Skip Navigation
Breaking News
Breaking News
from Washington and beyond

Supreme Court Helps Out Mass Shooters by Overturning Bump Stock Ban

The court just overturned a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, frequently used in mass shootings.

Supreme Court
Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Court Accountability

The Supreme Court released an extreme ruling on Friday overturning a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, an attachment used to convert a semiautomatic rifle into an automatic rifle and which dramatically increases capacity for causing mass death. The Supreme Court overturned that ban in a 6–3 vote on Friday, with all liberal justices dissenting.

Bump stocks were initially banned by the Trump administration following the Las Vegas massacre, where a shooter using a bump stock fired more than 1,000 rounds at concertgoers over the course of 11 minutes in October 2017, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500. But even gun-friendly Trump’s restriction was a step too far for the high court.

Delivering the ruling, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas argued that bump stocks don’t convert rifles into machine guns, which are banned. Thomas’s logic is that because a bump stock allows a shooter to “rapidly re-engage the trigger” instead of continuous shooting, bump stocks don’t convert assault rifles into machine guns. This splitting-hairs distinction evacuates any consideration for how much a bump stock transforms a rifle—converting the number of bullets that can be shot per minute from 180 to anywhere between 400 to 800.

The Supreme Court’s ruling focuses on granular differences between high-capacity weapons of mass death—as if how frequently a finger pulls a trigger makes much difference to the loved ones of those killed under a hail of bullets.

We're sorry for depressing news:

Mike Johnson Has No Clue Trump Already Admitted Milwaukee Insult

The House speaker is always so desperate to defend Donald Trump.

House Speaker Mike Johnson
Tom Williams/Pool/Getty Images

Speaker Mike Johnson tried to claim to Sean Hannity that Donald Trump didn’t trash Milwaukee in his meeting with House Republicans on Thursday, despite the fact that Trump admitted he made the insult.

On Fox News Thursday night, Hannity asked Johnson point-blank if Trump called Wisconsin’s largest city, the site of the Republican National Convention this summer, a “horrible city.”

“No, I didn’t hear it, and I was sitting right next to him,” Johnson said, seemingly unaware that Trump had already doubled down on his comments on Fox News itself. 

Trump’s insult of Milwaukee spread quickly and prompted denials and explanations from Republicans Thursday, including Wisconsin representatives who were present. Johnson appears to have taken his cue from Representative Bryan Steil, who also denied that Trump attacked the city, while three other Republicans from the state tried to explain it away, not knowing that Trump would later own his comments.

Wisconsin Democrats have already pounced on Trump for his words, with Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson mocking the convicted felon and former president and Representative Gwen Moore joking that Trump’s presence in Milwaukee would raise the city’s crime rate. Meanwhile, the Republican presidential nominee’s other bizarre comments in his House meeting have been overshadowed, including his mention of Taylor Swift and his even stranger claim that one of Nancy Pelosi’s daughters had told him he and her mother “would be perfect together.”

MTG Freaks Out at Thought of Trump Not Liking Her

Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Trump obsession is a symptom of the GOP’s cultish devotion.

Marjorie Taylor Greene gestures as she speaks at a podium during a Trump rally
Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene doesn’t want anyone getting the wrong idea: that get-in-line remark from Donald Trump was definitely a compliment.

The MAGA soldier was thrilled that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee even recognized her among the crowd of House Republicans during his closed-door meeting with the caucus on Thursday.

“He’s always so sweet, recognizing me, and he said, ‘Are you being nice to Speaker [Mike] Johnson?’” she told CNN’s Lauren Fox.

“He was joking. And I said, ‘Eh,’” she continued, gesturing with her hands. “He said, ‘OK, be nice to him,’ and I nodded my head.”

But interpreting the interaction as anything other than high praise from an idol to his sycophants is completely off the books. Greene made a point to furiously correct Politico’s Olivia Beavers, who reported that the room had “erupted” after Trump ordered the instruction.

“Nothing’s worse than a reporter that only reports half the story,” Greene wrote on X, sharing a screenshot of Beavers’s description of the meeting. “She left off all the nice compliments Pres Trump said about me to our conference.”

“President Trump is right. I’m loyal and unapologetically support him everywhere and all the time, and I am capable. That’s why I’ll be nice to Johnson as long as he’s nice to my favorite President,” she continued. “And that means Speaker Johnson better use the full weight of his office to stop the politically weaponized government and pass our Republican agenda, not Biden’s agenda.”

Greene and Johnson were diametrically opposed as recently as last month, when the Georgia Republican forced a vote to strip Johnson of the gavel. Her motion to vacate fell apart after the House voted 359-43 to keep Johnson in leadership.

But the time-consuming and chaotic effort came at the cost of Greene’s already minimal popularity in the lower chamber, with Republicans insisting that she be stripped of her committee assignments for leading another attempt to divide an already thin and historically unproductive majority.

Ted Cruz Mocked for Fawning Response to Trump’s Visit

The Texas Republican continues to fanboy even after everything Donald Trump said about his wife and father.

Ted Cruz smiles as he sits in front of a microphone
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Lawrence O’Donnell tore into Senator Ted Cruz for submissively applauding Donald Trump, who famously hates him, even after the presumptive GOP nominee had walked out of his meeting with Senate Republicans.

During his show on MSNBC Thursday night, O’Donnell reminded viewers that during Trump’s first run for president, he made several depraved comments about Cruz. Trump had made the wild assertion that Cruz’s father killed President John F. Kennedy. He also attacked Cruz’s wife’s appearance, threatening to “spill the beans” on her. Cruz tossed a few volleys of his own, calling Trump a “pathological liar,” a “sniveling coward,” and a “serial philanderer.”

O’Donnell reminded viewers that, “There was real suspense then going into the 2016 Republican Convention about whether or not the deeply offended Senator Cruz would even endorse Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president. But Senator Cruz looked into his heart and found … nothing,” O’Donnell said.

“Nothing that would prevent him from endorsing the presidential candidate who attacked and lied about his father and attacked and lied about his wife. And there was Senator Cruz today in that lineup of utterly egoless Republican men craving their moment with Donald Trump, craving a possible handshake, or a possible pat on the back, or a wink or a smile, a glance, anything from Donald Trump.”

When it became apparent that Trump would seize the nomination in 2016, the Texas senator put the bad blood aside, and has since repeatedly sold his soul for a ticket on the Trump train. In January, Cruz announced he was “enthusiastically” endorsing him for president.

O’Donnell highlighted how Cruz’s spinelessness was once again on display during Trump’s meeting with Republican senators Thursday. In footage from the event, Trump can be seen moving down a line of senators hoping for a handshake. He stopped in front of his fanboy, Cruz, for a moment, before swiftly moving down the line. As Trump made his way out the door, Cruz kept clapping—and continued applauding even after Trump was out of the room.

“He kept clapping after Donald Trump left the room, after the door was closed,” O’Donnell scoffed. “Did he think Donald Trump could see through the door?”

MAGA Media Won’t Stop Sharing This Doctored Biden Video

MAGA world keeps sharing an obviously edited video of Joe Biden at the G7 summit.

G7 leaders standing outside all tilt their heads back look up in the sky
Alessandra Benedetti/Corbis/Getty Images
G7 leaders Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, Charles Michel, president of the European Council, Emmanuel Macron, president of France, Rishi Sunak, prime minister of the U.K., U.S. President Joe Biden, Giorgia Meloni, prime minister of Italy, and Fumio Kishida, prime minister of Japan, look on during a parachute drop demonstration at San Domenico Golf Club during the first day of the G7 meeting in Fasano, Italy, on June 13.

Another day, another manufactured ragebait: Conservative media is circulating a video of Joe Biden apparently wandering off during a G7 summit gathering in southern Italy with claims that fascist Italian Prime Minister Meloni had to “pull him back to focus.” The incident caused a stir among right-wing outlets—and was totally doctored.

The clip that circulated among tabloids at home and abroad, including the New York Post, Sky News, and Times of India—was first blown up by right-wing account “RNC Research,” an account managed by Trump’s campaign team and the Republican National Convention and that claims to be “exposing the lies, hypocrisy, and failed far-left policies of Joe Biden and the Democrat Party.”

RNC Research’s post conveniently cropped out a skydiver repacking his parachute that Biden turned to talk to before another skydiver began addressing the group of global leaders. After the New York Post shared the video of the incident on X, it was quickly met with a Community Note debunking the claim. While the New York Post’s article admits Biden was speaking with a skydiver, the headline and included video are nonetheless deceptive, provoking criticism of the Post’s coverage of the non-incident incident.

Twitter screenshot Cheri Jacobs: Dishonest hacks, you are. He watched a skydiving exhibition and gave them a thumbs up. Can Murdoch afford another defamation lawsuit?
Twitter @specialKavon: Here’s the clip you clown with a photo of Biden speaking to a parachuter
Twitter screenshot Jason's Blue Advocacy: You have no shame. Intentionally misleading your readers. with an uncropped photo of Biden speaking to a parachuter

In the full video, world leaders are informally gathered around each other, talking and looking around as Biden moves to chat with a skydiver repacking his parachute. While he’s speaking to the skydiver, another skydiver begins talking to the group, at which point the gaggle of world leaders begin to shuffle and adjust to listen to the skydiver. It’s at that point Meloni taps Biden to notify him that another skydiver is speaking to them behind him.

Trump’s Milwaukee Complaint Proves Irony Is Dead

Representative Gwen Moore compared Milwaukee’s crime rate to Donald Trump’s hush-money conviction.

Donald Trump speaks into a microphone
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Wisconsin Democrats have not been as forgiving as their conservative counterparts to Donald Trump’s closed-door insult against their home state, instead opting to torch the former president for calling Milwaukee a “horrible city” with a terrible crime rate.

Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday, Representative Gwen Moore turned the script back on Trump, joking that—because he’s a convicted felon—Milwaukee’s crime rate will actually go through the roof when he arrives for the Republican National Convention in July.

“I don’t know many people in Milwaukee who have 34 felony counts against them,” Moore said, adding through a laugh that “our crime rate sure is going to go up when he joins us.”

Trump’s wild explanation that he was referring to the city’s crime rate—and its recent decision to indict participants in his 2020 fake elector scheme—arrived hours after the open-ended insult, and after his Republican allies had had their chance at individually trying to explain away the comment. Some rushed to provide justifications that included whining about the city’s delay in answering the former president’s request to expand the security perimeter around the Republican National Convention in an effort to keep protesters even further out of vision. But others bizarrely jumped to claim that Trump never made the comments at all.

And speaking to Fox News’s Aishah Hasnie about whether or not his pick for vice president was in the meeting of House Republicans early Thursday, Trump doubled down that he wasn’t looking forward to trekking to Milwaukee for the convention.

“I don’t want to go, but I think [it] will probably get announced during the convention,” Trump told Hasnie.

Ultimately, Trump’s claim that the city’s crime numbers are “terrible” was actually just plain wrong. In reality, crime in Milwaukee is way down, with homicides in the city decreasing by 42 percent when compared to 2022, according to data from the Milwaukee Police Department. Crimes such as rape, aggravated assault, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson have also dropped off drastically in the Brew City.

“A few weeks ago I had a meeting with our police chief, and you know crime has gone down all over America, and we are really proud of the fact that crimes like murder and rape have gone down in double digits and one of the biggest problems we have in Milwaukee right now, it is reckless driving,” Moore told MSNBC.

Wisconsin is shaping up to be a key swing state in the 2024 presidential election. Only time will tell if they remember the flub come November.

Chicken Trump Already Trying to Excuse Losing the Debate

Donald Trump has come up with another bizarre justification for his own behavior.

Donald Trump watches Joe Biden talk as they both stand at podiums
Morry Gash/Pool/Getty Images

Donald Trump is already doing damage control for his upcoming debate with President Joe Biden.

The former president laid out a few different excuses, attempting to explain away why Biden might perform well on the stage in two weeks, during an interview Thursday night on the far-right news network Real America’s Voice.

“I don’t know, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I can say this. If he does make it through, which I think he will, they’re gonna feed him a lot of stuff,” said Trump. “And we should do a drug test, I’d love to do a drug test before.”

Trump, who rarely casts an accusation that is not also a projection, previously suggested that Biden was “higher than a kite,” during his State of the Union address.

The presumptive Republican nominee also joked Thursday that he might decide to throw the event, but his reasoning made little to no sense. Trump explained that his polling suggests that Biden is more popular than any of the Democrats that the party might tap to replace him, should they somehow choose to pull the plug on his campaign after the debate.

“This guy does better than the Democrats that you’re talking about, including [Gretchen] Whitmer,” Trump said, referring to the governor of Michigan. “He does better than them, I don’t quite understand that. I’m a little surprised. But, he actually polls better than all the people you’re talking about, and so, they don’t want to take him off, it depends.”

“Maybe I’m better off losing the debate, I’ll make sure he stays. I’ll lose the debate on purpose, maybe I’ll do something like that,” Trump added.

It’s less likely that Trump wants to keep his opponent, who is by his own admission popular among Democrats, in the race, and more likely that Trump wants to create a sort of safety rail in case he flubs his performance. Trump’s game plan is simple: if he does poorly, it was on purpose, and if Biden does great, it’s because he was on drugs.

CNN will host the first Biden-Trump debate on June 27.

How else Trump is preparing for the debate:

New York Governor Pitches Dangerous Idea to Crack Down on Protests

Kathy Hochul wants to revive an old tactic to repress the pro-Palestine protests in New York.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaking
Howard Schnapp/Newsday RM/Getty Images

New York Governor Kathy Hochul is bringing back a dangerous idea to crack down on pro-Palestine protests: a mask ban to rat out protesters.

Speaking with CNN’s Laura Coates in a softball interview Wednesday night, Hochul disseminated debunked disinformation about two recent pro-Palestine protests and floated a return to the state’s mask ban ordinance. The ban was previously enforced to quash the Ku Klux Klan and repealed in 2020 to accommodate protections against the Covid-19 pandemic. Hochul claimed the presence of masks—not antisemitic rhetoric or actions themselves, just people wearing masks—was “frightening.”

“There was a ban on masks before the pandemic, that you couldn’t have face coverings that didn’t serve a purpose. For example, a surgical mask for someone who is elderly or ill—the pandemic removed that from our state law. It was repealed at the time, but I absolutely will go back and take a look at this and see whether it can be restored because it is frightening to people,” said Hochul.

More frightening, many noted, is becoming sick with a highly contagious disease just so your local lawmakers can score political points. Hochul’s comment was met with immediate fury by disability rights advocates.

Tweet screenshot Zach Lennon-Simon: I currently have Covid and can't word how frustrating it is for Hochul to claim that she's protecting Jews like me from antisemitism by banning the face masks which protect us from Covid
Tweet screenshot Dr. Lucky Tran: Earlier this week, @GovKathyHochul issued a message to New Yorkers, telling them to be "Air Quality Aware." Yet also in the last week, the Governor halted congestion pricing, and stated she is looking into banning masks. This is absolutely hypocritical.

“Does that mean it will have a STRONG MEDICAL EXEMPTION? Or would it be a half-assed partial health exemption like NC republicans did? VERY UNCLEAR,” epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding wrote on X (formerly Twitter). Other proponents for masking as a public health tool also spoke out, with calls to flood Hochul’s contact lines to advocate against the prospective policy circulating widely as of Thursday afternoon.

Tweet Screenshot COVID Advocacy NY: NY ACTION ALERT: @GovKathyHochul said on CNN that she is considering banning masks in NY. We need to all speak out against this! Please contact Gov Hochul! Call: 518-474-8390 (press 1 to leave a message, press 2 to speak to a person) Write:
Tweet screenshot Julie S. Lam: TAs an immunocompromised @MTA rider & frequent flyer in NY, I #MaskUp for my health and to protect others from COVID, flu and other airborne diseases. I lost 2 friends to COVID. @GovKathyHochul please make sure that you won’t hurt New York by banning a lifesaving mitigation tool!
Tweet screenshot Mike Hoerger, PhD MSCR MBA: As a clinician scientist licensed in New York, we need more health professionals advocating for the right of individuals to #mask to protect their safety from airborne infectious disease. No better place to mask than when using the @MTA !
Tweet screenshot Nicole Lee Schroeder, PhD: This is Ugly Laws, eugenics-centric bullshit. Disabled people have the right to exist safely in public spaces. I don't know how we're supposed to survive. 1/3

Hochul’s interest in reinstating the state’s mask ban has followed other states working to repress pro-Palestine protests—where people frequently obscure their faces to protect against chronic harassment, not to embolden criminality.

More on Palestine and U.S. politics:

Clarence Thomas Fails to Disclose More Gifts From Right-Wing Buddy

The Supreme Court justice conveniently forgot to report even more private jet travel with Harlan Crow.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his robe
Alex Wong/Getty Images

It turns out Clarence Thomas has failed to disclose even more free trips from conservative billionaire Harlan Crow, a Senate Judiciary Committee investigation uncovered.

At least three times, Crow provided trips on his private jet to the Supreme Court justice to destinations including a March 2019 trip to Thomas’s Georgia hometown, a May 2017 trip to Montana near Glacier National Park with a return flight to Dallas two days later, and a June 2021 roundtrip flight between San Jose, California, and Washington, D.C. The revelations were provided to the committee from Crow’s lawyer.

The purpose of the trips was not mentioned in the report, and Thomas has not reported them in his financial disclosures, even though some legal experts say it violates the law.

It may be the first of more revelations to come, according to Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin, who said that a full investigative report from Democrats on the committee would be released later in the summer.

“As a result of our investigation and subpoena authorization, we are providing the American public greater clarity on the extent of ethical lapses by Supreme Court justices,” Durbin said in a statement. The revelations make it “crystal clear that the highest court needs an enforceable code of conduct,” he added.

Last year, a ProPublica investigation found that Thomas received free luxury vacations from Crow nearly every year, which the Supreme Court justice failed to report until just last week. The publication also reported that Crow funded the renovation of the home where Thomas’s mother lives, as well as the private school tuition of Mark Martin, the grandson of Thomas’s sister Emma Mae Martin. Thomas and his wife, Ginni Thomas, were Martin’s legal guardians from age 6 to 19 but have since cut ties with Martin, whom Thomas once said he was raising as a “son,” Martin revealed in a recent interview. 

Watch: Adam Schiff Reminds Republicans Just How Guilty Trump Is

The Democratic representative had an especially poignant summary of Donald Trump’s felony convictions.

Representative Adam Schiff speaking during a congressional hearing. His nameplate is before him.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On Thursday on the House floor, Representative Adam Schiff sought to drive home the point of Donald Trump’s 34 felony convictions in his hush-money trial.

“Guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty,” Schiff said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into Trump’s hush-money scheme prior to the 2016 presidential election. “This was what the jury pronounced, unanimously on every count.”

The California representative and Senate candidate pointed out that Republicans haven’t contested Trump’s guilt, but are basically demonstrating that they have discarded any moral convictions.

“What they’re really saying is they are more than comfortable nominating and electing as the president of the United States someone making hush-money payments to a porn star,” Schiff added, referring to adult film actress Stormy Daniels

Republicans have engaged in all kinds of conspiracy theories since Trump was found guilty, ranging from attacking Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, as was the purpose of Thursday’s hearing, to attacking the political activities of Judge Juan Merchan’s daughter as proof of a partisan motive in Trump’s prosecution. During the trial, Trump himself made the accusation on his Truth Social account, only to be slapped with a gag order.

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced in the trial on July 11, and reportedly begged Speaker Mike Johnson to try to overturn the guilty verdict, in an expletive-laden tirade in the days following his conviction. While Bragg and prosecutor Matthew Colangelo have agreed to testify before the committee, that may be all that House Republicans can do to intervene in a state criminal case. Of course, Trump may be trying to enlist their help in advance of his plan to win in November and give himself a permanent get out of jail free card.