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Top Republicans embrace GOP candidate who promoted QAnon conspiracy theory

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Top Republicans embrace GOP candidate who promoted QAnon conspiracy theory

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Trump gave a full-throated endorsement of Marjorie Taylor Greene on Wednesday after she won a primary runoff in Georgia, calling her a “future Republican Star” and “a real WINNER!” in a tweet.

Greene has drawn backlash from some GOP lawmakers — and has even previously been rebuked by McCarthy and other House Republican leaders — and put the party in a difficult position during an election year where control of the White House and Congress are at stake. But top Republicans are now backing her after she defeated John Cowan in a runoff.

Top House Republican leaders were silent on Greene’s victory Tuesday night and didn’t weigh in for hours on Wednesday morning, but then offered an endorsement in response to questions from CNN.

A McCarthy spokesperson, who declined to be named, said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that House Republicans “look forward” to Greene’s victory in November.

“We look forward to Georgians Andrew Clyde and Marjorie Taylor Greene – and all of our Republican candidates across the country – winning in November so that we can enact policies to renew the American dream, restore our way of life, and rebuild the greatest economy in the world,” the statement said, adding, “It’s clear that the Democrat Party does not share those goals,” and specifically criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise and GOP conference chair Liz Cheney have not yet commented publicly on Greene’s win or said if they plan to support her candidacy after her primary runoff victory.

In one indication that the win has divided Republicans, GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois tweeted a rebuke of the QAnon conspiracy theory on Wednesday, saying there is “no place in Congress for these conspiracies.”

“Qanon is a fabrication. This ‘insider’ has predicted so much incorrectly (but people don’t remember PAST predictions) so now has switched to vague generalities. Could be Russian propaganda or a basement dweller. Regardless, no place in Congress for these conspiracies,” he tweeted.

Trump campaign official Matt Wolking went after Kinzinger over his criticism of QAnon on Twitter, saying, “When will @RepKinzinger condemn the Steele Dossier fabrications and conspiracy theories pushed by Democrats? That actually WAS Russian propaganda.”

During a Trump campaign call on Wednesday, GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik dodged a question about Greene when asked if Republicans need to distance themselves from far-right elements of their party as they call on Democrats to denounce the far left.

Stefanik took exception to the question and instead criticized Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, describing her record as “far left and radical.”

Greene’s primary runoff win against Cowan took place in a solidly Republican district, which puts her in a strong position to win a congressional seat in the fall. That puts national Republicans in the difficult spot of how to respond and how much to support her.

The Republican Party just took another step toward a dangerous conspiracy theory

Asked on Wednesday if he had concerns about Greene’s nomination, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a top GOP Senate leader, said: “I barely understand Missouri politics, I sure don’t understand Georgia politics.” Asked about QAnon conspiracy theorists emerging in some GOP primaries, Blunt added: “I haven’t come across it.”

Democrats are seizing on the controversy.

Pelosi, asked Wednesday for her reaction to the GOP nominating Greene despite her embrace of the QAnon conspiracy theory, told CNN: “They seem to be comfortable with it.”

Greene has repeated and promoted QAnon theories and phrases, praising the mythical Q as a “patriot” in a video from 2017 and describing the conspiracy theory as “something worth listening to and paying attention to.”

She has also faced a backlash over the revelation of past Islamophobic and anti-Semitic comments, including saying that there is “an Islamic invasion into our government offices,” and calling the progressive billionaire activist George Soros, who is Jewish, a “Nazi.”

Republican leaders responded with condemnation following a report in Politico surfacing racist remarks and other incendiary comments this summer.

A spokesman for McCarthy told Politico at the time, “These comments are appalling, and Leader McCarthy has no tolerance for them.”

Scalise called the comments from Greene “disgusting” and responded by endorsing Cowan. Scalise maxed out in donations to Cowan and helped fundraise for his campaign.

Trump adds coronavirus adviser who echoes his unscientific claims

Party committees typically endorse their nominees without hesitation. But the National Republican Congressional Committee refused to say when asked if it endorsed Greene’s candidacy after she won the GOP nomination, instead attacking a Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota.

NRCC spokesman Chris Pack said in a statement on the race sent to CNN Wednesday in response to a request for comment about Greene’s win: “Have you asked every Democrat if they will support racist anti-Semite Ilhan Omar since she’s won her primary last night?”

Omar, a member of the progressive Democratic “Squad,” prevailed in her fight to keep her seat in a Minnesota primary election on Tuesday.
Her rhetoric related to Israel has made her a target of criticism from Republicans as well as, at times, from some members of her own party. Pelosi and other members of House Democratic leadership once went so far as to publicly call on Omar to apologize for comments they said included “anti-Semitic tropes.”

Omar apologized after her rebuke from House Democratic leaders and Democratic leaders are backing Omar, including Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“The DCCC backs all of our House Democratic incumbents, that of course includes Rep. Omar,” said DCCC spokesman Cole Leiter.

CNN’s Ryan Nobles and DJ Judd contributed to this report.



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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories – KTVZ

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Sanders and Schumer call on McConnell to hold hearings to fight election conspiracy theories - KTVZ

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York are calling on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to create a new bipartisan committee focused on election integrity and schedule hearings to reassure Americans over a process President Donald Trump has repeatedly sought to undermine.

There is growing anxiety among Democrats, and some Republicans, that Trump will not only continue to sow doubt over the legitimacy of the coming election but throw the subsequent count into chaos by declaring victory before all the votes can be tallied, including the millions that will arrive by mail.

In a letter to McConnell, Sanders and Schumer quote back the Kentucky senator’s own words, in which he attested to the reliability of mail-in voting by citing its successes in Oregon, Washington and Colorado, which have been using the system for years.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the validity of mail-in voting, promoted conspiracy theories questioning election security, called on supporters to act as unsanctioned “poll watchers,” and suggested that the absence of a clear result by the evening of November 3 would in some way cast doubt on the eventual outcome. Key allies in powerful positions, like Attorney General Bill Barr, have followed suit. Barr has persisted in puffing up a debunked claim that ballots received by mail would somehow strip the sender of their privacy — ignoring well-established safeguards.

By escalating the matter now, Sanders and Schumer are responding to growing concern, in partisan and nonpartisan spaces, that Americans are not adequately prepared for the potential of a longer-than-usual wait for results or Trump’s willingness to short-circuit the democratic process if he smells defeat.

“Democrats and Republicans in Congress must come together to ensure that we have a free and fair election where every vote is cast and counted without intimidation,” Sanders told CNN, “where no one has to put his or her health in danger to cast a ballot, and where we have full confidence in the results.”

The proposed hearings would invite a cross-section of election officials from across the country to testify to the security and reliability of mail-in, early- and in-person voting — subjects on which Sanders and Schumer, again, referenced McConnell’s own words.

“Despite the clear security of our vote-by-mail system, some have continued to undermine it with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud,” they wrote. “As you have correctly said, people ‘can vote early, you can vote on Election Day, or you can drop it in the mail,’ and that voters should ‘not worry about your vote not counting.’”

The minority leader and Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, also want more detailed discussion about the fraught hours, or days, after the polls close and a real-time watch of the election horse race potentially swings from one candidate to another.

“We know a number of states may well be counting ballots for a period of time after Election Day, and that those votes may be determinative in this election,” the senators wrote to McConnell. “To avoid disinformation, conspiracy theories, and suspicion about results, we must understand the likely timeline for this process.”

The letter goes on to reference the recent war games-style preparations conducted by a group called the Transition Integrity Project, a bipartisan gathering of operatives and academics that made headlines when some of the outcomes of their exercises — including “both street-level violence and political impasse” — were reported on in late July.

“A bipartisan group of experts and officials have studied multiple scenarios where the outcome of the election was not immediately known. Some of these scenarios resulted in unrest and even violence,” Sanders and Schumer wrote, suggesting the Senate should elevate similar discussions and familiarize the public with the uncertainties ahead. “We would like to hear from the most knowledgeable people in the country as to how we can do everything possible to make sure that the election and the period afterward is secure and peaceful.”

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS official sorry for conspiracy theory video

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HHS supported Caputo, with a statement that called him a critical, integral part of the presidents coronavirus response, leading on public messaging as Americans need public health information to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no immediate statement from the White House.

Attempts to reach Caputo were unsuccessful.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on Azar to fire Caputo, accusing the spokesman of trying to interfere with CDC reports to the medical and scientific community, as well as the public at large. And Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Azar himself to resign, citing interference with the CDC as one example of what he termed the administration’s failures.

Officials at CDC have privately complained of recent efforts by political appointees at main HHS to try to edit or press for changes in the agency’s weekly MMWR publications, a go-to resource for public health professionals.

MMWR articles are technical, but they reveal telling details. One published earlier this year noted that while Trump’s travel restrictions dramatically reduced travel from China in February, nothing was being done at that time to restrict travel from Italy and Europe, where the coronavirus was spreading widely and rapidly. Analysis of virus samples from hard-hit New York in March suggested it was introduced there from Europe and other parts of the U.S., the CDC article reported.

Caputo is an unswerving Trump loyalist. His recent book, The Ukraine Hoax, claims the presidents phony impeachment was rooted in a vast conspiracy.

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS…

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unwinona:This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS...

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My RSS Feedunwinona:

This is exactly what conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers have done with their HIV/AIDS and Polio narrative (among others), only we’re seeing it escalated to weeks and months instead of years or decades.

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