MAGA Malarkey: The Extremism You Missed From Republicans This Week

MAGA Republicans stooped to new lows this week with their extremism, hypocrisy, chaos, and — as President Biden would call it — malarkey. In case you missed it: Trump’s MAGA minions rushed to his side, fundraising and providing emotional support twice this week; Matt Gaetz invoked Trump’s infamous call to the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by”; the RNC’s ground game is still in shambles; MAGA minions continued their toxic election denialism; Donald Trump’s extreme anti-choice agenda is still really unpopular; Trump ally Ben Carson called for a national abortion ban; MAGA Mike Johnson dodged questions on the RSC’s proposal to defund law enforcement; and Trump praised puppy-killing Kristi Noem.

Trump relied on his MAGA minions to help his desperate, flailing campaign and provide him with emotional support in New York…

Fox News: “VP hopefuls dueling for dollars as they show off their fundraising clout for Trump”

“Closed-door fundraisers with top-dollar Republican donors appear to be the latest screen test venue for those vying to land on the GOP ticket alongside Trump, joining a list that includes teaming up with the former president at his rallies and showing up at his criminal trial in New York City in support of Trump.

“Four potential running mates — Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Govs. Doug Burgum of North Dakota and Kristi Noem of South Dakota and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy — will team up with the former president Tuesday night in New York City at a fundraising dinner for Trump as he aims to narrow his fundraising deficit with President Biden in their 2024 election rematch.”

NBC News: “Trump’s vice presidential contenders show their support — and loyalty — in court”

Kaitlan Collins, CNN: “A packed front two rows of the courtroom and a stark change from how this trial started: Gov. Doug Burgum, Vivek Ramaswamy, RNC co-chair (and Trump daughter-in-law) Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Rep. Byron Donalds and Rep. Cory Mills are all here today. No sign of Speaker Johnson yet.”

…TWICE in one week!

Jay O’Brien, ABC News: “Spotted in court today with Trump: 

Rep Matt Gaetz (R-FL)

Rep Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL)

Rep Ralph Norman (R-SC) a notable former top Nikki Haley endorser 

Rep Lauren Boebert (R-CO)

Rep Diana Harshbarger (R-TN)

Rep Michael Cloud (R-TX)

Rep Bob Good (R-VA), chair of House Freedom Caucus

Rep Andy Biggs (R-AZ)

Rep Andy Ogles (R-TN)

Rep Eli Crane (R-AZ)”

Axios: “Trump grip tightens with high-profile loyalty test”

Matt Gaetz doubled down on his threats of political violence, echoing Trump’s infamous call to the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.” 

The Independent: “Matt Gaetz invokes Trump’s infamous call to Proud Boys at trial: ‘Stand back and stand by’”

CBS News: “‘Stand back and stand by’: Trump declines to condemn white supremacists at debate”

CNN: “Trump’s debate callout bolsters far-right Proud Boys”

New York Times: “Proud Boys celebrate Trump’s ‘stand by’ remark about them at the debate.”

Less than six months from Election Day, the RNC’s ground game is still in shambles. 

The Federalist: “RNC Has Few Operatives On The Ground In Swing States, Local GOP Leaders Say”

“The Republican National Committee (RNC) appears to have little  to no on-the-ground operations in key battleground states.”

Washington Examiner: “Trump’s trimmed-down campaign has swing state operatives worried”

The Dispatch: “RNC-Trump Campaign Field Program Runs Aground”

NBC News: “Biden is building a behemoth of a campaign. Trump at this point seems to be playing catch-up.”

Trump and MAGA allies continued to spew election denialism and cast doubt on this November’s election results.

MSNBC: “Potential GOP running mates hedge on accepting election results”

USA Today: “Six months before the 2024 presidential election, the House speaker and several Republican lawmakers angling to be Donald Trump’s running mate are being increasingly vocal that they cannot guarantee they will certify the results for who won the White House.

“It’s a growing list that includes a who’s who of the Trump-dominated GOP, including Sens. J.D. Vance of Ohio and Tim Scott of South Carolina and Reps. Mike Johnson of Louisiana, Elise Stefanik of New York and Byron Donalds of Florida.”

As Donald Trump once again bragged about overturning Roe v. Wade, new polling showed (again) that Trump’s extreme anti-choice agenda is overwhelmingly unpopular.

Trump: “What I was able to do [by overturning Roe] was move it back to the states… this is what people have wanted for 52 years.”

Pew Research: “Broad Public Support for Legal Abortion Persists 2 Years After Dobbs”

“About six-in-ten (63%) say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. This share has grown 4 percentage points since 2021 – the year prior to the 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe.

“Since before Roe was overturned, both parties have seen a modest uptick in the share who say abortion should be legal.

“Americans say medication abortion should be legal rather than illegal by a margin of more than two-to-one (54% vs. 20%).”

Trump ally Ben Carson called for a national abortion ban without any exceptions for rape or incest.

NBC News: “‘What is needed is legislation that guarantees the right to life for all American citizens, including those still in the womb,’ Carson — a noted pediatric neurosurgeon who was the Trump administration’s secretary of housing and urban development — writes in ‘The Perilous Fight,’ which was released Tuesday. ‘Therefore, we must be boldly vocal about saving our fellow human beings through the legislative process. They are counting on us!’

“Carson has long been conservative on the issue of abortion. When he was running for president in 2015, he likened women who terminate pregnancies to ‘slave owners’ on NBC News’ ‘Meet the Press.’

“Carson also said that he was open to considering allowing women to terminate pregnancies to save their lives but that he did not believe in exceptions for rape and incest.

MAGA Mike Johnson desperately dodged a question on the MAGA Republicans’ proposal to defund law enforcement and make communities less safe.

Reporter: “The Republican Study Committee budget cuts the main federal grant program that local departments use to hire officers. How is that not proposing to defund the police?”

Johnson: “I haven’t looked into the details.”

Los Angeles Times: “The Republican Study Committee just released a new budget proposal for 2025 that actually cuts funding meant for local police departments. The proposal would defund the Community Oriented Policing Services program, or COPS.

“If you dig deeper into the RSC’s budget proposal, you’ll find that Republicans also target the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, passed with GOP votes in 2022, which has, among other things, helped keep guns out of the hands of people with felony convictions, and those with serious mental illness.”

Republican Study Committee FY 2025 Budget Proposal: “COPS was created in the 1990s as a means to support state and local law enforcement agencies with expenses like salaries, court programs, and juvenile justice programs. … the RSC Budget would support a reduction to this program.”

Trump praised puppy-killing Kristi Noem as “loyal” and “great” and said he’s “curious” about her dog.

NBC News: “‘I’m really curious about the dog’: Trump weighs in on Kristi Noem at a private fundraiser”

“‘What a week!’ Trump said when he got to Noem, adding, ‘The dog, the dog!’

“‘I’m really curious,’ Trump said, ‘about the dog.’

“Trump riffed on Cricket’s story — a tale that has prompted a fierce public backlash — before sounding a positive note as he returned to talk about longtime ally Noem and touted her steadfast support for him over the years.

“‘She’s been there for us for a long time,’ Trump said. ‘She’s loyal, she’s great.’

“One of the sources in the room said Trump was more bemused than critical about the dog controversy.”

The Hill: “Former President Trump responded to the backlash against South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R)’s anecdote about killing her dog several years ago, saying in a new interview it was a ‘tough story’ but that ‘we all have bad weeks.’

‘I think [Noem’s] terrific. A couple of rough stories, there’s no question about it,’ Trump said to conservative podcast hosts Clay Travis and Buck Sexton in an interview aired Tuesday. ‘And when explained — the dog story, people hear that and people from different parts of the country probably feel a bit differently, but that’s a tough story.’

“‘She had a bad week. We all have bad weeks,’ he added.

“Trump seemed to indicate that Noem was not entirely to blame for the book’s contents.

“‘Until this week, she was doing incredibly well. And she got hit hard, and sometimes you do books, and you have some guy writing a book and you maybe don’t read it as carefully, you know,’ Trump added. ‘You have ghostwriters too. They help you, and they, in this case, didn’t help too much.’”