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Obama: Kaepernick Is ‘Exercising His Constitutional Right’ by Protesting ‘Legitimate Issues’ (Video)

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‘Issues That Need to Be Talked About’

President Barack Obama says San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has every right to protest by refusing to stand during the national anthem. For nearly two weeks Kaepernick has been sitting, or kneeling on one knee, to protest racial oppression including police killings of unarmed Black people.

Kaepernick is “exercising his constitutional right to make a statement,” President Obama said, in a press conference at the G-20 Summit which is being held in China, a country where such a protest would be illegal.

“There’s a long history of sports figures” engaging in protests, the President added. 

“I don’t doubt his sincerity,” Obama said.

WATCH: Soccer Great Megan Rapinoe Gives ‘A Little Nod’ to Colin Kaepernick, Kneels for National Anthem

“Maybe some critics will see he has a point around justice and equality. Sometimes it’s messy. But that’s how democracy works,” Obama told reporters.

Kaepernick “cares about some real legitimate issues that need to be talked about. He’s generated some more conversation around topics that need to be talked about.”

Praising Kaepernick for his “active citizenry,” the President said he would “rather have young people who are engaged in the argument than people who are just sitting on the sidelines and not paying attention at all.”

Obama also balanced his response, saying, “when it comes to the flag, the national anthem, and the meaning that holds for our men and women in uniform and those who’ve fought for us – that is a tough thing for them to get past to then hear what his deeper concerns are.”

Watch:

 

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Karine Jean-Pierre Schools Peter Doocy for Asking if White House Is ‘Loving’ GOP House Chaos

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In the middle of an interview with U.S Senator John Kennedy, Fox News interrupted the Louisiana Republican for some “breaking news,” as the right wing cable network’s Peter Doocy began to ask White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the chaos far-right wing Republicans caused by ousting Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday.

“All right. Senator, thank you for joining us. We got a little bit of breaking news here. We got to jump back to the briefing. Our Peter Doocy is questioning the Press Secretary,” John Roberts told viewers as the camera cut to the White House Press Briefing Room.

“Is any part of the West Wing here, just loving the fact that Republicans don’t appear to be able to govern the one part of the government that they actually control?” Doocy asked.

“Nobody’s ‘loving’ anything when it’s when we’re not when we’re not able to deliver for the American people. Nobody’s loving that,” Jean-Pierre replied, as she explained to Doocy what the White House believes is actually important.

READ MORE: Jim Jordan, a ‘Significant Player’ in Trump’s Efforts to Overturn Election Results, Running for Speaker of the House

“It is important for Congress to work, not for us, but on behalf of the American people. It is important to make sure that we meet the challenges of the American people. That’s what’s important. What we saw, you heard from the President, what we saw on Saturday should have never have happened, but we’re glad that a deal was made. We’re glad that we’re not in a shutdown. But House Republicans should have never gotten us that far.”

Jean-Pierre went on to tell Doocy that since Republicans “are the majority in the House, they can fix this.”

“They’re creating the chaos. That is not helpful to the American people.”

“That’s why you saw the President today talk about student debt relief, and talk about what else he’s doing to make sure that we’re giving a little bit of breathing room to the American people. That’s why you heard from the President yesterday talking about or our announcement, talking about how we’re continuing to beat Big Pharma so we can lower prescription drug costs for the American people. That’s what the President cares about. That’s what he wants to see – what can we continue to do to help Americans as they face really tough challenges? So this is not, we’re not loving it. It is not helpful to any any American across the country.”

READ MORE: Pelosi Strikes Back After New House GOP Leadership, in Act of ‘Revenge’ Immediately Targets Top Democrats

Doocy, went on to ask if “anybody in the West Wing has heard anybody talking about the possibility of ‘Speaker Trump.'”

Watch below or at this link.

 

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COMMENTARY

Jim Jordan, a ‘Significant Player’ in Trump’s Efforts to Overturn Election Results, Running for Speaker of the House

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House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan unexpectedly announced Wednesday morning he will run for Speaker of the House after several far-right Republicans ousted Kevin McCarthy Tuesday. Jordan, a far-right Republican who supported McCarthy, reportedly was “deeply involved” with, and a “significant player” in Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Chairman Jordan, who created and also chairs the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, has used both platforms to further Republicans’ false claims on a wide range of issues.

Just two weeks ago, CNN reported, “Jordan made false claims in his opening remarks at a Wednesday hearing at which Jordan and other Republicans pressed Attorney General Merrick Garland about the Justice Department’s handling of investigations into former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden.”

In his Wednesday “Dear Colleague” letter announcing his run for the Speakership (below), Jordan made clear his positions, while claiming the Republican House “majority has had success in the first nine months of the 118th Congress. We should be proud of what we have achieved together in these divided times.”

READ MORE: Pelosi Strikes Back After New House GOP Leadership, in Act of ‘Revenge’ Immediately Targets Top Democrats

According to Legiscan, which tracks all legislation across the country at the state and federal level, the Republican House this year has had just eight bills signed into law.

One suspended the debt ceiling for a specified period of time. One, passed and signed into law on Saturday, avoided a shutdown of the federal government.

Others, for example, “require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the 250th Anniversary of the United States Marine Corps,” and “establish a task force on improvements for notices to air missions.” One focused on “Trade between the United States of America and Taiwan.” One will “designate the clinic of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Indian River, Michigan, as the ‘Pfc. Justin T. Paton Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic,'” and one will “take certain land located in San Diego County, California, into trust for the benefit of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, and for other purposes.”

In his letter Jordan also railed against “Far-left progressive policies” which, he says, “are destroying our communities, our security, and our future,” followed by a list of regular GOP claims like “soaring crime across the country,” and “an administration with open-border policies.”

But if Jordan is elected, the nation would have as second in the line of succession to the presidency a Speaker who The New York Times has reported, “was deeply involved in President Donald J. Trump’s effort to challenge the 2020 election outcome.”

READ MORE: ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’: ND Republican Unleashes Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Rant Calling for ‘Christ Is King’ Laws

In May of last year, the Associated Press reported on Jordan’s efforts to help Trump overturn the election:

“Rioters who smashed their way into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, succeeded — at least temporarily — in delaying the certification of Joe Biden’s election to the White House,” the AP wrote. “Hours before, Rep. Jim Jordan had been trying to achieve the same thing.”

On January 6 of this year, exactly two years after the 2021 insurrection, David Corn at Mother Jones warned: “House Speaker Fight Shows Election Deniers Who Tried to Overthrow Democracy Still Control GOP.”

That Speaker fight ultimately ended with Kevin McCarthy being handed the gavel after fifteen attempts, and ended Tuesday afternoon when eight of his own House Republicans, led by Matt Gaetz, essentially fired him.

“Trump coup accomplices Jim Jordan and Scott Perry have become two of the GOP’s biggest powerbrokers,” Corn wrote, adding: “Perry and Jordan stand out for their significant participation in Trump’s anti-constitutional and arguably criminal caper.”

As Corn and others have noted, the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack deemed Jim Jordan “a significant player in President Trump’s efforts.”

Jordan, the January 6 Committee wrote, according to Mother Jones, “participated in numerous post-election meetings in which senior White House officials, Rudolph Giuliani, and others, discussed strategies for challenging the election, chief among them claims that the election had been tainted by fraud. On January 2, 2021, Representative Jordan led a conference call in which he, President Trump, and other Members of Congress discussed strategies for delaying the January 6th joint session. During that call, the group also discussed issuing social media posts encouraging President Trump’s supporters to ‘march to the Capitol’ on the 6th.”

In February of 2022 CNN reported, “Newly obtained records show Trump and Jim Jordan spoke at length on [the] morning of January 6.”

READ MORE: ‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

“Two sources who have reviewed the call records tell CNN that Trump spoke on the phone at the White House residence with Jordan for 10 minutes on the morning of January 6. That afternoon, Jordan took to the House floor to object to the certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College win, and pro-Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol.”

Jordan also refused to obey a subpoena lawfully-issued by the House January 6 Committee. He was unanimously referred to the House Ethics Committee in December of 2022, which Republicans gutted when the officially took the majority in January.

Read Jordan’s letter below or at this link.

 

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News

Pelosi Strikes Back After New House GOP Leadership, in Act of ‘Revenge’ Immediately Targets Top Democrats

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Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi is sending a strong message to House Republican Leadership after now-former Speaker Kevin McCarthy‘s hand-picked acting replacement, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), evicted her and Steny Hoyer, the former Democratic House Majority Leader, from their Capitol Offices, in what reportedly is an act of “revenge.”

McHenry, a hard-core conservative, made clear his outrage over McCarthy’s ouster when he angrily gaveled out the House on Tuesday.

In one of his first acts as “Speaker Pro Tempore,” McHenry, the longtime McCarthy ally who worked behind the scenes in January to help McCarthy get enough votes to become Speaker on the fifteenth try, ordered Pelosi late Tuesday night to vacate her office immediately.

“Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,” an aide to McHenry directed Pelosi.

Overnight, McHenry made the same demand of Hoyer.

Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reports the evictions are “revenge for Democrats voting with @mattgaetz to boot @SpeakerMcCarthy from the speakership.”

“Expect more of this, GOP sources tell us,” he adds.

READ MORE: ‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order

Tuesday night, before the Hoyer eviction, Pelosi had responded with a brutal, damning statement, explaining that she had remained in California, mourning her longtime friend and colleague, the late Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Politico reported that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”

In a scratching rebuke, Pelosi said in her public statement, “With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol.”

“Office space doesn’t matter to me,” she added, “but it seems important to them.”

“Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important to the American people.”

READ MORE: Trump Has Now ‘Crossed the Line Into Criminal Threats’: Top Legal Scholar

Pelosi, in California, had not voted on removing McCarthy. She had not indicated how she would have voted, possibly out of respect for the office of Speaker of the House.

But after Hoyer was targeted for eviction, the Speaker Emerita issued an official announcement to be placed in the Congressional Record. As C-Span’s Craig Caplan reported Wednesday, Pelosi announced she would have voted to oust McCarthy.

Watch the video clip of McHenry above or at this link.

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