Trump news live: Latest updates as president rows with Republicans and attacks George Floyd protesters

Trump news live: Latest updates as president rows with Republicans and attacks George Floyd protesters


Trump news live: Latest updates as president rows with Republicans and attacks George Floyd protesters

Trump news live: Latest updates as president rows with Republicans and attacks George Floyd protesters

Trump news live: Latest updates as president rows with Republicans and attacks George Floyd protesters 1

With the coronavirus and George Floyd protests still raging, Donald Trump has continued to row with ex-staff over growing criticism of his leadership, insisting he fired then-secretary of defence Jim Mattis in December 2018 and rebuking his former chief of staff John Kelly for suggesting the general resigned.

The president has also reacted angrily to Alaska Republican senator Lisa Murkowski after she seconded General Mattis’s concerns about his handling of the demonstrations, threatening to back any rival who would run against her: “Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!”

Also on Twitter, Trump shared a letter from White House lawyer John Dowd to Mattis in which he disparaged the activists opposing police brutality as “terrorists” and “idle hate filled students”.

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President lashes out at Alaska Republican senator, vows to endorse against her

Trump also reacted angrily to GOP senator Lisa Murkowski after she seconded General Mattis’s concerns about his handling of the recent civil unrest, threatening to back any rival who would run against her: “Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don’t care, I’m endorsing. If you have a pulse, I’m with you!”

Murkowski, who enjoys a reputation as a Republican rebel despite bottling her chance to vote for the president’s impeachment in February, had admitted on Thursday she is struggling to decide whether she can support Trump’s bid for re-election, saying she was “thankful” for Mattis’s words, which were “true, and honest, and necessary and overdue”.

“Perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest with the concerns that we might hold internally, and have the courage of our own convictions to speak up,” she said.

On backing Trump in November (she didn’t in 2016), Murkowski told reporters on Capitol Hill: “I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time.”

“He is our duly elected president. I will continue to work with him… but I think right now as we are all struggling to find ways to express the words that need to be expressed appropriately.”

When her comments got back to Trump, he erupted like Vesuvius after a night on the lagers:

Here’s Griffin Connolly’s report.
 


Trump’s ex-chief of staff drawn into bitter row with former defence secretary

With the coronavirus and George Floyd protests still raging, Donald Trump has continued to row with ex-staff over growing criticism of his leadership, insisting he fired then-secretary of defence Jim Mattis in December 2018 and rebuking his former chief of staff John Kelly for suggesting the general resigned.

Mattis – who did resign by choice in opposition to the president’s abrupt announcement that he planned to withdraw US troops from Syria after declaring the battle against Isis won, prematurely in Mad Dog’s opinion – broke his customary silence to attack the president in The Atlantic on Wednesday.

Mattis said he was “appalled and angry” about this week’s events – which has seen mass demonstrations in cities across all 50 states over ten nights following the police killing of Floyd in Minneapolis – saying Trump is the first president in his lifetime who is trying to divide the country rather than unite it. 

He took aim at Trump’s call to deploy troops to “dominate” the protests and said the situation is the “consequence of three years without mature leadership.” 

After the president lashed out at Mattis on Twitter, insisting he had sacked him, Kelly added fuel to the fire, telling The Washington Post: “The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation. The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused. The president tweeted a very positive tweet about Jim until he started to see on Fox News their interpretation of his letter. Then he got nasty. Jim Mattis is an honourable man.”

Now, Trump says Kelly had no real knowledge of the matter as he was not in his “inner circle” (odd for a chief of staff) and, furthermore, “was totally exhausted by the job, and in the end just slinked away into obscurity”.

The former Celebrity Apprentice host also doubled down on his firing claim.

It’s a good thing there’s nothing else going on so that this important historical footnote could be cleared up.


Hello and welcome to The Independent‘s rolling coverage of the Donald Trump administration as it struggles to react to the coronavirus outbreak and George Floyd protests.


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