GOP governor calls on fellow Republicans to ‘move on’ from Trump

Elon Musk has said he would end Donald Trump’s ban from Twitter, saying he thought the decision to block the then-president was “morally wrong”, “foolish in the extreme” and “it alienated a large part of the country”. The Tesla and SpaceX founder made the comments at an event hosted by The Financial Times.

Perhaps as a reminder of what America has been missing without the former president on the platform, Rolling Stone published a story in which senior Trump officials said he repeatedly asked if China had a secret “hurricane gun” to launch storms at the US.

Also recalling his time in the administration, former secretary of defence Mark Esper appeared on Fox News to talk about his new book A Sacred Oath and confirmed he views Mr Trump as a threat to American democracy. He asked host Brett Baier what other conclusion anyone could come to based on the events of 6 January 2021.

On Tuesday night, a Republican primary in West Virginia will see two incumbent GOP congressmen duke it out for a newly redrawn district – and the two have been endorsed by very different backers. While hardcore conservative Alex Mooney enjoys the backing of Donald Trump, his rival David McKinley has the support of the state’s most senior Democrat, Joe Manchin.


Jan 6 defendant detained again after breaching no-firearms agreement

Barton Shively, a 6 January rioter who is facing multiple charges in connection with the insurrection, has had his pretrial release revoked after probation officers found weapons in his house, violating the conditions of his release.

According to a court finding, the materials found included “hundreds of rounds of ammunition in various calibers, a sword, knives, and camouflage body armour”, as well as “a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with six rounds of shotgun ammunition”.

Andrew Naughtie10 May 2022 15:00


Alex Jones claims he tried to stop Capitol riot

Far-right “shock jock” Alex Jones, whose long history of supporting false conspiracy theories has landed him in severe legal trouble, claimed on his show last night that he tried to stop the 6 January riot when it became clear what was happening.

“It’s a bizarre feeling to know that you did nothing wrong,” he told viewers. “To know that you had no motive, and to know that you tried to stop what happened”.

Mr Jones was called to speak to the 6 January select committee, but chose to plead the Fifth Amendment. Afterwards, he told his viewers much of what he refused to share with the panel.

Gino Spocchia has the story.

Andrew Naughtie10 May 2022 14:30


Another test of Trump’s endorsement power in West Virginia

A round of redistricting in West Virginia has forced two incumbent Republicans to duke it out in a primary for a newly redrawn district – and the two of them have the backing of two very different heavyweight endorsers.

On the one hand is Alex Mooney, who enjoys the support of Donald Trump; he has positioned himself as a hardcore conservative who scorns any attempt at bipartisanship. He is facing David McKinley, a more moderate figure who has been endorsed by the state’s most senior Democrat, Joe Manchin.

Here’s a write-up from the Associated Press.

Andrew Naughtie10 May 2022 13:55


Watch: Bannon threatens Esper as Trump book drops

Mark Esper’s book about the extreme turn of the late Trump presidency has disgusted many on the right, and the hardcore element in particular. Among them is far-right agitator and sometime Trump advisor Steve Bannon, who used his podcast to threaten Mr Esper with “accountability” when the Trump faction take power back:

Andrew Naughtie10 May 2022 13:15


Esper tells Fox Trump was a threat to democracy

Brett Baier, One of Fox News’s more level-headed hosts, yesterday interviewed Mark Esper about his incendiary new book on Donald Trump’s more egregious behaviour as president – and gave the author a chance to state plainly that the ex-commander-in-chief was a threat to the future of the US’s democratic system.

Andrew Naughtie10 May 2022 12:40


Impeachment witness: Trump emboldened Putin

Alexander Vindman, who served as a key figure during Donald Trump’s first impeachment over his efforts to extort Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating the Biden family, said last night on MSNBC that the events of January 6 “massively emboldened Vladimir Putin” – and that the possibility of an anti-democratic coup in the US was “probably one of the last tick marks on his checklist” of whether the attack on Ukraine “was going to be a low-cost exercise or not”.

Andrew Naughtie10 May 2022 12:02


Far-right pro-Trump network admits election fraud claims were wrong

One America News, the hardline Trump-friendly news network that has long propagated false stories of widespread organised fraud in the 2020 election, has issued an uncharacteristic on-air retraction of claims it made about two election workers in Georgia who were accused of manipulating the result.

Georgia is one of the states central to Mr Trump’s conspiracy theory about his defeat, but despite multiple investigations following up on his and others’ allegations, no evidence to support his various claims has been found. In addition, a grand jury has been convened to hear evidence about Mr Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure state officials into “finding” enough votes to flip the state his way.

Andrew Naughtie10 May 2022 11:22


Texas attorney general faces action over 2020 election actions

Ken Paxton, the right-wing Texas attorney general who appeared at Donald Trump’s “stop the steal” rally before the 6 January Capitol attack, is facing potential disciplinary action from his state bar over his actions after the 2020 election. Specifically, the Texas bar is poised to include him in a lawsuit alleging he made dishonest claims in a petition to have the US Supreme Court overturn Joe Biden’s victory in four swing states.

Mr Paxton is a dogged Trump supporter who has been under indictment on criminal fraud charges for several years.

Andrew Naughtie10 May 2022 10:43


Pelosi: The US “needs a strong Republican Party”

Speaking at an event yesterday, Nancy Pelosi reiterated a point she has made several times before: that the Republican Party has moved so far away from its days representing the centre-right that it now resembles a “cult” – and that this is to the detriment not just of the party itself, but to the country, which would benefit from having a GOP that operated within the bounds of normality.

Take a look at her remarks below.

Andrew Naughtie10 May 2022 10:03


Report: Trump promises “vengeance” at fundraiser

The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman last night shared some choice Trump quotes from a National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser, where it seems the former president was in an upbeat mood:

Andrew Naughtie10 May 2022 09:25