NEW YORK — Longtime Trump pal Tom Barrack was found not guilty of using his access to the former president to influence foreign policy on behalf of the United Arab Emirates. A federal jury in Brooklyn also ruled that Barrack did not lie in an interview with the FBI. Barrack’s personal assistant, Michael Grimes, who got his start at the private equity bigwig’s company after DJing at Barrack’s son’s eighth-grade graduation, was also acquitted. The jury came to a decision after a seven-week trial that included testimony by Rex Tillerson, Trump’s first Secretary of State, and by former Secretary o...
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As special master Jack Smith investigates Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago documents scandal, he is now in another scandal after dining with white nationalist leader Nick Fuentes and Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.
"A Holocaust denier and unabashed racist, Mr. Fuentes openly uses hateful language on his podcast, in recent weeks calling for the military to be sent into Black neighborhoods and demanding that Jews leave the country," The New York Times reported. "During the dinner, according to a person briefed on what took place, Mr. Fuentes described himself as part of Mr. Trump’s base of supporters. Mr. Trump remarked that his advisers urge him to read speeches using a teleprompter and don’t like when he ad-libs remarks."
Trump was condemned by his own ambassador to Israel for dining with "human scum."
"Mr. Fuentes, who attended the bloody far-right rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, is best known for running a white nationalist youth organization known as America First, whose adherents call themselves groypers or the Groyper Army. In the wake of Mr. Trump’s defeat in 2020, Mr. Fuentes and the groypers were involved in a series of public events supporting the former president," The Times reported. "At a so-called 'Stop the Steal' rally in Washington in November 2020, Mr. Fuentes urged his followers to “storm every state capitol until Jan. 20, 2021, until President Trump is inaugurated for four more years.” The following month, at a similar event, Mr. Fuentes led a crowd in chanting 'Destroy the G.O.P.,' and urged people not to vote in the January 2021 Georgia Senate runoff elections."
The newspaper noted at least seven people with ties to his organization have been indicted for Jan. 6.
On Twitter, Times correspondent Maggie Haberman followed up with more.
"Trump lamenting to the Holocaust denier -- who got into Trump's club with the antisemitism-spouting celebrity with whom Trump welcomed a meeting, for which it's not clear any Trump staff was present -- that his staff wants him to stick to teleprompter speeches is a capsule," she wrote.
"Yes except at a certain point, it’s the same story over and over - no staff around, someone else’s fault - and the consistent data point is the man himself," Haberman added.
GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia on Saturday responded to criticism that Donald Trump has not been forceful enough in defending the Jan. 6 defendants.
Axios reported, "Fuentes told Trump that he represented a side of Trump's base that was disappointed with his newly cautious approach, especially with what some far-right activists view as a lack of support for those charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack."
In a Friday night Twitter thread on her newly restored account, Green wrote, "I’ve been noticing in certain echo chambers absurd criticism of Pres Trump and J6’ers.
"Anyone claiming that President Trump is doing nothing for pre-trial January 6 defendants is either lying, clueless, or wants to hurt him. He has said over and over at practically every single rally that he will pardon January 6 defendants when he becomes president again," she wrote. ""I’ve been to a lot of rallies this year and I’ve heard him say he will pardon J6 defendants multiple times. I have not heard any other potential 2024 presidential candidate say that yet."
She also claimed Trump was financially helping the defendants.
"And it’s truly amazing at times the amount and kind of criticism thrown at Pres Trump," Greene wrote. "Actually he respected the office of the President more than most people ever would, and that’s extremely important. Then we have others criticizing Pres Trump saying he should have done more with the power of the Presidency. Do you people want a tyrant?"
The Department of Justice obtained a conviction of a Florida man for sending letters to the Department of Veterans Affairs threatening to shoot gun safety advocates.
"Drummond Neil Smithson, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of use of interstate communications to transmit a threat to injure. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 12, 2022," MassLive reported Friday. "Smithson, an Army veteran, mailed a letter from Ayer, Massachusetts to the Department of Veterans Affairs Pension Intake Center in Janesville, Wisconsin around July 19, 2020."
Smithson threatened Moms Demand Action, the grassroots guns safety movement found by Shannon Watts that claims to have 10 million supporters.
He reportedly threatened violence if he did not get his pension, citing a legal case in Florida.
"On Sept. 12, 2019, Fort Lauderdale police officers accompanied Child Protective Services to his apartment, which he shared with his girlfriend, her two minor children, and two unrelated adults, and found him in possession of multiple firearms, court records said. Smithson told the officers that he moved to Fort Lauderdale after his discharge from the Army and that he had spent a lot of time in psychiatric hospitals," MassLive reported. "He eventually surrendered two AR-10 rifles, a Glock 9mm pistol, a KelTec PMR-30 handgun, and various types of ammunition to the officers, court documents show."
Smith told investigators he bought the AR-10s because they are a higher power version of the AR-15 platform.
Read the full report.