Trump ordered to pay $110k fines as contempt order lifted – live

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

Donald Trump has been ordered to pay $110,000 in fines as a judge lifted a contempt order against him stemming from a legal dispute over Trump Organization documents in New York.

The Wednesday ruling comes after Mr Trump’s chosen Republican representative Alex Mooney defeated fellow Republican David McKinley in a primary in West Virginia last night, while another Trump-backed candidate fell short in Nebraska’s gubernatorial primary.

“Donald Trump loves West Virginia, and West Virginia loves Donald Trump,” Mr Mooney said in his victory speech. Mr McKinley, who broke away from his party by becoming one of 13 Republicans to vote in support of support Joe Biden’s $1.2tn infrastructure bill, was sharply criticised by Mr Trump as a RINO, or “Republican in Name Only”.

In Nebraska, Charles Herbster, a longtime Trump supporter who was endorsed by the ex-president despite sexual assault allegations, was defeated by Jim Pillen.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk has said he would end Mr 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”.

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ICYMI: Trump repeatedly asked if China had secret ‘hurricane gun’, report says

The one-term president demanded to know if such a weapon would constitute an act of war and whether his military could retaliate against the nuclear power, three unnamed former officials told Rolling Stone magazine.

“It was almost too stupid for words,” one source told the magazine, which said that the person was “intimately familiar” with Mr Trump’s questioning.

Oliver O’Connell11 May 2022 18:43

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House approves new $40 billion aid package for Ukraine

The US House of Representatives has approved a new $40 billion aid package for Ukraine as the Russian invasion continues.

“We thank [the House] for working across the aisle to get this done, and appreciate the strong bipartisan support for the President’s proposal,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky also extended his thanks, tweeting: I thank @SpeakerPelosi and all friends of [Ukraine] in House of Representatives for the quick approval of the law on additional financial support for our state initiated by @POTUS. We are looking forward to consideration of this important document for us by the Senate.”

Oliver O’Connell11 May 2022 18:33

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Senators call on Biden to list Russia as state sponsor of terrorism

Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have introduced a resolution that would call on the Biden administration to list Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism (SST).

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

(AFP via Getty Images)

“Putin is a terrorist, and one of the most disruptive forces on the planet is Putin’s Russia,” said Senator Graham. “Putin’s Russia deserves this designation. We should be all-in on making sure that Putin’s Russia is marginalized as long as they engage in this behavior. This resolution sends a strong message to Ukraine that we are listening and we agree that Putin runs a nation that is a state sponsor of terrorism. We are also letting the Russian people know that our fight is with Putin, and as long as he is your leader, engaging in these activities, you will be isolated on the world stage. I can’t think of a stronger signal at a more crucial time than Congress and the Biden Administration working together to designate Putin’s Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Thank you to my colleague Senator Blumenthal for working with me on this resolution to make sure this moment does not pass.”

“Russia’s horrific inhumanity – including barbaric atrocities and war crimes – have richly earned its designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. I am proud to be leading this resolution with Senator Graham, applying stiffer sanctions and recognizing Russia as a true pariah among nations,” said Senator Blumenthal.

The SST designation allows additional categories of sanctions to be placed on a country, including restrictions on US foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and sales, certain controls over exports of dual-use items, and financial and other restrictions.

If designated, Russia would join a small list of other countries that are designated SSTs: Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Syria.

Both Ukrainian President Zelensky and the parliament of Ukraine have appealed to Congress to encourage the Department of State to recognise the Russian Federation as an SST.

The justification for a Russian SST designation includes:

  • Russian combat troops supporting Syria (a designated SST country) in the Syrian Civil War.
  • Support of separatists (subnational groups) in the Donbas since 2014.
  • Poisoning of political enemies abroad.
  • Use of the Wagner Group to achieve foreign policy objectives globally.

Oliver O’Connell11 May 2022 18:28

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Sign up for The Independent’s US morning headlines newsletter

As the Biden administration scrambles to punish Russia for its assault on Ukraine, Congress confirms a new Supreme Court justice and the 6 January investigations steadily heat up, The Independent is launching a new US morning headlines newsletter to keep you in the know.

Oliver O’Connell11 May 2022 18:23

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Trump ordered to pay $110k in fines as judge lifts contempt order against him

Oliver O’Connell11 May 2022 18:12

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Manchin will vote against Democrats’ abortion legislation

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, often the swing vote in an evenly-divided Senate, announced he would oppose his fellow Democrats’ legislation to protect abortion rights, but said he’d vote to codify Roe v Wade.

Mr Manchin told reporters on Wednesday that he would oppose the legislation, called the Women’s Health Protection Act.

“We’re going to be voting on a piece of legislation which I will not vote for today,” he said. “But I would vote for a Roe v Wade codification it was today. I was hopeful for that.”

Eric Garcia reports for The Independent from Capitol Hill.

Oliver O’Connell11 May 2022 18:04

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Listen: Lindsey Graham condemns Trump on newly released Jan 6 audio

On newly released audio recordings from just after the 6 January Capitol attack, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham – one of Donald Trump’s most tenacious Washington allies – can be heard blaming Mr Trump for stirring up a “sense of revenge”, as well as agreeing Joe Biden would be “the best person to have”.

“Moments like this reset,” says Mr Graham on the tape. “People will calm down. People will say, ‘I don’t want to be associated with that… This is a group within a group. What this does, there will be a rallying effect for a while, [then] the country says: ‘We’re better than this’”.

Asked whether Mr Biden would help that process, Mr Graham replied: “Totally”.

Read more from Andrew Feinberg:

Andrew Naughtie11 May 2022 17:45

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“Fake electors” from Georgia co-operating with investigation into Trump’s post-election behaviour

It has emerged that some of the 16 Georgia Republicans who signed up as pro-Trump “electors” after the 2020 election are now co-operating with a criminal investigation into the former president’s efforts to overturn the election.

Specifically, the individuals in question have spoken to prosecutors with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office as part of a probe into whether Mr Trump broke Georgia election law by pressuring state officials to overturn the result. In one particularly infamous incident, he urged the secretary of state to “find” enough votes to close Joe Biden’s margin of victory.

Andrew Feinberg has the story.

Andrew Naughtie11 May 2022 17:15

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Catch up: Trump’s mixed primary night

Last night’s primaries in West Virginia and Nebraska put Donald Trump’s endorsement to the test – and in the end, they proved his power has its limits. Eric Garcia has this take on what the results really mean:

Andrew Naughtie11 May 2022 16:45

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Ultra-Maga candidate gets ad boost in Pennsylvania

As Donald Trump’s chosen candidate Dr Mehmet Oz struggles to lock things up in next week’s Pennsylvania Senate primary, a hardcore right-winger is experiencing something of a late surge – and she’s getting outside help.

According to political intelligence company AdImpact, the conservative Club for Growth has spent nearly $2m on an ad buy for Kathy Barnette, a hardline Maga-flavoured conservative who is rising up the polls despite paltry fundraising and despite the fact that Mr Trump has cast his favours elsewhere.

The Club for Growth also broke with the Trump endorsement in Ohio, where it continued running ads against the ultimate victor JD Vance after the ex-president backed him.

Andrew Naughtie11 May 2022 16:20

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