Bob Brigham

Trump has a brand new excuse for why Congress can’t see his tax returns: report

Donald Trump continues to resist efforts by investigators to obtain his tax returns.

"Donald Trump said a New York law enabling Congress to ask for his state tax returns no longer applies because he isn't president. The law, known as the Trust Act, allows the state to share the president's tax information with a congressional committee that asks for it. Trump sued the House and Ways and Means Committee to block it from requesting information," Bloomberg News reported Monday.

Trump's lawyers told U.S. District Judge Carl J. Nichols the law "does not apply to former presidents."

The filing is however an admission that he is not president anymore.

"Trump had also sued the New York attorney general's office and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to block them from handing over the information to Congress," Bloomberg News reported. "Nichols dismissed the case against the New York defendants, saying he had no jurisdiction over them, but said that Trump could file his lawsuit in that state. The case against the House Ways and Means Committee was allowed to go on."

Read the full report.

SNL brilliantly satirizes America's racial divide during the Derek Chauvin murder trial

NBC's "Saturday Night Live" tackled the Derek Chauvin murder trial.

The shows cold open featured the fictional show "Eye on Minnesota." While the full panel agreed Chauvin should be found guilty for killing George Floyd, the two white panelists on the show said they thought Chauvin would be convicted, while the Black panelists were not so sure.

"Let's just say we've seen this movie before," the Black female panelist explained.

"You know, that's fair, I think skepticism of legal process is valid," the white female panelist said. "Historically police have gotten away in other cases like this."

"Historically?" the Black male panelist asked.

"She means every single time," the Black female panelist explained.

The panel awkwardly discussed the trial and racial issues in America, eventually bringing the weatherman into the conversation.

There were also divergent views on whether the royal death referred to Prince Philip or rapper DMX.

While they could find little they could agree upon, 80% agreed that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is awful.


Minnesota News Cold Open - SNL

Watch CNN interview with Trump supporter who is clearly divorced from reality

Donald Trump so successfully pushed his "Big Lie" about election fraud that his supporters stormed the capitol on January 6th. And now, it seems, conservative lies about the insurrection have convinced some of his supporters that the riots never even happened.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan on Saturday conducted a fascinating interview with Kinnet Ehring McSweeney at Trump National Doral.

"And I do believe that the election was stolen and I do believe it was a peaceful rally that day," McSweeney said, when in fact the opposite is true. "And that, just because people who were in the capitol were wearing Trump shirts and Trump hats doesn't necessarily make them Trump supporters -- anybody can get one of those shirts."

She went on to say friends and family think she is "crazy" and "a conspiracy theorist."

She was then asked about the "QAnon congresswoman," Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

"I don't know what's so terrible about QAnon," she said of the insane conspiracy alleging a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.

"You know, what is so terrible about conspiracy theories anyway?" McSweeney asked.

Busted: Mike Pence quietly adds hate group leader to advisory board for his new organization

Former Vice President Mike Pence launched his new organization, Advancing American Freedom, on Wednesday.

Since then, one name has quietly been added to the advisory boardthat was announced at launch.

Pence's advisory board now includes Mike Farris, the president and CEO of the group Alliance Defending Freedom.

In 2016, Alliance Defending Freedom was declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

"The SPLC lists ADF as a hate group because it has supported the idea that being LGBTQ+ should be a crime in the U.S. and abroad and believes that is OK to put LGBTQ+ people in prison for engaging in consensual sex," SPLC explained. "It has also supported laws that required the forced sterilization of transgender Europeans."

"ADF has spread lies about the LGBTQ+ community. It has, for example, linked being LGBTQ+ to pedophilia and claimed that a "homosexual agenda" will destroy society. ADF tries to couch its rhetoric in benign-sounding phrases, but the truth is that it works to dehumanize LGBTQ+ people and restrict their rights for being who they are," SPLC explained. "The SPLC defines a hate group as an organization that, based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities, has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics. The organizations on our hate group list vilify others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity — prejudices that strike at the heart of our democratic values and fracture society along its most fragile fault lines. The FBI uses similar criteria in its definition of a hate crime."

Other Republicans who are serving with Farris on Pence's board include Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Ambassador Callista Gingrich, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Kellyanne Conway, Larry Kudlow, and actor Kirk Cameron.

The addition of Farris was reported by Nick Surgey.

Matt Gaetz sent $900 to accused sex trafficker pal — who passed it on to 3 young women: report

More details are emerging on the sex trafficking scandal involving Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

"In two late-night Venmo transactions in May 2018, Rep. Matt Gaetz sent his friend, the accused sex trafficker Joel Greenberg, $900. The next morning, over the course of eight minutes, Greenberg used the same app to send three young women varying sums of money. In total, the transactions amounted to $900," The Daily Beast reported Thursday. "The memo field for the first of Gaetz's transactions to Greenberg was titled 'Test.' In the second, the Florida GOP congressman wrote 'hit up ___.' But instead of a blank, Gaetz wrote a nickname for one of the recipients. (The Daily Beast is not sharing that nickname because the teenager had only turned 18 less than six months before.) When Greenberg then made his Venmo payments to these three young women, he described the money as being for 'Tuition,' 'School,' and 'School.'"

Greenberg has been indicted on 33 counts, including sex trafficking.

"Gaetz and Greenberg are both connected through Venmo to this then-18-year-old woman—who now works in the porn industry, according to a friend of the girl. And on Thursday, Greenberg's attorney and prosecutors indicated during a court hearing that they expect Greenberg to strike a plea deal, likely meaning he plans to cooperate with investigators," The Beast reported. "That could be potentially disastrous for Gaetz, as investigators look into the connections between these two men. And one particularly damning connection is their financial transactions."

Political crisis facing Ted Cruz on full display during Final Four basketball game

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been shunned as a pariah in Texas after he fled the state during a disaster to vacation in Cancun, Mexico.

On Saturday, he attempted to repair he relationship with voters by cheering on both the Houston Cougars and Baylor Bears as the two Texas teams faced off in the Final Four.

Cruz posted a photo to Twitter showing him wearing both a Baylor shirt and a Houston hat -- although he was drinking a beer from Massachusetts, instead of a beloved Texas brew like Shiner.

However, the comments revealed how toxic Cruz has become. Here's some of what people were saying:

Watch: Matt Gaetz gets brutally destroyed on SNL after a week of salacious allegations

The skit featured Britney Spears hosting a TV show called "Opps, You Did It Again."

The skit featured Lil Nax X giving God a lap-dance to balance things out after giving satan one. The next guest was Pepé Le Pew.

Then Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) joined the set.

"So this whole story is so bizarre, so incredibly Florida, that I need to get it straight," Spears said. "You were dating a 17-year-old and brought her on dates across state lines?"

"Allegedly," Gaetz replied.

"Prostitutes say you took ecstasy and had sex with them in Florida hotel rooms," she continued. "And your Republican colleagues in Congress say you've shown then nude photos of women you were sleeping with."

"Which is not a crime," Gaetz claimed. "Just horrifying."

"I don't know Matt, I think I can spot a teen predator one I see one -- after all, I was on the Mickey Mouse Club," Spears said.

"Do you think these allegations are going to hurt you in the next election?" Spears asked.

"Weirdly, in my district, they might help," Gaetz said of his Florida Panhandle constituents.

The show was hosted by Daniel Kaluuya with St. Vincent as the music guest.


Matt Gaetz

WATCH: Florida lawmaker fears Matt Gaetz may have tried to 'groom' her

The salacious sex scandals swirling around and plaguing Rep. Matt Gaetz (F-FL) took another dark turn after a Florida legislator played a weird voicemail message she received in 2019.

Rep. Anna Eskamani played the recording sent by Joel Greenberg, the Florida Republican who is facing dozens of criminal charges, including sex trafficking. Gaetz is with Greenberg and made an appearance.

"Hi Anna!" Gaetz said.

"And, uh, we were just chatting about you, and talking about your lovely qualities," Greenberg said.

Eskamani described the statement as "cringe-worthy."

MSNBC anchor Joy Reid asked Eskamani some awkward questions about the voicemail message.

"Do you worry, in light of what we have now learned about Matt Gaetz and Mr. Greenberg and what they were up to and things like allegations from CNN that Gaetz would show off pictures to fellow lawmakers of women -- nude women that he claimed he had slept with. 'It was a point of pride,' one of the sources said of Gaetz. And also that Mr. Greenberg was trafficking women and attempting to get them have sex with him and maybe the congressman for money. When you look back on it, do you worry they were trying to lure you into something alone those lines?" Reid asked. "The trafficking world lines?"

"I think it's a very valid question and a very valid concern," Eskamani replied. "These are signs of trying to groom people to do what you want them to do. And when I look back at my engagement Mr. Greenberg over the the past three, four years, I'd always try to keep a distance between us but there was a lot of pushy and corrosive behavior, attempting to make a conversation go in a more intimate direction than I would want to go and so there were definitely signs of that."

"And again, I think it is so important that women, especially women in politics, share their stories because unfortunately, for me, this is just another day of being a woman in politics," Eskamani said.

Matt Gaetz

Bombshell: Matt Gaetz paid prostitutes using Cash App and Apple Pay -- and there are receipts

The New York Times on Thursday published a bombshell new report on Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

"A Justice Department investigation into Representative Matt Gaetz and an indicted Florida politician is focusing on their involvement with multiple women who were recruited online for sex and received cash payments, according to people close to the investigation and text messages and payment receipts reviewed by The New York Times," the newspaper reported. "Investigators believe Joel Greenberg, the former tax collector in Seminole County, Fla., who was indicted last year on a federal sex trafficking charge and other crimes, initially met the women through websites that connect people who go on dates in exchange for gifts, fine dining, travel and allowances, according to three people with knowledge of the encounters. Mr. Greenberg introduced the women to Mr. Gaetz, who also had sex with them, the people said."

Gaetz has denied paying for sex.

"The Justice Department inquiry is also examining whether Mr. Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old girl and whether she received anything of material value, according to four people familiar with the investigation. The sex trafficking count against Mr. Greenberg involved the same girl, according to two people briefed on the investigation," The Times reported. "The authorities have also investigated whether other men connected to Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Greenberg had sex with the 17-year-old, two of the people said."

There are receipts.

"The Times has reviewed receipts from Cash App, a mobile payments app, and Apple Pay that show payments from Mr. Gaetz and Mr. Greenberg to one of the women, and a payment from Mr. Greenberg to a second woman. The women told their friends that the payments were for sex with the two men, according to two people familiar with the conversations," the newspaper reported. "Some of the men and women took ecstasy, an illegal hallucinogenic drug, before having sex, including Mr. Gaetz, two people familiar with the encounters said."

Gaetz reportedly sought to get more people involved in the prostitution scheme.

"In some cases, Mr. Gaetz asked women to help find others who might be interested in having sex with him and his friends, according to two people familiar with those conversations. Should anyone inquire about their relationships, one person said, Mr. Gaetz told the women to say that he had paid for hotel rooms and dinners as part of their dates," the newspaper reported. "The F.B.I. has questioned multiple women involved in the encounters, including as recently as January, to establish details of their relationships with Mr. Gaetz and his friends, according to text messages and two people familiar with the interviews."

The newspaper described one of the websites:

"One of the sites the men met women through was called Seeking Arrangement, which describes itself as a place where wealthy people find attractive companions and pamper them 'with fine dinners, exotic trips and allowances.' The site's founder has said it has 20 million members worldwide. The F.B.I. mentioned the website in a conversation with at least one potential witness, according to a person familiar with the conversation," the newspaper reported.

'I will ruin you': Salt Lake Republicans treat women so horribly even Utah's GOP governor is outraged

Salt Lake County Republicans are being called out by women in their ranks in a bombshell new report published by The Salt Lake Tribune.

The story recounts how GOP candidate Laurie Stringham created a short campaign video to post online.

"Hours after the video went out on Sept. 15, Stringham said, she was driving her teenage son to a meet a friend when she got a call from Dave Robinson, the county Republican Party's unofficial communication director. 'You sound like you're having an orgasm!' Stringham said he yelled at her over her car's speakerphone. She said he repeated her 'more, more, more' catchphrase with obscene grunting sounds.

"He tells me if I want to 'whore myself out,' that is my choice," Stringham said, recounting him threatening her.

"'I will make sure you never get elected! I will ruin you! And I will make sure the party never works with you! Get your sh*t together!'" Stringham recalled him saying.

"Then he hung up on me. The call lasted just over two minutes, but scared the hell out of me," she told the newspaper.

Stringham is reportedly not the only Republican woman to face Robinson's wrath.

"Stringham's story is just one example of a toxic, bullying culture that existed over the past campaign season for the county's Republican women, according to interviews with several high-ranking members of the party as well as dozens of emails and text messages from the past six months that were shared with The Salt Lake Tribune. The women said they experienced body-shaming and scrutiny of their appearance by Robinson, who is gay. He called men and women, but mostly women, degrading nicknames, they said, and refused to stop when asked," the newspaper reported.

Erin Preston, a former candidate for county recorder, also went on-record with the newspaper.

"He uses demeaning, derogatory and sexual terms for females, period. But he also does it for men, too. It's just that he, in my experience, is more aggressive toward women," said Preston. "Some of his comments get pretty graphic and potentially damaging to good people, both men and women."

Salt Lake County Republican Party Chair Scott Miller reportedly sent out an email late on Friday, naming the women coming forward with allegations.

"I will not be CANCELLED," Miller wrote.

Republican Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre put on a statement on Saturday criticizing Miller's email.

"We are deeply offended by the recent reprehensible communications to Salt Lake County delegates. Let us be clear: This type of behavior should never happen and when it does we will not tolerate it, ignore it, or explain it away. It is unacceptable. The Republican Party needs women in our policymaking and discussions. Sincere apologies are owed to the women who have been victimized and we admire their courage and strength in coming forward. That is not an easy thing to do," they wrote.

Read the full report.


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