Sarah K. Burris

'Like Nixon drunk rambling': Anderson Cooper shocked by new Trump recording blaming Capitol police for Jan. 6

Reporters Carol Leonnig and Phil Rucker's new book, I Alone Can Fix It, ends with a conversation with Donald Trump where he rattles off a random slate of conspiracy theories from attacking the 86 judges who wouldn't rule in his favor to the Supreme Court.

But one major part of the recording has Trump saying that the whole ordeal was the fault of the Capitol Police because they "ushered" the protesters inside the building. Nothing of the sort happened, so it's unclear where Trump got his information. Protesters used poles and stole police shields to break windows and doors in an effort to get into the building.

"We want to understand what did you want when you said 'go up there'?" Leonnig says in the recording, referring to Trump saying that he was going to march with the crowd to the Capitol.

"I would have said that you will show — not to go in, although they were ushered in by the police. I mean, in all fairness, the Capitol Police were ushering people in. The Capitol Police were very friendly, hugging and kissing -- you don't see that, but there's plenty of tape on that too, the Capitol Police, that's the way it is. I wanted -- personally, what I wanted is what they wanted. They showed up. Just to show support. Because I happen to believe the election was rigged. At a level like nothing has ever been rigged before. There's tremendous proof. There's tremendous proof. Statistically, it wasn't even possible that he won. I mean, things such as in Ohio, Iowa, there's never been a loss."

"Did you need better lawyers because they took it to court—?" asked Rucker.

"I needed better judges. The Supreme Court was afraid to take it, don't forget," said Trump.

Listen to the recording below:

trump recording

Bill Barr blamed Giuliani and 'walking disaster' former Nunes aide for Trump's first impeachment: authors

The new book I Alone Can Fix It by Carol Leonnig and Phil Rucker includes many first-hand accounts of conversations former Attorney General Bill Barr had with other officials in Donald Trump's administration.

While the book doesn't say whether or not Barr was a source, many stories including Barr attempt to portray him as a one of few pushing back against Trump's more harebrained ideas.

In one incident, in April 2020, Trump was raging over Christopher Wray being in control of the FBI. He wanted Wray fired just as he'd done with James Comey. Trump also wanted to get rid of former deputy director of the FBI, David Bowdich and replace him with Kash Patel, a former aide to Devin Nunes who worked to discredit Robert Mueller's investigation.

According to the book, "in private conversations with colleagues, Barr called Patel a 'walking disaster.'" He went on to tell Trump that he would quit on the spot.

"Mr. President, if you try to make Kash Patel the deputy director I will resign immediately. No ifs, ands, or buts," said Barr, according to the book. "No f*cking way."

Barr believed that Patel and Rudy Giuliani bore primary responsibility for Trump's first impeachment.

Both men were feeding Trump misinformation about Ukraine purportedly interfering with the 2016 election. Andriy Derkach, a Ukraine official who turned out to be a Russian agent, was responsible for handing over "information" against Biden to Giuliani and Nunes. The so-called "intelligence" from "Ukraine" turned out to be propaganda from someone who was ultimately sanctioned by Trump's own government as a Russian agent.

Barr explained to Trump that the FBI's rank and file would never accept someone like Patel who wasn't one of their own as the deputy director. Traditionally the deputy is an agent as they are, while the director can be a more of a regular person.

"Mr. President, the FBI is like the Marine Corps," Barr said according to the book. "They're all agents, they've all gone through agent school. You are nobody at the FBI unless you're an agent. The only person who is not an agent is the director. The deputy director has been an agent and has always been an agent and always will be an agent, otherwise you cannot run that place. And to take a clown like him, who has no background, and make him deputy is just beyond the pale."

You can read the whole book, I Alone Can Fix It, from your local bookstore today.

Watch: Author reveals Trump's threatening response to publishing his shocking Hitler quote

Michael Bender's new book revealed a shocking conversation between former President Donald Trump and his former chief of staff John Kelly in which Trump said that late Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler had a legacy of positive achievements.

The new book, Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost, out Tuesday, included the shocking story, but it was an interview with TMZ in which Bender revealed that Trump actually threatened him if he included the comment.

The WSJ reporter recalled Trump twice inviting him to his Florida golf resort Mar-a-Lago to hand over stories and details. Bender said that the former president's response to questions about the Hitler quote was to call it "defamatory." Bender assumed that Trump meant he wasn't afraid of launching a lawsuit if he published it.

Watch the interview below:

NYT's Maggie Haberman explains why Trump is trying to set up a new distraction

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman told CNN that the former President Donald Trump's social media lawsuit is really nothing more than a ruse to get people to focus on his alleged victimhood instead of accusations that he cheated on his taxes.

Speaking Thursday, CNN host John Berman noted that at the same time that this press conference was finishing, a slew of Trump fundraising pitches went out. It made him think that none of this was real and it was just a scheme to make money.

"Usually serious lawsuits are not accompanied by a fundraising solicitation that goes out simultaneously," said Haberman. "As with most things involving Donald Trump, there is some money component involved. I think that's definitely a piece of it. I think the second piece is that this is frankly something of a distraction that he's trying to set up after his company was indicted last week by the Manhattan district attorney and as his CFO was indicted by the Manhattan district attorney. This is a go-to move of his going back to the early 1970s. if you get sued or in some legal trouble, you counter sue in some way. He's not able to counter sue the Manhattan D.A. this is what he's aiming the punch at."

Haberman also noted that this lawsuit has already been tried in court. In fact, BuzzFeed justice reporter Zoe Tillman explained that Trump's whole lawsuit is a kind of mish-mash of other lawsuits that failed.

The most irrational thing to Haberman is the claim that these social media companies are some kind of state actor suppressing free speech. They're private companies with rules that users agree to upfront when they join the sites and agree to the terms of service.

"Donald Trump was president when he was kicked off, so in theory, he was the government," Haberman also said. "So, there's a lot about the argument made in this lawsuit that doesn't quite make sense. It's an issue that plays well with conservatives. I think that's part of why he's doing it."

Berman showed a photo of Trump from the event and the podium that contained a kind of official seal-looking-graphic on the front saying "The Office of Donald Trump."

"Trying to project the image that he is the president," Berman said. "I mean, am I wrong to look at this and say this is a deliberate effort going on here?"

Haberman agreed, saying that everything Trump produces now plays up that he is the 45th president and doesn't say "the former president."

"His staff still calls him 45," she said. "You know, very frequently. That's not unusual to have a president's staff do that. Obama's staff calls him 44. But the fact that they put out these statements being so aggressive this way is very notable. There is this whether it's because it makes him feel good or conveys strength or tries that he is not diminished on stage. He's trying to project this 'I'm still in power' image. And he's not — to be clear."

Berman cited Trump's trip to the border as being part of an effort to make it seem like he's still president. He wondered if this is part of the August attempt to retake the presidency, where there is a fear that there will be violence.

See the discussion below:

Trump biographer explains why Ivanka Trump 'is in peril' along with Allen Weisselberg

President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump is in about as much trouble as Allen Weisselberg is, according to biographer Michael D'Antonio.

Speaking to CNN's Jim Acosta on Sunday, D'Antonio explained that the kinds of things that Weisselberg is accused of are similar to things that Ivanka Trump also did while working for the Trump Organization.

"You know, he really is acting as if he is going to go down with the ship," said D'Antonio of Weisselberg. "I think this is astounding given Michael Cohen's example. But there's another thing that I notice in the president's -- or former president's complaints. And his idea that, 'Well, they're going after really good people, and they would only be going after me because of political motivations.' Well, the big problem for him is that he invited all of this. He ran for president in the first place as a publicity stunt. He wanted to amp up his visibility and increase his bottom line. He never intended to be elected president, and then when he became president, journalists started digging into the facts of his wealth, which has always been in doubt, and then people that he really hurt, that he steamrollered offer the years leaked documents to The New York Times that gave the truth about his taxes for the world to see. Faced with all of that, the prosecutions had no choice but to go after him. So, the idea this is political is crazy. He brought it on himself. These are practices that have been going on for more than a dozen years, and he's getting what he deserves."

D'Antonio explained that the way of doing business for Trump associates is something that has happened for years. It resembles more of an organized crime operation than an ordinary corporation.

"The other person who I think is in peril is Ivanka Trump," D'Antonio also said. "One of the things that Allen Weisselberg is in trouble for is taking money as a contractor and then claiming self-employed status so that he can get some of the retirement benefits that the tax code allows for self-employed people. Well, we know that Ivanka Trump got quite significant sums paid to her as nonemployee compensation. That freed the Trump Organization from paying part of her taxes, and it put her in a status that I think the IRS would have lots of questions about. So, these folks don't know how to play the game straight. I think everything they do is crooked."

See his explanation below:

Trump biographer Ivanka's tax issues

Roger Stone's aide is throwing Women for America First 'under the bus'

Roger Stone associate Kristin Davis is behind a new column blaming Women for America First for being behind the organizing of the "Stop the Steal" rally and saying that Stone had nothing to do with it, reporter Nancy Levin discovered Sunday.

Writing in a conspiracy theory publication, Davis explained that all Stone did was stand outside his hotel with an entourage waiting for a car to pick them up.

"I booked Roger to speak at the Rally to Save America the night prior and was led to believe by Women for America First that he was supposed to speak the following afternoon on January 6th, at a rally they organized which featured President Donald J. Trump. After a completely peaceful rally on January 5th, which attracted thousands of brave American patriots, we woke up the next morning expecting to attend the rally at the Ellipse," the column read.

"However, despite Women for America First promoting Stone as a speaker and insisting that they were sending a transport for Mr. Stone and our team to the Willard Hotel, the escort never came," the piece continued. "As we were waiting, the staff at the Hotel Willard asked anyone congregating in the lobby to stay out of the cold to step outside in order to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the Mayor of Washington, D.C. A simple walk outside, which lasted mere minutes, is the first part of the dishonest conspiracy theory by the mainstream media and Democrat (sic) elected officials that Mr. Stone was somehow organizing the insurrection, or had some sort of advance knowledge of what was going to happen later that day."

Raw Story has never reported that Stone was part of the organizing of the event, but those members of the Oath Keepers militia who were working as the security for Stone are accused of being linked to the plotting of violence.

Justice Department filings showed Jessica Watkins saying to allies that the task "sounds like a sweet gig," meaning the guarding of Stone.

"Looks like we might be security for Roger Stone, if we end up rolling with the Oath keepers(sic)," Watkins texted Donovan Ray Crowl on Jan. 1. Crowl texted back later that day saying, it "should be fun."

Crowl was cited for believing that there would be a "literal war" in the United States on Jan. 6.

Crowl's lawyer said in the court documents that his client wasn't doing anything other than security on Jan. 6, but other messages prosecutors got showed that the Oath Keepers were coordinating with "30-40" people during the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Watkins and Crowl were both indicted on charges of conspiracy, conspiracy to injure an officer and destruction of government property.

Stone appears to be denying that he and the security had discussed anything outside of their work for him.

Women for America First was behind the rally, according to permits requested from the Parks Service.

See the screen capture of the excerpt from Nancy Levin:

'We've asked for everything': Top oil lobbyist caught on tape revealing 11 senators 'crucial' to ExxonMobil

Channel 4 in the U.K. published a startling expose on ExxonMobil's lobbyists who revealed the top most important U.S. Senators who are the ones behind any legislation that might hurt the oil industry.

While many oil companies are diversifying with natural gas, it appears ExxonMobil is going all-in battling to keep "big oil" alive and well.

"Keith McCoy is a senior ExxonMobil lobbyist on Capitol Hill and has represented the company in its liaison with the U.S. Congress for the last eight years," explained the report.

"Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes. Did we hide our science? Absolutely not," said McCoy on camera. "Did we join some of these shadow groups to work against some of the early efforts? Yes, that's true. But there's nothing, there's nothing illegal about that. We were looking out for our investments. We were looking out for our shareholders."

McCoy compared his work with elected officials to fishing with ExxonMobil who supplies the "bait" before it "reels in" the official on issues like a carbon tax, electric cars, taxation and infrastructure.

"When you have an opportunity to talk to a member of Congress, I liken it to fishing, right? You know you have bait, you throw that bait out. And they say: 'Oh, you want to talk about infrastructure, yeah,'" McCoy continued. "And then you start to reel them in and you start to have these conversations about federal leasing programs, you start to have these conversations about a carbon tax. You know, it's all these opportunities that you use and to use the fishing analogy again just to kind of reel them in."

"I make sure I get them the right information that they need so they look good. And then they help me out. They're a captive audience. They know they need you. And I need them," McCoy also said.

He went on to explain that lobbyists aim to have close relationships with officials.

"You want to be able to go to the chief… and say we need congressman so and so to be able to either introduce this bill, we need him to make a floor statement, we need him to send a letter. You name it, we've asked for everything," he said.

But it was the shocking revelation that he has 11 U.S. Senators on the hook.

"Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Senator Jon Tester, Senator Maggie Hassan, Senator John Barrasso, Senator John Cornyn, Senator Steve Daines, Senator Chris Coons, Senator Mark Kelly and Senator Marco Rubio," were all cited.

He went on to explain that the last thing they want is to appear in a public hearing before Congress where the American people can see.

"We don't want it to be us, to have these conversations, especially in a hearing. It's getting our associations to step in and have those conversations and answer those tough questions and be for, the lack of a better term, the whipping boy for some of these members of congress," McCoy confessed.

"There was something we were working on earlier this week where we, where our CEO was invited to a hearing from a member of congress who we know is just going to rip him to shreds when he goes there. So, we look at it and we say: well, why us?" he asked.

See the video below and read the full story at Channel 4:

Revealed: ExxonMobil’s lobbying war on climate change legislation

The best takedown of Donald Trump’s lies is being delivered by Republicans: columnist

Writing for the Washington Post Thursday, reporter Aaron Blake noted that as time crawls forward, the best arguments against former President Donald Trump's "wild baseless claims" has come from the ex-president's own party members.

Most recently, the downfall of Trump's claims about the 2020 election in Michigan came as a result of the state's own Republicans. Wednesday, the Michigan Republican Oversight panel issued a report explaining why nothing illegal happened in the state's vote last November. There was no fraud.

The report even goes so far as to call out Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani for outright lying in court about "overvotes."

"In Michigan and Wisconsin, we have over-votes in numerous precincts of 150 percent, 200 percent and 300 percent," Giuliani said.

"Up to 350 percent in some places!" added infamous "Kraken" lawyer Sidney Powell.

The Michigan GOP called out Giuliani specifically for lying.

This adds to the slate of Republicans who have lined up to take down Trump's lies about the election and the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The congresswoman told the Today Show that Trump has become "more aggressive, more vocal pushing the lie" that the election was stolen.

"It's an ongoing threat. So silence is not an option," she said.

In Arizona, Republicans, some even Trump supporters, are begging the so-called audit to stop because it has become a national joke.

"I think they should maybe just call it quits. I don't think that it's going to serve any purpose. It's not going to change the election," said former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R). "The votes have been certified. Biden is the president. It's not changing. I say move on."

"We express our united view that your 'audit,' no matter what your intentions were in the beginning, has become a spectacle that is harming all of us. Our state has become a laughingstock. Worse, this 'audit' is encouraging our citizens to distrust elections, which weakens our democratic republic," wrote Maricopa County Board of Supervisors urged Senate President Karen Fann (R).

In Pennsylvania, Republicans are eating their own, with the far-right wing of the party demanding censure for anyone who disagrees with Trump. Such was the case with the GOP's reaction to Sen. Patt Toomey (R-PA), who voted that Trump was guilty of the crimes brought during the second impeachment.

"If that primary is going to be a race to the extreme right - and a race to see who is most loyal to Donald Trump - I guarantee you it will be extremely difficult for the Republican Party to win," said Republican county commissioner and former state representative.

They are just among the few out of many. Read the full column at the Washington Post.

Fox News triggered after highest-ranking military officer calls out fake new culture war: 'Go after their budget'

Fox News hosts were triggered Wednesday night after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was owned by military leaders calling out the absurdity of the fake culture war conspiracy around "critical race theory."

A slate of school board and city council meetings have turned into shoutings matches in the past week after Fox News announced its latest culture war issue. They've gone from being against masks to against vaccines to attacking Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss, and now they've come up with a law school theory they've convinced viewers is being taught in Kindergarten.

Gen. Mark Milley, the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, flattened Gaetz and conservatives who have waged war against intellectualism. They have passed local state laws that ban the teaching of things they can't even explain when the media asks them.

Milley put them in their place saying that reading something by a communist doesn't make him a communist.

Lashing out at Milley, Laura Ingraham told viewers of "The Ingraham Angle" that the military budget should be cut in retaliation.

Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) appeared on the show and nodded along with Ingrahm as she advocated slashing the military budget. It's unclear if Waltz supports defunding the military, he hasn't released a statement on it.

See the video below:

Reagan appointed judge lashes out at GOP congressman for Jan. 6 lies and attempts to 'rewrite history'

During the sentencing hearing of a Capitol attacker, the judge invoked Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) for what he said are lies being spread by Republicans in office.

Anna Morgan-Lloyd is the first Capitol attacker to be sentenced for her participation. Ahead of the sentence, she made a statement apologizing for her role and the violence. But it was Judge Royce Lamberth, a Ronald Reagan appointee, went off on Republicans lying about what happened, tweeted Reuters reporter Jan Wolfe.

"I don't know what planet these people are on," the judge said of Clyde and his GOP friends. "I'm especially troubled by the accounts of some members of Congress that January 6 was just a day of tourists walking through the Capitol. I don't know what planet these people are on."

"It was not an accident that it turned violent," Lamberth continued. "It was intended to draw to a halt the very functioning of our government."

"The attempt by some congressmen to rewrite history and say this was all just tourists walking through the Capitol is just utter nonsense."

See the full thread from Jan Wolfe.


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