While President Joe Biden has only been in office for six months, President Donald Trump is already playing with the idea that he will run again in 2024. He's begun hosting rallies again and promoting his lie that he really won the election, despite agreeing with Sean Hannity "we didn't win" in 2020.
Writing for CNN.com, Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat explained that people like Trump, authoritarian leaders, are focused on one thing: self-preservation.
"They need to cover up their corruption and crime, so they politicize the justice system, surround themselves with loyalists and target people who can expose their wrongdoing," said Ben-Ghiat. "The targeting of journalists, prosecutors and opposition politicians by the Trump administration is consistent with the behind-the-scenes actions of foreign autocrats, as is the clandestine digging into the personal lives of individuals in their inner circle who won't break the law for them."
The idea that Trump got warrants to spy on White House Counsel Don McGahan and his wife, eight national security reporters, members of Congress, their staffs and families, are just business as usual for authoritarian leaders.
"It also makes sense that the Department [of Justice] justified the seizure as related to a 'criminal investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,'" she also wrote. "Using the law as a weapon to harass journalists and turn them into criminals in the public eye is a common autocratic move."
She cited New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau, who warned that Trump's spying has a "chilling effect" on reporters and make sources much more fearful about speaking to them.
"Just ask Russian journalists where the demonization of journalists can lead," wrote Ben-Ghiat. "Two decades of Vladimir Putin's leadership has created a state in which repression enables kleptocracy and you can lose your life by writing about either."
While the United States is far from Russia, every person like Putin began somewhere and it begins with being granted power.
Politico is reporting that Iran state-run news has been taken down, apparently by the United States.
"The U.S. seized roughly three dozen websites, the majority of which are linked to Iranian disinformation efforts, said a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case had not yet been officially announced by the American government," said the report.
Multiple global leaders are working to bring back the 2015 nuclear deal that former President Donald Trump broke with Iran. It's particularly important as the new anti-west leader Ebrahim Raisi was "elected" in what some are calling a "rigged" election.
Raisi has already ruled out the idea of negotiating or even meeting with new U.S. President Joe Biden to address the treaty.
"Iran provides support to militant groups in the region, such as Lebanon's militant Hezbollah and Yemen's Houthi rebels, as it seeks to wield its influence far afield and counter its foes," said Politico.
The report also said that the U.S. also took over domain names of news website Palestine Today "which reflects the view points of Gaza-based Islamic militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, redirecting the site to the same takedown notice."
Jacob Chansley, known as the QAnon Shaman, is employing a different tactic in his defense. Chansley was recently sent to a federal prison in Colorado for a psychological evaluation. While there haven't been any reports about the findings of that, his lawyer has a new argument presented in his defense.
According to court documents, Chansley isn't responsible for his actions on Jan. 6, the whole country is.
"For better or for worse, the images of the Defendant on Jan. 6 have collectively become the de facto service mark for Jan. 6, akin to the Nike Swoosh ... inextricably and in perpetuity linked to an event which will become known not as a day of infamy, but as a day on which our nation was compelled to commence bellying up to the bar to acknowledge each of our roles in permitting, fostering, tolerating, endorsing or ignoring without action an ever increasing barrage of divisiveness, intolerance, untruths, misrepresentations, and mischaracterizations through an unrelenting multi-year propaganda odyssey," said the lawyer.
He's essentially arguing that because of "alternative facts" Chansley was at the Jan. 6 attacks. Becuase of the divisiveness in the United States, he went to the Capitol dressed in war paint and a Viking-looking helmet of sorts.
See a screen capture of the statement below:
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