Ad trolls Trump over January 6 committee developments
Twice in two days, the former president has hailed Mr Putin as “smart” and blamed Joe Biden for what is happening.
“He [Mr Putin] was going to be satisfied with a piece and now he sees the weakness and the incompetence and the stupidity of this administration,” Mr Trump said while speaking with Fox News presenter Laura Ingraham. “As an American I am angry about it and I am saddened by it. And it all happened because of a rigged election.”
In another video clip from Wednesday night that was circulated on social media, Mr Trump can be heard saying: “Trump said Putin is smart. He’s taken over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. I’d say that’s pretty smart.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Trump hailed Mr Putin as “savvy” and called his move on Ukraine “genius”.
AZ governor: better a white nationalist than a Democrat
GOP Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who has been a target of Trumpist resentment for refusing to sign up to the false claim that his state was stolen for Joe Biden in 2020, has defended a sitting state senator who is speaking at a white nationalist conference next week.
Wendy Rogers’s name features prominently on the agenda at the third annual America First Political Action Conference, a right-wing racist gathering started by “groyper” Nick Fuentes. Asked what he thought of Ms Rogers’s extreme views, Mr Ducey said he’d rather have her in office than a Democrat.
Andrew Naughtie25 February 2022 10:29
Republican Senators split on Ukraine
Two Republican Senators have given strikingly different diagnoses of where the US stands in relation to events in Ukraine. Speaking to a reporter at CPAC, Missouri’s Josh Hawley said not just that the US shouldn’t send forces to fight in Ukraine (there is nothing to suggest it will), but that it should in fact be pulling troops out of Europe in order to focus on China’s threat in East Asia.
Contrast that view with the below from Florida’s Marco Rubio, who argues against the idea that Vladimir Putin could have been placated out of invading Ukraine with the offer of security guarantees from Nato – and insists that the conflict’s implications should not be underestimated.
Andrew Naughtie25 February 2022 09:30
A Trumpist speaks: Flynn on Ukraine
Michael Flynn, the retired general and extreme conspiracy theorist who was a central figure in the long-running scandal over Donald Trump’s Russian connections, has put out a statement conveying his views on Ukraine.
In it, he condemns the invasion, but frames it basically as a failure of diplomacy on the part of the Biden administration – that is, a failure to address Vladimir Putin’s “legitimate security concerns” and “legitimate ethnic problems” in Ukraine itself.
Read the statement below:
Andrew Naughtie25 February 2022 08:48
ICYMI: Republicans break with Donald Trump over Russia praise
Few Republican politicians criticised President Joe Biden as Russia invaded Ukraine, breaking with former president Donald Trump, who has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy squarely placed the blame for the invasion on Mr Putin’s shoulders and did not even mention the Democratic president.
Read the full story here:
Maroosha Muzaffar25 February 2022 07:00
ICYMI: Obama backs Biden response to Russia invasion of Ukraine
After Donald Trump called Vladimir Putin “savvy” and a “genius” for invading Ukraine, the former Democratic president Barack Obama praised Joe Biden for his response to Russia.
Mr Obama accused Russia of launching “a brazen attack on the people of Ukraine, in violation of international law and basic principles of human decency”.
Read the full story here:
Maroosha Muzaffar25 February 2022 06:50
ICYMI: Two New York prosecutors investigating Trump have resigned
Two prosecutors leading the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into the former president and his business practices resigned on Wednesday.
The prosecutors, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz submitted their resignations after new Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, indicated that he had doubts about moving forward with a case against Mr Trump.
Read the full story here:
Maroosha Muzaffar25 February 2022 06:30
Study finds belief in QAnon has strengthened since Trump left office
According to the latest study of its followers, the QAnon conspiracy movement has continued to thrive in the US more than a year after Donald Trump left the White House.
The Public Religion Research Institute’s latest study has revealed that about 22 per cent of Americans believe that a “storm” is coming, “18 per cent think violence might be necessary to save the country and 16 per cent hold that the government, media and financial worlds are controlled by Satan-worshipping paedophiles.”
The study states that “the share of QAnon believers has increased slightly through 2021.”
It added that in March, 14 per cent of Americans were QAnon believers, compared to 16 per cent in July, 17 per cent in September, and 17 per cent in October.”
The PRRI study also revealed that the “share of QAnon doubters has remained relatively steady.”
Maroosha Muzaffar25 February 2022 06:10
Bernie Sanders calls Trump’s praise of Putin ‘outrageous’
Bernie Sanders called Donald Trump’s praise of the Russian president “outrageous” but said that it was “unsurprising.”
The Vermont senator said: “It is outrageous, if unsurprising, that Trump would praise Putin’s murderous invasion of Ukraine as an act of ‘genius.’” He added that “it should concern us all that Putin is exactly the kind of leader Trump would like to be, and that so few Republicans have the courage to say this out loud.”
During the interview, the former president had called Mr “savvy” and “genius” for invading Ukraine. He said: “I said, ‘How smart is that? He’s going to go in and be a peacekeeper,’” Mr Trump said.
“That’s the strongest peace force. We could use that on our southern border. That’s the strongest peace force I’ve ever seen. There were more army tanks than I’ve ever seen. They’re going to keep peace, all right.”
Maroosha Muzaffar25 February 2022 05:29
Confused Trump believes US has invaded Ukraine in Fox call-in
Former US President Donald Trump appeared to be under the impression that the US had invaded Ukraine during an exchange with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
Bashing President Joe Biden for his handling of the crisis, Mr Trump and Ms Ingraham discussed the invasion, with Ms Ingraham repeating a report about an amphibious landing in Odessa, which Mr Trump appeared to think was a reference to US troops.
Harriet Sinclair reports.
Oliver O’Connell25 February 2022 05:25
Jon Stewart calls Trump’s views on Putin ‘f****** bonkers’
Jon Stewart has branded Donald Trump’s reaction to Vladimir Putin’s actions in Ukraine “f****** bonkers”.
Stewart directed the same criticism toward Fox News, tweeting on Wednesday, 23 February: “The Trump/Fox axis isn’t soft-pedaling Putin’s actions… they agree with them. They are political allies. They believe in the same things. To them, the American Left and most of Europe are the Evil Empire.”
In a follow-up tweet, Stewart added: “It is f****** bonkers.”
Clémence Michallon reports.
Oliver O’Connell25 February 2022 04:45
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