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: Donald Trump’s extreme tariff plan would crush hardworking, middle-class Americans; Trump continued his disastrous outreach to Black voters; Trump ally Roger Stone plans to challenge the results of November’s election if Trump loses; one of Trump’s VP contenders railed against commonsense gun safety efforts to ban bump stocks; Trump’s Project 2025 allies once again went after Social Security; Trump met with his MAGA minions in the House at Mar-a-Lago; and Trump was avoiding staying in Milwaukee during the RNC convention until he was confronted on his plans.; and one of Trump’s MAGA minions called Juneteenth a “ratchet” holiday and told Black people to leave the country.

Donald Trump continued to push his disastrous tariff plan, which would raise costs for working families while cutting taxes for his ultra-wealthy friends.

Bloomberg: “Trump’s Planned Tariffs Would Tax US Households, Economists Warn

“A recent report from the Peterson Institute for International Economics pegged the annual cost for the average middle-income family at $1,700, likening it to a sales tax. The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank, crunched the numbers on the minimum 10% tariff and came up with about $1,500 per household per year, including a $90 increase in the cost of food, $90 for prescription drugs and $220 for autos.”

New York Magazine: “Trump’s Tariff Is a Scheme to Shift the Tax Burden to the Non-Rich”

CBS News: “Trump is proposing a 10% tariff. Economists say that amounts to a $1,700 tax on Americans.”

MSNBC: “Lawrence: Donald Trump is proposing the ‘worst economic policy in U.S. history’”

Trump spewed more racist rhetoric during his latest attempt at outreach to Black voters, making a pitiful pitch to a (mostly white) audience at a Black church in Detroit.

The Root: “A Disaster! Trump Went To A Detroit Church To Get Black Votes, But All He Did Was Put His Foot In Mouth”

“Trump conducted a roundtable meeting at 180 Church in Detroit on Saturday. Despite it being a Black institution, at least half of the attendees were white. In addition, Trump perpetuated dangerous stereotypes about the city.

“‘Look, the crime is most rampant right here and in African American communities,’ Trump said. ‘More people see me and they say, ‘Sir, we want protection. We want police to protect us. We don’t want to get robbed and mugged and beat up or killed because we want to walk across the street to buy a loaf of bread.’ […]

“Trump stated that Black people are ‘being hurt’ by illegal immigrants and that ‘They’re invading your jobs.’ In addition to the lack of Black people at the church, there appeared to not really be a lot of people in attendance at all. Trump advocate Kellyanne Conway stated there were over 8,000 participants.”

Daily Beast: “White Crowds Fill the Pews for Trump’s Visit to Black Church”

“Donald Trump visited Detroit on Saturday, a city he once called a ‘living hell,’ and staged a surprise ‘roundtable’ at 180 Church, a predominately Black congregation on the city’s outskirts. While the event was ostensibly about issues facing Black voters, and some Black pro-Trump personalities like Peezy and Icewear Vezzo showed up, social media lit up at footage showing the pews packed with white crowds. ‘It’s all lies, smoke, and mirrors,’ Jeff Timmer, a senior adviser for the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, wrote on X.”

Trump MAGA ally Roger Stone was caught describing plans to challenge the results of November’s election if Trump loses.

HuffPost: “Roger Stone Spells Out Trump’s Plans To Challenge 2024 Loss In Secretly Recorded Audio”

“Longtime GOP operative and Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone was caught on tape detailing the steps that Republicans are taking in order to successfully challenge the 2024 election result should the former president lose to President Joe Biden again.”

Rolling Stone: “Stone — a self-described ‘dirty trickster’ — was a critical figure in the 2020 “Stop the Steal” movement… Last year, a video obtained by MSNBC showed Stone explaining plans to undermine the Electoral College days before President Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election, as several states continued to count votes. […]

“The efforts to replace votes in the Electoral College and undermine the certification of the election culminated in the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. On the day of the attempted insurrection, Stone was spotted in Washington, D.C., with a contingent of Oath Keepers acting as a personal security detail. Several members of the group were later convicted of seditious conspiracy against the United States.”

Trump VP contender J.D. Vance called gun violence “fake problems” and said efforts to address it were a “huge distraction” — all while dismissing the impact a bump stock ban would have had on the Las Vegas shooting in 2017, which involved a bump stock.

The Hill: “‘I think it’s a huge distraction,’ said Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio), who is believed to be on Trump’s shortlist to be his running mate. ‘This is week three of Chuck Schumer focusing on fake problems instead of real problems.’”

NBC News: “‘I think that we have to ask ourselves: What is the real gun violence problem in this country, and are we legislating in a way that solves fake problems? Or solves real problems?’ Vance told reporters. […]

“Vance also said he was concerned the bill could ‘end up just inhibiting the rights of law-abiding Americans.’ Pressed about the 58 people who were killed in a mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017, he said: ‘The question is: How many people would have been shot alternatively? And you have to ask yourself the question: Will anyone actually not choose a bump stock because Chuck Schumer passes a piece of legislation?’”

Trump-aligned Project 2025 called to raise the Social Security retirement age and rip away hard-earned benefits from millions of Americans. 

Heritage Foundation: “Should the Social Security Retirement Age Be Raised? Yes.”

Newsweek: “Social Security Could Be Upended Under New Proposal”

“A conservative think tank has called for raising the U.S. retirement age to 70.

“Rachel Greszler, senior research fellow at the Roe Institute, wrote in an article for the right-wing Heritage Foundation that the normal eligibility age for collecting Social Security retirement benefits should be raised to 70 to help address the impending funding cliff faced by the Social Security Administration (SSA).”

Trump continues to coordinate with his extremist allies on a MAGA blueprint for 2025 — this week meeting with House Speaker Mike Johnson and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Richard Hudson.

Axios: “House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) are slated to meet with former President Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort on June 17.”

Semafor: “Speaker Mike Johnson promises a Republican mega-bill that would define Donald Trump’s second term”

“Speaker Mike Johnson is preparing Republicans for quick, large-scale action if they win unified control of government in November, telling Semafor he’ll pursue a far-reaching bill aimed at addressing a wide range of issues at once. Johnson said he’s been in frequent communication with Donald Trump, discussing the potential for a legacy-defining legislative package early in his presidency.”

Axios: “House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) has been discussing 2025 plans with former President Trump and House conservatives to tackle GOP priorities … The Louisiana Republican huddled with the Republican Study Committee — the largest conservative caucus in Congress — on Wednesday to discuss strategy for next year.”

Politico: “…the Trump campaign sent a letter to pro-Trump, external organizations asking them to attend an ‘entirely off-the-record, private,’ and ‘invite-only’ meeting with senior campaign officials, according to a copy of the letter obtained by POLITICO. The sit-down, which the letter describes as a ‘meeting of the political minds,’ is aimed at discussing ‘collaborat[ion]’ and ‘priorities and plans’ for the general election. […]

“By holding the meeting, the Trump operation and the third-party entities could conceivably get on the same page about their plans. Two people familiar with the planning for the event said Heritage Action and Turning Point Action were among the pro-Trump groups invited.”

New reporting uncovered how Trump was not even planning to stay in Milwaukee — the city he called “horrible” — for the GOP convention.

New York Times: “Trump Wasn’t Going to Stay in Milwaukee. Then Reporters Asked.”

“When Republicans gather in Milwaukee next month to nominate him for president, Donald J. Trump planned to stay not in the convention’s host city but at a Trump hotel in Chicago, some 90 miles away, according to three people briefed on the former president’s logistics. […]

“Mr. Trump has been on the defensive about his views on Milwaukee since news outlets reported last week that he had called it a ‘horrible’ city in a private meeting with House Republicans in Washington. The change in his convention plans avoids a perceived slight to the largest city in Wisconsin, a vital battleground state.”