Check Out Donald Trump's Gross, Wishcasting Prediction About Joe Biden – The New Republic
Donald Trump revealed a trick up his sleeve to beat Joe Biden in the 2024 election: He thinks the president will die before it even happens.
Biden is the oldest president in U.S. history, and Republicans regularly use his age to argue that he is unfit to hold office. During a Tuesday night town hall, Fox News host Sean Hannity said Biden was “struggling cognitively” and asked Trump if Biden could still be the Democratic presidential nominee.
“I personally don’t think he makes it,” Trump said to cheers from the audience. “I think he’s in bad shape physically.”
“Do you remember when he said, ‘I’d like to take him behind the barn’? If he took me behind the barn and I went like this,” Trump said, blowing air, “I believe he’d fall over.”
“I personally don’t think he makes it.” Trump says he doesn’t believe President Biden will survive until the election. (Video: Fox News) pic.twitter.com/PCEd02nwvI
Trump is only about four years younger than Biden, but Biden has received far more questions about whether he is capable of being president. This is despite the fact that Trump’s own slip-ups are growing increasingly common. For instance, in October, Trump mixed up Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Biden’s age is proving an issue with younger voters, but not necessarily because they believe he is mentally unfit. Instead, they worry that both Biden’s and Trump’s advanced ages prevent them from understanding young people’s perspectives on major issues.
This isn’t the first time that a Republican has made a morbid and crass quip about Biden’s age. In February, Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert delivered a sermon in Texas during which she appeared to joke about praying for Biden’s death.
“Joe Biden’s president. We don’t know what to do, Lord!” Boebert said. “It’s all right, we pray for our presidents. You know, it says, ‘Let his days be few and another take his office.’”
During a Fox-hosted town hall on Tuesday, the GOP presidential candidate admitted that he would become a dictator if reelected—but just for the first day.
“The media has been focused on this and attacking you—you would never abuse power as retribution against anybody,” Sean Hannity prompted.
“Except for day one,” Trump responded. “I want to close the border, and I want to drill, drill, drill.”
“After that, I’m not a dictator,” he chuffed.
Hannity asks Trump for a second time if he has plans to abuse power. Trump admits he plans to do some dictatorial things on “day one” of his second term. pic.twitter.com/51b9I8bIJ7
“That sounds to me like you’re going back to the policies when you were president,” Hannity said.
The brash admission came after Hannity tried earlier in the event to get the former president to rule out abuse of power, asking if he “in any way” had “any plans whatsoever, if reelected president, to abuse power, to break the law to use the government to go after people.”
“You mean like they’re using right now?” Trump retorted, repeating claims that Biden has weaponized the DOJ against him while deriding his indictments and 91 felony charges as “made up.”
“I often say Al Capone, he was one of the greatest of all time—if you like criminals,” Trump said. “And he got indicted once. I got indicted four times.”
Trump has talked up quite a storm in recent months about getting retribution against his political enemies if he returns to the White House. During a Veteran’s Day speech, Trump pledged to “root out” the “vermin,” whom he denoted as “Communists, Marxists, fascists”—a grouping he has previously used to refer to mainline Democrats, including President Joe Biden.
Trump’s reentry plan also, blatantly, includes an agenda to dismantle the “deep state,” stripping tens of thousands of career employees of their civil service protections via a 2020 executive order known as “Schedule F” and subsequently firing them, according to the Associated Press. That could include federal prosecutors pursuing criminal cases against him.
“Donald Trump has been telling us exactly what he will do if he’s reelected and tonight he said he will be a dictator on day one. Americans should believe him,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.
Still, none of Trump’s blatantly authoritarian and fascist rhetoric seems to be interrupting his favorability among Republican voters. As of Wednesday, the GOP front-runner was still polling head and shoulders among his conservative competitors at 59.8 percent, leaving Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Koch-backed former ambassador Nikki Haley in the dust, according to aggregated data by FiveThirtyEight.
Former Vice President Mike Pence could testify against Donald Trump in the latter’s trial for trying to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.
Trump and 18 co-defendants were indicted in August for trying to overturn the state’s election results and charged with felony racketeering. Pence had not been considered a part of the legal proceedings in Georgia until CNN reported Wednesday that he could be expected to take the stand.
Witness lists submitted by Fulton County prosecutors remain under tight seal. But sources familiar with court documents anonymously told CNN that Pence is listed on the latest witness list, among more than 150 names.
Pence has already made clear that he knows the 2020 election was legitimate. While Pence’s rebukes of Trump have been generally tepid, they stand in stark contrast to other members of his party, who continue to push Trump’s conspiracy theories.
“Despite what the former president and his allies have said for now more than two and a half years and continue to insist … the Georgia election was not stolen, and I had no right to overturn the election on January 6,” Pence said after Trump was indicted in August.
Pence has also said he will testify if legally compelled to do so. But he has previously appeared unwilling to participate in the multiple investigations into his former boss.
Special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump’s role in the January 6 attack and his keeping hundreds of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, was forced to subpoena Pence to testify about January 6. Pence, who described the insurrection as “the most difficult day of my public life,” still refused to comply with the subpoena until a judge intervened.
Pence is not the only major Trump ally to appear on a witness list in the Georgia case. Trump’s former lawyer Lin Wood, who was one of the first to promote the falsehood that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen, was listed as “a witness for the State” in a September court filing.
Wood denied that he had flipped on Trump and said he was only responding to a subpoena.
New Hampshire Republicans introduced their latest attack on abortion rights on Tuesday, proposing a 15-day abortion ban that would prevent pretty much anybody from ever receiving the procedure in the state.
That’s a mere one day after medical experts say detection is even possible via store-bought tests post-conception, according to a 2008 study, and four weeks before most people even realize they’ve missed their period, according to studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And that’s assuming they have a regular period.
The state has a real chance at passing the bill thanks to its Republican trifecta: a conservative governor paired with a GOP-controlled House and Senate.
The bill is tantamount to banning the medical practice outright, cutting abortion access in the state down from 24 weeks and effectively banning all abortions—except in the case of medical emergencies—without outright saying so. That would make the Northeastern state a part of a growing collection of 21 states that have passed the most extreme slashes to abortion access in the country since the ultraconservative Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last year.
That flies in the face of what most New Hampshirans believe. A 2022 St. Anselm College Survey Center poll found that 71 percent of respondents in the state identified as pro-choice.
House Bill 1248-FN would also tack on criminal penalties to any health care providers caught performing abortions, categorizing the offense as a class B felony, and potential fines ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, “in addition to any other penalties the court may impose,” according to the text of the proposed legislation.
“The 15-day abortion ban filed by Republican lawmakers is an insult to Granite Staters,” Democratic state Representative Alexis Simpson told HuffPost. “At 15 days, most women do not even know they are pregnant. We must say it like it is—this proposal would amount to a complete abortion ban in New Hampshire, with no exceptions.”
“In a state where voters overwhelmingly believe that reproductive health decisions should be made solely between patient and medical provider, this legislation is absurd,” she added. “Stopping this bill isn’t enough; it must be completely renounced.”
Prosecutors with special counsel Jack Smith revealed Tuesday that they have proof an “agent” for Donald Trump tried to cause a riot in Michigan to stop the vote count in the 2020 presidential election.
Smith indicted Trump in August for his role in the January 6 insurrection and other attempts to overturn the presidential election. Smith’s team said in a Tuesday court filing that an unindicted co-conspirator, identified only as “Campaign Employee” sent text messages on November 4, 2020, to an attorney working with Trump’s campaign at the TCF Center in Detroit, where ballots were being counted.
“In the messages, the Campaign Employee encouraged rioting and other methods of obstruction when he learned that the vote count was trending in favor of the defendant’s opponent,” prosecutors said.
Joe Biden won Michigan in 2020 with 50.6 percent of the vote. Trump was just a few percentage points behind.
According to the filing, around the same time the employee sent those messages, “an election official at the TCF Center observed that as Biden began to take the lead, a large number of untrained individuals flooded the TCF Center and began making illegitimate and aggressive challenges to the vote count.” Meanwhile, Trump himself began pushing false claims about the TCF Center.
The filing did not indicate whether the campaign employee is one of six unindicted co-conspirators already mentioned in the August indictment. Trump faces one count each of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to corruptly obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote.
Once it became clear that he had lost the 2020 election, Trump began pushing the false claim that the vote had been rigged against him. But Trump has repeatedly denied the charges and insisted he did nothing wrong after the 2020 election. He similarly denied Tuesday’s allegations.
Trump’s trial in the federal case is scheduled to begin on March 4, the day before Super Tuesday.
Ninety-five Democrats helped the House GOP pass its disingenuous resolution against antisemitism on Tuesday, which effectively condemns any criticism of the Israeli state.
House Resolution 894 falsely states that “anti-Zionism is antisemitism” and criticizes several protest chants for Palestinian freedom that are protected by the First Amendment, including “From the River to the Sea,” “Palestine Will Be Free,” and “Gaza Will Win.”
It passed with 311 votes in its favor, 14 against it (13 of them Democrats), and 92 present votes from Democrats.
“The resolution suggests that all anti-Zionism—it states—is antisemitism. That’s either intellectually disingenuous or just factually wrong,” said New York Representative Jerry Nadler, who voted present. “The authors if they were at all familiar with Jewish history & culture should know about Jewish anti-Zionism that was and is expressly not antisemitic. This resolution ignores the fact that even today, certain Orthodox Hasidic Jewish communities … have held views that are at odds with the modern Zionist conception.”
Notably, some of the yea votes came from Democrats who have also supported calls for a cease-fire, including Representatives Kweisi Mfume, Maxwell Frost, Jared Huffman, Terri Sewell, and Sanford Bishop Jr.
Here are the 95 Democrats who voted for the resolution:
Just 14 lawmakers voted against the resolution, including Representatives Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Gerald Connolly, Jesús Garcia, Raúl Grijalva, Pramila Jayapal, Summer Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Delia Ramirez, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Congress’s only Palestinian representative, Rashida Tlaib. The small Democratic crowd was also joined by one Republican congressman, Representative Thomas Massie.
“Unfortunately, the extreme Republican resolution, H.Res. 894, does absolutely nothing to counter antisemitism, and it only seeks to divide us and weaponize Jewish lives for political gains,” said Representative Jan Schakowsky, one of 26 Jewish members of the House who has called for an end to the Israel-Hamas conflict. “It includes an overly broad definition of antisemitism that could deem any criticism of the Israeli government as antisemitic. This resolution has been rushed to the floor without careful and considerate collaboration.”
As of Monday, 15,899 Palestinians—at least 70 percent of them women and children—have been killed in the conflict since the initial attack by Hamas, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Senator Tommy Tuberville on Tuesday finally gave up his blockade on military promotions. All he managed to accomplish in the nearly yearlong effort was to annoy all of his colleagues.
Tuberville has blocked 450 military promotions since March as a part of a one-man protest against the Defense Department’s policy of reimbursing travel costs for service members who have to travel out of state for an abortion. He announced Tuesday that he will allow most of those promotions to go forward now—but will still demand that the people nominated for four-star promotions, of which there are about 10, get roll-call votes on the Senate floor.
Typically, the Senate majority leader brings a list of proposed military promotions to the floor. The chamber votes on all the candidates at once, and unanimous consent is needed to approve the promotions. Democrats have tried to bring individual candidates to the floor for a vote, but there are too many stalled promotions for this to be efficient.
In early November, the Senate brought 61 individual nominees to the floor for a vote, but Tuberville objected to all of them, tanking each officer’s promotion. His actions finally set off his fellow Republicans, who slammed Tuberville for insisting that his blockade is not harming military readiness.
“No offense, but that’s just ridiculous,” Senator Dan Sullivan said. “He knows it. We all know it.”
“How dumb can we be, man?”
The Pentagon has warned repeatedly of the military consequences of the lawmaker’s blockade, with the secretary of the Navy accusing Tuberville of “aiding and abetting” Communist regimes by holding up promotions.
Tuberville’s crusade has led to multiple high-level positions remaining unfilled, leaving different military branches scrambling whenever something goes wrong. In early November, General Eric Smith, the commandant of the Marine Corps, was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack, further thinning the ranks. His workload had doubled thanks to Tuberville.
Now, finally, it looks like Tuberville’s little stunt is coming to an end.
A local chapter of the far-right Moms for Liberty has taken a step back from its national entity amid a swirling rape allegation against the husband of one of the group’s co-founders.
The Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, chapter announced Monday that it will distance itself from its parent organization, citing a difference in values.
“The journey has always been the strength of our local community and we found all the support we need among us,” chapter chair Clarissa Paige told The News Item on Monday. “We are going to continue to champion parental rights with dignity and integrity.”
Last week, Florida GOP Chair Christian Ziegler, the husband of Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, was accused of sexually assaulting a woman involved in threesomes with him and his wife.
The rape accusation became public after the Florida Center for Government Accountability published an explosive report that included a heavily redacted police report and search warrant affidavits detailing the assault.
“It’s hard to advocate for parental rights when the co-founder is caught up in the scandal,” Paige told The News Item. “Our values are not aligning with the national organization.”
The Ziegler couple are rising stars in the Florida GOP who seem unlikely to keel to the allegations. Christian Ziegler has rejected calls for his resignation, refusing to give up his seat at the helm of the state’s conservative party.
Meanwhile, Bridget Ziegler has been personally endorsed and backed several times by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, including for a school board seat and an appointment to a state board that oversees the special district previously run by Disney World. That’s in large part due to her vocal opposition to progressive education policies, including critical race theory and LGBTQ+ friendly policies. Zeigler has said she aims to bring “religious values” to public schools that are “indoctrination centers for the radical left.”
Yet her stringent moral values appear set on restricting everyone’s sexualities except her own.
“As leaders in the Florida GOP and Moms for Liberty, the Zieglers have made a habit out of attacking anything they perceive as going against ‘family values’—be it reproductive rights or the existence of LGBTQ+ Floridians,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried in a statement. “The level of hypocrisy in this situation is stunning.”
House Speaker Mike Johnson just accidentally obliterated the Republican Party’s favorite conspiracy theory: that the January 6 insurrection was carried out by undercover federal agents and members of antifa.
Johnson told a press conference Tuesday that the GOP is editing footage of the insurrection to prevent the Justice Department from potentially identifying rioters.
“We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ,” he said.
And with just one sentence, Johnson has given away the entire game. Republicans have spent the past nearly three years insisting that the riot was caused by antifa, Black Lives Matter protesters, and even undercover FBI agents. But if that’s true, then why would the GOP want to shield those people from identification?
Republicans have thrown out conspiracy after conspiracy in an attempt to divert blame from their supporters—so much so that it’s hard to capture the full scale of it in this piece. In 2021, Texas Representative Louie Gohmert said that federal agents had embedded in extremist groups and then “egged on” rioters to incite the January 6 attack.
Just last month, Representative Clay Higgins said “ghost buses” packed with “FBI informants” descended on Washington, D.C., the night of January 5, so they could pretend to be supporters of Donald Trump.
One Trump supporter, Ray Epps, sued Fox News in July for defamation. Prominent right-wing figures on the network, including former Fox host Tucker Carlson, repeatedly claimed Epps was an FBI agent.
In reality, hundreds of people arrested for participating in the January 6 attack said they went to Washington because they felt Trump had personally told them to. And now, Johnson has revealed that Republicans don’t want any more people who tried to overthrow the government to face any repercussions.
Before joining Congress, Representative Mike Johnson was a lawyer for conservative Christian causes. And one of his regular clients was a violent radical Christian activist who described himself and Johnson as “brothers.”
Johnson worked for years alongside anti-gay activist and former radical Christian preacher Grant Storms, The Daily Beast reported Tuesday. Storms told the Beast that Johnson had done copious amounts of legal work for him in the early to mid-2000s, all for free.
“We were brothers on the path,” Storms told the Beast. “He always had our back.”
Storms met Johnson in the early 2000s when the latter was working at Alliance Defending Freedom, the far-right Christian group that has recently sought to ban the abortion medication mifepristone and public drag performances. Johnson worked at the ADF for nearly a decade.
Storms initially reached out for help removing what he called “lewd” imagery from a bus station ad. He claimed the ad included an image of men having sex.
Johnson continued working with Storms after that, and he helped convince New Orleans officials to grant Storms a permit for a protest against an annual Pride celebration. Storms’s protest ended up getting national attention when an anti-gay protester attempted to murder a man with a steak knife. Storms said the attacker was not part of his organization, but the assailant later told police he went to Storms’s event because he wanted to “kill a gay man.”
Johnson represented Storms a few more times until 2005, when Storms said they lost touch. But just four years later, Johnson represented Storms’s son Jason in a violent anti-abortion case.
Jason Storms is the head of Operation Save America, one of the largest—if not the largest—militant anti-abortion groups in the country. The group made national headlines in 2009 when it was linked to the murder of Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas abortion provider. The group, then called Operation Rescue, said the killer was not a member. But he had been in touch with an Operation Rescue official about Tiller’s whereabouts.
That same year, Johnson represented Jason Storms and several other anti-abortion extremists, arguing their free speech rights had been violated when a federal court barred them from protesting outside abortion clinics.
Jason Storms also participated in the January 6 insurrection—almost fitting given that Johnson led the amicus brief that more than 100 Republicans signed in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
It is, unfortunately, no longer a shock that Johnson supports far-right beliefs. He has described abortion as a “holocaust,” blamed the fall of Rome on LGBTQ people, and cited the “great replacement theory,” the far-right theory that white people are being replaced by nonwhite immigrants. Johnson flies a Christian nationalist flag outside his office and speaks regularly at far-right events.
But it is shocking—and terrifying—that Johnson is able to espouse these beliefs with no pushback on Capitol Hill. His ideological leanings suggest that the issues he supports and plans to prioritize in legislation will stray further and further into the fringes. And that could come at the cost of democracy.