Lauren Floyd

Social scientist on failed pro-Trump coup: 'People are mistaking ridiculous with not serious'

If anyone is still asking if it's fair to classify Wednesday's attack at the Capitol as an attempted coup, the short answer is yes. But Atlantic magazine contributor Zeynep Tufekci, who has lived through four coups in Turkey, told NPR the public needs to focus less on how to classify what happened and start paying attention to just how close rioters came to achieving their goal.

President Donald Trump called for his supporters to march to the Capitol to block Congress from certifying President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. "We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn't happen," he said at a Save America rally Wednesday in Washington D.C. "You don't concede when there's theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that is what this is all about."

Trump incited a mob that stormed the legislature, where the election was being certified, Tufekci told NPR. "So that is absolutely some sort of coup attempt," she said. Tufekci said that moments of the insurrection Wednesday felt "intimately familiar" and that she's been describing Trump's actions since the election as attempts at a coup.

She said as an academic, she can appreciate Americans debating the best technical term to classify Trump's attempt to overthrow election results."You know there is some value in the precision there, but that shouldn't overshadow what was coming our way, as I was writing, what is being attempted" she said. "The president of the United States was attempting to steal the election by falsely asserting that he won it and trying to mobilize all the extralegal forces he could muster from his office to try to get them to overturn the election in his favor."

By Merriam-Webster's definition, a coup, short for coup d'état, is defined as "a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics especially: the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group."

"I think people are mistaking ridiculous with not serious," Tufekci said. Protesters looked ridiculous, angry mobs of people punctuated with those wearing horns and flag capes, "but it's not unserious," Tufekci said. After the mob disrupted the certification process, the majority of the GOP caucus, 138 of 211 Republican representatives, voted to overthrow the results of the Pennsylvania election, "even the Pennsylvania representative who was just elected with those votes," Tufekci said.

"These are not normal hiccups of a transition," she added. "These are attempts to steal an election." Tufekci said there are a lot of ridiculous coup attempts around the world that fail "the first time or the second time, or the third time and then they succeed." GOP legislators voting to throw out legitimate votes even after an attempted coup, "that should scare us," Tufekci said.

Rioters crossed a line in storming the Capitol and so did 65% of Republican legislators who voted to throw out legitimate votes. "It's how we react to that line being crossed that will determine whether they'll try again," Tufekci said. "And there's no reason to assume the next time will be similarly ridiculous or incompetant because this time was very serious."

'Let’s cuff him up. He’s still moving': Cop pushes handcuffs before aid when Andre Hill shot, killed

An Ohio cop shot and killed an innocent Black man and it occurred to officers on the scene to handcuff the dying man before they even tried to get him help, according to body camera video Columbus police released Thursday. Officers "hung crime scene tape, searched for shell casings and shined flashlights into a garage" on the Oberlin Drive scene as Andre Hill laid on the ground dying without aid for more than 10 minutes, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Adam Coy, the cop who shot Hill, was fired Monday, just days after he turned a non-emergency call to report an SUV being turned on and off into a deadly shooting on Dec. 22.

"Let's cuff him up. He's still moving," one cop could be heard saying in body camera footage taken on the scene.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the victim's family, said Coy shot Hill within 10 seconds of encountering him. "As this just-obtained bodycam footage clearly shows, @ColumbusPolice officers could have rendered medical aid to Andre Hill after shooting him. But 5 minutes and 11 seconds later, they chose to handcuff his dying body instead," Crump said in a tweet. "Andre committed no crime!"

Columbus police released more than 12 new video clips from the scene, including footage from responding officer Amy Detweiler's body camera. Video from both Coy's and Detweiler's body cameras fail to include audio of the actual shooting because they didn't have the cameras turned on when it occurred. It's only because of a 60-second "look-back" feature of the cameras that the shooting is even depicted in the footage, authorities said. The footage from Detweiler's camera shows a woman in the doorway of the home Hill was shot outside of.

"He was bringing me Christmas money!" she yelled. "He didn't do anything!"

Detweiler, who arrived on the scene just after Coy, told investigators that although Coy yelled that he saw Hill holding a weapon, she didn't see any such threat, according to an internal affairs interview police The Columbus Dispatch obtained. She said she "felt Mr. Hill may need assistance to enter the residence" and that "she was concerned why Mr. Hill was inside the garage." Coy asked Hill in a "normal tone of voice" to come out of the garage, Detweiler said. Hill was obeying the officer's command while holding his cell phone in the air when Coy shot him multiple times. Detweiler said before she heard the shot, Coy yelled that "there's a gun in his other hand, there's a gun in his other hand!"

WARNING: This video contains violent and graphic images and language.

Bodycam from second officer at Andre Hill shooting

Bodycam from second officer at Andre Hill shooting

Amy Detweiler's bodycam video shows the events following the fatal shooting of Andre Hill by officer Adam Coy.

No such gun was found on the scene. An ambulance wasn't sent to the location until at least six minutes after the shooting, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The nearest medic, No. 19, was 1.9 miles away and on another call by the time an officer got around to calling for one to help Hill. Although less than one minute after the shooting Coy asked if a medic was en route, an officer doesn't follow up until about five minutes later. "We do not have one, but we need one," an officer could be heard saying in body camera video.

Both Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said they were horrified by the new video, which was shared with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducting the criminal investigation. Detweiler was temporarily reassigned, Glenn McEntyre, a spokesman with the Department of Public Safety, told ABC-affiliated WSYX. "This is not an administrative leave," McEntyre said. "She is on a 60-day special assignment outside of her normal patrol duties."

Fort Lauderdale newspaper dubs Gov. Ron DeSantis 'Florida's mis-communicator in chief'

Gov. Ron DeSantis really tried to redefine his own failure to order enough doses of a much-anticipated coronavirus vaccine as an error on the part of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer Tuesday. Of course, few people are buying it, but he tried. When posed with the prospect of Florida getting less than the needed 452,000 vaccine doses the state was anticipating, DeSantis tried to explain the problem away as a Pfizer "production issue." Pfizer, however, said in a statement the Tampa Bay Times obtained that the pharmaceutical giant is having no such issue.

"Pfizer is not having any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed," the company said in the statement. "This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them. We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses."

For this example of DeSantis' departure from reality and more, South Florida Sun-Sentinel's editorial board blasted the governor, President Donald Trump's mentee, as "Florida's mis-communicator in chief."

"DeSantis has been off-pitch since the coronavirus first hit our shores — denying community spread, spinning happy talk about scarce protective gear, and shielding data about nursing home infections, hospital bed capacity and the lack of contact tracing," the editorial board wrote. "But in the weeks before and since the 2020 presidential election, he's gotten worse."

The newspaper cited as evidence the governor's claim that reports of Florida's 1.19 million COVID-19 infections and 20,473 deaths have been manipulated to seem worse than they are. He's deemed "anti-masker" Kyle Lamb and conservative blogger Jennifer Cabrera more reliable sources on the virus, and DeSantis is dodging South Florida mayors seeking mask mandates like an anti-masker dodges common sense.

"Never have we heard DeSantis admit a mistake," the editorial board wrote. "Rarely have we heard him express empathy for those who've been infected, placed on a ventilator or died. He talks in terms of numbers, not people — people with real names like Christine and Earl, Doris and Stuart, Adrian and Shannon, Thom and Jose, and tomorrow, perhaps your name, too."

Rubio slammed for receiving COVID vaccine before many frontline healthcare workers after downplaying virus

In the true spirit of GOP service, Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida, showed his support for vaccinating Florida's most vulnerable residents by scoring one of those vaccinations in short supply himself. "I know I looked away from the needle And yes, I know I need a tan But I am so confident that the #Covid19 vaccine is safe & effective that I decided to take it myself," he said in a tweet Saturday.

Thankfully, Twitter users saw through the senator's selfless display. Daniel Uhlfelder, the Florida lawyer who protested the state reopening beaches by wearing a Grim Reaper costume, advocated for the safety of Floridians in the face of Rubio's tweet pretending to. "Florida has a population of 21,480,000 largely made up of people over 65 with large nursing home population," he tweeted. "According to Florida Dept. of Health only 32,000 people have been vaccinated. One of them is Marco Rubio, a 49 year healthy corrupt, career politician @marcorubio"

Author Don Winslow tweeted: ". @marcorubio is the guy from Titanic who grabs a baby just so he can jump ahead of the line for a lifeboat. 'I have a child! I have a child!'" Democratic strategist Kaivan Shroff tweeted: "Every janitor in every COVID wing of every hospital should have gotten the vaccine before feckless Marco Rubio. It's absurd." Political strategist Ana Navarro-Cárdenas tweeted: "Young, healthy Senator, who spoke at rallies packed w/thousands w/o masks, who supports Trump -who's down-played COVID & mocked those who wear masks, is 1st to get vaccine while most medical workers, elderly & infirm Americans, wait. Congratulations on ur privilege, @marcorubio."

Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with lawmakers, nurses, and other politicians getting vaccinated in the hopes of inspiring the general public to do so. But when the very politicians fighting expert-recommended advice to reduce the virus' spread and keeping much-needed coronavirus relief funds tied up in political red tape start shouting me first with regards to vaccines, I find it a bit gag-worthy.

Rubio, of course, isn't the only Republican putting his needs before his constituents. Sen. Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made sure to get vaccinated too. Mary Trump, author and niece of President Donald Trump, tweeted Saturday: "Mitch McConnell is a traitor to this country. That he got the vaccine after willfully failing to protect us from Covid-19 is obscene. That he's continuing to block aid to Americans that would help them survive the catastrophes his party created is unconscionable."

DC Cops meet Proud Boys' violent rampage with polite request to 'please stop'

A Black policewoman was injured and at least four people stabbed when a day of demonstrations in support of President Donald Trump's election delusions ended in violence Saturday night in Washington D.C. Many have linked the violence to the white nationalist group the Proud Boys who Trump told to "stand back and stand by" during the presidential debate Sept. 29, 2020. Apparently, no longer standing by, they are shown in multiple videos attacking counterprotesters, burning a Black Lives Matter banner, and generally ignoring police orders with much-delayed punishment from authorities. In a video the New York Post obtained, white men in "America Strong" hats and wearing painted gold laurel wreaths associated with the Proud Boys attacked a man in all black, telling him to leave and shoving him when he tried.

"Get out! Get the f--- outta here!" they shouted outside of Harry's Bar, a gathering spot for the Proud Boys The Washington Post reported. When shoved, the man took out a knife to protect himself and tried to run away, the New York Post reported. "Get his ass!" someone in the crowd shouted. Police response as the targetted man vanished into the crowd was: "Stop guys stop — please stop."

"Today I saw proud boys attack legal observers, call people cockroaches, and mace and assault random people. They can call themselves whatever they want, but they're the new KKK. They're domestic terrorists," Black Lives Matter protester Joshua Potash tweeted early Sunday. He also compared police reaction to the violence with their response to Black Lives Matter protesters and journalists in the wake of George Floyd's death. Floyd, a Black man, was killed when a white Minneapolis cop kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes on May 25. At least eight people were partially blinded the same day police went on a rampage targeting protesters on May 30. "I've been at BLM marches all summer and fall where people are attacked and arrested by cops just for standing in the street. Tonight in DC dozens of Proud Boys maced and attacked people and cops didn't do shit," Potash said in another tweet.

Victims of the violence endured potentially life-threatening injuries D.C. fire spokesman Doug Buchanan told The Washington Post. D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham told protesters: "We're doing the best we can." He told the Post officers were deployed throughout downtown to keep Trump supporters and counterprotesters separated, but portions of the crowd seemed "intent on conflict." By 9 p.m., 23 people were arrested and one person had an unauthorized Taser, police said. In total, two police officers were hospitalized with moderate injuries and six others suffered injuries of unknown severity, the Post reported.

Bree Newsome Bass, a grassroots organizer, asked in one tweet: "Is there a point at which all the people saying "I never thought this could happen" start listening to the people who've been saying for years that this was going to happen?" Author Wajahat Ali tweeted: "I can't even imagine hundreds of armed Muslims burning flags, beating up people, stabbing people in the streets of the nation's capital without dozens of folks being shot and killed by the police. Meanwhile it's Springtime for Proud Boys and White Supremacy right now."

Journalist David Leavitt tweeted:

"The proud boys are domestic terrorists

The proud boys are domestic terrorists

The proud boys are domestic terrorists

The proud boys are domestic terrorists

The proud boys are domestic terrorists

The proud boys are domestic terrorists

The proud boys are domestic terrorists"

I concur.

White NYC cop ignores veteran Black officer’s attempts to deescalate, kills man in his apartment

If actions form the measuring stick, New York City's foremost figures fall disappointingly short of proving they care at all about Black people. They fall short repeatedly. They fell short when the city's police union endorsed a man for president who defended white supremacists. They fell short when the department took five years to fire a white cop shown in viral video choking Eric Garner to death, Garner having been accused of little more than selling loose cigarettes outside a store on Staten Island. They fell short when New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who happens to be married to a Black woman, passed over a Black man three times in a row to serve as police commissioner.

But there's something especially triggering about the department's recent example of indifference in the shooting death of Kawaski Trawick, 32, a Black personal trainer and aspiring professional dancer who struggled with mental illness. Perhaps it's because his death on April 14, 2019 at the hands of white police officer Brendan Thompson is exactly the kind of ending the Black community has come to expect when cops are involved. Perhaps, it's because of what played out in building surveillance footage the department released Tuesday. Despite the reason why, the incident depicted in a ProPublica video is triggering.

(WARNING: This video contains violent footage of the shooting that may not be suitable for younger readers and difficult to watch for other viewers.)

The encounter began, as many do, with a noise complaint from one of Trawick's neighbors. Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a 42-page investigation report that the neighbor called building security. A security worker told Trawick on an intercom "to keep the noise down because his neighbors were complaining." Trawick refused and left the building eight minutes later holding a large stick, according to the report. When officers arrived, he was holding a serrated kitchen knife and cooking, Trawick told them.

Police Chief Terence Monahan said at a press conference the day after the shooting that officers told Trawick repeatedly to drop the weapons and he did not. Thompson even shocked Trawick with a Taser, and although he fell to the floor, he didn't stay down, Monahan said. "As the officers moved inside the apartment to disarm (the) suspect and take him into custody he suddenly jumped to his feet and charged at the officers from a short distance - still with the knife and stick in his hands," Monahan said in prepared remarks. "The officers exited the apartment, but the suspect was still advancing quickly toward them.

"At that point, one of the officers discharged his service weapon four times at the direction of the suspect, striking him in the chest."

The video the New York City Police Department (NYPD) released nearly 20 months after the shooting was edited to include footage from Thompson's body camera, building surveillance video, 911 audio, evidence photos, and a videotaped explanation of the department's investigation process. The footage shows Trawick pacing the halls of Hill House, a supportive housing facility for those battling addiction, mental health, and other issues. He wore boxers, calf-high boots, and a long black vest as he roamed the building's halls. At times, he knocked on doors, tapping them with the stick, raising his arms, and talking.

(WARNING: This video contains violent footage of the shooting that may not be suitable for younger readers and difficult to watch for other viewers.)

According to police, multiple people called 911 to report that Trawick seemed to be "intoxicated" and "losing his mind." A building security guard said in 911 audio: "I have a tenant in the building who is harassing tenants and supers." She described Trawick as "short" and "bald" and gave a description of what he wore. She also said he was banging on the super's door in the basement. Trawick, who called 911 minutes after the guard, told authorities he was locked out of his apartment, that someone was trying to attack him, and that there was a fire that threatened his life. "If you don't hurry up we're going to burn down," he could be heard saying in 911 audio.

Other surveillance video that the district attorney's office released Nov. 17 shows firefighters arriving and leaving shortly after determining there had been no fire. By the time Thompson and police officer Herbert Davis, a Black man, arrived at about 11 PM, Trawick was in his fourth-floor apartment. There was a 30-second buffer in Thompson's body camera video during which no audio was obtained, police said. Davis, a nearly 16-year veteran of the department, wasn't wearing a body camera, police said. When he knocked on Trawick's door, Davis pushed the door open and is seen in the building surveillance video taking out his baton. Thompson, who has been on the force about three years, began aiming his Taser at Trawick from outside Trawick's apartment. Video does not show that Trawick ever consented to officers coming into his apartment. Their interaction with Trawick happened at his doorway.

When the sound picks up on Thompson's body camera video, Trawick can be heard asking, "Why are you in my home?" Officers didn't answer his question. Trawick was wearing his boxers and boots and holding the knife as Thompson continued aiming his Taser, which shined a small red laser light at the tenant. When Trawick turned his back to officers to turn his music down, he returned with the knife and stick in hand. "Put it down," Davis ordered. "We ain't gonna tase him," he told Thompson, who within seconds noticed Trawick's knife. "Oh, he's got a knife," Thompson said.

Hearing the observation, Trawick said: "I have a knife because I'm cooking." He didn't follow officers' repeated orders to "drop the knife," and officers didn't answer his repeated question of why they were there since the fire department had already come and gone. At one point, Trawick began mumbling to himself and motioning to his head, and Thompson shocked Trawick with the Taser. Video showed him falling and later jumping up, grabbing the stick, and yelling, "I'm gonna kill you all! Get out!" He ran away from officers, then back toward them. And instead of again firing his Taser, Thompson fired his gun four times at Trawick, shooting him twice, police said. Thompson requested an ambulance and Trawick was taken to Bronx Lebanon Hospital, where he died of his injuries, police said.

Both NYPD officers received deescalation training and are taught to "isolate and contain" people during mental health crises, according to department policy. District Attorney Clark said in a press release prosecutors found "no criminality" in Trawick's death, but that changes are still needed. "Once again, we have a death that painfully illustrates that changes are needed in the response to those in mental health crisis, and that we as a community must do better to provide appropriate assistance for residents of supportive housing in the City," Clark said. "There must be treatment and services readily available to prevent persons from reaching a point where they may cause harm to themselves or others.

"I continue to encourage a productive conversation about how to better approach calls to help people in crisis to avoid an escalation resulting in a fatality."

Kelly Loeffler frequently ditches mask to campaign. She just tested positive for COVID-19

Relying on the effectiveness of rapid test results, Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler left her mask off most the day Friday as she campaigned for the upcoming Georgia runoff against Democratic challenger Raphael Warnock, CNN reported. She rode a bus from the airport with Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. David Perdue—who's also campaigning for a runoff election, his against Democrat Jon Ossoff—and she attended campaign events all day Friday. Now the businesswoman turned legislator is awaiting additional COVID-19 test results after an earlier test indicated she has the virus.

"Senator Loeffler took two COVID tests on Friday morning," campaign spokesperson Stephen Lawson told CNN. "Her rapid test results were negative and she was cleared to attend Friday's events." She was informed later in the evening after public events on Friday that her PCR test came back positive, but she was retested Saturday morning after conferring with medical officials and those results came back inconclusive on Saturday evening. "She has no symptoms and she will continue to follow CDC guidelines by quarantining until retesting is conclusive and an update will be provided at that time," he said.

Despite attack ads wrongfully accusing Warnock of being anti-military and hosting Cuba's former dictator Fidel Castro, the reverend offered Loeffler his best wishes Saturday on Twitter. "Senator Loeffler is in my thoughts. I pray that her test results come back negative and that she is back on the campaign trail soon. Blessings," Warnock said in the tweet.

Casey Black, a spokeswoman for Perdue's campaign, told CNN the businessman is staying home until Loeffler gets a confirmed test result. Pence told CBS News through a spokesperson that he's waiting for more conclusive test results. "As he awaits a confirmatory test from Senator Loeffler, Vice President Pence is in regular consultation with the White House Medical Unit and will be following CDC guidelines as he has in other circumstances when he has been a close contact," press secretary Devin O'Malley said.

Loeffler is only the latest high-profile Republican to test positive for the virus. Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said he has been "extremely sick" with the virus in a Facebook post on Friday. "President Trump was following my condition and cleared me for the monoclonal antibody therapy that he had previously received, which I am convinced saved my life," the retired neurosurgeon said.

"He survived after using monoclonal antibody drugs—*before* it was FDA approved. So much privilege—250k Americans weren't so lucky," Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding tweeted on Sunday.

Read Carson's complete post here:

"Thank you everyone for your support and prayers as Candy and I battled COVID-19. I was extremely sick and initially took Oleander 4X with dramatic improvement. However, I have several co-morbidities and after a brief period when I only experienced minor discomfort, the symptoms accelerated and I became desperately ill. President Trump was following my condition and cleared me for the monoclonal antibody therapy that he had previously received, which I am convinced saved my life.

President Trump, the fabulous White House medical team, and the phenomenal doctors at Walter Reed have been paying very close attention to my health and I do believe I am out of the woods at this point. I am hopeful that we can stop playing politics with medicine and instead combine our efforts and goodwill for the good of all people. While I am blessed to have the best medical care in the world (and I am convinced it saved my life), we must prioritize getting comparable treatments and care to everyone as soon as possible.

There are a number of promising treatments that need to be tested, approved, and distributed (sooner rather than later) so that the economy can be re-opened and we can all return to a semblance of normalcy. Also, people should recognize that there are a number of defined steps that legally have to be taken before vaccines are released to the public and trying to cause alarm by saying dangerous shortcuts were taken only serves to stoke fear. Together we will be victorious. God is still in charge."

GOP leaders are starting to come to grips with reality of Trump's loss

Just as one did in Georgia, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Saturday launched by President Donald Trump's campaign to bar Pennsylvania state election officials from certifying the state's election results, CBS News reported. U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his order that Trump's attorneys employed "strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations, unpled in the operative complaint and unsupported by evidence. In the United States of America, this cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state."

The words have apparently inspired some Republican legislators to come to terms with the truth of President-elect Joe Biden's election win. "With today's decision by Judge Matthew Brann, a longtime conservative Republican whom I know to be a fair and unbiased jurist, to dismiss the Trump campaign's lawsuit, President Trump has exhausted all plausible legal options to challenge the result of the presidential race in Pennsylvania," Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said in a statement Saturday.

Toomey continued in the statement:

"This ruling follows a series of procedural losses for President Trump's campaign. On Friday, the state of Georgia certified the victory of Joe Biden after a hand recount of paper ballots confirmed the conclusion of the initial electronic count. Michigan lawmakers rejected the apparent attempt by President Trump to thwart the will of Michigan voters and select an illegitimate slate of electoral college electors. These developments, together with the outcomes in the rest of the nation, confirm that Joe Biden won the 2020 election and will become the 46th President of the United States."I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory. They are both dedicated public servants and I will be praying for them and for our country. Unsurprisingly, I have significant policy disagreements with the President-elect. However, as I have done throughout my career, I will seek to work across the aisle with him and his administration, especially on those areas where we may agree, such as continuing our efforts to combat COVID-19, breaking down barriers to expanding trade, supporting the men and women of our armed forces, and keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. "

Make no mistake about it, I am deeply disappointed that President Trump and Vice President Pence were not re-elected. I endorsed the president and voted for him. During his four years in office, his administration achieved much for the American people. The tax relief and regulatory overhauls that President Trump enacted with Republicans in Congress produced the strongest economy of my adult life. He also should be applauded for forging historic peace agreements in the Middle East, facilitating the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine through Operation Warp Speed, appointing three outstanding Supreme Court justices, and keeping America safe by neutralizing ISIS and killing terrorists like Qasem Soleimani and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

"To ensure that he is remembered for these outstanding accomplishments, and to help unify our country, President Trump should accept the outcome of the election and facilitate the presidential transition process."

Toomey wasn't the only Republican embracing reality this weekend. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told TV host George Stephanopoulos Sunday on "ABC This Week" that "yes," it's time for this to end. He said the president has had multiple opportunities to access the courts. "If you've got the evidence of fraud, present it," he told Stephanopoulos Wednesday. "The conduct, the president's legal team has been a national embarrassment."

The former prosecutor referenced an interview in which Trump attorney Sidney Powell accused Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp of a crime, but "yet [she has been] unwilling to go on TV and defend and layout the evidence that she supposedly has."

"This is outrageous conduct by any lawyer, and notice George they won't do it inside the courtroom," Christie said. "They allege fraud outside the courtroom, but when they go inside the courtroom, they don't plead fraud and they don't argue fraud."

Christie then admitted he's supported the president and voted for him twice. "But elections have consequences," he added. "And we can not continue to act as if something happened here that didn't happen."

Following Trump's invitation to Michigan Republicans to visit the White House, Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan also sent Trump a powerful message that our democracy could benefit from the president accepting. That message Sunday to CNN's Dana Bash was "it's over." He said no one has found any evidence of fraud. "You know, the voters spoke," the Republican legislator declared. "And here again, in Michigan, it's not a razor-thin margin. It's 154,000 votes. You got to let the votes stand.

"The process has been in place for a long time," Upton added. "It works. And there's no issues of fraud anywhere. 154,000 votes. In my county commission race, it was a dead-even tie. They had to draw to see who won because it was exactly the same. 154,000 votes is—it's over."

CNN 11 22 2020 08 39 31

Sen. Mike Shirkey of Michigan tweeted Sunday: "As I've repeatedly said, our election process MUST be free of intimidation and threats. Whether the Board of Canvassers certifies our results tomorrow or decides to take the full time allowed by law to perform their duties, it's inappropriate for anyone to exert pressure on them."

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told CNN's "State of the Union" he's "not sure" the president is going to do the right thing. "Look, I thought the pressuring of the legislators to try to somehow change the outcome with electors was completely outrageous," he said. "Quite frankly, I mean, you know we used to go supervise elections around the world, and we were the most respected country with respect to elections. And now we're beginning to look like we're a banana republic. It's time for them to stop the nonsense. It just gets more bizarre every single day, and frankly I'm embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up."

Trump campaign seeks recount in Georgia in apparent effort to lose state a third time

President Donald Trump is at it again with his embarrassing and desperate attempt to pluck votes from President-elect Joe Biden. This time, his campaign did it in the form of a petition for a recount in Georgia Friday, according to a statement The New York Times obtained from Trump's legal team.

"Today, the Trump campaign filed a petition for recount in Georgia," the Trump campaign said the statement. "We are focused on ensuring that every aspect of Georgia State Law and the U.S. Constitution are followed so that every legal vote is counted. President Trump and his campaign continue to insist on an honest recount in Georgia, which has to include signature matching and other vital safeguards. Without signature matching, the recount would be a sham and again allow for illegal votes to be counted. If there is no signature matching, this would be as phony as the initial vote count and recount. Let's stop giving the People false results." No, let's stop giving the president false hope.

Jaclyn Rothenberg, Biden's Georgia communications director said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that last week's recount "reaffirmed what we already knew." "Georgia voters selected Joe Biden to be their next president," she said. "As the Secretary of State said, there is no reason to believe there are widespread errors or fraud and the Trump campaign has no evidence to back up their baseless claims. Any further recount will simply reaffirm Joe Biden's victory in Georgia a third time."

Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger certified election results showing Biden's historic win in the state Friday. Georgia had held what's known as a Risk Limiting Audit of its presidential contest last week. "Due to the tight margin of the race and the principles of risk-limiting audits, this audit was a full manual tally of all votes cast. The audit confirmed that the original machine count accurately portrayed the winner of the election," Raffensperger's office said in a news release.

Finding no evidence that voting irregularities significantly affected the vote count in Georgia, U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg, who was appointed by Trump, by the way, rejected a GOP attempt to prevent state election leaders from certifying Biden's victory late Thursday, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

It was news Gov. Brian Kemp seemed unhappy about in a live-streamed video announcement Friday. "I join many in backing a hand recount and urging a thorough investigation into any voting irregularities," Kemp said. "The secretary of state oversaw a complete audit, which revealed significant errors made in several counties including Floyd, Fayette, Douglas, and Walton."

Only it didn't. There was less than a 500-vote difference between Biden's original victory margin and that of the recount. The original tally had Biden winning by 12,780 votes, and the recount showed Biden won by 12,284 votes. The takeaway? You guessed it. Biden won. But you have to love how the governor, who used to serve as secretary of state, is so willing to throw his own election officials under the bus to placate Trump.

Gov. Kemp says Georgia law requires governor's office to formalize US election certification | FULL

It comes as no surprise when Trump attorney Sidney Powell does it. She called the previous recount a "total farce" on the conservative news website Newsmax. "Georgia's probably going to be the first state I'm going to blow up, and Mr. Kemp and the secretary of state need to go with it," she said, then started floating the usual conspiracy theories.

Ultimately, Raffensperger said in a statement CNN obtained Friday: "Because the margin is still less than 0.5%, the President can request a recount after certification of the results. That recount will be conducted by rescanning all paper ballots." And you know who will pay for this recount? Georgia taxpayers. Although state officials haven't released estimates of the total cost, in Georgia's largest county, Fulton, election officials estimate a recount could cost $200,000, NBC News reported.

Watch this parent try to convince teacher that no one won the presidential election

File this one under nonsense these poor teachers have to deal with: A parent can be heard in viral video shared on Twitter Tuesday venting irrationally about the election and trying to argue that no one won it, despite clear evidence to the contrary. In the video viewed more than five million times, a state map is colored in with blue for President-elect Joe Biden or red for President Donald Trump to represent which candidate won each state, but on the student's map in question, X's had been drawn on Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, all of which the student colored blue to accurately reflect that Biden had won those states.

At the bottom of the assignment, the student had answered the question of who won the election correctly with Joe Biden, but the parent employed a different interpretation of reality. She can be heard asking the teacher to talk to Anthony and the whole class about the election process, and by "talk to them," she obviously means lie to them about who won.

"Okay I understand your concerns. Thank you for sharing your concerns, and like I said, I will talk to him tomorrow," the teacher says at one point. Not accepting that response, the parent pushed: "So you're just going to talk to Anthony? This assignment's not going to get redone and have everybody understand that we have six states at this point—there were seven when this assignment was done—there are six that are still in litigation and why?"

She continued: "Even if you don't go into that kind of detail for third graders, to explain to them, you can't. This answer 'who won the election' should've been, the answer was nobody. That was the answer—nobody. Not Joe Biden. It was nobody. It should not just be told to my son."

She went on to argue that the entire school system should be teaching that no one won the presidential election. "Either don't address it or address it properly," the woman said. "There's no, there's no, well, there is gray area. There's six of them, so I am bringing this up. I'm not done. I am upset about this."

She then cited the National Archives, which hasn't announced election results, and the conservative news network One America News as proof her interpretation of Electoral College results is accurate. "If you did talk to them about that, that's not what you told them to color in. He told me you went up to there and put up a map. I pulled up a map. I didn't go to Google. I went to the National Archives, and then, I also went to OAN, and it had exactly what he and I had been talking about," the parent said.

The poor teacher quietly let the woman vent her frustrations with reality as she continued to explain how she confused her child.

Biden has earned 290 Electoral College votes to Trump's 232, and the president-elect secured more than 79.3 million total votes to Trump's 73.5 million, according to the Associated Press. The news organization, which many consider far more reputable than the unnamed parent on the phone, has called every state but Georgia, where Biden is leading. The traditionally red state that Democrats successfully flipped blue has 16 Electoral College votes. So technically, the only discrepancy should be whether Biden has 290 or 306 Electoral College votes. Both scenarios put him well over the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency. If I could leave any words for little Anthony, they would be: Respectfully disagree with your mom.

She is, however, right about one thing: Several lawsuits have been filed to challenge election results in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, a testament to the sore loser and the Republicans who enable him. Georgia has dismissed one lawsuit, and two have been upheld in Pennsylvania, Newsweek reported. One was also upheld in Nevada, and the rest are pending.