By almost any measure Jen Psaki has been among the most successful and respected White House Press Secretaries in modern times. Unlike her predecessors in the Trump administration, she has held daily press briefings, her briefings have been thorough and open to a wide range of questions from a wide range of legitimate news outlets, and they have been exceptionally long – generally around an hour if not longer.
One Trump administration press secretary held no press briefings, at least three others were accused of lying to the press on a near-daily basis, as well as being exceptionally disrespectful and antagonistic to the press.
But One America News’ White House correspondent Chanel Rion was outraged with Psaki on Friday, the press secretary’s final briefing before exiting the administration next month.
At the end of the briefing a reporter for Today News Africa, Simon Ateba, “interrupted her and other reporters multiple times in an attempt to get a question in,” as Mediaite reports. “Ateba began shouting her name, asking repeatedly, ‘will you take a question from the back of the room?'”
He “tried interrupting Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller during a question and was ignored by the room and Psaki, but this did not deter Ateba.” He again tried, interrupting ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Mary Bruce, who in frustration responded, “Simon, please stop.”
One America News, which has been labeled a “Pro-Trump ‘propaganda’ channel,” earlier this week admitted there was “no widespread voter fraud,” apparently as part of a settlement with two Georgia election workers who filed a defamation suit against the far right-wing cable network.
Rion Friday afternoon voiced support for Ateba, suggesting without evidence that “80% of the briefing room” has felt Psaki “takes questions from [a] select few.”
Psaki having just told the room she’s grateful for the press’s pushback takes questions from select few:#SimonOteba of Today News Africa says aloud what 80% of the briefing room has felt the entirety of Psaki’s reign.
— Chanel Rion OAN (@ChanelRion) May 13, 2022
Psaki has told reporters during briefings she tries to get to as many reporters as she can. She has called on correspondents from far right-wing outlets, including Fox News daily or almost daily, the Christian right channel Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN,) and Newsmax, to name a few.
Psaki’s parting words to the White House Press Corps: “I want to thank all of you in this room. You have challenged me, you have pushed me, you have debated me and at times we have disagreed. That is democracy in action. That is it working. Without accountability, without debate, government is not as strong.”
On Twitter many criticized Rion:
“Why would she take a question from you? You’re a joke from the circus of lies and conspiracy.”
“Maybe get a job in journalism? Worth lookin’ into.”
“Because OAN is admittedly not a news organization.”
“OAN is not a news organization.”
“Why is OAN even in the room?”
“I think she might be choosing NEWS organizations for questions not propagandists.”
“You are not real news just propaganda. She already calls on the doofus from Fox Entertainment way too often.”
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Trump Could ‘Screw’ GOP With Self-Enriching Third Party Run: Conservative Author
Former President Donald Trump is able to “screw” his own party with an independent or third-party run should they reject him in 2024, wrote conservative author Jonathan Last for The Bulwark on Wednesday.
Trump is currently the only Republican who has formally declared his candidacy for president, although multiple others like New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley have expressed interest. Trump mainly appears focused on heading off a challenge from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, attacking him as a “RINO globalist.”
“Sarah [Longwell] made a bunch of news this morning with her poll about Always Trumpers. I’m sure you’ve seen it. If not, the most interesting number is that 28 percent of Republican respondents said they’d vote for Trump over either an R or a D if he made a third-party run in 2024,” said the report. “Certain members of the Match Throwing Club . . . scoffed at this idea. Ross Douthat explains that, ‘Trump is unlikely to run third party and 28 percent of the GOP primary base isn’t actually going to vote for a spoiler if it’s DeSantis v. Biden.'”
This analysis, said Last, is just “wishcasting” — because Trump doesn’t actually need to pull 28 percent of the vote to spoil the election. Just a few points could do it, given how close the last two presidential elections ended up being.
It’s impossible to know for sure whether Trump would actually run third party if he lost the nomination, wrote Last — however, “I do know that if Trump were to lose the Republican nominating contest, he could bring in a lot of money by running a third-party campaign. And if the question is: ‘Trump could make a lot of money by doing X; will he do X?’ Well, then the answer is usually: Yes.”
Notably, polling doesn’t indicate that it’s likely Trump will lose the GOP nomination in the first place, with recent Morning Consult numbers suggesting he leads the pack by 17 points.
Image via Shutterstock
Santos Campaign Can No Longer Raise or Spend Money After Treasurer Officially Calls It Quits: NYT
Enmeshed in a web of deceit and possibly under federal criminal investigation, U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-NY) is now apparently unable to lawfully spend money or accept donations via his political campaign, which reportedly now may also be in violation of FEC rules.
On Tuesday the embattled freshman Republican announced he was temporarily stepping down from his committee assignments, reportedly after a conversation with Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Before the end of the day his campaign treasurer filed official paperwork notifying the Federal Election Commission she had resigned.
“Nancy Marks’s resignation effectively leaves the Santos campaign unable to raise or spend money and in seeming violation of federal rules,” The New York Times reports, calling her his “longtime campaign treasurer and trusted aide.”
“Mr. Santos’s financial operations, which are the subject of several complaints filed with the F.E.C. and are being investigated by local, state and federal law enforcement,” The Times adds. “It also leaves the Santos campaign in disarray, effectively rendering it unable to raise or spend money and placing it in seeming violation of F.E.C. rules.”
In fact, FEC rules state: “If a committee’s treasurer is absent, the committee cannot make expenditures or accept contributions unless it has designated an assistant treasurer or designated agent on the committee’s Statement of Organization.”
The resignation comes after last week’s stunning report revealing that Santos, or his campaign, amended FEC filings to indicate the $700,000 he had claimed to have personally loaned his campaign had not actually come from his personal funds.
Unlike political candidates, campaign treasurers are held to an actual standard of truth, and can be personally – and legally – liable if they report false information.
FEC rules also state, “the treasurer can be named and found liable in his or her personal capacity if he or she knowingly and willfully violates the Act, recklessly fails to fulfill duties imposed by the law, or intentionally deprives himself or herself of the operative facts giving rise to the violation.”
Santos may find it difficult to hire a new treasurer: “Even when an enforcement action alleges violations that occurred during the term of a previous treasurer, the Commission usually names the current treasurer as a respondent in the action.”
The Times adds, “The lack of clarity over who, if anyone, is operating as Mr. Santos’s treasurer has already caused confusion. On Tuesday, a joint fund-raising committee associated with Mr. Santos filed paperwork to end its operations. Ms. Marks’s signature was on the paperwork, even though she had resigned as the committee’s treasurer the week before.”
Marks’ resignation also comes after someone affiliated with the Santos campaign falsely listed a well-known Republican treasurer on the official FEC forms as the treasurer for his campaign. As one expert put it, that’s a “big no-no,” and “completely illegal.”
‘Can Be Used Against You’: Trump Took Big Risk Pleading the Fifth 400 Times in Deposition Says Legal Expert
A newly released video shows Donald Trump pleading the Fifth Amendment hundreds of times in a deposition, and a legal expert explained how that could be used against him in court.
The former president was finally hauled in to testify last year in the $25 million fraud lawsuit filed against the Trump Organization by New York attorney Letitia James, and he exercised his constitutional right against self-incrimination nearly 450 times — but MSNBC legal analyst Andrew Weissmann said the move carried potential risk in a civil case.
“I agree with him on the point of taking the Fifth,” Weissmann said. “It’s important to remember everyone has a right to the Fifth if a truthful answer would tend to incriminate you. In a civil case, it can be used against you, unlike in a criminal case.”
“One other thing I would disagree is when he is saying there’s this witch hunt, he left out jurors,” Weissmann added. “The Trump Organizations went to trial, they had their day in court. They could present all of their evidence, [and] 12 jurors, that’s everyday citizens, found beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a multi-year tax conspiracy that his organizations were involved in, and there was evidence he knew about it as would make sense. That’s one more reason for him to be asserting the Fifth Amendment.”
Image via Shutterstock
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