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GOP Senate quietly removes white nationalism from new requirements to screen military enlistees

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Senator Jim Inhofe speaking at the 2012 CPAC in Washington, D.C. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On Thursday, the Huffington Post reported that the Senate-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act — the annual spending bill to fund the military and national security services — quietly gutted a House-passed amendment that would have encouraged officials to screen prospective military enlistees for white nationalist ideology.

The amendment, authored by Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) has been rewritten to direct the Department of Defense to explore how to screen recruits for “extremist and gang-related activity” — with the words “white nationalism” cut altogether.

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It is unclear which senators pushed for the removal. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who chairs the Armed Services Committee, declined to comment on the matter.

The U.S. government has been aware that white supremacist violence is a growing threat for at least a decade, when a Department of Homeland Security official issued a 2009 report — attacked by conservative commentators — on the danger posed by domestic right-wing and racial terrorism. But in recent years it has become clear that these groups have also infiltrated military and law enforcement agencies, both to shape government policy and to gain easy access to weapons and combat training.

Several recent high-profile cases have made clear the dangers, including a Coast Guard lieutenant arrested after allegedly stockpiling firearms to assassinate several politicians and create a white ethnostate, and nearly a dozen members of the Army, Air Force, Marines, and Texas and Minnesota National Guards working with Identity Evropa (now the American Identity Movement), a white supremacist group that helped plan the deadly neo-Nazi riot in Charlottesville, Virginia.

And the scale of the problem could be much worse. In 2017, a poll by the Military Times found that nearly 25 percent of servicemembers have encountered white nationalists in the ranks — and that a plurality see white nationalism as more dangerous than the combat zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to this growing problem which puts our national security and the safety of the brave men and women serving our country in jeopardy,” Aguilar told the Huffington Post. “It’s disappointing that Senate Republicans disagree.”

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Mary Trump sheds light on the president’s bizarre pattern of psychological projection

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President Donald Trump's niece, psychologist Mary Trump, appeared Friday on CNN to discuss her uncle's behavior during the recent president debate.

CNN host Anderson Cooper noted that Tony Schwartz, who is best known for ghostwriting "Trump: The Art of the Deal," has said "that when the president attacks people, the words he uses, the attacks he wages against other people are really things that are true about himself."

The CNN host said a similar dynamic was at play during the final presidential debate when Trump attacked Biden as being part of an organized crime family.

"It is amazing how much projection there is and I don't know if that's the term," Cooper said.

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WATCH: Shep Smith ends his show with a passionate plea to ‘follow the Fauci’ as COVID-19 surges

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CNBC host Shepard Smith, a former veteran newsman at Fox News, on Friday begged Americans to follow guidance from Anthony Fauci to prevent the spread of COVID-19

“Those of us in New York and the Northeast are worried about you, our friends, our loved ones and our viewers across the country, now more than ever really,” Smith said. “This new COVID surge is awful. So, follow the Fauci. Not for us, we are mostly good around here, we are worried for you. So please, follow the Fauci," he said.

New York was hit hard during the initial stages of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States. "We lived the horror of neighbors and friends sick and dying," Smith said.

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Trump gets schooled by a historian for comparing his achievements to Abraham Lincoln’s

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During the final presidential debate on Thursday, President Donald Trump boasted that he had done more for Black Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln. On Friday, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin appeared on CNN and blasted Trump for his remark.

“The most important thing in a time of crisis is for a president to be willing it take responsibility. One of FDR’s aides once said when things are going on right, people don't have to think a lot about the character demanded by the presidency. He can just stay in that old picture frame,” she told CNN host Chris Cuomo.

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