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‘Political theater’: Analyst explains why Ted Cruz’s hearing on violence at protests was a deceptive farce

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Sen. Ted Cruz -- (R-TX)

On Tuesday, August 4, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas chaired a U.S. Senate hearing that was named “The Right of the People Peaceably to Assemble: Protecting Speech by Stopping Anarchist Violence.” The far-right Republican, during the hearing, claimed that “anarchist violence” and Antifa have been out of control at the George Floyd protests. Journalist Natasha Lennard, in an article published by The Intercept on August 5, dissects Cruz’ “political theater” and lays out some reasons why the hearing was a embarrassing farce.

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During the hearing, Lennard notes, Cruz slammed Democrats for failing to condemn the “terrorists” and “Antifa” members who killed federal security officer Dave Patrick Underwood in Oakland in late May. Problem: the man who is facing murder charges for the fatal shooting of Underwood, Steven Carrillo, has nothing whatsoever to do with Antifa. Rather, federal law enforcement, NBC News has reported, believe that Carrillo is connected to the racist far-right Boogaloo movement. Robert Justus, Carrillo’s alleged accomplice, has been charged with murder.

Discussing Cruz’ misleading claims, Lennard explains, “Cruz’s implication was clear: the left killed Underwood. Right-wing extremists have carried out 329 murders since 1994. In the same period, a grand total of zero murders have been attributed to Antifa participants. Yet Underwood was killed by a member of the far right — one of 329 murders carried out by right-wing extremists since 1994. In the same period, a grand total of zero murders have been attributed to Antifa participants….. (Carrillo) is an open adherent of the boogaloo movement, which is aimed at hastening a second civil war.”

Lennard points out that Sen. Dick Durban of Illinois tried to set Cruz straight about Carillo’s political views, but facts were not the senator’s concern.

“Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., pointed out Cruz’s error after the Texas Republican’s first mention of Underwood, noting that the killer was on the far right,” Lennard explains. “This did not stop Cruz raising the killing again later in the hearing, once again within the context of a blustering speech about Antifa. The hearing was just the latest stage for baseless overtures on the threat of the far left. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, made numerous attempts to change the afternoon’s focus onto a more worthy target — deadly white supremacist violence — to little avail.”

According to Lennard, even the testimony of a former FBI agent during the hearing did not sway Cruz from making wildly misleading claims.

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Lennard writes, “One of the few voices of reason throughout the afternoon, Michael German — a former FBI agent specializing in domestic terrorism who is now a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice — noted the ‘sensationalized’ focus on the far left has ‘distracted from focus on the deadly threats’ posed by the far right. ‘As a matter of policy, far-right violence is deprioritized,’ German said.”

Another important point is that Cruz, like so many other far-right Republicans, tends to lump Antifa and anarchists together. But in fact, Antifa (which is short for anti-fascist) are not anarchists have nothing to do with the anarchist Black Bloc movement. Antifa and the Black Bloc are totally separate movements.

Lennard, describing Cruz as a “racist police apologist,” also points out that Cruz “closed the proceedings with a frenzied tirade about the dangers of Black Lives Matter — purported criticisms that bear no repeating.”

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Trump blasted for ‘avalanche of lying’ in brutal takedown by CNN fact-checker

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CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale provided a brutal dose of reality after President Donald Trump constantly mislead Americans with his false claims during the first 2020 general election presidential debate.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer introduced Dale by recapping that, in his opinion, "clearly this debate was an embarrassment for the United States of America -- a clear embarrassment."

"How much was fact?" Blitzer asked. "How much was false?"

"Well, it depended Wolf on who we were listening to," Dale replied.

"I think it's important for us as journalists to say when both sides are not alike -- and they were not alike tonight," he explained.

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WATCH: Van Jones delivers epic lecture on CNN after Trump ‘refused to condemn white supremacy’

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CNN political analyst Van Jones tore into Donald Trump after the president's highly controversial decision to repeatedly refuse to condemn white supremacy at the first 2020 general election debate.

"Only three things happened for me tonight," Jone said.

"Number one, Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacy," he explained.

"Number two, the president of the United States refused to condemn white supremacy," he continued.

"Number three, the commander-in-chief refused to condemn white supremacy on the global stage -- in front of my children, in front of everybody's families -- and he was given the opportunity multiple times to condemn white supremacy," Jones said.

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2020 Election

Jake Tapper stunned by Trump’s debate: ‘That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck’

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CNN Jake Tapper reacted in shock on Tuesday following the first presidential debate between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.

"That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck," Tapper said. "That was the worst debate I have ever seen. In fact, it wasn't even a debate. It was a disgrace."

"And it's primarily because of President Trump," he remarked, "who spent the entire time interrupting, not abiding by the rules that he agreed to, lying, maliciously attacking the son of the vice president. When asked to condemn white supremacists, he brought up the name of a neo-fascist, far-right group and said, 'Stand back and stand by.'"

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