U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is once again under fire, this time for traveling to Washington, D.C. to attend the Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of Biden Attorney General pick Merrick Garland, and for his line of questioning as well. The Texas Republican first came under fire for traveling to Cancun, Mexico last week while millions of his constituents were without electricity, heat, and running water.
But CDC guidelines are very clear on what Americans should be doing – including warning that no one should travel to Mexico at all, given its high rate of coronavirus in the population.
“Travelers should avoid all travel to Mexico,” CDC states.
“Before traveling back to the United States by air, get tested with a viral test no more than 3 days before your flight departs. The test result must be negative,” it adds. Cruz’s office says he has been tested and it came back negative. It did not specify which test Cruz took. Some, like the ones the Trump White House used, are only designed to detect coronavirus infection in those displaying symptoms.
“After you travel, get tested 3–5 days after travel AND stay home to self-quarantine for 7 days after travel. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home to self-quarantine for 10 days,” CDC adds.
Yahoo News reports “essential workers like lawmakers are allowed to continue doing their duties if they are symptom-free,” but as many noted, this is just one more example of Cruz putting himself ahead of others.
Cruz also came under attack for the extreme partisanship and politicization of his questions of Merrick Garland, who, as President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a Supreme Court seat was denied that chance when Republicans refused to even hold hearings on his nomination.
Sen. Cruz all but charged President Joe Biden with a “future crime,” saying he is certain Biden will politicize the Dept. of Justice. Many were stunned, given there is no reason to believe that, and that Cruz was silent when President Donald Trump did for four years.
Questioning AG nominee Merrick Garland, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) without irony criticizes the Obama/Biden Justice Department for being “politicized and weaponized” as a tool to attack political opponents. pic.twitter.com/4kHJgr1SZ7
— The Recount (@therecount) February 22, 2021
Here are some responses:
Being @tedcruz means you get to make your own truths and not follow any rules! 1. No quarantine after traveling outside the US 2. Colluding with defendant’s attorney when serving as a juror in an impeachment.
— jeri Amundsen (@jeramundsen) February 22, 2021
Ted Cruz, who did not complain about the politicization or weaponization of the Trump Justice Department, complains about the Obama Just Department being “politicized and weaponized.”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 22, 2021
Based on Ted Cruz’s current line of questioning, I can only conclude he was out of the country for four years, not 24 hours.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) February 22, 2021
It’s not required, just CDC recommendation, which means GOP doesn’t do it. Other counties enforce their quarantine rules and get better results (unlike the US with 500,000 dead).
— Bill Webb🇨🇦 (@wewebb) February 22, 2021
Let’s just be clear that the reason the Jim Crow Insurrectionist Senators like @tedcruz and @LindseyGrahamSC can’t stand @EricHolder is he sued Antebellum states that tried to undermine Black Americans’ right to vote.
— Joy-Ann Pro-Democracy & Masks Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) February 22, 2021
Ted Cruz still not in quarantine after his jaunt to Mexico.
— Janet Johnson (@JJohnsonLaw) February 22, 2021
Ted Cruz skips quarantine to infect first responders
— Randy Wall 🇺🇸 🇨🇱 🏳️🌈 (@RandyEdgarWall) February 22, 2021
Ted Cruz tries to change the subject from his Cancun vacation by ranting about Eric Holder and pushing years old debunked conspiracy theories and Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearing. pic.twitter.com/Lqr8O5DpDA
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 22, 2021
So @tedcruz didn’t quarantine.
He’s my Senator and he needs to resign.
He didn’t care if his dog died and he doesn’t care if he spreads COVID. https://t.co/W9NvuXRhbU
— Texas. It’s like a whole other s**thole country. (@feloneouscat) February 22, 2021
@tedcruz i have questions! Why aren’t you in quarantine after your fun trip to Cancun?Speaking of politicizing and weaponizing the Justice Dept…have you met Bill Barr and/or Jeff Sessions? You didn’t seem to mind then! I wonder why. Partisan much? #Hypocrite
— Mamakuzzy (@mamakuzzy) February 22, 2021
Seeing @SenTedCruz /@tedcruz in all these tweets because of his idiotic comments during the Merrick Garland hearings makes me think we should made him quarantine in isolation in Cancun w/out communication devices when he fled Texas.#TedCruzisADisgrace
— Bobby Parker (@LegionBobo) February 22, 2021
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Trump’s Dinner With Kanye Also Included a Former Aide Accused in Pay-for-Pardon Play, and White Supremacist Fuentes
Donald Trump‘s dinner earlier this week with antisemite Kanye West and holocaust denier and white supremacist Nick Fuentes may also have included two other right-wingers, hinted at by the former president himself.
After Axios‘ reporting confirmed that Fuentes had in fact had dinner with Trump, Trump issued a statement saying, “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”
But later, on Friday afternoon via his Truth Social platform, Trump wrote a defense of the dinner with an expanded guest list.
“This past week, Kanye West called me to have dinner at Mar-a-Lago,” Trump wrote. “Shortly thereafter, he unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, whom I knew nothing about. We had dinner on Tuesday evening with many members present on the back patio. The dinner was quick and uneventful. They then left for the airport.”
As The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman noted, Trump did not denounce his guest’s extremist beliefs.
“Three of his friends,” according to the far-right wing website Breitbart, apparently includes Fuentes, far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, and former Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno.
Breitbart states, “two people who say they were at the dinner on Tuesday evening–Yiannopoulos and onetime Trump aide Karen Giorno–have publicly stated that Fuentes was in fact at the dinner with West and Trump.”
“’Nick attended the dinner and sat across from the president. I sat to the president’s right and Ye to his left,’ Giorno said in a statement to podcaster Tim Poole’s website Timcast,” Breitbart reports. “‘The president was by himself for dinner but invited Ye to meet some people on the patio.'”
Politico reports Giorno “confirmed to Politico that she was also at the dinner with Trump, West and Fuentes,” but does not mention Yiannopoulos as a dinner guest.
Referring to Kanye West by his new name, VICE News adds: “Ye, who has been been on an antisemitic spiral in recent months, announced he is going to be running for president in 2024, and Yiannopoulos is his campaign manager. He claimed that he asked the former president to run with him as his vice-president. According to Ye, the dinner involving the billionaire, the rapper, and the white nationalist devolved into screaming and derogatory epithets.”
Yiannopoulos is the former Breitbart editor who became disgraced after saying, “I think in the gay world some of the most important, enriching and incredibly life-affirming, important shaping relationships very often between younger boys and older men.” Earlier this year U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene came under fire for hiring, as an intern, Yiannopoulos, even after he appeared to support sexual “relationships” between boys as young as 13 and older men.
Karen Giorno, The New York Times reported early last year, “had access to people around the president, having run Mr. Trump’s campaign in Florida during the 2016 primary and remaining on board as a senior political adviser during the general election.”
“In July 2018, Ms. Giorno signed an agreement with Mr. Kiriakou, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, ‘to seek a full pardon from President Donald Trump of his conviction’ for $50,000 and promised another $50,000 as a bonus if she secured a pardon,” The Times reports.
Kiriakou is John Kiriakou, who The Times identifies as “a former C.I.A. officer convicted of illegally disclosing classified information.”
On what appears to be her Instagram page, Giorno has photos of herself with numerous Republicans, including Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Flynn, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida attorney general Ashley Moody and several other top Florida elected officials, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, and Sarah Palin, among others.
Trump Claims He ‘Knew Nothing About’ the White Supremacist Antisemite Who He and Kanye West Dined With at Mar-a-Lago
Donald Trump and Kanye West had dinner at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night and the disgraced artist who goes by “Ye” brought a guest, the white supremacist, antisemite and “America First” and “Big Lie” purveyor Nick Fuentes. Now the former president is claiming Fuentes was a guest of West, and he knows “nothing” about him.
“Trump’s direct engagement with a man labeled a ‘white supremacist’ by the Justice Department, one week after declaring his 2024 candidacy, is likely to draw renewed outrage over the former president’s embrace of extremists,” Axios’ Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu report.
Axios notes that in a video West posted to his recently restored Twitter account, he says, “Trump was ‘really impressed’ with Fuentes because ‘unlike so many of the lawyers and so many people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he’s actually a loyalist.'”
“Ye, who has lost major sponsorships over his anti-Semitism and recent far-right associations, has said he wants to run for president in 2024,” Axios adds. “The rapper claims Trump started ‘screaming’ at him at the dinner and told him he would lose — ‘most perturbed’ by Ye asking Trump to be his running mate.”
Swan says Trump issued a statement in response to his reporting, claiming he does not know Fuentes.
“Kanye West very much wanted to visit Mar-a-Lago,” Trump’s statement says, an apparent attempt to minimize his dining with two racists and antisemites. “Our dinner meeting was intended to be Kanye and me only, but he arrived with a guest whom I had never met and knew nothing about.”
The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman observes that Trump’s “statement does nothing to denounce that background, including Holocaust denialism, or even acknowledge it.”
Trump first claiming West just wanted to see Mar-a-Lago, but immediately after calling it a “meeting” is notable, given that West has since suggested he is running for president.
Axios importantly adds that “Fuentes first gained notoriety after attending the white supremacist ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville in 2017,” and, “Trump was heavily criticized at the time for his response to the racist violence.”
Journalist Jeff Sharlet is the executive producer of Netflix’s “The Family,” based on his books that exposed the secretive Christian right organization of the same name. The Family, also called The Fellowship, hosts the annual National Prayer Breakfast. Its members were involved in Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill.
Sharlet warns this is an “inflection point.”
“Trump dinner with Ye, at this point, is a major story,” Sharlet tweeted. “But with Nick Fuentes? That’s an inflection point even for a former president already committed to fascism.”
Journalist and activist Elad Nehorai tweeted: “Never let a single right winger or Republican claim they care about Jews after this. Fuentes openly praises Hitler. He is a Holocaust denier. He is one of the US’s most dangerous white nationalists. Trump hosted him & not one Republican had said a word.”
Attorney and former Republican Ron Filipkowski, who tracks and reports on right wing extremism, says Trump’s statement “reminds me of the time when Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio was in the WH in Dec 2020 and said he was just there to check out the Christmas decorations.”
Tarrio told ABC News last year he “got invited to the White House Christmas decorations tour through ‘Latinos For Trump.'”
Top national security attorney Brad Moss mocked Trump’s claim about the Mar-a-Lago dinner.
“Trump legal team: MAL is a totally secure place where we can be trusted to store classified records,” he tweeted. “Trump PR team: Security at MAL is so lax that a raving white supremacist can just crash Trump’s dinner party with Ye.”
Indeed, The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman commented, “It’s not the central issue with meeting with Fuentes, but the fact that people can show up unvetted and meet with Trump at his club is part of what alarmed the DOJ about his retention of government records, including classified material, when he left office.”
She also posted a screenshot from her book, relevant to Trump’s embrace of the two racists and antisemites. She quotes him saying, “A lot of these people vote,” in relation to “Trump’s refusal to condemn David Duke’s support forcefully in early 2016.”
Related: from CONFIDENCE MAN, Trump’s refusal to condemn David Duke’s support forcefully in early 2016. “A lot of these people vote.” pic.twitter.com/BcsX7pXKbb
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 25, 2022
The AntiDefamation League (ADL) in a 2021 report wrote, “Nicholas Fuentes is a white supremacist leader and organizer and podcaster who seeks to forge a white nationalist alternative to the mainstream GOP.”
Some of Fuentes’ antisemitism has been documented by ADL.
“Fuentes has made a number of racist and antisemitic comments under the guise of being provocative and ironic,” ADLs report states. “For example, he has referred to Daily Wire columnist Matt Walsh as ‘shabbos goy race traitor’ because he works for Jews (Ben Shapiro, a Jewish conservative, runs the Daily Wire). On a livestream episode, Fuentes ‘jokingly’ denied the Holocaust and compared Jews burnt in concentration camps to cookies in an oven. On May 24, 2021, Fuentes participated in a debate on right-wing conspiracist Alex Jones’ InfoWars with Robert Barnes, a man described as a ‘constitutional lawyer’ who has legally defended both Jones and Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse. During the debate, Fuentes made numerous antisemitic remarks, including, ‘I don’t see Jews as Europeans and I don’t see them as part of Western civilization, particularly because they are not Christians.'”
Fuentes is strongly pro-Trump, as West alluded to.
“Fuentes promoted election fraud narratives and encouraged his adherents to participate in nationwide ‘Stop the Steal’ protests,” according to ADL.
This article has been updated to include Jeff Sharlet’s remarks.
Trump Gets Famous Founding Father’s Quote Wrong in Angry Thanksgiving Pity Party: ‘Give Me Freedom or Give Me Death’
The former leader of the free world lashed out on Thursday at one of the prosecutors investigating alleged misconduct.
“The Manhattan D.A. Case should never have been brought,” Trump posted to his Truth Social website.
He also attacked the Mazars Group, which used to handle the accounting for the Trump Organization.
“This case should be dismissed immediately, and the large, highly paid and ‘prestigious’ accounting firm that we relied on to do their job, but didn’t, should pay us a fortune in damages,” Trump said.
As he often does, he labeled the investigation “a total witch hunt!”
Two minutes later, he returned to Truth Social to post the quote, “Give me freedom or give me death.”
The quote is similar to the famous “give me liberty or give me death” quote founding father Patrick Henry said when speaking at the Second Virginia Convention in 1775.
Less than one hour later, Trump complained about judges and justices, claiming “it is almost impossible to get a fair decision on a case if you are a Republican. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is!”
Trump went on the attack the investigations by special prosecutor Jack Smith as a “rigged scam.”
“Did nothing wrong on Jan. 6 (peacefully & patrioticly (sic)), or with documents (check out past presidents),” Trump wrote.
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