Donald Trump

Spinning Trump Attacks DeSantis But Claims Credit For Abortion Bans

Barely 48 hours after criticizing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ new six-week abortion ban, former President Donald Trump took credit for it and other hardline Republican abortion bans across the country. The GOP presidential frontrunner also took a victory lap for being “able to kill Roe v. Wade.”

"After 50 years of failure, with nobody coming even close, I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the 'shock' of everyone, and for the first time put the pro-life movement in a strong negotiating position over the radicals that are willing to kill babies even into their 9th month, and beyond," Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform on Wednesday morning.

“Without me there would be no 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 15 weeks, or whatever is finally agreed to,” he added. “Without me the pro Life movement would have just kept losing. Thank you President TRUMP!!!” he added.

These utterly-unhinged remarks starkly contrasted with those he made in the immediate aftermath of the GOP’s historic faceplant in the November 2022 midterms, blaming pro-life Republicans — although not specifically the far-right candidates he endorsed — for the party’s loss.

The ex-president remained vague about the hot-button issue as poll after poll showed overwhelming support for abortion access, but recent criticism from leading pro-life groups seeking federal abortion bans evidently has driven Trump to shift his tone again.

For the former president, it’s a highwire act: Total abortion bans might have widespread support during the upcoming Republican 2024 primaries, but cause problems in the general election for whoever becomes the party’s nominee, as exit polls showed it did for Republicans in 2022.

At the controversial May 10 town hall with CNN, Trump dodged questions about whether he would sign a federal abortion ban if elected president in 2024 and how many weeks after pregnancy a woman should have access to abortion.

However, in an interview with The Messenger, published last Monday, Trump knocked DeSantis, who is widely expected to announce his 2024 presidential campaign soon, for his “harsh” new abortion restriction.

“If you look at what DeSantis did, a lot of people don't even know if he knew what he was doing. But he signed six weeks, and many people within the pro-life movement feel that that was too harsh,” he said.

Asked whether strict abortion restrictions would cost the GOP dearly in 2024, when he called into the far-right cable network Newsmax’s Rob Schmitt Tonight on Tuesday, Trump praised his own appointment of three conservative Supreme Court justices, whose Dobbs ruling he said gave the pro-life groups the “power of negotiation.”

"First of all, I'm the one that got rid of Roe v. Wade, and everybody said that was an impossible thing to do," Trump said. "It's been now brought back to the states, and what I've done is I've given the pro-life people — who are wonderful people and loving people — I've given them the power of negotiation, because now they're able to negotiate something that's going to be very important, and I put them in a position now."

"DeSantis, or Ron DeSanctimonious as I call him, he came out with the six weeks ‘Florida abortion ban]. Other people agree with it, and a lot of people don't, Trump continued, characteristically invoking his contingent of phantom yes-people.

The former president also claimed without evidence that he could map out an abortion proposition that everyone would be happy with: “We’re in a position now, and I’m going to be leading the charge…where we can get something that the whole country can agree with.”

DeSantis fired back on Tuesday at a news conference after inking legislation to combat human trafficking.

“Protecting an unborn child when there’s a detectable heartbeat is something that almost 99 percent of pro-lifers support,” DeSantis told reporters. “As a Florida resident, you know, he didn’t give an answer about, ‘Would you have signed the heartbeat bill that Florida did, that had all the exceptions that people talk about?’”

The Florida governor laid into Trump at an event in Iowa over the weekend, urging Republican voters to reject Trump’s “culture of losing that has impacted our party in recent years,” as well as his penchant to “focus the election on the past or on other side issues” or else “the Democrats are going to beat us again.”

Approached by reporters for comments on Trump’s criticism of DeSantis’ nascent abortion law, former Vice President Mike Pence, a vocal advocate of federal abortion bans, broke with his former boss, according to the Associated Press.

“For my part, I disagree with President Trump about the heartbeat bill,” Pence said. “I truly do believe that we ought to advance the cause of life at the state level, but I also want to say, I also believe there is a role at the federal level to advance the sanctity of life.”

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis

Timid DeSantis Refuses To Say That Trump Lost The 2020 Election

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is enduring almost-daily attacks on Truth Social in his quest to convince conservatives that he is more electable in 2024 than former President Donald Trump. But when asked directly on Monday to acknowledge that Trump lost the 2020 election -- a chance to hit his chief rival where it would hurt -- DeSantis evaded the question.

“You said during an event in Iowa over the weekend that the GOP needs to reject a culture of losing. Do you acknowledge that Trump lost and there wasn’t all this fraud he talks about?” a reporter asked DeSantis at a press conference on Monday.

"When I look at the last however many election cycles, 2018 we lost the House ... We lost the Senate in 2020, Biden becomes president, and it's done a huge amount of damage, very unpopular in 2022,” DeSantis said, criticizing President Joe Biden without mentioning Trump.

“We were supposed to have this big red wave, and other than in Florida and Iowa, I didn't see a red wave across this country. And so I think the party has developed a culture of losing. I think there's no accountability,” he added.

Former President Donald Trump has refused to concede the 2020 election, falsely insisting as recently as last Wednesday that he won. With most Republican voters convinced that the 2020 election was rigged, DeSantis’ non-answer Monday underscored his latest efforts to sidestep the delicate issue in his bid to win over some of the MAGA faithful while scooping up the never-Trump votes.

It remained unclear if DeSantis, who called on the GOP to reject the “culture of losing,” could posit himself as a winner and Trump as a loser without angering Trump voters, whom he had since courted with his “anti-woke” policies.

Although DeSantis has struggled to directly and concisely say that Trump was second best in the 2020 presidential election, a super PAC supporting him, Never Back Down, has in messages to supporters.

Alex Conant, a conservative consultant who worked in Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign, told Politico that DeSantis would come face-to-face with that question again on a grander and less friendly stage than a presser.

“First question at first debate: Raise your hand if you think Trump won the 2020 election,” Conant said, painting a hypothetical situation at the upcoming 2024 Republican presidential primary debates. “If a candidate can’t dispose of a fake issue like who won the election, how can voters expect them to handle the real issues?”

Then, Conant added, “You need to respect Trump’s voters, but that doesn’t mean lying to them.”

Sarah Longwell, a Republican political strategist and publisher at The Bulwark, a Never-Trump news and opinion website, also painted a grim outlook to Politico of DeSantis’ chances if he continues to dodge the topic of the former president’s fixation on an election he lost.

“He’s going to be boxed in by the fact that he’s basically making an electability pitch,” Longwell said. “And the trouble with the electability pitch is you’ve got to say, ‘Donald Trump lost, and I can win.’”

Trump derided DeSantis as politically inept in an interview with The Messenger on Monday, saying, “He's got no personality. And I don't think he's got a lot of political skill.”

Shortly after that, Trump took to Truth Social to blast DeSantis and the Rupert Murdoch-owned outlets Fox News and New York Post, labeling both tools that his RINO critics are wielding to obstruct a second Trump presidency.

“Just watching FoxNews. They are sooo bad, just like the Globalist Wall Street Journal and the now, way down, New York Post. They are desperately pushing DeSanctimonious who, regardless, is dropping like a rock. He’s even down 20 points in Florida, which was third worst in Covid, & where I got 1.2 million more votes than he did. RINO Mark Thiessen, a Bush flunky, is constantly on pushing DeSanctus, giving bad info. Even said I “lost Iowa last time around,” I won BIG. He sucks, & so does FoxNews!” he wrote.

​Republicans Smack Trump On Ukraine And Debt After CNN Town Hall (VIDEO)

​Republicans Smack Trump On Ukraine And Debt After CNN Town Hall (VIDEO)

Former President Donald Trump has drawn backlash from GOP Senators and Republican rivals, both prospective and declared, for the lies and conspiracy theories he propagated during his hour-plus appearance at the controversial CNN town hall on Wednesday night.

From the “hello,” a combative Trump delighted the Republican New Hampshire audience — and the MAGA faithful tuned in from home — with a litany of false and misleading claims and attacks on old enemies, often talking over CNN's Kaitlan Collins, whom he called a “nasty person” for good measure.

The leading 2024 Republican presidential candidate lied about everything from the 2020 elections, January 6, 2021, and his legal joust with renowned writer E. Jean Carroll, whom he was found liable for sexually harassing and defaming, to the present state of the U.S. economy and his post-White House retention of hundreds of classified documents.

But among Trump’s many controversial remarks, what irked some Senate Republicans were his call for GOP lawmakers to allow the US to default on its debt, his criticism of U.S. aid to Ukraine, and his refusal to call Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” for his unprovoked invasion of the Eastern Europe nation, a conflict that has claimed 354,000 lives so far, per Reuters.

The strongest criticism from Republicans in the upper chamber of Congress came from Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), who CNN journalist Manu Raju asked if Trump’s remarks on the Ukraine war and his refusal to condemn Putin concerned him.

"Of course it does. That’s why I don’t intend to support him for the Republican nomination," Young responded.

"I think President Trump’s judgment is wrong in this case. President Putin and his government have been engaged in war crimes. I don’t believe that’s disputed by most who have looked into this, and he’s an enemy of the United States, our values, our interests, and the security of the American people," Young added.

When Raju asked Young why he won’t support Trump, the senator responded, “Where do I begin?”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who drew ridicule for fleeing the U.S. Capitol on January 6 after riling up the invading pro-Trumo mob earlier with a fist salute, said Putin was “probably” a war criminal, according to CNN.

“if the goal is to try to get some kind of a negotiated peace, you know I understand the ex-president’s position,” Hawley added, cushioning his near-criticism there.

Hawley insisted, though, that the US won’t default and that there was nothing Trump, who isn’t the president, could do about it.

"He’s not the president, so he doesn’t have a vote on it currently," he said. "We’re not going to default."

When asked about Trump’s remarks suggesting an inclination to pardon January 6 rioters, including the far-right pro-Trump Proud Boys militia, if he’s re-elected, Hawley replied, “If you’re asking me do I think we should pardon people who engaged in rioting behavior? No.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an avid Trump supporter, quietly pushed back Trump’s call for “Republicans out there” to set a course for a U.S. debt default “if they don’t give you massive cuts.”

“I think that most Americans are supportive of us addressing the debt before we raise the debt ceiling,” Graham said.

On Trump’s Putin comments, Graham added, "Well, I think he’s a war criminal, and I think the president is trying to articulate a position I want to end the war, and, you know, if you start making certain statements about the protagonist, it’ll be hard to find a peaceful solution.

"My view is the best way to end this conflict is to make sure you don’t start another war. And if Putin is given a pass, then the likelihood of more bad behavior goes up."

Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) said lawmakers would do all they could to avert a default and denounced Trump’s pro-debt default entreaty as a campaign bluster.

“I forget who said it, but you know, you campaign in poetry and you govern in prose. Clearly, candidates talk about things differently than people who are trying to get to a deal. And I just think most members of Congress, most Republican members understand that the jobs are a little different,” Johnson said.

After the town hall, Never Back Down, a super PAC reportedly backing Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ widely-expected White House bid, slammed Trump for trafficking in “nonsense” and embers of the past instead of “important conservative issues.”

“The CNN town hall was, as expected, over an hour of nonsense that proved Trump is stuck in the past. After 76 years, Trump still doesn’t know where he stands on important conservative issues like supporting life and the 2nd Amendment. How does that Make America Great Again?” the communications director for Never Back Down, Erin Perrine, said in a statement.

The CEO of Never Back Down, Chris Jankowski, blasted Trump, too: “The Trump town hall on CNN is a true marriage of equals: A candidate who has lost his luster appearing on a network that’s lost its ratings. Both ignore a key fact: 2024 isn’t 2016. The old gimmicks and tired lines don’t work anymore.”

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who ran against Trump for president in 2016 and is reportedly mulling another run in 2024, warned that Trump could giftwrap Ukraine for Putin if he’s re-elected president.

"Donald Trump says he would end the war in Ukraine in 24 hours tonight on CNN," Christie tweeted. "Despite how ridiculous that is to say, I suspect he would try to do it by turning Ukraine over to Putin and Russia. #Putin'sPuppet."

Another former Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who announced his 2024 presidential campaign in late April, hammered Trump for his Ukraine war comments, too.

“Trump reminded everyone tonight of his support of Russia and his willingness to sell out Ukraine. A weak position that will not win the war,” he tweeted.

The town hall audience was also caught in the blast radius of criticism. New Hampshire's Republican Governor, Chris Sununu, called the MAGA crowd "embarrassing" for applauding Trump while he insulted Carroll.

“As the camera pans through that audience, I knew pretty much everybody,” the governor said. “They’re all Trump supporters. So the audience was absolutely filled with Trump supporters. So I wasn’t surprised to hear the support.

“But when you’re talking about a serious issue like that, and laughter and mocking and all that, it’s completely embarrassing, without a doubt, and it doesn’t shine a positive light on New Hampshire.”

Republicans Tighten Abortion Restrictions in Louisiana And South Carolina

Republicans Tighten Abortion Restrictions in Louisiana And South Carolina

During the months since the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority declared Roe v. Wade — the decades-old landmark ruling that established abortion as a constitutional right — “egregiously wrong” and erased it, Republicans have pushed to restrict women’s reproductive freedoms further, enacting bans on abortion that begin as early as six weeks after pregnancy.

One such act is unfolding in South Carolina, one of just two states where women could face criminal charges and be sentenced to death for getting an abortion.

According to CNN, the state’s Republican governor, Henry McMaster, on Friday officially summoned state lawmakers back for a special session next week — just a day after their legislative session ended — to take up several bills, one of which would ban most abortions at six weeks.

Dubbed the “Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act,” the bill would ban most abortions upon the detection of cardiac activity in a fetus; that’s as early as six weeks of pregnancy, when most women don’t yet know they are pregnant, CNN noted.

The bill permits exceptions of up to 12 weeks for rape, incest, and if the person seeking an abortion is less than 17 years old. Exceptions are also offered for “medical emergenc[ies],” “to prevent the death of the pregnant woman,” or “to prevent the serious risk of a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”

Republican lawmakers are said to be confident that the state Supreme Court won’t kill their abortion ban bill after the court’s only female justice, Kaye Hearn — who wrote for the majority in the court’s ruling early this year that struck down a similar six-week abortion ban bill South Carolina passed in 2021 — retired and was replaced.

Democrats, who oppose the bill, brought over 1,000 amendments into the South Carolina House floor on Thursday chamber in preparation for a debate on the ban. House Speaker Murrell Smith (R-Sumter) has poured cold water on hopes that the Democrats’ effort would yield results.

“We are not going to be breaking,” Smith said. “So bring supper, dinner, breakfast, lunch, whatever for days or however long you want to get through amendments, but we’re going to get through that bill and have a final vote on that bill.”

While the Democrat’s longshot efforts to loosen, or get rid of, the bill is, at least, still ongoing, those of their colleagues in Louisiana have all but ended.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Republican lawmakers in Louisiana rejected the rape and incest exception packages their Democratic colleagues proposed to loosen the state’s near-total abortion ban.

The ban, a trigger law that went into effect immediately after Roe v. Wade was overturned, bans almost all abortions with no exceptions for rape or incest — legislation the Biden Administration has since branded "extreme" and "radical."

“I simply do not understand how we as a state can tell any victim that she must be forced by law to carry her rapist’s baby to term, regardless of the impact on her own physical or mental health, the wishes of her parents, or the medical judgment of her physician,” Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a pro-life Democrat who supports exceptions for rape and incest, said on Thursday.

“As I have said before, rape and incest exceptions protect crime victims. We must do all that we can to protect them and sadly, the committee failed to do so today,” Edwards added.

Rep. Delisha Boyd (D-102), who authored the abortion ban bill to include the exceptions, “said the state is not truly ‘pro-life’ if it does not protect all children, including those who currently are forced to carry their rapist’s child to term — which can lead to further trauma and health complications,” stated the AP.

Despite the dire health consequences of restricting abortion — which caused voters the most concern after inflation, 2022 midterm exit polls showed — Republicans have remained steadfast in their anti-abortion crusade. However, some top conservative pols fear it would cost them at the polls.

“Abortion was a big issue in key states like Michigan and Pennsylvania, and so the guidance we’re going to give to our candidates is, you have to address this head-on,” Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, toldFox News Sunday in late April.

A Gallup poll found in February that most Americans were dissatisfied with the country’s post-Roe abortion statutes, with 74 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of Independents wanting less draconian laws.

The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that most Republicans — 86 percent, to be exact — supported abortion restrictions of up to three months, a window far longer than several Republican-controlled states, including Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

Wisconsin Republicans Appoint Election Denier To Senate Elections Committee

Wisconsin Republicans Appoint Election Denier To Senate Elections Committee

Wisconsin Senate Republicans have drawn backlash for appointing a controversial new senator who sought to delay the certification of the 2020 presidential election results — and signaled an intent to impeach the state’s newly-elected liberal state Supreme Court Justice — as chairman of a committee overseeing elections.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) announced Tuesday that Sen. Dan Knodl (R-Germantown), who was sworn in just last week after winning a special election in April for the Senate District 8 seat, would chair the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Shared Revenue, Elections, and Consumer Protection, according to the Wisconsin Examiner.

“Senator Knodl will bring added experience and expertise to the Senate,” LeMahieu said in a press release. “His appointment will further strengthen the excellent work being done in these Committees.”

Knodl was one of 15 Wisconsin Republican lawmakers and over 100 lawmakers nationwide who signed onto a letter, dated January 5, 2021, urging then-Vice President Mike Pence to hold off on certifying the 2020 election results for ten days, citing “illegalities present in the 2020 election” and “a coordinated and structured multi-state effort to undermine state law protecting election integrity.”

The letter argued that the Constitution permitted battleground states’ legislatures to “[investigate] and [determine] whether the election should be certified, or decertified” — an authority with which they could overturn then-President Donald Trump’s loss on the baseless grounds of rampant election fraud, despite the preponderance of evidence disproving such claims.

“Making sure our elections are fair and accurate should be a bipartisan effort and we should be continually looking to improve our election process.,” Knodl said in a statement Thursday. “It is of utmost importance that every citizen in Wisconsin has confidence in their vote being legally cast and counted correctly.”

Knodl’s victory gave the state GOP a two-thirds supermajority in the state Senate, which could be used to impeach Wisconsin Democratic governor Tony Evers and other elected officials, including Wisconsin judge Janet Protasiewicz, who was elected to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by a landslide on Tuesday, April 4, the day before Knodl won.

In an interview with WISN-TV a week before his victory, Knodl said the “Milwaukee County justice system is failing” and called for local prosecutors and judges, including Protasiewicz, to face scrutiny, Newsweek reported.

“If there are some that are out there that are corrupt, that are failing at their tasks, then we have the opportunity to hold them accountable … up to impeachment,” Knodl said, per NBC News.

“Janet Protasiewicz is a Circuit Court judge right now in Milwaukee, and she has failed,” he continued. When the Republican was asked if he “would support impeaching her,” Knodl replied, “I certainly would consider it.”

The outlet noted it was unclear whether Knodl was referring to potentially impeaching her from her previous position on the Milwaukee Circuit Court or following her election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard (D-Madison) blasted Knodl’s appointment, calling him unfit to oversee the election committee given his signature on the election-subversion letter.

"Senator Knodl actively worked to thwart the peaceful transition of power by signing on to a letter requesting that VP Pence delay the certification of the 2020 presidential election. He does not respect the nation’s longstanding democratic processes and is unfit to chair a committee exercising some oversight of Wisconsin‘s elections," Agard said in a statement.

Knodl said Agard’s comments were “unfortunate” and “immediately sets up an adversarial relationship regarding election oversight,” a matter he said required all hands on deck “to improve.”

“I am uniquely qualified to chair such a committee because of my election reform legislation and my recognition of election irregularities,” he added.

GOP Committee Chair Ripped On Fox Over His Feeble Biden Probe (VIDEO)

GOP Committee Chair Ripped On Fox Over His Feeble Biden Probe (VIDEO)

House Oversight Committee chair Rep. James Comer (R-KY) was grilled on Fox News over his long-running investigation into the Bidens, which has so far failed to substantiate right-wing allegations of “influence peddling” by President Joe Biden.

The committee on Wednesday released a 36-page interim report comprising bank records that showed companies — which Comer and his GOP colleagues claimed are tied to the Bidens — received over $10 million from overseas in business dealings.

Comer and his GOP colleagues described the records, obtained through subpoena, as questionable but stopped short of declaring the financial activity it contained potentially illegal. The report also failed to outline any “specific corrupt action Mr. Biden took in office in connection with any of the business deals his son entered into,” the New York Times reported.

Comer also dodged questions in a press conference on Wednesday about why the GOP’s much-touted investigation had failed to implicate their central target, President Biden.

“I don’t think anyone in America … would think that it’s just a coincidence that nine Biden family members have received money,” he told reporters.

Thus, the report failed to elicit the positive public response that House Oversight Republicans hoped it would, even on Fox News.

When Comer appeared Thursday morning on Fox and Friends, host Steve Doocy expressed skepticism at the glaring lack of evidence in the Oversight Committees’ report to support the claims of wrongdoing by President Biden that Republicans have long since propagated.

“I know the Republicans said that the smoking gun were these financial records that you were able to subpoena and got your hands on,” Doocy said, referring to the committee’s report.

“Your party, and Republican investigators, say that's proof of influence peddling by Hunter and James [Biden], but that's just your suggestion. You don't actually have any facts to that point. You've got some circumstantial evidence. And the other thing is, of all those names, the one person who didn’t profit is ― there is no evidence that Joe Biden did anything illegally,” Doocy told a red-faced Comer.

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera put Comer on blast, too, tweeting Wednesday that the committee’s “angry allegations are vague and general and do not point to specific crimes. It still comes down to put up (that evidence) or shut up.”

A former Trump adviser, Sebastian Gorka, also dismissed Comer’s report as devoid of a “smoking gun” that irrefutably showed then-Vice President Biden changing or implementing policy for financial gain.

"It doesn't make any difference in the eyes of the general public until there is the smoking gun of, yes, a piece of paper, saying 'I, Joe Biden, changed this policy regarding Romania or Ukraine because of the money,'" Gorka told Breitbart politics editor Emma Jo-Morris in a podcast Thursday morning, per Newsweek.

A spokesperson for the White House, Ian Sams, dismissed Comer’s report as the product of cherry-picking, selective leaking, and baseless innuendo in a statement to news media outlets.

“Congressman Comer has a history of playing fast and loose with the facts and spreading baseless innuendo while refusing to conduct his so-called ‘investigations’ with legitimacy,” Sams said. “He has hidden information from the public to selectively leak and promote his own hand-picked narratives as part of his overall effort to lob personal attacks at the President and his family.”

In a Wednesday appearance on Hannity, Comer slammed news media outlets for what he perceived was more coverage of career fabulist Rep. George Santos (R-NY)’s 13-count federal indictment than House Oversight Republicans’ report.

“The mainstream media, for the most part, didn’t cover [the report] at all, and instead covered the George Santos stuff, [which] is further proof that this media is covering for Joe Biden,” Comer said.

Rep. Elise Stefanik

GOP Leaders Protect Indicted Santos Despite Bipartisan Demands For Ouster (VIDEO)

Rep. George Santos (R-NY) blasted the criminal charges against him as a “witch hunt” — and vowed to remain in office, despite bipartisan calls for his resignation — after his release from federal custody on a $500,000 bond Wednesday.

The embattled freshman, infamous for fabricating his life story, addressed a crowd of reporters outside federal court in Central Islip after his arraignment on 13 federal charges, including fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds, and lying to Congress.

In a rambling speech that elicited laughter and boos from the media present, Santos denounced the federal inquiry as harassment, insisted he wouldn’t resign and pledged to run for reelection, and raised recent baseless far-right allegations against President Joe Biden and his family.

Overseeing a paper-thin 222 - 213 majority, House Republican leaders stood by Santos, declining to discuss a potential ouster despite the contrast between his charges and their purported aversion to corruption, as well as the growing calls from within their own ranks for Santos’ resignation.

“I think in America, you’re innocent ’til proven guilty,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday after multiple outlets broke the news of Santos’ indictment, according to HuffPost.

On Wednesday, McCarthy told CNN’s Manu Raju that he wouldn’t support Santos’ reelection bid, saying, “I think he has other things to focus on in his life."

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), who previously slammed the Manhattan indictment of former President Trump, emphasized the importance of respecting the legal process when a reporter asked if Santos should resign.

“In America, there’s a presumption of innocence, but they’re serious charges. He’s going to have to go through the legal process. … [T]hat court process is going to play itself out,” Scalise said.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the chairwoman of the House Gop Conference — who heartily endorsed Santos in the 2022 midterms and stayed silent as revelations emerged that he had made up his resume — also waxed lyrical about trusting the process and suggested the GOP would do nothing more about Santos in the short term.

“As I’ve said, from the very beginning, on questions on this subject, this legal process is going to play itself out,” she said.

However, several House Republicans, including Santos' fellow Long Island colleagues, broke with their leaders and demanded the freshman resign immediately.

"I think he needs to go right away, and I hope that he resigns," Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY) told CNN. "He's a complete embarrassment. The nation's focusing on solutions that matter, not George Santos."

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) told Axios on Tuesday that “the sooner [Santos] leaves, the sooner we can win the seat with someone who isn’t a liar.”

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX) called for Santos’ immediate expulsion and “a special election initiated at the soonest possible date” in a tweet Wednesday.

Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) on Wednesday said that Santos should resign, calling his indictment and subsequent arraignment “a distraction” and “a punch line for a lot of commentary regarding the Republican Party that we don't need.”

House Democrats heightened their calls for Santos to resign, blasting him for co-sponsoring the House GOP’s bill on covid unemployment fraud, which is now one of the federal charges he is facing.

“You can't make this up: House Republicans are beginning floor consideration *today* of a bill that would defund efforts to crack down on unemployment fraud. On the same day that one of their own members was hit with a criminal indictment for unemployment fraud,” Rep. Don Beyer said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.

Santos has largely ignored the new calls for his ouster. He's still grifting off his own disgrace. In a tweet after leaving the courthouse, the Republican pleaded with his followers for their financial “support to keep me fighting for freedom.”

'We Could Screw This Up': McConnell Fears GOP Defeats In 2024

'We Could Screw This Up': McConnell Fears GOP Defeats In 2024

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has expressed uncertainty that the GOP will regain control of the Senate in 2024, warning on Monday that the party could still “screw this up” despite a favorable map and needing to gain only two seats.

“No, no – I’m not,” McConnell responded with a chuckle when CNN’s Manu Raju asked over the phone whether the Republican leader is confident his party can take back the upper chamber after four years in the minority.

He added: “I just spent 10 minutes explaining to you how we could screw this up, and we’re working very hard to not let that happen. Let’s put it that way.”

The remarks closely echoed the concerns McConnell expressed before the 2022 midterms, when Democrats defied historical precedent to flip a Senate seat and increase their slim majority, despite issues like inflation and Biden’s low approval numbers putting them on the back foot.

In that cycle, the then-National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), with whom McConnell clashed on policy and strategy, allowed voters to freely choose their preferred candidates in the primary, with the understanding that the national party would then support them in the general election.

The hands-off strategy backfired when far-right Trump-backed candidates Blake Masters, Don Bolduc, and Herschel Walker succumbed to defeat in Arizona, New Hampshire, and Georgia, respectively — races that pundits had believed Republicans would win.

“We do have the possibility of screwing this up, and that gets back to candidate recruitment,” McConnell said. “I think that we lost Georgia, Arizona, and New Hampshire [in 2022] because we didn’t have competitive candidates.”

This time, however, McConnell said he was working with the present NRSC chair, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), to influence which candidates compete in the upcoming Republican primaries, even if it meant going against the far-right flank of the GOP.

“We don't have an ideological litmus test,” McConnell told Raju. “We want to win in November.

“We’ll be involved in any primary where that seems to be necessary to get a high-quality candidate, and we’ll be involved in every general election where we have a legitimate shot of winning – regardless of the philosophy of the nominee,” McConnell added.

McConnell also said that Republicans have prioritized winning in four key states, the first three of which Trump won by more than 50 percent in 2020: Montana, West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

West Virginia Republican governor Jim Justice, one of the red state's most popular Republicans, announced his 2024 Senate bid in late April, setting up a potential challenge for incumbent Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)’s seat.

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has announced a reelection bid, as has Senator John Tester (D-MT), setting up a likely clash with Freedom Caucus House Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), who is reportedly mulling a Senate run.

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is also running for reelection in 2024, and Democrats hope that failed far-right gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano will run against him, a potential match-up alarming Republicans, especially former President Donald Trump, who backed him in 2022, according to Politico.

When Raju asked whether McConnell is worried about a potential Mastriano Senate bid, the Republican leader talked up hedge fund executive David McCormick, the Republican who lost to Trump-backed TV doctor Mehmet Oz but is reportedly eyeing a Senate bid.

“I think everybody is entitled to run,” McConnell said. “I’m confident the vast majority of people who met Dave McCormick are going to be fine with him.”

The Kentuckian didn’t express as much optimism for the upcoming races in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, and Nevada races — battleground states Trump lost in 2020. McConnell said the GOP would need to field quality candidates to compete there.

“I didn’t mention Wisconsin; I think clearly you’d have to have an outstanding candidate. And I think there are some other places where with the right candidate, we might be able to compete – in Nevada, Arizona,” he said.

McConnell also poured cold water on earlier concerns that estranged Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who abandoned the Democratic party to become an Independent in December, would run in 2024 as a Republican, saying, “We would love to have had her, but we didn’t land her.”

The 81-year-old lawmaker also refused to comment on his political future, dodging Raju’s question about whether or not he planned to run again when his term is up in 2026.

“I thought this was not an interview about my future,” McConnell said. “I thought it was an interview about the 2024 Senate elections.”

Lin Wood, left, and Sidney Powell.

Michigan Commission Seeks Disciplinary Action Against Trump Lawyers

The cadre of pro-Trump lawyers behind a conspiracy-laden lawsuit that sought to overturn Michigan’s 2020 presidential election results, including ex-Trump attorney Sidney Powell and conspiracy theorist Lin Wood, committed “misconduct” and should face disciplinary action, according to the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.

The commission, which serves as the investigative arm of the Michigan Supreme Court, made the request in a formal complaint it filed with the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board last week against Powell, Wood, and seven other lawyers: Howard Kleinhendle of New York; Emily Newman of Texas; Brandon Johnson and Julia Haller of Washington, D.C.; and Gregory Rohl, Scott Hagerstrom, and Stefanie Junttilla Lambert of Michigan.

The attorneys used their “Kraken” lawsuit to promulgate the false claim that a shadowy foreign organization — backed by billionaire philanthropist George Soros and the Clintons — stole the 2020 election from former President Donald Trump in Michigan and several other states.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker dismissed the sham lawsuit and imposed sanctions on the lawyers, including a $175,000 payment in court costs incurred by Detroit and Michigan and the mandatory completion of 12 hours of legal education.

The federal judge referred her sanctions to other attorney disciplinary boards nationwide for possible disciplinary action against the attorneys, including probation, suspension, or disbarment, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Powell and the others appealed Park's sanctions at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, accusing the federal judge of targeting them for their political views. The matter is currently pending before the court.

In its complaint dated May 1, the nine-member Attorney Grievance Commission accused Powell, Wood, and the others of "bringing or defending” a “frivolous” lawsuit and partaking in “prejudicial” conduct that is “contrary to justice, ethics, honesty, or good morals."

The commission began its review after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and Attorney General Dana Nessel filed complaints requesting the lawyers be disbarred for their efforts to “disenfranchise Michigan voters and undermine the faith of the public in the legitimacy” of the state’s 2020 election.

In response to the commission’s complaint, the Attorney Discipline Board will convene a panel of three attorneys to “conduct trial level proceedings” on the matter before making a decision, the board’s website states. If the board finds the Trump-allied attorneys guilty of misconduct, it could demand their disbarment.

Hagerstrom, one of the attornies named in the complaint, blasted the Democratic Party for the development, noting that he had “moved on a long time ago.”

“It seems that (Democrats) want to keep us alive for some reason. Maybe it helps them politically,” Hagerstrom said, per Bridge Michigan.

In a statement to the outlet, Lambert touted never having “a bar grievance until the instant matter” and said she looked forward to “providing the State Bar with full transparency” and “examining Benson and Nessel under oath as part of her public hearing.”

Nessel, in his complaint, fingered Lambert as one of the brains behind “a coordinated plan to gain access to voting tabulators” in three counties to find evidence of fraud, Reuters reported.

In February, a Texas judge dismissed a petition by the State Bar of Texas’ Commission for Lawyer Discipline accusing Powell of violating legal ethics in her election subversion role for Trump and his allies.

Several former Trump lawyers — including ex-New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, the architect of Trump’s failed fake elector scheme — have also faced state bar reviews.

A New York court suspended Giuliani’s license to practice law in the state in June 2021. Last December, a disciplinary panel of the Washington, D.C. bar recommended that Giuliani face “only one sanction, and that’s the sanction of disbarment” for filing a failed lawsuit in Pennsylvania to block the certification of the state’s 2020 presidential election results.

Georgia Republicans Pass Bill Allowing Ouster Of District Attorney Willis

Georgia Republicans Pass Bill Allowing Ouster Of District Attorney Willis

Georgia Republicans have passed a new law that allows for the removal of locally-elected prosecutors from office, which could include the Atlanta-area district attorney probing efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.

The law, Senate Bill 92 — sponsored solely by Republicans — will establish a Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission. The commission will have the authority to boot district attornies considered to have shown a “willful and persistent failure” to prosecute crimes that they are “by law required to prosecute,” according to the Guardian.

The commission will consist of eight people: six current or former prosecutors and two attorneys. The commissioners will convene on July 1 and start taking complaints on October 1, the Associated Press reported.

Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, signed the bill into law Friday at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office in Savannah. In a press release issued the same day, Kemp praised the bill as a means to hold “incompetent prosecutors” accountable for what he said was their failure to prioritize public safety.

"As hardworking law enforcement officers routinely put their lives on the line to investigate, confront, and arrest criminal offenders, I won't stand idly by as they're met with resistance from rogue or incompetent prosecutors who refuse to uphold the law," Kemp said.

“The creation of the PACQ will help hold prosecutors driven by out-of-touch politics than commitment to their responsibilities accountable and make our communities safer,” he added.

Critics have blasted the bill as part of a nationwide Republican effort to control or outs Democratic and liberal-leaning prosecutors who they deem “woke,” soft on crime, or adamant about prosecuting certain crimes, such as abortion, which several Republican-led states have banned since Supreme Court’s conservative majority overturned Roe v Wade.

Georgia Democrats and voting rights activists have accused Kemp and the Republican-dominated legislature of attempting to use the bill to impose their will on areas that are predominantly Democratic.

“Georgia voters’ ability to provide critical input into the criminal legal system is now under threat following the signing of SB 92 into law—the latest effort in Governor Kemp’s harmful, anti-democratic agenda,” Esosa Osa, the deputy executive director of Fair Fight Action, a voting rights organization, wrote in a public statement.

The bill came as Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis weighed criminal charges against Trump and his allies for alleged election interference efforts in 2020, adding to concerns that the new law could be to silence or crack down on prosecutors handling politically sensitive cases.

Willis herself has decried the bill as “racist” at a hearing, pointing out the curious timing of its passage by Republicans. She said the bill had come after voters in 2020 elected fourteen minority district attornies, who “now represent the majority of the constituents in the state of Georgia,” reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Republican lawmakers swiftly attacked Willis for her characterization of their bill. "For you to come in here and try to make this about racism, that this bill is directed at any district attorney or solicitor because of racism, is absurd, and it's offensive," said GOP state Senator Bill Cowsert. "It's a racist statement on its own."

Trump also took aim at Willis in a tirade on his Truth Social platform last month.

“The Racist District Attorney in Atlanta, Fani T. Willis, one of the most dangerous and corrupt cities in the U.S., is now calling the Georgia Legislature, of course, RACIST, because they want to make it easier to remove and replace local rogue prosecutors who are incompetent, racist, or unable to properly do their job,” he wrote.

Trump has repeatedly denounced Willis’ investigation — which roared to life after the then-president pressured a top Georgia election official over the phone to “find” enough votes to reverse his loss in the state — as a “political witch hunt.”

A court filing on Friday revealed that eight of the sixteen “fake electors” in Georgia who sought to erroneously declare Trump the winner of the 2020 presidential election had accepted immunity deals in Willis’ investigation into the matter.

Georgia Republicans have named criminal reform-minded Democratic District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez, who serves Athens-Clarke and Oconee counties, as a target for the controversial Senate Bill 92. Gonzalez has faced criticism from Republicans for refusing to issue charges for simple marijuana possession and abortion-related crimes.

“[Senate Bill 92] is not an oversight bill. It’s an overstep on the part of the legislature to undermine the voice and vote of the people who elected us as DAs based on our approach and what they felt they wanted, in terms of the way that justice should be done in their community. This just takes all of that away,” Gonzalez told Bolts Magazine.

GOP's Grassley Admits 'Very Serious' Allegations Against Biden May Be Untrue

GOP's Grassley Admits 'Very Serious' Allegations Against Biden May Be Untrue

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who recently demanded the FBI release a document allegedly containing an unverified tip that an unnamed whistleblower claimed tied President Joe Biden to a bribery scheme, has admitted that he doesn’t know whether the allegations are true.

Grassley and Rep. James Comer (R-KY), the House Oversight Committee chairman, asserted on Wednesday that the FBI possessed a document outlining “an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions.”

Both Republicans claimed a “highly credible whistleblower” had disclosed the potential existence of such a document. However, neither lawmaker offered any information on the purported whistleblower’s background or how the person could have known the document existed.

“The DOJ and the FBI appear to have valuable, verifiable information that you have failed to disclose to the American people,” Comer and Grassley said in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and US Attorney General Merrick Garland.

However, in an interview with Newsmax on Friday, Grassley sought a safe distance from the accusations he had peddled, admitting that there was no evidence to back up the so-called bombshell exposé, according to Newsweek.

"It is a very serious allegation. I wish I could say that I knew it was true or untrue," Grassley told Newsmax host Van Susteren.

The comments mirrored Grassley's statement to Fox News on Thursday, contending that he couldn’t ascertain “whether or not it's really criminal activity."

When a Fox News anchor, John Roberts, pressed Grassley on the unfounded allegations a day earlier, the 89-year-old lawmaker said, “We’ve got to wait to see what the document exactly says,” Mediaite reported Wednesday.

Comer subpoenaed the FBI on Wednesday for all FD-1023 forms — records containing allegations from confidential sources — generated from June 2020 with the word “Biden” in them.

The Republicans gave the FBI until May 10 to comply with the subpoena.

“The FBI’s recent history of botching politically charged investigations demands close congressional oversight,” Grassley said in a press release Wednesday.

Republicans wanted “to determine if the Biden family has been targeted by foreign actors, if President Biden is compromised, and if there is a national security threat,” he added.

Grassley’s communications director, Taylor Foy, told Newsweek that — despite walking back his accusations under pressure — the senator believed the document existed and wanted to know what the FBI “[did] with that information.”

Despite their promises to the American people in the lead-up to the 2022 midterms, Republicans have prioritized investigating Biden and his family since becoming the majority in the House of Representatives.

“For four or five years, I’ve made accusations by speech, by letter, by phone call, and all that stuff, and never once has it been challenged,” Grassley told HuffPost.

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), a proponent of past unverified allegations against Biden, said that if the bribery allegation were disproven, it would be up to Republicans whether to admit they had made false claims.

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) told Fox News that the burden of proof for the Republican’s latest allegation against Biden fell to “those Democrats out there screaming about how ‘Joe Biden is innocent [and] Joe Biden hasn’t done anything.’”

Several far-right Republicans have already backed the unsubstantiated allegation and demanded that Biden be removed from office.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) told Fox News star Sean Hannity that there was “growing” evidence to show “Joe Biden being complicit and profiting from this corruption.”

“It doesn’t have to be a high crime or misdemeanor because the Constitution specifies that impeachment lies for treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors,” Cruz said.

“If President Biden is in fact compromised… I don't see how we could not look into impeachment,” Oversight Committee member Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) told the UK’s DailyMail.

Rep. Nick Langworthy (R-NY) told the paper that the allegation was the “textbook definition of a high crime that would demand impeachment.”

On Thursday morning, Rep. Russell Fry (R-SC) told Fox Business that there was “a very strong possibility” that Biden would be impeached, a development he said was “certainly on the table.”

Freedom Caucus firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who has issued several articles of impeachment against Biden, lauded the supposed whistleblower for revealing “very credible information” that Biden engaged in a “pay-for-play crime scheme with foreign nationals.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee, in a press release Wednesday, blasted House and Senate Republicans for pushing “unsubstantiated claims” from “an unknown informant” in a cynical attempt to “attack President Biden in one more baseless partisan stunt.”

A White House spokesperson, Ian Sams, criticized Republicans for what he suggested were desperate, failed political attacks on the president in a statement to news outlets.

“For going on five years now, Republicans in Congress have been lobbing unfounded, unproven, politically motivated attacks against the President and his family without offering evidence for their claims or evidence of decisions influenced by anything other than U.S. interests,” Sams said. “That’s because they prefer floating anonymous innuendo, amplified by the megaphone of their allies in rightwing media, to get attention.”

Republicans Blast Biden For Sending Troops To Border -- As Trump Did

Republicans Blast Biden For Sending Troops To Border -- As Trump Did

Republicans have accused the Biden Administration of deploying troops to the US-Mexico border as a political stunt, despite their clamor for hardline border enforcement and past support for ex-President Donald Trump doing the same days before the 2018 midterms.

The Pentagon announced Tuesday that it would deploy 1,500 active-duty military troops to the US-Mexico border ahead of a massive influx of migrants expected when Title 42 — a Trump-era public health policy that quickly expels border crossers — expires next week.

Deployed to the border for 90 days at the behest of the Department of Homeland Security, the troops would undertake administrative tasks, including “ground-based detection and monitoring, data entry, and warehouse support,” not law enforcement, the Pentagon confirmed in a press release.

Trump deployed over 5,000 troops to the border days before the 2018 midterm election to help border officials “harden the border” against “invasion of our country.” The troops, it turned out, weren’t tasked with law enforcement and served only in administrative roles, providing logistical support to border agents.

Yet, on Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott slammed the Biden Administration for deploying troops “primarily to do paperwork” and claimed, without any apparent basis in fact, that his own deployment of National Guardsmen filled “the gaps created by Biden's reckless open border policies.”

Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), whose tearful plea on Fox News for donations to Trump earlier this month drew mockery, denounced Biden’s deployment as “ridiculous theater” that won’t help law enforcement at the border.

But, when a reporter asked if he felt the same about Trump’s 2018 deployment, Graham praised the twice-impeached former president for doing “the best job in my political lifetime.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who was with Graham, said Biden would “accomplish nothing” in his efforts to secure the border.

“As long as the Biden administration keeps in place catch and release, he could send 1,500 troops; he could send 10,000 troops, he could send 100,000 troops. It would do nothing to secure the border,” Cruz said.

“Joe Biden is the last mile of the human trafficking network,” Cruz added, alleging without evidence that the Biden officials would send migrants to “whatever city in America they want to go to.”

The roughly 2,100 National Guardsmen Trump sent to the border in April 2018, seven months before the midterms, performed only administrative tasks, too, from “everything from shoveling manure to changing tires,” miles away from the border, Politico reported at the time.

However, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) mocked Biden for the non-law enforcement roles that the soon-to-be-deployed troops would take up, saying, “When they can’t enforce immigration law, all they can do is change diapers and push paper, in other words under the law they can only perform administrative functions.”

Far-right agitator Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) denounced the Biden deployment as political gamesmanship at “our border because the crisis is so dangerously out of control that it has driven his poll numbers to impeachment levels.”

Greene tweeted, “It’s not about protecting our country, it’s all about protecting himself. Joe Biden doesn’t care about border security or you.”

According to Time, however, despite Trump’s persistent immigrant fear-mongering and enactment of hardline immigration policies, which Republicans branded the “Trump effect,” illegal Mexican border crossings ballooned to a 12-year high under his presidency. In 2018, the National Border Patrol Union called Trump’s decision to deploy National Guard troops to the border “a colossal waste of resources.”

Mike Pence

Special Counsel Attended Pence's Testimony Before January 6 Grand Jury

Special counsel Jack Smith was in the room when former Vice President Mike Pence testified before a federal grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election last week, CNN reported Wednesday.

Pence’s closed-door testimony marked a critical juncture in the Justice Department's long-running January 6 probe. It was also the first time in modern history that a vice president was compelled to testify against their ex-boss.

Pence testified for over five hours at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse, offering prosecutors a crucial and clear insight into confidential discussions within the Oval Office in the lead-up to the January 6, 2021 insurrection, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

CNN stated that Pence and Smith had a “respectful” interaction at the courthouse and that the former vice president’s testimony was “likely to elicit a strong negative reaction from his former boss.”

Trump has repeatedly lashed out at Pence and Smith in angry posts on his Truth Social platform and labeled the January 6 probe a political hit job engineered by his enemies to hamper his 2024 presidential ambitions.

Trump’s legal team expended significant effort in court to prevent Pence’s testimony, which Smith subpoenaed in February, by asserting executive privilege — a legal doctrine shielding the president and other executive branch officials from surrendering documents or information to Congress or the courts.

A top federal judge in Washington, D.C., rejected that argument in late March and ordered Pence to answer questions concerning any illegal actions Trump took in a bid to retain power despite losing the election.

Pence’s legal team didn’t appeal the ruling, but Trump’s lawyers approached the appeals court to stay the federal judge’s decision. However, a three-judge panel of the court, one of who Trump appointed, rejected the effort.

Smith, appointed by the DOJ iast November, is also overseeing the federal probe into Trump’s illegal retention and potential mishandling of classified documents, boxes of which federal agents carted away from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence when it executed a search warrant there last August.

However, the January 6 and classified documents investigations are only two facets of Trump’s legal trouble. The former president is embroiled in a civil trial in Manhattan for allegedly raping advice columnist E Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s. Trump also faces 34 class E felonies in New York City, levied on him by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg in connection with alleged hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Also in the cards for Trump is a Georgia district attorney Fani Willis’s investigation into his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state, as well as a $250 million civil fraud lawsuit filed by New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, accusing Trump and his three adult children of engaging in “years of financial fraud.”

Trump has since denied all allegations of wrongdoing and branded Pence “a pussy”; Carroll a “whack job” who’s “not my type”; Daniels, “horseface”; Bragg, “an animal”; Willis, who is Black, “racist”; and Smith, “a Trump Hating THUG.”

Trump Visits Scotland To Initiate Construction Of Controversial Golf Links

Trump Visits Scotland To Initiate Construction Of Controversial Golf Links

Former President Donald Trump traveled to Scotland on Monday to cut the ribbon on a second golf course at the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, despite the controversy that arose in October 2020 when the county ignored public outcry and approved its construction.

The trip marked Trump’s second visit to Scotland since 2018 and his first international trip since Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted him on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

As Trump’s plane prepared to touchdown in Aberdeen on Monday morning, his attorneys accused the federal judge overseeing the E. Jean Carroll sexual battery and defamation trial of “pervasive unfair and prejudicial rulings” against Trump in their demand for a mistrial. The judge denied the request.

Upon landing at Aberdeen International Airport with his son, Eric Trump, the former president declared that it was “great to be home — this was the home of my mother,” according to the Associated Press.

“Will be meeting with many wonderful friends, and cutting a ribbon for a new and spectacular second course in Aberdeen,” Trump wrote on Truth Social, his social media platform, ahead of the trip. “Very exciting despite the fact that it is ‘make America great again’ that is on my mind, in fact, America will be greater than ever before.”

Trump International Scotland said Monday on Twitter that the former president would dedicate the new golf course to his mother, Mary Anne MacLeod, who emigrated to the U.S. from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.

The Associated Press reported that fans in Aberdeen rolled out the red carpet for Trump and Eric, both of whom are mentioned in New York District Attorney Letitia James' $250 million civil fraud lawsuit.

James accused Trump, his adult children, and the Trump Organization of intentionally distorting property and asset valuations to deceive lenders, insurance companies, and tax authorities.

Trump’s first two golf courses in Scotland — one at Turnberry and the other at Aberdeenshire — were mentioned in James’ civil fraud complaint.

The BBC reported in February that both golf courses were ramping up pre-tax losses despite the companies running them receiving over £1 million in Covid-19 payroll support. Eric Trump, director of both companies, blamed “Brexit,” which his father championed, and the reduced “availability of drivers and staff” for the loss.

Trump spent over $300 million to purchase and develop the loss-making resorts and faced calls to disclose the source of funds used in the purchase, per Newsweek.

In December 2020, Scotland’s nature agency, Nature Scot, formally declared that the spectacular sand dunes around Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf course, “partially destroyed” during construction, no longer merited a protected status.

The extraordinarily high dunes were bulldozed or reshaped by Trump to clear space for fairways and greens, infuriating environmentalists.

"Trump International Golf Links Scotland have undertaken to deliver nature conservation management on the golf course and we value the work they have done to protect the remaining rare habitats and the rare plants on their site; however they no longer have sufficient scientific interest to merit special protection," Nature Scot said in a December 2020 statement.

Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis

Trump ‘Couldn’t Care Less' About  DeSantis Challenge -- But Attacks Again

Former President Donald Trump has blasted Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature for passing an election reform bill that would permit Governor Ron DeSantis (R) to run for president in 2024 without vacating his current position.

The bill, S.B. 7050, changed a Florida law called “Resign-to-Run” that bars elected officials from running for another office if the terms of both offices overlap. Approved Friday, the bill exempts “any person seeking the office of President or Vice President of the United States” from resign-to-run.

In a Sunday morning tirade on his Truth Social site, Trump suggested the bill did little else than allow DeSantis to run for president in 2024. In the same breath, though, Trump insisted that he “couldn’t care less” if the governor, whom he’d been attacking since November, challenges him for the GOP 2024 presidential nomination.

“I couldn’t care less if Ron DeSanctus runs, but the problem is the Bill he is about to sign, which allows him to run without resigning from being Governor, totally weakens Election Integrity in Florida,” Trump wrote, using one of several nicknames he has coined for his potential 2024 opponent.

“Instead of getting tough, and doing what the people want (same day voting, Voter ID, proof of Citizenship, paper ballots, hand count, etc.) this Bill guts everything. It will allow dirty Voter rolls to get dirtier, weakens transparency, and is a total mess. It’s simple, all we want is a Free and Fair Election, and an honest count,” he added.

Despite his claim of indifference, Trump has repeatedly assailed DeSantis for the Republican-orchestrated resign-to-run loophole, indicating that he may not be entirely unconcerned about the prospect of facing the governor in the 2024 presidential primaries.

In an early April email from his campaign, Trump accused DeSantis of squandering taxpayer dollars to barnstorm the country as though on the campaign trail when, in reality, he hadn’t formally declared a 2024 run.

"Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is currently on a month-long, taxpayer-funded presidential campaign schedule paid for by Florida taxpayers, and new questions are emerging as to whether this will force DeSantis to resign from office," the campaign's email stated, per Business Insider.

The email didn’t provide substantial evidence to back its claim that taxpayers funded DeSantis’ domestic and foreign trips.

The Trump campaign also accused DeSantis of globetrotting to “score some last-minute foreign policy credentials for his 2024 presidential campaign.”

In the email, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung wrote, "Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to campaign full-time for president, during the Florida legislative session, while collecting a salary and having the taxpayers pick up the costs for his travel and security. It's a massive flip-flop from his position in 2018.”

On March 14, a pro-Trump super PAC, MAGA Inc., filed a 15-page ethics complaint accusing DeSantis of taking "millions of dollars worth of illegal gifts in violation of Florida State ethics laws and the Florida Constitution.”

The Florida Commission on Ethics threw out the complaint last week, citing a lack of “legal sufficiency” for the dismissal.

“We are not surprised by the decision for dismissal of these ridiculous claims against Governor DeSantis,” said Erin Perrine, a top official of pro-DeSantis super PAC Never Back Down.

“We have seen attempts before to weaponize government institutions against Republicans, and it’s deeply disappointing to see another Republican would attempt to use that Democrat playbook against Governor DeSantis, whose ethics remain unimpeachable,” Perrine added.

Despite widening his lead in polls in a 2024 GOP field that includes DeSantis, Trump has not decreased the frequency or intensity of his attacks on DeSantis. A new Emerson College poll showed Republican voters’ support for Trump widened to 62 percent from 55 percent just two months ago.

When reporters broached DeSantis’ falling poll numbers with the governor during his trip to Japan, DeSantis feigned indifference, saying he didn’t care because he wasn’t officially running yet.

“I'm not a candidate, so we'll see if and when that changes,” DeSantis said.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders Says Biden Will 'Win In A Landslide' If He Upholds Working Class

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Sunday expressed confidence that President Joe Biden will win re-election in 2024 by a “landslide,” given the “pretty clear” choice between a leader who upholds democratic values and the GOP, whose leaders “don’t believe in democracy.”

The remarks near the end of the senator’s State of the Union interview on Sunday morning after CNN host Dana Bash asked if voters should consider Biden’s age when deciding who to vote for in 2024.

“[Biden] would be 86 years old by the end of his second term. You're one year older than President Biden,” Bash said. “Is his age something that voters should consider in 2024?”

In response, Sanders noted that voters had more than one factor to consider when deciding whom to cast their ballots for, saying, “Age is one thing, and experience is another thing. I think your record… is another thing.”

Then, Sanders said he believed candidates should be assessed based on “what they stand for” and the side they choose in the fight for working Americans.

“Which side are they on? Are they on the side of the billionaire class, or are they on the side of working people?” Sanders continued.

Sanders — who endorsed Biden’s re-election bid last Tuesday, forgoing another of his own — stated that while he sometimes holds different views than Biden’s, he believed the anti-abortion and anti-democratic stance of the Republican Party are grave threats to the nation.

He also noted that despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, some prominent figures on the right still held the unfounded belief that former President Donald Trump won the 2020 election.

“But when we live in a nation where you have a major political party, the Republican Party, where many — not all, but many — of their leadership doesn't even believe in democracy, they maintain the myth that Trump won the last election, they're trying to keep people from voting, they're trying to deny women the right to control their own bodies, so that's a whole issue out there,” Sanders said.

He added, “If you believe in democracy, you want to see more people vote, not fewer people vote, I think the choice is pretty clear, and that choice is Biden.”

Sanders concluded by stating that Biden would cruise to victory if he consistently reaffirmed his commitment to all Americans, not the big corporations.

“And, second of all, what I do believe is, the Democrats and the president have got to be stronger on working-class issues. They have got to make it clear that we believe in a government that represents all, not just the few, take on the greed of the insurance companies, the drug companies, Wall Street, all the big money interests, and start delivering for working-class people. You do that, I think Biden is going to win in a landslide,” Sanders stated.

Sen. Bernie Sanders on CNN State of the Union, remarks on 2024 election begin at 6:23 mark.youtu.be

A Wall Street Journal poll released last week showed Biden with a three-point lead over Trump in a hypothetical match-up.

A new WPA Intelligence report based on seven recent national popular vote polls since February showed that Biden would beat Trump by 3.1 percent. The report also showed Biden beating Trump by between one percent and four percent in six battleground states: Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Giuliani: We Used 'Dirty Trick' To Suppress Minority Vote In '93 Election

Giuliani: We Used 'Dirty Trick' To Suppress Minority Vote In '93 Election

Rudy Giuliani, a former Trump lawyer and prominent figure in the failed attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, has admitted to using a “dirty trick” to suppress the Hispanic votes during the 1993 New York City mayoral race.

Giuliani revealed his voter suppression trick on Tuesday night’s episode of his podcast, America’s Mayor Live, to his guests: indicted ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon and defeated Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

After a 51-minute discussion rife with false election fraud claims, Giuliani claimed he’d been “cheated” in the 1989 mayoral race that he lost and shed light on a scheme he implemented during his 1993 campaign that spurred a Justice Department probe into his campaign.

“I’ll tell you one little dirty trick,” Giuliani announced, to which Lake — who has refused to concede defeat more than five months after losing her race — replied, “We need dirty tricks!”

“A dirty trick in New York City? I’m so shocked,” Bannon sarcastically said, seemingly pointing to the city’s mostly Democratic electorate. “No, played by Republicans!” Giuliani responded with glee.

“Republicans don’t do dirty tricks,” Bannon said, somewhat alarmed. “How about this one?” Giuliani replied.

The former mayor recalled spending $2 million of campaign funds to seat a “Voter Integrity Committee,” led by Randy Levine, the current president of the Yankees baseball team, and John Sweeney, a former New York Republican congressman.

“So they went through East Harlem, which is all Hispanic, and they gave out little cards, and the card said: ‘If you come to vote, make sure you have your green card because INS are picking up illegals.’ So they spread it all over the Hispanic …” Giuliani said, referring to the now-disbanded Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

The INS was a powerful and feared federal agency that enforced immigration laws, administered naturalization, and carried out deportations and raids to control the country's borders.

“Oh my gosh,” Lake responded, raising her eyebrows.

Then, Giuliani recounted to the far-right duo how — after his 53,000-vote win over incumbent African American mayor David N. Dinkins — his attorney informed him that then-Attorney General Janet Reno had launched a probe into his scheme for civil rights violations.

“Janet Reno is coming after us; we violated civil rights,” Giuliani said his lawyer, Dennison Young, had told him.

Giuliani said he told Young to rest assured because “What civil rights did we violate? They don’t have civil rights! All we did was prevent people who can’t vote from voting. Maybe we tricked them, but tricking is not a crime.”

Then, Giuliani conceded that his voter suppression scheme would have undoubtedly earned a prosecution in today’s society.

“In those days, we didn’t have crazy prosecutors. Nowadays, they’ll probably prosecute you for it … and that’s the way we kept down the Hispanic vote,” Giuliani said.

Lake quickly interjected, “Not the legal vote, the illegal vote.” Undeterred, Giuliani then responded, “Of course! The Hispanic illegal vote, which takes away the Hispanic legal vote.”

Huffington Post reporter Matt Shuham compiled several news media reports that alluded to Giuliani’s voter suppression scheme at the time.

The New York Timesreported in 1993 that after the race was called, Dinkins called a news conference to “accuse the Giuliani camp of waging ‘an outrageous campaign of voter intimidation and dirty tricks.’”

Dinkins’ allegations included “a charge that hundreds of small posters” put up in Washington Heights and the Bronx “suggested that illegal immigrants would be arrested at the polls and deported if they tried to vote,” wrote the Times’ Todd Purdum.

Giuliani denied the allegations back then, saying, “I can assure you this has nothing to do with my campaign and it is precisely what we expected from them,” the report stated.

Labor activist Andy Pollack mentioned the posters in an article for the socialist journal Against the Current published a few months after the election.

“Cops put up phony Dinkins posters in mostly Dominican Washington Heights, saying the INS would be checking voters’ documents at the polls. In some cases police themselves asked Latino voters for their passports,” Pollack wrote.

A few days after the election, the Washington Postreported that then-President Bill Clinton’s Justice Department was investigating complaints about voter suppression efforts in neighborhoods inhabited by Democratic minorities.

“Among the complaints are the placing of signs on telephone poles and walls in Latino areas warning that ‘federal authorities and immigration officials will be at all election sites … Immigration officials will be at locations to arrest and deport undocumented illegal voters,’” wrote Post reporters Thomas Edsall and Malcolm Gladwell.

On 2 November 1992, the day of the election, the Justice Department issued a statement denouncing the misinformation-laden posters.

“The Department of Justice is aware that posters have been placed throughout New York City misinforming voters about the role of federal officials in today’s elections … Federal observers are in New York to protect the rights of minority voters. They are not there to enforce immigration laws.”

Speaking to the Huffington Post, Sweeney said Giuliani’s claims were “nonsense” because he and Levine conducted a “legitimate” operation.

Levine admitted to the outlet that he and Sweeney ran Giuliani’s voter integrity group but insisted the operation was limited to “getting poll watchers and attorneys when there was a dispute.”

He denied having any knowledge of the scheme Giuliani raised on his podcast, saying: “My only knowledge was what was in the news back then and shortly after 1993.”

According to City & State New York, Giuliani also broached divisive topics, such as race and crime, during his campaign to “take advantage of white voters’ racial anxieties about casting a vote for Dinkins.” Exit polls at the time showed Giuliani netted 77 percent of the white vote in the race.

Decades later, Giuliani peddled false claims of widespread voter fraud and played a leading role in Trump’s legal campaign to upend his 2020 defeat to Biden.

Giuliani “weaponized his law license” to “undermine the legitimacy of a presidential election, to undermine the basic premise of the democratic system that we all live in, that has been in place since the 1800s in this country,” said Hamilton Fox, a prosecutor at the DC bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel, said in December, recommending that Giuliani’s DC license be revoked.