Trump's Truth Social post endorsing Rep. Anthony D'Esposito, right, seen...

Trump's Truth Social post endorsing Rep. Anthony D'Esposito, right, seen speaking at a news conference in Washington in April.

Daily Point

LI love fest features Blakeman, Cairo at Bronx rally

Over the long weekend ex-President Donald Trump – ahead of Tuesday’s closing arguments in his Manhattan false-business-records trial – proclaimed the virtues of Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, who faces a potentially tough reelection challenge from Democrat Laura Gillen.

On his social media platform Trump called the incumbent “a fantastic and highly effective representative for the people of New York’s 4th Congressional District.”

The plug continues: “A retired NYPD police detective, Anthony is working hard to Uphold the Rule of Law, Create Jobs and Lower Inflation, Secure the Border, and Support our incredible Military and Police Officers. “Anthony D’Esposito has by (sic) Complete and Total Endorsement!”

Just before Election Day last November, Trump in very similar language posted his support for Nassau County Legis. Howard Kopel, now presiding officer: “He is a fantastic guy who will never let you down. Strong on stopping crime and lowering your taxes, Howie has my Complete and Total Endorsement!”

It’s quite boilerplate. Trump has commonly used the last four words to boost other candidates, including Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. More recently he applied “complete and total endorsement” to the Republican opponent of far-right House Freedom Caucus leader Bob Good in Virginia who’d endorsed Ron DeSantis for president.

Why this timing for Trump’s CD4 message when there are no June primaries there? One thought from a regional GOP'er: Fundraising is in full swing and both candidates will be helped by party donors on the national circuit. For that, Trump’s comments are influential on the Republican side.

“The timing is irrelevant,” the source insisted. “He can always repeat it later on.”

The trial reaching a conclusion forced Trump to spend time in the home city he’d renounced for Florida. While here, he drew loyal supporters to a rally in the Bronx, where the region's Republicans made an appearance.

“Somebody with a fantastic future in the Republican Party – Gavin Wax...thank you, Gavin...,” he said to the leader of the Manhattan-based New York Young Republican Club, who’s gone toe-to-toe with State GOP chairman Ed Cox.

Within a minute, Trump called Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman up to the stage.

“Somebody who’s a real star in Republican politics and done a real good job – so popular in Nassau County, the county executive.... This guy is central casting. If I’m doing a movie of a politician, this is the guy I have playing him.”

A grinning Blakeman loped onto the platform, shook Trump’s hand, and invoked MAGA positions.

“Thank you very much Mr. President!,” Blakeman said. “Both my parents were World War 2 veterans. Not many people can say about that (sic). They would be shocked and appalled by what’s going on in this foreign invasion from our southern border.”

“Nassau County is not a sanctuary county, and when Donald Trump gets re-elected this will not be a sanctuary country! God Bless America!”

Trump said: “Good man! Good man!”

Also on hand in the Bronx, and receiving a shoutout, was Joseph Cairo, the Nassau Republican chairman.

“National Committeeman and chairman Joe Cairo. Joe, Thank you. Thank you, Joe,” Trump said.

Cairo and Blakeman drove together to the event. And at a meeting after the rally, Cairo and Trump discussed D’Esposito, which may account for the timing of the endorsement posted the next day. In CD4, solidifying the Trump base is viewed as key.

At the rally, Trump also said of D’Esposito: “He’s as hot as a pistol." GOP senate candidate Mike Sapraicone, whom Trump endorsed back in March, was there but he didn’t get a shoutout.

Usually criminal defendants don’t boost campaigns. But as denizens of either major party and the 45th president would tell you – for vastly different reasons – this is a very special and exceptional situation.

— Dan Janison dan.janison@newsday.com

Pencil Point

What lies below

Credit: The Boston Globe/Christopher Weyant

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/nationalcartoons

Quick Points

Work in progress

  • The U.S. Department of Justice terminated its monitoring of the Suffolk County Police Department in several key areas, saying the department has "made significant progress towards ensuring that all Suffolk County residents benefit from constitutional policing." Which is not quite the same as saying all Suffolk County residents actually do benefit from constitutional policing.
  • After U.S. Senate Republicans again blocked a bill meant to address border problems, one of the bill's authors, Arizona independent Kyrsten Sinema, who also voted against the bill, called the vote "political theater" that would do nothing to solve the border crisis. Refusing to pass the measure guarantees that.
  • Gov. Kathy Hochul is considering banning Internet access on student phones while allowing calls to let anxious parents contact their kids in an "emergency." Makes you wonder how parents managed in the hundreds of years of schooling before cellphones.
  • After an Israeli airstrike killed at least 45 Palestinians at a tent camp for displaced people, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it "a tragic mistake." That's one of the few he's been willing to admit.
  • He was a basketball god for the counterculture, redheads, and free spirits everywhere who was as adept at participating in political protests as patrolling the paint. RIP, Bill Walton.

— Michael Dobie michael.dobie@newsday.com

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