No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Trump's own Pentagon chief says rioters wouldn't have stormed the Capitol if it hadn't been for the president's speech
  • Trump's acting defense secretary spoke out about the role of his Jan. 6 speech in the Capitol riot.
  • Chris Miller said no one would have tried to overrun the Capitol if it weren't for that speech.
  • Trump was impeached and tried for inciting the Jan. 6 riot. The Senate acquitted him.
The man who was leading the Pentagon on Jan. 6 says that rioters would not have stormed the Capitol if it hadn't been for President Donald Trump's speech beforehand.

Asked if he thought Trump was responsible for what unfolded at the Capitol, then-Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller told Vice News that the situation appears to be "cause and effect."

"Would anybody have marched on the Capitol, and tried to overrun the Capitol, without the president's speech? I think it's pretty much definitive that wouldn't have happened."

... Miller, who became the acting secretary of defense after Trump fired Mark Esper in November, has faced criticism for the military's delayed reaction to riot. He has described such criticisms as "complete horses--t."
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Republicans in Pennsylvania placed robocalls that appeared to be from 'Johnson & Johnson'
  • A robocall from the Bucks County Republican Committee showed up on caller ID as coming from Johnson & Johnson.
  • The party blamed the incident on a third-party vendor and an "unintended technological error."
  • The party did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.
By all appearances, the call was coming from Johnson & Johnson, sparking hope among those who answered that they were perhaps being selected to receive the company's new vaccine.

Instead, they heard a recording from a Republican from the Philadelphia suburbs urging them to come out and sign a petition,
as reported by local news outlet

"This is Bucks County GOP Chair Pat Poprik calling because we need your help putting good Republican candidates on the ballot," said the caller (a recording has been posted online).

In a statement provided to the Bucks County Courier Times, Poprik apologized, blaming an "unintended technological error" and attributing the mistake to a third-party vendor that was using a number previously associated with the pharmaceutical giant.
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He's baaack (kind of). Inside Trump's bid to get on Twitter without officially being allowed on Twitter.
  • Donald Trump is still banned from Twitter but he's relying on email blasts as his lifeline for attention.
  • His adult children tapped former campaign manager Brad Parscale to set up a tweet-by-email operation.
  • The former president's statements are already evolving — from tame campaign endorsements to hurling insults.
Donald Trump has found his new Twitter, and it's email.

Trump's most recent statements from his new political action committee and his post-presidential office read exactly like his tweets. Most are crafted just under Twitter's 280-character threshold. Journalists, media organizations, and political consultants are screen grabbing Trump's statements or quoting his words verbatim to thousands, and in some cases, millions of Twitter users.

It's a loophole that's facilitated the former president spreading messages through his former favorite social media platform, from which he's been banned since January 8.

Trump even got former Heisman trophy winner Herschel Walker trending Wednesday on Twitter, when he issued one of his tweet-like statements urging the former football star to run for the Senate.

It's more proof that Trump is a master at keeping himself forever in the national conversation.

"Trump seems to need to continue to be relevant and try to keep a grip on the GOP," Scott Reed, veteran Republican political consultant told Insider. "The RNC [is] genuflecting to his every wish and this sure makes that easier for him."

... A Twitter spokesman pointed Insider to the social media company's policies on ban evasion, which includes suspending other accounts operated by the person who is banned; suspending accounts if someone else operates an account on their behalf; and even banning parody or fan accounts that act as a replacement of the suspended account.

In short, Twitter can't do much about journalists or most other Twitter accounts retweeting or tweeting Trump's statements.
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From icy stares to fiery floor speeches, Democrats are demanding contrition from the Republicans tied to the January 6 MAGA attack before they'll work together again
  • Democrats are reexamining whether it's worth working with Republicans after the Capitol attack.
  • Public shaming and pressing for mea culpas now part of the discourse.
  • Bipartisanship is definitely strained, but not impossible especially in a 50-50 Senate.
Riot-rattled Democrats want to hold accountable — and in their dream scenarios, squeeze remorse out of — Republican lawmakers who voted January 6 to overturn the presidential election results.

The pressure campaign ranges from shooting icy stares in the US Capitol's marble hallways and blasting conspiracy theorists in fiery floor speeches to reconsidering past alliances that have helped shepherd personal interests through the hyperpartisan body.

"There are other Republicans that I can work with," Sen. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat of Hawaii, told Insider on Capitol Hill.

Hirono is one of seven senators who asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Republicans Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley's involvement in the electoral challenges that helped spur on the pro-Trump mob.

She's putting the onus on the insurrectionists to fix things.

"If they want to work with me on something, they should contact me. But I'm not holding my breath," Hirono said. "I"m not vetoing anything from them. But I need to see some effort on their part."

More than two months since the attack on the Capitol left lawmakers — and much of the nation shaken — tensions remain high on the House side as well.
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Nixon's White House counsel, who played a key role in the Watergate scandal, says Trump could get indicted by the Manhattan DA within days
  • John Dean tweeted Wednesday saying he thinks it is matter of days before Trump is indicted.
  • Dean was reacting to news that Michael Cohen was meeting with investigators for a seventh time.
  • He said you don't visit a prosecutor's office that many times if there aren't plans to indict soon.
Former President Richard Nixon's White House counsel has suggested that it could just be a matter of days before New York City prosecutors indict former President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, John Dean reacted on Twitter to news that Trump's former fixer, Michael Cohen, was set to meet with investigators in Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.'s office for a seventh time.

"From personal experience as a key witness I assure you that you do not visit a prosecutor's office 7 times if they are not planning to indict those about whom you have knowledge," Dean said.

"It is only a matter of how many days until DA Vance indicts Donald & Co."
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Why should we care what billionaires think of the wealth tax?
  • Of course billionaires don't want to pay a wealth tax.
  • Of course billionaires have a bunch of excuses why a wealth tax won't work.
  • None of that should factor in to whether or not we have a wealth tax.
They say that Wall Street is not supposed to be an emotional place, but if you want to see the "Masters of the Universe" burst into tears you need only bring up Sen. Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax proposal.

Last week billionaire investor Leon Cooperman called the policy "foolish" on CNBC. This after, back in 2019, he openly cried about the policy on the network, basically claiming that Warren was bullying him and ultra-wealthy individuals like him.

"I don't need Elizabeth Warren telling me that I'm a deadbeat and that billionaires are deadbeats. The vilification of billionaires makes no sense to me. The world is a substantially better place because of Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, David Rubenstein, Bernie Marcus, Ken Langone," Cooperman said.

Warren's "Ultra Millionaire Tax Act," which Senate Democrats unveiled earlier this month, would impact precious few Americans. It would place a 2% tax on household net worth between $50 million and $1 billion and a 3% tax on household net worth over $1 billion.

Yet discussions around the policy constantly center around what it would do to the few people it would impact and how this vanishingly small group of people personally feel about it. Billionaires — who always seem available to comment on this issue despite their busy schedules — argue that it would be a failure, that it would be unenforceable, or that rich people would simply leave rather than pay the tax.

... Letting billionaires decide how much they pay in taxes is like letting the biggest kid on the playground decide how much time they get on the swings during a kindergarten recess. If that were allowed to happen, the smallest kids wouldn't get a lot of swing time.

Of course, Washington is not as impartial as a kindergarten teacher and the richest Americans already have an outsized influence on policies that affect them. Congress is mostly filled with rich people— maybe not wealth tax rich — but rich enough to find common cause with the wealthy over the working class. That, in and of itself, gives the wealthy a political advantage. The fact that money is considered political speech in our country also adds to that outsized influence, as the wealthy can funnel huge sums to candidates and political organizations to bend policy to their will.

Even beyond the direct financial influence, these whining billionaires have an outsized cultural capital too. It makes sense to hear directly from Americans that a policy could impact when those people are overlooked or have little opportunity to raise their own voices. But in America, billionaires have the floor.

Warren Buffett is a household name, Donald Trump ultimately became president because he was on television for decades, Elon Musk cannot stop tweeting, and Mark Cuban is basically a primetime TV whacky inflatable balloon man.

We live in a culture that celebrates wealth as a kind of moral and intellectual victory. Media organizations are constantly asking billionaires for their opinion on everything from climate change to social justice to whatever's being debated in Washington. It never seems to matter what their expertise actually is in.

That's all the more reason for us to take what billionaires say publicly about protecting their wealth and status with a grain of salt. I, too, would find it annoying if the government wanted to raise my taxes. And I, much like most of these billionaires, have absolutely no expertise running this country. Affluence may give you influence, but it does not come with a manual that explains what is good for America.

... It is perfectly reasonable for Washington to have a debate about taxing the wealthiest people in our country. The government debates taxes for everyone else all the time. The difference is that billionaires are the only ones who get to go on TV and cry about it.
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Marjorie Taylor Greene falsely claims 'all those illegals' are celebrating with 'big barbacoas' on the border while thousands of migrant children are being detained
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene falsely accused undocumented immigrants of hosting "big barbacoas" at the border.
  • She is echoing GOP talking points raising alarm about the influx of migrants crossing the border.
  • The Biden administration is reversing many of Trump's harsh anti-immigrant policies.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right Georgia Republican who has embraced conspiracy theories, falsely accused undocumented immigrants of hosting "big barbacoas" on the border to celebrate President Joe Biden.

"Hey @JoeBiden, all those illegals you are welcoming in our country are having big barbacoas right now at our border," she tweeted on Thursday night. "They aren't waiting until July 4th like you want legal American taxpayers to do, if they get the vaccine. You also forgot to thank President Trump for the shot!"

Republican lawmakers have focused their messaging on the recent surge in migrants crossing the US-Mexico border, returning to former President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant playbook. They're attempting to raise alarm about "super-spreader caravans" of immigrants in much the same way that Trump wildly exaggerated the threat of violent "caravans" of criminals looking to invade the country.

And they're blaming Biden's reversal of Trump's harsh anti-immigrant policies for the influx in unaccompanied migrant children who've crossed the border in recent weeks. Thousands of migrant children have been detained under Biden's new administration and the surge is causing delays in transferring the kids from federal facilities meant for adults to Department of Health and Human Services shelters.

The Biden administration is loosening Trump's restrictions on refugees and asylum seekers, expanding family-based immigration, creating a pathway to citizenship and permanent residence for millions of undocumented foreign workers, and reducing mass deportations. Biden has also reversed Trump's "remain in Mexico" policy, which barred refugees and asylum seekers from staying in the US while their claims are processed and forced thousands into dangerous and squalid camps in Mexico.

White House chief of staff Ron Klain said recently that the Biden administration "inherited a real mess" on the border and seeks to implement a more "humane" set of policies to deal with it.

... While Greene claimed that undocumented immigrants aren't "waiting until July 4th" to gather, she and other Republican lawmakers have aggressively resisted and undermined federal health officials' guidelines on gatherings, mask-wearing, social distancing, and other COVID-19 mitigation practices. Greene has called masks "oppressive" and long called for states to fully reopen. She's held her own gatherings, including her election victory party and town halls, with little regard for virus safety measures.
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The US already tried having daylight-saving time all year. People hated it.
  • Marco Rubio leads a group of senators who want to impose daylight-saving time all year.
  • We tried this in the 1970s and quickly went back to the old clock-changing policy.
  • It turns out, people hate it when the sun doesn't rise until 9am.
It's almost that time again: On Sunday, we will turn the clocks forward one hour due to the arrival of spring. It's great.

I don't just mean that having an extra hour of sunlight in the evening will be great — the sun will set in Manhattan at 7:02 pm on Sunday, late enough to enjoy a COVID-safe outdoor dinner in the twilight — but the practice of changing our clocks back and forth each year is itself great.

... Marco Rubio wants to make you wake up in the dark.
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Trump is using the GOP to help him 'keep grifting money' out of his supporters, says his niece Mary
  • Trump is using the GOP to help him keep "grifting money" from his supporters, his niece Mary has told Insider.
  • She said Trump has no serious intention of attempting another presidential run for the Republican Party.
  • "Donald couldn't care less about politics, he couldn't care less about this country, he couldn't care less about the Republicans," Mary Trump said.
  • "It's all about maintaining the grip on power. He thinks on some level it's going to allow him to continue to operate with impunity as he has done his whole life."
Mary Trump predicted that the president would merely "pretend" to be preparing to run in 2024 as a means to retain his popularity with the GOP base in order to raise money.

"It's important to remember that Donald couldn't care less about politics, he couldn't care less about this country, he couldn't care less about the Republicans," Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist who last year published a tell-all book on her family, told Insider.

"It's all about maintaining the grip on power. He thinks on some level it's going to allow him to continue to operate with impunity as he has done his whole life, and also it's going to allow him to keep grifting money off of people," she said.

"I've said all along he has no intention to run for the presidency in 2024. He's going to pretend to. And in the meantime, he's going to keep the Republican party on his toes so they continue to do his bidding."
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Trump reportedly showed people at a shiva photos of naked women on a yacht and called his CFO's Long Island house 'embarrassing'
  • Donald Trump showed people at a shiva photos of naked women on a yacht, an attendee said.
  • Jennifer Weisselberg told the New Yorker the Jewish mourning event took place sometime before October 2004.
  • He also reportedly called the home of his CFO Allen Weisselberg "embarrassing."
Jennifer Weisselberg, the former daughter-in-law of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, recounted the event in a New Yorker article published Friday. She said it was the first time she met Trump, before she had married Barry Weisselberg in October 2004, and took place at the shiva at Allen Weisselberg's house in Wantagh, a town on Long Island.

"Trump showed up in a limousine and blurted out, 'This is where my C.F.O. lives? It's embarrassing!'" the New Yorker's Jane Mayer wrote. "Then, Jennifer recalled, Trump showed various shivah attendees photographs of naked women with him on a yacht."

The shiva period lasts seven days and follows the burial of a close family member. It does not involve nude photographs.

Manhattan prosecutors are trying to "flip" Allen Weisselberg into cooperating with a wide-ranging investigation into former President Trump's financial affairs, The Washington Post reported last week. Weisselberg has managed both the Trump Organization's and the Trump family's finances for decades.

Jennifer Weisselberg, who divorced Allen Weisselberg's son Barry Weisselberg, has spoken to prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, according to the New Yorker. She described Allen Weisselberg's life as revolving around Trump.

"His whole worth is 'Does Donald like me today?' It's his whole life, his core being. He's obsessed. He has more feelings and adoration for Donald than for his wife," she told the magazine.

She told the New Yorker that, after sharing naked photos at the shiva, Trump began flirting with her. She said her soon-to-be-father-in-law humored his boss.

"He didn't stand up for me!" Jennifer Weisselberg told the New Yorker.
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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.