Brad Reed

Trump says he had no idea his dinner guest was a notorious Holocaust denier

Former President Donald Trump hosted notorious Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes for dinner this week -- but now he's issued a statement saying he had no idea who Fuentes was before sharing a meal with him.

In a statement posted by Axios' Jonathan Swan, Trump emphasized that Fuentes was a guest of rapper Kanye West and not someone whom he'd personally invited to his resort.

"Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago," Trump said. "Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about."

Trump notably did not condemn Fuentes' views about the Holocaust or his belief that America should reinstate racial segregation.

Additionally, Trump did say that he invited West to dinner with him despite the fact that West has drawn outrage in recent weeks by spouting openly anti-Semitic rhetoric, starting with a tweet last month in which he threatened to go "death-con 3 on Jewish people."

Trump has a long history of refusing to condemn the behavior of overt racists while also denying that he knows their true views, such as when he said in 2016 he did not know former Klan leader David Duke's views well enough to justify disavowing his support.

'Practical Republicans' in Arizona sunk Kari Lake because 'they want government to work': expert

A new report from the Arizona Republic sheds more light on the coalition of voters who sunk Trump-backed Kari Lake's hope of becoming Arizona's next governor.

Essentially, the newspaper found that a significant number of Republican voters in the state crossed over to back Democrat Katie Hobbs in this year's elections, and they also helped put nails in the coffins of fellow MAGA candidates Blake Masters and Mark Finchem.

Chuck Coughlin, president and CEO of political consulting firm HighGround, explained to the Arizona Republic that many Republican voters in the state wanted more moderate conservatives such as the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) instead of bomb-throwing right-wingers like Lake.

"There are practical Republicans," he said. "They want government to work... They’re not part of this conspiratorial environment and partisan behavior."

Fred Solop, a politics professor at Northern Arizona University, said that the results reflected the fact that Republicans nominated a slate of candidates who denied the results of an election in a state that President Joe Biden carried two years ago.

“When democracy was on the ballot, a significant number of Republicans were rejecting Republican candidates," he said.

Lake herself didn't help her cause when she trashed McCain publicly and told Republicans who had once voted for him that she no longer wanted their support.

"Everybody was down on the Hobbs campaign, how bad it was," said Coughlin. "The reality is the Lake campaign was worse. It actually told people not to vote for them."

'Extraordinary turn in investigation': Pence may be 'receptive' to talking with DOJ says NY Times reporter

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said on Thursday that it’s entirely possible that former Vice President Mike Pence could cooperate with a Department of Justice investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to illegally remain in power after losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden.

While appearing on CNN, Haberman broke down why Pence might be willing to cooperate with the DOJ in a way he would not be willing to cooperate with the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots.

“I think he’s more receptive to this outreach from the DOJ, at least according to people he’s spoke to, because he recognizes there’s a difference between a criminal investigation led by the Justice Department and this House Select Committee, which he thinks is a different branch of government,” she said.

Haberman went on the say that it’s no sure bet that Pence would talk with the DOJ, as former President Donald Trump might try invoking executive privilege to get him to testify.

Nonetheless, Haberman said that the impact of an agreement would be significant.

“This would be an extraordinary turn in this investigation if the DOJ does get Mike Pence to cooperate as a witness,” she said. “Mike Pence is a key witness who is one of the only people who can speak to certain events in the leadup to January 6th… This would create such an unprecedented situation.”

Watch the video below.

Trump suffered his 'biggest loss in memory' this week: CNN legal reporter

CNN legal reporter Paula Reid didn't sugarcoat the legal defeats faced by former President Donald Trump this week after the Supreme Court refused to block Congress from obtaining his taxes, while another court appears poised to ax his request for a special master to review documents seized by the government from his Mar-a-Lago resort.

"I've been covering the former president's legal problems for nearly a decade now, this is the biggest loss in recent memory," Reid told host Don Lemon during a discussion of the court rulings. "And in just two sentences, the Supreme Court put an end to his years long effort to shield his tax returns from lawmakers. Now the Treasury Department will hand over six years of tax records to the Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee immediately."

Reid noted that even though Congress now has access to the tax returns, they are not allowed to publicly release them.

However, she said she wouldn't be surprised if that happened anyway.

"As we know, the Hill is one of the leakiest places in Washington and it's possible they could get out," she speculated.

Watch the video below or at this link.

'Hostage situation': GOP insiders fear Trump third party run if he loses primary

Former President Donald Trump is still the frontrunner to be the Republican Party's 2024 presidential nominee -- but what would happen if he were defeated.

Republican insiders who spoke with Semafor say they can't rule out the possibility that Trump would completely sabotage the party by launching an independent candidacy, with former RNC official Michael Short likening it to a "hostage situation."

The publication notes that Trump teased potentially running as a third-party candidate in 2016, which he boasted gave him "leverage" over the party as a whole.

One former Trump administration official also tells Semafor that while the former president at the moment isn't pondering an independent run, it is definitely not an outlandish scenario.

"Trump was so successful in part because he ran against the elite and out of touch political establishment on both sides, so I’d say it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility," they explained.

So far, Trump is the only Republican to announce a 2024 bid for the presidency, although there is speculation that former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley could also jump into the race.

'Astonishing' new Warnock ad shows what an 'albatross' Trump is for Republicans: Chris Wallace

CNN's Chris Wallace on Friday said that a new ad from Sen. Raphael Warnock's (D-GA) campaign shows how much former President Donald Trump is a burden on his own party.

CNN host Don Lemon began the segment by playing the ad, which featured no commentary from any narrator and rather only featured video of Trump endorsing Republican Georgia Senate nominee Herschel Walker, followed by Warnock coming on screen and saying, "I approve this message."

"When you see this ad, this is what many in the Republican Party and Democrats believe that the former president is an albatross at this point, at least around Herschel Walker and maybe the party," Lemon said.

"It's quite astonishing," Wallace replied. "Because in no way is it an attack on Trump and in no way is it an attack on Herschel Walker, it is just playing Trump's endorsement of Walker, and clearly the Warnock campaign feels this is, as you say, an albatross. This is a liability for Walker, not a plus."

Wallace then recounted how many Republicans begged Trump to hold off on announcing his 2024 presidential run until after the Georgia Senate runoff next month to deprive giving Democrats ammunition to use against Walker, as they did not want to make the race a referendum on the former president.

"The president, of course, ignored that," Wallace commented.

Watch the video below or at this link.

Herschel Walker touts 'gas-guzzling cars' that 'got the good emissions' in anti-environment speech

Trump-backed Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker on Monday slammed attempts to transition Americans over to electric cars during a speech where he heaped praise on "gas-guzzling" vehicles.

Walker, who faces a runoff election next month against incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA), told a crowd of supporters that projections about the United States being able to move to green energy are unrealistic.

"Now let me tell you this here: If we was ready for the green agenda, I'd raise my hand right now," he said. "But we're not ready right now! So don't let them fool you like this is a new agenda, this is not a new agenda! We're not prepared, we're not ready right now! What we need to do is keep having these gas-guzzling cars, because we got the good emissions under those cars. We're doing the best thing that we can!"

This is not the first time that Walker has spoken confusingly about energy and environmental policy.

Earlier this year, for example, Walker seemed to suggest that China was taking America's "good air" and replacing it with "bad air."

"Since we don't control the air, our good air decided to float over to China's bad air, so when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move," Walker said. "So it moves over to our good air space. Then, now, we got we to clean that back up."

Watch the video below or at this link.

Trump is 'very, very stressed out' watching Ron DeSantis romp to re-election victory: Maggie Haberman

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman on Tuesday said that the political success Gov. Ron DeSantis is having in Florida is making former President Donald Trump sweat.

While discussing Trump's desire to quickly launch a 2024 presidential campaign, Haberman said that the twice-impeached former president has been jealously watching other Republicans soak up media attention that he has traditionally craved.

In particular, Haberman said Trump is "very, very stressed out" watching Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to cruise to re-election in Florida and have what she describes as a "head of steam" for 2024.

Haberman also described Trump as "personally aggravated with Mike Pence" and she speculated that he timed his "big announcement" on November 15th to coincide with the release of Pence's upcoming book.

Shifting gears, Haberman also chided Trump for his attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as an "animal" during his rally speech.

"That's a horrible thing because it's a dehumanizing thing to say about somebody who is second in line for presidency and whose husband just attacked in a break-in attempt where she was the target," Haberman said.

Watch the video below or at this link.

'Worthless': Newly unearthed emails show Trump lawyers' meltdown as 2020 election lawsuits imploded

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan has uncovered a new trove of emails that show Trump lawyers going into full meltdown mode as their legal efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election imploded.

The emails in question date from December 30th, 2020 until January 8th, 2021, and they show that Trump lawyers continued to push to overturn the election even after Trump supporters launched a deadly riot at the United States Capitol that sent lawmakers fleeing for their lives.

The emails also show significant infighting, particularly between lawyers Cleta Mitchell and Bruce Marks after Marks apparently botched a complaint that was intended to challenge the certified results in Georgia.

"They've done squat on this new case after saying it was all ready to go," Mitchell wrote in an email to Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn on December 31st. "This 'team' of Bruce's is worthless. BRUCE IS WORTHLESS. So sick of them."

The emails also show Marks expressing concern about putting Trump's name on a lawsuit that was riddled with false claims about voter fraud in Georgia, which he believed could leave Trump open to legal prosecution.

"I don't know why we would place this burden on the President in a suit which will receive substantial attention and scrutiny," argued Marks, who was eventually overruled by other Trump lawyers.

Finally, the emails show that Trump lawyers continued to plow ahead with their attempts to overturn the election even after the deadly riots at the United States Capitol.

Regarding continued efforts to overturn the results in Georgia, Mitchell said in an email sent on the night of January 6th that she "spoke with POTUS and he said do the best we can" to get the results thrown out.

Read the full report here.

DOJ’s 'secret legal battle' could 'open a floodgate of damaging info about Trump': report

A new report from New York Magazine documents how the United States Department of Justice has been waging what it describes as a "largely secret legal battle" that could soon "open a floodgate of damaging information" about former President Donald Trump.

Even though the DOJ's investigation into Trump's actions leading up to the January 6th Capitol riots has taken a backseat to its investigation into Trump's refusal to return top-secret government documents despite being given a lawful subpoena, New York Magazine's Ankush Khardori notes that there has been a recent flurry of behind-the-scenes activity that suggests the DOJ could spring into action shortly after next week's midterm elections.

Among other things, Khardori notes that the DOJ has breached Trump's bubble of executive privilege by securing the testimony of former White House officials Greg Jacob and Marc Short.

"At first blush, this may seem like a fight among lawyers with esoteric stakes concerning the scope of executive privilege, but there are significant consequences if the Justice Department successfully continues down this path," Khardori argues. "Prosecutors could obtain fulsome information about what Trump himself (as opposed to the people around him) was actually saying and doing in the run-up to and during the January 6 siege."

Additionally, Khardori writes, Trump may not be able to run out the clock by running for president if the DOJ keeps up its current winning streak.

"For the time being, however, prosecutors appear to be getting closer to Trump," he writes. "His lawyers are fighting the government hard, but should they ultimately lose their bid to use executive privilege to shield him from the investigation, he will be in the most legally perilous position of his life and potentially be criminally charged by the Justice Department in the not-too-distant future."

Trump lawyer writes conspiratorial post questioning Paul Pelosi hammer assault

Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon on Friday posted a conspiratorial tweet where she insinuated that there was something suspicious about the alleged assault of Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Dhillon, who was hired by Trump earlier this month to help him litigate the House Select Committee's subpoena, found it "odd" that Paul Pelosi would be vulnerable to being assaulted given the amount of security that normally surrounds the Pelosis.

"My firm served a lawsuit against Paul Pelosi one time in [San Francisco] after attempting to serve at other residences -- Napa, Georgetown," she wrote on Twitter. "They weren’t home, but staff were, and multiple law enforcement officers were on the perimeter. Break-in is odd given this level of security."

While it is not yet known how the alleged assailant breached security to enter into the Pelosis' home, it has been confirmed that Nancy Pelosi herself was not present when the attack took place.

Earlier reports have claimed that the attacker specifically targeted the Pelosis' house and that he shouted, "Where is Nancy?" before he began beating Paul Pelosi with a hammer.

Police have still not released the attacker's identity and have not definitively said that the attack was politically motivated.

'Welcome to hell': Top tech news website says Elon Musk made a huge mistake

Elon Musk has officially taken over as CEO of Twitter -- and Nilay Patel, the founder of top tech news site The Verge, thinks he's going to regret it.

In a column titled, "Welcome to hell, Elon," Patel lays out all the reasons why managing Twitter content -- and political Twitter content in particular -- is going to be a headache that no sane person would want to take on.

"You f*cked up real good, kiddo," Patel begins, addressing Musk. "Twitter is a disaster clown car company that is successful despite itself, and there is no possible way to grow users and revenue without making a series of enormous compromises that will ultimately destroy your reputation and possibly cause grievous damage to your other companies."

He then went through the litany of challenges facing Twitter that have nothing to do with the challenges Musk has cited, such as an overabundance of bot accounts, and everything to do with politics and economics.

"You can write as many polite letters to advertisers as you want, but you cannot reasonably expect to collect any meaningful advertising revenue if you do not promise those advertisers 'brand safety,'" he explained. "That means you have to ban racism, sexism, transphobia, and all kinds of other speech that is totally legal in the United States but reveals people to be total assholes. So you can make all the promises about 'free speech' you want, but the dull reality is that you still have to ban a bunch of legal speech if you want to make money."

The other problem Musk will encounter, writes Patel, is that the user experience of allowing racist trolls to overrun a platform is absolutely miserable for normal users -- and so Musk is going to have to eventually alienate his newfound far-right supporters if he's going to maintain anything like a healthy user base.

"The essential truth of every social network is that the product is content moderation, and everyone hates the people who decide how content moderation works," he argues. "Content moderation is what Twitter makes — it is the thing that defines the user experience."

Read the entire article here.

Bob Woodward: Trump told me something 'I've never heard' from any of the 10 presidents I've covered

Legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward told CNN on Tuesday that he came away stunned by the approach former President Donald Trump took to governing, which he said was unique among the ten American presidents he's covered during his decades-long career.

While talking with hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar about his new audio book of Trump interviews, Woodward said Trump relied on person instinct more than any other president he's encountered, while also being completely dismissive of expert opinion that countered his ideas.

One particularly striking example of this, Woodward said, came in Trump's admiration for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

"On Kim Jong-un, the CIA says he is stupid, Trump says, 'Oh, no, he's smart,' and then Trump says... 'Only I know,'" Woodward explained. "I've never heard... any of the ten presidents I've reported on ever approaching the point. Now, maybe they thought sometimes only they knew. But to say that... that is the message, that this is all about him, on the strategy of dealing with North Korea."

Woodward also said that Trump's narcissism was evident throughout his lengthy interviews.

"My assistant, Claire McMullen, has listened to these tapes many, many times," Woodward said. "And she found one time Trump referred to the American people, 100 times he referred to himself, what he knows."

Watch the video below or at this link.

Steve Bannon tosses his own lawyers under the bus in plea for leniency

Convicted criminal and former Trump campaign chairman Steve Bannon on Monday entered in a plea for leniency just hours after the United States Department of Justice requested that he be given a six-month prison sentence after being found guilty of being in contempt of Congress.

Per CBS News' Scott MacFarlane, Bannon's attorneys filed their own sentencing memo hours after the DOJ in which they argued that they were more to blame for Bannon's criminal conviction than their client.

Specifically, they argued that Bannon was simply following his own counsel's legal advice when he completely refused to cooperate with the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riots.

"Should a person who has spent a lifetime listening to experts – as a naval officer, investment banker, corporate executive, and Presidential advisor – be jailed for relying on the advice of his lawyers?" they argued.

Bannon and his lawyers last year told the House Select Committee that they could not comply with its subpoena because Bannon purportedly feared that doing so would run into issues regarding executive privilege through his interactions with former President Donald Trump.

Of course, by the time of the January 6 Capitol riots, Bannon had not been an employee of the Trump White House for several years, and Bannon could have nonetheless provided a significant amount of information that had nothing to do with any conversations with Trump.

Bannon was found guilty of contempt of Congress this past summer after the jury in the case deliberated for just three hours.

New moves show Merrick Garland's indictment of Trump is 'inevitable': analysis

Atlantic journalist Franklin Foer has been closely observing Attorney General Merrick Garland for months, and he now believes that a criminal indictment of the twice-impeached former president is "inevitable."

After offering a disclosure that he has no personal knowledge about whether Garland plans to indict Trump, he nonetheless thinks that the attorney general is preparing to press charges against him because his dedication to the rule of law leaves him with no choice.

"An indictment would be a signal to Trump, as well as to would-be imitators, that no one is above the law," Foer argues. "This is the principle that has animated Garland’s career, which began as the Justice Department was attempting to reassert its independence, and legitimacy, after the ugly meddling of the Nixon years."

Foer then recounts Garland's career at length, and in particular summarizes ample evidence that Garland is, at heart, an institutionalist who would ideally love to avoid indicting Trump and igniting a political firestorm that could lead to a new wave of political violence.

However, he also argues that Trump's behavior has brought out a pugnaciousness in Garland that he had previously not seen.

"When Trump began to assail the search of Mar-a-Lago, Garland asked the court to unseal the inventory of seized documents, essentially calling out the ex-president’s lies," argues Foer. "Rather than passively watching attacks on FBI agents, whom Trump scurrilously accused of planting evidence, Garland passionately backed the bureau. As Trump’s lawyers have tried to use a sympathetic judge to slow down the department’s investigation, Garland’s lawyers have responded with bluntly dismissive briefs, composed without the least hint of deference."

Foer concludes by noting that while Garland will only indict Trump if he believes there is overwhelming evidence against him, he thinks that bar has been met and that the attorney general will act.

"Every time he’s asked about the former president, he responds, 'No one is above the law,'" he writes. "He clearly gets frustrated that his answer fails to satisfy his doubters. I believe that his indictment of Trump will prove that he means it."

Trump lawyer Christina Bobb threw colleagues under the bus to avoid being 'fall gal' for docs scandal: report

Former One America News host Christina Bobb, who is currently serving as one of former President Donald Trump's attorneys, reportedly told federal investigators last week that she is not responsible for the false declaration she signed that asserted Trump had turned over all documents that had been requested by the federal government from Mar-a-Lago.

According to NBC News' sources, Bobb told investigators that she was not the person who drafted the false statement, which was actually written by fellow Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran.

Bobb also reportedly told investigators that Corocoran had told her to sign the statement, and that she demanded he add in a disclaimer stating that all requested documents had been returned "based upon the information that has been provided to me."

A source whom NBC News describes as familiar with Bobb's testimony said that she will not be held criminally responsible for the false statement.

"She is not going to be charged," the source said. "She is not pointing fingers. She is simply a witness for the truth."The source went on to say that Bobb would not be taking the fall for anything related to the statement she signed.

“People made [Bobb] the fall guy -- or fall gal, for what it’s worth -- and it’s wrong,” the source explained. “Yes, she signed the declaration. No one disputes that. But what she signed is technically accurate... The people who told her to sign it should know better.”

'The worst': Former RNC spokesman explains why Elise Stefanik is the epitome of 'abject nihilism'

Tim Miller, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee, conducted an interview with Vox's Sean Illing this week in which he dished dirt about some of his former allies.

When Illing asked Miller who among current Republicans best embodies the party's "abject nihilism or cynicism," he didn't hesitate to name Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a formerly moderate Republican who become an ultra-MAGA hardliner after former President Donald Trump's election.

"She flips on a dime," Miller tells Illing. "And in the first impeachment becomes Trump’s most rabid defender with the most absurd defenses. She was like a foreign policy neocon Republican who would’ve been very much 'arm the Ukrainians against the Russians,' flips on it, sides with Trump against Zelenskyy. And is now literally indistinguishable from a MAGA troll."

Miller then says that Stefanik's rapid transformation is particularly disheartening because it appears to have worked out well for her so far.

"To me, she is the worst because it’s just the most brazen," he said. "It also is the worst at some level because it’s paying off for her. I truly think she’ll be on a VP shortlist for Trump, ’cause he’ll want a woman if he runs in 2024. And if not that, I think she’s on a speaker of the House trajectory."

Read the full interview here.

Lauren Boebert 'dangerously close to being upset by a little-known Democratic rival': poll

Pro-Trump Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) could soon lose her congressional seat, according to a new poll cited by Axios.

Axios writes that Boebert, who is well known for making inflammatory statements, is "dangerously close to being upset by a little-known Democratic rival," as a new poll from Keating Research shows her leading Democrat Adam Frisch by a mere two points.

Although Keating is a Democratic pollster, Axios notes that it has built a reputation as "one of the most accurate pollsters in Colorado."

Even though 2022 is expected to be a good year electorally for Republicans, the poll finds that Boebert is heavily underwater among independent voters in her district, who are shifting toward Frisch.

Boebert does have a major advantage, however: Colorado's 3rd District is strongly Republican, as Cook Political rates it as an R+7 district. Therefore, Boebert could theoretically win her race even while losing independent voters as long as the Republican base turns out for her.

Nonetheless, Keating told Axios this week that as long as Boebert remains under 50 percent in polls, "that means she is vulnerable to losing this race."

'I want my documents back!' Donald Trump attacks the National Archives in new Truth Social rant

Former President Donald Trump is demanding that the National Archives and Records Administration give back the top-secret documents he improperly took from the White House and stashed at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

In a new rant posted on Truth Social, the former president cited past instances in which the National Archives had lost information from past White Houses as evidence that documents, which included secrets on another country's nuclear program, were safer being stored at his luxury resort in Florida.

"NARA lost a whole hard drive full of HIGHLY SENSTITIVE information from the Clinton White House," Trump fumed. "More than 100,000 Social Security numbers and addresses, Secret Service and White House operating procedures (EXTREMELY SENSITIVE!)."

The former president close out his rant by demanding the government return the documents he pilfered on his way out of the White House in January 2021.

"There is no security at NARA," he wrote. "I want my documents back!"

Trump is currently under investigation for improperly taking top-secret government documents and refusing to give them back even after the government issued a lawful subpoena for their return.

A search warrant released by the Department of Justice this past summer revealed that Trump could potentially face charges for violating the Espionage Act, as well as charges of obstruction of justice.

Donald Trump's 'ultimate grift' was his Nobel Peace Prize nod for 'fake nuclear deal' with North Korea

New Yorker reporter Susan Glasser revealed to The Bulwark's Charlie Sykes this week what she believed to be former President Donald Trump's "ultimate grift."

While appearing on Sykes' podcast, Glasser talked about how Trump lobbied to get himself nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his ultimately unfruitful efforts to get North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

"Donald Trump bragged and bragged and bragged about his, by the way, nonexistent nuclear deal with Kim Jong-un," Glasser said. "And he would go to rallies and say, 'Would you believe it, the prime minister of Japan has nominated me for a Nobel Peace Prize!'"

There was much more to Trump's nomination for the prestigious prize than met the eye, however.

"Then we learn, in the course of reporting for this book, that, in fact, the reason Shinzo Abe nominated Donald Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize is that Donald Trump had him to a private dinner, just the two of them, at Trump Tower in the fall of 2018 at which he asked Shinzo Abe to nominate him."

Trump ultimately didn't care about winning the prize, said Glasser, as much as being able to brag about having been nominated.

"To me that is the ultimate grift," she said. "A fake nuclear deal, a fake nomination for the Peace Prize, it's got it all."

Trump ultimately was not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Listen to the full interview at this link.

Donald Trump flips out on FBI after return to Mar-a-Lago: 'Didn't even take off their shoes in my bedroom!'

Former President Donald Trump on Monday morning posted an angry rant about the FBI searching his Mar-a-Lago resort -- and he accused FBI agents of leaving his bedroom dirty by not taking off their shoes.

Writing on his Truth Social platform, the twice-impeached former president accused the FBI of conducting a lawless, unconstitutional search of his home, despite the fact that the FBI was executing a lawful search warrant that was authorized by a judge.

"Arrived in Florida last night and had a long and detailed chance to check out the scene of yet another government “crime,” the FBI’s Raid and Break-In of my home, Mar-a-Lago," Trump wrote. "I guess they don’t think there is a Fourth Amendment anymore, and to them, there isn’t."

In reality, the Fourth Amendment only protects against unlawful search and seizure, not search and seizure that is conducted after obtaining a lawful warrant.

Trump then went on to criticize the FBI for purportedly leaving a mess in the wake of its search.

"In any event, after what they have done, the place will never be the same," he wrote. "It was 'ransacked,' and in far different condition than the way I left it. Many Agents - And they didn’t even take off their shoes in my bedroom. Nice!!!"

The FBI searched Mar-a-Lago last month to retrieve several top-secret government documents that Trump had stashed away despite being earlier served a subpoena to turn them all over.

Donald Trump offered two cabinet secretaries the job of AG with the expectation they'd fire Mueller: book

A new book from reporters Peter Baker and Susan Glasser claims that former President Donald Trump offered the job of attorney general to two different cabinet secretaries with the expectation that they would then fire special counsel Robert Mueller.

The Independent, which has obtained a copy of Baker and Glasser's book, reports that Trump tried to recruit then-Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to take over from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had enraged Trump by recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Of the two men, Pruitt seemed the most open to the idea, and Baker and Glasser report that he “raised no concerns about participating in a plot to get rid of an attorney general and seize hold himself of the politically fraught investigation of the president."

Ultimately, write the authors, Trump did not go through with the plot after his aides succeeded in convincing him that ousting Sessions and firing Mueller would only make matters worse for him.The Independent, which has obtained a copy of Baker and Glasser's book, reports that Trump tried to recruit then-Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to take over from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had enraged Trump by recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Of the two men, Pruitt seemed the most open to the idea, and Baker and Glasser report that he “raised no concerns about participating in a plot to get rid of an attorney general and seize hold himself of the politically fraught investigation of the president."

Ultimately, write the authors, Trump did not go through with the plot after his aides succeeded in convincing him that ousting Sessions and firing Mueller would only make matters worse for him.

This was not the only time Trump tried to get Mueller fired.

In fact, Trump's attempt to recruit Pruitt and Acosta as attorney general only came after he ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller, only to be rebuffed.

Mueller's final report on his investigation documented Trump's attempt to fire him as one of several instances of potential obstruction of justice.

Lindsey Graham said Donald Trump 'could kill fifty people on our side and it wouldn’t matter': new book

A new book from reporters Peter Baker and Susan Glasser quotes Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as backing up former President Donald Trump's claim that he could get away with murder and Republican voters would still support him.

The Independent has obtained a copy of Baker and Glasser's new book, called "The Divider," and has found that Graham told them during Trump's first impeachment trial that there was very little anyone could do to dislodge Trump as the leader of the GOP, no matter how many crimes or misdeeds he committed.

"He could kill fifty people on our side and it wouldn’t matter," Graham explained.

The South Carolina senator also let Glasser and Baker know that he wasn't blind to some of the twice-impeached former president's shortcomings, as he also described Trump as a "lying motherf*cker" who was nonetheless "a lot of fun to hang out with."

Graham's relationship with Trump has been the subject of much curiosity over the years, as during the 2016 campaign he refused to endorse him and said Trump was both racist and crazy.

Now, however, Graham has become one of Trump's most ardent defenders, even after he incited a riot at the Capitol in which his supporters chanted for the hanging of Vice President Mike Pence.

'The DOJ strikes back': CNN's Elie Honig says Justice Department dropped the hammer on Donald Trump

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig argued on Wednesday that the United States Department of Justice had effectively dropped the hammer on former President Donald Trump with its late-night filing detailing efforts to conceal the presence of top-secret documents at Mar-a-Lago.

When asked to break down the filing by host John Berman, Honig summed it up by declaring, "The DOJ strikes back."

"Clearly DOJ had something on their minds, something was bugging them and they used this filing to unload all of that," he said. "The first thing that I think you take out of this filing is that, forget about these questions about whether DOJ acted too rationally, too suddenly when they executed the search warrant. they had no choice... the extent of the timeline and how long they were misled and lied to by Trump's attorneys, how many chances they gave Trump's attorneys to just hand over the documents... by a subpoena. They had to do this search warrant."

Honig also said the filing gave hints about criminal charges Trump and his lawyers may be facing.

"One of the important details is that these documents were found not in the storage room... but in a desk in Donald Trump's office," he said. "I think that's really telling, gives us a sense of where they might go. The other thing is knowledge and intent: We keep talking about prosecutors would have to show Donald Trump knew what was in these documents, had criminal intent. The documents... couldn't be any more clearly marked, yellow and red, all caps, 'Secret,' 'Top Secret.'"

Watch the video below or at this link.

Elie Honig says Justice Department dropped the hammer on Trump in 40-page filing

'No excuse': Washington Post Editorial Board condemns Lindsey Graham's 'reckless' riot rhetoric

The Washington Post editorial board this week slammed Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for saying there would be "riots in the streets" if former President Donald Trump were indicted.

While Graham's talk of riots was constructed to read like a passive prediction about what would happen if Trump were criminally prosecuted, the Post argued that the way it was delivered "reads more like a threat" than anything else.

"In this case, giving a forecast on national television might make it more likely that this vision of the future comes to pass," the editors wrote. "Mr. Trump promptly shared the clip on his platform Truth Social, which he has peppered with myriad ravings about the search of his property of late. Meanwhile, menacing messages from angry supporters are inundating the National Archives, and one man attempted to attack an FBI facility. The Jan. 6 insurrection showed the country how readily some voters will interpret a leader’s words as a call to arms — and then action."

The editors noted that Graham, as a former prosecutor, is knowledgeable enough to understand how such remarks raise risks of political violence, and thus cannot claim to have been speaking off the cuff.

The Post concluded by noting that Graham's rhetoric has marked a pattern of increasingly violent rhetoric coming from Trump and his supporters.

"References to riots, civil war, banana republics or so much else we’ve heard in recent weeks make it more dangerous for the government to uphold the rule of law," they wrote. "His reckless words and others like them are cause for the greatest concern."

How a phony Rothschild heiress infiltrated Mar-a-Lago and Donald Trump’s inner circle: report

An explosive new report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette claims that the FBI is investigating a Russian-speaking Ukrainian immigrant named Inna Yashchyshyn who allegedly gained repeated access to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort under a fake identity.

According to the Post-Gazette's sources, Yashchyshyn got access to Mar-a-Lago by posing as a member of the famous Rothschild banking family, and she worked to look the part by "donning designer clothes, a Rolex watch, and driving a $170,000 black Mercedes-Benz SUV."

Yashchyshyn's case first came to the attention of federal authorities when she got into a legal dispute with a former associate that led to a court battle that exposed her frequent trips to Mar-a-Lago.

Yashchyshyn, who speaks multiple languages, had previously worked for an adoption agency that specialized in helping pregnant Russian women get American citizenship for their babies by having them come to the United States.

The partner testified in a court affidavit that Yashchyshyn used "her fake identity as Anna de Rothschild to gain access to and build relationships with U.S. politician[s], including but not limited to Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, and Eric Greitens."

In fact, there is even a photo of Yashchyshyn at Mar-a-Lago standing on the golf course with both Trump and Graham.

In an interview with the Post-Gazette, Yashchyshyn denies that she ever entered Mar-a-Lago using a phony alias and she said her partner claimed that in order to harm her personally.

Nonetheless, the FBI is still investigating her as a potential foreign intelligence threat.

Charles Marino, a former Secret Service supervisor, tells the paper that "the question is was it a fraud or an intelligence threat,” and then added that "the fact that we are asking this question is a problem."

Read the full report at this link.

'It made my teeth hurt': CNN analyst tears into Donald Trump's 'bad' Mar-a-Lago legal defense strategy

CNN's Elie Honig absolutely shredded former President Donald Trump's legal team on Friday when discussing their stumbles in trying to defend their client in court.

While talking with CNN host John Berman, Honig went through Trump lawyers' recent request to have an independent third party go through all the documents seized by the FBI at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month to determine if any of them are covered by executive privilege.

Honig said that the request itself was not remarkable -- but that the Trump team's incompetence in trying to make it was.

"The problem is Trump's legal team just blew it," he said. "The filing is a mess. Procedurally, the lawyering was so bad it was hard to look at, it made my teeth hurt."

Honig then explained how this wasn't just his personal opinion alone, as the judge who reviewed the filing threw it back in the Trump lawyers' faces.

"The judge... rejected it!" he said. "She basically said why now, this motion is coming too early, why me, why not the other judge and what exactly do you want? I think they were fairly clear about what they wanted. The judge said, 'Go back to the drawing board, do it right this time, file by Friday.'"

Watch the video below or at this link.

Elie Honig dumps on Trump's attorneys over their legal stumbles

Colorado GOP lawmaker switches parties over Donald Trump's election lies

Republican Colorado State Sen. Kevin Priola on Monday announced that he was leaving the GOP to become a Democrat -- and he said that former President Donald Trump's lies about the 2020 election were a major factor.

In a letter Priola released on Monday, the one-time Colorado Republican said that his former party's reaction to the January 6 riots at the United States Capitol made it impossible for him to continue identifying with it.

"I cannot continue to be a part of a political party that is okay with a violent attempt to overturn a free and fair election and continues to peddle claims that the 2020 election was stolen," he wrote.

He also said he's been dismayed by the way that the GOP has tried to hound out anyone within the party who has tried to hold Trump accountable.

"To my dismay, brave and honorable Republicans like Mike Pence, Liz Cheney, Mitt Romney, and Adam Kinzinger have fought to defend the Constitution and the rule of law only to be met with ridicule and threats," he argued.

Additionally, Priola said he could no longer accept being a Republican when the party was still in denial about climate change, even in the middle of "a near year-round wildfire season... and a seeming never ending drought."

Read the full letter here (PDF).

'Smart strategy': Legal analyst explains how DOJ has 'easiest way to prove' Donald Trump's guilt

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig on Friday laid out how the United States Department of Justice had made it easier to potentially prove that former President Donald Trump violated the Espionage Act by stashing away top secret government documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

In breaking down newly released documents related to the Mar-a-Lago search, Honig zeroed in the fact that the DOJ is saying it has evidence of willful retention of classified documents.

"As a prosecutor you don't shoot for the highest possible statute, you don't have to go right to the James Bond stuff if there is an easier way to get there," he said. "And this, the description of the crime that we now see in this document willful retention of national defense information, that's the easiest way to prove it. That's smart strategy."

Honig emphasized, however, that the DOJ did not name Trump specifically as the person who may have willfully retained documents, he said it's hard to imagine anyone else at Mar-a-Lago being guilty of this crime, as Trump is the one who "calls the shots."

"It would shock me if it was anybody but Donald Trump," he emphasized.

Watch the video below or at this link.

'Smart strategy': Elie Honig explains how DOJ has made it easier to nail Trump

Canadian mayor profanely taunts QAnon 'imbeciles' who tried to perform citizens arrests on her police

A group of QAnon believers over the weekend tried to conduct citizens arrests of police officers in the city of Peterborough, Ontario -- and then promptly got thrown into the slammer themselves.

As Vice News reports, the QAnon faithful were in the city at the behest of Romana Didulo, the so-called "QAnon Queen" who earlier this year declared herself to be the "Leader of the World" during an event at a campground parking lot.

Didulo instructed her supporters to arrest the Peterborough officers for enforcing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions such as mask requirements.

As Vice News recounts, Didulo's plan resulted in one follower being "charged with two counts of assaulting police" another follower being slapped with "charges of mischief and resisting arrest" and a third being "arrested and charged with a myriad of charges, including assaulting a peace officer with a weapon."

Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien took to Twitter on Tuesday to profanely mock the QAnon believers who thought they could get away with arresting her city's police officers.

"People have been asking me to comment on the events of the past weekend," she wrote. "I hate giving airtime/spotlight to these imbeciles. Here is my comment: f*ck off, you f*ckwads."

CNN supercut reveals Trump allies' 'creative and evolving' excuses for stolen documents scandal

Allies of former President Donald Trump have been scrambling to explain why he held top secret documents stashed away at his Mar-a-Lago resort even after he received a subpoena demanding their return two months ago.

CNN on Monday played a supercut of what host Brianna Keilar described as "creative and evolving" excuses for Trump's actions, most of which she said were "not rooted in fact."

First up was former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro, who recently told Steve Bannon that Trump had declassified all the documents in his possession to share them with the American people, despite the fact that Trump kept the contents of those documents a secret.

"It will keep us out of wars and it will keep our jobs here if you do that!" Navarro claimed.

Next up was pro-Trump columnist John Solomon, who said that Trump was simply bringing his work home with him to his personal office, despite the fact that he is no longer president.

"Everyone ends up having to bring home their work from time to time, American presidents are no different!" Solomon said during a recent Fox News appearance.

Next up was former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who attacked the FBI and insinuated that they set Trump up during their search of Mar-a-Lago.

"They didn't allow anybody on the Trump side into Mar-a-Lago, so we have no idea whether or not they planted evidence!" Gingrich charged.

The supercut wrapped up with Fox News host Will Cain claiming that Trump couldn't have done anything illegal because he was president.

"Famously, President Nixon said if the president does it then it is not illegal," Cain said. "Is that not truly the standard when it comes to classified documents?"

Watch the video below or at this link.

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