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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Far-Right Activist Ali Alexander and ‘Stop the Steal’ Were Central to Jan. 6 – What You Need to Know

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“I was the person that came up with the Jan. 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks, and then Congressman Andy Biggs,” GOP operative Ali Alexander said in a Dec. 28, 2020, Periscope video. “We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting, so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside.”

The video, which was captured by investigative reporter Jason Paladino before it was deleted, highlights the role played by Alexander, his so-called “Stop the Steal” campaign, and far-right members of Congress in the failed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack launches its first public hearings June 9, and Alexander and “Stop the Steal” are likely to figure prominently in its findings. Alexander sat for eight hours of testimony in front of the committee on Dec. 9, and in April, a lawyer for Alexander said he would cooperate with the Department of Justice’s Jan. 6 investigation—a claim on which Alexander promptly threw cold water.

Right Wing Watch extensively covered Ali Alexander and the so-called Stop the Steal movement ahead of Jan. 6. Here’s what you need to know.

Who is Ali Alexander? What is “Stop the Steal”?

On Nov. 4, 2020, as mail-in ballots began to be counted and shifted the election in favor of Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump falsely declared that the ongoing efforts to count millions of outstanding ballots were an indication of fraud and that he had in fact won.

Hours later, Alexander publicly launched “Stop the Steal,” a campaign to get right-wing activists to discredit mail-in voting, disrupt vote-counting, and ​falsely accuse Democrats of stealing the presidential election. The campaign held its first rally outside Arizona’s state capitol building in Phoenix that evening, featuring Rep. Paul Gosar, who with a bullhorn in hand, addressed the crowd before introducing “Pizzagate” booster Mike Cernovich, who threatened imaginary anti-fascist activists.

And so began months of “Stop the Steal” rallies featuring far-right members of Congress, QAnon and election conspiracy theorists, Christian nationalists, and far-right anti-government groups, all under the MAGA banner.

Alexander, née Ali Akbar, has long worked in Republican politics, coming up under the tutelage of “dirty trickster” Roger Stone. He has connections to deep pockets, too: ​a PAC advised by Alexander received a $60,000 donation in 2016 from pro-Trump billionaire Robert Mercer​. These Republican connections have persisted despite his habit of noting when members of the media he criticizes are Jewish and despite associating with far-right figures like Unite the Right white supremacist attendee Matt Colligan and members of the neo-fascist Proud Boys.

Alexander’s “Stop the Steal” campaign wasn’t the first to go by that name. Longtime GOP operative and Trump confidant Roger Stone first popularized the phrase “Stop the Steal” during the 2016 presidential election. In 2018, Alexander,  Stone, and far-right commentator Jack Posobiec launched a “Stop the Steal” campaign during a ballot recount for Florida’s Senate race between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Bill Nelson. Pro-Trump activists from around the country descended on Florida to protest and spread misinformation, insisting that Democrats were trying to “steal” the election from Scott. It served as a dry run for the 2020 presidential election. Sure enough, in September 2020, Posobiec and Alexander discussed rebooting the campaign.

What was their role in the lead up to Jan. 6?

Alexander served as the lead organizer for “Stop the Steal.” The campaign targeted Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia—battleground states won by Joe Biden and whose cities are home to predominantly Black and brown voters—holding rallies and spreading election disinformation on social media.

He called on figures he knew from his time as a member of the highly secretive Council for National Policy and through his years in Republican politics to join the effort, including activists Amy and Kylie Kremer, Jack Posobiec, Brandon Straka, Scott Presler, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, Ed Martin of Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk. He brought into the fold Trump’s short-lived national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump team attorneys Sidney Powell and Lin Wood—who have since been disciplined for bringing false lawsuits alleging election fraud. Most joined the so-called “Stop the Steal” movement in a public capacity; others promoted the same messaging through their own organizations and organized behind the scenes.

Alexander welcomed extremists into the campaign’s ranks. Male supremacist Mike Cernovich, white nationalist Nick Fuentes, and far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones were among the first to answer Alexander’s call. Alongside white nationalist Patrick Casey, Vincent James, and Baked Alaska, Fuentes galvanized crowds of white men to attend “Stop the Steal” rallies across the county, while Jones spread disinformation through his Infowars network, raised funds for the Jan. 6 rally, and brought a caravan of supporters to rallies.

On Nov. 14, “Stop the Steal” came to the nation’s capital. Thousands of Trump loyalists, conspiracy theorists, and members of far-right groups took to the streets. Marjorie Taylor Green, Lauren Boebert, and Madison Cawthorn—all recently elected to Congress—addressed the crowd alongside organizers. Radical conspiracy theorist Alex Jones yelled unintelligibly into a bullhorn. Members of the Proud Boys hate group roamed the streets looking for fights and found them late in the evening. Fuentes’ America First group, ​a youth-focused white-nationalist outfit, commanded the crowd’s attention with chants of “America First.”

A second Dec. 12 rally was deeply steeped in Christian nationalist and violent rhetoric. Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes called on Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and declare martial law, threatening a “much more bloody war” should he fail to do so.

While rallies brought the whole of the MAGA movement together, Alexander held regular Periscopes to spread disinformation and provide action items to Trump supporters.

Alexander called on “Stop the Steal” activists to lobby the state legislatures of battleground states won by Joe Biden to ignore the election results and send Republican electors to the electoral college to give Trump enough electoral votes. He called on state Republican legislators to declare the election fraudulent and threatened them with a primary challenger should they not.

By mid-December, right-wing activists and lawyers were focused on Jan. 6, the day Congress would certify the electoral votes. More than 100 House members and a dozen Senators committed to voting against certifying the election. Trump and the apparatus around him began to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to use his ceremonial duty to block or delay Biden’s certification. “Stop the Steal” fed into that pressure, with “Stop the Steal” friend Lin Wood going as far as to call for the vice president’s execution.

On Dec. 19, Trump declared it “[s]tatistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election.” He encouraged his followers to come to D.C.: “Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

Alexander had already planned a Jan. 6 D.C. protest, but he began fighting his one-time fellow activists Kylie and Amy Kremer for control of the big Jan. 6 rally. The Kremers had used the “Stop the Steal” banner for their cross country bus tour and a competing December rally, much to Alexander’s chagrin. ProPublica reported that Katrina Pierson, whom the White House put in charge of the rally planning, “helped arrange a deal where those organizers deemed too extreme to speak at the Ellipse could do so on the night of Jan. 5.” That meant Alexander and his cohort were relegated to speaking on the evening of Jan. 5, while the Kremers took the lead on the Jan. 6 event held at the Ellipse.Alexander held that Jan. 5 rally and planned his own separate “wild” Jan. 6 protest on the east side of the Capitol building to follow the main “Save America” rally.

Alexander spent weeks in the lead up to the Capitol insurrection calling for “rebellion,” starting chants of “victory or death,” and using rhetoric of the American Revolution and spiritual warfare to call for action should Congress certify the election of President Joe Biden. He engaged in violent rhetoric, appearing to even advocate for physical attacks against members of Congress who he said stole the election.

The Jan. 5 rally served as the penultimate event of those calls. Speakers delivered Christian nationalist messages and veiled threats of violence if Congress failed to reject Biden electors. Bikers for Trump founder Chris Cox told rally-goers that the United States was on the brink of a revolution and that he would “take the first bullet.” Right Wing Watch reported at the time:

Standing in front of a sign declaring “MARTIAL LAW NOW,” so-called Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander led the crowd in chants of “Victory or death!” Alexander told activists, “Our government is only our government if it is legitimate” and declared, “1776 is always an option.” He said Stop the Steal activists were starting “a rebellion against the Deep State.”

What was Ali Alexander and the campaign’s role on Jan. 6?

On the day of the insurrection, Alexander took to Twitter early in the morning to declare it the “First official day of the rebellion.” Alexander was supposed to hold his “wild” protest by the Capitol, but it would never materialize.

Trump loyalists packed into the Ellipse, eager to stop what they saw as a fraudulent election. Speaking from the stage and wearing a bulletproof vest, Rep. Mo Brooks, whom Alexander had recently called a friend, told attendees that Jan. 6 is “the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass. … Are you willing to do what it takes to fight for America? Louder! Will you fight for America?”

“If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” Trump told the crowd. He urged activists to march to the Capitol to make their voices heard. They did as they were told.

Leaving the rally at the Ellipse after Trump’s speech, where he was a VIP guest with far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Alexander followed Jones through the Capitol grounds, past barricades, and up the Capitol steps. At that point—around 2 p.m.—the Capitol had already been breached.

“Democrats and Media ended the Republic and the people responded. Welcome to ‘duhhh’,” he tweeted an hour later.

Alexander emerged on One America News Network’s terrace overlooking the Capitol to record a video, posted on the “Stop the Steal” Twitter account by his associate Michael Coudrey at 4:26 p.m.—well after the violence had begun.

“I don’t disavow this. I do not denounce this,” Alexander said, gesturing to the scene behind him. Trump loyalists were descending on the Capitol and up the Capitol steps. “This is completely peaceful, looks like, so far. And there are a couple of agitators that I obviously don’t endorse,” he claimed despite having seen what took place on the steps not long before. By the end of the video, Alexander was back to encouraging rebellion. “StoptheSteal.us is going to be the home of the rebellion against an illegitimate government.”

Right Wing Watch captured the video, which was later deleted.

Where is Ali Alexander now? 

Ali Alexander went into hiding following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. In February, he briefly reappeared and said he had been plotting to restart rallies in March, abolish the media, and build a separate society for Trump supporters. He declared that “civil war” was the only outcome available to those who opposed Biden’s presidency.

But Alexander was kicked off Twitter and most mainstream social media platforms. He lost access to his Venmo, Cashapp, and Paypal. He turned to alternative social media platforms and briefly became a Bitcoin influencer.

In October 2021, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack issued three subpoenas to Alexander, the Stop the Steal organization, and Nathan Martin, who worked with Alexander and reserved the Jan. 6 rally space. Alexander accused the government of “gaslighting” and blamed the violence on “agitators dressed in militant outfits.” Jan. 6, he said, was a government “psyop.”

In December 2021, Alexander testified for eight hours in a closed-door hearing and asked the House select committee to suspend reality. In a draft of his opening statement, which was leaked to the New York Times, he denied wrongdoing and passed the buck, placing blame for the violence on Katrina Pierson, Kylie Kremer, and Amy Kremer.

In a lawsuit seeking to prevent the select committee from obtaining his phone records, Alexander confirmed to congressional investigators that ahead of Jan. 6, he had communicated with several GOP congressmen—Reps. Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks, and Andy Biggs—as well as with Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend and member of Trump’s inner circle.

In April, a lawyer for Alexander said he would cooperate with the Department of Justice’s Jan. 6 investigation. The following day, Alexander joined Alex Jones’ show to suggest he wouldn’t cooperate. He went on to call the effort to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol a conspiracy to “stop Trump from running in 2024” and “usher in a New World Order.”

A few days later, Alexander joined Alex Jones’ show again. He mused that “there is a time for legitimate violence when there is legitimate tyranny.”

 

This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Why So Much Hate From You?’: Mark Cuban Smacks Down Stephen Miller, Twice

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A far-right wing pundit’s decision to go after a 29-year old woman’s TikTok video about her plans for a relaxing Saturday during a holiday weekend sparked a firestorm between billionaire businessman and TV personality Mark Cuban and former Trump White House aide Stephen Miller, with the woman revealing later some of the hate she received after being made a target.

It all started when “Theocratic fascist” Matt Walsh, as he calls himself, reposted a TikTok video on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter,  from a woman who says she’s “29 and single, and I don’t have kids yet.” The woman, identified by Mediaite as Julia Mazur, told her followers she slept in Saturday morning, woke up with a hangover and didn’t get up until 10:15 AM, after going to a Beyoncé concert the night before.

Mazur described her upcoming day, saying she enjoys not having plans, kids, a husband, or errands, and loves going wherever the day takes her. She was looking forward to watching some streaming shows on Netflix and Hulu, and possibly learning how to make shakshuka.

“I wouldn’t want to do anything else this Saturday,” she said happily.

READ MORE: ‘Putting National Security at Risk’: Pressure on Tuberville Ramps Up as Army, Navy, Air Force Chiefs Go Public

Walsh responded to Mazur’s casual celebration of a joyous weekend by saying, “Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.”

“If you don’t have a family at least do something interesting with your time,” Walsh continued. “These people have absurd amounts of free time and they do absolutely nothing with it. Wasting their lives staring at little glowing boxes. Absolutely soul crushing.”

Cuban stepped in, snarking on Walsh: “Says the guy who’s life revolves around Twitter/X.”

“How do you know she isnt trying to make it her job ? She has really good engagement and increasing numbers,” Cuban added.

That’s when Miller jumped in.

“You have a large following,” Miller, the architect of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, began. “People listen to your advice. What would you say is a more fulfilling path for adults: starting a family, or sleeping late and watching TV? What advice would you give to someone who suggests they wish to be childless so they can stream more shows?”

“Thanks for asking Stephen,” Cuban said in his lengthy response, which included him saying Mazur having a family or not is “none of my fucking business.”

READ MORE: Federal Court Issues Scathing Unanimous Ruling Against Alabama After ‘Unlawfully’ Reducing Power of Black Voters

He also asked Miller, “what happened that causes you to hate so much. Seriously Stephen. Why so much hate from you?”:

“1. I wouldn’t give her advice unless she asked. 2. After looking at the comments to her posts, I would thank her for offering a place for people who can relate to her, to engage and have a conversation. She replies to the comments and based on that, people seem to appreciate it 3. From a business perspective, I would tell her that the Wellness Space is crowded but if she does this in addition to her job, she might be able to build a nice business. 4. As far as a family. I would tell her to do whatever she thinks is best for her. It’s none of my fucking business 5. If I had you both in a room , I would point at her and thank her for trying to bring joy to others and I would point at you and ask what happened that causes you to hate so much. Seriously Stephen. Why so much hate from you?”

The exchange didn’t end there.

“In the interests of time I will respond with two points,” Miller replied. “1. No society can succeed where the constant message from our elites leaders is do whatever the hell you want and don’t worry about children. Children are simply the most important thing in the whole world and the foundation of civilization and all human flourishing. 2. Could you be more specific with your crass (and, I think you would acknowledge, unprovoked) smear on point 5? The issue/work with which I’m arguably most associated, stopping human smuggling and trafficking, is quite literally about saving human lives.”

Cuban replied, in an even lengthier response that included saying, “What any individual does in terms of having children or not is their choice. Full Stop.”

“Maybe I’m wrong , but if one of those children is born to an illegal immigrant, my understanding is that you do not want to help them and you want to deport them ?” he added, calling that “hateful.”

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Ultimately, Mazur posted another video, detailing some of the hate messages she’s received since Walsh’s initial post.

Walsh’s platform often revolves around attacking the LGBTQ community, including especially transgender girls and women, He has been included in reporting on white Christian nationalism, and “far-right media instigators.” He also recently warned, “whites are trending towards extinction in the United States.”

Mazur said Walsh’s followers told her, “I should actually die and never leave my house. I should be sexually assaulted,” she said, adding she was told, “I’m a whore.”

“These people were really really really riled up about my choices,” she said.

But Mazur concluded, “life’s too short figuring out what Matt Walsh wants us to do.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

Image of Mark Cuban via Shutterstock

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Liberal Fox News Co-Host Destroys Conservatives’ Claims the Right Holds the Majority Opinion on Culture War Issues

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Fox News co-host Jessica Tarlov, the lone liberal on the the right-wing cable channel’s very popular afternoon show “The Five,” destroyed her conservative co-hosts’ talking points on a wide variety of culture war issues.

Behind a chyron of “Tyranny of the Minority” – related to remark made by Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy – Tarlov on Wednesday fed facts to the conservatives who tried to claim the majority of Americans oppose the right to choose an abortion, and the majority of Americans do not support transgender people.

“On the trans issue, for instance,” Tarlov offered, “our own Fox polling shows that 57% of Americans think that trans kids and their families being the target of political attacks, as in these anti-trans bills, is a major problem.”

“When you look at the actual numbers of kids that are, for instance, they have gender dysphoria, and they’re getting top surgery. How many kids do you think got top surgery last year?” she asked, not receiving a response from any of her co-hosts.

READ MORE: DeSantis ‘Shuts Down’ Question of How He Would Handle His Kids Being LGBTQ: ‘We’ll Leave That Between My Wife and I’

“Under 300,” answered Tarlov, who “holds two Master’s degrees in political science and public policy, as well as a Ph.D. in Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science,” according to Variety.

“Then think about an issue that’s really important to Democrats –” she suggested, trying to continue before co-host Greg Gutfeld interjected, asking: “Children?”

“Minors,” she responded, referring to the question of top surgery.

“That’s an atrocity,” Gutfeld declared. “But continue,” he added, laughing.

“But over 5800 kids were victims of gun violence, for instance,” Tarlov pointed out. “I don’t hear Republicans talking about that. Tyranny of the minority –” she again tried to continue before Gutfeld interrupted.

“Oh, what a false comparison,” he snarked.

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“It absolutely isn’t,” responded Tarlov. “It’s a priority on the right to talk about trans issues, a priority on the left to talk about gun violence. Which affects more people?” she asked.

“Abortion is another instance of the tyranny of the minority,” Tarlov continued. “I get it, federalism – you send it back to the states where a group of elected officials have decided, for instance, in like Texas, Louisiana, that women should not be able to get abortions after six weeks. We have women that are bleeding out, going into sepsis. In Louisiana, a woman was forced to carry a baby that had no skull.”

Gutfeld, apparently outraged, screamed, “What does this have to do with this topic?”

“What are you talking about?” she replied. “This is, he says tyranny of the minority.”

“But that had to do with LGBTQ,” Jeanine Pirro interjected, “not with all of your favorite issues.”

“He’s running to be president of the United States of America,” Tarlov argued.

“But that’s not what we’re talking about, we’re talking about –  I asked you specifically about pronouns,” Pirro complained.

READ MORE: Democratic Senator Slams ‘Racist’ Videos That Will Be ‘Piped Straight Into the Bloodstream’ of Florida Schoolchildren

“And I said he was wrong to act as if the GOP is the party of the majority opinion – they are not. They’re taking minority positions and running with them,” Tarlov explained.

An agitated Gutfeld again interjected, “Pro-life isn’t a minority position.”

“It is, actually,” she replied.

“What, are you gonna talk about the fact that it’s like 48%,” Gutfeld, hands raised, again snarked.

“No, I’m going to talk about the 69% – it’s the highest it’s ever been recorded – that now support abortion at least through the first trimester,” she replied. “And what’s happening then in Ohio and Kansas and Kentucky.”

“What’s the Democrat stance on abortion?” Gutfeld asked.

“That it’s between a woman and her doctor to make those decisions,” she said.

“No, what’s the what’s the cut off?” Gutfeld asked. “Is that what you call that tyranny of minority as well?”

Frustrated, Gutfeld added, “I think the logic here is that you’re slicing these issues –”

“Are you talking about, ‘we want to kill live babies’?” Tarlov asked, referring to conservative talking points.

“I didn’t say that,” Gutfeld replied.

“I’m just pointing out that this isn’t actually the right argument, but go ahead,” he offered, before Pirro took over and said, “I’d like to get back to the issue.”

Watch below or at this link.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘That’s How Fascists Talk’: Matt Gaetz Slammed for Threat of Violence

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According to an expert on authoritarianism, comments made by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Saturday while standing with former president Donald Trump should raise flags as he promised to use “force” to create change in Washington, D.C.

Considering the former president was recently indicted for conspiracy related to the Jan. 6 insurrection that led to lawmakers fleeing for their lives, historian and author Ruth Ben-Ghiat called Gaetz comments alarming.

Speaking before a crowd at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, Gaetz stated, “Mr. President, I cannot stand these people that are destroying our country. They are opening our borders. They are weaponizing our federal law enforcement against patriotic Americans who love this nation as we should,” before adding, “But we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C. And so to all my friends here in Iowa, when you see them come for this man, know that they are coming for our movement and they are coming for all of us.”

Reacting to Gaetz’s proclamations, Ben-Ghiat told MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, “What he is saying is that they are not going to have change through elections or through legislation or through reform. They are going to have change through violence.”

“And that’s how fascists talk,” she added. “So, even if Trump is out of the picture, these are people who have adopted methods very familiar to me as a historian of fascism, that violence and corruption and lying that’s what the party is today.”

Watch below or at the link:

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