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Thomas Roberts To Travel To Russia To Host Donald Trump’s Miss Universe — What Do You Think?



Thomas Roberts will be the next host of Miss Universe, a joint Donald Trump-NBC venture. Roberts, an MSNBC anchor, says he campaigned “aggressively” for the opportunity after Andy Cohen, who had hosted the previous two years, announced he would not go to Russia because of Vladimir Putin‘s anti-gay laws.

“Courage is contagious,” Roberts proclaimed, in a post at MSNBC yesterday. “I have felt that way since coming out publicly in 2006. I’ve never regretted it.”

Roberts, who turned 41 this month and last year married his partner of 12 years, Patrick Abner, writes that he made the decision to go “partly because it is a huge, visible opportunity for LGBT people. Everywhere.”

I am not a special case. I am a good person, good spouse, good child, good sibling, good friend and hard worker. That is me. I am just like millions of LGBT people around the world. We are good, regular, hard-working people who come from solid families. So when I heard there was a chance at this assignment I aggressively went after it. Lo and behold the Miss Universe team, NBC Entertainment & the Trump team agreed and offered it to me.

He also says he wants to go because all children, “Russian, American or otherwise—need hope.”

We do them no favors by turning away now. We must be visible, we must show up, and, as Harvey Milk said, we must “give them hope.”

I go to prove there’s hope.

Roberts, who is a Roman Catholic, also explains that he and his husband are, when it comes to many things in life, like most Americans, “traditional.”

I am unafraid to tell you how traditional my husband and I are. After 13 years, we continue to foster and grow our life together, with highs and lows, the folly and the fights. The same things many long term couples experience. Simple things: Trash night, dog walks, the remote control. Tough things: Homophobia, job loss, death.

You can’t get more traditional than that and, above all, we love each other.

Acknowledging that there’s a “tremendous amount of hypocrisy” that goes with his work on equality and trip to Russia, Roberts explained his thinking this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

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Veteran LGBT journalist Karen Ocamb notes that “Roberts is not going as a journalist covering the pageant, where, like Anderson Cooper, he can insert himself into the story. And he’s no flamboyant Elton John or Liberace where someone looking at near-naked women is going to look over and say, ‘Hey, he’s gay!’ No one’s going to know or suspect or care because Roberts easily passes as straight. And I doubt Trump is going to let him shout his not-so-secret love from the highest hills, get arrested and become a celebrity test case for the anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law.”

She cautions that “Roberts must do a lot of pre-pageant publicity to let those LGBT people know he’s coming. And maybe then Trump will loosen the contract strings and let him appear on Moscow TV and talk about being a good gay with a good job and a loving husband. He does appear to be a good guy, after all. But Miss Universe is still a money-making venture—not a platform for LGBT or human rights. He might find juggling Trump harder to deal with than his Russian minders.”

Blogger John Aravosis, who has been one of the leading journalists reporting on the anti-gay hate in Russia, put it bluntly.

It’s not enough just to show up.

Clarence Thomas shows up.

So does Alan Keyes.

And Allen West.

Yet, the Republican party has not become any more concerned about African-Americans. The GOP does, however, have a few more token faces to wave at Independent voters to convince Indies of how welcoming the Republican party is to minorities.

One would also be at pains to argue that the presence of Ann Coulter, or Phyllis Schlafly, in the Republican party has done anything to temper the GOP’s war on women.  If anything, they’ve made it worse.

That’s not to argue that Thomas Roberts is the gay equivalent of Clarence Thomas or Ann Coulter, he most thankfully is not.  But bigots love an exception to a rule, and are perfectly capable of loving you as an anomaly, while continuing to hate your brethren. It’s why people fawned over Liberace half a decade ago, clueless – or careless – that the gayest man on the planet was queerer than a three dollar bill.

Any gay person who travels to Russia in an official capacity risks becoming homophobia’s beard.

There are many LGBT people and supporters of the LGBT community who believe any association with Russia, anything Russian, and anything perceived to be Russian, is a traitorous. There are others, perhaps like Roberts, who believe change comes by working from within.

What do you think about Roberts hosting Miss Universe in Russia?

Weigh in below.

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Trump Could Face 20 Years Behind Bars for ‘Serious Felonies’ at Mar-a-Lago: Legal Analyst



A legal analyst for ABC News pointed out that former President Donald Trump is potentially facing 20 years in prison for “serious felonies” after the search of his Mar-a-Lago home.

Dan Abrams told ABC host Jonathan Karl that the Department of Justice could indict Trump for multiple crimes after finding classified documents during the search.

“They’re very serious,” Abrams said of the charges. “And the one that’s being talked about most is this espionage act because it has the word espionage in it. But the truth is that when it comes to potential criminal sentences, the obstruction of justice statute is the one with the most potential prison time.”

“There you’re talking about up to 20 years behind bars,” he added. “So these are not sort of minor crimes we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the potential for serious felonies with regard to all three of the crimes being investigated.”

But Abrams threw cold water on the idea that a Trump prosecution would be easy.

“The fundamental question is going to be intentionality,” he opined. “How much do they believe that they did this on purpose? Were they intentionally ignoring subpoenas? Were they literally destroying documents?”

Watch the video below from ABC.


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New Analysis Breaks Down GOP’s Flawed Response to the Mar-a-Lago Search



Republican lawmakers are reportedly at an impasse on whether or not they should be defending former President Donald Trump amid his latest flurry of legal woes. The party is also facing challenges with navigating some lawmakers’ critical assessments of law enforcement over the Trump investigation.

A new analysis is breaking down Republicans’ seemingly flawed response and how it underscores the cracks in the political party’s foundation.

According to Axios, the analysis comes shortly after documents released on Friday, August 12, offered details about the search which reportedly involved “highly classified materials believed stored in violation of the law at the ex-president’s private residence.”

Prior to the release of those documents, Republicans serving on the House Intelligence Committee participated in a press conference where they continued to criticize the investigation, describing it as being politically motivated.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) scrutinized the investigation deeming it a “complete abuse” of authority as she suggested it was being conducted because the former president is considered to be “Joe Biden’s most likeliest political opponent in 2024.”

However, some Republicans on the committee have offered a more leveled approach to the situation. Per The New York Times, “Trump allies have told top Republicans to tone down their criticism of the Justice Department ‘because it is possible that more damaging information related to the search will become public.'”

“It’s incumbent upon everybody to act in a way that’s becoming of the office they hold,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), a former FBI agent, “And that’s not casting judgment on anything until you know all the facts.”

Others have attempted to defend the former president. Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) said, “You can say nuclear weapons, but there are things that are highly, highly classified, there are things that are not extremely classified.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is now selling merchandise on her website in support of a call to “defund the FBI” while Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) tweeted, “I will support a complete dismantling and elimination of the democrat brown shirts known as the FBI.”


Image: Elise Stefanik with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago via Facebook

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Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama



Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.

“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.

“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”

READ MORE: FBI Agents Searched Mar-a-Lago for ‘Classified Documents Relating to Nuclear Weapons’: Report

Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.

“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”

Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.

READ MORE: DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.

“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”

That is also false.

The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.

“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”

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