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“Congrats to Donald Trump on Finally Winning a Majority of Votes!”

Here are the best reactions to the criminal indictment of the former president.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

On Thursday evening, Donald Trump became the first former president to ever be criminally charged.

And while Republicans complain of a “banana republic” because an incredibly wealthy and powerful man is facing a slice of consequence for the crooked life he has led so far, most others are responding in a way that reiterates the extremely basic value of holding powerful people to account.

Here is Yusef Abdus Salaam, one of the five exonerated members of the infamous “Central Park Five” group of young boys arrested in 1989 after being falsely connected to a murder in Central Park. Trump spent his own money at the time to take out an ad in four newspapers calling for their death penalty—and refused to apologize for doing so even decades later.

And reminders of what this indictment is really about, beyond jokes, or Republicans lashing out:

Of course, some humor, to be expected on a day that welcomes the revelry reminiscent of Twitter before another incredibly wealthy and powerful man bought it.

Republicans Are Already Losing Their Minds Over the Trump Indictment

“Communist-level shit”

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The news that former President Donald Trump was indicted is still hot off the presses, and Republicans are already freaking out.

A Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump Thursday, making him the first former U.S. leader to be criminally charged. He was investigated for his role in hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, although the specific charges are still unknown.

Republicans are unable to contain themselves.

Representative Jim Jordan was so upset that he could only muster one word: “Outrageous.” Former Representative Madison Cawthorn branded the United States a “Banana Republic.”

Representatives Matt Gaetz and Elise Stefanik both accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of leading a politically motivated “witch hunt,” a favorite term of Trump’s.

Representative Ronny Jackson, who was also Trump’s physician, went on a capital-letter-strewn Twitter tirade in which he insisted that “the hateful Deep State wants this country to BURN. Today they didn’t just indict President Trump, they attacked EVERY ONE of his supporters.”

Representative Andy Biggs said it was a case of “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” and accused the judicial system of overreach. Donald Trump Jr. called the indictment “Communist-level shit.”

Failed Republican candidates Kari Lake and Bo Hines urged people to continue supporting Donald Trump and put on as strong a show as they did last week in New York.

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy put out a prepared video statement in which he warned the indictment “will undermine public trust in our electoral system & justice system.”

Thursday’s indictment is expected to be just the first of several charges against Trump, who is at the center of other criminal investigations, including efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and his handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Here Is the Moment Fox News Learned Donald Trump Has Been Indicted


Screenshot/Fox News

Fox News hosts couldn’t contain their shock Thursday when they learned that former President Donald Trump had been indicted.

The hosts audibly gasped on air as their colleague read out the breaking news announcement.

Trump is now the first former president ever to be criminally charged. A Manhattan grand jury had been investigating him for his role in hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

The grand jury voted Thursday to indict Trump. The charges are not yet known.

Donald Trump Becomes First Former President to Face Criminal Charges

The Manhattan grand jury was investigating Trump’s involvement in a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels.

Donald Trump
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
Donald Trump

Donald Trump has become the first former president to ever be criminally charged.

A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump on Thursday, though the charges are not yet known, The New York Times and CNN have confirmed.

The grand jury has been investigating Trump for his connection to his lawyer Michael Cohen paying hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

Cohen had admitted to paying Daniels $130,000 on behalf of Trump during the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election. Cohen was aiming to silence the actress from making public that she had shared a sexual encounter in 2006 with Trump, who was married to his current spouse, Melania, by then.

Cohen had paid Daniels through a shell company; he was then reimbursed by Trump, whose company subsequently filed the reimbursements as legal expenses. The Trump lawyer also coordinated former Playboy model Karen McDougal to be paid $150,000 by the National Enquirer tabloid magazine, in order to silence her own story about an alleged affair with Trump. The Trump organization shelled out $420,000 to Michael Cohen in 2018 after he finished his tasks as a good lackey.

Through a recording Cohen took of some of the conversations surrounding the payments, Trump can be heard asking how much will be needed for “the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend, David,” in reference to David Pecker, the executive of the Enquirer’s parent company.

“What do we got to pay for this? One-fifty?” he asked.

Trump has previously denied wrongdoing, and doubled down immediately after the indictment’s announcement.

Trump, who is the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination for president, still faces numerous other criminal investigations, including into efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and whether he and his family lied to lenders and insurers by overvaluing their assets.

This post has been updated.

GOP Tennessee Congressman Doubles Down, Says Praying Is the Only Way to Fix School Shootings

The “we’re not gonna fix it” lawmaker isn’t sure why people are so mad at him.

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Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett

On Monday, Tennessee Republican Representative Tim Burchett said, “We’re not gonna fix” school shootings, in the aftermath of three children and three adults being shot dead at a school in Nashville, Tennessee.

And appearing on Fox on Thursday, Burchett doubled down on his appalling disinterest in doing even the barest minimum of his job. When asked why his initial comments somehow made people mad, the representative was incredulous.

“They come back to me and say, ‘Burchett, look what your prayers have done for us.’ The people doing the praying aren’t the ones doing the shooting, ma’am, and it’s just a very unfortunate situation,” Burchett said.

“And, and um, I don’t—there’s no easy answers,” he continued, as if he was interested in any answer whatsoever. “Um, I don’t know, I—I—, you know, repenting of your sins and um, and having some sort of um, reform in this country seems to me to be the way we’re going to have to turn this thing around because we have some very sick, evil people doing some very vile things, and um, and revival seems to be the way to go for me.

“But I realize their hatred toward me and my beliefs, and that’s—that’s fine,” Burchett finished.

What must be dispelled once and for all is the notion that there are “no easy answers.” There is a whole catalog of policies the government could be pursuing to confront gun violence—policies that Republicans have not only fought tooth and nail to oppose but countered by making it even easier for people to get death machines. The astoundingly lazy assertion of “Bah, there’s no easy fix” has enabled Republicans to instead do nothing to fix anything.

Republicans have long insisted that gun ownership is a “God-given right,” while also insisting that the cause of gun violence is anything but guns. But if it takes hate to become a mass shooter, Republicans have been on the front lines of fomenting it. If it takes social alienation to become a mass shooter, Republicans have done everything in their power to erode public life and solidarity in favor of individualism. If it takes compounded mental distress to become a mass shooter, Republicans have time and again opposed strengthening mental health care in this country.

And if it takes easy access to guns to become a mass shooter, well, you already know where Republicans stand on that.

Kansas House Passes Bill That Would Force Doctors to Lie to Patients About Abortion Pill

Kansas voted to protect abortion in a ballot initiative last year. The legislature has other plans.

"Trust Women Vote No" pins scattered on a table
Kyle Rivas/Getty Images
Badges encouraging people to vote “no” on Kansas’s Constitutional Amendment on Abortion are laid out for canvassers in Overland Park, Kansas, on August 1.

The Kansas House of Representatives has passed a bill that would require doctors to tell patients it is possible to reverse the effects of the abortion pill, a claim that is not scientifically supported.

The bill, which passed by a vote of 85–39 on Wednesday, is the latest instance of state Republicans seeking to overturn the will of the people, as Kansans already voted last year to keep abortion protections in the state constitution.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes slammed the bill as “medically inaccurate, political propaganda.”

The measure would require health care providers to bombard patients with the false claim that they can reverse the effect of a medication abortion. Medication abortions make up more than half of all abortions in the United States and are conducted by having a patient take two medications: mifepristone and misoprostol.

Health care facilities would have to hang a sign saying mifepristone “alone is not always effective in ending a pregnancy. It may be possible to reverse its intended effect if the second pill or tablet has not been taken or administered.”

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says abortion reversal claims are “unproven and unethical,” and attempts to reverse a medication abortion could put a patient’s health at risk. But under the Kansas bill, any facility that does not hang an abortion reversal sign could face a $10,000 fine.

Doctors would not be able to provide a medication abortion without telling the patient at least 24 hours ahead of time that the procedure is reversible. They would also have to repeat the claim in between administering the mifepristone and the misoprostol. Health care providers who fail to do so can be sued by their patient, the person who impregnated the patient, or the patient’s parents if they were a minor.

Democratic Representative Lindsay Vaugh described the bill as “state-mandated deception.”

“We’re requiring doctors to lie to their patients, and we’re putting the lives of women at risk,” she said.

The measure is all the worse because last summer, Kansas residents voted overwhelmingly to keep abortion protections in the state constitution. Since the August referendum, state Republicans have done nothing but try to find new ways to circumvent that vote.

“The voters have made their choices,” Democratic Representative Brad Boyd said. “They have made their voices loud. This body would be wise to listen to them. They were loud, they were clear, they were bold. They do not want government in the room with them and their doctor.”

Democratic Governor Laura Kelly is likely to veto the bill, having already rejected a similar one in 2019. But the measure passed the House by a veto-proof majority. If the Senate, which is held by a Republican supermajority, shows similar support, the legislature could force the measure into law.

HIV Drugs, Cancer Screenings, and More: A List of Free Obamacare Services Struck Down by a Texas Judge

Judge Reed O’Connor has been the “go-to judge” for conservatives looking to strike down the Affordable Care Act.

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On Thursday, a Texas judge struck down a crucial feature of the Affordable Care Act that requires insurance companies to cover preventative health care services for free.

Judge Reed O’Connor, who was nominated by President George W. Bush and has been described as the “go-to judge” for conservatives looking to erode health care and nondiscrimination precedents, made the ruling in response to a case brought by Christian-owned businesses in Texas that argued they should not be required to cover birth control and PrEP services.

The successful plaintiffs’ lawyer is Jonathan Mitchell—the same lawyer representing a man who sued three women for helping his ex-wife get an abortion, and the same lawyer who engineered Texas’s restrictive abortion bounty law.

His new ruling will harm an estimated 150 million people on employer-sponsored health care plans, as well as approximately 20 million Medicaid-expansion enrollees and 61 million Medicare beneficiaries, who can receive preventative care under the measure.

Here’s a list of just some of the services O’Connor has now stopped from being guaranteed free:

  • Breast cancer screenings for women aged 50 to 74
  • Cervical cancer screenings for women aged 21 to 65 years
  • An array of recommended pregnancy procedures—including infection testing, pre- and postpartum depression screening, and recommended medication regimens
  • PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) treatment to reduce HIV risks
  • Screenings for sexually transmitted infections
  • Anxiety screenings for children and adolescents
  • Vision screenings for children aged 3 to 5 years
  • Diabetes screenings
  • Osteoporosis screenings
  • Comprehensive and holistic interventions for obese children and adolescents
  • Lung cancer screenings
  • Tuberculosis screenings
  • Screenings for women of reproductive age who may be suffering from intimate partner violence
  • Screenings for major depressive disorders that could lead to heightened suicide risks in adolescents aged 12 to 18 years old

And that’s just a sampling of what O’Connor has now taken away as a guaranteed health service. Here’s a list of other services now deemed invalid by the ruling.

Thousands of Protesters Demand Gun Control at Tennessee State Capitol After Nashville Shooting

Chants of “protect our kids” broke out at the Capitol, as lawmakers refuse to take action.

People protest gun violence in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 28, following a school shooting.

Thousands of people rallied Thursday morning at the Tennessee state Capitol building to demand stronger gun control laws, as Nashville still reels from a school shooting earlier in the week.

A shooter opened fire at the Covenant School on Monday, killing at least three children and three adults and wounding several others. State Republicans have insisted that there is nothing they could have done or could do differently to prevent such a tragedy.

Protesters gathered at the Capitol and marched inside ahead of the House and Senate regular floor sessions. People called for gun control and for lawmakers to “protect our kids!

Inside, demonstrators were packed so tightly that highway patrol officers had to clear a path for lawmakers to enter the gallery.

Protesters continued to call for gun control and began singing songs they had adapted into protest anthems.

Lawmakers, however, appeared to stick to their preset agenda. When Democratic Representative Justin Pearson tried to bring up gun reform while discussing an unrelated bill, Republican Speaker Cameron Sexton told him to keep to the measure at hand.

Republicans hold a supermajority in the Tennessee legislature as well as the governor’s office. Governor Bill Lee and other Republicans have skated around the fact that they are directly responsible for helping create the circumstances that allowed Monday’s shooting to occur.

Lawmakers failed two years ago to pass a red flag law that would have prevented Monday’s shooter from legally acquiring seven guns, three of which were used in the attack. In the past few years, they also loosened gun restrictions and focused their energy instead on attacking LGBTQ rights.

Donald Trump (and the Republican Party) Wants to Go to War With Mexico

A new report says Trump is gathering “battle plans” to attack Mexico if he wins in 2024. That says a lot about the whole Republican Party.

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While evading criminal offenses and campaigning for the third presidential cycle in a row, the twice-impeached former president has been asking advisers for ideas about how to attack Mexican drug cartels, with or without Mexico’s permission, reports Rolling Stone.

And Trump appears to have a menu of options.

One such idea, Rolling Stone notes, comes from a policy paper titled “It’s Time to Wage War on Transnational Drug Cartels,” which outlines strategies for America to “fundamentally [reorient] its posture” and wage “war against the cartels.” The paper says that such a war should “invoke the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine” and that the U.S. would not tolerate “narcoterrorists” infringing upon its sphere of influence.

The paper seemed to downplay the reciprocity inherent to the Monroe Doctrine—that the U.S. would aim to avoid interfering in other spheres too. Because while the paper encourages the U.S. to request collaboration from Mexico, it also notes that “it is vital that Mexico not be led to believe that they have veto power to prevent the US from taking the actions necessary to secure its borders and people.”

“‘Attacking Mexico,’ or whatever you’d like to call it, is something that President Trump has said he wants ‘battle plans’ drawn for,” a source told Rolling Stone. “He’s complained about missed opportunities of his first term, and there are a lot of people around him who want fewer missed opportunities in a second Trump presidency.”

Among these missed opportunities? Well, according to former Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s memoir, Trump had asked him if the U.S. could “shoot missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs,” then lie and pretend it was not behind the attack. Just weeks ago, House Oversight Committee chairman and Fox mainstay James Comer said it was a “mistake” that Trump didn’t go ahead and send out those bombs.

Is such a wild notion limited to Trump? Surprise: As with most radical policies, the whole Republican Party is implicated. After all, the policy paper was written by former Trump official and now Ron DeSantis endorser Ken Cuccinelli.

Wheels are turning in the halls of Congress too. In January, Congressmen Dan Drenshaw and Michael Waltz introduced a bill to approve an Authorization for Use of Military Force that would approve military action in Mexico to target cartels (months before the Senate finally voted to sunset the 1991 and 2002 Iraq AUMFs). And on Wednesday, Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a bill to designate the cartels and other organizations as foreign terrorist organizations, laying the groundwork for such war authorizations.

So while bombing Mexico—without its permission, or even lying about doing it at all—may have earlier been a more Trump-specific craze, the entire Republican apparatus is now full speed ahead in looking to keep the military machine’s cogs slicked up and spinning.

Heck, even 2024 candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has declared he would use “military force to decimate the cartels, Osama bin Laden–style.”

Russia Detains First American Journalist on Espionage Accusations Since Cold War

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was detained by Russia’s Federal Security Service.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/Shutterstock

Russia’s main security agency announced Thursday it has detained an American journalist, whom it has accused of espionage.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was detained by the Federal Security Service in the eastern city of Yekaterinburg. He is the first American journalist detained on spying accusations since the Cold War.

The FSB said it had “stopped the illegal activities” Gershkovich was conducting and that an espionage case had been opened against him. The agency alleged that Gershkovich, “acting on the instructions of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.”

The Journal “vehemently” denied the accusations and said it “seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter.”

“We stand in solidarity with Evan and his family.”

Gershkovich has worked as a reporter in Russia since 2017. International media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, said he was investigating the Russian military company Wagner, a mercenary group that has played a prominent role in several of Moscow’s foreign operations, including the war in Ukraine.

RSF warned that Gershkovich’s arrest “looks like a retaliation measure of Russia against the United States.”

Russia has also cracked down on information about and dissent against the Ukraine war. The government passed a law last March that makes it illegal to publish information that authorities deem false about the invasion of Ukraine.

Many domestic news outlets stopped publishing or left the country to avoid legal troubles, while multiple foreign outlets withdrew much of their staff and cut back on reporting inside Russia’s borders.

This post has been updated.