Nikki Haley trying to avoid being crushed in Michigan primary ahead of Super Tuesday: Live

Republican challenger Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s last remaining rival for their party’s presidential nomination, has lost the support of Americans for Prosperity Action (AFP Action), the political wing of the conservative donor network led by billionaire Charles Koch, which announced it would no longer be supporting her campaign after her defeat in the South Carolina GOP primary on Saturday.

AFP senior adviser Emily Seidel reacted in a memo on Sunday: “With the South Carolina presidential primary this weekend and the Senate engagement really heating up, it’s time to take stock of where we are and – as we always do – make sure we’re optimising our resources for maximum impact towards our goals.”

Mr Trump particularly relished the news, writing on Truth Social that “Charles Koch and his group got played for suckers right from the beginning” and demoting Ms Haley from “Birdbrain” to “Braindead”.

Elsewhere, Gavin Newsom and Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic governors of California and Michigan, were among those talking up President Joe Biden’s record in the White House over the weekend and warning voters of the dangers of a second presidency for Mr Trump.

Key Points

  • Haley loses backing of influential Koch network

  • Democrats make case for Biden as Trump zeroes in on Republican nomination

  • Schumer warn Republicans to ‘get serious’ to avert looming government shutdown

  • Haley looks ahead to Michigan and Super Tuesday after defeat to Trump in South Carolina

  • Nikki Haley’s home state comeback didn’t materialise. Now what?

GOP congressman: Shutting down the government ‘is not the worst thing’ if it means getting a shot at Democrats

Monday 26 February 2024 23:45 , Alex Woodward

Republican US Rep Bob Good said congressional Republicans should not be “joining hands” with Democratic colleagues “just to show that we can govern.”

Asked on Fox Business on Monday whether that should come at the expense of a partial government shutdown, which Congress is facing once again with a key funding deadline approaching, Good said it wouldn’t be the worst thing.

It’s the fourth time in as many months that Congress is facing a shutdown after failing to act.

Just in: Biden says ceasefire agreement could begin next week

Monday 26 February 2024 23:10 , Alex Woodward

President Joe Biden on Monday said a new ceasefire between Israel and Hamas could take effect by the start of next week.

While in New York City for a taping of NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, the president was asked about the prospects for a ceasefire and pressed specifically on when one could take effect.

“I hope by the end of the weekend,” he said. “My hope is by next Monday we’ll have a ceasefire.”

Demonstrators at nearby Rockefeller Center demanded US support for a ceasefire during the president’s visit, as Israel’s bombardments and ongoing siege has killed 30,000 Palestinians, while Israel prepares a ground invasion in Rafah where 2 million people are sheltering.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

The Supreme Court just heard arguments in a pair of cases that could change how we use social media

Monday 26 February 2024 23:00 , Alex Woodward

The future of social media companies’ abilities to moderate content on their platforms currently lies in the hands of the Supreme Court, after justices heard oral arguments on Monday in two consolidated cases that could completely transform the way we use the internet.

Supreme Court takes on landmark social media cases: Here’s what’s at stake

Biden and Trump both plan to visit US-Mexico border on same day

Monday 26 February 2024 22:15 , Joe Sommerlad

This is going to be interesting.

Here’s Gustaf Kilander with more on an unexpected clash of schedules.

Biden and Trump both plan to visit US-Mexico border on same day

Ex-FBI informant charged with lying about Biden and Hunter is ordered to stay in jail ahead of trial

Monday 26 February 2024 21:45 , Alex Woodward

A former FBI informant – accused of laundering Russian disinformation after he was charged with lying about President Joe Biden and his son Hunter – will remain in jail before he heads to trial.

Ex-FBI informant charged with lying about Biden ordered to stay in jail pre-trial

Joe Biden says ‘good sex’ key to long lasting marriage, book claims

Monday 26 February 2024 21:15 , Joe Sommerlad

*Shudder*

Read on, if you dare.

Joe Biden says ‘good sex’ key to long lasting marriage, new book claims

A trans teenager died after being attacked in Oklahoma. Days later, CPAC was dominated by anti-trans rhetoric

Monday 26 February 2024 20:45 , Alex Woodward

An avalanche of anti-trans remarks and policy proposals drew little attention outside the poorly attended convention hall at this year’s CPAC, but underscored the ubiquity of anti-trans rhetoric that is threading nearly every single event at the conference and throughout Republican politics.

As LGBT+ communities and families across the nation are reeling from the death of a bullied gender-fluid 16-year-old in Oklahoma, CPAC’s attendees – including close allies of Donald Trump and activist influencers dedicated to ending affirming healthcare – repeatedly misgendered and ridiculed trans people, all while invoking Christianity and Biblical passages.

Anti-trans rhetoric and policy dominates CPAC

CPAC poll reveals who Republicans want as Trump’s running mate

Monday 26 February 2024 20:15 , Joe Sommerlad

As this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference drew to a close on Saturday, a straw poll of attendees revealed who they would like to see join Trump on the Republican Party presidential ticket.

Here’s Oliver O’Connell on the results, which may surprise you.

CPAC poll reveals who Republicans want as Trump’s running mate

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel to step down after Super Tuesday

Monday 26 February 2024 19:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC), has announced that she will step down from the position on 8 March, three days after Donald Trump takes on challenger Nikki Haley on Super Tuesday.

“The RNC has historically undergone change once we have a nominee and it has always been my intention to honour that tradition,” Ms McDaniel said in a statement.

“I remain committed to winning back the White House and electing Republicans up and down the ballot in November.

She continued: “It has been the honour and privilege of my life to serve the Republican National Committee for seven years as chairwoman to elect Republicans and grow our Party.”

She indicated she would formally tender her resignation at the party’s upcoming spring training meeting in Houston, Texas, in order to “allow our nominee to select a chair of their choosing”.

Here’s more.

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel to step down after Super Tuesday

Supreme Court takes on landmark social media cases: Here’s what’s at stake

Monday 26 February 2024 18:45 , Joe Sommerlad

The future of social media companies’ abilities to moderate content on their platforms currently lies in the hands of the US Supreme Court as justices hear oral arguments in two consolidated cases that could completely transform the way we use the internet.

Ariana Baio reports.

Supreme Court takes on landmark social media cases: Here’s what’s at stake

Notorious crime family member pours cold water on Republicans’ impeachment probe into Biden

Monday 26 February 2024 18:15 , Joe Sommerlad

A convicted felon and notorious fraudster interviewed by House investigators as part of the Republican-led impeachment probe into President Joe Biden has become the latest in a growing string of witnesses to pour cold water on claims of corruption.

Here’s Andrew Feinberg to explain.

Notorious crime family member pours cold water on GOP’s Biden impeachment probe

Republicans 'doubt prospects of Biden impeachment effort’

Monday 26 February 2024 17:45 , Joe Sommerlad

House Republicans increasingly believe there is little chance of any impeachment vote resulting from the investigations into Joe Biden, according to reporting by Axios.

After a year of looking into the Biden family, little has been revealed regarding the alleged bribery and corruption of which the president, his son Hunter Biden and his brother Jim Biden have been accused.

“I don’t see it going anywhere substantive,” said one House Republican, adding that there “aren’t close to enough” GOP votes to impeach the president.

The lawmaker said there were “easily 40-50” Republicans who would likely vote against an impeachment of President Biden.

Here’s Oliver O’Connell’s report.

Republicans doubt prospects of Biden impeachment effort, report says

CPAC’s denial of neo-Nazi presence at convention hit with community note on X

Monday 26 February 2024 17:15 , Joe Sommerlad

The official X account for the just-concluded Republican convention has responded angrily to this NBC News report declaring that fascists “mingle openly” at the event, only to be hit by a community note pointing back to NBC’s highly credible reporting on the issue.

Meanwhile, the reporter responsible, Ben Goggin, has helpfully presented his own video evidence to support his story, about which, he says, CPAC has been rather less keen to comment.

Haley looks ahead to Michigan and Super Tuesday

Monday 26 February 2024 16:45 , Joe Sommerlad

Nikki Haley’s campaign for the presidency chugs along.

The former governor of South Carolina vowed to stay in the race on Saturday evening after a defeat in her home state, addressing a pumped-up crowd of supporters in Charleston.

Pointing to her speech earlier in the week wherein she promised to keep fighting Donald Trump through Super Tuesday and beyond, Haley declared after her latest loss to Trump: “I’m a woman of my word.”

Her campaign insists that there remains a path forward, not just to provide a rhetorical alternative to Trump, but to win the contest outright.

Polls indicate otherwise, although they notably failed to register her momentum in either South Carolina or New Hampshire, the last two competitive primary states.

Both Haley and her supporters appeared to be fired up after her performance on Saturday.

While the campaign obviously failed to win, with most votes counted Haley remained near the 40 per cent mark — a clear loss, but a better performance than was predicted.

As the governor took the stage, she made two things clear: One, she’s not leaving. And secondly, she doesn’t think Trump can win a general election.

John Bowden reports from Charleston.

Nikki Haley looks ahead to Michigan and Super Tuesday after losing South Carolina

Haley loses backing of influential Koch network

Monday 26 February 2024 16:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Republican challenger Nikki Haley has lost the support of Americans for Prosperity Action (AFP Action), the political wing of the conservative donor network led by billionaire Charles Koch, which announced it would no longer be supporting her campaign after her defeat in the South Carolina GOP primary on Saturday.

AFP Action’s senior adviser Emily Seidel reacted in a memo on Sunday: “With the South Carolina presidential primary this weekend and the Senate engagement really heating up, it’s time to take stock of where we are and – as we always do – make sure we’re optimising our resources for maximum impact towards our goals.”

Donald Trump particularly relished the news, writing on Truth Social that “Charles Koch and his group got played for suckers right from the beginning” and demoting Haley from “Birdbrain” to “Braindead”.

CPAC: Trump previews Biden attacks in rambling 90-minute keynote speech

Monday 26 February 2024 15:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Before all that, Trump gave his customary headline address at to CPAC on Saturday, in which he delivered a taste of his likely attack lines against Joe Biden

Here’s Eric Garcia’s review.

Trump previews Biden attacks in CPAC speech that veered from menace to slapstick

South Carolina primary: Haley’s home state comeback didn’t materialise. Now what?

Monday 26 February 2024 14:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Here’s John Bowden’s analysis on what Saturday’s result means for Trump’s dogged opponent, who is down but still not definitively out.

Nikki Haley’s home state comeback didn’t materialise. Now what?

South Carolina primary: Haley says she has ‘duty’ to stay in race despite latest loss

Monday 26 February 2024 13:15 , Joe Sommerlad

The former South Carolina governor vowed to fight on to Super Tuesday on 5 March, as she has consistently done, but things really are starting to look beyond hopeless for her now, particularly with high-profile donors beginning to desert.

You can see more from her latest concession speech below.

Nikki Haley says ‘I have duty’ to stay in race despite latest defeat to Trump

Congress: Democrats warn Republicans to ‘get serious’ to avert looming government shutdown

Monday 26 February 2024 13:10 , Joe Sommerlad

President Joe Biden will meet with the top four congressional leaders on Monday for talks on agreeing a spending bill to avert a looming partial government shutdown that would leave a number of government departments without funding from 1 March, including Agriculture, Energy, House and Urban Development, Transportation and Veterans Affairs.

Funding for the departments of Defence, State and Justice will expire a week later on 8 March.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer warned in a letter to colleagues ahead of the meeting: “We are mere days away from a partial government shutdown on 1 March. Unless Republicans get serious, the extreme Republican shutdown will endanger our economy, raise costs, lower safety, and exact untold pain on the American people.”

House speaker Mike Johnson hit back at Schumer over the weekend, accusing him of engaging in “petty politics”.

“Despite the counterproductive rhetoric in Leader Schumer’s letter, the House has worked nonstop, and is continuing to work in good faith, to reach agreement with the Senate on compromise government funding bills in advance of the deadline,” Mr Johnson said in a statement of his own.

“At a time of divided government, Senate Democrats are attempting at this late stage to spend on priorities that are farther left than what their chamber agreed upon.”

Chuck Schumer (AP)
Chuck Schumer (AP)

South Carolina primary: Trump tells Biden ‘You’re fired’ after racing to victory

Monday 26 February 2024 12:15 , Joe Sommerlad

Let’s recap another big weekend in Trumpworld.

The GOP front-runner delivered a rambling victory speech after sewing up his fourth straight primary win in South Carolina on Saturday night, deliberately neglecting to even mention rival Nikku Haley as he turned his sights on Joe Biden instead.

“We’re going to be up here on 5 November, and we’re going to look at Joe Biden,” Mr Trump told his audience.

“He’s destroying our country and we’re gonna say ‘Joe, you’re fired. Get out. Get out, Joe. You’re fired.’”

Here he is, courtesy of IndyTV.

Trump tells Biden ‘You’re fired’ as he wins South Carolina Republican primary

Democrats make case for Biden as Trump zeroes in on Republican nomination

Monday 26 February 2024 11:16 , Joe Sommerlad

A number of prominent Democrats have begun stepping up to make the positive case for Joe Biden’s re-election in November after Donald Trump took another step towards securing the Republican presidential nomination on Saturday night when he picked up a fourth-straight primary win in South Carolina, with rival Nikki Haley unable to make an impact even on her own turf.

Speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, California governor Gavin Newsom, widely tipped as a future Democratic presidential candidate himself, said of President Biden, “I revere his record... It’s because of his age that he’s been so successful,” batting aside concerns about the incumbent’s advanced years, as well as a question about his own belated candidacy.

On CNN’s State of the Union, Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer told viewers: “It’s important not to lose sight of the fact that any vote that’s not cast for Joe Biden supports a second Trump term.”

Meanwhile on MSNBC, President Biden’s former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, now a media pundit, warned that her old boss was the only person standing between the Oval Office and a candidate who “echoes Hitler and idolises Putin”.

An RNC member is trying to stop the party from paying Donald Trump's legal bills

Monday 26 February 2024 10:45 , AP

At least one member of the Republican National Committee is working to slow Donald Trump‘s attempted takeover of the organization by pushing to keep the committee neutral until Trump is officially the presidential nominee and avoid picking up his legal bills.

Two draft resolutions are being circulated by Henry Barbour, a national committeeman from Mississippi, for consideration at the RNC‘s upcoming March meeting in Houston. Barbour said support for the resolutions among RNC members is growing but he does not yet have the needed cosponsors, and any resolutions would ultimately be nonbinding.

Continue reading...

An RNC member is trying to stop the party from paying Donald Trump's legal bills

‘Conservatives and people of faith’ will be ‘hunted’ under second Biden term, Trump claims

Monday 26 February 2024 09:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump opened his CPAC speech with dire warnings of what he thinks will happen if President Joe Biden is re-elected later this year.

“If crooked Joe Biden and his thugs win in 2024, the worst is yet to come,” Mr Trump said at the Gaylord National Conference Centre in National Harbor, Maryland just outside of Washington, DC on Saturday.

“Our country will ... sink to levels that were unimaginable ... With four more years of Biden, the hordes of illegal aliens stampeding across our borders will exceed 40 to 50 million people. Medicare social security, health care and public education will buckle and collapse ... our economy will be starved of energy by crooked Joe’s vindictive, green new scam,” he added as he continued his tirade.

Congressional Republicans recently tanked bipartisan legislation that would add extra border security funding as well as aid for Ukraine.

Gustaf Kilander filed this report from CPAC:

Trump claims ‘conservatives’ will be ‘hunted’ under second Biden term

CPAC: Anti-trans rhetoric and policy dominates conference

Monday 26 February 2024 07:45 , Alex Woodward

When he addressed this year’s Conservative Police Action Conference, right-wing commentator Michael Knowles addressed what he called a “kerfuffle” from last year’s remarks, when he said “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life.”

Last year’s statement – widely seen as a call for violence against trans people – was condemned by LGBT+ civil rights groups and the White House, amid an avalanche of anti-trans legislation aimed at young people across the country and fears of abuse and violence fuelled by the denial of trans existence.

At this year’s CPAC, he said he stands by his “observation” that “men can’t become women,” and that the backlash to his statement reveals the “identity crisis” facing an America in decline without religion.

His remarks on Thursday – part of a relatively lengthy diatribe condemning not only trans people but marriage equality, abortion rights and surrogacy – drew little attention outside the poorly attended convention hall, but underscored the ubiquity of anti-trans rhetoric that is threading nearly every single event at the conference and throughout Republican politics.

Continue reading...

Anti-trans rhetoric and policy dominates CPAC

Monday 26 February 2024 05:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Trump praises MTG and claims she is ‘very respected in Congress’

As Trump and GOP respond to outcry, CPAC celebrates the Alabama IVF ruling

Monday 26 February 2024 03:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Eric Garcia reports:

On Friday evening, during the Reagan Dinner, Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former bishop of Tyler, Texas addressed the topic Republican elected officials have hoped to avoid: the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under state law, saying that conservatives needed to guide Republicans politicians to support the “sanctity of life.”

“This decision by Alabama’s court was correct according to our Catholic faith,” he said addressing the conservative faithful and donors after an auction that included selling off portaits of Donald Trump and Jesus Christ and before a speech by failed presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

Bishop Strickland, whom Pope Francis relieved last year from his position, called upon conservative activists to push Republican elected officials to stand steadfast behind the Alabama court ruling.

Continue reading...

CPAC celebrates the Alabama IVF ruling as Trump and Republicans distance themselves

After public outcry, Trump demands ‘immediate solution’ to protect IVF in Alabama

Monday 26 February 2024 01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump is demanding Alabama lawmakers “act quickly to find an immediate solution” to protect in vitro fertilization in the wake of a shock state supreme court ruling that forced hospital systems and IVF clinics to halt treatments, while throwing doctors and families into legal chaos.

Republican officials have scrambled to respond to the ruling with a cohesive message, while Democratic rivals have linked the decision to a years-long campaign to undermine reproductive health care and restrict abortion rights.

On his Truth Social on Friday, the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president vowed his support for “the creation of strong, thriving, healthy American families” and “fertility treatments like IVF in every State in America.”

Alex Woodward reports:

Trump demands ‘immediate solution’ to protect IVF in Alabama

Republicans doubt legitimacy of Biden impeachment effort, report says

Monday 26 February 2024 00:45 , Oliver O'Connell

House Republicans increasingly believe there is little chance of any impeachment vote resulting from the investigations into Joe Biden, according to reporting by Axios.

After a year of looking into the Biden family, little has been revealed regarding the alleged bribery and corruption of which the president, his son Hunter Biden, and his brother Jim Biden, have been accused.

“I don’t see it going anywhere substantive,” said one House Republican, adding that there “aren’t close to enough” GOP votes to impeach the president.

Continue reading...

Republicans doubt prospects of Biden impeachment effort, report says

This is just so bizarre...

Sunday 25 February 2024 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A New Orleans magician is claiming he was paid by a political consultant to create an AI-generated Joe Biden voice that was used in voter suppression robocalls to New Hampshire voters.

Ariana Baio has the full story:

Magician claims consultant for Dean Phillips paid him to create fake Biden audio

Who should be Trump’s running mate? CPAC gives us a clue...

Sunday 25 February 2024 22:45 , Oliver O'Connell

As this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference drew to a close on Saturday, a straw poll of attendees revealed who they would like to see join Donald Trump on the Republican Party presidential ticket.

The former president has yet to officially lock up the party’s nomination but is widely considered to be on the verge of doing so following this weekend’s win in the South Carolina primary, and very favourable polling ahead of Tuesday’s contest in Michigan.

CPAC acted as a showcase for potential vice presidents should Mr Trump win the presidential election in November, with major speeches given by almost all of the big names connected with the role.

Continue reading...

CPAC poll reveals who Republicans want as Trump’s running mate

As he faces a sexual misconduct probe, Gaetz says he’s the one always ‘screaming loudest’ about ethics

Sunday 25 February 2024 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, the subject of a long-running House Ethics Committee probe into whether he engaged in sex with an underage female while serving in the House of Representatives, lashed out at the chairman of that committee during a speech to a right-wing conference.

Mr Gaetz, who was also the target of a years-long Department of Justice probe into whether he violated criminal laws against sex trafficking by transporting the same underage female across state lines for illicit purposes, was not charged by prosecutors after that probe was wrapped last year.

But the GOP firebrand, whose struggles with the Ethics panel were reportedly a factor in his push to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his post last year, is still facing the internal House probe, for which investigators have reportedly spoken to the female in question as well as a former friend of the congressman who allegedly witnessed him have sex with the underage girl.

Andrew Feinberg filed this report from CPAC:

Matt Gaetz claims he’s always ‘screaming’ about ethics despite sex misconduct probe

Sunday 25 February 2024 21:35 , AP

Decision notes

Both Biden and Trump head into the Michigan primary as the overwhelming favorites. Biden won every county in 2020 against Sanders, who had won the 2016 Michigan primary. He is likely to repeat that feat this year against an opponent with far less support and star power than the Vermont senator, having won every contest so far by commanding margins — even in New Hampshire, where he was not on the ballot and won as a write-in candidate. While backers of the “uncommitted” campaign admit they stand little chance of winning the primary outright – Levin said in a recent television interview he thinks second place would be a good showing – “uncommitted” would qualify for delegates if it reaches the 15% vote threshold. If so, the likeliest place would be in Tlaib’s 12th congressional district, home of Dearborn.

On the Republican side, if Haley’s pattern of support from Iowa and New Hampshire continues, her best opportunities in the state will be in Democratic strongholds like Wayne County, home of Detroit; Genesee County, home of Flint; and Washtenaw County, home of Ann Arbor. Trump narrowly lost Washtenaw to former Ohio Gov. John Kasich in 2016 but won Wayne and Genesee in convincing fashion. Haley’s relative strength in Democratic-leaning areas has not brought her close to Trump’s level of support in contests held so far. Her performance in South Carolina’s Republican primary held Saturday is likely to be a make-or-break moment for her campaign’s viability moving forward.

The AP does not make projections and will declare a winner only when it’s determined there is no scenario that would allow the trailing candidates to close the gap. If a race has not been called, the AP will continue to cover any newsworthy developments, such as candidate concessions or declarations of victory. In doing so, the AP will make clear that it has not yet declared a winner and explain why.

Although polls in most of the state close at 8pm ET, AP will not call a winner before the last polls have closed at 9pm ET.

What do the turnout and advance vote look like?

There were about 8.1 million voters registered in Michigan as of April 2023, the last update available. Turnout for the 2020 presidential primaries was 21% of registered voters in the Democratic primary and 9% in the Republican primary. In the 2016 primaries, turnout was 16% of registered voters in the Democratic race and 18% in the Republican race.

In the 2022 state midterm primaries, about 1.1 million voters cast their ballots before Election Day, or about 55% of the total vote. That was up from the approximately 804,000 votes – about 35% of all votes – cast before Election Day in the 2020 presidential primaries.

As of Friday, more than 913,200 votes had already been cast in the 2024 presidential primaries.

How long will it take to count the votes?

In the 2020 presidential primary, the AP first reported results at 8:08pm ET, or eight minutes after the first polls closed. The election night tabulation ended at 4am ET with about 99% of total votes counted. It was roughly the same time frame for the 2022 Republican primary for governor.

Are we there yet?

As of Tuesday, there will be 252 days until the November general election.

What you need to know about the Michigan primary

Sunday 25 February 2024 21:23 , Oliver O'Connell

Primary Day and District Convention Day

The Michigan presidential primary will be held on Tuesday. Polls close statewide at 8 pm local time. Most of the state closes at 8 pm ET, but four counties in the Upper Peninsula are in the Central time zone and close at 8 pm CT, which is 9 pm ET.

The Michigan Republican Party will also hold congressional district conventions on March 2 to award additional delegates to the presidential candidates.

What’s on the ballot?

The Associated Press will provide coverage for both the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries. They are the only statewide contests on the ballot. The candidates on the Democratic ballot are Biden, Phillips and former candidate Marianne Williamson. The Republican ballot includes Haley, Trump, Texas businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley, as well as former candidates Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Asa Hutchinson and Vivek Ramaswamy. Voters in either primary may cast their ballot for “uncommitted.”

The AP will also allocate GOP delegates based on the Republican congressional district conventions on March 2. The only result reported for these events will be the number of national convention delegates each presidential candidate has won.

Who gets to vote?

Any registered voter in Michigan may participate in either primary. Michigan does not register voters by party. Voters will be asked to indicate in writing which party’s primary they wish to participate in, and the choice is recorded.

For the March 2 GOP district conventions, only about 2,000 precinct delegates elected in the August 2022 state primary may participate. Voting by the general public is not permitted at this event.

Delegate allocation rules

Michigan’s 117 pledged Democratic delegates are allocated according to the national party’s standard rules. Twenty-five at-large delegates are allocated in proportion to the statewide vote, as are 15 PLEO delegates, or “party leaders and elected officials.” The state’s 13 congressional districts have a combined 77 delegates at stake, which are allocated in proportion to the vote results in each district. Candidates must receive at least 15% of the statewide vote to qualify for any statewide delegates, and 15% of the vote in a congressional district to qualify for delegates in that district.

The 16 Republican statewide at-large delegates will be allocated in proportion to the primary results, with candidates needing to receive at least 12.5% of the vote to qualify for any delegates. The remaining 39 delegates will be allocated at 13 congressional district conventions on March 2. The candidate who receives the most votes at a congressional district convention will win two of each district’s three national delegates, with the second-place finisher receiving one delegate. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in a congressional district convention, that candidate will receive all three of the district’s national delegates.

Continued...

ICYMI: FBI informant arrested again as prosecutors warn he’ll try to flee US

Sunday 25 February 2024 21:15 , Kelly Rissman

A former FBI informant — who was arrested last week in Las Vegas — was arrested again on the same charges in California, after being accused of making false statements against President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Alexander Smirnov was arrested on 22 February — the second time this month — on the same charges and based on the initial indictment following an arrest warrant issued from California, his lawyers said in a Thursday filing. A California district judge ordered Smirnov to appear in court at 9am on Monday 26 February.

His attorneys are now asking the court for an immediate release and say he has not set foot in the state of California since being released from custody on 20 February, days after his first arrest on 14 February. A magistrate judge in Nevada granted Mr Smirnov’srelease on various conditions.

“He has fully remained fully compliant with his conditions of release since his court-ordered release,” the filing states. The former FBI informant was arrested while having a meeting with his attorney at his law office.

“The fact that the Defendant was attending a legal consultation meeting at his attorneys’ office contradicts the notion that he is a risk of flight,” his lawyer wrote.

However, a Thursday order from the Central District Court of California wrote that Smirnov’s attorney “sought an emergency hearing in the District of Nevada to arrange the release of Defendant Smirnov, likely to facilitate his absconding from the United States.”

Continue reading the full story...

Sunday 25 February 2024 20:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Nikki Haley calls Congress ‘most privileged nursing home in the country’

The most bizarre things said at CPAC 2024

Sunday 25 February 2024 19:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A sleepy and half-empty CPAC convened for its first gathering in 2024 at the Gaylord National Conference Center in National Harbor, Maryland, but there were still plenty of wild and unsubstantiated claims to be had.

Here are some of the most bizarre things said before Donald Trump even took to the stage:

Donald Trump, juggernaut of justice: The most bizarre things said so far at CPAC 2024

Wisconsin ethics committee refers Trump PAC for prosecution

Sunday 25 February 2024 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A Wisconsin oversight panel recommended felony charges against a fundraising committee for Donald Trump and a Republican state lawmaker, accusing them of arranging a scheme to evade campaign finance laws.

The Wisconsin Ethics Commission claimed that Mr Trump’s Save America PAC, Republican officials, state Rep Janel Brandtjen and the campaign committee of Adam Steen, who ran against Assembly speaker Robin Vos in the 2022 primary, sidestepped campaign finance laws in an effort to unseat Mr Vos.

The ethics commission, WisPolitics.com first reported, referred the alleged violations to county prosecutors earlier this week, and recommended charges be brought against the Trump PAC, Ms Brandtjen, Mr Steen’s campaign, three county Republican parties and eight others.

Kelly Rissman has the details:

Trump PAC referred for prosecution by Wisconsin ethics committee

The Independent’s guide to the wild MAGA merch at CPAC

Sunday 25 February 2024 18:15 , Gustaf Kilander

At this year’s CPAC, MAGA fans have been spoilt for choice with the array of merch to take their pick from.

There’s everything from Jesus hats decorated with rhinestones, MAGA-themed hammocks to relax on after a long day of culture war rhetoric, and some possibly salty “woke tears” in a bottle to quench your conservative thirst.

Not to mention the chance to take a break from the fearmongering on stage to play some January 6 insurrection pinball.

Here The Independent rounds up some of the wildest merchandise on offer:

Rhinestone hats, ‘woke tears’ in a bottle, and Jan 6 pinball: Wild MAGA merch at CPAC

Sunday 25 February 2024 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Stephen Miller claims Democrats ‘changed the law’ to go after Trump

Watch: Whitmer says GOP rush to support IVF doesn’t undercut Democrat messaging

Sunday 25 February 2024 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Far-right influencer calls for ‘end of democracy’ at CPAC

Sunday 25 February 2024 16:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Far-right activist and prominent “Pizzagate” influencer Jack Posobiec hailed the “end of democracy” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where prominent Republicans and GOP officials trotted out January 6 conspiracy theories and downplayed the attack on the US Capitol to overturn 2020’s election results.

“Welcome to the end of democracy. We are here to overthrow it completely,” Posobiec said during a panel moderated by former Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon on Thursday.

“We didn’t get all the way there on January 6, but we will endeavor to get rid of it and replace it with this, right here,” he added.

Alex Woodward reports:

Far-right speaker calls for ‘end of democracy’ at CPAC as Republicans downplay Jan 6

How’s the House GOP’s Biden impeachment effort going?

Sunday 25 February 2024 16:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Judging by this segment from Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, not great...

Here’s our reporting on Jim Biden’s testimony:

Biden’s brother accuses House Republicans of ‘flat-out lying’

And here’s the latest on the star witness, once at the centre of the case and now detained:

FBI informant arrested again as prosecutors warn he’ll try to flee US

‘Blood on your hands’: Lawmaker blasts education board and Libs of TikTok after Nex Benedict’s death

Sunday 25 February 2024 16:15 , Oliver O'Connell

An Oklahoma city council member has accused the state’s board of education and Libs of TikTok influencer Chaya Raichik of having “blood on your hands” over the death of nonbinary student Nex Benedict.

Sean Cummings, the vice-mayor of The Village, a suburb of Oklahoma City, told members of the Oklahoma State Board of Education at a Thursday hearing that they had “emboldened” bullying and hatred towards the LGBTQ community and that that discourse may have led to Nex’s death.

“You emboldened these three girls yourself,” Mr Cummings said. “Chaya Raichik emboldened these three girls by being on the library board. It’s already difficult to be in high school. It’s very difficult to be different.”

Nex, 16, died on 7 February, one day after their family say they got into a fight with three girls in a bathroom at Owasso High School, after being bullied for their gender fluid identity.

Mr Cummings told The Independent in an interview afterwards that he felt compelled to speak at the meeting even though his wife Cathy Cummings, a former mayor of The Village, had died earlier this month.

Read the rest of Bevan Hurley’s report...

Lawmaker says Libs of TikTok has blood on their hands over Nex Benedict death

This is just so bizarre...

Sunday 25 February 2024 16:00 , Oliver O'Connell

A New Orleans magician is claiming he was paid by a political consultant to create an AI-generated Joe Biden voice that was used in voter suppression robocalls to New Hampshire voters.

Ariana Baio has the full story:

Magician claims consultant for Dean Phillips paid him to create fake Biden audio

‘NO PEACE, B****!’

Sunday 25 February 2024 15:40 , Oliver O'Connell

It’s Feud: McCain v Lake...

Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Arizona Republican senator John McCain, has eviscerated Kari Lake online – after the Senate Republican candidate criticised her father and then tried unsuccessfully to walk it back.

“NO PEACE, B****!” Ms McCain fired at Ms Lake amid the highly public spat on X.

Joe Sommerlad walks us through the beginnings of this bitter spat:

Meghan McCain eviscerates Kari Lake over attacks on father: ‘NO PEACE, B****!’

Haley looks ahead to Michigan and Super Tuesday after defeat to Trump in South Carolina

Sunday 25 February 2024 15:20 , Oliver O'Connell

John Bowden reports from Charleston, South Carolina:

Nikki Haley’s campaign for the presidency chugs along.

The former governor of South Carolina vowed to stay in the race Saturday evening after a defeat in her home state, addressing a pumped-up crowd of supporters in Charleston. Pointing to her speech earlier in the week wherein she promised to keep fighting Donald Trump through Super Tuesday and beyond, Ms Haley declared after her latest loss to Mr Trump: “I’m a woman of my word.”

Her campaign insists that there remains a path forward, not just to provide a rhetorical alternative to Mr Trump, but to win the contest outright. Polls indicate otherwise, although they notably failed to register her momentum in either South Carolina or New Hampshire, the last two competitive primary states.

Both Ms Haley and her supporters appeared to be fired up after her performance on Saturday. While the campaign obviously failed to win, with most votes counted Ms Haley remained near the 40 per cent mark — a clear loss, but a better performance than was predicted. As the governor took the stage, she made two things clear: One, she’s not leaving. And secondly, she doesn’t think Donald Trump can win a general election.

Continue reading...

Nikki Haley looks ahead to Michigan and Super Tuesday after losing South Carolina

Watch: Nancy Mace denies GOP is pro-Putin

Sunday 25 February 2024 15:12 , Oliver O'Connell

Sunday 25 February 2024 15:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Nikki Haley says ‘I have duty’ to stay in race despite latest defeat to Trump

‘Our worst and dimmest’: Kimmel ridicules CPAC

Sunday 25 February 2024 14:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Jimmy Kimmel mocked attendees of the right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference as “our worst and dimmest” as he branded them the “right-wing nuttiest Republicans.”

“It’s a who’s who of who won’t accept the results of the election,” the late-night talk show host joked.

Amelia Neath has the story:

Kimmel ridicules ‘Our worst and dimmest’ at CPAC

Trump compares migrants to Hannibal Lecter as he says they are coming from ‘insane asylums’

Sunday 25 February 2024 14:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump compared migrants to Hannibal Lecter as he claimed that they are coming from “insane asylums” during his almost 90-minute meandering and ominous speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

The former president was speaking about his anti-Biden messaging efforts on Saturday, saying that “migrant crime” is a “new category of crime”.

“I wanted to call it Biden migrant crime [but that was] just too long,” Mr Trump said on stage at CPAC. “So we just call it migrant crime.

“We have a new category of migrant crime, and it’s going to be more severe than violent crime and crime as we know it,” he added. “Because we have millions and millions of people and they came from prisons and jails. They came from mental institutions, and [were] insane.

“So they’re not the same thing. An insane asylum is a mental institution on steroids. It’s Silence of the Lambs. Okay, you know that Hannibal Lecter? They’re all being deposited into our country,” he claimed. “And then you have terrorists and then you have drugs. And then you have human traffickers, and they’re coming over at levels never [seen] before.

“We’ve never seen anything like this. Three years ago, we had the safest and most secure border in US history.” Mr Trump claimed. “We ended catch and release except when it was catch and release in Mexico. We had catch and release in our country. We built 571 miles of border wall – far more than I said I was going to build.”

A study by Stanford economist Ran Abramitzky released last summer found that immigrants haven’t increased crime in the last 140 years.

“First-generation immigrants have not been more likely to be imprisoned than people born in the United States since 1880,” Krysten Crawford at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research noted on 21 July 2023.

“Today, immigrants are 30 percent less likely to be incarcerated than are U.S.-born individuals who are white, the study finds,” she added at the time. “And when the analysis is expanded to include Black Americans — whose prison rates are higher than the general population — the likelihood of an immigrant being incarcerated is 60 percent lower than of people born in the United States.”

CONTINUE READING HERE

Anti-trans rhetoric and policy dominates CPAC, where Republicans invoke the Bible and a ‘war on families’

Sunday 25 February 2024 13:00 , Alex Woodward

When he addressed this year’s Conservative Police Action Conference, right-wing commentator Michael Knowles addressed what he called a “kerfuffle” from last year’s remarks, when he said “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life.”

Last year’s statement – widely seen as a call for violence against trans people – was condemned by LGBT+ civil rights groups and the White House, amid an avalanche of anti-trans legislation aimed at young people across the country and fears of abuse and violence fuelled by the denial of trans existence.

At this year’s CPAC, he said he stands by his “observation” that “men can’t become women,” and that the backlash to his statement reveals the “identity crisis” facing an America in decline without religion.

His remarks on Thursday – part of a relatively lengthy diatribe condemning not only trans people but marriage equality, abortion rights and surrogacy – drew little attention outside the poorly attended convention hall, but underscored the ubiquity of anti-trans rhetoric that is threading nearly every single event at the conference and throughout Republican politics.

As LGBT+ communities and families across the nation are reeling from the death of a bullied gender-fluid 16-year-old in Oklahoma, CPAC’s attendees – including close allies of Donald Trump and activist influencers dedicated to ending affirming healthcare – repeatedly misgendered and ridiculed trans people, all while invoking Christianity and Biblical passages.

At last year’s CPAC, Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville dismissed trans girls and women as “biological boys”; sports, he said, must be “protected” because “sports have built this country”.

This year, he promoted legislation to “prohibit any governing body recognized by the US Olympic Committee” from allowing trans women to participate “in any athletic event intended for females.”

READ MORE

Nikki Haley’s home state comeback didn’t materialise. Now what?

Sunday 25 February 2024 12:00 , John Bowden

It all came down to this: Nikki Haley had her shot tonight to prove this is still a contest. She failed.

South Carolina voted today. It’s the fifth Republican primary or caucus, after three previous states and the US Virgin Islands were all won by her opponent, frontrunner Donald Trump. But now, the race turns to Ms Haley’s backyard.

In any other contest, a popular two-term governor and former UN ambassador would be presumed to take her home state. Instead, Ms Haley heads into her Charleston election night watch party down 30 points in all available polling and still struggling to make inroads with the conservative Republican base which is firmly backing Mr Trump.

Ms Haley needed a miracle tonight. Her campaign is staring at Super Tuesday down in the polls in every state. She appears to have the fundraising momentum of a candidate with the wind at her back, but is not yet showing any signs of pulling off a victory in any individual state.

To put that in perspective: Donald Trump has won every state so far. He is slated to win every state going forward. In 2016, he lost several states, including Texas, which threw its substantial delegate count behind Ted Cruz instead.

And he still won.

South Carolina was far from the last presidential nominating contest, and Nikki Haley has made it clear: She’s not dropping out until after Super Tuesday at the very least.

READ MORE

CPAC celebrates the Alabama IVF ruling – while Trump and Republicans distance themselves

Sunday 25 February 2024 11:00 , Eric Garcia

On Friday evening, during the Reagan Dinner, Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former bishop of Tyler, Texas addressed the topic Republican elected officials have hoped to avoid: the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under state law, saying that conservatives needed to guide Republicans politicians to support the “sanctity of life.”

“This decision by Alabama’s court was correct according to our Catholic faith,” he said addressing the conservative faithful and donors after an auction that included selling off portaits of Donald Trump and Jesus Christ and before a speech by failed presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

Bishop Strickland, whom Pope Francis relieved last year from his position, called upon conservative activists to push Republican elected officials to stand steadfast behind the Alabama court ruling.

“We must help them understand the intricacies of what science has done, in playing God and having children, embryos, embryonic children frozen and too easily disposed,” he said.

Earlier this week, the Alabama Supreme Court made the decision as part of a wrongful death lawsuit that three couples brought after they had frozen embryos destroyed in an accident at a clinic.

READ MORE

Trump claims he is ‘proud political dissident’ in ominous CPAC speech

Sunday 25 February 2024 10:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump claimed he is a “proud political dissident” in his CPAC speech just days after he compared himself to Russian leader Alexei Navalny, who recently died in a Siberian prison under unclear circumstances.

Mr Trump said in National Harbor, Maryland on Saturday that “Joe [Biden] and his henchmen have you trapped and it’s an express train barreling toward servitude and to ruin – it’s moving at a speed that Joe doesn’t understand because Joe ... I don’t think he knows what the hell’s going on, to be honest with you, but he’s surrounded by some very bad fascists”.

“A vote for Trump is your ticket back to freedom. It’s your passport out of tyranny,” he argued. “And it’s your only escape from Joe Biden and his gang’s fast track to hell. And in many ways, we’re living in hell right now.”

Government ethics expert Meredith McGehee told The Washington Post this week that Mr Trump “since he has been president, his public statements indicate he has great frustration with using the system as it currently is”.

“When he makes a comment, ‘Yeah, I’d like to be dictator for a day,’ that indicates he does not value the democratic process as it has been traditionally viewed by the American political system,” she added.

Mr Trump said on Saturday that “the fact is Joe Biden is a threat to democracy”.

Mr Trump has long falsely claimed that the 2020 election was stolen from him. There’s no evidence for the claims.

“I stand before you today not only as your past and hopefully future president, but as a proud political dissident. I am a dissident,” Mr Trump added, noting that he has been “indicted more” than Al Capone.

READ MORE

Trump’s victory speech in full

Sunday 25 February 2024 09:00 , Gustaf Kilander

MADDOW: ‘Nikki Haley is essentially auditioning, not to be his vice president, but to be his understudy’

Sunday 25 February 2024 08:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Haley: ‘In the next 10 days, 21 states and territories will speak'

Sunday 25 February 2024 07:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Why AP called South Carolina for Trump: Race call explained

Sunday 25 February 2024 06:00 , Robert Yoon

The Associated Press declared Donald Trump the winner of the South Carolina primary as soon as polls closed on Saturday. The race call was based on a comprehensive survey of South Carolina Republican primary voters that showed him defeating Nikki Haley by wide margins in her home state.

Declaring a winner as polls close based on the results of the AP’s VoteCast survey — and before election officials publicly release tabulated votes — is not unusual in heavily lopsided contests like Saturday’s primary. The survey confirms the findings of pre-Election Day polls showing Trump far outpacing Haley statewide.

The AP called the race for Trump at 7 p.m., when polls closed statewide.

VoteCast results show Trump winning on a scale similar to his earlier victories in every contest so far where he appeared on the ballot. In South Carolina, the former president is winning by huge margins in every geographic region of the state, from Upcountry in the north to Low Country on the Atlantic coast.

The survey also shows Trump with sizable leads across the state’s political geography, winning among Republican primary voters from areas that vote heavily Republican in general elections to those that vote heavily Democratic, as well as everywhere in between. Haley’s strongest support according to VoteCast was among voters with postgraduate degrees, but they make up a small share of the overall electorate.

Haley’s likeliest path to victory relied on posting strong numbers in more Democratic-friendly areas, while staying competitive in traditionally Republican areas.

Haley previously served as South Carolina governor and as ambassador to the United Nations. In her last competitive GOP primary in South Carolina in 2010, some of the areas where she performed best were in counties that tend to support Democrats in general elections. But VoteCast shows Haley not performing anywhere near the level she needs to pull off an upset.

Another key metric is votes cast before Election Day, which tend to be among the first votes reported of the night.

Since the issue of early voting became highly politicized in the 2020 presidential election, pre-Election Day votes have skewed Democratic, while Election Day votes have skewed Republican. With much of Haley’s support coming from more moderate voters this campaign, she would have needed a strong showing among early voters in order to withstand the votes later in the night from more conservative voters who voted on Election Day. While VoteCast showed Haley performing slightly better among early voters than she did among Election Day voters, she trailed badly behind Trump in both groups.

When all the votes are counted, Trump may come close to doubling the 33% he received in his 2016 South Carolina victory against a far more competitive six-way field. That year he carried 44 of 46 counties, all but Richland and Charleston, the state’s second- and third-most populous.

VoteCast provides a detailed snapshot of the electorate and helps explain who voted, what issues they care about, how they feel about the candidates and why they voted the way they did.

Ramaswamy and Kristi Noem tie in CPAC vice president straw poll; Nikki Haley and JD Vance get dead last

Sunday 25 February 2024 05:00 , Eric Garcia

As if Saturday could not be any more brutal for Nikki Haley as she lost the presidential primary in her home state of South Carolina, the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference showed movement conservatives do not want her to be Donald Trump’s running mate.

CPAC closed with showing the final results of the CPAC straw poll, which former Trump adviser said would be to determine who would “ride shotgun” with Mr Trump.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who spoke at the conference on Friday, tied with former presidential candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who headlined CPAC’s Reagan Dinner on Friday and spoke again on Saturday after Mr Trump, at 15 per cent each.

Former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who has touted her exit from the Democratic Party and spoke on Friday, got second place, with nine per cent of attendees at CPAC supporting her to become Mr Trump’s running mate.

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, a former presidential candidate who has since endorsed Mr Trump, and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, the moderate-turned-MAGA New Yorker, both clocked in at 8 per cent.

But Ms Haley, who spoke at CPAC last year but served as the butt of jokes by many at the conference, only won 2 per cent of the vote, tying her with Ohio Senator JD Vance, who spoke for a sitdown interview at CPAC this year.

McLaughlin & Associates, which serves as Mr Trump’s pollsters, ran the survey, which gives the survey an imprimatur of Trump support, even if it is not exactly scientific.

Nikki Haley’s home state comeback didn’t materialise. Now what?

Sunday 25 February 2024 04:00 , John Bowden

It all came down to this: Nikki Haley had her shot tonight to prove this is still a contest. She failed.

South Carolina voted today. It’s the fifth Republican primary or caucus, after three previous states and the US Virgin Islands were all won by her opponent, frontrunner Donald Trump. But now, the race turns to Ms Haley’s backyard.

In any other contest, a popular two-term governor and former UN ambassador would be presumed to take her home state. Instead, Ms Haley heads into her Charleston election night watch party down 30 points in all available polling and still struggling to make inroads with the conservative Republican base which is firmly backing Mr Trump.

Ms Haley needed a miracle tonight. Her campaign is staring at Super Tuesday down in the polls in every state. She appears to have the fundraising momentum of a candidate with the wind at her back, but is not yet showing any signs of pulling off a victory in any individual state.

To put that in perspective: Donald Trump has won every state so far. He is slated to win every state going forward. In 2016, he lost several states, including Texas, which threw its substantial delegate count behind Ted Cruz instead.

And he still won.

South Carolina was far from the last presidential nominating contest, and Nikki Haley has made it clear: She’s not dropping out until after Super Tuesday at the very least.

READ MORE

Nikki Haley hugs fans after losing South Carolina primary

Sunday 25 February 2024 03:30 , John Bowden

Haley commits to stay in Republican 2024 race despite losing home state of South Carolina

Sunday 25 February 2024 03:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has pledged to keep fighting for the Republican presidential nomination despite a clear defeat in her home state primary to ex-president Donald Trump.

Mr Trump secured an expected victory over Ms Haley in the Palmetto State, where she served as governor from 2011 to 2017. He is projected to secure roughly 60 per cent of the vote, with nearly 40 per cent of votes going to Ms Haley, according to projections two hours after polls closed. The former president’s series of primary victories continues to solidify his prospects as the 2024 Republican Presidential candidate.

Ms Haley spoke to a group of supporters and journalists at her Charleston, South Carolina watch party just 90 minutes after polls closed, pledging to remain in the race.

“I said earlier this week that no matter what happens in South Carolina, I would continue to run,” she told supporters, who met her words with cheers. “I’m a woman of my word.”

“I’m not giving up this fight when a majority of Americans disapprove of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden,” she added.

The former South Carolina governor also congratulated Mr Trump on his victory.

READ MORE

VIDEO: Trump greeted with fierce bear hug from Argentina president Milei backstage at CPAC

Sunday 25 February 2024 02:30 , Benji Salmon

Trump compares migrants to Hannibal Lecter as he says they are coming from ‘insane asylums’

Sunday 25 February 2024 02:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Donald Trump compared migrants to Hannibal Lecter as he claimed that they are coming from “insane asylums” during his almost 90-minute meandering and ominous speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

The former president was speaking about his anti-Biden messaging efforts on Saturday, saying that “migrant crime” is a “new category of crime”.

“I wanted to call it Biden migrant crime [but that was] just too long,” Mr Trump said on stage at CPAC. “So we just call it migrant crime.

“We have a new category of migrant crime, and it’s going to be more severe than violent crime and crime as we know it,” he added. “Because we have millions and millions of people and they came from prisons and jails. They came from mental institutions, and [were] insane.

“So they’re not the same thing. An insane asylum is a mental institution on steroids. It’s Silence of the Lambs. Okay, you know that Hannibal Lecter? They’re all being deposited into our country,” he claimed. “And then you have terrorists and then you have drugs. And then you have human traffickers, and they’re coming over at levels never [seen] before.

“We’ve never seen anything like this. Three years ago, we had the safest and most secure border in US history.” Mr Trump claimed. “We ended catch and release except when it was catch and release in Mexico. We had catch and release in our country. We built 571 miles of border wall – far more than I said I was going to build.”

A study by Stanford economist Ran Abramitzky released last summer found that immigrants haven’t increased crime in the last 140 years.

“First-generation immigrants have not been more likely to be imprisoned than people born in the United States since 1880,” Krysten Crawford at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research noted on 21 July 2023.

“Today, immigrants are 30 percent less likely to be incarcerated than are U.S.-born individuals who are white, the study finds,” she added at the time. “And when the analysis is expanded to include Black Americans — whose prison rates are higher than the general population — the likelihood of an immigrant being incarcerated is 60 percent lower than of people born in the United States.”

CONTINUE READING HERE

CPAC celebrates the Alabama IVF ruling – while Trump and Republicans distance themselves

Sunday 25 February 2024 01:30 , Eric Garcia

On Friday evening, during the Reagan Dinner, Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former bishop of Tyler, Texas addressed the topic Republican elected officials have hoped to avoid: the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that frozen embryos could be considered children under state law, saying that conservatives needed to guide Republicans politicians to support the “sanctity of life.”

“This decision by Alabama’s court was correct according to our Catholic faith,” he said addressing the conservative faithful and donors after an auction that included selling off portaits of Donald Trump and Jesus Christ and before a speech by failed presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

Bishop Strickland, whom Pope Francis relieved last year from his position, called upon conservative activists to push Republican elected officials to stand steadfast behind the Alabama court ruling.

“We must help them understand the intricacies of what science has done, in playing God and having children, embryos, embryonic children frozen and too easily disposed,” he said.

Earlier this week, the Alabama Supreme Court made the decision as part of a wrongful death lawsuit that three couples brought after they had frozen embryos destroyed in an accident at a clinic.

READ MORE

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