Audio: Trump Claims Police Were ‘Hugging And Kissing’ Capitol Rioters

Donald Trump (image public domain/White House)

Take a listen to this audio recording of Donald Trump rambling in an interview with reporters Carol Leonnig and Phil Rucker – the two authors of the new book, I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.

Anderson Cooper played a full uninterrupted five minutes of the recording on his CNN show. At one point, Leonig asked ‘the former guy’ what it was he expected when he urged his followers to march up to the U.S. Capitol building on January 6 which became an unruly, violent riot.

From Alternet:

“We want to understand what did you want when you said ‘go up there’?” Leonnig says in the recording, referring to Trump saying that he was going to march with the crowd to the Capitol.

“I would have said that you will show — not to go in, although they were ushered in by the police. I mean, in all fairness, the Capitol Police were ushering people in. The Capitol Police were very friendly, hugging and kissing — you don’t see that, but there’s plenty of tape on that too, the Capitol Police, that’s the way it is. I wanted — personally, what I wanted is what they wanted. They showed up. Just to show support. Because I happen to believe the election was rigged. At a level like nothing has ever been rigged before. There’s tremendous proof. There’s tremendous proof. Statistically, it wasn’t even possible that he won. I mean, things such as in Ohio, Iowa, there’s never been a loss.”

“Did you need better lawyers because they took it to court—?” asked Rucker.

“I needed better judges. The Supreme Court was afraid to take it, don’t forget,” said Trump.

Read more at Alternet.

Rudy Giuliani’s Law License Suspended For Election Lies

Rudy Giuliani (screen capture)

Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City and personal lawyer for Donald Trump, has been suspended from practicing law by a New York appellate court after a review of his false and misleading statements made regarding the 2020 election.

From Axios:

A New York court ruled that Giuliani made “demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump.”

“These false statements were made to improperly bolster respondent’s narrative that due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from his client,” the court wrote.

“We conclude that respondent’s conduct immediately threatens the public interest and warrants interim suspension from the practice of law, pending further proceedings before the Attorney Grievance Committee.”

The court examined a number of instances in which Giuliani made false statements about alleged election fraud in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan. Each were found to be in violation of various provisions of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.

Giuliani is also facing multibillion-dollar defamation lawsuits from two voting-machine companies that were the target of baseless conspiracy theories from Giuliani as well as a criminal investigation by the Southern District of New York for his dealings with Ukraine.

News Round-Up: May 20, 2021

Lego is issuing its first-ever rainbow set for Pride 2021
(image via Lego)

Some news items you might have missed:

NBC News: Lego is kicking off LGBTQ Pride month by releasing a special set, called “Everyone is Awesome,” that celebrates the diversity of its fans. This is the first time in Lego’s 72-year history that it is releasing an official LGBTQ Pride set.

The Hill: Coronavirus vaccinations in Ohio jumped 28 percent in the days following the governor’s announcement of a lottery for residents who get the shots, state health officials said Thursday. Residents who have been vaccinated will be eligible for five drawings of $1 million each.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Six foot seven doctoral candidate Aidyn asks if he’s “still a big boy” as this week’s ‘Mask4Masc’ feature. #woof

New York Times: The Times editorial board penned an op-ed calling the decision by Pride organizers in NYC that police officers would not be allowed to march in the annual Pride parade until 2025 a ‘misstep.’ I agree.

Right Wing Watch: QAnon Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) falsely claimed in an interview that Texas has not reported a single COVID-19 death since the state lifted all restrictions over two months ago. ACTUALLY, the Texas Department of State Health Services reports more than 3,400 people have died of COVID-19 since the state removed all restrictions two months ago.

OUT: It seems folks who hadn’t seen (or didn’t know much about) the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen were under the impression it was about a gay high school student after the official trailer for the upcoming movie adaptation dropped yesterday. p.s. it’s not

Trump Lies: ‘No True Supporter Of Mine Could Endorse Violence’

Donald Trump

Donald Trump pretends he could never endorse violence

Donald Trump released a video message today admonishing “violence and vandalism” in regard to the invasion of the U.S. Capitol building last week.

“No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence,” says Trump in the clip. “No true supporter of mine could ever disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag.”

Oh, my sides…

The video came shortly after the House approved an article of impeachment against Trump by a vote of 232-197 making him the first president ever to be impeached twice.

Plus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began hinting he may vote to convict Trump.

This comes across as a preemptive legal defense against impeachment to me. Trust and believe, he did not write a word of this.

From the New York Times:

“I want to be very clear,” he continued. “I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and vandalism have absolutely no place in our country and no place in our movement. Making America great again has always been about defending the rule of law” and supporting law enforcement officials.

As a candidate in 2016, Mr. Trump once encouraged rally attendees to physically attack protesters. But in the video on Wednesday, he said that “mob violence goes against everything I believe in and everything our movement stands for. No true supporter of mine could ever endorse political violence.”

“If you do any of these things, you are not supporting our movement, you are attacking it, and you are attacking our country,” he said. “We cannot tolerate it.”

There was no mention of the people who died in the melee last week including one Capitol Police officer who was reportedly bludgeoned with a fire extinguisher.

Looking ahead to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, Trump added, “There must be no violence, no lawbreaking and no vandalism of any kind.”

Donald Trump Calls For Georgia Governor To Resign

A prosecutor in Georgia is reportedly in the early stages of investigating Donald Trump for attempting to overturn the election results in the state

A highway sign indicating the Georgia state line

Donald Trump called for the Republican governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, to resign from office today because Kemp wouldn’t attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

After counting the ballots three times in the Peach State, the results show President-elect Joe Biden won the state by 12,000 votes.

Trump also tried to allege that some kind of conspiracy theory that Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s brother works for China and somehow figures into the mix.

By the way, did I mention Brad Raffensperger doesn’t have a brother?

In related news, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports an audit of over 15,000 voter signatures from the election didn’t find a single fraudulent absentee ballot as Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed. The report by the Georgia secretary of state’s office released Tuesday.

From the AJC: “There were 10 absentee ballots that had been accepted but voter signatures didn’t match or signatures were missing, according to the report. But agents from the GBI and investigators with the secretary of state’s office contacted those voters and confirmed they had submitted those ballots.”

Trump Threatens To Not Leave White House On Inauguration Day

Donald Trump
Donald Trump (photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr – CC License)

With the Electoral College affirming the results of the 2020 presidential election this week, followed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recognizing President-elect Joe Biden as the winner, one might think Donald Trump would begin to accept the reality that his time in the White House is coming to an end.

But…no.

From CNN:

Yet even amid the intractable movement of the transition and the hurried lame-duck activity — some of which he is participating in himself — Trump is steadfastly refusing to acknowledge that he lost.

In his moments of deepest denial, Trump has told some advisers that he will refuse to leave the White House on Inauguration Day, only to be walked down from that ledge. The possibility has alarmed some aides, but few believe Trump will actually follow through.

“He’s throwing a f***ing temper tantrum,” an adviser said. “He’s going to leave. He’s just lashing out.”

The White House declined to comment for this report.

Kayleigh Demands GA Governor ‘Threaten’ Secretary of State

Trump flack Kayleigh McEneny

Kayleigh McEneny, who is employed by taxpayers as the White House press secretary and at the same time Donald Trump’s failed reelection campaign, called out Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp while inadvertently acknowledging that President-elect Joe Biden won the election.

“You have the power to call in a special legislative session because right now if we lose these two Senate seats, guess who’s casting the deciding vote in this country for our government? It will be Kamala Harris. Call for the special legislative session. Governor Kemp can also threaten the budget of the secretary of state – there’s plenty he can do.”

Shocker: Trump Pardons Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn

Michael Flynn (photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

As I’ve predicted practically since time began, Donald Trump has pardoned former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn.

Flynn pleaded guilty (twice!) to charges of lying to the FBI about his conversations with a Russian diplomat.

From the New York Times:

It came to light that Mr. Flynn was lying to his colleagues about conversations he had in December 2016 with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak.

In the calls, Mr. Flynn urged Moscow not to escalate in response to sanctions imposed by the departing Obama administration over Russia’s covert election interference to help Mr. Trump, and raised the possibility that the incoming Trump administration would work more closely with Russia.

The pattern of lying raised new suspicions about Mr. Flynn. The F.B.I. sent agents to interview him at the White House even though deliberations with the Justice Department about whether to first tell Mr. Trump’s new White House counsel were not yet resolved.

Notes from a meeting related to that interview suggest a purpose of the interview may have been to see whether Mr. Flynn would lie again to the F.B.I. agents — as he did.

Despite Flynn pleading guilty to the eventual charges, Trump – who fired Flynn in 2017 for lying to Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI about his conversation with Russia’s ambassador – continually said Flynn was “treated terribly” by the Intelligence community.

As many have noted, a presidential pardon requires admitting guilt. In doing so, Flynn would lose any 5th Amendment protections regarding being called to testify on the issues.

In related news, NBC News reports that prosecutors in New York City are seeking to have the state’s highest court revive mortgage fraud charges against Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

“A four-judge panel in the intermediate court ruled Oct. 22 that the DA’s office failed to demonstrate that the state charges warranted an exception to state double jeopardy protections. That echoed trial court judge Maxwell Wiley’s finding last December that the state charges against Manafort mirrored the federal case that landed him behind bars.”

Expect Manafort to receive a pardon in regard to his federal case as well. A new case brought by the Manhattan DA would be exempt from Trump’s pardon powers as state charges can’t be resolved by a presidential pardon.

Election Officials In Every State: No Evidence Of Voter Fraud Found

August 13 was not #ReinstatementDay
Donald Trump during ABC News Town Hall (screen capture)

The New York Times reached out to the top election officials in every state of the nation inquiring about any confirmed illegal voting or fraud in the 2020 presidential election as alleged by Donald Trump and the Republicans.

The answer – from Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State – was a unanimous ‘no.’

Top election officials across the country said in interviews and statements that the process had been a remarkable success despite record turnout and the complications of a dangerous pandemic.

“There’s a great human capacity for inventing things that aren’t true about elections,” said Frank LaRose, a Republican who serves as Ohio’s secretary of state. “The conspiracy theories and rumors and all those things run rampant. For some reason, elections breed that type of mythology.” 

Steve Simon, a Democrat who is Minnesota’s secretary of state, said: “I don’t know of a single case where someone argued that a vote counted when it shouldn’t have or didn’t count when it should. There was no fraud.”

“Kansas did not experience any widespread, systematic issues with voter fraud, intimidation, irregularities or voting problems,” a spokeswoman for Scott Schwab, the Republican secretary of state in Kansas, said in an email Tuesday. “We are very pleased with how the election has gone up to this point.”

Postal Worker Admits He Lied About Mail-In Ballot Tampering

(stock image of a mail-in ballot)

A postal worker in Pennsylvania who claimed that a postmaster in Erie told post office employees to backdate ballots received after Election Day has reportedly admitted he lied.

His claims have been spread by high ranking Republicans as evidence of “widespread voter fraud.” This was supposed to be the Republicans big “gotcha.”

From the Washington Post:

A Pennsylvania postal worker whose claims have been cited by top Republicans as potential evidence of widespread voting irregularities admitted to U.S. Postal Service investigators that he fabricated the allegations, according to three officials briefed on the investigation and a statement from a House congressional committee.

Richard Hopkins’s claim that a postmaster in Erie, Pa., instructed postal workers to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day was cited by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) in a letter to the Justice Department calling for a federal investigation.

Attorney General William P. Barr subsequently authorized federal prosecutors to open probes into credible allegations of voting irregularities and fraud, a reversal of long-standing Justice Department policy.

But on Monday, Hopkins, 32, told investigators from the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General that the allegations were not true, and he signed an affidavit recanting his claims, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation.

The original allegations were reported last week by Project Veritas, an organization that has been caught spinning fiction into made-up ‘facts’ trying to demonize the mainstream media.

After being hailed as a hero among Trump supporters, a GoFundMe campaign was launched that raised over $135K for Hopkins – until the campaign was yanked down today in light of his reversal.

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee tweeted the revelations late Tuesday.