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George Santos Offers Deranged New Explanation on “Jew-ish” Heritage

The New York representative known for his serial lies is offering up a new unbelievable one.

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Representative George Santos says he can prove he has Jewish heritage, but it will have to wait until the Ukraine war is over.

The New York Republican has been plagued by controversy since arriving on Capitol Hill, including over his apparent lie that he is Jewish. Santos claims that his grandparents were Jews who fled persecution in Ukraine and then again in Belgium before settling in Brazil.

Santos insisted in a Sunday night interview that everything he has said about his heritage is true and that he is trying to acquire documentation to prove it.

“That’s what I spent the last 10 months doing, putting together, but unfortunately Ukraine is in the middle of a frickin’ war, and my grandfather comes from Ukraine,” he told CNN’s Manu Raju.

“That’s something … I’m gonna prove before I die.”

Santos said he has done DNA testing and hired genealogy experts. Those results should be available regardless of whether there is a war in Ukraine or not.

He then doubled down on his claim that he is “Jew-ish,” meaning that he is Roman Catholic but has Jewish heritage. Santos told Raju on Sunday that his grandparents had Brazilian citizenship documents forged.

But the Jewish news outlet Forward reported in December that Santos’s maternal grandparents were born in Brazil, well before the Nazis came to power in Europe, citing genealogy websites, a 1958 local newspaper article, and church records from 1928.

In addition to his heritage, Santos fabricated the vast majority of his personal and professional background and has been federally indicted for financial fraud and identity theft.

Santos appears to have falsely claimed that his mother died in the 9/11 attacks and that four of his employees were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting. He also lied about founding an animal rescue charity and producing the disastrous Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

But somehow, Santos managed to survive an expulsion vote last week. Even some Democrats voted to let him stay, saying he should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

That proof may come sooner rather than later: Santos has been federally charged with 23 counts of various types of financial fraud. He pleaded not guilty to the initial 13 in May, and he has denied the additional 10 that were filed Tuesday night in a superseding indictment. Earlier this year, he also agreed to a deal with Brazilian authorities investigating him for financial fraud so that he could avoid prosecution.

House Republicans Introduce Bill to Expel Palestinians From the Country

Republicans have a racist new idea amid the war on Gaza.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Republicans have come up with yet another plan to kick brown people out of the country. On Thursday, Representative Ryan Zinke introduced a bill that would revoke the visas and refugee status of a number of Palestinians.

The Safeguarding Americans From Extremism Act would require the Department of Homeland Security to refrain from issuing visas or granting refugee, asylum, or temporary protected status to anyone holding a passport issued by the Palestinian Authority. It would also revoke visas and refugee or asylum status for anyone who was granted it on or after October 1.

The bill also directly orders Immigration and Customs Enforcement to remove those who lose their lawful status in the country under the new criteria.

“This is the most anti-Hamas immigration legislation I have seen and it’s well deserved,” Zinke said in a statement that conflated all Palestinians with Hamas.

As justification for this racist immigration overhaul, Zinke in a press release quoted articles from as far back as 2019 that have nothing to do with Palestinians or even threats to America, as well as articles from conservative outlets The Daily Mail and Fox News.

The radical bill is co-sponsored by far-right members of Congress like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who this week led a failed attempt to censure the only Palestinian American member of Congress. Other co-sponsors include Republican Representatives Andy Biggs, Aaron Bean, Andy Harris, Scott DesJarlais, Clay Higgins, Ronny Jackson, Barry Moore, Ralph Norman, and Bill Posey.

For the last month, Republicans have been using Israel’s war on Gaza to try to deport people. Donald Trump has promised to revive the cruel Muslim ban, and to expel anyone who supports Hamas. Other 2024 candidates and members of Congress have promised similar deportations. But this is the first bill that could make that grave threat a reality.

Trump’s Idiot Lawyer Just Got Himself a Gag Order in Fraud Trial

Donald Trump’s legal team is really fumbling this case.

Lawyer Christopher Kise looks on as Donald Trump attends his civil fraud trial in New York.

New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron has had enough, apparently.

The gag order silencing Donald Trump in the $250 million bank fraud trial is now extended to Trump’s entire legal team, according to a judge’s order issued Friday.

In his written order, Engoron banned Trump’s attorneys from commenting on his courtroom staff.

“Since the commencement of this bench trial, my chambers have been inundated with hundreds of harassing and threatening phone calls, voicemails, emails, letters, and packages. The First Amendment right of defendants and their attorneys to comment on my staff is far and away outweighed by the need to protect them from threats and physical harm,” Engoron wrote in the supplemental gag order, noting that he has an “unfettered right” to consult with his staff throughout the trial.

Violating the new order would come with “serious sanctions,” he warned.

The expansion comes mere hours after Trump attorney Christopher Kise threatened to have the case declared a mistrial over note-passing between the judge and his top legal aide—an eyebrow-raising threat that came after Eric Trump effectively admitted to lying in his deposition.

Courtroom tensions have been strained since the very beginning of the trial, when Trump spread a false rumor online that Engoron’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, was dating Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump also shared Greenfield’s Instagram details on Truth Social, effectively ushering a scourge of far-right sympathizers onto her social media accounts. Since then, he has fussed that the judge’s clerk is “partisan” and “biased.”

So far, Trump has violated his gag order twice to the tune of a collective $15,000 in fines. Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his sons committed fraud and has stripped the Trump Organization of its business certificates.

Trump’s Lawyer May Ask for Mistrial Because of … the Law Clerk?

Donald Trump’s attorney is threatening a new move in the New York fraud trial.

Seth Wenig/Pool/Getty Images

Trump attorney Christopher Kise hasn’t given up on the possibility of having the former president’s New York bank fraud trial thrown out.

Kise’s new strategy seems to be threatening to have the case declared a mistrial over complaints—mostly stemming from Trump—that New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron’s law clerk is biased, reported Forbes.

At the end of the trial day on Thursday, Kise raised objections to note-passing between the judge and his legal aide, whom Trump’s attorneys have referred to as a “secretary,” implying that she was “co-judging” the trial. That was enough to set off Engoron, who pounded on his bench while threatening to expand the gag order against the former president to his entire legal team in light of the remarks.

“Sometimes I think there may be a bit of misogyny in the fact that you keep referring to my female principal law clerk,” Engoron thundered. “If there is any further reference to anyone on my staff—and I don’t have a big staff, I have about three people—I will consider expanding the gag order to include the attorneys, including yourself.”

Kise outright dismissed the allegation on the basis that he’s “happily married” with a 17-year-old daughter.

Come Friday morning, however, Kise was back to reiterating his explosive remarks.

“The entire country, if not the world, is watching this proceeding,” Kise said, according to The Daily Beast. “And the U.S. heretofore has been a model for integrity and impartiality in the judicial system, since its founding. Nothing in here should create any appearance that the adherence to those principles has wavered.… Yes, as a judge you’re entitled to receive [assistance], but from someone who has potentially demonstrable bias … and the manner in which that has taken place, we at least have to make a record.”

The renewed effort comes a day after Eric Trump stumbled in the family’s fraud trial, admitting that he knew of the Trump Organization’s statement of financial condition as far back as 2013, directly contradicting his deposition.

Courtroom tensions have been strained since the very beginning of the trial, when Trump spread a false rumor online that Engoron’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, was dating Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Trump also shared Greenfield’s Instagram details on Truth Social, effectively ushering a scourge of far-right sympathizers onto her social media accounts. Since then, he has fussed that the judge’s clerk is “partisan” and “biased.”

So far, Trump has violated his gag order twice to the tune of a collective $15,000 in fines. Engoron has already ruled that Trump and his sons committed fraud and has stripped the Trump Organization of its business certificates.

Tommy Tuberville Isn’t Racist, He’s Just Dumb, Say Republicans

In a new report, Alabama Republicans tried to defend Tommy Tuberville. It didn’t exactly work.

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Senator Tommy Tuberville’s ongoing blockade of military promotions has united his fellow Republicans around two facts: His actions are wrong, and he might not be all that smart.

Tuberville has blocked nearly 400 military promotions in protest against the Defense Department policy of reimbursing travel costs for service members who have to travel out of state for an abortion. The Pentagon has repeatedly warned that the block harms military readiness, but Tuberville refuses to budge.

In fact, earlier this year, the Alabama Republican argued that the real source of damage to military readiness is the department refusing to allow white nationalists to serve. Tuberville still seems to struggle to accept that white nationalists are, by definition, racist.

But his own words shouldn’t be taken as a sign that Tuberville is racist, multiple Alabama Republicans told Rolling Stone in a report published Friday. Instead, it should be interpreted as a sign that Tuberville is a blockhead.

“I do not believe that Tommy Tuberville is a racist at all,” one of them said, speaking anonymously. “I really believe that maybe he doesn’t have an understanding of the English language.”

An Alabama Republican lobbyist, also speaking anonymously, separately praised Tuberville’s political skills as “very underestimated.”

“It’s his policy skills where the jury is still out,” the lobbyist told Rolling Stone.

Tuberville’s stunt has dragged on so long that other Republican senators have turned on him. They pleaded with him to approve individual promotion nominations Thursday night, taking to the floor to berate him when he tanked 61 nominations.

The most scathing rebukes came from Dan Sullivan, who called Tuberville’s belief that he wasn’t damaging military readiness “ridiculous” and “patently absurd.”

“How dumb can we be, man?” Sullivan demanded.

One of the biggest ironies of the situation is that Tuberville often says he ran for Senate so he could give back to the U.S. just like his father, who served in the military. Instead, Tuberville is single-handedly wreaking havoc on the military—and may have massively embellished his father’s military record.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Gets Shocking History Lesson on House Floor

The Republican representative seemed to confuse Confederate General Robert E. Lee for someone else.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene
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Marjorie Taylor Greene got an embarrassing fact check on Thursday: Robert E. Lee wasn’t a Founding Father.

While defending an amendment to protect against the removal of monuments depicting the Founding Fathers on federal land, Greene notably lumped in the removal of the Confederate general’s image in Charlottesville as an example of how “Communist Democrats” have attempted to erase U.S. “culture, way of life, and history.”

“Actually, there should be no funds allocated to remove any monument, and there’s no necessary reason to remove the monuments,” Greene said. “This is the Democrats’ and the Biden administration’s effort to erase our history, just as they have done to the statue of Robert E. Lee. This is an outrage.”

Democratic Representative Chellie Pingree wasn’t convinced that the Georgia congresswoman knew her facts, however.

“Just to clear up a couple of things, my colleague mentioned the Founding Fathers. Robert E. Lee was not actually one of the Founding Fathers, he was a general of the Confederacy,” Pingree said.

The Maine Democrat also said she found it “rich” that the party focused on “book banning in our libraries, rewriting curriculum, not talking about our history over and over again, is the very one that is saying that we have to often keep painful monuments in places where they do damage, where they interfere with people’s ability to enjoy the particular area that they’re in.”

Nearly 80 percent of Confederate monuments were erected between 1890 and 1940—long after the end of the war and at the height of the Jim Crow era—when Southern states legalized racial segregation under a system of racial apartheid. Groups like the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which admitted the white daughters of Confederate soldiers and politicians, worked to instill a “lost cause” narrative of the war by placing Confederate flags in classrooms, monitoring textbooks, and ultimately, creating monuments.

“Give Me a Break”: Tuberville Sneers at Military, Fellow GOP Senators (Again)

Senator Tommy Tuberville isn’t even pretending to care that his actions are causing military leaders to work multiple jobs.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senator Tommy Tuberville doesn’t think it’s a big deal that military leaders are having to work minimum 18 hours a day because of his blockade on military promotions.

The Department of Defense has repeatedly warned that Tuberville’s stunt is hurting military readiness. As if more proof were needed, the commandant of the Marine Corps has been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack over the weekend.

General Eric Smith has been working as both commandant and his own assistant commandant since mid-September because the Senate has been unable to confirm an official deputy for him. He had previously warned that his schedule—getting up at 5 a.m. and working until 11:30 p.m. every day—was “not a sustainable thing.” There is no indication that Smith’s workload contributed to his heart attack, but working two jobs likely didn’t help.

When asked about the strain that his blockade is causing Smith and other military leaders, Tuberville said Thursday, “[He’s] probably got 2,000 people who work for him, OK?”

“Somebody said he’s working 18 hours a day. Jack Reed blamed me for his heart attack. Come on, give me a break,” Tuberville told CNN’s Manu Raju.

The Alabama Republican was referring to Democratic Senator Jack Reed, who said earlier this week that Smith’s intense workload “contributed to his condition.”

“This guy’s gonna work 18–20 hours a day no matter what,” Tuberville continued. “That’s what we do. I did that for years because you gotta get the job done.”

Tuberville was referring to his previous job as a college football coach. While he may well have put in 18 hours a day for the various teams he led, the demands of his job are likely a little different from what Smith is handling.

Tuberville has blocked almost 400 military promotions since March in protest over the Defense Department’s policy of reimbursing travel costs for service members who have to go out of state for an abortion.

The Pentagon has warned repeatedly that Tuberville’s blockade harms military readiness, with the secretary of the Navy accusing Tuberville of “aiding and abetting” Communist regimes by holding up promotions.

Even Tuberville’s fellow Republicans are getting sick of his shenanigans, with several calling him out by name on the Senate floor Thursday night. Dan Sullivan delivered the most scathing rebuke, saying it was “ridiculous” that Tuberville continues to insist he isn’t harming military readiness.

“Xi Jinping is loving this. So is Putin,” Sullivan said, referring to the presidents of China and Russia. “How dumb can we be, man?”

Judge Tells Ivanka She Can Probably Afford a Babysitter

Ivanka Trump lost her appeal and is officially set to testify in the fraud trial against the Trump Organization.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Welcome to the stand, Ivanka Trump.

A New York appeals court ruled on Thursday that the Trump sister must testify in the family’s $250 million bank fraud trial, rejecting Ivanka’s pathetic attempt to waylay her testimony via an appeal.

She is scheduled to take the stand on November 8.

Ivanka Trump was originally cast as a defendant in the case alongside Donald Trump and sons Eric and Donald Jr, but narrowly avoided inclusion earlier this year when an appeals court ruled her actions were outside the statute of limitations. The trio stands accused of deceiving banks and insurers by massively overvaluing the elder Trump’s net worth.

Ivanka was ordered to testify in the trial last week—but then appealed the decision on the grounds that she would face “undue hardship” if she had to find childcare in order to testify during the school week. It looks like the judge thinks finding a babysitter isn’t all that hard.

So far, Don Jr. has wrapped his testimony, while Eric’s will continue through Friday.

Mary Trump, the former president’s estranged niece, doesn’t see the children’s testimony helping their father.

“They’re going to have to walk a very thin line between obfuscating in a way that’s not perjury and appeasing their father’s ego so that he doesn’t throw them under the bus when he testifies, which of course he’s going to do no matter what they do,” Mary Trump said in a newsletter exclusive, referring to the two sons.

That might change when Ivanka hits the stand.

Ivanka is likely to be less coy about her father’s business dealings, according to Mary, who believes that the heiress will “tell the truth and throw him under the bus,” since she’s “legitimately wealthy” without her father and doesn’t need to rely on him.

So far, Judge Arthur Engoron has ruled that Trump and his sons committed fraud and has stripped the Trump Organization of its business certificates. Trump is fighting hard to appeal that decision.

“Perjury Is on the Menu”: Mary Trump Drags Eric’s Testimony in Fraud Trial

Mary Trump predicts Eric just lost the entire case.

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Mary Trump delivered an epic burn to her cousin Eric after he was caught lying in court about his knowledge of the Trump Organization’s finances.

Eric Trump claimed Thursday during the company’s business fraud trial that he had “never worked” on the Trump Organization’s statement of financial condition and that he wasn’t even aware of it until the trial began. Moments later, he was shown an email in which he told employees he was working on the statement, forcing him to admit he actually knew about it as far back as 2013.

They lie so much, they can’t even keep track of their own bullshit,” Mary Trump tweeted gleefully on Thursday evening.

“Sounds like perjury is on today’s menu.” She also predicted that Eric “basically just lost the entire case.”

Mary Trump, who has contributed to The New Republic and participated in TNR’s “Stop Trump Summit,” regularly and brilliantly drags her family on social media. In September, she marked her uncle Donald Trump being found liable for fraud by listing all of his historic accomplishments—including being the first former president to be impeached twice, accused of inciting an insurrection, indicted, found liable for sexual assault, and found liable for fraud.

New York state Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in September that Donald Trump had committed business fraud and ordered all his New York business certificates be canceled. This makes it nearly impossible to do business in New York and could effectively kill the Trump Organization as it exists today.

Both of Trump’s older sons, Eric and Don Jr., testified in court this week. Donald Trump freaked out about their pending testimony ahead of time. And now it’s clear why. His sons’ words have hurt his case more than helped him.

Christopher Rufo’s Shockingly Open Appeal: I’ll Fund Right-Wing “Culture War” Projects

The conservative activist is prepared to take his dangerous ideas to the next level.

Thomas Simonetti for The Washington Post/Getty Images
Conservative activist Christopher Rufo addresses faculty at the New College of Florida on January 25.

A conservative activist has unveiled a fellowship that aims to help “conservative journalists, activists, and opinion leaders” foment a culture war.

Christopher Rufo, an ally of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has become a leading figure in conservative education policy. He first gained national attention by instigating the explosive debate of “critical race theory,” which has now become a right-wing buzzword for diversity of thought.

Rufo unveiled the “Manhattan Institute Logos Fellowship” on Monday. “Fellows will bring a specific ‘culture war’ project to the program, which our team will help nurture over the course of the year,” he wrote in the announcement.

“The goal is to help move these independent projects from conception to execution, so that they begin to shape the discourse and change public policy. Some topics that we hope to address are critical race theory, gender ideology, higher education reform, crime and policing, and civil rights law.”

One benefit of the program is that fellows will be able to network with “cable news bookers, policy makers, and aligned organizations to promote the dissemination of ideas and policy proposals.”

Rufo already has considerable sway over school campuses throughout the United States. He was placed on the board of the New College of Florida after DeSantis helped oust the liberally minded school’s former president. Rufo has also helped push to ban books and diversity, equity, and inclusion programs across the country. Now the man who lied about his Harvard degree is trying to extend his influence further by nurturing the next generation of the far right.