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Capitol Rioter Who Assaulted Police Traveled On Turning Point USA Bus

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

A retired firefighter who threw a fire extinguisher at police officers during the January 6 Capitol insurrection was put under pretrial house arrest on Tuesday. Robert Sanford had surrendered himself to federal authorities on multiple charges nearly a week after the insurrection. HuffPo's Ryan J. Reilly reported that according to Sanford's attorney, the defendant traveled to Washington, D.C., on a bus organized by Turning Point Action, founded by Trump loyalist Charlie Kirk.



Following the insurrection, Kirk deleted a January 4 tweet saying his organization was sending 80 buses of Trump supporters to the "Stop the Steal" rally on January 6. A Turning Point Action spokesperson claimed that the organization had sent only seven buses to the capital and that the student protesters were not involved in the day's violence.

During his January 4 podcast, Kirk stated, "Turning Point Action is being financially supportive of that rally. We are sending buses."


Charlie Kirk:

He also said during that episode: "We are at Turning Point Action helping with the big event in Washington."


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In the weeks leading up to the insurrection, Kirk spread misinformation and dangerous rhetoric involving the attempted election coup. He called on former Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally discard state electors. He also criticized Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for congratulating President Joe Biden on his election victory, saying, "You typically don't use the term 'congratulations' when someone just stole a bank."

After the attack on the Capitol, Kirk called the violence "bad judgment" and said it was "not wise," continuing, "However, 'not wise' does not mean you're an insurrectionist."

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Insiders Cashing In At Questionable Trump-Linked College Outfit

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica

This election, one of President Donald Trump's most influential advocates is 26 year-old Charlie Kirk, who has developed a unique bond with the first family. The conservative star dines with the president at Mar-a-Lago and rang in the new year there. During each of the last two winters, he used the club to hold a formal fundraiser for his nonprofit, Turning Point USA, that featured Donald Trump Jr.

At a Turning Point event in June, the president, addressing the crowd, said, “Let us also show our appreciation to my good friend, Charlie. I'll tell you, Charlie is some piece of work who is mobilizing a new generation of pro-American student activists." On a Turning Point webpage soliciting donations, Trump Jr., a close friend of Kirk's, is quoted as saying, “I'm convinced that the work by Turning Point USA and Charlie Kirk will win back the future of America."

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Trump Jr. Booed Off UCLA Stage By Far-Right Hecklers

Donald Trump Jr.’s appearance Sunday at a university to talk about his new book on liberals and free speech was marked by an argument between him and the audience over why he would not take questions, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Members of the audience of about 450 people at the University of California, Los Angeles, were vocally angry that Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle, declined to take questions because of time constraints, The Guardian reported. Trump was at UCLA to promote his new book Triggered: How The Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.

After initially being greeted with shouts of shouts of “USA! USA!” when he first appeared on the stage of a lecture hall, members of the audience eventually turned to louder, openly hostile chants of “Q and A! Q and A!” after they were told he would not take questions, the newspaper reported.

The Guardian said that Trump Jr. told the audience that taking questions from the floor risked creating soundbites that left-wing social media posters would abuse and distort.

Guilfoyle told audience members that they were being rude, according to the Guardian. Salon reported that the former Fox News host then angered the crowd further by suggesting, “I bet you engage and go on online dating because you’re impressing no one here to get a date in person.”

Shortly thereafter, she and Trump Jr. left the stage.

Outside the lecture hall, several dozen protesters organized by the Los Angeles chapter of Refuse Fascism protested. The Los Angeles Times reports that protesters chanted “UCLA protects fascists” and “humanity first.”

Andy Stein, a supporter of Donald Trump, told the Times that he came to UCLA to listen to Trump Jr. because he sees the son as a “chip off the old block” and admires his “feistiness.”

According to the Guardian, one of the loudest protesters in the audience at UCLA on Sunday was 21-year-old Nick Fuentes, an extreme-right activist and podcaster who has become a figurehead among the more outwardly xenophobic, racist, and homophobic corners of the far-right movement.

Fuentes and his followers have targeted others on the far right, notably Charlie Kirk, the 25-year-old founder of Turning Point USA, one of the sponsors of Trump Jr.’s book tour. Kirk appeared alongside the younger Trump on Sunday.

In a tweet Sunday evening, Fuentes said he and his followers were not upset with Trump Jr., whom he called a “patriot,” but rather Turning Point USA, which he claimed “SHUTS DOWN and SMEARS socially conservative Christians and supporters of President Trump’s agenda.”

“We are AMERICA FIRST!” he wrote.

 

WATCH: Racists Run Amok In Trump Family’s Favorite ‘Student’ Group

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Turning Point USA is often associated with the time its members wore diapers in an attempt at “triggering” liberals, but this should not be the only public failure the group is remembered for. The conservative organization, which focuses on increasing right-wing political influence on college campuses, has a long history of involvement in racist incidents that are now permanently linked to its name.

TPUSA’s founder and executive director, Charlie Kirk, has repeatedly denied that his organization is racist, yet the incidents of blatant bigotry involving members of TPUSA keep happening, even as leaks show white nationalists plotting to infiltrate it. Kirk, the right-wing “boy wonder” who has used Fox News to turn fear-mongering about left-wing ideology on college campuses into a profitable grift, has also successfully leveraged his “perfectly incoherent” sycophancy for the Trump administration into a cozy relationship with the president’s family — a relationship seemingly unaffected by TPUSA’s pattern of racism.

Here are incidents of racism involving TPUSA:

  • Former TPUSA National Field Director Crystal Clanton sent text messages to another TPUSA employee that said, “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like fuck them all . . . I hate blacks. End of story.” Kirk had previously said about Clanton: “Turning Point needs more Crystals; so does America.”
  • After firing Clanton when her racist text message became public, Kirk hired Shialee Grooman and Troy Meeker. HuffPost reported that Grooman had written several anti-gay and racist tweets that included the n-word and Meeker had also tweeted an anti-Black slur. HuffPost also reported that former TPUSA Midwest regional manager Timon Prax was pushed out because of his record of using “bigoted language in tweets and texts,” including racist jokes and messages that “made fun of black people and referred to them as slaves.”
  • A former TPUSA field director recalled watching speakers at one of the organization’s annual student summits who “spoke badly about black women having all these babies out of wedlock. It was really offensive.” Speaking to The New Yorker in 2017, the former employee said that “looking back, I think it was racist.”
  • TPUSA defended Florida Atlantic University professor and TPUSA chapter faculty adviser Marshall DeRosa after The Nation reported his ties to white nationalist group League of the South.
  • In her resignation letter addressed to TPUSA field director Frankie O’Laughlin and regional manager Alana Mastrangelo following the group’s disastrous diaper protestfar-right Infowars personality Kaitlin Bennett pointed out that O’Laughlin had “liked” tweets from white supremacist YouTuber James Allsup.
  • Kirk’s own Twitter feed has featured anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim tweets, and he once tweeted a flawed statistic that minimized police brutality against black people: “Fact: A police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male, than an unarmed black man is to be killed by a police officer.”
  • At a December 2017 TPUSA conference, attendee Juan Pablo Andrade was recorded telling several other conference attendees, “The only thing the Nazis didn’t get right is they didn’t keep fucking going!”
  • Members of the TPUSA chapter at Florida International University shared “racist memes and rape jokes” in the group’s chat messages. According to the Miami New Times, a prominent chapter member had to tell other TPUSA members to “avoid using the n word and don’t reference Richard Spencer too much and don’t Jew hate … all the time.”
  • TPUSA Director of Urban Engagement Brandon Tatum told anti-Semitic YouTuber Bryan “Hotep Jesus” Sharpe that Sharpe was banned from TPUSA events because of “the optics of the anti-Semitic rhetoric.” Tatum summarized TPUSA’s position as being “between a rock and a hard place” because while “personally, none of us have a problem with you — we want you here. It’s the optics. The media.”
  • TPUSA originally listed Gab, a white supremacist-friendly social media platform, as a sponsor for its 2018 Student Action Summit but “quietly dropped the company” shortly before the event.
  • TPUSA’s Iowa State University chapter reportedly invited white nationalist YouTuber Nick Fuentes to speak on campus.
  • Speaking at the December 11 launch of Turning Point UK, then-TPUSA Communications Director Candace Owens said, “If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. … I have no problems with nationalism.”
  • TPUSA Chief Creative Officer Benny Johnson kicked off a TPUSA event by saying, “Oh my God, I’ve never seen so many white people in one room. This is incredible!”
  • Most recently Riley Grisar, president of TPUSA’s University of Nevada chapter, praised white supremacy, saying, “We’re going to rule the country! White power!” and using the n-word in a video uncovered by the anti-fascist website It’s Going Down News. Watch the video: