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Putin Roasts Tucker Carlson Even More After That Pathetic Interview

Russian President Vladimir Putin say he was not impressed by Tucker’s interview skills.

Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Even Russian President Vladimir Putin wasn’t impressed by Tucker Carlson’s pathetic attempts to interview him.

The ousted Fox News host was in Moscow last week, when he sat down with Putin for what he claimed would be a hard-hitting, unbiased interview. In reality, it was anything but.

Speaking to Russian state television on Wednesday, Putin said that prior to the interview, he believed that Carlson would be an aggressive interviewer, a dangerous person who would “ask so-called sharp questions.”

“And I wasn’t just ready for that, I wanted it, because it would have given me the opportunity to respond sharply in kind,” Putin added. “But he chose a different tactic.”

“He tried to interrupt me several times, but still, surprisingly for a Western journalist, he turned out to be patient and listened to my lengthy dialogues, especially those related to history, and didn’t give me reason to do what I was ready for. So frankly, I didn’t get complete satisfaction from this interview.”

Indeed, as Putin claimed, the interview seemed more like a propagandistic history lesson than anything else.

The interview lasted over a grueling two hours, during which Carlson avoided topics like Russian war crimes in Ukraine, political prisoners, or even Russia’s upcoming presidential election. “Are we having a talk show or a serious conversation?” Putin asked.

Before the interview even hit the halfway mark, Putin was interviewing Carlson and mocking Carlson’s CIA dreams.

The whole thing was longer than Carlson’s previous self-published interviews with Donald Trump and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. The only person Tucker Carlson’s interviewed for longer? Alleged rapist and sex trafficker Andrew Tate.

Carlson claimed the goal of the interview is to enable Americans to understand Russia’s view of the war. “He fulfilled his plan,” said Putin, “but how meaningful it was in the end is not for me to judge.”

Finally, a Judge Steps Up and Denies a Trump Trial Delay Bid

Donald Trump’s first criminal trial is officially on the books—and it starts before the election.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

GOP front-runner Donald Trump is officially headed to court next month, the first of his four upcoming criminal trials expected sometime this year.

On Thursday, Trump headed to New York for a court hearing on his hush-money case. Judge Juan Manuel Merchan ignored his requests for a delay and determined the trial would start on March 25, when jury selection will begin, and last approximately six weeks.

Trump is accused of using his former fixer Michael Cohen to sweep an affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He’s facing 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Trump’s legal team tried to protest the decision to go to trial, citing the legal load attached to so many disparate criminal trials for one individual.

“We have been faced with compressed and expedited schedules in every one of those trials,” Todd Blanche, an attorney also representing Trump in his classified documents case, told the judge. “We—meaning myself, the firm and President Trump—have been put into an impossible position.”

Blanche also attempted to make a political argument against heading to trial, bemoaning the fact that Trump is “in primary season” and that “it is a different landscape” than it was during the last hearing.

But Judge Merchan wasn’t having any of it, quickly sidestepping Team Trump’s further attempts to delay the trial.

“You don’t have a trial date in Georgia. You don’t have a trial date in Florida,” he retorted.

Trump has already started his habitual mudslinging against the court and the trial itself, claiming over the last year that Merchan, who has acknowledged a $15 donation to President Joe Biden, is a Trump-hating judge appointed by a Democrat—even though all the judges in his trials have been randomly selected. Meanwhile, Trump has whined on TruthSocial that going to court for his alleged misdeeds counts as “election interference.”

“There was no crime here at all. This is just a way of hurting me in the election because I’m leading by a lot,” he told a crowd of reporters shortly before entering the courthouse. “They want to rush it because they want to get it desperately before the election.… They wouldn’t have brought this—no way—except for the fact that I’m running for president and doing well.”

Cohen, who is anticipated to be a star witness in this trial, has no doubts that the former president will be found guilty.

“I can tell you from everything I know about it, he’s going to be found guilty,” Cohen, the former Trump lawyer, said during The New Republics Stop Trump Summit in October.

“This is the Al Capone theory,” he added. “They didn’t get him on murder, extortion, racketeering, prostitution, etc., they got him on tax evasion. I truly believe the Alvin Bragg case is the easiest case to prove of all of the criminal cases.”

The dates for Trump’s three other indictments are not yet on the books. His January 6 election interference trial, which was originally slated for March 4, was postponed while the Supreme Court reviews appeals on Trump’s presidential immunity claim.

This article has been updated.

GOP Pollster Reads Party the Riot Act Over 2024 Losses

Republican pollster Frank Luntz is issuing a “wake-up call” to the rest of the GOP after the brutal New York special election.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Frank Luntz foresees disaster for Republicans if they don’t course-correct following the brutal New York special election that cost them a House seat.

“Tonight is the final wakeup call for the @HouseGOP. If they ignore or attempt to explain away why they lost, they will lose in November as well,” the Republican pollster tweeted. “The issue agenda is on their side. Their congressional behavior is not.”

Democrat Tom Suozzi on Tuesday handily defeated Republican Nassau County legislator Mazi Pilip to reclaim his House seat after it was vacated by George Santos.

While it’s fair to question Luntz’s analysis that Republicans have winning issues, it’s hard to disagree with his comment on their recent actions in Congress.

On the campaign trail, Suozzi hit at Pilip for opposing the border deal brokered in the Senate, a position Pilip shared with House Speaker Mike Johnson and former President Trump. In doing so, some say, Suozzi outflanked Pilip on the issue of immigration, even as House Republicans have attempted to portray Democrats as overly soft on the border. The GOP Congressional Leadership Fund’s $1.5 million ad buy aimed to tar Suozzi as dismissive of the “migrant crisis,” but those attacks didn’t seem to stick.

This isn’t the first election postmortem to forecast doom for Republicans after disappointing results. In the aftermath of Democrats’ surprising fending-off of a predicted Republican bloodbath in the 2022 midterms, analysts blamed the GOP’s extremist slate of candidates and their doubling down on a cruel anti-abortion and anti-trans platform for their historic underperformance. Then Republican candidates did the same in 2023 and lost again.

Now, though, with Luntz, the call is coming from inside the house, and it’s not anti-trans hysteria but recalcitrance on passing bipartisan legislation that threatens to hurt Republicans in 2024.

The smart money is on House Republicans continuing to fearmonger about immigration, but will these attacks land now that their vote against a harsh border bill is on the record? Will House Republicans get their act together before November? Whatever the answer is, they won’t be able to say Luntz didn’t warn them.

Trump Is Posting His Own Fake News—Under an Actual News Outlet’s Name

This takes “fake news” to a whole new level.

Donald Trump smiles
Mario Tama/Getty Images

After spending years attacking what he calls the “fake news media,” former President Donald Trump is now literally sharing fake news. In at least two instances, he has shared edited versions of Newsweek articles, quietly snipping away tidbits that he deems unnecessary.

On Wednesday, the former president shared a screenshot of a Newsweek story—though something was undeniably off about its contents.

Trump’s version, shared on his Truth Social account, omits a lede reference to the outcome of the 2020 election (which Joe Biden won), and cuts a line about the “81-year-old” Biden being seen as too old to run for president. Trump is 77 years old.

And on Tuesday, MeidasTouch caught him altering another piece by the weekly news magazine, posting screenshots of an article titled “Donald Trump Poised to Be First Republican to Win Popular Vote in 20 Years,” removing several sections from the original story that referenced Biden’s strengths as a candidate, Biden’s predicted wins, and Trump’s failures. The only indication that he heavily edited the piece was some ellipses.

Among Trump’s myriad revisions included the exclusion of a line stating that Newsweek had reached out to Trump representatives for a comment. He also conflated two paragraphs from the original into one. In the process, he removed a detail that he “notably failed to secure” the popular vote against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election; removed another line on how George W. Bush was the last Republican president to secure the popular vote; and snipped comments from several academics, including one by University of Surrey professor Dr. Mark Shanahan dubbing Trump’s goal of winning the popular vote a “pipe dream.”

Further into the article, Trump removed an NBC poll reference that found Biden will be seen as “competent and effective” and lead with two points if Trump is convicted of a felony.

In recent months, Trump has increasingly shared content onto his social media platform from far-right outlets like Newsmax and Right Side Broadcasting Network. Considering his 91 criminal charges, recent major trial losses, and rickety political platform, perhaps media manipulation is the only way the GOP front-runner can get the kind of press he desires in well-regarded outlets.

What Motivates Trump’s Valentine to Melania? Take a Gue$$

Donald Trump’s Valentine’s Day love letter to Melania is ... him asking for money.

Donald Trump yells at the presidential podium while Melania Trump stands to the side grimacing and looking down
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Be still, my heart: Donald Trump’s Valentine’s Day card to Melania has leaked. It’s a fundraising email.

“Dear Melania, I LOVE YOU!” writes Trump. “Even after every single INDICTMENT, ARREST, AND WITCH HUNT, you never left my side.”

It’s heartwarming stuff from the former president, whom Melania has “always supported … through everything,” according to the email.

That includes two impeachments, four indictments, and other sundry legal troubles to which he presumably alludes. A modern-day Bonnie and Clyde they are not, but who among us doesn’t list our various criminal cases in our love letters?

“You will always mean the world to me,” says one-half of America’s favorite couple. “I wouldn’t be the man I am today without your guidance, kindness, and warmth.”

A judge recently ruled that Trump owes writer E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million for defaming her after he was found liable for sexually abusing her in the 1990s.

“From your husband with love,” Trump closes, “Donald J. Trump.” An interesting pet name, to be sure.

Alarmingly High Number of Republicans Think Taylor Swift Is a Psyop

A new poll from Monmouth University reveals that Taylor Swift conspiracy theories hold serious sway in the Republican Party.

Taylor Swift looks off camera, hair parted to the side.

People are really starting to tack the hate onto Taylor Swift—namely, Republicans.

According to a Monmouth University Poll, 32 percent or roughly one in three Republicans believe a conspiracy theory peddled by far-right influencers about the singer, agreeing that Swift is a CIA psyop and part of a covert government effort to help president Joe Biden win re-election in 2024. That’s against 57 percent of Republicans who responded that they didn’t believe the theory, and 11 percent who responded that they don’t know.

Conversely, of those who said they believed in the conspiracy theory, 71 percent identified with the Republican Party, while 83 percent said they were likely to support Donald Trump in the upcoming general election, according to the survey.

Equally telling, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of those who believed in the Swift conspiracy theory also believed the 2020 election outcome was fraudulent.

Conservative respondents were also equally split on whether they supported Swift encouraging people to vote, with 47 percent approving and 44 percent disapproving.

“The supposed Taylor Swift PsyOp conspiracy has legs among a decent number of Trump supporters. Even many who hadn’t heard about it before we polled them accept the idea as credible. Welcome to the 2024 election,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Swift’s boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs captain Travis Kelce, had just one thing to say for the outlandish theory’s believers.

“They’re all crazy. Every last one of you are crazy,” he said during a segment that aired during Super Bowl 2024.

In total, 1 in 5 Americans believe the Swift psyop conspiracy theory.

Take note, there are other, totally legit reasons to condemn the “Bad Blood” singer—perhaps most egregiously for topping a list of celebs with the highest carbon emissions, or for recently bringing her mighty team of lawyers down on a college student who tracks celebrities’ private jet usage on Twitter via publicly available data.

Lara Trump Vows to Turn RNC Into Nothing but Stooges for Trump

Lara Trump is admitting exactly what she’ll do if she gets to take over the Republican National Committee.

Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Ahead of the 2024 presidential election, the Trump family gravy train is running on schedule. Its next stop: the Republican National Committee.

Speaking with Newsmax’s Rob Schmitt on Tuesday evening, Lara Trump, the former president’s daughter-in-law, criticized the leadership of the RNC under chairwoman Ronna McDaniel as wasteful and behind the times, and promoted her own candidacy for the chair.

“If I am elected to this position, I can assure you there will not be any more $70,000—or whatever exorbitant amount of money it was—spent on flowers. Every single penny will go to the number one and the only job of the RNC. That is electing Donald J. Trump as president of the United States and saving this country,” she said.

Lara Trump’s pledge to “play chess, not checkers,” and to focus entirely on the candidacy of her father-in-law, who has not yet officially been named the Republican nominee for the presidency, conspicuously comes in the wake of his endorsement of her for the position of RNC co-chair. Trump on Monday announced a slate of endorsements—made up of his biggest fans—to take over the RNC.

McDaniel has not yet stepped down from her role as chairwoman, but she has faced intense criticism in recent weeks for her stewardship of the RNC, especially from former president Trump and his allies. McDaniel has reportedly informed Trump she intends to step down, but no announcement has been made.

Lara Trump’s candidacy for the chair, a power-sharing agreement that would see her split duties with North Carolina GOP chairman and election-denier Michael Whatley, represents a new frontier in the complete takeover of the Republican Party infrastructure by explicitly pro-Trump partisans. Securing his daughter-in-law a highly influential position in the party machine would be another crowning achievement in Trump’s years-long effort to build a “counterestablishment” to rival legacy institutions like the RNC under McDaniel. This also follows the announcement of Project 2025, a sweeping initiative to clean house of civil servants and replace them with Trump loyalists should the former president be elected in 2024.

Procuring sinecures for family members was a priority of Trump’s presidency; it often got in the way of policy objectives preferred by conservative establishment members. And with Trump facing legal battles both personal and political, not to mention abysmal approval ratings from his time as president, the future RNC chair has their work cut out for them. Evidently, family ties remain a priority. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see how it pays off for them.

We Now Have More Details on Skeezy Bob Menendez’s Bribery Scheme

A new court filing says Senator Bob Menendez tried to blame all those gold bars on someone else—and regularly made calls on a backup “James Bond” phone.

Bob Menendez leaves a car
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Senator Robert Menendez must be running out of options. In court papers filed late Monday, federal prosecutors alleged that both the New Jersey lawmaker and his wife, Nadine Menendez, told a “false cover story” about the origin of gold bars that prosecutors allege were the result of bribes from foreign agents.

Per Nadine’s alibi to a jeweler, the couple obtained the gold bars from “her deceased mother.” A Menendez staffer reported that the senator himself also tried to claim that “the gold had come from Nadine Menendez’s deceased mother,” according to prosecutors.

Still, that somehow seems unlikely, considering that the gold bars were stamped with the name “Menendez” and since four of the gold bars had matching serial numbers to four gold bars reportedly owned by one of the senator’s alleged bribers, New Jersey real estate tycoon Fred Daibes.

Prosecutors revealed other new details in Menendez’s alleged bribery scheme in their recent court filing as well. Nadine Menendez’s diamond engagement ring was part of a $150,000 bribe. Cash in the couple’s home was found stuffed in boots, jackets, and in bags hanging on clothes hangers. And the New Jersey congressman regularly made phone calls on Nadine’s alternate cell phone, “a phone Menendez and Nadine Menendez referred to as her ‘007’ phone, an apparent reference to the fictional character James Bond,” prosecutors wrote.

The New Jersey Democrat and his wife stand accused of acting as a foreign agent for Egypt, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, gold bars, and other flashy gifts in exchange for Menendez’s “power and influence to protect and enrich” the businessmen and government of Egypt. In a superseding indictment filed in January, Menendez was also accused on other corruption-related charges, allegedly taking bribes from Qatar in an attempt to help Daibes secure a multimillion-dollar investment from an investment company tied to the Middle Eastern country, collecting lavish gifts in exchange for his handiwork. Menendez, his wife, and Daibes have all pleaded not guilty to all charges.

“The problem is, is that there is no evidence of the giving or receiving of cash and gold bars. In fact there has been, and will be at trial, a full explanation of what is the truth about those issues. A truth that proves I am entirely innocent of the charges,” Menendez said on January 9.

Meanwhile, Menendez has not only refused calls for his resignation, but he is still seeking another term this November, despite polling suggesting that 70 percent of New Jersey residents want him out.” He was, however, forced to resign as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Senate Democrats’ bylaws, which forbid members from serving in leadership roles if they’re charged with felonies.

It’s the latest in a seeming history of corruption charges for Menendez. In 2017, another corruption case involving the senator and a wealthy eye doctor convicted of Medicare fraud ended in a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a verdict on whether Menendez had traded political favors in exchange for trips on a private jet and lavish vacations.

Tommy Tuberville Competes for Congress’s Biggest Putin Sycophant

Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville has hit an absolute low with his pro-Putin rant.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Tommy Tuberville, former college football mediocrity and TNR’s Dumbest Senator of 2023, announced himself as a contender for Congress’s Biggest Putin Sycophant in a recent interview on a Mobile, Alabama, radio program.

Speaking on The Jeff Poor Show on Monday, Tuberville shamelessly fawned over the Russian prime minister.

“You can tell Putin’s on top of his game. One thing he said that, it really rung a bell, is the propaganda media machine over here, they sell anything they possibly can to go after Russia,” Tuberville said, aping almost word for word the Kremlin’s talking points on American opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We forced this issue,” said Tuberville. “We kept forcing NATO all the way to Eastern Europe, and Putin just got tired of it. He said, ‘Listen, I do not want missiles on my border from the United States. It’d be like Russia coming to Mexico and putting missiles in Mexico.”

“I can understand what he’s talking about,” Tuberville added, showing an empathy apparently reserved only for authoritarians.

The comments came just hours before Tuberville voted to shoot down the Senate’s foreign aid deal, which dedicates $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. (The $95 billion package also includes aid for Israel and Taiwan.)

“They can’t win,” Tuberville told Poor, referring to Ukraine. “Half the country’s like we are: They don’t even know what war is going on,” he added, a hard-to-believe assertion given the estimated $100 billion in damages Ukraine has suffered since the beginning of the war.

He was, however, typically sanguine about former President Trump’s prospects of ending the conflict, which has raged on since 2022. Trump, Tuberville promised, “will have it over in a matter of weeks when he gets elected.”

When he wasn’t praising Putin, Tuberville displayed the shaky message discipline characteristic of Republican opposition to the aid bill, cynically raising America’s own military capacity: “We don’t have weapons for ourselves, and so we’re gonna make weapons for other people?” He later feigned concern for Ukrainians and offered a confused, pseudo-historical pacifist argument, explaining to Poor, “Listen, if we don’t make Russia, you know, part of the world and get away from this old USSR communism situation.… We’ve gotta get peace back on this planet.”

Tuberville’s groveling is symptomatic of a decades-long trend of Republican flirtation with the Kremlin. To wit, he’s not even the only senator to have praised Putin this week. Given Trump’s own praise of Putin, it’s hardly surprising to see his most ardent supporters in the Senate hand it to the man Trump once called “genius.” But it’s no less alarming to see U.S. senators echo Russian pro-war talking points in response to a bipartisan aid package to an ally.

Republican Congressman’s Biden Border Meme Backfires Spectacularly

Representative Chuck Edwards got a seriously embarrassing fact-check after posting a meme complaining about the border under Joe Biden.

Representative Chuck Edwards stares (maybe frowning) at the camera
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

A Republican congressman absolutely humiliated himself on Wednesday while trying to criticize President Joe Biden’s handling of the border.

North Carolina Representative Chuck Edwards posted an image to his X account of a massive human caravan headed toward the U.S.-Mexico border, stamping his own office’s logo on it while facetiously clipping an icon of Biden onto the picture with the caption “I did that.”

But what Edwards seemingly didn’t do was fact-check his own meme before posting it.

The picture of that incredible line on its way to cross the border wasn’t snapped anytime during Biden’s presidency, but actually on October 27, 2018, squarely during Trump’s term—who notably used the caravan and its wave of Honduran refugees fleeing a nation plagued by poverty and violence to his political advantage. At the time, Trump anxiously called on Congress to continue construction on his multibillion-dollar border wall and increase border protections ahead of the caravan’s approach.

Trump’s so-called “impenetrable” border wall would ultimately be breached more than 3,200 times between 2019 and 2021, according to a leaked memo by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In 2019, Trump froze $450 million in U.S. foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador for failing to curtail the influx of refugees to the U.S. border—a move that government officials and activists from those nations warned would only make the region more vulnerable and desperate for resources, instigating a larger influx of refugees over time.