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Monday, December 09, 2019

Trump's Neo-Nazi 'Nightmare' Driving GOP Support For DeSantis Run

A longtime adviser to former Donald Trump warned his pre-Thanksgiving Mar-a-Lago dinner with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and white supremacist Nick Fuentes will be “another reason why” people look at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “to run against” the former president in 2024, NBC News reports.

Trump on Friday denied knowing who Fuentes is, claiming Ye “called me to have dinner” and “unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, who I knew nothing about.” Three sources who spoke with NBC News corroborated Trump’s assertion “that he didn’t know Fuentes,” but pointed out “one glaring inaccuracy in Trump’s statement,” NBC News’ Marc Caputo reports.

Per Caputo:

“All three sources familiar with the dinner told NBC News there was one glaring inaccuracy in Trump’s statement: Trump knew one of the three ‘friends’ brought by the rapper, Karen Giorno. She was the Trump campaign's Florida director in 2016 and the former president knows her by name and sight, the sources said. In addition to Giorno and Fuentes, Ye also brought along another man who was an associate, according to the sources.”

For one of Trump’s advisers, who asked to remain anonymous, “this is a f-cking nightmare,” Caputo reports. "If people are looking at [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis to run against Trump, here's another reason why.”

Caputo continues:

“The source familiar with the dinner conversation said the dinner grew heated after Ye — who announced another run for president in 2024 on Thursday — asked Trump to be his running mate. Trump then began insulting Ye’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, according to the source and a video that Ye posted to Twitter on Thanksgiving Day recounting the dinner.”

One source said Trump told Ye, “You’re not going to win. You can’t beat me."

Fuentes is advising Ye on his presidential run, NBC News reports. Far-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos will manage his campaign.

According to the Twitter video Ye posted, “Trump is really impressed with Nick Fuentes.”

“Nick Fuentes, unlike so many of the lawyers, and so many of the people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he’s actually a loyalist,” Ye said in the “Mar-a-Lago debrief” video.

“Nick, you work for the guy, and just because you work for him, you’re going to tell him he can beat me?” Trump asked Fuentes, according to an NBC News source. “You just got finished telling me I was the best president ever.”

Read the full report at NBC News.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

J.D. Vance Dragged Over His 'Fake Nonprofit' That Failed Opioid Victims

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) faced off against Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance during a live debate on Monday night as both candidates vie for the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH). At one point in the debate, Ryan dragged Vance over his anti-drug nonprofit “Our Ohio Renewal,” which Ryan said took advantage of Ohioans struggling with drug addiction.

“You know what I haven’t done?” Ryan asked during the debate at WJW Fox 8’s headquarters in Cleveland. “I didn’t start a fake nonprofit pretending I was going to help people with addiction like JD Vance did — literally started a nonprofit and didn’t spend one nickel on anybody.”

“In fact, he brought in somebody from Perdue Pharma to be the spokesperson for the nonprofit,” Ryan continued. “The same drug company, Big Pharma, the big drug company, that had all the pill mills going, got everybody addicted. One million people died, JD. One million people died. And you started a nonprofit to try and take advantage of people in Ohio. And you know what? All you did with it was launch your political career.”

In August, the Associated Press reported that “the charity’s most notable accomplishment — sending an addiction specialist to Ohio’s Appalachian region for a yearlong residency — was tainted by ties among the doctor, the institute that employed her and Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin."

According to the AP, the nonprofit — which Vance founded the day after the 2016 presidential election and closed “shortly after clinching the state’s Republican nomination for U.S. Senate” — hired Dr. Sally Satel, whose writings “sometimes cited Purdue-funded studies and doctors” and “[questioned] the role of prescription painkillers in the national opioid crisis.”

The American Enterprise Institute, where Satel was a resident scholar, “received regular $50,000 donations and other financial support from Purdue totaling $800,000,” the AP reported.

You can watch a clip of the debate below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

‘Reckless And Irresponsible’: Maricopa Sheriff Blasts Arizona Audit's Latest Demands

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone slammed the "Senate Republican Caucus' audit of the Maricopa County votes" for "[jeopardizing] the entire mission of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office," the Arizona Republic reported Friday.

"The Senate Republican Caucus' audit of the Maricopa County votes from last November's election has no stopping point," Penzone said in a statement. "Now, its most recent demands jeopardize the entire mission of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office."

Penzone's criticism comes after Maricopa County failed to provide "certain routers that the state Senate sought in its original subpoenas" of 2020 election material. According to the Arizona Republic, "the county has provided all 2.1 million voter general election ballots, voter information and election equipment in response to state Senate subpoenas," but is warning of a "significant security risk to Sheriff's Office law enforcement data" if the routers are released.

Ken Bennett, who is serving "as a liaison between the Senate and the private contractors overseeing the audit," said auditors wants access to the routers because of "people that have always suspected something nefarious about elections being connected to the internet."

The Senate is also demanding "passwords to the county's ballot tabulators used on Election Day at voting centers." Bennett said auditors need the passwords so they have have "administrative access to voting machines," according to the Arizona Republic.

But County Attorney Allister Adel, in a letter to Bennett, said no such passwords exist. "The county has provided every password, user name and security key in its custody or control, as commanded by the Senate's subpoenas, and does not have any others," Adel told Bennett.

As for the routers, Sheriff Penzone in his statement said "access to this information would adversely affect the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office ability to protect critical evidence, data shared between law enforcement agencies, protected private information and individual passwords, all of which could be used to the detriment of citizens and law enforcement infrastructure."

Such a move "puts sensitive, confidential data belonging to Maricopa County's citizens — including social security numbers and protected health information — at risk as well," Adel wrote in that letter to Bennett.

Republican Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers likewise said releasing the routers would "cripple County operations and cost as much as $6 million."

Penzone also suggested the Senate is misrepresenting tropes of "transparency and accountability" in an effort to secure the routers.

Per the Arizona Republic:

The sheriff said transparency and accountability are democracy's foundation. "But when these words are misrepresented, it defies the fragile balance that exists between freedom and order and all that we believe in."

‘You Voted Against It’ Trends As Republicans Claim Credit For Biden Relief

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Some Republican members of the House and Senate are trying to take credit for elements of the American Rescue Act after refusing to support the bill, prompting social media users to remind them: "YOU VOTED AGAINST IT!"

That phrase trended on Twitter Sunday after at least four Republican congresspeople tried to convince their constituents they played a role in the broadly-backed $1.9 trillion stimulus package. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on Thursday. No Republican in either the House or Senate supported the bill.

On Friday, Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) took to Twitter to "announce that the Biden Administration has just implemented my bipartisan COVID relief bill." Despite insisting she was "proud" that her "bipartisan legislation has officially become SBA policy," Salazar failed to mention that she, herself, voted against the bill.

Here are some reactions to Salazar's post:


Salazar isn't alone. As previously reported by AlterNet, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) on Wednesday

tweeted his approval for a provision in the bill that grants $28.6 billion to independent restaurant operators — despite voting against the legislation. That tweet immediately garnered criticism from social media users:

Another Republican catching flak for her comments on the popular legislation is Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who called the stimulus checks "money that you and your fellow countrymen already paid into the system" (duh).

We honestly aren't going to waste time talking about Boebert, save a series of reactions that really hone in on how disingenuous her tweet was:

And finally, we have Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who released a statement accompanying his "no" vote that can only be described as walking a tightrope:

"Today, I'm glad to know my constituents will be receiving an additional relief payment and funding to help improve their access to vaccines, PPE, and unemployment insurance.



I fully support getting assistance to Americans to help keep food on their tables and to help those who are struggling. I fully support continued funding for emergency essentials like vaccines, COVID testing, PPE, school reopening resources, unemployment insurance, and research. And I'll continue to work with my colleagues in the House to ensure the American people have what they need to fight through this pandemic."

Unsurprisingly, Kinzinger's statement didn't go over well:

So there you have it, folks. Republicans are trying to take credit for a bill not a single one of them voted for, while simultaneous railing against provisions that were also included in former President Donald Trump's bills, which they did vote for. It's almost like these people don't actually care about helping us!

State Officials Demand Rep. Perry Resign Over Alleged Role In Trump Coup

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

On Saturday, the New York Times singled out Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) as a member of Congress who "played a significant role" in former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election — and now, lawmakers in Perry's home state are calling for the congressman's resignation.

According to the Times, while Perry was hardly a main character in the president's unsuccessful attempt to usurp President Joe Biden's electoral victory, he played an integral role in Trump's plan to fire acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. Trump was hoping to replace Rosen, "who stood by the results of the election and had repeatedly resisted the president's efforts to undo them."

Perry introduced Trump to Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department official who "was sympathetic to Mr. Trump's view that the election had been stolen," the Times reported.

Per the Times:

As the date for Congress to affirm Mr. Biden's victory neared, Mr. Perry and Mr. Clark discussed a plan to have the Justice Department send a letter to Georgia state lawmakers informing them of an investigation into voter fraud that could invalidate the state's Electoral College results.

According to the Times, the former president "backed down" on his plan to fire Rosen and install Clark "only after top department officials threatened to resign en masse."

As Pennsylvania's York Daily Record reports, Perry also "led a House floor objection to Pennsylvania's election results" when Congress met to certify the Electoral College votes. That meeting was interrupted by a mob of angry Trump supporters after the president held a rally and promised to "fight like hell" for the presidency.

Following the publication of the report, officials in Pennsylvania on Saturday called for Perry's resignation. One such official was Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-PA), who offered this succinct message for his Republican colleague.


And Josh Shapiro, the Pennsylvania attorney general, insisted there "must be consequences" for Perry's actions.

Eugenio DePasquale, who lost out to Perry in 2020's 10th Congressional District election, likewise demanded the representative's resignation, tweeting "Perry must go!"

Perry has not commented on the New York Times report.

AOC Slams Sarah Sanders For Complaining She Lost 50K Followers In Twitter Purge

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has some "free advice" for Sarah Huckabee Sanders: "if you are losing tens of thousands of followers the moment Twitter starts taking down Neo-Nazis and violent insurrectionists, maybe don't advertise that!"

Huckabee Sanders, the former Trump White House press secretary who is planning a run to become Arkansas's next governor, took to the social media platform that just banned President Donald Trump to lament not Wednesday's domestic terrorist attack and attempted coup incited by her former boss and not the death of a Capitol police officer, but her loss of Twitter followers.


Huckabee Sanders was responding to a tweet from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who attacked Twitter by suggesting it was intentionally removing massive numbers of followers from top Republicans, including himself, and intentionally increasing the number of followers to top Democrats to "create an echo chamber."

Twitter appears to have purged or expelled large numbers of far right wing extremists. NCRM Saturday night was first to report Rudy Giuliani lost 60 followers whose accounts were suspended or otherwise deleted – although he himself unfollowed 25 top Republicans including Vice President Mike Pence.

Facing Legal Threat, Fox News Airs Fact Check Of Wild Election Fraud Claims

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Over the weekend, Fox News aired a stunning point-by-point fact check to claims made on programs hosted by the network's most pro-Trump voices -- after voting technology company Smartmatic sent a 20-page legal letter demanding "a full and complete retraction of all false and defamatory statements and reports."

The segment, which features an interview with Palo Open Source Election Technology Institute voting technology expert Eddie Perez, aired on Lou Dobb's Friday show, Jeanine Pirro's Saturday show, and Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, among others.

In its Dec. 10 letter to Fox News Media, Smartmatic charged the company and its hosts with waging "a concerted disinformation campaign against Smartmatic. Fox News told its millions of viewers and readers that Smartmatic was founded by [the late Venezuelan President] Hugo Chávez, that its software was designed to fix elections, and that Smartmatic conspired with others to defraud the American people and fix the 2020 U.S. election by changing, inflating, and deleting votes." The company also demanded the company "match the attention and audience targeted with the original defamatory publications."

As the Washington Post reports:

During Friday night's fact-checking segment, the questioner asked Perez: "Have you seen any evidence of Smartmatic sending U.S. votes to be tabulated in foreign countries?"

This appeared to be a reference to Giuliani's Nov. 12 claim on the show that with Smartmatic software, '"he votes actually go to Barcelona, Spain.'" Perez responded, "No, I'm not aware of any evidence that Smartmatic is sending U.S. votes to be tabulated in foreign countries."

Speaking with CNN, Perez said that while he was unaware of the nature of the interview when he spoke to Fox News about Smartmatic, it's important to clear up any confusion the network's viewers have about voting integrity in the United States.

"I felt it was important to talk to Fox News," Perez said. "Of anything potentially more important to be speaking the facts to their audience because there are a lot of consumers of Fox News that have doubts about the election."

Watch the video below:


Watch Voters Confront GOP Chair Over Georgia Runoff: ‘It’s Already Decided’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

At a campaign stop in Marietta, GA, on Saturday, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel struggled to explain to voters why they should cast ballots in the upcoming Senate runoffs when, as one voter expressed, "it's already decided."

McDaniel was appealing to voters to return to the polls on January 5 and cast their ballots for incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. If Democrats defeat those Republican candidates in Georgia, the party will control the House, Senate and White House at the onset of President-elect Joe Biden's presidency.

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GOP Sen. Toomey Urges Trump To Concede, Cooperate With Biden Transition

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) says President Donald Trump has "exhausted all plausible legal options" as he encouraged the Trump administration to "facilitate the presidential transition process" with President-elect Joe Biden.

Toomey referenced U.S. District Judge Matthew W. Brann's decision Saturday to dismiss a Trump campaign suit that sought to block the certification of Pennsylvania's election results. In his decision, Brann said the suit "strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations" as it urged the court to give the state legislator legal authority to assign Pennsylvania's electoral votes.

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Harris Slams ‘Greatest Failure In History’ As Meadows Admits Defeat In Pandemic

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on Sunday slammed the Trump administration for "admitting defeat" in the fight against COVID-19 after White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN "we are not going to control the pandemic."

Meadows made the remark Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, telling host Jake Tapper that the president's strategy is "to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas," even as cases skyrocket across the United States.

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Trump Privately Admits GOP Senators Are In Jeopardy (But He Doesn’t Care)

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

President Donald Trump on Thursday admitted to donors it will be "very tough" for Republicans to maintain their Senate majority during a private closed-door gathering at the Nashville Marriott, the Washington Post reports.

According to an anonymous attendee who spoke with the Post, Trump claimed "there are a couple senators" who are struggling with races he "can't really get involved in."

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Fauci Rebukes ‘Out Of Context’ Quote By Trump Campaign Ad

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Dr. Anthony Fauci said an advertisement from the Trump campaign that featured a quote from the renowned immunologist was taken out of context, telling CNN's Kaitlan Collins that he did not consent to be the president's ad.

"In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate," Fauci said. "The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials."

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White House Silences Coronavirus Task Force Scientists

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The White House refused to allow expert immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci or another medical expert on President Donald Trump's Coronavirus Task Force to appear on ABC's This Week, the network's chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl said Sunday.

Karl told viewers that while Fauci was "more than willing to join" the program to discuss the nation's faltering response to COVID-19, as well as the White House's current status as a coronavirus hot spot, "the White House wouldn't allow you to hear from the nation's leading expert on coronavirus."

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Stunning CNN Supercut Exposes Republican Hypocrisy On Supreme Court

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

As the battle over replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who died Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer — takes shape in Washington, D.C., Republican senators who previously refused to hold a vote on former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick are now having their words thrown in their faces.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on Saturday played a devastating supercut that features Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explaining why they would not vote on Obama's nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

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Bipartisan Senate Panel Referred Trump Family Members Over Suspected Lying

Bipartisan leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee last year notified the Department of Justice that members of President Donald Trump's family and close circle "might have presented misleading testimony" to the panel during its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Washington Post reports.

According to the Post, then-Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-VA) referred a list of individuals, including Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner to federal prosecutors after their accounts of a pre-election meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya "were contradicted by the president's former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates" during former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

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Polls Indicate Trump Defectors Could Tip Texas For Biden

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

While the Cook Political Report still has Texas as a "lean red" state in its 2020 Electoral College Ratings, a Quinnipiac poll released last week showed former Vice President Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump 45 percent to 44 percent among registered voters. And according to the Houston Chronicle, a decisive number of anti-Trump Republicans could be contributing to Biden's lead in the state.

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Bishop Says Cops Gassed Protesters ’So Trump Could Use Our Church As A Prop’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The bishop who overseas the Washington, DC church that Donald Trump visited following his speech on Monday admonished the president for using a place of worship as a "prop," noting the police deployed tear gas against peaceful protestors to clear a path for Trump's walk from the White House to St. John's Church.

As The Washington Post's Michelle Boorstein reports, Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde said she is "outraged" and had no idea the White House "would be clearing with tear gas" in order to use the church for Trump's photo op.

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