Friday May 13, 2022

Biden mocks Trump as ‘the great MAGA King’ in speech on economy

On Capitol Hill, the January 6 riot committee investigating the 2021 attack has issued subpoenas to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers who are close allies of Donald Trump: Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Mo Brooks of Alabama. Each was given the opportunity to voluntarily give evidence.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is now investigating whether former President Trump or any of his aides violated federal law by mishandling classified documents that ended up at Mar-a-Lago instead of at the national archives at the end of his term.

Elsewhere, Republican reps Dan Crenshaw and Marjorie Taylor Greene feuded on Twitter after taking different votes on an aid package to Ukraine, with the former accusing the latter of angling for a spot on the Russia Today network.

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As the row over the draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v Wade continues, hardline GOP senators are demanding anti-abortion protesters be arrested for demonstrating outside justices’ homes. Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee have called for them to be hauled off by the authorities, both citing a law passed during the Red Scare of the 1950s.

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Baked Alaska Capitol riot plea deal falls apart

White supremacist internet personality Tim Gionet, who is popularly known as Baked Alaska, has derailed his plea deal with federal prosecutors by declaring himself innocent in a last-minute turn of events in a case linked to the 6 January riots at the US Capitol.

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Mr Gionet was set to plead guilty in a Washington DC federal court on Wednesday to a count of misdemeanor for willfully and knowingly parading, demonstrating, and picketing inside the Capitol.

Shweta Sharma reports:

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 04:59

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Hillary Clinton-hired research firm to turn over emails to Durham, judge rules

A federal judge on Thursday has ruled that GPS Fusion, the research firm hired by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign to dig up dirt on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia must turn over 22 internal emails.

The emails will need to be turned over to special counsel John Durham who is probing the FBI’s Russia ties, reported CNN.

They are a part of 38 emails that were subpoenaed last year.

“Fusion did more in connection with the Alfa Bank allegations than simply provide information and analysis to (Clinton campaign lawyer Marc) Elias so that he could better advise the Campaign on defamation risk,” federal Judge Christopher Cooper wrote in the ruling.

The emails are largely among Fusion employees and pertain to their efforts to plant news coverage about Mr Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.

“It is clear that Fusion employees also interacted with the press as part of an affirmative media relations effort by the Clinton Campaign. That effort included pitching certain stories, providing information on background, and answering reporters’ questions,” the judge added in the ruling.

<img src="https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2018/01/18/12/glenn-r-simpson.jpg?quality=75&width=982&height=726&auto=webp" srcset="https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2018/01/18/12/glenn-r-simpson.jpg?quality=75&width=640&auto=webp&crop=982:726,smart 640w" alt="

(FILE) Glenn R. Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives for a scheduled appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

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(FILE) Glenn R. Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives for a scheduled appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

(AP)

Sravasti Dasgupta13 May 2022 04:45

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White House waves off Fox News question on crack pipes in safe smoking kits

White House press secretary Jen Psaki shot down a question from Fox News’s Jacqui Heinrich on Thursday after the reporter asked about a federal program long targeted by the right aimed at helping drug addicts avoid overdose deaths.

John Bowden has the story.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 04:26

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‘I had just hit my limit’: Psaki says she regrets comment about sending Covid tests to every American

Outgoing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said that she had hit her “limit” in terms of questions about Covid tests when she previously asked, “should we just send one to every American?” in response to a reporter’s question.

In December of last year, Ms Psaki was repeatedly asked about the availability of Covid tests in the US, leading to her eventually responding in a tone some considered sarcastic or mocking.

Almost two weeks later, the government bought 500 million tests to send to Americans.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 04:15

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Biden marks 1 million Americans dead from Covid as White House hosts global summit

The White will host world leaders for another global Covid-19 summit to urge preparedness for the next pandemic, as the US passed the grim milestone of 1 million American deaths from the coronavirus.

In a statement on Thursday, President Joe Biden said each of the million dead represented “an irreplaceable loss … leaving behind a family, a community, and a nation forever changed”.

“As a nation, we must not grow numb to such sorrow. To heal, we must remember. We must remain vigilant against this pandemic and do everything we can to save as many lives as possible, as we have with more testing, vaccines, and treatments than ever before,” he said, adding that it is “critical” for Congress to “sustain” such resources by passing a supplemental Covid-19 funding bill.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 03:50

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Jen Psaki says she and her children were target of ‘threats’

Outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki has detailed some of the tougher aspects of the job, including threats she received from angry critics of the Biden administration, in an interview with members of the press corps this week.

Speaking at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Thursday, Ms Psaki explained that throughout her time at the White House she received threatening messages mentioning both her and her children, with some even containing mentions of her home address.

“The thing that has been hardest, personally, is I have had threats, I have had nasty letters, texts to me with my personal address, the names of my children,” she said.

John Bowden has the story.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 03:30

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GOP governors ask DoJ to block protests outside Supreme Court justices’ homes

Glenn Youngkin of Virginia and Larry Hogan of Maryland, both Republicans, wrote in the letter on Wednesday that the federal government must “take the lead and provide sustained resources to protect the justices and ensure these residential areas are secure in the weeks and months ahead”.

Abe Asher reports:

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 02:45

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Biden ‘cutting red tape’ to ease baby formula shortage

President Joe Biden is directing federal agencies to take actions towards easing the baby formula shortages that have left many store shelves bare in the wake of a manufacturing shutdown and recall from the nation’s largest formula maker.

“We have been working on this issue since since the very beginning in the days leading up to to the recall,” said a senior administration official who briefed reporters on the actions late Thursday. “We absolutely recognize the frustration that American families are feeling right now, and that’s why the President has acted to direct the administration to pull additional levers and take additional action to make more supply available as quickly as possible”.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 02:22

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How the ‘pro-life’ movement killed Roe v Wade

Powerful legal groups, conservative Christian activists and right-wing figures shaped an anti-abortion agenda in the hands of the US Supreme Court, Alex Woodward reports.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 02:00

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Biden warns GOP plans to reverse same-sex marriage rights next

President Joe Biden had a stark warning for his Democratic supporters and colleagues: Republicans are coming for gay marriage 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.

Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 01:15

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