Legal expert: These 7 words should 'disqualify' Pence 'from ever holding public office again'

Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor, on Friday explained the seven words Mike Pence uttered “that should disqualify him from ever holding public office again.” Kirschner’s analysis came after the former vice president balked at a request to appear before the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“Congress has no right to my testimony,” Pence told CBS “Face the Nation” earlier this month.

Lamenting what he described as “the partisan nature of the January 6 committee,” Pence said he was “closing the door” on testifying before the panel.

“We have a separation of powers under the Constitution of the United States,” Pence told Margaret Brennan. “And I believe it would establish a terrible precedent for the Congress to summon a vice president of the United States to speak about deliberations that took place at the White House.”

In a YouTube segment called “Justice Matters,” Kirschner laid out the authority under which the House Jan. 6 panel is operating.

“Congress is investigating the insurrection, the attempted overthrow of our democracy,” Kirschner said, noting the panel was established, in part, to develop ways to prevent such an attack from occurring in the future.

“Let’s be clear, by extension Mike Pence is saying ‘the American people have no right to my relevant testimony as Congress goes about trying to craft laws to keep this from ever happening again,’” Kirschner added.

Watch the full video below or at this link.

Mike Pence utters 7 words that should disqualify him from ever holding public office again youtu.be

Longtime Trump adviser warns 'nightmare' Fuentes meeting is 'another reason' people want 'DeSantis to run'

A longtime adviser to former Donald Trump warned his pre-Thanksgiving Mar-a-Lago dinner with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and white supremacist Nick Fuentes will be “another reason why” people look at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “to run against” the former president in 2024, NBC News reports.

Trump on Friday denied knowing who Fuentes is, claiming Ye “called me to have dinner” and “unexpectedly showed up with three of his friends, who I knew nothing about.” Three sources who spoke with NBC News corroborated Trump’s assertion “that he didn’t know Fuentes,” but pointed out “one glaring inaccuracy in Trump’s statement,” NBC News’ Marc Caputo reports.

Per Caputo:

“All three sources familiar with the dinner told NBC News there was one glaring inaccuracy in Trump’s statement: Trump knew one of the three ‘friends’ brought by the rapper, Karen Giorno. She was the Trump campaign's Florida director in 2016 and the former president knows her by name and sight, the sources said. In addition to Giorno and Fuentes, Ye also brought along another man who was an associate, according to the sources.”

For one of Trump’s advisers, who asked to remain anonymous, “this is a f-cking nightmare,” Caputo reports. "If people are looking at [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis to run against Trump, here's another reason why.”

READ MORE: Evangelicals are the backbones of Trump's Big Lie — and it's all about white supremacy

Caputo continues:

“The source familiar with the dinner conversation said the dinner grew heated after Ye — who announced another run for president in 2024 on Thursday — asked Trump to be his running mate. Trump then began insulting Ye’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, according to the source and a video that Ye posted to Twitter on Thanksgiving Day recounting the dinner.”

One source said Trump told Ye, “You’re not going to win. You can’t beat me."

Fuentes is advising Ye on his presidential run, NBC News reports. Far-right personality Milo Yiannopoulos will manage his campaign.

According to the Twitter video Ye posted, “Trump is really impressed with Nick Fuentes.”

READ MORE: For white evangelical Protestants, power is religion and Herschel Walker is their vessel

“Nick Fuentes, unlike so many of the lawyers, and so many of the people that he was left with on his 2020 campaign, he’s actually a loyalist,” Ye said in the “Mar-a-Lago debrief” video.

“Nick, you work for the guy, and just because you work for him, you’re going to tell him he can beat me?” Trump asked Fuentes, according to an NBC News source. “You just got finished telling me I was the best president ever.”

Read the full report at NBC News.

READ MORE: These evangelicals are doing something Trump claimed they’d 'never' do — 'considering other' options: report

Ron Johnson challenger claims senator is 'bought and paid for' by Big Pharma

The campaign of Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is running to unseat U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, declared Tuesday that the Republican incumbent "is bought and paid for by Big Pharma."

That charge came in response to Johnson's Monday comments about Medicare negotiating the cost of certain prescription drugs, which is included in the Inflation Reduction Act that U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law Tuesday afternoon.

Appearing on "The Brian Kilmeade Show," Johnson told the Fox News host that "when you start punishing the pharmaceutical industry, you're gonna have less innovation; you're gonna have fewer lifesaving drugs. That's not a good thing."

Barnes—who won the Democratic primary last week—said Tuesday that "while Ron Johnson is worried about protecting the bottom lines of big pharmaceutical companies, I'm worried about working families across Wisconsin who are forced to choose between putting food on the table or affording the medication they need."

"For over a decade, Ron Johnson has put big corporations and his wealthy donors before the working people he was elected to represent," he asserted. "In the Senate, I'll hold Big Pharma accountable and ensure every Wisconsinite has a fair shot."

The progressive Democrat's campaign also highlighted recent reporting by The Cap Times that Johnson, while chairing the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in 2018, "declined to subpoena Teva Pharmaceuticals as part of a Democrat-led investigation of the drugmaker's role in the opioid epidemic." In the months that followed, the company donated to both Johnson's campaign and an affiliated political action committee (PAC).

Johnson spokesperson Alexa Henning told the Madison-based newspaper that the "senator appreciates the support that people offer, but he doesn't personally track who gives what, and donations never impact his views on issues or how he votes." She added that asking about Teva's contributions "is another politically motivated hit job by the corporate media and cheered on by their allies in the Democrat Party."

Barnes' campaign, meanwhile, said Tuesday:

Ron Johnson has a long history of selling out Wisconsinites in favor of his large corporate donors. Earlier this year, Johnson justified sending 1,000 good-paying, family-sustaining jobs out of Wisconsin by claiming, "It's not like we don't have enough jobs here in Wisconsin." Reporting later showed the company shipping jobs out of state, Oshkosh Corp., "ranks seventh among Johnson's top career contributors."

Johnson, a businessman, was elected to the Senate in 2010 and won a second term in 2016.

In his bid to replace Johnson, Barnes has secured the support of various progressives groups across Wisconsin and the nation along with local, state, and federal elected officials, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

On the healthcare front, Barnes backs not only drug pricing reforms like those in the new law but also putting the United States on a path to universal healthcare by passing Medicare for All legislation at the federal level.

"In the richest nation in the world," the candidate says in a campaign video, "no one should be going bankrupt because of their medical bills."

Missouri paper highlights a 'particularly curious' element of Trump’s document stash

An editorial published Saturday in Missouri’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch called out former President Donald Trump’s well-documented distaste for reading, posing the question: “Why would an ex-president who doesn't read want boxes of documents at his home?”

The Post-Dispatch referenced a series of stunning reports published over the past week detailing the FBI’s seizure of nearly “two-dozen boxes of documents that belonged to the federal government and reportedly contained top secret material.” Those documents were found at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last Monday.

Noting the former president’s proclivity towards boredom, general lack of interest in reading and abject love of TV, the editorial board writes:

“Against that backdrop, the existence of perhaps 25 boxes full of government documents, reportedly including top secret material, in a Mar-a-Lago basement seems particularly curious. Why would Trump want them at his private residence when he didn’t like to read and had no legal right to possess them?”

RELATED: 'God knows what he did with it': Trump insiders were frantic over how he handled secret documents

Referencing Trump’s relentless 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton over her private email sever, the editorial board insists, “Trump certainly had to grasp how serious it is to unlawfully retain classified documents.”

“And after the FBI collected 15 boxes full of documents at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year, Trump must have had a good reason to hide the existence of another 10 boxes,” the editorial continues. “It was only after an informant tipped off the FBI to the additional boxes that a federal judge authorized last week’s search.”

The editorial board goes on to slam Republicans who are “apoplectic” over the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago but mum on Trump’s decision to take documents that “were never his.”

“Regardless of the justification, the documents were never his, and Republicans who are apoplectic over the FBI search should first be asking why it was ever O.K. for him to break the law in the first place,” the board writes.

Read the full piece at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Trump mocked after he gets booed at his own rally: ‘He created a monster -- now he cannot control it’

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday emphatically embraced the COVID-19 vaccine in front of a crowd of his supporters, igniting boos from rally-goers in Alabama, video shows.

"Take the vaccines! I did it, it's good!" Trump told the crowd as some attendees started to boo.

Responding to the boos, Trump continued: "No, that's okay. That's alright. You got your freedoms, but I happened to take the vaccine."

"If it doesn't work, you'll be the first to know, okay?" he added, as the crowd erupted in applause.



Cullman, AL, where Trump's rally was held, declared a state of emergency on Thursday after experiencing a 218% increase in hospitalizations over the previous two weeks, Insider reports.

Advisers to the former president have reportedly urged him for months to make a public service announcement about the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. In April, Trump suggested he would make a "commercial" for the vaccine, but that video never materialized. Still, the former president's face-to-face appeal to a crowd of supporters marked, as one commentator put it, "the first good thing Trump has ever said."



See more reactions below:







'Terrible economics': These states are declining federal unemployment funds. Experts say that's 'a huge mistake'

Residents in South Carolina and Montana next month will lose access to federal unemployment benefits over what those states' Republican governors call a "severe workforce shortage." Experts say the move by Montana's Gov. Greg Gianforte and South Carolina's Gov. Henry McMaster is a "huge mistake."

As ABC News reports, South Carolina and Montana are the first states "to end participation in the unemployment enhancement programs." That program offered U.S. workers access to extra unemployment funds as part of the American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden in March.

In an effort to incentivize Montanans, Gianforte is offering a one-time "'return-to-work bonus' of $1,200 will be paid to people who rejoin the labor force and maintain employment for at least one month," according to ABC News. That money will also come from the federally-funded American Rescue Plan.

But Economy Policy Institute senior economist Heidi Shierholz says McMaster and Gianforte are making "a huge mistake."

"The idea that states are just going to forego that and allow all that money to be sucked out of their economy is just terrible economics," Shierholz told ABC News. "I just deeply hope that you don't see more states following this path because it's a huge mistake."

Shierholz said the narrative of a "severe workforce shortage" driven by increased unemployment benefits is based on a false premise. Currently, federal unemployment benefits offer laid-off workers an additional $300 per week, down from $600 at the end of last of July. According to Shierholz, if money was the motivator, that decrease from $600 to $300 would have made a marked difference in the unemployment rate last year.

"You should have seen a bump up in employment, and you can't see that in the data so it just points to that it wasn't really causing the labor supply effect," Shierholz said. "It's just difficult to imagine that something half that big is having any effect now."

And Shierholz is far from the only expert who warns that hiring issues in South Carolina and Montana won't be solved by depriving residents of enhanced unemployment benefits.

ABC News reports:

William E. Spriggs, an economist and professor at Howard University, said in an interview with ABC News that there is no data to prove that unemployment checks are preventing Americans from returning to work. "There's no job shortage, in terms of workers. There's a wage shortage," said Spriggs, adding that research shows many employers "want to pay rotten wages and have rotten hours."

Last week, the Washington Post published an analysis that likewise dispelled the framing of a "worker shortage" based on enhanced unemployment. "At the most basic level, people are still hesitant to return to work until they are fully vaccinated and their children are back in school and daycare full-time," the Post analysis declares.

Many Americans, the Post reports, are "re-assessing what they want to do and how they want to work, whether in an office, at home or some hybrid combination."

Still, McMaster and Gianforte are blazing ahead with plans to reopen their respective economies by depriving citizens (and their states) of extra funding during the worst public health crisis in a century. As ABC News reports, experts say "declining to take federal money is going to have a deep effect on the living standards of residents and their families, and likely will worsen those states' overall economies."

But for all the hand wringing about disincentivized workers by those states' Republican governors, Shierholz said the bottom line is "employers are just angry that they are unable to find workers at relatively low wages."

"The jobs being posted are more stressful, more risky, harder jobs than they were pre-COVID," she added. " ... When the job is more stressful, then it should command a higher wage."

Update Sun. May 9 | 9:25 AM EST —

WMC Action News reports that Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday also "ordered the state's Division of Workforce Services to end Arkansas' participation in federal pandemic unemployment programs." That order goes into effect on June 26; the federal unemployment benefit program will run until September.

'Mind-numbingly reckless and irresponsible': Maricopa County sheriff blasts Arizona Senate's audit demand

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone on Friday slammed the "Senate Republican Caucus' audit of the Maricopa County votes" for "[jeopardizing] the entire mission of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office," the Arizona Republic reports.

"The Senate Republican Caucus' audit of the Maricopa County votes from last November's election has no stopping point," Penzone said in a statement. "Now, its most recent demands jeopardize the entire mission of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office."

Penzone's criticism comes after Maricopa County failed to provide "certain routers that the state Senate sought in its original subpoenas" of 2020 election material. According to the Arizona Republic, "the county has provided all 2.1 million voter general election ballots, voter information and election equipment in response to state Senate subpoenas," but is warning of a "significant security risk to Sheriff's Office law enforcement data" if the routers are released.

Ken Bennett, who is serving "as a liaison between the Senate and the private contractors overseeing the audit," said auditors want access to the routers because "people that have always suspected something nefarious about elections being connected to the internet."

The Senate is also demanding "passwords to the county's ballot tabulators used on Election Day at voting centers." Bennett said auditors need the passwords so they have "administrative access to voting machines," according to the Arizona Republic.

But County Attorney Allister Adel, in a letter to Bennett, said no such passwords exist. "The county has provided every password, user name and security key in its custody or control, as commanded by the Senate's subpoenas, and does not have any others," Adel told Bennett.

As for the routers, Sheriff Penzone in his statement said "access to this information would adversely affect the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office ability to protect critical evidence, data shared between law enforcement agencies, protected private information and individual passwords, all of which could be used to the detriment of citizens and law enforcement infrastructure."

Such a move "puts sensitive, confidential data belonging to Maricopa County's citizens — including social security numbers and protected health information — at risk as well," Adel wrote in that letter to Bennett.

Republican Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers likewise said releasing the routers would "cripple County operations and cost as much as $6 million."

Penzone also suggested the Senate is misrepresenting tropes of "transparency and accountability" in an effort to secure the routers.

Per the Arizona Republic:

The sheriff said transparency and accountability are democracy's foundation. "But when these words are misrepresented, it defies the fragile balance that exists between freedom and order and all that we believe in."

'You voted against it' trends as GOP tries to take credit for 'bipartisan relief bill' passed by Dems only

Some Republican members of the House and Senate are trying to take credit for elements of the American Rescue Act after refusing to support the bill, prompting social media users to remind them: "YOU VOTED AGAINST IT!"

That phrase trended on Twitter Sunday after at least four Republican congresspeople tried to convince their constituents they played a role in the broadly-backed $1.9 trillion stimulus package. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on Thursday. No Republican in either the House or Senate supported the bill.

On Friday, Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL) took to Twitter to "announce that the Biden Administration has just implemented my bipartisan COVID relief bill." Despite insisting she was "proud" that her "bipartisan legislation has officially become SBA policy," Salazar failed to mention that she, herself, voted against the bill.

Here are some reactions to Salazar's post:





Salazar isn't alone. As previously reported by AlterNet, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) on Wednesday

tweeted his approval for a provision in the bill that grants $28.6 billion to independent restaurant operators — despite voting against the legislation. That tweet immediately garnered criticism from social media users:







Another Republican catching flak for her comments on the popular legislation is Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who called the stimulus checks "money that you and your fellow countrymen already paid into the system" (duh).


We honestly aren't going to waste time talking about Boebert, save a series of reactions that really hone in on how disingenuous her tweet was:





And finally, we have Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who released a statement accompanying his "no" vote that can only be described as walking a tightrope:

"Today, I'm glad to know my constituents will be receiving an additional relief payment and funding to help improve their access to vaccines, PPE, and unemployment insurance.



I fully support getting assistance to Americans to help keep food on their tables and to help those who are struggling. I fully support continued funding for emergency essentials like vaccines, COVID testing, PPE, school reopening resources, unemployment insurance, and research. And I'll continue to work with my colleagues in the House to ensure the American people have what they need to fight through this pandemic."

Unsurprisingly, Kinzinger's statement didn't go over well:







So there you have it, folks. Republicans are trying to take credit for a bill not a single one of them voted for, while simultaneous r ailing against provisions that were also included in former President Donald Trump's bills, which they did vote for. It's almost like these people don't actually care about helping us!

GOP reeling after historic defeat: ‘Political disaster doesn’t begin to describe how bad this is for Republicans’

A new report from Roll Call details some of the many challenges facing the Republican Party as it looks to an uncertain future following former President Donald Trump's electoral defeat.

As the party turns its focus to the 2022 midterms, it remains "divided over Trump, their midterm prospects and the state of the GOP itself," Roll Call's Bridget Bowman, Kate Ackley, and Stephanie Akin report.

While some, like Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), insist the Republican Party is "very unified" when compared with their Democratic counterparts, the reality is that many in the GOP, including Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), are bracing for primary challenges. Some McConnell allies told Roll Call they're anticipating "'a large-scale campaign' to block far-right candidates in primaries."

Trump has already made it clear that he intends to "primary the hell" out of any Republicans who didn't back the president's effort to overturn the election.

"Political disaster doesn't begin to describe how bad this is for Republicans," GOP consultant Alex Conant said.

"The 2022 primaries are going to be where those tensions get tested," former Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Ryan A. Costello told Roll Call.

And former National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) head Rep. Thomas M. Davis III likewise cautioned the party against allowing Trump to maintain control even after it suffered crippling defeat in under his leadership.

"The more Trump hangs around, the intensity, as we saw in Georgia, stays with Democrats," Davis said.

While some new Republican House members have made their allegiance to Trump known, others are taking a different approach to attract voters in the party. One such congresswoman is Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), who told "Meet the Press" on Sunday that she wants "to be a new voice for the Republican Party."

"That's one of the reasons I've spoken out so strongly against the president, against these QAnon conspiracy theorists that led us in a constitutional crisis," Mace said.

But Mace's goal of uniting a party that rejects the very same conspiracy and cynicism Trump embraced (loudly) over the past 5 years may be far-fetched, at best. As GOP consultant Mike DuHaime told Roll Call, "if the party behaves like it has in the last two months, we shouldn't count on any success."

PA officials demand Rep. Scott Perry resign over report he played part in Trump scheme to replace AG

The New York Times on Saturday singled out Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) as a member of Congress who "played a significant role" in former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election — and now, lawmakers in Perry's state are calling for the congressman's resignation.

According to the Times, while Perry was hardly a main character in the president's unsuccessful attempt to usurp President Joe Biden's electoral victory, he played an integral role in Trump's plan to fire acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. Trump was hoping to replace Rosen, "who stood by the results of the election and had repeatedly resisted the president's efforts to undo them."

Perry introduced Trump to Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department official who "was sympathetic to Mr. Trump's view that the election had been stolen," the Times reports.

Per the Times:

"As the date for Congress to affirm Mr. Biden's victory neared, Mr. Perry and Mr. Clark discussed a plan to have the Justice Department send a letter to Georgia state lawmakers informing them of an investigation into voter fraud that could invalidate the state's Electoral College results."

According to the Times, the former president "backed down" on his plan to fire Rosen and install Clark "only after top department officials threatened to resign en masse."

As the York Daily Record reports, Perry also "led a House floor objection to Pennsylvania's election results" when Congress met to certify the Electoral College votes. That meeting was interrupted by a mob of angry Trump supporters after the president held a rally and promised to "fight like hell" for the presidency.

Following the publication of the report, officials in Pennsylvania on Saturday called for Perry's resignation. One such official was Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-PA), who offered this succinct message for his Republican colleague.



And Josh Shapiro, the Pennsylvania attorney general, insisted there "must be consequences" for Perry's actions.



Eugenio DePasquale, who lost out to Perry in 2020's 10th Congressional District election, likewise demanded the representative's resignation, tweeting "Perry must go!"


Perry has not commented on the New York Times report.

'Like being a hostage negotiator': How Trump’s handlers finally got him to sign the COVID relief bill

A new report from Axios describes the negotiations between President Donald Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, as Mnuchin and McCarthy tried to get Trump to sign the COVID relief and government spending bill that had stalled at the president's desk for days.

Axios' Mike Allen writes that negotiating with "a cranky, stubborn President Trump" was "like being a hostage negotiator, or defusing a bomb."

In a video posted to Twitter last Tuesday, the president put the fate of the stimulus and government spending bill at risk when he called on Congress to raise the $600 checks to $2,000. In that video, the president described the proposed payments as "ridiculously low."

Shortly after posting the video, Trump flew to his private Florida club, Mar-a-Lago. The bill, passed by the House and Senate and awaiting the president's signature, followed suit:

Sunday, hours before Trump changed his mind and signed the bill, unemployment benefits for millions of Americans ran out.

According to Axios, in the intervening days between Trump's Twitter video and his ultimate decision to sign the package, Trump insiders — including Mnuchin, McCarthy and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — "indulged the president's rants, told him there was great stuff in the bill, and gave him 'wins' he could announce, even though they didn't change the bil

Appealing to his "vanity," Allen reports that the president's confidantes finally convinced him "that he had gotten all there was to get" from the bill negotiations.

As Allen reports, the about-face comes too little too late for millions of Americans. And it may have ultimately cost the Republican Party two wins in the upcoming Georgia Senate runoff election.

"It may be too late," Republican pollster Frank Luntz told Axios, "Too late for him, too late for the economy, too late for Covid, and too late for the Georgia senators."

Megachurch pastor who served as Trump evangelical advisor diagnosed with COVID after attending White House party

Pastor Jentezen Franklin, the senior pastor at Georgia megachurch Free Chapel, tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a White House Christmas party with his daughter earlier this month, the Charlotte Observer reports. Free Chapel spokesperson Tracy Page told McClatchy News that Franklin was "exposed to an associate of the congregation" on Thursday who was infected. The spokesperson said the pastor "is self isolating and abiding by all relevant CDC guidelines."

In a statement, the Gainesville-based Free Chapel — which Charlotte Observer reports has "seven campuses in three states" and resumed in-person services in September — said it will move the church's candlelight service online "due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in our area." The church said the decision was made "out of an abundance of caution."

Per the Charlotte Observer:

"Franklin also attended the September nomination ceremony for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett at the White House Rose Garden ceremony, which was later identified as a superspreader event after several people in President Donald Trump's administration, including the president and first lady Melania Trump, tested positive for the coronavirus. Franklin tested negative following the ceremony, WQAD reports.

He has been an ally of the president's and has served as an evangelical adviser to him. He spoke at the Trump campaign's event "Evangelicals for Trump: Praise, Prayer, and Patriotism" in Atlanta in July."

Fox News airs point-by-point fact check of wild election fraud claims during 3 of network's most pro-Trump shows

Fox News this weekend is airing a stunning point-by-point fact check to claims made on programs hosted by the network's most pro-Trump voices after voting technology company Smartmatic send a 20-page legal letter demanding "a full and complete retraction of all false and defamatory statements and reports."

The segment, which features an interview with Palo Open Source Election Technology Institute voting technology expert Eddie Perez, aired on Lou Dobb's Friday show and Jeanine Pirro's Saturday show. Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo will also show the segment.

In its Dec. 10 letter to Fox News Media, Smartmatic charged the company and its hosts with waging "a concerted disinformation campaign against Smartmatic. Fox News told its millions of viewers and readers that Smartmatic was founded by [the late Venezuelan President] Hugo Chávez, that its software was designed to fix elections, and that Smartmatic conspired with others to defraud the American people and fix the 2020 U.S. election by changing, inflating, and deleting votes." The company also demanded the company "match the attention and audience targeted with the original defamatory publications."

As the Washington Post reports:

"During Friday night's fact-checking segment, the questioner asked Perez: 'Have you seen any evidence of Smartmatic sending U.S. votes to be tabulated in foreign countries?'

This appeared to be a reference to Giuliani's Nov. 12 claim on the show that with Smartmatic software, 'the votes actually go to Barcelona, Spain.' Perez responded, 'No, I'm not aware of any evidence that Smartmatic is sending U.S. votes to be tabulated in foreign countries.'"

Speaking with CNN, Perez said that while he was unaware of the nature of the interview when he spoke to Fox News about Smartmatic, it's important to clear up any confusion the network's viewers have about voting integrity in the United States.

"I felt it was important to talk to Fox News," Perez said. "Of anything potentially more important to be speaking the facts to their audience because there are a lot of consumers of Fox News that have doubts about the election."

Watch the video below:


Expert breaks down the ultimate goal of Trump’s ‘classic Russian-style disinformation campaign’

Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, spoke with CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday to explain the ultimate goal of President Donald Trump's false accusations of a rigged and stolen election.

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Watch: GOP voters corner RNC chair on why they should turn out in Georgia runoff 'when it's already decided'

Saturday, at a campaign stop in Marietta, GA, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel struggled to explain to voters why they should cast ballots in the upcoming Senate runoffs when, as one voter expressed, "it's already decided."

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