‘He’s trying to get a rise out of us’: Watch Elaine Chao respond to Trump’s racist taunts

It’s no surprise that when Donald Trump has no argument to make, he resorts to racism and xenophobia. Trump's most recent target has been former U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. He has been relentlessly attacking Chao and her husband, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. While Chao initially stayed quiet in regards to the attacks, she responded back to Trump last week after Trump repeated a racist nickname he has used for her before, the Courier-Journal reported.

In an interview with CNN, Chao called the nickname a "racist taunt" and said he's "trying to get a rise out of us.”

"He says all sorts of outrageous things, and I don't make a point of answering any one of them," Chao said.

After Trump revived his racist nickname of her overnight, Former Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says, “He’s trying to get a rise out of us. He says all sorts of outrageous things, and I don't make a point of answering any of one of them.” pic.twitter.com/Nd6PqPyJGm

— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) December 29, 2022

The response follows several incidents when Trump was racist towards Chao, including a Sept. 30 post on Truth Social in which he referred to Chao as "Coco Chow."

"Is McConnell approving all of these Trillions of Dollars worth of Democrat sponsored Bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J. Trump, and he knows I am strongly opposed to them, or is he doing it because he believes in the Fake and Highly Destructive Green New Deal, and is willing to take the Country down with him?" Trump said.

He continued: "In any event, either reason is unacceptable. He has a DEATH WISH. Must immediately seek help and advise from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!"

While it's not new that Trump is making racist attacks on individuals—he’s done that throughout his role in the public eye—the attacks follow Trump’s broken relationship with Chao’s husband.

According to the Courier-Journal, McConnell’s relationship with Trump broke at the end of Trump’s presidency when the Kentucky Republican said Trump is "practically and morally responsible for provoking" the Jan. 6 riots. While McConnell voted to acquit Trump of inciting the insurrection in a 2021 impeachment trial, his previous comments clearly rubbed Trump the wrong way.

But instead of just targeting him, Trump took to targeting his wife, who moved to the U.S. from Taiwan as a child.

Commenting on the language Trump used towards her, Chao said Thursday it's "helpful if the media does not repeat" the racist comment he has been making.

"I mean if it were the N-word or any other word, the media would not repeat it," she said. "But the media continuously repeats his racist taunt."

Trump continues to rant about McConnell and Chao. His latest attack includes claims that they both have a conflict of interest with China.

Trump's racist obsession with Elaine Chao is really something. Almost every day now he mentions her. https://t.co/umwqV6b3bt

— George Conway🌻 (@gtconway3d) January 11, 2023

Comments questioning their interest in China follow a pattern. In another social media post in August, Trump not only called Chao "crazy" but accused McConnell of trying to get “rich on China.” 

Seems like Trump will never learn the value words have. Despite studies showing that several of his comments, including referring to the novel coronavirus as the “China virus,” have encouraged attacks on Asian Americans, Trump continues to perpetuate his hateful rhetoric.

RELATED STORY: 'Hate has no place': This AAPI Heritage Month, let's work on ending anti-Asian hate and bias

Undeniably backed by the Democratic Caucus, Hakeem Jeffries calls out Republican ‘craziness’

House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries is on his way to once again making history with the full backing of Congressional Democrats. In all three roll call votes on Tuesday, Jeffries got 212 votes, at least 9 more than Republican Kevin McCarthy. Jeffries won't cross the vote threshold to grab the Speaker's gavel because Republicans still have an edge overall, but Democrats made it crystal clear that Hakeem Jeffries is the unquestionable leader of the Democratic Caucus. At a press conference on Tuesday, Jeffries showed exactly why Democrats are supporting him in force.

According to NBC News, by securing 212 votes, Hakeem made history as the first Democratic leader to win support from every single member of their caucus since 2007.  Rep. Nancy Pelosi had won unanimous support from her caucus after helping lead the party back into the majority in 2007.

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"We are gonna stay here to get this done. We are unified, and we're all gonna support Hakeem Jeffries for speaker, the lead vote-getter in the last ballot," Rep. Pete Aguilar, the new House Democratic Caucus chair, said of Jeffries’s nomination during the second round of voting.

But while Democrats were unified in voting for Jeffries, Republicans disagreed on who their next leader would be. The House adjourned Tuesday without picking a new speaker since McCarthy failed to win a majority on three ballots. According to CBS News, Tuesday's vote was the first time in 100 years that the House speaker seat remained unfilled after the convening of a new Congress. Additionally, it is also the first time in a century that the Speaker election has needed multiple rounds of voting.

During a speech Tuesday, Jeffries told reporters he is not willing to help Republicans elect a speaker.

“We are looking for a willing partner to solve problems for the American people, not save the Republicans from their dysfunction,” Jeffries said.

House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said it was a "sad day for democracy" after Republicans failed to choose a House speaker, preventing Congress from beginning its work. Follow @AP's coverage. https://t.co/RJYG9NzmdS pic.twitter.com/I6mCZyMbEx

— The Associated Press (@AP) January 4, 2023

He also nailed his introduction press conference by calling out the lack of organization Republicans have. He noted that while Democrats are “united, present, ready, willing, and able to get things done on behalf of the American people,” Republicans are dysfunctional.

JEFFRIES: The Republican dysfunction is what it is: Chaos, crisis and confusion, along with craziness. That's sad for the American people. They're going to have to figure out a way out of it. pic.twitter.com/jbwqa62SCR

— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) January 4, 2023

Of course, while Republicans like McCarthy insisted to reporters that the party is "unified," the reality of the situation is clear.

"This isn't about me," McCarthy said, according to CBS News. "This is about the conference now because the members who are holding out … they want something for their personal selves."

Nevertheless, whatever reason it may be, Republicans seem to be confused now more than ever while Democrats are ready to make moves.

Jeffries comes with substantial leadership experience. He is not only considered the youngest member to serve as chairman of the Democratic Caucus, but was also part of a select group of lawmakers who were impeachment managers during the Senate trial of Donald Trump.

According to CNN, Jeffries is set to become one of the highest-ranking Black politicians in America, as the country makes history with a record number of Black members of Congress.

Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) on GOP gridlock in the House Speaker race: "This is who they are: crisis, confusion, disarray. It's unfortunate that that's what the modern-day House Republican Conference looks like." pic.twitter.com/vmNTzLejFT

— The Recount (@therecount) January 4, 2023

Democrats continue to show the country that they are united and able to get things done, and kudos to House Democrats for making that divide very clear.

Lindsey Graham’s message in Georgia: ‘I want every liberal to be miserable come election night’

If you’re wondering how Republicans intend to fix the problems they keep complaining about—namely inflation, gas prices, and the downtrend in Americans’ overall financial stability—you’ll have to wait. Right now, they’re campaigning on complaining about those things, complaining about “the libs,” complaining about imaginary crime waves, and offering their own potential voters absolutely no relief from real problems. 

Take, for example, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s closing comments in Georgia. Now, it’s not new that Graham is saying something ignorant and controversial, but this week the Republican Senator has been on a real spree. Campaigning for GOP Senate candidate JD Vance, Graham joked about mass suicide on Tuesday, Business Insider reported.

"You got something really special here. This guy is going to change the Republican Party, change the Senate, all for the better," Graham said at a Republican-hosted dinner party, referring to Vance. "But here's some words that really rattle the Democratic Party. What's the worst thing the Democratic Party wants to hear? Chairman Jim Jordan. There are gonna be people jumping off bridges in San Francisco by the thousands. You know, New York City, they may literally shut down.”

According to News Nation, Jordan, currently the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, is the talk of the town since he has pledged to conduct investigations into the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) if the GOP retakes the House.

It doesn’t really matter why Jordan plans to investigate the FBI and DOJ (it’s for investigating Trump); what matters is how little these hypothetical future investigations matter to everyday American families, and how little interest the GOP seems to have in actually alleviating the issues they claim Democrats have caused. 

And, worse, given the increase in mental health issues across the nation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this joke is especially cruel. According to The Los Angeles Times, the Golden Gate Bridge has seen the highest number of suicides on any bridge in the country—with an average of 30 people dying each year from taking the jump.

We all know Republicans hate Democrats, but that doesn't excuse jokes about suicide and violence, and it doesn’t solve problems voters need solutions for.

And, of course, it’s not only Graham. This week, though, it is mostly Graham. In response to allegations that GOP Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker pressured not one but two women to have abortions, Graham joined Walker in hosting a press conference. 

Not only did Graham take that opportunity to support his awful friend, but once again took the chance to slam Democrats.

Graham: They're scared to death of Herschel Walker because if Herschel walker becomes a Republican, maybe every other young child in America of color might want to be a Republican. pic.twitter.com/PRwuLMZ0EK

— Acyn (@Acyn) October 27, 2022

If Herschel Walker becomes a Republican? At the end of the day, Walker has consistently failed to offer plans for the primary topics of his television ads—inflation, supporting small businesses, and increasing clean energy. Graham, too, has failed to focus on the issues he promised Americans that he will uphold. Instead, he has taken to the tactic of creating fear. Americans need more than petty name-calling, and that seems to be the totality of Republican ideas. 

By emphasizing violence and encouraging pain, he is appealing to voters who are in favor of such methods—in addition to normalizing that such tactics are okay. Of course, just like he has done with other comments like this one on suicide, he will claim it was all just a joke. But how is hoping for individuals to experience violence and wanting ‘every liberal to be miserable come election night' a joke? And how does it fix inflation?

Graham: I want every liberal to be miserable come election night. pic.twitter.com/7c1o1au1sQ

— Acyn (@Acyn) October 27, 2022

Phrases of the same nature were called jokes before they led to events like Jan. 6, when individuals were hoping to harass, beat, and even kill Democratic members of Congress. 

Encouraging violence is not all Republicans have a trend of doing, though. Scapegoating names they know will rile up those who aren’t in tune with the news or truth is another tactic. Rep. Ralph Norman used this tactic this week when claiming that America was run by elitists—dragging Barack Obama’s name in and again revealing the only real plans Republicans have: Targeting Democrats with a barrage of baseless subpoenas. “We are going to subpoena as many people as we can,” he said, claiming that Biden was not running the country and that Obama and Eric Holder were. How are Obama and Eric Holder still living rent-free in his head almost 6 years after leaving office? What’s next? Will they drag Hillary Clinton in for questioning? (Probably, actually. Let’s not assume they have limits.)

Ralph Norman says a “cabal” led by Barack Obama and Eric Holder is secretly running the country: “Biden is not running this country. There is a cabal of unelected elitists who are running this country .. Barack Obama is involved .. Eric Holder ..” pic.twitter.com/J2fUxMtwHf

— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) October 26, 2022

Norman said:

"And I think what he's saying is putting the country through impeachment, what you get could be even worse. We got our hands full. I don't — there’s no question about that. But we're going to subpoena as many people as we can: We are going to hopefully have consequences, starting with Mayorkas, Wray with the FBI, I mean a whole host of things. The whole administration is a rogue administration. And I guess we all know, Joe Biden is not running this country. There is a cabal of unelected elitists who are running this country. Probably Barack Obama is involved, probably Eric Holder and — but who knows. We know it's not Biden. But the impeachment deal is a long drawn out thing, and if there's anybody that was coherent they could take over, that would not ruin the country, but it's not possible with Kamala Harris."

Meanwhile, Democrats are again left to be the grown-ups in the room. Running campaigns and governing based on bipartisan ideals, even to the chagrin of the progressive left, and as usual, Democrats are tasked with the heavy lifting of creating legitimate policy positions and actionable ideas around health care, climate change, and national security. 

Related Story: Another woman has come forward with claims that Herschel Walker was involved in her abortion

If someone you know is struggling emotionally or having a hard time, you can be the difference in getting them the help they need. Dial 988 for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

‘Misled the American people’: AOC calls out Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on lying about abortion views

As the country continues to process the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that made abortion legal nationwide, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called on the Senate Monday to question whether Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath about their views on the case.

During their Senate confirmation hearings, both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said that they viewed Roe v. Wade as a settled “precedent” that had been “reaffirmed many times.” However, when the time came to uphold that precedent and vote, the two thought otherwise.

Ocasio-Cortez joined with Rep. Ted Lieu to write a letter to the Senate asking them to investigate whether Kavanaugh and Gorsuch lied under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee in order to become confirmed.

"Multiple Supreme Court Justices misled the American people during their confirmation hearings about their views on Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood," Ocasio-Cortez and Lieu said in the letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. "At least two of them, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, directly lied to Senators.

"We respect the right of individual Justices to have their own views on various constitutional issues," the letter continued. "But we cannot have a system where Justices lie about their views in order to get confirmed. That makes a mockery of the confirmation power, and of the separation of powers."

We cannot allow Supreme Court nominees lying and/or misleading the Senate under oath to go unanswered. Both GOP & Dem Senators stated SCOTUS justices misled them. This cannot be accepted as precedent. Doing so erodes rule of law, delegitimizes the court, and imperils democracy. https://t.co/yZW6BKnqFG

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 11, 2022

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Following their vote in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which overturned Roe v. Wade, several lawmakers who voted to confirm Gorsuch in 2017 and Kavanaugh in 2018 expressed concern at the consequential outcome, saying they felt misled by the two justices, Business Insider reported.

”This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me, where they both were insistent on the importance of supporting long-standing precedents that the country has relied upon," Sen. Susan Collins, an abortion rights supporter, said in a statement.

"I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans," Sen. Joe Manchin said in a statement. While personally against abortion, Manchin supports legislation to protect abortion rights.

The letter isn’t the first time Ocasio-Cortez questioned the SCOTUS justices lying during their respected confirmations.

In her argument that the two lied, Ocasio-Cortez emphasized the point that even Republicans who supported Gorsuch and Kavanaugh were shocked by their recent votes. She added that lying under oath is a serious offense that she believes calls for impeachment.

"To allow that to stand is to allow it to happen," Ocasio-Cortez told NBC News on June 26. "What makes it particularly dangerous is that it sends a blaring signal to all future nominees that they can now lie to duly elected members of the United States Senate in order to secure Supreme Court confirmations and seats on the Supreme Court."

Lieu also previously accused some justices of lying about their stance on Roe v. Wade. The day the Dobbs’ decision was announced, Lieu posted a message about a Gallup poll that found confidence in the Supreme Court’s support for abortion rights was at a low.

"Multiple conservative Supreme Court Justices led the American people to believe that Roe v. Wade was settled precedent during their confirmation hearings," Lieu wrote in the June 24 tweet. "The American people now know these Justices lied. And now public confidence in the Court is at its lowest level in history."

Both Lieu and Ocasio-Cortez vowed to fight for abortion rights following the official verdict.

"People will die because of this decision," Ocasio-Cortez said. "And we will never stop until abortion rights are restored in the United States of America."

GOP lawmakers consider impeaching Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg

After more than a year of avoiding jail time related to the murder of a pedestrian, South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg may finally be held accountable for his actions. Calls for his resignation are increasing nationwide as he faces an impeachment inquiry.

Investigations into his actions were opened up to the public by Ravnsborg’s Republican colleague, Gov. Kristi Noem. According to Daily Kos, new evidence in the case was shared in March by a Noem appointee.

The GOP attorney general was driving home from a political fundraiser on Sept. 12 when he struck a man, who was walking on the side of a highway. In a 911 call after the crash, Ravnsborg claimed he hit a deer. He said he didn't realize he struck a man until he returned to the crash scene the next day and discovered the body of Joseph Boever. He failed to mention that the victim’s glasses were in his car. Claiming he did nothing wrong, Ravnsborg insisted he remains the state's top law enforcement officer.

Listen and subscribe to Daily Kos Elections’ The Downballot podcast with David Nir and David Beard

At the time, many Republicans supported this decision, but his popular predecessor Marty Jackley has gathered even more support, causing GOP officials to slowly “turn” on Ravnsborg and rethink his driving accident.

According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, the South Dakota House of Representatives will decide whether or not Ravnsborg can stay in office on Tuesday. The vote could end as the state Capitol’s first-ever impeachment of a constitutional officer.

The move follows an investigation recommended to the House Select Committee last month. Despite investigations and new evidence being introduced, the chamber decided not to vote to impeach following a secret closed meeting on March 28. Since then, resolutions have pushed representatives to rethink their decision.

"This is long overdue, and hopefully, we can get the situation resolved for the betterment of the people of South Dakota," Rep. Sydney Davis told the Argus Leader.

Others "on the fence” expressed similar concerns, including Republican State Rep. Charlie Hoffman, who was swayed after a presentation by South Dakota Highway Patrol troopers last Wednesday, in which Ravnsborg was proven to be a reckless driver.

“After seeing the length of time Mr. Boever’s body was on the AG’s car with his head inside of the AG’s car’s window, and then flying off hitting the middle of the lane behind the AG’s car, leaving bone fragments on the road and skidding into the ditch at 65 mph, my mind has changed,” he told The Daily Beast on Friday. “I now have irrefutable evidence the AG knew exactly what he hit and lied to investigators and the Hyde County sheriff.”

The presentation confirmed multiple speeding tickets and other driving violations Ravnsborg had received.

According to the Dakota Free Press, investigations have found various discrepancies and issues in how the case was handled. The sheriff who allegedly gave Ravnsborg a ride after the incident not only failed to investigate the accident but ignored scenes of the crime, including Boever’s flashlight, which he assumed was from Ravnsborg’s car.

The decision to impeach now lies in the hands of the full House. Given the new details the Department of Public Safety provided this week to prove Ravnsborg was distracted the night he killed Boever, one can hope the House will make the right decision.

Wisconsin Republicans gave this investigator $676,000 in public funds to claim election was stolen

Some GOP officials never seem to know when to give up. Despite having absolutely no proof, cries that the election was stolen still seem to ring in the ears of Republicans. Despite legal experts noting that it was impossible, a Wisconsin judge has claimed that there are grounds for the state legislature to “decertify” the results of the 2020 election. The claim follows a review of the election demanded by Republicans, in which individuals in the state assembly hired Michael Gableman, a former state supreme court justice to investigate the election.

The 136-page interim report released Tuesday has received widespread bipartisan criticism and has been labeled unnecessary because not only was it poorly done but used $676,000 in public funds. During a presentation of the report Tuesday, Gableman said the state Legislature should “take a very hard look at the option of decertification of the 2020” presidential election. Moments before Gableman presented, Donald Trump encouraged supporters to listen in, BuzzFeed News reported.

Both Democrats and Republicans alike rejected the idea and called the move illegal.

“Still not legal under Wisconsin law,” Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke tweeted. “Beyond that, it would have no practical impact b/c there is no Constitutional way to remove a sitting president other than through impeachment or incapacity. Fools errand. Focus on the future.”

I have ten months remaining in my last term. In my remaining time, I can guarantee that I will not be part of any effort, and will do everything possible to stop any effort, to put politicians in charge of deciding who wins or loses elections. 1/

— Jim Steineke 🇺🇦 (@jimsteineke) March 1, 2022

Not sure what kind of attorney Gableman was, because the report not only falsely claimed Biden’s win could be decertified, but also said that decertifying the election would not have any legal consequence.

“It would not, for example, change who the current president is,” the report said.

Of course, like other conservatives, Gableman also attempted to backtrack what he said and issued confusing contradictory statements.

When Democratic state Representative Jodi Emerson, asked him, "Are you saying we should decertify Wisconsin's votes from 2020?"

Gableman responded:

"I'm not saying it and I did not say it because it's not my place to say it. What is my place to say, and what I do believe, and what I do say, is there appears to me—without having the benefit of input from any substantive witness—there appears to me to be very significant grounds for such an action."

Others also dismissed the report, noting that a recount and investigations were conducted multiple times. According to the Associated Press, despite the recounts, multiple state and federal lawsuits, an audit by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau, and a report by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, it was found that Biden defeated Trump by a little under 21,000 votes in Wisconsin.

“There does not appear to be anything new in this report, although it is apparent that Michael Gableman is adopting the most fringe and extreme arguments presented by election deniers,” Attorney Jeffrey Mandell, who is representing the mayor of Green Bay in a lawsuit opposing a subpoena from Gableman, said. “This report, and Mr. Gableman’s presentation, is an embarrassment. This process needs to come to a quick end.”

An Associated Press review of Wisconsin and other battleground states also found far too little fraud to have tipped the election for Trump.

Of course, there are other controversies found in connection with the report. A review conducted by the Associated Press found that the report was paid for with $676,000 in taxpayer money. Additionally, it was due at the end of last year but delayed after mayors and state and local election officials filed multiple lawsuits to block subpoenas issued to them. During his presentation, Gableman said he had spent about $360,000 so far on the investigation and issued 90 subpoenas, but no one with information about how elections are run has spoken with him. 

During the presentation, Gableman not only criticized the process of voting in nursing homes but attacked the use of drop boxes. He recommended changes in voting procedures including shortening the early voting period and dismantling the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission.

Overall Gableman said he hoped the report’s recommendations would be used by lawmakers to enact changes before the session ends next month.

Despite the lack of support for his findings, he even went as far as to suggest that his work continue, as he still has funds remaining in his budget. "I'm not in this for anything other than the truth,” he claimed.

According to CBS News, Gableman was appointed by Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos in June 2021. Gableman's appointment came a day after Trump issued a statement saying that Vos and other Wisconsin Republican leaders were "working hard to cover up election corruption."

"I'd like to thank the Office of Special Counsel for their tireless efforts in finding the truth," Vos said in a statement. "They've done a good job at showing there were issues in 2020, and the report is intended to help correct these processes for future elections."

New footage raises questions about Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick’s death on January 6

As investigations into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection continue, federal authorities have not only arrested multiple individuals in connection to the violence but narrowed down a few suspects connected to the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick. Sicknick was one of five individuals who died during the riot; currently investigations into who is responsible for his death continue. The 13-year police veteran died a day after the riots after collapsing in his office after he was "injured while physically engaging with protestors," Capitol Police said in a statement last month. While initial reports indicated 42-year-old Sicknick was killed after being struck with a fire extinguisher, those reports were proven untrue.

According to CNN, new video evidence has aided investigators in their search and raised hopes that charges may be brought in the case soon. Sicknick’s death has been a complicated case where investigators have struggled to determine what moment he suffered his fatal injuries; while initial reports indicated he was struck by a fire extinguisher, no evidence of blunt force trauma was found. The new video footage suggests that a suspect may have sprayed an irritant, such as bear spray, that caused Sicknick to suffer a fatal reaction, an official said Wednesday.  

Audio clips played during Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial depicted officers screaming during the Jan. 6 attacks that some mob members were spraying them with bear spray. Supporting these claims, Sen. Mitt Romney told reporters Wednesday that Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman had also shared that "he had to breathe a lot of bear spray and tear gas and that he was nauseated.” Other footage of officers being beaten by rioters were also shared to determine Trump’s role in the violence. According to court documents, more than 100 officers were injured during the riots and at least 15 officers required hospitalization.

The evening of the insurrection, Sicknick told his elder brother that while he had been pepper-sprayed at least twice, he felt fine, ProPublica reported. His family was then alerted the next day that he had suffered a stroke in his office.

To honor his bravery and commitment to protecting members of the Capitol Sicknick received one of the highest tributes that Congress can offer a civilian—he was laid in honor in the Capitol building. “That Brian and his family were made to pay such a high price for his devoted service in the Capitol was a senseless tragedy, one that we are still grappling with,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at the congressional tribute for Sicknick.

Sicknick’s death is heartbreaking. The actions that occurred the night of the insurrection were a sad reminder as to how backward the United States had become under the Trump administration. Fueled by hate and violence for years, Trump supporters have continued to hurt others without any regret. To date, more than 50 cases of violence have directly cited Trump as the influence and reason for the crime. Trump supporters have not only directed violence toward those who disagree with them but threatened a large number of public servants amid the pandemic. Additionally, hate crimes have seen a significant increase since Trump’s presidential term.

Trump and his minions must pay for their actions and justice must be served. As investigations continue, we can only hope that not only Sicknick’s murderer but all others involved in the Capitol riots are brought to justice. This new evidence raises questions on what actually happened on Jan. 6 and sheds light on what other crimes may have been committed.

At this time the new video the FBI is reviewing and an autopsy report have not been made public and Sicknick’s death has not yet been declared a homicide. In addition to federal authorities, his death is being investigated by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department's homicide branch, and Capitol Police.

It’s officially a permanent ban: Trump’s thumbs will never tweet again

Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial is probably not the only concern he currently has. Twitter, Trump’s social media platform of choice, confirmed that the former president is facing a lifelong ban, not a temporary ban, from the platform. Whether or not Trump decides to run for president again will not impact this decision—he will remain banned, Twitter Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal told CNBC News.

“The way our policies work, when you’re removed from the platform, you’re removed from the platform — whether you’re a commentator, you’re a CFO, or you are a former or current public official,” Segal said. “Remember, our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we have to remove them from the service and our policies don't allow people to come back."

Segal’s statement comes amid Trump’s impeachment trial in Congress. If acquitted, Trump would not be barred from seeking the presidency again in 2024.

"The way our policies work, when you're removed from the platform, you're removed from the platform whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO or you are a former or current public official," says $TWTR CFO @nedsegal on if President Trump's account could be restored. pic.twitter.com/ZZxascb9Rz

— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) February 10, 2021

Despite more than four years of consist racist and ill-advised tweets, Trump was only removed from the platform in January after the Capitol riots following concerns that his words carried “risk of further incitement of violence.” The move to remove him was probably because Democrats were transitioning to power, not because of his references to violence since he’s been doing that for years—and in some cases, his tweets have been far worse—but better late than never. Just before his Twitter ban, Trump not only tweeted about the “stolen” election and his refusal to attend Joe Biden’s inauguration, but about other conspiracy theories as well.

“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” the company announced in a blog post on Jan. 8.

Calls to ban Trump from Twitter and other platforms go back years before his role in the White House. While he was never banned before, Twitter began temporarily locking his account and flagging several tweets as misinformation. Following the Capitol insurrection, Facebook and YouTube also took action, with Facebook prohibiting Trump from posting "indefinitely" and YouTube confirming it would issue strikes on his account. Snapchat has also permanently banned Trump.

Trump’s Twitter ban didn’t stop him from his tweeting addiction, though. He was so desperate to use the platform that he attempted to tweet from @TeamTrump, the official Trump campaign account, and his @POTUS account. Both tweets were quickly deleted. While @TeamTrump was issued a ban, the @POTUS account was not since it was a government account, which was later transferred to Biden.

In response to Twitter losing users on the platform after banning Trump, Segal noted that many users joined the platform despite the known ban.

“We added 40 million people to our DAU [daily active user count] last year, and 5 million last quarter,” Segal said. “In January, we added more DAU than the average of the last four Januarys, so hopefully that gives people a sense for the momentum we’ve got from all the hard work we’ve done on the service.”

Usage details in earning reports backed this statement in which the company noted that it ended 2020 with 192 million daily users—a number that continued to grow in January despite Trump’s ban. While daily usage figures weren’t shared for January, Twitter told The Verge that daily user growth was “above the historical average from the last four years.”

Either way, one thing is for sure: No matter how much he denies it, Trump is definitely upset that he was removed from Twitter for good. Who knows—maybe he’ll attempt to make Parler his home.

While some users have said they’re missing his tweets as the platform no longer has the same drama it used to, online misinformation, especially about the election, decreased 73% following Trump’s ban, research from Zignal Labs found. As his followers continue to leave the platform, perhaps Twitter and other social media platforms will be more credible outlets for users to seek information from.

He went viral for saving the Senate, but Army vet Eugene Goodman ‘was a hero long before’

The Black police officer who went viral for his bravery in distracting the angry Donald Trump mob that took over the Capitol is being rightfully called a hero, not just by Americans nationwide but representatives in Congress. Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman lured a group of rioters away from the Senate chamber’s entrance to protect members of Congress on Jan. 6.  As a result, Reps. Charlie Crist of Florida, Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, and Nancy Mace of South Carolina introduced a bill Thursday to award Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal for “bravery and quick thinking during last week’s insurrection at the United States Capitol."

Since the horrific Capitol riots, many have criticized the lack of security in the building and Capitol Police leadership for its lack of preparation, resulting in the resignation of the Capitol Police’s chief. But amid all the criticisms for Capitol Police comes praise for Goodman and his quick thinking. The award several lawmakers hope to give Goodman is considered one of the highest civilian awards in the country.

"The United States Capitol was under attack by armed, violent extremists, and Officer Eugene Goodman was the only thing standing between the mob and the United States Senate," Crist said in a statement, according to Business Insider.

"I shudder to think what might have happened had it not been for Officer Goodman's fast thinking and commitment to his duty and his country," he continued. "While some will remember last Wednesday for the very worst in our country, the patriotism and heroics of Officer Eugene Goodman renew my faith and remind us all what truly makes the United States great."

The footage of Goodman’s selfless bravery went viral after being shared by HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic on Twitter. Daily Kos shared the footage and reported that the incident happened at 2:14 PM. The Senate was closed mere seconds later at 2:15 PM “Just now realizing how much of a close call it was in the Senate,” Bobic tweeted.

Here’s the scary moment when protesters initially got into the building from the first floor and made their way outside Senate chamber. pic.twitter.com/CfVIBsgywK

— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 6, 2021

This moment in ⁦@igorbobic⁩ stunning footage. In front of the officer, coming up the stairs, is a mass of rioters. The USCP officer glances to his left. Between those two chairs is the entrance to the senate floor. He lured them to his right, away from their targets. pic.twitter.com/knjQQ4GZ0d

— Kristin Wilson (@kristin__wilson) January 10, 2021

Bobic told Good Morning America on Thursday he was covering Congress as they were certifying electoral votes from the presidential election when he heard “a commotion.”

"I ran downstairs to the first floor of the Senate building, where I encountered this lone police officer courageously making a stand against the mob of 20 or so Trump supporters who breached the capitol itself and were trying to get upstairs,” Bobic said.

In the footage Bobic shared, Goodman wasn’t wearing tactical gear nor did he have his gun out. Yet he shoved the mob leader, identified as Doug Jenson of Iowa, before running to grab a baton. At least 20 or more people can then be seen chasing the lone officer, who diverted them away from the Senate chamber. “They were yelling ‘Traitors. We want justice. This is our America. If we don’t stop this now, we won’t get justice. Trump won,’” Bobic told Good Morning America.

“These folks had zip ties,” Kirk D. Burkhalter, a professor at New York Law School and a former New York City police officer, told The Washington Post, referring to photos of rioters with zip tie handcuffs. “It’s not unreasonable to say that they were ready to take hostages ... Officer Goodman really helped to avoid a tremendous tragedy.”

After the footage went viral, colleagues and friends identified Goodman. "He'd do the same thing again,” a friend told The Washington Post, noting that Goodman is "not looking for any accolades."

Officials from the 101st Airborne Division also took to Twitter to praise Goodman, noting that he was a hero to the country years before last week.

According to the Military Times, Goodman served in the Army from 2002 and 2006 and deployed to Iraq for one year with the 101st Airborne Division. His awards include a combat infantryman badge.

Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman is rightfully being hailed as a hero after singlehandedly holding back rioters from entering the Senate chambers last week. An Iraq combat vet and member of this Corps, Eugene was a hero long before last Wednesday. We celebrate his valor. pic.twitter.com/CLWlLG3bIW

— XVIII Airborne Corps (@18airbornecorps) January 14, 2021

Other friends of Goodman told the Post that his decision to lead the rioters away instead of engaging with them reflects his military experience.

“He was diverting people from getting on the Senate floor and getting hostages. It was the smartest thing that he could have ever done,” a colleague said. “I don’t know that many people who can think on their feet like that ... His quick thinking enabled those senators to get to safety.”

Goodman’s ability to not only lead the rioters away from the Senate Chambers but call for backup and show restraint to prevent injury or loss of life pays tribute to his dedication to service and his heroic qualities. Despite his newfound fame, Goodman has remained humble and maintained the same positive attitude, his colleagues told the Post. 

Goodman’s attitude toward his job has remained the same despite his newfound fame.

“My job is to protect and serve,” Goodman told co-workers after the video of him went viral. “And on that day, I was protecting.”

Friday, Jan 15, 2021 · 2:52:43 PM +00:00 · Aysha Qamar

Newly shared terrifying footage from the other side:

Wow. First time I’m seeing video *taken by one of the first rioters* to breach the Capitol and storm up the Senate steps. I actually recorded him as he was recording me on the first floor. “Where are they counting the votes?” one is heard shouting https://t.co/6uvvBznma0

— Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 15, 2021

This Muslim Women’s Day, celebrate 10 stereotype smashers from comic books to Congress

Muslim-Americans continue to face Islamophobia and discrimination based on their religion and appearance. Despite Muslims making strides in their community and working to bridge the gap between identities, stereotypical portrayals of Muslims in the media can often contribute to misconceptions and xenophobic ideology. Studies of FBI hate crime statistics have found an increase in hate crimes and assaults based on religion since Sept. 11 in 2001. Recently, representation in the media has allowed for stories of Muslim-Americans to be shared. While Muslim women often face more discrimination, narratives by and stories of men are shared more frequently. In 2017, data from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding found that Muslim women were more likely than Muslim men to report discrimination. Although more likely to be targeted in bias crimes—especially if they wear hijab—Muslim women were also found less likely to say they feared for their safety from racist groups. 

Discrimination against Muslim women occurs across the country each day, taking the form of not only physical hate crimes but verbal abuse and bias in everyday activities. In 2016, Amani Al-Khatahtbeh declared Muslim Women’s Day on March 27. Al-Khatahtbeh is the founder of MuslimGirl.com, a platform for Muslim women to share their voice. She launched the day to celebrate and support Muslim women who are often excluded from mainstream media, Women’s Day celebrations, and feminist movements. "In the current climate, Muslim women are rarely given the space to be heard above all the noise," Al-Khatahtbeh wrote in a tweet. 

Celebrating Muslim women one day a year is not enough, but having a day that brings Muslim women together to celebrate one another on- and offline is inspirational. Muslim Women’s day brings the narrative back into our hands—it allows us to amplify our voices and finally be passed the mic. Muslim women are diverse, independent, empowered, and resilient. We should be celebrated. In honor of the fourth annual Muslim Women’s Day on Friday, March 27, Daily Kos has put together a list of unapologetic Muslim-American women.

Halima Aden:

In 2016, then 19-year-old Halima Aden became one of the first Muslim-American women to compete for the title of Miss Minnesota USA while fully covered. Aden made American history as the first-ever contestant in the competition to wear a hijab and burkini. She later made headlines again for being the first Muslim model to pose in a burkini for Sports Illustrated

"Growing up in the United States, I never really felt represented because I never could flip through a magazine and see a girl who was wearing a hijab," Aden said in a video shoot for Sports Illustrated. "Don't be afraid to be the first.” 

Ibtihaj Muhammad:

Ibtihaj Muhammad made history in 2016 as the first American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States. Muhammad, who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, won a bronze medal in the women's fencing team’s sabre event.

She began fencing at just 13 years old after her parents searched for a sport that she could participate in while wearing the hijab. “It’s a tough political environment we’re in right now. Muslims are under the microscope,” Muhammad said during the 2016 U.S. Olympic Committee summit in Los Angeles. “It’s all really a big dream—I don’t think it’s hit me yet. The honor of representing Muslim and black women is one I don’t take lightly.”

In 2017, Mattel unveiled its first-ever hijab-wearing Barbie doll in honor of Muhammad.

Noor Tagouri:

Noor Tagouri is a young, badass, award-winning journalist who made headlines as the first woman to be featured in Playboy Magazine with a hijab. Featured as a rule-breaker, Playboy said Tagouri “makes a surprising bold case for modesty.” Tagouri is known nationwide for her unapologetic and strong voice: In 2019 she received a Gracies award for Best Investigative Series for her podcast and documentary series, Sold in America: Inside Our Nation’s Sex Trade. As an outspoken and strong voice, Tagouri represents the unseen reality of many empowered Muslim women. “I believe in rebellion as a form of honesty,” she said during a TEDx Talk. “To be our most authentic self is to be rebellious.”

Rana Abdelhamid:

Rana Abdelhamid is a community organizer and activist from Queens, New York. Founder of the Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment (WISE), a self-defense and leadership program for Muslim women, Abdelhamid empowers women to find strength within themselves to combat Islamophobia. Abdelhamid is well known for her work with WISE in addition to her beautiful photography series, “Hijabis of New York,” a spinoff of the popular Humans of New York series.

Abdelhamid told PBS News Hour that surviving an attack by a man who tried to remove her hijab inspired her to found WISE. “I remember feeling a tug at the back of my hijab,” she said. “I turned around and there was a broad-shouldered man trying to reach again, trying to physically attack me and take off my hijab. I was able to get away from that, but I was left feeling very vulnerable … Because of that moment, I felt there was something that could be done to bring together Muslim women who are faced with these challenges.”

Dalia Mogahed:

Dalia Mogahed is a well-known scholar in the Muslim community for her activism, leadership, and engagement work. She currently serves as the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU). Former President Barack Obama appointed Mogahed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009. Her 2016 TED Talk on “What it’s like to be a Muslim in America” quickly became viral. “What happened after 9/11? Did we go to the mosque or did we play it safe and stay home? Well, we talked it over, and it might seem like a small decision, but to us, it was about what kind of America we wanted to leave for our kids: one that would control us by fear or one where we were practicing our religion freely,"

Amirah Sackett:
Amirah Sackett is best known for her dance group, “We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic,” that performs hip-hop dances in niqabs. Sackett is an internationally recognized hip-hop dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She created her dance group with the hope of changing stereotypes against Muslim women. “I wanted to educate others and reflect the beauty that I know and love in Muslim women," she said in an interview with Bust Magazine. “Yes, there are oppressed women in the Muslim world. Women are oppressed the world over. These are our mutual struggles.”

Ilhan Omar:

Born in Somalia, Ilhan Omar immigrated to the U.S. as a Somalian refugee when she was 12 years old. With her victory in Minnesota in 2016, she made history as the first Somali-American Muslim woman to be elected to a state legislature. Omar now serves as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district. Her outspoken and strong advocacy for immigrant rights and racial justice makes her stand out amongst other members of Congress. Omar, along with other progressives in the House, has been widely attacked by alt-right and Donald Trump supporters since taking office. “It is the land of liberty and justice for all, but we have to work for it,” Omar told HuffPost. “Our democracy is great, but it’s fragile. It’s come through a lot of progress, and we need to continue that progress to make it actually ‘justice for all.’”

Rashida Tlaib:

Ilhan Omar wasn’t the only Muslim woman to be elected into the House last year. Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American, shared the title with Omar as the first Muslim woman to be sworn into Congress in 2019. Tlaib serves as the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district. She remains a fierce role model for Muslim women worldwide. Prior to being sworn in, Tlaib shared a sneak peek of her outfit on Instagram, displaying her intention to be sworn into Congress wearing a traditional Palestinian thobe. In an article for Elle, Tlaib explained why she decided to wear the traditional attire: “Throughout my career in public service, the residents I have had the privilege of fighting for have embraced who I am, especially my Palestinian roots. This is what I want to bring to the United States Congress, an unapologetic display of the fabric of the people in this country. This is why I decided to wear a thobe when I am sworn into the 116th Congress.”

In addition to being widely known for wearing a thobe, Tlaib made headlines hours after she was sworn in for advocating to impeach Donald Trump.

Representation matters.

In 2014, every superhero-loving Muslim girl leaped with joy to hear the announcement of Kamala Khan as the new Ms. Marvel. Created by a team of four, including two Muslim women—G.Willow Wilson and Sana Amanat—Marvel welcomed its first-ever Muslim hero into the Marvel Universe. 

"Everywhere I looked, particularly in the media and pop culture, were versions of people that looked nothing like me," Amanat told Vox. "What happens is when you see that, you think that you're not worthy enough, or you're not good enough, or you're not normal, really." This representation allows Muslim youth to not only relate more to Marvel comics, but to feel included. In December, Disney was reportedly looking to cast a Pakistani-American for the role of Kamala Khan. (As a Pakistani-American from New Jersey, I fit the role. If I could act, you know I’d go for it.) Representation in all stages of life matters, and such representation impacts the development of youth.

The excitement continued in 2019 when Muslim-Americans and Muslim youth worldwide freaked out at the sight of Marvel including their first-ever hijabi character in a major film. Muslims make up a large portion of the U.S. population, especially in New York. In 2019, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Far From Home featured actress Zoha Rahman as a hijabi friend of the iconic character, Peter Parker.

“It’s time to hear from a community that’s often talked about but rarely given the chance to speak,” Al-Khatahtbeh wrote. “Contrary to what people might think, Muslim women talk back. And on Muslim Women’s Day, the world will be listening.”

#MuslimWomensDay is BACK for our 4th year TOMORROW! In an unprecedented moment of self-isolation and social distancing, we are talking back to the theme of "Autonomy" � from the voices that aren't always represented in the conversation. Amplify the narrative on 3/27! � pic.twitter.com/m62PMFG97f

� Muslim Girl (@muslimgirl) March 26, 2020