The Company You Keep
Franklin Graham doesn’t believe Vladimir Putin tried to affect the outcome of the election, but he does believe PresidentÂ Donald Trump‘s lie that all 17 intelligence agencies said Russia’s actions had no effect on the outcome of the election.
In a stunning and short-tempered Facebook post Tuesday afternoon, the evangelical Christian best know for being his father’s son, came out in support of false information.
“Get over it!” Graham begins his post. “The election was 5 months ago and some just wonâ€™t let it go,” he says.
“At first the media blamed WikiLeaks, then they blamed FBI Director Comey, then they blamed the Russiansâ€”even though all the intelligence services have said the Russians didnâ€™t affect the outcome of the election,” Graham says falsely.
Let’s take another look at that: “all the intelligence services have said the Russians didnâ€™t affect the outcome of the election.”
That’s a lie.
And it’s a lie that PresidentÂ Donald Trump has also claimed.
What the intelligence agencies said was Russia was not able to change any votes that were already cast, they did not hack any voting machines, in other words. But the intelligence report was quite clear, and Franklin Graham could have done a quick Google search to check before lying to his 5,534,242 fans.Â
There’s more Graham conspiracy theory nonsense, of which he also tweeted portions.
â€” Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) April 4, 2017
“If you really want to look at those who tried to influence the election, you need to start with CNN, CBS, ABC News, NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, The New York Times, Washington Post, George Soros, Hollywoodâ€”they all tried to influence the outcome of the election, one way or the other,” he claims, sounding like a fake news conspiracy theorist.
Politicians need to stop looking backward & get behind the @POTUS as he leads us out of the hole Washington politicians have created for us.
â€” Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) April 4, 2017
“Itâ€™s time to move on. Get over it,” the evangelicalÂ missionary says. “Politicians who I respect like Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. John McCain, and some other Republicans need to stop looking backward and get behind the President as he tries to lead our country out of the deep hole that Washington politicians have created for us. President Donald J. Trump canâ€™t do this on his own. Work together to fix our broken healthcare system, to rebuild our depleted military, to secure our borders, and to overhaul our tax code which is so complicated that even the senators and congressmen have to have outside help to do their taxes!”
“Itâ€™s time to get over the Russiansâ€”and move America forward! With your prayers and Godâ€™s help, that can happen.”
Graham is so enamored with the Russian presidentÂ â€“Â in reality a dictatorÂ whom many believe has killed journalists and detractors aplenty â€“Â that he even posted his picture with dear old Vlad, just to prove he doesn’t believe any of that RussiaGate stuffÂ â€“ despite the actual conclusions of America’s 17 intelligence agencies.
â€” Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) April 4, 2017
The company you keep.Â
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After Declaring Churches ‘Essential’ and Ordering States to Let Them Reopen Trump Spends Sunday at His Golf Club
Despite having no constitutional authority to do so President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the nation’s governors to allow churches and all houses of worship to reopen “right away.” He threatened to “override” any governor who did not. To support his actions he declared churches “essential.”
On Sunday President Trump headed to the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, according to press pool reports.
About 100,000 people in America have died from the coronavirus.
Sunday’s golf outing follows Trump spending several hours on the links on Saturday, the first time he’s golfed in 76 days.
Scenes from the president’s return to golf for the first time in 76 days. Coverage using long lens with the president and security aware of the camera. Watch here. pic.twitter.com/KjeRbkyyDu
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) May 23, 2020
Several protesters on Sunday stood outside the entrance to Trump’s club resort.
“I care do you, 100,000 dead,” one protestor’s sign read.
GOP Sees President’s ‘Re-Election Less Certain’ Now That Voters Have Seen the Real Trump: Report
According to a report from the Washington Post, Donald Trump, who had hoped to run a campaign on a strong economy before his botching of the coronavirus pandemic led to almost 40 million job losses, is now looking at running a campaign similar to 2016 that was described as “disruptive.”
The Post notes, “Trump’s moves in recent days make clear that the president has decided to revive the disruptive themes of his 2016 bid, aimed at branding his opponent as a corrupt member of the Washington establishment and himself as an insurgent problem-solver. It’s a message that often has seemed incongruent with the present reality as Trump leads the federal government’s response to the worst crisis in a generation,” however, “Trump’s reluctance to recalibrate his political tactics even as the country faces twin health and economic crises could be the gamble that determines his fate in an election less than six months away, according to campaign officials, strategists and pollsters on both sides of the aisle. The approach also stands as a test of whether running again as a disrupter can work in a time of already profound disruption.”
The problem for Trump this go-around is that the public has watched his performance over the past three and a half years, and what was sold in 2016, may not work this time.
“[Joe Biden pollster John] Anzalone pointed to public polling indicating that Trump’s handling of the coronavirus has cost him significantly with voters, who give the president low marks for his stewardship. Biden has gained ground with suburban voters, independent voters and senior citizens, groups that had previously leaned toward Trump but have drifted away during his presidency, Anzalone said,” the Post reports.
The report notes that the pollster explained that, “… some voters who cast their ballot for a ‘hypothetical Trump’ in 2016 have been disappointed with the real version and will be prime targets for Biden in the coming months. He pointed to senior voters, who have had some of the most dramatic swings away from Trump toward Biden in recent polls.”
“It’s different than voting on the hypothetical Trump — someone who’s going disrupt things and be a change agent,” he elaborated. “That hasn’t gone very well for him, and it is perceived by voters that it hasn’t gone very well for him.”
Republican insiders agree, saying Trump faces an uphill battle as the November election nears.
“Some Republicans acknowledge that the political landscape has changed since 2016, making Trump’s pathway to reelection less certain,” the Post notes. “Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party, said Trump’s support is stronger with rural voters than it was in 2016, but ‘we’ve still got work to do in suburban parts of the state.’”
Also hindering the President’s 2020 re-election bid is his inability to hold his widely-covered MAGA rallies.
“The campaign has not had discussions with the state party about having rallies in Wisconsin, Jefferson said, a sign that such events might be a ways off. He said the prospect of not having rallies would be ‘disappointing’ but pointed to the effort by Trump’s team to mount a virtual campaign,” the Post reports. “Some Trump advisers have begun to prepare for the prospect that rallies may not be able to return until just weeks before the election. That level of uncertainty has permeated some of the comments of allies who still favor Trump to win but now acknowledge the unprecedented challenge he faces in vying for a second term at a time of public disruption and hardship.”
You can read more here.
Republicans Think Bill Gates Is Using COVID-19 to Implant Tracking Devices Into People
A new poll from Yahoo News and YouGov show that 44 percent of Trump-supporting Republicans think Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is using the coronavirus epidemic as a way to secretly implant microchips into billions of people so he can track their movements.
Additionally, 50 percent of Americans who primarily watch Fox News believe the conspiracy theory even though neither Fox nor Trump have ever repeated it.
The poll results are troubling because they suggest that even if a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, conservatives may reject it as a form of social control. In fact, the poll found that 56 percent of Trump voters say they’re either unsure about or likely to reject a COVID-19 vaccine, something that could cause the epidemic to continue killing people even after a preventative measure has been found.
This far-right conspiracy theory against Bill Gates has been pushed Rick Wiles on his TruNews platform and the pseudoscientific Natural News “alternative health” blog. It has also circulated on conservative social media groups as part of the right-wing’s growing hysteria against vaccinations and other government public health regulations.
While The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated millions towards COVID-19 research, Snopes points out the rumor started because in December 2019 the organization financed a pilot study to explore the possibility of an entirely hypothetical vaccine that would “impart an invisible mark” or a small infrared “quantum dot” tattoo allowing medical workers to use a smartphone or black light to determine who has been vaccinated and who hasn’t.
The rumor has also been propelled by Gates’s interest in “digital identity” technology which would give each person “a cloud-based storage of medical and/or personal-identification documents accessible only with the consent of the owner but available anywhere in the world.”
Gates has also publicly praised South Korea for its stringent contact tracing methods, using Bluetooth phone technology and public surveillance camera footage to help slow the spread of COVID-19. But neither Gates nor his foundation have ever discussed inserting microchips into people to track them.
Regardless, medical misinformation now seems to be a defining characteristic among a majority of Republicans. The poll also found 53 percent of Fox News viewers, 49 percent of Trump voters, and 44 percent of all Republicans think the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment against COVID-19 even though multiple studies have shown that to be untrue — in fact, it can even trigger fatal heart arrhythmia in patients.
Additionally, 65 percent of Fox News viewers, 58 percent of Trump voters, and 57 percent of Republicans believe “Chinese scientists engineered coronavirus in a lab, from which it accidentally escaped,” a conspiracy theory that has been denied by federal intelligence agencies.
Roughly 73 percent of Fox News viewers, 68 percent of Trump voters, and 63 percent of Republicans, say they’re more worried about COVID-19’s effect on the economy than its effect on people’s health. The same percentages also think the economy should reopen “as soon as possible to prevent further economic damage.”
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