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Senate GOP Support for Same-Sex Marriage Bill May Be Higher Than Thought – but It’s a ‘Waste of Time’ Says Marco Rubio

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Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to put the same-sex marriage protection bill to a full floor vote quickly, after it passed the House Tuesday by a strong 267-157 margin, including 49 Republican votes. While there aren’t currently enough votes in the Senate to pass the bill, at first glance it’s looking like it may become possible. The legislation, which does not make same-sex marriage the law of the land, protects existing marriages at the federal and state level.

Reporters are polling GOP Senators, and finding more support than some may have originally anticipated.

“As of today, only 4 Republicans expressed support/openness for codifying protections for gay marriage,” reports HuffPost senior politics reporter Igor Bobic. He says the four Senators are Susan  Collins (ME), Rob Portman (OH), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Thom Tillis (NC).

READ MORE: Matt Gaetz Votes Against Protecting Same-Sex Marriages After Declaring Just Days Ago ‘Families Are Defined by Love’

But Bobic also talked to Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), who serves in Republican Senate leadership. She suggested she might be a yes.

“Ernst says she hasn’t seen the House bill but is ‘keeping an open mind.’ Asked if she supports gay marriage, Ernst said: ‘I have a good number of very close friends that are same-sex married.'”

Bobic reports Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota said “he doesn’t think House gay marriage bill is necessary,” but quotes him saying: “I think there’s a difference between matrimony as a sacrament and a legal marriage and so if someone wants to do that type of a partnership, I’m not opposed.”

READ MORE: Senate Republicans Refuse to Commit to Making Basic Rights, Including Interracial and Same-Sex Marriage, the Law

Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri “says he supports gay marriage but wants to look at the House bill. He noted it’s currently protected by the court.”

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) is “noncommittal,” Bobic reports.

“Given the fact that the law is settled on this,” Romney said, “I don’t think we need to lose sleep over it unless there were a development that suggested the law was going to be changed.”

READ MORE: Popular ‘Radical Conservative’ Ben Shapiro Calls on Supreme Court to Overturn Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

When Romney was the Governor of Massachusetts that state became the first in the nation to make same-sex marriage legal. Romney was  reportedly opposed to meeting with LGBTQ activists but finally did, and reportedly was surprised to learn why they wanted marriage to be legal.

I didn’t know you had families,” Gov. Romney told the gay parents in 2004.

While the Supreme Court has not overturned its 2015 Obegefell ruling, Justice Clarence Thomas stated in his concurring opinion overturning Roe v. Wade that rulings finding constitutional rights for same-sex marriage, same-sex relations, and contraception were wrongly-decided “errors” that should be “reviewed.”

READ MORE: Tennessee Republicans Voting to Bypass Obergefell With Bill That Creates All-Age Marriages

Ernst, Blunt, and Rounds could bring the number of Republicans to seven. Ten would be needed to avoid a filibuster, assuming every Senate Democrat votes yes.

Bobic notes Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a no.

“I will support the Defense of Marriage Act,” he said, referring to the law the Supreme Court overturned, which barred the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages and allowed states to not recognize them as well.

Meanwhile, CNN’s Manu Raju reports Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is a hard no.

“Marco Rubio told me that he is a NO on House’s same-sex marriage bill, calling it a ‘stupid waste of time.'”

Rubio ran for re-election after losing the 2016 GOP nomination for president and after promising if he was not elected president he would never run for any elected office ever again. He reneged on that promise in the days after the Pulse nightclub massacre, which he cited as the reason he was needed back in the Senate. At the time it was the the deadliest anti-LGBTQ hate crime in America, the second-worst mass shooting by a single gunman in American history, and the second deadliest terror attack in America, after the 9/11 attacks.

Sen. Rubio has not advanced any gun safety legislation nor has he voted for any LGBTQ civil rights bill. In fact, Rubio voiced strong support for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” bill. And last month he voted against the Senate’s gun safety bill that passed with a bipartisan majority of 65-33.

Senator Rubio late last week announced legislation that would require men to provide child support from the moment of conception, effectively making the law of the land that fetuses are full human beings afforded all the rights of every other person in America.

Pulse nightclub survivor Brandon Wolf, now the press secretary for Equality Florida, blasted Sen. Rubio.

“The man who used the murders of 49 mostly-LGBTQ people of color to revive his flailing political career says codifying marriage equality is a ‘stupid waste of time’? Marco Rubio’s career disgraces those whose backs he stepped on to get there.”

UPDATE: 2:29 PM ET –
After publication CNN’s Manu Raju reports: “Growing expectation in Senate that there will be 60 votes to break a filibuster on gay marriage. While 10 Rs haven’t said they would vote YES, it’s clear momentum is moving in that direction based on interviews. Thune, who is undecided, thinks it may pass.”

 

 

 

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Trump Makes False Claims About Classified Documents – And Obama

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Donald Trump is responding to news reports he is under FBI investigation for actions covered by the Espionage Act by making apparently false claims about his mishandling of classified documents and about former President Barack Obama.

“Number one, it was all declassified,” Trump says in a post on his Truth Social site, a claim legal experts say is incorrect. For any president to declassify documents, experts say, there is a process that involves actions being taken on each individual document. They also say the president does not have legal authority to declassify documents related to nuclear weapons.

“Number two,” Trump continues, “they didn’t need to ‘seize’ anything. They could have had it anytime they wanted without playing politics and breaking into Mar-a-Lago. It was in secured storage, with an additional lock put on as per their request.”

READ MORE: FBI Agents Searched Mar-a-Lago for ‘Classified Documents Relating to Nuclear Weapons’: Report

Again, according to reports, that too is false. DOJ issued a subpoena after the National Archives tried to get all the documents back and Trump still did not comply.

“They could have had it anytime they wanted—and that includes LONG ago,” he continues in a separate post on Truth Social. “ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS ASK.”

Again, multiple reports say they did, numerous times.

READ MORE: DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

None of his responses explain why he had at Mar-a-Lago what we now know were at least 35 cartons – 20 retrieved on Monday and 15 earlier this year – of items including confidential, classified, and top secret documents that were required by law to have been handed over to the National Archives.

“The bigger problem is,” Trump says, “what are they going to do with the 33 million pages of documents, many of which are classified, that President Obama took to Chicago?”

That is also false.

The National Archives on Friday issued a statement after Trump repeatedly spread the false claim that former President Barack Obama had 33 million documents in his possession.

“President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!” was one of Trump’s false attacks on his Truth Social site.

“The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) assumed exclusive legal and physical custody of Obama Presidential records when President Barack Obama left office in 2017, in accordance with the Presidential Records Act (PRA),” the Archives said in a statement posted to its website Friday.

“NARA moved approximately 30 million pages of unclassified records to a NARA facility in the Chicago area where they are maintained exclusively by NARA,” the Archives added. “Additionally, NARA maintains the classified Obama Presidential records in a NARA facility in the Washington, DC, area. As required by the PRA, former President Obama has no control over where and how NARA stores the Presidential records of his Administration.”

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‘So Much Worse!’ Morning Joe Rips GOP for Defending Trump After Burying Clinton Over Classified Info

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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough hammered Republicans for spending years excoriating Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified materials and then turning around defending Donald Trump over far worse allegations.

The FBI carried out a search of Mar-A-Lago this week, where agents reportedly expected to find nuclear secrets among the classified materials Trump took from the White House, and Scarborough and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski laid into Republicans for attacking law enforcement to protect the former president from serious allegations.

“The conundrum you just put out there,” Brzezinski said, “about it being just as bad when a Democrat has some improper use of classified documents as when a Republican does, on this show, you will see us saying the same thing in each situation. Roll the tape, you know, rewind the tape — critical of Hillary Clinton, everything to do with the email, very, very critical. Here, you have a situation where Trump’s following and his friends on TV won’t cover the story the same way. In fact, they will go to fantastical lengths to not ask the right questions, to twist the truth, to push his big lies. It is dangerous.”

Scarborough said there was no comparison between what Clinton did and what Trump has been accused of doing, even as the facts remain scant.

READ MORE: ‘Deranged’ Republicans have gone off the rails with FBI attacks after Mar-a-Lago search: conservative

“What is so maddening about the Republican response to this is, despite the fact — and I hope our liberal friends can deal with this — despite the fact we brought up Hillary Clinton’s emails, in this same time, we’re bringing up Donald Trump’s classified information that he’s reportedly taken to Mar-A-Lago, there is no moral equivalency,” Scarborough said. “The two are brought up because what Donald Trump has done is so much worse, so much more dangerous.”

An Ohio man tried to force his way into FBI headquarters in Cincinnati on Thursday, apparently prompted by Republican attacks on law enforcement officials over the Trump search, and Scarborough called out their violent rhetoric.

“The order of magnitude is overwhelming, and I bring it up to make a bigger point about Republican hypocrisy,” Scarborough said. “They were worried about a former secretary of state’s emails. They’re completely discounting the possibility of nuclear secrets being stolen from the White House and taken down to Mar-A-Lago and hidden from the Department of Justice.”

“Where are the Republicans? Where are the Republicans? Where are the Republicans?” he added. “Hold a press conference, condemn these actions, condemn the hate speech, condemn the targeting of law enforcement officers. Condemn the targeting of FBI agents and professionals at the Department of Justice. Is there not one that will do it?”

Watch the video below or at this link.

 

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DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

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The U.S. Dept. of Justice served Donald Trump with a grand jury subpoena months before the FBI raided the former President’s Mar-a-Lago home Monday, according to a right wing media outlet.

News of the existence of the grand jury subpoena being served on Trump months ago comes from Just the News, a website created by John Solomon. Solomon is a longtime journalist who in 2019 was labeled by The Daily Beast as “the Trumpian right’s favorite ‘investigative reporter,'” and the “Trump-friendly scribe” whose “Biden-Ukraine conspiracies were cited multiple times in the whistleblower memo.”

“Many of his co-workers are ashamed to be associated with him,” The Daily Beast reported, citing “his questionable reporting, which often seems specifically tailored to stoke the flames of right-wing paranoia.”

READ MORE: ‘Same Answer’: Trump Sat Across From the NY Attorney General and Pleaded the Fifth to Each Question For About 5 Hours

Solomon on Thursday writes: “Two months before his Florida home was raided by the FBI, former President Donald Trump secretly received a grand jury subpoena for classified documents belonging to the National Archives, and voluntarily cooperated by turning over responsive evidence, surrendering security surveillance footage and allowing federal agents and a senior Justice Department lawyer to tour his private storage locker, according to a half dozen people familiar with the incident.”

If accurate, that’s news.

“Very clearly not the intention of that John Solomon article, but it inadvertently reflects very well upon the Justice Department,” NBC News Justice reporter covering the DOJ, Ryan J. Reilly observes. “A subpoena was issued to the former president of the United States and it held for nearly three months, until Trump’s own team publicly disclosed it!”

READ MORE: Experts Call on Trump to Release Search Warrant and Inventory List as His Supporters Talk of ‘Civil War’

National security and civil liberties journalist Marcy Wheeler adds: “Here’s what propagandist John Solomon says FBI had reason to believe Trump didn’t turn over in the original 15 box collection of stolen documents: Correspondence with foreign leaders.”

She points to this section of Solomon’s article:

“The subpoena requested any remaining documents Trump possessed with any classification markings, even if they involved photos of foreign leaders, correspondence or mementos from his presidency.”

According to multiple news outlets, FBI agents carted away an additional 10 to 12 cartons on Monday, in addition to the 15 the National Archives was forced to travel to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve earlier this year.

Even Rupert Murdoch’s Trump-friendly New York Post on Tuesday reported a “showdown over the materials first erupted back in January when the National Archives said it had retrieved 15 boxes of White House records — including classified information — from Mar-a-Lago that Trump should have turned over when he left office. The feds took another 12 boxes of material on Monday.”

 

 

 

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