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As Reporters Fear For Safety At Rallies, Trump Officially Labeled “Threat To Press Freedom”

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Journalists In GOP Nominee’s Traveling Pool Have Begun Concealing, Removing Credentials

In an unprecedented move, the Committee to Project Journalists has officially labeled GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump “a threat to press freedom.” 

CPJ, a nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, issued a statement this week saying its board approved a resolution Oct. 6 “declaring Trump an unprecedented threat to the rights of journalists and to CPJ’s ability to advocate for press freedom around the world.” 

The statement notes that Trump has routinely labeled the press “dishonest” and “scum,” and singled out individual journalists and news organizations. He’s mocked a disabled New York Times reporter (photo), refused to condemn attacks on journalists by his supporters, denied credentials to outlets that have covered him critically, and vowed to “open up” libel laws to make it easier to sue them. 

“Through his words and actions, Trump has consistently demonstrated a contempt for the role of the press beyond offering publicity to him and advancing his interests,” CPJ board chair Sandra Mims Rowe said in the statement. “For this reason CPJ is taking the unprecedented step of speaking out now. This is not about picking sides in an election. This is recognizing that a Trump presidency represents a threat to press freedom unknown in modern history.”

In related news, The Washington Post notes that reporters in Trump’s traveling press contingent increasingly fear for their safety at his rallies. They’ve even started removing or concealing their credentials when leaving the media pen. 

Trump’s attacks on the media in stump speeches have escalated in recent days, in the wake of allegations that he sexually assaulted numerous women. Trump claims “corrupt” media outlets that have reported on the allegations are part of “a global conspiracy” to defeat him. 

Ben Schreckinger, a reporter for Politico who was once kicked out of a Trump rally, said such incendiary statements are being absorbed by the GOP nominee’s supporters. 

“It seems to have made the crowds more aggressive and angry,” Schreckinger told WaPo. “In the past, when Trump incited the crowd against the press, you could see people smiling and laughing as they were booing. It was like the mood of a crowd at a ballpark. Now the smiles have disappeared.”

I’d hate to be a reporter at a Trump watch party when he loses on Election Night. 

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Matt Gaetz Just Compared Child Sex Trafficking Allegations to a Parliamentary Debate on Earmarks: Report

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Embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) addressed the Ohio Political Summit in Strongsville on Saturday.

NBC News correspondent Henry Gomez reported from the event, noting “a bunch of Senate and gov candidates have backed out of the event.”

Gomez reported Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), “was supposed to speak at this event this afternoon but she’s nowhere to be found. Organizer won’t answer questions about if she’s still speaking and just pulled a candidate from a different congressional district on stage to fill the time.”

When Gaetz took the stage, he reportedly addressed the allegations against him.

“I’m being falsely accused of exchanging money for naughty favors. Yet, Congress has reinstituted a process that legalizes the corrupt act of exchanging money for favors, through earmarks,” Gaetz said.

 

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Busted: Marjorie Taylor Greene Caught Illegally Claiming a ‘Big Tax Break’ in Georgia

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Local press in Georgia caught Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) illegally claiming a major tax break.

“A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, which is against Georgia law. A homestead exemption is a big tax break any Georgia homeowner is entitled to for their primary residence. It is against the law to file for more than one,” WSB-TV reported Friday.

“But Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray pulled records showing that the Greenes are getting the tax break on two different homes in two different counties,” the network reported.

WSB-TV had a fascinating interaction when it called the controversial Republican’s office.

“In a statement, Greene’s office told Gray to mind his own business and called it a ‘pathetic smear’ when he asked them about the homestead exemptions,” the network reported. “Greene still owns a North Fulton county home, but also bought a $610,000 house in Floyd County last year in the 14th Congressional district, which she represents.”

 

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Bombshell Report on Matt Gaetz Is Just the Beginning: ‘This Is the Start of a Long Road’

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One of the reporters who broke the bombshell Daily Beast report on Matt Gaetz doing cocaine with an escort who had a no-show state job said the story is just the first in many to come.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes interviewed Jose Pagliery on Friday about the report.

“When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex, according to a source familiar with the investigation,” The Beast reported.

“But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500, according to three sources and corresponding government records obtained by The Daily Beast. On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the “Trump Defender Gala” fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz’s hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine,” The Beast reported.

“It seems to me, should this all be true, I just feel like there’s not going to be real shortage of witnesses here,” Hayes said. “Has a real open secret vibe to me right now.”

“This was an afterparty, we have identified at least half a dozen people who were there and saw this take place,” Pagliery said. “The reason that we decided to break this news and start with this one is that there are lots of other parties like this. There are more young women, more locations and more actions and bad behavior on the part of Gaetz and Greenberg that we’re going to be exposing.”

“This is the start of a long road,” he added.

Watch:

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