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‘Sick Irony’: Anderson Cooper Grills Florida AG Pam Bondi Over Her History of Anti-Gay Attacks (Video)

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GOP Attorney General Confronted With Horribly Anti-Gay Record in Wake of Orlando Terror Attack

For more than five minutes CNN’s Anderson Cooper grilled Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi over her anti-gay record live on-air Tuesday afternoon. Bondi was confronted with her horrible anti-gay attacks just days after the nation’s deadliest mass shooting, and worst terror attack since 9/11, which had targeted the LGBT community.

Cooper first challenged Bondi for positioning herself as a champion of the LGBT community on Sunday, when she said, “Anyone who attacks our LGBT community, anyone who attacks anyone in our state, will be gone after to the fullest extent of the law.”

The CNN journalist directly told Bondi that he has talked with LGBT people in Florida “who are not fans of yours and they thought you were being a hypocrite.” He then reminded her that “for years” she has “gone after gay people,” and “said in court that gay people simply by fighting for marriage equality, were trying to do harm to the people of Florida, to ‘induce public harm,’ I believe is the term you used in court. Do you really think that you’re a champion of the gay community?,” he asked a seemingly stunned Bondi.

The Republican attorney general responded by saying she was sworn to uphold the constitution of the State of Florida, and defending the marriage amendment was part of her job. It should be noted that when he was the US Attorney General, Eric Holder specifically told state AGs they were under no obligation to defend marriage bans if they believe them to be unconstitutional.

“I’ve never said I don’t like gay people, that’s ridiculous,” Bondi charged.

“Do you worry about using language accusing gay people of ‘doing harm’ to the people of Florida when doesn’t that send a message to people who might have bad ideas in mind?,” Cooper pressed.

“Anderson, I don’t believe gay people could do harm to the state of Florida,” Bondi responded. Cooper interjected, “But you argued that in court.”

“My lawyer argued a case defending what the Supreme Court allowed the voters to put in our state constitution,” Bondi said.

Bondi also insisted she never said same-sex marriage would do harm to Florida. “Of course not, of course not,” she told Cooper. “I never said that. Those words never came out of my mouth.”

“That’s what you were arguing in court,” Cooper insisted.

“You know, no. No,” Bondi responded. “What we argued was it was in the constitution of the state of Florida.”

Cooper continued to drill and grill the Republican AG, noting that on television she has been telling Floridians of a hotline they can call to learn the status of their loved ones.

“Had there been no gay marriage, no same-sex marriage, you do realize that spouses, there would be no spouses, that boyfriends and girlfriends of the dead would not be able to get information and would not be able to call or visit in the hospital here. Isn’t there a sick irony in that?” Cooper asked.

“Let me take it a step further. People aren’t right now who are partners and aren’t married, officially aren’t able to get information so we’re trying to assist them in getting information. Because early on –“

Cooper interrupted, “But isn’t there a sick irony that you for years were fighting that very idea?”

“I was defending the constitution of what over 69 percent of the voters put in the constitution,” Bondi said.

“But the courts, the federal courts said that’s not the constitution and you continued to fight it,” Cooper said, noting she took it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and that he “continued to fight it after the federal judge ruled and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars fighting it.”

RELATED: Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Battle Against Same-Sex Marriage Will Cost Florida Taxpayers $500,000

Bondi challenged Cooper, saying “we rushed to get it to the Supreme Court.”

Moving to change topics, Bondi said, “You know what today is about? Human beings. Today’s about victims.”

“It’s about gay and lesbian victims,” Cooper retorted.

“It sure is,” Bondi replied. “LGBT victims.”

“Is it hypocritical to portray yourself as a champion of the gay community when – I’m just reflecting what gay people told me they don’t see you as this.”

“Anderson,” Bondi, exasperated, said, “I’m not portraying myself as anything but trying to help human beings who have lost their lives, who are behind us right now in hospital beds, who have family members who aren’t getting the services they need.”

“This morning,” she continued, “you know what I’ve been doing? Trying to fight with a funeral home for overcharging family members to bury the loved ones. I’m not championing anything other than Floridians. That’s what this is about. We are about human beings.”

“I will say,” Cooper, unrelenting, continued, “I have never really seen you talk about gays and lesbians and transgender people in a positive way until now. I read your Twitter history for the last year and you were tweeting about, you know, National Dog Month and National Shelter Dog Appreciation Day, or Adopt a Shelter Dog Day. It is Gay Pride Month. You never even tweeted about Gay Pride Month.”

“Well actually, if you look at my website now,” Bondi urged, “we have hands clasped together, all different-colored, rainbow-hands people,” Bondi said.

An examination of Bondi’s official government website, campaign website, Twitter page, and Facebook pages here and here, show nothing that appears like what she mentioned.  

“Moving forward, do you see yourself as being a vocal champion for gay and lesbian citizens in the state?,” Cooper asked.

“They are citizens just like anyone else. Of course. My goodness, Anderson, we’ve had 49 people murdered, simply because they were in a bar at the wrong time. It’s horrible. I’m a career prosecutor. Those family members are devastated. These surviving victims are devastated. That’s what this is about.”

“I know a lot of gay and lesbian people in the state want to feel that the people that represent them, represent everybody in the state.”

“We’re human beings, and that’s what this is about,” Bondi said. “That’s what this is about.”

In 2014 Bondi filed court documents which claimed that recognizing out-of-state legal civil same-sex marriages would “impose significant public harm” and play havoc with existing marriage laws in the Sunshine State. She also implied that same-sex couples do not create “stable and enduring family units.”

 

EARLIER:

Florida AG Pam Bondi Personally Asked Trump for Donation Before Dropping Trump Univ. Fraud Case

Watch: Gov. Rick Scott Admits He Delayed Execution So AG Pam Bondi Could Go To A Fundraiser

Pam Bondi Files Emergency Petition Asking Clarence Thomas To Deny Gay Couples Right To Marry

 

Thanks to Politico for much of the transcript

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First Capitol Riot Hearing ‘Is Going to Be a Disastrous Day for Kevin McCarthy’: Politico Reporter

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The first Capitol riot select committee hearing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, and Politico reporter Rachel Bade predicted it would create major headaches for GOP leader Kevin McCarthy.

Specifically, Bade pointed to the fact McCarthy pulled all of his nominees out of the committee, which means that he will have no one to challenge the narrative that gets established.

“Tomorrow is going to be a disastrous day for McCarthy on both ends of the spectrum,” she said. “You are going to have men and women in uniform testifying about the violence they witnessed on January 6th. McCarthy is still sticking with Trump. That… is going to be tough for the party and tough for him. He decided to withdraw all his members from this committee, so he is not going to have anybody to push back on anything that is being said.”

Additionally, Bade said that the four far-right lawmakers who are planning to hold a press conference highlighting the alleged mistreatment of jailed Capitol rioters are also likely to create a public relations nightmare for McCarthy.

“These people were rioters. [They’re] calling them [political] prisoners now?” she said. “It’s going to be impossible for McCarthy.”

Watch the video below.

 

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NOT POLITICAL PRISONERS

4 Top Trump-Supporting House Republicans ‘Demanding Answers’ on ‘Treatment’ of January 6 ‘Prisoners’

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The U.S. Dept.  of Justice arrested and charged over 500 people who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, many in a coordinated effort to overturn a free and fair election. DOJ expects to charge about 100 others as well.

“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. wrote in March, when the list of people to be charged was estimated at about 400, The Washington Post reported at the time.

On Tuesday, as the newly-minted U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack launches, holding its first day of events, four far right wing House Republicans – some of whom has been linked to white nationalists – will be holding a different type of event.

Instead of working to uncover and piece together all the information about what happened on Jan. 6, including what led up to the attempted coup, four GOP representatives – Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene – will hold a press conference on the “treatment” of the January 6 “prisoners,” suggesting they are “political prisoners,” which is false.

The four extremists will hold that press conference Tuesday at 1 PM, “demanding answers on the treatment of Jan. 6 prisoners” from Attorney General Merrick Garland, per a press release.

“This is taking place on the same day as the Jan. 6 select committee’s first hearing,” Forbes’ Andrew Solender reports. House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “is also holding a presser ahead of that to counterprogram.”

“The lawmakers have all pushed a baseless conspiracy theory that federal agents were behind the attack, with Gosar also casting slain rioter Ashli Babbitt – who was shot by law enforcement while trying to breach the House chamber – as a martyr,” Solender says in a Forbes article.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Groveling Before White Supremacists’: GOP Senate Candidate Slammed for ‘Going Fully Anti-Semitic’

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A Republican candidate for the seat currently held by retiring U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) was both criticized for antisemitism and mocked for accidentally yet accurately linking extremism with conservatism on Monday.

Venture capitalist J.D. Vance, whose former boss, billionaire PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel has invested $10 million in a PAC supporting him, posted the strange tweet attacking the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL is a civil rights organization dedicated to “monitoring, tracking and responding to antisemitism in the United States.” Vance is the author of “Hillbilly Elegy.”

He retweeted this post from disclose.tv and called the ADL “a joke of an organization that just goes after conservatives.”

Some slammed Vance’s tweet as antisemitic:

Others just mocked him for accidentally speaking the truth about “extremist and hate movements.”

 

 

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