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Guess Which Shady Trump Official Is About to Make His Big Debut Return

Donald Trump is eyeing the return of Paul Manafort for his 2024 campaign—as if things weren’t pure chaos with him the first time around.

Paul Manafort walks in handcuffs and smiles at something off camera. Several others around him, including a security guard who holds his arm.

Donald Trump may soon bring back his former campaign manager Paul Manafort to help with the 2024 reelection campaign, a move that could resurrect accusations of Russian collusion in the former president’s favor.

Manafort was convicted of tax and bank fraud in 2018 under Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump, who pardoned Manafort in the final days of his presidency, is expected to bring him back on board as a campaign adviser, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Manafort’s role will likely focus on the Republican convention in July and on fundraising for Trump’s campaign, the Post said, citing four anonymous sources. Those four people said that nothing has been officially decided yet, but Trump is determined to bring Manafort back onto his team and is widely expected to hire him.

Manafort chaired Trump’s 2016 campaign but was forced out in August that year, after Trump reportedly “blew a gasket” upon learning Manafort’s lobbying firm had not properly disclosed its work on behalf of pro-Russia figures. He was replaced by white nationalist Steve Bannon.

Two years later, Manafort was convicted of tax and bank fraud (and terrible fashion sense). He was found guilty of hiding millions of dollars that he made lobbying for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians in overseas bank accounts. He then falsified his finances to get loans when those politicians lost power.

Mueller’s investigation alleged that Manafort wielded those pro-Russian ties during the 2016 campaign. According to Mueller’s report, Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national with alleged ties to Russian intelligence. Manafort was also accused of working with Kilimnik to spread Russian disinformation claiming that Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 election.

Despite agreeing to cooperate with the FBI investigation, Manafort allegedly lied to investigators about the extent of his interactions with Kilimnik, Mueller said.

A report issued in 2020 by a Senate bipartisan committee on Russian interference found that “Manafort’s presence on the Campaign and proximity to Trump created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on, the Trump Campaign.”

Manafort was sentenced in 2018 to four years in prison, but he was released early to home confinement because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Trump pardoned him in December 2020.

If Trump brings Manafort back onto his campaign, it could reignite concerns that the former president is colluding with Russia in order to secure the White House. Trump has made no secret of his fondness for Russian President Vladimir Putin or other pro-Russian autocrats. Just last week, Trump swore that if he is reelected, the U.S. will cease all aid to Ukraine.

Kennedy Family Burns RFK Jr. With White House Visit

The Kennedy family members are making it incredibly clear that they’re not fans of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s bid for the White House.

RFK Jr. seated, stares off into space. Part of a QR code is behind him.
John Nacion/Getty Images

One thing is certain in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s dimming bid for the White House: The 70-year-old third-party candidate does not have the family blessing.

On Sunday, dozens of members of the so-called American royal family lined up behind their presidential candidate of choice for a very public St Patrick’s Day photo op—but that contender wasn’t one of their own.

“It’s not enough to wish the world were better, you must make the world better,” Kerry Kennedy captioned the family photo with President Joe Biden on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “@POTUS President Biden, you make the world better. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.”

In February, the third-party contender earned more ire from the family after he cannibalized one of his uncle’s famous campaign ads for a Super Bowl spot, using pictures of John F. Kennedy and Eunice Kennedy Shriver as cheap fodder to better his public perception.

Some of RFK Jr.’s cousins accused him of tarnishing the family legacy with the political gimmick, arguing that Shriver would be “appalled by his deadly health care views” and forcing the presidential candidate into an awkward, half-willed public apology.

“I’m so sorry if the Super Bowl advertisement caused anyone in my family pain,” RFK Jr. posted after the commercial aired, albeit with a clip of it still pinned to his X profile. “The ad was created and aired by the American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. I love you all. God bless you.”

Mike Pence Completely Trashes Possibility of Endorsing Donald Trump

Pence is finally calling out the man who cheered his public hanging.

Mike Pence
Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Mike Pence exhibited the bare minimum of courage on Friday when he announced he had no intention of endorsing Donald Trump, whose followers wanted to hang the former vice president.

Pence’s revelation is surprising given the fact that most other Republicans have fallen in line behind Trump, who officially clinched the party’s nomination earlier this week. But Pence still told Fox News that his decision “should come as no surprise.”

I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year,” Pence said.

When asked how he would vote in November, and whether he would vote Democratic instead, Pence declined to reveal his plan.

“I’m gonna keep my vote to myself,” he said. “I would never vote for Joe Biden, but how I vote when that curtain closes, that’ll be for me.”

Pence has stood at odds with Trump since the January 6 attack, when the former vice president refused to delay certifying the 2020 election votes. Pence has repeatedly stressed that his loyalty is to the Constitution, not Trump, a detail he reiterated during the Friday interview.

But Pence has also refused to lay blame for the insurrection squarely on Trump, lest he alienate potential supporters among Trump’s fans. Pence also refused to cooperate with special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s role in January 6 and had to be subpoenaed.

His continued loyalty has been shocking considering that the January 6 rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” before storming the Capitol—while Trump cheered them on. Pence may finally have taken a stand on Friday, but it seems like too little, too late.

Trump Prosecutor Resigns in Georgia—So the Case Can Move Forward ASAP

Lead prosecutor Nathan Wade has resigned in the Georgia case against Donald Trump. And Trump should be all out of delay tactics.

Alex Slitz/Pool/Getty Images
Nathan Wade

A Georgia judge ruled on Friday that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could remain on Donald Trump’s election interference case—if her special prosecutor took the fall.

And just hours later, special prosecutor Nathan Wade submitted his resignation.

In a letter submitted to the District Attorney’s Office filing, Wade wrote that his leave, effective immediately, was in the “interest of democracy” and to move the case forward “as quickly as possible.”

“I am proud of the work our team has accomplished in investigating, indicting, and litigating this case,” Wade wrote. “Seeking justice for the people of Georgia and the United States, and being part of the effort to ensure that the rule of law and democracy are preserved, has been the honor of a lifetime.”

Willis was accused of hiring Wade—a man she had a relationship with and who billed her office (and taxpayers) more than $728,000 in legal fees—for personal financial gain. The two have taken several international vacations together, which critics have claimed were partially bankrolled by public funds.

In his ruling, Georgia Judge Scott McAfee chastised Willis for the affair, describing it as a “tremendous lapse in judgment,” and even weighed putting a gag order on the District Attorney’s Office that would prevent them from discussing the case in public.

Trump’s main legal strategy in all the trials he faces has been to delay as much as possible.

In the Georgia election interference case, Trump and his team had argued that Willis’s relationship with Wade merited throwing the case out altogether. In hearings that ate up a significant amount of time—further waylaying the trial that involved Trump and more than a dozen other co-conspirators—Willis argued that she and Wade had evenly split all relationship-related expenses. And an attempt by Trump’s legal team to construct a timeline of the relationship completely fell apart when their key witness, Wade’s former law partner Terrence Bradley, claimed he didn’t actually know a thing about the couple’s relationship, revealing himself as little more than an office gossip.

Ken Buck Slams Lauren Boebert’s Petty Complaints on His Resignation

Representative Ken Buck is sick to death of Lauren Boebert.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Retiring Representative Ken Buck has made it clear that he does not care about Lauren Boebert. Any suggestions otherwise are “ridiculous.”

Buck shocked everyone, including his own party leaders, on Tuesday when he announced that he would leave Congress at the end of next week. His decision has further galvanized the search for his successor, temporarily through a special election and permanently in the regular district primary.

Fellow Colorado Republican Boebert is running to take over Buck’s seat in November, but she opted not to run to replace him in the special election in June. She slammed Buck for giving a “gift to the uniparty,” a term far-right Republicans use to describe GOP lawmakers who aren’t extreme enough or who work with Democrats. Boebert also accused Buck of trying to “rig” the primary election.

“It’s ridiculous,” Buck said of Boebert’s allegations in a Thursday night interview with The Colorado Sun.

In fact, Buck said, “I have done my very best to stay out of this primary election.”

“I’m not giving anybody an advantage or disadvantage,” he said, explaining that he chose his retirement date specifically so that the special election could coincide with the primary, thus saving the district money.

Buck also said it was “fundamentally unfair” for Boebert to try to fundraise off her claim that he was taking sides. He noted that he has refused to comment when reporters asked him about the congresswoman’s ex-husband and 18-year-old son, both of whom were arrested recently.

Boebert, who currently represents Colorado’s 3rd district, announced in December that she would move to the 4th and run to succeed Buck. Although the district is a GOP stronghold and will likely send another Republican to Washington, there is no guarantee it will be Boebert, who has struggled to gain traction in a new area and faced accusations of carpetbagging.

Had Boebert decided to run in the special election, that would likely have pushed her out of Congress altogether. In order to run, she would have had to resign her current position and then secure nomination from a vacancy committee. Such committees are usually made up of state party insiders, and many are skeptical of Boebert’s decision to switch districts. It is unlikely she would have been chosen to run.

Buck had announced in November that he would not seek reelection, but he indicated at the time that he would complete his current term. He said his decision to leave earlier was the result of the rapidly devolving situation in the House.

“It is the worst year of the nine years and three months that I’ve been in Congress,” Buck told CNN. “And having talked to former members, it’s the worst year in 40, 50 years to be in Congress.”

“I think this place is dysfunctional.”

Although Buck is a Republican, and even a member of the party’s far-right House Freedom Caucus, he has often been at odds with his fellow Republicans in the past few years. When he first announced his retirement, he slammed the GOP for pushing “self-serving lies,” including that the 2020 election had been stolen.

More recently, Buck has been seemingly the only Republican who refused to fall in line with his party’s efforts to impeach Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. His departure further shrinks the GOP’s razor-thin House majority and will make it even more difficult to get anything done.

Trump Lawyer: We’ve Only Just Begun Attacking Fani Willis

Donald Trump’s legal team is promising a fight on the Georgia ruling.

Alex Slitz/Pool/Getty Images

A Georgia judge ruled on Friday that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can remain in the game to prosecute Donald Trump—but the former president’s legal team wasn’t too happy about that, pledging in a statement that they would continue to fight.

“While respecting the Court’s decision, we believe that the Court did not afford appropriate significance to the prosecutorial misconduct of Willis and Wade, including the financial benefits, testifying untruthfully about when their personal relationship began, as well as Willis’ extrajudicial MLK ‘church speech,’ where she played the race card and falsely accused the defendants and their counsel of racism,” Trump attorney Steve Sadow told CNN’s Kaitlin Collins. “We will use all legal options available as we continue to fight to end this case, which should never have been brought in the first place.”

Willis was accused of hiring special prosecutor Nathan Wade—a man she had a relationship with and who billed her office (and taxpayers) more than $728,000 in legal fees—for personal financial gain. The two have taken several international vacations together, which critics have claimed were partially bankrolled by public funds.

In his ruling, Georgia Judge Scott McAfee chastised Willis for what he described as a “tremendous lapse in judgment” in the affair, and even weighed putting a gag order on the district attorney’s office that would prevent them from discussing the case in public.

“The Court finds that the Defendants failed to meet their burden of proving that the District Attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest in this case through her personal relationship and recurring travels with her lead prosecutor,” McAfee wrote. “The other alleged grounds for disqualification, including forensic misconduct, are also denied. However, the established record now highlights a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team—an appearance that must be removed through the State’s selection of one of two options.”

Even though the decision wasn’t the one that Trump’s team was hoping for, the decision still benefited him, further delaying one of his several criminal trials before the presidential election.

MAGA World in Meltdown Mode Over Fani Willis Ruling

The most rabid MAGA politicians and supporters are not handling the Georgia ruling very well at all.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s supporters lost their minds on Friday following a judge’s decision to allow Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to remain on her election interference case against the former president.

Georgia Judge Scott McAfee determined Friday that Willis had to either remove herself from the case or cut ties with her special prosecutor, with whom she was accused of having an improper relationship. McAfee refused to disqualify Willis, as Trump’s lawyers had demanded, a major win for the district attorney.

Trump’s allies immediately had a full meltdown over the ruling. Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec and Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene accused McAfee of bias in Willis’s favor. Greene also demanded the state ethics board investigate Willis.

Representative Ronny Jackson and former Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler went a step further and called for Willis to be disbarred.

Far-right activist Charlie Kirk said McAfee was a “coward” and called for Willis to be forcibly removed from the case. He then tried to spin the situation to make it seem as if Willis’s removal would be a good thing for Democrats.

Democrats should be outraged that Fani Willis is allowed to prosecute this case against Trump. She’s a disgraced liar. Her credibility is completely shot,” Kirk tweeted. “Fani Willis remains a massive legal and PR liability for the ‘Get Trump’ lawfare crowd.”

The pro-Trump outlet Gateway Pundit complained that “there is no justice in America today,” while noted Islamophobe Laura Loomer proclaimed the country was a “Banana Republic!”

Former Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz freaked out about the decision, repeatedly insisting on Newsmax that “there was an actual conflict of interest.”

Trump and several of his co-defendants in their Georgia election interference case accused Willis of an improper relationship with her special prosecutor Nathan Wade. Trump’s team says that Willis and Wade began dating in 2019, while the couple says they didn’t start seeing each other until 2022, after Willis hired Wade for the Georgia case.

Willis has also stressed that the most important thing to remember is that Trump and his co-defendants are currently on trial for “trying to steal an election.”

Trump has stayed uncharacteristically quiet in the wake of McAfee’s ruling. His allegations against Willis were part of his overarching strategy to delay every single one of his legal battles as long as possible, in the hopes that he is reelected in November and can use his newfound presidential powers to shield himself from prosecution.

Unfortunately More on Trump:

House Republicans’ Annual Retreat Sure Was a Total Disaster

“They should have opened the casino,” one GOP lawmaker bluntly said.

Mike Johnson speaks at a podium outside. Steve Scalise behind him holds his hand to his forehead.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Less than half of the Republican caucus opted to go to its own retreat at West Virginia’s Greenbrier Resort this week, resulting in an event jam-packed with unused room keys and empty tables rather than people—but even the small cohort that did attend went away unhappy.

“They should have opened the casino,” one GOP lawmaker told The Daily Beast, referring to a gambling hall in the basement that party leaders decided to keep closed.

The poorly attended event was just another mar on the record for a disjointed conservative party, which found itself condensing a two-and-a-half-day schedule into roughly 24 hours thanks to the tiny turnout. Rather than talk shop and make nice, lawmakers spent the day away at the hotel bar or out golfing, while others dipped out shortly after arriving. One GOP aide described attendance as “abysmal” in comparison to the weekly conference meetings, according to the outlet.

Invited guest speakers also opted not to join, including GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and marquee speaker Fox News Business host Larry Kudlow, who pulled out of the event at the last minute.

Party members blasted Speaker Mike Johnson and the rest of the GOP leadership team for the lackluster affair, pointing to a lack of cohesion and unity that some claimed stemmed from the very top.

“Unity starts at the top,” one Republican told the Beast. “If you’re not unified as a leadership team, you’re not going to be unified as a body. It’s just not going to happen. So I think they need to build cohesiveness.”

Another claimed that Johnson didn’t have the same political pizzazz as his predecessor, ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was capable of pulling information from all sectors of the Republican caucus via a team of informants.

“I’m not sure that Speaker Mike Johnson has that or has even tried to bring that together,” the lawmaker said.

But Johnson had his own complaints, reportedly telling the conference that he’s been running on three hours of sleep since taking the gavel and battling “internecine warfare” between Republicans, according to Punchbowl News.

Altogether, it’s another bad omen for the health of the legislature, which is witnessing resignations en masse, citing similar complaints of Republican infighting and lack of competency. On Tuesday, Colorado Representative Ken Buck submitted his resignation in a hurry, giving less than two weeks’ notice for the historically coveted job, which surprised everyone, including his boss, Speaker Mike Johnson.

Trump-Backed MAGA Senate Candidate Linked to Gay Hookup Site

Ohio’s Bernie Moreno is trying to blame someone else for his presence on the site.

Joe Maiorana/AP Photo

The leading candidate in Ohio’s Republican Senate primary has been linked to a profile on a gay hookup website, sparking in-party fears that he could cost them the race.

Entrepreneur Bernie Moreno is one of three men running to face off against Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown in the fall. So far, Moreno is the front-runner, and his far-right stances opposing abortion access and LGBTQ rights have earned him an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

But in 2008, someone used Moreno’s email address to make an account seeking “Men for 1-on-1 sex” on the casual sex website Adult Friend Finder, the Associated Press reported late Thursday.

“Hi, looking for young guys to have fun with while traveling,” the bio reads. The account, which does not have a profile picture, goes by the username “nardo19672.” This appears to be a reference to Moreno’s first name, Bernardo, and the year and month of his birth, February 1967.

The AP was able to confirm that the linked email address is Moreno’s, through a review of AFF records that were leaked during a data breach. The AP was unable to confirm whether Moreno himself made the account, only that someone with access to his email did. Records also show the last time the profile was accessed was about six hours after it was created.

Moreno’s campaign told the AP that a former intern, Dan Ricci, had created the account as a prank. Ricci also provided a statement saying he made the profile as “part of a juvenile prank.”

But senior Republican operatives and elected officials in both Washington and Ohio are worried that the account’s mere existence will taint Moreno’s candidacy beyond repair. Seven people described the rampant frustrations to the AP, which got so bad that some Republican Party officials requested a formal data review to see if Moreno really was linked to the account. That review found the profile had been made with Moreno’s work email.

The Ohio race is highly contentious, as control of the Senate hangs in the balance. If Republicans manage to flip Brown’s seat, they could also flip the chamber. And so far, the party has struggled to put forward a solid contender.

Before Moreno took the lead, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose was expected to clinch the GOP nomination in the primary next week. LaRose, of course, suffered a humiliating defeat last year, when state residents voted to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. LaRose had pulled out all the stops to block the abortion referendum but was overwhelmingly turned back.

Beyond Moreno’s link to a queer sex website, voters may also be put off by his flip-flopping on LGBTQ rights. Moreno’s oldest son is gay, and he expressed support for LGBTQ rights and anti-discrimination legislation as recently as 2020.

But starting in 2021, when Moreno first ran for Senate, he began to distance himself from his past positions. During this campaign, he has spouted common Republican talking points, including accusing LGBTQ rights advocates of pushing a “radical” agenda of “indoctrination.”

Moreno was endorsed by the anti-LGBTQ group Ohio Value Voters and accused LaRose of backing a “radical trans agenda.” He even ran an ad calling LaRose untrustworthy because he was “left-wing” and “pro-trans.”

GOP Candidate Who Called for Obama’s Execution Proceeds to Double Down

Michele Morrow is running for office in North Carolina—and she sees nothing wrong with calling for the execution of Barack Obama.

Michelle Morrow speaking during a CBS 17 interview. Chyron says her name.
Screenshot/CBS 17

The Republican nominee to become North Carolina’s public school superintendent has a social media history that would undoubtedly get her detention.

Michele Morrow pulled off a local upset last week, winning the nomination over her incumbent GOP opponent, superintendent Catherine Truitt. But Morrow’s social media posts on X and the conservative alternative Parler reveal a wannabe politician with a harrowing history of violent beliefs, espousing QAnon conspiracies and calling for the executions of several prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and Joe Biden, shortly after he won the 2020 presidential election, reported CNN’s KFile.

“I prefer a Pay Per View of him in front of the firing squad,” she wrote in a tweet from May 2020, responding to a conspiracy theory to ship Obama to Guantánamo Bay. “I do not want to waste another dime on supporting his life. We could make some money back from televising his death.”

In another post responding to an image of a fake Time magazine cover with Obama sitting in an electric chair, Morrow wrote, “Death to ALL traitors!!”

In December 2020, Morrow came down on Biden after the soon-to-be president said that he would sign an executive order to make federal employees comply with Centers for Disease Control guidelines and mask for 100 days.

“Never. We need to follow the Constitution’s advice and KILL all TRAITORS!!! #JusticeforAmerica,” she wrote.

In other posts, Morrow targeted Representative Ilhan Omar, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Hillary Clinton, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. She frequently lauded QAnon conspiracies, suggesting in one post that actor Jim Carrey was drinking the blood of children, and sharing the cult’s catchphrases.

But Morrow’s political platform is similarly alarming. In February, the GOP candidate advocated for an amendment to get the state Board of Education abolished, effectively handing the power to craft school policy to the superintendent—and the GOP-controlled state legislature.

“I’d like to see a constitutional amendment to get rid of the state Board of Education,” she said. “If the superintendent is elected and works under the legislature—knowing that they’re accountable to the legislature to oversee the [North Carolina Department of Public Instruction] and to oversee and have impact into the superintendents in the 115 districts, I think we would be so much better off because you don’t have all these extra people right in mix.”