Trump news live: Latest US election updates as president shares spoof Biden news story – The Independent

US president Donald Trump refused to denounce QAnon at NBC Town Hall on Thursday

Donald Trump has shared an article from parody site The Babylon Bee on Twitter attacking the social media giant for its removal of a New York Post story smearing the son of his presidential rival Joe Biden, apparently without realising the piece in question was intended as a joke.

The president sparred with NBC town hall moderator Savannah Guthrie on Thursday night as she took him to task for refusing to disavow QAnon, a right-wing conspiracy theory whose cultish adherents believe a Satanic cabal of Democratic politicians and Hollywood celebrities run a secret child sex trafficking ring out of Washington, DC. Guthrie later likened him to a ”crazy uncle” for retweeting another wild theory about the killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Trump also insisted during the event that the US had “rounded the corner” on coronavirus, even as the country’s total number of cases surpassed 8m overnight, while being as evasive about his own testing for the virus as he was regarding his murky financial affairs. Biden, meanwhile, took part in a calm discussion of policy on rival network ABC, taking questions from the audience long after the broadcast had concluded.

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Russia targeted Rudy Giuliani to feed misinformation to Trump, report says

US intelligence services warned national security adviser Robert O’Brien last year that the president’s personal attorney had been singled out as a gullible point-of-access to Trump by the Kremlin.

Giuliani visited Ukraine in December at the height of the House impeachment hearings against the president on a “fact-finding mission” (or, conspiracy hunt) related to the Bidens’ earlier dealings in Kiev.

“Do what you want to do, but your friend Rudy has been worked by Russian assets in Ukraine,” Trump was reportedly told, according to The Washington Post.

“That’s Rudy,” was the president’s alleged response – his indifference utterly alarming.

Meanwhile, Giuliani’s daughter Caroline has written an editorial for Vanity Fair urging Americans to ignore her old man and vote for the Biden-Harris ticket.

Oliver O’Connell has this on Russia sizing up the former New York City mayor as a useful idiot.

Joe Sommerlad16 October 2020 11:15

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Trump shares spoof article attacking Twitter without realising it’s a joke

After failing to defend his reckless tweeting when pressed on it by Savannah Guthrie last night, the president has just stuck up a satirical article in his pursuit of material with which to attack the social network he relies as punishment for it suppressing The New York Post’s dodgy Hunter Biden smear.

He could have worked out it was a joke if he actually bothered to read it.

This is a sentence from said report: “After seeing account after account tweet out one particularly bad story, CEO Jack Dorsey realized he had to take action. Dorsey smashed a glass box in his office reading ‘Break In Case Of Bad Publicity For Democrats.’ Inside the case was a sledgehammer for smashing Twitter’s servers.”

Trump is now back to lashing out at his enemies and exploiting his position to do favours for Fox pundits.

Gino Spocchia brings us the latest.

Joe Sommerlad16 October 2020 11:29

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Trump-Biden town halls: America gets duelling versions of future presidents

I think this clip compilation sums up last night nicely.

Andrew Buncombe has this analysis of an evening that should have seen the two candidates face-off on the debate stage, rather than make their respective cases separately on rival networks. 

They didn’t because the president refused to take part remotely after contracting Covid-19. 

In so doing, he may have set a damaging anti-democratic precedent.

Joe Sommerlad16 October 2020 11:04

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Trump campaign issues complaint against town hall moderator Savannah Guthrie

As we’ve seen, the president had another unhappy night in Miami, aside from this cringeworthy moment with a fan.

His team are, of course, crying foul, moaning that his host was nasty to him by asking awkward questions he didn’t like and struggled to answer.

Graeme Massie has this on Trump’s attempts to shout over a moderator winning praise – like Jonathan Swan before her – for managing the seemingly simple task of holding him to account.

Joe Sommerlad16 October 2020 10:41

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Covid vaccine, Supreme Court and black America – what you missed from Biden while watching Trump

Unlike the 45th president, Joe Biden proved again last night that he’s a man not afraid to admit his mistakes, conceding that his support for a 1994 crime bill under Bill Clinton had been harmful to African Americans, for instance.

But he also again declined to put to rest Republican accusations that he plans to pack the Supreme Court with extra left-leaning justices should Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett ultimately be confirmed to the highest court in the land.

Here’s Alex Woodward on what else you missed while watching the president make a buffoon of himself.

Joe Sommerlad16 October 2020 10:33

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Biden offers cool contrast talking policy and taking questions

At the same time, over on ABC, the Democratic challenger was hosting a town hall of his own live from Philadelphia with George Stephanopoulos and offering a marked contrast by actually discussing taxes, the environment and healthcare in detail.

He even stayed behind taking questions from the audience long after the broadcast had concluded.

Here’s Alex Woodward on what Joe had to say.

Joe Sommerlad16 October 2020 09:43

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President denies owing millions of dollars to overseas powers

If you thought Trump has evasive on his health, try him on his finances.

Guthrie demanded to know whether he was in hock to foreign forces for $421m but he again batted away the question, saying anyone reading his tax returns should be in jail and continuing to insist his filings are “under audit” by the IRS, as he has for four straight years, even though that would not mean they could not be made available.

John T Bennett has a tilt at this windmill.

Joe Sommerlad16 October 2020 09:27

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Trump blusters over coronavirus and evasive on his own testing

Over the course of another deeply unimpressive performance away from his Fox News safezone, the president also insisted that the US had “rounded the corner” on coronavirus, even as the country’s total number of cases surpassed 8m overnight, while being evasive about his own testing for the virus having only re-emerged from hospital last week.

Pressed by Guthrie on whether he had been tested prior to his ill-tempered debate encounter with Joe Biden at the end of last month – opening up the possibility he knew he had Covid-19 when he took the podium, risking his rival’s health as well as his own – Trump hedged his bets, saying: “Possibly I did, possibly I didn’t.”

John T Bennett has this on the president’s defensiveness over corona and his claim before the town hall had even begun that he was in for a “set up”.

Nothing like getting your excuses in early.

Joe Sommerlad16 October 2020 09:20

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President likened to ‘crazy uncle’ over Osama bin Laden retweet

Pursuing Trump on his regular use of his Twitter account to promote alarming, unverified and untrue messaging to his 87.2m followers, Guthrie brilliantly took him to task over his decision to elevate a Q believer’s theory that the assassination of the al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan in 2011 by Navy SEALs might have been faked as a “trophy kill” to boost Barack Obama’s re-election hopes.

One of the members of SEAL Team Six involved in the operation, Robert J O’Neill, was subsequently forced to set the record straight on social media.

“You’re the president. You’re not like someone’s crazy uncle,” she told him.

Graeme Massie has more on this too.

Joe Sommerlad16 October 2020 09:12

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Trump refuses to disavow QAnon conspiracy cult

Donald Trump sparred with NBC town hall moderator Savannah Guthrie on Thursday night as she took the US president to task for refusing to disavow QAnon, a right-wing conspiracy theory whose cultish adherents believe a Satanic cabal of Democratic politicians and Hollywood celebrities run a secret child sex trafficking ring out of Washington, DC.

The president, who was taking part in the event instead of squaring off against Joe Biden in a second election debate, claimed not to know about the group labelled a terror threat by the FBI but did say: “They are very strongly against paedophilia, and I agree with that.”

Well, I guess that’s something, but Trump’s refusal to cast off any vote, no matter whether it’s from violent white supremacists like the Proud Boys or disturbed, tin-hatted Pizzagate veterans like the QAnon crowd, is surely a very bad look for the occupant of the White House indeed, not say dangerously irresponsible.

Here’s Graeme Massie’s report.

Joe Sommerlad16 October 2020 08:56

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