Skip Navigation
Breaking News
Breaking News
from Washington and beyond

Cognitive Decline? Trump Mixes Up Attorneys That Are Prosecuting Him

The Republican presidential nominee couldn’t keep Letitia James and Alvin Bragg straight.

Donald Trump gestures with both hands as he speaks
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A new speech has provided even more insight into Donald Trump’s memory problems—indicating that the GOP presidential nominee is having a difficult time recalling who’s who among the major players in his criminal trials.

Speaking at the so-called “Border 9/11 Gala” fundraiser at Mar-A-Lago on Thursday night, Trump mixed up Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is prosecuting his hush money trial, with New York Attorney General Letitia James, who prosecuted his New York bank fraud trial. Trump also seemed to lapse on James’s name, incorrectly referring to her as “Letitia Jones,” but he didn’t forget to sprinkle in one of his favorite nicknames for her—which, although his campaign hasn’t given an overt reasoning for it, conspicuously resembles a portmanteau of two well known racial slurs.

“They put him into the state of New York, and then ultimately into the D.A.’s office to run the case,” said Trump. “This is being run by Biden. They put a man into the state, Letitia Jones, “Peekaboo”’ I call her, Peekaboo Jones, Peekaboo—they put a man into that one, Letitia. They put a man into that one to run it, and then he went into the D.A.’s office.”

Trump also used the night to declare that he has so many votes on his side that “they could cancel that election” and declare him the presumptive winner—an interesting suggestion from someone currently facing criminal charges related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

“Because, I’ll tell you what, if it’s just by the vote, they could cancel that election,” Trump said. “We win that election right now. We have so many more votes than they do, but we have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful.”

New Report Reveals Matt Gaetz Is an Even Bigger Creep Than You Thought

The Florida Republican has some nasty habits, including showing his colleagues nude pictures of his dates.

Matt Gaetz raises an eyebrow
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Representative Matt Gaetz has a reputation as a provocateur and MAGA ideologue on Capitol Hill, with an active ethics investigation against him. After a new profile in The Atlantic, he might be known for other, worse reasons.

One such revelation in the piece, published Thursday, was that he’d show videos of his sexual conquests to other staffers and members of Congress on Capitol Hill.

“He used to walk around the cloakroom showing people porno of him and his latest girlfriend,” one former Republican lawmaker told Atlantic writer Elaine Godfrey, speaking anonymously. “He’d show me a video, and I’d say, ‘That’s great, Matt.’ Like, what kind of a reaction do you want?”

He also, early in his career as a state legislator in Florida, was allegedly involved in a “points game,” in which he and other Republican lawmakers earned points for sleeping with women, with one point for doing so with a lobbyist, three points for a fellow legislator, six for a married fellow legislator, and so on.

Gaetz got his start in politics thanks to the wealth and political career of his father, Don Gaetz, who would serve as president of the Florida Senate. The elder Gaetz ran and sold a hospice company, netting $500 million, and spent a lot of money funding development projects in the Florida Panhandle. The counties that make up the Panhandle, one lobbyist told Godfrey, “are owned by the Gaetzes.”

Gaetz was elected to the Florida state Senate while his father was president and had a reputation for walking into his father’s meetings and sitting on the couch with his feet up, according to one political consultant. The pair were often derisively referred to as Daddy Gaetz and Baby Gaetz, the article said.

The profile wasn’t all negative, though: Gaetz has apparently shown a willingness to work with Democrats, including Representatives Jared Moskowitz and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, when it benefits him.

But recent news about the Florida Republican hasn’t been good. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy claims Gaetz led the effort to oust him because Gaetz wanted him to squash the ethics investigation against him. That investigation is over allegations that Gaetz slept with a 17-year-old girl, as well as instances of drug use and corruption.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Sets Up Bruising Fight With Retirement

Democrats are already warning that abortion and voting rights will be major issues in the upcoming election.

Janet Protasiewicz holds a microphone as she walks
Jeff Schear/Getty Images/WisDems
Janet Protasiewicz is the most recently elected Wisconsin state Supreme Court justice, in the most expensive state judicial election in history

A retirement announcement is about to shake up the Wisconsin Supreme Court in a major way—and it’ll likely cost a pretty penny.

Wisconsin state Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, 73, announced Thursday that she will be leaving her post at the end of her term next spring, leaving behind an open seat on a highly contentious bench in a pivotal swing state.

“My decision has not come lightly. It is made after careful consideration and reflection. I know I can do the job and do it well. I know I can win re-election should I run, but it’s just time to pass the torch,” Bradley wrote in a statement, noting that after 39 years on the bench, she felt now is the right time to bring “fresh perspectives” to the court.

The election to replace Bradley will take place two years after liberal Justice Janet Protasiewicz beat out the incumbent, conservative Justice Dan Kelly, securing the first liberal majority on the state bench in 15 years. Her election resulted after the biggest political fundraising campaign for a state Supreme Court seat in U.S. history, spending more than $45 million to swap the Wisconsin judiciary’s political ideology.

Protasiewicz fought hard on issues that were slated to come before the court, including abortion rights and the state’s gerrymandered legislative maps. Wisconsin Democrats were quick to warn that the same issues, and then some, will be back on the table with Bradley’s exit.

“There’s no question that reproductive freedom and abortion bans in Wisconsin will be a central issue not just this fall, but also in the Supreme Court race next spring,” Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler said, according to NBC News. “The far right is trying to take over the Supreme Court so that they can put the 1849 abortion ban into effect.”

Trump and RFK Jr.’s Bizarre Love Affair Just Got Even Weirder

Trump heaped praise on the independent presidential candidate.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gestures as he speaks into microphones at a podium
Thos Robinson/Getty Images/The Democratic National Committee

Spoiler alert, literally: Donald Trump wants Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the ballot to take away votes from Joe Biden.

In a video posted to his Truth Social account on Thursday afternoon, the former president called Kennedy “much better than Biden.”

“If I were a Democrat, I’d vote for RFK Jr. every single time over Biden, because he’s frankly more in line with Democrats,” Trump said in the video, where he alternatively praised Kennedy but also called him “a radical left Democrat.”

“It’s great for MAGA, I hope he continues to run, but the Communists will make it very hard on him to get on the ballot, as they did for him as a Democrat. He wanted to get on the ballot. They made it very, very difficult for him. They really went after him viciously, just like they go after me. Welcome to the crowd, RFK Jr.,” Trump continued.

Trump has made no secret of how much he wants Kennedy on the ballot, praising him on different occasions. But Kennedy’s recent actions seem to be more in line with Trump’s right-wing ideology. Kennedy has claimed that Biden is a bigger threat to democracy than Trump and attracted praise from MAGA ideologues Roger Stone and Steve Bannon, and his donors are almost exclusively Republican.

He also downplays the role of guns in mass shootings, claiming that antidepressants and video games are bigger factors, and keeps having to correct his words about the January 6 Capitol rioters—possibly because one of his advisers, his former New York campaign director Rita Palma, may have been one.

Palma even recently told a meeting with New York Republicans that the Kennedy campaign’s number one goal was to siphon votes from Biden. She was fired Thursday.

Johnson and Trump Push Major Election Conspiracy with Proposed Bill

The two election deniers want to introduce a bill addressing a nonexistent problem.

Mike Johnson looks slightly down
Haiyun Jiang/Bloomberg/Getty Images

In an effort to save his job, House Speaker Mike Johnson will meet with Donald Trump on Friday—but a new detail about their expected joint announcement seems, on its face, like a complete waste of time.

Fox News reported Thursday that the pair will use the platform to announce an election integrity bill to bar noncitizens from voting in U.S. elections, even though that’s already illegal.

The meeting comes at a time of extreme tension for Johnson, who faces the possibility of being the second speaker in U.S. history—and within the last six months—to be kicked out of leadership. Members such as Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who filed a motion to vacate Johnson after he worked with Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to pass a $1.2 trillion omnibus bill, are upset that the leader of the lower chamber hasn’t made big enough strides to advance their party’s policy goals. In their opinion, working with the opposite party—as politicians are traditionally expected to do—to draft bipartisan legislation is a sign of failure.

And Republicans don’t have much patience for the reality of the situation, which is that the party’s razor-thin House majority effectively forces Johnson to liaise with Democrats to pass anything at all. Instead, they want Johnson to remain staunchly loyal to the far-right cause, all while attacking him with examples of inaction that are fueled by their own division.

To salvage the mess, Johnson met with Greene for an hour on Wednesday, offering the conspiratorial Georgia Republican a spot on a proposed “kitchen cabinet” of advisers to the speaker. But the water is not yet under the bridge: After the meeting, Greene told reporters that she would “wait and see” before making a decision on the offer.

“I explained to him, this isn’t personal,” she said. “But he has not done the job that we elected him to do.”

Johnson is, ultimately, in an impossible position. Even though his caucus is frustrated by his inaction, actually acting upon his promises, such as sending aid to Ukraine, would almost certainly be a death knell for his six-month tenure wielding the gavel.

Johnson’s downfall bears an uncanny resemblance to the final days of his predecessor, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who got the boot from eight members of his party after he committed the same sin of working with Democrats in order to pass a 45-day stopgap funding bill. At the end of the day, Johnson’s inability to unify a historically divided—and unproductive—GOP flags even deeper problems in the health of the conservative party.

A Major Georgia Politician Faces Probe Over Fake Trump Elector Scheme

The state’s lieutenant governor is facing an investigation for his role in the scheme.

Burt Jones gestures with his finger while speaking into a microphone
Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Georgia’ Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones may soon face the music for serving as a fake elector for Donald Trump in 2020. 

On Thursday, Pete Skandalakis, the executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, said he would personally take up the investigation into Jones’s actions. The move comes after Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, was disqualified in 2022 from investigating Jones because she once hosted a fundraiser for his political opponent.

Skandalakis was under fire for taking so long to select a replacement for Willis, and was even sued by four Georgia residents to make an appointment. In the end, he chose himself.  

Willis has already brought charges against Trump and several of his Republican allies for seeking to overturn the 2020 election results for Georgia after the once staunchly red state unexpectedly voted for Joe Biden.

In an effort to mitigate the disaster that was the 2020 election, Trump and Republican allies in multiple states tried to use slates of fake electors to claim that the states that had voted for Biden had really voted for Trump. Many of those fake electors were high-ranking state Republicans, and in Georgia, one of those fake electors was Jones, a state senator at the time. He and 15 other fake electors claimed they were the “duly elected and qualified electors” from Georgia in signed documents.

“I’m happy to see this process move forward and look forward to the opportunity to get this charade behind me,” Jones said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Fani Willis has made a mockery of this legal process, as she tends to do. I look forward to a quick resolution and moving forward with the business of the state of Georgia.”

If the investigation implicates Jones in a crime, he wouldn’t be the first Georgia Republican to get in trouble over the electoral process. Brian Pritchard, the first vice chairman of the state Republican Party, was found to have voted illegally in nine elections from 2008 to 2010. Meanwhile, Trump is resorting to desperate measures in his own Georgia trial, launching a last-minute attempt to get Willis thrown off the case after an earlier effort fell apart.

All of this bad press should convince Georgia Republicans to try to fix things ahead of November’s coming elections. Instead, state lawmakers just passed a bill that would make it easier to kick registered voters off the rolls. 

We Should All Be Outraged By How Arizona GOP Blocked Abortion Bill

Republican leaders in the Arizona state House cut off discussion and then adjourned.

People hold up pro-abortion protest signs
Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images
An abortion rights protest in Tucson, Arizona, in July 2022

The Arizona legislature devolved into a state of chaos after Republicans abruptly shut down a discussion to repeal the state’s recently reinstituted draconian abortion ban, with Democrats chanting “Shame” at their colleagues across the aisle.

On Wednesday, Republican state Representative Matt Gress motioned to bring House Bill 2677—a formal effort to repeal the abortion law—up for a vote. But that effort was cut short when another GOP lawmaker motioned to go into recess, throwing the legislature into disarray.

“He does not care about the women who will die because of this horrific ban,” shouted one Democratic lawmaker, pointing at Gress.

“I absolutely—” started Gress, before getting cut off by other lawmakers, who shouted “absolutely not!”

Another effort to make a motion to repeal the law also failed after the recess. House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci, a Republican, motioned to adjourn, gaveling the session out before the “nay” votes could even be heard. Meanwhile, in the Senate, a similar move by Democratic lawmakers to strip the law was also suddenly adjourned.

Following the bedlam, Republican House Speaker Ben Toma seemed more focused on scolding House Democrats than finding an immediate solution to the dangerous law.

“These are difficult conversations we all need to have, and we absolutely cannot have them when Democrat legislators act as uncivilly, and engage in appallingly childish behavior, as we saw on the House Floor today,” Toma wrote in a statement. “That’s not how we debate important issues down here and I find it completely unacceptable and disappointing.”

But Toma’s plea for more time falls flat considering that the legislature will only be meeting once per week now that state budget negotiations have begun, reported The Center Square.

The state’s Supreme Court decided Tuesday to revive a near-total abortion ban from 1864, before Arizona was even a state, that offers no exceptions for instances of rape or incest. But some Republicans in the state—especially the ones currently on the campaign trail—immediately came out against it, including Senate candidate Kari Lake, Representative David Schweikert, and Representative Juan Ciscomani.

Former Republican Governor Doug Doucey also lamented the decision, even though he appointed four of the justices who contributed to the court’s majority opinion.

The flip-flopping is no coincidence, especially as abortion has become a losing issue for Republicans nationwide. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn nationwide abortion access proved disastrous for Republicans last November, resulting in major losses in districts where abortion was a key talking point. Postelection, those raw numbers turned into some stunning platform reversals for the conservative party, with GOP consultants referring to the turning tide on the issue as a “major wake-up call.”

More on Republicans blocking abortion rights:

South Dakotans Hate Kristi Noem So Much, They Banned Her from Visiting

Three Native American tribes have take action after the South Dakota governor insulted Indigenous people.

Kristi Noem speaks at a podium
Kent Nishimura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem can no longer enter about 10 percent of the state she governs. And she has no one but herself to blame.

Noem has repeatedly accused Native American tribes in South Dakota of working with Mexican drug cartels, and accused Native parents in tribal areas of not being involved in their children’s lives, blaming them for poor academic performance. So three major tribes have voted to ban her from their land.

The Standing Rock Tribal Council voted Tuesday to formally banish Noem from its reservation. The move comes just a week after the Cheyenne River Sioux banished Noem from their lands. And on March 18, the Oglala Sioux did the same. There isn’t much she can do about it, either: South Dakota does not have criminal jurisdiction on any of its nine Native American reservations.

“It’s not acceptable for Kristi Noem to lie repeatedly, stoke further division, and endanger the people of the sovereign nations which pre-exist the United States and South Dakota, which have illegally annexed and occupied sovereign territory of the Oceti Sakowin,” said Chase Iron Eyes, the director of the Lakota People’s Law Center, in a statement.

But Noem is unrepentant. In an email to The Daily Beast, spokesman Ian Fury said, “Banishing Governor Noem does nothing to solve the problem. She calls on all our tribal leaders to banish the cartels from tribal lands.”

Noem already had a fractious relationship with the tribes in her state. Her cavalier handling of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a high number of cases in Native communities, and she tried to prevent the tribes from implementing their own pandemic safety measures.

Noem is reportedly on the shortlist for Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, and her record among Natives could affect her standing. But considering Trump’s own crazy record with Native Americans before and during his presidency, he may not care.

Newsmax Host Makes Hilarious Blunder While Trying to Drag Biden

Rob Finnerty was trying to mock the president’s memory.

Joe Biden is seen in three-quarter profile
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Newsmax went light on the research on Thursday, airing a segment accusing President Joe Biden of forgetting that Africa was a country while apparently believing that Africa is a country.

“He said that Biden didn’t know that Africa was a country, he couldn’t remember the year his son died, he didn’t know the last names of staff members, he forgot when he was vice president, all very embarrassing stuff,” said Newsmax host Rob Finnerty, throwing a question to Representative James Comer about special counsel Robert Hur’s report on the president’s mental acuity.

But no mention of Africa was made in the 388-page report. So where did Finnerty get the idea that Biden had mixed up the continent’s geographical status?

Well, the rumor may stem from a speech Biden gave as a vice president at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in 2014. While addressing leaders of the continent, the text of Biden’s speech said that there was “no reason the nations of Africa cannot and should not join the ranks of the world’s most prosperous nations in the near term, in the decades ahead.” Except Biden stumbled on “nations,” dropping the -s and saying, instead, “nation of Africa.”

The Hits Just Keep Coming for Trump on Truth Social Value

Donald Trump’s media venture is worth less than when it debuted on the stock market.

The App Store page for Truth Social is seen on a phone
Anna Barclay/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s social media venture, Trump Media & Technology Group, debuted on the stock market in late March with a strong initial public offering of nearly $80 a share. Today? It’s less than half that, trading at just under $33.  

The company’s slide began shortly after it debuted, when its 2023 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission were released. They showed only $4.1 million in revenue, coupled with a loss of a whopping $58 million. Days later, two of TMTG’s investors pleaded guilty to insider trading in connection to one of the major sources of the company’s value: its merger with Digital World Acquisition Corporation.

Since then, Trump Media’s stock has continuously plummeted, losing close to $2.7 billion. Not coincidentally, Donald Trump fell off the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which ranks the 500 richest people in the world every day. His bragging about the stock last week didn’t help at all and may have even violated SEC rules. 

In the past, Trump has hardly ever dealt with the SEC, since his businesses are usually privately held, and it’s showing. As Timothy Noah wrote for The New Republic last week, “It’s much harder to lie to the SEC than it is to lie to a bank or insurance company about a privately held business.”

Trump has a number of legal debts that he can’t begin to pay without the help of surety firms with questionable reputations. He also can’t dump or borrow against his Trump Media stock without the permission of his board for six months. And with the stock sliding further every day, he may not see much of a windfall by then, anyway.