Trump enters the stage

Discussion of the recent unfolding of history.

Re: Trump enters the stage - things to come?

Postby Meno_ » Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:36 pm

POLITICO

ELECTIONS

Pennsylvania GOP launches ‘super MAGA Trump’ primary
Never mind Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Palm Beach, Fla., is where the party's Senate nomination is likely to be decided.





04/15/2021

PHILADELPHIA — The likely GOP candidates in Pennsylvania’s open Senate race come in three familiar flavors: anti-Trump, Trumpy and Trumpiest.

Though President Donald Trump lost Pennsylvania in 2020 and will have been out of office for nearly two years by the time voters cast their ballots in the Senate election, the Republican primary here is already revolving around him — creating a potential dilemma for the GOP in one of the nation’s most important races next year.


Multiple former Trump administration officials are eyeing the Senate seat. One likely contender has close ties to the Trump family that could give him a major leg up in the primary. Behind the scenes, other candidates have fostered relationships with former Trump aides or are working hard to develop them.

“The way I divide it is you’ve got super-MAGA Trump, Trump-adjacent and not-so-much Trump,” Christopher Nicholas, a longtime Pennsylvania-based Republican consultant, said of the likely GOP Senate field. “All of the former appointees would obviously be in the super-MAGA-Trump part. A Jeff Bartos, I think, would be in the Trump-adjacent part. A [former Rep.] Ryan Costello-type figure, or himself if he gets in, would be in the more not-so-Trumpy part.”

Bartos, a real estate developer and the most high-profile contender to officially declare his candidacy, has been cast by his allies as a middle-of-the-road Republican who could win over suburbanites in the Philadelphia collar counties where he lives.

Yet at the same time, Bartos donated and helped raise money for GOP poll watchers at the Philadelphia Convention Center in 2020 when the ballots were being counted. And he traveled to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida resort and residence, for a recent GOP donors retreat. Bartos was also careful to give a nod to the former president in his campaign launch video.


“Donald Trump represented someone listening to millions of Pennsylvanians who felt like no one was fighting for them,” Bartos said in the ad, which featured him driving around the state. “And we cannot go back to the days when elected officials in Washington thought of Pennsylvania as just two cities and a whole lot of farmland in between.”

Along with Bartos, Sean Parnell, a former congressional candidate who spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention and is close to Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., has been talking with state party leaders about running. Mike Kelly and Guy Reschenthaler, two House members from Pennsylvania who have been Trump loyalists, are possible contenders. Also considering: Kenneth Braithwaite, who served as Trump’s Navy secretary; Carla Sands, Trump’s ambassador to Denmark; and John Giordano, a member of Trump’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in 2019.

ELECTIONS



Former Rep. Ryan Costello, a vocal critic of Trump, has expressed interest in campaigning as well. And 2020 congressional candidate Kathy Barnette and attorney Sean Gale have thrown their hats in the ring. A news release announcing Gale’s run said that “the only path to victory” is with a candidate who is pro-Trump.

“President Trump is still very popular among Republicans,” said former GOP Rep. Lou Barletta, a top Trump ally in the state. “There’s no denying that the Republican Party in Pennsylvania is still a party of Trump.”


Earlier this year, Steve Bannon, a former White House chief strategist to Trump, told POLITICO that “any candidate who wants to win in Pennsylvania in 2022 must be full Trump MAGA.”

Potential and declared Senate candidates are making the case to local party leaders that they are the best-equipped to win the endorsement of Trump himself.

With so many boasting ties to the former president and his administration, many are hopeful they will win his imprimatur. For instance, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted in February, “My friend @SeanParnellUSA is a strong America First conservative and has my support for any office he decides to run for in 2022!!!”

“When you talk to these people, everybody thinks that they’ll have the former president’s support,” said Sam DeMarco, chair of the Republican Party in western Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County. “These people all believe, because there’s a connection there, they could possibly get his endorsement.”

A similar Trump-centric dynamic is playing out in the 2020 gubernatorial race. Barletta is looking at possibly running for governor and said he will make a decision in the next few weeks. A recent poll by Susquehanna Polling & Research, a firm whose clients have included conservative groups, found Barletta with an early lead in the primary.

William McSwain, a former U.S. attorney under Trump, has taken steps toward running for governor. State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who visited Trump at the White House after the 2020 election and helped lead a hearing on unsubstantiated election fraud, is another likely contender.

And at least one potential gubernatorial candidate has paid a visit to Trump at Mar-a-Lago, said an aide to the politician: Rep. Dan Meuser.

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Pennsylvania’s 2018 midterms revolved around Trump as well. After Barletta became one of the first elected officials to back Trump in 2016, Trump returned the favor and endorsed the northeastern Pennsylvania politician early in the Senate primary, which he went on to win. Scott Wagner, a then-state senator who boasted in 2016 that he was going to buy 20,000 Trump signs, captured the gubernatorial nomination that year.


Both candidates were defeated in the general election by double digits, prompting some voices in the Republican Party to make the case for a bigger-tent approach. But that hasn’t yet come to fruition. Instead, many GOP activists have demanded more loyalty tests to Trump: Earlier this year, several county parties in Pennsylvania censured Republican Sen. Pat Toomey for voting to impeach Trump after the insurrection at the Capitol.

However, amid calls among some Republicans to avoid divisiveness ahead of 2021 local elections and the midterms next year, the state GOP declined to censure Toomey and voted to rebuke him instead.

Some party officials argue that with President Joe Biden in the White House, Republicans are rapidly putting aside their differences and will be united for the 2022 primary, regardless of which candidate captures the nomination and how closely they tie themselves to Trump.

“The media wants that to be the crux of the campaign. I think the campaign is going to be much more than that,” said Charlie Gerow, a GOP strategist in Pennsylvania. “The primary campaign is going to be about individual candidates and their individual views for the country’s future and their individual abilities.”

Still, when he listed a number of issues that will likely dominate the race — China, immigration, Biden’s spending — it is clear how much Trump is still influencing the party. And there is no doubt that GOP contenders will be scrutinized by party activists and operatives on how closely they align themselves with the former president.

Nicholas, talking about Bartos’ nod to Trump in his introductory video, said, “What I took from it is someone who said the minimum he needed to say about 45, so as to not have people think, ‘Why didn’t you mention 45?’”

Bartos spokesperson Conor McGuinness quickly struck back and said that he included a mention of Trump in the spot “because no one has ever fought harder for the forgotten men and women of Pennsylvania than President Trump.”

“The only person who would manufacture that as an issue,” he added, “is a swampy DC consultant.”


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Re: Trump enters the stage - political

Postby Meno_ » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:50 pm

.GOP White House hopefuls move forward as Trump considers run





WASHINGTON (AP) — Less than three months after former President Donald Trump left the White House, the race to succeed him atop the Republican Party is already beginning.

Trump’s former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has launched an aggressive schedule, visiting states that will play a pivotal role in the 2024 primaries, and he has signed a contract with Fox News Channel. Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice president, has started a political advocacy group, finalized a book deal and later this month will give his first speech since leaving office in South Carolina. And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been courting donors, including in Trump’s backyard, with a prominent speaking slot before the former president at a GOP fundraising retreat dinner this month at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida resort where Trump now lives.



Trump ended his presidency with such a firm grip on Republican voters that party leaders fretted he would freeze the field of potential 2024 candidates, delaying preparations as he teased another run. Instead, many Republicans with national ambitions are openly laying the groundwork for campaigns as Trump continues to mull his own plans.

They’re raising money, making hires and working to bolster their name recognition. The moves reflect both the fervor in the party to reclaim the White House and the reality that mounting a modern presidential campaign is a yearslong endeavor.

“You build the ark before it rains,” said Michael Steel, a Republican strategist who worked for Jeb Bush’s presidential 2016 campaign, among others. “They’re going to do the things they need to do if he decides not to run.”



Trump, at least for now, is giving them plenty of leeway, convinced they pose little threat to his own ambitions.

“It’s a free country. Folks can do what they want,” Trump adviser Jason Miller said in response to the moves. “But,” he added, “if President Trump does decide to run in 2024, the nomination will be his if you’re paying any attention to public polling of Republican voters.”

Polling does indeed show that Trump remains a commanding figure among GOP voters, despite his loss in November to Democrat Joe Biden. Republican leaders, including those who may hope to someday succeed him, have been careful to tend to his ego and make clear they have no plans to challenge his standing.

Florida Sen. Rick Scott, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, last weekend awarded Trump a new “Champion for Freedom Award,” which the group publicized — complete with a photo of a smiling, golf-attired Trump holding a small, gleaming cup — even after the former president went after Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky in a profanity-laden speech.

A day later, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, considered a top-tier 2024 candidate, told The Associated Press that she will sit out the race if Trump runs again.

“I would not run if President Trump ran, and I would talk to him about it,” she said in Orangeburg, South Carolina. “That’s something that we’ll have a conversation about at some point, if that decision is something that has to be made.”

The deference is, in part, an acknowledgement of Trump’s continued power. Even out of office and without his Twitter megaphone, Trump remains deeply popular with the GOP base and is bolstered by an $85 million war chest that can be shared with endorsed candidates, spent on advertising and used to fund travel and pay for polling and consultants.

Trump is making plans to soon increase his visibility, with aides discussing options to hold rallies as soon as late spring or summer. “There’s a pretty strong demand out there to get President Trump on the road,” Miller said.

Many Republicans acknowledge Trump would leap to the front of the pack if he chooses to mount a bid to become the only president other than Grover Cleveland to serve two nonconsecutive terms. Still, there is deep skepticism in many corners of the party that Trump will run again.

While people close to him insist he is serious, many see Trump’s continued flirtations as a means to maintain relevance as he has settled into a comfortable post-White House life. At Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, he’s courted by candidates and met by rounds of applause and standing ovations whenever he enters the dining room.

In the meantime, other could-be-candidates are making moves, even as many of their aides insist their focus is squarely on next year’s congressional elections and helping Republicans win back control of the House and Senate.

Jeff Kaufmann, the chair of the Iowa Republican party, said the activity in his state has begun even earlier this year than in the past two election cycles, with every candidate on his potential 2024 list having already visited or thinking of visiting the first state on the GOP nominating calendar.

“I know of no one — honestly no one — that is hesitating to come out,” he said. “Now some are a little more subtle than others, but that may not necessarily be tied to Donald Trump. That may be just tied into their campaign style and not wanting to get too far ahead of their skis until they see if they have any traction whatsoever.”

Pompeo, arguably the most aggressive to date, is among those who have already spent time in Iowa, as well as New Hampshire, and this week past he addressed Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s World Values Network in New York, where he was introduced by video by Republican megadonor Miriam Adelson. And on Saturday, he headlined the Palm Beach County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day dinner at Mar-a-Lago along with Scott and DeSantis.

DeSantis, who is up for reelection next year, recently hired a top Republican strategist who served as executive director of the Republican Governors Association. DeSantis also has been using the race to build a deep fundraising network that could support him if he chooses to run nationally.

The party, which for a time appeared to be paralyzed by division, has grown more united in its opposition to Biden, even as Trump continues to spar with McConnell and works to defeat incumbents who voted for his impeachment. Republicans in Congress have found common cause railing against Biden’s border policies, voting against his COVID-19 relief bill and pushing for new restrictions on voting, while railing against corporate interference in the voting rights debate.

“I think you would find broad agreement in our party that we need to be having the debate about policy,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican, who continues to face enormous backlash after voting for Trump’s impeachment. “We need to be talking about policy,” she said while speaking to Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service last week.

Regardless of Trump’s ultimate decision, his critics and acolytes alike say they see the future of the party as dependent on maintaining their appeal to Trump voters, while at the same time winning back the suburban voters who abandoned them last fall.

“I think everyone’s trying to find that magic combination of ‘Trump-plus,’ of continuing to appeal to the new voters that President Trump brought to the Republican coalition while also bringing back some of the college-educated suburban folks that were repelled by his antics,” said Steel.



















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Re: Trump enters the stage - Revenge or Being true to party

Postby Meno_ » Sun Apr 25, 2021 3:16 am

POLITICO

Magazine
THE FRIDAY COVER

Why Is Trump Going to War Here?
Driven by revenge, the former president has staked his control over the GOP on an unlikely Ohio district.



By MICHAEL KRUSE

04/23/2021 04:30 AM EDT



STRONGSVILLE, Ohio—The crowd crammed into an indoor-outdoor bar at a sprawling mall in this teeming suburb south of Cleveland. The head of the local Republican club took to the mic on a small stage—and pledged vengeance.

“Sign the petition to ask Congressman Anthony Gonzalez to resign,” Shannon Burns said to a burst of cheers. “If you’re looking at your neighbor right now and saying, ‘What’s he talking about?’ … get with it!”



The second-term representative “betrayed his constituents,” in Burns’ assessment, when he voted in January with nine other House Republicans and every Democrat to impeach Donald Trump.

top: a man speaking into a microphone; bottom: two women sitting at a table with a U.S. flag
At a Strongsville GOP event at the Brew Garden, Shannon Burns (top), the group's president, greets guests including (bottom, left to right) Jenny Sirocky, 35, and Wendy Benning, 52.

“He thinks a year from now when it’s election time for the primary you’re all going to forget and he’s going to get reelected,” Burns went on, eliciting snickers and jeers. “And I’m telling you right now: We’re going to make sure you don’t forget.”

In a normal political world and in a normal political time, a second-generation Cuban-American former NFL player from the Rust Belt with an MBA from Stanford would be considered practically by definition a rising GOP star. But Gonzalez’s impeachment decision made him a traitor in the eyes of the man who is manifestly the unofficial leader of the party. It’s the reason Trump wasted no time endorsing Max Miller—a former aide with next to no name ID plus an arrest record—to try to take out Gonzalez. And it’s why the 16th District of Ohio is now a singular early battlefield in the former president’s intensifying intraparty war.

“Anthony Gonzalez should not be representing the people of the 16th District because he does not represent their interest or their heart,” Trump said in a statement barely more than a month after he left office. “Max Miller has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”



A 32-year-old Cleveland native, Miller has been endorsed, too, by the Club for Growth, which commissioned a poll that suggests he has a wide lead at this early stage. “If the election was today, Anthony Gonzalez would lose,” Jim Renacci, the pre-Gonzalez Republican congressman here, told me last month. “He’s done,” said Harlan Hill, a Trump-aligned consultant who’s done work in the district. “Max is going to beat the hell out of Anthony.”

top: miller and trump (photo by Evan Vucci); bottom: gonzalez (photo by Susan Walsh)
Top: Deputy Campaign Manager for Presidential Operations Max Miller, left, speaks to President Donald Trump before his speech to the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 27, 2020. Bottom: Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, speaks during a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill, Feb. 11, 2020. | AP Photos

But it’s not that simple, according to more than three dozen interviews with strategists, analysts and current and former elected officials from both parties who know the region well. As battlefields go, Ohio as a whole is more red than purple, and so is the 16th District—but it’s replete as well with warning signs for Trump that his quest for retaliation might succeed only in further tearing the party apart.

Gonzalez, 36, from the west side of Cleveland, is a former Ohio State star with a family steel business background who voted in line with Trump nearly 86 percent of the time—a quickie biography and a record as a lawmaker that made him at least pre-impeachment something of a GOP up-and-comer.

Miller, meanwhile, is an electoral novice and the scion of a wealthy, politically connected family from the opposite side of Cleveland in a city in which many believe that divide still matters. And since he announced his bid, his critics say, he’s been hanging around the Trump stronghold of Southeast Florida more conspicuously than he’s been out and about in Northeast Ohio.


“Everyone in the Republican Party is flocking down to South Florida, because that’s where the money is,” Miller told me this week. But he acknowledged he has work to do on the ground at home. “There’s no greater endorsement that anyone in the Republican Party can get than President Trump’s,” he said. “However, it’s going to be on me to go out and persuade voters and for them to get to know me personally in order for them to vote and believe in me.”

Miller has a rap sheet, too, that’s from his late teens but nonetheless looms as largely undetonated ammunition for his opponents. Gonzalez operatives talk privately about Miller not with trepidation so much as relish. “It ain’t gonna be pretty,” one of them told me. “It’s just not.” Aside from what’s assuredly to come in this tussle, Gonzalez outraised Miller in the first quarter (although, to be fair, Miller didn’t declare until late February) and has more than double the cash on hand, Miller isn’t even the lone Trump-lane candidate, parts of the district are actually getting a tick more blue—and, in probably the biggest variable of all, the district is set to be redrawn in ways that could reshape the race.


Scenes from Ohio's 16th congressional district.

All of this makes Ohio’s 16th worth watching as an early, distilled look at the potential limits and pitfalls of Trump’s shoot-first, aim-later style, his personality-driven, fealty-fueled, viscerally scattershot politics of retribution. “Anthony’s disloyal, and Max will be a loyalist,” Hill said. “No more complicated than that,” confirmed a person close to Trump. “Trump is such an emotional decider,” former Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Eckart said. This nascent race then could help Trump cement a sweeping and lasting influence—or play out as a case study in the ways in which his inchoate urge for revenge might begin to run into reality.

Is Gonzalez “going to have a spirited primary? Yes,” Republican strategist Barry Bennett, a 2016 Trump adviser who’s from Ohio and has extensive experience in the state, told me. “Is he the underdog? I don’t think so.”

“Everything depends on the redraw, but I think this race is really emblematic of what’s happening within the party across the country,” said Dave Cohen, a political scientist at the University of Akron.

“It’s a perfect example of how Trump could really hurt not just the near term but the future of the Republican Party,” said David Pepper, the former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. “It’s all about a loyalty test to him that almost will put targets on the backs of some of their best people.” The issue within the Republican electorate, of course, is that there is fierce disagreement about who those “best people” are.

And here at the Brew Garden at the monthly meeting of the Strongsville GOP, overlooking an asphalt vista of big-box stores, where the Cuyahoga County suburbs start to blend into the Medina County exurbs on the way down to the district’s more rural reaches around Wadsworth and Wooster, the sold-out, 300-strong throng offered at least one side of that debate.

The evening’s featured speaker, Cleveland conservative radio host Bob Frantz, the local iteration of the late Rush Limbaugh, called Democrats “evil,” said “systemic racism” “does not exist,” stressed the importance of the Second Amendment because “people need to have the means to have another revolution” and decried a corporate America “gone woke.” The people gathered clamored for boycotts of baseball and Coke. They booed Joe Biden, obviously, but they also hissed at mentions of Mike DeWine—Ohio’s Republican governor who’s been more pandemic-stringent than some of his counterparts around the country like Ron DeSantis of Florida. They wore Trump shirts. They wore Trump hats. They wore—in defiance of DeWine’s statewide mask mandate—vanishingly few masks. A 60-year-old woman literally pulled mine down below my nose and mouth—worried as she was, she explained, that it was more likely to make me sick.







But that palpable discontent was something less than laser-focused. Some of the attendees I talked to seemed to have their sights set on Gonzalez—I heard him called a “turncoat” and an “asshole”—but others seemed to have only passing knowledge of him or his impeachment vote. I found myself not merely asking questions but having to explain who was running against whom and why. It was a useful reminder of the relatively low level of engagement a year before an election—including even among citizens willing to come to political shindigs like this.

Whether they know it or not, though, these voters are living on a front that’s going to get more and more hot as the calendar hurtles toward 2022. For Trump—for his prospects for his future control of his party—there’s simply too much at stake.

“A year from now, everyone will know about it,” Burns told me. “If I was a betting man, I’d say President Trump’s gonna come in himself—and make sure people remember.” He predicted that would be “the kiss of death.”

Strongsville is a de facto capital of the 16th District. It’s one of its biggest concentrations of Republican voters. It’s the site of Gonzalez’s main non-Washington office. About a half an hour north, just shy of the shore of Lake Erie, is the tip-top of the district’s current contours—the more affluent suburb west of Cleveland called Rocky River. It’s where Gonzalez lives, and it’s where Miller lives now, too.

Gonzalez grew up just to the west, in Avon Lake, and went to high school a bit to the east, at Cleveland’s prestigious Saint Ignatius, the private Roman Catholic Jesuit institution that has doubled as a football powerhouse. He was a philosophy major and an Academic All-American and a wide receiver at Ohio State. He was a first-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts and played five seasons in a career hampered and ultimately ended by injuries. He got his graduate degree at Stanford in 2014 and was the COO of Chalk Schools, a San Francisco startup, before moving back home. His Ohio roots based on his sporting past and in particular his Buckeye bona fides were a key piece of his pathway into politics.

Jack Torry, a retired Washington correspondent for a pair of Ohio newspapers, last month sent me a YouTube video of Gonzalez making an extraordinary and basically game-winning catch against archnemesis Michigan in 2005. “Beating Michigan,” Torry told me, “is a big political plus.”

Nostalgia for Gonzalez’ on-field heroics, of course, wasn’t the only engine of his initial electoral foray. His Cuban-born father, the president of a metal processing company with outposts in Ohio, Michigan and Mississippi, helped seed his bid with a PAC. Gonzalez earned the endorsement of perhaps the most prominent fellow Cuban-American politician—Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. He got the nod as well as financial help from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And he was classified as “On the Radar” of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s “Young Guns” program for promising GOP prospects.

But the quality of his opposition was as important as his level of support. In the primary in his run in 2018, it’s worth recalling, his chief foe then, too, was a markedly Trump-tinged candidate. Christina Hagan fashioned herself as an enthusiastic Trump acolyte, while Gonzalez was more Trump-cautious—at one point even citing anti-Trump Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska as a role model. The result? Gonzalez won by more than 12 points. Which meant in a safe Republican district he was on his way to Congress—a GOP winner in a cycle in which Democrats would retake control of the House. The day before Election Day, at a MAGA rally in Cleveland, Trump name-checked Gonzalez. He called him “a special person.”

Top: Rocky River is an upper middle class city in the northern part of Ohio's 16th district. Bottom: A water treatment plant just outside of Rocky River.

“In 2018, he ran against what was a very imperfect Trump candidate,” Columbus-based Republican strategist Ryan Stubenrauch told me, referring to Hagan—a then-twentysomething ultraconservative state rep who wasn’t even endorsed by Trump. “And he beat her by a little more than 7,000 votes.” (It actually was almost 8,000—but point taken.) “Does voting to impeach the president and being a former Trump official as a primary opponent plus an active role from Donald Trump in the race,” Stubenrauch said, “pick you up 7,000 votes in a Republican-leaning district?” He answered his own question. “It certainly seems like it could be done,” Stubenrauch said, “given the influence Donald Trump has on the Republican Party in Ohio and certainly within the 16th District.”


But Miller, too, is his own kind of imperfect Trump candidate.

Few people in and around Cleveland have heard of Max Miller. But very few people in and around Cleveland haven’t heard of his grandfather. Sam Miller, a real estate developer and philanthropist who died at 97 a little more than two years ago, was the poor son of immigrants from Russia and Poland before becoming over the course of an epic life one of the city’s preeminent political fundraisers and donors to candidates of both parties. He was a power broker. He was a kingmaker. And near the end of his life his company sold for $6.8 billion. “His influence,” onetime Cleveland mayor and former Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich said upon his death, “was total.”

Sam Miller had four children with his first wife, née Ruth Ratner—the sister of his business partner of nearly three-quarters of a century, Albert Ratner, another all-time Cleveland kingpin. One of their children: the former diplomat and Middle East and foreign policy expert (and POLITICO contributor) Aaron David Miller. Another: Abe Miller—the co-owner of a company that makes baseball caps and the father of Max.

Max Miller grew up in old money Shaker Heights in a more than 8,000-square-foot house. He graduated from Shaker Heights High in 2007. He graduated from Cleveland State in 2013.

Miller’s Ohio arrest record was first reported by the Washington Post in 2018. He was charged with assault and disorderly conduct and resisting arrest in 2007 after a fight in which he punched another man in the back of the head and ran from police. He pleaded no contest to a pair of misdemeanors, and the case was dismissed on account of a program for first offenders. He was charged with underage drinking in 2009, the case dismissed due to the same program. And he was charged with disorderly conduct in 2010 following a fight after leaving a hookah bar in the wee hours in which he bloodied his wrist by punching a glass door. “I did make mistakes in my youth, as many of us have,” Miller said in a statement to Cleveland’s Plain Dealer earlier this year. “Since then I’ve served my country in the Marine Corps Reserves and hold a very high-level security clearance (TS-SCI) approved by the FBI and CIA—which was granted after extensive background checks into my record and character.”

“You have a congressman who can’t run on his record, so he’s going to choose to do a smear campaign,” Miller told me. “He’s going to try to use things from when I was a teenager.” He described it as “shameful.”

Top: Max Miller, as director of presidential advance, arrives with White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham for a State Dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Donald Trump at the White House, Sept. 20, 2019. Bottom: President Trump talks with Miller before his RNC speech at the White House, Aug. 27, 2020. | AP Photos

A Marine reservist, Miller got a gig as an aide on Trump’s 2016 campaign thanks to a cousin who had a connection—Eli Miller, who’s now a managing director for an investment management firm, according to his LinkedIn page, but in 2015 and ’16 was a deputy finance director for Rubio’s presidential campaign before shifting to be the COO of finance down the general election stretch for the Trump campaign. After Trump won, Max Miller worked in Washington in the office of presidential personnel, helping with the placement of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs appointees. After that, he was the director of advance. On the 2020 campaign, he was a deputy campaign manager. “He’s been with him for the entire presidency in various roles that were up close and personal,” a senior Trump adviser told me about the former president’s relationship with Miller, “and he likes him a lot.”

Congressional candidates don’t need to live in their districts. For his run for Congress, though, Miller’s move to Rocky River was kind of a must. For all the ways in which he’s ancestrally an insider in the area, Miller’s more an outsider in this specific congressional district.


“Cleveland has this cultural thing where it’s very East Side-West Side, like there are almost two separate cities in terms of the suburbs,” Monique Smith, a Democrat in the state Legislature who represents a handful of suburbs on the West Side, told me. “Max Miller comes from the other side.”

“Max Miller comes from one of Cleveland’s wealthiest and most prominent East Side families,” said Jim Simon, who lives in Akron and is a member of the Ohio Republican State Central Committee. “I don’t know how Max Miller’s background and privilege plays in this West Side district.”

When I talked to Miller, he downplayed the divide. “It’s more of a rivalry,” he said. “It’s like, if you went to Shaker, you played Rocky River in baseball, right?”

Miller’s generally been sparse with his interviews in the going on two months since he announced his candidacy, sticking mostly to friendly, partisan platforms. He’s gone on Newsmax and OAN. He’s gone on Frantz’s show. To my eye and ear, he has … room for improvement, often presenting as somewhat stilted, nervous or rehearsed. My reporting says I’m not the only one who’s noticed. “It is clear he’s not yet gotten his feet underneath him,” said a Republican strategist who knows Ohio.

Gonzalez declined to talk to me for this story. It’s not hard to see why he might not want to call additional attention to the ways he’s at odds with the Trump-torqued chunk of his Republican base. But in interviews with NBC News, the Dispatch podcast and the conservative radio host Frantz in the immediate aftermath of his vote, he’s tried to divorce his decision from the pure pick-a-side politics of the moment.

“In the long arc of history, I believe it was the right vote,” he said. “Twenty years from now, 30 years from now, 50 years from now, what are people going to say about Jan. 6?” he said. “What this was was an attempt by the president of the United States to circumvent the Constitution to overturn an election,” he said. But he’s clear-eyed about the possible consequences. “I’m not an idiot,” he said. “I understand what this vote means and what it could potentially mean for my political career.”

He also, though, in the middle of January capped his appearance on the air with Frantz by trying to start to make amends with his constituents who feel livid or just let down.

“Every single person listening, every conservative listening right now,” Gonzalez said, “we have Joe Biden coming into office in a couple of days, we have a Democratic Senate, we have a Democrat-controlled House. We are going to have to be unified and pushing back on the agenda that we know is so bad for this country. We have to be. I know I took a vote that everybody can’t stand. I get that. But the priority moving forward, for me, for my office, for I hope every conservative across the country and certainly listening to this radio program, is to make sure that we stay together and prevent D.C. statehood, to prevent socialized medicine, to prevent all these crazy things that have been campaigned on by liberal politicians.”


Frantz told him he had “guts for coming on” his show “after the vote.” On subsequent shows, though, talking with Miller and with Burns, the popular host also called Gonzalez’s vote “shameful” and concurred that it constituted apostasy.

If Ohio can be seen as “the ultimate microcosm” of the country overall—“an ur-place,” “an uncannily complete everyplace,” “a reflection of the nation,” in the estimation of the Ohio writer David Giffels—then the 16th District could be considered a microcosm of that microcosm.

In winning Ohio twice, Trump took the district in 2016 with 56.2 percent and upped that to 56.5 last year. But it’s true, too, that Biden did better in the 16th (42.2 percent) than Hillary Clinton did (39.5). And Gonzalez? He did better than Trump—winning 63.2 percent of the vote.

Western Cuyahoga County, furthermore, is home to the lone state House district in Ohio that flipped in 2020 from red to blue. In Bay Village, Westlake, North Olmsted, Fairview Park and Rocky River, Monique Smith edged out Dave Greenspan—making Smith, a Democrat, Gonzalez’s (and now Miller’s) state rep. “The reason my part of the district flipped,” Smith told me, “was it was following that trend that we started to see in 2018, where suburban voters were just repulsed and disgusted by the political tone they saw coming from the president.”

The Ohio State Board of Education district that roughly corresponds to the 16th District also flipped from red to blue. While technically a nonpartisan election, Christina Collins, a Democrat, beat by a hair Lisa Woods, not just a Republican but a Republican who last year traveled to Bethesda, Maryland, to attend the vigil outside Walter Reed hospital when Trump was there sick with Covid. “To me,” Collins said when we talked this month, “that indicated that there are some moderate voters in there—have to be.” She couldn’t and wouldn’t have won without them.

Top: Trump signage on display in April in various parts of Ohio's 16th congressional district. Bottom: A home in Wooster, in the southwestern part of the district, hangs a "thin blue line" (pro-police) flag.

None of these finer, quieter crosscurrents, of course, were detectable in the midst of the Strongsville throng.

One man told me matter-of-factly that he believed Covid vaccines were going to kill 50 million people and that Trump hadn’t actually been inoculated in spite of what he’s repeatedly said. “He already knows the people that voted for him will not get the vaccine,” said Joe Poldruhi, 55, a maintenance man from nearby Olmsted Falls. “All the people that voted for Biden and hate Trump are taking the vaccine. Trump has no problem with that. Because they’re going to be dead.”

He told me he thought Trump “was going to win California, and when they called California as fast as they called it, I said, ‘Something is not right. There’s something that’s not right.’ He was sweeping everything—and then all of a sudden they stopped counting. I’m, like, ‘OK, Trump was right. He was absolutely right.’ He said, ‘They’re going to steal it.’ And they stole it. We watched ’em steal it.”


He said he used to be a big-time Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Now he doesn’t watch the Steelers or any professional football because of the kneeling players, or any sports at all, he said, because of what he considers increasingly liberal and activist athletes.

I looked around, taking in the buzzy Brew Garden scene.

“This is your sports,” I said.

“This is my sports,” he said.

“Joe Biden is not my president. Donald Trump is still my president.”

Notably not among the 300 Republicans on hand: Miller or Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was in town but spent the day visiting a couple of businesses in Brunswick before returning to Washington. Miller was missing on account of a delayed flight back from Florida. He had been down there for a weekend of GOP and Trump-tied fundraisers and festivities.

The only 16th District candidate present was the other Trump-lane candidate. Jonah Schulz is even younger and nothing if not eager. He lives in Cleveland, outside the district, and ran in the 11th District in 2020, losing in that Republican primary. Still, he’s a threat to siphon at least some Trump supporters’ votes. “I’ve been going to three to four events per week, and I have not run into Max,” Schulz said in March the first time we talked. “I’ll be interested to meet him,” he told me drily when we chatted near the back of the bar.

Jonah Schulz, top center, is the only primary candidate to appear at the Strongsville GOP event held at the Brew Garden on April 12.

“Schulz needs to get out of the race,” Harlan Hill told me. “Don’t split the Trump vote. It’s time to consolidate behind Max Miller. He’s got the endorsement.”


“He should see,” Miller said, “that I’m in better position to unseat Gonzalez.”

But some Republican consultants argued right now it’s not about what Schulz needs to do as much as it is about what Miller does. “You can’t win a primary in the middle of Ohio from Palm Beach,” said one GOP strategist with Ohio experience. “Max,” said Barry Bennett, “needs to get out of Mar-a-Lago and into Medina.”

“Max raises money at Mar-a-Lago with President Trump,” said a Republican strategist familiar with the dynamics of the race. “Anthony Gonzalez is stuck doing Zoom calls with John Boehner.”

In the 16th, with some exceptions, a general rule of thumb is this: The more south you go, south from Rocky River, south from Strongsville, the more Trumpy it gets. I drove that way.

It’s impossible to know for sure which parts of the district will stay and which parts will go.

“Who knows what it’ll look like in ’22?” said Pepper, the former Ohio Democratic Party chair.

“That’s the thing,” Susan Moran Palmer, Gonzalez’s opponent in the general election in ’18, told me. “You don’t know what the district’s going to be.”

“Redistricting,” granted Strongsville’s Burns, “is going to be a little bit tricky.”

A Trump flag waves on a road in Hinckley Township, an exurb near the center of Ohio's 16th district.

And Chris Glassburn, a North Olmsted city council member and a redistricting expert who assisted Ohio Democrats in the 2010 cycle, told me the 16th could become more suburban, less rural and “considerably less” Republican.


The shape and the breakdown are wait-and-see wild cards. For now, though, I got off the interstates and zigzagged from Strongsville to Medina, from Wadsworth to Wooster, shifting from suburban to exurban to residually agrarian to authentically and stubbornly so, from low-slung strip malls to horse stables and silos, through four-way stops and rundown towns, over verdant hills and past rows of crops, past Blue Lives Matter flags, past NO STEP ON SNEK flags, past Trump flags and still-up signs in yards and on porches and in windows, past a T-R-U-M-P painted in black block letters on big brown boards, past a tattered MAGA banner twisted into a tree at the front of an empty lot.


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Re: Trump enters the stage ~ Deposed from show?

Postby Meno_ » Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:17 am

POLITICO

Magazine
OPINION | FOURTH ESTATE

Has Tucker Deposed Trump as the Troller in Chief?
Measured in liberal outrage, he’s been unbeatable of late.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson discusses 'Populism and the Right' during the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

By JACK SHAFER

04/28/2021 06:17 PM EDT

Jack Shafer is Politico’s senior media writer.

Nobody is more adept at rolling the liberal nerve between his thumb and forefinger than Tucker Carlson. The Fox News Channel proved his skill at extracting pained howls from the blue faction this week with a defiant monologue in which he urged viewers to authorities if they saw a child wearing a mask outside. “That should be illegal,” Carlson said. “Your response when you see children wearing masks as they play should be no different from your response to seeing someone beat a kid in Walmart. Call the police immediately. Contact child protective services.”

The Carlson tirade produced the precise reaction he intended as the news gang covered it, and members of the commentariat sent an avalanche of protest his way. The Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan laid into him. “Is Tucker Carlson losing his mind?” the POLITICO Playbookers asked. “This is really, really dangerous,” CNN analyst Asha Rangappa tweeted. “Tragic and dangerous,” agreed Strongman author Ruth Ben-Ghiat. “The right wing cancel culture is out of control,” wrote Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) on
For the better part of a day, Carlson’s mask thing was Topic A, something that had to make him and his Fox bosses happy no matter how inconsistent his approach was. Putting aside completely the wisdom of masks for a moment, Carlson’s natural position on the issue of masked children would seem to be that it’s not the state’s business—or the business of a passer-by—how you parent your child as long as you’re not damaging them, which the Atlantic’s David A. Graham just pointed out. But in Carlson’s world, ideological consistency doesn’t pay the sort of emotional rewards that damning a symbol of liberal overreach does. This isn’t conservatism that Carlson is practicing, it’s Trumpism without Trump, as CNN’s Brian Stelter and others have recognized. With Trump retired from the stage, Carlson has now replaced him. As Graham put it, Carlson has become “the most visible face of the new conservative movement.”

That’s just about right. But what’s truer is that with Trump gone, Carlson has become the most audible mouth in the agitation-provocation space.

Like Trump, he labors to produce the incendiary and infuriating to attract attention and the very commendations he found himself buried neck-high in after his monologue. He lives to generate outrage from Democrats and the hall monitors at Media Matters for America. Has the #firetuckercarlson hashtag started to trend on Twitter? From Carlson’s point of view, nothing could be better. Has Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple, who has become Tucker’s Inspector Javert, started making calls to child protective services to see if people are actually phoning in reports of children being abused because their parents have forced masks on them? Bait taken. The Anti-Defamation League has called for his sacking for his “replacement theory“ segment? All the better! The indictments against him, the hashtags, all of those Wemple pieces attacking him, and Media Matters’ saturation coverage of Carlson’s show work better to connect him to potentially new audiences and seal his appeal with regulars than a billboard in Times Square or on the Sunset Strip might. Like Trump before him, the fact that certain people hate Carlson only endears him to others. Like Trump before him, Carlson’s premeditated lunacy serves as a promise that newer, even more lunatic lunacy is forthcoming. And like Trump, Carlson has mastered the art of putting his audience on the edge of its seat in anticipation of what he’s going to say next.

Saying wild things to own the libs is not something Carlson just stumbled on. He’s been mining the outré vein for at least 15 years as this Media Matters chronology of his wildest comments on air shows (see also these round-ups at Insider and the Independent). If Carlson’s comments grate liberal ears more today than they previously did, perhaps it’s because he’s no longer competing with Trump for honors. It’s almost as if the kayfabe of news requires somebody like Carlson or Trump or Steve Bannon or Bill O’Reilly or Glenn Beck or Pat Buchanan to wave the flag of nuttism for the amusement of the red-staters and the protestations of the blues. If Carlson were to retire tomorrow, a new villain (or hero, depending on your political temperament) of discourse would rise to take his place.


Was podcaster Joe Rogan channeling Carlson this week when he recently advised young, healthy people to avoid the Covid-19 vaccine? It’s almost a miracle that Rogan beat Carlson to the half-logic of his formulation, which was guaranteed to produce howls from all the usual places. If you want to see liberals squirm—and what non-liberal doesn’t—then the media response to Rogan’s take was better than paid advertising. Even Trump nemesis Anthony Fauci reprimanded Rogan, which will work as a kind of counter-endorsement for the podcaster.

Half-baked ideas like those offered by Carlson and Rogan only stand to attract a minority audience, but in today’s media world, you can make a lot of money serving the correct minority. After all, we elected a minority president in 2016 and gave him the run of the country.

What do you do with a problem like Tucker Carlson? Well, to begin with, avoid framing your relationship with Carlson’s utterances as a problem. He depends on blue-state counteraction to his actions every bit as much as Trump did for his, and he’s no more likely to surrender his nightly revilements than our former president was to surrender his. Fox isn’t going to fire him for his effrontery, which was argued in this space last week. As long as Carlson can cause liberals pain and give his supporters a little pleasure by rolling his forefinger and thumb together, he will continue apace. Feel free to chart his outrages and publicize them, as we all must be accountable for what we say and do. Even call for his firing if that makes you feel good. But if you continue to give him access to your nerve tissue to do that thing that he does so well, then the onus is on you.

******




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Re: Trump enters the stage _ The big lie rebutted

Postby Meno_ » Mon May 03, 2021 8:00 pm

Cheney calls out Trump's latest attempt to promote 'BIG LIE' amid criticism from within her own party

(CNN)Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, publicly rejected former President Donald Trump's most recent false charge that he would've won the 2020 election if not for "fraudulent" votes, her latest rebuke of the former president that has put her at odds with many members of her own party.

Cheney has repeatedly pushed back on Trump's baseless assertions that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election. She was one of only 10 Republicans to vote to impeach the former president for "incitement of insurrection" after the deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6.

"The 2020 presidential election was not stolen," Cheney tweeted on Monday. "Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system."


Cheney's remarks were in response to Trump, who said in a written statement on Monday, "The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!"

Cheney's outspoken criticism of Trump has led to some House Republicans to accuse her of dividing the conference and distracting from the party's goals. Some have recently warned that Cheney could face a vote to oust her from her spot in the House Republican in leadership, although Cheney survived a similar test earlier this year.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has the power to call for that vote, but it's unclear if he will do that as soon as next week, according to multiple House GOP sources.

But multiple Republican lawmakers and aides say that Cheney is on very shaky ground internally and whether she can hang on to her post in a secret-ballot election is highly uncertain.

When Cheney easily survived a bid to oust her in February, McCarthy came to her defense and called on the House GOP Conference to keep her in the spot in a speech delivered behind closed doors.

This time, however, could be different. A House GOP source who has been in contact with McCarthy said the GOP leader has been "furious" at her for weeks amid her comments about Trump.

If Cheney were to be ousted, it's unknown who would replace her. There are several Republicans viewed as potential candidates for the No. 3 job, including Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York and Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana.

Banks, who chairs the influential Republican Study Committee, told CNN he hopes "we can avoid" a vote to oust Cheney. But he made clear his displeasure with her.

"I would like to see my friend Liz join the focus and share the mission to regain the majority," said Banks.

"She seems very, very focused on the past and tearing down other Republicans like myself," Banks added, referring in part to her criticism of a memo he authored to take back the House majority.

The conference meets in full for the first time next week. At that point, McCarthy can call for a vote if he chooses to do so. If McCarthy doesn't go that route, then there are special procedures in place to ultimately force another vote, but those steps can take weeks to play out.

In January, a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol in a deluded effort to overturn the 2020 election as Congress certified the vote. While nearly the entire House GOP conference voted to acquit Trump in the impeachment trial, Cheney blamed the riot -- and the death of five people -- directly on him, saying he "summoned," "assembled" and "lit the flame of this attack."

Matt Gaetz rails against Liz Cheney in Wyoming
"There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution," Cheney said.

Cheney's vote to impeach Trump sparked a backlash among the House Republican conference and in Wyoming, which Trump won in 2020 with nearly 70% of the vote, the most of any state in the country. Cheney has also faced criticism after leaning in to greet President Joe Biden last week, as he made his way down the aisle for his speech to a joint session of Congress.

But Cheney appears to be uninterested in backing away from her views, despite the intraparty pressure in Washington and primary challengers lining up to take her on in Wyoming. Cheney has recently opened the door to running for president in 2024 and blasted colleagues in the Senate who supported efforts to challenge the election results on January 6.

In February, Cheney overwhelmingly kept her leadership position in a secret ballot vote 145-61 -- but some Republicans have grown increasingly irritated that she continues to publicly attack Trump.

Last week, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy was asked if Cheney was still a good fit for leadership. He declined to endorse her, instead saying Cheney's future would be determined by the conference.



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Re: Trump enters the stage _ The big lie rebutted

Postby Sculptor » Tue May 04, 2021 10:08 am

Meno_ wrote:Cheney calls out Trump's latest attempt to promote 'BIG LIE' amid criticism from within her own party

(CNN)Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, publicly rejected former President Donald Trump's most recent false charge that he would've won the 2020 election if not for "fraudulent" votes, her latest rebuke of the former president that has put her at odds with many members of her own party.

Cheney has repeatedly pushed back on Trump's baseless assertions that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election. She was one of only 10 Republicans to vote to impeach the former president for "incitement of insurrection" after the deadly riot at the Capitol on January 6.

"The 2020 presidential election was not stolen," Cheney tweeted on Monday. "Anyone who claims it was is spreading THE BIG LIE, turning their back on the rule of law, and poisoning our democratic system."
.


Here we are seeing the beginning of the end for Trump.
What the US people need is a good easy to grasp SLOGAN.
Their febrile minds now have something not too complicated to grasp. The "BIG LIE" meme will grow. FInally the GOP has grown some balls, seeing that the only way they can recover their traditional support is the throw the bigfatorangebabyman to the sharks.

Hip-hip-hooray
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Re: Trump enters the stage - Intermission befire act 2?

Postby Meno_ » Thu May 06, 2021 8:24 am

DONALD TRUMP

'A total disgrace': Trump lashes out at big tech companies after Facebook ban is upheld
Trump’s last White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told Fox News that it was “a sad day for America, it's a sad day for Facebook.”



WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday lashed out at three of the biggest tech giants after Facebook’s quasi-independent Oversight Board upheld the social media platform’s ban on him.

“What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country,” Trump said in a statement.


“Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before,” he continued. “The People of our Country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process.”


Trump also began fundraising off of the Facebook announcement, texting supporters with a link to donate to his joint fundraising committee Save America. The webpage said, “President Trump is still BANNED from Facebook! Ridiculous! We are handing him a Donor List with the names of EVERY PATRIOT who publicly stood with THEIR PRESIDENT when the Left came after him. If you step up in the NEXT 10 MINUTES, we’ll make sure your name is the FIRST name on the list. Please contribute ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY to stand with President Trump and to get your name at the TOP of the Official Donor List!”

The social media company banned Trump from using its platforms — Facebook and Instagram — the day after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. The board said Wednesday that Trump “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible” by maintaining a narrative that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, tweeted: “Our right to freedom of speech comes from the Constitution, not Facebook’s 'Oversight Board.' Big Tech has become an extension of the left’s woke mob and Congress should hold them accountable.”

Some of Trump’s GOP allies also denounced the decision to keep the ban.

Trump’s last White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told Fox News on Wednesday that it was “a sad day for America, it's a sad day for Facebook.”

DONALD TRUMP

'A total disgrace': Trump lashes out at big tech companies after Facebook ban is upheld
He criticized the amount of influence that big tech companies have on free speech and media content, saying: “Google and Facebook and YouTube actually control much of what America sees, whether it's you and I talking right now and it gets reposted on any of those platforms, they have the ability to actually raise that profile or lower it. And so it is time that we break up big tech, not just regulate them.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted, “Break them up,” and Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., on Fox News described social media companies’ employees as “practically Bolsheviks.”

“Now that's OK, this is America,” Kennedy said. “You can believe what you want. But no one believes that these social media platforms will regulate or censor, let's say, Sen. Bernie Sanders like they would former President Donald Trump or Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., called the decision “extremely disappointing” in a statement. She has previously criticized Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for “silencing conservatives” on their platforms.

Democrats applauded the oversight board's decision. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted: “There's no Constitutional protection for using social media to incite an insurrection. Trump is willing to do anything for himself no matter the danger to our country. His big lies have cost America dearly. And until he stops, Facebook must ban him. Which is to say, forever.”




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Re: Trump enters the stage - strength against odds

Postby Meno_ » Sat May 08, 2021 3:01 pm

CONGRESS

Sen. Lindsey Graham says the GOP can't move forward without Trump
Graham made the remark ahead of an expected vote to oust Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference next week.



May 7, 2021, 12:57 PM EDT

WASHINGTON — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Thursday that the Republican Party cannot continue without former President Donald Trump.

“I would just say to my Republican colleagues: 'Can we move forward without President Trump?' The answer is no,” Graham said in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.


Graham, who became a close ally of Trump during his presidency, made the remark ahead of an expected vote to oust Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., as chair of the House Republican Conference next week because of her efforts to publicly denounce Trump's lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

“I've always liked Liz Cheney, but she's made a determination that the Republican Party can't grow with President Trump. I've determined we can't grow without him,” Graham told Hannity.


People are attracted to the “Trump Republican Party,” Graham said, because of economic populism and the “America first” agenda.

“If you don't get that as a Republican, you're making the biggest mistake in the history of the Republican Party,” he said. “The reason our party is growing with minorities and with working men and women is because President Trump appears to be on the side of people working really hard, appears to be on the side of opportunity not dependency, because he is.”

Graham was a fierce defender of Trump throughout his four years in office, though that came after the South Carolina Republican voiced warnings about the businessman-turned-politician during the 2016 presidential campaign. Graham also ran for the GOP nomination that year, during which time he claimed a Trump presidency would lead to another 9/11 attack.


Sen. Lindsey Graham says the GOP can't move forward without Trump
After the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Graham said on the Senate floor that Biden's election was legitimate and criticized Trump for his efforts to cast doubt on the outcome.

"Trump and I, we've had a hell of a journey," Graham said. "I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it. From my point of view he's been been a consequential president. But today, first thing you'll see. All I can say, is count me out, enough is enough."

In order for Cheney to be removed as the third-ranking Republican in the House, a motion would have to be raised before the conference, which will then have to vote. That could happen as early as May 12, when the House is back in session and Republicans are likely to hold their next conference meeting.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who has vigorously defended Trump and in recent days promoted his baseless claims of election fraud, has emerged as a possible front-runner to replace Cheney. Both Trump and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise publicly backed Stefanik on Wednesday, while House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was heard telling "Fox and Friends" host Steve Doocy off-air ahead of a live interview Tuesday that he has "lost confidence" in Cheney.

"I've had it with her. You know, I've lost confidence," McCarthy said in the recording, which was reported by Axios and has not been obtained by NBC News. "Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place.”

Cheney will not step down from her leadership role, her spokesman said Wednesday.

In a Washington Post op-ed article published Wednesday afternoon, Cheney argued: "While embracing or ignoring Trump’s statements might seem attractive to some for fundraising and political purposes, that approach will do profound long-term damage to our party and our country."

Cheney voted in January to impeach Trump over his role in inciting the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. She has since come under fire for that vote and her efforts to speak out against the former president.


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Re: Trump enters the stage - Help Trump

Postby Meno_ » Sun May 09, 2021 5:42 am

"Communist China & Antifa allowed on FB but Trump is BANNED. Big tech caters to the Radical Left & must be stopped. Join my fight: -Newt Gingrich"

An ad promoting Trump today 5, 8, 2021
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Re: Trump enters the stage - retro look

Postby Meno_ » Tue May 11, 2021 9:36 pm

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Re: Trump enters the stage - a sustained lack of platform

Postby Meno_ » Wed May 19, 2021 1:02 am

In the aftermath of the 2012 election cycle, then-Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, noting that some Republicans had “damaged the brand . . . with offensive and bizarre comments,” told his fellow conservatives that “we’ve got to stop being the stupid party.” That, said Jindal, meant the Republican Party had to cease looking backward, stop insulting the intelligence of voters, and offer a vision of expanded opportunities that would unite people rather than pitting them against one another.

Donald Trump, however, felt the opposite approach held more promise, and aided by the FBI’s October surprise — a headline-grabbing reopening of the probe into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s e-mails — he scored a surprise presidential upset in 2016. Thus his divisive demagoguery became the GOP’s hermit-crab credo.



RELATED: The battle for the GOP
And then, over four years, the GOP lost the House of Representatives, then the presidency, and lastly the US Senate. All of that was directly attributable to the ascension of Trump and Trumpism.

Now we have US Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming warning the GOP that it can’t be the party of Donald Trump and his Big Lie.

Just as it did with Jindal, the GOP has turned a deaf ear. House Republicans ousted Cheney from leadership ranks and, in doing so, further plighted its troth to Trump and the massive mythology that he won in 2020, only to have victory somehow stolen from him.

RELATED: Cicilline calls for censuring Republicans who ‘rewrite the history’ about Jan. 6 attack on US Capitol
We know why Cheney’s message makes so many Republican members of Congress uncomfortable: They don’t think they can return to majority status in the short term without the approval of Trump and his legions.

“I’ve always liked Liz Cheney, but she’s made a determination that the Republican Party can’t grow with President Trump,” Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina recently declared. “I’ve determined we can’t grow without him.” Strictly speaking, “grow” isn’t le mot juste, given that the party’s preferred course isn’t expanding its appeal to attract more voters, but rather contracting the voting population to maximize the clout of its static base. But then, Graham is a politician, not a linguist.



RELATED: Thomas E. Patterson: The Republicans’ demographic trap
The preferred position of the we-need-Trump Republicans is simply to ignore the ways in which accommodating Trump renders the GOP a democracy-disdaining party.

“I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election. I think that is all over with,” House minority leader Kevin McCarthy maintained last week. Hmm. Whom does that overlook? Hint: His lair is Mar-a-Lago.

Unlike Cheney, McCarthy thinks the GOP can simply ignore the orange-backed gorilla in the room.

Absent the Jan. 6 insurrection, temporizing on Trump until the 2022 mid-term elections might have been possible. But Jan. 6 happened, and as much as Trump and his acolytes would like to rewrite the history of that violent episode, they won’t succeed.

RELATED: GOP Leader McCarthy opposes Jan. 6 commission ahead of vote
It seems more likely than not that Congress will eventually establish a special commission with subpoena power to investigate the storming of the Capitol. That will prove an antidote for amnesia or air-brushing. If such a commission isn’t created, the fault will land where it belongs: with congressional Republicans. The fact that McCarthy opposes such a commission despite the deal negotiated by one of his allies — and the significant concessions Speaker Nancy Pelosi made to the GOP to get that agreement — aptly illustrates the contorted positions Republicans must adopt to protect or placate Trump.


As Republican truth-teller and US Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said on Sunday, by abandoning principle in favor of fealty to Trump, the GOP allowed his narrative “to lead to an insurgency on January 6, and until we take ownership of that, we can’t heal.” Count on Cheney and Kinzinger to continue highlighting those truths.

Their message will be reinforced by a new group of prominent Republicans intent on expunging Trumpism from the GOP. As the group declared last week in its “Call for American Renewal”:

“[W]hen in our democratic republic, forces of conspiracy, division, and despotism arise, it is the patriotic duty of citizens to act collectively in defense of liberty and justice.” Its goal: to bring the Republican Party back to its founding principles or create an alternative party to represent those tenets.

Trump and Trumpism, then, aren’t problems the party can simply ignore or finesse. The GOP can be the party of Trump. Or it can again become a party with principles.


©2021 Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
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Re: Trump enters the stage - still running

Postby Meno_ » Tue May 25, 2021 5:32 am

POLITICO

ELECTIONS

They tried to overturn the 2020 election. Now they want to run the next one.
Trump supporters who back his claim that the 2020 vote was rigged are running to become the top election officials in key states.




By ZACH MONTELLARO

05/24/2021 04:30 AM EDT

Republicans who sought to undercut or overturn President Joe Biden’s election win are launching campaigns to become their states’ top election officials next year, alarming local officeholders and opponents who are warning about pro-Trump, “ends justify the means” candidates taking big roles in running the vote.

The candidates include Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia, a leader of the congressional Republicans who voted against certifying the 2020 Electoral College results; Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, one of the top proponents of the conspiracy-tinged vote audit in Arizona’s largest county; Nevada’s Jim Marchant, who sued to have his 5-point congressional loss last year overturned; and Michigan’s Kristina Karamo, who made dozens of appearances in conservative media to claim fraud in the election.



Now, they are running for secretary of state in key battlegrounds that could decide control of Congress in 2022 — and who wins the White House in 2024. Their candidacies come with former President Donald Trump still fixated on spreading falsehoods about the 2020 election, insisting he won and lying about widespread and systemic fraud. Each of their states has swung between the two parties over the last decade, though it is too early to tell how competitive their elections will be.

The campaigns set up the possibility that politicians who have taken steps to undermine faith in the American democratic system could soon be the ones running it.

“Someone who is running for an election administration position, whose focus is not the rule of law but instead ‘the ends justifies the means,’ that’s very dangerous in a democracy,” said Bill Gates, the Republican vice chair of the Board of Supervisors in Maricopa County, Ariz. “This is someone who is trying to tear at the foundations of democracy.”

The secretary of state campaigns will also be tests of how deeply rooted Trump’s lies about the election are in the Republican base. Sixty-four percent of Republican-leaning voters in a recent CNN poll said they did not believe Biden won enough votes legitimately to win the presidency.


Hice and Marchant are running to replace sitting Republican secretaries of state, while Finchem and Karamo are seeking the GOP nomination in states with Democratic incumbents. None of the four campaigns responded to interview requests.

Trey Grayson, a former Republican secretary of state in Kentucky, said there are “two ways to look” at the risk posed by the campaigns: “There’s a symbolic risk, and then there’s … functional risk.”

Grayson noted that, depending on the state, secretaries of state often play ministerial roles in election certification and vote counting, with more direct oversight of the process falling to local county and city election clerks. That means that functional risk of electing pro-Trump election truthers as secretaries of state could be lower than many perceive.

But the symbolic risk could be much higher. “Any secretary of state who is a chief elections official is going to have a megaphone and a media platform during the election,” Grayson said. “A lot of the power is the perception of power, or that megaphone.”


As candidates and officials, the quartet of Republicans have used their megaphones to promote claims of widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

Finchem, the Arizona state representative, has been a major proponent of the audit of the results in Maricopa County. The Republican-run state Senate is running the process in the state’s largest county, which Biden narrowly won. The audit has been a lightning rod, attracting heavy criticism from GOP officials in Maricopa County who say the auditors are doing shoddy, conspiracy-fueled work — but nevertheless building up hope among Trump supporters who believe that he won the election.

Finchem appeared on the Twitch stream of Redpill78 — which The New York Times reported promotes the QAnon conspiracy theory — earlier this month, and said he has talked to Trump about the 2020 election. The mainstream media “keep[s] using this term ‘baseless,’” Finchem said on the Redpill show. “I hate to break the news to you, but just in case you news people haven’t been paying attention, there’s a lot of evidence that’s already out there. … We’ve got the proof, we’ve got the receipts,” he continued, calling the press a “propaganda machine.”

His appearance on the show was first reported by the Arizona Mirror, which also previously reported that Finchem had marched to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

Finchem has also frequently promoted claims of fraud on social media. “They ‘won’ by cheating, now they want to make cheating legal. WTH this Stalinization of America has to come to an end,” he wrote on Parler, the social media site popular on the right. Former Vice President Mike Pence “now cares about election integrity? This reveals that he must acknowledge that there was fraud,” he wrote on Gab, another site that caters to the far-right.




Last week, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors — which includes Gates and is controlled 4-1 by Republicans — lashed out at the Arizona state Senate over the audit, calling it a sham that has “rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists.” The supervisors were flanked at a press conference by various county officials, including Sheriff Paul Penzone, a Democrat, and Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican who was recently elected the county’s chief elections officer.

Unprompted, Richer closed the press conference by tearing into Finchem, mocking the false conspiracy theories that voting machinery from the company Dominion Voting Systems was used to change election results.

“Mark Finchem is running for secretary of state. Process that,” he said. “If the election was completely fraudulent, as he says, why would you run for secretary of state? What, do you think Dominion is going to rig it in your favor this time?”


“Why are you running if you do not believe in these elections?” he closed. “I would suggest that his actions speak a lot louder than his words.”

In a subsequent interview with POLITICO, Richer analogized it to “revealed preference,” an economics theory: “All these people, their true preferences and their true beliefs regarding the election system are more readily determined by their actions, which is to continue to run,” he said, suggesting that if people really thought it was rigged, they wouldn’t bother to run.

When asked whether he was considering a run for secretary of state in 2022, Richer quickly and flatly gave a one-word answer: “No.”

The most prominent candidate in the group is likely Hice, who is challenging Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican whom Trump has repeatedly attacked for defending the 2020 election as free and fair.

In a recent letter circulated to conservatives in Georgia and obtained by The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Hice wrote that the election was full of “systemic voting irregularities and fraud,” and that he was running “to stop Democrats before they rig and ruin our democracy forever.”

He is running his campaign with Trump’s endorsement: “Jody will stop the Fraud and get honesty into our Elections!” Trump proclaimed the day Hice launched his campaign. Raffensperger is facing significant anger within his own party, but he recently reaffirmed that he would run again.

“The danger is you’re lying to either yourself or to millions of people when you try to run for these large, statewide elected offices,” Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, said of the false electoral fraud claims.

Duncan, a vocal critic of Trump and other Republicans who push the election fraud myth, recently announced he would not seek reelection and instead focus on his “GOP 2.0” initiative. He said a fixation on it will only hurt Republicans in the long term.


“There is a vacuum of leadership, and folks wanting to put themselves into even higher leadership positions, continuing to carry on with the lies and misinformation, continues to create an even bigger vacuum around our party,” he said.

Duncan, who was in Washington D.C. last week to take meetings about GOP 2.0 (he declined to say with whom) said he believed the party would come around: “They’re just going to get tired of losing. They’re going to get tired of running people out there that just are unelectable.”


© 2021 POLITICO LLC
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Re: Trump enters the stage - say what?

Postby Meno_ » Wed May 26, 2021 7:32 am

DONALD TRUMP
Trump calls reported convening of grand jury in NY probe 'purely political'
The move is a sign that the investigation into the former president's company has entered a new phase.


May 25, 2021, 11:02 PM EDT
By Dareh Gregorian
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted reports that a special grand jury had been convened to hear evidence against the Trump Organization, calling it “a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history.”

“This is purely political, and an affront to the almost 75 million voters who supported me in the Presidential Election, and it’s being driven by highly partisan Democrat prosecutors,” the former president said in a statement.


New York prosecutors’ imminent presentation of evidence against Trump’s business, first reported by the Washington Post, citing two people familiar with the development, signals that the criminal investigation into the former president has entered a new phase.

The panel was recently convened by the Manhattan district attorney's office, and will hear evidence in other cases as well, the sources told the Post. The district attorney has not confirmed the reports.

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance's office has been investigating a variety of allegations of financial improprieties against Trump's company for about two years. Court documents show that Vance is probing "possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization," which could include falsifying business records, insurance fraud and tax fraud.

Vance started investigating the company and its top executives after it was disclosed that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about her claim that she had sex with Trump, an allegation he has denied.

Cohen also alleged in testimony before Congress that the Trump Organization sometimes lied about its financial condition to evade taxes or obtain favorable loan terms

© 2020 NBC UNIVERSAL
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Re: Trump enters the stage - the retractions to curtain call

Postby Meno_ » Fri May 28, 2021 7:55 pm

The New York Times

Paul Ryan Critiques Trump’s Grip on the Republican Party

In a speech, the former House speaker called on the Republican Party not to move forward in Donald Trump’s image, though he did not criticize the former president by name.



Paul D. Ryan, the former House speaker, during a speech in 2018. He did not break with Donald J. Trump until after leaving office.

Paul D. Ryan, the former House speaker, during a speech in 2018.


WASHINGTON — Paul D. Ryan, the former Republican speaker of the House, re-entered the political arena on Thursday night with a speech obliquely criticizing Donald J. Trump and warning Republicans that the only viable future for the fractured party was one unattached to the former president.


“Here’s one reality we have to face,” Mr. Ryan said during a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. “If the conservative cause depends on the populist appeal of one personality, or on second-rate imitations, then we’re not going anywhere.”

Mr. Ryan said he had found it “horrifying to see a presidency come to such a dishonorable and disgraceful end,” although he did not specifically refer to the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 or to Mr. Trump’s repeated election falsehoods.

He added that Republican voters would “not be impressed by the sight of yes-men and flatterers flocking to Mar-a-Lago.”



The former speaker tempered his criticism by avoiding any mention of Mr. Trump by name — except to say that the former president’s brand of populism, when “tethered to conservative principles,” had led to economic growth, and to credit him with bringing new voters to the party.

Sign Up for On Politics With Lisa Lerer: A spotlight on the people reshaping our politics. A conversation with voters across the country. And a guiding hand through the endless news cycle, telling you what you really need to know.
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Mr. Trump responded on Friday morning with a lengthy statement calling Mr. Ryan “a curse to the Republican Party,” adding that “he has no clue as to what needs to be done for our Country, was a weak and ineffective leader, and spends all of his time fighting Republicans as opposed to Democrats who are destroying our Country.”

Mr. Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice-presidential nominee, left behind his 20-year career in Congress in 2019. In his role as speaker, he kowtowed to Mr. Trump at first, and later edged away from him, publicly breaking with the former president only after leaving office.

Since then, he has taken on roles as a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame; a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative think tank; and a board member of the Fox Corporation.


Mr. Ryan’s political re-emergence, and his relatively gentle warning of the dangers of a party crafted in Mr. Trump’s image, came as the former president has said he plans to return to the campaign trail this summer with rallies for Republican House and Senate candidates supportive of his agenda and his election falsehoods. Mr. Trump is also still hinting at a potential presidential run in 2024.

Mr. Ryan delivered his message even as Republicans still in office have ostracized lawmakers who criticize Mr. Trump. Most recently, the party removed Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her leadership post in Congress because she refused to drop her repudiations of Mr. Trump and Republicans who abetted his election falsehoods.

“We win majorities by directing our loyalty and respect to voters, and by staying faithful to the conservative principles that unite us,” Mr. Ryan said.

Eager to show off his conservative bona fides, Mr. Ryan also criticized President Biden and his agenda.


“In 2020, the country wanted a nice guy who would move to the center and depolarize our politics,” he said. “Instead, we got a nice guy pursuing an agenda more leftist than any president in my lifetime.”

Mr. Ryan’s speech was not the first time he had expressed worries about Mr. Trump since leaving office. Weeks after returning to Wisconsin, his home state, the former speaker unloaded on a president he had been careful never to criticize while still in office.

“Don’t call a woman a ‘horse face,’” he told the journalist Tim Alberta, referring to one of the many insults Mr. Trump had lobbed. “Don’t cheat on your wife. Don’t cheat on anything. Be a good person. Set a good example. And prop up other institutions that do the same. You know?”

Paul Ryan, Donald Trump and the Republican Party

Marooned at Mar-a-Lago, Trump Still Has Iron hand on republicand

This Is the Way Paul Ryan’s Speakership Ends


Ryan Found Himself on the Margins as G.O.P. Embraces Trump


U.S. Faces Outbreak of Anti-Semitic Threats and Violence

May 27, 2021


© 2021 The New York Times Company

8



TRUMP FIRESBACK


Democracy Dies in Darkness

Politics

Trump fires back after Paul Ryan criticizes former president’s hold on GOP

Former House speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) on May 27 urged the Republican Party not to rely on the “appeal of one personality.” (Ronald Reagan
Former president Donald Trump called former House speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) “a curse to the Republican Party” after Ryan appealed to the party not to rely on the “appeal of one personality.”

While Ryan did not explicitly name Trump in his critique of the current GOP during a speech Thursday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., his intended target was clear. Later, when Ryan did name Trump, it was to praise him for advancing “practical conservative policy,” according to his prepared remarks

"
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Re: Trump enters the stage - will to reboot power

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:16 pm

"

DONALD TRUMP

Trump's back. Here's what his re-entry means for 2024.
His return to the electoral battlefield this weekend is the kickoff for a summer of rally stops designed to keep his base engaged for the midterms — and any possible comeback bid.



June 1, 2021, 4:30 AM EDT

WASHINGTON — Defeated presidents usually go away — at least for a long while. Not Donald Trump.

Trump returns to the electoral battlefield Saturday as the marquee speaker at the North Carolina Republican Party's state convention. He plans to follow up with several more rallies in June and July to keep his unique political base engaged in the 2022 midterms and give him the option of seeking the presidency again in 2024.


"If the president feels like he's in a good position, I think there's a good chance that he does it," Trump adviser Jason Miller said in a telephone interview. "For the more immediate impact, there's the issue of turning out Trump voters for the midterm elections."

And, Miller added, "President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party."

The set of advisers around Trump now is a familiar mix of his top 2020 campaign aides and others who have moved in and out of his orbit over time. They include Miller, Susie Wiles, Bill Stepien, Justin Clark, Corey Lewandowski and Brad Parscale.

While his schedule isn't set yet, according to Trump's camp, his coming stops are likely to include efforts to help Ohio congressional candidate Max Miller, a former White House aide looking to win a primary against Rep. Anthony Gonzales, who voted to impeach Trump this year; Jody Hice, who is trying to unseat fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger as Georgia secretary of state after Raffensperger defied Trump and validated the state's electoral votes; and Alabama Senate candidate Mo Brooks, according to Trump's camp.

Trump's ongoing influence with Republican voters helps explain why most GOP officeholders stick so closely to him. Republicans spared him a conviction in the Senate after the House impeached him for stoking the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, House GOP leaders have made it clear that they view his engagement as essential to their hopes of retaking the chamber, and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., was deposed as Republican Conference Chair this year over her repeated rebukes of Trump.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released May 21 showed that just 28 percent of Republicans think Trump shouldn't run for president in 2024, while 63 percent of Republicans say the last election was stolen from him. At the same time, Trump's approval ratings among the broader public are anemic. He was at 32 percent approval and 55 percent disapproval in an NBC News survey of adults in late April.

Those numbers suggest that Trump could be in a strong position to win a Republican primary but lose the general election in 3½ years. A former Trump campaign operative made that case while discussing Trump's ambitions.

He "will have a hard time building an infrastructure to win the general election," said the operative, who insisted on anonymity so he could speak without incurring Trump's wrath. "He could win the primary on his name alone. ... The problem is building a coalition of people among the light-leaning Republicans and independents."

Trump alienated many voters with harsh, divisive talk during his presidency and, more recently, with his false proclamations that the election was rigged.

"He would completely have to make a pivot of 180 degrees on his rhetoric," the operative said. "He would have to change and ask forgiveness."

Trump also faces legal jeopardy, which could waylay a third bid for the presidency.

Only one president, Grover Cleveland, has ever lost a re-election bid and come back to reclaim the White House. In modern times, one-term presidents have worried more about rehabilitating their legacies by taking on nonpartisan causes — Democrat Jimmy Carter by building housing for the poor and George H.W. Bush by raising money for disaster aid, for example — than about trying to shape national elections. But Trump retains a hold on the Republican electorate that is hard to overstate, and he has no intention of relinquishing it.

"There's a reason why they're called 'Trump voters,'" Miller said. "They either don't normally vote or don't normally vote for Republicans."



DONALD TRUMP
Trump's back. Here's what his re-entry means for 2024.
Trump lost the popular vote by more than 7 million last year — and the Electoral College by the same 306-232 result by which he had won four years earlier — but he got more votes than any other Republican nominee in history. And it would have taken fewer than 44,000 votes, spread across swing states Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin, to reverse the outcome.

Republicans, including Trump allies, say it's too early to know what he will do — or what the political landscape will look like — in four years. A busload of Republican hopefuls are taking similar strides to position themselves. They include former Vice President Mike Pence, who is speaking to New Hampshire Republicans on Thursday, an event that the Concord Monitor called the kickoff of the 2024 race.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.; and Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Rick Scott of Florida and Marco Rubio of Florida are among the Republicans widely viewed as potential candidates. But for most, if not all, of them, the equation begins with the big "if" of a Trump run, because, as the former Trump operative said, each would be running as some version of "Trump lite."

For now, said Brad Todd, a Republican consultant whose clients include Hawley and Scott, Trump's calculation won't change what the other possible candidates are doing.

"The best time-tested way to run for president in three years is to bust your tail for your party in the midterm," Todd said. "None of that changes because of the specter of a potential Trump candidacy."

That's basically what Trump is doing.

Republicans lost the House in the 2018 midterms, when Democrats were mobilized and Trump voters weren't, and he would like to demonstrate what he can do to help the GOP this time around.

"We saw that drop-off in 2018 and how that hurt, and we have to make sure that these folks are engaged and energized," Miller said, "and that people who have gotten on board with President Trump's movement ... come back out in the midterms and stay energized in case President Trump does run in 2024."

Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity this spring that when it comes to the midterms push, "we're all in."

And as for a comeback bid in the election cycle that follows: "I am looking at it very seriously," he said. "Beyond seriously."


© 2020 NBC UNIVERSAL
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Re: Trump enters the stage - will to reboot power

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:17 pm

"

DONALD TRUMP

Trump's back. Here's what his re-entry means for 2024.
His return to the electoral battlefield this weekend is the kickoff for a summer of rally stops designed to keep his base engaged for the midterms — and any possible comeback bid.



June 1, 2021, 4:30 AM EDT

WASHINGTON — Defeated presidents usually go away — at least for a long while. Not Donald Trump.

Trump returns to the electoral battlefield Saturday as the marquee speaker at the North Carolina Republican Party's state convention. He plans to follow up with several more rallies in June and July to keep his unique political base engaged in the 2022 midterms and give him the option of seeking the presidency again in 2024.


"If the president feels like he's in a good position, I think there's a good chance that he does it," Trump adviser Jason Miller said in a telephone interview. "For the more immediate impact, there's the issue of turning out Trump voters for the midterm elections."

And, Miller added, "President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party."

The set of advisers around Trump now is a familiar mix of his top 2020 campaign aides and others who have moved in and out of his orbit over time. They include Miller, Susie Wiles, Bill Stepien, Justin Clark, Corey Lewandowski and Brad Parscale.

While his schedule isn't set yet, according to Trump's camp, his coming stops are likely to include efforts to help Ohio congressional candidate Max Miller, a former White House aide looking to win a primary against Rep. Anthony Gonzales, who voted to impeach Trump this year; Jody Hice, who is trying to unseat fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger as Georgia secretary of state after Raffensperger defied Trump and validated the state's electoral votes; and Alabama Senate candidate Mo Brooks, according to Trump's camp.

Trump's ongoing influence with Republican voters helps explain why most GOP officeholders stick so closely to him. Republicans spared him a conviction in the Senate after the House impeached him for stoking the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, House GOP leaders have made it clear that they view his engagement as essential to their hopes of retaking the chamber, and Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., was deposed as Republican Conference Chair this year over her repeated rebukes of Trump.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released May 21 showed that just 28 percent of Republicans think Trump shouldn't run for president in 2024, while 63 percent of Republicans say the last election was stolen from him. At the same time, Trump's approval ratings among the broader public are anemic. He was at 32 percent approval and 55 percent disapproval in an NBC News survey of adults in late April.

Those numbers suggest that Trump could be in a strong position to win a Republican primary but lose the general election in 3½ years. A former Trump campaign operative made that case while discussing Trump's ambitions.

He "will have a hard time building an infrastructure to win the general election," said the operative, who insisted on anonymity so he could speak without incurring Trump's wrath. "He could win the primary on his name alone. ... The problem is building a coalition of people among the light-leaning Republicans and independents."

Trump alienated many voters with harsh, divisive talk during his presidency and, more recently, with his false proclamations that the election was rigged.

"He would completely have to make a pivot of 180 degrees on his rhetoric," the operative said. "He would have to change and ask forgiveness."

Trump also faces legal jeopardy, which could waylay a third bid for the presidency.

Only one president, Grover Cleveland, has ever lost a re-election bid and come back to reclaim the White House. In modern times, one-term presidents have worried more about rehabilitating their legacies by taking on nonpartisan causes — Democrat Jimmy Carter by building housing for the poor and George H.W. Bush by raising money for disaster aid, for example — than about trying to shape national elections. But Trump retains a hold on the Republican electorate that is hard to overstate, and he has no intention of relinquishing it.

"There's a reason why they're called 'Trump voters,'" Miller said. "They either don't normally vote or don't normally vote for Republicans."



DONALD TRUMP
Trump's back. Here's what his re-entry means for 2024.
Trump lost the popular vote by more than 7 million last year — and the Electoral College by the same 306-232 result by which he had won four years earlier — but he got more votes than any other Republican nominee in history. And it would have taken fewer than 44,000 votes, spread across swing states Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin, to reverse the outcome.

Republicans, including Trump allies, say it's too early to know what he will do — or what the political landscape will look like — in four years. A busload of Republican hopefuls are taking similar strides to position themselves. They include former Vice President Mike Pence, who is speaking to New Hampshire Republicans on Thursday, an event that the Concord Monitor called the kickoff of the 2024 race.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.; and Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Rick Scott of Florida and Marco Rubio of Florida are among the Republicans widely viewed as potential candidates. But for most, if not all, of them, the equation begins with the big "if" of a Trump run, because, as the former Trump operative said, each would be running as some version of "Trump lite."

For now, said Brad Todd, a Republican consultant whose clients include Hawley and Scott, Trump's calculation won't change what the other possible candidates are doing.

"The best time-tested way to run for president in three years is to bust your tail for your party in the midterm," Todd said. "None of that changes because of the specter of a potential Trump candidacy."

That's basically what Trump is doing.

Republicans lost the House in the 2018 midterms, when Democrats were mobilized and Trump voters weren't, and he would like to demonstrate what he can do to help the GOP this time around.

"We saw that drop-off in 2018 and how that hurt, and we have to make sure that these folks are engaged and energized," Miller said, "and that people who have gotten on board with President Trump's movement ... come back out in the midterms and stay energized in case President Trump does run in 2024."

Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity this spring that when it comes to the midterms push, "we're all in."

And as for a comeback bid in the election cycle that follows: "I am looking at it very seriously," he said. "Beyond seriously."


© 2020 NBC UNIVERSAL
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Re: Trump enters the stage -freedom of speech issues

Postby Meno_ » Sat Jun 05, 2021 7:58 pm

DONALD TRUMP

Facebook suspends Trump's accounts for 2 years, citing public safety risk
“In establishing the two year sanction for severe violations, we considered the need for it to be long enough to allow a safe period of time after the acts of incitement, to be significant enough to be a deterrent to Mr. Trump and others from committing such severe violations in future, and to be proportionate to the gravity of the violation itself,” Clegg said.

At the end of the two-year period, Facebook will discuss with experts whether the risk to public safety has receded, said Clegg, who added that there would be a “a strict set of rapidly escalating sanctions that will be triggered if Mr. Trump commits further violations in future” including permanent removal.

Trump relied on social media during his presidency to circumvent the media and talk directly to his supporters, especially his Twitter account, which was also suspended. The former president has since released statements through his Save America political action committee. He also tried to launch a blog, but that was short-lived.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that while it is up to Facebook to make that decision, she doubts much will change in Trump's behavior over the next two years.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby promethean75 » Sat Jun 05, 2021 8:06 pm

This is unbelievably hilarious you know. The irony alone. Here is this mega private business that is the epitome of capitalistic success... and the guy they ban, who incidentally fights for their rights, gets mad at em.

I mean this could be Monty Python level humor if one were so inclined to produce it.
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Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:11 am

promethean75 wrote:This is unbelievably hilarious you know. The irony alone. Here is this mega private business that is the epitome of capitalistic success... and the guy they ban, who incidentally fights for their rights, gets mad at em.

I mean this could be Monty Python level humor if one were so inclined to produce it.



Maybe it's an intended form of dark humorous paradoxical game play like a metaphoric rubrics cube meant to puzzle or even frustrate political scientists with nothing. else to do in their cubicles.
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Re: Trump enters the stage - & the beat go on ""

Postby Meno_ » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:31 am

Trump advances dangerous disinformation campaign as more states move to restrict the vote

Updated 9:39 AM EDT, Sun June 06, 2021

(CNN)Donald Trump's speech before the North Carolina Republican Party Saturday night was a reminder of the danger the former President poses as he undermines America's election system while attempting to reassert himself as kingmaker on the national stage.

His address to the party faithful was a familiar screed to anyone who tuned in to his 2020 campaign rallies. He attacked President Joe Biden's foreign policy maneuvers, claimed Biden is destroying the economy, insisted that he deserves more credit for the rapid development of Covid-19 vaccines, and argued that the radical left and "cancel culture" are destroying America's freedoms. But it was his continuing disinformation campaign about the November presidential contest that was most disturbing -- in part because the past few months have proved that Trump's lies are now accepted as gospel by a majority of Republicans.

At a time when followers of QAnon and online forums supportive of Trump have touted the deadly military coup in Myanmar as a remedy that should occur in the United States so Trump can be reinstated, recent polling shows that a majority of Republicans believe the 2020 election was stolen despite the fact there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.


And the former President continued to fan those flames of disinformation on Saturday night, stating that the 2020 election will "go down as the crime of the century." He congratulated Republican state senators in Arizona who have forced a sham audit of the 2020 election results from that state's largest county and praised state lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Georgia who are following suit by exploring additional recounts and audits of their election results.

Republicans draw inspiration from problem-plagued Arizona audit
Republicans draw inspiration from problem-plagued Arizona audit
"We're not going to have a country -- if you don't have election integrity, and if you don't have strong borders, our country can be run like a dictatorship and that's what they'd like to do," Trump said. "They want to silence you. They want to silence your voice. Remember, I'm not the one trying to undermine American democracy. I'm the one that's trying to save it."

The former President also praised states like Texas, Florida and Georgia that have advanced laws making it harder for Americans to vote -- measures that will disproportionately affect Black and Latino Americans -- by curtailing vote-by-mail options, ballot drop boxes and extended hours that provided more access for shift workers. (The law in Texas was poised to pass until Democrats staged a late-night walkout that deprived the House of a quorum to pass it before the legislative session ended).

Meanwhile, Democratic efforts in Congress to combat the various state laws with federal legislation were dealt a major blow when West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday said he opposes getting rid of the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.

"We now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized," Manchin said in an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette. "Today's debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage."

Trump's remarks came amidst revelations on Saturday that Mark Meadows, his former White House chief of staff, pushed the Department of Justice in his boss' last weeks in office to investigate baseless conspiracy theories and fraud claims about the 2020 presidential election, according to documents obtained by CNN and first reported by the New York Times. The emails from Meadows -- who was in the audience in North Carolina Saturday night -- were just another example of the Trump administration's overreach and the ex-President's flagrant disregard for democracy.

Trump as GOP kingmaker
On Saturday night, Trump attempted to present himself as the GOP's kingmaker, endorsing Republican Rep. Ted Budd for the US Senate race, because he said he didn't "want a lot of people running"

Trump suggested that his backing of Budd would immediately clear the field of Republicans who are vying to replace retiring three-term Sen. Richard Burr in one of Democrats' top-targeted pickup seats. The former President said he had waited until his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, whom he invited on stage, had made her decision that she did not want to run for the seat.

Budd, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, won Trump's loyalty in part by being one of the 147 House Republicans who voted against certifying the outcome of the 2020 election on January 6.

Farther south in Georgia on Saturday, Republicans who did not support Trump's election lies continued to be punished by the boisterous GOP base. Attendees at that state's GOP convention booed Gov. Brian Kemp, who refused to help Trump overturn the election results. They also censured Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for standing up to Trump, with members calling it a "dereliction of his constitutional duty," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Trump has already endorsed GOP Rep. Jody Hice, who's embraced his election falsehoods, to run against Raffensperger.

Anti-Trump Republicans speak up
While Trump still enjoys a strong grip over the Republican Party and is flirting with the possibility of another run for the White House in 2024, a small but increasingly assertive group of anti-Trump Republican leaders are speaking up to combat his election lies. He also faces some hurdles in getting his message out as social media platforms continue to debate how they should handle his mistruths.

In recognition of Trump's dangerous rhetoric, Facebook announced this week that Trump will remain suspended from that platform until at least January 7, 2023 -- two years after his initial suspension -- and that it will then assess the circumstances to see if he should be allowed back on.

In a Friday post, the company said that once the two years have passed, it "will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded. We will evaluate external factors, including instances of violence, restrictions on peaceful assembly and other markers of civil unrest. If we determine that there is still a serious risk to public safety, we will extend the restriction for a set period of time and continue to re-evaluate until that risk has receded."

Trump called the ruling "an insult to the record-setting 75 (million) people" who voted for him: "They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing," he said in a statement Friday.

On Saturday night, he mocked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, claiming that he had begged to come to the White House with his wife.

Prominent Republicans have increasingly spoken out about the damage that Trump's election lies are causing, including Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who was subsequently ousted from her No. 3 post in House Republican leadership, and former House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Some, like former Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, have predicted that Trump will continue to lose vote share as he continues his election farce.

"He's fading as a figure," Comstock told CNN's Pamela Brown on "Newsroom" Saturday before Trump spoke.

John Bolton, Trump's former national security adviser, told Brown it is "ridiculous" that Trump, according to some reports, is telling people around him that he will be reinstated to the White House later this year. The reinstatement theory Trump has been sharing with aides was first reported by The New York Times' Maggie Haberman last week.

"He's not going to be reinstated in August. He lost the election. People need to face-up to this and accept the reality that he was an unpopular candidate and didn't get re-elected," Bolton said Saturday on "Newsroom."

Like Comstock, Bolton said Trump's influence within the GOP is "diminishing" and warned that Republican candidates could face consequences for supporting the former President's disinformation campaign.

"The lies that he tells are damaging not just to the country. They're particularly damaging to Republicans, and I think we have to understand that we will be anathematized by our opponents if we don't make it clear we think the kind of things Trump's been saying are simply crazy," Bolton said.


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Re: Trump enters the stage - Trump all in?

Postby Meno_ » Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:39 am

"Donald Trump’s Chances of Staying Out of Prison Are Not Improving 

If you asked Donald Trump what he thinks the next several months will hold for him, he’d likely tell you that he’ll be holding some rallies, playing some golf, and getting ready to head back to the White House. He’d tell you that because he’s a disturbed man who apparently thinks that a president who loses an election can simply be “reinstated” to the presidency, like one can have their cable reinstated after canceling it and then panicking about how they’re going to be able to watch Vanderpump Rules. In reality, what the next several months, and potentially years, hold for the ex-president are a lot of meetings with attorneys about how he’s legally in the bad place—that is, assuming they’re still keeping him apprised of the situation and aren’t yet at a point where they just park him in front of the TV “while the grown-ups talk.” 

Most recently, the no good, very bad news for Agent Orange has involved the impaneling of a grand jury by the Manhattan district attorney as part of Cyrus Vance Jr.’s criminal probe. Last month, The Washington Post reported that such a group will be hearing evidence concerning the ex-president, his business, and its executives, and on Friday, it emerged that one of the most senior officials at the Trump Organization has reportedly already testified. Which seems less than ideal for the owner of said Trump Organization.

Per ABC News:

Jeff McConney is among a number of witnesses that have already appeared before the special grand jury that will decide whether criminal charges are warranted against the former president, his company, or any of its employees, [sources with direct knowledge of the matter] said. McConney, who serves as a senior vice president and controller for the Trump Organization, is the first employee of the former president’s company called to testify, the sources said, and his testimony is a sign that prosecutors have burrowed deep into the company’s finances. “Complex accounting issues are crucial to this investigation, as is the knowledge and intent of the people at the Trump Organization involved in these transactions,” said Daniel R. Alonso, the former chief assistant district attorney in Manhattan and now a partner in private practice at Buckley LLP. “In any case like that, the two most important people—whether as targets or witnesses—are the company’s CFO and the company's controller,” Alonso told ABC News.

McConney was mentioned by Trump in his 2004 book, Trump: Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life. In a chapter titled “How to Stay on Top of Your Finances,” Trump describes an interaction he says he had with McConney in the late 1980s in which Trump implored McConney to always question invoices and never accept a contractor’s first bid. “Jeff got the message,” Trump wrote, “and is doing a terrific job. He looks out for my bottom line as if the money were his own.”

In other words, McConney likely knows a whole lot of information about the Trump Organization, including the kind that might be of interest to prosecutors. And maybe even some about another figure at the firm:

As part of his probe, Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance has also been investigating the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg’s financial dealings—specifically, what fringe benefits he received from the Trumps in addition to his salary, and whether taxes were appropriately paid for any such compensation, sources have previously told ABC News. “If, as has been reported, the D.A. is targeting Allen Weisselberg, it’s a logical step to seek testimony from the controller, who presumably reports to him and works with him every day,” Alonso said. A spokesman for Vance declined to comment on the development, but ABC News has previously reported that Vance has sought to flip Weisselberg into a cooperating witness against Trump and the company.

Weisselberg’s former daughter-in-law, Jennifer Weisselberg, has been interviewed by the district attorney’s office, she told ABC News, and was asked about topics ranging from school tuition and cars to the family apartment she lived in that the Trump Organization allegedly paid for. “Some of the questions that they were asking were regarding Allen’s compensation at the apartment at Trump Place on Riverside Boulevard,” Jennifer Weisselberg told ABC News in an interview last month. A spokesperson for the Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.

Last month, after news of the convening of the grand jury broke, a source from Trumpworld told Politico that there was “definitely a cloud of nerves in the air,” with the adviser saying that while Trump is no stranger to legal issues, this situation feels different, in part because prosecutors are trying to gain the cooperation of Weisselberg, who’s described himself as Trump’s “eyes and ears” at the company. “I think the Weisselberg involvement and the wild card of that makes the particular situation more real, because there’s no sort of fluff and made-up fictional circumstances around the guy,” this person told Politico. “The fact that they’re dealing with a numbers guy who just has plain details makes people more nervous. This is not a Michael Cohen situation.” In related Trump legal news, Politico also reported last month that former prosecutors and defense attorneys believe Vance could be exploring the possibility of arguing that Trump‘s entire business empire is a corrupt enterprise, under a New York law known as “little RICO,” which was modeled after the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, originally used to crack down on the mafia. The state law can be used with proof of as few as three crimes involving a business or other enterprise and carries a minimum mandatory sentence of one to three years—and a maximum term of up to 25. “It’s a very serious crime,” said Michael Shapiro, a defense attorney who used to prosecute corruption cases in New York. “Certainly, there are plenty of things an organization or business could do to run afoul of enterprise corruption, if they’re all done with the purpose of enhancing the revenue of the enterprise illegally…it’s an umbrella everything else fits under.”
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Re: Trump enters the stage. - sounds of manifest destiny

Postby Meno_ » Wed Jun 09, 2021 2:45 am

"Opinion, Analysis, Essays

POLITICS & POLICY

Trump, Mike Lindell and why the August election conspiracy should worry Republicans
This latest theory says a lot about the people who still have Trump's ear — and the inability of Republicans to push back against even the most ludicrous ideas.

Image: Michael Lindell, CEO of MyPillow Inc., speaks during a campaign rally for President Donald Trump in Duluth, Minn., on Sept. 30, 2020.
Michael Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, speaks during a campaign rally for President Donald Trump in Duluth, Minn., on Sept. 30, 2020.Stephen Maturen /
June 8, 2021, 4:30 AM EDT

By Teri Kanefield, attorney and author

In late May, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell appeared on Steve Bannon's podcast, "War Room," and said: "Donald Trump, I believe, will be back in by the end of August." He also said that eventually even liberals such as Rachel Maddow would admit that the election was stolen. Lindell's bizarre theory is that all Team Trump needs is a shred of proof of election fraud to overturn the entire election. Trump and others are watching the Republican-backed audit in Arizona because they believe in a "domino theory" — if Arizona ballots can be proven to be fraudulent, election results in other battleground states that President Joe Biden won can also be overturned.

There is, of course, no legal or factual basis backing up any of this.

Lindell's bizarre theory is that all Team Trump needs is a shred of proof of election fraud to overturn the entire election.

Sources also told The Daily Beast that Trump has started quizzing confidants about a potential return to power in August. These sources said they decided not to tell the former president what they were thinking — which was that his reinstatement was not going to happen. The anecdote says a lot about the people who still have Trump's ear — and the continuing inability of Republicans to push back against even the most ludicrous conspiracy theories. As the GOP looks ahead to 2024, such cowardice should be cause for serious concern among party leaders. On the other hand, they may not care.

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Importantly, Trump is increasingly fixating on the Republican-backed audits as he pushes the lie that he won the election. He needs to keep talking about this lie because he faces an existential political threat: His brand is based on winning, but he lost. Winners don't lose, particularly winners who promise their fans that "we will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning."


His solution is to insist that he won. To do this, he and his allies have devised an elaborate alternate reality in which he won the election but it was stolen from him through voter fraud.

Similarly, how does a would-be authoritarian retain power after having been ousted from office? Trump figured that one out, too: remain relevant by retaining control over the Republican Party. His election lies are a big part of this strategy, as well. It becomes self-fulfilling. The more people there are who believe the election was stolen, the more real it feels to Trump and the more he hammers the point home in speeches and blog posts.

Related

OPINION

A Republican civil war is coming. Rudy Giuliani's Georgia crusade is just the beginning.
After the Jan. 6 insurrection, moderate Republicans started to walk away from the party. Even some conservatives who stuck with Trump all through his presidency couldn't stomach the insurrection. Currently, 53 percent of Republican voters believe Trump won the election. Similarly, in a national poll last month by Quinnipiac University, 66 percent of people who classified themselves as Republicans said they want Trump to run for president in 2024.

The fact that Trump still controls so many Republican voters explains the assertion by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that the Republican Party can't "move forward" without Trump. Speeding up the Republican Party's hardening into a right-wing extremist party is Trump's demand that anyone who doesn't toe the line and repeat the lie be ousted and exiled.

Trump advisers and confidants have many reasons not to push back. For one, the former president often rebuffs advisers who tell him to drop the whole stolen election story. But those in Trump's inner circle also need to keep voters riled up if Trump's political future — and presumably theirs — is to continue. Dangling the possibility that Trump will be reinstated in August accomplishes this.

In practical terms, it doesn't matter whether a political figure is genuinely delusional or whether that person is lying for political gain. The effect is the same. It's worth noting, though, that Charles C.W. Cooke of the National Review believes, after having spoken to an "array of different sources," that Trump is truly delusional: He actually does think he will be reinstated as president this summer.

Related

OPINION

We want to hear what you THINK. Please submit a letter to the editor.
Such an embrace of insanity creates a cycle in which the Republican Party sheds itself of nonbelievers, finds ways to keep the true believers angry and engaged and unhinges itself even more thoroughly from reality and becomes, arguably, increasingly dangerous. The result is that conspiracy theorists like Mike Lindell have somehow become influential, despite their very clear record of belligerent gibberish. And Trump, as he has been for five-plus years now, remains at the center of the Republican Party as it veers deeper into a made-up reality.

Related:

Trump's federal tax deferral debacle a reminder that good tax policy matters
Why hasn't Trump been criminally charged with something — anything — yet?

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Re: Trump enters the stage - tongue in cheek

Postby Meno_ » Mon Jun 14, 2021 6:20 am

"

The New York Times

Donald Trump Is Starving
June 12, 2021







Frank Bruni will stop writing regular Opinion columns in late June, but his popular weekly newsletter will live on. To keep up with his political analysis, cultural commentary and personal reflections, sign up here.

In an excellent portrait of Donald Trump’s post-presidential days by the journalist Joshua Green, Trump loyalists vouch for what a fantabulous exile he’s having. There are anecdotes of Trump being not only “bathed in adulation,” to quote Green, but also perfumed with it. One voter’s despot is another voter’s dreamboat. Trump still makes many Americans’ hearts go pitter-patter.

But that wasn’t my main impression or the moral I took away from the story, which was published in Bloomberg. I stopped at, and dwelled on, this passage: “He’ll show up to anything. In recent weeks, Trump has popped into engagement parties and memorial services. A Mar-a-Lago member who recently attended a club gathering for a deceased friend was surprised when Trump sauntered in to deliver remarks and then hung around.”

Sounds to me like a man with an underfed appetite for attention. Sounds like a glutton yanked away from the buffet.


American presidents are all parables — they either come that way, which explains our fascination with them, or we turn them into archetypes, avatars and allegories. We need that from our highest-ranking political figures. We don’t have a royal family.

And Trump’s is a tale of how much a man will do to be noticed, how much he can do with that notice and — the current chapter — what happens when that notice ebbs. Yes, he personifies the American obsessions with wealth and with power. But more than that, he personifies the American obsession with fame.

It’s an obsession now starved. Facebook revoked Trump’s access. Twitter, too. He no longer leads the news every hour on CNN and MSNBC, and there are now newspaper front pages aplenty without his name in any headline.

So he sates himself with funerals. And he fumes.

Frank Bruni’s Newsletter: Get a more personal take on politics, newsmakers and more with Frank’s exclusive commentary every week.
Sign Up


Much of the coverage of Trump lately casts him as the protagonist in a political melodrama — or, rather, horror story. It asks if his control over the Republican Party will endure into the next presidential contest, whether he himself will run in 2024, and what in Beelzebub’s name that would look like.

But there’s a personal psychodrama going on as well. It will determine the answers to those questions, and it’s a spectacle all its own. Just as Trump’s presidency was like none before it, his ex-presidency is a singular production.

Other presidents left the White House and, for a short or long while, savored the disappearance of the press corps and the dimming of the spotlight. Maybe right away, maybe later, they burnished their legacies with philanthropic deeds. Meanwhile, they issued pro forma statements of support for their successors or, in accordance with longstanding etiquette, zipped their lips. They behaved.

Trump hasn’t. And — let’s be honest — he won’t. His response to his altered reality is to insist even more than before on an alternative reality, one in which he’ll be reinstated as president, and his sycophants are willing to support his delusions of omnipotence by establishing a zone of affirmation around him. From Green’s article:

When Trump ventured south, a stream of family members (literal and figurative) followed. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner bought a $32 million waterfront lot in Miami from the Latin crooner Julio Iglesias and enrolled their kids at a nearby Jewish day school. Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, bought a $9.7 million mansion in Jupiter, Fla. In December, Sean Hannity sold his penthouse not far from former House speaker — and Trump critic — John Boehner’s place along the Gulf of Mexico and bought a $5.3 million seaside home two miles from Mar-a-Lago, symbolically swapping the Boehner Coast for the Trump Coast. Hannity’s Fox News colleague Neil Cavuto joined him, buying a $7.5 million place nearby. “Think about how utterly bizarre that is,” says Eddie Vale, a Democratic strategist. “It’s like if Rachel Maddow and the ‘Pod Save America’ guys all bought condos in Chicago because they wanted to be close to Barack Obama.”

The only one missing is MyPillow’s Mike Lindell, the bedding magnate turned Trump comforter.

And Trump is not comforted enough.



That was obvious in both his commencement of a blog (“From the Desk of Donald J. Trump”) in May and his termination of it less than a month later, after it failed to attract any readership remotely commensurate with the audience for his past tweets. Trump, onetime monarch of social media, had to grovel for clicks. What an astonishing reversal of fortune. But it’s consistent with other glimmers of desperation.

According to an article in The Times by Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman, he has taken to announcing the states he plans to visit before the actual venues and dates have been arranged. In his head he can probably already hear that magic MAGA applause. It’s stuck there like the chorus of a Top 40 song, but he wants it performed live, in an arena as mammoth as his neediness.

The substitute for that applause? Deference. He demands it every bit as much as he ever did and arguably grows more furious than before when he’s denied it. That’s where the personal and political narratives intersect. His demonization of Liz Cheney for crossing him, his denunciation of Paul Ryan for dissing him and his savaging of any Republican who challenges the Big Lie reflect a ruinous petulance that is bound to wax, not wane, as his exile grinds on. As Jennifer Senior wrote in a column in The Times in January about repudiated narcissists, they “lurch between the role of victim and tormentor,” “howl on and on about betrayal” and “lash out with a mighty vindictiveness.”

Trump is lurching and howling and lashing, to a point where Jeb Bush’s son George P. Bush has been terrified into abject genuflection. The props for George P.’s campaign for Texas attorney general include beer koozies with an image of him and Trump shaking hands and a quote from Trump saying that George P. “is the only Bush that likes me! This is the Bush that got it right. I like him.” I’m sure “low energy” Jeb, as Trump mockingly dismissed him, is suffused with paternal pride.



Green’s portrait of Trump on the far side of the White House mentions that he’s “taken to wearing the same outfit for days on end.” It’s red (a MAGA hat), white (a golf shirt) and blue (slacks), and its redundancy is open to interpretation. Has he settled comfortably into a routine? Or has he sunk uncomfortably into a rut?

I lean toward the latter, which is as dangerous for us as it is for him. No good comes of an ego as ravenous as his. He will make a meal of Lt

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