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‘Dumb son of a bitch’: Trump rips McConnell at Mar-a-Lago

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'Dumb son of a bitch': Trump rips McConnell at Mar-a-Lago

Trump also went after McConnell’s wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, for resigning her cabinet post after the Jan. 6 insurrection.

A spokesperson for McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who was just reelected to a seventh six-year term last year, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The latest verbal broadside against McConnell, the most powerful Republican still in elected office, comes as Trump reemerges as a dominant force in GOP politics. The former president has, in recent days, sought to rev up his small-dollar fundraising apparatus, and he is issuing a steady stream of endorsements for the 2022 midterm elections, in addition to battles over state party chairmanships.

Though many of Trump’s 2022 endorsements align with McConnell’s preferences, including backing a number of incumbent GOP senators for reelection, he has occasionally gotten crosswise with the Senate leader. Trump has pledged to oppose GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in next year’s Alaska elections after Murkowski voted for his conviction in the Senate trial, though McConnell and his top allies say they will support Murkowski’s reelection.

It isn’t the first time Trump has gone after McConnell since leaving office. In February, Trump released an extensive statement bashing McConnell for being “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack.” The statement came just days after McConnell took to the Senate floor to flay Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Several attendees said there was little response to Trump’s insult.

Much of Trump’s Saturday night speech was aimed at relitigating the election results, on which the former president has remained fixated. At one point he said he remained disappointed with Pence for not doing more to stop the certification of the election, which he called “rigged.”

Trump’s ongoing criticism of Pence has created a rift in their relationship. While several other potential 2024 Republican hopefuls made the trek to South Florida for the event, Pence did not.

The former president also savaged Fauci, saying that he gave him bad advice. He poked fun of Fauci for botching a first pitch at last year’s opening day game for the Washington Nationals.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who spoke before Trump, also went after Fauci, sources said.

The three-day event drew a number of potential 2024 GOP contenders, including DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Also present were several 2022 midterm election candidates, including Jane Timken and Bernie Moreno, both of whom are seeking Ohio’s open Senate seat.

The confab was held mainly at the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, though for the Saturday evening dinner attendees made the short jaunt north up A1A to Mar-a-Lago.

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Politics

Trump backs Stefanik to replace Cheney

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Trump backs Stefanik to replace Cheney

Trump’s endorsement of Stefanik (R-N.Y.) comes after House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said on Wednesday morning that she should serve as the House GOP conference chair instead of Cheney (R-Wyo.).

“Thank you President Trump for your 100% support for House GOP Conference Chair. We are unified and focused on FIRING PELOSI & WINNING in 2022!” Stefanik wrote on Twitter.

Trump had already attacked Cheney in an earlier statement on Wednesday for continuing “to unknowingly and foolishly say that there was no Election Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election.”

A spokesperson for Cheney’s office did not immediately return a request for comment on either of the former president’s statements.

Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, has feuded in recent weeks with fellow House Republican leaders over Trump’s role in the future of the GOP, as well as his for perpetuating the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen.

The Republican infighting escalated significantly this week, after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said on Tuesday that his members had voiced concerns about Cheney’s “ability to carry out” her job duties.

Trump’s initial statement on Wednesday, however, undercut those remarks by McCarthy, making clear that his qualms with Cheney were rooted in her refusal to echo his false election claims — not concerns with her messaging or on-the-job performance.

Cheney, for her part, is not actively rallying support from colleagues to maintain her position.

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Trump attorney, other allies launch voter fraud organization

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

“The Election Integrity Alliance’s National Board is comprised of individuals who have fought for election integrity at great personal risk and who are champions for free and fair elections,” the organization said in a statement.

People familiar with the project say it is intended to be a centralized hub for providing information on issues related to ballot fraud and election security. It is also aimed at coordinating with other organizations that are focused on election integrity.

American Greatness Fund, which was founded by former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, is part of an ever-expanding web of Trump-aligned advocacy groups that have popped up since the 2020 election. Former Trump senior advisers Brooke Rollins and Larry Kudlow have started the America First Policy Institute; Ben Carson, who served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump administration, has launched the American Cornerstone Institute; Russ Vought, who oversaw Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, has unveiled the Center for American Restoration.

Another recent entrant is former Trump speechwriter Stephen Miller, who has formed America First Legal, an outfit aimed at combating the Biden White House.

Conservatives say they view the groups as key in a broader effort to match a formidable liberal “dark money” machine. The Conservative Policy Institute, an organization overseen by Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and ex-South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint which provides support to non-profit groups, convened a group of major donors at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last month to discuss a path forward.

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Netanyahu misses deadline to form government in Israel

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Netanyahu misses deadline to form government in Israel

The turmoil does not mean that Netanyahu will immediately be forced out as prime minister. But he suddenly faces a serious threat to his lengthy rule. His opponents already have been holding informal talks in recent weeks to lay the groundwork for a power-sharing deal.

He suffered a last minute defeat late Tuesday after a key committee failed to hold a vote on his proposal to stage direct elections for the premiership. A main rival, Benny Gantz, said Netanyahu “failed again to form a government. It is now your duty to think of the country, to look honestly at reality and concede your failure.”

Netanyahu had struggled to secure a parliamentary majority since March 23 — when elections ended in deadlock for the fourth consecutive time in the past two years.

In the election, Netanyahu’s Likud emerged as the largest single party, with 30 seats in the 120-member parliament. But to form a government, he needed to have the support of a 61-seat majority. That task has been complicated in large part by members of his own religious and nationalist base.

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