US President Donald Trump’s firm grip on the Republican Party in Washington is beginning to crumble, leaving him more politically isolated than at any other point in his turbulent administration.
After causing a ruckus in the crowd that later launched a violent siege on the US Capitol, Trump appears to have lost some of his strongest allies, including South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
Two Cabinet members and at least half a dozen aides have resigned. A number of Republican members of Congress are openly considering whether to join the new push for impeachment.
A Republican senator who has split with Trump in the past asked him to resign and questioned whether he would stay in the party.
“I want him out,” Senator Lisa Murkowski, from Alaska, told The Anchorage Daily News. “He’s done quite a lot of damage.”
The uprising after a bruised election defeat in Georgia that hurt Republican control in the Senate achieved what another low point in Trump’s presidency did not: compel Republicans to fundamentally reassess their relationship with a leader who has long abandoned tradition and decency.
The result could reshape the party, threatening the influence Trump craves and creating divisions between those in Washington and activists on various swaths of the country where the president is very popular.
“At this point, I won’t stand up for him anymore,” said Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary for George W Bush and a Republican strategist who voted for Trump. “I’m not going to defend him for stirring up the pot inciting the masses. He’s alone.”
As the week began, Trump was undoubtedly the most dominant political force in Republican politics and a monarch of 2024, if not the next GOP presidential candidate himself. Currently, there is a growing feeling that he is forever tarnished – and will probably be forced out of office before his term expires in 12 days.
“I’m now focused on us taking control as president and vice president on the 20th and getting our agenda moving as fast as we can,” Biden told reporters.
Trump still has supporters, especially among many Republican voters and conservative activists outside Washington.
Yesterday, there was loud applause and chants of “We love you!” when Trump called into a Republican National Committee breakfast meeting in Florida.
“Most of the committee is in complete denial,” said Republican National Committee member Bill Palatucci, from New Jersey, who attended the breakfast. “They are willing to condemn the violence, but without referring to the president’s role in it all.”
The president insisted he had done nothing wrong. He continued to tell his aides, at least personally, that the election was stolen from him.
Republican officials in the state’s critical battlefield, the attorney general who recently left and a number of judges – including those appointed by Trump – have dismissed the claims as inappropriate.
Trump had to be persuaded to shoot a video released yesterday in which he ended up condemning the rioters and admitting defeat in November for the first time, while initially rejecting the prospect of speaking negatively about “my people”.
He finally agreed to shoot the video after White House adviser Pat Cipollone warned he could face legal danger for inciting unrest.
Others, including chief of staff Mark Meadows and daughter Ivanka Trump, urged Trump to send messages that might quell talk of forced dismissal from office, either by impeachment or the constitutional procedures outlined in the 25th Amendment.
And while Trump acknowledged in the video that a new administration would take over on January 20, he said so today he will not attend Biden’s inauguration. That makes Trump the first outgoing president since Andrew Johnson 152 years ago to miss the inauguration of his successor.
Trump has no plans to disappear from political debate once he leaves office, according to aides who believe he remains immensely popular among Republican ranks.
Lest there be any doubt, Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the November defeat resonated with hundreds of thousands of Republican voters in this week’s Georgia Senate second round election.
About seven in 10 agree with his false statement that Biden is not a legally elected president, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 3700 voters.
After closely reviewing the most recent Tweets from @bayu_joo and the surrounding context, we have permanently suspended accounts due to the risk of further incitement to violence.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y
The leading poll from the Republican Party, Frank Luntz, has had extensive conversations with grassroots voters and Republican officials about Trump’s position since the siege.
“The professionals are fleeing the sunken ship, but his own supporters have not abandoned him, and they actually want him to continue fighting,” Luntz said. “He will be the voice of God to tens of millions of people, and they will follow him to the ends of the earth and off the cliffs.”
And because of continued voter loyalty, elected officials in the crimson region must remain loyal to the outgoing president as well, even if his own cabinet is not. Hours after this week’s unrest, 147 Republicans in Congress still voted against Biden’s victory, including eight senators.
The dramatic split within the party is reflected in the different paths adopted by the initial list of prospects for the Republican 2024 presidency.
Senators Josh Hawley, from Missouri, and Ted Cruz, from Texas, accepted Trump’s calls to reject Biden’s victory before and after the mob attacks. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton rejected Trump’s wishes, drawing angry tweets from the President earlier this week.
Such attacks were less impactful at the end of the week as they had been given Trump’s weak political state. Yesterday, Cotton slammed fellow Republicans such as Hawley and Cruz, for giving voters “false hope” that Trump’s November defeat could be undone.
Nikki Haley, who served as the US ambassador to the United Nations under Trump, tried to follow suit when she condemned Trump’s actions this week during a closed meeting with the Republican National Committee.
He praised some of Trump’s accomplishments but predicted that, “His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.”
Meanwhile, there is no clear path for Republicans without Trump. Speaking to reporters today, even Biden raised concerns about the health of the GOP.
“We need the Republican Party,” said Biden, noting that he spoke with Republican Senator Mitt Romney, a prominent Trump critic. “We need a principled and strong opposition.”
Meanwhile, Trump has planned ways to maintain his political influence once he moves from the White House to his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, at the end of the month.
Trusting that his supporters will stay with him no matter what, he continues to address the major challenges pushing against Republicans who are not yet loyal enough to him. And he has hinted publicly and privately that he is likely to challenge Biden in a 2024 rematch.
Doug Deason, a Texas-based donor who served on Trump’s campaign finance committee, said this week’s events did nothing to shake his confidence in the Republican president.
“He has been the best president of my life, including Reagan,” said Deason.
The view on Melbourne’s St Kilda Beach last night. Photo / David Geraghty, News Corp Australia
Australian health authorities are bracing for the worst after it emerged that Victoria’s latest confirmed case of coronavirus had gone undetected for 10 days.
During that time, those infected visited a number of densely populated areas – including a major shopping mall on Christmas Eve – which exposed thousands of Melburners to Covid-19.
There are no new Covid cases in the community at this time, the health authority said, but 170 of the main contacts from yesterday’s eight cases have been identified and more cases are expected in the coming days.
“I hope we will see more cases out of the 170 close contacts and also that the number continues to increase in terms of secondary contacts,” said lead examiner Jeroen Weimar.
The race is now to trace contacts and test as many people as possible to contain the outbreak, which is believed to have spread from Sydney.
The person suspected of being “patient zero” in the new outbreak visited Sydney before returning to Melbourne on 19 December.
Victoria has closed its border with NSW, which is struggling to contain an outbreak that started on the north coast but has now spread across the city and beyond.
A new cluster at Croydon in Sydney’s inner west grew again yesterday, with more details on extended family movements at the epicenter of the outbreak released.
Authorities in both states appealed to the public to avoid last night’s New Year’s celebrations amid concerns it could lead to a “supersebar” event.
While people in Sydney adhere to it, it’s a different story in Melbourne, where hundreds of people packing the beaches of St Kilda and Federation Square to ring in 2021.
Laura Waters, pictured at Masons Hut, the last shack on the South Island on the Te Araroa Trail. Photo / Laura Waters
My eyes cloud as I think about the time I walked from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Here it is again, my friends must be thinking as I talk about the joys, tribulations, and amazing sights encountered during a 3000 km journey through this country. As far as a once-in-a-lifetime trip, setting foot in Te Araroa has been transformative, and its long-term effects on my life have only made it even more memorable. With the challenges of today’s world, fleeing into the wild is again a tantalizing choice.
Long-distance lines are gaining popularity around the world and in 2011 New Zealand launched its own line, a linear route connecting many pre-existing lines with several new links. In the north it winds from the west coast to the east and back again, via secluded beaches, mossy forest, the volcanic desert of Tongariro National Park, and knife-tipped ridges across the Tararua Mountains. To the south, a more direct route up and along the dramatic Southern Alps is required. About once a week, sometimes more often, the walkway intersects the city where hot showers and general stores offer the opportunity to refresh and recharge.
When I left in 2013, Te Araroa was an unknown quantity, a trail that few people have managed to complete. Even though I had walked a dozen or more days under my belt, none were even more than 65 km so it was an experiment with fire on body and mind. I need it. After the closure of toxic relationships and the stress of city life, my world has been taken over by crippling anxiety and depression, the symptoms miraculously and magically disappearing within weeks of being immersed in the peace and simplicity of nature.
Then I fixed a problem I wasn’t even aware of. Walking the trails, I face countless challenges: steep, open mountains, sudden blizzards, a number of unobstructed river crossings, dubious trail signs, shoulder dislocations and, not least, loss of hiking companions. I got injured on the second day. But in overcoming this challenge I found a hitherto untapped inner intellect and courage. I learned to adapt to the environment, listen to my heart’s content and overcome fear. I found I was able to do more than I realized and I noticed how little you need to be happy – food, shelter, and a bag of belongings is enough. It is clear that life can be fun if you simplify it and eliminate the “noise.” The insights gained during those five months changed my life forever, leading to a career change and a substantial re-establishment of personal beliefs and worldviews.
Taking the entire route will give you an experience like no other, but if you can’t spare the time or energy to wade the 3000 km, consider climbing the section, taking bite-sized stages over a long period of time. Alternatively, choose an interesting part of the cherry. The stretch from St Arnaud to Boyle Village, across from Nelson’s Lake National Park on the South Island, really evokes a few tears from me as I see its beautiful snow-capped mountains, fast-flowing rivers and vast boulder fields.
If you’re curious to know what it’s like to have the beach all to yourself for four days, the first 100 kilometers south of Cape Reinga follows the secluded golden trail of Ninety Mile Beach. Mount Pirongia, in Waikato, marks the first true mountain range for hikers to the south and a two-day portion of its steep green mossy cliffs. Real delights are lesser-known finds such as the stunning jungle on North Island Hakarimata Road or Telford Tops on the Takitimu Trail to the south. The four-day Mavora Walkway, south of Queenstown, is also renowned for its lakes, mountains, beech forest and amazing sense of isolation.
The highlight of the trail – which incidentally doesn’t involve walking – is the 200 kilometers paddling up the Whanganui River. Kayaks and canoes can be rented at Taumarunui for a six-day paddle out to sea in Whanganui. About 200 rapids are scattered along the route, light enough for beginners to traverse yet foamy enough to get their heart racing. In some places, the river carves its way through steep-sided canyon walls dotted with ferns and gushing waterfalls, and campsites overlooking snaking water are some of the most beautiful places I have ever come across.
Most of the nights on the North Island are spent in tents, but on the South Island, hikers can make use of many DoC huts on their way, especially when the weather turns challenging. Buying an inland cottage entry ticket will give you access to all the huts on the trail and while some have all the sophistication and comfort of a garden shed, others are double-layered masterpieces with cozy wood-burning stoves and five-star views.
I’m not going to cover it with sugar, walk all day, every day, need a little energy. I made it past the 10kg Whittakers in the five months it took me to complete the trail and I’m still losing weight (ah, those were the days). Te Araroa is also not for the faint of heart. The terrain is quite challenging at times and can be exposed to bad weather, but nothing compares to the feeling of being completely connected to the mainland as you peer through your flying tent as the moon rises over the remote Ahuriri River Valley. Or the shadow of a killer whale’s dorsal fin slicing through the surface of Queen Charlotte Sound as you follow the ridge trail above. Or a softer owl chirp in the dark northern forest night. Moments like magic make the trouble worth it.
Laura Waters is the author of Bewildered’s memoir, about her 3,000km hike along New Zealand.
ROAD WAY The Te Araroa Trail stretches 3000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff and takes between 4-6 months to complete. Topographic maps, track records and further information can be downloaded from teararoa.org.nz
For more New Zealand travel ideas and inspiration, visit newzealand.com
This story was first published in the New Zealand Herald Travel on October 1
As a result, football fans and scouts from all over the world are watching Brasileirao to see some of today’s stars of the day, as well as some of the most exciting and entertaining matches on television, filled with extraordinary technical skills and plenty of goals.
The 2020 Serie A season will start on May 3 and end in December but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament calendar has been suspended before finally starting in August. Now it will continue until February 24, 2021, unless there is a further delay.
How to watch Vasco vs Santos on US TV
Fresh from qualifying for the Copa Libertadores semifinals, Santos visits Vasco on Saturday.
Peixe secured their last fourth place since 2011 in style, beating Gremio 4-1 at the Vila Belmiro to secure a 5-2 aggregate win.
That Copa deployment has an impact on Santos’ domestic prospects, with Cuca’s men currently down in eighth place at Brasileirao.
But a win over Vasco, who is in danger of relegation to Serie B, will step up the visitors as they seek to fight on two fronts in 2020.
Vasco vs Santos is available to stream in the US fanatic , where you can sign up for a 7-day free trial.
Brasileirao 2020 is exclusive to fanatic outside Brazil and the Balkans.