NOAA Fisheries biologist Nick Wegner holds an opah caught during a research survey off the California Coast. (Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Southwest Fisheries Science Center) While conducting research off the coast of California recently, NOAA Fisheries scientists discovered that the opah, or moonfish, is the first fully warm-blooded fish. Capable of circulating…
Unhinged conservatives lash out at Capitol police 'crisis actors' who testified before Jan. 6 commission
Four law enforcement officers who witnessed the violence firsthand at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 are again coming under attack — this time from right-wing media figures hoping to downplay the Donald Trump-inspired insurrection.
On Tuesday, the House Democratic-backed select committee held its first hearing on the January 6 Capitol riot.But rather than defending law enforcement – a natural posture for right-wing media when discussing state-sponsored violence – conservative pundits pounced on the officers, belittling their grievances and outright denying their accounts.
Newsmax host Greg Kelly has largely been at the helm of the online brigade, suggesting that the officers may have been "used" as "pawns" to push a left-wing agenda.
Referring to Capitol Officer Michael Fanone, who personally described his own assault by a horde of rioters, Kelly asked his Twitter followers: "Is it possible FANONE was mistaken for ANTIFA? He often, for media appearances, has worn all Black but no insignia, police patches, rank etc."
Kelly is likely referring to any number of baseless conspiracy theories about who killed Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who was shot and killed for attempting to breach the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives during the insurrection.
Raheem J. Kassam, the former editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London, also took aim at what he saw as the officers being overly emotional, despite them being nearly killed. "Is there really a Capitol Hill Police Officer crying about hurty words live on national television right now?" Kassam tweeted: "Fucking whole world is laughing at this shit."
Kurt Schlichter, a senior columnist for Townhall.com, called out Officer Harry Dunn, who during his testimony called it "disheartening and disappointing" to "live in a country with people … that attack you because of the color of your skin just to hurt you. Those words are weapons."
"You lying sack," Schlichter responded.
Other conservatives, meanwhile, fell back on downright conspiracy.
Julie Kelly, a former political consultant and conservative writer, called Fanone a "crisis actor."
"Crisis actor Fanone just beat on the table and said it's 'disgraceful!' that any elected official denies his narrative of what happened on January 6," Kelly tweeted. "Calls it an 'insurrection.' Blasting GOP lawmakers. Now says this isn't about politics, lol. He has many tattoos."
The first law enforcement officers to provide testimony included Pfc. Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the Capitol Police, as well as Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
Over 550 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot, though thousands of Trump supporters had stormed the Capitol.
Fox News reporter Peter Doocy gets shut down at White House briefing yet again after asking another COVID 'gotcha' question
The same Fox News reporter who on Monday revealed he did not understand some very basic issues surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, forcing the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki to explain it to him, on Tuesday again failed to grasp some very basic issues surrounding the pandemic, again forcing her to again explain the basics to him.
"Why did the President say, 'If you've been fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask? Let me repeat if you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask,' if it was possible that was going to turn out not to be true?" Fox News' Peter Doocy asked on Tuesday, referring to the news CDC today is expected to tighten mask guidance to include vaccinated people in high-transmissible areas of the country.
"Oh, Peter, I think we're all dealing with an evolving virus where there's no playbook and no historic precedent," Psaki replied, being forced to remind him that viruses mutate, and the direction of pandemics change. "And what the American people should feel confident in is that we are going to continue to be guided by science, look at public health data, in order to provide new guidance, if it's needed to save lives, protect the American people. When he made those comments back in May, we were dealing with a very different strain of the virus than we were than we are today. And Delta is more transmissible. It's spreading much more quickly. It was nearly non-existent in the United States back in May."
Psaki went on to note that in May, when the guidance changed to those who are vaccinated do not need to wear a mask, the Delta variant accounted for just 5% of infections. It is now well over 80% of infections.
The Washington Post just reported those "infected with the delta variant appear to carry a viral load that is 1,000 times higher than earlier versions of the virus, they said, and can easily spread it."
Ex-NYPD cop who gouged Capitol officer's eyes during Jan. 6 riot says he was just doing a defensive 'hockey' move
A former NYPD cop charged in the Jan. 6 insurrection says he was merely performing a defensive "hockey type of move" when he allegedly tried to gouge a Capitol police officer's eyes.
The claim by Thomas Webster is one of numerous revelations about his case contained in a new report from the New York Times, which chronicles his descent from a highly respected NYPD officer — once assigned to an intelligence detail protecting Mayor Michael Bloomberg — to the insurrectionist who became known as "#EyeGouger."
"Webster said he was not trying to gouge the officer's eyes, but called grabbing his mask a kind of defensive maneuver: 'a hockey type of move type thing where you don't want to fight somebody,'" the Times reports.
@FBIWFO #EyeGouger is wanted for assaulting a police officer and trying to gouge out his eye. If you know this pers… https://t.co/7XupP38oro— Cleavon MD 💉 (@Cleavon MD 💉) 1611983855.0
Webster's former NYPD colleagues told the Times they were shocked to learn that he committed one of the more violent attacks during the insurrection, after he apparently got swept up online in former president Donald Trump's false claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
"He was not known for voicing political extremes, had no social media presence or ties to extremist groups, and once worked to protect the halls of New York City governance," the Times reports. "Now he had attacked an officer doing essentially the same duty in Washington, charging at a man who, one may imagine, looked to be both enemy and mirrored reflection."
Webster, a former Marine, had retired from NYPD and started a landscaping company, Semper Fi, in Florida, New York. He has a wife and three children, and his neighbors described him as "a cheerful family man with little visible interest in politics." He taught local children how to ride ATVs, and would mow the lawns of sick neighbors without even telling them.
Webster told FBI agents he had never protested before and on the day of the insurrection, he "just went down there just to show support for something." However, prosecutors have pointed out that Webster came to Washington "armed and ready for battle" with body armor, a map of the area, M.R.E.s, and a handgun, the Times reports.
Webster also claimed he was acting in self-defense — saying he had been sucker-punched — when he slammed through a police barricade and attacked a Capitol officer using his Marine flagpole, yelling "Commie" and shouting profanities.
"You wanna attack Americans?" he shouted, challenging the Capitol officers to "take your sh*t (body armor) off."
"In seconds, he and the officer are on the ground, Mr. Webster on top, reaching down for the officer's gas mask," the Times reports. "The officer later told investigators that he was being choked by his own chin strap and could not breathe for 10 seconds."
Webster then quickly disappeared into the crowd, but later looked into another man's camera outside the Capitol and said, "Send more patriots. We need some help."
Following a weeks-long manhunt that played out online, thanks to video and images released by the FBI, Webster turned himself in on Feb. 22. He was initially denied bond and spent four months in jail before being released, following a hearing during which his attorney said the weapon he used — a flagpole — weighs less than a pound, and claimed his client was angry because he had seen the Capitol officer push a woman to the ground earlier.
Webster is now on house arrest pending trial, barred from having firearms or using the Internet. He declined comment when a reporter from the Times knocked on his door.
Watch the full video from Webster's attack on the Capitol officer below.
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