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Sen. Hawley Loses More Major Donors Over Capitol Riot

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has lost the support of another prominent GOP megadonor over his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

"Sometimes politicians deceive their donors," billionaire Jeffrey Yass recently wrote in an email, published by the Guardian on Monday, explaining his disappointment in Hawley's actions. Yass, co-founder of trading firm Susquehanna International Group, has donated tens of millions to the right-wing Club for Growth, which spent millions of dollars on Hawley's 2018 victory.

A Hawley spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

Former supporters and media outlets have urging significant punishments for the first-term Republican senator after he helped spread false claims about the 2020 election, cheered on violent insurrectionists not long before they mounted a deadly attempted coup, and voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Since Election Day, Hawley elevated debunked conspiracy theories suggesting that Donald Trump — not President-elect Joe Biden — was the real victor.

He was the first senator to say he would object to certifying the Electoral College results.

"Millions of voters concerned about election integrity deserve to be heard," he tweeted on Dec. 30. "I will object on January 6 on their behalf."

As pro-Trump extremists gathered outside the Capitol prior to the joint session of Congress, Hawley greeted them with a fist pump and a thumbs up.

Another disappointed top GOP donor, roofing magnate David Humphreys, told the Missouri Independent earlier this month that he now believes Hawley to be a "political opportunist" who provoked the riots through "irresponsible, inflammatory, and dangerous tactics" and should be censured by his colleagues.

Humphreys gave millions to Hawley's campaign for Missouri attorney general in 2016 and backed him in his 2018 Senate race by more than $2 million in donations through outside political committees.

Cerner, a Missouri-based health information technology company, told the Kansas City Star last week, that its PAC would suspend donations to Hawley and other GOP lawmakers who "took part in or incited violence." The political action committee has previously given at least $10,000 to Hawley's leadership PAC.

Hawley's mentor, former Sen. John Danforth (R-MO), also denounced his former protégé.

"Supporting Josh and trying so hard to get him elected to the Senate was the worst mistake I ever made in my life," he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after the riots. "Yesterday was the physical culmination of the long attempt [by Hawley and others] to foment a lack of public confidence in our democratic system. It is very dangerous to America to continue pushing this idea that government doesn't work and that voting was fraudulent."

Hawley is not the only Republican facing significant blowback for trying to overturn the election results.

Former Rep. Bill Thomas (R-CA), the former mentor of current House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, called out his one-time employee on Friday for backing Trump's "phony lies" about the election.

Dozens of major corporations have announced that they are suspending PAC donations to Republicans who voted to object to Biden's electors being counted, according to a round-up by Popular Information. And more than a dozen newspaper editorial boards around the country have urged those who stoked the insurrection be expelled from Congress.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Hometown Papers Demand Expulsion Of GOP Lawmakers Who Stoked Insurrection

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Newspapers around the country are demanding punishment for Republican lawmakers who helped fuel last week's deadly attacks on the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump.

At least five people died on Wednesday, Jan. 6, including one law enforcement officer, when thousands of Trump's supporters violently stormed the Capitol building as a joint session of Congress met to certify the results of voting in the Electoral College in the 2020 presidential election.

The editorial boards of at least 13 newspapers have called for the expulsion, resignation, or retirement of lawmakers who voted to reject President-elect Joe Biden's victory or otherwise pushed false conspiracy theories that Trump was the real winner.

The Colorado newspaper called on Thursday for Reps. Lauren Boebert and Doug Lamborn and "other Trump insurgent abettors" in Congress to resign.

"Both should immediately resign their seats for having knowingly participated in yesterday's gruesome failed coup. If their excuse was ignorance, that, 'who knew such a thing could happen,' either would be too dimwitted to hold such important offices," the editorial said. "If they persist in believing their pursuit against election fraud is valiant, they are too corrupt to be members of this nor any government."

Danville Register & Bee

The editorial board of the Virginia newspaper urged Rep. Bob Good to resign his seat for violating his oath of office and being "unfit to serve," noting it would make the same request of Reps. Morgan Griffith, Ben Cline, and Rob Wittman "if they represented us."

"Your actions on Wednesday in objecting to the verification of the Electoral College's vote to certify Joe Biden as the new president was a violation of the oath above you swore on Sunday," they wrote on Saturday. "We had reached the conclusion that you must resign based on the demerits of your decision to join the coalition of Republicans who decided that party was more important than democracy and signed your name to the protests of verified votes by American citizens."

Decatur Daily

In an editorial published on Sunday, the Alabama outlet urged Rep. Mo Brooks to step down from his seat in Congress.

"We have had our differences with Brooks in the past, but he is, for better or worse, the duly elected congressman from Alabama's 5th District. On Wednesday, however, he disgraced his office. He encouraged protesters to start 'kicking ass,' and lo and behold they did. Ideas have consequences. He aided Trump's illegitimate effort to stay in office. ... Brooks should resign."

Houston Chronicle

The editorial board of the second-largest newspaper in Texas on Saturday published an editorial titled, "Resign, Senator Cruz. Your lies cost lives."

Arguing that Sen. Ted Cruz deserves "special condemnation": "A brilliant and frequent advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court and a former Texas solicitor general, Cruz knew exactly what he was doing, what he was risking and who he was inciting as he stood on the Senate floor Wednesday and passionately fed the farce of election fraud even as a seething crowd of believers was being whipped up by President Trump a short distance away."

Noting that Cruz's lies helped spur the assault on the Capitol, the board wrote, "You are unlikely to be prosecuted for inciting the riots, as Trump may yet be, and there is no election to hold you accountable until 2024. So, we call for another consequence, one with growing support across Texas: Resign."

Kansas City Star

The Kansas City, Missouri, newspaper's editorial board published two editorials on Thursday: one titled, "Assault on democracy: Sen. Josh Hawley has blood on his hands in Capitol coup attempt" and the other, "If Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley had a conscience, he'd resign. He'll have to be removed."

In the second editorial, the board wrote, "If Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley had shown any evidence that there's a conscience in there somewhere, underneath the ambition and the artifice and the uncommon combo of striving and laziness that he's somehow made work for him, then we wouldn't be where we are right now. We wouldn't, that is, be wondering what to say to a man who, having so disgraced his office, and our state, must either resign or be removed from the U.S. Senate."

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On Thursday, the Milwaukee outlet called for Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, and Rep. Tom Tiffany to either resign or be expelled "for siding with Trump against our republic."

"Fitzgerald and Tiffany were the only members of the House of Representatives from Wisconsin who joined in an insurrection built upon a foundation of ignorance and lies," the editorial board wrote.

Noting that Johnson had ultimately voted against overturning the election results, they blamed him for "Sen. Ron Johnson decided to vote against both baseless challenges to certified votes only after our nation's Capitol was sacked as Congress gathered to perform its simple constitutional duty to recognize the Electoral College vote. But Johnson had been shilling for Trump and this moment for days, adding kindling to the megalomaniac's fire, so his last-minute switch does nothing to absolve his role in stoking this shameful day in American history."

Orlando Sentinel

An editorial published by the Florida paper's editorial board on Thursday called Sen. Rick Scott and Reps. Katherine Cammack, Mario Diaz-Balart, Byron Donalds, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Carlos Giménez, Brian Mast, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Greg Steube, and Daniel Webster "enemies of democracy" who "brought shame on themselves, on their offices and on Florida": "Each is unfit for office and none should be returned if they have the audacity to seek reelection in 2022."

Philadelphia Inquirer

The editorial board of the Philadelphia paper published an editorial Thursday calling for "Republican lawmakers who were complicit in sparking a coup attempt by their continued support of Trump's baseless lies of a rigged election" to "face consequences."

Noting the eight Pennsylvania Republican congressmen who had backed efforts to throw out their constituents' votes — Dan Meuser, Scott Perry, Lloyd Smucker, Fred Keller, John Joyce, Guy Reschenthaler, Glenn Thompson, and Mike Kelly — the board wrote, "In speeches into the night, Perry and his Republican colleagues from the commonwealth and elsewhere repeated easily disputed lies — including those about Pennsylvania voting law that originated in the Republican General Assembly — that have been already debunked or dismissed by the courts."

"If they believe so strongly in election fraud that they're calling to overturn the presidential race, how can they serve with confidence that their own elections were legitimate?" the board asked. "If they don't resign, they should take responsibility for the damage that they inflicted to American democracy, and at the very least, apologize. But we won't hold our breath."

San Antonio Express-News

On Saturday, the San Antonio publication urged impeachment for Trump and "expulsion for enabler Cruz" based on "his efforts to undermine the presidential election."

"It was Cruz who gathered support of other senators and senators-elect to object to the formal counting of electoral votes, not because there was voter fraud but because of the 'unprecedented allegations of voter fraud, violations and lax enforcement of election law, and other voting irregularities,'" the editorial board noted. "It was Cruz who cynically said to Democrats on the Senate floor before the mob descended: 'I understand your guy is winning right now.'"

"It remains to be seen if the assault on the Capitol is a warning sign or a turning point for this nation. If we seek a turning point in support of democracy, then those who have damaged it must be sanctioned and repudiated," the board wrote.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The St. Louis newspaper's editorial board published an editorial on Thursday calling for Sen. Josh Hawley to "do Missourians and the rest of the country a big favor and resign now."

"Sen. Josh Hawley had the gall to stand before the Senate Wednesday night and feign shock, shock at what happened — hours after he had fist-pumped and cheered the rioters as they arrived on Capitol Hill," the board wrote. "Hawley's tardy, cover-his-ass condemnation of the violence ranks at the top of his substantial list of phony, smarmy and politically expedient declarations."

University of Virginia Cavalier Daily

The campus newspaper of the University of Virginia also called out Virginia Reps. Cline, Good, Griffith, and Wittman on Thursday and urged their removal.

"Only three days into his term as congressman, Rep. Good has already significantly contributed to the same dangerous rhetoric that caused the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville — the very community he was sent to Congress to represent," the editorial board wrote. "Those who objected to the election certification have proven their blind loyalty to Trump over the will of the American people. Their indulgence in conspiracy theories warrants immediate expulsion from their roles as representatives of the people."

Wichita Eagle

In an editorial published Wednesday, the Kansas paper's editorial board wrote that Sen. Roger Marshall and Reps. Ron Estes, Jake LaTurner, and Tracey Mann "share the blame" for the "calculated, premeditated, violent assault on democracy and our country's commitment to the peaceful transfer of power."

"Remember them, Kansas voters," the board urged. "Hold them accountable."

York Dispatch

On Thursday, the Pennsylvania outlet demanded the resignation of Rep. Scott Perry.

Its editorial board blasted him for "leading a gang of Republican congressmen in an ill-advised, ultimately fruitless attempt to disenfranchise his own constituents by objecting to the counting of the electoral votes from 'my beloved commonwealth of Pennsylvania.'

"If Perry truly believes that the election that returned him to the Capitol for a fifth term was illegal and the results should be overturned, he does have a personal recourse. He can and should resign. Immediately."

So far, no Republican lawmakers have acknowledged that their actions helped fuel the mob attacks.

Asked by reporters on Thursday if he believed he bears any of the blame for the rioting the previous day, Ted Cruz answered, "Not remotely."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Texas Republican Touts ‘Hot Civil War’ If Democrats Win Georgia Runoffs

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) claimed on Monday that if Democrats win two Georgia Senate races, the country will erupt into another civil war.

"What happens tomorrow in Georgia, if we have a Democratically controlled Senate, we're now at basically full-scale hot conflict in this country, whereas right now we're at a cold civil war," he told Fox News.

"If Georgians don't show up and ensure that we hold the Senate in Republican hands, then that's what's happening. Two additional votes coming out of the Senate in Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico and they lock it down for good," he said.


Roy was referring to Tuesday runoff elections — one between Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Democrat Raphael Warnock, the other between Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Democrat Jon Ossoff — that will determine what party holds a majority in the Senate for the next two years.

His suggestion of civil war comes just weeks after his own state party chair, Allen West, urged "law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution." West denied that this was a call for pro-Trump states to secede from the union.

Republicans have attempted to make the Georgia Senate races a referendum on whether millions of Americans in Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia should be given full representation in Congress — hoping that conservative voters in the state will be motivated to stop other citizens from having the same rights they enjoy. Like Roy, they have suggested that statehood for the citizens of those two territories would make it impossible for Republicans to ever again hold a majority in the Senate.

This argument makes little sense. While Washington, D.C., has been reliably Democratic, Puerto Ricans have elected several Republicans — including their current resident commissioner, a non-voting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives. And even if Democrats had gained four new Senate seats in the last Congress, Republicans would still have held a 53 to 51 majority.

In just one term in Congress, Roy has already amassed a long record of extreme comments. Last year, he attacked a 20-year-old survivor of the Parkland mass school shooting as "functionally illiterate" for criticizing Donald Trump's family separation policies, likened anti-racism protesters to the white former cop charged with murdering George Floyd, and compared pandemic safety guidelines to "Nazi Germany."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Sen. Hawley Will Object To Electoral College Results -- Because He Dislikes Tech Giants

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced Wednesday that he plans to object to the Electoral College count next week, arguing that social media companies had been unfairly mean to Donald Trump during the election.

In a statement, Hawley said that he will "object during the certification process on January 6" to raise "critical issues." On that date, a joint session of Congress will formally count the Electoral College results, certifying Joe Biden as the president-elect.

"I cannot vote to certify electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws," Hawley wrote. "And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort by mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden."

Under the law, if at least one member of the House of Representatives and at least one senator formally object to a state's electoral votes, they can force a two-hour closed debate and a vote on whether to accept that state's Electoral College result. With a Democratic majority in the House and a majority of senators acknowledging Biden's victory, such an effort could delay the process but would likely do nothing to overturn the 2020 results.

Several House Republicans — led by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) and encouraged by Trump — have said they will use the process in a last-ditch effort to install the man who lost popular vote by more than 7 million votes and Electoral College vote by a margin Trump described as a "landslide" in 2016.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly begged his caucus not to join those efforts, suggesting it would lead to a "terrible vote" for Republicans forced to choose between alienating Trump and his supporters and doing their constitutional duty.

Hawley's statement makes no suggestion that he actually believes Trump was the rightful victor.

The Missouri senator has been an outspoken critic of large tech companies, however, falsely claiming they are biased against conservatives. Before the election, he accused Facebook and Twitter of "active suppression of public speech" after the company restricted sharing of an unproven New York Post story about Hunter Biden.

There is no proof to back that assertion, which has been repeatedly debunked.

In the final days of the campaign, the companies repeatedly fact-checked Donald Trump's many false claims about the election. Trump slammed these disclaimers as "out of control" and pushed to punish them by taking away legal liability protections for tech companies.

But even if those companies were unfair to Trump, it would not be grounds under the law or the Constitution, for the results to be overturned. Moreover, many say the fact-checks didn't do much of anything to stop Trump's messaging machine.

"We repeatedly flag offenders that nevertheless seem to prosper and continue to do ads," one Facebook fact-checking partner told the Washington Post in November, specifically citing pro-Trump campaigns on social media.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

GOP Members Drop Support For Troop Raises To Save Confederate Memorials

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Sixty-six House Republicans voted to uphold Donald Trump's veto of a must-pass annual defense authorization bill on Monday, despite 25 of them previously voting for the exact same legislation weeks ago.

Despite the defections, more than the required two-thirds of the House voted to override Trump, 322-87.

The annual legislation passed in the House and Senate earlier this month with a bipartisan supermajority in each chamber. Then, 140 House Republicans and 42 GOP senators backed the $731.6 billion legislation to set funding levels and policies for the nation's defense and authorize pay increases for America's armed service members.

Trump ultimately vetoed the bill on Wednesday — at the last possible moment — objecting to provisions that required the renaming of military bases named for Confederate figures and to the fact that Congress did not insert unrelated provisions to punish social media companies he believes unfairly are biased against conservatives.

"My Administration respects the legacy of the millions of American servicemen and women who have served with honor at these military bases, and who, from these locations, have fought, bled, and died for their country," Trump wrote in his veto message. "I have been clear in my opposition to politically motivated attempts like this to wash away history and to dishonor the immense progress our country has fought for in realizing our founding principles."

Under the Constitution, if the president vetoes a bill, Congress can override it if both two-thirds of the members of the House and two-thirds of the Senate vote to do so.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy voted for the original bill, but later made clear that he would put loyalty to Trump over support for the military.

"I don't believe Republicans, in our work with the president always, that you vote to override a veto," the California Republican told reporters before the original vote, though he predicted that he and the rest of his caucus "would stand with the president," and sustain a veto if Trump killed the legislation.

McCarthy skipped Monday's vote.

Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) also voted for the bill initially, but voted with Trump on Monday. In a press statement, he explained that he was doing so because members of the military "bravely defend the rights and freedoms of Americans every day," claiming that "our freedom of speech is also under attack here at home from big tech companies. This has been especially evident in acknowledging voter fraud on social media that is then flagged or censored."

Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) said he flipped entirely because Trump said to. "I had some reservations with certain provisions in the NDAA; but, as a veteran, I felt responsible to ensure our national defense and military were properly funded, which is why I voted for the NDAA earlier this month," he wrote in a statement. "However, no one has a better pulse on the security of this nation and our military than the President of the United States, and I believe his objections to the bill are reasonable and intended to protect all Americans."

Among the other prominent Republicans who voted for the bill before Trump's veto but later defected were Republican Policy Committee chair Gary Palmer of Alabama, National Republican Congressional Committee chair Tom Emmer of Minnesota, recent party-switcher Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, and Rep. Devin Nunes of California.

Now, the bill goes to the Senate, where an override vote attempt was planned for Tuesday, although Sen. Bernie Sanders has vowed to slow the veto override unless the Republicans permit a floor vote on a $2000 pandemic relief payment. If at least two-thirds of the senators follow the House's lead, it will mark the first veto override of Trump's presidency — days before he leaves office.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

How Trump’s Temper Tantrum Hurt Millions Of Americans

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Donald Trump delayed signing the pandemic relief bill for days, claiming he thought the bill was too stingy. Then, on Sunday, he signed it anyway — costing millions of unemployed Americans at least a week of benefits.

Last week, Trump's administration agreed to a bipartisan agreement to keep the federal government funded and to provide $908 billion in emergency funds to combat the pandemic and the economic problems it has created. Congress passed the deal by overwhelming supermajorities and expected Trump to quickly sign it into law. His staff reportedly planned for him to sign the bill on Thursday.

But experts warned that if Trump didn't approve the relief bill quickly, Americans in need of assistance would lose out. Had Trump signed the bill by Saturday, unemployed Americans would have received 11 weeks of $300 payments from the federal government in addition to the regular state payments.

"At the very least, we lose a week of the $300," the National Employment Law Project's Michele Evermore told Business Insider Saturday, noting that other assistance programs would at best be delayed. "No matter what, if he doesn't sign, next week it goes down to 10 weeks of an extra $300."

Instead, Trump announced on Tuesday that he thought the bill was a "disgrace" and later canceled the planned signing ceremony. Rather than sign the bill or try to negotiate changes, he spent the holidays golfing at his Florida resort.

He did find time to fire off a series of angry tweets, objecting to the "measly" payments in the bill his administration had backed and complaining about "billions of dollars in 'pork'" in the agreement.

"Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida. Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600?" Trump wrote on Friday afternoon, referencing the $600-per-person stimulus checks included in the bill for most Americans. "It wasn't their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!"

His complaints drew the ire of at least one House Republican. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) tweeted Wednesday that "100% of the items" Trump complained about in the bill "were either a lie" or were "things in HIS budget."

On Sunday, Trump tweeted that he had "Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow!" He then signed the bill he had previously called disgraceful.

As a candidate in 2016, Trump ran as a master dealmaker who was uniquely suited to working with congressional leaders of both parties. But over his four years in office, he has had little success with his hardball tactics. In last 2018 and early 2019, he forced the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history in a failed attempt to force Congress to appropriate billions for his massive wall along the southern border.

As in that fight, his stalling tactics ultimately achieved nothing this time around.

The bill he signed on Sunday night was the exact same one he could have signed days earlier. The only difference is that because of his delays, millions of the people he claimed he wanted to help will have to wait an extra week for their benefits. And in the end, his delays will cost many of them $300 each.

'Promises Kept'? Eight Major Pledges That Trump Blew Off

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Donald Trump made hundreds of promises as a candidate about what kind of president he would be. As his final days in office tick down, it is clear that he has broken most of the biggest ones.

Some were silly — like his vows never to call Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei "Supreme Leader" ("I'll say, 'Hey baby, how ya doing?'") and never to break his leg in a bicycle race. Others were hyperbolic, like an April 2016 boast that if he won the election, "all of the bad things happening in the U.S. will be rapidly reversed!"

But many of his unkept promises were fundamental actions he had claimed were the reason he should be elected president, things he would do to "Make America Great Again."

Economy

Trump has claimed that he created the greatest economy in history. But even before the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a massive economic downturn, the promises Trump made about what he'd do for the country's economy had not been fulfilled.

During a debate with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton not long before Election Day in 2016, Trump claimed that "we're bringing GDP from, really, one percent, which is what it is now, and if she got in, it will be less than zero. But we're bringing it from one percent up to four percent. And I actually think we can go higher than four percent. I think you can go to five percent or six percent."

But under Trump, growth of the country's gross domestic product never reached four percent in any quarter until the third quarter of 2020, and that was due to a partial rebound from a contraction of over 31 percent caused by the pandemic.

Rather than balance the budget and get rid of the national debt "fairly quickly," Trump's policies increased the debt by trillions of dollars, even before the 2020 pandemic relief bills.

His promised massive cuts to taxes paid by middle class Americans also never materialized, nor did the promised funding of massive infrastructure projects.

Health

Dozens of times, Trump made a vague but firm pledge to "immediately" repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, with something "terrific" that would provide health insurance coverage to every American.

Trump never actually revealed this supposed secret plan. Instead, he endorsed what he described as a "mean" congressional repeal legislation proposal that he admitted lacked "heart." The House, then controlled by Republicans, passed a version of the bill, but the effort failed in the Senate.

Trump's pledges to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the country and solve the issues of cocaine and heroin abuse also did not come to fruition.

Immigration

Trump's most famous 2016 campaign promise was that he would quickly build a massive wall along the entire southern border between the United States and Mexico, and that Mexico would pay for it. When Mexico refused to pay, Trump diverted billions of dollars appropriated for military families and construction to pay for it.

According to a fact check published by USA Today in September, only five miles of the wall built under the Trump administration are new construction; the rest of the 307 miles U.S. Customs and Border Protection said had been built as of Sept. 1 replaced or reinforcing existing fencing.

Ethics

During his campaign for president, Trump vowed to "drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.," releasing a "Five-Point Plan for Ethics Reform" in government. He said he would completely disentangle himself from his financial holdings and have his kids take them over. He did neither, instead giving policy influence to donors, letting his children simultaneously take key roles in his business and political organizations, profiteering from his position, and running what the nonpartisan watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington called the "most unethical presidency" in U.S. history.

He also promised voters, "I will always tell you the truth." As of this September, the Washington Post reported, Trump had made more than 23,000 false or misleading statements while in office.

Focus On The Job

During the 2016 race, Trump claimed that as president he would behave differently than he had as a candidate. "And after I win, I will be so presidential that you won't even recognize me. You'll be falling asleep, you'll be so bored," he said during an interview with reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. He also promised that if he was elected, he would stop tweeting.

"I would rarely leave the White House because there's so much work to be done," he said in 2015. "I would not be a president who took vacations. I would not be a president that takes time off."

Trump has made hundreds of trips to his own golf resorts and visited his properties on nearly a third the time he's been in office.

Personnel

Trump promised that he would staff his administration with only the "best and most serious people." But he frequently fired his own appointees — sometimes via tweet — and often attacked them for being totally incompetent.

According to a report published by the Brookings Institution, 91% of Trump's "A Team" of positions within the executive office, not including Cabinet members, turned over at least once during his four years in the White House, breaking records for turnover.

Public Safety

Trump told Americans that he would bring an end to violent crime. "The crime rate is through the roof. People can't walk down the street without getting shot. I'll stop that," he said. In his inaugural address, Trump announced an end to crime and poverty in inner cities, saying, "This American carnage stops right here and stops right now."

While a decrease in violent crime that had been underway for decades mostly continued, the murder rate in many American cities shot up this year, possibly in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, experts speculate. Rather than highlight the incremental improvements, Trump actually made his failure to keep this promise a 2020 campaign talking point and frequently noted the increasing crime rates on his own watch.

Environment

While pushing climate denial, Trump framed himself as an environmentalist committed to "crystal clear, crystal clean" water and fresh air. "I will refocus the EPA on its core mission of ensuring clean air, and clean, safe drinking water for all Americans," he promised.

Instead, his administration rolled back environmental protections and slashed funding for water infrastructure. The level of dangerous particle pollution in the air is basically unchanged since 2016, as the EPA ignores scientists' calls to impose lower limits on the pollutants.

Despite all of these, Trump sought a second term with the slogan "Promises Kept."

"I didn't back down from my promises and I have kept every single one," he claimed in a video shown at the Republican National Convention in August.

With a popular vote defeat by a margin of more than six million votes and a 306-to-232 defeat in the Electoral College in the 2020 election, it does not appear the American people bought it.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump Savages Senate Republicans Who Enabled Him For Years

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

The loser of the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump, is now pushing for primary challenges to those who are acknowledging his defeat. This even includes those who have enabled him for four years.

On Tuesday, Trump trained his ire on Senate Republican Whip John Thune, who publicly accepted Joe Biden as the president-elect last week and made comments on Monday pouring cold water on a schemeto overturn the results through a congressional challenge to the Electoral College results.

"Republicans in the Senate so quickly forget. Right now they would be down 8 seats without my backing them in the last Election. RINO John Thune, 'Mitch's boy', should just let it play out," he tweeted. "South Dakota doesn't like weakness. He will be primaried in 2022, political career over!!!"

The "Mitch's Boy" slur refers to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who also recently acknowledged Biden's win — much to Trump's dismay. Trump blasted McConnell in an email on Monday as the "first one off the ship."

This is not first time Trump has pushed for primary challenges to Republicans who he believes have wronged him.

In June, he vowed to travel to Alaska in 2022 to help defeat Sen. Lisa Murkowski after she demurred on whether she'd back his reelection.

"Few people know where they'll be in two years from now, but I do, in the Great State of Alaska (which I love) campaigning against Senator Lisa Murkowski. She voted against HealthCare, Justice Kavanaugh, and much else," he wrote. "Unrelated, I gave Alaska ANWR, major highways, and more. Get any candidate ready, good or bad, I don't care, I'm endorsing. If you have a pulse, I'm with you!"

In October, he urged Nebraska Republicans to "find a new and more viable candidate" to replace Sen. Ben Sasse, who had criticized Trump at a telephone town hall for cozying up to dictators and flirting with white supremacists. (Sasse won reelection by a landslide the following month.)

Last month, he effectively called for a primary challenge for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine days after he stated, "Joe Biden is the president-elect."

"Who will be running for Governor of the Great State of Ohio?" Trump asked on Twitter. "Will be hotly contested!"

And earlier this month, Trump urged outgoing Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), a prominent backer, to run against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp in 2022. "Doug, you want to run for governor in two years?" Trump asked, after excoriating Kemp for not doing enough to overturn his defeat in what was once a solidly red state.

But while Trump is mad that these Republicans were not 100% loyal to him — even in the face of his overwhelming 2020 loss — he owes a strong debt of gratitude to each.

As the number two Republican in the Senate, Thune helped pushed through much of Trump's legislation and hundreds of his right-wing judicial appointees. According to FiveThirtyEight, he voted with Trump more than 93% of the time over the past four years. This included votes for Trump's tax cuts that mostly benefited corporations and the very wealthy, his failed Obamacare repeal proposal, his impeachment acquittal, and his Supreme Court appointees.

Sasse also backed Trump on each of those votes, supporting Trump's positions more than 86% of the time.

Even Murkowski, who opposed the Obamacare legislation and one of Trump's three Supreme Court picks, voted with Trump more than 74% of the time.

And both DeWine and Kemp vocally supported Trump's reelection campaign.

"I'm very happy to be voting for Donald Trump," DeWine proclaimed in October.

That same month, Kemp lauded Trump as "a President who believes that our country is exceptional, that life should be protected, and that our men and women in uniform should be RESPECTED!" and "an unapologetic leader who will do whatever it takes to Keep America Great."

Despite Trump's bluster, it is hard to predict how much impact Trump's opinion will have in two years.

This year, he backed Republican Reps. Denver Riggleman of Virginia and Scott Tipton of Colorado in their primary races — only to see both fail. He also urged the defeat of Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, who was easily reelected.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Cruz Threatens To Hold Up Biden Nominees Until Trump Concedes

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) plans to obstruct every one of President-elect Joe Biden's Cabinet confirmations unless Donald Trump concedes.

Trump, of course, has vowed never to do so.

"As long as there's litigation ongoing, and the election result is disputed, I do not think you will see the Senate act to confirm any nominee," Cruz said in an Axios interview on Wednesday.

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Five GOP Governors Who Rejected Safety Rules See Big Virus Spike

Six months ago, the Washington Post published an op-ed under the names of five Republican governors who bragged that their states had stayed open and thrived despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, half a year later, most of those governors' states are seeing the worst spikes in the numbers of new coronavirus cases and COVID-19 deaths in the country.

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Biden May Swiftly Reverse Trump Policies By Executive Order

Donald Trump's dearth of legislative accomplishments will make it much easier for President-elect Joe Biden to dismantle most of his policies — even if Democrats do not control the Senate.

"All that stuff was done administratively through the [president's] executive authority, and so a new executive can basically reject those and start from scratch," a source told CBS News on Wednesday.

According to the Washington Post, Biden is planning quick action to reverse executive actions taken by Trump.

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In Nevada, Republicans Accuse Military Voters Of Committing ‘Fraud’

A legal complaint filed by the Nevada Republican Party alleges that members of the military committed voter fraud by voting legally.

The criminal referral, sent by the party to the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday, baselessly alleges "at least 3,062 instances of voter fraud" in Tuesday's elections in the state. "Thousands of individuals have been identified who appear to have violated the law by casting ballots after they moved from NV," the party claimed.

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Eric Trump And Don Jr. Whining Constantly: ‘It Isn’t Fair’

Donald Trump's sons have spent the last two days since the election in apparent denial, sharing conspiracy theories and endorsing coups as their father's path to victory becomes more and more murky.

On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted far-right radio host Mark Levin's call for Republican state legislators to simply ignore the 2020 election results and declare Trump the winner.

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Egging On His Most Violent Supporters, Trump Tweets ‘Defend Your President’

Donald Trump's campaign urged supporters on Wednesday to "DEFEND YOUR PRESIDENT" just days after his warning that a full vote count might cause armed rebellion.

While the 2020 election remains uncalled, as of Wednesday morning Joe Biden held a lead in enough states to win the White House.

Trump, who has been demanding for months that the election be decided based only on the votes counted by Election Day, appeared to be egging on his violent extremist supporters.

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Perdue Quits Final Debate Against Ossoff After Humiliating Video Clip Goes Viral

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) pulled out of his final debate against Democrat Jon Ossoff on Thursday —because he'd rather attend a Donald Trump campaign rally.

The Nov. 1 Senate debate was planned months ago, but Perdue's campaign said he could not participate as promised because he has been too busy doing his job.

"Senator Perdue will not be participating in the WSB-TV debate but will instead join the 45th president, Donald J. Trump, for a huge Get-Out-The-Vote rally in Northwest Georgia. For 8 of the last 14 days of this campaign, Senator Perdue went back to Washington to work for much needed COVID relief," his spokesperson John Burke said in a statement, referencing a failed attempt by Senate Republicans to pass Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) "skinny" $500 billion proposal.

"To make up for the lost time, Senator Perdue has over 20 campaign stops planned for the closing days of this race, and he is excited to welcome and join President Trump in Georgia before November 3rd to campaign for both of their re-election efforts," Burke added.

WSB-TV noted on Thursday that it offered Perdue's campaign other time slots to accommodate the Trump rally, but the overture was rebuffed.

Ossoff's campaign blasted Perdue's "cowardly withdrawal," saying in a statement that the move "says it all: David Perdue feels entitled to his office, and he'll do anything to avoid accountability for his blatant corruption and his total failure during this unprecedented health crisis."

The incumbent's decision to break his promise to debate came one day after a video of Jon Ossoff criticizing Perdue's anti-Obamacare record at a Wednesday debate went viral. As of Friday morning, a 72-second clip of Ossoff has been viewed more than 12 million times.

Perdue responded to that attack by making the odd claim that he repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act — which would take insurance away from hundreds of thousands of his constituents — because he believed doing so would cover more people.

"I voted against the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, because it was taking insurance away from millions of Georgians. Today almost 18 percent of Georgians don't have any health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act," he falsely claimed.

This is not the first time Perdue has put Trump ahead of the interests of Georgians. According to FiveThirtyEight, he has voted with Trump about 95 percent of the time, including backing his right-wing Supreme Court nominees, his tax cuts for large corporations and the very wealthy, and his repeated attempts to take money from military families to pay for a massive Southern border wall.

Medical experts and data analyses have suggested Trump's rallies have been super-spreader events for the coronavirus. Trump has refused to adhere to social distancing rules or to require mask usage at the events and the mass gatherings have frequently been immediately followed by case spikes in the communities where he holds them.

One poll this week found that voters across the country said they are less likely to vote for Trump because of his "large, in-person campaign rallies where wearing a mask is not required of attendees."

The race between Ossoff and Perdue is considered a "toss-up" by election experts, and polls show it as virtual tied.

If no candidate gets a majority on Tuesday, the top two finishers will face off in a January runoff.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Doctors Beg Trump To Cancel Upcoming Super-Spreader Events In Pennsylvania

Donald Trump will hold three more campaign rallies in Pennsylvania this coming weekend. But despite five "MAGA" rallies over three previous visits this month, polls continue to show him trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the vital swing state ahead of the general election next week.

Pennsylvania doctors recently begged Trump to stop holding mass rallies in the state, noting that with their large numbers of people crowded together, often without masks, they carry the risk of becoming coronavirus superspreader events. A Center for American Progress analysis this week noted that at least 11 large Trump rallies nationally immediately preceded significant COVID-19 case spikes in the communities in which they were held.

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Trump’s Scheme Would Cancel Ballots Mailed By Military Personnel

Donald Trump's latest attack on voting could undermine the right of many active-duty military members to have their votes counted in the 2020 elections.

On Tuesday, Trump again demanded that the election be decided on November 3, rather than waiting for all ballots to be received and counted. He falsely suggested that it is illegal to count any ballots received in the days following the election.

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