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Desperate Trump Plans Vicious New Tactics for Biden Debate

Donald Trump may try to attack Hunter Biden.

Donald Trump stands at a microphone
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

An expert political commentator provided a rare window into what Donald Trump’s debate strategy might be, and it looks like it’s going to get nasty.

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday night to discuss her predictions for Trump’s talking points during the network’s upcoming presidential debate next week.

Haberman noted that Trump has been visited by a “rotating cast of characters,” including Senators Bill Hagerty and Marco Rubio, in an effort to prepare him for the big day.

“It is interesting that he’s, you know, having all these people come and talk policy, because policy is obviously not something that’s front and center when you think of Donald Trump, or even in his long rambling rallies,” said Cooper.

During Trump’s rallies, the former president usually breathlessly rattles off lies at a breakneck pace. He very rarely puts forward any actual ideas, except to seal the southern border and, recently, to eliminate taxes on tips. But two bad ideas do not a policy platform make.

Haberman explained that Trump “has a series of agenda items that he can point to from when he was president, and that’s what they’re trying to focus his mind on.”

“A lot of what he has talked about over the last two years has been grievances, his court cases. I think he has been so singular and was during the Manhattan trial so singularly focused on what was taking place there that they’re trying to get his mind back to what he can talk about, about what he did,” she continued.

Haberman said that while Trump may have some policy points he will be able to talk about, he has several obvious obstacles as well, including answering questions about his role in the January 6 insurrection, presidential pardons, and his numerous threats of retribution against his enemies.

“And I anticipate President Biden will reference his criminal conviction,” she said. “Now, I’m quite confident, based on my reporting, that Donald Trump will then point to Hunter Biden’s criminal conviction. And this could be an uglier debate than we have seen in a very long time.”

Should Biden bring up the presumptive Republican nominee’s guilty verdict, he can expect to have his son’s new criminal record thrown back in his face.

How else Trump is preparing for the debate:

Trump’s Startling Nuclear Fantasies Revealed in New Book

A new memoir from former Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló includes a startling comment from Donald Trump about nuclear war.

Donald Trump smiles (his spray tan on his face is incredibly obvious)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

When Donald Trump traveled to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, he remarked to then-Governor Ricardo Rosselló that the United States “won’t be second” in using nuclear weapons.

The startling admission was revealed in Rosselló’s upcoming book, The Reformer’s Dilemma, due to be released on Tuesday. The Hill received an excerpt from the book, that described how Rosselló and Trump were in a helicopter surveying damage from the hurricane.

“‘Nature has a way of coming back,’ said the president. ‘Well, it does until it does not. Who knows with nuclear warfare what will happen …,’” Rosselló wrote in the book.

“And then, he said the one thing that made me more concerned than anything else in the entire visit. ‘But I tell you what …’ He paused for effect. ‘If nuclear war happens, we won’t be second in line pressing the button.’ This statement floored me. I could not believe what I was hearing. It was surreal. Was he really talking about total annihilation as we flew over the ravaged sights of the island?” Rosselló wrote.

Rosselló also discussed the infamous paper towel incident, where Trump threw paper towels to victims of the hurricane like he was shooting hoops.

“The image plastered in history was one that demonstrates disdain and repulsion for the people,” he wrote. “Was it dumb and incredibly thoughtless? Yes. The president should have known better. But that does not detract from the true story: The media narrative got carried away, which is happening more often than not in our political culture.”

The nuclear war story is not surprising, as Trump has said a lot of other worrying things about nuclear weapons. During his 2016 campaign, he reportedly asked one of his foreign policy advisers, “Why have them if we can’t use them?” In December 2016, he said, “Let it be an arms race … we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.” In the summer of 2017, he also told military leaders he wanted to increase the nuclear stockpile tenfold, back to the peak levels of the Cold War. He even discussed using nukes against North Korea in 2017. And who can forget his idea to nuke hurricanes to stop them from hitting the United States?

Trump has also shared nuclear secrets with random people, including an Australian billionaire visiting his Mar-a-Lago club in April 2021, and bragged to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward about “a weapon system that nobody’s ever had in this country before.”

“We have stuff that you haven’t even seen or heard about. We have stuff that Putin and Xi have never heard about before,” Trump said to Woodward.

With Trump showing signs of cognitive decline, a return to the White House is liable to result in more disturbing ideas about nukes at best, and, at worst, him disastrously even carrying out a nuclear threat.

Watch: Embarrassing Video Reveals Trump’s Alarming Cognitive Decline

Donald Trump’s memory issues seem to be growing by the day.

Donald Trump speaks, eyebrows raised
Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

Trump has apparently chosen to “Streisand effect” his cognitive lapses into the public eye by mocking Biden while getting tripped up by his own pesky deteriorating brain. Over the weekend, Trump challenged Biden to take a cognitive test and promptly forgot the name of the doctor who administered his in 2020. On Tuesday, Trump mocked Biden, claiming he wandered off during a G7 Summit meeting, referring to a doctored video as a “clean fake,” perhaps meaning to say “cheap fake,” which isn’t the correct term to begin with.

Trump’s cognitive decline has been notable for years, as he frequently rambles incoherently in a word-association whirlwind of nonsense about sharks, slurring his words, freezing—even forgetting his own son’s name.

A new supercut from MeidasTouch delves further into Trump’s gabbing gaffes where he confuses Nikki Haley with Nancy Pelosi and calls Republican representative Matt Gaetz “Rick Gates.” The video is three minutes long but manages to touch just the tip of the iceberg of Trump’s growing cognitive issues. It caps off with a beauty of a kicker, leaving all of us to stare into the void wondering how this man will once again be appearing on our ballots in November. Watch the supercut here:

Lara Trump Confusingly Changes RNC Script on Trump’s Felony

Lara Trump finally (sort of) acknowledged her father-in-law’s conviction.

Lara Trump stands in front of a microphone
Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The RNC is preparing for Donald Trump to possibly join the Republican National Convention this summer from prison, Lara Trump said Wednesday.

The president’s daughter-in-law and co-chair of the Republican National Committee was responding to a question during an interview on the right-wing network Real America’s Voice. Host Terrance Bates asked her what would happen if Judge Juan Merchan sentenced the convicted felon and presumptive Republican presidential nominee to prison at his sentencing hearing on July 11.

“Here’s the bottom line,” Lara Trump said. “It doesn’t matter whether Donald Trump is in Trump Tower, Mar-a-Lago, or anywhere else they may try to put him.

“On the day that we, as the Republican Party, will be nominating him as our official candidate and our official nominee for president, he will accept that no matter where he is,” she said. “He will go on to be our candidate all the way to November 5, when he then is reelected as our forty-seventh president.”

It’s a departure from what Republican officials were saying only on Tuesday, when Lara Trump’s RNC co-chair Michael Whatley ignored the fact that Donald Trump is a convicted felon and insisted that he would be in Milwaukee for the convention.

“We fully expect that he is going to be in Milwaukee and able to accept his nomination,” Whatley said on Newsmax.

Whether Trump wants to be there is another story. After trashing the city last week in a meeting with House Republicans, Trump immediately attempted to clarify his words and made things worse. This week, he attempted to deny making the comments at all, even after multiple people at the meeting had already confirmed it. But, given the choice, it’s a safe bet that Trump would much prefer a convention hall full of supporters to a New York correctional facility.

Martin Shkreli Joins Trump Crypto Game in the Weirdest Way Ever

The pharmaceutical price gouger and general jerk is behind a brand new Trump-branded cryptocurrency.

Martin Shkreli touches his forehead
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Disgraced former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli claimed Wednesday that he and Barron Trump are responsible for a mysterious Trump-branded meme cryptocurrency.

The token, named “Trump Coin,” sparked confusion and interest since it was registered on the Solana blockchain platform earlier this week, as it bears the same DJT symbol as the stock symbol for Donald Trump’s social media platform, Truth Social. Rumors that Trump was linked to the coin sent its value skyrocketing by 385 percent within 24 hours, and it amassed a trading volume of $363 million, according to The Block.

It wasn’t long before Arkham Intelligence, a data analytics firm, promised a $150 thousand bounty to anyone who discovered who was behind the asset. Within hours, blockchain sleuth ZachXBT posted a series of screenshots to X, formerly Twitter, claiming that he’d cracked it: The token was invented by the infamous “Pharma Bro” himself, who is best known for artificially raising the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent.

Seemingly angry at the investigator’s revelation and the subsequent wave of skeptics undermining Shkreli’s claim to the coin, the disgraced former pharmaceutical executive leapt to the mic. On Wednesday afternoon, he participated in a live Space broadcast on X to explain his involvement in the company.

Shkreli claimed that he was approached about making a meme coin with Barron Trump by the 18 year-old’s friend Cameron. Shkreli said he has since established a “friendship” with the former president’s son, whom he credits as the “mastermind” behind the coin.

“I was surprised. It was the president’s son, [which] seems like a good idea,” Shkreli said, laughing. He noted that Barron claimed that the presumptive Republican nominee approved of the project and thought it was “great.”

Shkreli became adversarial when asked if the token was created to raise money for Trump’s presidential campaign. “Whatever, the goal was to sell NFTs, make money,” he snapped, denying that the meme coin was a moneymaking scheme for Trump.

Instead, he claimed the funds were meant for Barron, who was expected to get “everything, everything, everything. Period.”

Meanwhile, Shkreli said his own financial incentive was “nonexistent,” and he just “wanted to see where it would go.”

“There’s nothing wrong with creating a meme coin,” Shkreli insisted. “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with setting up an LP, and selling it to people you know.”

According to Shkreli, only a “Trump family member” has a private key, the tool that would allow someone to access and manage the funds raised.

The possibility of financial gain aside, getting involved in crypto could be a way for Trump to attract fans involved in the highly lucrative field.

“I’m glad President Trump and his campaign are leaning into crypto, including accepting it—he’s ahead of the curve, “ failed presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy told Fox Business earlier this week.

“Embracing crypto will help Trump continue to bring libertarians and your not-typical Republicans into the fold—it’s a winning issue.”

Ultimately, Shkreli was unable to provide any real proof that he’d collaborated with Barron on the meme coin, and the Trump family and campaign have yet to release a statement or acknowledge Shkreli’s claims.

More about Trump’s relationship with crypto:

George Santos Launches New Grift With OnlyFans Account

After a congressional investigation found Santos spent fraudulently acquired money on OnlyFans, the former congressman has now joined the platform.

George Santos smiles and points
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Former Congressman George Santos is taking his moneymaking schemes to OnlyFans.

The embattled ex-representative announced Tuesday on X (formerly Twitter) that he is now on the subscription-based platform famous for paid adult content.

Santos, who was expelled from Congress last year amid 23 federal charges for conspiracy, false statements, and multiple kinds of fraud, says that he isn’t going to contribute adult content to the site and just “wanted to stir the pot.”

Screenshot of a tweet

Ever since getting expelled from Congress, Santos has attempted to earn money in a number of different ways, including selling personalized messages on Cameo. He brought back Kitara Ravache, the drag persona he long denied using, to make money on the platform. In addition, Santos engaged in a failed bid to return to Congress after raising very little, if any money.

It’s ironic that Santos is trying to earn money on OnlyFans, considering that a House Ethics Committee report from November showed that he used campaign funds on OnlyFans purchases, in addition to designer goods, makeup, and “spa services and/or cosmetic procedures,” including Botox. Perhaps now, he wants to collect from the website instead of paying content creators there.

Santos’s many lies followed him throughout his time in Congress. He was caught fabricating his résumé and lying about being related to Holocaust survivors, being “Jew-ish,” having connections to the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, the kidnapping of his niece, and credit card fraud. In the end, it was enough to get him tossed out of the House of Representatives, but not from the public eye.

Santos’s next court proceeding is scheduled for August 13, with a trial expected in September. There’s no word on if he’ll show up with his trademark blazer and sweater or in his drag persona. Either way, OnlyFans will be the outfit that has the potential to raise him the most money, perhaps to pay for his legal fees.

Louisiana Obliterates Separation of Church and State With Wild New Law

The Bayou State just got one step closer to Christian nationalism.

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry squints as he speaks into microphones
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images
Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry signed a law Wednesday mandating that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom, in a startlingly clear demonstration of the blurring lines between church and state.

According to the legislation, the commandments displays would be paid for through donations, not through state funds. The law also authorizes classrooms to put up the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the Northwest Ordinance—but it does not require those documents to be displayed.

The law describes the Ten Commandments not as the religious edict that they plainly are, but as “foundational documents of our state and national government.”

If that’s truly the case, then where is Louisiana’s law requiring the United States Constitution—with its Establishment Clause prohibiting the state from instituting legislation “respecting an establishment of religion”—to be hung in “large, easily readable font”?

In 1980, the Supreme Court ruled that a similar law in Kentucky was unconstitutional, because posting the commandments had a blatantly religious purpose, not a secular one. Now, it’s unlikely that the current Supreme Court would rule similarly.

Violations of this particular section of the U.S. Constitution have become only too easy since the Supreme Court decision Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, the case of the coach who was dismissed for holding massive public prayers at school, only to quit as soon as he got his job back. The court’s ruling that Joe Kennedy’s prayers did not violate the First Amendment is also to thank for a spate of Satanic clubs across the country, which are now permitted to operate under the same guidance.

Witness Reportedly Says Matt Gaetz Paid Her for Sex

ABC News reports a new development in the House Ethics Committee's investigation.

Matt Gaetz raises a fist as a microphone is extended toward him.
(Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Rep. Matt Gaetz arrives for a meeting with House GOP members and former President Donald Trump at the Capitol Hill Club on June 13, 2024 in Washington, D.C.

The House Ethics Committee’s investigation of Representative Matt Gaetz, ABC News reports, has a new development: a witness has come forward saying that the Florida congressman paid her for sex.

The committee has interviewed at least six women who were witnesses in the Justice Department’s 2020 sex trafficking investigation of Gaetz, sources told the news outlet. These women allegedly attended parties Gaetz attended, paid for by Gaetz’s former friend Joel Greenberg.

Investigators reportedly asked these women, some of whom are cooperating and others of whom have been subpoenaed, about Venmo payments allegedly from Gaetz and whether those were for sex. One woman told the committee that she did in fact receive a payment in exchange for sex, while other witnesses said they were paid to attend parties where Gaetz was present that included drugs and sex, according to ABC News.

Gaetz has denounced the expanded investigation, calling it “frivolous” and “Soviet-esque.” The previous DOJ investigation didn’t result in any charges against Gaetz, although Greenberg is serving an 11-year sentence in federal prison for multiple charges, including sex trafficking a minor and introducing the minor to other “adult men.”

Gaetz posted on X yesterday that the House Ethics Committee was “doing this to avoid the obvious fact that every investigation into me ends the same way: my exoneration.” He also blamed former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, hinting that McCarthy was attempting some payback over Gaetz’s efforts to oust the California Republican from the speakership.

At the time, Gaetz claimed that he was opposing McCarthy over the latter’s work with Democrats, but leaked private communications between Gaetz and a close friend later revealed that he took action against McCarthy for refusing to stop the House probe into Gaetz’s alleged sexual misconduct.

In addition to the latest revelations, the probe has revealed that Gaetz would show videos of his sexual conquests to other staffers and members of Congress on Capitol Hill, and bragged about using erectile dysfunction medicine–energy cocktails to “go all night.”

The Most Shocking Admission from Shady Boeing CEO’s Testimony

Dave Calhoun’s testimony included explosive revelations that did nothing to quell anger at and concerns about the company.

Families of the victims of the Boeing 737 crashes hold up photos of their deceased relatives as Boeing CEO David Calhoun testifies
Samuel Corum/AFP/Getty Images

If the bosses at Boeing intended for CEO Dave Calhoun’s performance during a Senate hearing to smooth over the company’s abject turmoil, they were woefully mistaken.

Calhoun was forced Tuesday to answer on the record whether the embattled aerospace company had retaliated against any of the more than a dozen whistleblowers who have raised concerns over the safety standards and ethics of the company, and he gave the answer many already suspected to be true.

“I know it happens,” said Calhoun, adding that the company had taken action against those who had retaliated.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, who asked Calhoun the question, also read testimony from the late John Barnett, a Boeing whistleblower who was found dead in his vehicle from what police said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In his opening remarks, Blumenthal said that Barnett had “committed suicide under the immense pressure the company put on him for raising safety claims.”

Barnett, who brought up concerns about missing parts, was apparently called by one of his supervisors 19 times in one day, and was told, “I’m going to push you until you break.”

Blumenthal recounted Barnett’s testimony in which he said one of his coworkers was physically assaulted for raising concerns about safety. The senator asked whether Calhoun had followed up on this report, and the CEO said he didn’t know.

Calhoun was also absolutely decimated by a surprisingly strong line of questioning from the blatantly opportunist Senator Josh Hawley, who demanded that he should resign. But after the hearing ended, Calhoun’s humiliation was still far from over.

Nadia Milleron, whose daughter was killed in a 2019 Boeing crash, tore into Calhoun Tuesday night during an interview on CNN for his opening apology to the family members of people who died in two 737 Max crashes. “I apologize to the grief we have caused,” he’d said, turning to face the family members present in the Senate chamber. “I want you to know we are totally committed to work focused on safety.”

Milleron wasn’t so convinced. “It wasn’t a real apology. What he was doing is he doesn’t want us to know the details of how it happened,” she told CNN’s Abby Phillip.

Milleron recounted making eye contact with Calhoun as he gave his apology. “He looked at me in the eye and he said, ‘I am sorry,’ and I said, ‘You are sorry? Are you sorry for the bombs Boeing produced that kill innocent kids in Rafah? Are you sorry for that, too?’”

Boeing helped to develop Israel’s missile defense system, and has continued to arm the Israeli Defense Forces as it wages its brutal military campaign in Gaza, which has killed more than 37,000 people, including thousands of young children.

“Like how can he sleep?” MIlleron asked rhetorically. “This person is a psychopath. We can not have people running these companies that do not care about human life. We have to have responsible people running these companies.”

Read Virginia’s Tea Leaves: This Election Is Chaos

The race between Bob Good and Trump-endorsed John McGuire remains too close to call. But that's not the only vicious infighting in Virginia this election cycle.

John McGuire stands in front of a vehicle wearing a red shirt reading "McGuire" and "Trump Endorsed."
Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
GOP candidate for Virginia's 5th Congressional district John McGuire returns to his campaign bus after meeting voters at the Annual Father's Day Carshow in Bumpass, Virginia, on Saturday, June 15, 2024.

Two hotly contested seats in Virginia’s primary on Tuesday are providing insight into how much influence Donald Trump and pro-Israel lobbying groups have over our elections.

The once-mighty Trump endorsement continues to deteriorate: Trump-endorsed election denialist Senator John McGuire’s race to oust incumbent Republican representative Bob Good remains too close to call as of Wednesday when vote tallying paused for the Juneteenth state and federal holiday. McGuire led by just 327 votes—0.52 percent—over Good. In response to the razor-thin margins, Good took to social media to sprinkle a touch of election denialism of his own, asking for “full transparency from the officials involved” in counting and certifying votes, as if that wasn’t already how the election certification process is run.

Good has courted controversy both with his efforts to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and with his early endorsement of Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s failed presidential campaign. Good has struggled to maintain his MAGA bona fides by demonstrating his undying love for Trump, who he’s described as “the best president of my lifetime.” Good made an appearance in New York City outside the courthouse to support Trump in his ill-fated hush-money trial. His appearance there sparked a brutal response from Trump who declared he’s “BAD FOR VIRGINIA, AND BAD FOR THE USA” before giving McGuire his “Complete and Total Endorsement.” Despite efforts from Trumpworld to bolster McGuire, the infighting has largely left Virginia voters confused.

Further complicating Virginia’s primaries this week, pro-Israel lobbying groups continue to dump enormous resources into Democratic races across the country, despite data consistently showing that voters are primarily concerned about the economy, not with Israel. In New York, the lobbying effort has made a primary between incumbent Representative Jamaal Bowman and MAGA-funded Westchester County Executive George Latimer the most expensive House primary in U.S. political history.

Early showings from other primaries have suggested efforts from the pro-Israel lobby are largely paying off—except in Virginia’s 10th congressional district. In the crowded race with a dozen candidates, pro-Israel lobbying group Democratic Majority for Israel PAC reportedly backed Eileen Filler-Corn to replace Representative Jennifer Wexton, who is retiring. On Tuesday, Filler-Corn landed in an abysmal fourth place, picking up just 9.3 percent of the votes.

The winner of that race, Virginia senator Suhas Subramanyam, received more than 30 percent of the vote. DMFI doesn’t seem too unhappy with the result, however, praising Subramanyam’s “commitment to Democratic values and his support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship,” and describing him as a “proud pro-Israel candidate.”

“Democrats in [Virginia’s 10th congressional district] have proven once again that being pro-Israel is not just wise policy, but also winning politics,” the group wrote.

How all this infighting will factor into the general election remains to be seen. The main message from Virginia’s primaries, both Democrat and Republican, seems to be that the 2024 election season has definitely activated chaos mode.