I’m Slate nights and weekends home page editor Seth Maxon, pinch-writing for Ben Mathis-Lilley, who is on vacation. You might remember me from such previous newsletters as Today in Slate, now known as The Angle. Ben will be back next week.
Think back—way back to the first Republican debate, when Donald Trump was the only candidate who wouldn’t promise to support whomever turned out to be the GOP nominee. Soon afterward, the Donald got on board, and joined his rivals in signing a “loyalty pledge” to the eventual Republican King of the Mountain, whomever that would be. Since Trump began claiming skulls amid his rampage up that peak, his ever-fewer fellow Republican candidates have refused to retract the loyalty pledge outright; even now, John Kasich and Ted Cruz won’t come out and say that they won’t support the reality-television star if he wins the nomination.
But surprise! Donald Trump left little doubt Tuesday night that the whole “loyalty pledge” was meaningless. “No, I don’t anymore,” he said of his old promise, at a CNN town hall with a cranky Anderson Cooper. As Josh Voorhees writes, it’s clear now that the pledge worked to Trump’s advantage, and pretty much no one else’s. As always, the billionaire is setting the terms in the contest. Here’s what else happened:
- Yet again, the police officers who shot and killed an unarmed black man will not be indicted. This time, the victim was 24-year-old Minneapolis man Jamar Clark.
- Conservative media figures like Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh briefly turned on Trump for mocking Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi, but now that Donald campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been arrested for battering former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, the whole gang has Trump’s back again. Nothing like assault to bring old friends back together.
- The Supreme Court ruled that the government can’t freeze your assets and prevent you from having a lawyer of your choosing, and the Sixth Amendment found an unlikely friend in Clarence Thomas.
- Marco Rubio—remember him? Little sweaty guy from Florida, loves God, repeats himself? No?—is lobbying Republican Party officials to let him keep the 170-odd delegates he won while running for president. This zombie-delegate plan to stop Trump could spread like, well, like a virus of the undead.
- Speaking of zombies, we’re only half a horsemen to our Trump Apocalypse at this point.
- A 20-year-old former Mississippi State student pleaded guilty to trying to join ISIS with her fiancé and now faces 20 years in prison. Young love, so sweet.
- And a company in Minnesota made a gun that looks exactly like a cellphone because what could possibly go wrong.
Have a stupendous evening out there!