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Anti-LGBTQ Hate Groups Spike As Trump Embraces Their Leaders – White House Issues Thin Statement Rejecting Responsibility

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Anti-LGBTQ hate groups are rapidly growing across America, a result, the Southern Poverty Law Center says, of President Donald Trump’s leadership, including his embrace of those groups. The White House in response has issued a thin statement denying any responsibility or blame – while not even offering to make any changes or to help with the growing danger.

While overall, active hate groups of all types fell slightly in 2019 from 1020 to 940, there was a “sharp expansion,” a nearly 43% increase, in anti-LGBTQ hate groups, the SPLC reports, warning that the “Trump administration has demonstrated a clear willingness to embrace their leaders and their policy agenda.”

“Though Trump promised during his campaign to be a ‘real friend’ to the LGBTQ community, he has fully embraced anti-LGBTQ hate groups and their agenda of dismantling federal protections and resources for LGBTQ people.”

Far right wing Christian evangelicals, including anti-LGBTQ hate groups like the Family Research Council, have become emboldened, enjoying what they have said is “open door” access to the Oval Office.

“Anti-LGBTQ groups have become intertwined with the Trump administration, and—after years of civil rights progress and growing acceptance among the broader American public—anti-LGBTQ sentiment within the Republican Party is rising,” the Southern Poverty Law Center adds.

The White House issued a thin statement in response, refusing to accept any responsibility or blame.

“While the radical left has pushed false accusations that LGBTQ Americans are threatened, the president has hired and promoted LGBTQ Americans to the highest levels of government, including positions at the White House, Cabinet agencies and ambassadorships,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told NBC News. “He launched a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality. … And the president has made the bold declaration that we are committed to ending HIV transmissions in the United States within 10 years.”

(Note that nearly the entire statement hinges on the President appointing openly-gay Trump diehard loyalist Richard Grenell as his Ambassador to Germany, then installing him – despite his absolute lack of qualifications – as his acting Director of National Security. It was Grenell who launched the campaign to decriminalize homosexuality – which exists in name only. And Trump can say he is “committed to ending HIV transmissions in the United States within 10 years,” but his policies are likely to make the situation worse.)

The SPLC also issued another dark warning: this hate and extremism “will far outlast this administration,” and not disappear when President Trump leaves office.

“As the country continues to experience white nationalist terror, extremist ideas long believed outside of the realm of legitimate politics are penetrating deeply into the mainstream, spawning public policies that target immigrants, LGBTQ people and Muslims. The Trump administration has installed members of hate groups into government—particularly those with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim or anti-LGBTQ animus—and put in place highly punitive policies that seemed unthinkable just a few short years ago. These political moves will far outlast this administration, as Trump and his allies in the U.S. Senate have pushed through hundreds of new federal judges, many of whom are hostile to civil rights concerns and will serve for decades.”

 

 

 

 

 

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‘I Think Someone May Be Trying to Kill Me’: Matt Gaetz Spins Stunning Conspiracy Theory on House Floor

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) made an unexpected announcement during a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

“I think someone may be trying to kill me,” Gaetz said shortly after he was recognized on the House floor. “If they are successful, I would like my constituents and my family to know who stopped their arrest.”

Gaetz then claimed that he received a death threat from someone who claimed to be a professional hit man on Twitter and who supposedly traveled to Washington D.C.

According to Gaetz, the Capitol Police recommended that the individual be arrested, but the Department of Justice supposedly refused to take action.

Watch the video below.

 

 

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Trump Refuses to Answer Questions in Deposition Over Lawsuit That His Security Team Assaulted Protesters: Report

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This Monday, former President Donald Trump testified under oath for over four hours regarding an incident in 2015 when activists outside Trump Tower were attacked by his security team while they were protesting.

The protesters said they were assaulted during a rally outside Trump Tower over the then-candidate’s comments that Mexican immigrants were criminals and rapists.

According to The Daily Beast, the activists’ lawyer, Benjamin Dictor, said there were a handful of questions that Trump declined to answer.

“This deposition was like any other deposition of an employer who was a defendant in a civil matter,” Dictor told The Daily Beast. “Everything proceeded professionally.”

“On Monday, the ex-president was expected to be questioned about whether he authorized or condoned his henchmen to manhandle protesters or otherwise remove activists from his events in general, as well as what role one particular guard—Keith Schiller—played in Trump’s inner circle,” The Beast reports. “Among the other potential subjects of inquiry on Monday was Matthew Calamari, the Trump Organization’s chief operating officer and former director of security who was present the day of the rally. Last month, sources told The Daily Beast that Calamari was under scrutiny by Manhattan prosecutors as part of a tax fraud probe into the business and its executives.”

Read the full report over at The Daily Beast.

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Former US Secretary of State, Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell Remembered by Those Who Knew Him

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Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. Secretary of State, died Monday morning of complications from COVID-19. The former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was 84 and battling a blood cancer that impacts the body’s ability to fight infections, along with Parkinson’s. His family in a statement said he was fully vaccinated.

Powell served under both Republican and Democratic Presidents, including serving as United States National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan.

News of his death has shocked the nation, with many who knew him sharing their memories of the highly-respected diplomat and military leader.

A sampling.

This article will be updated with more reactions throughout the day.

 

Image by U.S. Department of State via Flickr 

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