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George Santos Is Having Himself a Meltdown

The permanently embattled New York congressman is facing the possibility of being ousted from office this week, and he’s taking it as well as you might imagine.

Jabin Botsford/Getty Images

Even Representative George Santos expects that this may be his last week in Congress, and he’s celebrating by going scorched-earth on some of his Republican colleagues, who he’s spent the last few days referring to as “pussies” and adulterers.

The New York Republican’s time is close to running out after nearly a year of high drama, indelible lies, occasional baby-holding, and constant fraud—capped by a scathing, 56-page report by the House Ethics Committee that found that Santos had lied about his finances and appropriated campaign funds for things such as Botox treatments, luxury clothes, and purchases on the adult content platform OnlyFans.

“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” Santos said during an expletive-laden X Space live session on the Friday after Thanksgiving. “I’ve done the math over and over, and it doesn’t look really good.”

But before he’s out, the fabulist congressman has one more lie to weave following months of assertions that he’s not going anywhere: Apparently, he doesn’t care if he’s forced out by his peers.

“I don’t care. You want to expel me? I’ll wear it like a badge of honor,” Santos said. “I’ll be the sixth expelled member of Congress in the history of Congress. And guess what? I’ll be the only one expelled without a conviction.”

So, he’s not mad; do not report that he’s mad.

Santos faces 23 charges related to wire fraud, identity theft, and credit card fraud. He has pleaded not guilty to the first 13 charges announced in May, and has since denied another 10 charges announced in a superseding indictment in October. His trial is set to begin in September 2024.

“At nearly every opportunity, he placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles,” the House Ethics report read. “Santos sought to fraudulently exploit every aspect of his House candidacy for his own personal financial profit.”

The disgraced lawmaker is, in these final hours, taking the opportunity to drag some of his Republican colleagues, including calling the chairman of the Ethics Committee, Representative Michael Guest, a “pussy.” He has broadly accused other GOP members of drinking to excess and cheating on their wives instead of focusing on their jobs.

“I have colleagues who are more worried about getting drunk every night with the next lobbyist that they’re gonna screw and pretend like none of us know what’s going on, and sell off the American people, not show up to vote because they’re too hungover or whatever the reason is, or not show up to vote at all and just give their card out like fucking candy for someone else to vote for them,” Santos said, adding that “This shit happens every single week.”

Elon Musk’s Hate Speech–Fueled Reign of Error Is Going Global

The X owner spent the weekend on a world tour of pissing people off.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Getty

In his latest, greatest achievement, Elon Musk has managed to do something offensive in three different countries in less than 24 hours.

The X (formerly Twitter) owner has come under fire recently for how much hate speech, antisemitism, and extremist content has flourished on the social network—including from Musk’s personal account. Rather than address a problem that has advertisers rankled anew, he spent the weekend exacerbating these problems.

On Sunday night, Musk weighed in on a new law proposed in Ireland, meant to curtail online hate speech. Irish lawmakers announced they plan to enact a law to crack down on racist hate speech online, a move that would make certain extremist memes and other online content illegal, in response to anti-immigration riots that roiled Dublin last week.

In one particularly harrowing incident, a man attacked five people outside an elementary school on Thursday, injuring at least three children and one woman. Police did not reveal the man’s identity to the public, but rumors began to spread that he was an Algerian national, sparking violent protests in central Dublin.

Naturally, Musk was averse to the efforts to combat hate speech and violent rhetoric. “Language being proposed as law in Ireland means this could literally happen to you for having a meme on your phone,” Musk tweeted, setting off a firestorm of far-right conspiracies in his comments.

This isn’t the first time Musk has felt the need to butt into Irish politics. In September, he opposed the country’s first anti–hate speech law, arguing that it infringed on freedom of speech. But Musk has made clear that his idea of free speech is simply the right to say whatever you want with no repercussions. That is, provided that you aren’t using your free speech to criticize him.

It may be that Musk doesn’t want limits placed on his own social media activity, which in recent weeks has included repeatedly sharing antisemitic content on X. And yet, on Monday, he flew to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other leaders. While there, Musk toured several areas that had been attacked by Hamas.

His warm welcome is shocking considering that just two weeks ago, Musk endorsed a violently antisemitic conspiracy theory that argued Jewish communities hate white people. Meanwhile, multiple major advertisers have yanked their business from X following a report that the platform has been placing brand ads next to posts that promote Hitler and Nazi beliefs.

All of Musk’s antics are not going over so well in France, however. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced Monday that she has quit X because it is a “gigantic global sewer” that is “destroying our democracies.”

In the little more than a year that Musk has owned X, he has decimated the platform’s value. Meanwhile, hate speech has flourished during his reign. This change occurred nearly immediately: The social media research group National Contagion Research Institute found that in the 12 hours after Musk bought X, the use of the n-word increased almost 500 percent.

Musk is often a major source of this hate speech and disinformation. In addition to promulgating aggressively antisemitic posts, Musk has been highly solicitous to neo-Nazi posters on X, habitually shared transphobic content, and repeatedly spread conspiracy theories.

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Shameless New Memoir Is Written for One Person Only

The MAGA firebrand is hoping to catch the eye of—and get a promotion from—Donald Trump.

Drew Angerer/Getty
Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene

In her recently released memoir, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests she has a bit more on her mind than representing the people of Georgia’s 14th congressional district.

The dedicated MAGA legislator, who has flamboyantly supported Donald Trump’s stances on rejecting the legitimate results of the 2020 election results, as well as his embrace of January 6 insurrectionists as “prisoners of war,” is seemingly gunning to become Trump’s right hand should he retake the White House in 2024.

The new book, simply titled MTG, includes a telling foreword by Trump, praising the conspiracy-mongering lawmaker as “one of the most fierce warriors in Congress for America First and all it stands for.” Over the course of the ensuing 275 pages, Greene makes her (dubious) case for being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Greene has floated the prospect of being Trump’s number two before. In August, she told The Guardian that the topic is “talked about frequently” and that she knows her “name is on a list.” “But, of course, that’s up to [Trump]. But I would be honored and consider it.… I’ll help him do whatever in any way I can,” she told the outlet.

The Trump loyalist does have some competition, however. Kari Lake, a 2024 GOP Senate candidate for Arizona, is also vying for the position. But Greene—who has touted QAnon conspiracy theories and blamed Jewish space lasers for the California wildfires—has insisted that Lake is too unserious to be a legitimate vice presidential pick, snubbing her opponent as a “grifter” who is “riding Trump’s coattails,” according to Rolling Stone.*

In the two short years since she assumed office, Greene has spawned a wild frenzy of headlines over her continually outrageous remarks and her penchant for violent rhetoric. In 2019, Greene was stripped of her committee assignments after it came to light that she had liked a Facebook post calling for Nancy Pelosi to receive “a bullet to the head.” She also posted a campaign poster on social media depicting her aiming an AR-15 toward Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, touting herself as the “squad’s worst nightmare.”

In recent months, Greene has been at the epicenter of other House spectacles after she grouped Confederate General Robert E. Lee into an argument defending monuments to the Founding Fathers. She’s also gone full throttle against some of her fellow conservatives, even throwing some middle-school trash talk into the mix by calling Representative Lauren Boebert a “whore.”

* This article has been corrected to note the nature of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Jewish space lasers conspiracy.

Trump Has Decided on a Crazy New Abortion Stance

The former president must think that voters haven’t been paying attention to what’s become a hot-button issue at the polls.

Jacob Kupferman/Getty

Donald Trump, who has bragged about being the “most pro-life president in history,” now believes that he can convince voters that he’s actually a moderate on abortion rights.

Trump and his team are planning to run the former president as some kind of sensible centrist on the issue during the general election against President Joe Biden, Rolling Stone reported Sunday. The magazine cited multiple anonymous sources close to the Trump campaign, attesting to a plan he’d previously weighed pursuing as a middle path that might appease both Republicans and Democrats.

It would be something of a rapid—and perhaps ridiculous—change in direction, seeing as how Trump had previously touted his anti-abortion commitments. The decision to course-correct comes a little late in the game as well: Trump is currently running ads in Iowa that brand him with his self-bestowed label as “THE MOST Pro-Life President in history.”

It isn’t every day that Trump’s claims match the truth, but he legitimately argues that his anti-abortion bona fides set him apart from previous Republican presidents. One of Trump’s first acts in office was to reinstate and expand the global gag rule, which blocks foreign organizations that receive U.S. health assistance from providing information, referrals, or services for abortion access. He also stripped Planned Parenthood of Title X funding, which makes up roughly half of the organization’s finances.

Naturally, his most celebrated acts against abortion rights were his nominations of three staunchly anti-abortion Supreme Court justices. Their appointments swung the high court firmly to the right and enabled the justices to eliminate the protections abortion seekers previously enjoyed under the court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

Trump remarked on Roe’s gutting in May, when he claimed personal responsibility for getting rid of the nationwide right to abortion. “I’m the one that got rid of Roe v. Wade,” he bragged on Newsmax.

He doubled down on that boast on Truth Social the following day, writing, “I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the ‘shock’ of everyone, and for the first time put the Pro Life movement in a strong negotiating position.”

Unlike some of the other Republican candidates, Trump has yet to say whether he would back a national abortion ban. The former president has not been compelled to offer what he plans to do next in the reproductive rights arena. According to Rolling Stone, he has privately insinuated that major anti-abortion groups have no “leverage” to force him to adopt a stance on the issue until he is ready. It seems likely that Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee, as he currently enjoys a massive lead in the primary polls, even without the backing of anti-abortion organizations.

Just because Trump hasn’t announced that he has set his sights on an abortion ban doesn’t mean he thinks there shouldn’t be one. His actions in this regard speak louder than words, and throughout Trump’s career, he has taken positions out of the belief that they might confer an electoral advantage—only to renege on his promises when it counts.

As his current campaign is shaping up to be less about a vision of the future and more about meting out revenge on those Trump feels have wronged him, it would not be prudent to trust his coy promises about finding a moderate path on abortion rights.

The Shocking Donors Behind a Pro-Trump Nonprofit

Donald Trump is receiving support from the rich backers of liberal causes.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A pro–Donald Trump nonprofit organization accidentally revealed its top donors. It turns out two of them usually back liberal causes.

The Daily Beast obtained a copy of the 2022 tax statement for the nonprofit American Compass, which is linked to a plan to assemble Trump’s Cabinet for a potential second term. The document includes a list of five donor organizations.

Two of the donors are the Omidyar Network Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Omidyar has donated a total of $500,000 to American Compass since 2020, according to the foundation’s website.

Hewlett has contributed more than one-third of American Compass’s total public support. Hewlett has donated $1,486,000 to American Compass since 2020, including a tranche of $475,000 just in January.

The two organizations’ support for American Compass stands in stark contrast to the causes that they normally back. Pierre Omidyar has donated considerably to Democratic dark money groups and to fighting racism. He also provided the initial funding for the news outlet The Intercept in 2014; Omidyar’s First Look Media continued to fund the organization until it was spun off as a nonprofit earlier this year.

Hewlett has donated to global groups that fight for women’s rights, environmental reform, and the arts. Hewlett is also a longtime supporter of NPR.*

It’s unclear what Hewlett and Omidyar are doing by backing groups that are so ideologically disparate. But their support is dangerous: American Compass is part of a movement propelled by younger Republicans seeking to make Trumpism align with traditional, small-government conservatism.

American Compass is also part of the right-wing think tank Project 2025. Project 2025, one of the drivers behind the growing setup for a second Trump term, is itself a part of the Heritage Foundation. The far-right Heritage Foundation has allied itself closely with Trump and helped shape much of his policy while in office.

Some of Project 2025’s backers include former Trump advisers Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, both of whom are known for their xenophobic and white supremacist beliefs.

* This article originally misstated the amount of funding the organization provided to American Compass as compared to similar contributions made to other liberal organizations.

The Surprising Figure Some Democrats Think Can Save Joe Biden

Hint: It’s someone who thinks he belongs in prison.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

In a bid to save President Joe Biden in the polls, Democrats are turning to a novel, counterintuitive solution: more Donald Trump.

Trump has seemed relatively quiet in the race for the White House. Recently returned to X, formerly known as Twitter, his posts do not receive the torrent of media attention that they did before the January 6 insurrection. Similarly, Trump’s speeches and rallies have received muted attention over the last three years.

Despite this lackluster media presence, he has blown every other GOP candidate out of the water, pulling numbers that nearly quintuple those of his second-place opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, according to composite polling by FiveThirtyEight.

A quieter Trump also seems to be doing better than a vocal and present Biden, according to a Harvard CAPS-Harris survey published Monday, which found that the Republican front-runner’s numbers are eclipsing the incumbent president’s, with Trump polling at 48 percent compared to Biden’s 41 percent.

Biden’s own actions have damaged his favorability in recent months. His foreign policy failures and firm stance behind Israel in its conflict against Hamas have severely affected his approval ratings, particularly with minority voters. A joint poll released in early November by The New York Times and Siena College found that support for the U.S. leader had fallen sharply among Black and Hispanic voters. Young voters have also bemoaned Biden’s inability to follow through with campaign promises for mass student loan cancellation, which saw its initial demise at the hands of an ultraconservative U.S. Supreme Court in June.

The solution? Reverse course on a party maxim to oust Trump from the public consciousness, according to Democratic leadership, who no longer feel that ignoring the real estate mogul is an effective tactic and instead are quietly hoping for live broadcasting of his notorious campaign rallies, reported The New York Times.

“Not having the day-to-day chaos of Donald Trump in people’s faces certainly has an impact on how people are measuring the urgency of the danger of another Trump administration,” Adrianne Shropshire, the executive director of BlackPAC, an African American political organizing group, told the Times. “It is important to remind people of what a total and absolute disaster Trump was.”

It’s a surprising about-face. From Trump’s descent down the escalator in June 2015 until January 6, 2021, the consensus among mainstream Democrats was that the media was far too beholden to Donald Trump and that, in the cynical pursuit of eyeballs and profits, they essentially allowed him to act as their assignment editor. The notion that the press was “complicit” in Trump’s rise was widely held during this period, as was the idea that the nation would wake up if they covered him as a dictator in training. The press’s coverage of Trump has become more disciplined and aggressive—when it happens—in the aftermath of January 6. But it hasn’t dimmed Trump’s popularity. Now the hope is that more coverage of Trump’s derangement will damage his candidacy.

Rudy Giuliani Is So Broke His Accountants Are Suing Him

The former New York City mayor is so broke his accountants are suing him.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Rudy Giuliani being normal in 2020.

Rudy Giuliani, who is already going broke, has been sued again by the accounting firm he hired to get him through his most recent divorce.

Giuliani hired BST & Co. CPAs, which is based in upstate New York, in 2018 to value his business assets during his divorce from Judith Nathan. The firm filed a lawsuit on Monday stating that Giuliani never paid them the $10,000 retainer they agreed on. BST is also seeking $15,000 in legal fees.

BST sent multiple letters to Giuliani over the past five years requesting that he pay up, according to the lawsuit. Giuliani allegedly ignored every single one.

The BST lawsuit is just the latest accusing Giuliani of failing to pay his debts—and he could be on the hook for much, much more money. Several of Giuliani’s former lawyers, including his longtime attorney Robert Costello, have sued Giuliani for failing to pay their legal fees.

Giuliani has begun representing himself in court to save some cash. The man once affectionately known as “America’s mayor” is scrambling to find the money for all his legal fees and even listed his Manhattan apartment for sale in July. In August, after he was indicted in Georgia, Giuliani asked his social media followers to donate to his defense fund.

He also flew to Mar-a-Lago to beg his boss Donald Trump to pay him for working as Trump’s personal attorney. That didn’t work, but Trump did agree to host a fundraiser dinner for Giuliani. Entry cost $100,000 a plate, but Giuliani paid Costello just $10,000 in September.

In addition to the racketeering charges in Georgia, Giuliani was ordered to pay more than $130,000 to Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. The two women served as 2020 election workers in Georgia, and Giuliani falsely accused them for months of fraud. Freeman and Moss are also seeking between $15.5 million and $43 million from Giuliani for alleged defamation.

Meanwhile, Nathan says Giuliani owes her more than $260,000 for her country club memberships, condominium fees, and health care as part of their divorce settlement. Giuliani narrowly avoided jail time over that lawsuit in December. And one of Giuliani’s former associates sued him in May, accusing him of promising to pay her a $1 million annual salary but instead raping and sexually abusing her over two years.

The Big, Obvious Reason Why Elon Musk’s Anti-Media Lawsuit Will Backfire

Musk's lawsuit against Media Matters could reveal embarrassing secrets about the company's handling of far-right content.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s defamation lawsuit against Media Matters is shaping up to be one of the worst business decisions the Tesla founder has made in a while—which is a kind of accomplishment, given his disastrous time at Twitter/X.

In the three days since Musk filed the suit in a U.S. District Court in Texas, legal experts have openly dismissed the legal challenge as an effort to silence the press as well as criticism of Musk’s behavior and acumen. But few have completely shirked the pressure of the suit more than the man on the receiving end of it, Media Matters President Angelo Carusone.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Carusone said that if the lawsuit doesn’t get dismissed, the media watchdog will pursue discovery, the wide-ranging legal process by which evidence and information is shared between prosecution and defense and, by way of being utilized in court, could become public record—or fodder for another Media Matters report.

Carusone said if it comes to that, Media Matters would seek communications regarding whether executives at the social media company “knew internally” about the failed safeguards against placing major brand advertisements back-to-back with white supremacist, pro-Nazi content. Carusone also told the Post that they would be seeking other internal communications regarding Musk’s overt antisemitism on the platform.

Media Matters’s investigation revealed that X, formerly known as Twitter, was placing ads from reputable companies alongside antisemitic, pro-Nazi posts. The ensuing fallout resulted in the hemorrhaging of some of X’s biggest and markedly safe advertisers, such as Apple, IBM, Disney, Lionsgate, and Paramount.

X claimed that the watchdog’s report was an inaccurate representation of their algorithm, arguing that Media Matters had artificially manipulated the report’s results by following just 30 accounts on the platform and refreshing pages at a higher rate than average. Yet Carusone said that wasn’t the point of the investigation—instead, Media Matters proved that X-touted safeguards meant to prevent this from happening either don’t exist or are completely ineffective.

“The point that we’ve been making is that the filters that they say exist are not working the way that they claim,” Carusone told the Post. “Ads can and do run alongside extremist content.”

The Grotesque Reason Why Some Biden Officials Don’t Want a Cease-fire

Some in the administration are worried that a pause in the fighting will allow journalists to show just how devastating Israel's campaign against Gaza has been.

Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty

A temporary cease-fire has gone into effect in Gaza, halting the bombing that has gone on for more than a month. Qatar, which brokered negotiations, announced Wednesday that fighting will cease for four days. Hamas will release 50 hostages, and Israel will release 150 Palestinian prisoners. All released prisoners will be women and minors.

Administration officials are feeling tentatively vindicated over the cease-fire deal, Politico reported Wednesday. The White House is taking it as a sign that Joe Biden’s strategy is working, although one official, speaking anonymously, acknowledged that there’s still “more to do.”

But the White House now has another issue on its hands. “There was some concern in the administration about an unintended consequence of the pause: that it would allow journalists broader access to Gaza and the opportunity to further illuminate the devastation there and turn public opinion on Israel,” according to the Politico report.

At least 11,000 Palestinian civilians, mostly women and children, have been killed in Israel’s retaliation to the October 7 Hamas attack. Health officials in Gaza said Tuesday that they are no longer able to get an accurate death toll because of the ongoing Israeli attacks.

The fighting has also killed at least 53 journalists and media workers. But now that fighting will pause, more journalists can enter Gaza and show the full extent of destruction, which the administration has so far seemed content to ignore.

The majority of U.S. citizens back a cease-fire, and support has slowly but steadily grown among Democratic members of Congress. Biden, however, has until now resisted calling for an all-out cease-fire, even telling reporters two weeks ago that there was “no possibility” of one. His resistance to a cease-fire has contributed to a major disconnect between Biden and younger voters.

Matt Gaetz’s Constituents Hate Him

Florida voters really, really do not like the controversial Republican representative.

close-up of Matt Gaetz smiling with blue background (looks a bit like a creepy yearbook photo)
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Matt Gaetz.

Even Floridians don’t like Matt Gaetz.

A mere 21 percent of Floridians responded that they approve of the man they elected to congress while another 57 percent said they flat out disapprove of the job Gaetz has done since being elected, according to a Florida Atlantic University Mainstreet PolCom Lab survey. That’s a far cry from Gaetz’s results in the 2022 election, when he swept Florida’s 1st Congressional District by a margin of 35 percentage points.

The poll comes on the heels of several weeks of high drama sparked and stoked by the far-right congressman, in which he led a charge to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for daring to coordinate a bipartisan effort to avert a government shutdown. Since then, Gaetz has worked to aggressively divide and strong-arm the caucus alongside a minority cohort of conservative colleagues.

All that time in the limelight drew more attention to some of Gaetz’s other scandals, including the House Ethics Committee’s investigation into allegations of sexual assault and misuse of funds by the congressman.

In February, the Justice Department concluded its own investigation into Gaetz, opting against criminal charges relating to allegations of sex trafficking and sex with a minor, determining that they couldn’t bring a strong enough case to court.

“I am the most investigated man in the United States Congress,” Gaetz said during an October ethics inquiry

Despite all the bad press, Gaetz has trudged ahead, with rumors swirling that the controversial politician may run to unseat Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during the 2026 gubernatorial election. Gaetz has since snubbed the report as “overblown clickbait,” clarifying that his singular focus is getting Donald Trump elected to a second term in the White House.

Failing the longshot bid, Gaetz may be pushed out of politics altogether if he falls short on gathering the numbers to keep his current seat.

“The poll was not great for the congressman, but it’s early and these assessments can change,” Kevin Wagner, a pollster and political science professor at FAU, told Newsweek. “Even people that disapprove can still vote for him if they like the other choices less.”