Trump says he took cognitive test because people kept calling him stupid

A member of the Oath Keepers militia group has pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy in relation to the 6 January riot – and with the plea deal sealed, it has emerged that he was present when the militia’s leader tried to contact Donald Trump after the Capitol riot had ended.

According to court documents filed in the case of William Todd Wilson, who is now co-operating with the government, leader Stewart Rhodes called “an individual” on speaker phone after leaving the Capitol grounds and implored this person “to tell President Trump to call upon groups like the Oath Keepers to forcibly oppose the transfer of power”. However, the unidentified person on the other end of the line apparently refused to put Mr Trump on the phone.

The news comes after Mr Trump’s oldest son, Donald Jr, voluntarily testified to the select committee investigating the insurrection. In a session conducted without a subpoena, the president’s oldest child reportedly answered questions without pleading the Fifth Amendment.

The committee is still considering whether and how to request testimony from the former president himself as it tries to piece together his movements and communications on the day of the riot.


What JD Vance said about Trump

The story of Ohio primary victor JD Vance’s conversion from Trump critic to Trump endorsee is being told in great detail across the internet today, but perhaps the best way to gauge how big the transformation is is to read the now-candidate’s own words from 2016.

Writing in The Atlantic, which he has lately been denigrating, Mr Vance explained Mr Trump’s rise with a riff on his thesis that white working-class “Scots-Irish” Americans were to blame for their own drug addictions:

Folks back home speak of heroin like an apocalyptic invader, something that assailed the town mysteriously and without warning. Yet the truth is that heroin crept slowly into Middletown’s families and communities—not by invasion but by invitation…

During this election season, it appears that many Americans have reached for a new pain reliever. It too, promises a quick escape from life’s cares, an easy solution to the mounting social problems of U.S. communities and culture. It demands nothing and requires little more than a modest presence and maybe a few enablers. It enters minds, not through lungs or veins, but through eyes and ears, and its name is Donald Trump.

JD Vance and Donald Trump at a rally just before the Ohio Senate primary

(Getty Images)

Andrew Naughtie4 May 2022 12:59


Trump blasts out another Letitia James rant

The Trump legal team yesterday failed to convince a New York judge to halt a $10,000 daily fine imposed while the ex-president’s business fails to comply with a subpoena from the state’s attorney general, Letitia James.

As usual when he is confronted with such setbacks, Donald Trump responded to the news with a livid statement decrying Ms James as a “racist” and accusing her of “harassment”.

Andrew Naughtie4 May 2022 12:30


Mike Huckabee hawks “Kids Guide to President Trump”

Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who twice ran for president, appeared in an ad on Fox News last night to promote a new book meant to give children an upbeat primer on Donald Trump and his presidency.

“Schools and the media don’t want you to hear anything positive,” he said in the spot, “And that’s why my team created The Kids Guide to President Trump. It’ll teach your kids all about President Trump’s accomplishments and his vision for America. And I want you to have it for free.”

The ad has been widely derided for its cult-like feel.

The Kids Guide is the latest contribution to a bibliography of pro-Trump literature that also includes a $20 coloring book – one that comprises a mere 16 single-sided pages.

Andrew Naughtie4 May 2022 12:01


Other Ohio candidates back Vance

JD Vance rocketed to the top of the Ohio Senate primary field after Donald Trump backed him, much to the chagrin of less extreme candidates – but two of the other Republicans in the field, Jane Timken and Matt Dolan, have already thrown their weight behind him.

Andrew Naughtie4 May 2022 11:30


Flashback: Hillbilly Elegy’s disastrous big-screen adaptation

JD Vance’s memoir of Appalachian misery, Hillbilly Elegy, was hailed on both sides of the mainstream political spectrum when it was published in 2016, and its stock surged after Donald Trump’s win as people sought to explain why white working-class voters had deserted the Democrats in many parts of the country.

But as the Trump years wore on and onetime critics like Mr Vance started to embrace the president they once claimed to loathe, many lost patience with the book’s thesis of self-induced decline. And by the time the movie adaptation of the book dropped in 2020, the appeal had gone – something that Clarisse Loughrey’s review for The Independent conveyed in the bluntest terms.

Vance’s writing is raw, vulnerable, and intrinsically empathetic. But his politics are deceptive – using “we” as a way to speak on behalf of all Appalachians, he declares that his people’s poverty is largely self-determined. If only the young men of his community didn’t shrug off hard work. If only the women didn’t waste their money and neglect their children. He spares no thought to mass unemployment, the collapse of government support, or the lack of healthcare. “These problems were not created by governments or corporations or anyone else,” he writes. “We created them, only we can fix them.” There is only dead land here, without hope of rescue…. [Director Ron] Howard’s adaptation has done nothing to combat the central ethos that made Vance’s work so damaging – the idea that the solution to poverty is for everyone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get to work. His film pivots on the half-hearted notion that “where we come from is who we are, but we choose every day who we become”, and that what separates Vance’s fate from his mother’s is purely down to personal choice. That’s a narrative that belongs to a writer who refuses to admit his larger place in the world – and a filmmaker who thinks that a positive outlook alone can fix the world.

Read her full one-star review below.

Andrew Naughtie4 May 2022 11:00


“What a joke”: Tim Ryan ready for his Ohio rival

Democratic Senate nominee Tim Ryan had already prepared his anti-Vance attack ad, foregrounding the Republican candidate’s increasingly bilious rhetoric about the state of America.

Watch his opening volley below:

Andrew Naughtie4 May 2022 10:31


Poll finds over half of Americans want Trump to face criminal charges over Jan 6

A little over half of Americans believe that former president Donald Trump should face criminal charges for encouraging the 6 January Capitol riot, according to a new poll.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 52 per cent of Americans, a narrow majority, want to see the twice-impeached president criminally charged, while just 42 per cent say that he should not be charged with a crime.

Abe Asher has more details on the poll here:

Stuti Mishra4 May 2022 10:00


Kinzinger unsurprised Trump ‘wanted protesters shot in the legs’

ICYMI: A new book by Donald Trump’s former secretary of defense Mark Esper confirms earlier reports that in 2020, the president was so incensed by Black Lives Matter protesters outside the White House that he suggested calling in the military to shoot them, if only in the legs.

The ex-president’s critics are not surprised.

Stuti Mishra4 May 2022 09:15


How Trump passed the test as kingmaker in Ohio

The primary elections in Ohio and Indiana on Tuesday stood as the first real test of former president Donald Trump’s status as the Republican Party kingmaker — and he passed.

Here are the key takeaways from the races:

Stuti Mishra4 May 2022 08:30


Right-wingers crediting Trump for the end of Roe

ICYMI: The draft Supreme Court opinion leaked last night is not necessarily the final version of the court’s decision, and nor has the vote on that decision been made clear – but many right-wing Republicans are already taking it for granted that Roe v Wade is dead, and that Donald Trump deserves the credit for appointing the jusitices who’ve buried it.

Read more below from Bevan Hurley.

Stuti Mishra4 May 2022 07:45

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