A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Hey Man, We’re Not A Part Of This
Fox News wants to make it clear that it has nothing to do with Trump’s TRUTH Social app, even though there’s a verified Fox News account on the app.
- That might break TRUTH Social CEO and former dairy farmer Devin Nunes’ heart, who had posted a screenshot of the verified Fox account and wrote “Great to have RSS feed for @FoxNews now LIVE here on TRUTH!”
See, I’d like to post screenshots of the account that allegedly doesn’t belong to Fox and of Nunes’ victory lap, but I can’t do that because I have to stand in line behind (allegedly) more than 1.5 million people before I can enjoy the full TRUTH Social experience for myself–even though Nunes told Americans desperately seeking the TRUTH that the app would be “fully operational” by the end of March.
RNC Officially Ditches Presidential Debate Organization
The RNC has decided to take its ball and go home after failing to bully the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) into meeting the GOP’s demands on the structure of future debates: The RNC voted unanimously to withdraw from the CPD on Thursday, the RNC’s final salvo against the organization that Republicans (Trump, specifically) accuse of being unfairly biased against them.
- RNC chair Ronna McDaniel vowed after the vote that her group would find “newer, better debate platforms” to “ensure that future nominees are not forced to go through the biased CPD in order to make their case to the American people.”
- The RNC also passed a resolution requiring GOP presidential candidates to pledge in writing that they won’t participate in any debates that haven’t been “sanctioned” by the party. Anyone who refuses to make the pledge or participates in a non-sanctioned debate will be banned from future sanctioned debates, according to the resolution.
- The RNC will figure out its criteria for sanctioned debates based on, among other things, “input from presidential campaigns,” in the Wall Street Journal’s words (“approval from Daddy Trump” in my words).
Elon Musk Admits His Doubts About Being Able To Buy Twitter
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, speaking publicly for the first time on his $43 billion offer to buy Twitter on Thursday, said during a TED event that he was “not sure” if he’ll “actually be able to acquire” the social media giant.
- The billionaire claimed to have a Plan B if Twitter turns down his bid. He didn’t explain what that plan was.
- Twitter employees really don’t want Musk at the helm, according to the Washington Post.
Trump-Endorsed Candidate Accused Of Groping By Eight Women
Eight women, including a GOP Nebraska state senator, alleged on Thursday that Charles Herbster, a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Nebraska who’s been backed by Trump, groped them between 2017 and this year.
- State Sen. Julie Slama alleged that Herbster reached up her skirt and touched her during a Republican event in 2019.
- Six of the women (not including Slama) said that Herbster groped their buttocks during political events or beauty pageants. A seventh woman told the Nebraska Examiner that the gubernatorial candidate had forcibly kissed her after privately cornering her.
- Herbster denied the accusations on Thursday, with his campaign claiming that the accounts were a “political hit-piece built on 100% false and baseless claims.”
Russia Admits Flagship Has Sunk
Russia partially confirmed on Thursday Ukraine’s report that Russia’s largest ship in the Black Sea has sunk. However, Russia claimed that it went under due to “stormy conditions” and the ship “losing stability due to hull damage from a detonation of ammunition stores during a fire,” not because Ukraine had shot missiles at it.
DeSantis Dives Into GOP Abortion War
- DeSantis’ signing ceremony, complete with child props, came several hours after Kentucky’s GOP-controlled legislature overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) veto on its abortion ban, which (unlike other red states’ bans) is effective immediately.
Stephen Miller Testifies In Front Of Jan. 6 Committee
The House Jan. 6 Committee questioned former White House senior adviser and white nationalist propaganda aficionado Stephen Miller for eight hours on Thursday. The session got heated several times, according to the New York Times.
FDA Authorizes First COVID Breath Test
On Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to the first COVID-19 test that detects the virus through breath samples. The equipment, which is called “the InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyzer,” can provide results in less than three minutes, according to the FDA.
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