The Brew: Trump Crashes Libertarian Party, Biden Spins New Yarn About Naval Academy Days

Commander-in-Chief Joe Biden delivers the commencement address for the U.S. Military Academy class of 2024, Saturday, May 25, 2024, in West Point, New York.

By Al Perrotta Published on May 28, 2024

Happy Tuesday!

And welcome to the first Brew of the summer season. Al’s Afternoon Tea will catch us up on some of the happenings over the holiday, but for the morning, let’s grab the latest from the busy Campaign 2024.

Lawfare Roundup: Closing Arguments Begin in Trump Trial

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin today in Broadway’s latest riveting comedy, “The Trump Hush-Money Trial.”

Maybe, just maybe, prosecutors will share exactly what federal crime Donald Trump is being tried on. Although they really don’t have to: Judge Juan Merchan decided to instruct the jury that they don’t need to unanimously agree which of the three alleged “predicate” crimes New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s team has referenced in order to find Trump guilty of a felony. Is it a tax crime? A federal election crime? A state crime? Go ahead, jury. You can each pick what flavor of felony you want, like ordering ice cream at the beach. If you want to convict Trump just because he’s Trump, Merchan’s giving you three times the usual number of chances to rationalize your decision.

Legal analyst Greta Van Susteren says this instruction is “wrong” … as in the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled it’s unconstitutional.

This is all about getting a conviction by hook or crook before the presidential election. What an appellate court might do later … who cares, as long as the election is over by the time they get to hear the case?

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Here’s a  little cookie to chew on with your Brew: It’s pretty clear the real question is whether the jury’s hatred for Trump will outweigh their anger over the feds and DA playing them for chumps all this time. Last Thursday, Trump held his “lovefest” in the deep, deep blue Bronx. There’s no way the jury avoided coverage or chatter about it. Will that event signal it’s okay to like Trump in New York again, and give “permission” to the jury to rule fairly?

We learned over the weekend that Joe Biden will be commenting from the White House on the Trump verdict, whatever it turns out to be. Because nothing says “democracy” like crowing from the seat of power over the political opponent whose prosecution you pushed personally. However, what would be funnier than hearing, “Nobody’s above the law!” from the man who avoided criminal charges simply because his DOJ’s hand-picked special counsel declared he was too senile to be tried — and then invoked executive privilege to keep the audio of those interviews from being released?

Meanwhile, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith is asking the judge in Trump’s Florida classified-documents case to clamp a gag order on him, just as Merchan has in the “hush-money” trial. Smith is upset that Trump is publicly talking about the use of “deadly force” authority federal agents were given for the raid on Mar-a-Lago, claiming he’s putting agents in danger.

How do you know when American democracy has jumped the shark? When a president’s henchman tries to silence his political rival from complaining about armed men storming his house and rifling through his wife’s underwear.

Trump Speaks at Libertarian Party Convention, Quiets Some Boos

Meanwhile, Trump continues to bring his message to supposedly unfriendly turf, addressing the Libertarian Party Convention last Saturday. The crowd wasn’t exactly welcoming, tossing plenty of boos his way … especially when he suggested they nominate him as their presidential candidate. Boy, did that bring out the boo-birds! However, it led to a smile and an epic response from the former president: “Only if you want to win. Maybe you don’t want to win. Keep getting your three percent every four years.”

Trump asked the Libertarians to join him in fighting government overreach and communism. He promised to put Libertarians in his cabinet and in high positions. Then he offered them something they’ve been screaming about for a decade: to commute the sentence of Ross Ulbright, founder of the Silk Road mail-order drug site.

That brought the cheers.

Biden Repeats Fib About Being Appointed to Naval Academy as Gaza Pier Falls Apart

Joe Biden spent most of the Memorial Day weekend at his Delaware beach house, though The Daily Mail reports he did venture out briefly to a clothing store. (I hope he didn’t “fall into the GAP.”) 

On Saturday, the commander-in-chief delivered the commencement speech at West Point. He also delivered one of his favorite whoppers, again telling the tale that he had gotten an appointment to the Naval Academy when he was young, but chose not to go because he wanted to play football and the Navy had great players ahead of him.   

“I was appointed by the fella I ran against when I was 29 years old to the Naval Academy. I was one of ten. I wanted to play football,” Biden said. “And I’d found out two days earlier they had a quarterback named Roger Staubach and a halfback named Joe Bellino. I said, ‘I’m not going there.’ I went to Delaware. Not a joke.”

Actually it is a joke. First off, there is no record of Biden getting an appointment to the Naval Academy. Besides, Bellino was, indeed, a great halfback. A Heisman Trophy winner, in fact. However, Bellino graduated from the Naval Academy in 1960. Biden graduated high school in 1961.

Maybe he should have gone to the Academy. The military that Biden leads — at least according to the official chain of command — suffered another problem over the weekend. You know that $320 million floating pier in Gaza the U.S. just built? Four U.S. military ships became unmoored from the pier in rough weather and ended up washing ashore in Israel. Plus, according to a new Wall Street Journal investigation, little of the humanitarian aid that’s supposed to be going through the pier has actually made it to the suffering citizens of Gaza.

While Biden is making up tales about the Naval Academy, U.S. Fleet Forces Commander Daryl Caudle confirmed that foreign nationals have tried penetrating U.S. military bases dozens of times in recent weeks. Caudle told Fox News the attempted incursions by Chinese, Chechen, and other foreign nationals are occurring “two or three times a week.”

How long before the Department of Homeland Security actually offers illegals free shuttles from Mexico directly to our military bases?

Nikki and a New Name for the VP Slot

It looks like Nikki Haley is back in Trump’s good graces. Trump said over the weekend he is “confident” she will be part of his administration if he’s reelected. He had previously said she’s not being considered as his running mate, but is that back on the table despite her nasty campaign rhetoric and determination to drag the primary season out?

Another possibility: Trump makes Haley his second-term Secretary of State. They disagree on Ukraine, but if Trump’s convinced he’ll have that war settled immediately, that difference would dissolve. It would also be a Trump-like move to put a hawk like Haley at the State Department and install someone who is wary of foreign wars like Tulsi Gabbard as Secretary of Defense.

Meanwhile, a new name has emerged in the vice presidential sweepstakes: Conservative Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR). According to the Washington Examiner Cotton has joined a short list that includes Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), and J.D. Vance (R-OH).

However, the report may be nothing more than birdcage liner. Do we really believe there are no women on Trump’s short list? Plus (no offense to the fine gentlemen listed,) but do you really think the man who just barnstormed the Bronx and crashed the Libertarian convention is not going to pick someone who will generate a “wow”?

Ugly Is a Bad Look

The View’s Ana Navarro is unhappy that Donald Trump is making gains with Hispanic voters and wowed the crowd in heavily Hispanic South Bronx Thursday evening. Her explanation to CNN? Latino voters supporting Trump have a “very stupid attitude.” According to her, Trump is a racist who inspires other racists to shoot up Hispanics at Walmart. 

New York Governor Kathy Hochul also thinks insulting voters is a winning strategy. In an effort to belittle Trump’s chances of winning in New York, she referred to his supporters as “clowns.”

Hochul told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I’ll tell you what won’t make a difference at all, Jake, and that’s for Donald Trump to be the ringleader and invite all his clowns to a place like the Bronx.”  

It would be kind of amusing for a clown car to pull up to a polling place near Hochul on Election Day, and for “clowns” to keep pouring and pouring and pouring and pouring out of the vehicle. 

Along The Stream

Exciting! Our Gayle McQueary has interviewed former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn about the government’s assault on him and his family, and the new documentary about that, Flynn. Check out “The Fighting Flynn.”

Also, we are also honored to welcome U.S. Army Col. (Ret.) Samuel Clear, who brought us the story of Command Sgt. Major Donavan Watts in “Unsure How to Reflect This Memorial Day? Here’s a Story of One Hero You’ll Never Forget.”  


Al Perrotta is The Stream’s Washington bureau chief, coauthor with John Zmirak of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration, and coauthor of the counterterrorism memoir Hostile Intent: Protecting Yourself Against Terrorism.

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