Fox News now has a conspiracy theory that vindicates both Matt Gaetz and Donald Trump

Fox News personality Tucker Carlson on Friday returned to his debunked conspiracy theory that it was actually the FBI — not Trump and his supporters — who were responsible for the January 6th insurrection.

After Carlson interviewed Glenn Greenwald, the host wondered if maybe the FBI set up not just Donald Trump supporters, but also Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

"It does kind of make you wonder about Matt Gaetz, actually. Remember Matt Gaetz? He was engaged in child sex trafficking," Carlson said with a mocking voice.

"We know that Matt Gaetz kind of went after the national security state, repeatedly, and then they told us that he was a child sex trafficker — maybe he is, we don't know," Carlson said.

"But if he is, why hasn't he been charged yet?" Carlson asked. "Anyone wonder that?"

"What is going on here?" he asked.


Tucker Carlson

Bill Maher goes on angry rant about Big Ag for ‘Bogarting’ California water during drought

HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher slammed the state of California for rationing water for citizens while farmers waste massive amounts of water growing almonds.

"In a story I'm getting tired of reporting, California is running out of water — and this time, just when we started showering again," Maher said.

"The Bay Area was just placed under a water shortage emergency with mandatory restrictions. Except, here's the thing, there isn't — even with the drought — really a shortage problem. It's more a, 'where the water is going' problem. California agriculture accounts for 80% of our water use, even though California agriculture is less than 2% of our economy," he explained.

"We actually have enough water, we give away too much of it to farmers who get their water subsidized by the government because we still act like it's 1890 and farmers are small and independent when they're really mostly part of Big Ag," he continued.

He reserved particular scorn for almond growers and those "Bogarting" the state's water.

And Maher even threatened it might be enough to get him to move from the state.

"California, I love ya," he said. "I've been here a long time. I was a booster for you when it wasn't fashionable. I don't want to go, but I'm not going to breathe ash for the rest of my life. You make me very happy California, but I can be happy without you."


Big Ag

'Here I am': Meet a descendant of one of 272 enslaved people sold on June 19, 1838 by Georgetown U

We look at another significant June 19 in the history of slavery in the United States: June 19, 1838, when Jesuit priests who ran what is now Georgetown University sold 272 enslaved people to pay off the school's debts. In 2016, Georgetown University announced it would give preferential admissions treatment to descendants of the Africans it enslaved and sold. "Ours, as Americans, is an uninterrupted line of inheritance that many of us refuse to believe that we are descendants of," says Mélisande Short-Colomb, who is one of the first two Georgetown University students to benefit from legacy admission for direct descendants and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Georgetown Memory Project.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I'm Amy Goodman.

We look now at another June 19th: 1838, when Jesuit priests who ran what's now Georgetown University sold 272 enslaved men, women and children to pay off the school's debts. In 2016, Georgetown University announced it would give preferential admissions treatment to descendants of the Africans it enslaved and sold.

In 2017, The New York Times published the only known photograph of Frank Campbell, one of the enslaved people sold by the Maryland Jesuits in 1838.

In March, the Jesuits pledged $100 million to atone for their participation in slavery, in a deal with a small representative group of descendants, the Catholic Church and corporate partners. A wider group of descendants opposed the deal, saying it was done in private and doesn't go far enough to repair the harms done.

In a minute, we'll be joined by Mélisande Short-Colomb, one of the first two Georgetown University students to benefit from legacy admission for direct descendants. First, though, this is a trailer of her one-woman play, Here I Am.

MÉLISANDE SHORT-COLOMB: I feel like my whole life and all of the lives that have come before me are balled up inside of me. The New York Times broke a story in April 2016 revealing that the Jesuits had sold 272 enslaved persons in 1838 to raise funds to keep Georgetown University going. A few months later, I discovered that I descended from two families in the sale: the Queens and the Mahoneys. By September 2017, I had entered Georgetown College as an undergraduate student at the age of 63.
Here I am, paying homage to 11 generations of the women who have come into me and who are part of me. I am here to tell their story, handed down over more than 300 years. Our ancestors have waited patiently, through centuries, for us to come to the table of acknowledgment. I am Mélisande Short-Colomb. Here I am. Here we are.

AMY GOODMAN: The trailer for the one-woman play, Here I Am, by Mélisande Short-Colomb, who joins us now, one of the first two students to benefit from legacy admission for direct descendants of the enslaved by the Jesuits at Georgetown University, where she's also a community engagement associate and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Georgetown Memory Project.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Mélisande. It's such an honor to have you with us. Your thoughts today on this first federal holiday of Juneteenth? And if you can talk about that other June 19th, 1838, and what happened?

MÉLISANDE SHORT-COLOMB: Good morning, Amy. Thank you for having me here.

Juneteenth 2021, here we are, acknowledging injustices of the past in the present, for the future. Yes, it did take enslaved people two-and-a-half years in Texas to learn that they had been freed. But it's taken us 156 years as Americans to acknowledge that event. So, we are the turners of the wheels of progress and change.

June 19th, 1838, 183 years ago, my family, two sides of my family — my young great-great-great-grandparents met on a boat on their way to Louisiana and started a family that results in me and many of my cousins in Louisiana. We were part of the human trafficking trade in the United States of America — not the theoretical Middle Passage, which was very true and brought people — more people to the Caribbean and South America than to the United States of America. Yes, I am a Black woman in 2021, who the institution of slavery was built in the wombs of my grandmothers, because every child that they brought into this world, in this life, in this place, from 1677 until 1865, were slaves at birth. What kind of people do that?

Which brings us to the Jesuits, to the founders of the United States of America, to 1868, to 1865, to 1921, to 2021. So, ours, as Americans, is an uninterrupted line of inheritance that many of us refuse to believe that we are descendants of. Black people are not just the descendants of enslavement here in America. We are all the descendants of enslaved here in America. And that is if you got here in 1570, 1619, 1677 or somebody threw you over the fence yesterday. We are here in this place that is 245 years old, plus the colonial period. This belongs to all of us.

AMY GOODMAN: Mélisande, if you can talk about how Georgetown was saved, prevented from going into bankruptcy, by the sale of nearly 300 enslaved people? Of course, I hate to use the word "saved" — in fact, that was a damning of the university.

MÉLISANDE SHORT-COLOMB: Well, the university, the Jesuits owned property in human beings and in land. In all of their dealings and sales and building of economic wealth here in America, they always had a choice: We can sell people, we can rent out people, or we can sell land. And they always chose to sell the people and not the land. The Jesuits still own all the land that they have always owned in Maryland and in the District of Columbia. The Catholic Church — it's not just the Jesuits. The Archdiocese of Baltimore got money from this sale. The Catholic Church, up until 1865, in the United States of America were slave-owning Confederates.

AMY GOODMAN: So, I want to go for a moment to Reverend Tim Kesicki, the president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, speaking at Georgetown University's "Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition, and Hope."

REV. TIM KESICKI: Today, the Society of Jesus, who helped to establish Georgetown University and whose leaders enslaved and mercilessly sold your ancestors, stands before you to say that we have greatly sinned. … We pray with you today because we have greatly sinned and because we are profoundly sorry.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Mélisande Short-Colomb, if you can talk about what this $100 million deal is? Where does this money go? And how did you determine that you were one of the descendants? And then, the larger group of people who are understanding where they come from?

MÉLISANDE SHORT-COLOMB: I cannot actually speak to the details of this agreement between the Jesuits and this group of descendants. I am not part of that group, nor was I privy to those conversations, decisions and agreements that were met. I'm outside of that. I appreciate the effort, the five-year effort that went into creating this concept, because what they've done is make it a GoFundMe. So, we have to raise money — the Jesuits have to raise money to correct the economic disparities of the past. This is within the framework of the Catholic Church and not the wider descendant community. Is it a good thing? Yes, it is. I just don't know and cannot opine, other than to say, "Good. Do your work."

AMY GOODMAN: And then, there was, in 2019, the students of Georgetown voting to create a reparations fund for the descendants of enslaved people sold by the Jesuits, adding a fee of $27.20 to tuition. What happened after this?

MÉLISANDE SHORT-COLOMB: Nothing. It was taken over by the administration. And this was the first time in the United States of America that a voting body voted to go into their own pockets, $27.20. The opposition to that was, it should be charitable, which is the position that the administration has taken over and made it a GoFundMe. So, what the students said was, "We're going to go into our pockets as undergraduate students, in perpetuity, to create an endowment, a student endowment, to engage as Georgetown undergraduate students with the larger descendant community."

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, your play, Here I Am, your one-woman play, what is your message?

MÉLISANDE SHORT-COLOMB: I think, "Here we all are." And my hope with Here I Am was that we have something, we have created something, that can instigate and initiate conversations in the larger context of who we are.

AMY GOODMAN: And those conversations will definitely continue here. I want to thank you so much, Mélisande Short-Colomb, one of the first two Georgetown University students to benefit from legacy admissions for direct descendants enslaved by the Jesuits. I'm Amy Goodman. Stay safe.

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'I've got lots of ammo': NC conservatives express 'real fear' elections are being stolen -- and they want action

Jay DeLancy, a retired Air Force Colonel with a clean-shaven head and the energetic manner of a nondenominational preacher, stood at the front of a Baptist church in the Appalachian foothills on a recent Saturday afternoon at the conclusion of his presentation on voting by non-citizens.

Complete with a slideshow and self-deprecating commentary, DeLancy's presentation detailed a saga running back almost a decade when his group Voter Integrity Project attempted to challenge dozens of registered voters on the basis of jury excuse forms that indicated they were not citizens of North Carolina. The state Board of Elections had thrown out each of the challenges, and successive efforts to obtain legislation remedies failed. DeLancy said he was also frustrated that after 11 of the cases were referred to Immigration & Customs Enforcement for investigation, nothing seemed to come of it.

Voter Integrity Project responds to the NAACP v. NCSBEE ruling.

"But these people are running around saying, 'There is no vote fraud because, well, there's no prosecutions," DeLancy said. "We'll, have you gotten the gist of how hard it is to get a stinkin' prosecution? Have you gotten that yet? So, it's really hard to get one."

A woman with short, silvery hair raised her hand and stood to speak.

"Do you really think that we — we can't go in and break dishes, and we're supposed to sit back like this — I don't think we've got that type of time," she said during the question-and-answer period at the June 12 "Voter Integrity Bootcamp." Held in the spacious sanctuary at Calvary Baptist Church, about 50 people — almost exclusively white, with the exception of one African-American man — strategized methods for deterring voter fraud.

DeLancy attempted to interject, but the woman continued.

"I really don't," she continued. "My real fear is — and this is coming from someone who's usually pretty calm, pretty cool and collected — I want to go out with a baseball bat and break some dishes and make some things happen. I'm tired of this…. I have a real fear that there's going to be civil unrest amongst what are usually very peaceful people. You can only be pushed to the precipice before — I'm done. I mean, when are we going to go golf?"

Expressing frustration, the woman continued, "I'm still not getting any direct action on what I can do."

"Trust me, that's next," DeLancy told her. "But it's a question of the ballot box versus the ammo box. And I'm trying to avoid…."

"I've got lots of ammo," the woman interrupted.

"Honey, you don't have enough," DeLancy said. "You don't have enough. There's not enough ammo on this planet for what you're talking about. Just saying. So, calm down."

Asked about whether his message could potentially fuel violence by undermining confidence in elections, DeLancy told Raw Story: "I'm not going to lie to them. I think there's a way to thread the needle to get elections back to something we can be confident in.

"We need a lot more transparency in this," he continued. "If we don't get it, we will lose our republic. We will become another Venezuela if we don't get this solved."

DeLancy, who co-founded Voter Integrity Project in 2011, held up the Arizona election audit as a model for the kind of process he would like to see to restore trust in elections. The Arizona audit has been widely panned for being run by a little-known company with no experience in election audits, concerns about ballots being compromised, and limiting access to the press.

"We'd like to see an audit — an Arizona-style audit," DeLancy told Raw Story. "In the worst-case scenario, people laugh their heads off, and say, 'You wasted all this money for nothing.'

"In my world, that's how we would do it," he added. "We would have citizen oversight of the process. We've outsourced the job to full-time and part-time government employees. The government employees are not neutral."

A majority of Republicans — 53 percent — believe, falsely, that Donald Trump is the "true president," according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in May. In comparison, only 3 percent of Democrats believe the election was stolen from Trump. Put together with unaffiliated voters, the poll found that 25 percent of all Americans buy into the false belief that the election was stolen.

DeLancy's trainings are receiving publicity from the NC State Defense Forces, which describes itself as an "all-volunteer, pro-government, non-partisan civil defense force comprised of currently and formerly serving military, police, first responders and other like-minded legal US citizens." The group, which announced its aim to "assist state citizens learning how to protect elections," says it upholds an oath to "defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic and to protect and serve the citizens of North Carolina according to the NC State Constitution in times of need such as natural disasters or local threats to law and order." Another press release, dated Dec. 15, 2020, that is published on the group's website announces: "Oath Keepers in North Carolina joining North Carolina State Defense Forces." It is not clear what, if any, connection the NC State Defense Forces might have with the dozen-plus defendants facing federal charges related to the Jan. 6 storming of the US Capitol. Calls to a number listed on the group's website for this story were not returned.

Two recurring themes in DeLancy's presentations are the notion that voter fraud is widespread and that institutions are unresponsive to efforts to ferret it out. Belying DeLancy's complaint about the difficulty of getting prosecutions when it comes to non-citizens voting — which had prompted the woman at his training in King to say she was ready "to go out with a baseball bat and break some dishes" — was a fact that went unmentioned in his presentation: Federal prosecutors under both Trump and Biden have announced indictments of dozens of North Carolina residents accused of voting as non-citizens, including 19 in August 2018, another 19 in September 2020 and, most recently, 24 others in March 2021.

Since the launch of the Voter Integrity Project in 2011, DeLancy has cultivated relationships among far-right Republican lawmakers in the NC House, including Rep. George Cleveland. Bob Hall, a voter-rights watchdog who often winds up on the opposite side in legislative fights, confirmed DeLancy's account that the Republican leadership doesn't always go along with him.

"He's more extreme than what the leadership wants," Hall said.

DeLancy framed his presentation on non-citizens voting at the June 12 training as a tale of heroes and villains. He suggested his audience would probably deem Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who vetoed a bill requiring local clerks of courts to share jury excuse forms with election offices, as the villain. But DeLancy offered a counterintuitive alternative, showing a slide with Cooper's faced X-ed out, alongside that of Republican Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger. With Berger leading the Senate, the bill remained bottled up in committee when the Republicans had a veto-proof supermajority, DeLancy pointed out.

"Cleveland understood what [the legislation] was doing," DeLancy recounted on June 12. "My fingerprints were not on that bill. Cleveland put it through. He said, 'Should I name it 'Voter Roll'? I said, 'No, no, no. It's about jury excusals, interagency cooperation, that's all.' And he did it. He framed it that way."

The legislation supported by DeLancy would have also made the jury excuse forms into public records.

"That's a huge concern," Hall said. "In addition to the fact that the data is not reliable, you're giving an overworked staff at the county board a bunch of bad data. There's no penalty for someone to write, 'I'm not a citizen of the state,' to get out of jury duty. It's not a felony or a misdemeanor. People can write all kinds of things."

The harm of releasing jury excuse forms to citizen volunteers is illustrated by what happened when DeLancy accessed the forms in Wake County in 2012, Hall said.

"He got access to the jury excuse forms, and had his data guy line it up with registered voters," Hall recounted. "It turned out that the data was all wrong. It was complete harassment. There was a guy they videoed; Jay and his allies were coming up to this guy in his driveway, and they say, 'We want to talk to you.' It turns out he's a legitimate citizen. They wanted to claim he wasn't part of it. The thing was by the time they got that information — people who were not citizens at the time they were called to serve on juries had become citizens. Six months later, by the time he was doing his campaign, the data was old."

While DeLancy found Berger, the Republican leader of the state Senate in North Carolina, to be unreceptive, his view of other Republican officials across the country has likewise dimmed.

DeLancy told Raw Story that at one time he believed voter fraud primarily benefited Democrats. That changed during the 2020 election.

"After 2020, I think it mainly benefits an ideology," he said. "You might call it 'Never Trump.' You might call it globalism. In Arizona, the Republican senators were trying to get the ballots, and the Republican governor is trying to stop them."

DeLancy told Raw Story without hesitation that he believes the 2020 election was stolen from Trump. Multiple judges have thrown out lawsuits challenging the 2020 election based on lack of evidence.

"I just find it mighty interesting that Trump was winning those key battleground states that had those large dumps of votes after midnight," DeLancy said. "You get a massive number of ballots that suddenly show up that swing the election conveniently against Trump."

The phenomenon DeLancy described was widely predicted by election observers who had noted that early returns would tend to favor Trump, while later surges of write-in and absentee votes — a method more widely embraced by Democratic voters — would benefit Biden. DeLancy indicated he's well aware of the theory, accurately identifying it as the "Red Mirage."

DeLancy said he's teaching citizen volunteers at the Voter Integrity Bootcamps to canvass voter rolls to try to identify illegal voters. By having volunteers knock on doors at addresses for voters listed as "inactive," he hopes to gather signed statements from witnesses attesting that these voters no longer live at the addresses where they are registered. He said his group will exercise "all options, to include challenging those voters if they show up at the polls."

The two trainings held so far this year by Voter Integrity Project have taken place in Republican-dominated areas, first in Waynesville on April 24 and then in King last weekend. But three trainings scheduled for next month are aimed at Democratic strongholds in Fayetteville, Raleigh and Durham.

During the recent training in King, DeLancy acknowledged the presence of a reporter and made sure everyone in the audience was also aware of it. But he did not temper his remarks.

During a digression on the topic of undocumented people traveling to North Carolina to obtain driver's licenses before the DMV stopped the practice in 2006, DeLancy complained about a TV news story that was too positive for his liking.

"There was just a friendly story about these people who came flooding in from Atlanta in a van," he said. "Couldn't speak a lick of English, but they were getting that license before they had to provide their citizenship. And only in TV-land in Charlotte is this something to celebrate."

Then his voice rose in a growl that revealed his frustration about the way he imagined he and his allies would be perceived because they weren't comfortable with undocumented people obtaining licenses to legally operate motor vehicles.

"But people like you who are obviously white supremacists, people like you are appalled by it," DeLancy said. "And it's like, come on. Come on, guys. Can't we defend our country? Aren't we allowed to have borders?"

'Let's get it straight': Biden sternly smacks down two reporters for making false claims about him in Geneva

President Joe Biden sternly corrected two reporters who mischaracterized his words and relationships during his Geneva press conference recapping his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy, continuing to push his China coronavirus "lab leak" theory, even in Geneva Wednesday afternoon, echoed far right wing talking points that Biden is somehow owned by or financially controlled by China, calling President Xi Biden's "old friend."

Biden refused to allow him to get away with it, snapping back, "Let's get something straight: we've known each other a long time, but we're not old friends."

Moments later, CNN's Kaitlan Collins, a former reporter for Tucker Carlson's far right wing propaganda outlet The Daily Caller, asked Biden, "Why are you so confident" Putin "will change his behavior?"

Biden, who never said that, let it rip.

"I'm not confident he'll change his behavior. Where in the hell? What do you do all the time? When did I say I was confident?"

"Let's get it straight," he urged.

True to form, President Biden minutes later came out and apologized for being "such a wiseguy."

Watch: MSNBC’s Chris Hayes brilliantly uses McConnell's own words to tie him to segregationists

MSNBC's Chris Hayes Wednesday night likened Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to "avowed" segregationists, simply by using his own words.

Hayes showed clips of McConnell talking about voting rights legislation and clips of literal white supremacist segregationists, like Senator Strom Thurmond (photo, right) and Senator James Eastland (photo, left) – all saying the same thing, all giving the same reasons why they don't support legislation to protect the right to vote, namely, they all claimed, falsely, that it's "unnecessary."

"It has been against the law to discriminate on the basis of race in voting since 1870," Hayes reminded viewers, "when the 15th Amendment was ratified, saying, quote, 'the right of citizens of the United States to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.' It says it right there in black and white in the US Constitution. Says that you cannot racially discriminate in voting."

"And so you can imagine a version of Mitch McConnell in, I don't know, 1920 Kentucky saying literally the exact same statement: 'Oh, well why would we need a law to enforce voting rights, it's already illegal,' or, say, avowed segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond, in the middle of filibustering the 1957 Civil Rights Act, saying, quote, 'There are mainly three reasons why I feel, feel the bill should not be passed. The first is that it is unnecessary. Every state has enacted some legislative version, making it unlawful to intimidate a voter or to hinder him in the exercise of his voting rights penalties have been provided for such violation.'"

"We don't need new laws to protect the right to vote, certainly not to protect against discrimination or race those already exists in the Constitution," Hayes said, mocking Thurmond.

"Those were the type of arguments segregationists made, Jim Crow authoritarians decade after decade after decade after decade in this country. As they flogged multiracial democracy to death, underneath the table as they gave those speeches. 'We are not discriminating, the law says we can't. Anyone can vote.'"

"This is how Senator James Eastland a Mississippi notorious segregationist, the 'voice to the white South,' put it to Mike Wallace," Hayes told viewers.

"Well, we have no voting qualifications, based on race," Eastland told Wallace. "We, not at all, and anybody who's qualified can vote,"

Mocking him, Hayes said: "Mississippi Senator. 1957. 'We have no voting qualifications based on race, of course, why would we? It's in the Constitution, we can't.' The Constitution, ratified in 1870. When Mississippi was under federal occupation. They're all saying the same thing. Thurman, James Eastland and well, Mitch McConnell, 64 years later."



'Aren't you being naive?': Fox News' Chris Wallace shreds Joe Manchin for enabling the GOP

Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday challenged Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is refusing to support filibuster reform to pass a voting rights bill and other progressive initiatives.

"You said you oppose scrapping the filibuster," Wallace noted. "The question I have is whether or not -- and you say that you hope that will bring the parties together -- the question I have is whether or not you're doing it exactly the wrong way?"

"Hear me out on this," the Fox News host continued. "If you were to keep the idea that maybe you would vote to kill the filibuster, wouldn't that give Republicans an incentive to actually negotiate because old Joe Manchin is out there and who knows what he's going to do? By taking it off the table, haven't you empowered Republicans to be obstructionists?"

"I don't think so," Manchin said cautiously. "Because we have seven brave Republicans that continue to vote for what they know is right and the facts as they see them, not worrying about the political consequences."

The West Virginia senator insisted that many of his "Republican friends" agree with him.

"I'm just very hopeful and I see good signs," Manchin said. "Give us some time."

Wallace interrupted to point out that Republicans had recently used the filibuster to kill a commission to examine the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"Republicans blocked that," Wallace reminded the senator. "Sen. McConnell, the head of the Republicans in the Senate, says that he's 100% focused on blocking the Biden agenda. Question: Aren't you being naive about this continuing talk about bipartisan cooperation?"

"I'm not being naive," Manchin objected. "I think he's 100% wrong in trying to block all the good things that we're trying to do for America. It would be a lot better if we had participation and we're getting participation."

"I'm going to continue to keep working with my bipartisan friends," he added. "There were 33 Democrats in 2017 that signed a letter to please save the filibuster and save our democracy. That's what I'm trying to do."

Watch the video below:

Chris Wallace shreds Joe Manchin for enabling GOP 'obstruction'

CNN segment blasts GOP lawmakers for throwing their own relatives under the bus in the name of Trumpism

CNN's "New Day" host Brianna Keilar on Friday took aim at Republican lawmakers for their blind and unwavering devotion to former President Donald Trump. In fact, Keilar believes Republicans are so invested in Trump that they may be able to sacrifice their own family members to do his bidding.

"Blood may be thicker than water, but apparently it's not thicker than Kool-Aid," Keilar said.

Keliar analyzed how many Republican lawmakers including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel, Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have all thrown their own family members under the bus just for acceptance from the former president.

Keilar also recalled other moments where Trump managed to get away with insulting his own party's lawmakers only for them to sit back and take the verbal jabs without defending themselves.

"Even if he calls your wife ugly. Mocks your dad. Puts a target on your brother's back or rips your uncle," said Keilar. "In the age of Trump, truly, you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family."

Of all the Republicans Keilar mentioned, Cruz is likely one of the most-mocked Republican lawmakers on social,. Twitter users have never passed up an opportunity to remind him of his unrequited loyalty.

DeSantis kicks off Pride Month by signing 'appalling' and 'shameful' attack on trans kids

As part of an ongoing series of GOP attacks on the rights of transgender youth, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida marked the first day of LGBTQ+ Pride Month on Tuesday by signing a bill to bar trans girls and women from participating in public secondary school and college sports in line with their gender identity.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) told CNN that Florida is the eighth GOP-led state to enact such a ban this year—which has also featured attacks on gender-affirming healthcare. The group vowed to challenge Florida's Senate Bill 1028 in court.

"DeSantis and Florida lawmakers are legislating based on a false, discriminatory premise that puts the safety and well-being of transgender children on the line," said HRC president Alphonso David. "Transgender kids are kids; transgender girls are girls. Like all children, they deserve the opportunity to play sports with their friends and be a part of a team. Transgender youth must not be deprived of the opportunity to learn important skills of sportsmanship, healthy competition, and teamwork."

"The harmful provisions added to S.B. 1028 will not just impact transgender people in Florida," David added. "All Floridians will have to face the consequences of this anti-transgender legislation—including economic harm, expensive taxpayer-funded legal battles, and a tarnished reputation. In Florida, we are ensuring that there are legal consequences to pay for being on the wrong side of history."

Under Florida's so-called "Fairness in Women's Sports Act," student athletes who were identified as male on their birth certificates at the time of birth will not be allowed to participate in any club, intercollegiate, interscholastic, or intramural athletic teams or sports for females that are sponsored by a public secondary school, high school, college, or university.

"As a father of two daughters, I want my girls, and every girl in Florida, to compete on an even playing field for the opportunities available to young women in sports," DeSantis said in a statement.

"In Florida... girls are gonna play girls sports and boys are gonna play boys sports," he added, speaking at Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville flanked by student athletes. "That's what we're doing, and we're gonna make sure that that's a reality."

While Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez (R), Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-10), and Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Chris Sprowls (R-65) all framed S.B. 1028 as a measure that will "protect" the opportunities" for Florida athletes assigned female at birth, critics of the law accused state GOP policymakers of endangering trans girls and young women.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Gina Duncan, Equality Florida's director of transgender equality, called the law "hateful and overtly discriminatory."

"They made it clear that they're not concerned about athletics," she said. "They simply don't believe that transgender people exist... It's not an accident that when transphobia is spewed from the highest levels of leadership, trans kids take the brunt of that bigotry. This bill is shameful. This bill is violent, and it just made the world less safe for our most vulnerable young people."

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-49) called DeSantis' move "appalling," highlighted Trinity's treatment of LBGTQ+ students, and charged that "if GOP lawmakers would have spent half as much time helping Floridians struggling with economic issues as they spent pushing trans kids out of school sports, our state would be much better off."

"Unfortunately, S.B. 1028 contributes to the dangerous stigma that drives the epidemic of violence against and bullying of transgender youth," said Smith, Florida's first openly LGBTQ+ Latino lawmaker. "We adults have a responsibility to protect trans youth, not use them as political pawns in a cynical attempt to score partisan points."

"Right now, the only message that matters is our message for transgender youth," he added. "We see you. You exist and are beautiful and loved. We stand alongside you in the fight for fairness and equality!"

Biden takes a veiled swipe at two Democratic senators

President Joe Biden on Tuesday took an apparent swipe at two of the most conservative Democrats who are blocking critical parts of his agenda, Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona.

"June should be a month of action on Capitol Hill," President Biden said, speaking in Tulsa to honor the 100th anniversary of the racist Tulsa massacre.

"I hear all the folks on TV saying, 'Why doesn't Biden get this done?" the President noted, referring to passing the For the People Act to protect voting rights.

"Well, because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House and a tie in the Senate, with two members of the Senate that vote more with my Republican friends," the President noted.

For those looking at this year's votes, that's not exactly accurate, but during the last administration both Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema voted with President Donald Trump 50.4% of the time, per FiveThirtyEight.

Sen. Manchin has specifically stated he will not vote to support the For the People Act and both Senators have made clear under no circumstances will they support killing the filibuster, which is seen as the only way to advance Biden's agenda, including on voting rights.


CNN host slams Trump for lying about tear gas use at Lafayette Square protest after new admission

Following Memorial Day Weekend, CNN's Brianna Keilar looked back on the one-year anniversary of former President Donald Trump's so-called "Bible photo-op" at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. — slamming him for lying about the use of teargas in Lafayette Square against nonviolent protesters that day.

It was on June 1, 2020 — a week after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis — that law enforcement violently cleared Lafayette Square of nonviolent protesters ahead of Trump's walk from the White House to St. John's Episcopal Church, where he tried to rally his base by holding up a copy of the Bible.

Keilar, during a commentary on CNN's "New Day" the Tuesday morning after Memorial Day Weekend, told viewers: "Today marks one year since Donald Trump's infamous photo-op at St. John's Church at the height of the nationwide George Floyd protests. Further proof that one of his biggest lies about that day does not pass the smell test: the D.C. police, through an attorney, finally admitting that law enforcement used teargas that day against peaceful protesters. You recall, that June day last year, police cleared demonstrators from Lafayette Square so that Trump could walk over, hold up a Bible in front of the church that had been damaged the night before, and say, 'Cheese.'"

Keilar recalled that "after the photo-op, Trump and his allies insisted that no one was teargassed" in Lafayette Square. And she showed footage of Trump, former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and former Fox Business host Lou Dobbs all claiming that no teargas was used in Lafayette Square before adding, "Teargas is unmistakable. It hurts, it burns."

The "New Day" host told viewers, "It was teargas, by the federal government's own definition of teargas…. The attorney for the D.C. Police is finally admitting the obvious for the first time: that officers did use teargas on protesters while defending their actions…. against lawsuits by protesters and the ACLU."

Keilar noted that Richard Sobiecki, an attorney for the D.C. Metropolitan Police, admitted that teargas was used on June 1, 2020 when he said that because of the "curfew, violence of past nights, chaos created by federal defendants," the "discharge of teargas in that direction was not unreasonable."

"A lie can get halfway around the world before truth can get its pants on," Keilar commented. "President Trump and his allies were certainly banking on that. They were dressed and out the door with their lie — teargaslighting at its worst."

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