Former president Donald Trump has reportedly been bad-mouthing House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy behind closed doors — and suggesting that perhaps someone else would make a better speaker should Republicans recapture a majority in the chamber in 2022.
In an extensive story about McCarthy published Friday, the Washington Post reported that he and Trump have a "hot and cold relationship."
"McCarthy called for Trump to be censured after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by the president's supporters, only to later visit the former president at his Florida resort to solicit his help in next year's campaign," the Post reported. "Trump has complained to allies about McCarthy's support of his censure, and recently told a talk radio host that he planned to push the minority leader to stop financially supporting Republicans who voted for his impeachment."
Trump's aides reportedly told the Post that the former president has been "privately bad-mouthing McCarthy to advisers and entertaining the possibility that someone else might make a better speaker."
"Aides say Trump has learned to be wary of McCarthy's different interests, even as they continue to work together," the Post reports. "Trump, these aides say, has still not forgiven McCarthy for his proposed censure for the Capitol riot."
"He'll never get over that," one Trump adviser said. "It's really their main disagreement."
Two weeks after his warning about former president Donald Trump's "slow-moving coup" went viral, comedian Bill Maher on Friday offered some advice about how Americans can stop it.
"A lot of people hit me up after that editorial and said, 'You know what, you scared the sh*t out of me,'" Maher said on his HBO Real Time program. "Good. Because now the question they're asking is, 'What can we do about this slow-moving coup?' Great question, and here's the answer many will not like: If we want to halt this descent into civil war, we have to stop hating each other."
Maher went on to say that that act of hating people has become "engrained" and "normalized."
"We don't even notice how often someone online is wishing someone dead," he said. "Anyone we disagree with about anything is evil incarnate, and every argument goes form zero to homicide. It doesn't even have to be about anything important or consequential: 'You insulted Gossip Girl? Prepare to die!'"
During his standup act, Maher said, he asks the audience what should happen to people who enabled Trump, and about half the time someone in the audience yells out that they should be killed.
"Besides the fact that wishing people dead is a terrible place for your mind to be, if you're wishing them dead, you can be sure they're wishing you dead," Maher said. "You want a real war, liberals? Really? You think you're going to win the 'I want you dead' war? You're not, you're going to lose. They have way more guns and they know how to use them, and with all due respect, no one can do hate like a right-wing conservative."
Maher said he was recently driven from the airport by a man from Bosnia who was in Sarajevo before it became "a war-torn hellscape." The driver told him, "What I'm seeing here now is exactly what I saw in Bosnia — next-door neighbors who despise each other."
"He was telling me that hate on this level can only be sustained for so long before becoming actual war," said Maher, who also mentioned a recent dispute over an investigation into a warehouse explosion in Beirut that devolved into a street fight with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
"When people despise each other, it doesn't matter what the issues are. When someone hates you, they don't hear what you're saying, let alone want to work with you on an issue," Maher said, noting that Republicans today don't even care about the policy issues they once claimed to — such as a balanced budget.
"They care about that about as much as they care about the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Owning the libs is the only issue," he said, adding that they opposed Obamacare even though it was a good policy because "it came from the people they hated."
"Democrats keep thinking they can win over voters who hate them with better policies," he said. "We're dreaming. Democrats are always asking, 'Why do Republicans vote against their economic interests?' Because they hate you."
"So how do we stop Trump and the coup? Take it down a notch," Maher said. "Can we start with that? Is that really so hard? I know it would be easier if everyone bad would just die, but that's not a plan, and they're not going to. It's up to all of us — left, right and center — to fix this by de-escalating."
He said America's "first assignment" was to "just enjoy" William Shatner's recent trip to space aboard the Blue Origin rocket, rather than complaining about how we need to tax the super-rich or that we still have problems on Earth.
"Not everything has to be political," Maher said. "You want to heal America? Shut the f*ck up for a while."
"Facebook went down for six hours a couple of weeks ago," he concluded. "We need to make that happen more."
Watch it below.
'Do you want to start a fight with Steve Bannon?' Facebook accused of exempting Breitbart from ban on false reports
Facebook reportedly exempted the right-wing site Breitbart and other "select publishers" from rules against spreading false news reports, according to a new whistleblower who filed a complaint against the social-media company with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
The whistleblower, a former member of Facebook's Integrity team, told the Washington Post that Joel Kaplan, a former Bush administration official who led the company's Public Policy team, once defended the decision to "white list" Breitbart.
"When a person in the video conference questioned this policy, Kaplan, the vice president of global policy, responded by saying, 'Do you want to start a fight with Steve Bannon?'" the whistleblower told the Post.
Kaplan, who has long been accused of using his role at Facebook to protect conservative interests, denied the whistleblower's account.
"No matter how many times these same stories are repurposed and re-told, the facts remain the same," Kaplan said in a statement. "I have consistently pushed for fair treatment of all publishers, irrespective of ideological viewpoint, and advised that analytical and methodological rigor is especially important when it comes to algorithmic changes. There has never been a whitelist that exempts publishers, including Breitbart, from Facebook's rules against misinformation."
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