Travis Gettys

'This cult continues to kill': MSNBC's Mika blasts Trump and his 'evil allies' on Fox News

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski blasted Donald Trump and his "evil allies" who are casting doubts on the coronavirus vaccine as the highly contagious delta variant rages through conservative-leaning areas.

The twice-impeached one-term president issued a statement blaming vaccine mistrust on President Joe Biden, but new infections among the unvaccinated are breaking out in areas that voted Trump.

"He's twisting it again," said the "Morning Joe" co-host. "Let's just look at the facts, look at the hospital records, look at the people who are still dying. The U.S. surgeon general says 99 percent of those people who are dying don't have vaccines. They all could be preventable deaths, and all of the heartbreaking stories of the husbands or wives being put on ventilators and dying and in the last moments, their last breaths of life, they regret that they listened to politicians or cable news hosts, who followed their dangerous, demented advice instead of listening to their doctor."

Brzezinski said the former president has created a death cult around himself, just like history's most notorious manipulators.

"We've been saying that those people following Donald Trump off a cliff were living as if it was like a cult," Brzezinski said. "Let's be clear about this. This is not cult-like behavior, this is not like a cult -- this is now how people behave when they are in a cult. If you want to know why, it's because they are, in fact, living in a cult, that's the definition of one and it's killing them. Whether you're talking about David Koresh and Waco or the Jonestown mass suicides or Donald Trump's lies about COVID, people died and people are dying, and they are dying because Donald Trump and his evil allies on cable news and social media and on Capitol Hill."

"Seems like a very strong word 'evil,'" she added, "until you understand just how many people this cult continues to kill."

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​Prosecutors 'astonished' after witness directly implicates Trump in 'explosive interview': report

A witness directly implicated Donald Trump in the tax fraud scheme that landed his family business and longtime accountant under indictment.

Jennifer Weisselberg, the former daughter in law to indicted Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, told investigators last month in New York that Trump personally guaranteed he would pay school tuition for her two children instead of increasing a salary that could be taxed, reported The Daily Beast.

"Weisselberg [on June 25] provided key details for investigators," the website reported. "In January 2012, inside Trump's office at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, Jennifer Weisselberg watched as Trump discussed compensation with her husband and her father-in-law, both company employees. Her husband wouldn't be getting a raise, but their children would get their tuition paid for at a top-rated private academy instead."

"Weisselberg allegedly relayed to prosecutors that Trump turned to her and said: 'Don't worry, I've got it covered,'" the report added. "Prosecutors were astonished, according to one source."

The Trump Organization was indicted five days after Jennifer Weisselberg's interview on tax fraud charges related to unreported fringe benefits like those she described, and her claims would directly tie the twice-impeached one-term president to the running scheme.

Some of the charges were based on sworn testimony from Jennifer Weisselberg's divorce from Barry Weisselberg, which showed that Trump himself signed a check for tuition payments that she would hand deliver to the school.

Columnist reveals the new mythology Republicans are creating around Trump

The Republican Party's base still pines for Donald Trump, but their inability to move on from the twice-impeached one-term president could cost them big in next year's midterm elections.

The GOP needs the Trump-loving base to turn out in 2022, but those voters only want to hear that his presidency was a golden era that was snatched away from them, so Republican candidates must stoke their rage to make sure they avenge their loss by retaking congressional majorities, reported the Washington Post.

"The Republican base has never had someone like Trump, in his ability to turn them on and move them," said Dan Sena, who ran the House Democrats' campaign arm in 2018. "The Republican base eats, breathes and sleeps Donald Trump."

Sena believes the midterms will hinge on recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, which is already rekindling in poorly vaccinated Trump country, and Democrats believe this will be especially true in the suburbs.

"It's clear the midterm elections will be heavily influenced by COVID recovery," Sena said.

But the GOP base strongly believes that President Joe Biden has made everything worse, while almost all others approve of his handling of the pandemic and many other areas.

"Republicans have a problem," wrote Post columnist Greg Sargent. "The GOP base is fully in thrall to Trump. Their mythology dictates both that COVID was a liberal hoax and that his heroic vanquishing of it showed his towering strength and leadership."

But that won't attract the voters they'll need in the general election.

"While COVID cases are edging up again and the recovery can't be taken for granted, the idea that we'd be better off if Biden had done nothing, or that Trump dealt Biden a historically stupendous hand, is insultingly stupid," Sargent said.

Judge loses patience in MAGA riot case: 'I can no longer give the defendant the benefit of the doubt'

A federal judge on Thursday lost patience with an accused Capitol rioter who expressed "no regrets" about his involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Brandon Fellows, a former grocery store worker from Schenectady, New York, was ordered back to jail while awaiting trial after a federal judge ruled he had violated the terms of his pretrial release by calling his probation officer's mother.

"I can no longer give the defendant the benefit of the doubt," said District Court Judge Trevor McFadden. "I've tried, but we are where we are."

Prosecutors said the 27-year-old Donald Trump supporter skipped a court-ordered mental health evaluation and then called and spoke to his supervising probation officer's mother, and he was arrested again for violating court orders.

Fellows, who traveled to Washington, D.C., to hear Trump speak and wound up inside the Capitol, where he smoked a joint with his feet propped on the desk of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and heckled police officers while roaming the halls.

"I have no regrets," Fellows said shortly after the riot. "I didn't hurt anyone, I didn't break anything. I did trespass though, I guess."

He later amended his boast to say he did have one regret.

"I do regret potentially smoking what may have been weed," he said in February. "I think that discredits me and makes me look stupid to a lot of people, and also it's not something I want to be sharing with my future children."

Prosecutors asked Fellows to plead guilty to felony obstruction of Congress, which carries a 15- to 21-month prison term, but defense attorneys say the government insists on asking the sentencing judge for a terrorism enhancement.

"I've definitely been annoying and I see the frustration from you and all of the parties," Fellows said. "I wouldn't want to deal with me if I was on the opposing side."

Rudy Giuliani hatched Trump’s ‘big lie’ on Election Night after 'drinking too much': new book

A new book appears to detail the genesis of former president Donald Trump's "big lie," in which he has falsely claimed that he won the November 2020 election.

The Washington Post on Tuesday morning published an excerpt from the book, "I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year," by Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

According to the excerpt, the big lie was effectively started by Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who had set up his own command post inside the White House on Election Night.

"After a while, Rudy Giuliani started to cause a commotion," according to the book. "He was telling other guests that he had come up with a strategy for Trump and was trying to get into the president's private quarters to tell him about it. Some people thought Giuliani may have been drinking too much and suggested to (campaign manager Bill) Stepien that he go talk to the former New York mayor. Stepien, (chief of staff Mark) Meadows and Jason Miller took Giuliani down to a room just off the Map Room to hear him out."

In that meeting, Giuliani reportedly went state by state asking Stepien, Meadows and Miller about the latest results. When they responded that Michigan was too early to call because votes were still coming in, Giuilani responded: "Just say we won."

Same with Pennsylvania: "Just say we won," Giuliani said.

"Giuliani's grand plan was to just say Trump won, state after state, based on nothing. Stepien, Miller and Meadows thought his argument was both incoherent and irresponsible," according to the book.

Later, Trump was watching Fox News when the station called the critical state of Arizona for Joe Biden.

"What the f--- is Fox doing?" Trump screamed, before barking orders to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

"Call Rupert! Call James and Lachlan!" he said, referring to Fox owner Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan.

"Get Sammon. Get Hemmer. They've got to reverse this," Trump told senior adviser Jason Miller, referring to Bill Sammon, a top news executive at Fox.

"What the f---?" Trump said. "What the f--- are these guys doing? How could they call this this early?"

At that point, Giuliani reportedly encouraged him to "forget about Arizona and just say he won," by walking into the East Room of the White House and delivering a victory speech.

"Just go declare victory right now," Giuliani told Trump. "You've got to go declare victory now."

Which is exactly what Trump did.

REVEALED: Trump Org indictments based on sworn testimony in 2018 divorce case

A family member helped prosecutors crack open the tax-fraud scheme at the heart of the Trump Organization indictments.

While investigators battled Donald Trump's lawyers in court in an effort to obtain the ex-president's tax records, his longtime accountant's former daughter in law held incriminating documents she was more than happy to turn over -- but prosecutors didn't learn of the evidence until last year, reported The Daily Beast.

"Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization's longtime chief financial officer, has always been key to unlocking the finances of the Trump family business. For years, prosecutors have been looking for documents that would show what exiled insiders like Trump's ex-consigliere Michael Cohen have claimed: that the Trump Organization was fudging numbers and dodging taxes," the website reported. "What investigators didn't know was that the proof was in the hands of Jennifer Weisselberg, the woman once married to Barry Weisselberg, the son of Allen Weisselberg. And it wasn't until November 2020 that city and state investigators connected with her to acquire the evidence."

Weisslberg's son Barry explained his father's unaccounted corporate perks, including tuition payments for his grandchildren, during a sworn deposition during his 2018 divorce case, and New York prosecutors were astonished when Jennifer Weisselberg told them that Trump himself signed a check for those payments that she would hand deliver to the school.

"Investigators found that the CFO's son, a fellow Trump Organization employee in charge of its Wollman ice skating rink at Central Park, was keeping his official salary artificially low," The Daily Beast reported. "In his divorce case, Barry Weisselberg testified that he didn't even get a monetary raise in years, and according to investigators, he received the extra compensation in the form of fringe benefits."

The couple's joint 2010 tax return lists Barry Weisselberg's total income as $132,811, but they lived in a pricy Central Park apartment that should have been recorded as taxable income, but the Trump Organization "intentionally failed to do so."

"Barry Weisselberg was not charged in last week's indictment, but the investigation is ongoing and the government could still target him," The Daily Beast reported. "It's a looming threat that could be understood as a strategy: applying additional pressure on the CFO, so that he cooperates with law enforcement to spare his son from the probe."

Bizarre 'cult map' making rounds on the conspiratorial right sparks confusion and mockery

A bizarre whiteboard image is stirring up conspiracy theories among right-wing social media users, and prompting alarm and ridicule among everyone else.

The image, which features biblical quotes and names connected to former president Donald Trump, was posted on Michael Flynn's account on the right-wing messaging app Telegram and then shared on Twitter by the Patriot Takes watchdog that monitors extremist content.

The whiteboard apparently belongs to right-wing podcaster Clay Clark and purports to map out various conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and the twice-impeached one-term president, and many observers were spooked by the frenzied handwritten image.

GOP-led probe finds no evidence of Michigan election fraud

A Donald Trump-loving attorney was singled out in a scathing Republican-led investigation that turned up no evidence of widespread fraud in Michigan's presidential election.

A 35-page report issued by Senate Oversight Committee spends much time debunking conspiracy theories pushed by pro-Trump attorneys Matt DePerno and Patrick Colbeck and recommends the state's attorney general investigate individuals who made false or misleading claims about Michigan's election to raise money for themselves, reported Bridge Michigan.

"There is no evidence presented at this time to prove either significant acts of fraud or that an organized, wide-scale effort to commit fraudulent activity was perpetrated in order to subvert the will of Michigan voters," wrote state Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), who led the probe.

While the committee did not specify which individuals should be investigated by Democratic attorney general Dana Nessel, the report states that investigators "closely followed Mr. DePerno's efforts and can confidently conclude they are demonstrably false and based on misleading information and illogical conclusions," and McBroom said pro-Trump conspiracists were "purposely defrauding people."

"The claims have become so ludicrous when compared to the actual facts," McBroom told Bridge Michigan, "and yet people persist, such as Mr. DePerno."

DePerno, who has been promoted as an election expert by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, has raised more than $321,000 for an "election fraud defense fund," and Colbeck, a former GOP state senator from Canton Township, said he's raised more than $21,000 for his own defense after Dominion Voting Systems threatened to sue him over his election fraud claims.

The report, which is the result of an investigation that began Nov. 7, comes as DePerno, Colbeck and other Trump allies push for a "forensic audit" of Michigan's election, but McBroom said there's "no point" because his own examination found no irregularities or "nefarious" actions.

"Our clear finding is that citizens should be confident the results represent the true results of the ballots cast by the people of Michigan," McBroom concluded. "The committee strongly recommends citizens use a critical eye and ear toward those who have pushed demonstrably false theories for their own personal gain."

Florida students required to register political views with the state to promote 'intellectual diversity'

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation requiring students, faculty and staff at Florida's public universities and colleges to register their political views with the state as a way to encourage "intellectual diversity."

The state will require taxpayer-funded colleges and universities to issue surveys to determine "the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented" on campus and whether students, faculty and staff "feel free to express [their] beliefs and viewpoints," although it's not clear what will be done with the poll results, reported the Tampa Bay Times.

"It used to be thought that a university campus was a place where you'd be exposed to a lot of different ideas," DeSantis said, justifying the legislation. "Unfortunately, now the norm is, these are more intellectually repressive environments. You have orthodoxies that are promoted, and other viewpoints are shunned or even suppressed."

DeSantis didn't offer any specific examples of that repression but instead claimed he "knows a lot of parents" who are worried their children will be "indoctrinated" with ideas they don't support, and a pair of state legislators complained that Florida colleges and universities had become "socialism factories."

"We always hear about the liberal parts of the university system, and we don't hear so much of that from the college system," Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) said Tuesday at a state university system's Board of Governors meeting.

House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R-Palm Harbor) complained the state's universities lacked "diversity of thought" at a news conference with DeSantis.

"As the governor said, we are at great risk, as a nation and as a state, on the lack of intellectual diversity that is on our university campuses," Sprowls said. "We have decided that one ideological standard will win the day, but the thing is we're losing because we're not having real conversations."
DeSantis and the bill's sponsor, state Sen. Ray Rodrigues (R-Estero), suggested funding could be cut as punishment for colleges and universities found to be "indoctrinating" students under the measure, which goes into effect July 1.

"That's not worth tax dollars and that's not something that we're going to be supporting moving forward," DeSantis said.

Rodrigues insisted that faculty would not be promoted or fired based on their political views recorded in the survey, which is not required to be filed anonymously, and will be selected or created by the state university system's Board of Governors and the State Board of Education.

DeSantis also signed a law prohibiting university and college officials from limiting campus speech that "may be uncomfortable, disagreeable or offensive," and will allow students to record lectures without consent that may be used as evidence in a civil or criminal case against educational institutions.

'Pivotal' new video evidence released in Capitol riot investigation

Newly released videos from the Jan. 6 insurrection shows how a small number of Donald Trump supporters instigated the breach of the U.S. Capitol

The Justice Department released videos showing Charles Donohoe and other members of the Proud Boys militia preparing to storm the Capitol, and they were soon joined by other Trump supporters who had been encouraged a short time before by the former president to "fight" his election loss.

"The first set of video shows the quiet before the storm, showing Charles Donohoe and others associated with Proud Boys getting ready to breach a police barrier," said MSNBC's Scott MacFarlane. "This piece of footage shows him carrying a stolen riot shield with another defendant. That would be pivotal, [because] prosecutors say they used it to breach a window and get into the Capitol."

"The first set of video shows the quiet before the storm, showing Charles Donohoe and others associated with Proud Boys getting ready to breach a police barrier," said MSNBC's Scott MacFarlane. "This piece of footage shows him carrying a stolen riot shield with another defendant. That would be pivotal, [because] prosecutors say they used it to breach a window and get into the Capitol."

The new evidence could be used to establish intent as part of a conspiracy case against the Proud Boys militants.

"In this piece of video, prosecutors say someone in the mob says, 'Let's storm the expletive Capitol,'" MacFarlane said. "Somebody else responds, saying, 'Let's not say that out loud, this is the quiet before the storm.' In the third piece of video, you see that group, this group of insurrectionists, the circles here provided by the Justice Department, spotlighting certain defendants as they make their cases."

"That group will vastly outnumber police on the frontlines on the East Lawn of the Capitol and eventually they make their move," he added. "You see the numbers, mob versus police, they start pushing forward with flags, U.S. flags, Trump flags and start exchanging blows. Again, the prosecutors are circling certain people as they try to make arguments in court, but there are chemical sprays deployed, makeshift weapons thrown at police, and eventually this mob overwhelms the police line, gets its first access to the east front of the Capitol."

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