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White House addresses Jade Helm 15 exercise as conspiracy theories grow even wilder

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Scared woman wearing tinfoil hat (Shutterstock)

The White House slapped down rumors that an upcoming multi-state military training exercise would lead to martial law or the violation of constitutional rights.

Conspiracy theorists are warning the two-month Jade Helm 15 exercise planned for seven southwestern states is a prelude to suspension of law or possibly even a foreign invasion, and state and now federal officials have tried to alleviate their concerns.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has asked the commander of the volunteer State Guard to monitor training exercises in the state after fearful residents voiced their concerns to a U.S. Army spokesman this week in Bastrop County.

“I have no idea what he’s thinking,” said Josh Earnest, White House press secretary, of the Republican Abbott’s request. “In no way will the constitutional rights or civil liberties of any American citizen be infringed upon while this exercise is being conducted.”

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, also a Republican, assured residents in his state that Jade Helm 15 is a standard military training exercise after receiving about 25 calls from concerned citizens.

A map shared by the military designates Texas, Utah, and California as “hostile” territories during the training exercise, which will be conducted on private property with consent of the landowner and involve volunteer role players.

The exercise is intended to allow military special operations troops to practice unconventional warfare, officials have said, and the states were chosen due to their topographical resemblance to overseas combat zones.

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A spokeswoman for the Utah governor said the exercise would pose minimal inconvenience to local communities, and military officials have insisted no weapons or property would be seized from anyone.

However, these official assurances have seemed to arouse only more suspicion.

“Would the (county) court be offended if I told the (lieutenant) colonel that I didn’t believe a single word that he just said?” said one participant in the Bastrop County public meeting on the exercise.

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A prepper website claims that an anonymous Texas Ranger reported “trains are moving throughout Texas and some of them have been outfitted with shackles, presumably to ‘transport prisoners of some sort.’”

The website said the claims back other conspiracy theories about “dissident roundups,” and the alleged “law enforcement insider” also suggested that shuttered Walmart stores might be used as staging points for the Department of Homeland Security.

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“We expecting an attack on more than one Texas city or town by ISIS and/or any of their partners,” the anonymous Ranger claims in a letter.

Those partners, apparently, include U.S. Navy SEALs and other American elite forces, according to the website.

“I will support the Feds in their preparation against ISIS,” the alleged Ranger said. “But the moment that this action turns against our locals is the moment I will perform my oath of office. I am not alone in this feeling. None of my brothers trust Homeland. We will have to see where this is going but I have a bad feeling.”

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‘Where is this river?’ Kayleigh McEnany’s press briefing goes haywire as she’s pressed over bizarre Trump rant

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany struggled on Thursday to back up President Donald Trump's claims that several ballots had been found floating in a river.

The trouble started when Fox News Radio reporter Jon Decker asked McEnany to justify some of the president's wild claims being thrown around about mail-in ballots.

"The other day he said, 'They found a lot of ballots in a river,'" Decker began. "Who is they?"

McEnany claimed that the president was referring to reports that a bag of mail in Wisconsin, which included some absentee ballots, had ended up in a ditch.

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WATCH: Kayleigh McEnany rages at Fox News reporter for repeatedly asking the White House to condemn white supremacists

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A Fox News correspondent grilled White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany over President Donald Trump's refusal to disavow white supremacists.

The president demurred when asked to do so during the first presidential debate, and continued to equivocate when pressed again afterward, and White House correspondent John Roberts asked the press secretary to disavow those hate groups.

"I would like to ask you for a definitive and declarative statement without ambiguity or deflection, as the person who speaks for the president, does the president denounce white supremacists?" Roberts asked during Thursday's briefing.

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2020 Election

Trump just revealed his total lunacy to the entire world

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So what was happening while we were distracted by Trump’s debate performance?

First of all, his tax returns, publicized by the New York Times since Sunday, have taken a back seat to his support for the white supremacist gang the Proud Boys and his attacks on a peaceful election.

Second, coronavirus news is not getting the airtime it should. More than a million people around the world have died of Covid-19, including more than 205,000 Americans. Florida is seeing a surge in new cases since Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order allowing restaurants and bars to reopen. The Midwest is also in a surge, with record numbers of new cases in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Kansas. Wisconsin hospitals are nearing capacity and South Dakota has the highest rate of spread in the country. Experts worry about a dramatic rise in cases as cold weather settles in.

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