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Trump Media Stock Tanks Again as Trump Is Buried in Legal Troubles

Donald Trump’s media company is tumbling as he risks a serious cash crunch.

Donald Trump walking with his mouth open

Trump Media stock is once again slumping.

Donald Trump’s social media venture reaudited its finances and filed them with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, confirming that the company had a whopping net loss of $58.2 million in 2023. As a result, Trump Media shares dropped more than 6 percent Monday afternoon.

The company had to change auditors last month after its previous firm, BF Borgers, was charged with “massive fraud” and subsequently barred from ever serving as accountants again. 

“As a result of [BF Borgers’] fraudulent conduct, they not only put investors and markets at risk by causing public companies to incorporate noncompliant audits and reviews into more than 1,500 filings with the Commission, but also undermined trust and confidence in our markets,” Gurbir S. Grewal, the director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said at the time, calling the firm a “sham audit mill.” 

Trump Media executives have reached out to the SEC to see why the company’s stock is performing so poorly, and its CEO, former Representative Devin Nunes, complained in April to Nasdaq’s CEO that the company was the victim of illegal “naked short selling.” In response, he was brutally mocked on Wall Street.

It’s the latest piece of bad news for what was expected to be a cash cow for Trump. The company reported a staggering $327.6 million loss last quarter, and only brought in $770,500 in revenue. The company is trading at just $42 per share, much less than the $72 it was trading at in March after its initial public offering. Trump can’t brag his way out of his media company’s issues, either: The SEC could see it as an illegal attempt to pump up Trump Media stock. And even if he could get away with it, he still can’t sell off any of that stock for six months without board approval, a difficult prospect considering his hefty legal bills.

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Trump Promises “Comeback” for Extreme Anti-Abortion Christian Group

Donald Trump virtually addressed the Danbury Institute—and that reveals everything you need to know about his real views on abortion.

Donald Trump speaks with a mic before him and he gestures with his right hand. There are several U.S flags behind him.
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s impending attacks on abortion rights continue to take shape ahead of November.

Trump on Monday virtually addressed a forum hosted by abortion extremist group Danbury Institute, which describes itself as an “association of churches, Christians, and organizations aligned to affirm and preserve God-given rights to life and liberty,” and which in reality advocates for abortion to be “eradicated entirely” and calls the lifesaving medical procedure “child sacrifice.”

Trump delivered two-minute prerecorded remarks, in which he promised that if he’s reelected, the group would “make a comeback like just about no other group.”

“We have to defend religious liberty, free speech, innocent life, and the heritage and traditions that built America into the greatest nation in the history of the world,” Trump added. “I know that each of you is protecting those values every day—and I hope we’ll be defending them side by side for the next four years.”

Trump was initially slated to appear in person at the conference, shifting last-minute to providing pre-written remarks. As Politico noted, none of Trump’s messaging to the extreme anti-abortion conference actually mentioned abortion, and instead read like something pulled together in the eleventh hour by someone attending fascism school who forgot they had a paper due today. According to a senior Trump campaign official, the message is part of a “welcome message” that was prerecorded for attendees of the Southern Baptist Convention, of which the Danbury Institute is hosting a forum dubbed “Life and Liberty” featuring a slate of evangelical anti-abortion figures.

​​The Danbury Institute describes abortion as “the greatest atrocity facing our generation today” and “child sacrifice on the altar of self.” The christofascist group is also ardently anti-LGBTQ and anti-trans and rails against “critical race theory and Marxist ideologies.” Biden’s campaign leapt on the appearance, describing Trump’s participation in the convention “campaigning with abortion ban extremists.”

Trump has previously suggested he’d be open to banning contraceptives, which he walked back only to then clarify that his real target is mifepristone—the medication used to terminate early miscarriages and pregnancy, which accounts for 60 percent of abortions nationwide. He walked back those remarks, as he frequently does, and defaulted to leaving abortion restrictions up to the states.

Trump’s floating stance on abortion appears to be an effort to appease competing factions: His most intensely supportive base, Christian fundamentalists, want abortion banned at the federal level while other parts of his base either support abortion rights or prefer the decision be left to the states.

Trump’s Hilarious Question for Potential V.P.s Shows Irony Is Dead

“Have you ever committed a crime?”

Donald Trump speaks into a microphone
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s campaign has begun vetting candidates to join his ticket as vice president, and according to Senator J.D. Vance, Trump’s asking them about their criminal record, with no sense of irony at all.  

During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy asked the Ohio Republican whether he had “been asked to submit documents to be vetted.”

“You’re not at that level yet,” Doocy pushed. “Or are you?”

“They’ve asked us for a number of things,” Vance replied. “I think that a number of people have been asked to submit this and that.”

“Like your taxes or something?” Doocy pressed. “Your criminal background?” he added with a short laugh. 

“Yeah, but certainly like, ‘Have you ever committed a crime?’ Or ‘Ever lied about this?’ Certainly you have those conversations, but I think a lot of people have those conversations,” Vance said, vaguely. 

Doocy has become a rare voice of dissent on Fox & Friends, regularly pushing against his fellow hosts’ reactionary perspectives, urging them to provide evidence for some of their more baseless claims about President Joe Biden and his family, according to The Washington Post. Doocy has also proven to be the least likely host to blindly back Trump or defend him from worthy criticism. It’s not clear whether his jab about a criminal background was intentional, but it did appear to make Vance sweat.

It appears that Trump’s campaign plans to hold his vice presidential pick to a higher standard than the candidate himself, who was recently found guilty of 34 felony counts. 

To be fair, it’s not exactly clear how that information will be factored into Trump’s decision. For all we know, the “Law & Order president” might welcome the camaraderie of another politician with a rap sheet.

Of the contenders on Trump’s V.P. shortlist, it appears that the only one with a criminal record is Byron Donalds, who was arrested twice, once for marijuana possession and later for felony theft. In the first case, Donalds was kept out of prison through a pretrial diversion program, and in the second, he pleaded no contest to the felony theft charge and received probation. Donalds’s record was expunged and sealed.*

*This article has been updated the clarify that Donalds’s record was expunged and sealed.

Samuel Alito Caught on Tape Revealing His True Guiding Force

And it’s not neutrality or justice.

Samuel Alito frowns as he sits in front of a microphone
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A secret tape has exposed some of Justice Samuel Alito’s privately held beliefs, including endorsing a fight to “return our country to a place of godliness” with the stark understanding that “one side or the other is going to win.”

Alito’s comments were recorded by advocacy journalist Lauren Windsor during the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner on June 3, an opportunity leveraged by many right-wing activists to cozy up to members of the nation’s highest judiciary.

A copy of the tape, which documented the incredible candor with which Alito forewent any illusion of neutrality, was provided to Rolling Stone.

Leading Alito on, the liberal documentarian is heard approaching the justice about a disbelief that American polarization can come to an end by way of negotiating with the political left. Instead, Windsor posits that it’s more a matter of conservatives “winning.”

“I think you’re probably right,” Alito replies. “On one side or the other—one side or the other is going to win. I don’t know. I mean, there can be a way of working—a way of living together peacefully, but it’s difficult, you know, because there are differences on fundamental things that really can’t be compromised. They really can’t be compromised. So it’s not like you are going to split the difference.”

Alito then agreed with Windsor’s assessment that the country needed to return to a “place of godliness.”

Meanwhile, responses from Chief Justice John Roberts—who was appointed to the bench the same year and by the same president as Alito—to near-identical questions offered a stark contrast between the two conservative judges.

“The idea that the court is in the middle of a lot of tumultuous stuff going on is nothing new,” Roberts told Windsor, in response to her question about intense polarization in the United States.

Roberts pushed back when pressed on whether the court should right the U.S. onto a “moral path,” and pointed to the perspectives of “Jewish and Muslim friends” when presented with the idea that the country is a “Christian nation.” He argued that it wasn’t the Supreme Court’s role to lead the country with any religious bearings.

“It’s not our job to do that. It’s our job to decide the cases the best we can,” Roberts said.

Alito’s comments are particularly telling considering he has come under fire for two flags flown outside two of his houses. One was an upside-down American flag, which is associated with the January 6 insurrection, and the other is a Christian nationalist banner.

Nancy Mace’s Disdain for Trump Supporters Exposed by Former Staffers

Nancy Mace’s former staffers are revealing what it was really like to work with the Republican representative desperate for media attention.

Nancy Mace wearing sunglasses outside speaks with reporters
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A new profile of Representative Nancy Mace in Slate has some surprising revelations about the South Carolina congresswoman, chief among them her actual opinion of the Republican Party’s voters.

The article, sourced from Mace’s former staffers, shows a second-term member of Congress desperate for attention. When Representative Kevin McCarthy was ousted as House speaker in October, Mace was among those who voted against him, much to everyone’s surprise, including her own staff’s.

In the following days, however, Mace sought to stand out even more, showing up to work wearing a shirt with a big red “A” on the front, in a nod to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, The Scarlet Letter. The move baffled her staff, one of whom told Slate they thought “it was just some fashion statement. I was like, OK, well, maybe this is an Abercrombie shirt or something.”

It quickly became apparent that Mace was attempting to place herself at the center of attention.

“She wanted every single person to think—when they thought of the McCarthy ouster vote, not to think of the eight, but to think of Nancy Mace,” the staffer said.

While Mace claimed that her choice of wardrobe was because she had been “demonized for my vote and for my voice” and would “do the right thing every single time, no matter the consequences,” it drew many puzzled reactions. An unhappy Mace told her staff that the people who didn’t understand it were probably “Trump voters” who weren’t smart, a startling thing to say for a Republican.

Congress, and more specifically the Republican caucus, has no shortage of members who seek attention but provide little in the way of legislation, like Representatives Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene. One of Mace’s former staffers told Slate that the congresswoman used to criticize such colleagues, but now “she has turned herself into what she hates.”

Mace’s record is full of such behavior, whether it’s claiming that she was being shamed as a victim of sexual assault because she was asked why she supported Donald Trump to calling campus protesters against the war in Gaza “terrorist-loving kids” who “hate our country so much.” Congressional staffers have called her “abusive” and quit working for her in droves. There is an ethics complaint against her for seeking higher monthly lodging reimbursements than what her expenses actually warranted, charging the government for more than $8,900 over what she was eligible for.

Mace is trying to ward off a primary challenger in her reelection race, as her actions have attracted criticism back in North Carolina, where she is currently polling under 50 percent.

Trump’s New Comments on Taylor Swift Will Gross You Out

A new book reveals what Donald Trump thinks about the megastar.

Taylor Swift touches her hair
Andre Dias Nobre/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump has finally unveiled his urgent political take on the mega-popular singer Taylor Swift, who has been relentlessly attacked by his right-wing cronies: He thinks she’s good-looking. 

In the soon-to-be released book Apprentice in Wonderland: How Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Took America Through the Looking Glass, the presumptive Republican nominee gushed over the very same superstar that far-right MAGA cronies once tried to cut down.

“She’s got a great star quality,” said Trump. “She really does.” The former president then pivoted to discuss the most important quality about any woman, her physical appearance.

“I think she’s beautiful—very beautiful! I find her very beautiful. I think she’s liberal. She probably doesn’t like Trump. I hear she’s very talented. I think she’s very beautiful, actually—unusually beautiful,” he told Ramin Setoodeh, Variety’s co–editor in chief and the author of the book. 

Caught up by his strange string of shallow, sexist compliments, Trump had the gall to suggest Swift might secretly be an undercover Republican. Quite the change from the government psyop Fox News once suggested she was. 

“But she is liberal, or is that just an act?” Trump asked Setoodeh. “She’s legitimately liberal? It’s not an act? It surprises me that a country star can be successful being liberal.”

Swift has not produced a country album since 2012.

The former president was also asked about Swift’s chart-topping music. “Don’t know it well,” Trump replied, which should tell you everything you need to know.  

Trump’s objectifying response gets even creepier when taken in the context of his noted affinity for blonde women, who consistently populate his inner circle. Trump’s attempt at flattery is likely an effort to neutralize the vitriol of his far-right Republican fanboys so as not to alienate the many, many Americans who love Taylor Swift. 

But no matter how “beautiful” Trump may find her, it won’t change that in 2020, Swift backed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and joined in the chorus of those who publicly shamed Trump for spewing violent rhetoric at Black Lives Matter protesters. Swift has yet to issue some election-altering, generation-defining creed about who her fans should support in November. But fans and foes alike know all too well who’d she’d back. 

Trump’s New Nickname for January 6 Insurrectionists Speaks Volumes

Donald Trump used his Las Vegas rally to downplay January 6—and to spread another conspiracy theory.

Donald Trump smiles and waves
James Devaney/GC Images

In a move that increases the temperature of his rhetoric considerably, Donald Trump called rioters under prosecution for participating in the violent January 6 Capitol insurrection on his behalf “warriors.” The comment came during a sweltering hot campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday.

“Those J6 warriors—they were warriors. But they were really, more than anything else, they’re victims of what happened,” Trump said while decrying prosecution of the rioters. “All they were doing was protesting a rigged election,” he added, reaffirming the Big Lie he pushed in the lead-up to the certification of Biden’s presidency in 2021.

Trump also alleged that the whole insurrection was a setup by law enforcement, who directed the rioters to storm the Capitol.

Trump has previously described Capitol rioters facing prosecution and riding out federal jail time as “hostages” and “unbelievable patriots,” seemingly endorsing vandalism and violent assaults on cops from his base of conspiracy theorists and far-right extremists.

His comments Sunday represent an escalation in Trump’s rhetoric in defense of the rioters and comes amid his efforts to stir his base into similar violence following his felony conviction. Last Monday, Trump speculated there would be a “breaking point” for the American public if he faced jail time, with his followers eagerly calling for extreme violence in response to his conviction.

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Dissent Is Growing: Boycott Netanyahu Calls Pick Up in Congress

A growing number of Democrats are pledging to boytcott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking

A growing number of Democrats are vowing to boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress next month, due to Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza.

In March, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer made a speech criticizing Netanyahu’s conduct of the war and calling for new elections in Israel. Only a short time later, though, Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries joined Republican Speaker Mike Johnson’s invitation to Netanyahu to address Congress.

The decision has led to a serious blowback from the rest of the party, even from Democrats who haven’t been vocal critics of Israel’s war, which has killed over 37,000 people, including at least 15,000 children. On Friday, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN that it was “wrong” to invite Netanyahu and that she would “absolutely not” have invited him if she were still leading the chamber.

Other Democrats echoed Pelosi.

“I won’t attend and turn my back towards him,” Representative Hank Johnson said. “So I’m just gonna stay away.”

“I’m not planning on attending, and/or I’ll be participating in whatever events there are to express that we want this war to end and we want both him and Hamas to agree to a cease-fire,” said Representative Greg Casar.

Opposition is even coming from Jewish members of Congress, such as Representative Jan Schakowsky.

“The role that the prime minister is playing is very negative, and I don’t want to be there,” Schakowsky said. 

It’s not the first time Democrats have taken issue with Netanyahu speaking before Congress. In 2015, Netanyahu spoke before Congress in an attempt to sink then-President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, drawing the ire of many Democrats. At least 50 House members and eight senators chose to boycott that speech.

“He imported a little bit of controversy the last time he was here,” Representative Stephen F. Lynch said. “I thought it was disrespectful to the president, so I’m inclined not to attend.”

Increased opposition to Netanyahu’s appearance is also coming from progressives, many of whom have already called for a cease-fire.

“I’ve spoken to several members in the House and the Senate, actually, who had gone to the last speech, the last time he was here, even though they had a lot of misgivings about it, and have been clear that they’re not planning to go this time,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal, head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who won’t be attending.

As the war draws on with more and more Palestinian civilians being killed, House and Senate leadership need to realize that inviting a prime minister accused of war crimes is not the answer, but ending weapons shipments to Israel to force an immediate cease-fire is. 

TNR Takes the Anti-Censorship Fight to the Belly of the Beast

Last Saturday’s event in Ron DeSantis’s Florida with Lauren Groff and Jodi Picoult struck a blow for free expression.

Jodi Picoult reads one of her own novels
Darren McCollester/WireImage for BCH/Getty Images

Panelists at The New Republic’s Right to Read celebration in Miami Saturday evening seemed united in their diagnosis of the state of intellectual freedom in the United States: Censorship of books in schools across the country is exceedingly unpopular but nonetheless represents a grave threat to free expression.

“There are so many more of us,” said New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult. “We just have to be a little bit louder.”

The celebration, held in the cradle of the latest wave of American censorship, lifted up the voices of activists, writers, and educators, whom AFT secretary treasurer Fedrick Ingram called “first responders” and the “vanguard” of the fight against book bans.

“Public school teachers and librarians saved my life,” said 1619 Project author Nikole Hannah-Jones.

If teachers are the vanguard of the movement challenging these prohibitions, writers like Picoult and celebrated Florida-based novelist Lauren Groff, along with panelists Jacqueline Woodson, George M. Johnson, and Ellen Hopkins, represent a powerful rear guard against the sanitization of historical education in schools. As TNR’s Alex Shephard pointed out while interviewing Picoult, book bans are about nothing less than the question of American identity itself.

The author Ashley Hope Perez reminded the audience that the real problem isn’t discussing our country’s ugly past but rather that past itself. “The thing that we should be upset about is not people talking about painful histories and ugly aspects of our past; it should be that we allowed those things to happen, that those were the experiences of generations of young people,” Perez said.

And Picoult, against the conservative canard that interrogating the country’s darkest moments “divides” us, highlighted books’ unifying capability. “Books have always bridged gaps between people,” she insisted. “Book bans are meant to create them.”

The threat of what PEN American Florida director Katie Blankenship called “educational gag orders,” designed to clamp down on books discussing race, gender, and sexuality in classrooms, extends beyond the classroom.

Groff, explaining her decision to open a bookstore selling banned books in Florida, was more emphatic: “In the places where people burn books, they will one day burn people.” Indeed, the bans are of a piece with a broad right-wing agenda that seeks to restrict civil liberties across the board.

Ingram identified book bans as part of a wider war on public schooling and low-income families. Groff connected them to the rollback of reproductive rights in red states since the Dobbs decision. “People in Florida do not have control over our own autonomy in Florida right now,” she said. “This is happening under the cloak of a lot of the book banning stuff.”

Book bans, like abortion bans and the gutting of the social service net, are unpopular, the repressive last gasps of a minority that has given up on persuasion. According to Picoult, 11 people are responsible for more than half of the country’s book bans. (In Martin County, Florida, a single disgruntled parent was behind the banning of 92 books, 20 of which were written by Picoult.)

But a nascent parental rights movement that enjoys the backing of red-state governors threatens the freedoms of millions of Americans unequipped to engage it. Ingram captured it, and the strategy to oppose book bans, succinctly: “It’s about power.”

John Fetterman Brags That Brain Damage Made Him Abandon Progressives

The Pennyslvania senator sat down with Bill Maher of all people to chat about leaving progressives behind.

John Fetterman wearing a hoodie smiles and waves at reporters as he arrives at the Capitol
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

During an appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher, Senator John Fetterman credited his near-fatal stroke with making him a conservative darling, describing it as “freeing.”

“There’s a line from the first Batman, Joker, he’s like, ‘I’ve already been dead once already. It’s very liberating,’” Fetterman told Maher on Friday. “That’s not reckless, that’s just freeing. It’s just freeing in a way. And I just think after beating all of that, I just really want to be able to say the things that I have to really believe in and not be afraid of if there’s any kind of blowback.”

Following the October 7 Hamas attack, Fetterman broke from the progressives who got him elected to saber-rattle for Israel’s brutal attacks on Gaza. His stance has largely been antagonistic, trolling protesters rallying for a cease-fire by waving an Israel flag over them, laughing at military veterans getting arrested protesting for a cease-fire, and castigating the United States for abstaining from a cease-fire resolution instead of voting against it. He has described student encampment protests as “pup tents for Hamas” and spread debunked propaganda denigrating pro-Palestine demonstrations in Philadelphia.

Since adopting an aggressively pro-Israel stance, Fetterman has also backed harsher border policies—a curious stance given that he used to point to his wife’s undocumented status as a child to tout his progressive bona fides.

Fetterman frames his seismic shift as stances he’s always had, which his brain damage simply allowed him the freedom to embrace—despite constantly describing himself as a progressive through the years, seeking endorsement from the Democratic Socialists of America, and himself endorsing progressive candidates for office.

While progressives who campaigned hard for Fetterman feel betrayed by his shift, conservatives have celebrated Fetterman’s self-described brain damage–induced embrace of right-wing positions—itself a clear signal he’s garnering the wrong audience.

“It’s heartwarming to see regular people using their brain,” said one account on X (formerly Twitter) in response to a white nationalist disinformation account boosting Fetterman’s interview with Maher.

“If only there was some way we could repeat this experiment with other elected officials,” replied another user in response to a Fox News post about how Fetterman’s brain damage “freed” him.