Trump news – latest: Ex-president ‘says he kept secret Russia documents to stop Biden shredding them’

Bill Barr says Mar-a-Lago documents special master ruling was ‘wrong’

Donald Trump reportedly told close aides that he decided to preserve documents related to the Russia investigation over fears the Joe Biden administration would “shred” them.

The former president was “concerned” Mr Biden’s administration, which he referred to as the “deep state”, would bury or destroy “the evidence” that could prove the Republican leader was “wronged”, Rolling Stone reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

It comes as Bill Barr told Fox News that the DoJ is “getting very close” to indicting Mr Trump over the secret documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump took to Truth Social to complain that the FBI had stolen his personal medical records in the search of his Palm Beach property, though the warrant stated that anything around the classified material could also be seized and then returned.

Meanwhile, far-right agitator Steve Bannon is expected to surrender to New York state prosecutors today to face his own new criminal indictment on fraud charges.


Trump dismisses idea of running with Ivanka

While it’s clear that Mike Pence is unlikely to be Donald Trump’s running mate if the former president runs again, it is far from clear who he would choose, or on what basis – besides loyalty to him and his worldview.

However, in a new interview with India’s NDTV, he has ruled out at least one person: his daughter and sometime White House adviser Ivanka.

As reported by the station, here’s what he said:

Is there any substance to reports that Ivanka Trump, 40, might be his choice for running mate in 2024? Mr Trump called it an “interesting” idea.

“Ivanka? My daughter? Never thought of that one. I’ve never even heard but that’s an interesting idea,” he told NDTV.

The former President, who has five children, described Ivanka as a very capable person.

“That one I have not heard of, but she’s a very capable person that I can tell you. But no, I have not heard that one,” Mr Trump said on the buzz.

Would he consider it? “No, I wouldn’t. Not my daughter,” said the former President


Trump repeats false “planted documents” claim

In an interview to be broadcast today, Donald Trump has once again claimed to be the obvious winner-in-waiting of the 2024 presidential election.

“Everyone wants me to run. I am leading in the polls,” he told Indian station NDTV, “in every poll, in Republican polls and in Democrat polls, and I will make a decision in the very near future, I suspect. And I think that a lot of people are going to be very happy.”

Mr Trump’s national popularity rating is in fact lower than Joe Biden’s. However, since the raid on Mar-a-Lago, his numbers among likely Republican primary voters have indeed risen.

The former president also used the interview to reiterate a false claim that the Mar-a-Lago files, which he has previously confirmed were real, were in fact planted by FBI agents.

Sravasti Dasgupta has more.


FBI issues more callouts for 6 January suspects

Federal authorities have arrested hundreds of people accused of taking part in the 6 January riot at the US Capitol, but they are far from done rounding them up.

Yesterday alone, the bureau’s Washington field office tweeted out appeals for any information on the identities and whereabouts of four men pictured at the riot. Among the online “sedition hunters”, amateur sleuths who have helped identify rioters via social media, they are known by their nicknames: #GingerLongLashes, #SkulletSpray, #KhakiLacky and #PunchingBandit.


Former CIA director on “shocking” Mar-a-Lago documents details

John Brennan, who served as director of the CIA from 2013 to 2017, appeared on MSNBC last night to discuss the potential ramifications of the presence of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

“We know he was irresponsible even he was at the White House,” he said of Donald Trump, “in terms of what he shared or carelessly showed to foreign visitors, or had exposed in the Oval Office. And I do think those waning days of his presidency, there was a real haphazard approach to security…

“Mar-a-Lago is a sieve. Foreign intelligence services could easily get people into Mar-a-Lago, maybe to buy a membership or to have someone in a cleaning crew or something else.”

Watch his comments below.


Hillary Clinton: Mar-a-Lago documents “should concern every American”

Appearing on The View yesterday alongside her daughter Chelsea, Hillary Clinton was asked to expound on the significance of the classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago – and she did not hold back.

“It shouldn’t be partisan. It should concern every American…when the report came out yesterday that the documents also included information about – we don’t know which – an ally or an adversaries nuclear program, I cannot tell you how terrifying that is.”

She also discussed Joe Biden’s warning of rising “fascism” on the right and the ensuing backlash from many Republicans.

“Fascism is a very big word, I know that. But so is socialism, and the Republicans call every Democrat who wants people to have healthcare a socialist. So we do need to be careful with our language, but the problem is that if you go through the hallmarks of authoritarian regimes, you see too many characteristics unfortunately on our Republican side.”

Watch her discuss Mr Trump’s handling of the documents below, starting at 3:04.


Trump claims FBI stole documents revealing “absolutely perfect” health

Former president Donald Trump on Wednesday accused the FBI agents who executed a court-authorised search of his Palm Beach, Florida home and office of taking his personal medical and tax records without proper cause.

Writing on his Truth Social platform, Mr Trump said recent court filings by the government have shown agents “improperly took [his] complete and highly confidential medical file and history, with all the bells and whistles”.

The ex-president, whose last physical examination established him to be clinically obese, said “at least” the aforementioned medical records would show him to be “very healthy” and “an absolutely perfect physical specimen”.

Read more from Andrew Feinberg:


Trump repeats unproven claim that FBI ‘planted’ files in Mar-a-Lago raid on Indian TV

Former US president Donald Trump has reiterated his claim that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) planted the documents that were found at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida.

In an interview with Indian news television channel NDTV on Thursday, Mr Trump said: “That (the documents) they (the FBI) put there. It’s a set-up. It’s weaponisation. And it’s inappropriate to do. It’s a bad thing for our country.”

He also teased the idea of running in the 2024 presidential elections, saying he is leading the polls.

Sravasti Dasgupta reports.


‘Once our time is up, we move on’: Michelle Obama has a dig at Donald Trump in White House portrait remarks

Former first lady Michelle Obama had a thinly-veiled dig at Donald Trump during powerful remarks at the unveiling of her official White House portrait on Wednesday.

Speaking about the significance of the moment and the importance of “participating in and watching our democracy” she referred to the “peaceful transition of power” in a clear reference to the final months of the Trump presidency.

She further said, that those in power work and serve “for as long as we can, as long as the people choose to keep us here,” adding: “once our time is up, we move on”.


Judge denies Oath Keepers leader’s trial delay bid

The high-profile seditious conspiracy trial for the leader of the far-right Oath Keepers extremist group will begin this month after a judge on Wednesday rejected a last-minute bid by Stewart Rhodes to replace his lawyers and delay his case.

Rhodes said in court papers this week there had been a “breakdown” in communication between him and his two lawyers, who he claimed weren’t defending him forcefully enough in the Capitol riot case. Rhodes’ new lawyer argued that the Oath Keepers founder has not been given enough time to adequately prepare for trial and urged the judge to delay his trial at least 90 days.

But the obviously irritated judge called the claim that Rhodes is being denied a fair trial “simply false.”


Trump told aides he kept secret documents on Russia as Biden would ‘shred’ them

Donald Trump reportedly told his close aides that he felt the need to preserve documents related to the Russian collusion investigation over fears the Joe Biden administration would “shred” them.

During his final days at the White House, Mr Trump and his team pushed to declassify the documents, dreading that the papers would expose a plot against him, Rolling Stone reported.

The documents were related to the federal investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 elections to sow discord in the US and boost Mr Trump’s chances of winning over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

Alisha Rehman Sarkar has more.

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