Trump news today: Rudy Giuliani backs out of Jan 6 committee interview

Trump says he took cognitive test because people kept calling him stupid

Former Trump laywer Rudy Giuliani, who played a leading role in the “stop the steal” effort to overturn the 2020 election in courts across the nation, has backed out of an interview with the 6 January committee at the last minute.

The encounter was scheduled for today and had been agreed after months of negotiation, and apparently fell apart when Mr Giuliani insisted that he be allowed to record the meeting on video, a request which the committee refused.

Meanwhile, a member of the Oath Keepers militia group has pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy in relation to the 6 January riot – and with the plea deal sealed, it has emerged that he was present when the militia’s leader tried to contact Mr Trump after the Capitol riots had ended.

According to court documents filed in the case of William Todd Wilson, who is now co-operating with the government, leader Stewart Rhodes called “an individual” on speaker phone after leaving the Capitol grounds and implored this person “to tell President Trump to call upon groups like the Oath Keepers to forcibly oppose the transfer of power”.

However, the unidentified person on the other end of the line apparently refused to put Mr Trump on the phone.

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Greene claims Black lives don’t matter to Democrats while sharing abortion rights video

Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, an outspoken pro-life lawmaker, rejoiced this week at the news that Supreme Court justices were considering overruling Roe v Wade, labelling it “a victory for God”.

She continued with that celebration throughout the week, but on Friday, she seemed to use the news peg of reproductive rights to dig in to a conversation about civil rights.

“Do black lives matter to the Democrat party? The answer is no,” the Georgia congresswoman wrote in a tweet on Friday alongside a video where a man asks a group of healthcare workers protesting for the protection of abortion access if “the Black babies killed in the abortion clinic matter”.

The group falls silent while the man in the video continues to ask “does the future of our Black babies matter”.

“If you are black, they use you for your vote by pretending to care while their policies cause crime in your neighborhoods & Democrat funded abortion mills kill your children,” the far-right lawmaker closes.

The freshman lawmaker just last year co-sponsored a bill that would prevent US embassies from flying LGBT+ pride and Black Lives Matter flags, and has called the racial justice movement a “radical Marxist group.”

Johanna Chisholm7 May 2022 04:22

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After it was revealed in excerpts this week that former defense secretary Mark Esper says in his new book, A Sacred Oath, that former president Donald Trump allegedly asked him in 2020 about launching missiles into Mexico to “destroy the drug labs”, another former defense secretary is wading into the arena to take shots at Mr Trump.

According to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, former defence secretary William Cohen was “not surprised” when he heard the excerpts from Mr Esper’s upcoming book.

“I’m honestly I’m not surprised. We saw evidence of this, that former President Trump has no respect for the rule of law. He believes he has Putin-esque like powers,” said the Republican moderate, who served under Bill Clinton as defense secretary.

Mr Esper, The New York Times reported, citing book excerpts, was told by Mr Trump that: “we could just shoot some Patriot missiles and take out the labs, quietly”.

Johanna Chisholm7 May 2022 02:22

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Capitol rioters plead guilty to assaulting police officer

A group of accused Capitol rioters have partially admitted to attacking police officer Michael Fanone on January 6, and will now likely face time behind bars.

Two members of the group, who are from different US states, appeared in court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to allegations of assaulting Mr Fanone, a former officer, The Washington Post reported.

Kyle Young, 38, told the court how he brought his teenage son to Washington DC from Redfield, Iowa, for the “Stop the Steal” rally and then made their way to the US Capitol.

Mr Fanone, speaking in testimonies after the attack, said he was pulled into the crowd of rioters and was assaulted. He ended up suffering from a heart attack and traumatic brain injuries on 6 January, ultimately leading to him retiring from the Capitol force last year.

Continue reading the full story from The Independent’s Gino Spocchia below.

Johanna Chisholm7 May 2022 00:43

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Interview from 2016 election trail shows host taking Trump to task over abortion stance

An old interview dug up from the 2016 election trail has new relevancy this week and is making the rounds on social media once more.

CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski shared the video clip of MSNBC host Chris Matthews taking Donald Trump to task over his position on abortion back in 2016, a topic that has become more contentious this week after a draft opinion leaked late Monday night suggested the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v Wade.

“You’re saying you want to ban it. What does that mean?” the MSNBC host presses, as Mr Trump attempts to dance around the question.

“I am pro life yes,” the former president says, while Mr Matthews continues to interject with questions trying to lock down what his definition of pro-life actually means.

“Do you believe in punishment for abortion yes or no,” Mr Matthews asks again.

“The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment,” Mr Trump finally lands on.

Watch the full clip of the interview below.

Johanna Chisholm6 May 2022 22:14

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Opinion: Dr Oz is running for Senate. Even if he means well, it’s a very bad idea

Dr Mehmet Oz, who is running for Pennsylvania Senate and has already secured GOP kingmaker Donald Trump’s endorsement, might have gained enough celebrity status to warrant the former US president to bet on him, but his medical judgments leave cause for concern, writes Julie Charnet.

“As a physician, he has consistently stated a strong desire to help people and I believed him; I still do. But not all of his efforts involved the holistic wellness game. When Covid-19 hit the US, his endorsement of another product, this time an anti-malaria drug, was in a different league,” she writes for The Independent on the doctor’s controversial opinions over treating Covid-19.

“What I do know is that the US Senate has the power to decide some major issues that affect all of us — beyond healthcare. I’m not sure if it’s the right place for a doctor who plays one on TV and in real life simultaneously.”

Read the full opinion piece from The Independent below.

Johanna Chisholm6 May 2022 20:04

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Judge at Jan 6 sentencing points to Europe as a warning

Speaking at Aaron Mostofsky’s sentencing for his role in the 6 January riot, a judge had these sobering words on the importance of holding the Capitol attackers accountable for their actions:

Johanna Chisholm6 May 2022 18:30

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Musk says he didn’t buy Twitter for Trump’s sake

While Donald Trump has insisted he is sticking with Truth Social for now – and has even started posting at least on his troubled platform – many of his supporters were hopeful that Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter could pave the way for the sometime president’s return to his onetime soapbox of choice.

But whether or not the self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” Mr Musk offers to reinstate Mr Trump’s account, he is insisting for now that the two men have not as reported discussed the Twitter buyout.

“This is false,” Mr Musk wrote in response to a New York Post story making the claim. “I’ve had no communication, directly or indirectly, with Trump, who has publicly stated that he will be exclusively on Truth Social.”

Andrew Griffin has the story:

Andrew Naughtie6 May 2022 17:05

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Jan 6 cases: Son of a judge who dressed in pets faces sentencing

One of the more distinctively dressed Capitol rioters is in the process of being sentenced.

Aaron Mostofsky, whose father is a Democratic-leaning judge in Brooklyn, was pictured on 6 January 2021 inside the Capitol wearing a bizarre assemblage of animal parts. According to his defence attorney, the outfit was his 2020 Purim costume; in one filing, it was described as “raccoon”.

Here’s a video interview Mr Mostofsky gave inside the Capitol during the riot.

You can follow more from the sentencing below courtesy of Law & Crime’s Adam Klasfeld:

Andrew Naughtie6 May 2022 16:35

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ICYMI: Rudy Giuliani walks away from Jan 6 interview

Rudy Giuliani and the 6 January select committee reportedly spent months negotiating the interview that was meant to go ahead today, with the former Trump lawyer insisting that certain questions be left off the table because of supposed attorney-client privilege.

However, the last straw for Mr Giuliani seems to be that the committee refused to let him videotape their session together.

Read more from Gustaf Kilander:

Andrew Naughtie6 May 2022 16:05

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Mike Pompeo claims Trump endorsee Dr Oz is a security threat

Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dave McCormick is fighting a tough primary campaign against Dr Mehmet Oz, the TV physician who has secured Donald Trump’s endorsement despite the contempt of many conservatives.

So far, Mr McCormick has mostly criticized the controversial doctor’s multiple ideological backflips, but he has lately opened up a new line of attack: the dual Turkish-American citizen’s activities in Turkey. That now extends to Dr Oz’s voting in a past Turkish election – with Mr McCormick drafting in former Trump secretary of state Mike Pompeo to argue it raises the question of a national security risk.

Andrew Naughtie6 May 2022 15:27

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