Midterm elections – LIVE: Trump fires Jeff Sessions after accusing black reporter of 'racist question' in chaotic press conference

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Donald Trump took a characteristically combative tone with journalists during a post-midterms press conference at the White House

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Donald Trump took a characteristically combative tone with journalists during a post-midterms press conference at the White House

President Donald Trump has hit out at a black reporter for asking a “racist question” about the president calling himself a nationalist, as well as calling CNN‘s Jim Acosta a “rude” in a bad-tempered first press conference after the midterm elections

President Trump was asked by Yamiche Alcindor of PBS Newshour, an African American reporter whether the Republican party has supported white nationalists. Mr Trump called it “it’s a very racist question” and Ms Alcindor a “terrible person.”

Mr Trump said: “I don’t believe it… why do I have my highest numbers with African-Americans?”. He told Mr Acosta to “put down the mic” as he tried to ask a follow-up question. CNN has been a frequent target of the president and his criticism of what he calls “fake news”.

Prior to the spat with reporters, Mr Trump called the midterms election result a “huge victory” with the Republicans keeping hold of control of the Senate, although they lost control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats.

Soon after that rambling and defensive press conference, Mr Trump announced via his Twitter account that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was resigning from his post in the administration. Mr Sessions will be replaced by acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who will reportedly oversee special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Mr Whitaker has reportedly been critical of that probe, and has argued that Mr Mueller’s team should have limitations.

Follow the latest updates in our live blog below

2018-11-08T01:07:07.000Z

Matthew Whitaker has been named as the acting attorney general of the United States, and if the past is any indicator, he may be a bit more satisfactory for Mr Trump.

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2018-11-08T00:47:07.000Z

Likely incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — a Democrat — has suggested that Mr Sessions’ resignation from office is an attempted by mr Trump to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

She tweeted as much on Wednesday after it was announced that Mr Sessions was leaving the Justice Department.

2018-11-08T00:27:07.000Z

Here’s a copy of now-former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ letter of resignation, posted on Twitter by NPR reporter Tamara Keith.

2018-11-08T00:07:07.000Z

Four states voted on marijuana legalisation on Tuesday, and three ballot initiatives were passed by voters.

Here’s a look at our write up on those, and where marijuana legalisation stands across the country.
2018-11-07T23:47:07.000Z

Here’s the latest from Mr Sessions’ time at the Justice Department, from the Associated Press:

Jeff Sessions has left the Justice Department for his last time as attorney general.

Sessions walked out Wednesday evening to applause from more than 150 employees who gathered in a courtyard at the Justice Department.

As he left, Sessions appeared emotional and said, “Thank you” and “God bless,” before hopping into a waiting SUV.

He also shook hands with his chief of staff Matthew Whitaker, who was appointed acting attorney general on Wednesday after Sessions resigned at the president’s request.

Whitaker told Sessions: “It’s been an honor, sir.”

2018-11-07T23:32:07.000Z

  

President Donald Trump appeared to dodge a question about two Muslim women winning seats in congress on Tuesday, saying he did not understand the reporter asking the question.

The comment came during a particularly messy press conference, when the reporter from an international outlet asked about the two candidates.

Watch the exchange in the tweet below:

2018-11-07T23:17:07.000Z

The consequences of Tuesday’s midterms could be quite large for President Donald Trump, who is the only president in modern history to not have voluntarily released his tax returns.

Representative Richard Neal, the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee — a committee now controlled by Democrats after they regained control of the House after eight years — has said that he plans on using his committee to force the release of Mr Trump’s tax returns.

The returns have been the source of much speculation during Mr Trump’s 2016 campaign and after. The president, through investigations, has been accused to varying degrees of tax evasion in the media, but has denied using any unlawful mechanisms in his personal finances.

2018-11-07T23:02:07.000Z

One of the more interesting races in yesterday’s midterms was the Senate race in Montana, where President Donald Trump became personally invested.

Mr Trump campaigned several times in favour of Republican Matt Rosendale, who was trying to unseat Democratic incumbent Senator Jon Tester. Mr Tester, according to predictions, has managed to win re-election in spite of the president’s involvement.

2018-11-07T22:47:07.000Z

Senator-elect Mitt Romney has become at least the third Republican to mention special counsel Robert Mueller in a note thanking Jeff Sessions for serving as attorney general.

In a tweet, Mr Romney  — the former governor of Massachusetts and 2012 Republican presidential nominee — said that the Russia probe should not be impeded.

“I want to thank Jeff Sessions for his service to our country as Attorney General,” Mr Romney wrote. “Under Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, it is imperative that the important work of the Justice Department continues, and that the Mueller investigation proceeds to its conclusion unimpeded”.

2018-11-07T22:32:01.156Z

Mr Schumer said that any attempt to interfere with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe – which will now be overseen  will be a “constitutional crisis”.

 

2018-11-07T22:25:28.463Z

Mr Schumer also issued a statement calling on Matthew Whitaker about comments saying the Russia investigation should be curtailed.

€œ”Given his previous comments advocating defunding and imposing limitations on the Mueller investigation, Mr Whitaker should recuse himself from its oversight for the duration of his time as acting attorney general,” Mr Schumer said.

2018-11-07T22:18:28.643Z

Democrat leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer has been speaking about both the midterms and Donald Trump’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

First came this tweet, as Mr Trump announced Mr Session’s replacement.

2018-11-07T21:59:46.596Z

On the issue of the Democrat vote. There may not have been a “blue wave”, but the statistics make interesting reading.

Of the sixty House races in eight northeastern states, including New York and New Jersey, not a single Republican is set to  57 per cent of the vote, according to The New York Times.

 

2018-11-07T21:37:54.000Z

Mike Pence tweeted the following statement shortly after Donald Trump’s unwieldy press conference: “The American people have spoken. In race after race, @POTUS Trump’s leadership & tireless efforts made the difference. This was a great midterm election. Thanks to @POTUS, we made history. In fact, we defied history.”

2018-11-07T21:31:54.000Z

Steve Knight has reportedly left a “voicemail” to Katie Hill conceding his election to the millennial Democrat. As a millennial, however, it’s unclear whether she will actually check that voicemail:

2018-11-07T21:26:54.000Z

Donald Trump mocked the Republicans who lost their elections and decidedly avoided supporting his presidency along the campaign trail:

2018-11-07T21:21:54.000Z

Youth voter turnout in the 2018 midterms was among the highest it has ever been in modern American history. 

2018-11-07T21:18:54.000Z

Read the full exchange Donald Trump had with a reporter surrounding the ongoing Russia investigation:

2018-11-07T21:11:54.000Z

CNN’s Jim Acosta has responded on air to Donald Trump’s attacks on him as a reporter, saying he “didn’t like being challenged” on his “falsehoods.”

2018-11-07T21:11:54.000Z

This controversial photo of a man wearing an offensive shirt showing a Confederate flag and rope tied to use for hangings went viral after some said he was poll worker. The man was not an election official, however, the photo is reportedly authentic in that it shows a voter who cast his ballot donning the inappropriate attire. 

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