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On Tuesday, CNN profiled how Donald Trump Jr. has taken on a more prominent role in steering the direction of the Trump wing of the GOP — including the political commentary of his father — in the wake of the 2020 election loss.
"His role extends far beyond operational guidance," reported Gabby Orr. "In the months since Trump left Washington, Trump Jr. — who never worked in the White House and is undeniably the most conservative member of the Trump family — has been steadily influencing his father's political instincts. Aides describe their relationship as notably more affable than Trump's ever was with Kushner, who has taken a break from politics."
One of the key ways Trump Jr. has influenced his father is in the GOP's hard right culture war turn, including a panic against transgender rights that has led to a wave of state legislation excluding transgender athletes from their identified gender division.
According to the report, when Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed a bill outlawing gender-affirming care for children, "A person familiar with the episode said Trump was 'cursing at the television,' and became increasingly frustrated by Hutchinson's rebuttals. Two days later, the ex-President released a statement through his Save America leadership PAC accusing Hutchinson of supporting the 'chemical castration of children.'"
Reportedly, Trump Jr. was the influence behind all this, as "For years, Trump Jr. had made base-pumping statements about various expansions of transgender rights to his right-wing followers on Twitter and Instagram." (Arkansas legislators ultimately overrode Hutchinson's veto.)
"Don has the pulse of the base and knows where the energy of the party is, so he's sort of the go-to person now on a lot of political things," said one aide. Another said, "He was always fighting for the cause big-picture wise, but now Don is taking more of a leading role in shaping the political direction of Trump's post-presidency."
You can read more here.
Reporter catches Marjorie Taylor Greene shamelessly lying about her widely panned 'Anglo-Saxon' caucus
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Tuesday tried to deny she ever supported forming a new "America First" caucus dedicated to promoting "Anglo-Saxon values."
Writing on Twitter, Greene claimed that she never had any intention of competing with the hardline House Freedom Caucus and accused the media of launching a baseless smear campaign against her.
"The media continues to lie about a fake story," she claimed. "They do this all the time to smear people like me and divide the GOP. I am one of the proudest members of the Freedom Caucus! I don't need another caucus."
However, Punchbowl News reporter Jake Sherman notes that Greene communications director Nick Dyer boasted that plans for the America First Caucus were so far along that it would be releasing its own policy platform "soon."
News broke late last week that Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) were creating the caucus to promote a "common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions" and "the progeny of European architecture."
The caucus proposal was widely panned, however, and even some members of the House Freedom Caucus tried to distance themselves from it. Shortly afterward, plans for forming the caucus were officially scraped.
Idaho lawmakers take aim at Ammon Bundy’s goon squads: ‘We shouldn’t have to legislate this behavior’
A bipartisan pair of Idaho lawmakers are co-sponsoring legislation aimed at right-wing activist Ammon Bundy's "intimidation" tactics against elected officials.
State Rep. Greg Chaney (R-Caldwell) signed on as co-sponsor of House Bill 195 to prohibit targeted protests outside a person's home with intent to harass, annoy or alarm, and shortly afterward pitchfork-and-torch-wielding demonstrators hung him in effigy outside his family's home, reported the Idaho Statesman.
"It didn't bother me for my sake, it bothered me to see the unrest in my wife and my kids," Chaney said. "My wife is tough. She always has my back, and I have hers. But it did create a sense of insecurity in our home. It lingered for — it still lingers if you talk to her — but it was palpable for a couple of weeks after."
The Republican legislator backed the bill, which ultimately failed, after Bundy's People's Rights Group picketed outside the homes of police officers and public officials to protest coronavirus safety measures, and the measure also received rare bipartisan support in a House where Republicans enjoy a 58-12 supermajority.
"I went to him and said, 'Listen you had a lot of courage to say what you did out loud,'" said state Rep. Brooke Green (D-Boise).
Green brought the bill forward and sought out Chaney as co-sponsor after the GOP legislator called out Bundy by name after his group gathered outside a police officer's home April 22, 2020, to protest the arrest of a woman who disobeyed a playground closure.
"Go home, Ammon," Chaney says in a video recorded at that time.
The anti-lockdown protests continued throughout the year at the homes of public officials who backed measures to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus, and Green and Chaney decided legislative action was needed.
"Nothing was more resonant than seeing the kids becoming victims in their home because of parents doing their jobs," Green said.
The ACLU and Idaho Freedom Foundation made unlikely allies against the bill, whose opponents called it well-intentioned but overly broad, although supporters say the protests may collide with the state's newly passed stand-your-ground laws."The last thing I want is to add more laws to the book," said Green, who plans to bring back the bill if the residential protests continue. "We shouldn't have to legislate this behavior."
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