Skip Navigation
Breaking News
Breaking News
from Washington and beyond

House Republicans’ Attempts to Attack Fauci Go Wildly Off Rails

The House GOP struggled to find things to blame on Anthony Fauci.

Anthony Fauci speaks into a microphone
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci visited Capitol Hill on Monday to testify on the origins of Covid-19, but some Republican members on the House Oversight Committee had no intention of asking anything even remotely relevant to scientific inquiry.

The former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was repeatedly grilled by GOP lawmakers who clearly had not done their homework before they tried to pin baseless allegations against him, in an apparent attempt to undermine his credibility as the medical leader of America’s pandemic response.

The hearing opened with committee Chair James Comer refusing to let Fauci actually answer any of his questions. The Kentucky Republican said it was because he had so many questions to get through.

In another embarrassing instance, New York Representative Nicole Malliotakis tried—and failed—to implicate the infectious diseases expert in a popular conspiracy theory, including that he had received royalties from pharmaceutical companies for coronavirus-related medications and vaccines.

“How much have you earned in royalties from pharmaceutical companies since the pandemic began in 2021?” asked Malliotakis.

“Zero,” replied Fauci.

The New York Republican then proceeded to read a headline in front of her, citing that an “NIH scientist had made $710 million from drugmakers.” “You’re saying that you did not receive any of the $710 million?” she pressed.

Fauci knew exactly how much he had made: just $122 for a somewhat unrelated monoclonal antibody that he had patented decades prior. But Malliotakis wasn’t satisfied with that. Instead, she attempted to corner Fauci on any royalties—not necessarily related to Covid—that he had received over the course of the pandemic, and whether any of the $710 million had gone to him.

“I think none,” Fauci said before fending off bubbling interruptions from the Trump ally. “No—I’m on the record, and I want to make sure that this is clear: that I developed a monoclonal antibody about 25 years ago that’s used as a diagnostic that has nothing to do with Covid, and I receive about $120 a year from that patent.”

Later, Arizona Representative Debbie Lesko attempted to frame Fauci for allegedly participating in a series of emails that discussed suppressing the “lab leak theory” for Covid without realizing that the emails don’t actually exist.

“You said about four or five things, Congressman, that were just not true,” Fauci responded after Lesko laid out her theory.

“Well, we have emails to prove it,” Lesko said.

“But you don’t,” he said, before Maryland Representative Kweisi Mfume interjected to correct Lesko that “no, we don’t have it.”

“I get tired of hearing ‘We got it,’ and then when we ask for it, it’s not there. We do not have it,” Mfume said. “That’s just incorrect.”

And another mind-boggling line of questioning by Ohio Representative Jim Jordan prompted the medical expert to ask, “What does that have to do with me?”

Judge Cannon Falls for Trump’s Most Nefarious Lie Yet

Judge Aileen Cannon seems to be bending over backward to cater to every Trump request in his classified documents case. This one is on another level.

Donald Trump smiles weirdly; a crowd is behind him
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Judge Aileen Cannon seems to have handed Donald Trump another big favor in his classified documents trial—seriously entertaining a lie from the former president.

Trump made up a false claim that the FBI plotted to assassinate him during its search of his Mar-a-Lago estate for classified documents because it had weapons, despite the fact that this is generally standard procedure when law enforcement carries out a search warrant. Trump appointee Cannon has decided to grant this made-up conspiracy legitimacy by giving the presumptive Republican presidential nominee two weeks to prove it, further delaying the trial.

Tweet screenshot: Aileen Cannon gives Trump a full two weeks to argue that he should be allow to falsely claim the FBI tried to assassinate him, a conspiracy theory based off an obvious misstatement from his lawyers.

It’s the latest in a series of questionable moves from Cannon in the classified documents case. She has indefinitely delayed the case over “unresolved pretrial motions,” and last week she rejected a gag order request from special counsel Jack Smith because she claimed it was “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy.” Trump has made no secret of how much he appreciates Cannon’s efforts, and there have been calls for her to remove herself from the case. Even one of Trump’s former lawyers, Ty Cobb, thinks that she is incompetent.

Overall, the trial isn’t running smoothly. One hearing that gave a defendant’s lawyer a chance to allege vindictiveness from a prosecutor devolved into a shouting match. Cannon herself seems to be having trouble understanding basic legal proceedings and principles, leading to long explanations that she still doesn’t appear to grasp. Her conduct has disillusioned some of her clerks, two of whom decided to quit as a result of her conduct on the classified documents case as well as an allegedly hostile work environment. All of this fuels accusations that Cannon is deliberately slowing down the case to benefit Trump and his campaign for president.

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.

Infowars Receives More Bad News From Supreme Court

Conspiracy theorist Owen Shroyer lost a far-flung appeal in his January 6 case. Cue the crocodile tears.

Owen Shroyer closeup (he makes a weird face and is probably wearing a black cowboy hat)
Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Expect more crocodile tears from Alex Jones: Right-wing conspiracy theorist and Alex Jones underling Owen Shroyer lost his petition for the Supreme Court to overturn the conviction for his participation in the January 6 Capitol riot on Monday, according to Supreme Court documents reviewed by Politico reporter Kyle Cheney.

Tweet screenshot - Kyle Cheney

Shroyer, who hosts a show on far-right website Infowars, was originally sentenced to a mere 60 days in federal prison for misdemeanor charges of entering restricted grounds and leading the mob in chants outside the U.S. Capitol ahead of the January 6 Capitol riot—charges to which he pleaded guilty. Prior to January 6, Shroyer used the once-sizable Infowars platform to spew violent, inciting rhetoric and election-denialist propaganda to hundreds of thousands of people.

Shroyer’s gambit sought to grift on his misdemeanor, claiming in videos that his Supreme Court appeal was a test of whether the Supreme Court supports “free speech,” which in Shroyer’s case is more commonly known as “trespassing.”

Shroyer filed a writ of certiorari, a type of petition sent to the Supreme Court as a last-ditch effort to appeal a lower court’s ruling. As Shroyer was sentenced by a federal court and not a state court, his appeal request went directly to the highest court in the country. Technically, any guilty verdict of a criminal case can file an appeal—but pleading guilty, as Shroyer did, certainly doesn’t help.

The Supreme Court’s denial of Shroyer’s petition suggests other convicted Capitol rioters who may be inclined to attempt to submit gimmicky appeals to the Supreme Court will find themselves similarly rejected.

Jail-Shy Trump Suddenly Backs Away From Major Catchphrase

The former president insisted he had never even called to imprison Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump gestures as he speaks into a microphone
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Now that he is facing the very real possibility of jail time, Donald Trump suddenly doesn’t seem to remember one of his major catchphrases against his 2016 presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton.

In a Fox & Friends exclusive interview that aired Sunday, Trump claimed he had never suggested the government should “lock her up” in reference to Clinton’s email scandal.

“You famously said, regarding Hillary Clinton, ‘Lock her up.’ You declined to do that as president,” prompted Fox host Will Cain.

“I beat her. It’s easier when you win,” Trump said. “I could have done it, but I felt it would have been a terrible thing. And then this happened to me.”

“Hillary Clinton—I didn’t say, ‘Lock her up,’ but the people would all say, ‘Lock her up, lock her up,’ OK—then we won,” he said. “And I said, pretty openly, I said, ‘Alright, come on, just let’s relax, we’ve gotta make our country great.’”

That is, however, completely false. Throughout his 2016 campaign, Trump used the phrase dozens of times while speaking at rallies around the country, going so far as to encourage his supporters to throw the phrase back at Clinton during her own public appearances and even telling her in person that he’d throw her in jail, during a debate just one month out from the election.

The phrase threatened Clinton with new legal repercussions for using a private email server while conducting business as secretary of state during the Obama administration. Clinton was investigated at the time but was not charged with any criminal wrongdoing. Once in office, Trump conceded that he had little interest in actually prosecuting Clinton—but only until 2020, when he dredged the phrase back up as leverage in his fight for reelection.

The wide-ranging interview also saw Trump suggest that Democrats wanted to lock him up for a $130,000 “accounting thing” (referring to his New York bank fraud trial), as well as reiterating his presidential agenda should he win in November, including proposals for gutting several government agencies and mass deportations of immigrants and asylum-seekers.

But aside from the content of the interview, audiences were caught off guard by a barrage of rough cuts and heavy edits that interrupted and disjointed Trump’s comments. Some viewers pinned the blame on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s mental acuity, claiming that the “deranged rambling mess” could only sound coherent with the assistance of creative video editors.

Lauren Boebert Missing From Debate as Rivals Take Turns Roasting Her

The Colorado representative was missing from a key debate as questions about “Beetlejuice” have been hounding her on the campaign trail.

Lauren Boebert wears a purple dress and glasses and looks off camera. She may be standing on the steps of the Capitol.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Representative Lauren Boebert’s reelection campaign hit some more snags over the weekend when she missed a debate with the other Republican candidates running to represent Colorado’s 4th district on Saturday.

The debate, hosted by the Republican Women of Weld and the Lincoln Club of Colorado, quickly became a chance for Boebert’s rivals to criticize the absent congresswoman.

State Representative Mike Lynch called out Boebert’s poor legislative record, noting that he had passed bills before.

“One, I’ve actually passed legislation,” Lynch said. “This race and this time is important enough that we need people who know how to get stuff done … I would never abandon my district.”

Richard Holtorf, another Colorado state representative, said Boebert wasn’t working in Coloradans’ best interests when she voted against a water project for the state.

“How do you do that if you represent this state? You can’t,” Holtorf said. “She doesn’t know eastern Colorado, and she was the wrong fit for this congressional district.”

Former state Senator Jerry Sonnenberg didn’t mention Boebert by name but seemed to call out her attention-seeking behavior.

“Integrity and character in my neck of the woods is vital,” Sonnenberg said. “If you’re looking for someone that wants to be on TV, I’m not it. If you want somebody that’s a workhorse, and not a show horse, that’s me.”

While Boebert had declined the debate invitation weeks ago, she did take part in a televised Republican primary debate on Friday, which quickly went south for her once the moderator, 9News Denver’s Kyle Clark, brought up her infamous Beetlejuice theater date, where she sang along, recorded the show, and groped her date (who was also groping her). She denied vaping, only for Clark to later uncover footage of her vaping.

“I’m apologizing for you, Kyle Clark, getting footage and releasing that—people seeing this in a very private moment,” Boebert said.

“I certainly have owned up to my night out in Denver, and I’ve gone on that public apology tour, and I’m grateful for the mercy and grace that have been shown, but I’m not going to continue to live life in shame and continue to be beat up by this,” Boebert said later during the debate.

She also faced questions about her legislative record, including bragging about securing funding in legislation she actually opposed.

Boebert is running in Colorado’s 4th district to have a better chance of winning reelection after a very narrow win in 2022, but she keeps running into trouble. She’s polling behind one of her Democratic challengers in what is supposed to be a safe conservative district, and has struggled to win support. She already had one poor debate to kick things off, and while she has Trump’s endorsement, it doesn’t seem to have helped her, even after she showed up at his hush-money trial.

Trump Issues Menacing Warning on What Comes Next if He’s Jailed

Donald Trump is speaking directly to his supporters after being convicted.

Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Felonious Trump openly speculated that there would be a “breaking point” if he is sentenced to jail time or house arrest after being convicted of 34 felonies in his hush-money trial that concluded last week.

Speaking with Fox and Friends on Sunday, Trump speculated, “I don’t know that the public would stand it, you know? I don’t—I’m not sure the public would stand for it.”

Seemingly hoping to nudge calamity into fruition, Trump added, “I think it’d be tough for the public to take. You know, at a certain point, there’s a breaking point.”

The last time Trump lost bigly, he incited a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol in 2021. Since then, however, his base has been sluggish to mobilize with militancy at his command: As news of his conviction broke, a small gaggle of local Trump supporters and Capitol rioters cried outside the courthouse, where during deliberations they spent the day flashing their boobs and picking fights with counterprotesters. They were met by an even larger group of people cheering and dancing at the news. Across the country, Trump supporters and far-right groups erected inverted U.S. flags in the style of Samuel Alito, yet life otherwise carried on as normal.

There are still a lot of unknowns of what will come next: Judge Juan Merchan has previously indicated hesitancy in sending Trump to jail given the constraints of safely housing Trump in a jail or prison with a mandatory Secret Service detail. Trump’s team intends to appeal the conviction, with a deadline to file their appeal coming just a few weeks before his sentencing hearing on July 11.

Panicking Felon Trump Begs His Favorite Justices for Mercy

The former president has faith in at least one court, apparently.

Justin Lane/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump is hoping that he can leverage the Supreme Court to get out of his newfound felony conviction—but legal experts don’t believe that’s in the cards.

The cornered former president took to Truth Social on Sunday, claiming that a SCOTUS intervention might be his only way out of the New York ruling and practically begging his appointees to involve themselves in his criminal convictions.

“The ‘Sentencing’ for not having done anything wrong will be, conveniently for the Fascists, 4 days before the Republican National Convention,” Trump wrote. “A Radical Left Soros backed D.A., who ran on a platform of ‘I will get Trump,’ reporting to an ‘Acting’ Local Judge, appointed by the Democrats, who is HIGHLY CONFLICTED, will make a decision which will determine the future of our Nation? The United States Supreme Court MUST DECIDE!”

Trump has reason to turn to the high court: House Speaker Mike Johnson shockingly indicated Friday that he thought some of the justices were “deeply concerned” about the trial outcome. But the bid is unlikely to pay off.

Trump could potentially push the state case to federal courts if he were reelected as president, but doing so would be incredibly unlikely unless he had already exhausted all other avenues via the appeals process, which could take years, according to legal experts that spoke with The New York Times.

Appealing the case would most likely turn into a referendum on the judge that oversaw it, Judge Juan Merchan, who endured Trump’s mud-slinging throughout the seven-week trial primarily over a gag order, which prevented Trump from attacking witnesses, jurors, and courtroom staff’s family—but did not prevent him from hurling vitriol at Merchan.

Trump repeatedly falsely claimed Merchan was violating his First Amendment right to free speech, but despite the constant heat, Merchan never broke. Appellate lawyers have described Merchan’s behavior throughout the trial as “flawless” and have predicted that won’t play well for Trump’s appeals.

“This is a garden-variety state court conviction,” Mark Zauderer, a New York litigator, told the Times. “I don’t see a plausible path to the Supreme Court.”

Bombshell Report Reveals Team Trump Is Rewarding Key Trial Witnesses

A new report shows witnesses who testify at Donald Trump’s criminal trials are receiving some very nice financial perks.

Sarah Yenesel/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s campaign and the Trump Organization paid off nine witnesses called to testify in criminal cases against Trump, an explosive new report from ProPublica reveals. Witnesses who testified in defense of Trump for his numerous criminal cases received massive raises, new jobs, cushy severance packages, and more, all conveniently coinciding with being called to testify or after providing testimony favorable to Trump—and the excuses from Team Trump couldn’t be weaker.

Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, told ProPublica witness tampering is often difficult to prove because the gimmick is often not done explicitly. But the trend could assist prosecutors in their efforts to call into question the credibility of witnesses testifying in Trump’s defense for his innumerable legal battles.

In response to queries by ProPublica, team Trump claimed the nine witnesses who all saw big raises and flashy new jobs simply took on more work. The campaign also insisted Trump, who notoriously insists on controlling every facet of his organizations, has no say in who gets promoted or how much they’re paid. “The president is not involved in the decision-making process,” a Trump campaign official told ProPublica. “I would argue Trump doesn’t know what we’re paid.”

Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign, questionably asserted in a statement to ProPublica that “the 2024 Trump campaign is the most well-run and professional operation in political history.” Cheung continued, “Any false assertion that we’re engaging in any type of behavior that may be regarded as tampering is absurd and completely fake.” ProPublica also reports the outlet received a cease-and-desist from David Warrington, Trump’s attorney, against publishing its findings, promising that “President Trump will evaluate all legal remedies.” According to ProPublica’s findings, those legal remedies seem to conveniently trend toward doling out big payments to people called to testify on Trump’s behalf.

According to records reviewed by ProPublica, monthly payments from Trump’s campaign to Trump lawyer Boris Epshteyn’s company—which appears to be just a one-man show—more than doubled after Trump was indicted—jumping from $26,000 a month to $53,500 a month. The Trump campaign told ProPublica the increase was due to Epshteyn’s workload increasing, even though Epshteyn has continued taking contracts for other campaigns and landed a job as a managing director at a financial securities firm elsewhere.

Susie Wiles, senior adviser to Trump’s 2024 campaign who allegedly witnessed Trump showing off classified documents, also saw a big bump in pay after being called to a grand jury and before Trump’s indictment in that case. Her pay jumped from $25,000 a month to $30,000 a month and her consulting firm received a hefty $75,000, according to ProPublica. Team Trump claims payments to the consulting firm were simply backpay and her raise was because she “redid her contract.” Her daughter Caroline was hired by the Trump campaign a few months later, receiving a salary of $222,000 and becoming the fourth-highest-paid campaign staffer. Caroline told ProPublica she got the job “because I earned it,” telling ProPublica, “I don’t think it has anything to do with Susie,” referring to her mother. Meanwhile, her mother stated she directly hired her nepobaby daughter and that Trump had no influence in that decision.

Dan Scavino, a political adviser and Trump’s former chief of staff, was given a seat on Truth Social’s board, Trump’s social media company. His appointment landed between him being subpoenaed and giving testimony to Congress about Trump’s role in the January 6 Capitol riot. Scavino also received a $600,000 retention bonus and “a $4 million ‘executive promissory note’ paid in shares” at some point, according to ProPublica. Conveniently, Scavino’s testimony around the Capitol riot produced no “significant new information,” according to ProPublica.

Allen Weisselberg, a retired Trump Organization chief financial officer who was recently convicted of lying for Trump, received a $2 million severance agreement four months after New York Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump for real estate fraud. The agreement included a clause preventing Weisselberg from cooperating with investigators unless forced to do so. According to court records, prosecutors in Trump’s hush-money trial raised the agreement for why they wouldn’t call him to testify, noting, “The agreement seems to preclude us from talking to him or him talking to us at the risk of losing $750,000 of outstanding severance pay.”

Witness payoffs are nothing new for team Trump, which has a history of campaign staff getting convicted for federal witness tampering: Roger Stone, Trump’s 2016 campaign adviser, directed a witness to lie to a Senate committee. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, was convicted for colluding with Russia after previously being convicted for witness tampering. Trump pardoned both, as well as Jared Kushner’s father, in his final days in office.

It Seems Fox News Edited Trump Interview to Help Him Sound Normal

A new Fox interview with Donald Trump has some obvious edit cuts.

Donald Trump sits and yells, his hands cupping his mouth. Behind him reads "TOWN HALL * FOX NEWS."
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

On Sunday, an interview with Donald Trump aired on Fox News, and online commentators saw clear issues on the broadcast that suggest some heavy edits.

On X (formerly Twitter), commentators quickly pointed out sloppy cuts and disjointed parts of the interview.

Tweet screenshot

The Twitter account “Bad Fox Graphics” pointed out heavy edits and the poor audio recording in the interview.

The edits don’t even address the wild things Trump actually said in the interview. He proposed cutting several government agencies, and reiterated his plan for mass deportations if reelected president. He denied ever saying, “Lock her up,” regarding Hillary Clinton in 2016, claiming that “the people would all say, ‘Lock her up, lock her up,’” and he would try to shut it down—a claim immediately corrected by X’s “community notes” as well as fact checkers from different news outlets. He also said that he would be “OK” with going to jail, but he was “not sure the public would stand for it”.

“I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know at a certain point there’s a breaking point,” Trump added, seemingly alluding to violence from his supporters.

So, what was the reason for Fox chopping up arguably the biggest interview they could possibly get? Inexperienced staff resulting in poor production? Faulty equipment? Perhaps Trump said something so horrible that even Fox News can’t explain it away.

Or there’s a simpler reason: Trump can’t answer questions or speak coherently anymore.

Tweet screenshot

Columbia University, Epicenter of Gaza Protests, Launches New Revolt

The school that kicked off nationwide student protests for Palestine is back at it.

Sign reads "We're Back Bitches"
Used with permission from @bluepashminas on Twitter

Roughly 100 Columbia University students and alumni launched a “Revolt for Rafah” encampment on Friday night. Student protesters say their protest is a direct response to the Rafah massacre and a recent Washington Post article exposing a group of wealthy elites who used their power to influence New York City Mayor Eric Adams into using the police to quash student protests at Columbia University in April.

Twitter Screenshot - Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine

Dubbed “Revolt for Rafah: Installation 1,” the encampment was launched on Alumni Reunion Weekend at Columbia University. To date, alumni have stated intent to withhold an estimated $67 million in donations to the university unless it drops disciplinary charges against student activists. On Friday, The Intercept reported Columbia University had quietly changed its disciplinary rules as disciplinary hearings were set to begin.

In April, Columbia University Apartheid Divest, a coalition of several pro-Palestine groups at Columbia University, launched the first Gaza Solidarity Encampment in the nation. After that encampment was swept by the NYPD and more than 100 students were arrested, students at Columbia University launched a second encampment. Students at more than 130 campuses across the United States followed suit, launching their own Gaza Solidarity Encampments, according to data compiled by Harvard’s Crowd Counting Consortium—with more globally.

Student encampments have called on their universities to disclose their financial portfolio and revenue sources and to divest from weapons manufacturers and companies directly tied to Israel. Friday’s “Revolt for Rafah” encampment describes itself as “more rage,” according to an organizer who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“Revolt for Rafah: Installation One will persist throughout Columbia’s alumni programming,” CUAD said in a statement. “Disruptions and demonstrations like these will continue throughout the summer and beyond until Columbia ceases to align with occupation and genocide. We refuse to have our tuition dollars fund the wholesale destruction of Gaza. We will not rest until divestment.”

“We are outraged by Columbia’s complicity in the killing of our people in Gaza, and most recently the massacre in Rafah,” a statement inviting people to join the “pop-up encampment-style installation” provided to The New Republic reads. “We are equally outraged by Columbia’s use of brute force and their capitulation to the Billionaire’s lobby instead of to the ‘safety of the students.’ We will resist, until Columbia divests.”