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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Pence and Pompeo Headline Launch of Think Tank Founded by Korean ‘Cultist’ Whose Church Says ‘Christian Era Has Ended’

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Mike Pence, the former Trump vice president, and Mike Pompeo, the former Trump secretary of state, headlined an event called the “Rally of Hope” to celebrate the launch of a Korean cultist’s alleged “think tank” earlier this month. That event was encapsulated in a just-released propaganda-like video.

Hak Ja Han Moon is the head of what was once called the Unification Church, a Christian offshoot “cult” (according to some who say they “escaped” it,) best known for mass weddings and for its founding and ownership of the right wing newspaper The Washington Times. The church, now called the Unification Movement, was founded by her late husband, Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Their acolytes believe the Moons are the Messiahs and the “True Parents” of humanity.

“Though American conservatives have long made common cause with the Unification Church,” Mother Jones’ David Corn reports, “the head of the outfit that pulled together this event declared not too long ago that the ‘Christian era has ended’ —which means Pence and Pompeo, whose self-professed religious devotion is a prominent part of their respective political profiles, were (knowingly or not) collaborating with and bolstering a group that says it is supplanting the Christianity they embrace.”

Also speaking were former Trump Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and Trump ally Newt Gingrich.

“During his videotaped speech,” Corn reports, “Pence claimed that Think Tank 2022 is ‘bringing the wisdom of leaders in government, business, religion, civil society’ and that thanks to this new endeavor, ‘the dream of peaceful cooperation and unity will be closer to reality than ever before.’ (Pence spoke at a previous and similar Rally of Hope in March.) Pompeo, who was introduced as a ‘devout Christian,’ hailed former President Donald Trump’s assorted engagements with Kim Jong Un, the tyrannical and murderous leader of North Korea.”

“We tried something different,” Pompeo said. (Foreign policy specialists have tended to note Trump’s overly palsy overtures to Kim yielded no true progress.) Gingrich praised the Moons, the Universal Peace Federation, Think Tank 2022, and the Washington Times, the conservative paper Sun Myung Moon founded. Esper noted that Hak Ja Han Moon has been “working to help strengthen America’s role in the world.” He didn’t elaborate on what he meant by that. 

Perhaps most importantly, Corn notes, no one will say if Pence or Pompeo were paid to speak. And given the financial resources of the Unification Movement that has reportedly one to two million members, that could speak volumes.

 

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Put Up, Shut Up, or Flee’: Internet Cheers 1/6 Committee Subpoenas of Trump ‘Big Lie’ Lawyers Giuliani, Ellis, Powell

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The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has just issued subpoenas to several former Trump attorneys including Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Jenna Ellis, and Boris Epshteyn. Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) in a statement says they “advanced unsupported theories about election fraud, pushed efforts to overturn the election results, or were in direct contact with the former President about attempts to stop the counting of electoral votes.”

Politico calls the four attorneys “key drivers of Donald Trump’s legal efforts to overturn the election, before he set his sights on Congress.”

Epshteyn served in more of a communications role but in its statement the Committee reveals he “reportedly attended meetings at the Willard Hotel in the days leading up to January 6th and had a call with former President Trump on the morning of January 6th to discuss options to delay the certification of election results in the event of Vice President Pence’s unwillingness to deny or delay the certification.

Many on social media cheered upon hearing the news.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Former Top FBI Official: ‘Concerning’ Ginni Thomas Signed Letter Saying Jan. 6 Participants ‘Have Done Nothing Wrong’

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A former top FBI official who served as Chief of the Bureau’s Counterespionage Section and led the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election says it’s “concerning” that Ginni Thomas signed a letter attacking the House January 6 Select Committee.

Peter Strzok, who also led the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server and for a short time served on the Mueller Investigation, responded to Tuesday’s social media eruption over the resurfaced letter signed by Thomas, a far right wing conspiracy theorist and lobbyist who happens to be married to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

That letter calls for U.S. Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger to be expelled from the House Republican conference, which would also involve stripping them of their committee assignments.

Strzok was more focused on the current makeup of the Supreme Court, and other points of the letter which was signed in December by Thomas and more than 60 other mostly far right wing conservatives – making it a veritable who’s who of well-known extreme conservative activists including the head of an anti-LGBTQ hate group.

“Which is more concerning: That the spouse of a SC Justice recently signed a letter calling the Jan 6 Cmttee ‘an overtly partisan political persecution that brings disrespect to our country’s rule of law [and] legal harassment to private citizens who have done nothing wrong’ Or,” Strzok wrote, “The fact that the former President who encouraged those ‘private citizens who have done nothing wrong’ to violently oppose the peaceful transfer of power appointed three of nine Justices to the Supreme Court?”

More than 700 Americans have been charged in conjunction with the January 6 attack.

The letter, resurfaced by Charlie Sykes at the never-Trump media outlet The Bulwark, also claims, falsely, that the January 6 Committee is using “improperly issued subpoenas and other investigatory tactics…for the sake of political harassment and demagoguery.”

On the morning of the January 6 attack Ginni Thomas, as Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern has pointed out, expressed support for the so-called protestors, declaring “LOVE MAGA PEOPLE!!!!”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Die-Hard MAGA Trump Supporters in Arizona Think ‘It’s Very Possible’ States Will ‘Decertify’ the 2020 Election

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Donald Trump’s most recent rally in Arizona brought many opportunities for his supporters to explain why they think the former president will be back in office any day.

Politico spoke to a few MAGA folks on the ground at the event and got their thoughts on what’s next in the Trump movement.

“I hope states decertify the election. I want to hear him say it’s over, we are ready to move on and hold a new election,” Politico cited Ray Kallatsa from Tucson. “I do think it’s possible, very possible.”

His thoughts echo those of pillow mogul Mike Lindell, who spoke to the crowd ahead of the former president. He cited QAnon language.

“Can you feel the storm building? It’s America,” he said using the allusion of “the storm” which is part of the conspiracy group’s messaging.

The storm, “refers to excessive social conflict that is predicted to occur prior to society reaching the point of ‘The Great Awakening,’ explained Murray State University.

See the photos from the event at Politico.

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