In One of the Greatest Examples of Pandering Ever, Trump Stretches Beyond the Bounds of the Believable
Donald Trump is now trying to position himself as pro-gay, pro-LGBT, and pro-equality â€“ just three days after he promised hundreds of evangelical Christians he will “defend Christian Americans.”Â The presumptive Republican nominee Monday afternoon delivered an angry speech in the wake of the terror attack that killed 49 people at anÂ Orlando gay nightclub, and injured another 53.Â
Despite having just told one of the most anti-LGBT crowds in America, Ralph Reed’sÂ Faith & Freedom Coalition, on Friday that he will “restore faith to its proper mantle in our society,” and his administration “will respect and defend Christian Americans. Christian Americans,” he repeated for emphasis, Trump on Monday claimed to now be more pro-LGBT than Hillary Clinton.
Also on Friday Trump offered these pandering words to the Christian evangelicals at the Faith & Freedom Coalition: “Itâ€™s really the people who go to church, who work and who work in religious charities. And share their values. These are the foundations of our society,” Trump claimed. â€œMarriage and family as the building block of happiness and success â€” so important,â€ Trump added.
By contrast, on Monday Trump proclaimed that “who we are as a nation,” our “heart and soul,” is being pro-LGBT.
To be clear, Trump is opposed to same-sex marriage.
Monday afternoon, Trump offered manyÂ statements in which he claimed to be pro-gay â€“Â which, if they were not coming from a man who has repeatedly denounced same-sex marriage, said he would appoint judges to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the ruling that madeÂ same-sex marriage legal, and supports theÂ First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which gives carte blanche to anyone who wishes to invoke a sincerely-held religiousÂ belief to discriminate against LGBT people â€“Â might be make someone believeÂ he cares about LGBT people.
He does not.
“A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation,” Trump told the audience in Manchester, New Hampshire. “It is a strike at the heart and soul of who we are as a nation.”
“It is an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want and express their identity. It is an attack on the right of every single American to live in peace and safety in their own country.”
Trump is of course correct, but few if any actually believe he means what he says.
“Radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-American,” he continued. “I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, and Jewish people, are the targets of persecution and intimidation by Radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence.”
“Itâ€™s not just a national security issue. It is a quality of life issue. If we want to protect the quality of life for all Americans â€“ women and children, gay and straight, Jews and Christians and all people â€“ then we need to tell the truth about Radical Islam.”
Trump then turned his attack to his Democratic opponent.
“Hillary Clinton can never claim to be a friend of the gay community as long as she continues to support immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists to our country who suppress women, gays and anyone who doesnâ€™t share their views,” he claimed. “She canâ€™t have it both ways. She canâ€™t claim to be supportive of these communities while trying to increase the number of people coming in who want to oppress them.”
Trump of course isn’t talking about radical Islam when he says “radical Islam.” He’s talking about Islam, period. And if you doubt it, remember his call to ban all Muslims from entering the country, which even included Muslims who currently live in the U.S. but were out of the country, say, on vacation or on a business trip.Â
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” Trump said December 7, and has repeated since.
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J6 Committee Announces Plan for Final Report
The U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is wrapping up its 17-month long investigation and has announced its plan for its final report.
Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) Wednesday evening told reporters the committee will issue a final report in two weeks, on December 21. A “formal presentation” will accompany the final report, Axios’ Andrew Solender reports.
What form the presentation will take is unclear. Presumably it will not be a primetime televised hearing.
Chairman Thompson told reporters, “there will be some form of public presentation. We haven’t decided exactly what that would be,” Grayer says.
NBC reporters say that date is “a bit later than the committee was hoping and it forced some members and staff to change holiday plans.”
“In addition to considering a referral involving former President Donald Trump,” NBC News reports, “the committee could offer contempt of Congress referrals for fellow members who have ignored its subpoenas, for witnesses it believes lied to its investigators and for individuals it believes attempted to intimidate witnesses in the probe.”
“The report will be a massive compilation of the work the committee has done for the last year and a half, outlining its findings and offering up recommendations and possible legislation to prevent something like the Jan. 6 attack from happening again. Thompson has said the document could be up to eight chapters.”
Florida ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Author Indicted on Federal Fraud Charges: DOJ
Florida Republican state lawmaker Joe Harding, the author of the highly-criticized and some say unconstitutional “Don’t Say Gay” law, has been indicted by a U.S. Dept. of Justice grand jury on federal fraud charges.
“A federal grand jury has returned a six-count indictment against Joseph Harding, 35, of Williston, Florida,” the Justice Dept. said in a press release, detailing an alleged scheme, which included obtaining “fraudulently created bank statements,” to defraud the U.S. Government’s Small Business Administration of $150,000.
The felony charges include wire fraud, money laundering, and making false statements.
The DOJ indictment also alleges, “Harding committed two acts of wire fraud by participating in a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration (SBA) and for obtaining coronavirus-related small business loans by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and for the purpose of executing such scheme, caused wire communications to be transmitted in interstate commerce.”
Trial is scheduled for next month. DOJ says Harding could be subject to as many as 35 years in prison should he be found guilty on all charges.
Harding’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis not only signed into law but used, via his then-press secretary to further attacks on the LGBTQ community, doubled-down on one of his key components: outing LGBTQ children to their parents.
The legislation, technically named the “Parental Rights in Education” Act, prohibits “classroom instruction” on sexual orientation or gender identity in certain school grades, but as expected, has been seen as “confusing” and a total ban on any discussion of LGBTQ issues.
Making clear the legislation’s intent, Florida GOP lawmakers voted down an proposed by a Democrat that would require schools create a safe environment for LGBTQ children.
“Those are serious allegations of corruption,” Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith told Florida Politics, which first reported the news. “The courts will sort through that sordid mess but we know he’s made many false statements about the LGBTQ community. Florida parents are forced to navigate schools that are less safe for their children because Joe Harding’s political ambitions know no bounds.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change.
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‘Plot Thickens’: Trump Ally Claimed He No Longer Had Storage Facility Where Classified Docs Were Found – NYT Reporter
People close to Donald Trump appear to have been misleading reporters as The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN all broke news regarding the stunning revelation more classified documents were found among items Trump had shipped from federal government offices to Florida – this time, to a storage facility in West Palm Beach.
The Washington Post broke the news that the Trump legal time had hired a third party to search for classified documents, after the Dept. of Justice remained unconvinced all classified documents Trump had removed from the White House had been retrieved or returned.
As it turned out, this latest batch, which The Post now reports were only two classified documents, had been shipped not from the White House but from a federal office building in Virginia Trump and his team had been using after he left the White House.
The Post in its initial story had reported its sources said no classified documents had been found. It later updated that report, including the title of the article which now reads: “Items with classified markings found at Trump storage unit in Florida.”
“Trump’s lawyers have told the Justice Department that the outside team did not turn up any new classified information during their search of Bedminster and Trump Tower, according to people familiar with the process, and have said they utilized a firm that had expertise in searching for documents,” The Post added.
Outside of her reporting with Alan Feuer at The New York Times, Maggie Haberman noted the deception or lack of information her sources presented.
“People close to the former president had insisted earlier Wednesday that no classified material had been found at any of the facilities,” Haberman tweeted, which turned out to be false.
“One person close to Trump previously insisted he didn’t have the storage facility anymore,” which was also false.
“The plot thickens,” observed constitutional law expert and retired Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, “as more criminally mishandled classified documents turn up at yet another venue. Trump’s skeletons seem to be buried in an ever-expanding array of places.”
Attorney Teri Kanefield suggested there’s more to this story.
“The thing to remember about this rapidly shifting more-classified-documents story is that the information seems to be coming entirely from Team Trump,” she tweeted. “Something is going on . . . but we don’t know what.”
“If I recall correctly, the 11th Circuit’s mandate in the MAL [Mar-a-Lago] docs case issues tomorrow. Trump has to not only appeal but also get an emergency stay before that or the Special Master process is officially dead.”
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