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That Big Poll Showing Trump and Biden Are Evenly Matched? Trump Helped Pay for It.

The Wall Street Journal poll is being cited in all the mainstream media outlets, with no caveat that Donald Trump’s Super PAC paid one of the pollsters.

Donald Trump
James Devaney/GC Images

A recent Wall Street Journal poll announced that most voters think Joe Biden is too old to be president for a second term—and a 2024 matchup between Biden and Donald Trump would be evenly split. The poll has since been covered across multiple mainstream media outlets, including MSNBC, CNN, and Fox.

There’s just one problem: The poll was conducted in part by Trump’s former campaign pollster.

The poll, which was published Monday, found that Biden and Trump are tied with 46 percent support each. But “nearly three-quarters of voters say the president is too old to run again,” the Journal article said. It has garnered widespread media attention and outrage. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough pointed out that Trump has been indicted four times and lied many, many more times, and yet he is tied with Biden simply because the latter is just three years older.

But the Journal neglects to provide information about one of the men behind the poll. Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio conducted the survey in partnership with a Democratic colleague, Michael Bocian. In a separate piece, the Journal acknowledged that Fabrizio “works for a super PAC supporting Trump’s candidacy.”

What the Journal does not mention anywhere is that Fabrizio also worked as the chief pollster on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. And since the start of 2023, Trump’s super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., has paid Fabrizio’s company more than $567,000, according to FEC filings.

Screenshot: FEC

Fabrizio also has extensive ties to former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Manafort was convicted of tax evasion and bank fraud in 2018 (as well as of having terrible taste in jackets by the court of public opinion).

Fabrizio owned the firm that made a shady payment of $125,000 to Manafort in 2017. Fabrizio was also the lead Trump campaign pollster at the time Manafort provided raw polling data to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, via Manafort’s associate Konstantin Kilimnik. Deripaska has been under U.S. sanctions since 2018, and Kilimnik has been discovered to be a Russian spy.

61 Cop City Protesters in Atlanta Are Being Hit With RICO Charges

Dozens of activists have been indicted for opposing the construction of a massive police facility outside Atlanta.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
A protest against the proposed Cop City being built in an Atlanta forest, on March 9

Over 60 protesters have been indicted on RICO charges for their efforts to block construction of the massive police training facility known as “Cop City” outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

The indictment out of Fulton County court last Tuesday charges 61 protesters with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Many are facing additional charges of domestic terrorism or money laundering. The indictment was handed up by the same grand jury that handed up the indictments against Donald Trump and his co-defendants, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and is being prosecuted by Georgia Republican Attorney General Chris Carr.

Over the past year and a half, Georgia police have made dozens of arrests at the proposed site for Cop City, with charges ranging from alleged property damage and trespassing to domestic terrorism.

In May, Atlanta police arrested the organizers of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, a bail fund for the protesters of Cop City. One of the fund’s organizers who was arrested, Marlon Kautz, had predicted in February that the state would level RICO charges at the protesters. 

“We understand that this movement is as broad as society itself. It includes environmental activists, community groups, faith leaders, abolitionists, students, artists, and people from all over,” Kautz said in February.

“But police, prosecutors, and even Governor Kemp have been trying to suggest in the media and in court that the opposition to Cop City is actually the work of a criminal organization whose members conspire to commit acts of terrorism. In essence, they’re trying to concoct a RICO-like story about the movement.”

Kautz along with fellow Atlanta Solidarity Fund organizers Adele Maclean and Savannah Patterson are listed in the RICO indictment, and are also facing an additional 15 counts of money laundering.

The date listed on the indictments is May 25, 2020, the day George Floyd was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. Although this date predates any Stop Cop City protesting, it’s possible that the Attorney General’s office plans to link the Stop Cop City movement with the larger protests that followed Floyd’s death.

The Cop City Vote coalition, an Atlanta-based campaign leading a referendum to halt the construction of the police facility, released a statement condemning the indictment.

“Today, Republican Attorney General Chris Carr, who used his platform to recruit for the January 6 insurrection, announced blatantly authoritarian RICO charges against 61 people,” the statement said. “These charges, like the previous repressive prosecutions by the State of Georgia, seek to intimidate protestors, legal observers, and bail funds alike, and send the chilling message that any dissent to Cop City will be punished with the full power and violence of the government.”

In June, Atlanta District Attorney Sherry Boston announced that her office would withdraw from criminal cases tied to the Cop City Protests the state’s Republican Attorney General had leveled at protesters. Boston cited the domestic terrorism charges specifically and said that she and Attorney General Chris Carr had “fundamentally different prosecution philosophies.”

The new indictment out of Fulton County is the state’s latest attempt to suppress political protest and dissent, even in the wake of violent police brutality—and to push through the massive $90 million police facility, no matter the cost.

This story has been updated.

Gloria Johnson, of Tennessee Three, Looks to Unseat GOP Senator Marsha Blackburn

Gloria Johnson has officially launched her 2024 Senate campaign.

Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Tennessee state Representatives Justin Pearson, Gloria Johnson, and Justin Jones

Democratic state Representative Gloria Johnson, a member of the Tennessee Three, announced Tuesday that she will run to unseat Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn in 2024.

Johnson, alongside Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, gained national attention in March when she joined thousands of pro–gun control protesters in the state Capitol in the wake of a school shooting in Nashville. Republicans accused all three lawmakers of violating House decorum rules and voted to expel Jones and Pearson, both of whom are Black. The GOP fell one vote short of expelling Johnson, who is white.

Johnson used that same sense of activism when she launched her Senate campaign Tuesday near Knoxville’s Central High School, where she worked for years as a special education teacher and survived another school shooting in 2008. Johnson referred to the recent Tennessee legislature’s special session, which ended abruptly last week with no resolutions on gun control.

“I’m tired of Tennessee families being betrayed by those that represent them, over and over and over,” she said.

Several hundred people attended the launch event. Johnson will make stops in Nashville, which Jones represents, and Memphis (Pearson’s district) throughout the rest of the day. Pearson is also co-chairing the campaign.

In addition to gun control, Johnson has made abortion rights a central part of her campaign. Supporting abortion rights has proved massively beneficial to other Democratic campaigns, even in traditionally Republican strongholds.

“Republicans and Marsha Blackburn specifically … have taken away equality for women,” Johnson said at her launch event. “When you take someone’s bodily autonomy away, you have taken away equality.”

It won’t be an easy fight. Tennessee hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since 1995, and the last Democrat who won a statewide race was Governor Phil Bredesen, who was in office from 2003 to 2011. Blackburn beat Bredesen for her Senate seat in 2018 by nearly 11 percent.

But Johnson is confident she can mobilize enough grassroots support. She pointed to how the political landscape has changed dramatically, particularly with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and said that people who have historically voted Republican are telling her they plan to support her instead.

“I have never seen people so excited in my life as they are right now for 2024 to happen,” Johnson told Knox News.

Federal Court Throws Out Alabama Republicans’ Racist Congressional Map

The court tossed Alabama Republicans’ map and ordered that a new majority-Black district be created immediately.

Steve Marshall speaks at a podium in front of the Supreme Court building.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall speaks to members of the press as Solicitor General Edmund LaCour listens after the oral argument of the Merrill v. Milligan case at the U.S. Supreme Court on October 4, 2022.

A federal court on Tuesday struck down Alabama Republicans’ latest discriminatory congressional map and assigned a special master to ensure the state actually creates a second majority-Black district this time around.

The Supreme Court shocked everyone in June, ruling 5–4 that Republican-drawn congressional districts in Alabama discriminated against Black voters under the Voting Rights Act. The high court ordered Alabama to redraw the map to include at least two majority-Black districts. But Alabama has repeatedly tried to redraw districts in a way that keeps the status quo and dilutes Black votes.

“Based on the evidence before us, including testimony from the Legislators, we have no reason to believe that allowing the Legislature still another opportunity to draw yet another map will yield a map that includes an additional opportunity district,” the three-judge panel said in the Tuesday ruling. “We are deeply troubled that the State enacted a map that the State readily admits does not provide the remedy we said federal law requires.”

“We are disturbed by the evidence that the State delayed remedial proceedings but ultimately did not even nurture the ambition to provide the required remedy.”

The judges assigned a special master to oversee the remedial map. Alabama has until October 1 to finalize a new map to ensure that there is enough time to prepare for the 2024 election, according to Republican Secretary of State Wes Allen. State officials will need to reassign voters and print and distribute ballots.

More than a quarter of Alabama residents are Black, but currently only one of Alabama’s seven congressional districts is majority-Black. Black voters are scattered throughout the other districts, dramatically reducing their ability to elect their preferred candidates. As a result of the racial gerrymandering, the state only has one Black representative.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the three liberal justices in the June Supreme Court ruling that found Alabama’s congressional map illegally diluted Black votes. Roberts wrote the majority opinion, and repeatedly rejected Alabama’s arguments in favor of keeping the current map as “unpersuasive” or of “little merit.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling—and the outcome of the new map in Alabama—could have bigger implications across the South, and even help Democrats retake the House in 2024. Several other states including Louisiana, South Carolina, and Georgia are facing legal challenges to their racially gerrymandered districts. Those states could see a very different map in the coming election.

This story has been updated.

Shocker: Mark Meadows May Be About to Turn Against Donald Trump

Trump’s co-defendants seem to be turning on him, one by one.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s former chief of staff and co-defendant in the Georgia indictment may flip, one of the most high-profile defections from Team Trump yet.

Mark Meadows served as White House chief of staff at the end of Trump’s presidency. He was charged alongside Trump and 17 other co-defendants with felony racketeering for trying to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results. At his hearing last week, Meadows’s legal team signaled that their main defense strategy will include blaming Trump as the principal force behind efforts to thwart the election, Politico reported Tuesday.

Meadows organized and participated in the now-infamous phone call during which Trump begged Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” 11,780 votes—the exact amount needed to flip the state’s election results to Trump. Meadows also sent an email pressuring Georgia Republicans to sign slates of fake pro-Trump electors.

“What I didn’t want to happen was for the campaign to prevail in court action and not have this [organized]”, Meadows said during his August 28 hearing.

When asked why, he explained, “Because I knew I’d be yelled at by the president of the United States.”

Meadows has already shown himself willing to undermine his former boss in order to save his own skin. In mid-August, Meadows and former Vice President Mike Pence said separately that they had no knowledge of Trump declassifying a large number of documents, completely undermining the former president’s main defense in the Mar-a-Lago case.

Other former Trump allies are also starting to turn. In July, a Mar-a-Lago employee named Yuscil Taveras changed his testimony in the indictment against Trump for mishandling classified documents. Taveras was assigned a new public defender in July, replacing his Trump-appointed lawyer, and “immediately” recanted his testimony denying that there had been any conversations about security footage that prosecutors subpoenaed in 2022 as part of the investigation.

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani may also soon turn on his boss (who is refusing to pay him). Giuliani met in June with special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating Trump in Florida for mishandling classified documents and in Washington for trying to overturn the 2020 election. It’s not clear what happened during the meeting, but it’s not unthinkable that Giuliani may try to reach a deal with prosecutors to save his own skin.

Trump’s Georgia Trial Will Be Televised for Your Viewing Pleasure

All court proceedings of Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants will also be livestreamed.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee ordered Thursday that all court proceedings in Georgia’s election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants will be televised and livestreamed.

Trump has been indicted four times. In the Georgia case, he faces 13 charges, including racketeering, related to his attempts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.

Judge Tanya Chutkan has set the trial date for March 4, 2024, which falls one day before Super Tuesday, the busiest day in the Republican presidential primaries. McAfee says the trials will be accessible to watch through the Fulton County Court YouTube channel.

McAfee also said journalists will be able to use cell phones and computers inside the courtroom for non-recording purposes during the trial and hearings—a departure from the federal election interference case against Trump.

Read more at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

“Mental Health Incompetence”: Republicans Demand Mitch McConnell Resign

The resignation calls are growing louder after McConnell’s second freezing incident.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Several Republican figures have spoken out against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell since his second freezing episode while addressing reporters on Wednesday.

The 81-year-old senator was left speechless in the middle of a press conference. The first time this happened was a little over a month ago. In both instances, his aides had to intervene, as he was unable to answer the reporter’s questions.

And Republicans seem to be finally turning on McConnell.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has been the most outspoken member of the House to address McConnell’s episode, saying on Wednesday that he is unfit for office. 

“Severe aging health issues and/or mental health incompetence in our nation’s leaders MUST be addressed,” Greene wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Representative Matt Gaetz commented “Yikes” when reposting the video of McConnell freezing.

Conservative activist Ned Ryun went on Fox News and said McConnell is “very much expendable.” He predicts that Senator John Thune could replace him.

“Great for [McConnell] blocking Garland, but that only worked because Donald Trump won,” Ryun told Laura Ingraham on Fox, referring to McConnell’s blocking of a Supreme Court justice during the Obama administration.

Political commentator Bill O’Reilly is also pushing for McConnell’s resignation.

“It looks like he’s gonna have a stroke,” O’Reilly told News Nation’s Chris Cuomo. “Every American should email Senator McConnell’s office tomorrow, every American and say, ‘Please, please resign for the sake of your health.’”

Democrats Demand Subpoena on Jared Kushner’s Shady Saudi Connections

House Oversight Democrats are demanding a subpoena of Jared Kushner’s Saudi-backed private equity fund.

Jared Kushner
John Lamparski/Getty Images

Democrats are pushing for a subpoena of Jared Kushner’s Saudi-backed investment firm.

Representative Jamie Raskin, ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, on Thursday sent a letter to Chairman James Comer about Kushner, former President Trump’s son-in-law, and his work with Affinity Partners. Kushner founded the firm six months after leaving the White House, thanks in large part to hefty investments from the Saudi government and other Gulf nations.

The whole thing reeks so badly of corruption that even Comer earlier this month said Kushner “crossed the line of ethics” by accepting $2 billion from Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund, which is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Raskin is demanding Affinity Partners be subpoenaed for records that committee Democrats have been after for more than a year. And he’s reminding Comer about his own skepticism of what Kushner has done.

“I am encouraged by your recent acknowledgment that ‘what Kushner did crossed the line of ethics’ and your repeated assertions that our Committee is ‘investigating foreign nationals’ attempts to target and coerce high-ranking U.S. officials’ family members by providing money or other benefits in exchange for certain actions,’” Raskin wrote in his letter. “In light of these concerns, I urge you to pursue a serious and objective investigation by issuing a subpoena to Affinity.”

Raskin noted his February request to Affinity for documents “regarding its receipt of billions of dollars from Gulf monarchies shortly after Mr. Kushner left a senior White House position he used to reshape U.S. foreign policy towards Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in Saudi Arabia’s favor—a request you have thus far allowed Mr. Kushner to ignore and defy.”

There’s already plenty of evidence about why Kushner’s work is so troubling.

A report from The Intercept during the Trump years found that MBS bragged about having Kushner “in his pocket.” Kushner was also deeply involved in a $110 billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia in 2017, according to reporting from The New York Times. And, of course, his father-in-law is the Republican Party’s front-runner for 2024—meaning Kushner could be making similar deals again soon.

While a lot of Raskin’s letter is focused on Saudi Arabia, other Gulf Nations are also closely involved with Kushner’s private equity firm. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar invested about $200 million each in Affinity.

Ron DeSantis Issues Deranged Hurricane Warning: “You Loot, We Shoot”

The Florida governor made the warning just days after a mass shooting in his state.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has a stark warning to potential looters post–Hurricane Idalia: “You loot, we shoot.”

DeSantis made the statement—just days after a mass shooting in his state—during a press conference Wednesday, in response to reports of looting in the town of Steinhatchee on Florida’s Gulf Coast, after the Category 4 hurricane made landfall.

“People have a right to defend their property,” he said. “This part of Florida, you got a lot of advocates and proponents of the Second Amendment, and I’ve seen signs in different people’s yards in the past after these disasters, and I would say it’s probably here—‘You loot, we shoot.’” 

“You never know what’s behind that door if you go break into somebody’s house and you’re trying to loot; these are people that are going to be able to defend themselves and their families,” DeSantis added. “We are going to hold you accountable from a law enforcement perspective at a minimum, and it could even be worse than that depending on what’s behind that door.”

DeSantis made the comment just five days after a racist mass shooting in Jacksonville, where three Black people were fatally shot. The Florida governor was later booed while speaking at a vigil for the victims.

Trump Inflated Net Worth by $2.2 Billion Before He Ran for President: NY AG

The New York attorney general says Trump regularly overstated his net worth to financial institutions.

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The New York attorney general’s office says there is “no shred of doubt” that former President Donald Trump inflated his net worth—by as much as $2 billion in one year.

New York Attorney General Letitia James made the claims in court filings public on Wednesday, related to the multimillion-dollar civil suit against Trump, the Trump Organization, and Trump’s adult children for defrauding insurers and other entities.

The attorney general’s office had evaluated over 10 years’ worth of Trump’s financial statements.

“Mr. Trump’s net worth in any year between 2011 and 2021 would be no more than $2.6 billion, rather than the stated net worth of up to $6.1 billion, and likely considerably less if his properties were actually valued in full blown professional appraisals,” the attorney general’s office said.

Trump’s corrected financial statement “reduces Mr. Trump’s net worth by between 17-39% in each year, or between $812 million to $2.2 billion, depending on the year.”

The $2.2 billion disparity happened in 2014, one year before Trump announced his bid for president.

Trump has denied any intent to defraud insurers and lenders. Also in court filings made public Wednesday, Trump claimed he was too busy trying to avert a nuclear holocaust to do any business fraud.

“I think you would have nuclear holocaust if I didn’t deal with North Korea. I think you would have a nuclear war, if I weren’t elected,” Trump said in an April deposition.

The former president stated during the same deposition that he had “virtually” no role in his company since running for office in 2015 and that his son, Eric Trump, was more involved.

“If you look at Biden, he certainly does business and politics at the same time. But I felt I wanted to be a legitimate president,” Trump said.