Fox News host says Trump must ‘learn to lose’
Donald Trump will share a stage in Arizona for his first rally of 2022 with a host of allies who have amplified baseless conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, including Mike Lindell, as well as members of Congress who objected to the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
The former president also celebrated an announcement that US Rep John Katko, among Republican lawmakers who voted for his impeachment for inciting a riot fuelled by the same false election narratives, will not seek re-election.
Meanwhile, the federal government has brought a charge of “seditious conspiracy” against the leader of the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia that prosecutors argue played a role in organising an attack on the US Capitol on 6 January last year.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has refused to provide the committee investigating the attack with information about his conversations with Mr Trump. US Rep Liz Cheney, one of the committee’s only two Republicans, said Mr McCarthy is attempting to “cover-up” what happened, and that the committee would evaluate other options for obtaining his testimony.
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MyPillow CEO gripes about dwindling support for 2020 election lies
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell was the first of several Trump loyalists to speak at the former president’s rally on Saturday. He used his time to re-espouse lies about the 2020 election, while carefully avoiding the kind of statement in the past that have ended him in legal jeopardy.
Specifically, the businessman centered his fire on Fox News and other right-leaning figures and entities for abandoning Mr Trump’s efforts to change history regarding the 2020 election, while not mentioning his claims about voting machine software that landed him a $1.3 billion defamation suit.
“When was the last time you saw anyone on Fox talk about the 2020 election?” he asked fired-up Trump supporters during his address.
In subsequent comments about the state’s governor, Doug Ducey, he blamed the GOP leader for “obstruction” of Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and referred to the governor as “rotten”.
John Bowden16 January 2022 05:00
Rally ends with Trump vowing GOP will take back White House in 2024
The former president ended his nearly two hour-long rally in Arizona after repeatedly attacking his political foes on both sides of the aisle and vowing that his faction of the GOP would return to power in the next presidential election cycle.
While stopping short of personally promising to run again, the former president mocked President Joe Biden’s unpopularity and said that he would be a one-term president.
“In 2024, we are going to take back the White House,” said Mr Trump.
“Together, we’re standing up against some of the most sinister forces, entrenched interests, and corrupt opponents that anyone on our shore has ever seen before,” he told his followers.
“Our nation belongs to you,” he told them.
John Bowden16 January 2022 04:32
Trump wholeheartedly embraces ‘Fedsurrection’ conspiracy theory for January 6
Ex-President Donald Trump signaled his embrace of one of the many conspiracy theories which have erupted in the wake of the Capitol riot on Saturday when he questioned how many undercover federal agents were present during the riot.
Speaking to supporters, he wondered aloud “exactly how many of those president at the Capitol complex on January 6 were FBI confidential informants” or otherwise working with the bureau.
President Trump Demanding Answers About Ray Epps And How Many Federal Informants Were Present At The Capitol On January 6th pic.twitter.com/i4wH7tTf7g
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) January 16, 2022
The quip was a clear nod to the “Fedsurrection” conspiracy theory, which posits (without a shred of evidence) that federal informants somehow drove the crowd of thousands of Trump supporters to battle police and break through barricades and windows to breach the grounds of the Capitol during the attack.
In particular, the former president mentioned Ray Epps, a supporter of his whose charges were dropped by the Justice Department as it was never proven that he physically entered the Capitol building during the riot. Mr Epps’ charges are a central part of the conspiracy theories surrounding January 6, as some have questioned why he was spared from charges while others were not. Mr Epps has denied any involvement with any federal agencies.
Mr Trump previously mentioned the theory in a statement released by his office several weeks ago, but Saturday’s remarks were the first time he has spread the conspiracy at a public event.
John Bowden16 January 2022 04:19
Election lie supporters made up Trump’s pre-speech lineup
The lineup for Mr Trump’s rally in Arizona on Saturday was a who’s who of the former president’s most vocal supporters, all of whom fully embraced his false theories for why he was defeated by Joe Biden in 2020.
Among those who spoke were MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, currently facing a defamation suit to the tune of $1.3 billion for making false claims about a voting machine company, as well as Kelli Ward, head of Arizona’s chapter of the GOP.
Not on the speaking roster were any members of Arizona’s congressional delegation, the state’s governor, or any other members of state government.
John Bowden16 January 2022 04:02
Trump gives allies shoutouts at rally
The former president moved on from his attacks aimed at various political enemies to tout a number of his political allies on Saturday while he spoke to supporters in Arizona.
Among those who he thanked were Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, his former ambassador to Germany, Richard Grennell, and Kelli Ward, head of Arizona’s chapter of the Republican Party.
While sounding like many of his previous speeches, the remarks served to enunciate which members of the GOP power sphere are currently within the former president’s good graces, which could be significant if he remains atop the GOP and the field of likely presidential primary challengers in 2024.
John Bowden16 January 2022 03:36
Trump interrupts rally for bizarre video about Letitia James
In a moment that could only be described as showing his hand, Mr Trump interrupted his rally on Saturday night in Arizona to play for the crowd a custom-made video meant to highlight statements made by Letitia James, the New York state Attorney General.
The video had the effect of highlighting Ms James, who is pursuing Mr Trump in a fraud case that is currently underway, as an enemy the likes of which is apparently vexing Mr Trump in a way that no other political rival is currently managing to achieve.
Ms James was one of a long list of figures on both the right and left who were targeted for criticism for Mr Trump at his rally, but had the distinction of being the only politician in the US to be the target of a pre-produced video meant to highlight her work against Mr Trump.
John Bowden16 January 2022 03:05
Trump swipes at Andrew Cuomo for resignation
Former President Donald Trump took a moment to mock deposed ex-Governor Andew Cuomo of New York, one of his top political rivals throughout 2020 and parts of his presidency, at Saturday’s rally.
The former governor resigned after a state attorney general-led investigation found that numerous women’s accusations of inappropriate sexual activity, including criminal behaviour, allegedly committed by the governor were credible.
“By the way, how did Cuomo do as governor?” asked the former president.
“It’s really a shame, what happened to our great places,” said Mr Trump.
The attack came as he was telling supporters that he was “the anti-mandate president”, and was proud of “fiercely resisting mandates of any kind”, referring to vaccine mandates and other public health guidelines aimed at fighting Covid-19.
John Bowden16 January 2022 02:50
Trump lights up Joe Biden at rally
The former president took aim at his successor at his rally on Saturday on the topics of foreign policy, Covid-19 and issues with the US supply chain.
Amid frequent breaks to attack the media for not covering the size of his crowds, Mr Trump poked Mr Biden over resurgent missile tests undertaken by North Korea, the potential upcoming invasion of Ukraine by Russia, as well as the “most embarrassing” exit of US troops from Afghanistan, which he called a “surrender” of US forces.
Mr Trump also faulted Mr Biden for the availability of Americans’ Christmas presents, claiming: “we never even heard the term supply change” while he was president, apparently mispronouncing the term “supply chain”.
“Our country is being destroyed…its not even believable,” he told the crowd.
John Bowden16 January 2022 02:32
Trump takes stage at rally centered around election fraud lies
Former President Donald Trump took the stage at his rally in Arizona on Saturday shortly after 7:15 p.m. Mountain time, where he followed a series of speakers who each repeated his false claims about the supposedly fraudulent 2020 election.
“They always talk about the Big Lie. Well, they’re the Big Lie,” he told a small crowd of supporters, falsely claiming that reporters were “in the pocket” of Democrats.
He went on to incorrectly claim that “more and more” information was coming out to suggest that he truly won in 2020.
John Bowden16 January 2022 02:20
Sheriff’s deputies arrest woman in Biden shirt at Trump rally
Far-right media network Right Side Broadcasting Network filmed the arrest of a woman wearing a Joe Biden T-shirt at the site of Trump’s rally in Arizona. A clip shows two sheriff’s deputies binding her hands and carrying her away from the crowd as people chant “let’s go Brandon.”
Alex Woodward15 January 2022 23:20