Trump to vist Detroit to 'support' striking workers

Plus, Elon Musk's monkey murders and Clarence Thomas' latest scandal


Donald Trump will once again skip the Republican primary debates in favor of another publicity stunt. However this time, it won’t be a one-on-one interview on friendly turf. Next week, Trump’s campaign says he will go to Detroit to speak with striking auto workers who are currently involved in a labor dispute with Ford, General Motors and Stellantis over wages, benefits and other contract stipulations.

Trump falsely believes that autoworkers are upset because they have been “sold down the ‘drain’ with this Electric Car SCAM,” as he put it on Truth Social. He also claimed that United Auto Workers (UAW) members were also being screwed over by their left-leaning leader, UAW President Shawn Fain.

“I think he’s not doing a good job in representing his union because he’s not going to have a union in three years from now,” Trump said in his Meet the Press interview last weekend. “Those jobs are all going to be gone because all of those electric cars are going to be made in China. That’s what’s happening.”

Fain refuted Trump’s “support” for his workers: “Every fiber of our union is being poured into fighting the billionaire class and an economy that enriches people like Donald Trump at the expense of workers,” Fain wrote in a fiery statement.

In a post on X (the site formerly known as Twitter), Elon Musk recently claimed that “No monkey has died as a result of a Neuralink implant. He also stated that to “minimize risk to healthy monkeys,” his biotech startup “chose terminal [monkeys].” Musk is referring to the main product that Neuralink is developing: a computer that would interface directly with the human brain through neural sensors.

But new documents released by the tech magazine WIRED demonstrate that Musk is lying: The publication published SEC statements that contrast with Musk’s revisionism. Quite to the contrary, the technology has infamously proven ineffective so far and has reportedly killed countless macaques during the testing process.

“UC Davis veterinary records cited by the Physicians Committee — which WIRED also obtained through a subsequent California public records request — chronicle a battery of complications that developed following procedures involving electrodes being surgically implanted into monkeys’ brains,” WIRED reporters Dhruv Mehrotra and Dell Cameron explained.

“The complications include bloody diarrhea, partial paralysis, and cerebral edema, a condition colloquially known as ‘brain swelling.’”

A former Neuralink employee also told WIRED that Musk was blatantly spreading falsehoods, calling his posturing “ridiculous” and a “straight fabrication.”

“We had these monkeys for a year or so before any surgery was performed,” the anonymous source concluded.

Justice Thomas involved in new influence-peddling scandal

New reporting published by investigative outlet ProPublica today revealed that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had attended a Palm Springs fundraising summit curated by the Koch Brothers in support of their political action network. The Kochs had become personally acquainted with Thomas after spending time with him at Bohemian Grove, an exclusive retreat for elite politicians, cultural icons and wealthy financiers that has been the source of many conspiracy theories.

According to the newsroom, Thomas’ participation was seen as a draw for others to attend the summit.

“The justice was brought in to speak, staffers said, in the hopes that such access would encourage donors to continue giving,” ProPublica reporters Joshua Kaplan, Justin Elliott and Alex Mierjeski wrote.  

“That puts Thomas in the extraordinary position of having served as a fundraising draw for a network that has brought cases before the Supreme Court, including one of the most closely watched of the upcoming term.”

The trip and its accommodations, which took place in 2018, were not reported by Thomas in his annual financial disclosures and would technically violate federal law. However, a representative for the Kochs denied any wrongdoing.

“The idea that attending a couple events to promote a book or give dinner remarks, as all the justices do, could somehow be undue influence just doesn’t hold water,” they said in a statement.

Justice Thomas seems utterly addicted to soft corruption: This is now the third ProPublica investigation that unearthed evidence that Thomas was canoodling with wealthy, right-wing billionaires who had or would bring cases before the Supreme Court. Earlier this year, for example, ProPublica reported that Thomas and the construction mogul Harlan Crow appeared to have had a substantial financial and personal relationship.

A former federal judge, John E. Jones III, told ProPublica he wasn’t buying the excuses offered by Thomas — who has denied any wrongdoing throughout these investigations — and the Kochs.

“I can’t imagine — it takes my breath away, frankly — that he would go to a Koch network event for donors,” Jones said. “I’d have gotten a letter that would’ve commenced a disciplinary proceeding… What you’re seeing is a slow creep toward unethical behavior. Do it if you can get away with it.”


Americans, as you might imagine, feel pretty strongly about the current state of national politics. A new Pew Research Center poll found that these were the most common words used to describe the current political climate:

Subscribe to The Lede

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson