No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
More than 100,000 people sign a petition urging Walmart, Amazon, and other retailers to pull MyPillow's products
  • A petition urging Walmart and Amazon to stop selling MyPillow's products passed 100,000 signatures.
  • MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a Trump ally, continues to push voter-fraud conspiracy theories.
  • At least 22 retailers have already cut ties with the company, including Sam's Club and Kohl's.
Lindell told Insider that he expected retailers pulling MyPillow's products to cost the company about $65 million in lost revenue this year but that radio and podcast infomercials could plug the gap by driving more direct sales.

"I'm very confident that the radio and podcasts are going to make up a lot of the lost box-store revenue and retailers," Lindell said Thursday.
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Matt Gaetz is using sex-trafficking allegations to raise money, asking for donations to 'fight back against the fake news'
  • The Justice Department is investigating whether Rep. Matt Gaetz violated sex-trafficking laws.
  • On Tuesday, the GOP representative referenced the investigation in a fundraising email.
  • He told supporters: "The Swamp is out to drown me with false charges."
Gaetz has confirmed the existence of the DOJ investigation but denied the allegations, giving several interviews where he said the false accusations were part of an extortion attempt. One of the men Gaetz accused of extortion, a former federal prosecutor, said Gaetz was just trying to distract from the investigation into his personal life.

On Tuesday, Gaetz referenced the scandal in an attempt to rile up his supporters to donate to his campaign.

... The email includes a button users can click to donate, which asks supporters to "fight back against the fake news."

... The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Gaetz tried and failed to obtain a preemptive pardon from Trump before he left office, for any crimes he might later be convicted of.
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Dick Parsons, one of America's first Black CEOs, says Georgia's 'bone-headed' new voting law is a 'bald-faced' attempt to suppress Black voters
  • Dick Parsons, former CEO of Time Warner, said Georgia's new voting law was designed to suppress Black voters.
  • Parsons is one of 72 Black corporate leaders calling on US firms to publicly oppose the law.
  • "There is simply no excuse for what the Georgia legislature has done," Parsons told CNN in an interview Tuesday.
Dick Parsons, the former CEO of Time Warner and CBS, on Tuesday described the new voting law in Georgia as "bone-headed," as well as a "bald-faced attempt" to suppress Black voters in the state.

... The new voting law, known formally as SB 202 or the Election Integrity Act of 2021, adopts stricter voter ID laws for absentee ballots, and says volunteers shouldn't hand out water and snacks to voters waiting in line, to stop "ballot selfies."

... "What does feeding somebody or giving somebody a glass of water have to do with fraud?" Parsons said. "It's just a bald-faced attempt to prevent or suppress the number of Black voters who show up to vote in Georgia. We felt as a corporate community that we needed to call the legislature out, hold them accountable."

Parsons told CNN the Georgia law was a "ruse" pretending to safeguard elections.

When asked about former President Donald Trump's apparent boycotts of big companies that have opposed the voting law, such as Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, Parsons said: "Good luck, former President Trump."

Parsons was one of the first Black CEOs at a Fortune 500 company in the early 2000s. Other Black leaders that have signed the letter include the former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, and Robert F. Smith, CEO of Vista Equity Partners.

Parsons said he hoped that the opposition from CEOs would send a message to other states considering similar rules. "We're hoping that other states will see that they can't enact this kind of legislation unaccountably ... and have no consequence to pay for it," Parsons said.

Nearly every state has introduced new bills that make it more difficult to vote, according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, published on Thursday.
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John Boehner says Trump incited Capitol attack via 'bullshit he'd been shoveling since he lost a fair election'
  • John Boehner in his new book said Trump sparked the Capitol riot via "bullshit he'd been shoveling."
  • Boehner ripped into Trump over his false claims on the 2020 election.
  • The former House Speaker said the GOP has been taken over by "garden-variety whack jobs."
Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner in his new book blamed former President Donald Trump for the deadly Capitol insurrection on January 6, per an excerpt obtained by The New York Times, stating that Trump's refusal to accept the election results caused "mob violence" on top of costing the GOP the Senate.

Trump "incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he'd been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November," Boehner wrote in "On the House: A Washington Memoir," which is slated for release on April 13.

By claiming voter fraud "without any evidence" and repeating those claims, Trump took "advantage of the trust placed in him by his supporters" and "ultimately" betrayed that trust, Boehner wrote.

Boehner said the Capitol attack was "scary, and sad" and "painful to watch," while admitting that he "wasn't prepared for what came after the election — Trump refusing to accept the results and stoking the flames of conspiracy that turned into violence in the seat of our democracy, the building over which I once presided."

The former House Speaker said the Capitol riot was "one of the lowest points of American democracy" and "should have been a wake-up call for a return to Republican sanity." He called on the GOP to "take back control from the faction that had grown to include everyone from garden-variety whack jobs to insurrectionists."

In an excerpt of "On The House" published in Politico Magazine, Boehner was particularly critical of GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, referring to the Texas lawmaker as a "reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else." Boehner said Cruz is leading a "chaos caucus" in the House without even being a member of the lower chamber.

Cruz was among the Republican senators who objected to certification of the election results on January 6, even after the violent insurrection. In an off-script moment during a recording of the audiobook of his forthcoming memoir, Boehner said, "PS, Ted Cruz, go f--- yourself."

Writing on lawmakers who aided and abetted Trump's electoral disinformation campaign and effort to overturn the result, Boehner said, "Some of the people involved did not surprise me in the least. The legislative terrorism that I'd witnessed as speaker had now encouraged actual terrorism."
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Biden administration to review thousands of migrant child cases for possible separations at the border under Trump
  • The Biden administration is reviewing the cases of 5,600 migrant children.
  • The review is to determine whether the children were separated from their parents by former President Trump.
  • Thousands of children were separated at the US-Mexico border under Trump's policy.
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10 more Congress members join lawsuit accusing Trump, Giuliani, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers of Capitol riot conspiracy
Ten more Democratic members of Congress on Wednesday joined a federal lawsuit accusing former President Donald Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and several right-wing extremist groups of conspiring to incite the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol complex riot.

The suit, first filed by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and the NAACP, accuses the defendants of violating a federal law by sparking the violence with the goal of preventing Congress from confirming the election of President Joe Biden. The cited law, the Ku Klux Klan Act, was first used in the late 1800s to target the racist KKK for its violence against Black Americans and its intimidation of members of Congress from the South.

In addition to Trump and Giuliani, the suit names extremist groups the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and Warboys as defendants.

The House members who joined the suit are: California representatives Karen Bass, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters; Steve Cohen of Tennessee; Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey; Veronica Escobar of Texas; Hank Johnson Jr. of Georgia; Marcy Kaptur of Ohio; Jerry Nadler of New York; and Pramila Jayapal of Washington state.

An amended version of the lawsuit adding the new House members as plaintiffs, and making additional allegations, was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. It seeks a declaratory judgment that the defendants violated the law through their conduct, an injunction against similar actions in the future and unspecified financial damages.

... The suit accuses the defendants of coordination in efforts to undermine the democratic electoral process and to block the legal votes of millions of ballots cast by Black Americans.
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Sen. Ted Cruz illegally promoted his book with campaign funds, watchdog alleges in ethics complaints
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, violated campaign finance rules by using donor funds to promote his book, a watchdog alleged Wednesday in two ethics complaints.

The Campaign Legal Center, or CLC, accused Cruz's campaign committee of spending up to $18,000 in late 2020 on Facebook advertisements that "exclusively" urged viewers to buy copies of the senator's book. Those ads included links to buy the book from third-party online booksellers, said the CLC, a nonprofit organization that seeks transparency in government.

"Because Cruz receives royalties from book sales, his campaign crossed a legal line by spending donor funds on Facebook ads promoting sales of that book," said Brendan Fischer, CLC director of federal reform, in a press release announcing the complaints.

But Chris Gober, an attorney for Cruz's campaign committee, said later Wednesday that the senator's campaign "has closely followed Federal Election Commission laws and guidelines when promoting his book."

Cruz "has not received any royalties whatsoever for these book sales," Gober said in that statement, which was sent to CNBC by Cruz's communications director, Erin Perrine.

Fischer questioned that response. "There seems to be no legitimate way for Cruz to know how many books were purchased as a result of these Facebook ads," he said in a phone call with CNBC, "and therefore it's impossible to say that Cruz is not receiving royalties on the books sold as a result of the ads."

Cruz's book deal with Regnery Publishing netted him a $400,000 advance and a 15% royalty on net sales of hardcover copies, the CLC's press release said, citing the senator's financial disclosure report.

The CLC filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, or FEC, against Cruz's campaign committee. The watchdog also sent a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee requesting an investigation into whether Cruz broke federal law and the chamber's ethics rules.

... The Senate's rules are "crystal clear about all members, both current and former, being prohibited from converting federal campaign funds to personal use," Delaney Marsco, CLC's senior legal counsel for ethics, said in the press release.

"Voters must be able to trust that when they are donating to political campaigns, they are doing so to help their favored candidate win or retain their office, not financing their personal endeavors," Marsco said.

The CLC said in its complaints that Cruz could have potentially marketed or purchased his book using campaign funds "without running afoul of the law." He could have included a small amount of information on an existing campaign website, the CLC said, or his campaign could have bought copies of the book directly from the publisher to be used as gifts to supporters, if the publisher withheld royalties on those copies.

"But Senator Cruz did not do either of these things," the CLC said in its letter to the Senate ethics panel. "Instead, Senator Cruz used campaign funds for online ads that exclusively promoted his book, and directed supporters to purchase it from third-party booksellers."
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JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says the US faces 7 major hurdles to economic growth, including high healthcare costs and income inequality (JPM)
  • Jamie Dimon said the US must address policy problems to ensure economic growth.
  • The JPMorgan CEO said healthcare and education help ensure the US dollar remains strong.
  • Former president Donald Trump fell short on his promise to increase annual GDP growth to 3%.
JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon called for expanded healthcare and education access in his annual letter to shareholders Wednesday, challenging policymakers to overcome seven major hurdles holding back American prosperity.

Specifically, Dimon said the US government and businesses must work to improve issues ranging from income inequality, economic opportunity and education gaps, healthcare for all, better infrastructure, more affordable housing and increased disaster preparedness to ensure economic growth.

In the letter, Dimon said JPMorgan, the US' largest bank by assets, had donated funds to improve access to education and healthcare as part of its $200 billion grant for environmental and economic development deals.

"My fervent hope is that America will roll up its sleeves and bring bold leadership to our self-inflicted problems," Dimon said. "We can be unabashed about the exceptionalism of America while acknowledging that we have problems."

A lack of affordable and accessible healthcare and education has resulted in 70% of young people being ineligible for military service due to poor reading skills and obesity, Dimon said. The power of the military helps keep the US dollar the strongest in the world, he continued.

Medical expenses will also push the country into further debt over the next two decades, Dimon said, unless the economy grows at a faster pace.

Dimon said the US economy has grown just 18% over the last 10 years, compared to 40% growth in the decade following economic downturns in 1982 and 1990. Had there been more growth, Dimon said, wages would have been higher and the US could have afforded "better social safety nets."

... Though Dimon said US income inequality was the "higher than the rest of the world" and one of the country's largest challenges, he himself took home $31.5 million in 2020.

With regard to other policy challenges, Dimon said he has "little doubt" President Joe Biden's new infrastructure bill will lead to an economic boom, and has committed part of his $30 billion racial equity pledge to help make housing affordable for Black and Latino people.

"Fixing America's problems is going to take hard work," Dimon wrote. "But if we divide them into their component parts, we will find many viable solutions. With thoughtful analysis, commonsense and pragmatism, there is hope."
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The federal sex trafficking probe into Rep. Matt Gaetz is looking at trips he took to the Bahamas, CBS News says
  • A new report from CBS News claims that federal investigators are looking into trips that Rep. Matt Gaetz took to the Bahamas.
  • Gaetz is under investigation for violating federal sex trafficking laws.
  • Investigators are allegedly looking at whether Gaetz trafficked escorts across international lines.
The Justice Department investigation into whether Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz broke federal sex trafficking laws is reportedly zeroing in on a series of trips Gaetz took to the Bahamas in 2018 and 2019 with a marijuana entrepreneur, according to CBS News.

Sources who spoke with CBS News said that Gaetz was joined by weed businessman and hand surgeon Jason Pirozzolo on his trips to the Bahamas, and that Pirozzolo paid for flights, hotels, and female escorts.

Investigators are reportedly looking at whether women were trafficked across state and international lines during those trips with Gaetz.
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Man who 'repeatedly' assaulted multiple officers during Capitol riot planned, boasted on a social media account named for Trump, authorities say
  • A New Jersey man was arrested Wednesday over his alleged role in the January 6 Capitol attack.
  • Court documents claim Christopher Quaglin assaulted multiple law enforcement officers during the riot.
  • Quaglin's search history after the siege shows eight visits to the FBI's "seeking information" page.
A New Jersey man accused of "repeatedly assaulting multiple law enforcement officers" during the January 6 Capitol insurrection has been arrested and charged in relation to his participation in the attack, months after his internet search history suggests he was worrying about that very outcome.

Christopher Joseph Quaglin was arrested Wednesday on charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees, civil disorder, and obstruction of official proceeding, according to the US Justice Department.

Quaglin appeared virtually in federal court Wednesday where a judge decided to release him on house arrest, according to

In court documents, authorities say Quaglin participated in the Capitol siege in Washington, DC, where he helped lead the charge into the building and assaulted numerous officers during the process, including attacking authorities with a stolen riot guard and spraying a "chemical irritant" at officers trying to stop the break-in.

Dressed in a red, white, and blue shirt, a black helmet with a camera attached, and a gas mask, Quaglin was easily identifiable in video footage from that day, which authorities say shows Quaglin assaulting both Capitol police officers and Metropolitan Police Department officers multiple times in various locations throughout the afternoon.

Before rioters breached the building, Quaglin can be seen on officer body worn camera footage approaching the police line separated by a fence and starting to engage with officers "seemingly unprovoked," court documents said.

"You don't want this fight. You do not want this f---ing fight. You are on the wrong f---ing side. You're going to bring a f---ing pistol, I'm going to bring a f---ing cannon," Quaglin reportedly said. "You wait! Stay there like a f---ing sheep! This guy doesn't know what the f--- is going on."

In another video, Quaglin can be seen shoving an officer holding the perimeter, documents said. Surveillance footage reportedly shows Quaglin engaging with an officer while appearing "increasingly agitated and pointing his finger," before proceeding to "hold and push" the officer by the neck, which appears to contribute to the officer starting to fall.

Court documents say additional video footage shows Quaglin physically pushing at least five different officers during the chaos of the break-in.

Quaglin is also accused of spraying a chemical irritant at officers who were trying to stop the rioters from entering the Capitol, court documents say.
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Hunter Biden challenges the Trump kids to try to "get a job" without using the Trump name
  • Hunter Biden has reignited a feud with the Trump children, calling them out for getting rich on Trump's dime.
  • In his memoir, Biden says the Trump kids could never get a job outside Trump's business.
  • Don Jr. and Biden previously tangled over who benefited more from their fathers' public service.
Hunter Biden has reignited a long-standing feud with the Trump children, calling them out for "(reaping) the benefits of their family name."

In his new memoir, "Beautiful Things," Biden calls the Trump kids — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump — out for not being able to get a job outside of their father's business.

"I've worked for someone other than my father, rose and fell on my own," Biden wrote.

He acknowledged that his own last name was a "coveted credential," but accused the former president's children of suggesting that their millions were self-made, and not benefits of carrying the Trump family name.

"Do you think if any of the Trump children ever tried to get a job outside of their father's business that his name wouldn't figure into the calculation? My response has always been to work harder so that my accomplishments stand on their own," Biden said.
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The Capitol riot defendants are turning on each other and outing Proud Boys leadership
  • More than one defendant in January's Capitol riots has turned on the Proud Boys.
  • Court records indicate that several plea deals with cooperators may be in the works.
The brotherhood of the Proud Boys is falling apart, as more than one of the Capitol riot defendants has turned on the group's leadership.

According to a CNN report, prosecutors have struck deals with more than one Capitol riot defendant. In exchange for plea deals, cooperators may have to work with the Justice Department and prosecutors to build stronger cases and bring more serious charges against the pro-Trump far-right extremist group's leaders.

This is not the first indication that there might be disloyalty within the Proud Boys' ranks.

In March, Proud Boys leader Joseph Biggs — who reportedly was one of the first to clamber through a smashed window to get into the Capitol building — broke with the Proud Boys in a bid to escape being held in prison pending trial.

Lawyers for Biggs said in a court filing that he regularly spoke to the FBI and law enforcement agents to tell them about protests that he was involved in, and that these back-channels he had with the authorities should keep him out of jail.

Enrique Tarrio, another well-known Proud Boys leader, was also revealed in February to have been working behind the scenes as an FBI informant. He was outed when Reuters published part of a 2014 court transcript, that said he was working undercover and was helping law enforcement crack drug and human trafficking cases.

Other groups who banded together to storm the Capitol in January are also seeing instances where defendants refuse to hold the line, and are now considering trading information to escape indictment.

Insider reported this week that prosecutors were negotiating a plea deal with Jon Schaffer — a heavy metal guitarist who was spotted storming the Capitol wearing an Oath Keepers hat, indicating his connection with the paramilitary group.

... Criminal defense attorney Martin Tankleff told CNN that he thought it likely that more cooperators would come forward and turn against the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, and other groups involved in the riot.

"Whenever you have a large group of people arrested and in jail, prosecutors will typically observe the group and pressure defendants to flip on one another, Tankleff said. "They're going to start talking. They're going to start sharing information."
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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.