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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Michigan GOP Official Endorsed Violence, Praised White Supremacist 'Heroes'

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Shane Trejo, who heads one of Michigan's Republican committees, wrote a 2017 piece that portrayed white supremacists who participated in the Charlottesville rally that year as "civil rights heroes." The Republican official has also praised an anti-Semitic white supremacist for engaging in political violence and said that the left has failed to "stop white brilliance from emerging," adding that "the cream rises to the top, after all."

Trejo is the chair of the Michigan 11th District Republican Committee. He's also a commentator who writes for the right-wing site Big League Politics, where he has been a source of conspiracy theories about the 2020 election being stolen in Michigan.

Daily Beast reporter Kelly Weill wrote on November 16 that Trejo "made headlines earlier this year when he encouraged the ouster of a fellow Republican who had voted to certify President Joe Biden's election." She reported that Trejo "used to host a podcast with a member of the white supremacist group Identity Evropa" and that he and the co-host "appear to have spoken favorably about white supremacists."

Trejo was also the "News Editor" for the now-dormant website The Liberty Conservative, where he celebrated white supremacists and their use of political violence.

In August 2017, white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, for the "Unite the Right" rally in support of white nationalism. On August 12, a white supremacist killed anti-racism activist Heather Heyer with his car.

In an August 11, 2017, piece previewing the rally, Trejo defended the organizers of the event by writing:

Having proclaimed the virtues of civil rights for generations, the left is now turning their backs on their principles and openly discriminating against white people who they suspect to be 'racist.'

Unwilling to let the protesters peacefully rally in favor of the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park, organizers first had their permit for the rally revoked before leftist businesses joined in the witch hunt.

The conclusion of the post directed people to a Facebook event page for the "Unite the Right" rally.

Trejo's piece carried the headline "'Unite The Right' Protesters Become Civil Rights Heroes As Leftists Mount Discrimination Campaign." An accompanying image for the piece featured white supremacists including Richard Spencer, Augustus Invictus, and Jason Kessler.

Shane Trejo piece: "Civil Rights Heroes"

In a November 18, 2016, piece for The Liberty Conservative, Trejo claimed that "unhinged behavior" by "victim groups" has "emboldened the right and has caused whiteness to bounce back." He added: "The left has failed. Even their artificial constructs cannot stop white brilliance from emerging. The cream rises to the top, after all."

Trejo also praised violent white supremacist and antisemite Kyle Chapman, who is also known as "Based Stickman." As the Southern Poverty Law Center summarized, "Chapman was transformed from an obscure Bay Area commercial diver to celebrated right-wing meme in March 2017 when ... he beat a counter-protestor over the head with a wooden rod during the #March4Trump in Berkeley, California."

In an April 24, 2017, piece Trejo claimed, "By inflicting righteous violence onto the skull of a lowly communist, Stickman emboldened many others to stand with him as well." Trejo wrote:

Having not been properly indoctrinated, Stickman failed to understand that it was improper for him to do anything but sit on your hands in the face of virulent leftism. He didn't realize that the big money donors come first, and fighting for freedom comes second. He simply acted like a man, and heeded the call to stand up for his rights. By inflicting righteous violence onto the skull of a lowly communist, Stickman emboldened many others to stand with him as well.

Trejo's piece carried the headline "Based Stickman Shows Libertarians That Bold Grassroots Leadership is Necessary."

Fox Hosts To Headline GOP Fundraisers Despite Network's ‘Policy’

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Fox hosts Larry Kudlow and Tomi Lahren are scheduled to participate in Republican Party fundraisers in the coming weeks. The two network employees are doing campaign events even though Fox claims it has a policy against such practices.

Fox News said in 2018 that it "does not condone any talent participating in campaign events." Media Matters, however, has exhaustively documented how the self-described news network has inconsistently enforced that supposed policywith its personnel over the years.

Kudlow is a former Trump administration official who hosts the Fox Business program Kudlow. Lahren hosts the Fox Nation programs Final Thoughts and No Interruption. Both are also Fox News contributors.

Kudlow is scheduled to keynote the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee Lincoln Day Dinner in Connecticut on August 7. Tickets for the event, which is also set to feature former Trump administration official Linda McMahon, range from $100 to $250.

Lahren is scheduled to speak at the Sumter County Republican Party's Red White and Blue BBQ and Valor Awards in Florida on July 22. Tickets for the event, which is also set to feature toxic commentator and former Sheriff David Clarke, are $100.

Texas Outfit Linked To Assault Over ‘Voter Fraud’ Promotes Conspiracies And Violence

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

A former police captain was arrested and charged with assaulting an air conditioner repairman whom he falsely suspected of carrying 750,000 fraudulent ballots in his truck. The organization allegedly paying the former cop to prove supposed election fraud is led by a QAnon conspiracy theorist, and its Facebook page is filled with conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric.

The Harris County District Attorney's Office stated on December 15 that it had arrested and charged former Houston Police Capt. Mark Anthony Aguirre "with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison." The office stated:

According to Aguirre, he had been conducting surveillance on the victim for four days under a theory the victim was the mastermind of a giant fraud, and there were 750,000 fraudulent ballots in a truck he was driving. Instead, the victim turned out to be an innocent and ordinary air conditioner repairman.
Aguirre ran his SUV into the back of the truck to get the technician to stop and get out, according to the document. When the technician got out of the truck, Aguirre, pointed a handgun at the technician, forced him to the ground and put his knee on the man's back – an image captured on the body-worn camera of a police officer.
Aguirre directed police to a parking lot nearby where another suspect, who has not been identified, took the truck. There were no ballots in the truck. It was filled with air conditioning parts and tools.

According to the district attorney's office, Aguirre was working for the Liberty Center for God and Country and "never told police that he had been paid a total of $266,400 … with $211,400 of that amount being deposited into his account the day after the incident."

Right-wing commentator and Republican donor Steven Hotze is the CEO of The Liberty Center for God and Country. The Texas Tribune reported that "Jared Woodfill, a spokesperson and attorney for Hotze, confirmed that the Liberty Center hired a company led by Aguirre to investigate voter fraud ahead of the 2020 election."

Hotze is a QAnon and coronavirus conspiracy theorist who has claimed that COVID-19 is "much ado about nothing" and speculated that the "deep state could have been the ones that orchestrated this whole viral problem with the virus." He is also an anti-LGBTQ bigot and a grifter. Additionally, Hotze helped lead an unsuccessful effort to throw out ballots cast in drive-thru voting in Harris County, Texas. (Since the election, Trump and his right-wing media allies have been on a desperate quest to overturn the election results by hyping false, evidence-free claims of voter fraud.)

In June, Hotze left a voice message for Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) saying that he should order the National Guard "to shoot to kill if any of these son-of-a-bitch people start rioting like they have in Dallas, start tearing down businesses — shoot to kill the son of a bitches. That's the only way you restore order. Kill 'em. Thank you."

The Liberty Center for God and Country's Facebook page is a cesspool of conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric. (The organization's Facebook page often mirrors or reposts content from Hotze's Facebook page.) Facebook has had numerous problems over the years with such toxic content on its platform.





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Right-Wing Grifters Using ’Stolen Election’ To Scam Republican Suckers

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Democrats did not "steal" the presidential election, but that hasn't stopped right-wing personalities from grifting their followers by asking for money to supposedly help President Donald Trump stage a coup and overturn the results.

Media Matters has documented over the years how conservative media figures have frequently grifted and scammed their audiences. So it's no surprise that right-wingers have seized on Trump's lies about the "stolen" 2020 election to get money from readers.

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Sen. Collins Relying On Trump Advisers Gingrich And Rove

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has been trying to publicly distance herself from President Donald Trump while she runs a difficult reelection campaign. But on her email list, Collins and her campaign have frequently turned to Fox News contributors and Trump advisers Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove for fundraising help.

Collins is running for reelection in Maine, where Trump is badly trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in polling. She has received scrutiny over her support for major Trump policies, including her vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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NBC Commentator and GOP Shill Hugh Hewitt Is Paid By Trump Campaign

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

NBC's Meet the Press hosted right-wing radio host and NBC News commentator Hugh Hewitt, who talked up President Donald Trump's reelection chances and touted his "sort of powerful energy on conservative media" for Republicans this week after being released from the hospital. In addition to the absurdity of hosting a dishonest shill like Hewitt, host Chuck Todd did not disclose that Hewitt has a financial tie to Trump's campaign: Last month, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee twice rented Hewitt's newsletter to raise money.

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Georgia GOP Nominee Greene Circulated Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Video

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters

Less than two years ago, right-wing commentator and Republican House candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene shared an anti-refugee video and claimed that "this is what the UN wants all over the world." The Greene-promoted video features anti-Muslim propaganda, quotes an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier saying that "Zionist supremacists have schemed to promote immigration and miscegenation" and, as one reporter wrote, "implies that Jews are at the heart of a project to destroy Europe as we know it."

The video, which originated on the far-right message board 8chan in 2015, has been celebrated by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

Greene is heavily favored to win her race in Georgia's 14th Congressional District. She has expressed support for the violence-linked QAnon conspiracy theory, which the FBI has labeled a potential domestic terror threat. Conspiracy theories researcher Mike Rothschild has written that "anti-Semitism has been part of the fabric of QAnon since the conspiracy theory first launched" in October 2017.

Greene has also pushed conspiracy theories about 9/11, the killing of Democratic staffer Seth Rich, the mail bombs sent around the time of the 2018 midterm elections, and Pizzagate.

Politico reported in June that Greene posted Facebook videos in which she expressed "racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views," including stating that "there is an Islamic invasion into our government offices right now" and that "you saw after midterm elections what we saw so many Muslims elected."

Greene has the support of leading Republicans and has been "invited to attend President Trump's acceptance speech Thursday evening at the White House."

Media Matters found that before running for Congress, Greene promoted a video that attacked Muslims and refugees and pushed anti-Semitic messages.

On December 9, 2018, Greene shared a link to a video along with the comment: "This is what the UN wants all over the world with the UN Global Migration Compact to be signed Dec 10-11 in Morocco. But I'm still banned on my fb pages from going live, for using the term 'illegal invaders', apparently that's hate speech!"

Her link was to a 19:32 minute video called With Open Gates: The Forced Collective Suicide of European Nations. As reporter Philip Kleinfeld wrote in Vice when it began circulating in 2015, the video "is designed to scare people about the supposed menace of refugees" by using "a mishmash of comically fake and out-of-context footage, bad subtitling and Islamophobic propaganda." He wrote of the racist start of the video:

The video begins with the narrator claiming the other side of the refugee crisis is "how it will change Europe". What follows is a montage of selectively chosen footage designed to present refugees and migrants as violent and dangerous. Some of it is genuine footage from the past 12 months, but a lot of it has absolutely nothing to do with the current crisis. It's just a collection of random footage of people that aren't white in circumstances that aren't stated.

Kleinfeld also noted that the video relies on anti-Semitism to make its points, including using a video clip that was "taken out of its original context and spliced into an anti-refugee film" to imply "that Jews are at the heart of a project to destroy Europe as we know it." He wrote:

AN ANTI-SEMITIC MESSAGE
The message of the video ratchets up the anti-refugee rhetoric to a whole new ideological level, making Britain First look comparatively PC. About nine minutes in, it quotes former BNP leader Nick Griffin saying that an "unholy alliance of leftists, capitalists and Zionist supremacists have schemed to promote immigration and miscegenation".
It ends with a quote from Barbara Lerner Spectre, the founding director of the European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, who says, "Europe is not going to be the monolithic societies they once were in the last century. Jews are going to be at the centre of that." She's talking about Jews playing a role in making Europe a more tolerant and diverse place. But taken out of its original context and spliced into an anti-refugee film, it implies that Jews are at the heart of a project to destroy Europe as we know it. This is an anti-Semitic trope claiming that immigration is part of a Zionist/Jewish plot to destroy the white race – something the far-right likes to call "white genocide".

Griffin, a racist and Holocaust denier, also states in that clip that the supposed alliance of "leftists, capitalists and Zionist supremacists" has a "deliberate aim of breeding us out of existence in our own homelands."

The Anti-Defamation League also criticized the video, writing in 2015 that it "uses selective footage of African and Muslim refugees and immigrants to depict them as creating mayhem and destruction throughout Europe." It added that With Open Gates also attempts to give "fuel to anti-Semites who blame Jews for non-white immigration to Europe":

"With Open Gates: The Forced Collective Suicide of European Nations," a virulently anti-refugee propaganda video widely circulated on the Internet has received over four million views on YouTube over the last two weeks. The video uses selective footage of African and Muslim refugees and immigrants to depict them as creating mayhem and destruction throughout Europe.
The video ends with a clip of the founder of a Jewish cultural institute in Sweden, who claims that Jews support efforts to promote multiculturalism in Europe. This segment of the video gives fuel to anti-Semites who blame Jews for non-white immigration to Europe. The statement that accompanied the posting of the video on YouTube blames "Zionist interest" for destroying Europe "from the inside."

The ADL also wrote that "the racist video originated on 8chan, a controversial Internet discussion forum whose 'Politically Incorrect' subforum is notorious for racist and anti-Semitic language," and that it was also extolled by the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer and the white supremacist websites Vanguard News Network and Stormfront. BuzzFeed News' Joseph Bernstein wrote in February 2017 that the video "received some 4 million views in late 2015 before being taken down by YouTube over a copyright claim." He added that it was "first circulated by white supremacist blogs and chans" and "gained social steam until it was picked up by Breitbart, at which point it exploded." And The New York Times wrote in November 2018 that With Open Gates "drew praise from prominent neo-Nazis and white nationalists, and was broadly condemned by anti-hate groups."

Florida GOP Supports Bloodthirsty Bigot Loomer For Congress

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

The Republican Party of Florida recently expressed its support for right-wing commentator and congressional candidate Laura Loomer, who has described herself as a "proud Islamophobe," has said that she didn't "care" about the anti-Muslim mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, and has stated that she's in favor of "more" migrant deaths.

Loomer won the Republican nomination in Florida's 21st Congressional District on August 18. The district is represented by Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel, who is heavily favored to win the race in November.

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The Right-Wing Outlets That Promoted Bannon’s Fraudulent ‘Border Wall’

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Florida veteran Brian Kolfage, former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon, and two others "orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors" who supported their online crowdfunding campaign effort to construct a barrier on the U.S. southern border, according to an indictment federal prosecutors unsealed Thursday. The group had relied on credulous coverage and support from right-wing media outlets and personalities to drive more than $20 million in donations.

In December 2018, as President Donald Trump prepared to shut down the federal government in hopes of obtaining funds to build his long-sought border wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin suggested that the president's supporters instead crowdfund its construction. "Let the people who support the wall pay for it -- directly and voluntarily," Goodwin wrote.

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QAnon Republican Visited Capitol, Urged Muslim Members To Retake Oath With Bibles

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Republican congressional candidate and right-wing pundit Marjorie Taylor Greene is a bigot both on and offline.

In February 2019, she visited Capitol Hill -- her likely future place of employment -- and filmed herself unsuccessfully trying to interrogate Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). During the video, she falsely claimed that they're illegitimate members of Congress because they took their congressional oaths of office on the Quran and said she wanted to make them retake their oath on the Bible. She also said she wanted to tell them they "really should go back to the Middle East if they support Sharia." In addition to being bigoted, her remarks are also ignorant as their oaths were legitimate and neither representative is from the Middle East.

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Top Republican Consulting Firm Aiding QAnon Senate Candidate In Oregon

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Oregon Republican Senate candidate Jo Rae Perkins has been running a campaign promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory. She's been helped by Axiom Strategies, a leading GOP political and media consulting firm that's headed by former Ted Cruz 2016 campaign manager Jeff Roe and employs former Trump acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker.

QAnon is a violence-linked conspiracy theory based on cryptic posts to online message boards from an anonymous user known as "Q" that have spread rampantly on social media and among fringe right-wing media. QAnon conspiracy theorists essentially believe that President Donald Trump is secretly working to take down the purported "deep state," a supposed cabal of high-ranking officials who they claim are operating pedophile rings.

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Trump Campaign Official Went On QAnon Show To Recruit Volunteers

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

In a previously unreported appearance, Trump campaign official Erin Perrine went on a QAnon program to promote President Donald Trump's reelection campaign and recruit volunteers. Perrine encouraged the QAnon audience to "sign up and attend a Trump Victory Leadership Initiative training" and also said that they could "talk to their local GOP party, their state party."

QAnon is a violence-linked conspiracy theory based on cryptic posts to online message boards from an anonymous user known as "Q" that have spread rampantly on social media and among fringe right-wing media. QAnon conspiracy theorists essentially believe that Trump is secretly working to take down the purported "deep state," a supposed cabal of high-ranking officials who they claim are operating pedophile rings.

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California GOP Backs QAnon Conspiracist For Congress

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

While California and the United States as a whole are breaking coronavirus case records, the California Republican Party has been backing the congressional bid of coronavirus conspiracy theorist and writer Mike Cargile.

Cargile, who is a QAnon conspiracy theorist, has claimed that the coronavirus is a "scamdemic" and "NOTHING compared to the diseases and plagues headed this way via the rats and the homeless"; and has praised the lie-filled Plandemic video as "EXACTLY why I'm in this race!"

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Anti-Vax Star Of ‘Plandemic’ Endorses Bogus Bleach Therapy

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.

Judy Mikovits, the discredited scientist who stars in the lie-filled conspiracy theory film Plandemic, recently appeared on the podcast of a church that has sold a chlorine dioxide product as a coronavirus cure and defended the organization's promotion of the bogus and dangerous treatment. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that "chlorine dioxide products have not been shown to be safe and effective for any use, including COVID-19."

The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, which is led by Mark Grenon, has touted supposed "protocols" and products related to Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), a bleach product that the church falsely claims can cure a variety of ailments, including the coronavirus.

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Despite Rules, Fake Coronavirus Cures Still Pushed On Facebook

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters.

Facebook has stated that it is committed to fighting coronavirus misinformation by removing content that promotes bogus preventatives and cures. But Media Matters has found ten businesses that are using the platform to peddle products that can supposedly, among other things, "protect" against the coronavirus, "prevent" it, or "kill" it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that "there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus." The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission have been sending warning letters to companies that promote their products as being able to treat, cure, or prevent COVID-19.

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The Media Personalities Profiteering From Coronavirus Scams And Grifts

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

This guide will be continuously updated. If you spot a coronavirus-related health scam or grift, please feel free to email Media Matters.

Numerous media figures and outlets, especially in the right-wing media, have been profiteering off of the coronavirus pandemic by promoting health grifts and scams, including supposed coronavirus treatments, preventatives, and cures.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that "there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus."

Various government agencies at the federal and state levels have sent warning letters to companies and individuals who have been hawking purported coronavirus cures.


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