Trump news live: Latest updates as Fox News says president leaving Americans ‘adrift’
Trump news live: Latest updates as Fox News says president leaving Americans ‘adrift’
Former attorney slams Trump for pardoning war criminals
Donald Trump pardoned more disgraced personal aides on Wednesday, with those sentenced by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian ties with the Trump Campaign, now largely pardoned.
The latest pardons include the US president’s one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort and adviser Roger Stone, who were both sentenced for lying or not cooperating with the investigation. Two others, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former adviser George Papadopoulos, have also been pardoned.
In total, 26 individuals have now received pardons from Mr Trump, which senator Ben Sasse said was “rotten to the core.” That came as the president touched-down in Florida, on Wednesday night where he will spend Christmas at Mar-a-Lago, his resort on Palm Beach. In doing so, Fox News host Geraldo Rivera accused Mr Trump of leaving Americans ”adrift”, as he departed Washington DC while threatening to not sign a coronavirus stimulus and announced a veteo on an annual military bill.
Fox News anchor says Americans left ‘adrift’ by Trump
“We needed some leadership here,” said increasingly infuriated Trump ally and Fox News host Geraldo Rivera on Wednesday, as the US president touched down in Florida to start the Christmas holiday while lawmakers in Congress wondered whether or not he would sign a critical stimulus bill, or achieve a veto on an annual military policy and spending bill.
“Is [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi going to meet with [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell? Are they going to get together and get a plan? What are the American people going to do? We are left adrift right now,” Mr Rivera said
“He’s threatening a veto. He’s gone on Christmas holiday. What the hell are we supposed to do now?,” added the host, on Mr Trump’s veto of the military bill.
Gino Spocchia24 December 2020 13:15
Charles Kushner pardoned despite ‘disgusting crimes’
Donald Trump on Wednesday pardoned Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose crimes were labelled “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes” witnessed by former Trump ally and New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
Kushner, a wealthy real estate executive who pleaded guilty years ago to tax evasion and making illegal campaign donations, was found to have hired a prostitute to lure his brother-in-law to a New Jersey motel room that was set-up with a hidden camera, as part of a failed scheme and revenge for his cooperation with authorities investigating him.
The Associated Press’ reports.
Gino Spocchia24 December 2020 13:10
Another 803,000 Americans seek unemployment help
Although numbers have fallen on the previous week, the number of Americans who claimed unemployment benefits in the past week were still nearly four times that seen in the same period last year, and another sign the US economy was making a slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Labor Department figures released on Wednesday showed that 803,000 million Americans sought help, while an additional 397,511 workers filed for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which is designed to provide aid to those who are not eligible for unemployment benefits.
Gino Spocchia24 December 2020 12:50
Ivanka Trump hands out food to families, and tweets about it
The president’s eldest daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka Trump, was in Miami Dade on Tuesday, where she helped a food distribution centre hand-out food boxes to families hit hard by the pandemic and it’s economic fallout – which of course, has largely been overseen by the Trump administration and Congress, which took nine months to agree on crucial stimulus paychecks for Americans in need – and are now on their way.
Twitter users noticed Ms Trump wrote or shared tweets about her Miami Dade deeds at least four times.
Gino Spocchia24 December 2020 12:35
Trump’s former ‘fixer’ criticises presidential pardons
Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” on Wednesday said the criminal justice system is broken as pardons were announced for the outgoing president’s allies and friends who never cooperated with authorities unlike him.
“What happened tonight shows how broken the whole criminal justice system is,” wrote Cohen, who was charged by Robert Mueller’s team for lying about a real estate project in Russia. Although he reportedly cooperated with various authorities during the investigation, Mayank Aggarwal writes.
Gino Spocchia24 December 2020 12:18
MSNBC anchor says ‘it wouldn’t even matter’ if Trump stayed at Mar-a-Lago
MSNBC anchor and political analyst, Tiffany D Cross, was covering for Joy Reid on Wednesday night’s episode of The Reidout, and delivered tough words on president Trump.
Her remarks came after the president landed in Florida, where he could spend his last weeks as president.
“Honestly, who knows if he’ll ever come back. It wouldn’t even matter. Because right now, we essentially have no president. No one in the Oval Office who is interested in the acts, or oaths, of being president. No one is even pretending to be president.”
Mr Trump has been called out by his critics for failing to lead on numerous crises including the coronavirus pandemic, since he lost November’s election. He has instead spent time alleging the election was rigged – without basis – and has suggested he won’t attend president-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in.
Gino Spocchia24 December 2020 11:55
Trump trolls press corps with Christmas Eve morning schedule
Donald Trump, who arrived at his Palm Beach resort on Wednesday to spend the final Christmas of his presidency at Mar-a-Lago, has found what journalists are calling “a way to stick it to them” — by scheduling a White House correspondents call at 7:30 am on the day before Christmas.
Reporters, including the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman joked about the unusual notice in the president’s Christmas Eve schedule.
The president has now vacationed at Mar-a-Lago exactly 31 times since he entered office, and according to Michael Flynn, his former lawyer, there’s a chance the president will stay in Florida until Joe Biden’s inauguration day, writes Namita Singh.
Gino Spocchia24 December 2020 11:40
Washington DC ethics watchdog says pardons ‘corrupt’
Ethics groups have fiercely criticised Donald Trump’s latest round of pardons, which the Washington DC-based nonprofit, Citizens for Ethics, called “another way for him to be corrupt”.
In a further statement, the ethics watchdog said two nights of pardons by the US president showed “that he believes the purpose of the pardon is to bail out rich white men connected to him. Trump has turned an instrument of mercy and justice into just another way for him to be corrupt.”
Democrats and Republicans also condemned the move to grant clemency to personal aides, some convicted of lying to investigators during the Russia investigation.
Gino Spocchia24 December 2020 11:22
Roger Stone thanks Trump for pardon – ‘the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln’
Roger Stone was also thankful for his pardon from Donald Trump, who he labelled “the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln”.
Stone was convicted in November 2019 of lying under oath to lawmakers also investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Responding to the pardon on Wednesday, Stone said in a statement that Mr Trump was “completely erasing the criminal conviction to which I was subjected in a Soviet-style show trial on politically-motivated charges.”
He added in comments made to Fox News: “The whole thing has been an outrage, and my hat is off to the president, the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln, who had the courage to correct this injustice.”
The latest round of pardons have largely annulled the most serious convictions stemming from Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference – an investigation repeatedly attacked by Mr Trump, it having led to his impeachment.
Gino Spocchia24 December 2020 10:57
Paul Manafort thanks president for pardon – ‘You truly did Make America Great Again’
Paul Manafort, the disgraced former Trump campaign chairman who was pardoned by the president on Wednesday, sent a series of thankful messages to Donald Trump via Twitter, and wrote: “Words cannot fully convey how grateful we are.”
Among other flattery, Manafort added that Mr Trump “truly did Make America Great Again”.
Manafort was serving a 7 year prison term, having been sentenced by charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the country’s ties to the Trump campaign.
Still, 70 year old Manafort was also under investigation in New York for alleged mortgage fraud and other alleged crimes, and prosecutors said on Wednesday they would continue to pursue an appeal for their case.
Gino Spocchia24 December 2020 10:41