Donald Trump is giving his first speech since leaving office as president at the Conservative Political Action Conference (C-PAC).
His public appearance comes just weeks after he was acquitted during an impeachment trial which saw some members of his own Republican Party vote against him.
The former president is expected to attack the actions being taken by successor Joe Biden in the Florida speech.
The C-PAC appearance represents his continued influence over Republicans.
The mood of the conference so far has been extremely pro-Trump, with loyalists including Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his son Donald Trump Jr. among the speakers confirmed.
Donald Trump’s speech was hotly anticipated by his supporters, given his relative absence from the political spotlight since leaving office.
He remains banned from social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, over his response to January’s deadly riot at the US Capitol.
He has been living at his Mar-a-Lago Florida golf resort since leaving the White House.
According to prepared script excerpts sent by his office ahead of time, Donald Trump will attack early actions by President Joe Biden during the speech – especially on immigration.
He is also set to focus on what he will describe as the future of “our movement” during the speech, amid a divide among some Republicans over the party’s future political direction.
He is expected to say that the “incredible journey” that he and supporters “began together four years ago is far from over”. But Donald Trump is not expected to confirm another presidential run in 2024 yet, according to a senior adviser quoted by CBS.
Donald Trump Jr. trailed his father’s appearance during his own speech on February 26.
He told the audience: “I imagine it will not be what we call a low energy speech, and I assure you that it will solidify Donald Trump and all of your feelings about the MAGA [Make America Great Again] movement as the future of the Republican party.”
Members of the Republican Party remained largely loyal to Donald Trump during his time in office but 10 voted to impeach him in the House of Representatives last month and seven voted to convict him in the subsequent Senate trial. The overall tally, 57-43 in favor of his guilt, fell short of the two-thirds margin needed to convict Donald Trump.
The schism in the party has remained since, with those who have broken rank against him notably absent from the CPAC stage.
The C-PAC, which began in 1974, is seen as the most influential gathering of conservatives and a barometer of the Republican party’s political direction.
Despite losing November’s presidential election and being deeply criticized over the January riot by some of his supporters, reports suggest Donald Trump remains extremely popular among his voting base.
Last week, one poll suggested 46% of surveyed Trump voters would vote for him on a third-party ticket rather than another Republican candidate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will establish an “outside, independent” commission to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
In a letter to lawmakers, Nancy Pelosi said the commission would be modeled on the inquiry into the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
She said: “We must get to the truth of how this happened.”
Former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate of inciting the violence.
However, Democrats and some Republicans have backed an independent investigation into the riots, which left five people dead.
Nancy Pelosi said that retired US Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré had, over the past few weeks, been assessing the security needs of the Capitol in light of the attack.
The commission, Nancy Pelosi said, “would investigate and report on the facts and causes” of the attack; “the interference with the peaceful transfer of power”; and the “preparedness and response” of both the Capitol police and other branches of law enforcement.
She also said that, based on Lt. Gen. Honoré’s initial findings, Congress needed to allocate additional funding to “provide for the safety of members and the security of the Capitol”.
A group of House Republicans wrote to Nancy Pelosi on February 15 complaining that their party had not been consulted about the general’s security review.
In the letter, they also demanded to know what Nancy Pelosi knew and the instructions she gave to secure the Capitol ahead of January 6.
House Republican Adam Kinzinger, who called for Donald Trump’s removal after the riots, was condemned by 11 members of his family in a handwritten letter, in which they said he was in cahoots with “the devil’s army”.
Donald Trump survived his second impeachment trial on February 13, after Democrat prosecutors failed to secure the two-thirds majority needed to convict him. He is the only president to have faced the process twice.
The vote split largely along party lines, with seven Republicans joining the Senate’s 48 Democrats and two independents in voting to convict.
The senior Republican in Congress, Senator Mitch McConnell, had voted against conviction on constitutional grounds, but after the vote declared Donald Trump “responsible” for the assault on the Capitol.
Other Republicans have also expressed support for an independent inquiry into the riots, including a close ally of Donald Trump, Senator Lindsay Graham.
Former President Donald Trump has been acquitted of inciting mob to attack the Capitol after the Senate voted 57 to 43.
Seven Republicans (Senators Sasse, Romney, Burr, Collins, Murkowski, Toomey and Cassidy) joining Democrats on the charge of incitement.
Democrats needed two-thirds of the Senate to vote guilty to convict.
Impeachment charges are political, not criminal. An impeachment acquittal essentially means the Senate did not find cause to remove a president from office.
If DonaldTrump had been convicted, the Senate could also have voted to prevent the former president from ever holding office again.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives approved the article of impeachment on January 13, with the support of 10 Republicans.
It was the verdict everyone expected, but the day was not without its drama. Seven Republicans voted along with Democrats to convict Donald Trump of inciting the violent attack on the Capitol last month.
In the end, they didn’t get the two-thirds majority they needed.
Donald Trump is the first president to be impeached twice and has set a record with the most votes to convict by members of his own party.
After Donald Trump was acquitted, first up was the leader of the Democrats in the Senate.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer: “January 6 will live as a day of infamy in the United States. The failure to convict Donald Trump will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the United States Senate.”
He criticized the 43 senators who voted to acquit Donald Trump who effectively “signed their names alongside his” in the history books.
The Democratic senator insisted one thing is certain – that Trump’s legacy will be embroiled in this scandal forevermore, making it nearly impossible for him to ever hold elected office again.
As the senator spoke, however, the Trump team released a statement promising a future for the Make America Great Again movement. Without a conviction, there is nothing barring Donald Trump from holding office again.
Whether Donald Trump runs again remains to be seen. But he will certainly wield his influence in other ways.
Donald Trump once again avoided conviction by the Senate because his fellow Republicans, by and large, stuck by his side.
He did not emerge from this impeachment trial unscathed, however.
One of the most memorable portions of the prosecution case by House managers were the new videos of Trump’s supporters, wearing Make America Great Again hats and waving Trump flags, ransacking the Capitol.
Those images will forever be associated with the Trump brand. Every rally he holds from here on will evoke memories of that riot.
According to the Associated Press, the Biden administration plans to start with two border crossings each processing up to 300 people a day and a third crossing taking fewer numbers.
The authorities say asylum seekers will be released with notices to appear in court in cities close to or in their final destinations, typically with family.
At the same time, Alejandro Mayorkas stressed that “individuals who are not eligible under this initial phase should wait for further instructions and not travel to the border”, amid concerns that many people would try to cross the border illegally.
February 12 announcement was welcomed in a sprawling migrant camp in the Mexican city of Matamoros, just across the border from Texas.
The border cities where migrants wait for months are suffering from growing crime rates.
In 2020, charity Human Rights First said “returned families, children and adults are being sent to highly dangerous situations where many suffered kidnappings, attacks, sexual assaults, threats and other incredible cruelty”.
An emergency declaration allows US presidents to circumvent the usual political process and to access military funding.
Various types of fencing totaling 654 miles were already in place before Donald Trump became president in 2017.
During his time in office, 80 miles of new barriers were built where there were none before, and almost 400 miles replaced existing parts of the structure.
Former Trump campaign advisor Jason Miller took to Twitter to comment on the decision, writing “Biden loves illegal immigration”.
However, some parts of the Trump administration’s immigration policy will be left in place.
At a press conference on February 10, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki appeared to confirm the new administration would keep a Trump-era policy that allowed border officials to summarily expel undocumented immigrants amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: “Due to the pandemic and the fact that we have not had the time, as an administration, to put in place a humane, comprehensive process for processing individuals who are coming to the border.
“Now is not the time to come, and the vast majority of people will be turned away.”
The impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is constitutional, the US Senate has found on February 9.
Therefore, the Senate is allowing full impeachment proceedings to begin.
Donald Trump’s defense team argued that he could not face trial after leaving the White House.
A 56-44 majority voted in favor of continuing, with a handful of Republicans backing the measure.
Donald Trump is accused of “inciting insurrection” when Congress was stormed on January 6.
Thousands gathered in support of claims that widespread electoral fraud denied Donald Trump victory in the presidential election.
However, Donald Trump is almost certain to be acquitted because only six Republican senators voted to move forward with impeachment, well short of the 17 Republicans whose votes would be needed to convict the former president.
Democrats prosecuting the case opened the proceedings by showing a dramatic video montage of Donald Trump’s January 6 speech and the deadly rioting by some of his supporters.
Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said of the footage: “If that’s not an impeachable offence, then there’s no such thing.”
Donald Trump’s lawyers argued it was unconstitutional to put a former president through the process at all and accused Democrats of being politically motivated.
A two-thirds majority is required to convict Donald Trump in the evenly split 100-seat Senate. February 9 vote implies loyalty toward Donald Trump in the Republican Party remains high enough to avoid a conviction.
However, if convicted, the former president could be barred from holding office again.
Proceedings opened with impeachment managers – the Democrats tasked with leading the prosecution – arguing their attempts were legitimate.
In the 10-minute video used in their presentation, Donald Trump was shown telling his supporters to “fight like hell” before they stormed the Capitol in violence that resulted in five deaths – including a police officer.
Rep. Jamie Raskin was brought to tears as he recounted fear for his own family’s safety during the riot after he was separated from his visiting daughter.
“This cannot be the future of America,” he told senators, who act as jurors for impeachment.
“We cannot have presidents inciting and mobilizing mob violence against our government and our institutions because they refuse to accept the will of the people under the Constitution of the United States.”
Rep. Raskin argued there could be no “January exception” to impeaching outgoing officials without risking a dangerous precedent.
Donald Trump’s lawyers then took the stand to outline their arguments with detailed complaints and allegations about due process and the constitutionality of proceedings.
Former Pennsylvania prosecutor Bruce Castor opened the defense with a meandering presentation that was met with a critical reception by even allies of the former president.
A second lawyer, David Schoen, was more pointed. He showed videos dating back to 2017 as evidence of what he labeled as an “insatiable lust for impeachment” among Democratic lawmakers.
He told senators: “What they really want to accomplish here in the name of the Constitution is to bar Donald Trump from ever running for political office again, but this is an affront to the Constitution no matter who they target today.”
Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, one of the six to vote with Democrats, said after that the House prosecution had “made a compelling, cogent case and the president’s team did not”.
Media reports suggest Donald Trump – whose Twitter account has been banned – expressed anger at his lawyers’ performance while watching on TV from Florida.
The Trump administration’s rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine calling it “chaotic” and “very limited”, President Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff Ron Klain has said.
Ron Klain said there was no plan in the federal government for the distribution of vaccines across the United States.
President Joe Biden, who took office on January 20, has promised 100 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days.
The US has now reported more than 25 million Covid-19 cases.
About 417,500 deaths have been linked to the new coronavirus. In recent weeks, the daily number of Covid-linked deaths in the US has, on some days, exceeded 4,000.
President Biden signed a raft of new measures last week, including boosting vaccinations and testing. He has urged Americans to wear masks and warned that the death toll could get much worse.
His efforts follow widespread criticism of the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic and of the vaccination program.
Vaccines have been distributed to states, and states and cities are carrying out the inoculations. But some have complained they are struggling with supply.
According to the CDC, about 41 million doses had been distributed by January 23 across the country, but only 20.5 million had been administered.
Speaking to NBC News, Ron Klain said: “The process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals out into the community as a whole, did not really exist when we came into the White House.”
He said it was a “complex” process but that the Biden administration would set up federal vaccination sites to help states without enough places.
Covid- 19 infections have spiraled in recent months – with a jump in new infections after Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Hospital numbers hit their highest levels during the pandemic earlier this month but are slowly starting to drop alongside daily cases.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said on January 21 that rolling average data appeared to show infections leveling off.
Although the national picture has stabilized slightly, he warned the country remained in a “very serious situation”.
The CDC is particularly concerned that new variants could accelerate the virus spread.
The strain has been detected in 20 states, Dr. Fauci said January 21, but warned the country had “limited ability” to track its spread through the population.
President Biden has already enacted a raft of executive measures to combat the virus and he wants Congress to pass a $1.9tn package of economic relief funding.
He is hoping to get bipartisan approval for his broad stimulus agenda, but the proposal has already been met with skepticism and resistance by some Republicans.
Another one of the new president’s key promises is to oversee 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office, but some have criticized this policy as not ambitious enough.
The current approved suppliers – Moderna and Pfizer – have pledged to deliver 200 million doses by March. Dr. Fauci has also suggested emergency approval of a third vaccine, a single-dose jab by Johnson & Johnson, could be just weeks away.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was appointed chief medical adviser by the new president, has expressed hope that if 70-85% of the US population is vaccinated by the end of summer, the country could “approach a degree of normality” by autumn.
Earlier on the day, Joe Biden, 78, attended Mass at a cathedral in Washington – along with four Roman Catholic congressional leaders, both Democrats and Republicans.
Donald Trump left the White House at about 08:00AM on January 20, and flew to the nearby Andrews Air Force base.
In his farewell address at the base, Donald Trump highlighted what he regarded as the successes of his presidency.
He said: “What we’ve done has been amazing by any standard.”
Donald Trump, 74, then left for his Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida, where he arrived later in the morning.
In his last hours as president, Donald Trump granted clemency to more than 140 people, including his former adviser Steve Bannon, who had been facing fraud charges.
The political drama surrounding Donald Trump is far from over. The Senate is expected to put him on trial soon, following his record second impeachment by the House of Representatives for allegedly inciting the Capitol riot.
On January 19, the Senate’s Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, said the mob had been provoked by Donald Trump and fed lies.
On inauguration day, President Donald Trump’s office is cleaned out, swept of signs that he and his staff had ever been there, ready for the Biden team to move in.
The cleaning out of White House’s West Wing offices, and the transition between presidents, is part of a tradition that dates back centuries. It’s a process that has not always been imbued with warmth.
Another impeached president, Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, snubbed Republican Ulysses S Grant in 1869 and skipped the inauguration. Ulysses Grant, who had backed Andrew Johnson’s removal from office, was hardly surprised.
Today, however, the transition stands out for its acrimony. The process usually starts straight after the election, but it started weeks late after President Trump refused to accept the result. And the president has said he will not attend the inauguration. Most likely, Donald Trump will instead travel to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
Even in the best of times, the logistics of a transition are daunting, involving the transfer of knowledge and employees on a massive scale.
About 4,000 political appointees hired by the Trump administration who will lose their job and be replaced by individuals hired by Joe Biden.
During an average transition, between 150,000-300,000 people apply for these jobs, according to the Center for Presidential Transition, a nonpartisan organization based in Washington. About 1,100 of the positions also require Senate confirmation. Filling all of these positions takes months, even years.
Four years of policy papers, briefing books and artefacts relating to the president’s work will be carted off to the National Archives where they will be kept secret for 12 years, unless the president himself decides that portions may be released early.
Furniture in the White House, such as the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, most of the artwork, china and other objects, belong to the government and will remain on the premises.
Other items, like photos of the president that hang in the hallway, will be taken down as the White House is transformed for its new occupants.
The Trumps’ personal belongings, such as clothes, jewellery, and other items will be moved to their new residence, most likely at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
This year, the place will be deep cleaned.
President Trump, as well as dozens of others at the White House, were infected with the coronavirus over the past several months, and the six-floor building, with its 132 rooms, will be thoroughly scrubbed down. Everything from handrails to elevator buttons to restroom fixtures will be wiped and sanitized, according to a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, the federal agency that oversees the housekeeping effort.
Incoming first families usually do some redecoration. Within days of arriving at the White House, Donald Trump had chosen a portrait of populist president Andrew Jackson for the Oval Office. He also replaced the drapes, couches and a rug in the office with ones that were gold-colored. On inauguration day, VP Mike Pence and his wife will also make way for Kamala Harris, and her husband, Doug Emhoff. They will be settling into their official residence, a 19th Century residence on the Naval Observatory grounds, a couple of miles from the White House.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take the oath to make them officially president and vice-president, but this will be a much scaled back affair, due to Covid and the recent riots.
The inauguration of a new president is a day that usually follows decades of custom and precedent. A day that follows a routine set in stone. Well, you can forget all that this year.
Here’s everything you need to know about the big day.
What is the inauguration?
The inauguration is the formal ceremony that marks the start of a new presidency, and it takes place in Washington DC.
The only required feature is that the president-elect recite the presidential oath of office.
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Once he utters these words, Joe Biden will then take his place as the 46th president and the inauguration will be complete (but that’s not all – celebrations follow).
Kamala Harris will become vice-president once she takes the oath of office, which usually happens just before the president.
What time is the inauguration?
Opening remarks are usually scheduled for around 11:30 EST and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in around midday. By law, inauguration day is always January 20.
Joe Biden will move into the White House later in the day – his home for the next four years.
Presidential inaugurations typically involve detailed security plans, but even more so now, after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on January 6.
Officials have ramped up security and closed off large sections of the city. The Secret Service has taken command of the security plans, backed up by some 25,000 National Guard troops, in addition to thousands of police officers.
In a video message posted to the White House’s Twitter account, President Trump has condemned the violence in the Capitol last week, saying “violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement”.
He did not make any reference to impeachment.
The president ends with a call for unity.
“All of us can choose by our actions to rise above the rancor and find common ground and shared purpose. We must focus on advancing the interests of the whole nation, delivering the miracle vaccines, defeating the pandemic, rebuilding the economy, protecting our national security and upholding the rule of law,” Donald Trump said.
“Today I am calling on all Americans to overcome the passions of the moment, and join together as one American people,” he said.
“God bless you, and God bless America.”
When he was first impeached in 2019, President Trump became part of a small group of rebuked US leaders.
After today, President Trump is the first president to be impeached twice.
Only two other presidents in history have been impeached by the House of Representatives – Andrew Johnson, back in 1868, and Bill Clinton in 1998.
President Richard Nixon stepped down and resigned.
But to date, no president has ever been removed from the White House by Congress.
Google-owned video service YouTube has become the latest platform to suspend President Donald Trump’s account.
YouTube has prevented the president’s account from uploading new videos or live-streaming material for a minimum of seven days, and has said it may extend the period.
It said Donald Trump’s channel had broken its rules over the incitement of violence.
The president had posted several videos on January 12, some of which remain online.
Google has not provided details of what President Trump said in the video it banned.
The move came hours after civil rights groups had threatened to organize an ads boycott against YouTube.
Jim Steyer – who previously helped coordinate similar action against Facebook last year – had called on Google to go further and take President Trump’s channel offline.
He tweeted after the suspension: “We hope they will make it permanent. It is disappointing that it took a Trump-incited attack to get here, but appears that the major platforms are finally beginning to step up.”
Google said that President Trump could still face his page being closed if he falls foul of its three-strikes policy.
It said in a statement: “After review, and in light of concerns about the ongoing potential for violence, we removed new content uploaded to Donald J. Trump’s channel for violating our policies.
“It now has its first strike and is temporarily prevented from uploading new content for a minimum of seven days.
“Given the ongoing concerns about violence, we will also be indefinitely disabling comments on President Trump’s channel, as we’ve done to other channels where there are safety concerns found in the comments section.”
President Trump had already been suspended by Facebook and Instagram following January 6 rioting on Capitol Hill, until at least the transition of power to Joe Biden on January 20.
Joe Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris are expected to be sworn in at a ceremony at the Capitol. The Biden team had already urged Americans to avoid travelling to the capital because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a call that is now being repeated by local authorities.
According to security officials, there will be no repeat of the breach seen on January 6, when thousands of pro-Trump supporters were able to break into the building where members of Congress were voting to certify the election result.
Five people died in the riot, which happened after President Trump repeated unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the November vote and encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol.
Since then, calls for Donald Trump’s resignation, removal from office or impeachment have grown among Democrats and some Republicans.
President Trump has made no public statements since he was banned from several social media platforms – including Twitter – on January 8.
Donald Trump became the third president to be impeached in December 2019 over charges of breaking the law by asking Ukraine to investigate his rival in the presidential election. The Senate cleared him.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stepped up the pressure on VP Mike Pence to act to remove President Donald Trump from office over his role in last week’s storming of Congress.
Lawmakers are expected to bring up a resolution asking VP Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare the president unfit for office.
Mike Pence is said to oppose the idea.
If he refuses, the House will hold a vote to impeach President Trump who had urged supporters to march on the Capitol.
Donald Trump has been accused by Democrats and an increasing number of fellow Republicans over the riot, following a rally in which the president repeated unsubstantiated allegations of vote fraud. Five people died in the attack, including a Capitol police officer.
President Trump has made no public statements since he was banned from social media platforms on January 8.
He is due to leave office on January 20, when Joe Biden will be sworn in as president.
Donald Trump has said he will not attend Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony.
Nancy Pelosi wrote to lawmakers saying the House of Representatives would present a resolution on January 11 to formally request that VP Pence invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which would allow him to remove President Trump from the White House and become acting president.
The House could vote on the resolution on January 12. After that, Mike Pence and the cabinet would be given 24 hours to act before the House’s potential move toward impeachment.
Nancy Pelosi wrote in her letter: “We will act with urgency, because this president represents an imminent threat to both.
“The horror of the ongoing assault on our democracy perpetrated by this president is intensified and so is the immediate need for action.”
Although Mike Pence has appeared to distance himself from the president by saying on January 10 he planned to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration, there is no sign that the vice-president is prepared to invoke the amendment.
In a separate development, First Lady Melania Trump, who rarely makes public comments about political events, condemned January 6 violence, saying the “nation must heal in a civil manner”.
Melania Trump said in a statement called Our Path Forward released by the White House: “I implore people to stop the violence, never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness.”
House Democrats have vowed to press ahead quickly with impeachment. To impeach, in this context, means to bring charges in Congress, and Nancy Pelosi said Democrats could introduce a charge of “incitement of insurrection” against President Trump.
Senior lawmakers say a vote to impeach President Trump in the House could be held by mid-week.
Donald Trump could become the only president in US history to have been impeached twice.
Joe Biden has said impeachment is for Congress to decide, even though he has thought “for a long time President Trump was not fit to hold the job”.
President Donald Trump has been permanently suspended from Twitter “due to the risk of further incitement of violence”, the platform announces.
It said the decision was made “after close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account”.
The move comes amid a Big Tech purge of the online platforms used by President Trump and his supporters.
Some lawmakers and celebrities have been calling for years on Twitter to ban President Trump altogether.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted on January 7 that the Silicon Valley giants should stop enabling President Trump’s “monstrous behavior” and permanently expel him.
Donald Trump was locked out of his account for 12 hours on January 6 after he called the people who stormed the Capitol “patriots”.
Hundreds of the president’s supporters entered the complex as the Congress attempted to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. The ensuing violence led to the deaths of four civilians and a police officer.
Twitter warned then that it would ban President Trump “permanently” if he breached the platform’s rules again.
After being allowed back on Twitter, Donald Trump posted two tweets on January 8 that the company cited as the final straws.
In one, the president wrote: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
Twitter said this tweet “is being interpreted as further indication that President Trump does not plan to facilitate an ‘orderly transition'”.
In the next, he tweeted: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Twitter said this was “being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate”.
Twitter said both of these tweets were “in violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy”.
After Twitter had permanently suspended his @realDonaldTrump account, Donald Trump tweeted from the US president’s official @Potus account suggesting he would “look at the possibilities of building out our own platform in the future” and railing against Twitter.
The tweets were removed from the platform as soon as they were posted.
On January 8, Twitter permanently banned the account of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and two Trump loyalists: former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell.
Later in the day, Google suspended Parler – a self-styled “free speech” rival to Twitter that is increasingly popular with Trump supporters – from its online store.
The company said: “We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US.”
On January 7, Facebook said it had suspended President Trump “indefinitely”. The popular gaming platform Twitch also placed an indefinite ban on the outgoing president’s channel, which he has used for rally broadcasts. So has Snapchat.
Two online Trump memorabilia stores were closed this week by e-commerce company Shopify. On January 8, Reddit banned its “donaldtrump” forum for the president’s supporters.
Donald Trump used Twitter to insult adversaries, cheer allies, fire officials, deny “fake news” and vent grievances, often using all capital letters and exclamation marks to underline his point.
Though critics said the posts were a torrent of misinformation, the medium helped him get around media filters and instantly connect with nearly 89 million followers.
Donald Trump’s tweets were also known for the occasional spelling error, and he sometimes left followers guessing with apparent mis-types, such as when he posted: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”
In 2017, the Department of Justice said that President Trump’s tweets were “official statements of the President of the United States”.
Hundreds of protesters broke into buildings on Capitol Hill after attending a rally in support of President Donald Trump.
Some were carrying symbols and flags strongly associated with particular ideas and factions, but in practice many of the members and their causes overlap.
Jake Angeli – QAnon supporter
According to images, there were individuals associated with a range of extreme and far-right groups and supporters of fringe online conspiracy theories, many of whom have long been active online and at pro-Trump rallies.
One of the most startling images, quickly shared across social media, shows a man dressed with a painted face, fur hat and horns, holding an American flag.
The man has been identified as Jake Angeli, a well-known supporter of QAnon. Jake Angeli calls himself the QAnon Shaman.
According to Jake Angeli’s social media presence, he’s attending multiple QAnon events and posting YouTube videos about deep state conspiracies.
Angeli was pictured in November making a speech in Phoenix, Arizona, about unproven claims the election was fraudulent.
His personal Facebook page is filled with images and memes relating to all sorts of extreme ideas and conspiracy theories.
Proud Boys members
Another group spotted at the storming of the Capitol were members of the Proud Boys.
The far-right organization was founded in 2016 and is anti-immigrant and all male. In the first presidential debate President Trump in response to a question about white supremacists and militias said: “Proud Boys – stand back and stand by.”
One of their members, Nick Ochs, tweeted a selfie inside the Capitol building saying: “Hello from the Capital lol.”
Nick Ochs also filmed a live stream inside.
His profile on the messaging app Telegram describes himself as a “Proud Boy Elder from Hawaii.”
Richard Barnett – the man who entered Nancy Pelosi’s office
A photo that went viral of a man who had entered the office of Nancy Pelosi has been named as Richard Barnett from Arkansas.
Outside Capitol Hill buildings, Richard Barnett told the New York Times that he took an envelope from the speaker’s office and says left a note calling her an expletive.
Local media reports say Richard Barnett is involved in a group that supports gun rights, and that he was interviewed at a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally following the presidential election – a movement that refused to accept Joe Biden’s victory and supports the president’s unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud.
In the interview at the rally organized by ‘Engaged Patriots’ Richard Barnett said: “If you don’t like it, send somebody out to get me ’cause I ain’t going down easy.”
According to the Westside Eagle Observer, the group associated with Richard Barnett held a fundraiser in October with proceeds going towards body cameras for the local police department.
Individuals with large followings online were also spotted at the protests.
Among them was Tim Gionet, who goes under the pseudonym “Baked Alaska”.
Gionet’s livestream from inside the Capitol posted on a niche streaming service was watched by thousands of people and showed him talking to other protesters.
A Trump supporter, Tim Gionet has made a name for himself as an internet troll.
He has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, a nonprofit legal advocacy group, as a “white nationalist”, a label he disputed in a comment to The Insider.
YouTube banned Gionet’s channel in October after he posted videos of himself harassing shop workers and refusing to wear a face-mask during the coronavirus pandemic.
Other platforms that have previously shut down Gionet’s accounts include Twitter and PayPal.
Congress has certified Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice-president of the United States.
The electoral votes were approved after both the Senate and the House of Representatives rejected objections to the votes in the states of Pennsylvania and Arizona.
The normally procedural session of Congress was disrupted on January 6 when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building. The session resumed and continued through the night after the building was cleared.
The announcement was made by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, one of the four “tellers” appointed by the House and Senate to count the Electoral College votes.
She said: “The report we make is that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the president and vice president according to the ballots that have been given to us.”
VP Mike Pence, who as president of the Senate oversaw the certification process, confirmed to Congress that, of the 538 Electoral College votes cast, Joe Biden and Kamal Harris received 306 and Donald Trump and Mike Pence received 232 – mirroring the results of November’s election.
He said: “The announcement of the state of the vote by the President of the Senate shall be deemed as sufficient declaration of the persons elected President and Vice President of the United States, each for the term beginning on the 20th day of January, 2021 and shall be entered together with the list of the votes on the journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives.”
President Trump has just released a statement committing to “an orderly transition on January 20th” but repeating his unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” the president said, in a comment published on his spokesperson’s Twitter account.
Meanwhile, Twitter has temporarily blocked Donald Trump from using his own account.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” he added.
More than 60 legal cases by Trump’s campaign team challenging the November result have failed.
Supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory, alongside far-right pro-Trump groups, were planning the rally outside Congress for weeks.
QAnon is a baseless conspiracy theory that claims President Trump and a secret team of military intelligence officers have been waging a war against Satan-worshipping pedophiles in the Democratic party.
In addition, supporters of the “Stop the Steal” election movement, Proud Boys and other groups have been encouraging their followers to attend the march.
So-called “patriot caravans” and other initiatives were organized online to help transport activists to Washington DC in anticipation of today’s protest.
Many of those attending the rally had consumed viral conspiracy theories and misleading narratives about the presidential election on major online platforms, convinced that the vote was stolen from Donald Trump.
However, election officials have described the vote as the most secure in history.
Discussion on Gab and Parler, social media platforms popular with far-right groups banned from Facebook and Twitter, featured threats that anything other than Congress overturning the outcome would lead to “patriots” having to rescue their country from traitors, communists, Satanists and pedophiles.
Chaos has broken out within the Capitol as pro-Trump supporters break into the building.
The ongoing special House and Senate sessions have been recessed amid the escalating clashes between protesters and police.
Lawmakers had gathered to confirm the election of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden – an outcome rejected by protesters.
Photos show demonstrators gathered just outside the Senate chamber. Other images show demonstrators carrying firearms.
Capitol Police have put the Capitol Building on lockdown amid violent clashes between police and Trump supporters, gathered to protest the 2020 election results.
Footage shows demonstrators swarming the Capitol building, breaking the temporary barrier that had been put in place ahead of today’s events. Media describe some protesters climbing on parts of the Capitol building, attempting to get inside.
Capitol police have detained some protesters as they continue to storm the building.
Some demonstrators have broken into the Senate chamber, climbing on the side of the walls as police drew their weapons.
President Donald Trump has just tweeted another message to protesters who have stormed the US Capitol, saying: “No violence!”
He tweeted: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”
Capitol Hill police are calling for reinforcements as the violence continues at the Capitol.
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security said members of the Secret Service and the Federal Protective Service are currently meeting calls to provide assistance.
The Department of Defense has not yet decided to deploy the National Guard to back up law enforcement on the scene.
Protesters who have stormed the US Capitol are trespassing on federal property and may face charges.
After a summer of protests against coronavirus lockdown measures, including in Michigan where armed militia members stormed the state capitol, we’re now seeing similar scenes playing out in Washington DC.
While both chambers of the US Congress were meeting on January 6 to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s win over Donald Trump, the proceedings were interrupted by police clashes with rioters in adjoining corridors.
President Trump has for weeks claimed to have been the true winner, saying without evidence that the votes cast for Biden in crucial swing states were fraudulent.
He and his supporters have been pressing VP Mike Pence to overturn the election result by refusing to certify Joe Biden’s win, something that experts agree he does not have the legal power to do.
In the days leading up to the certification, President Trump said that he would attend the “Save America” rally happening in Washington on January 6, promising on Twitter that it would be “very big” and “wild”.
About an hour after President Trump addressed thousands on the National Mall, promising to “never concede” that he had lost, chaos was unleashed.
Lawmakers and reporters inside the building say they have been asked to evacuate, shelter in place and put on gas masks.
Both chambers of Congress abruptly stopped proceedings as they were debating November’s election results.
As his supporters storm into the Capitol in quickly-escalating protests, President Trump has broken his silence and tweeted for demonstrators to “support Capitol Police and Law Enforcement”.
Media report that tear gas has now been used inside the Capitol building as a growing number of demonstrators enter the building.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered a citywide curfew beginning at 18:00 EST.
The Republicans currently hold 52 of the 100 seats. If both Democrats win on December 5, the Senate will be evenly split, allowing incoming Democratic VP Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote.
This would be crucial for pushing through Joe Biden’s agenda, including on key issues such as healthcare and environmental regulations – policy areas with strong Republican opposition.
The Senate also has the power to approve or reject Joe Biden’s nominees for cabinet and judicial posts.
If Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock both win, it would bring the White House, Senate and the House of Representatives under Democratic control for the first time since President Barack Obama’s election in 2008.
Voting should last about 12 hours, ending at 19:00 local time, although all those still in line to vote at that time will be allowed to do so.
Democrats are hoping for a large turnout and have been buoyed by the fact that more than three million Georgians have already cast their ballots – nearly 40% of the state’s registered voters. Early voting was a key benefit for Joe Biden in the presidential election.
The Democrats will be looking to turn out supporters in major urban areas, particularly the suburbs of Atlanta. The issue of long lines of voters could be more of a problem for them.
For the Republicans, getting out voters on the day is even more crucial, and they will be looking to the stronghold of north Georgia, as well as rural areas and smaller towns.
Generally, results come in quickly but if these races are close, it could take days.
David Perdue nearly won first time out against Jon Ossoff in November, falling just short of the needed majority with 49.7%. The other seat had more candidates, with Democrat Raphael Warnock recording 32.9% to Kelly Loeffler’s 25.9%.
A Democrat has not won a Senate race in Georgia in 20 years but the party will be boosted by Joe Biden’s presidential election win over Donald Trump there. Joe Biden’s margin of victory was about 12,000 votes among five million cast.
Georgia’s black community is more than double America’s national proportion, making up a third of the population.
Across America, nine in 10 black voters supported Joe Biden in the presidential election, according to a survey of more than 110,000 voters for the Associated Press.
President Donald Trump has been recorded telling Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” enough votes to overturn the election result.
The president told Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a recording released by the Washington Post: “I just want to find 11,780 votes.”
Brad Raffensperger is heard replying that Georgia’s results are correct.
Joe Biden won Georgia alongside other swing states, winning 306 Electoral College votes to Donald Trump’s 232.
VP-elect Kamala Harris called President Trump’s comments “a bold abuse of power”.
It comes ahead of two crucial runoff elections in Georgia on January 5 that will decide which party controls the Senate.
Since the November 3 vote, President Trump has been making unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
All 50 states have certified the election result, some after recounts and legal appeals.
Congress is due to formally approve the election result on January 6 and Democrat Joe Biden is due to be inaugurated as president on January 20.
In excerpts of January 2 phone call released by the Washington Post, President Trump can be heard alternately cajoling and pressurizing Georgia’s secretary of state.
He insisted that he had won the election in Georgia and told Brad Raffensperger that there was “nothing wrong with saying you have recalculated”.
Brad Raffensperger responded by saying: “The challenge you have, Mr. President, is that the data you have is wrong.”
Later in the call, President Trump said the rumor was that ballots had been shredded and voting machinery had been removed from Fulton County in the state – claims denied by Brad Raffensperger’s lawyer.
The president then threatened the official with possible legal consequences.
He said: “You know what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal offence. You can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer.”
The president then called for the extra 11,780 votes – which would have given him a total of 2,473,634 votes in the state, one more than Joe Biden, who received 2,473,633 votes.
President Trump told Brad Raffensperger he should re-examine the result in the state.
He said: “You can re-examine it, but re-examine it with people who want to find answers, not people who don’t want to find answers.”
Brad Raffensperger replied: “Mr. President, you have people who submit information and we have our people that submit information, and then it comes before the court and the court has to make a determination.
“We have to stand by our numbers, we believe our numbers are right.”
President Trump also warned Brad Raffensperger that by refusing to recalculate the election result he would deter Republicans from turning out to vote in January 5 runoff elections for the Senate.
If the two Democratic contenders win, then there will be equal numbers of Republican and Democratic senators, and Kamala Harris, as vice-president-elect, will have the deciding vote.
Joe Biden’s Democrats already control the lower House of Representatives.
Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are due to visit Georgia on January 4 to campaign ahead of the elections.
On January 3, President Trump tweeted that Brad Raffensperger had not given details of the fraud the president alleges: “He has no clue!”
Brad Raffensperger tweeted back: “Respectfully, President Trump: What you’re saying is not true. The truth will come out.”
The White House has not commented on the release of the audio.
The total number of people who have died with Covid in the US stands at nearly 350,000. There are concerns that the figure could continue to surge following Christmas and New Year gatherings.
California meanwhile became the second state to confirm a case of the new strain of the virus, considered to be highly contagious. The first case of new variant of coronavirus was confirmed in Colorado.
Mitch McConnell rejected Democrats’ calls for the upper chamber to vote on the $2,000 cheques package passed by their counterparts in the House.
The Kentucky senator said the bill had “no realistic path to quickly pass the Senate”.
Speaking in the chamber on December 30, he said: “The Senate is not going to be bullied into rushing out more borrowed money into the hands of Democrats’ rich friends who don’t need the help.”
Instead Mitch McConnell offered to roll the proposal for bigger cheques into another bill to include other measures that have been requested by President Trump but raised objections from Democratic leaders.
One would end legal protection for tech companies, known as Section 230. The other would set up a bipartisan commission to investigate President Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of systemic electoral fraud.
Democrats said Mitch McConnell’s proposal was merely a legislative poison pill designed to kill higher stimulus payments.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who votes with Democrats, said on the Senate floor: “All we are asking for is a vote. What is the problem?
“If you want to vote against $2,000 checks for your state, vote against it.”
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said: “What we’re seeing right now is leader McConnell trying to kill the cheques – the $2,000 cheques desperately needed by so many American families.”
The GOP usually professes an opposition to government spending as an article of faith, but some of its top conservative senators have rallied behind President Trump’s call for $2,000 cheques.
They include Marco Rubio of Florida and Josh Hawley of Missouri, both considered possible presidential contenders in 2024.
President Donald Trump has urged Congress to amend a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill to more than triple its stimulus payments to Americans.
In a video message posted on Twitter, the president said the package “really is a disgrace”, full of “wasteful” items.
He said: “It’s called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid.”
The $900 billion bill includes one-off $600 payments to most Americans, but President Trump said the figure should be $2,000.
Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating a coronavirus stimulus rescue package since July and President Trump – who has largely stayed out of the talks – had been expected to sign the legislation into law following its passage through Congress on December 21.
The package of measures is linked to a bigger government spending bill, which includes foreign aid funding as well as a $1.4 trillion spending measure to fund federal agencies for the next nine months. Those agencies will have to shut if the president vetoes or refuses to sign it by midnight on December 28.
Most legislation that comes from Congress requires the approval of the president before becoming law. If the president rejects this bill, it would require at least a two-thirds majority in each chamber – the House of Representatives and the Senate – to override the veto.
However, President Trump has not specifically said he would veto the bill.
While Congress has overridden fewer than 10% of all presidential vetoes, media say there could be enough votes from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to do so in this instance.
In December 22 message from the White House, President Trump baulked at spending in the bill on other countries, arguing that this money should go to struggling Americans.
He said: “This bill contains $85.5 million for assistance to Cambodia, $134 million to Burma, $1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment, $25 million for democracy and gender programs in Pakistan, $505 million to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.”
President Trump questioned why the Kennedy Center, a performing arts complex in Washington DC, was set to receive $40 million when it is not open, and more than $1 billion has been allocated to museums and galleries in the capital.
He concluded: “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault. It was China’s fault.
“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple.
“I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a Covid relief package.”
On December 21, congressional leaders unveiled a 5,593-page package and voted on it several hours later.
Several lawmakers protested that they had not been given an opportunity to read the contents.
Nevertheless the bill sailed through the House of Representatives by 359-53 and the Senate by 92-6.
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