Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
A voting technology company at the center of election conspiracy theories demanded a retraction from Fox News, accusing them of 'a concerted disinformation campaign'
  • Smartmatic, a voting technology company, sent cease and desist letters on Monday to Fox News, One America News, and Newsmax, demanding retractions.
  • The company has become the subject of conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election, and accused the media organizations of spreading them.
  • In a letter to Fox News obtained by Insider, Smartmatic says Fox News hosts Lou Dobbs, Jesse Waters, and Maria Bartiromo have been instrumental in spreading the conspiracy theories, which first gained widespread currency with lawsuits from ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell.
The election software company Smartmatic is demanding retractions from right-wing media outlets, accusing them of spreading conspiracy theories about its role in the 2020 elections.

In a letter obtained by Insider, Smartmatic accused Fox News of engaging in "a concerted disinformation campaign against Smartmatic" by "continually and repeatedly published demonstrably false information and defamatory statements."

"Fox News told its millions of viewers and readers that Smartmatic was founded by Hugo Chávez, that its software was designed to fix elections, and that Smartmatic conspired with others to defraud the American people and fix the 2020 U.S. election by changing, inflating, and deleting votes," Smartmatic's letter, addressed to Fox News executive vice president and general counsel Lily Fu Claffee, reads.

... "They have no evidence to support their attacks on Smartmatic because there is no evidence. This campaign was designed to defame Smartmatic and undermine legitimately conducted elections," Smartmatic CEO Antonio Mugica said in a statement. "Our efforts are more than just about Smartmatic or any other company. This campaign is an attack on election systems and election workers in an effort to depress confidence in future elections and potentially counter the will of the voters, not just here, but in democracies around the world."

Smartmatic, along with Dominion Voting Systems, has become a target of conspiracy theorists who falsely claim that their voting technology switched votes from President Donald Trump to President-elect Joe Biden, swaying the election.

... Both Smartmatic and Dominion, which are independent of one another, have rejected the claims in separate statements and described Powell's claims as technically impossible.

But even as Powell's falsehood-filled lawsuits have been universally rejected in court, the conspiracy theories continue to circulate.

Smartmatic says offering a platform to Powell and Rudy Giuliani, who represents the Trump campaign, are to blame.

"Fox News used its anchors and on-air guests, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, to spread lies about a company that had absolutely nothing to do with the voting that took place in areas at the heart of the 'conspiracies' discussed following the 2020 U.S. election," the letter reads.

'I've had enough': Rep. Paul Mitchell leaves the GOP and becomes an Independent, decrying Trump's efforts to overturn the presidential election
  • GOP Rep. Paul Mitchell announced on Monday that he is walking away from the Republican Party and becoming an Independent, according to CNN.
  • "As elected members of Congress, we take an oath to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States,' not to preserve and protect the political interests of any individual, be it the president or anyone else, to the detriment of our cherished nation," he wrote in a letter declaring his party change.
  • Mitchell, who is retiring after two terms in office, has represented Michigan's 10th Congressional district since January 2017.
  • "This party has to stand up for democracy first — for our Constitution first — and not political considerations," he told CNN. "Not to protect a candidate. Not simply for raw political power, and that's what I feel is going on and I've had enough."
"It is unacceptable for political candidates to treat our election system as though we are a third-world nation and incite distrust of something so basic as the sanctity of our vote," he wrote. "Further, it is unacceptable for the president to attack the Supreme Court of the United States because its judges, both liberal and conservative, did not rule with his side or that 'the Court failed him.' It was our Founding Fathers' objective to insulate the Supreme Court from such blatant political motivations."

He added: "If Republican leaders collectively sit back and tolerate unfounded conspiracy theories and 'stop the steal' rallies without speaking out for our electoral process, which the Department of Homeland Security said was "the most secure in American history," our nation will be damaged.

Mitchell reserved particular ire for elected officials whom he said failed to abide by the Constitution. "As elected members of Congress, we take an oath to 'support and defend the Constitution of the United States,' not to preserve and protect the political interests of any individual, be it the president or anyone else, to the detriment of our cherished nation. As a result, I am writing to advise you both that I am withdrawing from my engagement and association with the Republican Party at both the national and state level."

On CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper" on Monday, Mitchell reiterated that the GOP has been too focused on the pursuit of political interests.

Trump announces Attorney General William Barr will be leaving the Justice Department before Christmas
  • President Donald Trump announced Monday that Attorney General William Barr will be leaving the Justice Department before Christmas.
  • Barr was described by some legal scholars as acting more like the president's personal defense lawyer than the US's chief law enforcement officer.
  • But Barr's fortunes took a turn for the worse after he failed to deliver on politically charged investigations Trump demanded ahead of the general election.
  • Barr also stoked the president's anger when he made public comments that flew in the face of Trump's conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud in the election.

Electoral College Makes Joe Biden’s Presidential Win Official
It's really over. Yet again.

All six states where President Donald Trump and his supporters sought to undo the victories there of President-elect Joe Biden formally codified the Democrat's win by Monday afternoon, with their Electoral College members casting their ballots for Biden. California put Biden over the 270 Electoral College vote threshold in late afternoon.

In another defeat for Trump, who already has lost more than 50 court cases, including one on Monday in battleground Wisconsin seeking to throw out Biden votes and overturn the election. The Electoral College votes, normally a barely noted procedural process after the November presidential elections, sealed Trump's losing fate.


... "In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed. We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact," Biden was set to say, according to excerpts of his speech released by the transition.

"And so, now it is time to turn the page – to unite, to heal. As I said through this campaign, I will be a president for all Americans. I will work just as hard for those of you who didn't vote for me as I will for those who did," Biden was set to say, calling for a united effort to get the pandemic under control and for bolstering the economy.

The GOP's 'outrageous' effort to overturn the election and its deference to Trump cements its status as 'a willing party to authoritarianism'
  • The Republican Party engaged in a brazen and unprecedented effort this year to ignore the will of the voters, overthrow a free and fair election, and install its preferred candidate in power.
  • Had the party succeeded in its efforts, most recently via a longshot Texas Supreme Court case, "that would have ended" US democracy, said Jason Stanley, an expert in fascism.
  • The fact that a majority of House Republicans backed Texas' lawsuit shows the GOP is a "willing party to authoritarianism," Stanley added, because it's "openly signaling that they regard the only legitimate outcome as one that leaves them in power."
  • The party's near absolute deference to President Donald Trump, moreover, is a sign that even though Trump will leave office in January, Trumpism is here to stay.

Joe Biden Slams Trump, Says Democracy Prevailed
President-elect Joe Biden Monday delivered a passionate defense of America's democracy and his bluntest take-down yet of what Biden said was President Donald Trump's effort to subvert it, saying Trump had lost on every level and needed to move on.

"In America, politicians don't take power. People grant power to them," Biden said, with the backdrop "office of the President-elect" behind him. The flame of democracy burns bright, Biden said, and "nothing – not even a pandemic or an abuse of power, can extinguish that flame."

Trumpism
or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.