Watch Trump news today: FBI deny Trump sent feds to help DeSantis stop election fraud as Bannon associate arrested – Latest News
Donald Trump vows to stay in 2024 race if he faces criminal charges
The FBI has officially denied a claim made by former President Donald Trump last year about supposedly utilising the law enforcement agency to aid Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the weeks after his election victory in 2018.
The bureau’s response came as a result of a FOIA request from NBC News, which asked for any information about the supposed scheme to use US attorneys and FBI agents to halt “theft” of ballots that was supposedly taking place in Florida’s Broward County.
Exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, an ally of far-right activist and former Trump aide Steve Bannon, was arrested and charged by federal prosecutors in connection with a sprawling fraud case.
He owned the 152-foot-long yacht on which Bannon was arrested in August 2020 and helped found a media group that also is under a separate federal investigation.
Meanwhile, New York federal prosecutors are also examining Truth Social parent company Trump Media over two loans worth $8m which appeared to have been tied to an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In addition to that, investigators continue to ramp up the probe into hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election.
Chip Roy endorses Ron DeSantis for president
Republican Rep Chip Roy of Texas has sent out an email endorsing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president.
Governor DeSantis has not formally announced his candidacy.
Say Mr Roy in the email: “The next President of the United States must be a vibrant and energetic leader with the faith, vision, and courage to chart a new course. America needs a leader who will truly defend her and empower the people against the destructive force of unrestrained government and corporate excess, profligate spending, and woke cultural indoctrination.”
Oliver O’Connell15 March 2023 16:55
Trump-appointed judge presiding over high-stakes abortion drug case
An imminent decision from US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk to potentially block access to mifepristone, even temporarily, could upend access to medication abortion nationwide, even in states where access to care is legally protected. Abortion rights advocates are protesting the challenge in a series of demonstrations in Texas.
Alex Woodward is following the story.
Oliver O’Connell15 March 2023 16:40
When is a lie not a lie?
Donald Trump’s lawyer has defended the former president and said he lied about payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to avoid breaking a confidentiality agreement.
In an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, Mr Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina was asked to address the former president denying a $130,000 payment made to Ms Daniels during the 2016 presidential election to buy her silence over an alleged affair.
“He lied about it,” said MSNBC host Ari Melber, referring to the hush payment allegedly made to Ms Daniels.
Mr Tacopina responded that a lie is only one when said under oath.
Sravasti Dasgupta reports:
Oliver O’Connell15 March 2023 16:15
All 20 major lawsuits and investigations Trump is facing
Of course, this is nothing new for the real estate billionaire.
Oliver O’Connell15 March 2023 15:50
Steve Bannon business associate Guo Wengui arrested on $1bn fraud charge
Guo Wengui, an exiled Chinese billionaire with ties to former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, was arrested on federal fraud charges in New York this morning.
He was the owner of the Lady May, the 152-foot-long yacht on which Bannon was arrested in August 2020. Bannon is not subject to today’s charges. He helped Guo found GTV Media Group and the pair are under investigation in connection with that entity.
Guo, who goes by several aliases including Miles Guo and Ho Wan Kwok, is charged alongside Kin Ming Je, his financier, with various wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering charges. Je is still at large.
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael Driscoll, Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the unsealing of the twelve-count indictment this morning.
The charges in the Indictment arise from an alleged sprawling and complex scheme by the defendants, and others, to solicit investments in various entities and programs through false statements and representations to hundreds of thousands of Kwok’s online followers. As alleged, Kwok and Je misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained funds during the course of their conspiracy.
Mr Williams said: “As alleged, Ho Wan Kwok, known to many as ‘Miles Guo’, led a complex conspiracy to defraud thousands of his online followers out of over $1bn dollars. Kwok is charged with lining his pockets with the money he stole, including buying himself, and his close relatives, a 50,000 square foot mansion, a $3.5 million Ferrari, and even two $36,000 mattresses, and financing a $37 million luxury yacht.
“As alleged, Kwok lied to his victims and promised them outsized returns if they invested, or provided money to, GTV, his so-called Himalaya Farm Alliance, G|CLUBS, and the Himalaya Exchange.
“Kwok is further charged with laundering hundreds of millions of stolen funds to conceal the conspiracy’s illegal activities and continue the fraud’s operations.”
Mr Driscoll said: “The indictment today alleges the defendants were behind an elaborate scheme that defrauded thousands of individuals of over one billion dollars. Fraudulent investment scams make victims out of innocent people, ultimately harming the public’s confidence in the integrity of financial systems. The FBI continues to make investigating complex financial crimes a top priority, and anyone attempting these crimes will be made to face the consequences in the criminal justice system.”
Oliver O’Connell15 March 2023 15:10
Tucker Carlson sparks hacking speculation with uncharacteristic Twitter bio
Tucker Carlson’s Twitter bio has undergone an unusual alteration and sparked rumours that his account was hacked.
The Fox News host’s Twitter bio says he is a person of colour and a climate activist who identifies as non-binary. It also described him as a “visionary tech founder” and an informal adviser to Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky, who he has often criticised on his show.
“Non-binary climate change activist of color. Visionary tech founder. CNBC market analyst. Informal Zelensky advisor,” read the new bio that also has two transgender pride flag emojis on it.
Rachel Sharp15 March 2023 14:55
Trump allies files ethics complaint against DeSantis
A pro-Trump super PAC has filed a 15-page complaint against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis formally accusing him of violating state ethics and election laws with his “shadow presidential campaign”, NBC News reports.
The network obtained a draft copy of the complaint filed by MAGA Inc on Wednesday with the Florida Commission on Ethics asking for an investigation into whether pro-DeSantis super PACs, his “personally lucrative book tour” and a continued wave of state-level campaign contributions, among other things, “are unlawful because they serve his personal political objectives, are in furtherance of his personal financial gain at the expense of Florida taxpayers, and are intended to influence his official decision to resign from office”.
They want the commission to “impose” the “most severe penalties permitted” on DeSantis — including impeachment and removal from office.
The filing marks the latest development in the increasingly bitter sniping between the Florida governor and former president Donald Trump as they both vie for the Republican Party nomination for the 2024 election.
DeSantis appointed five of the nine members of the state’s ethics commission.
Oliver O’Connell15 March 2023 14:23
Trump issues scathing attack at DeSantis, says he regrets endorsement
Donald Trump went even further on his warpath against Ron DeSantis on Monday during private comments to reporters, according to Politico, which revealed that the former president trashed the governor during a flight to Iowa in preparation for a campaign rally.
“He was dead as a dog, he was a dead politician. He would have been working perhaps for a law firm or doing something else,” the ex-president reportedly said on Monday.
He was then asked if he regretted endorsing Mr DeSantis in 2022, and responded: “Yeah maybe, this guy was dead. He was dead as a doornail…I might say that.”
Rachel Sharp15 March 2023 13:55
Nikki Haley rips DeSantis apart for ‘copying’ Trump
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who is running for the 2024 GOP nomination, released a scathing statement on Tuesday referring to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as merely an “echo” of Donald Trump after the latter accused the governor of copying his political positions.
“President Trump is right when he says Governor DeSantis is copying him — first in his style, then on entitlement reform, and now on Ukraine,” said Ms Haley, a former governor herself.
Mr Trump previously went in on the Florida governor a night earlier at his rally in Iowa, where he made clear that he views Mr DeSantis as his top competition for the GOP nomination.
John Bowden15 March 2023 13:25
Tucker Carlson producer describes his audience as ‘dumb’ and ‘terrorists’
More than a million pages of internal Fox messages have revealed that a producer for Fox News host Tucker Carlson described the show’s audience as “especially dumb” and “terrorists” who sleep with their cousins.
The files were released in connection to the $1.6bn defamation lawsuit against the company by Dominion Voting Systems.
After Carlson had publically rebuked some of the outlandish claims pushed by Donald Trump’s lawyer Sydney Powell, which prompted pushback from her and other rightwing figures, a Fox executive texted a producer for Carlson about finding a middle ground and possibly taking time on the show to address her baseless claim that she had an affidavit linking Dominion and Venezuela.
Read more about the exchange that followed:
John Bowden15 March 2023 12:55