No Trumps๐Ÿ‘ฑ‍♂️ Newsbites
Don Jr. slammed Republicans who 'lose gracefully' and said that Trump showed 'you can actually push back'
  • Donald Trump Jr. said more Republicans need to push back against Democrats, like his father.
  • He told Fox News the GOP was choosing to "lose gracefully" but that Trump showed how to "push back."
  • For Trump, pushing back involved undermining the election results and egging on what became the insurrection at the US Capitol.
Speaking on Fox News on Thursday, Trump said that more Republicans were not willing to stand up to Democrats and needed to act like the former president.

"The Republicans aren't willing to do it. They have shown that over the decades," he said in an interview with host Sean Hannity.

He continued: "They'd just rather lose gracefully, I guess. That's not really a plan that I would go with. It's what they have done. Donald Trump has shown that you don't have to do that. You can actually push back."

... Since taking office, President Joe Biden has signed a slew of executive actions overturning Trump-era policies and pushed hard to advance a new stimulus package.

Some Republicans have indicated openness to working with Biden, who has pledged to return bipartisanship to US politics.

For his part, former President Trump reacted to his election loss by rejecting the results and advancing false allegations.

His attacks included a series of failed legal bids to the results, and spreading conspiracy theories.
Read the full article:

WATCH: CPAC attendees booed and heckled the hosts when asked to wear masks indoors
  • The hosts of CPAC got booed and heckled on Friday after asking the crowd to wear masks
  • "And I know this might sound like a little bit of a downer" one of the hosts said to preface it.
  • "I know, it's not the most fun," another said before getting shouted at.
A largely maskless crowd on Friday booed and heckled the hosts of the 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida when they were asked to wear masks.

Carly Conley, the conference's events coordinator, said attendees need to obey local coronavirus-related laws and ordinances during their time in the Hyatt Regency hotel in Orlando.

"Well, as Dan mentioned, we are in a private facility, and we do want to be respectful of the ordinances that they have as their private property," Conley said, referring to Dan Schneider, the executive director of the American Conservative Union who was on stage with her. "So please, everyone, when you're in the ballroom, when you're seated, you should be wearing a mask.

"So if everybody could go ahead, work on that," she continued before being met with boos and shouts.

"Freedom!" one attendee yelled before being joined in a quasi-chant.

Neither Conley nor Schneider mentioned COVID-19. Instead, they tried to couch their request in terms of respecting the law.
Read the full article:

Former House Speaker John Boehner can be heard telling Ted Cruz to 'go f--- yourself' in an audiobook recording, report says
  • John Boehner went off script while recording the audiobook of his new memoir, Axios reported.
  • In one session, the former House speaker reportedly called out Ted Cruz, saying, "Go f--- yourself."
  • Cruz was recently vilified for flying to Cancรบn as a winter storm swept his home state of Texas.
Boehner's memoir, "On the House: A Washington Memoir," scheduled to be released in April, chronicles his time as Republican Party representative and House speaker from 2011 to 2015.

The audiobook also contains Boehner's off-script commentary. In one recent recording session, Axios reported, Boehner stopped reading from the book and said, "Oh, and Ted Cruz, go f---- yourself."

The context and date of the remark were unclear.

... On Thursday, Boehner tweeted a photo of himself in a recording studio holding a glass of wine. "Poured myself a glass of something nice to read my audiobook," he said. "You can blame the wine for the expletives."

David Schnittger, a spokesman for Boehner, told Axios: "I can confirm there were some off-script moments during his recording of the audiobook."

Schnittger added: "He pretty much just let it fly, as he did when he was working on the book itself. He's not really interested in being anything other than himself these days. That is kind of the spirit of the entire project."

... Boehner and Cruz have a long and fractious relationship, with Cruz often claiming not to know Boehner.
Read the full article:

Biden administration releases report on Khashoggi's killing directly implicating Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
  • The Biden administration released a long-awaited report on Jamal Khashoggi's killing.
  • The declassified intelligence report directly implicated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • The Trump administration prioritized the US-Saudi relationship and refused to release the report.
The Biden administration on Friday released a declassified US intelligence report on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal 2018 killing that explicitly implicated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the report, provided by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), said.

It added: "We base this assessment on the Crown Prince's control of decisionmaking in the Kingdom, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of Muhammad bin Salman's protective detail in the operation, and the Crown Prince's support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi."

The report went on to note that Prince Mohammed since 2017 has had "absolute control" over the kingdom's security and intelligence organizations, which makes it "highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince's authorization."

"The Crown Prince viewed Khashoggi as a threat to the Kingdom and broadly supported using violent measures if necessary to silence him," the report stated.

The intelligence assessment also names with "high confidence" 21 people that "participated in, ordered, or were otherwise complicit in or responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi on behalf of Muhammad bin Salman." The report went on to say, however, that it's unknown "whether these individuals knew in advance that the operation would result in Khashoggi's death."

The listed names include Saud al-Qahtani, formerly a close advisor to Prince Mohammed who's been accused of directing the operation behind Khashoggi's murder. Al-Qahtani was dismissed from his role shortly after the killing.

The Trump administration repeatedly defied congressional demands for an unclassified report explicitly identifying any current or former Saudi officials responsible for Khashoggi's death in a Saudi embassy.

The long-awaited release of the declassified report on Friday is one sign of how President Joe Biden is drastically altering the close dynamic that developed between Riyadh and the Trump administration. In the immediate aftermath of Khashoggi's killing, then-President Donald Trump defended Prince Mohammed and suggested that "maybe" the Saudi leader had no knowledge of the killing. "The world is a very dangerous place!" Trump said in response to the killing.
Read the full article:

Biden will not sanction MBS over Khashoggi's killing despite US report implicating the Saudi leader in the murder
  • The Biden administration announced new sanctions over Khashoggi's murder.
  • Saudi Crown Prince MBS is not targeted by the new sanctions.
  • The administration is also instituting a new visa restriction policy called the Khashoggi Ban.
The Treasury Department on Friday unveiled sanctions against General Ahmed al-Asiri, former deputy head of the Saudi intelligence services, and the Saudi Rapid Intervention Force over connections to the Khashoggi killing.

"Those involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi must be held accountable. With this action, Treasury is sanctioning Saudi Arabia's Rapid Intervention Force and a senior Saudi official who was directly involved in Jamal Khashoggi's murder," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement. "The United States stands united with journalists and political dissidents in opposing threats of violence and intimidation. We will continue to defend the freedom of expression, which is the bedrock of a free society."

But the administration will not sanction Prince Mohammed, known colloquially as "MBS," over concerns it would "rupture" the US-Saudi relationship, an administration official said, per Reuters.

Prince Mohammed is the kingdom's de facto ruler. But in a diplomatic snub of the crown prince, the White House recently announced that President Joe Biden's official communications with the Saudis would involve King Salman and not Prince Mohammed. Biden and King Salman spoke for the first time on Thursday.

On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released the declassified report on Khashoggi's killing.

"We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," the report stated. "The Crown Prince viewed Khashoggi as a threat to the Kingdom and broadly supported using violent measures if necessary to silence him."

But other than being downgraded in the eyes of the US under the Biden administration, it's unclear what other consequences, if any, Prince Mohammed will face over Khashoggi's killing.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was a Washington Post columnist at the time of his death, was murdered by agents of his own government in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. His body was dismembered, but Khashoggi's remains have never been found.

... Blinken said that "to start," the State Department is citing the ban to impose visa restrictions on 76 Saudi individuals "believed to have been engaged in threatening dissidents overseas, including but not limited to the Khashoggi killing." It's unclear whether Prince Mohammed would be impacted by the new policy.

"Under US law, individual visa records are confidential, and we cannot provide details as to who is or will be included in the Khashoggi Ban," a State Department spokesperson told Insider.
Read the full article:

Crown prince's actions in Khashoggi killing leave Saudi fund vulnerable, ex-Obama official says
The Saudi crown prince's actions in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi might have left the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund vulnerable to consequences, according to a former leading diplomat in the Obama administration.

The Biden administration on Friday released a previously classified intelligence report that assessed Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia approved the plan to assassinate Khashoggi in 2018. The Saudi sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund, is chaired by MBS. It appears to have played a role in purchasing the aircraft that ferried Khashoggi's killers to Turkey, where the murder occurred.

"If this is the case, it could become a target for American human rights sanctions," according to Joel Rubin, a former deputy assistant secretary of State. That could, in turn, "create an economic earthquake," he said.

"If the United States determines that the Khashoggi killing was a targeted human rights violation, then the perpetrators and backers of that killing could be sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act," Rubin said.

The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act authorizes the president to impose economic sanctions, freeze any U.S. assets, and deny entry into the U.S. to any foreign person who has engaged in human rights abuse or corruption, while prohibiting Americans from doing business with him or her. The Magnitsky Act has been used against Russian President Vladimir Putin's cronies. Putin called it, "A purely political, unfriendly act."

Shortly after the release of Friday's intelligence report, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the U.S. banned 76 people from Saudi Arabia. He called it the "Khashoggi Ban." Blinken added that the U.S. will not tolerate individuals who threaten or assault activists, dissidents and journalists on behalf of foreign governments. There was, however, no direct action taken against MBS.

The Saudi government rejected the findings of the U.S. report.

Sovereign wealth funds are prevalent among oil-rich countries. They provide a haven where countries can stockpile significant wealth, and store that money in a self-controlled coffer.

Funds like the MBS-chaired Public Investment Fund help buffer countries from oil price shocks that impact its annual fiscal position while also making the country resistant to external financial pressures. The Public Investment Fund has more than $360 billion in assets, and ranks as the eighth-largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, based on total assets.

"The Saudi fund, which is nearly five decades old, is massive and guarantees long term financial stability for the Kingdom," Rubin said. "But it can also be a target for abuse, mismanagement, and corruption."
Read the full article:

Students from Rep. Madison Cawthorn's college said he used 'fun drives' to corner women with sexual advances, report says
  • Former classmates of Rep. Madison Cawthorn told BuzzFeed news he harassed women at their college.
  • Two RAs said they warned women residing in their dorms not to go on drives with Cawthorn.
  • Cawthorn previously said that he has "never done anything sexually inappropriate in my life."
Rep. Madison Cawthorn's former classmates said he would use his car to corner women with sexual advances in off-campus drives, according to a BuzzFeed News investigation.

Students said that Cawthorn, a 25-year-old Republican from North Carolina, was known for this behavior while at Patrick Henry College, a small Christian school in Virginia that the lawmaker briefly attended in the fall of 2016.

Two resident assistants said they would warn women in their dorm not to go for rides with Cawthorn in his white Dodge Challenger. Cawthorn reportedly referred to these rides as "fun drives."

"I got info from other RAs to warn the female student body not to go on joy rides with him because bad things happened on those joy rides," Giovanna Lastra, one of the former RAs, told BuzzFeed.

... Cawthorn has also come under scrutiny for questionable claims he has made about his past, including that he was training for the Paralympic Games and that the accident that put him in a wheelchair was the reason he could not atttend the Naval Academy.
Read the full article:

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by 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.

Trump, whom many observers consider an anomaly, left the White House by saying, “We will be back in some form.” His legacy is “Trumpism” – a wave of white nationalism.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.