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The road to fill an open U.S. Senate seat in Missouri seems to be taking a sharp right turn through Florida and Donald Trump's bunker at Mar-A-Lago.
Rep. Jason Smith has lined up such loony luminaries as Reps. Lauren Boebert, Ronny Jackson and Lee Zeldin for the host committee of an April 30 fundraiser there. Smith is part of a growing field of Republicans rumored to be joining a primary free-for-all for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated in 2022 by retiring Senator Roy Blunt.
The host committee also includes such well-known GOP names as Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota, former Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia and Governor Mike Parson of Smith's home state of Missouri. In Trumpy Missouri, Smith would be counting on his ongoing loyalty to the Deposed One as a key selling point.
Both the host list and the venue speak volumes about Trump's ongoing ownership of the GOP. Here's how the Missouri Times, a statewide political newspaper, described Smith's prospects:
"Should Smith seek the Senate seat, he is expected to be a good choice to garner Trump's endorsement. He's a staunch ally of the former president and even stood in his corner during a contentious debate held in St. Louis against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. "
And there's this from the News-Leader in Springfield, Mo:
"In recent years, (Smith has) made friends with President Donald Trump and his family as one of Trump's most outspoken supporters, which may come in handy.
"Trump has made clear he plans to play an active role in Republicans' efforts to retake Congress in 2022, and if Smith could score his endorsement, it would be a game-changer in a state Trump won by 15 points last year."
But Smith would be squaring off in a crowded field with others touting their fealty to Trump. More from the Missouri Times:
"Attorney General Eric Schmitt and former Gov. Eric Greitens have already announced their candidacies for the Senate seat — and both Republicans have harped on their ties to Trump. The scandal-ridden Greitens has sought to paint himself as unfairly maligned by Democrats and the media, a comparison to Trump; Schmitt has touted his defense of Trump's agenda as attorney general."
Smith represents Missouri's 8th congressional district, which includes the childhood home of the late Rush Limbaugh. Trump carried the district by a stout 54.4 % margin in 2016, by far his largest spread in Missouri and 12th among all House districts in the nation, according to FiveThirtyEight.
"Mass shootings are illegal," she wrote without further comment.
Baffled as to what point Boebert was trying to make, her critics chimed in on the comment thread beneath her tweet.
@laurenboebert why yes they are. and the person with the gun also had it legally. so what are you going to do about… https://t.co/ZLk3dgJAus— pollyanna thibodeau (@pollyanna thibodeau)1618584923.0
@laurenboebert No shit Sherlock?! Too bad there's such easy access to things that can cause mass shootings and ju… https://t.co/25YBUmmCXO— Ferris Bueller (@Ferris Bueller)1618584423.0
@laurenboebert Just figuring that out are ya? Did all of you work on that one or did ya think of it yourself...what… https://t.co/tRCjoEMLdR— Steve (@Steve)1618584573.0
@laurenboebert That's it, that's all you got? Mass shootings are done by the people you call "law-abiding gun owners." UNTIL THEY ARE NOT.— "International Strategery" (Ret.) (@"International Strategery" (Ret.))1618584468.0
@laurenboebert Good, Lauren! And what do we need to do about it? Take your time, sound it out...— Especially Mad Scientist (@Especially Mad Scientist)1618584458.0
@laurenboebert As always you have no solutions for anything. Just. Welllll it is what it is. Sorry that ain’t fucki… https://t.co/KJfs2fhacc— M.P.F🏴☠️ (@M.P.F🏴☠️)1618584426.0
@laurenboebert Gun owners need at start taking responsibility. Y’all can’t handle it.— Kimbra BC (@Kimbra BC)1618584403.0
@laurenboebert So is storming the capitol, but here we are— name cannot be blank (@name cannot be blank)1618584641.0
@laurenboebert They’re being committed by people who purchased their weapons legally, though.— PoliticalAF (@PoliticalAF)1618584447.0
@laurenboebert Too bad there was no way to prevent this.— Clay Moore (@Clay Moore)1618584531.0
@laurenboebert You felt you needed to Tweet this?— Lauren Phillips 💉⛰🌬💨 (@Lauren Phillips 💉⛰🌬💨)1618584909.0
@laurenboebert You should be illegal.... the blood is in your hands Lauren...I haven’t seen the open carry folks st… https://t.co/gbOmRwnDVE— Rodney White (@Rodney White)1618586618.0
@laurenboebert How are your gun rights going Lauren? Still need your semi automatics to "protect" you?— Just Some CoverUps Random (@Just Some CoverUps Random)1618584809.0
@laurenboebert Mah guns !! Mah freedums!! 2nd Amendment!! China!! Big tech !! Immigrants!! Wall!! Send money— Unstable_Genius (@Unstable_Genius)1618585650.0
@laurenboebert Wow, feel the warmth, empathy for victims, and Christian concern for the community. You're a disgrac… https://t.co/uFK11OZ6iG— Matt Keleher WØMDK (@Matt Keleher WØMDK)1618586091.0
@laurenboebert This is Lauren’s equivalent to “I can see Russia from my house.”— J Laserstein, Esq. 🔯🌊🚀🛰⚖️📜 (@J Laserstein, Esq. 🔯🌊🚀🛰⚖️📜)1618584690.0
A self-described founding member of the Oath Keepers militia is getting ready to plead guilty for his role in the January 6th Capitol riots -- and then very likely cooperate in cases against his fellow rioters.
The Washington Post reports that longtime Oath Keeper Jon Ryan Schaffer has agreed to plead guilty and work with prosecutors against others implicated in the January 6th riots that left five people dead.
Schaffer, who prior to joining the Oath Keepers was best known as a heavy metal guitarist, will be the first defendant arrested as part of the January 6th insurrection to flip on his fellow rioters.
As part of the deal, Schaffer will plead guilty to two of the six charges leveled against him by prosecutors: Obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds armed with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
According to Politico, Schaffer "was seen on camera deploying chemical spray at officers" during the January 6th riots.
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