A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Couldn’t Be Me!
After almost a week of Fox News and Trump goons going to town on his court filing, special counsel John Durham filed a defensive response on Thursday to accusations that he’d purposefully omitted and misrepresented facts in his filing to feed into MAGAland’s conspiracy theories about the Clinton campaign.
- It’s not his fault Fox et al. used his report to spread a fake narrative, Durham insisted. “If third parties or members of the media have overstated, understated, or otherwise misinterpreted facts contained in the Government’s Motion, that does not in any way undermine the valid reasons for the Government’s inclusion of this information,” he sniffed.
- Trump had latched onto Durham’s filing to somehow make it about the 2020 election. The case has nothing to do with the 2020 election.
- By the way, even conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt thinks the right-wing media is overdoing it with the Durham thing.
GOP Texas Lt. Guv’s Campaign Piles On Thousands More Delays To Mail-In Ballot Requests
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s (R) campaign sent unsolicited mail-in ballot applications to Republican voters in January encouraging them to send their requests to the secretary of state’s office, even though they’re supposed to be sent to their local elections offices.
- Now the secretary of state has to scramble to get the applications to the right offices, delaying thousands of requests and adding even more chaos to Texas’ new elections administration process under the state Republicans’ new anti-voting law.
- The deadline to fix problems with the applications is today, with Texas’ primaries being held on March 1.
- There’s already been a big hike in absentee ballot application rejections this year thanks to the new law, and Patrick’s misdirect only threatens to make it worse.
McCarthy Endorses Cheney’s Foe
It’s official: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) wants former fellow House leader Liz Cheney (R-WY) to GTFO. He endorsed Harriet Hageman, one of Cheney’s primary challengers who’s also backed by Trump, on Thursday, saying that he looks forward to “welcoming Harriet to a Republican majority next Congress.”
Trump Gotta Testify
Trump had a bad day yesterday: A New York judge ordered him and his two adult children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., to give sworn testimony in an interview with New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) office, which is carrying out a civil investigation into the ex-president’s businesses.
- Trump and his two children have to testify within 21 days, the judge ordered.
- They also have to comply with James’ subpoenas, the judge said, and Trump has to hand over the documents within 14 days.
Idaho Lt. Guv Rubs Shoulders With White Nationalist
Janice McGeachin, Idaho’s GOP lieutenant governor who had a habit of cosplaying as the governor whenever the real one left the state and is now actually running for governor, took a picture with a white nationalist at a campaign event on Saturday and got a full-throated endorsement from him.
- The white nationalist told his followers he had “deep connections” to McGeachin. He said the lieutenant governor was a better candidate than far-right militant Ammon Bundy (yep, he’s running for governor too) because unlike with McGeachin, “we can’t influence” Bundy.
- McGeachin has well-documented ties to right-wing extremist groups, including the Three Percenters, a militia group with members who’ve been charged in connection to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.
Organizers Of Canadian Trucker Protest Arrested
The Ottawa police arrested two leaders of the Canadian truckers’ anti-government protest on Thursday night, according to a spokesperson for Freedom Convoy 2022. One of the organizers was charged with “aiding and abetting mischief,” the spokesperson said.
Government Shutdown Averted
The Senate passed the House’s stopgap measure on Thursday to extend government funding, which was set to expire today.
GOP Guv Who Signed Anti-Trans Bill Doesn’t Know Why Her State’s LGBTQ+ Community Is Depressed
Exactly two weeks after signing the first transgender athlete ban of this year into law, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) was asked why she thinks her state has an astonishingly high anxiety and depression rate among the LBGTQ+ community (the highest in the country, in fact), to which she replied:
“I don’t know. That makes me sad and we should figure it out …………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………..…………………Anything else?”
Can you even really call that a “We’re all trying to find the guy who did this” moment? At least the hot dog man put some effort into the act.
DCCC Chair Reminisces About Very Good MDMA
Remember 1986, when Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) would do some “really pure” molly at REM shows? Maloney does:
Take A Gander At This Bonkers Campaign Bus
Republican Georgia gubernatorial candidate Kandiss (I know) Taylor is going around trying to convince people to vote for her with this:
Jesus. Guns. Babies. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
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