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MSNBC’s Morning Joe Rips Apart Report on Trump’s Infamous Lafayette Park Photo Op

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough ripped apart the excuses offered by a Donald Trump appointee about his infamous June 1, 2020, photo op at Lafayette Square.

Federal agents fired chemical irritants at peaceful protesters ahead of the visit, where Trump held up a Bible in front of a historic church, but the Interior Department’s inspector general found the park was cleared so a contractor could install fencing, and the “Morning Joe” host was skeptical that then-attorney general William Barr would have been involved in mundane decisions about park maintenance.

“He could be the director for scaffolding of Lafayette Park, I apologize to William Barr,” Scarborough said. “I didn’t know he could try to undermine Jeffersonian democracy, undercut 220 years of checks and balances, and be responsible for scaffolding in Lafayette Park. If that’s the case, I apologize. But if not, then again, we look at the part where he comes out before Trump comes out, and he asks this question. ‘Are these people still going to be here when POTUS comes out?'” Scarborough said. “The operations commander replies to Mr. Barr, ‘Are you freaking kidding me?’ He then hung his head and walked away, the report said, and soon after the new director of scaffolding for Lafayette Park came out and in no uncertain terms told them to clear the park before Donald Trump came out, the violent confrontation began.”

“Children, take from that bedtime story or morning story, anything you want to take from it,” he continued. “But actually, if you use your mind — by the way, I apologize, that [Bible is] not upside down, that’s backwards. He’s [Trump] holding the bible backwards. As a certain Oklahoma senator said, I’ve been going to Sunday school for 50 years, and I’ve never seen anyone hold a Bible that way. But if it makes you feel better seizing on to a report that doesn’t cover the entire event and completely ignoring what the director of scaffolding for Lafayette Park said, you go with that.”

“But that’s awfully thin gruel,” Scarborough added, “if that’s what you’re relying on, awfully thin gruel. Good luck with that.”

 

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Paul Pelosi Among White House’s Carefully-Crafted State of the Union Guest List

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At 9:00 PM President Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union Address, informing the American people most likely that the “state of our union is strong,” but First Lady Jill Biden will also be speaking to the American people, via a lengthy and carefully-crafted list of guests she and the White House have invited, in full sight of the tens of millions of people expected to watch – and the Republicans in the room.

Dr. Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will host the White House’s 26 guests, who are a representation of the Democrats’ wider agenda, including some of the left’s most important battles and achievements. The White House in a statement Tuesday said, “Each of these individuals were invited by the White House because they personify issues or themes to be addressed by the President in his speech, or they embody the Biden-Harris Administration’s policies at work for the American people. ”

Guests include a married same-sex couple who helped make Massachusetts the first state to legalize marriage equality in 2004. A hero who stopped a mass shooter from killing even more people. The mother and step-father of Tyre Nichols. A pregnant woman who nearly died because of Texas’ abortion ban. A DREAMer. A cancer-survivor. A caregiver to a Navy combat veteran. A mother whose son battled lead poisoning due to contaminated drinking water. A member of Navajo Nation and Registered nurse who is working to provide medical care and cancer treatment. Parents of a survivor of pediatric cancer. The Ambassador of Ukraine. A 10th grade computer-integrated manufacturing student. A father who lost his 20-year old daughter to a fentanyl overdose. And more, including Bono.

READ MORE: ‘National Security Nightmare’: Experts Concerned Melania Trump Was in Situation Room During ‘Major Military Operation’

Paul Pelosi, the husband to now-former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, will be by Dr. Jill Biden’s side. Republicans, including several expected to be sitting in the same room, mocked him when a Trump-supporting right-wing extremist and conspiracy theorist took a hammer to the 82-year old’s head, causing a “near-fatal” injury on October 28. Should President Biden mention Mr. Pelosi in his speech, Republican response would no doubt be attention-grabbing.

In its statement Tuesday the White House makes its intent clear: “The attack reportedly was politically motivated, with the intruder’s alleged intent to harm and kidnap the former Speaker. According to court filings, the intruder confronted Mr. Pelosi, asking ‘Where’s Nancy?,’ a similar chant of those responsible for the January 6th Capitol insurrection.”

President Biden appears to have taken the assault on Paul Pelosi very seriously. On November 1, he slammed Republicans, painting their refusal to condemn bad actors and bad actions as part of a much larger problem in America.

“I’ve been talking to Nancy Pelosi” about the attack on her husband, Biden said. “And look at the response—the so-called response from Republicans, making jokes about it and/or saying, “Well, you know, it’s not because of what’s being said and not said.'”

READ MORE: Right-Wing Outraged Over Falsely Thinking White House Press Secretary Said National Security Council Is Using ‘TikTok’

When “unstable people…hear every single day these outrageous lies—these outrageous lies across the board about everything; when they look at the internet and see what’s being said, stated and talk about, you know, where we keep children in basements to molest them and all these kinds of things—look what’s happened. And think however this guy is demonizing LBGTQ [LGBTQ]* population. Think how his opponent is demonizing anyone who disagrees with him,” he said.

“And so you wonder why—how this guy came breaking into Paul—and Paul is a friend, as—as is Nancy. I’ve known them for years and years,” Biden continued.

“And nobody on that party condemns it for exactly what it is. Says it’s not because when I made a comment about this is to be expected when you have leaders of the other party condoning the kind of conduct that is—that I’ve just discussed and others.”

Last year 38.2 million people watched President Biden’s State of the Union Address. These 26 people may be silent but together they will speak volumes about the agenda he has created.

 

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‘National Security Nightmare’: Experts Concerned Melania Trump Was in Situation Room During ‘Major Military Operation’

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National security and legal experts are expressing concern over a report revealing that then-First Lady Melania Trump had been present in the White House Situation Room during a “major military operation,” according to a new book by former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller.

Melania Trump in October 2019, “sat in and watched the U.S. raid that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a compound in Syria,” The Hill reports Miller’s book reveals. At the time, Miller was special assistant to the president for counterterrorism and transnational threats.

In addition to the First Lady, present in the Situation Room were President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley.

READ MORE: Right-Wing Outraged Over Falsely Thinking White House Press Secretary Said National Security Council Is Using ‘TikTok’

“Her presence was unexpected, to say the least,” Miller wrote. “I wondered how it would play in the press if word got out that the first lady had popped in to watch a major military operation.”

It was the First Lady who suggested the administration promote the “hero dog” involved in the raid. That became a fiasco when it appeared later that President Trump, trying to play up the pup, either got the dog’s gender wrong, or had the wrong dog in the Oval Office.

That debacle led The New Yorker’s Masha Gessen to pen a piece on “Conan, the Gender-Fluid Hero Dog.”

“Kellyanne Conway, a counsellor to the President, refused to commit to a gender for Conan,” Gessen wrote. “Pressed by reporters on Tuesday, she said, ‘I won’t do that, because then you’ll say that I was talking about somebody’s sex or gender, so I’m not doing that.'”

READ MORE: House Ethics Committee Begins Questioning Santos Staffers

Larry Pfeiffer, who served as President Barack Obama’s director of the White House Situation Room and previously as Chief of Staff of the Central Intelligence Agency, expressed outrage at the First Lady having been in the Situation Room during a critical mission.

“Hmmm…what would I have done if President Obama had brought Michelle into a sensitive meeting there? Don’t know. Never had to think about it cuz it NEVER would have happened,” he said via Twitter.

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a professor of law, MSNBC legal contributor and a podcaster, responded saying: “Melania in the situation room, top secret documents at Mar-a-Lago that Trump knew were there & refused to return. Private meetings with Putin where Trump insisted translator’s notes be destroyed. The Trump administration was a national security nightmare.”

At Vanity Fair, politics correspondent Bess Levin asked, “What other overseas military operations did the former first lady play a role in?”

Levin also notes Trump’s strong “disdain” for dogs, which made the Conan catastrophe such a farce.

READ MORE: Melania Trump: I Was ‘Unaware’ of Jan. 6 Violence Because I Was ‘Fulfilling My Duties as First Lady’ for ‘Our Nation’

She writes, “according to Miller, it was Melania who came up with the idea about how to tell the American people about the mission. ‘You should talk about the dog,’ Miller said she told the president. ‘Everyone loves dogs.'”

“Everyone, of course, except Donald Trump,” Levin notes, “who has a well-established disdain for animals in general and dogs in particular. (The only president in more than a century to live in the White House without a pet, Trump’s ex-wife Ivana wrote in her 2017 memoir that ‘Donald was not a dog fan,’ and that her poodle, Chappy, would ‘bark at him territorially’ whenever he got near her closet. Trump also has a long history of denigrating ex-employees and other perceived enemies by comparing them to dogs, tweeting that his enemies have ‘choked like a dog,’ been ‘dumped like a dog,’ been ‘fired like a dog,’ and, our personal favorite, been ‘kicked out of the ABC News debate like a dog.’)”

Another fiasco for the Trump White House that day was the photo (above) which was taken during or after the operation that led to al-Baghdadi’s death. Some at the time noted it appeared staged, and an attempt to replicate the famous photo of President Barack Obama actually taken during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

 

Image: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

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House Ethics Committee Begins Questioning Santos Staffers

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The U.S. House Committee on Ethics has begun questioning staffers for embattled Rep. George Santos, who on Friday was accused of sexual harassment and improper hiring practice by a prospective aide the New York Republican interviewed and hired.

CNN Capitol Hill reporter Melanie Zanona, reporting the committee’s questioning, calls it “a sign that the committee is looking into some of the allegations against Santos, though it doesn’t necessarily mean a formal investigation has been launched yet.”

“It is unclear what exactly the committee asked these staffers about, but multiple ethics complaints have been filed against Santos,” Zanona adds.

READ MORE: Watch: Democrats File Ethics Complaint Against George Santos After GOP Leadership Calls It an ‘Internal’ Matter

Most recently, a prospective staffer filed a complaint that the congressman made an unwanted sexual advance.

Two New York Democrats last month also filed an ethics complaint against Santos over his financial disclosure reporting.

 

 

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