House Committee Recommends Contempt for Biden Ghost Writer
Connect with us
Citizen Frank



The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday published a report recommending that President Joe Biden’s ghost writer be cited for contempt of Congress after he failed to produce documents and other materials as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

The ghost writer, Mark Zwonitzer, is in possession of recordings of his interviews with Biden in which the former vice president allegedly made reference to classified information, the committee says in its report.

After the release of Justice Department special counsel Robert Hur’s separate report on Biden’s mishandling of classified documents, the House Judiciary committee subpoenaed Zwonitzer for documents, audio recordings and transcripts in his possession related to his interviews of Biden for his memoir.

“To date, Zwonitzer has refused to produce any of the requested documents or materials,” the committee wrote in its report.

You can read the report.

In a post to the social media platform X, the Judiciary Committee says it plans to hold a markup for the contempt resolution on Thursday at 10:00 AM.

House Republicans have recently moved to hold several officials in contempt related to its impeachment inquiry, including Attorney General Merrick Garland, as the probe struggles to obtain the documents and files it has requested.

Click to comment

Top picks for you


Elon Musk to Give $45 Million a Month to Pro-Trump Super PAC: WSJ

Elon Musk has said he is planning to pledge about $45 million a month to a newly formed super PAC backing former President Donald Trump’s White House bid, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Musk had not given any money to that group, called America PAC, as of the end of June, according to a quarterly financial filing submitted to the Federal Election Commission on Monday evening.

It is unclear if he has donated in July.

But the super PAC, which was formed in late May, has received contributions from other high-profile entrepreneurs, including Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale and crypto billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the filing showed.

Lonsdale donated $1 million to America PAC through Lonsdale Enterprises, an entity linked to the eponymous tech investor, multiple outlets reported.

The Winklevoss twins each donated $250,000 to the super PAC, the FEC filing showed.

America PAC brought in $8.8 million and spent $7.8 million between its inception and the end of June, leaving it with just under $1 million in cash on hand, according to the FEC filing.

Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and one of the world’s richest people, officially endorsed Trump on Saturday, minutes after the Republican presidential nominee survived an assassination attempt at a campaign rally.

The report of Musk’s pledge to help Trump defeat President Joe Biden came on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where Trump secured enough delegates to officially become the GOP nominee.

Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝


RNC Day One: Top Takeaways

The first day of the Republican National Convention (RNC) saw the party enthusiastically take part in its traditional nominating gathering even under the shadow of the shooting at Donald Trump’s rally just 48 hours earlier.

Delegates formally nominated Trump as the party’s nominee, and the former president finally revealed Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) as his running mate to much fanfare among attendees. Speakers throughout the day acknowledged the attempted assassination, but mostly sought to present an uplifting message calling on conservatives to come together to win back the White House.

Here are five takeaways from the RNC’s first day:

The shooting didn’t put a damper on the festivities

Just a day before the former president touched down in Milwaukee, he nearly lost his life when a gunman fired into his rally in Butler, Pa., grazing Trump’s ear with a bullet and killing one attendee.

Despite the shocking events, Trump charged forward with his plans to attend the convention, though many observers expected the shooting to cast a dark shadow over the GOP gathering.

Instead, the convention crowd was its usual boisterous self as it celebrated Trump’s ascension to the official party nomination.

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Michael Whatley opened up the convention with a moment of silence for the deceased as well as two people who were injured.

But delegates were quickly absorbed by the convention, cheering “fight” and “USA” on multiple occasions.

Other speakers acknowledged the somber development in the context of the 2024 campaign, but the first day of the convention largely focused on the nomination votes, Trump’s VP reveal and the first bout of speeches.

Whether the incident could take up more of the spotlight as the week goes on — with Vance and Trump both slated to speak later — remains to be seen, but the dramatic assassination attempt clearly didn’t put a damper on the convention kickoff.

Republicans are feeling good about November

Nominating conventions are usually exuberant affairs with the most die-hard supporters in attendance expressing lofty hopes for what may come the party’s way in November. But this convention in particular has been energized by GOP optimism for November.

The event comes not just days after the attempted assassination — which Republicans believe will juice up enthusiasm — but also amid growing uncertainty for President Biden, who is facing calls to step down after a dismal debate performance and low poll numbers.

Meanwhile, Republicans have made clear they’re rallying around Trump, and that recent events are putting them in a prime position to have a winning election.

The most prominent example came during the roll call of states to record the votes for Trump to be the nominee, when the delegates for New York and New Jersey, two solidly Democratic states, said they believe Trump will have a shot at winning them in November.

Trump has talked about expanding the map for Republicans beyond the states they normally compete in, and though states like New York remain longshots, the GOP is putting on a show of optimism.

“We believe that President Donald J. Trump will be the first Republican in a generation who will win New York state,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) as she announced the state’s delegates going to Trump.

“The state of New Jersey, the state where President Donald J. Trump has invested heavily, and we think and we know that he can win New Jersey this year,” said New Jersey state Sen. Michael Testa (R).

Even if Trump can’t take these states, these pronouncements symbolize the offensive Republicans have gone on recently, looking at states like Virginia and Minnesota and with Trump visiting traditionally liberal areas.

“Is there any doubt who’s going to be the next president of the United States?” country singer Lee Greenwood asked the crowd on stage at night, which attendees responding to with cheers and waving “Trump” signs.

Vance got a warm reception

Trump ended months of “veepstakes” suspense when he announced Ohio Sen. JD Vance as his running mate, elevating his former critic to be his right-hand man.

Vance got a warm reception from the convention crowd, and support from other prominent Republicans poured in.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – who were also seen as likely picks for Trump’s ticket – congratulated Vance on social media.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich hailed Vance as a “spectacular vice president” for Trump.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune said the addition of Vance to Trump’s presidential ticket is going to get the U.S. “back on track.”

Other congressional Republicans heaped praise on the “Hillbilly Elegy” author, casting the move as cementing the “MAGA” ticket for 2024.

Democrats, on the other hand, were quick to slam the newly minted running mate. Biden knocked Vance on X minutes after the announcement, and his campaign argued Vance will enable the former president.

Still, the positive reception from GOP attendees is welcome news for the Trump campaign after months of chatter over who will take on the role once held by ex-Vice President Mike Pence, who ran against Trump this cycle and has said he won’t endorse his former boss.

Republicans emphasized unity over attacks

In the wake of the assassination attempt against Trump, Republicans on Monday worked to emphasize unity instead of divisive attacks.

Vivek Ramaswamy, who ran against Trump in the GOP primary this cycle, said during an appearance with the Politico-CNN Grill that Trump must “fight fire with water” and urged both parties to “quit blaming the other side.”

Other prominent Republicans used their speeches to declare that now is the time for the party to rally together around Trump, including Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.).

“Donald Trump believes every parent deserves a choice, and every child deserves a chance,” Donalds said. “In November, when Donald Trump is elected our nation’s 47th president, we will make sure all America’s children get that chance.”

An exception was Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who in a speech referred to Democrats’ agenda as a “clear and present danger.” But he later told PBS News that the teleprompter had loaded an earlier version of his remarks, and that a revised edition had focused more on unity.

The former president himself has called for Americans to “stand united” after the incident,

At the same time, some on both sides are skeptical that the calls for unity will stick, given the polarized country and competitive presidential race.

Trump made his first public appearance since shooting

Trump made his first public appearance since the shooting in Butler when he stepped into the RNC convention hall to massive applause toward the end of the evening.

The former president was wearing a bandage over his right ear, which he said on Truth Social was hit with a bullet at the rally.

Trump immediately sought to project strength moments after the shooting, raising his fist to the crowd at his rally. He appeared to repeat that gesture when he entered the audience on Monday night.

He took his place next to Vance, his newly-named running mate – and was spotted in his box next to former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and Speaker Mike Johnson.

The crowd was visibility excited to see him, bursting into applause the moment he appeared on screen. At the conclusion of the night, when Whatley said the party is grateful to have him as their nominee, attendees yelled “We want Trump.”

Go deeper ( 5 min. read ) ➝


Takeaways from Biden’s Interview with NBC News

President Biden sat down for an interview with NBC News anchor Lester Holt on Monday in the aftermath of the shooting at a rally held by former President Trump that has shaken up the 2024 race for the White House.

The president was pressed on his own rhetoric as he also called for Americans to cool down the temperature this campaign season. He was also questioned about his debate performance and the subsequent calls among Democrats for him to step aside.

NBC aired the whole roughly 18-minute interview with Biden, which took place at the White House on Monday afternoon during an action-packed first day of the Republican National Convention.

Here are five notable moments from the interview.

Biden, Trump had ‘cordial’ conservation

Biden described his conversation with Trump after the shooting as “cordial” and said it was largely about the president’s concern for his political rival after a bullet grazed his ear while speaking at the Pennsylvania rally.

“Very cordial. I told him how concerned I was and wanted to make sure I knew how he was actually doing. He sounded good, he said he was fine and he thanked me for calling,” Biden said. “I told him he was literally in the prayers of Jill and me, and I hope his whole family was weathering this.”

Biden and Trump’s phone call took place on Saturday night, just hours after the shooting. Biden told reporters earlier that night that he had tried to get a hold of Trump and hoped to speak with him. Since they spoke, first lady Jill Biden and former first lady Melania Trump also spoke on the phone.

The president was attending church in Rehoboth, Del., at the time of the shooting. Holt asked him for his first reaction to the news of the incident and he responded, “My first reaction was, ‘my God. This is.’ Look, there’s so much violence now.”

Biden pushes back on Holt’s questions

Biden at times sparred with Holt over his line of questioning, appearing frustrated and pressing the NBC News anchor on media coverage, particularly in the aftermath of the debate.

At one point Holt asked Biden if he would consider debating Trump again before the next scheduled debate on Sept. 10.

“…if the opportunity came up to do one between now and then? Is there — is there a sense of wanting to get back on the horse? Holt asked Biden toward the end of the interview, referring to doing another debate before September.

“I’m on the horse. Where have you been?” Biden pushed back. “I’ve done 22 major events, met thousands of people, overwhelming crowds. A lot’s happening. I’m on the horse.”

During another part of the conversation in which Holt referred to remarks made by Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) about Biden, the president suggested that Holt was skimming over remarks Vance, a former Trump critic, had also made about the former president before becoming his 2024 running mate.

“[Vance] says some things about me, but see what he said about Trump,” Biden said. “What’s with you guys? Come on, man.”

It was perhaps one of Biden most notable push backs on the media in an interview with a news outlet, already coming at a sensitive time in his presidency as he’s faced calls within his party to step down. He remained assertive during the interview, despite it producing some awkward moments.

“Sometimes come and talk to me about what we should be talking about,” Biden challenged Holt at the end of the conversation.

Suggests ‘bullseye’ remark was a ‘mistake’

Biden suggested that it may have been a mistake to use the word “bullseye” while talking about Trump on a call with donors last week when Holt asked about the renewed attention around those remarks in the aftermath of the shooting.

“It was, it was a mistake to use the word. I didn’t mean— I didn’t say cross-hairs. I meant bullseye, I meant focus on him. Focus on what he’s doing. Focus on, on his… policies. Focus on the number of lies he told in the debate” Biden said.

On a call with donors last week, amid pressure from Democrats for him to drop out of the race, Biden said, “It’s time to put Trump in the bullseye.”

The president also pushed back when Holt asked if he’s taken a step back and done any soul-searching on things he has said that could incite people who are not “balanced.”

“How do you talk about the threat to democracy, which is real, when a president says things like he says?” Biden said. “Do you just not say anything because it might incite somebody? I have not engaged in that rhetoric.”

Trump’s legal woes come up

During the interview, the president said he was “not surprised” by Judge Aileen Cannon’s decision earlier in the day to dismiss Trump’s case regarding his handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

His answer quickly pivoted to the Supreme Court’s immunity decision, in which Judge Clarence Thomas questioned the legality of the appointment of special counsel Jack Smith. Cannon dismissed Trump’s case by ruling that Smith had been appointed unlawfully.

“It comes from the immunity decision the Supreme Court… and [Justice] Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, said that independent prosecutors appointed by the attorney general aren’t legit. That’s the basis on which this judge moved to dismiss,” Biden said.

Thomas wrote as part of his concurrence: “I write separately to highlight another way in which this prosecution may violate our constitutional structure. In this case, the Attorney General purported to appoint a private citizen as Special Counsel to prosecute a former President on behalf of the United States.”

Biden also brought up his own investigation involving classified documents that turned up at his home and an old office he used after he left the vice presidency.

“I had an independent prosecutor look at me. They spent months on my– going through and I was totally cooperative. In and out of my house,” he explained.

“There were, like, 10, 12 agents in my house for nine hours unaccompanied going through every single thing I had. That’s appropriate. And they looked at me and concluded I didn’t do a damn thing wrong.”

Biden shares thoughts on Vance

Biden’s interview with NBC took place just hours after Trump announced that Vance would be his vice presidential pick on day one of the Republican National Convention.

Vance in the past heavily criticized Trump describing him as a “cynical asshole” and “America’s Hitler.” Vance has since become a close Trump ally. Biden said he was not shocked by Vance as Trump’s pick.

“Well, it’s not unusual. He’s going to surround himself with people who agree completely with him. Have a voting record, that support him. Even though if you go back and listen to the things JD Vance said about Trump,” Biden said, laughing.

The president said that Vance believes in no exceptions on abortion, supports Trump’s plan for tax cuts, and doesn’t believe in climate change. The senator said in 2021 that “two wrongs don’t make a right” when asked whether abortion laws should allow for exceptions for rape and incest and he has minimized the threat of climate change, saying in 2022 that the U.S. doens’t need to “destory the economy to deal with” it.

“I mean, he signed on to the Trump agenda, which he should if he’s running with Trump,” Biden added.

Watch the full interview:

Go deeper ( 5 min. read ) ➝


Law Enforcement Spotted Trump Shooter Nearly 30 Minutes Before Shots Fired

Channel 11 News uncovered dramatic new details Monday in the moments leading up to the assassination attempt on former president Donald Trump.

According to multiple law enforcement sources, Thomas Crooks was spotted by law enforcement on a roof nearly 30 minutes before shots were fired that injured Trump, killed a former fire chief and injured two others in the crowd.

Channel 11′s Nicole Ford confirmed that Beaver County’s ESU team had eight members at the rally, including snipers and spotters.

According to Ford’s sources, one of them noticed a suspicious man on a roof near the rally at 5:45 p.m., called it in and took a picture of the person. We have learned from our sources the person in that picture is Thomas Crooks. We’re told it’s not clear if Crooks had a gun with him at that point.

According to multiple sources, a law enforcement officer had also previously seen Crooks on the ground and called him in as a suspicious person with a picture prior to 5:45 p.m. Our sources tell us an officer checked the grounds for Crooks at that point, but did not see him where the first picture was taken.

26 minutes after the second picture of Crooks was taken by law enforcement and the information called in, shots were fired from the roof of the American Glass Research building. Seconds later, a Secret Service sniper returned fire and killed Crooks.

Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝


Vance Gives First VP Interview

Sen. J.D. Vance (Ohio-R.) acknowledged in his first TV interview as VP nominee that he was “certainly skeptical” of former President Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Vance said that he “bought into the media’s lies and distortions” about Trump as an explanation for his past criticisms and pivoted to attacking Biden.

Vance said that Biden is the “one who is trying to undermine law and order” during his interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

“I think you can make the case with the American people, people who may have been skeptical of the president back in 2016, who can be skeptical now that we’ve seen the results?,” he said of his support of Trump.

“I actually think it’s a good thing, when you see somebody, you were wrong about them, you ought to admit the mistake and admit that you were wrong,” Vance said.

Vance said that Trump called him earlier on Monday to inform him that he was his VP pick.

Vance said that Trump told him: “I think we’ve got to go save this country. I think you’re the guy who can help me in the best way, you can help me govern, you can help me win, you can help me in some of these midwestern states like Pennsylvania and Michigan and so forth.”

The Biden campaign has already seized on Vance’s past comments saying that he would not have certified the 2020 election on Jan. 6 had he been vice president instead of Mike Pence.

Trump earlier on Monday announced that Vance is his vice presidential pick, a highly anticipated announcement that featured speculation about a number of possible VP candidates.

Trump announced Vance as his VP pick on his Truth Social account.

The Trump-critic-turned loyal supporter is one of the former president’s strongest allies on Capitol Hill.

Vance previously publicly criticized the former president, calling him an “idiot” and “noxious” ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

But Vance said of Trump: “He changed my mind.”

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


Trump Met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to Seek Endorsement

Former President Donald Trump met this morning in Milwaukee with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to discuss the possibility of the independent candidate endorsing the Republican nominee, according to multiple people familiar with the huddle.

Asked about the meeting and a potential endorsement, Kennedy denied that he plans to drop out of the race.

“Yes, Mr. Kennedy met with President Trump today to discuss national unity, and he hopes to meet with leaders of the Democratic Party as well,” Kennedy campaign press secretary Stefanie Spear said in a statement.

“And no he is not dropping out of the race. He is the only pro-environment, pro-choice, anti-war candidate who beats Donald Trump in head-to-head polls.”

An endorsement by Kennedy, who hits double digits in some polls, would scramble the race for White House and give a boost to Trump.

Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝


GoFundMe for Trump Rally Shooting Victims Raises Over $4M

A high-profile fundraiser for the victims in Saturday’s assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump at a Pennsylvania political rally has raised over $4 million, with top donors including Dana White and Kid Rock.

The GoFundMe, which says it is “President Trump authorized” is organized by Meredith O’Rourke, who is also Trump’s top finance person, and is raising money for those “wounded or killed” from the shooting at the Trump rally in Butler on Saturday.

The GoFundMe’s initial goal was to raise $1 million, but it has far surpassed that goal, raising over $4 million from over 54,000 donations as of Monday afternoon.

Firefighter Corey Comperatore killed, 2 others injured in rally shooting

One spectator, Corey Comperatore, was killed and two others were critically injured during the assassination attempt. Trump is recovering after he was injured in the right ear when a gunman opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle on a rooftop about 400 feet outside the rally.

The gunman, identified Sunday by the FBI as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, was killed by law enforcement officials moments after he opened fire.

Comperatore, a firefighter from Sarver, Pennsylvania, had two daughters and was an avid Trump supporter.

“Yesterday time stopped,” Allyson Comperatore, his daughter, said on Facebook. “And when it started again my family and I started living a real-life nightmare.”

Two men injured in the shooting – a 57-year-old New Kensington, Pennsylvania, resident and a 74-year-old resident of Moon Township – were in stable condition on Sunday, according to an update from Pennsylvania State Police.

GoFundMe organized for Corey Comperatore’s daughter, family

A GoFundMe aiming to raise $7,000 for Caomperatore’s daughter, Allyson and his family after his death was launched Sunday.

It has since raised over $950,000 from more than 17,000 donations.

Who are the top donors to the O’Rourke GoFundMe?

Top donations so far for the O’Rourke GoFundMe include $50,000 from the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, $50,000 from American Hartford Gold, $50,000 from UFC CEO White and $50,000 from the singer Kid Rock.

Other large, notable donations to the fundraiser include $30,000 from former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, $25,000 from the Scaramucci family and $15,000 from conservative pundit Ben Shapiro.

Who is Meredith O’Rourke, the GoFundMe organizer?

From Florida, O’Rourke has been a top political fundraiser for Republicans for decades, including for current U.S. Sen. Rick Scott’s and former Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s campaigns for governor. She also did a short stint in 2015 for former N.J. Gov. Chris Christie’s run for president.

Her LinkedIn profile lists her currently as “National Finance Director and Senior Advisor to Donald J. Trump For President 2024, Inc.”

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


Speed Limiters Now Mandatory on All New Cars in Europe

All cars will now have to be fitted with speed-limiting AI tech due to new EU rules.

The new gadget can, in some cases, slow the vehicle down for you if it catches you breaking the speed limit.

Intelligent Speed Assitance (ISA) systems became a legal requirement for motors across the EU as a law passed two years ago came into effect on July 7.

ISAs make use of AI, GPS data and even onboard cameras to assess your speed in real time as you drive along.

The system will then intervene if you go above the limit it has worked out for the road you are on.

For example, the system can assess things like road markings to determine whether you are in a 20mph or 30mph zone.

From there, there are three types of ISA which firms could opt to install, with each offering different levels of intervention.

First of all, informative ISAs only result in a warning message and sound to alert the driver that they are breaking the limit.

One level up from that is the supportive ISA, which works by increasing the upward force on the accelerator pedal to try and make it harder for drivers to speed up.

Finally, intervening ISAs are the most active, with the system actually slowing the vehicle down, whether the driver wants it to or not, until it goes back under the limit.

Officials have emphasised that, for safety, this would be achieved by temporarily shutting off part or all of the engine and will not result in a sudden application of the brakes.

The law is now in force in all EU member states – but there is a loophole for Brits.

The UK has opted out of the law under the post-Brexit agreement with the bloc, meaning that ISAs will not be legally required on British roads.

All cars here will, in effect, have to have them fitted as it is too complicated and expensive for manufacturers to design cars separately for the EU and UK markets.

However, drivers in Great Britain will be able to turn the system off or override it by continuing to press the accelerator.

As such, it is unlikely that cars slowing down of their own accord will be a common site for now.

That being said, the requirement will still have legal force in Northern Ireland because it remains aligned with the EU single market under the Windsor Framework.

It comes after we revealed how drivers could avoid being hit with £100 parking fines thanks to a little-known loophole.

New AI speed cameras can ‘see inside your car’

New AI speed cameras being rolled out on UK roads can “see inside your car” and recognise “every passenger” before seeing pictures of them to the police.

The devices will be able to work out whether or not you’re wearing a seatbelt or using a phone and can even be used to check who is behind the wheel.

Using multiple lenses and AI tech, the cameras automatically analyse the images they capture for driving offences.

If any are detected, the image will be saved and sent off immediately to the police force responsible for that stretch of road.

This includes offences committed by passengers, such as distracting the driver through mobile phone use.

And, of course, they can also tell when you’re going over the speed limit.

This could see more drivers receiving fines, licence points and bans for crimes that would previously have gone undetected.

A trial of similar tech in Cornwall last year saw a whopping 300 Brits caught out within just three days.

Since then, the cameras have been tried out in areas including Greater Manchester, Sussex and Durham with similar results.

The RAC has backed the move, saying that a “lack of enforcement” was making UK roads more dangerous for law-abiding drivers.

The Club’s spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Despite the penalties for using a handheld phone having doubled to six penalty points and a £200 fine seven years ago, it’s clear far too many drivers are still prepared to put lives at risk by engaging in this dangerous practice.

“We suspect a major reason for this is a lack of enforcement, meaning many drivers have no fear of being caught.

“AI-equipped cameras that can automatically detect drivers breaking the law offer a chance for the tide to be turned.

“The police can’t be everywhere all of the time, so it makes sense that forces look to the best available technology that can help them catch drivers acting illegally.”

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


Trump Picks J.D. Vance as VP

Donald Trump has selected Sen. JD Vance of Ohio as his presidential running mate, ending months of speculation about the Republican nominee’s choice to help him challenge President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

“After lengthy deliberation and thought, and considering the tremendous talents of many others, I have decided that the person best suited to assume the position of Vice President of the United States is Senator J.D. Vance of the Great State of Ohio,” Trump said Monday in a Truth Social post.

Two other top Republican contenders, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, were told earlier that they would not be picked, NBC News reported.

The Biden campaign promptly panned the selection, accusing Trump of picking Vance because he will “bend over backwards to enable Trump and his extreme MAGA agenda, even if it means breaking the law and no matter the harm to the American people.”

“Billionaires and corporations are literally rooting for J.D. Vance: they know he and Trump will cut their taxes and send prices skyrocketing for everyone else,” read the statement from Biden-Harris campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon.

Biden’s official X account separately wrote that while Vance “talks a big game about working people,” he and Trump “want to raise taxes on middle-class families while pushing more tax cuts for the rich.”

Harris has previously accepted an invitation from CBS News to participate in a vice presidential debate on either July 23 or Aug. 13.

Trump’s selection provides a sudden, massive jolt in stature for the 39-year-old Vance, who joined the Senate as a political newcomer less than two years ago.

Vance gained fame in 2016 through his bestselling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” which traced his rural upbringing in Ohio and mused on the culture and politics of Appalachia.

While not without its critics, the book quickly earned Vance a reputation as a trenchant political analyst who, despite an Ivy League education, possessed a unique sense of how the White working class viewed the rest of the country.

Before entering politics, Vance was a major Trump critic, slamming him as a “total fraud” and even comparing him and his MAGA political movement to a harmful drug.

“Trump’s promises are the needle in America’s collective vein,” Vance wrote in The Atlantic before Trump won the 2016 election.

But as a politician, Vance has morphed into one of the most loyal and extreme backers of both Trump and his brand of nationalist, populist politics.

For instance, Vance was among the parade of Republicans who appeared outside of Trump’s criminal hush money trial in New York City to decry the prosecution of the GOP leader.

He later claimed the trial was “election interference,” and that its “main goal” was “psychological torture” against Trump. The jury in that trial convicted Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records; Trump is currently set to be sentenced on Sept. 18.

Trump’s VP announcement came in the middle of a deluge of major national news — including a failed assassination attempt against the former president at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania over the weekend.

The attack, which left one rally attendee dead and Trump with a minor injury, sent shockwaves across the country and spurred condemnations of violence across the political aisle.

Biden, in an Oval Office address after the Trump rally shooting, urged Americans to lower the temperature of political rhetoric and reaffirm the democratic norms of civil disagreement and decency.

Meanwhile, Trump’s bevy of legal battles were shaken up Monday morning, when federal Judge Aileen Cannon dismissed the criminal case charging the former president with illegally retaining classified documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


Judge Cannon Dismisses the Trump Classified Documents Case

The Florida judge overseeing Donald Trump’s classified documents trial dismissed the case against the former president Monday on the grounds that the appointment of and funding for special counsel Jack Smith was illegal.

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump nominee, said in her 93-page decision that Smith’s appointment was “unlawful” and unconditional. “The clerk is directed to close this case,” the judge wrote.

The decision came on the first day of the Republican National Convention, and following an assassination attempt on the former president over the weekend. Trump praised the ruling in a statement that referenced Saturday’s shooting and said other criminal cases against him should be tossed as well. A source who spoke directly with the former president said that he was “surprised” but “very happy” with Cannon’s decision.

A White House spokesman referred inquiries on the Trump classified documents case being dismissed to the Department of Justice. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith as special counsel in November 2022, tasking him with overseeing the federal investigations into Trump’s handling and retention of classified documents after he left office as well as his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

Trump’s lawyers argued in court papers filed in February that the appointments clause of the Constitution “does not permit the Attorney General to appoint, without Senate confirmation, a private citizen and like-minded political ally to wield the prosecutorial power of the United States. As such, Jack Smith lacks the authority to prosecute this action.”

The special counsel’s team contended that the attorney general has statutory authority to appoint “inferior officers” and that previous court decisions have affirmed the attorney general’s authority to appoint special counsels.

Cannon found the appointment was improper.

“Since November 2022, Special Counsel Smith has been exercising ‘power that [he] did not lawfully possess.’ All actions that flowed from his defective appointment — including his seeking of the Superseding Indictment on which this proceeding currently hinges — were unlawful exercises of executive power,” she wrote.

The arguments by Trump’s legal team were raised unsuccessfully against previous special counsels, including Robert Mueller, who oversaw an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and David Weiss, the special counsel overseeing the Hunter Biden prosecution.

It’s unclear if Cannon’s ruling could impact the cases against the president’s son. In her decision, Cannon specifically contrasts Smith’s appointment with Weiss’s, because Weiss was already a U.S. attorney and Smith was a private citizen by the time he was appointed.

From here, Smith will be able to appeal this dismissal to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. That court will certainly hear the case and likely hold oral arguments. However, even if it were to be heard on an expedited basis, and even if the appeals court were to overturn Cannon’s ruling, Monday’s ruling all but guarantees the classified documents case could not go to trial before the election.

This ruling doesn’t have any immediate impact on the federal election interference case. The only courts that can direct the judge in that case, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, to rule in a particular manner are the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

Trump was first charged in the case in June of last year. The indictment accused him of lying and scheming to mislead federal investigators in order to retain sensitive materials that he knew were still classified after he left the White House.

The indictment alleged that the documents he took with him “included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the U.S. and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for a possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack.”

In August 2022, the FBI executed a search warrant on Trump’s Florida estate and found over 100 classified documents there, despite having been assured by Trump’s attorneys that all such documents had been returned.

He was later given additional charges for allegedly trying to obstruct the investigation. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Cannon’s involvement in the case preceded Trump being charged. In 2022, she temporarily halted the FBI’s review of the documents that had been recovered at Mar-a-Lago while granting Trump’s request for a special master to review the evidence.

That ruling was overturned by a panel of appeals court judges who suggested Cannon had tried to “carve out an unprecedented exception in our law for former presidents.”

The criminal case was randomly assigned to Cannon after Trump was indicted, and she’s repeatedly come under criticism from legal experts for her meandering approach to the case. It had at one point been scheduled to go to trial earlier this year, but Cannon postponed the trial date indefinitely, citing “myriad” pending motions in the case.

Cannon’s ruling comes two weeks to the day after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision largely in Trump’s favor in the federal election interference case. The high court ruling held that he had immunity for some of his conduct as president, and that Chutkan would have to decide which of his actions were official presidential acts before proceeding with the case.

The D.C. case, which at one point had been slated to go to trial in March, had been stayed while the high court grappled with the immunity issue, and Chutkan will need to decide on the “official acts” questions before the case goes to trial, making it impossible for it to begin before the election. Trump’s attorneys had not challenged Smith’s appointment in that case, but are likely to do so now given Cannon’s ruling.

The immunity ruling will also likely have some impact on Trump’s state election interference case in Georgia, but that case has been stayed until at least October while an appeals court hears arguments on whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be disqualified from the case.

Trump was convicted in March of 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York, and was originally scheduled to be sentenced last week. The judge in that case postponed the sentencing until at least September after Trump’s attorneys filed papers arguing the conviction should be tossed because of the immunity ruling. They noted that some of the evidence at trial involved Trump’s official acts in the White House. The Manhattan district attorney’s office is arguing against reversal or a new trial.

In an opinion concurring with the 6-3 conservative majority, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested Smith’s appointment as special counsel raised a potential violation of the Constitution’s provisions on appointment power.

“If there is no law establishing the office that the Special Counsel occupies, then he cannot proceed with this prosecution. A private citizen cannot criminally prosecute anyone, let alone a former President,” Thomas wrote in his opinion, which Cannon cited three times in her ruling.

Trump’s attorneys had flagged Thomas’s opinion to Cannon last week, saying it “adds force to the motions relating to the Appointments and Appropriations Clauses.”

In a response Friday, Smith’s office countered the “single-Justice concurrence … neither binds this Court nor provides a sound basis to deviate from the uniform conclusion of all courts to have considered the issue that the Attorney General is statutorily authorized to appoint a Special Counsel.”

Go deeper ( 5 min. read ) ➝


WATCH: Mitch McConnell Booed at RNC

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was booed as he spoke on behalf of Kentucky’s delegates during Monday’s roll call to formally nominate Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention.

McConnell has had an icy relationship with the former president and his MAGA-allies since 2020, when the Republican leader accused Trump of “provoking the events” of Jan. 6.

The Kentucky Republican will step down as GOP leader at the end of this year, a move that Trump allies view as the final step to a total MAGA takeover of the Republican Party, Axios’ Zach Basu wrote.

Until Trump’s visit to Capitol Hill last month, McConnell and Trump had not spoken since December 2020. The two men shared a fist bump following Trump’s remarks to Senate Republicans.

McConnell said on the Senate floor following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that the former president was “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events” of the day.

McConnell earlier this year endorsed Trump for president.

Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝


‘Morning Joe’ Pulled from Air Monday

MSNBC will not air “Morning Joe,” its celebrated politics roundtable program, on Monday, opting to instead air continued breaking news coverage of the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump.

The progressive news network confirmed the decision to preempt its influential and top-rated morning show after a CNN inquiry Sunday evening. The network said the show will resume airing Tuesday.

The decision by MSNBC to leave one of its most recognizable programs on the sidelines amid a seismic politics-driven news cycle, with the Republican National Convention getting underway in the wake of the Saturday shooting at Trump’s campaign rally, is certain to raise eyebrows.

A person familiar with the matter told CNN that the decision was made to avoid a scenario in which one of the show’s stable of two dozen-plus guests might make an inappropriate comment on live television that could be used to assail the program and network as a whole. Given the breaking news nature of the story, the person said, it made more sense to continue airing rolling breaking news coverage in the fraught political moment.

“Given the gravity and complexity of this unfolding story, NBC News, NBC News NOW and MSNBC have remained in rolling breaking news coverage since Saturday evening,” a spokesperson for NBCUniversal News Group said in a statement to CNN. “As we continue to cover this story into the week, the networks will continue to cross simulcast, alternating between NBC News, NBC News NOW and ‘MSNBC Reports,’ so there is one news feed covering this developing situation.”

In the wake of the attempt on Trump’s life, some of the former president’s supporters have vehemently criticized the press and liberal media commentators for their hard-knuckled reporting, which has sounded the alarm on what four more years under the former president would look like.

Cesar Conde, the chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, made the decision in conjunction with Rashida Jones, the president of MSNBC, and hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the person familiar with the matter told CNN.

Over the course of the campaign cycle, news organizations have reported at length on Trump’s plans to warp the federal government for his own ends, including to seek vengeance against his political opponents. That reporting is now facing scrutiny, with some Trump supporters blaming it for producing a charged atmosphere that gave way to the assassination attempt, while mostly looking past the incendiary rhetoric of the former president himself.

MSNBC has, in particular, been blasted by Trump’s allies, putting the network in the spotlight. Some of Trump’s allies have gone as far as to attack the network’s parent company, Comcast.

It’s not the first time MSNBC has made such programming decisions in charged political moments.

Last year after Hamas executed its deadly October 7 attack on Israel, MSNBC quietly pulled three of its Muslim broadcasters from air. That move, which came after some pro-Israeli forces criticized the tone of the MSNBC’s coverage, left some staffers at the network feeling uncomfortable, Semafor reported at the time.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


VIDEO: Thomas Matthew Crooks Seen Getting Bullied in School

The 20-year-old who tried killing Donald Trump is said to have been a black sheep and a loner who would get bullied in school — and now, we have video showing exactly that.

Thomas Matthew Crooks was filmed on camera a few years ago while he was in high school — and the footage, which has surfaced online, shows him being hassled in class by another student. TMC is sitting at his desk … and you can see somebody yanking on his pant leg.

The person who’s tugging at his pants seems to be trying to straight up pull him out of his seat — and although it looks playful in nature … you can even hear someone off-camera saying “stop” repeatedly.

It seems like that person is Thomas himself … and he later notes that his leg is being bothered. There are other people who can be heard on camera laughing at all this.


The whole scene jibes with what multiple reports about Thomas from other classmates — who say he was a bit of an outcast and someone who’d constantly get picked on by others. There’s also been reports that Thomas tried getting on his school rifle team, but was rejected … because apparently he was a terrible shot.

Everyone is digging into this guy’s background … and more and more is coming out by the hour — but this video is revealing, as it does appear to show someone who wasn’t the most popular.

In terms of whether this played into his motivation at all … the jury’s still out — the feds are looking into what might’ve led Thomas to do this, but not much is know at the moment.

One thing that is going around about him — he was a registered Republican, but he made a donation to a left-leaning PAC … so even his political affiliation is murky at this point.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


The FBI Says It Has ‘Gained Access’ to the Trump Rally Shooter’s Phone

The FBI has successfully broken into the phone of the man who shot at former President Donald Trump at Saturday’s rally in Butler, Pennsylvania.

“FBI technical specialists successfully gained access to Thomas Matthew Crooks’ phone, and they continue to analyze his electronic devices,” the agency said in a statement on Monday.

The search of the subject’s residence and vehicle are complete.

The FBI has conducted nearly 100 interviews of law enforcement personnel, event attendees, and other witnesses. That work continues.

The FBI has received hundreds of digital media tips which include photos and videos taken at the scene and we continue to review incoming tips. We encourage anyone with information that may assist with the ongoing investigation to continue to submit it online at or call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

While the investigative work continues, FBI victim services personnel have offered assistance to the victims of Saturday’s incident.

The agency did not disclose how it gained access to the phone.

In a conference call with reporters on Sunday, FBI officials told reporters that agents in Pennsylvania had obtained Crooks’ phone but hadn’t been able to break into it.

The phone was sent to the FBI’s lab in Quantico, Virginia.

The investigation is ongoing.

Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝


UK: King and Queen Rushed Off Street After Security Threat

King Charles and Queen Camilla were rushed to safety after a security risk was detected during an engagement in Jersey.

The King and Queen were on Weighbridge Place in St Helier touring the Jersey Expo when the security alert was detected.

They had been enjoying touring each of the stands and were about to sample some Jersey ice cream before their security team advised them they had to cut the visit short.

They were ushered towards the Pomme D’or hotel – where they were scheduled to attend a tea party later this afternoon – but the King stopped to shake some hands en route before his security ushered him along.

After a short while they exited the hotel and resumed their scheduled course of engagements. Buckingham Palace refused to comment but sources said every precaution was taken.

Eamon Fenlon, managing director of Jersey Dairy, had just served the Queen an ice cream from a van before she was ushered out of the Expo.

Mr Fenlon said: “I had just given the Queen an ice cream and I turned back to get one myself before we had a chat. But when I turned back round she had been whisked off. Some of the other people told me it was a drone but whether that’s official or not I don’t know.”

Matt Taylor, founder of Jersey Sea Salt, was chatting to the King when he was approached by his protection officer and told he had to leave immediately.
He said: “He stopped at the stall and said ‘Ooh sea salt’ and I said ‘come and have a chat, Sir’. Then his security appeared and grabbed me and said ‘He has to go, now’. He didn’t seem panicked but he was quite stern. They just ushered him out. It’s a shame as he’d stopped to chat to us of his own accord.”
Charles, 75, and Camilla, 76, visited Jersey today as part of a two-day trip to the Channel Islands.

They attended a special sitting of the State Assembly, as well as attending the Jersey Expo – where local farmers and artists showcase their produce.

They were due to participate in a mini version of the Genuine Jersey Royal Potato Growing competition before their visit to the Expo was cut short.

Half a dozen school children from across the island were due to meet them at this point, so they waited to greet them after the conclusion of the tea party.

The King and Queen then resumed their third engagement of the day, which saw Charles present the new King’s Colour to the Jersey Sea Cadets in their 75th Anniversary year.

The Jersey Sea Cadets, which offers maritime training and leadership experiences for children aged between 10 and 18, have been present for all the Royal visits since 1975.

Charles and Camilla spoke to the sea cadets before going on an impromptu walkabout to greet the crowds in the beaming sunshine – a stark contrast to the heavy rain that greeted their arrival earlier this afternoon.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


RFK Jr. to Receive Secret Service Protection After Trump Assassination Attempt

President Joe Biden has directed the U.S. Secret Service to protect independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., after the attempted assassination of Donald Trump, the Homeland Security secretary said Monday.

Kennedy is a longshot to win Electoral College votes, much less the presidency. But his campaign events have drawn large crowds of supporters and people interested in his message.

“Thank you, President Biden, for extending me Secret Service protection,” Kennedy said in a statement. He also thanked his private security firm, Gavin de Becker & Associates “for keeping me safe for the past 15 months of my presidential campaign.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Biden had directed the protection for Kennedy “both prior to and after the events of this past weekend.”

The Secret Service is legally required to protect major party presidential and vice presidential candidates and their families 120 days out from a general election, but third-party candidates are treated on an as-needed basis.

The Department of Homeland Security acknowledged in its 2024 budget overview that recent requests for candidate protection were coming in earlier than in the past.

Threats to political candidates are common, but law enforcement officials have said that there has been an uptick in violent rhetoric since the weekend attack at the Trump rally. Mayorkas said both Biden and Trump are “constantly the subject of threats.”

“We are in a heightened and very dynamic threat environment,” he said.

With a famous name and a loyal base, Kennedy has the potential to do better than any third-party presidential candidate since Ross Perot in the 1990s. But he didn’t participate in the first presidential debate on June 27. Both the Biden and Trump campaigns, who fear he could be a spoiler, bypassed the nonpartisan debate commission and agreed to a schedule that essentially left out Kennedy.

Kennedy, who last year challenged Biden for the Democratic nomination before launching an independent bid, has argued that his relatively strong showing in a few national polls gives his candidacy heft.

Polls during the 2016 presidential campaign regularly put libertarian Gary Johnson’s support in the high single or low double digits, but he ultimately received only about 3% of the vote nationwide.

Trump became the official Republican presidential nominee on Monday after receiving the votes of enough delegates at the Republican National Convention.

He was not seriously injured in the shooting over the weekend in Pennsylvania. There is an independent review of the attack.

Mayorkas said Trump’s protection has been enhanced based on the “evolving nature of the threats to the former president” and his shift from presumptive nominee to nominee.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


Secret Service Blames Local Police: ‘We Were Not in Charge of Securing Properties Surrounding the Trump Rally’

The Secret Service blamed local police for failing to secure the rooftop from which gunman Thomas Matthew Crooks attempted to assassinate former President Donald Trump, insisting it was outside the perimeter the federal agency was tasked with protecting.

Instead, securing and patrolling the factory grounds of AGR International Inc. — located about 130 yards from the stage where Trump was speaking Saturday — was the responsibility of local Pennsylvania police, Secret Service representative Anthony Gugliemi said, according to the New York Times.

The Secret Service was only tasked with covering the grounds where Trump’s rally took place, with local police being recruited to assist with those efforts and secure the area outside the rally.

But neighbors living near Butler Farm Show Grounds told The Post they were never visited by any law enforcement agencies — local or federal — in the days before or during the rally.

“Nobody contacted me. Nobody. Nobody called me, nobody stopped here,” said Valerie Fennell, whose home backs up on the fair grounds and is just beyond a stand of trees from AGR.

“I kinda was thinking that as close as my house is, that I honestly thought this might be part of a command station at some point,” she said.

And it wasn’t just Fennell who wasn’t contacted by law enforcement — she said her entire neighborhood was bafflingly left alone despite their proximity to the rally grounds.

“I was talking to my neighbors yesterday, and none of them had gotten a call. Or anything,” she said, while her sister, Debra, agreed.

“I guess it’s kind of the same question that everybody has. I guess, as far as like, why that area wasn’t secure.”

The lapses also apparently continued into the rally.

Attendees reported seeing 20-year-old Thomas Crooks acting suspiciously near rally metal detectors, according to CNN, with local law enforcement being notified and broadcasting warnings over their radios to the Secret Service to be on the lookout for him.

He was also reportedly seen with a rifle outside a security checkpoint to gain entrance into the rally, and later spotted jumping “roof to roof” before settling on the AGR factory.

Police apparently failed to locate him while those alerts were out, before finally responding to reports of an armed man on top of the AGR roof.

Around 6:10 p.m., a local police officer climbed a ladder onto the roof and came face to face with Crooks, who who was pointing his rifle at him, law enforcement sources told the Associated Press.

The officer backed down the ladder, and in those moments, Crooks took aim and fired about eight bullets at the rally. He struck Trump in the ear, fatally struck bystander Corey Comperatore in the audience, and gravely wounded two others in the crowd.

Within moments, Secret Service snipers stationed on a barn rooftop behind the stage fatally shot Crooks. Snipers appeared to have their sights trained in the direction of Crooks before they opened fire on him, though it is unclear whether they had seen him.

The Secret Service confirmed it leaned on local law enforcement to help run security at the event, telling the Washington Post it is common practice to depend on local agencies for support.

In addition to leaving the grounds outside the rally perimeter under the purview of local police, at least six officers from Butler County tactical units filled out the Secret Service’s counter assault team — the heavily armed agents who covered Trump’s evacuation — which only included two members of the Secret Service itself.

The Secret Service’s two sniper teams were backed up by two local sniper teams.

Pennsylvania police confirmed they assisted the Secret Service and regularly do so when high-profile government officials come to town, but that the federal agency ultimately runs the show.

“Secret Service always has the lead on securing something like this,” Lt. Col. George Bivens of the Pennsylvania State Police told reporters.

“We work with them to provide whatever is requested by the Secret Service, but they’re the lead in that security,” he said.

Calls for an investigation into the Secret Service and what allowed Crooks to come within millimeters of assassinating Trump have begun, with House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) announcing plans to summon agency director Kimberly Cheatle for a July 22 hearing.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


Trump Recounts Surviving Assassination Attempt at Rally: ‘I’m Supposed to Be Dead’

A grateful and at times defiant Donald Trump told New York Post Sunday he’s “supposed to be dead” as he recalled the harrowing moment a would-be assassin shot him at a Pennsylvania campaign rally.

The former president shared the “very surreal experience” that nearly ended his life during an interview aboard his private plane en route to Milwaukee for the GOP National Convention.

“The doctor at the hospital said he never saw anything like this, he called it a miracle,” said Trump, who was sporting a loose, large white bandage that covered his right ear. His staff insisted that no photos be taken.

“I’m not supposed to be here, I’m supposed to be dead,” Trump said. “I’m supposed to be dead.”

He said he would be if he had not turned his head slightly to the right to read a chart on illegal immigrants. At that instant, what would have been a kill shot instead tore off a small piece of his ear and splattered blood on his forehead and cheek.

Trump said that as Secret Service agents led him off stage, he still wanted to continue speaking to supporters, but the agents told him it wasn’t safe and they had to get him to a hospital.

He marveled at how the agents came flying in like they were “linebackers” as soon as the shooting started and he unbuttoned his white long sleeve shirt to show a large bruise on his right forearm.

He also cleared up a mystery about his shoes. On the video of the shooting and aftermath, as the burly agents tried to rush him off the stage for safety, he can be heard saying, “Wait, I want to get my shoes.”

As he explained in the interview, “The agents hit me so hard that my shoes fell off, and my shoes are tight,” he said with a smile.

He commended the Secret Service personnel for their heroic actions and praised them for gunning down the shooter, who was perched on a roof about 130 yards from the stage where Trump was speaking.

“They took him out with one shot right between the eyes,” the former president said as he pointed to the bridge of his nose.

“They did a fantastic job,” he added. “It’s surreal for all of us.”

Trump also addressed the incredible photo of him raising his fist and saying “Fight” three times as the agents tried to get him off stage and into an armored SUV.

“A lot of people say it’s the most iconic photo they’ve ever seen,” Trump said. “They’re right and I didn’t die. Usually you have to die to have an iconic picture.”

He added,“I just wanted to keep speaking, but I just got shot.”

The doctor at the local hospital, which has a trauma center, told him he’s never seen anyone survive getting hit by an AR-15, Trump recalled.

“By luck or by God, many people are saying it’s by God I’m still here,” he said.

One man at the rally was shot and killed, and two were wounded. Asked if he had given any thought to attending the funeral of Corey Comperatore, the firefighter who died shielding his family from the killer’s gunfire, Trump said yes.

Then, turning to aides standing behind him, he said, “Get the numbers, I want to go the hospital and call all the families.”

Trump also praised the crowd at the rally, which he put at 55,000 people, for remaining calm.

“A lot of places, especially soccer games, you hear a single shot, everybody runs. Here there were many shots and they stayed.”

He added: “I love them. They are such great people.”

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina spent much of the flight talking to Trump and found his optimism “unbelievable.”

“He feels like he has a new lease on life,” Graham said.

There’s already some proof of that, as Trump related that his brush with death had changed his mind about the speech he will give Thursday to accept his party’s nomination for the third consecutive time.

“I had all prepared an extremely tough speech, really good, all about the corrupt, horrible administration,” he said, then suddenly added: “But I threw it away.”

He said a new speech was in the works because “I want to try to unite our country.” Folding his arms, he added “but I don’t know if that’s possible. People are very divided.”

Was it a matter of tone, I asked, or were there policy changes he had in mind?

The policy differences, he suggested, are the stumbling block. “Some people want open borders, some don’t. Some want men to be able to play on women’s sport teams, and others don’t.”

Still, he said he remains convinced that success will unite the country, though he didn’t otherwise define what that success would entail.

He said he appreciated the call from President Biden, calling it “fine” and said Biden was “very nice.”

He suggested, without offering specifics, that the campaign between them could be more civil from now on.

He also said that “we hear” that Biden will order the Department of Justice to drop its two prosecutions of Trump. So far, there’s no public sign of that.

The interview, which included Byron York of the Washington Examiner, lasted more than 30 minutes and concluded as the plane sat on the tarmac after landing in Milwaukee.

At one point, a video of the shooting flashed on a large TV screen over my shoulder, which was tuned to CBS News and facing Trump.

Watching him as he watched the big screen, I could see he was riveted, and he said this was the first time he had watched the 2-minute segment.

More than once he shook his head, as if disturbed by seeing how close he came to death.

Regarding the campaign, he is confident he’s on a path to victory. When I mentioned how the gambling odds had shifted overnight in his favor, he knew the numbers, saying he was given an 85 percent probability of victory by one oddsmaker.

He asked York and me what we thought would be more important to voters in the long run: Biden’s collapse at their first debate, or the assassination attempt.

He didn’t give his own opinion, but acknowledged that the debate was continuing to divide Dems about whether Biden should be the nominee, and that Saturday’s shooting would almost certainly compound the swing in his favor as voters absorbed it.

All true, but I believe there is still a need for him to close the sale with many people who remain immune to his appeal. Those who have tuned him out have missed the ways in which he has run a far more disciplined campaign than his first two.

He has been especially careful about trying to curb the power of the abortion issue, which Dems see as one of their prime advantages since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.

In response, Trump has said he will not support legislation imposing a national ban and changed the GOP platform to reflect his belief that, whatever limits voters in each state decide, there should be exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother.

Go deeper ( 5 min. read ) ➝


AP Reports: Shooter Pointed Rifle at Local Officer Before Firing at Trump During Rally

Former President Donald Trump called for unity and resilience Sunday after an attempt on his life added fresh uncertainty to an already tumultuous presidential campaign and raised sharp questions about how a gunman was able to open fire from a rooftop near a Pennsylvania campaign rally.

A full day after the shooting, the gunman’s motive was still a mystery, and investigators said they believe he acted alone. President Joe Biden ordered an independent security review of the attack, which left one bystander dead and two others critically wounded. The FBI was investigating the shooting as a potential act of domestic terrorism.

The attack shook the firmament of the American political system, causing a reassessment and a detente — at least temporarily — of the heated 2024 presidential campaign that has grown increasingly vicious.

Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, said the upper part of his right ear was pierced by a bullet. His aides said he was in “great spirits” and doing well, and he headed to Milwaukee to the Republican National Convention that begins Monday.

“I knew immediately that something was wrong in that I heard a whizzing sound, shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin,” he wrote on his social media site. “Much bleeding took place.”

In a subsequent social post Sunday, Trump said: “In this moment, it is more important than ever that we stand United, and show our True Character as Americans, remaining Strong and Determined, and not allowing Evil to Win.”

The rallygoer who was killed was identified as Corey Comperatore, a former fire chief from the area, according to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, who added that Comperatore “died a hero.”

“His wife shared with me that he dove on his family to protect them,” Shapiro said. He declined to discuss the condition of two others who were wounded.

Biden, meanwhile, spoke briefly with Trump and was to address the nation Sunday evening. The president said the country would continue to debate and disagree, but stressed: “We must unite as one nation to demonstrate who we are.”

FBI investigates shooting as possible domestic terrorism

The FBI identified the gunman as Thomas Matthew Crooks, 20, of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, which is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the scene of the shooting.

The gunman had his father’s AR-style rifle and was perched atop a nearby roof when some rallygoers pointed him out to local law enforcement, said two law enforcement officials who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing criminal probe.

A local law enforcement officer climbed to the roof and found Crooks, who pointed the rifle at the officer. The officer then retreated down the ladder, and the gunman quickly fired toward Trump, the officials said. That’s when U.S. Secret Service gunmen shot him, the officials said.

Questions abounded about how the gunman could have gotten so close in the first place. Kevin Rojek, the agent in charge of the FBI’s Pittsburgh field office, said “it is surprising” that the gunman was able to open fire on the stage before the Secret Service killed him.

Bomb-making materials were found inside both Crooks’ vehicle and at his home. FBI described the devices as “rudimentary.”

His motive remained unclear. Crooks wasn’t on the FBI’s radar, and he was believed to have acted alone. Investigators are combing through his social media feeds and his home, but so far have not found any threatening writing or posts. His family is cooperating.

Crooks’ political leanings were also not clear. Records show Crooks was registered as a Republican voter in Pennsylvania, but federal campaign finance reports also show he gave $15 to a progressive political action committee on Jan. 20, 2021, the day President Joe Biden was sworn in as president.

The absence of a clear ideological motive added to the deepening questions about the shooting, denying the public any swift or tidy conclusions about the shocking crime.

Biden urged Americans to stay patient. “I urge everyone — everyone, please, don’t make assumptions about his motives or his affiliations,” he said.

Most serious assassination attempt since 1981

The attack was the most serious attempt to kill a president or presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981. It drew new attention to concerns about political violence in a deeply polarized U.S. less than four months before the presidential election.

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate said agents are seeing increasingly violent rhetoric online since the rally and have seen people posing online as the shooter, who is dead.

“We’re also focused on the continuing efforts — which were already substantial, given that they’re national security special events — to conventions in Chicago, in Milwaukee,” he said.

Biden on Sunday ordered a security review of operations for the Republican National Convention, which is proceeding as planned. The Secret Service said they were “confident” in the security plan for the RNC, and no additional changes were planned.

Trump flew to New Jersey after visiting a local Pennsylvania hospital, landing shortly after midnight in Newark. Video posted by an aide showed the former president leaving his private jet flanked by Secret Service agents and heavily armed members of the agency’s counterassault team, an unusually visible show of force by his protective detail.

Biden, who is running against Trump, said the two men had a “short but good” conversation Saturday night. Biden cut short a weekend at his beach home in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware, to return to Washington, where he said during an address Sunday afternoon that “there is no place in America for this kind of violence.”

“We cannot allow this to happen,” Biden said.

Yet many Republicans quickly blamed the violence on Biden and his allies, arguing that sustained attacks on Trump as a threat to democracy have created a toxic environment. They pointed in particular to a comment Biden made to donors on July 8, saying “it’s time to put Trump in the bullseye.”

A person familiar with those remarks said the president was trying to make the point that Trump had gotten away with a light public schedule after last month’s debate while the president himself faced intense scrutiny from many even within his own party. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to more freely discuss private conversations.

In the donor call, Biden said: “I have one job and that’s to beat Donald Trump … I’m absolutely certain I’m the best person to be able to do that.”

Biden continued then: “So, we’re done talking about the debate. It’s time to put Trump in the bullseye. He’s gotten away with doing nothing for the last 10 days except ride around in his golf cart, bragging about scores he didn’t score … Anyway I won’t get into his golf game.”

But it’s not clear yet whether Biden will be forced to recalibrate a campaign that’s largely focused on Trump as a threat to democracy. It is a situation the U.S. has not seen since Teddy Roosevelt was shot a month before the election in 1912 while campaigning trying to regain the White House as a third-party candidate.

Go deeper ( 4 min. read ) ➝


WATCH: Trump Shooter Featured in 2023 BlackRock Ad

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, has pulled an ad that briefly featured Thomas Crooks, the 20-year-old who shot and wounded former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

The company said Crooks was a student at Bethel Park High School and appeared in the 2022 ad with other unpaid teens.

“In 2022, we ran an ad featuring a teacher from Bethel Park High School, in which several unpaid students briefly appeared in the background, including Thomas Matthew Crooks,” the company said in a statement to Reuters Sunday, adding that the ad has been pulled.

The 30-second BlackRock TV ad features an AP and Honors Economics class that Crooks attended at the time, with the would-be Trump assassin speaking with his teacher.

Crooks graduated the same year the commercial aired from Bethel Park High, where he was one of a dozen students who received National Math & Science Initiative Star Awards, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The company noted that while the ad has been removed from circulation, it is still available for investigators to review and is being circulated on social media.

BlackRock, which is expected to release its second quarter earnings Monday, condemned the Saturday’s shooting against the former president that left one spectator dead and two others injured.

“The assassination attempt on former President Trump is abhorrent,” the company said.

“We’re thankful former President Trump wasn’t seriously injured, and thinking about all the innocent bystanders and victims of this awful act, especially the person who was killed.”


Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝

Trending Today