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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: donald trump jr

On Trump's Truth Social, Unhinged Election Conspiracy Theories Rule

Misinformation and madness rule on Truth Social, former President Trump’s beleaguered social media platform, where the most chilling of Democrat-focused threats — “Wipe them out” and “Nuke them from orbit,” among many others — and the most outrageous of right-wing conspiracy theories are all daily fare.

“Hey, Truthsayer,” registrations are mailed upon signing up to Truth Social, a Twitter clone abounding in extremist right-wing rhetoric and screeds — scary even to card-carrying moderate Republicans.

Hunter Biden, vaccine and election conspiracies, and BlueAnon — a conservative play on the QAnon term to refer to “left-wing conspiracy theories"— are a fraction of the hard-right ravings that litter Truth Social as prominent figures in the MAGA sphere and anonymous Trumplican provocateurs on the platform engage in heated discussion of their fantasies.

False information about the Democratic Party’s midterm election campaigns and Nancy Pelosi’s husband, whom a hoax-peddling Trump supporter recently attacked after breaking into the family’s home, have spread rampantly within the far-right echo chamber.

Notorious agitators like the former president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, MAGA firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and disgraced former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani all have Truth Social accounts, from which they peddle the lies and obfuscations already rampant on the platform.

In the days leading up to November 8, the platform and its users became more unhinged, fueled not only by speculations of a “red wave,” which would see Republicans regain power in Congress, along with hints that the MAGA chief himself will imminently announce his 2024 bid for the White House.

Trump Jr, for example, has, in preparation for the midterms, prompted a flurry of vaccine, drugs, and Ukraine-related conspiracy theories on his Truth Social account, all of which are “eagerly lapped up by fellow Truthers,” according to the Guardian.

Greene, another thought leader on the platform, renowned for her extremist lexicon (and malapropisms), is one of the loudest disinformation merchants on the platform, disseminating vitriolic mendacities that outdo her already-obscene Twitter feed.

“A darling of the Trump-Republican movement,” the Guardian’s Adam Gabbatt writes, “[Greene] has become one of the loudest voices in what is a very loud room.”

Like Trump Jr., Greene’s rhetoric in the lead-up to the midterms grew even more furious, and she hastened the flurry of foreboding, dystopian warnings — widely deployed by Republican candidates and chugged down as gospel by extremist MAGA voters — from her account.

“Corporate communists control the speech of their employees & customers by only allowing Democrat speech and punishing, silencing, and canceling Republican speech,” Taylor Greene claimed, typically without evidence of any kind.

“But there is a shift beginning,” she continued. “People are beginning to refuse to be silenced and a Patriot economy is beginning.”

Emboldened by the alleged absence of content moderation on Truth Social, Greene has also levied groundless accusations at her Democratic colleagues, attacking more than just their political ideologies.

“There are more Democrat conspiracy theories & theorists on Twitter than Qanon ever produced,” Greene posted on October 28. “Most have blue check marks, post their pronouns, support war in Ukraine, are triple vaxxed & boosted, and work in corporate media, Hollywood, or the government. BlueAnon are dangerous.”

Alarmingly, many Truth Social users have been particularly sympathetic to Russia and its criminal invasion of Ukraine, using the #IStandWithRussia hashtag numerous times in the past month.

“Russia invaded the Ukraine to stop the NWO [New World Order, a conspiracy theory] for producing more viral weapons,” Truth Social user mikesonfire posted to the platform. The New World Order hoax hypothesizes the emergence of a totalitarian world government by a cabal of elites.

Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter — specifically, his promise to promote “free speech” on the platform — has been of immense interest to Truth Social users, who are intrigued by how the Tesla mogul’s back-and-forth with activists and Democrats, which has led to permanent bans, might affect Democratic political operations going forward.

“Democrats are not going to be able to handle free speech and the corrupt Democratic Party will fall apart after hearing the truth,” a user opined after Musk’s takeover.

Truth Social is described on Google’s Play Store, in which it was recently reinstated after an initial ban over content moderation concerns, as a platform that welcomes “open, free, and honest global conversation without discriminating against political ideology.”

For how long the platform can continue to cater to the MAGA crowd remains in question, however, as Digital World Acquisition Corp., the company looking to acquire Truth Social’s parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group, has been unable to raise the $1.3 billion capital it needs to complete the takeover -- and may be forced to liquidate by December 8 if it remains unable to do so.

What Law Enforcement Must Do To Shut Down Right-Wing Terror Threats

If there were anything remotely conservative about people calling themselves “conservative Republicans” they’d be horrified by the near-fatal attack upon Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul, and calling for strict law enforcement.

Instead, they’re making stupid jokes and endorsing conspiracy theories to minimize the terrible reality of what happened—seemingly secure in the knowledge that the bully-boys and would-be assassins are pretty much all on their side. Yes, there are crackpots on each end of the political spectrum, but actual assaults come largely from the MAGA right.

Famous big game hunter Donald Trump, Jr. — mighty slayer of captive elephants at a game farm in Zimbabwe — posted a photo of a pair of undershorts and a hammer. “Got my Paul Pelosi Halloween costume ready” the caption read. Devastating wit, right? No word yet from Trump, Sr., whose views on roughing up political rivals are well-known. He once suggested “Second Amendment people” deal with Hillary Clinton.

Both men have been surrounded by bodyguards all their lives.

Preppy Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin chuckled at his own vow to send Nancy Pelosi home to California to care for her husband. This witticism apparently delivered while the 82-year-old victim was still in surgery for a fractured skull.

Although not technically a Republican, self-proclaimed “free speech fundamentalist” Elon Musk posted and later retracted a tweet suggesting the attack on Paul Pelosi stemmed from a gay lover’s quarrel, a malicious invention evidently inspired by the fact that the victim was asleep in his underwear when the assailant burst into his bedroom at 2 AM.

I guess this tells us where the tycoon means to take Twitter, his latest expensive toy. Straight into the Stygian depths of Internet hell.

Meanwhile, several Michigan men were convicted of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — like Nancy Pelosi a woman with serious political power, something that pushes a certain kind of blowhard over the edge. In Arizona right-wing “activists” carrying assault rifles are showing up at early voting sites, writing down license plate numbers, and following people home to prevent (imaginary) electoral fraud.

Voter intimidation is a federal crime.

Elsewhere, scores of election workers and school board members are resigning nationwide due to death threats — some delivered openly at public meetings. High school librarians are being told that their home addresses and the names of their children are known to their antagonists.

So where is law enforcement? Terroristic threatening is likewise a serious felony. Not that it’s ever enforced until much too late.

My own experience in this realm may be instructive. Some years back, I used to get regular threats of death and dismemberment on my home telephone. Mostly, they came on weekends, around midnight. Always the same guy. Countrified accent, grammatically challenged. My wife, perennially worried about our young sons’ safety, could not be persuaded to let the damn thing ring.

To me, crank calls and online threats pretty much come with the territory. Mostly I’ve ignored them. Man to man, people have always left me alone. But this joker had gone too far: vowing to beat me to death in front of my wife, and then rape and sexually mutilate her.

He seemed to get a big charge out of talking dirty to her.

All this because I wrote newspaper columns broadly supportive of Democratic politicians — Bill and Hillary Clinton in particular. Both Clintons have always had a knack for infuriating guys like him.

I recorded a couple of calls and notified the phone company. They put a trace on my phone, documenting that they originated from a pay phone outside a liquor store on the North Little Rock side of the river — a different jurisdiction.

I took the evidence downtown to the police department.

And then, nothing.

Detectives assured me that the caller was a coward who would never confront me. I was pretty sure that was right, but the man was obviously disturbed. As I say, terroristic threatening is a felony.

The cops basically thanked me for my effort and kept the evidence. If he ever actually did attack me or my wife, they’d have all they needed to put him away. If he showed up and I shot him, I basically had my alibi.

But if all he ever did was talk…

Well, if they arrested every guy who talked trash whenever he got drunk, they’d have no time for anything else. I understood where they were coming from, but it became clear I was wasting my time. Not long afterward we moved to the country, and he couldn’t find us anymore.

My point is that what’s needed in response to the Paul Pelosi incident may be what’s sometimes called “broken windows policing.” Local, state and federal authorities need to bust these clowns making threats against librarians and school board members and make a big show of it.

Because otherwise, we’re headed toward Berlin, 1933.

New York Attorney General Sues Trump, Adult Children For Massive Fraud

By Karen Freifeld, Jonathan Stempel and Luc Cohen

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Donald Trump and his adult children were sued for "numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentation" on Wednesday by New York state's attorney general in a civil investigation into the former U.S. president's business practices, court records showed.

The lawsuit, filed in a New York state court in Manhattan, accused the Trump Organization of wrongdoing in preparing Trump's annual statements of financial condition from 2011 to 2021. It also named the Trump Organization, the former president's son Donald Trump Jr,. and his daughter Ivanka Trump as defendants.

Attorney General Letitia James said Trump and the Trump Organization misstated the values of its real estate properties to obtain favorable loans and tax benefits. She said she was referring allegations of criminal wrongdoing to federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the Internal Revenue Service.

"With the help of his children and senior executives at the Trump Organization, Donald Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to unjustly enrich himself and cheat the system," James said in a statement.

The lawsuit marks one of the biggest legal blows for Trump since he left office in January 2021. Trump is considering running again for president in 2024.

James told reporters she is seeking to have the defendants give up all the benefits he obtained from fraud, estimated at $250 million. The lawsuit also seeks to bar Trump and his children from running companies in New York, and to bar the Trump Organization from engaging in real estate transactions. James has been conducting a civil investigation into Trump's business practices for more than three years.

The Republican former president has denied any wrongdoing and described James' probe as a politically motivated witch hunt. James is a Democrat. The Trump Organization has called James' allegations "baseless."

Wednesday's lawsuit followed a contentious investigation in which James accused Trump, his company, and some family members of using delay tactics to ignore subpoenas and avoid testifying.

Trump on August 10 declined to answer questions in a lengthy, closed-door deposition at the office of the attorney general, invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination more than 400 times.

Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump agreed to sit for depositions only after court decisions required it.

Another of Trump's children, Eric Trump, invoked the right against self-incrimination more than 500 times in a 2020 deposition.

Trump has been beset with legal troubles since leaving the White House.

The FBI conducted a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Aug. 8 as part of a criminal investigation into his handling of presidential records including classified material.

Trump also faces a criminal investigation in Georgia over his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

He has denied wrongdoing in the various probes.

James' civil probe is separate from a criminal tax fraud probe against the Trump Organization by Manhattan's district attorney, Alvin Bragg.

The company is scheduled to stand trial in October, accused of paying off-the-books benefits to employees. Its former longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, has pleaded guilty and will testify against the company.

James is assisting Bragg in his criminal probe.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel, Karen Freifeld and Luc Cohen in New York; editing by Will Dunham and Alistair Bell)

#Endorse This: Kimmel Laments Don Junior's Saddest Video

Last night Jimmy Kimmel returned to the helm of his late-night show -- and immediately zeroed in on the ongoing national security crisis involving former defeated President Trump.

Perfect physical specimen? This perfect physical specimen thing is a bold claim from a man whose BMI reads like the final score of a Golden State Warriors game,” joked Kimmel, after Trump actually said he's the "perfect physical specimen."

Kimmel then moved on to the most obnoxious creature in the Trumposphere, Don Junior.

"Yes, after his dad complained about how Don Junior might be investigated on conspiracy charges at a rally for snake oil salesman Dr. Oz, Don Junior — the son of a New York City billionaire cosplaying as a member of Duck Dynasty — bragged in a video, 'I got the honorable mention. It’s nice to know that he cares, you know? He’s a tough guy… It’s always nice to see dad, you know, talking about it… it shows he cares, you know? Because there’s times where we’re just in that fight… sometimes ya miss it.'”

Watch the entire segment below:

Don Jr.: 'It Would Probably Be Good' If Trump Kept Nuclear Codes At Mar-A-Lago

Donald Trump Junior suggested on Monday that the United States would be safer if his father, former President Donald Trump, had stashed "the nuclear codes" at his Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

The eldest Trump son shared his opinion – which resembled a stand-up comedy routine – at an event in support of Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz's reelection campaign.

"Donald Trump has the nuclear codes!! In the linen closet at Mar-a-Lago!!" Junior hollered.

"By the way, for the record, I say that if Donald Trump actually still had the nuclear codes it would probably be good," he hooted. "Our enemies – our enemies – might actually be like, 'okay, maybe, let's not mess with them.' I'm like when they look at Joe Biden then they say, 'we should attack now.'"

Watch below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Don Jr. Boasts He Didn’t Take ’The Easy Route’ — And Twitter Explodes

Donald Trump Junior claimed during an appearance at the Reawaken America Tour in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Saturday that he sacrificed a life of effortless privilege to serve the cause of freedom in the United States.

"Taking the easy route is easy," Junior said. "It would have been easier, as I said, to just build buildings in New York, be loved by everyone, not get involved, not get in the game, but I couldn't do that and live with myself, frankly. I believe in this stuff too much. I appreciate those freedoms."

Watch here via Ron Filipkowski.

Prior to his father Donald assuming the presidency in January 2017, Junior enjoyed the bountiful life of a billionaire trust fund heir. Having always sought to please and impress his cantankerous patriarch, Junior selflessly stepped in as the executive vice president and public face of the now-disgraced Trump Organization when his dad became the 45th commander in chief.

Junior has not, however, erected any structure in New York in his own right, nor has he used his fortune to empower underprivileged communities. The Trumps, furthermore, have a lousy reputation in their home city. And Junior's subservience to the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen by President Joe Biden and the Left completely undercuts the idea that he champions democratic ideals. In fact, Junior has even boasted about how much assistance Trump's 2016 presidential campaignas well as the family's real estate syndicateaccepted from Russia.

"In terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," he said in 2008.

Junior has bragged about "being a relatively good internet troll," indicating that promoting truth and acting in good faith are distantly secondary to the Trump brand's ambitions.

Thus, Junior's history led to an outpouring of scorn on Twitter.

"Jr. was never 'loved by everybody.' And he wasn't called to serve the American people. Is he running for something?" said David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement.

"He could have taken the easy path? Maybe he can explain the hard path. Drop him into West Virginia and give him a coal shovel and a shack with no electricity or inside water," a perplexed user wrote.

"Legacy coattails riding is more like it," quipped another.

An observer shadily asked, "How exactly does Don Jr think he’s serving the American people? By trying to single-handedly reduce the global cocaine supply?"

A third person simply noted that the "guy who was born on third base and gone through life thinking he hit a triple."

Someone else pointed out that "New Yorkers didn’t like any of them."

Big Apple residents were not shy about their disdain either.

"As a Native New Yorker I know I speak for the many people in NYC. When the Trumps they say we love them my reply is... 'no we facking don't!'" one wrote. Why do you think they all absconded to Florida?"

Additional questions ensued.

"Exactly what does he feel he was 'called' to do? Collecting money for guest appearances is not being 'called' to do anything. It's lining your pockets," an individual wondered aloud.

"Did he build any building?" a skeptical onlooker posited. "Seriously, I never heard he has accomplished anything."

The drama is unfolding here.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Distraction? Don Jr. Hit Amber Heard As Select Panel Torched Trump

As the House Select Committee held the first in its slate of landmark hearings, where it showed video after video of aides skewering former President Trump for his false claims of election fraud, Donald Trump Jr., Trump’s son, was whining about Amber Heard on social media.

In a tense and somewhat emotional prime-time hearing late Thursday, the select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot offered new information that portrayed what it characterized as an attempted coup by the former president — who, the panel said, rubber-stamped far-right calls for his vice president’s hanging.

Pretending to be uninterested in the January 6 hearings, Trump Jr. took to Instagram to share his thoughts on the long-since-concluded legal bout between Heard and her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

“Believe all women? Really? All of them? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve Amber Heard,” Trump Jr. posted on Instagram. Whether or not Trump Jr. was referring to his sister, Ivanka’s testimony is unknown.

Social media users mocked the former president’s son not just for rehashing old news but also for his bizarre and laughable attempt to divert the attention of his social media followers from the January 6 hearings, where taped testimony from his sister, Ivanka Trump, denouncing her father’s lies of widespread electoral fraud was aired.

Trump Jr. is no stranger to mockery for his unhinged narrative on social media. In March, he was ridiculed for suggesting on social media that his father be allowed to partake in talks between NATO allies about the Ukraine war.

“Sending Biden to Europe for ‘High Stakes’ NATO talks will only embolden our enemies further,” Trump Jr. wrote. “If you want to get something done right send Trump.” Hours later, the phrase “send Trump” began trending as Twitter users suggested that the former president be sent to Moscow instead — and left there.

“Send [Trump] to Moscow. Leave him there,” someone tweeted. “99% of actual Americans agree we should send [Trump] to Moscow. And leave him there,” another Twitter user opined.

During its investigation, the House Select Committee obtained text messages from the phone of the former White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, including messages from Trump Jr. pushing ideas of how his father could retain power despite losing the election.

“It’s very simple. We have multiple paths. We control them all,” Trump Jr. wrote to Meadows on November 5, 2020.

“Republicans control 28 states Democrats 22 states. Once again Trump wins,” the message said. “We either have a vote WE control and WE win OR it gets kicked to Congress 6 January 2021,” another November 5 Trump Jr. message read.

“We have operational control Total leverage. Moral High Ground POTUS must start 2nd term now,” Trump Jr. reportedly said in another text message.

The House Select Committee is reportedly set to hold its next hearing on Monday, 13 June, 2022, where it’s expected to continue detailing a “sprawling, multi-step conspiracy," spearheaded by former President Donald Trump to subvert a democratic election.

Appeals Court Rules Trump Must Testify In New York Probe

By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) -Former President Donald Trump must testify under oath in the New York state attorney general’s civil investigation into his business practices, an intermediate state appeals court ruled on Thursday.

A four-judge panel unanimously upheld a trial court decision from February enforcing subpoenas for Trump and his two eldest children, Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump, to provide deposition testimony in Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation.

"Once again, the courts have ruled that Donald Trump must comply with our lawful investigation into his financial dealings," James said in a statement. "We will continue to follow the facts of this case and ensure that no one can evade the law."

Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for Trump, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In January, James said her nearly three-year investigation into the Trump Organization had uncovered significant evidence of possible fraud.

She described what she called misleading statements about the values of the Trump brand and six properties, saying the company may have inflated real estate values to obtain bank loans and reduced them to lower tax bills.

Trump issued a statement earlier this year calling the accusations false and accusing James of a political agenda in targeting him and his family.

Trump and his children have said testifying would violate their constitutional rights because their words could be used in a related criminal probe led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, which James joined last May.

Trump, a Republican, has also accused James of selectively prosecuting him because he is a political enemy. James and Bragg are Democrats.

The appeals court rejected those arguments, saying James reviewed "significant volumes of evidence" before issuing the subpoenas.

"Appellants have not identified any similarly implicated corporation that was not investigated or any executives of such a corporation who were not deposed," the court said of the Trumps. "Therefore, appellants have failed to demonstrate that they were treated differently from any similarly situated persons."

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; additional reporting by Luc Cohen; editing by Noeleen Walder, Diane Craft, and Bill Berkrot)