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WATCH: Ted Cruz ducks CNN reporter’s question on speaking with pastor who wants to execute gays

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will speak this weekend, along with two other Republican presidential candidates, at a “religious liberties” conference organized by a pastor who wants the death penalty for gays.

The senator appeared Friday morning on CNN, where host Jake Tapper questioned him on taxes and other campaign issues before asking Cruz about the conference and its controversial organizer — virulently anti-LGBT pastor Kevin Swanson, reported Right Wing Watch.

Cruz will be joined at the event in Des Moines, Iowa by fellow GOP candidates Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

“You’ve been very outspoken about what you deem ‘liberal intolerance’ of Christians, but Kevin Swanson has said some very inflammatory things about gays and lesbians,” Tapper said. “He believes Christians should hold up signs at gay weddings, holding up the Leviticus verse instructing the faithful to put gays to death because what they do is an abomination.”

In addition to frequent calls for executing his political enemies, Swanson has also claimed that the Disney movie “Frozen” was a satanic tool for “indoctrinating” young lesbians and recently said Democratic anti-poverty measures had turned “inner-city women” into prostitutes.

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Tapper said he doesn’t hold Cruz responsible for what Swanson has said, but he asked the senator if he believed his appearance at the conference might be endorsing “conservative intolerance.”

“Listen, I don’t know what this gentleman has said and what he hasn’t said,” Cruz said. “I know that when it comes to religious liberty, this is a passion of mine, and it’s been a passion of mine for decades.”

The 44-year-old Cruz said he had fought for religious liberty for all faiths — not just Christians.

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“In the last six and a half years under the Obama administration, we have seen an assault on religious liberty from the federal government,” Cruz said, changing the subject. “You know, a couple of months ago, I hosted a rally for religious liberty in Iowa, with 2,500 people (came) out, it was the single biggest political event in the state of Iowa this year.”

Cruz said the event featured nine “heroes” — including anti-LGBT business owners sued for refusing to serve same-sex couples — who he said “stood up for their religious faith,” and then he directed viewers to his campaign website.

“Many in the media diminish threats on religious liberty, they say they’re not real,” Cruz said. “What I tried to do in that event was withdraw myself, have the focus be on them telling their stories.”

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Watch the video posted online by RWW Blog:


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Former Fox & Friends co-host Clayton Morris flees the US as he faces two dozen lawsuits

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Facing more than two-dozen lawsuits alleging he committed real estate fraud, former "Fox & Friends Weekend" co-host Clayton Morris has reportedly fled the United States, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Morris, who previously resided in a $1.4 million home in New Jersey, moved his family to a coastal resort town in Portugal, the newspaper reported, citing a Facebook post from his wife.

Morris's wife and business partner, former MSNBC anchor Natali Morris, told the IndyStar that she and her husband plan to continue fighting the lawsuits from abroad.

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Trump defenders argued his latest tweets weren’t really racist — but he just completely undercut their arguments

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Donald Trump in coal helmet thumbs up

If you try to defend President Donald Trump, you will always end up having the rug pulled out from underneath you. It's a law of nature.

And yet, so many of the president's allies have failed to learn this simple lesson. So when Trump launched a new attack at progressive Democratic lawmakers that was one of his most obviously racist smears, inevitably, some of his defenders tried to deny the obvious truth.

His screed attacked a group of women who have come to define the left wing of the Democratic caucus, which includes Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Talib (MI), and Ayanna Pressley (MA). Though only Omar is an immigrant (she was a refugee from Somalia as a child), Trump seemed to assume all four women of color weren't born in the United States, and most egregiously, he suggested they should "go back" to other countries:

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Trump is facing massive criticism for his attacks on young women of color in Congress

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US President Donald Trump came under fire from Democrats and even some members of his own Republican Party on Monday after launching an extraordinary xenophobic attack on four progressive Democratic congresswomen.

"All they do is complain," Trump told reporters at a White House event featuring products "Made in America."

"These are people that hate our country," he said of the four lawmakers. "If you're not happy here, you can leave."

Trump also accused the four first-term congresswomen -- who are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African American origin -- of having "love" for US "enemies like Al-Qaeda."

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