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Trump’s Deranged Platform Is Already Sending RNC Into Chaos

Not everyone is pleased with Donald Trump’s newly unveiled policy plan.

Donald Trump points to his own head
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Republicans are pushing a new policy platform to better align with Donald Trump, but not all party members are happy about aspects of it.

The Republican Party approved a new platform Monday, ahead of next week’s national convention, where it will be officially voted in, and notably missing from the list is a federal ban on abortion.

The absence represents a policy shift for the party as it cowers behind its champion, Trump, who stopped advocating for a federal ban shortly after the midterms, when he realized it was an insanely unpopular policy with voters.

But not everyone is on board with the change, or how it happened.

WISN12 News’s political director Matt Smith spoke with Gayle Ruzicka, a disgruntled member of the Republican National Committee platform committee from Utah. Ruzicka is also the president of the Utah Eagle Forum, the conservative lobbying group founded by Phyllis Schafly, who opposed the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment.

“It’s never happened before. I mean, I guess I’ve done this several times. There was no committees. We always had subcommittees, where we can go in and rework … a section of the platform; we can propose amendments, debate them, add them. It always happens,” said Ruzicka. “They didn’t allow any amendments. They didn’t allow any discussion.

“They rolled us. That’s what they did.

“You know, we spent thousands of dollars to be here, and everything they told us they were going to do isn’t what happened. None of it happened. I’ve never seen this happen before. I don’t understand why they did it. And I’m extremely disappointed that we do not have any pro-life language,” she said.

Buried on page 15, the new policy platform gives a new spin for Republicans’ tireless efforts to ban abortion across the nation. It reads, “After 51 years, because of us, that power has been given to the States and to a vote of the People. We will oppose Late Term Abortion, while supporting mothers and policies that advance Prenatal Care, access to Birth Control, and IVF (fertility treatments).”

That wasn’t good enough for Ruzicka. “The platform simply says that we oppose late-term abortion. Well, what about before that?” she said. So why did she vote for it?

She also said she was bamboozled by the voting process.

“I’ve never been treated so badly, to have them force this vote on us, before we even have a chance to read the platform,” Ruzicka said, explaining that it was passed out shortly before a meeting that required the members’ attention.

“We glanced through it, but we didn’t have the time to study it and read it. And then all of a sudden somebody made a motion to vote on the platform. And that was it. And then they sent us home.”

It seems that the Republican Party was anxious to pass Trump’s slightly unorthodox platform through, even if the policies don’t represent the opinions of its committee members, let alone the position the GOP has had for the past 50 years. Uniformly adopting Trump’s policy platform goes to show how far the Trump takeover of the GOP has come: He’s in the party’s bloodstream now, changing its very DNA.

In 2020, the Republican Party didn’t even deign to write a platform, amid rumors that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner planned to shorten it significantly and streamline (upend) the drafting process, according to Vox. Perhaps some of Kushner’s plans are latent within the party, intent on making decisions that align with the candidate, rather than the people.

Mike Johnson Vows to Back Trump on Most Horrifying Campaign Promise

Donald Trump’s biggest supporters are busy defending his most racist immigration proposals.

Mike Johnson, seated, speaks and makes a hand gesture in front of Hudson Institute backdrop.
Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

During an appearance at conservative think-tank the Hudson Institute on Monday, House Speaker Mike Johnson endorsed Trump’s nightmarish desire to deport 15 to 20 million undocumented immigrants from the United States, saying it’s “needed.”

“We will be dealing with this for decades to come. President Trump has said we want to start the largest deportation effort in history,” said Johnson. “It’s needed. We need to find all these dangerous people, criminals. They’ve emptied out prisons in Central America and sent them all over the border.”

Beyond endorsing Trump’s horrific anti-immigration policy, Johnson called for an isolationist approach to U.S. foreign policy, saying, “The Republican Party is not one of nation builders or careless interventionists. We don’t believe we should be the world’s policemen.” Johnson also called to cut costs on “overall spending” to prioritize funding the country’s defense budget, describing the cuts “essential for our long-term survival.”

The Hudson Institute advertised Johnson’s appearance ahead of time as a discussion about “threats to the U.S.-led world order,” specifically from China, Russia, and Iran, and a conversation that would detail “the speaker’s agenda to bolster the credibility of US deterrence, strengthen alliances, improve America’s hard power, and maintain freedom, security, and prosperity for the American people.”

“We are realists,” claimed Johnson about the Republican Party and his endorsement of the largest deportation in U.S. history, despite Pew Research data suggesting the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. as of 2021 was roughly half of the 20 million Trump wants to deport. “We don’t seek out a fight. But we know we have to be prepared. We have to be prepared to fight, and if we must fight, we fight with the gloves off.”

Greg Abbott Traipses Off to Asia as Hurricane Beryl Pummels Texas

It seems the Texas governor is taking inspiration from Ted Cruz’s infamous Cancun trip, dipping just as a natural disaster hits his state.

Greg Abbott rolls his wheelchair forward on the sidewalk and makes a thumbs up sign. A black fence is behind him.
Peter Nicholls/Getty Images

While Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Monday on the Texas coast, knocking out power to at least two million homes and killing at least two people, Governor Greg Abbott was enjoying a trip to East Asia.

Abbott left for South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan on Friday as the storm was forecast to hit Texas on Monday. He went ahead with his nine-day trip anyway to “drive forward progress in industries critical to the future of the global economy,” according to a press release from his office.

Many in Texas and on social media didn’t see it that way, as Abbott’s trip seems quite similar to Senator Ted Cruz’s infamous 2021 trip to Cancun when the state was hit with a winter disaster. The Lose Cruz PAC pointed out that Cruz was also whale-watching in Southern California over the weekend.

Twitter screenshot Lose Cruz @LoseCruzPAC: While Hurricane Beryl closed in on Texas, Greg Abbott was visiting South Korea and Ted Cruz was whale watching in Southern California. Texans deserve better.

Cruz himself did post a video on Monday near a flooded highway in Houston.

One Texan pointed out the arrogance from Texas Republicans.

Twitter screenshot Matt Angle @LSPmatt: Don't think @GregAbbott_TX schmoozing in east Asia while a hurricane hits Texas leaving 2M w/o power is him being stupid. It's stunning arrogance - like going to a fundraiser the evening of the Uvalde massacre. Abbott doesn't care & is daring voters to do something about it.

Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell pointed out Cruz’s history, and wondered about Abbott and those like him facing any accountability in the Lone Star state.

Twitter screenshot Rep. Eric Swalwell @RepSwalwell: My family in Texas are about to be slammed by #HurricaneBeryl. And shocker!..Governor @GregAbbott_TX is out of the country. Sound familiar, @tedcruz ? My God. Who the hell are these leaders? And why aren’t they held to account?

Abbott seemed to foresee a backlash on Sunday, posting a statement that he was “in daily contact with Texas Division of Emergency Management & local officials to ensure preparation for Hurricane Beryl.”

“Your safety is our top concern.”

Others weren’t convinced.

Twitter screenshot 0mega6 @noCinErik: Uh, hey, man... you think your timing is appropriate?

Mike Johnson Exposes Republicans’ Grim Priorities if Trump Wins

The House speaker warned that social services would get cut in favor of the military budget.

Mike Johnson gestures as he speaks
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House Speaker Mike Johnson promised Monday to slash government spending, so that he can bulk up America’s already massive military budget.

During a speech at an event hosted by the Hudson Institute, the Louisiana Republican outlined the Republican Party’s vision to strengthen America’s foreign policy, and subsequently weaken other essential facets of its government.

“To meet our defense needs, Congress has to work to grow our economy and significantly reduce our overall spending,” Johnson said. “I promise you that come 2025, spending reform will become a top priority for our new Republican majority.

“They’re not going to be easy conversations, but they’re essential for our long-term survival. Congress has to prioritize truly essential needs of our nation, and national security has to be top of that list,” he added.

If they keep the majority in 2025, Johnson and the House Republicans will likely continue to push for cuts to health programs such as Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and of course, Social Security.

In 2023, the United States spent $1.4 trillion, or 21 percent of its total spending, on Social Security, the most of any spending area. In a sign of how crucial that program is, the government expected that year to provide essential retirement benefits to 48.6 million retired Americans, 2.7 million spouses and children of workers, 5.9 million surviving spouses and children of deceased workers, and 8.8 million disabled or injured workers.

The same year, the U.S. spent $820 billion on national defense, accounting for nearly 13 percent of the nation’s total spending and dwarfing the spending of the next nine nations. Defense spending increased by $55 million from 2022 to 2023, accounting for aid to Ukraine. One can only imagine how much it will increase with America’s continued support of Israel’s deadly military campaign in Gaza.

Republicans’ 2024 Platform Makes Veiled Threat of “Secure Elections”

Consider this a threat to the next election.

Donald Trump stands in front of a large U.S. flag.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Republican National Committee’s policy panel overwhelmingly approved a Trump-crafted platform proposal on Monday ahead of a formal vote later this week, cementing Trump’s particular brand of politics as the official platform of the Republican Party. As part of the 20-point list of “promises” should Republicans win an electoral trifecta in November, the platform promises to “secure our elections,” hinting that the party is prepared to re-elevate conspiracies on election fraud and push renewed restrictions on voting.

The proposed platform section on election security states: “We will implement measures to secure our Elections, including Voter ID, highly sophisticated paper ballots, proof of Citizenship, and same day Voting. We will not allow the Democrats to give Voting Rights to illegal Aliens.”

Republicans have frequently railed against noncitizen voting, making it a centerpiece of their messaging during the 2024 election despite it being illegal in federal elections, extremely rare, and typically an accident. In 2020, calls by Trump for unofficial “poll watchers” to monitor polling places and ballot drop boxes led to concerns of voter intimidation. During the 2024 election season, Trump has taken to floating baseless conspiracy theories that Democrats are encouraging illegal immigration to register them to vote and secure their support.

Critics of voter ID laws, such as the ACLU, argue they’re merely an effort to restrict access to voting, hurting registered voters who can’t afford a new ID, have lost access to documents required to obtain an ID, or who are without means to travel long distances to obtain an ID, for instance those living in rural areas and those with disabilities.

Trump has frequently railed against absentee and early voting, decrying both as rife with election fraud to benefit Democrats. The reality is much simpler: Republicans have spent years decrying early and absentee voting, which in turn reduced the number of Republicans who used alternative methods to vote, while Democrats encouraged increased access to voting. While Trump has lobbed conspiratorial attacks against early voting, he himself voted absentee and through early voting in 2020, and, alongside Republican leadership, suddenly changed course on his previous stance, now describing early, absentee, and same-day voting as “all good options.” The impending RNC platform on voting access again diverts the Republican Party from embracing increased voter access, with the possibility that early and absentee voting will be banned in their entirety should Republicans win in November.

Trump’s Reelection Agenda Was Set by Actual Hate Groups

Good to know these are the groups that have Donald Trump’s ear.

Donald Trump in profile speaking vehemently into a microphone
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Project 2025, the short name for the 180-page ultraconservative plan for a second Donald Trump presidency, has some frightening minds developing its schemes to oust civil servants and severely roll back civil rights, among other authoritarian plots. 

Behind the expansive playbook is its advisory board, made up of dozens of think tanks and advocacy groups, including three that are designated hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the substack Decoding Fox News reported Monday. And despite Trump’s recent attempts to distance himself from the plan, these group’s fingerprints were all over his last administration and will likely be all over his next one. 

The first group is that old standard the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal advocacy group that brought the very case that overturned Roe v. Wade, sought to recriminalize sex acts between LGBTQ+ adults, and pushed heinous lies about gay and transgender people. 

It’s worth noting that House Speaker Mike Johnson worked at that law group for nearly a decade and former Trump attorney John Eastman was also allied with the group. While in the White House, Trump worked with them too, it seems. In 2018, he invited the group’s senior counsel Tyson Langhofer to speak at a youth outreach event about free speech. 

The second designated hate group is the Center for Immigration Studies, or CIS, a conservative anti-immigration think tank. Its website sports the tagline, “Low Immigration, Pro Immigrant.”

While Trump claims not to be affiliated with those behind Project 2025, CIS has long had its hands in the immigration policy of the Trump administration. While sketching out some of Trump’s harshest immigration policies, former senior White House adviser Stephen Miller heavily relied on data from CIS and would often pass reports from the group on to the president’s desk, as well as to his affiliates at Breitbart for publication, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center

The Trump administration reportedly spoke regularly with Jessica Vaughan, who is the think tank’s director of policy studies, according to NPR. The group’s executive director, Mark Krikorian, also said he met with Trump officials to discuss immigration policy, per The New York Times.  

The think tank mostly publishes its own studies and blog posts for the purpose of fearmongering about immigration in the United States. One of its most recent posts posits that Joe Biden’s new immigration policy, which will grant protections to millions of undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens, will equate to a “marriage fraud mill.”

CIS has repeatedly shared links to VDARE, a site that publishes the drivel of white supremacists. The group also lists Jason Richwine—a public policy analyst who once suggested that his research had found that Hispanic people were less intelligent than whites—as its resident scholar. 

The CATO Institute has debunked much of the so-called research produced by CIS, including a report that allegedly used double-counted data on murders committed by undocumented immigrants in Texas. It’s likely that many of the group’s dubious studies have served as fuel for the fire of Trump’s, and the entire Republican Party’s, insistence on an immigrant crime wave. 

As a member of the Mandate for Leadership’s advisory board, CIS’s connections to the previous Trump administration should surprise no one, because despite what the former president may claim, he can be found in every corner of Project 2025 and its “abysmal” policy points, as he called them. 

The third designated hate group is the Family Research Council, which published anti-LGBTQ+ studies based on debunked science, opposed same-sex marriage, bashed laws against hate crimes, and undermined anti-bullying programs. 

Trump also has ties to this group. Last year, he spoke at an event for the group’s Pray, Vote, Stand conference, urging them to back off painting him as pro-life, wanting to distance himself from the position that proved unpopular among voters in the midterms. Trump recently spoke in a prerecorded message at a luncheon co-sponsored by the Family Research Council. 

Project 2025’s advisory board was originally announced on the same day that Roe v. Wade was overturned, as if to present the cast list for the Republican Party’s plan to proceed with the obliteration of civil rights. It would be a mistake to see Project 2025’s policies as anything but essential to Trump’s potential presidency, regardless of what he’d have you believe. 

Fox News Suffers Blow as Billionaire Joins Lawsuit Against Network

Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, is helping to bankroll a major 2020 election lawsuit against Fox News.

Reid Hoffman
Kimberly White/Getty Images for WIRED

One of the founders of LinkedIn, billionaire Reid Hoffman, is backing a voting technology company that is suing Fox News and Newsmax for defamation.

The Washington Post reports that Hoffman has invested millions of dollars into the company partly to help it finance the lawsuits. Smartmatic says that the two conservative news outlets hurt the company’s image with their claims of electoral and vote-counting fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

“Smartmatic built a global business by using technology to better engage citizens, regardless of party or ideology, by making voting simple and trustworthy,” Hoffman said in a statement. “After Donald Trump lost in 2020, however, Smartmatic became a target of the defamatory campaign to overturn his defeat.”

Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica issued a statement refuting the right-wing attacks against it.

“Smartmatic’s technology has counted seven billion votes on six continents with zero security breaches,” Mugica said. “Voters, candidates, and election officials in all of those elections are watching to see if we still stand up for the truth against lies. Rest assured, we do.”

Billionaires have attempted to aid lawsuits for ideological reasons in the past. Right-wing tech mogul Peter Thiel infamously backed a series of lawsuits against Gawker Media after it published a story outing him. This isn’t the first lawsuit that Hoffman has backed against conservative figures, either: He also helped fund E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit accusing Trump of rape and defamation.

There’s no trial date as of yet for Smartmatic’s lawsuit against Fox. The media network settled a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems in April 2023 to the tune of $787.5 million, nipping what would have been an unprecedented trial process in the bud. Will Hoffman want Smartmatic to seek a settlement, or will he want to get his money’s worth and force Fox News to trial?

Trump Spent All Week Being More Unhinged Than Ever

With all eyes on Joe Biden, Donald Trump went nuts.

Donald Trump speaks into a microphone
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

While the world was digesting examples of President Joe Biden’s faltering health, Donald Trump was quietly having his own terrible, no-good, very bad week.

The former president had a relatively bonkers week on the campaign trail, thoroughly illustrating in his own right that he’s just another candidate unfit to retake the White House. In the span of a matter of days, the 78-year-old demonstrated poor impulse control, a thirst for revenge, an unwavering God complex, and his affinity for dangerous QAnon conspiracy theories that stroke his ego.

On Truth Social, Trump shared an image of himself and Melania Trump at the White House, superimposed with the QAnon catchphrase, “Where We Go One We Go All.” Trump has for years shared messages and iconography from the cultlike, fringe group that heralds him as a messiah against the pedophilic evils of the Democratic Party, including wearing pins and badges prominently featuring the letter “Q,” and elevating other phrases that originated in the group, such as “The storm is coming.”

Trump also used his social media platform to amplify an attack against billionaire financier George Soros and his family, vaguely accusing the investor and his connections of being “treasonous traitors.”

Trump extended that moniker to former Wyoming GOP Representative Liz Cheney,  baselessly claiming she was “guilty of treason” and deserved a “televised military tribunal.” Cheney was one of just a small handful of Republicans who criticized Trump’s tenure as U.S. leader following the events of January 6.

“Donald—This is the type of thing that demonstrates yet again that you are not a stable adult—and are not fit for office,” Cheney wrote in response on X.

Trump also shared an image of several other prominent lawmakers that he believed should be headed to prison instead of his far-right ally Steve Bannon, who began his federal sentence last week for defying a congressional subpoena. Those politicians include former Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who all committed the egregious crime—according to Trump—of hiding “the January 6 footage.”

The former president was riding such a high after the debate that he went so far as to claim that his candidacy was divine ordainment, resharing a post by another user that claimed “God has chosen him.”

Republican Party’s 2024 Platform Exposes Full Trump Takeover

The Republican Party’s 2024 platform sounds just like a Trump rally.

Donald Trump waves to a crowd of followers outdoors
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Donald Trump helped draft a 2024 Republican Party platform that was adopted Monday, effectively cementing his extreme views as the de facto stance of the party.  According to Maggie Haberman with The New York Times, the policy platform was “overwhelmingly” adopted on Monday, despite initially scheduled meetings on Tuesday.

According to The Washington Post, Trump’s policy platform makes mass deportations the party’s official platform, calls to “deport pro-Hamas radicals,” seeks to build a “great Iron Dome” over the United States, and calls to “end the weaponization of the Department of Justice”—by which Trump likely means preventing the DOJ from prosecuting him and instead converting it into his personal attack dog.

The platform also targets transgender people, who make up less than 1 percent of the U.S. adult population, promising to “keep men out of women’s sports, ban taxpayer funding for sex change surgeries, [stop] taxpayer-funded schools from promoting gender transition, reverse Biden’s radical rewrite of Title IX education regulations, and restore protections for women and girls.” As the Post notes, the proposal doesn’t seek to ban gender-affirming care for minors. However, the threats toward schools “promoting gender transition” and “protections for women and girls” hint at policies akin to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay” ban on classroom discussions of LGBTQ issues and appears to promise a reversal of the Biden administration rule that prohibits transphobic bathroom bans in schools.

The platform takes a much less extreme approach to abortion than Trump’s anti-abortion supporters would like, opting instead to support access to IVF and birth control while opposing late-term abortion and leaving abortion access up to the states. It also avoids taking a stance on same-sex marriage, which the Post notes scales back the party’s 2016 platform, which condemned the legalization of same-sex marriage and endorsed conversion therapy.

“Republicans will promote a culture that values the sanctity of marriage, the blessings of childhood, and the foundational role of families, and supports working parents,” the proposed platform says instead. “We will end policies that punish families.”

The 16-page platform was allegedly largely written by Vincent Haley, anonymous sources told the Post, with revisions and some portions written by Trump himself, according to Politico. Haley is a Trump campaign speechwriter who worked under Stephen Miller during Trump’s presidency and was Newt Gingrich’s policy director and campaign manager during his 2012 presidential campaign, according to Axios. The draft proposal circulated on Monday and was intended to be discussed on Tuesday night by members of the RNC’s platform committee, all of whom were handpicked by Trump, according to The Washington Post. According to Haberman, the policy “passed overwhelmingly.” It’s unclear whether any amendments or revisions were made.

Trump Goes to War With Fox News Just Before Major Interview Airs

Why is Donald Trump suddenly mad at Fox News again?

Donald Trump yells into a mic
Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Donald Trump doesn’t think Fox News is doing enough to help him.

The former president and convicted felon raged against the conservative news network on Truth Social on Monday, demanding that Fox “STOP PUTTING ON THE ENEMY!”

The post follows two posts on Sunday, where Trump gave more detailed complaints. It’s odd that Trump would take shots at Fox, especially just hours before Sean Hannity is set to air a major interview with him. The network has gone to great lengths to help Trump’s presidency and candidacy, even boosting his false claims of 2020 election fraud and having to pay a hefty legal settlement as a result. But Trump is apparently upset at Fox’s guests, whom he feels aren’t defending him or his claims strongly enough.

Truth Social Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump): Why does FoxNews keep putting all of these warped Biden Apologists on, one after another, like failed former Congressman Patrick Murphy?

For example, he complained on Saturday about Wall Street Journal editor John Bussey, claiming that the journalist “refuses to say, even though he knows it to be true, that everything I got accused of is a Biden inspired HOAX for purposes of Election Interference.” Late last month, Trump was angry that a Fox poll showed Biden narrowly leading him by two points.

In short, Trump demands total loyalty from everyone around him, no matter what they’ve done for him in the past. Fox has a long record of going above and beyond to support Trump, whether it’s editing interviews to make him look better, pushing his blatant lie about the FBI plotting to kill him, and covering up whatever makes him look bad. The network has always pushed Republican goals and messages, throwing its weight behind Trump once he captured the GOP electorate, and is putting its thumb on the scale for Trump in this election.

Trump can continue to take shots at Fox without worrying about their support, as the network doesn’t want to risk angering his supporters. But ultimately, the voters he has to convince may not be hanging on the network’s every word.