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Is this the reason Mitch McConnell does not seem to care about election interference?

The GOP leader called for lifting the sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, and Sherrod Brown wants answers

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Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio is demanding answers after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for lifting sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska — a proposal that was followed by a deal in which the oligarch’s company announced a $200 million investment in a Kentucky aluminum plant. And this is the same McConnell who, in recent weeks, has neglected bipartisan bills that address security in the 2020 election.

The Kentucky senator’s lack of urgency in addressing election interference stretches back to the 2016 presidential election. According to Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s administration had asked McConnell to sign on to a bipartisan statement on Russian interference. McConnell refused.

Brown, this week, told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that when Russian or Chinese investments in the United States are made, U.S. officials need to address “what it means to national security, what it means if they come in and buy steel and aluminum plants. Who knows what their ultimate plans are? Clearly, they’re buying influence.”

Brown stressed to Maddow that when Russian or Chinese companies have business interests in the U.S., it is “always a security issue.” And Brown said of the Kentucky aluminum deal, “We want this investigated because we know why these companies often come in.”

Deripaska, Brown pointed out during his appearance on Maddow’s show, is an “oligarch” who was “sanctioned because of the elections.”

Recently, various bills promoting election security against foreign attacks have been proposed in the Senate. But Vox’s Li Zhou, in an in-depth report published on May 21, notes that McConnell has expressed no interest in bringing them up for a vote. Zhou’s article complains that McConnell’s “unwillingness to tackle election security” is “sending a political message” and “has massive consequences” for U.S. elections—none of them good.

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Republican gun activist arrested for felony after flashing gun at cop while driving 90 mph through construction zone

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One of Colorado's leading gun activists is free on bail after being charged for flashing a gun at a federal agent, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported Monday.

"Kanda Calef, a former Republican candidate, political activist and a hard-line gun rights supporter, faces a felony menacing charge after allegedly brandishing a pistol at a U.S. marshal in Interstate 25's Gap construction zone," the newspaper reported. "Calef, now free on $2,500 bail, is due in Douglas County’s 18th Judicial District on Wednesday, where she is expected to enter a plea to the charge."

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QAnon authors in a fight over doing an audiobook — because they think their followers can’t read

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On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that the authors of a popular book for believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory are in a bitter fight over whether or not to release an audiobook version.

QAnon: An Invitation to The Great Awakening came out last year and peaked near the top of the Amazon bestseller list in March. One of the book's co-authors, Dustin Nemos, is publicly attacking another co-author, who goes by the name of "JoeM," for his "petty and hostile and paranoid" refusal to help produce an audiobook, and notes that it is necessary because a disproportionate number of QAnon believers are elderly, have bad eyesight, and may not be able to read the book as text. JoeM, for his part, has accused Nemos of being a "grifter" who is trying to make a buck off of true believers.

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Missouri governor appoints judge who fundraised for crisis pregnancy center to help decide Planned Parenthood’s license

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On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO) has appointed former Macon County Associate Circuit Judge Philip Prewitt to the Administrative Hearing Commission, a state agency that oversees disputes between the state and organizations seeking licensure.

Prewitt, a former Republican candidate for office, once fundraised on Facebook for Ray of Hope Pregnancy Care Ministeries, a "crisis pregnancy center" that masquerades as a health care facility in order to trick women seeking abortions into listening to anti-abortion propaganda. In 2015, the Missouri Supreme Court reprimanded Prewitt for the post encouraging people to donate, saying that it violated judicial ethics rules.

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