â€œInflammatory. Baseless. Dangerous.â€
Fox News is drawing criticism for suggesting that an anti-Donald Trump â€œcoupâ€ is underway in Washington with Robert Muellerâ€™s Russia investigation.
â€œThe investigation into Donald Trumpâ€™s campaign has been crooked from the jump,â€ Jesse Watters said on Fox News Saturday. â€œBut the scary part is we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters.â€
â€œNow, if thatâ€™s true,â€ he continued, â€œwe have a coup on our hands in America.â€
As Mediaite noted, the choice on Wattersâ€™ part to label the investigation as a â€œcoupâ€ was soon followed by a chyron reading â€œA Coup in America?â€ during his interview with Kellyanne Conway.
â€œThe fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning,â€ Conway began their interview. You can watch below:
.@KellyannePolls: “The fix was in against @realDonaldTrump from the beginning, and they were pro-Hillary… They can’t possibly be seen as objective or transparent or even-handed or fair.” @WattersWorld pic.twitter.com/WIB3aS4KhC
â€” Fox News (@FoxNews) December 17, 2017
Twitter was quick to condemn Foxâ€™s use of the word:
â€” Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 17, 2017
Coup?! I cover wars. Militaries. Actual coups. Where citizens violently rise up and kill each other for power over each other.
This is alarmingly irresponsible language, even for Fox. Inflammatory. Baseless. Dangerous. https://t.co/1tGrKZGfTR
â€” Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) December 17, 2017
For months Trump associates, fringe sites, and Fox News have cultivated this fiction that any investigation into Trumpâ€™s crimes is an attempt at a coup. Theyâ€™re undermining democracy and risking widespread tragedy. https://t.co/IK1OBzRPuj
â€” Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) December 17, 2017
Yeah — if you wanna know how things can go from already pretty nuts to “f*cking batsh*t crazy OMFG” nuts via applied coup created for TV consumption, just take a look at Turkey.
And remember Dugin was sitting in Ankara during the “coup”. Among other data points. https://t.co/BU1A1WXJhB
â€” Molly McKew (@MollyMcKew) December 17, 2017
In a proper coup, the first thing you do is seize state television broadcasting studios so you can put out the new party line and people know whatâ€™s what. https://t.co/QYwTmBVpJm
â€” Subscribe to My Newsletter (@mattyglesias) December 17, 2017
The same people saying that nothing Mueller has done amounts to anything think that some pissed off private texts from an FBI agent means that the Deep State coup is underway.
â€” Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) December 17, 2017
â€œA coup in America?â€ This is incredibly irresponsible rhetoric. Itâ€™s no surprise that the same network that still denies Russian interference for Trump, also uses this kind of language to describe law enforcement efforts to uphold the law and our sovereignty. https://t.co/VUilAaAhAD
â€” Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) December 17, 2017
Pizzagate, as silly as it was, led to violence. Imagine what the gun-nuts will do with the Fox Mothership telling them thereâ€™s a coup dâ€™etat under way, and with republicans in congress and Trumpâ€™s own White House backing them up. Republicans are playing a very dangerous game. pic.twitter.com/s9Ak2kFHxU
â€” John Aravosis (@aravosis) December 17, 2017
Iâ€™ve interviewed coup plotters, torture victims, generals, politicians they toppled & dozens whose lives were destroyed by actual coups & coup attempts
This language is so dangerous for democracyâ€”and itâ€™s precisely what you see before purges (which Fox News hosts are advocating) pic.twitter.com/CAFvAZaNUj
â€” Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) December 17, 2017
Use of the word “coup” by @FoxNews after Russia has deliberately worked to destabilize US democracy is extremely irresponsible and should be roundly condemned.
â€” Ron Nehring (@RonNehring) December 17, 2017
I’m an academic studying coups. This is embarrassing and dangerous. There is no coup in America, but there is a de-facto state propaganda outlet named Fox News. pic.twitter.com/Rtg37N84ZC
â€” Marcel Dirsus (@marceldirsus) December 17, 2017
This is the latest troll push, although I would be shocked if any of them actually knew what a coup was. (Heads up: they are using it everywhere-in comments for protest sign-ups, on twitter, it’s the new one) #Resist https://t.co/xlLS4Q9XcE
â€” Girls Really Rule. (@girlsreallyrule) December 17, 2017
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Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’
If you are hired to work in Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s office on Capitol Hill there is a 37-page memo you’ll want to read detailing all the responsibilities her staffers are required to perform, from getting her groceries, calling Verizon and going to her D.C. home to wait for a repair person if the internet goes out, scheduling massages, and ensuring her very detailed airplane requirements are met.
“It is your job to make her as comfortable as possible on each flight,” the memo says, as The Daily Beast first reported in December.
But now a group of 13 non-profit organizations have joined to file an ethics complaint against Senator Sinema (I-AZ), a new Daily Beast report reveals Friday, including details from that 37-page memo which the newly-independent lawmaker directed to be drawn up. Dated Thursday, the complaint is titled: “Letter to Senate Ethics Committee Regarding Reports of Sinema Abusing Taxpayer Dollars.”
“Senate Ethics guidelines stipulate that staff should not be asked to perform personal errands for members. This is an unambiguous ethical boundary,” the group’s complaint reads.
It also points to that 37-page memo, which it says, “indicates that staff are required, as a condition of their jobs, to carry out numerous tasks that are outside the scope of public employment, including doing personal errands for the Senator, carrying out household tasks at her private residence, and advancing their own funds for her personal purchases. It makes unreasonably precise scheduling demands, and former staff have confirmed some of the allegations.”
The allegations continue.
“And, most troubling, it calls on staff members, who are employed and paid by the public and explicitly barred from campaign activity, to schedule and facilitate political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors, presumably during the workday while they are on the clock and physically on federal property.”
“Senate staff are prohibited under your guidelines from engaging in political activity ‘on Senate time, using Senate equipment or facilities.’ While you have not prohibited campaign activity outside work hours, the plain language of the memo clearly implies that Sen. Sinema expects her staff to carry out these scheduling tasks during the workday. And these tasks may separately violate Senate Rule 41.1, which explicitly prohibits Senate employees from ‘solicit[ing]’ campaign funds.”
The complaint also alleges that “Sen. Sinema required her staff to schedule three physical therapy and massage sessions a week related to her training for athletic competitions, and to tightly manage her dietary schedule — while allotting only a 30-minute period on Wednesdays for meetings with the constituents she represents.”
The carefully-worded complaint adds, “the allegations paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law.”
The Daily Beast has posted a copy of the complaint here.
You can read The Beast’s full report here.
Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report
When he left for Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. George Santos also appears to have left a string of unpaid traffic violation fines and fees in two states, including red light, double parking, and overtime parking citations totaling thousands of dollars.
The embattled serial liar and freshman New York GOP lawmaker “may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida,” CBS News reports.
Included in that total is $1,299.10 from Florida for toll violations that “racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies.”
It appears that in November of 2016, as soon as he got his New York driver’s license after having one in Florida, a car previously ticket via a red light camera whose plates match one registered to Santos “began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.”
“More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.”
CBS News also points to a New York Post report from January revealing “a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, ‘including four times in school zones.'”
Santos is under numerous state and federal investigations that span the gamut from campaign finance to allegedly stolen charity funds donated to save the life of a veteran’s service dog. The dog died after the vet could not afford to pay for the operation.
‘Bioweapons? FFS’: House Oversight Chairman Mocked for Pushing Unfounded Balloon Conspiracy Theories
House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer is pushing baseless conspiracy theories about the Chinese high-altitude surveillance balloon floating over the United States – currently, over Montana – that the Pentagon is tracking, and he’s being widely mocked for his unfounded fear-mongering.
Fox News host Harris Faulkner set the stage perfectly for the far-right Republican from Kentucky, declaring the balloon is “the size of three buses” and that “China says was taken by wind – wind that we can’t substantiate.”
The Kentucky congressman who has falsely described President Biden as “compromised,” and stated he is going to target and investigate him, told Faulkner, “I have concern this is going to be another example of the Biden administration’s weakness on the national scale.”
Comer, 50, a former agriculture commissioner, lamented about Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, claiming it hurt the reputation of America’s military and Commander in Chief.
The balloon, he said, should “never have been allowed” to cross over into the United States.
“My concern is that the federal government doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?” he asked, pushing unfounded theories while echoing the far-right’s false claims the COVID-19 virus was developed as a bioweapon and escaped the lab in Wuhan, China.
After suggesting it might have bioweapons, he then said it was “very concerning” the balloon was not shot down before reaching the U.S. – which could have spread the alleged bioweapon.
Faulkner, seen by some as a propagandist, then jumped in to exhibit her surprise that “people on Capitol Hill were not briefed” about the balloon.
“Calling for the president to ‘shoot down’ the craft,” The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona adds, “some in the GOP called the president ‘Beijing Biden’ while claiming this is further proof that ‘Communist China’ doesn’t ‘fear or respect’ Biden.”
House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer to Fox News: “My concern is that the federal government doesn’t know what’s in that balloon. Is that bioweapons in that balloon? Did that balloon take off from Wuhan?” pic.twitter.com/0r9JmBl4zo
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 3, 2023
“Honestly,” communications strategist Doug Gordon noted, “just surprised he didn’t find a way to include Hunter’s laptop into that conspiracy theory.”
“Actually, he did later on,” Baragona replied.
National security expert Denver Riggleman, the Republican former U.S. Congressman from Virginia who assisted the Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, tweeted: “Bioweapons? FFS”
Referring to Comer’s unfounded bioweapons claim, one Twitter user observed, “Isn’t that more reason not to shoot at it? I’m not saying I know what to do, but logic would dictate ‘don’t shoot at balloons full of bioweapons.’ Right?”
Another noted that the Oversight Chairman should have been listening to the Pentagon’s briefing “taking place now instead of running to get on Fox to talk about something he has no expertise in.”
Another, mocking Comer, noted: “If they were sending a bio weapon, why would they park it over sparsely populated Montana? *rolls eyes*”
Watch the video above or at this link.
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