According to a report from Politico, pro-Trump attorney Lin Wood -- who had a hand in Georgia Republicans losing two seats in the U.S. Senate -- has jumped into Republican Party politics in South Carolina and local GOP leaders there don't know what to do about him.
Wood, who has latched onto QAnon conspiracies in his attempts to prove Donald Trump had the 2020 presidential election stolen from him, is attempting to be elected as the chair of the South Carolina Republican Party and he is using his army of rabid followers to make his move.
That, in turn, has the GOP leadership of the state fearful of the damage he will do to their party should he succeed.
According to Politico's Marc Caputo, "Wood, who transformed from a top Atlanta trial lawyer to a leading election conspiracy theorist in November, moved to South Carolina in February. Then the firebrand lawyer shocked the political establishment in one of the GOP's most important state parties by mounting an unexpectedly strong challenge to the incumbent chairman, Drew McKissick. The outcome has out-sized implications because of South Carolina's role in GOP presidential primaries — the state hosts the first primary in the South, and almost always votes for the eventual Republican nominee."
Speaking in Aiken earlier this week, Wood stated, "We need some chaos in the Republican Party in South Carolina. Somebody needs to shake it up. So here I am, Mr. Shaker."
Those comments, and Wood's history of outrageous statements, have local GOP leadership shook up.
After "Wood activists accused outgoing county GOP Chair Nate Leupp of rigging local party elections as they picketed the local party office and Leupp's place of employment, a Christian music store called Majesty Music," Leupp told Caputo, "There's a lot of crazy going on in South Carolina," before adding Wood's adherents are made up of "pitchfork- and torch-bearers."
"All the politicos are buzzing with the same question: what in the world is going on South Carolina? You just can't make this stuff up," Leupp explained. "Big personalities are using a national narrative about Trump to their own advantage."
Noting that 870 delegates are set to vote for the new chair, with McKissick's people believing they will win, Caputo reports that Wood is taking a page from the Trump playbook with his people already claiming the election will be rigged so he loses.
One of the men who recruited Wood to run, Jeff Davis, has already been spreading that accusation.
"Davis accuses the party establishment of 'cheating' by rigging the delegate process, a claim disputed by party officials. He said some county party officials have refused to follow party rules concerning delegate names and qualifications," Caputo wrote, with Davis claiming, "They are afraid because this will obviously have an effect on the 2024 election. In 2016, the establishment … did its damnedest to stop Donald Trump. I don't think the establishment wants another Donald Trump. South Carolina is first in the South. We have a lot of influence on who will be the nominee."
Former state party chair Chad Connelly fired back at Wood and his supporters by claiming, "They're not Republicans. They're not conservative. They're anarchists," before adding, "I've had clothes at the dry cleaner longer than Lin Wood has been a resident of South Carolina."
You can read more here.
Journalist and civil rights activist Jemele Hill was told to "stay in her lane" by a Republican running for U.S. Senate in Ohio.
It started on Wednesday when former Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel attacked "critical race theory" with a reference to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
By advancing the lie of Critical Race Theory, the liberals are stomping on the grave of Martin Luther King. https://t.co/7uimOGR8cR— Josh Mandel (@Josh Mandel) 1632335452.0
Bernice King, the daughter of the civil rights leader CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, attempted to educate Mandel about her father.
"I invite you, if you truly desire to advance the cause of humanity toward true peace, to study my father's teachings in full and in context," she said. "He was not a drum major for a colorblind society, but for justice, which requires truth about our past and present."
Mandel replied angrily to learning more about her father.
"Spare me your lectures," Mandel ordered, before repeating the lie that "critical race theory" teaches kids to be racists and repeating his smear that it stomps on her father's grave.
It was at this point that Hill, a contributing writer for The Atlantic and host of the "Jemele Hill is Unbothered" podcast weighed in.
"Imagine being the obnoxious moron who tried to lecture DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR'S DAUGHTER on her own father. This is some peak Caucasity," Hill wrote.
That apparently also angered Mandel, who told Hill to "Stay in your lane."
Hill suggested Mandel, "sit this play out."
Hi Josh: I know facts aren’t really your thing, but I wasn’t fired from ESPN. 2nd: I’m better at my job than you… https://t.co/3s7qDRova0— Jemele Hill (@Jemele Hill) 1632437345.0
In addition to Mandel spreading conspiracy theories about "critical race theory" that result in him getting repeatedly dunked on by a sportswriter, he also continued pushing Trump's "Big Lie" of election fraud.
On Thursday, Mandel pushed to repeat the widely-panned Arizona audit to the other 49 states.
Not only should we audit the vote in AZ, WI, MI, PA, GA — we must audit the vote in all 50 states. Even in states… https://t.co/LNqLkb46CC— Josh Mandel (@Josh Mandel) 1632428608.0
Mandel is facing venture capitalist J.D. Vance in the GOP primary. Vance's campaign spent the day denying that he described a rape victim being forced to deliver a rapist's baby as an "inconvenient" situation.
GOP lawmaker drops the mic on Lindsey Graham's Trump worship: 'He just needs a strongman to tell him where to go'
On Thursday, The Atlantic released an interview between Jeffrey Goldberg and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who made it clear he no longer feels at home in the Republican Party and has lost respect for its leadership.
"I don't have a tribe," Kinzinger told Goldberg. "The good thing is, I don't really care. The only reason this hurts me is that it reminds me of how frigging crazy the Republican Party has become. It's not my tribe anymore."
"I think it's just power," he said in the interview. "[Mike] Pompeo convinced himself that he would help temper some of the more isolationist tendencies of Trump, and then he bought into the idea that he could one day be president. And Lindsey [Graham] — well, Lindsey just needs somebody to tell him where to go, a strongman. [John] McCain was that guy. Now it's Trump. It's sad."
"You always think that everyone has a red line," added Kinzinger. "No matter how much politics a person can play, there's a red line that people can't cross. I was naive. There are some people who only care about access to power. I'm still coming to terms with this."
Kinzinger has increasingly been on the outs with GOP leadership. He was a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump, voted to impeach him after the January 6 attack on the Capitol fomented by his conspiracy theories, and is currently working on the Congressional committee investigating the attack.
Kayleigh McEnany goes down in flames after trying to blame Biden for murder spike that happened under Trump
Former White House press secretary-turned-Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany attempted to slam President Joe Biden on Twitter Thursday using a graphic that showed a significant uptick in the U.S. murder rate during the 2020 calendar year.
There was only one problem — Donald Trump was president for that entire time.
In the initial tweet sent out early Thursday morning by McEnany, she quote-tweeted Axios reporter Lachlan Markay, who had featured a New York Times graphic depicting a 20%-plus increase to the number of murders in the United States in 2020.
Despite the obvious time discrepancy, she wrote: "The U.S. murder rate under Joe Biden..."
Shortly after numerous Twitter users pointed out her error, the tweet was deleted.
The data in question originates from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, which outlines the uptick in the number of murders in the United States, highlighting a significant surge in 2020.
The New York Times reports:
The United States in 2020 experienced the biggest rise in murder since the start of national record-keeping in 1960, according to data gathered by the F.B.I. for its annual report on crime.
The Uniform Crime Report will stand as the official word on an unusually grim year, detailing a rise in murder of around 29 percent. The previous largest one-year change was a 12.7 percent increase in 1968. The national rate — murders per 100,000 — still remains about one-third below the rate in the early 1990s.
The data is scheduled to be released on Monday along with a news release, but it was published early on the F.B.I.'s Crime Data Explorer website.
On Thursday afternoon, McEnany tried again, quote-tweeting the graphic and shifting the blame more generally onto Democrats, some of whom are proponents of reallocating resources away from police departments.
"From the White House podium in August 2020, I warned Defund would result in rising crime. Sadly, I was right. Biden you enabled this," she wrote. "Defund, Democrat mayors, you own this!"
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