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GOP congressman met with author who claims black people have ‘violence gene’ — to discuss DNA

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Two Republican congressmen met with a far-right author who once claimed black people have a “violence gene” — and claimed they did so to discuss DNA.

NBC News reported Thursday that Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Andy Harris (R-MD), who were on Wednesday photographed walking through the House of Representatives with far-right activist Chuck Johnson, claimed they were doing so to talk about the “increasing the number of sequenced genomes for research.”

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Johnson, Roe’s statement read, represents a company that does work with DNA research — though neither congressmen could identify the company when asked.

Immediately after HuffPost’s Matt Fuller posted the photo that showed a man later confirmed as Johnson walking with Roe and Harris, reports about the far-right activist’s racist views began to resurface.

In an interview with shock jock Joe Rogan from 2015, Johnson — who, like many white nationalists, has an obsession with the genetics of minorities — claimed that black people are genetically predisposed towards violence.

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“Blacks have the MAOA gene that whites and Asians don’t have,” he told Rogan, “therefore blacks have a proclivity towards violence.”

As HuffPost noted in its report on Johnson’s meeting with the congressmen, he has a history of making white supremacist comments and actions that include Holocaust denial and the creation of a website used to crowdfund money for neo-Nazis and other racists barred from normal platforms.

After the meeting — which took place days after the House passed a resolution denouncing white supremacy in the aftermath of Rep. Steve King (R-IA) appearing to embrace it — Reps. Harris and Roe issued statements distancing themselves from Johnson, NBC noted.

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“Of course I disavow and condemn white supremacy and anti-semitism,” Harris said, claiming he was “unaware” of the activist’s past statements.

A spokesperson for Roe told NBC News that Johnson’s statements were “abhorrent” and that his racist views didn’t come up during their conversation, which the representative claimed lasted only 10 minutes.

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2020 Election

GOP ridiculed for hyping Ohio anti-impeachment protest — and only a handful of Trump supporters showed

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The official Twitter of account of the Republican National Committee was buried in mockery after hyping up a video of anti-impeachment protesters in Youngstown, Ohio, where it appears only a handful of people showed up.

According to the tweet, "Ohioans are sick and tired of the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It’s time to STOP THE MADNESS!"

However, in the video from WKBN, which can be seen below, few people chose to show up for the cameras.

As one commenter noted with tongue-in-cheek, "Thought Ohio had a few more people than that."

That was the general consensus in the comments.

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Melania Trump scorched by columnist for standing by president’s Thunberg bullying: ‘Indefensible’

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In a piece for the Washington Post, columnist Karen Tumulty called out first lady Melania Trump for her statement defending her husband's bullying of 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg in a fit of jealousy after she was selected Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

Responding to a statement from the White House that stated, “BeBest is the First Lady’s initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children. It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do. Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches. He is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy,” Tumulty wasn't having it.

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BUSTED: Devin Nunes is hiding how he’s paying for all his frivolous lawsuits — which could land him in more trouble

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On Saturday, the Fresno Bee dived into a lingering question: How does Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) pay for all the lawsuits he is filing against journalists, satirists, and political critics?

"Nunes, R-Tulare, has filed lawsuits against Twitter, anonymous social media users known as Devin Nunes' Cow and Devin Nunes' Mom, a Republican political strategist, media companies, journalists, progressive watchdog groups, a political research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and a retired farmer in Nunes’ own district," noted the Bee.

These lawsuits were mainly filed in Virginia — a state with very loose laws against so-called "SLAPP suits," or meritless lawsuits intended to drown people in legal expenses in retaliation for expressing political opinions. Nunes was assisted in these suits by Steven Biss, a Virginia attorney, and yet except for the suit against the retired farmer, there is no clear record in Nunes' FEC reports of how he paid for the suits.

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