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Steve Bannon Reveals Real Reason MAGA Is Freaking Out at CNN

The far right is mad that CNN cut off an interview with a Trump ally. But Steve Bannon just admitted the endgame in the manufactured outrage.

Steve Bannon walks outside and smiles
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Steve Bannon pointed out why the right wing is whining about CNN dismissing Donald Trump’s press secretary Karoline Leavitt from an interview on Monday, and it’s because of Trump’s upcoming debate with Biden.

On his War Room show on Real America’s Voice, Bannon said in an interview with Leavitt that she was owed an apology.

“[CNN’s] Kasie Hunt owes you an apology, CNN owes you an apology today, and if we don’t get that apology to Karoline Leavitt and to the Trump campaign, to MAGA today, President Trump should cancel this,” Bannon said, referring to the June 27 presidential debate that CNN is hosting.

Trump and his allies have already made plenty of excuses to try and either weasel out of the two scheduled debates with Biden or make excuses for his possible poor showing. The former president and convicted felon has tried to push a third debate on his own to give himself an out when it wouldn’t be accepted by the Biden campaign.

Trump’s friend Sean Hannity has floated that Trump shouldn’t take part in any debates until he formally secures the Republican nomination. Trump himself has pushed the idea that Biden will be drugged up to perform well during the debates multiple times, with Hannity and Representative Ronny Jackson echoing this conspiracy theory. Now Bannon is insinuating that CNN won’t be fair to Trump because they have criticized him in the past, and is giving Trump an out, even though Biden and Trump both agreed to the terms of the debate last month.

Bannon should maybe be more worried about his impending four-month prison sentence, which he has bitterly fought and is now trying to weasel out of with a desperate appeal to the Supreme Court. If it goes the way MAGA fellow traveler Peter Navarro’s Supreme Court appeal went, Bannon will end up trying to figure out if he can record his show from a prison like Rikers Island.

Trump Facing More Trouble After Shady Meeting With Oil Executives

Donald Trump has just been hit with a bribery complaint.

Donald Trump speaks at a mic and looks concerned. You can see the outline of his spray tan on his face. (He looks sickly.)
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Donald Trump may be in trouble for asking oil executives to donate $1 billion to his campaign in April.

Citizen for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonprofit watchdog organization, filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging criminal bribery regarding Trump’s meeting with industry leaders. The former president and convicted felon told them the $1 billion would be part of a deal in exchange for loosened regulations of the oil industry.

In a statement, CREW’s president Noah Bookbinder said Trump’s actions towards oil executives “follow a pattern.”

“Donald Trump’s actions here follow a pattern of Trump opening himself up to corrupt influence, courting conflicts of interest, and using official positions to enrich himself—and in this case may run afoul of the criminal law,” Bookbinder said. The complaint was sent as a letter to the chief of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, Corey Amundson, as well as FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Ron Wyden, the respective chairs of the Senate Budget and Finance Committees, are also investigating the meeting, with Whitehouse calling it the “definition of corruption.”

And he has a point. Trump is effectively selling laws to big business, with oil executives already drafting executive orders for him to sign immediately if he gets reelected. Trump reportedly promised these executives that he’d scrap a ban on permits for new liquefied natural gas exports on the first day, overturn new tailpipe emission limits designed to help the transition to electric vehicles, and offer more leases for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Trump’s first term was full of giveaways to the fossil fuel industry, so why is he asking for cash now? It’s because he’s short on cash, already funneling his donor contributions to the lawyers concerned with his many legal issues. As much as his rise in politics came from attacking the wealthy elite establishment, he’s fully willing to cozy up to billionaires and wealthy business leaders as long as they are willing to pay up.

Louisiana’s Ten Commandments Law Already on Its Way to Supreme Court

Louisiana’s governor said he can’t wait to be sued. He just got what he wanted.

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry has his mouth slightly ajar. A mic is before him. (He is in a congressional hearing.)
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Last week, Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry signed into law a controversial bill requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public school classrooms. Shortly before, he told donors at a GOP event in Tennessee, “I’m going home to sign a bill that places the Ten Commandments in public classrooms. And I can’t wait to be sued.” Sure enough, Louisiana parents and a coalition of civil liberties organizations are granting him his wish.

The ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, along with the parents of children enrolled in Louisiana public schools, filed a lawsuit against the state for violating the religious freedom of students on Monday. The move was widely expected, not just by Landry and religious conservative pugilists, but also by a consensus of legal experts, who claim the law is unconstitutional. Supreme Court legal precedent is on their side; two previous attempts to mandate similar displays were struck down.

But Landry’s giddiness for the upcoming legal fight echoes the attitude of the bill’s co-author, Louisiana State Representative Lauren Ventrella, who, in the midst of a flailing attempt to defend the law on national television, revealed the Christian conservative strategy on which she and Landry will rely.

“Now it is a different bench” on the Supreme Court, Ventrella told CNN’s Abby Philip. With a 6–3 conservative majority—including religious fundamentalist Christians Amy Coney Barrett and Samuel Alito, and multiple justices who have shown a willingness to depart from precedent capriciously—advocates of the law are hoping to move the lawsuit through the courts until it finds a friendly reception at the Supreme Court.

In the meantime, though, they’ll continue to run roughshod over the First Amendment.

More on the nefarious reason this law was signed:

Judge Cannon Finds Another Way to Delay Trump’s Classified Docs Trial

The judge took issue with funding for special counsel Jack Smith’s team.

Donald Trump smiles as he stands at a microphone
Hannah Beier/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Judge Aileen Cannon was poised Monday to do Donald Trump yet another massive favor in his classified documents case, aiming to slow down proceedings and muddy the waters by raising concerns about special counsel Jack Smith’s spending.

Attorneys for the former president have continued to push the claim that Smith’s appointment was constitutionally invalid, and in a hearing Monday, they took aim at the budget for Smith’s investigation. Cannon, who has readily slowed Trump’s trial to a complete standstill, was happy to entertain the defense’s grievances.

Fresh off of his loss in Manhattan criminal court, Trump’s lawyer Emil Bove argued that the Department of Justice had violated the U.S. Consitution’s appropriations clause by improperly funding Smith’s office.

Trump’s defense lawyers had argued in a court filing Friday that Smith was not paid through the Justice Department but through an “off the books” fund reserved for “independent counsels,” which lack the necessary oversight. They alleged that Smith has access to a “permanent indefinite appropriation,” which is otherwise not available to a special counsel.

During Monday’s hearing, assistant special counsel James Pearce responded to the defense’s claims, arguing that the Justice Department could just as easily pay Smith’s bills out of their own pot.

But Cannon didn’t seem convinced. The Trump-appointed judge said that the seemingly “limitless” funding suggested a separation of powers issue, per Bove’s claim.

Cannon called the cost of Smith’s appointment a “significant” amount of money, according to The Washington Post, although it is likely only a small fraction of the Department of Justice’s whopping $40 billion annual budget.

Resolving whether Smith’s appointment is constitutional will only drag out Trump’s classified documents case, making it less likely with every passing day that he will face trial before the November election.

Cannon held a second hearing Monday afternoon over prosecutors’ request that a gag order be placed on the former president, preventing him from making unfounded claims against the FBI. Trump has insisted that federal agents intended to maim or even assassinate him while searching Mar-a-Lago, while in reality, they purposefully timed their search to occur when he was absent.

GOP Operative Behind Those Edited Biden Videos Revealed

Here’s the person responsible for the viral, doctored videos of Joe Biden.

Joe Biden looks confused
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

An RNC staffer is behind the viral doctored videos of Joe Biden appearing senile, a new report from The Daily Beast shows.

According to the Beast’s Jake Lahut, 31-year-old Jake Schneider, a former Trump campaign employee and former intern for Tea Party Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, runs the popular RNC Research Twitter account, which has posted several videos of Biden appearing confused or freezing up. RNC Research has also promoted an edited video that suggests that the president pooped himself (it has since been debunked).

Sources close to the Trump campaign called Schneider “the tip of the spear” of the Republican effort to make Biden’s age a central issue of the election. And they’re not wrong. Schneider and RNC Research enjoy high levels of coordination with powerful right-wing media organizations smuggling the interests of the ruling class through seemingly neutral platforms: Sinclair Broadcast Group, the media company buying up local news affiliates and turning them into pro-Trump organs, has been blasting out syndicated news features on Biden’s age using RNC Research videos (including, in at least three articles, the claim that he pooped himself) to nearly 100 local news websites in the past month.

RNC Research’s skullduggery comes in the wake of the total remaking of the RNC in Trump’s image: Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump and election-denier Michael Whatley were picked to helm the organization in March.

George Conway Has a Brutal Message for Trump Fans

Conway slammed Donald Trump as “weak.”

Donald Trump gestures as he speaks
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

George Conway has issued a harsh wake-up call for MAGA supporters around the country: No one else in the entire world likes your candidate.

“Basically, the entire world makes fun of this man,” Conway said on the most recent episode of his podcast George Conway Explains It All.

“In MAGA Land, they don’t appreciate what a global, planetary joke he is to the world,” Conway continued in the Thursday episode, later posting the same quote on his social media. “They think of Donald Trump as this tough guy who scares everybody. He scares everybody the same way that a 5-year-old walking around on a roof holding a bomb might scare. But he’s, you know, he’s weak and pathetic and stupid.”

In another portion of the podcast, Conway claimed that Trump should make for an easy debate opponent for President Joe Biden to prepare for, claiming that Trump’s repetitive attacks are “not very good” and “usually in the same order.”

Political advisers and news outlets have scrambled to pinpoint Trump’s battle tactics for presidential debates since he first appeared as a legitimate candidate in 2016. The Atlantic argued that Trump relies heavily on a rhetorical approach called the Gish gallop, which they describe as a “torrent of incorrect, irrelevant, or idiotic arguments” in which one can bury their opponent. One political insider told Politico Magazine that Trump has “no strategy, just kill and eat.” And Vox created a seven-part taxonomy of Trump’s approach, observing that he “turns tough policy questions into simple stories,” filibusters until the clock runs out to avoid giving details, and leans on his poll numbers and meaningless, three-word slogans.

Conway is the ex-husband of former top Trump White House aide Kellyanne Conway, who reportedly still has the close ear and attention of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee—so much so that she’s been doing the legwork of weighing candidates for Trump’s vice president pick. The Conways split up in 2023 after spending the better part of the Trump administration sniping at each others’ political opinions in the public sphere.

Trump Grew National Debt Twice As Much as Biden, Damning Report Says

The Republican Party is only pretending to care about cutting the debt. Just look at their leader’s record.

Donald Trump speaks at a mic (profile shot)
Hannah Beier/Bloomberg/Getty Images

A new report has found that Donald Trump’s spending habits as president led to him driving up the national debt twice as much as Biden.

An Axios analysis published Monday found that Trump added $8.4 trillion in borrowing, including $3.6 trillion in Covid-19 relief, citing the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. In contrast, Biden borrowed $4.3 trillion, with $2.1 trillion going to Covid relief.

Much of Trump’s non-pandemic debt was due to his 2017 tax cuts, which added $1.9 trillion of debt. His spending packages, passed with bipartisan support, added $2.1 trillion. Biden’s spending bills only added $1.4 trillion, along with $620 billion for his student debt plans and $520 billion supporting health care for veterans.

The analysis raises questions about how the November presidential election would affect fiscal policy. Trump’s tax policies are currently set to expire in 2025 but would add $4.6 trillion to the national debt over the next decade if they are fully extended. Neither Biden nor Trump have paid particular attention to the national debt in their presidential campaigns, but it has a major effect on the economy and government programs.

The GOP has long criticized the Democratic Party for a willingness to tax and spend, but the data shows that Biden has spent much less than Trump, even after factoring in Covid. Trump, who came into the White House touting his success in business, seems to have shown his ability to rack up debt and completely disregard older Republican ideas of fiscal responsibility.

But really, the difference between the two presidential candidates, and their political parties, can be traced back to the historically pivotal 2000 presidential election. Democrat Al Gore wanted to use the budget surplus at the time to pay down the national debt, while Republican George W. Bush wanted to enact a massive tax cut. In the end, Bush won, and he would not only enact the tax cut but rack up astronomical levels of debt by taking the United States into two wars with no tax increases.

Today, no Republican will entertain tackling the debt with tax increases, even on the rich, illustrating the choice Americans have this November about how the national debt will be handled. Bush and Trump have hopefully taught voters that businessmen don’t make for better, or even fiscally responsible, political leaders.

Alex Jones’s Conspiracy Kingdom Just Got Closer to Crumbling

A bankruptcy court trustee has filed an emergency motion to shut down Jones’s media company.

Alex Jones speaks
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

After Alex Jones weaponized his media empire in order to broadcast countless conspiracy theories, his primary platform is coming to an end.

A U.S. bankruptcy court trustee filed an “emergency” motion Sunday to proceed with the liquidation of Jones’s media assets. That cash would be used toward the $1.5 billion that the far-right personality owes to the families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre after he claimed the mass shooting, which took the lives of 20 first graders and six adults, was a hoax.

Trustee Christopher Murray said in his filing that he “seeks this Court’s intervention to prevent a value-destructive money grab and allow an orderly process to take its course.”

Jones reportedly holds $9 million in personal assets, while InfoWars’s parent company, Free Speech Systems, has $6 million in cash, with roughly $1.2 million worth of inventory, reported the Associated Press.

Jones filed for bankruptcy in 2022 after losing his case against the victims of the tragedy. Jones himself filed earlier this month to liquidate all of his assets so that he could begin to put a dent in paying off the massive debt. Days later, the judge overseeing the personal bankruptcy case, Judge Christopher Lopez, approved the switch from reorganization to liquidation. Lopez also dismissed the company’s bankruptcy filing, noting that InfoWars had failed to reach an agreement with the victims’ families that would have allowed Jones to keep the business in operation while paying them millions of dollars per year.

In the background, Jones is working to appeal the judgments against him, claiming that while he now believes that the mass shooting did happen, his First Amendment rights should permit him to be able to say that they didn’t.

Matt Gaetz Is Furious CNN Wouldn’t Let Trump Spokeswoman Lie on Air

MAGA world is freaking out that Donald Trump’s press secretary Karoline Leavitt was cut off mid-interview.

Donald Trump spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt speaks into microphones
Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s press secretary Karoline Leavitt got dissed and dismissed during an interview on CNN Monday, and the former president’s allies are up in arms. 

Leavitt was speaking with CNN’s Kasie Hunt when she began criticizing the network, which will host the first Biden-Trump presidential debate on Thursday, June 27. 

Leavitt praised her boss for “knowingly going into a hostile environment on this very network, on CNN, with debate moderators who have made their opinions about him very well known over the past eight years.” 

Hunt recoiled as her interviewee casually called CNN’s coverage “biased.”

“So I’ll just say my colleagues, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, have acquitted themselves as professionals as they have covered campaigns and interviewed candidates from all sides of the aisle,” Hunt rebutted. “I’ll also say that if you talk to analysts of previous debates, that if you’re attacking the moderators, you’re usually losing.”

The CNN host tried to turn the subject back to what Leavitt expected from Joe Biden’s debate performance, but the conservative spokeswoman couldn’t resist going in on Tapper, who has become a regular target of Trump’s allies ever since being tapped to moderate the upcoming debate. 

“Well, first of all, it would take someone five minutes for someone to google ‘Jake Tapper Donald Trump’ to see that Jake Tapper has consistently—” Leavitt began, before Hunt put her hand up, interrupting her.  

“Ma’am, I’m going to stop this interview if you’re going to continue to attack my colleagues,” said Hunt, but Leavitt persisted. The two continued to talk over each other, Hunt’s voice rising as she bid her guest to answer the question and stick to talking about Trump. 

Leavitt’s insistence on skirting the question so she could muscle through her Trumpian talking point is par for the course for the former president’s allies, who regularly derail interviews so they can breathlessly campaign on air. 

Eventually, Hunt just gave up. 

“I’m sorry, guys, we’re going to come back out to the panel,” said Hunt. “Karoline, thank you very much for your time. You are welcome to come back at any point. She is welcome to come back and speak about Donald Trump, and Donald Trump will have equal time to Joe Biden when they both join us, now, uh next, later this week in Atlanta for this debate.”

Now Republicans are taking aim at Hunt for ending the interview early. 

“I would like to thank @kasie for her meltdown this morning,” wrote ethically dubious Representative Matt Gaetz in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “Without the booting of @kleavittnh today. Karoline’s legitimate criticisms of CNN wouldn’t have gotten nearly the play they did.”

Right-wing ghoul Stephen Miller also had some unsolicited advice for Hunt. 

“Pro tip for CNN: if you silence a guest for truthfully discussing deeply offensive commentary from a CNN host, and abruptly terminate the interview, you succeed only in calling more attention to the CNN host’s alarming bias and outrageous slanders,” he wrote on X. 

It’s worth noting that the specific reason Trump allies are taking shots at Tapper is because he has reported on Trump’s fascistic and dehumanizing rhetoric, rightly comparing the former president to Adolf Hitler. Trump even shared a video compilation made by Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec of all the times Tapper has compared him to the Nazi leader.

Strangely, most Republicans took no issue when Steve Bannon did the exact same thing—apparently when he said it, he meant it as a compliment. 

Leavitt also weighed in on the onscreen drama. “CNN cutting off my microphone for bringing up a debate moderator’s history of anti-Trump lies just proves our point that President Trump will not be treated fairly in Thursday’s debate. Yet President Trump is still willing to go into this 3–1 fight to bring his winning message to the American people, and he will win,” Leavitt said, according to Fox News. 

With all of the attacks against CNN, though, it seems that Trump’s team actually believes the exact opposite. That’s why they’re doing everything they can to undermine the debate’s legitimacy before it even happens. 

South Carolina to Launch Biggest Censorship Campaign Yet

The South Carolina state superintendent of education is about to gut school libraries.

Bookshelves at a junior high school in South Carolina are half-empty
Melissa Golden/Bloomberg/Getty Images

South Carolina is expected to implement one of the most restrictive state-wide public school books bans in the country Tuesday—and it has a close ally of Moms for Liberty to blame.

The draconian new law will require all instructional materials, including library books, to be considered “Age or Developmentally Appropriate.” If that term sounds purposefully meaningless, that’s because it is. The new rule vaguely defines appropriate “topics, messages, and teaching methods” as being “suitable to particular ages or age groups of children and adolescents, based on developing cognitive, emotional, and behavioral capacity typical for the age or age group.”

This definition, which leaves plenty of room for its expansive application, comes with an additional caveat that will make possible the most restrictive ban on books in the nation.

Instructional material will no longer be considered “age or developmentally appropriate” if it includes descriptions or visual depictions of “sexual conduct.” South Carolina state law defines sexual conduct as “vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse, whether actual or simulated, normal or perverted, whether between human beings, animals, or a combination thereof.”

This change is a significant tightening of the law, which previously required descriptions of sexual conduct to be considered “obscene” in order for them to qualify a book for removal from a public school library. For sexual conduct to be considered obscene, it needed to appeal to a “prurient interest in sex,” lack “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value,” be patently offensive, or fail to meet community standards, according to state law.

South Carolina’s absurdly authoritarian rule will automatically go into effect on June 25, and will be even more restrictive than Governor Ron Desantis’s crackdown on books in Florida, which also uses the obscenity rule. The South Carolina law will undoubtedly have an outsize effect on all materials related to LGBTQ+ people and experiences, but it will also apply to classic works of literature such as Catcher in the Rye, Romeo and Juliet, and The Odyssey.

The new law is the brainchild of State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver, who was invited to speak at a summit in Philadelphia last summer for the extremist parental rights group Moms for Liberty.

Earlier this month, South Carolina’s Department of Education decided to drop Advanced Placement African American studies courses from schools and remove college credit for those classes. In April, Weaver advised schools to ignore President Joe Biden’s updated Title IX rules, which expanded protections for LGBTQ+ students.

This new rule, which was approved in November, represents a significant escalation for the totalitarian bureaucrat who aims to create a society that relies on state censorship, fueling ignorance in the hope of creating a new generation of bigoted Americans.