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Nancy Pelosi Trashes Democratic Leadership for Netanyahu Invite

She said she thought it was “very sad” the Israeli prime minister had been asked to address Congress.

Nancy Pelosi speaks into a microphone
Graeme Sloan/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Not even California Representative Nancy Pelosi believes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should address Congress.

Speaking to CNN on Friday, the former House speaker said that it was “wrong” to invite Netanyahu, and that she would “absolutely not” have invited him if she were still leading the chamber.

“Frankly, I didn’t approve of his being invited the last time, but the Speaker just on his own invited him without consulting the rest of the leadership,” Pelosi said, recalling when former House Speaker John Boehner called on Netanyahu to address Congress in 2015. “And he came, and he criticized President Obama for the masterful work that he had done with the nuclear agreement regarding Iran to stop them from developing a nuclear weapon.

“And I thought it was completely inappropriate,” she continued. “I feel very sad that he has been invited. But who knows, by then will he still be prime minister?”

“Everything I read is they’re unhappy about this, they’re unhappy about that,” Pelosi said, referring to Benny Gantz, the Israeli minister without portfolio who has given Netanyahu an ultimatum: Adopt Gantz’s party’s objectives by Saturday or witness the National Unity Party’s exit from government. “I wish that he would be a statesman and do what is right for Israel.”

Pelosi then quickly rotated through her usual positions on the conflict: advocating for a two-state solution, decrying Hamas as a “terrorist organization” that is “dedicated to the destruction of Israel,” and lamenting that the hostages are not free and that the “people of Gaza are suffering.”

“We need to help them and not have him stand in the way of that for such a long time,” Pelosi said. “I think it’s going to invite more of what we have seen in terms of discontent among our own people about what’s happening there.”

Pelosi’s comments are a surprising shift for the California Democrat, who has been unyielding in her support for Israel. In January, she came under fire for accusing pro-Palestine protesters of having ties to Russia and the Kremlin.

Clarence Thomas Finally Reports Gifts From GOP Billionaire Harlan Crow

The Supreme Court justice amended some of his old financial disclosure forms.

Clarence Thomas looks to the side
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas amended his previous financial disclosures Friday, retroactively acknowledging that the lavish trips he had taken in 2019 were financed by the Republican megadonor, billionaire real estate developer, and Nazi memorabilia collector Harlan Crow.

The expenses were first revealed last year in a series of investigations by ProPublica that found the conservative justice had been pocketing favors from Crow in a number of ways, including private school tuition for his nephew; the renovation of the home where his mother still lives; and undisclosed trips on the billionaire’s yacht, private jet, and at his private resort.

The annual financial disclosures are one of the few insights into the private lives of the nation’s highest judiciary. In his 2023 report, Thomas included an unusual addendum, defending his decision to accept luxurious gifts from Crow while admitting that he had “inadvertently omitted” details about the favors on his previous disclosures, blaming the leaked Roe v. Wade decision for his reasoning to avoid commercial air travel.

“Because of the increased security risk following the Dobbs opinion leak, the May flights were by private plane for official travel as filer’s security detail recommended noncommercial travel whenever possible,” Thomas wrote at the time.

The court, which had long avoided the kinds of formal ethics regulations imposed on lower courts due to its special constitutional status, implemented its first ethics code in November—in part to respond to public scrutiny over the undocumented gifts embraced by Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito, who failed to report a luxury fishing vacation to Alaska with hedge fund billionaire ​​Paul Singer in 2008.

Here’s How Much Nancy Mace May Have Fleeced From Taxpayers

The South Carolina representative may have overcharged a reimbursement system by thousands of dollars.

Nancy Mace looks to the side
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A new analysis of Representative Nancy Mace’s finances reveals that the South Carolina Republican overcharged Congress thousands of dollars to cover housing expenses on her $1.6 million Washington, D.C., townhouse.

Mace was accused of “secretly fleecing taxpayers” in an ethics complaint filed earlier this week, alleging she sought higher monthly lodging reimbursements than what was actually warranted per her expenses.

A closer analysis of bills from her home—including Washington Gas, Pepco water, Xfinity internet, insurance, and taxes—indicates that Mace charged the government for more than $8,900 over what she was eligible for, reported Punchbowl News.

In a statement to Punchbowl News, Mace’s communications director Gabrielle Lipsky said that the representative’s office follows “all the rules for reimbursements” and “returned over $300,000 in taxpayer dollars from our office budget last year.”

Mace’s former staffers gladly dished the dirt on her, though, disclosing to The Washington Post last week that Mace repeatedly directed her team to file for reimbursements to the tune of $2,000 a month, despite being informed by people involved in her office finances that she could not justify claiming more than $1,726 a month. During some months of the year, she filed to be reimbursed upward of $3,000—nearly double what her team had calculated.

“Representative Mace has violated House Ethics Rules by repeatedly seeking reimbursement for lodging in excess of the actual monthly expense of maintaining her co-owned townhouse in  Washington, D.C., resulting in a misuse of taxpayer funds for purposes unrelated to her official duties,” read a copy of the ethics complaint.

Mace’s requests violated two key rules of a congressional reimbursement program, according to the complaint: Lawmakers cannot be repaid for interest or principal on their mortgage payments, and they cannot ask to be repaid for more than their actual expenses.

Trump in Even More Legal Trouble—This Time, in the U.K.

Donald Trump is facing enforcement after a legal breach in the Steele dossier trial.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Donald Trump is in trouble in the United Kingdom for not paying the legal costs of the company owned by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, after losing a lawsuit over Steele’s infamous Russia dossier.

According to a report from Sky News, Trump is in breach of a British High Court ruling in March that ordered him to pay 300,000 pounds (approximately $385,000), after he lost his lawsuit against against Orbis Business Intelligence, which in 2016 put together a dossier alleging that Trump and his close associates were compromised by Russian intelligence. The dossier included salacious details claiming that Trump had participated in sex parties in St. Petersburg, Russia, with the country’s intelligence allegedly possessing video of the now-convicted felon receiving “golden showers” from Russian sex workers. 

Trump denied all of the claims made in the dossier, which was compiled by Steele, and claimed in his lawsuit that he “suffered personal and reputational damage and distress,” particularly from the sex-related claims. In the end, he lost the trial and was ordered to reimburse Orbis for its legal fees.

On Friday morning, Steele pointed out that Trump hasn’t complied with the court order for two months, opening him up to legal enforcement if he travels to the U.K.

Twitter Screenshot: Christopher Steele

Trump has racked up several fines as a result of his legal issues since losing the 2020 presidential election. He had to pay a $175 million bond for his civil fraud case, reduced from $454 million after an appeal, while he tries to appeal the ruling. He owes writer E. Jean Carroll $88.3 million for sexually abusing and defaming her, and racked up $10,000 in fines after repeatedly violating a gag order in his hush-money trial.

As a result of his felony conviction in his hush-money trial, in which he still awaits sentencing, Trump is technically barred from traveling to 38 countries that don’t allow felons to cross their borders, including the U.K. Perhaps the British government can make an exception in its travel ban, if only to collect on his debt. Of course, Trump has a long history of not paying what he owes.

Team Trump Brags About Letting Supporters Pass Out From Heat Stroke

Donald Trump does not care about his cult of supporters, as evidenced by what happened at his Arizona rally.

Several people stand in the sun wearing red shirts and red Trump caps. Two people raise their hands in the air.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
People pray during a campaign rally attended by Donald Trump in Mesa, Arizona, October 9, 2022.

Team Trump boasted about people “braving” extreme heat in Arizona while waiting to watch Trump ramble incoherently at a campaign rally for over an hour on Thursday, making no mention that at least 11 people collapsed and were hospitalized for heat exhaustion.

“That’s an enthusiasm that Joe Biden will never see,” Trump’s newsletter proclaimed of the crowds stuck roasting on unshaded concrete. “That’s the enthusiasm Americans have to Make America Great Again!”

The intense loyalty to Trump from his supporters—largely elderly and more prone to heat stroke—is a disturbing example of how far his extremist base is willing to suffer just for a glimpse of their dear leader. Their queasy dedication speaks to the religious fervor cultivated by Trump who touts himself as a messiah who has come to save the masses from the satanic swamp, a Jesus preaching gobbledygook from the mountaintop of Dream City megachurch in Phoenix. On Friday, Trump boasted about a song that refers to him as “the chosen one”—words he has explicitly said in the past.

That Team Trump apparently took no measures to meet its base’s most basic human needs amid an anticipated high of 108 degrees on Thursday—neither handing out water nor setting up cooling tents in anticipation of the heat—and instead touted their suffering as “enthusiasm” speaks to the level of appreciation Trump has for those who support him, which is to say obviously none.

Byron Donalds Cannot Stop Praising the Jim Crow Era

Even Fox News has grown incredulous about his obsession.

Byron Donalds looks down
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Byron Donalds just can’t escape his insane comment suggesting that Black Americans were better off during the Jim Crow era, a time period defined by laws institutionalizing racial segregation in the United States. It’s gotten so bad, he’s even getting grief about it from Fox News.

“During Jim Crow, the Black family was together,” Donalds said during an event earlier this week. “During Jim Crow, more Black people were not just conservative, because Black people have always been conservative-minded, but more Black people voted conservatively.” Ever since, he has continued to double down on this demented sentiment, despite drawing an insane amount of backlash.

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer incredulously asked Donalds during an interview Friday about his belief that Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program in the 1960s, which expanded Social Security benefits and Medicare and raised the minimum wage, among other things, had “led African Americans down a worse road.”

“Let’s be clear, it’s not about belief—it’s the empirical fact,” Donalds said. “The marriage rate in Black America declined rapidly after the passage of a lot of the Great Society policies.”

MSNBC anchor Joy Reid also slammed Donalds for his ridiculous comment during an interview the night before and pushed him to get real about his assertion that the Jim Crow era had somehow been better for Black people. “Is there a specific period between 1867 and 1968 that you thought was this golden era for Black families or a time that was good for Black families?” Reid asked.

Donalds was incensed by the question and accused Reid of “gaslighting” him, because he’d never said it was the “golden age,” only better for marriage rates. In context, Donalds clearly hadn’t said it was just better for marriage rates—he’d said it was better for the conservative party.

Reid continued to lambaste Donalds’s longing for that era of American policies. “During Jim Crow, could your family have existed? You are in an interracial marriage, your wife is a white conservative activist,” she said. “Could your family have existed at all during Jim Crow?”

“No it could not, Joy, we all know that. But that’s why I am blessed to live in America today, as opposed to America during that time,” he said, insisting that it was important for Black men to be present fathers—somehow completely missing that his response indicates that Jim Crow wasn’t so great for Black people after all, a point Reid seized upon.

“What I am grateful for is that we do not live in the Jim Crow era and that fathers do not face the threat of lynching,” Reid replied. “And perhaps don’t bring up Jim Crow when you’re trying to make that example.”

Member of Party Whose Leader Admires Hitler Says Democrats Are Nazis

Derrick Van Orden said Democrats are conducting a takeover comparable to Nazi Germany.

Derrick Van Orden holds up his hand as he speaks
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Donald Trump signaled, and conservative lawmakers listened.

Speaking to The Meg Ellefson Show last week, Wisconsin Representative Derrick Van Orden accused Democrats, the justice system, and U.S. media of being in cahoots to prevent Trump from winning the presidency. He also insisted that anyone who respects the decision made by 12 jurors who convicted Trump are actually “fascists,” on a power trip akin to Adolf Hitler’s takeover of Germany, and claimed President Joe Biden’s “job” is to go back in time and change history “if it doesn’t reflect the current outlook that the regime wants.”

Referring to William Shirer’s book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Orden claimed that the similarities between the Democratic Party and the Nazi Party “cannot be denied at this point.”

“The Democrats are going to start shouting, saying this guy, ‘He’s a convicted felon. He’s a convicted felon,’” said Van Orden. “Every single person that was sentenced to decades in the gulag and died there, committed suicide there because it was so dreary, every single one of them was convicted by a court in the Soviet Union. All of them. And what the Biden administration and the leftists have done is they have essentially destroyed the confidence in the American judicial system for over half the country.”

And for Van Orden, any level of unity in accepting the conviction is akin to conspiracy.

“If you can’t look at the left-wing media … and see that they’re marching lockstep together and pushing a consistent message over all different forms of media, then you’re blind,” he added.

These new accusations against liberals belie the reality that some members of the far right have actually—albeit, some insisting playfully—proclaimed themselves as fascists. Trump himself has spoken at length on what he loved about Hitler, and the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s political maneuverings are near identical to those of the most prominent fascist leaders of the twentieth century.

Van Orden’s heightened language also comes just a few short days after Trump increased his own use of fascist descriptors for the liberal party.

Republicans Finally Plan 2024 Platform—With Most Troubling Architect

The RNC has tapped a “Stop the Steal” activist to help write its priorities for 2024.

Donald Trump, Lara Trump, and Eric Trump stand on a stage wiith several U.S. flags behind them. You can see phones and hands raised in the crowd below them.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Republican National Committee has decided to draft a 2024 party platform, and it’s hired a leader of the “Stop the Steal” election-denier movement to help.

On May 15, Ed Martin, a former chair of the Missouri Republican Party, was hired to serve as the ​​deputy policy director of the platform committee, reported NBC News. Martin is well known for supporting Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, even giving a speech in Washington, D.C., the day before the January 6 Capitol riots in 2021 to rally Trump’s supporters.

“No matter what happens tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after, we still need to be in the fight. There’s no summer soldiers and springtime patriots here. There’s the die-hard true Americans,” Martin said in that speech. “We start today, go through tomorrow and every day till we have a last breath and go home to the Lord because we will stop the steal.”

On January 6 itself, he was present on the Capitol grounds, posting on social media the entire time and claiming that the crowd was “rowdy” but otherwise fine, even after rioters had already breached the Capitol building.

“I’m at the Capitol right now,” Martin posted on Twitter. “Rowdy crowd but nothing out of hand. Ignore the #FakeNews.”

“Like Mardi Gras in DC today: love, faith and joy,” Martin tweeted minutes later.

Martin would later be subpoenaed by the House January 6 committee, which said it had evidence that he helped plan the rally preceding the riots and paid some of the costs for the rally’s vendors. Martin didn’t show up to a deposition with the committee, though. He later spread conspiracy theories about the riots, claiming that government operatives were responsible, and attended events with other election deniers such as Michael Flynn and Ali Alexander. 

The GOP is drafting a party platform for the first time in eight years, after deciding in 2020 that it would recycle 2016’s platform and “continue to enthusiastically support the president’s America-first agenda,” referring to Trump. Martin’s appointment suggests that 2024’s platform will include challenging the integrity of any election that Republicans lose. And he’s not the first election denier the RNC has hired since Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump took over as the committee’s co-chair. Lawyer Christina Bobb, who faces charges in Arizona for helping to overturn the state’s election results, was tapped to head the committee’s “election integrity” division.

Abusive Felon Trump Complains Melania Has to Read Mean Stuff About Him

Donald Trump says it’s “not fair” Melania has to read about all his crimes.

Donald Trump and Melania Trump stand next to each other
Alon Skuy/Getty Images

Donald Trump thinks that everyone needs to lay off covering the bad things he’s done, for his family’s sake.

In a one-on-one interview on Dr. Phil Primetime Thursday, Trump fretted over the consequences of his actions from a gold-plated hall at his Mar-a-Lago resort.

“It has to affect my family, and I think that’s really unfair,” Trump said. “Because I have a very good family, I have good kids, I have a wonderful wife. I mean, it’s not easy for her to read this kind of stuff that’s fake. That’s fake stuff. And—but that’s the way it is. It certainly is not a good thing.”

That “fake stuff” to which Trump refers is the ongoing barrage of lawsuits he finds himself engaged in, as a result of his own alleged duplicitous actions. It’s impossible to imagine which of these legal battles, which Trump has deemed a “witch hunt,” would affect his wife Melania the most.

Most recently, Trump was found guilty by a New York jury of 34 felony counts for efforts to cover up hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels so she wouldn’t spill about an affair the two had. But Trump has a lengthy laundry list of bad acts that anyone with an internet connection could read about, including his family.

Before that, he was convicted of civil fraud, for which he owes hundreds of millions, and found guilty of sexual abuse and defamation, for which he owes tens of millions. He is also facing racketeering charges for an alleged scheme to overturn Georgia’s election results, and another suit for lifting classified documents from the White House.

This would embarrass any normal husband or father, but Trump has been shameless about his many alleged (and proven) crimes. To him, the attention functions more like a badge of honor in his campaign to be the most persecuted man in America.

In all this time, it would never occur to Trump that to stop having his family read about the bad things he’s done, he should simply stop doing them.

Try to Make Any Sense of What Trump Is Saying Here

Donald Trump’s glitches are getting out of control.

Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s glitches are getting worse: During an appearance at a Turning Point USA rally in Arizona on Thursday, Trump incoherently declared, “When I’m president, I will use title 42 to end the tri—” before glitching to “and we have to do this.”

It’s not clear what exactly he was trying to say, but Trump’s mental rainbow wheels of death have become more prominent in recent months. He froze for more than 30 seconds during an NRA convention in May, and has been caught slurring his words at numerous campaign stops. Clips of Trump’s glitches, the verbal equivalent of watching a train crash unfurl in slow motion, have circulated widely among critics questioning his cognitive fitness as he touts a new cognitive test that does not exist as evidence of his mental prowess—and who can forget the infamous “Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV” fake cognitive test Trump took during his presidency.

When he’s not glitching, he’s word association-style rambling himself into the sunset. During his lackluster Bronx campaign rally in May, Trump fantasized about someone in awe of his ability to put on his pants after veering off-script. At his meandering post-conviction press conference, Trump claimed witnesses were “literally crucified” and described Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as looking “so nice and so soft.” It’s unclear what verbal faux pas Trump will stumble over next, but you can rest assured The New Republic will cover it, and it will be glabghrasrsnbed-ahhh.