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Florida GOP lawmaker calls Jewish man a ‘Judenrat’ over his criticism of Israeli government

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Republican Florida State Rep. Randy Fine this week accused a fellow Jewish man of being a Nazi collaborator after he defended a panel discussion that was critical of Israel’s current right-wing government.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that controversy started when Fine attacked a local organization called the Space Coast Progressive Alliance for sponsoring a panel discussion about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Fine particularly drew backlash when he referred to the organization as an “anti-Semitic rally targeting Jews sponsored by a Democrat club,” even though three of the five speakers at the panel were Jewish.

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Alliance board member Paul Halpern called out Fine and said that he was completely mischaracterizing the event his organization was sponsoring.

“I was at the event,” Halpern said. “I am Jewish. There was nothing anti-Semitic said. Questioning the policies of the Israeli government is not anti-Semitic. Many people from various organizations were invited to speak and chose not to. Three of the five panelists were Jewish. YOU, Rep. Fine, were not there.”

Fine responded by questioning Halpern’s faith before calling him a “Judenrat,” which is a term used to describe Jews who collaborated with Nazis.

“That is the most offensive thing ever said to me,” Halpern wrote back. “You have no business representing anyone. Where can I meet you in person so you can call me that to my face?”

“I know that Judenrat liked to keep tabs on all the Jews in order to report back to the Nazis back in that time, but no one is making you continue that tradition today,” Fine replied.

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Phil Stasik, the president of the Alliance, said it was highly inappropriate for a state representative to accuse a fellow Jewish man of collaborating with Nazis.

“We’re extremely disappointed by the use of hate speech that has so poisoned the discourse in our country,” he said. “And it’s exceedingly disappointing coming from an elected representative. It’s clearly hate speech and is unacceptable.”

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Trump administration heavily redacted documents concerning their withholding of Ukraine aid

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The Trump administration has refused to disclose how key officials at the Department of Defense and the White House Office of Management and Budget reacted to President Trump’s decision to halt military aid to Ukraine.

On Nov. 25, federal district court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the administration to produce records reflecting what these officials said to one another about the legality and appropriateness of Trump’s order. The Center for Public Integrity sought the information in Freedom of Information Act requests filed in late September.

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Donald Trump Jr laughs at the prospect that Bill Barr will eventually lock up Trump’s political enemies

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On Thursday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted a video of Attorney General William Barr saying that he is constantly asked when Democrats are going to prison for their treatment of President Donald Trump, and he jokingly responded "these things take time."

Trump Jr. repeated that particular line in his tweet, accompanied by a series of laughing face emojis:

These things take time. 🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/TX7DuYgAsr

— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 13, 2019

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2020 Election

Jared Kushner is ‘officially overseeing’ Trump’s 2020 campaign ‘from his seat in the West Wing’: NY Times

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The administration of President Donald Trump has had multiple scandals for using federal government resources to aid his 2020 re-election campaign, but senior White House advisor Jared Kushner is his de facto campaign manager, The New York Times reported Thursday.

"Hours before the House Judiciary Committee was set to take a historic vote to push President Trump to the brink of impeachment, campaign officials gathered across the Potomac River for a state-of-the-race briefing in which they described how the Republican Party had been transformed into the “beer and bluejeans party” crafted in Mr. Trump’s image," the newspaper reported, despite the fact Trump claims he does not drink beer and is not known for wearing anything other than suits and golf attire.

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