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Republican former congressman downplays his Jan. 6 revelations in new book after committee members get mad
The Washington Post reported over the weekend that staff and officials on the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress were not happy with former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), who was working on the committee as a staffer until April 2022.
While officials like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren have indicated that they followed up on everything Riggleman said and that there was not a lot of news in his book, behind the scenes it was another matter. According to former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), members are "furious" with Riggleman.
Appearing on MSNBC Monday evening, Riggleman appeared to downplay the revelations that he included in the book, which will be released publicly on Tuesday. Sunday evening, his interview with "60 Minutes" showed him giving details about the link between phone calls of insurrectionists and militias directly to the White House and officials.
"I did not betray their trust. I was gonna write a book beforehand, back in 2021, I said that," Riggleman said. "The thing is, I don't make this about, you know, some kind of beef about the committee, because obviously, they did not read the book yet. It's a really — what it comes down to. It's a little surprising that things some individuals say, that don't think I've done a fantastic job, and it was a little interesting to see them say some of those things."
While Riggleman said that there is information about the committee's revelations in the book, it's all things that have been public. He said that he simply tries to digest the findings in a way for everyday people.
The main portion of the book is about his experience being a pariah of the GOP after performing a gay wedding for two staffers. He explained that not only did he become a target, but "people [were] messing with my vehicle when my daughter [was] driving it, which was actually a threat of my life."
"And I have someone come to my place, after marrying my two staffers, and scream, you are the general of the sodomite. I was called the antichrist. My wife was called this spawn of satan."
That is the main point of the book outside of the Jan. 6 piece.
See a clip of the interview below or at the link here:
GOP former congressman downplays his Jan. 6 revelations in new book after committee members get mad www.youtube.com
On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that a communications official for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) appears to have scrubbed old tweets attacking the far-right One America News Network (OAN) — just days after the head of the network cut a $20,000 campaign donation to DeSantis' political action committee.
"DeSantis’ deputy spokesperson Jeremy Redfern — an outspoken Twitter presence — has a history of relentlessly trashing the MAGA cable outlet, especially after the Capitol insurrection," reported Justin Baragona. "'OAN. The most trusted leader in Fake News,' Redfern posted on Jan. 6, 2021, reacting to a Twitter user sharing an One America News graphic claiming Trump won in a landslide. 'This is an OAN reporter. She is delusional,' he tweeted two weeks later in response to then-OAN host Christina Bobb’s claim that 'Biden will never be president.' (Bobb eventually ditched OAN to work for Trump.)"
"The former Florida Department of Health spokesperson joined the DeSantis team this year after infamous troll Christina Pushaw left to join the governor’s campaign," said the report. "In typical DeSantis World fashion, Redfern wrote to Confider: 'You’re right. I was wrong - the Daily Beast is actually the head of the Fake News Brigade. I won’t make that mistake again.' The DeSantis flack then quietly proceeded to delete each of these tweets, plus one from 2020 that previously eluded Confider: 'OAN. (Something that starts with an O) qAnon Network? Help me out here.'"
The report that OAN founder Robert Herring contributed $20,000 to DeSantis' PAC — an apparent hedge of bets as Republicans wait for former President Donald Trump to officially declare his candidacy for 2024 — was reported last week.
OAN was one of the key outlets putting out disinformation about the 2020 election being stolen. It is one of several networks and individuals, including Fox News and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who face lawsuits from election equipment firms for defamation.
In recent months, OAN has faced more setbacks, with AT&T and Verizon both dropping the network from its cable services.
Though former President Donald Trump has not officially declared his candidacy for 2024 yet, it is widely expected he will run to reclaim his old office. One problem he may have to face in the process is challengers for the nomination, and he appears to be aware of this — New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman revealed that Trump is privately blasting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, thought to have presidential ambitions, as "fat" and "whiny."
"Trump wants to box people out, for them to see him as so dominant that there’s no point in entering the race. He wants, in essence, for the 2024 primary to unfold the way the 2020 one did: a clear field that allowed him to glide toward the general election," wrote Bump. "Our poll indicates that this is not the path forward for Trump. Instead, head-to-head primary polling — the utility of which at this point is functionally equivalent to asking your cat what it thinks — has Trump leading the field but south of 50 percent of support."
"The grip that Trump has maintained on the GOP in the past six years obscures how loose it was back in 2016," wrote Bump. "People are very cognizant that he was elected that year with less than 50 percent of the vote; he famously got fewer raw votes than did Hillary Clinton in the November general election. But less remembered is that he also got less than 50 percent of the vote in the primaries, becoming the first elected president to get less than 50 percent of the vote in each contest in the modern presidential primary era."
The upshot of this, wrote Bump, is that Trump's best strategy is to bring on a bunch of challengers, have them split the anti-Trump vote, and cruise to victory with a plurality.
"Trump sitting at 50 percent support as 2024 slowly nears isn’t necessarily bad ... if no other candidate gets a majority of the vote," wrote Bump. "That he has a robust, energetic base that makes up less than half of the electorate is more helpful in a crowded field than a narrow one ... What our poll suggests, then, is that if he wants to run again, Trump should encourage as many people to run as possible. Keep a big field and leverage that energetic base that others are unlikely to be able to match. He can win in 2024 the way he won in 2016: by the skin of his teeth."