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Male Texas lawmakers nearly fistfight on House floor after GOP women defect from anti-abortion bill

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An abortion battle in the Texas legislature nearly turned into a fistfight on Sunday night after several Republican women changed their mind about a bill that would ban health insurance from covering abortions.

According to the Houston Chronicle, House sergeants had to stop Republican state Rep. Jonathan Stickland from attacking Rep. Byron Cook (R) after Senate Bill 575 did not make it to the House floor as he expected.

Cook had reportedly promised to move SB 575 out of the State Affairs Committee to the Calendars Committee if Stickland agreed to drop an amendment that would have banned abortions based on fetal abnormalities.

Although Cook kept his word, three Republican women on the Calendars Committee — Reps. Sarah Davis, Debbie Riddle and Patricia Harless — backed out of supporting the bill at the last minute and sided with the Democrats, killing the measure with a 7-7 vote.

At around 9:30 p.m., an enraged Stickland got in Cook’s face on the House floor. After a brief yelling match and nearly coming to blows, House sergeants got in between the two to prevent the scuffle from continuing, The Texas Tribune reported.

Cook later told reporters that he never promised that the bill would pass the Calendars Committee.

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“My commitment was to get the bill out [of State Affairs], to get it to Calendars,” Cook said. “I did everything I could do. What I can’t do is interfere with other members’ free will to vote their conscience. Everybody should be able to do that. And women sent a clear message that they weren’t comfortable with this legislation, probably weren’t comfortable with us men telling them what to do. And I respect that.”

But in the end, Stickland’s temper tantrum worked.

The Calendars Committee reconvened after the House session and voted to move SB575 forward by a vote of 8-0. Two Republicans and all of the Democrats were marked as absent. Republican Rep. Debbie Riddle swung her vote in support of the bill, but it was not immediately clear why she had changed her mind.

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Alex Jones accused of sending child pornography to lawyers representing Sandy Hook victims

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Attorneys representing victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre who are suing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for defamation have accused the InfoWars host of sending them files containing child pornography.

The Connecticut Post reports that court documents filed on Monday show that the law firm representing the Sandy Hook victims claims that it discovered several inappropriate images involving children in a large stash of electronic files that Jones had been ordered to turn over.

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‘Art of the Deal’ ghostwriter Tony Schwartz: ‘I can’t say I’ve ever seen Trump running more scared’

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The ghostwriter for Donald Trump's "Art of the Deal" book observed on Monday that the president is "running more scared" than he has ever seen.

Tony Schwartz made the observation in a tweet that came after days of angry presidential tweets and interviews.

"I can't say I've ever seen Trump running more scared," Schwartz wrote. "The more worried he feels, the more lies he tells."

I can't say I've ever seen Trump running more scared. The more worried he feels, the more lies he tells.

— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) June 17, 2019

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Duncan Hunter threw his wife under the bus — but now it appears she’s cooperating with prosecutors

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Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) may be in serious trouble if his wife's guilty plea is any indication.

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver began his Sunday show with a short segment about Hunter throwing his wife under the bus during an interview. Now, however, his wife is pleading guilty. It made Oliver chuckle because a guilty plea typically means the defendant is cooperating with prosecutors.

RollCall cited the plea agreement, which instructs Mrs. Hunter to "make a good faith effort to provide substantial assistance to the United States in the investigation and prosecution of others."

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