AUSTIN, Texas — More than 11,000 people have died of coronavirus-related causes in Texas, according to state data released Friday. That comes just four days after state health officials reported 10,000 fatalities statewide.The 258 new fatalities reported Friday, which brought the statewide death toll to 11,051, occurred up to 10 days prior to when they were reported because state officials are now using death certificates to tally COVID-19 fatalities.Only New York, New Jersey and California rank above Texas in COVID-19 deaths.The Texas Department of State Health Services also reported 4,651 ne...
Mark Meadows was 'mission control' for Trump's 'wingnut' election schemes and must be forced to testify: CNN analyst
On CNN Thursday, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig weighed in on the new allegations against former President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows — and what he could offer the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack.
"Now we know Mark Meadows was calling the FBI, the CIA, the Pentagon and others and, among other things, wanted to look into an alleged plot by China to change the thermostats in voting machines and change the vote totals," said anchor Erin Burnett. "Meadows at one point was an elected member of Congress, and this stuff happened."
"My first reaction is just, wow," said Honig. "As a human being, a sane, rational human being, wow, how can this be? When you step back, though, this is really why Mark Meadows is the single most important witness to the January 6 investigation other than Trump himself, and he's never going to realistically testify."
Honig went on to say that Meadows was "running point" for the election theft operation, and thus must be compelled to appear before the committee.
"He was mission control for a whole of government effort to try to steal this election," he said. "This wasn't some one-off or something he did once. He was reaching out to our most serious agencies, to the Pentagon, the FBI, DOJ, the National Security Advisers, to try to get them to put their stamp on this craziness. The fact is it sounds like wild conspiracy wingnut stuff, but it was coming from the chief of staff of the White House, that is incredibly dangerous. I think it tells you exactly why Meadows is such a key focal point here."
"So Meadows is giving over those emails, but making it clear he's going to exert executive privilege over a lot of stuff," said Burnett. "So is he really cooperating or not?"
"I'm a little bit skeptical here, Erin," said Honig. "When I was a prosecutor, we used to say, there are cooperators and then there are cooperators. I know on paper maybe it looks good and sounds good, Meadows is cooperating, but is he really? What did you do, Mark Meadows, in relation to the FBI and DOJ? What was Donald Trump's involvement? If Mark Meadows gets to say no, guys, not answering that, then this is a bogus deal. What are they going to talk about, what color were the drapes in the Oval Office? What did you eat for lunch January 6? This is what they need to know. So if this is out of bounds, the committee got played here. We'll see if they're able to get it out of Mark Meadows."
Elie Honig on Mark Meadows' conspiracy theories and cooperation www.youtube.com
Trump is 'furious' at Mark Meadows for spilling the beans about his illness last year: Gloria Borger
CNN's Gloria Borger reported on Thursday that former President Donald Trump is not pleased with his one-time chief of staff for spilling the beans about his testing positive for COVID-19 earlier than had been previously disclosed.
Borger told host Anderson Cooper that "a source who is familiar with the president's thinking" told her that Trump is "furious about what is in the book" and is "angry with Mark Meadows."
She then speculated that Meadows rushed to Newsmax this week to claim that accurate reports about his upcoming book were "fake news" because he was desperate to remain in Trump's good graces if he runs for the White House again in 2024.
In his new book Meadows claimed that Trump tested positive for COVID-19 just days before his first scheduled debate with President Joe Biden last year.
Trump had a subsequent negative test and decided to keep the earlier positive test a secret.
However, it's now clear that the first positive test was correct because Trump would be hospitalized from COVID-19 in the days after the Biden debate.
Trump has even taken criticism from some of his own former White House officials for hiding the results of the positive test from them.
Watch the video below.
Trump is 'furious' at Mark Meadows for spilling the beans about his illness last year www.youtube.com
On Thursday, writing for Rolling Stone, Tim Dickinson profiled how the far-right paramilitary group the Oath Keepers, best known for recruiting current and former police and law enforcement, are also recruiting another kind of person: Media professionals.
"When joining a right-wing militia, most members brag about their military credentials, tactical training, or prowess with firearms. But a select group of members in the hacked Oath Keeper rolls touted a very different skillset — pledging to be information warriors for the extremist group," said the report. "These Oath Keepers signed up pitching past affiliations with the Washington Post, USA Today, Tampa Tribune as well as local television news and newspaper outlets from New Jersey to Kansas to Arizona. Still others offered experience in film and radio production or pledged to serve the Oath Keepers on the public affairs front, helping to market the militia to the masses."
Among those recruited by the group, noted Dickinson, were a New York man who "spent 10 years as a TV news reporter," a Virginia man who boasted of his “Ph.D. and 28 years’ experience in opinion and marketing research and strategy,” and a man who bragged, "I have a masters degree in radio, television, and film production and worked for… years in the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service producing television programs.”
These media experts, who were exposed in a recent hack of the Oath Keepers' membership database, can do PR work to “create an image that is cool, competent, and appealing to potential members — and then blast it out to a far larger audience than if they were trying to recruit in person," according to Alex Friedfield of the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism.
The Oath Keepers, who have been involved in a number of armed anti-government standoffs in recent years including the Bundy Ranch incident, more recently participated in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Many of its members are now facing federal charges and turning on each other to try to secure plea deals.
You can read more here.