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VIDEO: Greene Insists Jan. 6 Insurrection ‘Was Not An Insurrection’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Wednesday said that she did not believe that the riot by supporters of Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 was an insurrection.

Greene made her remarks during a town hall meeting in Rockmart, Georgia, explaining why she voted against a House resolution honoring the Capitol Police who responded to the attack.

"The language in that bill, number one, declared every single person at the Capitol there that day on January 6 an 'insurrectionist,'" said Greene. "And I do not believe that that was insurrection. I'm not going to label people that way, OK?"

Five people died as a result of the rioting, which occurred after a "Stop the Steal" rally headlined by Donald Trump at which he falsely claimed that he had won the 2020 presidential election.

Before the attack, Greene made similarly untrue allegations and attended other "Stop the Steal" rallies in the days following Trump's election loss.

On November 6, 2020, Greene tweeted, "The time to STAND UP for @realDonaldTrump is RIGHT NOW! Republicans can't back down. This loser mindset is how the Democrats win. President Trump has fought for us, we have to fight for him. We won't forget."

From a May 5 town hall meeting:

MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE: So they awarded the Capitol Police, recently, for their work on January 6. I tell you, I couldn't vote for it and I'll tell you why, and I had a hard time with not voting for it, but here's why.
The language in that bill, number one, declared every single person at the Capitol there that day on Januiary 6 an "insurrectionist." And I do not believe that that was insurrection. I'm not going to label people that way, OK?
There have been riots and acts of terror all year long in American cities and we need to address — if we're going to address issues, we need to address all the issues.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Republicans Declare War On Facebook Over Trump Ban

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Congressional Republicans lashed out against Facebook on Wednesday after the company announced that it would maintain its ban on Donald Trump for inciting violence on the social media platform.

Facebook first banned Trump on January 7, the day after the attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol.

"The Board found that the two posts by Mr. Trump on January 6 severely violated Facebook's Community Standards and Instagram's Community Guidelines," Facebook's oversight board noted, citing Trump's praise of the rioters.

In those posts, Trump had written, "We love you. You're very special," and called the rioters "great patriots" as they broke through barriers and ran through the halls of the Capitol complex, some saying they were in search of Mike Pence with the intent to do him harm.

Five people died during the attack, and over 450 people have been arrested and face federal charges.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy led the charge against the decision on Wednesday.

"Facebook is more interested in acting like a Democrat Super PAC than a platform for free speech and open debate," he tweeted, adding, "A House Republican majority will rein in big tech power over our speech."

Calling the decision "disgraceful," Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked, "For every liberal celebrating Trump's social media ban, if the Big Tech oligarchs can muzzle the former President, what's to stop them from silencing you?"

Trump is still free to offer his views on multiple platforms, including his recently launched blog.

"It's clear that Mark Zuckerberg views himself as the arbiter of speech," complained Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) wrote, "Big tech thinks it can control anything."

"Break them up," said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH).

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) wrote, "@facebook thank you for securing the GOP majority come 2022."

She wrote, in a tweet that was deleted a few minutes after she posted it but that was captured by ProPublica first, "This morning, Facebook banned Trump permanently. Facebook will pay the price. Mark my words."

The official account of Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee derided the decision with one word: "Pathetic."

Republicans have protested Trump's deplatforming since it first occurred. In Florida and Texas, legislation has been proposed and passed by Republicans with the goal of punishing tech companies for banning public officials who violate their terms of service.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Idaho GOP Lawmaker Urged To Resign After Doxxing Alleged Rape Victim

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Idaho state Rep. Priscilla Giddings, a Republican, faced renewed calls to resign on Monday following her decision to out an alleged rape victim.

In a Facebook post, the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic violence urged supporters to "demand accountability from Rep. Giddings" and to "ask her to resign."

The call echoes a recent demand for an investigation by the Idaho House Ethics Committee into Giddings' actions by the Idaho 97 Project, a state group focused on countering disinformation and extremism.

In March, an intern for then-Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger (R) alleged that he raped her in his apartment after they went to a restaurant. Von Ehlinger denied the claim. After an ethics committee looked into the allegation and determined that Von Ehlinger had engaged in "behavior unbecoming" and recommended he be suspended without pay, he resigned from the Idaho Legislature.

Before that happened, in a "legislative update" to constituents, Giddings attacked the alleged victim.

"The allegations are straight out of the liberal play book; they are a blatant liberal smear job," Giddings wrote. She also complained that "House leadership is using taxpayer funds to publicly embarrass Rep von Ehlinger."

The representative accused Republican leadership of "jumping on the liberal band wagon and using the flimsiest of pretexts to smear one of their own."

Giddings described the alleged assault as a "honey trap" and proceeded to link to a far-right blog that published the woman's name and photo.

In an interview with the Associated Press published on Monday, the woman, who was identified as "Jane Doe," described the right-wing attacks as "overwhelming."

She mentioned a photo that has been posted on right-wing websites like the one Giddings linked to.

"You know that photo everyone is posting? I'm 12 years old in that photo. I'm not even a teenager in that photo, and they're sharing it calling me nasty," she said,

She added, "I respected them [Republican lawmakers in the state] enough not to keep it a secret and they destroyed me."

Another Republican member of the Idaho Legislature, state Rep. Heather Scott, filed a public record request with Boise, Idaho, looking for a copy of the police report from the incident.

"Scott approached Rep. Melissa Wintrow, a Democrat from Boise, to ask about how a person who files a false police report alleging sexual assault could be charged," the Associated Press reported.

At an April 28 hearing of the ethics committee when Doe testified about Von Ehlinger's alleged actions, Giddings reportedly "scoffed and laughed at times" according to an Associated Press report, including when Doe's attorneys said the abuse she had suffered might discourage other women from coming forward about sexual assault in the future.

Right-wing supporters of Von Ehlinger swarmed around Doe after she testified, attempting to capture her image on video and in photos. One woman told the Associated Press she heard Doe screaming in the hallway during the hostile encounter, which led to Doe's lawyers shielding her from public view with umbrellas.

Giddings has further connections to right-wing extremism.

On Saturday, Giddings addressed the group North Idaho Freedom Fighters, telling them, "Patriotism is the fire that will unite us as we continue this fight for freedom."

In January the same group organized a protest against the results of the 2020 presidential election where attendees claimed the election was "fraudulent" and used the slogan "stop the steal."

The Spokesman-Review reported that members of the group "cheered" the attack on the U.S. Capitol and an announcement that "they're taking the Capitol and taking out Pence."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Greene Objects To FBI ‘Targeting’ Capitol Rioters

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) complained on Monday that the FBI is investigating members of the pro-Trump mob who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

In an appearance on the Todd Starnes Show, Greene was asked by the host to comment on the recent vandalization of a statue of Christopher Columbus outside Union Station in Washington, D.C. Starnes attempted to connect the event to "antifa."

"They're out of control. But yet here we have the FBI targeting people that were at the Capitol on January 6," Greene replied. "And none of us agree with what happened at the Capitol, but they're acting as if that's the only riot that has ever occurred."

Washington police have arrested four people allegedly involved in spray painting the statue. By contrast, hundreds of people, including white supremacists and militia-affiliated individuals, have been arrested and charged with federal crimes following the rioting at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob -- an unprecedented event involving an attack on the United States legislative body.

Before the January 6 attack, Greene promoted false conspiracies about the 2020 election being stolen and urged supporters to attend the "stop the steal" rally that preceded the attack.

Greene has in the past expressed support for anti-government militia groups like the Three Percenters.

Greene was removed from her congressional committees after social media posts in which she advocated for violent attacks, including the call to execute Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

From the April 19 edition of "The Todd Starnes Show":

TODD STARNES, host: It's a disturbing thing and especially with the amount and the level of violence we have seen, not just there, but we've seen it in other major cities, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, you name it, even in Washington, D.C., where they went after the beautiful statue of Christopher Columbus right outside of Union Station and tried to set it on fire.
MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE: That's right. Exactly. They're out of control. But yet here we have the FBI targeting people that were at the Capitol on Jan. 6. And none of us agree with what happened at the Capitol, but they're acting as if that's the only riot that has ever occurred.
They're completely ignoring everything that's happened all year long in cities all over America, and that still continue today and then you have Maxine Waters, a member of Congress, who's been in here probably longer than I have been alive, practically, and she's out there telling them, encouraging, inciting violence, stirring up the crowd so they get more confrontational which are her words.
And, so, she's completely out of control, she needs to be expelled, and we've got to hang on to this. And America wants this to happen.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Self-Proclaimed White Nationalist Parties With Republicans At Trump Resort

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Republican congressional candidate Laura Loomer, who has said she is "pro-white nationalism," was in attendance at an official Republican Party fundraiser held at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday.

Loomer is running for the seat in Florida's 21st Congressional District currently held by Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel, a rematch of the race in the 2020 election cycle that Loomer lost to Frankel by 20 points, despite the support of Lara Trump, the wife of Donald Trump's son Eric.

Mar-a-Lago, where the elder Trump is currently living, is within the 21st Congressional District.

Trump was one of the speakers at the Republican Party of Palm Beach County's "Lincoln Day" dinner.

Also featured were Florida's Republican Sen. Rick Scott and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis; DeSantis received an award as the "Republican Party of Palm Beach County's Statesman of the Year" at the fundraiser.

Loomer posted a photo from the event on the conservative social media network Telegram showing her alongside former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "Great meeting Secretary of State and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo," reads the caption. The picture is marked with the logo of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County.

In another posting, Loomer uploaded a photo of herself with the caption, "At Mar a Lago tonight for the Palm Beach County Lincoln Day Dinner!"

This week, Loomer continued to make the sort of bigoted remarks she has made in the past.

On Monday, she said in reaction to a hearing of the Florida Senate on social media content, "It's incredible to see how so many Senators have no idea that there is NO SUCH THING AS HATE SPEECH."

In an audio recording released in March, Loomer expressed her support for white nationalism.

"I totally support ethnonationalism. Someone asked me 'Are you pro-white nationalism?' Yes. I'm pro-white nationalism," she said.

Loomer has also previously expressed Islamophobic beliefs, tweeting in 2017, " I never want another Muslim entering this country EVER AGAIN!"

She has been banned from Twitter and from the ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft.

Loomer's current campaign has been endorsed by two members of Congress who share her tendency to make bigoted comments: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ).

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Ivanka And Jared Lead Trumpsters In New 'Policy Institute' Grift

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

On April 13, Axios reported the launch of America First Policy Institute, a nonprofit self-described "research institute" with a $20 million budget and a roster of staffers drawn from among figures involved in scandal after scandal during Donald Trump's one term in the White House.

Axios said that the organization's mission is to continue and spread Trump's policies.

The list of former Trump administration figures involved with the institute is long as it begins its work, according to its website, to "conduct research and develop policies that put the American people first." The site also says, "Our guiding principles are liberty, free enterprise, national greatness, American military superiority, foreign-policy engagement in the American interest, and the primacy of American workers, families, and communities in all we do."

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump

Although they are not officially listed on the group's list of staffers, Axios' Mike Allen reports that Trump and her husband, Kushner, will serve as "informal advisers" to the organization. Both served in her father's administration as senior White House officials.

Like her father, Ivanka Trump during her time in the White House made millions of dollars in personal profit through business dealings involving the Trump Organization.

Among the highlights of her tenure as official adviser to her father were her hosting of an event on human trafficking that was boycotted by advocates who called them "a photo op"; her response to a question about her father's separation of immigrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border that the policy was "not part of my portfolio"; and her advice to people who'd lost their jobs during the pandemic to "find something new."

When her father was sued by New York Attorney General Letitia James for misusing funds raised by the Donald J. Trump Foundation to pay off business debts and promote his presidential campaign and was forced to pay a $2 million settlement, the attorney general's office announced, "Another stipulation ensures that Donald Trump, Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump received training on the duties of officers and directors of charities so that they cannot allow the illegal activity they oversaw at the Trump Foundation to take place again."

Donald Trump tasked Kushner with coordinating the states' response to the coronavirus pandemic, a haphazard and poorly organized process that resultedin shortages of vital equipment as thousands of Americans were dying. Yet even as the death toll passed 58,000 on its way to more than 562,000 to date, Kushner appeared on Fox News and described his work as a "great success story."

Trump also put Kushner in charge of negotiating a Middle East peace plan, which resulted in an 80-page proposal and a map that was almost immediately rejected by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who called it "nonsense."

Brooke Rollins

Rollins, the president and CEO of America First Policy Institute, served as acting director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. In that role, she helped develop Trump's response to protests against racist police brutality: an orderthat referred to "instances in which some officers have misused their authority" and did nothing to address the systemic nature of police violence against Black people and other people of color.

Paula White-Cain

White-Cain is listed, on a page of America First Policy Institute's website that features Maya Angelou's advice "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time," as chair of the institute's Center for American Values.

White-Cain is a preacher of the Christian "prosperity gospel," the belief that God rewards believers with wealth, who served as Trump's spiritual adviser during his time in the White House. Among her speeches during that time were her prayer for Trump in 2019:

Lord, we ask you to deliver our president from any snare, any setup of the enemy ... Any persons [or] entities that are aligned against the president will be exposed and dealt with and overturned by the superior blood of Jesus. ... we come against the strongmen, especially Jezebel, that which would operate in sorcery and witchcraft, that which would operate in hidden things, veiled things, that which would operate in deception.

Linda McMahon

Linda McMahon, who led the Small Business Administration under Trump, is the chair of the board of America First Policy Institute.

Emails released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request showed that the Small Business Administration under McMahon held an event in 2017 at Trump's hotel in Washington, D.C., and instructed staffers to avoid letting on where the event was being held.

Larry Kudlow

Kudlow is vice chair of America First Policy Institute's board and chair of its Center for American Prosperity. He served as director of the National Economic Council in the Trump administration.

Kudlow is notorious for, among other things, his declaration in Feb. 2020 that the COVID-19 outbreak had been "contained" in the United States and that the situation was "pretty close to airtight." A month later, he advised Americans to "stay at work," despite the extremely dangerous risk of viral transmission in offices.

Pam Bondi

Bondi serves as chair of America First Policy Institute's Center for Law and Justice. A former Florida attorney general, Bondi was part of the defense team in Trump's first impeachment trial.

Bondi declined to prosecute Trump's for-profit university for fraud in 2013 despite dozens of complaints from Florida residents. At the same time, she received a donation from Trump for her reelection campaign. Trump eventually paid out $25 million in a settlement with students who said he had duped them.

As an adviser to Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, Bondi promoted lies about election fraud as it became clear that Trump was going to lose. She claimed without any evidence that "fake ballots" were cast for Joe Biden in Pennsylvania and that there was "evidence of cheating."

Jack Brewer

Brewer, a former member of the organization Black Voices for Trump, serves as chair of the institute's Center for Opportunity Now.

In August 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed insider trading charges against Brewer, alleging that he sold stock shares after receiving information that their value would drop.

In a speech that same month at the Republican National Convention, Brewer falsely claimed that Trump hadn't called white supremacists who rioted in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 "very fine people."

Keith Kellogg

Kellogg served as acting national security adviser to both Trump and Mike Pence. He is the co-chair of the institute's Center for American Security.

In November 2019, Kellogg said of his involvement in a phone call during which Trump pressured Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to announce an investigation into alleged wrongdoing by Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, "I heard nothing wrong or improper on the call. I had and have no concerns."

Rick Perry

Former Texas Gov. Perry, who served as Trump's secretary of energy, is listed as the chair of the institute's Center for Energy Independence.

As secretary of energy, Perry pressured the Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz to install one of his former political donors on its board of directors.

After Texas suffered dangerous blackouts during a major winter storm earlier this year, Perry said residents of the state would rather "be without electricity" than allow the federal government to impose more regulations on energy delivery.

John Ratcliffe

Ratcliffe, the co-chair of the institute's Center for American Security, represented Texas' 4th Congressional District in the House and was a staunch defender of Trump, later serving as his director of national intelligence.

Ratcliffe withdrew his first nomination for the position in 2019 after it emergedthat he had inflated his resume and lied about his role in convicting terror suspects when he was a federal prosecutor.

As director, Ratcliffe strategically released portions of intelligence assessments with the intent of harming Democrats.

The New York Times reported in 2020 that then-CIA director Gina Haspel opposed Ratcliffe's declassification of material out of concern that it "could jeopardize spies' ability to gather intelligence and endanger their sources."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Report: Right-Wing Terror Attacks Skyrocketed During 2020

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Analysis published by the Washington Post on Monday shows that in 2020, Donald Trump's last year in the White House, the number of far-right domestic terrorism incidents in the United States hit a 26-year high.

The Post analysis, based on data compiled by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, found that in 2020, there were 73 incidents carried out by extremists on the far right, the most since the center began keeping statistics on domestic terrorism in 1994.

The report also noted a new high in the number of left-wing attacks, but said that attacks from the right were "still the much larger group." Over the last quarter-century, the study shows, right-wing attacks and plots were far more frequent than attacks from the left and caused many more deaths.

The center reported 25 left-wing attacks in 2020.

While in the White House, Trump ignored the threat of right-wing terrorism and spent his time demonizing the movement of left-wing opposition to white supremacy and fascism known as antifa.

Since taking office, President Joe Biden has released and expanded grants from the Department of Homeland Security to state and local law enforcement to investigate and prevent domestic terrorism, funds that had been held up or redirected by Trump's team.

The center released a report on Monday titled The Military, Police, and the Rise of Terrorism in the United States, stating, "The data indicate that U.S. military personnel have been involved in a growing number of domestic terrorist plots and attacks."

After the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters, among whom were many active-duty and retired military service members, the report notes:

In response to these developments, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III pledged to intensify the DoD's effort to combat extremism in the military, remarking, "It concerns me to think that anyone wearing the uniform of a soldier, or a sailor, an airman, Marine, or Guardian or Coast Guardsman would espouse these [extremist] sorts of beliefs, let alone act on them. But they do. Some of them still do." Secretary Austin also signed a memo directing commanding officers and supervisors to conduct a one-day "stand-down" to discuss extremism in the ranks with their personnel. In addition, the DoD launched an investigation in January 2021 to determine the extent to which the department and military have implemented policies and procedures that prohibit advocacy and participation related to white supremacist, extremist, and criminal gang activity by active-duty personnel.

Republicans in Congress and conservative commentators have criticized the initiative, saying that those who support conservative politics will be swept up in the campaign.

The conservative movement, however, has tied itself to these extremist views.

The Washington Post analysis says:

Right-wing extremism began gathering fresh momentum after the election of Barack Obama, the nation's first Black president, according to an April 2009 Department of Homeland Security intelligence assessment. "Right-wing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda," the assessment said.

After Obama took office, it was none other than Trump who became the most prominent face of the "birther" movement, falsely alleging that Obama was not a natural-born American citizen. Embracing the debunked conspiracy theory did not disqualify Trump from seeking and eventually obtaining the Republican presidential nomination.

After taking office, Trump regularly used his platform to play to right-wing extremists, bashing migrants, demonizing Muslims, blaming Asians for the novel coronavirus, and embracing antisemitism.

These actions generated little criticism from his fellow Republicans.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, ignoring law enforcement warnings about the threat from extremist right-wing conspiracy theories, Trump praised QAnon conspiracy theorists.

As he debated Biden in September 2020, Trump told the white supremacist militia group Proud Boys to "stand by."

That same month, Biden was asked whether he condemned aggressive tactics by members of the antifa movement.

"Yes I do — violence no matter who it is," Biden replied.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Republicans Protest EPA Firing Of Big Oil’s Mouthpiece On Scientific Board

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee expressed outrage on Wednesday at the Biden administration's decision to remove a slate of Trump-appointed individuals from Environmental Protection Agency advisory boards, including Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox, who has extensive ties to the oil industry and had been accused of using his position in the interests of industry propaganda instead of those of science.

Reps. James Comer (R-KY) and Ralph Norman (R-SC) sent a letter to EPA administrator Michael Regan expressing concern over his decision to "abruptly fire all Trump administration appointed members" of the EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee and Science Advisory Board.

The Congressmen demanded that Regan provide them with documents and information pertaining to the removals, which they characterize as "unprecedented." They accused the Biden administration of purging officials "who do not share its political beliefs."

In a March interview with the Associated Press, Regan said the removals were part of the Biden administration's determination to "reset" the boards.

"We have to identify and root out any decisions from the past that were not properly aligned with science," Regan said.

In a March 31 press release announcing the changes, the EPA noted that the Trump administration hadn't followed standard procedures for appointing committee members, had prevented individuals who had previously received EPA grants from serving, and had eliminated key air pollution review panels.

"Resetting these two scientific advisory committees will ensure the agency receives the best possible scientific insight to support our work to protect human health and the environment," Regan said.

Cox was put in place by EPA chief Scott Pruitt in 2017 to lead the panel on air pollution. He had previously served as a consultant for the American Petroleum Institute, a lobbying group bankrolled by major oil and gas companies.

Cox produced a report for the group in 2017 that claimed asthma is associated more with income levels than with particulate matter in the atmosphere, a finding that runs contrary to those of many other studies that do link pollution and asthma. Cox later said that he allowed the Institute to "proofread" and "copy edit" his research.

On the EPA advisory board, Cox attacked existing EPA methods for calculating the public health benefits of smog regulations, describing them as "unreliable, logically unsound, and inappropriate."

When Cox was reappointed to his position in 2020, Gretchen Goldman, research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said Cox is "uninterested in following the careful science-based process that EPA has followed for decades to set science-based and health-protective air pollution standards."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Boebert Blames Boulder Supermarket For Massacre

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) said on Tuesday that a supermarket's ban on the open carry of guns contributed to the number of casualties in the mass shooting that occurred there on Monday in Boulder, Colorado, and complained that the supermarket was a "soft target."

A gunman killed 10 people at the King Soopers grocery store.

Appearing on Newsmax TV's Greg Kelly Reports, Boebert said of calls by Democratic lawmakers for more gun safety legislation in the aftermath of the shooting, "It's very unfortunate that their first, knee-jerk reaction is to limit our ability to defend ourself."

According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence,

"Open carry" refers to the practice of carrying openly visible firearms in public. Though most states continue to require a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon, many states now place few or no restrictions on open carry. In fact, some states have imposed draconian requirements on private businesses that wish to keep deadly weapons off their property.

Boebert said she openly carries a gun with her when shopping because "unfortunately you don't know if there's going to be something like this that happens in a grocery store."

The congresswoman claimed that the supermarket in question was "very much a soft target where open carry was banned."

"It's very — looked down upon, so a lot of law-abiding gun owners don't want to patronize businesses like that. And they'll go on down the road and shop elsewhere," she added.

Boebert lashed out at gun safety groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, which have pushed for restrictions on firearms after frequent mass shootings.

"What they don't want, really, is to empower people to stop things like this. To give us the tools to stop things like this, and that's guns," Boebert said. "That would absolutely neutralize a threat like this, and we would have seen less casualties."

The Giffords Law Center says that open carry of firearms can escalate tense situations, adding an element of greater danger to already volatile situations. It also notes, "White Supremacists have long used firearms—and permissive open carry laws—to threaten and intimidate others, with examples of such violence going back to the Reconstruction era."

Open carry also contributes to confusion on the part of law enforcement when officers are responding to deadly situations, making it more difficult for them to determine the source of the threat.

From the March 23 edition of Newsmax TV's "Greg Kelly Reports":

GREG KELLY, host: It seems like we've seen this movie before, Congresswoman?
LAUREN BOEBERT: Yes, and it's very unfortunate that their first, knee-jerk reaction is to limit our ability to defend ourself. There are bad people who do bad things, and we need a way to protect ourselves because we don't know when they're going to act on the things that are rolling through their minds and consuming their thoughts.
And so we need a way to protect ourself [sic]. That's why I carry. You know, I've been asked many times, "Why do you carry in a grocery store?" Well, unfortunately, you don't know if there's going to be something like this that happens in a grocery store. But at the end of the day, when violence occurs, my first reaction will never be to try to disarm and restrict the American people.
Ninety-six percent of mass public shootings occur in gun-free zones, and this King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado, was very much a soft target where open carry was banned, and it's very discouraged in Boulder, of all places, in Colorado, to carry a firearm.
And it's very – looked down upon, so a lot of law-abiding gun owners don't want to patronize businesses like that. And they'll go on down the road and shop elsewhere.
You know, we hear from groups like Everytown and Moms Demand Action, who don't want our thoughts and prayers, which is really unfortunate, because first of all, prayer works, and I believe in a God that hears us and a God who cares for us. But what they don't want, really, is to empower people to stop things like this, to give us the tools to stop things like this, and that's guns. That would absolutely neutralize a threat like this, and we would have seen less casualties.
But we need to stop creating target-rich environments for evil people to attack.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Despite Mass Shootings, Rep. Boebert Keeps Raising Funds Off Guns

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) on Monday began running ads on Facebook accusing "extreme woke liberals" of wanting to "take our guns." The ads continue to run even as police investigate two mass shootings.

Boebert's ad claims that she has "the radical left on the run" and solicits donations to her reelection campaign.

"The extreme woke liberals want to take our guns, cancel free speech, and end fair elections. And even end girls sports in America," Boebert falsely alleges in the accompanying video. "Please, donate what you can right now."

The ads began to run on March 22, six days after a shooter killed eight people at three different spas in Atlanta. The ads were still running as of the morning of March 23, hours after 10 people were killed by a shooter at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.

In contrast to the defiant tone of her Facebook ads, Boebert tweeted on Monday night, "My prayers are with the shoppers, employees, first responders & others affected by the shooting in Boulder." She also tweeted condolences to police officer Eric Talley, one of the victims of the Boulder shooting, on Tuesday morning.

Boebert has a long history of promoting firearms.

She owns a bar in Colorado called "Shooters Grill" that touts the fact that its wait staff carries firearms.

After being elected, she produced an online ad proclaiming her right to carry a handgun on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol and on the streets of Washington, D.C.

In Congress, she has repeatedly falsely accused Democrats of wanting to take guns away because the party supports gun safety legislation.

In a recent congressional hearing, Boebert posed with guns on a bookshelf behind her, lashing out at restrictions on taking firearms into hearings put in place after the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Longtime Hate Group Amplifies GOP Immigration Rhetoric

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

An anti-immigration group with long-standing ties to white nationalism has spent the last week amplifying harsh Republican rhetoric on immigration, some of which was created by the group itself.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which goes by the acronym FAIR, has used its social media accounts, which are followed by millions of people, to promote the Republican Party's attacks on Democratic President Joe Biden.

On Wednesday, the group hosted a video stream of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers seeking to push Republican leadership to the right, on its Facebook page as House Republicans held a press event in front of the Capitol on "Biden Border Crisis." FAIR has over 2.3 million followers on Facebook, and another 413,000-plus more on Twitter, where it also promoted the stream.

The event's slogan, which has been on the lips of multiple Republicans for the last few weeks, took hold after FAIR issued a press release on Jan. 21, the day after Biden was sworn into office, accusing Biden of "inducing an immigration and border crisis."

The Biden administration's Homeland Security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, has said the challenges at the border are largely due to inheriting an immigration system he described as having been "gutted" by the Trump team.

FAIR and its Republican allies have continued their attacks nonetheless.

In just one week on Twitter, FAIR has promoted several immigration-related tweets from Republicans in Congress. They have retweeted Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), and shared Rep. Dan Bishop's (R-NC) comments twice.

Additionally, FAIR tweeted out stories reporting on Republicans pushing FAIR's message on immigration, including remarks from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also a Republican.

FAIR has also shared immigration tweets from the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, and the official account for Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee. The tweet from the Judiciary Committee minority was a request to get FAIR's language in the hashtag "#BidenBorderCrisis" to trend on Twitter.

FAIR has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and has longstanding ties to white nationalism.

The organization's founder and board member John Tanton wrote in 1986 that " whites see their power and control over their lives declining," and said, "for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority."

Tanton ran the Social Contract Press, a publishing company that republished the anti-immigrant novel The Camp of Saints, which describes "swarthy hordes" of Indian immigrants overrunning France and calls immigrants "monsters." The book is reportedly a favorite of former Trump White House official Stephen Miller.

Additionally, for nearly 10 years FAIR took over $1.2 million in grants from the Pioneer Fund, which advocated for eugenics.

But the group's past has not prevented Republicans from repeatedly hosting representatives from FAIR to give Congressional testimony, and now both find themselves pushing the same anti-immigrant rhetoric once again.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Discredited Trump Lawyer Will Run Anti-Voter Initiatives For GOP

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

A conservative activist and former Donald Trump lawyer is to head up two newly announced conservative initiatives aimed at suppressing voting.

Cleta Mitchell, who worked to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, will lead the two new efforts.

The conservative activist group FreedomWorks announced on Sunday that Mitchell would chair its National Election Protection Initiative.

FreedomWorks told Newsmax, "The integrity of our elections are the bedrock of our Republic and confidence in these institutions is on the decline." Conservatives often use the term "election integrity" as the rationalization for their efforts to suppress votes, particularly of ethnic minorities and other demographics that historically vote Democratic.

Newsmax, in what it said was an exclusive report on FreedomWorks' new effort, said Mitchell would "lead a program focused on election integrity education, training, and deployment, including registering voters, recruiting and training local activists, working as election officials, monitoring election procedures, and identifying needed changes and reforms in election administration and law."

On Tuesday, the Conservative Partnership Institute announced that Mitchell would be leading its Election Integrity Coalition. Former Sen. Jim DeMint, the chair of the institute, of which former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows is a senior partner, told the Washington Examiner, "Washington elites are trying to silence and bully conservatives with astounding brazenness, which Cleta has witnessed first hand, and now through her work at CPI, she will teach the conservative movement how to fight back against this cancel culture." The Examiner reported that the coalition is among a number of groups gearing up to fight against H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2021, House Democrats' proposed bill that would expand voting rights across the country.

Mitchell is a longtime conservative activist who has been a part of many right-wing organizations and Republican campaigns. She has worked in the past for former Trump campaign manager and adviser Steve Bannon, representing his nonprofit organization.

Most recently, she was a lawyer for Trump's reelection campaign.

In that capacity, Mitchell promoted the same fraudulent conspiracy theories about the election as her client did.

"We're already double checking and finding dead people having voted. We're going to be finding people have voted across state lines, voted in two states, illegal voting, non-citizens and that sort of thing," Mitchell said after the election had been called for President Joe Biden.

Mitchell echoed Trump in claiming Biden's win in Georgia was tainted, alleging that the recount in the state was a "total sham" and "A FAKE!"

"Happy to be considered a nut job because I believe in the rule of law," she tweeted.

As part of the Trump campaign's efforts to overturn Biden's win, Mitchell was on the January 2 phone call Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to get him to throw out Democratic votes and "find" enough votes for him to give him the win.

After her role in that process became the subject of news reports, she was criticized by her employer, the Washington law firm Foley & Lardner: "We are aware of, and are concerned by, Ms. Mitchell's participation in the January 2 conference call," the firm said in a statement on January 5. A day later, it was announced that Mitchell had resigned from the firm.

It wasn't her first time promoting election conspiracy theories.

In 2010, as the lawyer for Sharron Angle's campaign for the Senate seat held by Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, Mitchell released a fundraising letter alleging that Reid "intends to steal the election" and accusing him of offering "free food" in exchange for votes.

A spokesperson for Nevada's Election Integrity Task Force told Talking Points Memo then that it had not received a single report of voter fraud from anyone who had experienced it personally.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Trump's Election Lies Will Spur More Extremist Terror, Intelligence Agencies Warn

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

On Wednesday, U.S. intelligence agencies released their newest assessment of the threat to America from domestic violent extremism, singling out rhetoric like Donald Trump's election lies as a driver of continued violent events.

The unclassified report was released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security.

The report notes that violent extremists "pose an elevated threat to the Homeland in 2021" and were "galvanized by recent political and societal events in the United States."

"Newer sociopolitical developments—such as narratives of fraud in the recent general election, the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol, conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and conspiracy theories promoting violence—will almost certainly spur some DVEs [domestic violent extremists] to try to engage in violence this year," the report goes on to note.

In the aftermath of his loss to President Joe Biden, Trump has frequently and repeatedly made baseless allegations of fraud against the election process in multiple states.

Trump's team sought to make similar allegations in federal courts in the aftermath of the election and were repeatedly rejected, sometimes even by judges that had been appointed by Trump.

In his interview on Tuesday night with Fox Business's Maria Bartiromo, Trump again reiterated his election falsehoods, lamenting to the conservative host that the "Supreme Court didn't have the courage to overturn elections that should have been overturned."

The January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump rioters was sparked by Trump's lies about the election, with many of those who breached the building citing the desire to prevent the election results from being certified.

Their actions were reinforced by congressional Republicans like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), who joined with House Republicans in an attempt to object to the certification and overturn the results in Trump's favor.

Biden defeated Trump in both the popular vote and the electoral college, including wins certified by Congress in key states like Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Michigan, which Trump had won in 2016.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Rep. Boebert Claims Democrats 'Tried To Cancel Jesus’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) on Monday compared herself to biblical figures who she said were similar to her in their purported opposition to "cancel culture."

Boebert made her remarks at a town hall meeting in Montrose, Colorado.

"I refuse to bow to the cancel mob," Boebert said, a reference to recent Republican complaints about the removal of Dr. Seuss books containing racist images and the renaming of Mr. Potato Head toys to be gender-neutral as the GOP struggles to counteract President Joe Biden's popularity.

Boebert said "cancel culture" is "something that has been around since the beginning of time."

"Go back to the book of Genesis: Cain canceled Abel. He didn't like the sacrifices he was giving to God and he canceled him," Boebert told supporters.

Referring to the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Book of Daniel, Boebert said that after the three were thrown into a furnace and survived, "they came out of that fiery furnace uncanceled."

"We see these radical socialist Democrats wanting to cancel Christianity now. They tried to cancel Jesus. You can't cancel God," she concluded.

Neither the Democratic Party nor its leaders – who have been open about their own faith — have ever expressed a desire to "cancel" Jesus or God.

From a March 15 town hall:

LAUREN BOEBERT: Why stop with the Second Amendment? They're already starting on the First Amendment, freedom of speech, with this cancel culture.
Tell you all now: I refuse to bow to the cancel mob.
But this cancel culture, this is nothing new. This is something that has been around since the beginning of time. Go back to the book of Genesis: Cain canceled Abel. He didn't like the sacrifices he was giving to God and he canceled him.
Read on throughout the Bible, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar. The consequence was being thrown in the fiery furnace. Not only were they thrown in the fiery furnace, but the king said, "Turn it up seven times hotter. Let's kill 'em a little faster."
But there was another man in there with them that refused for them to be canceled. A fourth man who walked around as if the son of God. They came out of that fiery furnace uncanceled. Unsinged. Not even smelling like smoke.
The early church, they tried to cancel them. They tried to cancel the apostles, told them you can't even preach in the name of Jesus. Why? Because there's power in the name of Jesus.
We see these radical socialist Democrats wanting to cancel Christianity now. They tried to cancel Jesus. You can't cancel God.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Republicans Echo ‘Border Crisis’ Rhetoric Of Anti-Immigrant Hate Grou

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Congressional Republicans have adopted the term "border crisis" to attack immigration policies of the Biden administration, echoing the rhetoric of a right-wing anti-immigrant hate group.

In a January 21 press release, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which goes by the acronym FAIR, accused President Joe Biden of "inducing an immigration and border crisis" and said of his moves to undo Trump's anti-immigrant policies, "On his first half-day in office, President Biden signed a series of executive orders that are certain to create a new rush to the border and potentially violate an entire body of federal statutes by refusing to enforce any immigration laws."

Within days of the release, Republicans began to echo the same language in their messages on social media.

Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn was the first to use it, accusing Biden of "fueling the border crisis" in a February post. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas referred to a "Biden Border Crisis" a month later, while Sen. John Cornyn of Texas quoted multiple headlines referring to a "border crisis."

Among House Republicans, Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona was the first to echo FAIR with a poston Feb. 4 touting the Border Crisis Prevention Act that she introduced in the chamber the day before.

Thirty-six posts made by House Republicans used the same terminology in February and March. Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas accused the Biden administration of creating a "new border crisis"; Rep. Darrell Issa of California referred to a "Biden Border Crisis"; while Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy chimed in with the "border crisis" language on March 2.

The call to repeat the "border crisis" language also appeared in a memo from the House Republican Study Committee that urged party members to use the term and blame it on President Biden. The committee's memo was leaked to the conservative Fox News, which has for years promoted anti-immigrant content.

The Biden administration has pushed back on the claim that there is a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that the situation at the border is not a crisis but a "challenge." Mayorkas noted that the Biden administration had inherited an immigration system "gutted" by the Trump team.

"To put it succinctly, the prior administration dismantled our nation's immigration system in its entirety," Mayorkas told reporters on March 1. "We did not have the personnel, policies, procedures or training to administer those laws. Quite frankly, the entire system was gutted."

The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated FAIR as a hate group. It notes, "FAIR leaders have ties to white supremacist groups and eugenicists and have made many racist statements" to advance the group's anti-immigrant positions.

FAIR founder and board member John Tanton lamented in 1986 that due to immigration, "whites see their power and control over their lives declining." Tanton also argued that "for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority."

Between 1985 and 1994, FAIR received about $1.2 million in grants from the pro-eugenics Pioneer Fund. The fund was founded in 1937 by associates of the Nazi regime who sought to pursue "race betterment" for whites in America.

FAIR has had ties to Republican figures like former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who worked with the organization's legal arm, and as an official in the Trump administration on a failed attempt to prove voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

Now, FAIR and Republicans are in sync once again, with both focused on attacking the Biden administration's immigration policies.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Rep. Greene Thinks U.S. Territory Guam Gets Too Much ‘Foreign Aid’

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) included the U.S. territory of Guam when listing foreign nations that she says are receiving American tax dollars.

Greene made the comments on February 27, the second day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, in Orlando, Florida, in one of the event's side sessions.

"We believe our hard-earned tax dollars should just go for America. Not for, what? China, Russia, the Middle East, Guam, whatever, wherever," said Greene.

Guam has been a part of the United States since 1899, ceded to the United States by Spain in accordance with the Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War in 1898.

People born in Guam are U.S. citizens. More than 160,000 Americans live in Guam, and 7,000 members of the American military are stationed at U.S. Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base on the island.

While citizens of Guam cannot vote in presidential elections, in 2020 Republicans in the territory caucused during the primaries and awarded 9 delegates to Donald Trump, helping him to secure the Republican presidential nomination.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.