David Badash

Donald Trump 'sat across from' NY AG and invoked 5th Amendment 'again and again' during deposition

Donald Trump arrived at the New York Attorney General’s Office early Wednesday morning, around 9 AM. At 10:04 AM posted to his Truth Social account was a lengthy statement that says, “under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen.”

Trump was finally forced to appear after a subpoena ordering him to give a deposition on January 7 in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation into his real estate pricing practices. Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen told Congress in 2019 his former boss would increase what he claimed his properties are worth when attempting to arrange credit and decrease their value for tax purposes.

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reported Trump “departed 28 Liberty at 3:20pm slumped in a black Secret Service SUV and peered out of the rear window as his motorcade crawled out of an underground garage past onlookers.”

READ MORE: Legal Experts: ‘Case Against Trump Became Immeasurably Stronger’ After He Says He Pleaded the Fifth

At 3:42 PM Trump posted: “Just leaving the Attorney General’s Office – A very professional meeting.”

The New York Times reports “Trump and James sat across from each other for hours as he said ‘same answer’ again and again.”

Trump “read a statement into the record in which he called the inquiry a continuation of ‘the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country’ and accused Ms. James of having ‘openly campaigned on a policy of destroying me.'”

READ MORE: Experts Call on Trump to Release Search Warrant and Inventory List as His Supporters Talk of ‘Civil War’

That statement is similar to the one posted to his Truth Social account.

Trump’s attorney, Ronald P. Fischetti, “said that over the course of about four hours, with several breaks, Mr. Trump answered only one question, about his name, toward the beginning of the interview.”

That statement Trump posted Wednesday morning attempted to merge the FBI’s Monday raid on his Mar-a-Lago home with his appearance for sworn testimony in a very different case.

Listen: House Democrat tweets audio of graphic death threats from Trump supporter

Democratic U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California on Wednesday posted audio of a violent death threat against him and his family. The Congressman is married and the couple have three children. The speaker in the audio also calls for “all Democrats” to be killed, and ends with a call for “Trump 2024.”

Swalwell is a popular target for the right. He is a former candidate for president, a very visible member of the Democratic Party, and is the Co-Chair of the House Democratic Steering Committee.

The audio is profane and gruesome. In it, a male voice can be heard hoping for decapitations of the Congressman, his wife, and their children. The language is graphic.

READ MORE: House Republicans Visited Trump After FBI Raid to Urge Him to Announce Run for President

The voice also references President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, using horrifically racist slurs, along with Back Lives Matter, immigrants, and Democrats in general.

It also attacks the state of California and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

It ends with a repeated call of “Trump 2024!”

The audio is nearly two minutes long but appears to have been edited, with at least the beginning cut off.

READ MORE: Experts Call on Trump to Release Search Warrant and Inventory List as His Supporters Talk of ‘Civil War’

“LISTEN to this death threat against my children,” Swalwell urges. “Since the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump, McCarthy, and MAGA Republicans are stoking violent rhetoric against lawmakers and law enforcement. Someone is going to get killed.”

In 2019 Swalwell also posted a death threat he received. Fox News’ Tomi Lahren mocked him on social media.

NCRM has opted to not embed the audio but it can be heard here.

'It can be used against him': Legal experts react to Donald Trump pleading the 5th

Legal experts are responding to Donald Trump’s claim that he pleaded the fifth when giving a sworn deposition to lawyers from the Office of the New York Attorney General, saying Letitia James’ case against the former president is now “immeasurably stronger.”

Trump infamously derided others over the years, saying people only invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if they’re guilty.

n a lengthy statement after his testimony Wednesday Trump said, “under the advice of my counsel and for all of the above reasons, I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution.”

READ MORE: House Republicans Visited Trump After FBI Raid to Urge Him to Announce Run for President

“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question,” he added. “When your family, your company and all the people in your orbit have become targets of unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.”

Legal experts disagree.

Popular attorney George Conway declared Attorney General Letitia James’ “case against Trump became immeasurably stronger today.”

He also said, “in any civil case that AG James may bring against Trump, the finder of fact is free to draw adverse inferences from his invocation of the Fifth Amendment’s protections.”

READ MORE: Experts Call on Trump to Release Search Warrant and Inventory List as His Supporters Talk of ‘Civil War’

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti explains, saying, “Trump was right to take the Fifth, but that decision has consequences. While his silence can’t be used against him in a criminal case, it can be used against him in the AG’s civil case.”

“If he is sued,” Mariotti adds, “jurors may be instructed they should presume his answers would have hurt him.”

Attorney Tristan Snell, who successfully prosecuted the Trump University case for the New York Attorney’s Office, offers more insight: “Trump pleads Fifth, refuses to answer NY AG questions about Trump Organization’s alleged tax and financial fraud. This is a civil case — so the court can draw an inference of liability. This is exactly what the AG was hoping to achieve. The case is now even stronger.”

Snell notes also that “Don Jr. and Ivanka did not plead the Fifth, likely because their involvement with the fraud was minimal. Donald Trump pled the Fifth, because he was almost certainly running the fraud.”

Ken White, a popular attorney noted for his “Popehat” Twitter account, offers a different perspective:

“If I’m not mistaken, despite years of speculation and expectation, this is the first time Trump is actually invoking the Fifth to avoid answering questions. It is absolutely the right call in his circumstances.”

Historian Garrett Graff, former editor of Politico magazine adds, “I recognize it’s the important right of any American to take the Fifth, but it’s worth noting how Hillary Clinton say through 11 hours of public Benghazi testimony and sat with the FBI for 3.5 hours amid her emails—and when Trump faces questions, he takes the Fifth.”

House Republicans visited Trump after FBI raid to urge him to announce run for president

House Republicans, including Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), the chair of far-right Republican Study Committee, traveled to Donald Trump‘s Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort one day after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home to urge him to announce his 2024 run for president.

Congressman Banks is a far-right Republican who spread Trump’s “Big Lie,” the false claims about the 2020 election, objected to the certification of the election results, and falsely claimed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was to blame for the January 6 insurrection.

Tuesday night Rep. Banks posted a photo of himself and other members of the House Republican Study Committee at Bedminster, tweeting, “House conservatives are united in standing with President Trump. We will Make America Great Again!”

CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa writes, “Conservative House Republicans have publicly and privately rallied behind Trump in the past 24 hours, including the visit below to Bedminster, where several GOP lawmakers encouraged him to jump into the 2024 race.”

READ MORE: Experts Call on Trump to Release Search Warrant and Inventory List as His Supporters Talk of ‘Civil War’

Trump “told the group he ‘has made up his mind’ about his long-teased run, and ‘enjoyed encouragement’ from them to ‘get the decision out sooner rather than later,'” the New York Post adds Wednesday morning. Banks also told Fox News that Trump “said we are going to like his decision and it is only a matter of time before he will make that decision known.”

READ MORE: ‘He Was Going to Sacrifice You’: Pence Mocked for Rushing to Support Trump After FBI Mar-a-Lago Raid

Rep. Banks has falsely claimed he is the ranking member of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack in a letter to the U.S. Dept. of the Interior in an effort to obtain information about the investigation.

Far right Republicans and Trump supporters have been passionately defending Trump after the FBI executed its search warrant and confiscated reportedly ten cartons believed to include classified documents from Mar-a-Lago that were required to be sent to the National Archives.

Experts dare Donald Trump to share search warrant

Legal experts and other experts are urging – or in some cases, daring – Donald Trump to publish a copy of the FBI’s search warrant and the inventory list of the ten cartons of classified documents removed from Mar-a-Lago’s basement Monday, as his supporters openly call for civil war in response to what the former president called a “raid.”

“After the search, the federal agents hauled away roughly 10 more boxes,” The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

That makes the total number of cartons the former president was storing at his Florida home approximately 25, based on reports that 15 cartons had to be retrieved by the National Archives earlier this year.

READ MORE: ‘He Was Going to Sacrifice You’: Pence Mocked for Rushing to Support Trump After FBI Mar-a-Lago Raid

Almost immediately upon news breaking that the FBI had executed a search warrant, Trump supporters went wild. They formed a convoy outside Mar-a-Lago, and online countless threats of violence and “civil war” have been made.

Tuesday morning CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan posted a graph, noting the “big spike in tweets referencing ‘civil war’ right after the news of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago broke last night.”

Dr. Caroline Orr Bueno posted an image of a large number of tweets that call for civil war and other related threats of violence, including: “I already bought my ammo,” “Civil war! Pick up arms, people!” “Civil War 2.0 just kicked off,” “Let’s do the war,” and “One step closer to a kinetic civil war.”

And Tuesday afternoon NBC News reported, “After Mar-a-Lago search, users on pro-Trump forums agitate for ‘civil war’ — including a Jan. 6 rioter.”

READ MORE: ‘God Anointed Him’: Christian Right Expert Explains Conservative Outrage After FBI Raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Legal experts have made clear they believe FBI’s execution of a lawful federal search warrant is most likely in connection with a national security and counterintelligence operation, not a casual stroll into the private estate of a former U.S. president – and certainly not a political move, like Trump supporters are falsely claiming.

Former Dept. of Justice Inspector General Michael Bromwich, who is also a former Asst. U.S. Attorney at the Southern District of New York (SDNY) notes that “Trump has the search warrant, specifying the crimes being investigated, and the inventory of the items seized.”

READ MORE: ‘Sitting President Asking for Civil War’: Parscale Blames Trump for Insurrection – Says His ‘Rhetoric Killed Someone’

“He has chosen not to share those items publicly although he is free to do so,” Bromwich adds.

Former U.S. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal on MSNBC Tuesday morning:

“Donald Trump, you have a copy of the warrant. It explains what they were looking for, what statutes they think were violated, what judge signed off on that…If you believe this is such an abuse, release the warrant and let us decide for ourselves.”

“By the way,” noted Richard Stengel, a former U.S. Under Secretary of State, “Trump now has the search warrant and the inventory of what was taken in his possession. If this raid was so egregious and unjustified, why not release them?”

“Trump can release the search warrant and the inventory of what the FBI took. Why hasn’t he?” asked Marc Elias, the DNC’s top attorney who successfully fought more than 60 cases of alleged election fraud brought by the Trump team and his supporters.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, responding to a Fox News tweet with video of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that reads, “‘WE DESERVE ANSWERS NOW'” wrote: “Some of those questions could be answered if Trump released the search warrant as well as the inventory of items seized, which his team presumably has.”

Politico’s Kyle Cheney tweeting his article titled, “Why the Trump search warrant is nothing like Hillary’s emails,” wrote: “One person who could clear most of it up? Trump. He has access to the inventory of records at Mar-a-Lago and likely received a copy of the search warrant. He would also know the nature of the classified documents at issue.”

Mike Pence buried for defending Donald Trump

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who was by Donald Trump‘s side constantly promoting and defending him when he was President, and who was subjected to Trump’s support of rioters and insurrectionists calling to “hang Mike Pence,” is being highly criticized and mocked for again rushing to defend Trump in the wake of the FBI’s raid at Mar-a-Lago.

Experts have made clear they believe FBI’s execution of a lawful federal search warrant is most likely in connection with a national security and counterintelligence operation, not a casual stroll into the private estate of a former U.S. president.

But not according to Pence, who is strongly believed to be organizing a 2024 presidential run.

READ MORE: ‘God Anointed Him’: Christian Right Expert Explains Conservative Outrage After FBI Raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

“I share the deep concern of millions of Americans over the unprecedented search of the personal residence of President Trump. No former President of the United States has ever been subject to a raid of their personal residence in American history,” he writes.

“After years where FBI agents were found to be acting on political motivation during our administration, the appearance of continued partisanship by the Justice Department must be addressed,” he claims, which is at best a twisting of facts. No FBI agent was found to have taken official action based on personal political beliefs.

“Yesterday’s action undermines public confidence in our system of justice and Attorney General Garland must give a full accounting to the American people as to why this action was taken and he must do so immediately,” Pence demanded.

READ MORE: ‘This Is a National Security Issue’: Former FBI Agents Note Key Details About ‘Raid’ on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Pence could have made the exact same demand of Donald Trump, who has a copy of the lawfully executed search warrant and inventory of the likely hundreds or thousands of documents that are the rightful property of the U.S. government, and recovered by the FBI from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

Meanwhile, Pence was singing a very different tune in the weeks before he was elected Vice President.

“We call on the FBI to immediately release all emails pertinent to their investigation,” he tweeted about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on October 28, 2016. “Americans have the right to know before Election Day.”

Trump “and I commend the FBI for reopening an investigation into Clinton’s personal email server because no one is above the law,” Pence added just hours later.

Responses to Pence’s remarks on Tuesday were strong.

“Mike he was going to sacrifice you,” tweeted Daily Kos staff writer Gabe Ortíz.

“No President has ever attempted to have an armed mob assassinate his Vice President either,” wrote journalist Marcy Wheeler.

Trump sent a “violent mob to murder you so he could end [the] republic,” tweeted economist David Rothschild. “Trump took boxes of classified documents from White House & is known to destroy documents.”

“Trump won in 2016 because FBI intervened on his behalf over ‘concern’ about Clinton’s document retention & security,” he continued. “Not investigating & prosecuting former president who flaunts breaking law, including leading coup against US, undermines rule-of-law for all of US.”

“You don’t know what the FBI’s warrant said or what evidence was presented to the judge who authorized it,” tweeted U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “Your suggestion that Trump should be beyond accountability to the law, like your silence when Trump called for imprisonment of his opponents as president, harms our country.”

Talking Points memo editor and founder Josh Marshall writes, “this is a good reminder of who Mike Pence is. None of this happened. The FBI never plotted against Trump. To the extent it has org bias it’s toward the right. Everyone knows this. Pence is just repeating anti-‘deep state’ propaganda invented to give Trump cover for his crimes.”

“The pervasive rightwing lie and conspiracy theory that the FBI is controlled by Biden for political purposes is based on the assumption that everyone in the Biden admin, the FBI, the department of justice, the media and secret service is corrupt and abusing power—and trump is not,” wrote Condé Nast legal affairs editor Luke Zaleski.

Vox’s legal expert, Ian Millhiser asks, “Is there anyone on earth more pathetic than Mike Pence? Donald Trump egged on a lynch mob that wanted Pence hanged, and Pence is still Trump’s toady.”

MAGA candidate 'didn't answer a single question' during January 6th Committee testimony

Christian nationalist Doug Mastriano, the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nominee for Pennsylvania who was at the US Capitol on January 6 and is seen as a central figure in the plot to overturn the election, complied with a subpoena to appear before the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack but didn’t answer any questions.

“Trump ally Doug Mastriano’s virtual appearance Tuesday before the House January 6 committee only lasted about 15 minutes,” CNN reports, adding that “‘he didn’t answer a single question,’ according to a source familiar with the matter.”

New York Times reporter Luke Broadwater confirms, adding that Mastriano is “pledging to sue the committee,” although it is unclear on what grounds.

READ MORE: Mastriano’s Consultant Just Posted Video Declaring ‘We Have Multiple Candidates…Who Are Christian Nationalists’

Mastriano is a conspiracy theorist with strong ties to far-right-wing extremists including antisemitic Gab found Andrew Torba.

CNN adds that “Mastriano’s attorney cut off the virtual appearance soon after it began, the source said. His lawyer, Tim Parlatore, took issue with several procedural matters related to the deposition, and raised questions about the legality of the subpoena that Mastriano received from the panel, the source added.”

As of May the Committee had already interviewed over 1000 people and it appears few, if any, have made these claims.

The New Yorker in May called Mastriano “a leader of the Stop the Steal campaign, and claims that he spoke to Donald Trump at least fifteen times between the 2020 election and the insurrection at the Capitol, on January 6th.”

“He urged his followers to attend the rally at the Capitol that led to the riots, saying, ‘I’m really praying that God will pour His Spirit upon Washington, D.C., like we’ve never seen before.’ Throughout this time, he has cast the fight against both lockdowns and Trump’s electoral loss as a religious battle against the forces of evil. He has come to embody a set of beliefs characterized as Christian nationalism, which center on the idea that God intended America to be a Christian nation, and which, when mingled with conspiracy theory and white nationalism, helped to fuel the insurrection.”

The founders repeatedly made clear the U.S. is not nor was created as a Christian nation.

Federal appeals court orders Donald Trump to give tax returns to Congress

A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. ruled Tuesday that the powerful House Ways and Means Committee can be given Donald Trump‘s tax returns.

The decision is “a blow to the former president," as CNN reports. It comes after a Trump-appointed lower court judge had ruled against Trump, allowing the House to gain access to the documents Trump has protected for years.

The former president appealed.

READ MORE: Tax Researcher Reveals Ivana Trump Being Buried at Bedminister Gets Her Ex-Husband a Ton of Tax Breaks

The federal appeals court Tuesday morning upheld the lower court’s ruling, granting the House access. Trump can still appeal.

The House Ways and Means Committee was quick to respond, tweeting: “We expect to receive the requested tax returns and audit files immediately.”

This is a breaking news and developing story.

Donald Trump’s supporters believe 'God anointed him': expert

Veteran journalist Sarah Posner, who has spent years writing about religion and the Christian right, has an explanation for the outraged response from some Trump supporters over the FBI executing a legal search warrant on Mar-a-Lago.

Hours after the news broke, Florida Republican state representative Anthony Sabatini called for “an emergency legislative session” to “Sever all ties with DOJ immediately” over the FBI executing a legal search warrant of Trump’s home. “Any FBI agent conducting law enforcement functions outside the purview of our State should be arrested upon sight,” he wrote, apparently unaware of the U.S. Constitution.

Tuesday night Trump supporters formed a small convoy driving outside Mar-a-Lago, some with Trump banners, Trump flags, or the American flag, – even one vehicle painted with the American flag – to show their support for the former president who might be facing legal consequences, as video from NBC 6 reporter Cristian Benavides shows.

READ MORE: ‘This Is a National Security Issue’: Former FBI Agents Note Key Details About ‘Raid’ on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago


“The GOP position is that Trump is above the law,” writes The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent. “That’s what the GOP position on Trump was throughout his presidency, and that’s what it is now. Say it that way. Don’t let Republicans get away with using fake outrage to obscure this fundamental reality.”

Posner has written two books on the Christian Right including “UNHOLY: How White Christian Nationalists Powered the Trump Presidency, And the Devastating Legacy They Left Behind.”

In response to Sargent’s remarks she advises: “Remember too that much of Trump’s base believes that God anointed him, that it’s God’s will that he be back in the White House. And that they need to engage in ‘spiritual warfare’ with ‘demonic’ enemies of Trump — keep this in mind as right-wing influencers call for civil war.”

READ MORE: IRS Under Trump Allowed a Decades-Old Influential Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group to Change Its Tax Status and Become a Church

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Monday night tweeted, “The FBI is raiding President Trump’s home in Maralago! This is the rogue behavior of communist countries, NOT the United States of America!!! These are the type of things that happen in countries during civil war. The political persecution MUST STOP!!!”

Tuesday morning CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan posted a graph and noted the “big spike in tweets referencing ‘civil war’ right after the news of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago broke last night.”

Dr. Caroline Orr Bueno posted an image of a large number of tweets that mention civil war and other related calls, including: “I already bought my ammo,” “Civil war! Pick up arms, people!” “Civil War 2.0 just kicked off,” “Let’s do the war,” and “One step closer to a kinetic civil war.”

'This is a national security issue': Former FBI agents note key details about 'raid' on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Two former FBI agents are weighing in on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s execution of a search warrant Monday at the Florida residence of Donald Trump, the former President, which he called a “raid.”

“This is a nat sec/CI issue,” tweeted Asha Rangappa Tuesday morning, meaning national security and counterintelligence. Rangappa is an attorney, former FBI special agent, senior lecturer at Yale, and CNN commentator.

She was pointing to a tweet by another former FBI special agent, James Harris.

READ MORE: ‘Coverup of Treason’: Trump-Appointed IG, Under Investigation, Knew of Missing Secret Service and DHS Texts Far Earlier

Harris has an extensive bio, highlights of which include his role at FBI HQ Cyber Division as a Program Manager and then Unit Chief (Acting), FBI Senior Liaison Officer to DHS Cybersecurity and Communications, and FBI Assistant Section Chief of the Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section. Earlier in his FBI career he says he “built up the largest Federal Cybercrime Task Force in the US.”

Harris points to this section of a CNN article published Tuesday morning, written by seven CNN reporters:

“In early June, a handful of investigators made a rare visit to the property seeking more information about potentially classified material from Trump’s time in the White House that had been taken to Florida. The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department, sat down with two of Trump’s attorneys, Bobb and Evan Corcoran, according to a source present for the meeting.”

READ MORE: Trump’s Legal Team Now in ‘Direct Communication’ With DOJ Officials About J6 Criminal Investigation: Report

Harris on Twitter highlights this sentence: “The four investigators, including Jay Bratt, the chief of the counterintelligence and export control section at the Justice Department…”

He tweets: “All you ‘outraged’ GOPers better cool your jets. You might be walking your rhetoric back really fast when you figure out what this seems to be. The devil is in the details.”

In January the National Archives was forced to transport from Mar-a-Lago 15 cartons of documents and other items that, according to the Presidential Records Act and the National Archives, should have been turned over to the Archives.

The FBI’s execution of the search warrant and reports that they left with a large quantity of documents suggests Trump might not have turned over everything taken from the White House.

Rangappa earlier Tuesday tweeted: “Ask yourself: What kind of info makes its way to the WH, and specifically to the president? —> HIGH LEVEL SECRETS. PDB stuff. Defense info. These aren’t low-level diplomatic cables or overclassified State Dept. correspondence. Just saying.”

Donald Trump compares FBI search to Watergate

The FBI on Monday executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump‘s Florida home. While there are no details yet on what federal agents are investigating, Trump quickly put out a statement in which he decries the “assault.”

“These are dark times for our Nation,” writes Trump, who since becoming president has likened himself to the entire country, at times declaring an attack on him to be an attack on the United States.

He continues, saying, “my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents.”

“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before,” which is true, but no president, possibly except Richard Nixon, has been under criminal investigation before.

“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” he claims. Clearly it had ti be approved by the highest levels at not just the FBI – whose director Trump installed – but the Dept. of Justice, likely by Attorney General Merrick Garland or Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

“It is prosecutorial misconduct, the weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024, especially based on recent polls, and who will likewise do anything to stop Republicans and Conservatives in the upcoming Midterm Elections.”

“Such an assault could only take place in broken, Third-World Countries,” he claims, using a term that many consider derogatory to developing countries. “Sadly, America has now become one of those Countries, corrupt at a level not seen before. They even broke into my safe! What is the difference between this and Watergate, where operatives broke into the Democrat National Committee? Here, in reverse, Democrats broke into the home of the 45th President of the United States,” Trump falsely claims.

Mother Jones’ David Corn responds to Trump’s “Watergate” comparison.

“Let’s make this simple: the Watergate break-in was a crime conducted by criminals. This raid was conducted by law enforcement officers who are supposed to catch criminals.”

FBI executes search warrant at Mar-a-Lago

The FBI has executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida home to the former president, Donald Trump, several news outlets are reporting.

First to break the news was the publisher of Florida Politics, Peter Schorsch.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation “today executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, two sources confirm to” Florida Politics, he wrote.

“They just left,” one source said.

He adds cautiously: “Not sure what the search warrant was about.”

But minutes later CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reported: “The FBI executed a search warrant today at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, the former president confirms to CNN in a lengthy statement.”

Schorsch later posted an announcement from Trump:

Collins reports that “Trump says the raid was unannounced and adds, ‘They even broke into my safe.'”

Earlier this year former top FBI official Frank Figliuzzi at MSNBC noted a federal grand jury was impaneled to investigate “the handling of 15 boxes of classified White House documents that were squirreled away at Mar-a-Lago.”

There is no current reporting indicating that is why the FBI was at Mar-a-Lago.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated.

Biden travels to Kentucky to console flood survivors as McConnell and Paul go 'MIA'

On the first full day he has been free from COVID President Joe Biden traveled to Kentucky, the home state of the Senate Republican Minority Leader, to visit with flood survivors devastated by lost lives and lost property.

On August 1, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced the historic floods had killed 37 people. Hundreds more were unaccounted for.

“I still have aunts and uncles that are stuck in hollers. They are diabetics. They need insulin,” Knott County resident Zack Hall said to CNN the following day, August 2. “I went to visit one yesterday — was lucky enough to get up there (and deliver supplies) with an ATV. But there was no road … and that’s what people need to understand, is the infrastructure here is just completely destroyed and it makes relief efforts [difficult].”

READ MORE: ‘It’s So Gross’: NY Times Blasted for Negative Reporting on Biden by ‘Blindered Horse-Race Analysts’

On Monday, six days later, President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden flew down to Kentucky, where they were met by Gov. Beshear. The President, the governor, and the First Lady toured the devastation as President Biden spoke privately and on camera with survivors.

Conspicuously absent? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky. Neither according to reports have toured the devastation.

Not absent was public support for the President and public outrage for the two Kentucky Republicans.

READ MORE: Republicans Largely Ignore Biden Killing of Top al-Qaeda Terrorist While Some Use It to Attack the President

“I’m a Kentuckian born and raised,” wrote former pro-basketball player Rex Chapman, now a social media influencer who has played on four NBA teams. “It is absolutely mind boggling to me that Joe Biden has been to visit families of eastern Kentucky who’ve been absolutely devastated by floods — and Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul haven’t.”

Chapman’s remarks were in response to this video of President Biden in Kentucky on Monday.

In. it, Biden says the survivors he talked to are “not just Kentuckians, they’re Americans.”

“This happened in America,” Biden said forcefully. “And everybody has an obligation to help.”

“I promise you,” He told the survivors, “we’re staying, the federal government along with the state and county, we’re staying until everybody’s back to work.”

And he promised they would not just be made whole, but “better than they were before.”

Chapman added, “Biden has had COVID – and the second he could go to Kentucky he went. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell live there and they couldn’t be bothered.”

Award-winning political and communications strategist Greg Pinelo weighed in, writing: “Noting for the record, Joe Biden went to the disaster zone in Kentucky before either Mitch McConnell or Rand Paul. They’ll say they were busy voting against climate change action and making insulin affordable, but it’s been 8 days.”

Coincidentally, Biden and the Democrats on Sunday capped the price of insulin for Medicare patients at $35 and passed the largest bill to address climate change in history. Republicans killed an legislation that would have capped the price at $35 for all Americans. Earlier in his term President Biden signed into law a huge infrastructure bill that would help prevent flooding and create roads and bridges that would withstand heavy flooding.

This isn’t the first time McConnell and Paul were MIA as President Biden turned natural disaster devastation. In mid December last year Biden traveled to Dawson Springs, Kentucky, to visit with survivors of massive tornado damage.

One day later award-winning writer Chip Franklin tweeted, “Who else thinks its reprehensible Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul refused to accompany President Biden in Kentucky?”

Noting Biden isn’t doing this to score political points, attorney Adam B. Bear wrote Monday: “The last time Kentucky voted for a Democrat in a Presidential race was for Bill Clinton in 1996. Not to forget about Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul… Regardless, President Biden is in KY consoling people whose lives have been upended by a terrible storm.”

Others on social media also blasted McConnell and Paul.

Journalist Aaron Rupar noted, “Biden lost Kentucky by 26 points. He works for Kentuckians all the same, as any solid president should.”

“Rand paul? Mia,” tweeted one user, noting Sen. Paul is missing in action. Her bio says she’s a “life long republican. US Navy vet,” and “unabashed anti trump.”

“Mitch McConnell? Mia. The dude with the paper towels?” she added, referring to President Donald Trump’s disastrous visit to hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico, “Mia.”

See videos above or at this link.

January 6th panel will interview Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial nominee

The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack will receive sworn testimony from Doug Mastriano, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania’s nominee to be governor. Mastriano, who has strong ties to far right wing extremists, is a current state senator, and an anti-democracy Christian nationalist who has promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory. He attended Donald Trump’s January 6 rally and reportedly was seen at the Capitol that day.

The New York Times has described Mastriano as a “prominent figure in former President Donald J. Trump’s futile efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election results,”

Mastriano was subpoenaed to testify before the Committee in June, and is expected to testify on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Mastriano’s Consultant Just Posted Video Declaring ‘We Have Multiple Candidates…Who Are Christian Nationalists’

He reportedly paid Gab, a far right-wing social media platform headed by Andrew Torba, a white Christian nationalist with antisemitic views, $5000. Mastriano has praised Torba, saying, “Thank god for what you have done.”

Late last week Mastriano was reportedly trying to renege on his commitment too testify, Politico reported. His attorney wanted to record the deposition, which the January 6 Committee likely refused to allow.

But now he is scheduled for Tuesday.

Mastriano, “who was on the restricted grounds of the Capitol on Jan. 6, is set to appear for a virtual deposition with the Jan. 6 Committee on Tuesday, his attorney confirms,” tweets NBC News Justice reporter Ryan Reilly, citing reporting from NBC’s Julia Jester.

The New Yorker in May called Mastriano “a leader of the Stop the Steal campaign, and claims that he spoke to Donald Trump at least fifteen times between the 2020 election and the insurrection at the Capitol, on January 6th.”

“He urged his followers to attend the rally at the Capitol that led to the riots, saying, ‘I’m really praying that God will pour His Spirit upon Washington, D.C., like we’ve never seen before.’ Throughout this time, he has cast the fight against both lockdowns and Trump’s electoral loss as a religious battle against the forces of evil. He has come to embody a set of beliefs characterized as Christian nationalism, which center on the idea that God intended America to be a Christian nation, and which, when mingled with conspiracy theory and white nationalism, helped to fuel the insurrection.”

The Times last month reported Mastriano was “addressing a far-right conference that mixed Christian beliefs with conspiracy theories, called Patriots Arise. Instead of focusing on issues like taxes, gas prices or abortion policy, he wove a story about what he saw as the true Christian identity of the nation, and how it was time, together, for Christians to reclaim political power.”

“The separation of church and state was a ‘myth,’ he said. ‘In November we are going to take our state back, my God will make it so.'”

New York Times blasted for negative presidential coverage

After President Joe Biden and Democrats in the House and Senate were closing an exceptional week of success after success on Saturday, pulling into a Senate vote that would transform the U.S. response to climate change, combat inflation, lower Medicare prescription drug prices and the federal deficit, and increase the energy supply, The New York Times published an article attacking the American president, depicting him as weak and ineffective, while speaking primarily, almost entirely, only to Republican pollsters, strategists, and politicians.

Critics, journalists, and even some New York Times readers are calling out the paper of record, and its top reporters.

“In Senate Battle, Democrats Defy Biden’s Low Standing (for Now)” was the title of the Saturday article that essentially was a megaphone for the MAGA crowd, published in the Times’ politics section.

The article’s subhead made clear what readers could expect: “’The billion-dollar question,’ as one Republican pollster put it, is whether Democratic candidates in crucial Senate races can continue to outpace the president’s unpopularity.”

READ MORE: Fox News Mocked for ‘Desperately’ Trying to Spin ‘Blockbuster’ Jobs Report Into Attack on Biden

“In a Senate split 50-50,” wrote the Times’ Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman, “Democrats on the campaign trail and in Congress have zero margin for error as the party tries to navigate a hostile political environment defined chiefly by President Biden’s albatross-like approval ratings,”

Rather than describe historic legislation as productive for the American people, and literally, a massive undertaking that will have positive global effects, the Times reporters opted to frame the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as a partisan, political scheme.

“In Washington, Senate Democrats are racing to bolster their position, pressing for a vote as soon as Sunday on a sweeping legislative package that represents their last, best sales pitch before the midterms to stay in power.”

Dan Froomkin, editor of Press Watch, latched onto to Times article and reporters.

READ MORE: ‘Ain’t No Recession’: Economists Praise ‘Huge’ Employment Numbers – ‘We’re Back, Baby’

“The only context that matters to these blindered horse-race analysts is Biden’s approval rating. The lies, the conspiracy theories, the threat to democracy,” he noted, presumably referring to Trump, “are irrelevant.”

Soledad O’Brien, the well-known former CNN anchor who now is chair of the Starfish Media Group, which she founded, and host of “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien,” and is a frequent critic of the media offered her thoughts:

“It’s so gross,” she responded.

“And it gets worse,” Froomkin added. “Look who they quote: Republican pollster, anonymous Republican strategists, dude who runs Republican Super PAC, Mitch McConnell, one Dem pollster, Republican strategist, Republican Senate candidate, Republican Senate candidate, Republican strategist…”

Indeed, Haberman and Goldmacher quote “Robert Blizzard, a Republican pollster,” “Republican strategists involved in Senate races, granted anonymity to speak candidly,” “Steven Law, who leads the main Senate Republican super PAC,” “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader,” “Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster,” “Corry Bliss, a veteran Republican strategist,” Joe O’Dea, a GOP candidate, GOP Senate nominee Blake Masters, “Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist advising a super PAC supporting Mr. Masters,” and “Christina Freundlich, a Democratic consultant.”

READ MORE: ‘Trump Was Taking Saudi Blood Money – Biden Was Killing Terrorists’: Experts Weigh in on Historic Counterterrorism News

That’s seven Republicans, an unknown number of unnamed anonymous GOP strategists, and two Democrats.

In a negative article about President Joe Biden, The New York Times didn’t include any quotes from President Joe Biden or the White House. Not even anonymous ones.

The Times almost entirely ignored Biden’s accomplishments from the past week chocked full of wins.

Here’s how Haberman and Goldmacher served up those facts:

“With a strong job report on Friday, long-stalled legislation moving and gas prices on the decline — albeit from record highs — it is possible that Mr. Biden’s support could tick upward.”

By contrast, on Sunday the Associated Press reported on Biden’s “legacy-defining wins,” including noting that a “summer lawmaking blitz has sent bipartisan bills addressing gun violence and boosting the nation’s high-tech manufacturing sector to Biden’s desk, and the president is now on the cusp of securing what he called the ‘final piece’ of his economic agenda with Senate passage of a Democrats-only climate and prescription drug deal once thought dead.”

That economic agenda is what the Times called “a sweeping legislative package that represents their last, best sales pitch before the midterms to stay in power.”

A CNN opinion piece Friday noted “Joe Biden sure is suddenly notching up an impressive string of victories. And they’re not minor. In fact, Biden is on a roll when it comes to both domestic and foreign policy.”

Over a week ago, NBC News’ senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur noted, “If this deal passes,” referring to the Inflation Reduction Act, which did pass on Sunday, “Biden will have inked wins on: Drug pricing, Climate/ACA $, Higher taxes on corporations, $1.9T Covid rescue plan, $1.2T infrastructure law, New gun law, Chips/China bill, KBJ on SCOTUS, 73+ lower court judges, VAWA re-up, Postal reform.”

He adds: “This is not a trivial agenda.”

That list did not include all the wins Biden had last week before the IRA passed, including: 528,000 jobs added in July, unemployment at a 50-year low (3.5%), the killing of terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, CHIPS Act passage, PACT Act passage to help veterans affected by toxic burn pits, and gas prices dropping daily.

Meanwhile, others continued to blast the Times’ reporting.

“Hard to believe this kind of bad, ‘conventional wisdom’ reporting is still happening, where they’re saying Biden is ‘albatross’ around Dem candidates’ necks and it’s all…a mystery….” tweeted Michelangelo Signorile, a veteran journalist, SiriusXM Progress host, and writer of books and a Substack newsletter.

Some New York Times readers in the paper’s own comments section were equally critical.

“Times pundits fail to distinguish between ‘job approval’ polls versus the relative popularity of the two parties’ agendas,” wrote Baxter Jones. “Republican candidates have no agenda beyond tax cuts for their big contributors, banning all abortions, voter suppression, and abolishing Obamacare with no clue of how to replace it. Oh, and climate change denial.”

Another reader wrote: “Nothing about abortion or extremism? No Democrats to quote? I hope there will be a follow up from a Democratic perspective.”

“Wow!” wrote yet another reader. “I can’t believe the premise of this article is so simplistic. Nothing is happening in this election other than how popular Joe Biden is. No mention of the anti-choice crowd and the shellacking they took in Kansas. Or how voter registration has vastly increased across the country since the Dobbs decision. (And one of the authors is a woman, presumably of liberal bent.)”

“No mention of the fact that the recent legislation passed (and passing, as I write this on Saturday night) by the Democrats is wildly popular with wide swaths of the populace, and even more popular with narrow swaths such as veterans,” they continued.

“If all you have to do to control the congress is lambast the incumbent president, then we should start doing that the moment another Republican gets into the White House. Whence all this ‘hate Joe Biden,’ stuff. Populism, or right-wing radio with nothing else to sell? I hope most Americans are smarter than that.”

New bombshell book on Trump reveals he wanted to be treated like Hitler: 'Totally loyal'

Two of the country’s best journalists have published reporting from their new book about Donald Trump that includes huge bombshells, including that as president he compared himself to Hitler, in a positive way for both men. Trump, essentially, imagined himself as Hitler, and wanted his generals to display unflinching, unquestioning loyalty.

“Trump’s love affair with ‘my generals’ was brief, and in a statement for this article the former President confirmed how much he had soured on them over time,” The New Yorker’s Susan B. Glasser and The New York Times’ Peter Baker write at The New Yorker, in an piece titled, “Inside the War Between Trump and His Generals.”

“These were very untalented people and once I realized it, I did not rely on them, I relied on the real generals and admirals within the system,” Trump wrote to them.

READ MORE: ‘Clear and Present Danger’: Conservative Former Judge Testifies Donald Trump and Allies Are Threat to Democracy (Video)

“It turned out that the generals had rules, standards, and expertise, not blind loyalty. The President’s loud complaint to John Kelly one day was typical: ‘You fucking generals, why can’t you be like the German generals?'” Glasser and Baker reveal.

“Which generals?” Kelly asked.

“The German generals in World War II,” Trump responded.

“You do know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?” Kelly said.

Two of the country’s best journalists have published reporting from their new book about Donald Trump that includes huge bombshells, including that as president he compared himself to Hitler, in a positive way for both men. Trump, essentially, imagined himself as Hitler, and wanted his generals to display unflinching, unquestioning loyalty.

“Trump’s love affair with ‘my generals’ was brief, and in a statement for this article the former President confirmed how much he had soured on them over time,” The New Yorker’s Susan B. Glasser and The New York Times’ Peter Baker write at The New Yorker, in an piece titled, “Inside the War Between Trump and His Generals.”

“These were very untalented people and once I realized it, I did not rely on them, I relied on the real generals and admirals within the system,” Trump wrote to them.

READ MORE: ‘Clear and Present Danger’: Conservative Former Judge Testifies Donald Trump and Allies Are Threat to Democracy (Video)

“It turned out that the generals had rules, standards, and expertise, not blind loyalty. The President’s loud complaint to John Kelly one day was typical: ‘You fucking generals, why can’t you be like the German generals?'” Glasser and Baker reveal.

“Which generals?” Kelly asked.

“The German generals in World War II,” Trump responded.

“You do know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?” Kelly said.

“But, of course, Trump did not know that. ‘No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him,’ the President replied.”

That’s just one bombshell.

The article is drawn on reporting from their upcoming book, “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021.”

Glasser and Baker obtained a resignation letter Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley wrote to Trump after the Lafayette Square Bible photo-op incident.

Two of the country’s best journalists have published reporting from their new book about Donald Trump that includes huge bombshells, including that as president he compared himself to Hitler, in a positive way for both men. Trump, essentially, imagined himself as Hitler, and wanted his generals to display unflinching, unquestioning loyalty.

“Trump’s love affair with ‘my generals’ was brief, and in a statement for this article the former President confirmed how much he had soured on them over time,” The New Yorker’s Susan B. Glasser and The New York Times’ Peter Baker write at The New Yorker, in an piece titled, “Inside the War Between Trump and His Generals.”

“These were very untalented people and once I realized it, I did not rely on them, I relied on the real generals and admirals within the system,” Trump wrote to them.

READ MORE: ‘Clear and Present Danger’: Conservative Former Judge Testifies Donald Trump and Allies Are Threat to Democracy (Video)

“It turned out that the generals had rules, standards, and expertise, not blind loyalty. The President’s loud complaint to John Kelly one day was typical: ‘You fucking generals, why can’t you be like the German generals?'” Glasser and Baker reveal.

“Which generals?” Kelly asked.

“The German generals in World War II,” Trump responded.

“You do know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?” Kelly said.

“But, of course, Trump did not know that. ‘No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him,’ the President replied.”

That’s just one bombshell.

The article is drawn on reporting from their upcoming book, “The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021.”

Glasser and Baker obtained a resignation letter Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley wrote to Trump after the Lafayette Square Bible photo-op incident.

“The events of the last couple weeks have caused me to do deep soul-searching, and I can no longer faithfully support and execute your orders,” Milley wrote. “It is my belief that you were doing great and irreparable harm to my country.”

Milley, in the letter he ultimately did not give Trump, accused him of “using the military to create fear in the minds of the people,” saying “we are trying to protect the American people. I cannot stand idly by and participate in that attack, verbally or otherwise, on the American people.”

“I swore an oath to the Constitution of the United States and embodied within that Constitution is the idea that says that all men and women are created equal,” the letter also says. “All men and women are created equal, no matter who you are, whether you are white or Black, Asian, Indian, no matter the color of your skin, no matter if you’re gay, straight or something in between.”

“We’re all Americans. That under these colors of red, white, and blue—the colors that my parents fought for in World War II—means something around the world. It’s obvious to me that you don’t think of those colors the same way I do. It’s obvious to me that you don’t hold those values dear and the cause that I serve.”

He also wrote: “it is my deeply held belief that you’re ruining the international order, and causing significant damage to our country overseas, that was fought for so hard by the Greatest Generation that they instituted in 1945.”

Read the entire article here.

Fewer than half of Florida voters would choose 'polarizing' DeSantis: new poll

Ron DeSantis is facing much more challenging odds of winning re-election than some would assume as a just-released poll finds less than half of Floridians would vote for their Republican governor.

The poll, released by Florida progressive groups but more heavily weighted toward a GOP electorate finds just 48 percent of all registered voters would vote for DeSantis, and 43 percent would choose the Democratic nominee, Florida Politics reports. The Democratic gubernatorial primary is August 23, between U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, their former governor, and Nikki Fried, the current commissioner of agriculture.

“About 2,244 registered Florida voters [were] weighted to reflect a midterm electorate favorable to Republicans. Respondents were surveyed between July 26 and 31.” The poll was released by by Progress Florida and Florida Watch.

READ MORE: Ron DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law Goes Into Effect as Schools Scramble to Avoid Parental Lawsuits

DeSantis is viewed favorably by 50% of voters, but unfavorably by 48%.

“Given his financial advantage DeSantis remains a favorite to win re-election, but his polarizing nature could put a ceiling on his support,” a memo from pollsters Geoff Puryear and Annika Ramnath reads.

Given DeSantis’ nearly-daily press conferences, often surrounded by children or law enforcement, many forget he won his gubernatorial election in an extremely tight race, by 32,463 votes, a margin of just 0.4%.

READ MORE: ‘Combative’ Press Secretary for Ron DeSantis Registers as Foreign Agent After DOJ Inquiry: Report

To beat DeSantis the Democratic candidate would need to overcome the poll’s five-point spread, meaning securing more than half of the nine percent of undecideds or pulling several points away from DeSantis, or greatly increasing Democratic voter turnout. Back in April DeSantis decried Democrats moving to Florida, calling it “a problem” because “they would continue to vote the same way.”

The polling memo notes that 65% of Florida voters “prefer the Democratic message” on abortion.

“Democrats in Florida need to make sure that as surely as abortion rights were on the ballot in Kansas…abortion rights are on the ballot this fall, and that voters know that Marci Rubio, Ron DeSantis, and legislative Republicans support extreme abortion bans, even for victims of rape and incest,” the pollsters’ memo adds.

DeSantis has doubled down on many of his highly controversial moves, including signing into law the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which made nationwide news for months. He reversed a 50-year law that effectively granted Disney World the ability to assume most governmental operations for its district, as a punishment for the company, a huge employer in the Sunshine State, speaking out in opposition to the anti-LGBTQ law.

Authoritarianism exert Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian at New York University, in June told Insider DeSantis is “a very dangerous individual” because “he is equally repressive, but doesn’t have the baggage of Trump.”

'Performatively protest': Grassley chastised for tweeting angry complaint he has to stay in DC to 'fight' major Dem bill

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) Friday afternoon posted an angry tweet complaining he will be missing his annual family reunion this weekend after Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer scheduled a vote on the Inflation Reduction Act, major, historic legislation to combat inflation and climate change, lower Medicare prescription drug prices and the federal deficit, and increase the energy supply.

It’s not going well for the 88-year old Republican who is running for re-election this year.

Leader Schumer in the past two weeks has pulled out a series of delicately balanced yet absolutely massive wins, convincing both Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to support the bill which they previously poised to oppose in different forms. It is a huge win for President Joe Biden and his agenda, the Democrats, and the American people.

READ MORE: Grassley slammed for turning photo with Iowa Family who drove 856 miles to DC into 'cheap political talking point'

Senator Grassley apparently thinks otherwise.

First elected to Congress in 1974, Sen. Grassley has a well-known and unique style of tweeting.

“Each Dec Schumer puts out schedule for Senate I set Grassley family reunion based on schedule,” he wrote in his complaint. “For 2nd yr in row I won’t be at reunion I’m in DC to fight Dems irresponsible tax&spend bill. Need a Republican majority to hv schedule we can count on & A RESPONSIBLE FISCAL AGENDA.”

Not many were pleased with the Iowa Republican’s remarks.

“Sir, I could not care less about your vacation,” wrote Charlotte Clymer, a well-known writer, LGBTQ activist, and veteran. “Ask any service member who’s had leave approved for a family vacation and then had it cancelled at the last minute because of needs of the unit. If our military can be called on to do this, so can you. Stop whining and do your job.”

READ MORE: 'Quit filibustering it!': Angry constituents challenge Chuck Grassley over inaction on gun control

Attorney Luppe Luppen unleashed his own anger: “Sorry kids grandpa can’t be here this weekend. He loves you very much, but, even though he’s 88 years old, he has no other options in his life but to remain in Washington to performatively protest any action on climate change and oppose Medicare negotiating lower drug prices.”

Benjamin Dreyer, the copy chief at Random House and the popular author of “Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style,” offered this suggestion: “So retire.”

“Sir, this highly coherent tweet will catch fire with middle America!” mocked Josh Marshall, the founder and editor of Talking Points Memo.

Brian Tyler Cohen, a popular political commentator and podcast host tweeted, “Nothing says ‘re-elect me’ quite like tweeting how your government position gets in the way of your vacations.”

“Oh no, you were inconvenienced,” mocked journalist Christopher Harress. “Welcome to the real world. It happens to regular people all the time.”

Award-winning journalist Steven Greenhouse offered the Senator no solace, mocking him to his grandchildren:

“Dear Grassley Grandchildren,” he wrote. “Sorry but Grandpa is missing the reunion so he can go to Washington to vote against the most important measures ever taken in the US to fight climate change. Sorry, grandkids, but Grandpa is battling to make the climate worse for your generation.”

READ MORE: GOP senator blasted for calling pandemic a mere 'interlude' that interrupted the Trump tax cut economy

Listen: Candidate to oversee all Minnesota elections questions if non-English speaking citizens 'should be voting'

A Republican candidate to become the Minnesota Secretary of State is questioning if citizens in that state who don’t speak English or who have a disability should even be allowed to vote.

Kim Crockett, a former vice president at a conservative think tank, was speaking about a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that found people with a disability and people who do not speak English can be allowed to receive help in voting.

“So, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that indeed you can help an unlimited number of people vote if they are disabled or can’t read or speak English, which raises the question, should they be voting?” she said during a September 2020 radio interview, HuffPost reports.

READ NOW: Eric Trump told Minnesotans to get out and vote. Today — a week after the election

If elected as Minnesota’s Secretary of State Crockett would oversee all elections statewide, and be responsible for enforcing election laws while ensuring citizens are allowed to vote, and ensuring policies are in place to help them do so.

Crockett has a history of antisemitic remarks and supporting Donald Trump’s Big Lie that he won the 2020 election.

HuffPost reports on Crockett’s antisemitic remarks:

“I think of America, the great assimilator, as a rubber band, but with this — we’re at the breaking point,” Crockett said, according to The New York Times. “These aren’t people coming from Norway, let’s put it that way. These people are very visible.”

READ NOW: Mike Lindell says that he has dumped $30 million into proving Donald Trump's Big Lie

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party put out a press release noting that in 2022, “Crockett was heavily criticized for playing an anti-Semitic video during the Republican State Convention, which depicted a Jewish philanthropist as a puppet master controlling Minnesota’s Secretary of State, who is also Jewish and election lawyer Marc Elias, who is also Jewish. Casting a Jewish individual as a puppet master who controls events is a common anti-Semitic trope.”

Heartland Signal published the audio of Crockett’s remarks, which you can hear below or at this link.

Rick Scott tells CPAC Democrats’ policies are 'evil,' the 'militant left' is the 'enemy' and the 'greatest danger we’ve ever faced'

U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) gave a lengthy speech at CPAC on Friday in Dallas, telling far right conservatives that Democratic policies are “evil,” the “militant left” is the “enemy” and “the greatest danger” America has ever faced while claiming Democrats are “wacky” socialists, and socialism is responsible for the deaths of 100 million people,

After calling U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) “one of the most principled individuals I know” who “will always stand up for what he believes,” Scott told attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the “militant left wing in our country has become the enemy within” and is “the greatest danger we’ve ever faced.”

Scott took his audience on a long tour of 20th century history, but along the way equated “the militant left” with “the woke left” who he says has now “seized…control of our economy, our culture and our country.”

READ NOW: Republican Sen. Rick Scott continues to distance himself from his own tax hike plan

He then equated “the woke left” with the entire Democratic Party, suggesting Democrats are socialists, and socialists are communists before declaring: “Socialism leads to two things, poverty and depression. Socialism is not a new idea. It’s one of the dumbest, oldest, most despised ideas of the 20th century that resulted in the deaths of 100 million people.”

Scott is likely referring to mass killings under communist regimes, including the Holocaust, genocides, crimes against humanity, and even mass famines – none of which have anything to do with socialism or the Democratic Party.

“When you turn on the news at night do you even recognize the country you see?” Scott asked. “Are you worried for your family? Are you worried for your freedoms?”

“The woke left now controls the Democrat Party, the entire federal government, the news media, academia, big tech Hollywood, most corporate boardrooms, and now even some of our top military leaders,” he said.

READ NOW: Watch: Psaki destroys reporter who claims Republicans are not supporting Rick Scott’s extremist theocracy roadmap

“They are working hard to redefine our country, silence their opponents – and that means that each of you.”

“They are destroying everything they touch, and they’ve got their hands on everything. Here’s the thing about what they’re trying to destroy: American patriotism. Border security. American history. Gender. Traditional morality. Capitalism. Fiscal responsibility. Opportunity. Rugged individualism. Judeo-Christian values. Free speech. Law enforcement. Religious liberty. Parental involvement in schools. And even private ownership of firearms.”

“The woke left wants all of that gone. They want to end the American experiment,” he claimed.

“They want to replace freedom with their control. The elites in the government are telling us what we can and cannot believe what we can think and what we can do. They want to completely control our lives. Woke government schools. Woke government run health care. Woke government run media. Woke government run everything. In their new socialist order, everyone will obey and no one will be allowed to complain. You do speak up, boom, you’re going to be canceled. Your views if you don’t conform with big tech, Fauci, or Neil Young, you’re gonna be taken off Spotify, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.”

“The militant left in America or the modern day version of book burners,” he said, one of his few remarks that drew applause.

Senator Scott continued his attack.

“The modern wacky left Democrat has never read George Orwell,” he continued. “They don’t know they’re making his predictions come true. Let’s be clear. What the militant left is now proposing is not simply wrong, it is evil.”

“It is evil and the results are evil,” he added, minutes later asking: “Is this the beginning of the end? Of America?”

“It’s time to take our country back.”

Watch a portion of Sen. Scott’s remarks below or at this link.

Fox News mocked for 'desperately' trying to negatively spin 'blockbuster' jobs report

The propagandists at Fox News are trying to find ways to spin Friday’s excellent jobs report and economic news into an attack on President Joe Biden and Democrats. It’s not going well for them.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July jobs numbers Friday morning as scheduled.

CNN called it a “massive jobs surprise.” Even CNBC’s conservative editor Rick Santelli, who sparked the Tea Party movement with an on-air rant, heralded the jobs report as “a whopper.”

Analysts overall expected the report to find about 258,000 new jobs created, but it was more than double that, with 528,000 new jobs. Unemployment dropped slightly to 3.5%, which is far below the 5% mark economists used to use as a marker of “full employment.”

READ MORE: ‘Ain’t No Recession’: Economists Praise ‘Huge’ Employment Numbers – ‘We’re Back, Baby’

Economists cheered the results, with even those often more pessimistic finding the jobs report excellent news. Overall, many made clear there is no recession, and predicted inflation will come under control as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates, and as the price of gas has dropped tremendously, with some stations now selling at under $3.00 a gallon.

Meanwhile, Fox News decided to use the White House’s prediction that the jobs numbers would not be great against them.

The Daily Beast’s media reporter Justin Baragona posted a screenshot of Fox News’s chyron that blasts the White House for not getting the estimate right. A casual observer, say, in an airport, would likely assume the jobs report was bad and blame the Biden administration.

It reads: “WH Misses Forecast on Lower July Jobs Growth.”

Media Matters’ Eric Kleefeld notes how Fox News Business’s Larry Kudlow, a former Trump top advisor, and former Trump advisor Kevin Hassett both predicted the jobs number would come in exactly the same as what the Biden White House predicted, and were preparing since Thursday for bad news: Public Notice’s Aaron Rupar says Fox News is suggesting the jobs report is too good:

Attorney Brad Moss, a frequent social media commenter, observed: “Fox News is desperately trying to spin this blockbuster jobs report against Biden. If Trump was in office, they’d be running celebration videos complete with champagne.”

Just after 8:30 AM ET when the report was released “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade immediately mocked President Joe Biden as they shared the numbers.

Fox News Business’ Charles Payne was on set to discuss the report. Looking for the negative spin he announced that the jobs number was the best since March, adding the numbers had “been trending lower since March sequentially.”

Begrudgingly admitting “it’s a really good number,” he pivoted to “participation” in the workforce. he called it “amazing that we have not gotten back up to the same level of participation” since before COVID.

But as CNBC reported: “private sector payrolls are now higher than the February 2020 level, just before the pandemic declaration.”

'Ain't no recession': Economics laud latest jobs report

Employers in July hired more than double the number of people experts had predicted, 528,000, after many predicted the number to be just 258,000. Unemployment is now at the lowest level in half a century, at 3.5%.

CNBC calls today’s report from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics “far better than expected, defying signs that the economic recovery is losing steam.”

That was far from the only good news in Friday’s release.

“Wage growth also surged higher, as average hourly earnings jumped 0.5% for the month and 5.2% from the same time a year ago,” CNBC notes. “Despite downbeat expectations, the July gains were the best since February and well ahead of the 388,000 average job gain over the past four months.

“The bureau noted that private sector payrolls are now higher than the February 2020 level, just before the pandemic declaration,” a massive accomplishment, as economists are noting.

Economist Justin Wolfers, a professor at University of Michigan, New York Times contributor and a Senior Fellow at Brookings sums up today’s news.

“Put that recession talk away, and change the subject. A vibecession ain’t no recession: July payrolls came in at a huge +528k, and unemployment is down to 3.5%. A whap-bop-a-loopa-a-whap-bam-boo!”

Minutes later he added: “Hang on… I just-recalculated the unemployment rate (to extra decimal places), and at 3.46%, THIS IS THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN OVER HALF A CENTURY.”

Wolfers, continuing to examine the report, finds even more good news.

READ MORE: ‘Did Not Further Investigate’: FBI Director Reveals Trump White House Was in Charge of FBI’s Tips About Brett Kavanaugh

The number of people forced to work “part-time for economic reasons, — is also at the lowest rate ever recorded.”

Putting another economic overview on the data, Wolfers explains: “We’re back, baby.”

David Rothkopf, who wears many hats including professor of international relations, political scientist, journalist, CEO, podcast host, author, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations also summed up the news.

“To recap,” he writes. “More jobs created during Biden presidency than the net of the preceding 8 yrs added up. More jobs created during Biden presidency than the last 3 GOP admins added up. More jobs created last month than the net total of the entire Trump presidency. In short: Lotta jobs.”

Economist David Rothschild takes a moment to examine how the negativism of the media is affecting the economy.

“Disconnect between reality of healthy US economy and negative mainstream media narrative is startling: beyond demonstrating a Republican bias in trying to undermine Democrats, it is an actual serious source of harm to the an economy where confidence & expectations matter.”

READ MORE: ‘That’s a Lie. A Pure Outright Lie’: Joe Manchin Corrects Fox News Host Falsely Claiming Bill Raises Personal Taxes

He adds: “Mainstream Media/Republicans will argue that ‘numbers’ don’t tell real story of how working class (obviously for them they mean white working class) families are hurt by inflation: but reality is jobs are plenty & wage growth is keeping pace w/ inflation.”

Rothschild also preempts any talk of recession.

“Amazing job growth, strong & sustainable wage growth, and slowing inflation: WE ARE NOT IN A RECESSION.”

And economist Danny Blanchflower, an economics professor at Dartmouth, has a word of advice for workers: ask for a raise.

“Workers should definitely not refrain from asking/demanding inflation adjusted pay increases. They can tell the bosses it is their turn to show up.”

This is a breaking news and developing story.

FBI 'did not further investigate' Brett Kavanaugh allegations

FBI Director Chris Wray admitted in a Senate hearing on Thursday that the FBI forwarded to the White House the hundreds of tips it received about Brett Kavanaugh in the fall of 2018, during his Supreme Court confirmation process, but did not first investigate those tips. Kavanaugh had been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by three women, and those accusations threatened to derail his confirmation.

The revelation came as the FBI Director was questioned by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse during a Judiciary Committee hearing, and was forced to admit that the Democratic Senator from Rhode Island was “correct” when he said the FBI “did not further investigate” the tips it received “that related to Kavanaugh” and were forwarded to the White House.

After multiple women accused then-Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his confirmation process the Judiciary Committee agreed to temporarily halt its confirmation hearings until a supplemental FBI background investigation could be conducted.

READ MORE: Brett Kavanaugh Caught Lying in SCOTUS Opinion Against Voting Access During the Pandemic: Report

On Thursday Senator Whitehouse asked Wray, “is it true that after Kavanaugh-related tips were separated from other tips, they were forwarded to White House counsel without investigation?”

Wray appeared to try to circumvent the direct question.

“I apologize in advance that it’s been frustrating for you,” Wray began. “We’ve tried to be clear about our process,” he claimed.

Sen. Whitehouse interjected, asking him to just “answer the question.”

“So when it comes to the tip line, we wanted to make sure the White House had all the information we had, so when the hundreds of calls started coming it, we gathered those up, reviewed them and provided them to the White House,” Wray explained before Whitehouse interrupted.

“Without investigation?” he asked, to clarify.

READ MORE: Watch: Ted Cruz Slams His Boot on the Desk in Senate Hearing With FBI Director Wray

“We reviewed them and then provided them to the White House,” Wray said.

There is no indication the White House was equipped or prepared to investigate the hundreds of tips, something the American public was told the FBI would be doing.

“You reviewed them for the purposes of separating from tip line traffic but did not further investigate the ones that related to Kavanaugh, correct?” Whitehouse asked.

“Correct,” Wray confirmed.

Wray also confirmed, as Whitehouse said, that “the FBI took direction from the White House as to whom the FBI would question.”

“So it is true,” Wray admitted.

There was no confirmation from Wray that any of the tips were investigated.

Reporting on the exchange between Wray and Whitehouse, Esquire’s Charles Pierce wrote, “the second background investigation into Kavanaugh was a White House-directed bag job of no value whatsoever.”

Snopes on Thursday also confirmed that the “administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump directed the one-week, follow-up background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, according to sworn testimony from U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray.”

The Trump White House, Wray suggested, was in charge of deciding which tips about its own Supreme Court justice nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, the Bureau would be allowed to investigate.

Senator Whitehouse on Twitter later Thursday announced: “Wray confirms: Kavanaugh tips from tip line were sent to Trump White House without investigation; and Trump White House directed what witnesses FBI would interview.”

“The White House has found no corroboration of the allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after examining interview reports from the FBI’s latest probe into the judge’s background,” The Wall Street Journal reported on October 4, 2018.

That report then went to the Senate Judiciary Committee members, who in an 11-10 vote, elected to support the nomination and send it to the full Senate for a vote.

Kavanaugh was confirmed on October 6, 2018, by a 50-48 vote.

There its no indication, based on Director Wray’s remarks Thursday, that the hundreds of tips it received were fully investigated, and there was no discussion of how many, if any, interviews based on those tips were conducted for the supplemental background investigation report on which Kavanaugh’s confirmation was, in part, based.

Watch below or at this link:

Donald Trump's lawyers in 'direct talks' with Justice Department

Attorneys for Donald Trump, the former president, are now in direct talks with officials from the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

CNN in its breaking news exclusive calls it “the first sign of talks between the two sides as the criminal probe into January 6, 2021, accelerates.”

“The talks revolve around whether Trump would be able to shield conversations he had while he was president from federal investigators,” including “whether any communications that witnesses from the Trump West Wing had with the former president can be kept from a federal criminal grand jury under Trump’s claims of executive privilege.”

READ MORE: Trump-Installed DHS Inspector General Who Ignored Text Deletions Violated ‘Prohibition on Unethical Conduct’: Report

Legal experts generally default to executive privilege resting with the sitting U.S. president, but DOJ has also not prosecuted former top Trump officials, including Mark Meadows, after Congress voted to convict him on contempt charges for not cooperating with the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack’s investigation.

“Mark Meadows could be a key witness,” CNN reveals.

“Trump has specifically been counseled to cut contact with his former White House chief of staff,” CNN adds, “whose actions leading up to and on the day of the US Capitol insurrection have been deeply scrutinized by the House panel.”

READ MORE: ‘That Is a Conspiracy’: Former Impeachment Lawyer Lays Out Damning New Evidence Against John Eastman

“In recent months,” CNN states, “the former President has ignored advice from some of his advisers to avoid speaking with former and current aides who have become entangled in the House select committee’s probe into January 6 and may become part of the criminal investigation, people familiar with the matter told CNN.”

NYU professor of law and former Special Counsel at the Dept. of Defense, Ryan Goodman, pointing to the Meadows news offered this insight: “Sounds like Trump team worried Meadows will flip and cooperate with DOJ.”

Hungarian autocrat Viktor Orbán rails against same-sex marriage in CPAC speech

Authoritarian dictator Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, was invited to speak to CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. On Thursday he delivered an anti-LGBTQ attack on same-sex marriage and same-sex families, echoing the false “groomer” claims increasingly prevalent on the right by demanding same-sex couples must “leave our kids alone.”

“Hungary shall protect the institution of marriage as a union of one man and one woman,” he decreed, to cheers.

“Family ties shall be based on marriage or the relationship between parents and children. To sum up, the mother is a woman. The father is a man. And leave our kids alone. Full stop. End of discussion,” he declared, as the crowd roared with applause and gave him a standing ovation.

CPAC, run by Matt Schlapp, will also host top Republicans during this week’s conference, including Donald Trump. It is among the more far-right of the many conservative conferences but not the only one.

NPR notes that Orbán delivered a speech last week that was “widely decried as racist, even by one of his top aides. She resigned in protest.”

Watch Orbán at CPAC below or at this link:

Retired teacher who threatened LGBTQ+ people sentenced to prison

A 74-year-old Long Island, New York retired high school teacher was sentenced to 30 months in prison after spending eight years sending anonymous letters threatening to bomb, shoot, and kill more than 60 LGBTQ people, government officials, businesses, and organizations.

Robert Fehring “was arrested in December and subsequently pleaded guilty in February as part of a deal with prosecutors to one count of mailing threatening communications,” Buzzfeed News reports.

“The defendant has a First Amendment right to hold bigoted beliefs; he does not have a right to threaten people based on his bigoted beliefs,” prosecutors told U.S. District Court Judge Joanna Seybert in their 11-page sentencing memo last month. “It is now time for the defendant to face the consequences of his hate-filled conduct.”

Buzzfeed published some of Fehring’s threats, including one sent last year to the owners of New York’s historic Stonewall Inn, considered the iconic birthplace of the LGBTQ civil rights movement.

READ MORE: Fox News Vilified LGBTQ People on Most Days in the First Half of the Year – and Almost Every Day of Pride Month: Report

(Caution: graphic and possibly triggering.)

“ALL OF YOU SHOULD BE SHOT, HUNG, EXTERMINATED,” he wrote. “WE WILL BLOW UP/BURN YOUR ESTABLISHMENTS DOWN. WE WILL SHOOT THOSE WHO FREQUENT YOUR DENS OF FILTH, SHIT, SCUM AND PERVERSION . . . JUST A MATTER OF TIME. PLEASE . . . CATCH AIDS AND DIE . . . JUST FUCKING DIE!!”

Threatening to bomb a Pride parade, Fehring wrote: “THIS WILL MAKE THE 2016 ORLANDO PULSE NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING LOOK LIKE A CAKEWALK.”

49 people were killed in that Florida mass shooting, targeting the LGBTQ and Hispanic communities in 2016.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York detailed more of Fehring’s actions, including sending letters in which he “threatened to, among other things, use firearms and explosives against the recipients.”

“Two such letters threatened that there would be an attack on an LGBTQ+ event in Huntington, New York that would be like the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Another letter threatened that radio-controlled explosives would be planted at a beach club in Long Beach, New York that had hosted a LGBTQ+ event. In another letter sent in June 2018, Fehring threatened the operators of a water ferry service from Sayville to Fire Island, New York that they should ‘screen everyone coming on board with a metal detector’ and that ‘a thorough search of your boats would be in order.'”

READ MORE: Newsmax Host Says Pride Month Makes Heterosexuals ‘Feel Marginalized,’ LGBTQ People Are No Longer ‘Persecuted’

A letter to a “barbershop purported to be from People Who Hate Gays … and In Particular [n-word] Gays and stated, ‘your shop is the perfect place for a bombing … or beating the scum that frequents your den of [expletive] into a bloody pool of steaming flesh.'”

The DOJ’s press release adds that on “November 18, 2021, the FBI Civil Rights Squad and the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force executed a search warrant at Fehring’s home in Bayport, New York, and recovered copies of letters containing threats, supplies used to mail threatening letters, 20 LGBTQ+ Pride flags that were stolen from flagpoles in Sayville, New York in July 2021, and reconnaissance-style photographs from the Eisenhower Park Pride event.”

“The FBI also recovered electronic devices owned by Fehring that contained internet searches for Fehring’s victims and related LGBTQ+ affiliated events and businesses,” it adds. “Law enforcement officers also recovered from Fehring’s residence two loaded shotguns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two stun guns, and a stamped envelope addressed to an LGBTQ+ affiliated attorney containing the remains of a dead bird.”

Ted Cruz 'self-reports' wearing boots during Senate hearing

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz “self-reported” he wears boots emblazoned with the “Come and Take It” motto every day to work, as he took one off and slammed it on the table during a hearing Thursday with FBI Director Chris Wray.

The Texas Republican attacked Director Wray for what he claims is an FBI memo identifying certain symbols as being associated with violent extremist militias, which they are, as evidenced in countless images from the January 6 insurrection.

Cruz expressed his outrage that, according to him, the Bureau has labeled those symbols, including the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” Flag and the Gonzales “Come and Take It” Flag as indicators of involvement with anti-government militias, a claim the FBI Director refuted.

READ MORE: Viral Video Captures Ted Cruz Fist-Bumping Republicans After Blocking Bill to Help Vets Suffering from Toxic Burn Pits

The “Come and Take It” flag includes those words, usually below a cannon and a star. It is popular in the Lone Star State, referencing back to the Battle of Gonzales, during the Texas revolution against Mexico.

“Also included on this is a text that I was particularly struck is the Gonzales battle flag, ‘come and take it,’ as indicative of being a violent extremist militia,” Cruz announced, pointed to a large poster of what he suggested was an FBI memo. “Well, I will self report right now that every day in the Senate I wear my boots that have the Gonzales battle flag on the back.”

“Director Ray, what are y’all doing? This makes no sense. Do you agree with this FBI guidance that the Betsy Ross flag and the Gadsden flag and the Gonzales battle flag are signs of militia violent extremism?” Cruz asked.

READ MORE: ‘Came Closer Than Widely Realized’: Ted Cruz Worked ‘Directly With Trump’ to Try to Overturn the Election

“Well, Senator,” Wray, appointed by then-President Donald Trump after he fired Jim Comey, told the Canadian-born Harvard Law lawmaker, “I’m not familiar with the particular document you have behind you.”

He went on to note that the symbols are not proof of involvement in violent extremist groups.

And I’m not in the practice of trying to comment on documents that I haven’t recognized, but I will tell you that when we put out intelligence products, including ones that reference symbols, which we do, across a wide variety of contexts, we usually make great pains, take great pains, to put caveats and warnings in the document to make clear that a symbol alone is not considered evidence of violent extremism.”

Watch the exchange between Sen. Cruz and Director Wray below or at this link.

'Soros-backed': Ron DeSantis suspends elected Democratic state attorney

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced Thursday morning he is suspending the elected state attorney of Hillsborough County, Democrat Andrew Warren. DeSantis claims he is taking this extraordinary action in response to Warren’s refusal to prosecute certain crimes, including those related to performing abortions and alleged “sex changes” for transgender minors, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Standing in front of a backdrop of Hillsborough County Sheriffs, the Florida governor made his announcement, alleging Warren has “put himself publicly above the law.”

“We are suspending Soros-backed 13th circuit state attorney Andrew Warren for neglecting his duties as he pledges not to uphold the laws of the state,” DeSantis’ office said in a statement, according to Fox News. The “Soros-backed” remark refers to George Soros, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist, whose name is often invoked by the right in antisemitic attacks.

READ MORE: Ron DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law Goes Into Effect as Schools Scramble to Avoid Parental Lawsuits

“The constitution of Florida has vested the veto power in the governor, not in state attorneys,” DeSantis said in his public announcement. “We are not going to allow this pathogen of ignoring the law get a foothold in the state of Florida.”

Warren, who has not yet responded publicly, is a former federal prosecutor. Earlier this year Florida Politics named him a “social justice warrior” and “No. 15 on the list of Tampa Bay’s Most Powerful Politicians.”

“Prepare for the liberal media meltdown of the year,” DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw dramatically announced Wednesday night, saying the governor would deliver a “MAJOR announcement” Thursday morning.

After the governors announcement Pushaw continued her line of attack:

“Progressive prosecutors backed by Soros have refused to enforce laws across the country. They treat criminals with deference & victims with contempt. This dereliction of duty is why crime is surging. But @GovRonDeSantis won’t stand for this. He just suspended the one in Florida.”

READ MORE: ‘Combative’ Press Secretary for Ron DeSantis Registers as Foreign Agent After DOJ Inquiry: Report

Kyle Lamb, a member of the communications team in the Florida Executive Office of the Governor tweeted: “Today, @GovRonDeSantis announces we are suspending Soros-backed 13th circuit state attorney Andrew Warren for neglecting his duties as he pledges not to uphold the laws of the state. It is dangerous to Floridians that state attorneys are neglecting criminal prosecution.”

DHS inspector general who ignored deleted texts violated 'prohibition on unethical conduct': report

Joseph Cuffari, the Dept. of Homeland Security Inspector General who neglected to timely inform Congress of losses of data on cell phones of Secret Service agents and DHS officials during the lead up to and the day of the 2021 insurrection was the subject of a report that found he violated ethics guidelines.

Cuffari “previously was accused of misleading Justice Department investigators and running ‘afoul’ of ethics regulations while he was a federal agent in charge of a DOJ inspector general field office in Tucson, according to a newly disclosed government report,” The Washington Post reports Wednesday evening.

In that report “investigators said they did ‘not believe’ Joseph V. Cuffari’s explanation for why he failed to inform his supervisors — against federal rules — about his testimony in a lawsuit brought by a federal prisoner.”

READ MORE: ‘Coverup of Treason’: Trump-Appointed IG, Under Investigation, Knew of Missing Secret Service and DHS Texts Far Earlier

The authors of the report said, “We concluded Cuffari’s actions violated the IG manual’s prohibition on unethical conduct,” the Post states. Though never publicly released, the report “also noted that he may have violated guidelines by using his government email to lobby for a position as inspector general for the Arizona National Guard, among other issues.”

There are now questions about Cuffari’s vetting after being nominated by then-President Donald Trump to “one of the most important oversight jobs in government, experts said, and about his suitability to lead a staff of 750 auditors and investigators with oversight of an agency with a workforce of 240,000 and a $50 billion budget.”

In addition to the wiped Secret Service cell phones, many are alarmed by news top Trump Dept. of Homeland Security officials and Pentagon officials’ phones were also wiped after January 6.

The former Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, on Wednesday afternoon called for Cuffari to be terminated.

“President Biden, fire this corrupt DHS inspector general. Cuffari must go!” tweeted Shaub, now a Senior Ethics Fellow at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO).

On Monday, Politico reported Cuffari sent an email to his staff calling the criticism “meritless.”

READ MORE: ‘Destruction of Potentially Vital Evidence’: Secret Service Deleted Messages From Jan. 6 After Investigator’s Request

“Cuffari didn’t specify which criticisms were, in his view, without merit,” Politico added. “But two hours after he sent his note, a pair of House committee chairs blasted out a letter saying they’d obtained evidence showing Cuffari’s office ‘may have secretly abandoned efforts to collect text messages from the Secret Service more than a year ago.'”

Justice Department sues Peter Navarro over private email server

The U.S. Dept. of Justice on Wednesday sued former Trump White House advisor Peter Navarro, demanding he return email communications he allegedly sent or received without copying his government account. DOJ says these emails are presidential records and belong to the federal government. Legal experts are warning the government has an excellent case and others in similar circumstances should be “concerned.”

“Navarro, who worked for the White House during the entirety of Trump’s presidency, had used ‘at least one non-official email account … to send and receive messages constituting Presidential records,’ the Justice Department said in a court filing,” Politico reports. “Attorneys also accused him of ‘wrongfully retaining them’ in violation of federal record-keeping laws, as Navarro did not copy the messages into an official government account, nor did he respond to the National Archivist’s initial request for the emails.”

Top national security attorney Bradley Moss explained the case by saying, “Navarro walked out of the White House with hundreds of records in his possession and refuses to return them.”

READ MORE: ‘Claims Are False’: DOJ Tells Judge Peter Navarro Is Lying to the Public

The DOJ’s complaint against Navarro, a promoter of Trump’s “Big Lie,” suggests he tried to obtain immunity in exchange for returning the records but apparently DOJ refused.

“Prior to filing this suit, in an effort to avoid litigation, Department of Justice counsel contacted Mr. Navarro by email and United States mail to secure the Presidential records that Mr. Navarro had not copied to his government email account. Discussions with Mr. Navarro’s counsel to secure the return of Presidential records ultimately proved unsuccessful. Mr. Navarro has refused to return any Presidential records that he retained absent a grant of immunity for the act of returning such documents.”

Joyce Vance, a former U.S. Attorney writes, “DOJ, which has been busy this week, sued Peter Navarro for the return of comms on his private devices b/c they’re presidential records.”

READ MORE: Peter Navarro Goes for the Cash After Arrest: ‘I Need Everybody in America to Buy My Book on Amazon Today’

“The analysis is persuasive,” says Vance, who is now a professor of law and MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. “Other presidential advisors who used private comms should be concerned.”

The Associated Press notes that the “legal action comes just weeks after Navarro was indicted on criminal charges after refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.”

Back in June in Navarro’s criminal case the Dept. of Justice said that Navarro, arrested and charged with criminal contempt of Congress, is making “misrepresentations” and “false” claims, including that he was denied food and water and denied his right to call an attorney.

After he was arraigned and allowed to leave the courtroom in early June Navarro had repeatedly made seemingly wild claims, including that he should not have been arrested at the airport, that he was put in “leg irons,” that he was “strip-searched,” that law enforcement officials refused to allow him to call an attorney – despite also repeatedly stating he would be representing himself, including before a judge.

He also complained he had been placed in solitary confinement, in a tweet promoting his book with a link to purchase it on Amazon.

January 6th panel preparing to subpoena Alex Jones

The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is preparing g to issue a subpoena to obtain the two years worth of texts and emails that were on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones‘ cell phone, which his own attorney accidentally sent to lawyers for the families of the Sandy Hook mass shooting. Jones is being sued for defamation and was told on the witness stand Wednesday of his attorney’s error.

“Now,” Rolling Stone reports in an exclusive, “the January 6th committee is preparing to request that data from the plaintiff attorneys in order to aid its investigation of the insurrection.”

Rolling Stone, which cites “a source familiar with the matter and another person briefed on it,” adds that “internal deliberations among the committee, which is probing former President Donald Trump’s role in causing the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot, began within minutes of the lawyer’s revelation being heard on the trial’s livestream on Wednesday afternoon.”

READ MORE: Federal Grand Jury Subpoenas Former Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone

Former prosecutor Tristan Snell surmised that both the House Select Committee and the Dept. of Justice might be “writing a letter to the Sandy Hook parents’ lawyers requesting they produce Alex Jones’s phone records.”

That error also appears to reveal Jones may have lied in court.

“12 days ago, your attorneys messed up and sent me an entire digital copy of your entire cell phone with every text message you’ve sent for the past two years,” attorney Mark Bankston told Jones, “and that is how I know you lied to me when you said you didn’t have text messages about Sandy Hook.”

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