Donald Trump Announces 2016 White House Bid

spaminator

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NATO leader says Trump puts allies at risk by saying Russia can ’do whatever the hell they want’
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Vanessa Gera And Lorne Cook
Published Feb 11, 2024 • Last updated 4 days ago • 4 minute read

WARSAW, Poland — The head of the NATO military alliance warned Sunday that Donald Trump was putting the safety of U.S. troops and their allies at risk after the Republican presidential front-runner said Russia should be able to do “whatever the hell they want” to NATO members who don’t meet their defence spending targets.

“Any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the U.S., and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement.


Speaking Saturday at a rally in Conway, South Carolina, Trump recalled how as president he told an unidentified NATO member that he would “encourage” Russia to do as it wishes in cases of NATO allies who are “delinquent.”

“‘You didn’t pay? You’re delinquent?”’ Trump recounted saying. “‘No I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills.”’



Trump’s remarks caused deep concern in Poland, which was under Russian control in past centuries, and where anxieties are high over the war Russia is waging just across the Polish border in Ukraine.

“We have a hot war at our border,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Sunday, voicing concerns about whether the United States will show “full solidarity with other NATO countries in this confrontation that promises to last for a long time with Russia.”

“We must realize that the EU cannot be an economic and civilizational giant and a dwarf when it comes to defence, because the world has changed,” he argued in a town hall speech marking the start of his party’s campaign for local elections this spring.

In 2014, NATO allies pledged to move toward spending 2% of GDP on defence by 2024. According to NATO estimates in early 2023, 10 of its 30 member states at the time were close to or above the 2% mark, while 13 were spending 1.5% or less.


No country is in debt to any other, or to NATO.

In a statement, Trump senior adviser Jason Miller said that Trump would be able to more effectively force allies to increase their NATO spending compared to President Joe Biden, and that “when you don’t pay your defence spending you can’t be surprised that you get more war.”

Stoltenberg said he expects that, “regardless of who wins the presidential election, the U.S. will remain a strong and committed NATO ally.”

The German government did not officially comment on Trump’s remarks, but its foreign office pointed out NATO’s solidarity principle in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

“‘One for all and all for one.’ This NATO creed keeps more than 950 million people safe,” it said.


Trump’s comments were of particular concern to NATO’s front-line countries, like Poland and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which were either under the control of Moscow or fully incorporated into the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Fears there run especially high given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Polish President Andrzej Duda, who is allied with the right-wing opposition, and who was seen as friendly to Trump during his presidency, tweeted that the Polish-U.S. alliance must be strong “regardless of who is currently in power in Poland and the USA.”

He warned: “Offending half of the American political scene serves neither our economic interests nor Poland’s security.”

In an editorial Sunday, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also called for European nations to spend more on defence.


It said that if Trump wins the presidency again, statements like the one he made on Saturday night “will increase the risk of Putin expanding his war. Europeans can only do one thing to counter this: finally invest in their military security in line with the seriousness of the situation.”

Trump’s tenure, which was marked by his open admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, became a near-existential challenge for NATO, an organization largely controlled by the United States. The prospect that Trump might return to power remains a deep concern among allies.

Stoltenberg was praised for his diplomatic skills in keeping NATO together during the Trump years, but the former Norwegian prime minister is stepping down. His successor is likely to be announced by the time allied leaders meet in Washington for NATO’s 75th anniversary summit in July.

Under NATO’s mutual defence clause, Article 5 of its founding treaty, all allies commit to help any member who comes under attack. The article has only ever been activated once — by the U.S. in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

NATO has undertaken its biggest military buildup since the Cold War since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

— Cook reported from Brussels. Associated Press writer Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin contributed to this report.
 

spaminator

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Trump says there’s ‘no way’ Taylor Swift can endorse Biden
Author of the article:Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News
Alicia Diaz
Published Feb 11, 2024 • 1 minute read

Donald Trump said there’s “no way” Taylor Swift can endorse President Joe Biden for re-election, saying she could not be “disloyal to the man who made her so much money.”


“I signed and was responsible for the Music Modernization Act for Taylor Swift and all other Musical Artists,” the Republican frontrunner said in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social. “Joe Biden didn’t do anything for Taylor, and never will.”


The billionaire global pop star endorsed Biden in the 2020 presidential election, when he first faced off against Trump. She has yet to endorse a candidate in this year’s race.

The Biden administration last month urged action to remove sexually explicit deep-fakes of Swift that had emerged on social media.

An endorsement from Swift may influence voters in what’s likely to be a tight presidential race. Polling data show Trump currently leading Biden by 2 percentage points nationwide in a hypothetical head-to-head match, according to the RealClearPolitics average.

Swift carries political clout because of her loyal fan base known as Swifties who inject billions into local economies traveling to her sold-out concerts globally. She’s boosted viewership of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, thanks to fans’ fascination with her relationship with Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I like her boyfriend, Travis, even though he may be a Liberal, and probably can’t stand me!” Trump said on Truth Social.
 

spaminator

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Trump wants to install new RNC leadership, including his daughter-in-law as co-chair
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Steve Peoples And Jill Colvin
Published Feb 13, 2024 • 4 minute read

NEW YORK — Donald Trump wants a leadership change at the Republican National Committee in an attempt to install a new slate of loyalists — including his daughter-in-law — atop the GOP’s political machine even before the former president formally secures the party’s next presidential nomination.


Current RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel says she has no plans to leave the committee until at least after South Carolina’s Feb. 24 primary election.


Still, Trump on Monday night called for McDaniel to be replaced by Michael Whatley, the North Carolina GOP chairman. The new co-chair, Trump said, should be his daughter-in-law Lara Trump.

Trump’s move to push out McDaniel — days after the two met at his Mar-a-Lago residence and agreed to delay a decision on her future _ reflects his urgency to force Republicans to unite behind him in a likely rematch against President Joe Biden. While Trump has not come close to gathering sufficient delegates to secure the nomination, he is eying a potential knockout blow against Nikki Haley, his last major primary rival, in her home state of South Carolina next week.


Central to Trump’s demands are his false theories of voter fraud. Trump has long complained that the RNC is not focused enough on preventing voter fraud, which he continues to falsely insist cost him the 2020 election, even though his own election officials, Justice Department and numerous courts found no evidence to support his claims.

Trump, in his statement, noted Whatley is “committed to election integrity, which we must have to keep fraud out of our election so it can’t be stolen.”

RNC spokesman Keith Schipper said McDaniel had no immediate plans to step down.

“Chairwoman McDaniel has been on the road helping elect Republicans up and down the ballot and she will continue working hard to beat Biden this fall. Nothing has changed, and there will be no decision or announcement about future plans until after South Carolina,” he said.


That’s even as Haley warned her party against acceding to Trump’s wishes.

Referencing Trump’s efforts to “get the RNC to name in the presumptive nominee,” Haley talked Tuesday about her rival’s moves to replace McDaniel, who has not announced her departure.

“What we saw yesterday was, he took a different approach,” she said. “Now he has decided he has fired the RNC chair, he’s named who’s going to be the new RNC chair, his daughter-in-law will be the co-chair, and he is making his campaign manager the officer that runs the party. Think about what is happening right now. Is that how you’re going to try and take an election?”

Immediately following Trump’s announcement, Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankney said Trump is simply “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”


Haley’s plan if given the opportunity to run the RNC? She’d “blow it all up,” Ankney said, and fire everyone.

McDaniel, the niece of Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, was Trump’s hand-picked choice to lead the RNC shortly after his 2016 election. The 50-year-old from Michigan was a strong advocate for the former president and helped reshape the GOP’s governing body in his image, but Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement increasingly blamed her for the party’s struggles in recent national elections.

The campaign’s effective takeover of the RNC would bring benefits for both the committee and Trump’s campaign — at least in theory.

The RNC has been struggling with fundraising, especially after Trump tried to bar it from using his name and image to raise money. An integration would also open the door to more skeptical party donors who remain reluctant to give directly to Trump’s campaign or super PAC. Campaign finance disclosures released last week showed the RNC had just $8 million in the bank and $1 million in debt.


None of Trump’s leadership wishes will come to fruition without an in-person vote by the Republican National Committee, which is expected to meet later this spring.

Under Trump’s preferred arrangement, senior adviser Chris LaCivita would maintain his current role leading Trump’s campaign in addition to becoming the RNC’s chief operations officer.

Whatley, who serves as general counsel to the RNC, would take over for McDaniel.

He has paid particular attention to the prospect of voter fraud in recent years, having taken credit for hiring a large contingent of lawyers ahead of the 2020 election. He failed in his bid last year to become the RNC co-chair despite earning Trump’s endorsement.

Lara Trump would then presumably take over as the RNC’s No. 2.


She is married to Trump’s middle son, Eric, and has taken an especially active role in all three of her father-in-law’s campaigns. She briefly considered running for Senate in her home state of North Carolina in 2022, but decided against it, saying she wanted to spend more time with her young children.

The New York Times first reported Trump was considering installing Lara Trump at the RNC.

Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee spokesman Director Alex Floyd said, “Trump is making it clear that the GOP is the home for insurrectionists and extreme MAGA fanatics.”

“Whatley already threatened our democracy once before when he spread lies about the results of the 2020 election,” Floyd said. “Now, Trump is rewarding him in just the latest display that democracy will be on the ballot this November.”
 

spaminator

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Judge to consider whether to remove Fani Willis from Georgia election case
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Kate Brumback
Published Feb 14, 2024 • 4 minute read

ATLANTA — A Georgia judge who is deciding whether to toss Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis off of the state’s election interference case against former President Donald Trump has set a hearing for Thursday that is expected to focus on details of Willis’ personal relationship with a special prosecutor she hired.


As soon as allegations of an inappropriate romantic relationship between Willis and attorney Nathan Wade surfaced last month, speculation about the future of the case began to swirl. Even if the prosecution isn’t derailed, the upheaval has certainly created an unwanted distraction for Willis and her team and could undermine public confidence in the case.


The defense attorney who first exposed the relationship says it creates a conflict of interest and is asking the judge to dismiss the indictment and to prohibit Willis, Wade and their offices from further involvement in the case. In a response filed earlier this month, Willis acknowledged a “personal relationship” but said it has no bearing on the serious criminal charges she’s pursuing and asked the judge to dismiss the motions seeking her disqualification without a hearing.


The law says “disqualification can occur if evidence is produced demonstrating an actual conflict or the appearance of one,” Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said during a hearing Monday. Because he believes “it’s possible that the facts alleged by the defendant could result in a disqualification, I think an evidentiary hearing must occur to establish the record on those core allegations.”

The highly anticipated hearing, like all courtroom proceedings in the case, will be streamed live on the judge’s YouTube channel, as well as by news outlets. McAfee has said it could continue into Friday.

As he makes another run for the White House and faces three other criminal prosecutions, the former president has exploited the revelation of the relationship, repeatedly referring to Wade as Willis’ “lover” or “boyfriend” to try to cast doubt on Willis’ motivations and the legitimacy of the case. Other Republicans have piled on, using the claims to justify calls for investigations into or sanctions against Willis, an elected Democrat who’s up for reelection this year.


The original motion was filed by former Trump campaign staffer and onetime White House aide Michael Roman, but Trump and several other co-defendants have joined with motions of their own.

Roman’s motion says Willis and Wade were romantically involved when she hired him in November 2021 to manage an investigation into whether Trump and others committed any crimes as they tried to overturn his 2020 election loss in Georgia. That investigation led to the indictment in August of Trump and 18 others who are accused of participating in a sprawling illegal scheme to keep Trump in office.

Four of the people charged have already pleaded guilty after reaching deals with prosecutors. Trump and the remaining 14 have all pleaded not guilty.


Willis has paid Wade more than $650,000 for his work and then, Roman alleges, profited personally when Wade used that money to take her on expensive vacations, including cruises in the Bahamas and trips to Aruba, Belize and Napa Valley. His filing also questions Wade’s qualifications for the job, saying there’s no evidence he had ever prosecuted a felony or handled a racketeering case.

Just under a week after Roman’s motion was filed, Willis used a speech at a historic Black church in Atlanta to forcefully defend Wade’s qualifications and her own decision to hire him. She didn’t address the allegations of a relationship in that speech, waiting nearly three more weeks to acknowledge a “personal relationship” in a court filing.


Attached to that filing was a sworn statement from Wade saying that the pair began a personal relationship in 2022, after he was hired as a special prosecutor. His statement also said travel expenses for him and Willis were “roughly divided equally between us” and that Willis “received no funds or personal financial gain” from his position as a special prosecutor.

McAfee said Thursday’s hearing needs to explore “whether a relationship existed, whether that relationship was romantic or non-romantic in nature, when it formed and whether it continues.” Those questions are only relevant, he said, “in combination with the question of the existence and extent of any personal benefit conveyed as a result of the relationship.”


Roman’s attorney, Ashleigh Merchant, has subpoenaed Willis, Wade, seven other employees of the district attorney’s office and others, including Wade’s former business partner, Terrence Bradley. Merchant told McAfee on Monday that Bradley would testify that Willis and Wade’s romantic relationship began before Wade was hired as special counsel and that they had stayed together in homes where the county was paying for Willis to stay.

Willis sought to quash those subpoenas. She argued Roman’s attempts to subpoena people in her office “suggests an eye toward public narrative as opposed to legal remedy” and that anything Bradley knows is protected by attorney-client privilege as he once served as Wade’s divorce attorney. McAfee declined on Monday to quash those subpoenas, but agreed to revisit that after Bradley testifies.

Aware of the personal nature of some of the details that could arise in Thursday’s hearing, the judge said that if there’s anything that amounts to “harassment or undue embarrassment,” he is “not going to feel inhibited from stepping in, even without an objection from counsel, to move this along and keep it focused on the issues at hand.”

McAfee also made clear that he does not believe arguments over Wade’s qualifications are relevant, saying that as long as an attorney “has a heartbeat and a bar card,” it is within the district attorney’s discretion to hire him.
 

justfred

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What we hear on the internet is that Donald Trump is running short of funds, using political donations to fund private court cases. I suggest that he is saying that he is short of money, donated money, to fund the court cases, but not his money. Does anyone think he will spend his money to defend himself, spend donated money, and if Americans are dumb enough to pay him, go for it. What I see is that the Republican Party is waiting for the courts to make a decision to eliminate him from the election rather than the party doing that. What the party is doing is not realizing is that all the money being donated to old Donnie will not be available if he is removed and replaced by someone else. Will this give the Dems a better chance to win?
 

pgs

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What we hear on the internet is that Donald Trump is running short of funds, using political donations to fund private court cases. I suggest that he is saying that he is short of money, donated money, to fund the court cases, but not his money. Does anyone think he will spend his money to defend himself, spend donated money, and if Americans are dumb enough to pay him, go for it. What I see is that the Republican Party is waiting for the courts to make a decision to eliminate him from the election rather than the party doing that. What the party is doing is not realizing is that all the money being donated to old Donnie will not be available if he is removed and replaced by someone else. Will this give the Dems a better chance to win?
If wishes were horses .
 
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spaminator

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Donald Trump stands by remarks about not defending NATO members after backlash
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Meg Kinnard And Michelle L. Price
Published Feb 14, 2024 • 3 minute read

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump again said Wednesday that if he returns to the White House, he would not defend NATO members that don’t meet defense spending targets, days after he set off alarms in Europe by suggesting he would tell Russia to attack NATO allies he considered delinquent.


Speaking at a campaign rally in South Carolina, he retold the story of his alleged conversation with the head of a NATO member country that had not met its obligations. This time, though, he left out the line that drew the most outrage — encouraging Russia “to do whatever the hell they want.”


“Look, if they’re not going to pay, we’re not going to protect. OK?” he said Wednesday.

Trump hewed closer than usual to his prepared remarks after a freewheeling event days earlier in which he also drew backlash for mocking his Republican rival Nikki Haley’s husband for being missing from the campaign trail. He also revised his comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he has often praised as tough and previously suggested treated him like the “apple of his eye.”


Instead, Trump cited an interview Putin gave Wednesday to Russian state television in which he said he would prefer Biden as president.

“Putin is not a fan of mine,” Trump said.

Haley, Trump’s former U.N. ambassador and his last major rival in the GOP presidential race, has been condemning Trump’s remarks for days about her husband Michael Haley, who is deployed in Africa with the National Guard.

Trump on Wednesday insulted Nikki Haley and highlighted his wide lead in polls over her, but he focused more of his attention on President Joe Biden, whom he’s expected to face in the 2024 general election.

Biden has also excoriated Trump for his remarks about NATO, calling them “dangerous,” “un-American,” and “shocking.” Biden has also pushed for a foreign aid package to assist Ukraine as it fights Russia’s invasion.


Trump has opposed the aid and said Wednesday that the U.S. should instead provide a loan to Ukraine.

“Why should you just hand it over to them?” he said.

Trump also tried to explain away his remarks in January in which he repeatedly confused Haley for former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, drawing questions about his mental fitness. Both Biden, 81, and Trump, 77, face widespread questions among voters about their age and readiness for a second term.

“I’m not a Nikki fan and I’m not a Pelosi fan and when I purposely interposed names they said, ‘He didn’t know Pelosi from Nikki, from Tricky Nikki,” he said. “No no, I think they both stink. They have something in common.”

Though Haley has had more campaign appearances lately than Trump, she did not appear at any events Wednesday. Don Bolduc, a Haley surrogate, failed New Hampshire Senate candidate and retired brigadier general, held a news conference earlier Wednesday aimed at Trump’s criticism of Michael Haley.


SFA Inc., the super PAC supporting Haley’s campaign, has been playing its latest ad on a mobile billboard in the area of Trump’s Wednesday night rally, a spot calling Trump “sick or clueless” for criticizing the military.

Trump’s negativity toward Haley has ramped up as the season’s votes have gotten underway and the campaign moved to her home state.

Last month in New Hampshire, Trump essentially ruled Haley out as a potential running mate, saying she “is not presidential timber.”

He said Wednesday night that his criticism of her means that “she will never be running for vice president,” a comment that was met with loud cheers from the audience.

But Trump quickly pivoted to lavish praise on South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who dropped out of the presidential race in November. Scott has been seen as a potential running mate for Trump, whom he endorsed and has campaigned for, including on Wednesday night.

“You’re a much better candidate for me than you were for yourself,” Trump told Scott.

While serving as South Carolina’s governor, Haley appointed Scott to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Her son, Nalin, has been introducing Haley at her events and several times referred to Scott as “Sen. Judas,” a reference to the Biblical story of the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ.
 
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bob the dog

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Tack on another ruling against him for $350 million from the State of New York. The entire 3 1/2 years of Joe Biden's term has been spent persecuting and prosecuting Donald Trump. They should just let him fall from a window already and call it suicide.
 
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