No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
US media outlets pushed Russian disinformation about Biden in the 2020 election, intelligence report says
  • Russia planted anti-Biden stories in US media, per a report from the National Intelligence Council.
  • State agents helped produce a documentary that aired in the US in January 2020, it said.
  • Officials said it formed part of wider Russian efforts to influence the election.
A recently released intelligence report has tied US media outlets to Russian efforts to influence the 2020 presidential election in the hope of preventing President Joe Biden from winning.

A March 10 intelligence community assessment from the National Intelligence Council, declassified Monday, draws together a range of previously alleged Russian influence operations in one document.

It says, with "high confidence," that Kremlin influence operations aimed to denigrate Biden, support former President Donald Trump, undermine public trust in the electoral process, and worsen social division.

The report also said that, in contrast to 2016, there were few Russian efforts to attack any technical aspect of the voting process, such as ballot casting, voter registration, or the transmission of results.

Instead, the report said, one of the key methods was to use parts of the US media to "launder influence narratives."

President Vladimir Putin and senior Russian officials "were aware of and probably directed" these efforts, the report said.
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Trump's Secret Service detail could be subpoenaed to testify against him in criminal proceedings and former agents are stressed about it
  • Trump's Secret Service detail could be forced to testify against him in future legal proceedings.
  • He's facing possible criminal charges and civil peril now that he's lost his presidential immunity.
  • Former agents are worried Trump's security detail could be drawn into legal proceedings.
Donald Trump is entitled to lifetime protection by a Secret Service detail, but those same agents could also be hauled into court to testify against him under oath.

It's a prospect that might have seemed outlandish, even until recently, but appears increasingly real as Trump is expected to face a raft of criminal and civil challenges in federal and state courts now that he's lost his presidential immunity.

... There's no legal privilege that would prevent agents from sharing information about potential criminal behavior or the abuse of power that they might have witnessed while doing their job.
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Donald Trump's net worth dropped by $700 million since he was elected president
  • Trump's net worth dropped from $3 billion to $2.3 billion over the past four years.
  • The pandemic wreaked havoc on his commercial real estate, as well as resorts and hotels.
  • Trump's brand also took a hit following the Capitol attack, causing many to sever ties with him
In January, a public relations expert, Eric Schiffer, told Insider Trump's businesses might never recover from his presidency.

"Trump will exit the presidency with a brutal set of targets surrounding the heart of his brand, which will be a danger to his survival economically and that of his children, and likely will lead to excruciating pain of the type he has really never faced," he />
About 75% of Trump's income comes from commercial real estate, according to Bloomberg. The work-from-home boom has made the business more precarious than ever, as companies look to minimize office space.

The cities where Trump has most of his stake — New York and San Francisco — have also been hit the hardest. The valuation of Trump's commercial real estate business is down over 25% from when he started his presidency, Bloomberg reports.

Trump's line of resorts and hotels have also suffered from Covid-19 travel restrictions, falling over 40% from 2015 to 2020, according to Bloomberg data.

... Most presidents see spikes in their net worth following their presidency. Public appearances, book and brand deals often allow former presidents to rake in millions, but Trump's brand may have taken too great of a hit.

Trump might be one of few president's to continue to see his net worth fall following his presidency.
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Trump says he may run again for president in 2024 in order to defeat Meghan Markle
  • Trump says he might run again as president if Meghan Markle decides to run in 2024.
  • The former president was responding to repeated unconfirmed reports that Meghan Markle is considering a run at the presidency.
  • "I hope that happens because if that happened I think I'd have an even stronger feeling toward running," Trump said.
He said: "I'm not a fan of hers. I think that what she talks about, the Royal family and the Queen — I happen to think, I know the Queen as you know, I met with the Queen and I think the Queen is a tremendous person and I am not a fan of Meghan."

An unnamed UK political figure on Sunday with links to Washington told the Mail on Sunday last week that Meghan Democratic circles in Washington were "buzzing with talk" about Meghan's political ambitions, adding to rumors that she wants to run for president in 2024 that circulated last year.

A source close to Markle last year told Vanity Fair that she "would seriously consider running for president" and said she had not given up her American citizenship when she married Prince Harry "so she had the option to go into politics."
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Eric Trump is pushing for the family's Doral golf resort in Florida to be turned into a casino
  • Eric Trump told the Washington Post he wants to turn Miami Doral into a casino.
  • Florida lawmakers are reportedly considering a measure to allow more gambling at properties.
  • The expansive Miami Doral resort has been financially struggling for years.
The Florida state legislature is considering pursuing legislation that would allow real estate developers to grant gambling permits to properties without needing approval or authorization from municipal governments, the Post said.

... Eric Trump, an executive at the Trump Organization, told the Post that Doral "would be a natural choice" for such a gambling license. As of now, the Post noted, gambling in Florida is largely only allowed through tribal casinos or at racetracks.

"Many people consider Trump Doral to be unmatched from a gaming perspective — at 700 acres, properties just don't exist of that size and quality in South Florida, let alone in the heart of Miami," Eric Trump said in an email to the Post.

Miami Doral, which boasts over 640 rooms and four separate golf courses on the property, has been straggling for years.

Bloomberg News found that Doral's revenues had fallen by $57 million last year, leading to layoffs and furloughs for 560 workers on the property, in an expansive overview of Trump's finances and business interests published Wednesday.
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Incomplete construction work from Trump's wall is helping migrants and smugglers cross the border, report says
  • Access roads by newly-built wall at the US-Mexico border made crossings worse, The New York Times reported.
  • President Trump claimed the wall would end illegal crossings, but in places it is doing the opppsite.
Ranchers in Arizona are complaining that access roads built as part of Trump's incomplete wall construction are making border crossings and smugglings easier.

In southern Arizona — where much of the last-minute wall construction drew to a halt half-complete — locals told The New York Times that the access roads are a security problem.

"Now there are so many access roads that it's possible for someone to walk right up to places where the wall ends, and have someone just pick them up," Valar Clark, a conservationist, told the outlet.

... Speaking to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday night, Trump claimed that the wall could have been finished "in a month," saying "the wall was almost complete."

Around 453 miles of wall was completed during Trump's four years in office, leaving more than 1,000 miles to go and little prospect of quick completion.

It is not clear whether the crossing flagged by Arizona are part of the broader surge at the US border. A large proportion of recent crossings appear to be taking place over the Rio Grande in Texas, the Associated Press reported.

But anti-wall campaigners have long predicted that wall construction in Arizona would worsen security there.
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says there's 'no question' Trump's rhetoric about COVID-19 led to 'elevated threats' against Asian-Americans
  • Jen Psaki said there's "no question" Trump's rhetoric about Asian-Americans led to increased violence against the community.
  • She said Trump calling COVID-19 the "Wuhan virus" and other derogatory terms led to "elevated threats" against Asian-Americans.
  • Her comments come as authorities investigate three massage parlor shootings that killed 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian women.
"I think there's no question that some of the damaging rhetoric that we saw during the prior administration, blaming — calling COVID, you know, the 'Wuhan virus' or other things, led to, you know, perceptions of the Asian-American community that are inaccurate, unfair, that have … elevated threats against Asian-Americans, and we're seeing that around the country," Psaki said.

"That's why, even before the horrific events of last night, he felt it was important to raise this issue" and "elevate it during his first primetime address, why he signed the executive order earlier in his presidency," Psaki added, referring to Biden's January 26 memorandum condemning violence and racism against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

The president "will continue to look for ways to elevate and talk about this issue moving forward," Psaki said.
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Biden believes Putin is a killer, vows Russian leader ‘will pay a price’ for trying to help Trump win the election
  • President Joe Biden says he believes Russian leader Vladimir Putin is a killer with no soul.
  • Biden vowed that Putin soon “will pay a price” for interfering in the 2020 U.S. presidential election and trying to boost the reelection chances of then-President Donald Trump.
  • Trump for years refused to criticize Putin for meddling in his 2016 election campaign against Hillary Clinton, and told Fox News, “You think our country’s so innocent?” when Bill O’Reilly called Putin a killer.
President Joe Biden says he believes Russian leader Vladimir Putin is a killer with no soul — and vowed that Putin soon “will pay a price” for interfering in the 2020 U.S. election and trying to boost the reelection chances of then-President Donald Trump.

Biden said he warned Putin last month, in his first call to the Russian president after taking office, that he would retaliate if that meddling was confirmed.

“The conversation started off, ‘I said, I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared,’” Biden told ABC News in an interview that aired Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”

.The interview was conducted Tuesday, the same day that the U.S. National Intelligence Council released a report which concluded that Putin authorized intelligence assets to promote misinformation during the 2020 election cycle about Biden through U.S. media and people close to Trump.

... The Biden administration earlier this month imposed an array of sanctions on high-ranking Russian officials, who include Putin’s deputy chiefs of staff, for the poisoning and subsequent imprisonment of Alexey Navalny, a leader of the opposition to Putin.

Although Navalny survived his poisoning, a slew of Putin critics have been killed or died suspiciously

... Biden also confirmed prior reports that he personally told Putin in 2011, while serving as U.S. vice president, that Putin does not “have a soul.”

“I wasn’t being a wise guy, I was alone with him in his office,” Biden said. “That’s how it came about. It was when President [George W.] Bush had said I’ve looked in his eyes and saw his soul.”

“I said I looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul. And he looked back and said, ‘we understand each other,’” Biden recalled.

Biden’s strong words about his Russian counterpart stand in sharp contrast to Trump, who for years in office refused to criticize Putin for interfering in the 2016 election, or to even concede that it happened, as repeated investigations have found.

In 2017, when then-Fox News host Bill O’Reilly called Putin a “killer,” Trump suggested that America’s conduct was just as bad as that of the Russian president.

“There are a lot of killers, we’ve got a lot of killers,” Trump said.

“You think our country’s so innocent?” Trump asked O’Reilly.
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12 Republicans voted against giving medals to Capitol police officers, 2 of whom died after the insurrection
  • The House voted to give Capitol Police and MPD officers medals following the January 6 riots.
  • The vote passed 413 to 12. All 12 lawmakers who voted against the legislation were Republicans.
  • They said they disagreed with the legislation characterizing the Capitol siege as an "insurrection."
The House passed a bill Wednesday to honor the Capitol Police officers who protected the building during January 6 riots with Congressional Gold Medals. The vote passed 413 to 12.

The bipartisan legislation authorized the creation of three medals to officers of the Capitol Police and the Metropolitan Police Department, who helped in defending the US Capitol from pro-Trump rioters who stormed the building.

Here are the 12 Republicans who voted against the legislation:
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia
  • Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona
  • Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky
  • Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland
  • Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida
  • Rep. Michael Cloud of Texas
  • Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia
  • Rep. Bob Good of Virginia
  • Rep. Greg Steube of Florida
  • Rep. John Rose of Tennesse
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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.