Biden says Trump’s ‘appalling’ Nato remarks risk emboldening Putin: Live

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Donald Trump says he would encourage Russia to attack Nato allies who pay too little

Donald Trump has been rebuked by President Joe Biden after proclaiming during a campaign rally in South Carolina that he would “encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” to any country that is “delinquent” in meeting its financial commitments to Nato.

President Biden was incensed by the remarks, commenting: “Serving as commander-in-chief is the ultimate responsibility and one that should weigh heavily on the individuals that hold this office.

“Trump’s admission that he intends to give Vladimir Putin a greenlight for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault against a free Ukraine, and to expand his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic States are appalling and dangerous.

“Sadly, they are also predictable coming from a man who is promising to rule as a dictator like the ones he praises on day one if he returns to the Oval Office.”

Mr Trump was also chastised by his primary opponent Nikki Haley, who warned him not to “take the side of a thug”, while his rhetoric drew a divided reaction from his fellow Republicans.

The candidate otherwise spent the Super Bowl weekend vainly courting the support of pop superstar Taylor Swift.

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Truth Social: Trump appeals to Taylor Swift, gets scary and gloats over Biden’s memory

Aside from all that excitement, the candidate otherwise spent the Super Bowl weekend vainly courting the support of pop superstar Taylor Swift, claiming that there was no way she would endorse Joe Biden this year because she could not be “disloyal to the man who made her so much money”, adding that he likes her boyfriend Travis Kelce “even though he may be a Liberal, and probably can’t stand me”.

He’s also been engaging in some frankly rather alarming “final battle” rhetoric (he definitely didn’t incite an insurrection, you say?) and gloating over Robert Hur’s Biden report from last week, in which the Republican prosecutor got in some fairly outrageous political jabs at the president’s mental wellbeing.

Joe Sommerlad12 February 2024 11:30

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Trump draws further ire for attack on Haley’s husband

Also on an appallingly disrespectful military theme, the Republican made a point of questioning the absence of Nikki Haley’s husband from the campaign trail.

“Where’s her husband?”, he scoffed in Conway. “Oh, he’s away. He’s away! What happened to her husband? What happened to her husband. Where is he? He’s gone.”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper was just one of tens of thousands of commentators on X only too happy to provide him with the answer to his questions as to Major Michael Haley’s whereabouts.

Incidentally, has anyone seen Melania lately?

Haley herself hit back with admirable restraint, as you might expect, but, perhaps more damagingly, so did his own former defence secretary Mark Esper and Georgia’s Republican governor Brian Kemp, both of whom questioned his respect for America’s servicemen and women.

The phrase “suckers and losers” comes to mind, as does “bone spurs”.

Joe Sommerlad12 February 2024 11:00

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‘Stupid thing to say’: Republicans divided on Trump threat to violate Nato defence pledge

Trump was also chastised by his primary opponent Nikki Haley over his Nato remarks, who warned him not to “take the side of a thug”.

His rhetoric meanwhile drew a divided reaction from his fellow Republicans, who might normally be expected to fall obediently in line.

John Bowden, Eric Garcia and Katie Hawkinson have more on that below.

Joe Sommerlad12 February 2024 10:30

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Trump draws angry reaction from Biden after saying US should not protect ‘delinquent’ Nato allies from Russia

Donald Trump has been rebuked by President Joe Biden after proclaiming during a campaign rally in Conway, South Carolina, on Saturday night that he would “encourage” Russia “to do whatever the hell they want” to any country that is “delinquent” in meeting its financial commitments to Nato.

President Biden was incensed by the remarks, commenting: “Serving as commander-in-chief is the ultimate responsibility and one that should weigh heavily on the individuals that hold this office.

“Trump’s admission that he intends to give Vladimir Putin a greenlight for more war and violence, to continue his brutal assault against a free Ukraine, and to expand his aggression to the people of Poland and the Baltic States are appalling and dangerous.

“Sadly, they are also predictable coming from a man who is promising to rule as a dictator like the ones he praises on day one if he returns to the Oval Office.”

Vishwam Sankaran has this report.

Joe Sommerlad12 February 2024 10:00

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Montana man is found guilty for role in Capitol riot

A Montana appliance store owner and supporter of former President Donald Trump was convicted Wednesday for his role in the January 6, 2021, breach of the US Capitol that interrupted certifying the 2020 Electoral College vote.

The US Attorney’s Office in Montana announced the verdict.

Henry Phillip Muntzer of Dillon was arrested based on social media posts and videos taken inside the Capitol, according to court records.

Muntzer, 55, was found guilty of obstructing an official proceeding and civil disorder, both felonies, following a bench trial before US District Court Judge Jia M. Cobb. Muntzer was also found guilty of four misdemeanour charges. Sentencing is set for June 20.

Michelle Del Rey12 February 2024 09:00

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Navarro leaps to Biden’s defence: ‘Trump makes absolutely zero sense on a daily basis’

CNN commentator Ana Navarro came out swinging against Trump last night, hitting out at his nonsensical “whales and windmills” ramblings in fine style.

Michelle Del Rey12 February 2024 08:00

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Trump pushes to get Mar-a-Lago case thrown out

Donald Trump‘s lawyers have filed multiple motions to have the criminal charges he’s facing in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case dismissed.

“Defendants currently plan to file on February 22, at minimum, a series of motions to dismiss the Superseding Indictment and certain of the charges therein,” Mr Trump’s attorneys Todd Blanche and Christopher Kise wrote in the motions, according to NBC News.

The mentioned superseding indictment claims that Mr Trump was involved in a plot to delete security video captured at Mar-a-Lago.

Michelle Del Rey12 February 2024 07:00

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Biden comes out fighting after classified documents report questions his memory

An angry and animated President Joe Biden hit back at a Republican prosecutor’s claim that his memory is faulty in last-minute remarks to reporters on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the Department of Justice released a report by special counsel Robert Hur, the former Maryland US attorney that attorney general Merrick Garland charged with probing how classified documents ended up at Biden’s home in Delaware and former office in Washington.

Hur did not recommend that Biden face criminal charges, citing what he described as significant “mitigating factors” that led him to state that charges were not warranted and would not have been warranted even if Biden were not president and barred from being prosecuted by Department of Justice policy.

More contentiously, the Republican prosecutor noted that Biden’s memory about the documents was “significantly limited” during his interviews with investigators and included details in the report about Biden’s presentation during interviews that appeared tailor-made to fit claims by former president Donald Trump and his allies that the president is not mentally competent.

At one point, he claimed that Biden did not remember what year his late son, Beau Biden, had died from brain cancer, and he described part of an interview in which the president, in his telling, had trouble keeping track of the years during which he served as vice president.

Responding, the president was having none of it.

Here’s Andrew Feinberg’s report.

Michelle Del Rey12 February 2024 06:00

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Trump’s attorney admitted in court Capitol riot was ‘criminal’

…which isn’t exactly how the former president has been framing the events of that “beautiful day”.

Alex Woodward reports on what was said in the nation’s highest court on Thursday and why it is important.

Michelle Del Rey12 February 2024 05:00

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Why does Trump think Fulton County DA Fani Willis should be disqualified?

Former president Donald Trump’s legal team is arguing that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be removed from his election interference case in Georgia, citing “extrajudicial racial comments.”

In a response to her latest filing, Mr Trump’s attorneys, Steve Sadow and Jennifer Little, filed a motion on Wednesday accusing Ms Willis of having “inappropriately injected race into the case and stoked racial animus” when she gave a speech at Big Bethel AME Church, a historic Black church in Atlanta, on Martin Luther King Jr Day.

In the speech, Ms Willis defended Nathan Wade, a special prosecutor hired to lead the case, with whom rumours had recently flared of her having a romantic relationship. In a court filing on Friday, Ms Willis admitted to a “personal relationship” with Mr Wade, but claimed it did not begin until after his hiring, and argued there had been no impropriety that justified removing them from the case.

Ms Willis did not mention Mr Wade by name in her speech, but said she had hired three lawyers — two white, and one Black — for the case, and that only the Black man had had his qualifications called into question.

Michelle Del Rey12 February 2024 04:00

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