Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
A pro-Trump super PAC made illegal contributions to the president's reelection campaign, a watchdog group says
  • The nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center accused super PAC Our American Century spent illegally large sums of money to redistribute Trump campaign political advertisements.
  • Most of Our American Century's more than $7 million in income during 2020 came from one man — money manager Frederic Eshelman.
  • Eshelman recently sued a separate political group for $2.5 million, alleging it had misused his contribution while attempting to identify instances of Election 2020 voter fraud.
The Campaign Legal Center accused Our American Century of spending up to $251,000 to redistribute an existing Trump campaign video while failing to reveal the super PAC — not the Trump campaign — bankrolled the ad blitz.

The Our American Century-funded ad campaign, which ran during October on Google-owned YouTube, targeted voters in Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, according to political ad data Google publicly discloses.

The ads criticized President-elect Joe Biden's record on energy and concluded with the disclaimer: "Paid for by Donald J. Trump for President Inc."

"This is an incredibly straightforward violation of the law," said Brendan Fischer, the Campaign Legal Center's director of federal reform who filed the complaint with the Federal Election Commission. "It's also a law the FEC has a history of enforcing."

Trump's new defense secretary has reportedly ordered the Pentagon to halt Biden transition cooperation
  • Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller has ordered the Pentagon to halt cooperation with the Biden transition team, Axios reported Friday.
  • A Pentagon official said that the reason was that the staff involved in the transition is "overwhelmed."
  • The start of the transition was delayed, limiting the time to complete necessary tasks, and the senior Pentagon leader in charge of the transition was installed after a purge of the department's civilian leadership and has been on the job a little over a month.
  • Cooperation will likely restart sometime after the holidays, a Pentagon official told Axios.

Trump's former national security advisor says the president should impose martial law to force new elections in battleground states
  • Former national security advisor Michael Flynn said on Thursday that President Donald Trump should impose martial law to overturn the results of the 2020 US election.
  • Specifically, Flynn told the pro-Trump network Newsmax that the president should deploy the military to "re-run an election" in battleground states that he lost to President-elect Joe Biden.
  • The former national security advisor, who was recently pardoned by Trump, made a similar suggestion earlier this month when he shared a message calling on the president to deploy the military for a "national re-vote."
  • Flynn's comments are not based in reality — the election results have already been certified, the president does not have the power to unilaterally change the date of an election, and declaring martial law does not suspend the Constitution.
First, despite Republican claims of fraud and election-rigging, nonpartisan officials and election experts have confirmed that the 2020 election was the safest and most secure in US history. The president does not have the power to unilaterally cancel, delay, postpone, or change the date of an election, even if he declares martial law. As Business Insider previously reported, that power lies with Congress.

Declaring martial law also does not suspend the Constitution and the military has no role in administering elections. Even if it did, it would not be able to run new elections because the right to vote is not specified in the Constitution or by a federal statute.

On January 6, Congress is set to officially count up the electoral votes for each candidate and certify Biden as the winner, and on January 20, he will be sworn in as president.

Supreme Court Holds Off Ruling on Trump Plan to Block Immigrants From Census Count
The Supreme Court on Friday punted on President Donald Trump's directive to exclude immigrants living in the country illegally from the 2020 census count, ruling that a resolution of the case is "premature."

In an unsigned majority opinion, the high court held off ruling on the merits of the case, which critics argue would have a chilling effect on immigrants and a major impact on the apportionment of U.S. House districts. Friday's ruling leaves the door open for the Trump administration to still exclude some immigrants from the count. But Dale Ho, the director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project who argued against the exclusion in court last month, issued a warning on Friday that advocates would sue if Trump moves forward with the policy.

Jared Kushner helped create a Trump campaign shell company that secretly paid the president's family members and spent $617 million in reelection cash, a source tells Insider
  • Jared Kushner approved the creation of a shell company that spent almost half of the Trump campaign's $1.26B war chest, a person familiar with the operation told Insider exclusively.
  • Kushner directed Lara Trump, Vice President Mike Pence's nephew John Pence, and Trump campaign CFO Sean Dollman to serve on the shell company's board, the person told Insider
  • American Made Media Consultants became the source of consternation for Trump's own campaign staff, who were kept in the dark about its operations.
  • Despite its $617 million spending through AMMC, the Trump campaign publicly disclosed little information about the company, including how it used the money.
President Donald Trump's most powerful advisor, Jared Kushner, approved the creation of a campaign shell company that secretly paid the president's family members and spent almost half of the campaign's $1.26 billion war chest, a person familiar with the operation told Insider.

The operation acted almost like a campaign within a campaign. It paid some of Trump's top advisors and family members while shielding financial and operational details from public scrutiny.

When Kushner and others created the company in April 2018, they picked Trump's daughter-in-law Lara Trump, to become its president, Vice President Mike Pence's nephew John Pence as its vice president, and Trump campaign CFO Sean Dollman as its treasurer and secretary, the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.

Insider independently verified details of this person's account with other sources close to the Trump campaign.

The shell company — incorporated as American Made Media Consultants Corporation and American Made Media Consultants LLC — allowed Trump's campaign to skirt federally mandated disclosures. The tactic could attract scrutiny from federal election regulators.

Biden says Lindsey Graham is a 'personal disappointment' for not recognizing him as president-elect
  • President-elect Joe Biden told Stephen Colbert that he's disappointed GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham has not recognized him as the winner of the 2020 election.
  • "Lindsey's been a personal disappointment because I was a personal friend of his," Biden said.
  • Graham, once a sharp critic of President Donald Trump, has supported the president's longshot legal efforts to overturn the election results.
  • The South Carolina Republican was previously a close friend of Biden's. In 2015, Graham said Biden is "as good a man as God ever created."
Though Graham has close ties to Trump in the present day, he was singing a different tune during the 2016 campaign cycle. In a 2015 interview with CNN, Graham referred to Trump as a "race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot."

"You know how you make America great again? Tell Donald Trump to go to hell," Graham said at the time.

In a separate interview with HuffPost in 2015, Graham showered Biden with praise.

"If you can't admire Joe Biden as a person, you've got a problem. You need to do some self-evaluation, 'cause, what's not to like?" Graham said. He said Biden was "as good a man as God ever created."

"He's said some of the most incredibly heartfelt things that anybody could ever say to me. He's the nicest person I think I've ever met in politics," Graham added of Biden.

During that interview, Graham became emotional while speaking about Biden, who has gone through major personal tragedies, and said people should not "take relationships for granted."

Trump signs bill that could kick Chinese companies off US stock exchanges unless they agree to American accounting standards
  • Trump on Friday signed a bill that would ban Chinese companies from being listed on US stock exchanges unless they adhere to American accounting standards.
  • Under the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, foreign firms aren't allowed to trade shares on any US exchange if they fail audits from US regulators and must disclose ownership by foreign governments.
  • The legislation gives Trump another tool to wield against China before he leaves office in January.

Lawmakers ask FBI and Federal Election Commission to investigate Jared Kushner-backed Trump campaign company after Insider's reporting
  • Two lawmakers demanded that the FBI and the Federal Election Commission open an investigation into whether the Trump campaign violated federal law by spending hundreds of millions of reelection money through a company that White House advisor Jared Kushner created.
  • The lawmakers' letter comes hours after Insider reported that the Trump campaign had spent $617 million through a company that the president's son-in-law helped establish in 2018.
  • In the letter obtained exclusively by Insider, Reps. Ted Lieu of California and Kathleen Rice of New York noted that campaign finance violations above $25,000 are felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.
  • The Department of Justice, of which the FBI is part, is empowered to investigate "knowing and willful" criminal violations of campaign finance laws.
"As former prosecutors, we know that this conduct, if true, violates multiple laws," Lieu and Rice wrote in their letter to the FBI. "We respectfully request that you open investigations into whether or not Mr. Kushner and members of the Trump family violated federal campaign finance or other statutes."

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.