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Running for President of the United States means thinking that you’re the one person best equipped to become the leader of the free world — which could be considered a personality tic, to say the least. “You’re probably fairly weird,” is how Newt Gingrich once put it. This is why The National Memo has launched “Strange But True,” a regular feature that will present old anecdotes, little-known facts, curious quotes and amusing videos showing a side of our politicians that they probably wish the public would ignore. (Here’s the archive.)

Please email your suggestions to avi@nationalmemo.com or use the Twitter hashtag #strangepolitics.

Rep. Michele Bachmann is a huge fan of the State of Israel for biblical and foreign policy reasons. “As a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play,” the presidential candidate and favorite daughter of the religious right explained last year at a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition.

She first visited the country in the summer of 1974, shortly after she graduated from high school. The intensely religious teenager spent a few weeks volunteering at Kibbutz Be’eri, a communal farm and settlement near the Meditterranean named after one of the left-wing founders of Israel’s largest labor union. It was basically a socialist farming cooperative filled with irreligious Jews. She loved it.

“Our hosts would wake us up at 4:00 a.m., put us on a flatbed truck pulled by an old diesel tractor, then drive us out to the cotton fields,” she wrote in a book she released earlier this year. “I felt closer not only to Jesus but also all the great figures of the Tanach (Jewish texts) and the Gospel. And I was able to do my small part to help Israel build itself up.”

Bachmann later matured into a politician who has articulated the looming threat to America posed by secularism and government intervention in the economy. “Government now will be controlling people,” she warned in a lecture on education she gave while serving in the Minnesota State Senate. “What has history shown us about planned, state economies in the last one hundred years? Think Fascism, think Communism, think socialism. Think, the state-planned economies, totalitarianism.”

Think the best summer of your life.

 

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Ivanka Trump told the House Select Committee investigating the violent January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that she accepted former Attorney General William P. Barr’s assertions that her father’s stolen election claims are “bullshit.”

But the New York Times revealed on Tuesday that for more than a month after the election, Trump’s fruitless legal crusade to overturn the 2020 election results had his eldest daughter’s complete and total backing. Per the Times, Ivanka told a documentary film crew in mid-December 2020 that she wanted Trump to “continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted” because “a lot of Americans” were supposedly questioning “the sanctity of our elections.”

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Wandrea "Shaye" Moss

YouTube Screenshot

Georgia election worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss was collateral damage in Fox News’ campaign to prop up Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud following the 2020 presidential election.

In December 2020, the network’s prime-time hosts and “straight news” personnel alike baselessly suggested that Moss and her mother and fellow election worker, Ruby Freeman, had participated in a fraud scheme. The Fox personalities don’t seem to regret their actions: After Moss described the impact those conspiracy theories had on her life to the January 6 House select committee on Tuesday, the network devoted all of 14 seconds to her testimony.

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