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Liz Cheney says she’s ready to consider a third party, warns of ‘grave’ threat of Trump-led GOP

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Liz Cheney says she’s ready to consider a third party, warns of ‘grave’ threat of Trump-led GOP
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Liz Cheney, once a rising leader in the GOP who has become a crusader against Donald Trump, says she may soon be ready to forge a new third party − or even run for president with one in 2024.

“I certainly hope to play a role in helping to ensure that the country has … a new, fully conservative party,” she told USA TODAY in an interview Monday about her new book, “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning,” out Tuesday. “And so whether that means restoring the current Republican Party, which … looks like a very difficult if not impossible task, or setting up a new party, I do hope to be involved and engaged in that.”

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She said she also hasn’t ruled out joining a bipartisan ticket in next year’s election, like the one proposed by a group called No Labels, an independent campaign that promises to put both a Republican and a Democrat on the ballot.

“I think that the situation that we’re in is so grave, and the politics of the moment require independents and Republicans and Democrats coming together in a way that can help form a new coalition, so that may well be a third-party option,” she said.

Meanwhile, she is in the odd position of urging Republican voters to elect Democrats to the House and Senate, warning that Speaker Mike Johnson and his GOP caucus, beholden to Trump, she says, can’t be trusted to certify the legitimate results of the next election.

“It’s not a position that I’ve arrived at lightly,” she said.

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Cheney said she wouldn’t run on the No Labels ticket if it seemed likely to play a spoiler role, helping to elect Trump − which is what many top Democratic and nonpartisan analysts warn. A third-party ticket could give voters who won’t vote for Trump but aren’t sold on the likely Democratic nominee, President Joe Biden, another place to go.

That calculation would affect her decision, she said, calling the defeat of Trump the crucial task to save democracy and protect the Constitution. “The president who’s willing to ignore the rulings of the courts, the president who’s willing to ignore the guardrails of our democracy is an existential threat,” she said.

A different world before his rise

There was a time when the sky was the limit for Liz Cheney within the GOP.

B.T., that is. Before Trump. 

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She is a member of a family that once helped define conservative Republicanism, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and author Lynne Cheney. First elected to the House in the same 2016 campaign that put Trump in the White House, she was elected to the congressional leadership, with chatter that she might be the first female Republican speaker, a conservative version of Nancy Pelosi. She was considered a potential candidate for the Senate, or even national office. 

But she voted to impeach Trump for the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and she accepted Pelosi’s request that she co-chair the committee investigating the insurrection, helping give it some bipartisan patina and burning her bridges with Trump and others in the GOP. She was ousted from her leadership post and routed in her bid for the party’s nomination for a fourth term in Congress. 

She isn’t a person given to regrets, she said. “My only regret is supporting Donald Trump.”

Her goal now is to shame Republican officeholders to stop being what she calls “enablers” and “collaborationists” of Trump, unwilling to say in public the criticism some deliver in private. She quotes Tennessee Rep. Mark Green, when members were being urged to sign on to unfounded objections to the electoral vote count in 2021, as “sheepishly” saying, “The things we do for the Orange Jesus.’”

Green’s spokesperson has denied he made the comment.

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Why did Kevin McCarthy go to Mar-a-Lago?

She is brutal on then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Two days after the election, she reveals, he told her Trump had acknowledged to him that he knew he had lost. Three weeks after the Jan. 6 insurrection, when she challenged McCarthy for visiting Trump at Mar-a-Lago, he defended his visit by saying Trump’s staff was worried because he was “really depressed” and “not eating.”

Trump denied that Monday in a message posted just after midnight on Truth Social saying McCarthy visited him “to get my support, and to bring the Republican Party together.” He denied “not eating,” adding, “it was that I was eating too much.” He called her book “boring.”

“Crazy Liz Cheney,” he said, “who suffers from Trump Derangement Syndrome at a level rarely seen before.”

She laughed that off.

She recalls the emotional moment her father told her, “Defend the republic, daughter.” And the times her five children have embraced her and gotten angry at the attacks on her.

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“I’m so proud of you,” her youngest son said when she came home after a day of the televised hearings by the Jan. 6 committee. Then he brought her down to earth. “And now can we please focus on getting me my learner’s permit?”

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North Dakota Republican Caucus Results

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North Dakota Republican Caucus Results
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Trial begins for Vietnamese property tycoon accused of $12bn fraud

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Trial begins for Vietnamese property tycoon accused of $12bn fraud

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The fraud trial of a Vietnamese real estate tycoon who allegedly misappropriated $12bn started on Tuesday, as part of the country’s largest corruption case that has also ensnared officials from the central bank and government.

Truong My Lan faces a death sentence or imprisonment if found guilty in the graft case, which has rocked the property and corporate bond markets of one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

The graft case is part of a corruption crackdown launched by Vietnam’s Communist party that has resulted in the arrests of hundreds of senior government officials, including cabinet ministers. Lan, developer Van Thinh Phat Group’s chair, is the most prominent businessperson to face graft allegations.

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Vietnam has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of manufacturers seeking to diversify their supply chains beyond China as geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing rise. However, the Vietnamese economy grew 5.05 per cent in 2023, missing the government’s official target, as overseas demand slowed.

The anti-corruption campaign has slowed down project approvals by the government, and more state scrutiny of private businesses could hurt investor confidence, analysts said.

Lan, 67, comes from one of Vietnam’s richest families who made their fortune in property. She has been charged with bribery, embezzlement, abuse of power and “lack of responsibility causing serious consequences”, according to state media.

She has denied wrongdoing, state media reported. Lawyers for Lan, who was arrested in 2022, did not respond to a request for comment.

Lan is accused by Vietnamese authorities of using Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB), in which she owns a controlling stake of about 90 per cent, to funnel 304tn dong ($12.3bn) to her real estate company Van Thinh Phat.

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Loans worth more than $44bn were given by SCB to Van Thinh Phat and related companies between 2012 and 2022, accounting for 93 per cent of the total loans disbursed by the bank.

Authorities also said Van Thinh Phat used allegedly fake companies to sell corporate bonds through SCB to the bank’s depositors.

In addition to Lan, 85 people — including 15 officials from Vietnam’s central bank — are charged in connection with the case. The central bank officials are accused of receiving bribes from Lan to cover up the alleged fraud.

“The trial is important in terms of scale and because it signals that the [Communist] party is willing to expand its anti-corruption campaign to the private sector despite potential risks that it might have on the economy,” said Nguyen Khac Giang, a visiting fellow at Singapore’s Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute.

He said Lan’s corruption case had dented the confidence of some private businesses in Vietnam worried about the risks of operating in the country and the state companies they work with.

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The anti-corruption campaign has also made government officials hesitant to approve projects, he added, out of fear that they could be implicated in graft.

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FAA audit faults Boeing for 'multiple instances' of quality control shortcomings

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FAA audit faults Boeing for 'multiple instances' of quality control shortcomings

Boeing workers at the Renton Municipal Airport in Washington finalize assembly of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet on Feb. 27. An FAA audit faulted Boeing for “multiple instances” of quality control shortcomings.

Jovelle Tamayo for NPR


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Jovelle Tamayo for NPR


Boeing workers at the Renton Municipal Airport in Washington finalize assembly of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max jet on Feb. 27. An FAA audit faulted Boeing for “multiple instances” of quality control shortcomings.

Jovelle Tamayo for NPR

WASHINGTON — After a six-week audit of Boeing, federal regulators say they found quality control problems at Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems, one of its top suppliers.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it found “multiple instances” of Boeing and Spirit failing to “comply with manufacturing quality control requirements.”

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The FAA launched the audit of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems, which builds the fuselage for the Boeing 737 Max, after a door plug panel blew out in midair during an Alaska Airlines flight on Jan. 5.

No one was seriously hurt when the plug came off as the new jet climbed through 14,000 feet after departing Portland, Ore. It returned to make an emergency landing as winds whipped through a hole in the fuselage.

A preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board determined that four key bolts that were supposed to hold the door plug in place were missing when the plane left Boeing’s factory.

The audit found problems in “Boeing’s manufacturing process control, parts handling and storage, and product control,” the FAA said in a statement.

The agency says FAA administrator Mike Whitaker discussed the findings with Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun last week, when the agency gave Boeing 90 days to come up with a plan of action to address its quality control problems.

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The FAA says it provided both companies with a summary of the audit findings. But the agency declined to share those details with NPR, citing its ongoing investigation.

Auditors visited Boeing’s factory in Renton, Wash., and Spirit’s plant in Wichita, Kan.

Boeing confirmed Friday that it is in talks to buy Spirit AeroSystems.

“We believe that the reintegration of Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems’ manufacturing operations would further strengthen aviation safety, improve quality and serve the interests of our customers, employees, and shareholders,” said Jessica Kowal, Boeing’s director of media relations, in a statement.

That would be a change of strategy for Boeing, which nearly two decades ago sold off the assets that are now part of Spirit.

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But the supplier has had several costly and embarrassing problems with quality control in recent years as it pushed to keep up with Boeing’s ambitious production schedule.

NPR’s Joel Rose reported from Washington, D.C., and Russell Lewis from Birmingham, Ala.

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