'It wasn't my fault': Trump may have alienated the religious right wing. It's an opening for rivals in Iowa

After Donald Trump jammed the midterm red wave and doomed a Senate GOP takeover with his abysmal candidate picks, he predictably went on the war path to find a scapegoat. Eventually, he settled on one.

"It wasn't my fault that the Republicans didn't live up to expectations in the MidTerms," Trump posted on Truth Social in early January, a couple of months after the Republican face plant.

"It was the 'abortion issue,'" Trump offered, "poorly handled by many Republicans, especially those that firmly insisted on No Exceptions, even in the case of Rape, Incest, or Life of the Mother, that lost large numbers of Voters."

Just a couple of short weeks after the GOP's midterm drubbing, Trump had announced his third bid for the White House. By January, he was actively nursing grievances that many evangelical leaders hadn't endorsed him on the spot.

Mid-month, Trump joined Christian fundamentalist David Brody to take his complaints directly to Brody's fundie listeners on Real America's Voice.

"Nobody has ever done more for Right to Life than Donald Trump. I put three Supreme Court justices, who all voted, and they got something that they’ve been fighting for 64 years, for many, many years," Trump said of the high court's quick work in overturning Roe v. Wade.

"There's great disloyalty in the world of politics and that’s a sign of disloyalty," Trump explained.

In other words, he had scratched evangelicals' backs, and they damn well better start scratching his.

But they didn't exactly fall in line and guess what: Many Christian right-wingers aren't super thrilled about being blamed for the GOP's midterm losses. Although, truth be told, their forced birther fervor certainly contributed to Democrats' ability in 2022 to defy the political gravity of historical norms.

Now not only is Trump angry, he's also afraid of the abortion issue. Although Trump is engaging in the basics of retail politics in Iowa ahead of its first-in-the-nation GOP caucus early next year, he has also been assiduously avoiding the topic—or even uttering the word "abortion."

Although a declining share of the U.S. population identifies as white evangelical and their vote share isn’t as dominant as it was in the 2000s, white evangelicals still hold considerable sway in the Republican Party. That is particularly true in Iowa. In 2016, roughly two-thirds of Iowa Republican caucus-goers self-identified as born-again/evangelical Christians.

That vote share gives white evangelical leaders like Bob Vander Plaats, president of the right-wing group The Family Leader, enormous power in Iowa's Republican caucus, even if the Iowa GOP's heavily older, white, and evangelical voters bear little resemblance to the national electorate overall.

Earlier this month, Vander Plaats told TheNew York Times that evangelicals had taken note of Trump lashing out at Christian zealotry on abortion.

"It showed a character thing with Trump that he cast the blame on the pro-life movement," Vander Plaats said. "If you're trying to win the Iowa caucuses, I would not put that base under the bus."

But here we are. And even though Trump has recently been gaining in national polling against his chief rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump's position in Iowa has eroded considerably over the past couple of years.

Earlier this month, a Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll found that 47% of Iowa Republicans now say they would definitely vote for Trump, a 22-point drop from two years ago when 69% of GOP voters were firmly committed to him.

J. Ann Selzer, who conducted the poll, told the Register that Trump is no sure thing at this point, despite his obvious advantages as a force in the Republican Party.

"Someone who has already held the office and who won the state twice would be presumed to be the front-runner, and I don't know that we can say that at this point," remarked Selzer. "There's nothing locked in about Iowa for Donald Trump."

So what would it mean if Trump didn't win the Iowa caucus, which is a distinct, perhaps even likely, possibility?

Maybe it means little. In 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas edged out Trump for first place by about 3 points, 27.6% - 24.3%. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida also gained some viability by coming in a close third at 23.1%. But ultimately, both Cruz and Rubio—along with every other Republican—flopped and Trump ran away with the nomination.

However, winning/losing in Iowa is very much an expectations game, and the expectations for Trump now, as the standard-bearer of the party, are quite different. Finishing second could easily be a sign of weakness, particularly if someone else places a close third. And the perception of weakness is Trump's political kryptonite.

So expect to see many of Trump's key rivals touting both their Christian and anti-abortion cred in Iowa over the coming months. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is likely to sign a six-week abortion ban soon. Then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed a 20-week abortion ban in 2016 that included exceptions for the life of the mother and unviable fetuses. And true believer Mike Pence, forget about it—Iowa will likely be his only shot for a solid early finish if he decides to run. Although, I'll be damned if every single focus group that explores a Pence candidacy doesn't find the same thing—he's got no constituency and even less appeal.

Atlantic reporter McKay Coppins recently sat in on several GOP focus groups and jotted down some quotes about Pence:

  • "He's only gonna get the vote from his family, and I'm not even sure if they like him."
  • "He has alienated every Republican…It’s over. It’s retirement time."
  • "He just needs to go away."

In a word: brutal, as Coppins noted.

In any case, DeSantis, who technically hasn't announced for 2024, has been taking it on the nose lately as he tries to transition into the demands of a national candidacy. But despite his dip in national polling, Iowa quite simply ain't America.

Iowa evangelicals will more than likely decide who wins the state and by how much, and that could conceivably reshuffle the fortunes of several 2024 GOP hopefuls. It might be less about who actually wins the caucus than whether Trump suffers a significant blow and some other discounted underdog, such as Haley, finds life with a better-than-expected showing. Or what about Haley's South Carolina counterpart, Sen. Tim Scott, if he gets in. If either of them gained momentum coming out of Iowa, they only have to get through New Hampshire to reach friendly home-state turf in the third contest of the GOP primary.

This is just a reminder that it's only March, and Iowa evangelicals aren't particularly moved by national polls.

As GOP strategist David Kochel told the Hacks on Tap podcast this week about Iowa evangelicals: "Whoever they end up going to—and they move late and they move as a group—I think that will be who wins the Iowa caucuses in 2024."

'I didn't follow that case': AZ GOP Rep's false Jan. 6 claim swiftly fact-checked by C-SPAN host

U.S. Rep Andy Biggs (R-AZ) was quickly fact-checked after claiming no Jan. 6 rioters were charged with seditious conspiracy for attempts to overturn the 2020 election, The Daily Beast reports.

During a C-SPAN interview, the MAGA congressman was challenged by Washington Journal host, Greta Brawner, as well as viewers who called in — which is a "rite of passage" for the show's guests, according to The Daily Beast.

Referring to Bigg's ability to answer caller's questions regarding former President Donald Trump's "promise to pardon" Jan. 6 rioters, @Acyn shared a brief clip of the interview, writing, "LOL this isn't going great for Biggs."

READ MORE: More than 30 Republicans supported Andy Biggs’ failed speaker bid – here’s how strange that makes them

An Oregon-based caller criticized the lawmaker's party, saying, "Trump wants to pardon the traitors that have been convicted of seditious conspiracy? Come on! What the hell's wrong with you Republicans?!"

Biggs replied, "I appreciate the call, and I'm not sure I understand what you’re saying, but I think you're talking about the former president saying if he gets elected he'd issue some pardons or clemency to some of the people arrested and prosecuted on Jan. 6."

The congressman continued, "Not all were convicted of seditious treason. In fact, none were! So that's important to understand."

Brawner stepped in, promptly correcting the MAGA Republican's assertion, noting, "Congressman, USA Today had this headline back in November of 2022 that Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers founder, was found guilty of seditious conspiracy."

READ MORE: Far-right GOP congressman baselessly claims Jill Biden is 'compromised' and 'must be investigated'

Failing to acknowledge his blatantly false claim, Biggs said, "Oh, OK. Yeah, well, I didn't follow that case."

According to The Daily Beast, both "Rhodes and co-defendant Kelly Meggs both are face up to 20 years in prison as of 2022, for "planning an armed rebellion" in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

Regarding Biggs' level of trustworthiness as a congressional leader, The Atlantic reports:

Take Representative Andy Biggs, a Republican of Arizona, who's not typically a good source for reliable information or sound views about democracy. Biggs claimed that there was massive fraud in the 2020 presidential election, supported legal efforts to overturn the election, and blamed antifa for the insurrection on January 6, 2021.

Watch the video below or at this link.

READ MORE: All 26 House Oversight Republicans refuse to sign statement denouncing white supremacy

READ MORE: Proud Boys members 'intend to subpoena' Donald Trump at their seditious conspiracy trial

The Daily Beast's fulll report is available at this link (subscription required). The Atlantic's report is here (subscription required).

Trump lawyer’s testimony likely seals the deal for indictment in classified docs case: legal expert

The testimony of Donald Trump's lawyer on Friday before a federal grand jury likely seals the deal for an indictment in the classified documents case, a former top law enforcement official told CNN.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said that from an investigative standpoint, Evan Corcoran's testimony was "icing on the cake" for special counsel Jack Smith.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell on Wednesday ordered the former president's lawyer to provide evidence to prosecutors under the crime-fraud exception.

Corcoran was seen by reporters entering federal court Friday morning, and McCabe said the Justice Department has since presented evidence to Howell implicating Corcoran and Trump in a crime or a cover-up, confirming that Trump’s lawyer did in fact provide evidence to the grand jury Friday.

Corcoran's testimony, according to McCabe, makes an indictment against the former president "almost guaranteed."

"Talking to Corcoran as they did today, and understanding exactly what those conversations involve is like the icing on the cake, and I think it also makes an indictment on the activity around the documents almost guaranteed at this point," McCabe said.

Watch the video below or at this link.

CNN 03 24 2023 18 21

New analysis highlights the reckless nature of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson

A new analysis is shedding light on the behind-the-scenes battle brewing between Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and the network's primetime conservative host Tucker Carlson.

Mediaite's Aidan McLaughlin offered a brief overview of the contention between Carlson and Scott.

"Carlson, according to sources inside and outside the network who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, has for years been at odds with Scott, a 26-year Fox News veteran who ascended to the top of the network in the wake of a series of sexual harassment scandals that dethroned Roger Ailes," McLaughlin wrote.

READ MORE: Watch: Tucker Carlson spins new conspiracy theory saying US gov will lace country’s water supply with antidepressants

He continued, "Her efforts to maintain control of the network's often divisive coverage have run up against Carlson's penchant for courting controversy, his proud disregard for facts, and apparently unconditional backing from Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, the top executives at Fox News parent company Fox Corporation."

McLaughlin also highlighted remarks from insiders with knowledge of the strained relationship between Scott and Carlson.

"She's not the biggest fan of what he does," an insider said. "But he gets viewers, and that's why he has a direct relationship with Lachlan and Rupert."

Despite the reports about their relationship, Carlson has released a statement denying the claims while putting forth a united front.

READ MORE: Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Tulsi Gabbard featured in Russian state television segment pushing disturbing propaganda

"I strongly support Suzanne and have for a long time, and for what it’s worth, I also like her a lot personally," he said. "I can't remember a single conflict with her in seven years. The idea that there's a 'power struggle' between us is absurd. I'm a talk show host. She's the president of the network. I work for her. It's pretty straightforward."

READ MORE: Leaked email shows Tucker Carlson's producers urging Fox staffers to promote second January 6th show

Mediaite's full report is available at this link.

No Texas GOP Reps. will say if they’ll attend Trump’s rally in Waco – will he have trouble filling seats?

Donald Trump's Saturday campaign rally in Waco, Texas, falls during the 30th anniversary of the 51-day siege that community is known for, when 86 people died after a failed ATF raid on an anti-government religious cult suspected of illegally stockpiling firearms amid allegations of sexual abuse, statutory rape, and polygamy.

Experts have been warning for a week that Trump's choice of Waco, synonymous with violent anti-government extremism, was no accident. His rhetoric this week, including most recently Friday when he warned of "potential death & destruction" should he be indicted, has been seen as encouraging violence.

NCRM was among the first news outlets to report experts' concerns over Trump’s choice to hold a rally in Waco during the 30th anniversary of the deadly siege.

Not a single congressional Republican from Texas will say they are attending, nor has the town's GOP mayor, according to a report from Insider, which contacted over two dozen Republican lawmakers and other elected officials.

"None of the 30 Texas Republicans Insider contacted about the event said they were going," Insider reveals.

"Most of the 30 GOP members contacted about Donald Trump's inaugural visit to the site of a 30-year-old standoff between cult leader David Koresh and federal authorities did not respond to requests for comment about whether they intended to rally with the scandal-plagued candidate and perhaps say a few kind words," Insider reports.

"Rep. Pete Sessions, a Waco native who now represents the surrounding 17th congressional district, praised Trump for shining a light on his hometown but said he’d have to miss the spectacle," Insider adds. "Aides to Rep. Troy Nehls, one of the four House Republicans from Texas who have formally backed Trump's 2024 run, told Insider he wouldn’t be heading to Waco because of a prior commitment in Washington, DC, this weekend."

READ MORE: 'Utter Cowardice': Jim Jordan Blasted for Telling Reporter He Can’t Read Trump’s Violence-Threatening Post Without Glasses

Meanwhile, in addition to guest list challenges – the campaign refused to tell Insider who the guest speakers will be – Trump may have trouble filling seats.

Mary Trump, the ex-president's niece who opposes him, has been running a campaign to get anti-Trump Americans to "sign up" for tickets to the Saturday rally, in the hopes of being able to turn away supporters.

"Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday," she also said via Twitter. "It's a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice."

"But we can stop him. If we book the 50,000+ venue, we can make sure most of the seats are empty when the traitor takes the stage," she said. "We can no longer fail to hold powerful men accountable for their crimes against our country."

Federal judges say Minnesota climate suit belongs in state court upsetting Koch and Exxon

Minnesota on Thursday scored a significant procedural win in a lawsuit seeking to hold Big Oil accountable for lying to consumers about the dangers of burning fossil fuels and thus worsening the deadly climate crisis.

In a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit agreed with a lower court that the state's climate fraud lawsuit against the American Petroleum Institute, ExxonMobil, and Koch Industries can proceed in state court, where it was filed.

"This ruling is a major victory for Minnesota's efforts to hold oil giants accountable for their climate lies, and a major defeat for fossil fuel companies' attempt to escape justice," Richard Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity, said in a statement.

"Big Oil companies have fought relentlessly to avoid facing the evidence of their climate fraud in state court, but once again judges have unanimously rejected their arguments," said Wiles. "After years of Big Oil's delay tactics, it's time for the people of Minnesota to have their day in court."

Fossil fuel corporations have known for decades that burning coal, oil, and gas generates planet-heating pollution that damages the environment and public health. But to prolong extraction and maximize profits, the industry launched a disinformation campaign to downplay the life-threatening consequences of fossil fuel combustion.

Dozens of state and local governments have filed lawsuits arguing that Big Oil's longstanding effort to sow doubt about the reality of anthropogenic climate change—and to minimize the fossil fuel industry's leading role in causing it—has delayed decarbonization of the economy, resulting in widespread harm.

Since 2017, the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia, along with 35 municipalities in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Washington, and Puerto Rico, have sued fossil fuel giants in an attempt to hold them financially liable for misleading the public about the destructive effects of greenhouse gas emissions from their products.

"Minnesota is not the first state or local government to file this type of climate change litigation," the Eighth Circuit declared Thursday. "Nor is this the first time" that fossil fuel producers have sought to shift jurisdiction over such suits from state courts to federal court, where they believe they will be more likely to avoid punishment.

"But our sister circuits rejected them in each case," the federal appeals court continued. "Today, we join them."

According to the Center for Climate Integrity, "Six federal appeals courts and 13 federal district courts have now unanimously ruled against the fossil fuel industry's arguments to avoid climate accountability trials in state courts."

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice moved for the first time to support communities suing Big Oil by urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject Exxon and Suncor Energy's request to review lower court rulings allowing a lawsuit from three Colorado communities to go forward in state court.

'More money in people’s pockets': Unions celebrate Michigan Governor’s repeal of state’s right-to-work law

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed legislation Friday repealing the state's right-to-work law for the first time in nearly 60 years, HuffPost reports.

Per Detroit Free Press, Democratic State Sen. Darrin Camilleri said, "Today is a historic win for workers everywhere. We're entering a new chapter in Michigan."

According to HuffPost, unions celebrated the repeal, along with Rob Bieber, head of the Michigan AFL-CIO, who asserted "the state had 'restored the balance of power' for workers."

READ MORE: Michigan opens the door to restoring union power

“After decades of attacks on working people, it’s a new day in Michigan, and the future is bright,” Bieber said.

The state's Republican lawmakers insist "repealing right-to-work jeopardizes state efforts to attract businesses to locate to the state," as they believe "companies don't want to set up shop in places where workers could lose their jobs if they refuse to pay union dues or fees."

However, HuffPost reports:

Right-to-work laws forbid unions and employers from entering into agreements that require every worker under the contract to pay fees to cover the cost of bargaining and representation. Unions despise the laws and say they lead to 'free-riding,' in which workers choose not to pay union dues but still enjoy the benefits of a union contract.

Democratic Michigan State Rep. Regina Weiss said earlier this month, "Back in November, voters sent a clear message when they elected a pro-worker and pro-working families majority," according to The New York Times.

Detroit Free Press reports:

Democrats disagree and contend that right-to-work is unfair because it allows "free riders" who benefit from the contracts negotiated on their behalf without paying into the union. The law has led to weakened unions and chipped away at their ability to negotiate better employment terms, they argue.

READ MORE: We may be at the beginning of a new era of labor power

"Today we are coming together to restore workers' rights, protect Michiganders on the job, and grow Michigan's middle class," Whitmer said.

READ MORE: How union solidarity improves everyone’s healthcare

HuffPost's full report is available at this link. Detroit Free Press' report is here. The New York Times' report is here.

Veteran rips into Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert over Jan. 6 jail visit

Retired U.S. Army Sergeant and Iraq War veteran Kristofer Goldsmith criticized Republican lawmakers on Friday for visiting a Washington, D.C., jail where some Jan. 6 defendants are being held.

The congressional delegation is being led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who has expressed sympathy for the Jan. 6 inmates.

"Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and the rest of those far-right Republicans care about January 6 defendants exactly as much as they care about veterans,” Goldsmith said during an appearance on MSNBC.

"We are great photo ops for them; we are great fundraising tools for them. But I know from walking around Capitol Hill for years and trying to talk to Republicans about improving veterans' healthcare, that they will not get involved in anything meaningful, like criminal justice reform. They're going to send out a bunch of emails, they're going there to get a bunch of donations from their rubes, and those people are going to still sit in prison because they broke the law."

"That's where they belong, and they are being treated with due process the way that anybody else who breaks the law is going to get treated,” Goldsmith said. “So, you know, I am disappointed to see them do that, but these people disappoint me every day, so it's not a surprise."

Watch video below or at this link.

'Get this porn out of our schools': Parent challenges Utah book ban by requesting the Bible be removed

A Utah parent is asking for the Bible to be eliminated from classrooms, after a GOP lawmaker backed a bill ordering the removal of "pornographic" books from schools, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Per Newsweek, the parent's petition was submitted anonymously following the bill's passing in May of 2022.

"Get this PORN out of our schools," the parent wrote in their request, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

READ MORE: 'We need more politicians reading books': Jamie Raskin blasts GOP for claiming book bans keep kids safe

Hailing the Bible as "one of the most sex-ridden books around," the petition continued, "If the books that have been banned so far are any indication for way lesser offenses, this should be a slam dunk."

The parent also wrote, "Incest, onanism, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation, fellatio, dildos, rape, and even infanticide," referring to issues included in the Bible. "You’ll no doubt find that the Bible, under Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1227, has 'no serious values for minors' because it's pornographic by our new definition."

Local Christian leaders and groups disagree with the parent, along with Republican Rep. Ken Ivory, who according to The Salt Lake Tribune, sponsored the legislation "to remove pornographic books from school libraries."

The lawmaker referred to the parent's ask to nix the Bible from school bookshelves as "antics that drain school resources."

READ MORE: 'Reprehensible' and 'disgraceful': House Democrat scorches GOP book bans and 'Parental Bill of Rights'

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

The parent points to action by Utah Parents United, a right-leaning group that has led the efforts to challenge books here for being inappropriate. It has largely centered on texts written by and about the LGBTQ community and people of color.

Based on the new Utah law, something is indecent if it includes explicit sexual arousal, stimulation, masturbation, intercourse, sodomy or fondling. According to state attorneys, material doesn’t have to be 'taken as a whole' in those situations or left on the shelf during a review. If there is a scene involving any of those acts, it should be immediately removed.

According to Newsweek, a local youth pastor said, "I've seen pornography and I've read the Bible—and they are different."

READ MORE: 'Fear is not freedom': Centenarian shreds Florida book bans as Nazi behavior

The Salt Lake Tribune's full report is available at this link (subscription required). Newsweek's report is here.

'I am going to kill you': White powder in envelope addressed to 'Alvin' discovered at Manhattan DA’s office

A white powder was found in an envelope addressed to "Alvin" in the mailroom at 80 Centre Street, where a grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case of former President Donald Trump, according to ABC News.

The powder was determined to be non-hazardous, but the intent behind sending it is unclear, sources told ABC News.

According to NBC News, the envelope also contained a letter with the message: "ALVIN: I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Republicans have accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of waging a "politically motivated prosecution" of former President Donald Trump.

Bragg is investigating a $130,000 payment to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

The payment was allegedly made to stop her from going public about a liaison she says she had with Trump years earlier.

Trump's ex-lawyer-turned-adversary Michael Cohen, who has testified before the grand jury, says he made the payment on his then boss's behalf and was later reimbursed.

If not properly accounted for, the payment could result in a misdemeanor charge for falsifying business records, experts say.

That might be raised to a felony if the false accounting was intended to cover up a second crime, such as a campaign finance violation, which is punishable by up to four years behind bars.

Trump insists he is innocent, and has escalated his attacks on Bragg in recent days. Early Friday morning, the former president warned of "death & destruction" if he were to be charged with a crime.

With additional reporting by AFP

'She sounds really angry': MN GOP Rep. condemned for indignantly refusing to respect gender preferences

Minnesota Republican State Rep. Walter Hudson suggested he will not address people, including his colleagues, by their preferred pronouns during a House debate regarding trans refuge legislation.

The bill, which "would block other states' laws that are meant to ban or reduce access to gender-affirming care," passed early Friday morning.

Heartland Signal shared a clip of the GOP lawmaker's rant, writing, "Minnesota State Rep. Walter Hudson (R-Albertville) goes on an anti-trans tirade, threatens to misgender one of his colleagues and is gaveled out of order: 'I'm not respecting your preferences because you don't own reality. You don't own grammar.'"

READ MORE: 'You are welcome here': Minnesota passes bill to solidify status as a trans refuge state

In the video, Hudson continued, "You're not important enough to provide me with an instruction manual on how to talk to you. Are you kidding?How important do you have to think you are to list at the bottom of your emails — and yeah, I see you laughing about it, it's hilarious isn't it."

He proceeded to ask "what are the consequences" if he chose not to address his colleague, Democratic State Rep. Leigh Finke — who became the state's first out transgender lawmaker in November — by her correct pronouns.

Twitter users immediately lambasted the state representative for his remarks.

@chrislynnbarney: "Dude would not know reality if it bit him in the butt."

READ MORE: 'Pro-life but not pro-kids-deserve-food': Minnesota Republican excoriated for denying that hunger exists

@WendyPetrin: "She sounds really angry"

Alec Hamilton: "A disgusting display by someone who is supposed to be a leader."

Brian Evans: "Republicans in Minnesota lose elections because they act like jerks. It's honestly that simple. The more they keep this up, the more they'll lose. The more they lose, the easier this will be to ignore. Enjoy irrelevance, @mngop. You've earned it."

Quincy Powe: "What a disgusting and repulsive response to people who deserve to be respected. This is not only dangerous what he is doing but it’s just flat out wrong. Respect who people are or respectfully sit tf down and shut it."

READ MORE: 'State power as an apparatus of cruelty': MN Gov. proves his state sets standard for protecting trans rights

@KarenThose: "What a horse's rear-end that guy is."

@JuanBodley: "Self-righteous prick"

@LouClinicEscort: "This guy is really mad about...calling people by what they introduce themselves as. Wow."

@srosssktg: "It's hard to respect the dignity of others when you have no shame yourself."

READ MORE: 'The worst anti-trans bill I have ever seen': GOP-led state houses are ramping up efforts to gut LGBTQ+ rights

Watch the video below or at this link.

READ MORE: 'I will burn the session to the ground' over anti-trans bill, says Nebraska Democrat

Jim Jordan blasted for telling reporter he can’t read Trump’s violence-threatening post without glasses

Countless GOP lawmakers over the years have professed ignorance over Donald Trump’s tweets as reporters ask them to respond, often claiming they hadn’t read them, but House Republican Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan took that performance to a whole new level Friday afternoon.

NBC News senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur asked the Ohio Republican congressman to weigh in on Trump’s social media post threatening “potential death & destruction” if he gets indicted.

"Jordan said he hasn't seen Trump's post," Kapur said via Twitter. "When I showed [it] to him on my phone, he said he can’t read well without his glasses."

"He added he's reviewing DA Bragg's letter," Kapur added.

READ MORE: 'Big Shoe Drops': Bad Day for Trump on Multiple Fronts in Special Counsel’s Grand Jury Probes

Jordan, who didn't need glasses to appear on Fox Business just two days ago (photo) is getting blowback.

VICE News Deputy DC Bureau Chief Todd Zwillich explained the progression.

"The stages of ignoring incitement," he tweeted. "2016: I don’t respond to tweets —> 2018: I havent seen the tweet —-> 2023: I literally can’t see the tweet."

"Utter cowardice," declared former GOP Congressman Joe Walsh. "Not at all the @Jim_Jordan I knew & served with in Congress 10 yrs ago. Or…maybe it is."

"The sheer dishonesty and cowardice of these people," lamented MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan, echoing Walsh’s remarks.

Government watchdog group Citizens for Ethics said the "extent to which Trump’s backers in Congress are going to not condemn [his] calls for violence are ludicrous."

RELATED: Ninth Wrestler Comes Forward to Say Jordan 'Snickered' When He Complained of Sexual Abuse: Report

Some tied Jordan's inability to see the post to his apparent inability to see or remember all the Ohio State wrestlers who say they complained to Jordan when he was their assistant coach, about being sexually harassed or assaulted by the team doctor. To this day despite numerous reports and people publicly coming forward, Jordan denied it ever happened.

"Apparently, Jim Jordan is unable to see wrestlers being sexually abused or Donald Trump social media posts," attorney and Republican turned Democrat Ron Filipkowski tweeted.

"Well, @Jim_Jordan has shown before that he has trouble seeing threats right in front of his nose, so this checks out," tweeted historian Kevin M. Kruse.

But Jordan's Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee may have served up the best response: "Why do you need your glasses to condemn violence @Jim_Jordan?"

READ MORE: 'Pits Parents Against Parents': House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 'Parents’ Bill of Rights'

'You are welcome here': Minnesota passes bill to solidify status as a trans refuge state

Minnesota passed legislation Friday that would make the state as a place of refuge for transgender people, Valley News Live reports.

Per the Minnesota Reformer, the bill "would block other states' laws that are meant to ban or reduce access to gender-affirming care."

Democratic State Rep. Leigh Finke — and Minnesota's first transgender elected official, said, "To all those families across the United States that are afraid and wondering where they can go for help — Minnesota is saying we see you, we love you and you belong here."

READ MORE: Minnesota enshrines abortion as a 'fundamental right' as red states rage against reproductive choice

Valley News Live reports Finke further noted, "Right now our community really needs help. Gender-affirming care is healthcare. It is safe, evidence based, developmentally appropriate, and life-saving healthcare."

Despite anti-trans protestors shouting derogatory terms at trans activists ahead of the House session — calling them "groomers and pedophiles," lawmakers proceeded to pass the "life-saving" bill.

House Majority Leader Jamie Long said, "We are going to say 'You are welcome here' today. This is a good day."

Regarding the legislation, Minnestota Reformer reports:

The bill prohibits people from other states from being arrested for giving or receiving gender-affirming care, even if a state has made the care illegal. The legislation also changes state custody statutes to include access to gender-affirming care as a consideration for custody disputes and gives Minnesota courts jurisdiction over some cases.

READ MORE: 'State power as an apparatus of cruelty': MN Gov. proves his state sets standard for protecting trans rights

Valley News Live's full report is available at this link. Minnesota Reformer's report is here.

How a 'class inversion' makes working-class whites so crucial to the GOP: report

An ongoing source of frustration for Democrats has been how well the GOP performs among working-class white voters, especially since former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign — and especially in red states. Many college-educated whites, especially women, vote Democrat. But whites with a high school education have become a key part of the GOP base.

Journalist Ronald Brownstein examines the GOP’s advances among working-class whites in an article published by The Atlantic on March 24.

"A much larger share of Republican than Democratic House members represent districts where seniors exceed their share of the national population, census data show," Brownstein observes. "Republicans are also more likely to represent districts where the median income trails the national level, or the proportion of people without health insurance is greater than in the nation overall. House Republicans, in their ongoing struggle with President Joe Biden over raising the debt ceiling, have signaled they will push for sweeping reductions in domestic social programs, likely including Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, the principal federal programs providing health care for working-age adults."

READ MORE:'Where is it?': Kevin McCarthy mocked for lacking a cohesive plan to negotiate the debt ceiling

Brownstein goes on to describe this trend as "the class inversion" in American politics and "the growing tendency of voters to divide between the parties based on cultural attitudes, rather than class interests."

According to Brownstein, "That dynamic has simultaneously allowed House Democrats to gain in more socially liberal, affluent, metropolitan areas and House Republicans to consolidate their hold over more culturally conservative, economically hardscrabble, nonurban areas…. Republicans now also control most of the House seats in which the median income trails the national level of nearly $65,000 annually. Republicans hold 152 of the 237 seats in that category. Democrats, in turn, hold 128 of the 198 seats where the median income exceeds the national level."

READ MORE: GOP strategists fear 'lost cause' Doug Mastriano could doom them in Pennsylvania Senate race

Read The Atlantic’s full article at this link.

'Big shoe drops': Bad day for Donald Trump on multiple fronts in special counsel’s grand jury probes

It's a bad day behind the scenes for Donald Trump.

First, his own attorney, Evan Corcoran, just past noon on Friday walked out of a federal court building after completing more than three hours of testimony before Special Counsel Jack Smith's grand jury investigating the ex-president's unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of sensitive, classified, and top secret documents.

His testimony, compelled by a subpoena, is seen by a former top DOJ official as "the most critical evidence in the case," and should "allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay."

READ MORE: 'Pits Parents Against Parents': House Republicans Pass Anti-LGBTQ Florida-Style K-12 'Parents’ Bill of Rights'

Prosecutors, citing the crime-fraud exception, were able to convince a federal judge that Trump likely committed a crime via his attorneys, enabling them to bypass attorney-client privilege.

Trump had strived to block Corcoran from testifying, but a federal judge and an appeals court, in an extraordinarily quick turnaround – some legal experts saying for reasons likely related to national security – ordered him to testify.

Also Friday, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell rejected Trump’s claims of executive privilege and ordered testimony before Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury investigating Trump’s actions related to the January 6 insurrection from eight former top Trump White House aides.

Among them, Trump's White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, and former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Also, former national security adviser Robert O'Brien and former deputy chief of staff and social media director Dan Scavino, ABC News reports.

READ MORE: 'Chilling': Law Enforcement 'Seriously' Investigating Threats Ahead of Possible Trump Indictment Says Top WaPo Reporter

Meadows is a former GOP congressman seen by many as integral to the events of January 6.

"Former Trump aides Nick Luna and John McEntee, along with former top DHS official Ken Cuccinelli, were also included in the order, the sources said," according to ABC News.

Former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman weighed in, saying: "Another really big shoe drops: [Judge] Howell rejects Trump's executive privilege claim and orders Mark Meadows and others to testify before Jan 6 [grand jury]. Meadows has really been able to stay on the sidelines. No more–even if he takes the 5th, which [would] then force [question] of immunity."

Trump lawyer appears before federal grand jury in DOJ Mar-a-Lago documents probe

March 22 and 23 found many Republicans angrily railing against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr. in response to reports of a possible indictment of former President Donald Trump in the Stormy Daniels hush money case. But Bragg is not the only prosecutor who is investigating Trump. The former president is also facing two federal investigations being conducted by DOJJ special counsel Jack Smith.

One of them involves government documents being stored at Mar-a-Lago. And one of Trump's lawyers, Evan Corcoran, appeared before a grand jury in connection with that case on Friday, March 24, according to the Washington Post.

According to Post reporters Perry Stein, Josh Dawsey, Devlin Barrett and Jacqueline Alemany, Corcoran appeared in a Washington, D.C. courthouse where "judges had previously ruled he could not use attorney-client privilege to shield his material from investigators."

READ MORE:Donald Trump attacks special counsel Jack Smith as a 'Trump hating thug' running a 'Gestapo type' operation

The Post journalists explain, “U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled last week that there was evidence suggesting Trump misled his lawyers in the course of the classified-documents investigation, and therefore, prosecutors were allowed to review the evidence, according to people familiar with the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive legal issues. Grand jury proceedings are secret, so it wasn't immediately clear how helpful Corcoran's testimony might be to special counsel Jack Smith and his team, who are trying to determine whether Trump obstructed justice or mishandled national security information."

READ MORE:Jack Smith is waging a war of 'unprecedented size and scope' against Trump’s allies: legal analysts

'A generational moment': NRSC chair fears Dems could keep their Senate majority for 'the rest of the decade'

Although Democrats narrowly increased their U.S. Senate majority in the 2022 midterms, they are worried about keeping it in 2024. Some Democratic strategists fear that if centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema runs for reelection as an independent next year and goes up against Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego — who is seeking his party's nomination in that Senate race — she could become a spoiler. Another fear is that if Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) doesn't run for reelection, they will have a hard time finding another Democrat who can win in that deep red state.

But Republicans have their worries about the U.S. Senate as well. National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Chairman Steve Daines (R-Montana) fears that Democrats will keep their Senate majority for the rest of the 2020s if Republicans do not flip that chamber in 2024.

During a late March appearance on the conservative podcast "Ruthless," Daines told fellow Republicans, "We either deliver a majority in '24, or we are in the minority…. for the rest of the decade. That has profound consequences."

READ MORE:Joe Manchin not ruling out a possible 2024 presidential run: report

Daines argued that 2024 is the Republican Party's best chance to retake the U.S. Senate because there will be no Democrats running for reelection in "red states" in either 2026 or 2028. Democratic senators seeking reelection in 2024 in states that former President Donald Trump won in 2020 include Ohio's Sherrod Brown and Montana's Jon Tester.

"It is a generational moment," Daines commented. And he urged Republicans to avoid picking primary candidates who will fare poorly in the general election.

"We've got to find candidates that can win not just primary elections, but can win general elections," Daines told listeners.

In the 2022 midterms, Senate candidates endorsed by Trump lost in Arizona (Blake Masters), Pennsylvania (Dr. Mehmet Oz) and Georgia (Herschel Walker). And Pennsylvania could be problematic for Republicans again in 2024.

READ MORE:Democrats may have avoided a potential 2024 US Senate crisis in must-win Michigan: report

Centrist three-term Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. is up for a fourth term, and far-right State Sen. Doug Mastriano — the conspiracy theorist and QAnon ally who lost Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race by double digits in 2022 — appears to have a good shot at winning his party's nomination if he decides to run.

READ MORE:GOP strategists fear 'lost cause' Doug Mastriano could doom them in Pennsylvania Senate race

Idaho Republicans want to keep doctors from treating ectopic pregnancies

“We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!” exclaims a disgruntled philosopher in Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The philosophers had banded together to protest the advancement of computer science, which they believed was imposing entirely too much clarity on the existential mysteries that gave them job security.

The Idaho GOP and a coalition of antichoice groups in the state are taking a similar tack regarding the state’s murky and punitive abortion law.

This session, two Republican state legislators introduced a bill that would clarify key concepts in the state’s felony abortion ban. These include defining when an abortion is necessary to save the life of the pregnant person, and confirming once and for all that it’s not a felony to treat ectopic and nonviable pregnancies and to remove fetuses that have died.

It would also stop doctors who perform life-saving abortions from automatically being dragged before a judge to plead medical necessity as an affirmative defense.

Whatever happens with the felony abortion ban, Idaho doctors risk devastating lawsuits for treating one of the most common and dangerous gynecological emergencies: ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancies are fertilized eggs that implant outside the uterus. These rogue ova will never become babies and they can kill the patient if they’re allowed to swell like a tumor on a speedrun.

It’s all about the uncertainty. A doctor doesn’t know if she’s going to get sued by a vengeful ex for treating an ectopic pregnancy, but it could happen. Uncertainty can be even more paralyzing than a clear-cut but draconian rule.

Rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty can paralyze doctors while letting legislators off the hook for self-evidently stupid and unpopular policies, like forcing patients to wait in agonizing pain until their fallopian tubes rupture and their abdomens fill with blood. Or for letting bacteria rot their uteruses, and surge through their bodies, because their doomed fetus still has a heartbeat.

The Idaho Republican Party sent out an email Tuesday night claiming that the proposed changes were a ruse by doctors to “have more leeway to perform abortions in Idaho.” The head of the far-right Idaho Family Policy Center fretted in an email to supporters that a “special interest group” had drafted some of the language.

That group is the Idaho Medical Association, an utterly mainstream group that has been promoting medical excellence in the state since 1893. A hearing on the bill has been postponed amid the antichoice outcry.

The chilling effects of Idaho’s abortion laws are already being felt.

The only hospital serving a town of 9,000 people recently announced that it would no longer deliver babies in part because of the abortion ban. Families will soon have to drive 45 miles to deliver their babies. It was always a challenge to attract qualified doctors to small rural towns, but Idaho’s abortion politics are accelerating the brain drain. Doctors are fleeing the state because they don’t want to live in legal limbo. They don’t want to have to choose between satisfying their professional ethics and obeying the law. The law is so vague that it chills doctors who don’t even do abortions.

We’ve seen in state after state that exceptions to save the life of the pregnant person offer little practical protection. When a doctor might face a lengthy prison term, he or she will probably find an excuse to delay care, even when it endangers the life of a patient.

Even the antichoice movement is tiring of the charade. Instead of grappling with the ethical implications of denying life-saving care, national antichoice groups have started promulgating the absurd lie that abortion is never medically necessary.

In 2022, the Idaho Republicans voted nearly four to one to amend their party platform to criminalize all abortions, including lifesaving terminations. An exception for ectopic pregnancies was proposed and rejected.

When the goal is cruelty, uncertainty is a valuable commodity, and Idaho antichoicers have rallied to defend it.

Trump’s threats against Alvin Bragg will blow up in his face when he goes to trial: John Dean

During an appearance on CNN on Friday morning, former White House attorney John Dean claimed Donald Trump will likely be put on the spot and regret the attacks he launched against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on his Truth Social account once he faces a judge.

On Thursday the former president raged all day long at the Manhattan DA who is expected to indict the former president soon, possibly next week. that culminated with a late threat of "death and destruction."

As Dean told host John Berman, any judge Trump will now face will be well aware of the former president's over-the-top violent rhetoric and may tie the twice-impeached president's hands with a gag order.

After mentioning the "death and destruction" post, host Berman asked, "What kind of situation do you think that creates?"

"I think it creates a very troubling situation for Mr. Trump when he goes in, if he is arraigned, and the judge is going to be made very aware of these statements," Dean claimed. "Recall that Roger Stone, the acolyte of Mr. Trump, was indicted and started putting the judge in crosshairs at one point on his line, on his online postings."

"This could be the same sort of thing where a judge has total power to just say 'listen, no more of that. You do that, you're in contempt of court,'" he elaborated. "They could shut down with a gag order Trump and stop this nonsense and these attacks and might well do so because they're already another case, a civil case, the E. Jean Carroll case that is about to go to trial and that judge decided he will keep the jury anonymous in that case because of the MAGA attacks."

Dems detail 'catastrophic' costs if GOP hostage-takers force US default

Congressional Democrats on Thursday forcefully called out their Republican colleagues for holding the economy hostage by refusing to raise the country's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling without major spending cuts, risking the first-ever U.S. default.

Democrats declined to even try to raise the nation's arbitrary and arguably unconstitutional borrowing limit while they still controlled both chambers of Congress during last year's lame-duck session, setting up the current fight. Because the ceiling has already been hit, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is now taking "extraordinary measures" to give lawmakers more time to act, but the deadline to do so looms, with a default possible as early as June, based on the latest federal estimates.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) along with other key party members came together Thursday to unveil an alarming six-page Joint Economic Committee (JEC) Democratic staff report.

"This report shows that a Republican default crisis means real dollars coming out of American families' wallets and savings decimated. This is not a hypothetical exercise to the millions of Americans—including veterans and seniors—who rely on the United States government for benefits, pensions, and disability," Schumer said in a statement.

"House Republicans' approach is dangerous and destabilizing," he added. "Even the threat of a breach will raise costs on everything from car loans to mortgages. Republicans are gambling with Americans' savings, benefits, and lives, all to play a political game."

Specifically, according to the report, if the GOP forced a historic and "catastrophic" default:

  • The average worker close to retirement could take a $20,000 hit to their retirement savings;
  • Small business loans could go up $44 a month, costing about $2,500 more over the course of the loan;
  • Debt-limit threats could weaken the dollar and push up prices for consumers;
  • A typical new homeowner could see their monthly mortgage payment go up more than $150, costing them an extra $54,300 over the life of their loan;
  • A family buying a new car could pay over $800 more if interest rates spike;
  • Americans with private student loans could see their monthly payments rise by $23, costing them nearly $4,200 in total; and
  • Families with credit card debt could see their monthly payments rise, making it harder for them to become debt-free.

"A decade ago credit rating agencies downgraded the U.S. credit rating after Republican debt limit brinkmanship, and it drove borrowing costs for the American people higher in a variety of ways," noted Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.). "This Joint Economic Committee report quantifies what kind of damage regular people could see if that happens again, and it is very bad."

"This would affect everyone who borrows money, including the United States government, which would have to pay more in its borrowing costs," he explained. "In other words, Republican hostage-taking on the debt limit would actually increase the deficit."

Beyer, Schumer, and Jeffries were joined at the news conference Thursday by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) as well as Sens. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), the JEC chairman-designate, who stressed that "the debt ceiling is not a bargaining chip."

While several of them slammed "MAGA Republican in the House," 71-year-old Moore chose to describe the GOP lawmakers whose actions are jeopardizing not only the U.S. but also the global economy another way.

"I have a great-granddaughter that falls out and rolls on the floor when she can't have her way. I tell her she needs to get up because she's not gonna get it," Moore said. "Republicans need to get up and stop holding our economy hostage."

"We are not going to devastate our seniors and our children, and we will not sabotage the world's standard credit rating," the congresswoman declared. "Republicans need to get up off the ground and raise the debt limit!"

Adding to concerns about the U.S. and global economies are recent bank turmoil and repeated interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve—which, along with Congress, is facing criticism for regulatory rollbacks that experts tie to the bank failures.

As Punchbowl Newsreported Wednesday:

Instead of expressing caution, senior GOP lawmakers are leaning into their plans to demand spending cuts in return for raising the nation's borrowing limit. The Republicans we spoke to doubled down, arguing the same factors that led to the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank necessitate urgency in reducing government spending.

"This is the best time to do it," House Budget Committee Chair Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) said of the debt limit fight. "That interest rate pressure that is creating some risk in the banking industry is a result of the inflation that has been induced by the massive amounts of spending."


Arrington's panel will play a central role in the Republican posture heading into negotiations with President Joe Biden. While House Republicans have yet to release their budget, GOP leaders have vowed to roll back spending to FY2022 levels. That would mean a cut of roughly $130 billion from last year's funding level. Democrats and the White House have assailed the plan as an attack on working families, seniors, and veterans, while Republicans insist the cuts are necessary to rein in inflation.

The Texas Republican said it "makes sense that when you have a debt ceiling negotiation," lawmakers would "reflect on the indebtedness of our country" and look to cut spending at the same time.

Punchbowl noted similar remarks this week from Reps. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.) and John Rose (R-Tenn.) along with GOP Conference Secretary Lisa McClain.

Biden introduced his budget blueprint for FY2024 earlier this month. Though progressives condemned the president's historically high request for military spending as "madness" they also praised his push for massive social investments as well as tax hikes targeting wealthy individuals and corporations.

Meanwhile, "House Republican leaders did not respond to multiple questions from USA TODAY about when the GOP budget would be ready," the newspaper reported Wednesday.

As USA TODAY detailed:

An initial proposal from the House Budget Committee includes cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, Biden's student debt cancellation, and funding for electric vehicles for the U.S. post office.

It also includes reinstating work requirements to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

A proposal from the House Freedom Caucus includes $131 billion in cuts for fiscal year 2024.

"Extreme MAGA House Republicans are showing us what they value: tax breaks for the rich," Biden said of the caucus' proposal. "They demand the biggest Medicare benefits cut in decades, ship jobs overseas, defund law enforcement, devastate our national and border security. It's a gut punch to the middle class."

As Liz Zelnick from the watchdog Accountable.US warned, "The MAGA extremists running the House fully intend to manufacture a disastrous default crisis by making demands they know to be nonstarters—like letting wealthy tax cheats and big polluters off the hook."

How Trump’s indictment worries brought the GOP presidential primary 'to a crashing halt': conservative

Right-wing cheerleaders for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, from firebrand author Ann Coulter to the Daily Wire's Ben Shapiro, view the Florida governor as the GOP's best chance to move on from former President Donald Trump in the 2024 presidential election. Coulter, a former Trump supporter turned Trump critic, has been insisting that Republicans are "over" Trump and that he is "so done" in the GOP.

But The Lincoln Project's Rick Wilson, a Never Trump conservative and former GOP strategist, has a totally different viewpoint. In a November 2022 interview with The Guardian, Wilson predicted that Trump will crush DeSantis if the Florida governor runs for president — and that Republicans will ultimately "bend the knee" to Trump in the 2024 election.

Four months later, in an article for Resolute Square published on March 23, Wilson argues that Republican responses to the possibility of Trump facing a criminal indictment only underscore his unending stranglehold on the GOP. Wilson emphasizes that if Republicans were serious about moving on from Trump, they wouldn't be rushing to his defense over reports that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr. is moving closer to an indictment in connection with alleged hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.

READ MORE:'Been to this party too many times': Rick Wilson predicts GOP will nominate Donald Trump in 2024

"As an anthropologist of what was once called the Republican Party and arguably the person deepest inside the twisted mechanics of Donald Trump's mind," Wilson writes, "the last week has been no surprise…. In the last seven days, the primary for the Republican nomination for president came to a crashing halt. First, all the wannabes, also-rans, and VP aspirants — looking at you, Nikki Haley — bent the knee, caught in the cruel political singularity of Trump's utter dominance of the MAGA base. Every single one of them took the weapon of Trump’s lavish and constant criminality and tossed it on the ground. They joined the hallelujah chorus in the House of Representatives and attacked District Attorney Alvin Bragg instead."

Wilson continues, "Ron DeSantis, dream date of the establishment, came closest to an attack, swiping at Trump with a mumbled line of 'I don't know what goes into paying off a porn star.' It fell so utterly flat with the Republican base voters, the MAGA online horde, and the mainstream media that he repeated it again to Piers Morgan on Fox Digital with the same…exact…intonation."

The former GOP strategist goes on say that DeSantis' efforts to show MAGA voters that he’s a "proud isolationist Putin-symp" aren't resonating with them. And Wilson adds that a recent Morning Consult poll showing Trump ahead of GOP primary voters by 28 percent is "bad news" for "an army of desperate conservative writers trying to build a post-Trump future."

"As (Trump) continues his deliberate, constant destruction of DeSantis," Wilson predicts, "the billionaire class will stop answering the phone — slowly, then all at once.… Trump will play the outrage card over and over. As he starts providing the networks with prepackaged rally content, even Chris Licht's CNN — perhaps especially Chris Licht's CNN, given its vanishing ratings — will flood the zone with Trump coverage once again. The spectacle is too much to resist. Trump will return to Twitter with an army of 89 million followers and blast his attacks, accusations, fantasies, grievances, and assorted word salads into the minds of his followers."

READ MORE: Two-faced Pence trying to have it both ways with cowardly Trump attack is 'not sufficient': Rick Wilson

Read Rick Wilson’s full article for Resolute Square at this link.

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