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Nancy Pelosi Blasted for Bizarre Smear About Pro-Palestinian Activists

Pelosi wants the FBI to investigate pro-Palestinian protesters.

Representative Nancy Pelosi wears a purple blazer and is speaking while seated.
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME

Representative Nancy Pelosi accused pro-Palestine protesters of having links to Russia and called for the FBI to investigate them.

During a Sunday interview with CNN’s State of the Union, Pelosi was asked if she was worried that younger voters would abandon President Joe Biden due to his resistance to a cease-fire.

For them to call for a cease-fire is Mr. Putin’s message,” Pelosi said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Make no mistake, this is directly connected to what he would like to see.”

“I think some of these protesters are spontaneous and organic and sincere. Some, I think, are connected to Russia.”

When asked if she thought some of the pro-Palestinian protesters were Russian plants, Pelosi said, “I don’t think they’re plants. I think some financing should be investigated. And I want to ask the FBI to investigate that.”

Israel’s constant bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 26,500 people, primarily women and children, since October 7, according to Gaza’s health ministry. The vast majority of Americans, particularly younger voters, support a cease-fire. Growing numbers of lawmakers have also begun to call for an end to the fighting, but the White House continues to back Israel.

Pelosi’s comments sparked immediate backlash. The executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, called Pelosi’s claim “delusional” and her call for an FBI investigation “downright authoritarian.”

Sadly, Rep. Pelosi’s comments echo a time in our nation when opponents of the Vietnam War were accused of being communist sympathizers and subjected to FBI harassment,” he said in a statement.

“Instead of baselessly smearing those Americans as Russian collaborators, former House Speaker Pelosi and other political leaders should respect the will of the American people by calling for an end to the Netanyahu government’s genocidal war on the people of Gaza.”

Many people on social media were quick to point out the hypocrisy of Pelosi’s comments. The majority of people who support a cease-fire are politically neutral or left-leaning, including thousands of Black American pastors, Doctors Without Borders, and according to some polls, 80 percent of Democratic voters.

Others pointed out that the specific call for an FBI investigation marked a dangerous shift in the government’s stance on involving law enforcement against anti-war efforts. Widespread crackdowns against pro-Palestine speech have been compared to a new wave of McCarthyism.

Biden’s refusal to call for a cease-fire could well cost him in November. His popularity among young voters has dropped dramatically, primarily due to his stance on Israel. Biden’s campaign manager traveled last week to Detroit, which has a large Arab-American community. Many of the community leaders refused to meet with her over Biden’s Gaza policies.

Judge in E. Jean Carroll Trial Gives Jury Ominous Warning After Damning Trump Verdict

Judge Lewis Kaplan thanked the jurors for their verdict on Donald Trump—and then warned them about how to stay safe.

Donald Trump in the courtroom. Others stand around him, including his legal team and a security guard.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Judge Lewis Kaplan had just a few short words to share with the jury moments after they issued a whopping $83.3 million verdict against Donald Trump in the defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll.

“My advice to you is that you never disclose that you were on this jury,” Kaplan said.

That foreboding warning—which sounds more like something you’d expect to hear in a trial against a mob boss rather than a former president—is just one of many extraordinary measures that Kaplan has taken to keep his jury safe. Prior to the trial’s start, Kaplan also decided to keep the jury partially sequestered and fully anonymous, instructing them not to use their real names even with one another.

Trump proved moments after the trial that there’s a good reason for the extra precautions, launching into a social media diatribe in which he claimed he would be attempting to appeal the decision.

“Absolutely ridiculous! I fully disagree with both verdicts, and will be appealing this whole Biden Directed Witch Hunt focused on me and the Republican Party,” Trump posted on Truth Social. “Our Legal System is out of control, and being used as a Political Weapon. They have taken away all First Amendment Rights. THIS IS NOT AMERICA!”

Trump was already found liable for sexually assaulting Carroll. With fines from the previous trial, he now owes Carroll a total of $88.3 million.

NRA Leader Confirms Insane Details of Lavish Lifestyle in Corruption Trial

Former NRA leader Wayne LaPierre testified before a jury on how he used the gun rights group to fund his own opulent lifestyle.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The outgoing chief of the National Rifle Association got a chance to revisit some of his more luxurious expenses in a Manhattan courtroom on Friday.

Wayne LaPierre stands accused by New York Attorney General Letitia James of using the massive gun rights nonprofit as his personal piggy bank as well as overseeing a scheme to cover up the embezzlement.

During hours of testimony, LaPierre confirmed that he had used the organization’s resources to charter private jets to and from luxury destinations around the world, including India, the Bahamas, and the Greek Isles.

“When you’d go to the Bahamas, you’d take a private flight to get there?” asked Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Conley.

“Yes,” responded LaPierre.

“And the NRA would pay for those flights?” Conley continued.

“Yes,” LaPierre reiterated.

LaPierre would never disclose the trips ahead of time, and never got the approval of the board.

The benefits of free flights didn’t stop at the NRA head, who also effectively allowed his family to use the company credit card for trips, charging the NRA more than $1 million for flights around the country, including a $26,995 flight from Dallas to Orlando, a $15,495 flight from Las Vegas to Nebraska, and a $8,825 flight from Madison, Wisconsin, to Nebraska.

But it wasn’t always a bowl of cherries, according to the NRA head. Sometimes, when LaPierre would visit longtime NRA vendor David McKenzie’s luxury yachts—another perk of his role that he should have reported but didn’t—he wouldn’t have the comfort of a private chef.

“A chef would prepare you meals?” Conley asked at one point.

“Not all of the time,” LaPierre replied.

Meanwhile, the NRA was doling out $1.8 million to shoot episodes of its TV series Crime Strike at McKenzie’s mansion, starring LaPierre himself.

Despite all this, LaPierre signed official disclosures with the organization that claimed neither he nor any relative of his had received anything worth more than $300 from someone looking to do business with the gun lobbying group.

Very Stable Genius Trump Must Pay $83.3 Million to E. Jean Carroll

Donald Trump just can’t stop losing in court.

E. Jean Carroll smiles and points to something off camera. She's wearing a brown coat and sunglasses.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald Trump owes the writer E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million for defaming her after she revealed the former president sexually abused her in the mid-1990s, a jury determined on Friday.

The jury awarded $7.3 million for damage to Carroll’s reputation, $11 million for emotional harm, and $65 million for punitive damages.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours, a remarkably speedy end to a high-profile case. In Trump’s first trial against Carroll, that jury also deliberated for less than three hours.

Trump now owes Carroll a total of $88.3 million. In May, a separate jury unanimously found Trump liable of sexual abuse and battery against Carroll and of defaming her a different time. That jury recommended Carroll be awarded $5 million in damages.

Carroll is far from the only woman to accuse Trump of sexual assault, but her lawsuits have been the first to make it to a courtroom. Trump has vehemently denied all of the allegations, aiming particular vitriol at Carroll—including during this trial. Some of his posts insulting her on social media became evidence almost in real time.

Trump sat in the courtroom for every day of the trial except one, when he attended his mother-in-law’s funeral. He also testified on Thursday, a marked shift from the first trial when he declined to show up at all. He was on the stand for just three minutes, during which he said he stood “100 percent” behind his deposition denying that he had assaulted Carroll or even met her before.

Trump was not, however, present in the courtroom when the verdict was read out. As it turns out, all his protestations didn’t change the facts of the matter. This trial was only to set damages, after presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled in September that since Trump has already been found liable for sexual abuse, his comments are by default defamatory.

Carroll accused Trump in her 2019 memoir of raping her in the Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s. Her first lawsuit against him was for the assault and for posts he made about her on social media in November 2022.

The trial that wrapped up Friday was for comments he made in 2019 and in 2023. Trump alleged in 2019 that Carroll had made up the rape allegation to promote her book. And then, hours after he was found liable for sexual abuse, he went on CNN and repeated comments about Carroll that had just been deemed defamatory.

Andrew Cuomo Sexually Harassed Even More Women Than Initially Reported

A final Justice Department settlement documents more details about the former New York governor’s history of sexual harassment.

Andrew Cuomo, wearing a suit, speaks and gestures with his hand
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in 2021 over sexual misconduct allegations, harassed even more women than previously reported.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that it had settled with New York state over the sexually hostile work environment cultivated under Cuomo.

The Justice Department investigation revealed that Cuomo’s Executive Chamber “(1) subjected female employees to a sexually hostile work environment; (2) tolerated that environment and failed to correct the problem on an agency-wide basis and (3) retaliated against employees who spoke out about the harassment,” according to a press release from the office of the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

The department also found that at least 13 female state employees were victims of Cuomo’s harassment. “Governor Cuomo repeatedly subjected these female employees to unwelcome, non-consensual sexual contact; ogling; unwelcome sexual comments; gender-based nicknames; comments on their physical appearances; and/or preferential treatment based on their physical appearances,” the report said.

Previous reports only listed 11 women as victims, not all of whom were state employees. Cuomo has also been accused of harassing women he met at public events.

Since Cuomo left office, the Executive Chamber has carried out a series of reforms under Governor Kathy Hochul to prevent harassment and retaliation. The Justice Department settlement calls for further reforms, including expanding the chamber’s Human Resources Department, creating new channels to externally report and investigate incidents of harassment, and removing the employees who were identified as enabling Cuomo’s harassment. The chamber must also develop and implement anti-harassment and anti-retaliation programs.

Cuomo served as New York’s governor for 10 years, gaining national attention and praise for the way he navigated the Covid-19 pandemic. But everything came crashing down in 2020, when his first accuser came forward. Soon after came revelations that he actually handled the pandemic terribly, as well as a damning 165-page report from New York Attorney General Letitia James detailing Cuomo’s long history of sexual harassment.

Finally, in August 2021, with no major supporters left, Cuomo stepped down.

Lauren Boebert’s First Debate Went as Spectacularly Badly as You’d Expect

It sure looks like bad news for Representative Lauren Boebert this election year.

Representative Lauren Boebert walks down a hallway. She is wearing jeans, a black shirt, a black blazer, and has a black purse in her hand. She looks serious and/or distressed. Three security guards are nearby and another man wearing a suit is in the background..
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Representative Lauren Boebert did not receive the warm welcome she was hoping for after switching Colorado districts, with her rivals accusing her of being a “carpetbagger” during the first primary debate.

Boebert, who currently represents the Centennial State’s 3rd district, announced in December that she would run for election in the 4th district in 2024, instead. The decision comes after she was reelected in 2022 by such a narrow margin that the election nearly went to a recount. Her public image has taken a massive battering in recent months, as well.

The far-right congresswoman attempted to defend her decision during the debate Thursday night, saying she made the switch because she wanted a “fresh start” for her family.

I am here to earn your vote. This is not a coronation,” she said. “The crops may be different in Colorado’s 4th District, but the values are not.”

But her opponents—and potential new constituents—were having none of it. In an informal straw poll, Boebert ranked fifth out of the eight candidates. While on stage, none of her opponents said they would support her if they ended up dropping out.

At one point, state Representative Mike Lynch asked Boebert, “Can you give the definition of ‘carpetbagger’ to me?”

This isn’t the first time Boebert has been labeled an opportunist. When she announced she was switching districts, state Representative Richard Holtorf also slammed Boebert for “carpetbagging.”

“Seat shopping isn’t something the voters look kindly upon,” Holtorf, another of Boebert’s primary opponents, said in a statement. “If you can’t win in your home, you can’t win here.”

Boebert’s victory in the 4th district was never a given. She has been struggling with a public image that casts her as a political extremist, and she received a humiliating dose of national backlash after she and a date were caught on security cameras talking, using their phones, vaping, and groping each other while seeing a performance of Beetlejuice.

But fortunately for her, she’s not alone in having a candidacy marred by controversy. Lynch resigned as state House minority leader earlier this week, after revelations that he was trying to hide a DUI arrest and gun charges from 2022.

Holtorf, who is an anti-abortion politician, recently admitted that he helped a girlfriend pay for an abortion. The procedure helped her “live her best life,” he said.

And another candidate, former state Senator Ted Harvey, launched a “scam PAC” in 2013 that spent 87 percent of the millions it raised on supposed operating expenses. In reality, the organization was set up so its leadership could make massive profits.

Oklahoma Governor Comes This Close to Asking Troops to Rebel Against Biden

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt wants to join Texas in its border war with the federal government.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt wears a suit and speaks and gestures with his hand. A book is on his lap.
Ting Shen/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Republicans from all over the country are throwing their weight behind Texas Governor Greg Abbott in his standoff with the federal government over the border—but it doesn’t seem like they’ve entirely thought the situation through.

At least 25 Republican governors have declared their support for Abbott, including Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, and Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, the last of whom is flirting with the idea of telling Oklahoma’s National Guard to defy the federal government’s orders if it comes down to it.

Many Republican governors have sent troops down to Texas over the last few months, to help Abbott with what he’s calling his “Operation Lone Star.” But on Thursday, Stitt took things to the next level when questioned by Fox News’s Steve Doocy.

“Have you thought this through? If you send your Oklahoma National Guard down there, and a bunch of other states send them down there, all Joe Biden has to do is federalize all of them. Next thing you know, they’re doing essentially support work for the Border Patrol, who are down there right now just trying to process the invasion of migrants. Your National Guard could be working for Joe Biden,” theorized Doocy.

But Stitt didn’t waver, questioning instead the military’s ultimate allegiance.

“I’ve been on the border, I’ve talked to the border agents. Even the border agents themselves are scratching their heads, but these are good Americans, and they’re trying to obey their boss—but they don’t agree with that policy either,” Stitt began.

“Of course, the National Guard soldiers are Texans and Oklahomans and Tennessee folks. These are just Americans, and they don’t like what’s going on. So you would really be putting our soldiers in a tough, tough situation to protect their states against fentanyl deaths and illegal immigrants and terrorists, in a lot of cases, just to appease some administration that has a political agenda,” the Oklahoma governor continued, completely ignoring the fact that it would be entirely up to the states as to whether or not they put their National Guard in such a precarious situation.

“That’s the only possible explanation,” he added.

The feud between Abbott and Biden escalated on Monday, following a Supreme Court decision that sided 5–4 with Biden, ruling that Texas had overstepped its authority by erecting concertina wire fences along the Rio Grande section of the U.S.-Mexico border, which effectively prevented the U.S. border patrol from doing their job.

Since then, Abbott has declared the influx of immigrants across the border an “invasion”—a status that Abbott claimed supersedes federal mandates—and issued a statement on the state’s constitutional right to defend itself. State officials have also continued to erect the fences and claimed Texas’s legal battle over the issue isn’t over.

Republican Senator Gives Away the Game on Why They Killed Border Deal

Josh Hawley is admitting point-blank this fight was never about the border at all.

Republican Senator Josh Hawley
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Senator Josh Hawley said the quiet part out loud on Friday, explicitly tying the GOP’s border security grandstanding to a coordinated effort to hurt President Joe Biden’s reelection chances.

“Senator, is this deal dead, effectively?” Fox News’s Laura Ingraham asked Hawley Thursday evening.

“I hope so,” Hawley said. “It should be. If it’s not dead yet it should be dead. There is absolutely no reason to agree to policies that would further enable Joe Biden.”

The Senate reached a bipartisan border deal this week, which would include additional funding for border security as well as aid for Ukraine. But the minute Donald Trump criticized the deal, Senate Republicans caved and said they probably won’t pass it.

Hawley’s statement is more proof that Republicans aren’t all that interested in the so-called border crisis. They just want to use it as a political tool in the 2024 election.

Republicans have spent months quietly killing any bipartisan packages related to the border and foreign aid in favor of their own proposition. Also, on Friday the House’s highest member rejected the Senate’s bipartisan deal.

“I wanted to provide a brief update regarding the supplemental and the border, since the Senate appears unable to reach any agreement,” House Speaker Mike Johnson wrote in a letter to his colleagues on Friday. “If rumors about the contents of the draft proposal are true, it would have been dead on arrival in the House anyway.”

“Nine months have now passed since we sent our Secure the Border Act (HR 2) to the Senate,” Johnson wrote, referring to an extreme asylum-limiting immigration bill that died in the Senate. “Since the day I became Speaker, I have assured our Senate colleagues the House would not accept any counterproposal if it would not actually solve the problems that have been created by the administration’s subversive policies.”

The wavering deals come part and parcel with a showdown along the U.S.-Mexico border between Texas and the federal government over the placement of concertina wire by Texas’s local authorities along the Rio Grande.

On Wednesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared the influx of immigrants across the border an “invasion”—a status that Abbott claimed supersedes federal mandates—and issued a statement on the state’s constitutional right to defend itself.

That was just two days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of President Joe Biden by declaring that Texas went outside its jurisdiction by erecting makeshift concertina wire fences along the Rio Grande section of the U.S.-Mexico border, effectively preventing the U.S. border patrol from doing their job. Texas has continued building new wire barriers since that ruling.

At least 25 Republican governors have issued their support for Abbott, including Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.

E. Jean Carroll Lawyer Asks for $24 Million, Using Trump’s Own Words Against Him

E. Jean Carroll’s lawyer just reminded the jury that Donald Trump is a billionaire—and the sky’s the limit.

E. Jean Carroll wears sunglasses and a light blue blazer
M. Santiago/Getty Images

E. Jean Carroll’s lawyer used Donald Trump’s own words against him on Friday, urging the jury in his defamation trial to make the former president “pay dearly.”

Attorney Roberta Kaplan said during her closing arguments that the trial is not just about stopping Trump from continuing to defame Carroll, but also about showing that no one is above the law. She pointed out that Trump has continued to make false claims about Carroll, despite already owing Carroll $5 million in damages from their previous trial.

Kaplan said they were seeking at least $24 million in damages, more than double the $10 million minimum Carroll sought at the start of the trial. Carroll’s team is now asking for at least $12 million to repair Carroll’s reputation and another $12 million for emotional harm caused.

Kaplan told the jury she would let them determine how much more Trump owes in punitive damages. Kaplan reminded them, though, that Trump had said under oath he is worth billions of dollars.

“It will take an unusually high punitive damages award to have any hope of stopping Donald Trump,” she said.

“Now is the time to make him pay for it. And now is the time to make him pay for it dearly,” Kaplan concluded, borrowing a phrase Trump had previously used to threaten Carroll.

This is the second time that Trump’s own words have come back to bite him in this trial. On Thursday, Carroll’s lawyers played a clip of Trump’s video deposition that he sat for last year, ahead of his bank fraud trial in New York. In the clip, Trump brags that his Doral resort in Miami “could be worth $2.5 billion by itself.” When Kaplan said Trump claimed he was worth billions, she was referring to this testimony.

These boasts could drive up the amount he will ultimately owe Carroll in damages. Legal analyst Lisa Rubin explained on MSNBC last week that the jury “is allowed to consider how much Donald Trump is worth.”

Trump already owes Carroll $5 million in damages after a jury in May unanimously found him liable for sexual abuse and battery against Carroll in the mid-1990s and for defaming her in 2022 while denying the assault. It looks like that number is about to go up significantly—and Trump only has himself to blame.

Trump Abruptly Storms Out of E. Jean Carroll Trial During Closing Arguments

Donald Trump knows he’s losing this case—and he can’t stand it.

Donald Trump stands in the courtroom lobby saying something and gesturing with his hand. His lawyer Alina Habba stands to his left. Others are in the background.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Donald Trump stomped out of his defamation trial against E. Jean Carroll on Friday, just minutes after he entered the courtroom.

Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan was beginning her closing arguments before Trump’s tantrum. She said the trial was not just about getting Trump to stop defaming Carroll, but also to show that the former president isn’t above the law.

“Did [Trump] respect the jury verdict? No. Not at all. Not even for 24 hours,” Kaplan said.

Moments later, Trump got up and walked out of the courtroom. Presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan (no relation to Carroll’s lawyer) interrupted the arguments to note Trump’s exit for the record.

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. Friday’s trial was for comments that he made attacking Carroll in 2019.

Just hours after the jury issued its verdict in May, Trump launched fresh vitriol at Carroll during a disastrous CNN town hall. Carroll amended her second lawsuit to include those comments.

Trump already owes Carroll $5 million in damages from the first trial, and Carroll is seeking at least $24 million this time around. The current trial is just to set damages, because Judge Kaplan ruled in September that since Trump was already found liable for assaulting Carroll, his comments are by default defamatory.

But neither the multiple rulings against him nor the potentially steep cost of damages have deterred Trump from continuing to slam Carroll as a liar. Trump has gone on at least five long social media rants against Carroll just since the trial began last week. The first time was just before the trial began, and the second was—inexplicably—as he sat in the courtroom for the first day of the trial.

Trump set a personal record during the third, after his trial was delayed earlier this week (per his own lawyer’s request). That time, Trump made 42 posts about Carroll on Truth Social in the span of 13 minutes. And then he made another 37 posts about her Wednesday, the night before his highly anticipated (and incredibly short) testimony. He also posted about Carroll Thursday night, pretending he had no idea who she is.