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As the 6 January committee prepares for a summer of what promise to be shocking and disturbing hearings about the Capitol riot, Donald Trump has laid into committee member Liz Cheney, claiming that she has taken her opposition to him to insane extremes.
“From what people tell me, from what I hear from other congressmen, she’s like a crazed lunatic, she’s worse than anyone else,” he told the Washington Post in an interview. “From what I’ve heard, she’s worse than any Democrat.”
The committee’s first public hearing since last year is set for 9 June.
Meanwhile, one of the key figures in the many 6 January-related cases underway is due to appear in a virtual court hearing today. Enrique Tarrio, a former leader of the extremist Proud Boys group, is seeking release from pre-trial detention while he awaits trial on conspiracy charges related to the Capitol attack.
Ex-president’s endorsee Dr Oz thanks Hannity for campaign advice
DoJ asks Jan 6 committee for transcripts in relation to criminal investigation
Trump agrees to limit Twitter engagement
Trump administration unlawfully retaliated against whistleblower, Pentagon inspector general report finds
18:27 , Alex Woodward
A report from the inspector general the Department of Defense finds that the Trump administration unlawfully retaliated against Yevgeny Vindman, the twin brother of Alexander Vindman, and who was fired in 2020 after raising concerns about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
The report finds that then-Lt. Col. Vindman “was the subject of unfavorable personnel actions from administration officials” after he alerted his concerns about the former president’s attempts to withhold military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations into his political rival Joe Biden.
Officials “reprised against him because he made protected communications and because of his association with his twin brother’s protected communications to Members of Congress,” according to the report’s findings.
Their actions violated statutes regarding “protected communications; prohibition of retaliatory personnel actions,” the report found.
The report not recommend any punishment against Trump-era officials, because they have since left the White House.
18:07 , Alex Woodward
After the 2020 election, in which Biden won Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano was one of 10 Republican state senators to call for delaying certification of the Electoral College and also said that the state legislature in Pennsylvania had the “sole power” to nominate electors.
He declared victory in his gubernatorial campaign last night within moments of the race call from news networks.
The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe asks: What changed? Why do Mastriano and all the other previous deniers who won their races now believe the election process is fair?
Trump whines about elections and says ally Dr Oz should declare victory in Pennsylvania primary
17:47 , Alex Woodward
Trump has suggested that his preferred candidate in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary – Dr Mehmet Oz – should simply declare victory in the Republican contest despite the race being too close to call.
“It makes it much harder to cheat with the ballots they ‘just happened to find.’”
Clearly, that is not how elections work, or how the ballot-counting process works in Pennsylvania, which Trump has suggested has been marred by fraud despite no evidence whatsoever.
Poll: Should Trump be allowed back on Twitter?
17:30 , Andrew Naughtie
Elon Musk’s plan to take over Twitter has hit some road bumps lately, with the sometimes-erratic tech billionaire indicating he may not be happy with the originally agreed $44bn price tag and questioning whether the company’s estimate of the number of spam accounts is accurate. But for now, he insists the buyout is going ahead – and he has also said that Donald Trump should have his account restored.
Mr Trump so far insists he will remain on Truth Social, which has struggled to retain users since its botched launch earlier this year. Do you think Trump should be allowed to return to Twitter? Vote in the poll below and feel free to let us know what answer you chose and why in the comments.
ICYMI: DOJ asks Jan 6 committee for transcripts
17:00 , Andrew Naughtie
The Department of Justice has reportedly asked the 6 January committee to provide it with copies of transcripts from its many witness interviews – apparently because the interviews may have yielded “information relevant to a criminal investigation we are conducting”. The identity of the subject (or subjects) of that investigation is not yet clear.
The department’s slowness to act on potential criminal charges related to the insurrection has caused consternation among many Trump critics, though some have cautioned that acting rashly could set a bad precedent of the department being abused to investigate presidents’ enemies.
Andrew Feinberg has the story.
“BIG MESS”: Trump enraged by close PA result
15:57 , Andrew Naughtie
Donald Trump is awake and posting on Truth Social – and as some have predicted, he is furious at the possibility that his chosen candidate, Dr Mehmet Oz, might lose the Pennsylvania Senate primary because of his rival Dave McCormick’s possible strength in the mail-in vote:
Thompson says Jan 6 committee likely won’t ask Trump to testify
14:55 , Andrew Naughtie
As the 6 January select committee prepares for the kickoff of its summer hearings, chair Bennie Thompson told reporters yesterday that the panel probably will not ask or compel Donald Trump to testify, explaining that “We’re not sure that the evidence that we receive can be any more validated with his presence. I think the concern is whether or not he would add any more value with his testimony.”
Read more below from Abe Asher.
Leading Proud Boy to ask court for pre-trial release
14:01 , Andrew Naughtie
Former Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio is awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy and other crimes related to the 6 January riot – and today, he will be apperaring virtually to ask a court for release from pre-trial detention.
According to CBS’s Scott MacFarlane, it seems Mr Tarrio’s legal team have lately visited the target of the attack.
Defense for Proud Boys figure and accused Jan 6 conspirator Enrique Tarrio toured the Capitol earlier this week.. as they prepare their defense
Per new court filing
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) May 18, 2022
Catch up on the details of Mr Tarrio’s indictment here.
Watch: Dr Oz thanks Hannity for help with campaign
13:15 , Andrew Naughtie
The days when Fox News worked hard to present itself as “fair and balanced” are long gone, but there is at least still some pretense among the network’s highest-profile stars that they remain outside politics looking in.
The latest incident to dispel that image came last night with Dr Mehmet Oz’s speech after the Pennsylvania primary, in which he explicitly thanked Sean Hannity for making a difference “behind the scenes” of his Trump-endorsed campaign – “giving me advice on late night conversations, again, the kinds of things that true friends do for each other”.
Oz: I want to thank Sean Hannity… He understands how to make a difference and he’s been doing that this entire campaign.. much of it behind the scenes… giving me advice on late night conversations pic.twitter.com/E18ZHl973W
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 18, 2022
The Trump-endorsed Dr Oz appeared on Mr Hannity’s show multiple times during the campaign without these chats being mentioned.
Jan 6 panel talking to Trump admin witnesses again
12:13 , Andrew Naughtie
It seems the 6 January select committee is reaching back out to key witnesses from the Trump administration. Appearing today will be press secretary-turned-critic Stephanie Grisham, who has spoken to the panel before.
New: Former Trump aide Stephanie Grisham is testifying to the Jan. 6 committee again tomorrow, per sources familiar. The panel has started reaching back out to a number of top witnesses to confirm evidence and details, sources say.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) May 18, 2022
The committee’s public hearings are set to begin on 9 June.
DOJ suing casino mogul who lobbied Trump admin for China
11:29 , Andrew Naughtie
The Chinese government was one of Donald Trump’s go-to targets even before he became president, with Beijing’s supposed gaming of the international system and malign influence in US politics providing ample fodder for his isolationist, grievance-laden speeches. But now, a key figure who lobbied Mr Trump’s administration is in hot water over his Chinese links.
The Justice Department is suing Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn to compel him to register as a foreign agent because of lobbying work it says he performed on behalf of the Chinese government.
The department said it had advised Wynn repeatedly over the last four years to register under the Foreign Agents Registration, and that it’s taken the decision to sue him now because he is still refusing to do so.
How arch-Trumpist Madison Cawthorn lost his seat
10:31 , Andrew Naughtie
John Bowden has this report from North Carolina, where hardcore right-winger Madison Cawthorn has lost his seat despite Donald Trump’s endorsement. The freshman congressman has been engulfed by embarrassing and shocking stories since he was elected in 2020, and in recent months things reached the point that even the pro-Trump party establishment began to marshal resources against him.
Despite a slew of scandals and a feud with House Republican leadership – which could easily have played into his hands among the party’s anti-establishment base – Mr Cawthorn maintained support from Mr Trump throughout his campaign right up to Tuesday’s primary.
A day earlier, however, Mr Trump made his thoughts clear on his support, with a statement that confirmed his continued endorsement but also rebuking the congressman harshly for “foolish” mistakes.
Those mistakes ended his bid for reelection unceremoniously. Mr Cawthorn made brief remarks to gathered supporters as the race concluded, then sped away with staffers minutes later and apparently called his top opponent to concede.
“It is what it is,” a Cawthorn staffer who refused to give his name told The Independent.
Read John’s full dispatch below.
Report: DOJ asks Jan 6 committee for transcripts
09:01 , Andrew Naughtie
Federal prosecutors have asked the House of Representatives committee investigating the 6 January 2021 attack on the Capitol to provide transcripts of witness interviews and depositions taken by committee members and staff, according to a New York Times report.
A “person with knowledge of the matter” told the Times committee chairman Bennie Thompson has not reached any agreement with Attorney General Merrick Garland or other Justice Department officials regarding what, if any, documents will be provided.
But the department has been in communication with the panel since 20 April. The communications between the department and the select committee are an indication that the department is looking more closely at efforts byDonald Trump and his allies to install Mr Trump in the White House for a second term against the wishes of American voters.
Andrew Feinberg has more.
‘Cancel culture’ reason PGA moved from Trump-owned course, says Jack Nicklaus
07:55 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: Jack Nicklaus said that PGA Tour pulled its championship out of New Jersey in favour of Tulsa, Oklahoma because of Donald Trump.
He said that the PGA Tour pulled out because Mr Trump owns the course in New Jersey.
He said: “But this move is cancel culture. Donald Trump may be a lot of things, but he loves golf, and he loves this country. He’s a student of the game and a formidable figure in the game. What he does in the future in golf will depend on what the cancel culture will allow him to do.”
Mr Nicklaus has won 18 majors — the most in history. He also endorsed Mr Trump ahead of the 2020 election.
Trump phones in to Oz event in Pennsylvania
07:01 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: Donald Trump is selective with his in-person appearances on the campaign trail these days, restricting himself mainly to rallies in carefully chosen states with candidates he has heartily endorsed. He held such an event for Dr Mehmet Oz not long ago, but since it became clear the TV medic is in danger of losing his primary, Mr Trump has not appeared in Pennsylvania again.
However, an Oz campaign event last night – billed as a “telerally” – saw the president dial in on speakerphone to address a roomful of supporters, reassuring them that the candidate was in fact pro-life and pro-gun. Dr Oz’s long record of relatively liberal positions on both issues is the main strike against him for many conservatives, who have been resistant to his entreaties despite Mr Trump’s backing.
— Gabe Kaminsky (@gekaminsky) May 16, 2022
Report: Trump official met with Jan 6 conspiracy-mongers
06:18 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: The investigation into the events between the 2020 election and 6 January 2021 has focused in large part on meetings between Trump administration officials and outside figures who were specifically involved in “stop the steal” efforts of various kinds.
Now, another such meeting has come to light. The Washington Post has confirmed that on 6 January itself, Robert A. Destro, a senior Trump appointee at the State Department, met with podcaster Joe Oltmann and Michigan lawyer Matthew DePerno, both of whom claimed that a “coup” against Mr Trump was being mounted by the Biden team.
Read the report below.
— Matea Gold (@mateagold) May 17, 2022
Trump agrees to limit his Twitter engagement
05:20 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: Many Trump fans are eager to see their leader back on Twitter, and Elon Musk has said that he thinks the former president’s account should never have been blocked. But according to financial filings from the company that will oversee the IPO of his own platform, Truth Social, the ex-president has agreed to limit what he can post on Twitter and when if he returns.
Under the agreement, Mr Trump must post anything unrelated to politics first on Truth Social, and can only post on another social media site six hours later, the federal securities filing shows.
But if Mr Trump wants to post on a personal social media account anything “related to political messaging, political fundraising or get-out-the-vote efforts” he can do so at any time.
Graeme Massie has the story.
Court allows Jan 6 Oath Keeper to leave his house
04:09 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: At a hearing today, one of several members of the Oath Keepers militia indicted for his behaviour on 6 January 2021 was granted a reprieve of sorts: permission to leave home confinement and instead abide by a curfew.
Joshua A. James has pleaded guilty in the case, which also involves figures including the militia group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes. Prosecutors say that the Oath Keepers who attended the Capitol riot stashed weapons in hotels around the DC area and expected Donald Trump to call them to use force to halt the electoral certification.
NEW: Court has loosened restrictions on OathKeeper seditious conspiracy defendant Joshua James of Alabama
James has pleaded guilty & agreed to help the feds.
No more home confinement... curfew instead pic.twitter.com/2mx8nZcRXB
— Scott MacFarlane (@MacFarlaneNews) May 17, 2022
Elon Musk says he’s voting Republican this year
03:01 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: Tech billionaire and Twitter buyer Elon Musk is known for his eclectic and sometimes erratic political views, but it has heartened some Republicans lately that he wants to see Donald Trump allowed back on Twitter. And now, it seems he is joining their side for the sake of the midterms.
At a conference yesterday, Mr Musk compared Joe Biden to Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy, who loses his job as a newsreader because he lacks the ability to improvise.
“The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter. The path to power is the path to the teleprompter,” Mr Musk told the conference via Zoom.
“He is simply too much captured by the unions, which was not the case with Obama,” said Mr Musk, who did not make clear what was not getting “done”.
Read more from Gino Spocchia.
Musk praises Trump administration – but not Trump himself
02:11 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: Elon Musk had some positive things to say about the Trump administration, but not specially Donald Trump himself.
“The Trump administration, leaving Trump aside, there were a lot of people in the administration who were effective at getting things done,” said Mr Musk, at a conference in Miami, according to Insider.
2024 watch: Haley to Iowa
01:05 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: Donald Trump is widely assumed to be all but certainly running for re-election in 2024, but it has long been clear that other top Republicans are laying the groundwork for their own campaigns – whether because they intend to challenge him or because they anticipate he might not be able to run.
Now, the Des Moines Register reports a long-expected presidential contender is making one of the de rigeur early-on visits to Iowa: Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who served as UN ambassador under the Trump administration.
McCarthy shrugs off Jan 6 audio question
Wednesday 18 May 2022 00:01 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: CNN’s Manu Raju has been asking Kevin McCarthy about the audio recordings of him discussing communications with Donald Trump after 6 January – and specifically about inconsistencies between what he said on taped conference calls with his members and what Mr Trump has since denied.
Here’s what Mr McCarthy had to say...
Just asked McCarthy about audio where he told colleagues Trump admitted “some responsibility” for Jan. 6, which Trump has denied. Asked him if it’s true. Wouldn’t say. “There's nothing that you just said that I didn't say on the floor.” He never said on floor Trump told him that pic.twitter.com/w5cEnUijq1
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 17, 2022
Ron DeSantis outlaws protest outside private homes
Tuesday 17 May 2022 23:15 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill sent to him by state legislators that bans protests outside private homes, drilling down on the right-wing insistence that the law should not tolerate demonstrators who gathered outside the homes of conservative justices and senators to protest the imminent end of Roe v Wade.
Among those whose homes were visited by anti-abortion protesters was Maine Senator Susan Collins, who phoned the police over a message chalked on the sidewalk outside her house.
Stuti Mishra has more.
Lauren Boebert slams companies for offering to help pay for abortions
Tuesday 17 May 2022 22:11 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: The uproar over the apparently imminent overturning of Roe v Wade has seen several major companies offer to pay travel costs for women seeking abortions who will have to travel across state lines to get them. In response, far-right Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert had this message:
Anyone else consider that these companies suddenly offering to pay for employee abortions are doing so just to avoid paying for maternity leave?
Cheaper to kill the baby... true evil personified.
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) May 16, 2022
As many have pointed out, Ms Boebert herself has previously mocked people for taking parental leave after having children.
Friendly reminder that Lauren Boebert is against maternity leave. She actually said so… 🤷🏼♀️https://t.co/GOgHvsV47X
— sureJan🖤🏴☠️🌵 (@CO_jan40) May 16, 2022
Trump shares QAnon meme on Truth Social
Tuesday 17 May 2022 21:10 , Graeme Massie
ICYMI: Donald Trump has gaily seized on Joe Biden’s recent derision of him as the “Great Maga King”, sharing kitschy images of him in dark regalia knocked up by his more zealous fans. But in his eagerness to embrace the label, he has perhaps inadvertently offered up fuel to the fevered imaginations of dogged QAnon believers...
Former president Trump just re-truthed (Truth Social's version of a retweet) a graphic that features a big ole 'Q' in the upper right corner. pic.twitter.com/39b7FyzlEl
— Katie McCarthy (@ktmcc5) May 16, 2022
ICYMI: Trump shares QAnon imagery on Truth Social
Tuesday 17 May 2022 18:40 , Andrew Naughtie
Since Joe Biden derisively called him the “great Maga king” in remarks last week, Donald Trump has begun semi-ironically embracing dark regal imagery – but a recent meme he’s shared on Truth Social takes things up (or down) a level.
According to screenshots of the meme shared on Twitter on Monday, a “Q” could be seen behind the former president, who was shown seated on a throne and sporting a gold crown in the style of Game of Thrones.
Gino Spocchia has the story.
Report: Jan 6 committee preparing for hearings
Tuesday 17 May 2022 14:25 , Andrew Naughtie
As the 6 January select committee gears up for what promises to be a dramatic set of hearings over the summer, one question is central to its members’ discussions: the extent to which they need to focus on former president Donald Trump as they piece together the chain of events that led to the worst attack on the Capitol in more than 200 years.
The Washington Post has released an excellent deep-dive report that includes this account of a discussion between two of the panel’s members last month:
Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), insisted the committee should focus less on former president Donald Trump and do more to examine the security and intelligence failures that led to the breach of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. She also urged the committee to look harder at what can be done to prevent another attack, according to people familiar with the matter.
The other member, Republican Vice Chair Liz Cheney (Wyo.), argued that the committee should keep an intense focus on the former president.
“Rep. Cheney’s view is that security at the Capitol is a critical part of the investigation, but the Capitol didn’t attack itself,” said Jeremy Adler, a spokesman for Cheney.
The tense discussion — which played out in a conference room tucked inside the world’s largest library, where members posed for pictures with historic texts such as the Gettysburg Address — reflected just one among numerous weighty questions the committee must resolve before nationally televised hearings kick off next month.
Read the report below.
"...the Capitol didn’t attack itself" -- our dive into some of the Jan. 6 committee's deliberations as lawmakers grapple with synthesizing a complex investigation into a cohesive narrative ahead of their public hearings in June. With @jdawsey1: https://t.co/hY3bjZ5y5v
— Jacqueline Alemany (@JaxAlemany) May 17, 2022
Joe Biden reverses Trump's withdrawal of US troops in Somalia
Tuesday 17 May 2022 11:45 , Andrew Naughtie
Reversing a decision taken by former President Donald Trump, Joe Biden has approved the redeployment of US troops in Somalia.
BBC reported that the deployment was requested by the Pentagon to support the fight against militant group al-Shabab.
In 2020, Mr Trump withdrew about 700 US troops from Somalia.
ICYMI: Pelosi calls Trump a ‘creature’ as she dubs Supreme Court ‘dangerous to US freedoms’
Tuesday 17 May 2022 11:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar
House speaker Nancy Pelosi has claimed that former president Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointees have made the bench “dangerous to the freedoms” of the country.
She criticised the judges as the court prepares to issue a ruling that could end decades of constitutional protections for abortion care and trigger a wave of laws making abortion illegal in roughly half the US.
Read the full story here:
With echoes of Trump, GOP splinters over $40B for Ukraine
Tuesday 17 May 2022 10:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar
Signs of Republican resistance are mounting over a $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, a reemergence of the Trump-led isolationist wing of the GOP that’s coming at a crucial moment as the war against the Russian invasion deepens.
Read the full story here:
Ted Budd looks poised to coast to victory with Trump’s support
Tuesday 17 May 2022 09:00 , John Bowden
North Carolina Congressman Ted Budd is poised to claim victory on Tuesday over the state’s former governor in the race to be the GOP nominee for the seat held by retiring Sen Richard Burr.
His ascendancy is being buoyed by Donald Trump’s endorsement as well as that of the affluent Club for Growth, which has poured millions behind Mr Budd after breaking with the former president and being burned by Josh Mandel’s defeat in Ohio.
Mr Budd’s success despite running against an opponent who started with far greater name recognition is a sign of the clear power that Donald Trump still wields.
Read more in this profile of the race from the Associated Press:
Can Madison Cawthorn survive Thom Tillis?
Tuesday 17 May 2022 08:00 , John Bowden
Freshman Congressman Madison Cawthorn has no shortage of political foes but one of his most dangerous in his home state is Thom Tillis, the state’s junior Republican senator who will become the senior senator in January following the retirement of Richard Burr.
Mr Tillis is pouring his own super PAC’s money behind the effort to oust the Trump-endorsed Mr Cawthorn, who is beset by a myriad of scandals.
Read more from The Independent’s Eric Garcia:
Kathy Barnette organised 'buses' to DC on Jan 6
Tuesday 17 May 2022 07:00 , John Bowden
Upstart Pennsylvania Senate candidate Kathy Barnette’s involvement in January 6 was much deeper than previously known.
A CNN KFile investigation published on the eve of Pennsylvania’s primary elections revealed that Ms Barnette organised Trump supporters to attend protests in DC on the day of the riot, even boasting that she would bring three buses of "pissed off patriots" to the city in an interview on 5 January 2021.
Read more at CNN:
US agrees to ease Trump-era sanctions on Cuba
Tuesday 17 May 2022 06:13 , Maroosha Muzaffar
US has announced plans to ease sanctions imposed on Cuba by former President Donald Trump.
The restrictions on family remittances and travel to the island will be eased, it was reported.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the move would allow Cuban citizens to pursue a life free from “government oppression.”
But US officials said that they will ensure such payments don’t reach “those who perpetrate human rights abuses” by using civilian “electronic payment processors.”
The processing of US visas for Cubans will also be speeded up.
ICYMI: Biden reverses Trump pullout of troops from Somalia
Tuesday 17 May 2022 03:45 , John Bowden
Joe Biden has taken a step to reverse the withdrawal of hundreds of US troops from Somalia, where special ops forces were engaged in efforts to defeate Al Qaeda-aligned militants fighting for Al Shabab.
The move will mean the deployment of several hundred troops to the country where the US just withdrew the bulk of its forces in an effort that concluded three days before Mr Biden took office last year.
Read more in The Independent:
Trump fan Ted Nugent tells people to go ‘berserk on the skulls of the Democrats’
Tuesday 17 May 2022 02:45 , John Bowden
Musician Ted Nugent, an ardent Donald Trump supporter, is being accused of spreading hate speech after he told fans to go “berserk on the skulls of the Democrats” during an event in support of the former president in Texas just hours after the Buffalo shooting, a racist attack targeting a majority-Black neighborhood.
“So I love you people madly but I’d love you more if you went forward and just went berserk on the skulls of the Democrats and the Marxists and the communists,” he declared.
Read more from Phil Thomas in The Independent:
Pennsylvania Senate candidate spotted marching with Proud Boys on 6 January, report says
Tuesday 17 May 2022 01:45 , John Bowden
A candidate running for US Senate in Pennsylvania was in Washington DC to support the protests on January 6 that eventually led to a siege of the US Capitol.
Kathy Barnette does not have Donald Trump’s endorsement in the Pennsylvania Senate race but is surging behind frontrunner Dr Mehmet Oz in recent polling and is now within striking distance. Her campaign confirmed that she was in Washington DC on January 6, where she was seen marching alongside members of the far-right Proud Boys group, but denied that she had committed any illegal acts.
“Kathy was in DC to support President Trump and demand election accountability. Any assertion that she participated in or supported the destruction of property is intentionally false. She has no connection whatsoever to the proud boys,” her campaign said.
Read more from The Independent’s Eric Garcia:
Elise Stefanik responds to criticism of her rhetoric
Tuesday 17 May 2022 00:45 , John Bowden
Blaming the media for spreading “dangerous” smears which she said amounted to blaming her for inspiring the racist mass shooting in her home state of New York over the weekend, Rep Elise Stefanik on Monday doubled down on her past comments about immigration policy and a supposed Democratic effort to bring “millions” of undocumented immigrants to America and grant them voting rights.
The congresswoman’s reelection campaign previously released an ad accusing Democrats of trying to “overthrow” the “current electorate”, which many critics said strongly resembled the racist beliefs of “replacement theory” adherents.
Video of Tucker Carlson promoting ‘Great Replacement’ resurfaces
Monday 16 May 2022 23:45 , John Bowden
As the fallout continues from the shocking racist attack in Buffalo, New York that left 10 people dead on Saturday furious critics of Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson are pointing out the moments when America’s most-watched cable news host expressed views that bear at a minimum similarities to the Buffalo suspect’s ideology.
"So I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term 'replacement', if you suggest the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the third world," Mr Carlson said in a clip from his show currently making the rounds. "But they become hysterical because that's that's what's happening actually. Let's just say it. That's true."
Read more from The Independent’s Greg Graziosi:
Schumer accuses ‘MAGA Republicans and cable news pundits’ of spreading ‘echoes’ of Buffalo shooter’s ideology
Monday 16 May 2022 22:45 , John Bowden
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joined the chorus of voices accusing the right of spreading the same ideology as the shooters in Buffalo, Christchurch, El Paso and other attacks motivated by the racist “White Replacement Theory” belief on Monday.
Speaking on the floor of the US Senate, Mr Schumer excoriated conservatives for spreading what he said were “echoes” of the same ravings that the suspect in the mass shooting that occurred over the weekend in Buffalo ranted about in a lengthy manifesto posted online before the attack.
“Unfortunately, with each passing year it seems harder and harder to ignore that the echoes of replacement theory and other racially-motivated views are increasingly coming out into the open, and given legitimacy by some MAGA Republicans and cable news pundits,” said the Democratic Senate leader.
Read more in The Independent:
Trump makes deal to stay exclusive on Truth Social
Monday 16 May 2022 21:45 , John Bowden
Donald Trump has signed a deal with the company looking to take Truth Social public,: Digital World Acquisition Corp, which will restrict him from making political statements on any rival social media platform in an attempt to boost his own site’s exclusivity.
The news amounts to a self-imposed Twitter ban, which would mean a victory for those who have said that the ex-president’s rantings about the 2020 election and other issues should continue to be kept off mainstream social media platforms following the January 6 siege of Congress.
Read more from The Independent’s Graeme Massie:
Pompeo swipes at Biden’s Iran policy
Monday 16 May 2022 21:10 , John Bowden
Speaking with members of the Iranian resistance at Ashraf-3 in Albania, where Iranian members of the MEK live in exile and work to spread resistance against Iran’s government, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swiped at the Biden administration’s foreign policy stance towards Iran.
Mr Biden’s administration has shifted away from the “maximum pressure” campaign that the Trump administration pursued against Tehran, which included exiting the Iran nuclear agreement signed by the Obama administration.
“A serious missing factor in U.S. policy towards Iran is has been the lack of political support for the organized opposition,” Mr Pompeo said on Monday.