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Key Trump Witness Confirms Damning Hush-Money Emails

One of the former president’s only witnesses just destroyed his entire defense. Whoops!

Donald Trump folds his hands while he sits in a Manhattan court room.
Justin Lane/EPA/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Donald Trump in court on Tuesday

A string of emails sent by attorney Robert Costello appears to have undercut the witness’s credibility just moments before Donald Trump’s first criminal trial concluded for the day.

Costello had previously represented Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and had allegedly offered a back-channel mode of communication between the former president and his former fixer (and current star defense witness) Michael Cohen in 2018.

But on Tuesday, the former federal prosecutor got caught up in a web of his own making and was forced to admit to moblike tactics that undercut the defense’s core argument.

In one message from 2018, Costello complained to his law partner Jeff Citron that Cohen was not cooperating, and that he believed instead that Cohen was “slow playing us and the president.”

“What should I say to this asshole?” Costello wrote. “He’s playing with the most powerful man on the planet.”

“This email speaks for itself?” asked prosecutor Susan Hoffinger.

“Yes, it does,” Costello told the court.

“You lost control of Michael Cohen?” Hoffinger continued.

“Absolutely not,” Costello replied.

In another 2018 message between Costello and Citron, the Giuliani attorney wrote that “our issue is to get Cohen on the right page without giving the appearance that we are following instructions from Giuliani or the President.”

“We must reverse the Avenatti effect and restore this to a far more simple investigation of things that while they might not look good politically and nevertheless legal,” the message continued, referring to Michael Avenatti, a since-disgraced attorney who represented Stormy Daniels, the former adult film actress that Trump is being accused of paying hush money to in 2016.

The emails clearly show the extraordinary lengths that Trump and his aides used to try to silence Cohen—and suggest that they were engaged in a cover-up.

Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Republican presidential nominee faces 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.

Pathetic Trump Chickens Out of Testifying in Hush-Money Trial

Donald Trump won’t testify in his first criminal trial. What’s he so scared of?

Donald Trump in the courtroom holds a stack of papers and speaks, brows furrowed. His lawyer Todd Blanche stands beside him, also brows furrowed, staring at the camera.
Victor J. Blue/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s defense rested and concluded witness testimony in his hush-money trial Tuesday—and the former president pathetically chickened out of taking the stand.

“Yeah, I would testify, absolutely,” Trump told reporters in April before the trial began. “I’m testifying. I tell the truth, I mean, all I can do is tell the truth, and the truth is that there is no case.”

His lawyer Alina Habba again confirmed on Monday that he wants to take the stand—that he is “willing” and “able.”

But in the end, the beleaguered blowhard weaseled out of it.

Trump has wailed at length about a gag order issued by Judge Juan Merchan restricting his public statements, arguing incoherently that the gag order prohibits him from testifying—a statement that is flatly untrue, as the gag order applies to public statements from Trump targeting jurors and prosecution and does not apply to sworn testimony.

Perhaps Trump chickened out because his allies are familiar with his proclivity to ramble uncontrollably and knew he would likely put his foot in his mouth, as he’s already been doing.

In lieu of public statements, Trump has benefited from a rotating gaggle of copycat surrogates speaking on his behalf and admitting to helping him violate his gag order over and over again.

Merchan concluded Tuesday morning that closing arguments would resume the following Tuesday—leaving Trump a full week off from court to violate his gag order again.

Ted Cruz Gets Brutally Roasted After Posting About Texas Storm

The internet never forgets.

Ted cruz speaking
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Senator Ted Cruz posted a message on X (formerly Twitter) Monday afternoon touting all his help after a storm hit the Houston area on Thursday. Unfortunately for him, the internet never forgets, and in his case, he doesn’t have the best record on natural disasters.

In 2021, Cruz dashed off to vacation in Cancun while much of Texas was without electricity after a winter disaster, earning him scorn and mockery from his political colleagues as well as on social media. His post on Monday quickly brought in commentators eager to remind him of his actions.

Twitter screenshot
Twitter screenshot

Some brought up how he’s spent his time touting his podcast (which could get him in campaign finance trouble) and hawking his new book.

Twitter screenshot

The Lose Cruz PAC, which is raising money to oust the Texas senator, also got in on the act.

Twitter screenshot

Cruz is facing a tough reelection campaign against Representative Colin Allred, a former football player, and is looking to shore up any support he can. Cruz has a number of obstacles this time, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential candidacy pulling away votes and dangerously low fundraising numbers.

He should probably be doing things in Congress that would help his popularity, but in true Cruz fashion, he’s trying to make sure airlines don’t have to easily offer refunds and wants to give politicians extra security in airports so they that don’t get bothered if they leave their state in the middle of a disaster.

Peter Navarro Lays out Trump Second Term Agenda From the Jailhouse

The imprisoned former senior Trump aide pledges that his ex-boss would close the border almost immediately.

Peter Navarro looks concerned, which is reasonable (because he is about to go to prison).
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro in March, shortly before entering prison to serve a four-month sentence

An imprisoned former senior Trump White House aide is already envisioning Donald Trump’s second presidential term—and it includes “mass deportations.”

Peter Navarro is serving a four-month sentence in federal prison for refusing to respond to a congressional subpoena during the House Select Committee’s January 6 investigation. But time in the clink has helped Trump’s self-described “alter ego” iron out the finer details of Trump’s presidential politics—from international trade and alliances to border security, according to Semafor.

The New MAGA Deal documents 100 actions in 100 days,” Navarro said, referring to a new book he’s working on behind bars.

At the top of the agenda of unfinished business is a plan to bring private-sector supply chains and manufacturing “back to U.S. soil.”

“American multinational corporations naturally want to offshore American jobs in their search for cheap, sweatshop labor and pollution havens,” Navarro said. “That’s why God created tariffs.”

But tariffs and economic restrictions are only the beginning. Within those first 100 days, Navarro predicted that Trump will promise to close the border and force immigrant populations out of the country.

“Trump will also quickly seal the border and begin mass deportations,” Navarro told Semafor, blaming President Joe Biden for importing a “wave of crime and terrorism” and an “uneducated mass” to the nation.

And any former staff who even remotely opposed Trump’s plans during his first term can forget about being invited back to serve the GOP presidential nominee again, according to Navarro. That includes Trump’s former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who Navarro said did everything he could to “soften” Trump’s economic agenda. Instead, only those completely loyal to Trump’s vision will have a spot in the forthcoming term.

“Bad-Built Butch Body” Is Trademarked—and MTG Is Not Handling It Well

Well, actually it’s “bleach blonde bad-built butch body”—and Marjorie Taylor Greene is still pissed about it.

Majrorie Taylor Greene speaks with her mouth wide open, surrounded by other people
Allison Robbert/Bloomber

Representative Jasmine Crockett is doubling down on her viral jab against far-right Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene by beating the firebrand at her own game: Crockett filed a trademark on the phrase “bleach blonde bad-built butch body” and is producing a “Crockett Clapback Collection” featuring phrases the freshman lawmaker has said.

Crockett, a representative from Texas, posted a mockup of a shirt featuring the phrase “bleach blonde bad-built butch body,” which Crockett refers to as “B6” for its alliteration. On announcing the line of swag—which trademark filings note will include hats, hoodies, socks, and T-shirts—Crockett says proceeds “will go to ensuring that we have a Democratic House!”

The diss came during a House Oversight Committee meeting after Greene inexplicably insulted Crockett’s appearance while ranting about Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter. The committee meeting was reviewing a vote on whether to file articles of contempt against U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland for refusing to provide confidential recordings between Biden and special counsel Robert Hur. During Greene’s tirade, Representative Crockett asked her, “Do you know what we’re here for?” to which Greene responded, “I don’t think you know what you’re here for. I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.”

In response to the trademark and merch launch by Crockett, Greene made the incredibly normal decision to publish a video of herself working out. “Yes my body is built and strong,” Greene wrote. “NOT with nips, tucks, plastic, or silicone, but through a healthy lifestyle.”

Leaning into white fragility, Greene appeared on Fox News to decry body shaming against herself while doubling down on body shaming others, griping to the outlet notorious for cookie-cutter bleach-blonde, Botoxed hosts, “I think no matter what shape, size, or how we look, we need to be ourselves, not telling women the only way to be attractive or accepted is to have fake boobs, fake hair, fake lashes, and injected faces.”

Trump Media Is Absolutely Tanking—as Trump’s Legal Bills Pile Up

Donald Trump’s media company reported a dizzying first-quarter loss. At this rate, it surely can’t last for much longer.

Donald Trump in the courtroom, looks to his side with his mouth gaping. Security guards are in the background, out of focus.
Steven Hirsch/New York Post/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s social media venture is taking a serious dive, according to its first earnings report.

Trump Media and Technology Group, which owns Truth Social, lost about $327.6 million last quarter ending March 31. These losses include $311 million in noncash expenses from the company’s merger with Digital World.

The company only brought in about $770,500 in revenue, down from $1.1 million the year before. The report had been delayed after the company fired its auditor, BF Borgers, who was charged with “massive fraud” by the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month. The company has had at least two other auditors in its short existence: one that resigned in July 2023 and another that was terminated in March to hire BF Borgers.

The company is currently trading at $48 per share, down from its peak of nearly $72 during its initial public offering in March. That’s a loss of more than half the company’s value. It had a bad run of news, even reaching out to the federal government to figure out why the stock has performed so poorly. Trump Media’s CEO, former Representative Devin Nunes, even complained to NASDAQ’s CEO that the company was the victim of illegal “naked short selling”—leading to his brutal mocking on Wall Street. Two of the company’s top investors were also charged with insider trading in April.

As a result of the company’s losses and his own financial difficulties, Trump himself has been kicked off the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the 500 richest people in the world. He also has to be careful about his usual bragging, as the SEC could see it as an attempt to pump up the company’s stock. And Trump can’t sell off any of that stock for six months without board approval, a difficult prospect considering his hefty legal bills.

Fascist Trump Winks at Nazis With “Unified Reich” Video

Donald Trump left this video up for way too long.

Trump stands in front of a red, black, and white background that reads "NRA" and "Trump." There is also a U.S. flag behind him.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A video published on Donald Trump’s Truth Social account Monday afternoon featuring hypothetical headlines included reference to a “unified Reich” alongside a much larger, bolded headline reading, “What’s Next for America?”

The Trump campaign claims the video was made by a “random account,” according to statements provided to NBC, and that it was republished to Trump’s Truth Social without his knowledge while he was in court for his hush-money trial. The video was left posted for hours and was only removed Tuesday morning.

Mock newspaper with half of Trump's face and the headline "What's next for America?"
Screenshot/Truth Social

Trump previously described neo-Nazis who marched in the fatal Unite the Right rally in 2017, carrying tiki torches and chanting “Jews will not replace us,” as “very fine people.” He has made comments echoing Hitler’s Mein Kampf as recently as last year, claiming immigrants are “poisoning the blood of this country.” His past administration and current allies are riddled with white nationalists. It comes as no surprise that a member of his campaign team would pull a DeSantis and “accidentally” publish a video on behalf of Trump infused with a positive reference to Nazi Germany.

The video, which presents as a campaign ad, asks, “What’s next for America? The economy booms. American energy is unleashed, and an end to crushing taxes. The border is closed, and the largest deportation in history is underway. No more wars, as we focus on home. Law and order is restored. The American Dream is back and the best is yet to come.”

Nazi Germany used the term “Reich” to suggest a historical return to previous empires. Following the Holocaust, Reich fell out of usage except in reference to Germany under Hitler. The “unified Reich” headline appears to be pulled from the Wikipedia page for World War I. Beyond that headline, the ad features copy discussing World War I and early twentieth-century war history dated between 1914 and 1918—at the height of Jim Crow, prior to women’s right to vote, and just before the Ku Klux Klan became a mass movement. “Make America great again,” the voiceover on the video declares as it ends, effectively confirming what critics have long said the phrase coined by Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign and repopularized by Trump really means: Make America great again for a select, ultraracist few.

Pro-Trump Moron Tries to Block Anti-Trump Film That He Funded

Dan Snyder, a billionaire former NFL owner, isn’t happy with “The Apprentice,” which premiered at Cannes on Monday.

Daniel Snyder crosses his arms as he stands on the sideline of an NFL game.
Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Dan Snyder in September 2023

Dan Snyder, the disgraced former owner of the Washington Commanders, is less than thrilled about the premiere of a movie critical of Donald Trump at the Cannes Film Festival—even though he helped fund it.

The Apprentice covers Trump’s early years in the real estate industry—and focuses on the former president’s relationship with notorious political fixer Roy Cohn and Trump’s relationship with his first wife, Ivana—and premiered on Monday at Cannes to a rapturous eight-minute standing ovation. Little more was known about the film, which stars Sebastian Stan as Trump and Succession’s Jeremy Strong as Cohn, before its premiere—aside from the fact that Snyder hated it and wanted it shelved.

Snyder, a longtime Trump ally who has donated more than $1.2 million to his previous campaigns, has been embroiled in a legal battle with the film’s producers since he saw an early cut of it in February. The viewing left Snyder “furious” with the creative direction of the film, and he reportedly took issue with several parts of the story, leveraging his position as an investor with the film’s distribution company, Kinematics, to argue for changes to the script, according to Variety. (That could potentially refer to one scene in which Trump is depicted sexually assaulting Ivana, as described in the couple’s 1989 divorce deposition. Ivana Trump later distanced herself from the allegation.) When his suggestions didn’t stick, Snyder turned to cease-and-desist letters in a last-ditch effort to shut the film down. But still, it persists.

“All creative and business decisions involving The Apprentice have always been and continue to be solely made by Kinematics,” Kinematics president Emanuel Nuñez told Variety.

It’s unclear if Snyder was in attendance at Monday’s screening, though his yacht, the Lady S, was reported to be off the coast of Cannes Monday afternoon. After the screening ended, the movie’s director, Ali Abassi, gave a speech denouncing the rise of fascism.

Prior to the Trump film fiasco, Snyder was best known as a much-despised former co-owner in the NFL. Before selling the Washington Commanders, Snyder was investigated for alleged workplace harassment and sexual misconduct, was sued by the D.C. attorney general for allegedly colluding to mislead customers, was accused by the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform of lying under oath during a hearing regarding sexual assault allegations against his team, and famously screwed up a venture to get the Commanders a new stadium before a lineup of former female employees spoke out against him in front of Congress.

Trump Considers Biggest Fascist Possible for Attorney General Pick

Donald Trump has a plan to remold the Justice Department to cater to his every whim. And he has a name in mind for who could lead the whole thing.

Donald Trump waves to the camera as Ken Paxton smiles and walks beside him. A black car is behind them.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump says he’d consider current Texas attorney general and harbinger of far-right doom Ken Paxton for his own U.S. attorney general if he retakes the White House.

“He’s very very talented,” Trump said during the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Dallas, on Saturday. “We have a lot of people that want that one [position] and will be very good at it, but he’s a very talented guy.”

KDFW asked Trump if he would consider Paxton—facing disciplinary action from the Texas state bar for his efforts to overturn 2020 election results—for the position. “I would, actually,” Trump replied, marking the first name Trump has floated for a possible U.S. attorney general should he win the 2024 presidential election.

Trump has already promised to remold the Justice Department into his personal attack dog—and putting Paxton at the helm is particularly terrifying.

Law and order–hating Paxton frequently finds himself surrounded by corruption charges. In 2023, he faced unsuccessful impeachment proceedings by the GOP-led Texas Senate for bribery and abuse of public trust. Those proceedings largely stemmed from Paxton allegedly using his office to benefit Nate Paul, a wealthy donor of Paxton’s who is facing his own legal turmoil.

Far-right billionaire supporters of Paxton operating under a PAC named Texans United for a Conservative Majority—rebranded after Defend Texas Liberty got caught hanging out with Hitler fans—reportedly dumped $3 million to support candidates running against Republicans who led Paxton’s impeachment proceedings.

Last year, Paxton also threatened to prosecute any and all abortion doctors in Texas, even in cases where a court says they can conduct the health procedure.

Paxton infamously spoke at Trump’s rally on January 6, 2021, ahead of the Capitol riot, telling the crowd of future rioters, “We will not quit fighting.”

Trump’s Newest Stooge Is an Ex-Leader of This Crime Syndicate

Donald Trump’s entourage at his hush-money trial keeps getting more unbelievable by the day.

Chuck Zito, wearing a suit and blue tie, enters a room as a door is held open for him. A security guard stands in front of him. Others are in the background.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s hush-money trial has drawn quite a few of his high-profile supporters, including members of Congress and those hoping to be his vice presidential running mate. Among them also happens to be a onetime leader of the Hells Angels gang.

Chuck Zito, who helped to found the New York Nomads chapter of the outlaw motorcycle gang, was among Trump’s entourage on Monday at the Manhattan courthouse where his trial is being held.

Zito has a criminal record, serving prison time from 1985 to 1998 for drug conspiracy charges. His chapter of the Hells Angels has also been linked to the Gambino Mafia crime family. And the Justice Department considers Hells Angels to be an organized crime syndicate.

Why would Trump want him at his trial in New York? Zito doesn’t have a political career. These days, he’s more famous for his occasional acting. However, The New York Times points out that Trump has an old association with bikers going back to his 2016 campaign, when he addressed a Washington, D.C., biker rally. There’s even a Bikers for Trump group, which took part in several Trump rallies alleging that the 2020 election was stolen.

Zito isn’t the only Trump supporter with a criminal record who appeared at the courtroom on Monday: Former New York Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who went to prison on tax charges and was later pardoned by Trump, also showed up for moral support.

And while Zito’s mob ties might appear bad on the surface, Trump has ties to organized crime himself going back decades. Legal experts have expressed concern for the safety of jurors in Trump’s trials. And the former president has even been accused of using “an obvious Mafia tactic” to get around his gag order in the case by having his supporters speak for him. Zito’s attendance in many ways is a boost to Trump’s ego: He has an infamous tough guy show up in his corner at a trial that could send him to prison.

The Republican presidential nominee 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. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.