Trump ‘threatens’ Mark Milley and praises Rishi Sunak for climate rollbacks in Truth Social rants – live

Follow the latest updates from the former president’s 2024 campaign and ongoing legal woes

Oliver O'Connell,Gustaf Kilander
Sunday 24 September 2023 16:31

Related video: Adam Schiff accuses Republicans of setting stage for Trump dictatorship at tense hearing

Donald Trump spent the weekend on Truth Social appearing to threaten a top military official and praising the UK Prime Minister for rolling back on climate target policies.

In a Friday night Truth Social post, Mr Trump suggested Mark Milley, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, could merit punishment by “death” for his past communications with his Chinese counterparts.

The attacks on Mr Milley came after the general said in a recent Atlantic magazine profile Mr Trump once mocked a disabled veteran.

Then on Saturday afternoon, Mr Trump called Rishi Sunak “smart” for delaying the UK’s ban on gas and diesel cars as well as scrapping other environmental legislation.

“I always knew Sunak was smart, that he wasn’t going to destroy and bankrupt his nation for fake climate alarmists that don’t have a clue,” Mr Trump wrote.

Mr Trump, who rolled back on more than 100 environmental policies while in the White House, called on the US to stop allocating “trillions” of funding towards “that which is not doable”.


Biden says new White House gun violence office will ‘centralise, accelerate and intensify’ efforts to end mass shootings

President Joe Biden on Friday said the establishment of a White House office dedicated to the prevention of gun violence is a tribute to the survivors and activists who have fought for years to bring change in the face of fierce opposition, and predicted that it would kick his administration’s anti-violence efforts into a higher gear.

Speaking at an event to unveil the new project in the White House Rose Garden on 22 September, the president said he was “determined to send a clear message about how important this issue is to me and to the country” by signing an executive order to establish the new office – which will overseen by Vice President Kamala Harris – to coordinate efforts among administration officials and state and local governments, absent congressional action.

“We’re going to centralise, accelerate, and intensify our work to save more lives more quickly. That’s what this new White House office of gun violence prevention is designed to do,” he said.

He added that the more than 500 mass shootings the US has seen this year is “unacceptable” and “not who we are,” and said that if Congress doesn’t act to stop it, Americans “will need to elect new members of Congress”.

White House staff secretary Stefanie Feldman will serve as the office director, with Greg Jackson, the executive director of the Community Justice Action Fund, and Everytown for Gun Safety’s Rob Wilcox joining as deputy directors.

Andrew Feinberg, Alex Woodward23 September 2023 09:00

CNN host gives scathing obituary of Rupert Murdoch’s career and the ‘mess left behind’

CNN host Abby Phillip has given a scathing obituary of Rupert Murdoch’s career and “the mess left behind”, after the 92-year-old media mogul announced on Thursday that he is stepping down as chairman of Fox Corporation and News Corp.

In a segment on the liberal network, Ms Phillip slammed Mr Murdoch’s legacy at Fox News, accusing him of enabling the creation of “outrage porn” and “partisan red meat” and of “stoking relentless culture wars.”

“American democracy is in perilous condition,” she said in the segment, which she also posted on X.

“The nation’s politics are poison, truth has become optional, instead of desired or even required.”

She continued: “So much of the current state of our democracy can be traced back to the beast of his creation.”

Martha McHardy23 September 2023 08:00

Biden and Lauren Boebert call out McCarthy for taking a long weekend as government shutdown looms

House Republicans have grown so dysfunctional that far-right members of the party appear to be on the same side as President Joe Biden.

On Thursday, both Mr Biden and Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert slammed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California for allowing the House to end its business for the week and lawmakers to set off on long weekends – even as a government shutdown looks increasingly inevitable.

“Last time there was a government shutdown, 800,000 Americans were furloughed or worked without pay. But enjoy your weekend,” Mr Biden wrote on X on Thursday.

In a rare moment of agreement with the president, Ms Boebert also took to X to make a similar comment.

Congress should not be sent home this week without passing any individual appropriations bills that slash spending and show the American people we are making progress and can govern,” she wrote.

Gustaf Kilander23 September 2023 07:00

Drag queen at bar owned by Lauren Boebert’s Beetlejuice date casts fresh doubts on congresswoman’s claims

A drag queen who has performed at a gay-friendly bar owned by Lauren Boebert’s Beetlejuice beau has spoken out, casting fresh doubt on the congresswoman’s claims about the scandal.

Ms Boebert previously suggested that the Beetlejuice show – where she and Quinn Gallagher, 46, were removed for allegedly vaping, singing, taking pictures and engaging in heavy petting – was the pair’s first date.

In fact, as she was forced to apologise for her behaviour as footage of the encounter leaked, the Republican congresswoman claimed she had split up with the bar owner after learning that he is a Democrat.

“All future date nights have been cancelled,” she said.

“And I learned to check party affiliations before you go on a date.”

Martha McHardy23 September 2023 06:00

Republican 2024 candidates are walking the abortion line. One question is throwing them off balance

The 2024 Republican candidates for president have an abortion problem.

At every campaign stop, town hall, debate and interview the elephant in the room manages to creep its way into the dialogue – how should a potential president approach the legality of abortion at the federal level, if at all?

For decades, the ideal GOP candidate would state their pro-life stance and disagree with the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v Wade to earn a gold star and potential endorsements.

But since the fall of Roe last year, the issue of abortion has become increasingly complicated and voters have made it clear they’re looking for a candidate who can take a nuanced approach to the subject.

Across the board, polling shows that most Americans believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases in the first trimester, regardless of party lines. Simultaneously, the same majority of voters also believe abortions should be illegal in the third trimester.

Yet, when candidates are confronted with the issue, many display an obvious struggle to remain loyal to the Republican party’s long-held belief while extending a compromising hand to the rest of the country.

Ariana Baio23 September 2023 05:00

White House trolls ‘worst person you know’ Matt Gaetz

When the White House is trolling Congress using Onion headlines and Republicans are voting against funding the military, you know something very strange is happening in Washington.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration trolled both Florida congressman Matt Gaetz as “The Worst Person You Know” and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over his leadership using a headline from the satirical newspaper – after Mr Gaetz accused the GOP leadership of causing Congress to careen towards a looming 30 September shutdown deadline without a plan to fund the government.

The White House account on X, formerly Twitter, shared an oft-quoted Onion story featuring a picture of a sullen man with the headline: “Heartbreaking: The Worst Person You Know Just Made A Great Point.”

The post came in response to a quote from Mr Gaetz, the far-right congressman who has consistently been a critic of Speaker McCarthy.

In an interview with Fox News reporter Liz Elkind, the Florida Republican had called the looming shutdown “Speaker McCarthy’s fault”.

Josh Marcus23 September 2023 04:00

Trump says he ‘doesn’t believe’ he forced Rupert Murdoch into retirement

Donald Trump has said that he does “not believe” that he “forced Rupert Murdoch into retirement”.

The chairman of Fox Corp and News Corp announced in a memo to staff on Thursday that he was retiring from his position at the helm of his right-wing empire and handing over the reins to his son Lachlan.

“Many people are saying that, ‘You forced Rupert Murdoch into retirement!’ I do not believe this is so, but while we’re at it, how about getting rid of ‘Democrat’ Mitch McConnell, who gives the Radical Left Lunatics, together with his small band of automatic ‘yes’ votes, EVERYTHING they want. There is ZERO Republican Leadership in the United States Senate. MAGA!!!” Mr Trump wrote on Truth Social on Friday morning.

Mr Trump and Mr Murdoch have endured something of a notorious love-hate relationship for years.

They were close allies during the 2016 presidential election campaign, with the media mogul welcoming him on Fox News and helping to propel his career from businessman to politician.

Rachel Sharp, Gustaf Kilander23 September 2023 03:15

North Carolina legislature gives final OK to election board changes, with governor's veto to follow

The North Carolina General Assembly gave final approval on Friday to Republican-backed legislation that would shift control of the State Board of Elections away from the governor and give it to lawmakers as the 2024 elections get underway.

With the Senate recording a party-line vote to accept a consensus GOP measure after the House completed a similar vote late Thursday night, the bill now heads to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

Cooper already has promised to veto it, saying it’s a GOP power play that would result in stalemates on the proposed new board, potentially limiting access to early in-person voting and giving more opportunity to the General Assembly and courts to settle contested elections.

Republicans say the new structure will result in more consensus building on election matters, building voter confidence. But it also could result in the current state elections executive director being ousted from her job weeks before key primary elections are held in March in the nation’s ninth-largest state.

Republicans hold narrow veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, so a successful override is likely next month. GOP lawmakers have tried since 2016 to erode the governor’s power over elections, but those efforts have been struck down by courts or rejected by voters. More litigation could be ahead if it gets enacted. Unlike recent years, the state Supreme Court now has a majority of Republican justices.

Gary D. Robertson, Hannah Schoenbaum23 September 2023 02:30

White House preparing for government shutdown as House Republicans lack a viable endgame for funding

The White House is preparing Friday to direct federal agencies to get ready for a shutdown after House Republicans left town for the weekend with no viable plan to keep the government funded and avert politically and economically costly disruption of federal services.

A federal shutdown after Sept. 30 seems all but certain unless Speaker Kevin McCarthy can convince his rebellious hard-right flank of Republicans to allow Congress to approve a temporary funding measure to prevent closures while they work on the annual federal spending plan. But the House is not expected back until Tuesday, leaving just five days to resolve his standoff.

“We got members working, and hopefully we’ll be able to move forward on Tuesday to pass these bills,” McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters at the Capitol.

McCarthy signaled his preference for avoiding a closure, but a hard-right flank of his House majority has effectively seized control. “I still believe if you shut down you’re in a weaker position,” he said.

The standoff with House Republicans over government funding puts at risk a range of activities — including pay for the military and law enforcement personnel, food safety and food aid programs, air travel and passport processing — and could wreck havoc with the U.S. economy.

Josh Boak, Stephen Groves, Lisa Mascaro23 September 2023 01:45

VOICES: Why progressives won’t pressure Biden on strikes – while Matt Gaetz runs the GOP

Business in Congress ended on Thursday with Republicans in the House of Representatives getting no closer to an agreement. By the time your dispatcher left the Capitol, Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL), the far right firebrand who took Kevin McCarthy to 15 rounds to make him speaker, was meeting with House Majority Whip Tom Emmer in his office.

Gaetz waltzed into the office after the House failed to pass a rule to begin the process of passing the annual defence spending bill for the second time this week. Keep in mind that this version of the bill has absolutely zero chance of passing the US Senate.

This is purely an effort by Mr McCarthy to let his most right-wing members act like they did something before he ultimately does what he did with the debt limit: rely on Democrats to help pass the rule and then the final legislation to avert disaster.

Eric Garcia23 September 2023 01:00

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