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Transition 2021

Craziest Meeting' Of Trump's Presidency Involved Flynn, Powell, And Talk Of 'Emergency Powers'

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump, weeks after losing the November 2020 election by more than seven million votes and more than 70 electoral votes, discussed declaring national security emergency powers his White House attorneys told him he did not have.

That's according to a stunning report that details a December 18 meeting in the Oval Office and the White House Residence from Axios, "Inside the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency."

The meeting included White House senior adviser Eric Herschmann, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and White House staff secretary Derek Lyons, on the one side, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, former Trump administration official Emily Newman, and attorney Sidney Powell, who is now being sued for $1.3 billion by the Dominion Voting Machines company.

Powell "proposed declaring a national security emergency, granting her and her cabal top-secret security clearances and using the U.S. government to seize Dominion's voting machines."

At one point Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani joined by phone, and was forced to tell everyone in the "heated" meeting to calm down. Axios reports at one point the "meeting had come entirely off the rails," and says "people were yelling and cursing" inside the Oval Office.

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, "wearing jeans, a hoodie and a neck gaiter, piped up with his own conspiracy: 'I know how this works. I bribed Hillary Clinton $18 million on behalf of the FBI for a sting operation,' he said," according to Axios.

Herschmann stared at the eccentric millionaire. "What the hell are you talking about? Why would you say something like that?" Byrne brought up the bizarre Clinton bribery claim several more times during the meeting to the astonishment of White House lawyers.
Trump, for his part, also seemed perplexed by Byrne. But he was not entirely convinced the ideas Powell was presenting were insane.
He asked: You guys are offering me nothing. These guys are at least offering me a chance. They're saying they have the evidence. Why not try this? The president seemed truly to believe the election was stolen, and his overriding sentiment was, let's give this a shot.
The words "martial law" were never spoken during the meeting, despite Flynn having raised the idea in an appearance the previous day on Newsmax, a right-wing hive for election conspiracies.
But this was a distinction without much of a difference. What Flynn and Powell were proposing amounted to suspending normal laws and mobilizing the U.S. government to seize Dominion voting machines around the country.

Both Lyons and Morgan "expressed skepticism" about Flynn and Powell's idea of "invoking national security emergency powers."

"Trump expressed skepticism at various points about Powell's theories, but he said, 'At least she's out there fighting.'"

Axios adds the "handful of White House lawyers and advisers" were "determined to keep the president from giving in to temptation to invoke emergency national security powers, seize voting machines and disable the primary levers of American democracy."

Read the entire report here.

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Arizona Republican chairwoman Kelli Ward

Screenshot from kelliward.com

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

State Republican parties across the country became even more extreme over the first week without Donald Trump in the White House, punishing Republicans who they felt didn't support Trump enough and pushing baseless conspiracy theories that helped lead to the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The actions from state Republican parties are a surefire sign that the GOP cannot easily wipe its hands clean of Trump, even though those like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell want nothing more to do with him following the attacks that led to the death of one Capitol Police officer.

Here's a look at what some state Republican parties have done since President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20:

Arizona Republican Party

On Saturday, the Arizona Republican Party voted to censure the late Sen. John McCain's wife, Cindy, along with former Sen. Jeff Flake and current GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, saying all three were disloyal to Trump.

Both McCain and Flake voted for President Joe Biden, while Ducey refused to overturn Trump's loss in Arizona.

The state party also voted to reelect Kelli Ward — a conspiracy theorist who has surrounded herself with white supremacists — as chair.

Ward told the Associated Press that she is a "Trump Republican" as she dismissed criticism from other state party members who felt she was loyal only to Trump and not the GOP itself.

"The people who are complaining are the people who actually put us in this spot where we are in Arizona, people who have been mamby pamby, lie down and allow the Democrats to walk all over them," Ward — who saw Republicans lose both of Arizona's U.S. Senate seats and Democrats carry the state at the presidential level for the first time since 1996 under her leadership — told the Associated Press.

Texas Republican Party

The Texas GOP announced on Saturday it was joining Gab, a far-right social media platform used by neo-Nazis.

The perpetrator behind the deadly 2018 attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue used the site to announce his attack.

In the same tweet announcing it was joining the extremist social media website, the Texas Republican Party also used the phrase "We are the storm." That's a phrase used by followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which many of the insurrectionists involved in the violence at the Capitol follow.

In fact, ABC News reported that many of the most violent insurrectionists have espoused QAnon beliefs.

Yet the Texas GOP, led by extremist Republican Allen West, has been using the phrase for months on its merchandise since West took control.

West has previously said the day Biden's Electoral College victory was certified that Texas should secede.

Oregon Republican Party

On Jan. 19, the day before Biden was sworn in, the Oregon Republican Party passed a resolution calling the insurrection at the Capitol a "false flag" and compared it to the burning of the German Parliament in 1933 that led to the rise of Nazi control.

In a resolution, the state party wrote that there is "growing evidence that the violence as the Capitol was a 'false flag' operation intended to discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans," the resolution reads. "This provided the sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power, in a frightening parallel to the February 1933 burning of the German Reichstag."

The Capitol insurrection was proven by many reports not to be a "false flag," but rather an attack carried out by fervent Trump supporters who had been fed a lie for months that the election was stolen. Trump himself told them to fight at the Capitol, comments that led to his second impeachment.

Hawaii Republican Party

The Hawaii Republican Party used its Twitter account on Saturday to promote content from a Holocaust denier, who was making baseless claims about Biden "selling the grid to China and killing diabetes patients."

Wyoming Republican Party

Finally, the chair of the Wyoming Republican Party took a page from West's playbook to suggest his state should consider seceding over Trump's loss.

"We are straight-talking, focused on the global scene, but we're also focused at home. Many Western states have the ability to be self-reliant, and we're keeping eyes on Texas, too, and their consideration of possible secession," Wyoming Republican Party Chair Frank Eathorne said on recently pardoned former Trump associate Steve Bannon's podcast, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.