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OPINION: How Many Lies Did the Sponsor of North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Bill HB2 Just Tell on MSNBC?…

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…And How Many Did Chuck Todd Let Him Get Away With?

I think I just saw one of the worst interviews “Meet the Press” has ever conducted. Host Chuck Todd just interviewed the Republican lawmaker who was the primary sponsor of North Carolina‘s anti-LGBT law, HB2. Rep. Dan Bishop showed up with a huge smile on his face, as if he just won a huge prize. And he had – Bishop and his GOP colleagues rammed through both sides of the General Assembly what some have called the most anti-LGBT bill in the nation. And he managed to get it done, from “debate” to signing by the governor, in well-under 12 hours.

But back to “Meet the Press.”

Chuck Todd was extraordinarily, and visibly, uncomfortable with the issue of LGBT civil rights. I’m pretty sure (feel free to tell me I’m wrong) he said “transgendered,” a few times, and had to carefully pronounce “sexual orientation and gender identity,” and even “LGBT.”

Nope, I’m right:

Worse than his discomfort was his obvious lack of knowledge of the subject.

This is an issue with broad implications for the LGBT community, and sure, it’s a national debate where many people have differing opinions. But what’s never up for debate is asking an important question and allowing the person you’re interviewing to wriggle and slither out of an answer – yet Todd did that repeatedly.

I’m not the only one who’s furious:

Bishop’s first words were literally, “It’s funny how misimpressions get started, Chuck.” That’s a heads-up, a gift, actually, to any journalist worth their salt that their guest intends to, and is prepared to, obfuscate and try to twist the facts. Apparently, Chuck Todd didn’t get that memo.

Bishop began his lies by claiming that HB2 is a “business regulation” bill. It is not, and it’s extremely clear what its intention was, since Republican lawmakers, especially House Speaker Tim Moore and Gov. Pat McCrory made numerous public statements about their intentions.

Bishop went on to claim, “what we did was restore common sense,” and Todd totally let that pass. It’s not common sense to force a transgender woman into the men’s room, or to force a transgender man into the women’s room.

He also gave the usual sexist trope about concern for women’s privacy. Why not concern for men’s privacy too? Two words: misogyny and paternalism.

Then there was this.

“Do you believe your bill prevents discrimination against gays and lesbians in North Carolina?,” Todd asked, ignoring the fact that HB2 really targets transgender citizens. “You don’t feel like you’ve rescinded protections?,” Todd continued. (Why would Rep. Bishop’s feelings have any journalistic rationale in this interview?)

“Absolutely not,” Bishop claimed, because Todd let him when he said “feel.”

“We worked very hard to preserve every piece of protection that North Carolina law, or Charlotte law, provided before the City Council went off the cliff and opened up women’s bathrooms to men,” Bishop claimed. That’s untrue, as best as I can see – maybe legal experts can weigh in.

Chuck Todd did not even try to push back on that. “Rep. Bishop, transgender women are not men,” was all he had to say. He did not.

And notice how Bishop wholly ignores the nine locales in North Carolina whose nondiscrimination protections he and his compatriots literally voided with the stroke of Gov. McCrory’s pen?

And there’s more.

“Let’s take Caitlyn Jenner. Which bathroom would she legally be allowed to use in North Carolina,?” Todd later asked. 

To this day, no one who listened to Rep. Bishop knows, because he never answered the question. Bishop responded by saying that HB2 only covers restrooms in public buildings. 

And, stunningly, he said, “the notion that [HB2] undermines discrimination protections is absurd.” 

Of course it is because there aren’t any. North Carolina has no statewide protections for LGBT people!

Todd asked the Jenner question again, and Bishop again obfuscated. Since he doesn’t know what’s on her birth certificate, he can’t answer the question. Which was a goldmine that Todd was incapable of mining.

When asked, “How do you check to see if somebody’s following the law?,” Todd actually let Bishop get away with, “The question is one of custom.” 

Seriously?

Because just a few decades ago, in North Carolina, it was “custom” to not allow Blacks use the same restrooms as whites.

Later, calling LGBT activists and supporters of Charlotte’s nondiscrimination ordinance “dishonest,” Bishop says those people “can point to no protection that’s been rolled back.”

Rep. Bishop can tell that to the residents of Buncombe, Mecklenburg, and Orange counties, and resident of cities like Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, and towns including Boone, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill.

Rep. Dan Bishop did not actually answer most of Todd’s questions– or he just flat-out lied, or both. I’ll let legal minds dig into that more. And again, NBC News’ preeminent journalist enabled him. Todd literally handed the anti-LGBT community a blank check to twist truth and tell lies and have the platform of what is supposed to be a liberal network on which to do it. 

Memo to MSNBC: You have actual, and excellent, journalists on staff. One of your two best, Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow, should have been asked to interview Rep. Bishop, not Chuck Todd. What a shame.

 

EARLIER:

North Carolina Gov. McCrory in Hot Seat as Apple, Google, NBA, Many Others Denounce Anti-LGBT Law

Pat McCrory Says He Signed the Broadest Anti-LGBT Bill in the Nation to Prevent Government Overreach

NC GOP Governor, Lawmakers Race to Rescind Charlotte’s LGBT Nondiscrimination Bill

 

Image: Screenshot via MSNBC

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News

Former Trump CFO Nearing ‘Unexpectedly Favorable’ Plea Deal With Manhattan DA: NYT

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Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who worked for the Trump family since 1970, is nearing a plea deal with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in his case, according to The New York Times. Charges include conspiracy, grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and falsifying business records.

Weisselberg, who is 75, could walk away with a minor prison sentence of just five months, the Times reports, calling it “an unexpectedly favorable outcome for him.”

The plea deal would not include any cooperation on broader issues related to Donald Trump. Legal experts have said Weisselberg knows nearly everything that the Trump Organization has done.

READ MORE: Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss – Trump Org and Ex-CFO Weisselberg Criminal Fraud and Tax Evasion Case Will Proceed

“His plea deal, if finalized, would bring prosecutors no closer to indicting the former president but would nonetheless brand one of his most trusted lieutenants a felon.”

Earlier this year Manhattan D.A. Bragg came under intense criticism after he seemingly halted his office’s longtime investigation into Donald Trump.

One of the prosecutors who worked 0n the Trump case but quit when Bragg ended it called it a “grave failure of justice,” and said Trump was “guilty of numerous felonies.”

“Prosecutors accuse Weisselberg of a 15-year scheme to defraud federal, New York State, and New York City tax authorities of $1.76 million in ‘off-the-books’ compensation,” Law & Crime reported. “These included $359,058 in tuition expenses for multiple family members, $196,245 for leases on his Mercedes Benz automobiles, $29,400 in unreported cash, and an unspecified amount in ad hoc personal expenses, according to his indictment.”

In 2018 The New Yorker reported “Allen Weisselberg, the firm’s longtime chief financial officer, is the center, the person in the company who knows more than anyone.”

 

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News

Does Trump Still Have Classified Docs? DOJ May Think So After Asking Judge to Keep Affidavit Sealed Former Fed Says

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After the National Archives had to travel to Mar-a-Lago earlier this year to take back 15 cartons of documents and other items from the Trump White House, and even after the FBI raided Donald Trump’s Florida home last week, could it possible the Dept. of Justice thinks the former president is still holding onto classified documents?

One former federal prosecutor says that one of two distinct possibilities, after DOJ asked a federal judge on Monday to not unseal the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion.

“There remain compelling reasons, including to protect the integrity of an ongoing law enforcement investigation that implicates national security, that support keeping the affidavit sealed,” the Dept. of Justice’s filing states, ABC News reports. “In a footnote, department officials write that they ‘carefully considered’ whether they could release the affidavit with redactions, but the redactions necessary to ‘mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content, and the release of such a redacted version would not serve any public interest.'”

READ MORE: Rumors Swirl as ‘Flight Risk’ Trump Claims FBI Took His ‘Three Passports’ – He Can Still ‘Ask for Asylum’

“Interesting tidbit,” writes The New York Times’ Alan Feuer. “Prosecutors acknowledge they’ve been interviewing witnesses and say the release of the warrant application could ‘chill future cooperation by witnesses as ‘investigation progresses.'”

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotto says the Dept. of Justice may think Trump still has more classified documents – or there are charges coming in response to the Mar-a-Lago raid.

Mariotto writes: “This suggests DOJ is continuing its investigation, which means one of two things: 1) DOJ *still* isn’t convinced they have all of the classified material Trump took when he left office. 2) They have an ongoing criminal investigation of this matter that could result in charges.”

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

“That’s potentially very important news,” Mariotto adds. “Many national security pros thought that the main (if not only) purpose of the search warrant was to secure sensitive material, not to build potential criminal charges.”

But as Politico’s Kyle Cheney notices, the DOJ in its filing says it’s willing to unseal other documents.

“The government does not object to unsealing other materials filed in connection with the search warrant whose unsealing would not jeopardize the integrity of this national security investigation, subject to minor redactions to protect government personnel.”

 

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CRIME

Man Taken Into Custody and Charged After Allegedly Making Death Threats Against FBI Following Mar-a-Lago Raid

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Federal agents have taken a Pennsylvania man into custody after he allegedly made death threats against the FBI on the far right wing social media platform Gab, following last week’s raid on Mar-a-Lago. Trump supporters have been increasing their level of threats of violence and civil war against the left and the FBI since last Monday when federal agents confiscated 20 cartons worth of items that had been removed from the White House, including highly classified documents.

“Adam Bies was charged with influencing, impeding, or retaliating against a federal law enforcement official after the social media exploitation team in the FBI’s National Threat Operations Section referred a tip about a Gab post by the user ‘BlankFocus,'” NBC News reports. “The user, according to a FBI affidavit, posted that employees of the bureau deserved to die.”

Bies allegedly wrote on Gab, “I’m ready for the inevitable. Once you accept reality for what it is instead of what you want or to be, you can move on with your life and get prepared for the inevitable outcome. I already know I’m going to die at the hands of these piece of shit child molesting law enforcement scumbags.”

READ MORE: Mastriano’s Consultant Just Posted Video Declaring ‘We Have Multiple Candidates…Who Are Christian Nationalists’

According to authorities Bies also wrote his “only goal is to kill more of them before I drop. I will not spend one second of my life in their custody.”

“Records show that Bies was taken into custody,” NBC News adds.

The New York Times’ Alan Feuer posted screenshots of a few of Bies’ alleged threats.

“I am going to f**cking slaughter you,” one of the threats reads. “I sincerely believe that if you work for the FBI, then you deserve to die,” says another.

READ MORE: ‘Pledging to Sue’: Christian Nationalist GOP Nominee Subpoenaed by J6 Committee ‘Didn’t Answer a Single Question’

In one of his posts on Gab he appears to be addressing the far right platform’s Christian nationalist and antisemitic founder, Andrew Torba.

Torba, who has been called a consultant to far right Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, has declared America is a “Christian nation,” Christians are “taking back” America from Jewish people, he has said, and bragged how they have “Christian nationalists” who are current members of Congress, along with a multitude of Christian nationalists who are running for elected office at the local, state, and national levels.

 

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