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"Trump! Trump! Trump!" - LAT Politics Ace Seema Mehta Decodes His Menacing Rant in California Stop

Amid the seismic news of recent days - the death of Senator Dianne Feinstein, Prince Gavin's pick to replace her, and the defenestration of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy - even hard-core political junkies may have missed Donald Trump going full Joker Mode in California.

So Newsmakers TV, a full service media enterprise, this week hosts Seema Mehta, top political reporter for The Los Angeles Times, to gain eyewitness perspective on Trump's diatribe to the California Republican Party.

At the party's fall convention in Anaheim, the GOP presidential front-runner last Friday delivered a 90-minute tirade, deploying a profusion of increasingly vile, vicious and violent rhetoric.

"Trump! Trump! Trump!" some 1,500 delegates and guests chanted as they stood to applaud his call for the extra-judicial, immediate execution of suspected shoplifters.

Twice-impeached, found guilty in a civil rape trial and facing 91 charges in four separate federal and state criminal indictments in connection with his attempted coup on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump also currently is being tried for years of massive financial fraud in New York; perhaps feeling a teeny bit defensive, the former president at last week's convention further delighted his California votaries by taunting Paul Pelosi, the 82-year old husband of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was severely injured when a QAnon maniac broke into the couple's San Francisco home and beat him in the head with a hammer.

Trump mocked Pelosi and her husband, Paul, who was violently attacked at their San Francisco home last year by a man who espoused an unfounded QAnon theory that Trump is at war with Satan-worshiping Democratic elites who run a child sex ring.

“We will stand up to crazy Nancy Pelosi, who ruined San Francisco,” Trump said.

“How’s your husband doing?” he added as the crowd roared with laughter.

Gruesome reality check: This man has an 83 percent chance of capturing the GOP nomination for president, according to online betting markets, and a 34.48 percent chance of becoming the next president. Incumbent Joe Biden's chances are listed at 34.72 percent.

Senate race scenarios. A graduate of Syracuse University and a former Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan, Seema joined the Times in 1998, covering four presidential campaigns and countless other state and local races.

In 2024, she will focus again on the presidential campaign, along with the wide-open California Senate contest for the seat long held by the late Senator Feinstein, who was laid to rest in her hometown on Thursday.

Three longtime Democratic House members from the state -- Reps. Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee are competing in the March 5 primary for two slots in the Nov. 5 general election run-off.

In our conversation, Seema noted that the biggest unknown at this point (beyond whether former Dodgers first-baseman and Giants scourge Steve Garvey jumps in to give Republicans a high-profile challenger) is the will-she-or-won't-she decision of interim Senator Laphonza Butler about seeking a full, six-year term in next year's election.

In a surprise move, Newsom last weekend selected the 44-year old Butler, a veteran progressive political operative and organizer, to fill out the remainder of Senator Feinstein's term. Both he and she claim there was no discussion or agreement about whether she would enter the already-crowded 2024 Senate race (Which means, btw, that Prince Gavin either is lying now, or was lying earlier when he promised only to appoint a caretaker to the interim position, so as not to scramble the three-way campaign already underway among the three House members. But we digress).

Seema also breaks down how state Republicans changed their primary rules to benefit Trump; analyzes what the downstream effects in California may be of having him as the GOP nominee; and makes clear what Newsom is up to with this weird debate thing with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on the Sean Hannity show. Plus why Ronald Reagan is spinning in his grave.

All this and more, right here, right now on Newsmakers TV.


You can watch the show on YouTube below, or by clicking through this link, The podcast version is here. TVSB, Cox Cable Channel 17, airs the show at 8 p.m. every weeknight and at 9 a.m. on weekends. KCSB, 91.9 FM, broadcasts the program at 5:30 p.m.


Cartoon by Bob Weber for The New Yorker.

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