No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Some Mike Lindell fans reportedly stood in line for 7 hours to watch his rally at the Corn Palace – but when the event started, the venue was half-empty
  • Mike Lindell held a rally in South Dakota Monday to speak about his voter-fraud website Frank.
  • The Dickinson Press reported that guests stood in line for hours – but the venue was only half-full.
  • Ben Carson and Eric Metaxas spoke at the event, while Joe Piscopo performed a music set.
Lindell held the rally to launch "Frank," the website he billed as a social-media site, but is so far a one-way platform for him to spread baseless allegations of voter fraud.

Photos shared on Twitter show lines snaking around the Corn Palace in Mitchell. The Dickinson Press reported that some people stood in line for up to seven hours for the free event, which let people in on a first-come, first-served basis.

Some guests said they came from neighboring states, including Minnesota and Nebraska, while others came from as far away as Texas, the publication reported.

Corn Palace Director Doug Greenway told Insider's Kevin Shalvey that he had fielded calls from dozens of people interested in attending the event.

The venue fits about 3,000 people, and photos on Twitter suggest that it was around half full for the event.

Some attendees at Monday's event brought along Trump merchandise, including hats and flags.'s Zachary Petrizzo reported that a group of far-right Proud Boy members attended, citing a source at the event.

The event featured talks from Ben Carson, Trump's secretary of housing and urban development, who joined on video call, and conservative podcaster Eric Metaxas. Comedian Joe Piscopo of "Saturday Night Live" fame performed a music set, which included the national anthem.

This was followed by a 90-minute speech from Lindell, who spread voter-fraud theories, including claims that Trump got 80 million votes in the 2020 presidential election, per Newsweek. The Federal Election Commission says that Trump got just over 72 million votes.

Attendees received a free copy of both Lindell's autobiography and his self-made film "Absolute Proof," which alleges fraud in the 2020 election.

Mitchell has a population of around 15,000, but Lindell said he chose the location partially because of the South Dakota GOP governor's resistance to COVID-19 lockdown measures.

His Corn Palace rally was sandwiched between a Dakota Wesleyan University graduation ceremony and an event by the American Corn Hole Association.
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A 55-year-old Capitol riot suspect was arrested after feds saw a Facebook post where he said, 'I was there'
  • John Maron Nassif, a 55-year-old Florida man, bragged on Facebook about having attended the Capitol riot that left five people dead.
  • Federal officials arrested him on Monday after discovering posts where he said, "I was there."
  • Nassif, if convicted, could face a year in prison, a year of probation, and a hefty $100,000 fine.
A Florida man who boasted on Facebook multiple times about attending the deadly Capitol riot on January 6 was arrested Monday.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that John Maron Nassif, 55, is being charged with violent entry, disorderly conduct, and entering a restricted building or grounds without authority to do so.

"You know I was there, right?" an arrest affidavit said Nassif wrote on January 8, according to the Sentinel. "You don't find it odd that police officer is welcoming everybody in? Considering the narrative that's being pushed?"

Nassif also posted weeks after the riot on January 20, admitting that he was one of the people who breached the Capitol.

"I found myself inside the building. The Rotunda was nearly filled with people," he wrote on Facebook, according to the Sentinel. "No one was fighting or being violent. More pushing and I decided to leave."

"It wasn't until I was walking back that I heard a rumor someone had been shot," his post continued. "It wasn't till I got back to my hotel room I learned the specifics. Anyone telling you this was some type of coup etc is telling you lies."
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Trump is cheerleading a long-shot lawsuit to audit votes in a Michigan county he already won in the 2020 election
  • Trump is encouraging a 2020 election lawsuit in a Michigan county he already won.
  • An ongoing lawsuit over a ballot proposal challenges the integrity of the county's election.
  • Antrim County's results were fully audited and hand-recounted in December, affirming Trump's win.
More than six months after the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump is hyping a lawsuit in a small Michigan county that he already won.

In a Monday statement posted on his website, Trump touted the baseless contents of a "bombshell pleading" in a "major Michigan Election Fraud case" that he said will show that votes were "intentionally switched" to harm him, a claim for which there is no evidence.

He also compared the nonexistent fraud in the 2020 election to a heist of precious jewels, writing that if "a thief robs a jewelry store of all of its diamonds (the 2020 Presidential Election), the diamonds must be returned."

Trump won a majority of votes in Antrim County but lost Michigan overall to now-President Joe Biden.

A human error with tabulating the results initially showed Biden winning the county. Antrim County Clerk Sheryl Guy, who happens to be a Republican, swiftly rectified the problem and certified the county's election results for Trump, who carried the county with 61% of the vote with 37% going to Biden. Trump and his allies have seized on a quickly-corrected counting error in the county to spread disinformation about the 2020 election results.

The crux of the lawsuit filed by Antrim County resident Bill Bailey is about the results of a marijuana-related ballot initiative in the village of Central Lake, 9 & 10 News reports.

Bailey claims he has the standing for the lawsuit because three ballots were spoiled during a recount for the initiative, though he does not actually live in Central Lake. Bailey is asking a judge to allow him to conduct his own audit of all the 2020 election results, baselessly alleging that software developed by Dominion Voting Systems used in the election was intentionally programmed to falsify results.

The Antrim County election results were already audited nearly five months ago, as lawyers for the townships and the Michigan secretary of state's office noted in a Monday hearing.

... If Bailey loses his Antrim County lawsuit, it will be another addition to the list of more than 40 failed election lawsuits from Trump and his allies.
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Trump started a blog, but hardly anyone is reading it
  • Trump's new blog is apparently not very popular.
  • The blog has only seen a little over 212,000 engagements in its first week.
  • When he still had Twitter, Trump used to see more engagement via single tweets.
When he still had a Twitter account, Donald Trump shared tweets featuring the word "ratings" almost 400 times. It's no secret he's obsessed with numbers and how many eyes he has on him at all times.

Along those lines, the former president might not be too happy to learn that his new blog has fairly low readership.

The blog, titled From the Desk of Donald J. Trump, has only seen a little over 212,000 engagements in its first week, according to data compiled by the social media analytics company BuzzSumo, which was first reported by NBC News. Comparatively, Trump's tweet announcing he contracted COVID-19 last October — his most liked and retweeted post to date — was retweeted hundreds of thousands of times and liked over 1.5 million times. In other words, Trump saw more engagement from single tweets than he has on his new blog so far.

The blog, which was launched last week, allows Trump to communicate directly with his followers. He can post statements, videos, and images. So far, the website operates a lot like Trump's old Twitter timeline, in the sense that he's primarily been using it to post statements attacking his critics.

... The fact that Trump's website is not getting much engagement so far suggests that removing his social media megaphone has had a major impact on his ability to communicate with the public.
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Donald Trump Jr.'s ex-wife and Tiffany Trump became 'inappropriately close' to Secret Service agents, new book says
  • A new book says Trump family members got "inappropriately" close with Secret Service agents.
  • Vanessa Trump dated a Secret Service agent, Washington Post reporter Carol D. Leonnig wrote in her book.
  • The book also says Tiffany Trump spent a lot of time alone with an agent after a breakup.
Vanessa and Tiffany Trump became "inappropriately — and perhaps dangerously — close" to Secret Service agents assigned to protect them when former President Donald Trump was still commander-in-chief, according to a new book from Washington Post reporter Carol D. Leonnig, a copy of which was obtained by The Guardian.

Vanessa, Donald Trump Jr's. ex-wife, "started dating one of the agents who had been assigned to her family," per Leonnig's book, "Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service." The agent didn't get in trouble because at the time he wasn't assigned to protect Vanessa, who filed for divorce from Trump Jr. in 2018.

The book also says that Tiffany spent "an unusual amount of time alone with a Secret Service agent on her detail" after she broke up with a boyfriend.

Leonnig wrote that Secret Service agents "became concerned at how close Tiffany appeared to be getting to the tall, dark and handsome agent."

To ensure that their judgment isn't affected on the job, Secret Service agents are barred from forming close personal relationships with those they're assigned to protect. The agent Tiffany reportedly developed a relationship with was ultimately reassigned.

... The book also said that Trump wanted Secret Service agents he perceived to be overweight or too short to be reassigned, over concerns they wouldn't be able to do their jobs properly.

"I want these fat guys off my detail," Trump reportedly said. "How are they going to protect me and my family if they can't run down the street?"
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Donald Trump asked the Secret Service to get 'these fat guys off my detail' because 'they can't run down the street,' according to new book
  • Former President Donald Trump reportedly had qualms with the physique of some Secret Service agents.
  • "I want these fat guys off my detail," Trump once said, Washington Post reporter Carol D. Leonnig wrote in her forthcoming book.
  • Trump may have mixed up office-based agents with those assigned to actively protect him, per the book.
President Donald Trump has never been shy to share his opinions on anyone's physique, and Secret Service agents are reportedly no exception.

In a forthcoming book by the Washington Post's Carol D. Leonnig — co-author of the bestselling "A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America" — Trump once got irritated about members of the agency not being in "tippy top shape," as he would put it.

Leonig's new book, "Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service," digs into how the Trump family interacted with the agency amid longer standing issues. While some agents were reportedly concerned about possible romances developing between their men and two Trump family members, the former president was more concerned with the appearance and fitness of his detail.

"I want these fat guys off my detail," Trump once said, according to Leonnig in an excerpt obtained by The Guardian. "How are they going to protect me and my family if they can't run down the street?"

He may have been confused about those who are assigned to office roles compared to agents who would normally be assigned to protect him, per Leonnig.

The agency has rigorous fitness standards for agents in the field, with tests involving push-ups, chin-ups, sit-ups and a timed 1.5-mile run, according to the Secret Service website.

To earn top marks, male agents under the age of 50 must complete the 1.5-mile run in 11 minutes and 44 seconds or less.

Prospective agents receive a points-based score for their fitness exams, which helps determine the nature of their assignments. To score any higher than "poor" on the push-ups portion of the exam, agents of all ages must complete more than 20 push ups in a minute.

As for the romances involving agents and Tiffany Trump, his youngest daughter, and Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump Jr.'s ex-wife, Leonnig found that it was unclear if the 45th president was aware of those rumors.
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A Texas judge has thrown out the NRA's bankruptcy case, clearing the way for New York's attempts to dissolve the group
  • A Texas judge rejected the NRA's attempt to go bankrupt, siding with New York state prosecutors.
  • Prosecutors said the bankruptcy filing was an attempt to squirm out of other litigation.
  • In August, the New York Attorney General's office accused the NRA of corruption and negligent oversight.
A Texas judge is throwing out the National Rifle Association's bankruptcy filing, saying that the case was filed in "bad faith" in an effort to avoid litigation in New York.

Judge Harlin Hale's decision to throw out the case came after New York Attorney General Letitia James and others questioned the legitimacy of the bankruptcy filing. Law 360 first reported the ruling.

The NRA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 15 after James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the gun rights organization, alleging it abused its legal status as a nonprofit. In its August filing, New York prosecutors accused the group of corruption and said its longtime CEO Wayne LaPierre "instituted a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement, and negligent oversight."

While reports of financial troubles have dogged the NRA for years, its bankruptcy filings showed it was financially solvent and had assets worth roughly $50 million more than its debts. The organization tried to restructure in Texas, claiming New York had a corrupt regulatory environment.
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Former Republican congressman says Kevin McCarthy will do anything 'short of throwing his mother under the bus' to become House speaker
  • Paul Mitchell said that Kevin McCarthy is backing Liz Cheney's removal from leadership because it benefits McCarthy.
  • Mitchell argued that McCarthy wants to quell dissent to win back the House majority in 2022 and become speaker of the House.
  • "He will do almost anything to get the gavel and become speaker, short of throwing his mother under the bus," Mitchell said.
Mitchell, who retired last year and left the GOP over concerns with its election lies, argued that McCarthy wants to quell dissent in the caucus in order to win back the House majority in 2022 and become speaker of the House.

"Kevin's primary interest is achieving the gavel, he will do almost anything to get the gavel and become speaker, short of throwing his mother under the bus," Mitchell told CNN on Tuesday. "Unfortunately, the drive for political power for that prestige for some people is extraordinary and I think in this case it's overwhelmed the best interests of the nation, of members of his party, and will not be long-term good for the country."

But Mitchell predicted that even if McCarthy is successful in taking back the House majority in 2022, he won't have enough support in his caucus to win the speakership. The former congressman argued that Republican lawmakers have decided to prioritize fealty to Trump over conservative principles and that the party is "not healthy" as a result. He added that Cheney might be successful in playing the long game and could help lead a post-Trump GOP sometime in the future.

... Politico's Rachel Bade noted on Tuesday that Mitchell publicly announced his retirement shortly after McCarthy dismissed his concerns about Trump telling Democratic congresswomen of color who are from America to "go back" to their countries.

Mitchell, who represented a deep-red district and voted for Trump in November, said he left the GOP and became an independent late last year in response to his colleagues' lies about the 2020 election. McCarthy stripped Mitchell of his committee assignments shortly after.

"I believe that raw political considerations, not constitutional or voting integrity concerns, motivate many in party leadership to support the "stop the steal" efforts," Mitchell wrote in a December letter to party leaders. "As elected members of Congress, we take an oath to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States,' not to preserve and protect the political interests of any individual, be it the president or anyone else, to the detriment of our cherished nation."
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Josh Hawley's former academic mentor says he blames himself for helping the senator rise to power
  • Josh Hawley's former academic adviser regrets supporting the senator and helping him achieve his political dreams.
  • "I had no inkling really just how conservative he was," Stanford historian David Kennedy said.
  • Kennedy made the comments in a lengthy Washington Post profile of Hawley.
Stanford University professor David Kennedy, who mentored a college-aged Sen. Josh Hawley, told The Washington Post that he blames himself for helping his former student and boosting his political career.

"I think he is a thoughtful, deeply analytical person," Kennedy told The Post. "What I understand far less well is his particular political evolution. I had no inkling really just how conservative he was. I blame myself."

The professor mentored Hawley and advised him on his thesis about former President Theodore Roosevelt, which was later published as the book "Theodore Roosevelt: Preacher of Righteousness."

"The feeling on my part is that I simply was not paying attention to what he was doing in the arena of student culture where he was moving," Kennedy added.
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Liz Cheney rips Trump and Republicans who still support him, saying he 'risks inciting further violence' with false election claims, and warns GOP against abandoning the rule of law
  • Rep. Liz Cheney said Donald Trump is on a "crusade to undermine our democracy."
  • The Wyoming Republican said the former president "risks inciting further violence."
  • "Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with the Constitution," she said.
"Today we face a threat America has never seen before: a former president, who provoked a violent attack on this Capitol, in an effort to steal the election, has resumed his aggressive effort to convince Americans that the election was stolen from him," Cheney said. "He risks inciting further violence."

Cheney reminded her fellow Republicans dozens of courts rejected the former president's claims of mass voter fraud, as did his own Department of Justice. "I am a conservative Republican," she said, "and the most conservative of conservative principles is reverence for the rule of law."

Those who decline to accept that the election is over — and refuse to state that President Joe Biden's victory was legitimate — "are at war with the Constitution," Cheney added.

... "Remaining silent, and ignoring the lie, emboldens the liar," Cheney said. "I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president's crusade to undermine our democracy."
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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.