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Trump Wants to Give Vivek Ramaswamy a Terrifying Spot in His Cabinet

This is going to be disastrous.

Vivek Ramswamy shakes hands with Donald Trump on a stage. Several U.S. flags, Eric Trump, and Tim Scott are in the background.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump continues to pick the absolute worst people for the Cabinet in his potential second term, as he is now considering Vivek Ramaswamy for homeland security secretary.

Ramaswamy was reportedly on the short list as Trump’s running mate, but that is now off the table, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Instead, Trump personally told the biotech entrepreneur that he is considering him for other roles, including head of the Department of Homeland Security.

Some Trump allies, speaking anonymously, said Ramaswamy would be perfect for the role because he has good public speaking skills and is the son of Indian immigrants, which they believe could buffer the administration against criticism of Trump’s planned draconian immigration restrictions.

If only Ramaswamy were actually good at policymaking too. The former Republican primary hopeful had some horrific plans for immigration law, including using the military as law enforcement. He promised to deport all Dreamers, of whom there are about 700,000, and force them to reapply for citizenship.

Ramaswamy also had some objectively terrible ideas for foreign policy. He said that if he were elected, he would let China invade Taiwan after 2028 and he would let Russia keep the parts of Ukraine that it currently occupies.

But Trump isn’t evaluating possible Cabinet members on their actual policy chops. He’s looking for loyalty, ideological compatibility, and potential appeal to voters, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources. And in that regard, Ramaswamy is a perfect fit.

Ramaswamy modeled himself after Trump on the campaign trail, pushing baseless conspiracy theories and even using his campaign as an excuse to dodge legal battles. Although he had criticized Trump in the past, he suddenly refused to explain those comments, instead spinning them to push conspiracy theories.

More on a second Trump term:

Donald Trump Goes to Court to Prove He’s a Sexual Abuser

Tired of losing so many other legal cases, Donald Trump has filed his most idiotic lawsuit yet against ABC News.

Donald Trump smiles
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump filed a lawsuit against ABC News and one of its lead anchors, George Stephanopoulos, on Tuesday, arguing that the news network got it all wrong in the coverage of his E. Jean Carroll case—he’s just a sexual abuser.

The suit hinges on particular legal phrasing stemming from New York’s penal code. In a Tuesday filing, Trump’s attorneys argued that Stephanopoulos had wrongly cited Trump’s judgment in an interview earlier this month, in which the anchor questioned Representative Nancy Mace on endorsing Trump, even though he had been “found liable for rape.” Mace has said she’s a survivor herself.

“Given that this was the first question of the interview, combined with the intensity and persistence of the questioning engaged in by Stephanopoulos of an actual rape victim, it was clear that Stephanopoulos maliciously intended to convince his viewers of a falsity, i.e. that plaintiff had been found liable for rape,” they wrote.

It’s unclear how the verbiage will play out in court, though Trump’s unexpected specificity flies in the face of another precedent set by the court. In July, Judge Lewis Kaplan clarified that although New York penal law has a “far narrower” definition of rape, the jury still found Trump to have raped Carroll in the modern sense of the word.

“The finding that Ms. Carroll failed to prove that she was ‘raped’ within the meaning of the New York Penal Law does not mean that she failed to prove that Mr. Trump ‘raped’ her as many people commonly understand the word ‘rape,’” Kaplan wrote at the time.

“Indeed, as the evidence at trial recounted below makes clear, the jury found that Mr. Trump in fact did exactly that [rape, as ‘commonly’ understood].”

Trump’s sudden focus on language comes at a time when he’s scrambling to pay up on his $454 million judgment from his New York bank fraud trial, which is still on the rise, accruing more than $100,000 in interest with each passing day. In a filing to a New York appeals court on Monday, Trump’s attorneys announced that they had been unable to secure a bond to cover the massive legal penalty for committing widespread fraud related to Trump’s real estate operation. More than 30 suretors reportedly refused to accept Trump’s real estate assets as collateral, instead demanding upward of $1 billion to offer the bond—which Trump says he and his businesses just don’t have. That announcement came part in parcel with a ginormous ask by team Trump: Let Trump appeal the case without paying up at all, and maintain the stay that will allow him to continue borrowing money from New York financial institutions. We’ll see how that one works out for him.

Alina Habba Is in Serious Trouble After Latest Trump Hush-Money Deal

Donald Trump’s lawyer is on the hook after his Bedminster golf club settled a recent lawsuit.

Alina Habba looks surprised. She is standing outside at nighttime and several press mics stand before her. She holds a folder of papers in her left hand.
GWR/Star Max/GC Images

Donald Trump appears to have cut Alina Habba out of a recent legal settlement, leaving one of his most prominent attorneys vulnerable to being sued for fraud.

Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, paid $82,500 last week to settle a lawsuit brought by former waitress Alice Bianco, who alleged that she was tricked into an unfair hush-money deal after being sexually harassed by a supervisor. The settlement contract included a bizarre and hugely significant line that stated both “parties agree that Alina Habba is not a party to this release,” The Daily Beast reported Tuesday.

This could prove dangerous for Habba, because according to the original lawsuit, she posed as a concerned friend to Bianco and offered her free legal advice about how to proceed regarding the harassment. But Habba quickly turned around, leveraging the relationship and “fraudulently inducing” Bianco to “quickly agree to unconscionable and illegal terms”—and ingratiating herself with Trump in the process, according to the lawsuit.

“My client is certainly considering suing her for fraud,” Bianco’s lawyer Nancy Erika Smith told the Beast last week. She said she was already in touch with Habba’s personal attorney.

In fact, Bianco is also gearing up to sue Bedminster again. The settlement, which Bianco signed on March 4, allows her to keep her minuscule $15,000 hush-money payment from 2021. Her lawyer won her the $82,500 settlement, and Bianco can throw out her nondisclosure agreement.

“We got everything we asked for,” Smith said. “We asked to void the agreement, that she not pay back. I didn’t want her to pay me a dime. So we got that. And she still has the right to sue Alina Habba for fraud. And she has the right to sue the club for sexual harassment.”

According to the original lawsuit, Bianco hired a lawyer to advise her about work, where a manager was trying to pressure her to have sex. She alleges Habba, one of her regulars at the club, quickly buddied up to the then 21-year-old waitress and began offering her legal advice. Text messages show Habba reached out to Bianco and met with her multiple times, denigrating Bianco’s lawyer, pushing her to keep things quiet, and promising to protect her against retaliation.

Bianco ended up signing an NDA that paid her $15,000 on the condition she never mention the harassment to anyone, not even another lawyer. If she did, she would lose it all and owe the club $1,000 a day. But eight months later, in April 2022, Bianco realized the NDA money would be taxed, significantly reducing what she’d get to take home.

When she reached back out to Habba for help, the lawyer kept Bianco at arm’s length, insisting she couldn’t provide legal advice. What Habba did not say was by that point, she was representing Trump in multiple lawsuits, including against his cousin Mary Trump and a group of New York Times journalists for their investigation into his taxes and the New York attorney general’s probe into his finances for bank fraud.

Trump lost both cases. He owes $400,000 to the Times journalists and $467 million (and counting) to the city of New York for real estate–related fraud.

The Bedminster club has sought to distance itself from Habba, insisting she wasn’t involved in the hush-money proceedings. But as Smith pointed out, “How did Habba know [the club] would pay $15,000 to [Bianco] if she was not acting on [the club’s] behalf?”

“The fact that Habba delivered a check from [the club] in the amount she suggested is a clear manifestation of the authority given to her,” Smith said in court documents.

Habba has garnered national attention for her aggressive defense tactics in Trump’s multiple lawsuits—and for how often those strategies blow up in her face. In Trump’s second trial against E. Jean Carroll, the presiding judge lectured Habba multiple times, even questioning her juridical knowledge.

Still Unable to Post Bond, Trump Has Most Crazed Meltdown Yet

Donald Trump has no idea how to post bond in the fraud trial—and he’s absolutely losing it.

Donald Trump yells and points to something (presumably a crowd) in front of him. Several U.S. flags are behind him.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In just shy of a week, Donald Trump’s $454 million judgment from his New York bank fraud trial will become collectible, either by way of liquid cash or financial assets—and it has officially sent Trump into meltdown mode.

The notoriously sleep-deprived GOP presidential nominee spent the better part of Monday night shouting into the void about the massive, half-billion-dollar judgment and his apparent inability to pay it off, bemoaning being required to follow the law before being allowed to appeal the case.

“I would be forced to mortgage or sell Great Assets, perhaps at Fire Sale prices, and if and when I win the Appeal, they would be gone. Does that make sense? WITCH HUNT. ELECTION INTERFERENCE!” Trump posted Tuesday morning.

“I shouldn’t have to put up any money, being forced by the Corrupt Judge and AG, until the end of the appeal. That’s the way system works!” he added, forgetting that he’s being held to the same standards as every private citizen.

The real estate mogul was also having a hard time letting go of one particular nagging detail from the trial: the court’s $18 million evaluation for Trump’s primary residence, the Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago.

“The only FRAUD in the Peekaboo James case, our failed and disgusting New York State Attorney General, was her convincing ‘Judge’ Arthur Engoron to put a value on Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida, of just $18,000,000, when it is worth 50 to 100 times that amount. This was fraudulently and illegally done, working closely together in a corrupt Communist system, to set their NARRATIVE after learning that their Values and Facts were completely wrong,” Trump posted, adding that he paid $300 million in taxes—though the public will never be sure of that last point, since Trump famously refused a presidential tradition of turning over his tax returns for examination prior to entering the Oval Office.

In a filing to a New York appeals court on Monday, Trump’s attorneys announced that they had been unable to secure a bond to cover the massive legal penalty for committing widespread fraud related to Trump’s real estate operation. Attorneys for the Trump Organization told the court that over the last several weeks, they had attempted to work with four different brokers and approached 30 suretors (people or institutions willing to take on the primary responsibility of the debt) to no avail. They simply wouldn’t accept Trump’s real estate as collateral, instead accepting only liquid cash to the tune of $1 billion, which the self-purported billionaire said he and his businesses just don’t have, according to the filing.

“A bond of the size set by the Democrat Club-controlled Judge, in Corrupt, Racist Letitia James’ unlawful Witch Hunt, is unConstitutional, un-American, unprecedented, and practically impossible for ANY Company, including one as successful as mine. The Bonding Companies have never heard of such a bond, of this size, before, nor do they have the ability to post such a bond, even if they wanted to,” Trump moaned on Monday night.

MyPillow CEO Loses It After Realizing the Courts Won’t Save Him

A desperate Mike Lindell is now raising money to go on the offensive for his unhinged election claims.

Mike Lindell surrounded by a crowd. He looks angry at another person.
Octavio Jones/Getty Images

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell doesn’t seem to be so confident in his election conspiracies these days.

The floundering businessman took to Steve Bannon’s podcast on Monday to push his latest theory that the United States needs to outlaw electronic voting machines. The current suit, led by failed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, is being underwritten by the pillow salesman. After admitting the effort is a total long shot and his evidence did not “shock the world,” as he had promised, Lindell decided to ask supporters if they could foot his legal bill.

“It’s an emergency injunction to expedite this case,” Lindell told Bannon. “What’s gonna come out now will be all the declarations and all the evidence to back up the case. So this is the second part of it. This was very much planned by our lawyers.”

“Because the media right now is out there,” he continued. “It hasn’t really reached the masses of the media, but the ones that are out there are trying to discredit [it]. ‘Well, there’s nothing behind this.’ It’s coming, all the declarations.”

If you see the whole hullabaloo as a totally pointless waste of money, you’d be right—especially because Arizona already uses paper ballots and requires election officials to do hand counts of random batches of votes just to make sure the ballots match the machine tallies.

The former millionaire spent months using every platform at his disposal to seed conspiracy theories following the 2020 presidential election, including against Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, claiming the electronic voting companies were complicit in a scheme to keep Donald Trump from retaking the White House. That, however, cost Lindell $5 million and put him on the line in a $1.3 billion defamation suit brought by Dominion, in which he’s being sued not just for spreading the lies but also for attempting to profit from them. Lindell, of course, has a plan for that—he’s going to use the Supreme Court to defend himself with his new crowdfunded legal fund.

“But Steve, all this evidence, this new evidence is gonna be used far and wide,” he told the far-right host. “There’s cases out there, as you know, Mike Lindell and MyPillow getting sued for billions of dollars.”

No Labels Has Lost Another Potential 2024 Candidate, Because of Course

Pretty much no one wants to work with No Labels. And why would they?

Geoff Duncan surrounded by a crowd. (He looks pretty orange, but it may just be the sun.)
Ben Hendren/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The self-described centrist group No Labels has been rejected, again, by a potential candidate for its bipartisan presidential ticket.

No Labels voted two weeks ago to plow ahead with its so-called “unity ticket,” a move that will likely unleash chaos on the 2024 election. The third-party movement has not named its presidential and vice presidential nominees, who are meant to represent both parties, but No Labels was reportedly considering former Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan.

But Duncan, a Republican, poured cold water on that idea Monday. “After careful deliberation, I have withdrawn my name from consideration for the No Labels presidential ticket,” he said in a statement. “In addition to my private sector career and earning a living for my family of five, I am focused on healing and improving the Republican Party with a GOP 2.0 so we can elect more common-sense conservative candidates in the future.”

It’s unclear who will actually run on a No Labels ticket. In fact, No Labels itself doesn’t even know who could run on its ticket. The group, which has repeatedly been accused of running a pro–Donald Trump spoiler campaign, has promised only to run a ticket if the group believed it had a candidate that could actually win.

During the vote two weeks ago, members praised each other for being courageous and patriotic. But the fact remains that all of No Labels’ reportedly preferred candidates have either been generally unpopular or, like Duncan, have said no—and, in some cases, both.

Prior to Duncan, the group reportedly courted Nikki Haley, Joe Manchin, and former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. Haley dropped out of the Republican presidential primary earlier this month after a terrible performance, while Manchin is one of the most unpopular senators nationwide. Both turned down No Labels before a formal offer could be made.

Hogan, who left office with record-high approval ratings, had weighed a presidential run on a No Labels ticket. But he ultimately decided to run for Maryland senator instead.

Duncan was unlikely to garner nationwide support. While he was one of the few Republican leaders willing to state that the 2020 election hadn’t been rigged and he defended Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger against Trump’s conspiracy attacks, Duncan also holds several deeply conservative stances that would have made him unpopular with the majority of the country.

He opposed the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicaid. Duncan is also staunchly anti-abortion, backing multiple restrictions on abortion access in Georgia and describing Planned Parenthood as a “malicious organization” during his 2018 campaign.

It’s starting to become normal for No Labels, a purportedly nonpartisan group, to court right-wing or right-leaning connections such as Duncan. The organization has accepted donations from a man with close financial ties to Jared Kushner, as well as Nazi memorabilia–collector Harlan Crow.

One of the group’s members is former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, who oversaw a contentious, highly partisan, and decidedly far-right four years. He defended voter ID laws, rejected the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid, and backed a bill that banned people from using the bathroom that matched their gender identity.

Supreme Court Says Greg Abbott’s War With Feds Better Stay on Hold

The Supreme Court is keeping Texas from detaining migrants under its controversial S.B. 4 immigration law ... for now.

 speaks while others are in the background
Brandon Bell/Getty Images
Governor Greg Abbott

President Joe Biden just got another win in his monthslong standoff with Texas Governor Greg Abbott. On Monday, the nation’s highest court ruled that the implementation of Texas Senate Bill 4 would be further delayed until the legal challenges against it are settled.

The court waited until the eleventh hour to issue a ruling—even allowing the delay to lapse for several minutes—before extending the administrative stay indefinitely.

“It is ordered that the stay issued on March 4, 2024 is hereby extended pending further order of the undersigned or of the court,” read a court order issued by Justice Samuel Alito.

S.B. 4 proposed allowing Texas police to question and arrest anyone they believed might have illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, and granting them the authority to charge them with misdemeanors for first-time offenders and felonies for repeat offenders. It also would have allowed Texas law enforcement to deport immigrants back to a port of entry along the border. The contentious bill was signed into law by Abbott and was supposed to take effect on March 5—until the Justice Department and several civil rights groups got involved, arguing that the bill went way too far, stepping on the toes of the federal government. Earlier this month, Alito placed a temporary stay on the case, which expired at 4 p.m. CDT on Monday.

Local authorities, however, have indicated that their policies will remain relatively unchanged by the outcome.

“We are aware of the governor signing SB4 into law effective March 2024. Given the stated goals and implementation parameters discussed in the state legislature, we will comply with the law and do not expect to make any substantive changes to SAPD policy or practice,” the San Antonio Police Department told NewsNation on Monday.

Biden and Abbott have had a similar legal showdown over a length of concertina wire along the U.S.-Mexico border, which ended in a 5–4 ruling by the Supreme Court that sided with Biden.

“Texas has the sovereign right to construct border barriers to prevent the entry of illegal aliens,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said at the time.

Wannabe Conservative Influencer Arrested on January 6 Charges

Isabella Maria DeLuca has suddenly gone private on social media.

Trump supporters inside the Capitol hold U.S. flags and a Trump 2020 banner. The woman holding the Trump banner yells at the camera.
Brent Stirton/Getty Images
January 6, 2021, in the Capitol

A conservative influencer has been arrested for participating in the January 6 insurrection.

Isabella Maria DeLuca faces a total of five misdemeanor counts: one each for theft of government property; entering restricted buildings or grounds; disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted area; disorderly or disruptive conduct in the Capitol Building; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building, according to federal charges unsealed Monday.

The documents show DeLuca was arrested on Friday in Irvine, California. Her case was assigned to a magistrate judge in Washington, D.C.

DeLuca currently works as a conservative social media influencer, boasting more than 330,000 followers on X (formerly Twitter). Before that, she interned for far-right Representatives Lee Zeldin and Paul Gosar.

DeLuca, who according to a post on her LinkedIn is in her midtwenties, shared many details about her January 6 visit to Washington with her social media followers. Court documents show she posted an Instagram story the night of January 5, 2021, complaining about how her train to Washington had broken down and she needed a ride. (Her Instagram profile was private at the time of publication.)

On the afternoon of January 6, DeLuca tweeted, “Fight back or let politicians steal an election? Fight back!” She then sent private messages to an Instagram follower saying she was walking to the Capitol.

Surveillance footage from the attack shows DeLuca inside the restricted area of the Capitol grounds. She stood near one of the doors, taking photos or videos on her phone. Eventually, DeLuca climbed through a window and helped pass furniture outside to the mob. One of the items she passed out, a table, was later used as a weapon against Capitol police.

More than 1,200 people have been arrested in connection with the January 6 insurrection, and the numbers just keep going up. Many said they went to Washington because they felt Donald Trump had personally called on them to fight for him.

Broke Donald Trump Admits He Can’t Post That Massive $464 Million Bond

Trump is having some trouble posting bond after that damning fraud trial.

Donald Trump walks out of a door with a lot of intricate ironwork
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump has finally admitted he can’t secure the bond for his New York civil fraud trial, as his lawyers filed a request Monday to delay execution of the judgment.

The former president was fined $354 million for committing real estate–related fraud in New York. With interest adding $112,000 per day, the total sum has already exceeded $467 million. Trump’s lawyers say that to obtain the bond, they would need to post collateral worth $557 million—which they say is a “practical impossibility.”

“Defendants stated their expectation that it would be ‘impossible to secure and post a complete bond,’” the Monday court filing said.

Trump’s lawyers explained they have asked about 30 different organizations to underwrite the bond. The list of companies they can ask is limited, since the bond is so large that it would require a company to have cash reserves of nearly $1 billion, according to the court documents.

“Critical among these challenges is not just the inability and reluctance of the vast majority of sureties to underwrite a bond for this unprecedented sum, but, even more significantly, the unwillingness of every surety bond provider approached by Defendants to accept real estate as collateral,” Trump’s lawyers said.

Trump’s lawyers indicated that if the judge does not grant them a stay, they intend to appeal the decision. If the appellate court does not intervene, then Trump has just one week left in the 30-day post-judgment window to pay up. New York Attorney General Letitia James has said she intends to start seizing Trump’s assets if he fails to post bond.

Unfortunately, Trump has no one to blame but himself for his current predicament. He has repeatedly bragged about how rich he is, which no doubt contributed to such a hefty judgment. By his own account, he can handle it—despite reportedly only having about $413 million in cash assets.

Trump’s real estate fraud trial also revealed that the former president was in the habit of inflating the value of his real estate assets to make himself look better when trying to secure loans. So it’s no wonder that bond providers don’t want to accept real estate as collateral. There’s no way they can be sure the property is worth the amount they underwrite for Trump’s bond.

The companies are also likely loath to subject themselves to the scrutiny that has fallen on the Chubb Corporation, the insurance group that backed Trump’s $91.6 million bond in E. Jean Carroll’s defamation lawsuit.

Chubb CEO Evan Greenberg, whom Trump appointed in 2018 to a White House advisory committee for trade policy and negotiations, had to send a letter to Chubb’s clients last week assuring them that the decision was not a political one and that the company’s assets were “fully collateralized,” or protected against failure of repayment.

Trump still owes Carroll $5 million for sexually assaulting her and defaming her a separate time. He also owes $400,000 to The New York Times, thousands of dollars for gag order violations, and $382,000 to Orbis Business Intelligence, the consulting firm owned by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Trump had sued Orbis over a dossier Steele compiled in 2016 that alleged Trump and members of his inner circle had been “compromised” by Russia’s security service.

Supreme Court Upholds Insurrection Ban on Official Who’s Not Trump

A January 6 rioter can be barred from office, according to the Supreme Court. Trump, on the other hand ...

Supreme Court building
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case that, on its face, appears to set a double standard for Donald Trump and every other private citizen in this country.

On Monday, the nation’s conservative-majority high court upheld a ban preventing former New Mexico official Couy Griffin from running for office within the state again due to his specific criminal history: In 2022, Griffin was convicted on misdemeanor offenses for his role in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, ultimately costing him his job as county commissioner.

It’s the Supreme Court’s first decision on the Fourteenth Amendment since it axed a Colorado decision earlier this month to keep Trump off the state’s GOP presidential primary ballot, and the first time that the “insurrectionist clause” has been used to bar someone from office since it was created to keep ex-Confederates from reattaining high office following the Civil War. By allowing the Fourteenth Amendment to be used against Griffin, the Supreme Court seems to have, circuitously, deemed the January 6 riot an insurrection.

“I just found out (through the media) that my appeal to the SCOTUS has been denied,” Griffin wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Very disappointed. I don’t even know what to say. But I thank you for your prayers and for standing with me through this.”

The rationale for the discrepancy between Trump’s and Griffin’s cases, however, likely boils down to state election specifics—whereas Colorado attempted to bend national electoral precedent by keeping Trump off the ballot, New Mexico’s case keeps Griffin out of New Mexico politics.

But the Cowboys for Trump founder didn’t stay down for long, instead turning to social media to make it clear he was available for other, more national roles serving the GOP presidential nominee.

“Has @realDonaldTrump picked a Vice President yet? Would be such an honor to only be considered,” Griffin posted on X.