CNBC senior contributor Larry Kudlow has said he is "moving toward" running for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut with no apparent response from the network, even though CNBC previously said it would have to change its relationship with Kudlow if he seriously considered running. Kudlow has taken several steps that appear to violate the network's previous standard for employees exploring campaigns, including interviewing potential campaign staff, creating strategy, and promoting "a test-the-water committee, which would become the campaign." At the same time, CNBC has allowed Kudlow to use its platform to attack potential Democratic opponent Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
William Daniel Johnson, a white nationalist activist and author who heads a political group supporting Donald Trump, gave the Republican presidential front-runner's campaign $250.
Johnson leads the American National Super PAC, which last month issued a robocall asking Iowa voters to support Trump because of his anti-immigrant views. Johnson, who identified himself during the call as a "white nationalist," told TPM he ultimately wants "a white ethno-state, a country made up of only white people."
The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that Johnson wrote a book under a pseudonym in which he advocated "the repeal of the 14th and 15th amendments and the deportation of almost all nonwhite citizens to other countries. Johnson further claimed that racial mixing and diversity caused social and cultural degeneration in the United States." Johnson regularly appears in white nationalist media. He donated to Ron Paul's presidential campaign in 2012.
According to Trump's third quarter Federal Election Commission (FEC) report, Johnson gave Donald J. Trump for President Inc. $250 in September. The address listed for Johnson's donation is the same address as the American National Super PAC and the West Coast office of the white nationalist American Freedom Party, which Johnson also chairs. Trump's latest FEC report, which was filed yesterday and covers campaign activity through the end of 2015, does not indicate that the Trump campaign refunded Johnson's contribution.
In recent months, several media outlets have documented how white nationalist figures have been supporting Trump's campaign. His candidacy has also been a fundraising engine for white nationalist media websites, which have praised Trump for spurring "unprecedented interest in" their ideology and putting their ideas "firmly in the mainstream."
During a January 13 interview, CNN challenged Trump over his support from white nationalists. Trump responded that he "would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me. People are angry. They're angry at what's going on" with regard to illegal immigration. Johnson and fellow white nationalist robocaller Jared Taylor praised Trump's response. Johnson said "it was just a wonderful response. He disavowed us, but he explained why there is so much anger in America that I couldn't have asked for a better approach from him."
People For the American Way (PFAW) is calling on Trump to "immediately return" Johnson's contribution. In a February 2 statement, PFAW president Michael Keegan said:
Last year, when a White Nationalist was running racist robocalls backing Donald Trump, Trump brushed it off and said he would 'disavow' that kind of support. Now is his chance to show whether or not he means it by returning the contribution immediately. Trump can bash 'political correctness' all he wants, but anyone who aspires to our nation's highest office should understand that cashing checks from those pushing an explicitly racist agenda is unacceptable.
Allen West attacked his Fox News colleagues for their moderation of last night's Republican debate, calling their performance unprofessional, "petty," "petulant," and designed "to incite a spiteful environment."
In a January 29 post on his website, the Fox News contributor wrote that he didn't "think Megyn Kelly's opening statement about 'an elephant not in the room' was professional. The snarky intro question about the person who wasn't there was just as petty and petulant as his reaction of not appearing at the debate."
West also criticized moderators Kelly, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier for attempting "to evoke a little Trump bashing, but most of the candidates didn't take the bait -- kudos." He added: "Also, was it just me, or did Wallace, Kelly,and Baier purposefully promote a contentious atmosphere? It's one thing to present tough questions, another to incite a spiteful environment."
West concluded that while the debate had a "much more substantive aura ... the Fox Business News team of Maria Bartiromo and Neal Cavuto [sic], along with Sandra Smith and Trish Regan, did a much better overall job."
UPDATE: Breitbart News has corrected its piece. The headline now states, "CORRECTED -- Michael Goldfarb: Trump is the Politics of 'Fear, Paranoia, Nativism.'" An attached note reads: "CORRECTION: Our morning lead was a link to a story on the BBC Magazine by Michael Goldfarb. This is not the Founder of the Washington Free Beacon, but a different individual. Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow accept responsibility for this mistake and apologize to Michael and the staff of the Free Beacon."
ORIGINAL: Breitbart News ran a piece claiming that the founder of the conservative Free Beacon attacked Donald Trump as embodying "the politics of 'fear, paranoia, nativism.'" But Breitbart News, which has been criticized for being "the most pro-Trump news outlet on the right," wrote about the wrong person.
But the founder of the Free Beacon is a different Michael Goldfarb. The Free Beacon's Goldfarb is a Republican who worked as an aide to Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) presidential campaign and for the conservative Weekly Standard.
The writer of the BBC article is public radio veteran Michael Goldfarb. Breitbart News could have easily ascertained the true identity of the writer by simply reading the article's author identification. The BBC article wrote that Goldfarb is "the author of Emancipation: How Liberating Europe's Jews from the Ghetto led to Revolution and Renaissance" and linked to his professional website. An August 2008 NPR feature noted that there are two different Michael Goldfarbs and that they are often confused for one another.
Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti tweeted that "this story is false. We are waiting for retraction. Thanks." Free Beacon staff writer Lachlan Markay tweeted, "Anyone who's ever met @thegoldfarb is chuckling at the notion that his byline would ever appear at the BBC."
Breitbart News is a notoriously unreliable news site. In 2014, it attacked President Obama's nomination for attorney general by going after the wrong Loretta Lynch. In 2013, it alleged then-Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel received funding from a group called Friends of Hamas -- which never actually existed.
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is campaigning with and celebrating the endorsements of numerous extreme right-wing media figures. They include an anti-choice official who became infamous for "praising the killing of abortion doctors and calling women who have abortions 'murderers'"; a group led by a gun extremist who resigned from a presidential campaign because of links to white supremacists; anti-gay extremists who call being gay "morally wrong," "sexually perverted," and curable; and Glenn Beck.
Two white nationalists who robocalled voters in support of Donald Trump are praising his response to their campaign as "wonderful" and a validation of their efforts. While Trump said he disavowed their robocall, the white nationalists believe Trump did it "in the nicest possible way" and affirmed "they're right to be furious."
The American National Super PAC, led by William Daniel Johnson, earlier this month issued a robocall asking Iowa voters to support Trump because of his anti-immigrant views. Johnson, who identified himself during the call as a "white nationalist," told TPM he ultimately wants "a white ethno-state, a country made up of only white people." White nationalist writer Jared Taylor also participated in the call. The Anti-Defamation League describes Taylor as someone who "advocates voluntary segregation" and "upholds racial homogeneity as the key to fostering peaceful coexistence."
During a January 13 interview, Trump was asked by CNN's Erin Burnett if he denounces the robocall. Trump responded: "I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me. People are angry. They're angry at what's going on" with regard to illegal immigration:
BURNETT: Mr. Trump, when you hear that, does that shock you? Do you denounce that?
TRUMP: Nothing in this country shocks me. I would disavow it, but nothing in this country shocks me. People are angry. They're angry at what's going on. They're angry at the border. They're angry at the crime. They're angry at people coming in and shooting Kate in the back in California and San Francisco. They're angry when Jamiel Shaw shot in the face by an illegal immigrant. They're angry when the woman, the veteran, 65 years old is raped, sodomized, and killed by an illegal immigrant. And, they're very angry about it, and -- by the way, thousands of other cases like that. They're very angry about it. So, I would disavow that, but I will tell you people are extremely angry.
BURNETT: People are extremely angry, but to be clear, when he says, "We need smart, well-educated white people to assimilate to our culture, vote Trump," you're saying you disavow that. You do denounce that?
TRUMP: Well, you just heard me. I said it. How many times do you want me to say it?
BURNETT: A third would be good.
TRUMP: I said I disavow.
During a January 16 interview on the "pro-White" radio show The Political Cesspool, Johnson and host James Edwards praised Trump's response as "wonderful" and "quite good." Johnson said he "couldn't have asked for a better approach from him":
JOHNSON: Donald Trump's response when he was asked to address it was just a wonderful response. He disavowed us, but he explained why there is so much anger in America that I couldn't have asked for a better approach from him.
EDWARDS: I was going to ask you about that. So, you know, of course I saw that. In a perfect world he would say, "You know what? These guys are right. What are you going to do about it?" But understandably there is still a political reality. I think fundamentally, as I say on this show time and time again, most middle American, middle class whites agree with us fundamentally on the issues. But he's operating in a different world than that -- I think it was certainly better than to be expected. And I thought too it was quite good, as you did Bill, so this was something that you can live with in terms of a response from the Trump campaign and of course from there it's over. You know, the news cycle is over, if he's asked about it again he's already gone on record, he is the Teflon Don. He's the Teflon candidate. This wasn't of course made to hurt him, I don't know how much it hurt or helped him. Ultimately I don't think it did much of either -- it might have marginally helped him. It certainly didn't hurt him. And so his response is something that you greet with a level of respect, am I right?
JOHNSON: Oh yeah I do, I like it very much. And also the response that I got -- I put my own cell phone number out there. And I got, oh, a hundred calls regarding it. Most of the calls were hang-ups. They wanted to know if it was a real phone number. So they'd either hang up or say, "Oh I'm sorry, wrong number." But there were a majority of calls who were opposed to it but there were a minority of calls who approved of it, and liked it. So that was encouraging also. And that is a new phenomenon. Before we would have gotten no one who would be willing to come out and say that so these little things incrementally help raise awareness of the issues and help change public opinion.
Later in the program, Jared Taylor praised Trump for essentially saying he understands "exactly what these guys are saying, they're furious, and they're right to be furious." Taylor concluded that "if he disavowed us, he did it, I thought, in the nicest possible way." From his interview on The Political Cesspool:
EDWARDS: Your reaction to the Donald Trump acknowledgement, I think better than anyone really could have expected, correct?
TAYLOR: Yes, he was, you know, for days everybody was calling him up, calling up his campaign saying, "What do you think of these horrible people? Denounce them, denounce them." And he didn't. You know, he just maintained a dignified silence as he's capable of doing. And then finally when CNN's Erin Burnett really forced him to say, "Well, I would disavow it." But she asked him, "are you shocked by this? Will you denounce this?" "I'm not shocked by anything in America." I thought that was a great line. He's so quick on his feet. And then he goes to say, "I would disavow it" but then he goes on to explain why people are so angry. In effect, he's saying, "Yeah, yeah, if you want me to denounce it I will, but I understand exactly what these guys are saying, they're furious, and they're right to be furious." So if he disavowed us, he did it, I thought, in the nicest possible way.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul appeared on the program of leading conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to ask viewers to "call the Republican National Committee" and tell them "it's not fair to exclude me from the debate."
Fox Business announced earlier this week that Paul would not be included in January 14's main Republican primary debate. Paul accused "the establishment in the Republican Party" for being responsible for his exclusion.
During a January 13 interview with Paul, Jones asked what his fans could do "to get you in that debate." Paul responded by asking Jones' audience "to call the Republican National Committee and tell Reince Priebus that they need to allow all voices to be heard in the debate and that it's not fair to exclude me from the debate." Paul also promoted his campaign website and Facebook account if "people want to make phone calls for us ... if people want to donate ... if people want to fly up to Iowa or New Hampshire."
Jones is a well-known conspiracy theorist and one of the more extreme media personalities in the country. He believes the government was behind the 9/11 attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, and the mass shootings in Aurora, Sandy Hook and Tucson (among others). He recently suggested the San Bernardino shooting was a "false flag." Jones ultimately believes that a cabal of secretive global elites is working behind the scenes to, in the words of one of his films, "exterminate 80% of the world's population, while enabling the elites to live forever with the aid of advanced technology."
During the interview, Jones told Paul he would make "the perfect president." At one point, Jones suggested Paul would be a better president than Sen. Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, prompting Paul to attack Trump's conservative credentials. Jones previously hosted Trump, where the two heavily praised each other.
As Media Matters documented, Paul previously credited Jones for being a vital part of his 2010 Senate campaign. Jones endorsed Paul, turned out followers to his events, and partnered with Paul for fundraising, at one point crashing his website. Since Paul's election to the Senate, Jones has continued to serve as a key Paul booster, including endorsing him for 2016.
In April 2015, Paul attempted to downplay his alliance with Jones and had recently been missing as a guest on the program. But with the primaries approaching, and his campaign struggling, Paul appears to have re-embraced the leading conspiracy theorist.
Listen to Paul's full appearance here:
Far-right radio host Michael Savage told Donald Trump that Hispanics will support his presidential campaign because "the Hispanic culture is a macho culture. Men don't like reporting to a woman." Trump did not refute Savage's characterization, and later told him "I appreciate your support, you've been so amazing."
During his January 11 program, Savage remarked to Trump that "the reason Hispanics are going to vote for you -- and I'll say it, I'm not going to ask you -- is because, to be honest, and it's very clear, the Hispanic culture is a macho culture. Men don't like reporting to a woman. It's just the way the culture is. And they'd rather have a man than a woman as president." Savage then asked Trump, who did not refute or respond to Savage's characterization of Hispanics, about his polling with Hispanics:
SAVAGE: I'm asking you the questions about the audiences that we normally don't think would vote for you. On this show, Donald, last week I said the reason Hispanics are going to vote for you -- and I'll say it, I'm not going to ask you -- is because, to be honest, and it's very clear, the Hispanic culture is a macho culture. Men don't like reporting to a woman. It's just the way the culture is. And they'd rather have a man than a woman as president. What are your poll numbers amongst Hispanics?
TRUMP: Well we're doing well. In Nevada we just came in and we were at 34 or something like that, number one, the state of Nevada, which is very heavily Hispanic. And you know I have thousands of people that work for me that are Hispanic. And tens of thousands over the years that have been Hispanic and from Mexico and different places and they're phenomenal people. And, you know, they frankly, you know they don't want people coming into the country illegally and taking their jobs.
Trump later added that he's the one who "came up with" getting rid of "anchor babies" from the country, claiming that "people come over, they have a baby, now we have to take care of the baby for the next 90 years. It's ridiculous." The Associated Press noted that it's "extraordinarily rare for immigrants to come to the U.S. just so they can have babies and get citizenship. In most cases, they come to the U.S. for economic reasons and better hospitals, and end up staying and raising families."
Numerous polls have shown that Trump is actually extremely unpopular with Hispanics. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found "Trump's favorability rating is just 18 percent among Hispanics and blacks alike, vs. 44 percent among whites."
Savage praised Trump for starting the debate on immigration and said "frankly, the entire Democrat machine lives off the illegal alien vote. Without the illegal alien vote, I don't think they'd be where they are today."
Trump heavily praised Savage during the interview, stating at the beginning that it was "always an honor" to be on his program and ending the interview by saying, "I appreciate your support, you've been so amazing and I really do, thank you very much for it."
Savage is one of the country's most extreme radio personalities. The Cumulus Media-syndicated talker has called autism "a fraud, a racket," said PTSD and depression sufferers are "losers," advised people not to get flu shots because you can't trust the government, theorized liberals have been driven insane because of seltzer bubbles, claimed President Obama was intentionally trying "to infect the nation with Ebola," and once told a caller he was a "sodomite" who should "get AIDS and die."
Trump has repeatedly appeared on The Savage Nation and said in a prior appearance there would be "common sense" if he appointed Savage to head the National Institutes of Health if he became president.
Two leading white nationalist media websites have used Donald Trump in their recent fundraising drives. The solicitations hail Trump for spurring "unprecedented interest in" white nationalism and putting their ideas "firmly in the mainstream."
White nationalists have been backing Trump's presidential campaign, especially his extreme positions on Hispanic and Muslim immigration. And the emergence of Trump has helped bolster white nationalist groups' finances and political organizing.
White nationalist William Daniel Johnson, who wants "a country made up of only white people," recently founded the American National Super PAC and is robocalling Republican primary voters in support of Trump. Politico wrote in December that "The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Trump as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike. And former Louisiana Rep. David Duke reports that the businessman has given more Americans cover to speak out loud about white nationalism than at any time since his own political campaigns in the 1990s."
Recent fundraising appeals for the white nationalist websites VDARE.com and American Renaissance illustrate how Trump has become part of the far-right's fundraising strategy.
The anti-immigrant website VDARE.com "regularly publishes works by white supremacists, anti-Semites, and others on the radical right," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A December 8 post cited Trump's call for a ban on Muslim immigration and concluded "[b]ecause of the improbable rise of Donald Trump ... our ideas are now firmly in the mainstream." VDARE added that Americans are ready for a "rebellion against Open Borders and the tyranny of political correctness" but (emphasis in original) "THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN UNLESS YOU SUPPORT US. I hate to be blunt, but money talks. So many people ask what they can do. And the fact is, the most important thing you can do is put your money to a cause you believe in."
A December 14 appeal from founder Peter Brimelow contained a picture of his wife, Lydia, attending a Trump rally and hailed the Republican candidate for running "on the patriotic immigration reform issue." He wrote that VDARE has "defended Trump on Hispanic rapists (they are a problem), black-on-white crime (he's right), ending Muslim immigration (it's legal), ending birthright citizenship (it's legal too), etc. etc." The appeal added "we can only do this with your help" and solicited donations for the website.
On January 1, Lydia Brimelow wrote that VDARE's "goal was $100,000, more than twice what we've brought in during a single appeal in the past. Not only did we meet our goal-WE SURPASSED IT! As of this writing we have a total of $105,047, and I haven't picked up the mail since 12/30." She added that "as evidenced by this incredible response, VDARE.com, the voice of the historic American nation, is getting louder and louder!"
American Renaissance is a white nationalist publication that regularly features "proponents of eugenics and blatant anti-black racists," according to the SPLC. It is produced by the New Century Foundation, which "promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites" and sponsors "conferences every other year where racist 'intellectuals' rub shoulders with Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists." White nationalist Jared Taylor is the editor of American Renaissance and president of New Century Foundation.
Taylor wrote a December 21 fundraising email stating that "Trump and the flood of migrants into Europe have resulted in unprecedented interest in American Renaissance" and "we need your help" with donations:
Something has changed.
The rise Donald Trump and the flood of migrants into Europe have resulted in unprecedented interest in American Renaissance.
Never before have our online videos been so popular, or shared so widely.
The last time I wrote to you, our videos had been viewed 342,000 times over the previous year. I thought that was promising, but in just the last six months, they've been watched another 640,000 times--nearly quadruple the previous rate!
One of our videos on Donald Trump has had over 87,000 views. Our video on the "refugee" invasion of Europe has had 230,000 views--and the numbers keep rising.
I used to be excited when a video got 25,000 views in a year.
Thanks to these videos, more and more white Americans--especially young people--are learning about American Renaissance and what we represent.
We must make the most of this sea-change. We must break the stranglehold of the liberal, anti-white media.
No matter what you can give--$25, $50, $100, $500, or even $1,000 or $5,000, please do so.
Taylor is part of the American National Super PAC's robocall. He states that Trump "is the one candidate who points out that we should accept immigrants who are good for America. We don't need Muslims. We need smart, well-educated white people who will assimilate to our culture. Vote Trump."
CNN political commentator and Donald Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord has spent the past five months attacking ethnic and religious minorities, defending sexism, and pushing inaccuracies that necessitate corrections from colleagues. After all of that, CNN just rewarded him with a new contract.
Washington Post writer Erik Wemple reported on January 4 that CNN "recently re-upped Lord's deal, extending him through the end of 2016, Lord tells the Erik Wemple Blog."
CNN hired Lord as an on-air analyst in August 2015 -- a puzzling decision given his recent body of work and relative obscurity. Lord did once serve as a Ronald Reagan's political director nearly three decades ago. But he has lately been confined to the fringes of the Internet as a contributor to NewsBusters.org and a contributing editor to The American Spectator, an outlet that peaked during the Clinton administration and is now exclusively online after publishing its last print edition in 2014.
Lord's most notable recent work prior to Trump cheerleading had been publishing a series of bizarre and "profoundly ahistorical" articles claiming that an African American relative of former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod -- who was the focus of a 2010 smear campaign by conservatives -- wasn't actually lynched. Lord's commentary was so idiotic that his own colleagues disowned it and were "rendered speechless."
Prior to his hiring, Lord was apparently not really on CNN's radar. According to Nexis' archives of CNN transcripts, before 2015, Lord appeared on CNN just once as a guest in 2009 and was cited once in 2007.
So what changed? As PennLive reported, Trump -- who has frequently tweeted praise of Lord, received an American Spectator award from him, and communicated and met with the pundit -- "likely helped Lord get his job at CNN," complaining that "the network only featured commentators who didn't get him":
And while he made it clear that he in no way works for Donald Trump, it was the billionaire who likely helped Lord get his job at CNN. Lord said Trump complained to CNN execs that the network only featured commentators who didn't get him, so CNN asked The Donald who in the world of conservative media he would suggest, and he said Jeffrey Lord, who was by that point a contributing editor of The American Spectator and a columnist for NewsBusters.
"The phone starts exploding from requests from CNN," he said.
Brian Walsh, who was the National Republican Senatorial Committee's communications director, tweeted that "Anyone involved in national GOP politics for the last 20 years wonders what Jeffrey Lord has been doing since he showed up on CNN for Trump ... Lord hasn't had any role in GOP politics since the late 80's but shilling for Trump gives him a spotlight."
The Wrap reported in September that CNN producers have "complained about the obsessive coverage the network has given the GOP frontrunner." Trump has said he thinks he gets "covered better on CNN than I do on Fox."
Lord, through CNN, has made his pro-Trump activism pay off. The Post's Wemple wrote that "in one of cable news's more exotic setups, Lord gets paid, essentially, to say pro-Trump things on air. He does it well, too, at least by the standards of Team Trump." Conservative publisher Regnery will also release a pro-Trump book by Lord this month called What America Needs: The Case for Trump.
Lord's CNN tenure has mirrored the Trump's campaign's penchant for sexism, anti-Muslim and anti-Hispanic claims, and false information. Lord:
Lord's recent claim that it's been "documented" by a "reputable" source that top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin has "ties" to the Muslim Brotherhood through her family shows how low CNN's standards have fallen in the wake of Trump.
In 2012, top CNN anchors Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer admonished those pushing the Abedin smears. Blitzer, who Politico noted is "one of the most stoic, unemotional anchors on cable television," said the charge is "an outrageous, McCarthy-like charge, to be sure" and those who push it "owe Huma -- who I know well -- an apology."
More than three years later, CNN isn't asking people like Lord for apologies -- it's giving him a contract extension.