Amerika

National Security Guidance

Joe Biden signals another severe reversal from Donald Trump

The White House released its interim national security strategic guidance, stressing a need to build alliances and strengthen democracy, an implicit rebuff of former President Trump’s “America first" strategy. “We will only succeed in advancing American interests and upholding our universal values by working in common cause with our closest allies and partners, and by renewing our own enduring sources of national strength,” President Biden wrote in the guidance.

voter fraud

Mike Pence breaks silence to criticize 2020 election

Pence, who was presiding over a joint session of Congress when its certification of the Electoral College results was interrupted by a mob of former President Trump's supporters, said there were “significant voting irregularities” and “numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law” in the 2020 presidential election.

Lindsey Boylan

Andrew Cuomo denies former aide's sexual harassment allegations

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is denying allegations from a former aide who accused him of sexual harassment, including an unwanted kiss, in a Medium post on Wednesday. Lindsey Boylan alleged that in 2018, the Democratic governor kissed her on the lips following a one-on-one briefing in his New York City office.

The GOP’s choice in 2024

Trump Ultra, Trump Lite or Trump Zero

At least eight 2024 hopefuls will speak at CPAC, the conservative movement’s premier conference this weekend in Florida, giving Republicans their clearest look yet at who’s competing in the traditional GOP presidential lanes. But there’s only one lane that really matters: the one currently occupied by former President Donald Trump.

Conservative War

Donald Trump: Republicans say finally goodbye to free speech for good

House conservatives are renewing their calls for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to step down from her leadership post after she split with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over whether former President Trump should speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). House Freedom Caucus members are going after Cheney, chair of the House Republican Conference, following an awkward moment during a press conference Wednesday with the House GOP leader.

Lindsey Boylan

Former aide charges Andrew Cuomo kissed, sexually harassed her

A former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the governor kissed her without her consent and asked her to play strip poker, alleging a pattern of sexual harassment she detailed in a new account Wednesday. Lindsey Boylan, who is running for Manhattan borough president and formerly worked for Cuomo and the state’s economic development agency, wrote in a Medium post that Cuomo kissed her on the lips against her will at his office in Manhattan.

Mitt Romney

Donald Trump will win 2024 GOP nomination if he runs

Sen. Mitt Romney predicted Tuesday that former President Donald Trump would easily win the Republican presidential nomination if he seeks the White House again in 2024. In a New York Times-DealBook virtual interview, the Utah Republican said he was “sure” the former president would play a role in the GOP in the coming years — assessing that Trump has “by far the largest voice and a big impact in my party.”

Deportation

Texas judge deals Biden another blow on 100-day deportation ban

A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday blocked President Joe Biden’s 100-day moratorium on most deportations, the latest blow to Biden on one of his signature campaign promises. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, in a late-night ruling, granted a preliminary injunction that blocks the moratorium the Biden administration announced on its first day. It’s a victory for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the 100-day pause, which was announced in a memorandum from the Department of Homeland Security three days into the Biden administration.

Ted Cruz

Wife 'pretty pissed' about leaked Cancun texts

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) on Tuesday said that his wife, Heidi Cruz, was “pretty pissed,” over group text messages leaked to The New York Times last week that showed she invited friends and neighbors to join their trip to Mexico as their home state was battered by an extreme winter storm.

Ted Cruz

'Don't let him back in': backlash as Cruz caught leaving Texas for Mexico

“Complete and utter hyprocites,” tweeted Senator Ted Cruz back in December, when Steve Adler, mayor of Austin, was caught directing residents to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus while at his holiday home in Cabo, Mexico. But Cruz is now eating a slice of humble pie – after being caught hopping on a flight to Mexico just days after telling Texans to stay home during a storm that has left millions of Texans without heating, hot water or power. Cruz was pictured on a flight to Cancun while millions in his state are without power, and adults and children have died while trying to keep warm.

Republicans

Trump unloads on Mitch McConnell, promises MAGA primary challengers

Former President Trump on Tuesday unloaded on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and vowed to back challengers to lawmakers who have crossed him. In a statement released through his Save America super PAC, Trump blamed McConnell for the GOP’s 2020 Senate losses and called for Republicans to elect new leaders to carry on his legacy.

Probe into the insurrection

After the impeachment: Nancy Pelosi want the capitol attack investigated like 9/11

For Democrats and a shamefully small number of Republicans, last week’s impeachment trial was not only about holding Donald Trump accountable for his actions—it was also about sending a message, to him and other would-be American autocrats, that the country cannot again go down the road to insurrection. “If the Senate acquits Donald Trump, then any president could incite and provoke insurrectionary violence against us again,” impeachment manager Jamie Raskin pleaded with his Capitol Hill colleagues. His appeal, however convincing, failed to move move Republican Senators, and the right and just thing was overpowered by the politics of the moment.

Republicans

Mitch McConnell unloads on Trump: 'Morally responsible' for provoking mob

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Saturday unleashed blistering criticism of former President Trump, blaming him for sparking the attack on the Capitol while also explaining why he didn't vote for a conviction. McConnell also suggested that Trump could face criminal prosecution for his actions.

Impeachment

57-43: Seven Republicans break with former President Donald Trump

The Senate voted on Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump on an impeachment charge that he incited the deadly insurrection of Jan. 6, marking the close of a trial that laid bare the horrors of the riots and highlighted Congress’ halting efforts to extricate itself from the Trump era. The verdict was long foreshadowed by Senate Republicans, who said they were unmoved by the House managers’ central argument that Trump’s months-long campaign to subvert the election results, as well as his incendiary remarks to a Jan. 6 crowd, sparked the violent riots.

Impeachment

Managers rest their case: Trump ‘can do this again’ if he is not convicted

The House Democrats prosecuting former President Donald J. Trump rested their case on Thursday, branding him a clear and present danger to United States democracy who could sow new violence like the deadly assault on the Capitol last month if he was not barred from holding office again. Calling on senators to render “impartial justice” and embrace the “common sense” of the country’s founders, the nine impeachment managers closed their case by laying out the grave damage the Jan. 6 riot had caused not just to lawmakers or police officers at the Capitol, but to the democratic system and America’s standing around the world.

QAnon congresswoman

Marjorie Taylor Greene 'openly cheated' on her husband Perry of 25 years

Controversial conspiracy congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene cheated on her husband with a polyamorous tantric sex guru. Then after ending her affair with him, the mom-of-three moved on to a gym manager behind her husband's back. But despite the tawdry flings, Taylor Greene stuck with her husband Perry as she made her unlikely rise that has turned her into the most talked-about Republican in Washington, D.C. Neither man denied the affairs when approached. In response to request for comment, Taylor Greene said it was another attempt to smear my name because I’m the biggest threat to the Democrats’ Socialist agenda'.

principled conservatism

Dozens of former Republican officials in talks to form anti-Trump party

Dozens of former Republican officials who view the party as unwilling to stand up to Donald Trump and his attempts to undermine US democracy are in talks to form a centre-right breakaway party, four people involved in the discussions have said. The early stage discussions include former elected Republicans, former officials in the Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, George W Bush and Trump, ex-Republican ambassadors and Republican strategists, the people involved told Reuters.

Impeachment

Trump trial shown disturbing footage of lawmakers 'hunted' by Capitol mob

Democrats revealed disturbing new recordings of the mob attack on the US Capitol last month as they presented their case on Wednesday in the historic second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Impeachment managers for the party constructed a timeline which they said showed that the former president was “singularly responsible” for the deadly assault on the US Capitol that brought a violent mob within footsteps of the nation’s political leaders. The new footage showed just how close some lawmakers were to the violent mob who were gathered in the Capitol that day to formalize Joe Biden’s victory.

Donald Trump

Managers present dramatic new video of Capitol mob at impeachment trial

House impeachment managers showed a dramatic new video of the mob storming the Capitol in the opening minutes of former President Trump's impeachment trial, as Democrats look to make the case that Trump must be held accountable for his actions even if he is no longer in the White House. Democrats created the disturbing video documenting the Jan. 6 siege by interweaving Trump’s address to a group of supporters calling on them to march on the Capitol with violent footage of the attack.

Impeachment

Schumer, McConnell reach deal on Donald Trump impeachment trial

Senate leadership announced on Monday that they have reached a deal on the framework for former President Trump's impeachment trial, which will start on Tuesday. “For the information of the Senate, the Republican leader and I, in consultation with both the House managers and Former President Trump's lawyers, have agreed to a bipartisan resolution to govern the structure and timing of the impending trial,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said from the Senate floor.

Liz Cheney

Possibility of criminal investigation of Trump for provoking violence

Liz Cheney, the third most senior Republican in the House of Representatives, has raised the possibility of Donald Trump being criminally investigated for provoking violence during the 6 January US Capitol insurrection, pointing to a tweet attacking his own vice-president, Mike Pence, that was posted after the assault had begun.

Impeachment

New poll: Most say Trump should be convicted, barred from federal office

A slim majority of Americans think the Senate should convict former President Trump in his upcoming impeachment trial and bar him from him from being able to hold federal office in the future, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll has found. The new poll, which was conducted between Friday and Saturday and has a nationally representative probability sample of 508 respondents, found that 56 percent of Americans backed the both actions. That support was starkly partisan, however. More than nine in 10 Democrats backed both conviction and a ban on holding public office in the future, while eight in 10 Republicans opposed both.

Shortnews

CPaC

Trump wins straw poll with 55 percent

Former President Trump won the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll on Sunday, with 55 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him in a hypothetical 2024 primary. In the straw poll that demonstrated Trump's hold on the GOP, 21 percent said they’d vote for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and 4 percent said they’d go with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R). Almost 7 in 10 of the poll’s participants said they would like to see Trump run for president in 2024, compared with 15 percent who said they would not and 17 percent who said they were unsure.

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CPaC

Trump wins straw poll with 55 percent

Former President Trump won the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll on Sunday, with 55 percent of respondents saying they would vote for him in a hypothetical 2024 primary. In the straw poll that demonstrated Trump's hold on the GOP, 21 percent said they’d vote for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and 4 percent said they’d go with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R). Almost 7 in 10 of the poll’s participants said they would like to see Trump run for president in 2024, compared with 15 percent who said they would not and 17 percent who said they were unsure.

Ninety-five percent said they want the Republican Party to continue with Trump’s agenda and policies, with 3 percent saying the GOP should change direction and 2 percent saying they were uncertain.

The CPAC straw poll also asked respondents who they would support for president in a theoretical race if Trump was not a candidate. The results showed DeSantis with a wide lead at 43 percent support.

In that race, Noem came behind the Florida governor at 11 percent, followed by Donald Trump Jr. at 8 percent and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) both at 7 percent.

“So again you see how important to everybody here — the grassroots, the base of the conservative movement, the base of the Republican Party — it is either President Trump or a Trump candidate,” pollster Jim McLaughlin, who announced the poll’s results at CPAC, said.

The poll ended up recording a 97 percent approval rating for Trump's job performance, including 87 percent who strongly approved.

McLaughlin declared the outcome of the poll just before the former president’s anticipated speech at CPAC.

The speech is his first major appearance since he was replaced as president and comes as Trump aims to hold on to his leadership role in the GOP following his second impeachment after the Capitol riot.

Despite public fractures in the party over the past few weeks, Republicans sought to show the GOP united during CPAC.

Joe Biden

Schumer sets up confirmation blitz in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is teeing up a blitz of confirmation floor votes on President Biden's nominees this week. The focus on nominations comes as Senate Democrats are waiting for the House to send them Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants a House vote on the bill by Friday, allowing the Senate to take it up as soon as next week. In the meantime, Schumer said that Democrats would be working to confirm four Biden picks.

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Joe Biden

Schumer sets up confirmation blitz in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is teeing up a blitz of confirmation floor votes on President Biden's nominees this week. The focus on nominations comes as Senate Democrats are waiting for the House to send them Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants a House vote on the bill by Friday, allowing the Senate to take it up as soon as next week. In the meantime, Schumer said that Democrats would be working to confirm four Biden picks.

"The Senate will continue the process of confirming President Biden's nominees with a vote on Linda Thomas-Greenfield to serve as the next U.N. ambassador," he said from the Senate floor Monday.

The Senate is expected to hold an initial vote on Thomas-Greenfield's nomination Monday night.

After they wrap up Biden's United Nations pick, Schumer said they would turn to Tom Vilsack's nomination to be the secretary of Agriculture. Under a deal stuck earlier this month, the Senate is expected to hold a vote to confirm Vilsack, who held the same position during the Obama administration, on Tuesday.

Schumer is also teeing up votes on former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) to lead the Department of Energy and Miguel Cardona, Connecticut's commissioner of education, to be Education secretary.

"Both nominees have been advanced by the respective committees with bipartisan votes, a pattern this week and at a time when our nation is gripped by a once in a century crisis. The president deserves to have his nominees approved quickly by this chamber so they can immediately get to work healing our great country," Schumer said.

Biden has gotten seven Senate-approved nominees confirmed so far, after getting only one through on his first day in office: Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.

Getting four confirmed in one week would be the most Biden has gotten through the Senate in a similar time frame since taking office.

Kentucky

County GOP chair calls on Mitch McConnell to resign

A county GOP chairman in Kentucky is calling for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resign from his leadership position in the Senate over his floor speech last weekend saying former President Donald Trump was responsible for the Capitol riot. “Given that the county party I represent supports President Trump overwhelmingly and your complete and total disdain for the will of your constituents here in Nelson County I am formally demanding you immediately resign your leadership position within our party’s caucus in the United States Senate,” Don Thrasher, chairman for the Republican Party of Nelson County, said.

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Kentucky

County GOP chair calls on Mitch McConnell to resign

A county GOP chairman in Kentucky is calling for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resign from his leadership position in the Senate over his floor speech last weekend saying former President Donald Trump was responsible for the Capitol riot. “Given that the county party I represent supports President Trump overwhelmingly and your complete and total disdain for the will of your constituents here in Nelson County I am formally demanding you immediately resign your leadership position within our party’s caucus in the United States Senate,” Don Thrasher, chairman for the Republican Party of Nelson County, said.

McConnell supported Trump throughout his presidency and worked with him frequently, but the GOP Senate leader split from the president after the Capitol on Jan. 6. He voted to acquit Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, but only because he said he did not believe the Senate could constitutionally convict a non-sitting president.

In his speech after his vote, he said “there’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.”

Thrasher took exception to those comments.

“Your leadership in the US Senate does not represent the Republican voters that put our faith in you the last primary election,” Thrasher wrote.

Thrasher told the Washington Post that McConnell “stirred up the hornets’ nest even worse” with his speech after his vote and that it only made more people mad.

In his statement, Thrasher said he agreed with a statement Trump issued on Tuesday blasting McConnell.

Trump said McConnell “will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country.”

Thrasher led a failed resolution in January with the Kentucky Republican committee that would have told McConnell to condemn Trump’s impeachment trials.

Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump

$640M in outside income during White House years

Former White House advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $640 million during their time in the Trump administration, according to an analysis by a government watchdog group. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found the couple earned anywhere between $172 million and $640 million in outside income, according to their financial disclosures.

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Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump

$640M in outside income during White House years

Former White House advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner made as much as $640 million during their time in the Trump administration, according to an analysis by a government watchdog group. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) found the couple earned anywhere between $172 million and $640 million in outside income, according to their financial disclosures.

The daughter and son-in-law of former President Trump both pledged to forego government salaries in an attempt to sidestep concerns over nepotism. But CREW’s review shows the couple, like Trump, still earned considerable sums from the Trump Hotel in Washington.

“All told, Ivanka made more than $13 million from the hotel since 2017, dropping from about $4 million a year between 2017 and 2019 to about $1.5 million last year, at least in part due to the pandemic,” according to the report, which called the hotel a “locus of influence peddling in the Trump administration.”

The financial disclosures, which report income in ranges, also showed a sharp drop in Ivanka Trump’s stake in the hotel. In her final disclosure she listed the value of her ownership in the hotel between $100,000 to $250,000 this year after previously claiming her stake to be worth between $5 million and $25 million. She did not report selling any of her ownership share in the hotel.

During his final year working for the administration, Kushner also opened a new offshore holding company located in the British Virgin Islands, Kushner Companies BVI Limited, which holds several assets, including the Puck Building LP, which is valued at more than $25 million.

Alejandro Mayorkas

Josh Hawley delays quick confirmation

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced on Tuesday he would place a hold on Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Hawley, who has come under fire recently amid allegations that he played a role in the Capitol riot early this month, made the announcement just hours after the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs wrapped its hearing with Mayorkas. The move delays the nomination of a post Democrats have argued is critical to fill immediately to protect national security.

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Alejandro Mayorkas

Josh Hawley delays quick confirmation

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced on Tuesday he would place a hold on Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Hawley, who has come under fire recently amid allegations that he played a role in the Capitol riot early this month, made the announcement just hours after the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs wrapped its hearing with Mayorkas. The move delays the nomination of a post Democrats have argued is critical to fill immediately to protect national security.

“Mr. Mayorkas has not adequately explained how he will enforce federal law and secure the southern border given President-elect Biden’s promise to roll back major enforcement and security measures,” Hawley said in a statement.

“Just today, he declined to say he would enforce the laws Congress has already passed to secure the border wall system. Given this, I cannot consent to skip the standard vetting process and fast-track this nomination when so many questions remain unanswered," he added.

Hawley’s opposition comes as Biden and Democrats argue the attacks on the Capitol make the post a top priority. Hawley was the first senator to announce he would vote against certification of the 2020 election results.

His hold could stall a nomination otherwise expected to advance once Democrats gain control of the Senate on Wednesday. Defeating the hold will require a 50 vote threshold cloture vote and eats up days of floor time, complicating the process.

Mayorkas, who previously served as the deputy secretary of DHS under the Obama administration, did not earn any Republican votes when he was confirmed in 2013.

"We are facing unprecedented challenges and threats to our national security, and our country urgently need a confirmed Secretary of Homeland Security in place on day one to protect the American people. Alejandro Mayorkas is one of the most knowledgeable homeland security experts in the country," Biden transition spokesman Sean Savett said in a statement to The Hill.

"The Senate held swift confirmation votes for the DHS Secretary nominee in 2009 and 2017 in order for them to start on day one for good reason. Senator Hawley's threat to disrupt historical practice and try to leave this vital position vacant is dangerous, especially in this time of overlapping crises when there is not a moment to waste."

Hawley’s opposition stems from an exchange where the lawmaker asked Mayorkas if he would obligate $1.4 billion in funds set aside for Trump’s border wall.

“If I may strike at the fundamental point that I believe you were inquiring of, which is will I follow the law and the execution of my responsibilities should I have the privilege of serving as the Secretary of Homeland Security. And the answer is yes I will follow the law. And what I would need to do is to understand what the law provides with respect to the obligation of funds to construct a border wall, and then see what the opportunities are to discontinue any such obligations,” Mayorkas said.

Hawley then thanked Mayorkas for getting “right to the nub” of his question.

He also asked Mayorkas about Biden’s plans to give legal status to 11 million people residing in the U.S., something Hawley said concerned him “especially in this time of severe economic distress that has fallen disproportionately on working class Americans.”

Mayorkas called the move a “path to citizenship for the individuals who have been in this country for many years, who have contributed to our communities, and to this nation's economic prosperity."

"I would be privileged to work with Congress to pass immigration reform legislation that provides that path, and provides a permanent solution to what is clearly a broken system,” he added.