Skip Navigation
Breaking News
Breaking News
from Washington and beyond

MTG Just Started the Most Ridiculous Debate Conspiracy Yet

Marjorie Taylor Greene is trying to undermine the credibility of the debate moderators.

Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks into a microphone while standing at a podium
Adam J. Dewey/Anadolu/Getty Images

MAGA Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has joined the list of Donald Trump’s allies bashing the moderators of CNN’s upcoming presidential debate, but she’s giving it her patented conspiracy theory twist.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday, the Georgia Republican wrote that CNN’s moderators “hate” Trump.

“Dana Bash’s husband is one of the 51 spies who in 2020 lied by signing his name to the intel community letter claiming Hunter Biden’s laptop was Russian disinformation,” she wrote. “Jake Tapper hates Trump so much and has called him Hitler.”

Bash’s ex-husband since 2007, Jeremy Bash, was one of 50 former senior intelligence officials who signed a letter in 2020 stating that the emails discovered on Hunter Biden’s laptop had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” according to Politico. The former officials said that Russia was once more trying to influence the outcome of the election by making Hunter Biden look guilty.

The letter was sent in response to a New York Post report that Joe Biden was tied to his son’s business dealings, based on emails found on Hunter’s laptop hard drive, which the outlet had received from Rudy Giuliani.

Right-wingers who were intent on using the Hunter Biden laptop story to derail the 2020 election have baselessly claimed that the letter was a lie meant to boost Biden, and keep Trump from staying in the White House.

Years later, this conspiracy theory—the 51 “spies who lie” as the Post termed it—still lives rent-free in the minds of many Trump supporters. The Post published a new piece about the theory on Tuesday, which was subsequently reposted to the House Judiciary Committee Republicans website.

In addition to being the CNN host’s ex-husband of 17 years, Jeremy Bash was a former chief of staff for the CIA, former chief of staff at the Department of Defense, and former chief counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, according to the letter. Greene seems to imagine that because Jeremy and Dana Bash were married nearly two decades ago, the CNN anchor somehow has anything to do with the letter, or the animus Greene fantasizes was behind it.

As for Greene’s other claim, Republicans have been whipped into a frenzy over Tapper’s comparisons of Trump to the Nazi leader—but they didn’t have any problems when Steve Bannon made the same comparison, because he meant it as a compliment.

Greene has joined the chorus of conservative voices who have decided that the mutually agreed terms of the debate present an unfair disadvantage to the former president— again, despite the fact that he signed on to them. Trump and his cronies have taken up their old strategy of whining and lying to get out of it, while simultaneously insisting that Trump will win regardless.

“I have faith in President Trump,” Greene wrote on X. “He’s going to do great!”

Supreme Court Shockingly Sides With Biden on Social Media Disinfo

In a stunning decision on Murthy v. Missouri, the Supreme Court sided with Biden in a dispute with conservative states.

Supreme Court
Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

The Supreme Court delivered a surprising opinion on Wednesday, siding with the Biden administration and giving a kick in the face to conspiracy theorists and purveyors of disinformation.

Missouri, Louisiana, and five social media users sued U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy arguing that the government’s efforts to combat anti-vax and election disinformation in conjunction with social media platforms suppressed their freedom of speech and caused them harm.

The case, Murthy v. Missouri, argued that the Biden administration violated people’s First Amendment rights by communicating with social media companies about enforcing against covid and election-related disinformation. The crux of the argument was that a social media platform’s moderation actions, if enacted after being given recommendations by the federal government to do so, effectively become actions taken by the government via those platforms.

The case also argued that removing content that violates a platform’s content policies against disinformation causes harm to those spewing it and those wanting to bathe in the spew. The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 vote, found the plaintiff’s complaints lacked standing, reversing the opinion delivered by the Fifth Circuit. The Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs failed to produce any tangible harm (egos don’t count) from the government communicating with social media companies to moderate a firehose of garbage spewing out from conservative quacks.

“Attempting to satisfy this requirement, the plaintiffs emphasize that hearing unfettered speech…on social media is critical to their work as scientists, pundits, and activists,” Justice Amy Coney-Barrett wrote for the majority. “But they do not point to any specific instance of content moderation that caused them identifiable harm. They have therefore failed to establish an injury that is sufficiently “concrete and particularized.”

Flag-loving conservative justice Samuel Alito led in the dissent, joined by his fellow corrupt conservative Clarence Thomas and not-yet-corrupted Neil Gorsuch. Alito describes conspiracy-addled mouthpieces spewing Covid-19 disinformation as rebellious luminaries who “simply wanted to speak out on a question of the utmost public importance” and describes the case as “one of the most important free speech cases to reach this Court in years” where content moderation against anti-vax disinformation poses a grave threat to the “marketplace of ideas.”

Alito’s entire dissent is riddled with brainwormed chaos, claiming newspapers are able to publish whatever they want because they aren’t “subject to the First Amendment” (which is extremely not true) and that the government communicating with social media companies to take action against content that violates their own policies is “coercion.” Alito’s unbeatable dramatics go a step further as he claims that the majority opinion on the decision represents “the successful campaign of coercion in this case to stand as an attractive model for future officials who want to control what the people say, hear, and think.” Phew.

This story has been updated.

Trump-Backed Candidates Flop Big-Time in Several Republican Primaries

Call it the Trump effect.

Donald Trump speaks in a crowd, eyes narrowed and making a hand gesture
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump’s anti-Midas touch showed up strong on Tuesday, as three Trump-endorsed candidates lost bigly in their primaries in Utah, Colorado, and South Carolina. The 0 for 3 showing suggests that even in an election year where Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, his endorsement is about as valuable as a Beanie Baby with its tag cut off.

In Utah, Trump had endorsed Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs to replace Senator Mitt Romney, despite polls showing Staggs’s victory was a total long shot. Trump’s stain of approval arrived just days before the primary, and Staggs ultimately received 30 percent of the vote—a big bump from previous polling data but certainly not a close race. Staggs’s winning competitor, moderate Republican Representative John Curtis, is heavily favored to win in November.

Conservative activist Jeff Crank also beat out Dave Williams in Colorado’s 5th congressional district. Trump had endorsed Williams, the state’s Republican Party chair and former state representative who earlier this month called for people to burn Pride flags and is under Federal Election Commission investigation for claims he used Republican Party money to fund his dead-in-the-water campaign. Instead of Pride flags burning this month, it was Williams’s campaign that was burned to a crisp: Crank ate Williams for lunch, pulling in 68 percent of the vote.

Trump had endorsed televangelist preacher Mark Burns in South Carolina’s 3rd congressional district against Air National Guard Lieutenant Colonel and board-certified nurse practitioner Sheri Biggs. Burns and Biggs battled it out in a runoff after each candidate pulled in 50 percent of the vote in their initial primaries. Burns had fashioned himself in Trump’s image, largely basing his campaign around repeating generic Trump talking points and claiming to be Trump’s pastor. Biggs, meanwhile, ran a conservative campaign that also aligns with Trump’s platform but adopted a less robotic tone. Turns out being a human still matters for conservative voters, as Biggs won the primary runoff 51 percent to Burns’s 49 percent.

Watch: Trump Appears to Short-Circuit During Interview

The former president was silent for an awkwardly long time while mocking Joe Biden’s performance.

Donald Trump speaks into a microphone
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Donald Trump appeared to blank for a few seconds during a phone interview before being jolted back to reality.

Trump called in to his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s show on Newsmax Tuesday night. Lewandowski asked the former president and convicted felon about Joe Biden’s preparation for the upcoming debate, noting Trump has claimed that Biden would need to practice standing for 90 minutes and “might need a shot to stay up for the debate.”

Suddenly, Trump went silent for several seconds, as Lewandowski tried to fill the silence by repeating his question. When Trump finally spoke, he sounded groggy.

“Well, if I have to practice standing, we have ourselves a big problem,” Trump said. “No, I had heard that too; he’s practicing how to stand, or something, standing!”

It was just after 8 p.m. E.T. when the live interview took place, so it shouldn’t have been too late at night for Trump, although his usual routine reportedly is getting up at 5:30 a.m. every day and going to sleep at about midnight or 1 a.m. It’s possible that the silence may have been due to a technical glitch. But it could also have been Trump passing out, falling asleep, or even suffering from something he accuses Biden of having: cognitive decline.

Lately, Trump seems to be forgetting things such as eating a sandwich, and he has been fumbling during his rallies. He even appeared to blank during a speech to the National Rifle Association last month, and critics have made supercuts of his gaffes, where he confused people’s names. Is this why he and his allies are making excuses about Thursday’s debate, claiming Biden will be on drugs? Are they worried that Trump won’t be up to the task?

Desperate Mike Johnson Leads Wild Moves to Save Steve Bannon

The House speaker and his Republican colleagues are attempting to overturn Bannon’s jail sentence.

Mike Johnson looks to the side
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Bloomberg/Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson and other Republican leaders held a secret vote late Tuesday night, in a last-ditch effort to save Steve Bannon from having to report to jail.

High-ranking members of the House GOP voted to reject the previous Congress’s formal position on the January 6 committee, according to Politico. The House had found Bannon in contempt after he failed to comply with a congressional subpoena from that committee, leading to his subsequent indictment, conviction, and sentencing to four months in prison.

By changing the House’s formal position on the committee, lawmakers can now file a legal brief on behalf of Congress, though it’s unclear whether this brief would go to the appellate court or straight to the Supreme Court, which is currently weighing Bannon’s appeal. By undermining the committee’s legitimacy, Republicans are trying to keep the MAGA mastermind from serving out his jail sentence, which is set to begin July 1.

“Yeah, we’re working on filing an amicus brief in his appellate work there, in his case,” Johnson said Tuesday night on Fox News. “Because the January 6 committee was, we think, wrongly constituted.”

“We disagree with how Speaker Pelosi put all that together, we think it violated House rules, and so, we’ll be expressing that to the court. And I think it will help Steve Bannon in his appeal,” Johnson added.

The Department of Justice is expected to make a similar filing on Wednesday, urging the exact opposite.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to rule on Bannon’s appeal as soon as Wednesday afternoon, and it’s possible that this new position will help Bannon overcome the precedent set by former White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro, who tried a similar gambit with his appeal, which Roberts dismissed without even referring it to the full court.

Of course, it’s unclear whether Republicans’ attempts to hand Bannon a get-out-of-jail-free card will make any difference at all. The January 6 committee’s subpoenas were found to be valid by several federal judges.

Jamaal Bowman Becomes First Squad Member to Lose House Seat

George Latimer has won the primary election for New York’s 16th congressional district, after the most expensive House race ever.

Jamaal Bowman
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

New York Representative Jamaal Bowman has become the first Squad member to lose his seat, after the most expensive House primary race ever.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer will almost undoubtedly be New York’s 16th congressional district’s newest representative come November. Latimer swept the historically blue district’s Democratic primary on Tuesday, winning 59 percent of the vote and leading nine points over incumbent Representative Jamaal Bowman, as of 9:38 p.m. E.T. when AP called the race.

The blow-up race became a temperature gauge on Democratic divisions over hot-button political issues, ranging from the Israel-Palestine conflict to contemporary race relations, after Latimer made a string of eyebrow-raising comments about Bowman’s race. It was the most expensive House primary in U.S. history, with Bowman raising $4.2 million and Latimer raising $5.7 million to usurp the seat. Outside spending also played a significant role in the race, with more than $23 million spent on advertising alone. Of that, more than $15 million came from pro-Israel lobbying groups attacking Bowman.

A huge chunk of cash came direct from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, which flooded funds to Latimer as backlash after Bowman accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. Latimer has since framed himself as a staunch supporter of Israel and an opponent to potential cease-fires on the basis that Hamas is a terrorist organization.

The divisions over the two candidates went all the way to the top of the party, with mainstream Democrat figureheads like Hillary Clinton endorsing Latimer while progressive titans, including fellow ”Squad” member Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders, hosted rallies for Bowman in the Bronx.

Latimer, a former progressive sweetheart, won the race to be Westchester County executive in 2018. Prior to that, he spent the better part of three decades working in state politics, including the state’s legislature. This cycle, he pitched himself to voters as a no-nonsense candidate seeking to scoop up whatever reserves he could for Westchester—not to make a name for himself on cable TV. His inroads in the southern portion of the county, of which his website describes him as a “lifelong resident,” clearly benefited his campaign.

But in the final weeks of the race, Latimer made a series of controversial decisions, including claiming that Bowman had an “ethnic advantage” in a district where white, non-Hispanic residents outnumber Black residents by more than 2 to 1. During a debate in early June, Latimer claimed that Bowman’s “constituents are in Dearborn”—a remark that was interpreted as an Islamophobic and anti-Arab nod to the country’s first Arab-American majority city in the country, located in Michigan. Latimer has also received fierce blowback from critics for failing a federal mandate to desegregate the area—which constitutes the second wealthiest county in New York State, as well as one of the most racially divided.

Meanwhile, Bowman’s two-term tenure in the House has seen him back several progressive policy threads, including Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. In the last year, Bowman cut a higher profile, catching press for shouting at Republican opposition to gun restrictions, and after he pulled a fire alarm in a U.S. House office building in September, an action that resulted in a censure by House Republicans despite Bowman’s apology and claim that he had mistaken the alarm pulley for a mechanism to open the door. Bowman was also criticized in some quarters for subpar constituent service work. His district was redrawn after the 2020 census to include more of Westchester County.

AOC and Raskin Move to Finally Rein in Alito and Thomas

Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas have a history of accepting lavish gifts from Republican billionaires.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamie Raskin speak to each other
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Democratic Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamie Raskin are introducing a new piece of legislation aimed at putting a cap on the number and value of gifts U.S. Supreme Court justices can receive.

The High Court Gift Ban Act, unveiled Tuesday, would prohibit justices from receiving gifts valued at more than $50 at a time, or more than $100 total per year. The bill would also put an $18,000 cap on gifts of personal hospitality, which are currently unregulated.

Justice Clarence Thomas has been under intense scrutiny after an investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee found that he failed to include luxury vacations paid for by Republican megadonor Harlan Crow on his financial disclosure forms. Thomas has been subject to several other complaints, including that he never paid back a loan on his R.V. and that he cavorted with the Koch brothers while ruling on cases they’d brought to the Supreme Court.

Earlier this month, a report from a judicial watchdog found that Supreme Court justices had received close to a total of $3 million in gifts over the last 20 years—with more than $2.4 million of those gifts being directed solely to Thomas. Through gifts, Thomas has roughly doubled his official published income from the last 20 years.

Justice Samuel Alito has similarly come under fire for accepting lavish gifts from Republican billionaires, including over-the-top, all-expenses-paid vacations.

It seems, however, that little can be done to rein in the court’s high-ranking members over mounting concerns about their ethics. Raskin and Ocasio-Cortez wrote to Chief Justice John Roberts late last week, seeking answers on what he planned to do about Thomas, as well as Alito, whose recent flag scandal has also called into question whether he has conflicts of interest in cases before the court. Roberts has not yet responded.

“The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land but has the lowest ethical standards, which means pay-to-play billionaires, right-wing dark money groups and carbon-emitting special interests have freedom to purchase the best justice money can buy,” said Raskin in a statement Tuesday.

Ocasio-Cortez called their bill “a commonsense solution to address the deeply troubling and unethical influence dark money is having on our nation’s highest judicial body.”

“This is not about politics—it’s about safeguarding the strength and integrity of our democracy,” she said. It’s unlikely, though, that such a bill would pass in a brutally indifferent Republican-led House.

Read more about the Supreme Court:

MAGA’s New Conspiracy to Defend Trump From Biden Debate Is Wildest Yet

MAGA Republicans’ new conspiracy on the Trump-Biden debate involves ... Mountain Dew?

Trump wearking a Make America Great Again cap speaks into a mic outdoors
Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Republican talking point that Joe Biden will be on performance-enhancing drugs during the first presidential debate on Thursday has broken containment and, as a result, is becoming much dumber. The latest: open speculation on Fox News that Biden is hunkered down in Camp David not to prepare for the debate but to trial different cocktails of supplements for it.

Maria Bartiromo on Tuesday shared the conspiracy, first theorized by Representative Ronny Jackson, a former White House physician who has faced newly resurfaced allegations that he orchestrated a pill mill for the Trump White House, in an interview with Missouri Representative Eric Burlison.

“Biden will have been at Camp David for a full week before the debate, and … they’re probably experimenting with getting doses right, getting him medicine before the debate,” she said.

Burlison, for his part, cautioned Trump against ramping up attacks on Biden’s age and mental capacity before Thursday, a mistake that the GOP has made repeatedly, handing Biden easy victories after competent performances in the 2020 debates and, more recently, his 2024 State of the Union address. But Burlison couldn’t help couch his warning between a bizarre pot shot at Biden and his team.

“Any patient or elderly individual or someone that has dementia, they can find some moments of clarity, right? They can find moments throughout the day that they have energy. I think Trump’s team should not underestimate Joe Biden and his team’s ability to, you know, whether they’re gonna jack him up on Mountain Dew or whatever it is,” he said.

Is Biden’s surprising coherence the result of dementia-induced energy spikes? Speed? Caffeinated soda? Republicans can’t seem to pick their favorite talking point to defend Trump ahead of a debate that hasn’t happened yet. But whatever the case, Republicans ought to heed Burlison’s advice, cynical and confused as it might be. If not, they may be in store for another debate disappointment.

Judge Cannon Reveals She’s Been Wasting All Our Time

The judge did not seem inclined to rule in Donald Trump’s favor on one of his challenges to the FBI warrant.

Donald Trump stands at a microphone
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Judge Aileen Cannon may actually reject an argument from Donald Trump’s defense team in his classified documents trial: on whether the FBI’s 2022 search of his Mar-a-Lago estate was constitutional.

Cannon heard arguments from Trump’s defense team on the matter Tuesday, and she appeared to be skeptical of the attorneys’ challenge to the search warrant for Trump’s Florida home.

During the hearing, Cannon appeared frustrated with one of Trump’s lawyers, Emil Bove, who seemed to be off-topic. She reminded him that the issue at hand was whether the FBI’s warrant had been specific enough.

“It seems like it is,” Cannon said.

Bove tried to call attention to Trump’s other pending motions in the case, to which David Harbach from the special counsel’s office objected, accusing Bove of “hijacking the hearing.”

“It’s not fair,” Harbach told Cannon.

It’s unclear why Cannon entertained a motion from the Trump team contesting the search warrant, if she already seems inclined to believe the warrant was valid. Whether her actions are due to bias toward Trump or ineptitude is unknown. However, Cannon has agreed to hear many of Trump’s pretrial motions that have slowed down proceedings, including one questioning if special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment is constitutional. These delays give evidence to the theory that Cannon is serving Trump’s interests, as she has managed to postpone the trial indefinitely.

Even before the classified documents case was assigned to her, Cannon was involved in it.

Two years ago, she heard Trump’s lawsuit challenging the search of his property and mandated the use of a special master to review the classified documents seized by the Justice Department. Her decision was later struck down by a federal appeals court.

Cannon’s later actions presiding over the case itself have given weight to the accusation that she is prone to exploitation. When she was initially assigned the case, more senior federal judges in her circuit recommended that she turn over the case to a judge with more trial experience, but she refused. She’s ruled that parts of the case should be thrown out, and experts ranging from former Trump lawyer Ty Cobb to ex-federal prosecutor Andrew Weissman have called her judgment into question. Fox News, though, still has her back, despite their history of attacking the judges presiding over Trump’s many court cases.

Judge Cannon’s New Allies Expose Trump’s Blatant Hypocrisy

Former Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany rushed to Aileen Cannon’s defense.

Kayleigh McEnany is seen in profile
John Lamparski/Getty Images

After months of relentlessly attacking the judge in Donald Trump’s hush-money case, Fox News hosts are now donning the white hat to chastise those taking shots at the judge in his classified documents case.

On Tuesday’s episode of Outnumbered, hosts Kayleigh McEnany, Emily Compagno, and Harris Faulkner were up in arms, defending Judge Aileen Cannon, whom many have criticized as helping the former president worm his way out of allegations that he kept classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and obstructed efforts to retrieve them.

The accusations must’ve left a bitter taste in the hosts’ mouths, as they argued that those on the left were doing exactly what they’d done for weeks: attacking a sitting judge.

“This is a credible person with a great life story that is doing her job,” said McEnany, who served as Trump’s White House press secretary. “And yet she’s called ‘partisan petty primadonna,’ ‘whacko,’ ‘crazy,’ ‘right-wing,’ ‘outlandish,’ ‘ridiculous,’ ‘nutty,’ ‘loony.’”

“No, she’s a credible woman and she deserves to be respected—and I thought we didn’t attack judges? Bring in Judge Merchan, oh wait, but we do if it’s going against us,” McEnany added.

From the time jury selection began on April 15 to the court’s adjournment on May 21, Fox News made more than 220 claims about Judge Juan Merchan’s so-called anti-Trump bias, according to Media Matters. When Merchan placed a gag order on Trump to prevent him from making rampant, baseless accusations against the judge, courtroom staff, and family members, Fox took up Trump’s crusade against those holding him to account, constantly pushing the story that Merchan was biased when the former president couldn’t. Now they’re accusing the other guys of doing exactly the same thing.

“It’s really disheartening to watch, and also, again underscores the hypocrisy of the left,” Compagno said, underscoring her own disheartening hypocrisy. She herself was a sharp critic of Merchan, who she argued sided too readily with prosecutors.

“Because apparently, if you’re Judge Alito you can be attacked, if you’re Judge Clarence Thomas you can be attacked, if you’re Judge Cannon—but somehow they’re missing the whole substance, which I guess they don’t like her ruling on both sides, they’re not seeing the facts here,” Compagno continued, completely unaware that criticizing judges for their political bias is normal—if there’s actual evidence that they’re biased and if the criticisms don’t involve presidential candidates directing their mobs against the judge’s family members.

Importantly, Cannon has not ruled “on both sides.” Cannon processed pretrial motions at a glacial pace, threw out portions of the case, showed an unfaltering compliance to all of Trump’s time-wasting requests, and even indefinitely postponed the actual trial. Last week, it was reported that Cannon refused calls from senior federal judges to hand off the classified documents case, signaling her insistence on keeping the high-profile case on her desk. This week, she has brought the trial to a complete standstill so Trump’s lawyers can play out a hearing over the validity of special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment.

Faulkner also weighed in on criticism of Cannon. “Well, they don’t want a judge who’s actually going to look at this from a fresh perspective, and follow the justice and the legal system’s rules on this,” she said, arguing that attacks on the Trump-appointed judge went “all the way to the White House and the president’s campaign team.”

“From a group of people, liberal media, who said, you know, you can’t pick on women, they fall to the woman card, the race card, yet they pick on who they need to pick on,” she said. When Cannon had announced the hearing into Smith’s appointment, “the left lost its mind, and this is proof of that. I wish they were classier at it, but they’re not.”

Faulkner too readily forgets that she herself was part of Fox’s smear campaign against a judge and his family: She once said that Merchan’s decision to preside over the case was a form of “legal terrorism.” If hypocrisy is tasteless, Faulkner’s not so classy now.