GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert says Biden and ‘the rest of his incompetent administration’ should all be fired over handling of Afghanistan

lauren boebert
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) attends the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert said she plans on introducing legislation to have President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and even Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi fired because of the way the Biden administration handled Afghanistan.

“The blame starts at the top, with Biden and his handpicked vice president who bragged that she was right there making the same bad decisions. And if not for her own dereliction of duty, she should be impeached for not demanding we invoke the 25th Amendment,” Boebert said during a Freedom Caucus press conference on Tuesday.

Boebert, a supporter of former President Donald Trump and QAnon, said Biden and “the rest of his incompetent administration” failed in Afghanistan and allowed the Taliban to take over.

“It is time for action, impeach Biden, impeach Kamala Harris, and throw in the secretary of state if you could get him back from vacation. Take a vote to vacate the chair, to get Nancy Pelosi the heck out of here,” she said.

In an interview with conservative political commentator, Glenn Beck, Boebert said she’s introducing legislation to impeach Biden, Harris, and remove Pelosi.

Read more: The 11 best staff Twitter accounts on Capitol Hill, featuring the snarkiest, chartiest, and foodiest commentary around

“When you start thinking about impeachment and discussing that, you start going down the list. Well, do we really want a President Harris? Do we really want President Pelosi?” Boebert told Beck, referencing who would replace Biden if he was impeached. “She certainly has shown what she’s done with the people’s house here in Washington DC. I can imagine what she’d do with the White House.”

The last US military planes departed Kabul early Tuesday local time. The US and allies had evacuated more than 120,000 people out of the country since the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15.

However, the August 31 deadline to withdraw all troops meant there were still Americans and allies who were unable to evacuate. Politico reported there are roughly 100 US citizens still left in the country.

Biden has defended withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

“My fellow Americans: The war in Afghanistan is now over. I’m the 4th president who has faced the issue of whether and when to end this war,” Biden said during a speech on Tuesday. “I refused to send another generation of America’s sons and daughters to fight a war that should have ended long ago.”

Boebert and the White House did not respond to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rep. Lauren Boebert failed to disclose that her husband raked in nearly $1 million from an energy company over 2 years

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., walking without a face mask, left, and Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., head to a House Republican Conference meeting, Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.

  • Boebert revealed that her husband earned nearly $1 million between 2019-2020 for energy sector consulting.
  • The freshman congresswoman failed to disclose her husband’s income during her campaign last year.
  • Boebert introduced legislation to reverse President Joe Biden’s ban on oil and gas exploration on federal land.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert revealed this week that her husband earned nearly a million dollars over 2019 and 2020 for consulting work he did for an energy firm.

The freshman Colorado congresswoman failed to disclose her husband’s income, which was $478,000 in 2020 and $460,000 in 2019, during her campaign last year, the Associated Press first reported. This failure is a violation of ethics and campaign finance laws, which require candidates to disclose their spouse’s and children’s income or assets.

“It is not common for members to not disclose their spouse’s income because it’s just a very clear requirement under the law,” Kedric Payne, senior director of ethics for the Campaign Legal Center, told Insider.

In her 2020 financial disclosure statement, Boebert said her income came from a restaurant, Shooters Grill, and smokehouse she owns with her husband, Jayson. She also listed “Boebert Consulting – spouse” and recorded her husband’s source of income as “N/A,” according to the AP.

Payne said Boebert should provide a “very public explanation” of the discrepancy. He expects the Office of Congressional Ethics will open an inquiry if they have questions about whether the violation was intentional. The required disclosures are designed to ensure that the public can evaluate a candidate’s potential conflicts of interest.

The energy industry is a major player in Colorado’s vast 3rd Congressional District and Boebert, who sits on the House Natural Resources Committee, has taken aggressively pro-oil and -gas positions. She introduced legislation earlier this year seeking to reverse President Joe Biden’s ban on oil and gas leasing and permitting on some federally-owned land.

Her deputy chief of staff, Ben Stout, told the AP that Jayson Boebert “has worked in energy production for 18 years and has had Boebert Consulting since 2012.”

But Boebert Consulting hasn’t filed required regular reports to the state of Colorado and is classified as delinquent, The Washington Post reported. And there is no company called Terra Energy Productions registered in Colorado. There is a Texas firm called Terra Energy Partners, claiming to be “one of the largest producers of natural gas in Colorado.” The congresswoman has previously said her husband is a drilling foreman on a natural gas rig and posted an Instagram photo of him wearing a “Terra” helmet in September 2020.

It’s unclear whether the congresswoman’s failure to disclose her husband’s work and income was intentional or accidental, but the matter could be investigated by congressional ethics officials.

Boebert’s office didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment.

On Wednesday, the Federal Election Commission sent Boebert a letter demanding more information about four payments amounting to more than $6,000 that Boebert’s campaign paid the congresswoman between May 3 and June 3. Stout told CNBC “the Venmo charges were personal expenses that were billed to the campaign account in error” and that Boebert has already reimbursed her campaign.

“If it is determined that the disbursement(s) constitutes the personal use of campaign funds, the Commission may consider taking further legal action,” Shannon Ringgold, an FEC analyst, wrote.

Read the original article on Business Insider

GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert slams Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal but voted against visas for Afghan partners last month

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference held by members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 29, 2021, to complain about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and masking policies.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference held by members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 29, 2021, to complain about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. and masking policies.

  • GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert compared Biden’s exit from Afghanistan to the US’s withdrawal from Vietnam.
  • Boebert, who’s pushed for the US exit, suggested Biden left Afghan partners in the lurch.
  • But Boebert vote against a bill last month that would increase the number of US immigration visas for Afghans.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Many Republicans, including those who supported ending the US occupation of Afghanistan under former President Donald Trump, were quick to attack the Biden administration’s withdrawal from the country as Taliban forces swiftly took control over the weekend.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Colorado Republican, slammed the administration’s exit in a series of tweets over the weekend and compared the military’s evacuation of Americans from the embassy in Kabul to the US’s rushed exit from Saigon as the North Vietnamese took over in 1975.

“Joe Biden was in the Senate when America pulled out of Saigon in 1975,” Boebert tweeted on Sunday alongside a photo of American military and civilians evacuating from Vietnam. “He didn’t learn.”

By drawing a comparison with Saigon, Boebert, who’s pushed to end the 20-year-long war, suggested that President Joe Biden’s rapid exit left US partners in Afghanistan in the lurch. Many others have made a similar comparison, arguing that the US should have done more to help protect and evacuate Afghan civilians who’ve allied themselves with the US and many of whom are now targets for the Taliban.

But last month, Boebert opposed increasing aid to Afghans who worked with the US military. The congresswoman was one of 16 House Republicans who voted against a bill introduced by her fellow Colorado representative, Democrat Jason Crow, to issue an additional 8,000 immigration visas to Afghans who helped the US military over the last two decades. The bill passed the House with 407 votes in favor and awaits a vote in the Senate.

Crow criticized Boebert in his own tweet on Monday.

“Wait a minute. A few weeks ago you were 1 of only 16 members of Congress who voted against my bill to expand and speed up the visa program to evacuate and save our Afghan partners,” he wrote.

He was responding to a tweet in which Boebert wrote: “Joe has a 48 year history of making bad decisions. Add this weekend’s foreign policy decisions to the list.”

A spokesperson for Boebert didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Crow’s “ALLIES Act” aims to increase the number of special immigration visas given to Afghans from 11,000 to 19,000 – expanding a program Congress originally created in 2008.

“For 20 years, Afghan interpreters, guides and other partners have served alongside U.S. forces, helping us complete our mission,” Crow, an Afghanistan war veteran, told The Denver Post last month. “I may not be here today were it not for the bravery and sacrifice of the Afghan men and women who worked with me during my service.”

When the Biden administration announced it would keep US troops in Afghanistan past the May withdrawal deadline the Trump administration established, Boebert suggested the government should exit sooner.

“We’ve been in Afghanistan for more than half my life,” she tweeted. “We need to end the endless wars.”

In another tweet, the freshman congresswoman attempted to mock the Biden administration’s tagline by claiming, “The Taliban are the only people building back better.”

Biden, for his part, supported the US’s full withdrawal from Vietnam in the 1975 and criticized “careless military involvement abroad.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rep. Lauren Boebert threw a mask at a staffer who asked her to wear one, as some GOP lawmakers refused to follow the House’s new mask mandate

lauren boebert
Rep. Lauren Boebert.

  • Lauren Boebert threw a mask at a House staffer who asked her to wear one, per multiple reports.
  • Boebert and some other GOP lawmakers were reacting angrily to a new mask mandate in the House.
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed the new mandate was not based on science.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Lauren Boebert threw a mask at a staffer who asked her to wear one, multiple reports said, as dozens of Republican lawmakers refused to follow the new mask mandate inside the Capitol.

The Capitol’s physician on Tuesday reimposed the requirement to wear masks on the House floor and in meeting spaces as the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant spreads rapidly across the US.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued new guidance earlier this week recommending that vaccinated Americans continue to wear a mask indoors.

When Boebert – a vocal opponent of mask-wearing – entered the House floor without a mask Wednesday, a Democratic House staffer handed her one, and Boebert threw it at the staffer, CNN reported, citing an eyewitness. The Washington Post, Politico’s Sarah Ferris, and ABC News’s Ben Siegel also reported the interaction.

Boebert’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. A spokesperson for the congresswoman defended her actions and told CNN that Boebert “slid” the mask towards the staffer.

“Rep. Boebert refuses to comply with Speaker Pelosi’s anti-science, totalitarian mask mandate,” the spokesperson said. “When offered a mask, she returned it with a quick slide across the table.”

Boebert was one of several GOP lawmakers who criticized the mask mandate since its introduction.

“We might as well start calling this a Perma-demic,” she tweeted Wednesday. “Permanent masking. Permanent state of emergency. Permanent control. This will go on until the American people just say enough is enough. The tyrants aren’t giving this up!”

24 House Republicans didn’t follow the mask mandate

CNN reported that while the majority of Republican lawmakers – including some who had criticized the mandate – did wear a mask after the new mandate, 24 were seen not wearing a mask on the House floor.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy led the criticism of the rules, claiming that the new mandate was not based on science.

“Make no mistake – The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state,” he tweeted Tuesday.

The reaction prompted House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi to call him a “moron.”

Other GOP lawmakers who criticized the mandate included:

  • Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who claimed without providing evidence that the CDC had reached its decision based on a study in India which had been rejected by peer review. The CDC in fact has not released the data that it used to reach the decision, The Washington Post reported.
  • Rep. Byron Donalds, who did not wear a mask on the House floor even though he said he had not been vaccinated, per CNN. “This rule is stupid,” he said, per the report.
  • Rep. Chip Roy, who said on the House floor: “This is some serious nanny-state stuff that will only breed resentment […] We should adjourn and shut the place down.” The speech won him a standing ovation from lawmakers including Reps. Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Andy Biggs, CNN reported.
Read the original article on Business Insider

A Trump-loving insurrectionist and a convicted stalker are among 36 QAnon supporters running for Congress in 2022

2022 congressional candidates Omar Navarro, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lauren Boebert with warped Qs and the Capitol building behind them on a purple background
Omar Navarro (L), Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (C), and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R).

  • At least 36 QAnon-supporting candidates intend to run for Congress in 2022, Media Matters said.
  • Some of the candidates are diehard QAnon fans, while others signal their support subtly.
  • Experts told Insider that this shows how QAnon has evolved into a major political force.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In July 2020, JR Majewski made national headlines after transforming his 19,000-square-foot lawn into a massive Trump re-election banner. When the Air Force veteran from Ohio appeared in a television interview with Fox News, he was wearing a QAnon T-shirt.

Several months later, as Congress met to certify President Joe Biden’s election win, Majewski was among the thousands of Trump supporters who attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington DC, later admitting to breaching police barricades and walking up to the base of the Capitol building.

Majewski is now trying to return to the Capitol, but this time as a congressman representing the 9th district of Ohio, a seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Marcy Kapur.

Read more: QAnon followers are already spreading Epstein-like conspiracy theories about John McAfee’s reported suicide

Since he was first spotted wearing the “Q” T-shirt, Majewski has made several more references to the conspiracy theory, posting QAnon images and hashtags on his social media channel, and live streaming videos with the well-known QAnon influencer RedPill79.

Majewski is one of many congressional candidates running in the 2022 midterm elections who have given credence to QAnon, which the FBI described as a far-right group with “anti-government, identity-based and fringe political conspiracy theories,” The Washington Post reported.

Ohio man JR Majewski stands on his Trump-themed lawn
J.R Majewski is interviewed by FOX News about his Trump-themed lawn in Port Clinton, Ohio, on July 12, 2020.

A Media Matters investigation published earlier this month revealed that 36 candidates in 17 states have either openly endorsed QAnon, made subtle references to, or distanced themselves from the conspiracy theory despite repeatedly displaying their support on social media or in video interviews.

Thirty-three of the candidates are running as Republicans while two are independents and one is still deciding whether to run as a Republican or an independent, the investigation found. The state with the most QAnon-believing candidates is Florida with nine candidates, followed by California which has six candidates, although these numbers are still subject to change.

On the list are a handful of incumbents in Congress, including the gun-loving Rep. Lauren Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who helped bring the conspiracy theory into the mainstream.

The diehard QAnon supporters

Around a dozen congressional candidates have openly affiliated with the QAnon conspiracy theory, including Daniel Wood of Arizona, Darlene Schwaffar of Florida, and Mayra Flores of Texas.

In this cohort is also Reba Sherill, a health and wellness advocate who in 2020 unsuccessfully ran in Florida’s 21st congressional district – home to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. She is running again as a Republican candidate for the US Senate in the midterms.

As a big Trump fan, Sherrill used to gather with other supporters on a bridge near Mar-A-Lago to wave in homage at the former president’s motorcade whenever he was in town, The Washington Post reported.

She is an ardent QAnon believer and has made the conspiracy theory central to her largely self-funded campaign.

The self-described “Q patriot” focuses her campaign on child trafficking, matching with QAnon’s false belief that Trump is fighting a “deep state” cabal of human traffickers in the United States, Yahoo News reported.

Sherrill has also referred to the more extreme adrenochrome theory – the belief that Democratic elites harvest the drug from children by torturing them and drinking their blood – in a now-deleted post on her website.

The Flordia native told Yahoo News that the “mainstream media tries to paint people who talk about human trafficking and child sex trafficking as being some kind of crazy lunatics.”

“This is not a conspiracy, this is reality,” she insisted. “It’s not some fictitious thing.”

Another congressional candidate who believes in the human trafficking theory is Omar Navarro, a convicted stalker running for California’s 43rd congressional district.

Navarro, who also featured in HBO’s “Q: Into the Storm” documentary series, is one of the more recognizable faces of the QAnon world.

The California native, who last year spent six months in jail after pleading guilty to a stalking charge, told Insider in an interview that he believes in “some things” that “Q” says, including the human trafficking trope.

“I do believe that there’s human trafficking going on right now. I do believe that Hollywood has participated in some of this with pedophilia on and it’s something obviously we can’t ignore,” he said.

Navarro, who has gone viral multiple times on Twitter for his far-right and homophobic views, has previously pushed the debunked Pizzagate theory. He told Insider: “I feel like there are certain things going on. There’s something shady in that pizza shop.”

The Californian also defended using the popular QAnon slogan WWG1WGA (“Where we go one, we go all”) in a tweet posted on October 3, 2020, saying he ended up deleting it because he didn’t want Twitter to ban him.

“I always have to worry about my free speech and what I say on Twitter,” he said.

The fear of being removed from social media platforms is not holding back QAnon fan Jo Rae Perkins, who is running for the Senate in Oregon, where she unsuccessfully ran in 2020.

Perkins, who discovered QAnon messaging boards in 2017 and describes them as a “source of information.” She has also posted a video of herself taking a “digital soldier oath” in front of a WWG1WGA sticker, CNN reported.

In a video interview with Right Wing Watch last year, Perkins compared the “Q” posts to secret codes used during World War II and said believing in Q is like believing in Jesus Christ, VICE reported.

The camouflage candidates

Around eight candidates have consistently and blatantly pushed elements of the QAnon conspiracy theory in the past but have, in some way, tried to distance themselves from it. These include Josh Barnett, Bobby Piton, Jon McGreevey, and Billy Prempeh.

Most famously, firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the freshman Congressperson who received the support of Former President Donald Trump after her primary runoff victory in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, is one of these candidates.

In the past, Greene has proliferated bizarre fantasies that are on-brand with the QAnon conspiracy theory.

She has accused Hillary Clinton of sexually assaulting a child before slicing off her face and wearing it as a mask. She once suggested that the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had been replaced by a body double years ago, and has said that California wildfires might have been started by space lasers.

marjorie taylor greene
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene holds a news conference to apologize for her recent remarks equating mask mandates with the Holocaust in Washington DC, on June 14, 2021.

Greene pushed these ideas so fervently that she became a “correspondent” for a conspiracy news website between 2017 and 2018, NBC News reported. In one of her posts for the now-defunct “American Truth Seekers” website, the controversial lawmaker called Q a “patriot.”

She also told her social media followers that Q “is worth listening to” in a now-deleted video from 2017.

But while Greene once proudly broadcast some of QAnon’s wildest ideas, she has since tried to publicly distance herself from the conspiracy theory.

In August 2020, Greene said that QAnon no longer represented her current position. “No, I don’t [consider myself a QAnon candidate]. I think that’s been the media’s characterization of me,” she told Fox News.

But that didn’t stop Twitter from temporarily locking her account in January 2021 when it culled QAnon accounts after the deadly Capitol riot.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, a contemporary of Greene and a rising star in the GOP, has also tried to walk back her support of the conspiracy theory she had formerly championed.

Known to some as the “QAnon Congresswoman,” Boebert has said that she is “very familiar” with QAnon and has praised the conspiracy theory. “Everything that I’ve heard of Q, I hope that this is real because it only means that America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values,” she said during an appearance on QAnon web show SteelTruth in May 2020.

But after winning the Republican nomination for Colorado’s 3rd District, she told Fox 31 News that she’s “not a follower.” She did not, however, disavow a central tenet of the QAnon ideology – that the “deep state” is actively working against Trump. “I believe there are people working in the administration that at least appear to be actively undermining President Trump,” she said in 2020.

AP lauren boebert
Rep. Lauren Boebert smiles after joining other freshman Republican House members for a group photo at the Capitol in Washington DC, on January 4, 2021.

Publicly disavowing QAnon whilst continuing to advocate for some of the conspiracy theory’s nonsensical beliefs is an oft-used “camouflage” tactic by the far-right, Media Matters president Angela Carusone told Insider.

Some candidates might be doing so to appear more palatable to a wider audience and to avoid “political blowback” while maintaining their base of QAnon donors, he said.

“When candidates walk back their QAnon commitment, I think you have to view that with real skepticism,” Carusone advised. “They do things in a careful and concerted way.”

QAnon is a political tool to raise money and attract voters

While some candidates publicly disavow QAnon in a bid to appeal to a more mainstream audience, others subtly signal their support for it as a means to bring conspiracy theorists into the fold, to donate and vote for them.

“Many don’t even mention Q directly,” Jack Bratich, an associate professor of journalism and media studies at Rutgers University, told Insider. “It’s become a kind of background story for adherents, who can signal to each other that they are part of this shadowy movement.”

Insider identified around a dozen candidates who have expressed their support for QAnon in less than explicit ways, via retweets, subtle nods to slogans, and the use of specific hashtags. These include Steve Von Loor, Tricia Flanagan, Sam Peters, and Anthony Sabatini.

qanon sign dc
Crowds gather outside the Capitol for the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021. .

Several candidates included the hashtag #WWG1WGA in their tweets. Others included the letter “Q” in response to posts from QAnon-affiliated accounts.

Tricia Flanagan, for example, wrote “ThanQ” in response to a QAnon account. Sam Peters used the #QArmy hashtag in August 2020.

“I’m certain that there are some of these individuals that don’t actually care or believe in it, but they see it as an opportunity,” Carusone said.

“I think there are some candidates who are certainly just being political,” Carusone went on. “They’re crassly seeing a potential political donor base or power base.”

QAnon is ‘on the rise’ in congressional politics

It’s clear that the influence of QAnon in congressional politics is “on the rise,” Carusone said. “And they’re aggressively moving to take over parts of the Republican party, local committees, school boards, local races too.”

Bratich said it shows how deeply QAnon has “settled” into the Republican party. “As a movement, it has expanded to try and take over the party,” he said. “It’s not central to the GOP but it’s no longer a marginal component either.”

QAnon is now a major force in American politics, Carusone agreed. “And, basically, I think we’re kind of screwed.”

Here is a full list of all 36 QAnon supporters who are running for Congress in 2022.

  • Josh Barnett, Arizona
  • Daniel Wood, Arizona
  • Jamie Byers, California
  • Mike Cargile, California
  • Ignacio Cruz, California
  • Peter Liu, California
  • Omar Navarro, California
  • Buzz Patterson, California
  • Lauren Boebert, Colorado
  • Darren Aquino, Florida
  • Vic DeGrammont, Florida
  • Christine Quinn, Florida
  • Anthony Sabatini, Florida
  • Christine Scott, Florida
  • Reba Sherrill, Florida
  • Lavern Spicer, Florida
  • Darlene Swaffar, Florida
  • MTG, Georgia
  • Bobby Piton, Illinois
  • Philanise White, Illinois
  • Jon McGreevey, Maryland
  • Danielle Stella, Minnesota
  • Sam Peters, Nevada
  • Mindy Robinson, Nevada
  • Tricia Flanagan, New Jersey
  • Billy Prempeh, New Jersey
  • Antoine Tucker, New York
  • Steve Von Loor, North Carolina
  • JR Majewski, Ohio
  • Mark Pukita, Ohio
  • Joe Rae Perkins, Oregon
  • Bobby Jeffries, Pennsylvania
  • Robert Lancia, Rhode Island
  • Mayra Flores, Texas
  • Jonny Teague, Texas
Read the original article on Business Insider

The RNC shelled out $175,000 in May for a donor event at Mar-a-Lago. That’s just a fraction of the $2.6 million they’ve spent at Trump’s businesses since 2007.

trump mar a lago
The RNC paid over $175,000 to Mar-a-Lago for a donor event held in April.

  • The RNC shelled out $175,000 for a donor event at Mar-a-Lago this May.
  • That sum is just a fraction of what the RNC has spent at Trump properties over the last 14 years.
  • According to FEC data, the RNC spent over $2.6 million at Trump businesses since 2007.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) have been big spenders at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club this year, shelling out a cool $175,000 for a donor event held there in April.

Per the RNC’s Federal Election Commission (FEC) May filings seen by Insider, the hefty chunk of change was used to pay for “venue rental and catering” at the former president’s Palm Beach property.

The disbursement of $175,900.11 was made on May 12, but an RNC spokeswoman told CNBC that the fees were for an RNC donor event held at the property in April. At this particular donor event, Trump made an appearance, calling minority leader Mitch McConnell a “dumb son of a b—-h” during a 50-minute-long speech.

According to FEC data seen by Insider, across 239 occasions from 2007 to 2021, the RNC spent over $2.6 million on purchases at Trump-related businesses and properties, including its hotels. These ranged from catering expenses to venue rental fees.

Most of the RNC’s expenditure at Trump’s businesses came after he was anointed the GOP’s presidential nominee in 2016. In 2017, The New York Times even dubbed Mar-a-Lago Trump’s “winter White House,” detailing the high-profile visits with top executives at the members-only club.

However, expenses for events at Trump properties began to peter out after he lost the election in November 2020, with only one disbursement to Trump businesses per month from the RNC in the first three months of 2021.

The Florida club, where the former president now resides, remains a hotspot to which conservative figures flock. In May, Ted Cruz posted a picture of himself at a candlelit dinner with Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Other conservative figures, like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Rep. Lauren Boebert, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, have also attended events at the property.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Lauren Boebert stated there hadn’t been a single COVID-19 death in Texas since mask restrictions ended in March. Data shows thousands had, in fact, died.

lauren boebert
Rep. Lauren Boebert on the House steps of the Capitol on Monday, January 4, 2021.

  • Rep. Lauren Boebert falsely claimed Texas hasn’t recorded a single COVID-19 death in two months.
  • “Since removing the mask mandate …Texas has not reported a single COVID death,” she claimed.
  • Data shows 3,600 Texans lost their lives to the virus since March 2, the day restrictions were lifted.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado falsely claimed that Texas hasn’t recorded a single COVID-19 death since it lifted mask restrictions two months ago.

Speaking to right-wing commentator Gina Loudon on “Dr.Gina Primetime” on Wednesday, Boebert ridiculed the House chamber’s mask mandate and said she “enjoys” telling Speaker Nancy Pelosi to “kiss my mask.”

“Leftists won’t even listen to the bureaucrats at the CDC, and it just goes to show that this party’s ‘Follow the Science’ slogan is a total joke, just like this entire administration, just like the entire Democrat Party,” Boebert said, according to Right Wing Watch. “They want to tell you to listen to science and listen to data and facts, but they haven’t done that for more than a year.”

Read more: The 14 best neighborhoods in Austin, Texas, that young people, families, and one-percenters are moving to

“Texas removed their mask mandate two months ago, and Sleepy Joe called it ‘Neanderthal thinking,'” she continued. “No, sir. Republicans are just following the science, and since removing the mask mandate two months ago, Texas has not reported a single COVID death. Not one.”

According to data published by the Texas Department of State Health Services, around 3,600 people have lost their lives to the virus since March 2, which was the day Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lifted all COVID-19 restrictions in the state.

More than 50,000 people have died in Texas since March 2020.

However, on May 16, the state did report its first day without recording any COVID-19 death since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dr. Wesley Long, a pathologist at Houston Methodist, told the Houston Chronicle that while this new milestone is encouraging, people must still remain vigilant and careful.

“We all want to be on the other side of the pandemic. And it’s OK to feel excitement about changes in mask mandates, or about decreasing case numbers and mortality,” Long said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“But it’s important to remember how we got here,” Long continued. “A lot of the benefits we’re seeing now are largely driven by vaccines and compliance with safety measures such as masking and social distancing.”

Boebert represents Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District and ran her 2020 campaign on a pro-gun platform. She owns a restaurant in the state called Shooters Grille, where the staff is encouraged to openly carry firearms.

She has previously expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory but denied that she is a follower of it, the Guardian reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Republican lawmakers face fines for defying mask rules on the House floor and haven’t revealed whether they’re vaccinated

marjorie taylor greene
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) arrives for a House Republican caucus candidate forum to replace outgoing conference chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) at the Capitol on May 13, 2021.

  • Several Republican House members are openly defying mask-wearing rules on the House floor.
  • Most of these members won’t say whether they’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Capitol physician said House members must continue wearing masks until all members and floor staffers are fully vaccinated.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia refused to wear a face mask on the House floor on Wednesday, continuing her protest against mask-wearing requirements.

Greene isn’t alone. Several other Republican lawmakers also openly defied House rules on Tuesday evening, appearing maskless while casting votes on the floor, according to C-SPAN footage. The Capitol physician, Brian Monahan, decided last week that House members must continue wearing masks on the House floor until all members and floor staffers are fully vaccinated.

Because at least 100 GOP House members haven’t said whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s unclear whether they are violating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks indoors. Nine of the 10 GOP lawmakers cited for violating the rules haven’t said whether they’ve been vaccinated, according to a recent CNN survey. Greene refuses to reveal whether she’s gotten the shot.

In accordance with House rules, Greene will receive a warning for her first violation, along with Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Chip Roy of Texas, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Bob Good of Virginia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Mary Miller of Illinois, multiple news outlets reported.

GOP Reps. Brian Mast of Florida, Beth Van Duyne of Texas, and Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, who also flouted the rules and had already received their first warnings, will face a $500 fine, per the reports. Additional offenses would result in a $2,500 fine.

Under current rules, all House lawmakers must wear a face-covering on the floor except for when speaking, debating, or presiding over House proceedings. Fines for refusing to wear a mask were established by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the wake of the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6, when several members sheltered-in-place together and many were maskless. At least a handful of lawmakers later tested positive for COVID-19.

Although the fine will be deducted from the member’s congressional salary, some lawmakers are calling on their supporters to make donations. Mast asked voters in an email to contribute to his “fight against Pelosi and the Washington Lockdown Cheerleading Squad” which is “going to get expensive FAST,” Punchbowl News reported on Wednesday. The Iowa Republican Party, on behalf of Miller-Meeks, also tweeted a donation link “to help us fight back and retire Pelosi in 2022.”

The GOP mask protest comes after the CDC last Thursday announced fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks indoors or outdoors at gatherings of any size, except in healthcare settings, on public transportation, at homeless shelters, and at airports. Private companies may still enforce mask mandates as they see fit.

Pelosi said last Thursday the House rule would stay in place despite the CDC’s guidance, noting not all lawmakers had been fully vaccinated yet.

But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to force a vote on a resolution to revise the mask guidelines on Wednesday night. But the resolution is expected to be tabled by Democrats.

“The continued House mask mandate sends the erroneous message that the efficacy of the vaccines cannot be trusted,” the GOP resolution says. “Members of the House of Representatives have a responsibility to send a message to the American people that we can trust the safety and efficacy of the available COVID-19 vaccines.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Republicans shake their heads, doze off, and live-tweet during Biden’s first joint address to Congress

rep lauren boebert
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) during U.S. President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress in the U.S. Capitol on April 28, 2021.

  • Many Republicans seemed unmoved during Biden’s joint address to Congress on Wednesday.
  • Rep. Lauren Boebert live-tweeted criticism of Biden during the speech.
  • Cameras caught Sen. Ted Cruz dozing off while Biden addressed immigration reform.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Several Republican lawmakers appeared impassive and even displeased throughout most of President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress on Wednesday night.

Freshman firebrand Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado live-tweeted criticism of Biden while he spoke about his administration’s agenda, covering items such as the economy, health care, and the criminal justice system.

“I miss President Trump,” Boebert tweeted shortly into Biden’s address. About halfway through the speech, Boebert pulled out a space blanket and draped it over her lap, according to reporters in the chamber.

“The Biden regime is an existential crisis,” she tweeted toward the end of the night.

When Biden touched on the economy, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio looked visibly troubled and began shaking his head vigorously, PBS NewsHour’s Lisa Desjardins observed.

Cameras in the House chamber showed Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas appearing to struggle to stay awake as Biden discussed immigration reform. Cruz put out a statement summing up his feelings after the speech concluded, calling it “boring, but radical.”

As Biden addressed issues including clean water, job creation, and child poverty, many Republicans, like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, remained stone-faced.

Once Biden wrapped up, McCarthy plainly said: “This whole thing could have just been an email.”

Republicans piled on the attacks on Twitter, labeling Biden’s speech “pathetic,” accusing him of “virtue-signaling,” and calling out Democrats for violating COVID-19 guidelines such as social distancing.

Only around 200 people were allowed in the House chamber for Wednesday’s address, as the event was scaled back due to coronavirus restrictions.

During his speech, Biden highlighted his infrastructure proposal, called on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and outlined parts of his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which would invest in child care and education.

Democrats repeatedly rose from their seats and applauded the president as he spoke, while Republicans largely remained seated with their hands in their laps.

However, there were some bipartisan moments of the evening. When Biden briefly acknowledged first lady Jill Biden teaching as a community college professor, she received a standing ovation from Democratic and Republican lawmakers. Boebert was the only person who did not clap, according to the Capitol Hill pool.

Several GOP lawmakers also applauded after Biden encouraged Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina offered the GOP’s response to Biden’s address on Wednesday night.

“Our president seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words,” Scott said. “But three months in, the actions of the president and his party are pulling us further and further apart.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rep. Lauren Boebert produced a space blanket and covered her lap with it during Biden’s address to Congress

GettyImages 1232584310
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) looks at her phone as US President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on April 28, 2021.

  • Rep. Lauren Boebert unfurled a space blanket during President Biden’s speech to Congress Wednesday.
  • The Republican lawmaker was photographed wearing the blanket over her lap while using her phone.
  • Boebert also live-tweeted the address from inside the House chamber, hurling criticism at Biden.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado took a unique approach to maximizing comfort during President Joe Biden’s hour-long address to Congress Wednesday night.

She unpacked what appeared to be a space blanket about halfway through the address and laid the mylar sheet over her lap. Photos from the evening show Boebert using her phone while covered by the blanket and her Twitter account shows she tweeted more than 25 times during Biden’s address.

Matt Fuller, a politics reporter at The Daily Beast who was inside the chamber, tweeted that Boebert “sort of loudly opened” the blanket, then “shook it free so that everyone could hear it in the chamber,” before draping it across her lap.

The freshman lawmaker’s behavior during the speech raised eyebrows on a number of occasions – from live-tweeting vitriol at Biden from inside the House chamber to refusing to rise during a standing ovation for first lady Jill Biden.

Boebert, who has made a name for herself as a pro-gun right-wing ideologue during her short time in the House of Representatives, visibly shook her head several times when Biden’s speech turned toward gun control in the latter half of the address.

The Republican lawmaker also refused to stand when Biden suggested lowering prescription costs for Americans – a rare moment that drew a standing ovation from members of both parties.

A representative for Boebert did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider