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Meet some of the anti-Muslim conspiracy theorists shaping Trump’s immigration ban

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A viral video warning of a Muslim plot to take over the world has drawn nearly 2.7 million views — and it was produced by a group with close ties to the Trump administration.

The video, posted in April 2015, stars Ann Corcoran, who became radicalized against Muslims after learning more than a decade ago that some African refugees would be resettling near her rural Maryland home, reported Vox.

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“This process of Muslim colonization is called the hijra,” Corcoran says in the video, using the Arabic word for migration. “Mohammed told his followers to migrate and spread Islam, in order to dominate all the lands of the world … and that’s exactly what they’re doing now.”

She started a blog, Refugee Resettlement Watch, which she used to promote viciously anti-Muslim and racist viewpoints until linking up with Frank Gaffney and his Center for Security Policy — which has helped shape President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

Gaffney appeared at least 34 times on the Breitbart radio program hosted by Steve Bannon, who is now Trump’s chief strategist and the reported author of his executive order banning travelers from some majority-Muslim nation.

According to the New York Times, Gaffney’s work has been cited in speeches by Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor.

Kellyanne Conway, an advisor to Trump, did polling work for the Center for Security Policy, which awarded Sen. Jeff Sessions — the attorney general nominee — its annual “Keeper of the Flame” award last year for his efforts against the “totalitarian threat” posed by radical Islam.

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Gaffney was banned from the Conservative Political Action Committee in 2011, after accusing two board members of secretly aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, and took part in shadow events hosted outside the conference by Breitbart News.

But Gaffney, who has been labeled “one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, was invited back to CPAC two years ago — when he hosted panels featuring anti-Muslim activists Walid Phares and Clare Lopez.

Last year, Gaffney sponsored a CPAC panel featuring English white nationalist Paul Weston and Lars Hedegaard, a Danish anti-Muslim activist.

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Trump has cited a shoddy poll conducted by Gaffney’s group to justify his campaign promise to end Muslim immigration.

Gaffney and Corcoran boast close relationships with several key members of Trump’s administration, including Bannon and CIA director Mike Pompeo — who was the featured speaker at CSP’s annual conference in 2015 and has appeared at least two dozen times on Gaffney’s own radio program.

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They’re also close to a number of congressional Republicans — including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and David Vitter (R-LA) and Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Steve King (R-IA), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL) and Jim Bridenstein (R-OK).

Gaffney and Corcoran — who are part of a broader “counter-jihad” conspiracy movement — have spent years promoting anti-refugee propaganda that has shaped Republican policy and now an executive order that has sparked nationwide protests.

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Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

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Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

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Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

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Florida Republican Matt Gaetz admits Trump’s legal defense was ‘like an 8th grade book report’ — only worse

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) admitted that President Donald Trump's team of lawyers weren't quite the legal eagles that he thinks they might be, said Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio.

Questioned about his take on the way the case is unfolding in the Senate, Gaetz said that the House presented it like it was going to be on "cable news." For many that may be an insult, but it appears to Gaetz that was a compliment.

Desiderio said that Gaetz then lamented that the White House presented their case more like “an 8th-grade book report.”

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