No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Palm Beach County prosecutor says Gov. Ron DeSantis can't stop Trump from getting extradited to New York if he's indicted
  • Palm Beach County's top prosecutor told CNN that Ron DeSantis can't block a possible Trump extradition, if he's indicted.
  • DeSantis' "power to stop an extradition is really non-existent," State Attorney Dave Aronberg told CNN.
  • Politico reported that Palm Beach is prepping for a possible extradition request from New York.
Palm Beach County's top prosecutor threw cold water on the suggestion that Gov. Ron DeSantis could unilaterally block former President Donald Trump from getting extradited to New York to face potential criminal charges.

Politico Playbook first reported on May 13 that officials in Palm Beach, where Trump resides at his Mar-a-Lago resort, are drawing up "contingency plans" in the event that prosecutors in New York, particularly the Manhattan District Attorney's office, charge Trump with a crime and move to extradite him back to New York for prosecution.

Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg told CNN Newsroom on Sunday that he hasn't any conversations with his counterparts in New York about an extradition plan.

"I can clear that up because I'm the state attorney for Palm Beach County. We have not had conversations with prosecutors in New York about this. The story that you saw was informal conversations with the clerk of courts and other local officials in case an indictment happens," Aronberg said.

Aronberg also pushed back on Politico's reporting that DeSantis could intervene and halt Trump from getting extradited back to New York altogether.

"So that's a conversation we're having: what is the governor's power? And the governor's power to stop an extradition is really non-existent," Aronberg said. "He can try to delay it, he can send it to a committee and do research about it, but his role is really ministerial, and ultimately the state of New York can go to court and get an order to extradite the former president. But DeSantis could delay matters."
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Documents reveal how Trump is spending taxpayer money on his post-presidential offices, from printer toner to Stephen Miller's salary
  • New documents show the inner workings of ex-president Donald Trump's team.
  • Former White House aides Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino are still getting government salaries.
  • Trump's staff is expensing printer toner and a floor mat for Trump's chair.
President Donald Trump's advisor Stephen Miller lost his White House access on January 20, but he continues to pocket a government paycheck — and is slated to do so until late July, according to government records.

Miller is one of at least 17 people who continued to receive taxpayer-funded salaries while working for Trump's post-presidential transition office, according to government documents released to Insider under the Freedom of Information Act.

Trump's post-presidential staff is expected to receive about $1.3 million in federal salary and benefits between January 20 and July 21, when the formal presidential transition period ends, according to an estimate prepared by the General Services Administration.

The documents include previously unreported details about how taxpayer cash is funding Trump's post-presidential operation. They show which staffers are still working on his transition, where his team is located, and how they're spending federal funds on everything from stationery engraved with Trump's initials to a plastic floor mat for use under the former president's desk chair.

A law titled the Presidential Transition Act gives outgoing presidents and vice presidents government funding and facilities "for use in connection with winding up the affairs of his office." The benefit lasts for about six months after a president leaves the White House.

Trump routinely boasted about rejecting his publicly funded presidential paycheck and donating his $400,000 annual salary each year that he was in office. Trump likewise could have rejected taxpayer money for his post-presidential operations but chose not to, the GSA records indicate.

For Trump, accepting public money has meant employing 10 transition aides in Palm Beach, Florida — where Trump has been living since he left the White House — and another seven aides in an office building in Arlington, Virginia. The GSA redacted five of the staffers' names in the documents provided to Insider.

Miller, a former White House advisor who crafted Trump's immigration policies, has remained on Trump's post-presidential transition staff, earning an annualized salary of $160,000, the documents show.

For the period between January 20 and July 21, Miller is expected to earn a total of $107,704.11. The figure includes benefits.

In addition to his taxpayer-funded job, Miller has launched America First Legal, a new conservative group that Miller said will fight "radical progressives" in court. Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and other former Trump administration officials, are also on the board of directors.

... Dan Scavino, who served as deputy chief of staff in the Trump White House, also remains on Trump's transition team as communications director, the documents show.

Scavino is the highest paid staffer on the team, with an annual salary of $172,500, the maximum allowed, according to a GSA document. Scavino was expected to remain on staff through July.

Both Miller and Scavino were among the highest-paid staffers and most trusted advisors in Trump's White House. They each earned $183,000 annually in 2019.

Other staffers in Trump's Palm Beach office: Molly Michael, chief of staff; Nicholas Luna, deputy chief of staff for policy and personnel; Beau Harrison, deputy chief of staff for operations; Hayley D'Antuono, chief of staff to the former first lady; Marcia Kelly, advisor to the former first lady; and scheduling director Eliza Thurston.

... In addition to six-figure salaries, Trump's team is charging taxpayers for decidedly pedestrian expenses, too — such as a $74.89 plastic floor mat to go under Trump's desk chair.

One day earlier, a GSA employee agreed over email to place an order for four cartridges of printer toner for Trump's team. Price tag: $397.56.

Harrison asked for $5,000 to be placed on Trump's account on February 23. Earlier that month, Harrison sent an invoice to GSA asking them to purchase a stationery package for both Donald Trump and Melania Trump.

The package included 46,250 cards — some engraved with their initials "DJT" and "MT" — for a total cost of $34,775.94.
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Donald Trump donated his federal salary, but he's taken $65,600 in pension payments since January 20
  • As president, Donald Trump donated his federal salary.
  • Since leaving office, Trump has received more than $65,000 in federal pension payments.
  • Trump is entitled to an annual taxpayer-funded pension of $221,400.
Since receiving the taxpayer-funded payments, it's unclear what Trump has done with the money — kept it, donated it, or something else..

... The US Constitution requires presidents to receive a salary while in office but does not require former presidents to take a pension.

Former presidents' are entitled to pensions under a law called the Former Presidents Act. Their pay is equal to the salary of Cabinet secretaries, which is $221,400 in 2021.

Congress passed a law allowing former presidents to receive pensions prompted in part by former President Harry Truman's financial difficulties after leaving office, according to the Congressional Research Service. The Former Presidents Act was an effort to "maintain the dignity of the office" by providing a pension, travel funds, and other perks..

During his presidency, Trump, who continued to reap financial gain from his many business ventures, including the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C., often boasted about donating his salary to federal agencies.

In April 2017, Trump donated his salary to the National Park Service even as he proposed deep budget cuts to the Interior Department, which houses the Park Service.

In March 2020, Trump donated his salary to the Department of Health and Human Services as the US health agency grappled with the coronavirus outbreak.

... Trump, a former reality TV star, has also hauled in cash from Hollywood pensions. He received nearly six figures in combined pensions from the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists in 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and had received similar payments in the years before.

Trump quit the Screen Actors Guild earlier this year after the group launched an investigation into his behavior surrounding the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

"Who cares!" Trump wrote in a letter to the guild, BBC reported.
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White House issue subtle dig at Trump over unreleased tax returns, saying Biden and Harris releasing their 2020 tax returns is an 'almost uninterrupted' tradition
  • The first and second families released their 2020 tax returns on Monday.
  • The press release accompanying the returns included a dig at former President Donald Trump.
  • Trump did not release his tax returns during his four years in office.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris released their 2020 tax returns on Monday. The press release made a subtle dig at former President Donald Trump, pointing out that the Biden administration continued an "almost uninterrupted tradition" of sharing this information.

Presidents since Richard Nixon in 1973 have released their tax returns. Trump never did and multiple jurisdictions including New York's Southern District have sued to view his tax returns, related to ongoing criminal investigations and allegations of financial wrongdoing.
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Caitlyn Jenner is using a campaign fundraising trick from Trump's playbook that commits donors to recurring payments
  • Donors to Trump's election campaign were hit with pre-checked recurring monthly donations.
  • The campaign tactic has been denounced by election officials.
  • The tactic is now being used by California gubernatorial candidates Caitlyn Jenner and Doug Ose.
Jenner, alongside former Rep. Doug Ose, who are both running as Republicans in California's recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom, have pre-checked boxes on their donation pages that sign contributors to make monthly payments to their campaigns.

A New York Times investigation found that Trump used a tactic where recurring donation boxes were pre-checked at the bottom of fundraising emails. Contributors had to opt-out, instead of opt-in, for the recurring charges.

The ploy was named the "money-bomb" and it left campaign finance experts stunned, Insider's Grace Panetta reported.

While it's unclear if the tactic is illegal, it's been condemned by federal election officials, Politico reported.

The strategy has been criticized for tricking donors into giving more than they intended.

The Federal Election Commission recently asked Congress to make it law that campaigns have to get "opt-in" agreements from contributors before they could make monthly donations. The commission said many donors do not realize when recurring charge boxes are pre-checked, Politico reported.

... The former athlete and reality television star has only voted in only about a third of the elections she was eligible to vote in since 2000.
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The latest sign of Donald Trump's hold on the GOP
For starters, polling showed GOPers want the Republican Party's policies to be modeled off Trump, not vice versa.

More than three-quarters of Republicans polled say the party should follow more of Trump's example on key issue areas,
  • 89% want a Trumpian take on economic issues.
  • 88% want to follow Trump's example on immigration issues.
  • 77% prefer Trump's model for how to treat the media.
Digging deeper into the poll's top lines, an overwhelming majority of Republicans said Trump represents the party on every single policy issue asked about. The lowest percentage of GOP interest in a Trump-style policy effort? How Trump treats liberals, but even that mustered a solid 69% support.

This is yet another striking example of how the Republican Party base is intertwining with Trump himself. As CBS pollster Anthony Salvanto put it: "It's a personal connection to him we've seen for years."

The poll also found that 66% said other Republicans being loyal to Trump is important, which brings us to the matter of Liz Cheney. Among those polled, a whopping 80% of those who were familiar with the GOP move to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from House leadership supported it.

For all that was made of Cheney's stand against Trump, this is yet another sign that the non-Trump lane within the Republican Party is extremely narrow, if it exists at all.

The Point: Bad news for those searching for signs of a non-Trump path within the Republican Party. Right now, the vast majority of GOP members are still very big on the former President -- and not much else.
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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.