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Here’s How Dems Are Responding to a Republican Calling to Nuke Gaza

Spoiler alert: not at all.

Tim Walberg stands with his mouth partially open
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images
Representative Tim Walberg

Michigan Representative Tim Walberg’s remarks last week urging Israel to deal with Gaza like “Hiroshima and Nagasaki” has drawn swift condemnation, with several Democrats calling the Republican’s comments extreme and shocking. But some Democratic lawmakers have been noticeably silent.

Twenty-two Democrats voted in November to censure Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of Congress. Tlaib was punished for supposedly “promoting false narratives” about Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel and allegedly calling for the destruction of Israel for using the phrase “From the river to the sea.” Walberg himself also voted to censure Tlaib, saying in a statement that he “will not support the right to call for a violent genocide.”

How do those 22 Democrats feel about Representative Walberg’s comments, which outright allude to dropping nuclear bombs on Palestinians in Gaza?

Journalist Marisa Kabas reached out to those Democrats for her newsletter, The Handbasket, to see if they would weigh in on Walberg’s comments and whether they believed he should be censured. Only three responded: Representatives Ritchie Torres from New York, Greg Landsman from Ohio, and Brad Schneider from Illinois. While they all condemned Walberg’s remarks, only Landsman said he would vote to censure Walberg.

It’s a clear double standard, especially since pro-Palestinian activists point out that “From the river to the sea” has to do with the Palestinian right to self-determination between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Walberg’s spokesman, Mike Rorke, said that the congressman’s remarks were taken out of context, stating that “he clearly uses a metaphor to support Israel’s swift elimination of Hamas, which is the best chance to save lives long-term and the only hope at achieving a permanent peace in the region.”

So far, there has been no discussion among members of Congress to censure Walberg, nor has there been any criticism from within his own party. The only pushback from a right-leaning figure has come from former Representative Justin Amash, who is currently running for the Republican nomination for Michigan’s seat in the U.S. Senate.

“The people of Gaza are our fellow human beings—many of them children trapped in horrific circumstances beyond their individual control. For him to suggest that hundreds of thousands of innocent Palestinians should be obliterated, including my own relatives sheltering at an Orthodox Christian church, is reprehensible and indefensible,” Amash, who is Palestinian American, said on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday.

Mike Johnson Has Most Unhinged Defense Yet of January 6

The House speaker says rioters were just taking a walk.

Mike Johnson walks through the Capitol
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson is trying out some new language to describe the riotous mob that swarmed the U.S. Capitol on January 6: innocent Americans that were just there, “walking through the building.”

In an interview with Newsmax’s Eric Bolling on Monday night, the Republican leader seemed to suggest that the 2,000 people who charged the halls, destroyed federal property, and interrupted the peaceful presidential transfer of power—1,265 of whom have been charged by federal authorities—were actually mere innocent bystanders.

“I made a commitment immediately after I got the gavel that we would start releasing that,” Johnson said, referring to tapes of the insurrection. “Originally we were trying to blur some of the faces to protect the innocent, you know, people who were there and just happened to be walking through the building.”

“But then we realized a lot of this is out there in the public anyway,” Johnson continued. “We had to hire new staff to do it, they’re up late … it’s a 24-hour operation, all that tape will be out there as soon as possible. Thirteen thousand hours are available now.”

There’s no reason to give Johnson the benefit of the doubt on whom he’s referring to, especially since he unequivocally admitted in December that the conservative party was working on a project to doctor footage of the January 6 insurrection in an effort to thwart the identification of the rioters in an investigation by the Justice Department.

“We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ,” Johnson said at the time. “That’s a slow process to get it done, we’re working steadily on it. We’ve hired additional personnel to do that and all of those tapes ultimately will be out so everybody can see them and draw their own conclusions.”

You Will Not Believe Why RFK Jr. Thinks Biden Is a Threat to Democracy

The independent presidential candidate was asked to compare Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks into a microphone while gesturing
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. thinks that President Joe Biden is worse for American democracy than the guy who attempted to overturn the 2020 election results and said he’d be a dictator “on day one”—all because the independent candidate’s conspiracy-laden social media posts keep getting taken down.

In an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Monday night, Kennedy accused Biden of “weaponizing the federal agencies” in order to censor political speech, citing deleted posts while claiming that the major tech companies essentially hand over their data to U.S. intelligence agencies.

“I can say that because I just won a case in the Federal Court of Appeals, and now before the Supreme Court, that shows that he started censoring not just me—37 hours after he took office, he was censoring me,” Kennedy continued.

“No president in the country has ever done that. The greatest threat to democracy is not somebody who questions election returns, but a president of the United States who uses the power of his office to force the social media companies—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—to open a portal and give access to that portal to the FBI, to the CIA, to the IRS.”

But if it’s between Donald Trump and Biden, Kennedy said the latter is the worse pick for the country because the First Amendment is the “most important.”

“So just to be clear, you’re saying you could make an argument that President Biden is a worse threat to democracy than Donald Trump?” prompted Burnett.

“Absolutely,” Kennedy responded. “What president in history has ever tried to censor political opponents? What president has weaponized the federal agencies?”

But the kind of speech Kennedy is fighting for isn’t the kind that’s protected by the First Amendment. The 70-year-old has been singled out by members of Congress for using his social media platforms to spread baseless conspiracies, including the debunked lies that vaccines cause autism, that the Covid-19 vaccine was “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people” and spare people who are “Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese,” and that Jews in Nazi Germany had more freedom to roam about than American citizens living through the pandemic.

“This is not the kind of free speech that I know of,” Representative Stacey Plaskett said in July, during a hearing on the alleged weaponization of the federal government. Kennedy testified during that hearing.

Meanwhile, Trump has openly celebrated RFK Jr’s contributions in the race—or rather, his potential to pull votes away from Biden.

“RFK Jr. is the most Radical Left Candidate in the race, by far. He’s a big fan of the Green New Scam, and other economy killing disasters,” Trump wrote on Truth Social last week. “I guess this would mean he is going to be taking votes from Crooked Joe Biden, which would be a great service to America.”

“It’s great for MAGA, but the Communists will make it very hard for him to get on the Ballot,” Trump continued. “He is Crooked Joe Biden’s Political Opponent, not mine. I love that he is running!”

Trump Completely Melts Down Over New Gag Order in Hush Money Trial

Well, well, well, if it isn’t the consequences of his own actions.

Donald Trump talks while gesturing with both hands
Brendan McDermid/Reuters/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s gag order in his hush-money trial has been expanded after he repeatedly attacked the judge’s daughter, and the former president has responded to the decision with shame and humility.

Nah, just kidding.

On Truth Social Tuesday morning, Trump complained that the expanded gag order was unfair, that the case against him shouldn’t have been brought, and that Judge Juan Merchan should be recused with the case thrown out. And for good measure, he called the whole thing “ELECTION INTERFERENCE at its worst!”

A screenshot of Donald Trump's Truth Social post

Trump was slapped with a gag order last week prohibiting him from talking publicly about jurors, witnesses, prosecutors, court staff, and the family members of the last two. The gag order was expanded Monday night to include the family members of the court and the judge’s family.

The expanded terms of the gag order still allow Trump to talk about the judge and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether the former president will limit his insults and criticism to just those two. He’s already proven he can’t abide by other gag orders in the past, and was even hit with a $5,000* fine for violating the order in his bank fraud trial.

Trump is on trial for allegedly using his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to cover up an affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election, and faces 34 felony counts for falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. The trial is scheduled to begin on April 15 with jury selection.

Can the former president keep his mouth shut until then?

*This article originally misstated the amount Trump was fined for violating the gag order.

Trump May Have Screwed Himself Bigly in New York Hush-Money Trial

The Manhattan D.A. is asking for Donald Trump’s gag order to be expanded.

Donald Trump talks while gesturing with both hands
Curtis Means/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have much success at keeping his mouth shut. A gag order issued last week by Judge Juan Merchan in the former president’s hush-money trial couldn’t stop Trump from attacking the judge’s daughter on Truth Social, not once but at least twice.

Now Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg wants to make that gag order even stronger. In a court filing Monday, Bragg said that Trump’s “dangerous, violent, and reprehensible rhetoric fundamentally threatens the integrity of these proceedings.” He urged Merchan to reiterate that attacks on the family of court staff, as well that of the district attorney, are prohibited.

“There is no constitutional right to target the family of this Court, let alone on the blatant falsehoods that have served as the flimsiest pretexts” for Trump’s attacks, Bragg stated in the filing.

Trump’s initial gag order last week was only the latest in a stream of judicial reprimands on his speech. In October, Judge Arthur Engoron issued a gag order in Trump’s bank fraud trial after he attacked the judge’s principal law clerk in the case. Trump was later fined $15,000 for violating the order.

Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is presiding over Trump’s D.C. trial for election interference, slapped him with a gag order in March after Trump attacked her family.

Right-wing activists and lawmakers have targeted Merchan’s daughter since last year, after Trump’s initial indictment in the hush-money case. Several far-right personalities, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, took issue with the fact that Merchan’s daughter worked at one time for Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign, claiming it was proof that Trump’s arrest and indictment were a political witch hunt.

Investors Are Bailing as Fast as They Can From Trump’s Broke Company

New SEC filings reveal the company isn’t doing so well.

A phone screen with the App Store page for Truth Social on it
Anna Barclay/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s businesses don’t have the best of track records: Trump Steaks, Trump Airlines, and several of his casinos have gone out of business.

And now, things aren’t looking good for Trump Media & Technology Group, the parent company of his personal social media platform Truth Social. The company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings, released Monday, show just $4.1 million in revenue—and a staggering loss of more than $58 million.

Within hours of the filings being released, the news of the company’s losses led the stock price to drop by more than 20 percent in midday trading, with its market value standing at more than $6 billion, just a little more than Trump Media’s value when it debuted on the stock market last week.

And the worst may not be over. The company “expects to continue to incur operating losses and negative cash flows from operating activities for the foreseeable future, as it works to expand its user base, attracting more platform partners and advertisers,” the filing states.

The filing also included a note from an independent accounting firm, Colorado-based BF Borgers CPA PC, warning that Trump Media’s “operating losses raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.”

Trump Media completed a merger two weeks ago with Digital World Acquisition Corporation, a move that was expected to bring a financial windfall to the former president. However, Trump won’t be able to count on this deal just yet to help pay down his many legal bills.

He’ll have to wait six months to legally sell his 72 million shares in the company. Experts have warned, however, that the stock’s value can’t be counted on. It will be subject to how strong an individual investor considers Trump’s name.

Florida Supreme Court Destroys Abortion Access in the South

But state voters will have a chance to reinstate it via a ballot initiative in November.

A woman holds a pro-abortion protest sign
The Washington Post/GETTY IMAGES

A radical six-week abortion ban has automatically taken effect in Florida, thanks to a decision on Monday from the Florida Supreme Court—but there’s still a glimmer of hope.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, Florida has allowed abortion up to 15 weeks, making the state a major hub for people seeking abortions in the South. Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law in April 2023 that would ban abortion after six weeks, before most people even know they are pregnant. That law was put on hold while the state Supreme Court heard a legal challenge against the 15-week ban.

The court ruled Monday to uphold the 15-week ban. As a result, the more radical six-week ban will automatically go into effect. The ruling, which touched on the “right to privacy,” overturns decades of legal precedent. The Florida state Constitution already has explicit privacy protections.

Abortion rights advocates in Florida, though, are hopeful they can win back abortion protections. The high court on Monday also approved a 2024 ballot initiative that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution, after hearing arguments for and against the referendum in February. Florida voters will decide whether to protect abortion when they go to the polls this November.

For now, as the six-week ban goes into effect, abortion access will effectively be wiped out throughout the Southern United States. North Carolina Republicans last year forced through a law banning abortion at 12 weeks, and South Carolina Republicans passed a law banning the procedure at six. All three states had become abortion havens in the South after the fall of Roe.

Five of the seven justices on Florida’s Supreme Court were appointed by DeSantis, and two had clear conflicts of interest. Justice Charles Canady is married to Republican state Representative Jennifer Canady, who co-sponsored the six-week ban. He refused to recuse himself from the case. Another justice, Meredith Sasso, is married to DeSantis loyalist Michael Sasso.

There is a strong chance Florida’s abortion referendum will succeed, though. The abortion rights group Floridians Protecting Freedom, which organized the ballot initiative, gathered nearly one million verified signatures to petition for the vote, far more than the minimum required. And many of those signatories were Republican voters.

Trump Supporters Aren’t Even Hiding They Hate the Constitution

Donald Trump’s backers are saying the quiet part out loud now.

Donald Trump stands under an umbrella, surrounded by police officers
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Forget a MAGA takeover in 2024; some conservatives are already looking for ways to get Donald Trump back into the White House four years from now—for a third term.

A feature story in The American Conservative insisted last week that Trump shouldn’t be beholden to the details of the U.S. Constitution, arguing that a win in November could open up the GOP presidential nominee to the possibility of running for another, consecutive term, if the nation repeals the Twenty-Second Amendment.

The amendment, which was ratified in 1951, states that “no person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.”

But clearly, Trump is such a unique prospect that the authors of the amendment couldn’t have foreseen the allure of a far-right candidate with a frenetic base. So why not just do away with it?

“As the primary season has shown us, the Republicans have not moved on from Trump—yet the Twenty-second Amendment works to constrain their enthusiasm by prohibiting them from rewarding Trump with re-election four years from now,” American Conservative contributor Peter Tonguette wrote last week.

“The case of Donald Trump, however, makes an even more forceful ethical argument against the Twenty-second Amendment and for its repeal: If a man who once was president returns, after a series of years, to stand again for the office and proves so popular as to earn a second nonconsecutive term—as Trump seems bound to do—to deny him the right to run for a second consecutive term cuts against basic fair play,” Tonguette continued.

“If, by 2028, voters feel Trump has done a poor job, they can pick another candidate; but if they feel he has delivered on his promises, why should they be denied the freedom to choose him once more?”

And, of course, pay no heed to the fact that Trump has promised to be a dictator “on day one,” or his increasingly frequent examples of his cognitive decline. It’s all fair game if it helps secure another four years under the most extreme conservative demagogue in recent history.

Trump’s First Criminal Trial Just Got a New Witness—and She’s a Doozy

Former Trump aide Hope Hicks is expected to take the stand in Trump’s hush-money trial. Buckle up.

Donald Trump points and smiles at Hope Hicks, who is smiling and has bangs covering one of her eyes

Donald Trump’s already star-studded hush money trial just added a new witness to its lineup: former Trump White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.

Hicks had previously testified before a grand jury investigating Trump’s 2020 election interference, and she will testify again, reported MSNBC on Monday.

The trial, which is scheduled to begin jury selection on April 15, focuses on accusations against the former president for allegedly using his former fixer Michael Cohen to sweep an affair with porn actress Stormy Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Hicks was, at the time, serving as Trump’s campaign press secretary.

An attorney for Hicks claimed in 2019 that the ex-aide was unaware of any hush money payments between her boss and Daniels, but an FBI affidavit in Cohen’s federal criminal case cast doubt on that, citing evidence that Cohen had exchanged calls, text messages, and emails with Daniels’s legal counsel, Trump, and Hicks.

“I have learned that in the days following the Access Hollywood video, Cohen exchanged a series of calls, text messages and emails with Keith Davidson, who was then [Daniels’s] attorney, David Pecker and Dylan Howard of American Media Inc., the publisher of the National Enquirer, Trump, and Hope Hicks, who was then press secretary for Trump’s presidential campaign,” the affidavit reads.

Trump is facing 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. He has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Alongside Hicks, Cohen and Daniels are also expected to be star witnesses in the trial, though Trump had previously attempted to keep both of them far away from it on the basis that the two were “liars.” But last month, a judge nixed that effort, allowing them both to testify.

This story has been updated.

Watch: Far-Right Congressman Suggests Nuking Gaza

Representative Tim Walberg said the U.S. shouldn’t send any aid to Gaza.

Tim Walberg walks through a doorway
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

A Republican representative thinks that the U.S. response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza brought on by Israel’s bombing campaign should be resolved “like Nagasaki and Hiroshima.”

Michigan Representative Tim Walberg made the horrific comment during a town hall meeting on Friday. In response to an audience question about the United States building a temporary port in Gaza to facilitate aid deliveries, he said that the U.S. shouldn’t be sending any aid to Palestinans in the region.

“We shouldn’t be spending a dime on humanitarian aid,” Walberg said.

Instead, “it should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Get it over quick,” he said.

Palestinians in Gaza are experiencing a humanitarian crisis including starvation and a lack of medical care due to Israel’s war and invasion of the territory, which Tel Aviv claims is in response to the October 7 attacks. In Walberg’s eyes, any humanitarian aid to the Palestinians would support Hamas, Iran, Russia, and “arguably North Korea’s in there, and China too.”

After receiving criticism from Michigan Democrats over the remarks, a spokesperson for Walberg, Mike Rorke, told the Detroit Free Press that “during [Walberg’s] community gathering, he clearly uses a metaphor to support Israel’s swift elimination of Hamas, which is the best chance to save lives long-term and the only hope at achieving a permanent peace in the region.”

Rorke said that Walberg “has great empathy for the innocent people in Gaza” and noted that “Hamas still is holding hostages, including Americans. Hamas should surrender and return the hostages.”

Walberg’s comments are just the latest in a series of violent and often bigoted comments from right-wing politicians about Palestinians and Israel’s war in Gaza, which is entering its fifth month. Donald Trump said early in March that Israel had to “finish the problem” in Gaza, while Representative Brian Mast compared Palestinians to Nazis in November and even questioned the innocence of Palestinian babies in February. Meanwhile, the U.S. recently approved sending more bombs and fighter jets to Israel.