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Donald Trump Jr. is selling $500 videos of himself to fans on Cameo
  • Donald Trump Jr. is selling videos of himself to fans on Cameo, a service that allows people to commission video messages from celebrities.
  • In the videos, which start at $525, Trump thanks fans for their support and delivers individualized messages they request.
  • Trump Jr. says "a portion" of the video proceeds go to a foundation supporting private US military contractors.
Donald Trump Jr., the former president's eldest son and top surrogate, is selling $500-plus videos of himself to fans on Cameo, a service that allows people to commission video messages from celebrities.

"Don't worry about it if your wife's mad at you for saying that election night 2016 was the happiest night of your life ... there's millions of people just like you, you can tell her I said that," he says in one video for a supporter in Australia. "Thanks for helping us out and support us in going after the liberals and the crazies on CNN."

Trump Jr. charges $525 for a standard video, which he'll deliver in two to seven days, and $787 for a video turned around in 24 hours or less.

On his Cameo profile, Trump Jr. describes himself as a "Father, Patriot, Outdoorsman, Businessman, Political Commentator and #1 NYT Bestselling author." His page indicates that "a portion" of the proceeds from his videos benefit the Shadow Warriors Project, a foundation that supports private US military contractors led by Mark Geist, who worked as a private security contractor at US facilities in Benghazi during the 2012 terror attack on the US embassy.

It's unclear what percentage of the video proceeds go to the non-profit group.
A spokesperson for Trump Jr. didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Geist has allied himself with the Trump family for years and campaigned with Trump Jr. beginning in 2016.

The foundation's stated mission, according to a statement on its website, is to "honor our brothers who are contracted to serve their country silently behind enemy lines and through their heroic and courageous acts have fallen or been injured and in all things bring glory to the Lord."

Trump Jr. has continued to aggressively defend his father and attack Democrats on social media, cable news, and other platforms in the months since the former president was banned from Twitter for inciting the violent Capitol riot on January 6.
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Trump reportedly deleted his blog because he was upset people were mocking it and it had such a small audience
  • Trump deleted his blog because he didn't like it being mocked, The Washington Post reported.
  • His team originally billed it as a social-media platform that would rival Twitter and Facebook.
  • But the blog ultimately had very little engagement and a shelf life of less than a month.
Trump's former blog now redirects to The page prompts users to sign up for "EXCLUSIVE updates" from the ex-president.
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Why Trump can't be 'reinstated' as president by August
  • The notion that Trump would be "reinstated" as president before Labor Day is gaining QAnon traction.
  • Trump is reportedly talking about it with confidantes, claiming the Supreme Court can reinstate him.
  • The demonstrably false conspiracy theory goes can be traced back MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.
The latest preposterous conspiracy theory sweeping the extended QAnon world claims that the Supreme Court will reinstate former President Donald Trump back into office before Labor Day weekend, despite the fact that he lost a fair election nearly seven months ago and has been unsuccessful in dozens of court challenges since.

While the precise origins of the August reinstatement theory remain unclear — it certainly did not come from constitutional law scholarship — the first mention of it to gain significant traction came from staunch Trump ally Mike Lindell, the founder and CEO of MyPillow.

Lindell has been mired in legal trouble for months over his false claims about Dominion voting machines, but he has continued to push lies about the 2020 election and appears largely responsible for this latest conspiracy theory spreading across MAGA-friendly media outlets.

A March appearance on Steve Bannon's "War Room" podcast is where Lindelll first predicted Trump would be reinstated by August.

"What I'm talking about, Steve is what I have been doing since January 9. All of the evidence I have, everything that is going to go before the Supreme Court, and the election of 2020 is going bye-bye," Lindell said, adding that other countries and "communism coming in" stole the election. Lindell's prediction relies on an assumption that the Supreme Court will be so impressed by his purported evidence of fraud that they will somehow issue a ruling declaring Biden as the illegitimate winner along with a new inauguration date.

Sidney Powell, a lawyer who filed dozens of failed and pushed outlandish conspiracies about hacked voting machines, shared the baseless theory at a conference of QAnon supporters in Dallas over Memorial Day Weekend (Dominion Voting Systems is suing both Lindell and Powell for defamation).

At the same conference, Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn even went as far as to say that the United States should have a military coup similar to the one ongoing in Myanmar in order to install Trump back in office.

The theory has now made it all the way up to Trump, who now has been telling allies that he thinks he'll be reinstated in August too, according to The New York Times' Maggie Haberman.

August appears to be when Lindell thinks he'll finally have the real evidence that will force the Supreme Court to overturn.

Simply put, Lindell and Powell are not telling the truth to their followers.

Firstly, on the logistical front: The Court will be on recess between the October 2020 and October 2021 terms starting in late June. While the Justices still review petitions, applications, and motions during their three-month recess period, it's unrealistic to think the Lindell case would amount to an exception.

Based on recent history, Lindell's chances don't look good. In December the high court refused to hear a long-shot, last-ditch lawsuit filed by Texas AG Ken Paxton directly against four swing states, where he asked the court to void Biden's presidential victories in those states to have GOP-controlled state legislatures appoint electors instead.

It's unclear exactly what process Lindell thinks the Supreme Court would deploy now nearly seven months after the election. But as far as the limits of the constitution go, there's no nationwide mechanism for the Supreme Court to overturn a presidential election, in the same way that sharks can't grow legs on command and stroll onto land.

It all goes back to how the Electoral College works: Presidents aren't elected nationwide, but state-by-state, indirectly. When you're voting for president, you're not directly electing a president but voting for a slate of electors to vote for the presidential ticket you want.

Furthermore, individual states are free to appoint their slates of electors as they choose — they just have to do so by the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. While all 50 states today hold elections to appoint their electors, the constitution doesn't require states to even hold elections, and there's no constitutional right to vote for the president.

Once the Electoral College casts their votes in December and Congress counts those votes, as they did on January 6, it's over.

After a president is sworn into office, the only mechanism to remove them is through the impeachment process.

And even if Mike Lindell does blow the cover off a massive plot to rig the election, Congress can only remove Biden for high crimes and misdemeanors he specifically committed in office — not the vague conspiracies about foreign governments and the ghost of Hugo Chavez rigging the 2020 election.

That too wouldn't result in Trump being restored to the presidency.

As Trump knows from being impeached twice himself, the Vice President would take over the office of the presidency in the event that a president is removed.
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Senate chamber trespasser pleads guilty and faces more than a year in prison
A man who wore goggles and carried a Trump flag into the Senate chamber on January 6 as the US Capitol was overrun with rioters became the second riot defendant to plead guilty on Wednesday, setting the tone for what may come as more of the hundreds of cases head toward being resolved in court.

Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Florida, pleaded guilty to one felony count of obstructing an official proceeding.

He admitted to taking selfies as he walked around desks in the Senate chamber, had worn protective goggles and gloves, and at one point tried to help another injured rioter with first aid. He had come to the Trump rally in DC by bus, prosecutors said.

Hodgkins originally faced five charges related to him entering the Capitol and the Justice Department dropped all but the most severe of the counts.

He faces a likely 15 to 21 months in prison, and could face thousands of dollars in fines as well, according to his plea hearing on Wednesday. He's already agreed to pay $2,000 in restitution, according to lawyers in the case.

The judge who accepted his guilty plea on Wednesday, Judge Randolph Moss, will have broad discretion to set his sentence.

The obstruction charge he has pleaded guilty to carries a maximum 20 years in prison, though judges almost never sentence defendants to the maximum amount.

Still, the resolution of Hodgkins' case sends a signal for other riot defendants that prosecutors may not be willing to significantly reduce charges for those who entered the Capitol building.

Many of the Capitol riot defendants are already engaged in plea talks, and, as is typical in the criminal justice system, a large proportion are expected to plead guilty.
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An educational agency backed by Betsy DeVos just lost recognition for reportedly signing off on a fake college
  • A USA Today investigation last year found an educational agency accredited a school that appeared to be fake.
  • The agency — the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools — lost its recognition on Wednesday.
  • It had also accredited now defunct for-profit schools that were accused of defrauding students.
The Education Department on Wednesday cancelled its recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools (ACICS) for approving a school that reportedly has no faculty or students, but received federal funds anyway.

USA Today conducted an investigation last year that found that although approved by ACICS, Reagan National University in South Dakota did not house any faculty, students, or staff. And while the agency said that Reagan had met its standards during the accreditation process, it declined to say specifically how it verified the college had students and faculty.

This caused the Education Department on Wednesday to remove ACICS's recognition, given its inability to deliver sufficient evidence as to why they accredited Reagan in the first place.

"ACICS's significant and systemic noncompliance with multiple regulatory recognition criteria leaves me no reasonable option but to terminate its recognition, effective immediately," Jordan Matsudaira, deputy undersecretary for education, wrote in a notice posted to the department's website.

Schools that are approved by accreditors are given access to federal grants and student loans, so even though Reagan appeared to be non-functioning, it still could access federal funds.

Reagan ended up being stripped of its recognition, but Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stood by ACICS and affirmed that the agency had followed proper procedure when choosing to accredit the school.

But Reagan was not the first questionable school to fall under ACICS's jurisdiction. The agency has accredited more than 60 for-profit schools, and a number of those schools — including Corinthian Colleges and ITT Technical Institutes — have shut down in the past decade amid allegations of fraudulent behavior, including engaging in misleading marketing practices and persuading students to take out loans they would never be able to pay back.

... The Education Department's decision to remove ACICS's recognition follows a series of actions already taken to reverse Trump-era rules. For example, last week, the department announced plans to start tackling flaws in the student loan system, including reforming DeVos' method to forgive student debt for borrowers defrauded by for-profit schools.
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Trump is pushing conservative writers to say the 2020 election was stolen from him, according to a report
  • Trump wants conservative media to publish his lies about the 2020 election.
  • NYT's Maggie Haberman reported on Trump's efforts to pressure conservative writers.
  • Trump "does really exist strongly in this right-wing ecosystem," she said in an interview.
"He has been trying to get conservative writers to publish, you know, in a more mainstream way, that this election was quote unquote stolen from him — his repeated false claim about that — to try to legitimize that, to try to get people to call attention to this," Haberman said Wednesday in an interview on CNN.

Trump is also "laser focused" on the ongoing audit in Arizona and hopes more states launch similar processes as he thinks "they are going to overturn the election," Haberman said.

"This is the kind of thing that he is trying to flush into the conservative media ecosystem and he is saying to his supporters," she added.

Haberman's reporting comes a day after she tweeted that Trump is telling people he believes he will be reinstated as president in August, a conspiracy theory that has been propped up by far-right groups such as QAnon. The claim has no basis under the Constitution or any legitimate legal framework.

... "Democrats who support Joe Biden don't want to hear anything about Donald Trump, and because Donald Trump is not on Twitter anymore, they think, therefore, he doesn't really exist," Haberman said. "Except he does really exist strongly in this right-wing ecosystem."

"He's the former president. He is in control of the Republican Party to a big extent," she added.
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House committee to hold a public hearing on the January 6 insurrection in the wake of a 4th inspector general flash report
  • A House committee will discuss the findings of the fourth IG flash report on the Capitol siege.
  • The report found "disturbing inadequacies" in the USCP's preparation and response to the attack, Rep. Lofgren said.
  • The House Administration Committee will hold its fifth public hearing on the January 6 riot.
The House Administration Committee will hold another public hearing on the Capitol riot in the wake of a flash report by the inspector general, which the chairwoman said revealed "disturbing inadequacies" in the Capitol Police's preparation and response to the attack.

House Administration Chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren announced Wednesday that the committee will host its fifth hearing on the events of January 6 — more than any other congressional committee has held on the matter. The date of the hearing is yet to be set.

US Capitol Police Inspector General Michael Bolton will appear at the hearing to discuss the findings of the latest flash report, which "identified significant deficiencies pertaining to the Department's Containment and Emergency Response Team and First Responders Unit and made more than 20 recommendations," according to a statement from Lofgren.

Lofgren said in the statement that Bolton's "latest flash report reveals, again, disturbing inadequacies in the Department leadership's preparation for, and response to, the January 6 attack."

"Examining these latest findings and recommendations will assist the Committee as we contemplate reforms," she continued.

The report also raised "such significant and troubling concerns" that Bolton delivered an urgent advisory to USCP leadership before the probe was fully complete.

The announcement of the House Administration Committee's hearing comes after Senate Republicans blocked a bill to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection.

"Despite Senate Republicans' shameful filibuster of a compromise, bipartisan bill to establish an independent commission to investigate the deadly insurrection and attack on the capitol, the American people deserve answers," Lofgren said.
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Trump DOJ secretly pulled phone records for 4 New York Times reporters during an investigation into a leak
  • Trump's DOJ secretly obtained the phone records of four NYT journalists, the The Times reported.
  • Three Washington Post reporters and CNN's Barbara Starr also faced similar seizures.
  • Biden has called the practice "simply wrong" and said that his DOJ will not do it.
The records, which were from a four-month period in 2017, were seized in 2020 during an investigation into a leak, The Times reported.

"Seizing the phone records of journalists profoundly undermines press freedom," Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said in a statement. "It threatens to silence the sources we depend on to provide the public with essential information about what the government is doing."

The four Times reporters targeted were Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eric Lichtblau and Michael S. Schmidt. The Justice Department did not indicate which of their articles was being scrutinized, but The Times said the reporters and timing suggested it was an April 2017 report about FBI Director James Comey's handling of politically sensitive investigations during the 2016 election.

Following the disclosure Wednesday, Times reporter Adam Goldman tweeted that the Justice Department had "now secretly seized my phone records twice," under both Obama and Trump.

"I don't care who is president — Republican or Democrat — I will always try to inform the public," the tweet continued.

Federal investigators have long-seized records from journalists, a controversial practice heavily used under the Obama administration and under Trump.

President Joe Biden told The Times last month the practice of seizing reporters records is "simply wrong" and that he will not let it occur under his Justice Department.
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Prosecutors are examining if Matt Gaetz obstructed justice in the sex-trafficking investigation into him, report says
  • Prosecutors are examining whether Rep. Matt Gaetz obstructed justice, Politico reported Wednesday.
  • The probe concerns a call Gaetz made to a witness in the sex-trafficking probe he is the subject of.
  • Gaetz has denied the allegations against him, including that he paid for sex with a minor.
Sources told Politico that the obstruction of justice probe concerns a call Gaetz had with a witness in the case. The witness was on the phone with Gaetz's ex-girlfriend, who then dialed in the congressman. The contents of the call are not clear, but they will determine if Gaetz is charged with obstruction, the outlet reported.

Obstruction of justice is an act that "influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice."
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DC officer Michael Fanone, who was attacked at the Capitol riot, says he was 'absolutely sickened' by Mitch McConnell's efforts to quash the Jan. 6 commission
  • Senate Republicans blocked the creation of a commission into the Jan. 6 insurrection last week.
  • Mitch McConnell reportedly asked Republicans to vote against the bill as a "personal favor."
  • Officer Michael Fanone said he was "absolutely sickened" to learn this.
Fanone said: "I was absolutely sickened. You know, here I am escorting the mother of a dead policeman, while she and myself advocate for the formation of a commission to investigate the circumstances which resulted in her son's death.

"And you have a leader on Capitol Hill who's making phone calls asking for personal favors and doling out political capital to push for, you know, a no vote on that commission. It was absolutely disgraceful."
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A former George W. Bush strategist slammed George P. Bush for supporting Trump, saying he's lost his 'family values'
  • George P. Bush is currently running for Texas attorney general.
  • He's the only member of the Bush clan to publicly support Donald Trump.
  • Matthew Dowd, a former strategist for George W. Bush, called George P.'s support a "sad tale."
A former political advisor to President George W. Bush called George P. Bush's support of former President Donald Trump a "really sad tale" that "says a lot about the Republican Party" today.

Last week, a Trump advisor told Politico that the 45th president calls Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush "my Bush," as the only member of the Bush political dynasty to publicly support him.

Bush is the son of Trump's one-time rival Jeb Bush, and is currently running for the position of Texas attorney general.

Matthew Dowd, chief strategist of the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign, told CNN on Wednesday that he knew George P. Bush from their days on the campaign.

"The Republican Party has become the party of Donald Trump ... It just tells you a complete story of the Republican Party today that he would abandon his family in this regard and basically suck up to Donald Trump," Dowd said of Bush, according to video of the interview reposted by Mediaite.

"For George P., you would think some sort of family values or some family loyalty would be more important than political ambition. But that's what he wants."

"It really does tell a tale of the Republican Party — instead of candidates with principle leaving the party and saying I'm not part of that anymore, they stick it out and in order to stick it out they cozy up to Donald Trump no matter what they have to sacrifice, including family bonds and values," Dowd said.

George P. Bush's support of Trump is perhaps surprising considering how the latter denigrated Bush's father during the 2016 Republican presidential primary. Trump called Jeb Bush "low energy" and an "embarrassment to his family."

Multiple members of the Bush family have also spoken out against Trump, including former President George W. Bush and his mother, the former first lady Barbara Bush, who died in 2018.
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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.