Biden news – live: Trump sets up new website, as president releases slate of federal judicial nominations

Biden watching Derek Chauvin trial ‘closely’, Psaki says

Donald Trump has launched an official website to showcase his time in office, including a glowing 850-word synopsis of his four-year presidency but making no mention of the scandals, corruption investigations, two impeachments or the attacks on democratic institutions that framed his presidency.

The 45office.com website’s home page displays multiple pictures of Trump with various figures including his wife Melania, members of the military and world leaders, which were taken at multiple events during his time as president. “The Office of Donald J Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump Administration, while at the same time advancing the America First agenda,” the message on website’s home page read.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s Covid response senior adviser Andy Slavitt has said that US governor’s lifting mask mandates “know they’re not helping,” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to CNN on Tuesday morning, the adviser claimed: “I think the governor’s know better. I think the governor’s know that they are not helping the cause.”

Mr Slavitt added: “To me, a mask seems like a very small price to pay for saving people’s lives.”

The adviser made the comments to CNN after Alabama governor Kay Ivey confirmed that the state will move to rescind its face mask ban.

Read more:

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Biden administration waives rule for disabled borrowers that cancels $1.3bn in student loan debt

The Biden administration has taken more steps to address student debt by implementing relief measures for borrowers with total and permanent disabilities.

The Department of Education announced on Monday that it would now waive the requirement for eligible borrowers to submit income information during the coronavirus pandemic.

“These changes will ensure no borrowers are at risk of having their loans reinstated, meaning they would have to repay their debt – for failure to provide earnings information during the Covid-19 emergency,” the department said in a press release.

Read Danielle Zoellner’s full article here:

Justin Vallejo30 March 2021 18:40

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‘Rebranding’ of Biden-Harris admin reflects VP’s role ‘moving forward’

Press secretary Jen Psaki says the rebranding of the Biden administration into the Biden-Harris administration, as seen on the White House’s website, was a reflection of her role “moving forward.

“I would take from it that vice president Harris is an important partner, she’s the first in the room the last in the room on most occasions if she’s in town and not travelling around the country, it’s a reflection of the important role she will play moving forward,” she said.

Joe Biden said during his first press conference as president that he intended to run for a second term in 2024. But when pressed on it further, he said it was too far away to be so sure.

“Look I don’t know where you guys come from man. I’ve never been able to travel. I’m a great respecter of fate. I haven’t been able to plan four and a half, three and a half, years ahead for certain,” he said.

Justin Vallejo30 March 2021 18:34

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Biden tweets support for the Asian-American community, calling rising violence ‘un-American’

Joe Biden has tweeted support for the Asian-American community, calling rising violence “un-American”.

Since March 2020, nearly 3,800 incidents have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate, which is a California-based reporting centre for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, with 68 per cent of the incidents recorded against Asian women.

The United Nations also expects to have recorded a significant rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans in the US over the past 12 months, with the anti-China rhetoric of former President Donald Trump and other Republicans in relation to the coronavirus pandemic being blamed by many experts.

On Tuesday afternoon, the US President tweeted: “We can’t be silent in the face of rising violence against Asian Americans. That’s why today I’m taking additional steps to respond–including establishing an initiative at the Department of Justice to address anti-Asian crimes.

“These attacks are wrong, un-American, and must stop.

James Crump30 March 2021 18:15

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Trump was right on Space Force, says White House

Press secretary Jen Psaki agreed that Trump’s policy on space is the one area that Joe Biden agrees with the former president.

“I think that sounds accurate to me,” Psaki said, somewhat awkwardly when questioned.

Guardians assemble.

Justin Vallejo30 March 2021 18:15

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White House slams WHO report on Covid-19 origins

Press secretary Jen Psaki slammed the World Health Organization’s report on the origins of Covid-19, saying there were concerns over the transparency behind the investigative team’s process.

“The report lacks crucial data, information and access, it represents a partial and incomplete picture,” Ms Psaki said.

“We don’t believe in our review to date that it meets the moment, it meets the impact that this pandemic has had on the global community.”

Justin Vallejo30 March 2021 18:07

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White House daily briefing underway

Press secretary Jen Psaki is holding court.

Follow live with The Independent.

Watch live as White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds briefing

Justin Vallejo30 March 2021 17:58

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Derek Chauvin trial: Witness says he ‘witnessed a murder’ during compelling testimony

A man who witnessed George Floyd’s death said he believed he had witnessed a murder while delivering testimony on Tuesday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who faces second-degree murder charges.

Donald Williams, a mixed martial artist who called 911 after watching the former police officer press his knee into Mr Floyd’s neck for several minutes, said: “I believe I witnessed a murder. I felt the need to call the police on the police.”

Mr Williams said Mr Floyd appeared to be “going through tremendous pain” as he was detained by Mr Chauvin, adding: “You can see it in his eyes, slowly rolling back in his head and him having his mouth open, wide open, slowly with drool and slobber and dryness on his mouth.”

James Crump30 March 2021 17:55

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Congresswoman urges Republicans to take Covid vaccine after death of husband

Louisiana congresswomen-elect Julia Letlow is urging fellow Republicans to get vaccinated against Covid-19, citing the tragic death of her own husband from complications caused by the virus.

“Look at my family. Use my story,” Ms Letlow said on CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday morning. 

“You know, I experienced a tragedy in my immediate family, and Covid can touch every family out there,” continued Ms Letlow. “And so there is a vaccine that has life-saving capabilities, I want to encourage everyone to trust it and get the vaccine.”

Earlier this month, Ms Letlow won a special election to take the seat that her late husband Luke, won in last year’s election. He died in December, aged 41, before taking office.

Read Oliver O’Connell’s full article here:

James Crump30 March 2021 17:35

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Matt Gaetz considering retirement from Congress for Newsmax job

Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida was considering an early retirement from Congress for a job at the conservative-leaning network Newsmax, Axios reported. 

The Republican, 38, told confidantes in private that he may not run for re-election and instead leave before his term ends to join the network, three sources told the publication about the conversation.

His term would be up in 2022, but Mr Gaetz was reportedly considering leaving the position earlier to instead become a media personality with Newsmax.

The conservative-leaning network has grown in popularity among Republicans and Trump supporters following the 2020 presidential election.

Read Danielle Zoellner’s full article here:

James Crump30 March 2021 17:15

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NAACP praises Biden’s federal judicial nominations

The NAACP has praised Joe Biden’s federal judicial nominations, following his announcement of them on Wednesday morning.

In a statement on Wednesday, the White House said that it has nominated 10 “individuals to serve as Federal Circuit and District Court judges, and one individual to serve as a Superior Court Judge for the District of Columbia.

Mr Biden added: “This trailblazing slate of nominees draws from the very best and brightest minds of the American legal profession.”

The nominations are diverse, including three African American women chosen for the Circuit Court vacancies and the first woman of colour to serve as a federal judge for the District of Maryland.

Responding to the nominations, the NAACP tweeted on Wednesday: “Only eight Black women have ever served on our nation’s appellate courts.Today, President Biden nominated three more Black women appellate judges. #RepresentationMatters.”

James Crump30 March 2021 16:50

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