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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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‘Oddest’: Legal Experts Mock Trump’s ‘Nutty’ and ‘Doomed to Fail’ Emergency Supreme Court Motion

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It weighs in at 240 pages but legal experts are still mocking Donald Trump’s emergency petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an 11th Circuit Court ruling and allow the special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents retrieved from him Mar-a-Lago home.

“Oddest SCOTUS petition. Very technical and not terribly logical,” observed Andrew Weissmann, an NYU School of Law law professor and former DOJ official who served as the General Counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as special counsel to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The motion was addressed to Justice Clarence Thomas,  who oversees the 11th Circuit courts. His wife, Ginni Thomas, is an avowed supporter of Trump and his “Big Lie” claims he won the 2020 election.

READ MORE: Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene for Him in Classified Documents Case

“SCOTUS should send him packing,” tweets former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now an MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst. “No surprise here, this was why he paid former Florida Solicitor General Chris Kise $3 million to sign on, no one else on his team could handle this.”

“Just watch SCOTUS turn Trump down 9-0. (Or 8-1 if Thomas dissents . . . ),” writes retired Harvard professor of law Laurence Tribe. “Will The Donald start calling ‘his’ three justices traitors? Will he say they have a ‘death wish’ as he did with McConnell?”

Weissmann took another hit at Trump’s Lawsuit, declaring it “nutty.”

“Trump argument to SCOTUS: 11th circuit had power to stay Cannon decision BUT it [could] not take the classified docs away from SM Dearie review. Nutty and if he won Dearie wd just say he won’t review the docs bc they are not Trump’s.”

University of Texas School of Law professor of law Steve Vladeck says that while the lawsuit is “not *entirely* laughable,” but he thinks “it’s both (1) doomed to fail; and (2) unlikely to accomplish much even if it succeeds.”

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says, “I would not be surprised if the Supreme Court decides not to hear it.”

 

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene for Him in Classified Documents Case

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Donald Trump on Tuesday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in his classified documents case, and reverse a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed the U.S. Dept. of Justice access to the more than 100 classified and top secret documents federal agents recovered from his Mar-a-Lago residence and resort.

Trump is asking the nation’s highest court to order a special master to continue to inspect the 103 classified documents, despite the special master emphatically stating the government, not Trump, gets to decide what is classified and what is not, especially when Trump refused to provide a list of what he considered declassified.

The lawsuit, which is a massive 240 pages, mostly made up of other documents including the now infamous FBI photo of the classified documents on the Mar-a-Lago rug, is addressed to “The Honorable Clarence Thomas, Circuit Justice for the Eleventh Circuit,” and refers to the former president as “President Trump.”

The lawsuit also mentions the contents that federal agents took, including “89 empty envelopes,” while not noting they were classified document envelopes.

“As part of the 11th Circuit’s decision, the panel allowed the criminal investigation to use the seized documents, something [Judge] Cannon had previously barred,” The Washington Post notes. “Trump’s filing seeks only to reverse the appeals court’s ruling on the special master’s access to the documents, not the part of the decision concerning the investigation.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

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Biden Will Include DeSantis in His Visit to Support Florida Hurricane Victims

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President Joe Biden will travel to Florida Wednesday to support families devastated by Hurricane Ian, and will include the state’s GOP governor, Ron DeSantis, in his trip, the White House announced Tuesday.

Last week, asked if he would meet with DeSantis, a top detractor of the president, Biden told a reporter who asked, “I’ll meet with everybody who’s around. The answer is yes, if he wants to meet.”

“This is not about anything having to do with our disagreements politically, this is about saving people’s lives, homes and businesses,” Biden also said last week.

DeSantis asked President Biden for financial assistance for his state, battered by what experts say is one of the worst hurricanes in U.S. history. DeSantis voted against relief aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy when he served in Congress.

President Biden and the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, will travel via Air Force One to Fort Myers, one of the hardest-hit areas of Florida by Hurricane Ian.

READ MORE: Watch: 2024 Presidential Hopeful Ron DeSantis Says ‘Cause for Concern Cause’ With Democrats Moving to Florida

But Fort Myers is also part of Lee County, where officials delayed evacuation orders.

“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” The New York Times reported. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”

“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee,” the Times added. “By then, some residents recalled that they had little time to evacuate.”

The St. Louis Post Dispatch blasted the Florida GOP governor, calling his “flip-flop on hurricane relief” a “study in right-wing hypocrisy.”

READ MORE: ‘Premeditated, Fraudulent, and Illegal’: Asylum Seekers Sue DeSantis After Being Sent to Martha’s Vineyard

“DeSantis’ willingness to shelve his usual attacks on the Biden administration to politely request emergency federal aid in the wake of Hurricane Ian is an inspiring example of constructive bipartisanship — as is Biden’s announcement that the government will bear a big part of the expense,” the Dispatch Editorial Board stated. “It’s interesting, though, that DeSantis took exactly the opposite stance a decade ago when he joined other hard-right members of Congress who argued against generous federal recovery aid when Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast.”

Over the weekend DeSantis was blasted by volunteer relief aid workers who were delayed for hours in distributing “food, water, medicine, diapers, and anything else people needed” so Gov. DeSantis could get a photo-op.

 

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