Skip Navigation
Breaking News
Breaking News
from Washington and beyond

Whoa: Jack Smith Just Threw Down at Donald Trump in Big Way

The special counsel would like the former president to please stop talking already.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Special Counsel Jack Smith and his team are seeking a gag order against the former president to limit what he says in the run-up to his trial on charges that he participated in a plot to overturn the 2020 election.

To that end, Smith has asked a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to impose a “narrowly tailored” order limiting Trump—who is famous for saying literally anything that sluices through his brain at any particular moment—from making public statements that could “present a serious and substantial danger of prejudicing” the trial.

A copy of the government filing was released on Friday—and it is unsparing in its criticism of Trump.

Smith’s office is accusing Trump of engaging in a “disinformation” campaign and of intimidating witnesses, prosecutors, and the court itself.

“As set forth in the indictment, after election day in 2020, the defendant launched a disinformation campaign in which he publicly and widely broadcast knowingly false claims that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the presidential election, and that he had actually won,” federal prosecutors wrote in their filing. “In service of his criminal conspiracies, through false public statements, the defendant sought to erode public faith in the administration of the election and intimidate individuals who refuted his lies. The defendant is now attempting to do the same thing in this criminal case—to undermine confidence in the criminal justice system and prejudice the jury pool through disparaging and inflammatory attacks on the citizens of this District, the Court, prosecutors, and prospective witnesses.”

Trump has been indicted in four separate cases—and he has repeatedly attacked witnesses, co-defendants, and prosecutors involved in all of them. In March, for example, he posted a photo of himself wielding a baseball bat next to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s head. (Bragg was the first prosecutor to indict the former president for alleged hush-money payments made to porn actress Stormy Daniels.)

If the gag order is granted, this would be another major setback for Trump—though his tendency to overshare in public settings has added more to his pile of legal woes than it has solved, so it could be that Smith is doing the former president a major favor.

Drew Barrymore Tearfully Confirms She’ll Still Bring Back Show During Strikes

“Nothing I can do will make this OK,” the Hollywood actress said amid tears.

Arturo Holmes/WireImage

Drew Barrymore confirmed Friday that she will continue to film her talk show, a move that undermines the ongoing writers guild strike.

The actress found herself at the center of a P.R. storm last week after she announced she would resume filming without her writers. Writers for The Drew Barrymore Show have since picketed outside the studio, and Barrymore herself is facing intense backlash for being a scab.

“I believe there’s nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK,” Barrymore said in a video posted on Instagram, noting she wanted to “take full responsibility for my actions.”

“I know there is just nothing I can do that will make this OK for those it is not OK with. I fully accept that. I fully understand that,” she said.

Then, tearing up, Barrymore said, “I deeply apologize to writers. I deeply apologize to unions.”

There are actually several things Barrymore could do to make the situation OK. She could, for example, announce she will not resume filming. She could also invite union leaders onto her show, instead of her usual celebrity guests, to explain what workers are striking for and why the protest is important.

Barrymore also compared filming during the strike to when she launched her show during the Covid-19 lockdowns. “I just wanted to make a show that was there for people in sensitive times,” she said. “And I weighed the scales and I thought, if we could go on during a global pandemic, and everything that the world has experienced through 2020, why would this sideline us?”

Launching during a pandemic and working through a strike are wildly different circumstances. In the pandemic, people needed moments of levity and Barrymore’s crew could avoid spreading the virus by wearing face masks and social distancing.

But filming during the strike defeats the whole purpose of the labor action. “When any production that is covered under WGA comes back during a strike it undermines our whole group effort to come to a fair contract with the AMPTP,” Chelsea White, a co-head writer on Barrymore’s show, told Rolling Stone.

Barrymore is not just facing backlash from her writing staff. A Writers Guild council member and negotiator told Rolling Stone that several major stars, including Matthew McConaughey, Samantha Bee, and Leslie Jones, had canceled guest appearances on Barrymore’s show in solidarity with the strike.

Actor Bradley Whitford called Barrymore out directly.

Republican Rep. Torches GOP for Lacking a Single Fact on Biden Impeachment

Republican Representative Ken Buck is blasting his own party for its impeachment inquiry of Joe Biden.

Representative Ken Buck
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Representative Ken Buck says he has yet to hear a single “accurate fact” from his fellow Republicans about the impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy launched an impeachment inquiry into the president Tuesday, after months of Republicans insisting Biden is guilty of corruption. The GOP has yet to produce any actual evidence of their claims.

CNN’s Manu Raju asked Buck Friday if he had changed his mind on the impeachment inquiry following a House Republican conference meeting, and the Colorado representative replied that he hadn’t gone.

“I haven’t heard an accurate fact in conference in a long time,” he said. “I’m not going to waste my time.”

This marks a distinct break from Buck’s reaction immediately after McCarthy opened the inquiry. “I think it’s a good move,” Buck said at the time. “We have to focus on spending, we have to make sure the government doesn’t shut down.… I think taking this off the table and not having a distraction is a good move.”

Despite Buck’s flipping, he remains one of the loudest anti-impeachment voices in the Republican Party. He has accused McCarthy of using “impeachment theater” to try to distract Republicans from the fact that the government will likely need to increase its budget in order to avoid a shutdown. Many hard-line conservatives like Buck want to scale federal spending back dramatically.

Buck has also called out his impeachment-eager colleagues, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene. He slammed her impeachment mania on Monday as “absurd.”

“The time for impeachment is the time when there’s evidence linking President Biden—if there’s evidence—linking President Biden to a high crime or misdemeanor,” Buck said. “That doesn’t exist right now.”

Buck’s resistance has reached the point that his own party is turning on him. There is even an in-party effort to find a candidate who can launch a primary challenge against him.

GM CEO Twists Herself Into Pretzel Trying to Defend Outlandish Salary

As a historic UAW strike begins, the General Motors CEO is doubling down on why she deserves this much money.

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

General Motors CEO Mary Barra is working overtime to defend her outlandish $30 million salary, as United Auto Workers begins a historic strike against the Big Three auto companies.

Barra appeared on CNN Friday morning and was asked why General Motors workers should not get the same type of pay increases she has in the last few years.

“You make almost $30 million; why should your workers not get the same type of pay increases that you’re getting leading the company?” asked CNN’s Vanessa Yurevich.

“My compensation, 92 percent of it, is based on performance of the company,” Barra said. “When the company does well, everyone does well.”

What Barra really means is this: Her compensation as CEO is tied to General Motors’ profit margins. This means that Barra’s exorbitant salary is also a function of how low she can keep autoworkers’ wages. Barra’s salary has increased 34 percent over the last four years, while in four years workers’ pay has only increased by 6 percent.

Under the current contract, the $18 per hour starting pay for autoworkers is about 36 percent below where it would be if the 2007 starting wage had kept up with inflation. The UAW is asking for a 36 percent pay increase over the next four years, as well as improved benefits and a 32-hour workweek.

As UAW noted, during the eight-and-a-half minute CNN interview Barra made more money than any autoworker makes in a full day.

Vivek Ramaswamy’s Insane Office Temperature Demand Drove Staff Crazy

The Republican presidential candidate maintained strict control of the thermostat and didn’t care that his employees were in pain, a new report says.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy says he can handle the heat. As it turns out, not only is that not true but he sometimes even loses his cool.

While on the campaign trail, Ramaswamy likes to portray himself as someone who has everything under control and can roll with the punches. But former employees at his companies say he was an exceptionally demanding boss, particularly when it came to office temperature, Business Insider reported Friday.

The former employees, speaking anonymously, said that Ramaswamy insisted office thermostats be set to 64 degrees or lower. It would be so cold in the offices that people had to wear fleece jackets inside and use space heaters at their desks.

Ramaswamy hired former Army Rangers as his bodyguards. At one point, his campaign hired three at once. In addition to ensuring the safety of Ramaswamy and his family, one of the Rangers’ main jobs was to arrive at his hotel rooms before he did and make sure they were cold enough for his liking.

Former employees acknowledged that Ramaswamy is a hard worker but said he could be quite inflexible as a boss. When a colleague suggested people be allowed to leave early on summer Fridays, Ramaswamy snapped.

“He lost his cool completely and went off on a rant about summer Fridays and how dare anyone ask about that,” one of the former employees said.

Another of Ramaswamy’s demands was for a serving of cottage cheese to be ready and waiting on his desk every morning. If he ordered takeout for lunch, he insisted that his assistant put the food on a plate and serve it to him.

“He thinks people are put on this earth to serve him,” a person who worked closely with Ramaswamy told Insider.

Ramaswamy’s campaign spokesperson confirmed that “Vivek likes it chilly” in the office but denied the other accusations. But the reported behavior actually tracks with what Ramaswamy has shown of himself so far.

The biotech entrepreneur is brash and overly self-assured, remaining convinced he is right even when his ideas are terrible. Ramaswamy has openly embraced making Eminem angry, pushing conspiracy theories, caving to autocratic leaders, and using his campaign to evade lawsuits.

New Video of Lauren Boebert at Beetlejuice Captures More Horrifying Behavior

The far-right Republican representative claimed she did nothing wrong at the musical. A new video says otherwise.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Representative Lauren Boebert denied vaping during a theater performance in Denver over the weekend, but new video footage shows her lighting up.

Boebert and a date were kicked out of the Buell Theatre during the Sunday evening performance of Beetlejuice after their behavior sparked three complaints from other attendees. An incident report says the pair were vaping, singing along, recording the show, and generally “causing a disturbance.” They refused to leave when asked and had to be escorted out by security staff.

Boebert’s campaign manager confirmed that the representative had been asked to leave the show, but he denied that she had been vaping, claiming the smoke was fog from the musical’s special effects. New security footage from inside the theater, posted on Twitter late Thursday by 9News Denver reporter Kyle Clark, clearly shows Boebert vaping in her seat.

At one point in the video, the woman seated behind Boebert leans forward and speaks to her. Boebert looks away quickly, appearing to brush her off. The Denver Post identified the woman, who said she is pregnant and had asked Boebert multiple times to stop vaping. Boebert refused.

The woman, who spoke anonymously, said she asked to be reseated during intermission, but ushers were unable to find her and her husband a different spot. When they returned to their seats, the woman said Boebert called her a “sad and miserable person.”

“The guy she was with offered to buy me and my husband cocktails. I’m pregnant!” the woman told The Denver Post.

One of the ushers had to threaten to call city police before Boebert and her date agreed to leave, according to the theater’s incident report. While they were being escorted out, the couple told employees “stuff like ‘do you know who I am,’ ‘I am on the board’ [and] ‘I will be contacting the mayor,’” the report said. Security footage also shows Boebert giving the finger to security as she is being escorted out.

“Feel Stupid Yet”: Ice Cube Drags Elon Musk With Perfect Meme on Twitter

The rapper and songwriter hit back at Elon Musk after he shared a dumb meme of him.

Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Rapper Ice Cube is kicking off his weekend by absolutely destroying Elon Musk in a Twitter meme battle.

Musk, who spends most of his time trolling on his Twitter account, shared a meme Thursday poking fun at Ice Cube’s age. The photo was relatively tame compared to the transphobic and antisemitic content Musk usually posts.

Ice Cube hit back that evening.

To call Musk’s reign at Twitter a dumpster fire is an understatement. The company is now worth a fraction of what he paid for it, and is staffed by a skeleton team. Musk renamed the platform “X,” trashing its unique and instantly recognizable brand.

Musk has allowed Nazis and the Taliban back on Twitter, and hate speech has flourished under his watch. But rather than do something about it, he is attacking the groups trying to hold him accountable.

Clip and Save: The Biggest Republican Hypocrites on Biden Impeachment

Republicans bashed Nancy Pelosi for moving forward an impeachment inquiry on Trump without a vote—and then supported the exact same thing on Biden.

A close-up of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, glancing to the side.
Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

When House Speaker Kevin McCarthy ordered the launch of an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden, he did so without holding a vote first, despite previously criticizing his predecessor for doing something similar. And many of his Republican colleagues followed in his hypocritical steps.

McCarthy had slammed then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi for impeaching Donald Trump in 2019 without first holding a vote. But he still opened the inquiry Tuesday without a vote and without any evidence. He said that Pelosi’s actions “changed the precedent”—but there are a few key differences between the two.

As Pelosi explained on MSNBC Thursday, Democrats actually looked into the facts before moving forward with impeachment. Republicans, on the other hand, have “had eight months of investigation, [and] come up with nothing.”

Another major difference is that in 2019, the House voted to formalize the impeachment a month later. It is unlikely that will happen this time around, since multiple Republicans are not on board with McCarthy’s plan.

Still, like McCarthy, several Republicans have pulled a similar 180, bashing Pelosi in 2019 for moving ahead with an impeachment inquiry into Trump without a vote, while supporting the same exact thing when it comes to Biden. Here is a list of some of the biggest hypocrites.

Jim Jordan

Representative Jim Jordan repeatedly slammed Pelosi’s October 2019 impeachment inquiry as a “sham.” Even after the House voted on the impeachment, Jordan, then the ranking member of the Oversight Committee, tweeted, “Codifying a sham process halfway through doesn’t make it any less of a sham process.”

As recently as Sunday evening, Jordan insisted on having a vote before opening an impeachment inquiry into Biden. But after McCarthy announced the inquiry, Jordan suddenly changed tune.

You don’t need [a vote] to move forward. There’s all kinds of evidence that warrants moving to this phase,” he told Fox & Friends Wednesday.

Jordan chairs the powerful House Judiciary Committee and will play a key role in the impeachment inquiry.

James Comer

House Oversight Chair James Comer has spearheaded the months-long, fruitless investigation into Biden. He said he was “very happy” about the impeachment inquiry.

“I think we’ve proven a lot of things that I think no one knew when we started this investigation,” he said, despite having proven nothing.

But in 2019, he accused Pelosi of “partisan politics” for launching the impeachment inquiry without a vote.

Matt Gaetz

Representative Matt Gaetz has repeatedly called for Biden to be impeached, not just investigated. Since the impeachment investigation was launched, he has urged Congress to move faster and accused McCarthy of only doing “the right thing when he has a political gun to his head.”

But when Pelosi launched the first Trump impeachment inquiry, Gaetz said it was “deeply troubling” that the measure didn’t have enough support to pass a vote.

He also said the Republican Party isn’t “against transparency; what we’re against is this notion that like it’s, ‘Impeach first, investigate later.’” This comment is highly ironic considering Republicans are launching the impeachment inquiry in order to try to find evidence of Biden’s wrongdoing.

Ken Buck

Representative Ken Buck was one of the loudest anti-impeachment voices in the Republican Party, accusing McCarthy of using impeachment talk to distract from spending bills. But he appeared to change his mind after the inquiry was announced.

“I think it’s a good move,” Buck told Politico. “We have to focus on spending, we have to make sure the government doesn’t shut down.… I think taking this off the table and not having a distraction is a good move.”

In comparison, in 2019, Buck accused Democrats of “conducting an impeachment inquiry without due process, fairness, or transparency.”

Andy Biggs

Representative Andy Biggs is one of McCarthy’s loudest critics, even having campaigned against him for House speaker in January. But he praised the impeachment inquiry in a statement.

“I’ve long called for the impeachment of President Joe Biden. An impeachment inquiry steers us in a better direction to accomplish that, but more work remains to be done,” he said. “House Republicans cannot lose focus with this inquiry and slow walk bringing impeachment articles to the House Floor.”

But in 2019, he called Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry “a sham and a fraud.”

“If she is intent on launching impeachment proceedings, then she should immediately put an impeachment resolution on the House floor for the tell-all vote,” Biggs said. “Speaker Pelosi’s failure to do so is a continuation of the hoax that Democrats have perpetrated on the American people for the past three years. She is trying to have this both ways.”

“Move the F***ing Motion”: McCarthy Dares GOP to Take Away His Gavel

The House speaker has had enough of the farthest-right members of his own party.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy blew up in a closed-door meeting with Republicans on Thursday—essentially daring the farthest-right members of his party to try to take away his gavel.

Some far-right Republicans have suggested removing McCarthy as the Senate approaches a vote on an appropriations bill that doesn’t include all their priorities. In the meeting on Thursday, McCarthy challenged the members of his party to try.

“If you think you scare me because you want to file a motion to vacate, move the fucking motion,” McCarthy said, according to Politico reporter Olivia Beavers.

It’s likely one of the Republicans catching McCarthy’s heat is far-right Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, who publicly called for McCarthy’s removal as speaker earlier this week. Gaetz was one of the last holdouts when McCarthy was first elected House speaker, and now he is asking Democrats to join his efforts to oust McCarthy.

Gaetz has also criticized McCarthy’s call for an impeachment inquiry of Joe Biden, saying that the House speaker doesn’t intend to actually impeach the president. “He’s throwing impeachment out like an ill-cast lure,” Gaetz said in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday.

Lashing out is becoming more common for McCarthy, who also snapped during an interview on CNN on Wednesday about how he rushed through the impeachment inquiry without having enough votes.

Some Republicans have admitted that McCarthy likely ordered the launch of an impeachment inquiry into Biden on Monday—despite not having found any evidence of wrongdoing by the president, and without the support of his full party—in an effort to unite House Republicans.

Republican Senator Mike Rounds said it “wouldn’t surprise” him if McCarthy had launched the impeachment inquiry to help keep House Republicans together on appropriations issues. The federal government will partially shut down if Congress can’t get its act together and pass an appropriations bill by the end of the month.

Gaetz, for his part, responded to McCarthy’s expletive-ridden remarks with one of his own:

Ron DeSantis Promises Extrajudicial Killings at the Border

The Florida governor has a horrifying new plan for what he would do if elected president.

Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Ron DeSantis has a new strategy for tackling the immigration crisis: killing alleged cartel members on sight.

The Florida governor laid out the policy during a Wednesday night interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity.

“We’re using lethal force against the cartels. If they’re bringing fentanyl in, breaking into our country, we’re going to leave them stone cold dead at the border,” DeSantis said, prompting cheers from the audience. “Trust me, they will get the message.”

DeSantis has used the phrase “stone cold dead” before when discussing the border. The DeSantis-aligned super PAC Never Back Down has even made the phrase the focus of a campaign ad.

It’s not clear how DeSantis plans to identify these supposed cartel members before executing them. He tried to clarify the plan a bit during a Tuesday night interview with CBS, saying, “There’s not going to be authorization to just shoot somebody like that, but when somebody’s got a backpack on and they’re breaking through the wall, you know, that’s hostile intent and you have every right to take action under those circumstances.”

He said that only people who “appeared” to be members of drug cartels would be targets of deadly force. But he offered no details on what makes someone “appear” to be a cartel member.

Republicans argue that the influx of migrants at the southern U.S. border is primarily members of cartels sneaking dangerous drugs into the country. But immigration authorities say that nearly all drugs smuggled into the United States are brought in by people who can legally cross the border, NPR reported in August. More than half of the drug mules are U.S. citizens. Almost none are migrants seeking asylum.

Critics have also pointed out that DeSantis’s plan is a violation of the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991, which prohibits government officials from committing extrajudicial killings. DeSantis should know this, having served as a military lawyer. But considering the allegations made about him during his time working at Guantánamo Bay, maybe he doesn’t care.

Unfortunately More on Ron DeSantis