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GOP Congressman-Elect, After Assault Conviction, Says Other Parties Have ‘Obligation to be Respectful’

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Greg Gianforte Pleaded Guilty to Misdemeanor Assault This Week

Republican Congressman-Elect Greg Gianforte of Montana, who this week pleaded guilty on the charge of misdemeanor assault for physically attacking a reporter, has called on politicians to exhibit civility.

According to a Fox News reporter standing two feet from the attack that led to the conviction, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs had approached Gianforte to inquire about healthcare when he was soon “grabbed by the neck with both hands” and “slammed into the ground.”

A video containing the audio can be found below:

“I think you can never erase history,” Gianforte told the AP. “I can’t erase it, but I did do everything in my power once the event was over to take responsibility.”

Following the so-called event, Gianforte and his campaign were silent for over 24 hours. All scheduled interviews were cancelled, and the then-candidate avoided social media entirely. He also didn’t contact Ben Jacobs to apologize.

Now, four days after his conviction and following this week’s tragic shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, Gianforte’s tone has softened. “I believe that good things can come out of bad,” he said.

“It’s important to make sure we reach out to all parties and hear their voice,” Gianforte continued. “I think the other parties have an obligation, as well, to be respectful and in that dialogue.”

As The Hill reported, Gianforte was given a 180-day deferred jail sentence in addition to a fine of $385. He was also sentenced to 20 hours of anger management counseling and 40 hours of community service.

The Congressman-Elect avoided a civil lawsuit in exchange for a written apology to reporter Ben Jacobs and a donation of $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Gianforte will be sworn in by House Speaker Paul Ryan this coming Wednesday.

 

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DEEP STATE HYSTERIA

Undercover Operatives Waged Sting Operation to Discredit ‘Deep State’ Officials on Trump’s Enemies List: NYT

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Undercover operatives from right wing Project Veritas worked with a former British spy trained by Betsy DeVos’ brother Erik Prince to wage a smear and sting operation to discredit “deep state” federal government officials on President Donald Trump’s enemies list while he was in office, including the National Security Advisor and FBI agents.

The New York Times broke the bombshell story, reporting that the “campaign included a planned sting operation against Mr. Trump’s national security adviser at the time, H.R. McMaster, and secret surveillance operations against F.B.I. employees, aimed at exposing anti-Trump sentiment in the bureau’s ranks.”

“The campaign,” the Times reports, “shows the obsession that some of Mr. Trump’s allies had about a shadowy ‘deep state’ trying to blunt his agenda — and the lengths that some were willing to go to try to purge the government of those believed to be disloyal to the president.”

“Central to the effort, according to interviews, was Richard Seddon, a former undercover British spy who was recruited in 2016 by the security contractor Erik Prince to train Project Veritas operatives to infiltrate trade unions, Democratic congressional campaigns and other targets. He ran field operations for Project Veritas until mid-2018.”

Last year, The New York Times reported that Mr. Seddon ran an expansive effort to gain access to the unions and campaigns and led a hiring effort that nearly tripled the number of the group’s operatives, according to interviews and deposition testimony. He trained operatives at the Prince family ranch in Wyoming.

The Times’ extensive reporting, which runs about 2700 words, does not reveal who initiated or who bankrolled the campaign.

The Times reports the operation was run out of a house that rented for $10,000 a month, and that it is not known if President Trump or his closest advisors, including family members, were aware of the operation or had anything to do with it.

“The operation against Mr. McMaster was hatched not long after an article appeared in BuzzFeed News about a private dinner in 2017. Exactly what happened during the dinner is in dispute, but the article said that Mr. McMaster had disparaged Mr. Trump by calling him an ‘idiot’ with the intelligence of a ‘kindergartner.'”

Those allegations were never proven, although they echo what some others inside the administration, like first Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, had allegedly stated.

In the end, McMaster resigned amid far right-wing attacks, but no recordings of him calling Trump an “idiot.”

Read the entire New York Times investigation here.

Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead via Flickr 
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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Newsmax Host Off Air After Online Outrage Over Antisemitic Remarks

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Newsmax TV host Grant Stinchfield will be off the air for the remainder of the week after massive outrage over his antisemitic remarks Wednesday night. Stinchfield claimed that American Jews’ “home country” is actually Israel, not the U.S., in a rant attacking President Joe Biden.

Eric Bolling, the former Fox News host who has seen his own share of controversy, in a tweet announced he will be covering for Stinchfield, which The Wrap reported.

“If you are Jewish and you are a Democrat and you are living in America today, how do you support an administration that turns its back on your home country?” Stinchfield had said, as Media Matters reported.

Outrage, especially from Americans who also identify as Jewish, was massive, as NCRM documented.

In March Stinchfield came under attack after claiming there was a “strong case” that President Joe Biden is “not really a Catholic.”

 

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CRIME

Active Duty US Marine Corps Officer Arrested for Alleged Role in January 6 Insurrection: DOJ

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice has announced the arrest of a 40-year old active duty U.S. Marine, a commissioned officer stationed at Quantico, for his alleged role in the January 6 insurrection.

Citing court documents and security camera footage, DOJ in a statement says Major Christopher Warnagiris “violently entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, after pushing through a line of police officers guarding the East Rotunda doors. Once inside, Warnagiris positioned himself in the corner of the doorway, using his body to keep the door open and pull others inside. When a U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) officer tried to pull the doors shut, Warnagiris refused and continued pushing it open. Warnagiris can be seen pushing the officer in an effort to maintain his position in the open door in security camera footage and publicly available video footage captured shortly after 2:25 p.m.”

Warnagiris “is charged with federal offenses that include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder; and obstruction of justice, among other charges. Warnagiris will make his initial court appearance today at 2:00 p.m. in the Eastern District of Virginia,” the DOJ said.

HuffPost senior justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly adds:

On Wednesday several Republican members of Congress stated: “There was no insurrection. To call it an insurrection is a bold-faced lie,” the insurrectionists were merely “peaceful protestors,” and the attack on the U.S. Capitol looked like “a normal tourist visit.”

 

Image: DOJ

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