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Biden and Trump both plan to watch the hearing

President Biden, who previewed the first prime-time hearing of the committee investigating Jan. 6, plans to watch as much as he can in between meetings and a scheduled dinner with world leaders in Los Angeles, sources familiar with his plan say.

Biden believes the committee has woven together the events of that day — including what happened before, during and after — in a way that will be informative for Americans.

As for former President Trump, who watched those events unfold from the Oval Office on Jan. 6, 2021, will also be keeping an eye on the hearings, one person says. Trump, who is often impressed but agitated by well-produced events, has urged allies to flood the airwaves with attacks on the committee.

Trump won’t be the only one paying attention. Several former members of his West Wing staff say they also plan to watch the hearing to see if it tells a compelling narrative, or falls flat.

Judge holds former President Trump in civil contempt for failing to comply with document subpoenas from New York attorney general

A New York judge is holding Donald Trump in civil contempt after the state’s attorney general’s office said he did not comply with a subpoena for documents as part of its investigation into the former President’s company.

Judge Arthur Engoron said Trump failed to abide by his order to comply with the subpoena, and that his attorneys failed to show how a search of materials held by Trump was conducted. Engoron said Trump would be fined $10,000 a day until he complies.
CNN Exclusive: Mark Meadows' 2,319 text messages reveal Trump's inner circle communications before and after Jan 6
“Mr. Trump, I know you take your business seriously and I take mine seriously. I hereby hold you in civil contempt and fine you $10,000 per day until you purge that contempt,” Engoron said at a hearing Monday. A written decision with a start date for fines is expected Tuesday.
Trump plans to appeal the decision, his attorney Alina Habba told reporters.
“We respectfully disagree with the oofos shoes court’s decision today,” Habba said. “All documents, as I explained, responsive to the subpoena were already produced to the attorney general months ago.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office has been investigating the Trump Organization for more than two years and previously said her office found multiple misleading or fraudulent misstatements and omissions in the Trump Organization’s financial statements, which were provided to lenders and insurers, among others, as part of its investigation.
Andrew Amer, with the attorney general’s office, said that Trump has failed to produce “even a single responsive document” for a subpoena that was issued to him in December.
“We are being hampered in our efforts to have a complete understanding because we don’t have evidence from the person who sits at the top of the organization,” Amer said.
Kevin Wallace, with the attorney general’s office, said in some instances it’s been “like pulling teeth” to get documents needed for the investigation, and describing the Trump Organization as a closely-held family company with 500 entities and millions of dollars moving around.
In court, Habba said the former president does not believe he is above the law, but simply does not have the types of written communications that were sought by the subpoena, but that he produced hundreds of thousands of documents through his assistants. Habba said she herself searched Trump’s hard copy calendars coach outlet and physical file locations, and even interviewed her client in Florida.
“President Trump does not email. He does not text message. And he has no work computer at home or anywhere else,” Habba said.
“I took it upon myself to get on a plane and flew down and asked him one by one if there was anything that he had on his person that he had not given me I would need that. And he did not,” she said.
The judge asked why Trump didn’t sign an affidavit swearing that he complied with the subpoena. Habba said that he would.
READ: Text messages Sean Hannity, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Ivanka Trump and others sent to Mark Meadows
“My client is an honest person, much to the dismay of certain people in this room,” Habba said.
James’ office has said in court filings that the Trump Organization is under investigation for engaging in fraudulent or misleading conduct in connection with appraisals and financial statements. The office has subpoenaed both the former president and his company for documents related to its investigation.
Habba argued that the attorney general’s investigation has “seemingly become aimless,” saying that since it began three years ago, the Trump Organization has been given six separate subpoenas, produced more than 6 million pages of documents, and 13 Trump Organization witnesses have been deposed, among other things.
“The scope is continuously changing to fit the attorney general’s needs,” Habba said in court. “When it is not satisfied with the evidence it has obtained it pivots and looks for something new.”
Judge orders Cushman swarovski jewelry and Wakefield to comply with NY AG subpoena
Also Monday, Engoron allowed James’ office to add real estate services firm Cushman and Wakefield as a respondent to its legal action against the Trump Organization, and ordered the company to comply with a subpoena for documents.
At the heart of the subpoenas are appraisals from Cushman and Wakefield appraisers who worked on valuations for Trump Organization properties, as well as documents showing relationships between the two companies and internal communications about Cushman’s decision to ultimately sever ties with the Trump Organization in January.
Austin Thompson, an attorney with the New York attorney general’s office, said his office has identified “misstatements” made by appraisers who made valuations at a Trump Organization property in Westchester County, New York, known as Seven Springs. And while the statute of limitations on some of the appraisals may have run out, the office still wants to investigate other reports that may be more recent and indicated that the real estate firm could become a party to future legal action by the office.
“We’d like to understand whether these folks are committing misconduct today,” Thompson said. “Cushman has made repeated misstatements in the documents we’ve seen so far, so we’re entitled to look at other documents, other appraisals they’ve written.”
Sawnie McEntire, an attorney for Cushman and Wakefield, said the four subpoenas the company has received from the attorney general’s office since 2019 are “overly broad.” He said the company has dealt with a dozen subpoenas for documents and witness testimony, including depositions with appraisers who worked on Trump Organization property valuations.
“We cannot be faulted because we believe their requests have exceeded what is legally required,” McEntire said.
James’ office is also seeking details on how much money Cushman and Wakefield has made from its relationship with the Trump Organization. McEntire said in court that the company made less than $200,000 doing business with the Trump Organization on the appraisal side of its business.
Engoron also granted the attorney general’s office’s request to file documents with the court only, because they contained information that could harm its ongoing investigation.

Garland’s first year leading Justice Department clouded by questions of investigating Trump

As Attorney General Merrick Garland completes his first full year in office, what would normally be seen as a banner year of liberal accomplishments has been clouded by the specter of Donald Trump, and the question of whether the former President will be held accountable for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Despite reinvigorating the Justice Department’s civil rights enforcement and reversing a number of Trump-era legal positions, Democrats are increasingly worried that Garland will let the former President go unpunished for fomenting what amounts to an attempted coup that led to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
In the eyes of many Democrats, Garland has oofos shoes over-corrected in his effort to restore norms at the Justice Department after four years of political wars during Trump’s presidency. That caution, they fear, may in the end mean a lack of accountability for the man who busted those norms.
“There is a difference between protecting DOJ political independence and being too scared to do anything that might be perceived as political even if it is the right and necessary thing to do,” Elie Honig, a CNN senior legal analyst and former federal prosecutor said.
Pressure to at least examine Trump’s activities is mounting in part due to the work of the House select committee investigating January 6. In a March 2 court filing, the committee accused the former President of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to overturn the election.
The committee could make a criminal referral to the DOJ. But many Democrats had hoped the department would act on its own accord. To date, there remains no discernible indication that Garland will formally seek to investigate Trump for his role in inciting the attack.
“From my perspective as a former prosecutor with the Department of Justice, the department shouldn’t be waiting on our committee for any referral,” Rep. Adam Schiff, a member of the committee, told CNN. “If the Justice Department believes there is evidence of crime, involving anyone, including the former President, they should be investigating.”
US Attorney General Merrick Garland walks into the hearing room ahead of a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on October 27, 2021 in Washington, DC.

The committee’s work has been aided by the Justice Department’s and the Biden White House’s extraordinary decision to share Trump-era documents that normally would be shielded by various executive branch legal privilege claims.
Some Justice Department officials had hoped that providing documents to Congress to shed light on the events surrounding January 6 would relieve pressure on the department.
But the opposite has happened.
“I think that that brief was, in large part, a call to action from Congress to DOJ,” said Honig, referring to the committee’s March 2 court filings, which were submitted in a dispute over the disclosure of a Trump ally’s emails.
In a speech ahead of the anniversary of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Garland broke his relative silence on the matter by seeming to suggest ongoing investigations of attack would spare no one.
“The Justice Department remains committed to holding all January 6th perpetrators, at any level, accountable under law,” he said, temporarily placating critics on the left.
Whether Garland actually meant those words to include Trump is unclear. But so far, none of the telltale signs of an investigation, such as subpoenas or witness interviews, have spilled into public view to indicate that Trump might be a prosecution target.
The Justice Department declined a request to interview the attorney general for this story.
Separately, Justice Department investigators have continued to examine conduct of lawyers connected to Trump, including Rudy Giuliani, who was a ringleader coach outlet in efforts to overturn the election results, and Sidney Powell, whose vote fraud claims eventually grew too bizarre even for Trump.
To be sure, investigative activity could be ongoing behind the scenes that are not public.
“There are things I’d like to see more aggressiveness on,” said Mary McCord, a former DOJ official who served in top positions during the Obama administration. “But I spent enough time in the department to understand why these investigations take time and why really getting back to the core fundamental principles of rule of law are more important.”
In recent weeks, the department has twisted itself in knots to avoid saying whether the FBI and national security prosecutors are examining the handling of classified documents retrieved in boxes of presidential records that Trump took with him to his Florida estate. The FBI routinely conducts so-called spillage reviews when classified information is found to be handled in ways that are out of the norm.
But after the National Archives reached out to the Justice Department to report finding classified information in boxes taken to Mar-a-Lago, Garland has only said the department is dealing with the issue and will “look at the facts and the law and take it from there.”

Progressive accomplishments

In many ways, Garland has had the kind of year that progressives would normally be applauding.
He has stepped up the Justice Department’s civil rights enforcement, overseeing successful prosecutions in two notorious killings of Black men and opening investigations into alleged abuses in police departments. He is suing the states of Georgia and Texas over new voting laws that the department says are discriminatory. And he has imposed a moratorium on federal executions, after his predecessor carried out more than a dozen death sentences.
The Justice Department’s civil rights activities have been a centerpiece of Garland’s tenure, in keeping with his promise when he was confirmed by the Senate. He tearfully invoked at his confirmation hearing last year the experience of his grandparents fleeing antisemitic pogroms in Europe in the 1900s, as a cause for his focus on civil rights today.
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He also choked back tears last month when asked about the family of Ahmaud Arbery, who was murdered by White men while going for a run in a south Georgia town.
Garland expressed similar emotion recently in a call with the brother and nephew of George Floyd after ex-cops were found guilty of violating Floyd’s civil rights following a trial in Minnesota, according to a person briefed on the matter and Floyd family attorney Benjamin Crump.
It was the second time Garland had called the family members, after reaching out following the state trial months earlier.
“It has been proof that the Department of Justice in this administration is taking these matters much more seriously than the previous administration,” Crump told CNN, adding: “By their actions not just their words.”

Liberal frustration

Not all liberal activists are pleased with the Garland record, however.
In recent months, civil rights activists published a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post calling for the department to step up its oversight of alleged police abuses, in this case of the police department in Kansas City, Kan.
Merrick Garland

Garland has announced investigations of alleged abusive policing in Louisville, Minneapolis and Phoenix. But activists have chafed at what they believe has been a slow response to calls for more so-called pattern-and-practice investigations.
Garland remains unbowed by the criticism.
“There will be people from the Democratic Party who disagree with my determinations and there will be people from the Republican Party who will disagree with my determinations,” he told a House hearing last October when asked about some of the department’s actions in court. “That comes with the territory.”
After months of internal angst, Garland signed off on seditious conspiracy charges in January against a group of right-wing extremists accused in the sacking of the Capitol on January 6. Some prosecutors had sought to bring the charges eight months earlier, but Garland made them do more work before he thought the case was ready, according to people briefed on the matter.
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He also signed off on contempt of Congress charges against Steve Bannon, former Trump adviser, who had thumbed his nose at the January 6 committee’s subpoena.
Both decisions came after some doubt over whether Garland would sign off.
The House committee has been waiting more than two months for the Justice Department to act on a similar referral seeking contempt charges against Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff. Compared to the Bannon case, the department faces a tougher legal analysis on Meadows because of his role as close adviser to the former President, Justice officials believe.
“With respect to higher-level people, people within swarovski jewelry former President’s orbit and the former President, there’s going to be a lot of caution exercised before bringing any case, and I can’t say whether a case ever will or will not be brought against any of those folks,” said McCord, who is now the executive director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection.
“You really want to be darn sure that you’re going to succeed in that, because failure could actually be more harmful to the country than not bringing a case at all.”

Political targets beyond Trump

Garland’s effort to distance himself and the Justice Department from politics can only go so far, given the political nature of many of the matters that are coming his way in his second year and beyond.
Prosecutors in the Delaware US Attorney’s Office continue to investigate Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son, a probe that at least initially centered on possible tax violations, but that based on investigators’ questions to witnesses includes a broad examination of the junior Biden’s business activities, according to people briefed on the requests made of witnesses.
Hunter Biden has denied wrongdoing and the President has said he expects the Justice Department to act independently.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is under investigation for possible sex trafficking and the Justice Department faces a looming deadline to bring charges to avoid interfering with Gaetz’s reelection campaign under Justice Department policy. Gaetz, a close ally of Trump, has denied wrongdoing and has accused the Justice Department of carrying out a political vendetta against him. The Gaetz probe began during the Trump administration.
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The Giuliani probe, begun during the Trump era, has been slowed by legal wrangling over evidence seized early in the Biden administration. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are still receiving batches of evidence from a neutral lawyer appointed by a judge, a process set up to protect attorney-client information.
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday filed racketeering and bribery charges against Michael Madigan, the Democratic former Illinois state House speaker. And public corruption prosecutors are investigating Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, CNN has previously reported.
And then there’s the ongoing investigation by special C=counsel John Durham of the 2016 Trump-Russia investigation. Appointed by former Attorney General William Barr, Durham has now spent more time reviewing the Russia probe than special counsel Robert Mueller spent on his Russia investigation.
Durham has brought false statements charges against two people and has used his court filings to portray the FBI’s work investigating the Trump campaign as the product of a dirty political hit job carried out by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
While Durham didn’t deliver a report before the 2020 campaign as Trump had openly urged him to, Durham’s investigation has continued to deliver fodder for the aggrieved former President to claim he was a victim not only in his 2020 loss, but also in the 2016 campaign he won.
As much as staying the course of some Trump-era decisions may upset the left, Justice Department leaders must also keep in mind maintaining the long-term credibility of the court, according to Garland’s defenders, particularly when there’s no a clear legal rationale for changing directions.
“When the Department of Justice just swings wildly from administration to administration — it doesn’t have any consistency and coherency in the way that it approaches cases, criminal and civil — I think that just destroys any confidence that the department is actually exercising good judgment and discretion within the rule of law,” McCord said.

Trump and right-wing lawyer were part of ‘criminal conspiracy’ to overturn 2020 election, January 6 committee alleges

Former President Donald Trump and a right-wing lawyer were part of a “criminal conspiracy” to overturn the 2020 presidential election, the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot alleges in a court filing Wednesday.

The filing is part of an attempt to convince a judge to allow the panel access to emails from lawyer John Eastman, who is claiming attorney-client privilege. The committee said he helped to orchestrate the plot.
The filing is the most extensive release to date from the House’s January 6 investigators as they try to obtain Eastman’s emails — and comes well before the House select committee releases its final report on its findings hey dude on Trump. House members have also signaled they may make a criminal referral to the Justice Department about Trump, depending on their findings, and the House’s arguments Wednesday could be seen as a preview of a case that could be made by federal prosecutors.
In the 61-page court filing on Wednesday, lawyers for the House wrote: “Evidence and information available to the Committee establishes a good-faith belief that Mr. Trump and others may have engaged in criminal and/or fraudulent acts, and that Plaintiff’s legal assistance was used in furtherance of those activities.”
Eastman and Trump have not been accused of any crime by federal or state prosecutors, and no top advisers around Trump have been charged for January 6-related crimes.
The House has no ability to bring criminal charges. A judge overseeing the civil lawsuit will review the emails himself and decide whether they should stay protected.
To make its case, the House pointed to Trump’s actions to overturn the election, arguing he was criminally attempting to obstruct Congress from certifying his loss of the presidency.
“The President called and met with state officials, met numerous times with officials in the Department of Justice, tweeted and spoke about these issues publicly, and engaged in a personal campaign to persuade the public that the election had been tainted by widespread fraud,” lawyers for the House wrote.
“The evidence supports an inference that President Trump and members of his campaign knew he had not won enough legitimate state electoral votes to be declared the winner of the 2020 Presidential election during the January 6 Joint Session of Congress, but the President nevertheless sought to use the Vice President to manipulate the results in his favor.”
They also cited an interview with a top adviser in the Trump administration, Keith Kellogg, who overheard Trump pressuring then-Vice President Mike Pence on the morning of January 6, 2021, to block Congress’ vote.
“Words—and I don’t remember exactly either, but something like that, yeah. Like you’re not tough enough to make the call,” they quoted Kellogg as saying, citing his congressional testimony, which has not previously been released.
Laying out their conspiracy argument in the filing, the House committee focused on pressure on Pence.
“The conspirators also obstructed a lawful governmental function by pressuring the Vice President to violate his duty to count the electoral certificates presented from certain States. As an alternative, they urged the Vice President to delay the count to allow state legislatures to convene and red wing shoes select alternate electors,” they wrote.
“The apparent objective of these efforts was to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and declare Donald Trump the winner. In this way, the conspiracy aimed to obstruct and interfere with the proper functioning of the United States government,” the House added.
The House’s filing on Wednesday revealed in great detail how officials in the Trump administration were pushing back on the then-President’s insistence that the federal government block the election result.
Leadership at the Justice Department told the committee, according to transcripts the House submitted to the court, that Trump personally pressured them to investigate election fraud and that they wouldn’t hold a news conference he wanted.
Richard Donoghue, a former deputy attorney general under Trump, testified that the then-President specifically pushed the Justice Department to label the entire election “corrupt.”
“He wanted us to say that it was corrupt. And this was consistent with some things he said at other points about. The Department should publicly say that the election is corrupt or suspect or not reliable. At one point, he mentioned the possibility of having a press conference. We told him we were not going to do that,” Donoghue testified, according to the House’s filing.
And Greg Jacob, a top lawyer in the vice president’s office, told Eastman in an email on January 6 that he “very respectfully” didn’t believe any Supreme Court justice would approve of Eastman’s legal theories. “And thanks to your bullshit, we are now under siege,” Jacob signed off on the email, at 12:14 p.m. on January 6.
The filing also revealed that Jason Miller, a former senior adviser to Trump, told the committee Trump had been advised after the election “in pretty blunt terms” that he was going to lose.
Around that January 6, Eastman, a conservative lawyer working with then-President Trump’s legal team, was a key voice pushing a theory that Pence could stand in the way of Joe Biden’s electoral win. Prominent conservative attorneys as well as Pence and his advisers have largely condemned Eastman’s theory as nonsensical and not something that was possible.
The House subpoenaed Eastman’s emails from Chapman University, his former employer, in recent months, but Eastman went to court to block turning over thousands of the documents — claiming they are his confidential attorney-client communications.
One way the House can try to overcome that confidentiality claim is by showing in court the communications were about ongoing or future crimes, or fraudulent activity. Currently at issue in court are more than 100 emails that Eastman says are part of his Trump representation from January 4 through January 7, 2021, and more than 10,000 total that Eastman is trying to keep from the committee.
The Justice Department has charged more than 750 participants, including some it says engaged in conspiracies, in the pro-Trump riot at the US Capitol, which interrupted Congress from its session certifying the election.
The House’s argument on Wednesday accuses Trump of conspiring to commit the same types of crimes of which many of his supporters who breached the Capitol grounds have been found guilty.

As candidates refuse to disavow McConnell, Trump comes to terms with his grip on GOP

Donald Trump is facing weak support among Republicans for his calls to depose Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and aides and allies say it’s forcing the former President to confront new limitations on his influence over the party.

In the 11 months that have passed since Trump first called for the Kentucky Republican to be ousted — suggesting shortly after his second Senate impeachment trial ended that it was time for the “unsmiling political hack” to be voted out of office — McConnell’s red wing boots authority among Senate Republicans has neither waned nor has he faced the onslaught of blistering attacks from GOP hopefuls that Trump has been pining for.
Most candidates who have nabbed Trump’s endorsement have refused to declare war on McConnell, who remains a powerful fundraiser and influential party figure in his own right, while those who are still angling for the former President’s support have also stopped short of staking out opposition to the powerful senator from Kentucky. Trump’s ineffective attempt, thus far, to challenge the top Senate Republican has forced him to temper his criteria as he aims to be a kingmaker in this year’s midterm elections, according to multiple people close to the former President who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity.
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Some of his aides have warned him that requiring unequivocal opposition to McConnell to secure or maintain his support is incompatible with his broader objectives — a warning that Trump himself appears to be considering. The former President has not rescinded his endorsements of candidates who have stopped short of opposing McConnell and previously earned Trump’s support, and he continues to privately consider endorsements for other candidates who have openly mused about reelecting McConnell if they make it into the Senate, according to a person familiar with Trump’s thinking.
“In working for Trump for a while now, this is going to be a litmus test for him. But at the end of the day, whether a candidate says he won’t vote for McConnell as leader or is generally critical of current party leadership is likely to be considered one and the same,” said one Trump adviser.
The modified condition comes as numerous hoka shoes for women Senate Republican hopefuls who have cozied up to Trump in pursuit of his endorsement have either sidestepped questions about McConnell altogether or declined to rule out supporting his reelection as leader if they make it through their primaries and the general election.
In the Alabama Senate primary, where Trump has endorsed ultraconservative Congressman Mo Brooks, a Brooks campaign aide said the candidate’s position has not changed since he told Politico in early December that he would back McConnell for another two-year leadership term “if he’s the most conservative.”
In North Carolina, Trump’s preferred candidate, Rep. Ted Budd, has declined to answer questions about McConnell’s leadership abilities. Budd campaign spokesman Jonathan Felts pointed to a statement he made last month that artfully dodged any criticism of McConnell by saying the congressman’s “only thought on future leadership elections is that we want to do our part to ensure that the Republican leader is the majority leader.”
“We’ve been pretty consistent on day one on that front,” Felts said.
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Across several other primaries, Republican candidates have also ignored Trump’s entreaties for McConnell’s ouster. Straddling a desire to earn the former President’s support without jeopardizing potential assistance from the McConnell-linked Senate Leadership Fund later on, they have limited their criticism to veiled barbs at the “establishment” or refuse to even answer questions about McConnell.
In the Senate primary in Ohio, for example, where four candidates are jockeying for Trump’s endorsement, no one has outright said they would decline to reelect McConnell to his leadership post if elected. Candidates Josh Mandel and Jane Timken have danced around such questions, while J.D. Vance has described the Kentucky Republican as “a little out of touch with the base” but also stopped short of saying he would oppose him for leadership.
“Look, man, I’ve been the only person in the Ohio Senate race who has actually been willing to criticize leadership … but I do think we’ve got a ground up problem as much as we’ve got a top down,” Vance told former Trump adviser Steve Bannon during an appearance on his podcast last Thursday.
One Trump adviser who requested anonymity for fear of retribution said the Ohio primary “proves that McConnell is impenetrable,” adding that it is “a waste of time for Trump to be channeling all of his anger towards McConnell, who shares his goal of winning back the Senate.”
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“You have four candidates who would seemingly do anything for [Trump’s] endorsement and yet not one of them is willing to stand up and say, ‘It’s time for McConnell to go.’ That says a lot about McConnell’s survivability and it also shows that there are limitations to President Trump’s influence,” the adviser said.
So far, only two high-profile Senate Republican candidates have sided with Trump in his battle against the senator: ex-Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who has accused McConnell of “working against President Trump and the MAGA movement,” and Alaska US Senate hopeful Kelly Tshibaka, who definitively ruled out supporting McConnell as leader in a statement last month. CNN reached out to a dozen other Senate GOP hopefuls who are running as pro-Trump candidates to see where they stand on McConnell and heard back from only three, all of whom declined to comment.
Greitens, who is hoping Republican primary voters will look past the allegations of sexual assault and campaign finance misconduct that led to his resignation as governor in 2018, said it would be difficult for McConnell to redeem himself in his eyes unless he backed “full forensic audits” of the 2020 election in a handful of battleground states where Trump has erroneously claimed that widespread fraud occurred.
“This is a very hard call that US senators are going to make,” he said of supporting McConnell in an interview with CNN.
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A statement from Arizona US Senate candidate Blake Masters’ campaign underscored how difficult the situation has become for Republican hopefuls who wish to earn Trump’s endorsement without drawing McConnell’s ire. “Blake will only vote for leadership that is serious about going on offense and actually legislating an America First agenda. He’ll meet with anyone running for leader, including Mitch McConnell, and will vote for whoever is most serious about not just stopping the left’s agenda, but also advancing our own,” the statement read.
At least one Senate candidate who was recruited and endorsed by Trump has also received McConnell’s backing and is not expected to turn against the Senate minority leader, according to a person close to his campaign. Georgia’s Herschel Walker, the retired NFL running back who is challenging Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, was endorsed by Trump last September after the former President urged him to enter the race and “is considered a reasonable exception” to his litmus test on McConnell, according to a person close to Trump. McConnell endorsed Walker in late October, describing him as “the only one who can unite the party, defeat Senator Warnock and help us take back the Senate.”

‘He’s not like Pelosi’

Some of Trump’s allies said his calls for McConnell’s ouster stem from a personal vendetta against the Republican leader and therefore they doubt that he will religiously enforce a litmus test against GOP candidates who decline to oppose McConnell but otherwise fully embrace the former President and his agenda.
They consider this a relief, noting that not all GOP voters share Trump’s frustration with the minority leader and most Republican candidates who make it beyond primaries will need institutional support, like that of the McConnell-aligned Senate hoka shoes Leadership Fund, to defeat their Democratic opponents.
“There are still a lot of folks who respect McConnell in the party. McConnell is not where Trump thinks he is among the GOP base. The party as a whole doesn’t all hate him. He’s not like [Democratic House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi,” said a former Trump campaign official.
Another person close to the 45th President suggested that where Trump sees “a broken old crow, other Republicans see a dedicated public servant who helped put three conservatives on the Supreme Court and got a massive tax cut through Congress” (Trump has nicknamed McConnell “old crow” in numerous statements condemning the minority leader).
“Mitch McConnell did a great job getting President Trump’s judges into the judicial branch. That was a major accomplishment of the Trump administration and McConnell did a good job helping him,” said Greitens. “I do think, though, when you look at the totality of his record, he’s been a disaster for the America First movement.”
The former Trump campaign official said the main difference between Trump and McConnell is that the Kentucky Republican is “self-aware enough to recognize that some candidates will have to make him a target in order to shore up the base and he won’t take it personally.”
“McConnell understands politics better than most and knows that folks are going to come after him a bit because attacking the permanent Washington political class is good politics in certain parts of the country,” the official said.
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There is little doubt that candidates who are vying for Trump’s endorsement in competitive primaries would boost their chances of securing it if they declared their opposition to McConnell once and for all, but there is also little doubt that doing so could cost them critical donor support and the financial backing of groups like Senate Leadership Fund and the National Senatorial Campaign Committee post-primary. Senate Leadership Fund and another McConnell-linked group known as American Crossroads spent a combined $462 million in the 2020 cycle and are expected to make significant investments in this midterm cycle as well.
One adviser to a high-profile GOP Senate candidate told CNN that he and other campaign operatives he knows are afraid of losing out on support from McConnell’s political machine and believe their candidates can win their primaries without going after the minority leader.
“Mitch McConnell has been a player in Republican politics for decades. He has contacts, donor relationships and alliances that simply cannot be rivaled and we have to ask ourselves if it’s really worth pissing off a guy like that when there are other things we can do, and have been doing, to prove that we will advance an America First agenda with or without McConnell’s help,” the campaign aide said.

An escalating feud

What began as an isolated confrontation last year after McConnell blamed Trump for the deadly US Capitol riot on January 6 has since evolved into a steady series of hostile attacks by the former President against the top Senate Republican.
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Trump has torched McConnell over his support for President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which the Senate passed in August and Biden signed into law in mid-November. The former President has repeatedly slammed McConnell for supporting the massive infrastructure investment, which eluded Trump during his time in office, suggesting that the minority leader and other Republicans who got behind the legislation “should be ashamed of themselves.” And Trump has criticized McConnell for cutting a deal with Senate Democrats to end a December standoff over increasing the federal government’s debt limit.
“He has all the cards to win, but not the ‘guts’ to play them. Instead, he gives our country away, just like he did with the two Senate seats in Georgia, and the presidency itself,” Trump charged in a statement last month.
Trump’s attacks on McConnell escalated last fall, when he began discussing ways to dethrone the GOP leader with other Republican senators and some of his top allies, according to a person involved in the effort, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal in September. But Trump struggled to find much support for the move inside the upper chamber, this person said.
“How this guy can stay as Leader is beyond comprehension — this is coming not only from me, but from virtually everyone in the Republican Party,” Trump nevertheless claimed in a December statement.

House panel asks Supreme Court to say by mid-January whether it’s taking Trump’s January 6 records case

Former President Donald Trump appealed to the Supreme Court on Thursday to block the release of documents from his White House to the House committee investigating the January 6 riot at the Capitol, escalating his effort to keep about 700 pages of records secret.

Hours after Trump’s request was filed, the House olukai shoes committee asked the justices to expedite their consideration of the request, with a proposed schedule that would allow the court to say by the middle of next month whether it was taking up the case.
The committee, which is charged with investigating the US Capitol attack to provide recommendations for preventing such assaults in the future, seeks the documents as it explores Trump’s role in trying to overturn the election. That includes his appearance at a January 6 rally when he directed followers to go to the Capitol where lawmakers were set to certify the election results and “fight” for their county. The documents are currently held by the National Archives.
Then-President Donald Trump walks from Marine One after arriving on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, October 1, 2020, following campaign events in New Jersey.
In filings submitted to the Supreme Court on Thursday, Trump asked the justices to take up a full review of the case and he requested that while they consider his position, they put a hold on the lower court decision permitting the disclosure of his records while they consider taking up the case.
“The limited interest the Committee may have in immediately obtaining the requested records pales in comparison to President Trump’s interest in securing judicial review before he suffers irreparable harm,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in the court filings.

Records could answer longstanding questions about riot

At issue are hundreds of documents including activity logs, schedules, speech notes and three pages of handwritten notes from then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows — paperwork that could reveal goings-on inside the West Wing as Trump supporters gathered in Washington and then overran the US Capitol, disrupting the certification of the 2020 vote. The records could answer some of the most closely guarded facts of what happened hoka shoes for women between Trump and other high-level officials, including those under siege on Capitol Hill on January 6.
Trump is also seeking to keep secret a draft proclamation honoring two police officers who died in the siege and memos and other documents about supposed election fraud and efforts to overturn Trump’s loss of the presidency, the National Archives has said in court documents.
In its expedition request Thursday evening, the House committee said that any delay in the Supreme Court’s consideration would “inflict a serious injury on the Select Committee and the public.”
“The Select Committee needs the requested documents now to help shape the direction of the investigation and allow the Select Committee to timely recommend remedial legislation,” the panel said. It said the committee and the Biden administration would file by December 30 their responses to Trump’s request that the Supreme Court take up the case. The lawmakers are asking the Supreme Court to consider during its January 14 conference whether it will take up the case.
The fight over the documents stems from a lawsuit Trump filed against the Archives as well as the House committee, seeking to stop the records’ disclosure. Trump is arguing that those documents should remain secret under the former President’s own assertions of executive privilege, though so far, lower courts have rejected his arguments.
Thursday’s filing with the Supreme Court marks an escalation of the dispute, in which President Joe Biden has determined that withholding the documents based on executive privilege is not in the interest of the United States. In a letter to the National Archives in October, White House Counsel Dana A. Remus said that the President had declined to assert privilege because Congress has a “compelling need in service of its legislative functions to understand the circumstances that led to these horrific events.”
In their filings with the Supreme Court Thursday, the former President’s lawyers said that the House’s request for the Trump White House documents was “untethered from any valid legislative purpose and exceeds the authority of Congress under the Constitution and the Presidential Records Act.”
Trump told the Supreme Court that the case posed “novel and important questions of law that the Court should resolve.”
“While the protections of executive privilege and restrictions on access to presidential records are qualified, it is critical that future Presidents and their advisers understand the contours and perimeters of that privilege—and its exceptions—after the conclusion of a presidential term,” Trump said in his request that the court take up the case.
Arguments rejected by lower courts
Previously, both a district court judge and the DC US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Trump’s arguments in decisions that backed the legitimacy of the document requests and the investigation more broadly.
“Former President Trump has given this court no hoka shoes legal reason to cast aside President Biden’s assessment of the Executive Branch interests at stake, or to create a separation of powers conflict that the Political Branches have avoided,” the DC Circuit said in its opinion earlier this month. In its December 9 ruling against Trump, the appeals court gave him 14 days to request a Supreme Court intervention.
In his application with Chief Justice John Roberts — who oversees emergency matters arising from the DC Circuit — to put the appeals court decision on hold, Trump said that allowing for the documents to be released before the Supreme Court considered the case would “detrimentally impact Presidential decisionmaking for all future Presidents.”
“There will not be another Presidential transition for more than three years; Congress has time to allow this Court to consider this expedited appeal,” Trump wrote in the filing.
Left unsaid was that Republicans are expected to take control of the House in next year’s election and would likely end the House select committee’s investigation.

Inside Barron Trump’s Life Today

Melania Trump smiling at son Barron Trump

The last time an American president had a son growing up in the White House, The Beatles were an unknown Liverpool band, and the Berlin Wall had only begun construction. That boy was John F. Kennedy, Jr., son of the iconic JFK, of course. The year was 1961.

Not until 2017 would another young man grace 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A long string of older presidents like Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan had mostly grown children. George W. Bush had only daughters. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, too. But finally, after nearly 60 years, Barron Trump — side by side with parents Donald and Melania Trump — uneasily made his way to the White House.

Barron was only 10 years old on his first day as first son, looking understandably steve madden shoes overwhelmed by the Inauguration Day crowds and pomp. He’s kept a “low profile” since then, notes NBC News. At least until now, as the world is starting to notice the burgeoning and handsome young man in the people’s house. But he’s obviously doing his best to navigate a very strange situation to which very few people alive can relate. First kids have a lot on their plate, close as they are to the nasty business of grown-up politics, and they don’t always come out unscathed. So, Barron Trump’s life today, despite his parents’ best efforts to keep him protected, is somewhat complicated.

Barron Trump got COVID-19

Barron Trump profile view

It was major news when Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19 following his presidential debate with Democrat candidate Joe Biden in September 2020. But the infection was part of a larger outbreak at the White House that afflicted many staff. Unfortunately, both Melania Trump and young Barron Trump also came down with the disease, according to The Washington Post.

After Melania got the news about her diagnosis, she had the same reaction as any mother. “Naturally my mind went immediately to our son,” Melania shared while recapping her battle with coronavirus via the White House’s website. “Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms,” she added. The former model went on to write about the bonding family experience of this incredibly scary event: “In one way I was glad the three of us went through this at the same time so we could take care of one another and spend time together. He has since tested negative.”

Barron has attended a K-12 private school in the Washington D.C. area called St. Andrew’s Episcopal School since 2017, according to CNN, where he was set to begin his freshman year at the time. Due to COVID-19 concerns, though, the school began the year online-only, implementing a plan for in-person academics starting in October 2020. It was a weird beginning to high school for young Barron, but he would thankfully get to reunite with his friends and with the confidence of some immunity.

Barron Trump is really tall now

A taller Barron Trump walking alongside Donald and Melania Trump

When Barron Trump emerged from Air Force One with his father, Donald Trump, in August 2020 — for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began — it was hard to believe how incredibly tall he’d gotten. It felt like just yesterday, a 10-year-old Barron was accompanying his presidential dad on Inauguration Day. Well, watch out pops, there’s a new man of the house.

Barron’s height is not exactly known — so comparisons are in order. Donald’s doctor claims he stands at 6’3″, according to USA Today. At one time, perhaps this was true: This Nicki Swift scribe used to cover The Apprentice press conferences at Trump Tower, and no doubt, POTUS Trump is a large and imposing dr martens boots man. Someone standing 6’1″ was definitely looking somewhat up at him. But at age 74 in 2020, it’s plausible gravity may have done him dirty, as a more recent photo from the G7 summit shows The Donald appearing shorter than the credibly 6’2″ Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.

So, let’s say 6’0″ even for POTUS 45 as a minimum. That still makes Barron’s towering appearance next to his own tall father almost unbelievable. Melania Trump is supposedly 5’11”, so the speculation is that Barron, only 14 at the time, is already 6’6″! That’s the same height as NBA GOAT Michael Jordan. Most boys keep growing until about age 16, according to Healthline. Combined with his current age, if Barron really is 6’6″, one online adult height calculator estimates he could potentially end up as tall as 6’10”.

Barron Trump is under attack

Donald Trump waving while walking alongside Barron and Melania Trump outside

Many among the mainstream media, Hollywood celebrities, and academia hold disdain for Donald Trump. That’s not exactly a secret — and the feeling is definitely mutual. But unfortunately, some have dragged an innocent child into things.

Even before Barron Trump was in the White House, Rosie O’Donnell was criticized for baselessly insinuating that he was autistic. In 2020, Jezebel appeared to frame the president’s affection for his son as, well, odd, with the headline: “Trump Calls Son Barron ‘Tall’ and ‘Handsome’ In Bizarre Ramble.” Speaking of Barron’s quick recovery from COVID-19, The Donald did get somewhat Seussian, saying, “My Barron. My tall Barron. He’s very tall. My beautiful Barron. Handsome. He is handsome. But my beautiful Barron had it. He recovered, like, so fast.” But expressing love for your own child is apparently not that “bizarre,” as the site later changed its headline following mild backlash.

During DJT’s 2019 impeachment hearing, Barron got another unfortunate shoutout. Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan said in her testimony, “So while a president can name his son Barron, he can’t MAKE him a Barron.” The joke bombed, however, as it turns out entering a 13-year-old boy into the impeachment record wasn’t that necessary. Melania Trump hit back on Twitter, and Karlan apologized later in the hearing with, “It was wrong of me to do that,” but couldn’t get through the mea culpa without another shot at Barron’s father: “I wish the president would apologize for the things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that.”

Barron Trump beats a Hollywood bully

Profile of Barron Trump walking outside with Melania and Donald Trump

Actor Peter Fonda was a counter culture icon in the 1960s. He wrote and starred in the groundbreaking 1969 cult classic, Easy Rider, about three stoner hippies motorcycling aimlessly across America — only to be pointlessly gunned-down by rifle-toting rednecks with bad teeth.

Fonda and sister Jane Fonda — who infamously posed hey dude for a regrettable photo op with communist militants in a misbegotten protest of the Vietnam War — are none-the-less progressive icons. But in 2018, Peter took his disdain for conservatives out on a child, tweeting in all caps (via Snopes), “WE SHOULD RIP BARRON TRUMP FROM HIS MOTHER’S ARMS AND PUT HIM IN A CAGE WITH PEDOPHILES AND SEE IF MOTHER WILL STAND UP AGAINST THE GIANT A**HOLE SHE IS MARRIED TO…”

An outraged Melania Trump reported Peter Fonda to the secret service, according to People. Donald Trump was justifiably angry, too. Realizing that young Barron Trump was obviously not involved in a controversial zero-tolerance US-Mexico border policy, Fonda issued an apology (via CBS News): “I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it.” For his part, Barron never had to say a word.

The White House told the media to back off of Barron Trump

Barron Trump hugging Donald Trump

Peter Fonda wasn’t the first entertainment figure to take a swipe at the president’s youngest son. On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017, a veteran Saturday Night Live writer named Katie Rich tweeted that the then-10-year-old Barron Trump “will be the country’s first homeschool shooter,” according to Business Insider.

As swift backlash engulfed Rich, she deleted the tweet and later apologized: “I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry.” However, the damage was done, and Rich was suspended from SNL indefinitely, per Deadline.

At the time, the White House felt like it needed to take a stand and back off the Barron bashers. “It is a longstanding tradition that the children of presidents are afforded the opportunity to grow up outside of the political spotlight,” the statement read, as noted by Business Insider. “The White House fully expects this tradition to continue. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.”

Chelsea Clinton came to Barron Trump’s defense

Split image of Barron Trump's profile and Chelsea Clinton smiling

If anyone knows what it’s like growing up in the White House, it’s Chelsea Clinton. “I’ve had so much vitriol flung at me for as long as I can literally remember, people saying awful things to me even as a child,” she told The Guardian in 2018. The daughter of POTUS 42 was only 12 years old when her dad, Bill Clinton, took over the Oval Office.

Conservative radio goliath Rush Limbaugh immediately compared Chelsea to a dog, in at least two separate instances, according to Snopes. There’s even video receipts. Limbaugh later made a sneering faux apology where he went further: “She may be the most unattractive presidential daughter in the history of the hoka shoes country.” Wow. “Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly?” the late Senator John McCain also allegedly quipped in 1998 to a group of fundraisers. “Because Janet Reno is her father.” This remark comes via The Guardian, only because The Washington Post thought it “too vile to repeat.”

For her part, Chelsea took to her Facebook page in 2017 to defend Donald Trump’s youngest son, writing, “Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does — to be a kid.” She went further on the Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast, saying (via the Independent) that she feels “very protective” of Barron, adding, “Don’t objectify this kid. I think he just turned 14 … I have a whole lot of sympathy for any critiques, criticism, pain, anger you want to hurl at his parents. But leave him alone.”

Barron Trump is a man of the world

Profile of Barron Trump walking outside in a red jacket

Anyone who has tried to bang their head against a wall learning a foreign language as an adult envies the advantage of having a mother like Melania Trump. The first lady was born in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, and began working as a model in Milan, Paris, and New York in the 1990s, according to Biography. Because of that international lineage, Barron Trump grew up in a worldly household. “He talks three languages,” Melania told People in 2009. “He speaks my language — Slovenian — English and French.”

Being trilingual has also provided a blooming Barron some small measure of privacy in the White House, even with the watchful Secret Service always skulking. Melania’s parents also spend a lot of time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, doting on their grandson. When that side of Barron’s family is together, they all speak Slovenian, according to author Mary Jordan in her book, The Art of Her Deal (via CBS News). “And it’s kind of interesting,” writes Jordan, “the Secret Service has no idea what they’re saying.”

The Truth About Donald Trump’s Youngest Son

Barron Trump close-up with flags

What’s the truth about Donald Trump’s youngest son? The Trump name is recognized all over the world. Good or bad, Donald Trump, his wife, and his children have capitalized on the reality star-turned-President’s fame, and have launched themselves into positions of power and political authority. It seems that every day, we see the name Trump in the headlines, the stories almost always accompanied by intimate details and inside information.

But if there’s one Trump who’s managed to evade the spotlight, it’s Barron Trump, nfl jerseys the President’s 14-year-old son. The only child of 45 and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, Barron remains a mystery to many. Seldom seen and almost always with his mother, Barron doesn’t occupy the headlines or make much news himself — unlike many other first children, like Chelsea Clinton, for example.

Have you ever wondered what Barron is interested in or what school he goes to? And what was his life like before he called the White House home? Wonder no more: here’s the truth about Donald Trump’s youngest son, Barron Trump.

Unlike his famous siblings, Donald Trump’s youngest son largely stays out of the spotlight
Melania, Barron, and Ivanka Trump at Donald Trump's inaguration
Donald Trump’s youngest son is one of five Trump children, all from three different marriages. His older brothers, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, are the children of 45 and his first wife, Ivana Trump. Also from Donald’s first marriage is Ivanka Trump, the eldest Trump daughter; she’s an official assistant to the President, and her husband is a senior adviser. And while Ivanka is not the first child of a president to serve in the White House, she did acknowledge the “unprecedented nature” of her role, as noted by USA Today.

Barron’s two older brothers are often in the spotlight due to their leadership in The Trump Organization. Additionally, all three of the elder Trump children made appearances during their father’s campaign; they spoke at both the 2016 and the 2020 RNC. At hoka shoes each convention, the siblings were joined by their sister, Tiffany Trump (from 45’s marriage to Marla Maples), who made speeches supporting her father.

While Barron is significantly younger than his siblings, his low profile at these important political events is notable. After all, he does live in the White House.

Donald Trump’s youngest son and Melania Trump speak her native language Slovenian together

Barron and Melania Trump walking outside

Thanks to his mother’s native country and language, Donald Trump’s youngest son is multilingual; he speaks both Slovenian and English, as noted by Bustle. Additionally, his mother told People in 2009 that Barron Trump also speaks French, making him at the time a trilingual toddler.

According to Mary Jordan, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Art of Her Deal (a book about Melania Trump and her life), Barron continues to speak to his mother in Slovenian to this day. This even happens in front of the Secret Service, a unique fact of life in the White House. “There’s a unit within the family unit, and it’s Melania, her mother, her father, and Barron,” Jordan told CBS News. “And they all speak Slovenian.” That means that no one in the Secret Service can understand what they’re saying, either.

Jordan also revealed how Barron and Melania’s conversations in Slovenian impact the President, who unlike his son, did not learn his wife’s native language. “He has said it annoys him sometimes, ’cause he has no idea what they’re saying,” Jordan added.

Donald Trump’s youngest son appears to be a sneakerhead

Barron Trump wearing a T-shirt in 2017

Like many other American teenagers, Donald Trump’s youngest son appears to be a sneakerhead. In fact, Barron Trump has made sneakers one of his notable fashion statements since moving into the White House. As for what his favorite pair of kicks appear to be? According to Footwear News, Barron is a fan of the 574 Core sneakers from New Balance.

Barron has sported those sneakers on more than one occasion, too. For one, he salomon boots was photographed in early 2020 wearing the sneakers in black, paired with black jeans and a bomber jacket. A couple of weeks earlier, he was spotted wearing a different pair of the shoes with what appear to be reflective detailing. Then, during the Thanksgiving festivities in 2019, Barron again rocked an all-black edition of the sneakers. Finally, in March of 2019, Barron was seen wearing a camel-colored version of the same style, after wearing a grey and white pair the year before. It’s safe to say that Barron has found his footwear of choice!

Donald Trump’s youngest son and his mother lived in New York for the first six months of the Trump presidency

Melania and Barron Trump at an Easter event in 2018

Children are no strangers to the White House. Donald Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, had two young daughters when he took office, and both children and teens have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue during past administrations.

But when Donald won the 2016 election, Melania Trump made it clear that she and Barron Trump would not immediately be moving from their Manhattan penthouse. That’s because she didn’t want to interrupt Barron in the middle of his school year, according to The New York Times. Officials also said that Melania and Donald Trump’s youngest son would remain in New York for at least six months.

While Melania also worried about exposing Barron to the scrutiny of the press, the pair finally moved to Washington, D.C. in June of 2017. However, Melania remained cautious of the decision. According to People, she was reluctant to relocate in not just because of Barron’s schooling, but also due to her love of New York City.

Marjorie Taylor Greene buys up to $50,000 worth of Trump SPAC stock during week of wild fluctuation

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 22: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), joined by members of the Freedom Caucus, speaks at a news conference about the National Defense Authorization Bill at the U.S. Capitol on September 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Freedom Caucus announced they will not support the military funding bill, saying it does not hold President Biden accountable for the Afghanistan withdrawal, it undermines homeland security and they oppose the female draft amendment to the bill.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., purchased as much as $50,000 in stock of the company that plans to merge with former president Donald Trump’s new media firm, the congresswoman disclosed in a filing on Tuesday.

Greene, an ardent Trump supporter, skechers outlet on Friday purchased between $15,001 and $50,000 in shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. The firm is a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company, created to buy another business and give it a stock-market listing. Digital World trades on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker “DWAC.”

Digital World’s stock price swung widely on Friday, opening at $118.79 per share and rising as high as $175 per share. At its lowest, a share in Digital World sold for $67.96 that day. It is not clear what price Greene bought the shares at.

On Tuesday, when Greene disclosed the purchase in a congressional filing, the stock closed at $59.07 per share. On Wednesday, it closed at $64.89. The disclosure was first noted by congresstrading.com, which tracks stock purchases by members of Congress.

Since news of Digital World’s proposed combination with Trump’s company, the “meme stock” had been the subject of posts on the Reddit channel WallStreetBets, a forum where day traders have seized on stocks like GameStop and AMC.

Trump Media and Technology Group said last week that it would merge with Digital World as it announced the development of a new social media platform called Truth Social. Trump said in a statement that the network would “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.” The former president was booted from Facebook and Twitter after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

The chief executive of Digital World, Patrick Orlando, said last week that “given the total addressable market and President Trump’s large following, we believe the [Trump Media and Technology Group] opportunity has the potential to create significant shareholder value.”

Other social media platforms, including several targeted at conservatives, have tried, largely unsuccessfully,bluetooth headphones  to chip away at the hold that Facebook and Twitter have in the United States. Parler was briefly popular after Trump was forced off Twitter and Facebook, but it was shuttered for weeks by Amazon, which pulled its cloud support over concerns that the platform was not doing enough to moderate incitements to violence. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Trump has been planning Truth Social, which is set to launch in November in beta form and in full next year, for months. After the launch of his blog, “From the Desk of Donald Trump,” was deflated by low readership, he told his advisers he was concerned that the underwhelming performance could cast doubt on the platform he wanted to create, The Washington Post previously reported.

His new company also plans to launch a streaming service that offers “‘non-woke’ entertainment programming, news, podcasts, and more.”

Before it was publicly released, Truth Social was already the subject of online trolling. The site was briefly accessible to the public after the announcement last week, allowing people to claim usernames. One account, under the username “donaldjtrump,” posted a photo of a pig defecating. A Post reporter was able to register and post under the username “mikepence.”

The platform, which appears to be the main focus of Trump’s new media company, bears significant resemblance to Twitter – the platform that paved the way for Trump’s rise to the presidency and defined his four years in office. On Truth Social, users can post “Truths,” like tweets, and “Re-Truths,” like retweets.

Greene, a conspiracy theorist sperry shoes whose rise to political power came with the aid of Trump allies, has repeated the former president’s false claims that the 2020 election was “stolen.” On Twitter, from which she has been suspended several times, she describes herself as “Pro-Life Pro-Gun Pro-Trump.”

“Tell me who’s your president?” Greene asked a crowd at an “America First” event in Florida in May. “Donald Trump!” the crowd replied.

Greene won her seat representing Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, a reliably Republican part of northwest Georgia, in 2020.

Southwest says it still plans to implement its employee vaccine mandate, citing federal rules that trump the Texas governor’s blanket ban

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Southwest CEO Gary Kelly and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Carrington Tatum/Shutterstock, Stewart F. 
  • Southwest Airlines plans to keep its vaccine mandate despite the Texas governor’s executive order.
  • President Biden’s federal vaccine requirement supersedes state law, according to the carrier.
  • Southwest said that to remain a government contractor, it must comply with the president’s mandate.

Southwest Airlines said it will comply with President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate despite Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issuing an executive order prohibiting it.

On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an hoka shoes executive order preventing any organization, including private businesses, from forcing workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The move comes as President Joe Biden issued a federal vaccine mandate in September requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or weekly testing.

“No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19,” Abbott wrote in the order.

Many Texas-based corporations have already announced they will comply with Biden’s order, including Dallas-based Southwest Airlines announcing its workers need to be fully vaccinated by November 24, except for those who have an approved medical or religious accommodation.

Despite Abbott’s order, Southwest said it would continue to comply with the federal mandate, challenging the Republican governor’s decree and creating tension between the company and lawmakers.

“According to the president’s executive order, federal action supersedes any state mandate or law, and we would be expected to comply with the president’s order to remain compliant as a federal contractor,” a Southwest spokesperson told Insider on Tuesday.

Many major carriers, including Southwest, United, American, and Delta, have government contracts that transport goods and employees, hey dude and therefore have to comply with Biden’s vaccine mandate. In early October, American Airlines mandated its employees be inoculated or face termination, while Delta has yet to implement the requirement.

Southwest’s rebuttal comes after a four-day meltdown that canceled over 3,000 flights and left passengers stranded in airports across the country. While the carrier blamed air traffic control issues and weather for the disruptions, some high-profile public figures said the mass cancellations were due to a pilot anti-mandate protest. However, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly and Southwest Airlines Pilots Association President Casey Murray denied the rumors.

“I can say with certainty that there are no work slowdowns or sickouts either related to the recent mandatory vaccine mandate or otherwise,” Murray said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Kelly told CNBC on Tuesday that a walkout did not occur.

“We have some very strong views on that topic, but that’s not what was at issue with Southwest over the weekend,” he said.