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Hot Mic Catches House GOP Leader Whining About Liz Cheney

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

In light of how arch-conservative Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming is, it's ironic to hear far-right Trump supporters describe her a RINO: Republican in Name Only. But Cheney, in the minds of former President Donald Trump's devotees, committed an unpardonable sin when she called for his impeachment following the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building.

Cheney hasn't backed down since then, much to the frustration of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — who, Axios' Kadia Goba reports, was heard railing against her when he was off the air during an appearance on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" this week.

Axios, according to Goba, has obtained a recording of McCarthy speaking to Fox News' Steve Doocy off the air — and the House minority leader said of Cheney, "I think she's got real problems.... I've had it with her. You know, I've lost confidence.... Well, someone just has to bring a motion, but I assume that will probably take place."

McCarthy has been urging Cheney to tone down her anti-Trump comments, but she has continued to make her feelings known and make it clear that she still holds the former president responsible for the January 6 insurrection.

Axios journalists Jonathan Swan, Glen Johnson and Alayna Treene recently reported that Cheney, according to sources, is in danger of being ousted from her current position in the U.S. House of Representatives — where she is the third highest-ranking Republican.

Goba said of McCarthy's comments to Doocy about Cheney, "The comments, made amid seeming cross-talk with his host, outlined how the House conference chair could be removed by a vote from the chamber's Republican members. McCarthy's comments contrasted from the nearly six-minute, on-air interview, where he told Doocy he'd heard members concerned about Cheney's ability to carry out her job as a party leader."

While Facebook Reconsiders Trump Account, He’s Still Promoting Lies

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

EDITOR'S UPDATE: On Wednesday morning, the Facebook oversight board reaffirmed the social media behemoth's suspension of former President Donald J. Trump, but criticized the "indeterminate suspension without clear standards." The board instructed the company to review the decision within six months while establishing a "proportionate response" to Trump's violations.

Former President Donald Trump has been suspended from Facebook for 118 days — potentially keeping hundreds of misinformative or harmful posts off the platform. Without access to Facebook, Trump has turned to alternate forms of communication to deliver more of his same lies about the election that helped ignite an armed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

But on Wednesday morning, the Facebook Oversight Board will announce its decision on reinstating his account. If the board allows Trump back on the platform, it will likely embolden the former president and give him an even bigger platform to spread these harmful lies.

Trump — who is banned on Twitter as well — has not been silent without his social media accounts, nor has he been remorseful. On Monday morning, Trump published a press release via his Save America PAC that clearly telegraphed the false, divisive, and dangerous rhetoric he would likely amplify and share on Facebook if the board reinstates his account.

The press release reads: "The Fraudulent Presidential Election of 2020 will be, from this day forth, known as THE BIG LIE!" — a claim Trump reiterated last month on Newsmax, where he called the election "rigged" and "stolen." Two weeks prior, he was on Fox News claiming the "Supreme Court and our courts didn't have the courage to overturn elections that should have been overturned." If his post-election media appearances and statements are any indication, Trump will likely use Facebook to spread the same false messaging about the election if he is allowed back on the platform.

Media Matters previously reported that Trump pushed election misinformation in 363 posts, or six percent of his total posts between January 1, 2020, and January 6, 2021. Based on his previous habits, we estimate that the full duration of his suspension (119 days by tomorrow's decision) kept approximately 463 posts with misinformation or extreme rhetoric off the platform, including roughly 116 posts that would likely contain election misinformation.

Throughout his presidency, Trump used social media to spread dangerous, hateful lies, and social media companies did nothing to stop it. This culminated in the events of January 6, when Trump used his Facebook page to encourage the Capitol rioters, who were spurred on by his months-long barrage of false election fraud claims. Now, Trump's press releases and media interviews could not be any clearer: He is doubling down on the lie that the election was stolen.

If the Facebook Oversight Board allows Trump back on the platform, it will be enabling him to continue the exact same behaviors that got him suspended in the first place -- spreading lies and encouraging violence.

Research contributions from Kayla Gogarty

Trump Left Pence To Hang, But Former Veep Is Still Groveling

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Former Vice President Mike Pence heaped praise on the ex commander-in-chief in his first speech since leaving office, regaling a crowd of evangelical Republicans with stories about their time serving together.

Pence delivered after left him vulnerable in the Capitol as a pro-Trump mob chanted "hang Mike Pence" as they ransacked the building and later attacked him for not having the "courage" to steal the election from now-President Joe Biden.

In the speech before the Palmetto Family Council — an anti-LGBTQ organization that says the country's "social fabric is only as strong as the bond between its husbands and wives" — Pence said he had the "privilege of serving alongside President Donald Trump," and that it was "the greatest honor of my life."

"To know our president is to know someone who is more of a coach than a general manager," Pence said, telling a story of leaving the 2016 Republican National Convention with Trump. "And he's sitting next to me in the car, and we were just starting to get to know each other, and he's giving me the pep talk [saying,] we are going to work and work."

He added, "and then he looked over at me and hit me in the shoulder and said, 'and then it's going to be great.'"

Pence was speaking in South Carolina, a critical early state in the presidential primary process. Choosing the state for his first speech since the insurrection is a sign he is keeping his options open for 2024.

And his embrace of Trump, even though Trump has turned his back on Pence since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, is a tell that Pence believes his fate is tied to Trump.

Trump, however, has suggested he would ditch Pence as a running-mate should he choose to wage a comeback bid in 2024.

In an interview Thursday morning with Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo, Trump threw out Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis' name as a possible vice presidential pick, saying he is "certainly" considering him.

"I endorsed Ron and after I endorsed him he took off like a rocket ship," Trump said. "He's done a great job as governor."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump Lawyer Who Urged Executing Pence Seeks GOP Chair

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Lin Wood, the far-right, pro-Trump attorney who lost multiple lawsuits attempting to overturn the 2020 election, has announced he is running to be chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, the Post and Courier reported on Monday.

"My decision to run for the office was heavily influenced by my well known desire to reform local and state political parties and return power to the people," Wood told the paper. "Here, I want to return power and control of the South Carolina Republican Party to the members of the party."

Wood is now well-known for filing lie-filled legal challenges alleging voter fraud in the 2020 election, with zero evidence to back them up.

Back in November, a federal judge eviscerated Wood for a lawsuit he filed that sought to block certification of President Joe Biden's victory in Georgia, with the judge telling Wood that his suit had "no basis in fact or in law."

Wood's effort to steal the 2020 election has taken a toll on both his personal and professional life.

He is currently facing the possible loss of his law license in Georgia after he refused to undergo a mental health evaluation from the Georgia State Bar Association, which is looking into possible disciplinary action against Wood.

The Lawyers Club of Atlanta kicked Wood out of their club after Wood said in a January 1 tweet that Mike Pence should "face execution by firing squad."

"He is a coward and will sing like a bird and confess ALL," Wood said in the tweet, which has since been deleted, as Twitter permanently booted him from the platform for another tweet, which falsely stated that the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was "staged" by antifa.

The social media outlet Parler — which has become the platform of choice for white supremacists who were either kicked off Twitter or are boycotting it — also removed a post from Wood in which he also called for Pence to be executed.

"Get the firing squads ready. Pence goes FIRST," Wood wrote the day after the Capitol riot that saw a pro-Trump mob attacking the Capitol as Congress attempted to certify Biden's victory.

In an ironic twist of fate, Wood is under investigation himself for possible voter fraud, after he said he voted in Georgia in the 2020 election in Georgia despite being a resident of South Carolina.

It's unclear what kind of chance Wood has in the race for South Carolina GOP chair.

Trump back in February endorsed Drew McKissick, the current state party chair.

If Wood wins, he would be part of a nationwide trend of Republican state parties being dominated by pro-Trump, right-wing conspiracy theorists.

The Arizona Republican Party, for example, is currently run by Kelli Ward — a far-right conspiracy theorist. With Ward at the helm, the Arizona GOP advocated to overturn Biden's victory in the state, using violent rhetoric back in December that asked supporters if they were "willing to give [their] life for this fight."

The chair of the Wyoming Republican Party, Frank Eathorne, advocated in January for his state to secede over Trump's loss.

Many of the Republican House and Senate members who voted to impeach or convict Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol have been censured by their state Republican parties. Eathorne even seemed to advocate for getting rid of one of its own members, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). because she voted to impeach Trump and believes the GOP should move on from the twice-impeached former leader.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.