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Trump news - live: Ex-president mocks Biden for 14th row seating at Queen’s funeral

Donald Trump, who was not invited to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral service in Windsor Castle, took a dig at Joe Biden mocking the president’s 14th-row seating assignment.

“This is what’s happened to America in just two short years. No respect!” the former president wrote on Truth Social on Monday.

He added: “In real estate, like in politics and in life, location is everything!”

This comes after Mr Biden, over the weekend, said that the FBI’s discovery of top-secret documents at Mar-a-Lago in August raised concerns that sensitive data was compromised by Mr Trump holding onto hundreds of documents, and called it “irresponsible”.

Mr Trump also lambasted FBI agents for allegedly walking on his bedroom carpet at Mar-a-Lago with their shoes on last month as he returned to his estate in Southern Florida.

The former president also attacked the federal bureau for leaving the scene in a way that meant his Florida home “will never be the same” again, as Axios revealed why his lawyers had chosen Raymond Dearie, a rumoured FBI “skeptic”, as special master in the case brought by the Justice Department against him.

Key points

  • Bedroom carpets at Mar-a-Lago ruined by FBI, Trump claims

  • Former president’s lawyers wanted FBI ‘skeptic’ as special master, report alleges

  • Biden attending funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London

  • Classified documents at Mar-a-Lago raise concerns, Biden says

  • Trump under fire for QAnon display at Ohio rally

Biden warns US democracy threatened, but how can he save it?

05:30 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden is finding it’s easier to call out attacks on democracy than it is to stop them.

His fundamental rationale for running for president was that America’s democratic traditions were in jeopardy. Now, 20 months into his presidency, the dangers are worse, Biden’s warnings are more dire -- and the limits of his own ability to fix the problem are clearer.

Biden warns US democracy threatened, but how can he save it?

Trump mocks Biden for 14th row seating at Queen’s funeral

04:50 , Arpan Rai

Donald Trump mocked Joe Biden on Monday for his 14th-row seating assignment at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral service in Windsor Castle.

“This is what’s happened to America in just two short years. No respect!” the former president wrote on Truth Social on Monday. “However, a good time for our President to get to know the leaders of certain Third World countries.”

“In Real Estate, like in Politics and in Life, LOCATION IS EVERYTHING,” Mr Trump added.

President Biden and First Lady Dr Jill Biden arrived in London over the weekend to pay their respects during the Queen’s memorials.

Read the full story here:

Trump mocks Biden for 14th row seating at Queen’s funeral: ‘Location is everything’

Republican senators want special status for Hunter Biden prosecutor

04:25 , Arpan Rai

A large group of Republican senators have asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to grant “special counsel” status to the Delaware federal prosecutor who has been overseeing a long-running investigation into President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

In a letter signed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Texas Senator John Cornyn and more than 30 other GOP members, the senators asked Mr Garland to name Delaware US Attorney David Weiss as a special counsel, a status normally reserved for prosecutors brought in from outside the Department of Justice to investigate matters involving an incumbent administration.

Read the full story here:

Republican senators want special status for Hunter Biden prosecutor

Trump compares JD Vance to Kim Jong-un in bizarre rally speech

04:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump gave a rambling speech to an under-capacity crowd of 6,000 people in Ohio’s Youngstown on Saturday, during which he dished out a series of humiliating jibes to mock venture capitalist JD Vance, his own pick for the state’s tight US Senate race.

The former president compared the Republican candidate to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at one point and said “JD is kissing my a**” now for support.

Trump compares his own Senate candidate to Kim Jong-un in bizarre rally speech

ICYMI: Marjorie Taylor Greene threatens to defund Education Department

03:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Marjorie Taylor Greene has threatened to “defund” the Department of Education to prevent teachers from “brainwashing” American children.

The right-wing lawmaker from Georgia made the bizarre threat as she warmed up the crowd at the Donald Trump rally in Youngstown, Ohio, on Saturday night.

Marjorie Taylor Greene threatens to defund Education Department

Ted Cruz forced to admit trafficking migrants to Martha’s Vineyard is illegal

02:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Ted Cruz was forced to admit by Sean Hannity that the transportation of undocumented migrants from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard by Ron DeSantis was likely illegal.

The Florida governor has been widely criticised for flying two planeloads of Venezuelans to the upscale island, where Barack Obama has a $12m home, as part of a Republican immigration publicity stunt.

Mr Cruz, a US Senator from Texas, cast doubt on the legality of the move when he appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show.

Ted Cruz forced to admit trafficking migrants to Martha’s Vineyard is illegal

Arizona GOP returns to far-right roots

01:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Simmering discontent among a segment of Arizona Republicans over John McCain‘s famous penchant for bucking his party boiled over in the winter of 2014 with the censure of the longtime U.S. senator.

McCain’s allies responded with an all-out push to reassert control over the Arizona Republican Party. Censure proponents were ousted or diminished, and McCain went on to defeat his far-right challenger in a blowout during the 2016 primary.

Less than a decade later, the right wing forces that McCain marginalized within the Arizona GOP are now in full control, with profound implications for one of the nation’s most closely matched battlegrounds. Arizona Republicans have traded McCain for Donald Trump.

Once McCain's party, Arizona GOP returns to far-right roots

Greg Abbott’s lead over Beto O’Rourke stretches to nine points in new poll

Tuesday 20 September 2022 00:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Republican incumbent Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s lead over Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke has stretched to nine points, according to a new poll.

Exactly 50 days before voters across the country cast ballots in the 2022 midterms election, a poll suggests that one of the most closely-watched races is becoming less competitive and that the gap between the candidates is getting bigger.

Andrew Buncombe reports.

Texas Gov Greg Abbott’s lead over Beto O’Rourke stretches to nine points in new poll

From Truman to Biden: The Queen’s relationship with each US President

Monday 19 September 2022 23:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Over her 70 years as monarch, Queen Elizabeth II met every sitting US president, with the notable exception of President Lyndon Johnson.

Even before she ascended to the throne, she met President Harry Truman when she was heir and also met President Herbert Hoover when she was monarch, 20 years after he had left office.

Against the backdrop of the Cold War, the economic crises, societal changes, scientific breakthroughs, and military campaigns that have shaped the bond between the US and the UK, the Queen has been a constant and friendly soft power figure that was an important part of the special relationship.

Here are some of the notable moments of her meetings with US presidents.

The Queen’s relationship with each US president during her 70-year reign

Trump under fire for QAnon display at Ohio rally

Monday 19 September 2022 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has come under fire for his descent into the QAnon conspiracy theory movement during his Youngstown, Ohio rally in support of Republican Senate candidate JD Vance.

“This is the week when Trump became Qanon. This isn’t a political statement; it just is, however disturbing. Week began with images of Trump on Truth Social wearing a Q pin and promoting their slogans; it ends with Q music and the Q ‘one’ sign by crowd at his rally,” CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem tweeted on Saturday.

Read more:

Trump under fire for QAnon display at Ohio rally: ‘He has gone completely insane’

JD Vance’s dangerous assumption about the Ohio electorate

Monday 19 September 2022 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Ohio’s Senate race is anyone’s game, but the two men running to claim the seat have starkly different ideas about how to win.

That was evident on Saturday evening in Youngstown, where Republican candidate and Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance once again sought the “Trump bump” and faced a crowd of thousands clad in Maga hats and “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirts.

John Bowden attended the Save America rally and filed this report:

Republican JD Vance’s dangerous assumption about the Ohio electorate

Poll: Trump approval rating sinks to lowest level in more than a year

Monday 19 September 2022 21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A new NBC News poll shows that voters are evenly split about whether they want Democrats or Republicans to control Congress while President Joe Biden’s approval rating inched up and former president Donald Trump’s took a dip.

Republican consulting firm Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates surveyed 1,000 registered voters between 9 September and 13 September. The poll had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Eric Garcia has the details.

Trump approval rating sinks to lowest level in more than a year, poll shows

Senior GOP official in Arizona warns of Trump attempts to steal future elections

Monday 19 September 2022 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A Republican whose career in the Arizona state legislature will end after he defied Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election agrees that the efforts of Maga Republicans to seize control of voting systems and the power to declare election results invalid are “fascism”.

John Bowden has the story.

Senior GOP official in Arizona warns of Trump attempts to steal future elections

Trump bizarrely blames Biden for close of ‘Phantom of the Opera'

Monday 19 September 2022 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump interrupted a string of politically themed posts on his social media website to blame the Biden administration for the closure of the longest-running musical in Broadway history.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Trump bizarrely tries to pin ‘Phantom of the Opera’ closure on Biden administration

Trump claims CNN changed background to Biden speech ‘to make it look better’

Monday 19 September 2022 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden from red to pink “to make it look better” during a bizarre rally speech in Ohio.

“I watched Biden the other day,” he said before claiming CNN changed the lighting on Mr Biden’s 1 September speech in which he shared his worries for US democracy against a deep red background. Mr Trump claimed the broadcaster – a frequent target of his over the years – had changed the background from red to pink “to make it look better”.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Trump claims CNN changed background to Biden speech ‘to make it look better’

Protester removed from Trump’s Ohio rally for waving banner blaming him for factory closure

Monday 19 September 2022 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A man was walked out of Donald Trump’s rally in Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday after unfurling a banner that blamed the former president for the closure of a major manufacturing centre.

Chucky Dennison told The Independent in an interview before the event that a personal connection drove him to the rally on Saturday.

John Bowden reported from the event.

Protester expelled from Trump’s Ohio rally after waving banner

Trump remains quiet about Queen’s funeral

Monday 19 September 2022 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump has spent the past twelve hours on Truth Social railing against electric cars, the FBI, “fake news” and patting himself on the back after a recent rally, but Queen Elizabeth’s funeral apparently isn’t on his mind.

As of Monday afternoon, Mr Trump hasn’t made any mention of the queen’s funeral. While there is no obligation for him to do so, staying quiet is unusual as he is a former head of state.

Graig Graziosi reports.

Trump remains quiet about Queen’s funeral after failing to get invited

Trump: Death penalty for drug dealers and human traffickers ‘very humane’

Monday 19 September 2022 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump said that the death penalty for drug dealers and human traffickers is “very humane” during a speech in Youngstown, Ohio.

Speaking on Saturday, the former president said that “much of the crime wave is caused by drug dealers who during the course of their lives, will kill an average of 500 American citizens not to mention the destruction of millions of American families who are so devastated by drugs”.

Read more:

Trump says death penalty for drug dealers and human traffickers is ‘very humane’

Poll: Trump’s popularity sinks to new low

Monday 19 September 2022 18:12 , Oliver O'Connell

A new national NBC News poll finds that while President Joe Biden’s popularity has grown, Donald Trump’s favorability has ticked down to one of the lowest levels of his post-presidency.

According to the poll, 34 per cent have a positive view of the former president, versus 54 per cent who have a negative view (-20).

Mr Trump’s net score is down slightly from August (when it was 36 per cent positive, 54 per cent negative) and May (36 per cent positive, 51 per cent negative), and is at its lowest since April 2021 (32 per cent positive, 55 per cent negative).

By comparison, Mr Biden’s favorability score in the new poll is 42 per cent positive, 47 per cent negative (-5).

Trump claims he invented the word ‘caravans’

Monday 19 September 2022 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump claimed that he invented the word “caravans” to describe groups of migrants as he dubbed them “murderers and rapers” in a rally speech in Ohio.

The former president appeared to recount a previous conversation, saying that “you won’t take these horrible convicts and other people that you released into our country illegally and you put them in caravans”.

“I came up with that term by the way,” Mr Trump claimed. “That was my term and fake news and lots of other terms we came up with.”

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Trump claims he invented the word ‘caravans’ to describe groups of migrants

Trump rages that Ron DeSantis’s Martha’s Vineyard stunt was his ‘idea’

Monday 19 September 2022 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is privately raging at fellow Republican Ron DeSantis over the governor’s decision to authorise flights carrying roughly 50 migrants last week from the southern border to Martha’s Vineyard, Rolling Stone reported.

The Florida governor patted himself on the back over the weekend while delivering a speech in Wisconsin to stump for GOP candidates, announcing that he intended to tap “every penny” from the $12m “Freedom First” budget allocated to the Florida Department of Transportation’s efforts to “transport unauthorised aliens.”

Joanna Chisholm reports.

Trump rages that DeSantis’s Martha’s Vineyard stunt was his ‘idea’

Monday 19 September 2022 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s supporters raised their fingers in a bizarre straight-arm salute as the former president spoke at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio to boost Republican Senate nominee JD Vance.

As dramatic music played in the background, Mr Trump delved further into the depths of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

What’s behind Trump fans’ ‘weird’ one-finger salute at rally

Biden flies out of London two hours after end of Queen’s funeral

Monday 19 September 2022 16:38 , Oliver O'Connell

President Joe Biden departed London’s Stansted Airport en route to Washington, just hours after he joined myriad heads of state and government at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Mr Biden, accompanied first lady Jill Biden, boarded Air Force One for the flight to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, with the president’s plane taking off at 9.30 am ET (2.30 pm local time) on Monday. His departure from London came roughly two and a half hours after the end of the late Queen’s funeral service.

Joe Biden flies out of London two hours after end of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral

Trump gives bizarre, rambling response to Jon Voight in Newsmax interview

Monday 19 September 2022 16:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump gave a rambling response to Jon Voight in an interview on Newsmax.

“We love the country, the country’s in trouble, it’s got to be solved fairly quickly,” he told the former Hollywood actor. “There is no choice but to solve the problem, but it’s a big problem, it’s a big problem... and I hope it continues forward and we love Israel and we hope everything’s going to be OK.”

“A lot of good moves have to be made or it’s not going to be OK. We say god bless you and good luck,” the former president said.

Voight closed out the interview grovelling that he hoped the interview was worthy of Mr Trump.

Trump thanks supporters for Florida greeting

Monday 19 September 2022 15:50 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump thanked his supporters for greeting him in Florida on Sunday night as he made his return to his Mar-a-Lago home for the first time since the FBI search of the property for classified files.

He wrote on Truth Social: “Thank you to all of the many people who greeted me last night on my way from the Airport to Mar-a-Lago. I will never forget the great people of this Country. MAGA!!!”

Biden in London for Queen’s funeral

Monday 19 September 2022 15:10 , Gino Spocchia

After Joe Biden appeared in an CBS 60 Minutes interview calling his predecessor “totally irresponsible” for the handling of classified documents taken to Mar-a-Lago, the US President was in London on Monday attending the funeral of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

Mr Trump was not invited to the service, but could appear at a remembrance event in DC on Wednesday after a reported invitation from the British embassy. That remains to be seen however.

Furvah Shah reports:

Biden joins world leaders at Westminster Abbey for Queen’s state funeral

JD Vance gets lukewarm reception from rallygoers

Monday 19 September 2022 14:30 , Gino Spocchia

On Saturday, the majority of rally attendees who spoke to The Independent expressed significant enthusiasm for Mr Trump’s widely-expected 2024 presidential run, while precious few said they felt a similar ardour for Republican senate nominee JD Vance.

The event has since come under attacked for Mr Trump’s apparent embrace of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which has widely been associated with the far right and his supporters – as well as the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Read more:

Trump claims his supporters are threatened with jail for refusing to denounce him

Trump lawyers believe special master a FBI ‘skeptic’, report says

Monday 19 September 2022 13:50 , Gino Spocchia

Judge Raymond Dearie’s time on the the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is reportedly one reason why Mr Trump’s lawyers selected his as special master in the case brought by the Justice Department, Axios reports.

The former president’s lawyers and advisers are said to believe that Mr Dearie is a deep skeptic of the FBI because of a warrant he approved against a former Trump campaign aid during the FBI’s probe into Russian interference.

While this remains to be confirmed or commented on, however, Mr Dearie is now due to conduct the reviews of 11,000 documents seized by the FBI before 30 November.

Bedroom carpets at Mar-a-Lago ruined by FBI, Trump claims

Monday 19 September 2022 13:10 , Gino Spocchia

Donald Trump lambasted FBI agents for allegedly walking on his bedroom carpet at Mar-a-Lago with their shoes on last month, hours after he arrived into Florida on Sunday night.

Writing in a series of Truth Social posts on Monday morning, the former president went on to challenge the FBI and Justice Department’s investigation into classified documents found at his Florida estate, which he said “will never be the same” after it was “ransacked”.

He wrote: “It was ‘ransacked,’ and in far different condition than the way I left it. Many Agents - And they didn’t even take off their shoes in my bedroom. Nice!!!”

Small group of protesters camp out near Trump rally

Monday 19 September 2022 12:30 , Andrew Feinberg and John Bowden

Not all of those gathered in Youngstown on Saturday were Mr Trump’s fans – a small group of roughly a dozen protesters camped out a few blocks from the rally, attracting supportive honks as well as angry yells from passing opponents and supporters of the president, respectively.

One, identified to The Independent as Our Revolution volunteer Chucky Dennison, made it into the rally. He was escorted out during Mr Trump’s remarks just seconds after unfurling a banner blaming the president for the closure of an auto plant in Lordstown which the president falsely took credit for “saving” in 2017.

Though Mr Trump’s appearance in Youngstown was billed as a rally for a ticket’s worth of candidates who’ve garnered his endorsement, the thousands of supporters who piled into the Covelli Center didn’t appear to have much interest in anyone but the ex-president. The arena appeared mostly empty for much of the evening, with a large number of rally goers arriving just before Mr Trump was set to speak.

Some attendees skipped the arena entirely, instead choosing to watch the president’s remarks from lawn chairs set up in the nearby parking lot so as to better enjoy the mild late-summer evening.

PHOTOS: Nuns attend Trump rally as crowd performs one-fingered salute

Monday 19 September 2022 11:00 , Gustaf Kilander

man wearing a
man wearing a
Republican Senate candidate JD Vance receives applause from the audience after being introduced by former President Donald Trump at a Save America Rally (Getty Images)
Republican Senate candidate JD Vance receives applause from the audience after being introduced by former President Donald Trump at a Save America Rally (Getty Images)
Supporters of former US President Donald Trump cheer during a Save America rally at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio, USA, 17 September 2022 (EPA)
Supporters of former US President Donald Trump cheer during a Save America rally at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio, USA, 17 September 2022 (EPA)
Audience members put their index finger up to symbolize America First while President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally to support Republican candidates (Getty Images)
Audience members put their index finger up to symbolize America First while President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally to support Republican candidates (Getty Images)
udience members pray for their candidates before a Save America Rally at the Covelli Centre on September 17, 2022 in Youngstown, Ohio (Getty Images)
udience members pray for their candidates before a Save America Rally at the Covelli Centre on September 17, 2022 in Youngstown, Ohio (Getty Images)

Trump attempts to smear teachers as agents of leftist agenda

Monday 19 September 2022 09:30 , Andrew Feinberg and John Bowden

Saturday’s rally in front of an amped-up crowd of diehard supporters mirrored many of the former president’s previous events, which take on the same characteristics regardless of which city the former president selects to hold court. There were call-outs of Democrats, denouncements of the “far-left education cartel”, and other appeals to the culture war.

One of the most applause-garnering lines of the night came when the ex-president insisted that far-left radicals were “teaching transgender” to American students, the latest attempt by the right to smear teachers as agents of a leftist agenda.

Mr Trump took one portion of the speech to shout-out Maga-aligned Republicans who attended the rally alongside him – obvious guests included Mr Vance and other Ohioans like Congressman Jim Jordan, while a few other Republicans from out of state were also called out from stage, to cheering fans, including Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Ms Greene stood up and waved to the crowd as a jubilant Trump oddly insinuated that the congresswoman would shoot any intruders who came to her house – an apparent reference to the “swatting” of Ms Greene’s house by police.

Trump under fire for QAnon display at Ohio rally

Monday 19 September 2022 19:49 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump has come under fire for his descent into the QAnon conspiracy theory movement during his Youngstown, Ohio rally in support of Republican Senate candidate JD Vance.

“This is the week when Trump became Qanon. This isn’t a political statement; it just is, however disturbing. Week began with images of Trump on Truth Social wearing a Q pin and promoting their slogans; it ends with Q music and the Q ‘one’ sign by crowd at his rally,” CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem tweeted on Saturday.

Trump under fire for QAnon display at Ohio rally: ‘He has gone completely insane’

Trump casts himself as victim of unscrupulous actors

Monday 19 September 2022 06:30 , Andrew Feinberg and John Bowden

On Saturday, Donald Trump cast himself as the victim of unscrupulous actors who have “harassed, investigated, defamed, slandered and persecuted” him “like no other president and probably like no one in American history,” though he neglected to note that no other president has tried to block the inauguration of his successor by inciting a violent mob in hopes of disrupting Congress’ certification of his loss.

“They go to people that know me and they threaten them with jail time unless [they] say something bad about Trump … they take good people in they say you’re going to jail for 10 years — you’re going to jail for five years — unless you say something bad about Trump, in which case you won’t have to go to jail,” he said.

The ex-president also once again hinted at violence if he ever faces any criminal charges as a result of any investigations into his conduct, accusing investigators of being “thugs and tyrants” who are “attacking” his extremist “Make America Great Again” movement by daring to consider whether he has committed any crimes.

“The thugs and tyrants attacking our movement … have no idea of the sleeping giant that they have awoken,” he said.

And most tellingly, he insisted that any Republican majority to take power in 2023 would face immense pressure to fight back against the FBI and Justice Department, no matter what form that resistance takes.

Classified documents at Mar-a-Lago raise concerns, Biden says

Monday 19 September 2022 04:45 , Maroosha Muzaffar

President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the discovery of top-secret documents at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate raised concerns that sensitive data was compromised and called it “irresponsible.”

Mr Biden said that when he heard about classified documents taken from the White House, he wondered how “anyone could be that irresponsible. And I thought, what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods?”

Protester expelled from Trump’s Ohio rally after waving banner blaming him for factory closure

Monday 19 September 2022 04:20 , Maroosha Muzaffar

A man was walked out of Donald Trump’s rally in Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday after unfurling a banner which blamed the former president for the closure of a major manufacturing centre.

Read the full story by John Bowden here:

Protester expelled from Trump’s Ohio rally after waving banner

Republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor tells crowd to ‘put your right hand in the air'

Monday 19 September 2022 04:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Matt Gaetz says he’s ‘glad to be in a room where I’m one of the oldest people’ at Texas Youth Summit

Monday 19 September 2022 03:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Trump says supporters are threatened with jail for refusing to denounce him as he warns they are a ‘sleeping giant’

Monday 19 September 2022 02:00 , Andrew Feinberg and John Bowden

Former president Donald Trump on Saturday levelled new, outlandish accusations at the Biden administration by claiming that federal authorities are now threatening his supporters with decades in prison unless they agree to say negative things about him.

Mr Trump made the bizarre claim not ten minutes into a subdued, rambling speech to an under-capacity crowd at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio. Ostensibly a rally in support of Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance, Mr Trump’s remarks were instead peppered with what is now a familiar litany of grievances, grudges, and complaints about the myriad investigations into his conduct by federal and state prosecutors in Washington, DC, Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere.

The twice-impeached ex-president accused those prosecutors and the House January 6 select committee of showing “no shame, no morals, no conscience and absolutely no respect for the citizens of our country” by daring to look into whether he broke any number of US laws by trying to overturn the 2020 election or retaining classified documents at his Florida beach club long after his term in the White House was over.

Read more:

Trump claims his supporters are threatened with jail for refusing to denounce him

Donald Trump helped release drug prisoners. Now he wants to execute them

Monday 19 September 2022 00:45 , Josh Marcus and Alex Woodward

Donald Trump changed Tanesha Bannister’s life.

In 2004, Ms Bannister, then a 28-year-old single mother, was sentenced to life in prison for selling drugs. She was one of the many predominantly Black Americans given the then-100 times more stringent punishment for selling crack as opposed to powder cocaine.

A troubled family history and a lack of opportunities led Ms Bannister to start selling drugs when she was just 16.

“I was exposed to drug use,” Ms Bannister, now a business owner and criminal justice reform advocate in South Carolina, told The Independent. “I felt like it was a better way for me to provide for myself and my family was to get into the drug game. That’s how it all started.”

After she served 14 years in prison, then-president Trump signed the bipartisan First Step Act, which shortened some federal prison sentences, gave judges alternatives to mandatory minimum penalties, and retroactively applied 2010’s Fair Sentencing Act to eliminate the racial disparities in cocaine sentencing. The act freed thousands from prison.

Read more:

Donald Trump helped release drug prisoners. Now he wants to execute them

Trump says death penalty for drug dealers and human traffickers is ‘very humane’

Sunday 18 September 2022 23:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump said that the death penalty for drug dealers and human traffickers is “very humane” during a speech in Youngstown, Ohio.

Speaking on Saturday, the former president said that “much of the crime wave is caused by drug dealers who during the course of their lives, will kill an average of 500 American citizens not to mention the destruction of millions of American families who are so devastated by drugs”.

“It’s an invasion of crime,” he added. “And remember much of the crime that we talk about is caused by drugs. And I’m calling for the death penalty for drug dealers and human traffickers.”

The suggestion was met with cheers from the crowd.

Mr Trump claimed that the new policy would “reduce drug distribution and crime in our country by much more than 75 per cent. That’s in one day”.

Read more:

Trump says death penalty for drug dealers and human traffickers is ‘very humane’

Trump claims CNN changed background to Biden speech from red to pink ‘to make it look better’

Sunday 18 September 2022 22:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump claimed CNN changed the background to a speech by President Joe Biden from red to pink “to make it look better” during a bizarre rally speech in Ohio.

“I watched Biden the other day,” he said before claiming CNN changed the lighting on Mr Biden’s 1 September speech in which he shared his worries for US democracy against a deep red background. Mr Trump claimed the broadcaster – a frequent target of his over the years – had changed the background from red to pink “to make it look better”.

Speaking in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mr Biden had warned, “as I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault. We do ourselves no favour to pretend otherwise”

He used the word “democracy” more than 30 times in the speech.

Read more:

Trump claims CNN changed background to Biden speech ‘to make it look better’

Bill Clinton says GOP wins elections by finding something to ‘scare the living daylights’ out of swing voters

Sunday 18 September 2022 22:00 , Eric Garcia

Former president Bill Clinton said that Republicans perform well in midterm elections because they typically find a way to scare swing voters.

The former president appeared on Fareed Zakaria: GPS where the host asked him about whether Democrats could buck the normal trend where the president’s party loses control of at least one chamber of Congress in the midterm election.

“We could hold both these houses, but we have to say the right things, and we have to note, the Republicans always close well,” he said. “Why? Because they find some new way to scare the living daylights about something.”

Mr Clinton pointed to how Republicans advertised “critical race theory” being taught in schools, even though it was not, which helped deliver them win the governorship in Virginia a year after President Joe Biden won the commonwealth by double digits.

“That’s what they did in 2021, when they made critical race theory sound worse than smallpox and it wasn’t being taught in any public schools in America,” he said. “But they didn’t care, they just scare people.”

Read more:

Clinton: GOP wins by finding something to ‘scare the living daylights’ out of voters

Trump claims he invented the word ‘caravans’ to describe groups of migrants as he dubs them ‘murderers and rapers’

Sunday 18 September 2022 21:15 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump claimed that he invented the word “caravans” to describe groups of migrants as he dubbed them “murderers and rapers” in a rally speech in Ohio.

The former president appeared to recount a previous conversation, saying that “you won’t take these horrible convicts and other people that you released into our country illegally and you put them in caravans”.

“I came up with that term by the way,” Mr Trump claimed. “That was my term and fake news and lots of other terms we came up with.”

“Crooked Hillary, we came up with a lot of terms,” he added.

“The way Trump casually refers to immigrants as murderers and rapists isn’t new but remains notable,” journalist Aaron Rupar tweeted.

“They don’t want to have these people,” Mr Trump said, referring to migrants. “Many of them are murderers, rapers.”

Trump claims he invented the word ‘caravans’ to describe groups of migrants

Trump under fire for QAnon display at Ohio rally: ‘He has gone completely insane’

Sunday 18 September 2022 20:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump has come under fire for his descent into the QAnon conspiracy theory movement during his Youngstown, Ohio rally in support of Republican Senate candidate JD Vance.

“This is the week when Trump became Qanon. This isn’t a political statement; it just is, however disturbing. Week began with images of Trump on Truth Social wearing a Q pin and promoting their slogans; it ends with Q music and the Q ‘one’ sign by crowd at his rally,” CNN analyst Juliette Kayyem tweeted on Saturday.

Author Kurt Eichenwald added that “this week, Trump posted QAnon memes, played QAnon theme music at his rally, and stood by as the crowd raises their fingers in the QAnon salute. This is the GOP’s supposed leader. Every Republican needs to be asked about it - and don’t let them walk away. ‘Do you support QAnon?’”

“He has gone full QAnon, and that cult knows it. Trump has always been mentally ill, but this is a whole new level. He has gone completely insane,” he tweeted.

The author went on to lay out a lot of the bizarre theories within the movement.

Read more:

Trump under fire for QAnon display at Ohio rally: ‘He has gone completely insane’

The Wire creator blasts Trump supporters’ bizarre one-fingered salute

Sunday 18 September 2022 19:45 , Gustaf Kilander

WATCH: Marjorie Taylor Green threatens for defund education to stop teachers from ‘brainwashing’ students

Sunday 18 September 2022 19:00 , Gustaf Kilander

WATCH: Donald Trump compares his own Senate candidate to Kim Jong-un in bizarre rally speech

Sunday 18 September 2022 18:15 , Gustaf Kilander

WATCH: Trump claims his supporters are jailed for refusing to say bad things about him

Sunday 18 September 2022 17:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Is Trump fans’ ‘weird’ one-finger salute at rally a QAnon tribute?

Sunday 18 September 2022 16:45 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump’s supporters raised their fingers in a bizarre straight-arm salute as the former president spoke at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio to boost Republican Senate nominee JD Vance.

As dramatic music played in the background, Mr Trump delved further into the depths of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory.

Mr Trump spoke about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the issue of “fake news”, and Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Watchdog Media Matters noted that the song played at the rally appeared to have been released under the name Wwg1wga, which is the QAnon slogan. It stands for “where we go one, we go all”.

Media Matters researcher Alex Kaplan tweeted on Saturday that “Trump this summer used the song in a campaign-style video he posted on Rumble and Truth Social”.

“As they did when Trump previously used the song, QAnon figures are claiming the use of the song brings some kind of legitimacy for them,” he added.

Read more:

What’s behind Trump fans’ ‘weird’ one-finger salute at rally

Democrats and GOP neck and neck in new poll as Biden rating rises and Trump’s goes down

Sunday 18 September 2022 15:58 , Eric Garcia

A new NBC News poll shows that voters are evenly split about whether they want Democrats or Republicans to control Congress while President Joe Biden’s approval rating inched up and former president Donald Trump’s took a dip.

Republican consulting firm Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research Associates surveyed 1,000 registered voters between 9 September and 13 September. The poll had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Mr Biden’s approval rating moved up three points since August to 45 per cent, his highest approval rating since October of last year. His approval rating moved down three points to 52 per cent.

Mr Biden’s polling improvement comes after a streak of policy victories. Last month, Mr Biden signed legislation to support the manufacturing of semiconductors in the United States as well as the Inflation Reduction Act, the United States’ single largest investment in combating climate change that would also allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.

In addition, last month, Mr Biden announced his plan to give up to $10,000 worth of student debt relief for people making up to $125,000, with Pell Grant recipients receiving up to $20,000 in debt cancellation. That likely contributed to his approval rating among 18-to-34-year-olds jumping from 36 to 48 per cent.

Read more:

Democrats and GOP neck and neck in new poll as Biden rating rises and Trump’s drops

Trump claims supporters threatened with jail for refusing to denounce him

Sunday 18 September 2022 15:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Former president Donald Trump on Saturday levelled new, outlandish accusations at the Biden administration by claiming that federal authorities are now threatening his supporters with decades in prison unless they agree to say negative things about him.

Mr Trump made the bizarre claim not ten minutes into a subdued, rambling speech to an under-capacity crowd at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Trump claims his supporters are threatened with jail for refusing to denounce him

Trump under fire for QAnon display at Ohio rally: 'He has gone completely insane’

Sunday 18 September 2022 14:36 , Gustaf Kilander

Marjorie Taylor Greene threatens to defund Education Department

Sunday 18 September 2022 14:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Marjorie Taylor Greene has threatened to “defund” the Department of Education to prevent teachers from “brainwashing” American children.

The right-wing lawmaker from Georgia made the bizarre threat as she warmed up the crowd at the Donald Trump rally in Youngstown, Ohio, on Saturday night.

Graeme Massie reports.

Marjorie Taylor Greene threatens to defund Education Department

Amid special master process DoJ appeals ruling on seized Trump Mar-a-Lago papers

Sunday 18 September 2022 13:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The Department of Justice on Friday appealed a federal judge’s ruling restricting it from using classified documents seized at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

In an evening filing, the DOJ asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for a partial stay of a lower court ruling barring investigators from using the materials they seized in an August FBI search of the former president’s home until a court-appointed special master could review the documents.

Josh Marcus has the details.

DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from using Trump’s seized Mar-a-Lago documents

Report: Matt Gaetz wanted Trump to give him pre-emptive pardon over sex investigation

Sunday 18 September 2022 12:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Matt Gaetz told a former White House staffer that he was hoping to get a pre-emptive pardon from then-President Donald Trump concerning an investigation into him by the Department of Justice, a report has said.

The allegation came in testimony given to the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, The Washington Post reported.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Gaetz wanted Trump to give him pre-emptive pardon over sex investigation, report says

Migrants sent to Kamala Harris’ residence for second time this week

Sunday 18 September 2022 12:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A group of migrants have been sent by bus from Texas and dropped off outside the vice president’s residence in Washington, DC for the second time this week.

A further 50 migrants were driven to the Naval Observatory, where Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff live, in northwest Washington on Saturday morning.

Gustaf Kilander reports from Washington, DC.

Migrants sent to VP’s residence from Texas for second time this week

DeSantis hammered in Florida newspapers for migrant ‘political stunt’

Sunday 18 September 2022 11:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Ron DeSantis is getting slammed in Florida newspapers for his political stunt flying migrants to the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard.

“The governor likes to pander to communities like mine, traumatized by political persecution and violence,” Maria Corina Vegas, deputy state director of the American Business Immigration Coalition, told The Miami Herald. “This is a new low, even for this governor.”

Mr DeSantis flew the refugees from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard using taxpayer funds to boost his potential 2024 presidential campaign, critics told the Orlando Sentinel.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

DeSantis hammered in Florida newspapers for ‘political stunt’

Ted Cruz forced to admit trafficking migrants to Martha’s Vineyard is illegal

Sunday 18 September 2022 10:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Ted Cruz was forced to admit by Sean Hannity that the transportation of undocumented migrants from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard by Ron DeSantis was likely illegal.

The Florida governor has been widely criticised for flying two planeloads of Venezuelans to the upscale island, where Barack Obama has a $12m home, as part of a Republican immigration publicity stunt.

Mr Cruz, a US Senator from Texas, cast doubt on the legality of the move when he appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show.

Graeme Massie reports.

Ted Cruz forced to admit trafficking migrants to Martha’s Vineyard is illegal

Ted Cruz says half a million migrants should be sent to DC

Sunday 18 September 2022 09:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Ted Cruz has called for half a million undocumented migrants to be sent to Washington DC as part of a Republican attempt to punish Democratic-supporting areas of the country over immigration policy.

The Canadian-born US senator has thrown his support behind Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florid Governor Ron DeSantis for their widely-criticized immigration publicity stunts.

Ted Cruz says half a million migrants should be sent to DC

Trump shares nasty body-shaming photo of Chris Christie

Sunday 18 September 2022 08:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Former President Donald Trump has continued using his custom-built Twitter knockoff Truth Social to bully his political detractors, this time taking aim at former Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie.

Mr Trump’s account posted an image of a man leaning over a buffet counter with his back to the camera, along with a caption needling Mr Christie.

Graig Graziosi reports.

Trump shares nasty body-shaming photo after Chris Christie criticises him

Phony document lands on court docket in Trump search case

Sunday 18 September 2022 06:00 , Oliver O'Connell

When a government document mysteriously appeared earlier this week in the highest profile case in the federal court system, it had the hallmarks of another explosive storyline in the Justice Department’s investigation into classified records stored at former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate.

The document purported to be from the U.S. Treasury Department, claimed that the agency had seized sensitive documents related to last month’s search at Mar-a-Lago and included a warrant ordering CNN to preserve “leaked tax records.”

The document remained late Thursday on the court docket, but it is a clear fabrication. A review of dozens of court records and interviews by The Associated Press suggest the document originated with a serial forger behind bars at a federal prison complex in North Carolina.

Read more:

Phony document lands on court docket in Trump search case

Sunday 18 September 2022 04:59 , Oliver O'Connell

Marjorie Taylor Greene threatens to defund Education Department

Sunday 18 September 2022 04:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Marjorie Taylor Greene has threatened to “defund” the Department of Education to prevent teachers from “brainwashing” American children.

The right-wing lawmaker from Georgia made the bizarre threat as she warmed up the crowd at the Donald Trump rally in Youngstown, Ohio, on Saturday night.

Graeme Massie reports.

Marjorie Taylor Greene threatens to defund Education Department

In pictures: Donald Trump holds Save America rally in Youngstown, Ohio

Sunday 18 September 2022 03:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Former US President Donald Trump speaks during a Save America rally at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio, USA, 17 September 2022 (EPA)
Former US President Donald Trump speaks during a Save America rally at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio, USA, 17 September 2022 (EPA)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Getty Images)
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Getty Images)
Ohio Republican Senate Nominee JD Vance speaks to supporters at a Save America Rally at the Covelli Centre (Getty Images)
Ohio Republican Senate Nominee JD Vance speaks to supporters at a Save America Rally at the Covelli Centre (Getty Images)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks to supporters at a Save America Rally (Getty Images)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks to supporters at a Save America Rally (Getty Images)
A woman in the crowd cheers during the Save America campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio (AP)
A woman in the crowd cheers during the Save America campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio (AP)

Trump claims supporters threatened with jail for refusing to denounce him

Sunday 18 September 2022 02:41 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump on Saturday levelled new, outlandish accusations at the Biden administration by claiming that federal authorities are now threatening his supporters with decades in prison unless they agree to say negative things about him.

Mr Trump made the bizarre claim not ten minutes into a subdued, rambling speech to an under-capacity crowd at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio.

Trump claims his supporters are threatened with jail for refusing to denounce him

Sunday 18 September 2022 02:27 , Oliver O'Connell

The former president concludes his remarks and does a little dance on the stage to “Hold on I’m Coming” by Sam & Dave.

Sunday 18 September 2022 02:24 , Oliver O'Connell

As Trump moves toward the end of his speech, creepy music has begun to play over his remarks and many in the crowd have raised an arm into the air, extending a finger.

It is cult-like.

And just utterly bizarre.

Sunday 18 September 2022 02:15 , Oliver O'Connell

In an unexpected moment, Trump brought up the infamous allegation of the existence of the “pee tape” of him with Russian sex workers, imagining having to explain it to his wife, Melania.

Sunday 18 September 2022 02:04 , Oliver O'Connell

Is a vote for JD Vance a vote for Kim Jong Un?

Sunday 18 September 2022 01:59 , Oliver O'Connell

A quick reminder of where JD Vance used to stand on Donald Trump.

Sunday 18 September 2022 01:55 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump, referring to a New York Times story about how he injects himself into congressional races, manages to humiliate JD Vance in passing: “JD is kissing my ass, of course he wants my support!”

Sunday 18 September 2022 01:52 , Oliver O'Connell

Commenting on Tim Ryan, former President Trump tells the crowd the Democrat Senate candidate wants to kill them.

Mr Trump also called Mitch McConnell a “disgrace” rounding out a week of criticising the Republican Minority Leader in the Senate. He tells JD Vance to do something about it.

Sunday 18 September 2022 01:49 , Oliver O'Connell

...which seems quite topical given this week’s migrant stunts.

Sunday 18 September 2022 01:47 , Oliver O'Connell

He also added human traffickers to the death penalty list.

Sunday 18 September 2022 01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump reiterates his call for the death penalty for all drug dealers, repeating an anecdote of a conversation he had with President Xi Jinping of China.

This week, experts and the people who were given a reprieve by the former president warned The Independent’s Josh Marcus and Alex Woodward against the dangers of his rhetoric.

Donald Trump helped release drug prisoners. Now he wants to execute them

Sunday 18 September 2022 01:38 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump accuses President Joe Biden of keeping gas prices low ahead of the election.

Sunday 18 September 2022 01:32 , Oliver O'Connell

Back on the topic of immigration, Trump claims he invented the term “caravans” and once again refers to migrants as murderers and rapists.

Sunday 18 September 2022 01:13 , Oliver O'Connell

In a particularly odd moment, former President Trump claims that CNN changed the colour of the lights behind President Biden’s primetime speech to pink from red to make it “look better”...