Doug Mastriano, a Pennsylvania state senator and promoter of former President Donald Trump’s false stolen-election claims, is facing a fresh wave of criticism after evidence emerged challenging Mastriano’s claims about his participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Mastriano, who describes his entry into politics as a religious mission and has portrayed resistance to pandemic-related mask mandates as a Christian duty, is positioning himself to run for governor.
Mastriano used his state senate campaign funds to charter buses to bring Trump supporters to the Capitol on Jan. 6. Mastriano has since condemned the violence at the Capitol, while claiming that “at no point” had he crossed police lines, entered the Capitol, or walked on the Capitol steps.
On Saturday, the Sedition Hunters, described by the HuffPost as an “online community that has worked to identify riot participants,” flagged footage of Mastriano on the Capitol grounds, video that has since been reviewed by other journalists. The video and images “contradict [Mastriano’s] claims that he never breached police lines and left the area before violence broke out,” HuffPost’s Josephine Harvey reported Tuesday.
The Philadelphia Inquirer published a similar analysis of the evidence, noting that it appears to show that Mastriano “stuck around longer and advanced closer to the Capitol building than he has previously acknowledged.” The footage shows Mastriano and his wife passing through police barricades being tossed aside by rioters. Other images “show the couple moving from the west side of the building—after police lines there had been breached—across the Capitol lawn toward the northeast corner with a mob that would eventually break down the barriers there, too,” the Inquirer reported Tuesday.
Pennsylvania Spotlight, an organization that investigates right-wing extremism in the state, has been examining Mastriano’s claims about the timeline of his activities on Jan. 6. It reported earlier this month that “Senator Mastriano was at the forefront of the deadly insurrection, saw the first and second attempt to breach the Capitol, and then only left not after the first few signs of violence, but after taking a few selfies with people he claims to not know.”
One of the people Mastriano posed with on Jan. 6 was former state representative Rick Saccone who posted on Facebook on Jan. 6, “We are storming the capitol,” and “Our vanguard has broken thru the barricades.” In addition to Saccone, HuffPost reported that Mastriano posed this month for a picture with Samuel Lazar, “a militant Trump supporter whose photo is included on the FBI’s Capitol riot wanted list.”
Mastriano has responded to the video evidence by smearing the investigators as “angry partisans who are so blinded by hatred for all things Donald Trump that they are distorting facts to manipulate public opinion.”
Last week, Mastriano claimed that he recently met with Trump in Trump Tower for more than an hour and said that “some months ago” Trump asked him to run for governor with a promise to campaign for him. But the next day, Trump adviser Jason Miller tweeted that Trump “has not made any endorsement or commitments yet in this race.”
Mastriano has rejected previous calls from some of his fellow legislators to resign for his participation on Jan. 6. On Wednesday, Democratic state Rep. Brian Sims, who is running for lieutenant governor, called for Mastriano’s arrest and prosecution:
ARREST MASTRIANO: This is an important thread and makes it clear that we as a Nation of laws MUST arrest and prosecute individuals like @SenMastriano, especially when they use the skills acquired from our own @USArmy to turn on the Nation and help lead an attack against us. https://t.co/l9NCT8A8Nr
— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) May 26, 2021
After the November election was called for President Joe Biden, Mastriano used his platform as a state senator to promote the Trump campaign’s false claims of election fraud and to rail against his fellow Republican state legislators for not acting to overturn the results. He hosted a day-long “field hearing” in Gettysburg at which Trump campaign lawyers spooled out their conspiracy theories about the election. He appeared on religious-right radio programs and online prayer calls asking God to intervene and overturn the election results. Mastriano repeatedly called for “decisive action” and an end to “dithering,” language echoed by one of his bus riders who tweeted, “Truth be known about storming the capitol … we were sick and tired of DITHERING!!!”
A recent profile in the New Yorker portrayed Mastriano as the embodiment of aggressive Christian nationalism in the Republican Party, an analysis that is in keeping with Right Wing Watch’s reporting on the state senator.
Image: PA state Sen. Doug Mastriano (left) poses with former state Rep. Rick Saccone at U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Photo shared by Saccone on Facebook.)
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
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Fox News Goes Full White Supremacist With Republican Who Says ‘Hope and Change’ Means ‘Replace the American Electorate’
Fox News has gone full white supremacist. The right wing cable network’s top primetime host, Tucker Carlson, has been promoting the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory since April, doubling down on it this week. But now Fox News’ daytime programming is totally on board, embracing that racist rhetoric.
On Friday “Fox & Friends” hosted U.S. Rep Brian Babin, who spewed the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, adding a new racist twist.
According to the Texas Republican, former President Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” slogan means “change America” by replacing “the electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally, many of them COVID-positive.”
Babin repeatedly said “change America,” honing in on the white supremacist conspiracy theory of “replacement,” a concept seared into the minds of many Americans who saw the tiki-torch wielding neo-Nazis marching through Charlotte chanting, “You will not replace us.”
“We know what the grand strategy of the Democratic Party is,” Congressman Babin declared. “They want to change America, ‘hope and change,’ and it started under Obama and now it’s really going to just racehorse speed.”
“They want to change America, they want to they want to replace the American electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally, many of them COVID-positive, drug resistant tuberculosis, I’m a health care provider, I can tell you it’s a disaster down there from a public health standpoint, and they are just want to change the electorate and put these people on a path to citizenship and franchise them with a vote and have a permanent majority. On every phase we can see every aspect the Democrats are trying to change America, from what we know what we love and what we have enjoyed for 244 years, right, it’s despicable.”
Fox News, largely through Tucker Carlson, has turned the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory into Republican orthodoxy.
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) September 24, 2021
Watch: Charlie Kirk Calls for Texans to Be ‘Deputized’ to Protect ‘White Demographics in America’
Charlie Kirk has been accused of having “a fraught relationship with facts,” and spreading conspiracy theories and outright falsehoods while being the founder and head of the right wing activist group Turning Point USA.
TPUSA may be best known for its now-former communications director who touted Hitler to defend the term “nationalism,” declaring that the “problem” with the genocidal Nazi responsible for the slaughter of up to 17 million people around the world was that he wanted to expand his reach beyond Germany: “if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine. The problem is that he wanted, he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize.”
Kirk is known as a friend to both Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump, Jr.. In addition to documented instances of racism and white supremacy within the ranks of TPUSA, Kirk served on then-President Trump’s discredited 1776 Commission, and is reportedly traveling next month on his “Exposing Critical Racism” tour.
Last month MSNBC Opinion Columnist Zeeshan Aleem, in a piece focused on Kirk titled “Why Afghanistan’s collapse is an opportunity for far-right racists,” wrote: “Wow! Kirk’s comments are so laden with factual errors, conspiratorial fear-mongering, and racist tropes that it’s hard to know where to begin with unpacking them. But the bottom line is clear — he’s advancing white supremacist replacement theory: the idea that immigration threatens to unravel the ‘true’ fabric of American society.”
Meanwhile, back in 2017 the highly-respected New Yorker investigative journalist Jane Mayer reported TPUSA is “alleged to have fostered an atmosphere that is hostile to minorities. Screenshots provided to me by a source show that Crystal Clanton, who served until last summer as the group’s national field director, sent a text message to another Turning Point employee saying, ‘i hate black people. Like fuck them all . . . I hate blacks. End of story.'”
That’s just a sampling.
Fast forward to today.
Here’s Kirk declaring that Texas must “deputize” its citizens, and place them on the border to protect “white demographics in America” to fend off “the invasion.”
“Texas, whether they like it or not, are front and center smack dab in the middle of the great question of our time, which is who runs the country?” Kirk said Thursday on his radio show, as Media Matters reports, before he began to attack President Joe Biden.
“What do you do when you start to have a apathetic tyrant – no, apathetic when it comes to immigration law but very engaged when it comes to forcing vaccinations – what do you do?” Kirk asked. “Deputize a citizen force, put them on the border, give them handcuffs, get it done. Sure that’s dramatic. You know what’s dramatic? The invasion of the country.”
Unapologetic, he doubled-down:
“We’re going to talk more about that, we’re going to talk about how the other side has openly admitted that this is about bringing in voters that they want and that they like and honestly, diminishing and decreasing white demographics in America,” he claimed. NCRM could find no proof of that. “We’re going to say that part out loud, as so many people in the corporate media are afraid to talk about it.”
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) September 23, 2021
Tucker Carlson Attacks Biden With Same Words Found in ‘Manifesto’ of Accused El Paso Mass Shooter
Tucker Carlson is the face of Fox News. 3.3 million Americans tune in nightly to his top-rated show – the number one cable “news” show in the month of August – including among the key demographic advertisers love: viewers 25-54 years old, according to Forbes.
Wednesday night Carlson ramped up his white nationalist and white supremacist attacks on President Joe Biden, which is a regular theme on his Fox News show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” using the same words that the white 21-year old suspected mass murderer in El Paso, Texas did in his “manifesto,” right before he allegedly gunned down 23 innocent Americans in August of 2019. (He has pleaded not guilty. Two years later, his case has yet to go to trial.)
Carlson and the suspected shooter talked about the “great replacement,” a conspiracy theory that claims white people are being “replaced” by people of color and minorities. (Remember the neo-Nazis marching in Charlotte, chanting, “you will not replace us”?)
And he talked about “eugenics,” a grotesque term tied to the Nazis, as if it were a guiding principle of the Biden administration.
In “What is the Great Replacement?” The New York Times published this about the alleged El Paso mass murderer:
“Echoing the man accused of fatally shooting dozens of people at two mosques in New Zealand in March, the El Paso gunman’s manifesto mentioned the ‘great replacement,’ a conspiracy theory that warns of white genocide.”
Tucker Carlson’s racist rhetoric reached fevered heights back in April, eliciting headlines like “Tucker Carlson’s latest white supremacist tirade might be his most dangerous yet (MSNBC),” “White Supremacy Has Its Coming Out Party, and Tucker Carlson Is There,” (Daily Beast), and an Associated Press report that reads: “The Anti-Defamation League has called for Fox News to fire prime-time opinion host Tucker Carlson because he defended a white-supremacist theory that says whites are being ‘replaced’ by people of color.”
Fox News did not fire Tucker Carlson, and if anything it appears they support his white supremacist words.
Carlson this week has not disappointed his superiors, which include Fox Corporation board members Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, and Republican former U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
On Wednesday, Carlson told his millions of Fox News viewers that President Biden has intentionally orchestrated an “unrelenting stream of immigration,” as Media Matters reported (video below).
“Promising the poorest people on the planet that they can have endless free taxpayer funded services if they show up and break your laws? That’s not just stupid, it’s suicidal,” Carlson said.
“For generations, middle-class Americans have had access to the best healthcare in the world, but not anymore. That’s over for good. Our system cannot handle this many destitute newcomers, period. Imagine what hospitals are going to look like a year from now. How about schools?”
In 2019 The Washington Post reported the El Paso mass shooting suspect’s manifesto “mentioned a ‘Hispanic invasion’ of Texas and expressed worries that the United States was in the process of a ‘cultural and ethnic replacement.’ It cited fears that immigrants would swamp taxpayers with free health care and other benefits, take over jobs and intensify the strain on environmental resources.”
“But why?” Carlson continued Wednesday. “Well, Joe Biden just said it, to change the racial mix of the country,” he claimed, having quoted Biden from 2015, only seconds later twisting his words. “That’s the reason, to reduce the political power of people whose ancestors lived here, and dramatically increase the proportion of Americans newly-arrived from the third world.”
“And then Biden went further,” Carlson continued, “he said that non-white DNA is the quote, ‘the source of our strength.’ Imagine saying that. This is the language of eugenics, it’s horrifying. But there’s a reason Biden said it.”
Biden did not say “non-white DNA,” as Carlson implied.
In 2015, Tucker Carlson’s own far right wing website, Daily Caller (which he sold last year) reported on then-Vice President Biden’s “introductory remarks at a three-day summit to address violent extremism:
“I’m proud of the American record on culture and economic integration of not only our Muslim communities but African communities, Asian communities, Hispanic communities,” Biden said. “And the wave still continues. It’s not going to stop. Nor should we want it to stop. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the things I think we can be most proud of.”
Embracing immigration was part of the theme of the summit — stated numerous times by Biden — that “inclusion counts.”
“We are a melting pot,” Biden said of the U.S. “It is the ultimate source of our strength. It is the source of who we are.”
After falsely accusing Biden of using “the language of eugenics,” Carlson Wednesday went on to say: “In political terms, this policy is called ‘the great replacement,’ the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from far-away countries. They brag about it all the time, but if you dare to say it’s happening they will scream at you with maximum hysteria.”
The “great replacement” is not a “political term.” It’s a white supremacist conspiracy theory.
Tucker Carlson outright calls Biden’s immigration policy a “great replacement” likens it to “eugenics.” pic.twitter.com/K228CnNK1H
— nikki mccann ramírez (@NikkiMcR) September 23, 2021
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