at it again
April 11, 2021

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appears to have been the primary target in former President Donald Trump's improvised, insult-laden speech Saturday night at a Republican National Committee gathering at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, The Washington Post and Politico report.

In a familiar turn of events, Trump, who doesn't get the opportunity to vent his frustrations on Twitter these days, reportedly boasted about tossing his "boring" prepared remarks before tearing into McConnell for several minutes. At one point Trump called him a "dumb son of a b----" for not fighting the Electoral College certification on Jan. 6. "If that were [Senate Majority Leader] Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) instead of this dumb son of a b---- Mitch McConnell they would never allow it to happen," Trump said, per the Post. "They would have fought it."

He also reportedly deemed his former ally a "stone cold loser" and complained that McConnell never thanked him for hiring his wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, whom he also reportedly mocked for resigning in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

McConnell wasn't alone, however. Trump went after Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, as well. "Have you ever seen anybody that is so full of crap?" Trump reportedly asked the crowd.

Former Vice President Mike Pence was seemingly spared the name calling, but Trump did reportedly reiterate the fact that he's disappointed Pence didn't have the "courage" to block the election certification.

Beyond the personal attacks, Trump reportedly continued to push false claims that he won the 2020 election, which he described, once again, as "rigged," and he did not appear to express any regret about his role in the Capitol riot, though he did reportedly brag about the size of the crowd at his speech that took place just before the event. Read more at The Washington Post and Politico. Tim O'Donnell

November 9, 2020

Attorney General William Barr sent a memo to federal prosecutors authorizing them to pursue "substantial allegations" of voting irregularities if they are able to find any.

On Saturday, projected victories in Pennsylvania and Nevada gave Democrat Joe Biden the electoral votes to clearly become president-elect. President Trump and allies like Rudy Giuliani have loudly been claiming there was widespread voter fraud, without providing evidence.

Barr's memo, obtained by The Associated Press, states that investigations "may be conducted if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual state." Any allegations that would "clearly not impact the outcome of a federal election" should be delayed until after the elections are certified, Barr added, with prosecutors then opening preliminary inquiries to see if there is evidence of wrongdoing.

Barr did not share any examples of alleged voter fraud in his memo. Heading into the election, Barr echoed Trump's claims about mail-in ballots being easily manipulated. AP notes that election officials across the country — Democrats and Republicans alike — have said the 2020 election went pretty smoothly, especially during a pandemic, despite some instances of broken machines and lost ballots.

In response to the memo, the Justice Department official who oversees voter fraud investigations, Richard Pilger, stepped down, The New York Times reports.

Biden campaign attorney Bob Bauer said in a statement it was "deeply unfortunate that Attorney General Barr chose to issue a memorandum that will only fuel the 'specious, speculative, fanciful, or far-fetched claims' he professes to guard again. Those are the very kind of claims that the president and his lawyers are making unsuccessfully every day, as their lawsuits are laughed out of one court after another. But, in the end, American democracy is stronger than any clumsy and cynical partisan political scheme." Catherine Garcia

August 28, 2019

Last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called the Electoral College a "scam" and advocated for abolishing the system. The Trump re-election campaign is now using that as fodder.

The campaign sent an email on Tuesday attacking Ocasio-Cortez. "She made it very clear that she thinks coastal liberals in New York and California should have all the power in this country and that Patriotic Americans across the Nation shouldn't have a voice," it reads before reminding the congresswoman and her fellow Democrats that "this our country, not theirs." NBC News notes that, while targeting the Democratic party as a whole, the phrasing strikes a similar tone to the racist language President Trump used when he told Ocasio-Cortez and three other Democratic congresswomen of color to "go back" to the countries they "originally came from," even though three of the four lawmakers were born in the U.S. and all four are citizens.

The email also fluctuates between criticizing Ocasio-Cortez, who is known for her progressive politics, for trying to appease both a "radical socialist base" and the "Coastal Elites and Liberal Mega Donors" — two groups that aren't normally believed to be in cahoots with each other. For what it's worth, the congresswoman was specifically arguing that the Electoral College stymied the voices of people of color.

Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez highlighted a 2012 tweet that showed Trump hasn't always been the biggest fan of the system himself outside of the time it helped him win a presidential election. Tim O'Donnell

April 7, 2019

It appears that President Trump's trip to the U.S.-Mexico border this week did little to sway his public stance on the situation there.

During a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas on Saturday, Trump made several inflammatory statements about the situation at the border, which he has declared a national emergency. Trump reportedly told the crowd that the asylum seekers he saw at the border were "some of the roughest people you've ever seen" and that many of them "look like they should be fighting for the UFC," referring to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, a company that promotes mixed martial arts competitions.

Trump went on to claim that the asylum seekers are "coached," and called the process a scam, The Hill reports. "They read a little page given by lawyers that are all over the place," Trump said. "You know lawyers, they tell them what to say."

Trump also vented to the crowd about the Democratic Party and the attitude of some of its members toward Israel. He mocked Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for her controversial comments about Israel, just a day after a man was arrested in New York for threatening to murder the congresswoman. The president then criticized Democrats in Congress for not "fighting for Israel" and allowing the "terrible scourge of anti-Semitism to take root" within the party. Tim O'Donnell

December 11, 2015

The newest piece of art by Banksy can be found tucked among the graffiti of the French refugee camp, Calais:

Banksy's website displays a number of different pieces from Calais, including the ominous scrawled message, "Maybe this whole situation will just sort itself out..." The activist-artist seems to have taken a particular interest in bringing attention to the camp; earlier this year it was announced that he was donating the materials used to build his "Dismaland" amusement park to help house Calais' refugees. Jeva Lange

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