trump speaks
April 13, 2021

Former President Donald Trump released a statement Tuesday criticizing the Food and Drug Administration's recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, baselessly suggesting the decision was politically motivated.

"The results of this vaccine have been extraordinary, but now it's [sic] reputation will be permanently challenged," Trump said. He then floated, without any evidence, that the FDA may have been playing favorites. "[The FDA] should not be able to do such damage for possibly political reasons, or maybe because their friends at Pfizer have suggested it," he said. He also didn't lose an opportunity to bring up his favorite subject: his loss in the 2020 presidential election, which he has blamed on everyone from the Supreme Court to other Republican politicians to the pharmaceutical companies that worked with his administration to craft a vaccine. "Remember, it was the FDA working with Pfizer, who announced the vaccine approval two days after the 2020 presidential election," he said in his Tuesday statement.

He then finished off the statement by boasting about vaccine development under his administration, and called for the Johnson & Johnson shot to be back in action quickly. Tim O'Donnell

March 22, 2021

Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) led the charge in the Senate to challenge the Electoral College results on Jan. 6. The plan was largely upended when a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters breached the Capitol and delayed the vote. Hawley and Cruz still went through with their objections, but the push lost momentum and many of their colleagues bailed. Since then, the two senators have faced harsh criticism across the political spectrum, but Trump himself still appears to have their backs.

In an interview with Fox News' Lisa Boothe, who launched her podcast Monday, Trump pointed to Hawley and Cruz as two people who could lead the Republican Party going forward, though he didn't mention their roles in the Capitol riot. Hawley, Trump said, "has shown some real courage in going after big tech." As for Cruz, Trump said they "had it out for a while," because Cruz "got very, very ... rather violent and vicious" during the 2016 GOP primaries, but "it simmered down and he's been great."

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), and Trump's former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the favorite to win Arkansas' 2022 gubernatorial election, were among the other figures the former president highlighted as the future of the GOP. Tim O'Donnell

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