Trump claims ‘low IQ’ Biden only has to stay upright to be declared winner of debates in NRA speech: Live

Donald Trump is back on the 2024 campaign trail having attended his son Barron’s high school graduation, for which Judge Juan Merchan scheduled a day off for the court as the prosecution in Mr Trump’s criminal hush money trial nears the close of its case.

The former president attended a fundraiser in Minnesota on Friday at which he said he wants Joe Biden to take a drug test before they debate on 27 June. He then travelled to Dallas to address the National Rifle Association convention, where he kept the crowd waiting for over two hours and appeared to freeze for 30 seconds.

Mr Trump will hold his first rally in New York since 2016 with an event planned in the South Bronx next week. The Trump campaign has filed a permit for a 3,500-person event in Crotona Park at 6pm on 23 May — once he has been allowed out of court for the day.

Mr Trump last held a rally in his native state in Buffalo in 2016 but has not attempted anything since given the Democratic Party’s dominance. Enthusiastic supporters of Mr Trump have organised a “MAGA Cruise” around Manhattan the evening before the rally.

Key Points

  • Trump claims ‘low IQ’ Biden only has to remain upright to be declared winner of debates

  • Trump to hold first New York rally in eight years

  • Melania attends graduation after failing to show at husband’s hush money trial

  • Defence attorney screams at Michael Cohen over key phone call on Stormy Daniels payment: ‘That’s a lie!’

  • The best court sketches from five weeks of Trump’s New York hush money trial

Trump appears to freeze on stage during NRA speech

17:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump appeared to freeze for more than 30 seconds during a speech at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Dallas, Texas.

The former president — who kept the crowd waiting for more than two hours from the scheduled time of his speech on Saturday — was praising the state of Texas before he suddenly fell silent at the lectern.

Supporters of President Joe Biden were quick to pounce on the moment given that Mr Trump, 77, frequently attacks the president, 81, for his age, claiming he is not mentally competent and is too old for office.

Read on…

Trump appears to freeze for 30 seconds during NRA speech

Giuliani belts out ‘New York, New York’ at 80th birthday before being served with indictment

17:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Rudy Giuliani’s 80th birthday bash was anything but dull.

The former New York City mayor and lawyer for Donald Trump held a party at a home in Palm, Beach Florida to celebrate on Friday, where he served cake and posed for photos.

Mr Giuliani was also filmed belting out Frank Sinatra’s classic “New York, New York” to cheers from guests.

But after the celebration wound down, Mr Giuliani was met by two officials from the Arizona Attorney General’s office who served him with an indictment.

Katie Hawkinson has the story:

Rudy Giuliani served indictment after belting ‘New York, New York’ at birthday party

Watch: Stefanik clashes with Fox News host over previous Trump remarks

16:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Full story: SNL finale teases Trump’s VP picks

16:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Saturday Night Live kicked off its season finale this week with a skit teasing Donald Trump’s vice-presidential picks – including a gun-toting, dog-killing Kristi Noem and the “late, great” Hannibal Lecter.

James Austin Johnson reprised his role as the former president turned criminal defendant for Saturday night’s cold open, appearing outside Manhattan Criminal Court where Mr Trump’s hush money trial continues.

Katie Hawkinson has the story:

SNL teases Trump’s VP picks: Kristi Noem and the ‘late, great Hannibal Lecter’

Watch: Former Trump campaign aide says debate will be ‘challenge’ for Biden

16:15 , Oliver O’Connell

MAGA cruise around New York announced to coincide with Trump’s Bronx rally

16:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial and South Bronx rally this coming Thursday aren’t the only Make America Great Again shows in town this week.

A “Trump Rally Bronx MAGA cruise” on the evening of 22 May, the day before the former president appears at his first New York rally in eight years, was announced on Saturday by the site, TrumpSwag.com.

Here’s what you need to know:

‘BYOB’ MAGA cruise around New York announced to coincide with Trump’s Bronx rally

Biden: ‘My opponent is not a good loser — but he is a loser’

15:40 , Oliver O’Connell

Jan 6: Rioter loses GOP primary for West Virginia congressional seat

15:30 , Oliver O’Connell

A man convicted of entering the Capitol during the January 6 riot lost a Republican primary for the House of Representatives in West Virginia on Tuesday.

Derrick Evans was running against WV-1 incumbent Rep Carol Miller for a seat in the very same chamber he once joined a mob of enraged Trump supporters attempting to storm. He lost by more than 20,000 once all votes were counted.

John Bowden has the details:

Jan 6 rioter loses Republican primary for West Virginia congressional seat

What happened here?

15:20 , Oliver O’Connell

‘Agent of chaos’ Trump is ‘running for revenge’ and ‘not focused on issues … important to American people’

15:10 , Oliver O’Connell

In a discussion about the announcement of two presidential debates in June and September, Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen told ABC’s Martha Raddatz that the format and timing of the Biden-Trump debates “work better for the American people”.

“They’re designed to focus on serious issues, rather than create a circus atmosphere,” Mr Van Hollen said on This Week.

He also called former President Donald Trump an “agent of chaos” who is “running for revenge,” and added: “He is not focused on issues that are important to the American people.”

Trump claims Biden only has to remain upright to be declared winner of debates

15:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during the annual National Rifle Association meeting in Dallas on 18 May (REUTERS)Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during the annual National Rifle Association meeting in Dallas on 18 May (REUTERS)

Former President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during the annual National Rifle Association meeting in Dallas on 18 May (REUTERS)

During Donald Trump’s predictably rambling speech to the National Rifle Association convention on Saturday night, the former president claimed that Joe Biden need only stay upright during their scheduled presidential debates to be declared winner.

The two 2024 contenders will first face off on 27 June on CNN and then again on 10 September on ABC.

Referring to President Biden as a “low-IQ individual”, Mr Trump — currently on trial as a criminal defendant over the falsification of business records — said: “If this horrible individual finishes the debate, which I think he will … if he’s standing, if he’s standing, they’ll say it was a brilliant performance.”

He then imagined the reviews of Mr Biden’s performance in the media, saying: “It was a brilliant performance. They’ve never seen anything like it … very much reminiscent of the days of FDR.”

He then said that the late president Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a “beautiful patrician voice, magnificent voice, great debater”.

MAGA broadcasting mainstay leaving RSBN

14:45 , Oliver O’Connell

In a surprise on-air move today, Brian Glenn announced he is leaving Right Side Broadcasting Network with immediate effect.

Glenn has been the face of the network for the past four years, attending every Trump event over that time. Such close engagement with Trumpworld also led to a relationship with Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene.

RSBN is one of the main outlets for MAGA fans to watch Trump rallies now that they are no longer covered as closely by news networks.

Glenn has not revealed what his next move is, only saying: “I’m not at the liberty yet to tell you where I’m going, but just know that the American people, Trump, and speaking the truth is still going to be at the forefront of what I do.”

He made the announcement while broadcasting live from the NRA convention at which Donald Trump kept the crowd waiting for over two hours before giving a speech to accept the group’s endorsement.

Watch: SNL closes out season with defendant Trump, Kristi Noem, and Hannibal Lecter

14:30 , Oliver O’Connell

The final cold open of Saturday Night Live’s 49th season featured James Austin Johnson’s Donald Trump giving a courthouse hallway press conference as his criminal trial careens towards closing arguments.

Joining the former president and criminal defendant were Juror 9, and potential vice presidential picks Tim Scott, Kristi Noem (with gun and dog), and “the late, great Hannibal Lecter” who is of course not late, not great, and totally fictional.

Enjoy:

Watch: New York trial hasn’t shaken up 2024 presidential race, says Welker

14:19 , Oliver O’Connell

14:10 , Oliver O’Connell

Watch: Trump stops NRA speech to swat flies buzzing around him

Trump heading to South Bronx for rally on Thursday

13:00 , Oliver O’Connell

With his travel schedule hampered by the Manhattan hush money criminal trial and daily court requirements, Donald Trump has had to get creative with campaigning ahead of the 2024 election.

The former president is set to hold a rally in New York, his first in the Empire State in eight years, and not in a MAGA stronghold like the rural north, western region or even the borough of Staten Island. Mr Trump is heading to the South Bronx.

Read on…

Trump to hold first New York rally in eight years

Veepstakes: Tim Scott enlists Kellyanne Conway to boost chances with Trump

11:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Former 2024 Republican candidate and South Carolina senator, Tim Scott, is lobbying hard among Donald Trump’s inner circle in the hopes of becoming his pick for vice president.

Scott is leaning on Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, as he pushes himself as the top choice, The Daily Beast reported on Thursday.

John Bowden has the story:

Tim Scott turns to Kellyanne Conway to back his push to be Trump’s VP pick

Jan 6: Conservative scion sentenced to 45 months in prison

09:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Leo Brent Bozell IV, the scion of a prominent family of conservative activists, was sentenced to 45 months in prison in a Washington, DC, federal court for his role in the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

During the insurrection, Bozell pushed past police, broke a windowpane in the Senate building, chased a Capitol Police officer toward the Senate chamber, and entered both then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and the Senate floor, according to prosecutors, as hundreds of Trump supporters sought to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

“Without people like Mr Bozell, the riot doesn’t happen,” prosecutor Ashley Akers said during sentencing.

Josh Marcus has the full story:

Conservative scion sentenced to 45 months in prison for role in January 6 riot

ICYMI: Trump and Melania attend Barron’s graduation

07:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald and Melania Trump attended their son Barron Trump’s high school graduation ceremony together in Florida on Friday as the former president’s criminal hush money trial entered its final throes.

The former president and first lady stood in the stands at Oxbridge Academy in Palm Beach, Florida alongside Ms Trump’s father, Viktor Knavs, and other parents to witness the ceremony at the private school.

Shortly before the ceremony began, Mr Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social, to announce his attendance.

Read on…

Trump and Melania attend Barron’s graduation together

Take the stand or admit you’re a coward, new ad taunts Trump

05:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has been taunted to take the stand in his New York hush money trial in a new advert which uses the former president’s own words against him.

The ad, from centre-left group Third Way, implores Mr Trump to “take the stand” or “admit you’re a coward” by featuring a 2016 quote from the former president where he asks, “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth?”

Ariana Baio reports:

New ad taunts Trump to take stand in hush money trial – or admit he’s a coward

Trump backers already working to clear red tape for unprecedented immigration crackdown

03:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s associates are making plans to deport asylum seekers as they try to figure out how to clear barriers to take severe actions to limit immigration during a potential second term.

Backers of the former president, including former administration officials, are prepping executive orders and policy memos to reduce the number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border on day one of a second term for Mr Trump, several people involved told The Wall Street Journal.

Mr Trump himself has said he’s preparing to implement the largest mass deportation in the history of the US.

Gustaf Kilander reports:

Trump backers are already working to clear red tape for immigration crackdown

Raskin blames Republicans who attended Trump trial for drinking before chaotic House hearing

01:00 , Oliver O’Connell

A top-ranking House Democrat has accused Republicans who attended Donald Trump’s hush money trial of drinking on the trip before attending an explosive House hearing on Thursday.

A meeting of the House Oversight Committee descended into chaos after GOP firebrand Marjorie Taylor Greene insulted Democratic Representative Jasmine Crockett over her “fake eyelashes.”

Ms Crockett then suggested that Ms Greene had a “bleach blond, bad-built butch body.”

Katie Hawkinson reports:

Democrat blames Republicans who went to Trump trial for drinking at chaotic hearing

MAGA cruise around New York announced to coincide with Trump’s Bronx rally

Sunday 19 May 2024 00:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial and South Bronx rally this coming Thursday aren’t the only Make America Great Again shows in town this week.

A “Trump Rally Bronx MAGA cruise” on the evening of 22 May, the day before the former president appears at his first New York rally in eight years, was announced on Saturday by the site, TrumpSwag.com.

Here’s what you need to know:

‘BYOB’ MAGA cruise around New York announced to coincide with Trump’s Bronx rally

Saturday 18 May 2024 23:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Stephen Colbert has poked fun at the relatively sparse crowds at Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017 after Michael Cohen revealed at the former president’s hush money trial that he had a hard time getting tickets for the event.

As is widely acknowledged by everyone outside of Trumpworld, there was plenty of room…

Colbert takes dig at Trump over infamous inauguration photo after Cohen testimony

Saturday 18 May 2024 22:48 , Oliver O’Connell

Saturday 18 May 2024 22:32 , Oliver O’Connell

Trump finally took to the stage close to two hours and twenty minutes late.

Trump more than two hours late for speech to NRA

Saturday 18 May 2024 22:19 , Oliver O’Connell

Sketchy characters

Saturday 18 May 2024 22:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial has presented us with a particularly colourful cast of characters, from the defendant himself and his hulking lawyer Todd Blanche to the pensive presiding judge Juan Merchan and the larger-than-life key witnesses David Pecker, Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen.

But with no cameras permitted inside Manhattan Criminal Court, it has been left up to the courtroom sketch artists to give life to the proceedings, with the drawings of professionals Jane Rosenberg, Elizabeth Williams and Christine Cornell capturing the key moments and helping to illustrate the many twists and turns.

Joe Sommerlad takes a look at some of the best of their work:

The best courtroom sketches from Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial

Tardy Trump keeps NRA crowd waiting

Saturday 18 May 2024 21:47 , Oliver O’Connell

Boebert says Trump looks ‘pretty’ when he sleeps

Saturday 18 May 2024 21:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Firebrand representative Lauren Boebert has gone out of her way to explain away Donald Trump appearing to fall asleep during his criminal trial.

The former president wasn’t sleeping, he was praying, the Colorado representative claimed during a House hearing on Thursday night. But she added if he was indeed sleeping, as has been widely reported, at least he looked “pretty.”

No, really — she said that, as Gustaf Kilander reports:

Lauren Boebert says Trump looks ‘pretty’ when he sleeps

MAGA broadcasting mainstay leaving RSBN

Saturday 18 May 2024 21:00 , Oliver O’Connell

In a surprise on-air move today, Brian Glenn announced he is leaving Right Side Broadcasting Network with immediate effect.

Glenn has been the face of the network for the past four years, attending every Trump event over that time. Such close engagement with Trumpworld also led to a relationship with Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene.

RSBN is one of the main outlets for MAGA fans to watch Trump rallies now that they are no longer covered as closely by news networks.

Glenn has not revealed what his next move is, only saying: “I’m not at the liberty yet to tell you where I’m going, but just know that the American people, Trump, and speaking the truth is still going to be at the forefront of what I do.”

He made the announcement while broadcasting live from the NRA convention at which Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at 4.15pm.

Biden: ‘My opponent is not a good loser — but he is a loser’

Saturday 18 May 2024 20:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Trump to hold first New York rally in eight years

Saturday 18 May 2024 20:30 , Oliver O’Connell

With his travel schedule hampered by the Manhattan hush money criminal trial and daily court requirements, Donald Trump has had to get creative with campaigning ahead of the 2024 election.

He’s now planning a rally after court adjourns on Thursday…

Trump to hold first New York rally in eight years

Trump fans arranging MAGA New York cruise ahead of Trump rally

Saturday 18 May 2024 20:25 , Oliver O’Connell

Trump on trial: Did a 14-year-old prank caller just blow up Michael Cohen’s testimony?

Saturday 18 May 2024 20:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Alex Woodward filed this report from the courthouse in Lower Manhattan:

Michael Cohen was bombarded with prank calls in October 2016, the same month he was urgently arranging a deal to buy Stormy Daniels’ silence.

On October 24, 2016, the prank caller forgot to hide their number, and Cohen sent them a message: “This number has just been sent to Secret Service for your ongoing and continuous harassment to both my cell as well as the organization’s main line.”

“I DIDNT DO IT,” the prankster replied.

“Im 14,” another text read. “Please don’t do this.”

That night, Donald Trump’s fixer called his boss’s bodyguard, and then texted him the alleged 14-year-old prankster’s phone number to deal with it.

That moment, drawn out by defense attorneys in a Manhattan courtroom during Cohen’s testimony in the former president’s hush money trial on Thursday, intended to undercut Cohen’s prior testimony about the call to Mr Trump’s body man, Keith Schiller.

Read more…

Did a 14-year-old prank caller just blow up Michael Cohen’s testimony?

Giuliani says 80th birthday party was NOT interrupted by Arizona officials with indictment

Saturday 18 May 2024 19:50 , Oliver O’Connell

Rudy Giuliani’s 80th birthday party was not interrupted by Arizona officials, a spokesperson for the former mayor says.

Mr Giuliani was served as he left the party and was walking to his car. Other guests had already departed.

The mayor enjoyed the evening with hundreds of guests, including Steve Bannon and Roger Stone, spokesperson Ted Goodman said.

“The mayor was served after the party and as he was walking to the car. He was unfazed and enjoyed an incredible evening with hundreds of people, from all walks of life, who love and respect him for his contributions to society. We look forward to full vindication soon.”

Watch: Local news reporter fact checks Trump

Saturday 18 May 2024 19:30 , Oliver O’Connell

‘Army of puppets’: Seth Meyers teases Republicans supporting Trump at his criminal trial

Saturday 18 May 2024 19:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Seth Myers poked fun at Donald Trump’s “army” of Republican “puppets” that have taken it upon themselves to act as the former president’s mouthpiece while he’s prohibited from speaking publicly about his hush money trial.

In March, Mr Trump, 77, was issued a gag order from Justice Juan Merchan, who’s overseeing the criminal trial, in an attempt to stop him from making statements about jurors, witnesses and families of the judge and prosecutors.

This week, an army of Maga faithfuls have attended Manhattan Criminal Court in a show of solidarity with the former president, with the latest being Colorado’s Lauren Boebert and Florida’s Matt Gaetz.

These GOP lawmakers were just some of Mr Trump’s loyalists in the firing line on Thursday’s episode of Late Night with Seth Myers.

James Liddell has the story:

Seth Meyers teases Republican ‘army of puppets’ attending Trump’s criminal trial

Giuliani belts ‘New York, New York’ at 80th birthday… and is then served with court papers

Saturday 18 May 2024 18:30 , Katie Hawkinson

Rudy Giuliani’s 80th birthday bash was anything but dull.

The former New York City mayor and lawyer for Donald Trump held a party at a home in Palm, Beach Florida to celebrate on Friday, where he served cake and posed for photos.

Mr Giuliani was also filmed belting out Frank Sinatra’s classic “New York, New York” to cheers from guests.

But then something unexpected happened…

Rudy Giuliani belts ‘New York, New York’ at 80th birthday, then served indictment

Take the stand or admit you’re a coward, new ad taunts Trump

Saturday 18 May 2024 18:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has been taunted to take the stand in his New York hush money trial in a new advert which uses the former president’s own words against him.

The ad, from centre-left group Third Way, implores Mr Trump to “take the stand” or “admit you’re a coward” by featuring a 2016 quote from the former president where he asks, “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth?”

Ariana Baio reports:

New ad taunts Trump to take stand in hush money trial – or admit he’s a coward

Saturday 18 May 2024 17:19 , Oliver O’Connell

Jan 6: Conservative scion sentenced to 45 months in prison

Saturday 18 May 2024 17:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Leo Brent Bozell IV, the scion of a prominent family of conservative activists, was sentenced to 45 months in prison in a Washington, DC, federal court for his role in the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

During the insurrection, Bozell pushed past police, broke a windowpane in the Senate building, chased a Capitol Police officer toward the Senate chamber, and entered both then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and the Senate floor, according to prosecutors, as hundreds of Trump supporters sought to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.

“Without people like Mr Bozell, the riot doesn’t happen,” prosecutor Ashley Akers said during sentencing. “He himself facilitated access to the Capitol building for hundreds of other rioters,” she added.

Josh Marcus reports:

Conservative scion sentenced to 45 months in prison for role in January 6 riot

Upside-down flag at Justice Alito’s home another blow for Supreme Court under fire

Saturday 18 May 2024 16:00 , AP

An upside-down US flag has long been a sign of dire distress and a versatile symbol of protest. But in January 2021, when it flew over the home of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, it was largely seen in connection with a specific cause: the false claim by then-President Donald Trump’s supporters that the 2020 election had been marred by fraud.

The revelation this week about the flag flying at Alito’s home was the latest blow to a Supreme Court that was already under fire as it considers unprecedented cases against Trump and some of those charged with rioting at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Alito has said the flag was briefly flown by his wife amid a dispute with neighbors and he had no part in it. But the incident reported by The New York Times adds to concerns about an institution that’s increasingly seen as partisan and lacking strict ethical guidelines.

Read on…

Upside-down flag at Justice Alito’s home another blow for Supreme Court under fire

Saturday 18 May 2024 15:49 , Oliver O’Connell

Giuliani sings ‘New York, New York’ at party before being served with court papers

Yesterday: Trump and Melania attend Barron’s graduation

Saturday 18 May 2024 15:02 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald and Melania Trump attended their son Barron Trump’s high school graduation ceremony together in Florida on Friday as the former president’s criminal hush money trial entered its final throes.

The former president and first lady stood in the stands at Oxbridge Academy in Palm Beach, Florida alongside Ms Trump’s father, Viktor Knavs, and other parents to witness the ceremony at the private school.

Shortly before the ceremony began, Mr Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social, to announce his attendance.

“Great student, wonderful boy! Very exciting!!!” Mr Trump wrote.

Ariana Baio has the story:

Trump’s son-in-law gets green light on $500m Serbia hotel project

Saturday 18 May 2024 14:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Jared Kushner has been given approval to build a $500m luxury hotel on a former defence ministry site in Serbia.

The deal, announced by the Serbian government, will see the bombed-out site of the former Yugoslav Ministry of Defence in Belgrade transformed into a hotel complex.

And it might not be popular with the locals.

Here’s Dan Gooding with more.

Jared Kushner gets green light on $500m Serbia hotel project

London mayor says Trump is racist, sexist and homophobic and should be ‘called out’

Saturday 18 May 2024 12:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Sadiq Khan has labelled the Republican presidential candidate racist, sexist and homophobic – and warned that the Labour Party, widely expected to win the next UK general election, must do more to “call him out”.

With Trump challenging for the presidency once again, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy suggested during a bridge-building trip with Republicans in Washington DC last week that their presidential candidate in the upcoming elections was “often misunderstood” on European policy.

But speaking after being re-elected for a third term as London’s mayor, Khan insisted Trump was far from misunderstood.

Andy Gregory reports on what he had to say.

Sadiq Khan urges Labour to call out Donald Trump on sexism and racism

Boebert says sleeping Trump looks ‘pretty’

Saturday 18 May 2024 10:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Well, I’ll say this for the Colorado congresswoman – this is a new one.

“I think he’s praying, but if he is sleeping, [he] certainly looks pretty as he sleeps,” Boebert said yesterday, utterly incredibly.

“His mouth is kind of tight-lipped, so maybe it’s just a sombre moment of thought.”

Stephen Colbert takes dig at Trump over infamous inauguration photo

Saturday 18 May 2024 08:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The late-night host has poked fun at the relatively sparse crowds at Trump’s inauguration in 2017 after Michael Cohen revealed at the former president’s hush money trial that he had a hard time getting tickets for the event.

Here’s Amelia Neath’s report.

Colbert takes dig at Trump over infamous inauguration photo after Cohen testimony

America runs on Rudy? Bankrupt Giuliani pivots to coffee salesman

Saturday 18 May 2024 06:00 , Joe Sommerlad

After being New York City’s mayor, Trump’s lawyer and a criminal defendant, Rudy Giuliani is now trying his hand at being a coffee salesman as he grapples with bankruptcy and debt of $148m.

As proceedings in his bankruptcy case rumbled on this week, Giuliani launched “Rudy Coffee”, offering three styles of coffee beans.

The first 100 bags are signed by the former mayor, the products’ website claims, and will begin shipping in June.

Gustaf Kilander filed this report as The Independent’s New York office awaited delivery of a package to present you with a taste test.

Rudy Guiliani launches bizarre coffee brand as he grapples with crippling bankruptcy

New York hush money trial: Professional ‘line sitters’ charging hundreds for access to Trump’s proceedings

Saturday 18 May 2024 04:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Some New Yorkers are making hundreds of dollars a day by holding spaces in the queue for Trump’s hush money trial.

“The press has been hiring us for this court case. That’s $50 per hour,” says Robert Samuel, owner of Same Ole Line Dudes.

For members of the public, his team of more than 25 “line sitters” charge $25 per hour.

“We have sleeping bags and tents and tarps,” Samuel explained on a wet and rainy morning in Lower Manhattan yesterday.

You can watch our interview with him below.

Professional ‘line sitters’ charge hundreds for access to Trump trial

New York hush money trial: The best sketches from Trump’s five weeks in court

Saturday 18 May 2024 03:00 , Joe Sommerlad

With no cameras permitted inside Manhattan Criminal Court, it has been left up to the courtroom sketch artists to give life to the proceedings, with the drawings of professionals Jane Rosenberg, Elizabeth Williams and Christine Cornell capturing the key moments and helping to illustrate the many twists and turns.

Here’s a look at some of their best work.

The best courtroom sketches from Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial

Trump’s dinner with oil executives sparks inquiry by House Democrats

Saturday 18 May 2024 02:00 , Joe Sommerlad

House Democrats are investigating Trump’s alleged promise that he will undo certain all-important climate policies to please the fossil fuel sector if its denizens agree to bankroll his return to the White House.

Here’s Stuti Mishra’s report.

Donald Trump’s dinner with oil executives sparks inquiry by Democrats in Congress

Tim Scott enlists Kellyanne Conway to boost chances of becoming Trump’s veep

Saturday 18 May 2024 01:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Former 2024 Republican candidate and South Carolina senator Tim Scott is lobbying hard among Trump’s inner circle in the hope of becoming his pick for vice president.

Scott is leaning on Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, as he pushes himself as the top choice, The Daily Beast reported on Thursday.

His private lobbying effort is coupled with a very public one – Scott has hit cable news and declared in recent days that he would do “whatever it takes” for the man who worked to overturn the 2020 election and is facing 88 felony counts.

John Bowden has more.

Tim Scott turns to Kellyanne Conway to back his push to be Trump’s VP pick

Kamala Harris agrees to debate with Trump’s running mate

Saturday 18 May 2024 00:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The US vice president has agreed to take part in a veep debate with Trump’s so-far-unnamed running mate just a day after the Republican candidate and President Joe Biden agreed to two showdowns.

The Biden-Harris campaign said on Thursday that it had accepted an invitation from CBS News to take part in a VP debate either on 23 July or 13 August.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Kamala Harris agrees to VP debate with Trump’s running mate

‘Stand back and stand by’: Matt Gaetz invokes Trump’s infamous call to Proud Boys at trial

Friday 17 May 2024 23:00 , Joe Sommerlad

MAGA Republican Matt Gaetz invoked Trump’s notorious – and widely condemned – call to the far-right group the Proud Boys as he showed up in court in Manhattan to support the former president at his hush money trial.

“Standing back and standing by, Mr President,” Gaetz wrote on X, along with an image of himself at the courthouse.

The phrase echoed Trump’s infamous comments on stage at one of the 2020 presidential debates against now-president Joe Biden.

Other fringe GOP goons present at court yesterday including representatives Lauren Boebert (who was booed and heckled with cries of “Beetlejuice!”), Andy Biggs, Anna Paulina Luna, Mike Waltz and Eli Crane.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Matt Gaetz invokes Trump’s infamous call to Proud Boys at trial

New York hush money trial: Key takeaways from Day 18

Friday 17 May 2024 22:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s Alex Woodward and Ariana Baio with yesterday’s wrap.

Key takeways from day 18 of Trump’s hush money trial

New York hush money trial: Jury hears audio of Cohen celebrating Trump’s indictment

Friday 17 May 2024 21:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Scathing audio played to the jury yesterday revealed Cohen celebrating his former boss’s indictment on criminal charges, saying “I hope he rots” in jail “for what he did to me”.

During a tense morning of cross-examination on Thursday, Todd Blanche worked hard to undermine the witness’s credibility, painting the former lawyer as a revenge-seeking liar.

The defence played audio from an October 2023 episode of Cohen’s podcast Mea Culpa, in which he excitedly says he “truly f***ing hopes” that Trump “ends up in prison”.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” he is heard to say in the clip.

Here’s Alex Woodward’s report from the courthouse.

‘I hope he rots’: Trial hears audio of Michael Cohen celebrating Trump’s indictment

New York hush money trial: Trump attorney screams at Cohen over critical phone call

Friday 17 May 2024 20:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Let’s have a quick recap of yesterday’s events in Judge Merchan’s courtroom.

Trump’s defence attorney unleashed a furious line of questions to accuse star witness Michael Cohen of lying about his testimony that he spoke to Trump after finalising a deal to pay Stormy Daniels hush money in 2016.

Todd Blanche, after spending several hours painting the former “fixer” as a serial liar, raised his voice and screamed from inside the courtroom after grilling him about a pivotal phone call that connected the former president to a conspiracy at the centre of the case.

“That’s a lie!” he fumed.

Alex Woodward watched proceedings on Thursday.

Trump attorney screams at Michael Cohen over critical phone call on Stormy Daniels

New York hush money trial: The increasingly vulgar court record in Trump’s historic criminal case

Friday 17 May 2024 19:30 , Joe Sommerlad

When Justice Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over Trump’s historic hush money trial in New York, found him in contempt of court for a tenth violation of the gag order, he warned the former president that he could face jail time if he continues to offend.

The judge acknowledged the momentousness of jailing a presidential candidate in an election year but told Mr Trump: “At the end of the day I have a job to do, and part of that job is to protect the dignity of the justice system.”

Unfortunately for Judge Merchan, “dignity” has been a commodity in short supply so far.

During four weeks of testimony at Manhattan Criminal Court about a conspiracy to buy the silence of an adult film star to cover up an alleged affair, jurors have heard from a cast of decidedly colourful characters and the courtroom has been rife with speculation about flatulence and snoring erupting from the defence bench.

In addition to unexpected references to celebrities – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tiger Woods, Hulk Hogan and Serena Williams – the trial has served up a wave of astonishingly filfthy phrases.

The terms that follow have now been entered into the court records, where they will live on forever as part of the historic first-ever criminal trial of an American president.

The vulgar court record in Trump’s historic criminal trial

Trump to headline political fundraiser after attending son’s high school graduation

Friday 17 May 2024 19:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Graig Graziosi has this on the Republican presidential candidate’s evening engagement, a very long way away indeed in far-flung Minnesota.

Trump to headline Republican fundraiser on the day of Barron’s graduation

Trump’s son-in-law gets green light on $500m Serbia hotel project

Friday 17 May 2024 18:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Jared Kushner has been given approval to build a $500m luxury hotel on a former defence ministry site in Serbia.

The deal, announced by the Serbian government, will see the bombed-out site of the former Yugoslav Ministry of Defence in Belgrade transformed into a hotel complex.

And it might not be popular with the locals.

Here’s Dan Gooding with more.

Jared Kushner gets green light on $500m Serbia hotel project

What we know about Donald Trump’s youngest son Barron

Friday 17 May 2024 18:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s a brief introduction to the young man whose high school leavers’ ceremony Trump was so desperate to attend today.

Barron Trump: What we know about Donald Trump’s youngest son

London mayor says Trump is racist, sexist and homophobic and should be ‘called out’

Friday 17 May 2024 17:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Sadiq Khan has labelled the Republican presidential candidate racist, sexist and homophobic – and warned that the Labour Party, widely expected to win the next UK general election, must do more to “call him out”.

With Trump challenging for the presidency once again, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy suggested during a bridge-building trip with Republicans in Washington DC last week that their presidential candidate in the upcoming elections was “often misunderstood” on European policy.

But speaking after being re-elected for a third term as London’s mayor, Khan insisted Trump was far from misunderstood.

Andy Gregory reports on what he had to say.

Sadiq Khan urges Labour to call out Donald Trump on sexism and racism

Seth Meyers teases Republicans supporting Trump at his criminal trial: ‘Army of puppets’

Friday 17 May 2024 17:00 , Joe Sommerlad

The late-night host has been mocking Trump’s “army” of Republican “puppets” after they took it upon themselves to act as his mouthpiece while he’s prohibited from speaking publicly about his hush money trial because of the gag order imposed on him.

James Liddell has his one.

Seth Meyers teases Republican ‘army of puppets’ attending Trump’s criminal trial

Trump and Melania attend Barron’s graduation after she failed to show at hush money trial

Friday 17 May 2024 16:30 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s Ariana Baio’s report on this morning’s ceremony at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach.

Trump and Melania attend Barron’s graduation together

Barron Trump pictured in cap and gown at high school graduation

Friday 17 May 2024 16:17 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s the youngest Trump, looking natty in his robes and mortarboard.

Barron Trump, the son of former US president Donald Trump, attends his graduation ceremony at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)Barron Trump, the son of former US president Donald Trump, attends his graduation ceremony at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Barron Trump, the son of former US president Donald Trump, attends his graduation ceremony at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Boebert says sleeping Trump looks ‘pretty’

Friday 17 May 2024 16:00 , Joe Sommerlad

Well, I’ll say this for the Colorado congresswoman – this is a new one.

“I think he’s praying, but if he is sleeping, [he] certainly looks pretty as he sleeps,” Boebert said yesterday, utterly incredibly.

“His mouth is kind of tight-lipped, so maybe it’s just a sombre moment of thought.”

Stephen Colbert takes dig at Trump over infamous inauguration photo

Friday 17 May 2024 15:45 , Joe Sommerlad

The late-night host has poked fun at the relatively sparse crowds at Trump’s inauguration in 2017 after Michael Cohen revealed at the former president’s hush money trial that he had a hard time getting tickets for the event.

Here’s Amelia Neath’s report.

Colbert takes dig at Trump over infamous inauguration photo after Cohen testimony

In pictures: Donald and Melania Trump attend son Barron’s high school graduation ceremony in Florida

Friday 17 May 2024 15:33 , Joe Sommerlad

Here are the first images of the Trumps at Oxbridge Academy for Barron’s big day, accompanied by the boy’s maternal grandfather Viktor Knavs.

Nice hat Melania!

Former US president Donald Trump and ex-first lady Melania Trump attend the high school graduation ceremony of their son Barron Trump at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)Former US president Donald Trump and ex-first lady Melania Trump attend the high school graduation ceremony of their son Barron Trump at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Former US president Donald Trump and ex-first lady Melania Trump attend the high school graduation ceremony of their son Barron Trump at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Former president Donald Trump and ex-first lady Melania Trump attend the graduation ceremony of their son Barron Trump at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)Former president Donald Trump and ex-first lady Melania Trump attend the graduation ceremony of their son Barron Trump at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Former president Donald Trump and ex-first lady Melania Trump attend the graduation ceremony of their son Barron Trump at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Viktor Knavs, Melania Trump and Donald Trump attend Barron Trump’s high school graduation at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)Viktor Knavs, Melania Trump and Donald Trump attend Barron Trump’s high school graduation at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Viktor Knavs, Melania Trump and Donald Trump attend Barron Trump’s high school graduation at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Truth Social: Trump praises son as ‘great student, wonderful boy’ on graduation day

Friday 17 May 2024 15:10 , Joe Sommerlad

Aw, this is almost cute.

The doting father, who last week forgot his son’s age, just posted this on Truth Social:

“Going to Barron’s High School Graduation. Great student, wonderful boy! Very exciting!!! DJT.”

Meanwhile, here’s the first picture of his motorcade arriving at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, for the ceremony.

A motorcade bearing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for the high school graduation ceremony of his son Barron at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Lynne Sladky/AP)A motorcade bearing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for the high school graduation ceremony of his son Barron at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Lynne Sladky/AP)

A motorcade bearing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for the high school graduation ceremony of his son Barron at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Friday 17 May 2024 (Lynne Sladky/AP)

America runs on Rudy? Bankrupt Giuliani pivots to coffee salesman

Friday 17 May 2024 14:45 , Joe Sommerlad

After being New York City’s mayor, Trump’s lawyer and a criminal defendant, Rudy Giuliani is now trying his hand at being a coffee salesman as he grapples with bankruptcy and debt of $148m.

As proceedings in his bankruptcy case rumbled on this week, Giuliani launched “Rudy Coffee”, offering three styles of coffee beans.

The first 100 bags are signed by the former mayor, the products’ website claims, and will begin shipping in June.

Gustaf Kilander filed this report as The Independent’s New York office awaited delivery of a package to present you with a taste test.

Rudy Guiliani launches bizarre coffee brand as he grapples with crippling bankruptcy

New York hush money trial: Professional ‘line sitters’ charging hundreds for access to Trump’s proceedings

Friday 17 May 2024 14:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Some New Yorkers are making hundreds of dollars a day by holding spaces in the queue for Trump’s hush money trial.

“The press has been hiring us for this court case. That’s $50 per hour,” says Robert Samuel, owner of Same Ole Line Dudes.

For members of the public, his team of more than 25 “line sitters” charge $25 per hour.

“We have sleeping bags and tents and tarps,” Samuel explained on a wet and rainy morning in Lower Manhattan yesterday.

You can watch our interview with him below.

Professional ‘line sitters’ charge hundreds for access to Trump trial

New York hush money trial: The best sketches from Trump’s five weeks in court

Friday 17 May 2024 13:45 , Joe Sommerlad

With no cameras permitted inside Manhattan Criminal Court, it has been left up to the courtroom sketch artists to give life to the proceedings, with the drawings of professionals Jane Rosenberg, Elizabeth Williams and Christine Cornell capturing the key moments and helping to illustrate the many twists and turns.

Here’s a look at some of their best work.

The best courtroom sketches from Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial

Trump’s dinner with oil executives sparks inquiry by House Democrats

Friday 17 May 2024 13:15 , Joe Sommerlad

House Democrats are investigating Trump’s alleged promise that he will undo certain all-important climate policies to please the fossil fuel sector if its denizens agree to bankroll his return to the White House.

Here’s Stuti Mishra’s report.

Donald Trump’s dinner with oil executives sparks inquiry by Democrats in Congress

Tim Scott enlists Kellyanne Conway to boost chances of becoming Trump’s veep

Friday 17 May 2024 12:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Former 2024 Republican candidate and South Carolina senator Tim Scott is lobbying hard among Trump’s inner circle in the hope of becoming his pick for vice president.

Scott is leaning on Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, as he pushes himself as the top choice, The Daily Beast reported on Thursday.

His private lobbying effort is coupled with a very public one – Scott has hit cable news and declared in recent days that he would do “whatever it takes” for the man who worked to overturn the 2020 election and is facing 88 felony counts.

John Bowden has more.

Tim Scott turns to Kellyanne Conway to back his push to be Trump’s VP pick

Kamala Harris agrees to debate with Trump’s running mate

Friday 17 May 2024 12:15 , Joe Sommerlad

The US vice president has agreed to take part in a veep debate with Trump’s so-far-unnamed running mate just a day after the Republican candidate and President Joe Biden agreed to two showdowns.

The Biden-Harris campaign said on Thursday that it had accepted an invitation from CBS News to take part in a VP debate either on 23 July or 13 August.

Gustaf Kilander has the story.

Kamala Harris agrees to VP debate with Trump’s running mate

‘Stand back and stand by’: Matt Gaetz invokes Trump’s infamous call to Proud Boys at trial

Friday 17 May 2024 11:45 , Joe Sommerlad

MAGA Republican Matt Gaetz invoked Trump’s notorious – and widely condemned – call to the far-right group the Proud Boys as he showed up in court in Manhattan to support the former president at his hush money trial.

“Standing back and standing by, Mr President,” Gaetz wrote on X, along with an image of himself at the courthouse.

The phrase echoed Trump’s infamous comments on stage at one of the 2020 presidential debates against now-president Joe Biden.

Other fringe GOP goons present at court yesterday including representatives Lauren Boebert (who was booed and heckled with cries of “Beetlejuice!”), Andy Biggs, Anna Paulina Luna, Mike Waltz and Eli Crane.

Gustaf Kilander reports.

Matt Gaetz invokes Trump’s infamous call to Proud Boys at trial

New York hush money trial: Key takeaways from Day 18

Friday 17 May 2024 11:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s Alex Woodward and Ariana Baio with yesterday’s wrap.

Key takeways from day 18 of Trump’s hush money trial

New York hush money trial: Jury hears audio of Cohen celebrating Trump’s indictment

Friday 17 May 2024 10:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Scathing audio played to the jury yesterday revealed Cohen celebrating his former boss’s indictment on criminal charges, saying “I hope he rots” in jail “for what he did to me”.

During a tense morning of cross-examination on Thursday, Todd Blanche worked hard to undermine the witness’s credibility, painting the former lawyer as a revenge-seeking liar.

The defence played audio from an October 2023 episode of Cohen’s podcast Mea Culpa, in which he excitedly says he “truly f***ing hopes” that Trump “ends up in prison”.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” he is heard to say in the clip.

Alex Woodward reports from the courthouse.

‘I hope he rots’: Trial hears audio of Michael Cohen celebrating Trump’s indictment

New York hush money trial: Trump attorney screams at Cohen over critical phone call

Friday 17 May 2024 10:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Let’s have a quick recap of yesterday’s events in Judge Merchan’s courtroom.

Trump’s defence attorney unleashed a furious line of questions to accuse star witness Michael Cohen of lying about his testimony that he spoke to Trump after finalising a deal to pay Stormy Daniels hush money in 2016.

Todd Blanche, after spending several hours painting the former “fixer” as a serial liar, raised his voice and screamed from inside the courtroom after grilling him about a pivotal phone call that connected the former president to a conspiracy at the centre of the case.

“That’s a lie!” he fumed.

Alex Woodward watched proceedings on Thursday.

Trump attorney screams at Michael Cohen over critical phone call on Stormy Daniels

What we know about Donald Trump’s youngest son Barron

Friday 17 May 2024 09:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s a brief introduction to the young man whose high school leavers’ ceremony Trump so desperate to attend.

Barron Trump: What we know about Donald Trump’s youngest son

Trump to headline political fundraiser after crying off court to attend son’s high school graduation

Friday 17 May 2024 09:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Somewhat outrageously, Trump is planning to headline a political fundraiser today, the very same day he demanded a break in the hush money trial so that he could attend his youngest son Barron’s high school graduation.

The Minnesota Republican Party has announced that the former president will headline its annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner event on Friday 17 May, the same day that Barron Trump graduates from Oxbridge Academy in the Sunshine State.

“We are thrilled to welcome President Trump back to Minnesota,” state GOP chairman David Hann said in a statement. “I can think of no one more fitting to join us this year than President Trump.”

The fundraiser will be held in St Paul, Minnesota, a roughly three hour and 45 minute flight from West Palm Beach, where Barron’s graduation ceremony will take place.

Here’s more from Graig Graziosi on Trump being given an inch and taking a yard.

Trump to headline Republican fundraiser on the day of Barron’s graduation

Truth Social: Trump bizarrely claims Manhattan DA wants to drop hush money case

Friday 17 May 2024 08:48 , Joe Sommerlad

The Republican presidential candidate and criminal defendant posted no fewer than 14 quotes over night from conservative media allies, painstaking typed out, all helpfully decrying the case against him after it wrapped up for another week.

More interestingly – and bizarrely – he posed this wild claim that the “Soros backed” Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg actually never wanted to bring the hush money case against him and would rather concentrating on prosecuting violent crime in New York City, but cannot abandon it because of Judge Juan Merchan, who is in hock to “Radical Left Democrats”.

Here’s his rant in full:

“People are thinking that Soros backed D.A., Alvin Bragg, who never wanted to bring the Witch Hunt against me in the first place, is going to drop this ridiculous and very unpatriotic ‘CASE’ in order to save lots of money, and also the self respect of his once revered Office. He would then be able to focus on Violent Crime, which is running rampant and totally out of control in New York. The dilemma is, and always has been, the Trump Hating (APPOINTED IN 2009 & STILL ACTING!) Judge, Juan Merchan, who would be confronted with the problem of how he would explain this TRUMP loss, to the Radical Left Democrats, to whom he owes so much? Bring back “Justice in America.” ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!”

The man needs a lie down.

Hush money trial: Trump asks New York’s highest court to step in over gag order

Friday 17 May 2024 08:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump is asking New York’s highest court to intervene in the gag order imposed on him in his hush-money trial.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump’s lawyers filed a notice of appeal to the New York Court of Appeals – the state’s top court, just a day after a lower appellate court rejected the former president’s attempt to modify the gag order.

The former president has been fighting the gag order that Justice Juan Merchan placed on him in March to prevent Mr Trump from damaging the integrity of the trial and witnesses.

Ariana Baio has the story:

Trump asks New York’s highest court to step in over hush-money trial gag order

Trump says RFK Jr ‘needs more than his name’ to be included in debate

Friday 17 May 2024 06:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump brutally told Robert F Kennedy Jr that he “needs more than his name” if he wants to join him and President Joe Biden on stage for the 2024 presidential debates.

On Wednesday, the presumptive Republican and Democratic presidential nominees agreed to come face-to-face on a pair of dates as they head towards a 2020 rematch this November.

Their plans – which materialised through a series of jibes at each other – rattled RFK Jr, who took issue with being left out of the events.

Joe Sommerlad has the story:

Trump says RFK Jr ‘needs more than his name’ to join him and Biden in debate

Trump reveals Barron’s college plans ahead of tomorrow’s graduation

Friday 17 May 2024 04:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump has revealed new details about his youngest son Barron’s college plans ahead of his high school graduation.

Previously, Mr Trump told journalist Megyn Kelly in September 2023 that Barron was “thinking about” attending the University of Pennsylvania, where Mr Trump and three of his children studied. Rumours have also indicated that Barron may attend New York University in Manhattan, where he grew up, according toThe Daily Beast.

Now it appears Barron’s plans may have changed. The former president revealed that Barron is now considering different schools compared to two months ago.

Gustaf Kilander has the details…

Trump reveals new details about Barron’s college plans ahead of graduation

Hush money trial: Michael Cohen’s ex-legal advisor accused of jury tampering

Friday 17 May 2024 03:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Robert “Bob” Costello, former legal advisor to Michael Cohen, is being accused of jury tampering in the New York criminal trial against Donald Trump after he tried to discredit Cohen at a congressional hearing.

On Wednesday, Mr Costello testified to the House Judiciary Committee that Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and one-time fixer, has lied on the witness stand this week. He appeared at a hearing intended to “examine the use of lawfare tactics to weaponize the rule of law”.

Ariana Baio reports:

Michael Cohen’s ex-legal advisor accused of jury tampering in hush money trial

Giuliani was indicted over Arizona election interference plot. But prosecutors say they can’t find him

Friday 17 May 2024 02:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Rudy Giuliani has been indicted for his alleged part in a 2020 election interference plot in Arizona – but prosecutors say he’s nowhere to be found.

Last month, the former New York City mayor and Donald Trump lawyer was one of 18 Trump allies and fake electors to be indicted in a sprawling case to plant fake electors to cast electoral college votes for the former president instead of President Joe Biden.

Since then, state prosecutors have spent weeks trying to serve Mr Giuliani with a summons, Richie Taylor at the Arizona attorney general’s office told CNN.

But he has proved elusive and is now the only one of the 18 who has yet to be served with a summons,

Gustaf Kilander has the story…

Rudy Giuliani was indicted in Arizona. But prosecutors say they can’t find him

Watch: Conway confident redirect will clear up call Cohen call ambiguity

Friday 17 May 2024 01:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Mike Johnson branded Trump’s ‘prop’

Friday 17 May 2024 01:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Congressman Jim McGovern has condemned House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson as a “prop of Donald Trump” after he attended the former president’s hush money criminal trial.

The Democrat delivered the scathing criticism after Mr Johnson skipped a House session, to instead be 200 miles north in Manhattan to attend Mr Trump’s criminal trial as Mr Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Micahel Cohen took the stand.

Mr McGovern, who’s a fellow House member, branded Mr Johnson’s presence at Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday as a “stunt”.

James Liddell reports:

Mike Johnson branded Trump’s ‘prop’ after House speaker attends hush money trial

Friday 17 May 2024 00:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Biden and Trump are ready to rumble at June debate. But it’s hardly a risk-free endeavor for either man

Friday 17 May 2024 00:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Eric Garcia writes:

Biden’s challenge, and Trump’s enthusiastic acceptance, reveal just how much both candidates need these debates in the short-term to convince an American public, weary of both men, that they are worthy of their vote.

Continue reading…

Biden and Trump are ready to rumble at June debate. But it’s hardly risk-free

Thursday 16 May 2024 23:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Sketchy characters: The best courtroom drawings from Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial

Thursday 16 May 2024 23:15 , Oliver O’Connell

Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial has presented us with a particularly colourful cast of characters, from the defendant himself and his hulking lawyer Todd Blanche to the pensive presiding judge Juan Merchan and the larger-than-life key witnesses David Pecker, Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen.

But with no cameras permitted inside Manhattan Criminal Court, it has been left up to the courtroom sketch artists to give life to the proceedings, with the drawings of professionals Jane Rosenberg, Elizabeth Williams and Christine Cornell capturing the key moments and helping to illustrate the many twists and turns.

Joe Sommerlad looks at some of the best of the work:

The best courtroom sketches from Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial

Cartoonist Liz Donnelly shares her view of court today

Thursday 16 May 2024 22:30 , Oliver O’Connell

Will Trump testify?

Thursday 16 May 2024 22:15 , Oliver O’Connell

As proceedings wound down today, Judge Juan Merchan instructed both sides to be prepared for closing arguments on Tuesday.

Lead defense attorney Todd Blanche told the judge he expects to conclude his cross-examination of Michael Cohen on Monday morning and the prosecution says re-direct will take approximately an hour.

That means things will then turn over to the defense if they want to make a case and call witnesses.

Donald Trump has said he will testify but he has said that before without it happening.

Blanche said there would be a quick decision regarding rebuttal witnesses (perhaps as soon as tomorrow) but we likely won’t find out whether Trump will take the stand himself until Monday. Blanche said the former president has yet to decide whether he will or not…

Thursday 16 May 2024 22:10 , Oliver O’Connell

Professional ‘line sitters’ charge hundreds for access to Trump trial

Trial hears audio of Michael Cohen celebrating Trump’s indictment: ‘I hope he rots’

Thursday 16 May 2024 22:00 , Oliver O’Connell

Alex Woodward reports from the courthouse in Lower Manhattan:

Scathing audio played at Donald Trump’s hush money trial revealed Michael Cohen celebrating his former boss’s indictment on criminal charges, saying “I hope he rots” in jail “for what he did to me”.

During a tense morning of cross-examination on Thursday, Mr Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche sought to undermine Cohen’s credibility as the prosecution’s star witness, painting the former lawyer and fixer as a revenge-seeking liar.

The defense played audio from an October 2023 episode of Cohen’s podcast Mea Culpa, in which he excitedly says he “truly f***ing hope” that Mr Trump “ends up in prison”.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold,” he says.

Read on…

‘I hope he rots’: Trial hears audio of Michael Cohen celebrating Trump’s indictment

Trump’s hallway remarks in brief

Thursday 16 May 2024 21:45 , Oliver O’Connell

Per the pool report:

Trump spoke for around 11 minutes, again reading off papers.

“I think it was a very interesting day, a fascinating day and it shows what a scam this whole thing is.”

He quoted at least 13 people, by my count, and dropped a couple references to Engoron and Kaplan. Spoke on electric vehicle mandate, inflation, china and Russia working together.

“I didn’t violate any law. It’s a scam.”

“That was my crime — I won an election I wasn’t supposed to win against Hilary Clinton.”

“When I announced I running again it was a hot iron again.

“These are people who were Democrats and they want to vote for Trump”

“That beautiful resolute desk in the Oval Office

“This is a witch hunt. This is prosecution without a case this is all political. This is done to damage your political opponents like a third world country would do.”

“You look at Judge Engoran you look at Judge Kaplan, it’s disgraceful.”

On Merchan saying court could go later to get the case done on time:

“We’re here early in the morning and we leave in the evening. Now the judge wants to extend the time periods so that we can get this thing done fast, before the election. It’s terrible. Nobody’s seen anything like it, that includes the civil cases too.”

“I’ve been sitting here for almost four weeks and we still have a long way to go. And I just want to thank all the lawyers involved because they’ve been really working hard. And I’m spending a lot of time and I’m spending a lot of money which is what they want. They want me to spend my time and my money.”

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent’s website



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