DC Exclusives – Original Reporting

Scott Morefield | Reporter

PJ Media senior editor Tyler O’Neil joined Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday to discuss racism at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Morris Dees, the group’s co-founder, was abruptly fired last week for failing to meet “the mission of the organization and the values we hope to instill in the world,” according to a statement from SPLC President Richard Cohen to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Carlson noted Dees’ firing “under mysterious circumstances” and the irony that a group that often falsely labels others as “racist, sexist bigots” would be accused of those things itself.

WATCH:

“This group has been rotten for years,” said Carlson. “Why are people just now noticing?”

“The story actually is really, really bad,” said O’Neil. “You had 13 black former employees of the SPLC interviewed. Twelve of them said they witnessed racist incidents in their time there and three of them called the organization a plantation for its black workers.”

Dees’ firing was first reported by the Montgomery Advertiser, which included a reference to its 1994 series on racism within the organization and the co-founder’s “near singular control over the organization and its mammoth budget.”

The series, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, revealed a figure seen as heroic by some and single-minded by others. Dees’ critics said he was more concerned with fundraising than litigating.

The series also alleged discriminatory treatment of black employees within the advocacy group, despite its outward efforts to improve the treatment of minorities in the country. Staffers at the time “accused Morris Dees, the center’s driving force, of being a racist and black employees have ‘felt threatened and banded together.’” The organization denied the accusations raised in the series.

O’Neil noted that it wasn’t just the Advertiser, but also former employees who went to Glassdoor.com to “talk about their experiences facing racial discrimination” in 2017. (RELATED: Southern Poverty Law Center Is Not So Poor)

“There are apparently 100 lawyers and advocates of the SPLC,” he noted. “Only five of them are black. Black employees worked there 12 years and yet, none of them were elevated to senior leadership.”

The PJ Media editor added that if the group “hires more black leaders,” since “blacks tend to be more Christian” perhaps they would stop characterizing Christian groups as anti-LGBT.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Scott Morefield | Reporter

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs criticized Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and other Republican critics of President Donald Trump’s latest comments about late Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Speaking with former Reagan’s campaign director Ed Rollins on Wednesday evening about the president’s recent positive polling within the Republican Party, Dobbs gave GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel “great credit” before ripping Trump’s GOP critics.

WATCH:

“These are better numbers than Reagan had and Nixon had when they both had 49 state victories,” Rollins said, referring to the fact that 78 percent of Republicans are enthusiastic about Trump. “I am not predicting that, but I’m simply predicting there are a lot of Republicans out there ready for the fight. They are proud of this president. They want this president reelected.”

“We’re starting to see some movement within the party,” Dobbs noted. “And by the way, I think Ronna McDaniel deserves great credit, the chair of RNC, for holding the line and supporting this president with full support, when there are people like, say, Mitt Romney for example, undercutting this president because he made some nasty remarks about John McCain. There is a reason for those nasty remarks. There is a history between those two men. And the people who are attacking him, including Mitch McConnell attacking the president for his views on John McCain, is asinine.” (RELATED: Trump Says John McCain Put Him In ‘Jeopardy’ By Giving Dossier To FBI)

Romney tweeted Tuesday his criticism of Trump’s McCain comments, writing:

Dobbs and Rollins ended the segment with a discussion about McCain’s Obamacare vote and the “bad history” between Trump and the late senator.

“I knew John well, and liked him over the years,” said Rollins. “But the reality is Trump did what he had to do and won a big, big election …”

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WATCH:

Maxim model Elizabeth Pipko, who is also a former Trump campaign staffer, is now the spokeswoman for “Jexodus,” a group that seeks to turn Jewish Democrats into Republicans.

“We reject the hypocrisy, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism of the rising far-left,” said Pipko. (RELATED: Cruz Is Preparing a Resolution to Condemn Anti-Semitism)

Starting next month, Pipko says she will travel around the country to promote the movement.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

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Freshman Florida Rep. Greg Steube was one of four Republicans to introduce a resolution last week condemning anti-Semitism that specifically addresses comments made by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Steube introduced the resolution, which he doesn’t believe will get passed, with Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Jeff Duncan and Louie Gohmert in response to the resolution the House passed condemning all forms of bigotry that didn’t name Omar. Many have interpreted the freshman Minnesota rep.’s comments as anti-Semitic.

“I filed my own resolution because I believe that we need to set an example, not just for the country as members of Congress calling out racial and anti-Semitic remarks,” Steube told The Daily Caller Wednesday, adding, “but we need to set an example for the world that we’re not going to put up with that type of behavior, especially from a member of Congress and deal with it directly.”

The resolution mentions Omar’s now-deleted 2012 tweet in which she accused Israel of having “hypnotized the world.” She doubled down on this tweet before eventually apologizing for it and it also listed her more recent accusation that a pro-Israel lobbying group pays for Congressional support for Israel. It also referenced her questioning if some members of Congress have a “dual loyalty” to the United States and Israel. (RELATED: Omar’s Experiences Are ‘More Personal’ Than Children Of Holocaust Survivors)

Ilhan Omar, newly elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on the Democratic ticket, speaks to a group of supporters in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 6, 2018. - US voters elected two Muslim women, both Democrats, to Congress on November 6, 2018, marking a historic first in a country where anti-Muslim rhetoric has been on the rise, American networks reported. Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee, won a House seat in a heavily-Democratic district in the Midwestern state of Minnesota, where she will succeed Keith Ellison, himself the first Muslim elected to Congress. (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP)

Ilhan Omar, newly elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on the Democratic ticket … (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP)

The “dual loyalty” comment specifically spurred the resolution condemning all types of bigotry, which is why Steube felt like he needed to draft a separate resolution specifically addressing anti-Semitism. Omar has apologized for the 2012 tweet and for the congressional support allegation but has not issued an apology for posing the “dual loyalty” question.

Steube added, “So, after the first time when she got called out for the first remark when she was a congress[wo]man. After her own leadership condemned her statements, she apologized and then she had, after that anti-Semitic remarks that she hasn’t apologized for. The result of that was a watered-down resolution condemning hate in general and not addressing her specific anti-Semitic remarks.”

Many of the people who defended Omar were quick to suggest that the criticism against her was misguided and disingenuous with some bringing up the question of whether or not criticizing the Israeli government is considered anti-Semitic.

“Anyone can be critical of policy decisions. I mean, we have that debate in the halls of Congress every day,” Steube said, but explained that Omar’s “remarks” were “nowehere near” criticizing policy decisions. “I think anybody can debate policy and decisions that are made by leaders of different countries, but that doesn’t give you latitude to be anti-Semitic.”

Republican House member-elect Dan Crenshaw (R) … (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Omar, one of the first female Muslim members of Congress, published an op-ed in The Washington Post in which she lays out her foreign policy beliefs for the region including where she called for “a two-state solution, with internationally recognized borders.”

The Florida Republican said that he had read parts of Omar’s op-ed. In response to what her stance is, he said:

In order to truly have peace in that region the Palestinians are going to have to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a country and denounce terrorism. And they still have failed to do that and they still, as far as I know, unwilling to do that. And until you have the Palestinian government say, Palestinian Authority, say that Israel has a right to exist in the country, in that region and denounce terrorism, I don’t see how you can ever have, even start to begin the process of negotiating a peace agreement because the very existence of Israel as a country, they don’t support.

Steube declined to comment on the indictment of sitting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Freshman Florida Rep. Greg Steube was one of four Republicans to introduce a resolution last week condemning anti-Semitism that specifically addresses comments made by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Steube introduced the resolution, which he doesn’t believe will get passed, with Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Jeff Duncan and Louie Gohmert in response to the resolution the House passed condemning all forms of bigotry that didn’t name Omar. Many have interpreted the freshman Minnesota rep.’s comments as anti-Semitic.

“I filed my own resolution because I believe that we need to set an example, not just for the country as members of Congress calling out racial and anti-Semitic remarks,” Steube told The Daily Caller Wednesday, adding, “but we need to set an example for the world that we’re not going to put up with that type of behavior, especially from a member of Congress and deal with it directly.”

The resolution mentions Omar’s now-deleted 2012 tweet in which she accused Israel of having “hypnotized the world.” She doubled down on this tweet before eventually apologizing for it and it also listed her more recent accusation that a pro-Israel lobbying group pays for Congressional support for Israel. It also referenced her questioning if some members of Congress have a “dual loyalty” to the United States and Israel. (RELATED: Omar’s Experiences Are ‘More Personal’ Than Children Of Holocaust Survivors)

Ilhan Omar, newly elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on the Democratic ticket, speaks to a group of supporters in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 6, 2018. - US voters elected two Muslim women, both Democrats, to Congress on November 6, 2018, marking a historic first in a country where anti-Muslim rhetoric has been on the rise, American networks reported. Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee, won a House seat in a heavily-Democratic district in the Midwestern state of Minnesota, where she will succeed Keith Ellison, himself the first Muslim elected to Congress. (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP)

Ilhan Omar, newly elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on the Democratic ticket … (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP)

The “dual loyalty” comment specifically spurred the resolution condemning all types of bigotry, which is why Steube felt like he needed to draft a separate resolution specifically addressing anti-Semitism. Omar has apologized for the 2012 tweet and for the congressional support allegation but has not issued an apology for posing the “dual loyalty” question.

Steube added, “So, after the first time when she got called out for the first remark when she was a congress[wo]man. After her own leadership condemned her statements, she apologized and then she had, after that anti-Semitic remarks that she hasn’t apologized for. The result of that was a watered-down resolution condemning hate in general and not addressing her specific anti-Semitic remarks.”

Many of the people who defended Omar were quick to suggest that the criticism against her was misguided and disingenuous with some bringing up the question of whether or not criticizing the Israeli government is considered anti-Semitic.

“Anyone can be critical of policy decisions. I mean, we have that debate in the halls of Congress every day,” Steube said, but explained that Omar’s “remarks” were “nowehere near” criticizing policy decisions. “I think anybody can debate policy and decisions that are made by leaders of different countries, but that doesn’t give you latitude to be anti-Semitic.”

Republican House member-elect Dan Crenshaw (R) … (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Omar, one of the first female Muslim members of Congress, published an op-ed in The Washington Post in which she lays out her foreign policy beliefs for the region including where she called for “a two-state solution, with internationally recognized borders.”

The Florida Republican said that he had read parts of Omar’s op-ed. In response to what her stance is, he said:

In order to truly have peace in that region the Palestinians are going to have to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a country and denounce terrorism. And they still have failed to do that and they still, as far as I know, unwilling to do that. And until you have the Palestinian government say, Palestinian Authority, say that Israel has a right to exist in the country, in that region and denounce terrorism, I don’t see how you can ever have, even start to begin the process of negotiating a peace agreement because the very existence of Israel as a country, they don’t support.

Steube declined to comment on the indictment of sitting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Jon Brown | Associate Editor

The Washington Post offered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a platform to express his opinion Tuesday for the second time in less than five months, despite the unparalleled number of journalists imprisoned by his government.

Sixty-eight journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, more than any other country in the world, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Nevertheless, in an op-ed entitled “The New Zealand killer and the Islamic State are cut from the same cloth,” Erdogan used WaPo as a soapbox from which to scold Western nations for failing to adequately distinguish Islam from terrorism.

Likening the New Zealand mosque shooter to radical Islamic terrorists, Erdogan maintained that the shooter’s motives were a distortion of Christianity and admonished that the world “must establish that there is absolutely no difference between the murderer who killed innocent people in New Zealand and those who have carried out terrorist acts in Turkey, France, Indonesia and elsewhere.” (EXCLUSIVE: A Look Inside Andrew Brunson’s Harrowing Turkish Courtroom Experience)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a ceremony marking the 104th anniversary of Battle of Canakkale, also known as the Gallipoli Campaign, in Canakkale, Turkey March 18, 2019. Cem Oksuz/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

“Unfortunately, Islamophobia and xenophobia, among other practices incompatible with liberal values, were met with silence in Europe and other parts of the Western world,” he continued. “We cannot afford to allow this again. If the world wants to prevent future assaults similar to the one in New Zealand, it must start by establishing that what happened was the product of a coordinated smear campaign.”

Erdogan’s op-ed was a continuation of sentiments he expressed last week at the funeral of a Turkish minister, where he condemned the entire world — and the West, especially — for rising Islamophobia and racism.

“With this attack, hostility towards Islam, that the world has been idly watching and even encouraging for some time, has gone beyond individual harassment to reach the level of mass killing,” he said, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News. (RELATED: Erdogan Uses New Zealand Mosque Shootings To Condemn World For ‘Hostility’ To Islam)

The Post, which uses the slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” also published Erdogan in a Nov. 2, 2018, op-ed that condemned Saudi Arabia for the murder of journalist and WaPo columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

FILE PHOTO: Presidents Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

Presidents Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

“Erdogan makes a solid point that all murderers or terrorists of innocent people should be treated alike and equally condemned,” said Jeffrey McCall, a communications professor at DePauw University who specializes in journalism ethics. “Letting Erdogan come off as all righteous, however, given his track record of curtailing free expression in his own country, is quite unnecessary.”

“It was a curious move when the Post gave Erdogan op-ed space last fall in the wake of the Khashoggi murder, but a case could be made at that time because the assassination took place in Turkey,” McCall continued. “There is no particular need now to give Erdogan a platform to broadly criticize other governments and suggesting the West is normalizing extremism.” (RELATED: Turkey’s Erdogan Wants Twitter To Silence American Critic)

“The Post, in a sense, seems to be giving Erdogan a legitimacy that is undeserved, given his own record on human rights and the many other measured voices that are available to weigh in on such a serious topic,” he added.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 19: Executive editor at The Washington Post, Martin Baron, (L) and Vanity Fair's Sarah Ellison speak onstage during "A Newspaper Editor in the Spotlight" at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 19, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Executive editor at The Washington Post, Martin Baron, (L) and Vanity Fair’s Sarah Ellison speak onstage … (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, WaPo executive editor Martin Baron used Erdogan as an example of the possible dangers that could befall American journalists under President Donald Trump. In remarks delivered at a Manhattan dinner party upon winning an award, Baron quoted CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, saying:

This is how it goes with authoritarians like Sisi, Erdogan, Putin, the Ayatollahs, Duterte, et al. … First the media is accused of inciting, then sympathizing, then associating—until they suddenly find themselves accused of being full-fledged terrorists and subversives. Then they end up in handcuffs, in cages, in kangaroo courts, in prison — and then who knows?

“When the press is under attack, we cannot always count on our nation’s institutions to safeguard our freedoms—not even the courts,” Baron then warned, adding, “Many journalists wonder with considerable weariness what it is going to be like for us during the next four — perhaps eight — years. Will we be incessantly harassed and vilified? Will the new administration seize on opportunities to try intimidating us? Will we face obstruction at every turn? If so, what do we do?” (RELATED: Koppel: NYT And WaPo Not What They Used To Be Thanks To Trump Vendetta)

Baron went on to emphasize the importance of “holding the most powerful to account,” and that failing to do so raises the question, “If we do not do that, then what exactly is the purpose of journalism?”

WaPo did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke claimed recently that climate scientists are “absolutely unanimous” that “we have no more than 12 years to take bold action” on climate change.

Verdict: False

O’Rourke appears to be misconstruing the findings of a 2018 U.N. report. While climate scientists believe that global warming is a serious concern, experts we spoke to say there is no 12-year deadline to avert catastrophic climate change.

Fact Check:

O’Rourke was in Iowa on one of his first campaign stops of the 2020 presidential cycle when he took an audience question about the Green New Deal, a resolution proposed by Democrats in Congress to combat climate change and lower greenhouse gas emissions to net zero.

“The question is on the Green New Deal, and by extension, if you don’t mind, I’ll take the spirit of the question. We face catastrophe and crisis on this planet, even if we were to stop emitting carbon today, right now, at this moment,” O’Rourke began.

“This is our final chance. The scientists are absolutely unanimous on this – that we have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis,” he claimed March 14.

O’Rourke appears to be referencing a 2018 report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that says global warming is likely to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also cited the IPCC report when she warned that “the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change” in January, and several news outlets have similarly covered the report, with one headline proclaiming a 12-year deadline to avert a “climate change catastrophe.”

Neither these articles nor O’Rourke’s comments are an accurate reflection of the report’s findings, though. The report “does not state that we have 12 years left to limit/stop/counteract climate change,” Jonathan Lynn, head of communications and media relations for the IPCC, told The Daily Caller in an email.

The Paris climate accord seeks to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, which led policymakers to ask the IPCC what it would take to meet that benchmark.

The world has already experienced roughly 1 degree Celsius of global warming, according to the IPCC report, and in order to avoid surpassing 1.5 degrees Celsius, it estimated that net global carbon emissions would have to decline 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by around 2050.

“The lower the emissions in 2030, the lower the challenge in limiting global warming to 1.5ºC after 2030 with no or limited overshoot,” Lynn told the Caller.

Lynn emphasized, however, that the 1.5-degree benchmark should not be thought of as a point of no return. “One key finding could be summarized as ‘every bit of warming matters,’” he said. “So if you end up at 1.6 that would be worse than 1.5, but better than 1.7 or 2.0. It’s not as if going through one of those thresholds changes everything.”

Jason Smerdon, a climate researcher at Columbia University, described the impacts of climate change as a “sliding scale.”

“This is not a binary choice that will decide whether or not we fall off a cliff in 12 years,” he told the Caller in an email. “The formula is simple: the warmer things get the bigger the challenges and risks will be.”

Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe estimates that the impacts of climate change would be generally adaptable at 1.5 degrees Celsius, challenging at 2 degrees Celsius and system altering at 3 degrees Celsius, but she cautioned that there’s no “magic number” in terms of a benchmark.

“Trying to put a number on exactly how much global temperature change is dangerous, and how much carbon we can put into the atmosphere before we hit that level, is like trying to put a number on exactly how many cigarettes we can smoke before we develop lung cancer,” she said in a PBS video last year.

Regardless, climate scientists believe that climate change does pose a serious threat.

“I would say there is strong consensus in the scientific community that limiting warming to 1.5 or 2C is important if we want to avoid dangerous levels of climate change and that avoiding those levels requires swift, immediate, and urgent action,” Smerdon told the Caller. “But the scientific community does not believe that we only have 12 years and then all is lost.”

The O’Rourke campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

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President Donald Trump maintained his attacks on John McCain on Wednesday, accusing the late Republican Arizona senator of putting him in “jeopardy” with the FBI by giving the salacious and unverified Steele dossier to James Comey in late 2016.

At a speech in Ohio, Trump also faulted McCain for not contacting him after receiving the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

“I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never liked him much,” Trump said of McCain, who passed away Aug. 25, 2018, after a battle with cancer.

“But there are certain reasons for it,” Trump continued.

“John McCain received the fake and phony dossier. You hear about the dossier? It was paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton. And John McCain got it. He got it. And what did he do? He didn’t call me. He turned it over to the FBI hoping to put me in jeopardy.” (RELATED: John McCain Associate Had Contact With A Dozen Reporters About Dossier)

“That’s not the nicest thing to do,” Trump added, while also criticizing McCain for voting against a Republican-led effort to repeal Obamacare.

Trump ramped up his attacks on McCain in the wake of court documents that revealed details about the Republican lawmaker’s handling of the dossier, which was authored by former British spy Christopher Steele. Trump’s comments have drawn rebuke from some Republicans, including Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, who called the remarks “deplorable.”

McCain and an associate, David Kramer, were first told about Steele’s report Nov. 18, 2016. At McCain’s direction, Kramer to travel to London to meet with Steele, a former MI6 officer.

Kramer obtained a copy of the report and provided it to McCain. McCain met with Comey at FBI headquarters Dec. 9, 2016. He long claimed he had no idea whether the allegations in the dossier were accurate, but he said the FBI should investigate. Unknown to McCain at the time, the FBI had already obtained Steele’s report through several other channels.

Kramer, a former State Department official, speculated in a Dec. 13, 2017, deposition that Steele and Fusion GPS chose McCain so a Republican, rather than a Democrat, could present the dossier to Comey.

“I think they felt a senior Republican was better to be the recipient of this rather than a Democrat because if it were a Democrat, I think that the view was that it would have been dismissed as a political attack,” Kramer said in a deposition in a court case involving BuzzFeed, which was sued for publishing the dossier.

The FBI took seriously Steele’s report. Investigators relied heavily on the document to obtain four surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The dossier is also the source of salacious allegations that have hung over the Trump administration since BuzzFeed published Steele’s document Jan. 10, 2017. Steele alleges in his first memo of the dossier that the Russian government has a videotape from 2013 of Trump with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room. According to Steele’s sources, the Kremlin has used the tape to blackmail Trump.

But more than two years after its publication, the dossier’s most serious allegations about Trump and his associates remain unverified. Serious doubt has been cast on other claims made in the Steele’s report, including that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen visited Prague in August 2016 to pay off Russian hackers.

Cohen, who has since fallen out with Trump, testified under oath Feb. 27 that he never visited Prague.

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Amber Athey | White House Correspondent

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke has fascinated the public with his love of standing on restaurant counters, but little attention has been paid to the unsung heroes of O’Rourke’s campaign — the baristas and bartenders forced to wipe down the counters after the former congressman’s departure.

O’Rourke, who has kicked off his campaign by visiting various small businesses in Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, has generated jokes and memes about his constant need to address crowds from atop an elevated surface. Politicos and verified Twitter users have opined on the cleanliness — or lack thereof — of O’Rourke’s dirty shoes trampling the same surface used to serve customers. (RELATED: On The Road Again — Beto Takes Road Trip To Meet America)

“People from cultures where shoes are considered very dirty and not worthy of being in the house get grossed out when politicians walk all over counters,” journalist Yashar Ali tweeted.

Dan O’Sullivan, who has written for Vice and Rolling Stone, expressed sympathy for the employees who have to “disinfect the counter after Beto hops his stupid horse body up on top of it.”

Employees at the coffee shops and bars visited by O’Rourke on the campaign trail did have to wipe down the counters after the candidate’s countertop speeches, according to four people who spoke to The Daily Caller.

Suann Wells, the owner of Beancounter Coffeehouse & Drinkery in Burlington, Iowa, somewhat proudly told the Caller that “he started that here,” referencing O’Rourke’s infamous counter-hopping.

Suann asserted that “of course” an employee cleaned the counter, adding that “in [O’Rourke’s] defense, it was very crowded.”

An unnamed employee who answered the phone at Central Park Coffee in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, similarly said “of course” when asked if the counters were cleaned off after O’Rourke’s visit on Friday but declined to comment further about the politician’s visit.

MOUNT PLEASANT, IOWA - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke stands on a counter top as he talks with voters during his second day of campaigning for the 2020 nomination at Central Park Coffee Company March 15, 2019 in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. After losing a long-shot race for U.S. Senate to Ted Cruz (R-TX), the 46-year-old O'Rourke is making his first campaign swing through Iowa after jumping into a crowded Democratic field this week. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

MOUNT PLEASANT, IOWA – MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke stands on a counter top as he talks with voters during his second day of campaigning for the 2020 nomination at Central Park Coffee Company March 15, 2019 in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

O’Rourke made another stop in Iowa to the Sing-A-Long Bar and Grill, where he ditched the coffee counter for a spot next to the register by the bar. Annette from Sing-A-Long told the Caller that they offered O’Rourke a step stool to ease his climb to the counter, which an employee later cleaned with sanitizer.

“We brought out a step stool to make sure he was safe,” she explained.

MOUNT VERNON, IOWA - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke answers questions from voters during his second day of campaigning for the 2020 nomination at The Sing-A-Long Bar and Grill March 15, 2019 in Mount Vernon, Iowa. After losing a long-shot race for U.S. Senate to Ted Cruz (R-TX), the 46-year-old O'Rourke is making his first campaign swing through Iowa after jumping into a crowded Democratic field this week. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

MOUNT VERNON, IOWA – MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke answers questions from voters during his second day of campaigning for the 2020 nomination at The Sing-A-Long Bar and Grill March 15, 2019 in Mount Vernon, Iowa. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

An unnamed employee at Cargo Coffee in Madison, Wisconsin, explained that normally employees at the shop would use “a sanitizer that is still safe for humans to ingest” on dirty countertops, but they took extra steps to ensure cleanliness after O’Rourke’s Sunday visit.

Photos only show O’Rourke standing on a chair at Cargo Coffee, but the employee said O’Rourke stood on the counter as well.

“Yes, we made sure the counter was clean,” she told the Caller. “This time, we used bleach because his feet were on it.”

Interviews with Suann and Annette revealed that O’Rourke does have at least one healthy habit: asking for permission.

“The crowd was so deep that no one could see him,” Suann said. “His staffer asked if he could [get up on the counter].”

Annette said, “He definitely asked for permission.”

Baristas from other establishments told The Daily Beast that they would prefer O’Rourke stay off their counters if he happens to visit, noting the potential sanitary and safety issues.

“I would understand standing on the counter because the crowd was so big, although organizing it would be better. But he’s kneeled down. It seems like a photo op that wasn’t necessary. His feet are right by the cups,” Josh Wilson, owner of Cohesive Coffee in Greenville, South Carolina, said.

Connor Finnegan, who manages a coffee shop in Brooklyn, New York, said he would not allow O’Rourke to stand on his counter.

“He can be heard and seen perfectly well standing on the ground,” Finnegan said.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Betsy Rothstein | Reporter

The White House soap opera continues.

And the plot twist is super juicy: Kellyanne Conway is choosing President Trump over her husband.

On Wednesday afternoon, Kellyanne fiercely defended her boss, who called her hubby, conservative lawyer George Conway, a “total loser.” Conway has been pushing a narrative that Trump is a narcissist who has lost his marbles.

In a new, brief phone interview with Politico‘s Daniel Lippman, Kellyanne sided with Trump, saying he could fire her for her husband being such a distraction and tell her to go home and be with her kids. Instead he isn’t. Instead, her boss is just calling her husband a “whack job” and a “husband from hell.” Trump told reporters Wednesday on the White House grounds, “I think he’s doing a tremendous disservice to a wonderful woman.”

“You think he should take that sitting down?” Kellyanne asked of Trump, sounding like she was rooting for her boss to successfully clobber her husband.

She said her husband — “respectfully” — is no psychiatrist. It’s the only time where she uses the “word” respect in association with her husband. The couple have four children. They’ve been married for 18 years. (RELATED: Ann Coulter Has Advice For Trump On The Conways) 

Kellyanne’s characterization that this is a “distraction” might be putting it mildly.

By backing Trump’s smackdown of her own husband, isn’t she basically agreeing with Trump that her husband is a loser?

In what could be the most talented acting performance of the year, Conway and Conway are acting like something out of War of the Roses. As Trump publicly shreds her husband, Conway continues pushing the narrative that the president has a mental order straight out of the DSM.

In her defense, George started it. Wouldn’t a supportive husband not try to blow up his wife’s job?

Kellyanne told CNN’s Dana Bash that her husband, who Trump unaffectionately calls “Mr. Kellyanne Conway,” says her other half was initially “crying in his MAGA hat” with joy over Trump’s presidency.

“I believe if I were Kellyanne, I’d be upset with my husband,” political analyst Gloria Borger said Wednesday on CNN.

But she also said Trump has a “pot kettle” issue by calling George the “husband from hell.”

Who knows where the plot goes from here. But one thing is for certain: We want MORE.

“Where do I buy the Conway book?” TV host Michael Smerconish asked, sitting on a panel this afternoon alongside Borger on Brooke Baldwin‘s show.

Source: The Daily Caller


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