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House Republicans Lose Their Mind After Reporter’s Question About 2020

A reporter tried to ask the newest House speaker candidate a tough question. Chaos ensued.

Representative Mike Johnson
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Republicans lost their mind as they tried to defend their new House speaker hopeful on Tuesday, even from legitimate questions poking at his efforts to help overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Republican Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson has been described as the “most important architect” of the Electoral College objections to Biden’s presidency on January 6, 2021. He also  led the amicus brief signed by more than 100 Republicans that sought to overturn election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

But moments after Johnson won the GOP’s nomination, his caucus wasn’t keen to entertain questions about any of that.

When ABC News reporter Rachel Scott attempted to ask a question related to Johnson’s deep involvement in Trump’s coup, the Louisiana congressman began shaking his head, ushering a cacophony of “Boos” from the horde of Republicans flocking him, which included Majority Leader Steve Scalise and Representative Lauren Boebert.

Some congressmen took the jeering a step further.

“Shut up,” shouted Representative Virginia Foxx.

“This audio is so telling, and defining,” tweeted former Florida Representaitve David Jolly in reaction to the scene. “There’s a euphoria to tonight for Johnson and Republicans, but he’ll regret this. It’s not even manufactured grace, it’s dismissive of reality—on a most critical matter with significant implications for 2024.”

Republicans’ New Speaker Pick Led Effort to Overturn 2020 Election

Representative Mike Johnson, who may be the next House speaker, played a key role in the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election results.

Win McNamee/Getty Images
House Republicans excited they finally (maybe) found their next speaker: Representative Mike Johnson

It’s Day 22, and the House still doesn’t have a speaker, though the GOP selected another designee out of an apparent carousel of contenders late Tuesday.

Republican Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson, a four-term congressman representing Louisiana, is the latest of the batch to try to unify the divided caucus. Johnson’s beliefs are a sweet spot for many GOP members: He’s anti-LGBT and rallied against Roe v. Wade. And when it comes to the 2020 election, he’s just a less dumb version of Jim Jordan, who played a close role in January 6 but failed to secure the speaker’s gavel earlier this month.

In the days following the 2020 presidential election, Johnson played a more subtle but still key part: He led the amicus brief signed by more than 100 Republicans that sought to overturn election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Then, on January 6, 2021, 139 Republican representatives voted to dispute the Electoral College results, in large part thanks to a loophole nitpicked by Johnson, who The New York Times described as the “most important architect of the Electoral College objections.”

According to the Times, it was Johnson’s lawyerly nuance that made him dangerous.

Offering possible objections based on what he described as “constitutional infirmity,” Johnson claimed there were grounds to reject the election results from states that permitted pandemic-induced state modifications to mail-in ballots and early voting systems that bypassed the approval of state legislatures.

Ultimately, it was Johnson’s work that allowed Republicans to seize on the events of January 6 for political profit, helping them transform their brand from dangers to democracy to defenders of electoral integrity, and garner grassroots support and donations from corporate backers who had once denounced them.

According to a leaflet from Johnson’s office obtained by Punchbowl News, Johnson’s core principles include: individual freedom, limited government, the rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and human dignity—though none of those seemed to conflict with his belief in overturning the 2020 presidential election results.

Only a few GOP members have indicated so far that they will not support him in a floor vote. His endorsers include Majority Leader Steve Scalise, fellow contender Representative Kevin Hern, and perhaps most critical, Donald Trump.

The Michael Scott look-alike is the second person to snag the speaker nomination in just one day, after Majority Whip Tom Emmer resigned mere hours after his own nomination.

Another One: Mark Meadows Flips, Exposes Trump’s Election Lies

Donald Trump’s former chief of staff has turned against him.

Amanda Voisard/for The Washington Post/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s “special friend” and last chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has completely flipped against his former boss, testifying before a grand jury that Trump was fundamentally “dishonest” about his 2020 presidential election fraud claims.

Meadows allegedly met with special counsel Jack Smith’s team three times this year, reported ABC News Tuesday. The former Trump ally agreed to have one of those meetings occur before a federal grand jury in exchange for immunity.

According to unnamed sources that spoke with the outlet, Meadows told federal investigators that Trump knew he was lying when he claimed he won mere hours after the polls closed on election night and that his losses in key states were all “a major fraud.”

“Obviously we didn’t win,” one source recalled Meadows saying.

Meadows also claimed that he had insisted to Trump that his voting fraud allegations were completely unfounded, the outlet reported.

To this day, Meadows said he has yet to see any evidence of fraud. The former Trump aide, who openly mocked the election claims in the weeks following the vote, ultimately agreed with government assessments that the 2020 election was one of the most secure in the nation’s history.

Michael Cohen Stares Down Trump and Drops Fraud Trial Bombshell

Donald Trump’s former fixer has testified against him in the New York fraud trial.

Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Steps away from his former boss for the first time in five years, Michael Cohen on Tuesday dropped a giant bombshell during Donald Trump’s New York fraud trial.

While Trump scoffed and shuffled, Cohen described at length how Trump made up numbers and then told Cohen to artificially inflate the real estate mogul’s net worth, sometimes by as much as billions of dollars, in order to broker better deals with banks and insurance companies.

“I was asked by Trump to increase total assets based upon a number he arbitrarily elected, and my responsibility was to reverse engineer and increase those assets to achieve the number Trump had tasked us to,” Cohen told the court on Tuesday.

Cohen said that, at times, Trump would summon him and Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg to claim he was “not worth four and a half billion dollars” but rather “worth more of six,” according to the Associated Press.

The former Trump crony also said that Trump’s eldest children, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, would share information about their projects to inflate the former president’s financial statements, reported Axios.

Outside of court, Trump shirked Cohen’s testimony, claiming that Cohen was a “proven liar.”

“I’m not worried at all about his testimony,” Trump said. “He’s not a credible witness.”

Judge Arthur Engoron issued a summary judgment in September that found New York Attorney General Letitia James had already proved Trump misvalued his properties and committed business fraud, soon after canceling the business certificates of Trump’s companies. What remains to be seen in the trial is whether Trump violated other laws and, ultimately, what kind of financial penalty he might have to pay.

Cohen held several significant roles in Trump’s sphere, including as personal counsel to Trump, vice president of the Trump Organization, co-president of Trump Entertainment, and board member of the Eric Trump Foundation, and he served as deputy finance chairman to the Republican National Committee between 2017 and 2018. He also once pledged he would “take a bullet” for Trump.

Day 21: Republicans Lose Their House Speaker Pick in Record Time

Goodbye, Tom Emmer, we hardly knew ye.

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House Majority Leader Tom Emmer and Representative Elise Stefanik

On Tuesday, the Republican caucus rallied and picked Majority Whip Tom Emmer as its next House speaker.

Also on Tuesday—just four hours later—Emmer dropped out of the race.

Emmer won the nomination Tuesday morning with 117 votes, while 26 Republicans voted against him. In the next few hours, Donald Trump came out against Emmer as speaker, even going so far as to text his brutal Truth Social post to the Republican caucus.

Several Republican lawmakers began to voice concern that Emmer would never win the nomination on the House floor. Representative Matt Gaetz, who voted for Emmer just hours earlier and started this mess by leading the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, said, “It’s really important that the speaker of the House have a good relationship with the leader of our party. That’s Donald Trump.”

It’s clear that Emmer heard the criticism loud and clear. In a House Republican caucus meeting on Tuesday afternoon, he reportedly left the meeting without a word. News then broke that he dropped out.

It has been 21 days without a House speaker.

Astros Fans Are Pissed at “Cursed” Ted Cruz for Attending the Game

The “Cruz curse” is back—and Houston Astros fans are not happy.

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Senator Ted Cruz offended fellow Houston Astros fans Monday night—simply by showing up.

Ahead of Monday’s playoff game against the Texas Rangers, an outpouring of Astros fans begged the Texas congressman not to make an appearance in the stands, reported Rolling Stone.

“I appreciate that Ted Cruz, as a dad, loves taking his kids to the @astros games,” tweeted one fan. “But for the love of all things Houston, let Heidi take them! Send them with friends! It’s game 7 man. We can’t risk this. The whole city is asking you.”

Still, Cruz appeared, and they bombed, losing to the Rangers 11–4. Attendees were seen piling toward the exits by the sixth inning when the Astros were already down 10–2.

Cruz has spent a lot of time inadvertently pissing off Houston fans lately. So far in the MLB postseason, the Astros have lost all five home playoff games attended by the jinxed senator, reviving what locals dub the “Cruz Curse.”

“No matter which team you support in the all-Texas ALCS, you definitely don’t want @tedcruz near your team,” tweeted Texas state Senator Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat running to defeat Cruz and nab his Senate seat, a week before Cruz attended two losing Astros games.

“For 7 years, Catherine & I have attended nearly EVERY Astros home playoff game,” Cruz tweeted in response to the controversy, calling Rolling Stone “lying hacks.”

“If they’re going to blame me for our recent home losses, pls also credit us for TWO World Series Championships & SEVEN consecutive ALCS’s—we were there cheering Stros on,” Cruz added.

Monday’s blowout loss wasn’t the first major loss attributed to Cruz’s curse. In 2018, losing fans pointed fingers at the senator’s courtside appearance during the Houston Rockets’s Game 7 loss to the Golden State Warriors, when the Rockets missed a record 27 straight attempts from three-point range.

Others have criticized Cruz for compromising their teams when he doesn’t seem to love sports in the first place. Fans seemingly haven’t forgotten Cruz’s blunder during the 2016 Republican primaries, when he referred to a basketball hoop as a “basketball ring.”

Republicans Pick Yet Another Election Denier as Next House Speaker

Republicans keep nominating one election denier after the next.

Representative Tom Emmer
Win McNamee/Getty Images

After weeks of failed attempts, Republicans have their latest nominee for speaker of the House: Majority Whip Tom Emmer.

Emmer won the majority vote in a series of quick-fire elimination rounds held Tuesday, ultimately garnering 117 votes.

Nine candidates initially raised their hands and crafted platforms for their speakership ahead of Tuesday’s proceedings—nearly all of them election deniers. Emmer, unlike the majority, voted to certify the 2020 presidential election results and railed against objections to Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s election results, but it’s critical to note that he still worked to spread election falsehoods.

In the days preceding the January 6 Capitol riot, the Minnesota congressman was one of more than 100 Republicans who signed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to throw out Biden’s winning numbers in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Somehow, Emmer’s stance stands out against the opinions of his predecessors, Representatives Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise, who both voted to overturn the results.

Emmer’s insider perspective and congressional experience were enough to earn key endorsements early on in his candidacy, including those of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Representative Ken Buck, who led a holdout vote against Jordan’s failed candidacy last week.

It still remains to be seen if Emmer can hold onto his popularity until the House reconvenes for a floor vote, considering the splintering party’s razor-thin majority.

What Trump Suggests His Supporters Do to Undermine the Next Election

Donald Trump is already laying the groundwork to question the 2024 election results.

Donald Trump
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Donald Trump is already prepping to undermine the 2024 election: this time, by explicitly calling on his supporters to focus on harassing voters and election workers.

At an event in Derry, New Hampshire, on Monday, Trump told a crowd of supporters that rather than participate in the upcoming presidential election, “you gotta be careful, you gotta get out there and watch those voters!”

“You don’t have to vote, don’t worry about voting. The voting—we got plenty of votes,” Trump bizarrely said to his own supporters. (This would be a strange message in any state, but especially so in New Hampshire, where Biden is leading Trump, according to most recent polling.)

This isn’t the only time this week that the Republican Party’s front-runner has tried to preemptively undermine the 2024 election. On Monday, Trump reposted a meme on Truth Social threatening election workers.

Trump and his own group of mobsters are currently on trial in Georgia for interfering with the 2020 election, where their racketeering charges are directly linked to the intimidation and harassment of poll workers. So far, three former Trump lawyers (Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell, and Jenna Ellis) have flipped on the former president.

Trump’s attempts to turn up the heat on the pillars of our democracy, like free and fair elections and the people who run them, reveal his increasing desperation to win at any price.

Cancel Culture? Jewish Editor Fired for Sharing Onion Article on Gaza

Michael Eisen says his dismissal was due to his sharing the satirical article.

The Onion newstand
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A Jewish editor in chief of a science journal says he was fired from his position after sharing an article on the siege in Gaza from the satirical website The Onion.

Michael Eisen, who edits the Cambridge-based science journal eLife, on Monday shared the news of his dismissal on X (formerly Twitter).

Eisen, who is also a geneticist at the University of California, Berkeley, had shared an Onion article titled “Dying Gazans Criticized for Not Using Last Words to Condemn Hamas.”

“Every sane person on Earth is horrified and traumatized by what Hamas did and wants it to never happen again,” he clarified in a later tweet. “All the more so as a Jew with Israeli family. But I am also horrified by the collective punishment already being meted out on Gazans, and the worse that is about to come.”

To protest Eisen’s firing, fellow editor Lara Urban also announced her resignation on Monday afternoon.

Since the latest round of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict began earlier this month, people who have advocated for Palestinian rights, statehood, or even a cease-fire have been subjected to intense criticism. The U.N. estimates that 1,400 Israelis and nearly 5,100 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been killed.

Trump’s New Ploy to Throw Out D.C. Election Case Is a Stretch Even for Him

Amid a late-night motion frenzy, one pointless argument stands out.

Donald Trump
Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s defense team is working overtime to get his D.C. election fraud case thrown out—filing a whopping four motions to dismiss charges.

But the funniest part? In one of the motions filed just before Monday’s midnight deadline, Trump’s attorneys claimed they wanted references to January 6 “stricken from the record.”

His lawyers argue that since the indictment doesn’t technically charge Trump with responsibility for the insurrection, they are “not relevant” to a case deliberating on Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

“They relate to a high-profile issue on which the public has high awareness and strong opinions, making their inclusion prejudicial and inflammatory,” Trump’s team wrote.

To put that another way, Trump’s team wants all references to January 6 removed from Trump’s January 6–related indictment.

In a second motion, Trump filed to dismiss the case outright under the former president’s First Amendment rights, claiming that he did not “defraud the United States,” since he truly believed the election was rigged.

Another late-night filing sought dismissal on statutory grounds, arguing that the “prosecution does not explain how President Trump violated these statutes, beyond simply saying he has while regurgitating the statutory language.”

In a fourth filing, lawyers Todd Blanche, John Lauro, and Gregory Singer also asked for dismissal “on the basis of selective and vindictive prosecution.”

Trump attorneys had long threatened that they would attempt to challenge the conspiracy case, telling Judge Tanya Chutkan outright at a hearing in August that they would do so.

“I can’t wait,” Chutkan said at the time.

Monday’s late-night frenzy is just the latest in the bid to get the proceedings, which constitute the first criminal trial against a former U.S. president, thrown out. In August, lawyers for Trump also demanded that Chutkan recuse herself over comments she had made in previous cases related to the Capitol riots.