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Kanye West releases 2024 campaign video after meeting with Trump

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Criticism continues to pour in after the former president hosted a meeting at Mar-a-Lago with Kanye West, who has gone on an antisemitic rampage of late, and his associate Nick Fuentes, one of the US’s most notorious white supremacist activists – and it seems top Jewish Republicans are turning against the former president.

One leader of a right-wing pro-Israel lobby group told The New York Times that “Donald Trump is not an antisemite. He loves Israel. He loves Jews. But he mainstreams, he legitimizes Jew hatred and Jew haters. And this scares me.”

Meanwhile, a federal judge has dismissed Donald Trump’s claim that he has “presidential immunity” from a lawsuit about his actions around the 2020 election – in the latest blow to the former president as the fallout over a meeting with Kanye West and a white supremacist continues.

Civil rights groups including the NAACP are suing Mr Trump and the Republican National Committee for trying to disenfranchise voters, intimidate election officials and undermine lawfully cast votes in violation of both the federal Voting Rights Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act.

While Mr Trump’s lawyers claimed that he has “absolute immunity”, DC District Judge Emmet Sullivan disagreed.

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Supreme Court defends Alito in face of leak allegations

A letter from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Hank Johnson pressed Chief Justice John Roberts to answer questions about alleged breaches after a former anti-abortion activist with an influential lobbying group told the court that powerful donors leaked a ruling from a major contraception case after they dined with Justice Alito.

Supreme Court attorney Ethan Torrey did not answer the letter’s questions about that alleged leak or the leak of a draft opinion in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the June decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

“There is nothing to suggest that Justice Alito’s actions violated ethical standards,” Mr Torrey wrote on 28 November.

Alex Woodward reports:

Andrew Naughtie29 November 2022 19:10

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Rubio: Fuentes is an ‘a** clown’ and a ‘disgusting person’

Senator Marco Rubio had a particularly aggressive rebuke of Nick Fuentes, one of America’s most infamous white nationalists and antisemites, on Monday after former President Donald Trump faced another day of questions and criticism surrounding the Mar-a-Lago meetup with Mr Fuentes and rapper Kanye West.

The Florida Republican made the comment to CNN, telling the network that Mr Fuentes “is a purveyor and a spreader of an evil, poison”.

“I hope he will [condemn Fuentes],” Mr Rubio continued. “Because I know he’s not an antisemite. I can tell you that for a fact that Trump is not, but this guy is evil. And that guy’s just a nasty, disgusting person. He’s an a** clown.”

John Bowden reports:

Andrew Naughtie29 November 2022 18:40

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Incoming GOP congressman condemns Fuentes

As many Republican members of Congress keep quiet about Donald Trump’s dinner with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West, Mike Lawler, one of the new class of GOP representatives who won the party its ultra-narrow majority, has weighed in on the row in unsparing terms – albeit without mentioning Donald Trump’s name.

Mr Lawler is something of a hero in the House GOP conference having unseated DCCC chair Sean Patrick Maloney in a redrawn New York district.

Andrew Naughtie29 November 2022 18:10

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Trump to keep up Twitter lawsuit despite reinstatement

The lawyer representing former president Donald Trump in the lawsuit he filed after he was previously banned from Twitter has said he will not drop the case despite having been reinstated to the platform by the company’s new owner, Elon Musk.

Attorney John Cole told Bloomberg News that Mr Trump will continue to appeal the case’s dismissal by a California federal judge unless the company enters into an agreement to formally settle the lawsuit.

The twice-impeached ex-president filed the lawsuit in July 2021, six months after then-CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Mr Trump’s account had been permanently suspended from the platform in the wake of the January 6 attack on the Capitol. His account has now been reinstated, but he has yet to use it, preferring instead to stick with Truth Social despite its dramatically smaller user base and limited reach.

Andrew Feinberg has more.

Andrew Naughtie29 November 2022 17:40

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Analysis: GOP Senators tentatively call out Trump on Fuentes

In today’s Inside Washington dispatch, Eric Garcia reports from Capitol Hill, where he and other reporters have been asking Republican Senators to weigh in on Donald Trump’s antisemitic dinner party last week:


Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who has mainly been focusing on getting the Respect for Marriage Act over the finish line, vocally denounced the meeting.

“First, I honestly didn’t know who he was,” he told The Independent. “If the reports are true and the president didn’t know who he was, whoever allowed them in the room should have been fired.”

This new willingness among many Republicans to condemn the former president began to show itself after the midterm elections. Several of Mr Trump’s endorsed candidates flopped in winnable races, arguably costing his party the Senate and limiting its House majority to a mere handful of votes. (Side note: The batch of failed Trump endorsements makes a convenient alibi for those who don’t want to blame the overturning of Roe v Wade). The fact other Republicans, like Ron DeSantis, are looking ever more viable for a 2024 race means a convenient off-ramp could soon be in sight.

Read the full analysis below.

Andrew Naughtie29 November 2022 17:10

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Trump furious at coverage of midterms humiliation

Donald Trump’s unhappy morning on Truth Social continues with this rant about people blaming him in whole or in part for the Republican Party’s mortifying shortfall in the 8 November midterms.

It’s worth noting that even if the Trump-backed Herschel Walker wins next week’s Georgia runoff, the GOP will still have failed to make a net gain in the Senate – and that it was Dr Mehmet Oz, a key Trump endorsee, who failed to keep Pennsylvania’s open seat in Republican hands.

Andrew Naughtie29 November 2022 16:40

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Trump awake and truthing…

Donald Trump is clearly in a foul mood today, at least if the state of his Truth Social feed is anything to go by. Along with launching an all-caps screed against mail-in voting and sharing a video in relation to false claims of malfeasance in Arizona’s Maricopa County, the former president has also kicked off about the security of the US’s southern border – and launched a particularly bilious rant directed at Karl Rove, complete with Trumpian misspelling at the end:

Andrew Naughtie29 November 2022 16:15

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Liz Cheney calls out Kevin McCarthy on silence about Nick Fuentes

While many elected Republicans have yet to say anything about Donald Trump’s meeting with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, their silence is not going unnoticed. Retiring congresswoman Liz Cheney, who sits on the January 6 committee, has turned her scorn on the party’s House leader, Kevin McCarthy:

Mr McCarthy has five weeks to organise the House Republican conference to back him to be speaker. Because the GOP’s House majority is so slim, he can only afford to lose a handful of votes, meaning he can ill afford to irritate or embarrass his party’s more extreme members.

Meanwhile, here’s Joe Sommerlad with a catch-up on what we know about the Mar-a-Lago meeting.

Andrew Naughtie29 November 2022 16:10

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Has Herschel Walker really been living in Georgia?

Financial disclosure forms have revealed that contrary to his claims of deep ties to the state of Georgia, Republican nominee Herschel Walker in fact appears to have used his property there as a source of rental income rather than as a residence.

The news comes as Georgians turn out in record numbers to vote in the state’s Senate runoff, in which Mr Walker is trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock to give his party a 50th Senate seat.

According to The Daily Beast, Mr Walker’s financial records show that while he claims to have had a property in Georgia for many years, it is in fact owned solely by his wife, collected rental income from it for nearly two decades, indicating that Mr Walker has indeed spent many years living not in Georgia but in Texas – where he has claimed a home as his primary residence for tax purposes.

Read more:

Andrew Naughtie29 November 2022 15:50

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Trump falsely claims case against his company has collapsed

The defence has rested its case in the trial of the Trump Organization on tax fraud charges – albeit not before trying to introduce a welter of exhibits at the last minute, a move that saw the judge accuse the lawyers concerned of trying “to throw anything and everything” at the jury.

The six-week trial has seen prosecutors for the Manhattan district attorney’s office call various witnesses to the organization’s alleged conduct, including former CFO and longtime Trump associate Allen Weisselberg, who testified under a plea deal.

Mr Trump himself, however, is insisting on an unclear basis that the case has “collapsed” – this before the jury have even heard closing arguments, which they will on Thursday.

Andrew Naughtie29 November 2022 15:20

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