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Rob Porter’s Abused Ex-Wife: ‘Trump Will Not Diminish my Truth’

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‘The Words ‘Mere Allegation’ and ‘Falsely Accused’ Meant to Imply That I am a Liar’

Jennie Willoughby, ex-wife of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, has penned a remarkable piece in TIME in response to Donald Trump’s defense of her alleged abuser.

“On Friday, a friend and I watched as the President of the United States sat in the Oval Office and praised the work of my ex-husband, Rob Porter, and wished him future success,” Willoughby wrote. “I can’t say I was surprised.”

“But when Donald Trump repeated twice that Rob declared his innocence, I was floored,” she continued. “What was his intent in emphasizing that point? My friend turned to me and said, ‘The President of the United States just called you a liar.’ Yes. And so he did.”

As NCRM reported on Friday, the president did indeed finally weigh in on the scandal. “We wish him well. He worked very hard,” Trump said, defending Porter. He further noted that he found out about the allegations “recently,” and that he was “surprised.”

“We certainly wish him well. It’s obviously a tough time for him,” Trump continued. “He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career, hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him.”

Trump’s commentary brought about quick backlash, but didn’t end there. On Saturday, the president tweeted that “lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation. Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new.”

“There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone,” he continued. “Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” Again, more backlash.

But none of the backlash has been as powerful as Willoughby’s, who wrote that “the words ‘mere allegation’ and ‘falsely accused’ meant to imply that I am a liar. That Colbie Holderness [the wife of the second White House official who resigned this week] is a liar.”

“That the work Rob was doing in the White House was of higher value than our mental, emotional or physical wellbeing,” she continued. “That his professional contributions are worth more than the truth. That abuse is something to be questioned and doubted.

She further advised that “of course” the White House and former colleagues had defended her ex-husband, noting that they “valued and respected him” and that “denial is easier than devastation.” She continued:

Everyone wants to talk about how Trump implied I am a not to be believed. As if Trump is the model of kindness and forgiveness. As if he readily acknowledges his own shortcomings and shows empathy and concern for others. I forgive him. Thankfully, my strength and worth are not dependent on outside belief — the truth exists whether the President accepts it or not.

I think the issue here is deeper than whether Trump, or General John Kelly, or Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or Senator Orrin Hatch, or Hope Hicks, or whether anyone else believes me or defends Rob. Society as a whole has a fear of addressing our worst secrets. (Just ask any African-American citizen). It’s as if we have a societal blind spot that creates an obstacle to understanding. Society as a whole doesn’t acknowledge the reality of abuse.

The tendency to avoid, deny, or cover up abuse is never really about power, or money, or an old boys’ club. It is deeper than that. Rather than embarrass an abuser, society is subconsciously trained to question a victim of abuse. I would call it an ignorant denial based on the residual, puritan, collective agreement that abuse is uncomfortable to talk about.

“In light of the President’s and the White House’s continued dismissal of me and Colbie, I want to assure you my truth has not been diminished,” Willoughby concluded. “I own my story and now that I have been compelled to share it, I’m not willing to cover it up for anyone.”

She also shared her message for all victims of abuse. The entire piece, very much worth the read, can be found here.

Image via Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

DOJ Unveils Proposal That Would Make It Harder for Twitter and Facebook to Block Trump’s Dangerous Posts

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice has released a draft of its proposal to change federal law, making it harder – and possibly illegal – for tech companies and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to remove, delete, or otherwise block or interfere with content it deems dangerous or objectionable.

President Donald Trump for years has falsely claimed tech giants are censoring conservatives and giving preferential treatment to liberals. Recently, Twitter and even Facebook have appended warning or information labels to some of his more dangerous posts, and in rare cases removed them – as they have done for years to other users.

Attorney General Barr has been working to alter Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites and their owners from liability over content they host – such as readers’ comments – and allows them to make decisions as to what they remove or block based on what those sites and platforms consider objectionable.

Calling Barr’s draft “a rare, legislative proposal,” The Washington Post reports were it to become law, it would allow the federal government to “police” website owners and tech companies’ actions.

“For years, President Trump and other top Republicans have attacked tech giants including Facebook, Google and Twitter for censoring conservatives online, something the U.S. government now may have the ability to police if the Justice Department’s proposal were to become law.”

For example, yesterday nine of the top 10 posts on Facebook were from Republicans or far right conservatives.

“The White House,” the Washington Post continues, “has offered little proof for its claims, and tech companies strongly deny them — while Democratic lawmakers contend the administration should focus instead on hate speech, extremism and election disinformation that spreads virally on the Internet.”

 

 

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RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Barr to Be Honored for ‘Christlike Behavior’ Today With Award From Right Wing Catholic Group With Strong Ties to Trump

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Attorney General Bill Barr will be honored for his “Christlike behavior” at Wednesday’s National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, according to Roman Catholic Sister, author, and anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean.

The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast says Barr will be presented with its Christifideles Laici Award during today’s 16th annual prayer event.

“In Honor and Gratitude for Fidelity to the Church, Exemplary Selfless and Steadfast Service in the Lord’s Vineyard,” are the words inscribed on the award.

The event is being sponsored by several groups, including Alliance Defending Freedom, which appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of anti-LGBTQ hate groups.

President Donald Trump is expected to address the group today during its virtual ceremony.

Among the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast’s founders are Pat Cipollone, President Trump’s White House Counsel; former Republican Senator Rick Santorum; and Joseph Cella, President Trump’s Ambassador to Fiji, and a former Trump transition team member who co-founded the right wing activist group Catholic Vote.

Another founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast is Austin Ruse, the president of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM).

Perhaps the most notable founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast is the group’s president, conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo.

Leo also serves as co-chairman of the Federalist Society, the far right group responsible for promoting the illegitimate belief that the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted by judges according to how the nation’s founders thought.

President Trump, for the first time in history, has effectively farmed out the approval process for federal court judges and even Supreme Court justices he nominates, to the Federalist Society.

The award to Barr is being condemned by notable Catholics, including Sister Prejean, and Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor-at-large at America magazine.

 

 

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POLITICIZING A PANDEMIC

Trump Calls on FDA to Fast-Track Coronavirus Vaccine Approvals

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday publicly called on the Food and Drug Administration to fast-track approvals of coronavirus vaccines after a fourth American drug company’s COVID-19 vaccine entered the final clinical trials stage. The call came just one day after the U.S. saw its 200,000 coronavirus death.

Big news,” Trump tweeted. “Numerous great companies are seeing fantastic results. @FDA must move quickly!”

Trump then retweeted other tweets praising the Johnson & Johnson drug trial.

Many see Trump’s actions as inappropriate pressure on what is supposed to be an independent, non-partisan federal agency, and some see them as dangerous.

A Washington Post reporter noted the FDA on Tuesday said it was raising the bar on coronavirus vaccine approvals.

But Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday issued a draconian order hamstringing the FDA and requiring all moves to be approved by him.

Here’s former Obama Under Secretary of State Richard Stengel, issuing a warning:

 

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