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Arkansas Republican dodges blame for giving adopted daughters to rapist: I’m a victim here

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The Arkansas Republican state representative who “re-homed” his adopted daughters to a man who raped one of them claims that he and his wife are also victims in this situation and that they only did what they did to avoid being charged with abandonment by the state Department of Human Services.

According to David Badash at the New Civil Rights Movement, Rep. Justin Harris of West Fork, Arkansas released a statement Thursday through his attorneys that claimed that he and his wife Marsha are the victims of “a severe injustice.”

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“Rep. and Mrs. Harris have suffered a severe injustice. Due to threats of possible abandonment charges, they were unable to reach out to DHS for help with children who presented a serious risk of harm to other children in their home. Upon the advice of both a psychiatrist and a pediatrician, they were forced to move the children to the home of trusted friends, who had a lot of experience with children with reactive attachment disorder. Rep. and Mrs. Harris are devastated about the outcome of that decision, but faced with no good option, they did the best that they knew how,” said the statement.

In the fall of 2012, Marsha and Justin Harris took in two sisters from the state foster care system. In March of 2013, the couple formally adopted the two girls. Within six months, the Harrises handed the two girls over to Eric and Stacey Francis, without ever consulting the DHS or any other state agency.

Eric Francis raped the elder of the two girls — she was 6 years old at the time — in January of 2014. The Francis family then gave the two girls two a third family, which was where the DHS finally found the children when they attempted to locate them in 2014.

Harris — who is accused of continuing to take state money intended for the girls’ care even after he had given them away — has been avoiding the press, but when KATV News caught up with him outside a committee meeting, he said, “I have a wife and three boys at home, I’ve gotten death threats. The truth is going to come out.”

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The lawmaker agreed to do an interview with the TV station later on Thursday to tell his side of the story, but then didn’t show up. According to KATV, Harris was meeting instead with a PR firm.

The DHS told the Arkansas Times that there are many resources available to families who adopt children who have special needs. Spokeswoman Amy Webb told the Times that DHS “can intervene in a number of ways — do they need respite on the weekends? Does the kid really need some inpatient psych services, or additional therapy?”

Webb explained, “If none of that works, then they can come to us and say, ‘We have exhausted all of our available resources. Please, help us. We cannot take care of this child.’ And we will take that child back into custody if the family has exhausted all available resources, and we will do that without any repercussions for the family.”

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It does not appear that Harris or his wife ever approached DHS about the difficulties they may have had with the two girls, who were placed in foster care after the older girl was sexually abused by a biological relative.

Harris recently made headlines for attempting to cut off access to all government services for anyone who is unable to prove that they are a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant. The legislator and his wife run a Christian pre-kindergarten school called Growing God’s Kingdom Preschool which receives around $900,000 per year from the government to educate the children of undocumented immigrants and prepare them to enter public school.

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Meghan McCain roasts Laura Ingraham for fat-shaming her: ‘I’m on The View — and you’re not’

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Meghan McCain mocked former Fox News colleague Laura Ingraham after the conservative broadcaster shamed her as too fat for television.

"The View" panelists discussed a viral video of "Late Late Show" host James Corden calling out HBO's Bill Maher for shaming overweight people, and McCain discussed her own struggles with weight.

"I want to say if I weren't fat-shamed, I wouldn't have a career," McCain said. "Laura Ingraham said I was too plus-sized to have a career. Shout out, Laura -- I'm on 'The View' and you're not."

The audience cheered her slam on Ingraham, and she said that same dynamic had worked at the start of her tenure on the talk show.

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Meghan McCain gets fact-checked on new Kavanaugh accuser — and asks if Clarence Thomas got impeached

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"The View" host Whoopi Goldberg had to fact-check Meghan McCain's description of a New York Times correction in a bombshell new report about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

The newspaper reported that the FBI failed to interview former Yale classmates about sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh during the confirmation process last fall, and the authors of a new book found a new accuser.

McCain pointed to an editor's note appended to the story that she believes casts doubt on the new reporting, but Goldberg asked her to clean up some of the claims she made.

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The Republican Party is a ‘cult’ that isn’t even letting its own voters have a say anymore: Joe Walsh

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On CNN Monday, former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) blasted the GOP for shutting down state primaries to block him from mounting a challenge to President Donald Trump.

"Look, we can’t be numb to this," said Walsh. "I know it’s difficult because this president seemingly every day attacks our democracy, but we have to be outraged. I always want to pinch myself and remind myself that this isn’t Russia. I do not live in Russia. I refuse to live in Russia. We can’t just cancel elections in this country. That’s what Donald Trump is doing. He’s literally canceling elections, and it’s very easy to be pissed off at Trump, but we’re used to this with Trump. He is a would-be dictator. He would like this to be Russia. I’ve got to tell you, I’m blown away in my disappointment with the Republican Party who is in cahoots with this president, and again, literally eliminating elections."

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