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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

New Trump Appointee Says US Is in the Grips of a ‘Homo-Empire’ Pushing a ‘Tyrannical LGBT Agenda’

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This story was originally published by ProPublica.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

A new Trump appointee to the United States’ foreign aid agency has a history of online posts denouncing liberal democracy and has said that the country is in the clutches of a “homo-empire” that pushes a “tyrannical LGBT agenda.”

In one post, Merritt Corrigan, who recently took up a position as deputy White House liaison at the U.S. Agency for International Development, wrote: “Liberal democracy is little more than a front for the war being waged against us by those who fundamentally despise not only our way of life, but life itself.”

Corrigan’s new position in the Trump administration, confirmed by two officials, has not been previously reported.

Corrigan previously worked for the Hungarian Embassy in the United States and tweeted that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is “the shining champion of Western civilization,” Politico reported last year. An embassy spokesman, Béla Gedeon, said Corrigan left her position there in mid-April.

Orban, a far-right politician, has cracked down on civil society, academic freedom and other liberties. USAID has recently partnered with Hungary to help Christians in Iraq, a pairing that some career USAID officials said they found unsettling.

Asked about Corrigan’s writing, acting USAID spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala said the agency has a “zero-tolerance policy of any form of discrimination or harassment based on gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or any other possible distinguishing characteristic that can define any of us.”

“All employees are held to the highest of standards and are expected to treat one another with dignity and respect. Period,” she said. “This includes political appointees, civil servants, foreign service officers and contractors.”

Corrigan did not respond to emails asking about her past comments.

Politico reported last year that Corrigan wrote on her Twitter account that “our homo-empire couldn’t tolerate even one commercial enterprise not in full submission to the tyrannical LGBT agenda.” Corrigan’s Twitter account is now private.

In October, Corrigan wrote an op-ed in The Conservative Woman, a London publication, decrying “the false song of feminism” and calling for women to take up traditional roles of mother, wife and homemaker.

“A woman today is expected by society to come to marriage and motherhood in physical and spiritual decline, if ever,” she wrote. “This is the life women have been offered by those who would rather us toil away as isolated economic units for faceless corporations, far from the natural pleasures of the domestic, far from the guardianship of a loving husband, and far from the life-giving experience of motherhood.”

Corrigan’s biography on the website described her as a “conservative political strategist.” She was on the payroll of the Republican National Committee between 2016 and 2018, according to campaign finance records.

Her stated positions put her directly at odds with the stated goals of her new employer. USAID uses a “liberal democracy index” as one of its metrics in deciding whether a country is self-reliant, and it has an entire office dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment. The agency’s website says it is working for a world in which LGBT people are “respected and able to live with dignity, free from discrimination, persecution, and violence.”

Beirne Roose-Snyder, director of public policy at the Center for Health and Gender Equity, said, “An appointee who eschews gender equality, meaningful democracy and LGBTI rights cannot possibly fulfill the mission of USAID.”

Corrigan’s appointment is the latest example of the Trump administration bringing in officials to USAID whose stated views put them at odds with the agenda the agency says it promotes.

USAID’s new deputy chief of staff, Bethany Kozma, was previously an anti-transgender activist who wrote in 2016 that transgender girls are boys “claiming gender confusion.” Kozma was formerly a senior adviser for women’s empowerment at the agency.

And last week, The Washington Post reported that a Tea Party activist with a history of making and sharing anti-Islamic comments on his personal social media profiles would be the agency’s new religious freedom adviser. News of the appointment sparked criticism from Muslim groups in the U.S. and the Anti-Defamation League.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

DeSantis Hires New Surgeon General: A Hydroxychloroquine-Pushing Physician Who Appeared in ‘Demon Sperm’ Doc’s Video

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Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, responsible for one of the worst COVID-19 responses in the nation, has just announced his new Surgeon General, Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD, a UCLA Medical Center physician and health policy researcher who appeared in the viral “Demon Sperm” quack doctor’s video that advocated the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19.

Dr. Ladapo appears to be anti-mask, pro-ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, and against mass vaccinating the public against the coronavirus which to date has now killed over 675,000 Americans.

For example, in one of his many op-eds, mostly published in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Lapado says it’s “reasonable” for parents to not want to, or to be skeptical of vaccinating their children. In February he hinted that the vaccine might not be safe for pregnant women, calling for “humility about areas of uncertainty—such as vaccination in pregnant women.” CDC guidance now urges them to be vaccinated. Studies show pregnant women who contract coronavirus are 10, 15, and even 22 times more likely to die if unvaccinated.

“Tools for stopping variants are limited and, like masks and distancing, vaccines are not a panacea,” Dr. Ladapo also wrote in February.

In an April op-ed, “An American Epidemic of ‘Covid Mania’,” he wrote: “The problem isn’t only the overreaction to the virus but the diminution of every other problem.”

In June he asked, “Are Covid Vaccines Riskier Than Advertised?” despite billions of people worldwide having been vaccinated with almost no lasting negative side effects.

Dr. Ladapo appeared in a viral video social media companies removed from their platforms in 2020, a video that received millions of views in part thanks to then-President Donald Trump. It featured “a group that has dubbed itself America’s Frontline Doctors, standing on the steps of the Supreme Court and claiming that neither masks nor shutdowns are necessary to fight the pandemic, despite a plethora of expertise to the contrary,” as The Washington Post reported.

The lead physician, Stella Immanuel, “has a history of making particularly outlandish statements — including that the uterine disorder endometriosis is caused by sex with demons that takes place in dreams.”

That led phrases like “demon semen,” and “demon sperm” to take over social media.

Rolling Stone, profiling the physicians who appeared in the video, including Ladapo, called them “COVID-19 Truthers.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Eric Trump to Headline Anti-Vaxxers Pro-QAnon Possible Super-Spreader Event Next Month: Report

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Eric Trump is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at an anti-vaxxers conference in October, despite his father, the former president, claiming credit for the three COVID-19 vaccines.

It’s just the “latest alliance between the Trump family and the GOP’s fringiest elements,” The Daily Beast reports. The second Trump son will be “joining a speakers’ lineup that includes some of the most prominent promoters of disinformation about vaccines, as well as leading figures in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement.”

A press release from the group holding the event describes it as organized “by health freedom activists, natural medicine practitioners, and freedom-loving truth seekers,” and claims it will be “a massive in-person gathering in Nashville, TN from October 22nd to the 24th.”

In other words, a likely super-spreader event.

Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has not only refused to implement a mask mandate, he has banned local governments from ordering them.

The Daily Beast adds that the conference, called The Truth About Cancer Live! “is the brainchild of Ty and Charlene Bollinger, two major promoters of anti-vaccine disinformation who have made tens of millions of dollars promoting both alternative health cures for cancer and vaccine fears. The Bollingers have dubbed the coronavirus vaccine ‘that abominable vaccine,’ according to a Center for Public Integrity report, and sell a $200 video series promoting vaccine fearmongering on their website.”

Press release image

Eric Trump denies the event is an anti-vaxx conference.

“As to labeling something an anti-vaccine event, it wouldn’t make much sense for me to attend as a vaccinated person if it was,” Trump told The Daily Beast in an email.

His hosts disagree.

In posts on Telegram, a social media app popular on the right, the Bollingers have called the vaccine a “SHOT OF POISON!” and the “COVID kill shot.”

 

Photo, top: Eric Trump with Charlene Bollinger

Images via PR Newswire press release

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Head of Anti-LGBTQ Group Worked With Trump on Secret Scheme to Try to Get Pence to Overturn Election: CNN

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The head of a once well-known anti-LGBTQ organization that spent countless millions in dark money to try to block the advancement of same-sex marriage worked with then-President Donald Trump and his legal team on a secret scheme to try to get Vice President Mike Pence to subvert the U.S. Constitution and overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

John Eastman (photo, next to Rudy Giuliani), who until January 13 was a tenured professor of law and dean at the Chapman University School of Law in California, advanced a six-point plan detailing the steps he wanted Pence to take on January 6.

Eastman, who is the chairman of NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, “tried to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence that he could overturn the election results on January 6 when Congress counted the Electoral College votes by throwing out electors from seven states, according to the new book ‘Peril’ from Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa,” CNN reports.

“You really need to listen to John. He’s a respected constitutional scholar. Hear him out,” Trump told Pence during a January 4 meeting with Eastman in the Oval Office, according to “Peril.”

In addition to directing that Pence would falsely claim that the seven states had competing electors, Eastman suggested Pence make all these moves without warning.

“The main thing here is that Pence should do this without asking for permission — either from a vote of the joint session or from the Court,” Eastman wrote. “The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter. We should take all of our actions with that in mind.”

Pence disagreed with Eastman’s legal claims and did not enact the secret scheme.

Eastman spoke at the January 6 “Save America” rally that many claim Trump used to incite the insurrection.

One week later he “abruptly” resigned from Chapman University “amid criticism of his role in stoking the violent attack,” and “calls for his firing,” Law.com reported at the time.

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NOM Chairman Teams Up With FRC, Announces He Hopes Uganda Reinstates Life Imprisonment For Gays

Professor Peddling Lie Pence Could Overturn Election and Helped Incite Attack May Be Trump’s Impeachment Attorney

Experts Mock Trump for Only Being Able to Get a ‘Disgraced White Supremacist’ Attorney for ‘Crazy’ SCOTUS Case

 

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