Leave it to “Fox & Friends” to do everything they can to use the Smollett story to paint the entire left as unhinged
Ever since “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett claimed he was the victim of a racist and homophobic hate crime where his alleged attackers told him, “This is MAGA country,” conservatives have been outraged, denying his story.
While it now appears in this instance they may have been right – Smollett surrendered to police Thursday morning and is under arrest for allegedly filing a false police report – the hate and vitriol from the right has been unyielding.
Donald Trump Jr. has tweeted about Smollett 15 times, and used his story to indict Democrats and everyone on the left, including Senator Kamala Harris. There was also this “joke”:
Kathy Griffin: No one can ruin a career faster than I can.
Jussie Smollet: Hold my bleach!!!
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 17, 2019
But leave it to “Fox & Friends” to do everything they can to use the Smollett story to paint the entire left as unhinged, which only exposes their own lack of understanding about what really happens in America.
The Fox News morning crew on Thursday repeatedly insisted Smollett could have started “race riots in major cities across this country,” which is preposterous.
Here’s “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade:
Brian Kilmeade on Jussie Smollett: “Remember the potential, if this had been true, of maybe even race riots in major cities across this country.” pic.twitter.com/XxwOpikC03
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) February 21, 2019
Talking with a right wing Chicago radio host, Kilmeade repeats his “race riot” assertion. Ironically, given Kilmeade’s regular fits of derangement, he says, “there’s people who are already on the edge when they wake up in the morning – all they need is something to set them off.”
Brian Kilmeade again says that the Jussie Smollett story “easily could have been a race riot,” and the pro-Trump radio host completely agrees. pic.twitter.com/tdcR5rlODA
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) February 21, 2019
“Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt was only too happy to chime in and repeat Kilmeade’s “riots” assertion:
No surprise that Ainsley Earhardt agrees “this could have *blown up.* Like you mentioned, it could have caused riots!” pic.twitter.com/aWjk1jyDx0
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) February 21, 2019
As Media Matters reporter Bobby Lewis (who also posted these videos) put it, “I guess it’s easy to think the Smollett story was seconds away from exploding into nationwide race riots, 1968-style, when you live your life in fear of minorities.”
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Watch: Trump Dangerously Declares the US Engaged in ‘Unprecedented’ and ‘Illegal Spying’ on His Campaign
President Donald Trump, emboldened by his hand-picked Attorney General’s false claim of “spying” by the U.S. Intelligence community on the Trump campaign, told reporters Thursday he agrees with William Barr.
“I think what he said was absolutely true,” President Trump said in the Oval Office. “There was absolutely spying into my campaign. I’ll go a step further — in my opinion it was illegal spying, unprecedented spying, and something that should never be allowed to happen in our country again.”
Trump described Attorney General’s remarks before the U.S. Senate, characterizing a judge-warranted counterintelligence investigation as “spying,” as “very accurate.”
It is a clear attempt to discredit the FBI and the Mueller report, and criminalize the agents, investigators, and officials involved. It also ties back to Trump’s entirely unfounded lie that President Barack Obama “wiretapped” him. An Inspector General’s review found zero evidence to support that libelous attack, which Trump tweeted about two years ago.
Attorney General Barr did walk back his remarks slightly, after being informed there is a perceptible difference between “spying,” which evokes an illegal context, and a counterintelligence investigation, which is the actual job of the FBI and other intelligence agencies.
Barr also said it remains to be seen if the investigation was warranted.
TRUMP commends Bill Barr for his unsupported claim that there was “spying” on the Trump campaign: “I think what he said was absolutely true… I’ll go a step further — in my opinion it was illegal spying.” pic.twitter.com/GSupkCRLug
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 11, 2019
Enraged, Trump Attacks: ‘Obama Separated the Children – ‘I’m the One That Stopped It’
President Donald Trump charged his predecessor with separating families and putting children in cages, but insisted he was the one who stopped it.
The Trump administration, under Stephen Miller, created the “zero tolerance” policy of separating families at the border and caging children with the direct intention of deterring people from Central America attempting to come to the United States. He called it a “simple decision.”
Asked about separating children – a policy Trump has been demanding for months his now-fired Secretary of homeland Security start up again, despite being illegal – Trump initially refused to answer.
About 30 seconds later Trump spoke as reporters were being coralled out of the Oval Office.
“Obama separated the children,” Trump charged angrily. “Just so you understand.”
“President Obama,” Trump said harshly, stressing the former president’s name, “separated the children. Those cages that were shown. I think they were very inappropriate. They were built by president Obama’s administration – not by Trump.”
“President Obama,” Trump said in staccato, “had child separation.”
“I’m the one that stopped it.”
“And I’ll tell you, once you don’t have it, that’s why you see many more people coming. They’re coming like it’s a picnic – ‘Let’s go to Disneyland.'”
That too is false – studies show the policy was not effective.
MSNBC aired the clip and announced President Trump was incorrect.
NEW: “We’re not looking to do that,” President Trump tells ABC News’ @jonkarl when asked if he’s considering reinstating the family separation policy at the border.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 9, 2019
READ: Ousted Kirstjen Nielsen Blames Congress For Her Failures in Resignation Letter – But Says We’re ‘Safer’
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen in her letter of resignation – which is effective immediately – is blaming Congress, and the courts, for her failures, but insists – falsely – that America is “safer” than before she took office.
You can read her full letter via Axios below. Also below is Sec. Nielsen’s just-posted tweet with a screenshot of her “resignation” letter.
Its been an honor of a lifetime to serve with the brave men and women of @DHSgov. I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards. pic.twitter.com/lIQ5iqGDmF
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) April 7, 2019
In it, she wrongly states: “We have prevented the disruption of U.S. elections and guarded against foreign interference in our democracy.”
The Trump administration has done no such thing.
She also claims: “We have implemented historic efforts to defend our borders, combat illegal immigration, obstruct the inflow of drugs, and uphold our laws and values.”
If separating families and losing thousands of migrant children is historic, then she is correct. But “uphold our laws and values”? Fail.
I hereby resign from the position of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), effective April 7th . It has been my great honor to lead the men and women of the Department as its sixth Secretary. I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards. I join all Americans in thanking them for their sacrifices and those of their families.
For more than two years of service beginning during the Presidential Transition, I have worked tirelessly to advance the goals and missions of the Department. I am immensely proud of our successes in transforming DHS to keep pace with our enemies and adversaries — whether it is in cyberspace or against emerging threats from new technologies.
Despite our progress in reforming homeland security for a new age, I have determined that it is the right time for me to step aside. I hope that the next Secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse. Our country and the men and women of DHS deserve to have all the tools and resources they need to execute the mission entrusted to them.
I can say with confidence our homeland is safer today than when I joined the Administration. We have taken unprecedented action to protect Americans. We have implemented historic efforts to defend our borders, combat illegal immigration, obstruct the inflow of drugs, and uphold our laws and values. We have responded decisively to record-breaking natural disasters and helped Americans rebuild. We have prevented the disruption of U.S. elections and guarded against foreign interference in our democracy. We have replaced complacency with consequences in cyberspace, we are holding digital intruders accountable, and we are stepping up our protection of American networks. We have thwarted terrorist plotting against our homeland and launched new efforts to block terrorists and criminals from reaching our shores. And we have ramped up security measures to make it harder for our enemies and adversaries to attack us, whether it is with drones, chemical and biological weapons, or through other means.
Thank you again for the privilege to serve the American people and to lead the outstanding men and women of the Department of Homeland Security. Supporting these patriots has been the honor of a lifetime.
Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security
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