Trump news live: Latest Twitter and 2020 election updates as president dodges questions on Covid test

Trump news live: Latest Twitter and 2020 election updates as president dodges questions on Covid test


Trump news live: Latest Twitter and 2020 election updates as president dodges questions on Covid test

Trump news live: Latest Twitter and 2020 election updates as president dodges questions on Covid test

US president Donald Trump has suggested he would return to rallies this weekend

Donald Trump gave his second interview of the day to Fox News on Thursday evening, insisting once again that he had recovered from Covid-19 and was “not contagious at all” as he coughed his way through a phone-in with Sean Hannity, his voice audibly hoarse.

The US president, who sidestepped questions on whether he was still testing positive, was on characteristically meandering and vengeful form as he pledged to resume in-person campaign rallies this weekend.

It comes after his White House physician, Dr Sean Conley, said Mr Trump would be able to safely “return to public engagements” on Saturday, with 25 days to go until Election Day.

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Mike Pence fills in for sick Trump at Arizona rally

“Some people think we’re a little bit different,” the vice president joked to the MAGA crowd in Peoria last night before dutifully rattling through the administration’s “accomplishments”.

For Griffin Connolly, it just wasn’t the same.

Joe Sommerlad9 October 2020 10:45

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Trump planning ‘virtual rally’ tonight on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show

Now given the all-clear, the president will return to the campaign trail – sort of – on Friday by guesting on right-wing talk radio.

“I’m thrilled to announce that our commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump, will be right here tomorrow hosting the largest virtual rally in radio history, ”conservative radio giant Rush Limbaugh said on his show yesterday.

Trump gave Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom at his State of the Union address to Congress back in February.

Trailing Joe Biden by up to 16 points nationally in some polls, the president earlier on Thursday rejected an independent debate-governing body’s decision to move his planned 15 October face-off against the challenger to a virtual town hall format with voters.

Trump whined that “sitting behind a computer” is not “what debating is all about.”

And yet, it’s not entirely without precedent.

John T Bennett has more on his “Rush” back into action.

Joe Sommerlad9 October 2020 10:33

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Senate leader in rare dig at Trump over West Wing outbreak

Speaking of Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Machiavelli took an uncharacteristic swipe at the president and his White House on Thursday, saying he has not visited the coronavirus hotspot since August because he was worried about how the president and his team were handling the pandemic.

“I haven’t actually been to the White House since August the sixth,” the veteran Republican told reporters.

“Because my impression was that their approach to how to handle this is different from mine and what I suggested that we do in the Senate, which is to wear a mask and practice social distancing.”

John T Bennett has this report.

Joe Sommerlad9 October 2020 10:17

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Pelosi hints at 25th Amendment plan to remove president

House speaker Nancy Pelosi dropped this intriguing little remark into her weekly Thursday press conference yesterday:

She was referring to the fact that she and Democratic congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland are set to introduce legislation on Friday to form a “Commission on Presidential Capacity to Discharge the Powers and Duties of Office”, the special committee and process called for in the 25th Amendment to remove a disabled president from office and replace him with the vice president, an extraordinary move with just three weeks to go until Election Day.

The speaker believes the measure is necessary given the ongoing concerns about Trump’s health and his “capacity to discharge the powers and duties” of his office at the present time.

“The president is, shall we say, in an altered state right now,” she said yesterday.

But in order to sanction and establish such a committee, both the House and the GOP-controlled Senate would have to pass the requisite legislation, an unrealistic outcome considering Mitch McConnell controls the levers of the upper chamber.

Griffin Connolly weighs up her chances.

Joe Sommerlad9 October 2020 10:12

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Trump called Whitmer ‘lockup queen’ hours before FBI exposed far-right plot against her

As we’ve just seen, the president made this frothing declaration on Twitter yesterday: “I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President!”

But it’s simply not true.

Speaking to Maria Bartiromo just yesterday, he also said, specifically referring to Governor Whitmer: “I won Michigan, which hadn’t been won in decades and decades… and we should win it again because I brought so much business there because she’s the lockup queen.

“What she’s done to that place is horrible. She’s locked it up. She’s got people like living in prison. The courts just overturned her. They said what you’re doing is unconstitutional.”

This was also him tweeting about her on 1 May, at the height of “Operation Gridlock” in Lansing, which saw armed “patriots” occupy city hall.

Meanwhile, Alex Woodward brings us this account of the president’s most recent attack on Fox.

Joe Sommerlad9 October 2020 10:00

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Trump feuds with Michigan governor targeted in kidnap plot

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer hit out at the president yesterday after it emerged the right-wing Wolverine Watchmen “militia group” had planned to snatch her and put her on “trial” for her coronavirus emergency orders, only for their extraordinary plot to be foiled by the FBI (with some help from Facebook).

In a blistering attack on Trump, Governor Whitmer accused him of “giving comfort” to white supremacists and hate groups in the US.

“This should be a moment for national unity where we all pull together as Americans to meet this challenge head on,” she said.

“Seeing the humanity in one another and doing our part to help our country get through this.

“Instead, our head of state has spent the last seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger and giving comfort to those that spread fear and hatred and division.

“Just last week the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups.

“Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke, but as a rallying cry, a call to action.”

The rant continued on Hannity’s show:

Graeme Massie has this report on the governor’s powerful statement.

Joe Sommerlad9 October 2020 09:34

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Trump had Walter Reed staff sign NDAs on last visit in 2019

Whatever the president himself and Dr Conley insist about his miraculous return from the brink, questions continue to swirl around the true state of Trump’s health – with that call to Hannity only casting fresh doubt.

Further adding to the mystery is the news that the president had Walter Reed staff sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) on his last visit to the facility in November 2019, blocking them from disclosing the real reason for his treatment.

Gino Spocchia has more on this latest layer of intrigue.

Joe Sommerlad9 October 2020 09:12

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Doctors clear president for return to campaign rallies

All of that came after Trump’s White House physician, Dr Sean Conley, said he would be able to “return to public engagements” on Saturday after completing his treatment regime, with 25 days to go until Election Day.

Dr Conley said tomorrow would mark 10 days since the president’s initial diagnosis on 1 October and that Trump has not shown any symptoms of coronavirus since leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday.

In a statement released late on Thursday, Dr Conley said the president had responded to the experimental antibody cocktail and steroid treatment without evidence of adverse effects.

“Since returning home, his physical exam has remained stable and devoid of any indications to suggest progression of illness,” he said.

Justin Vallejo has this report.

Joe Sommerlad9 October 2020 09:06

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Cantankerous Trump coughs his way through Fox interview

Donald Trump gave his second interview of the day to Fox News on Thursday evening, insisting once again that he had recovered from Covid-19 and was “not contagious at all” as he coughed his way through a phone-in with Sean Hannity, his voice audibly hoarse.

The US president, who sidestepped questions on whether he was still testing positive, was on characteristically meandering and vengeful form as he pledged to resume in-person campaign rallies this weekend.

Having already given a fairly deranged interview to Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business earlier in the day in which he had refused to take part in a virtual presidential debate against Joe Biden, bragged about assassinating more prominent Islamist terrorists than Barack Obama managed and called Democratic vice presidential Kamala Harris “unlikeable”, “a communist” and “a monster”, Trump was back on the line with more mania for Hannity.

The president said he would only take part in further debates with Biden if he could trust the moderator and nominated Hannity himself, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and other Fox stablemates for the job (despite Chris Wallace, who chaired the ill-tempered Ohio encounter, also coming from Fox).

He attacked Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer, who was revealed earlier in the day to have been the subject of a foiled kidnapping plot (more on which shortly), falsely claimed Virginia governor Ralph Northam favoured “late-term abortions” and claimed, madly, that California was soon going to have to ration its water supplies.

Of the vice presidential debate 24 hours earlier, Trump said Mike Pence’s best answer came when he refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power in the event of a Biden-Harris victory.

However much he loves Fox though, their polling is still not doing him any favours.

Mayank Aggarwal has this on the president’s new suggestion that he might never have had coronavirus in the first place, which (cough) sounds unlikely.

Joe Sommerlad9 October 2020 08:55

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Hello and welcome to The Independent’s rolling coverage of the Donald Trump administration. 

Gino Spocchia9 October 2020 08:22


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