Exclusive: Congresswoman explains why Rep. Scott Perry is 'mighty afraid' of Jan. 6 committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) spoke to Raw Story after the first hour of the House Select Committee's Thursday night hearing before the public. Dean was among the impeachment managers for the House in the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

She explained that she was crying a lot about what has been shown in the committee hearing thus far.

"It sucks," she confessed. "It's incredibly sad. I'm so sad for our country. I'm not sad for me. We're reliving, of course, what we went through, but I'm just so damn sad for our country. So many people were lied to — to the extent of coming and attacking police, lawmakers, the seat of our democracy. I'm just, I'm so sad for our country."

When asked about Republican attempts to whitewash the Jan. 6 attacks, Dean said that there's no way that they can whitewash it, particularly after seeing those videos.

"Look at people being beaten by American flags, flagpoles with Trump flags," she continued. "There's no whitewashing this."

RELATED: J6 hearings contain revelations that would be 'unimaginable' in Watergate: Lawrence O'Donnell

She went on to say that the way that Republicans claim to be supportive of police is just as absurd given their refusal to support the supplemental bill for Capitol Police after their injuries.

"They're not pro-police," she said.

Dean then explained that what doesn't make sense is what a former member of Congress, Mark Meadows, was saying and doing and that he refused to help protect the vice president and his own former colleagues.

"Can you imagine, how many hours the president did not do a single thing to save us? Can you imagine Ronald Reagan — if a single member of Congress — if his own vice president was threatened — No. 1, he'd be whisked away to a secure space. Not Donald Trump. No. 2, he would have been impeached so quickly for spending hours watching and doing nothing."

She closed by saying that while the Congressional body isn't something that can charge and convict a former president, they can do one important thing: "tell the truth."

"These aren't alternative facts," she said. "These are facts. They are telling the American people the facts. The Department of Justice will do their job. Different states will do criminal investigations and indictments, including Georgia, where the president said...'I just need you to find 11,780 votes.' And I remember a gasp from a Senator in that moment. He will be indicted for that. This is all closing in on the former president. Then we have a job to do as Congress. We have to do like Congress did after Watergate. We have to do reforms."

RELATED: Dems run nationwide ad likening Trump to Putin during Jan. 6 hearings

She then cited some of the Republicans she serves with, like Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) who is refusing to cooperate with the committee. He was the one who put Eastman in touch with President Trump, she explained. "Then fearfully seeks a pardon? And of course, you know he's not cooperating with the 1/6 committee. What's he afraid of? I said on the day that it happened if I have one inch of information that will help you in this committee, and understand what the hell happened here, I'm here. I volunteered. I don't have that valuable a set of information. Scott Perry has valuable information. And he's mighty afraid."

Jan. 6 Committee member doesn't care about Fox News not showing the hearings

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) spoke with Raw Story before the first public hearings to be held over the next month and revealed that he's not concerned about the conservative media machine attempting to distract from the findings of the Jan. 6 investigation.

"We're prepped, we're ready," Aguilar made it clear. "It feels like we're ready to tell this chapter."

Fox News won't be airing any of the hearings, relegating any coverage or conversation to Fox Business, which has lower ratings.

Fox News hosts in prime time consist of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. Of those, Hannity and Ingraham sent text messages to President Donald Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, as the attackers were breaking into the Capitol. They told Meadows that Trump had to stop them. He had to speak out. The president was responsible for stopping the violence. Ingraham's own brother suggested that she be subpoenaed by the House Select Committee to answer questions.

Neither Hannity nor Ingraham explained why they wouldn't air the hearings. However, if those hosts aired the hearing and their text messages were read, they could be in a position to answer questions from their viewers.

Conservatives elsewhere are already trying to promote their own counter programing. Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) published a video where he sounded the alarm about a caravan of 15,000 immigrants headed to the U.S. that would overtake the border. It's a similar message that former President Donald Trump used weeks before the 2018 midterm elections when he claimed the U.S. was about to be invaded.

Exclusive: Senate Republicans still haunted by Jan. 6 riot -- but more than half won't be watching tonight's hearing

More than half of Republicans in the Senate tell Raw Story they have no plans to watch the historic Jan. 6 select committee hearing this evening.

“That's the House’s business,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) told Raw Story at the Capitol.

“Even though it was an attack on the U.S. Capitol?” I asked the attorney and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“That’s all I got for you,” Kennedy says as he turned.

More so, many Republican senators say don’t care what the House select committee finds, which was evident while asking 40 of the Senate’s 50 Republicans what they think of the special committee.

“I was here, and I saw it and know what I saw,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) told Raw Story.

READ: Republicans panic after seeing room layout for primetime Jan. 6 hearing

During the Watergate hearings, Republican senators were as inquisitive, transfixed, appalled, and eventually as angered as the American people became as the facts unfolded. Not so today.

“It has nothing to do with reality,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) told Raw Story of the select committee. “I think it’s completely partisan.”

Granted, there are Republicans on the committee. Two of them, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who a slew of Senate Republicans only recently served alongside in the House, including Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND).

“They don’t count. I mean, they were appointed by the Speaker because they hate Trump,” Cramer told Raw Story. “So whether they’re Republicans or – I mean, I like both of them personally – their only criteria for being on that committee is that they hate Donald Trump.”

READ: Exclusive: Pro-Trump social media guru signaled awareness of militia plans in pre-Jan. 6 conference call

Mitch McConnell cleared his throat before I asked about his Thursday evening plans, which was more emotion than the deep stare I shared with former Vice President Mike Pence’s brother when I asked.

The collective narrative from the right is that the prime time slot and made-for-TV production is reason enough to dismiss the investigation.

“It's theater,” Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) – who used to chair the Intelligence Committee – told me. “You just hired a TV guy to produce a congressional hearing? Give me a break.”

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed – but only after disagreeing.

“Obviously, I care about what they found,” Grassley said, “but it doesn’t matter what they found because just the fact they’re having their hearing on primetime on television speaks that it’s a political operation, rather than a legitimate congressional investigation.”

Democrats laughed off this new collective GOP charge.

READ: Jan. 6 committee has 'painstakingly traced' how Proud Boys and Oath Keepers followed Trump's tweets

“I wasn't aware that senators started to boycott appearances on TV,” Rep. Jaime Raskin (D-MD) told Raw Story on his way to a House vote.

A handful of Senate Republicans who won’t be watching the proceedings and don’t trust its underpinnings said they’re open to hearing new information from the committee.

“Obviously I’ve got questions. Everybody has questions in every different area – there’s no way you can’t,” Sen. James Lanford (R-OK) told Raw Story while exiting the Capitol. “This doesn’t appear to be fact-finding. This appears to be something very different.”

Lankford contends he’s in no rush because over time a fuller picture will be painted, which he admits the special committee will contribute to – just not complete.

“They’ll bring some things out,” Lankford said. “The facts and info will come out. There's just too many people involved.”

The Senate moderates also don't plan to be watching, but they have questions -- and staffs.

“I probably won’t watch it, because I just don’t watch any of that stuff. I just read about it the next day,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) told Raw Story. “So yeah – I’ll be interested.”

Others don’t like the bitterness and bickering that’s marked the special committee, but they still have questions they’d like answered about Jan. 6.

“Of course. What? Who? How did it get to that point? What were they thinking? What were they?” Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV) told Raw Story while walking in the Capitol. “So yeah, I think there are lots of questions out there – and what were the involvements of everybody?”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is receiving an award tonight, and senators say they’ve already got plans -- most of which involve flying home. And at least one GOP senator who actually wants to see the evidence – or lack thereof – himself knows there’s an app for that.

“I’ll probably have to call my wife and tell her to DVR it for me,” Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) told Raw Story after voting on the Senate floor. “I think it’s a political stunt, but I’m going to watch it like I do everything. You’ve got to take in all the information, but in this case, I think it was ill-founded from the get-go.”

As for the special committee’s audience? Its chair says their audience isn’t the staid Senate anyway, they have one audience tonight.

“The American public,” Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told Raw Story on the Capitol steps. “We plan to tell the truth as we have discovered it and share that truth with the public. And obviously, at the end of the day, it's the public's decision as to who's truthful and who's not.”

Exclusive: Progressives have a blueprint to unpack Mitch McConnell’s court

For nearly five decades the GOP has promised to eradicate Roe v. Wade, yet in the month since we learned the Supreme Court plans to do just that Democratic Party leaders still haven’t laid out a plan to save women’s reproductive rights as we’ve known them. That’s why three progressive Democratic senators say it’s time the party reconsiders their concrete, if highly disagreeable, blueprint to unpack Mitch McConnell’s court: Pack it themselves.

At the start of this Congress, both Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed calls to expand the size of the Supreme Court, but that was before news leaked that the court plans to overturn Roe. Progressives say the Democratic Party has already been outflanked by McConnell who they accuse of stealing President Obama’s final Supreme Court selection, and they say it’s foolish to pretend he didn’t.

“The deck is already stacked. I mean, talk about being a chump,” Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) told Raw Story through an uncomfortable laugh. “All of this happened and then you say, ‘Oh, now we have to protect the integrity of the court. Now we have to do everything we can not to politicize the court.’ No. If you really believe that that’s happened, you have to get real.”

Since the leak, Democratic leaders have been holding show votes, steadily filling their campaign coffers, and reminding the base to vote in November. None of those efforts would rebalance the court, which is why Smith says the party needs to get its recent history straight on Merrick Garland never getting a vote, let alone nomination hearings.

READ: How the NRA crafted the unholy matrimony of gun culture and white supremacy

“The first step is recognizing what's happened, and then this next step is to figure out what to do about it,” Smith recently told us at the Capitol. “I think the court needs reform, and adding justices to the court is, to me, an obvious step to take.”

Even as the Democratic Party is derided as ‘the radical left’ by the right’s messaging machine, in the Senate the proposal to expand the Supreme Court from 9 to 13 justices is only supported by Sens. Smith, Elizabeth Warren, and Ed Markey. While the latter both represent solidly blue Massachusetts, Smith is technically a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (or DFL) whose ranks once included the likes of Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale.

The three senators aren’t necessarily more progressive than their Democratic colleagues, yet they remain outliers. Smith says they shouldn’t be. She endorsed the so-called court-packing measure at the end of last year, when the Supreme Court upheld a restrictive Texas anti-abortion law.

“I was like, ‘if you can't see in this moment that the Supreme Court has become a political arm of the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party, then you're never going to be able to see it,’” Smith continued.

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The House proposal to expand the size of the Supreme Court has 56 cosponsors. But even in the wake of the Roe leak, the progressive measure isn’t attracting much attention in the staid Senate.

“I haven't had a lot of conversations with my colleagues about this,” Smith said.

Neither has Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), but she predicts that will change in the coming weeks, months, and years.

“I think the magnitude of the Roe decision is still seeping through Congress and through the rest of the country,” Warren recently told Raw Story at the Capitol. “The impact of an extremist Supreme Court isn’t just overturning Roe – it’s so much more.”

Warren opposed expanding the size of the court while running for president, but at the end of 2021 she announced her change of mind in a Boston Globe op-ed where she described today’s 6-3 conservative majority as a “Republican hijacking”.

READ: An insidious ideology propagated by the morbidly rich has stopped progress dead in its tracks

“I don’t come to this conclusion lightly or because I disagree with a particular decision; I come to this conclusion because I believe the current court threatens the democratic foundations of our nation,” Warren wrote at the time.

While Democratic leaders have yet to unveil their strategy for rebalancing the Supreme Court, they’re keeping their distance from this proposal to expand the number of justices.

When asked about court-packing proposals, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin was quick to distance not just himself, but the whole party, from the proposal.

“No,” Durbin (D-IL) responded when Raw Story recently asked him about the measure at the Capitol. “No party position.”

Even with women and young girls nationwide on the brink of losing their reproductive rights, most rank-and-file Democrats are also refusing to consider a potential expansion of the Supreme Court.

“I don't think that's even on the table,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) told Raw Story at the Capitol. “The focus right now is trying to win a bigger majority.”

Booker is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He maintains, even with polls steadily showing the GOP riding high going into the midterm elections, the answer for Democrat’s current quandary lies in the voting booth.

“I think this is clearly a point where a woman's bodily autonomy is on the ballot in November,” Booker said, “and if we are returned with a big enough Senate majority, we can protect the most sacrosanct principle in America, which is: the government can't tell me what to do with my body.”

Progressive darling, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has also refused to sign onto the court expansion proposal. He says the answer to this conservative court is eradicating the filibuster, even if that means Mitch McConnell and Republicans could then ban abortions federally every time they regain the majority.

“That’s the way life is,” Sanders told Raw Story when asked about future Republican majorities outlawing abortion federally. “I think it’s terribly important in this moment that we do the right thing.”

The Senate proposal to re-pack the court is sponsored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). When he first introduced it in the spring of 2021, he argued four additional justices were needed to protect vulnerable Americans.

“Republicans stole the Court’s majority, with Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation completing their crime spree,” Markey said. “Of all the damage Donald Trump did to our Constitution, this stands as one of his greatest travesties. Senate Republicans have politicized the Supreme Court, undermined its legitimacy, and threatened the rights of millions of Americans, especially people of color, women, and our immigrant communities.”

These progressive senators also support further ethics reform for the justices, along with proposals to increase transparency at the Supreme Court. But Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota says those measures don’t address the current problem: That Roe’s days are numbered.

“I don't think ethics reforms by themselves are going to restore the balance to the court that is required now,” Smith argued.

Smith and the other progressives are open to other ideas to restore the makeup of the court, but those have been lacking.

“If anybody has a better idea, like, I'm all ears,” Smith told Raw Story, “but I haven't heard anything.”

NOW WATCH: Mark Meadows' texts 'paint a very clear portrait' of Team Trump's plot to overthrow the election

Mark Meadows' texts 'paint a very clear portrait' of Team Trump's plot to overthrow the election www.youtube.com

From our cold dead hands: DC Republicans cling to guns in wake of Texas shooting

In the wake of Tuesday’s massacre of 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas there’s been a palpable change in the air at the U.S. Capitol.

A decade ago, after 20 children were slaughtered by a gunman in Newtown, Connecticut or even five years ago, when House Republicans and Capitol Police officers were attacked by a gunman during a baseball practice, the common refrain from the GOP was “it’s too soon to talk policy.” These days, most Republicans are eager to defend guns – no matter the most recent body count or how warm and tiny those bodies are.

“It's heartbreaking to watch. There are no words to adequately comfort parents, and so I don't try at this point,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) tells a scrum of reporters at the Capitol, describing his now routine mass shooting routine. “I usually wait before really talking about the policy ramifications of it…”

“It’s been a decade since Newtown,” I interject. “I covered that. I’ve cried with those families, so...”

“What about it though?” the senator cuts me off.

RELATED: ‘He kept getting worse and worse’: Uvalde gunman developed morbid fascinations as family life deteriorated

“It’s been a decade with no change,” another reporter seamlessly interjects.

“Because the principle hasn't changed. The second amendment hasn't changed. The constitutional right hasn't changed,” Cramer matter-of-factly replies. “The vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens. We still are the freest country in the world. So none of that has changed in that decade.”

What has changed in that decade is the number of mass shootings, along with the tragic uptick in body counts and carnage, have steadily risen, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. It also seems Americans have now become desensitized to the uniquely American scourge of gun violence.

Many Americans have grown accustomed to mass shootings, though not all.

RELATED: Student arrested for bringing AK-47 pistol and AR-15 rifle to Texas high school: report

“There should be 50 Republicans today who are willing to pass basic gun safety legislation,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tells Raw Story after voting on the Senate floor, “We should have a vote of 100 to zero to pass sensible gun legislation that is supported by more than 90% of Americans. If we can't do that, then Democrats need to get this done on their own. And to do that, we're going to have to get rid of the filibuster.”

Warren’s not alone.

“This is a moral abomination, and I will never give up on this,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) tells Raw Story while walking under the Capitol rotunda.

Like Sen. Warren, Schatz is a progressive who supports filibuster reform, so a simple majority of U.S. senators – 51, as opposed to the current 60 – would be the final arbiters of federal policy. But today’s Senate is split 50-50, and pro-gun Democrats complicate the math.

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“That feels, at least for the time being, unrealistic,” Schatz laments.

While Democrats have made huge gains in this ongoing debate – including capturing numerous suburban seats running pro-gun safety candidates – advocates know they’re years, if not decades, away from changing the national debate. That’s not good enough for Schatz or most Democrats.

“There is no time. Kids are being slaughtered, and there’s no time. We can’t have any tolerance for this taking 10 years to move its way through our political system,” Schatz exclaims, half in disbelief there’s even a debate at all. “We have to fix this now.”

Fix what? The more moderate handful of Republican senators still standing in Washington seem eager to negotiate around the edges.

“Background checks and updating our background check technology is something that I think is an appropriate federal responsibility,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) tells Raw Story as he’s about to vote on the Senate floor.

Romney is also open to so-called red flag laws, which enable family and friends to report loved ones to courts in the hopes of getting their guns confiscated. Other Republicans support the idea, too.

“Yes. I do,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) tells Raw Story as she heads into a hearing. “I hope we'll look at passing yellow – or red flag laws such as the state of Maine has with the involvement of a medical professional, the courts and due process.”

Still, other Republicans have seen new gun-control measures take root in their states in recent years, but they don’t necessarily want those local measures passed federally.

After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland in 2018 – which came two years after the Pulse nightclub massacre – then-Gov. Rick Scott signed a gun-control measure that, among other things, raised the legal age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21, while also increasing mental health funding and banning so-called bump stocks.

Like most Republicans, now-Sen. Scott doesn’t think his state laws should become a federal mandate.

“I think most of the things you should be doing at the state [level],” Scott tells Raw Story as we walk through a Senate office building.

Still, Scott is open to some changes federally, including improving the federal government’s ability to assess potential threats and then disseminate that information to officials on the ground.

“I think we do need to have more threat assessment and more coordination,” Scott continues, “After Parkland happened, I was very vocal with the FBI, and they actually completely changed how they share information.”

As for Sen. Cramer from North Dakota, the Republican studied social work as an undergrad and is open to trying to improve mental health.

“I feel like we could do more to empower,” Cramer says, “whether it's professional therapists, family members, even with adult children, to have greater access to be able to intervene in their lives when their mental illness issues, when their addiction issues, when there are other signs.”

While none of those potential GOP proposals go far enough for Democrats, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) is willing to listen. He’s searching for any GOP partner willing to talk about gun reform. Murphy’s become, arguably, the Senate’s loudest advocate for gun control since his small constituents were shot at Sandy Hook.

While it doesn’t feel like it, Murphy says there’s been progress in the past decade, though most of it came from the ground level and not much has come out of today’s hyper-partisan Washington. And changing federal statutes remains the goal.

“You’ve seen a movement grow that’s substantial that didn’t exist before Sandy Hook,” Murphy tells Raw Story as we take an elevator to the Senate floor, “I think there’s a lot of good news to be told. I think there are a lot more state laws that are a lot more protective of life, since Sandy Hook, but we need a federal law. State laws can only offer so much protection.”

That’s why, just as he’s done for the past decade – ever since Connecticut families were forced to dig 20 tiny graves, along with six adult-sized ones – Murphy’s searching for GOP allies.

“I don’t want to overstate where we are. We’re not, like, sitting down at a table negotiating,” Murphy says, “We’re just having some preliminary conversations about where things stand.”

Republican senators show no movement on gun control laws after Uvalde massacre

Eight Republican U.S. senators interviewed by Raw Story today provided no indication that they would support changes to federal gun laws in the wake of the murder of 19 children and an adult in a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school.

The eight were Senators Mitt Romney (UT), Josh Hawley (MO), Lindsey Graham (SC), John Barrasso (WY), Rick Scott (FL), Shelley Moore Caputo (WVA), Kevin Cramer (ND), and Susan Collins (ME). All were interviewed briefly as they moved through the corridors of the U.S. Capitol.

The common response was an expression of sorrow for the victims and their families followed by non-specific suggestions that did not reference firearms control or reduction. None indicated support for federal red-flag laws such as the one advocated last year by President Joe Biden.

Here’s a synopsis of the senators’ responses:

Romney: The Utah senator, who has received more than $13 million in contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA) in his career, struck a conciliatory tone: “Background checks and updating our background-check technology is an appropriate federal responsibility.” But while said he was “looking at” the Toomey-Manchin gun proposal, Romney added he would need to decide “whether I could support that or whether there might be some amendments that would make it more acceptable.” As to red-flags, Romney said he supported them at the state level but didn’t see a federal role.

RELATED: Ron Johnson attempts to flee through locked door as he avoids question on school shooting

Hawley: The insurrectionist senator was the most hostile to red-flag laws, even at the state level. “It depends on the law. That means a lot of things to a lot of different people. There’s a wide variance of what kind of due-process protection is provide, what sort of evidence the government has to (produce), whether there’s a mental-health condition and what sort of discretion the judge has.” Asked by a reporter, do you at least see an opening to discuss that at a national level, Hawley demurred: “At the national level? I don’t know about that. It’s something the states can do if they want to, but I’ve got a lot of concerns with a lot of the red-flag laws out there.”

Graham: Asked about red laws, the senator was Grahamesque: “Bring it all up, vote on it. I don’t know what they want to do. I want to secure schools.”

Barrasso: Asked if he was in the “pocket of the gun lobby “ Barrasso didn’t flinch: “I’m from Wyoming. We are strong supporters of the Second Amendment, as opposed to an organization, it’s an amendment to which we are committed. It does seems like when tragedies occur like this horrendous situation in Texas with this senseless loss of life, I want to know why someone could get into a school like that.” Barrasso said schools need to be “hardened” to prevent criminals from entering. But he added, “It does seem that the Democrats just want to immediately take away people’s guns. They don’t want people to be able to buy, own or transport legal firearms. That’s the place they want to go first.”

Scott: The senator spoke about the sorrow of having been through four mass shootings, including Parkland, while he was governor of Florida. But asked about what to do at the federal level, Scott spoke of “some things” he did at the state level. He referenced the Eagle’s Act providing threat assessments and sharing information about school’s best practices, but “most of the things you need to do are at the state level.” He too, charged that “the Democrats want to constantly go to taking someone’s Second Amendment rights away.”

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Cramer: He spoke of how “painful” and “heartbreaking” the killings were to watch and that there were “no words to comfort the parents.” However, Cramer pivoted to saying, “it’s best to wait to make major policy decisions” because of the emotion surrounding mass shootings. When a reporter noted that it has been 10 years since the Newtown tragedy and no major new guns law have passed, Cramer responded, “Right, right, because the principle hasn’t changed, the Second Amendment, the constitutional right hasn’t changed, the vast, vast majority of gun owners are law abiding citizens. None of that has changed in the past decade.” He said, “I feel that we could more to empower professional therapists and family members to intervene in their lives when there are mental health and addiction issues.” But he added, “the weapon of choice is less important that the person who pulled the trigger.” Cramer admitted that if he supported gun control, “most of the voters of North Dakota – and not just Republican voters would probably throw me out of office.”

Caputo: After expressing that the shootings were “horrifying,” Caputo’s responded to a question about new gun laws, “My understanding is that Senator Schumer said he was going to look toward something bipartisan. We’ll just have to see what comes from those discussions.” She then declined to answer specific questions.

Collins: She said she supports Congress passing red-flag laws, but there was a twist. “I hope we’ll look at passing a yellow or flag law such as the state of Maine has with the involvement of a medical professional, the courts and due process.” But asked about a federal law, she said “what you have to do is incentivize the states to pass that.”

Exclusive: Senate Republicans bristle after being asked about white supremacy in wake of Buffalo shooting

White supremacists are a growing threat in America, according to the FBI, National Counterterrorism Center, and Department of Homeland Security. But the Republicans Raw Story spoke to on Capitol Hill see a different story.

In the wake of this weekend’s deadly Buffalo shooting – by an alleged gunman who said on social media he was targeting Blacks – most Republicans we spoke with deny there’s a trend.

“I think it's tragic. I don't know if you could call it a trend or not,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told Raw Story on his way to a closed-door intelligence briefing in the underbelly of the Capitol.

The close ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell represents El Paso, which is still healing from the 2019 attack that left 23 dead – and another 23 injured – at the hands of a racist who released a manifesto before his act. But to Cornyn, whether it’s El Paso, Charleston, Charlottesville, or the Jan. 6 attack – where Black officers were repeatedly called the N-word as they fought to protect Cornyn and others – there’s no white supremacy to see in America.

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“It's just a cop out, trying to blame this on – I mean, it's violence committed by either criminal people or people who are deranged,” Cornyn said. “And if people want to put that in a pigeonhole or category – whether it's ‘hate crime’ or whatever – it doesn't make it any less evil.”

“I think it's awful. I think it's grotesquely divisive,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told Raw Story while riding up an elevator just off the Senate floor. “What it is is the media's showing themselves for who they are, which are advocates for the radical left. And they're just trying to cover up for Biden now.”

Recently, Johnson served as chair of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee.

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“We see gangs. We see cyber threats. I mean, I think there's actually more threatening threats,” Johnson continued, “I mean, there's more serious threats facing this nation than what's posed by white supremacists. Now again, I condemn it. Obviously.”

The Wisconsin senator then pointed to Chicago and 'Black on Black' crime.

“Now, I'd be concerned about that. Again, I'm concerned about all violence. But I mean, I would focus my attention on where the murders are actually occurring,” Johnson said on Tuesday, three days after 10 people were killed in Buffalo. “And I'd be focusing my attention on what can we do to start preventing overdose deaths.”

Down in Indiana, there may be white supremacists – more than 15 white supremacist hate groups are being tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center in the Hoosier State alone – but the state’s senior senator says constituents aren't worried about that.

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“Oh gosh,” Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) told Raw Story while heading into a Republican-only lunch at the Capitol. “I'll tell you, what's on most Hoosier’s minds is inflation, border security, war in Europe. I think the president and our national Democratic leaders would be well served by finding some solutions to our most pressing challenges.”

Other Republicans Raw Story spoke to are not sure anything can be done to stop white domestic extremists.

“The question is: can you find a lone actor?” Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) told Raw Story, before stepping in to buy lunch in the Capitol basement.

The former Senate Intelligence Committee chair helped ramp up domestic and foreign surveillance in the wake of 9-11, but says these cases – involving angry, homegrown white men – are different.

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“Unless you're going to surveil somebody 24/7 – and it didn't sound like it raised to a level to do that – there's that vulnerability in a free society,” Burr said, explaining U.S. law now makes it easier to surveil foreign terrorists. “We have different tools to surveil them versus domestic. I think you get into some very big constitutional questions pretty quickly.”

Current Senate Intelligence Vice-Chair Marco Rubio (R-FL) argued that domestic terrorism is ubiquitous across America's sub-cultures and ideologies.

“Sadly, there isn't an ideology – or, frankly, religion – in the world that doesn't have adherents that commit horrifying atrocities. These deranged people can justify it anywhere they want, but we've had Black nationalist shootings in America. We had a Chinese immigrant go after Taiwanese immigrants in California the day after that shooting in Buffalo. We've had a congressional shooting here targeted by a socialist,” Rubio continued, “So once people make up their mind about some ideology or some belief system, they can justify it. You know, radical Islam. History has been replete with people that justify violence with Christianity. So it's a terrible part of the human condition.”

“Oh my God,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said, her voice dropping, after Raw Story relayed what her Republican colleagues have been saying about white supremacists in the wake of the Buffalo shooting.

“That continues the false narrative that Fox News puts out,” Gillibrand continued, “White supremacy is a scourge. It’s something that we have to address head on. It is proliferating evil and hate and division in this country, and we all have to stand up and fight against it.”

Progressive senator to Sanders and Schumer: Stop lying to voters on Roe v. Wade -- we got rolled

With the Supreme Court slated to overturn Roe v. Wade in the coming months, there’s been a loud and growing chorus from most elected Democrats focusing the party’s voters, activists, and donors on the usual suspect, the filibuster. There’s a problem though: Overhauling the filibuster – whether this week or four months from now – would do nothing for the millions of women on the verge of losing their reproductive rights.

In the aftermath of the leak, high profile progressives, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), immediately called for nuking the filibuster. With women’s rights at stake, they’ve been joined by many rank and file Democrats who are scrambling to show voters resolve while also giving them hope, even if its currently false hope.

Similarly, this week Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has teed up a vote on a measure codifying reproductive rights. Here’s the thing though: Everyone in Washington knows it’s destined for failure. Even Schumer knows this. He already brought it up for a show vote this February where it failed 46-48. Still, Schumer is delivering a flurry of action, even as others fear Democratic officials are playing to the cameras and people’s fears, when they should be employing “radical honesty.”

“We have to be absolutely blunt about what we can and can't do. And right now, we cannot change what the Supreme Court is about to do,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) told Raw Story while riding the tram under the Capitol.


Marjorie Taylor Greene gets confronted by a veteran | RawStory.TV

The progressive senator isn’t surrendering. Rather, he wants Democrats to regroup and strategize, not promise the base something the party can’t deliver. It took opponents 50 years to rescind Roe. Once the Supreme Court’s final opinion comes out, Democrats instantly move from defense to offense in their new, potentially decades-long battle.

We can fight back against it,” Schatz continued. “It just requires a sustained strategy that’s real and not just trolling for clicks and retweets and campaign contributions. Can’t just fundraise off it!”

But fundraise off it they are. The day after the draft opinion was leaked both Majority Leader Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) blasted out fundraising appeals. And a Senate vote this week ensures maximum coverage, which political consultants and campaign managers coast to coast are eager to fundraise off.

Money isn’t everything. Democrats are trying to harness the natural outpouring of anger from their voters and turn it into electoral gains. For most Democratic officeholders, a central part of their pitch is a promise to make Congress more democratic through blunting the minority party’s ability to filibuster.

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“That has been my position for quite a while,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) told Raw Story while walking in the Capitol. “People all across our country should respond with outrage [over] this attack on a woman's constitutional right to control her own body.”

But what do they do with that outrage? Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) wants to use it to blow up the filibuster. She says polls steadily show majority support for abortion access. And in Congress, “so many Democrats” support it and they’re the majority party, after all.

“If we had something like 50 votes, we could pass this if we didn't have the filibuster,” Klobuchar told Raw Story in Washington.

But Democrats don’t have 50 votes. Sure, there are 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, but Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) still opposes the Women's Health Protection Act. In February, he voted with Republicans to block that abortion measure from even being debated in the Senate. It failed 46-48. Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (CA), Ben Ray Lujan (NM), and Raphael Warnock (GA) all missed that vote, and each of them is a co-sponsor. While Democrats have 49 votes, they don’t have 50. But you wouldn’t necessarily know that from listening to Democrats.

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“We can change the filibuster to preserve life and human rights – preserving the lives of women who will die if Roe v. Wade is eviscerated,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told Raw Story at the Capitol.

No they can’t. At least they can’t change the filibuster today. Democrats don’t have the votes to change the Senate rules. More so, even if they could overhaul the filibuster, they don’t have enough Democratic support to pass the abortion bill taking center stage on the Senate floor this week.

“We don't have the votes, so there's nothing to do,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) told Raw Story after leaving a weekly private lunch for Democratic senators. “My read is that Sens. Manchin and Sinema are not changing their position, so the work we have to do is much more connected to the upcoming elections and future elections.”

Murphy supports destroying the filibuster at the soonest possible moment, but, unlike many of his Democratic colleagues, he isn’t pushing it in the context of Roe v. Wade being overturned. With polls showing Republicans slated to reap big congressional gains this November, Murphy isn’t concerned that obliterating the filibuster will empower a potential Republican Senate majority next year.

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“My position on the filibuster is connected to my belief that it's fundamentally anti-democratic. I accept the fact that a 50-vote threshold will sometimes help Republican causes, and it will sometimes help Democratic causes,” Murphy said.

For other Democrats, the Roe v. Wade bombshell itself warrants a filibuster funeral.

“This is a clarifying moment,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) told Raw Story outside the Capitol, with the court in sight. “This is a perfect example of why we should allow the majority sentiment in the country to prevail: the overwhelming majority of the American people are in favor of protecting reproductive freedoms and codifying Roe v. Wade.”

Again, polls steadily show Van Hollen is technically correct. But polls aren’t people, especially not congresspeople. And there are simply not enough votes, according to Van Hollen’s own Democratic colleagues.

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Republicans prospects are great in November, and Republicans are bullish they can recapture at least one, though possibly both chambers of Congress. That means Mitch McConnell would preside over a filibuster-free Senate. That’s not a huge concern to Van Hollen because there’s a Democrat in the White House.

“You have President Biden in the White House, right? So you’re not going to have Republicans in the next couple years succeed in taking away reproductive choice as a matter of federal statutory law,” Van Hollen said.

Van Hollen seems to have forgotten the buyer’s remorse many Democrats had after the party blew up parts of the filibuster under former Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama, so they could seat backlogged judicial and executive branch nominees.

Democrats left the filibuster intact for Supreme Court nominees. When he got the gavel back, McConnell – using the recent precedent from Democrats – quickly nuked the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. That move eventually resulted in McConnell’s remake of the court, seating three new Federalist Society-approved judges; the ones who voted to repeal 50 years of protections for women.

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After supporting Harry Reid’s filibuster reform as a freshman senator, Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) later wished he could take it back. But there are no take backs in Congress.

“I have come over time to regret…changing the rules,” Coons told his colleagues from the Senate floor back in 2017, right before McConnell and Republicans followed Democrat’s lead and destroyed the filibuster so they could swiftly seat Neil Gorsuch on the court.

Last week, after the leak-heard-round-the-world, Coons rebuffed Raw Story’s question about filibuster reform, regret, and Roe v. Wade.

"I'm sorry. I'm out of energy. I'm out of time. I'm tired. Leave me alone," Coons said.

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Regrets aside, there’s growing pressure on Democrats to upend he filibuster, even as Sen. Schatz of Hawaii and a few others continue trying to refocus the party on the possible, instead of all the outrage-fueled – and somewhat misleading – fundraising appeals being blasted out daily from the Capitol.

“The cold hard truth is,” Schatz contends, “that the way to respond to a Supreme Court that has gone completely out of control is to give us a couple of more seats in the United States Senate so we can codify Roe and to win legislatures across the country so they can establish a statutory right to abortion.”

Roe v. Wade has motivated Republicans for decades, even as it was never a huge motivator on the left. Democrats are banking on that changing now that abortion “is on the ballot” this November and for the foreseeable future.

“It’s real now,” Schatz said of the Democratic base not getting as excited as Republican base Roe going away. “I'm for all of those progressive objectives – eliminating the filibuster and codifying Roe – but we don't have the votes yet. And there's a way to remedy that, which is we have to win in November.”

NOW WATCH: Republicans aren't even bothering to lie about it anymore. They are now coming for birth control

Republicans aren't even bothering to lie about it anymore They are now coming for birth control www.youtube.com

EXCLUSIVE: Alleged 'victims' of People of Praise 'terrified' of Amy Coney's Barrett's anti-gay views as Supreme Court hears LGBTQ case

"Mom, please take me home,” Mary, a petrified teenage girl stammered from Shreveport, Louisiana back in 2011. She was there for a “mission trip” with the People of Praise (POP) – Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s tiny, secretive religious sect. Instead of helping the poor Black and Brown folks who lived in town, she was bewildered that her group traveled all the way from Falls Church, Virginia – a wealthy suburb of Washington – to manicure the already manicured homes on a block owned by the sect’s white congregants.

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