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Facebook and Twitter Remove Video of Trump Falsely Claiming Children are “Almost Immune” to COVID-19

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  • Twitter and Facebook have both removed a video of President Trump where he said children are “almost immune” to the coronavirus for violating their rules about spreading COVID-19 misinformation.
  • The video was posted to Trump’s personal page on Facebook, and it marks the first time the company has removed a post by Trump because it shared misinformation about the coronavirus.
  • On Twitter, the video was shared by Trump’s campaign, though he tweeted a link to that post on his personal account. Twitter temporarily froze the campaign account until it deleted the tweet.
  • Trump and his campaign responded by doubling down on the claims, and arguing the move amounted to censorship.

Trump Makes False Claim About COVID-19 Immunity 

Twitter and Facebook both took down a video of President Donald Trump Wednesday where he argued that schools should be reopened by falsely claiming that children are “almost immune” to the coronavirus.

The video in question came from a clip of remarks the president made during an interview on Fox and Friends earlier in the day.

“My view is the schools should open,” he said. “This thing’s going away. It will go away like things go away.”

“If you look at children, children are almost— and I would almost say definitely— but almost immune from this disease,” he continued. “I don’t know how you feel about it, but they have much stronger immune systems than we do somehow for this.” 

“They just don’t have a problem.” 

Children are not immune to the coronavirus. While studies have shown that children are at less of a risk than adults, experts have said the word “immunity” is not correct in this context.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 240,000 children in the U.S. have been documented as testing positive for the coronavirus.

Additionally, around 300 children have also contracted a rare inflammatory disease as a result of COVID-19 called a multisystem inflammatory syndrome, which has killed six children.

Facebook and Twitter Remove Post

Shortly after his interview on Fox and Friends, Trump shared a clip of his comments on his Facebook account. About four hours after the video was shared, Facebook took it down.

“This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19 which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

A Facebook representative later confirmed that it is the first post by Trump the platform removed because it contained coronavirus misinformation.

The decision represents a significant change for Facebook, which has long been criticized for its hands-off approach when it comes to certain content shared by Trump.

Recently, the platform has ramped up its efforts in this area. Back in June, Facebook removed another post from Trump that showed a CNN video of a Black toddler running away from a white toddler with the fake headline: “Terrified Toddler Runs From Racist Baby.” 

While some said that the clip was considered manipulated media, a spokesperson the video was taken down because of a copyright complaint.

Later that month, Facebook removed both posts and ads Trump’s campaign shared that showed an inverted red triangle— a symbol that was used by Nazis to mark political rivals. The company said the posts violated its rules against organized hate.

Twitter, for its part, has taken a more aggressive approach. In recent weeks, it has flagged multiple tweets posted by Trump as misinformation. Last month, the platform even blocked Donald Trump Jr. from tweeting for 12 hours after he broke their rules on sharing coronavirus misinformation.

On Twitter, Trump’s campaign account also posted the same video clip from the interview, and shortly after Facebook removed Trump’s post, a Twitter spokesperson told the media that the tweet “is in violation of the Twitter Rules on COVID-19 misinformation. The account owner will be required to remove the Tweet before they can Tweet again.”

Notably, Trump also shared a link to that tweet on his personal account, and as a result, that statement led to some confusion as to which account was frozen, which lead some outlets like The Washington Post and Mashable to report that Trump’s personal account had been blocked from tweeting.

In a later statement to Mashable, a Twitter spokesperson clarified that only the Trump campaign account had been temporarily banned, and when asked if Twitter would have blocked Trump’s personal account had he shared the video, the spokesperson declined to answer.

Both the original post and Trump’s personal tweet sharing the link to that post have been deleted, and Trump’s campaign account resumed tweeting Wednesday night after it took down the tweet as requested.

Trump & Team Respond

In a statement Wednesday, a Trump campaign spokesperson defended the post and tried to downplay the false claims.

“The President was stating a fact that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus,” the spokesperson said. “Another day, another display of Silicon Valley’s flagrant bias against this President, where the rules are only enforced in one direction. Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth.”

Trump himself also doubled down on his claims about children and COVID-19 immunity during a press conference later on Wednesday.

I’m talking about from getting very sick. If you look at children, I mean, they’re able to throw it off very easily,” he said. “But for whatever reason, the China virus, children handle it very well. And they may get it, but they get it and it doesn’t have much of an impact on them.”

“If you look at the numbers, the numbers in terms of mortality fatality, the numbers for children under a certain age, meaning young,” he added. “Their immune systems are very, very strong. They’re very powerful. They seem to be able to handle it very well, and that’s according to every statistic.” 

During an interview on Fox News Thursday morning, Trump also said the actions of Twitter and Facebook amounted to censorship.

“They’re doing anybody, on the right, anybody, any Republican, any conservative Republican is censored and look at the horrible things they say on the left,” he said.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (NPR) (Business Insider)

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Texas State Senate Sets Date for AG Ken Paxton’s Impeachment Trial

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The House impeached Paxton on 20 articles, including bribery, abuse of public trust, and dereliction of duty.


Paxton Impeached

The Texas State Senate on Monday adopted a resolution outlining how the impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) will play out in the upper chamber.

The proceedings, which will be over seen by the Lieutenant Governor, will start no later than Aug. 28. The move comes after the House voted to impeach Paxton on Saturday 121 to 23, with a majority of Republicans voting in favor. The historic vote marks just the third time a public official has been impeached in Texas’ nearly 200-year history. The most recent impeachment was nearly five decades ago.

The decision follows a tumultuous week for Texas Republicans and further highlights the growing rifts within the party.

The divisions first came to a head last Tuesday when Paxton called for Speaker of the House Dade Phelan (R) to step down after he presided over the floor while seemingly intoxicated. Mere hours later, the Republican-led General Investigating Committee announced that it had been investigating Paxton for months.

On Thursday, the committee unanimously recommended that Paxton be impeached and removed from office, prompting a full floor vote over the weekend.

Articles of Impeachment

In total, 20 articles of impeachment were brought against Paxton, including bribery, abuse of public trust, dereliction of duty, and more.

While there is a wide range of allegations, many first surfaced in Oct. 2020, when seven of Paxton’s top aides published a letter they had sent to the Attorney General’s director of human resources.

The letter accused Paxton of committing several crimes and asked the FBI to launch an investigation, which it did.

The staffers claimed that Paxton had abused his office to benefit Nate Paul, an Austin real estate developer and friend of Paxton’s who donated $25,000 to his 2018 campaign. Many of the impeachment articles concern Paxton’s alleged efforts to try and protect Paul from an FBI investigation he was facing in 2020.

Specifically, Paxton is accused of attempting to interfere in foreclosure lawsuits and issuing legal opinions that benefitted Paul, improperly obtaining undisclosed information to give him, and violating agency policies by appointing an outside attorney to investigate baseless claims and issue subpoenas to help the developer and his businesses.

In exchange, Paul allegedly helped Paxton by hiring a woman the Attorney General was having an affair with and paying for expensive renovations to Paxton’s home. According to the articles, that swap amounted to bribery.

Beyond Paxton’s relationship with Paul, many impeachment articles also concern how the top lawyer handled the 2020 letter. 

In particular, Paxton is accused of violating Texas’ whistleblower law by firing four of the staffers who reported him in retaliation, misusing public funds to launch a sham investigation into the whistleblowers, and making false official statements in his response to the allegations.

The Attorney General also allegedly tried to conceal his wrongdoing by entering into a $3.3 million settlement with the fired staffers. The settlement is especially notable as House leaders have explicitly said they launched their probe into Paxton because he had asked the state legislature to approve taxpayer money to pay for that settlement. 

Additionally, the impeachment articles outline several charges relating to a securities fraud case that Paxton was indicted for in 2015 but has not been charged in. The charges there include lying to state investigators and obstructing justice.

Paxton, for his part, has denied the allegations. On Saturday, the Attorney General issued a statement seeking to politicize the matter, claiming his impeachment was “illegal” and a “politically motivated scam.”

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The Associated Press) (The New York Times)

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Trump Lawyer Notes Indicate Former President May Have Obstructed Justice in Mar-a-Lago Documents Probe

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The notes add to a series of recent reports that seem to paint a picture of possible obstruction.


Corcoran’s Notes on Mar-a-Lago

Prosecutors have 50 pages of notes from Donald Trump’s lawyer Evan Corcoran that show the former president was explicitly told he could not keep any more classified documents after he was subpoenaed for their return, according to a new report by The Guardian.

The notes, which were disclosed by three people familiar with the matter, present new evidence that indicates Trump obstructed justice in the investigation into classified documents he improperly kept at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

In June, Corcoran found around 40 classified documents in a storage room at Mar-a-Lago while complying with the initial subpoena. The attorney told the Justice Department that no additional documents were on the property.

In August, however, the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago and discovered about 100 more.

The Guardian’s report is significant because it adds a piece to the puzzle prosecutors are trying to put together: whether Trump obstructed justice when he failed to comply with the subpoena by refusing to return all the documents he had or even trying to hide them intentionally.

As the outlet noted, prosecutors have been “fixated” on Trump’s valet, Walt Nauta, since he told them that the former president directed him to move boxes out of the storage room before and after the subpoena. His actions were also captured on surveillance footage.

The sources familiar with Corcoran’s notes said the pages revealed that both Trump and the Nauta “had unusually detailed knowledge of the botched subpoena response, including where Corcoran intended to search and not search for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, as well as when Corcoran was actually doing his search.”

At one point, Corcoran allegedly noted how he had told the Nauta about the subpoena prior to his search for the documents because the lawyer needed him to unlock the storage room, showing how closely involved the valet was from the get-go. 

Corcoran further stated that Nauta had even offered to help go through the boxes, but the attorney declined. Beyond that, the report also asserted that the notes “suggested to prosecutors that there were times when the storage room might have been left unattended while the search for classified documents was ongoing.”

Adding to the Evidence

If real, Corcoran’s notes are very damning, especially considering other recent reports concerning Trump’s possible efforts to obstruct the documents probe. 

A few weeks ago, The New York Times reported that Corcoran had testified before a grand jury that multiple Trump employees told him the Mar-a-Lago storage room was the only place the documents were kept.

“Although Mr. Corcoran testified that Mr. Trump did not personally convey that false information, his testimony hardly absolved the former president,” the outlet reported, referencing people with knowledge of the matter. 

“Mr. Corcoran also recounted to the grand jury how Mr. Trump did not tell his lawyers of any other locations where the documents were stored, which may have effectively misled the legal team.”

Additionally, the only reason that Corcoran handed over these notes was that he was under court order to do so. Corcoran had refused to turn the materials over, citing attorney-client privilege. 

A federal judge rejected that claim on the grounds that there was reason to believe a lawyer’s advice or services were used to further a crime — meaning prosecutors believed they had enough evidence to prove Trump may have acted criminally. 

See what others are saying: (The Guardian) (The New York Times) (Vanity Fair)

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Homeless Men Promised Money to Pose as Veterans in Anti-Immigrant Scheme, Sources Allege

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New York State Attorney General Letitia James said she is reviewing whether to launch a formal investigation into the ruse.


A story that was spread by right-wing media about homeless veterans getting evicted from their hotel rooms to make way for asylum seekers has turned out to be false, according to numerous sources.

Early this month, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced a plan to bus some migrants to hotels in neighboring counties, where they would stay for several months.

Orange County and Rockland County filed lawsuits to block the move, and the state supreme court granted both temporary restraining orders, but many migrants had already arrived. To make room for the incoming migrants, one hotel in Orange County forced at least 15 homeless veterans to leave, media reported at the time.

But several homeless men told local outlets they had allegedly been offered payment if they posed as military veterans staying at the hotel.

Sharon Toney-Finch, head of Yerik Israel Toney Foundation (YIT), a nonprofit that houses the homeless, allegedly masterminded the scheme.

Her associates allegedly rounded up 15 homeless men at a shelter and promised them as much as $200 each if they spoke with a local politician about homelessness. But they told reporters that when they met Toney-Finch at a diner, she presented her real plan. They would speak to a local chamber of commerce instead, the men recalled, and if they weren’t comfortable with telling the lie, Toney-Finch instructed them to say they had PTSD and couldn’t speak.

After fulfilling their end of the bargain, however, they said she never paid them the cash they were promised.

Several of them described the ordeal to media outlets, and reporters soon poked more holes in the story.

The Times Union published a copy of a credit card receipt that purportedly showed a payment of more than $37,000 for rooms at the Crossroads Hotel for the unhoused veterans alongside a copy of what appears to be Toney-Finch’s credit card.

But a graphics expert who examined the documents said the receipt appeared to have been “altered with smudges behind the darker type and [had] different fonts,” according to Mid Hudson News.

A hotel manager also told the outlet he could not find any record of the transaction, and there were no veterans at the hotel and nobody was kicked out.

Local Republican state assembly member Brian Maher, who previously reacted to the fake story with outrage, told The Times Union he felt “devastated and disheartened” when he learned that he was duped.

“She alluded to the fact that, ‘Maybe it’s not exactly how I said it was,’” Maher recalled, describing a conversation with Toney-Finch. “This is something I believe hurt a lot of people.”

New York State Attorney General Leticia James is reportedly reviewing the incident to determine if a formal investigation is warranted.

See what others are saying: (The Guardian) (CNN) (The New York Times)

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