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Trump and his Republican allies were fuming all day on Tuesday about the upcoming congressional testimony of former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.

Cohen is set to testify publicly before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday to discuss how Trump directed him to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about her affair with Trump, among other topics.

The undisclosed payment was an illegal contribution to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign because it kept the affair hidden from voters, and Cohen has already been sentenced to three years in prison for that and other crimes.

If Trump hadn’t put Cohen in his employ as a Nixonesque bagman — and reportedly instructed him to deceive Congress as part of the ensuing investigation — there would be no need for Cohen to testify before Congress this week in the first place.

But as usual, Trump is blaming everybody but himself — and his Republican allies are happy to help him do that.

“Disgraced felon Michael Cohen is going to prison for lying to Congress and making other false statements,” read a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Trump’s behalf. “Sadly, he will go before Congress this week and we can expect more of the same.”

Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) also furiously denounced the hearing in a Tuesday op-ed in USA Today.

“Giving Cohen a congressional platform is a disservice to the public, an affront to our democratic values and flat-out offensive to anyone who seeks the truth,” they wrote.

Jordan and Meadows disingenuously claimed that the hearing is only taking place because “many Democrats care about one thing and one thing only: impeaching President Trump.”

The two men — who had no problems when a Republican-led Congress repeatedly wasted resources on fruitless investigations of President Barack Obama’s administration — added, “The Oversight Committee shouldn’t feed Cohen’s insatiable desire for celebrity while playing patsy for political aims of the far left.”

The Republican National Committee officially released a video accusing Cohen of “lying about President Trump in an effort to save face,” and telling him to “have fun in prison.”

However, the RNC video failed to mention that Cohen — who used to serve as the RNC’s deputy finance chair — also repeatedly lied for Trump in the many years he worked for him. And the RNC didn’t seem to mind that the current leader of the GOP had for years employed a known liar as one of his right-hand men.

Republican Party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel complained that the hearing is a “last ditch effort to save face & cast blame on everyone but himself [Cohen] for his crimes,” and lamented that it is “sad Democrats are wasting time with this liar in an effort to distract from the historic progress @realDonaldTrump is making overseas.”

It is unclear if McDaniel is referring to Trump’s “historic” willingness to suck up to strongmen Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin, or his “historic” eagerness to alienate key allies like Canada and Germany.

Republicans are clearly very upset that Cohen is going to speak in public about the corruption he was a part of as a top figure within Trump’s inner circle.

But instead of being angry with Trump for engaging in such practices, or their party for continuing to support him, prominent Republicans are lashing out at the Democratically-controlled House for showing the American people who their president really is.

Published with permission of The American Independent. 

Blake Neff

Twitter screenshot

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

On July 10, CNN's Oliver Darcy reported that Blake Neff, the top writer for Tucker Carlson's prime-time Fox News show, had been anonymously posting racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and other offensive content on an online forum for five years. Neff used racist and homophobic slurs, referred to women in a derogatory manner, and pushed white supremacist content while writing for Carlson's show. Neff resigned after CNN contacted him for comment.

As Darcy reported, in an interview with the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, Neff claimed anything Carlson read during his show was initially drafted by him. Darcy also found instances where there was "some overlap between the forum and the show," as sometimes the "material Neff encountered on the forum found its way on to Carlson's show."

During a 2018 appearance on Fox's The Five to promote his book Ship of Fools, Carlson mentioned Neff by name, calling him a "wonderful writer." Carlson also included Neff in the acknowledgments of the book.

Before joining Fox News, Neff worked at The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet that Carlson co-founded. The outlet has published a number of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and bigots.

Carlson has a long history of promoting white supremacist content on his show. His show has featured many guests who have connections to white supremacy and far-right extremism. Carlson has regularly been praised by Neo-Nazis and various far-right extremist figures, and he's been a hero on many white supremacist podcasts. Users of the extremist online message boards 4chan and 8chan have repeatedly praised Carlson.

The manifesto released by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, in 2019 was strewn with content that echoed talking points from Carlson's show. Days after the shooting, Carlson declared that calling white supremacy a serious issue is a "hoax" as it is "actually not a real problem in America."

Carlson has been hemorrhaging advertisers following his racist coverage of the Black Lives Matters movement and the recent protests against police brutality. Now that we know his top writer was using content from white supremacist online message boards for Carlson's show, it is more imperative than ever that advertisers distance their brands away from this toxicity.