WANTAGE -- A popular diner was defaced over the weekend with anti-Semitic graffiti and authorities are seeking answers. Workers at the Airport Diner reported the vandalism after arriving Sunday morning. Photos of the damage show two exterior walls marked with swastikas, "Heil Hitler," "Kill Jews," and "WPWW," which has come to stand for "White Power World…
The investigator of the infamous Donald Trump dossier, Christopher Steele, sat down with ABC News reporter George Stephanopoulos where he revealed what he knew was true and what wasn't.
"Do you think it hurts your credibility at all that you won't accept the findings of the FBI in this particular case?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"I'm prepared to accept that not everything in the dossier is 100% accurate," Steele said. "I have yet to be convinced that that is one of them."
According to a release from ABC, there were parts of the dossier that he admits aren't true, but one major point is true. According to Steele the salacious "tape" of Trump with prostitutes in a Russian hotel room urinating on a bed once used by former President Barack Obama is real.
"So how do you explain if that tape does indeed exist, why hasn't it been released?" asked Stephanopoulos.
"Well it hasn't needed to be released?" said Steele.
"Because I think the Russians felt they got pretty good value out of Donald Trump when he was president of the U.S.," Steele said.
"While Steele acknowledged that no corroborating evidence has been found for many of his dossier claims, he argued that very little contradictory evidence exists either -- a line of defense that his critics have found problematic," said ABC News.
Whether or not the tape is real might be inconsequential to Trump, because he might believe that the Russians have "something" or anything on him that is compromising. That could motivate his behavior.
In interviews over the past year, former top Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has said that he doesn't believe that the tape exists because he looked extensively for it while working for Trump. He also wrote extensively in his book Disloyal about the Steele claims that it didn't seem impossible, which is why he worked to find it.
"But I do know that the decision to go to The Act in Vegas in 2012 was made by the Agalarovs and the Russian men certainly seemed hugely entertained in a venue that boasted golden showers and fairly bristled with the energy of sex for sale. They were the same men who hosted Trump in Moscow in 2013, so it doesn't seem entirely impossible that the amusements of a golden shower were again part of the Boss's festivities," wrote Cohen.
"Trump's hatred for Obama was on a level that might provoke some sort of perverse and perverted ritualistic humiliation in a hotel suite," the book continued. "Like the Faux-Bama he hired to express his hatred and contempt for Obama in symbolic ways, I can attest that he was entirely capable of being entertained by such an act, even if he is a germaphobe, as he claims to be. However, this claim never occurred, to the best of my knowledge and investigations, and as verified to me by the Boss's longtime head of security and attaché, Keith Schiller."
Steele also said in the interview that it was "a fact" Cohen met with Kremlin officials in Prague ahead of the election, which he thinks was about the tape. Cohen has denied it and the FBI also found in its extensive investigation that Cohen didn't meet with the Russians.
Steele claimed that Cohen would never admit to it because it would be "self-incriminating to a very great degree." The FBI, however, did more than take Cohen's word for it. It was clear that they did their own investigation into Cohen's trip and if there was any wrongdoing, presumably he would have been charged with it.
"I'm pleased to see that my old friend Christopher Steele, also known as Austin Powers, has crawled out of the pub long enough to make up a few more stories," Cohen told Raw Story when asked about the allegations. "I eagerly await his next secret dossier which proves the existence of Bigfoot, the Lochness Monster and that Elvis is still alive. In fact, I hear David Pecker needs a new dirt digger at the National Enquirer."
Steele claimed that he's now speaking out because there were problems he identified in 2016 he said have not only not gone away but have gotten worse.
See the clip of the interview below:
Virginia GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin was forced to ask white supremacist supporter to leave campaign event
A routine campaign stop for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin turned chaotic on Saturday night after the candidate's team was forced to boot a local Republican leader and apparent white nationalist from the event, causing a scene that a spokesperson called "antithetical" to the Republican hopeful's message.
The incident happened just before Youngkin was slated to give a stump speech to a crowd of "Latinos for Youngkin" at a local restaurant, when campaign officials approached a man, named Fredy Burgos, who was wearing both a red pro-Trump hat emblazoned with "Build the Wall" and a pin promoting white nationalist and Unite the Right rally attendee Nicholas Fuentes.
Burgos is a longtime far-right activist and former local Republican party official who made waves during the Trump years with a series of bombastic statements that earned him plenty of enemies in local conservative circles. The Washington Post, reporting on a 2018 drive to oust him from his post on the Fairfax County Republican Party committee, wrote that he was a "verbal bomb-thrower whose attacks against Muslims, immigrants and others have turned off moderates."
He even appeared alongside several of Fuentes' white nationalist followers — known online as Groypers — at a Loudoun County School Board meeting recently, which has become a local flashpoint in the nationwide right-wing campaign to ban anti-racist lessons in public schools.
As Saturday's Youngkin event was getting underway, Burgos, who sported a thick mustache and vintage suit vest for the occasion, made a short-lived walk around the inside of the venue, only to be forced out after Salon inquired about his pin and associations.
Notably, Burgos said he only became a Youngkin supporter recently, after Virginia state Senator-turned-"toxic [Youngkin] surrogate"
(Photo: Zachary Petrizzo/Salon)
Despite Burgos being booted from the event Saturday, he told Salon he remains a steadfast supporter of the candidate and that he hopes to appear at future rallies.
"I'm a supporter of the ticket," Burgos told Salon after being removed from the "Latinos for Youngkin" event. "They are concerned about the [Build the Wall] hat. I think that they have a problem thinking that other people may have a problem with the hat."
(Photo by Zachary Petrizzo/Salon)
Asked about his white nationalist pin, Burgos added, "I support the America First movement."
"I believe that we need to put the interest of the American people and America First on every issue."
In a subsequent statement to Salon, a Youngkin campaign spokesperson said Burgos, who told Salon he has attended numerous other campaign events without incident, espoused beliefs "antithetical" to the candidate's message of unity.
"At today's Latinos for Youngkin event, a Salon reporter informed a staffer of an attendee's pin that associated the attendee with [an] element of the white nationalist movement. The white nationalist movement and those associated with it are entirely antithetical to tonight's event — to celebrate the end of Hispanic Heritage Month and the Latinos for Youngkin efforts — and Glenn's message to unite ALL Virginians, so the attendee was asked to leave," Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter told Salon in a statement. "There will never be room for white nationalism or any form of hatred or bigotry on this campaign."
It's not the first run-in with right-wing extremism for the Youngkin campaign, either: the candidate himself has appeared on former Trump official Sebastian Gorka's radio show. Notably, Gorka found himself in hot water after wearing the pin of a Nazi-linked group to Trump's inaugural ball.
A brutal ad about GOP Virginia Gov candidate Glenn Youngkin’s recent appearance on Seb Gorka’s radio show. https://t.co/TwhL1vGDdB— Zachary Petrizzo (@Zachary Petrizzo) 1634130573.0
Last week Youngkin also found himself the recipient of high praise from the former president himself during an event in which attendees pledged allegiance to an American flag that supposedly flew over a rally that preceded the Jan. 6 insurrection — a bizarre show of support for the rioters who attempted to stop the certification of President Joe Biden's electoral victory over Trump.
Youngkin later tried to distance himself from the gathering, and the former commander-in-chief, by calling the incident "weird."
It's a delicate needle Youngkin is attempting to thread on the campaign trail — appealing to hardcore Trump supporters by embracing election conspiracies and anti-vaccine sentiments, while simultaneously claiming to hold moderate beliefs.
"Here is what Glenn Youngkin has done, which is brilliant. He doesn't go around talking about November 3rd, but here's what he's done," right-wing radio host John Fredricks, the organizer of last week's flag incident, said during a Thursday morning appearance on Bannon's "War Room" podcast.
"Glenn Youngkin has put together the greatest voting integrity infrastructure in the history of Virgina. He's got the RNC behind it; they have lawyers, they have a hotline, they have this whole thing."
"Obviously, Glenn Younkin believes that the election in 2020 got stolen," Fredricks added.
It's these beliefs that Burgos cited as the reason he plans to continue supporting Youngkin despite being booted from the campaign event Saturday. He even said he planned on attending another Youngkin event later that evening in Northern Virginia.
The controversial 2013 Republican candidate for Virginia House of Delegates did say he might have to leave his hat at home from now on.
There's growing chatter that if Republicans can retake control of the House of Representatives in 2022, Donald Trump could bully his way into the speakership.
The once-farfetched nightmare scheme continues to be stoked by the dictator-in-waiting, as evidenced by reporting Saturday from National Public Radio (NPR). But as NPR also notes, Democrats could become energized at the notion of Trump sitting third in line to the Presidency.
"If the Republicans take the House back in the 2022 midterm elections, they get to pick a speaker, and there's no requirement that the speaker has to be an elected representative," NPR reports. "Even if it sounds wild, Trump hasn't shut down the idea when he has been asked about it, and it is causing people in both major parties to stop and think, since he remains the single most important Republican in the U.S. heading into next year's elections."
NPR contacted Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington for comment for its current piece and she hardly slammed the door on the eerie idea.
"We know a lot of people are talking about it," she told NPR. "A lot of people like the idea, but it's nothing Mr. Trump is thinking about,"
The report added: "But Trump was noncommittal when he appeared on Real America's Voice and host David Brody asked, "Is that something that you would seriously even consider?"
"Well, I've heard the talk and it's getting more and more, but it's not something that I would have considered. But it is — certainly, there's a lot of talk about it," the former president said.
"And when asked about the idea by conservative talk show host Wayne Allyn Root, Trump said, "You know, it's very interesting. That's so interesting."
Root responded, ""You become the speaker of the House, lead the impeachment of Biden and start criminal investigations against Biden. You'll wipe them out for his last two years, and then you'll be president. Do it!"
Still, as the report also suggests, that sort of ghoulish prospect might boil the blood of Democrats enough to backfire in a big way. Republicans in safe MAGA districts might love the idea, but those in swing districts certainly do not.
"The idea for some that Donald Trump could become the speaker of the House is almost as frightening as the idea of him becoming president again," said Democratic strategist Karen Finney. "That will potentially advantage Democrats — again, just the fear of it, just the very thought of it.
"Democrats would want to force every Republican House candidate to answer the question: If Trump wants the job, would they vote for him? Saying no would anger their MAGA base but saying yes would risk turning off swing voters who are exhausted with the former president. They'd be stuck, which is appealing to Democrats.
"I think it's totally fair game," said Democratic strategist Doug Thornell. "Look, like Republicans do this to Democrats all the time. To our front-liners, they say, 'Well, would you vote for Nancy Pelosi?' For Republican members, yeah, they should absolutely be on the record on ... would they vote for Trump as speaker."
Such insurrectionists as Steve Bannon and Rep. Matt Gaetz have been teasing audiences for months with the prospect of Speaker Trump. And since the creepy notion didn't vaporize back then -- and now with Trump continuing to welcome the speculation just a year out from the midterms -- it cannot be dismissed out of hand.
As NPR noted Saturday, if the Republicans could retake their majority in the House of Representatives in 2022 there are many reasons that the notion of a Speaker Donald Trump entices them. But none more chilling than this:
"There's the appeal of State of the Union night, when he would get to stand behind Biden, just like the current House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stood behind Trump when he was president. It's a mass media performance opportunity Trump would revel in. And as some of his supporters have suggested, the speakership would be the perfect place for Trump to take political revenge from."
If that prospect doesn't rev up Democrats in 2022, nothing will.
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