US mid-term elections 2018: Trump's invincible, but for how much longer?

Donald Trump Image copyright Getty Images

Though his name is not on the ballot anywhere across the US, make no mistake - these elections are ALL about Donald Trump.

He has put himself right bang in the centre of the campaign, and has been hurtling round the country energetically in these final days, Air Force One the taxpayer-funded backdrop to these highly partisan occasions.

He's been doing this in support of Republican candidates, yes - but ultimately making this a referendum on his presidency. Wherever possible, he has dictated the terms of debate. And no one dictates the terms of debate like he does.

Presidents have always commanded attention. Theodore Roosevelt called the White House his "bully pulpit" - the place from which he could demand attention and advance his agenda.

But Donald Trump has his own bully pulpit, 55 million Twitter followers and a penchant for saying the outrageous.

Read full article US mid-term elections 2018: Trump's invincible, but for how much longer?

Pugilist or peacemaker: The choice facing Donald Trump

memorial to Pittsburgh victims Image copyright AFP
Image caption A makeshift memorial for the Pittsburgh synagogue attack victims

One week, three profoundly disturbing cases, and a few burning questions.

First the incidents. Let me start with the least publicised. A 51-year-old white man tries to enter a predominantly black church in Jeffersontown, Kentucky. But when he can't get in, he goes to a nearby supermarket and shoots dead two elderly black people. It is being treated as a potential hate crime. The man in detention also had a history of mental illness and shouldn't have been able to own a gun.

Image copyright Google Street View
Image caption Two African-Americans were shot at this grocery store in Kentucky

Read full article Pugilist or peacemaker: The choice facing Donald Trump

From 'alternative facts' to rewriting history in Trump's White House

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Media captionDonald Trump: 'What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening'

It is time we sit and talk about truth and transparency.

Every now and then a few disparate things collide, and suddenly you see a pattern. And I don't want this blog to come across as faux naïve. I've covered politics for long enough to know that politicians will try to shape and mould truth to best suit their purposes, to allow them to weaponise the facts that will give them greatest advantage.

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Trump May meeting: The Wacky Races of news conferences

US President Donald Trump (L) and Britain"s Prime Minister Theresa May hold a joint press conference following their meeting at Chequers, the prime minister"s country residence, near Ellesborough, northwest of London on July 13, 2018 on the second day of Trump"s UK visit. Image copyright Getty Images

To say it was a sub-optimal start to a news conference would be an understatement.

In fact a huge British understatement. In fact, frankly ridiculous.

Read full article Trump May meeting: The Wacky Races of news conferences

Donald Trump prefers unscripted Kim summit in Singapore to G7 ritual

  • 10 June 2018
  • From the section Asia
US President Donald Trump impersonator Dennis (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un impersonator Howard (C-R) pictured against the Singapore Flyer and Marina Bay as they pose for photographers in Singapore, 08 June 2018 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Trump and Kim impersonators took to the streets ahead of the summit

The politics of the old and the politics of the new clashed exquisitely this weekend.

In Quebec at the G7 (the traditional way of doing things) the sherpas, political advisers and draftsmen toiled through two nights to find a form of words that all sides could sign up to.

Read full article Donald Trump prefers unscripted Kim summit in Singapore to G7 ritual

Comey may be many things, but is he really a liar?

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Media captionComey assesses Trump in new memoir

So let's cut straight to it. I've been reading the book, and watched the interview. I also spent hours listening to James Comey giving testimony to Congress before he was fired and afterwards. And my views about him have coalesced.

I think he is vain, arrogant, pious, slightly pompous, supercilious, faux-naïve over the Hillary Clinton emails and the role he played in determining the outcome of the election, and sly in the personal comments he makes about Donald Trump - orange face, white half-moon eyes and (not unusually small) hands.

Read full article Comey may be many things, but is he really a liar?

Stormy Daniels and Trump: Should the president be worried?

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Media captionStormy Daniels: 'I was threatened'

A porn star has given details in a television interview of an alleged affair with the US president. What impact might this have on Donald Trump?

Like kids waiting for Santa to come down the chimney, how can the expectation and anticipation ever live up to the reality?

Read full article Stormy Daniels and Trump: Should the president be worried?

Tillerson sacking: Where it went wrong for Rex

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Media captionFrom "moron" to "castration": a history of Trump v Tillerson bust-ups

The Las Vegas shootings were Donald Trump's first experience of being consoler-in-chief.

After a man barricaded himself into the Mandalay Bay hotel and over a terrifying 10 minutes opened fire on concertgoers below, killing dozens and injuring hundreds, the president went to Vegas and met families, first responders, medics and the emergency services.

Read full article Tillerson sacking: Where it went wrong for Rex

Florida shooting: Why the NRA wields so much power

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Media captionPresident Trump has become an enthusiastic supporter of the NRA

Every time there's a mass shooting in America there are calls for action to stop it from happening again. But any effort to introduce stricter gun laws always falters in the US Congress - and that's in large part because of the power of the National Rifle Association. Here's a closer look at how they wield that power.

Read full article Florida shooting: Why the NRA wields so much power

What is Trumpism?

US President Donald J. Trump Image copyright Getty Images

It was repeatedly said during the 2016 presidential campaign that the press never really got why Donald Trump was doing so well, summed up in a brilliant sound bite coined by a US journalist, who said that the media took him literally and not seriously, while the American public took him seriously but not literally.

In other words, Trump supporters knew there was boasting and braggadocio. They knew he wouldn't do exactly what he said, but they liked the sentiment, all summed up in his blood and thunder inaugural speech.

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