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Trump Pushes Racist Dog Whistle as Hush-Money Trial Nears Verdict

Donald Trump is getting desperate as his hush-money trial approaches its end.

Donald Trump speaks with his mouth wide open. Todd Blanche stands beside him. Others are in the background out of focus.
Curtis Means/Pool/Getty Images

After the defense rested in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial on Tuesday, Trump took to the cameras to denigrate the judge presiding over his case, issuing a blatantly racist dog whistle as a desperate last line of defense before closing remarks next Tuesday.

“The judge hates Donald Trump,” Trump said, creepily referring to himself in the third person. “Just take a look. Take a look at him. Take a look at where he comes from.”

Trump was obviously noting that Judge Juan Merchan was born in Colombia, a claim that bears little weight outside the minds of racists hunting for a reason to oppose Merchan’s pretty lax efforts to deter Trump from using his platform to launch harassment and threats at jurors, key witnesses, and family members of those involved in the trial.

Merchan immigrated to the United States from Colombia when he was 6 years old and grew up in the same borough as the bloviating former president—albeit on opposite sides of the wealth spectrum. Trump was raised in the affluent suburban neighborhood of Jamaica Estates, while Merchan grew up in Jackson Heights, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City. Merchan—who is roughly sixteen years Trump’s junior—immigrated to Queens when Trump was about 22 years old.

The comments echoed past attacks on another judge—Gonzalo Curiel—who in 2016 Trump claimed couldn’t be impartial in overseeing a federal fraud case against Trump University (remember that?) because the Indiana-born judge was “of Mexican heritage.” Trump’s 2016 comments were clearly understood to be racist, with conservatives widely criticizing them at the time. Former Ohio Governor John Kasich, who in 2016 ran against Trump, denounced the attack, writing on X (formerly Twitter), “Attacking judges based on their race &/or religion is another tactic that divides our country. [Donald Trump] should apologize to Judge Curiel & try to unite this country.”

“I couldn’t disagree more with what he had to say,” Mitch McConnell said at the time of Trump’s attacks against Curiel. “I don’t agree with what he had to say. This is a man who was born in Indiana. All of us came here from somewhere else.”

Eight years of racist bloviating and winks to white supremacists later, Republicans are silent on Trump’s dog whistles against another “certified Trump hater” judge, focusing instead on dressing like Trump to help him violate his gag order.

Trump Pushes Nefarious Lie After Damning Classified Documents Report

A former president hasn’t made a claim like this about his successor before.

Donald Trump speaks, brows furrowed, and makes a gesture with his right hand for emphasis
Mark Peterson/New York Magazine/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump is falsely claiming that President Biden was prepared to kill him during the FBI’s search for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago—a nefarious lie given that Trump wasn’t even at the residence on the day of the search.

In a Truth Social post on Tuesday evening, the former president said that after his hush-money trial adjourned for the day, he learned that “Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their Illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE.”

A former president claiming their successor tried to kill them is unprecedented, according to The Washington Post. It’s no secret that law enforcement will come armed when enforcing a search warrant. But the FBI has already testified that it chose to search Mar-a-Lago on a day that Trump would not be there in order to prevent any conflict.

So why make such a post? The former president is probably trying to distract from the news Tuesday from an unsealed legal opinion that classified documents were found in his bedroom at Mar-a-Lago four months after the FBI’s initial search.

Trump faces 42 felony charges in his classified documents case related to willful retention of national security information, corruptly concealing documents, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. But the judge in the case, Trump appointee Aileen Cannon, seems to be stalling the trial on purpose. Earlier this month, she ordered a stay on Trump’s legal requirement to give the government advance notice of which classified materials will be discussed—but offered no expiration date for the reprieve.

Cannon faces a growing backlash due to her handling of the case, with online petitions calling for her removal or recusal from the case. Even some of her clerks have quit because of her conduct, as well as for creating a hostile work environment. At least one potential witness, former Mar-a-Lago worker Brian Butler, has publicly come forward and criticized Cannon’s handling of the case.

Trump’s federal cases have already been delayed thanks to the Supreme Court, which is currently deciding whether Trump, as a former president, enjoys legal immunity. Some believe that state-level charges against the Republican presidential nominee, whether in New York or Georgia, are the only prospects for him facing real justice.

More on the classified documents report:

Trump and Biden Both Suffer Huge Blows With Protest Vote in Kentucky

Kentucky’s presidential primary results offer a warning sign for both Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden splitscreen
Getty x2

The results are in from Tuesday’s presidential primary in Kentucky, with a big warning sign for both the Republican and Democratic presumptive nominees.

Donald Trump, who easily won Kentucky in 2020 and scooped up over 370,000 votes in the primary that year, saw a slump in the Bluegrass State, with his primary numbers nearly cut in half and collecting just 214,000 votes.

Nikki Haley, who suspended her presidential campaign in March, pulled 6.4 percent of Republican primary voters away from Trump, as her zombie campaign continues to make an impact.

Incumbent Joe Biden, who in 2020 picked up 36 percent of the vote and who won the primary that year with an impressive 365,000 votes, walked away Tuesday night with an abysmal 131,000. Protest votes for “uncommitted” picked up a whopping 32,905 votes—nearly 18 percent.

Eighteen percent is comparably massive: In 2020, “uncommitted” votes in Kentucky received just 10 percent of the Democratic vote, with Bernie Sanders’s suspended campaign picking up 12.1 percent. In 2016, “uncommitted” received just 5.3 percent of the Democratic primary vote in Kentucky. “Uncommitted” votes for Democratic primaries this year have been used as a protest against Biden’s support for Israel as it continues to decimate Gaza and as Biden insists Israel is not committing a genocide, something people who are not aiding a genocide don’t need to say.

How Many More Classified Documents Is Trump Hiding?

Even more sensitive documents were found stashed at the former president’s compound than previously thought.

Donald Trump sits behind a desk, holding a signed executive order.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump holding an executive order in 2018

Four months after an FBI raid recovered thousands of sensitive documents from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, the former president’s attorneys discovered even more classified pages—this time in his bedroom.

In a newly unsealed 2023 opinion, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell described how four more documents with classified markings were discovered on Trump’s property, stashed away in his bedroom, even months after the FBI search.

“Notably, no excuse is provided as to how the former president could miss the classified-marked documents found in his own bedroom at Mar-a-Lago,” Howell wrote.

“Instead, the government has provided evidence to demonstrate that the full arc of the criminal violation had already concluded more than six months before this search of Mar-a-Lago, when the evidence demonstrates that the former president intentionally failed to provide all of the classified documents in his possession to the government with the June 3, 2022 Certification,” she continued, adding that Trump’s office’s decision to turn the box over with the four records in January 2023 did not undermine that fact that he withheld them after a subpoena and a federal investigation.

Howell also found that prosecutors provided sufficient evidence that Trump had “intentionally concealed the existence of additional documents” in order to mislead the government and impede the FBI’s investigation.

Trump faces 42 felony charges in the case related to willful retention of national security information, corruptly concealing documents, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. But the judge actually overseeing the former president’s classified documents case seems to have no motivation to move forward with the trial. Earlier this month, Judge Aileen Cannon ordered a stay on Trump’s legal requirement to give the government advance notice of which classified materials will be discussed—but offered no expiration date for the theoretically temporary reprieve.

Legal analysts have worried that a strategy of continual delays could be the Trump-appointed judge’s way of surreptitiously dismissing the trial altogether.

Meanwhile, Trump has practically confessed that he took the sensitive records. In an interview on Newsmax, Trump claimed point blank that he actually did take the classified documents, describing the process of shamelessly packing them away while leaving office.

“I took ’em very legally,” Trump told the far-right media network in March. “And I wasn’t hiding them.”

Ultimately, Cannon’s extended time allowance for the GOP presidential nominee just presents another roadblock to actually trying Trump for any of his alleged misconduct. And if he wins the election in November, Trump could potentially pardon himself since all of the alleged crimes are federal charges.

“Butcher of Gaza”: Pro-Palestine Protesters Interrupt Blinken Hearing

Protesters called Secretary of State Anthony Blinken a war criminal in a dramatic Senate hearing.

A protester wearing a shirt that reads "Invest in Life" stands and holds two signs, one of which reads "Criminal." Her hands are painted red.Text on the other can't be seen in the photo. Men are seated around her, including an out of focus Anthony Blinken in the foreground.
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

At the Senate Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken had to contend with protesters upset over the Biden administration’s support for Israel during its brutal war on Gaza. Screams of “war criminal” and “butcher of Gaza” broke out on the Senate floor before protesters were forcibly removed.

Blinken was called to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a review of the State Department’s budget for the 2025 fiscal year, and later the Senate appropriations subcommittee. While Blinken was speaking during the first hearing, protesters who had red paint on their hands stood up and called him “bloody Blinken,” shouting that “the blood of 40,000 Palestinians” is on his hands.

“Blinken, you will be remembered as the butcher of Gaza!” one protester yelled as Capitol Police officers removed him from the hearing. “You will be remembered for murdering innocent Palestinians.”

The antiwar organization Code Pink posted video of the interruption to X (formerly Twitter) and also posted video of one protester being picked up and carried outside of the room by police.

In a brief moment of levity, Senator Lindsey Graham warned in the hearing that if the ICC followed through on pursuing warrants for Israeli officials, “we’re next.” His statement drew applause from protesters, who welcomed the news.

“You can clap all you want to,” Graham said. “They tried to come after our soldiers in Afghanistan but reason prevailed.… What I hope to happen is that we level sanctions against the ICC for this outrage.”

Blinken, Graham, and many other Biden officials and politicians from both parties have been confronted by protesters calling for a cease-fire in the war in Gaza. On Tuesday, though, Blinken seemed relatively unfazed, saying the administration is willing to work with “a profoundly wrong-headed decision” regarding possible warrants for Israeli leaders issued by the International Criminal Court.

Meanwhile, Israel’s war has killed over 35,000 people, including at least 15,000 children. Israel has clamped down on press coverage of the war, including briefly shutting down an Associated Press camera on Tuesday. The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees has had to shut down food distribution in the city of Rafah, where many Gazans have been displaced, due to the security situation and a lack of supplies. The Biden administration, after briefly pausing one weapons shipment to Israel, continues to send weapons to Israel, instead of listening to protesters and taking steps to end the war by stopping the flow of arms altogether.

Mitch McConnell Thinks Alito’s Insurrectionist Flag Is Just Fine

The Senate Minority Leader actually thinks that the Supreme Court justice is the real victim.

A leery Mitch Mcconnell looks away from the camera
Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Mitch McConnell in January 2024

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell apparently has no issue with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s decision to fly a symbol of the insurrection shortly after the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Images published on Friday revealed that the conservative justice had flown the upside-down flag—a symbol of Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results—at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, in the immediate aftermath of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The photographic evidence has since sparked questions about Alito’s impartiality on the nation’s highest court—but none of that seemed to bother McConnell, who appeared to suggest Tuesday that examining the court’s ethics was an unnecessary “attack” on the judiciary.

“It seems to me there are nonstop attacks on the Supreme Court, week after week after week, so I’m not going to dignify that with a response,” McConnell said, responding to a direct question on the issue from CNN’s Manu Raju.

“We need to leave the Supreme Court alone, protect them from people who went into their neighborhoods and tried to do them harm, look out for the Supreme Court—that’s part of the job of the administration,” McConnell added.

But that’s not the position McConnell took in the months following January 6. McConnell has privately and publicly criticized Trump for his role in the riots, including denying that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and saying that the mob was “provoked by the president and other powerful people.”

Meanwhile, other conservative leaders in the upper chamber have had no problem shutting down Alito’s symbolic declaration, including Senator Lindsey Graham, who described the flag choice as “not good judgment.”

“He said his wife was insulted and got mad—assume that to be true—but he’s still a supreme court justice,” Graham told HuffPost’s Igor Bobic on Monday. “And, you know, people have to realize that moments like that, to think it through.”

Broke Giuliani Forced to Post Whopping Bond After Birthday Indictment

Rudy Giuliani fills his cup with another steaming hot debt.

Rudy Giuliani looks shocked, mouth gaping
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani’s new coffee business must be grinding hard to hock its beans as the dirt-broke former mayor fills his cup with another debt: a $10,000 bond issued Tuesday by an Arizona state court after Giuliani unsuccessfully evaded a subpoena at his own birthday bash.

During arraignment, Giuliani pleaded not guilty to nine counts of conspiracy, forgery, and fraud. Prosecutors sought to ensure his return to court by issuing the bond, which will be returned to him if he makes his court date, due to his prior efforts to avoid being served. On Friday night, hours before he was served, Giuliani posted a photo of himself at his birthday party mocking the Arizona attorney general. After he was served, he deleted the post.

“He has shown no intent to comply with the legal process in Arizona,” prosecutor Nicholas Klingerman said of Giuliani when petitioning the court for bond. Giuliani has 30 days to appear in Arizona to be booked.

The Arizona fake elector indictment is just the latest in a long series of predictable events for Giuliani, who’s been largely left out in the cold by the man he sweat his hair off trying to support.

Appearing remotely, Giuliani stated he didn’t have a lawyer. When asked by the court if he wanted a public defender, he said, “No, no, I think I am capable of handling it myself.” At the time of his arraignment, an ad featuring the future convict touting his “Rudy Coffee” brand began getting double-roasted online.

“I’m obsessed with how he says ‘chocoley,’” wrote one Twitter user. “If rock bottom was a person,” cracked another.

“This ad is giving Drag Race branding challenge where the queen ends up in the bottom, takes off her wig during the lip sync (only to reveal her wig cap), then goes home,” wrote New York City Councilman Chi Ossé.

Giuliani is charged alongside 17 others for a harebrained fake elector scheme they’re alleged to have crafted in an effort to overturn the 2020 election results. The 18 defendants are all charged with nine counts of felony conspiracy, forgery, and fraud by the state of Arizona, where prosecutors allege the dozen and a half wise guys and gals submitted a document to Congress falsely declaring Trump won Arizona in the 2020 presidential election.

According to AP, 11 people were arraigned alongside Giuliani on Tuesday, including Tyler Bowyer, an executive for white nationalist–fueled group Turning Point USA, Arizona state Senator Anthony Kern, and miscellaneous leaders and chairs of Arizona state and local Republican organizations. Of the 18 indicted, seven are former Trump aides, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump attorney John Eastman, who’s alleged to have cooked up the plan, and Jenna Ellis, another Trump attorney who tried persuading Arizona lawmakers to change the 2020 election results.

RNC’s MAGA “Election Integrity” Lawyer Enters Reality

The Republican National Committee tapped Christina Bobb to lead its “election integrity” efforts. And now she has a mugshot.

A laptop screen shows a screenshot from an OAN show with Christina Bobb. The show shows her face and is called "Weekly Briefing with Christina Bobb."
Gabby Jones/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Republican National Committee’s senior counsel for election integrity, Christina Bobb, was arraigned Tuesday at a Maricopa County, Arizona, courthouse, pleading not guilty to charges that she was part of a plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election and keep Donald Trump in the White House.

Bobb was one of 11 people—two Trump aides and nine Arizona Republicans—who were arraigned, including Trump’s former lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, who was finally served Friday after weeks evading and mocking the Arizona attorney general.

Bobb was a lawyer for Trump’s 2020 campaign, and has long been an election denier. While working for One America News, Bobb reported on an “audit” of the Arizona election results while she was also fundraising for that so-called “audit.”

From there, she joined the fake elector plot and was part of the “command center” at the Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C., during the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. She’s defended Trump’s role in the insurrection, even has seemingly acknowledged he’s guilty. When the former president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump took over the RNC earlier this year, one of the committee’s earliest hires was Bobb. 

Regarding Arizona, Giuliani has deferred to Bobb, saying that she knows more about the election efforts in that state than he does. 

“I used Christina Bobb to a large extent, and I’m not putting anything off on Christina. If Christina said it happened, it’s probably more accurate than if I said it happened,” Giuliani said in late April on Newsmax.

Bobb was seen smirking in the courthouse during her arraignment. Her mugshot is below:

Tweet Screenshot
More on the legal woes surrounding Trump:

Trump Makes Horrifying Pledge to Cut Access to Contraception

It was never just about abortion.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

During an interview with KDKA News in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Donald Trump praised himself for overturning Roe v. Wade and suggested abortion isn’t the only thing on the chopping block.

Asked whether he’d outlaw birth control or Plan B, Trump responded, “We’re looking at that” and said his campaign plans to release his full policy proposal in a week. “I think it’s something you’ll find interesting.… You will find it, I think, smart. I think it’s a smart decision.”

Pressed further, Trump indicated his general policy will be to allow states to do whatever they want to restrict bodily autonomy around abortion.

“Things really do have a lot to do with the states, and some states are going to have different policy than others,” Trump told KDKA.

KDKA didn’t ask Trump his position on mifepristone and misoprostol—medications used to terminate early pregnancy and miscarriages—but Trump touted the overturning of Roe as an accomplishment brought forth by his administration.

“We did something that everybody wanted,” he said. “We got rid of Roe v. Wade.” Polling data from Pew Research Center in July 2022 found a majority of Americans supported Roe and were angered by the Supreme Court’s overturning of the landmark decision.

Trump skirted questions about whether he would sign a national 15-week abortion ban, much like he has in past interviews. The measure is incredibly popular with his ultraconservative supporters, but Trump has generally argued in favor of a “winning” position. “We must win,” he said. “We have to win.”

Trump’s stance on abortion has shifted wildly over the years, swinging from “very pro-choice” in 1999 to “pro-life” in 2011 when Trump first mused on running for president. In 2016, Trump said people should “be punished” for having abortions. He later dropped this talking point as people reasonably interpreted his statement to endorse prison time for abortion-seekers, a policy that has since been enacted in multiple states.

More on Trump’s disastrous abortion plans:

Trump’s MAGA Allies Offer Their Most Deranged Defense Yet

Outside the Manhattan courthouse where the former president’s hush-money trial is coming to an end, loyalists claim that he’s just a regular guy.

Donald Trump looks imperious standing beneath a regal ceiling.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago compound in 2023

As Donald Trump’s New York City criminal trial comes to a close, the former president has been increasingly surrounded by loyalists and defenders who decry what they see as a grave miscarriage of justice: a witch hunt aimed at undercutting a wildly popular leader; a show trial out of Stalinist Russia.

On Tuesday, as his defense rested without Trump taking the stand, his political posse once more gathered outside the Manhattan courthouse. This time, however, their argument was slightly different: Trump isn’t just a victim—he’s a regular guy being beaten down and persecuted by a vast cabal of venomous elites.

“What happens to any of you if the courts in New York come after any of you because of something you said? Because you said something that the ruling class didn’t like?” Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said Tuesday. “That’s what these other countries are all about. They shut down the ruling class. They want to be sure that anyone that speaks up against the ruling class disappears.”

“They want Donald Trump to disappear, they want to send him to jail, they want to take him off the main stage, because they know he’s their biggest danger to taking the ruling class—,” Patrick continued before being cut off by a reporter, who asked if he didn’t consider Trump to be a member of that ruling class.

“No!” the Texas politician squeaked, turning toward the reporter. “Donald Trump is not a member of the ruling class.”

As Patrick folded back into the sycophantic crowd, former deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka attempted to further shut down the idea that Trump—who served as president from 2016 to 2020, claims a net worth in the billions, and is currently running to reclaim the highest position in the American government—is a member of the ruling class.

“Would a member of the ruling class be facing 730 years in prison? What a pathetic question,” Gorka mocked while clad in Trump’s signature courtroom combo of blue suit, white shirt, and extra-long red tie. “And he’s a member of the elite? That’s pathetic. You’re not a journalist.”

Last year, Trump and his namesake company were found guilty of vastly inflating the worth of their assets by at least $812 million. Trump’s actual net worth is unclear—and it has recently taken a sizable hit as a result of numerous multimillion-dollar damages—but he is undoubtedly a millionaire several times over and owns a number of lavish properties. He has recently seen a windfall thanks to his ownership of Truth Social, a media and technology company that lost more than $300 million in the first quarter of 2024 but is nevertheless worth billions thanks to an overinflated stock market valuation.

Trump is accused of using his former fixer Michael Cohen to sweep an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. He 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.