WATCH: Former Fox News anchor explains how network's viewers have been brainwashed

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson offered a damning assessment of the network as she explained just how bad its spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation has become.

During an appearance on the CNN segment, "Democracy in Peril," Carlson discussed many aspects of Fox News' critical role in the spread of misinformation and falsehoods. Since former President Donald Trump took office, conspiracy theories have been on the rise and Fox News has become a driving force for it.

Conservative primetime news anchor Tucker Carlson has been at the center of misinformation and the power of his opinion has begun to influence Republican members of Congress.

“This is the result of fake news,” Carlson said. “You know, we're seeing not only the fallout from fake news during the Trump era, but what happened with the insurrection on January 6th. Now it's moving into other areas. Not just news, now it’s hitting science with vaccines, and now it’s into Cold War politics.”

Carlson also touched on another significant topic as she shed light on the actions of her former Fox News colleagues, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. While they reportedly sent pleas to the White House for the violence to stop on Jan. 6, they still put up a united front on-air and circulated a completely different narrative about the series of events that unfolded.

“I think the bigger story coming out of that is how disingenuous it was to be sending those texts of warning while then going on the air to the American people and doing a complete injustice and disservice by saying something completely opposite,” Carlson said, “and ginning up this whole reaction that it was just fine and patriotic for people to be there on January 6th.”

She went on to express concern about the journalistic state of her former network since the rise of Trump. Carlson also noted how conspiracy theories have become a fallacious replacement for opinion.

“Slowly but surely, this has morphed into eradicating any other point of view since the Trump era that is not just opinion,” Carlson said. “It's gone from an opinion, which was fine, to completely devolving into non-fact-based conspiracy theories and outright dangerous rhetoric, in my mind, and I think it’s a complete disservice to our country.”

Noting the dangers of biased journalism, Carlson explained how dangerous it is to only get information from one news source. She also stressed how imperative it is for Republican leaders and lawmakers to use their platforms to offer clarity regarding some of the dangerous false narratives perpetuated by Fox News.

“For the safety of the Republican Party and for our democracy, I wish more would, because this is not going to end well, in my mind,” Carlson said. “It's really hard to change people's opinions because they're only watching what they want to hear, you know? And that's the other problem that we have in society with the media right now, is that we're so siloed into only watching what we agree with. And so every day that thought process just gets reinforced time after time.”

Carlson also conceded that conservative media has changed considerably over the last five years as there is no longer a clear line between opinion and conspiracy theory. “Conservative television news is certainly not the conservative news that was out there even just five years ago,” Carlson said, later adding, “There’s a big difference between having a conservative opinion and having one that supports conspiracy theories.”

IN OTHER NEWS: Jan. 6 committee drops subpoenas for Trump’s ‘alternate electors’ in 7 states

Jan. 6 committee drops subpoenas for Trump’s ‘alternate electors’ in 7 states

Maddow lays out a damning timeline as she slams Arizona's attorney general for ignoring phony electors scandal

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow did not mince words when she criticized Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) for his failure to look into the fake electors' scandal after the case was forwarded to his office from the Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

On Thursday, January 28, Maddow discussed the timeline of events noting that the investigation goes back to December 22, 2020. At the time, Hobbs' office had received fake electors' documents from two different sets of Republicans. Both sets of documents included the state seal.

In a letter to those who crafted the fake electors' documents, Hobbs pointed out a number of offenses, including the illegal and unauthorized use of the Arizona state seal. She also confirmed that her office would be forwarding the case to the attorney general's office for potential prosecution.

"By affixing the state seal to documents containing false and misleading information about the results of Arizona's November 3, 2020 General Election, you undermine the confidence in our democratic institutions," Hobbs wrote at the time.

The following day, on December 23, 2020, Hobbs' office made a formal criminal referral to Brnovich's office. The referral included all documents from the Arizona residents who purported to be state officials. Hobbs offered all of the material she'd received and laid out a clear case to support the charges she'd highlighted in the first letter.

However, after the case was turned over to Brnovich, nothing else happened. Now, it's been more than a year since any action was taken to advance the case.

She also raised two questions. Maddow wondered why only one of the cases had been reviewed when there were two cases of fake electors over the course of a number of days. She also wondered why no federal investigation was launched into the second case, as well. Or was it?

So what has Brnovich been doing in the meantime? According to Maddow, he has been more focused on appeasing former President Donald Trump in hopes of getting an endorsement for his U.S. Senate campaign. The MSNBC primetime host lambasted Brnovich for attempting to appeal to his constituents even though he is failing to do his current job.

Maddow shared highlights from a critical op-ed written by Arizona Central columnist Laurie Roberts. "Anyone waiting breathlessly for Attorney General Mark Brnovich to launch an investigation into the fake Trump electors who participated in a scheme to overturn Arizona’s vote should wait no longer," Roberts wrote.

She also highlighted how Brnovich may be doing Trump's bidding for the sake of his campaign. Since Trump has shown support for Bronvich's opponent, Blake Masters, he appears to be apprehensive about further rocking the boat.

How Paul Gosar emerged as a far-right favorite and subsequently the 'most dangerous man in Congress’

Over the last two years, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) has emerged as a heavy favorite among far-right conservatives. As an avid supporter of former President Donald Trump, Gosar has managed to gain more than 90 endorsements as the midterm election season approaches.

During a recent rally, Gosar spoke before a crowd of right-wing supporters as he declared to be “considered the most dangerous man in Congress."

“This is where it all began,” Gosar said prior to Trump taking the stage. “This is where we questioned: ‘Was there fraud? Absolutely. Was it enough to overturn the election? Absolutely.’”

At the same event, per The Guardian, the Republican lawmaker also echoed the stance of other right-wingers who have criticized critical race theory (CRT), the military and food shortages. Last but not least, he pivoted toward a Trump favorite: voter fraud and illegitimate elections.

So what makes Gosar different from other Trump-supporting Republicans?

Per The Guardian, Gosar is "the kind of politician that Trump – who is embarking on a series of rallies to try to cement his allies’ power in the Republican party – is increasingly seeking to support."

"Gosar has extensive links to white nationalists and Capitol rioters and, many observers say, represents a dangerous new breed of Republican politician, who would have once been considered fringe, but whom Trump is increasingly making central to Republican party politics."

Joe Lowndes, a political science professor at the University of Oregon who also co-authored the book "Producers, Parasites, Patriots: Race and the New Right-Wing Politics of Precarity," weighed in on the rise of Gosar. “We no longer have an ability to make a clear delineation between the right and far-right in the Republican party,” said Lowndes.

He went on to explain how Gosar's rise underscores the problem within the Republican Party as Trump-like figures are taking center stage. The issue appears to be one that Republicans will be haunted by for quite some time.

“The Trumpist wing of the Republicans isn’t just ascending – it’s the dominant wing of the Republican party. It’s the dominant wing not just in national politics, but in state and local politics as well,” said Lowndes. “The Republican Party has committed itself to a party of minoritarian rule, figuring out ways to rule in the long term without having majority support of voters.”

'Fairly pathetic': Wisconsin Trump supporters duped by 'plain unconstitutional' effort to revoke Biden’s electoral votes

A right-wing publication has released a report perpetuating falsehoods about the 2020 presidential election and ecstatic Trump supporters are buying into the story. However, there's just one problem: the claim in the report never actually happened.

According to Buzzfeed, The Gateway Pundit's story, which was published on Tuesday, January 25, claimed the Wisconsin State Assembly had voted unanimously "to withdraw the state’s 10 electors" that President Joe Biden received following the election.

The report pointed to a bill sponsored by Rep. Timothy Ramthun (R-Wisc.), a right-wing lawmaker who has publicly supported former President Donald Trump's claims of election fraud. On Tuesday, Ramthun presented his bill "as a privileged resolution" that the Assembly will respond to. However, the bill was passed on to the Rules Committee and Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Wisc.) has made it clear the bill will go no further.

Shortly after Ramthun's attempt to present the bill, Steineke confirmed the bill would fall flat. “Not only is it illegal, it’s just plain unconstitutional,” he tweeted. “As chair of the Rules Committee, there is ZERO chance I will advance this illegal resolution. #EndofStory.”

Speaking to Buzzfeed, Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D-Wisc.) revealed Ramthun attempted to try another procedural tactic to obtain a vote on his bill after it was forwarded to the Rules Committee, but that effort also produced no results.

“I think the Ramthun supporters who were watching sort of missed the part where his resolution was already long gone and we were back onto the bill at hand. And they heard everybody say ‘Aye,’ and they're like, ‘Wow, we just passed the resolution,’” Spreitzer said. “But, no, we passed a totally unrelated bill that we started debating before Ramthun did all of this.”

Spreitzer pointed out while Republicans criticize Rahmthun's bill, they've also spent a substantial amount of money in support of election audits. In addition to conducting their own audit, they tapped a former justice whose beliefs align with theirs.

“They don't actually believe that the election was stolen, or that there was widespread fraud, and that's of course why they aren't going to support Ramthun. ... But they're absolutely fueling the very people who are behind Ramthun’s effort by their refusal to just come out and say, ‘We had a free and fair election. Joe Biden won. There was no widespread fraud.’ So they’re trying to have it both ways,” he said.

Spreitzer also noted that Ramthun's backers "think he did something pretty heroic."

“For those of us who understood what was going on, it was sort of a fairly pathetic gesture,” Spreitzer said, “but I think he managed to pull the wool over the eyes of his fan club, and they think that he really accomplished something.”

Although The Gateway Pundit's report has been updated, Buzzfeed notes that it still does not point out that there was never a unanimous vote for state electors to be withdrawn. Instead, there is a footnote at the bottom of the report that reads, “This post has been updated as we gathered more information from our many sources.”

Allen Weisselberg couldn't explain how the value of one $400M Trump property doubled in one year: report

Allen Weisselberg, former chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, faced difficulty explaining how one of the company's properties had been valued at approximately 435 million — more than double what it had been valued the year before — according to newly released documents.

On Tuesday, January 18, the documents were released by New York Attorney General Letitia James' office. "'Mr. Weisselberg testified that he could not explain this discrepancy," the documents reportedly said.

According to Business Insider, there is incriminating documentation that alleges assets throughout former President Donald Trump's financial portfolio of businesses and real estate properties had been mis-valued. There is also speculation that the valuations could be part of an elaborate financial fraud scheme.

On the list of properties, the Trump International Golf Club Scotland was highlighted.

Officials believe the increased value appears to center on "assuming the right to build 2,500 luxury homes on the property – despite approval to build fewer than 1,500 holiday apartments and golf villas."

On Wednesday, January 19 the Trump Organization released a statement criticizing the investigation, and arguing that it is a politically-motivated tactic aimed at damaging the former president.

"The only one misleading the public is Letitia James. She defrauded New Yorkers by basing her entire candidacy on a promise to get Trump at all costs without having seen a shred of evidence and in violation of every conceivable ethical rule," said the statement.

The latest development comes months after Weisselberg was charged with multiple offenses in connection with an alleged tax evasion scheme involving the Trump Organization.

Rand Paul claims the COVID vaccine increases heart health risks -- but fails to mention that the virus could do more harm

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is criticizing the COVID-19 vaccine while failing to mention key details that change the scope of his assessment. On Friday, January 22, the Kentucky senator appeared on Fox News with Laura Ingraham where he referenced the findings of a study that suggests the vaccine increases the risk of myocarditis – heart muscle inflammation – in adolescent males.

However, what the lawmaker failed to also mention is that adverse effects could be far worse if an individual contracts the virus. This part of the discussion began when Ingraham mentioned a proposal in the state of California that would grant children 12 and older the right to get vaccinated for COVID-19 without parental consent.

“Senator, we know they’ve wanted to put a wedge between children and their parents for a long time on a lot of issues, but this kind of takes the cake,” Ingraham said.

Paul chimed in with a response that appears to have taken Ingraham's remarks out of context. “I believe it’s medical malpractice to force vaccines on children, particularly adolescent males,” said Paul.

“We now have the scientific evidence that shows the risk of myocarditis for young males is greater for the vaccine than it is for the disease,” he continued. “We also know the death rate is closer to one in a million. We also know that the more you get to the vaccine, the higher your risk of myocarditis. So, 90% of the myocarditis came with the second vaccine. What do you think happens when you give them a third vaccine?”

Despite Paul's claims, studies have also indicated that the virus, itself, poses a much greater risk for myocarditis.

Per SciTechDaily:

"According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of myocarditis after infection with COVID-19 is much higher, at 146 cases per 100,000. The risk is higher for males, older adults (ages 50+), and children under 16 years old. Soccer player Alphonso Davies, 21, of Canada’s national men’s team, was sidelined by heart inflammation after having COVID-19."

In regard to post-vaccine myocarditis, an Israel-based study determined that "the risk of post-vaccine myocarditis is 2.13 cases per 100,000 vaccinated, which is within the range usually seen in the general population." It also indicated that the study "is consistent with others in the United States and Israel which put the overall incidence of post-vaccine myocarditis between 0.3 and five cases per 100,000 people."

Analysis explains how Joe Rogan podcast controversy underscores the bigger problem driving the spread of misinformation

Joe Rogan's controversial interview with anti-vaccination virologist Dr. Robert Malone caused such an uproar that more than scientists, doctors, and other health professionals signed an open letter to Spotify as a petition for his podcast to be removed from the platform.

While Rogan's spread of misinformation is quite alarming, a new analysis published by NPR's Shannon Bond explains how the controversy surrounding his situation underscores a bigger problem; one that appears to be a bit more difficult to regulate. In the open letter, health professionals and members of the scientific community argue that online platforms like Spotify have enabled right-wing figures who have become adept at spreading misinformation.

"We are in a global health emergency, and streaming platforms like Spotify that provide content to the public have a responsibility not to add to the problem," said Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois Chicago's School of Public Health.

"Their friends and family were sending it to them as evidence that the vaccines are dangerous and that they shouldn't get it," she said. "It provides a sense of false balance, like there's two sides to the scientific evidence when, really, there is not. The overwhelming evidence is that the vaccines are safe and that they're effective."

Researchers specializing in the study of misinformation have suggested that it was inevitable for podcasts to become a point of contention. Like social media platforms, Bond notes that podcasts give individuals the ability to reach and build large audiences. But despite the long reach, podcasts have not faced the type of scrutiny social media platforms have. So, why is that? Podcasts give influencers the ability to spread misinformation by way of audio.

Evelyn Douek, a research fellow for the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, explained why podcasts are far more difficult to regulate as it becomes a matter of words compared to audio.

"Wherever you have users generating content, you're going to have all of the same content moderation issues and controversies that you have in any other space," said Douek.

According to Bond, Douek also noted that "it's also harder to ferret out falsehoods and hate speech in podcasts compared with posts written on Facebook and Twitter."

Valerie Wirtschafter, a senior data analyst at the Brookings Institution, also weighed in with a similar perspective noting the distinction of audio and the potential problem it poses in the podcast world. "Audio can be a powerful way to spread misinformation because of all the qualities that make the format so compelling to listeners," said Wirtschafter.

Wirtschafter also stressed the importance of scrutinizing audio in the same manner written social media posts are.

How Ron DeSantis wields 'a tremendous amount of power' over Florida politics: 'Cross him once, you’re dead'

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is considered one of the most powerful governors to ever hold office in the state of Florida, according to a new report.

Per Politico, the Republican governor exerted even more power over top state officials and lawmakers by "cracking down on election crimes, spending $8 million to transport 'unauthorized aliens' out of state and targeting 'wokeness' in schools."

"Democrats, who are in the minority, are unable to stop him," Politico reports. "And Republicans in the Florida Legislature are enthusiastically carrying out his wishes or are unwilling to buck him."

“He’s become the 1,100-pound gorilla in state government,” said Tom Lee, a member of the Republican Party and former president of the Senate who worked with four different governors over the course of his 18 years with the Legislature. “Gov. DeSantis is extremely popular relative to most of his predecessors. With that goes a tremendous amount of power.”

Lee also noted how Republicans have enabled the governor.

“Republicans are doing very well and hanging together on a lot of these issues. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” said Lee. “He’s been very effective in picking issues and having his finger on the pulse on how the public reacts… When you are on the trajectory he is on right now, you are not going to have a lot of detractors in your own party.”

“There are no second chances,” said one former legislator, who spoke to Politico anonymously. “It’s well known you can’t go against him. If you cross him once, you’re dead.”

A number of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have also expressed concern about the imbalance of legislative power within Florida's state government. State Rep. Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg, Fla.) offered critical remarks about the power disparity between DeSantis and the Legislature noting that they have an obligation to “their constituents, not the governor.”

“While Gov. DeSantis is the leader of his party, there are a number of Floridians depending on their legislators to represent their best interests, not those of the governor and his potential presidential campaign,” Diamond said.

One Republican lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, shared a startling assessment of the governor's legislative role. "They are not going to embarrass Ron DeSantis," the lawmaker said. "Ron DeSantis is essentially the speaker of the House, the president of the Senate, and the chief justice of the Supreme Court right now.”

According to State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando, Fla.), DeSantis' popularity among "rank-and-file Republican voters" is a large part of the problem as many lawmakers within his party refuse to challenge his authority.

“In addition to his veto pen, Republican lawmakers see him as appealing to their base, so if they question him they’re questioning the base which would hurt them on the campaign trail,” Eskamani said. “So not only do they consent to his extreme agenda but some try to appeal to it by filing their own bills grounded in the culture wars.”

Virginia GOP education bill mocked for erroneous 'fact' about Abraham Lincoln's slavery debates

A proposed education bill in Virginia has received sharp criticism for the misinterpretation of basic historical facts surrounding former President Abraham Lincoln's debate with the late Illinois Sen. Steven Douglas.

According to Slate, the controversy centers on a bill pre-filled by Rep. Wren Williams (R-Va.). As the Republican war on Critical Race Theory (CRT) continues, the latest piece of suggested legislation in Virginia "proposed a new standard for regulating high-school social studies curricula in the state, including a requirement that students learn about 'the first debate between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.'”

However, Slate senior writer Christina Cauterucci has highlighted the glaring problem with that so-called historical fact. The “Lincoln-Douglas debates” over the continuance of slavery were not between the late president and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, but rather the late Illinois senator.

"This was a clear misunderstanding of the 1858 “Lincoln-Douglas debates,” in which Steven Douglas, a then-sitting senator from Illinois—not Frederick Douglass, the famed abolitionist—faced off against Abraham Lincoln on the issue of slavery," Cauterucci emphasized.

While the historical blunder will likely be corrected before the bill becomes a debated topic of discussion next week, Cauterucci is shedding light on the bigger picture and the problem it poses.

"The bill also includes deliberate attempts to censor teachers and reshape the facts of U.S. history to flatter white men—the sorts of provisions Republican lawmakers have been advancing in state legislatures across the country in a manufactured panic over the supposed teaching of critical race theory," Cauterucci wrote. "(In November, Virginia ousted its Democratic governor in favor of Republican Glenn Youngkin, who made the issue a pillar of his campaign.)"

She also noted how the bill would also serve as a legislative mechanism to advance Republicans' attack on critical race theory as it would censor teachers from speaking truth in classrooms.

"The Virginia bill would prohibit instructors from teaching that the U.S. is 'systemically racist or sexist' or that 'the ideology of equity of outcomes is superior to the ideology of equality…of opportunities.' It would also ban school boards from hiring anyone 'with the job title of equity director or diversity director or a substantially similar title.'”

Republican lawmaker urges GOP to get 'louder' on Trump's 'Big Lie'

A Republican senator who previously insisted that the 2020 presidential election was fair is now urging members of his political party to get "louder" about former President Donald Trump's false claims of voter fraud.

Speaking to The Associated Press earlier this week, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) stressed the importance of gaining the trust of the American people as he suggested how they could achieve that goal.

“If we want to keep the trust and gain the trust of more individuals that are wondering, we have to probably say it a little bit louder and in more places that many of us normally either aren’t invited to talk or have chosen not to get into the fray,” Rounds said.

Instead of just echoing Trump's claims of voter fraud like many of his colleagues, Rounds has conducted numerous interviews and made it clear that he did look into the claims of voter fraud. While he acknowledged there are some “irregularities,” he insisted there is no evidence of the type of widespread voter fraud that would have enabled Trump to overturn the full outcome of the presidential election.

As expected, the South Dakota senator has faced backlash for his remarks. Responding to Rounds' statement, Trump released a statement describing him as a “jerk.”

While his remarks have led to immediate backlash from the former president and other members of his own political party, the second-term senator has made it clear that he is standing by what he believes. He also insists there is a way for lawmakers to show their loyalty to their constituents.

“We have to be more aggressive in reassuring conservatives that their vote counts,” Rounds said, adding “to give them reassurance that they can trust us and that we will speak the truth. And even if it’s the hard truth that’s hard to swallow, we’re not going to lie to them.”

Swing state Trump supporters are on track to raise record-breaking donations for Secretary of State races: report

Republicans who have echoed former President Donald Trump's claims of massive voter fraud are raising substantial amounts of money to fund secretary of state campaigns for the 2022 midterm elections.

According to HuffPost, candidates running in key swing states are also on track to reach record-breaking fundraising heights for election races that have taken on a new form of symbolism due to the partisan circulation of misinformation regarding the 2020 presidential election.

Per a new fundraising analysis developed by the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-profit organization that tracks election finances for secretary of state races, "secretary of state candidates in three battleground states — Georgia, Michigan, and Minnesota — have collectively raised 2.5 times more than candidates had at a comparable point in 2014 or 2018 election cycles."

Ian Vandewalker, a senior counsel for the organization's Democracy Program who also served as one of the writers of the report, weighed in on the common campaign denominator between Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D); while both household names now, that wasn't the case a short period of time ago.

“Brad Raffensperger is a household name. Jocelyn Benson is a household name,” Vandewalker pointed out. “It was not long ago that no one had ever heard of a single secretary of state.”

Analyzing both candidates' fundraising patterns since 2018, the analysis notes that while the two incumbents did raise a substantial amount while on the campaign trail, their competitors —Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) and Michigan Republican candidate Kristina Karamo— are on track to exceed their previous records.

Per HuffPost:

"In Georgia, U.S. Rep. Jody Hice raised nearly $576,000 over the first three months of his campaign for secretary of state, outpacing Raffensperger and all other candidates in the race. Michigan GOP candidate Kristina Karamo raised $164,000 last year — a sum that leaves her well behind Benson but still exceeds the total raised by Benson’s Republican challenger at this point in 2018."

Vandewalker also detailed another component that could contribute to the rise in campaign spending: legislation or lack thereof. Voting reforms such as the Freedom to Vote Act, which Democrats are fighting to pass through the Senate, would help to thwart some of the partisan significance of secretary of state races. But without proper legislation, the Republican agenda —and inflated spending— will likely continue.

“There’s every reason to think that there will be big outside spending both from super PACs and dark money groups, just as a function of increased attention and increased nationalization,” he said. “There’s deep-pocketed people who are keyed into this issue ... and it’s entirely possible that they are going to push more money into these elections through outside spending.”

New analysis exposes the 'grim truth' about the GOP's future

The anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection was expectedly a major topic of discussion this week. However, The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland has detailed a common theme in most of the reports: the timeline is being written in the past tense when the issue is still very much a problem.

Freedland also noted that while the insurrection happened a year ago, "the danger it poses is clear and present – and looms over the future." He emphasized the "grim truth" that still looms over the United States. "For the grim truth is that while Donald Trump is the last US president, he may also be the next," Freedland wrote. "What’s more, the menace of Trumpism is darker now than it ever was before."

So how could Trump still be a dominant force within the Republican Party despite all that has occurred? Freedland went on to explain the two premises that continue to fuel Trump's dark reign.

"This grim prognosis rests on two premises: the current weakness of Joe Biden and the current strength of his predecessor. Start with the latter, evidence of which comes from the contrast in how Trump’s fellow Republican politicians talked about 6 January at the time and how they talk – or don’t talk – about it now."

Although some assumed Republican lawmakers would be repulsed by Trump's actions and make efforts to distance from the disgraced president, that has yet to happen.

"It means that Trump’s tactics, his authoritarianism, have not shamed or repelled Republicans – as some hoped might be the result of 6 January – but infected them. What was once the eccentric stance of the lunatic fringe – that Trump won an election that more than 60 different court judgments ruled he had lost – has become the required credo of one of America’s two governing parties, believed by two-thirds of Republican voters."

Pointing to the findings of a recent survey, Freedland also explained how Trump's reign has opened the door for far-right extremism to be normalized. "Surveys show 30% of Republicans say that “true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country," Freedland pointed out.

Freedland also offered a piece of advice to Democratic lawmakers if they want to retain control of both chambers of government. "To turn things around, Biden can start with passing that key spending bill, even if it means stripping it of some cherished, and necessary, programmes," he wrote. Voting rights legislation, to block those continuing Republican efforts to load the dice yet further in their own favor, is also a must."

Considering how things have unfolded over the past several months, Freedland warns that it is important to not write Trump off as just a distant memory who no longer poses a threat to the country.

"One way or another, Democrats have to go into the autumn midterms with a record to run on," he wrote. "Defeat would not guarantee the return of Trump two years later, but it would make it much more likely. That is a prospect to chill the blood of all those who care about America – and democracy."

Pence’s team is now cooperating with the Jan. 6 committee: report

Vice President Mike Pence's (R) office has reportedly made an effort to cooperate with the Jan. 6 committee as it continues its investigation into former President Donald Trump.

Per Axios, Pence's former chief of staff Marc Short, former press secretary Alyssa Farah and Keith Kellogg, are included on the list of individuals who have testified to share their accounts of what transpired.

According to an inside source, Short's decision to testify reportedly came with approval from the former vice president. Inside sources have also revealed the most pertinent information has come from "second-and third-tier administration staff who were not directly involved but were at the White House on Jan. 6 and had access to top administration officials."

The testimonies from Pence’s team have helped investigators "piece together" the series of events that occurred in the hours after the "Save America" rally at the White House. The Capitol was under attack for more than three hours on that day. As lawmakers feared for their lives while the angry mob of Trump supporters stormed the federal building, Trump was reportedly at the White House watching the day unfold on TV.

Speaking to Axios, Farah said, "From the two I was in, you could see how much information they already had. Those who are refusing to cooperate likely are doing so out of complete fealty to Donald Trump and not wanting to piss him off."

"But, secondarily, because they're realizing the committee has quite a bit more information than they realized," Farah added. "And their involvement is known to a much greater degree than they realized."

The committee is hoping to "tell the full story of Trump's actions, interactions and refusals to act during a 187-minute timeframe between calling his allies to march to the Capitol and telling them to go home."

IN OTHER NEWS: ‘Stop getting medical stats from Fox’: Internet erupts after Gorsuch makes false claim about flu deaths to kill vaccine mandate

Conservative justices on the Supreme Court make false claims

Columnist reveals why Mitch McConnell's plea to the Supreme Court betrays his own supposed principles

A new Washington Post op-ed is slamming Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) recent plea to the U.S. Supreme Court. McConnell's plea is in reference to the case regarding Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) previous challenge of a federal election law that prohibits political candidates from raising more than $250,000 after an election to reimburse themselves for funds they loaned to their own campaigns.

Ruth Marcus explained that the point behind the law is to limit corruption, because "post-election fundraising is less about engaging in political speech and more about currying political favor."

According to McConnell, the court should consider using Cruz's case to "not simply to strike down the loan repayment provision but also to junk what is left of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA)."

“This Court’s decisions over the past decade have rendered BCRA the Humpty Dumpty of campaign-finance law, a patchwork of provisions that Congress never would have approved standing alone and that can never be put back together again,” the brief asserts. “There is no reason to let BCRA limp along, no need for further piecemeal surgery by this Court: the Court should strike the entire statute.”

Arguing that it is time to abolish the rules, McConnell also insisted, “It is time to put BCRA out to pasture.”

Marcus argued that this argument is really unusual — and a stark break with McConnell's supposed reverence for conservative jurisprudence.

"This is not a normal legal argument," Marcus wrote. "It’s certainly not a conservative one. The Constitution provides that courts are to rule on the cases or controversies before them. Courts aren’t supposed to lunge out for issues that aren’t presented."

"The case, to be argued Jan. 19, offers a particularly vivid illustration of the conservative mania to undo even the most inoffensive campaign finance restrictions. But the McConnell brief, authored by former Trump White House counsel Donald McGahn and former Trump administration solicitor general Noel Francisco, is notable for a different and more alarming reason: There is, it seems, no argument too extreme for this crowd in their effort to reshape the law to their liking."

In response to Cruz's argument insisting the law is a violation of the First Amendment, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar defended the provision.

“Senator Cruz’s injury is self-inflicted, since he and his campaign deliberately arranged their transactions so as to create a legal barrier to full repayment of the loan,” Prelogar told the court. Under any circumstance, Prelogar said, “the loan-repayment limit imposes at most a modest burden on the right to make and accept contributions.”

Mike Lindell falsely claims 'bots' and 'trolls' are responsible for his broken election promises

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has made tons of promises regarding former President Donald Trump's so-called reinstatement as president of the United States. For months, he's floated conspiracy theories and self-declared deadlines that avid Trump supporters have clung to in hopes of Trump taking the White House back. But now it appears the walls are caving in.

Rapidly running out of excuses, Lindell has a new claim to explain what's happening. According to The Daily Beast, Lindell claims “bots” and “trolls” are responsible for the questions being posted to his Facebook page.

Impatient Facebook users are now holding Lindell accountable for his false claims and making statements like, “Mike, you keep making promises. I don’t see Donald Trump.”

According to Lindell, “Those are bots and trolls. Any real person out there would know we are doing everything we can!”

But despite Lindell's defense, the truth is that his promises are empty because there was never a chance of Trump being reinstated after lawmakers affirmed Biden's win. The latest comes as Lindell faces more consequences for circulating false claims. According to Uproxx, Lindell insists Verizon is now blocking him from sending mass text messages to his followers.

“If you haven’t been getting text marketing or any texts from FrankSpeech and you’re wondering why that you’ve been taken off a list,” Lindell said, “No, it’s just because Verizon has stopped us from doing our text marketing. Just another big platform that went — I don’t know — that went south on us, that went left on us. They left us.”

For months now, Lindell has perpetuated dangerous false claims about the presidential election while undermining the integrity of the United States' election systems. Currently, Lindell is facing a number of lawsuits for pushing false claims about the outcome of the presidential election.