The inquiry is linked back to a super PAC named “Make America Great Again, Again!” that was set up after former top aide Corey Lewandowski got fired from another pro-Trump super PAC after allegedly sexually assaulting a major donor but refused to step down, and federal election officials are looking into why some of these groups aren’t properly reporting their payments, reported The Daily Beast.
“It is worth emphasizing: All of this is totally unprecedented for a former president,” said Brendan Fischer, deputy executive director of good government group Documented. “Even if Trump kept it simple, and just had one hard money PAC, a single super PAC, and a pair of 501(c)(3)/501(c)(4) nonprofits, there would be no parallel with any former president in American history.”
Trump’s personal financial disclosures reveal ties to more than 500 entities, including nearly 400 that use his name or initials, and many of them have tangled links to one another, and this intentionally confusing structure makes it difficult to trace the billions of dollars he and his accountants move around — and he has brought the same practices to his political operations.
“Typically, former presidents focus on their presidential library, or start a charitable foundation, but Trump is staying in the political game and raising a staggering amount of cash,” Fischer said.
Trump-aligned super PACs raised hundreds of millions of dollars last year, but it won’t be clear how much so-called dark money groups raised or how they spent those funds until after the midterms, and filing on Wednesday showed the Trump campaign isn’t even able to follow its own money.
“The central lesson of Watergate is ‘Follow the money,’” said Brett Kappel, a specialist in campaign finance and nonprofit law at Harmon Curran, “and this byzantine structure of different types of legal entities — which are subject to different fundraising restrictions and file different reports with different agencies according to different filing schedules — appears to be designed to make that task as difficult as possible.”
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‘Progress and Resilience’: Biden in SOTU Will Remind Americans He Is ‘Building an Economy Where No One Is Left Behind’
President Joe Biden will remind Americans what life was like two years ago when he took office, and paint his vision of the future that builds on his long list of accomplishments as he delivers the State of the Union Address Tuesday night.
He is expected to focus on the economy, which has been greatly strengthened during his two years in office, as unemployment has dropped to a level not seen in nearly 54 years, and as the inflation that infects the globe continues to drop dramatically.
The President will also urge Republicans to continue to work with him — Biden has a historic record of bipartisan successes despite “razor-thin majorities.”
“The story of America is a story of progress and resilience,” the President is expected to say, according to excerpts from the White House. “We are the only country that has emerged from every crisis stronger than when we entered it. That is what we are doing again. Two years ago our economy was reeling. As I stand here tonight, we have created a record 12 million new jobs – more jobs created in two years than any president has ever created in four years. Two years ago, COVID had shut down our businesses, closed our schools, and robbed us of so much. Today, COVID no longer controls our lives. And two years ago, our democracy faced its greatest threat since the Civil War. Today, though bruised, our democracy remains unbowed and unbroken.”
President Biden will also say his “economic plan is about investing in places and people that have been forgotten.”
“Amid the economic upheaval of the past four decades too many people have been left behind or treated like they’re invisible. Maybe that’s you watching at home. You remember the jobs that went away. And you wonder whether a path even exists anymore for you and your children to get ahead without moving away. I get it. That’s why we’re building an economy where no one is left behind. Jobs are coming back, pride is coming back because of the choices we made in the last two years. This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America and make a real difference in your lives.”
And he will call Republicans, who have already begun investigating him, his “friends,” saying: “To my Republican friends, if we could work together in the last Congress, there is no reason we can’t work together in this new Congress. The people sent us a clear message. Fighting for the sake of fighting, power for the sake of power, conflict for the sake of conflict, gets us nowhere. And that’s always been my vision for the country: to restore the soul of the nation, to rebuild the backbone of America: the middle class, to unite the country. We’ve been sent here to finish the job!”
The State of the Union begins at 9 PM ET.
Trump Pushes Meme Accusing DeSantis of ‘Grooming High School Girls’
The meme (below) appears based off a 2021 article by the HillReporter website that alleges DeSantis “was photographed partying with underaged students.”
“Darlington is a boarding and day school, for grades Pre-K through 12,” the report states. “In 2001, when DeSantis joined the staff of the high school, he’d have been in his twenties, with college and work in politics already under his proverbial belt. His students would have been high school co-eds, teenagers, some of whom would have been living on-campus. According to our whistleblower, he had a reputation among students for being a young ‘hot teacher’ who girls loved, and the girls in the photo are believed to have graduated in 2002, making them seniors at the time.”
Trump reposted the meme on his Truth Social platform Tuesday afternoon, writing: “That’s not Ron, is it? He would never do such a thing!” His remarks appear to be sarcastic. In a separate post Trump also wrote, “No way!”
In November, Insider, citing a New York Times article, reported, “Former students of Ron DeSantis said he was a ‘total jock’ who partied with students and thought it was ‘very special’ that he graduated from Yale.”
It also alleges, “Some students recalled DeSantis fondly while others remembered ‘unthinkable’ pranks he pulled on students.”
“Multiple students told the Times that DeSantis frequented parties with Darlington high school seniors and attended some events with graduates where alcohol was served,” Insider added.
A former student of DeSantis, who is now a teacher himself, said of DeSantis, “There’s a cruelty to the sense of humor. There’s a cruelty to the mentorship.”
That Times article on DeSantis also notes, “some students were taken aback by his comments on the Civil War and abortion.”
The Daily Beast, also citing Times’ reporting, adds that DeSantis’ former students “have accused the Florida governor of being ‘mean and hostile’ towards Black students, playing ‘devil’s advocate’ when teaching lessons about the Civil War, and teaching factually incorrect history to students.”
The Times piece also uncovers DeSantis’ future goals.
“DeSantis, then a 23-year-old graduate from Yale University, used to tell his students that he was bound for the White House,” The Times adds, citing his own students.
See the meme above or at this link.
Warmongering GOP Congressman Declares China Spy Balloon a ‘Sputnik Moment’ for America
A spy balloon that traversed the United States, its capabilities disabled by the Pentagon before being shot down into the ocean this weekend, is causing such alarm among the right that one Florida Republican U.S. Congressman has declared it a “Sputnik moment for America.”
America’s last “Sputnik moment” was in 1957, when the Soviet Union launched a satellite into space, leading Americans to see a technological gap between the two countries, heightening the Cold War and launching the space race.
“I believe that this spy balloon was a Sputnik moment,” U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) declared on Fox News Tuesday afternoon.
WATCH: The Pentagon tells Congress that China outpaces U.S. in missile launchers – @michaelgwaltz urges Biden to address the growing China threat in his SOTU speech tonight.
“He needs to describe it for what it is, which is the most serious adversary we have ever faced, … pic.twitter.com/24lbPjS8Tj
— America Reports (@AmericaRpts) February 7, 2023
It was a dire warning, despite the fact that the Pentagon has made clear China’s spy balloon posed no threat to the nation.
Waltz also told Fox News that America is “struggling to catch up” to China’s military technologies.
As it turns out, Congressman Waltz, who replaced Ron DeSantis in the House of Representatives, is fond of the term “Sputnik moment.”
Here he is in late 2021, declaring China’s hypersonic missile a “Sputnik moment.”
This hypersonic missile is the #CCP‘s “Sputnik moment” in their arms race with the U.S. after years of stealing, spying & buying its way to the top.
Wake up, America. We must step up efforts to protect our research, tech, assets & national security NOW, not later. pic.twitter.com/ABd2Ygirc7
— Rep. Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) October 18, 2021
In a Fox News op-ed on Sunday, Waltz declared, “Like Sputnik, the Chinese spy balloon has drastically changed Americans’ sense of security.”
“A silver lining in the Biden administration allowing the Chinese spy balloon to violate our airspace is that the American public has received a similar wake-up call to the brazenness of Chinese spying,” he writes in his Fox News op-ed. “As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and Intelligence Committee, I can tell you the United States has been under an espionage assault from China for years, but much of it has been behind the scenes.”
China has been spying on the U.S. for decades, and the U.S. has been spying on China just as long. All spying is done “behind the scenes.”
Sunday, on Fox Business, Waltz repeated his “Sputnik” claim, calling the balloon a “national embarrassment,” and insisting “we need to get to the bottom of it.” On Monday, back on Fox News, Waltz continued his “Sputnik” remarks as well.
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