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Trump Visits Detroit to Court Black Voters—and Flops Big-Time

Trump’s Black church stunt in Michigan was a total bust in every way that matters.

Donald Trump is seated at a blue table and he looks confused. He is seated in the middle of two large U.S. flags behind him.

Trump held a roundtable meeting at a Black church in Detroit over the weekend that perfectly summarized Trump’s snake oil tendencies—with vastly inflated audience numbers, at least half of whom were white, and Trump ranting his staple complaints about the border, inflation, and crime.

Trump allies praised Trump’s appearance on Saturday at 180 Church as a smashing success, with Kellyanne Conway claiming over 8,000 people magically packed into the rows of seats where only a few hundred could have sat, even as many pews remained empty. Reuters notes the venue wasn’t at capacity by the time the roundtable began.

The pitch by Team Trump to appeal to Black voters in a city where in 2020 Biden won nearly 95 percent of the vote was further foiled by observations that many in the audience were, in fact, not Black. Per Russ McNamara of WDET, roughly half the crowd were white. Of the eight Black people who attended that he spoke with, none were congregates of the church.

Tweet screenshot Michigan GOP Watch: No one was planning to attend so the Michigan Conservative Coalition got the word out online. They needed people at the Trump Black Church event in Detroit. It would have been easier to count the black people in attendance. It's all fake.

The pastor of the church who agreed to host Trump, Lorenzo Sewell, told MSNBC that people laughed in his face when he attempted to pitch them into attending the event.

“I remember walking down Grand River, a place that is desolate on the west side of Detroit, and walking down the street and just inviting people, saying, ‘The former president is here if you want to come,’” Sewell told MSNBC. “They were laughing like I was when I first was approached.”

Sewell spent time before the event began wearing a ‘Make Black America Great Again’ shirt, according to Reuters, with the panel moderated by Trump V.P. hopeful Byron Donalds. NAACP Detroit Chapter leader and Detroit pastor Dr. Wendell Anthony panned the event, telling MSNBC, “He did not articulate any policy. He articulated the fact that he wanted to come and get some Black votes.”

After his church stunt, Trump gave the keynote address to his real base of racists and white nationalists at Turning Point’s “The People’s Convention.”

Lara Trump’s New Election Threat Is Proof Irony Is Dead

The RNC chair seemed to be missing one giant elephant in the room when making her threat.

Lara Trump speaking at a CPAC lectern. The background also reads CPAC.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

On Friday, Lara Trump made what she probably thought was an impassioned statement against committing election fraud and cheating at Turning Point Action’s convention in Detroit.

In reality, Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law showed that she doesn’t understand the meaning of irony.

“To anyone who thinks about cheating in an election: If you cheat in an election, we will find you, we will track you down, and we will prosecute you to the full extent of the law,” the Republican National Committee co-chair told Turning Point’s Charlie Kirk, to applause from the audience.

But on X (formerly Twitter), it was quickly pointed out that the former president and convicted felon had attempted to do just that in 2020, and is on trial for it in Georgia and Washington, D.C.

Twitter @Ritley Sammich: The call is coming from inside the house!
Twitter Screenshot Keith Olbermann: So @LaraLeaTrump just threatened her father-in-law?
Twitter screenshot @ChrisCJackson: You might want to sit down for this, Laura With mugshots of Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and Sidney Powell

Lara Trump’s election as co-chair of the RNC earlier this year signaled her father-in-law’s full takeover of the of Republican Party, and she quickly pushed through different priorities for the party, such as a new election integrity division led by former Trump lawyer and election denier Christina Bobb. That move quickly backfired, as Bobb was charged in Arizona with trying to interfere in the state’s 2020 election results. Similarly, the RNC also lost an attempt to limit voting rights in the Grand Canyon state.

Lately, Lara Trump and the RNC have been preparing for the possibilities that Donald Trump might lose his upcoming presidential debate with Joe Biden, and that he might be in prison or house arrest by the time the party’s convention takes place this summer in Milwaukee (where he doesn’t even want to go). They’re also trying to put together a party platform for the first time since 2016 with yet another election denier (and also January 6 participant), Ed Martin, taking part. Perhaps Lara Trump needs to step back and make sure the new Republican Party platform includes some introspection.

GOP Senator Hit With Brutal Fact-Check After Ad About Family’s IVF

No one has more audacity than Rick Scott.

Senator Rick Scott speaking at a lecturn (he looks weird)
Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

The only thing Rick Scott is better at than bad timing is hypocrisy. The Republican senator and Earthworm Jim lookalike released a campaign ad touting his support for in vitro fertilization on Friday—less than 24 hours after voting against the Right to IVF Act.

The caption for the poorly-timed campaign ad reads, “Each of my 7 grandkids is a precious gift from God. But sometimes families need help. You can count on this grandpa to always protect IVF.” In the ad, the Florida senator mentions that his youngest daughter is receiving IVF treatments and that “she and I both agree IVF must be protected.”

The ad was first posted to Scott’s X (formerly Twitter) account on Friday morning, and was quickly hit with a fact-check that Scott voted to kill the Right to IVF Act the day before.

Senate Democrats have attempted to pass legislation to codify access to contraception and IVF into federal law this past week, with Senate Republicans voting opposed and killing the bill each time. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have offered a much weaker bill in support of IVF that would withhold Medicaid funding for the procedure and released a signed letter stating their support for IVF hours before voting down protections. Their softball bill was rejected, with Senator Patty Murphy calling it a “PR tool, plain and simple.”

The effort to codify access to IVF and contraception comes ahead of an increasingly fraught general election season. The Southern Baptist Convention voted to oppose IVF on Tuesday, with Trump ramping up support for their cause. He provided a pre-taped appearance for the SBC’s anti-abortion forum hosted by a group that describes abortion as “child sacrifice.” Trump praised the extremist group, promising they would “make a comeback just like no other group.”

More on the threat to reprodutive rights in this moment:

Lindsey Graham’s Totally Spineless Birthday Message to Trump

The Republican senator made one edit to his birthday message—to suck up to Donald Trump even more.

Donald Trump is in the center of the photo, as Republican senators including Lindsey Graham surround him and all extend a hand as if to let Trump walk first.
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Lindsey Graham still is a Donald Trump sycophant through and through, as evidenced by his birthday message to the former president and convicted felon.

The message posted on X (formerly Twitter) seemed over-the-top, especially since Graham praised Trump’s golf game.

Twitter screenshot Lindsey Graham: Happy Birthday to President @realDonaldTrump ! Your golf game has never been stronger, and America needs you now more than ever. Your best present will come in November when the American people elect you as our next President and Commander in Chief.

But a quick look behind the scenes reveals that the South Carolina senator thought his initial message didn’t go far enough—and he made a quick edit to the post to make sure to add the word “president” before Trump’s name.

Twitter screenshot showing the edit to Lindsey Graham's message.

Grahamhas gone from being one of Trump’s early critics to carrying out Marilyn Monroe’s birthday song to John F. Kennedy in the form of a social media post. He has thrown his support behind Trump nearly every step of the way, to the point of getting a little too involved in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results and refusing to accept the 2024 results if Trump doesn’t win. He has bent over backwards to justify Trump’s mishandling of classified documents, criticized the Manhattan district attorney’s office long before Trump was indicted on hush-money charges, and cried foul over the implication of Trump doing anything wrong on January 6, 2021.

It’s a far cry from Graham’s famous quote from 2016: “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed.......and we will deserve it.” In fact, before Trump’s ascendancy to the White House, Graham was a relative moderate in the Senate, voting to confirm two of Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, supporting legislation to create a legal path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and even working on some proposals to tackle climate change.

But as soon as Trump cemented himself in the Oval Office, Graham put his misgivings aside and became Trump’s phone buddy, where they discussed their mutual love of golf. At one point, Graham even promoted Trump’s golf course on his Twitter account. One could be forgiven for forgetting that Trump tweeted Graham’s personal phone number to the public way back during his campaign in 2015.

Florida Democrats Have Already Notched a Historic Election Win

State party leadership is getting its act together ahead of the November election.

A roll of “I Voted” stickers
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Democrats secured a candidate in every House and Senate district race in the state by the end of the electoral qualifying deadline Friday, a rare feat for any party but even rarer for one whose efforts in the Sunshine State were deemed to be a lost cause, following an abysmal performance in the 2022 midterms.

The achievement is actually historic: It’s the first time in the last 30 years that Democrats have fielded candidates in all 140 legislative seats up for election this year, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

Party leaders were quick to celebrate the “unprecedented” milestone.

“Democrats made history in Florida today,” party chair Nikki Fried said in a statement. “Since control of Florida flipped in the mid-90s, no party has contested every seat in both chambers of the legislature.”

Florida Democratic Party candidates and campaigns director Danielle Hawk underscored the significance of contesting every race, describing the unified, comprehensive effort as “critical.”

“By contesting every race and competing everywhere, Republicans will have to spend more defending their position and unpopular policies,” Hawk said. “We are not going to just let Republicans walk into office without being held accountable.”

Ten of those candidates ran unopposed in their districts, guaranteeing automatic wins in November. And while all of those districts were already blue, Democrats did flip a district in January, hinting at voter dissatisfaction with the reigning conservative party and foreshadowing Friday’s win.

“What actually clinched the win for Democrats was this massive margin with [nonpartisan voters] and perhaps some Republican moderates, as well,” Democratic elections analyst Matt Isbell told the Orlando Sentinel at the time. “If anything, this should be concerning for the GOP because it indicates a voter anger that maybe they have not understood.”

New York Inches Closer to Police State with Bonkers Proposed Rule

The governor and New York City mayor are mulling banning face masks in the subway.

People wear face masks while riding the New York City subway
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

New York Mayor Eric Adams is advocating for a ban on wearing masks on public transit in New York City, jumping on the bandwagon of New York State’s Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul.

Hochul argued Thursday that face masks, once touted as lifesaving tools by the government, are now the illicit tools of protesters.

Hours later, during a radio interview on 77 WABC’s Cats & Cosby, host Rita Cosby reiterated Hochul’s comment that protesters might be using masks to hide their identities, and asked Adams what he thought about a mask ban on New York City’s subways.

“First of all, that’s what cowards do. Cowards hide their face. Dr. King did not hide his face when he marched and for the things he thought were wrong in the country. Those civil rights leaders did not hide their faces. They stood up. In contrast to that, the Klan hid their faces. Cowards hide their faces when they want to do something disgraceful,” said Adams. It’s probably worth noting that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated for his advocacy.

“In our transit system, people have hid under the guise of wearing a mask for Covid to commit criminal acts and vile acts. I think now is the time to go back to the way it was pre-Covid, where you should not be able to wear a mask at protests and our subway systems and other places,” Adams continued.

Prohibiting pro-Palestininan protesters from wearing masks on public transit will make it significantly easier for them to be targeted and tracked by the New York Police Department, which has shown a distinctly violent and outsize reaction to organizing efforts over the past few months.

What was once a mandated safety precaution has become a roadblock to police surveillance, and for that reason alone, it has to go—sending a clear message to the many immunocompromised New Yorkers who would be directly affected that their wellbeing is less important than a well-functioning police state. The NYPD and Adams have already moved to prohibit NYC residents from wearing masks in stores.

Hochul’s and Adams’s insistence on equating pro-Palestinian protesters, and their safety precautions, with violent antisemitic rhetoric could also have incredibly dangerous repercussions to those who wish to safely and peacefully oppose Israel’s U.S.-backed genocide in Gaza.

Trump Hits “I Have Black Friends” Stage of Total Racism

No, he really said this.

Donald Trump stands in the center as Senate Republicans circle him and clap. Trump smiles smugly.
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump doesn’t think he is a racist, and the fact that he has Black friends (the classic denial) proves it.

In a Semafor profile, Trump was asked about his relationship with Black professional athletes like Daryl Strawberry, Lawrence Taylor, Mike Tyson, and boxing promoter Don King.

“I have so many Black friends that if I were a racist, they wouldn’t be friends, they would know better than anybody, and fast,” Trump said. “They would not be with me for two minutes if they thought I was racist—and I’m not racist!”

Trump has often used appearances with Black supporters to demonstrate that he isn’t a racist, both in the early days of his presidency and well before that, as the article shows. But even recently, his actions undercut his efforts, whether it’s his vow to fight “anti-white” racism, his pledge to “indemnify all police officers and law enforcement officials” if he’s reelected, or his attacks on Black prosecutors.

His record before becoming president doesn’t look so good, either, once one gets past his appearances with Black celebrities. When Trump was a casino owner, Black employees were ushered off the floors whenever he and his wife paid a visit. Trump has allegedly remarked that he prefers “short guys that wear yarmulkes” counting his money instead of Black people. In the 1970s he was sued, along with his father, by the federal government for housing discrimination. And his time helming The Apprentice was marked by racism behind the scenes, with Trump dropping the n-word and refusing to hire Kwame Jackson, the Black finalist on the show’s first season.

The Semafor profile shows that Trump has a very small following among older Black men, partially thanks to his relationships with Black celebrities in the 1980s and 1990s. He’ll need a lot more than that if he hopes to overcome his record and convince voters that his relationship with Black Americans isn’t transactional.

It’s All Over for Alex Jones With New Sandy Hook Ruling

A Houston judge has allowed the conspiracy theorist to liquidate his assets to pay his debt to Sandy Hook victims.

Alex Jones wipes sweat off his forehead
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Friday that conspiracy theory—and supplement—hawker Alex Jones can liquidate his assets in order to pay the $1.5 billion he owes the families of the children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Jones originally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2022, which would allow him to retain operations of his business and use reorganization to scrape together the cash. But it wasn’t enough to pay off what he owed.

Last week, Jones’s lawyers wrote in a filing that there was “no reasonable prospect for a successful reorganization,” and that filing for liquidation under Chapter 7 was the massacre denier’s only option.

On Friday, a bankruptcy judge ruled that Jones would be able to convert that Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing into a Chapter 7 liquidation, according to NBC News. Judge Christopher Lopez of the Southern District of Texas ordered that Jones be assigned an interim trustee to help him through the process and oversee the sale of Jones’s personal assets.

With this newest ruling, Jones inches closer to losing everything, including his stake in InfoWars, the pulpit from which the podcaster has continued to spew misinformation.

The ruling came as Lopez was weighing arguments to liquidate Jones’s media company, Free Speech Systems, in addition to his personal assets.

Ahead of Friday’s hearing, the families of Sandy Hook victims accused Jones of intentionally lowering the value of Free Speech Systems by attempting to siphon funds from the company to his father’s supplement business. They alleged that Jones was saving the money to go toward his future business operations instead of paying them what he owes.

But a unique detail of Jones’s case is that he can’t skirt payments even by declaring bankruptcy. When Lopez presided over Jones’s bankruptcy filing last year, the judge made his debt “non-dischargeable” through bankruptcy, meaning Jones has to continue paying the families until he has fully settled the $1.5 billion debt.

In a video posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Friday morning, the once Twitter-banned Jones warned that the decision to liquidate Free Speech Systems would be a “canary in the coal mine,” as he continued to whine that losing InfoWars as a result of lying about murdered children was a symbol that “the globalists are turning America into a giant prison.”

This story has been updated.

Read more about Alex Jones:

MAGA House Hopeful Denies Making Insane A.I. Martin Luther King Jr. Ad

Michigan Republican Anthony Hudson blamed the terrible A.I.-generated ad on a campaign volunteer.

Martin Luther King Jr. waves after giving his “I Have a Dream” speech
AFP/Getty Images

There are endless possibilities for the creative uses of artificial intelligence—but recreating the voice of a civil rights icon for your own political benefit is definitely not one of them.

Republican congressional candidate Anthony Hudson did just that, releasing possibly the most distasteful, cringe-worthy political ad of 2024 to date by using A.I. to resurrect Martin Luther King Jr.’s voice to urge people to vote for him in the House race for Michigan 8th district.

“I have another dream!” begins the skin-crawling video, which was posted to X (formerly Twitter) on Friday. “Yes, it is me, Martin Luther King. I came back from the dead to say something, as I was saying, I have another dream—that Anthony Hudson will be Michigan 8th district’s next congressman. Yes I have a dream, again.”

Then, in a nearly equally bizarre decision, Hudson’s campaign decided to force the voice to return to the dead.

“OK, now I am going back to where I came from,” King’s cheaply manipulated voice says. “Goodbye.”

At the end of the clip, Hudson can be heard approving the message. But whoever pitched the clip and told Hudson that fabricating the approval of a racial justice legend would make voters like him rather than be utterly repulsed by the vile postmortem should probably be fired.

They can’t be the only one to blame, though—everyone involved in the production of the ad must be completely removed from contemporary American culture for making such an unnerving gaffe, since just weeks earlier, multi-platinum pop singer Drake earned the ire of the entire West Coast for using A.I. sorcery to recreate Tupac Shakur in a diss track against rapper and poet laureate Kendrick Lamar.

Hudson deleted the video off of his TikTok account, and hours later, he claimed that he had nothing to do with the disturbing ad. Instead, he blamed a volunteer’s friend for making the post, though just how or why an unpaid staffer got Hudson’s social media credentials is still unclear.

“A volunteer gave my social media credentials to one of his friends who then posted an AI video without my knowledge. It appears that they not only used AI for MLKjr’s voice but also with my voice to make it appear more authentic,” Hudson wrote on X. “The volunteer has been released and all my social media credentials have been updated. I would have NEVER approved such a STUPID and DISRESPECTFUL video!”

“I sincerely apologize that all of you have seen this and I’m extremely furious about this situation. This could happen to any of us so please be cautious and aware of who has your person information,” he added.

Listen to Hudson’s ad below, if you dare.

This story has been updated with Hudson’s statement.

Trump’s CEO Buddies Stunned by Bizarre Meeting With Him

Donald Trump held a private meeting with major CEOs, promising to help them if he retakes the White House. Instead, he left them shocked by his incoherence.

Donald Trump speaking at a mic
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Trump met with at least 80 CEOs on Thursday to promise tax cuts and scaled-back business regulations if he’s elected president. Among those present were Apple CEO Tim Cook and the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Bank of America. Trump spoke for about an hour, during which he rambled nonsensically, throwing off those in the room, according to sources who shared details of the meeting with CNBC.

“I spoke to a number of CEOs who I would say walked into the meeting being Trump supporter-ish, or thinking that they might be leaning that direction,” said CNBC’s Ross Sorkin. “[CEOs] said that he was remarkably meandering, could not keep a straight thought, was all over the map.”

Trump promised the CEOs to cut taxes and bring the federal corporate tax rate down from 21 percent to 20 percent, a lackluster attempt to elicit excitement from the suits. One attendee summarized Trump’s message as, “We’re going to give you more of the same for the next four years,” according to CNBC.

“These were people who, I think, might have been actually predisposed to him,” said Sorkin. “And [they] actually walked out of the room less predisposed to him, actually predisposed to thinking ‘This is not necessarily—’ as one person said, ‘this may not be any different or better than a Biden thought, if you’re thinking that way.’”

Trump also excitedly detailed to the corporate juggernauts his promise to eliminate taxes on worker tips—a questionable offer he stole from a Republican nominee for Senate and which, darkly, provoked laughter from the room full of CEOs.