Politics

Biden news live: Trump blasts ‘crazies’ in Easter message


Hunter Biden reveals father staged drugs intervention with him

Donald Trump swiped at “radical left crazies” and revived his persistent lie that the 2020 election was “rigged” against him and his supporters in his Easter message on Sunday.

In his message to the nation, President Joe Biden urged Americans to get vaccinated from Covid-19. Vaccinations spiked to 4 million shots per day for the first time on 3 April, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“By getting vaccinated and encouraging your congregations and your communities to get vaccinated, we not only can beat this virus, but we can also haste the day when we can celebrate the holidays together again,” Mr Biden said.

White House officials appeared across US media on Sunday to promote his expansive infrastructure plan, arriving on the heels of a $1.9 American Rescue Plan to combat the economic fallout from the public health crisis.

Senator Bernie Sanders wants the president to think big, and is leading members of Congress to ensure the $2 trillion plan also supports the nation’s “human infrastructure” – expanding healthcare, childcare and affordable housing, among others, he told CNN.

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Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the network that the White House is open to lawmakers using the budget reconciliation process to pass an infrastructure package but is asking Republicans to “come to the table” with ideas, after they routinely dismissed the proposal’s contents and the president’s pitch to raise the corporate tax rate, rolling back cuts made under Donald Trump, to pay for it.

“So the president is very concertedly reaching out to Republicans to say, ‘Come to the table. If you don’t like a component of it, tell us … what you want to see’,” she said, adding that federal funding for roads and bridges, broadband internet expansion and US manufacturing supply chains “are all things that Republicans have introduced bills on”.

Meanwhile, Mr Biden’s son Hunter Biden has revealed what it was like to endure smears from Mr Trump on an “almost daily” basis during the 2020 election race.

In an excerpt of his new book Beautiful Things, the younger Biden accuses Mr Trump of having regularly “invoked my name at rallies to incite his base”.

Hunter Biden writes that he was forced to call police after Mr Trump’s supporters appeared outside the driveway gate of a private house he was renting with his wife, who was then five months pregnant.

He said he and his family continued to receive threats following the incident.

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Good afternoon and welcome to The Independent’s live blog tracking the latest in US politics.

Chantal Da Silva4 April 2021 12:02

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Trump campaign reportedly forced to pay millions in refunds to donors

Former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign team was reportedly forced to pay millions of dollars in refunds to supporters last year.

An investigation by The New York Times has revealed that the campaign team had to pay back as much as $122 million in refunds after one-time supporters continued to be charged due to the fine print terms of their donations.

According to The Times, the Trump campaign had allegedly set up weekly recurring donations as a default for online donors starting in September, with the US election just around two months away.

Supporters would have had to manually click a box to opt out of the recurring fees, something that they were only informed of in fine print, the newspaper said.

The probe also found that the Trump campaign had added a second prechecked box that would double donors’ contributions.

The Times said the presentation of the website appeared to distract from information on how to opt out of the plan.

Chantal Da Silva4 April 2021 12:11

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Hunter Biden opens up on impact of ‘daily smears’ from Trump

President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden speaks out about the impact of “almost daily” smears from former President Donald Trump basis during the 2020 election race in his new book, Beautiful Things.

In an excerpt of the book published by The Times, the younger Biden accuses Mr Trump of having regularly “invoked my name at rallies to incite his base”.

He says he was forced to call police after Trump supporters “sporting MAGA camps” appeared outside the driveway gate of a private house he was renting with his wife, who five months pregnant at the time.

Mr Biden said he and his family continued to receive threats following the frightening incident.

Chantal Da Silva4 April 2021 12:14

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US puts Johnson and Johnson in charge of plant that ruined 15 million vaccine doses

The Biden administration has reportedly put Johnson and Johnson in charge of a plant that ruined 15 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine.

J&J has said it will assume “full responsibility” of the Emergent BioSolutions facility based in Baltimore, according to Reuters.

The company said it would see 100 million doses delivered to the government by the end of May.

As J&J takes control of the plant, British drugmaker AstraZeneca has reportedly been blocked from using the facility.

AstraZeneca, which has not yet had its vaccine approved in the US, has said it will work with the Biden administration to find an alternative location for the production of its vaccine, Reuters said.

Chantal Da Silva4 April 2021 12:38

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Suspect in Capitol attack suffered delusions: Report

The suspect in an incident that saw a man ram a car into two officers outside the US Capitol, killing one of them before he was fatally shot by police, had been suffering from delusions, paranoia and suicidal thoughts, The Associated Press has reported.

Citing a US official, AP said investigators believe that the attack that claimed Capitol Police officer William “Billy” Evans’ life was an isolated incident from “a disturbed young man”.

Noah Green, 25, who is suspected of having carried out the attack before being shot, passed away in hospital following the incident.

According to AP, investigators have focused in on Green’s mental health as they strive to identify a motive for the attack.

In online posts that have since been removed, Green had reportedly described being under government thought control and being watched.

He identified himself as a follower of the Nation of Islam and suggested he had been going through a difficult time when he turned to religion.

Chantal Da Silva4 April 2021 12:57

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Rockets fall close to Iraqi military base hosting US contractors

Two rockets fell on Sunday in an area close to an Iraqi military air base hosting a number of US contractors, Iraqi security officials have said.

No one was killed in the incident, which saw two rockets land on the outside fence of the base, security officials said, according to Reuters.

Preliminary probes suggested that the attack had been aimed at the Balad air base, north of Baghdad, Iraqi security officials said. However, the rockets failed to reach the site, hitting the village of al-Bu Asi instead.

The Balad air base was attacked as recently as 15 March, when at least five rockets hit the base.

The attack has yet to be claimed by any group.

Chantal Da Silva4 April 2021 13:30

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Japan PM to urge calm on China-Taiwan tensions during US visit

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Sunday that his country would work with the United States to calm rising tensions between China and Taiwan ahead of a meeting with President Joe Biden in Washington next week.

“It is important for Japan and the United States to cooperate and use deterrence to create an environment where Taiwan and China can find a peaceful solution,” Mr Suga said on a television talk show on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.

The PM is set to meet Mr Biden next week in what will be the US leader’s first in-person summit since his inauguration in January.

The meeting comes amid growing tensions between China and Taiwan, with Chinese warplanes repeatedly entering the latter country’s airspace.

China recently warned the US against crossing a “red line” after the country had an American ambassador visit Taiwan, marking the first such official visit in more than four decades.

Chantal Da Silva4 April 2021 14:15

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Trump rants at ‘crazies’ and repeats false election claims in Easter message

Former President Donald Trump has issued a bizarre Easter statement in which he took the opportunity to rant at “radical left crazies” who he claimed, without evidence, “rigged our presidential election and want to destroy our country”.

Mr Trump repeated unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him.

Chantal Da Silva4 April 2021 14:28

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Top Biden economic adviser says job growth is focus of infrastructure proposal

President Joe Biden’s top economic adviser Brian Deese has said job growth is at the heart of the administration’s infrastructure proposal.

“What our plan says is, ‘let’s keep the economy going, let’s see more job creation’ – that’s a really good thing for the economy,” Brian Deese said on Fox News Sunday.

However, he said the Biden administration was also looking forward into the long-term future “about where those investments that we can make that will really drive, not just more job growth but better job growth”.

He said the plan would focus on “not just job growth in the short term but job growth for long term, by investing in our infrastructure, by investing in our research and development, in a way that we haven’t since the 1960s,”

Chantal Da Silva4 April 2021 14:42

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Officer injured in Capitol attack released from hospital to cheers

US Capitol Police officer Kenny Shaver was released from hospital to cheers from supporters on Saturday after a suspect rammed a car into a police barricade outside the US Capitol, killing his colleague.

William Evans, who worked with the force for 18 years, was killed in the attack.

The suspect, who has been named as Noah Green, was fatally shot by police.

Read more on the situation as lawmakers debate security measures in the wake of the incident:

Chantal Da Silva4 April 2021 15:13

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