No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Republicans are touting benefits of $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill despite voting against it
  • Republicans are touting benefits of the COVID-19 relief legislation they opposed in Congress.
  • Mitch McConnell said Republicans would have a "talk" with Americans about the bill's issues.
  • Meanwhile, funding for healthcare and restaurants is being praised by some GOP members.
For months, Congressional Republicans have been unanimously opposed to the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that was backed by President Joe Biden and signed into law in March.

The stimulus package, which included $1,400 direct stimulus payments for individuals, funding for state and local governments, $300 in federal unemployment aid through September, and an expansion of the child tax credit, among other measures, did not receive a single GOP vote of support in the House or Senate.

After the bill's passage, GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky slammed the legislation as "a classic example of big-government Democratic overreach in the name of Covid relief" and "one of the worst pieces of legislation" he's seen in his 36 years in the Senate.

He also said the GOP would "talk repeatedly" to the American public about the true contents of the bill in the coming months.

However, some Republicans are now touting popular elements of the bill they railed against on Capitol Hill.

Conservative freshman GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina pointed to health funding in his district in a tweet last week, including nearly $2.5 million for the Appalachian Mountain Community Health Centers and $4.6 million for Western North Carolina Community Health Services that was part of the legislation.

"Happy to announce that NC-11 was awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Health   Human Services," he wrote. "Proud to see tax-payer dollars returned to NC-11."

... GOP Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi praised the billions in targeted funding for the restaurant industry that he championed — it was part the final package that he voted against.

"Independent restaurant operators have won $28.6 billion worth of targeted relief," he tweeted after the bill passed. "This funding will ensure small businesses can survive the pandemic by helping to adapt their operations and keep their employees on the payroll."

When asked by CNN's Manu Raju why he didn't support the full measure, Wicker said he didn't have to accept the full measure and was critical of the questioning.

"Just because there's one good provision in a $1.9 trillion bill, doesn't mean I have to vote for it ... I think it's a stupid question. I'm not going to vote for $1.9 trillion just because it has a couple of good provisions in it."

Congressional Republicans have currently found themselves boxed into a corner on the issue.

A Pew Research poll released shortly before the bill's signing showed 70% of US adults backing the legislation, with only 28% of respondents opposed to the measure.

Even 41% of Republican or Republican-leaning respondents, a significant minority, backed the COVID-19 relief bill.
Read the full article:

Half of Republicans believe false narratives about the Capitol riot, poll says
  • A Reuters/Ipsos poll found 51% of Republicans believe the Capitol rioters were "mostly peaceful."
  • The poll also found that 55% of Republicans believe the riot was instigated by left-wing radicals.
  • Both are false narratives pushed by former President Donald Trump and his allies after the riot.
Both ideas are certifiably false.

... Of all those surveyed, 59% believe that Trump bears some responsibility for the attack. But when broken down by political party, just three in 10 Republicans agreed.

John Greer, an expert on public opinion at Vanderbilt University, told Reuters that the poll shows that Republicans "have their own version of reality" when it comes to the riot.

"It is a huge problem. Democracy requires accountability and accountability requires evidence," Greer said.

The poll also highlighted how popular Trump remains as a potential 2024 candidate in the party.

Eight in 10 Republicans hold a favorable view of Trump, and six in 10 believe his false claim that the 2020 election "was stolen" from him. Six in 10 also believe he should run again in 2024.
Read the full article:

Trump's Mar-a-Lago charged the Secret Service almost $16,000 for $396 hotel rooms during presidential Christmas trip
  • Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort raked in $15,846 in US taxpayer money in December.
  • The Palm Beach resort charged $396 per night for his security detail during the eight-day Christmas visit.
  • As president, Trump spent 142 days at his gilded Florida property.
Former President Donald Trump's Palm Beach resort raked in $15,846 in US taxpayer money by charging the Secret Service $396-a-night for hotel rooms during Trump's Christmas trip to Florida, The Washington Post first reported.

The nearly $400 rooms cost almost double the price limit of $205-per-night mandated under federal rules, which can be overridden by the White House. Trump stayed at his Mar-a-Lago resort for eight days last December as he golfed and aggressively fought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

As president, Trump spent 142 days at his gilded Florida property, which he dubbed the "Winter White House." He hosted foreign heads of state while surrounded by his loyal club members, ordered a controversial strike on the Middle East from the resort, and played many rounds of golf with political allies. (He played golf at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach about 87 times, The Post reported).

The former president's 32 trips to Palm Beach — among many other visits to Trump-owned properties over his four years in office — cost taxpayers a pretty penny. And that came after Trump promised supporters on the campaign trail that, if elected, he wouldn't have time to play golf and likely wouldn't visit his own properties. As of October 2020, Trump's properties had received $2.5 million from American taxpayers and $5.6 million from the president's campaign and fundraising group.

In the early days of Trump's White House, Mar-a-Lago charged the government $546-a-night for hotel rooms for Trump's staffers. The resort later reimbursed the government for some of its past expenses and began charging the $396 price.
Read the full article:

Former Rep. Katie Hill says Matt Gaetz should resign if there's 'even a fraction of truth' to sex-trafficking reports
  • Katie Hill is calling on Matt Gaetz to resign if there's any truth to the allegations he's facing.
  • The DOJ is investigating if Gaetz had sex with a minor and violated federal sex trafficking laws.
  • Gaetz defended Hill in 2019 after nude photos of her were published by tabloids.
Former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill in a new Vanity Fair op-ed said that GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz should resign from Congress "immediately" if there's "even a fraction of truth" to allegations he broke federal sex trafficking laws, had a sexual relationship with a minor, and showed colleagues nude photos of women without their permission.

"Let me state it as clearly as possible: If, despite his denials, Matt Gaetz did have sex with a minor, if he did provide girls and young women with drugs and money and gifts in exchange for sex, if he did ask these girls and young women to recruit other women for the same purpose, and if he did show his colleagues images of nude women without their consent, he needs to be held responsible," Hill wrote on Monday.

"Some of these actions are criminal and some of them should be. All are morally reprehensible and unacceptable for a lawmaker," she added. "If there is even a fraction of truth to these reports, he should resign immediately."
Read the full article:

A breakdown of what's in Trump's new office — including a nearly hidden bottle that suggests he's drinking Coke despite calling for boycott
  • Trump advisor Stephen Miller tweeted a photo of himself and Trump in Trump's new office Monday.
  • Eagle-eyed observers noticed what looked like a glass Diet Coke bottle hidden on Trump's desk.
  • Days earlier Trump told his supporters to boycott Coca-Cola for opposing Georgia's new voting laws.
Donald Trump is back on Twitter. Well, sort of.

The former president made a guest appearance on Trump senior advisor Stephen Miller's Twitter Monday in a photo of the two taken in Trump's new Mar-a-Lago office.

The long-time Trump advisor offered Twitter users a glimpse into the Trump's new working conditions since he took up residence in the South Florida club after leaving office in January.

But eagle-eyed inspectors were quick to notice a poorly-concealed taboo on Trump's desk. Just behind a telephone on the desk, a glass bottle of what appears to be the former president's well-known favorite soda, Diet Coke, can be seen partially open and apparently drunk from.

The not-quite out-of-sight soda bottle is particularly notable in light of Trump's recent calls to boycott Coca-Cola products made just a few days before the picture seems to have been taken.

On Saturday, Trump released a statement calling on Republicans and conservatives to "fight back" against "WOKE CANCEL CULTURE," by boycotting companies like Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, JPMorgan, Chase, UPS, and more who have all protested Georgia's restrictive new voting law.

Early in his presidency, a New York Times profile revealed Trump drank roughly 12 Diet Cokes each day and even summoned housekeeping staff to bring him a can of his favorite soda via a button on his desk.

A close inspection of Miller's photo also revealed a pair of reading glasses resting on Trump's new desk — a departure from the man who very rarely allowed himself to be seen wearing glasses. In 2019, The New York Times reported that Trump disliked tweeting in front of other people because he needs reading glasses to see his iPhone screen. Instead, Trump preferred to dictate his tweets to then-White House social-media director, Dan Scavino.

No word on how or when Trump dons the glasses since he's been permanently removed from Twitter.

Miller's photo also highlights a telling piece of artwork in Trump's office. In the corner of the room, overlooking the former president's desk hangs a framed picture of Mount Rushmore.

According to The New York Times, in 2019, a White House aide asked the office of South Dakota's governor, Kristi Noem, how to add more presidents to Mount Rushmore. Noem said during her first meeting with Trump in the oval office she invited him to come to South Dakota sometime, boasting of Mount Rushmore. He reportedly replied: "Do you know it's my dream to have my face on Mount Rushmore?"

In the corner of the photo, sitting atop a side table and partially blocked by Miller, stands a miniature statue of what appears to be Trump himself; a tangible ode to a self-admittedly, self-involved president.
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.