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House speaker moves to reassure public over ‘serious national security threat’: Live updates

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan addresses ‘national security threat’

Republican House speaker Mike Johnson has moved to reassure Americans that “there is no need for public alarm” after House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Turner called on President Joe Biden to declassify information about a “serious national security threat.”

“I saw Chairman Turner’s statement on the issue and I want to assure the American people, there is no need for public alarm,” Mr Johnson told reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday.

“We are going to work together to address this matter, as we do all sensitive matters that are classified.

“We just want to assure everyone: steady hands are at the wheel, we’re working on it, and there’s no need for alarm.”

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters this week that he is scheduled to host a briefing with the Gang of Eight — the party leaders and chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees — and admitted that doing so was “highly unusual”.

The exact nature of the threat is classified but two sources cited by ABC News have described it as emanating from Russia and involving plans to potentially use space-based nuclear weapons for anti-satellite purposes.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene says Lord Cameron ‘can kiss my a**’ over Ukraine aid appeal

Hard-right Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has said British foreign secretary Lord Cameron “can kiss my a**” after he urged Congress to pass aid to Ukraine and avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, citing the appeasement of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in the lead-up to the Second World War.

Gustaf Kilander has more.

Joe Sommerlad15 February 2024 17:30

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AOC says Biden ‘one of most successful presidents in modern history’

Here’s a significant endorsement for the president from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young New York progressive who was not always seen eye-to-eye with his policy positions.

AOC backs Biden as ‘one of most successful presidents in modern history’

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has defended Joe Biden amid criticism over his age ahead of this year’s presidential election. Speaking to CNN on Tuesday 13 February, Ms Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that rival Donald Trump is 77 years old himself, and is facing 91 felony charges in four different cases. “I know who I’m going to choose. It’s going to be one of the most successful presidents in modern American history,” AOC said, throwing her support behind Mr Biden, 81. “Hopefully he will be re-elected as president of the United States.”

Joe Sommerlad15 February 2024 16:30

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Taylor Swift conspiracy rolls on as one in five Americans tell pollster she’s part of ‘covert’ Biden plot

A new Monouth University Poll shows that just under one in five Americans believe Taylor Swift is involved in a “covert effort” to help President Biden’s re-election campaign.

Of those polled, 71 per cent of those who believe this theory identify as or lean Republican — and 83 per cent say they are likely to support Donald Trump in November.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost three-quarters of those who believe the Swift conspiracy also think the 2020 election result was fraudulent.

“The supposed Taylor Swift PsyOp conspiracy has legs among a decent number of Trump supporters. Even many who hadn’t heard about it before we polled them accept the idea as credible. Welcome to the 2024 election,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

At the same time, 68 per cent of the American public supports the singer encouraging her fans to vote in the upcoming election.

Taylor Swift and Joe Biden

(Getty)

Joe Sommerlad15 February 2024 15:30

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Biden jokes he’s giving up speaking to the press for Lent

Here’s the president swearing off malarkey.

Joe Sommerlad15 February 2024 14:30

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Haley defends her role in ‘unhinged’ Trump’s administration

Trump’s rival for the Republican presidential nomination Nikki Haley is going all in on what she sees as the safest line of attack against him — questions about his mental fitness and temperament in a year where the incumbent Democratic president is facing similar concerns.

The former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador sat down with NBC’s Craig Melvin for an interview with the Today show this week as she prepares for a showdown with Trump in her home state that is a litte more than a week away.

The primary election in South Carolina could be a jolt in the arm of her campaign as she continues to steeply trail the frontrunner — or, it could be the death knell of her presidential bid.

It could also be neither of those things, as she marches on towards Super Tuesday in March.

Haley made some of her most forceful criticism of Trump’s mental state yet during the interview and John Bowden was watching.

Joe Sommerlad15 February 2024 13:30

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Schumer calls Mayorkas impeachment ‘a new low’ for Republicans

The Senate majority leader is distinctly unimpressed with the move by House Republicans to impeach homeland security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday evening.

“The one and only reason for this impeachment is for Speaker Johnson to further appease Donald Trump,” Chuck Schumer said after the House voted along party lines, 214-213, to impeach Mayorkas on a charge of refusing to enforce immigration law at the US southern border with Mexico and breaching the public trust.

Schumer said the evidence presented by House Republicans falls well short of the high crimes or misdemeanours standard demanded by the Constitution.

“House Republicans failed to produce any evidence that Secretary Mayorkas has committed any crime,” the New York Democrat said.

“House Republicans failed to show he has violated the Constitution. House Republicans failed to present evidence of anything resembling an impeachable offense,” he fumed.

“This is a new low for House Republicans.”

The impeachment motion will also certainly now be buried alive in the Senate and achieve precisely nothing.

Here’s even Speaker Johnson admitting it amounted to a “desperate measure”.

Speaker Johnson on impeaching Mayorkas: ‘Desperate times call for desperate measures’

US House speaker Mike Johnson has defended the Republican vote to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas, suggesting “desperate times call for desperate measures”. Many Republicans blame Mr Mayorkas for an unprecedented influx of migrants at the US-Mexico border, and he is the first cabinet member to face impeachment in nearly 150 years. The vote succeeded along party lines lines, winning 214-213. “We had to do that,” Speaker Johnson said during a weekly press conference of Republican leadership on Wednesday 14 February. “He has abdicated his responsibility, he’s breached the public trust, and he’s disregarded the laws Congress has passed.”

Joe Sommerlad15 February 2024 12:30

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House speaker moves to reassure public over ‘serious national security threat’

Republican House speaker Mike Johnson has moved to reassure Americans that “there is no need for public alarm” after House Intelligence Committee chair Mike Turner called on President Joe Biden to declassify information about a “serious national security threat.”

“I saw Chairman Turner’s statement on the issue and I want to assure the American people, there is no need for public alarm,” Mr Johnson told reporters in the Capitol on Wednesday.

“We are going to work together to address this matter, as we do all sensitive matters that are classified.

“We just want to assure everyone: steady hands are at the wheel, we’re working on it, and there’s no need for alarm.”

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters this week that he is scheduled to host a briefing with the Gang of Eight — the party leaders and chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees — and admitted that doing so was “highly unusual”.

The exact nature of the threat is classified but two sources cited by ABC News have described it as emanating from Russia and involving plans to potentially use space-based nuclear weapons for anti-satellite purposes.

Here’s the latest from Andrew Feinberg.

Joe Sommerlad15 February 2024 11:30

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A historian factchecks Donald Trump’s Nato claims

Timothy Snyder, a Yale history professor and an expert on eastern Europe and the Holocaust, wrote on Tuesday: “Speaking of paying our share… If the US gave as much/GDP to Ukraine as does Denmark or Slovakia, Ukraine would win easily. If we gave as much/GDP to Ukraine as Estonia does, Ukraine would likely have won long ago. Ukrainian victory is what matters and we are the slackers.”

Mr Trump had previously said on Truth Social, “Could somebody please inform our uninformable President that NATO has to pay their bills!”

“They are right now paying a small fraction of what we are for the Disaster in Ukraine which, if we had a real President, would never have happened. There is probably a $150 Billion difference. They should equalize with the U.S. – FAST! The European Nations, when combined, have approximately the same size Economy as we do. They have the money. PAY UP!” the former president added.

Kelly Rissman15 February 2024 11:00

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WATCH: Marjorie Taylor Greene says David Cameron ‘Can kiss my a**’

Marjorie Taylor Greene says David Cameron ‘Can kiss my a**’

Kelly Rissman15 February 2024 10:00

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A hearing in the Fani Willis case ‘must occur’

A sprawling election interference case against Donald Trump is set to veer into the private and professional life of the woman leading the prosecution against him — Fani Willis — during a hearing in Atlanta this week.

Ms Willis and prosecutor Nathan Wade could be called to testify after one of the former president’s co-defendants alleged that the attorneys financially benefited from the vast RICO case through their “personal, romantic relationship” with each other.

If stood up in court, accusations levelled against Ms Willis and the chief prosecutor she hired to lead the case could result in her disqualification.

Ms Willis and Mr Wade have already admitted to their relationship but have firmly rejected the “meritless” and “salacious” allegations as “bad-faith” attempts to see her struck off the case that Mr Trump has baselessly labelled a conspiracy against him.

Alex Woodward has the full story…

Kelly Rissman15 February 2024 09:00




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