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

Bannon And Chinese Billionaire Spread Coronavirus Conspiracies

During the February 21 episode of his radio show War Room: Pandemic, former White House adviser Steve Bannon hosted Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire and fugitive who employs him, without disclosing their business relationship. In the episode, Guo claimed, without evidence, that he has “no doubt” the coronavirus is “man-made” and that it’s “ridiculous” for people to claim otherwise.

As BuzzFeed News and other outlets have noted, Bannon has significant financial ties to Guo, known as “Miles Guo” on War Room: Pandemic and by multiple other names elsewhere.

Axios reported in October that in August 2018, Bannon and Guo inked a $1 million deal for Bannon’s “strategic consulting services” for a year. Axios’ report noted that a second contract, which was set to begin August 2019 and had at the time of publication not been signed, was for another $1 million and listed specific duties that included Bannon serving as a senior editor for Guo’s news outfit, G News.

During the February 21 episode of Bannon’s show Guo said he has “no doubt” that COVID-19, the World Health Organization’s name for the coronavirus at the heart of a global pandemic, is “man-made.” 

As noted in the BuzzFeed report, G News has made false claims about COVID-19, including that China is on the precipice of admitting that the virus “leaked” from the Wuhan Institute of Virology located in the city where the coronavirus outbreak first occurred. In a recent two-part video posted to the G News website, Guo also claimed that the Chinese Communist Party “is spreading the virus around the world.”  

BuzzFeed also noted that the exiled Chinese billionaire is a “critic of the ruling Communist Party” and has a checkered history in both China and the United States, including “accusations of both financial and sexual misconduct, including a rape allegation from a former assistant.” Guo denies the allegations, the report added, and claims they are “politically motivated.”

‘Arrest Pelosi!’ Right-Wing Pundits Enraged By Speaker’s Defiance

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Right-wing media figures have begun freaking out over a moment during Tuesday night’s State of the Union when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) tore up what Trump assistant Dan Scavino called a signed copy of President Donald Trump’s remarks soon after he finished his speech — and some are demanding her arrest.

A majority of the complaints — which came from people like conservative radio host and QAnon conspiracy theorist Bill MitchellCarl Higbie, and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, among others— focus on an alleged violation of federal criminal law regarding the destruction of specific government documents.

Rush Limbaugh guest host Mark Steyn talked about it; so did radio host Sebastian Gorka.

A blog post on the right-wing website Gateway Pundit also focused on criminal law and Pelosi’s purported violation.

Other right-wing figures pushing the same narrative include right-wing evangelist and occasional QAnon peddler Rodney Howard-Browne:

And pro-Trump cartoonist Ben Garrison, whose invitation to Trump’s social media summit at the White House was rescinded after people pointed out his “blatantly” anti-Semitic cartoon:

Conservative pundit and race war fantasizer Kurt Schlichter:

Presidential son and elephant trophy hunter Donald Trump Jr.:

Lawfare executive editor Susan Hennessey disputed their ability to interpret the United States criminal code:

Others mocked the claim as well:

Update (5:23 p.m. EST): This post has been updated with an additional example.

Surprise Torch March And Rally By Richard Spencer And White Nationalists In Charlottesville

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

White nationalist figurehead Richard Spencer led a crowd of three-dozen supporters to the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday night, local NBC reporter Matt Telham reported on Twitter.

Police stood by as Spencer and his ilk chanted, “We will be back!” They soon vacated the park, Telham tweeted.

Afterwards, Spencer took to Twitter to call the rally a “success,” and say that the alt-right was “badly mistreated” in August.

Watch footage of the rally below.

 

Noor Al-Sibai is a news writer for Bustle whose work has appeared in Everyday Feminism and in various local publications around North Carolina. 

 

Kansas Bank Has Entire Arab-American Family Arrested After Father Tries To Deposit Check From Home Sale

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Kansas City resident Sattar Ali, an Iraqi-American doctoral student, was arrested along with his family after Ali attempted to deposit a large check from the sale of their home.

According to Wichita State’s student newspaper, the Sunflower, Ali, who moved to the United States in 1993, took a check for $151,000 from the sale of his family’s old house in Michigan to Wichita’s Emprise Bank. As he told local news station KAKE, he brought verification documents along with him, but a few minutes after he presented tellers with the check, he was in handcuffs.

After being taken outside, Ali discovered his wife Hadil and their 15-year-old daughter Hawra were in the backseat of the police car waiting for him. Sometime during their three-hour detainment, Ali said police called his 11-year-old son’s school to tell them to hold him because his parents had been arrested.

He said he didn’t discover until after they were released that he and his family had been arrested because the bank claimed they could not verify the large check and believed it was fraudulent.

“No one told me why I was being arrested until we were being released,” Ali told the Sunflower. “They didn’t read me rights or anything.”

“We were devastated. Terrified. Crying the whole time,” Ali said. “We had no idea what the arrest was for.”

Ali told the Sunflower he believes he and his family were racially profiled because the large check came from someone with his name and not someone named “James or Robert.”

“Let’s assume I made a mistake and gave them a bad check,” Ali said. “Why would they arrest my wife and daughter?”

Ali, who along with his wife and children are American citizens, lived in Wichita from 1998 to 2008, and was returning to get his doctorate in engineering from Wichita State, where his eldest son is a freshman. He said the arrest marked his first time feeling unwelcome in the Kansas City.

“I would expect this in the 1950s,” Ali said. “Not now.”

Noor Al-Sibai is a news writer for Bustle whose work has appeared in Everyday Feminism and in various local publications around North Carolina. 

 

Republican Congressman Warns Black Attorney She ‘May Go Missing’ If She Tries Removing A Confederate Statue

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

 

Republican member of the Georgia House of Representatives issued a veiled threat of lynching to a black former colleague who expressed anti-Confederate memorial sentiments on his Facebook.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia State Rep. Jason Spencer (R) did exactly that on a Facebook post when former state representative LaDawn Jones expressed a distaste for a photo he took with a Confederate monument.

“This is Georgia’s history,” Spencer wrote on a post accompanied by a selfie he took with a South Georgia monument to Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

Jones, who formerly served in the state legislature until last year, questioned whether state tax dollars help pay for the upkeep of the memorial, which includes the house Davis fled to after the Civil War ended. A few comments in, Spencer began making threatening allusions.

“Continue your quixotic journey into South Georgia and it will not be pleasant,” Spencer replied. “The truth. Not a warning. Those folks won’t put up with it like they do in Atlanta.”

“I can guarantee you won’t be met with torches but something a lot more definitive,” he continued, responding to Jones’ comment about the store-bought tiki torches used by the white supremacists at the Charlottesville rally earlier this month.

After another person commented about the differences between Atlanta (a city with a large African American population) and the rest of Georgia, Spencer agreed.

“They will go missing in the Okefenokee [swamp],” he wrote. “Too many necks they are red around here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about ’em.”

Jones didn’t back down from Spencer’s intimidation.

“Sounds like a threat of physical violence … is that what we are doing now?” she wrote. “Desperate times call for desperate measures huh? Afraid of what is going to happen in southern GA? I saw those white supremacists crying when sh*t really hit the fan.”

Read screenshots of Spencer’s threats and Jones’ response below.

Noor Al-Sibai is a news writer for Bustle whose work has appeared in Everyday Feminism and in various local publications around North Carolina.