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Trump Grew National Debt Twice As Much as Biden, Damning Report Says

The Republican Party is only pretending to care about cutting the debt. Just look at their leader’s record.

Donald Trump speaks at a mic (profile shot)
Hannah Beier/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A new report has found that Donald Trump’s spending habits as president led to him driving up the national debt twice as much as Biden.

An Axios analysis published Monday found that Trump added $8.4 trillion in borrowing, including $3.6 trillion in Covid-19 relief, citing the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. In contrast, Biden borrowed $4.3 trillion, with $2.1 trillion going to Covid relief.

Much of Trump’s non-pandemic debt was due to his 2017 tax cuts, which added $1.9 trillion of debt. His spending packages, passed with bipartisan support, added $2.1 trillion. Biden’s spending bills only added $1.4 trillion, along with $620 billion for his student debt plans and $520 billion supporting health care for veterans.

The analysis raises questions about how the November presidential election would affect fiscal policy. Trump’s tax policies are currently set to expire in 2025 but would add $4.6 trillion to the national debt over the next decade if they are fully extended. Neither Biden nor Trump have paid particular attention to the national debt in their presidential campaigns, but it has a major effect on the economy and government programs.

The GOP has long criticized the Democratic Party for a willingness to tax and spend, but the data shows that Biden has spent much less than Trump, even after factoring in Covid. Trump, who came into the White House touting his success in business, seems to have shown his ability to rack up debt and completely disregard older Republican ideas of fiscal responsibility.

But really, the difference between the two presidential candidates, and their political parties, can be traced back to the historically pivotal 2000 presidential election. Democrat Al Gore wanted to use the budget surplus at the time to pay down the national debt, while Republican George W. Bush wanted to enact a massive tax cut. In the end, Bush won, and he would not only enact the tax cut but rack up astronomical levels of debt by taking the United States into two wars with no tax increases.

Today, no Republican will entertain tackling the debt with tax increases, even on the rich, illustrating the choice Americans have this November about how the national debt will be handled. Bush and Trump have hopefully taught voters that businessmen don’t make for better, or even fiscally responsible, political leaders.

Alex Jones’s Conspiracy Kingdom Just Got Closer to Crumbling

A bankruptcy court trustee has filed an emergency motion to shut down Jones’s media company.

Alex Jones speaks
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

After Alex Jones weaponized his media empire in order to broadcast countless conspiracy theories, his primary platform is coming to an end.

A U.S. bankruptcy court trustee filed an “emergency” motion Sunday to proceed with the liquidation of Jones’s media assets. That cash would be used toward the $1.5 billion that the far-right personality owes to the families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre after he claimed the mass shooting, which took the lives of 20 first graders and six adults, was a hoax.

Trustee Christopher Murray said in his filing that he “seeks this Court’s intervention to prevent a value-destructive money grab and allow an orderly process to take its course.”

Jones reportedly holds $9 million in personal assets, while InfoWars’s parent company, Free Speech Systems, has $6 million in cash, with roughly $1.2 million worth of inventory, reported the Associated Press.

Jones filed for bankruptcy in 2022 after losing his case against the victims of the tragedy. Jones himself filed earlier this month to liquidate all of his assets so that he could begin to put a dent in paying off the massive debt. Days later, the judge overseeing the personal bankruptcy case, Judge Christopher Lopez, approved the switch from reorganization to liquidation. Lopez also dismissed the company’s bankruptcy filing, noting that InfoWars had failed to reach an agreement with the victims’ families that would have allowed Jones to keep the business in operation while paying them millions of dollars per year.

In the background, Jones is working to appeal the judgments against him, claiming that while he now believes that the mass shooting did happen, his First Amendment rights should permit him to be able to say that they didn’t.

Matt Gaetz Is Furious CNN Wouldn’t Let Trump Spokeswoman Lie on Air

MAGA world is freaking out that Donald Trump’s press secretary Karoline Leavitt was cut off mid-interview.

Donald Trump spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt speaks into microphones
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s press secretary Karoline Leavitt got dissed and dismissed during an interview on CNN Monday, and the former president’s allies are up in arms. 

Leavitt was speaking with CNN’s Kasie Hunt when she began criticizing the network, which will host the first Biden-Trump presidential debate on Thursday, June 27. 

Leavitt praised her boss for “knowingly going into a hostile environment on this very network, on CNN, with debate moderators who have made their opinions about him very well known over the past eight years.” 

Hunt recoiled as her interviewee casually called CNN’s coverage “biased.”

“So I’ll just say my colleagues, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, have acquitted themselves as professionals as they have covered campaigns and interviewed candidates from all sides of the aisle,” Hunt rebutted. “I’ll also say that if you talk to analysts of previous debates, that if you’re attacking the moderators, you’re usually losing.”

The CNN host tried to turn the subject back to what Leavitt expected from Joe Biden’s debate performance, but the conservative spokeswoman couldn’t resist going in on Tapper, who has become a regular target of Trump’s allies ever since being tapped to moderate the upcoming debate. 

“Well, first of all, it would take someone five minutes for someone to google ‘Jake Tapper Donald Trump’ to see that Jake Tapper has consistently—” Leavitt began, before Hunt put her hand up, interrupting her.  

“Ma’am, I’m going to stop this interview if you’re going to continue to attack my colleagues,” said Hunt, but Leavitt persisted. The two continued to talk over each other, Hunt’s voice rising as she bid her guest to answer the question and stick to talking about Trump. 

Leavitt’s insistence on skirting the question so she could muscle through her Trumpian talking point is par for the course for the former president’s allies, who regularly derail interviews so they can breathlessly campaign on air. 

Eventually, Hunt just gave up. 

“I’m sorry, guys, we’re going to come back out to the panel,” said Hunt. “Karoline, thank you very much for your time. You are welcome to come back at any point. She is welcome to come back and speak about Donald Trump, and Donald Trump will have equal time to Joe Biden when they both join us, now, uh next, later this week in Atlanta for this debate.”

Now Republicans are taking aim at Hunt for ending the interview early. 

“I would like to thank @kasie for her meltdown this morning,” wrote ethically dubious Representative Matt Gaetz in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “Without the booting of @kleavittnh today. Karoline’s legitimate criticisms of CNN wouldn’t have gotten nearly the play they did.”

Right-wing ghoul Stephen Miller also had some unsolicited advice for Hunt. 

“Pro tip for CNN: if you silence a guest for truthfully discussing deeply offensive commentary from a CNN host, and abruptly terminate the interview, you succeed only in calling more attention to the CNN host’s alarming bias and outrageous slanders,” he wrote on X. 

It’s worth noting that the specific reason Trump allies are taking shots at Tapper is because he has reported on Trump’s fascistic and dehumanizing rhetoric, rightly comparing the former president to Adolf Hitler. Trump even shared a video compilation made by Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec of all the times Tapper has compared him to the Nazi leader.

Strangely, most Republicans took no issue when Steve Bannon did the exact same thing—apparently when he said it, he meant it as a compliment. 

Leavitt also weighed in on the onscreen drama. “CNN cutting off my microphone for bringing up a debate moderator’s history of anti-Trump lies just proves our point that President Trump will not be treated fairly in Thursday’s debate. Yet President Trump is still willing to go into this 3–1 fight to bring his winning message to the American people, and he will win,” Leavitt said, according to Fox News. 

With all of the attacks against CNN, though, it seems that Trump’s team actually believes the exact opposite. That’s why they’re doing everything they can to undermine the debate’s legitimacy before it even happens. 

South Carolina to Launch Biggest Censorship Campaign Yet

The South Carolina state superintendent of education is about to gut school libraries.

Bookshelves at a junior high school in South Carolina are half-empty
Melissa Golden/Bloomberg/Getty Images

South Carolina is expected to implement one of the most restrictive state-wide public school books bans in the country Tuesday—and it has a close ally of Moms for Liberty to blame.

The draconian new law will require all instructional materials, including library books, to be considered “Age or Developmentally Appropriate.” If that term sounds purposefully meaningless, that’s because it is. The new rule vaguely defines appropriate “topics, messages, and teaching methods” as being “suitable to particular ages or age groups of children and adolescents, based on developing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capacity typical for the age or age group.”

This definition, which leaves plenty of room for its expansive application, comes with an additional caveat that will make possible the most restrictive ban on books in the nation.

Instructional material will no longer be considered “age or developmentally appropriate” if it includes descriptions or visual depictions of “sexual conduct.” South Carolina state law defines sexual conduct as “vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse, whether actual or simulated, normal or perverted, whether between human beings, animals, or a combination thereof.”

This change is a significant tightening of the law, which previously required descriptions of sexual conduct to be considered “obscene” in order for them to qualify a book for removal from a public school library. For sexual conduct to be considered obscene, it needed to appeal to a “prurient interest in sex,” lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value,” be patently offensive, or fail to meet community standards, according to state law.

South Carolina’s absurdly authoritarian rule will automatically go into effect on June 25, and will be even more restrictive than Governor Ron Desantis’s crackdown on books in Florida, which also uses the obscenity rule. The South Carolina law will undoubtedly have an outsize effect on all materials related to LGBTQ+ people and experiences, but it will also apply to classic works of literature such as Catcher in the Rye, Romeo and Juliet, and The Odyssey.

The new law is the brainchild of State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver, who was invited to speak at a summit in Philadelphia last summer for the extremist parental rights group Moms for Liberty.

Earlier this month, South Carolina’s Department of Education decided to drop Advanced Placement African American studies courses from schools and remove college credit for those classes. In April, Weaver advised schools to ignore President Joe Biden’s updated Title IX rules, which expanded protections for LGBTQ+ students.

This new rule, which was approved in November, represents a significant escalation for the totalitarian bureaucrat who aims to create a society that relies on state censorship, fueling ignorance in the hope of creating a new generation of bigoted Americans.

Eric Trump Tries Bragging About His Father—and Gets Brutally Roasted

Donald Trump is not sending his best.

Eric Trump speaks. Lara Trump is in the background, out of focus.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Eric Trump really wants to praise his father, Donald Trump, and on a podcast episode over the weekend, his flattery went over the top.

Speaking on the X22 Report, which has been banned from YouTube and other social media sites for promoting QAnon conspiracies, Trump said his father’s greatest accomplishment is his “unvarnished honesty.”

“I think my father will go down, maybe his greatest accomplishment will actually be kind of the unvarnished honesty that he’s really taken toward the whole system,” the younger Trump said.

And he was immediately taken to task.

Twitter Screenshot @BettyBowers: Someone tell Eric that I just checked my thesaurus and "unvarnished" is not a synonym for "nonexistent."
Twitter screenshot @rr_edmonds: If only we lived in the age of miracles where liars were struck by lightning.
Twitter screenshot @RedHibiscus23: Wrong, his father will be horribly remembered as a dishonest traitor
Twitter screenshot: @bobby82719470 Such a huge lie it’s kinda funny. 😂🤷

Donald Trump’s lying is well established, with many sites tracking his extensive falsehoods for years. About 76 percent of the 1,000 fact checks Politifact has conducted on him came back false, and The Washington Post found 30,573 false or misleading claims during the four years of his presidency. In a speech in Wisconsin last week, Trump made at least 30 false statements alone. In Trumpworld, though, honesty just seems to be attacking the people that Trump supporters hate.

Steve Bannon Exposes How Big Lie Is Driving Everything in GOP

In a new interview, Bannon reveals how deeply the Big Lie is embedded in the Republican Party.

Steve Bannon speaking at a mic and stretching his right arm outward
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Former White House chief strategist and current podcast host Steve Bannon is set to report to prison to serve a four-month sentence for refusing to comply with a subpoena related to his participation in the January 6 Capitol insurrection. Before he does, though, the MAGA luminary laid down a ground rule for Trump’s 2024 campaign.

“We’re the railhead of the big steal every day, with every aspect of it, and we take pride in it. I’m adamant. There shouldn’t be anybody in the Trump campaign or the RNC in a paid position that does not believe to the marrow of their bones that the 2020 election was stolen. If you don’t believe that, to me, you miss the point of where we are and why we’re here,” Bannon said in a new interview published in The Guardian.

One person who might not pass Bannon’s vetting test: former president and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, who was caught on tape during an interview with Variety editor Ramin Setoodeh accidentally admitting that he lost the election. One imagines the big man would be given a pass, but still it’s clear that Republicans are seeking an ideological purge of all but the truest of believers in the baseless idea that Trump was the legitimate winner of the 2020 election.

Bannon also claimed that Fox News, which settled a defamation lawsuit brought by voting machine company Dominion for $787.5 million and faces a separate $2.7 million defamation suit from Smartmatic for broadcasting false information about the companies in the aftermath of the 2020 election, was engaging in a “psyop” for ceasing coverage of the stolen election myth.

And for good measure, Bannon refused to commit to accepting the results of the 2024 election, retreating into the same evasions, semantic games, and packaged phrases of supposed contingencies that Trump (and the rest of the conservative movement) made popular in 2020 and promises to trot out again. “We’re going to have to go through it line by line and make sure. It’s got to be certifiable, chain of custody, legitimate votes from American citizens. If we do that and those votes are there I have no problem if they win, but we’re not going to answer now ‘Yes, we’re going to do it’, because we don’t know, we’re not there yet and it’s going to be hard fought. Nobody’s asked Democrats that if Trump wins,” he said.

Supreme Court Sets Up Major Battle Over Transgender Health Care

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case on whether states can ban gender-affirming care for minors.

The Supreme Court building at night
Andrew Leyden/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has picked up another LGBTQ rights case–and despite the court’s recent hard-rightward swing, it could go either way.

The case, United States v. Skrmetti, will argue whether a law out of Tennessee barring gender-affirming medical procedures for minors violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The challengers to the draconian law are three teenagers, aged between 13 and 16 years old, who have received puberty blockers and hormone therapy.

The teens—and several major U.S. medical groups—argue that gender-affirming care is lifesaving care, drastically reducing the rates of depression, anxiety, and reported suicide attempts among transgender and nonbinary kids.

“The future of countless transgender youth in this and future generations rests on this Court adhering to the facts, the Constitution, and its own modern precedent,” said Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project, in a press release, decrying the bill as an “openly political effort to wage war” on individual freedoms.

Although Republicans have latched onto the transgender community as a focus of their cruel attacks in recent years, it is unclear if the conservative majority on the nation’s highest court will rule against access. In 2020, in a major win for the LGBTQ community, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Neil Gorsuch joined the then-four liberal justices in determining that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender people from workplace discrimination based on their sexual or gender orientation.

Writing the majority opinion, Gorsuch commented that “the answer is clear.”

Lawyers for plaintiffs could similarly argue that refusing to provide gender-affirming care is discrimination based on someone’s gender. But if they are unsuccessful, then children nationwide will be left without medical care—and it will likely open the door to ban gender-affirming care for adults next.

The justices will hear arguments in United States v. Skrmetti in the fall, with an opinion expected by late June 2025.

Team Trump Is Creating Blacklist of Enemies in Federal Government

Worried about Republicans’ Project 2025? Meet Project Sovereignty 2025.

Donald Trump speaking at a mic
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

As plans for a second, “better” (read: more competent in its authoritarianism) Trump administration take shape six months out from the 2024 election, a frightening new initiative appears to be part of it: the creation of a blacklist of federal workers whom conservatives worry might attempt to block the implementation of Trump policies.

Project Sovereignty 2025, a McCarthyite plan to identify and make public names of governmental employees serving as bulwarks against unconstitutional border and deportation policies, is the creation of former Republican congressional aide Tom Jones and his American Accountability Foundation, an AP report revealed. Jones won a $100,000 grant from the Heritage Foundation to create the blacklist. According to the AP, Jones’s work is based largely on “gut check[s]” and “instinct,” running roughshod over the lives of federal workers to ensure the easy implementation of conservative policies should Trump win in November.

The dystopian measure appears to be the newest scheme of the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025 agenda. The blacklist is an outgrowth of the agenda, outlined in a 900-page document, to stock the federal government with ideologically sympathetic civil servants willing to shirk their duties to expedite ultraconservative orders. Key to Project 2025 is the proposed revival of Trump’s Schedule F executive order, a provision that reclassifies civil servants as political appointees, making them easier to fire. Jones’s list of enemies would be used to target workers for removal from the government under Schedule F, which the Biden administration repealed.

The conservative attempt to weaponize the civil service is alarming, if predictable. It follows from a first Trump term that saw constant turnover in leadership, often over perceived disloyalty to the president, and efforts to gum up the works of the administration by resisting civil servants. That the conservative movement is building an infrastructure to circumvent those civil servants who stood up in the face of the Trump administration’s most egregious overreaches should concern those who, resisting invocations of the “fascist” label, insist that despite his fascistic rhetoric, Trump essentially governed as a standard conservative during his time in office. With the weight of legacy conservative institutions like the Heritage Foundation and their open witch-hunting cadres like the American Accountability Foundation, a second Trump administration would be even more disastrous for the rule of law than the first.

Trump’s Mass Deportation Promise Just Got More Unhinged

Donald Trump warned of “20 million” people who needed to be removed in a rambling speech.

Donald Trump waves as he speaks into a microphone
Andrew Leyden/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Donald Trump pledged over the weekend to begin the “largest deportation operation in history” if elected president, before flying off the rails into one of his most berserk speaking engagements to date, full of promises that ranged from ridiculous to terrifying, and lame complaints about his media coverage. 

Trump’s speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “2024 Road to Majority” conference Saturday was a deluge of wild and inaccurate claims about immigrants aimed to stir the Christian conservative audience into a frenzy. But soon, things predictably descended into the kind of drivel for which the former president is known. 

While speaking about immigration, Trump interrupted himself, as he insisted that he knew there was a “slight difference” between “prisons and jails” and “mental institutions and insane asylums,” to once again talk about his favorite movie.  

“We have probably close to 20 million people that came in from all parts of the world. They’re gonna have to be gone,” Trump began, before abruptly changing topics.

“Whenever I say Silence of the Lambs, the fake news back there,” he said, pointing to the back of the room, “they say, ‘Oh, he’s talking about—he’s talking about Silence of the Lambs.’” 

So true. 

“When I say ‘the late, great Hannibal Lecter,’ they say, ‘Oh, he likes Hannibal Lecter.’ No, they’re crazy,” he continued. 

Trump has repeatedly mentioned the iconic horror villain as a gross generalization about people who have entered the United States through its southern border, many of whom, he baselessly claims, have escaped from the world’s prisons, mental institutions, and insane asylums, because of course, there is a “slight difference.” 

Unfortunately for Trump, who regularly blunders in his off-the-rails rants, what he described was straight reporting of him weirdly praising a fictional cannibal. Still, he continued to insist that the media is unfairly covering him. 

“When I imitate Joe Biden can’t get off the stage, I walk into a wall, purposely,” Trump said, brilliantly noting that “sometimes they don’t have a wall, you’re free-standing.”

“But I imitate him, and I walk into a wall, and the next day they write ‘Donald Trump Could Not Find His Way Off The Stage,’ no, no!” Trump insisted that the Biden campaign is pushing the narrative that their candidate is “improperly covered,” while whining that he had been improperly covered. 

Throughout his speech, Trump repeatedly lashed out against immigrants in the U.S., who he claimed are “getting comfortable now, they’re going to start hitting us very hard. These people are bad.” 

He even floated the idea of a “migrant league of fighters” in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which UFC CEO Dana White quickly clarified was a joke. While it may have been a joke, it demonstrates that the former president does not really view immigrants as human. And as a result, his immigration policy is simultaneously unserious and bloodthirsty.

Lara Trump’s Sick Praise for Reversal of Roe v. Wade

It’s not surprising Lara Trump is celebrating the reversal of abortion rights, but her reasoning is bizarre.

Lara Trump speaking with a finger pointed
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Lara Trump is happy about how her father-in-law, Donald Trump, overturned the landmark abortion rights decision of Roe v. Wade by appointing three conservative Supreme Court justices—and her reasoning is particularly strange.

The younger Trump told Ainsley Earhardt on Fox & Friends Monday morning how Trump’s preferred justices made the “right decision.”

“Well, look, Donald Trump obviously nominated three Supreme Court justices to the bench who made the right decision and actually set Roe v. Wade out and said, listen, this is up to the states,” Trump said. “It shouldn’t be up to a small group of people in Washington, D.C. The most democratic thing now has happened.”

Lara Trump’s words seem rather contradictory, as Donald Trump as well as Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett are just a small group of people in Washington, D.C. who are going against overwhelming public support of abortion rights. A poll last month, for example, found that 63 percent of U.S. adults believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared to 36 percent who believe that it should be illegal in all or most circumstances.

Monday is the two-year anniversary of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned decades of precedent by removing the federal right to abortion. Ever since, red states have passed laws restricting and banning abortion, and in many cases have faced an electoral backlash. November will be the first post-Dobbs presidential election. Will Trump and the GOP face a backlash of their own?