Trump refuses to call Putin ‘evil’ on Fox News
In a scathing opinion, Judge Lewis Kaplan slammed the former president’s attempt to delay proceedings. Ms Carroll accuses Mr Trump of raping her in a Manhattan department store in the 1990s. After she wrote about the incident during his presidency, he called her a liar and she sued him for defamation.
In other news, the former president is outraged by YouTube’s decision to take down an interview he did earlier this week with the NELK Boys, an encounter in which he repeated false claims about the 2020 election that violate the platform’s misinformation policy.
A furious statement issued after the interview was removed wrongly claimed that the platform was violating his First Amendment rights, compared the move to the Russian government’s crackdown on information about its invasion of Ukraine, and declared that “our country is going to hell!”
Meanwhile, Mr Trump last night shied away from walking back on his praise for Russian president Vladimir Putin in an interview with Fox News late on Thursday, even as host Sean Hannity gave him multiple opportunities to do so, even leading him to call the Russian leader “evil”.
The most recent polling from The Wall Street Journal shows the former president tied with Joe Biden in a hypothetical electoral match-up.
Trump revisits hatred of windmills in bizarre interview
Speaking to the Full Send podcast, hosted by the Canadian YouTubers known as the Nelk Boys, Mr Trump responded to a question on the war with Ukraine by launching a tirade against wind energy, which he has harboured an antipathy towards for years.
“The windmills don’t work,” he said. “They’re too expensive. They kill all the birds. They ruin your landscapes. And yet the environmentalists love the windmills,” he went on. “And I’ve been preaching this for years.
“The windmills – and I had them way down – but the windmills are the most expensive energy you can have. And they don’t work.”
Andrew Naughtie10 March 2022 15:40
Garland gives interview on Jan 6 investigations
In a discussion with NPR, Attorney General Merrick Garland had plenty to say about the progress of the investigation into the causes and events of the 6 January riot.
“We begin with the cases that are right in front of us with the overt actions and then we build from there,” he told the broadcaster, “and that is a process that we will continue to build until we hold everyone accountable who committed criminal acts with respect to January 6.”
Mr Garland’s department has faced criticism from Democrats and Trump opponents who are frustrated how slowly it has moved in criminal contempt cases against Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows.
Read more from NPR and listen to the interview below.
Andrew Naughtie10 March 2022 16:10
Mike Pence’s dispatch from the Ukrainian border
While his sometime boss faces a stream of criticism for his past praise of Vladimir Putin, Mike Pence has paid a visit to the Ukrainian border along with his wife, Karen.
Andrew Naughtie10 March 2022 16:33
Another Trump endorsee in trouble?
Donald Trump prides himself on the power of his endorsement, and boasts loudly whenever someone he’s backed wins a primary or a public office. He’s already seen plenty of success in this year’s Texas primaries – but not all of his chosen outriders are on the rise, and now, NBC reports that one of Mr Trump’s chosen candidates is in danger of being frozen out by the Republican-dominated legislature in her own state.
Tennessee congressional candidate Morgan Ortagus is a former spokeswoman for Trump’s State Department, but her credentials from his administration may not carry her far. As the story quotes one state senator saying: “I voted for Trump. I supported him. I’ll vote for Trump as long as he lives. But I don’t want him coming out here to tell me who to vote for.”
Andrew Naughtie10 March 2022 17:00
Ted Cruz goes for a ride with “People’s Convoy” truckers
The “People’s Convoy” protest based outside of Washington, DC has so far failed in its stated aim of snarling up the Capitol with a “boa constrictor” of traffic jams, but it has nonetheless attracted strong support from a segment of the right-wing activist grassroots – and from conservative senator Ted Cruz, who climbed into one of the trucks today.
Andrew Naughtie10 March 2022 17:20
Far-right congressman calls Ukrainian president a “thug”
As the mainstream Republican Party tries to calibrate its position on Ukraine away from anything that looks like sympathy for Vladimir, North Carolina Congressman Madison Cawthorn has lit into the Ukrainian president just as he becomes something of an international hero.
“Remember that Zelensky is a thug,” state outlet WRAL reported Mr Cawthorn saying. “Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies.”
Read more below:
Oliver O’Connell10 March 2022 17:40
Tucker Carlson’s past comments could hurt Fox News in Smartmatic defamation suit, judge says
A judge hearing a defamation lawsuit brought against Fox News by a voting software company has said the network’s case may suffer because one of its own hosts, Tucker Carlson, himself dismissed claims at the centre of the case.
In an opinion handed down in response to several motions to dismiss the lawsuit, New York State Supreme Court Judge David Cohen wrote that Smartmatic USA can continue pursuing its claims against the network and several of its hosts over the reporting of claims made by lawyer and conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell about the company’s systems.
He also wrote that “ironically, the statements of Tucker Carlson, perhaps the most popular Fox News host, militate most strongly in favour of a possible finding that there is a substantial basis that Fox News acted with actual malice” by airing claims that Smartmatic’s software was compromised, allowing the election to be stolen in Joe Biden’s favour.
The Independent’s Andrew Naughtie has more.
Oliver O’Connell10 March 2022 18:05
How Trump targeted ‘that woman’ Gretchen Whitmer over militia threat
Within weeks, his supporters were chanting “lock her up” as the then-president used the threat against her life to rally support in the key swing state during the final days of the 2020 election.
The trial against four militia members, which began this week, heard that the so-called “Wolverine Watchmen” were “sent overboard” by Covid and the “tyrant” governor’s mask mandates and lockdowns.
Justin Vallejo reports.
Oliver O’Connell10 March 2022 18:30
Madison Cawthorn calls Zelensky a ‘thug’ and Ukrainian government ‘woke’ and ‘evil’
“Remember that Zelensky is a thug,” Mr Cawthorn told supporters, a video obtained by WRAL shows. “Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies.”
While it remains unclear where the video was filmed, Karl Rove, who served as President George W Bush’s deputy chief of staff, wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that Mr Cawthorn made the comments over the weekend during an event in Asheville. Mr Rove said he believed that the comments “didn’t reflect Republican opinion”.
Gustaf Kilander reports.
Oliver O’Connell10 March 2022 19:00
Republican ridiculed for supporting Ukraine ‘no fly zone’ but not knowing what it means
Maria Elvira Salazar, who represents Florida’s 27th congressional district, told reporters she “absolutely” supported Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s calls for a no-fly zone when asked on Wednesday.
“Absolutely, I support everything that has to do with punishing Vladimir Putin and helping the Ukrainians,” Ms Salazar said when asked whether or not she supported a no fly zone in Ukraine while adding, “I don’t know what it will mean but freedom is not free”.
Gino Spocchia reports.
Oliver O’Connell10 March 2022 19:30
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