Trump news – live: Ex-president receives backlash over his criticism of Brittney Griner

Related video: Arizona GOP censures Rusty Bowers after Jan. 6 testimony

Guy Reffitt, the 6 January rioter found guilty on five felony charges earlier this year, is set to be sentenced today – with the Department of Justice seeking a sentence enhancement on the grounds that he committed an act of domestic terrorism.

Reffitt was the first accused Capitol rioter to be tried before a jury after pleading not guilty. A member of the so-called militia group the Three Percenters, he threatened his family with violence if they turned him in to authorities – but his son nonetheless did just that.

Meanwhile, Republican Arizona state house speaker Rusty Bowers has vowed to never vote for former president Donald Trump – and said “America’s tired” of him.

Mr Bowers, who drew the ire of the Arizona GOP for testifying to the Jan 6 committee, explained in an interview that those supporting the former president “rule by thuggery and intimidation”.

“So you know, they found a niche, they found a way and it’s fear, and people can use fear, demagogues like to use fear as a weapon,” he said. “And they weaponise everything, and we all know it. But that’s not leadership to me to use thuggery”.


Election deniers try to seize control of key positions

The 2020 election’s shadow continues to loom over the 2022 midterm cycle and November could end up being a key referendum on whether the conspiracy theories that sprung out of 2020 have any sway over the general populace.

Conspiracy-supporting candidates are openly running for office in several states, including in swing states like Michigan and Nevada just to name a few.

The Associated Press dives in to the spread of election conspiracies through the GOP’s 2022 bench and whether it will turn off voters in November.


Trump: No deal to bring Brittney Griner home if I was in White House

Former President Donald Trump attacked WNBA star Brittney Griner and accused her of being “loaded up with drugs” in a new interview while suggesting that he wouldn’t work to end her imprisonment in Russia if he was still in the White House.

Speaking on The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show on Saturday he sharply criticised reports that have circulated since May suggesting that the Biden administration was proposing a prisoner swap that would free Ms Griner and ex-Marine Paul Whelan in exchange for the extradition of a Russian arms dealer to Moscow.

Read more from Bevan Hurley and Gustaf Kilander in The Independent:


Michigan secretary of state heading off efforts to challenge primary results

Michigan’s top elections official is warning campaigns and candidates against trying any funny business as a contentious primary season comes to a close with an election on Tuesday.

Jocelyn Benson, the Michigan Secretary of State, made the declaration in an interview with The Detroit News in which she echoed comments she has made on social media in the past several days.

“Any attempts to block the certification of our elections, regardless of the results, will be futile,” she told the news outlet.

John Bowden writes that her remarks would seem alarmist were it not for the fact that five Republican candidates previously running in the gubernatorial primary were kicked off Tuesday’s ballot.


Could Trump lose the GOP the Senate?

Negative impressions of former president Donald Trump are dragging down Republican candidates for the US Senate in four key swing state races, according to a recent poll commissioned by a political action committee affiliated with a top former Trump adviser.

The survey of 1200 voters — 300 general election voters each in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Georgia — was commissioned by the John Bolton Super PAC. The PAC is run by Ambassador John Bolton, Mr Trump’s third national security adviser.

It found that Trump-endorsed candidates in three of the four states trail their Democratic opponents and have largely unfavourable ratings with “independent and undecided voters”.

Andrew Feinberg has more.


Trump on “weak” Rusty Bowers…

Following Rusty Bowers’ searing broadcast interview yesterday, Donald Trump has torn into the Arizona house speaker, calling him “‘weak’ and wrong on everything”.


Trump trails key Senate endorsement

Donald Trump has “truthed” that he will be throwing an endorsement into Missouri’s Republican Senate primary, which is tomorrow. He has already said that candidate Vicki Hartzler “does not have what it takes”; the question is whether he will back former governor and accused domestic abuser Eric Greitens or sitting Attorney General Eric Schmitt. Polls currently show a tight race.

Trump trails Missouri Senate endorsement on Truth Social

(Truth Social)


Who is Guy Reffitt?

As he faces his sentencing for his part in the Capitol riot, here’s a rundown on why Guy Reffitt’s case matters:

It took the jury of six men and six women just under four hours to find Mr Reffitt guilty on five counts: civil disorder; obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; and hindering communication through physical force or threat of physical force. He is set to be sentenced on 8 June, where he faces a maximum of 60 years in prison.

Mr Reffitt is notorious for two things: the fact that he pleaded not guilty to the five counts brought against him, and the fact that he allegedly threatened to kill his own children if they turned him in.


Trump mockingly accuses Biden of dementia

In a characteristically vicious “truth” on his bespoke social media platform yesterday, Donald Trump responded to news that Joe Biden had tested positive for Covid-19 once again. It rolls together mockery of the president’s cognitive ability with a conspiracy theory about the 2020 election in Wisconsin that appears to have been obsessing Mr Trump of late. Take a look below…


ICYMI: Rusty Bowers’s interview

Republican Arizona State House Speaker Rusty Bowers has spoken out against Trumpism in a deepening row with former president Donald Trump over his testimony to the January 6 committee.

“They rule by thuggery and intimidation. So you know, they found a niche, they found a way and it’s fear, and people can use fear, demagogues like to use fear as a weapon. And they weaponise everything, and we all know it. But that’s not leadership to me to use thuggery”, Mr Bowers said.

Mr Bowers, 69, was censured by the Arizona GOP a month after his testimony. On 21 June, Mr Bowers told the committee that Mr Trump pressured him to overturn the results in Arizona, a state President Joe Biden won narrowly.

Concerning the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, Mr Bowers said: “If we want to base a party and an authority and move people to solve problems, you can’t base it on a lie. Ultimately, that falls apart.”

Gustaf Kilander has more.


What’s in Jared Kushner’s book?

Jared Kushner is joining the long list of former Trump White House officials publishing memoirs in an attempt to capitalise from four years serving a celebrity president whose ex-employees have launched an empire of media gigs and pet projects.

Breaking History has much in common with the memoirs put out by other Trump alumni, with descriptions of lurid, explosive moments that would seem deeply out of place in any other administration. What may be unique about Mr Kushner’s, however, is the pairing of unflattering portrayals of the Trump White House with the unlikelihood that Mr Trump himself will denounce the work or its author.

John Bowden takes a look at the most newsworthy findings from the latest offering to arise from the ignominious end of the Trump presidency.


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