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Trump news – live: Ex-president shrugs off potential 2024 challenge from Mike Pence

‘Any of my fellow Republicans wanna speak out now’

Trump is writing a book on how presidency was stolen from him

Donald Trump has laughed off the news that Mike Pence might run for president in 2024, shrugging that he “wouldn’t be concerned with that” even as his former deputy stumps for a rival candidate in Georgia.

Mr Pence has kept his public appearances mostly low-key since the end of the Trump administration, but has lately increased his presence on the campaign trail while insisting he was right not to try and overthrow Joe Biden’s victory on 6 January 2021.

Meanwhile, Kellyanne Conway, one of Donald Trump’s longest-standing political confidants and White House aides, has revealed that the ex-president offered her a blanket pardon after the 2020 election.

In her new memoir Here’s the Deal, Ms Conway writes that she asked the president why he thought she needed a pardon at all.

“Because they go after everyone, honey. It doesn’t matter,” Mr Trump allegedly said. Ms Conway claims she “politely declined” the offer.

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Trump considered dropping out of 2016 race after locker room tape emerged, says Kellyanne Conway

Donald Trump considered dropping out of the 2016 presidential race after the leak of the notorious Access Hollywood tape, according to former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway’s new memoir.

On the tape, which was released just days before Americans went to the polls, the one-term president was heard boasting about his behaviour towards women.

In a 2005 conversation his TV host Billy Bush, Mr Trump was caught on tape bragging about grabbing women “by the p****, kissing women before they could stop him, and “moving on” a married woman “like a b****.”

Ms Conway writes in Here’s The Deal that Mr Trump was concerned that the Republican Party “could force him off the ticket or hold a vote to expel him”, according to an excerpt obtained by Daily Beast.

Graeme Massie reports.

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Filing says Trump handwrote notes about overturning 2020 election

Ahead of the 6 January select committee’s hearings about the Capitol riot, a new court filing from lawyer John Eastman has revealed that Donald Trump handwrote notes about strategies to overturn the 2020 election.

Mr Eastman is trying to shield hundreds of documents from the panel’s investigation, claiming they fall under attorney-client privilege. Among those he is withholding are emailed copies of handwritten notes from the then-president “about information that he thought might be useful for the anticipated litigation” over the result.

In a 50-page brief filed last Thursday, Mr Eastman claims to have communicated with Mr Trump through “six conduits to or agents of the former president,” and argued that his communications with those individuals should also be shielded because their involvement was “necessary” to facilitate his contact with the then-chief executive.

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Michigan election official claims Trump called for her execution

Michigan’s top election official has claimed Donald Trump called for to be arrested for treason and “executed” after she refused to overturn his 2020 loss to Joe Biden.

Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat who is Michigan’s state secretary, said she was told about the one-term president’s remarks from a source familiar with the White House meeting she alleges it was said in.

“It was surreal and I felt sad,” Ms Benson told NBC News.

“It certainly amplified the heightened sense of anxiety, stress and uncertainty of that time — which I still feel in many ways, because it showed there was no bottom to how far he [Trump] and his supporters were willing to stoop to overturn or discredit a legitimate election.”

Graeme Massie has more.

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Ellison plotted with Trump aides on call about overturning election

Larry Ellison, the billionaire chairman of tech giant Oracle, was reportedly involved in a phone call that focused on the Trump campaign’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election’s legitimate results.

The call took place on 14 November 2020, less than a week after Election Day resulted in Mr Trump’s stunning defeat in previous GOP strongholds like Arizona and Georgia, The Washington Post reported.

Others on the call included Jay Sekulow, an attorney for the White House, as well as Fox News’s Sean Hannity and Sen Lindsey Graham.

Mr Ellison has never commented publicly about the 2020 election’s legitimacy, but is known to be a supporter of Donald Trump and has previously fundraised for the one-term Republican president.

John Bowden reports.

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Trump responds to claim Clinton approved leak of Russia allegations

Former president Donald Trump was furious after Hillary Clinton’s former campaign manager admitted in federal court on Friday that the Clinton campaign, authorised by the candidate herself, was responsible for leaking a story to journalists about the possibility of connections between him and a Russian bank.

Ms Clinton’s ex-top deputy, Robby Mook, was testifying in the trial of Michael Sussman, a former lawyer for the Clinton campaign now indicted for lying to the FBI as part of special counsel John Durham’s probe into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.

Mr Mook’s testimony on Friday concerned the publication of an article in Slate on 31 October 2016, just days before voters headed to the polls and elected Donald Trump.

“This is one of the greatest political scandals in history,” said the former president in an interview with Fox News. “For three years, I had to fight her off, and fight those crooked people off, and you’ll never get your reputation fully back.”

“Where do I get my reputation back?” he questioned, complaining: “[I]f we had real leadership, instead of people like Mitch McConnell, they would do something about it. And guys like Bill Barr. They would have done something about it.”

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Rudy Giuliani meets with 6 January committee for over nine hours

Rudy Giuliani, who took the lead in Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election in his capacity as the former president’s onetime personal attorney, has met with the congressional committee investigating the Capitol riot.

On Friday, Mr Giuliani appeared for a lengthy nine-hour-long interview with the House select committee investigating the 6 January 2021 attack on Congress as lawmakers met to certify election results.

The interview was confirmed by two sources and comes after Mr Giuliani backed out of a previously scheduled appearance, CNN reported.

Oliver O’Connell has more.

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Is Trump to blame for the baby formula shortage?

As Joe Biden and the Democratic Party’s majorities in the House and Senate continue to face heat over rising consumer prices and a sudden shortage of baby formula triggered by plant shutdown and recall centred in Michigan, some liberals are focusing their fire on another target: Donald Trump.

Infant formula in the US is dominated by domestic manufacturers; foreign manufacturers make up only a few percentage points of the total US market share for baby formula, largely due to strict Food and Drug Administration standards for both content and labelling that restricts many European companies from the market.

The former president is facing criticism from some left-leaning figures on Twitter due to a trade agreement, the 2020 United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which established new trading rules for business and trade across North America and placed heavy restrictions on Canada’s dairy sector, long a target of criticism on the US conservative right due to its government-imposed price and import controls.

John Bowden reports.

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Trump pays $110,000 fine after being held in contempt

Former president Donald Trump has paid the $110,000 fine he was hit with after being held in contempt by a New York judge for failing to turn over documents to investigators.

The former president was held in contempt on 25 April after failing to comply with a subpoena that he hand over papers to investigators carrying out a civil financial investigation for the office of New York’s attorney general Letitia James.

The documents are related to Mr Trump’s personal finances and the financing of several of his namesake company’s properties.

Judge Arthur Engoron fined Mr Trump $10,000 a day until 6 May, and agreed several days later to lift the contempt order if the fine was paid and additional affidavits in the case were filed by Friday.

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Is Mo Brooks bouncing back from Trump’s un-endorsement?

Alabama congressman and Senate candidate Mo Brooks was sinking in the GOP primary polls even before Donald Trump dropped him, a choice the president chalked up to Mr Brooks’ call for supporters to “move on” from talking constantly about the 2020 election and focus on winning in the future. However, Mr Brooks has benefited from ample outside ad spending, as well as high name recognition, to stay in the race, and he now appears to be rising again in the polls.

Alongside the big-spending Club for Growth, which has poured millions of dollars into supporting him, Mr Brooks has attracted support from other right-wing heavy hitters like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Ted Cruz, who will be campaigning for him in Alabama today.

If Mr Brooks wins, it will prove again that Mr Trump’s favour does not perfectly track candidates’ performance – though the fact that Mr Brooks has still campaigned with pictures of himself speaking at the White House on 6 January 2021 indicates that catering to the Trump base is still very much his method.

The primary vote is tomorrow. Read more about the race below.

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Georgia gubernatorial candidate suggests firing squads for traitors

Georgia’s gubernatorial primary tomorrow looks to have been locked up by incumbent Brian Kemp, who has been largely untroubled by a primary challenge from Donald Trump’s preferred candidate, former senator David Perdue. But the two men aren’t the only Republicans in the field.

Running alongside them (and far behind in the polls) is Kandiss Taylor, a far-right candidate who this weekend suggested executing sheriffs by firing squad if they failed to do the people’s will. As extremism expert Mark Pitcavage notes, that idea (which revolves around a false claim about the constitution) has deep roots in hardcore far-right anti-government movements.

Ms Taylor, who has the endorsement of unhinged Trump backer Mike Lindell, also insisted that separation of church and state – a core founding principle of the American republic – was an aberrant idea, declaring to her supporters that “the church runs the state of Georgia”.

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