Sunday, September 25

Trump declares himself ‘innocent as a person can be’ – live

Jared Kushner denies speculation he was Mar-a-Lago “mole”

Donald Trump has taken to Truth Social for a multi-part tirade against federal law enforcement, the Democratic Party and Joe Biden, claiming once again that the raid on his residence at Mar-a-Lago was nothing but an act of political persecution.

Proclaiming himself “innocent as a person can be”, Mr Trump insisted that “Radical Left Democrat prosecutors” are trying to “circumvent” the Presidential Records Act, which he is accused of violating by taking hundreds of pages of sensitive government documents with him when he left the White House.

He also implied that his successor was somehow involved. “Joe Biden said he knew nothing about the Break-In of Mar-a-Lago or, the greatest political attack in the history of the U.S. Does anybody really believe this???”

Mr Biden has categorically denied that he received any advance warning of the raid on Mr Trump’s Florida property. “None. Zero. Not one single bit,” he told a press conference.

A report from the Wall Street Journal claims that FBI agents found papers “lying in unsecured areas” during the search of Mar-a-Lago – contradicting assurances from Mr Trump’s team that any sensitive documents were kept under lock and key.


“Innocent as a person can be”: Trump busy on Truth Social

Donald Trump is awake and “truthing” – and whereas he usually takes his foot off the gas for a day here and there, it’s already been a frantic morning, reminiscent of his old Twitter habits.

Here’s a sample of what Mr Trump, who claims he is “innocent as a person can be”, has been raging about.

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(Truth Social)

(Truth Social)

(Truth Social)

Read more from Eric Garcia.


Controversial disinformation board shut down

Three months after conservative outrage led the Department of Homeland Security to suspend a new effort to combat disinformation spread with the aim of harming US national security, the programme has been officially cancelled.

Though DHS officials repeatedly stressed that the board was to have no role in policing speech of any kind, the idea that the federal government would have any role in fighting disinformation — even disinformation spread by drug and human smuggling cartels or foreign nations intent on interfering in US elections — was seized on by conservatives who claimed DHS would weaponise the board to “target” Republican politicians.

Andrew Feinberg has more:


The “pro-fish” Democrat taking on Sarah Palin

The race for Alaska’s only House seat is seldom a close-run affair. It was held by Republican Don Young for nearly 50 years until his death earlier this year sparked a special election.

But when the first round results of that election were announced last week, they showed a Democrat out in front. Mary Peltola, 48, is currently ahead of her closest rival, former vice presidential candidate and reality TV star Sarah Palin.

Ms Peltola, a Native Yup’ik, has given Democrats hope of a stunning upset in a deep red state. In a year that promises a challenging national outlook for her party, can she buck the trend?

Richard Hall has this interview.


Kinzinger vs Gaetz on how the GOP should “govern”

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, who sits on the House Judiciary Committee despite being under federal investigation over sex trafficking allegations (which he denies), has given his pitch for what the GOP should do if it takes over the House of Representatives after the midterm elections, as it remains favoured to do.

His prescription: “converting” every House committee into a machine for relentlessly “investigating” political enemies. Hunter Biden, “wokeism” in the military, “vaccine injuries” – his list is long, and it has little if anything to do with actually legislating.

His retiring Republican colleague Adam Kinzinger is unimpressed.


Is Oz catching up in Pennsylvania?

After a torrid month of campaign missteps and crudité-related mockery, Mehmet Oz looked to be falling badly behind John Fetterman in his effort to keep Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat in Republican hands. But despite the mounting problems, a new poll shows him within striking distance of his Democratic opponent – and there’s still more than two months to go…


Republican feed complains still-visible post has been hidden

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee have claimed that Facebook censored one of their posts about Joe Biden’s student debt relief announcement, pointing to it as another example of “big tech” censorship.

However, the post remains visible on the GOP members’ Facebook feed – underneath another describing the alleged action as “unbelievable”.


Defeated Republican extremist rails against primary rival

Laura Loomer, a notorious Islamophobe who lost her Florida congressional primary to a less extreme Republican on Tuesday, has refused to concede her race, levelling nonspecific allegations that the election was stolen from her. And in a new post, she has raged against her erstwhile rival, sitting Congressman Daniel Webster, demanding that he resign his office “because everyone knows he is beyond unfit to serve” and claiming that “his health is worse than Joe Biden’s”.


ICYMI: FBI found documents in “unsecure places” at Mar-a-Lago

When FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, they found classified documents sitting in unsecured locations despite assurances from Donald Trump’s team that any such files taken from the White House had been placed under lock and key.

That new revelation comes from The Wall Street Journal, which cited “people familiar with the matter”. If true, it’s another nail in the coffin being constructed by the Justice Department for whoever is ultimately deemed responsible for the illegal storage of classified files at Mr Trump’s private residence and resort, should the files be judged not to be protected by executive or attorney-client privilege.

The proper storage of classified documents, especially those related to defence matters, is a matter that carries felony criminal liability.


Biden insists he had no warning of Mar-a-Lago raid

President Joe Biden said he had no advance warning of the FBI’s raid of Donald Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida.

After announcing his student loan forgiveness plan, Mr Biden was asked if he received a heads up before the FBI’s raid at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property.

“I didn’t have any advance notice. None. Zero. Not one single bit,” Mr Biden said, making a hand gesture to emphasise the point.

The White House has repeatedly denied any prior knowledge of plans for the 8 August search of the ex-president’s home.


Newly elected congressman: I’d be in jail if I hid classified documents

Pat Ryan, a Democrat who won a tossup seat in New York state on Tuesday night, appeared yesterday on MSNBC to discuss his victory and the state of politics – and he had this to say about the standard being applied by Republicans to Donald Trump and the documents he kept at Mar-a-Lago:

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