Judge Partially Lifts Trump Hush Money Gag Order
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A New York judge on Tuesday partially lifted a gag order imposed on former President Trump’s speech in his hush money criminal case.

The updated terms allow Trump to resume speaking about trial witnesses including Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels.

The partial lifting of the order comes just days before the first 2024 presidential debate Thursday, where Trump is expected to address his conviction in the case.

The gag order remains in place when it comes to prosecutors overseeing the case, with the exception of District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) as well as Judge Juan Merchan, though Merchan said he’d lift those restrictions after the July 11 sentencing.

The partial lift will allow Trump to address the jury that convicted him last month on 34 criminal charges, though the former president remains under a separate protective order that prohibits him from publicly disclosing their identities.

Merchan reluctantly lifted those restrictions, saying it would be his “strong preference” to extend the jurors’ protection, as Bragg’s office had urged.

“However, circumstances have now changed. The trial portion of these proceedings ended when the verdict was rendered, and the jury discharged,” Merchan wrote in his ruling.

Though the ruling comes just two days before Trump is expected to face off against President Biden in the first presidential debate of the 2024 election cycle Thursday, the event is not mentioned in the judge’s order.

Trump was convicted of falsifying business records last month in connection with a hush money payment his ex-fixer, Cohen, made to Daniels, a porn actor, ahead of the 2016 election to keep her story of an alleged affair with Trump a secret. Trump has denied the affair and vowed to appeal the guilty verdict.

He has long railed against the gag order as violation of his First Amendment rights, stressing his status as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. After the trial ended, Trump’s lawyers after the trial demanded the judge lift the restrictions.

In Tuesday’s order, Merchan defended his original decision to impose the order, noting appeals courts had upheld it.

“Both Orders were narrowly tailored to address the significant concerns regarding the Defendant’s extrajudicial speech,” Merchan wrote.

“The Orders were overwhelmingly supported by the record.”

Merchan found that Trump violated the gag order on 10 occasions in the lead-up to and during his trial, fining him $1,000 for each and warning that additional violations could lead to jail time.

The jury’s guilty verdict made Trump the first former U.S. president ever convicted. Bragg has so far declined to say whether his office will seek jail time for Trump.

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President Joe Biden announced Sunday that he will end his presidential re-election campaign, bringing an abrupt and humbling conclusion to his half-century-long political career and scrambling the race for the White House just four months before Election Day.

Biden, 81, could not reverse growing sentiment within his party that he was too frail to serve and destined to lose to Donald Trump in November. He backed Vice President Kamala Harris to replace him as the Democratic nominee.

“While it has been my intention to seek reelection, I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to stand down and to focus solely on fulfilling my duties as President for the remainder of my term,” Biden wrote in a letter posted on X. “I will speak to the Nation later this week in more detail about my decision.”

Biden thanked Harris for “being an extraordinary partner” in his letter and then endorsed her in a subsequent post.

“My very first decision as the party nominee in 2020 was to pick Kamala Harris as my Vice President,” Biden posted. “And it’s been the best decision I’ve made. Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year.”

Biden and Harris spoke today ahead of the president’s announcement, according to a source familiar with the campaign.

His withdrawal caps a singular national political career, bookended by Richard Nixon’s fall and Trump’s rise. He mounted four presidential bids. He spent 36 years in the U.S. Senate representing tiny Delaware. He rose to the chairmanships of the powerful Judiciary and Foreign Relations committees. And he served eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president.

Reactions from politicians quickly began pouring in.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote in a post on X that Biden “has been an extraordinary, history-making president — a leader who has fought hard for working people and delivered astonishing results for all Americans.”

“He will go down in history as one of the most impactful and selfless presidents,” said Newsom, who was one of the most prominent Biden surrogates. Newsom has also been floated as a possible Democratic presidential contender.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, another prominent Democrat talked about as a future national candidate, called Biden a “great public servant” in a post to X.

“My job in this election will remain the same: doing everything I can to elect Democrats and stop Donald Trump, a convicted felon whose agenda of raising families’ costs, banning abortion nationwide, and abusing the power of the White House to settle his own scores is completely wrong for Michigan,” Whitmer wrote.

The president’s granddaughter Naomi Biden said in a post that she was “nothing but proud today of my Pop,” adding that he has “served our country with every bit of his soul and with unmatched distinction.” First lady Jill Biden posted her husband’s statement to X with a heart emoji.

Across the aisle, Republicans slammed the move and many called on him to resign his office, days after the completion of a Republican National Convention where speaker after speaker slammed the Biden-Harris ticket.

“If Joe Biden is not fit to run for president, he is not fit to serve as President. He must resign the office immediately,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson.

In a brief phone interview with NBC News, Trump reacted to Biden’s decision, calling the president “the worst president in the history of the United States by far.”

When asked whether he was surprised by Biden’s decision, Trump said that Biden “should never have been there in the first place.”

“He should have stayed in his basement,” Trump said.

In a fundraising email, Trump’s campaign said that Biden “quit the race in complete disgrace.”

An unprecedented decision

Biden’s decision to exit the race less than a month before his party’s convention and a few months before voters head to the polls is unprecedented in the modern political era. The last sitting president to abandon a re-election bid was Lyndon Johnson, whose expansion of the Vietnam War in the 1960s split the Democratic Party. But Johnson’s announcement came in March 1968 — eight months before that election.

“We’re in uncharted waters,” said Barbara Perry, a presidential studies professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. “No president has dropped out or died this close to the convention.”

Replacing Biden atop the Democratic ticket is likely to set off internal Democratic tremors as ambitious officials maneuver to become his successor. Factions have already formed around Harris, Whitmer and Newsom.

Harris would seem to be the heir apparent. She broke a barrier as the first female vice president. A woman of color, she enjoys strong support among African Americans, a loyal piece of the Democratic coalition. Overall, though, Harris’ approval rating stood at only 32% in an NBC News poll released earlier this month.

“There’s no one you can name right now who is an obvious substitute,” Perry said. “That’s what makes this so uncertain and chaotic.”

Unlike Republican delegates, who are bound to their candidate, Democratic delegates aren’t, so they are free to do what they want at the convention. Biden could have some influence over the delegates, but they could vote for a different candidate than his chosen pick, pending any rules changes at the convention meant to address this unprecedented situation. The rules currently say that the delegates simply have to “in all good conscience reflect the sentiments of those who elected them.”

The mechanics of putting a new name on ballots also gives rise to myriad legal questions. Republicans could work to throw obstacles in the nominee’s path by mounting legal challenges aimed at keeping that person off the ballot.

Questions about Biden’s capacities dogged him throughout his presidency, but peaked following his debate with Trump on June 27. Combined with his flagging poll numbers, his listless performance sparked a panic among his own party that he couldn’t win in November.

With 51 million people watching, Biden spoke in a raspy voice and often failed to complete thoughts or deliver a cogent explanation of why voters should choose him over Trump. He later attributed his poor performance to exhaustion and a cold. He implored the country not to let one bad night overshadow his accomplishments in office.

Unpersuaded, Democratic lawmakers began calling on him to step aside, a rebellion that started slowly but grew steadily in size and intensity. Thirty-seven congressional Democrats, including independent Sen. Joe Manchin, who previously was in the Democratic Party, had called on Biden to drop out of the 2024 election before he delivered his decision Sunday afternoon.

They appealed to Biden’s patriotism, arguing that if he sincerely believed Trump is a threat to democracy, he needed to put his country first and stand down.

Biden fought back. He held numerous calls and meetings with Democratic officials at all levels to shore up support inside the party — to no avail.

Looking to blunt concerns about his acuity, he gave interviews and held press conferences to prove to voters that he could still think on his feet. But the gaffes kept coming and his poll numbers remained stagnant.

In another bit of bad fortune and timing, Biden tested positive for Covid-19 on July 17, forcing him off the campaign trail.

For Democrats, Biden’s illness created an unwanted contrast. While Trump delivered a triumphal speech accepting the Republican nomination in Milwaukee on July 18, five days after surviving an assassination attempt, Biden was in self-isolation back home.

Biden’s departure is the latest in a series of jarring developments that has made the 2024 presidential race the most chaotic in living memory. Trump easily won the Republican presidential nomination despite splitting his time between the campaign trail and various courtrooms where he was a defendant in criminal and civil cases. In May, a jury in Manhattan convicted him on 34 felony counts related to hush money payments to a porn star.

Then, in short order, Trump rebounded. The Supreme Court issued a much-anticipated ruling on July 1 that immunized Trump from official conduct when he was president, impeding special counsel Jack Smith’s efforts to prosecute Trump for interfering in the 2020 election.

Trump nearly died on July 13 as he appeared at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania. A gunman lying on a roof 130 yards away fired a bullet that grazed his ear. Trump dropped to the ground in self-defense. Then, his face smeared with blood, he rose and defiantly pumped his fist, yelling “Fight!”

Another fortuitous development came two days later, coinciding with the opening of the Republican convention in Milwaukee that certified Trump’s nomination. Federal Judge Aileen Cannon in Florida dismissed a separate case brought by Smith alleging that Trump improperly retained classified documents that he took home with him when he left the White House in 2021. Cannon, who had been appointed by Trump, ruled that Smith’s appointment was illegal. Smith quickly appealed her ruling.

The rolling streak of news gave Trump a jolt of momentum, allowing Republicans to present an energized and unified front at this month’s convention.

Biden seldom sparked any such enthusiasm. HIs primary campaign was mostly a coronation. He faced token opposition as party leaders cleared the field, betting that having beaten Trump once before, Biden was best positioned to do it again. But poll after poll confirmed that voters harbored doubts about him, believing he was too old and infirm to serve another term.

An AP-NORC survey released July 17 found that a whopping 65% of Democrats believed Biden should exit the race.

Pressed by his voters, abandoned by party leaders, Biden gave in.

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Who Could Be Kamala Harris’ Vice President? 5 Candidates

As speculation about President Joe Biden’s 2024 candidacy swirls, some believe Vice President Kamala Harris would become the Democratic nominee. But who could take her place? An expert told Newsweek his thoughts on the candidates.

Biden has faced growing pressure in the aftermath of last month’s debate to step aside and let another Democrat take his place. Top Democrats, like kingmaker and Representative Jim Clyburn, have already signaled that they’d back Harris if Biden leaves the race and polls show that most Democratic voters support Harris at the top of the ticket.

An Economist/YouGov survey conducted this week found that 79 percent would support Harris as the Democratic nominee if Biden were to withdraw from the race. Harris would also benefit from the $91 million war chest that the Biden-Harris campaign has raised.

While she may be the obvious choice to replace Biden, Harris would have to pick her own running mate if she were to become the nominee.

“Truthfully, they all have something to offer,” Audrey Haynes, a politics professor at the University of Georgia, told Newsweek of the contenders. “The Democratic Party has a strong bench and the choice will depend on who is at the top of the ticket. Who will balance the ticket, provide some electoral benefit (perhaps move a swing state) or perhaps expand a voter bloc that may have voters to expand vote margins in close races.”

“At this juncture, a governor, who is popular, and has a strong economic record in their state, would be the most valuable foil for competing with the Trump Vance ticket,” Haynes said. “Neither of whom have the type of executive experience that governors earn over time.”

“A running mate can help a little or hurt a lot,” John Pitney, a politics professor at Claremont McKenna College, told Newsweek. “The key is to pick someone who passes the gravitas test, unlike Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin, and who does not have any background issues, unlike Thomas Eagleton and Geraldine Ferraro. The governors all seem to pass the test, but [opposition research] guys may find out something different.”

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro

A rising Democratic star, Josh Shapiro is often floated as a possible running mate for Harris. He governs a major battleground state and could help Harris make inroads among voters in the Keystone State.

Shapiro, who comfortably beat Trump-backed Doug Mastriano in 2022, is wildly popular in his home state and enjoys support from both Democrats and Republicans. The only governor with a divided Legislature, Shapiro was able to reach a bipartisan agreement just last week. He’s also been applauded for his handling of major infrastructure crises, including the collapse of the I-95 bridge last year and the train derailment in Ohio, which borders Pennsylvania.

Of all the potential VP contenders, Shapiro might be among the sharpest of the group because his presence could help Democrats secure Pennsylvania, Jeffrey Kraus, a politics professor at Wagner College, told Newsweek.

“Shapiro has never lost an election and is closer to the center of the Democratic Party,” Kraus said.

Michael Gordon, a Democratic strategist and principal at Group Gordon, also said Shapiro would have “the biggest impact on the outcome” of the 2024 election.

“He’s a popular governor of a swing state with a lot of electoral votes. He’s also a young rising star who could inspire voters in other swing states,” Gordon told Newsweek.

But with only two years under his belt, experts think that Shapiro would be wise to continue working for voters in Pennsylvania, especially if he has plans to run for the commander-in-chief position himself later down the line.

“It is hard for me to imagine that Josh Shapiro would want to be anyone’s running mate,” Berwood Yost, Director of the Floyd Institute for Public Policy and Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College, told “He would undoubtedly be a great choice given that he is a popular governor in one of the key states Democrats must carry in 2024, but what benefit would there be for him to take the position?”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper’s governorship has been a sign of hope for Democrats in the Tar Heel state.

While the party hasn’t won a presidential election in the state since 2008, Cooper was elected in 2016 and 2020 despite former President Donald Trump’s Electoral College victories in both elections. Cooper won in 2016 mostly in opposition to a bill banning transgender people from public restrooms of their gender. In 2020, he was reelected for his handling of the pandemic and natural disasters in the state.

Kraus said Cooper might help attract North Carolina voters to the ticket, but because the governor doesn’t have a national profile, he said, “I don’t know what else he might bring to the ticket besides putting North Carolina in play.”

“Roy Cooper can fit the bill too as a popular governor of a swing state,” Gordon said. “He is a safe choice but may not be as inspiring nationally as Shapiro.”

“Shapiro and Cooper might help only a little, but in their closely contested swing states, a little could mean a lot,” Pitney said.

Cooper is also close to Harris, having served as the attorney general in North Carolina at the same time Harris held the position in California. He’s commended her for being able to relate to women voters and appeared alongside her at events in his home state, calling her a “fighter.”

Harris herself has said of Cooper, “I’ve known him for almost two decades, and he is an extraordinary leader.”

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that Cooper was “an emerging favorite” for Harris.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Gretchen Whitmer’s name has long been floated as a possible presidential candidate, and a Harris-Whitmer ticket would mark the first all-women ticket in history, which Pitney described as “intriguing.”

“Whether the Democrats would run a ticket with two female candidates is an open question,” Kraus said.

Whitmer’s position in Michigan could help the Democratic Party win back voters who abandoned the party in response to Biden’s response to the Israel-Hamas war.

The state, which is home to more than 200,000 registered voters who are Muslim and 300,000 people who claim ancestry from the Middle East and North Africa, has spelled trouble for Biden in recent months. Despite winning Michigan by 154,000 votes in 2020, Biden is now trailing behind Trump by 1.6 percentage points, according to RealClearPolling averages.

Michigan also has a decadeslong streak of voting for the winning presidential candidate. The state has not voted for a losing candidate since 2004.

Whitmer, who easily won reelection in 2022 and brought a Democratic trifecta with her, has expressed her support for Harris. On Tuesday, she said that she would be “eager” to support Harris as the nominee if Biden were to exit the race.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear

Andy Beshear impressed many Democrats when he won a second term in the conservative state last year.

“Andy Beshear is a rising star, but Harris won’t win Kentucky, even with him on the ticket,” Gordon said.

Pitney agreed, saying, “Beshear might be a good ambassador to the rim South, but there is little chance of a Democratic ticket carrying Kentucky.”

While Kentucky is not seen as a likely pickup in November and Beshear’s departure to the White House would leave the state without any Democrats, he’s one of the most popular and youngest governors in the country.

A Morning Consult poll conducted last year found that Beshear is tied with Hawaii Governor Josh Green as the most popular Democratic governor among Trump voters. He is also the most popular Democratic governor among Biden voters. The survey showed that Beshear has the highest net approval rating of any Democratic governor in a red state, with overall approval at 60 percent.

Beshear told reporters last week that he had concerns about Biden’s candidacy but that he wasn’t calling for the president to step aside.

At the press conference, he signaled that he would be open to leaving his role for one that helps “the Commonwealth even more” but said that he wasn’t planning to and that his current role is “more than enough for me.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom

Newsom has become one of the most nationally recognizable figures within the Democratic Party.

He drew speculations about his White House ambitions last year when he debated Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, prompting some to ask what Newsom was doing facing off against a Republican presidential candidate when he wasn’t in the 2024 race.

Billed as a red state versus blue state debate, the two governors clashed over taxes, immigration, crime, guns, abortion and the pandemic in a 90-minute event moderated by Fox News. Newsom repeatedly defended Biden as DeSantis argued that the president’s mental state was in decline.

“We have one thing in common, neither of us will be the nominee for our party in 2024,” Newsom said during the debate.

But Newsom as VP could cause problems for Harris since both of them are from California, similar to how observers questioned if Trump picking Senator Marco Rubio could present the same constitutional question since both Republicans were from Florida.

“The reality is that none of these governors really would make a difference to a Harris-led ticket,” Kraus said. “For that matter, Harris might not be the best candidate to lead the ticket, although it seems that will be the only scenario if Biden (and this is not a sure thing) withdraws.”

“At best, the Democrats should focus on retaining the Senate and trying to retake the House. Unless something else happens, Trump seems likely to prevail,” he said.

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What Happens Next Now That Biden Has Dropped Out?

President Joe Biden won’t be seeking a second term after all.

After weeks of debating among many Democrats following a poor debate performance in late June, Biden announced Sunday afternoon on social media that he was stepping aside from the race.

It was a stunning reversal from Biden, who despite calls from many in his party, remained defiant that he would remain in the race after collecting more than enough delegates during state primary elections to be officially chosen as the Democratic nominee.

While the news is good in the eyes of some Democrats who were trying to convince Biden to drop out out for fears he couldn’t beat Republican nominee and former President Donald Trump, the big question moving forward is, what’s next?

Here is what the Democrats will need to sort out as their convention from Aug. 19-22 in Chicago approaches.

Where does the money go?

According to recent filings, the Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris reelection campaign had amassed $91 million in donations.

Following his decision, Biden publicly endorsed Harris to be the new nominee.

The campaign has the account registered with the Federal Election Commission in the name of both candidates, so Harris could use those funds if she is chosen as Biden’s replacement, according to experts cited in an AP article.

If Harris decides she doesn’t want to run, only $2,000 could be transferred from those funds to a new candidate.

In a Reuters article, experts disagreed whether the funds would remain intact for a new candidate as long as Harris was still the nominee for Vice President. Regardless, a legal fight would likely ensue if that scenario was attempted.

The Democrats could try and shift funds between various Political Action Committees, but there are limits as to how much and there’s likely little else that can be done with the original campaign fund unless Harris is the nominee.

Can another candidate besides Vice President Kamala Harris be chosen?

Yes, but the process would be complicated and potentially messy. And lots of money would have to be raised in a short amount of time.

If the Democrats open it up to a nomination process, there likely would be a brokered convention.

A brokered convention is when a party’s nominee isn’t selected by a majority in the first round of delegate voting at the party’s nominating convention, according to Ballotpedia.

At that point, delegates are then allowed to vote for another preferred candidate, which paves the way for input from party leadership and maneuvering.

By convention rules, delegates are bound or pledged to candidates that won state primary elections, according to, so Biden would’ve been the choice at the convention had he stayed in the race.

But with Biden now out, it opens everything up.

According to a Reuters article, new candidates would have to get 600 convention delegates to be nominated.

It could lead to candidates lobbying individual state delegations at the convention for support, according to the AP.

The last brokered convention o take place was at the 1952 Democratic National Convention, according to

During that convention, Tennessee Sen. Estes Kefauver was the frontrunner after winning primaries in 12 states. But some Democrats weren’t happy with his televised hearings about organized crime, and ended up backing Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson, a write-in candidate who won the nomination after three rounds of voting.

Stevenson ended up losing badly to Dwight D. Eisenhower in the general election.

What is most important strategy for Democrats now?

In short, it’s unity. Maybe even unprecedented unity. One option would be to get behind Harris and hope her pull with African-American and women voters would be a major threat to Trump.

But if Democrats aren’t on board with Harris and are willing to bypass all the money that’s in the Biden-Harris campaign fund, then they’ll need to get to work in a hurry.

The sooner a new replacement is zeroed on, the better. Donors can (and would have to) pour in millions toward getting behind a new candidate in a quick amount of time, but it would be a lot of easier if that money can go to one candidate instead of several who are lobbying for the nomination.

Regardless of what happens, an unprecedented time in American politics is about to get even more so with what the Democrats will decide on.

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Trump Reacts to Biden Dropping Out, Asks Who’s Running the Country?

Former President Trump said President Biden “was not fit to run for president” and is not — and “never was” fit to serve.

The Republican presidential nominee was reacting to Biden’s stunning announcement Sunday afternoon that he is suspending his re-election campaign.

“He is the worst president in the history of our country,” Trump told Fox News Digital in a phone interview Sunday afternoon. “There has never been a president so bad.”

“He is not fit to serve,” Trump continued. “And I ask — who is going to be running the country for the next five months?”

The former president also reportedly told CNN on Sunday that he believes Vice President Kamala Harris would be easier to defeat in November’s election.

Trump also posted on his Truth Social Sunday afternoon, writing, “Crooked Joe Biden was not fit to run for President, and is certainly not fit to serve — And never was! He only attained the position of President by lies, Fake News, and not leaving his Basement.”

Trump said that “all those around him, including his Doctor and the Media, knew that he wasn’t capable of being President, and he wasn’t.”

“Now, look what he’s done to our Country, with millions of people coming across our Border, totally unchecked and unvetted, many from prisons, mental institutions, and record numbers of terrorists,” he wrote. “We will suffer greatly because of his presidency, but we will remedy the damage he has done very quickly.”


Trump’s comments come one week after he survived an assassination attempt and just days after formally becoming the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.

Biden announced Sunday that he will suspend his 2024 re-election campaign amid mounting pressure from his Democratic colleagues on Capitol Hill, top donors and Hollywood stars after a disastrous debate performance last month.

The unprecedented announcement came as an increasing number of Democrat lawmakers had begun to publicly call for Biden to step aside and the party’s leadership reportedly was engaged in efforts to convince Biden, 81, he could not win in November’s general election against Trump, the 2024 GOP nominee who Biden defeated four years ago to win the White House.

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as your president,” Biden wrote in a public letter. “While it has been my intention to seek reelection, I believe it is in the best interests of my party and the country for me to stand down and focus solely on fulfilling my duties as president for the remainder of my term.”

Biden said he will formally address the nation later this week about his decision.

“For now, let me express my deepest gratitude to all those who have worked so hard to see me reelected,” Biden wrote. “I want to thank Vice President Kamala Harris for being an extraordinary partner in all this work. And let me express my heartfelt appreciation to the American people for the faith and trust you have placed in me.”

Biden added: “I believe today what I always have: that there is nothing America can’t do — when we do it together. We just have to remember we are the United States of America.”

Biden was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Wednesday, a revelation that came on the heels of several TV interviews and campaign appearances in which the president insisted he was remaining in the race. But the interviews failed to reassure supporters and provided critics — including those on the left — with further evidence that Biden was no longer up to the job.

Biden delivered a strong welcome address to world leaders at last week’s NATO summit in Washington, D.C. The showcase served as an opportunity to prove he was fit to continue his current term and eager and able to lead the nation for another four years.

For a time, it seemed Biden could survive the surge of calls for him to quit the race after House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced that they backed Biden’s bid.

But Biden, who has long been known for a propensity to commit gaffes, continued to stumble. His missteps included a glaring error on the world stage at the NATO summit. While speaking on live television, Biden referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as “Putin,” name-checking Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Zelenskyy’s Ukraine has precipitated more than two years of hellish war.

Questions over whether Biden would end his campaign remained the top political story heading into last weekend.

But two blockbuster developments in rapid succession — the attempted assassination of Trump at the former president’s rally in western Pennsylvania on Saturday and Trump’s naming Monday at the Republican National Convention of Sen. JD Vance of Ohio as his running mate — briefly halted the fervor over Biden for a couple of days.

But the call on Wednesday by Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic Senate nominee in California, for Biden to end his campaign, as well as reporting that top Democrats such as Schumer, Jeffries and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had frank conversations with Biden, quickly reignited the political crisis for the president.

Biden’s stunning announcement occurred during the roughest stretch of what was a more than year-long campaign for a second term. Doubts about his viability at the top of the Democratic Party’s 2024 ticket began seeping out into the mainstream after his halting delivery and awkward answers were placed on full display for a national audience during June’s presidential debate with Trump in Atlanta.

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Hollywood, Media and Politicians React to Biden Dropping Out

Joe Biden has made his decision, and will not seek a second term. The announcement on a sleepy July Sunday morning rocked social media.

After a Saturday that saw both Donald Trump and his running mate Sen J.D. Vance (R-OH) campaigning, as was Vice President Kamala Harris, the one-page correspondence from Biden, who has been at his Delaware home recovering from Covid, also noted that POTUS intends to “speak to the nation later this week.

Biden’s decision and announcement came after weeks of revolt among party donors, supporters and congressional members that the president’s electoral chances and already shaky polls were dimming following a disastrous debate performance that raised new concerns about his age.

Some of the early reactions:


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Clintons Endorse Kamala Harris After Biden Drops Out

Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday after President Biden’s stunning withdrawal from the race.

One of the most powerful families in Democratic politics swiftly joined Biden in endorsing Harris, a key indicator the party will rally around the vice president as the best option to defeat Donald Trump.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to win a major party’s nomination. Now, she’s aiming to help Harris become the first woman president in U.S. history.

Former President and Michelle Obama have yet to release a statement but will likely line up behind Harris too, as Axios reported before Biden’s withdrawal.

Full Clinton statement, via X:

“President Biden has capped his extraordinary career of service with a Presidency that has lifted America out of an unprecedented pandemic, created millions of new jobs, rebuilt a battered economy, strengthened our democracy, and restored our standing in the world. By any measure, he has advanced our founders’ charge to build a more perfect union and his own stated goal of restoring the soul of our nation.

We join millions of Americans in thanking President Biden for all he has accomplished, standing up for America time and again, with his North Star always being what’s best for the country.

We are honored to join the President in endorsing Vice President Harris and will do whatever we can to support her.

We’ve lived through many ups and downs, but nothing has made us more worried for our country than the threat posed by a second Trump term. He has promised to be a dictator on day one, and the recent ruling by his servile Supreme Court will only embolden him to further shred the Constitution. Now is the time to support Kamala Harris and fight with everything we’ve got to elect her. America’s future depends on it.”

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Pelosi Thanks Biden for His Service

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thanked President Joe Biden for his decades of public service and called him “one of the most consequential Presidents in American history” in a statement Sunday.

Pelosi had served as a sounding board for those anxious about the president’s viability and warned the president privately that he was dragging down other Democrats.

Following Biden’s decision to stand aside, she wrote: “God blessed America with Joe Biden’s greatness and goodness.”

The former speaker did not endorse Vice President Kamala Harris in her statement and has previously voiced support for an open nomination process.

Biden himself backed his vice president shortly after announcing his decision Sunday.

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House Republicans Demand Biden Resign ‘Immediately’

House Republicans are calling on President Biden to resign from office after he announced that he would no longer seek reelection, arguing that he should not continue to serve in the White House if he is unable to run for another term.

The comments — several of which were from House GOP leadership — came shortly after Biden said he was withdrawing from the 2024 presidential race, a seismic announcement that rocked the political world and left the path forward for Democrats uncertain.

“If Joe Biden is not fit to run for President, he is not fit to serve as President. He must resign the office immediately,” Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) wrote on the social platform X. “November 5 cannot arrive soon enough.”

“If the Democrat party has deemed Joe Biden unfit to run for re-election, he’s certainly unfit to control our nuclear codes. Biden must step down from office immediately,” House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (Minn.), the No. 3 Republican in the chamber, wrote on X.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), the chair of the House GOP conference, echoed that sentiment, arguing that he is “unable and unfit” to complete his term.

“If Joe Biden can’t run for re-election, he is unable and unfit to serve as President of the United States,” Stefanik said in a statement. “He must immediately resign.”

Biden announced he was stepping aside from the Democratic presidential ticket in a letter to the country Sunday afternoon, reversing his decision regarding the 2024 election amid mounting pressure from Democrats calling on him to withdraw from the race. Several Democrats had urged him to drop out of the race after last month’s disastrous debate performance, where he at times stumbled over his words and appeared to lose his train of thought.

He endorsed Vice President Harris for president.

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as your president. And while it has been my intention to seek reelection, I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to stand down and to focus solely on fulfilling my duties as President for the remainder of my term,” Biden wrote.

But while he said he plans to serve out the remainder of his term, which officially ends in the middle of January, pressure is already mounting on the president to step aside in the interim.

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, echoed that sentiment, challenging Democrats to consider if Biden can continue to serve the remainder of his term.

“If the president is mentally unfit to campaign, he is mentally unfit to have the nuclear codes,” Hudson wrote in a statement. “Every House Democrat must now answer: is the president fit to serve the rest of his term?”

If Biden refuses to resign early, Republicans could turn to a resolution introduced by Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) late last month that urges Harris to convene the Cabinet and declare Biden unable to carry out the duties of the Oval Office. Harris, however, would be unlikely to do so.

Some senators also called on Biden to resign in the wake of his reelection news.

“If Joe Biden is no longer capable of running for re-election, he is no longer capable of serving as President,” Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote in a statement. “Being President is the hardest job in the world, and I no longer have confidence that Joe Biden can effectively execute his duties as Commander-in-Chief.”

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WashPost: Secret Service Lied, Agency Now Admits It Withheld Resources from Trump Campaign

Top officials at the U.S. Secret Service repeatedly denied requests for additional resources and personnel sought by Donald Trump’s security detail in the two years leading up to his attempted assassination at a rally in Pennsylvania last Saturday, according to four people familiar with the requests.

Agents charged with protecting the former president requested magnetometers and more agents to screen attendees at sporting events and other large public gatherings Trump attended, as well as additional snipers and specialty teams at other outdoor events, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive security discussions. The requests, which have not been previously reported, were sometimes denied by senior officials at the agency, who cited various reasons, including a lack of resources at an agency that has long struggled with staffing shortages, they said.

Those rejections — in response to requests that were several times made in writing — led to long-standing tensions that pitted Trump, his top aides and his security detail against Secret Service leadership, as Trump advisers privately fretted that the vaunted security agency was not doing enough to protect the former president.

The Secret Service, after initially denying turning down requests for additional security, is now acknowledging some may have been rejected. The revelation comes as agency veterans say the organization has been forced to make difficult decisions amid competing demands, a growing list of protectees and limited funding.

A gunman was able to fire off rounds from an AR-15-style rifle from a rooftop about 150 yards from the former president at the rally last Saturday. Trump was injured, as were two others; a man in the crowd was killed. The agency has been under scrutiny over security lapses at the rally.

Trump advisers’ anger deepened after an agency spokesman publicly denied that any request for additional security lodged by Trump or his detail had ever been rejected. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle, who has been under pressure to resign over security lapses at the rally, repeated that denial in a meeting with Trump campaign leadership in Wisconsin on Monday, people familiar with the discussions said.

“The assertion that a member of the former president’s security team requested additional security resources that the U.S. Secret Service or the Department of Homeland Security rebuffed is absolutely false,” said Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Secret Service, in a statement on the day after the shooting.

After receiving detailed questions from The Washington Post, Guglielmi said the agency had learned new information indicating the agency’s headquarters may have in fact denied some requests for additional security from Trump’s detail and was reviewing documentation to understand the specific interactions better.

“The Secret Service has a vast, challenging, and intricate mission,” he said in a statement. “Every day we work in a dynamic threat environment to ensure our protectees are safe and secure across multiple events, travel, and other difficult environments. We execute a comprehensive and layered strategy to balance personnel, technology, and specialized operational needs.”

In response to a request for comment, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign referred to a statement Trump posted on Truth Social praising his own Secret Service detail.

The extended tussle over safeguarding a former president who holds regular public events that draw large crowds raises new questions for the Secret Service, a long admired protection force that guards American presidents, their families and other senior officials. But it has been plagued by staffing shortages and hiring limits since 2010 and suffered a series of embarrassing security lapses during the Obama and Trump administrations.

A Secret Service official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly describe sensitive internal discussions, said the agency has finite resources and has to juggle competing demands, especially for its countersnipers, counterassault teams and the teams of uniformed division officers who help screen attendees for weapons at events using magnetometers.

The agency is currently responsible for security details for more than two dozen people, most of them requiring full-time security and a few others receiving what is informally called “door-to-door” protection from the moment they leave their homes. Protectees include the president and vice president and their families, as well as former presidents, candidates and a growing number of senior administration officials. After the Butler shooting, the agency added a protective detail to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent presidential candidate, and is now protecting GOP vice-presidential nominee J.D. Vance as well.

Bill Gage, a former Secret Service agent who served on presidential protection and counterassault teams during the Bush and Obama administrations, said the agency is always drowning in far more requests and events than it can possibly handle with its hiring limits, and that leads to headquarters denying requests even more frequently during the busy campaign season.

“I hate to dumb it down this much but it is a simple case of supply and demand. The requests get turned down routinely,” Gage said. “A director has to finally come forward to say we are way understaffed and we cannot possibly continue with this zero fail mission without a significantly bigger budget.”

The Service’s Office of Protective Operations reviews security requests for events, and as part of a regular push-and-pull, it sometimes reconsiders initial denials after being persuaded the risk justifies the expense, officials have said. But it must balance the reality that each agent, countersniper or magnetometer assigned to cover one event reduces what is available for other people the service protects.

The weekend of the Butler shooting, the Secret Service had sent multiple countersniper teams and hundreds of agents to the Republican National Convention and was also securing an event by Jill Biden and a scheduled trip by President Biden to Austin the day after the shooting.

“It’s just true — we don’t have the resources to secure him [Trump] like we did when he was president,” the official said.

None of the denied requests that The Post reviewed related to the Pennsylvania rally. But one of the denials that most concerned Trump officials came as he held a rally in South Carolina in July 2023, one of the first large-scale events of his current campaign. Trump was speaking in a downtown square in Pickens, a small town 20 miles west of Greenville, at a site surrounded by commercial and residential buildings. People familiar with the request said that Trump’s security team asked for more countersnipers to be stationed on rooftops to guard against potential shooters or other attacks.

The people said the Pickens event was one of several in which Trump’s team was denied more tactical support. Trump’s detail was told Secret Service headquarters had determined they could not provide the resources after the detail made an extensive argument for why the teams were needed, they said.

Guglielmi said the Service is still reviewing the planning for the Pickens event but said local countersnipers rather than Secret Service teams were on hand to help address the threats of potential shooters.

On multiple other occasions, Trump’s team asked for magnetometers and additional help to screen attendees for Trump to attend sporting events, particularly wrestling matches and college football games, people familiar with those requests said. They were told no because the events were not campaign events.

In one instance, the Secret Service argued the screening was unnecessary because Trump would be entering a stadium to watch a football game via a secure elevator and then be guided through a secure area to a private suite with controlled access, according to a Secret Service official who reviewed some of the security requests.

“He was not going through the general population,” the official said. “You don’t need to mag the entire stadium” in those circumstances.

But Trump advisers said he often moved through open-air concourses at the games, interacting with large swaths of the public. Some Trump advisers were repeatedly concerned about his safety at the sporting events as he moved through the areas, people familiar with the matter said.

People around Trump were also concerned by what they feared was an insufficient number of magnetometers and security personnel at rallies, they said, including one in 2023 in Macomb, Michigan, where some attendees jumped over bike racks to get past security and were restrained by local police, according to people close to Trump who witnessed the episode.

Several Trump advisers said the denials had been a frustration for more than a year.

The Secret Service extends the highest level of protection to current presidents and officials. Former presidents receive a significantly lesser degree of Secret Service protection, but Trump’s high profile and daily routines make him a different kind of security challenge than most former presidents, according to former Secret Service agents.

Trump is also the first former president in modern times to run for reelection, which carries additional security burdens, though candidates are not provided the same level of security as sitting presidents.

Other former presidents only rarely make large, public appearances, living more private lives. Trump, on the other hand, is almost always around crowds, at his clubs and golf courses, and holds frequent campaign events attended by thousands, if not tens of thousands, particularly since he announced a new run for the presidency in November 2022.

Cheatle, a veteran Secret Service agent, has called the security failure at the rally on July 13 unacceptable, as a gunman was allowed to fire from an unsecured roof around 150 yards from where Trump addressed the crowd. The gunman was spotted acting suspiciously before Trump began speaking but the Secret Service did not intervene or prevent Trump from taking the stage.

The Secret Service and Trump’s orbit also argued over planning for the Republican National Convention, particularly over how large of a security perimeter the agency would impose. The relationship grew so acrimonious that senior Republicans repeatedly sought meetings with Secret Service leadership in Washington after battling with agents on the ground over security and logistics.

On Thursday, Trump senior adviser Chris LaCivita called for Cheatle to resign, as have a number of lawmakers in both parties. During the convention, several Republican senators chased Cheatle through the arena in Milwaukee, where she had traveled to brief them on the investigation. The senators screamed at her after she declined to answer questions about the attempted assassination.

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Former White House Doctor: Trump Shooting Left 2cm Wound in His Ear, Former Physician Says

The Trump campaign on Saturday shared new details on the former president’s health, one week after a shooter opened fire at a rally in Pennsylvania and struck Trump’s right ear.

The memo from Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), Trump’s former White House physician, is the most detailed update yet on the former president’s injury — and emphasizes how close he was to being killed.

Jackson, in the written memo shared by the campaign, said the bullet came “less than a quarter of an inch from entering [Trump’s] head, and struck the top of his right ear.”

“The bullet track produced a 2 cm wide wound that extended down to the cartilaginous surface of the ear,” Jackson wrote.

“There was initially significant bleeding, followed by marked swelling of the entire upper ear,” he said.

Jackson, who wrote that he’s treated Trump daily since last weekend, said the swelling has “resolved” since then and that “the wound is beginning to granulate and heal properly.”

The health update comes the same day Trump took the stage for his first campaign rally since the shooting, which left one attendee dead and others injured.

Trump’s first public event came earlier this week, though, when he delivered a lengthy speech at the Republican National Convention in Wisconsin.

He wore a white dressing on his ear every night of the RNC, which many attendees imitated to show support.

“Based on the highly vascular nature of the ear, there is still intermittent bleeding requiring a dressing to be in place,” Jackson said Saturday. “Given the broad and blunt nature of the wound itself, no sutures were required.”

Jackson said Trump was first treated at Butler Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania, where medical staff “provided a thorough evaluation for additional injuries that included a CT of his head.”

“He will have further evaluations, including a comprehensive hearing exam, as needed,” Jackson wrote. “He will follow up with his primary care physician, as directed by the doctors that initially evaluated him.”

“In summary, former President Trump is doing well, and he is recovering as expected.”

Jackson said he was traveling to Michigan to be with Trump for the rally Saturday and provide medical assistance as needed.

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Josh Hawley Went to Trump Rally Site for Answers — FBI Shut Him Out

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) went to Butler County, Pennsylvania, on Friday in search of answers in the wake of last week’s attempt on the life of former President Donald Trump — and when he got there, he said the FBI made him leave.

Hawley, who also sent a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding he account for numerous apparent security failures that led up to the assassination attempt, described what happened during a Friday evening appearance on “Hannity.”

“As the Senate prepares for hearings, today I went to Butler County to see the site of the shooting myself — and FBI told me to leave. We need ANSWERS. I won’t stop pushing until we get them,” Hawley captioned a video of the exchange.

“Where are your fellow Democrats?” Hannity asked Hawley. “Their silence is deafening to me. Why aren’t they more outraged over this?”

“I don’t know. I just don’t get it at all,” Hawley replied. “I’ll tell you one thing — today, Sean, when I went to the site, the FBI has got more security on that site now than they did the night that Trump was shot at. The FBI — totally late — and they’re trying to control the information, Sean, they tried to kick me off of the site. They said, ‘get out of here, you shouldn’t be on this site, we don’t want you here.’”

“Get this,” Hawley continued. “I’m there on the site, I had permission from the local security operator to be there, and they — the FBI — came out and said, ‘You have got to leave, we do not want you here.’ That’s what they’re trying to do, they’re trying to control it.”

The Secret Service has been in the hot seat since last Saturday, facing a number of questions beginning with how Trump’s would-be assassin was able to attain an elevated position less than 200 yards and with a direct line of sight to where the former president was speaking.

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Manchin: Biden Must ‘Pass the Torch’

Sen. Joe Manchin (I-W.Va.) became the fifth senator to call on President Biden to leave the presidential race on Sunday, urging the president to be a “uniter” and “pass the torch” to another Democratic candidate.

“I came to the decision with a heavy heart that I think it’s time to pass the torch to a new generation,” Manchin told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“I want him to be the president in the last five months of this presidency of his term, to do what he can do is unite our country, to calm down the rhetoric and be able to focus attention to peace in the world,” Manchin said.

“Campaigning, I’ve been to statewide campaigns many times, it’s an unbelievable challenge to anybody, to anybody physically, mentally, every way, shape and form. And right now, the country and the world needs our President Joe Biden, but the compassion he’s always had and the ability to bring people together to use all of his forces and energy towards that.”

Manchin also appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” telling Martha Raddatz that he’s concerned about Biden’s ability to go through with a full presidential reelection campaign despite confidence in his ability to lead.

“I think he has that ability,” Manchin told ABC. “You know, it’s the total of a campaign … is unbelievable. I can tell you on a statewide campaign — it’s relentless. I can only imagine on a national campaign.”

The former Democrat, who left the party in May, also advocated for an “open process” in the coming weeks to select a replacement.

“I think that we have a lot of talent on the bench, a lot of good people,” Manchin told CNN, adding that his top picks include Govs. Andy Beshear (D-Ky.) and Josh Shapiro (D-Pa.)

“I’ve got two tremendous governors right next door to me, and Andy Beshear in Kentucky and Josh Shapiro in Pennsylvania, who are operating with legislators either evenly split or completely opposite of their party affiliation,” he said. “They haven’t divided their state. They haven’t made you pick a side and demonize the other side. They brought people together. This is what an open process would do.”

The senator said an open process and selecting a younger candidate could encourage voters who have grown skeptical of establishment Democrats to return to the party.

“They have to win me back,” he added.

Sens. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) have also called on Biden to leave the race, as have numerous House members.

But Biden and his campaign have remained adamant that the president will be the Democratic nominee despite the rising calls from members of the party for him to step aside.

“Joe Biden has made it more than clear: he’s in this race, and he’s in it to win it. Moreover, he’s the presumptive nominee, there is no plan for an alternative nominee,” Dan Kanninen, Biden campaign battleground states director, wrote in a memo released after the Republican National Convention.

Vice President Harris is considered a front-runner should Biden step aside, a decision that is expected to be reached this week.

The Biden campaign again doubled down on the president’s commitment to the race in a statement to The Hill on Sunday.

“While the majority of the Democratic caucus and the diverse base of the party continues to stand with the President and his historic record of delivering for their communities, we’re clear-eyed that the urgency and stakes of beating Donald Trump means others feel differently,” spokesperson Mia Ehrenberg said. “Unlike Republicans, we’re a party that accepts – and even celebrates – differing opinions, but in the end, we will absolutely come together to beat Donald Trump this November.”

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Bill and Hillary Clinton Stand by Biden Amid Mounting Calls for Him to End Campaign

As high-profile Democrats continue to call on President Joe Biden to drop his 2024 reelection bid, he still has the strong backing of the Clintons, according to a report.

Monica Alba with NBC News reported Saturday that although Biden has lost the support of Democratic lawmakers, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are supporting him and are attempting to help him steady the fundraising arm of his campaign.

Citing two people she said were familiar with the relationship between Biden and the Clintons, Alba reported that the couple has “privately been supportive of President Biden’s decision to stay in the race and have been actively encouraging donors to stay with him.”

The report drops as dozens of House and Senate Democrats have banded together to ask Biden to step aside. Some donors have also reportedly threatened to withhold financing the party to force him out of the race.

NBC News reported as far back as July 4 that some donors had already pledged to stop supporting Biden’s bid for a second term:

President Joe Biden is facing an uprising from some of his own party’s wealthy donors, including an heiress to the Disney family fortune, who say they will no longer fund the Democratic Party until Biden drops out of the presidential race following his disastrous debate performance.

Abigail Dinsey told CNBC at the time, “I intend to stop any contributions to the party unless and until they replace Biden at the top of the ticket. This is realism, not disrespect. Biden is a good man and has served his country admirably, but the stakes are far too high.”

Biden has been off the campaign trail since earlier this week when he tested positive for Covid-19 and flew to Delaware to isolate himself. There are conflicting reports as to whether Biden is considering dropping out amid concerns he cannot win in November.

Some reports have claimed Biden has privately entertained the idea of stepping aside and had asked those closest to him if they felt Vice President Kamala Harris is capable of defeating former President Donald Trump on Nov. 5.

Other reports have indicated Biden has no intention of dropping out and will be back on the stump when he recovers.

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3 Killed and 6 Injured in Shooting at Philadelphia Party

Three people were killed and six others were injured at a shooting in west Philadelphia early Sunday morning, according to police.

Officers with the Philadelphia Police Department responded to 1200 N. Alden Street following a report of a shooting around 2 a.m., per a news release.

A party with over 100 people in attendance was underway when gunshots rang out, NBC Philadelphia reported.

“Upon arrival, officers located multiple victims suffering from gunshot wounds. Preliminary information indicates an exchange of gunfire between multiple parties resulting in a nonuple shooting and triple homicide,” the department said, referring to a total of nine victims, three of which died due to their injuries.

It is not clear at this time what occurred ahead of the shooting.

All of the deceased victims were men, according to the news release, including a 33-year-old who was pronounced dead on the scene. A 23-year-old who was shot in the chest, leg and stomach was taken to a medical center, where he died.

A 29-year-old shot once in the abdomen also died at a medical center.

The other victims include five men and one woman, all ranging in age from 26 to 30, according to police. All of them are currently in stable condition.

One weapon has been recovered from the scene, but no suspects are in custody at this time, police said.

The investigation into the shooting continues.

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Nine Secret Service Failures that Nearly Led to Trump Being Assassinated

Former President Donald Trump was nearly assassinated a week ago, as he spoke at a campaign rally in Butler, Pennsylvania, on Saturday in what is seen as the largest Secret Service failure in four decades.

The bottom line is the agency in charge of protecting Trump failed to stop the shooter, 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, from positioning himself less than 500 feet away and firing eight bullets at the former president, one coming mere millimeters from taking his life.

There are multiple investigations underway, but so far, very few answers. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle is due to testify to the House Oversight Committee on Monday.

Here are nine major Secret Service security failures we know of so far that need to be addressed:

1. The rooftop that Crooks fired at Trump from was an obvious security risk. According to NBC News, the rooftop was identified as a potential vulnerability by the Secret Service in the days before the rally. Why was the building excluded from Secret Service’s inside perimeter and assigned to local law enforcement? Why wasn’t the perimeter around the building secured? How were rally-goers able to spot Crooks climbing to the rooftop and getting in position before law enforcement could stop him? When did Secret Service counter-sniper teams become of aware of him and why weren’t any assigned specifically to watch the rooftop?

2. Secret Service allowed local law enforcement to be placed inside the building instead of on the rooftop. Cheatle has said a decision was made to put local law enforcement inside the building instead of on top of it. She claimed that the decision was due to a “safety factor” because the roof was “sloped.” Former Secret Service agent and podcast host Dan Bongino has called that “bullsh-t.” Bongino said on his July 18, 2024, podcast episode that sources have told him that local police snipers were put inside because they were snipers versus counter-snipers and believed they could do the job from the second floor of the building. This leads to the question — why weren’t counter-snipers watching out for potential snipers on the rooftop?

3. There was a lack of security of the building on the ground, allowing Crooks to access the rooftop. Even if local police snipers were not put on the rooftop, who was securing the building from entry or the rooftop from the ground? Were there local law enforcement assigned to guard the building? The Washington Post reported that a proposal to station a patrol car and officer outside of the building had been a part of the agency’s advance planning, but that local police had told the Secret Service before Saturday that they lacked the resources to do so. Why didn’t the Secret Service come up with an alternate plan? How was Crooks allowed to climb on top unimpeded, and get in a position with a direct line of sight to Trump?

4. Local law enforcement first spotted Crooks near a magnetometer with a range finder around 3 p.m. — about three hours before Trump spoke — but then was lost track of. Why wasn’t he questioned or tracked by the Secret Service or law enforcement earlier? According to CNN, Crooks drew attention when he entered through magnetometers set up to screen attendees for having a range finder, which looks like a small pair of binoculars but are often used by hunters or the military to identify targets. Bongino said it is disputed whether he actually went through magnetometers. Still — he was reportedly spotted near them, and the questions are: Who noticed Crooks with the range finder, and was that reported and to whom? Why wasn’t he questioned at that point, or tracked?

5. Despite local law enforcement officers reportedly spotting Crooks about an hour before Trump was to speak — hanging around outside the building, and then seen scoping the rooftop, returning with a backpack and pulling out a range finder — and reporting him to a command center, he was not stopped and questioned. It is not clear who Crooks was reported to, whether the Secret Service was aware of him at this point, and why he was not stopped or questioned given his suspicious behavior. If he was on local law enforcement and/or the Secret Service’s radar, how was he allowed to climb onto the rooftop unimpeded?

6. Secret Service reportedly spotted Crooks at 5:52 p.m. on the rooftop — about 20 minutes before Trump took the stage — but did not stop Trump from taking the stage. ABC News reported that Secret Service snipers spotted him on the rooftop at 5:52 p.m. Why was Trump still allowed to take the stage? A local police officer reportedly climbed up to the rooftop sometime after 6:02 p.m. and saw Crooks — who allegedly pointed his gun at him, prompting him to get back down, fall, and injure himself. Did the Secret Service snipers witness this, and if so, why didn’t they do anything at that point?

7. Despite Crooks pulling out his weapon and getting into position to shoot Trump, Secret Service snipers did not do anything before he fired at Trump. Why, even after Secret Service identified him as a threat, and after he pulled out a gun and got into position, was he not neutralized before he was able to fire at Trump? Why, if Secret Service snipers had spotted him at 5:52 p.m., was there an 11-second lag time between when Crooks first fired at Trump and Secret Service snipers fired back, killing him?

8. Trump took the stage at 6:02 p.m., but nothing was done to get him off the stage for 10 minutes, until Crooks was able to fire at him at 6:12 p.m. Even if Secret Service snipers were not sure what to do after seeing Crooks on the rooftop, why was Trump not taken off the stage? Was there an attempt to do so or a decision made not to try to take him off, and by whom?

9. There was no drone surveillance of the rally that could have alerted law enforcement to Crooks climbing to the rooftop sooner. According to Bongino, there was no drone surveillance of the rally, despite Secret Service being able to request that capability. Did Secret Service request that capability? If so, was it denied and by whom?

Cheatle — who is facing calls for her resignation but has insisted she has no intentions to step down — will have a lot of questions to answer on Monday.

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Miami Airport Plunged Into Lockdown Amid Reports of ‘Woman Stabbed Multiple Times’

Miami International Airport is reportedly on lockdown after reports of a woman being stabbed multiple times. The alleged incident took place at some time between the late hours of Saturday evening and the very early hours of Sunday morning.

Miami Dade Police Department confirmed to that the airport was on shutdown – but refused to give more details on the allegations until the investigation is over, which the representative said could take anywhere from five minutes to five hours.

The initial report came from the ONLY in DADE account on X – which referenced the Instagram post of someone claiming to be at the airport during the incident and the mayhem that followed.

‘#NEWS: According to witnesses, a woman was reportedly stabbed multiple times at Miami International Airport a short time ago,’ the post on X read.

‘The suspect was allegedly apprehended, and bystanders provided assistance to the victim until medical personnel arrived. We will update you as more information becomes available.’

A video documenting the scenes at the Florida airport show passengers running around and fleeing.

Police officers also appeared to be present at the scene.

Another passenger at the airport claimed on X that there was a ‘security breach’ at Miami International Airport: ‘We were about to board an emirates flight to Dubai when we were asked to clear the terminal and evacuate. One hour later, still here. What’s going on Miami?’

The airport released a statement at 12:57 am on Sunday morning that said: ‘We are aware of an incident that occurred this evening at Miami International Airport Concourse J international greeters lobby.’

It continued: ‘We want to assure the public that the situation is under control and the safety of our passengers, staff, and visitors remains our top priority. Authorities responded immediately, and the situation was swiftly contained.

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Israel Strikes Houthi Targets in Yemen After Drone Attack on Tel Aviv

Israeli fighter jets conducted an air strike in Yemen on Saturday in retaliation for the Houthi drone attack on Tel Aviv last Thursday, U.S. and Israeli officials said.

This is the first time that Israel has directly attacked Yemen, a country more than 1,000 miles away.

The Houthis, an Islamist militant group backed by Iran, have harassed and attacked commercial ships in the Red Sea for months in response to Israel’s war in Gaza.

Houthi officials said the Israeli strike hit oil facilities in the port of Hodeidah, which is controlled by the rebel group.

The Saudi television channel al-Hadath reported three people were killed and 15 wounded in the Israeli strike.

Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant spoke to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday and told him Israel was likely to respond to the Houthi attack, which killed one Israeli and wounded several others, a U.S. official said.

Israeli and U.S. military officials spoke several times on Saturday ahead of the strike, the official said.

An Israeli official confirmed the strike and said it was conducted in coordination with the U.S. and an international coalition formed to counter Houthi attacks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the security cabinet on Saturday to approve the strike — a highly unusual meeting, with many religiously observant ministers arriving on the Sabbath.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement: “IDF warplanes recently attacked military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the Hodeida port area in Yemen, in response to the hundreds of attacks against the State of Israel in recent months.”

The Houthis claimed in a statement that the Israeli strike targeted civilian facilities, oil tanks and the electricity station in Hodeidah. “The aim was pressuring Yemen to stop supporting Gaza, which is a dream that will not come true. This will only increase the determination of the Yemeni people and their armed forces to support Gaza,” the Houthis said.

Gallant said in a statement: “The fire that is currently burning in Yemen, is seen across the Middle East. The first time that the Houthis harmed an Israeli citizen, we struck them. And we will do this in any place where it may be required.”

A senior Israeli official said the strike in Yemen was a purely Israeli action.

“This was a targeted operation at the port of Hodeida. We carried out the strike after many months of restraint in the face of Houthi attacks that included the firing of dozens of items, including surface-to-surface missiles,” the official said.

“Israel will act everywhere to protect its citizens and its sovereignty.”

The official added that the port of Hodeida is “terrorist infrastructure and a legitimate military target” that he claimed is used by the Houthis for obtaining weaponry.

The official said the port was previously “granted immunity” because humanitarian aid is delivered there. In practice, the official claimed, most of the aid goes to the Houthis and not to the citizens of Yemen.

“Israel has nothing against the citizens of Yemen. Israel does not want a regional war but will continue to protect its citizens from attacks. The attack by the Houthis on Tel Aviv crossed all the red lines and that is why we responded to it after nine months of restraint,” the official said.

The official said the international community must increase its military activity against the Houthis, ramp up economic pressure through sanctions and demand that Iran restrain the militants and stop supplying them with weapons.

A White House official said President Biden received a briefing on developments in the Middle East and the strike against the Houthis from deputy national security adviser Jon Finer.

“We’ve been in regular and ongoing contact with the Israelis following the strike in Tel Aviv that killed an Israeli civilian on Friday morning. We fully recognize and acknowledge Israel’s right to self-defense. The United States was not involved in today’s strikes in Yemen, and we did not coordinate or assist Israel with the strikes,” a National Security Council spokesperson said.

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Trump Holds 1st Rally Since Assassination Attempt, with Vance in Michigan

Donald Trump got back to business on the campaign trail Saturday, with reportedly “unprecedented” security on hand for his first rally since the failed attempt on his life — and notably sporting a smaller ear bandage after he was grazed by a bullet.

Beefed-up security measures were taken both in and around the Van Andel Arena., where the Republican presidential nominee and his new running mate, Ohio Sen. JD Vance, were welcomed by roughly 14,000 adoring supporters — including many who traveled from other states and camped outside overnight to get prime spots inside.

Trump, 78, took to the stage to enormous cheers and “USA” chants from the crowd — and notably with a smaller bandage covering his ear wound from the shooting.

By this time next year, he declared, the US’s borders will be secure, “inflation will be in full retreat, our economy will be roaring back [and] optimism will be surging.”

The former commander in chief remarked that it was “one week ago today almost to the hour, even to the minute” that he narrowly survived the assassination attempt.

“What a day it was,” he recalled. “I stand before you only by the grace of almighty God. I shouldn’t be here. I shouldn’t be here.

“I took a bullet for democracy,” he said moments later to raucous cheers.

Trump asked the crowd to keep the family of “hero” firefighter Corey Comperatore, who was killed in the heinous shooting while protecting them, in their thoughts.

“He was a big Trumper, and we will never forget him,” the ex-president said as the crowd erupted into chants of “Corey.”

Trump, who spoke for nearly two hours, tried to distance himself from the Heritage Foundation’s controversial far-right agenda, “Project 2025,” calling it “extreme.”

The Democrats, he said, are “going around trying to make me sound extreme — I’m not an extremist at all.

“Some on the severe right came up with this Project 2025 .. they’re very very conservative,” he said. “They’re kind of the opposite of the radical left, they’re the radical right.”

“They are extreme, it sure is extreme,” he added.

Trump quipped that immigration saved his life — as he had just turned to point to a massive chart showing his administration’s immigration policies last Saturday when he narrowly dodged a bullet from the would-be-assassin Thomas Matthew Crooks.

“I owe immigration my life. It’s true,” he said.

Later in his remarks, he said he said he plans a “mass deportation” of illegal migrants once he reclaims the White House.

The former president took a lighter tone at points, lauding his “darling” wife Melania for her support at the Republican National Convention.

He also interrupted his speech to joke about his iconic hair.

“See the screen up there with me? That’s looking very severe with me, this combover. It looks OK from the other side — but that is very severe, I apologize,” Trump said after asking to have “the cameras turned off.”

“I looked up there and said ‘Woah!’ That’s like a work of art!”

Vance in the spotlight

Trump spoke after Vance took the podium and immediately attacked Vice President Kamala Harris.

“What has she done other than collect a check from her political offices?”

“She did serve as Border Czar during the biggest disaster open borders we ever had in this country,” he said. “Let’s get President Trump back there, close back that border, and bring some common sense and security to this country.”

He also called on voters to back GOP tickets nationwide.

“We got an opportunity to win a lot of races up and down the ballot, to reestablish American dominance in energy – to drill, baby, drill – and kick out the drug cartels of our country,” he said.

During his remarks, Trump said that he “made the right pick” with Vance.

“He’s so great. He’s really stepped up,” he added.

Toward the middle of his speech, he brought up Michigan GOP Senate candidates Sandy Pensler and former House Rep. Mike Rogers. Pensler announced he was ending his campaign to back Rogers, who was endorsed by Trump.

“Mike’s going to make a heck of a senator,” Pensler said.

Trump and Vance are riding a wave of momentum growing for their ticket following the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee days earlier, where Trump urged unity following the July 13 shooting in Butler, Pa., that left him with a bloodied right ear and killed one man in the crowd and seriously injuring two others.

Polls continue to show Trump taking back the White House in November by beating President Biden, whose re-election campaign is reeling following his disastrous debate performance last month and cries from fellow Democratic lawmakers not to seek a second term.

As rumors swirl about Vice President Kamala Harris potentially replacing Biden, 81, on the Democratic ticket, Trump joked Saturday: “When you vote for Biden you’re indirectly voting for Harris whether you like it or not.”

Police presence was strong throughout the downtown Grand Rapids area on Saturday, including teams of cops who patrolled on bicycles.

Former Secret Service agent Jason Russell told to expect a “pretty unprecedented level of police officers” for the event considering the assassination bid raised serious questions about the Secret Service and local law enforcement’s ability to protect candidates and attendees from attacks.

”I think you can already see they’ve doubled down in a big way,” former Michigan congressman and retired FBI agent Mike Rogers told The Post.

“It is a little easier to secure an enclosed building than an open-air building. You’ll see a heightened sense of security at all levels. But even with that said, I have not seen this many police and Secret Service in a very long time.”

By 11:30 a.m., thousands of Trump backers squeezed into metal gates outside the 12,000-seat arena awaiting entry, according to Others waited on a line stretching about six blocks. Many had arrived Friday afternoon and camped overnight in vehicles.

As Trump was campaigning in Wolverine State, Biden was holed up this weekend at his vacation house in Rehoboth Beach, Del., where he was battling COVID.

The president has said he plans to return to the campaign trail next week despite a groundswell of Democratic lawmakers urging him to step aside so another candidate can run against the surging Trump.

Michigan – a historically Republican stronghold that has trended increasingly blue in recent elections – is one of the crucial swing states expected to determine the outcome of the presidential election.

In 2016, Trump narrowly won the state by just over 10,000 votes. But Democrat Joe Biden flipped it back in 2020, winning by 154,000 votes en route to the presidency.

Earlier Saturday, former White House physician and current Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Tx.) said Trump is “doing well” and recovering after a bullet fired by failed assassin Thomas Matthew Crooks came “less than a quarter of an inch from entering his head.


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Pelosi Privately Favors Open Nomination Above Harris Endorsement

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly favors an open nomination process rather than selecting Vice President Kamala Harris as the candidate at the Democratic National Convention next month if President Joe Biden steps aside.

According to a report in Politico, four people familiar with private discussions involving Pelosi earlier this month say that she and several other members of the California delegation discussed the political disadvantages of having party elites noncompetitively name Harris as the next party nominee.

These discussions reportedly took place during a July 10 meeting of the California delegation, just shy of two weeks after Biden’s poor debate performance when faced with Trump.

However, the discussions did not involve Harris’s weakness as a candidate. Rather, they emphasized that an uncompetitive selection process would chill voter support in November.

Pelosi, along with current House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have played a large role behind the scenes in encouraging members of their party to publicly call for Biden to drop out of the race.

The former House Speaker said in an interview two weeks ago that it is “up to the president to decide if he is going to run” but that “time is running short” to make a final decision.

Several questions remain for the Democratic Party about whether Biden should drop out of the race.

Not only is it a question of whether Biden will endorse his vice president to take his place in the general election, but many Democrats also wonder if she will be able to win.

A new poll published Friday found that six in 10 Democrats believe Harris would do a good job as president, but only three in 10 overall believe similarly.

Furthermore, the Democratic Party hasn’t had an open convention since 1968, following the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy almost three months before the convention. Kennedy, in that election, also had the most delegates from the primaries.

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Secret Service Officials Denied Trump Security’s Requests for Additional Resources: Report

Secret Service officials repeatedly denied requests for additional resources made by former President Donald Trump’s detail prior to the July 13 assassination attempt, the Washington Post reported.

Trump was slightly wounded in the right ear on July 13 when a gunman fired multiple shots during the attempted assassination at the Butler County, Pennsylvania, rally, killing former volunteer fire chief Corey Comperatore and wounding two other attendees. The Post reported that for at least two years prior to the deadly incident, Trump’s detail was denied resources, including counter-sniper teams for a 2023 appearance in Pickens, South Carolina, where a number of buildings surrounded Trump’s stage.

“It’s just true — we don’t have the resources to secure him [Trump] like we did when he was president,” one official told the Washington Post, which reported that events involving President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were competing for resources last week. Agents were also involved in advance work for the Republican National Convention, according to the Post.

One former Secret Service agent placed the blame on top leaders for the resource shortage.

“I hate to dumb it down this much but it is a simple case of supply and demand. The requests get turned down routinely,” retired Secret Service agent Bill Gage told the Post. “A director has to finally come forward to say we are way understaffed and we cannot possibly continue with this zero fail mission without a significantly bigger budget.”

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray Thursday, saying that whistleblowers have informed his committee that Trump’s detail was short-handed due to the NATO summit in Washington, D.C. and Jill Biden’s campaign event in Pittsburgh. Wray is slated to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Since the July 13 assassination attempt, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. received Secret Service protection after it was previously denied.

Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle has faced multiple calls for her resignation and is expected to testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing investigating security lapses at the July 13 rally Monday.

Trump survived an assassination attempt during his 2016 campaign for the White House during a campaign event in Las Vegas, when a 20-year-old man tried to take a police officer’s gun to shoot the then-presumptive GOP nominee during a June 2016 campaign event in Las Vegas.

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