Biden mocks Trump as ‘the great MAGA King’ in speech on economy
Representatives Dan Crenshaw and Marjorie Taylor Greene feuded on Twitter after the two Republican members of Congress took different votes on an aid package to Ukraine, with the former accusing the latter of angling for a spot on the Russia Today network.
As the row over the draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v Wade continues, hardline Republican Senators are demanding that anti-abortion protesters should be arrested if they demonstrate outside justices’ homes.
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and his colleague Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee have called for protesters to be hauled off by the authorities, both citing a law passed during the Red Scare of the 1950s.
Meanwhile, the Trump Organization has announced the sale of a long-term lease of the Trump International Hotel in Washington, which has been picked up by the CGI Merchant Group of Miami for $375m.
The Pennsylvania Avenue hotel had served as a symbol of Donald Trump’s clout with politicians and other figures who gathered there, but had also attracted multiple accusations of corruption, from questions over its use during the 2017 inauguration to concerns that bills paid by foreign delegations staying there could violate the Constitution’s emoluments clauses.
Biden warns of GOP plan to reverse same-sex marriage rights next
That was the message he delivered to donors at a fundraiser on Wednesday hosted by the Democratic National Committee as the White House and Democrats nationally face questions about whether they have a strategy to see abortion rights protected at the federal level in the event that the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade.
“Mark my words: They’re going to go after the right of the — Supreme Court decision on the right of same-sex marriage,” he warned.
John Bowden reports.
Oliver O’Connell12 May 2022 17:58
Cyber Ninjas: Arizona GOP election audit contractor spent $8.8m, documents show
Cyber Ninjas, the contractor run by an election conspiracy theorist that was tasked with running the partisan audit of Maricopa County, Arizona ballots, ended up spending $2.1m more than it had on hand to determine yet again that Joe Biden won Grand Canyon State’s most populous county in the 2020 election.
According to records released by a watchdog group, American Oversight, the audit ordered by Republicans who control the Arizona state Senate cost approximately $8.8m — including $5.2m allocated to pay and labour costs — a number far higher than the relatively paltry sum of $150,000 the company had originally quoted in a “statement of work” prepared for the Arizona senate.
Andrew Feinberg has the details.
Oliver O’Connell12 May 2022 17:39
Dan Crenshaw says Marjorie Taylor Greene is ‘going after that Russia Today slot’ in row over Ukraine aid
On Tuesday, the House passed a $40bn aid package to Ukraine. Every Democrat present voted for the legislation, while 57 Republicans voted against the package, including Ms Greene.
Eric Garcia reports from Washington, DC.
Oliver O’Connell12 May 2022 17:20
Ron DeSantis’s redistricting map thrown out by judge
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, generally considered the party’s second most popular leader after Donald Trump, has suffered a setback in his efforts to redistrict his state’s congressional districts. A judge has thrown out the map drawn up by his administration on the basis that it “diminishes African Americans’ ability to elect candidates of their choice” in Florida’s 5th District, which spans Jacksonville to Tallahassee.
The ruling calls on the state to adopt a map that restores the boundaries of the district – currently represented by Democratic US Rep Al Lawson – to represent a near majority-Black voting age population.
Alex Woodward has the story.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 16:57
Biden ramps up warnings on Republican radicalisation
The shape of the Democrats’ midterm elections campaign is coming into view, and it seems the party is going with the expected gambit of putting Joe Biden front and centre to make the case against the other side. With the draft Roe v Wade opinion now out in the open, Mr Biden is going hard on the attack against Republicans in general – and at a DNC fundraiser last night, he pulled no punches.
“Did you ever think we’d be in a position in the year 2022 – we’d be talking about banning books in schools?” the president said on 11 May, referring to a growing campaign from conservative activists and Republican legislators to restrict speech in schools, including “bans” on certain books in libraries.
“I mean, you know, the idea that you cannot mention – you cannot mention to the school. What’s going to happen to a gay child, an L[G]BTQ child in school?” he said. “I mean, this thing – it’s one thing to take on Disney World. They’re going to storm Cinderella’s castle before this is over.”
Alex Woodward has more.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 16:10
Senators round on Supreme Court protesters
While many Republicans are staying away from the row over protests outside Supreme Court justices’ homes, citing the First Amendment’s protection of the right to protest, some the more hardline members are jumping in with both feet.
Among them is Marsha Blackburn, who told far-right network Newsmax that the protesters should be arrested for breaching section 1507 of the US criminal code, which makes it a crime for anyone to “picket or parade in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by” judges or justices.
“They should haul all of these people down to the police headquarters. They should book them for violating a federal statute,” she said, accusing the protesters of trying to “change the outcome of a Supreme Court decision” by “force or intimidation”.
Andrew Feinberg has the story.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 15:40
Republicans row over Ukraine aid
Marjorie Taylor Greene and other hardcore members of the House Republican caucus have gone on something of a rampage against the US’s support for Ukraine, complaining that the money being sent to fight Russia would be better spent at home.
But others in the ranks are not amused – and Ms Greene’s latest tirade has met with a harsh response from her ideological antithesis, Adam Kinzinger.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 15:10
Poll: Should Trump be allowed back on Twitter?
As soon as it became clear Elon Musk was serious about buying Twitter, it immediately raised the possibility that the self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” would let Donald Trump back onto the platform.
Mr Musk, who is still in the process of buying the social media network, said the decision to block Trump in January 2021 was “morally bad” and “a mistake”.
The Independent is keen to know its readers’ views. Do you think Trump should be allowed to return to Twitter? Vote in the poll below:
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 14:45
House Republicans celebrate Tucker Carlson’s birthday – and tease a campaign…
The NRCC, which oversees the Republicans’ campaign to retake the House of Representatives, has got a new fundraising tactic: inviting its supporters to wish a happy birthday to far-right Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson. And more than that, it’s also asking them to weigh in on whether he should run for political office – pointing out that the conspiracy-mongering host will be giving a speech in Iowa this summer:
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 14:13
Report: Kathy Barnette’s rise makes Trump “nervous” about Oz’s prospects
As “ultra-Maga” candidate Kathy Barnette continues her out-of-nowhere surge in Pennsylvania, CNN reports that Donald Trump is increasingly concerned about the implications for his chosen candidate, Dr Mehmet Oz:
Read the full report here.
Andrew Naughtie12 May 2022 13:38