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Tag: eric trump

Flynn's Fascist 'ReAwaken America' Tour Alarms Christian Leaders

An increasing number of Christian leaders have expressed concern and alarm over the disinformation and damage to democracy wreaked by ReAwaken America, a touring group of far rightists, according to a new Guardian report,

The caravan of conspiracist speakers, including rising conspiracy peddler Clay Clark, Trump’s disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and convicted felon Roger Stone, have rallied in Florida, Michigan, and other states, drawing thousands of people from around the country.

The falsehoods peddled at ReAwaken’s rallies — from vaccine skepticism, anti-mask narratives, and Christian nationalism to false claims of widespread election fraud — have drawn cries of outrage from community leaders and prompted Christian leaders to raise concerns about the political and spiritual health of the country.

"This tour features a who’s who of far-right religious extremists, Trump aides, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and other reckless figures," said Sabrina Lamar, Monroe County Legislature President. "At every stop along the way, this nationalist tour has left in its wake a trail of dangerous disinformation that can lead to increased bigotry, hate, and, at its most extreme, violence.”

QAnon Conspiracies, Distorted Christian Teaching

Right-wing doctors amplifying vaccine conspiracies have made guest appearances at ReAwaken’s rallies, including Trump-backed “demon sperm” doctor Stella Immanuel and physician-turned-insurrectionist Simone Gold, leading pandemic and election experts to warn of the “potentially far-reaching impacts” that their misinformation has on “the nation’s public health and its democracy.”

“This ReAwaken tour is peddling dangerous lies about both the election and the pandemic,” said Adam Russell Taylor, the president of Sojourners, a Christian social justice group. “Jesus taught us that the truth will set us free, and these lies hold people captive to these dangerous falsehoods. They also exacerbate the toxic polarization we’re seeing in both the church and the wider society.”

At ReAwaken’s April 1 - 2 rally in Kaizer, Oregon, which some attendees claimed was “filled with love,” thousands cheered when conservative Pastor Mark Burns said, “There is no such thing as trans kids … only abusive parents.” Burns was running in a Republican congressional primary in South Carolina but lost on Tuesday.

At the same rally, Clark asked his colleague, Aaron Antis, a far-right extremist, what he thought of hospitals. Antis gleefully replied, “I’d say that those are the gas chambers of America … Once they are in the grips of the hospital is like they’ve gone to the gas chambers and they don’t come back.”

The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that exposes extremism, accused Clark of “comparing something that bothers you to the Holocaust.” The organization called Clark’s comments “deeply inaccurate, insulting, and troubling.”

“There is simply no comparison between the systematic murder of over 13 million people, including 6 million Jews, and the efforts to save lives and keep communities safe amidst a raging global pandemic,” the organization said in a statement.

At a different stop on the tour, tomahawk-toting QAnoner Scott McKay boldly claimed that a powerful Jewish mafia is “killing you in hospitals; they’re killing you in the streets; they launched Antifa and BLM.”

The American Jewish Committee slammed the false rhetoric and other allegations leveled against Jews, which it said were chock-full of anti-Semitic codewords and phrases, particularly “globalists,” “cabal,” “elitists,” “elites,” and direct references to Jewish puppet-masters.

A month later, ReAwaken held a two-day gathering in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and famous names on the far-right, including Stones, Flynn, Burns, and even former President Trump’s son Eric Trump, were in attendance. The group put its “Trump political messages mixed with Christian nationalism” on full display at the gathering, the Guardian noted in its report.

“There is a satanic portal above the White House. You can see day and night. It exists. It is real. And it must be closed. And it will be closed by prayer,” Stone rambled during the rally, eliciting cheers and applause from the crowd. He told the rapt crowd that the “portal” appeared after Joe Biden “became president and it will be closed before he leaves.”

Disgraced Flynn

Flynn, who is well-known for his ludicrous conspiracies, drew sharp criticism for suggesting that America ought to have only “one religion.".

“If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion,” Flynn reportedly said. “One nation under God and one religion under God, right? All of us, working together.”

Flynn went on to proclaim that America was founded on a “set of Judeo-Christian principles” and had a “biblical destiny,” a view that alarmed the Sojourners. “Flynn has a warped understanding of religion and American history,” Taylor said.

In April, Reverend Melinda Teter Dodge penned a hard-hitting op-ed in the Times Of San Diego titled “Right-Wing ‘ReAwaken America’ Tour Brought Irreligious Abomination to San Diego,” documenting Flynn’s leadership role in ReAwaken America.

“Tragically, late last month, proclaimed church leaders and religious zealots descended upon San Diego county, and twisted this scriptural truth for specific political purposes. In speaking to thousands of vulnerable attendees, this group spewed dangerous falsehood after falsehood about Covid-19 and the 2020 election,” Dodge wrote.

“The event at a church in San Marcos was the latest stop on disgraced, retired General Michael Flynn’s ‘ReAwaken America Tour,’ a nationwide series of megachurch engagements featuring a who’s who of far-right religious extremists, Trump aides, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and other reckless figures. At every stop along the way, the Christian nationalist tour has left in its wake a trail of dangerous disinformation that leads to bigotry, hate, and, at its most extreme, violence.”

New York Attorney General's Probe Of Trump Asset Fraud Is 'Nearly Complete'

The office of the New York attorney general, Letitia James, said it has almost completed a civil investigation into the Trump Organization’s “nesting doll” assets.

Investigators told a court Monday that they’re waiting to search two cellphones belonging to former President Trump and two computers owned by his longtime assistant Rhona Graff, per CNN.

“The process is near an end,” said Kevin Wallace, senior enforcement counsel in the attorney general's office.

James’ office hired a third-party firm to search Trump Organization’s files, and it found 151 people or entities that may possess documents sought by the office. Still, Wallace stressed the office’s focus on finding the "most important” pieces of information because, under the statute of limitations, the office had until Saturday to file its lawsuit.

Although the tolling agreement with the Trump Organization will end on Saturday, the attorney general’s office could take several weeks to decide how to proceed with its investigation.

On Monday, New York State Judge Arthur Engoron held Trump in civil contempt for an inadequate response to a subpoena by James’ office and slapped the former president with a $10,000 per day fine — a ruling Trump appealed on Wednesday.

"Given the upcoming end of the tolling agreement we will likely need to bring some kind of enforcement action in the near future to preserve our rights," Wallace said.

Lawyers for the attorney general’s office agreed to a meeting with Trump Organization’s attorneys to, according to Wallace, flesh out what “appropriate resolutions might look like” in a case that has hung for three years over Trump, who has called James a “racist” and the investigation, a “witch hunt.”

In court filings, the attorney general’s office has said it believes Trump Organization made misleading statements and omissions in its financial statements to lenders and insurers to get tax benefits.

Trump and his children, Ivanka Trump and Trump Jr., have failed to cooperate with investigators and appealed an earlier ruling by the same judge demanding they sit for depositions. However, Eric Trump was deposed in 2020, and he invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times.

"The company relies more on its people than its systems," Wallace said to the court, noting that hundreds of entities in the Trump Organization moved millions of dollars around many business units using different accounting systems.

Wallace alluded to Trump’s golf course in Jupiter, Florida, purchased for $5 million in 2012, stuffed into a financial statement with $2 billion of club assets, and suddenly valued by the company at $46 million. Investigators are yet to determine where the extra $41 million originated.

"Each of these assets is like a Russian nesting doll," Wallace added.

A lawyer for Trump Organization, Alina Habba, dismissed Wallace’s claims, arguing that the company’s operations mirror “how real estate companies operate."

Ivanka Trump Meets With House Select Committee On Capitol Riot

As a contempt vote in the House looms for Trump White House officials who sidestepped subpoenas from the House Select Committee on January 6, NBC News has reported first that investigators of the attempted overthrow are meeting today with Ivanka Trump, the ex-president’s daughter and onetime adviser.

Ivanka reportedly will appear before the committee Wednesday, on the heels of a private deposition given by her husband and fellow senior adviser to the former president, Jared Kushner. Kushner appeared voluntarily. Ivanka was first asked to appear in January and talks have reportedly been ongoing since then.


The probe is particularly interested in hearing details from Ivanka about her father’s conduct before, during, and after the siege. Former Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, Keith Kellogg, told the committee he and Ivanka were present when Trump called Pence to pressure him to stop the certification.

As that call ended, Ivanka turned to Kellogg and said of the vice president: “Mike Pence is a good man.”

It is unclear whether Ivanka Trump will appear remotely or in person. A representative for the committee declined to comment to Daily Kos on Wednesday.

If she indeed appears, she will be the second member of the Trump family circle to testify since Kushner went first last week.

Investigators have targeted phone records belonging to Eric Trump, as well as records belonging to Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancée. Guilfoyle received a separate subpoena direct from the committee on March 3 following a voluntary appearance that fell apart fast.

The committee has appeared generous with Trump family members thus far, extending opportunities for “friendly” or voluntary meetings and granting time to negotiate appearances.

Guilfoyle was afforded that friendliness, too, but balked on the day of her deposition, when she realized she would have to testify in front of members of the committee as well as House counsel. Her attorney chalked up the opposition to a fear of media leaks.

Guilfoyle’s fundraising efforts around the rally at the Ellipse on January 6 are front and center for the probe. Last year, text messages obtained by ProPublica showed Guilfoyle boasting about raising no less than $3 million for the event. She was also backstage at the rally, seen celebrating with those closest to the president just before his speech to a crowd that would soon descend violently on the U.S. Capitol.

It is unclear whether Guilfoyle has agreed to cooperate since her last botched appearance.

Kushner’s appearance went smoothly, according to Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who serves on the committee. Lofgren was mum on details during an appearance on CNN following the meeting but described Kushner as “precise.”

Though she did say Kushner “did not volunteer” anything.

The meeting lasted six hours but Lofgren emphasized that the deposition was not “volatile.”

Fellow January 6 investigator Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) told NPR that Kushner’s testimony was “helpful.”

“I think that the committee really appreciates hearing information directly from people who have relevant facts about January 6, and the fact that Jared Kushner came as a witness is helpful to building the story of our investigation,” the Virginia Democrat said.

Unlike Ivanka, Kushner was not in Washington, D.C., on January 6.

He was heading back to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia while she, according to testimony already provided to the committee, was busy trying to convince her father to say something publicly to soothe the mob attacking the Capitol and threatening to kill Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Pence.

Where Ivanka’s insights into how she soothed her father during the riot are sought by the committee, it’s likely that investigators asked Kushner about the widely reported role he played: telling Trump that he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden.

Luria said that Kushner’s testimony allowed the committee to “substantiate information” while providing “his own take on different reports on the January 6 attack.”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Eric Trump Goes Full Hissy Over Biden Bike Ride--And It  Backfires Horribly

Eric Trump, son of former President Donald Trump, was recently criticized for his attack on President Joe. According to HuffPost, Trump left one glaring detail our of his argument and Twitter users were quick to point out his error.

On Monday, March 21, Trump appeared on Fox News with conservative host Sean Hannity where he criticized Biden for taking a ride on his bike while in Delaware over the weekend.

Trump's seemingly frivolous argument included concerns about the “big ridiculous reflector on the front" of Biden's bike as he claimed the president could have been focused on more critical issues given the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russian military troops.

“My father would be giving speeches in front of F-35s, talking about how he’s building the greatest military the world has ever seen,” Trump said. “Believe me, that was sending a true message of strength.”

According to Trump, it was also an issue for Biden to ride his bike “in the middle of the day.”

“This is the commander in chief of the United States of America,” he said. “What message does that send the world that is literally in the middle of, just, some horribleness?"

Despite Trump's rant, HuffPost notes: "Eric Trump’s attack was widely panned for omitting one key detail about his dad: When times got tough, he went golfing."

In the midst of multiple national emergencies, Trump retreated to play golf. In fact, according to Golf Net News, Trump played golf a total of 308 times during his four-year presidential term.

Twitter users were also quick to chime in and remind Trump of his father's own shortcomings. "Well, actually there are literally hundreds of videos of Donald Trump golfing during periods of grave domestic and international upheaval," one Twitter user tweeted.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Desperate Eric Trump Urges New York Prosecutors To Indict Hillary Clinton

Appearing on Fox News Monday night a distraught Eric Trump told Sean Hannity that Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted.

“Isn’t that a, you know, isn’t that fraud? Isn’t that all sorts of offenses?” Trump asked Hannity, a longtime unofficial advisor to Donald Trump.

“Where are the prosecutors right now?” Eric Trump asked. “You know, the same prosecutors, they’ll go after my father every single day for nothing, right? Just because they want to disqualify him because he’s clearly the front runner for 2024,” cried Eric Trump, a top executive of the Trump Organization, which is facing investigations of potential fraud. There is massive evidence of potential, possibly criminal, wrongdoing by Donald Trump as well, going as far back as the Mueller investigation if not earlier.

“Where are those prosecutors? Hillary Rodham Clinton is a New York resident. Let me just kind of break that down for you. She lives in Chappaqua, New York and guess where Trump Tower is located is located? It’s located on Fifth Avenue in New York. Where are these prosecutors? Where is the DA? Isn’t that a federal – Isn’t that a, you know, isn’t that fraud? Isn’t that all sorts of offenses?”

Eric Trump appeared to be discussing the news, incorrectly reported by Fox News, about the Durham investigation.

“Where’s Letitia James in this whole thing?” Trump, upset, asked of the New York Attorney General. “Is she just gonna ignore this because Hillary happens to be in her political party?”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

House Select Committee Issues Subpoenas To Eric Trump And Kim Guilfoyle

For the first time, the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has issued a subpoena for a Trump family member’s records.

CNN reports Tuesday evening the Committee “has subpoenaed and obtained records of phone numbers associated with” Eric Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle.

Guilfoyle has served as the finance chair of a Trump fundraising committee and is engaged to the former president’s eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr.

“It appears to be the first time the select committee has issued a subpoena that targeted a member of the Trump family, in what marks a significant escalation of the investigation into Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection,” CNN reports. “The records may also help the committee flesh out the text messages and phone records it has received from others, like former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, as well as fundraisers and rally organizers.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Trump's Real-Estate Empire Pays Heavy Price For Poisonous Politics

By Joseph Tanfani

(Reuters) - Former U.S. president Donald Trump's slashing rhetorical style and divisive politics allowed him to essentially take over the Republican Party. His supporters are so devoted that most believe his false claim that he lost the 2020 election because of voter fraud.

But the same tactics that have inspired fierce political loyalty have undermined Trump's business, built around real-estate development and branding deals that have allowed him to make millions by licensing his name.

Trump's business brand was once synonymous with wealth and success, an image that now clashes sharply with a political brand rooted in the anger of his largely rural and working-class voter base. His presidency is now associated in the minds of many with its violent end, as supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Those searing images, along with years of bitter rhetoric, are costing Trump money. Revenues from some of his high-end properties have declined, vacancies in office buildings have increased, and his lenders are warning that the company's revenues may not be sufficient to cover his debt payments, according to Trump's financial disclosures as president, Trump Organization records filed with government agencies, and reports from companies that track real-estate company finances.

Prospective tenants in New York are shunning his buildings, one real-estate broker said, to avoid being associated with Trump. Organizers of golf tournaments have pulled events from his courses.

Trump's focus on the political brand has increasingly overtaken his identity as a real-estate mogul, says one hospitality industry veteran.

“Prior to his political career, the Trump brand was about luxury - the casinos, the golf resorts," said Scott Smith, a former hotel executive and hospitality professor at the University of South Carolina. “When he entered into politics, he took the Trump brand in an entirely different direction."

Trump's business also remains under the cloud of a joint criminal fraud investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's office and the New York Attorney General. The company and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, have been charged with a scheme to evade payroll taxes, and investigators continue to probe whether Trump or his representatives committed fraud by misrepresenting financials in loan applications and tax returns. Weisselberg and the company deny wrongdoing and are contesting the charges.

As his development business struggles, Trump has announced his first major deal since leaving office — and it has nothing to do with real-estate. On October 20, he said he will build a new social media platform aimed in part at giving him a political forum after being banned by Facebook and Twitter, who said after the U.S. Capitol riots that Trump used their platforms to incite violence.

That deal could prove lucrative for Trump regardless of whether the platform succeeds. Investors rushed to buy shares in Digital World Acquisition Corp, the publicly traded blank-check acquisition company that plans to merge with the newly announced Trump Media and Technology Group. Digital World shares surged and are now worth about $2 billion. Trump's new media company will have at least a 69 percent stake in the combined company, but Trump has not disclosed his level of ownership in Trump Media.

Trump has also been raising money for his political operation, which reported having $100 million on June 30, as he hints at a 2024 presidential run.

Eric Trump, the former president's middle son and a Trump Organization executive, said in an interview that the company is now in “a phenomenal spot." He cited a refinancing of a loan on San Francisco office buildings that gave the Trump business about $162 million in cash, according to loan documents and a release by Vornado Realty Trust, the venture's majority owner.

“We're sitting on a tremendous amount of cash," Eric Trump told Reuters.

In an email, a spokesperson for Donald Trump denied that the business has slumped since he entered politics.

“The real estate company is doing extremely well, and this is evident in Florida and elsewhere," Liz Harrington said in an emailed statement. “Considering the coronavirus pandemic, in which the hotel industry was hit particularly hard, Mr. Trump's company is doing phenomenally well."

Financial records show Trump's real-estate business has declined. Income from the family's holdings, heavy on golf courses and hotels, took a beating during 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Revenues at his Las Vegas hotel, for instance, fell from $22.9 million in 2017 to $9.2 million during 2020 and the first 20 days of 2021, according to Trump's financial disclosures.

Trump is now making a second attempt to sell his lease on one high-profile property, the Trump International Hotel, housed in a former federal building in Washington, D.C., after failing to secure a buyer at the original asking price of $500 million. Meanwhile, the business is paying the federal government $3 million annually in lease payments, according to documents released earlier this month by the House Oversight Committee of the U.S. Congress. Those records show Trump's Washington hotel lost more than $73 million since 2016.

The damage to Trump's business image started early in his presidency. One consultant for Trump, arguing in a 2017 public hearing for a lower tax bill at his Doral golf resort, said Trump's politics had damaged his business model.

“It's actually not about the property, it is about the brand," said consultant Jessica Vachiratevanurak, at a December 2017 hearing of the Miami-Dade Value Adjustment Board, in a video recording reviewed by Reuters. She cited a meeting she attended where top Trump Organization executives had described “severe ramifications" to his golf business from, for instance, tournaments and charity events being canceled by organizations wanting to avoid associating with Trump.

The resort saw revenues fall from $92 million in 2015 to $75 million in 2017, she said at another hearing the following year. Trump's presidential financial disclosure listed Doral revenues at $44 million last year.

Vachiratevanurak declined a Reuters request for comment.

“This is obviously false as Doral is doing very well," Trump spokesperson Harrington said.

In Trump's home base of New York, the Trump name has become increasingly toxic. One high-profile property, the Trump SoHo hotel in lower Manhattan, was rebranded the Dominick in 2017. New York City in January canceled his leases on a golf course, two Central Park skating rinks, and a carousel; Trump has sued the city for wrongful termination of the golf course lease.

At 40 Wall Street, the 72-story skyscraper that was among Trump's proudest acquisitions, problems that started before the pandemic have gotten worse, according to reports from firms that track real-estate performance. After the January 6 U.S. Capitol riots, some of Trump's large tenants, including the Girl Scouts and a nonprofit called TB Alliance, said they were exploring whether they could get out of their leases. One commercial real-estate broker says many prospective tenants won't consider the building because Trump's name is on it.

The Girl Scouts did not respond to comment requests, and TB Alliance said it was “exploring all options" for leaving the Trump building.

“Most New York tenants want nothing to do with it, and that's been the case for five years now," said Ruth Colp-Haber, who said she has placed seven clients in the building over the years, but can't interest anyone now. “It's the biggest bargain going, but they won't look at it."

Occupancy was 84 percent in March 2021, well below the average of about 89% for that downtown New York office market, according to Mike Brotschol, managing director of KBRA Analytics LLC. The rents Trump has been able to charge are lower, too – between $38 and $42 per square foot in a market where the average runs closer to $50, he said.

The property's financials have tumbled into risky territory, the reports say.

Trump took out a $160 million loan in 2015 to refinance 40 Wall Street – personally guaranteeing $26 million.Last year, the building was placed on an industry watchlist for commercial mortgage-backed securities at risk of defaulting, according to reports by KBRA and Trepp, which also monitors real-estate loans. In the first quarter of the year, according to the KBRA report, the debt-service coverage ratio, a statistic monitored by banks, dipped to a number indicating that the building's cash flow can't cover its debt payments.

In the statement for Trump, Harrington blamed “the disastrous policies of Bill de Blasio," New York's mayor, for the downturn in the city's office market. “Despite all these serious headwinds, Mr. Trump has very little debt relative to value and the company is doing very well," she said.

The Doral resort and Washington hotel, along with a hotel in Chicago, are secured by about $340 million in loans from Deutsche Bank AG, Trump's biggest lender. But the bank has no appetite for more business with Trump and has no plans to extend the loans after they come due in 2023 and 2024, a senior Deutsche Bank source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Asked about the bank's unwillingness to work with Trump, his spokeswoman said: “So what?"

Experts say the prospect of any new Trump-branded development faces long odds. One hotel industry executive said hotel developers – worried about cutting themselves off from the millions of customers turned off by Trump – will likely think twice before signing any branding deals to put the Trump name on their properties.

“People have choices. You can go to the Ritz Carlton, you can go to the Four Seasons, and not bring the politics into it one way or the other," said Vicki Richman, chief operating officer of HVS Asset Management, a hospitality industry consultancy and property manager.

The Trump Organization tried to take its premium luxury hotel brand downmarket with two new brands: Scion, a mid-priced offering, and American Idea for budget travelers. The company scrapped plans for both in 2019, citing difficulties doing business in a contentious political environment.

Harrington said nothing is off the table for Trump's business.

“We have many, many things under consideration," she said. “But we also have politics under consideration."

(Reporting by Joseph Tanfani; additing reporting by Peter Eisler, Greg Roumeliotis, and Matt Scuffham; editing by Jason Szep and Brian Thevenot)

Eric Trump To Headline Anti-Vax Event — With QAnon Promoters

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Eric Trump is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at an anti-vaxxers conference in October, despite his father, the former president, claiming credit for the three COVID-19 vaccines.

It's just the "latest alliance between the Trump family and the GOP's fringiest elements," The Daily Beast reports. The second Trump son will be "joining a speakers' lineup that includes some of the most prominent promoters of disinformation about vaccines, as well as leading figures in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement."

A press release from the group holding the event describes it as organized "by health freedom activists, natural medicine practitioners, and freedom-loving truth seekers," and claims it will be "a massive in-person gathering in Nashville, TN from October 22nd to the 24th."

In other words, a likely super-spreader event.

Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has not only refused to implement a mask mandate, he has banned local governments from ordering them.

The Daily Beast adds that the conference, called The Truth About Cancer Live! "is the brainchild of Ty and Charlene Bollinger, two major promoters of anti-vaccine disinformation who have made tens of millions of dollars promoting both alternative health cures for cancer and vaccine fears. The Bollingers have dubbed the coronavirus vaccine 'that abominable vaccine,' according to a Center for Public Integrity report, and sell a $200 video series promoting vaccine fearmongering on their website."

Eric Trump denies the event is an anti-vaxx conference.

"As to labeling something an anti-vaccine event, it wouldn't make much sense for me to attend as a vaccinated person if it was," Trump told The Daily Beast in an email.

His hosts disagree.

In posts on Telegram, a social media app popular on the right, the Bollingers have called the vaccine a "SHOT OF POISON!" and the "COVID kill shot.