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GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Trump"s meeting with white supremacist Nick Fuentes was "not accidental" and hopes "someday we won"t have to be responding" to the former president

Gov. Asa Hutchinson criticized Trump's "failure to condemn" white supremacy after the former president said he didn't know who Nick Fuentes was. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson; former President Donald TrumpManuel Balce Ceneta, File/Associated Press; Andrew Harnik/Associated Press Trump said he didn't know white supremacist Nick Fuentes when Kanye West brought him to dinner. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Trump failed to condemn white supremacy and Holocaust denialism. Hutchinson, a frequent Trump critic, has said he's considering running for president in 2024. Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson was among the first elected Republicans to condemn former President Donald Trump for meeting with white supremacist Nick Fuentes last week.In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Hutchinson, who has served two terms as the governor of Arkansas, was asked about the meeting, which occurred at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday and also included rapper Kanye West."Well, I hope someday we won't have to be responding to what President Trump has said or done. This instance it's important to respond," Hutchinson said, going on to acknowledge host Dana Bash's mention of his time working as a US attorney who prosecuted racist militia members."The last time I met with a white supremacist, it was in an armed standoff. I had a bulletproof vest on, we arrested them, prosecuted them, and sent them to prison. So no, I don't think it's a good idea for a leader that's setting an example for the country or the party to meet with a vowed racist or antisemite," Hutchinson continued, adding leaders should avoid empowering extremists.Trump said he agreed to dinner with West but the rapper unexpectedly brought several people with him, including Fuentes. A 24-year-old activist and podcaster, Fuentes is known for sharing racist and antisemitic views, including denying the Holocaust. He attended the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally, during which a neo-Nazi killed a counterprotester with his car, and has been described by the Justice Department as a "white supremacist."—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 27, 2022 In several Truth Social posts, Trump denied knowing who Fuentes was or anything about him, but has not condemned the views Fuentes espouses."You can have accidental meetings. Things like that happen," Hutchinson said. "This was not an accidental meeting. It was a set-up dinner with Kanye."The governor also said that leaders need to be "absolutely clear" that white supremacy and denying the Holocaust is not acceptable, adding that Trump's "failure to condemn" it represented the "extreme" minority of the GOP.Hutchinson, who could not run for re-election in 2022 due to term limits, has become a frequent critic of Trump, dismissing election fraud claims and calling him responsible for the Capitol riot. He also said in August he was considering running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Trump announced plans to run earlier this month.Most elected Republicans have not condemned Trump's meeting with Fuentes, however, some other potential 2024 hopefuls have spoken out, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.Trump's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 27th, 2022

Sunday Collum: 2021 Year In Review, Part 3 - From "Insurrection" To Authoritarianism

Sunday Collum: 2021 Year In Review, Part 3 - From 'Insurrection' To Authoritarianism Authored by David B. Collum, Betty R. Miller Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology - Cornell University (Email: dbc6@cornell.edu, Twitter: @DavidBCollum), I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance. ~  Carl Sagan, 1995, apparently having invented a time machine Every year, David Collum writes a detailed “Year in Review” synopsis full of keen perspective and plenty of wit. This year’s is no exception. Read Part 1 - Crisis Of Authority & The Age Of Narratives here... Read Part 2 - Heart Of Darkness & The Rise Of Centralized Healthcare here... So, here we are at the third and final part of the 2021 Year in Review and it’s no longer 2021. Sorry about that pfuck-up. Think of it as not in 2021 but from 2021. You may have noticed that the first 200 pages (parts 1 and 2) were laced with a recurring catchphrase, “WTF is happening?” It was a literary device for noting that the events ceased to make sense within a conventional worldview, suggesting it is time to torch the old model and start anew. Our response to a disease that was killing a very small slice of the population was to sequester and vaccinate the entire population with an experimental drug of real but unquantified fatality rate. The apparent scientific illiteracy was not some mass psychosis. Y’all just got suckered by America’s Most Trusted Psychopathic Mass Murderer assisted by an epic media blitz sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry that had a distinct authoritarian quality. Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth. ~ Albert Einstein During the brief period after uploading part 2 while grinding on this last portion, the Supreme Court took on the vaccine mandate issue, ruling that the only people forfeiting control of their own healthcare are the healthcare workersref 2 The court also illustrated their profound ignorance of the pandemic and what they were even charged to assess—the Constitutionality of mandates, not the efficacy.ref 3 The CEO of a major insurer reported a 40% spike in fatalities within the 18–65 age bracket that was not from Covid.ref 4 He said 10% would be a 3-sigma, once-every-200-year event: 40% is unheard of. Although he refrained from identifying a cause—deaths of despair, neglected healthcare, or a toxic vaccine—he knows precisely what did them in. They have been studying this stuff for centuries. I suspect his real message was that the insurance industry is about to contribute to inflation with rising premiums. Meanwhile, the pathological liars running the covid grift decided after two years the masks you’ve been wearing served no medical purpose and that the vaccines don’t work either. Wait: who said the masks and vaccines don’t work? We have known for many months that COVID-19 is airborne and therefore, a simple cloth mask is not going to cut it…Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations. ~ Leana Wen, MD, CNN medical expert with no admitted ties to the CCPref 5 Two doses of the vaccine offers very limited protection, if any. Three doses with a booster offer reasonable protection against hospitalization and deaths. Less protection against infection. ~ Albert Bourla, Pfizer CEOref 6 Here is my most heartfelt response to them: You psychopathic lying sacks of shit. You had us wear rags across our faces and put rags across the kids’ faces when clinical studies that could be read by people with half your IQs showed they were worthless. Suicide rates and other deaths of despair soared while you petty tyrants played your little games and generated billions of dollars of profits while destroying the middle class. You have maimed or killed an unknown number of gullible victims with your lockdowns, vaccines, remdesivir, and oppression of Ivermectin. You jammed a vaccine that bypassed animal trials into the fetuses of pregnant women, assuring them it was safe. If we spoke up, we got muzzled. If we refused the vaccine, we got fired. You should all hang from your necks until dead. I will piss on your graves. I feel better already. Very refreshing. Meanwhile, many of my friends and colleagues look at the same data and say, “Oh. I guess I better get the booster and a KN95 mask.” You have got to unfuck yourselves. You’ve been duped. It will get worse. The tactics used to oppress us would have made Stalin smirk. Australia was a beta test for what is to come in the rest of the west if we don’t wake up soon. They are gonna keep coming for one simple reason: we accepted it. We got bent over and squealed like pigs. What normalization does is transform the morally extraordinary into the ordinary. It makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have always been. ~ Jason Stanley, How Fascism Works A person is considered ‘ordinary’ or ‘normal’ by the community simply because he accepts most of its social standards and behavioral patterns; which means, in fact, that he is susceptible to suggestion and has been persuaded to go with the majority on most ordinary or extraordinary occasions. ~ William Sargant, in Battle of the Mind Meanwhile, the financial world became even more dominated by central bankers who haven’t the slightest understanding of free-market capitalism. These twits or criminals—maybe both—have blown the most colossal bubble in history if you account for both price and breadth across the spectrum of asset classes. For the layperson, that means they have set us up for a colossal failure. Go back and re-read Valuations if you cannot picture the epic financial carnage lying dead ahead. The gap between the Fed funds rate and headline inflation has never been this large. These pinheads believe that if the markets do not coincide with their world views, the markets must be wrong. I am not an economist, but it appears that none of them are either. The notion that a dozen nitwits should set the most important price of them all—the price of capital—rather than letting the markets set it through price discovery is financial authoritarianism or what some call State Capitalism. I am angry in case it doesn’t show. Meanwhile, in 2020–21 the Fed contributed to destroying upwards of a half-million mom ’n’ pop businesses—they gutted the middle class—while giving BlackRock credit at 0.15% interest rates to buy up all their houses. Here is my advice to those day trading criminals: look both ways as you enter crosswalks. What I believe the response of society to a severe downturn given the current political climate will be epic. Big downturns come after euphorias. We have never entered a downturn with society at large this grumpy. We are in the early stages of The Fourth Turning.ref 7 The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded. ~ Charles-Louis De Secondat When a State has mortgaged all of its future revenues the State, by necessity, lapses into tranquility, langor, and impotence. ~ David Hume, 1752 So, WTF is going on here? In this final part, I address geopolitics. It begins with a relatively benign analysis of Biden’s first year in office, culminating with what I think Afghanistan is really about. The second section addresses my view of what may prove to be the most important day in US History—January 6, 2021. Although it is my best shot—Dave’s Narrative—I will not attempt to nor will I inadvertently spread the love to both sides of the political spectrum. It is a right-wing view that most right-wing politicians and pundits are too cowardly to state in polite company. The final section addresses the Rise of Global Authoritarianism. For a topic covered by thousands of treatises to call my knowledge skeletal is a reach. I have merely created an intellectual foundation—a chalk outline—to ponder why authoritarianism is here and what could stop it. (Plot spoiler: I do not believe it can be stopped.) They know where we are, they know our names, they know from our iPhones if we’re on our way to the grocery store or not. But they haven’t acted on that to put people in camps yet. They could do it. We could be East Germany in weeks, in a month. Huge concentration camps and so forth. ~ Daniel Ellsberg (@DanielEllsberg), author of The Pentagon Papers and Secrets Before moving on, let me give a plug for a book.ref 8 I have not even finished it yet, but it will change your worldview. Look at those ratings! I can guarantee none of those readers enjoyed it. Kennedy will curdle your bone marrow describing 35 years of atrocities commited by America’s Most Trusted Madman. It is emblematic of a much larger problem. Evil is powerless if good men are unafraid – Americans don’t realize what they have to lose. ~ Ronald Reagan The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ~ H. L. Mencken Biden – Freshman Year Scorecard Let’s go, Brandon! ~ Cheers across America Most presidents begin their reign with a calling. Reagan raised our national self-esteem after a period of economic and political malaise. Bush Sr. took on the Gulf War, for better or worse. Clinton oversaw the economic boom and bank deregulation, again for better or worse. Bush Jr. was handed 9/11 and, in my opinion, boned it badly. Obama had to wrestle with the Great Financial Crisis. Trump was charged with disturbing the peace—drain the swamp if you will. Biden undeniably needed to begin healing the social discord that, regardless of its source, left the country wounded and divided. Maybe that was not Biden’s calling, but I wanted to see him become the president of all the people. This is not revisionist history of my failing memory: Biden’s the last of the Old Guard, which is probably why he was slipped into the office by the DNC old guard. I am guessing there will be no Supreme Court stacking; that was just rhetoric (I hope). There will be wars just like every president (except Trump, who brought troops home.) Congress is more balanced again and, at the time of this writing, the Senate is still in Republican hands. Hopefully, the gridlock will usher in some garden-variety dysfunction. I have subtle concerns about a Harris presidency. Admittedly, my opinion is based on precious few facts, but Harris displays a concerning shallowness of character, a lack of a moral compass, and the potential to slide to the left of Bernie. (I sometimes reflect on what it must have been like raising the teenaged Kamala.) I am trying to reserve judgment because first impressions scavenged from the digital world are sketchy if not worthless. ~ 2020 Year in Review By this description, Biden tanked his GPA. He ushered in a Crusade to erase the Trump era and its supporters. The weaponizing of social media and censorship against one’s opponents was probably unavoidable, but the downside will be revealed when the wind changes. Team Biden took banishing of political opponents on social media to new levels by, as noted by Jen Psaki, flagging “problematic posts” and the “spread of disinformation” for censorship. NY Timeslapdog Kevin Roose called for a “reality Czar,” not noticing the Russian metaphor problem. The War on Domestic Terror may prove to be a turning point in American history, one that risks extinguishing the flame of the Great American Experiment. Significant erosions of Constitutionally granted civil liberties discussed throughout the rest of this document may not have been Biden’s fault, but they occurred on his watch. If you see an injustice and remain silent, you own it. I can’t remain silent. Biden is the epitome of the empty, amoral creature produced by our system of legalized bribery. His long political career in Congress was defined by representing the interests of big business, especially the credit card companies based in Delaware. He was nicknamed Senator Credit Card. He has always glibly told the public what it wants to hear and then sold them out. ~ Chris Hedges, right-wing hatchet man Team Biden. Books have been written about Trump’s fumbles in the first months (or four years) of his presidency. See Josh Rogin’s Chaos Under Heaven in Books or Michael Lewis’ less balanced The Fifth Risk reviewed in last year’s YIR. The Cracker Jack team assembled for Joe reveals a glob of feisty alt-left activists and omnipresent neocons. According to Rickards, two dozen players on Biden’s roster were recruited from the consulting firm WestExec Advisors (including Psaki and Blinken.)ref 1 That’s power and groupthink. David Axelrod: You must ask yourself, ‘Why are we allowing him to roll around in the hallways doing impromptu interviews?’ Jen Psaki: That is not something we recommend. In fact, a lot of times we say ‘don’t take questions.’ Young black entrepreneurs are just as capable of succeeding given the chance as white entrepreneurs are, but they don’t have lawyers; they don’t have accountants. ~ Joe Biden Joe Biden, President – Joe is the Big Guy. In an odd sense, he is immunized from criticism because he is visibly losing his marbles. His cognitive decline is on full display; this 52 seconds of gibberish about inflation is emblematic.ref 2 He’s 80 years old, for Cripes sake. I read a book this year entitled, When the Air Hits Your Brain, which derives from a neurosurgical aphorism that finishes with “you ain’t never the same.” Wanna guess who had two brain aneurysms (one rupturing) years ago leading to a miraculous recovery?ref 3 You’re the most famous African-American baseball player. ~ Joe Biden to the Pope, context unknown (possibly even a deep fake)ref 4 I am neither reveling in Joe’s problems nor do I believe he is calling the shots. Claims that the puppet master is Harris are, no offense, on the low side of clueless. Obama seems like a better guess but Barrack was a front man too. Having an impaired leader of a superpower, however, is disquieting and potentially destabilizing, especially with Taiwan in play. Biden’s energy policy that clamped down on fossil fuel production only to ask OPEC to open the spigots is one for the ages. The covid policies bridging both administrations were catastrophic, but throwing workers out of jobs into the teeth of unprecedented labor shortages makes zero sense. The nouveau inflation—Bidenflation—may stick to him like it stuck to Jimmy Carter, but that is unfair to both presidents. Look to the Fed in both cases for blame. Troubles at the southern border and the Afghanistan pullout are a couple of serious logs for a raging inferno that represents Biden’s first year in office. As discussed in a later section, demonizing “white supremacists”—not just political opponents but opponents labeled by their race—will not be viewed well by historians unless history is at a serious fork and Joe is ultimately protrayed as the founder of some new Fatherland. Kamala Harris, Vice President – Whenever situations heat up, Harris is off like a prom dress. During the crisis at the border that she was charged with overseeing, she took off to Europe, cackling about never even visiting the border. Kamala endorsed and claimed credit for the Kabul evacuation.ref 5,6 Realizing she had pulled yet another boner she pulled out before they renamed it Kamalabad. (Hey: At least I had the decency to pass on the Kamalatoe joke.) In a moment of surreal comedy, Harris hosted a public chat with Bill Clinton on “empowering women.”ref 7 She can even serve up semi-reasonable ideas with dollops of cringe. If the Democrats nominate her in 2024, may God have mercy on their souls—she is unelectable—or maybe on our souls—I could be wrong. Jen Psaki, Press Secretary – The role of any press secretary is to calm the press down with nuggets of insight—to feed the birds. When that fails, lie your ass off, all with a cold, calculating sociopathy. I would say she did the best job imaginable given the hand she was dealt. Disagree? I’ll just have to circle back with you on that. Ron Klain, Whitehouse Chief of Staff – This guy might be the rainmaker, but I haven’t quite figured him out. He has the durability of Andrei Gromyko, maintaining a central role through three democratic administrations. Keep an eye on him. Janet Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury – We have yet to find out Yellen’s role because she has not been pressed into service by a crisis. To resolve the minor “meme stock” bruhaha, which did not call for a resolution, she needed an ethics waiver owing to the soft corruption of her bank-sponsored million-dollar speaking tour. My expectations of her are quite low, and I imagine she will meet them. Antony Blinken, Secretary of State – He has a good resume. Like Psaki, he is forced to play a weak hand. He lacks Psaki’s skills. Jennifer Mulhern Granholm, US Energy Secretary – In a press conference she was asked how many barrels of oil a day the US consumes and said, “I do not have those numbers in front of me.” ‘Nuff said. Get her out of there. Merrick Garland, Attorney General – The press will tear anybody a new one so snippets with bad optics are always dangerous. I would say, however, ordering the FBI to investigate parents who get irate at school boards—even those who seem rather threatening—is over the top. Leave that to the local and state police. His role in the January 6th event and push into domestic terrorism is potentially sinister and moves him onto my shitlist. Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency – This one blows my circuits. She is what in the vernacular is called “a commie” straight from Kazakhstan with a thesis on Marxism—a devout believer that the State should run the show. She also hails from Cornell Law School. (Yeah. I know. STFU.) Matthew Continetti of the National Review noted she is, “an activist intellectual who is—and I say this in the kindest way possible—a nut.”ref 8 There will be no more private bank deposit accounts and all of the deposit accounts will be held directly at the Fed. ~ Saule Omarova, Cornell Law Professor   We want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change. ~ Saule Omarova, on oil and gas companies For those who have seen the horror movie The Ring, Cornell tried to exorcise the demon by sending “the VHS tape” to Washington, D.C., but it came back stamped “Return to Sender.” She withdrew. Hey Team Biden: you could want to snatch up MIT’s Venezuelan-derived president who is already on the board of the World Economic Forum and was instrumental in pushing Aaron Swartz to off himself.ref 9 John Kerry, Climate Czar – Don’t we have enough Czars? John is charged with flying around the world in his private jet, setting the stage for a 30-year $150 trillion push to make many bank accounts much My disdain for the climate movement catches Kerry in the splash zone. Pete Buttegieg, Transportation Secretary – I must confess to liking Mayor Pete and would have been happier if he had gotten the crash course in the oval office rather than Joe. The one criticism I would make is that taking two months of paternity leave during the nation’s greatest transportation crisis seemed odd. I think when you are in such an important position you find a way. Get a nanny. Bring the twins to your office. Leave them with your spouse. For Pete’s sake (sorry), stay at your post. For the record, after my youngest son was born my wife had health problems. I used to bring him to work and lecture with him in a Snugly and changed a shitload of diapers. You could have done it too, Pete. Samantha Power, Head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) – Sam is a garden-variety neocon, having served as ambassador to the UN and on the National Security Council, both under Obama. She was central to the planning behind destabilizing Libya,ref 10 which sure looks like a bad idea unless destabilizing the Middle East is our foreign policy. Please just don’t fuck up too much. Cass Sunstein, Homeland Security employee. This is not really an appointment, per se. Cass is the Harvard-employed husband of neocon Samantha Powers. In his 2008 book, Conspiracy Theories, Cass declared “the existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories” to be our greatest threat, outlining five possible solutions, and I quote, “(1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might engage in counter-speech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counter-speech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help.” Guys like Cass who come out of Harvard’s CIA training camps are menaces to society. Marvelous hire, Joe. Victoria Nuland, Undersecretary for Political Affairs – She is famous for her hot mic “Fuck the EU” comment and for engineering the coup in Ukraine—a Wonder Bread neocon. William J. Burns, Head of the CIA – I’ve got nothing on Bill, not even a fingerprint. It would be difficult for me to grade him poorly on a curve with the likes of John Brennan, William Casey, and Alan Dulles. (I once had dinner with a former CIA head John Deutch. What a dick.) Christopher Wray, Head of the FBI – As the FBI increasingly looks like the Praetorian Guard for the power elite (both in and out of public office), Wray has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors like J. Edgar Hoover and James Comie to be both top cop and dubious scoundrel. Wray’s fate might be dictated by the ongoing Durham investigation, but I have not seen any heads roll inside the Beltway since Watergate a half-century ago. Tony Fauci, Director of NIAID – That bipartisan, power-hungry authoritarian—The Most Trusted Madman in America—is a recurring theme. He doesn’t know any science. He is a political hack—a chameleon—who survived 35 years multiple administrations by being able slither out of anybody’s claws and regrow his tail. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the CDC – She got serious attention in part 2. I am horrified by her sociopathy. I think she is evil. Amy Gutmann, Ambassador to Germany – Guttman was given the job after giving the Big Guy more than $900,000 in speaking fees and an honorary degree from UPenn when she was the University’s president. I am sure every ambassador pays market rates for the job.  Cathy Russell, Biden’s Director of Presidential Personnel–She is married to Tom Donlin, Chairman of the gargantuan multinational investment firm, BlackRock. Their daughter made it into the Whitehouse National Security Council. A talented family enjoying the political respect accorded to billionaires. Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Head of the Office of Science – Despite scientific chops as a climate-change-supporting agronomist, she has no administrative experience and is inexperienced in the scientific programs that she is overseeing. Of course, everything is now about the $150 trillion climate grift, so she’s our girl. Jared Bernstein, Whitehouse Economic Advisor – He is highly educated, with a bachelor’s degree in music, master’s degrees in social work and philosophy, and a Ph.D. in social welfare. His greatest strength may be his complete lack of training in economics. Shalanda Baker, Deputy Director for Energy Justice in the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Department of Energy – Is that a salaried position? ‘Nuff said. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Mark transitioned from the Trump administration. It caused a stir when he went more “woke” than Chelsea Manning. We will no longer defeat our enemy but assign them pronouns and include them. This was followed by a scandal outlined in Bob Woodward’s book in which he instructed military leaders in a secret meeting to bypass Trump on important military decisions.ref 11 He then unilaterally told his peer in the Chinese military that he would drop a dime if there was an impending military conflict. He tried to hang it on the Secretary of Defense, but the Secretary spit the bit fast.ref 12 My theory is that the sudden wokeness was to commandeer allies on the far left knowing that scandal was coming. It worked. He looks like he is right out of Dr. Strangelove without the lip gloss and eye shadow. Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services. He refuses to acknowledge the merits of natural Covid-19 immunity. That puts him near the top of my shitlist. Becerra has no medical or scientific training. He’s a lawyer, but at least he is from an underrepresented group. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services – I know little about her. She might be the most qualified candidate, certainly more so than her boss Becerra. Call me skeptical of a purely merit-based appointment. Hunter Biden. I was going to place Hunter in the bullets and call him Head of the DEA and National Association of the Arts, but I had reservations. There are sad, heartwarming, and troubling roles played by Hunter Biden. His addiction is a highly personal problem that is difficult for the first family to deal with, especially given other tragedies in their lives. Joe Rogan succinctly explained Hunter’s remarkably odd behavior: “he is a crackhead.” They are part and parcel of being dopesick. Leaked emails from the laptop show Dad to be a compassionate and loving father struggling to save his son. Ironically, old footage surfaced of Joe ranting about how we have to deal with crackheads severely no matter whom they know.ref 13 It did not age well. It is clear that Hunter Biden was selling access and influence. It appears that Joe Biden was aware of that effort. That is very serious. If these emails are false, this is a major story. If they are true, this is a major scandal. ~ Jonathan Turley Before you start blubbering, however, recall that Hunter’s laptop revealed that he was playing critical roles in Russian and Chinese dealings for the Biden family. The Kleenex gets tossed and the gloves now come off. Hunter’s business partner stepped forward admitting nefarious deals were made with Joe involved. Joe denied knowing the clown, but a then photo of the two surfaced.ref 14 This year Hunter also began selling his artwork for up to $500,000 a pop behind a “Chinese Wall”—a veil that ensures we cannot find out who bought the art.ref 15,16,17 The money might literally be from behind a Chinese wall. That buys a lot of crack even after the Big Guy’s 10% cut. Figure 1 shows two paintings, one by a Hunter and the other by two elephants. (No joke, elephants have been painting brilliant pictures free-trunk for decades.) Figure 1. Biden art (left) brought $500,000. The elephant painting (shown being painted) brought $39,000. We are a democracy…there are things you can’t do by executive order unless you are a dictator. ~ Joe Biden, several years ago Executive Orders. Before the first week of his presidency was over, Biden had signed 37 of those beauties. Some, such as the order extending rent moratoria, were overtly unconstitutional. Some merely unwound Trump’s orders that had unwound Obama’s orders. This is dodge ball. While Yale was battling a civil rights case for discriminatory admissions practices, the Biden DOJ dismissed it without comment.ref 18 Yale is said to have promptly destroyed the evidence, which shows they have good lawyers. Transgender athletes were reinstated in women’s sports, ensuring that longstanding records will be shattered.ref 19 It got surreal when UPenn’s transgender swimmer was beaten by Yale’s transgender swimmer.ref 19a An executive order giving the IRS direct access to our bank accounts seems both sinister and inevitable…death and taxes as they say.ref 20 There are a lot of Republicans out there giving speeches about how outraged they are about the situation at the border. Not many who are putting forward solutions. ~ Jen Psaki, forgetting about the wall idea Crisis at the Border. The mainstream press covered this one exhaustively. There are parallels here with the North Africans crossing into Europe several years back. It looks intentional, but why? Don’t tell me about building a democratic base. That is too far in the future and too simplistic. It is far easier to control the elections at the server level. Baffling details include the administration’s suggestion that border agents should be empowered to authorize the immigration of “climate migrants.”ref 21 That could boost a few agents salaries. Rumors of US military planes transporting illegals into the US suggests somebody could punk the elite: load up a boat and drop a couple hundred on Martha’s Vineyard. On further thought, rather than offering Vineyardians more gardeners, drop off some Afghans.ref 22Whoever is calling the shots, this is neither about civil rights nor climate change. Attorney General Merrick Garland clarified the immigration challenge: Today marks a step forward in our effort to make the asylum process fairer and more expeditious. This rule will both reduce the caseload in our immigration courts and protect the rights of those fleeing persecution and violence. If you do that, that will set off a mass migration that’s like nothing that we have ever seen in this country because the entire world will then come on through to get their asylum, essentially legalizing illegal immigration, in a very clever way. ~ Attorney General Merrick Garland WTF did Garland just say? Both his meaning and intent are unclear. The immigrants, of course, were all unvaccinated, which would have been OK by me had the administration not gone Third Reich to vaccinate US citizens. The administration also wanted to offer $450,000 to every immigrant family separated from their loved ones: why?ref 23They seemed to walk that third-trimester idea back and then walked it forward again. A half-billion-dollar, no-bid contract to manage the immigrants went to friends of the administration.ref 24 Your tax dollars at work. At least we are back to business as usual. By the way, where is Border Czar Kamala Harris while all this is going on? Making creepy videos.ref 25,26 People who like quotes love meaningless generalizations. ~ Graham Greene Miscellaneous issues surfaced that either went away or are still festering quietly. On the positive side, stacking the Supreme Court—increasing the number of justices to get a left-leaning majority—seems to have been only a political football. Granting Washington DC statehood, while to a plebe like me doesn’t seem nuts, has the trappings of a massive powershift to the left in national elections. Joe invaded the legal process by declaring Chauvin guilty and Kyle Rittenhouse a white supremacist. Would Obama have done this? I don’t think so. Rittenhouse may get his “10% for the Young Guy” in defamation suits against Joe and every media outlet on the planet. Joe checking his watch five times at the funeral of dead marines didn’t play well,ref 27 but if you put a camera on me I wouldn’t make it to lunchtime without serving up Jim Acosta fresh meat. The main drama of Biden’s first year, however, played out in a distant land.   Afghanistan—where empires go to die. ~ Mike Malloy Afghanistan. I’ve been groping for nomenclature — Afghazi, Afghazistan, Benghanistan, Benghazistan, Saigonistan, Clusterfuckistan, and Bidenistan—to describe this odd moment in history. That 20-year skirmish cost an estimated $2.3 trillion.ref 28 The idea that it was only a few thousand troops with no fatalities in the last year or two makes me question my wisdom, but I can’t start revising history. Whether for right or wrong, I was glad we were getting out. The ensuing Crisis in Kabul looked like the graveyard of a presidency—a combination of the Bay of Pigs and the Iran Hostage Crisis that would dog us for years. They are chanting “Death to America”, but they seemed friendly at the same time. ~ CNN reporter wearing a burka looking for a husband Even before the evacuation started we were hearing about huge caches of weapons that would be abandoned.ref 29 In an eat-and-dash that would make an IHOP waiter wince, we bugged out at 2:00 AM without telling anybody.ref 30Jalalabad Joe had assured us repeatedly the 300,000-strong Afghan army would hang tough. They were defeated in time to chow down on some goat stew for dinner. Images of desperate Afghan’s clinging to transport planes brought up images of the Saigon Embassy rooftop. We left service dogs in cages.ref 31 Marines would never do that. Stranded Americans and Afghan collaborators were begging for help to get to the airport and even to get into the airport.ref 32The administration used a drone to strike on some kids and their dads loading water into a truck to change the news cycle briefly.ref 33 The Afghan who is credited with saving Joe Biden and John Kerry in a disastrous excursion to Afghanistan years earlier got left behind pleading for help:ref 34 Hello Mr. President: Save me and my family. Don’t forget me here. Mercenaries like Blackwater’s Erik Prince tried to prevent Americans from taking The Final Exit,ref 35 only to get stonewalled by the Whitehouse. Meanwhile, the top commander and four-star Wokie, Mark Milley, was too mired in scandal.ref 36 Retired generals were calling for the active-duty generals to resign.ref 37 The withdrawal could not be botched worse if you tried. The populace are now facing a winter of profound famine.ref 38 Rural Afghanistan has been rocked by climate change. The past three decades have brought floods and drought that have destroyed crops and left people hungry. And the Taliban — likely without knowing climate change was the cause — has taken advantage of that pain. ~ CBS News, sticking it like a Russian gymnast This vexing story was from the Theater of the Absurd. Starting with the caches of military equipment left behind, I have two simple solutions that a group of teenagers could have concocted: Announce Blow Shit Up Friday (BSUF). Provide the military personnel with some grenade launchers and a few kegs of beer, grill up some goat burgers, and start blowing shit up. That would be a blast. If that is too unprofessional, you gather all armaments and anything of else of value into an open space. Once the wheels go up on the last troop transport, drop a MOAB—Mother of All Bombs.ref 39 Tough luck for those who were trying to hotwire the stuff when the MOAB arrives. It will take a year to get them out…If you use those billions of dollars of weapons behind I promise they’ll be using them against your grandchildren and mine someday. ~ Joe Biden, Presidential Candidate, 2007ref 40 The collapse of the Afghan Army also couldn’t have come as a surprise. The military and CIA certainly knew that those troops wouldn’t withstand a West Side Story-level brawl.ref 41 The soldiers were paid by the US for their service COD, and there was no C left. Shockingly, most of the payroll booty had long-since been snarfed up by the politicians and top military brass from the only swamp in Afghanistan.ref 42 Whocouldanode? Taliban can murder as many people as they want. But if they keep trolling Biden like this they’re gonna get kicked off of social media. ~ Jesse Kelley, noting the Taliban has an active Twitter feed Here is a script playing out in my noggin. The Crisis in Kabul was an arms deal—Fast and Furious 2.0. One of our top diplomats called the Taliban and said, “We are pulling out in a month. We’ll leave the keys in the ignition and pallets of $100 billsref 43 to help pay for upkeep. If you guys let us sneak out unmolested, you can party like it’s 999—an authentic Taliban-themed fraternity party. We will leave you guns, money, nice facilities, and even a few wives. If you fuck this up, however, we will be right back here.” The Whitehouse also lent a legitimizing tone to the regime when speaking about “working with the Taliban” as part of the deal. In return, the State Department called on the Taliban to form an “inclusive and representative government,”ref 44 so there’s that bit of risible nonsense. Neville Chamberlain couldn’t have done any better. The bottom line: 90% of Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan were able to leave Afghanistan. ~ Jalalabad Joe Biden That might be a great poll number or inflated final exam grade at a college Joe erroneously claimed to attend, but I am not sure “90%” is impressive in this context. The actual evacuation was ineptly executed from the get-go. Mr. Rogers, with the help of his viewing audience of toddlers, could have Kabuled together a better plan based on the simple precept, “pull out the civilians then the military.” Baffling claims the Whitehouse was obstructing evacuations of charter flights containing Americans was not right-wing propaganda: Where are they going to land? A number of these planes have a handful of Americans, but they may have several hundred individuals who do not have proper documentation of identity….we don’t have manifests for them, we don’t know what the security protocols are for them, we don’t know what their documentation is…hard choices you face in government. ~ Jen Psaki, press conference WTF actually happened? When nothing makes sense your model is wrong. Glenn Greenwald got the scent that withdrawal was intentionally mishandled, suggesting this is “fully within the character of the deep-state operatives.”ref 45We also forgot to destroy our sophisticated FBI-derived software and a complete database containing the biometrics of Friends of the USA,ref 46,47,48 enabling the Taliban to find potential detractors for an attitude correction. Think of it as Afghanistan’s high-tech War on Domestic Terror. The stonewalling of help from other countries also makes no sense using a conventional model.ref 49 Biden’s CIA Director met with Taliban leadership covertly—so covertly we all knew about it—to concoct a “deal”, but what kind of deal?ref 50 During the evacuation, we gave the Taliban names of American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies supposedly to let them pass through the militant-controlled perimeter of the city’s airport.ref 51 They would never abuse this list, right? A large number of Afghan refugees—possibly as many as 100,000 according to Tucker Carlson—entering the US are consistent with our open border policy along the Mexican border, but what is that all about? Afghans, by the way, are reputed to be always recalcitrant to assimilate in Europe just in case you’re thinking of renting out your basement as an Airbnb.ref 52 What happened in Afghanistan is not incompetence. We are not that incompetent. ~ General George Flynn The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the US and Europe through Afghanistan and back into the hands of a transnational security elite. The goal is an endless war, not a successful war. ~ Julian Assange, 2011ref y I have no doubt that blood was shed after we left. More than a few US sympathizers surely lost their heads. As to the stranded Americans, why were they still there? China had evacuated their citizens months earlier.ref 53(Hmmm…Chinese citizens were there?) Two dozen students from the Cajon Valley Union School District and 16 parents there for an enriching summer trip were stranded.ref 54 How did they get visas? That field trip will generate a few college essays that will beat any written about dead grandparents, although Kabul State College may be their only option. This is now on-track, Peter, to be the largest airlift in U.S. history. I would not say that is anything but a success. ~ Jen Psaki to Peter Doucy The media can create, steer, or smother narratives at will. I have a question: Where are all the dead Americans—thousands of them—said to be left behind? Horror stories should be surfacing daily, but they’re not. We shit a mudbrick when One Dead Kashoggi (ODK) got fed to the camels in Saudi Arabia. Three thousand fatalities on 9/11 got us into Afghanistan in the first place. We supposedly left behind “thousands of Americans” but without generating a single headline? So much for that Bay of Pigs­–Iran Hostage Crisis analogy. So here are my next questions and I am deadly serious: Did we get duped? Was the whole thing more sham than farce? There is no such thing as a true account of anything. ~ Gore Vidal Here is Dave’s Narrative. We installed the Taliban as the rulers of Afghanistan as the best of many bad options. The winners are the Taliban and China. The two are inking deals for mineral rights as I type. The chaos was intentional. But why accept such a profound humiliation and dashed hopes of future alliances in global hotspots? I think that the Taliban winning the war in Afghanistan, and then the way our exit happened, has absolutely inspired jihadists all over the world. The Taliban is saying, we just didn’t defeat the United States, we defeated NATO. We defeated the world’s greatest military power, ever. I think, not only will the jihadists be inspired, but a lot of them are going to come to Afghanistan to be part of the celebration, to be part of jihadist central. We are more at risk, without a doubt. ~ Michael Morell, former CIA Director under Obama Maybe China has way more than just Hunter’s laptop to blackmail us and is about to take possession of Taiwan soon. While we await the next Kyle Rittenhouse trial to preoccupy ourselves, take a peek at this video. Skip over the election stuff since we all have rock-hard opinions on that and go to minute 55:30. Xi Jinping’s right-hand man, Di Dongsheng, publicly explained the extent Beijing controls US politics:ref 55 There is nothing in the world that money can’t fix, right? If one wad of cash can’t handle it, then I’ll have two wads. (laughter) Of course this is how I do things. In fact, to be a bit blunt, in the past 30 years or past 40 years, we manipulated the core power circle in the United States, right? I mentioned earlier that Wall Street started to have a very strong influence on U.S. domestic and foreign affairs in the 1970s. So we figured out our path and those we could be dependent on. But the problem is that Wall Street’s status has declined after 2008. More importantly, starting in 2016 Wall Street has no influence on Trump. Why? It is awkward. Trump had a soft breach of contract on Wall Street once, so the two sides had conflicts. They tried to help during the Sino-US trade war. As far as I know, friends from the U.S. told me that they tried to help, but they were too weak. But now we see that Biden has come to power. (crowd laughs) The traditional elites, political elites, and the establishment have a very close relationship with Wall Street. You all see it: Trump talked about Biden’s son, “You have investment funds around the world.” Who helped him build the funds? You understand? There are transactions involved. (laughter) So at this point in time, we use an appropriate way to express a certain kind of goodwill. (applause) ~Di Dongsheng, Vice Director and Secretary of the Center for Foreign Strategic Studies of Chinaref 55 January 6th Capitol Insurrection Alec Baldwin killed more people in 2021 than did the January 6th insurrectionists. Anybody reading this far knows that the January 6th riots stemmed from the right-wing voters who doubted the veracity of the 2020 election. Twitter polls show that view is not as partisan or as rare as the media would lead you to believe. I happen to doubt U.S. election integrity but have for quite a few election cycles. ref 1 Hacked Stratfor emails show the democrats rigged the vote in ’08 ref 2 and Republicans rigged it in ’04.ref 3 It is bipartisan Capture the Flag with red and blue pinnies.ref 4 In any event, Trump’s Green Goblin strategy was to beckon the MAGA faithful to the Capitol to protest the Electoral College signing off on the results. It was not so different than the mobs outside the courthouses trying to subvert the Rittenhouse and Chauvin trials, but the scale of January 6th was much larger and the optics were Biblical. It got out of hand and, at times, even a little Helter Skelter. Mob psychology elicits dramatic changes in brain chemistry and has been the topic of many laboratory studies.”ref 5 Temporary insanity is not a crazy defense. My Tweet got some hysterically hateful responses from the Right who missed the sarcasm and the Left who did not. I think I squandered more of my valuable time left on this planet burrowing through the January 6th story than on the Covid-Vaccine combo platter. I should preface this section by noting that I was praised by a thoughtful long-time reader for being “balanced and measured and carefully worded, even on edgy topics.” I may be on the cusp of disappointing him. It’s impossible to peer at the The Great Insurrection through a non-partisan lens. Both sides may find common ground in the belief that January 6th is a profound fork in the road of the American Experiment. The sock-starching Left will celebrate it as a national holiday every year while the bed-wetting Right will try to ignore it. Both are wrong. Look at that photo and pause to ponder its implications. Put a funny caption to it. Let’s hear from some Republicans first: We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House — every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during, and after the attack. ~ Liz Cheney I think Lizard nailed it. We’re on the same page. Let’s keep going… January 6 was worse than 9/11, because it’s continued to rip our country apart and get permission for people to pursue autocratic means, and so I think we’re in a much worse place than we’ve been. I think we’re in the most perilous point in time since 1861 in the advent of the Civil War. ~ Michael Dowd, former Bush strategist I would like to see January 6th burned into the American mind as firmly as 9/11 because it was that scale of a shock to the system. ~ George Will, syndicated columnist Mike and George are as unhinged as I am but on different hinges. I think they are delusional and offensive. Edging forward… The 1/6 attack for the future of the country was a profoundly more dangerous event than the 9/11 attacks. And in the end, the 1/6 attacks are likely to kill a lot more Americans than were killed in the 9/11 attacks, which will include the casualties of the wars that lasted 20 years following. ~ Steve Smith, Lincoln Project co-founder Now I’m getting the heebie-jeebies if for no other reason than the Lincoln Project is filled with Democratic operatives (or at least neocons) pretending to be Republicans—as authentic as the Indians at the Boston Tea Party or stepmoms on PornHub. We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within…There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home… But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. ~ George W. Bush, a thinly veiled allusion to January 6 George got some serious guff from more than a few of the 80 million Fox-watching extremists including the Grand Wizard: So interesting to watch former President Bush, who is responsible for getting us into the quicksand of the Middle East (and then not winning!), as he lectures us that terrorists on the ‘right’ are a bigger problem than those from foreign countries that hate America. ~ Donald Trump He nailed it. I have stated previously that Bush committed war crimes. Of course, the National Security Machine chimed in… The No. 1 national security threat I’ve ever seen in my life to this country’s democracy is the party that I’m in — the Republican Party. It is the No. 1 national security threat to the United States of America. ~ Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Dude! You just tarred about 80 million asses with that brushstroke. Let’s move further left to find some middle ground: They swooned for him on 9/11 because he gave them what they most crave: the view that Al Qaeda is comparable to those who protested at the Capitol on 1/6. ~ Glenn Greenwald, on George Bush’s comments Glenn is part of a growing cadre of liberals including Matt Taibbi, Tim Pool, Bill Maher, The Weinstein Brothers, and Joe Rogan who are unafraid to extend olive branches across The Great Partisan Divide at risk of being labled white supremacists and Nazis, but they are hardly emblematic of the Left. From the elite Left… I think we also had very real security concerns. We still don’t yet feel safe around other members of Congress.  ~ AOC AOC’s comment prompted one pundit to tell her to “get a therapist”, which seems correct given her moment of maximum drama was when a security guard was screaming outside her door, “Are you OK, Ma’am?” #AlexandriaOcasioSmollett began trending on social media when it was disclosed that she was not even in the building when Ragnar and his buddies showed up.ref 6 They will have to decide if Donald J. Trump incited the erection…the insurrection. ~ Chuck Schumerref 7 What ya thinking about Chuckie? We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole. Since the Civil War. The Confederates back then never breached the Capitol as insurrectionists did on Jan. 6. ~ Joe Biden Joe may be on the A-Team, but he hasn’t found his way out of the locker room. The blue-check-marked liberals did not mince words… The 9/11 terrorists and Osama bin Laden never threatened the heart of the American experiment. The 1/6 terrorists and Donald Trump absolutely did exactly that. Trump continues that effort today. ~ S.V. Dáte, Huffington Post’s senior White House correspondent The only effective way for the government to respond to an act of war by domestic terrorists is to be prepared to meet them with machine guns and flamethrowers and mow them down. Not one of those terrorists who broke through police lines should have escaped alive. ~ a Washington Post commenter Moving as far left as you can by tuning into the most cunning commie who can outfox any Western leader… Do you know that 450 individuals were arrested after entering the Congress? They came there with political demands. ~ Vladimir Putin The Cast of this Drama. This Kafkaesque narrative will be scrutinized by historians and democratic operatives for years to come. The Left will cast this event as a truly unique moment in US history, but it was precedented. I see parallels with the 1920’s Bonus Army in which World War I veterans were pissed off about unpaid post-war benefits.ref 8 In the saddest of ironies, many were killed by Army regulars. Some authorities, including a young Dwight Eisenhower, thought it was a benign protest while others thought it was an assault on America. Grumpy crowds appear at the Capitol only on days of the week that end in “y.” Recently, f.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 6th, 2022

Nick Fuentes is well known as a white supremacist and anti-semite. That hasn"t stopped Trump and at least 5 GOP lawmakers from associating with him since 2017.

These controversial encounters have rattled the GOP with Kevin McCarthy and Mitt Romney urging other lawmakers to avoid Fuentes. America First Foundation leader and white nationalist Nick Fuentes; former President Donald Trump; Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia; Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of ArizonaGetty Images White nationalist Nick Fuentes has associated with several MAGA stars who claim they don't know him. Fuentes has spent time with Donald Trump, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar, among others. GOP leaders like Kevin McCarthy and Mitt Romney have urged others to stay away from Fuentes.  Conservative firebrand Nick Fuentes has had dinner with, posed for pictures alongside, and welcomed on stage at least a half dozen Republicans since becoming a star of the white nationalist movement. Interactions with the America First Foundation leader have also prompted GOP lawmakers to deny knowing who Fuentes is and what he stands for. The Anti-Defamation League describes Fuentes as a white supremacist, anti-semite, and 2020 election-denier "who seeks to forge a white nationalist alternative to the mainstream GOP." Fuentes, who has been similarly decried by the Department of Justice and Simon Weisenthal Center, also founded the far-right America First Political Action Conference in 2020 as an alternative to the Conservative Political Action Conference.Embattled former President Donald Trump is currently trying to distance himself from Fuentes following a Thanksgiving holiday sit-down at Mar-a-Lago that included rapper Kanye West, now known as "Ye." The meeting blindsided Trump's 2024 campaign staff and rattled GOP leaders. "I don't think it's a good idea for a leader that's setting an example for the country or the party to meet with [an] avowed racist or antisemite," outgoing Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told CNN on Sunday.  Here are the elected officials who've taken heat for entering Fuentes' orbit. Former President Donald TrumpFormer US President Donald Trump speaks during an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images"He gets me," Trump reportedly said Tuesday as Fuentes flattered the former president's 2016 campaign and his in-your-face messaging. A Stop the Steal rally attendee who's been subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the deadly siege at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, Fuentes also told Trump that he was part of the otherwise unflappable MAGA base that's disappointed by Trump's inaction on behalf of the insurrectionists charged in the riot. Trump, who has floated pardoning Capitol rioters if he's elected again, blamed the standoffishness on advisors pushing him to be more "presidential," Axios reported. Since then, Trump has sought to downplay the radioactive encounter, writing on his social media platform Truth Social that he "didn't know Nick Fuentes." The attempted damage control hasn't satisfied Republicans who want the party to rid itself of the polarizing former president once and for all. "It's incumbent upon the Republican establishment, what's left of it, to stamp this kind of element from within the GOP once and for all," former Rep. Charlie Dent told CNN over the weekend. One-time Trump ally and possible 2024 presidential contender Chris Christie said the Fuentes meeting should be disqualifying. "This is just another example of an awful lack of judgment from Donald Trump, which, combined with his past poor judgments, make him an untenable general election candidate for the Republican Party in 2024," the former governor of New Jersey said on Friday.Rep. Paul GosarRepublican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona speaks to reporters about his Fire Fauci bill during a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesThe Arizona Republican has been heavily criticized for mingling with Fuentes. Gosar spoke at an America First PAC event in 2021, denied being involved in a planned 2021 fundraiser that upset GOP leaders, and then sent a prerecorded message to a 2022 AFPAC event that was later blamed on a "miscommunication" with his congressional staff. Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah called Gosar and fellow AFPAC participant Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia "morons" for getting involved with Fuentes. "There's no place in either political party for this white nationalism or racism," the 2012 GOP presidential nominee told CNN in February, adding, "It's simply wrong."House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy chastised Gosar for the 2022 incident, calling it "appalling and wrong." "The party should not be associated any time any place with somebody who is anti-Semitic," McCarthy said earlier this year. Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneRepublican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia speaks during an outdoor news conference on Capitol Hill September 20, 2022 in Washington, DC.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe far-right conspiracy theorist from Georgia claimed she knew nothing about Fuentes or his views when she decided to speak at the AFPAC conference in February 2022. "I'm not aligned with anything that may be controversial," Greene told CBS News in an interview a day after the conference. She attended the event to "address his very large following," describing them as "very young.""It's a generation I'm extremely concerned about," she said. "I went to talk to them about America First policies and I talked to them about what's important for our country going forward."When a reporter said Fuentes is a white nationalist, Greene responded, "I do not endorse those views."Last week, Greene on Twitter appeared to address Fuentes' concerns about the January 6 defendants, saying anyone who claims Trump is doing nothing for them "is either lying, clueless, or wants to hurt him.""I've been to a lot of rallies this year and I've heard him say he will pardon J6 defendants multiple times," tweeted Greene, who has visited the accused rioters in jail. "I have not heard any other potential 2024 presidential candidate say that yet."Former Rep. Steve KingRepublican Rep. Steve King of Iowa testifies during a House Veterans' Affairs Committee hearing on September 26, 2017 in Washington, DC.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe polarizing Iowa Republican had already been punished for espousing white supremacist rhetoric before finding his way to Fuentes. McCarthy stripped King of his committee assignments in 2019 following a troubling interview with The New York Times. King, who lost his 2020 reelection bid after years of questionable behavior, said he felt like he was being targeted by a "political lynch mob." King spoke at AFPAC's 2021 gathering and posed for a picture with Fuentes, Gosar, and other attendees. Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachinIdaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin speaks with a supporter at a campaign event at a grocery store on March 19, 2022 in Idaho Falls, Idaho.Natalie Behring/Getty ImagesMcGeachin made a video appearance at the AFPAC 2022 in February and thanked those in attendance for "joining our efforts." When later confronted about her appearance by a Boise news reporter, she said she didn't know Fuentes and never met him. She also blamed the media."The mainstream media, you do this to conservatives all the time, but you don't do it to yourself," she told a KTVB7 reporter. "That every time, any time there's any kind of affiliation with anybody at any time on any stage, that we are all guilty by association. And it's not, it's not appropriate."The reporter later asked whether McGeachin would have said "yes" to the group if she had known who Fuentes was."Well, again, this movement is so much bigger than one individual. Who cares what Nick Fuentes has to say? Who cares?" she said. "There's thousands and thousands of young conservatives all across the country that are very concerned about what's happening to our country."In a statement responding to calls for her resignation, McGeachin called "America First" policies "vital," but also said she doesn't support identity politics or other discriminatory views.McGeachin, Idaho's first female lieutenant governor, was backed by Trump and beaten decisively in her primary challenge against the incumbent Gov. Brad Little. It was the first time since 1938 that a sitting governor had been challenged by a lieutenant governor of the same party, according to the Idaho Press. McGeachin, who made "election integrity" part of her platform, is now facing scrutiny for issuing partisan messages in her official state office newsletter, at taxpayer expense, ahead of the November elections.Arizona state Sen. Wendy RogersWendy Rogers in September 2018Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll CallRogers embraced Fuentes during her AFPAC speech as someone she truly respects, calling him the "most persecuted man in America.""Nick, and the other patriots in attendance at AFPAC: please keep doing what you're doing," she said. "I admire you, and I so appreciate how you never give up. We need more strong Americans like you."Rogers later posted an image of herself on her Gab and Telegram accounts, pictured with Fuentes and Gab founder Andrew Torba behind a dead rhinoceros branded with the Conservative Political Action Conference logo and a Jewish Star of David.The Arizona Senate censured her for violent rhetoric, but did not address anti-Semitism or white nationalism in its motion, Insider's Bryan Metzger reported.Rogers, who was endorsed by Trump, won reelection in November after prevailing against a GOP primary opponent who made Rogers' ties to Fuentes a key issue.State Sen. Kelly Townsend, an ultra conservative who challenged Rogers, told Insider that she  was "horrified" after watching a compilation video about Fuentes and she pleaded with Rogers to denounce him. Townsend also criticized Trump."If he's unwilling to speak out against Nick Fuentes, then why would I want an endorsement from somebody who can't do that?" she told Insider.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 28th, 2022

2022 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead

2022 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead One year ago, when looking at the 20 most popular stories of 2021, we said that the year would be a very tough act to follow as "the sheer breadth of narratives, stories, surprises, plot twists and unexpected developments" made 2021 the most memorable year yet in our brief history, and that it would be an extremely tough act to follow. And yet despite the exceedingly high bar for 2022, not only did the year not disappoint but between the constant news barrage, the regime shifts, narrative volatility, market rollercoasters, oh and the world being on the verge of a nuclear Armageddon for much of the year, the past year was the most action, excitement, and news (including fake news)-packed yet. Where does one even start? While covid - which was the story of 2020 - finally faded away from the front page and the constant barrage of fearmongering coverage (with recent revelations courtesy of Elon Musk's "Twitter Files" showing just how extensively said newsflow was crafted, orchestrated and -y es - censored by the government, while a sudden U-turn by China in its Covid Zero policy prompting a top Chinese research to admit that the "fatality rate from the omicron variant of the virus is in line with the flu"), and the story of 2021 was the scourge of soaring inflation (which contrary to macrotourist predictions that it would prove "transitory" just kept rising, and rising, and rising, until it hit levels not seen since the Volcker galloping inflation days of the 1980s)... ... then the big market story of 2022 was the coordinated central bank crusade to put the inflation genie back into the bottle and to contain soaring prices (which were no longer transitory, especially after Putin launched his "special military operation" in Ukraine which we will discuss shortly)... ... even if it meant crushing the housing market... ... sparking a global recession, or as Goldman calls it a "broad-based but necessary slowdown in global growth"... ... and leaving millions out of work (the BLS still pretends hundreds of thousands of workers are being added to payrolls even though as we all know - as does the Philadelphia Fed - that is a lie, and the real employment number has not changed since March)... ... not to mention triggering the worst bear market in both stocks and bonds since the global financial crisis. Yes, less than a year after the S&P hit a record just above 4800 in January of this year, both global stock and bond markets have cratered, and in a profound shock to an entire generation of "traders" who have never lived through a hiking cycle and rising inflation, for the first time since 2008 no central banks are riding to the market's rescue. Meanwhile, with a drop of more than 20% in 2022 translating into a record $18 trillion wipeout, the MSCI All-Country World Index is on track for its worst performance since the 2008 crisis, amid the Fed's relentless rate hiking campaign. Add bond market losses - because in 2022 everything was sold - and you get a staggering $36 trillion in value vaporized, which in absolute terms is nearly double the damage from the Lehman failure and the global financial crisis. None of this should come as a surprise: the staggering liquidity injections that started in 2020, continued throughout 2021 and extended into the first half of 2022 before gently reversing as QT finally returned; the final tally is that after $3 trillion in emergency liquidity injections in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic to "stabilize the world", the Fed injected another $2 trillion in the subsequent period, most of which in 2021, a year where economists were "puzzled" why inflation was soaring (this, of course, excludes the tens of trillions of monetary stimulus injected by other central banks as well as the boundless fiscal stimulus that was greenlighted with the launch of helicopter money). And then, when a modest $500 billion in Fed balance sheet liquidity was withdrawn... everything crashed. This reminds us of something we said two years ago: "it's almost as if the world's richest asset owners requested the covid pandemic." Well, last year we got confirmation for this rhetorical statement, when we calculated that in the 18 months after the covid pandemic hit, the richest 1% of US society saw their net worth increase by over $30 trillion, which in turn officially made the US into a banana republic where the middle 60% of US households by income - a measure economists use as a definition of the middle class - saw their combined assets drop from 26.7% to 26.6% of national wealth, the lowest in Federal Reserve data, while for the first time the super rich had a bigger share, at 27%. Yes, for the first time ever, the 1% owned more wealth than the entire US middle class, a definition traditionally reserve for kleptocracies and despotic African banana republics. But as the Fed finally ended QE and started draining its balance sheet in 2022, the party ended with a thud, and this tremendous wealth accumulation by the top 1% went into reverse: indeed, just the 500 richest billionaires saw their fortunes collapse by $1.4 trillion with names such as Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Masa Son and Larry Page and Sergey Brin all losing more than a third (in some cases much more) of their net worth. This also reminds us of something else we said a year ago: "this continued can-kicking by the establishment - all of which was made possible by the covid pandemic and lockdowns which served as an all too convenient scapegoat for the unprecedented response that served to propel risk assets (and fiat alternatives such as gold and bitcoin) to all time highs - has come with a price... and an increasingly higher price in fact. As even Bank of America CIO Michael Hartnett admits, Fed's response to the the pandemic "worsened inequality" as the value of financial assets - Wall Street -  relative to economy - Main Street - hit all-time high of 6.3x." In other words, for all its faults, 2022 was a year in which inequality finally reversed - if only a little - and as Michael Hartnett said in one of his final Flow Shows, "Main St finally outperformed Wall St significantly in 2022" as the value of financial assets relative to the economy slumped from 6.3x to 5.4x. Sadly, we doubt that this will cheer anyone up - be it workers - who have seen their real, inflation-adjusted earnings decline for a record 20 consecutive months (or virtually all of Joe BIden's presidency)... ... or investors who have seen crushing losses across all industries, with the exception of the one sector we have been pounding-the-table-on bullish on since the summer of 2020: energy (with our favorite stock, Exxon, blowing away the competition with its nearly triple digit return YTD). There is some good news for jittery bulls looking ahead at 2023: statistics show that two consecutive down years are rare for major equity markets — the S&P 500 index has fallen for two straight years on just four occasions since 1928, and they usually marked market crashes or social cataclysms -  the Great Depression, World War II, the 1970s oil crisis and the bursting of the dot-com bubble. The scary thing though, is that when they do occur, drops in the second year tend to be deeper than in the first. And with Joe Biden at the helm, betting on a second great depression may be prudent. Even if that sounds hyperbolic, when it comes to markets the big question for 2023 is simple: have markets bottomed or is there much more room to fall, in other words, are we facing a hard or soft landing. And speaking of Joe Biden at the helm, another glaring risk factor for 2023 is - of course- nuclear war. Because while the great inflation fight and Biden bear market were the defining features of 2022 from an economic and capital markets standpoint, the biggest event in terms of geopolitical and social importance was the war between Russia and Ukraine. While one could write - pardon the pun - the modern day equivalent of "war and peace" on the causes behind the war in Ukraine, for the sake of brevity we will merely note that a conflict that had been simmering for years if not decades... ... finally got its proverbial spark in February when - encouraged by NATO to join the military alliance in an act that Russia had repeatedly warned would be casus belli against Ukraine - Putin ordered a "special military operation" against Ukraine, sending Russian troops to invade the country because, as he subsequently explained, "if Russia did not do this now, it itself would be invaded by neighboring NATO countries a few years later." And speaking of what else Putin said in the lead up to the Ukraine war, the following snapshots reveal much of the Russian leader's thinking about the biggest geopolitical conflict since World War II. And while the geopolitical implications of the war are staggering and long-reaching, the single most important consequence to the world, and especially Europe, is the threat of persistent energy shortages over the coming years as Russian energy output has been sanctioned and curtailed for the foreseeable future... ... in the process sending energy prices in Europe and elsewhere soaring, and pushing inflation sharply higher. Which is especially ironic, because the same central banks we showed above that are hiking rates like crazy in hopes of containing inflation are doing precisely nothing to address the elephant in the room, namely that inflation is not demand-driven (which the Fed can control by adjusting the price of money) but entirely on the supply-side. And since the Fed can't print oil or gas, all that central banks are doing is executing Vladimir Putin's indirect bidding and pushing the world into a global recession if not all out depression as they hope to crush enough energy demand to lower prices in a world where energy supply is also much lower. What they forget is that this will lead to tens of millions of unemployed people, and while that is not a major issue yet, something tells us that the coming mass layoffs - both in the US and around the globe - and not just in tech but across all industries, will be the story of 2023. One final thing worth mentioning in the context of the Ukraine war is what it means strategically for the future of the world, and here we would argue that some of the best analysis belong to former NY Fed repo guru, Zoltan Pozsar whose periodic dispatches throughout 2022 (all of which are available to professional subscribers), and whose year-end report on the fate of Bretton Woods III, the petrodollar, the petroyuan and petrogold, are all must-read for anyone who hopes to be ahead of the curve in today's rapidly changing world. Away from Inflation and the Ukraine war, the next most important topic in the past year, were the revelations from the Twitter Files, exposed by the social medial company's new owner, Elon Musk, who paid $44 billion so that the world can finally see first hand just how little free speech there really is in the so-called land of the free and the home of the First Amendment, and how countless three-lettered, deep-state alphabet agencies - and the military-industrial complex - will do anything and everything to control both the official discourse and the unofficial narrative to keep their preferred puppets in the White House, and keep those they disapprove of - censored and/or locked up, both literally and metaphorically... or simply designate them "conspiracy theorists." None other than Matt Taibbi wrote the best summary of what the Twitter Files revealed, namely America's stealthy conversion into a crypto-fascist state where some unelected government bureaucrat tells corporations what to do: This last week saw the FBI describe Lee Fang, Michael Shellenberger and me as “conspiracy theorists” whose “sole aim” is to discredit the agency. That statement will look ironic soon, as we spent much of this week learning about other agencies and organizations that can now also be discredited thanks to these files. A group of us spent the last weeks reading thousands of documents. For me a lot of that time was spent learning how Twitter functioned, specifically its relationships with government. How weird is modern-day America? Not long ago, CIA veterans tell me, the information above the “tearline” of a U.S. government intelligence cable would include the station of origin and any other CIA offices copied on the report. I spent much of today looking at exactly similar documents, seemingly written by the same people, except the “offices” copied at the top of their reports weren’t other agency stations, but Twitter’s Silicon Valley colleagues: Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, even Wikipedia. It turns out these are the new principal intelligence outposts of the American empire. A subplot is these companies seem not to have had much choice in being made key parts of a global surveillance and information control apparatus, although evidence suggests their Quislingian executives were mostly all thrilled to be absorbed. Details on those “Other Government Agencies” soon, probably tomorrow. One happy-ish thought at month’s end: Sometime in the last decade, many people — I was one — began to feel robbed of their sense of normalcy by something we couldn’t define. Increasingly glued to our phones, we saw that the version of the world that was spat out at us from them seemed distorted. The public’s reactions to various news events seemed off-kilter, being either way too intense, not intense enough, or simply unbelievable. You’d read that seemingly everyone in the world was in agreement that a certain thing was true, except it seemed ridiculous to you, which put you in an awkward place with friends, family, others. Should you say something? Are you the crazy one? I can’t have been the only person to have struggled psychologically during this time. This is why these Twitter files have been such a balm. This is the reality they stole from us! It’s repulsive, horrifying, and dystopian, a gruesome history of a world run by anti-people, but I’ll take it any day over the vile and insulting facsimile of truth they’ve been selling. Personally, once I saw that these lurid files could be used as a road map back to something like reality — I wasn’t sure until this week — I relaxed for the first time in probably seven or eight years. Well said Matt, and we say this as one of the first media outlets that was dubbed "conspiracy theorists" by the authorities, long before everyone else joined the club. Oh yes, we've been there: we were suspended for half a year on Twitter for telling the truth about Covid, and then we lost most of our advertisers after the Atlantic Council's weaponized "fact-checkers" put us on every ad agency's black list while anonymous CIA sources at the AP slandered us for being "Kremlin puppets" - which reminds us: for those with the means, desire and willingness to support us, please do so by becoming a premium member: we are now almost entirely reader-funded so your financial assistance will be instrumental to ensure our continued survival into 2023 and beyond. The bottom line, at least for us, is that the past three years have been a stark lesson in how quickly an ad-funded business can disintegrate in this world which resembles the dystopia of 1984 more and more each day, and we have since taken measures. Two years ago, we launched a paid version of our website, which is entirely ad and moderation free, and offers readers a variety of premium content. It wasn't our intention to make this transformation but unfortunately we know which way the wind is blowing and it is only a matter of time before the gatekeepers of online ad spending block us for good. As such, if we are to have any hope in continuing it will come directly from you, our readers. We will keep the free website running for as long as possible, but we are certain that it is only a matter of time before the hammer falls as the censorship bandwagon rolls out much more aggressively in the coming year. Meanwhile, for all those lamenting the relentless coverage of politics in a financial blog, why finance appears to have taken a secondary role, and why the political "narrative" has taken a dominant role for financial analysts, the past three years showed conclusively why that is the case: in a world where markets gyrated, and "rotated" from value stocks to growth and vice versa, purely on speculation of how big the next stimulus out of Washington will be, now that any future big stimulus plans are off the table until at least 2024 thanks to a divided Congress, and the Fed is still planning on hiking until it finally crushing inflation, we would like to remind readers of one of our favorite charts: every financial crisis is the result of Fed tightening, and something always breaks. Which brings us to the simplest forecast about the coming year: 2023 will be the year when something finally breaks. As for more nuanced predictions about the future, as the past three years so vividly showed, when it comes to actual surprises and all true "black swans", it won't be what anyone had expected. And so while many themes, both in the political and financial realm, did get some accelerated closure, dramatic changes in 2022 persisted and new sources of global shocks emerged, and will continue to manifest themselves in often violent and unexpected ways - from the ongoing record polarization in the US political arena, to "populist" upheavals around the developed world, to the gradual transition to a global Universal Basic (i.e., socialized) Income regime, to China deciding that the US is finally weak enough and the time has come to invade Taiwan. As always, we thank all of our readers for making this website - which has never seen one dollar of outside funding (and despite amusing recurring allegations, has certainly never seen a ruble from either Putin or the KGB either, sorry CIA) and has never spent one dollar on marketing - a small (or not so small) part of your daily routine. Which also brings us to another critical topic: that of fake news, and something we - and others who do not comply with the established narrative - have been accused of. While we find the narrative of fake news laughable, after all every single article in this website is backed by facts and links to outside sources, it is clearly a dangerous development, and a very slippery slope that the entire developed world is pushing for what is, when stripped of fancy jargon, internet censorship under the guise of protecting the average person from "dangerous, fake information." It's also why we are preparing for the next onslaught against independent thought and why we had no choice but to roll out a premium version of this website. In addition to the other themes noted above, we expect the crackdown on free speech to only accelerate in the coming year - Elon Musk's Twitter Files revelations notwithstanding, especially as the following list of Top 20 articles for 2022 reveals, many of the most popular articles in the past year were precisely those which the conventional media would not touch with a ten foot pole, both out of fear of repercussions and because the MSM has now become a PR agency for either a political party or some unelected, deep state bureaucrat, which in turn allowed the alternative media to continue to flourish in an information vacuum (in less than a decade, Elon Musk's $44 billion purchase of Twitter will seem like one of the century's biggest bargains) and take significant market share from the established outlets by covering topics which established media outlets refuse to do, in the process earning itself the derogatory "fake news" condemnation. We are grateful that our readers - who hit a new record high in 2022 - have realized that it is incumbent upon them to decide what is, and isn't "fake news." * * * And so, before we get into the details of what has now become an annual tradition for the last day of the year, those who wish to jog down memory lane, can refresh our most popular articles for every year during our no longer that brief, almost 14-year existence, starting with 2009 and continuing with 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. So without further ado, here are the articles that you, our readers, found to be the most engaging, interesting and popular based on the number of hits, during the past year. In 20th spot with just over 510,000 views, was one of the seminal market strategy reports of 2022 by the man who has become the most prescient and accurate voice on Wall Street, former NY Fed repo guru Zoltan Pozsar, whose periodic pieces previewing the post-war world - one where Bretton Woods III makes a stunning comeback, where the petrodollar dies, and is replaced by the Petroyuan - have become must-read staple fare for Wall Street professionals. In "Wall Street Stunned By Zoltan Pozsar's Latest Prediction Of What Comes Next", Zoltan offered his first post-Ukraine war glimpse of the coming "Bretton Woods III" world, "a new monetary order centered around commodity-based currencies in the East that will likely weaken the Eurodollar system and also contribute to inflationary forces in the West." Subsequent events, including the growing proximity of Russia, China and various other non-G7 nations, coupled with stubborn inflation, have gone a long way to proving Zoltan's thesis. The only thing that's missing is the overhaul of the world reserve currency. In 19th spot, some 526,000 learned that amid the relentless crackdown against free speech by a regime which Elon Musk's Twitter Files have definitively revealed is borderline fascist (as in real fascism, not that clownish farce which antifa thugs pretend to crusade against) Zero Hedge was among the first websites to be targeted by the CIA when that deep state mouthpiece, the Associated Press, said that "intelligence officials accused a conservative financial news website [Zero Hedge] with a significant American readership of amplifying Kremlin propaganda." As we explained in "Now We've Done It: We Pissed Off The CIA" - the 19th most viewed article of 2022 - we have done no such thing but as the AP also revealed, the real motive behind the hit piece is that "Zero Hedge has been sharply critical of Biden and posted stories about allegations of wrongdoing by his son Hunter." Of course, only a few weeks later we would learn that reports of wrongdoing by "his son Hunter" as unveiled in the infamously censored laptop story fiasco, were indeed accurate (despite dozens of "former intel officials" saying it is Russian disinfo) but since only "Kremlin propaganda" sites dare to attack Joe Biden while the MSM keeps deathly silent, nobody in the so-called "free press" bothered to mention it. Incidentally, since the CIA did a full background check on us and republishing some pro-Russian blogs was the best they could find, we are confident that  On the other hand, since being designated a pro-Russian operation meant that we have been blacklisted by most advertisers, we are increasingly reliant on you, dear readers (and not Vladimir Putin) for support, and we would be extremely grateful to everyone who can sign up for our premium product to support us into 2023 and onward. In 18th spot, and suitably right below our little tete-a-tete with the CIA, was the disclosure of a huge trove of corruption Hunter Biden's "laptop from hell." In April, with over 568,000 page views, readers learned that "450GB Of 'Deleted' Hunter Biden Laptop Material To Be Released Within Weeks." The ultimate result was the long overdue confirmation by the mainstream press (NYT and WaPo) that the Biden notebook was indeed real (again, despite dozens of "former intel officials" saying it is Russian disinfo) but since the state-corporatist apparatus had already achieved its goal, and suppressed and censored the original NYPost reporting just ahead of the 2020 presidential election and Biden had been elected president, few cared (just a few months later, thanks to Elon Musk and the Twitter files would we learn just how deep the censorship hole went, and that it involved not only the US government, the Democratic Party, the FBI, but also the biggest tech and media companies, all working together to censor anything that they found politically unpalatable). Yes, 2022 was also a midterm year, and with more than 617,000 views, was our snapshot of what happened on Nov 8 when in a carbon copy of 2020 it initially seemed like Republicans would sweep Congress as we described in the 17th most popular article of 2022, "Election Night Results: FL "Catastrophic" For Dems, Vance Takes OH, Fetterman Tops Oz"... but it was not meant to be and as the mail-in votes crawled in days and weeks later, the GOP lead not only fizzled (despite a jarring loss among Florida Hispanics), but in the end Democrats kept the Senate. Ultimately the result was anticlimatic, and with Congress divided for the next two years, governance will be secondary to what the Fed will do, which in our humble view, will be the big story of 2023. For all the political, market and central bank trials and tribulations of 2022, one could make the argument that the biggest story of the past year was Elon Musk's whimsical takeover of twitter, which started off amicably enough as laid out in the 16th most popular article of 2022 (with more than 627,000 page views) "Buffett Says "Musk Is Winning...It's America" As TWTR Board Ponders Poison Pill", then turned ugly and hostile, transitioned into a case of buyer's remorse with Musk suing to back out of the deal only to find out he can't, and culminated with the release of the shocking Twitter Files, Musk's stunning expose of the dirt and secrets of how the world's most popular news outlet had effectively become a subsidiary not only of the Democratic party but also of the FBI, CIA and various other deep state alphabet agencies, validating once again countless "conspiracy theories" and confirming once and for all that any outlet that still dares to oppose the official party line is the biggest enemy of the deep state. And speaking of the deep state, we had a glaring reminder in September why one should be very careful when crossing the US secret police FBI when pro-Trump celeb pillow entrepreneur Mike Lindell was intercepted by the Feds during a hunting trip and had his cell phone seized as described in "FBI Tracks Down Mike Lindell On Hunting Trip, Surrounds His Car And Seizes Cell Phone". That this happened to one of the most vocal critics of the 2020 election just two months before the midterms, was surely a coincidence, as over 625,000 readers obviously concluded. 2022 was not a good year for markets, and certainly wasn't good for retail investors whose torrid gains from the meme stock mania of 2021 melted down almost as fast as the Fed hiked rates (very fast). But not everyone was a loser, and one story stood out: that of 20-year-old student Jake Freeman (who together with his uncle) bought up a substantial, 6.2% stake in soon-to-be-broke retailer Bed Bath and Beyond, and piggybacking on the antics of one Ryan Cohen, quietly cashed out after making a massive $110 million by piggybacking on one of the most vicious short/gamma squeezes in recent history. The "Surreal Story Of A 20-Year-Old Student Who Acquired 6% Of Bed Bath & Beyond, And Made $110 Million In 3 Weeks" was the 14th most read article of 2022. The 13th most read story of 2022 with over 668,000 reads was the bizarre interlude involving superstar-trader and outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul, and his bizarre attack by a "right wing" progressive as described in "Paul Pelosi Undergoing Brain Surgery Following 'Brutal' Attack; Suspect Identified." While authorities have struggled to craft a narrative that the attacker, nudist transient David Depape of Berkeley, was a pro-Trumper and the attack was politically motivated, the evidence has indicated that he suffered from serious mental illness and drug addiction and lacked any coherent political ideology; some have even claimed that there was a sexual relationship between him and Pelosi, a theory that could be easily disproven if only the police would release the bodycam footage from the moment of the arrest. Unfortunately, San Fran PD has vowed to keep it confidential. Depape's trial is set to be 2023's business, so expect more fireworks. 2022 was also a year in which Europeans realized how brutally expensive electricity can be when the biggest commodity, nat gas and oil supplier to Europe, Russia, is suddenly cut off. And judging by the 668,500 people who read "How In The Name Of God": Shocked Europeans Post Astronomical Energy Bills As 'Terrifying Winter' Approaches" and made it into the 12th most popular article of the year, the staggering number were also news to our audience: indeed, the fact that Geraldine Dolan, who owns the Poppyfields cafe in Athlone, Ireland, and was charged nearly €10,000 for just over two months of energy usage, was shocking to everyone. To be sure, there were countless other such stories out of Europe and with the Russia-Ukraine war unlikely to end any time soon, Europe's commodity hyperinflation will only continue. Adding insult to injury, Europe is on a fast track to a brutal recession, but the ECB remains stuck in tightening mode, perhaps because it somehow believes that higher rates will ease energy supplies. Alas that won't happen and instead the big question for 2023 will be whether Europe is merely hit with a recession or if instead the ECB's actions escalates the local malaise into a full-blown depression. Earlier we said that one of the most prophetic voices on Wall Street in 2022 (and prior) was that of Zoltan Pozsar, who laid out his theory of a Bretton Woods III regime in the days immediately following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Well, just one month later we saw the first tentative steps toward just such a paradigm shift when in April the Russian central bank offered to buy gold from domestic commercial banks at a fixed price of 5000 rubles per gram; by doing so the Bank of Russia both linked the ruble to gold and, since gold trades in US dollars, set a floor price for the ruble in terms of the US dollar. We described this in "A Paradigm Shift Western Media Hasn't Grasped Yet" - Russian Ruble Relaunched, Linked To Gold & Commodities", an article red 670,000 times making it the 11th most popular of the year. This concept of "petrogold" was also the subject of extensive discussion by Pozsar who dedicated one of his most recent widely-read notes to the topic; if indeed we are witnessing the transition to a Bretton Woods 3 regime, 2023 will see a lot of fireworks in the monetary system as the dollar's reserve status is challenged by eastern commodity producers. The 10th most popular article of 2022, with 686K views was a reminder of just how much "the settled science" can change: as described in "You Murderous Hypocrites": Outrage Ensues After The Atlantic Suggests 'Amnesty' For Pandemic Authoritarians, many were shocked when after pushing for economy-crushing lockdowns, seeking to block children from going to school (and stunting their development), and even calling for the incarceration or worse of mask, vaccine and booster holdouts, the liberal left - realizing that it was completely wrong about everything to do with covid, a virus with a 99% survival rate - suddenly and politely was hoping to "declare a pandemic amnesty." Brown Professor Emily Oster - a huge lockdown proponent, who now pleads from mercy from the once-shunned - wrote "we need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID. Let’s acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty, and then try to work together to build back and move forward." The response from those who lost their small business, wealth, or worse, a family member (who died alone or from complications from the experimental gene therapy known as "vaccines" and "boosters") was clear and unanimous; as for those seeking preemptive pardons from the coming tribunals, their plea was clear: “We didn't know! We were just following orders."  And from one covid post we segue into another, only this time the focus is not on the disease but rather the consequences of mandatory vaccines: over 730K readers were shocked in February when a former finance professional discovered a surge in "excess mortality", or unexplained deaths among otherwise healthy young adults, yet not linked directly to covid (thus leaving vaccines as the possible cause of death), as we showed in "Long Funeral Homes, Short Life Insurers? Ex-Blackrock Fund Manager Discovers Disturbing Trends In Mortality." This wasn't the first time we had heart of a surge in excess mortality: a month earlier it was the CEO of insurance company OneAmerica to observe that the death rate for those aged 18-64 had soared by 40% over pre-pandemic levels (this was another post that received a lot of clicks). While the science is clearly not settled here - on either covid or the vaccines - the emerging trend is ominous: at this rate the excess deaths associated with covid (and its vaccines) will soon surpass the deaths directly linked to covid. And anyone who dares to bring this up will be branded a racist, a white supremacists, or a fascist, or all three. One of the defining features of 2022 was the record surge in the price of food. And while much of this inflation could be attributed to the trillions in helicopter money injected over the past three years, as well as the snarled supply chains due to the war in Ukraine, a mystery emerged when one after another US food processing plant mysteriously burned down. And with almost 800,000 page views, a majority of our readers wanted to know why "Another US Food Processing Plant Erupts In Flames", making it the 8th most read post of the year. While so far no crime has been alleged, the fact that over 100 "accidental fires" (as listed here) have taken place across America's food facilities since the start of 2021, impairing the US supply chain, remains one of the biggest mysteries of the year. While some will argue that runaway inflation was the event of 2022, we will counter that the defining moment was the war between Ukraine and Russia, which broke out in February after what the Kremlin said was a long-running NATO attempt to corner Russia (by pushing Ukraine to seek membership in the military alliance), forcing it to either launch an invasion now, or wait several years and be invaded by all the neighboring NATO countries. Still, many were shocked when Putin ultimately gave the order to launch the "special military operations", as most had Russia to merely posture. But it was not meant to be and nearly 840K readers followed the world-changing events on February 2 when "Putin Orders "Special Military Operation" In Ukraine's Breakaway Regions." The war continues to this day with no prospects of peace or even a ceasefire. And from one geopolitical hotspot we go to another, namely China and Taiwan, which many expect will be the next major military theater at some time in the near future when Beijing finally invades the "Republic of China" and officially brings it back into the fold. Thing here got extra hot in early August when Democrat Nancy Pelosi decided to make an unexpected trip to the semiconductor-heavy island, sparking an unprecedented diplomatic escalation, with many speculating that China could simply fire at Nancy's unsanctioned airplane. In the end, however, as nearly 950,000 found out, the situation fizzled as "China Summoned US Ambassador Overnight, Says Washington "Must Pay The Price"." Since then Pelosi's political career has officially ended, and while China has not yet invaded Taiwan, it is only a matter of time before it does. While Covid may have been a 2021 story, that was also the year when nobody was allowed to talk about the Chinese pandemic. Things changed in 2022 when liberal censorship finally crashed under its own weight, and long overdue discussions of Covid became mainstream. nowhere more so than on Twitter where Elon Musk fired all those responsible for silencing the debate over the past three years, and of course, the show of the always outspoken Joe Rogan, where mRNA inventor Robert Malone, gave a fascinating interview to Joe Rogan which aired on New Year's Eve 2022 and which took the world by storm in the first days of the new year. It certainly made over 908,000 readers click on "COVID, Ivermectin, And 'Mass Formation Psychosis': Dr. Robert Malone Gives Blistering Interview To Joe Rogan." The doctor, who had been suspended by both LInkedIn and Twitter, for the crime of promoting "vaccine hesitancy" argued that if the risks of vaccines are not discussed, informed consent is not possible. As Malone concluded "Informed consent is not only not happening, it's being actively blocked." Luckily, now that Elon Musk has made it possible to discuss covid - and so much more - on twitter without fears of immediate suspension, there is again hope that not only is informed consent once again possible, but that the wheels of true justice are starting to steamroll liberal censorship. A tragic and bizarre interlude took place in early July when "Former Japanese PM Abe Shot Dead During Speech, "Frustrated" Assassin Arrested", a shocking development which captured the attention of some 927,000 readers.  While some expected the assassination to be a Archduke Ferdinand moment, coming at a time of soaring inflation around the globe and potentially catalyzing grassroots anger at the ruling class, the episode remained isolated as it did not have political motives and instead the killer, Yamagami, said that he killed the former PM in relation to a grudge he held against the Unification Church, to which Abe and his family had political ties, over his mother's bankruptcy in 2002. That's the good news. The bad news is that with the fabric of society close to tearing across most developed nations, it is only a matter of time before we do get a real Archduke 2.0 moment. Just days after Rogan's interview with Malone (see above), another covid-linked "surprise" emerged when Projected Veritas leaked military documents hidden on a classified system showing how EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA in March 2018, seeking funding to conduct illegal gain of function research of bat borne coronaviruses. But while US infatuation with creating viral bioweapons is hardly new (instead it merely outsourced it to biolabs in China), one of the discoveries revealed in "Ivermectin 'Works Throughout All Phases' Of COVID According To Leaked Military Documents" - the third most popular post of 2022 with 929K page views, is that the infamous "horse paste" Ivermectin was defined by Darpa as a "curative" which works throughout all phases of the illness because it both inhibits viral replication and modulates the immune response. Of course, had that been made public, it would have prevented Pfizer and Moderna from making tens of billions in revenue from selling mRNA-based therapies (not vaccines) whose potentially deadly side effects we are only now learning about (as the 9th most popular post of 2022 noted above confirms). The fake news apparatus was busy spinning in overtime this past year (and every other year), and not only when it comes to covid, inflation, unemployment, the recession, but also - or rather especially - the Ukraine fog of propaganda war. A striking example was the explosion of both pipelines connecting Russia to Europe, Nord Stream I and II, which quickly escalated into a fingerpointing exercise of accusations, with Europe blaming Putin for blowing up the pipelines (even though said pipelines exclusively benefit the Kremlin which spent billions building them in the recent past), while the Kremlin said it was the US' fault. This we learned in "EU Chief Calls Nord Stream Attack "Sabotage", Warns Of "Strongest Possible Response", which was also the 2nd most read article of the year with just over 1,050,000 page views. In the end, there was no "response" at all. Why? Because as it emerged just two months later in that most deep state of outlets, the Washington Post, "Evidence In Nord Stream Sabotage Doesn't Point To Russia." In other words, it points to the US, just as professor Jeffrey Sachs dared to suggest on Bloomberg, leading to shock and awe at the pro-Biden media outlet. The lesson here, inasmuch as there is one, is that the perpetrators of every false flag operation always emerge - it may take time, but the outcome is inevitable, and "shockingly", the culprit almost always is one particular nation... Finally, the most read article of 2022 with nearly 1.1 million page views, was "White House Says Russian Forces 20 Miles Outside Ukraine's Capital." It cemented that as least as far as ZH readers were concerned, the biggest event of the year was the war in Ukraine, an event which has set in motion forces which will redefine the layout of the world over the next century (and, if Zoltan Pozsar is right, will lead to the demise of the US dollar as a reserve currency and culminate with China surpassing the US as the world's biggest superpower). Incidentally, while Russian forces may have been 20 miles outside of Kiev, they were repelled and even though the war could have ended nearly a year ago and the world would have returned to some semblance of normalcy, it was not meant to be, and the war still goes on with little hope that it will end any time soon. And with all that behind us, and as we wave goodbye to another bizarre, exciting, surreal year, what lies in store for 2023, and the next decade? We don't know: as frequent and not so frequent readers are aware, we do not pretend to be able to predict the future and we don't try, despite repeat baseless allegations that we constantly predict the collapse of civilization: we leave the predicting to the "smartest people in the room" who year after year have been consistently wrong about everything, and never more so than in 2022 (when the entire world realized just how clueless the Fed had been when it called the most crushing and persistent inflation in two generations "transitory"), which destroyed the reputation of central banks, of economists, of conventional media and the professional "polling" and "strategist" class forever, not to mention all those "scientists" who made a mockery of both the scientific method and the "expert class" with their catastrophically bungled response to the covid pandemic. We merely observe, find what is unexpected, entertaining, amusing, surprising or grotesque in an increasingly bizarre, sad, and increasingly crazy world, and then just write about it. We do know, however, that with central banks now desperate to contain inflation and undo 13 years of central bank mistakes - after all it is the trillions and trillions in monetary stimulus, the helicopter money, the MMT, and the endless deficit funding by central banks that made the current runaway inflation possible, the current attempt to do something impossible and stuff 13 years of toothpaste back into the tube, will be a catastrophic failure. We are confident, however, that in the end it will be the very final backstoppers of the status quo regime, the central banking emperors of the New Normal, who will eventually be revealed as fully naked. When that happens and what happens after is anyone's guess. But, as we have promised - and delivered - every year for the past 14, we will be there to document every aspect of it. Finally, and as always, we wish all our readers the best of luck in 2023, with much success in trading and every other avenue of life. We bid farewell to 2022 with our traditional and unwavering year-end promise: Zero Hedge will be there each and every day - usually with a cynical smile (and with the CIA clearly on our ass now) - helping readers expose, unravel and comprehend the fallacy, fiction, fraud and farce that defines every aspect of our increasingly broken economic, political and financial system. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/31/2022 - 11:05.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 31st, 2022

Rep. Zoe Lofgren crashed Proud Boy Enrique Tarrio"s January 6 deposition to ask why he called her the C-word on Telegram

Transcripts show the Democrat crashing the ex-Proud Boys chief's Capitol-riot deposition to ask why he'd called her the slur on Telegram. Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Enrique Tarrio, the former national chief of the Proud Boys.Jacquelyn Martin/AP, left; Stephanie Keith/Getty Images, right. Rep. Zoe Lofgren interrupted the Proud Boys' Enrique Tarrio's Capitol-riot deposition. The California Democrat asked Tarrio why he once called her a slur for women on Telegram. The exchange is just one of many bizarre moments in Tarrio's newly released deposition transcript. Rep. Zoe Lofgren had just one question for Enrique Tarrio, according to the transcript from the ex-Proud Boys leader's deposition before the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021.Why, the California Democrat wanted to know, did you call me a "C-word" on your Telegram channel?Their brief exchange — Tarrio would claim ignorance of the slur, and Lofgren would hop right back out of the virtual deposition — is just one of several bizarre moments from a newly released transcript of Tarrio's lengthy grilling in spring before the House committee.Tarrio is on trial at the US District Court in Washington, DC, defending himself against seditious-conspiracy charges in connection with the attack. Opening statements and the start of testimony are expected in the first week of January.The 231-page transcript released Wednesday night gives a hint of Tarrio's coming defense.It shows him portraying the Proud Boys — defined as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and an extremist group by the FBI — as something of a haphazard, decentralized Rotary Club.Members — Tarrio said he couldn't tell the committee how many there were, even roughly — rose to the highest ranks through "good works," he testified, such as "a bicycle and toy drive for Christmas." "The Proud Boys didn't do an insurrection. That's not what they do. They drink," Tarrio's lawyer Dan Hull said at one point during the deposition, calling them "a satirical kind of goofy group of people.""It's like, 'Don't believe your lying eyes,'" Jon Lewis, a research fellow at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, told Insider after reviewing the transcript Thursday."It's like, 'You couldn't have really seen us do what we did on January 6 because we are a good organization, just a bunch of guys who like to get together and drink beer,'" Lewis said. Federal prosecutors have a different view of the Proud Boys, saying the five defendants and 200-plus members who showed up that day were the brutalizing spear tip to the attack.Tarrio's codefendant Dominic "Spaz" Pezzola, a Proud Boys lieutenant from Rochester, New York, is accused of being first to breach the Capitol, breaking a window with a riot shield forcibly stolen from a Capitol Police officer.Pezzola bragged afterward that he would have killed then-Vice President Mike Pence if given the chance, the feds allege.With 160 known chapters across the country, the extremist hate group remains active, Emily Kaufman, a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League, told Insider. They were active during the summer's Pride Month and have been agitators over the winter holidays at LGBTQ events, particularly the Drag Queen Story Hours hosted at schools and libraries, she said."We would have expected that they would be decimated by these arrests," Kaufman said of the more than 40 Proud Boys charged in the Capitol attack. "Instead, they have found this niche."Lofgren, a vocal member of the January 6 committee, shows up about one-quarter of the way into Tarrio's deposition, on Page 51 of the transcript."I see that Ms. Lofgren has come onto video," a committee lawyer whose name is redacted is recorded as saying. "Ms. Lofgren, do you have a question?""Well, I did have a brief question," the congresswoman responded."Mr. Tarrio," she told him. "I have received a copy of a post from you, and it's 'Enrique's House of Propaganda' from your — 'Tarrio's Telegram.'"The House of Propaganda channel has since been taken down, Lewis of George Washington University said."And it's a picture of me holding a piece of paper at a microphone in the Judiciary Committee, and the caption from you is, 'This — I'm going to spell it out, c-u-n-t — is blind in one eye.'""I'm wondering," she said, "what you meant by that?" Tarrio responded, "I wish I could reference the post, Ms. — how do you pronounce your name? I'm sorry.""Lofgren," the congresswoman responded."Lofgren," Tarrio repeated. "I wish I could — I wish I had that in front of me where I could see it." He then promised to "take a look at it" and get back to the committee.Then he said he didn't know whether he wrote the post. "There's multiple people that run Telegram channels, specifically mine, too," he said."Alright," Lofgren said. "I yield back."She apparently clicked out of the video deposition at that point. But several pages later, the committee lawyer circled back."So you did call Ms. Lofgren" that slur? the lawyer asked."No," Tarrio answered. "I don't even remember typing that." "So somebody using your account called Ms. Lofgren" the slur? the committee lawyer asked."Like, I — I mean, I stated this previously. That account's administered by a lot of people." At this point, Tarrio's lawyer cut in. "What's the significance of being called that word?" he asked."That's a word that's been around since 1300s in London. It's not a particularly nice word for a lot of people, but —" Here Tarrio, his client, cut him off, apparently highly interested: "You know the history of that word?" "I do," the lawyer told his client, "unfortunately."There followed a brief back and forth in which both Tarrio and his lawyer complained about the lack of "context" in Lofgren's inquiry into the word's use by — someone."Does the context matter?" the committee lawyer asked."I just don't understand why that's just such a big deal," Tarrio's lawyer said, dismissing Telegram as "just kind of a really nasty Irish bar scene."In other testimony, Tarrio told the committee there was nothing nefarious about then-President Donald Trump responding, "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," when asked during the September 2020 presidential debate what he wished to tell white-supremacist groups.Trump, Tarrio suggested, was encouraging the Proud Boys to prepare for the election through nonviolent actions, "Like, 'Let's go rally!'"Tarrio told committee members: "I took it to be, like, 'Hey, the election's coming up. Stand by.'"I also believe that he meant, like, 'Stand by me as the president,' Like, I've never, like, failed."Lewis countered that members of the extremist group saw "stand back and stand by" as "a call to arms." One Proud Boy member testified before the committee that membership "tripled" as a result of Trump's remark."They didn't see this as, 'Oh, hey, we got a shout out on TV. We should make sure to go vote,'" Lewis told Insider.The transcript captures Tarrio alternating between pleading the Fifth, which he did more than a dozen times, and offering detailed tangential observations.These included that he's, "Not a big Obama fan, because of socialized health care," and that Trump was "a great president" who "said it how he felt" and "didn't give us more wars.""I don't think that January 6th should've happened," Tarrio said."I wish I can take — I wish I could get in a time machine and stand in front of the police line and speak to those people in front of that line, and say, 'Don't do it.'"I wish I can do that," Tarrio, who said he still considered himself a Proud Boy, told the committee. "I can't."Federal prosecutors tell a different story. They have quoted Tarrio as saying, "Make no mistake. We did this," on an encrypted chat channel moments after Pezzola is accused of breaking that first Capitol window at 2:24 p.m. on January 6. "Do it again," the feds say Tarrio chatted two hours later when his lieutenants asked him what to do next.Tarrio's February 4 deposition came just three days after he was sprung from a Washington, DC, jail for burning a historic church's Black Lives Matter banner. It was just one month before his March arrest in connection with the Capitol attack.The Proud Boys seditious-conspiracy trial follows the November seditious-conspiracy conviction of the Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and is expected to last about six weeks.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 24th, 2022

Hope Hicks was once one of Trump"s closest confidantes. Less than 2 years later, she testified that her former boss told her that no one would care about his legacy if he lost the 2020 election.

Hicks was a senior adviser to Trump in his final years as president and was one of the few aides who reportedly told him he lost the 2020 election. Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks leaves the US Capitol after attending a closed door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee on February 27, 2018.REUTERS/Leah Millis Hope Hicks, 34, was one of President Donald Trump's most trusted advisers. Hicks resigned from the White House on January 12, 2021, but told people it was a planned departure. She was one of the few White House aides who told Trump he lost the 2020 election. In testimony featured in the January 6 House committee's final hearing, Hope Hicks testified that former President Donald Trump told her that no one would care about his legacy if he lost the 2020 election and that the only thing that mattered was winning.Before testifying in the investigation launched against her former boss' involvement in the Capitol riots, Hicks was the youngest White House communications director in history. But prior to joining the 2016 Trump campaign, she had no political experience.Hicks, now 34, was born in Greenwich, a town of 60,000 on the southwest tip of Connecticut that's a favorite spot for hedge-fund headquarters. She was a model, actress, and lacrosse player as a child, before getting her English degree at Southern Methodist University.Hicks didn't intend on playing such a large role in a presidential campaign, instead falling into the gig through a job at the Trump Organization.In her time at the White House, Hicks became ensnared in two high-profile White House controversies: the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and her role in crafting the White House's response to abuse allegations against staff secretary Rob Porter.In February 2018, Hicks announced she was resigning one day after she said in testimony she had occasionally told white lies for the president but never lied about anything consequential related to the Russia investigation.After laying low in New York and Connecticut for several months, Hicks headed to 21st Century Fox as executive vice president and chief communications officer. She later rejoined the Trump White House as a counselor to the president, reporting to senior adviser and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.Amid a wave of resignations following the January 6 insurrection, Hicks resigned from the White House on January 12, 2021, but told people it was a previously planned departure and not influenced by then-President Donald Trump's response to the Capitol riot as some other departures were, CNN reported at the time.Reports first emerged in October 2022 that Hicks was expected to privately testify before the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot. She was one of the few White House aides who broke with the former president, reportedly telling Trump he lost the 2020 election as he allegedly worked to overturn the results.Here's what we know about Hicks.Hicks and her sister, Mary Grace, were successful teen models. Hicks posed for Ralph Lauren and appeared on the cover of "It Girl," a spin-off of the best-selling "Gossip Girl" book and TV series.Trump campaign press secretary Hope Hicks at a rally, Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 18, 2016.David Hume Kennerly/Getty ImagesSource: The New York TimesHicks' first brush with the Trumps came in 2012 when she was at the public-relations firm Hiltzik Strategies working on Ivanka Trump's fashion line. Trump's eldest daughter hired Hicks away in 2014 and she became an employee of the Trump Organization.Hope Hicks, spokeswoman for U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on January 2, 2017.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst—Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) January 4, 2017Sources: New York Times, GQ, NYMagHicks met patriarch Trump and quickly "earned his trust," Ivanka Trump told The New York Times for a June 2016 profile on the spokeswoman.Then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks with Hicks as he arrives for service at First Presbyterian Church in Muscatine, Iowa, January 24, 2016.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikSource: New York TimesIn January 2015, Trump called Hicks into his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower and told her she was joining his presidential campaign. "I think it’s 'the year of the outsider.' It helps to have people with outsider perspective," Hicks said Trump told her.Corey Lewandowski, then campaign manager for Trump, stands nearby with Hicks as Trump holds a news conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, May 26, 2016.REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstSource: NYMagHicks didn't have any political experience, but her public-relations roots run deep. Both grandfathers worked in PR, and her father, Paul, was the NFL's executive vice president for communications and public relations. He was also a town selectman from 1987 to 1991. Greenwich proclaimed April 23, 2016, as Paul B. Hicks III Day.Hicks after a news conference at Trump Tower on May 31, 2016.REUTERS/Carlo AllegriSource: Town of Greenwich, GQHicks started working on what would become Trump's campaign five months before Trump announced his presidency, after he famously rode a golden escalator down to the lobby of his tower on June 16, 2015.Hicks crosses paths with Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (who was fired in June 2016) at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18, 2016.REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstThat made Hicks the campaign staffer who lasted in Trump's inner circle the longest. She outlasted his first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and several senior advisers.Trump listens to Hicks as he tours the Flint Water Plant and Facilities in Michigan on September 14, 2016.REUTERS/Mike SegarPeople close to her describe Hicks as a friendly, loyal fighter. Trump has called her a "natural" and "outstanding."Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is handed a box of cookies by his press secretary Hope Hicks during a visit Eat'n Park restaurant, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, in Moon Township, Pa.AP Photo/ Evan VucciWhile reporters who worked with Hicks say she's polite, they expressed frustration that she was often unreachable on the campaign trail, not responding to requests for comment, or denying access to the candidate.Kellyanne Conway, campaign manager for then Republican presidential candidate Trump, and Hicks watch during a campaign rally in October 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.AP Photo/ Evan VucciShe said her mom, Caye, told her to write a book about her experience with Trump, like "Primary Colors," the fictional novel depicting President Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign. "You don't even know," she said she told her mother.Hicks during a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona on October 29 2016.REUTERS/Carlo Allegr'sSource: NYMag, Primary ColorsDuring the campaign, Hicks spent most of her days fielding reporters' requests and questions — even reportedly taking dictation from Trump to post his tweets.Trump's inner circle celebrates onstage at his election night party. (Hicks is fourth from left.)AP Photo/Mary AltafferSources: NYMag, NYTIn July 2016, Donald Trump Jr. and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower to get "dirt" on opponent Hillary Clinton. Hicks later told Trump "this is going to be a massive story," and that the emails setting it up were "really bad," but he didn't want the details. The meeting became a key point of investigation in Mueller's Russia probe.White House Communications Director Hope Hicks walks on the tarmac after the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 26, 2018.Reuters/Carlos BarriaSources: Business Insider, CNN, BuzzFeedDuring the campaign, Hicks stayed in a free apartment in a Trump building, though she'd often go home to her parents' house in Connecticut when she could.Hicks departs Trump Tower in New York on November 11, 2016.REUTERS/Carlo AllegriShe followed Trump to DC. He named her assistant to the president and director of strategic communications in December 2017.Trump greets Conway and Hicks during a USA Thank You Tour event in Mobile, Alabama, on December 17, 2016.REUTERS/Lucas JacksonSource: Trump administrationShe still flew below the radar, directing the spotlight back on Trump. The then president-elect called her up to the microphone to speak at a "Thank You" rally in December 2017.US President-elect Donald Trump's press secretary Hope Hicks speaks during a 'Thank You Tour 2016' rally on December 17, 2016 in Mobile, Alabama.Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images—David Mack (@davidmackau) December 17, 2016It's been said she can act as a sort of Trump whisperer, understanding his many moods and professionally executing what needs to be done. She still only calls him "Sir" or "Mr. Trump."Hicks deplanes Air Force One for a weekend at Trump's private club in Bedminster, New Jersey on September 29, 2017.REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueSources: New York Times, GQ, NYMag"If the acting thing doesn’t work out, I could really see myself in politics," Hicks told Greenwich Magazine when she was 13. "Who knows."Hicks, Conway, and former senior counselor Steve Bannon arrive for the presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017, in Washington.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesSources: New York TimesIn June 2017, the White House released salary info for 377 top staffers. Hicks got paid the maximum amount that any of Trump's aides received: $179,700.Hicks walk across the South Lawn of the White House to join Trump aboard Marine One with Steve Bannon, former chief of staff Reince Priebus, and Stephen Miller on April 29, 2017.Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty ImagesSource: The White HouseHicks made as much as Trump's former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, former press secretary Sean Spicer, senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, and policy adviser Stephen Miller.Hicks and Bannon walk down the West Wing Colonnade after a meeting between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on February 10, 2017.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSource: The White HouseSome family members and friends expressed concern that Hicks was so closely tied to a president whose policies and statements are unpopular with a significant number of Americans, but were confident that she'll come through unscathed.U.S. President Donald Trump looks up while signing an executive order to advance construction of the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House in Washington January 24, 2017.Reuters/Kevin LamarqueSources: New York Times, GQ"There is just no way that a camera or an episode or a documentary could capture what has gone on. There is nothing like it," Hicks told Marie Claire in June 2016. "It is the most unbelievable, awe-inspiring thing."Conway and Hicks watch the daily press briefing at the White House on January 30, 2017.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesSource: Marie ClaireIn August 2017, Trump asked Hicks to be the new interim White House director of communications, a job that Michael Dubke, Sean Spicer, and Anthony Scaramucci held and left in Trump's first six months in office.Hicks before the start of the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on February 14, 2017.AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisSources: Daily Caller, New York Times, CNNThe White House said it would announce the permanent choice for the position "at the appropriate time." In September 2017, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it would be Hicks.Hicks and Sanders walk through the lobby at Trump Tower in New York City on August 15, 2017.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThat made 29-year-old Hicks the youngest White House communications director in history.Hicks listens while Trump meets with female small-business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 27, 2017.Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty ImagesSources: Daily Caller, New York Times, CNNBut she became ensnared in the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Special counsel Robert Mueller's team interviewed her in December 2017, and she reportedly hinted at concealing explosive emails about the Trump Tower Russia meeting during a conference call with Trump in July 2016.Trump confers with Hicks in the Oval Office on January 17, 2018.Reuters/Kevin LamarqueSources: The New York Times, Business InsiderIn February 2018, Hicks came under scrutiny for reportedly playing a key role in drafting a statement expressing vehement support for staff secretary Rob Porter after his two ex-wives accused him of physically and emotionally abusing them. Hicks and Porter were rumored to be dating.Hicks in the Oval Office on Feb. 2, 2018.AP Photo/Evan VucciSources: CNN, Business InsiderIn February 2018, she testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee on Trump's ties to Russia, and key incidents that she witnessed during the campaign and in the White House. She reportedly said she has told "white lies" for Trump.Hicks arrives at the US Capitol on February 27, 2018.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSources: Business Insider, The New York TimesThough she was front and center in the White House's scandals, Hicks remains a private person, revealing very little about her personal life, and remaining a mystery to many.Hicks arrives at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam on Nov. 12, 2017.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikOn February 28, 2018, news broke that she would resign in the coming weeks. Many in the White House were dismayed.Hicks leaves the US Capitol after attending a closed door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee on February 27, 2018.REUTERS/Leah MillisSource: Business Insider"She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person," Trump said in a statement. "I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood."Hicks in the Oval Office on February 9, 2018.Pool/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider"There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump," Hicks said in a statement. "I wish the President and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country."Hicks leaves the US Capitol after attending a closed door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee on February 27, 2018.REUTERS/Leah MillisAfter leaving the White House, Hicks returned to her family home in Greenwich, Connecticut before being spotted in New York City, where she was reportedly on the job hunt.Hope Hicks talks on the tarmac as President Donald Trump greets supports as he arrives on Air Force One at John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, en route to a rally at Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio.Carolyn Kaster/APSource: Page SixHicks made a rare public appearance when she boarded Air Force One in August 2018 to travel to an Ohio rally. Reportedly on Trump's invitation, Hicks talked off the record to reporters, even joking about her career prospects.Hope Hicks stands on the tarmac as President Donald Trump is greeted as he arrives on Air Force One at John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, en route to a rally at Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio.Carolyn Kaster/APSource: Business InsiderAfter months of staying out of the spotlight, Hicks was confirmed to be heading to a spinoff of 21st Century Fox as executive vice president and chief communications officer in October 2018.J. Scott Applewhite/APSource: Business InsiderIn June 2019, Hicks testified behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee. Mueller's final report on the Russia investigation mentioned her name 184 times, so congressional investigators had a lot to talk to her about.President Donald Trump reacts as he stands next to former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks outside of the Oval Office as he departs the White House for a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, in Washington D.C. on March 29, 2018.REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File PhotoSource: PoliticoBut White House lawyers blocked Hicks from answering questions 155 times during her congressional testimony, citing "absolute immunity" and Trump's executive privilege.Hicks leaves following a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2019.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikSource: Business InsiderOn February 13, 2020, news broke that Hicks was returning to the White House as a senior adviser. She reported to Kushner and worked with Brian Jack, the White House political director.Former White House communications director Hope Hicks leaves after a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee June 19, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.Alex Wong/Getty ImagesSources: Business Insider, The New York TimesOn October 1, 2020, it was reported that Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19 just days after flying on Air Force One with President Donald Trump and his senior staff.(L-R) Assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations Nicholas Luna, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller, and counselor to President Hope Hicks walk to Marine One to depart from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on September 30, 2020.ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHicks resigned from the White House on January 12, 2021, in a previously planned departure.Former President Donald Trump points to former communications director Hope Hicks shortly before making his way to board Marine One on the South Lawn and departing from the White House on March 29, 2018.MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty ImagesThough her exit from the Trump White House came amid a wave of resignations following January 6, sources said she told people it wasn't because of the violence at the Capitol and instead was a normal outgoing transition at the end of an administration.Sources: CNN, Bloomberg NewsIn October 2022, Hicks was expected to privately testify before the House select committee investigating the Capitol riot.Then-US President Donald Trump laughs as his senior adviser, Hope Hicks, speaks to the crowd during a campaign event at the Ocala International Airport on October 16, 2020 in Ocala, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesThe longtime Trump aide was scheduled to be privately deposed and provide a transcribed interview with January 6 House committee investigators on October 25, according to reports.In the book "The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021," published in September, Hicks reportedly told Trump it was time to move on."Trump responded bitterly. 'Well, Hope doesn't believe in me,' he would say in meetings," New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker and New Yorker staff writer and CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser wrote in their book."'No, I don't,' she would reply. 'Nobody's convinced me otherwise,'" they continued. "She concluded any further efforts to try to steer Trump would simply be, as she told an associate, 'a waste of time.'"Sources: The New York Times, NBC News, Business InsiderOn December 19, Hicks testified in the investigation against her former boss during the final hearing of the January 6 House select committee.A video showing Hope Hicks plays as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its final meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin/APOn December 19, the January 6 House select committee presented her videotaped testimony, in which she revealed Trump's response to his advisers and aides pleading him to change his messaging after the 2020 election."I was becoming increasingly concerned that we were damaging his legacy," Hicks said."What did the president say in response to what you just described?" an off-camera voice asks Hicks in the video clip.She responded: "He said something along the lines of, 'Nobody will care about my legacy if I lose, so that won't matter. The only thing that matters is winning.'"Hicks also testified that she suggested to White House lawyer Eric Herschmann to tell Trump to call for non-violence from his supporters on January 6, 2021, but Herschmann told her the former president refused.Editor's note: This article was first published in February 2017 and has been updated to reflect recent developments.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 19th, 2022

Donald Trump failed to mention dinner he had with "racist antisemites" but still got standing ovations from conference of Orthodox Jews: report

He didn't mention a controversial dinner with "racist antisemites," but Donald Trump still got standing ovations from Orthodox Jews. Former President Donald Trump speaks during an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, FloridaJoe Raedle/Getty Images Former President Donald Trump spoke at a conference of Orthodox Jews on Friday. Conference attendees responded with multiple standing ovations, according to AP. Trump failed to mention a dinner in November with Ye and Nick Fuentes, who have both spewed antisemitic hate. Former President Donald Trump received an overwhelmingly positive response at a conference of Orthodox Jews on Friday, despite failing to address a controversial dinner he shared last month with individuals who have spewed antisemitic hate, AP reported.Attendees of the annual President's Conference of Torah Umesorah at Trump's National Doral resort in Miami, Florida, responded to his remarks with several standing ovations, according to AP.Trump told attendees of the conference that he was the "best ally you've ever had," the news agency reported. The former president also repeatedly raised his support of Israel, claiming that Congress was "almost anti-Israel" and alleging that Democrats in Washington "hate Israel with a passion," per AP.During his address to the Orthodox Jewish conference, Trump referencing his past remarks on antisemitism from his own 2019 State of the Union address led to standing ovations, according to AP."We must never ignore the vile poison of antisemitism or those who spread its venomous creed," he said, quoting himself, per the news agency.Missing from his address to the conference was a reference to the now-infamous dinner he had last month with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes.Fuentes, who participated in the 2017 white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, hosts an online show called "America First with Nicholas Fuentes," where he has been known to make antisemitic comments. Trump claimed he "knew nothing about" Fuentes when he dined with him.Ye, who was suspended from Twitter after posting a swastika inside a Star of David, praised Adolf Hitler during an appearance on Alex Jones' Infowars show earlier this month.Several GOP figures condemned the meeting, including former Vice President Mike Pence.Pence told News Nation host Leland Vittert: "President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an anti-Semite, and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table. And I think he should apologize for it."Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said at a news conference:  "There is no room in the Republican Party for anti-Semitism or white supremacy. And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected President of the United States."And Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, in a tweet, accused the former president of "hosting racist antisemites," which, he said, "encourages other racist antisemites."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 17th, 2022

Trump, Kanye West, and Nick Fuentes pushing antisemitism to the forefront of the GOP could pull the Christian nationalist movement apart

Christian nationalism's resurgence in politics could be threatened if far-right figures continue to shine a light on the movement's ugliest parts. Nick Fuentes; Kanye West; Marjorie Taylor GreeneJacquelyn Martin, File/Associated Press; Evan Vucci, File/Associated Press; Barry Reeger, File/Associated Press Kanye West and Nick Fuentes' recent antisemitic comments have sparked widespread outrage. But they also exposed a darker side of Christian nationalism that was always there, experts say. The shift could hinder the recent resurgence of Christian nationalism in mainstream politics. Former President Donald Trump's meeting with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes helped shine a spotlight on antisemitism that some on the right have tried to ignore — and could hinder the growing mainstream influence of Christian nationalism."The Christian nationalism label was already generating a lot of debate amongst conservative Christians in the United States. Now you throw antisemitism into the mix, and I think that creates yet another set of divisions," Philip Gorski, a sociologist at Yale University and the co-author of "The Flag and the Cross: White Christian Nationalism and the Threat to American Democracy," told Insider.Trump met with Ye and Fuentes — a white supremacist and Christian nationalist known for sharing racist and antisemitic views — at Mar-a-Lago on November 22. The former president later denied knowing anything about Fuentes, but weeks before the meeting Ye had also received criticism for his own antisemitic comments, including saying he was going to go "death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE."Ye's antisemitism continued, boosted by the notoriety of the meeting with Trump. On December 1, the rapper appeared with Fuentes on Alex Jones' Infowars show, during which he praised Adolf Hitler and downplayed the Holocaust.Ye working with Fuentes and meeting with Trump — and the way he's previously been embraced by others on the right, from Fox News' Tucker Carlson to GOP members of the House Judiciary Committee — have forced some conservatives and Christian nationalists to reckon with a side of the movement they have preferred to pretend wasn't there.Christian nationalism and white supremacyGorski said he and other scholars of Christian nationalism have been saying for a long time that the ideology was tangled up with white supremacism, but they received a lot of pushback for it. "People saying, 'It's not true. I don't know anybody who's like that. I don't know anybody who thinks that,'" Gorski explained.The recent scandals with Ye and Fuentes have "just brought some of that deeper, uglier stuff up to the surface and into broad daylight, but it was there the whole time."Christian nationalism can generally be distilled down to the belief that Christianity and the US are intrinsically linked and that the religion should have a privileged position in American society. Americans who support Christian nationalist ideas may not identify as Christian nationalists. They also might embrace some aspects of the ideology but not others, so there's a wide spectrum of Christians who could be considered part of the movement."White Christian nationalism is older than the United States itself and it goes back to really the 17th century," Gorski explained, adding that the concept "in many ways emerged as a way of justifying stealing Native lands and killing Indigenous people, and enslaving kidnapped Africans."Today there are still many Christian nationalists who, when talking about good Americans, are thinking of people who look and think like them, he said: "That means, first and foremost, conservative white Christians."Andrew Whitehead, a sociologist at IUPUI and co-author of "Taking America Back for God: Christian Nationalism in the United States," has found similar connections between Christian nationalism and antisemitism."In our book, we show that Americans who embrace Christian nationalism more strongly are more likely to agree that 'Jews hold values that are morally inferior to me,' 'Jews want to limit the personal freedoms of people like me,' and 'Jews endanger the physical safety of people like me,'" Whitehead told Insider.Additional research has also found close connections between Christian nationalism, antisemitism, QAnon followers, and supporters of Trump. And a how-to guide to Christian nationalism published in September by Gab Founder Andrew Torba was rife with antisemitism.The Christian right dividedDespite the connection, Gorski said Christian nationalists would likely have "pretty complicated reactions" to the Ye and Fuentes situation "because they have a pretty complicated relationship to Israel and Judaism and American Jews."Gorski said there is much less blatant antisemitism among conservative Christians in the US than there was in the mid-20th century. He said it's hard to quantify, but he believes the average "garden variety Christian nationalists are probably not explicitly or consciously antisemitic," even though there's a "hardcore faction" that is.The American right has also been closely linked to support of Israel in recent decades, in part due to what Gorski described as an expansion pack for Christian nationalism: Christian Zionism — which refers to a belief among some Christians that the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 was the fulfillment of a biblical prophecy.A LifeWay poll conducted in 2017 found that 80 percent of evangelical Christians, a group that is more likely to embrace Christian nationalism, believed the creation of Israel was part of the fulfillment of a prophecy in the Bible that would lead to the return of Christ. The survey respondents were also overwhelmingly politically conservative.Gorski noted there is also a sentiment among some conservative Christians that differentiates between Jewish people by location, describing the thinking as: "Jews' real homeland is Israel, so a good Jew is in Israel, so an American Jew is not a good Jew." Under this strange logic, a Christian Zionist could be considered a better Jew than a Jew, he explained, noting a comment made in October by the wife of Doug Mastriano, the failed Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate. When addressing accusations of antisemitism against her husband, Rebecca Mastriano said "we probably love Israel more than a lot of Jews do."The divide among Christian nationalists when it comes to Jewish people was on display when Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia publicly criticized Fuentes, even though she herself has been accused of antisemitism and even appeared at an event with him earlier this year.Greene is one of the few prominent Republicans — and only member of Congress — to openly identify as a Christian nationalist. But following the Alex Jones appearance, she publicly denounced Fuentes and his "racist" and "antisemitic" ideology. She also called him "racist" and "immature" on her show and said it "makes no sense" for Ye to align with him.Fuentes responded by attacking her character: "She wants to be the face of Christian nationalism. She's divorced, and she's actively an adulterer," he said, referencing rumors. "How are you going to be the face of Christian nationalism when you're a divorced woman girlboss?"Saying the quiet part out loud could hurt the Christian nationalism movementGreene's rejection of Fuentes was also notable, as it forced her to confront a side of Christian nationalism that she had previously refused to acknowledge.In addition to self-identifying with the term, she's become a major proponent of its ideals. Greene has said the GOP should be the party of Christian nationalism and even sells merch adorned with the term. She has also tried to dismiss criticism of the movement as coming from the "godless left" who hate both the US and God, and has ignored those who have pointed out the documented connections between Christian nationalism and white supremacy.But Fuentes and Ye, empowered by a high-profile meeting with the former president, have made those connections much harder to ignore — and could help deter conservative Christians who may otherwise have been intrigued by the movement.While Christian nationalism as a concept is still on the historical decline, its recent resurgence and influence in mainstream politics could be threatened if more far-right figures continue to shine a light on its ugliest parts.Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 12th, 2022

At least 17 Republicans are checking out their presidential prospects, diminishing Trump"s shot at getting a free pass for the 2024 nomination

At least 17 Republicans have shown they're interested in the 2024 presidential nomination, even though Trump has already declared he's running. Former President Donald Trump arrives to speak during an event at Mar-a-Lago on November 15, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Donald Trump is the only Republican who has made a '24 run official. But many others have been floating the possibility of entering the GOP contest. From Pence to Haley, here's how Republicans are laying the groundwork for presidential runs. It's beginning to look a lot like 2016. Former President Donald Trump is the only Republican so far who has announced a 2024 presidential run, but numerous others are signaling that they're toying with the same idea. They're doing all the things they're supposed to do to test their chances: Visiting early primary states, writing books, showing up on the Sunday shows, campaigning with other Republicans ahead of the 2022 midterms, and weighing in publicly on President Joe Biden's policies — and even Trump's latest controversies. The next step will be hiring teams in Iowa and New Hampshire, Doug Heye, a longtime GOP aide and strategist, told Insider."You have got a stable of people who are essentially putting themselves all in the starting gates and all have their own timetable about when and if they decide to run," he said. December would be a "frustrating month" for political watchers because "no one is going to move that much," said Kristin Davison, vice president and general consultant at Axiom Strategies. But hopefuls would be floating what she called "trial balloons" — in which they publicly raise the prospect of a run to see how donors and the press will react. Whoever seizes the nomination will likely face Biden, though he has yet to formally declare his candidacy. But, Heye said, "it's a real possibility" that the GOP lineup will be large like it was in 2016.The stakes for losing the nomination aren't all bad, even if Republicans might come out of it with an unforgettable Trump nickname. After all, one of the people running for president could end up getting chosen as running mate or get a seat on the new president's Cabinet.And there are other perks to formally seeking the White House, such as raising one's profile and having a better shot at the presidency during a future cycle. Candidates could also wind up selling a lot more books or leave politics to get a prime TV or radio show. "It's a long, difficult process," Heye said, "and you're more likely to lose than not."Trump's legal, political, and personal liabilities have been piling up in the last month, leading many in the GOP to say the party needs not just a fresh face but to be led by a candidate who can actually win. Insider identified 17 people who could seek the Republican nomination in 2024, including Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Tim Scott of South Carolina who are up for re-election this cycle and will therefore be in campaign mode anyway. Each will have to effectively answer the "why I'm running for president" question and find their lane in the party — which will inevitably include defining, or redefining, their relationship with Trump. "I don't think you can discount any of them at this point," Heye said. "It's too early to determine who outside of Trump is a frontrunner." Scroll through to see the lawmakers listed here in alphabetical order. Outgoing Rep. Liz Cheney of WyomingRep. Liz Cheney, a Republican of Wyoming, campaigned with Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Democrat of Michigan, at an Evening for Patriotism and Bipartisanship event on November 1, 2022 in East Lansing, Michigan.Bill Pugliano/Getty ImagesCheney, 56, is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney and one of Trump's toughest Republican critics.She voted to impeach Trump after the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, and served as vice chair of the House select committee investigating Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.Cheney's actions have come at a cost under the heavy weight of Trump's ire. House Republicans punished her by stripping her of her leadership post, and she lost her US House seat to Trump-backed GOP challenger Harriet Hageman during the state's August primary.But she hasn't been deterred. Cheney said on NBC's "Today" that she would do "whatever it takes" to keep Trump out of the White House in 2024, including "thinking about" running for president herself. "I wouldn't be surprised to see her run for president," Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah told Insider in August. Cheney voted with Trump on policy when he was in office, and remains a conservative, telling the Reagan Foundation and Institute in June that she believes "deeply in the policies of limited government, of low taxes, of a strong national defense." But Cheney said she sees a breaking point with the Republican Party, telling the Texas Tribune Festival in September that she would leave the GOP if Trump became the 2024 nominee.This could mean she'd run for president as an Independent. Already, she has shown she's willing to campaign against Republicans who falsely deny that Biden won the 2020 presidential election.This year, Cheney converted her House campaign finance committee into an anti-election denier leadership PAC called The Great Task. The PAC spent $500,000 on a TV ad in Arizona that urged voters to reject Republicans Kari Lake and Mark Finchem, who were running for governor and secretary of state, respectively. During the 2022 midterms, Cheney endorsed incumbent Democratic Reps. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia. Both won their races. "We had to make sure that we prevented election deniers from taking power," she told The Washington Post's Global Women's Summit in November. Many outsiders see long odds for Cheney, though a poll conducted in Utah found she could be a top contender there. Outgoing Rep. Adam Kinzinger of IllinoisRep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., speaks as the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol holds a hearing in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2022.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteLike Cheney, Kinzinger, 44, has spent much of the last year focused on the January 6 committee and drawing Trump's ire. He's the only other Republican on the House committee investigating the riot, and will be retiring from his seat at the end of this Congress, after six terms. Kinzinger told HuffPost in April that he "would love" to run against Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination, but more for the fun of it than to actually win."Even if he crushed me, like in a primary, to be able to stand up and call out the garbage is just a necessary thing, regardless of who it is," he said. "I think it'd be fun."In a move that could be signaling he's planning on doing just that, Kinzinger in early 2021 launched his anti-election denier leadership PAC, called Country First. Kinzinger sponsored several bills that became law, including measures to prevent opioid addiction and a bill to help veterans with medic training transition to EMT work as civilians. Kinzinger served in the Air Force and remains a pilot in the Air National Guard. Sen. Ted Cruz of TexasSen. Ted Cruz, a Republican of Texas, speaks at a rally for Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker on November 10, 2022 in Canton, Georgia.Megan Varner/Getty ImagesCruz, 51, was the last Republican standing against Trump during the 2016 presidential nomination and had even announced that he'd pick former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate. But Cruz — whom Trump nicknamed "Lyin' Ted" — lost following a nasty primary in which Trump levied highly personal attacks against the senator, including disparaging his wife's looks and falsely suggesting that Cruz's father had something to do with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Once Trump was in office, however, Cruz was one of the president's  biggest defenders. He voted to overturn the 2020 election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania and helped to secure Trump's acquittal in his second impeachment trial. In recent months, Cruz has been spending time in New Hampshire and campaigned with retired football star Herschel Walker in the Georgia Senate runoff. While in the Senate, Cruz led the successful effort to zero out the unpopular fine on the uninsured created by the Affordable Care Act.More recently, Cruz used Ketanji Brown Jackson's Supreme Court confirmation hearing to score points for a potential 2024 run, questioning her about school curriculum on race. Before coming to Congress, Cruz was solicitor general in Texas, a role that involves arguing cases before the Supreme Court. When Insider asked whether Trump's latest missteps had provided an opening for him to jump into the 2024 presidential race, Cruz chuckled a bit before laying out what sounded like a near-term agenda. "I think the Senate is the battleground … and I'm going to do everything I can to lead the fight right here," Cruz told Insider before launching into a tirade about his mounting frustration with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision making. He made no specific mention of 2024, but also didn't work in the word "no" anywhere.Cruz told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas that he'll seek reelection in Texas in 2024 when his term is up, though state law allows him to run for both offices at the same time.Former Gov. Chris Christie of New JerseyFormer New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition Saturday, November 19, 2022, in Las Vegas.John Locher/AP PhotoChristie, 60, is famously said to have missed his moment for the White House because he didn't run for president when he was getting a lot of attention as New Jersey's governor in 2012, and instead fizzled out in 2016 when faced with Trump and numerous other contenders. But that hasn't stopped him from weighing another go at it. As recently as October, during an appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher," Christie confirmed that he was considering a 2024 run.  In the last 18 months, Christie has been prominently involved in midterm campaigning and on the same speech circuit as other GOP hopefuls, including the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. He also put out a book in 2021, titled "Republican Rescue: Saving the Party From Truth Deniers, Conspiracy Theorists, and the Dangerous Policies of Joe Biden." Christie served two terms as a Republican governor in a blue state where Democrats controlled the legislature. In that role, he expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and passed bail reform.But he got flak over a handshake with then-President Barack Obama during Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, and was hurt politically after members of his administration created traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge.Christie became a lobbyist in 2020, when he had several healthcare clients but cut ties a year later, according to the lobbying disclosure database, in what could be a sign that he's lining up for a run.   Today, Christie blames Trump for the GOP's losses the last three election cycles and spent months saying Republicans "have to be the party of tomorrow, not the party of yesterday" if they ever want to win another election. His tone on Trump is a stunning turnaround for a man who was one of Trump's closest outside advisors when he was in the White House and was even on the shortlist to be Trump's chief of staff. Christie turned on Trump after January 6, saying the president violated his oath of office. More recently, he told The New York Times that Trump's candidacy was "untenable" and that the former president had had "poor judgement" after he dined at Mar-a-Lago with white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes. He also told the Washington Examiner that Republicans "fail the leadership test" when they don't call out Trump. Gov. Ron DeSantis of FloridaRepublican gubernatorial candidate for Florida Ron DeSantis speaks during an election night watch party at the Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, on November 8, 2022.Giorgio VIERA / AFP via Getty ImagesDeSantis, 44, has an enviable mantle for the presidency in the Florida governor's office — and he's making the most of it. He famously and unapologetically reopened Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic, before federal health officials said he should. He banned certain teachings on race in workplaces and schools, and flew unsuspecting migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. DeSantis also signed a contentious parental involvement and sex ed bill into law that critics call "Don't Say Gay." Instead of backing down over the outcry, he punished Disney for threatening to repeal it.Then there were the historic tax cuts in Florida with promises of more as well as viral videos bashing what he calls the "corporate media." All of these actions have portrayed the governor as a fighter. That's not the only part of his public persona on display. Often in tow is his beautiful, young family. His former newscaster wife, Florida's first lady Casey DeSantis, has been instrumental in his rise. To the New York Post, pictures of the DeSantis family on Election Night was "DeFuture." Others see a conservative JFK. But the politician DeSantis most often gets compared to is Trump. Numerous news profiles have described DeSantis as "Trump without the baggage," or as a more disciplined Trump. Yet after leaning on Trump during his first gubernatorial victory in 2018, DeSantis showed he could win big on his own, scoring a historic, 20-point victory in Florida in November without Trump's endorsement.As for presidential clues, DeSantis is also out with his first memoir in February: "The Courage to Be Free: Florida's Blueprint for America's Revival." During the midterms, he extended goodwill to other Republicans by campaigning with them. Back at home, he raked in a record amount of cash for a gubernatorial race. If the GOP primary were decided today, numerous polls show, DeSantis is the only person that gets close to Trump. DeSantis, a former conservative House member, has not pledged to serve out all four years of his second term. All of that has angered Trump. He has called DeSantis "Ron DeSanctimonious" and threatened to release damaging information about the governor. DeSantis has refused to punch back at Trump publicly, instead blaming the media and saying, "When you're leading, when you're getting things done, you take incoming fire."South Dakota Gov. Kristi NoemSouth Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, on July 11, 2021.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesNoem, 51, has been on a Trump-related roller coaster ride as of late. In January 2021, the embattled former president tried to get her to primary fellow South Dakota Sen. John Thune, a lawmaker Trump took to calling a RINO (which stands for "Republican in name only") after Thune balked at his baseless claims of election fraud. Noem bowed out of joining Trump's revenge campaign, opting to focus on her own re-election plans. Once 2022 rolled around, she leaned hard into the GOP culture wars, promising voters that she'd bar transgender athletes from participating in women's sports, stamp out any "critical race theory" instruction in local schools, and decimate any "radical political ideologies" that annoyed her evangelical Christian base.Come July, Noem told CNN she'd be "shocked" if Trump tapped her to be his 2024 running mate. But she didn't rule out sliding into the VP slot — or mounting a challenge of her own. Since winning a second term in November, Noem has started taking on bigger foes, including the People's Republic of China. —Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) November 30, 2022 Her state government-wide ban against the use of social media app TikTok scored her fawning interviews on conservative outlets including Fox News and Newsmax, beaming her into the homes of potential admirers who don't happen to reside in the Mount Rushmore State. Noem seems far less enthusiastic about Trump these days, telling reporters that the twice-impeached, scandal-plagued former president isn't Republicans' "best chance" at retaking the White House in 2024. She issued this prediction just days after Trump announced he was running again.  Former UN Ambassador Nikki HaleyFormer UN Ambassador Nikki Haley during a news conference in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday, October 26, 2022.Matt Rourke/AP PhotoHaley, 50, has made it clear she's interested in the presidency. At the Republican Jewish Coalition in November, she told the crowd she was thinking about a presidential run "in a serious way" and would announce a decision "soon.""I've won tough primaries and tough general elections," she said. "I've been the underdog every single time. When people underestimate me, it's always fun. But I've never lost an election. And I'm not going to start now." The remarks were a turnaround from Haley's comments last year, when she said she wouldn't run for president if Trump were to seek the White House in 2024. Haley said at a Turning Point USA event that she'd take the winter holidays to make a decision. Early in her career, Haley joined her family's clothing business before leading the National Association of Women Business Owners.She served in the South Carolina House for three terms then was the state's governor for six years. In that time Haley delivered the GOP response to Obama's 2016 State of the Union Address.She pushed for the removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol after a gunman killed nine Black people at Emanuel Church in Charleston. Also as governor, Haley would not support a bill requiring transgender people to use the restroom that corresponded with the gender on their birth certificate. But in 2021 she wrote a commentary in the National Review saying transgender inclusion in sports was an "attack on women's rights."Haley was UN Ambassador under Trump for two years, and successfully pushed for the US to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem and defended Trump's decision to do so.In 2019 she published a memoir, "With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace." Her experiences give her the coveted pairing of having both executive and foreign policy chops, which are often viewed as crucial to the presidency. Aside from Trump and Pence, few other contenders would have such a profile. As a woman of Indian descent, she could also help bring in suburban women voters who graduated from college and expand the GOP coalition among people of color. Her nonprofit group, called Stand for America, Inc., is seen as a campaign in waiting and raised about $8.6 million in 2021, according to Politico. And she founded the Stand for America PAC after her time in the Trump administration. Haley campaigned and fundraised in high-profile races during the 2022 midterms, including in Pennsylvania and Georgia. Haley told the National Republican Committee the day after the January 6 riot that Trump was "badly wrong" in his speech to supporters and that his "actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history." Sen. Josh Hawley of MissouriSenator Josh Hawley (R-MO) speaks during the confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on March 22, 2022.JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)Hawley, 42, has reached for the spotlight whenever possible while Congress is in session.From famously saluting the January 6 protestors on the day of the violent siege at the Capitol to holding Brown Jackson's feet to the fire as she raced to join the Supreme Court, the first-term lawmaker works to portray himself as the perennial outsider who's only here to shake things up. He's played up the part by voting to overturn the 2020 election results on behalf of MAGA vote-magnet Trump, butting heads with McConnell on the way the upper chamber is run, and blaming short-sighted leaders for running the party into the ground. "When your 'agenda' is cave to Big Pharma on insulin, cave to Schumer on gun control & Green New Deal ('infrastructure'), and tease changes to Social Security and Medicare, you lose," Hawley, bemoaned on Twitter following a demoralizing midterms performance by flawed GOP candidates, which he blamed on "Washington Republicanism." The potential 2024 contender followed up with some suggestions, floating an alternative vision he said would help "unrig the system."   "What are Republicans actually going to do for working people? How about, to start: tougher tariffs on China, reshore American jobs, open up American energy full throttle, 100k new cops on the street," Hawley, who was also Missouri's former attorney general, tossed out on his social media feed. Asked by Insider about his intentions of formally jumping into the 2024 presidential race, Hawley laughed out loud for a few seconds. "I hope to run for reelection to the Senate in 2024. If the people of Missouri will have me," he said. Nowhere in there did Hawley say "no." Outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan of MarylandGov. Larry Hogan of Maryland.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesEven before the bruising 2022 midterms, Hogan, 66, was warning that Republicans couldn't continue down the path they are on. "I am not about to give up on the Republican party or America," he wrote on Twitter in early December. "None of us can. It's too important."The two-term governor who beat a 2015 cancer scare has been fired up about plotting his next act. Hogan, a centrist Republican, is already making the rounds in early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. A nonprofit group aligned with him reported raising $2 million in 2021, some of which was spent on "supporter acquisition" and "audience building." And Hogan recently scored some face time with GOP mega donors at this year's Republican Jewish Coalition leadership meeting — mentioning to political reporters covering the event that he and other potential 2024 hopefuls were there because "maybe there's a little blood in the water." Trump was notably absent at the event, but did video-conference in. As governor, Hogan signed a gun control bill into law and has said that while he opposed abortion, he wouldn't move to gut the state's guarantee on reproductive rights. During the COVID-19 pandemic he instituted a statewide mask mandate, then lifted restrictions in May 2021. While he has yet to formally declare a 2024 run, Hogan has begun billing himself as a "commonsense conservative" who GOP voters sick of losing may want to consider."I think there are 10 people who want to be the next Donald Trump, and I think there may be a different lane," Hogan said while stumping in Manchester, New Hampshire, adding, "I'm going to do everything I can to get the country back on track." He cast a write-in vote for Reagan in the 2020 election and called for Trump to be impeached or resign after January 6. Outgoing Gov. Asa Hutchinson of ArkansasArkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson attends the National Governors Association summer meeting, Friday, July 15, 2022, in Portland, Maine.Robert F. Bukaty/AP PhotoHutchinson, 72, hasn't been shy about criticizing Biden or Trump. After Trump's 2024 announcement, he said the former president's "self-indulging message promoting anger has not changed," and also disavowed the Fuentes and Ye meeting at Mar-a-Lago.Hutchinson has taken at least five trips to Iowa through America Strong & Free, the nonprofit of which he's the honorary chairman and spokesperson."I am seriously looking at a run in 2024 because America and the Republican Party are not in the best place," he said in a statement provided to Insider. "I know how to get us back on track both in terms of leadership and facing the challenging issues of border security, increased violent crime and energy inflation." He'll make a decision in January, he told KARK.As governor for the last eight years, he has pushed to make the state a leader in computer science, and signed several tax cuts into law, including lowering the state income tax rate from 7% to 4.9%. Hutchinson also signed bills into law blocking businesses from requiring customers and workers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccinations, and blocked state and local officials from obligating masks — a move he later said he regretted. He asked state lawmakers to create a carve-out for schools, but the Arkansas House rejected the proposal. While he signed an abortion ban into law in 2019 that took effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, he said on CNN that he personally believes in exceptions for rape and incest."Many out there appreciate a 'consistent conservative,' even one they don't agree with all the time," Hutchinson told Insider. "I am not interested in the 'outrage of the day,' and I am committed to using my consistent conservative principles to guide me and our nation on important policy decisions." Hutchinson began his government career as a US attorney for the Western District of Arkansas under President Ronald Reagan, then went on to serve in the US House for three terms. President George W. Bush tapped him to lead the Drug Enforcement Administration, after which he served as undersecretary in the Department of Homeland Security. He has criticized Biden on illegal immigration, inflation, student loan forgiveness, and said on CNN that the president's September speech about democracy "singled out a segment of Americans and said basically they're our enemy."Hutchinson also has the distinction of being especially press friendly at a time when numerous Republicans have copied Trump's style of lashing out against journalists. "The media plays an important role in our democracy," Hutchinson told Insider. "I've never shied away from tough questions, and I have always been willing to defend my positions and conservative principles with the hard questions coming from the press."Former Vice President Mike PenceFormer Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition on Friday, November 18, 2022, in Las Vegas.John Locher/AP PhotoPence, 63, has begun to distance himself from his former boss, while also promoting his new book, "So Help Me God." He told ABC's "World News Tonight" that Trump "decided to be part of the problem" by not immediately calling off the insurrectionists during the January 6 riot, after he declined to help invalidate Biden's lawful win. Pence also pushed back against Trump on WVOC in South Carolina after he called for terminating the Constitution, and came out forcefully after Trump had dinner with Fuentes."President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an anti-Semite, and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table," he said on November 28. An adviser to the former vice president told Insider that, should Pence decide to run, the team has discussed several policy areas to differentiate himself, including Trump's bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, the First Step Act, and that he'll continue to be "very outspoken on the issue of life."In contrast, Trump didn't mention his three Supreme Court picks when he announced his 2024 presidential run, even though they helped overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that previously guaranteed a national right to abortion. Pence wouldn't have to worry about name ID during a presidential run. Still, his new book and a campaign would allow him to reintroduce himself to voters by talking about his work in the US House and then as governor of Indiana. He already has made numerous trips to early primary states New Hampshire and South Carolina. Further, he'll be able to amplify policies that carried his fingerprints during the Trump administration, including his oversight of the US's pandemic response.Pence was a sought-after midterm surrogate, traveling to dozens of states. In May, he went to Georgia to help incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp beat Trump-backed primary challenger David Perdue.Pence's vision for the future of the party is laid out in his Freedom Agenda and Advancing American Freedom, the nonprofit aligned with him that serves as a type of campaign in waiting. The policies include reducing mail-in voting and implementing universal school choice, which allows public education funds to pay for K-12 students to select alternatives to public schools. While Pence didn't testify before the January 6 select committee, his senior aides including former chief of staff Marc Short and legal advisor J. Michael Luttig walked investigators through some of the scenarios that led up to the attack. In November, Pence said on Fox's "Hannity" that he would make a 2024 decision after discussing it with his family during the holidays. Former Secretary of State Mike PompeoFormer Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Friday, November 18, 2022, in Las Vegas.John Locher/AP PhotoPompeo, 58, told Chicago donors in September that he already had teams in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.His outside campaign in waiting is called Champion American Values Fund, and Pompeo has been doing press appearances to talk about his forthcoming book, "Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love." Pompeo represented Kansas in the US Congress and was also former CIA director under Trump. After the end of the administration, he lost weight, which sparked speculation that he was interested in a White House run. Similar to Haley, Pompeo would enter the contest with a foreign policy background. He has openly criticized Biden, including after the president's September speech on protecting democracy. "He essentially said if you're pro-life or you're opposed to a certain set of policies, you're a threat," Pompeo told the New England Council's "Politics and Eggs" breakfast.  Biden, he said at the event, could be summed up as having "woke ideas, weak resolve, and waffling leadership."Trump should not have taken classified documents to Mar-a-Lago, he said, but added that the "raid on Mar-a-Lago was indecent and improper." Pompeo told conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt in November that Trump's announcement wouldn't affect whether he decides to run for president, adding that he'd make a determination in the spring. "We need more seriousness, less noise, and leaders who are looking forward," Pompeo said, "not staring in the rearview mirror claiming victimhood." Sen. Marco Rubio of FloridaWilfredo Lee/AP PhotoRubio, 51, has come out hot after cruising to a third term in November, castigating GOP leaders for totally blowing the midterms. "We have a historically unpopular Dem President, record inflation, a violent crime wave & total chaos at the border & not only did we fail to win a majority, we lost a seat. And the Senate GOP response is going to be to make no changes?" Rubio fumed in a December 7 Twitter post. His anger hadn't abated when Insider caught up with him at the US Capitol. "I don't know how you come back from what we have just encountered and conclude that the status quo and business as usual is how we want to proceed," Rubio said of the need for drastic changes within the GOP. While conceding that he doesn't have "all those answers," Rubio suggested that Senate Republicans take a hard look at "the mechanics of elections, policy, the legislative agenda, and all of that." "I think that's something we should all be involved in talking about," Rubio said of the sorely needed soul searching. Rubio, who is of Cuban descent, was speaker of the Florida House before heading to Washington. He has sponsored numerous bills that have become law, including doubling the child tax credit and co-authoring the Paycheck Protection Program that helped keep small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.On top of that, he's got a powerful perch as the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee. Political operatives have credited him with helping the GOP grow its influence with Hispanic voters, NBC News reported. Asked by Insider whether he had it in him to take another run at the former president after getting clobbered by the insult-flinging Trump in 2016, Rubio said he just really needs to take a breath. "We'll have time over the holidays and into the new year to sort of focus on everything going on in my life and here in the Senate," Rubio told Insider, adding that he hasn't "really focused in on" returning to the presidential proving grounds at the moment. Perhaps voters will learn more about future plans in his forthcoming book, "Decades of Decadence." Sen. Tim Scott of South CarolinaSen. Tim Scott, a Republican of South Carolkina, speaks at a fundraiser in Anderson, South Carolina on August 22, 2022.Meg Kinnard/AP Photo, FileScott, 57, hinted at a presidential bid during his midterms victory speech, even though he previously said he wouldn't run against Trump. "My grandfather voted for the first man of color to be elected as president of the United States," he said on November 8, referring to the vote his grandfather cast for Obama. "I wish he had lived long enough to see perhaps another man of color elected president of the United States. But this time, let it be a Republican and not just a Democrat. So just know: All things are possible in America."Scott, who previously served in the US House, is the only Black Republican in the Senate. He said his six-year term in the Senate beginning in January will be his last, but he hasn't ruled out a presidential run and is making all the right moves to position himself for the undertaking. Despite his own election, he has taken several trips to Iowa and spent time campaigning on behalf of other Republicans. He also released a memoir, "America, a Redemption Story: Choosing Hope, Creating Unity" and is one of the top fundraisers in the Senate — which includes support from small and online donors — even though he defended a safe seat this cycle.Major donors have contributed to Opportunity Matters Fun, a pro-Scott super PAC.Scott was among those leading the push for the successful passage of the bipartisan First Step Act and his measure to create Opportunity Zones that bring private investments into economically distressed communities was part of the 2017 tax reform law. He garnered national interest after delivering the GOP response to Biden's address to Congress in April. Afterward, McConnell said the senator represented "the future of the Republican Party." Scott has been open about the racism he has faced over the course of his life. "I get called Uncle Tom and the n-word by progressives, by liberals," he said in response to Biden's address. He has shared that police have pulled him over numerous times, despite him not violating any traffic laws. He sat down with Trump at the White House to discuss systemic racism and publicly called on Trump to call back certain statements he made on race. Haley, who was South Carolina governor at the time, appointed Scott to the Senate in 2013 after the seat opened up. Miami Mayor Francis SuarezTaylor Hill / Contributor Getty ImagesSuarez, 45, confirmed in October that he's considering a presidential run."It's something that I would consider given the right circumstances and given the right mood of the country," Suarez said at a Punchbowl News event. Miami has been getting a lot of attention given the surge of people moving to Florida — and tech companies and crypto startups in particular headed to Miami under Suarez's encouragement. He even told Twitter CEO Elon Musk that he should consider relocating the company's headquarters from San Francisco.Suarez's office sent over a list of accomplishments for the mayor, saying the city was No. 1 in job and wage growth, and had 1.4% unemployment. The Financial Times called Miami "the most important city in America." The mayor made historic increases to the city's police department, increased funding on climate-resistant infrastructure, and passed a rental tax credit for seniors. Suarez didn't vote for Trump during the 2020 election and in the 2018 gubernatorial race in Florida he voted for Democrat Andrew Gillum over DeSantis. But Suarez said Trump also has been kind to him. The two spoke at a wedding recently, he said, and Trump told him he was the "hottest politician in America after him.""I don't know if he meant physically hot or if he meant I was getting a lot of buzz," Suarez said. "But he was very nice." Suarez is of Cuban descent and leads the National Conference of Mayors. When asked about how he might stand out in a presidential race, Suarez said he might be able to speak to "a variety of minority communities that are going to be important if Republicans want to grow their base for a generation." Gov. Chris Sununu of New HampshireGov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire.Jon Cherry/Getty Images for ConcordiaSununu, 48, was just reelected to a fourth term in New Hampshire, where governors are reelected every two years and there are no term limits. "I haven't ruled anything in or out," he told Politico's "Playbook Deep Dive" podcast when asked about running for president in 2024. "I haven't ruled out a fifth term. I haven't ruled out running for higher office."Sununu is a centrist Republican who has the distinction of being in favor of abortion rights, at a time when many states are banning abortion. He came close to running for the US Senate in 2022, but told the Washington Examiner that other senators told him their main job was to be a "roadblock" in office — and he wasn't interested in that.Sununu also called Trump "fucking crazy" at the Gridiron dinner, a journalism event. "Let's stop supporting crazy, unelectable candidates in our primaries and start getting behind winners that can close the deal in November," Sununu said in November at Republican Jewish Coalition meeting.He told the Washington Examiner after the midterms that there should be new GOP leadership — not just in the White House but inside the Republican National Committee."Did they achieve on the level of results that we all thought we were going to get?" he asked. "No. So, why would we stick with the same team assuming we're going to get a better result?"Sununu is part of a political dynasty. His father was governor of New Hampshire who then went on to work in the George H.W. Bush administration as chief of staff. His brother was in the US House and US Senate. Gov. Glenn Youngkin of VirginiaGov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia.AP Photo/Steve Helber, FileYoungkin, 56, tried his hand at playing kingmaker in over a dozen 2022 gubernatorial contests and mostly came up short. The newly-minted Republican who rocketed to stardom in late 2021 by keeping Virginia purplish with his electrifying win over Democratic fixture Terry McAuliffe tried to work that same Trump-light magic into contests all around the country. The result: only four of the 15 Republican gubernatorial candidates Youngkin got involved with won their races. It's unclear whether Youngkin had any effect on the reelection bids of blowout winners like Kemp or Noem.By the same token, it's debatable whether he could have dragged Lake, Michigan's Tudor Dixon, or any of the other 2020 election deniers across the finish line given their full-on embrace of Trumpism. While he remains reluctant to badmouth the embattled former president, Youngkin clinched his 2021 win by keeping Trump at bay while still reaching out to the MAGA base. Trump, on the other hand, has tried to take full credit for Youngkin's win and lashed out at the newcomer for not being more appreciative. Trump's already working on trying to clip a Youngkin presidential bid from ever taking wing, panning him and DeSantis as ingrates who have no chance of beating him. Trump also reverted to his old tricks after the politically damaging 2022 midterms flop, hitting Youngkin with a bizarre, racist rant on Truth Social. Given that Virginia only allows governors to serve non-consecutive terms, it makes sense for Youngkin to seek opportunities elsewhere.The Washington Post reported that Youngkin spent part of his summer huddling with Republican mega donors in New York. And while he remains mum on any official plans for 2024, Politico said Youngkin's putting in place the types of fundraising groups a presidential candidate would want to have at the ready.Youngkin is a former co-CEO of the Carlyle Group. As governor, his first official action was to sign an executive order prohibiting Virginia schools from teaching "critical race theory." More recently, he's been pushing to reimburse individuals and businesses who paid fines for violating state COVID-19 restrictions under his Democratic predecessor.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 10th, 2022

Milo Yiannopoulos has been fired from Kanye West"s political team: report

Yiannopolous confirmed the departure in a statement on Telegram on Sunday, but said he would continue to "pray" for Ye. Milo YiannopoulosLisa Maree Williams/Getty Images Milo Yiannopoulos is no longer working for Ye's political team. Yiannopoulos was reportedly fired, the Daily Beast reported. Yiannopoulos confirmed the departure on Sunday but said it was a mutual decision. Alt-right personality and former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos will no longer be working with Ye on his political team after being fired, the Daily Beast reported.In a Sunday post on Telegram, Yiannopoulos confirmed the departure but said the decision was "mutual." "Ye and I have come to the mutual conclusion that I should step away from his political team," Yiannopoulos wrote: "I will continue to pray for Ye and all his endeavors."Ye told paparazzi that Yiannopoulos, who previously interned for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, would join his political team as a campaign manager on November 25 following the rapper's announcement that he intends to run for president in 2024.He has not yet formally filed paperwork to begin that process, Insider previously reported.Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, continues to be mired in controversy over his antisemitism, which has included praising Adolf Hitler and posting a swastika on his Twitter account.Yiannopoulos was one of a handful of right-wing figures who joined Ye during a dinner at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home on November 22. Trump received backlash for the meeting after it was reported that another Ye staffer, white supremacist Nick Fuentes, was also in attendance.When speaking to NBC News about the event, Yiannopoulos said he arranged the dinner between Trump and Ye in order to "make Trump's life miserable" because he believed that Trump would not properly handle the news of the meeting once it became public."I also wanted to send a message to Trump that he has systematically repeatedly neglected, ignored, abused the people who love him the most, the people who put him in office, and that kind of behavior comes back to bite you in the end," Yiannopoulos told NBC news. Fuentes denied that the dinner was a plot against Trump in a Telegram post following the NBC report.Ye removed references to Yiannopoulos and Fuentes on his Twitter account on Thursday before he was permanently suspended later that day, Newsweek reported. Yiannopoulos, a longtime right-wing provocateur, resigned as an editor of Breitbart News in 2017 after podcast footage of him emerged in which he appeared to condone pedophilia.After years of living as an openly gay man, Yiannopoulos now describes himself as an "ex-gay" and plans to build a conversion therapy center in Florida.A representative for Ye did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 4th, 2022

In the wake of Kanye West"s praise for Hitler, Biden calls on political leaders to condemn anti-Semitism: "Silence is complicity"

"The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure," Biden tweeted after West, known as Ye, said "I like Hitler." President Joe Biden delivers remarks on preserving and protecting Democracy at Union Station on November 2, 2022 in Washington, DC.Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images President Joe Biden targeted antisemitism on Friday after Kanye West, known as Ye, praised Hitler. The president tweeted that politicians should reject antisemitism "wherever it hides. Silence is complicity." Ye was suspended from Twitter on Thursday after posting an antisemitic image. President Joe Biden spoke out against antisemitism on Friday after Kanye West, the rapper who goes by Ye, praised Adolf Hitler, the mastermind of the Holocaust that killed more than six million Jews and millions of others. "The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure," Biden tweeted from his presidential account and retweeted from his political account. "And instead of giving it a platform, our political leaders should be calling out and rejecting antisemitism wherever it hides. Silence is complicity."—President Biden (@POTUS) December 2, 2022 The tweet did not mention Ye by name. Asked about the tweet during a gaggle aboard Air Force One on Friday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also wouldn't name Ye directly. She reminded reporters that Biden decided to run for president in 2020 following the white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. "I don't think it matters who in particular," she said. "I think what the president is trying to say is that being silent is complicit, and when we see this type of hatred, when we see this type of antisemitism, we need to call it out. We need to be very, very clear and condemn that."The message stands in contrast to the actions of former President Donald Trump, who was widely condemned for hosting Ye and white nationalist and anti-semite Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner.The former president, who announced his 2024 presidential bid last month, wrote after the meeting on Truth Social that Ye "expressed no anti-Semitism" during their dinner.Biden's message comes after a day in which Ye ramped up his antisemitic outbursts. He was suspended from Twitter by its owner Elon Musk, who said Ye "again violated our rule against incitement to violence."Among the tweets Ye posted was an image of a swastika superimposed over the Star of David, a Jewish symbol. Ye's Twitter account was restricted for two weeks in October after he posted antisemitic remarks, but his account was restored after Musk took control of the platform.Also on Thursday, Ye repeatedly talked about his appreciation for Hitler and the Nazis during an appearance with Fuentes on the far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' "Infowars" show."I like Hitler," Ye said at one point, adding, "I love Jewish people, but I also love Nazis."This story has been updated with comments from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 2nd, 2022

Trump pushes back against claims Mar-a-Lago security will be boosted after Nick Fuentes controversy: "We"re not going to have my guests strip searched"

Trump insisted Mar-a-Lago has "strong security" despite reports that Kanye West and his entourage were able to easily enter the resort. Police outside of Mar-a-Lago in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday August 9, 2022.Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images Trump campaign officials are considering ramping up security at Mar-a-Lago, AP reported Wednesday. Security at Mar-a-Lago is under scrutiny after Ye was not vetted before his meeting with Trump. But Trump dismissed the report on Thursday, saying security at the resort is "strong." Former President Donald Trump said Thursday that security at his Mar-a-Lago resort is "strong", pushing back on reports that rapper Kanye West's visit last week had prompted staff to ramp up measures."We have very strong security, especially with the extremely talented Secret Service Agents on premises, but when I know someone, as I did Ye, we're not going to have my guests strip searched, thrown against walls, and otherwise physically beaten," Trump said on a Truth Social post.Last week the former president met with West — who also goes by the name Ye —  and white supremacist Nick Fuentes at his Palm Beach club in Florida. Despite being the only one on the guest list, Ye arrived at Mar-a-Lago with several guests including Fuentes and far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.According to a report by NBC News, the driver of the car transporting the group was waved into the resort after showing a credit card instead of a driver's license.The dinner prompted stinging criticism from fellow Republicans, given some of Fuentes' previous comments, and also led to Trump campaign staff discussing introducing new security measures, the Associated Press reported.Sources told the AP that in order to prevent a repeat, Trump's campaign was putting in place new protocols whereby a campaign official would accompany Trump at all times, and all visitors would be fully vetted before meeting the former president."The anonymous sources don't exist. Stories to the contrary are FAKE NEWS!" Trump wrote, in response to reports of increased security at Mar-a-Lago.Security concerns at Trump's Florida club are well documented.In 2017, Trump held sensitive foreign policy discussions with then-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in full view of other guests eating dinner at the club.Two years later, a Chinese woman trespassed into the club carrying a USB drive and a device for detecting hidden cameras.The Secret Service found that she was able to enter the club because the name on her passport partially matched that of a club member. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2022

DeSantis brushes off Trump question from press, says there are plenty of other people living in Florida

DeSantis often gets asked about Trump given that the former president has openly criticized him and given him the nickname "Ron DeSantimonious." Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; former President Donald Trump.Getty Images DeSantis wouldn't comment on Trump when asked about him during a press conference in Key Biscayne.  When reminded Trump was a Florida resident, DeSantis shot back: "I also got 22 million others."  Trump announced he's running in '24 and criticized DeSantis for leaving the question open ended.  KEY BISCAYNE, Florida — Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida brushed off a question Thursday about Donald Trump's ubiquity in the news, saying the former president was just one of many Sunshine State residents. DeSantis was holding a press conference about environmental protection grants, during which a reporter asked for his take on Trump being in the news every day, adding, "He is your resident, by the way." "I also got 22 million others," DeSantis shot back, "and we like to look out for everybody and say we're focusing on getting things done, doing our job, and that's a great thing to do." Trump has been living in Palm Beach, Florida, at Mar-a-Lago, his home and private club, since leaving the White House. The former president also stays at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course during the summer, but his permanent residence is in Florida, and it's the state in which he votes. While DeSantis has avoided criticizing Trump for months, the former president has been clear that he's irked at DeSantis for skirting questions about whether he'll run for president.The criticism starting even before Election Day, when Trump nicknamed DeSantis "Ron DeSanctimonious," and said DeSantis should show more gratefulness after Trump supported DeSantis for governor in 2018, rocketing him to the GOP nomination. On Election Night, DeSantis won a historic, nearly 20-point victory in Florida, which further fanned speculation that he might be able to be successful in a 2024 White House run. Should he run, he'd face off against Trump, the only Republican who has made his candidacy official so far, and likely several other entrants. DeSantis hasn't pledged to serve out all four years as governor of Florida. The governor also hasn't commented publicly about Trump's controversial dinner with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and with Nick Fuentes, a known white supremacist. Reporters haven't asked DeSantis about the dinner in the two press conferences he held in Florida this week, but other prominent Republicans, including potential 2024 rivals, have condemned the meeting. While DeSantis on Thursday eschewed commenting on Trump, he did address the second part of the reporter's question, which asked him to respond to division in the Republican Party, given that DeSantis enjoyed strong support in Florida in contrast to other parts of the US. DeSantis shared that he thought the results were unexpected given past historical trends that favor the opposing party, as well as pessimism about the direction of the country and President Joe Biden's low approval ratings.DeSantis said that after he delivered his victory speech he went behind stage and his team told him that Election Night had not seen a "red wave" — meaning voters had not overwhelmingly supported Republicans. "I said, 'What are you talking about? This is not a red wave? This is a 20-point win,'" DeSantis recounted."No," his team said, according to DeSantis, "Florida is a big win but the rest of the country we are not seeing good performance from a lot of these Republicans." Democrats ultimately held onto the Senate — with a runoff in Georgia set for next week to determine the final count — and lost far fewer seats than expected in the US House. DeSantis said more people would be attracted to Republicans through "producing results." "I don't think it's a question of being divided as a party," he said. "I think it's a question of: How do you run and win majorities? I think what we have done in Florida is we have shown that we have exercised leadership, we have not kowtowed, we have been willing to take on big interests."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2022

A senior official needs to be with Trump at all times after the dinner scandal with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West, per new campaign rules: AP

The Trump campaign also intends to vet and approve everyone who meets with Trump, per the Associated Press. Former President Donald Trump.Spencer Platt/Getty Images Trump's team has a new rule: A senior official needs to be with Trump at all times, the AP reports. The team is also putting in place a vetting process for all of Trump's guests, per the AP. This comes after the backlash to Trump's dinner with rapper Kayne West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Former President Donald Trump's team is putting new measures in place to try to reduce the number of scandals he gets into, per the Associated Press.A senior official from the Trump campaign will accompany the former president at all times, a source familiar with the plans told the AP. In addition, the Trump 2024 campaign is also planning to vet and approve every single person who meets with Trump.The measures come after Trump had dinner with rapper Kanye West, who now goes by the name Ye, and white supremacist Nick Fuentes at Mar-A-Lago on November 22.Fuentes marched in the 2017 white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, during which an avowed neo-Nazi drove his car into a group of counterprotesters, killing a woman and injuring 35 people. The Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights group, describes Fuentes as a leader of the "Groyper Army." This is a loosely organized alt-right group that espouses pro-white, racist, and anti-Semitic views.In a statement to Axios, Trump said he did not know who Fuentes was, or what his views were before the dinner. And in several posts on Truth Social, Trump called Ye a "seriously troubled man, who happens to be Black." He denied that he knew Fuentes or Ye's other companions who joined them at the dinner. Trump's team is also claiming, per NBC, that Ye tricked the former president into meeting with Fuentes. Several sources close to Trump told NBC the dinner was a real blow to the Trump camp. "This is a fucking nightmare," an anonymous longtime Trump adviser told NBC. "If people are looking at DeSantis to run against Trump, here's another reason why."The former president has drawn backlash from within the GOP over the dinner.Former GOP governor Chris Christie, a one-time Trump ally turned critic, on Friday called the meeting "another example of an awful lack of judgment from Donald Trump" and a sign that Trump is an "untenable general election candidate." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blasted Trump's meeting with Ye and Fuentes, saying that there is "no room" in the GOP for white supremacy.A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the campaign's new rules.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2022

Trump claims Kanye West tricked him by bringing white supremacist Nick Fuentes to Mar-a-Lago dinner: report

Trump said that Ye's attendance at Mar-a-Lago "would be fun for the members," one of his advisers told NBC News. Donald Trump and Kanye West walk into the lobby at Trump Tower, December 13, 2016 in New York City.Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) Trump's team has claimed that the rapper Ye tricked him by bringing a well-known white supremacist to Mar-a-Lago. "Kanye punked Trump," one Trump adviser told NBC News of the dinner with Nick Fuentes. Trump has been widely criticized after he dined with Ye and Fuentes last week. Former President Donald Trump and some of his advisers have claimed that Kanye West, the rapper now known as Ye, tricked the former president into hosting white supremacist Nick Fuentes for dinner at Mar-a-Lago a week ago, according to a Tuesday NBC News report.Sources close to Trump said Ye, who's recently made anti-Semitic comments and announced a 2024 presidential bid, helped stage the meeting to subject the ex-president to criticism shortly after he launched his own 2024 run.The Trump campaign is now reviewing their processes to prevent someone like Fuentes from getting near Trump again, sources with knowledge of the discussions told NBC News. Trump himself was reportedly furious, suggesting that Ye had ambushed him. "He tried to f--- me. He's crazy. He can't beat me," Trump said, an unnamed confidant told NBC News."Trump was totally blindsided," that source added. "It was a setup.""The master troll got trolled," one Trump adviser, who spoke anonymously, told NBC News. "Kanye punked Trump."Since news of the November 22 meeting broke, prominent lawmakers in both major parties have condemned Trump for meeting with Fuentes, a well-known figure in white nationalist and anti-Semitic circles. Trump has defended himself against the attacks, claiming that he hadn't known who Fuentes was and did not invite him to Mar-a-Lago, but that Ye had brought him along.NBC News reported that Ye showed up to Mar-a-Lago with Fuentes, Karen Giorno, a former Trump 2016 adviser, and a man Ye identified as a parent of a student at Donda Academy, the California private school he founded, which has closed for the school year after the rapper's recent anti-Semitic comments.Upon their arrival, Giorno, who told NBC News that she accidentally became part of Ye's entourage after she drove him to Mar-a-Lago, said she tried to have Ye meet with Trump alone. But Trump, according to NBC News, had deferred to Ye, who insisted the whole group dine together.Milo Yiannopoulos, a far-right commentator who's publicly criticized Trump, told NBC News that he had been the mastermind behind the meeting and arranged it "just to make Trump's life miserable." Yiannopoulos is working as a political adviser to Ye, NBC News reported.Some of Trump's allies had warned him not to even meet with Ye, but Trump dismissed their advice, the outlet reported. One Trump adviser told NBC News that the former president said Ye's attendance at Mar-a-Lago "would be fun for the members."A few Republicans have stood by Trump amid the backlash. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday denounced Fuentes, but repeated Trump's defense that the former president didn't know who the young man was. Spokespeople for Trump and Ye did not immediately return Insider's requests for comment.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2022

McConnell says Trump is "highly unlikely to ever be elected president" amid furor over dinner with Kanye West and white supremacist Nick Fuentes

"There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy and anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view," he said. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite McConnell on Tuesday blasted former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago dinner with Nick Fuentes and Kanye West. "There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy," McConnell said. Trump launched his 2024 presidential campaign earlier this month. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday blasted former President Donald Trump's dinner with white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes, stating that anyone meeting with such an individual is "highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States."While speaking on Capitol Hill, the Kentucky Republican, who has not communicated with Trump in nearly two years, went after his onetime political ally after it was revealed that the former president dined with Fuentes and Kanye West, the artist now known as Ye, at his Mar-a-Lago club in South Florida last week."There is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy and anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, is highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States," he said at the beginning of his weekly press conference.McConnell's comments come a day after a range of GOP leaders condemned the dinner, including his onetime No. 2, former Vice President Mike Pence."President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table. And I think he should apologize for it," Pence said during a Monday interview on News Nation.Trump earlier this month launched his 2024 White House campaign at Mar-a-Lago, and rivals for the GOP nomination are expected to begin entering the race next year.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2022

Liz Cheney calls on Kevin McCarthy to condemn Trump for meeting with "neo-Nazi" Nick Fuentes: "I know you want to be Speaker, but are you willing to be completely amoral?"

McCarthy has previously said Republicans should avoid Fuentes, who is widely known as a white supremacist and anti-semite. He has not condemned Trump. Rep. Liz Cheney speaks during a news conference with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on July 21, 2020.Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images Rep. Liz Cheney is calling on Kevin McCarthy to condemn Donald Trump for meeting with Nick Fuentes. Fuentes is widely known as a white supremacist and anti-semite. Trump hosted him at Mar-a-Lago. McCarthy has previously said Republicans should avoid Fuentes, but he hasn't spoken out against Trump. Rep. Liz Cheney is publicly calling on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to criticize former President Donald Trump for his pre-Thanksgiving dinner with Nick Fuentes, who is widely known as a white supremacist and anti-semitic Holocaust denier.Cheney, who lost her Wyoming primary to a Trump-backed challenger, described Fuentes as a "neo-Nazi" in a tweet directed at McCarthy on Tuesday, a week after Trump's meeting at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida with the 24-year-old Fuentes and Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West."Hey @GOPLeader - where is your condemnation of Donald Trump for meeting with neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes, the pro-Putin leader of the America First Political Action Conference?" she tweeted. "I know you want to be Speaker, but are you willing to be completely amoral?"—Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) November 29, 2022 McCarthy won the votes of a majority of his caucus to become the GOP's nominee for speaker when Republicans take control of the House next Congress, but he still needs to win 218 votes in the lower chamber in January. If he wins, Democrats expect him to have a tough time controling his far-right ranks — including some who have also met with Fuentes or appeared at the America First Political Action Conference that he founded.When Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona spoke at the conference this year, McCarthy called their attendance "unacceptable.""For me it was appalling and wrong," McCarthy told Punchbowl in February. "And there's no place in our party for any of this. The party should not be associated any time any place with somebody who is anti-Semitic."But McCarthy has remained silent about Trump's visit with Fuentes, even as other GOP leaders and some potential 2024 rivals — including former Vice President Mike Pence — have condemned the actions by the former president, who is again running for president in 2024. A spokesperson for McCarthy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Fuentes is a 2020 election denier who helped organize "Stop the Steal" protests ahead of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, and the House committee investigating the riot has subpoenaed him as part of the probe. Trump has claimed that he did not know who Fuentes was. Cheney, the top Republican on the House January 6 committee, blasted Greene and Trump in an earlier tweet for "hanging around with this anti-Semitic, pro-Putin, white supremacist. This isn't complicated. It's indefensible." The Anti-Defamation League describes Fuentes as a white supremacist, anti-semite, and 2020 election-denier "who seeks to forge a white nationalist alternative to the mainstream GOP."MSNBC host Rachel Maddow played a video montage, compiled by the Right Wing Watch project, with clips of Fuentes that include him calling for a dictatorship to "force the people to believe what we believe.""The white people got to make the right decision, and then Trump's got to get in there and never leave," he said at one point. "It's time to shut up, elect Trump one more time and then stop having elections."—Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 29, 2022 Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 29th, 2022

Mike Pence said Donald Trump was "wrong" for hosting white supremacist Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago, saying he "should apologize without qualification"

Trump said the dinner was intended to host Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago, but the rapper arrived with guests whom Trump said he "knew nothing about." Getty Images/Pool Mike Pence said Donald Trump was "wrong" for hosting Nick Fuentes at Mar-a-Lago and should apologize. Trump met with Kanye West last week, who "unexpectedly" arrived with Fuentes, a known white supremacist. The former president claimed he did not know him nor his racist, antisemitic views prior to the dinner. Former Vice President Mike Pence said the president he served with, Donald Trump, was "wrong" for hosting Holocaust-denier and white supremacist Nick Fuentes as his Mar-a-Lago residence last week, urging him to apologize "without qualification."The former president has been under fire after The New York Times and Politico reported that he hosted controversial rapper Ye, formally known as Kanye West, for dinner at Mar-a-Lago along with three other guests, including Fuentes, whom Trump said he "knew nothing about."In a post on Truth Social, Trump wrote that, in hosting the dinner, he wanted to "help a seriously troubled man, who just happens to be black, Ye (Kanye West), who has been decimated in his business and virtually everything else, and who has always been good to me, by allowing his request for a meeting at Mar-a-Lago, alone, so that I can give him very much needed 'advice.'""He shows up with 3 people, two of which I didn't know, the other a political person who I haven't seen in years. I told him don't run for office, a total waste of time, can't win. Fake News went CRAZY!" Trump continued, claiming that he did not know Nick Fuentes at the time of the dinner.Several top Republicans, including Pence, have since condemned the former president's meeting with Fuentes and Ye, who also recently made antisemitic comments."President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an anti-Semite, and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table," Pence said in an interview with NewsNation that aired Monday. "I think he should apologize for it and he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification."Pence went on to say that, despite hosting individuals who have publicly touted antisemitic rhetoric at his Mar-a-Lago home, he doesn't believe that the former president is "a racist or a bigot.""I would not have been his vice president if he was," Pence said.The former vice president added: "I think the president demonstrated profoundly poor judgment in giving those individuals a seat at the table."Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.The dinner comes just weeks after the former president officially announced his bid for the White House in 2024, making for a bumpy start to his contentious presidential campaign."If it was any other party, breaking bread with Nick Fuentes would be instantly disqualifying for Trump," Democratic National Committee spokesperson Ammar Moussa said, per a report by Politico. "The most extreme views have found a home in today's MAGA Republican party."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 28th, 2022

2024 presidential rivals and GOP leaders condemn Trump for dining with white supremacist Nick Fuentes

Only a few leading Republicans thus far have condemned embattled former President Donald Trump for meeting with an avowed antisemite. Former President Donald Trump.Spencer Platt/Getty Images Several top Republican officials have condemed Trump for meeting with white nationalist Nick Fuentes. Trump recently had dinner with Fuentes and Kanye West, who has also made anti-Semitic comments. Insider is keeping a running tally of top Republicans who condemn the former president. Several GOP leaders, including some potential 2024 rivals, are explicitly condemning embattled former President Donald Trump for meeting with avowed white supremacist Nick Fuentes. But their scorching statements remain the exception so far for the GOP's reaction to Trump's latest scandal. Trump has claimed that he has no idea who Fuentes was. He has claimed that he tried to give rapper Kanye West, who was also at the dinner, advice. West, who prefers going by Ye, has made a number of antisemitic comments in recent months, which led multiple companies, including Adidas, to break ties with him. The trio had dinner at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort last week."Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was asking me for advice concerning some of his difficulties, in particular having to do with his business. We also discussed, to a lesser extent, politics, where I told him he should definitely not run for President ...," Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social. Trump added that West "expressed no anti-Semitism" during the dinner.Fuentes, a 24-year-old known as a white nationalist, has long history of blatantly racist and anti-Semitic comments. He was also the cause of a previous uproar when far-right Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Paul Gosar of Arizona spoke at a conference of a Fuentes-founded organization. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called their attendance "unacceptable."Here's the list of Republicans who have condemned Trump thus far:Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana:"President Trump hosting racist antisemites for dinner encourages other racist antisemites,"  Cassidy wrote on Twitter. "These attitudes are immoral and should not be entertained. This is not the Republican Party."—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) November 28, 2022 Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel:Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel did not mention Trump specifically while rejecting Fuentes' ideology. "As I had repeatedly said, white supremacy, neo-Nazism, hate speech and bigotry are disgusting and do not have a home in the Republican Party," she said in a prepared statement. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson: "I don't think it's a good idea for a leader that's setting an example for the country or the party to meet with [an] avowed racist or antisemite," Hutchinson told CNN on Sunday. Hutchinson, a two-term governor who will soon be leaving office. He has said he is "very seriously" considering a 2024 presidential campaign.Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie:"This is just another example of an awful lack of judgment from Donald Trump, which, combined with his past poor judgments, make him an untenable general election candidate for the Republican Party in 2024," the one-time Trump ally and likely 2024 presidential contender told The New York Times.—Chris Christie (@GovChristie) November 26, 2022 Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming: "First, @RepMTG and now, @realDonaldTrump hanging around with this anti-Semitic, pro-Putin, white supremacist. This isn't complicated. It's indefensible," Cheney, the top Republican on the House January 6 committee, wrote on Twitter.Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois:"The brown shirts shouldn't intimidate you," Kinzinger, the only other Republican on the January 6 committee, wrote on Twitter. "They are all incels with no self esteem. Hey @GOPLeader, @RepMTG had spent some time with Nick here, how does that sit with you?  You cool with holocaust denial etc?  Probably right?"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 28th, 2022

Trump said Kanye West is a "seriously troubled man, who happens to be Black," and defends controversial Mar-a-Lago dinner

Trump recently hosted Kanye West at a controversial dinner at Mar-a-Lago along with white supremacist Nick Fuentes. Rapper Kanye West, now known as Ye, speaks during a meeting with then-President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington D.C. on October 11, 2018.Calla Kessler/The Washington Post via Getty Images Trump recently hosted Kanye West at Mar-a-Lago for dinner along with white supremacist Nick Fuentes. While defending the dinner, Trump said the rapper was "a seriously troubled man, who happens to be Black." West claimed Trump screamed at him during the dinner over the rapper's ambitions to run for president in 2024. Former President Trump described Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, as "a seriously troubled man, who happens to be Black," as he defended hosting him at Mar-a-Lago for a controversial dinner.Ye brought Nick Fuentes, a notorious white supremacist and Holocaust denier, to the dinner, which sparked widespread controversy and condemnation. Trump has claimed that he did not know who Fuentes was prior to the meeting.Trump claimed on Truth Social on Saturday that Ye had requested the meeting at Mar-a-Lago and that he gave the rapper much-needed "advice." The former president said that Ye had been "decimated in his business and virtually everything else" but noted that he has "always been good to me."Numerous companies have cut ties with the rap star after he generated controversy by making antisemitic comments and wearing a shirt with the words "White Lives Matter" on it – a slogan widely used by white supremacists, according to the Anti-Defamation League.Ye, who has suggested he plans to run for president in 2024, claimed that Trump screamed at him during the dinner and told him he would lose if he ran. The rapper said Trump was "perturbed" when he asked him to be his running mate.Trump said in his statement that he told Ye not to run for office as it was "a total waste of time, can't win."The former president recently announced his plans to run for president for the third time.Ye previously ran in 2020, but his campaign ended after he gained only 70,000 votes, per the BBC. Trump also claimed that Ye brought three people to the dinner, two of whom he didn't know and one being someone he hadn't seen in years. His latest statement slightly contradicts a previous one in which he claimed he knew nothing about any of Ye's guests. Sources told NBC News that one of the guests was Karen Giorno, who was the Trump campaign's Florida director in 2016, and someone Trump knew personally.One anonymous longtime Trump adviser told NBC News that the fallout from the Mar-a-Lago dinner was a "fucking nightmare."The White House, former GOP governor Chris Christie and Trump's former ambassador to Israel have been among those criticizing Trump for dining with Ye and Fuentes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 27th, 2022

Trump tells Ye that white supremacist Nick Fuentes "really gets me" during Mar-a-Lago visit: report

Trump told Axios that Kanye West, known as Ye, brought the notorious white supremacist with him to a dinner at Mar-a-Lago. American rapper and producer Kanye West embraces real estate developer and US President Donald Trump in the White House's Oval Office, Washington DC, October 11, 2018.Ron Sachs/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images Trump dined with white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, at Mar-a-Lago.  In a statement to Axios, Trump denied knowing who Fuentes was or what his views were.  Fuentes is well known for espousing racist, anti-Semitic, and other bigoted views. Former President Donald Trump hosted notorious white supremacist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday, multiple media outlets reported on Friday. Kanye West, now known as Ye, brought Fuentes as his guest to the former president's Florida mansion, where Ye said he discussed teaming up on the 2024 presidential ticket."Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago. Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about," Trump said in a statement to Axios. The meeting was confirmed by Politico and the New York Times. In a post on Truth Social, the social-media platform that Trump launched last year, the former president said that Ye had "unexpectedly" arrived for a planned dinner with three of his friends, "whom I knew nothing about." The ex-president, who announced his 2024 presidential bid earlier this month, said nothing disavowing Fuentes' views in his statement. A spokesperson for Trump didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Axios reported that Trump appeared impressed by Fuentes, citing an unnamed source. At one point during their visit, Trump told Ye, "I really like this guy. He gets me," the source told Axios. Fuentes is well known for espousing racist, anti-Semitic, and other bigoted views. The 24-year-old activist participated in the 2017 white supremacist "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, during which a neo-Nazi killed a counter-protester and injured 35 others. The Justice Department has characterized Fuentes as a "white supremacist" and the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights group, has labeled him a "well-known white supremacist pundit and organizer."Trump was widely criticized in 2017 for claiming there were "very fine people" among the white nationalist marchers in Charlottesville. He was also condemned for not rejecting an endorsement in 2016 by David Duke, a well-known white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard. During a presidential debate against Joe Biden in 2020, Trump told the far-right extremist Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" when asked to denounce them.As of Friday afternoon, Fuentes has not addressed the visit to Mar-a-Lago on any of the social platforms that continue to host him.Ye, who has said he plans to run for president in 2024, tweeted a video labeled "Mar-a-Lago debrief" on Thursday, in which he's speaking to Milo Yiannopoulos, a disgraced "alt-right" activist who appears to now be working on his campaign. Ye said that Trump was perturbed and caught off guard by Ye's suggestion that Trump sign on to be Ye's running mate, but that he was "really impressed" with Fuentes. "Unlike so many of the lawyers and so many people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he's actually a loyalist," Ye said of Fuentes' support for Trump. Ye, who has yet to file the necessary paperwork to become a presidential candidate, was until recently blocked from using Twitter after he made multiple anti-Semitic remarks, including saying he "was going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE." Ye has also lost many of his business partnerships, and Adidas is investigating allegations that Ye behaved inappropriately with employees during their Yeezy partnership. Yiannopoulos resigned from the conservative media site Breitbart in 2017 after making comments appearing to condone pedophilia. He's made a slew of other noxious statements, including calling Islam and feminism "cancers" and calls himself an "ex-gay."Reports about the meeting between Trump, Ye, and Fuentes surfaced on Wednesday, when Ye and Fuentes were seen walking through an airport together. Politico and The Daily Beast reported that Fuentes and Ye were seen together at Mar-a-Lago.  This isn't the first time a prominent Republican has met with Fuentes and later claimed not to know anything about his bigoted and dangerous views. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a far-right Republican from Georgia, spoke at an event organized by Fuentes in February and later told reporters she didn't know Fuentes and wasn't familiar with his views.Greene also hired Yiannopoulos as an intern in her congressional office earlier this year. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 25th, 2022