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Baltimore woman’s ‘relentlessly gay’ fundraiser revealed as apparent hoax

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Online sleuths have poked holes in a Baltimore woman’s claims about homophobic complaints over her “relentlessly gay” yard that helped her gather $43,000 in donations.

Julie Baker set up a GoFundMe campaign after reporting that a neighbor left a note threatening to call police over a multicolored display in her yard – and she asked donors for $5,000 to make it “even more ‘relentlessly gay,’” borrowing a phrase from the note.

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“Your yard is becoming Relentlessly Gay!” the note read. “Myself and Others in the neighborhood ask that you Tone it Down. This is a Christian area and there are Children. Keep it up and I will be forced to call the police on You! Your kind need to have Respect for GOD.”

Her story went viral, but questions soon arose over the 47-year-old widow’s claims.

Social media users noted that the anonymous note used the same idiosyncratic capitalization pattern as Baker’s social media posts, and she has been unable or unwilling to authenticate her claims.

The rumor-debunking Snopes website contacted Baker seeking more information to verify her claims, and she assured the writers that police believed her story was legitimate.

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She also asked the writers not to harass police investigating her claims and cautioned them against “treating a victim like a sideshow attraction” because it was “cruel and dangerous and feeds sociopaths.”

Snopes contacted a police detective at Baker’s local precinct, and the investigator said the woman had been unwilling or unable to produce the threatening letter.

The detective said Baker told police that she no longer had the letter, and he said the woman declined offers to meet in person to discuss the case.

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Baker disabled the fundraising campaign June 22, six days after initiating it.

She thanked donors and assured them she would not withdraw any money until she could authenticate the letter.

“Please carry on with flooding the world with rainbows and joy, be relentlessly generous, be relentlessly compassionate, be relentlessly vibrant and stay relentlessly gay,” Baker said.

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Trump officials are worried the president is trying to find a ‘scapegoat’: report

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Congress and the Southern District of New York are not the only people investigating President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine, the White House has launched an inquiry of their own, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

"President Trump has for weeks sought to unmask the whistle-blower who shed light on his Ukraine dealings. But instead aides have fixated on one another: Advisers began a fact-finding review that some fear is a hunt for a scapegoat, according to White House aides and other people familiar with it," the newspaper reported. "They are seeking to understand White House officials’ actions around Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, which is central to the whistle-blower’s allegation that Mr. Trump abused his power."

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Giuliani ‘undermined 28 years of US efforts to try to promote the rule of law in Ukraine’: Pompeo deputy

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President Donald Trump may have instructed his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to conduct foreign policy on his behalf, but State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent said that Giuliani made things worse.

According to Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Kent testified behind closed doors that Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine "undermined 28 years of US efforts to try to promote the rule of law in Ukraine."

During a May meeting organized by Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, State Department officials and other White House advisers were told that three people would be responsible for Ukraine policy, Kent testified.

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Trump’s high crimes: Why impeachment fever is catching on — and could stop a historically destructive president

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Recently a friend who follows the news a bit less obsessively than I do said, “I thought George W. Bush was bad, but it seems like Donald Trump is even worse. What do you think?”

“Well,” I replied, “in terms of causing death and destruction, I suspect Bush still has the edge.” In fact, the U.S.-led forever wars begun under the Bush administration have killed hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan (almost half a million by one respected estimate). And those are only directly caused, violent deaths. Several times that many have reportedly died from hunger, illness, and infrastructure collapse.

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