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Ohio county GOP chair doubles down on Facebook post calling wildfires ‘God’s punishment to liberal California’

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David Johnson, chairman of the Columbiana County Republican Party in Ohio, came under fire on Monday after he said that the deadly wildfires in California are “God’s punishment” to liberals.

Johnson posted an image of the fires on Facebook with text that read: “God’s Punishment to Liberal California.”

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“Hell on Earth: brought to you by the Liberals in California!” another image said.

David Johnson’s Facebook post blames liberals for California wildfires (screen grab)

Democrats responded with outrage, according to WFMJ.

“As we pray for our fellow Americans who have lost everything including their loved ones, this is the disgusting response to the climate-change denying leader of the Columbiana County GOP,” one reply to Johnson said.

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Johnson eventually removed the messages from his Facebook page, but Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras called for the GOP chair to resign.

“Hundreds of firefighters, other First Responders, and volunteers put their lives at risk in an attempt to rescue victims,” Betras wrote. “I’ve been asking myself why anyone would politicize or make light of this very real human tragedy.”

In a statement to WFMJ, Johnson defended the messages he posted on Facebook.

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“California has been overtaken by liberals who have taxed and over-regulated the state,” Johnson opined. “There are changes that could have been made which would have helped prevent the deadly fires had there been proper management of forests, but the timber industry is not allowed. The firefighters and people’s lives should never have been put in jeopardy. They did not have to die and people did not have to lose their lives, homes, and everything they own.”

“The point of the meme is that the people and firefighters lives could have been spared if not for the liberal policies in California,” he added. “The point of the meme is being exploited by Mahoning Democratic Party Chairman David Betras to cover his miserable performance in the last election and if anyone should resign Betras should resign.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump’s economic ‘brain trust’ ridiculed as America braces for a trade war recession: report

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President Donald Trump appears unprepared to deal with a potential recession, the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Facing a trade war against China that has shaken the global economy, President Donald Trump gathered his most trusted economic aides in the Oval Office," the AP reported. "The assembled brain trust for Friday’s urgent consultations included an economics chief best known for his stint as a cable TV commentator; a trade adviser whose pro-tariff views are outside the economic mainstream; and a treasury secretary (joining by phone on his way back from vacation) who made millions off the housing crisis and then turned to financing Hollywood movies."

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ICE and Homeland Security busted pushing right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Multiple federal departments have been pushing far-right propaganda to federal employees.

"An arm of the Justice Department regularly sent summaries and links to articles from an online white nationalist publication over the last year, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. In addition, similar newsletters sent to the Labor Department, ICE, HUD and the Department of Homeland Security, included links and content from hyperpartisan and conspiracy-oriented publishers," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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Trump claimed North Korea missile testing ‘would stop’ — but they just launched again: report

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The upcoming G7 summit meeting in Bairritz, France will have one more issue to grapple with after North Korea reportedly conducted missile tests.

"South Korea's military confirms that North Korea has launched a projectile this morning. From South Hamgyong Province. Japan's government reported it first," Voice of America Seoul bureau chief William Gallo Tweeted Friday.

"North Korea has now conducted nine rounds of launches since early May. But this one's notable because it comes after Trump says Kim promised "this testing would stop when the exercises end." They did end Tuesday. And yet..." he noted.

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