On CNN Friday, reporter Drew Griffin, who put together the upcoming special "Assault on Democracy: The Roots of Trump's Insurrection," opened up about some of what he learned by speaking with Capitol rioters.
"The participants almost universally had a delusional view that nothing serious happened that day, and those facing very serious charges are failing to grasp the seriousness that they themselves are in," said Griffin. "Their relatives describe something far different, describing their own loved ones as being radicalized by this cult of lies around a president."
As an example, Griffin showed part of his discussion with Donovan Crowl, a retired Marine and member of the far-right paramilitary group the Oath Keepers, who is facing multiple charges stemming from his invasion of the Capitol — but who doesn't view it as a serious situation. "I was hanging out with some of the wrong people it seems like, but I didn't really do anything, so I feel pretty good that my case is going to come out and show that."
This stood in sharp contrast with what Crowl's mother told Griffin.
"I love the person that he used to be, but I despise the person that he is now," she said. "He's not my son, and I still have a hard time believing that he did what he did. If he gets 20 years in prison, he'll be 70 years old before he gets out of there. Trump doesn't care about any of those people that stormed the Capitol for him. He doesn't care one iota about them. Hasn't even mentioned them since he's been out of White House."
Drew Griffin says Capitol rioters are in denial about their legal situation www.youtube.com
'I dare you to deny me communion': Dems rip bishops for move to punish Biden by 'weaponizing' eucharist
They were warned.
Before their three-day meeting that culminated Friday with a vote to move toward denying America's second Catholic President, Joe Biden, communion over his stance of supporting a woman's right to choose an abortion, the Vatican told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to not politicize communion or other sacraments.
They did it anyway, and now powerful Democrats – and many others – are furious.
"Next time I go to Church, I dare you to deny me Communion," U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, a Democrat of California, and a Catholic, with a massive 1.6 million followers on Twitter, threatened the Bishops.
His comments were in response to Friday's news of the USCCB's politically-motivated decision, and in response to SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile, who asked if other Catholics will be denied communion over their "sins." Signorile pointed to Newt Gingrich, whose history includes adultery, divorce, and re-marriage. Gingrich's wife was President Donald Trump's Ambassador to the Vatican.
Dear @USCCB: I’m Catholic and I support: -Contraception -A woman’s right to choose -Treatments for infertility -Th… https://t.co/37eQd5gTS6— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu) 1624046169.0
Another California Democrat, Rep. Jared Huffman, suggested the church should lose its tax-exempt status.
If they're going to politically weaponize religion by "rebuking" Democrats who support women's reproductive choice,… https://t.co/GiiffF9MCt— Rep. Jared Huffman (@Rep. Jared Huffman) 1624043836.0
Lieu and Huffman were far from the only Democratic lawmakers to speak out against the USCCB's move toward denying communion to politicians who support abortion rights.
"We believe the separation of church and state allows for our faith to inform our public duties and best serve our constituents," 60 House Democrats said in a three-page "Statement of Principles" letter released Friday afternoon.
"The Sacrament of Holy Communion is central to the life of practicing Catholics, and the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of abortion is contradictory."
And they carefully noted the hypocrisy of the Bishops, who have never even suggested denying communion to Republican lawmakers who support the death penalty or engage if the separation of families at the border and caging of children.
"No elected officials have been threatened with being denied the Eucharist as they support and have supported policies contrary to the Church teachings, including supporting the death penalty, separating migrant children from their parents, denying asylum to those seeking safety in the United States, and denying rights and dignity to immigrants."
Some other prominent House Democrats who signed on to the letter include Cheri Bustos, Joaquin Castro, Gerry Connolly, Rosa DeLauro, Debbie Dingell, Ruben Gallego, Marie Newman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Jackie Speier.
President Joe Biden continues to undo actions taken during the Trump adminisration.
"The Biden administration is sharply reducing the number of U.S. antimissile systems in the Middle East in a major realignment of its military footprint there as it focuses the armed services on challenges from China and Russia," The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing administration officials. "The Pentagon is pulling approximately eight Patriot antimissile batteries from countries including Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, according to officials. Another antimissile system known as a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad system, is being withdrawn from Saudi Arabia, and jet fighter squadrons assigned to the region are being reduced, those officials said."
"The latest reductions, which haven't been previously reported, began earlier this month, following a June 2 call in which Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin informed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the changes, officials said. Most of the military hardware being removed is coming from Saudi Arabia, officials said," the newspaper reported. "The decision to remove some of the defensive systems reflects a Pentagon view that the risk of escalating hostilities between the U.S. and Iran has diminished as the Biden administration pursues nuclear talks with Tehran and has signaled its intention to ease sanctions if the 2015 nuclear deal is restored."
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