BUSTED: Another GOP lawmaker accused of using campaign money as his 'personal slush fund'

A Mississippi Republican lawmaker is at the center of controversy as the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) raises questions about his use of campaign and congressional funds.

According to The Washington Post, a 47-page report includes substantial evidence that Rep. Steven M. Palazzo (R-Miss.) misused funds. Th report also says the Mississippi lawmaker "may have performed official actions to assist his brother." The alleged offense serves as a "potential violation of House rules and federal law."

The publication reports that a March 2020 complaint lodged by the Campaign Legal Center ultimately led to the investigation. In the complaint, Palazzo was accused of misusing his campaign's contributions for his "personal slush fund." Palazzo is said to have shelled out nearly "'himself and his spouse nearly $200,000,' including $60,000 in rent to his own farm."

In the report, OCE noted that there was "limited evidence of campaign use of the property, especially to justify $60,000.00 in rent and thousands of dollars of additional charges to maintain the home and improve its marketability."

The OCE also speculates that Palazzo "may have asked official staffers to perform campaign work and personal errands during the congressional workday."

"And finally," the report states, "the OCE found evidence that Rep. Palazzo may have used his official position and congressional resources to contact the Assistant Secretary of the Navy in order to assist his brother's efforts to reenlist in the military." A former staffer also noted that Kyle Palazzo "was separated from the Navy for affecting a fraudulent enlistment."

While Palazzo's office has not yet responded to The Washington Post's latest request for comment, the lawmaker's attorney, Gregg Harper, previously dismissed the allegations against his client. That letter was made public on Monday, March 1.

"The OCE tries to paint a narrative of financial desperation which is patently false, as evidenced by the fact that [Palazzo] did not accept rent payments until he was three and a half months into the lease," Harper wrote in the letter. "Any expenses paid by the campaign were authorized under the terms of the lease and were reasonable and necessary."


National Security Commission warns the US is not prepared to 'defend or compete in the AI era'

The National Security Commission has issued a detailed warning about the United States' lack of preparedness for the artificial intelligence (A.I.) era.

According to CNBC News, the National Security Commission on A.I. on Monday, March 1, released a 756-page assessment that warned about the possibility of China taking over the global stage as "the world's A.I. superpower'" which could subsequently lead to serious implications for the U.S. military that the government needs to consider addressing.

Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, and the group's vice-chair Bob Work, insist the United States must prepare to face a difficult reality in the A.I. era. "America is not prepared to defend or compete in the AI era," wrote Schmidt. "This is the tough reality we must face."

The report goes on to urge President Joe Biden to consider rejecting a treaty that would place a globalized ban on "highly controversial AI-powered autonomous weapons" as the group of experts believe other countries like China and Russia would not commit to upholding any signed treaties.

According to Schmidt and Work, artificial intelligence systems will likely be used for the "pursuit of power" and "will not stay in the domain of superpowers or the realm of science fiction." They wrote, "We will not be able to defend against AI-enabled threats without ubiquitous AI capabilities and new warfighting paradigms."

However, there have been opposing views on the topic of artificial intelligence systems.

The latest report comes six years after Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey along with thousands of researchers and computer specialists and scientists openly expressed support for a ban being placed on "offensive autonomous weapons."

The letter read, "AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is — practically if not legally — feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms."

In an interview with CNBC News, Samim Wagner, an AI researcher in Berlin also expressed great concern about the dangers of adopting artificial intelligence weapons as he pushed back against Schmidt's assessment.

″[Adopting AI weapons] is brutal insanity and everyone knows it, yet think tank staffers from DC to Beijing keep assuring us it's 'progress and necessary,'" Wagner said.

He added, "A real discussion around 'how AI can help to promote peace globally' is what is truly required — but you certainly won't find it on the agenda of Pentagon operatives or intelligence agency billionaires like the Eric Schmidts of the world."

NY prosecutors shift their focus to Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg

Investigators with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's office have been raising questions about Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's chief financial officer, and his possible involvement in financial fraud.

According to a report published by The New York Times, insiders with knowledge of the investigation have revealed New York state prosecutors are now looking into Weisselberg's financial management of the Trump Organization, as well as his sons, Barry and Jack Weisselbergs' financial dealings as part of their father's investigation.

Barry Weisselberg reportedly manages the Trump Organization's Central Park carousel and ice skating rinks while his brother, Jack, is the director of the Ladder Capital Corp., a commercial real estate loan company that has approved multiple loans for the Trump Organization over the last several years.

Insiders familiar with the investigation have also noted that investigators believe Weisselberg might "have incentive to cooperate with Vance's office if prosecutors begin to aggressively pursue leads about his sons."

If prosecutors are able to gain Allen Weisselberg's cooperation, it could serve as a significant shift in their case given his fierce loyalty to Trump. In addition to the investigative probe into Weisselberg's sons, prosecutors are also "examining, among other things, whether Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization falsely manipulated property values to obtain loans and tax benefits."

Despite the mounting evidence investigators are gathering to build their case, Trump and his allies have repeatedly waived off the inquiry deeming it a politically motivated "witch hunt" and "fishing expedition" orchestrated by Vance, who is a registered Democrat.

The latest report comes after Trump's recent court loss. The former president failed at his latest attempt to keep his tax records out of the hands of prosecutors. The Supreme Court's refusal to side with Trump served as a big win for Vance's office. After the ruling was handed down, Trump released a statement.

It read, "For more than two years, New York City has been looking at almost every transaction I've ever done, including seeking tax returns which were done by among the biggest and most prestigious law and accounting firms in the U.S."

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio suggests he may be 'running for office'

Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio recently suggested that he may take matters into his own hands to confront the grievances he has with lawmakers and the U.S. government.

During an interview with CNN, Tarrio expressed interest in overthrowing the current U.S. government as he revealed his interest in running for public office. "I think right now is the time to go ahead and overthrow the government by becoming the new government and running for office," Tarrio said, according to Newsweek.

He went on to discuss the civil unrest that erupted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Since Tarrio was apprehended hours prior to the deadly riots, he was not present at the Capitol but members of the Proud Boys were. But despite their unlawful entrance into the federal building, Tarrio criticized the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice as he argued that members of right-wing organizations were treated unfairly.

"They need a head to roll. They need heads on pikes," Tarrio said. "The FBI and the DOJ [are] using the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers as their go-to, to show the people that they did something."

Tarrio's latest remarks come just weeks after the siege on the U.S. Capitol. Shortly after the disturbing incident, members of the Proud Boys took to Telegram to boast about leaving lawmakers in "absolute terror" after the federal building was breached. However, Tarrio made it clear he is not concerned with lawmakers or how they felt amid the deadly riots.

"I'm not going to worry about people that their only worry is to be reelected, Tarrio told CNN. "I'm not gonna cry about people who don't give a crap about their constituents. I'm not going to sympathize with them.

Tarrio added, "When they support drone-bombing children in the Middle East ... [and] those people are dead and they're just cowering because a group of misfits came into the Capitol, I'm not going to be sympathetic."

Despite investigative reports about the Capitol siege, Tarrio claims "the Proud Boys 'absolutely' did not have a plan to try and overthrow the government on January 6." He also condemned the actions of fellow Proud Boy Dominic Pezzola who was caught on camera bashing in a window with a police shield.

"I don't think that he should have done that. I think it was completely wrong," Tarrio said. "But the other seven individuals were trespassing," he added. "I think that they got caught up with the entire crowd. And they made a poor decision to go in there."

At this point, it is still unclear what position Tarrio might seek if he does run for public office.

The beginning of an intraparty war: Don Trump Jr. goes after GOP incumbents at CPAC

Donald Trump Jr. believes there are multiple Republican incumbents who should be challenged in the upcoming primary which signals the possibility of an impending intraparty war.

When former President Donald Trump's son delivered his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he wasted no time attacking Republican lawmakers, namely those who voted against his father amid the Senate impeachment trial.

According to Trump Jr., the Republican Party failed his father. While he refrained from naming all of the senators he believes should be challenged, he did level a direct attack at top-ranking House Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)

"Liz Cheney and her politics are only slightly less popular than her father is at a quail hunt," Trump Jr. said.

He went on to say that Cheney "is tied to an establishment that has done nothing but fail us time and time again," Trump Jr. said. "You've heard the rhetoric from some of them over the last couple of weeks, and now you've seen that change very quickly. Because if there's one thing the Republican Party has been really good at over the last few decades, it's snatching defeat from the jaws of victory."

Trump Jr.'s remarks leveled at the Republican Party come as the political party continues its plight for a new direction following the era of Trump. In addition to the CPAC speech, Trump Jr. also conducted an interview with Fox News on Friday where he made similar remarks about the political party.

During that interview, he claimed there are "'plenty' of incumbent Republican senators who he would consider supporting primary challenges against."

"I think there's a couple that I would certainly get involved in," Trump Jr. said. "I think [former President Donald Trump] would get involved in picking individual races and individual people that have been supportive of him, and not others. And that's fine."

He continued, "I don't think we have to blindly support, you know, establishment candidates that don't do anything. I think that's a mistake and I think we've seen too much of that from the establishment where they blindly throw cash, time, money and energy to help failing candidates who have no charisma, no personality, no political chops, get over the line simply because they've been there a few years. That's the kind of nonsense that has to go, and I think it will."

Despite Trump Jr.'s remarks, the truth actually lies in the down-ballot results of the general election. While Trump managed to lose the presidency and Republicans did lose the Senate, down-ballot results show that the political party fared relatively well by picking up more seats in the House despite Trump's defeat.

Donald Trump Jr. bizarrely boasts about his father's conduct after the 2020 election

Don Trump, Jr. recently expressed a sense of pride about his father's unwillingness to accept the unfavorable outcome of the presidential election.

During a recent appearance on Fox News, Trump Jr. spoke with Sean Hannity where he offered a bizarre analysis of his father's defeat. He claims that his father showed the world that presidential candidates do not have to "lose gracefully.He went on to slam his father's political party as he noted that there appeared to be "an absence of 'natural push-back,' among apparently spineless Republicans who in fact spent months (with few exceptions) defending his father's false claims and baseless conspiracies about a stolen election that culminated in violence," according to Talking Points Memo.

"The Republicans aren't willing to do it. They've shown that over the decades. They'd just rather lose gracefully, I guess," Trump Jr. told Hannity, adding, "Donald Trump has shown that you don't have to do that."

In the wake of Trump's acquittal following his Senate trial over accusations that he incited the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, Trump Jr. appeared to boast about his father's efforts to challenge the foundation of America's democracy. He believes the message his father sent is that "you can actually push back" although it is not "an easy fight."

He went on to express arguments about the alleged double standard Republicans are faced within the United States. According to Trump Jr., the media and mainstream tech companies are "doing whatever they can to destroy the Republican party."

"We don't have a level playing field," he said. "Until we have more people that are willing to step up and tell the truth and speak to the American people, we're a little bit at a loss and it's ridiculous."

Trump Jr.'s remarks came just days before Trump's upcoming appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

While Trump's future political plans remain uncertain, Trump Jr. suggested that his father's influence on the Republican Party will have lasting impacts for years to come. He said, "If you're reading the room and you're intelligent, you realize that Donald Trump is still the future of the Republican Party."

GOP congressman Peter Meijer argues Trump 'destroyed' his legacy with the Capitol riots

One Republican Congressman (R-Mich.) is being honest about former President Donald Trump's post-election actions and the irretrievable damage he did to his legacy.

During a recent interview with CBS News' Washington correspondent Major Garrett, Rep. Peter Meijer weighed in on the disturbing series of events that have occurred over the last several weeks.

Although Trump caused quite an uproar in the weeks after President Joe Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election, Meijer believes Trump could have "secured himself an interesting but positive place in the history books" if he had conceded sometime in December instead of continuing to circulate misinformation and unfounded claims about voter fraud.

The Michigan lawmaker went on to share his take on how those claims infiltrated the Republican Party and ultimately contributed to the divide the party is facing now. Meijer said, "As long as those myths, those fictions, those lies persist, we're in for deep, deep problems as a party and as a country."

Meijer also discussed the Capitol riots that occurred on Jan. 6. He noted that while the incident did claim the lives of five individuals, it could have been far worse. "We had the number two, three, and four in the line of succession after the president in that building and he stood by and watched. We're frankly incredibly lucky that day wasn't worse than it was," the Republican lawmaker said.

According to Meijer, the U.S. Capitol riots were a "defining moment" in Trump's presidency that subsequently "destroyed" his legacy.

"I frankly think that, despite all of the tweets and tension, that is an administration that would have aged well once some things were moved passed," Meijer said. "But honestly now, the events of January 6 — that was the capstone, that was the defining moment," Meijer said. "And I think that a storming of the Capitol by [Trump's] supporters — that erased, that destroyed all the positive components of that legacy."

So, what does the future of the Republican Party look like? Meijer is hoping for a forward progression. "I hope that we can get to a point where we can move on, but you can't do that if you don't address the wound," he said. "If you just paper it over, it's only going to get worse and worse."

Meghan McCain trolled after falsely claiming her father was never invited to speak at CPAC

Meghan McCain's left some social media users scratching their heads when she claimed her father, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was never invited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But Twitter users quickly corrected McCain for her epic blunder by reminding her of what happened in 2008.

On Thursday, Feb. 25, during a segment of "The View," McCain spoke about the upcoming CPAC where former President Donald Trump is slated to be the keynote speaker. "I think it's going to be more about who can gather this specific audience, which are media people, MAGA people, Trump people, people who work in all factions of conservative media, and their opinion on what happens this weekend is going to matter," McCain said on the show.

The talk show host went on to insist the conference typically attracts the most conservative members of the Republican Party as she claimed her father was "never invited" to speak. "My father never spoke at CPAC and he was never invited," she said. "So it's not really been a place for more moderate people."

But despite McCain's claim, Twitter users quickly pointed out the problem with McCain's remarks as they reminded her of the facts. Her father did, in fact, speak at the 2008 CPAC conference.

At the time, he was a presidential candidate running against former President Barack Obama (D), reports Mediaite. "Thank you for inviting me. It's been a little while since I've had the honor of addressing you, and I appreciate very much your courtesy to me today," McCain said at the time. "We should do this more often. I hope you will pardon my absence last year, and understand that I intended no personal insult to any of you."

"I was merely pre-occupied with the business of trying to escape the distinction of pre-season frontrunner for the Republican nomination, which, I'm sure some of you observed, I managed to do in fairly short order," he continued. "But, now, I again have the privilege of that distinction, and this time I would prefer to hold on to it for a while."

Why QAnon followers have become fixated on a new date: March 4

The startling impacts of former President Donald Trump's presidency and conspiracy theories reach deep into the lives of many families. With the disgraced president out of office, many people are sharing how the QAnon conspiracy theory — built with him at the center and with his support — has torn apart close relationships. And despite the fact that Trump has lost the presidency, which many QAnon believers never thought would happen, many have moved the goalposts and started hoping for his return. In this way, adherents to the delusion believe its vindication is always just a little further in the future.

According to The Washington Post, family members feel that relatives who fall for QAnon become like "cult members or drug addicts, sucked in by social media companies and self-serving politicians who warped their views of reality."

Only identified as "Tyler" of Minneapolis, Minn., one 24-year-old man said that he noticed a distinctive change in his mother during the critical time leading up to the presidential election, and "it kept growing until it felt like she was preaching the Bible to me":

At first, she insisted that Trump, not Biden, would be inaugurated on Jan. 20, and for a while, Tyler held out hope that Biden's swearing-in would jolt his mother back into reality. She would put away her gun and life would return to normal. But, the ceremony in Washington seemed to make little difference at his house in Minnesota.

Now, Tyler has revealed his mother is waiting for March 4—another date being circulated by QAnon believers. So what does the date signify?

Apparently, QAnon believers are convinced it is the date Trump will become the "new world president," according to Tyler.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash), who also serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, recently expressed concern about the impending date as the conspiracy theory poses another national security threat.

"Some of these people have figured out that apparently 75 years ago, the president used to be inaugurated on March 4," Smith said, according to Business Insider. "OK, now why that's relevant? God knows. At any rate, now they are thinking maybe we should gather again and storm the Capitol on March 4 … that is circulating online."

During the interview, Tyler also expressed concern about the upcoming date because he does not believe his mother will snap out of it anytime soon.

NY prosecutors zeroing in on Donald Trump Jr. amid probe into Trump Organization: report

New York prosecutors are exhausting a substantial amount of resources for its investigative probe into former President Donald Trump's personal and business finances. Now, according to The Daily Beast, Trump's son, Don. Jr. and Allen Weisselberg described as "one of the former president's most trusted officers" are also said to be at the center of the prosecutors' investigation.

The publication reports that Trump Jr.'s role in the Trump Organization along with his active participation in his father's Make America Great Again (MAGA) campaign has made him a person of interest for prosecutors.

During his father's administration, Trump Jr. became a chief MAGA spokesman and campaigner while simultaneously serving as the Trump Organization executive vice president, fronting the business with his brother, Eric Trump. According to his company bio, Trump Jr. is involved in "deal evaluation [and] analysis," as well as the leasing operation, among other functions. Trump Jr. has also overseen the organization's international dealings, the growth of which were somewhat hampered due to his father's ascension to the presidency.

Despite holding the highest office in the land, Trump still managed to make millions off foreign business ventures based on profits from "licensing agreements and buildings in various nations across the globe." According to Forbes, Don. Jr. and his brother Eric, also "unloaded $118 million worth of the president's real estate since his January 2017 inauguration, striking deals everywhere from New York City and Los Angeles to Charleston, South Carolina, and the Dominican Republic."

Weisselberg has also found himself at the center of multiple investigations conducted by federal prosecutors. His name was also floated around amid the highly publicized case involving Trump's alleged former mistress Stormy Daniels. At the time, Weisselberg was caught in the middle of that case " for his alleged role in masterminding a plot to conceal the Trump-directed hush-money payoff during the 2016 election" to the pornographic film star.

Although Trump's senior advisers have repeatedly waived off prosecutors' investigations insisting there is nothing to be concerned about, the latest investigative details underscore Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's office's dedication to holding Trump and his family accountable for any possible wrongdoing.

Adam Kinzinger torches Tucker Carlson for insisting he cannot 'locate the famous QAnon'

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) is tired of Fox News host Tucker Carlson's attempts to confuse his viewers while failing to "accept reality" and make effective changes.

According to Newsweek, Kinzinger took to Twiter to fire back at Carlson for his baseless claims during the recent segment of his show which aired on Tuesday, Feb. 23. "Next step in the whitewash: 'who is this 'Q' of which you speak?' There is no website!' Deny, plead ignorance, misdirect ... is there any question why people are confused? Quit lying, accept reality and use your energy to make us a better country."

Kinzinger also included the hashtags #Country1st and #restoreourgop appearing to acknowledge the intraparty divisions the Republican Party is left battling in the aftermath of Trump's presidency.

Kinzinger's remarks came as Carlson attempted to downplay the dangers of the QAnon conspiracy theory. "We spent all day trying to locate the famous QAnon, which, in the end, we learned is not even a website. If it's out there, we could not find it," Carlson said during the segment.

He added, "Then, we checked Marjorie Taylor Greene's Twitter feed because we have heard she traffics in disinformation, CNN told us, but nothing there. Next, we called our many friends in the tight-knit intel community. Could Vladimir Putin be putting this stuff out there? The Proud Boys? Alex Jones?"

Carlson also appeared to suggest that the circulation of QAnon theories was the result of someone perpetuating lies with the intent of causing divisions in the United States.

"Who is lying to America in ways that are certain to make us hate each other and certain to destroy our core institutions?" Carlson asked. "Well, none of the above, actually. It wasn't Marjorie Taylor Greene. It was cable news. It was politicians talking on TV, they're the ones spreading disinformation to Americans. Maybe they are from QAnon."

Carlson also targeted CNN claiming the widely watched news platform is a "disinformation network more powerful than QAnon and far more destructive."

The Fox News host was one of Trump's devout supporters while Kinzinger voted to impeach the former disgraced president for inciting the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

The chaos in Texas underscores the US government's level of unpreparedness for natural disasters

The disturbing series of events that unfolded in the state of Texas underscore a greater issue the United States government is tasked with. The Washington Post has released an analysis of the winter storm that battered the southern region of the United States, the aftermath that followed in Texas, and how it correlates with the federal government's disaster response.

Over the last several years, natural disasters including intensifying hurricanes, forest fires, and winter storms have battered various parts of the United States. However, there was one common occurrence with most of the disasters: Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) inability to respond in an effective and timely manner.

While the natural disaster in Texas left millions of the state's residents in freezing temperatures with no electricity and food for several days, there are a number of factors that actually made the situation worse.

The publication notes that the disaster in Texas "provides the latest example of the chronic lack of disaster preparedness that over the years has plagued government at all levels. The rare combination of winter snowstorms and record cold temperatures brought death, property destruction, and hardship as millions lost power, suffered water shortages, or were under orders to boil their water before using it."

The debacle surrounding the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' (ERCOT) handling of the winter storm is a prime example of how a failure to plan leads to serious consequences. Energy experts have warned of the possibility of catastrophic power grid issues if another natural disaster were to hit the state.

That the warnings in Texas were ignored is often typical with the kinds of recommendations produced by outside experts or voices within the bureaucracy whose ideas are unheard or unheeded by those at the top. As many government officials have said, there is little incentive and almost no political reward for investing money to head off a crisis, especially when budgets are tight.

However, the state will likely pay the cost now but in various different ways but hopefully this time the government heeds the warning before the next natural disaster strikes.

'The other Manafort': The biggest misinformation peddler in Trumpworld might be someone you've never heard of

During former President Donald Trump's time in office, he had a number of allies that contributed to the massive spread of disinformation that circulated on social media while cutting not-so-credible business deals behind closed doors. Now, a report highlighting the efforts of one man has been made public.

According to The Daily Beast, that man is Imaad Zuberi. The publication reports that the U.S. government believes Zuberi's unlawful foreign influence propoundment is considered to be "among the most wide-ranging ever prosecuted.

With Zuberi's attempts to become more involved with the Trump campaign along with his efforts to evade taxes, his situation is noted to have a number of instances similar to Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort's case.

The Beast notes that "much like Manafort, Zuberi also rubbed elbows with Dmytro Firtash, a Ukrainian gas baron now living in exile in Austria after federal prosecutors indicted him on corruption charges."

The mafia-affiliated gas magnate was noticed multiple times during Trump's presidency, including when the former president's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani contacted Firtash to locate incriminating information on President Joe Biden's family. However, there are distinct ways in which Zuberi's situation differs.

The heart of the government's allegations against Zuberi is that he failed to register as a foreign agent when carrying out lobbying on behalf of his clients in Bahrain, Turkey, Libya, Ukraine, and Pakistan. Then he lied about the fortune it made him when it came time to pay his taxes.

Zuberi, who caught the attention of the publication with his seven-figure donation to Trump's inaugural committee and his questionable foreign ties, may have also had a substantial role in the inaugural committee's fundraisers.

On Thursday, Feb. 18, Zuberi was sentenced to 12 years behind bars by a federal judge. The prison sentence is due to his involvement in a "stunning campaign of illegal lobbying that included a quarter-million dollars worth of illegal campaign contributions, straw donations to American campaigns on behalf of foreign donors, and skipping out on the tax tab when it came time to account for the money it brought him."

Trump's 'big lie' about voter fraud still lingers weeks after his departure from the White House

The Democratic Party managed to prevail in the 2020 presidential election, but the massive voter fraud lies perpetrated by former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party will likely linger for years to come. However, now those lies are taking on a different form.

According to a new analysis published by CNN, Republican lawmakers have already waged war on voting systems with newly proposed bills to make it far more difficult for American citizens to vote, an initiative described as a "'direct attack on democracy' and on Black voters."

The reason behind this initiative? Trump's unfounded claims of voter fraud that he started circulating after he launched massive misinformation campaigns and voter fraud conspiracies following his election loss to President Joe Biden. Although he is no longer in the White House, Republican lawmakers are standing on that big lie with the hope of silencing voters.

With demographics changing in many states that are notably red, Republicans could be facing election nightmares in the upcoming primary and 2024 elections. So, Trump's big lie is a way to justify their push for changes in election laws.

"We need to make sure that our citizens have confidence in the elections, that they have the ability to vote," said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). "We want, obviously, everyone to vote. But we don't want anyone to cheat. And we want to make sure that we strike that appropriate balance."

Georgia voting rights advocacy groups are already pushing back against a bill that has been proposed in the southern state. Amid the presidential election, the state of Georgia became a key focal point that led to Biden's victory. It also became an area of contention for Republican lawmakers and voters who attempted to delegitimize the state's election results. Despite multiple recounts and election results being certified by the state's Republican elected officials, Trump and his allies repeatedly insisted the election was rigged.

The latest bill in Georgia underscores Republicans' latest strategy to "curb, restrict and more closely monitor voting practices like mail-in ballots that, along with distaste for now-former President Donald Trump and frustration with his policies, fueled record turnout in 2020."

A group, comprised of Georgia's Republican state legislators and state secretaries, has also unveiled their new commission to examine election laws. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a group that maintains records of voting-related legislation has noted an influx in proposed bills across 33 states.

Those bills aim to:

  • cull early voting lists
  • placing a new registration obstacles in the way of voters
  • purge voter rolls
  • require voters to actively request an absentee ballot
  • tighten rules about witness signatures.

Trump is on a warpath to make McConnell's life a living hell

Former President Donald Trump may have been acquitted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and most Republican lawmakers in the Senate but the former president is reportedly not pleased with the top-ranking lawmaker's scathing rebuke of his actions that led the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

Now, according to The Hill, Trump is said to be on a warpath with the intent of retaliating against the Republican lawmaker and making his life "miserable."

Trump reportedly has a "political machine, which has $60 million in a super PAC and an unmatched grassroots fundraising apparatus is vowing to go aggressively after GOP lawmakers in primaries in the wake of an unprecedented feud between the nation's two most powerful Republicans."

Insiders close to the former president have revealed that he initially considered leaving the situation alone but after McConnell's critical op-ed of him was published in the Wall Street Journal after his acquittal, Trump decided to move forward with his initial plans. Jason Miller, one of Trump's senior advisers, weighed in with details about his plan to retaliate against the lawmakers who betrayed him.

"Our goal is to win back the House and Senate," said Miller. "We'll be looking at open seats, Democratic-held seats, and maybe there are places where we look for upgrades and more MAGA-friendly voices. I have no idea why McConnell decided to lash out at the president this way, but when you do, you can expect to get hit back."

One Republican consultant also explained how McConnell's actions subsequently made life more difficult for his colleagues.

"What he's done has made it more likely that members of his caucus will get primary challenges and he's undoubtedly made Rick Scott's job at the NRSC much more difficult," that Republican consultant explained. "It's a clear case of Leader McConnell putting his petty personal feud with Donald Trump ahead of the well-being of his Republican members in the Senate and it's unforgivable."

Trump-loyalist lawmakers like Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) are also predicting a tough road ahead for lawmakers dubbed "never-Trumpers" and "anti-Trumpers."

"If you're a never-Trumper, anti-Trump, kind of person, you're gonna have a tough time winning in a primary going forward — that's just the way it is," Biggs said.

He added, "President Trump still is the most potent Republican force and what should be happening is…as a party, you kind of revere and hold up your former head of your party, in this case the former president, as a standard-bearer," Biggs said. "You don't bury them, and you don't try to diss them and all of their supporters."

However, some have pushed back against Trump's latest scare tactics noting the stark difference in his and McConnell's current positions. On Wednesday, McConnell's former advisor Josh Holmes appeared on Fox News where he offered a different perspective on what may come.

"[Trump's] not going to teach anything to Mitch McConnell about winning," Holmes said. "You'll recall the Senate had majorities — big majorities — when President Trump arrived. They had a House majority as well. When he left, they had neither."

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