State Rep. Jake Ellzey pulled off a major upset in the special election runoff in Texas' 6th district on Tuesday when he defeated Susan Wright, a fellow Republican who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump. But in a phone call with Axios on Wednesday, Trump tried to reframe the defeat in Texas as a victory for himself.
"I think this is the only race we've lost together," Trump said, referring to himself and the Club for Growth, which reportedly pushed him to endorse Wright.
But, according to Axios, the former president caught himself "mid-sentence" and quickly tried to change his language.
"This is not a loss, again, I don't want to claim it is a loss, this was a win," Trump said. "The big thing is, we had two very good people running that were both Republicans. That was the win."
The former president endorsed Wright in April. "Susan Wright will be a terrific Congresswoman (TX-06) for the Great State of Texas," he said in a statement. "She is the wife of the late Congressman Ron Wright, who has always been supportive of our America First Policies."
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman commented on the story on Twitter, saying that "Trump [is] trying very hard... to pretend he actually won."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and billionaire Home Depot founder Ken Langone locked horns on Monday when the business magnate demanded that the lawmaker explain why he receives social security checks despite his $5.8 billion net worth.
"How do you rationalize giving me [sic] $3,000 a month check every month with all my wealth?" Langone asked the lawmaker in a Squawk Box interview. "Why don't you people have the courage to address entitlements as to what should no longer be an entitlement? I shouldn't get Social Security."
Langone, riding on a wave of apparent magnanimity, seems to be forgetting the fact that his social security checks are a far cry from government handouts. Social Security is in fact financed primarily by payroll taxes, which he claims he's paid for decades.
"Social security is… structured as an insurance policy," Warren explained to the Republican donor. "And you paid in year after year after year."
The progressive lawmaker added: "It's not somebody's welfare. It's not somebody's charity. Surely, you wouldn't want to be the person who would go on national TV and say: After a contract has been negotiated, and someone has paid into it for forty years, that the federal government should turn around and say, 'Oops, we changed our mind. We're not going to give you the payout that you earned by making those payments all those years.'"
Numbering his bones to pick, Langone moved onto his second point, asking Warren why corporations haven't yet been slapped with a minimum tax.
"Actually, I've proposed something very much like that," Warren retorted. "It's called a Real Corporate Profits Tax."
According to the senator's website, the law would require that corporations making over $100 million in yearly profits would pay a 7% tax on any money made after the $100 million cutoff.
These corporations, she told Langone, "should have to pay a tax on what they report. Not on what happens after they've done a zillion loopholes and excuses and not paid their underlying taxes."
Last year, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reported that 55 of the largest corporations in America collectively paid $0 in federal corporate income taxes as a result of various tax avoidance schemes.
When it comes to Home Depot in particular, the home improvement giant has used an aggressive loophole to skirt around paying high local property taxes by appraising its properties as vacant shells rather than high-demand assets. According to the New York Times, the scheme has hollowed out hundreds of millions in potential municipal revenue that would otherwise go to public services like infrastructure, parks, schools.
Toward the end of his questioning, Langone – once a vocal supporter of Donald Trump – took to outright grandstanding, launching into an unsolicited spiel about how Home Depot paid its fair share of taxes.
"Take all the corporate taxes paid in America last year as told by the government, what they got in. Home Depot paid 1% of all those taxes," he said. "One company that didn't exist 42 years ago. We take good care of all our associates, our vendors love dealing with us."
Home Depot has donated roughly $465,000 to federal lawmakers who supported Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election, according to CNN Business. Salon reported earlier this year that the company also donated thousands to numerous Georgia Republicans, including Gov. Brian Kemp, who supported the GOP's restrictive voting bill passed after Democrats swept federal elections in the Peach State for the first time in decades.
Catholic Bishops spend nearly $240,000 to fight Michigan group’s goal of expanding protections for LGBTQ people
Catholic Bishops in Michigan have spent over $238,000 – nearly a quarter of a million dollars – to fight a civil rights group's goal of expanding protections for the state's LGBTQ people via a proposed 2022 ballot initiative.
"Campaign finance reports filed on Monday show the Lansing-based Michigan Catholic Conference, which bills itself as 'the official voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan on matters of public policy,' has made $238,874.80 in direct and in-kind contributions to Citizens for Equality, Fairness and Justice, an organization formed in April that has actively opposed the LGBTQ initiative," MiBiz's Andy Balaskovitz reports. "The MCC made up nearly all of the committee's $204,175 in direct contributions this funding cycle."
The ballot initiative is supported by many major businesses. According to the group that initiated the ballot drive, Fair and Equal Michigan, business leaders including Jim Fitterling, Chief Executive Officer, Dow; Tim Cook, Chief Executive Officer, Apple; Andi Owen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Herman Miller; and Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO, support the initiative.
“The Catholic Church's opposition to LGBTQ equal rights is unfortunate, but it was not unexpected," Fair and Equal Michigan spokesperson Josh Hovey told the Michigan Advance. “It is well known that they have been out of touch with the majority of voters in Michigan and across the country on this issue, and that we are thankful that campaign finance disclosure laws make their anti-equality position known to all."
“At the end of the day," Hovey added, "what opponents to our initiative are asking for is to continue being able to use religion as a license to discriminate."
Currently, the ballot initiative is stalled. The Michigan Board of State Canvassers says Fair and Equal Michigan has not secured enough valid signatures to get the issue on the ballot. The group plans to appeal.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month