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Ted Cruz’s manliness gets questioned on The Joe Rogan Experience

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has been facing a political backlash for objecting to President-elect Joe Biden's victory even after a deadly pro-Trump riot that occurred at the U.S. Capitol. Now his manliness is even being questioned on "The Joe Rogan Experience," one of the most popular podcasts in the United States.

"We will see if there are consequences" for the Capitol riot, Rogan said during a recent episode. "I have a feeling there will be for Trump. I think this is going to be the end. I really do. There's very little chance that he's going to run again in 2024 after this."

Rogan's guest, Columbia University neuroscience professor Carl Hart, added that Republican leaders such as Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) were "done" with Trump.

"We've always known that there is a certain faction in this country that's fairly simple," Rogan continued, "not that sophisticated, not that smart, and they like thinking in a real narrow box. And this guy came along and was their guy… The assholes of this country were unrepresented, and now all of a sudden they got represented."

"A lot of those folks that stormed the castle, that stormed Capitol hill, like, if you see when they get arrested, you find out who they are – like, a guy living with his mom believing QAnon conspiracies, thinking the FBI is sending out pedophile codes. That kind of sh*t."

"Those guys didn't have a king before," Rogan added.

The discussion later turned to Republicans who questioned the legitimacy of Joe Biden's electoral victory, with Hart saying that those who fueled the conspiracy theories that incited the riot should be held accountable.

"Those guys, they know they were being dishonest," Hart said.

"I think Ted Cruz and those folks were setting themselves up for future presidential runs, what have you," he explained, "hoping that they get Trump the kingmaker to endorse them – even though Trump called his wife ugly."

"I would have beat Trump's ass," Hart remarked, as Rogan laughed. "What kind of man allows that to happen? What kind of man allows another man to call his wife ugly and not do anything?"

Hart was referring to an incident in 2016, when Trump shared an unflattering photo of Cruz's wife on Twitter along with the comment "a picture is worth a thousand words."

"What kind of man does that? What kind of man allows that? I don't understand that," Hart added.

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GOP congressman blames 'ANTIFA fascists in backwards MAGA hats' after Trump supporters storm the Capitol

Republican Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama falsely claimed that supporters of President Donald Trump who stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday were actually left-wing protesters.

"HOUSE RECESSSED UNTIL ORDER & SAFETY CAN BE ASSURED. Rumor: ANTIFA fascists in backwards MAGA hats. Time will tell what truth is. Capitol Police Announcement: Capitol breach. Locked down! DO NOT LEAVE CHAMBER!" he tweeted.

He added: "Instructions hollered: Stay in place in Chamber until Capitol secure! Apparently, rioters overwhelmed Capitol Police. Hollered demonstration in balcony! Capitol Police: if intruders, hide behind chairs."

Brooks was the first House Republican to publicly state that he planned to contest the 2020 Electoral College results.

"Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass," Brooks said at a pro-Trump rally, prior to the outbreak of violence.

Biden's victory 'is inevitable': GOP senator admits objecting to certification process is all for show

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Wednesday announced that he would object during the Electoral College certification process when Congress convenes next week. Later that day, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told Bloomberg he was "supportive" of Hawley's move.

But Johnson told CNBC on Thursday that while Republicans will complain about alleged voting irregularities before Congress certifies the election, they will not be able to overturn the result in Trump's favor.

"There's a lot of misinformation on both sides," Johnson said. "Some people on our side think just one House member, one senator objects, it immediately goes to a vote of the states and then because we have more states in the House of Representatives, Trump can get re-elected. That's not what happens."

"Every member of the Senate, every member of the House votes to accept or reject that state's slate of electors," the GOP senator explained. "I can't imagine any scenario in which any House Democrats will vote to reject Joe Biden electors. I think the result is inevitable."

Objecting to the certification will force a debate before the vote, which Johnson said he will use to discuss problems with the election "and hopefully set new rules and laws for the next election."

"I don't know what new evidence is going to be coming up between now and the 6th. I have a hard time believing there's going to be something earth shattering, people have been looking at this," he added.

Watch video below:

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Trump warns GOP has 'a death wish' after McConnell blocks $2,000 payments

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on Republican leaders to approve legislation to increase direct payments to Americans from $600 to $2,000.

"Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH! Also, get rid of Section 230 - Don't let Big Tech steal our Country, and don't let the Democrats steal the Presidential Election. Get tough!" Trump tweeted.

The Democrat-led House of Representatives approved the legislation on Monday. But on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked an attempt by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to pass the bill via unanimous consent.

"McConnell brought the chamber back this week with one major goal: overriding Trump's veto of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. He has not yet committed to bringing the $2,000 payment bill up for a vote, and it is unclear now how one would take shape," CNBC explained in a report.

"Still, Democrats tried to use the limited tools at their disposal to force a vote. Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, McConnell said he planned to set up a Wednesday vote on the veto override."

Trump has faced criticism for waiting until the last minute to call for the $2,000 payments.

Trump now being pressured to pardon Steve Bannon and a Republican busted for money laundering

President Donald Trump is being urged to pardon Rick Renzi, who spent three years in prison after using his political position to enrich himself, as well as his former adviser Steve Bannon.

Renzi, a former Republican congressman, was convicted in 2013 of corruption, money laundering and other charges after he was accused of using his congressional seat to make companies buy a business associate's land so a debt could be repaid.

On Thursday, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) took to Twitter to call on Trump to pardon Renzi. Gosar claimed that Renzi was "convicted by corrupt DOJ prosecutors who fabricated evidence."

Gosar also called on the president to pardon anyone indicted in connection with We Build the Wall, a pro-Trump group that allegedly lied to donors and pocketed funds. Bannon was among those indicted.

"Our DOJ is corrupt and inept," Gosar said.

Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former advisor Roger Stone, as well as Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law Jared.

Mississippi Republican unloads on Trump's pardon spree: 'They smack of cronyism'

Republican Brice Wiggins, a state senator in Mississippi, blasted President Donald Trump for his recent pardons.

Trump on Wednesday pardoned his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former advisor Roger Stone, as well as Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law Jared.

In a statement, the White House said Manafort and Stone had been subjected to "unfair" treatment because of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling.

"Having spent nearly 15 yrs prosecuting as an Asst. D.A. and authoring & passing legislation re: criminal activity, these pardons aren't good; they smack of cronyism and political favors. As such, they erode our faith in the rule of law," Wiggins wrote on Twitter in response to the news.

"Now, the pardon power of a POTUS or Gov. is sacrosanct, having been carried over from England. Historically, it was to check the courts in cases of a miscarriage of justice as judged by reasonable minds. This is a hallmark of checks and balances in the Constitution. BUT, more & more it's used as a political reward."

"A pardon negates all the work of prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys & juries who've worked the case; not to be taken lightly. POTUS' of both parties have used it to reward friends; 2 wrongs don't make it right," Wiggins added.

According to The New York Times, Trump has also considered pre-emptive pardons for his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, along with his daughter Ivanka Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

RV in Nashville broadcast a warning before exploding: police chief

John Drake, the head of the Metro Nashville Police Department, confirmed on Friday that an RV that exploded in the downtown area had broadcast a warning.

Police "responded to a call for shots fired in the downtown area, specifically 2nd and Commerce [Street]," Drake said during a press conference.

After responding to the call, "officers encountered an RV that had a recording saying that a potential bomb would detonate within 15 minutes," Drake continued. "Officers upon hearing that, decided to evacuate the buildings nearby, so they began knocking on doors, making announcements, having emergency communications, communicating with everyone to get people safe. Shortly after that, the RV exploded."

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The blast in the southern US city left buildings and the road surface charred, as well as glass, tree branches and bricks strewn across the street in an area filled with businesses, restaurants and bars.

In a dramatic sequence of events that shattered the Christmas Day early morning peace, police were responding to calls that gunshots had been fired and arrived on the scene before the vehicle erupted in flames.

A security camera on 2nd Avenue captured a female voice repeatedly saying "this area must be evacuated now" shortly before the explosion.

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Pictures shared on social media from the immediate aftermath showed thick plumes of black smoke rising from the burning RV and store fronts that had been badly damaged.

"Currently what we have going on now, we have canine dogs, all of them out, partnered with Tennessee highway patrol and federal partners, and we're sweeping the downtown area just as precaution to make sure that everyone is safe and that any service is needed, we can provide that. With that said we don't feel there's any concern in the downtown area of anything else right now, but we're doing that as a precaution to search with our bomb dogs," Drake said.

President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident, which is being investigated by the FBI and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in addition to the metropolitan police.

Agents offered no possible motive immediately and made no link to any terrorism plot.

"This appears to have been an intentional act. Law enforcement is closing downtown streets as investigation continues," the Metro Nashville Police Department tweeted.

Firefighters said at least three people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to local media.

The blast was large enough to be felt several blocks away but the early hour -- 6:30 am (1130 GMT) -- meant streets were largely empty.

The damage was "limited but it is dramatic," Nashville Mayor John Cooper said, adding that the city was "lucky" the blast had occurred on Christmas when few people were downtown.

"It's unfortunate but any other morning I think it would have been a much worse story."

Police said several people had been moved to a local station for questioning, although no arrests or details of suspects were announced.

US Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee led messages of concern from multiple public figures, saying she was "praying for all those involved" and thanking the "brave first responders for keeping us safe."

With additional reporting by AFP

'Going to get ugly': Trump supporter uses his work email to threaten ‘mass execution of public officials’

Michigan state Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D) on Tuesday called out a supporter of President Donald Trump who sent a threatening email to lawmakers.

"This was sent to my office this evening from Randall Yaeger, who chose to send it from his work email at Yaeger Construction. This email has already been sent to the authorities," Pohutsky said in a Facebook post.

Yaeger's email repeated debunked claims of massive voter fraud and warned that "American voters will now be forced to change our government officials with bullets instead of ballots."

The threatening email also "predicts" that the "mass execution" of public officials will begin "very soon" unless Trump is given a second term as president.

According to Fox 2 Detroit, Yaeger could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the threat if he is really the person who sent the email.

Despite posting the man's name, Pohutsky discouraged people from trying to track him down online or otherwise.

"As I mentioned, the authorities have been informed and are investigating. Please do not speculate as to who sent it or post profiles you think belong to that person. There are people whose job it is to determine his identity and civilians doing so is dangerous and unfair to people who may not have done anything wrong," she wrote in a follow-up post.

Pohutsky said that lawmakers in Michigan have been getting threats "every single day." The situation became particularly worse after a hearing with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, she added.

"Whether it's an elected official or any other person, there's no room for these type of threats in our society," Pohutsky told Fox 2 Detroit.

Trump lawyer fumes after his university prohibits him from using their address in his court filings

Law professor John Eastman recently filed a case with the Supreme Court on behalf of President Donald Trump. Now the school he is affiliated with, Chapman University in California, is seeking to distance itself from his legal actions.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the university told Eastman – who is challenging the constitutionality of how Pennsylvania handled mail-in ballots during the 2020 election – that he can no longer use their email, phone number and physical address in his court filings.

"A recent court filing by the Trump campaign shows that Eastman has since changed his listed address to a UPS store in Anaheim," the publication reported.

Eastman now claims to be a victim of "cancel culture." Writing in The American Mind, the professor claimed that Chapman would be "shouting the accomplishment from the rooftops" if he were representing Barack Obama rather than Trump.

"[B]ecause the President at issue was Donald Trump, who invokes a visceral hatred from the overwhelmingly left-wing faculty on campus (yes, you read that right), howls instead of cheers rang out when my representation of the President became public," Eastman complained.

Bombing feared after massive explosion rocks downtown Nashville

Emergency crews are responding to an explosion in downtown Nashville early Christmas morning, according to multiple reports from local media. Th explosion "was an intentional act," according to authorities.

The Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management told News 2 that a parked RV exploded and caused damage to several buildings. Local residents reported feeling a large shaking around 6:30 a.m.

It is unclear what caused the explosion. Three injuries have been reported.

According to News Channel 5 reporter Phil Williams, Nashville firefighters are "concerned about potential vehicle bombs" and have cleared out the area.

The Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management initially told News 2 that foul play was not suspected. But police later said the explosion "was an intentional act."

See more reports on the situation below:

Trump leaves key offices vacant across the federal government as Biden prepares to take over

President Donald Trump has left widespread vacancies in watchdog offices across the government.

Inspectors general play a key role in the federal government, where they are responsible for conducting audits of federal agencies and rooting out corruption. But according to USA Today, at least 38 presidentially appointed inspectors general will not be in place at the end of the Trump administration.

"There is no substitute for Senate-confirmed inspectors general," explained Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University. "They are the coin of the realm when it comes to government oversight."

As Vox noted in May after the firing of the State Department's inspector general, it is not unusual for presidential administrations to have "testy relationships" with the federal watchdogs. But Trump has taken things to a new level.

"I'm surprised the inspectors general offices still have electricity," Light told USA Today. "This is a president who absolutely despises oversight."

Speaking to the publication Federal Computer Week earlier this year, Dan Blair, the former president and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration, said that vacancies were sending the message that oversight was not valued.

"It's demoralizing for the lower ranks," Blair explained. "You think, 'Where do we stand? We should have a confirmed IG in place. Is it not a priority, is our work not a priority?'"

WATCH: Legal expert unleashes a devastating list of William Barr’s misdeeds on CNN

Bill Barr "made a bit of turn" during his last few weeks as President Donald Trump's attorney general, but it was "too little, too late," according to legal expert Elie Honig.

"When Bill Barr had been appointed, even though I was a critic of the DOJ for the first two years, I was more than willing to give Bill Barr the benefit of the doubt, to assume the best," Honig said during an appearance on CNN.

"He then spent the next two years completely trashing that. Most fundamentally, throughout the last two years, Bill Barr has used the Justice Department as a tool to exercise political power. He has lied, he has twisted the law, he has stooped to new lows in order to use the power of prosecution to protect Donald Trump."

Honig later listed many of Barr's misdeeds in office.

"He has quite a rap sheet. First and foremost, he lied to the American public about the Mueller report. I believe in so doing, he saved Trump's presidency because if we had seen the truth, if Bill Barr had not lied about it, I think there would have been a different outcome for Trump back in 2018," Honig said.

"He intervened in politically-charged cases to rescue Michael Flynn, Roger Stone," he continued. "He tried to keep the Ukraine complaint from going to Congress. He fired the head of the SDNY, where I used to work, and lied to the public about that. He used tear gas on protesters outside the White House to clear the way for a photo op where President Trump held up the Bible, and then in the months leading up to the election he lied to the American public about the threat of massive voter fraud."

Watch video below:

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