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Calls to Remove Kansas City Chiefs Kicker Explode After Grad Speech

Is Harrison Butker regretting that catastrophic speech yet?

Harrison Butker looks up
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs Harrison Butker upset more than just a few women online with the misogynistic commencement speech he gave at Benedictine College over the weekend. As of Thursday, more than 120,000 people had signed an online petition calling on the NFL team to give the kicker the boot.

“We demand accountability from our sports figures who should be role models promoting respect for all people regardless of their race, gender identity or sexual orientation,” the petition reads. “We call upon the Kansas City Chiefs management to dismiss Harrison Butker immediately for his inappropriate conduct.”

In the span of just a few minutes, Butker managed to rail against abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, the LGBTQ community, and the “tyranny of diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs. He also encouraged the women in the crowd at the private Catholic college to forget the “diabolical lies” sold to them and to return to the “vocation” of bearing children and cooking in the kitchen instead of beginning careers related to their degrees. The strangest part is that Butker holds these beliefs in spite of the fact that his own success is in part due to his mother’s career as a medical physicist at the Emory University Department of Radiation Oncology.

But the growing chorus of people calling for Butker to face consequences for the remarks hasn’t translated into action by the NFL. Instead, the football league issued a lukewarm response, scarcely acknowledging Butker’s disturbing views.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, told People. “His views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

Still, the chauvinistic messaging could stir up problems for another Chiefs player, team captain Travis Kelce, whose relationship with pop superstar—and self-described feminist—Taylor Swift has launched him and the football team into national celebrity status. Especially since Butker specifically called Swift out in his speech, quoting a line from her song “Bejeweled” that “familiarity breeds contempt.”

Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert Brutally Roasted Outside Trump Trial

The Republican representatives at Trump’s hush-money trial tried to hold a press conference. It did not go to plan.

Matt Gaetz yelling in front of mics. Other Republican representatives including Anna Paulina Luna and Andy Ogles surround him.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Some of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters in Congress showed up at his hush-money trial on Thursday. They didn’t plan on being publicly embarrassed.

Representatives Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert were among those who made the trek to Manhattan, ostensibly to support the former president. They quickly found themselves the object of scorn from local New Yorkers.

The audience at the trainwreck press conference also heckled the members of Congress, even chanting “Beetlejuice” at Boebert, a reference to her inappropriate behavior at a live theatrical performance of Beetlejuice last fall. To make matters worse, the heckling came as she tried to get some microphone time as her colleagues quickly left her behind.

The MAGA politicians had other plans for their New York trip. Perhaps they wanted to get out of their actual legislative work, tease a second insurrection, make a cringey campaign ad with Trump, or help him skirt his gag order (which would be illegal). Maybe they think their support will help the presumptive Republican nominee for president’s self-esteem, as his trial is certainly not going well for him.

Trump is facing 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime by using  his former fixer, Michael Cohen, to pay off adult film actress Stormy Daniels to cover up an affair before the 2016 election. Each day of the trial brings more damning testimony and evidence against Trump.

Clarence Thomas Goes Rogue, Does the Right Thing for Once

The Supreme Court justice authored the majority opinion protecting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Clarence Thomas looks to the side
Eric Lee/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday, ending a case that would have had wide-ranging implications for federal agencies.

In a shocking move, Justice Clarence Thomas took the lead on the 7–2 decision, in which the court decided that the funding mechanism for the financial sector regulator—which comes from a standing pool of funds issued by Congress outside of its typical appropriations bill process—was completely legitimate.

The case reached the Supreme Court after the ultraconservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the method violated the appropriations clause and was thereby unconstitutional.

“Under the Appropriations Clause, an appropriation is simply a law that authorizes expenditures from a specified source of public money for designated purposes. The statute that provides the Bureau’s funding meets these requirements,” Thomas wrote in the majority opinion. “We therefore conclude that the Bureau’s funding mechanism does not violate the Appropriations Clause.”

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Samuel Alito argued that the current structure effectively allows the agency to “bankroll its own agenda without any congressional control or oversight.”

“There is apparently nothing wrong with a law that empowers the Executive to draw as much money as it wants from any identified source for any permissible purpose until the end of time,” Alito wrote.

But a conversation about constitutionality is not where the case originated. In 2018, the Community Financial Services Association of America and the Consumer Service Alliance of Texas, a trade association that represents payday lenders and credit-access businesses, sued the bureau in an attempt to plug a crackdown on payday loans.

“For years, lawbreaking companies and Wall Street lobbyists have been scheming to defund essential consumer protection enforcement,” a CFPB spokesperson said in a statement. “The Supreme Court has rejected their radical theory that would have devastated the American financial markets. The Court repudiated the arguments of the payday loan lobby and made it clear that the CFPB is here to stay.”

In another surprise move, Thomas hit back hard at Alito’s dissent, saying his usual far-right comrade in arms had failed to connect his argument to the actual case at hand.

But legal experts were quick to qualify that the high court’s rational decision wasn’t a sign of its moderation, but rather a symptom of how unhinged the Fifth Circuit has become.

“We’re going to come back to this a lot over the next six weeks, but *please* don’t confuse ‘#SCOTUS slaps down a wackadoodle Fifth Circuit decision’ with ‘#SCOTUS is more moderate than its critics claim,’” wrote University of Texas at Austin law professor Steven Vladeck. “‘Not as radical as the Fifth Circuit’ is not the same as ‘moderate.’”

The court will hear more high-profile challenges to the authority of federal agencies in the coming weeks, with two cases focusing on guns and abortion rights.

Stable Genius Trump Once Again Violates Gag Order in Incoherent Rant

Donald Trump keeps putting his foot in his mouth at his hush-money trial.

Donald Trump speaks and holds a stack of papers out in his left hand, standing in front of a metal barricade. Todd Blanche stands behind him. Others in the background are blurry.
Steven Hirsch/Pool/Getty Images

On Thursday morning, before his hush-money trial resumed, Donald Trump ranted and raved outside of court and, in the process, likely violated his gag order by attacking one of the prosecutors.

“A lead person from the DOJ is running the trial, so Biden’s office is running this trial. This trial is a scam, and it shouldn’t happen,” Trump said.

Trump was referring to Matthew Colangelo, the lead prosecutor on the case and a former attorney for the Department of Justice. Earlier this month, the New York Post reported that Colangelo was a political consultant to the Democratic National Committee. Trump’s gag order prohibits him from attacking court staff, jurors, the prosecution, witnesses, and their families. He has already violated the order 10 times, resulting in being fined $10,000, and Merchan has warned that any further violations would result in jail time.

Complaining that he wasn’t allowed to respond to damaging testimony from his former fixer and attorney Michael Cohen, as well as adult film actress Stormy Daniels, Trump had his legal team appeal to have the gag order tossed out—only to be denied by a New York appeals court on Tuesday. That didn’t stop Trump from trying other methods to get around the gag order Wednesday, having his political allies criticize the people off-limits to him.

Trump is accused of paying off Daniels in order to keep their affair under wraps before the 2016 presidential election with the help of Cohen, and faces 34 felony charges for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. If found guilty, he would likely serve prison time. With these repeated gag order violations, though, Trump might see the inside of a jail very soon.

Lauren Boebert Admits Exactly Why Trump Stooges Descended on Trial

They’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

Lauren Boebert stands in a crowd behind a metal barricade. A security guard stands to the left of her.
Mike Segar/Pool/Getty Images

Representative Lauren Boebert admitted exactly why she and her conservative coterie appeared at Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday for Donald Trump’s hush-money trial: to help him circumvent his gag order.

The firebrand representative of Beetlejuice fame immediately took to X (formerly Twitter) to denigrate lead witness Michael Cohen and Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter on Trump’s behalf.

Boebert seemed to acknowledge that she was acting as a surrogate to violate Trump’s gag order, writing on X, “They may have gagged President Trump. They didn’t gag me. They didn’t gag the rest of us.”

“I wonder if I’ll run into Judge Merchan’s daughter here in court today,” Boebert wrote, accusing her of “being paid millions and millions of dollars by Democrat campaigns all across the country.”

Boebert also threw some barbs at key witness Michael Cohen, asking, “Why is that fraud Michael Cohen allowed on TikTok with a shirt of Trump behind bars but Trump can’t speak out?”

Conservative attacks against Merchan’s daughter—an attorney who operates a progressive political consulting firm—have raged on for weeks, spearheaded by Trump in an effort to remove Merchan from overseeing the case. Trump’s attacks have led to threats against family members of prosecutors overseeing the case. Merchan criticized the behavior as an effort to impede the rule of law.

Merchan’s gag order prohibits Trump from speaking about people participating in his hush-money trial, save for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Merchan himself. The order also bars Trump from speaking about the judge’s and prosecution’s family members. Trump is similarly prohibited from tapping surrogates to speak on his behalf.

While none have yet explicitly acknowledged they’re acting as surrogates for Trump, multiple conservative politicians have criticized the gag order while making denigrating statements in line with Trump’s against those Trump is prohibited from speaking about. Earlier this week, Senator Tommy Tuberville admitted he went to the trial to help Trump “overcome his gag order.”

When asked on Tuesday if Trump was using people to speak on his behalf, Trump declared, “I do have many surrogates, and they’re all speaking very beautifully.”

Merchan previously noted that, as Trump has violated his gag order 10 times, he may have to consider jail time should he violate it again. For Merchan to take action on surrogates, there would need to be proof that Trump directed them to speak. With these blabbermouths, direct admission seems to be just a matter of time.

Lauren Boebert and Company Move Crucial Meeting to Attend Trump Trial

The House Oversight Committee rescheduled a meeting on holding Merrick Garland in contempt.

Anna Paulina Luna, Andy Ogles, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and Eli Crane stand behind Donald Trump and Todd Blanche
Mike Segar/Pool/Getty Images

Droves of Republicans arrived at Donald Trump’s New York hush-money trial Thursday in a show of support and power for the presumed GOP presidential nominee—but that didn’t mean the lawmakers were actually off for the day.

The lawmakers who trekked up to New York for the day included Representatives Andy Biggs, Lauren Boebert, and Anna Paulina Luna, all of whom sit on the House Oversight Committee. The committee rescheduled a contempt markup for Attorney General Merrick Garland to 8 p.m. from 11 a.m., evidently so members could attend Trump’s trial.

“I guess we all know who is setting the Committee’s calendar now,” wrote the official X (formerly Twitter) account for the Oversight Committee Democrats.

Other politicians who made the field trip included Representatives Matt Gaetz, Eli Craine, and Andy Ogles, as well as Virginia state Senator John McGuire. McGuire is running against House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good in the Virginia Republican representative primaries.

They join a long lineup of Republicans who have traveled the distance to be in the background of the trial, protesting the legal proceedings as well as the gag order on Trump, which restricts him from making disparaging remarks against witnesses, court staff, or their families.

“They may have gagged President Trump. They didn’t gag me. They didn’t gag the rest of us,” Boebert wrote in a post on X.

Earlier in the week, former North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, House Speaker Mike Johnson, and Senators Tim Scott, J.D. Vance, and Tommy Tuberville all paid their own visits.

On Tuesday, biotech investor Vivek Ramaswamy, RNC co-chair Lara Trump, Eric Trump and two Republican representatives showed up at the New York courthouse in matching suits and ties for a low-budget fundraising ad that attempted to portray Trump as a candidate unjustly locked in the courthouse.

More about Republican field trips to New York:

Matt Gaetz Makes an Open Call to the Proud Boys at Trump Trial

The Republican representative descended on the Trump trial to tease another insurrection.

Angela Weiss/Pool/Getty Images

As court resumes for Trump’s hush-money trial, Representative Matt Gaetz published a creepy, blurry photo of himself at Manhattan Criminal Court with the caption, “Standing back and standing by, Mr. President.”

Gaetz’s post—which originally included no caption—immediately evokes the line first deployed by Trump during a September 29, 2020, presidential debate against Joe Biden directed to the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group known to essentially function as a violent street gang.

During that debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump if he condemned the presence of white supremacist and militia groups at events in support of his presidency. Trump avoided condemnation, instead asking Wallace to provide him a name. “The Proud Boys,” Biden added.

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump responded. Afterward, Trump claimed to not know who the Proud Boys were, saying, “Whoever they are, they have to stand down. Let law enforcement do their work.” Despite this, Trump’s “stand back” comment was broadly interpreted among the far right as a call to mobilize on his command.

Immediately following the September debate, the Proud Boys released a flier with the phrase “Stand back and stand by” announcing a November 14, 2020, protest in Washington, D.C., that MAGA groups dubbed “Million MAGA March.” Following that day-long protest, a gang of drunken Proud Boys roamed the streets of D.C. on the hunt for anti-fascists, leading to a violent brawl where Proud Boys attacked counterprotesters and press.

Soon after, a second protest was called for December 12, 2020, titled “Ten Million MAGA March.” Proud Boys again showed up to D.C. in droves, getting into fights with counterprotesters and D.C. residents that led to dozens of arrests and multiple stabbing attacks. Soon after, the MAGAsphere announced a multiday protest in D.C. titled “Stop the Steal” that concluded with the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. That riot was partly organized by the Proud Boys, whose leaders would later receive convictions for seditious conspiracy.

Trump’s Idiot Lawyer Admits His Client Did Something Suspicious

Donald Trump’s attorney Will Scharf was trapped in questioning on that shady Michael Cohen payment.

Donald Trump squints as he sits in the courtroom. Two security guards are behind him, and his lawyer is seated on his left.
Jeenah Moon/Pool/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Trump attorney Will Scharf was left tongue-tied after one simple question from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins. 

Collins asked Scharf, also a Republican candidate in Missouri’s race for attorney general, “You’re an attorney, obviously: Have you ever gotten a legal retainer that was grossed up by hundreds of thousands of dollars?”

The reference to Donald Trump’s hush-money case caught Scharf off guard, and he scrambled to put together an answer.

“Uh-uh-uh, I mean I’ve received payment for legal services in many ways before: contingency fees, fee per hour,” Scharf said. “I think different people come to different agreements.”

But Collins wasn’t done. “Have you ever been owed a certain amount, let’s say $100,000 that you did in billable hours and you got $330,000?” she asked.

Scharf still had to gather his thoughts. “Kaitlan, I, respectfully, the point here is that the payments are ancillary to the case that the prosecution is trying to prove which relates to the records of the payments, not the payments themselves,” he said. “Hush-money reimbursement for hush money—none of that’s a crime.”

The exchange is telling. While Scharf isn’t part of Trump’s hush-money case, he, thanks to his legal knowledge, clearly has trouble justifying Trump’s actions. Trump is charged with 34 felony counts for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime by using his former fixer and attorney, Michael Cohen, to pay off adult film actress Stormy Daniels to cover up an affair before the 2016 presidential election. Trump made the “grossed up” payments to Cohen to reimburse him for paying off Daniels and to avoid taxes and scrutiny. Cohen’s testimony has made it clear that Trump was involved in every step of the alleged crime. If the Republican presidential nominee is found guilty in the case, how will his attorneys and surrogates justify it?

Biden Clamps Down on Potentially Disastrous Special Counsel Recording

The president invoked executive privilege on the audio recording.

Joe Biden sits with his hands folded
Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Joe Biden invoked executive privilege Thursday to keep House Republicans from obtaining audio recordings of his interview with special counsel Robert Hur.

The move came at the request of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who warned that cooperating with the request could jeopardize future investigations and witnesses’ willingness to participate in them. In his letter to Biden, made public Thursday, Garland said that lawmakers’ efforts “are plainly insufficient to outweigh the deleterious effects that the production of the recordings would have on the integrity and effectiveness of similar law enforcement investigations in the future.”

White House counsel Ed Siskel also questioned the motivations of Republicans seeking the tapes when they already possess a lengthy report and full transcript of the interview.

“The absence of a legitimate need for the audio recordings lays bare your likely goal—to chop them up, distort them, and use them for partisan political purposes,” Siskel wrote in a letter obtained by The Hill. “Demanding such sensitive and constitutionally-protected law enforcement materials from the Executive Branch because you want to manipulate them for potential political gain is inappropriate.”

Hur’s 388-page report condemned the 81-year-old president as having a memory with “significant limitations.” Republicans have since seized on the analysis, developed after a year-long investigation and a two-day interview with Biden days after Hamas’s October 7 attack in Israel, as an opportunity to attack the president as being mentally unfit for the job.

Democratic lawmakers joined the outrage at the request, including Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin, who called the effort to obtain the tapes—and Republicans’ failed impeachment effort of Biden—a “comedy of errors.”

“The Attorney General gave Republicans the information they asked for, and it’s delightfully absurd to suggest that listening to the President’s words instead of just reading them will suddenly reveal the mystery high crime and misdemeanor the Republicans have been unable to identify since 2023,” Raskin wrote in a statement shared with The New Republic. “Will this hopeless scavenger hunt ever end? Perhaps the Republicans should play the Beatles’ White Album backwards and the impeachable offense will emerge!”

Team Trump Seems to Be Freaking Out About the Biden Debate

Lara Trump is already preparing for her father-in-law’s debate defeat.

Lara Trump speaks at a lectern
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The same day Biden and Trump agreed to participate in two presidential debates, Lara Trump appeared on Fox News’s Hannity to toss out a well-worn talking point from Team Trump, claiming the debates are rigged.

“It’s rigged so heavily in Joe Biden’s favor,” Lara Trump told viewers about the debate her father-in-law agreed to participate in. “But everything always is.”

The buzzword accusation comes more than a month before Trump and Biden’s first debate, which will be held on June 27 at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters, and establishes a convenient pacifier for Trump fans if and when Trump repeats his 2020 performance and loses the debate to the less showmany but generally more coherent Biden.

Lara Trump folded the lazy accusation into recent polling data showing Trump leading in five battleground states as protests against Biden’s handling of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza continue to dog him. According to surveys by The New York Times, Siena College, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, Trump leads Biden in Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, with Biden leading in Wisconsin.

The Republican National Committee, which Lara Trump began chairing in March, opted out of participating in Commission on Presidential Debates–led debates two years ago when it was chaired by Ronna McDaniel. The CPD had scheduled debates this year between the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees for October. On Wednesday, Biden announced he would not be participating in CPD-led debates, instead offering Trump dates that would account for early voting. Trump eagerly accepted.

Despite the uphill battle Trump faces appealing to normal people, Lara Trump tried to assure Fox viewers her father-in-law will be successful in the debate she’s already decried as rigged, saying: So, if Joe Biden shows up on June 27 and doesn’t come up with an excuse like he has to wash his hair or something, I have full confidence that Donald Trump will outperform him.”