Brendan Gauthier

The night the Rolling Stones fired Trump: Keith Richards once pulled a knife to get him out of Atlantic City venue

In 1989, The Rolling Stones’ original members ended their seven-year hiatus and embarked on an ambitious and profitable 115-show tour of Europe and North America. The American leg, named after their comeback album “Steel Wheels,” began in August in Philadelphia and ended in December in Atlantic City.

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Even in Wealthy Districts, Black Students Are Disproportionately Disciplined

The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan watchdog agency, released a damning report Wednesday on discrimination and discipline in U.S. public schools. Examining discipline data from the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection, which accounts for student demographics such as race, gender and disability, the GAO found that, “Black students, boys, and students with disabilities were disproportionately disciplined (e.g., suspensions and expulsions) in K-12 public schools....These disparities were widespread and persisted regardless of the type of disciplinary action, level of school poverty, or type of public school attended.”

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Study: No Relation Between Immigration and Crime

On Wednesday, the morning after his administration announced its plan to send the National Guard to patrol the United States’ southern border, President Trump tweeted "strong action today” on immigration:

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Donald Trump Jr. Immediately Turned the YouTube Shooting Into Political Sport

Donald Trump Jr. wasted no time politicizing a shooting at YouTube’s headquarters on Tuesday.  

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North Carolina Prisons Finally Banned This Barbaric Practice Used on Pregnant Inmates

North Carolina became the 19th state to prohibit or restrict the shackling of pregnant inmates during childbirth this week, after its director of prisons, Kenneth Lassiter, signed legislation banning the practice.

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This Midwestern State Is Going Further Than Any Other to Give Teachers Guns

Despite nationwide calls for strengthened gun controls, the Kansas legislature is mulling over a bill that would effectively require school teachers to carry guns.

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GOP Congressman Trolls Immigration Advocates With Insulting Proposal for Cesar Chavez's Birthday

Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert on Tuesday filed a House resolution to declare March 31 “National Border Control Day.” The date marks the birthday of Cesar Chavez, the revered Mexican-American labor leader who co-founded the United Farm Workers union.

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Fox News Uses Trumpian Legal Tactics to Keep Bill O’Reilly’s Accusers Quiet

Fox News is distancing itself from its former tentpole personality, Bill O’Reilly, as some of his harassment accusers now want out of their nondisclosure agreements.

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A Worldwide Ranking Says Americans Aren't as Happy as We Used to Be

In the 2018 World Happiness Report, released Wednesday, Finland has jumped four spots since 2017 to succeed Norway as the happiest country. Conversely, the United States fell as many spots, to number 18.

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A California Teacher Almost Shot a Student, Proving We Don't Need Armed Educators

Seaside High School in Monterey County, California, placed teacher Dennis Alexander on administrative leave after he accidentally discharged his gun in his classroom Tuesday.

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A Texas Judge Used a Barbaric Courtroom Punishment on a Defendant Who Pleaded the Fifth

Texas’ Eighth Court of Appeals has ordered a new trial for convicted sex offender Terry Lee Morris after the court found that the sentencing judge shocked the defendant with a powerful stun belt for pleading the Fifth.

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Mississippi Just Passed a Disastrous Anti-Abortion Bill in a Major Blow to Roe v. Wade

The Mississippi State Senate on Tuesday passed by a vote of 35 to 15 House Bill 1510, which would prohibit abortions after 15 weeks except for medical emergencies and “in cases of severe fetal abnormality.”

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These Florida Democrats Have a Bold Strategy for Fighting Back Against the NRA

The liberal PAC Run for Something, which encourages progressive millennial candidates to run for office, ran full-page ads Sunday and Wednesday in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel listing 24 Republican legislators in the state who have an A or A-plus rating from the National Rifle Association and are running unopposed in November. (The NRA considers an A-rating “solidly pro-gun.”)

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5 Other Outrageous Spenders in Trump's Cabinet Besides Ben Carson

There are especially bad times for a government agency to spend $31,561 on a table and chairs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development learned after The New York Times reported on Tuesday that it spent as much on a dining room set for Secretary Ben Carson’s office in late 2017. Around the same time, it's worth noting, the White House sought to “slash HUD’s programs for the homeless, elderly and poor."

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John Kelly's Response to the Rob Porter Scandal Is So Slimy

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly gave staffers in a Friday meeting a revised account of his response to allegations that former staff secretary Rob Porter physically and emotionally abused two ex-wives, according to a Washington Post report.

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In Alarming New Move, ICE Is Now Going After Immigration Activists

Several immigration rights groups on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for “specifically targeting the most vocal immigration activists” in violation of the First Amendment.

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Trump Is Totally Ignoring Daily Advice From the CIA

The Washington Post reported on Friday that Trump is the first president in over half-a-century to forgo the President’s Daily Brief (PDB), a written intelligence document compiled primarily by CIA analysts.

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Alt-Right Troll Chuck C. Johnson Is 'Working Behind the Scenes' to Vet Donald Trump's Cabinet Picks: Report

When infamous far-right troll Chuck C. Johnson told fellow racist Stefan Molyneux last month that he’s been “doing a lot of the vetting” for Donald Trump’s transition team, it seemed like a publicity stunt. Even relative to the president-elect’s transition team, Johnson — recently banned from Twitter for the 25th time — is wholly unqualified to be making such decisions.

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Donald Trump Rang in the New Year With a Convicted Felon and Dubai Billionaire

President-elect Donald Trump rang in the new year not by planning how to run the country, or meeting with his staff and deputies, but by hanging out with a bunch of rich people he may be doing business with and telling them, yet again, that he’s going to cut their taxes.

Palm Beach Daily News got its hands on video of Donald Trump giving a rambling 10-minute speech to 800 guests at his $500-per-plate New Year’s Eve black tie gala at Mar-a-Lago, the president-elect’s private club in Palm Beach, Florida.

The video shows Trump, on mic, promising guests that, “The taxes are coming down, regulations are coming off, we’re going to get rid of Obamacare,” while, to his left, Joseph “Joey No Socks” Cinque — founder and chairman of the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and known associate of Gambino crime family boss John Gotti, claps and fist-pumps. To Trump’s right, another man in a tuxedo holds an ornamental brass eagle.

In 1989, “Joey No Socks” was convicted of felony possession of stolen artwork worth upwards of $100,000. Now, Cinque, through his Academy, gives out Star Diamond awards to upscale hotels — including several of Trump’s. The Associated Press found that roughly half of the Academy’s trustees are Trump-affiliated, but Trump in May denied knowing Cinque: “If a guy’s going to give you an award, you take it. You don’t tend to look up his whole life story.”

“Hussain and the whole family, the most beautiful people, are here from Dubai tonight. And they’re seeing it and they’re loving it,” he said, referring to the club’s ballroom.

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Donald Trump’s New D.C. Hotel Ranks Really Badly, According to Luxury Travel Site

It’s not at all surprising that where Donald Trump sees luxury, people who would know better see garishness.

“The building itself is undoubtedly impressive, but once inside we start to ask questions,” complained Michael Crompton, founder of the invite-only site catering to wealthy travelers. “LTI finds the décor a little garish and more quantity over quality. Service is poor on occasions and lacks confidence. The whole experience seems a little forced and therefore this place is not for the true discerning luxury traveler. But no doubt the tourist hordes will keep the place eternally busy.”

The Washingtonian posted the following update:

In an email to Washingtonian, Crompton piles on to his publication’s initial criticism, writing that the Trump hotel’s gaudiness — and that of the larger Trump brand — runs counter to recent hotel-industry trends. “For quite a while there has been a move towards an understated elegance in new luxury properties,” he writes. “We had similar feelings towards Trump Turnberry (one of Trump’s golf courses in Scotland).”

It seems the restaurant inside Trump’s D.C. hotel, BLT Prime, is no less “garish.” In his review, Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema wrote:

To access the new restaurant in Washington’s most talked-about hotel, you navigate an atrium awash in white marble and carpets, climb two sets of marble stairs and follow a host to a buffed Macassar ebony table near an ornate railing overlooking the lobby. Are we in Vegas?

He concluded: “Curiosity is bound to fill some seats in what is basically another steakhouse in the city’s most controversial hotel.”

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Trump's Impending Arrival in Washington Is Forcing Residents to 'Rethink Their Lives'

Soon to be the world’s most powerful baboon, Donald Trump may be inadvertently fulfilling his campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” as his election is causing D.C. dwellers “to rethink their lives and the reasons that brought them to Washington in the first place.”

According to The Washingtonian, some D.C.-area psychotherapists have seen an increase in patients suffering “lowercase trauma” at the thought of Trump’s impending administration.

Per The Washingtonian:

“This election is . . . causing people to question fundamental beliefs they had about the world. The administration was going to turn over in January regardless, but locals were ready for a Hillary Clinton presidency, and now, faced with Trump as their president-elect, DC’s government employees especially are questioning whether or not they want to remain in their careers, says Gregory Jones, a psychologist at Capital Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness.”

“I’m not interviewing everyone who comes into our practice, but from water cooler conversation, there’s an uptick in this area because there was a real shock — I’d call it a lowercase trauma — but absolutely there are people who are saying this is traumatic: I can’t work, I can’t function, I’m in a fog,” said Keith Miller, a psychotherapist based in the Maryland suburbs. “We were treating panic attacks — in all fairness, these are folks who have a history of it and were in remission, but the trigger is there now and it’s causing their reaction.”

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Donald Trump’s Daughter, Ivanka Trump: Our Next First Lady?

With Melania Trump seemingly uninterested in having anything to do with her husband’s administration, Donald Trump’s transition team is rumored to be transferring the role of first lady to the first daughter.

Since Trump became president-elect, Ivanka, 35, has represented her father on both women’s issues — in a phone call with Nancy Pelosi — and climate change — in a meeting with former Vice President Al Gore.

Ivanka stands well to the left of her father particularly on the issue of climate change, which the president-elect believed to be a hoax “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

“Ms. Trump [is] poised to be perhaps the most influential first daughter since Alice Roosevelt Longworth,” wrote The New York Times earlier this month.

Days later, it was discovered Ivanka, with husband Jared Kushner — himself poised to hold an influential, albeit ambiguous, role in Trump’s Cabinet — was house hunting in Washington, D.C.

Most recently, Ivanka is rumored to be moving into an office in the White House reserved for the first lady, according to CNN’s Sarah Murray:

“This is false,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Hill. “No decisions regarding Ivanka’s involvement have been made.”

Trump announced on Twitter earlier this week that he’d be handing over control of his company, the Trump Organization, to his two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.

Last month, Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, told CNN that the president-elect’s three eldest kids — including Ivanka — would be at the helm of his “blind trust.”

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Kellyanne Conway Should Check Donald Trump's Twitter History Before Telling Democrats to Stop Talking About the Russia Hacks

Former Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway’s latest acrobatic effort to portray the president-elect in a less-than-Satanic light pertained to recent hacking allegations against the Russian government. Conway argued that top Democrats and Hillary Clinton are to blame for chasing a dusty lead and hindering the transition effort.

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Texas Official Defends Deranged Facebook Posts: 'I'm Not a News Source'

Responding to a Texas Tribune report, Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller defended posting fake news on his Facebook page — which has more than 340,000 likes and almost 330,000 followers — during a call-in interview with Austin radio station KUT News.

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Donald Trump's Labor Secretary Pick Andy Puzder, Who Makes 300 Times His Employees, Opposes Minimum Wage Hike

Donald Trump’s cabinet is set to draft another villainous job creator, Andy Puzder, as its secretary of labor.

The CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. parent company CKE Restaurants, Puzder is a staunch opponent of a federal minimum wage increase — views he expressed in a March interview with Business Insider about automated restaurants, “where you order on a kiosk, you pay with a credit or debit card, your order pops up, and you never see a person.”

“With government driving up the cost of labor, it’s driving down the number of jobs,” he whined. “You’re going to see automation not just in airports and grocery stores, but in restaurants.”

“This is the problem with Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton and progressives who push very hard to raise the minimum wage,” he added. “Does it really help if Sally makes $3 more an hour if Suzie has no job?”

To build on his dystopian hypothetical: If Andy makes 291 times more than Sally — let’s call it $4.458 million in 2012 — what thread count must his sheets be for him to be able to sleep at night knowing that Suzie’s out of a job?

“If you’re making labor more expensive, and automation less expensive — this is not rocket science,” Puzder told Business Insider.

He has a point. Cutting overhead isn’t rocket science. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which he will soon oversee, the median annual wage for rocket scientists in 2015 was roughly 41 times smaller than Puzder’s take-home pay.

“We have a grave concerns about this potential nomination,” Christine Owens, executive director of National Employment Law Project, said in a press call Thursday afternoon.

Owens said Puzder’s opposition to a minimum wage hike is “not only inconsistent to the role of the secretary of labor and the priority of raising wages for working people, but it’s really out of line with where most of America is.”

Puzder’s likely nomination, she said, “really is like giving the fox the key to the henhouse.”

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Why the Kochs Are Lovin' Trump's Cabinet Picks

Despite having focused down-ballot in 2016, the Koch brothers—Charles and David—may soon have a more direct line to the Oval Office than ever before, as President-elect Donald Trump stuffs his Cabinet with Koch confidants.

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Why on Earth Did Donald Trump Tap Ben Carson for HUD Secretary?

Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson once said he wouldn’t accept a spot in President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet. According to his latest interview, though, he’s considering a job offer to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Dr. Carson — once a 2016 Republican presidential primary front-runner — guested on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News show Tuesday to effectively announce that he was offered the HUD secretary job and that he’d be “thinking and praying over it seriously over the holiday.”

“Our inner cities are in terrible shape,” Carson told Cavuto. “They definitely need some real attention. There have been so many promises made and nothing has been done. So it certainly is something that has been a long-term interest of mine.”

Asked if he’d formally been offered the job, Carson said, “We have had offers, yes,” and that the HUD position “was one of the offers on the table.”

Cavuto carefully asked the decorated neurosurgeon what the hell he knows about housing and/or urban development.

“I know I grew up in the inner city,” Carson said, “and have spent a lot of time there, have dealt with a lot of patients from there, and recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities.”

Earlier Tuesday, Trump himself confirmed on Twitter that he’s “seriously considering” Carson for HUD secretary: 

Still, the question remains: What qualifies Ben Carson to head HUD?

Michael Scott might offer some insight into Trump’s thought process.

On the American version of “The Office,” Michael Scott (Steve Carell) deferred to black employee Stanley Hudson (Leslie David Baker), who he said offered an “urban vibe,” on all things “ghetto.”

Donald Trump saw keyword “Urban” in the Department of Housing and Urban Development and offered the job to the last black person he talked to.

In his closed-door meeting with The New York Times, Trump similarly suggestedJared Kushner is somehow qualified to mediate peace between Israel and Palestine, adding that his Jewish son-in-law “would be very good at it” because “he knows the region.”

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Sanders Kicks off Controversy Over Identity Politics in the Democratic Party

Liberals have begun scolding Bernie Sanders for challenging identity politics in a speech at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston on Sunday night.

When an audience member asked him how she could become the second Latina senator in U.S. history, Sanders said her gender and ethnicity don’t entitle her to votes.

“I have to know whether that Latina is going to stand up with the working class of this country and is going to take on big money interests,” Sanders said. “It is not good enough for somebody to say, I’m a woman, vote for me. No, that’s not good enough. What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry.”

“In other words, one of the struggles that you’re going to be seeing in the Democratic Party is whether we go beyond identity politics,” he continued. “I think it’s a step forward in America if you have an African-American CEO of some major corporation. But you know what, if that guy is going to be shipping jobs out of this country, and exploiting his workers, it doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot whether he’s black or white or Latino.”

Talking Points Memo published a report under the misleading headline, “Sanders Urges Supporters: Ditch Identity Politics and Embrace the Working Class.”

In the context of his response, Sanders wasn’t suggesting Democrats “ditch” identity politics or separate class from race, but rather that class and race concerns are linked.

As The New Republic’s Clio Chang noted in her criticism of TPM’s piece, “Post-election, there have been attempts to divide the left between those who support identity politics and those who support class politics. But the two are often inextricable, given the large percentage of minorities in the working class.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders in latest speech: "... ... ...racism... ... ... ... ... is .. ... ... ... ... .. ... ... ... ... good... ... ..."

— Current Affairs (@curaffairs) November 21, 2016

Here's the full transcript of Bernie Sanders's statement on identity politics, and it's truly shocking:

— Pixelated Boat (@pixelatedboat) November 21, 2016

To be clear, @BernieSanders did not simply say "Let's end identity politics," but said this. A much more nuanced thought.

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 21, 2016

Despite pushback from triggered reactionaries, Sanders doubled down on his critique of identity politics in a Medium essay on Tuesday.

“To think of diversity purely in racial and gender terms is not sufficient,” he wrote. “Yes, we need more candidates of diversity, but we also need candidates  —  no matter what race or gender  —  to be fighters for the working class and stand up to the corporate powers who have so much power over our economic lives.”

“Our rights and economic lives are intertwined,” he added. “Now, more than ever, we need a Democratic Party that is committed to fulfilling, not eviscerating, Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream of racial, social, and economic justice for all.”

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The Alt-Right Is Spouting White Nationalism and Doing Hitler Salutes in Washington, D.C. - but Dressed Nicely, so Let's Take Its Members Seriously!

The anime Nazis — who fancy themselves “alt-righters” and scare pundits who take their meme threats seriously — have landed in Washington. And the media is eager to find out just what’s going on!

The Los Angeles Times called those attending the National Policy Institute’s conference at the Ronald Reagan Building on Saturday “a victory lap after Donald Trump’s election, assuming what they see as their rightful place influencing the new administration.”

The National Policy Institute — a self-styled alt-right think tank — received special media attention over the weekend as much for its overt ethnic nationalism, it seems, as for its photogenic president, Richard Spencer, a decently educated racist with an undercut.

The fuck is wrong with y'all

— Ira Madison III (@ira) November 21, 2016

“An awakening among everyone has occurred with this Trump election,” Spencer began on Saturday. “We’re not quite the establishment now, but I think we should start acting like it.”

“Acting” is the key word.

The Los Angeles Times (as well as The New York Times) fell for the shtick:

Sitting around conference tables, the formally dressed men more resembled Washington lobbyists  than the robed Ku Klux Klansmen or skinhead toughs that often represent white supremacists, though they share many familiar views.

This new generation is aiming to influence Washington in Washington’s own ways: churning out position papers, lobbying lawmakers . . . and perhaps most importantly, removing the cloak of anonymity to fully join the national political conversation.

Wearing suits doesn’t legitimize the members of a  fringe movement, which — save for the hundred or so goons in the conference room on Saturday — the alt-right will remain for as long as first-person shooters exist.

Oh yeah, and Tila Tequila was there.


The alt-right is in so many ways too weak to influence national policy. Its members are only in the national conversation because they’re often overestimated.

“In terms of policy, Trump’s movement was a little bit half-baked,” Spencer said on Saturday. “Moving forward, the alt-right as an intellectual vanguard can complete Trump.”

The alt-right isn’t “an intellectual vanguard,” though. At best, it’s a hundred chest-thumping folks in a D.C. conference room. At worst, it’s an echo chamber of recycled memes.

“The guys in the suits are the ones we have to worry about,” Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center warned the LA Times. “Beneath the benign-looking guy and the benign-sounding name, the purpose of the National Policy Institute is to push the idea that all men are created unequal.”

That might be something to “worry about” if every alt-righter were as capable as Richard Spencer. But for each Richard Spencer, there are innumerable Matt Forneys.

Forney, a duck-footed goober who blogs about “traditionalism,” ventured out of doors this past summer for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he nearly got his ass beat by the people he harasses online:

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How Jared Kushner, Like Donald Trump, Used His Rich, Privileged Upbringing to Get to the White House

The one thing qualifying Jared Kushner for a spot in his father-in-law’s White House could also disqualify him for a spot in his father-in-law’s White House: nepotism.

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Michael Moore Wants to Lead an Anti-Donald Trump Resistance 'That Will Dwarf Occupy Wall Street'

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore suggested the left form a resistance movement against President-elect Donald Trump.

“That doesn’t make me feel good, the fact that I was right. I never wanted to be more wrong,” Moore told the Times. “I just don’t live in the bubble of New York and L.A. and I was worried with what I was witnessing in the Midwest, the Rust Belt, what I call the ‘Brexit’ states.”

“I’m going to be one of the people leading the opposition to him, that’s going to stop him. It will be a mass movement of millions that will dwarf Occupy Wall Street,” he added. “I don’t believe anyone in the media who says we’re going to have four years of Trump. This is a man who doesn’t have any ideology; the only thing he believes in is Donald Trump. And that’s usually a one-way ticket out of office.”

Moore said that as a consequence of Trump’s victory, “The DNC has to resign. They all have to resign.”

“We’re not going to fix the Democratic Party — we’re going to take it over,” he warned. “The Democratic Party doesn’t seem to get it. Working people that are both African American and white — don’t make it a racial thing — have suffered at the hands of both Republicans and Democrats.”

Describing his involvement with the #NotMyPresident protests going on around country, Moore told CNN’s Don Lemon Thursday that Trump’s “presidency has to be opposed right now.”

“Republicans were ready to start the impeachment hearings on day one against Hillary Clinton,” he said. “The other side needs to be ready to roll right now to do whatever needs to be done.”

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