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New Mexico school shooter was radicalized on white supremacist pro-Trump websites

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William “Bill” Edward Atchison, the 21-year-old who shot and killed two students and himself last Thursday at Aztec High School in Aztec, New Mexico, was a secret white supremacist, spending time on websites like The Daily Stormer and spreading pro-Trump memes across the internet, the Daily Beast reports.

Atchison frequented alt-right websites and forums, sometimes posting under names like “Adam Lanza” and “Future Mass Shooter,” often writing messages that glorified school shootings.

In 2016, Atchison posted a comment online asking where he can buy “a cheap assault rifle”—prompting a visit from the FBI. Albuquerque FBI Special Agent Terry Wade said he was “cooperative” and “enjoyed trolling on the internet.”

Online, Atchison laughed off the visit. “I was part of the trolling and lulz…” he wrote on his YouTube channel. “The feds investigated me cus some fag reported my profile to troll me… they said they didn’t think I was a serious threat and understood the satire…”

But despite landing on the FBI’s radar, Atchison’s rhetoric escalated; according to posts, he was frustrated with his life in rural New Mexico and bleak career prospects. He blamed his situation, at least in part, on “degeneracy” spurred on by “hedonism, sexual decay, dirty n**gers.”

“How am I supposed to function in this world?” Atchison wrote online in November. “Wherever I go, I see degeneracy. Pointless materialism, hedonism, sexual decay, dirty n**gers who do nothing but slowly break down this society etc. it’s fucking everywhere. No way to escape it, 99% of people are part of it and whatever I do I am confronted with the death of the West. Go to the store and buy groceries in peace? Nope, here’s a group of LGBT liberal filth in line with you. And there’s a n**ger family with 10 kids over there. And a Finn too, but he’s overweight as fuck and he’s buying alcohol and shit junk food. F*cking fantastic.”

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“I used to think that this was a phase and we’d get over it, but I have now come to realize that I was born into a literal dystopia,” he added.

On the website EncyclopediaDramatica, where Atchison was maligned for posting “pro-Columbine shooting memes and ‘shitty facebook commentaries’ praising Donald Trump” too frequently, users asked Atchison about his fixation on school shooting.

“I remember [Atchison] literally bragging about being obsessed with Columbine. In 2016,” one user wrote.

He also appeared to crave the notoriety of mass shootings. “Suicides are ignored,” Atchison wrote last year. “Suicidal people who commit mass murder, however, get the entire world’s attention, garner thousands of fans / fangirls, become a household name and become celebrities.

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Ryan Lenz of the Southern Poverty Law Center told the Daily Beast Atchison’s escalating rhetoric followed a pattern typical of white supremacists.

“What we’ve found with these ideologies is that they repeatedly lead to violence. There’s a dual line of radicalization happening,” Lenz said. “To steep yourself in Daily Stormer rhetoric and the sites like it is to put yourself in the headspace of where the violence is when not if.”

A YouTuber known as “Smith,” who considered Atchison a friend, disputes the claim he was a white supremacist, insisting their racist rhetoric was “mostly satire.”

“[Atchison] wasn’t alt-right. He wasn’t a neo-Nazi,” Smith told the Daily Beast. “Bill hated both sides… His emotions mixed with his politics.

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“He was edgy, he was offensive, and he was shocking. He said a lot out of pure shock, but I didn’t think he’d be so moronic enough to do what he did,” he added.

(Note: An employee of Raw Story was involved in legal action against some of the online groups associated with William Atchison.)

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‘This is ridiculous’: ex-prosecutor rips Democrats for not even swearing-in Hope Hicks before her testimony

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The House Judiciary Committee failed in how they went about interviewing Hope Hicks, the longtime Trump advisor who rose to White House communications director.

On Thursday, the committee released a 273-page transcript of Hicks testimony behind closed doors.

For analysis, MSNBC "Hardball" anchor Chris Matthews interviewed former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne.

Lawyers representing Hicks repeatedly objected to her answer questions.

"What is this thing, this word objection? This is loaded, all this wasted paper, a lot of this paper simply has the word objection on it," Matthews said, holding up a 271-page printout of Hicks' transcript.

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Hope Hicks told Congress that Trump has cut her out of his life — he virtually never calls her anymore

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Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was broadly considered to be one of President Donald Trump's favorite staffers.

But when she left the administration in 2018, the president virtually cut off ties to her, and has only spoken with her five times since then, according to the transcript of the closed-door hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday:

In her interview, Hope Hicks says she has only spoken to Trump between five and ten times since she left the White House in February 2018. (He used to call that much in a day.) They last spoke in April, when they had dinner. Our story from yesterday:https://t.co/3gzVY21c3z pic.twitter.com/VMZqhnbgib

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Elections regulator warns foreign intrusion into US campaigns is already happening

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In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Federal Elections Commission is warning that there is already foreign intrusion in the U.S. campaigns.

FEC chair Ellen L. Weintraub was forced to issue a statement after President Donald Trump said that he wasn't sure what he would do if a foreign government approached him with "dirt" on his political opponent. He said that he "might" tell the FBI but would likely hear what they had to say. He said that it wasn't illegal, but Weintraub issued a statement reiterating that it is illegal.

"I am particularly concerned about the risk of illicit funds and foreign support influencing our political system. Foreign dark money represents a significant vulnerability for American democracy. We do not know the extent to which our political campaigns receive foreign dark money, but we do know that the political money can be weaponized by well-funded hostile powers," the letter warned.

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