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DeSantis Promises to Start “Slitting Throats on Day One”

Why is Ron DeSantis like this?


Ron DeSantis has promised to start “slitting throats on day one” if he’s elected president.

“We’re going to have all of these deep state people, you know, we are going to start slitting throats on day one,” the Florida governor told New Hampshire voters on Sunday, during what was supposed to be a chill barbecue event.

For the most part, his message went over OK, New Hampshire Public Radio reported, but not everyone was a fan of the “slitting throats” word choice.

“If I was in charge of his P.R., I would have said, ‘Don’t use that terminology,’” one Republican primary voter from Portsmouth, who called himself a “Sununu Republican,” told NHPR.

This isn’t the first time DeSantis has used this terrifying choice of words. Last week, during an interview with the right-wing outlet Real America’s Voice, DeSantis said he wanted a defense secretary who was ready to “slit some throats” and change the Defense Department’s hierarchy.

“You know, they may have to slit some throats. And it’s a lot harder to do that if these are people that you’ve trained with in the past or that you know,” DeSantis said. “So we’re going to have somebody out there, you know, be very firm, very strong, but they are going to make sure that we have the best people in the best positions, and there’s not going to be necessarily prior relationships that would cloud that judgment.”

DeSantis is in the midst of a campaign reboot, as he continues to trail Donald Trump by a wide margin. A New York Times/Siena College poll published Monday found Trump is crushing every other candidate in the race. Even when voters were given fewer options and told to imagine a two-person Republican primary race between Trump and DeSantis, 62 percent of Republican voters picked Trump, compared to just 31 percent for DeSantis.

Last week, DeSantis fired more than a third of his campaign as part of a desperate attempt to reset things.

Trump’s Rape Trial Testimony Is Coming Back to Bite Him in Hush-Money Case

The Manhattan D.A. will be able to use Trump’s damning testimony in the E. Jean Carroll case against him.

Dustin Franz for The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Manhattan district attorney is officially allowed to use Donald Trump’s deposition from his sexual assault trial, meaning that the most devastating testimony in the upcoming trial over alleged hush-money payments could come from the former president himself.

Alvin Bragg indicted Trump in April, charging him with 34 counts for business fraud for his role in alleged hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. Bragg asked Monday if he could use Trump’s deposition from his civil trial with writer E. Jean Carroll, in which Trump was found liable for sexual abuse.

And on Thursday, Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over the Carroll trial, granted that request.

In his deposition in the Carroll case, Trump defends the infamous Access Hollywood tape, a 2005 recording of the show in which he brags about being able to “grab” women “by the pussy” whenever he wants because he is famous. When asked about it during deposition for the Carroll case, Trump said, “Well, historically, that’s true with stars. Well, if you look over the last million years, I guess that’s been largely true. Not always, but largely true. Unfortunately, or fortunately.”

Bragg argued that the Access Hollywood tape shows “the way in which [Trump] dealt with allegations of a sexual nature by women in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election.” Bragg could use the testimony to prove that Trump could and would do anything to avoid prosecution for his behavior.

Trump was unanimously found liable in May for sexual abuse and battery against Carroll in the mid-1990s and for defaming her in 2022 while denying the assault. Trump did not testify during the trial, but his depositions proved her case all the same. Carroll also has another defamation lawsuit pending against Trump.

Cornel West Owes the IRS More than $500,000 in Taxes

A new report found that the Green Party candidate hasn’t been paying his taxes.

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Cornel West

Presidential candidate Cornel West, who has spent most of his career advocating for higher taxes on the wealthy, owes the IRS more than half a million dollars in unpaid taxes.

Throughout his decades in the public eye, West, who is an academic at elite institutions and a bestselling author, has blasted the concentration of wealth at the top of U.S. society. Since announcing his run for president, first on the People’s Party ticket and currently on the Green Party’s, he has argued that taxes on the wealthiest Americans need to be “higher, much higher.”

But West hasn’t been putting his money where his mouth is—literally. An investigation by The Daily Beast, published Thursday, found that West owes $543,778.78 in unpaid taxes. The Beast cited tax filings in Mercer County, New Jersey, where West owns a house in the town of Princeton, and in Los Angeles, where West’s personal attorney is.

The IRS has filed liens against West for the years 2005, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, when he failed to pay anywhere from more than $62,000 to nearly $137,000 in taxes. The liens, or federal claims against property for unpaid debts, are all still open.

Federal liens don’t officially close until 30 days after the debt has been paid, so it’s possible West has paid some of his taxes within the past few weeks or has set up a payment plan. But West offered no such explanation to the Beast. Instead, he denied that he hadn’t paid his taxes and said his accountant would provide more information. The accountant never reached out.

This is apparently not new behavior for West. By 2004, he had accumulated $724,397.26 in liens over the previous six years. He didn’t pay the balance until 2010. In 2012, he paid $34,069.93 in taxes owed for the year 2008.

Documents form California show that West owed $46,904.57 in taxes for 2011 and $112,449.79 in taxes for 2012. He didn’t resolve these liens until two months ago, about a week after he announced he was running for president.

West also has yet to pay a 2003 child support payment of $49,500.

These revelations are an important reminder to West, or anyone thinking of running for public office. Campaigning can be all fun and games, as it lets you travel around the country and spread your chosen message. Donors give you money or throw fancy parties for you.

But it also means that you are subjected to more intense scrutiny than ever before. If you have a single skeleton in your closet, it will be found.

Bill Barr: No Doubt Jack Smith Has More Goods on Trump

Trump’s former attorney general destroyed his legal team’s arguments.

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Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr

Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr destroyed Donald Trump’s argument that he shouldn’t be indicted a third time because he was only using his First Amendment rights.

Trump was charged Tuesday for attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He faces four counts that include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to corruptly obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote. Among his legal team’s many wild defenses is that the former president is being attacked for exercising his right to free speech.

But Barr quickly dismantled that defense. “I really don’t think that’s a valid argument,” he told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins Wednesday night. “As the indictment says, they’re not attacking his First Amendment right. He can say whatever he wants. He can even lie. He can even tell people that the election was stolen when he knew better.”

“But that does not protect you from entering into a conspiracy,” Barr continued. “All conspiracies involve speech. And all fraud involves speech. So free speech doesn’t give you the right to engage in a fraudulent conspiracy.”

Barr also warned that the Justice Department likely has “a lot more” evidence to come, and the indictment on Thursday is just the “tip of the iceberg.”

“That’s one of the things that impressed me about the indictment,” said Barr. “It was very spare, and there were a lot of things he could have said in there, and I think there’s a lot more to come, and I think they have a lot more evidence as to President Trump’s state of mind.”

Trump is due to be arraigned Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C., just the latest in a long string of various legal troubles. The twice-impeached president has been charged with business fraud in New York for his alleged role in making hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels. He was also charged with keeping national defense information without authorization, making false statements, and conspiring to obstruct justice.

Trump is likely to be indicted in Georgia in the next few weeks for his role in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election—despite a failed attempt to block that probe. And he has been found liable of sexual abuse and defamation, and sued for defamation again.

“Crackpot Lawyers”: Mike Pence Blames Trump’s Idiot Legal Team for January 6

Mike Pence, who had a starring role in Trump’s third indictment, had some harsh words for the president.

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Mike Pence has issued his most scathing rebuke yet following Donald Trump’s third indictment, while still somehow failing to explicitly call Trump responsible.

Trump was charged Tuesday for attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He faces four counts that include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to corruptly obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote.

Pence has a starring role in the indictment, which shows he repeatedly resisted Trump’s attempts to delay certification of votes. Pence, who is trailing badly behind Trump in the Republican presidential polls, has maintained that he was upholding the Constitution above all else.

“The first time I heard in early December somebody suggest that as vice president I might be able to decide which votes to reject and which to accept, I knew that it was false,” Pence said Wednesday at the Indiana state fair. “I dismissed it out of hand. Sadly, the president was surrounded by a group of crackpot lawyers that kept telling him what his itching ears wanted to hear.”

“I really do believe that anyone who puts themself over the Constitution should never be president of the United States,” he said. “And anyone who asks someone else to put themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States again.”

Pence reiterated that he had “no right to overturn the election,” no matter what Trump has said since he lost in 2020. “It’s contrary to what our Constitution and the laws of this country provide,” he said.

These are Pence’s strongest comments to date on Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, but he still couldn’t bring himself to lay blame squarely on Trump’s shoulders. He said that Trump’s lawyers encouraged him, instead of treating Trump as an adult who should have known better the whole time.

Republicans have been hesitant to criticize Trump outright, or have backed him fully. Many members of the GOP are wary of attacking Trump lest they lose the support of his fan base. Others may actually believe that he has done nothing wrong.

Trump Sat Down for Dinner With Fox News Execs Right After Third Indictment

The timing is impeccable, really.

Donald Trump
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Soon after Donald Trump learned he was being indicted for a third time, he sat down for a private dinner with top Fox executives, who begged him to attend the Republican debate.

The New York Times reported that Trump had dinner Tuesday night with Fox News president Jay Wallace and chief executive Suzanne Scott, at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

During the two-hour dinner, the Fox executives tried to convince Trump to attend the first Republican presidential primary debate, scheduled for August 23.

Last week, Trump declared on Truth Social that he had no intention of attending the debate and would instead let the other candidates duke it out. “Let them debate so I can see who I MIGHT consider for Vice President!” he announced.

He has also repeatedly attacked Fox News, which will host the debate, on Truth Social. He has also criticized the network for lenient coverage of Ron DeSantis, Trump’s main 2024 rival.

But during the dinner Tuesday, the Times reported:

The Fox executives made a soft appeal for Mr. Trump to attend the debate, two of the people familiar with the dinner said, telling the former president that he excels on the center stage and that it presents an opportunity for him to show off his debate skills.

Trump told the executives that he hasn’t made up his mind yet on whether he’ll attend.

If he does attend, it’s sure to be a wild affair. Other Republican candidates who have qualified for the first Republican presidential debate are: Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Chris Christie. Christie has been the most vocal Trump critic in the Republican field, rightfully calling him a “coward,” “liar,” and “loser.”

He’s “an Even Stronger Candidate”: Republicans’ Batty Reactions to the Trump Indictment

Republicans are bending over backward to defend Trump after he was indicted a third time.

Donald Trump
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Donald Trump was indicted for a record-breaking third time  on Tuesday and now faces four felony counts for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. But his Republican challengers for president are brushing away the damning 45-page indictment like crumbs from the table.

“A D.C. jury would indict a ham sandwich and convict a ham sandwich if it was a Republican ham sandwich,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Fox News Wednesday, without noting any of the substantial allegations in the Trump indictment. He also blasted the indictment on Tuesday evening, before noting he hasn’t actually read it.

“We’re watching Biden’s DOJ continue to hunt Republicans, while protecting Democrats,” said Senator Tim Scott.

Vivek Ramaswamy went even further and announced a lawsuit against the Justice Department to “deliver accountability and transparency.” He also said he would file a Freedom of Information Act records request for more details on Trump’s third indictment. He also pledged once again to pardon Trump if elected. (In 2021, just six days after the insurrection, Ramaswamy declared, “What Trump did last week was wrong. Downright abhorrent. Plain and simple.”)

Other Republicans similarly bent over backward to defend Trump.

Representative Jim Banks may have had the wildest defense of Trump in Congress, claiming that the indictment “makes him an even stronger candidate to defeat Joe Biden next November.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy dismissed the indictment as an attempt to distract from the Hunter Biden probe (which to date, has uncovered very little evidence).

“Just yesterday a new poll showed President Trump is without a doubt Biden’s leading political opponent,” McCarthy said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Everyone in America could see what was going to come next: DOJ’s attempt to distract from the news and attack the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, President Trump.”

In 2021, McCarthy said Trump “bears responsibility” for the riot at the Capitol.

“We’ve entered banana republic territory,” said Senator Ted Cruz, repeating one of his favorite talking points. In 2021, Cruz called the January 6 insurrection a “terrorist attack.”

Very few Republicans have publicly criticized Trump following the indictment, despite the gravity of the charges.

Murkowski Urges America: Read the Indictment. Will Any Other GOP Senators Join Her?

Lisa Murkowski has some words of advice for the rest of her party, and America.

Jemal Countess/Getty Images for JDRF

Republicans have repeatedly insisted that Donald Trump has done nothing wrong, even in the face of his record third indictment for trying to overturn the 2020 election. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has a message for them: Just read the indictment.

Murkowski is one of Trump’s few Republican critics in Congress and one of just seven GOP senators who voted to convict him during his second impeachment trial. After the third indictment was unsealed Tuesday, Murkowski took to Twitter to explain that the charges just reinforce her conviction that she did the right thing in 2021.

“I encourage everyone to read the indictment, to understand the very serious allegations being made in this case,” she said.

An alarming number of Republican lawmakers have not read the indictment yet (or pretended they haven’t), often making illogical excuses as to why not. It’s a sign that the GOP continues to bend its knee to Trump, no matter what.

Rudy Giuliani Is the Biggest Creep Ever, New Legal Documents Say

Giuliani regularly made disturbing comments to his former assistant, like “I want to own you.”

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New documents in a sexual abuse lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani reveal that the former New York mayor frequently made misogynistic, antisemitic, and homophobic comments—meaning that he’s an even more disgusting creep than previously thought.

Giuliani’s former associate Noelle Dunphy sued him in May, accusing him of promising to pay her a $1 million annual salary but instead raping and sexually abusing her over the course of two years. Her lawsuit alleges that Giuliani was constantly drunk, talked openly about trying to overturn the 2020 election, and even plotted to sell pardons with Donald Trump at the low, low price of $2 million each.

Giuliani has denied all of the accusations, but Dunphy reportedly has a wealth of recorded conversations to back herself up. Her lawyer filed transcripts of some of those recordings from 2019 late Tuesday, and they are truly horrifying.

In multiple different conversations, Giuliani made aggressively lewd and possessive comments to Dunphy, at one point saying, “I want to own you, officially.”

“Legally, with a document,” he added.

He also said he gets “hard” when he thinks about her and how smart she is, even though normally, “I’d never think about a girl being smart. If you told me a girl was smart, I would often think she’s not attractive.”

Giuliani also admitted to having a two-year affair with his now-girlfriend, Maria Ryan, despite previously denying an illicit relationship.

He claimed that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and actor Matt Damon were both gay, despite there being no evidence of that. Both Bloomberg and Damon have been in relationships with women for the past 20 years.

Giuliani said that Jewish men have smaller penises than Italian men (Giuliani is Italian) and complained about Jewish holidays. He was particularly steamed about Passover and said that Jewish people should “get over the Passover.”

Yet Another Trump “Indictment”: Fitch Blames Jan. 6 for U.S. Credit Downgrade

“It just is a reflection of the deterioration in governance.”

Brent Stirton/Getty Images
Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.

In a weird stroke of irony, the U.S. government’s credit rating was downgraded the same day that Donald Trump was indicted for a historic third time. A top official confirmed Wednesday that part of the reason for the downgrade was increased political divisions, as evidenced by the January 6 insurrection.

Credit ratings agency Fitch downgraded the United States to AA+ from AAA on Tuesday, a move that surprised investors but was nearly lost in the flurry of Trump getting indicted for attempting to overturn the 2020 election. Fitch predicted the U.S. would see fiscal deterioration over the next three years and cited “the erosion of governance … over the last two decades that has manifested in repeated debt limit standoffs and last-minute resolutions.”

But another major reason for the downgrade was the dramatic increase in political polarization, seen in the January 6 attack, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing Fitch senior director Richard Francis. The ratings agency met with Treasury officials ahead of the downgrade and highlighted the implications of the riot for America’s credit rating.

“It was something that we highlighted because it just is a reflection of the deterioration in governance, it’s one of many,” Francis told Reuters. “You have the debt ceiling, you have Jan. 6. Clearly, if you look at the polarization with both parties … the Democrats have gone further left and Republicans further right, so the middle is kind of falling apart.”

The fact that the downgrade was announced the same day Trump was indicted is likely a coincidence, but the connection between the two events is still significant. Trump faces four counts that include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to corruptly obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote.

Hundreds of people who descended on Washington to try to stop the certification of votes have said they were responding to a call from Trump. Nearly 200 people who were charged in the January 6 insurrection said they were answering a Trump tweet urging people to attend a “big protest” in the nation’s capital. Almost 100 more specifically said Trump’s speech to the crowd that day prompted them to storm the Capitol.

So it turns out that Trump, who promised a strong economy, has actually cost the U.S. standing in the global market.