RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
DeSantis’ Divisive Press Secretary Christina Pushaw Resigns to Work on His Campaign
Christina Pushaw, the divisive far right press secretary to Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has submitted her letter of resignation as she moves to head rapid response on his re-election campaign.
The Florida Standard, first to break the news, published her resignation letter.
“You gave me latitude to respond to media narratives in direct and often unconventional ways, allowing me to redefine this role for a leader whose actions speak for themselves,” she wrote.
Among those unconventional ways was to popularize against LGBTQ people the dangerous label of “groomer,” during the heated debate over the governor’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which he later signed into law.
READ MORE: DeSantis Suspends Democratic State Attorney, an Elected Official, Calls Him ‘Soros-Backed’
“The bill that liberals inaccurately call ‘Don’t Say Gay’ would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill,” Pushaw tweeted in March.
“If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn’t make the rules,” she added.
Just one month later the “groomer” label had been weaponized to such a degree it was prevalent across many social media sites and being used to attack LGBTQ people.
READ MORE: Washington Post Unmasks Viciously Anti-LGBTQ Twitter Account that Promotes ‘Groomer’ Label – the Right Is in Outrage Overdrive
Her two-page resignation letter takes a long trip down her short 15 months in office.
She calls it “unconscionable that anyone would be required to get Covid jabs to eat at a restaurant, enroll in college, keep a job, or compete in the Special Olympics.”
She also claimed that “Florida fought back against the biomedical security state and won. If not for our Governor daring to lead with evidence-driven policy and stand up for freedom – amid relentless attacks from legacy media and ‘experts’ – our country would have remained under perpetual threat of lockdowns and vaccine passports, a two-tiered feudal dystopia,” which is false.
Earlier this year Pushaw was forced to retroactively register as a foreign agent.
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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
House Republicans Tied to J6 Admit Goals: Defeat Debt Ceiling Agreement, Kill Economy, Help Trump Win in 2024
Some members of the most far-right group of House Republicans, the Freedom Caucus, admitted Tuesday their goals are to defeat the debt ceiling agreement, thereby killing the economy, which some of them believe would then help Donald Trump win back the White House in 2024.
Many of the House Freedom Caucus members are tied to the January 6, 2021 insurrection, by various methods, including supporting efforts to overturn state elections and spreading false claims about the results of the 2020 presidential election.
U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) in Tuesday’s Freedom Caucus’s press conference pointed to the portion of the debt ceiling agreement, brokered by President Joe Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy, which says the nation’s debt limit will not have to be raised until 2025. Outraged, Congressman Bishop admitted Republicans had wanted to have another debt ceiling fight next year, which would, he claimed, help a Republican presidential candidate win the White House.
Surrounded by far-right Republican Representatives Byron Donalds, Lauren Boebert, Chip Roy, Freedom Caucus chair Scott Perry, former Freedom Caucus chair Andy Biggs, and others, Bishop angrily complained, “And what does the device of two years do?”
READ MORE: ‘Sure Wasn’t by Drag Queens’: DeSantis Slammed for Ignoring Florida Mass Shooting That Included Children
“It removes the issue from the national conversation during the presidential election to come. How could you more successfully kneecap any Republican President than to take that issue out of his or her hands?” Bishop asked, fully and freely admitting the GOP is trying to use the levers of government, and the U.S. and even global economy, to put a Republican back in the White House, regardless of cost to the American people.
As he spoke Rep. Boebert’s head was nodding in agreement.
that’s right! pic.twitter.com/kmy83gEzWZ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 30, 2023
Sirius XM host and journalist Dean Obeidallah blasted the North Carolina Republican: “GOP Dan Bishop says quiet part out loud: MAGA wanted to use debt ceiling in 2024 to tank economy to help Trump win.”
Freedom Caucus chair Scott Perry, who the Select Committee on the January 6 Attack reportedly saw as “central” to its investigation, also spoke at Tuesday’s press conference.
Rep. Perry tried to spin conspiracy theories, including by claiming that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has not been telling the truth on when America’s cash will run out.
“We’ve asked for Janet Yellen’s figures. And with all due respect, she comes with zero credibility to the discuss,” Perry claimed, falsely. “We don’t believe her figures, we’ve asked to see her figures.”
And he admitted Freedom Caucus members “will be absolutely opposed to the deal and will do everything in our power to stop it.”
Q: “Help us understand your plan…is it that your going to roll the dice and assume that the default deadline isn’t real?”
Scott Perry: “We’ve asked for Janet Yellen’s figures. And with all due respect, she comes with zero credibility…We don’t believe her figures.” pic.twitter.com/29uePmZwwu
— Republican Accountability (@AccountableGOP) May 30, 2023
Calling it a “bad deal…that we all campaigned to put an end to,” Freedom Caucus member Lauren Boebert also spoke at the press conference, declaring, “There is nothing real in this bill to enforce. In short, tomorrow’s bill is a bunch of fake news and fake talking points.”
“There is nothing real in this bill to enforce. In short, tomorrow’s bill is a bunch of fake news and fake talking points.”
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) slams the new debt limit agreement at a House Freedom Caucus news conference pic.twitter.com/OkgtWfjxUf
— The Recount (@therecount) May 30, 2023
U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) called the debt ceiling deal “crap.”
“Washington is doing it again,” Rep. Donalds declared, apparently attacking his own party since Republicans have the majority of the House seats.
READ MORE: McCarthy Says GOP Put Work Requirements in Debt Ceiling Bill for a Child ‘Sitting on the Couch Collecting Welfare’
“While you were celebrating Memorial Day, all of our men and women who gave their lives for this great nation, and you were spending time with your family and your friends, this town was cutting another crap deal that’s going to put you more in debt with no real changes whatsoever.”
“Washington is lying, again,” said Donalds.
“While you were celebrating Memorial Day … this town was cutting another crap deal that’s going to put you more in debt with no real changes whatsoever.”
— Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) says the current debt limit bill isn’t “cool at all” at House Freedom Caucus news conference pic.twitter.com/Q8hsJ4rr7I
— The Recount (@therecount) May 30, 2023
Republican turned Democrat, attorney Ron Filipkowski mocked the extremist GOP lawmakers.
“The Freedom Caucus members just climbed out of their clown car, and are upset that their cult leader won’t be able to run for president on a crashed economy,” he tweeted.
“Wait,” tweeted Seth Kaplan, the managing editor for Fox affiliate stations in the Twin Cities. “He wants to help ensure a catastrophic economic situation just so it can be a talking point during the 2024 election? Please tell me I’m misinterpreting.”
Earlier this month journalist Jay Bookman observed, “So basically, the debt ceiling crisis is just another version of the Jan. 6 insurrection: Give us what we want, or we’re going to tear the whole damn thing down.”
Reps. Scott Perry, Dan Bishop, Byron Donalds, Lauren Boebert, Andy Biggs, and other Freedom Caucus members earned a “very poor” grade by the Republican Accountability Project, which has been tracking Republicans in the wake of the 2021 insurrection.
Among the criteria for earning a “very poor” grade include signing the Supreme Court amicus brief “that sought to nullify votes cast in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Georgia,” (Boebert and Donalds were not in Congress at the time to sign to that brief.)
Also, objecting “to the certification of Electoral College votes from at least one state,” making “public statements that cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election,” voting “to hold Trump accountable via impeachment or conviction,” voting “to create an independent commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection,” and voting “to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
DeSantis Slammed by Former High-Level FBI Official After Declaring How He Would Treat Bureau’s Independence
Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is under fresh fire after launching his presidential campaign and declaring he believes the Federal Bureau of Investigation and even the U.S. Dept. of Justice are not “independent” agencies, and they should be subject to the scrutiny of the President of the United States.
After disgraced GOP President Richard Nixon left office, a virtual wall between the White House and the U.S. Dept. of Justice, including especially the FBI, was created to prevent turning the chief law enforcement agencies of the federal government into political, partisan tools to do the bidding of the nation’s chief executive and Commander-in Chief.
Days after the November, 2016 election, the Los Angeles Times reported on the “revelation that President-elect Donald Trump does not intend to seek a new investigation into Hillary Clinton,” calling it “startling,” but “not only because it seemed to reverse a campaign pledge.”
“It also suggested that Trump thinks that that’s his decision to make, reflecting an apparent lack of regard for the cherished independence of the Justice Department, which is responsible for conducting investigations without the influence or opinion of the White House.”
READ MORE: ‘Putinesque Kleptocracy’: DeSantis Slammed Over Bombshell His Administration Officials Are Soliciting Donations From Lobbyists
“Long-standing protocol dictates that the FBI and Justice Department operate free of political influence or meddling from the White House,” The Times explained. “That’s one reason that the FBI director serves a 10-year term and does not turn over the reins as presidential administrations come and go. It also means that presidents are not supposed to supervise, initiate or stop law enforcement investigations.”
As president, Donald Trump and his attorneys general would immediately obliterate those protocols, with the then-President literally directing his AGs to acquiesce to his demands, and he would do so publicly, via Twitter.
Under President Joe Biden that wall was quickly rebuilt, with Attorney General Merrick Garland issuing a “directive restricting Justice Department contact with the White House as a firewall against potential political interference,” as USA Today reported in July of 2021.
“The order, which reaffirmed some policies of previous administrations, marks a sharp pivot from the Trump era when the former president casually broke with institutional norms, repeatedly calling on the department to launch investigations of his political rivals, including President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey.”
And now, Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to not just rescind that order, if he wins the White House, he apparently wants to direct the activities of DOJ and FBI.
READ MORE: Bill Barr’s Former Special Counsel John Durham to Testify in House Hearing
In a little-noticed portion of his rare Fox News interview Wednesday, DeSantis told former U.S. Congressman Trey Gowdy (who once was the chairman of the House Oversight Committee and thus should know better,) of his apparent plans to remake the DOJ and the FBI.
“I would not keep Chris Wray as director of the FBI. There’d be a new one on Day One. I think that’s very important,” DeSantis declared, as the right-wing National Review reported. DeSantis is ignoring the fact that Congress has mandated FBI Directors be appointed for a full ten-year term, while allowing Presidents to remove them, generally for cause.
“Under the Constitution,” The National Constitution Center wrote in March of 2017, less than two months into Trump’s term, “the FBI Director is an executive branch official and can be removed if needed. But only in one instance since 1908, after the FBI and its predecessor agency were formed, has a President removed an FBI Director from office.”
Less than two months later, on May 9, Trump became the second president to fire an FBI Director. Trump terminated Jim Comey by falsely claiming it was over how he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, by announcing to Congress he was revisiting it after obtaining a laptop that had some of her emails. (Many, including FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver, and Comey himself, believe that move likely handed Trump the election.)
Now DeSantis, literally on the first day of his presidential campaign, is vowing to become the third president in history to fire an FBI Director.
“I think the DOJ and FBI have lost their way,” DeSantis continued in his Fox News interview. “I think that they’ve been weaponized against Americans who think like me and you, and I think they’ve become very partisan. Part of the reason that’s happened, Trey, is because Republican presidents have accepted the canard that the DOJ and FBI are independent.”
“They are not independent agencies. They are part of the executive branch. They answer to the elected president of the United States.”
Semafor’s David Weigel, pointing to the nascent GOP presidential candidate’s remarks, writes via Twitter, “DeSantis’s answer to Fox on why he’d fire Chris Wray = great example of how a norm fades away. D[emocratic] presidents grudgingly pick GOP FBI directors. Trump fires Comey, huge scandal, Mueller probe. DeSantis saying outright that the FBI is not ‘independent,’ president can reshape it.”
READ MORE: DeSantis Tells Evangelicals He Wants to ‘Improve’ Supreme Court So Justices Reflect ‘Gold Standard’ of Clarence Thomas
Pete Strzok is a former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division. He led the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and earlier, as chief of the FBI’s Counterespionage Section led the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server.
After being viciously targeted repeatedly by Donald Trump, Strzok was fired. He is suing for wrongful termination.
On Friday he responded to DeSantis’ remarks and Weigel’s tweet.
“ALL presidents pick GOP FBI directors. There has never been a Democrat FBI director. Ever,” Strzok tweeted.
He added he agrees with national security and civil liberties journalist Marcy Wheeler, and says, “this isn’t some norm fading away. This is a sudden assault on a generations-long norm by one man and those who support him, or seek the support of his base.”
In October of 2017, nearly one year after Trump was elected President, NPR published a report: “‘Breaching The ‘Wall’: Is The White House Encroaching On DOJ Independence?”
It includes remarks from several Democrats, weighing in on how Trump had been reshaping the White House’s relationship with DOJ and the FBI.
At the time, despite his extreme actions, Democrats generally pointed to a “perception” problem, not the legal crisis it would become.
Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, however, was more forceful.
“There has to be a wall” between DOJ and the White House, Holder told NPR. “History has shown us that when that wall is too low, that’s when Justice departments get in trouble.”
NPR also quoted Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, then the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who at a hearing in October of 2017 said: “The attorney general’s master is the people and the law.”
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
‘Sheer Insanity’: Morning Joe Torches Trump and DeSantis for Floating Pardons for MAGA Rioters
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough called out the depravity of the two leading Republican presidential contenders for signaling they would pardon rioters who were convicted of crimes for their roles in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis have each said they would at least consider pardons for many of the insurrectionists, some of whom were sentenced to years in prison Thursday for taking part in a seditious conspiracy, and the “Morning Joe” host was appalled.
“How can you do that when one of the most grievous crimes committed in the United States this century, other than Sept. 11, happened, and you’ve got the two top Republican candidates saying, yeah, you know what we’re going to do — let the rioters go,” Scarborough said. “By the way, the question asked of Trump was not, what are you going to do for those people who were just touring the grounds on Jan. 6? The specific question was, are you going to pardon the rioters? The rioters — Donald Trump said yes. Then DeSantis follows behind, trying to play catch-up with Donald Trump instead of providing this contrast that Americans desperately want.”
Scarborough said he couldn’t really imagine a GOP contender agreeing the rioters should be prosecuted, despite their claims to the principals of law and order.
READ MORE: ‘Trump understands he’s in serious trouble here’ after new Mar-a-Lago bombshell: Morning Joe
“They bitch and whine, saying, ‘Oh, there weren’t enough prosecutions of the rioters during the [Black Lives Matter], so the answer is not to prosecute people who tried to take down the United States government?” he said. “It’s sheer insanity. If you think that maybe the Justice Department could have done a better job in 2020, the answer is not to do a lousy job in 2023. It’s to actually do better.”
Watch the video below or at this link.
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Reporters Reveal Some Republicans Don’t Understand What a Default Means – and Don’t Believe the Debt Ceiling Is Real
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‘Sure Wasn’t by Drag Queens’: DeSantis Slammed for Ignoring Florida Mass Shooting That Included Children
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‘Republicans Got Outsmarted by a President Who Can’t Find His Pants’: GOP Congresswoman Throws Debt Ceiling Tantrum
- News7 hours ago
McCarthy Says GOP Put Work Requirements in Debt Ceiling Bill for a Child ‘Sitting on the Couch Collecting Welfare’