Trumpism is “actively destroying the fundamentals of our democracy,” according to a former senior advisor to Mike Pence.
Olivia Troye, who served as the former Vice President’s homeland security adviser, and was on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told MSNBC on Monday that “Trumpism has got a hold of the country right now,” adding that it was “a horrifying and scary prospect.”
Troye, who quit the Trump administration last August, said that Trumpism “creates divisiveness. It creates hatred. We have seen a rise in domestic terrorism under this era.”
She said the resurgence of Trump’s supporters in the Republican Party since his defeat last November and the attempts to oust his critics from the party, threatened to undermine the democratic process.
“That is why it is so upsetting what is happening with Liz Cheney this week,” she told Joy Reid.
“All of these bad actors that are claiming to be leaders in the Republican Party, because what they are doing is they are not just infighting within the Republican Party they’re actively destroying the fundamentals of our democracy and that is why it matters that we stand against this.”
Troye’s comments come after Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Monday that Trump’s critics would end up being “erased” from the party.
He told Fox News that it was “impossible” for the Republican Party to progress without former President Donald Trump as its leader, adding that those within the party who criticized Trump would “wind up getting erased.”
“The most popular Republican in America is not Lindsey Graham. It’s not Liz Cheney. It’s Donald Trump,” Graham said.
Watch Olivia Troye on the threat to oust Liz Cheney
-The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) May 10, 2021
President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package included nearly $36 billion in emergency funding for struggling students, but international and undocumented students were ineligible to receive that aid – until now.
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona just eliminated that rule.
“The pandemic didn’t discriminate on students,” Cardona said in a press call on Monday. “We know that the final rule will include all students, and we want to make sure that all students have an opportunity to have access to funds to help get them back on track.”
On Tuesday, the Biden administration issued a final rule that revised a Trump-era policy barring international and undocumented students from accessing emergency aid. In June, Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had issued a rule stating only those who participate in federal student aid programs can receive stimulus money that shut out undocumented and international students, including those protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, also known as “Dreamers.”
DeVos’ rule also initially barred students who defaulted on student loans and those convicted of minor drug crimes from receiving aid, but that was lifted in January.
Cardona said during the call that the final rule will apply to all three rounds of stimulus funding and will ensure every student who needs it can access aid.
“What this does is really simplify the definition of a student,” Cardona said. “It makes it easier for colleges to administer the program and get the money in the hands of students sooner.”
DeVos’ policy met a number of legal challenges, including an ongoing lawsuit initiated by California Community Colleges that said they have kept millions of dollars received for grants because of DeVos’ limits on who is eligible to receive them.
Rep. Virginia Foxx – the top Republican on the House Education Committee – called it “an insult to every American.”
“President Biden is fueling an immigration crisis, and this final rule exacerbates the emergency at the southern border,” Foxx said in a statement. “I call on elected Democrats to stop swindling law-abiding citizens, put Americans first, and respect the sacrifice of hardworking taxpayers.”
But Chair of the Senate Education Committee Patty Murray said in a statement she was “relieved” Cardona took this step to give every struggling student needed aid.
Separately, the Education Department said in a Tuesday press release that it is now making available $36 billion in grants that will help over 5,000 institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribally Controlled College or University, and Hispanic Serving Institutions.
“These funds are critical to ensuring that all of our nation’s students – particularly those disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – have the opportunity to enroll, continue their education, graduate, and pursue their careers,” Cardona said in a statement. “With this action, thousands of institutions will be able to provide direct relief to students who need it most, so we can make sure that we not only recover from the pandemic, but also build back even stronger than before.”
When former President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election he claimed it was because of voter fraud, citing claims that were initially started years ago by a Texas businessman, The Washington Post reported.
The Post reported that Russell Ramsland Jr. and his associates at Allied Security Operations Group began giving presentations to conservative lawmakers, activists, and donors that said audit logs in voting machines, the mechanisms that document the machine’s activity, had indications of manipulation beginning in late 2018.
The allegations and claims about voting systems and fraud made by Ramsland and ASOG were unsubstantiated and widely debunked by data security experts.
Ramsland, a failed congressional candidate, attempted to find political candidates who had lost elections they believed they’d won to sell them on this idea, however, he didn’t have much success until associates of Trump latched on to the claims, passing it along to Trump, who accepted and further spread claims that the machines were faulty.
In 2019, Ramsland began briefing GOP lawmakers and officials from the Department of Homeland Security on the idea that US election software was coming from Venezuela and that there would be efforts to manipulate votes in the 2020 election on a large scale, the Post reported.
Powell has used Ramsland’s assertions in lawsuits she waged on behalf of Trump and Giuliani and had publicly claimed some of the assertions that started with Ramsland. Powell, the Post discovered, was also briefed by ASOG two years before the election.
Ramsland told the Post that ASOG did give Powell and Giuliani research but said they never spoke with Trump directly.
He added that his companies perspective was “one of many voices” that expressed concerns about election system vulnerabilities.
Powell, through an attorney, told the Post that she did meet with a Ramsland ally but did not say if she directly spoke to him. Giuliani and his attorney did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.
Flynn is also a staunch Trump ally who was pardoned by the then-president last November after he pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one count of lying to investigators as part of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference, as Insider’s Sonam Sheth reported.
Flynn and Stone are both high-profile conspiracy theory peddlers who have remained supportive of Trump by touting baseless claims including those related to the 2020 presidential election.
He is not interested in running for public office, but he is interested in helping save this country,” Stone told Newsmax.
“If President Trump decides to run, I am 100% in his corner. He is my first choice in 2024, he’s been my first choice since 1988” he said. “In the event that he decides not to run, I think we need one candidate who can galvanize the America First movement.”
Stone compared Flynn to President Dwight Eisenhower, a “non-politician” who he said “should be drafted by the American people” and Trump’s supporters.
Despite his repeating of baseless election fraud claims and an impeachment trial over his alleged role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, Trump has remained at the forefront of reports around the GOP bid in the 2024 election.
Most recently, Trump told Fox News in April he was “very seriously” considering a 2024 run. Insider’s Thomas Colson previously reported that some top Republican figures, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have said they would back the former president’s potential run.
The key decision came after Facebook suspended Trump’s account on January 7, after the Capitol Siege, which he’s been accused of inciting.
“The Board has upheld Facebook’s decision on January 7 to suspend then-President Trump from Facebook and Instagram. Trump’s posts during the Capitol riot severely violated Facebook’s rules and encouraged and legitimized violence,” the Oversight Board said in a tweet.
But it added that it was “not appropriate” for the company to “impose the indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension.”
“Facebook must complete its review of this matter within six months of the date of this decision,” the board continued.
Wednesday’s decision cannot be countermanded by any Facebook employee, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Discussions surrounding the validity of the Oversight Board’s decision and the twisted relationship between social media and freedom of expression have since gained momentum.
Insider spoke to two freedom of expression experts who weighed in on the ruling.
American University professor, Susan Benesch, founded the Dangerous Speech Project. The organization studies speech that can lead to violence and finds ways to prevent it without infringing on freedom of expression.
Explaining what the board failed to address in their decision, she said it “correctly upheld the company’s decision to suspend Donald Trump from its platforms, but disappointingly relied only on a narrow basis that was different from the obvious and vital one: inciting violence.”
She continued: “The real, constructive reason for suspending Trump is that he incited violence, not that he celebrated it once it was happening. Facebook suspended him ‘indefinitely’ much too late to prevent the riot, and the Board’s decision failed to direct Facebook to correct that in future cases.”
A minority group of board members disagreed, opining that the board should have considered incitement, and finding that Trump did incite violence, Benesch said.
“The minority members noted that Trump’s false assertions that the election was “stolen from us” and “so unceremoniously viciously stripped,” pronounced together with praise of the rioters, constituted incitement to violence,” she said, adding: “Kudos to the minority members.”
When asked whether the Oversight Board made the right decision, Eric Barendt, a professor of law at UCL, whose research focuses on media legislation and freedom of speech, told Insider: “Perhaps he should have been re-admitted, subject to conditions about not engaging in, say, hate speech or any further incitement to disorder with immediate de-platforming if he infringes again.”
To that end, he added that social media platforms have a responsibility to control cases of hate speech and cyber-bullying, for example, but equally, they have become de facto public forums for speech, “and so they should allow all access to them provided the speech does not infringe the law,” he said.
For Barendt, the Trump case is a good example of where freedom of expression should be restricted, but not by Facebook without legal authority.
He said the decision was “defensible,” but scorned the idea of social media companies having the power to regulate freedom of expression. “I am not happy with them having unlimited power to do so.”
In the US, free speech is protected only against government decisions and laws, Barendt explained. For that reason, there is nothing Trump and others denied access to social media platforms can do about it.
“There are no First Amendment objections to some legal restrictions on platforms outside the US. But without such restrictions, Facebook are free to limit speech and that is arguably private censorship by a social media site,” Barendt said.
In the days since Mike Lindell, chief executive of MyPillow, announced he’d be holding a rally at the Corn Palace in South Dakota, the venue’s management has been fielding phone calls from about 30 people a day.
That’s an “amazing” number of calls for the venue, director Doug Greenway told Insider via phone. The Palace is in Mitchell, a town with a population of about 15,000.
“No one has said: ‘Oh, gosh, why are you having this person?’ It’s, like, ‘How do we get in and when’s it open?'” he said.
The event on Monday evening has been promoted as the “Frank Rally,” taking its name from Lindell’s voter-fraud website, Frank. Lindell is expected to speak for about 90 minutes during the event.
Lindell is being sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 billion, in a case accusing the pillow executive of spreading misinformation about the November 2020 presidential election. Lindell has repeatedly said the election was stolen from President Donald Trump.
On Saturday, Lindell said during an interview on “Real America’s Voice” that Dominion’s case was “coming apart at the seams.”
Some of the callers who’ve connected to the Corn Palace in recent days have asked how early they should start lining up for the un-ticketed first-come-first-served event. One caller asked if Saturday afternoon was too early to get in line, Greenway said. Another was expecting to travel from Tennessee.
As Insider spoke to Greenway, he was hustling around the 3,000-seat venue, preparing it for one of three graduation ceremonies it was holding that day.
“We’re certainly aware of some of the controversy that surrounds Mike Lindell, but quite honestly it’s just an event for us,” he said.
He said he’d talked with the Corn Palace’s administrators before agreeing to host Lindell.
“We do have the right to say this isn’t a fit for us, but, honestly, he hasn’t done anything that would prevent us,” Greenway said. “It’s no secret he’s a born-again Christian and is a recovering addict, and those are all good things.”
Lindell’s bill for the event will be $1,750 for the venue, plus fees for add-ons like light, sound, and portable toilets. The rally will be held on a pro-sized basketball court, surrounded by 1,350 floor seats and 1,750 elevated ones. If too many people show up, there will be an overflow area outside.
COVID-19 pandemic safety measures ended in February in Mitchell.
Later in the week, the Corn Palace was set to host an event for the American Corn Hole Association, according to its calendar of events.
Several former senior White House advisors told the Post that Trump is desperate to remain at the center of national attention. According to The Hill, social media chatter about the former president has fallen by around 91% since he was banned from Facebook and Twitter.
The ex-president is also trying to maintain total control over the Republican base while plotting his revenge to take down Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him for inciting the January 6 Capitol riot.
He also continues to stoke false claims the election was stolen and in the last few weeks has become fixated on Arizona and Georgia after those states flipped for President Joe Biden in the November election.
The sources also claim that Trump is still so obsessed with his election loss that he refuses to move forward with plans for his presidential library. Another report earlier this year claimed he told GOP donors he wanted to raise $2 billion for the library, which he plans on building in Florida.
While Trump has previously hinted at a presidential run in 2024, no formal announcement has been made yet.
Two advisors told the Post that if he were to run, the announcement would not be expected until after the midterm elections.
His indecision about his own run is another reason allies have become “frustrated” in the last few weeks, according to a CNN report from last month. According to the report, the fear the ex-president is blowing his chance to “take control of the GOP early on.”
Mike Lindell, MyPillow CEO and zealous supporter of former President Donald Trump, has offered further criticism of Dominion Voting Systems’ $1.3 billion lawsuit against him.
During a conversation with Steve Bannon on the “Real America’s Voice” program on Saturday, he said the company’s case is “coming apart at the seams,” Newsweek reported.
Lindell doubled down on his previous baseless claims about election fraud. He also said a personal investigation is carrying out tests that will “prove” their voting machines were manipulated in President Joe Biden’s favor.
Lindell’s latest comments about Dominion could be damaging mid-litigation remarks, Newsweek reported.
“I’ll give Dominion a little scare this morning,” Lindell told Bannon. “We have machines now, I do. We have ES&S [Election Systems & Software] machines, we’ve got them all.”
He said: “We’re going to be putting out so much information over the next couple weeks, and this isn’t from Arizona, these are machines we actually have. We’re doing all of our own tests, we’re going to have a lot of surprises and a lot of great news for the country.”
Lindell accused Dominion of presiding over a “big cover-up,” which, he said, is “coming apart at the seams.”
He added: “If I was working at Dominion right now, I’d be turning myself in. I wouldn’t even let it go too much longer. It’s over for them.”
Lindell did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump decided to pass along much-needed upgrades to White House security to President Joe Biden because they didn’t want to deal with construction noise or alter the aesthetic, CNN reported.
The United States Secret Service, the National Park Service, and the White House worked together to implement new security changes in several phases so it wouldn’t upset the first family, but when the final phase was set to start, the Trumps said they didn’t want to deal with the construction.
The first lady specifically didn’t want the effort to impact the aesthetics of the back lawn, where events could be hosted, CNN reported.
The needed updates have now been going on for several weeks and are forcing Biden to have to take a motorcade for about two minutes every time he wants to get on and off his helicopter, Marine One, because it can’t land right by the White House.
“It’s been a headache,” said one Secret Service source with knowledge of altered movements to circumvent the construction.
The renovations start from the farthest southern juncture of the lawn to the foot of the South entrance of the White House building.
This isn’t the first instance that Biden had to deal with the issues remaining from the Trump era.
Trump left office on January 20, breaking with tradition and not attending Biden’s inauguration later that day. In his first 100 days, some of Biden’s executive orders were used to reverse policies enacted by his predecessor.
Shares of three major Chinese telecom carriers will be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange after their appeals against being delisted were rejected, based on separate filings in Hong Kong, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
China Mobile, China Unicom (Hong Kong), and China Telecom all said they expect the NYSE to request permission from the Securities and Exchange Commission to delist their American depositary receipts. This will take effect 10 days after the SEC is informed.