Donald Trump news today: Jan 6 hearings won’t change ex-president, says Mary Trump amid Kushner Murdoch revelations

9/11 families launch ad criticising Trump for hosting Saudi golf tournament

Jared Kushner says he intervened in 2015 to stop Donald Trump from publicly attacking media mogul Rupert Murdoch, in a development that could have had major consequences for Fox News’ coverage of his 2016 campaign.

In his new memoir Breaking History, Kushner writes about how Mr Trump was upset with Mr Murdoch for his criticism at the outset of the former’s foray into politics.

Mr Trump is in hot water for hosting the contentious LIV Golf series at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. Both he and his son Eric joined a pro-am round there on Thursday.

And in an interview broadcast on Sunday, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers spoke out against Trumpism after the former president called him a “RINO coward” during a rally in the state.

“They rule by thuggery and intimidation. So you know, they found a niche, they found a way and it’s fear, and people can use fear, demagogues like to use fear as a weapon. And they weaponise everything, and we all know it. But that’s not leadership to me to use thuggery”, Mr Bowers told ABC News.

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‘America’s tired’ of Trump says Arizona GOP house speaker Rusty Bowers

In a stunning volte-face, Arizona House speaker Rusty Bowers vowed to never vote for former president Donald Trump, saying “America’s tired”.

“I’ll never vote for him, but I won’t have to,” Mr Bowers told ABC News. “Because I think America’s tired and there’s some absolutely forceful, qualified, morally defensible and upright people, and that’s what I want. That’s what I want in my party and that’s what I want to see.”

The statement comes almost a month after he told the Associated Press in June this year, that he would back his former top boss “if he is the nominee, if he was up against Biden”.

Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, testifies during the fourth hearing on the January 6th investigation in the Cannon House Office Building on 21 June 2022 in Washington, DC

(Getty Images)

“Simply because what he did the first time, before Covid, was so good for the county. In my view it was great.”

The Republican, who has also testified before the House select committee probing the 6 January capitol riot, told the outlet that he does not “trust that authority” that Mr Trump “would exercise”.

“I have thought, at times, someone born how he was, raised how he was — he has no idea what a hard life is. And what people have to go through in real — in the real world. He has no idea what courage is.”

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VIDEO: Three witnesses in Department of Justice’s investigation into Capitol riot receive subpoenas

Donald Trump: 3 witnesses in Department of Justice’s investigation receive subpoenas

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Joe Biden sends pizza to burn pit protesters after Republicans block bill for veterans

Joe Biden is using his Covid isolation time to highlight the GOP’s resistance to passing legislation aimed at helping sick US veterans.

In a video posted to Twitter on Sunday the president highlighted protesters who are camped out on the steps of the US Capitol to denounce Republicans who have yet to put their support behind legislation that would mandate the Department of Veterans affairs to assume that US veterans who worked around so-called “burn pits” during their military service be presumed to have been exposed to toxic substances.

Republicans led by Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are demanding an amendment to the bill that would tie its funding to the annual appropriations process, rather than giving it a direct, set line of funding. Democrats have accused their rivals of instigating pointless delays in supposed retaliation for the ressurection of the Build Bact Better Act in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act, a slimmed-down piece of legislation aimed at both battling inflation and addressing other issues like prescription drug prices and climate change.

On Sunday, Mr Biden released a video filled with images of sick veterans holding signs denouncing the GOP for inaction on the bill, which Democrats are hoping to force a vote on in the coming days.

“I’d planned to stop by the Capitol and visit families fighting to pass burn pits legislation. Covid got in the way, so I FaceTimed them and sent some pizza. It’s our sacred obligation to care for our veterans. I won’t stop fighting alongside them to get this bill passed,” tweeted Mr Biden.

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Doctor: Biden tests positive for COVID for 2nd day in a row

President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 for the second straight day, in what appears to be in a rare case of “rebound” following treatment with an anti-viral drug.

In a letter noting the positive test, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, the White House physician, said Sunday that the president “continues to feel well” and will keep on working from the executive residence while he isolates.

Biden tested positive on Saturday, requiring him to cancel travel and in-person events as he isolates for at least five days in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

After initially testing positive on July 21, Biden, 79, was treated with the anti-viral drug Paxlovid. He tested negative for the virus on this past Tuesday and Wednesday, clearing him to leave isolation while wearing a mask indoors.

Research suggests that a minority of those prescribed Paxlovid to experience a rebound case of the virus. The fact that a rebound rather than a reinfection possibly occurred is a positive sign for Biden’s health once he’s clear of the disease.

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‘Rule by thuggery’: Rusty Bowers speaks out against Trumpism after Jan 6 testimony

Republican Arizona State House Speaker Rusty Bowers has spoken out against Trumpism in a deepening row with former president Donald Trump over his testimony to the January 6 committee.

Mr Bowers testified in front of the House Select Committee investigating January 6 after voting for Mr Trump in 2016 and 2020. But the speaker hasn’t bought into the lie spread by the former president and his allies that the 2020 election was stolen from Mr Trump.

Mr Bowers, 69, was censured by the Arizona GOP a month after his testimony. On 21 June, Mr Bowers told the committee that Mr Trump pressured him to overturn the results in Arizona, a state President Joe Biden won narrowly.

“I do not want to be a winner by cheating, I will not play with laws I swore allegiance to”, he said at the time.

“Rusty Bowers is a RINO coward who participated against the Republican Party in the totally partisan unselect committee of political thugs and hacks the other day and disgraced himself and he disgraced the state of Arizona”, Mr Trump told a rally crowd in Prescott Valley on 22 July.

Mr Bowers responded to Mr Trump’s attacks during an interview with ABC News.

“I have thought at times that someone born how he was raised how he was – he has no idea what a hard life is and what people have to go through in real in the real world. He has no idea what courage is, and the last place on Earth that I would want to do evil would be the state of Arizona,” he said in the interview broadcast on Sunday.

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Fights with Bannon and calls with Murdoch: Five revelations from Jared Kushner’s White House memoir

Jared Kushner is joining the long list of former Trump White House officials publishing memoirs in an attempt to capitalise from four years serving a celebrity president whose ex-employees have launched an empire of media gigs and pet projects.

The president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser is publishing a book next month titled Breaking History, which like the memoirs of his colleagues contains a number of descriptions of lurid, explosive moments that would seem deeply out of place in any administration other than Donald Trump’s. What may be unique about Mr Kushner’s, however, is the pairing of unflattering portrayals of the Trump White House with the unlikelihood that Mr Trump himself will denounce the work or its author.

That’s thanks to Mr Kushner’s marriage to Ivanka Trump, who as the president’s eldest daughter avoided criticism herself after the January 6 committee played testimony from her in which she admitted that she accepted ex-Attorney General Bill Barr’s assessment that her father’s claims of election fraud were, in his words, “bullshit”.

Let’s take a look at the most newsworthy findings from the latest offering to arise from the ignominious end of the Trump presidency.

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Trump calls WNBA star Brittney Griner ‘spoiled’ and says he wouldn’t make deal for her release

Donald Trump blasted the proposed prisoner swap between the US and Russia, involving WNBA star Brittney Griner and ex-marine Paul Whelan in exchnage Russian weapons dealer Viktor Bout.

Mr Trump appeared on The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show on Saturday.

Ms Griner has been in jail in Russia for months and is now on trial on drug charges.

“She knew you don’t go in there loaded up with drugs, and she admitted it”, Mr Trump said.

“It certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade, does it?” he added, concerning Bout. “He’s absolutely one of the worst in the world, and he’s going to be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs.”

Concerning Russian laws, he said: “They don’t like drugs. And she got caught. And now, we’re supposed to get her out — and she makes, you know, a lot of money, I guess. We’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world. Killed many Americans. Killed many people.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he urged Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to accept a prisoner swap for Ms Griner and Mr Whelan in their first talks since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Blinken said he had a “frank and direct conversation” with Mr Lavrov on Friday, which focused primarily on the prisoner exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, the Associated Press reported.

“I urged Foreign Minister Lavrov to move forward with that proposal,” Mr Blinken said.

He said the Russian officials gave no indication if they would accept the US proposal.

“I can’t give you an assessment of whether that is any more or less likely.”

Mr Blinken said the call centred primarily on the proposal for the release of the Americans.

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Manchin declines to say if he wants Dems to retain control

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, one of the Democrats’ most conservative and contrarian members, declined on Sunday to say whether he wants Democrats to retain control of Congress after the November elections.

The senator told NBC‘s “Meet the Press” that will be determined by the choices of voters in individual states, rather than his own preferences. He added that people “are sick and tired of politics” and want their representatives in Washington to put country over party.

“I’ve always taken the approach, whoever you send me, that’s your representative and I respect them and I respect the state for the people they send and I give it my best to work with them and do the best for my country,” Manchin said.

Manchin faces reelection in 2024 in a state where Donald Trump prevailed in every county in the past two presidential races, winning more than two-thirds of West Virginia’s voters. But in distancing himself from fellow Democrats, Manchin also tried to decry the rise of partisanship.

“We’re not working for any party. We’re not working for any political idealism,” he said, bemoaning “bickering over political outcomes and who’s going to be in charge of what” at a time of global tensions, war and economic uncertainty fueled by rising inflation.

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Joe Manchin evades question about whether he’ll support Joe Biden in 2024

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin dodged a question from CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday regarding whether he’d throw his support behind Joe Biden should the president go through with plans to run for reelection in 2024.

The senator was asked whether Mr Biden would have his endorsement by Mr Tapper in response to new polling showing the president’s approval rating lower than ever among his own party and with record-low support for a potential reelection bid.

Mr Manchin responded by decrying the Washington media’s constant focus on the next election cycle, while touting his partnership with the president and at the same time very carefully avoiding making any statements about 2024.

“Jake, I’m not getting involved in any election right now, 2022, 2024, I’m not speculating on it. President Biden is my president right now, I’m going to work with him and his administration to the best of my ability to help the people in my state of West Virginia and this country,” he said.

His non-response would not be notable were it not for the public call from one of his Democratic colleagues in the House just a few days ago for Mr Biden to step down and let another Democrat head the party’s presidential ticket in 2024.

Congressman Dean Phillips of Minnesota this week became the first member of Mr Biden’s party on Capitol Hill to publicly join the calls for “generational” change in the party, a shot at the geriatric leadership of the Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House.

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Vulnerable House Dems see abortion as winning campaign theme

A rare Democrat in a deeply Republican state, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas is one of the most vulnerable incumbents seeking reelection this year. In the final months of her congressional campaign, she is focusing on Republicans’ strict opposition to abortion rights.

An online ad she released last week highlights how Amanda Adkins, the Republican favored to emerge from Tuesday’s primary for a rematch with David in November, opposed abortion without exceptions. The ad points to Adkins’ support of an amendment to the Kansas Constitution on the ballot Tuesday that would make clear there is no right to abortion in the states.

“There were a lot of people who would not have known that I have an opponent who is extreme on this issue,” Davids, who beat Adkins in 2020, said in an interview. “It’s not hypothetical anymore.”

That’s a sign of how the Supreme Court’s decision in June to repeal a woman’s federal constitutional right to abortion has scrambled the political dynamics heading into the fall elections, when control of Congress is at stake. A half-dozen of the most vulnerable House members — all of them women, all representing swaths of suburban voters — see the issue as one that could help them win in an otherwise difficult political climate.

In addition to Davids, these incumbents include Reps. Angie Craig of Minnesota, Cindy Axne of Iowa, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria of Virginia, and Susan Wilds of Pennsylvania. They all face Republican opponents who support the high court’s abortion ruling. Some are contending with rivals who back efforts to ban abortion in all circumstances, including when the mother’s life is at risk.

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