Mitt Romney today denounced hate speech in his address to the Values Voters Summit, a virulently anti-gay right-wing extremist convention held and attended by several certified anti-gay hate groups. In response, Bryan Fischer, the public face of the certified anti-gay hate group, American Family Association, called Romney’s speech “tasteless and tawdry.”
“Our values are noble as citizens and they strengthen the nation. We should remember that decency and civility are values too. One of the speakers who will follow me today has crossed that line I think. Poisonous language doesn’t advance our cause,” Romney said.
Most believe Romney was referring to Bryan Fischer.
“Romney did in fact use the opportunity to put at least a little distance between himself and Fischer,”Â Right Wing Watch, a watchdog group run by PeopleÂ For the American Way, offered.Â “PeopleÂ For the American WayÂ repeatedlyÂ calledÂ on Mitt Romney this week to denounce BryanÂ Fischer, theÂ radical American FamilyÂ Association spokesmanÂ who immediately followed Romney at theÂ Values Voter Summit and whoseÂ relentless bigotryÂ has beenÂ thoroughly chronicledÂ here at PFAW’sÂ Right Wing Watch.”
â€œMitt Romney clearly realized that his presidential campaign couldnâ€™t ignore the bigotry of Bryan Fischer and the American Family Association,â€ said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. â€œIâ€™m glad that he saw fit to put at least a small distance between himself and the hate speech regularly pushed by Fischer, even if he couldnâ€™t bring himself to call Fischer out by name. Since he began running for President, Mitt Romney has bent over backwards in a desperate attempt to make himself palatable to the extreme right. At least weâ€™ve seen that there are some things heâ€™s willing to speak out against, no matter how tepid his condemnation may be. Itâ€™s disappointing that none of the other candidates have been willing to go even that far.â€
Andrew Harmon at The Advocate added that, “Romney was no model of tolerance in his address. The former Massachusetts governor sought to burnish his own antigay credentials before a crowd that had wildly cheered onstage condemnations of the Pentagonâ€™sÂ recent decisionÂ allowing military chaplains to officiate at same-sex weddings (an ironic reaction from those who normally rail against abridgements of religious freedom, critics charged).”
If elected, Romney pledged to vigorously defend the Defense of Marriage Act and blasted the Obama administrationâ€™s February announcement that it would no longer do so. The Justice Department has since filed briefs in current legal challenges against DOMA and has argued that the law is unconstitutional. â€œI will appoint an attorney general who will defend the bipartisan law passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton,â€ Romney said of DOMA.
Openly gay Republican presidential candidateÂ Fred KargerÂ gave Romney few points for his criticism of Fischer: â€œI hope other Republican presidential candidates will join Mitt Romney and me in condemning Bryan Fischerâ€™s hate speech … but Republican presidential candidates have no business kowtowing to these known hate groups,â€ Karger toldÂ The Advocate.
Surprisingly, GOProud, the gay Tea Party group, praised Romney.Â “We have a country on the edge of fiscal disaster and it is critical that we have a united conservative movement that can make the case to average Americans about why our vision, our values and our policies are right for this country,â€ Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder of the nascent media-savvy organization said. â€œThe last thing we need is a right wing version of Jeremiah Wright, distracting and dividing us, and thatâ€™s exactly what Bryan Fisher is.â€
LaSalvia did not mention any of the anti-gay comments one of his board members, Ann Coulter, regularly makes.
Sarah Posner at Religion Dispatches wrote,
After his speech this morning, I asked the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer what he thought of Mitt Romney’s comments about him. His reply:
I thought it was tasteless. I thought he was allowing the New York Times and the Southern Poverty Law Center and People for the American Way to dictate the content of his speech, which I think was a mistake for him to do at the Values Voters Summit. That was kind of an insult to the people in the room. . . .Â I donâ€™t think it helped him.
I then asked Fischer whether he though only an evangelical Christian was qualified to be president. He said, “I didn’t say that,” and to my question of whether he thinks that, he continued to reply, several times over, “I didn’t say that.”
Another reporter asked Fischer whether he thought Mormonism was a cult. He said, “Mormonism is outside the mainstream of historic Christian orthodoxy.” Asked whether being Mormon disqualified someone from being president, he would only repeat: “Mormonism is outside the mainstream of historic Christian orthodoxy.” Given that he hadÂ earlier saidÂ that the president must be “a main of sincere, authentic, genuine Christian faith,” it’s not hard to figure out what he thinks.
If there’s one thing you can say about Bryan Fischer, it that it’s never hard to figure out what he thinks.
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In Angry Letter McCarthy Warns Thompson J6 Docs ‘Do Not Belong to You’ – After Defending Trump Taking Classified Info
House Minority Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in an angry letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) warned the Chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that his role will end on January 3 and it is “imperative that all information collected be preserved.” The California Republican congressman had a dramatically different position on Donald Trump‘s unlawful retention of well over ten thousand items from the White House, including at least 300 documents with classified markings, including some classified at the highest levels.
McCarthy, who is running to be Speaker of the House but is facing strong opposition from some of the GOP caucus, nevertheless is acting as if he will wield the gavel.
His letter, angry and accusatory in tone, also strongly suggests Republicans will hold their own hearings on the January 6 attack on the Capitol and on democracy, but with a vastly different focus.
“The American people chose Republicans to lead the 118th Congress,” McCarthy’s letter begins. “On January 3, 2023, your work as Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will come to an end,” McCarthy told Thompson in his letter, which was reported on by CBS News.
“For those reasons, I remind you and your staff on the Committee to preserve all records collected and transcripts of testimony taken during your investigation in accordance with House Rule VII. As the Chairman, regardless of who may be directing the work of the Committee, you are responsible for the work done by its members and staff.”
Some have suggested that Thompson could transfer some or all of the Committee’s work product – all transcripts and other evidence – to the Senate.
McCarthy continued with his angry attack.
“It is clear based on recent news reports that even your own members and staff of the Committee have no visibility into the totality of the investigation. Some reports suggest that entire swaths of findings will be left out of the Committee’s final report. You have spent a year and a half and millions of taxpayers’ dollars conducting this investigation.”
House Republicans, including McCarthy, spent million dollars on six Benghazi investigations, the last one of which McCarthy admitted was designed to harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping,” McCarthy bragged in 2015.
Unlike his defense of ex-president Donald Trump unlawfully removing and retaining at Mar-a-Lago approximately 13,000 items belonging to the National Archives from the White House, McCarthy warned Thompson the Committee’s work does not belong to the Chairman.
“It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” McCarthy wrote. “The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people, and they are owed all of the information you gathered – not merely the information that comports with your political agenda.”
That’s actually false.
The Committee has undoubtedly uncovered government secrets, including national security information, classified information, and information, for example, the Secret Service needs to keep secret to allow it to continue to secure its protectees. It also has entered into agreements with witnesses that prevent it from releasing those documents, transcripts, and other evidence to the public.
Politico’s senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney says, “Kevin McCarthy’s letter demanding that the Jan. 6 committee preserve its records is mostly nonsense because the committee is planning to release all but a few of its transcripts.”
McCarthy continued, warning: “Although your Committee’s public hearings did not focus on why the Capitol complex was not secure on January 6, 2021, the Republican majority in the 118th Congress will hold hearings that do so.”
He then served up what some might say is a threat.
“The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts and to be able to view the transcripts with an eye toward encouraged enforcement of 18 USC 1001.”
18 U.S. Code § 1001 is the federal statute that makes it a crime to knowingly make false statements.
McCarthy had a very different take when the U.S. Dept. of Justice executed a legal search warrant of Donald Trump’s Florida residence and resort, Mar-a-Lago, to retrieve government-owned materials, including classified documents.
“Joe Biden and the politicized Dept. of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump,” McCarthy said on Sept. 1. “That is an assault on democracy.”
“Joe Biden and the politicized Department of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump. That is an assault on democracy.”
— House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, before Biden gives remarks in Philadelphia, attacks the lawful Mar-a-Lago search pic.twitter.com/qDwPSzrYs8
— The Recount (@therecount) September 1, 2022
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Treasury Dept. Finally Hands Over Six Years of Trump’s Tax Returns to Powerful House Committee
The U.S. Dept. of the Treasury has finally handed over six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns, after the U.S, Supreme Court denied the ex-president’s request to block the document transfer. The powerful House Ways and Means Committee is now in receipt of all six years, according to a Wednesday afternoon report from CNN.
The returns are primarily from Trump’s time as president.
The Committee will need to work quickly, as Republicans will take over the House majority early next year, and the current Chairman, Richard Neal, will no longer serve in that role.
Republicans are expected to end any investigations into Donald Trump, including his tax returns, as they begin investigations into top GOP priorities: Hunter Biden’s laptop, the origin of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Image via Shutterstock
Trump Allies So Shaken by His White Supremacist Dinner a Top Campaign Aide Will Now ‘Be Present With Him at All Times’
Top allies of Donald Trump were so disturbed by his decision to have dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes last week that the ex-president and 2024 GOP candidate will now have a handler with him around the clock.
The Associated Press also reports the campaign has also changed the protocols for visitors and will start to vet guests who come to see Trump, after the few procedures in place allowed antisemite Kanye West to bring along three guests.
“In an acknowledgment of the severity of the backlash and an effort to prevent a repeat, Trump’s campaign is putting new protocols in place to ensure that those who meet with him are approved and fully vetted, according to people familiar with the plans who requested anonymity to share internal strategy,” the AP adds, revealing the campaign apparently does not trust the 76-year old ex-president to make decisions about who he should or should not spend time with.
“The changes will include expediting a system, borrowed from Trump’s White House, in which a senior campaign official will be present with him at all times, according to one of the people,” the AP adds, revealing what appears to be a previously unknown fact.
The lax security at Mar-a-Lago was in place when Trump was storing 300 documents with various classified markings, including documents with top secret information and a set with the highest level of classification.
In yet another stunning revelation the AP reports that the antisemitic Holocaust “denier” and white supremacist Fuentes “arrived by car with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and was waved into the club by security, even though only Ye had been on the security list, according to one of the people present and others briefed on the events.”
The AP also reports that “Fuentes apparently did not show his ID and the car’s driver, a frequent guest at the club, got in using a credit card after misplacing her license.”
The report does not mention the other two guests Trump dined with, reportedly far right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who has supported adult men having sex with young teens, and Karen Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno, who was reportedly involved in a pay-for-pardon scheme.
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