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Trump’s Milwaukee Complaint Proves Irony Is Dead

Representative Gwen Moore compared Milwaukee’s crime rate to Donald Trump’s hush-money conviction.

Donald Trump speaks into a microphone
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Wisconsin Democrats have not been as forgiving as their conservative counterparts to Donald Trump’s closed-door insult against their home state, instead opting to torch the former president for calling Milwaukee a “horrible city” with a terrible crime rate.

Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday, Representative Gwen Moore turned the script back on Trump, joking that—because he’s a convicted felon—Milwaukee’s crime rate will actually go through the roof when he arrives for the Republican National Convention in July.

“I don’t know many people in Milwaukee who have 34 felony counts against them,” Moore said, adding through a laugh that “our crime rate sure is going to go up when he joins us.”

Trump’s wild explanation that he was referring to the city’s crime rate—and its recent decision to indict participants in his 2020 fake elector scheme—arrived hours after the open-ended insult, and after his Republican allies had had their chance at individually trying to explain away the comment. Some rushed to provide justifications that included whining about the city’s delay in answering the former president’s request to expand the security perimeter around the Republican National Convention in an effort to keep protesters even further out of vision. But others bizarrely jumped to claim that Trump never made the comments at all.

And speaking to Fox News’s Aishah Hasnie about whether or not his pick for vice president was in the meeting of House Republicans early Thursday, Trump doubled down that he wasn’t looking forward to trekking to Milwaukee for the convention.

“I don’t want to go, but I think [it] will probably get announced during the convention,” Trump told Hasnie.

Ultimately, Trump’s claim that the city’s crime numbers are “terrible” was actually just plain wrong. In reality, crime in Milwaukee is way down, with homicides in the city decreasing by 42 percent when compared to 2022, according to data from the Milwaukee Police Department. Crimes such as rape, aggravated assault, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson have also dropped off drastically in the Brew City.

“A few weeks ago I had a meeting with our police chief, and you know crime has gone down all over America, and we are really proud of the fact that crimes like murder and rape have gone down in double digits and one of the biggest problems we have in Milwaukee right now, it is reckless driving,” Moore told MSNBC.

Wisconsin is shaping up to be a key swing state in the 2024 presidential election. Only time will tell if they remember the flub come November.

Chicken Trump Already Trying to Excuse Losing the Debate

Donald Trump has come up with another bizarre justification for his own behavior.

Donald Trump watches Joe Biden talk as they both stand at podiums
Morry Gash/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump is already doing damage control for his upcoming debate with President Joe Biden.

The former president laid out a few different excuses, attempting to explain away why Biden might perform well on the stage in two weeks, during an interview Thursday night on the far-right news network Real America’s Voice.

“I don’t know, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I can say this. If he does make it through, which I think he will, they’re gonna feed him a lot of stuff,” said Trump. “And we should do a drug test, I’d love to do a drug test before.”

Trump, who rarely casts an accusation that is not also a projection, previously suggested that Biden was “higher than a kite,” during his State of the Union address.

The presumptive Republican nominee also joked Thursday that he might decide to throw the event, but his reasoning made little to no sense. Trump explained that his polling suggests that Biden is more popular than any of the Democrats that the party might tap to replace him, should they somehow choose to pull the plug on his campaign after the debate.

“This guy does better than the Democrats that you’re talking about, including [Gretchen] Whitmer,” Trump said, referring to the governor of Michigan. “He does better than them, I don’t quite understand that. I’m a little surprised. But, he actually polls better than all the people you’re talking about, and so, they don’t want to take him off, it depends.”

“Maybe I’m better off losing the debate, I’ll make sure he stays. I’ll lose the debate on purpose, maybe I’ll do something like that,” Trump added.

It’s less likely that Trump wants to keep his opponent, who is by his own admission popular among Democrats, in the race, and more likely that Trump wants to create a sort of safety rail in case he flubs his performance. Trump’s game plan is simple: if he does poorly, it was on purpose, and if Biden does great, it’s because he was on drugs.

CNN will host the first Biden-Trump debate on June 27.

How else Trump is preparing for the debate:

New York Governor Pitches Dangerous Idea to Crack Down on Protests

Kathy Hochul wants to revive an old tactic to repress the pro-Palestine protests in New York.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaking
Howard Schnapp/Newsday RM/Getty Images

New York Governor Kathy Hochul is bringing back a dangerous idea to crack down on pro-Palestine protests: a mask ban to rat out protesters.

Speaking with CNN’s Laura Coates in a softball interview Wednesday night, Hochul disseminated debunked disinformation about two recent pro-Palestine protests and floated a return to the state’s mask ban ordinance. The ban was previously enforced to quash the Ku Klux Klan and repealed in 2020 to accommodate protections against the Covid-19 pandemic. Hochul claimed the presence of masks—not antisemitic rhetoric or actions themselves, just people wearing masks—was “frightening.”

“There was a ban on masks before the pandemic, that you couldn’t have face coverings that didn’t serve a purpose. For example, a surgical mask for someone who is elderly or ill—the pandemic removed that from our state law. It was repealed at the time, but I absolutely will go back and take a look at this and see whether it can be restored because it is frightening to people,” said Hochul.

More frightening, many noted, is becoming sick with a highly contagious disease just so your local lawmakers can score political points. Hochul’s comment was met with immediate fury by disability rights advocates.

Tweet screenshot Zach Lennon-Simon: I currently have Covid and can't word how frustrating it is for Hochul to claim that she's protecting Jews like me from antisemitism by banning the face masks which protect us from Covid
Tweet screenshot Dr. Lucky Tran: Earlier this week, @GovKathyHochul issued a message to New Yorkers, telling them to be "Air Quality Aware." Yet also in the last week, the Governor halted congestion pricing, and stated she is looking into banning masks. This is absolutely hypocritical.

“Does that mean it will have a STRONG MEDICAL EXEMPTION? Or would it be a half-assed partial health exemption like NC republicans did? VERY UNCLEAR,” epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding wrote on X (formerly Twitter). Other proponents for masking as a public health tool also spoke out, with calls to flood Hochul’s contact lines to advocate against the prospective policy circulating widely as of Thursday afternoon.

Tweet Screenshot COVID Advocacy NY: NY ACTION ALERT: @GovKathyHochul said on CNN that she is considering banning masks in NY. We need to all speak out against this! Please contact Gov Hochul! Call: 518-474-8390 (press 1 to leave a message, press 2 to speak to a person) Write:
Tweet screenshot Julie S. Lam: TAs an immunocompromised @MTA rider & frequent flyer in NY, I #MaskUp for my health and to protect others from COVID, flu and other airborne diseases. I lost 2 friends to COVID. @GovKathyHochul please make sure that you won’t hurt New York by banning a lifesaving mitigation tool!
Tweet screenshot Mike Hoerger, PhD MSCR MBA: As a clinician scientist licensed in New York, we need more health professionals advocating for the right of individuals to #mask to protect their safety from airborne infectious disease. No better place to mask than when using the @MTA !
Tweet screenshot Nicole Lee Schroeder, PhD: This is Ugly Laws, eugenics-centric bullshit. Disabled people have the right to exist safely in public spaces. I don't know how we're supposed to survive. 1/3

Hochul’s interest in reinstating the state’s mask ban has followed other states working to repress pro-Palestine protests—where people frequently obscure their faces to protect against chronic harassment, not to embolden criminality.

More on Palestine and U.S. politics:

Clarence Thomas Fails to Disclose More Gifts From Right-Wing Buddy

The Supreme Court justice conveniently forgot to report even more private jet travel with Harlan Crow.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his robe
Alex Wong/Getty Images

It turns out Clarence Thomas has failed to disclose even more free trips from conservative billionaire Harlan Crow, a Senate Judiciary Committee investigation uncovered.

At least three times, Crow provided trips on his private jet to the Supreme Court justice to destinations including a March 2019 trip to Thomas’s Georgia hometown, a May 2017 trip to Montana near Glacier National Park with a return flight to Dallas two days later, and a June 2021 roundtrip flight between San Jose, California, and Washington, D.C. The revelations were provided to the committee from Crow’s lawyer.

The purpose of the trips was not mentioned in the report, and Thomas has not reported them in his financial disclosures, even though some legal experts say it violates the law.

It may be the first of more revelations to come, according to Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin, who said that a full investigative report from Democrats on the committee would be released later in the summer.

“As a result of our investigation and subpoena authorization, we are providing the American public greater clarity on the extent of ethical lapses by Supreme Court justices,” Durbin said in a statement. The revelations make it “crystal clear that the highest court needs an enforceable code of conduct,” he added.

Last year, a ProPublica investigation found that Thomas received free luxury vacations from Crow nearly every year, which the Supreme Court justice failed to report until just last week. The publication also reported that Crow funded the renovation of the home where Thomas’s mother lives, as well as the private school tuition of Mark Martin, the grandson of Thomas’s sister Emma Mae Martin. Thomas and his wife, Ginni Thomas, were Martin’s legal guardians from age 6 to 19 but have since cut ties with Martin, whom Thomas once said he was raising as a “son,” Martin revealed in a recent interview. 

Watch: Adam Schiff Reminds Republicans Just How Guilty Trump Is

The Democratic representative had an especially poignant summary of Donald Trump’s felony convictions.

Representative Adam Schiff speaking during a congressional hearing. His nameplate is before him.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On Thursday on the House floor, Representative Adam Schiff sought to drive home the point of Donald Trump’s 34 felony convictions in his hush-money trial.

“Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty,” Schiff said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into Trump’s hush-money scheme prior to the 2016 presidential election. “This was what the jury pronounced, unanimously on every count.”

The California representative and Senate candidate pointed out that Republicans haven’t contested Trump’s guilt, but are basically demonstrating that they have discarded any moral convictions.

“What they’re really saying is they are more than comfortable nominating and electing as the president of the United States someone making hush-money payments to a porn star,” Schiff added, referring to adult film actress Stormy Daniels

Republicans have engaged in all kinds of conspiracy theories since Trump was found guilty, ranging from attacking Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, as was the purpose of Thursday’s hearing, to attacking the political activities of Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter as proof of a partisan motive in Trump’s prosecution. During the trial, Trump himself made the accusation on his Truth Social account, only to be slapped with a gag order.

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced in the trial on July 11, and reportedly begged Speaker Mike Johnson to try to overturn the guilty verdict, in an expletive-laden tirade in the days following his conviction. While Bragg and prosecutor Matthew Colangelo have agreed to testify before the committee, that may be all that House Republicans can do to intervene in a state criminal case. Of course, Trump may be trying to enlist their help in advance of his plan to win in November and give himself a permanent get out of jail free card.

Trump Weighs in on Milwaukee Flub and Somehow Makes It Even Worse

Donald Trump doubled down on his comment as his fellow Republicans spiraled over it.

Donald Trump speaks into a microphone
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Republicans were quick to spin Donald Trump’s decision to call Milwaukee a “horrible city” after his private meeting with House GOP lawmakers Thursday, offering a confused array of cover-up possibilities. And Trump’s own explanation seemed to make the least sense out of the bunch.

GOP representatives rushed to provide justifications that included whining about the city’s delay in answering the former president’s request to expand the security perimeter around the Republican National Convention to keep protesters further at bay. Several loyal allies even claimed that Trump never made the comments at all. Trump took a different route altogether.

“It was very clear what I meant,” Trump told Fox News’s Aishah Hasnie. “I said, we’re very concerned with crime. I love Milwaukee, I have great friends in Milwaukee, but it’s, as you know, the crime numbers are terrible. We have to be very careful.”

But that wasn’t all. Instead, Trump seems to feel it was obvious that he meant multiple things by the short insult.

“I was referring to, also, the election, the ballots, the way it went down, it was very bad in Milwaukee. Very, very bad,” Trump continued. “And the people understand that and they agree with me. Everybody agrees. No, that was a fake story that came out.”

“Yeah. Milwaukee has a problem with crime, as do most Democrat-run cities,” he said. “Most Democrat-run cities, almost all of them have problems. But they also have a problem with votes. And election integrity. And that’s what we want to make sure we get straight.”

Trump may still be reeling after a trio of his allies were hit with felony charges by Wisconsin prosecutors last week for their involvement in the 2020 fake elector scheme, including Kenneth Chesebro, who allegedly designed the national plot that aimed to frame Trump as the winner of the presidential election.

And, as for Trump’s claim that the city’s crime numbers “are terrible”—in reality, they’re way down, with homicides in the city decreasing by 42 percent when compared to 2022, according to data from the Milwaukee Police Department. Crimes such as rape, aggravated assault, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson have also dropped off drastically in the Brew City.

Baselessly insulting the city where you’ll be nominated for U.S. president in a handful of weeks is certainly a choice, but here’s hoping that Milwaulkee still knows how to give Trump a warm welcome when he arrives.

Milwaukee Mayor Hilariously Shreds Trump for “Horrible City” Comment

Cavalier Johnson had some choice words for Donald Trump.

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson speaks into microphones
Jamie Kelter Davis/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s comment trashing Milwaukee, the site of this year’s Republican National Convention, has understandably not gone over well in the city.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson, asked about Trump calling Milwaukee a “horrible city” in a closed-door meeting with House Republicans on Thursday, clapped back at the former president.

“If Donald Trump wants to talk about things that he thinks are horrible, all of us lived through his presidency, so right back at you, buddy,” Johnson said.

“Look, obviously Donald Trump is wrong about something, yet again,” he continued. “I find it kind of perplexing, I find it kind of strange that he would insult the largest city in Wisconsin because he’s running for president, he obviously wants to win Wisconsin, win the election, and so to insult the state that’s hosting your convention, I think it’s kind of bizarre, actually, kind of unhinged, in a way.”

Johnson wasn’t the only Wisconsin politician to get in a few jabs at Trump. “Milwaukee makes the greatest beer, brats, and motorcycles in the world. It’s home to some of our most vibrant communities, hardest workers, and is a part of what makes Wisconsin the best state in the nation. Donald Trump wouldn’t understand even if a jury told him so,” Senator Tammy Baldwin tweeted, referring to Trump’s recent hush-money conviction.

Representative Gwen Moore of Wisconsin’s 4th district, which includes Milwaukee, also chimed in. “Once he’s settled in with his parole officer, I am certain he will discover that Milwaukee is a wonderful, vibrant and welcoming city full of diverse neighborhoods and a thriving business community,” she posted.

Every Republican Senator Who Voted Against Protecting IVF: Full List

Here is the name of every Republican who proudly voted against protecting in vitro fertilization.

Capitol building
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked legislation to protect in vitro fertilization, a reproductive rights procedure that has gained popularity in recent years to help people have families.

Senate Democrats sought to codify federal protections for IVF as anti-abortion extremists sharpen their knives to severely restrict the procedure while advocating for a national abortion ban. The vote failed, with 48 votes in favor and 47 opposed. The bill needed 60 votes to pass. Only two Republicans voted with Democrats to protect the procedure: Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Here are all the other Senate Republicans who, after signing a GOP-led statement in support of IVF Thursday morning, actually voted against the Right to IVF Act:

  • John Barrasso—Wyoming
  • Marsha Blackburn—Tennessee
  • John Boozman—Arkansas
  • Mike Braun—Indiana
  • Katie Britt—Alabama
  • Ted Budd—North Carolina
  • Shelley Moore Capito—West Virginia
  • Bill Cassidy—Louisiana
  • John Cornyn—Texas
  • Tom Cotton—Arkansas
  • Kevin Cramer—North Dakota
  • Mike Crapo—Idaho
  • Ted Cruz—Texas
  • Steve Daines—Montana
  • Joni Ernst—Iowa
  • Deb Fischer—Nebraska
  • Lindsey Graham—South Carolina
  • Chuck Grassley—Iowa
  • Bill Hagerty—Tennessee
  • Josh Hawley—Missouri
  • John Hoeven—North Dakota
  • Cindy Hyde-Smith—Mississippi
  • Ron Johnson—Wisconsin
  • John Neely Kennedy—Louisiana
  • James Lankford—Oklahoma
  • Mike Lee—Utah
  • Cynthia Lummis—Wyoming
  • Roger Marshall—Kansas
  • Mitch McConnell—Kentucky
  • Jerry Moran—Kansas
  • Markwayne Mullin—Oklahoma
  • Rand Paul—Kentucky
  • Pete Ricketts—Nebraska
  • James E. Risch—Idaho
  • Mitt Romney—Utah
  • Mike Rounds—South Dakota
  • Marco Rubio—Florida
  • Rick Scott—Florida
  • Tim Scott—South Carolina
  • Dan Sullivan—Alaska
  • John Thune—South Dakota
  • Thom Tillis—North Carolina
  • Tommy Tuberville—Alabama
  • J.D. Vance—Ohio
  • Roger Wicker—Mississippi
  • Todd Young—Indiana

This article has been updated.

Mike Johnson and MTG Go Gaga Over Trump Praising Them

The two lawmakers shamelessly fawned over Trump after receiving just the tiniest bit of validation.

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Mike Johnson stand next to each other
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Two MAGA soldiers appeared to be starstruck by Donald Trump during the former president’s meeting with House Republicans Thursday. Unfortunately for the country, they’re some of the top lawmakers in the country.

In a press conference held shortly after the reunion, House Speaker Mike Johnson couldn’t hold back from cracking a smile while mentioning that Trump had personally thanked him for his dedication to Trump’s cause.

“He said very complimentary things about all of us. We had sustained applause,” Johnson said before bashfully turning his head to the side with a smirk. “He said I’m doing a very good job. We’re grateful for that.”

But Johnson wasn’t the only one giddy at the idea of getting a gold star from Trump. Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene appeared equally thrilled that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee even recognized her among the crowd.

“He’s always so sweet, recognizing me, and he said, ‘Are you being nice to Speaker Johnson?’” she told CNN’s Lauren Fox.

“He was joking. And I said, ‘Eh,’” she continued, gesturing with her hands. “He said, ‘OK, be nice to him,’ and I nodded my head.”

Trump’s two golden children in the House were diametrically opposed as recently as last month, when Greene forced a vote to strip Johnson of the gavel. Her motion to vacate fell apart after the House voted 359–43 to keep Johnson in leadership.

But the time-consuming and chaotic effort came at the cost of Greene’s already minimal popularity in the lower chamber, with Republicans insisting that the Georgia Republican be stripped of her committee assignments for leading another attempt to divide an already thin and historically unproductive majority.

Trump’s Campaign Was Just a Scammy Money Grab All Along

Donald Trump has funneled millions of dollars from his presidential campaign to his businesses.

Donald Trump gestures as he walks
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald Trump has transferred $4.6 million of donations to his campaign into his businesses by charging the campaign for travel and food expenses, according to a new report from Forbes.

Federal Election Commission filings show that Trump’s aviation company, Tag Air, has charged the campaign $4.2 million since his 2024 bid kicked off. Secret Service flight costs—members are required to travel with Trump on the campaign trail—reportedly account for more than $800,000.

The campaign has also spent around $60,000 between the Trump National Doral golf resort in Florida and the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas. And that’s to say nothing of the $332,000 the campaign has paid to host events at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s residence.

It’s not the first time Trump has pulled this kind of enrichment scheme: As president, he reportedly charged Secret Service agents “exorbitant” rates—sometimes five times the General Services Administration–mandated government rate—to stay at Trump-branded hotels in the United States, and untold millions at Trump properties abroad. As a candidate in 2016, Trump promised to divest from his business holdings if he were elected president. In January 2017, not two weeks before his inauguration, he reneged on that pledge.

It’s no secret that Trump has been hurting for cash. After losing the 2020 election, he solicited $250 million in supporter donations for his “election defense fund.” In the last six months of 2023, he spent $27 million of his supporters’ money on legal fees. And in the wake of several legal judgments against him—including a $450 million fine in his civil fraud case and an $83 million fine in the E. Jean Carroll defamation suit—he’s been forced to rely on unsavory, if not outright illegal, fundraising methods. Knight Speciality Insurance, the only surety willing to post Trump’s bond in the civil fraud case, famously lacked the assets to back the bond.

The writer John Ganz recently wrote about the mafioso weltanschauung animating Trump’s approach to politics. If it wasn’t already clear from his 45 years of grifting, it’s obvious now that he does business like a gangster.