be used to put it out.” It was confirmed this morning that the fire had been entirely extinguished.

The White House said it will offer France “assistance in the rehabilitation of this irreplaceable symbol of Western civilization.”

“The United States stands with French citizens, the city of Paris, and the millions of visitors from around the world who have sought solace in that iconic structure,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Closer to home, Trump is also facing his first Republican challenger for the 2020 presidential election in the form of Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, although is it deemed unlikely that anyone will seize the party’s nomination from the incumbent.

“I really think if we have six more years of the same stuff we’ve had out of the White House the last two years that would be a political tragedy, and I would fear for the Republic,” Mr Weld told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday. “I would be ashamed of myself if I didn’t raise my hand and run.

It was also announced late yesterday that the Mueller report into Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election, and any links to the Trump campaign, would be released in a redacted form to the public this Thursday.

The president also defended his attack on Rep. Ilhan Omar despite an onslaught of death threats the Muslim congresswoman received recently.

In an interview with a local news station in Minnesota, Mr Trump continued to disparage Ms Omar. “It’s unfortunate,” he said. “She’s got a way about her that’s very, very bad, I think, for our country. I think she’s extremely unpatriotic and extremely disrespectful to our country.”

Read The Independent’s updates as they happened below.

Please allow a moment for the liveblog to load


Hello and welcome to The Independent's rolling coverage of the latest news coming from the Trump administration today.

ben.kelly16 April 2019 09:43

President Trump has been tweeting about the fire which devastated much of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris overnight.

As the fire was raging, Trump took to Twitter to say it was "horrible" to watch what was happening, and suggested water tankers should be used to put it out.

Later in the evening, Trump simply wrote, "God bless the people of France!"

It it not yet known what caused the fire to start, but it was fully extinguished by 9am UK time on Tuesday. The iconic cathedral, which is some 800 years old, is visited by 12 million people every year. You can follow our live blog on developments as France deals with the aftermath of the fire this morning.

ben.kelly16 April 2019 09:48

President Trump is facing his first challenger from within his own Republican party, for the nomination for the 2020 presidential election.

In a statement, Weld said, "Ours is a nation built on courage, resilience, and independence. In these times of great political strife, when both major parties are entrenched in their 'win at all cost' battles, the voices of the American people are being ignored and our nation is suffering.

"It is time for patriotic men and women across our great nation to stand and plant a flag. It is time to return to the principles of Lincoln -- equality, dignity, and opportunity for all. There is no greater cause on earth than to preserve what truly makes America great. I am ready to lead that fight."

ben.kelly16 April 2019 09:51

Bernie Sanders' tax returns reveal that the senator is a millionaire, and part of America's '1 per cent'.

The veteran socialist politician, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election, released 10 years of his tax returns yesterday.

They confirmed that Mr Sanders' income crossed the $1m (£764,000) threshold in 2016 and 2017, although he reported less earnings in his most recent return.

Releasing tax returns has become an expected, but not official move for presidential candidates. Most notably, Donald Trump has never revealed his own.

ben.kelly16 April 2019 10:38

Speaking to an audience at LSE in London, the speaker of the house said that the Northern Ireland peace treaty could not be "bargained away in another agreement."

This warning stands in contrast to the line adopted by President Trump, who has in the past expressed enthusiasm for a post-Brexit trade deal.

ben.kelly16 April 2019 12:05

Speaking at an event in Minnesota last night, President Trump noted that the Notre Dame fire may have been caused by renovations, asking: "What's that all about?"

Describing the incident in Paris, the president said: "It's a terrible scene. They think it was caused by - at this moment they don't know - but they think it was caused by renovation. And I hope that's the reason. Renovation, you know, what's that all about? But it's a terrible sight to behold."

ben.kelly16 April 2019 13:04

The president took to Twitter today to slam the special counsel investigation that looked into the Trump campaign and possible collusion with Russia. He referred to it as the "greatest scam in political history."

Sarah Harvard16 April 2019 14:35

Mr Trump continues to layer on his attacks on Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar despite the death threats aimed at the congresswoman.

Speaking to a local news station in Minnesota, the president said Ms Omar, a black Muslim Somali refugee, "got a way about her that's very, very bad for our country."

"She's been very disrespectful to this country," he added. She's been very disrespectful, frankly, to Israel. She is somebody that doesn't really understand life, real life. What it's all about."

Sarah Harvard16 April 2019 14:45
Sarah Harvard16 April 2019 15:00

Republicans celebrated Cher for posting a tweet that echoes similar sentiments of their own towards refugees and migrants in response to President Trump threatening to send migrants to sanctuary cities.

"I Understand Helping struggling Immigrants,but MY CITY (Los Angeles) ISNT TAKING CARE OF ITS OWN," the singer wrote on a post Sunday. “If My State Can’t Take Care of Its Own(Many Are VETS)How Can it Take Care Of More."

Conservatives, like Ben Shapiro, went as far to claim that Mr Trump made his vocal critic a Republican.

Sarah Harvard16 April 2019 15:15

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