Donald Trump Announces 2016 White House Bid

Dixie Cup

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Give it up, Fred. When somebody starts their post about a civil trial with "What law was broken?" you might as well try teaching differential equations to marmots.
The fact that no law was broken is the issue! Leticia James is already going after another company so she's not stopping at Trump. Beware NY'ers who have businesses.
 

spaminator

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Man who helped drag cop into mob gets 5 years for Capitol riot attacks
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael Kunzelman
Published Mar 21, 2024 • 3 minute read
WASHINGTON — A Colorado man who helped other rioters drag a police officer into a mob storming the U.S. Capitol was sentenced on Thursday to more than five years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack.


Jeffrey Sabol ripped a baton from an officer’s hands before pulling another officer into the crowd outside the Capitol, allowing other rioters to assault the officer with weapons.


Sabol, 54, told U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras that he knows he is “100%” guilty and would have apologized directly to the officers whom he attacked if they had attended the hearing.

“I accept whatever it is you hand me,” Sabol said. “I’ll be honest: I deserve it.”

The judge sentenced Sabol to five years and three months behind bars. He’ll get credit for the three years and two months that he has already spent in jail since his arrest.

Contreras said Sabol had mischaracterized his violent actions on Jan. 6 as efforts to be helpful.


“It’s hard to imagine how any of this was helpful,” the judge said after describing Sabol’s conduct that day.

Prosecutors recommended a prison sentence of 10 years and one month for Sabol.

Sabol told FBI agents who arrested him that he was filled with “patriotic rage” on Jan. 6 because he believed the 2020 presidential election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump and said he answered a “call to battle” because he was a “patriot warrior,” according to prosecutors.

Contreras convicted Sabol of felony charges last year after a “stipulated bench trial,” which means the judge decided the case without a jury based on facts that both sides agreed to in advance. Such trials allow defendants to admit to certain facts while maintaining a right to appeal a conviction.


Sabol traveled from Colorado to Washington, D.C., with other members of what he called a “neighborhood watch” group. They attended Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House on Jan. 6 before Sabol went to the Capitol, where lawmakers were certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.

Sabol was wearing a helmet when he and other rioters attacked police officers on the west side of the Capitol.

“He entered the fray with the intent to halt the certification of the electoral college vote and to violently combat what he believed was a stolen election,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing.

On the Lower West Terrace, Sabol initially watched as another rioter beat a Metropolitan Police Department officer with a crutch and started to drag that officer down a set of steps. Sabol and a third rioter stepped in and helped drag the officer headfirst down the steps and into the crowd, where other rioters beat him with a flagpole and baton.


After Sabol stole a baton from another officer, other rioters dragged the officer into the crowd, kicked and stomped on him, struck him with poles and ripped off his gas mask before he was pepper sprayed.

Sabol tried to cover his tracks and flee the country after the riot. He microwaved laptops and hard drives, dropped his cell phone out a car window and booked a flight to Zurich, Switzerland, but he didn’t board the flight. Instead, he rented a car and drove to the Westchester, New York, area before he was arrested on Jan. 22, 2021.

Sabol worked as a senior geophysical manager for an environmental services company that fired him after his arrest.

“Jeff Sabol is not a violent man and regrets being caught up in his emotions and engaging in conduct that is not reflective of the law-abiding man and loving father that he has always strived to project,” his attorney wrote in a court filing.


Contreras previously sentenced several other rioters who were charged with Sabol and convicted of attacking the injured officers.

A former Tennessee sheriff’s deputy, Ronald Colton McAbee, was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison. Florida resident Mason Courson was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. Arkansas truck driver Peter Francis Stager was sentenced to four years and four months in prison. Michigan resident Justin Jersey was sentenced to four years and three months in prison. Michigan construction worker Logan Barnhart was sentenced to three years in prison. Kentucky business owner Clayton Ray Mullins was sentenced to two years and six months in prison.

Another co-defendant, Georgia business owner Jack Wade Whitton, is scheduled to be sentenced in May.

More than 1,300 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riot. Over 800 of them have been sentenced, with roughly two-thirds receiving a term of imprisonment ranging from a few days to 22 years.
 

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Ex-NBC exec blasted for saying Barron Trump 'fair game'
Author of the article:postmedia News
Published Mar 21, 2024 • Last updated 1 day ago • 2 minute read

Former NBC executive Mike Sington shared a post on social-media site X on Wednesday on Barron Trump's 18th birthday.
Former NBC executive Mike Sington shared a post on social-media site X on Wednesday on Barron Trump's 18th birthday. PHOTO BY @CHARLIEKIRK/X /TORONTO SUN
A former NBC executive has been branded “disgusting” and “super creepy” after saying Barron Trump, the youngster child of the former president, is “fair game” now that he is an adult.


Mike Sington shared the weird message on social-media site X, suggesting it is now fine for the public to go after the 18-year-old.


A photo of Barron and his father, Donald, was shared alongside the message that said: “Barron Trump turns 18 today. He’s fair game now.”

The post was immediately criticized and Sington quickly deleted it, the U.K. Daily Mail reported.

Sington said he meant “fair game” in terms of criticism from the press, but others suggested it was meant to suggest Barron is now open to be harmed.

Per the Daily Mail, Sington apologized and told Newsweek he never intended to invite or “wish physical harm on anyone.”

Sington’s LinkedIn profile suggests he worked as director of operations at Universal for 30 years, until 2016, and created and produced the studio tour experience.


Barron has been shielded almost entirely from the limelight for most of his childhood, with much of his adolescence taking place during his father’s White House tenure.

He was the first boy to grow up in the White House since John F. Kennedy Jr. In 1963.



“This is super creepy,” wrote Garrett Ventry, former senior communications adviser to the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans.

“This creepy NBC guy is completely broken. I wonder if he has kids? Nephews? Nieces? How old are they?” said Michael R. Caputo, former assistant secretary of public affairs for the Department of Health and Human Services.

“You sound like a creep dude,” added Javon A. Price, former aide to GOP Representative Byron Donalds.

“Someone pointed out to me ‘fair game’ could mean fair game to be harmed. I don’t wish physical harm on anyone, so I took it down,” Sington said in his apology, adding, “I listen to the comments and criticism I receive.”
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U.S. Jews upset with Trump’s latest rhetoric say he doesn’t get to tell them how to be Jewish
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Peter Smith And Tiffany Stanley
Published Mar 22, 2024 • 5 minute read
Trump on Monday, March 18, 2024, charged that Jews who vote for Democrats "hate Israel" and hate "their religion," igniting a firestorm of criticism from the White House and Jewish leaders.
Trump on Monday, March 18, 2024, charged that Jews who vote for Democrats "hate Israel" and hate "their religion," igniting a firestorm of criticism from the White House and Jewish leaders.
Since the start of his political career, Donald Trump has played on stereotypes about Jews and politics.


He told the Republican Jewish Coalition in 2015 that “you want to control your politicians” and suggested the audience used money to exert control. In the White House, he said Jews who vote for Democrats are “very disloyal to Israel.”


Two years ago, the former president hosted two dinner guests at his Florida residence who were known to make virulent antisemitic comments.

And this week, Trump charged that Jewish Democrats were being disloyal to their faith and to Israel. That had many American Jews taking up positions behind now-familiar political lines. Trump opponents accused him of promoting antisemitic tropes while his defenders suggested he was making a fair political point in his own way.

Jonathan Sarna, American Jewish history professor at Brandeis University, said Trump is capitalizing on tensions within the Jewish community.


“For people who hate Donald Trump in the Jewish community, certainly this statement will reinforce their sense that they don’t want to have anything to do with him,” he said. “For people who like Donald Trump in the Jewish community, they probably nod in agreement.”

To many Jewish leaders in a demographic that has overwhelmingly identified as Democratic and supported President Joe Biden in 2020, Trump’s latest comments promoted harmful antisemitic stereotypes, painting Jews as having divided loyalties and that there’s only one right way to be Jewish religiously.

“That escalation of rhetoric is so dangerous, so divisive and so wrong,” said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, the largest U.S. Jewish religious denomination. “This is a moment when Israel needs there to be more bipartisan support.”


But Matt Brooks, CEO of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said the former president’s comments must be heard in context of the Israel-Hamas war and Democratic criticisms of the state of Israel.

“What the president was saying in his own unique style was giving voice to things I get asked about multiple times a day,” Brooks said. “How can Jews remain Democrats in light of what is going on?” He contended the Democratic Party is “no longer the pro-Israel bastion it used to be.”

More than 31,800 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli offensive that followed Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, in which militants killed some 1,200 people and took hostages. Much of northern Gaza has been leveled, and officials warned famine is imminent.


Trump’s comments followed a speech by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the country’s highest-ranking Jewish official. Schumer, a Democrat, last week sharply criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ‘s handling of the war in Gaza. Schumer called for new elections in Israel and warned the civilian toll was damaging Israel’s global standing.

“Any Jewish person that votes for Democrats hates their religion,” Trump retorted Monday on a talk show. “They hate everything about Israel.”

A cascade of Jewish voices, from Schumer to the Anti-Defamation League to religious leaders, denounced Trump’s statement.

In a statement to The Associated Press on Wednesday, the Trump campaign doubled down, criticizing Schumer, congressional Democrats’ support of Palestinians and the Biden administration’s policies on Iran and on aid to Gaza.


“President Trump is right,” said Karoline Leavitt, national press secretary for the Trump campaign.

Jeffrey Hert, an antisemitism expert at the University of Maryland, disagrees with Schumer’s call for a cease-fire in Gaza, but believes most Democrats support Israel — and he said a second Biden term would be better for it than a second Trump one.

“If (Trump) loses the 2024 election, his comments prepare the way for blaming the Jews for his defeat,” Herf said. “The clear result would be to fan the flames of antisemitism and assert that, yet again, the Jews are guilty.”

Sarna saw Trump as trying to appeal to politically conservative Jews, particularly the small but fast-growing Orthodox segment, who see Trump as a defender of Israel.


Also, about 10% of U.S. Jews are immigrants, according to a 2020 Pew Research Center report. Sarna said significant numbers are conservative.

At the same time, Democrats face the tension between their Jewish constituency, which is predominantly pro-Israel, and its progressive wing, which is more pro-Palestinian.

Sarna said that while it may seem odd to focus so much attention on subsections of a minority population, “elections in America are very close, and every vote counts.”

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro said Tuesday on his podcast that Trump “was making a point that, frankly, I have made myself, which is that Jews who are voting Democrat do not understand the Democratic Party.” Shapiro, who practices Orthodox Judaism, contended the party “overlooks antisemitism” within its ranks.


Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the CEO of T’ruah, a rabbinic human rights organization, said Trump has no business dictating who’s a good Jew.

“By insinuating that good Jews will vote for the party that is best for Israel, Trump is evoking the age-old antisemitic trope of dual loyalty — an accusation that Jews are more loyal to their religion than to their country, and therefore can’t be trusted,” she said. “Historically, this accusation has fueled some of the worst antisemitic violence.”

In his own time in office, Trump’s policy “of supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu and the settler agenda only endangered Palestinians and Israelis and made peace more difficult to achieve,” Jacobs said.

Pittsburgh-based journalist Beth Kissileff — whose husband, a rabbi in the Conservative denomination of Judaism, in 2018 survived the nation’s deadliest antisemitic attack — said it was highly offensive for Trump to be a “self-appointed arbiter” of what it means to be Jewish.


“Chuck Schumer had every right to say what he said,” Kissileff added. “Just because we’re Jews, it doesn’t mean we agree with everything the (Israeli) government is doing. We have compassion for innocent Palestinian lives.”

Brooks, of the Republican Jewish Coalition, defended the former president against antisemitism charges, pointing to his presidential record as an example of proof.

Trump pursued policies that were popular among American Christian Zionists and Israeli religious-nationalists, including moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and supporting Jewish settlements in occupied territories. His daughter Ivanka is a convert to Orthodox Judaism, and her husband and their children are Jewish. The couple worked as high-profile surrogates to the Jewish community during Trump’s administration.


Trump’s core supporters include white evangelicals, many of whom believe the modern state of Israel fulfills biblical prophecy. Prominent evangelicals who support Zionism have also been criticized for inflammatory statements about Jewish people.

Sixty-nine percent of Jewish voters in 2020 supported Biden, while 30% supported Trump, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of the electorate conducted in partnership with NORC at the University of Chicago. That made Jewish voters one of the religious groups where support for Biden was strongest. Also, 73% of Jewish voters in 2020 said that Trump was too tolerant of extremist groups.

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson said Trump’s comments are “in a complex middle zone” — not explicitly antisemitic, but reliant on such tropes.

American Jews base their votes on a complex mix of issues and values, “among them inclusion, diversity, climate change, civil rights,” said Artson, a leader within Conservative Judaism. “While they love Israel diversely, many of us also care about the wellbeing and self-determination of Palestinians.”
 

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NBC has cut ties with former RNC head Ronna McDaniel after employee objections, some on the air
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
David Bauder
Published Mar 26, 2024 • 2 minute read
Former NBC News "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd criticized his network Sunday, March 24, 2024, for hiring former Republican National Committee head McDaniel as a paid contributor, saying on the air that many NBC journalists are uncomfortable with the decision.
Former NBC News "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd criticized his network Sunday, March 24, 2024, for hiring former Republican National Committee head McDaniel as a paid contributor, saying on the air that many NBC journalists are uncomfortable with the decision.
NEW YORK (AP) — NBC News cut ties Tuesday with former Republican National Committee chief Ronna McDaniel less than a week after hiring her as an on-air political contributor, a decision that came following a furious protest by some of its journalists and commentators.


In announcing the decision in a memo, NBC Universal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde apologized to staff members who felt let down by the hire, acknowledging he had signed off on it.


“No organization, particularly a newsroom, can succeed unless it is cohesive and aligned,” Conde wrote. “Over the last few days, it has become clear that this appointment undermines that goal.”

There was no immediate comment from McDaniel. She found out she lost her job through media reports, not from NBC directly, said a person close to her who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about it publicly.

NBC announced Friday that McDaniel would contribute commentary across network platforms, saying that it wanted the perspective of someone with inside knowledge about the Republican Party and former President Donald Trump heading in to the 2024 election.

The response from journalists and others within the network was swift — and public. Former “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd criticized his bosses on the air Sunday for the hire, saying he didn’t know what to believe from her after she supported former President Donald Trump in “gaslighting” and “character assassination” following the 2020 election.

An extraordinary succession of MSNBC hosts — Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid, Nicolle Wallace, Jen Psaki and Lawrence O’Donnell — all publicly protested the decision to hire McDaniel on their shows Monday.

“It is a sign of strength, not weakness, to acknowledge that you’re wrong,” Maddow said on her show.



Republicans countered that the protest indicates that people at NBC News, particularly at MSNBC, were unwilling to countenance opposing viewpoints. The hiring, and quick firing, represents one of those rare instances likely to unite the left and right — in anger.

“NBC caving in to the censors,” Elon Musk, owner of X, formerly Twitter, posted on his platform.

Those who protested her hiring claimed that it wasn’t because McDaniel is a Republican, but it was because she helped promote Trump’s lies about the 2020 presidential election and assisted in efforts to overturn the results.

Efforts by news organizations to hire former politicians is hardly new. NBC News hired Psaki directly from her job as press secretary to President Joe Biden, and another former Republican National Committee chairman, Michael Steele, hosts a weekend show on MSNBC.

But there are concerns that the McDaniel episode may make it difficult for networks to find voices this year that can provide insight into Trump and his campaign.
 

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Trump backs fan comparing porn-star woes to persecution of Christ
Author of the article:postmedia News
Published Mar 26, 2024 • 1 minute read

Porn-star problems are Donald Trump’s cross to bear.


The former president shared a note from a fan that likened his legal problems to the persecution of Jesus Christ ahead of Easter Sunday.


“It’s ironic that Christ walked through His greatest persecution the very week they are trying to steal your property from you,” the message of support said, referencing Psalm 109:3–8. “Thank you again for taking the arrows intended for us. We love you.”

The 77-year-old Trump shared the note on Truth Social on Monday, writing: “Received this morning — Beautiful, thank you!”



The presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s post came as he appeared in Manhattan court for a hearing in the “hush-money” criminal case against him, which a judge ruled would head to trial on April 15.


Trump is facing a 34-count indictment alleging he falsified business records to cover up payments made to former porn-star Stormy Daniels and others to hide claims of extramarital affairs in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

The 45th president pleaded not guilty and denied wrongdoing, while his lawyers had sought to dismiss the case due to a last-minute document dump.

Trump has touted his criminal charges as a “badge of honour,” alleging that he’s the victim of political persecution.

“This is an election interference,” Trump declared during a news conference after the court hearing.

Trump is the first former or sitting president to face criminal charges in U.S. history.

“He spent the weekend golfing, the morning comparing himself to Jesus, and the afternoon lying about having money he definitely doesn’t have,” Joe Biden-Kamala Harris campaign spokesperson James Singer said in a statement.
 
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Trump selling ’God Bless the USA’ Bibles for $59.99 as he faces mounting legal bills
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Jill Colvin
Published Mar 27, 2024 • 4 minute read

NEW YORK — Former President Donald Trump is now selling Bibles as he runs to return to the White House.


Trump, who became the presumptive Republican nominee earlier this month, released a video on his Truth Social platform on Tuesday urging his supporters to buy the “God Bless the USA Bible,” which is inspired by country singer Lee Greenwood’s patriotic ballad. Trump takes the stage to the song at each of his rallies and has appeared with Greenwood at events.


“Happy Holy Week! Let’s Make America Pray Again. As we lead into Good Friday and Easter, I encourage you to get a copy of the God Bless the USA Bible,” Trump wrote, directing his supporters to a website selling the book for $59.99.

The effort comes as Trump has faced a serious money crunch amid mounting legal bills while he fights four criminal indictments along with a series of civil charges. Trump was given a reprieve Monday when a New York appeals court agreed to hold off on collecting the more than $454 million he owes following a civil fraud judgment if he puts up $175 million within 10 days. Trump has already posted a $92 million bond in connection with defamation cases brought by the writer E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of sexual assault.


“All Americans need a Bible in their home, and I have many. It’s my favorite book,” Trump said in the video posted on Truth Social. “I’m proud to endorse and encourage you to get this Bible. We must make America pray again.”

Billing itself as “the the only Bible endorsed by President Trump!” the new venture’s website calls it “Easy-to-read” with “large print” and a “slim design” that “invites you to explore God’s Word anywhere, any time.”

Besides a King James Version translation, it includes copies of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as a handwritten chorus of the famous Greenwood song.

The Bible is just the latest commercial venture that Trump has pursued while campaigning.


Last month, he debuted a new line of Trump-branded sneakers, including $399 gold “Never Surrender High-Tops,” at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia. The venture behind the shoes, 45Footwear, also sells other Trump-branded footwear, cologne and perfume.

Trump has also dabbled in NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, and last year reported earning between $100,000 and $1 million from a series of digital trading cards that portrayed him in cartoon-like images, including as an astronaut, a cowboy and a superhero.

He has also released books featuring photos of his time in office and letters written to him through the years.

The Bible’s website states the product “is not political and has nothing to do with any political campaign.”


“GodBlessTheUSABible.com is not owned, managed or controlled by Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization, CIC Ventures LLC or any of their respective principals or affiliates,” it says.

Instead, it says, “GodBlessTheUSABible.com uses Donald J. Trump’s name, likeness and image under paid license from CIC Ventures LLC, which license may be terminated or revoked according to its terms.”

CIC Ventures LLC, a company that Trump reported owning in his 2023 financial disclosure, has a similar arrangement with 45Footwear, which also says it uses Trump’s “name, likeness and image under paid license from CIC Ventures LLC, which license may be terminated or revoked according to its terms.”

A Trump spokesperson and God Bless the USA Bible did not immediately respond to questions about how much Trump was paid for the licensing deal or stands to make from each book sale.


Trump remains deeply popular with white evangelical Christians, who are among his most ardent supporters, even though the thrice-married former reality TV star has a long history of behavior that often seemed at odds with teachings espoused by Christ in the Gospels.

When he was running in 2016, Trump raised eyebrows when he cited “Two Corinthians” at Liberty University, instead of the standard “Second Corinthians.”

When asked to share his favorite Bible verse in an interview with Bloomberg Politics in 2015, he demurred.

“I wouldn’t want to get into it. Because to me, that’s very personal,” he said. “The Bible means a lot to me, but I don’t want to get into specifics.”

When he was president, law enforcement officers aggressively removed racial justice protesters from a park near the White House, allowing Trump to walk to nearby St. John’s Church, where he stood alone and raised a Bible. The scene was condemned at the time by the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.

Before he ran for office, Trump famously hawked everything from frozen steaks to vodka to a venture named Trump University, which was later sued for fraud.
 

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Donald Trump’s social media company lost more than $58 million last year
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Published Apr 01, 2024 • 1 minute read

NEW YORK — Less than a week after a flashy stock market debut, Donald Trump’s social media company is disclosing that it lost nearly $58.2 million in 2023.


Losses in 2023 for Trump Media & Technology Group — whose flagship product is Truth Social — mark a stark decline compared with the profit of $50.5 million that the former president’s company reported for 2022, according to a regulatory filing Monday.


Revenue for Trump Media topped just over $4.13 million in 2023, the SEC filing shows, although that’s up from $1.47 million in 2022.

After merging with with a blank-check company called Digital World Acquisition Corp., Trump Media began trading Tuesday on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol DJT. It’s been a volatile ride.

Trump Media’s shares soared in their first couple days of trading _ surpassing $79 at one point Tuesday — but have since fallen closer to their initial offering price of $49.95. As of midday Monday, Trump Media’s stock was down more than 18%, standing at just over $50.

Industry analysts have compared the fervor around Trump Media to the meme stock craze, which notably boosted shares of struggling companies such as GameStop and the movie chain AMC Entertainment to exorbitant heights in 2021.

On Monday, shares for these so-called meme stocks slid as well, with GameStop and AMC down more than 7% and 11%, respectfully. And Reddit, another company that recently went public and looped into meme stock frenzy comparisons, slumped more than 6%.
 

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U.S. House Republicans seek to rename Dulles Airport after Trump
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Danny Nguyen, The Washington Post
Published Apr 03, 2024 • 2 minute read

House Republicans have introduced legislation to rename Washington Dulles International Airport after former U.S. President Donald Trump.


The bill to name the Virginia airport after the polarizing 2024 presidential candidate faces tough odds.


The House has a slim GOP majority and is consumed with pressing matters, including a national security funding package that would support Ukraine, Israel and other allies. Even if the measure did pass the House, it would have to make it through the Democratic-controlled Senate and get the signature of President Biden.

The bill was filed Friday by Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), with six Republican co-sponsors: Reps. Andrew Ogles and Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, Michael Waltz of Florida, Paul A. Gosar of Arizona, Barry Moore of Alabama and Troy E. Nehls of Texas.



The measure would change the name of the airport, about 25 miles west of D.C., to Donald J. Trump International Airport. Any reference to the airport on maps, documents, papers or other government records to the airport “shall be considered to be a reference to the Donald J. Trump International Airport,” according to the two-page bill text.

The bill now sits with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for consideration.

The airport, which hosts over 23 million travelers annually, opened in 1962 and was named Dulles International Airport, after John Foster Dulles, the former secretary of state under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. (The airport was renamed Washington Dulles International Airport in 1984.)


“As millions of domestic and international travelers fly through the airport, there is no better symbol of freedom, prosperity and strength than hearing ‘Welcome to Trump International Airport’ as they land on American soil,” Reschenthaler in a statement.

Democrats blasted the bill Tuesday. “The idea is ridiculous,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), who is running for governor, wrote on X. Congress, she continued, should focus on reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration and passing national security funding. “Yet this is what a Member of House Republican leadership focuses on — renaming Virginia’s Dulles airport after Trump.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said on X and in a statement, “Donald Trump is facing 91 felony charges. If Republicans want to name something after him, I’d suggest they find a federal prison.”



The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which manages Dulles, declined to comment.
 

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As NATO alliance marks 75 years, Russia and Donald Trump again threaten its future
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Sarah Ritchie
Published Apr 04, 2024 • 4 minute read

OTTAWA — Brussels is playing host to foreign ministers from 32 countries this week to mark 75 years since the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.


As the alliance celebrates its anniversary, it’s staring down the familiar threat of an unpredictable Russia.


It’s also bracing for the prospect of another perilous situation that it has faced once before: a Donald Trump presidency.

The front-runner in the race to become the Republican nominee recently said he warned allies while he was president that the U.S. would not protect “delinquent” countries that aren’t meeting spending targets.

“‘No, I would not protect you. In fact, I would encourage (Russia) to do whatever the hell they want. You gotta pay. You gotta pay your bills,”‘ Trump recounted saying.

Despite similar comments during his presidency, Trump did endorse NATO’s collective defence article. But there are worries things will be different if he returns to the White House after November’s vote.


Brett Bruen, the former director of global engagement in the administration of former Democratic president Barack Obama, said there may be fewer “emergency brakes” in place, with many longtime Republicans shying away from being involved in a Trump White House 2.0.

And in that case, allies will need a plan to win him over. Think big, splashy defence spending announcements, with Trump as guest of honour at a military parade, Bruen said.

The key, he said, is “to package it up and put a really big, bright bow on top that makes it look like he single-handedly, brilliantly reformed NATO.”

“Trump is, at the end of the day, a negotiator and a businessman who I think could be co-opted, convinced into staying in NATO,” said Bruen.


At the same time, Republicans and Democrats alike are questioning whether allies are getting more than they’re giving.

There is a fierce debate in Washington around continued support for aspiring NATO member Ukraine in its war against Russia.

“The real question, I think, at this moment, is whether or not NATO is in its last gasp of strength,” said Bruen.

Kerry Buck, a former Canadian ambassador to NATO, said Russia’s invasion has forced the alliance to become stronger. European countries “have started to get a lot more serious about defence,” she said.

“If the U.S. starts to downgrade its presence, I don’t see NATO crumbling right away.”

On Wednesday, reporters in Brussels asked Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly if she’s concerned a future Trump administration would mean an end to American help for Ukraine.


“I’m convinced that the U.S. will find a way to continue to support Ukraine,” she said.

Eighteen allies are set to meet or exceed the agreed-upon target of spending a minimum of two per cent of GDP on defence this year, including 20 per cent of that funding on major new equipment.

That was hailed as positive news by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, but the data also show Canada is lagging behind, spending just 1.33 per cent of its GDP on defence.

“This is a bad public look,” said Anessa Kimball, a professor of political science and international relations at the University of Laval.

While Canada is not alone, it has farther to go than any other ally. To bridge the gap, it would need to spend an estimated $18 billion more a year.


Defence Minister Bill Blair told a national defence and security conference last month that the country “must and will” spend more. At the same time, his department has been told to find $1 billion in savings in each of the next three years.

At the last leaders’ summit in Lithuania last July, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted allies were not pressuring him to come up with the money.

But Kimball said it’s becoming clear they want to see a plan for how Canada would get there.

She said the anniversary is an opportunity, and Canada could advocate for NATO to modernize its spending agreement.

For instance, Canada has a lot of work to do to build critical infrastructure — roads, airports, fuel and internet — in the North. That kind of spending would not count as defence and security for NATO purposes, but Kimball said there’s an argument that it ought to.


“Other countries are better at getting those things included into their defence spending because they have done this legislatively,” she said, pointing to Belgium, which has designated railways as critical national security and defence infrastructure.

Bruen said Canada will need to come up with more money, Trump or no Trump. “I don’t think Canada can do this on the cheap.”

To get political buy-in at home, Kimball said Canada can be a leader in the alliance’s emerging priorities.

“NATO taking on climate change and becoming interested in the Arctic, for example, makes NATO more relevant for Canada’s defence and security,” she said.

All Arctic countries except Russia are now members, with Sweden and Finland joining in the last two years.

Buck said that gives NATO a reason to take a strategic interest in a region it has steered clear of in the past, a region Canada is already focused on.

“We should use multilateral bodies like NATO to partner more with the other Arctic nations and ensure that we have better military readiness, better military presence, better civilian presence,” she said.

“To make sure that our Arctic remains our Arctic.”

— With files from The Associated Press.
 

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Judge denies Trump bid to dismiss classified documents prosecution
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Eric Tucker
Published Apr 04, 2024 • Last updated 2 days ago • 4 minute read
A federal judge is set to hear arguments on whether to dismiss the classified documents prosecution of Donald Trump. His lawyers say the former president was entitled under the Presidential Records Act to keep the sensitive documents with him when he left the White House and headed to Florida.
A federal judge is set to hear arguments on whether to dismiss the classified documents prosecution of Donald Trump. His lawyers say the former president was entitled under the Presidential Records Act to keep the sensitive documents with him when he left the White House and headed to Florida.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge refused Thursday to throw out the classified documents prosecution of Donald Trump, turning aside defense arguments that a decades-old law permitted the former president to retain the sensitive records after he left office.


Lawyers for Trump had cited a 1978 statute known as the Presidential Records Act in demanding that the case, one of four against the presumptive Republican nominee, be tossed out before trial. That law requires presidents upon leaving office to turn over presidential records to the federal government but permits them to retain purely personal papers. Trump’s lawyers have said he designated the records as personal, making them his own property, and that that decision can not be second-guessed in court.

Prosecutors on special counsel Jack Smith’s team countered that the law had no relevance to a case concerning the mishandling of classified documents and said the files Trump is alleged to have hoarded at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida were unquestionably presidential records, not personal ones, and therefore had to be returned to the government when Trump left the White House.


U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who heard arguments on the dispute last month, permitted the case to proceed in a three-page order that rejected the Trump team claims. She wrote that the indictment makes “no reference to the Presidential Records Act” nor does it “rely on that statute for purposes of stating an offense.” The act, she said, ”does not provide a pre-trial basis to dismiss“ the case.

The ruling is the second time in three weeks that Cannon has rebuffed defense efforts to derail the case. It represents a modest win for Smith’s team, which has been trying to push the prosecution forward to trial this year but has also expressed mounting frustration, including earlier this week, with Cannon’s oversight of the case.


Other Trump motions to dismiss the indictment remain unresolved by the judge, the trial date is in flux, and additional legal disputes have slowed the progress of a case that prosecutors say features voluminous evidence of guilt by the former president.

In Thursday’s ruling, Cannon also defended an order from last month that asked lawyers for both sides to formulate potential jury instructions and to respond to two different scenarios in which she appeared to be continuing to entertain Trump’s presidential records argument.

The order puzzled legal experts and drew a sharp rebuke from Smith’s team, with prosecutors in a filing this week calling the premises the judge laid out “fundamentally flawed” and warning that they were prepared to appeal if she pushed ahead with jury instructions that they considered wrong.


“The Court’s Order soliciting preliminary draft instructions on certain counts should not be misconstrued as declaring a final definition on any essential element or asserted defense in this case,” Cannon wrote. “Nor should it be interpreted as anything other than what it was: a genuine attempt, in the context of the upcoming trial, to better understand the parties’ competing positions and the questions to be submitted to the jury in this complex case of first impression.”

Still, she said, if prosecutors were demanding that jury instructions be finalized prior to trial and the presentation of evidence, “the Court declines that demand as unprecedented and unjust.”

In addition to affirming the indictment Thursday, she also rejected a separate motion to dismiss last month that argued that the Espionage Act statute underpinning the bulk of the charges was unconstitutionally vague and should be struck down.


Cannon has yet to rule on other Trump efforts to dismiss the case, including arguments that presidential immunity shields him from prosecution and that he has been subject to “selective and vindictive prosecution.”

Trump is facing dozens of felony counts related to the retention of classified documents, according to an indictment alleging he improperly shared a Pentagon “plan of attack” and a classified map related to a military operation. Authorities say the records were stowed in dozens of boxes haphazardly warehoused at Mar-a-Lago, which was searched by the FBI in August 2022 in an escalation of the investigation.

The case was initially set for trial on May 20, but Cannon heard arguments last month on a new date without immediately setting one. Both sides have said they could be ready for trial this summer, though defense lawyers have also said Trump should not be forced to stand trial while the election is pending.


Smith’s team has separately charged Trump with plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, a case delayed by a Supreme Court review of his arguments that he is immune from federal prosecution. Prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, have also charged Trump with trying to subvert that state’s election, though it remains unclear when that case will reach trial.

Jury selection is set for April 15 in Trump’s hush money criminal trial in New York.

That case centers on allegations that Trump falsified his company’s internal records to hide the true nature of payments to his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who helped Trump bury negative stories during his 2016 presidential campaign. Among other things, Cohen paid porn actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 to suppress her claims of an extramarital sexual encounter with Trump years earlier.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied having a sexual encounter with Daniels.