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Watch: Ted Cruz Loses It When Asked if He’ll Accept Election Results

Notably, the Republican senator refused to answer the question.

Ted Cruz at a lectern speaks and gestures as if he is angry about something.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senator Ted Cruz won’t admit whether he’ll accept election results that show Joe Biden winning in November.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asked Cruz the question point-blank Wednesday night.

“You were the first senator to object to the votes. In 2024 will you certify the election results? Do you plan to object or will you accept the results regardless of who wins the election?” Collins asked.

Cruz immediately tried to dodge.

“So, Kaitlan, I gotta say, I think that’s actually a ridiculous question,” the Texas senator replied. The exchange then became a long back-and-forth, in which Cruz denied that the question was yes-or-no, and asked whether Collins had ever asked a Democrat that question. Collins mentioned how Trump refused to allow a peaceful transfer of power, and Cruz even glossed over the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, claiming, “We did have a peaceful transfer of power. I was there on January 20. I was there on the swearing-in.”

“Barely,” replied Collins.

Cruz still refused to commit to accepting the results, claiming that there could be voter fraud.

“Look, if the Democrats win, I will accept the result, but I’m not gonna ignore fraud,” Cruz said, again adding a giant caveat to his answer.

The segment ended with a pointed remark from Collins. “Senator Ted Cruz—no answer to that question. Thank you very much.”

Watch the entire exchange here:

Cruz faces a tough reelection campaign against Democratic Representative Colin Allred, a former football player, but is probably worried about drawing the ire of Trump and the Republican base. Republicans are repeatedly dodging the question of accepting a Biden win in November, especially those who are in the running for vice president. Some Republican candidates have even alluded to supporting violence.

Are You Serious?! Samuel Alito Flew Yet Another January 6 Flag

The “Appeal to Heaven” flag was spotted last summer at his vacation home in New Jersey.

Samuel Alito
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Samuel Alito in 2019

It turns out that the upside-down flag flown at Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s Virginia home after the January 6 insurrection wasn’t the only time one of his properties nodded to the election denialism of Donald Trump’s supporters.

The “Appeal to Heaven” flag flew last summer at Alito’s vacation home in New Jersey, according to The New York Times. Also known as the Pine Tree flag, it originated as a symbol of the American Revolution but became a symbol of Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement—including one carried by rioters at the Capitol building.

Several photos acquired by the Times showed the flag hanging outside of Alito’s residence on Long Beach Island on four separate dates between July and September 2023.

The revelations cast further doubt on Alito’s excuse for flying an upside-down American flag at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, on January 17, 2021: He blamed his wife, telling Fox News that she had hung it upside down “for a short time” after an anti-Trump neighbor hurled insults at her.

Democrats have since called for Alito to recuse himself from cases related to the 2020 election, and introduced a resolution Tuesday to censure the “shameless” justice for what they call “beyond poor judgment,” arguing that Alito had violated the court’s ethics and invited questions about the court’s impartiality.

“Pro-White,” Nazi-Saluting Gov. Candidate Will Be on Missouri Ballot

Well, this is awkward for the Republican Party.

The Old Courthouse and Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

A white supremacist candidate will remain on the Missouri GOP’s ballot for governor, according to a state judge who rejected a lawsuit brought by the Missouri Republican Party.

The state GOP had attempted to boot Darrell Leon McClanahan III from the August election after photos resurfaced in February of McClanahan giving a Nazi salute while posing with a hooded Ku Klux Klan member. But the action was too little too late to keep his name from appearing on the ballot beside the likes of Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe, and state Senator Bill Eigel. Instead, it will be up to Republican voters in Missouri to decide if they want a “pro-White” candidate leading the “Show-Me” state.

“The Plaintiff did not present to the Court any evidence that having McClanahan on a primary election ballot would cause it any injury,” wrote circuit court Judge Cotton Walker in his ruling Friday. “McClanahan’s presence on the primary election ballot is not necessarily an endorsement of the candidate by the party.”

Still, McClanahan’s blatantly racist views weren’t exactly a secret before he filed to run—nor was it the Missouri GOP’s first time accepting filing fees and candidacy paperwork from him in a local election. The known white supremacist had a failed run for U.S. Senate in 2022, when he placed fifteenth in a group of 21 candidates, pulling more than 1,100 votes.

McClanahan has not rejected his ties to white supremacist groups but has instead tried to downplay them, saying he is just an “honorary” member rather than a formal member of the Knight’s Party Ku Klux Klan. He identifies with the racist religious sect Christian Identity and has attended several events hosted by the Arkansas-based Christian Identity Klan, including a cross burning, which he attempted to brush off by describing the event as “religious Christian Identity Cross lighting ceremony.”

McClanahan also attended the 2017 Charlottesville “Unite the Right” protest—an experience that he wrote positively about for the Knights Party’s newsletter, The Torch, cataloging his descent into far-right, race-based radicalization.

McClanahan’s attorney, Dave Roland, celebrated the outcome, telling the Columbia Missourian that the ruling will keep party leaders from having “almost unlimited discretion to choose who’s going to be allowed on a primary ballot.”

“I’m not sure they ever actually intended to win this case,” Roland told the publication. “I think the case got filed because the Republican Party wanted to make a very big public show that they don’t want to be associated with racism or antisemitism. And the best way that they could do that was filing a case that they knew was almost certain to lose.”

Judge Cannon Hearing on Trump Classified Docs Case Goes off the Rails

Apparently nothing in this classified documents case is normal.

Judge Aileen Cannon headshot (looks like a yearbook photo, blue background)
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Judge Aileen Cannon held an unusual hearing on Wednesday to consider arguments to throw charges against one of Donald Trump’s co-defendants, his former valet Walt Nauta, in the classified documents case. But it didn’t take much for proceedings to quickly devolve into a shouting match.

Nauta’s concerns were overshadowed in the Ft. Pierce, Florida, courtroom by a disagreement between his lawyer, Stanley Woodward, and prosecutor Jay Bratt. Woodward claimed that Bratt pressured Nauta to cooperate with the prosecution by threatening to hold up Woodward’s nomination to a judgeship. Nauta argued that his lack of cooperation with the Justice Department’s probe into Trump’s mishandling of classified documents was the reason he was charged.

“I had been recommended for a judgeship, that’s beyond dispute,” said Woodward. “There was a folder about defense counsel on the table” during Nauta’s meeting with Bratt, he said, adding that Bratt directly referenced the judicial nomination.

“I think the implication was that I was to travel and convince Mr. Nauta to cooperate with the investigation, and if I didn’t [do] that, there would be consequences,” Woodward added.

Prosecutor David Harbach didn’t take kindly to this account and accusation.

“Mr Woodward’s story of what happened at that meeting is a fantasy,” Harbach said, banging the lectern. “It did not happen.”

“This is a lawyer whose allegations amount basically to him being extorted,” Harbach added, waving his arms before Cannon told him to calm down.

Cannon asked the prosecutor why there wasn’t any evidence gathered of the 2022 conversation, saying, “Why do those comments [about Woodward] have to be made?”

“That is not true, and I didn’t say that,” Harbach shouted, saying that there wasn’t a recording of the conversation between Bratt and Woodward, but that special counsel Jack Smith’s team preserved records of the meeting.

In response, Woodward ran back up to the lectern, saying  “I’m here” and offering to testify under oath about his recollection of the meeting.

This hearing was the first in-person proceeding in the Republican presidential nominee’s classified documents case in over a month. On May 7, Cannon announced that the case would be indefinitely delayed to unresolved pretrial motions, fueling ongoing accusations that the judge, a Trump appointee, is deliberately slowing down the case so that it won’t hurt Trump’s election prospects. 

But, new evidence has come to light in recently unsealed documents showing that Trump hoarded classified documents even after the 2022 search at Mar-a-Lago. Moreover, after the federal government subpoenaed security footage from his Mar-a-Lago estate, the former president ordered his staffers to avoid security cameras when moving boxes around. Trump faces 42 felony charges in the case related to illegally retaining national security documents and conspiracy to obstruct justice, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Are Ohio Republicans Seriously Going to Keep Biden Off the Ballot?

Ohio’s Republican secretary of state is warning Joe Biden.

Joe Biden speaks at a lectern
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Joe Biden may not appear on the Ohio ballot in November, according to a letter sent from Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose warning the state’s Democratic Party of the electoral quagmire. LaRose notes Ohio state law requires presidential nominations be confirmed 90 days before the general election—and the DNC, where Biden would be officially nominated, falls two weeks later.

“As it stands today, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee will not be on the Ohio ballot,” LaRose said when releasing his letter to the Ohio Democratic Party on Tuesday. “That is not my choice. It’s due to a conflict in the law created by the party, and the party has so far offered no legally acceptable remedy.”

Frank LaRose tweet screenshot

While Biden’s campaign previously said they were “monitoring the situation” the last time this hiccup was presented to them, LaRose’s warning doesn’t bode well.  It’s up to the GOP-controlled state legislature to decide whether they’ll waive the deadline requirement, and there’s no indication they feel like doing that. Per Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens in comment to the Ohio Capital Journal, “There’s just not the will to do that from the legislature.”

“We’ve seen the dysfunction here in this place,” Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo, a Democrat, told press on Tuesday. “I think at this point, you’re probably going to see either, you know, some sort of inner party effects or perhaps court action.”

At this point in the primaries, Biden has already secured nearly double the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination, yet continues to lag in the polls. Trump won the Buckeye State against Biden in 2020 with 53.3 percent and in 2016 with 51.7 percent of the vote. It’s unclear what, if anything, Biden’s campaign plans to do, but one thing’s clear: The DNC should fire their event scheduler.

House Democrat Banned From Speaking After Surreal Fight Over Trump

Democratic Representative Jim McGovern dared mention Trump’s many legal issues—and then the entire chamber shut down.

Representative Jim McGovern (profile shot)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Democratic Representative Jim McGovern was banned from speaking the rest of the day after a surreal fight where Republicans lost it over his mention of Trump’s many criminal charges and legal issues.

McGovern pointed out that a Republican had called Trump’s hush-money trial “a sham trial” without any reproach from the chair at the time.

Tweet screenshot to full quote

But as McGovern was stating the president’s various charges in full, Republican Representative Erin Houchin interrupted him and moved to have his words stricken from the congressional record for “engaging in personalities.”

Later, McGovern posted on X (formerly Twitter) that he was banned from speaking on the House floor for the rest of the day merely because he stated Trump’s charges, even though other representatives have called the trial a sham on previous occasions.

Tweet screenshot

It’s the latest example of the Republican-controlled House taking action against Democrats for the same words and actions that they allow from their own party. Last week, Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene attacked the appearance of Democratic Representative Jasmine Crockett and refused to apologize, drawing a sharp retort from Crockett that quickly became a meme and a trademark.

If Republicans are going to prohibit mentioning the Republican presidential nominee’s criminal charges, it makes little sense. Trump became a private citizen when Joe Biden was sworn in as president, and they could conceivably extend this excessive privilege to any private citizen they want, arbitrarily. If mentioning his charges is so offensive, they should save their energy, because while Trump’s hush-money trial is nearing its closing stages, his classified documents trial, his election interference trial in Georgia, and his election interference trial in Washington, D.C. are all still ongoing.

One Incriminating Footnote in Bombshell Trump Classified Docs Report

A new report says Donald Trump was still hoarding classified documents months after the Mar-a-Lago raid—and one footnote reveals exactly what was done with them.

Donald Trump yells and spreads his arms out as if in exasperatin. He holds a stack of papers in one hand, and his lawyer Todd Blance stands next to him looking angry.
Justin Lane/Pool/Getty Images

A bombshell buried in a footnote midway through an 87-page opinion, freshly unsealed Tuesday, spells further trouble for Trump in the classified documents case.

The 2023 opinion from U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell reveals that an unnamed witness scanned and saved confidential documents onto a laptop owned by Save America PAC, a political action committee formed by Trump in 2020. The detail sheds new light on the depths to which Trump consciously violated federal law.

The explosive footnote, found on page 37 of the 2023 opinion, states that in 2021:

WITNESS scanned the contents of the box … onto a laptop in her possession owned by the Save America Political Action Committee (“PAC”), a PAC formed by the former president in 2020.

On January 6, 2023—two years later—Trump’s lawyer notified the government of what this unnamed witness had done and provided a thumb drive of the files to the government. This revelation came four months after the FBI had already executed a search warrant on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate to retrieve classified materials Trump had illegally kept.

The opinion by Howell, who presided over the case in 2023, also revealed that the FBI discovered more classified documents in Trump’s bedroom months after the Mar-a-Lago raid that turned up boxes of classified materials stored in his bathroom.

Unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials is a violation of federal law with penalties up to $250,000 or up to five years in prison. That an aide associated with Trump’s PAC copied classified documents is damning for Trump—who so far has avoided trial thanks to Judge Aileen Cannon granting motions to indefinitely delay the case.

Trump is charged with 40 felonies of alleged unlawful retention of classified documents and obstruction of the investigation into his super-illegal hoarder antics.

Religious Zealot Mike Johnson Is Speechless About Trump’s Womanizing

A reporter asked the House speaker what he thought about Trump’s affair with Stormy Daniels. Watch his reaction.

Mike Johnson during a weekly news conference
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images
Mike Johnson during a weekly news conference on Wednesday

Throughout his political career, Mike Johnson has not been shy in expressing his religious beliefs—that everything he does, whether it be attacking LGBTQ rights or rejecting women’s bodily autonomy, is in service of God. But on Wednesday, the Christian nationalist seemingly had no opinion about Donald Trump’s extramarital affair with porn star Stormy Daniels or the alleged payments made to keep the tryst under wraps ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“You’re a deeply religious man,” said CNN’s Manu Raju. “Does that alleged conduct cause you any concern about the former president’s character?”

Johnson was clearly peeved by the question. “Look, I’m not going to comment on that,” he said. “What we’ve said about what’s happening in Manhattan is, I’ve called it a disgrace because it is. It’s clearly law-fare. They’re clearly going after President Trump because of who he is, because he will—soon to be officially the nominee of the Republican party for president of the United States.”

Last week, Johnson made a surprise appearance outside Trump’s trial in New York, slamming the gag order against the former president. Dozens of other Republican politicians have traveled to the Manhattan courthouse to figuratively bend the knee to Trump, including North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Senators Tim Scott, J.D. Vance, and Tommy Tuberville.

James Comer Is About to Become Trump’s New Enemy

Comer—of all people—could force Donald Trump to expose his shady finances.

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Republican Representative James Comer has teamed up with an unlikely ally—Democratic Representative Katie Porter—on a landmark ethics bill. And it’s sure to piss off Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, Comer and Porter introduced a bill that would require candidates for president and vice president to disclose tax filings for the two years before entering the White House, for every year they are in office, and for two years after that. The bill would also require presidential and vice presidential candidates, along with their close family members, to make any payments, big gifts, and loans from foreign entities public. While it doesn’t attach any legal penalties, the bill does extend Congress’s authority to pursue such financial documents.

Comer told The Wall Street Journal that the bill is not a partisan political tool from either Porter or himself.

“She’s not doing it to pick on Trump, and I’m not doing it to pick on Biden,” Comer said.

That seems hard to believe, though. Comer, as chair of the House Committee on Oversight, has led a long and futile effort to impeach President Joe Biden on sham corruption charges. Comer’s so-called evidence against Biden and his son Hunter was later found to have come from an indicted former FBI informant who was working for Russian intelligence officials, but as recently as last month, Comer was still saying impeachment was on the table.

Contrary to what Comer and many other Republicans say, though, Biden has been forthcoming about releasing his tax returns, releasing them for several years before and after being elected president. In contrast, Trump’s tax returns were only released after a long, drawn-out fight with Democrats in Congress.

Porter, a protégé of Senator Elizabeth Warren and a former college professor, has a reputation for strong research and asking tough questions in Congress, unlike Comer, meaning that Trump and his family ought to be worried about their finances and foreign dealings. The former president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has made several controversial deals during and after Trump’s presidency. Trump’s businesses took in millions of dollars from foreign governments while he was president, including profits from the hotel he used to operate in Washington, D.C.

Like it or not, Comer may have just accidentally made himself Trump’s next top enemy.

Dems Take Action Against “Shameless” Samuel Alito Over Jan. 6 Flag

Representative Steve Cohen introduced a resolution to censure the Supreme Court justice.

Alito in the Oval Office
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alito in the Oval Office of the White House in 2019

A Tennessee Democrat is taking formal action against “shameless” Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito after revelations that an upside-down American flag flew at his home in Alexandria, Virginia, in the wake of the January 6 insurrection.

Representative Steve Cohen introduced a resolution Tuesday to censure Alito for “knowingly violating the Federal recusal statute and binding ethics standards and calling the impartiality of the Supreme Court of the United States into question.”

“Beyond poor judgment, Justice Alito’s misuse of the American flag is a knowing and shameless demonstration of his political bias,” Cohen said in a statement. “He literally flew a flag in front of his house showing the world he supported the January 6th insurrectionists. What’s more, he continues to participate in litigation directly related to the 2020 election and the Insurrection, in direct violation of the federal recusal statute and the Supreme Court’s own ethics rules.”

“There must be accountability to protect the integrity and impartiality of the High Court,” Cohen continued. “We must protect the Constitutional rights to fair and impartial proceedings. Justice Alito should be censured for flagrant breaches of the law and court rules, and he must recuse himself from all other 2020 election and January 6th related litigation.”

The New York Times revealed on Friday that the upside-down flag was spotted in Alito’s yard on January 17, 2021. In the weeks and months after Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, many of his supporters flew the flag upside down in protest of what they wrongly believed to be a stolen election. Alito, like a true gentleman, blamed it on his wife, claiming that she had hung it upside down to protest a neighbor’s yard signs.

As TNR’s Matt Ford wrote earlier this week, “The revelation casts doubt on whether Alito can ethically decide cases related to the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Multiple such cases are pending before the court, including one on whether Donald Trump himself is immune from prosecution for his role in the coup attempt.”

Cohen’s statement echoes that of a conservative member in the upper chamber, Senator Lindsey Graham, who said the flag choice was “not good judgment.” But not all GOP lawmakers felt similarly. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell brushed off a question about Alito’s behavior, telling reporters that the country needs to “leave the Supreme Court alone.”

No doubt Alito feels the same. “Alito doesn’t care,” Ford wrote. “He abides by judicial ethics requirements, and the general principle that judges should appear to be impartial and nonpartisan, only to the degree that they suit his own preferences.”