That escalated quickly
January 31, 2020

President Trump delivered multiple warnings to supporters who attended his rally Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa, including telling them that if they don't vote for him in November, they will lose literally everything they love.

Trump spoke for 90 minutes, but he told the crowd he could have made his rally "really short. All I have to do is say, 'Uh, hello Iowa. You have no choice but to vote for me. Otherwise, everything you have loved in your entire life will be gone. Goodbye, Iowa. Have a good time.' Instead, I work my ass off up here, okay? True. You think this is easy?"

The scare tactics didn't end there. Trump brought up the Green New Deal, a Democratic proposal that would fight climate change while guaranteeing jobs in clean energy industries. He said the plan would "crush our farms, destroy our wonderful cows. They want to kill our cows. You know why, right? You know why? Don't say it. They want to kill our cows. That means you're next."

It wasn't all doom and gloom, though. Trump said he loves farmers and the feeling is mutual. "Based on the polls, I guess I'm not going to lose in this state," he declared. "I don't think I'm going to lose in any other state." Catherine Garcia

September 25, 2019

The House of Representatives is barreling toward an impeachment vote, which could potentially take place before the year's end.

Some Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are pushing for the House's impeachment probe to focus on Ukraine, with this being a way to streamline it and potentially have articles "considered by the end of the year or even sooner," Politico reports.

"I think focusing on this Ukrainian scandal singularly is important," Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) told Politico. "I think we have to act quickly. But not with haste."

The Washington Post similarly reported that Pelosi during a closed-door meeting Wednesday pushed for the impeachment probe to have a narrow focus on Trump's communications with Ukraine's president. This meeting came the same day the White House released a transcript showing Trump pushed for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

In the end, then, it might not even be the findings of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report that are the focus of potential articles of impeachment, although the Post writes Pelosi "did not rule out ultimately including other episodes in a potential impeachment package." Still, the House speaker reportedly believes a narrow focus on Ukraine will help "keep the investigation out of the courts."

Outside of that thinking, some Democrats are arguing a focus on Ukraine would be wise if only because it's easier to communicate this alleged wrongdoing by Trump to the public, with Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) telling the Post, "we need to focus on something that everybody understands." Brendan Morrow

October 12, 2018

Well, that escalated quickly.

Scott Wagner, a state senator and the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, warned his opponent, sitting Gov. Tom Wolf (D), in a Facebook video Friday that he better "put a catcher's mask on" because he's going to "stomp all over [his] face with golf spikes." This came at the end of an angry rant delivered below a negative billboard with which Wagner took issue.

Throughout the video, the Republican complained about Wolf's campaign ads, claiming Pennsylvanians are "tired of [his] lies" and that he's "actually not very smart." The particular billboard that Wagner was angry about was actually put up by an advocacy group and not by Wolf's campaign, CBS News reports.

After Wagner's comments began to blow up on Friday, a spokesperson for the Republican told Penn Live that this was just a "metaphor for how he will approach the final stretch of the campaign." Wolf is beating Wagner by about 17 points in the polls, per Real Clear Politics.

Watch Wagner's comments below. Brendan Morrow

September 17, 2018

Tom Arnold's ongoing feud with Apprentice producer Mark Burnett apparently escalated at a pre-Emmys party this weekend.

Arnold, a longtime actor and comedian, has alleged that Burnett is in possession of a tape of President Trump using the N-word while filming The Apprentice. He is chronicling his pursuit of the recording on his new Viceland TV show, The Hunt for the Trump Tapes.

On Sunday, the actor tweeted that Burnett "just went apes---" and "choked me at this huge Emmy party," adding that he was waiting for Los Angeles police to arrive. Variety confirms that there was some sort of a confrontation between the two at the event, but noted that it was not clear who started it. The fight evidently occurred as both men were walking into the party; after security broke up the scuffle, both were reportedly allowed to continue on into the party. Los Angeles police told The Hollywood Reporter that a report had not been filed.

Burnett's wife, Roma Downey, claimed on Twitter that Arnold "tried to ambush" her and her husband, tweeting out a picture of her bruised hand. Meanwhile, Arnold's lawyer told The Hollywood Reporter that Burnett attacked his client, and Arnold is now threatening to not only file a police report but also sue Downey for defamation. Arnold also says he has a reliable witness who can back up his account: Kevin Bacon.

Arnold additionally claims that filmmaker Bryan Fogel has a tape of the incident unfolding, adding that Downey knocked the phone out of Fogel's hands after Burnett allegedly attacked Arnold. Considering Arnold is about to premiere a show entirely about Trump-related tapes, it's fair to say that if such footage exists, there's a good chance the public will see it soon. Brendan Morrow

August 15, 2018

Rudy Giuliani told The Washington Post on Wednesday that President Trump's legal team is waiting to hear back from Special Counsel Robert Mueller about terms for a presidential interview, and they are preparing a rebuttal in case there is a subpoena.

"We would move to quash the subpoena," Giuliani said. "And we're pretty much finished with our memorandum opposing a subpoena." Giuliani, Trump's lead lawyer when it comes to the Russia probe, said his colleagues are prepared to "argue it before the Supreme Court, if it ever got there." He also said White House lawyer Emmet Flood would "have a big role to play here and would assert presidential privilege."

Mueller's team and Trump's lawyers have been trying for months to come to an agreement over interviewing Trump, and last week, Trump's attorneys sent Mueller a letter stating Trump would not answer any possible obstruction of justice questions. Catherine Garcia

April 5, 2018

President Trump announced Thursday that he is contemplating imposing an additional $100 billion in tariffs against China, piling on to the $50 billion already authorized by the White House.

Trump said the increase is in response to China's decision to raise import duties on U.S. products, including soybeans and pork, by up to 25 percent, which he called an "unfair retaliation" against the U.S. "Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers," Trump said. He has accused China of stealing U.S. intellectual property, and already applied tariffs to Chinese steel and aluminum. Catherine Garcia

March 16, 2017

As one does in the workplace, Fox News host Sean Hannity pulled out a gun and pointed it straight at contributor Juan Williams last October, three people with knowledge of the incident told CNNMoney.

The pair had just finished sparring on air when Hannity pointed the gun and turned the laser sight on, the individuals said. They said he was just "showing off," CNNMoney reports, but it was enough to rattle Williams and those who witnessed the incident, and his colleagues reported what happened to Fox News executives. The matter made its way to Bill Shine, the network's co-president and one of Hannity's friends. A Fox News spokesperson told CNNMoney the incident was referred to the legal and human resources departments, but didn't mention if Hannity was reprimanded. Fox News said in a statement to The Week that "the situation was thoroughly investigated and it was found that no one was put in any danger."

Hannity and Williams are both downplaying the encounter. "While discussing the incident of firearms, I showed my good friend Juan Williams my unloaded firearm in a professional and safe manner for educational purposes only," Hannity said in a statement. "Every precautionary procedure that I have been trained in since the age of 11 was followed. I've had a conceal carry permit in five states for all my adult life. Any other interpretation of this is outright false reporting." Williams said in his own statement that "the incident is being sensationalized — everything was under total control throughout and I never felt like I was put in harm's way. It was clear that Sean put my safety above all else and we continue to be great friends." Catherine Garcia

August 25, 2015

During a press conference Tuesday in Iowa, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump and journalist Jorge Ramos got into a spat that resulted in Ramos being escorted out by security.

It all started when Ramos began to ask Trump a question about deportation. Trump snapped: "Sit down, you haven't been called. Go back to Univision." Ramos — who works at Univision and Fusion — continued to ask his question, raising his voice so it could be heard above Trump's. Trump refused to answer him, and Ramos was eventually removed from the room. Another reporter asked Trump about the incident, MSNBC reports, and he responded: "He gets up and starts screaming. He's obviously a very emotional person."

Ramos returned to the room shortly thereafter (Trump greeted him with a "good to have you back"), and asked him about his immigration policy and using the term "anchor babies." He stood by his previous comments, and accused Ramos of using the term "illegal immigrants." Ramos said he didn't, and Trump shot back: "Well, you should use it. That's what they are, 'illegal immigrants.'" Trump was able to save some ire for another journalist, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, saying she owed him an apology for the "totally inappropriate" questions she asked him at a debate several weeks ago. "She's a small element of my life," he said. "I don't care about Megyn Kelly." Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads