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McCormick Vote Climbs With Mail Ballots In Pennsylvania, Enraging Trump

A recent run-in with a familiar enemy, mail-in ballots, has left former President Trump intensifying his baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate race, which other Republicans, even the candidate he endorsed, Mehmet Oz, have refused to embrace.

After urging Oz to “declare victory” in his party’s too-close-to-call senate race — which Trump did himself in 2020 — the former president has again resorted to questioning the legitimacy of votes that arrived by mail, seething in fury as his candidate’s lead dwindles rapidly.

"Here we go again! In Pennsylvania, they are unable to count the Mail-In Ballots. It is a BIG MESS," Trump wrote on Truth Social, his much-ridiculed social media platform.

Oz still holds a narrow 980 vote lead over his rival, David McCormick, a former hedge fund manager Trump labeled a “Liberal Wall Street Republican.” However, mail-in ballots have appeared to favor McCormick, putting him in proximity with Oz in a race that’s well within the threshold for an automatic recount.

State officials have continued working long hours tallying ballots, including those mailed in. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing in the process — which is the same in every other election.

However, Trump appears to care little about the hardworking Pennsylvanian election officials as he did those in Georgia, Arizona, and other states he accused of engineering and facilitating voter fraud in 2020.

“It’s very reminiscent of what we saw in 2020,” said Al Schmidt, a former Philadelphia city election commissioner. According to the Washington Post, Schmidt faced death threats after Trump tweeted at him in 2020. “It’s an indication that he’s not confident that his candidate is going to win. When it looks like you’re losing, you want to flip the board game over — you’re clearly afraid of the outcome,” Schmidt added.

Pat Toomey, the Republican senator whose retirement has opened the hotly contested seat, voiced his admiration for Oz and McCormick, neither of whom has disseminated Trump’s false fraud claims.

“That’s not the least bit surprising given his history and what we know about Donald Trump,” Toomey said, reacting to Trump’s relentless fraud claims. “It’s much to Mehmet Oz’s credit that he hasn’t adopted that rhetoric and seems to be adhering to what used to be the conventional view that all the legal ballots should be counted.”

Haunted by ghosts of election losses past, Trum, posted Thursday morning on Truth Social: “The Pennsylvania Oz race is ridiculous. How long does it take to count votes. France, same day all paper, had VERIFIED numbers in evening. U.S. is a laughingstock on Elections. Stop FINDING VOTES in PENNSYLVANIA! RIGGED?”

Naturally, Trump’s bogus claims, which have no basis in fact, mirror the false allegations he made before, during, and after Election Day in 2020.

According to MSNBC's Steve Kornacki, Oz is still on track to score big in mail-in ballots because he’s fairing better in Lancaster County’s mail-in voting, which has the biggest stack of uncounted GOP mail-in ballots.

Trump Promotes 'Civil War' Tweet -- And Gets Showered With Insults

Former President Trump, a self-proclaimed “wartime” president who got impeached a second time — a feat no other U.S. president in history has achieved — for asking a crowd of his supporters to “fight like hell” before siccing them on the Capitol, is facing backlash again for seemingly advocating for civil war.

No stranger to incurring public outrage, Trump took to his embattled far-right social media platform, Truth Social, to “ReTruth” a civil war-advocating post on Sunday.

The “truth” shared by “MAGA King Thanos,” an anonymous MAGA-supporting Truth Social user, and later re-shared by Trump, was a screenshot of a March 19 tweet by El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, who claimed an “enemy within’ was pushing the United States to the brink of civil war.

Bukele’s tweet was his response to a Bloomberg op-ed titled “Inflation Stings Most If You Earn Less Than $300K. Here's How to Deal.”


“The most powerful country in the world is falling so fast, that it makes you rethink what are the real reasons. Something so big and powerful can't be destroyed so quickly, unless the enemy comes from within,” tweeted Bukele.

Bukele, who once declared himself the “coolest dictator in the world,” has maintained a hardline stance on immigration that’s put him at odds with the Biden administration and aligned him with Trump.

When the U.S. State Department released a statement in April expressing concern about violence and threats to free speech in El-Salvador, Bukele assailed the Biden White House in a tweet, accusing the administration of “supporting the gangs [in El-Salvador] and their 'civil liberties' now.”

The civil war tweet was first shared as a screenshot on Truth Social by Lara Logan, a once-celebrated CBS reporter who is now a Trumpist who compared Dr. Anthony Fauci to an infamous Nazi doctor who experimented on Jews.

George Conway III, prominent conservative Trump critic and husband of a former senior Trump White House adviser, Kellyanne Conway, highlighted the former president’s re-share on his Twitter account.

In a Sunday night interview with CNN, Conway shaded Democrats for ignoring the former president’s threat to American democracy, which he’s done for the umpteenth time, because “they’re terrified of him,” according to the Independent.

“But they’re also terrified of a Republican base that’s become increasingly radicalized. That actually does believe that people who politically disagree with them are a threat to the nation, and, therefore, violence could be necessary to fight them off, and that’s what we saw in this social media post,” Conway said.

However, the post at issue had been denounced by Democrats and even members of Trump’s own party.

“Any of my fellow Republicans wanna speak out now? Or are we just wanting to get through ‘just one more election’ first…?” tweeted Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a staunch Republican Trump critic in Congress.

Another lawmaker, Rep. Eric Swalwell, weighed in with what seemingly implied that Trump was a “wartime president” in name only. “Donald Trump is calling for Civil War. Of course, like Vietnam and the walk to the Insurrection, he won’t be man enough to fight it.

Lawyers Seek Disbarment Probe Of Ted Cruz Over 'Leading Role' In Trump Coup

A group of lawyers has submitted a 15-page ethics complaint to the State Bar of Texas demanding an investigation of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for his “leading role” in the far-reaching Republican effort to keep former President Trump in power despite his reelection loss.

The complaint — filed by the 65 Project, an organization of lawyers seeking to hold attorneys accountable for lending a hand in pro-Trump efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 elections — called for an examination of Cruz’s conduct in the weeks before Election Day in 2020 and on January 6, 2021, the day of the Capitol insurrection.

The complaint honed in on Cruz’s many false assertions of widespread voter fraud after 2020’s Election Day; his participation in lawsuits falsely denying Pennsylvania’s results; and failed attempts to prevent four states from appointing electors based on the 2020 election results.

“Mr. Cruz played a leading role in the effort to overturn the 2020 elections. And while the same can be said about several other elected officials, Mr. Cruz’s involvement was manifestly different,” the complaint read, asserting that Cruz had moved “beyond simply working within the confines of Congress,” according to the New York Times.

“He chose to take on the role of lawyer and agreed to represent Mr. Trump and Pennsylvania Republicans in litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court,” the complaint continued, citing the ultimately unsuccessful roles Cruz took on. “In doing so, Mr. Cruz moved beyond his position as a United States senator and sought to use more than his Twitter account and media appearances to support Mr. Trump’s anti-democratic mission.”

The 65 Project, in its complaint, also slammed Cruz for his continued dissemination of the Big Lie, which he knew was false, and for the false allegations of bias he leveled at Pennsylvania’s state courts.

“Mr. Cruz knew that the allegations he was echoing had already been reviewed and rejected by courts,” the complaint says. “And he knew that claims of voter fraud or the election being stolen were false.”

The lawyer group wants Cruz disciplined for his failed bid to subvert the previous election, but their complaint didn’t say how, the Texas Tribune reported.

However, the filing also mentioned a New York appellate court’s suspension of Rudy Giuliani’s law license, arguing that "just as Mr. Giuliani has been disciplined for his conduct, so should Mr. Cruz,” according to the Guardian.

A spokesperson for Cruz labeled the 65 Project a “far-left dark money smear machine run by a who’s who of shameless Democrat hacks.” The spokesperson added, “They’re not a credible organization and their complaint won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.”

Select Panel: Evidence 'Directly Contradicts' Denial Of January 5 Capitol Tours

The House Select Committee, a bipartisan congressional panel looking into the Capitol insurrection, sent a letter on Thursday requesting an interview with a House Republican, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), who it said led a tour through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021 — the day before a pro-Trump mob stormed the halls of Congress.

In the letter to Loudermilk, the select committee’s chairman and vice-chairwoman, Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Liz Cheney (R-WY), said the panel had seen evidence that “directly contradicts” the claim made by Republicans on the Committee on House Administration — “of which you’re a member” — that they had reviewed security footage of the days before the Capitol attack and concluded that “[t]here were no tours, no large groups, [and] no one with MAGA hats on.”

“However, the Select Committee’s review of evidence directly contradicts that denial,” they added. “Based on our review of evidence in the Select Committee’s possession, we believe you have information regarding a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021.”

“We propose meeting with you on the week of May 23, 2022,” the letter stated, asking that Loudermilk have a sit-down with the panel sometime next week.

In a joint statement with Rep. Rodney Davis, the top Republican on the Committee on House Administration, Loudermilk, one of 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election results, accused the select committee, which he denounced as partisan, of “pushing a verifiably false narrative.”

"A constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group or 'reconnaissance tour,'” they said. “The family never entered the Capitol building.”

"The Select Committee is once again pushing a verifiably false narrative that Republicans conducted 'reconnaissance tours' on January 5th,” the statement read. “The facts speak for themselves; no place that the family went on the 5th was breached on the 6th, the family did not enter the Capitol grounds on the 6th, and no one in that family has been investigated or charged in connection to January 6th.”

The select committee’s invitation comes over a year after several House Democrats, particularly Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), accused Republicans of heading tours in the days before January 6.

“[There were] members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on January 5th for reconnaissance for the next day,” Sherrill said in a January 12, 2021, virtual town hall, according to CNN, stirring up a storm in Congress.

"If in fact it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress in terms of prosecution for that," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had said, reacting to Sherrill’s allegations.

Although Sherrill didn’t name any of these congressional representatives, House Republicans took issue with her statement and demanded she provide evidence to back up her claim.

CNN also pointed out that it was Loudermilk who filed an ethics complaint against Sherill and 33 other Democrats for “making allegations about Republican-led reconnaissance tours without any evidence.”

"A Member of Congress accusing another Member of committing a crime, without evidence, is morally reprehensible and a stain on this institution," Loudermilk fumed in his ethics complaint. "My Republican colleagues and I will not sit by while Democrats accuse their colleagues of treason for political gain. This type of conduct must not be tolerated."

Loudermilk is one of several Republican members of the House that the select committee is seeking to depose.

The committee has issued subpoenas to four other House Republicans — Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), and Scott Perry (R-PA) — neither of whom have confirmed their attendance.

Trump Pal Got Emirati Bonanza While Lobbying White House

Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a billionaire fundraiser and longtime friend of former President Trump, sought hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from the United Arab Emirates for an investment fund that would reinforce the former president’s agenda and benefit from his administration’s policies, federal prosecutors said in a Tuesday court filing.

The filing was a superseding indictment that levied additional charges on Barrack for lying to federal investigators, lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of the UAE, and conspiring with Emiratis to influence the Trump campaign.

Federal prosecutors also said that Barrack’s investment management firm, Colony Capital — which, per NBC News, wasn’t named in the filing — received a sudden injection of $374 million in capital commitments from two UAE wealth funds after not receiving any funds from the country in seven years prior, from 2009 to 2016.

In a 55-page superseding indictment, which replaced the original 46-page court filing, the Justice Department closely details how although the pro-Trump fund’s “primary purpose” was to earn profits, it quickly adopted “a secondary mandate to garner political credibility for its contributions to the policies” of the Trump administration, federal prosecutors said in the filing, quoting what a top Trump aide wrote in a “U.A.E Fund” plan in the weeks after the 2020 election, according to the New York Times.

The Times also reported that the plan claimed the fund would make money by “sourcing, financing, operationally improving and harvesting assets” in industries that would “benefit the most” from the Trump administration. Federal prosecutors cited the fund as evidence that Barrack wanted to profit from his illegal lobbying of Trump and his circle on behalf of Emiratis.

The Justice Department also accused Barrack of making “multiple false statements” when he lied to the FBI in a 2019 interview with the bureau. The amended indictment charged Barrack for allegedly lying he had one phone when he, in fact, had a secret line solely dedicated to his communication with the Emiratis. Barrack was also accused of lying when he denied engineering phone calls between then-President-Elect Trump and two Emiratis officials in 2016.

Last year, the Justice Department accused Barrack and two co-conspirators, Mathew Grimes and Rashid Al-Malik, of “acting and conspiring to act as agents of the UAE” from April 2016 to April 2018.

“The defendants repeatedly capitalized on Barrack’s friendships and access to a candidate who was eventually elected President, high-ranking campaign and government officials, and the American media to advance the policy goals of a foreign government without disclosing their true allegiances,” said the Department of Justice in a statement.

The indictment also cited April 2017 email and text message communications investigators obtained from the suspects, which stated Barrack could meet with the Emirati ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Abu Dhabi crown prince at the time.

Although there is no evidence that the meeting ever took place, the indictment stated that Barrack’s company, now known as DigitalBridge Group, received multi-million dollar capital investments in the following months. Internal company records attributed the massive investment to “Barrack magic,” the New York Times said.

According to a 2019 congressional oversight committee report, Barrack sent the Emiratis a copy of a Trump campaign speech about Energy he had drafted — and permitted Emiratis to recommend amends to — that praised Shiekh by name, the New York Times reported.

“They loved it so much! This is great,” responded co-conspirator Malik, who is still at large outside the United States. The speech also contained mild language favorable to the Emiratis: a pledge to "work with our Gulf allies.”

The Emirati meddling increased in scale after that, according to the indictment. In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Barrack worked with Paul Manafort, former President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, to water down the GOP platform at the Emiratis' behest.

“Can be much more expansive than what we did in the speech,” Manafort wrote Barrack in an email, “based on what you hear from your friends,” referring to the Emiratis.

In the indictment, federal prosecutors also alleged that Barrack and several Emirati officials worked together to arrange a phone call Trump had with Sheikh Mohammed during the transition in November 2016. “It’s done, great call,” co-conspirator Malik wrote in thanks to Barrack’s aide.

Barrack pleaded not guilty to the original counts filed last year and is awaiting trial, and his representative declined to comment on the superseding indictment. A spokesperson for Trump also ignored requests for comment.

Pentagon: Trump Officials Illegally Retaliated Against Yevgeny Vindman

A Defense Department report has concluded that Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman was the subject of wrongful retaliation, finding that multiple Trump administration officials, and former President Trump himself, violated federal whistleblower protection laws for targeting and subsequently firing Vindman after he raised concerns regarding Trump’s July 25, 2019 phone call with the president of Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the office of the Defense Department’s Acting Inspector General, Sean O’Donnell, released its report on its investigations into the whistleblower reprisal complaint that Vindman filed in August 2020, months after his firing.

Between July 2019 and January 2020, Vindman, who served as the ethics counsel on the National Security Council, broached several points of concern with his superiors, some of which his twin brother, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, had raised with him about Trump’s now-infamous "perfect" conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In his testimony as a key witness during Trump’s first impeachment trial, Alexander Vindman told lawmakers he had heard the “inappropriate” phone call and knew “without hesitation” he had to report it.

The Vindman brothers had approached John Eisenberg, who was then a Trump adviser and deputy White House counsel and NSC ;egal counsel, with their concerns about the phone call. The meeting was later joined by Michael Ellis, Vindman’s direct supervisor, serving as deputy legal advisor and senior associate White House counsel at the time.

Vindman also raised concerns that former NSC officials Robert O'Brien and Alexander Gray “engaged in sexist behavior, misused their positions, and misused NSC staff by asking them to perform personal errands,” O’ Donnell wrote in the report. Possible ethics violations, mismanagement and waste of funds, and abuse of authority were other concerns raised by Vindman.

Despite these complaints falling under “protected communication” in 10 U.S.C. § 1034, a statute that bans retaliation against armed forces members for whistleblower complaints, Vindman was slowly relieved of his responsibilities and barred from senior-level meetings.

Two days after Trump’s first impeachment trial, Vindman was removed "abruptly and unceremoniously" from his NSC position, and his brother was fired as well, according to CNN.

“The Complainant experienced his first unfavorable personnel action in the fall of 2019 when his duties and responsibilities started to be reduced, and his second unfavorable personnel action when he received a referred OER [Officer Evaluation Report] for the performance period June 1, 2019, through February 7, 2020,” the IG report stated. “The close proximity in time between the Complainant’s protected communications and the personnel actions raises an inference of reprisal.”

“We found, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that the Complainant was the subject of unfavorable personnel actions from administration officials,” O’Donnell wrote in the report. “Furthermore, we concluded based on a preponderance of the evidence, that these actions would not have occurred or been withheld absent the Complainant’s protected communications.”

The report also noted that Vindman’s former superiors made it difficult for investigators to get their sides of the story.

“We attempted to interview Mr. Ellis and Mr. Eisenberg, but they declined to cooperate with this investigation,” the report stated. “Based on the available evidence, we conclude that it is more likely than not that Mr. Ellis knew of two of the Complainant’s protected communications, and Mr. Eisenberg knew of three of the Complainant’s protected communications.”

In a statement, Vindman’s attorney said the report completely vindicated his client. The Biden administration promoted Vindman to colonel in March 2021.

Wisconsin's Biden Electors Sue Fakers Over Attempt To Deceive Congress

On Monday morning, two of Wisconsin’s presidential electors and a voter sued a group of “fake electors” who sought to deceive Congress in an attempt to help then-President Trump overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

The lawsuit, a first of its kind, was filed in state circuit court in Madison, the state’s capital, and named as defendants 10 Republicans and two others "who conspired with, aided, and abetted them," according to CBS News.

The two, according to the New York Times, are James R. Troupis, a Trump campaign lawyer, and Kenneth Chesebro, an attorney from Massachusetts who authored a memo in 2020 that proposed the fake elector scheme to Troupis.

Law Forward and Georgetown Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) sued the sham electors on behalf of the legitimate electors.

The plaintiffs are asking a Dane County judge to ban the Republicans from serving as electors in the future and order each of them to pay a $2,000 fine and up to $200,000 in damages to the Democratic electors.

“I don’t know that you can put a price on trying to steal democracy,” said Khary Penebaker, one of the plaintiffs and a Wisconsin Democratic National Committee member. “There has to be some kind of penalty. It has to be something. There has to be pure accountability for this. We cannot have this happen again.”

Wisconsin is one of seven states Trump lost in the last election where allies brought fought a slate of fake electors to cast electoral votes for him, anyway, to subvert the 2020 elections.

In the lawsuit, the defendants were accused of helping to “lay the foundation for a nationwide scheme to override the results of the 2020 election” and “the groundwork for the events of January 6, 2021.”

"They did so even though they knew that Biden and Harris had won the election in Wisconsin; even though those results had been recounted and certified; and even though Trump and Pence had exhausted all available legal mechanisms for challenging the outcome," the lawsuit alleged, according to CBS News.

“Although Defendants were unsuccessful in having their fake ballots counted, they caused significant harm simply by trying, and there is every reason to believe that they will try again if given the opportunity,” the lawsuit read, according to the Guardian. “Defendants’ actions also violated a host of state and federal laws. Thus far, however, none of the fraudulent electors has been held accountable. This lawsuit seeks to change that.”

None of the defendants in the lawsuit face criminal charges for their attempt to overturn the last election. Still, of the 84 sham GOP electors in the seven states that Trump lost to face civic penalties, the Wisconsin group is the first to face civic penalties.

In January, Michigan’s Democratic Attorney General, Dana Nessel, announced she had asked federal prosecutors to launch an investigation into 16 Republicans in the state who presented themselves as lawful electors and sought to cast electoral votes for Trump in a state Joe Biden won.

A week later, U.S. Deputy Attorney General, Lisa O. Monaco, told CNN that the Department of Justice was looking into the battleground states’ fake electors who falsely declared Trump victorious, despite Biden winning all states by a narrow margin.

Many of the fake electors have been subpoenaed by the House Select Committee, the congressional panel investigating the Capitol riot. Among the list is Robert F. Spindell Jr., a Republican and member of the Wisconsin Elections Commission, who tried to get Trump elected in Wisconsin, a state he lost by over 20,000 votes.

Kathy Barnette Blames Everybody Else For Her Muslim-Baiting Tweets

Kathy Barnette, a Trumpist conspiracy-peddling Republican candidate in the Pennsylvania Senate race who has been rising through the ranks, speeding even past big-spending rivals, is facing waves of criticism and public backlash for her past anti-Muslim tweets.

On Sunday, in an interview with Fox News Sunday host Shannon Bream, after bobbing and weaving on questions probing her military service, Barnette tried to downplay the gravity of Islamophobic tweets that she had penned.

“If you love freedom, Islam must NOT be allowed to thrive under any condition,” Barnette declared in a 2014 tweet. However, her anti-Muslim rant didn’t end there. Her later tweets would hone in on an even bigger target: former President Barack Obama.

"Obama is a Muslim. Doing Muslim like THINGS!" Barnette tweeted in 2016, pushing false claims about the former president’s faith. Referencing the Iran nuclear deal, Barnette targeted Obama, a devout Christian, again later that year in another tweet. "Obama would NEVER lie or evade the American people. He's a Muslim, errrr, American."

When Bream pressed Barnette about the anti-Islam tweets, the GOP Senate candidate took a leaf from the GOP playbook and blamed others for her actions. She lobbed the blame for her social media rant on Obama and Syrians fleeing the civil war in their country.

"Let me just say in almost all of those tweets...especially when you look at the timeframe we were living in, at that particular time, we had the Obama administration bringing in a lot of Syrian refugees at that time,” Barnette told Bream.

Barnette also tried to pass off the resurfacing of her old tweets as a political attack that showed how desperate her opponents are.

“I can’t provide a lot of context because, again, it’s almost ten years ago. That’s how far they have to go back to find anything on me,” she said.

The media was also to blame, according to Barnette. “I have not embellished on my record,” she said. “I have been running this race now for about 13 months, and if you listen to the mainstream media, you would think I crawled from under a rock yesterday.”

In 2020, after losing her first run at Congress by an eye-popping 19 percentage points, Barnette became a willing mouthpiece for former President Trump’s bogus claims of widespread voter fraud, particularly in the votes that were cast by mail.

"I even secured more votes than the president, showing that my American message had a crossover effect," she fumed after her stinging loss to the Democratic Incumbent, Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA).

"I have no idea how we as Americans have allowed the greatest nation to become the equivalent of having elections as the equivalent of Afghanistan with progressive liberals looking a whole lot like the Taliban,” Barnette had added.

After an unsuccessful blame-game attempt, Barnette distanced herself from her past tweets, which she called “incomplete thoughts.”

“At that time, I was hosting a show called ‘Truth Exchange’ and I would have all kinds of ideas and was leaning in to helping the public begin to have those conversations, and so those were some of the — that’s the context around a lot of those tweets,” Barnette said during the Fox interview.

“The overwhelming majority of the tweets that are now being presented are not even full thoughts. They’re not even full sentences and yet people take it and they begin to build their own narrative around it,” she added.

Trump has assailed Barnette, calling her unvetted and unelectable, according to the New York Times. “Kathy Barnette will never be able to win the general election against the radical left Democrats,” Trump said in a statement.

Melania Touts Return To White House -- And Grudge Over 'Vogue' Snub

Melania Trump teased a return to the White House in her first interview since Trump vacated the Oval Office for Joe Biden, echoing her husband’s repeated suggestions of a 2024 return to the political scene.

In a sit-down with Fox Nation’s Pete Hegseth, an interview that aired Sunday morning, the former first lady discussed her post-White House activities, said she believed the White House could be her home again, and lashed out at Vogue for putting Jill Biden on its cover.

“I like Washington, D.C. I know it operates completely different[ly] than any other city. To be the First Lady of the United States was my greatest honor, and I think we achieved a lot in the four years of the Trump administration,” she said, responding to Hegseth’s question about the possibility of her becoming the First Lady again.

“Never say never,” Trump added.

The former first lady said she enjoyed her time in the White House despite the wave of criticism she faced, especially in one instance in 2018 when she visited immigrant kids at a border detention center with a jacket emblazoned with the words “I really don't care, do u?”

Trump also discussed at length her NFT projects, which have been subject to controversy since their inception last year. Trump’s items can only be purchased with cryptocurrency, and nothing in her first lot of items, which was put up for sale earlier this year, met the $250,000 opening bid threshold, according to CNN.

In January, Trump held an auction for her “Head of State Collection, 2022,” with a minimum opening bid of $250,000 on the Solana blockchain. A portion of the proceeds, according to her website, would go towards securing “educational opportunities and scholarships” in the foster care system.

Things quickly went south when Vice, soon followed by other news outlets, reviewed the blockchain records and reported that the auction winner received funds for their winning bid from the auction’s creators themselves. “The winner of Melania Trump’s first NFT auction appears to be the former first lady herself,” according to Fortune.

Trump denied the allegations in a statement. “The nature of Blockchain protocol is entirely transparent. Accordingly, the public can view each transaction on the blockchain. The transaction was facilitated on behalf of a third-party buyer."

However, Trump declined to say who bought the NFT or why the NFT creator gave the auction winner crypto for the winning bid and seemingly got the funds back, per Vice. The former first lady has also refused to elaborate on what portion of her NFT proceeds has gone to charities, nor did she say which charities received the donations. “They need our resources, support, [and] empowerment to achieve that American dream,” Trump told Fox Nation, referring to purported contributions.

Trump also attacked Vogue for not featuring her on its cover during her husband’s tenure as president of the United States, a grudge she’s held onto tightly, despite exiting the White House over a year and a half ago.

“They’re biased and they have likes and dislikes, and it’s so obvious,” Trump said. “And I think American people, and everyone sees it.”

“I have much more important things to do—and I did in the White House—than being on the cover of Vogue,” she added, feigning indifference over the apparent snub.

However, in a tell-all book, Trump’s former senior adviser and BFF, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, detailed how Trump rejected a Vogue shoot shortly after her husband took office because the magazine couldn’t guarantee her a spot on the cover.

Tweaking Trump, Pence Will Campaign With Kemp In Georgia

In a scathing rebuke to his former partner at the White House, former Vice President Mike Pence has announced plans to campaign with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on the eve of Georgia’s May 24 Republican primary.

Pence will headline Kemp’s election eve rally in defiance of former President Trump, who has repeatedly assailed the state governor for refusing to partake in a collective Trumpworld effort to subvert and overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia.

Pence called Kemp “one of the most successful conservative governors in America” in a statement and on Twitter.

"Brian Kemp is my friend, a man dedicated to faith, family and the people of Georgia,” Pence stated. “I am proud to offer my full support for four more years of Brian Kemp as governor of the great state of Georgia.”

The endorsement, as US News put it, is the “ political equivalent of a raised middle finger” at Trump, who attacked the former VP repeatedly for certifying the results of the 2020 elections despite numerous calls from Trump and delusional far-right elements in his circle to overturn the elections.

"Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution," Trump said in a tweet on January 6, 2021, shortly after Pence refused to overturn the election results and right as a pro-Trump mob was breaching the sacred halls of Congress.

Two months later, in an exclusive interview, Trump defended the rioters who called for Pence’s hanging. “No, I thought he was well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape … because, uh, I heard he was in very good shape,” he said.

In February, Pence refuted Trump, saying the former president was “wrong” in alleging that then-Vice President Pence had the sole power to overturn the 2020 election results.

A month after that, Pence came swinging again — this time, at Trump and the Russia-loving arm of the Republican party. “There is no room in this party for apologists for Putin,” Pence said at a Republican National Committee retreat.

Prominent Republicans have endorsed candidates who Trump opposes, but Pence, who might be the most prominent of the group, has shown his willingness to buck the former president and his political ambitions.

Still angered by the stinging loss to the then-Democrat candidate for president Joe Biden, Trump has doled endorsements to his loyalists and attacked those who refused to parrot the Big Lie.

Trump has campaigned, raised money, and ran TV attack ads for Kemp’s opponent, former Senator David Perdue, who has long since pledged allegiance to Trump and his false claims of widespread voter fraud.

However, Kemp remains the strong favorite in polls, leading Perdue by an average of 22.3 percentage points in the hotly-contested primary. Leading GOP members are confident Kemp will win 50 percent of the vote to bypass a run-off with Perdue, per Politico.

Despite commanding the increasingly vocal MAGA wing of the GOP, Trump has endorsed some candidates who eventually failed to win their primaries. Last week Charles Herbster, the GOP candidate Trump endorsed in Nebraska’s governorship race, lost to a candidate endorsed by the state’s governor.

House Democrats Demand Corruption Probe Of Former Trump Interior Chief

Top Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee have taken former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to task for alleged corruption and called on the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation into his alleged quid-pro-quo with an influential pro-Trump developer from Arizona for a housing permit.

In a 37-page letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), the committee chairman, and Katie Porter (D-CA), chair of the subcommittee on oversights and investigations, accused Bernhardt of misusing his office to effectuate “federal agency decision-making … in the interest of private gain rather than the American people.”

Bernhardt, the lawmakers said, pressed an official to approve a permit for developer Michael Ingram, a Republican donor, despite warnings from multiple officials that developments could harm endangered species.

From 2019 to 2021, Bernhardt led the U.S. Interior Department as its secretary. He was the department’s no-2 man in 2017 when a departmental agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), suddenly reversed its longtime demand for an environmental review of a proposed development of a 28,000-home residential area in Southern Arizona, known as Villages at Vigneto.

Grijalva and Porter said the committee opened an extensive investigation into the decision in 2017, after Steve Spangle, an FWS employee, complained to news outlets that he was politically pressured into approving the development when he was an Arizona Ecological Services Field Office supervisor.

Officials warned that issuing a Clean Water Act permit could threaten endangered species, such as the southwestern willow flycatcher and yellow-billed cuckoo, in the area, which is home to birds and the northern Mexican garter snake, according to the Associated Press.

Bernhardt, the Democrat lawmakers write in their letter, met Ingram in August 2017 but didn’t disclose it in his public calendar or travel documents. Two weeks after that meeting, a phone call was allegedly placed to the Interior Associate Solicitor Peg Romanik, ordering him to reverse the FWS’s decision to block the project.

Two months later, Ingram donated $10,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, which was reportedly used in a collective GOP effort to funnel millions of dollars to reelect Trump. The permit was approved later that month, the lawmakers’ letter alleged. In the days that followed, Ingram and his associates made “highly unusual out-of-cycle donations” of almost $242,000 to Trump’s fund, the lawmakers complained.

“Evidence strongly suggests the decision was the result of a quid pro quo between Vigneto’s developer, Michael Ingram, and senior level officials in the Trump administration, potentially including then–DOI Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt,” the Democrat lawmakers wrote.

Ingram, the latter says, had “frequent access to high-ranking officials across the Trump administration,″including Bernhardt; Ryan Zinke, the Interior Secretary from 2017 to 2019; and Scott Pruitt, the 2017-2018 Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“The findings of this investigation show us yet again that the previous administration cast career staff expertise aside while they handed out federal agency decisions to Trump’s buddies and big donors on a pay-to-play basis,” Grijalva said in a statement.

When reached for comment about the committee’s findings and letter, Bernhardt snapped, calling it “a pathetic attempt by career politicians to fabricate news.”

Lanny Davis, an attorney for Bernhardt’s company, El Dorado Holdings, called the committee’s findings “false, misleading, [and] unfair” and said it struck him “as reminiscent of McCarthyism’s use of innuendo as a surrogate for fact.”

Biden Authorizes Release Of 23,000 Trump Emails To Select Committee

The National Archives and Records Administration will hand over the eighth batch of Trump Administration documents to the House panel investigating the Capitol attack after President Biden declined to assert executive privilege over the release.

In a letter dated May 10 but released by the National Archives on Wednesday, the White House waived executive privilege for the emails and other records sought by the House Select Committee, dealing another blow to former President Trump, whose attempt to block such disclosures was upended by the Supreme Court.

In April, the Biden Administration stated that blocking such releases is “not in the best interests of the United States,” given the gravity of the violence that marred January 6, 2020, resulting in hospitalizations and death.

The National Archives is poised to hand 23,000 emails and other records to the select committee, which has already obtained hundreds of pages of Trump White House records, according to Forbes.

The National Archives removed some records from the batch set for release because they weren’t relevant to the select committee’s requests, White House Counsel Dana Remus said in a letter, according to the Washington Post. In addition, some requested materials were set aside because they hadn’t been reviewed yet.

“As to the remaining prioritized records, President Biden has considered the former president’s claims, and I have engaged in consultations with the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. The President has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified,” Remus wrote, reaffirming the position the Biden Administration took in April’s National Archives release.

The National Archives will hand over some documents immediately, according to CNN, and the others, including those sidelined for review, will be sent to the select committee on May 26, writes Acting Archivist Debra Sted Wall, notifying Trump of the White House’s decision.

Although it isn’t immediately clear what documents the latest trove will contain, Trump has repeatedly asserted executive privilege — a President of the United States’ prerogative to shield confidential communications from even the judicial and legislative branches under certain circumstances — in an attempt to block the National Archives from turning crucial records over to the select committee.

If Trump doesn’t get a court to stall the handoff, the select committee will receive the records in time for its public hearings slated for June. However, the former president has not challenged the Archives’ disclosures in court since his stinging loss at the Supreme Court.

However, several Trump allies have refused to cooperate with the select committee, which Trump has accused of being politically motivated despite its bipartisan membership.

The Justice Department charged disgraced former Trump adviser Steve Bannon with contempt of Congress in November, a charge carrying a sentence of up to a year behind bars and a fine of up to $100,000. Last month, the House held two more Trump allies — Peter Navarro, ex-Trump Administration trade adviser, and Daniel Scavino Jr., former Trump White House deputy chief of staff for communications — in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with lawful congressional subpoenas.

Battlecry Of Republican Primary Rumbles: 'You're Soft On China!'

With most conservative candidates in primary races across the country pledging allegiance to former President Trump and disseminating his Big Lie, what is a Republican candidate to do to get ahead? Why, just accuse their Republican opponent of having ties to China, of course!

Spurious, misleading, and even exaggerated accusations of connections with China are a source of anxiety for Republicans in the 2022 races, while campaign strategists and candidates have labeled such allegations a “prime attack in a Republican primary,” according to the Washington Post.

Incumbent Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp — who is running against four other candidates in the Peach State primary, chief among them former Senator David Perdue — ran a TV spot accusing hisTrump-backed rival Perdue of outsourcing jobs to China before becoming a senator.

"Millionaire David Perdue got rich sending jobs to China," the narrator in Kemp’s ad claimed. The ad used a clip of Perdue in his days before the Senate, when he said, "I lived over there. I’ve been dealing with China for over 30 years," and another clip from a Georgia Public Broadcasting interview where Perdue claimed, “We outsourced every single product that we sold in our stores."

Kemp’s communications director touted the effectiveness of the China ad in a statement to the Post. “We tested a number of hits, and that was the best-polling one — the outsourcing to China.” Tying Perdue to China has become central to the incumbent governor’s paid advertising and messaging.

Invoking China is a crucial strategy in the Pennsylvania primary, too. Candidate Mehmet Oz, whom Trump is backing, has accused opponent David McCormick of carrying out business deals with China. McCormick struck back, as one would expect, alleging that Oz made bank from dealings with Chinese state TV and patronized products made in China.

In a blistering attack last Friday night, Trump accused McCormick of being a “liberal Wall Street Republican” who has managed money for China. “I don’t know David well, and he may be a nice guy, but he’s not MAGA,” the former president added.

A pollster who has worked for Trump and is polling in many 2022 primaries told the Post that tough talk on US-China relations, even far-fetched claims, is all the rage in this year’s Republican primary debates because that’s what Republican voters want to hear.

“If you coddle China, or you are soft on China, that makes you not so much America first and not so tough,” pollster Tony Fabrizio said. “Being tagged as soft on China is not a good thing. Trump focused and catalyzed some of it. But China has been seen as the primary world foe for at least the last decade or more.”

Fabrizio also spoke of a poll he conducted earlier this year which showed that Republicans consider China a bigger threat to national security than Russia, even after Russia’s missile bombardment of Ukraine has claimed thousands of civilian lives.

Two years of battling the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with Trump’s litany of anti-China messaging, has increased the Republican voters' negative perception of China. In March, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs conducted a poll that found that 75 percent of Republicans considered Beijing’s development a “critical threat” to the interests of the United States of America, up from 67 percent in 2020 and 42 percent in 2018, according to the Washington Post.

Last year, Trump’s team ran a poll to ascertain the former president’s most effective messages and found that the former president’s supporters love his attacks on China.

An informal adviser for Trump, Michael Pillsbury, weighed in on this seismic perception shift. “It is something quite new — Republicans used to be the business of party and free trade,” Pillsbury told the Washington Post. “And I remember during the early considerations of President Trump — putting heavy tariffs on China — there were voices within the White House and within the party that this goes against Republican traditions.”

“The current mood toward China,” Pillsbury added, “is darker than it has been in decades in the United States.”

Eastman Devised Scheme For GOP Theft Of 2020 Pennsylvania Vote

Former Trump attorney John Eastman colluded with a Republican lawmaker in Pennsylvania to formulate a pretext to seat Trump electors in a state Joe Biden won by nearly 82,000 votes. Their communications were discovered on his University of Colorado email account. It was a last ditch-bid to overturn the 2020 presidential election, as the new emails obtained by the House Select Committee show.

Eastman devised a sinister idea to label tens of thousands of absentee ballots illegitimate, thus giving then-President Trump the state’s popular vote lead. This method, Eastman proposed, “would help provide some cover,” beneath which Republicans could swap Biden’s electors with sham electors for Trump who would subvert the 2020 elections.

According to the emails, Eastman suggested that Republican officials voice their concerns with mailed-in ballots and, using historical data, “discount each candidate’s totals by a prorated amount based on the absentee percentage those candidates otherwise received,” according to Politico.

“Then, having done that math, you’d be left with a significant Trump lead that would bolster the argument for the Legislature adopting a slate of Trump electors — perfectly within your authority to do anyway, but now bolstered by the untainted popular vote. That would help provide some cover,” Eastman told Russ Diamond, the aforementioned GOP Pennsylvania state lawmaker, in a December 4, 2020, email. “That would help provide some cover.”

The messages sent to and from Eastman’s “colorado.edu” email address were obtained by the Colorado Ethics Institute via a request citing the state's Open Records law. A Democratic political consultant sent these emails to the House Select Committee on behalf of the institute.

The select committee sued Eastman’s former employer, Chapman University, to obtain 90,000 pages of the ex-Trump lawyer’s emails, but Eastman countersued to prevent Chapman from complying. The House panel won several rounds of that case — with a finding by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter that Eastman and Trump had “more likely than not” participated in criminal activity — and has already obtained crucial emails Eastman sent from January 4 to January 7, 2021. However, the select committee is still in court, asking to get 3,000 more pages of Eastman’s emails before its June-slated public hearings.

Eastman has claimed for months that his post-election work was “grounded in provocative-but-real legal scholarship,” per MSNBC, but the released emails, which underscore the length to which he tried to distort reality to earn Trump undeserved electors, render the attorney’s point moot.

"Here in Pennsylvania, numerous other frustrated colleagues and I are searching for legislative solutions to our current national predicament," Eastman told Diamond in another December 4 email. The “predicament” was Biden winning the state by tens of thousands of votes.

Not satisfied with the preponderance of advice he’d given Diamond on the language of his resolution, Eastman even offered to carry out specific line edits on the proposed resolution, the Washington Post reported.

“I would also include after paragraph 3 a specific legislative determination that the slate of electors certified by the governor under the illegally-conducted election are also null and void,” Eastman suggested.

When contacted by 9news for comment, Eastman rejected claims of wrongdoing on his part.

"I wasn't even aware that I had used a [University of] Colorado email, but somebody obviously reached out to me using that email and I just hit reply," said Eastman. "Look, I'm a constitutional expert. The notion that a legislator would reach out to me seeking my input on a key constitutional issue is not a surprise and well within my normal academic duties," Eastman said.

A member of the select committee disagreed. “Eastman wasn’t doing anything that Trump wasn’t doing himself,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) told the Washington Post. “They,” he added, referring to Eastman and his cohorts, “were both trying to get officials in the electoral process to substitute a counterfeit for the actual vote totals.”

As the subject of investigations and lawsuits, Eastman turned to his far-right supporters for financial aid for his “Legal Defense Fund” and has raised nearly $180,000 in a crowdfunding drive, where he painted himself a victim of “hard-core leftist activists” and “hyper-partisan” investigators.

Under Oath, Michael Cohen Blames Violent Dispersal Of Protesters On Trump

Michael Cohen, former President Trump’s ex-lawyer and fixer-turned-critic, testified for four hours on Monday that his former boss lied under oath and did, in fact, urge his security detail to assault peaceful protesters outside Trump Tower in September 2015.

Lawyers grilled Cohen during an acrimonious deposition about his assertions that Trump engineered an altercation outside his building on Fifth Avenue when he instructed his bodyguard, Keith Schiller, to “get rid” of demonstrators of Mexican descent holding “Make America Racist Again” cardboard signs.

Cohen, during his deposition, told lawyers that Trump had said, “Get rid of them!” The former fixer alleged he was in the room when then-President Trump ordered his corporate security goons to attack a group of protesters decrying the president’s derogatory remarks about Mexicans.

Security videotapes from Trump’s company building that could easily verify Cohen’s claims mysteriously disappeared, and the plaintiffs received just one surveillance tape, which showed Schiller marching down the lobby to fight the protesters, according to the Daily Beast.

Trump and his company have denied these allegations. In an October 2021 deposition, Trump testified under oath that he didn’t unleash his security on the protesters, or direct them to grab the signs.

Those protesters have sued Trump and his company for “wanton and malicious assaults and batteries” by Trump’s security team. According to the Daily Beast, the testimony of Cohen, a surprise witness in the lawsuit, could prove crucial in the legal squabble.

"Mr. Cohen is an eyewitness to events taking place in the Trump Organization offices and to Defendant Trump's directive to his private security personnel to 'get rid' of' [the protesters] on September 3, 2015," Benjamin Dictor, the protesters' lawyer, wrote in a court filing

After leaving the law offices across from Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal, Cohen told NBC News, “They asked me questions, and I answered them honestly and truthfully, and the truth does not benefit Donald.” Cohen’s deposition was taped in the presence of attorneys for Trump and the protesters

When journalists from Insider asked Cohen if his or Trump’s testimony will prove truthful, the former lawyer replied, “Clearly, mine.”

Jurors in the case will watch videos of both Trump and Cohen’s testimony, as well as videos of the incident at issue.

“He said, ‘Get rid of them!’ Cohen told reporters outside the venue of his deposition. “I’m shocked he let this case go as far as it did.”

Trump testified that he “didn’t know about” the violent interaction between Schiller and the protesters until the day after the incident, according to a released excerpt of the former president’s deposition, reported NBC News.

In the excerpts, when Trump was asked about his 2016 comment to “knock the crap” out of hecklers, the former president went on a bizarre tangent about his fear that people would throw fruit at him.

“Oh yeah. It was very dangerous,” Trump said. “They were going to throw fruit.”

He added, “We were told. I thought Secret Service was involved in that, actually. But we were told. And you get hit with fruit, it’s – no, it’s very violent stuff. We were on alert for that.”

“I wanted to have people be ready because we were put on alert that they were going to do fruit. And some fruit is a lot worse than – tomatoes are bad, by the way. But it’s very dangerous,” Trump said, according to the released transcript.

Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, assured reporters that “enough courts have spoken on [Trump’s] credibility.”

Habba assailed Cohen, saying “I think it’s ironic he’s come out of the woodwork a couple of weeks before trial,” she said. “And the truth will come out. I actually look forward to spending a few hours questioning Mr. Cohen.”

Senate Republicans Insist They Won't Ban Abortion, Despite McConnell Gaffe

For decades, Republicans have assailed pro-abortion Supreme Court rulings — for instance, 1973’s Roe v. Wade and 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey, among others -- but with the end of Roe reportedly imminent, conservative Congressional representatives are quickly dialing back their anti-abortion rhetoric, fearing public reaction could cost them in the midterms.

Despite secretly meeting with leading anti-abortion activists to brainstorm plans for a federal ban on abortions nationwide, GOP lawmakers were quick to dismiss Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s weekend suggestion that the party could soon turn its sights to enacting a total abortion ban.

"I don't think it's really an appropriate topic for Congress to be passing a national law on," said Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), according to CNN.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), a religious rightist, echoed Cornyn, telling Newsweek, "No, I don't support a federal ban on abortion after Roe vs. Wade, if it's overturned in the first instance."

Hawley added, "I think it would be better for states to debate this, allow it to breathe and for Congress to act where there's national consensus."

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), the third-ranking Senate Republican, noted that the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggested that states should regulate abortion. "I want to see the states have that opportunity and the authority to do so," Barrasso said when asked for his thoughts on a potential federal abortion ban.

Republicans in Congress are trying to keep focus trained on inflation, crime, and border security, as recent polls show that most Americans oppose national legislation to ban abortion. So they want to talk about almost anything else.

“You need — it seems to me, excuse the lecture — to concentrate on what the news is today,” McConnell himself said last Tuesday. “Not a leaked draft but the fact that the draft was leaked.”

Last week, in an interview with USA Today, McConnell promised that Republicans, if they win back the Senate, won’t scrap the filibuster for a total abortion ban by a simple majority vote.

"If the leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies — not only at the state level but at the federal level — certainly could legislate in that area," the minority leader told the paper. "And if this were the final decision, that was the point that it should be resolved one way or another in the legislative process. So yeah, it's possible."

However, McConnell dodged questions from CNN on whether he’d bring an abortion bill to the floor of a Republican-controlled Senate.

Democrats immediately decried McConnell’s abortion ban suggestion, and GOP lawmakers, sensing a rapidly spreading wave of public outrage at attempts to overturn abortion rights, have expressed little interest in it or noted that there wouldn’t be enough votes to enact such a ban.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) played down the notion his party would have the votes for a total national abortion ban. "It's about as possible as this vote we will take on Wednesday," Graham told CNN, referring to an upcoming Democratic effort to codify in federal law .

"Let's see what happens. I'm not going to get into what-ifs," Senator Shelley Moore Capito said, declining an opportunity to weigh in on the matter.

Senator John Thune (R-SD) declared his support for an abortion ban with exceptions, but noted that his stand might not be a consensus within his party. "That's my personal position," Thune said. "That's certainly not a caucus position. I don't think we have any idea at this point about any of that."

Despite sudden Republican back-pedaling on abortion, Democrats have signaled their intention to use the looming Supreme Court ruling to ask voters to punish Republicans in November.