Posts tagged with "Truth Social"

Trump amplifies calls to jail top elected officials, invokes military tribunals

July 2, 2024

Former President Donald Trump over the weekend escalated his vows to prosecute his political opponentscirculating posts on his social media website invoking “televised military tribunals” and calling for the jailing of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, and former Vice President Mike Pence, among other high-profile politicians, reports The New York Times.

Trump, using his account on Truth Social on Sunday, June 30, promoted two posts from other users of the site that called for the jailing of his perceived political enemies.

One post that he circulated on Sunday singled out Liz Cheney—the former Wyoming congresswoman who is a Republican critic of Trump’s—and called for her to be prosecuted by a type of military court reserved for enemy combatants and war criminals.

“Elizabeth Lynne Cheney is guilty of treason,” the post said. “Retruth if you want televised military tribunals.”

A separate post included photos of 15 former and current elected officials that said, in all-capital letters, “they should be going to jail on Monday; not Steve Bannon!” Those officials included Biden, Harris, Pence, Schumer, and McConnell—the top leaders in the Senate—and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the former House speaker.

The list in the second post also had members of the House committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, including Cheney and the former Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger, another Republican, and the Democratic Representatives Adam Schiff, Jamie Raskin, Pete Aguilar, Zoe Lofgren; and Bennie Thompson, who chaired the committee.

In a statement, the Trump campaign did not address Trump’s posts, instead repeating allegations of misconduct by members of the committee, saying “Liz Cheney and the sham January 6th committee banned key witnesses, shielded important evidence, and destroyed documents” related to their investigation.

The posts, which were amplified by Trump’s Truth Social account on Sunday afternoon, were still listed on his profile on Monday afternoon.

The Biden campaign denounced the posts in a statement, saying that Trump “is doubling down on threats to our democracy,” adding that “the Supreme Court has now paved the way for him to do exactly what he is saying he will if he wins.”

Cheney responded with her own social media post on Sunday evening, saying “Donald—This is the type of thing that demonstrates yet again that you are not a stable adult—and are not fit for office.”

Trump has repeatedly called for the imprisonment of his political opponents, often singling out members of the January 6 committee. But the two posts that Trump amplified on Sunday particularly stand out.

One proposed jailing an extensive list of high-ranking officials, including Trump’s former vice president, the top Republican in the Senate ,and the current president and vice president. The other invoked the dictatorial imagery of a televised military tribunal, which would strip Cheney of her right to due process similar to the military courts used to prosecute terror suspects at Guantánamo Bay

Research contact: @nytimes

White House slams ‘sickening’ video shared by Trump referencing ‘unified Reich’

May 21, 2024

The White House blasted former President Donald Trump on Tuesday, May 21, after he shared a video on Truth Social that referenced a “unified Reich” if he won a second term—characterizing it “dangerous and offensive,” reports The Hill.

“It is abhorrent, sickening, and disgraceful for anyone to promote content associated with Germany’s Nazi government under Adolf Hitler,White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement.

“Any Antisemitic dog whistling is dangerous and offensive—and profoundly un-American,” Bates added.

While Bates’s statement did not reference Trump by name—Hatch Act laws prevent White House officials from weighing in on the election—the Biden campaign was more direct.

Donald Trump is not playing games; he is telling America exactly what he intends to do if he regains power: rule as a dictator over a ‘unified reich,’” Biden campaign spokesperson James Singer said in a statement.

Trump posted a video to his Truth Social page Monday night that featured hypothetical headlines about his potential victory in November, including one that referenced a “unified Reich.”

The video, which was not created by the Trump campaign, was taken down on Tuesday morning.

“This was not a campaign video, it was created by a random account online and reposted by a junior staffer who clearly did not see the word, while the President was in court,” Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said in a statement.

Trump has previously faced criticism for claiming Biden is running a “Gestapo administration,” referring to the secret Nazi police force. He also was widely rebuked for saying that immigrants entering the United States illegally are “poisoning the blood of our country;” and for calling his opponents “vermin,” language that echoed Hitler.

Research contact: @thehill

Trump blasts ‘kangaroo court’ as judge considers gag order violation

April 23, 2024

On Tuesday, April 23, Trump ripped into Judge Juan Merchan even as the judge began weighing arguments over whether the former president violated a gag order imposed on him in his hush money case, reports The Hill.

“HIGHLY CONFLICTED, TO PUT IT MILDLY, JUDGE JUAN MERCHAN, HAS TAKEN AWAY MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH,” Trump wrote on Truth Social shortly after arguments over the gag order concluded.

“EVERYBODY IS ALLOWED TO TALK AND LIE ABOUT ME, BUT I AM NOT ALLOWED TO DEFEND MYSELF. THIS IS A KANGAROO COURT, AND THE JUDGE SHOULD RECUSE HIMSELF!”

Prosecutors with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office claim Trump has so far violated the order barring him from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, court staff and the judge’s family ten times. They are asking the judge to fine Trump $1,000 for each violation.

Trump attorney Todd Blanche argued the former president was responding to political attacks against him and insisted there was “absolutely no willful violation” of the gag order in any of the ten posts.

But prosecutors disputed that premise—arguing Trump’s posts should not be considered political just because the former president added “MAGA” to them. Prosecutors also argued Trump’s posts should not be excepted from the gag order just because they are reposts of other accounts.

Merchan appeared skeptical of Blanche’s arguments, telling Trump’s attorney he was losing credibility. The judge said he would reserve a decision on the alleged gag order violations, while witness testimony was slated to continue on Tuesday.

Trump has relentlessly attacked Merchan in the case—blasting him as “conflicted” on a daily basis and calling on the judge to recuse himself. Merchan has refused to recuse himself, saying Trump’s team’s arguments relied on “a series of references, innuendos, and unsupported speculation.”

Research contact: @thehill

Trump hush-money trial judge rejects new demand to recuse himself from case

April 16, 2024

Former President Donald Trump’s hush-money judge declined to recuse himself from the trial underway on Monday, April 15—refusing Trump’s latest demand that he step aside over his daughter’s employment at a firm that works for prominent Democrats, reports The Hill.

Judge Juan Merchan’s refusal to step back from the trial—made from the bench on the first day of Trump’s first criminal trial—eliminates what could have been an eleventh-hour curveball before jury selection begins. He said the motion relied on “a series of references, innuendos, and unsupported speculation.”

It follows Merchan’s rejection of the former president’s similar recusal motion last year and a series of failed attempts by Trump’s legal team earlier this week to stave off the fast-approaching trial.

Ever since being charged in the case last year, Trump has repeatedly directed his ire at Merchan, attacking him on Truth Social and calling him a “highly conflicted & corrupt” judge.

Those rebukes only grew as the judge issued a gag order limiting the former president’s public statements about trial participants and insisted the trial move ahead April 15 over Trump’s objections.

Like his earlier recusal motion, Trump’s latest effort took aim at Merchan’s daughter for her employment at Authentic, a progressive digital agency that has boasted the Biden-Harris campaign and other prominent Democrats as clients.

The former president’s lawyers noted that Authentic’s clients, including Representative Adam Schiff (D-California), have used language in their digital marketing explicitly fundraising off Trump’s legal woes.

“Authentic and Your Honor’s daughter are making money by supporting the creation and dissemination of campaign advocacy for President Trump’s opponent, political rivals, and the Democrat party,” Trump’s lawyers wrote in court papers.

Last year, Merchan rejected Trump’s original recusal motion that also cited his daughter’s employment. That motion also noted $35 in donations Merchan made to the Biden campaign and two liberal-leaning groups before taking on Trump’s criminal case.

The judge said he had received guidance from a state ethics advisory committee that his daughter’s employment or the donations did not require him to step aside.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) office has opposed Trump’s recusal demands, describing his latest effort as a mechanism to avoid sitting for trial next week.

“Instead, defendant’s motion is nothing more than his latest effort to delay the forthcoming trial; and—in both timing and substance—appears transparently reverse-engineered to provide an ex post justification for defendant’s attacks on the Court and the Court’s family. This Court should reject defendant’s dilatory tactic and deny the motion,” prosecutors wrote in court papers.”

Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records over allegations he criminally concealed a hush-money payment made days before the 2016 presidential election. He has pleaded not guilty.

Research contact: @thehill

Trump could net $3 billion after investors approve Truth Social to go public

March 25, 2024

Investors approved plans to take Donald Trump’s social media platform public on Friday, March 22—netting the former president a paper fortune of $3 billion, reports The Guardian.

Trump Media & Technology, the firm behind his social network, Truth Social, has spent years fighting to land on the stock market via a so-called “blank check” merger with a shell company (under which shares of the blank check company are converted to the shares of the new entity).

It finally succeeded on Friday morning, following a vote of shareholders in Digital World Acquisition, the vehicle with which Trump’s business has sought to combine.

While Trump Media has struggled since Truth Social’s lackluster launch—generating sales of only about $5 million since 2021—Trump’s supporters banded together to boost shares in Digital World. The stock has rallied by some 145% since the turn of the year, boosting the firm’s value to about $6 billion.

The company now will trade on the stock market as Trump Media & Technology Group under the stock ticker “DJT”—Trump’s initials.

Ahead of the announcement, Digital World’s stock price was $44—suggesting that the new company will debut with a value of more than $5 billion.

Trump’s holding in the combined business is listed at 79 million shares, leaving him with a stake of about $3 billion on paper. He will not be able to cash in this stake straight away, however, as key shareholders in the company are unable to sell stock for six months after the merger.

It comes amid a financial crunch for Trump, who is vying to regain the presidency from Joe Biden in November’s elections. He was ordered by a New York judge last month to pay $454 million following a civil fraud case, something his lawyers warned this week was a “practical impossibilityafter 30 surety companies turned him down.

Digital World has increasingly been seen as a so-called meme stock, boosted by Internet memes—posted, in its case, on platforms including Truth Social—urging retail investors to buy into it.

The shell company first announced plans to combine with Trump’s digital media firm in 2021, but has grappled with a series of legal hurdles.

Special purpose acquisition companies, or Spacs, such as Digital World raise money from investors through initial public offerings, before typically searching for a company to take public.

Once a Spac finds and agrees terms with a target, it absorbs the business and draws it onto the stock market, enabling investors in both companies to take a slide. Should the Spac’s original investors not like the deal, however, they can withdraw their cash.

Julian Klymochko, founder and CEO of a Spac-focused fund at Accelerate Financial Technologies, said Digital World’s price rise was “not due to the underlying fundamentals”.

Truth Social “hasn’t really taken off”, Klymochko said. “At this point, it’s a meme stock. It’s really just a betting tool on the probability of Trump winning the election.”

 

Research contact: @GuardianUS

Trump is privately pressuring GOP Senators to ‘kill’ border deal to deny Biden a win

January 26, 2024

On Wednesday, January 24, Donald Trump privately pressured Senate Republicans to “kill” a bipartisan deal to secure the U.S. border because he doesn’t want President Joe Biden to chalk up a win ahead of the 2024 presidential election, reports HuffPost.

Trump directly reached out to several GOP senators on Wednesday to tell them to reject any deal. The GOP presidential frontrunner also personally reached out to some Senate Republicans over the weekend, an anonymous source told HuffPost. “He doesn’t want Biden to have a victory,” said the source. “He told them he will fix the border when he is president…. He said he only wants the perfect deal.”

Trump’s meddling generated an “emotional” discussion in a closed-door meeting among Senate Republicans, as senators vented their frustrations for hours about the largely secret negotiations over emergency aid for Ukraine, Israel, and immigration. The conference is splintering into two camps—those who believe Republicans should take the deal, and those who are opposed at any cost.

“The rational Republicans want the deal because they want Ukraine and Israel and an actual border solution,” said the source. “But the others are afraid of Trump, or they’re the chaos caucus who never wants to pass anything.”

“They’re having a little crisis in their conference right now,” the source added.

A bipartisan group of senators has been working for months to craft a border deal, and Trump has made it no secret that he opposes it. On Wednesday, he wrote on Truth Social, his conservative social media site, “I do not think we should do a Border Deal, at all, unless we get EVERYTHING needed to shut down the INVASION of Millions and Millions of people.”

What’s different now, though, is that Trump is now directly telling GOP senators to oppose any deal. His meddling has left their conference in even more disarray than it was already in, and a potential border deal in limbo.

Senator Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina) demurred when asked if he thinks it’s constructive for Trump to tell Republicans not to make any border deals: “I could probably go through any number of things that Biden is saying that are not constructive when he’s on the campaign trail, but that’s the nature of campaigns,”

Tillis said. “So I’m not going to criticize President Trump or his positions.”

But, bucking Trump, he said he supported passing the bipartisan border deal, which Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) has been working on with Democrats.

“Based on what I’ve seen and based on the work that James Lankford has put in, it goes far enough for me,” said Tillis. “If anyone’s intellectually honest with themselves, they all know these would be extraordinary tools for President Trump.”

During Wednesday’s meeting, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) referenced comments Trump made as president in 2018 about the difficulty of getting Democrats to agree to changes to immigration laws. McConnell, who is no fan of Trump, was making the case that Republicans should agree to a border deal now, since the likelihood of Democrats potentially cutting a deal with Trump in the White House again would be highly unlikely.

Research contact: @HuffPost

‘Weaklings:’ Donald Trump targets Mark Meadows over report that he will flip

October 26, 2023

Donald Trump targeted his former White House Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, on Wednesday, October 25—insinuating that Meadows would be a weakling and a coward if he testifies against the former president, reports USA Today.

In a pair of Truth Social posts, Trump said he does not believe Meadows would turn on him—but noted that his former chief of staff has been threatened with prosecution and might be tempted by an immunity agreement.

“Some people would make that deal, but they are weaklings and cowards, and so bad for the future our Failing Nation,” Trump said. “I don’t think that Mark Meadows is one of them, but who really knows?”

Trump is facing pressure to be careful with what he says about Meadows, or any other potential witness in the 2020 election case against him.

The reason? U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan hit the former president with a partial gag order that prohibits him from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, and court personnel.

Trump sought to undermine Meadows a day after a news report that he is talking to Special Counsel Jack Smith‘s office in the federal case charging the former president with trying to steal the 2020 election.

ABC News said Meadows has told Smith and his prosecutors that “he repeatedly told Trump in the weeks after the 2020 presidential election that the allegations of significant voting fraud coming to them were baseless, a striking break from Trump’s prolific rhetoric regarding the election.”

Smith’s office is responsible for the federal indictment that  essentially charges Trump with trying to steal the 2020 election from President Joe Biden, including with claims of voter fraud that he knew to be false.

In his Truth Social posts, Trump denied Meadows’ reported assertions, and pointed out that Meadows defended Trump’s election complaints in his book.

“Mark Meadows NEVER told me that allegations of significant fraud (about the RIGGED Election!) were baseless,” Trump claimed. “He certainly didn’t say that in his book!”

Research contact: @USATODAY

Trump tells gun store he’d like to buy a Glock, raising legal questions

September 27, 2023

Officials have increasingly voiced concerns about threats of violence related to the former President Donald Trump’s trials, as he faces charges that would make it illegal for a store to sell him a firearm, reports The New York Times.

A spokesperson for Trump posted a video on Monday, September 25—showing him at a gun shop in South Carolina and (falsely) declaring that he had just bought a Glock pistol.

The post on X, formerly known as Twitter, included video of Trump, who is facing four criminal indictments. He looked over the dullish gold firearm, a special Trump-edition Glock that depicts his likeness and says “Trump 45th,” as he visited the Palmetto State Armory outlet in Summerville, South Carolina. “I want to buy one,” he said twice in the video.

“President Trump buys a @GLOCKInc in South Carolina!” his spokesperson, Steven Cheung, wrote in his post. The video showed Trump among a small crowd of people and posing with a man holding the gun. A voice can be heard saying, “That’s a big seller.”

The statement immediately set off an uproar and prompted questions about whether such a purchase would be legal. Trump is under indictment on dozens of felony counts in two different cases related to his efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 election and to his possession of reams of classified documents after he left office.

There were also questions about whether the store could sell a firearm to Trump, if people there knew that he was under indictment.

Federal prosecutors are asking a federal judge in the case that accuses Trump of breaking several laws in his efforts to stay in office to impose a limited gag order after he made repeated threats against prosecutors and witnesses in various cases against him. Trump’s lawyers were under a late-Monday-night deadline to respond to the government’s request for the order.

But within two hours of the initial post on social media, spokesperson Steven Cheung deleted his post, and issued a statement saying, “President Trump did not purchase or take possession of the firearm. He simply indicated that he wanted one.”

A man who answered a phone registered to the shop’s owner hung up when a reporter called. A salesperson at the Summerville location, who declined to give her name or answer additional questions, said Trump had not bought a gun.

Trump has increasingly been faulted by prosecutors, security experts, and others for his language on his social media site, Truth Social, in relation to his trials.

At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for instance, officials have increasingly voiced concerns about threats of violence, as Trump and his allies have targeted the agency.

Under the main federal gun law, 18 U.S.C. 922, it is illegal for merchants to sell firearms to people who are under indictment for crimes carrying sentences of more than a year. Indicted defendants also are barred from shipping or receiving any weapons that have crossed state lines. But the statute does not appear to prohibit people under indictment from simply buying or possessing weapons.

Research contact: @nytimes

Trump’s historic mug shot released in Georgia election case

August 28, 2023

Inmate No. P01135809—that’s how former President Donald Trump of Palm Beach, Florida, is listed in the jail records of Fulton County, Georgia, following Thursday night’s 20-minute booking, reports Axios.

Trump has now made history as not only the first U.S. president—sitting or former —to face criminal charges, but the first to have his mug shot taken.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office released the first-ever mug shot of former Trump following his surrender to authorities in the Georgia election interference case.

Although it’s Trump’s fourth indictment, he managed to dodge taking mug shots in the other cases. But Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat warned ahead of the Georgia indictment that authorities there intended to follow regular procedures when it came time to book the former president.

Trump described himself as 6 foot, 3 inches and 215 pounds—24 pounds less than the White House doctor reported in 2018. He’s listed as having blue eyes, and blond or strawberry hair.

Moments after his mug shot was taken on Thursday, August 24, Trump posted the image to his Truth Social platform, along with a fund-raising link.

Later, the 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner shared the mug shot and a link to his website on X, formerly known as Twitter, in his first post to the platform in more than two years.

Trump told Newsmax in an interview aboard his private plane on the way back from his booking that it been a “terrible experience,” but added that he was “treated very nicely.”

He told Fox News Digital late Thursday that Georgia officials had “insisted on a mug shot and I agreed to do that,” which he said was “not a comfortable feeling—especially when you’ve done nothing wrong.”

The notorious Fulton County Jail, where Trump’s mug shot was taken, also has now made history as the first institution to ever take a U.S. president’s mug shot.

The detention center, known among locals as “Rice Street,” has been criticized for its dangerous conditions and detainee deaths.

Trump faces a total of 13 counts related to alleged efforts to subvert Georgia’s 2020 election results, including violating Georgia’s racketeering law, or RICO.

Trump’s bail was set at $200,000 earlier in the week, adding to his already considerable legal fees.

Trump’s Georgia trial is also the first one in which he is defendant that could be televised.

Research contact: @axios

Judge Chutkan says Trump’s right to free speech in January 6 case is ‘not absolute’

August 14, 2023

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said on Friday August 11, that she plans to issue a protective order over the handling of evidence in the Trump 2020 election interference case—saying it’s needed to protect witnesses or other interference in the trial, reports CNN.

The former president has a right to free speech, but that right is “not absolute,” the judge said at a hearing on Monday, August 7.

“Mr. Trump, like every American, has a First Amendment right to free speech, but that right is not absolute. In a criminal case such as this one, the defendant’s free speech is subject to the rules,” Chutkan said.

“Without a protective order, a party could release information that could taint the jury pool, intimidate witnesses, or others involved in some aspect of the case, or otherwise interfere with the “process of justice,” she added.

This is the first hearing before Chutkan. According to CNN, she already has shown a habit of responding quickly and tersely on the docket to debates between the parties over scheduling. An Obama appointee and former public defender who has overseen several cases regarding the events of January 6, 2021, Chutkan has been outspoken about the harm the U.S. Capitol attack caused to American democracy.

How Chutkan handles the case is likely to serve as a contrast to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee in Florida who has been in less of a rush to move proceedings along in the classified documents case against the former president. She already has been heavily scrutinized for what critics say is a favorable treatment of the former president in a previous lawsuit Trump brought last year challenging aspects of the Justice Department’s investigation.

Trump pleaded not guilty to four criminal charges related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election last week. The special counsel said on Thursday that he wants the trial to begin on January 2, 2024—a date that the former president’s team is expected to oppose.

Scope of protective order over evidence

In Friday’s hearing, lawyers are debating the scope of a protective order governing evidence that prosecutors say proves Trump conspired to overturn the election, interrupt Congress, and take away every American citizen’s right to have their vote counted.

Protective orders are a normal part of any criminal case and are typically approved without much drama. In this case, however, the special counsel’s office and Trump’s defense lawyers have battled in court filings over what Trump will be able to discuss publicly.

Among the restrictions the prosecutors are requesting in this case is a rule barring Trump’s lawyers from providing copies of “sensitive” evidence to the former president, including witness interviews and grand jury transcripts from the dozens of witnesses in Trump’s circle who have spoken to prosecutors.

To make their point, prosecutors pointed to Trump’s social media posts since he was indicted last week, including a vague and ominous Truth Social post reading “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Trump also slammed Chutkan, writing in one all caps post, “There is no way I can get a fair trial with the judge ‘assigned’ to the ridiculous freedom of speech/fair elections case. Everybody knows this and so does she!”

The posts, prosecutors said, emphasized the need for a protective order that would limit whether Trump can discuss or share evidence on his social media accounts during the course of the legal case.

“If the defendant were to begin issuing public posts using details—or, for example, grand jury transcripts—obtained in discovery here, it could have a harmful chilling effect on witnesses or adversely affect the fair administration of justice in this case,” prosecutors wrote.

For their part, Trump’s legal team proposed less restrictive rules, alleging that prosecutors are on a politically motivated campaign to restrict his First Amendment rights. His defense lawyers pushed back on prosecutors’ definition of “sensitive” material that should be subject to additional rules, and asked to expand who can access certain evidentiary materials.

If Trump were to violate any eventual protective order Chutkan issues, he could be held in contempt.

Research contact: @CNN