Biden mocks Trump as ‘the great MAGA King’ in speech on economy
As Donald Trump’s chosen candidate David Perdue struggles to gain momentum in Georgia’s gubernatorial primary, Mike Pence has announced he will visit the state to get out the vote for incumbent Brian Kemp – a Republican who refused to bow to Mr Trump’s insistence that the state was stolen from Joe Biden in 2020.
Meanwhile, the select committee investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol has issued subpoenas to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers who are close allies of Donald Trump: Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Mo Brooks of Alabama. Each was given the opportunity to voluntarily give evidence.
And the Department of Justice is now investigating whether former President Trump or any of his aides violated federal law by mishandling classified documents that ended up at Mar-a-Lago instead of at the national archives at the end of his term.
On Friday, the former president shared some thoughts on Elon Musk’s plan to buy Twitter, saying the billionaire would not pay a ‘ridiculous price’ for the platform as it is mostly “BOTS or spam accounts”.
Trump says Elon Musk will not buy Twitter at such a ‘ridiculous price’
Donald Trump says Elon Musk will not buy Twitter at “such a ridiculous price” after the billionaire announced he had paused his $44bn purchase of the platform.
The Tesla boss says he is “still committed” to buying Twitter but that the deal is on hold until he had gathered more information about the spam and fake accounts on the platform.
Mr Musk has vowed to let Mr Trump back onto the platform once he has taken control of it, but the one-term president cast doubt on that ever happening in a post on his own Truth Social platform.
Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 17:55
ICYMI: A pro-Trump Netflix could be coming your way
A bespoke social media platform (albeit a beleagured one) is all very well, but Donald Trump now seems to be pursuing another venture to provide a “refuge” for the president’s fans: a right-wing alternative to Netflix.
The Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) is recruiting staff for the new venture. In an ad posted on Wednesday, the group announced that the streaming service, named TMTG+, will be “a ‘Big Tent’ platform offering broad-based entertainment rooted in free speech”.
It added that “in addition to the Social Media platform Truth Social, our SVOD [Subscription Video on Demand] platform TMTG+ will be the home for a wide variety of non-scripted, scripted, and original content”.
Sravasti Dasgupta has more.
Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 17:37
Trump has thoughts on Elon Musk’s intention to buy Twitter
Former President Donald Trump has taken to his own social media site, Truth Social, to share some thoughts on Elon Musk’s intention to buy Twitter.
He wrote (truthed?): “There is no way Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter at such a ridiculous price, especially since realizing it is a company largely based on BOTS or Spam Accounts. Fake anyone?”
The former president continued: “By the time you get rid of them, if that can even be done, what do you have? Not much? If it weren’t for the ridiculous Billion Dollar breakup fee, Elon would have already been long gone. Just my opinion, but Truth Social is MUCH better than Twitter and is absolutely exploding, incredible engagement!”
Mr Musk had previously said he would allow Mr Trump back on Twitter, from which he has been banned since 6 January 2021. Earlier today Mr Musk said his purchase of the micro-blogging social media site was “on hold” while a review was conducted into how many bots and spam accounts existed on the platform.
Oliver O’Connell13 May 2022 17:26
Kevin McCarthy clams up…
Having been subpoenaed by the 6 January select committee, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy appears to be keeping a lower-than-usual profile as he goes about his day on Capitol Hill:
Andrew Naughtie13 May 2022 17:15
Musk insists Twitter sale is still on
Elon Musk sent Twitter shares into a dive with an overnight tweet saying he was putting a pause on his plans to buy out the company while he evaluated its estimates of how many accounts are fake or spam.
Since then, however, he has sought to calm things down:
Mr Musk has reiterated that he would like to see Donald Trump’s Twitter account restored, though the former president has said (for now) that he intends to remain on his own platform, the problem-stricken Truth Social.
Andrew Naughtie13 May 2022 16:45
Lindsey Graham says he was “wrong” to suggest Biden should be president on Jan 6
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham was not flattered by the recent release of audio recordings from after the 6 January riot on which he said Donald Trump bore responsibility for the events of the day and said Joe Biden would be “maybe the best person to have” in the White House.
“I’ve known Joe for 30 years. He’s a nice guy, but he’s been a disaster as president,” he said. “Nobody fears Joe Biden abroad, and at home his policies are failing.”
Eric Garcia has the story.
Andrew Naughtie13 May 2022 16:16
Pence breaks with Trump in Georgia governor’s race
Donald Trump’s endorsee in the Georgia governor’s race, David Perdue, has failed dismally to catch up with the Republican incumbent, Brian Kemp. And with the vote set for 24 May, Mr Kemp has attracted a high-profile supporter of his own: Mike Pence.
While Mr Pence has not explicitly condemned Mr Trump for his actions after the 2020 election, Mr Trump has essentially ruled out including him on a future presidential ticket. For his part, Mr Pence has continued a schedule of speaking engagements and campaign-style appearances around the country, raising some speculation that he might make a tilt at the presidency if Mr Trump does not or cannot run.
Andrew Naughtie13 May 2022 15:29
Report: DoJ under Trump subpoenaed reporter’s phone records
It has emerged that during the Trump administration, the Department of Justice issued a subpoena for the phone records of an investigative reporter looking into its family separations policy at the US border.
The journalist in question was The Guardian’s Stephanie Kirchgaessner – and the paper itself was apparently not made aware of the subpoena at the time it was issued.
Gino Spocchia has the news.
Andrew Naughtie13 May 2022 15:00
Hillbilly Elegy director “surprised” by JD Vance’s far-right turn
Ron Howard, who directed the widely panned movie adaptation of JD Vance’s memoir of Appalaichan cultural dysfunction, Hillbilly Elegy, says he is surprised by the now-candidate’s embrace of Donald Trump and hardcore right-wing politics.
“I always knew he was conservative, but [he] struck me as a very center-right, a kind of a moderate thinker,” the director said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, reflecting also that the movie he directed “wasn’t ever meant to suggest that he was headed in the direction of politics.”
Around the time his well-received book elevated him to national prominence, Mr Vance was an unsparing critic of Donald Trump, whom he warned could become “America’s Hitler” and described as the political equivalent of the ferociously addictive opiates that had ruined lives in the region where he grew up. But by the time of this year’s Ohio Senate primary, Mr Vance had transformed himself into an ardent Trumpist and belligerent culture warrior.
Read more from Abe Asher below.
Andrew Naughtie13 May 2022 14:30
ICYMI: Prosecutors probing Trump’s Mar-a-Lago documents
The Department of Justice has begun its investigation into how several boxes of official Trump administration documents, some of them classified, found their way to Mar-a-Lago instead of being turned over to the National Archives as required by law.
Under federal law, all records created during Mr Trump’s term were the property of the United States and should have been transferred to the archives by the time he left office on 20 January, 2021.
The investigation is aimed at determining how the boxes of documents were transported to Florida, who was responsible for boxing them up, if anyone was aware that classified material was taken out of the White House in a way that was improper, and how they were stored in Florida, according to The New YorkTimes.
Andrew Feinberg and Gustaf Kilander have the story.
Andrew Naughtie13 May 2022 14:00