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Ron Johnson: “I Have the Deepest Sympathy for 9/11 Families … BUT”

The Republican senator does not care about Saudi Arabia’s sportswashing campaign with LIV Golf.

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Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson

Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson understands that 9/11 was not great, and that it’s not awesome that Saudi Arabia killed an American resident and journalist.… But dang it, he just loves golf too much to not give Saudi Arabia at least a little slack!

“Well listen, I have the deepest sympathy for 9/11 families, I understand the issue of sportswashing, I don’t think there’s any—there’s not enough billions of dollars for the Saudis to wash away the stain of the brutal Khashoggi murder,” Johnson began. “But the reality is we all buy oil, we use—we drive cars, we are the ones that are filling up the coffers of the Public Investment Fund,” he added, referring to the Saudi government-controlled wealth fund that backs LIV Golf.

“I would rather have the Saudis invest their oil wealth in the U.S. as opposed to China or Russia—that’s just a reality of the world,” he continued. “And again, I’m a lover of the game of golf. I love watching golf. I want to see the best golfers in the world compete against each other and not be split into different leagues and pretty well destroy the competition at the highest level.”

According to Johnson, it is a bigger shame that some of the best golfers in the world might not be in the same league, than, you know ... everything else.

Johnson’s comments come while the Saudi-backed LIV Golf League—which last month reached an agreement to merge with the North American PGA Tour—is under heightened scrutiny.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Permanent Investigations is hosting a hearing on the merger Tuesday; the hearing comes just one day after the league announced that it will host its $50 million championship at Donald Trump’s National Doral Golf Club for the second year in a row.

That kind of money is top of mind for Johnson, who wonders what we would want Saudi Arabia to do with all that cash instead, if not buying out teams and leagues left and right in a massive sportswashing campaign:

House Republicans’ Great Hope to Bring Down “Biden Crime Family” Was ... a Chinese Spy?!

Republicans’ investigation into Biden family corruption just keeps falling apart.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A key informant in the Republican investigation into the Biden family has been charged with acting as a foreign agent for China.

Gal Luft, the co-head of an energy think tank, has repeatedly accused President Joe Biden and his family of accepting millions of dollars in bribes from China. FBI agents interviewed Luft, who holds U.S. and Israeli citizenship, in Brussels in 2019 over his claims. The bureau decided not to pursue the investigation further after speaking with him, but Republicans have latched onto his accusations nonetheless.

Luft—who again, has repeatedly charged the Biden family of Chinese corruption—was charged Monday night with brokering deals for China, Iran, and even Libya. The U.S Attorney for the southern district of New York released a statement alleging that in 2016, Luft paid a former Trump advisor on behalf of Chinese principals, without registering as a foreign agent, to push policies favorable to China.

The attorney’s office accused Luft of setting up meetings between Iranian officials and a Chinese energy company for potential oil deals, in violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Luft also allegedly worked as an illicit arms dealer, attempting to broker the sale of weapons to China, Libya, Kenya, and the United Arab Emirates.

Luft is not currently in U.S. custody. He was arrested in Cyprus in February, but fled when he was released on bail to await extradition. He has repeatedly insisted that the Biden administration is trying to silence him—a claim on which Republicans have gladly seized.

“He’s literally fleeing for his life right now. He’s on the run,” Senator Ron Johnson said of Luft Sunday.

Speaking to Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, Johnson said Luft is “an important witness. He needs to be granted immunity to be able to testify and tell his story.”

House Republicans have accused the Bidens of accepting bribes and influence peddling, but their months-long investigation has yet to produce any actual proof. Things took an odd turn in May when House Oversight Chair James Comer, who is spearheading the investigation, admitted that one of his key informants had gone missing. That informant was later revealed to be Luft.

Comer actually bragged just last week about what a good source Luft is. “He’s very credible, and the people on MSNBC who made fun of me when I said we had an informant that was missing, they should feel like fools right now,” he told Newsmax on Thursday. “This is their worst nightmare.”

“We feel that this is a very credible witness. We feel that this is someone that we need to talk to in our investigation,” Comer said.

Except, that investigation is careening off the rails. The charges against Luft are just the latest spanner in the works. Multiple Republicans have admitted they don’t know if key evidence even exists, while Comer has said he doesn’t know if that evidence is “legit.”

Other members of the GOP are begging more informants to come forward, while Senator Chuck Grassley accidentally revealed that the investigation isn’t really about turning up the truth.

Trump Desperately Tries to Push Classified Docs Trial to After Election

Things are not looking good for Donald Trump.

Donald Trump
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Donald Trump is working overtime to avoid jail time before the 2024 election.

Late Monday night, Trump’s lawyers submitted a court filing asking for a lengthy delay for his trial on charges surrounding his seizing and mishandling of top secret government and military documents, arguing that it’s impossible to try the case in the lead-up to the 2024 election.

“Proceeding to trial during the pendency of a Presidential election cycle wherein opposing candidates are effectively (if not literally) directly adverse to one another in this action will create extraordinary challenges in the jury selection process and limit the Defendants’ ability to secure a fair and impartial adjudication,” attorneys for Trump and his aide and co-defendant, Walt Nauta wrote.

Trump currently faces 37 criminal counts for his alleged mishandling of secret government documents, making the twice-impeached, criminally indicted, and liable for sexual abuse former president the first ever to also be federally indicted.

Meanwhile, Trump is still under investigation for his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election. A grand jury is in fact being seated Tuesday to consider charging Trump and various other allies and conspirators in those efforts.

Trump’s body man, Nauta, is charged with six federal offenses, including conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding and corruptly concealing documents, and making false statements.

Throughout the process, despite Trump’s bombastic demeanor and insistent (and often absurd) denial of guilt, the former president is reportedly “scared shitless” of being held accountable, according to former Trump aides and allies.

Former Trump ally and repeat opponent Chris Christie did not mince his perception of the former president’s true emotional state:

Republican Blockade Leaves Marines Without Leader for First Time in Over a Century

Republicans claim they care about national security, and then do something like this.

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Senator Tommy Tuberville

The U.S. Marine Corps is officially leaderless, due to Republicans holding up military promotions in objection to the Defense Department’s abortion policy, a move that experts warn hurts national security.

General David Berger stepped down Monday from his position as commandant of the Marine Corps. The current assistant commandant, Eric Smith, will serve as acting commandant until a new one is officially appointed—but there is no confirmed replacement for Berger at this time. The White House has nominated Smith to officially take over, but Senator Tommy Tuberville has blocked hundreds of military promotions since March.

Speaking at Berger’s farewell ceremony, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin noted it has been more than 100 years since the Marines have operated without a confirmed commandant. “Smooth and timely transitions of confirmed leadership are central to the defense of the United States, and to the full strength of the most powerful fighting force in history,” he said.

Berger urged the Senate to get a move on, saying, “We need the Senate to do their job so that we can have a sitting commandant” who is “appointed and confirmed.”

Tuberville has blocked nearly 200 military promotions since March over his objection to the Defense Department’s abortion policy. Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the Pentagon unveiled a new policy that allows service members to take up to three weeks of administrative leave for reproductive health care treatments, including abortion and fertility procedures. The policy also reimburses them for travel expenses.

Tuberville insists the policy is illegal, and that his blocking military promotions in protest has “no effect on readiness” of the military. Austin has debunked both of these claims.

Not only is the policy perfectly legal, but Tuberville is actually putting the nation at risk. Austin warned in a letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren in May that Tuberville’s delay “harms America’s national security” and poses a “clear risk” to the military’s readiness.

Trump Is About to Get a Ton of Money From Saudi Arabia via LIV Golf

A major candidate for president is receiving money from a sportswashing venture for Saudi Arabia, ignoring the human rights abuses behind it.

Donald Trump
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The Saudi-backed LIV Golf League—which last month reached an agreement to merge with the North American PGA Tour—has just announced its $50 million championship will be played at none other than Donald Trump’s National Doral Golf Club.

It will be the second straight year in a row that the tentacular Saudi sportswashing venture hosts its massive three-day championship at Trump’s Miami resort. The event was originally slated to be played in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but LIV officials had reportedly been ambling to bring it back to Trump’s grounds, reports ESPN.

The twice-impeached, twice-indicted, and liable for sexual abuse former president has no qualms with any of this, and is gladly taking money from a human rights abusing nation that has had no problem bullying America. Beyond constantly holding the United States hostage vis-a-vis the bargaining of the same black gold destroying our planet, the nation has gotten away scot-free for killing U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, among its many other human rights violations, like jailing women’s rights activists and a devastating military intervention into Yemen that has displaced millions of people.

This is what the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States is not only signing off on, but profiting from.

The Senate Subcommittee on Investigations is holding a hearing Tuesday on the PGA-LIV merger. Greg Norman, CEO of LIV, and Saudi official Yasir Al Rumayyan both declined to testify; they’re both apparently too busy.

College Republicans Convention to Host White Nationalist Nick Fuentes

The national convention is laying out the red carpet for a whole host of far-right speakers, with Nick Fuentes at the very top.

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Nick Fuentes, Alex Jones, and Ali Alexander during a “Stop the Steal” rally in Georgia on November 19, 2020

A national convention of college Republicans is excitedly welcoming vicious antisemite and racist Nick Fuentes as a headliner.

The event is being hosted later this month by College Republicans United, a group that, according to its website, has been committed to “spreading America First across college campuses since January 2018.” Among its “values” are planks like “opposition to immigration and multiculturalism.”

“Republicans United’s sole focus is to support America First Policies and Christian Nationalism across the country,” an organization flier reads.

After this article was published, the original venue for the conference, the Hassayampa Inn, announced that the “event will no longer be held” there anymore. Now, the College Republicans United website ambiguously says the conference will be held in downtown Prescott, Arizona. “This year’s convention promises to be bigger, better, and more impactful than ever before,” the organization assures, noting that the actual location will be “made public July 28th.

Fuentes was previously banned from social media outlets for violent rhetoric about people of color, women, Jewish people, immigrants, LGBTQ people, Covid-19, and much more. He has also proudly said he’s “just like Hitler” (whom he has also called “a pedophile … also really fucking cool”), and that “Catholic monarchy, and just war, and crusades, and inquisitions” are much better than democracy.

Not to be outdone, also speaking at the event is January 6 rioter Jake Chansley. Known as the QAnon Shaman, Chansley has long been active in trying to spread the QAnon conspiracy theory, even attending a Black Lives Matter protest to try his luck. After the 2020 election, he focused his efforts on challenging the election results, specifically in Arizona, culminating in his participation in the January 6 attack on the Capitol (and in a photo of him with his fist raised as he stood on the dais on the Senate floor).

Recently expelled Arizona state Representative Liz Harris will also appear alongside former state Representative John Fillmore, who is now the leader of the far-right Patriot Party of Arizona. Harris was expelled from the state House for encouraging conspiracy theories and defamation on the House floor.

These are the people College Republicans United has laid out the red carpet for. Meanwhile, the official Republican Party in three Arizona counties (Pima, Maricopa, and Yavapai) are all backing the event.

Notably, the event has gone through several iterations of speakers and sponsors, as more and more people have come to learn of it. Originally, State Senator Justine Wadsack, neo-Nazi streamer and January 6 rioter “Baked Alaska,” and Congressman Eli Crane were all set to appear at the event.

Meanwhile, former Arizona Representative David Stringer was listed as both a speaker and sponsor. Stringer resigned after refusing to cooperate with an ethics investigation into previous charges against him for sexually molesting two boys. Specifically, Stringer allegedly paid two boys under the age of 15—one who was developmentally disabled—$10 each to have sex with him. One of the boys told police Stringer had requested to have sex with him at least 10 additional times afterward.

Stringer also once complained at a campaign event that “there aren’t enough white kids to go around,” as he discussed integration in schools and was recorded saying he doesn’t “like to demonize” sex trafficking. He said he doesn’t think there is much child sex trafficking but there are “a lot of 15-year-old prostitutes.” He laughed after saying that.

State Senator Wadsack has been removed from the event and is now pretending to play ignorant about the whole thing.

National Republicans were punished in 2018, lost in 2020, fizzled in 2022, and have lost swaths of referendums and special elections throughout that time period. Now, into 2024, their college counterparts seem to be leaning even further into the kind of politics that is both incredibly dangerous for the nation and phenomenally damaging electorally. If the future of your party is in the hands of students who are somehow so alienated that they think this kind of event is good … good luck, Republicans.

This article has been updated.

Gavin Newsom Tears Into GOP Governors for Pretending to Be Pro-Life

The California governor perfectly called out Republicans on book bans, abortion, education, guns, and more.


California Governor Gavin Newsom ripped into his Republican counterparts on their apparent disregard for human life during a weekend interview.

Newsom has previously made clear he isn’t afraid to call out Republicans for their hypocritical policies on issues including gun control, health care, and child welfare. His interview, which aired on MSNBC Sunday, included some of his most forceful comments yet about the policies they push “in the name of freedom.”

He first took aim at Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “One of the worst crime and murder rates in America and one of the worst mental health records of any governor in America?” Newsom said. “I’m not so convinced about the merits of his leadership.”

But Newsom pointed out that the problems go beyond Texas. “Eight of the top 10 murder states are Republican states,” he said. “Seven of the top 10 dependent states …  are red states.”

“The life expectancy in the South, and they’re not expanding Medicaid and prenatal care and providing child care? It’s jaw-dropping,” Newsom continued.

“Infant mortality? You care about life, and you look at life expectancy? You care about life, and you’re getting kids that are gunned down by weapons of war? Spare me. All in the name of freedom, as you’re banning books?”

“With all due respect, we should not be on the defensive as the Democratic Party. The Republican Party should be on their heels, not us,” Newsom added.

Newsom is no stranger to taking Republicans to task. In January, while visiting victims of the tragic Monterey Park shooting, he told he told CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell that the Second Amendment, which many Americans believe guarantees them unfettered access to guns, is “becoming a suicide pact.”

“Nothing about this is surprising. Everything about this is infuriating,” he said of the Monterey Park attack. Hours later, while still visiting, he then received reports that there had been another shooting, this time in Half Moon Bay, which killed seven people and injured one more.

More recently, during a June interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Newsom again highlighted the major discrepancies between Democratic- and Republican-led states. Newsom pointed out that blue states make up a much stronger portion of the U.S. economy, meaning they essentially subsidize red ones.

Ron DeSantis Is Doing So Well That He Begged for Money at 2:30 in the Morning

Heyyyyy, you up?

Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis/Getty Images
Ron DeSantis

As Ron DeSantis’s campaign continues to plummet, it seems the junior varsity fascist has gotten all the more desperate to keep those fundraising dollars coming in and maintain the illusion that he stands a chance. He’s now even begging for donations in the wee small hours of the morning.

According to several users on Twitter, his campaign sent out a fundraising text around 2:30 a.m. ET on Monday.

Of course, there’s nothing with perhaps trying to connect with those who may be awake at nonconventional hours—workers with different or later schedules, individuals with different sleeping patterns, and those who maybe just have trouble falling asleep. But given DeSantis’s war on practically every subgroup of people under the sun, one may not be off-the-mark to imagine this fundraising text as unintentional.

This instance alone doesn’t indict the DeSantis campaign as incompetent. But taken in tandem with his disastrous Twitter campaign launch alongside Elon Musk, his immediately subsequent signing of a bill that would protect Musk if his rockets explode and kill workers, his sharing of a viciously homophobic and downright odd campaign video, and numerous reminders of his generally nonrelatable demeanor, the sum of it all perhaps explains why DeSantis is not built to win a presidential primary, let alone a general election.

And these campaign bugs don’t even get into DeSantis’s actual policies, like his infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill, one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country, or the rollback of gun safety laws while the country is awash in practically daily mass shootings that have radicalized people from Tennessee to Texas.

Elon Musk’s Fight With Mark Zuckerberg Enters Dick Measuring Stage

Elon Musk goes full toxic masculinity, as the Twitter-Threads rivalry intensifies.

(Zuckerberg) MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images; (Musk) ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images

Elon Musk has decided that the only way to determine which billionaire tech bro can reign supreme is to have a literal dick measuring contest.

You read that right.

Musk is fuming over Meta owner Mark Zuckerberg’s newest platform, Threads. The Twitter competitor came out of the blue and has been a runaway hit, amassing more than 100 million downloads in its first week of existence. People are leaving Twitter in droves for Threads.

And Musk, who bought Twitter in October for $44 billion and promptly ran it straight into the ground, will not stand for it. “Zuck is a cuck,” he tweeted Sunday night. “I propose a literal dick measuring contest.”


Musk also sued Meta last week for allegedly poaching former Twitter staff to create the “copycat” site. Those former staffers would be among the nearly three-quarters of all Twitter employees that Musk fired when he took over.

Meta’s response was short and to the point: “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee—that’s just not a thing.”

Zuckerberg had not responded to Musk’s call for a dick measuring contest as of press time.

Musk seems determined to duke it out with Zuckerberg, one way or another. He has also challenged the Facebook founder to a cage match. And if that wasn’t enough toxic masculinity on display for you, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate—who has been charged in Romania with rape, human trafficking, and forming an organized crime group to sexually exploit women—has offered to train Musk for the fight.

George Santos Seriously Compares Himself to Rosa Parks

The New York congressman under investigation for fraud somehow thought it made sense to compare himself to the iconic civil rights leader.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

George Santos has taken many identities, finding his inspiration, personality, and even personal background from the lives of others. His latest model? Rosa Parks.

Santos compared himself to the civil rights leader during a bamboozling interview on conservative talk show host Mike Crispi’s Unafraid podcast last week, during which he appeared live from the back seat of a vehicle and went on a rant about how his party is apparently not intersectional enough for far-right Latino gay men.

“Come for me, I go right back for them because they think for far too long they’ve gotten away with getting along to get along. So no, it’s not going to stay that way anymore. I’m going to call them out. You want to call me a liar, I’ll call you a sellout,” Santos spitted.

“I mean, Mitt Romney: The man goes to the State of the Union of the United States wearing the Ukraine lapel pin, tells me a Latino gay man, that I shouldn’t sit in the front, that I should be in the back,” the fake volleyball all-star and vet charity scammer continued.

“Well guess what, Rosa Parks didn’t sit in the back and neither am I gonna sit in the back. That’s just the reality of how it works. Mitt Romney lives in a very different world. And he needs to buckle up because it’s gonna be a bumpy ride for him,” finished the congressman under investigation for potential criminal activity both here and abroad.

It’s unclear why Santos brought up Romney’s wearing of a Ukraine pin as an apparent pejorative or contrast to his identity as a Latino gay man. But Santos’s typically odd sentences pale against him—a member of Congress and possibly serial financial criminal—likening himself to a Black woman risking her life to make a stance against systemic racism and discrimination.

From Martin Luther King Jr. to now Rosa Parks, one wonders which other civil rights leaders Republicans may try to co-opt next!