Posts tagged with "President Donald Trump"

Republicans advance Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination despite Democratic boycott

October 23, 2020

No Democrats? No problem! The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday, October 22, to advance President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Courtwith confirmation as Democrats boycotted the session in protest, The New York Times reported,

Indeed, majority Republicans skirted the panel’s official rules to recommend her in the absence of their Democratic colleagues. Judiciary Committee rules that require members of the minority party to be present to conduct official business.

Democrats—livid over the extraordinarily speedy process during the current election—spurned the committee vote altogether and forced Republicans to break their own rules to muscle through the nomination. Without the votes to block the judge in either the committee or the full Senate, though, their action was “purely symbolic,” the Times said.

The lopsided 12-to-0 outcome set up a vote by the full Senate to confirm Judge Barrett on Monday, a month to the day after Trump nominated her to fill the seat vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If all goes according to plan, the president and his party would win a coveted achievement just eight days before the election.

That would fulfill the president’s hopes of stacking a conservative SCOTUS, should he need the judicial body to confirm his victory following the November 3 presidential election.

Gloating over the illicit move, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the committee, said just before the vote.“This is why we all run,” “It’s moments like this that make everything you go through matter.”

According to the Times, Judge Barrett, a 48-year-old appeals court judge who has styled herself in the mold of the man she calls her mentor, former Justice Antonin Scalia, promises to shift the court meaningfully to the right, entrenching a 6-to-3 conservative majority.

The Times predicts, “Her presence will likely shape American society for decades to come, with potentially sweeping implications for corporate power and the environment, abortion rights and gay rights, and a wide range of other policy issues including health care access, gun safety and religious freedom.”

Democrats have sharply opposed Judge Barrett on policy grounds. But their goal on Thursday was to tarnish the legitimacy of her confirmation, arguing that Republicans had no right to fill the seat vacated just over a month ago by the death of Justice Ginsburg, when millions of Americans were already voting.

They were particularly angry that Republicans had reversed themselves since 2016, when they refused to consider President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, citing the election nine months later.

“Democrats will not lend a single ounce of legitimacy to this sham vote in the Judiciary Committee,” Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said at a news conference on the steps of the Capitol, where he raised his voice to be heard over the cries of protesters opposed to the nomination.

“We are voting with our feet. We are standing together. And we are standing against this mad rush to jam through a Supreme Court nomination just days, days before an election,” Mr. Schumer said.

Inside the hearing room where the vote unfolded, Democrats’ empty chairs held large posters of Americans whose health care coverage they argued could evaporate if Mr. Trump’s nominee were to side with a conservative majority on the Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act when it hears a Republican challenge to the law next month.

“I regret that we could not do it the normal way,” Graham said, “but what I don’t regret is reporting her out of committee.”

Research contact: @nytimes

Christian group slams Trump: ‘The days of using our faith for your benefit are over’

October 16, 2020

A new bipartisan Christian Super PAC called “Not Our Faith” is taking on President Donald Trump with a TV spot that accuses him of hypocrisy when it comes to matters of faith, The Huffington Post reports 

“Mr. President, the days of using our faith for your benefit are over,” the ad from Not Our Faith warns. “We know you need the support of Christians like us to win this election. But you can’t have it.”

The spot also accuses Trump of “using Christianity for his own purposes,” and shows footage of his Bible-toting photo op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, across from the White House, after having peaceful protesters teargassed to clear the area for him.

Not Our Faith’s advisory council includes Michael Wear, a faith adviser to former President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, and Autumn Vandehei, who was an aide to former Representative Tom Delay (R-Texas), The Associated Press reported. The group is launching a six-figure TV and digital ad campaign targeting Christians, especially evangelical and Catholic voters.

“Trump eked out 2016 with unprecedented support from white evangelicals and, important to note, a really strong showing among Catholics. We’re going after all of it,” Wear told AP. “We think Christian support is on the table in this election.”

Indeed, last week more than 1,600 Christian leaders signed a letter endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden. And this week, a Pew poll found that Trump is bleeding support among Christian voters, including the evangelicals who were essential to his 2016 victory.

“Christians don’t need Trump to save them,” the new ad states. “The truth is that Trump needs Christians to save his flailing campaign.”

In a USA Today op-ed, Wear took issue with Trump’s bold claims about faith ― and in particular spoke out against Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, for proclaiming that Trump had “literally saved” Christianity.

“For Christians, of course, the position of Savior is already filled,” Wear wrote. “And Jesus is one person Trump can’t fire or bully.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

Dozens of Amy Coney Barrett’s Notre Dame colleagues call for halt to nomination

October 15, 2020

In a powerful showing of unity, 88 faculty members at the University of Notre Dame, where Amy Coney Barrett is a law school professor, said she should call for a halt to her Supreme Court nomination until after the November 3 presidential election, The Huffington Post reports. 

In a letter dated October10—but posted online on Tuesday, October 13—Barrett’s colleagues congratulated her on her nomination, adding: “It is vital that you issue a public statement calling for a halt to your nomination process until after the November presidential election.”

The signatories hailed from the university’s political science, sociology, history and other departments—with none from the law school.

“We ask that you take this unprecedented step for three reasons.” Barrett’s professional colleagues said:

First, voting for the next president is already underway. According to the United States Election Project (https://electproject.github.io/Early-Vote-2020G/index.html), more than seven million people have already cast their ballots, and millions more are likely to vote before election day. The rushed nature of your nomination process, which you certainly recognize as an exercise in raw power politics, may effectively deprive the American people of a voice in selecting the next Supreme Court justice. You are not, of course, responsible for the anti-democratic machinations driving your nomination. Nor are you complicit in the Republican hypocrisy of fast-tracking your nomination weeks before a presidential election when many of the same senators refused to grant Merrick Garland so much as a hearing a full year before the last election. However, you can refuse to be party to such maneuvers. We ask that you honor the democratic process and insist the hearings be put on hold until after the voters have made their choice. Following the election, your nomination would proceed, or not, in accordance with the wishes of the winning candidate.

Next, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish was that her seat on the court remain open until a new president was installed. At your nomination ceremony at the White House, you praised Justice Ginsburg as “a woman of enormous talent and consequence, whose life of public service serves as an example to us all.” Your nomination just days after Ginsburg’s death was unseemly and a repudiation of her legacy. Given your admiration for Justice Ginsburg, we ask that you repair the injury to her memory by calling for a pause in the nomination until the next president is seated.

Finally, your nomination comes at a treacherous moment in the United States. Our politics are consumed by polarization, mistrust, and fevered conspiracy theories. Our country is shaken by pandemic and economic suffering. There is violence in the streets of American cities. The politics of your nomination, as you surely understand, will further inflame our civic wounds, undermine confidence in the court, and deepen the divide among ordinary citizens, especially if you are seated by a Republican Senate weeks before the election of a Democratic president and congress. You have the opportunity to offer an alternative to all that by demanding that your nomination be suspended until after the election. We implore you to take that step.

Senate hearings for Barrett’s confirmation began Monday and continued into Tuesday, with the nominee dodging Democrats’ questions on health care, marriage equality and abortion rights, the HuffPost reports.

Senate Republicans appear to have the necessary majority to confirm Barrett to the nation’s most powerful court. If she’s confirmed, it would cement conservatives’ hold on the court likely for years to come, with major rulings expected soon on health care, abortion, LGBTQ rights, and more.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Dire straits: The decline (and feasible fall) of Lindsey Graham

October 13, 2020

At the 2012 Republican National Convention, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, then a champion of bipartisan immigration reform, warned his party they had a problem. “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term,” he said, according to a report by The Boston Globe.

Now, he and his 2012 rhetoric are unrecognizable.

Indeed, a recent 81-second attack ad by the LindseyMustGo group shows the senator as he used to be—blasting Trump as a “jackass,” “kook,” “crazy” and “unfit for office” before the 2016 election—followed by clips of him today, heaping praise on the president, even calling for him to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Over the past few years, the third-term senator has jettisoned the conciliatory political persona he used to display and hitched his wagon to President Donald Trump’s fiery star, which seemed like an obvious recipe for 2020 success in a red state like South Carolina.

But he is now embroiled in the battle of his career against Jaime Harrison, a former state party chair trying to be the first Black Democrat elected to the Senate from the Deep South. Harrison raised a staggering $57 million over the last three months, and the Cook Political Report rates the race a “toss-up” — a startling turn of events for South Carolina, which hasn’t elected a Democratic senator or governor in more than 20 years.

According to the Globe, “The race has been turbocharged by Graham’s outsize role as a defender of the president and a key player in his effort to reshape the Supreme Court. As the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he will preside over the confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett beginning Monday — proceeding despite a clarion 2018 promise not to fill a Supreme Court vacancy so close to this election.”

Graham has called the confirmation process the “Super Bowl” of politics, and he is betting it will fire up South Carolina conservatives, who have long distrusted him, even as it riles up the Democrats determined to highlight his hypocrisy as another reason to send him packing.

“They hate me. This is not about Mr. Harrison. This is about liberals hating my guts,” a pugilistic Graham declared during a debate with Harrison on October 3.

But it’s more than that, Dan Carter, an emeritus professor at the University of South Carolina told the Globe.  “If Graham’s in any jeopardy at all,” he said, “it’s because of Trump and the fact that he had to go through all these contortions to protect himself on the right in the new Trump party.”

Graham, a former military lawyer, flipped his congressional district here in the upstate region of South Carolina in 1994 after a century of Democratic control, campaigning for term limits and against gays in the military. In 2003, he went on to the Senate, where he had a moderate countenanc —an impression fueled by his close friendship with Arizona Republican John McCain; and by his eagerness to join such bipartisan groups as the Gang of Eight. which worked on immigration reform during the Obama presidency. He also crafted climate legislation with Democrats.

He treated the Tea Party movement with undisguised disdain and survived primary challenges from the right in 2014 in part because so many conservatives jumped in to split the field, but he didn’t see the other asteroid that was coming to reshape his party. Graham’s doomed 2016 presidential bid — in which he called then-candidate Trump a “kook” who was “unfit for office” — flamed out before Iowa.

By 2018, he had moved toward Trump, becoming a golfing buddy of the president and an angry defender of his Supreme Court pick that year, Brett Kavanaugh, during a messy confirmation process that turned on accusations of sexual assault. In a party that had changed around him, Graham’s days of presenting himself as a moderate were long gone.

“As it relates to crossing the aisle or building consensus, I think he is fundamentally a builder and not a destroyer,” said Karen Floyd, the former chairwoman of the state’s Republican Party. “When the timing permits, he’ll build more.”

Democrats have gleefully seized on the shift as evidence Graham can’t be trusted. “Lindsey Graham is a flip-flopper. Flipping flippity flippity flop,” said Trav Robertson, the chair of the South Carolina Democrats. “And that’s why Lindsey Graham’s gonna lose.”

Research contact: @BostonGlobe

Trump’s resolve to attend next week’s debate is seen as part of his ‘pattern of recklessness’

October 8, 2020

President Donald Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, October 6, saying that he looks forward to the October 15 presidential debate in Miami, alarmed some medical and public health experts—who warned that his coronavirus infection might still be contagious at that time and could endanger others, including Joe Biden, The Washington Post reports.

.The tweet came just one day after the president was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center following a three-night hospital stay—during which he was put on an aggressive mix of treatments usually reserved for the most severe cases of COVID-19.

But from removing his mask on the White House balcony to refusing to use PPE in the West Wing, Trump immediately tried to project an image of being fully in charge and able to conduct all of his regular activities after returning to Pennsylvania Avenue.

According to the report by the Post, some outside health experts, have characterized Trump’s determination to attend the debate “as part of a pattern of recklessness that has defined his response to the pandemic, with the president and his aides not wearing masks or observing social distancing.”

  At least 19 people in Trump’s orbit have tested positive for the virus during the past week.

On Tuesday, White House physician Sean P. Conley, who is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, continued to give upbeat reports on Trump’s recovery, issuing a three-sentence memo saying the president “reports no symptoms” and has stable vital signs. “Overall, he continues to do extremely well,” the memo said.

Neither Conley nor other White House officials have said how they will determine when it might be safe for Trump to go out in public — for his own health, or for others near him.

Several outside medical experts suggested that the president’s actions indicate he is unchastened by his own experience contracting a virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans — or by the spreading infections among his own staff and supporters.

Trump’s removal of his mask moments after returning to the White House on Monday evening, and his subsequent assertion that he would appear at the debate “is irresponsible and reckless, and frankly that borders on malicious,” said Michael Mina, a physician and assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

“We should be throwing the kitchen sink at him, not just for treatment, but for ensuring that he is safe to be out in society and he is not imposing a risk to citizens of this country,” Mina said.

Mina noted that the president’s medical team has many ways to determine the status of his infection. Beyond administering the “PCR” test, considered the most definitive way of assessing whether someone has the virus, he said doctors could ask him to cough onto a petri dish to see whether the virus grows, swab his nose to culture the specimen, or administer antigen tests to see whether he has the virus’s protein in his nose.

“The average American doesn’t have tools to go through this,” Mina said, “but the president is a very special person. We have tools to do this.”

Research contact; @washingtonpost

Trump tells nation not to fear pandemic he allowed to spread and kill 200,000 Americans

October 7, 2020

All eyes have been on President Donald Trump as he battles COVID-19—the disease he has spent most of this year pooh-poohing, even as more than 200,000 Americans have died on his watch.

But even while he’s infected with the highly contagious virus, the president continues to gaslight a traumatized nation by minimizing the pandemic, the Huffington Post reports.

On Monday, Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center,  despite still being infected with the coronavirus. He was admitted to the hospital in Maryland on Friday,  just hours after revealing that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus, but White House physicians have not been transparent about the president’s health in daily press conferences.

“Feeling really good!” Trump tweeted. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!”

Trump’s tweet not only implied that those who die of COVID-19 are weak but also suggested that the American people should not fear a virus that has already infected almost 7.5 million and killed about 210,000 people in the United States this year — in part due to the president’s own dangerous rhetoric and botched response to the pandemic, the HuffPost said.

Most COVID-19 victims have died alone due to safety precautions, leaving loved ones to navigate an already difficult mourning process, and those who survive the illness often deal with long-term health issues.

“My dad loved to talk and I miss talking to him,” said Brian Walter, an essential transit worker in New York whose father died from the virus, in a statement for the grassroots network COVID Survivors for Change. “To hear Trump say that people shouldn’t fear this virus hurts. It makes me worry for all the families who will still experience the loss of a loved one because our president refuses to take this pandemic seriously.”

What’s more, HuffPost points out, “As Trump diminishes the virus and boasts about drug development, he is also receiving top-notch medical care and treatments out of the reach of many Americans. The president had a taxpayer-funded helicopter take him to his own secluded ward of a world-class hospital, where a team of dedicated doctors exclusively monitored him around the clock, providing him pricey experimental treatments not yet available to the public free of charge.

“Don’t be afraid, says the guy with a team of a dozen doctors, access to experimental treatments that no one else gets, a four room hospital suite, who lives in a house with top doctors on site 24/7,” tweeted Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), noting reports showing that Trump paid little or no federal income tax in recent years. “All of which is provided to him for free because he refuses to pay taxes.”

Meanwhile, everyday Americans face rising medical bills for COVID-19 treatment and hospital stays. Some people early in the pandemic could not even receive a coronavirus test unless they met certain criteria, let alone hospital admission with even stricter requirements. And with the president and Republicans pushing for the Supreme Court to repeal the Affordable Care Act, COVID-19 could become a preexisting condition not covered by insurance.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Trump makes it public he’s tested positive for COVID, as pandemic refuses to ‘just go away’

October 5, 2020

President Donald Trump— who called the coronavirus “a hoax” in its early stages ,and predicted that it would “just go away,” instead of taking substantial measures to counteract it—has now become the world’s highest-profile patient of a disease that has killed more than one million people, Politico reports.

His wife, FLOTUS Melania Trump also has tested positive.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows revealed on October 2 that Trump was experiencing “mild symptoms” after contracting the coronavirus; and refused to say whether he intentionally withheld information about Hope Hicks, a top aide to the president also testing positive in recent days.

The remarks from the president’s most senior staffer came after Trump announced on Twitter early on Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump had become infected 32 days ahead of the November election.

“The president does have mild symptoms. And as we look to try to make sure that not only his health and safety and welfare is good, we continue to look at that for all of the American people,” Meadows told a pool of reporters October 2 outside the White House.

The president and the first lady “remain in good spirits,” Meadows said, and Trump is “very energetic.” Physicians with the White House medical unit “continue to monitor both his health and the health of the first lady,” Meadows said.

Trump had tweeted early Friday that he and the first lady “will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately.” Physician to the president Sean Conley wrote in a memo that the president and the first lady were “both well,” and that Trump would “continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering.”

Conley did not mention whether Trump was exhibiting any symptoms, but a person familiar with the situation said the president was not showing symptoms yet on Thursday.

Still, Vice President Mike Pence may need to step in for some tasks if Trump is confined to the White House grounds, the person said. Pence’s office said Friday that he and second lady Karen Pence had tested negative for COVID-19.

According to Politico, “The president’s positive test threatens to transform the final month of a volatile campaign that Trump had long intended to frame around a message of success in defeating the virus—despite surging case counts in parts of the country, shuttered schools and businesses and widespread division about the seriousness of the threat.

“I just want to say that the end of the pandemic is in sight, and next year will be one of the greatest years in the history of our country,” Trump said Thursday evening in a videotaped message to the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner.

Compounding the uncertainty surrounding the final stretch of the campaign, the Republican National Committee announced Friday that its chair, Ronna McDaniel, also had tested positive for COVID-19.

McDaniel’s diagnosis means that not only Republicans’ presidential nominee, but also their top party official could be constrained to a limited schedule in the coming weeks.

Trump’s announcement raised a slew of questions about whether the 74-year-old’s existing health conditions — his latest physician’s report recorded him as just over the line between overweight and obese — will put him at an increased risk of developing serious complications from the coronavirus.

Melania Trump, 50, also falls within an age range with high risk of complications. The virus can have wide-ranging impact on different people, even at advanced age, from relatively mild symptoms to devastating breathing problems.

Hicks showed symptoms and got her test result early Thursday, but few people in the White House knew about it until later in the afternoon, according to the person familiar with the situation.

Hicks was seen traveling Tuesday on Air Force One without a mask. She also traveled with the president during his rally in Minnesota on Wednesday.

Still, business at the White House continued as usual, Politico said. Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany held a briefing in the late morning, and in the afternoon the president flew to his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for a fundraising roundtable and reception with high-dollar donors.

Pressed Friday on when he found out about Hicks testing positive—and whether he sat on the news of her diagnosis until after Trump’s fundraiser—Meadows told reporters he was “not going to get into the tick-tock” of events.

“I can tell you, in terms of Hope Hicks we discovered that right as Marine One was taking off yesterday,” Meadows said. “We actually pulled some of the people that had been traveling and in close contact.”

Biden has now tested negative, as has his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. At this week’s debate, Trump even mocked Biden for wearing masks so often. “I don’t wear masks like him,” Trump said. “Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from ‘em and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”

Trump stood only feet away from Biden at the Tuesday debate—where multiple members of Trump’s entourage declined to wear masks, despite requests from the staff hosting the event.

 

Research contact: @politico

 

Pennsylvania Republicans mobilize for an election nightmare scenario

October 2, 2020

Whether he wins or loses the presidential election, Donald Trump will be able to declare victory in Pennsylvania, if Republican state legislators have their way.

In fact, GOP representatives are planning to challenge the outcome of Pennsylvania’s presidential election, if Trump fails to garner sufficient votes, The Huffington Post reports.

On Wednesday, September 28, Republicans in the state’s House of Representatives passed a resolution (House Resolution 1032) out of the chamber’s Government Committee on a 15-10 party-line vote to create a special “election integrity committee” of three Republicans and two Democrats to investigate the 2020 election. It could possibly certify its own slate of electors for Trump based on phony charges of voter fraud.

In a statement released right after the vote, Keystone State Governor Tom Wolf  (D) argued, “The House Republicans are not only walking in lockstep with President Trump to try to sow chaos and put the results of the election in question; they are also taking steps to take the authority to administer elections away from the Department of State. The resolution also attacks the integrity of county election administrators. This is an unprecedented attack on non-partisan election administrators at a time when we should all be doing everything we can to instill confidence in our elections.”

“The push to create this new election committee came “out of nowhere,” Pennsylvania House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody told the HuffPost.

“We heard the president say last night, ‘Bad things happen in Philadelphia,’” State Representative  Malcolm Kenyatta (D) said, referencing Tuesday night’s presidential debate between Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden, at the hearing on the resolution. “The reality is, bad things are happening in this committee. This is a bad bill that never should have been brought up.”

Republicans, led by Trump, have been laying the groundwork for this type of move for weeks through lawsuits to limit ballot-counting, claims of potential mass fraud, and more. The Atlantic reported that Pennsylvania Republicans discussed a plan with Trump’s campaign whereby the Republican-controlled legislature would use accusations of voter fraud in order to discard the popular vote as too tainted to count. They could then, theoretically, certify Trump’s slate of electors and send them to Congress for the official Electoral College count on Jan. 6.

Since Governor Wolf would likely certify electors for Biden if he wins the popular vote that the legislature discards, Congress would then be forced to vote on which slate to adopt.

“I’ve mentioned it to [the Trump campaign], and I hope they’re thinking about it too,” Lawrence Tabas, the Pennsylvania Republican Party’s chairman, told the HuffPost about the plan to certify Trump electors.

If the Electoral College vote is close, this scheme could help Trump “win” a second term.

“We wake up and they have this resolution,” House Democratic Leader Dermody said. “It came out of nowhere. My guess is they wanted to have a companion operation going along with their plan to try and fix the Electoral College.”

Research contact: @HuffPost

Trump refuses to commit to peaceful power transfer on January 20

September 25, 2020

It’s the scenario that comedian Bill Maher has predicted—and feared-for four years: On September 23, .President Donald Trump said that he wouldn’t commit to a peaceful transfer of power if a tally of ballots shows Democrat Joe Biden has won the November election.

“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said in response to a reporter’s question at a White House news conference on Wednesday evening. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the [mail-in] ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”

Trump has been criticizing the legitimacy of mail-in voting, which is being offered in a number of states as officials seek to limit the spread of the coronavirus at packed polling places.

As Bloomberg reported this week, the president has repeatedly claimed without evidence that mail-in voting is more susceptible to fraud than in-person voting on Election Day. Lawyers representing Trump’s campaign are challenging mail-in voting rules in several states.

What’s more, the president is threatening to simply stay put in the Oval Office, with no transfer of power in the works: “Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a transfer—a very peaceful, there won’t be a transfer, frankly,” Trump said on Wednesday. “There’ll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control, you know it. You know who knows that better than anybody else? The Democrats know that better than anybody else.”

Trump is trailing Biden in national polls and in key states.

“What country are we in?” Biden said when asked about Trump’s remarks as he returned to Delaware from campaigning in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I’m being facetious. What country are we in? Look, he says the most irrational things. I don’t know what to say about that.”

A few Republicans spoke out to condemn Trump’s remarks.

According to the Bloomberg report, on Thursday morning, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming tweeted: “The peaceful transfer of power is enshrined in our Constitution and fundamental to the survival of our Republic. America’s leaders swear an oath to the Constitution. We will uphold that oath.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted Thursday that “at noon on January 20, 2021 we will peacefully swear in the President.”

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was the first member of Trump’s party to speak out on Wednesday. “Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus. Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable,” he said on Twitter.

On Tuesday, Romney, who has often been critical of Trump and was the lone Republican to vote to convict him in this year’s Senate impeachment trial, said he supported proceeding with the president’s plan to quickly replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme

Research contact: @Bloomberg

Protesters at Senator Lindsey Graham’s house seek to block SCOTUS vote before election

September 22, 2020

Following the September 18 death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s home in Washington, DC, on Monday morning, September 21—waving banners and signs that called him a “two-faced coward” and demanded that he “keep his word”— after he pledged his support for a Senate vote on President Donald Trump’s SCOTUS nominee ahead of the election.

Democrats have condemned the South Carolina senator and other Republicans for flip-flopping on their opposition to filling a Supreme Court vacancy during a presidential election year, The Huffington Post reports.

In 2016, Graham supported Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to block Senate consideration of Merrick Garland, then-President Barack Obama’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

But Graham, who now chairs the key Judiciary Committee, appeared to change his tune following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, saying he would support Trump “in any effort to move forward” in filling her seat.

Trump said on Monday that he’d announce his nomination Friday or Saturday, and that a Senate vote on his nominee should happen before the November 3 election—a move to “steal” another seat that is sure to trigger widespread anger among voters who are not members of his 40% base.

Protesters on Monday showed up to Graham’s townhouse around 6 a.m., where they banged drums, blared air horns, and demanded that he oppose a Supreme Court confirmation vote before Election Day, the HuffPost reported.

“We can’t sleep so neither should Lindsey,” read one sign held by a protester. Other signs in the crowd labeled Graham a “two-faced coward” and a “hypocrite.”

It’s unclear whether Graham was inside the house during the demonstration, which was organized by Shut Down DC and the Washington, DC, chapter of the Sunrise Movement, two groups focused on tackling the climate crisis.

Trump and many of his Republican allies have called for a swift confirmation of his nominee to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg was one of the court’s most liberal judges, making Republicans eager to fill her seat with a conservative. If they succeed, the court will have a 6-3 conservative majority.

Hours after Ginsburg’s death, McConnell said Trump’s nominee would receive a vote on the Senate floor.

When Scalia died in 2016, McConnell blocked Garland from receiving a hearing in the Senate, claiming the winner of the 2016 presidential election should pick the nominee. Scalia died 269 days before the 2016 presidential election. Ginsburg died 46 days before the 2020 presidential election.

Graham stood by McConnell’s decision in 2016, stating at the time that he strongly supports “giving the American people a voice in choosing the next Supreme Court nominee by electing a new president.”

“I want you to use my words against me,” Graham said at the time. “If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said, ‘Let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination.’ And you could use my words against me and you’d be absolutely right.”

Graham reiterated his stance in 2018 during a forum with The Atlantic, stating that “if an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait until the next election.”

But Graham now seems unfazed by his pledges.

“I fully understand where [Trump] is coming from,” Graham tweeted Saturday in response to the president’s statement that the GOP has an “obligation” to fill the Supreme Court vacancy “without delay.”

About 100 demonstrators protested outside McConnell’s home in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, calling on the Republican leader to allow whoever is elected in November to pick the next Supreme Court nominee.

“I think it’s time to stand up and speak out,” one protester told WLKY. “That’s what Ruth Bader Ginsburg fought her whole life for.”

Research contact: @HuffPost