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DeSantis news – latest: Casey DeSantis nicknamed ‘Walmart Melania’ over anti-woke leather jacket stunt

DeSantis news – latest: Casey DeSantis nicknamed ‘Walmart Melania’ over anti-woke leather jacket stunt

Casey DeSantis, Florida’s first lady and the wife of aspiring Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, has been branded a “Walmart Melania” after she wore a leather jacket emblazoned with a map of the Sunshine State, an alligator and the legend “Where woke goes to die” during a campaign stop in Iowa to promote her husband.

Ms DeSantis wore the offending jacket in Des Moines at a “Roast and Ride” event hosted by state senator Joni Ernst.

The gesture recalled former US first lady Melania Trump wearing a jacket that said “I really don’t care. Do you?” while child immigrants were being cruelly separated from their families at the Texas border during her husband Donald Trump’s presidency.

“Walmart Melania made herself fair game when she put on this jacket,” one Twitter user wrote, while another prominent account tweeted: “Behind every Republican man, there’s a Republican woman selling out her sisterhood.”

Meanwhile, a Vice documentary about the candidate’s earlier career as a US Navy lawyer serving at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba has been mysteriously dropped from Showtime’s schedules, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with no explanation given.

Key Points

RFK Jr comes out against gun control

16:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Democratic presidential candidate and anti-vaccine advocate Robert F Kennedy Jr said during a Twitter Spaces event on Monday that he would not take away people’s guns as a solution to reducing mass shootings and instead pointed the finger at pharmaceutical drugs.

Read more...

RFK Jr comes out against gun control and blames school shootings on ‘drugs’

California investigating whether DeSantis involved in flying asylum-seekers from Texas to Sacramento

16:03 , Oliver O'Connell

Officials were investigating Tuesday whether Florida‘s Gov. Ron DeSantis was behind a flight that picked up asylum-seekers on the Texas border and flew them — apparently without their knowledge — to California’s capital, even as faith-based groups scrambled to find housing and food for them.

About 20 people ranging in age from 21 to 30 were flown by private jet to Sacramento on Monday, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said. It was the second such flight in four days.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and faith-based groups who have been assisting the migrants scheduled a news conference Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom lashed out at DeSantis as a “small, pathetic man” and suggested the state could pursue kidnapping charges.

Read more...

California investigating whether DeSantis involved in flying asylum-seekers from Texas to Sacramento

Trump suggests he is about to be charged in Mar-a-Lago classified documents case

15:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Former president Donald Trump on Monday suggested he will soon face criminal charges in the long-running federal probe into his alleged unlawful retention of national defence information at his Palm Beach, Florida property.

Writing on his Truth Social website, Mr Trump asked how the Department of Justice could “possibly charge” him for having hoarded classified documents at his home and office when similarly classified documents have been found at locations linked to other prominent figures, including President Joe Biden.

Read more...

Trump suggests he is about to be charged in Mar-a-Lago classified documents case

DNC statement on Pence's 2024 run

15:18 , Oliver O'Connell

Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison released the following statement in response to Mike Pence’s entrance into the 2024 Republican primary:

In Mike Pence’s own words, he was a member of the extreme Tea Party before it was cool,’ and he hasn’t slowed down since. Pence pushed an extreme agenda in Congress and the Indiana statehouse before becoming Donald Trump’s MAGA wingman for four years and then campaigning for election deniers last year. Now, he’s promising to take the Trump-Pence agenda even further, leading the charge for a national abortion ban, cutting Medicare, and ending Social Security as we know it.

Pence’s entrance will no doubt drag an increasingly MAGA 2024 GOP field even further to the extremes.

Texas sheriff recommends criminal charges over DeSantis migrant flights

15:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The sheriff of Bexar County, Texas is recommending criminal charges against those involved with flights that sent 49 mostly Venezuelan migrants from El Paso to Martha’s Vineyard last year, what was widely derided as a political stunt orchestrated by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

A statement from the sheriff’s office says it has completed an investigation launched last September and recommended several counts of unlawful restraint, both misdemeanours and felonies, to the office of the Bexar County district attorney.

Read more...

Texas sheriff recommends criminal charges over DeSantis migrant flights

Trump says case against him is ‘all about election interference'

14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

In his latest rant on Truth Social, former president Donald Trump claims the investigations against him are designed to interfere in the 2024 election.

He wrote:

The Marxists and Fascists in the DOJ & FBI are going after me at a level and speed never seen before in our Country, and I did nothing wrong. Joe Biden kept (keeps) thousand of documents, in many locations, some illegally taken from skiffs while he was a Senator, a big portion of which were classified. He didn’t want to give them back, and still doesn’t. Nothing happens to him, with same reasonable prosecutor who correctly exonerated Mike Pence. I have a much different prosecutor, a Trump hater!

It’s all about ELECTION INTERFERENCE. They don’t want to run against me. I ran twice, I did much better the second time, getting millions and millions more votes than the first, a record for a sitting President, and am leading Biden in the polls, by a lot. They are the Party of Disinformation! They are using the DOJ & FBI against me to Rigg the 2024 Election. They’ll hit Hunter with something small to make their strike on me look “fair.” Nothing about these Fascists is fair or honest. FIGHT!

They are also going after me as RETRIBUTION for the Republicans in Congress going after them. The difference is, they have created major crimes, I have created none!

ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!! Don’t let it happen.

Mike Pence files paperwork to enter 2024 race

14:15 , John Bowden

Mike Pence, the ex-Indiana governor who spent four years as then-president Donald Trump’s loyal vice President until he became persona non grata in MAGA circles for certifying their defeat in the 2020 election, has officially declared himself a candidate for the GOP nomination in next year’s Republican presidential primary.

Mr Pence on Monday filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to register his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, capping months of speculation over whether Mr Trump’s former right-hand man would challenge his old running mate, who is seeking to reclaim his former place at the head of the executive branch amid multiple criminal probes into his conduct.

Read more in The Independent:

Mike Pence files paperwork to jump into crowded 2024 GOP primary race

Trump and DeSantis must pledge to support eventual White House nominee as first debate announced

13:45 , John Bowden

Donald Trump and leading rival Ron DeSantis must pledge to support the eventual Republican presidential nomination if they want to take part in the party’s first primary debate.

The Republican National Committee will insist on the condition for any candidate to be on stage at the event, which it announced will take place on 23 August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Independent has the story:

Trump and DeSantis must pledge to support eventual White House nominee

ICYMI: DeSantis defines ‘woke’ after Trump claimed ‘half the people can’t'

13:15 , John Bowden

Ron DeSantis has finally responded - days after Donald Trump said “half the people” can’t define the word “woke”.

“Look, we know what woke is, it’s a form of cultural Marxism,” Mr DeSantis told NBC News journalist Dasha Burns on a campaign stop in Iowa on Saturday.

“It’s about putting merit and achievement behind identity politics, and it’s basically a war on the truth. And as that has infected institutions, and it has corrupted institutions. So, you’ve got to be willing to fight the woke, we’ve done that in Florida, and we proudly consider ourselves the state where woke goes to die.”

Two days earlier, Mr Trump took a veiled shot at the Florida governor by criticising overuse of the Republican buzzword at his own campaign event in Iowa on Thursday.

“I don’t like the term ‘woke’ because I hear, ‘Woke, woke, woke.’ It’s just a term they use, half the people can’t even define it, they don’t know what it is,” Mr Trump said at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa.

DeSantis defines ‘woke’ after Trump claimed ‘half the people can’t’

Wisconsin judge: Don't delete records from probe into 2020 Trump loss

12:45 , John Bowden

A Wisconsin judge on Monday declined to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to ensure that no records are deleted from a now-closed state office created to investigate former President Donald Trump‘s loss in 2020.

The lawsuit was one of several filed by liberal watchdog group American Oversight against former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman and the office of special counsel that he led. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired Gableman to lead that offie in 2021 under pressure from Mr Trump and conservative Republicans in Wisconsin who were pushing for the state to decertify Joe Biden’s win.

Read more in The Independent about the far-reaching fallout from that now-shuttered effort:

Wisconsin judge: Don't delete records from probe into 2020 Trump loss

Chris Christie set to launch 2024 presidential bid

12:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Yesterday Mike Pence made his first steps towards announcing a tilt at the White House.

This evening, it looks like former New Jersey governor Chris Christie will launch his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination at a town hall gathering in New Hampshire.

The campaign will be the second for Mr Christie, who lost to Donald Trump in 2016 and went on to become a close on-and-off adviser before breaking with the former president over his refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election. He has cast himself as the only candidate willing to directly take on the 45th president.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie set to launch 2024 presidential bid at New Hampshire town hall

Casey DeSantis labelled ‘Walmart Melania’ over jacket stunt

12:08 , Joe Sommerlad

Casey DeSantis, Florida’s first lady and the wife of aspiring Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, has been branded a “Walmart Melania” after she wore a leather jacket emblazoned with a map of the Sunshine State, an alligator and the legend “Where woke goes to die” during a campaign stop in Iowa to promote her husband.

Ms DeSantis wore the offending jacket in Des Moines at a “Roast and Ride” event hosted by state senator Joni Ernst.

The gesture recalled former US first lady Melania Trump wearing a jacket that said “I really don’t care. Do you?” while child immigrants were being cruelly separated from their families at the Texas border during her husband Donald Trump’s presidency.

“Walmart Melania made herself fair game when she put on this jacket,” one Twitter user wrote, while another prominent account tweeted: “Behind every Republican man, there’s a Republican woman selling out her sisterhood.”

Casey DeSantis’s ‘Walmart Melania’ nickname divides opinion: ‘We can all be better’

Trump's latest Truth Social meltdown

11:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Donald Trump unleashed a furious all-caps rant against the Department of Justice on Monday and appeared to indicate that he believed charges were imminent in the case of his dispute with the National Archives over his retention of presidential records.

In a Truth Social post, he also revealed that two other attorneys on his payroll, James Trusty and John Rowley, had also met with the Justice Department on Monday.

The former president wrote:

“HOW CAN DOJ POSSIBLY CHARGE ME, WHO DID NOTHING WRONG, WHEN NO OTHER PRESIDENT’S WERE CHARGED, WHEN JOE BIDEN WON’T BE CHARGED FOR ANYTHING, INCLUDING THE FACT THAT HE HAS 1,850 BOXES, MUCH OF IT CLASSIFIED, AND SOME DATING BACK TO HIS SENATE DAY WHEN EVEN DEMOCRAT SENATORS ARE SHOCKED. ALSO, PRESIDENT CLINTON HAD DOCUMENTS, AND WON IN COURT. CROOKED HILLARY DELETED 33,000 EMAILS, MANY CLASSIFIED, AND WASN’T EVEN CLOSE TO BEING CHARGED! ONLY TRUMP - THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!”

Originally, it had been reported by Politico that attorneys Evan Corcoran and Lindsey Halligan, had been spotted entering the DoJ’s headquarters.

Read more:

Trump suggests he is about to be charged in Mar-a-Lago classified documents case

CNN boss apologises to staff after brutal magazine profile

11:15 , John Bowden

CNN’s boss Chris Licht has apologised to the cable news network’s staff in a Monday morning call, according to reports.

The organization’s CEO has faced criticism from staff in the wake of the controversial Donald Trump town hall and a searing 15,000-word profile in The Atlantic.

Staff at the company have complained that the disastrous profile, released on Friday, showed poor judgement with CNN already suffering falling ratings.

Read more from Graeme Massie:

CNN boss apologises to staff after brutal magazine profile

Lauren Boebert caught on video sprinting to vote she claims she missed on purpose

10:15 , John Bowden

Colorado far-right Representative Lauren Boebert has been caught on video sprinting to a vote that she later claimed to have missed on purpose.

She insisted at the time that she missed the Thursday House vote on the raising of the debt ceiling as a “no-show protest”.

But footage shared on Sunday by Morgan Rimmer of CNN shows Ms Boebert running up the stairs of the Capitol on the night of the vote.

As she runs up the steps in the footage, Ms Rimmer tells Ms Boebert, “they just closed it”.

Read about the moment here:

Lauren Boebert caught on video sprinting to vote she claims she missed on purpose

Chasten Buttigieg calls out Nikki Haley for linking teen suicidal thought to trans girls using locker rooms

09:15 , John Bowden

Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, criticised Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley after Ms Haley claimed that the presence of trans girls in female locker rooms is connected to a rise in suicidal thought among teenage girls in the US.

Ms Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the United Nations, has been making simliar claims in campaign trail appearances for weeks. But the assertion, offered without any evidence, gained national attention when she made it during a CNN town hall in Iowa on Sunday night.

After moderator Jake Tapper asked Ms Haley how she would define the term “woke” partway through the event, the candidate launched an attack on trans children.

More from Abe Asher:

Chasten Buttigieg calls out Haley for linking trans girls to teen suicidal thought

Mike Pence files paperwork to jump into crowded 2024 GOP primary race

09:14 , John Bowden

Mike Pence, the ex-Indiana governor who spent four years as then-president Donald Trump’s loyal vice President until he became persona non grata in MAGA circles for certifying their defeat in the 2020 election, has officially declared himself a candidate for the GOP nomination in next year’s Republican presidential primary.

Mr Pence on Monday filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to register his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, capping months of speculation over whether Mr Trump’s former right-hand man would challenge his old running mate, who is seeking to reclaim his former place at the head of the executive branch amid multiple criminal probes into his conduct.

Read more in The Independent:

Mike Pence files paperwork to jump into crowded 2024 GOP primary race

Showtime pulls Vice episode probing Ron Desantis’s Guantanamo record despite campaign trail questions

08:15 , John Bowden

The premium cable network Showtime halted the planned airing of a Vice investigation into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his service as an attorney for the US military, just as the Republican candidate faces questions about the issue on the campaign trail.

The move was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, explaining that the episode had originally been set to air on 28 May. The reason for the episode’s change was not given, and a rerun was played in place of a new episode during Vice’s 28 May timeslot on Showtime.

But a spokesperson for Vice told The Independent on Monday that the investigation itself may still make it to air.

Read more:

Showtime pulls Vice episode probing Ron Desantis’s Guantanamo record

Biden looking to shore up Hispanic support ahead of 2024

07:15 , John Bowden

Joe Biden vowed in 2020 to work “like the devil” to energise Hispanic voters and flew to Florida seven weeks before Election Day to do just that.

But, as he stepped to the podium at a Hispanic Heritage Month event near Disney World, Biden declared, “I just have one thing to say”, and used his phone to play part of “Despacito.”

It was meant to salute the singer of the reggaeton hit, Luis Fonsi, who had introduced him.

But the gesture triggered online backlash from some Hispanics who saw it as playing to belittling stereotypes — proof that while outreach is important, failing to strike the right tone can undermine it.

“The details actually matter for people because it’s respecting their background, respecting their history, respecting their culture,” said Grecia Lima, national political director of the progressive activist group Community Change Action.

President Biden isn’t the first politician to strike a sour note trying to connect across cultural lines but the blowback he encountered illustrates a bigger challenge he faces while seeking a second term.

Biden, looking to shore up Hispanic support, faces pressure to get 2024 outreach details right

RFK Jr heaps praise on Elon Musk saying he is ‘rescuing American Democracy’ during Twitter event

06:15 , John Bowden

Presidential candidate and anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert F Kennedy Jr heaped praise on Twitter owner Elon Musk for defending free speech, during a Twitter spaces event with the executive on Monday afternoon.

Mr Kennedy, who has long promoted the discredited theory that vaccines play a role in causing autism, participated in a Twitter Spaces event on Monday and praised Mr Muk for his stewardship of the social media giant for supposedly stopping censorship of voices that dissent from orthodoxy.

The forum is the second such event that Mr Musk has hosted with a presidential hopeful. Last month, Mr Musk hosted a Twitter Sspaces forum with Florida Gov Ron DeSantis as he announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.

Eric Garcia has more:

RFK Jr praises Elon Musk for ‘rescuing American Democracy’ during Twitter event

Texas bans gender-affirming care for minors

05:15 , John Bowden

Texas has become the latest state to ban gender-affirming care for minors after governor Greg Abbott signed legislation on Friday.

The Lone Star State has joined at least 18 other states that have enacted similar bans.

Every major medical organisation, including the American Medical Association, has opposed the bans and supported the medical care for youth when administered appropriately.

Lawsuits have been filed in several states where bans have been enacted this year.

Read more:

Texas bans gender-affirming care for minors

Florida congressman shouts ‘f*** Ron DeSantis’ on stage at Paramore concert

04:15 , John Bowden

Maxwell Alejandro Frost has laughed off criticism after he yelled “F*** Ron DeSantis” while performing on stage at a Paramore concert on Friday night.

The Florida congressman was asked by lead singer Hayley Williams if he had a message for the crowd as he took the stage to perform “Misery Business” with the group at the Capitol One Arena in Washington DC.

The Gen Z Democrat lawmaker responded: “F*** Ron DeSantis! F*** fascism!”

When a clip of Mr Alejandro Frost’s outburst was posted to Twitter by the Conservative War Machine account, he replied “lol they’re so mad”.

“I said what I said,” he wrote in another post.

Read more:

Florida congressman shouts ‘f*** Ron DeSantis’ on stage at Paramore concert

Trump hits out at former White House lawyer attorney Ty Cobb

04:15 , John Bowden

Former President Donald Trump took aim at the reputation of his former White House attorney Ty Cobb in a post on the social media platform Truth Social on Monday.

“Ty Cobb is a disgruntled former Lawyer, who represented me long ago, and knows absolutely nothing about the Boxes Hoax being perpetrated upon me by the DOJ for purposes of interfering with the upcoming 2024 Presidential Election, where I am substantially leading all “comers,” including Republicans and Democrats,” Mr Trump wrote. “His words are angry, nasty, and libelous, only because I did not continue using him (and paying him), and for good reason. He will be held legally responsible for his false statements!”

Mr Cobb has apparently incurred the former president’s wrath by telling Erin Burnett on CNN on Wednesday that a recording of Mr Trump reportedly discussing a classified document “eviscerates” his defense in the Justice Department’s investigation into his handling of classified documents.

ICYMI: DOJ will not charge Pence for classified documents

03:15 , John Bowden

The Department of Justice will not charge former vice president Mike Pence for any potential mishandling of classified documents and has closed its investigation, CNN reported.

The department sent a letter saying it will not charge Mr Pence after the former vice president’s attorney found classified documents in his home in Indiana. Mr Pence had asked his attorney to search his home after news reports that President Joe Biden had classified documents at his own personal residence.

Eric Garcia reports.

Trump rages that Pence won’t face charges for classified documents

‘I did it for 30 years’: Roger Stone caught on hot mic explaining how to manipulate Trump

02:16 , John Bowden

Longtime Donald Trump ally Roger Stone was caught on audio explaining how he allegedly manipulated the former president for decades.

Mr Stone, who served as a formal adviser to Mr Trump during his first presidential campaign, is the subject of the Danish documentary A Storm Foretold which refers to Mr Stone as “Trump’s political godfather.”

Despite Mr Stone publicly boasting about Mr Trump’s abilities and image, in private it seems he felt differently.

Ariana Baio has the story.

Roger Stone caught on hot mic explaining how he manipulated Trump

David Furnish hits out at Ron DeSantis for ‘diabolically anti-Christian’ policies against LGBTQ+ people

02:15 , John Bowden

Florida governor and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis has “weaponised sexuality” and is “harnessing the hate of a vocal minority of extremists and pandering to fringe voters in a bid to gain power,” according to David Furnish.

The filmmaker and husband of Sir Elton John argued in an opinion piece in The Independent that the Republican governor has implemented a wave of anti-LGTBQ+ policies seeking to roll back the gains in acceptance and quality made during Mr Furnish’s lifetime.

Read more:

David Furnish slams Ron DeSantis for ‘diabolical’ ant-LGBTQ+ policies

Trump investigators reportedly looking at swimming pool worker who flooded Mar-a-Lago records room

01:54 , Abe Asher

Federal investigators are probing an incident in which a an employee at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago flooded a room where computer servers containing video surveillance logs were stored last year, CNN reported on Monday.

The maintenance worker was reportedly draining a swimming pool on the property when the server room was flooded.

Investigators have reportedly not yet determined whether the flooding of the room was accidental or intentional, but if they deem it was intentional, it could help the government build a conspiracy obstruction of justice case against Mr Trump and his possible collaborators.

Trump investigators looking at pool worker who flooded Mar-a-Lago records room

Marjorie Taylor Greene U-turns on release of Jan 6 tapes

01:15 , John Bowden

Marjorie Taylor Greene has blamed liberal philanthropist George Soros and supposed concerns for Capitol security for abruptly reversing her position on releasing footage of the January 6 riot.

After previously calling for the tapes of the insurrection to be shared publicly, the Georgia congresswoman said on Friday that it could endanger the safety at the Capitol and of those who were present during the rioting but did not commit any crimes.

“If we released these video tapes just widely for the public — number one, we put the security of the Capitol at risk, because there’s over 1,700 video cameras,” she said in an interview with the right-wing Real America’s Voice channel.

Read more:

Marjorie Taylor Greene U-turns on Jan 6 tapes - citing Capitol security fear

The case of the missing classified document

Tuesday 6 June 2023 00:16 , John Bowden

Donald Trump’s attorneys have been unable to find the classified document described in a recording of a 2021 conversation that is now in the possession of prosecutors, CNN reports.

Earlier this week, the network broke the news that a recording existed of the former president acknowledging that he had held onto a classified Pentagon document outlining a potential attack on Iran.

Citing two sources, CNN now reports that attorneys for Mr Trump could not find the document he referred to when they turned over material in mid-March in response to a federal subpoena relating to the investigation.

Read more:

Trump attorneys couldn’t find classified document he said he had on tape, report says

Trump accuses Ron DeSantis of ‘blatantly’ plagiarising his speech

Tuesday 6 June 2023 00:01 , Graeme Massie

Neither of the 2024 presidential primary candidates originated the phrase in question.

Trump accuses Ron DeSantis of ‘blatantly’ plagiarising his speech

Trump’s town halls expose media’s inability to fact-check a fountain of nonsense

Monday 5 June 2023 23:45 , John Bowden

Donald Trump finished his town hall on Fox News on Thursday evening after making another whirlwind of false claims about a wide range of topics — the 2020 election, his trade policy, and his efforts to remain in the presidency to name a few.

The roughly hour-long performance was notable only for its rigid adherence to form: the ex-president spat out mistruths and conspiracies faster than any journalist could respond, not that Fox’s Sean Hannity ever meaningfully pushed back at all.

But the similarities between Mr Trump’s appearances on Fox News and its second-place rival, CNN, a few weeks earlier beg the question: why does cable news keep doing this?

John Bowden reports.

Trump’s Fox and CNN town halls expose media’s fact-checking weakness

Trump makes misleading claim that New York hush money case could be dropped

Monday 5 June 2023 23:15 , John Bowden

Donald Trump has misleadingly claimed that prosecutors in New York could soon be forced to drop hush money charges against him.

In a 12.24am all caps post on Truth Social on Sunday, Mr Trump wrote that “legal experts are saying” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will have to drop his “weak and disparaged case against ‘Trump’”.

Mr Trump claimed that the DA’s financial crimes investigator Jeremy Rosenberg had “corruptly colluded with a disgraced, disbarred, and convicted felon & perjurer”, referring to his former attorney turned bitter enemy Michael Cohen.

The outburst came soon after the publication of a New York Post story claiming Mr Rosenberg had been suspended by the DA’s office over his contact with Mr Cohen.

Read more:

Trump makes misleading claim that New York hush money case could be dropped

Showtime pulls Vice episode probing Ron Desantis’s Guantanamo record despite campaign trail questions

Monday 5 June 2023 22:45 , John Bowden

The premium cable network Showtime halted the planned airing of a Vice investigation into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his service as an attorney for the US military, just as the Republican candidate faces questions about the issue on the campaign trail.

The move was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, explaining that the episode had originally been set to air on 28 May. The reason for the episode’s change was not given, and a rerun was played in place of a new episode during Vice’s 28 May timeslot on Showtime.

But a spokesperson for Vice told The Independent on Monday that the investigation itself may still make it to air.

Read more:

Showtime pulls Vice episode probing Ron Desantis’s Guantanamo record

Monday 5 June 2023 21:55 , John Bowden

CNN’s boss Chris Licht has apologised to the cable news network’s staff in a Monday morning call, according to reports.

The organization’s CEO has faced criticism from staff in the wake of the controversial Donald Trump town hall and a searing 15,000-word profile in The Atlantic.

Staff at the company have complained that the disastrous profile, released on Friday, showed poor judgement with CNN already suffering falling ratings.

Read more from Graeme Massie:

CNN boss apologises to staff after brutal magazine profile

Wisconsin judge: Don't delete records from probe into 2020 Trump loss

Monday 5 June 2023 21:16 , John Bowden

A Wisconsin judge on Monday declined to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to ensure that no records are deleted from a now-closed state office created to investigate former President Donald Trump‘s loss in 2020.

The lawsuit was one of several filed by liberal watchdog group American Oversight against former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman and the office of special counsel that he led. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired Gableman to lead that offie in 2021 under pressure from Mr Trump and conservative Republicans in Wisconsin who were pushing for the state to decertify Joe Biden’s win.

Read more in The Independent about the far-reaching fallout from that now-shuttered effort:

Wisconsin judge: Don't delete records from probe into 2020 Trump loss

Chasten Buttigieg calls out Nikki Haley for linking teen suicidal thought to trans girls using locker rooms

Monday 5 June 2023 20:11 , John Bowden

Chasten Buttigieg, the husband of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, criticised Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley after Ms Haley claimed that the presence of trans girls in female locker rooms is connected to a rise in suicidal thought among teenage girls in the US.

Ms Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the United Nations, has been making simliar claims in campaign trail appearances for weeks. But the assertion, offered without any evidence, gained national attention when she made it during a CNN town hall in Iowa on Sunday night.

After moderator Jake Tapper asked Ms Haley how she would define the term “woke” partway through the event, the candidate launched an attack on trans children.

More from Abe Asher:

Chasten Buttigieg calls out Haley for linking trans girls to teen suicidal thought

Trump reveals two other attorneys met with DoJ as he suggests charges are imminent

Monday 5 June 2023 19:12 , John Bowden

Donald Trump unleashed a furious rant against the Department of Justice on Monday, and appeared to indicate that he believed charges were imminent in the case of his dispute with the National Archives over his retention of presidential records.

In a Truth Social post, he also revealed that two other attorneys on his payroll, James Trusty and John Rowley, had also met with the Justice Department on Monday.

“HOW CAN DOJ POSSIBLY CHARGE ME, WHO DID NOTHING WRONG, WHEN NO OTHER PRESIDENT’S WERE CHARGED, WHEN JOE BIDEN WON’T BE CHARGED FOR ANYTHING, INCLUDING THE FACT THAT HE HAS 1,850 BOXES, MUCH OF IT CLASSIFIED, AND SOME DATING BACK TO HIS SENATE DAY WHEN EVEN DEMOCRAT SENATORS ARE SHOCKED. ALSO, PRESIDENT CLINTON HAD DOCUMENTS, AND WON IN COURT. CROOKED HILLARY DELETED 33,000 EMAILS, MANY CLASSIFIED, AND WASN’T EVEN CLOSE TO BEING CHARGED! ONLY TRUMP - THE GREATEST WITCH HUNT OF ALL TIME!” wrote the former president.

Read more:

Trump suggests he is about to be charged in Mar-a-Lago classified documents case

ICYMI: DeSantis defines ‘woke’ after Trump claimed ‘half the people can’t'

Monday 5 June 2023 18:57 , John Bowden

Ron DeSantis has presented his definition of his favourite word - “woke” - days after Donald Trump said “half the people” can’t define it.

“Look, we know what woke is, it’s a form of cultural Marxism,” Mr DeSantis told NBC News journalist Dasha Burns on a campaign stop in Iowa on Saturday.

“It’s about putting merit and achievement behind identity politics, and it’s basically a war on the truth. And as that has infected institutions, and it has corrupted institutions. So, you’ve got to be willing to fight the woke, we’ve done that in Florida, and we proudly consider ourselves the state where woke goes to die.”

Two days earlier, Mr Trump took a veiled shot at the Florida governor by criticising overuse of the Republican buzzword at his own campaign event in Iowa on Thursday.

“I don’t like the term ‘woke’ because I hear, ‘Woke, woke, woke.’ It’s just a term they use, half the people can’t even define it, they don’t know what it is,” Mr Trump said at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa.

DeSantis defines ‘woke’ after Trump claimed ‘half the people can’t’

Classified documents grand jury expected to meet this week

Monday 5 June 2023 17:35 , John Bowden

A grand jury hearing evidence in the federal investigation into Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents is expected to reconvene this week, according to a new report.

The news signals that Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probe into the former president may be moving closer to a possible indictment, according to NBC News.

The grand jury has been hearing evidence and witness testimony for several months, but had been on a recent hiatus, according to the report.

Read more:

New development in Trump’s classified documents case as grand jury expected to meet

Mike Pence files paperwork to enter 2024 race

Monday 5 June 2023 17:05 , John Bowden

Mike Pence, the ex-Indiana governor who spent four years as then-president Donald Trump’s loyal vice President until he became persona non grata in MAGA circles for certifying their defeat in the 2020 election, has officially declared himself a candidate for the GOP nomination in next year’s Republican presidential primary.

Mr Pence on Monday filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to register his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, capping months of speculation over whether Mr Trump’s former right-hand man would challenge his old running mate, who is seeking to reclaim his former place at the head of the executive branch amid multiple criminal probes into his conduct.

Read more in The Independent:

Mike Pence files paperwork to jump into crowded 2024 GOP primary race

Two Trump attorneys spotted entering DoJ headquarters

Monday 5 June 2023 16:29 , John Bowden

Two members of Donald Trump’s legal team were spotted by Politico entering the Washington DC headquarters of the Department of Justice late Monday morning as the agency continues to lead a pair of investigations into the former president.

The two attorneys spotted were Evan Corcoran and Lindsey Halligan, according to Politico, who primarily work on the ex-president’s legal defence against an investigation into his handling of presidential records, including classified materials.

Read more here.

Lauren Boebert confirms former WWE star is not her father

Monday 5 June 2023 16:04 , John Bowden

A former WWE wrestler who had a fling with Lauren Boebert’s mother in the 1980s has taken a second DNA test to conclusively prove he is not the congresswoman’s biological father.

Stan Lane, 69, was accused by the Colorado Republican’s mother Shawn Roberts Bentz decades ago of fathering the child while he was working for Championship Wrestling in Florida.

He submitted to a court-ordered DNA paternity test in the 1980s to settle a child support dispute, which found that he and the 36-year-old lawmaker were not related.

However, doubts persisted after a lab technician who took Mr Lane’s DNA was later convicted of taking a bribe to switch samples in a separate case.

Bevan Hurley picks up the story.

Lauren Boebert confirms former WWE star is not her father

Nikki Haley faces scathing criticism for transgender comments

Monday 5 June 2023 15:28 , John Bowden

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley is facing strong resistance from the left over her assertion during a CNN town hall that the acceptance of transgender persons could be contributing to rates of suicide among teenage girls.

“My daughter ran track in high school. I don’t even know how I would have that conversation with her. How are we supposed to get our girls used to the fact that biological boys are in their locker rooms?“ Ms Haley asked.

“And then we wonder why a third of our teenage girls seriously contemplated suicide last year,” the former governor continued.

The remarks earned criticism from Chasten Buttigieg, among others, for the shocking and baseless assertion that the small segment of American children were somehow to blame for their fellows’ deaths.

“Nikki Haley suggesting that 1/3 of American teenage girls are contemplating suicide because of the existence of trans people is an unserious, untrue, and hateful thing to say. But hate is the point, isn't it?” wrote Mr Buttigieg on Monday.

Texas bans gender-affirming care for minors

Monday 5 June 2023 14:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Texas has become the most populous state to ban gender-affirming care for minors after governor Greg Abbott signed legislation on Friday.

Texas joined at least 18 other states that have enacted similar bans.

Every major medical organisation, including the American Medical Association, has opposed the bans and supported the medical care for youth when administered appropriately.

Lawsuits have been filed in several states where bans have been enacted this year.

Texas bans gender-affirming care for minors

Biden looking to shore up Hispanic support ahead of 2024

Monday 5 June 2023 14:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Joe Biden vowed in 2020 to work “like the devil” to energise Hispanic voters and flew to Florida seven weeks before Election Day to do just that.

But, as he stepped to the podium at a Hispanic Heritage Month event near Disney World, Biden declared, “I just have one thing to say”, and used his phone to play part of “Despacito.”

It was meant to salute the singer of the reggaeton hit, Luis Fonsi, who had introduced him.

But the gesture triggered online backlash from some Hispanics who saw it as playing to belittling stereotypes — proof that while outreach is important, failing to strike the right tone can undermine it.

“The details actually matter for people because it’s respecting their background, respecting their history, respecting their culture,” said Grecia Lima, national political director of the progressive activist group Community Change Action.

President Biden isn’t the first politician to strike a sour note trying to connect across cultural lines but the blowback he encountered illustrates a bigger challenge he faces while seeking a second term.

Biden, looking to shore up Hispanic support, faces pressure to get 2024 outreach details right

Biden set for critical talks on Ukraine

Monday 5 June 2023 13:45 , Joe Sommerlad

President Joe Biden is welcoming Denmark and Britain’s prime ministers to Washington this week for talks that will focus heavily on what lays ahead in the war in Ukraine – including the recently-launched effort to train, and eventually equip, Ukraine with American-made F-16s fighter jets

Here’s everything you need to know about the president’s diplomatic schedule.

Biden set for critical talks on Ukraine this week with Denmark's Frederiksen, UK's Sunak

Showtime documentary on DeSantis’s Guantanamo Bay career mysteriously dropped

Monday 5 June 2023 13:15 , Joe Sommerlad

A Vice documentary about Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis’s earlier career as a US Navy lawyer serving at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba has been mysteriously dropped from Showtime’s schedules, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with no explanation given.

The episode had been due to air on 28 May and an advanced screener was made available to journalists but that has since been dropped and the 4 June instalment of the series is now being referred to as episode four, rather than the one originally slated, entitled: “The Gitmo Candidate & Chipping Away.”

“We don’t comment on scheduling decisions,” a Showtime spokesperson told THR.

Ron DeSantis served as a US Navy lawyer at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba (Getty/iStock)
Ron DeSantis served as a US Navy lawyer at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba (Getty/iStock)

A Vice spokesperson told the same outlet: “As with all current affairs programming there can be scheduling changes, and we are very much still in discussion about the scheduling of this episode. We are proud of our reporting and of our continuing partnership with Showtime.”

Mysterious.

DeSantis wraps up first early states tour

Monday 5 June 2023 12:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Florida governor Ron DeSantis wrapped up his first tour of early voting states as a presidential candidate on Friday, showcasing his personal side in South Carolina with a lighthearted sit-down with his wife and an emotional moment with a military spouse.

You can read more about the candidate’s debut week below.

DeSantis wraps up 1st early states tour as candidate with more personal touch in South Carolina

Lauren Boebert confirms former WWE star is not her father

Monday 5 June 2023 12:15 , Joe Sommerlad

A former WWE wrestler who had a fling with Lauren Boebert’s mother in the 1980s has taken a second DNA test to conclusively prove he is not the congresswoman’s biological father.

Stan Lane, 69, was accused by the Colorado Republican’s mother Shawn Roberts Bentz decades ago of fathering the child while he was working for Championship Wrestling in Florida.

He submitted to a court-ordered DNA paternity test in the 1980s to settle a child support dispute, which found that he and the 36-year-old lawmaker were not related.

However, doubts persisted after a lab technician who took Mr Lane’s DNA was later convicted of taking a bribe to switch samples in a separate case.

Bevan Hurley picks up the story.

Lauren Boebert confirms former WWE star is not her father

McEnany v Trump: What happened?

Monday 5 June 2023 11:45 , Joe Sommerlad

In a moment that shocked some — but came as no surprise to others — Donald Trump turned against his former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany last week for allegedly broadcasting inaccurate poll numbers.

Ms McEnany, who served as the former president’s fourth press secretary, was known as one of his most loyal aides and staunch defenders, something she continued when she joined Fox News as a contributor after he lost the 2020 election and left office.

Nevertheless, Mr Trump pulled no punches in a Truth Social Post, complaining about a segment from her show in which he claimed she misreported the scale of his lead over Ron DeSantis.

You can more about their falling-out below.

Trump attorneys couldn’t find classified document he said he had on tape, report says

Jack Dorsey endorses Robert F Kennedy Jr for president

Monday 5 June 2023 11:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey has officially endorsed anti-vaxxer and bitcoin enthusiast Robert F Kennedy Jr for president.

Mr Dorsey shared a YouTube link to a Fox News interview of John F Kennedy’s 69-year-old nephew on Sunday, titled “Robert F Kennedy Jr argues he can beat Trump and DeSantis in 2024”.

Mr Dorsey quote tweeted the link, commenting: “He can and will.”

RFK Jr announced his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in April and hit the campaign trail for the first time last week.

Maroosha Muzaffar has more.

Jack Dorsey endorses Robert F Kennedy Jr for president

Nikki Haley rebukes Trump for supporting ‘thug’ Kim Jong-un and sitting on fence over Ukraine

Monday 5 June 2023 10:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Donald Trump is facing criticism from his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination after congratulating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on his country being admitted to the World Health Organisation’s Executive Board.

Reacting at a campaign appearance in Iowa, Florida governor Ron DeSantis said: “I was surprised to see that. I mean, one, Kim Jong-un is a murderous dictator.”

Nikki Haley, Mr Trump’s former ambassador to the UN, responded equally strongly during a CNN town hall event, remarking: “Kim Jong-un is a thug. I don’t think we should congratulate dictators.”

Nikki Haley (AP)
Nikki Haley (AP)

The former South Carolina governor, the only woman in the race, also took her competitors to task over their comments on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying: “For them to sit there and say that this is a territorial dispute – that’s just not the case, or to say that we should stay neutral.

“It’s in the best interest of our national security for Ukraine to win.”

Mr Trump continues to dominate the field among potential Republican primary voters with 49 per cent of support, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll. Mr DeSantis is next with 19 per cent and Ms Haley way behind on 4 per cent.

Trump makes misleading claim that New York hush money case could be dropped

Monday 5 June 2023 09:45 , Megan Sheets

Donald Trump has misleadingly claimed that prosecutors in New York could soon be forced to drop hush money charges against him.

In a 12.24am all caps post on Truth Social on Sunday, Mr Trump wrote that “legal experts are saying” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will have to drop his “weak and disparaged case against ‘Trump’”.

Mr Trump claimed that the DA’s financial crimes investigator Jeremy Rosenberg had “corruptly colluded with a disgraced, disbarred, and convicted felon & perjurer”, referring to his former attorney turned bitter enemy Michael Cohen.

The outburst came soon after the publication of a New York Post story claiming Mr Rosenberg had been suspended by the DA’s office over his contact with Mr Cohen.

Read more:

Trump makes misleading claim that New York hush money case could be dropped

The case of the missing classified document

Monday 5 June 2023 07:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump’s attorneys have been unable to find the classified document described in a recording of a 2021 conversation that is now in the possession of prosecutors, CNN reports.

Earlier this week, the network broke the news that a recording existed of the former president acknowledging that he had held onto a classified Pentagon document outlining a potential attack on Iran.

Citing two sources, CNN now reports that attorneys for Mr Trump could not find the document he referred to when they turned over material in mid-March in response to a federal subpoena relating to the investigation.

Read more...

Trump attorneys couldn’t find classified document he said he had on tape, report says

ICYMI: DeSantis defines ‘woke’ after Trump claimed ‘half the people can’t'

Monday 5 June 2023 05:45 , Megan Sheets

Ron DeSantis has presented his definition of his favourite word - “woke” - days after Donald Trump said “half the people” can’t define it.

“Look, we know what woke is, it’s a form of cultural Marxism,” Mr DeSantis told NBC News journalist Dasha Burns on a campaign stop in Iowa on Saturday.

“It’s about putting merit and achievement behind identity politics, and it’s basically a war on the truth. And as that has infected institutions, and it has corrupted institutions. So, you’ve got to be willing to fight the woke, we’ve done that in Florida, and we proudly consider ourselves the state where woke goes to die.”

Two days earlier, Mr Trump took a veiled shot at the Florida governor by criticising overuse of the Republican buzzword at his own campaign event in Iowa on Thursday.

“I don’t like the term ‘woke’ because I hear, ‘Woke, woke, woke.’ It’s just a term they use, half the people can’t even define it, they don’t know what it is,” Mr Trump said at the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa.

DeSantis defines ‘woke’ after Trump claimed ‘half the people can’t’

Federal judge recuses himself from Disney v DeSantis

Monday 5 June 2023 03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A federal judge set to preside over Disney’s lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has recused himself from the case, citing a relative who owns stocks in the company, according to an order filed on 2 June.

US District Judge Mark E Walker, who was appointed to the federal judiciary by Barack Obama, responded to a motion from Mr DeSantis’s legal team seeking his removal from the case.

Alex Woodward has the details.

Judge in Disney v DeSantis recuses himself and accuses attorneys of ‘judge-shopping’

DeSantis condemns Trump for congratulating ‘murderous dictator’ Kim Jong-un

Monday 5 June 2023 02:45 , Megan Sheets

Donald Trump is under fire from Republicans for complimenting North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after his country was admitted to the World Health Organisation’s Executive Board.

“Congratulations to Kim Jung Un!” the former president wrote on Truth Social, misspelling his name while sharing news of the admission.

The post drew immediate condemnation from GOP presidential candidates and state party leaders - including his top 2024 rival Ron DeSantis.

Asked about the post at an Iowa campaign event on Saturday, the Florida governor said: “I was surprised to see that. I mean, one, Kim Jong-un is a murderous dictator.”

Mr DeSantis noted that North Korea recently sentenced a family with a young infant to life in prison - before shifting his condemnation to the WHO.

Read more:

DeSantis condemns Trump for congratulating ‘murderous dictator’ Kim Jong-un

Trump reacts to report Pence won’t face charges for classified documents

Monday 5 June 2023 01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

“I’m at least as innocent as he is.”

Trump rages that Pence won’t face charges for classified documents

Classified documents grand jury expected to meet this week

Monday 5 June 2023 00:45 , Megan Sheets

A grand jury hearing evidence in the federal investigation into Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents is expected to reconvene this week, according to a new report.

The news signals that Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probe into the former president may be moving closer to a possible indictment, according to NBC News.

The grand jury has been hearing evidence and witness testimony for several months, but had been on a recent hiatus, according to the report.

Read more:

New development in Trump’s classified documents case as grand jury expected to meet

Sweeping racketeering case possible as Georgia could widen probe to other states, report says

Sunday 4 June 2023 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A Georgia prosecutor’s criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election has reportedly expanded its scope to include activities in Washington DC and several other states, suggesting that Atlanta-area district attorney Fani Willis is exploring a racketeering case against the former president and his allies.

Alex Woodward reports.

Georgia Trump investigation could include other states in racketeering case: report

Marjorie Taylor Greene U-turns on release of Jan 6 tapes

Sunday 4 June 2023 22:45 , Megan Sheets

Marjorie Taylor Greene has blamed liberal philanthropist George Soros and supposed concerns for Capitol security for abruptly reversing her position on releasing footage of the January 6 riot.

After previously calling for the tapes of the insurrection to be shared publicly, the Georgia congresswoman said on Friday that it could endanger the safety at the Capitol and of those who were present during the rioting but did not commit any crimes.

“If we released these video tapes just widely for the public — number one, we put the security of the Capitol at risk, because there’s over 1,700 video cameras,” she said in an interview with the right-wing Real America’s Voice channel.

Read more:

Marjorie Taylor Greene U-turns on Jan 6 tapes - citing Capitol security fear

‘Are you blind?’: DeSantis lashes out at reporter on New Hampshire campaign visit

Sunday 4 June 2023 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis snapped at a reporter, asking him “are you blind?” after they asked him why he wouldn’t take questions from potential voters.

Mr DeSantis — who formally announced his 2024 presidential candidacy during a buggy Twitter spaces event hosted by Elon Musk — held a campaign event in New Hampshire on Thursday, after which he refused to take any questions.

Read more...

DeSantis lashes out at reporter on New Hampshire campaign visit: ‘Are you blind?’

Trump’s town halls expose media’s inability to fact-check a fountain of nonsense

Sunday 4 June 2023 19:45 , Megan Sheets

Donald Trump finished his town hall on Fox News on Thursday evening after making another whirlwind of false claims about a wide range of topics — the 2020 election, his trade policy, and his efforts to remain in the presidency to name a few.

The roughly hour-long performance was notable only for its rigid adherence to form: the ex-president spat out mistruths and conspiracies faster than any journalist could respond, not that Fox’s Sean Hannity ever meaningfully pushed back at all.

But the similarities between Mr Trump’s appearances on Fox News and its second-place rival, CNN, a few weeks earlier beg the question: why does cable news keep doing this?

John Bowden reports.

Trump’s Fox and CNN town halls expose media’s fact-checking weakness

‘I did it for 30 years’: Roger Stone caught on hot mic explaining how to manipulate Trump

Sunday 4 June 2023 17:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Longtime Donald Trump ally Roger Stone was caught on audio explaining how he allegedly manipulated the former president for decades.

Mr Stone, who served as a formal adviser to Mr Trump during his first presidential campaign, is the subject of the Danish documentary A Storm Foretold which refers to Mr Stone as “Trump’s political godfather.”

Despite Mr Stone publicly boasting about Mr Trump’s abilities and image, in private it seems he felt differently.

Ariana Baio has the story.

Roger Stone caught on hot mic explaining how he manipulated Trump

DeSantis defines ‘woke’ after Trump said ‘half the people can’t'

Sunday 4 June 2023 15:45 , Megan Sheets

Ron DeSantis has provided his own definition of his favourite word - “woke” - calling it “basically a war on the truth”.

The Florida governor was asked for his definition during a campaign stop in Iowa on Saturday - days after Donald Trump said “half the people” can’t define it.

“Look, we know what woke is, it’s a form of cultural Marxism,” he told NBC News journalist Dasha Burns. “It’s about putting merit and achievement behind identity politics, and it’s basically a war on the truth. And as that has infected institutions, and it has corrupted institutions. So, you’ve got to be willing to fight the woke, we’ve done that in Florida, and we proudly consider ourselves the state where woke goes to die.”

In a veiled shot at Mr DeSantis, Mr Trump criticised the GOP’s overuse of the word at his own campaign event in Iowa on Thursday.

“I don’t like the term ‘woke’ because I hear, ‘Woke, woke, woke.’ It’s just a term they use, half the people can’t even define it, they don’t know what it is,” he said.

Hours later, Mr Trump used the word himself at a Fox News town hall.

DeSantis condemns Trump’s congratulation of Kim Jong-un

Sunday 4 June 2023 15:19 , Megan Sheets

Ron DeSantis has joined Republicans rebuking Donald Trump for congratulating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after his country was admitted to the World Health Organisation’s Executive Board.

“Congratulations to Kim Jung Un!” the former president wrote on Truth Social on Friday, misspelling his name while sharing news of the admission.

Asked about the post at an Iowa campaign event on Saturday, the Mr DeSantis said: “I was surprised to see that. I mean, one, Kim Jong-un is a murderous dictator.”

The Florida governor noted that North Korea recently sentenced a family with a young infant to life in prison - before shifting his condemnation to the WHO.

“The World Health Organisation is a bankrupt organisation,” he said. “Like, Kim Jong-un is bad but joining that, we need to be getting out of that, and rejecting the WHO lockdown treaty and not congratulating about being involved in the WHO.”

Read more:

Trump slammed for congratulating Kim Jong-un - with awkward spelling error

Trump makes misleading claim about New York hush money probe

Sunday 4 June 2023 14:19 , Megan Sheets

Donald Trump took to Truth Social early Sunday morning to claim that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into alleged hush money payments is on the rocks.

In all-caps, the ex-president wrote: “Wow! Legal experts are saying that D.A. Alvin Bragg will be immediately forced to drop his weak & disparaged case against “Trump” because his top investigator, Jeremy Rosenberg, corruptly colluded with a disgraced, disbarred, and convicted felon & perjurer in attempting to frame me with a “crime” that doesn’t even exist. They apparently became close friends with lifestyle money spent, a crime. This on top of Clinton lawyer turned prosecutor, Mark Pomerantz, illegally writing a book on the case!”

He appeared to be referring to a New York Post article which claimed that Mr Rosenberg had been suspended for “contact” with Mr Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen.

The report, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, specifically states that the suspension “might not affect the case against Trump”.

‘Not inspiring’: Trump and Maga allies mock Biden for Air Force graduation fall

Sunday 4 June 2023 13:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump and his Maga fans have mocked Joe Biden after he tripped and fell at the Air Force Graduation ceremony in Colorado.

The president dropped to his knees after stumbling over a sandbag after two hours on stage at the service academy in Colorado Springs on Thursday.

Mr Biden, 80, did not appear hurt by the fall and continued to stand on stage until the ceremony ended several minutes later, according to the White House pool.

Read more...

Trump and Maga allies mock Biden for Air Force graduation fall

Grand jury examining Trump classified documents case expected to meet after break

Sunday 4 June 2023 13:25 , Megan Sheets

There could soon be movement in the investigation into Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents after his presidency, as NBC News reports the federal grand jury hearing evidence in the case is expected to meet this week.

NBC’s report late Saturday night, citing “multiple people familiar with the investigation”, is causing a stir as it comes after lull in case activity at the court in recent weeks.

The Justice Department, which is overseeing the probe led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, declined to comment to the network and it is unclear whether prosecutors are preparing to seek an indictment.

The NBC report follows a string of new allegations related to the special counsel probe. Last week, multiple reports alleged that Mr Trump was caught on tape in 2021 acknowledging that he had held onto a classified Pentagon document outlining a potential attack on Iran. It later emerged that the document in question is missing.

Mr Trump has continued to profess that he did nothing wrong, most recently at a Fox News town hall on Thursday.

Trump downplays legal threat of secret papers recording

Sunday 4 June 2023 11:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump returned to a familiar refrain on Thursday, insisting once again that he had done nothing wrong even as new challenges pop up seemingly every day for the ex-president who faces a bevy of criminal and civil investigations.

Mr Trump returned to Iowa for a town hall-styled event with his favoured cable network, Fox News, moderated by primetime opinion host Sean Hannity, who is now the Fox star probably closest to the former president given the firing of Tucker Carlson, the network’s previous star pundit.

And confronted with a new leaked recording indicating that Mr Trump knew that he was retaining classified materials after his presidential term ended, he once again insisted that he had done nothing wrong.

John Bowden reports.

Trump plays down legal threat of secret papers recording at Fox News town hall