Rep. Byron Donalds goes viral with response when asked if he fears 'retribution' from pro-McCarthy Republicans

[rebelmouse-proxy-image,0,157,0 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//" expand=1]

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) made it clear on Wednesday that he does not fear reprisals for blocking Rep. Keven McCarthy's House speakership bid.

What is the background?

A faction of approximately 20 conservative Republicans are blocking McCarthy from becoming speaker. They say that electing him will empower the status quo that many Americans detest.

Initially, Donalds supported McCarthy. But on Tuesday — as the House voted on the third ballot of the day — Donalds broke from McCarthy. By Wednesday, the faction of anti-McCarthy Republicans were supporting Donalds for the speakership. On the fourth, fifth, and sixth ballots, Donalds earned 20 votes.

What is Donalds saying?

A reporter asked Donalds on Wednesday if he is worried about "retribution" from his own party for not backing McCarthy and becoming one of the main voices opposing the Republican leader.

"You've put yourself in a pretty public position opposing the person that could be the speaker. Are you worried about retribution?" the reporter asked.

Donalds' response — which has garnered more than 1.5 million views — made it clear his conscience is worry-free.

"Man, I'm 6'2", 275 [pounds] — I'm not worried about that," he said.

\u201cReporter: "You've put yourself in a pretty public position opposing the person that could be the speaker. Are you worried about retribution?"\n\nRep. Byron Donalds: "Man, I'm 6'2", 275, I'm not worried about that."\u201d
— Evan McMurry (@Evan McMurry) 1672869338

Donalds defended his opposition to McCarthy on Wednesday as a "good thing" for the Republican Party and America.

"These leadership challenges are a good thing for our party, and they're actually a good thing for America. The days of just power by acclamation, those days are over. It needs to be earned," he said on Fox News.

Anything else?

On Thursday, Donalds responded to Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), who on Wednesday dismissed him as a mere "prop."

"[For what it's worth], @ByronDonalds is not a historic candidate for Speaker. He is a prop," Bush tweeted. "Despite being Black, he supports a policy agenda intent on upholding and perpetuating white supremacy."

Speaking on Fox Business, Donalds said he felt bad that Bush believed it was necessary to personally attack him.

"That sucks, to be honest with you, man," Donalds said. "I feel bad that she really put that out there because you know, if you see a black man rising, I mean, let the man rise, even if you don't agree with him.

"As a black man to a black woman, I would've never done that to her," he added. "It's a shame she did it to me."

DeSantis names Emma Weyant 'rightful winner' of NCAA 500-yard freestyle over trans swimmer Lia Thomas

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday issued a proclamation declaring Sarasota native and Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant the "real winner" of the 500-yard freestyle event at the Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships last Thursday.

Weyant, a freshman at the University of Virginia, finished second to Lia Thomas, a man who identifies as female and takes cross-sex hormones.

According to the university, Weyant finished the race with the third-fastest time in UVA history, as well as her own fastest career time. But Thomas beat her by 1.75 seconds, becoming the first transgender athlete to win a NCAA Division I title and the first man to do so in a women's event.

But Thomas' victory was controversial, as critics like DeSantis say men have biological advantages over women that makes direct athletic competition between the two sexes unfair.

"By allowing men to compete in women's sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud," DeSantis said Tuesday.

"In Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota's Emma Weyant as the best women's swimmer in the 500y freestyle."

By allowing men to compete in women's sports, the NCAA is destroying opportunities for women, making a mockery of its championships, and perpetuating a fraud.\n\nIn Florida, we reject these lies and recognize Sarasota's Emma Weyant as the best women's swimmer in the 500y
— Ron DeSantis (@Ron DeSantis) 1647968594

At a press conference Tuesday, the Republican governor praised Weyant as a tough competitor and announced he would sign the proclamation declaring her the actual winner of the NCAA competition.

“If you look at what the NCAA has done by allowing basically men to compete in women’s athletics, in this case, the swimming, you had the number-one woman who finished was from Sarasota. And then Weyant, she won the silver medal, she’s been an absolute superstar her whole career,” DeSantis said. “She trains, I mean, to compete at that level is very, very difficult. And you don’t just roll out of bed and do it. That takes grit, that takes determination, and she’s been an absolute superstar and she had the fastest time of any woman in college athletics.”

He accused the NCAA of trying to "destroy women's athletics" by allowing gender-dysphoric men to compete against women.

“They’re trying to undermine the integrity of the competition, and they’re crowning somebody else the woman’s champion and we think that’s wrong ... we’re going to be doing a proclamation saying that Emma is the best female swimmer in the 500-meter freestyle, because she earned that," DeSantis said.

JUST NOW: @GovRonDeSantis says he will sign a "proclamation" naming @UVA and @USASwimming Olympian @emmaweyant the "best female swimmer" of the women's 500-yard freestyle.\n\nDeSantis said the @NCAA is "perpetuating fraud" & "trying to undermine the integrity of the competition"
— Evan Donovan (@Evan Donovan) 1647963875

Continuing, DeSantis said organizations that permit men to compete against women because they identify as such are perpetuating "frauds" on the public and are "putting ideology ahead of opportunity for women athletes."

“And I think that there’s just some people that are afraid to speak out and say what they’re doing. But that is what they’re doing. And so in Florida, we’re going to be very clear, when they try to do things like that, when they try to undermine the integrity of competition, when they try to counteract the ability of women to realize their dreams, we are going to speak out about that," DeSantis concluded.

Applause breaks out when DeSantis buries reporter for 'pushing false narrative': 'It’s why people don’t trust people like you'

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) clashed with a reporter Monday over controversial legislation that Democrats and LGBT advocates are fiercely protesting.

What is the background?

The bill at the center of the controversy, HB 1557, is designed to bolster parents' rights in public education.

For example, one provision of the legislation reinforces the "fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding upbringing & control of their children," while another prohibits schools from adopting policies permitting school officials to withhold information from their parents or policies encouraging students to withhold information from their parents, especially information related to "critical decisions affecting student's mental, emotional, or physical well-being."

But the bill also "prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels" — which has outraged LGBT advocates and Democrats.

The exact text of bill says:

Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.

What happened with DeSantis?

To generate opposition to the bill, critics of HB 1557 labeled it the "Don't Say Gay" bill — despite the bill not once using the word "gay." Instead, the bill only prohibits young children, whose brains are extremely malleable, from being indoctrinated with progressive LGBT ideology at school.

On Monday, WFLA-TV reporter Evan Donovan asked DeSantis about HB 1557, invoking the dishonest framing critics have pinned on it. But DeSantis had none of it.

"Can I ask you about [inaudible] rights in education, what critics call the 'Don't Say Gay' bill is on the [Florida] Senate floor —"

"Does it say that in the bill?" DeSantis shot back. "Does it say that in the bill?"

"I know that you support —" Donovan responded.

"I’m asking you to tell me what’s in the bill, because you are pushing false narrative," DeSantis fired back. "It doesn’t matter what critics say."

"It bans classroom instruction on sexual identity and gender orientation," Donovan responded

“For who? For grades pre-K through three. So 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, 7-year-olds," DeSantis responded. "And the idea that you wouldn’t be honest about that and tell people what it actually says — it’s why people don’t trust people like you, because you peddle false narratives."

The audience in the room then broke out in applause.

"So we disabuse you of those narratives," DeSantis continued. "And we’re going to make sure that parents are able to send their kid to kindergarten without having some of this stuff injected into their school curriculum."

JUST NOW: I asked @GovRonDeSantis if he supported HB 1557, the legislation critics call the 'Don't Say Gay' bill.\n\n\u00a0\u2026 @WFLA\u00a0\
— Evan Donovan (@Evan Donovan) 1646691173

DeSantis tells students they can take off their masks, fumes over 'COVID theater' in viral video

A short video clip showing Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis fuming over "COVID theater" and telling high school students they can remove their masks has gone viral online.

In the clip — which has already been viewed millions of times — an obviously annoyed DeSantis is seen approaching a podium where a group of masked students are standing in the backdrop of the camera shot.

"You do not have to wear those masks," he tells the students, who start to chuckle.

"I mean, please take them off," he continues. "Honestly, it's not doing anything. We've gotta stop with this COVID theater. So if you wanna wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous."

Several students responded to the governor's request by removing their masks, while at least one student chose to keep their mask on.

NEW: @GovRonDeSantis annoyed with USF students\u2014\n\n"You do not have to wear those masks. Please take them off. Honestly, it's not doing anything. We've gotta stop with this Covid theater. So if you wanna wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous."\n\n\u00a0
— Evan Donovan (@Evan Donovan) 1646244994

The exchange took place Wednesday afternoon at the University of South Florida where DeSantis was scheduled to announce state funding for cybersecurity education, according to WFLA-TV, which first reported on the governor's remarks.

In a report, the outlet claimed that DeSantis "scold[ed]" the students. But the clip appears to show the governor's frustration was not aimed at the students but at the societal pressure, in general, that resulted in their wearing face coverings.

When reached for comment, DeSantis' team stood by the governor's message.

"As the governor said, ‘you can wear them if you want’ but there’s ‘no evidence’ masks make any difference," said press secretary Christina Pushaw. "That has been clear for a long time, and the data informed our state’s official guidance."

"Following Florida, the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has even stopped recommending mask wearing for most Americans," Pushaw added. "After two years of mixed messages from health authorities and the media, the governor wants to make sure everyone is aware of the facts and data now, so they can feel free and comfortable without a mask."

In a statement to Fox News, Pushaw said, "The kids laughed after he said it. They knew he wasn’t frustrated with them but with the peer pressure around masking in schools."

Fox also reported that the clip immediately elicited a positive response from some conservative commentators online.

Outkick's Clay Travis tweeted, "This is phenomenal" while his fellow radio host Buck Sexton added, "This is the correct attitude toward mask wearing."

This is phenomenal. Ron Desantis tells USF kids they don\u2019t have to wear their masks because they don\u2019t do anything and it\u2019s time to stop with all the political
— Clay Travis (@Clay Travis) 1646247479
This is the correct attitude toward mask wearing\u00a0\u2026
— Buck Sexton (@Buck Sexton) 1646247607
Photo Courtesy of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via Getty Images

Freshman congressman Madison Cawthorn labeled anti-Semite for trying to convert Jews to Christianity

Newly elected congressman Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) is being called an anti-Semite after speaking about his Christian faith in a recent interview and describing his efforts to evangelize Jews and Muslims.

Cawthorn, 25, was profiled by the Jewish Insider in an article published Monday that discussed his background and noted that after he was paralyzed from the waist down in a near-fatal car accident six years ago, he began preaching in North Carolina churches. Cawthorn, a devout Christian, shared how speaking at churches "really gave me a great platform to really share my testimony."

"I would say I have a very, very, very strong faith and [am] very grounded in the actual word," he said, adding that he's read through the Torah and the Quran along with "just about every single religious work there is."

He explained that he's studied the Quran so that if he "ever was presented with the opportunity to speak to a practicing Muslim who was kind of thinking like, 'Hey, you know, I've kind of got a feeling in my heart, I'm interested in Christianity.'"

He described his previous attempts to evangelize Muslims before being interviewed about evangelizing Jews.

"The thing I found when I was actually reading through the Quran is that Christianity — that is a very easy switch to make to lead a Muslim to Christ," Cawthorn said.

"They believe Jesus is a real person," he said of Muslims. "They believe he was a prophet, though. And so when you're trying to lead an atheist to Christ, or, say, kind of a traditional Jewish person, you kind of have to make people really — you have to sell Jesus a lot, because, one, they don't really believe that, you know — some very devout Jews just think he's kind of a good guy. That's great. But, you know, the Muslims, they already believe that he was somewhat divine, and so all you have to do is just be like, he wasn't just a good man, he was a god, and now if you can submit to that then you believe in Christ."

Cawthorn told Jewish Insider that sharing the Gospel led "several Muslims to Christ," but that he's been less successful reaching Jews.

"I have, unsuccessfully. I have switched a lot of, uh, you know, I guess, culturally Jewish people. But being a practicing Jew, like, people who are religious about it, they are very difficult. I've had a hard time connecting with them in that way," Cawthorn said.

He described evangelism as a calling for all Christians.

"If all you are is friends with other Christians, then how are you ever going to lead somebody to Christ?" Cawthorn asked rhetorically. "If you're not wanting to lead somebody to Christ, then you're probably not really a Christian."

After Cawthorn's comments were published, he was immediately accused of bigotry and anti-Semitism for sharing his Christian faith.

truly shocking rhetoric from kid who, uh, visited Hitler's vacation home as part of his “bucket list"
— b-boy bouiebaisse (@b-boy bouiebaisse)1605554117.0
so weird that madison cawthorn actively works towards stopping jewish culture and making sure there are fewer jews…
— David Grossman (@David Grossman)1605555231.0
This new congressman doesn't think people should be Jewish and is actively trying to make there be fewer Jews in Am…
— Evan (@Evan)1605550384.0
wow yet another reason to loathe this dude!!!!!!!!
— Talia Lavin (@Talia Lavin)1605549193.0

Christians believe God commands believers to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus commands his disciples in Matthew 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." In the first chapter of Acts, Jesus told his followers they would evangelize first to Jews, then to gentiles, saying, "You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

AOC hit with blowback for calling for a list of 'Trump sycophants' to hold them accountable in the future

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) faces backlash after calling for a list of social media posts from "Trump sycophants" so that they will be held accountable in the future.

On Friday afternoon, the far-left Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter: "Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future."

Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I…
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1604693762.0

The idea of a list of Trump allies was embraced by former CIA ops officer Evan McMullin, who wrote, "We should keep and publish a list of everyone who assists Trump's frivolous and dangerous attacks on the election. Name and shame forever."

We should keep and publish a list of everyone who assists Trump’s frivolous and dangerous attacks on the election. Name and shame forever.
— Evan McMullin 🇺🇸 (@Evan McMullin 🇺🇸)1604623005.0

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin also agreed, "Any R now promoting rejection of an election or calling to not to follow the will of voters or making baseless allegations of fraud should never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into 'polite' society. We have a list."

Michael Simon, an ex-staffer of former President Barack Obama, Michael Simon, was thrilled to share a list of Trump allies.

"Every Administration staffer, campaign staffer, bundler, lawyer who represented them — everyone," he wrote in a since-deleted tweet, and also shared a link to a site called "The Trump Accountability Project."

Who could have seen this coming
— Gulag Inmate 4859 (@Gulag Inmate 4859)1604696585.0

Hari Sevugan, former national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee and senior spokesman for the Barack Obama presidential campaign, promoted the registry of Trump allies by writing, "We just launched the Trump Accountability Project to make sure anyone who took a paycheck to help Trump undermine America is held responsible for what they did."

You better believe it. We just launched the Trump Accountability Project to make sure anyone who took a paycheck to…
— Hari Sevugan (@Hari Sevugan)1604694204.0

Emily Abrams, the national surrogates director for Pete Buttigieg's failed presidential campaign, also promoted the Trump Accountability Project in a now-deleted tweet.

Held responsible now?
— Dana Loesch (@Dana Loesch)1604712738.0

The Trump Accountability Project website states, "We must never forget those who furthered the Trump agenda."

"We should welcome in our fellow Americans with whom we differ politically. But those who took a paycheck from the Trump Administration should not profit from their efforts to tear our democracy apart," the homepage of the site reads. "The world should never forget those who, when faced with a decision, chose to put their money, their time, and their reputations behind separating children from their families, encouraging racism and anti-Semitism, and negligently causing the unnecessary loss of life and economic devastation from our country's failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic."

The site reportedly had a spreadsheet of donors, staff, and judicial appointees of President Donald Trump on a Google Drive, which has since been made private and deleted off the website, but is still viewable here.

@AOC ....
— Catalina Lauf (@Catalina Lauf)1604727161.0
Trump officials have already begun the effort to hide their records. We will not let that happen.Help out here:…
— Trump Accountability Project (@Trump Accountability Project)1604681256.0
And, eventually they made the whole list private, although you can still access it here:
— Leslie McAdoo Gordon (@Leslie McAdoo Gordon)1604718157.0

There was a wave of pushback against AOC's registry of Trump supporters. Conservatives and liberals responded to AOC's tweet, and explained why making lists of political enemies leads down a dangerous path.

Many online commenters compared the self-described democratic socialist's idea for a list of political adversaries with authoritarian regimes such as China, Joseph Stalin's Russia, and Fidel Castro's Cuba. Others saw a parallel to McCarthyism and blacklisting during the 1950s.

Nothing says “Biden will bring us together” like “now that we Democrats have power, who has the list of our enemies…
— Drew Holden (@Drew Holden)1604717634.0

If you are creating enemies lists of your political opponents for retribution you are not fit to hold any position…
— Gulag Inmate 4859 (@Gulag Inmate 4859)1604723558.0
AOC, must we then compile a blacklist with the names of the 70 million who voted against your preferences? Must w…
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@Nassim Nicholas Taleb)1604751626.0
If @AOC gets her way, people like you and me wouldn’t get the chance to defend @realDonaldTrump in her socialist st…
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸)1604698276.0
What AOC said today about logging tweets and names of Trump supporters is equivalent to what they would do in Commu…
— Ryan Fournier (@Ryan Fournier)1604717714.0
Leading Democrats like @AOC and @JRubinBlogger apparently want to treat Trump supporters like China treats the Uyghurs
— Will Chamberlain (@Will Chamberlain)1604701226.0
Sounds a lot like when Nazi Germany, Stalin Russia, Castro Cuba, Chavez/Maduro Venezuela made lists against politic…
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@Jorge Masvidal UFC)1604758375.0
I'd say rounding up 70 million Americans for political punishment is a bit ambitious, but it is kind of on brand fo…
— Mollie (@Mollie)1604720705.0
Please stop.Lists are for fascists.
— Maajid أبو عمّار (@Maajid أبو عمّار)1604744114.0
This is so Communist. God help us.p.s. .@aoc, I won’t be deleting my tweets or writings for you or anyone. I’m an…
— Rachel Campos-Duffy (@Rachel Campos-Duffy)1604720645.0
Nutty AOC wants to bring back McCarthyism and the 1950's blacklist, only this time with the communists doing the bl…
— MARK SIMONE (@MARK SIMONE)1604719194.0

Some, including Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) volunteered to be placed on the list, while Megyn Kelly advocated using AOC's list as a campaign tool.

Put me down as No. 1. My name is Congressman Paul Gosar. I am a proud American and I love this country more than…
— Paul Gosar (@Paul Gosar)1604712067.0
Please put my name at the top of that list.There’ll be no texts deleted, no tweets erased or denial. Ur rhetoric re…
— Kirstie Alley (@Kirstie Alley)1604710397.0
What an awesome tweet for the Georgia GOP to plaster everywhere in their effort to ensure Republicans keep the Sena…
— Megyn Kelly (@Megyn Kelly)1604754840.0

Police attacked with fireworks during riots in Denver; family-owned business ravaged: 'Never seen anything like this'

Fires were ignited, property was destroyed, and businesses were damaged when riots broke out in Denver on Saturday night. Police officers were targeted with fireworks, a cop was reportedly injured after a bicycle was thrown at him, and a family-owned business was trashed by vandals.

A Reddit post shows that a "Give Em Hell" protest was scheduled for Saturday night, which demanded that the Denver Police Department be abolished, according to KDVR-TV. The post instructed demonstrators to "bring your gear."

Another group planned demonstrations aimed at defunding the police, ending homeless sweeps, stopping racism, and demanding justice for Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man who died in police custody in Colorado. The group said it was "there for vandalism and were done with peaceful protesting," according to The Denver Post.

A van dispensed shields to protesters. Rioters attempted to rip down a fence protecting the state Capitol building on Saturday night.

Protestors are pulling shields outside a van.@DenverChannel
— adigtv (@adigtv)1598150292.0
Agitators are now trying to rip down a fence surrounding the state Capitol building @KDVR
— Evan Kruegel (@Evan Kruegel)1598154494.0

KMGH-TV reporter Adi Guajardo and KUSA-TV reporter Marc Sallinger were covering the protests that escalated into destruction throughout the night. Vandals who were "mostly dressed in black" set fires to trees and the Denver Police Department station, burned American flags, broke windows of local businesses, and shot fireworks at police officers. A Denver police officer was injured after a man threw a bicycle at the cop while riding on a motorcycle. The perpetrator was arrested. Denver Police say nine people were arrested on Saturday.

A tree is on fire outside the courthouse. People are throwing rocks at a Sheriff’s Office van. Important to note, n…
— Marc Sallinger (@Marc Sallinger)1598153945.0
Protestors have started two fires outside DPD.
— adigtv (@adigtv)1598152529.0
A small fire is inside the gated area of DPD headquarters.
— adigtv (@adigtv)1598152082.0
Protestors are throwing firecrackers at police after officer shot some kind of object.
— adigtv (@adigtv)1598151895.0
Protesters are firing fireworks at police officers. The fireworks are exploding behind the police barrier and aroun…
— Marc Sallinger (@Marc Sallinger)1598152611.0
Wow. Someone just picked up and threw a bicycle at a Denver police officer riding by on a motorcycle. I don’t think…
— Marc Sallinger (@Marc Sallinger)1598156538.0

A downtown Denver Quiznos sandwich shop, which has been family-owned for 12 years, was damaged from the rioting.

All the members of the family were cleaning up, and the owner said he had "never seen anything like this." The owner told Sallinger, "I don't even know where to start."

The ravaged Quiznos fast food restaurant was boarded up on Sunday morning.

Police put out another fire set in the middle of the road. The backdrop is the Denver city county building. The gro…
— Marc Sallinger (@Marc Sallinger)1598154511.0
The crowd has dispersed. Lots of property damage. I’ll be back on #9News mornings tomorrow in the AM. Thanks for fo…
— Marc Sallinger (@Marc Sallinger)1598159988.0
This is what some of the damage looks like this morning on the streets around Denver Police headquarters. Lots of b…
— Marc Sallinger (@Marc Sallinger)1598186879.0

Also on Saturday, left-wing and right-wing protesters clashed in Portland. The groups, which included Proud Boys and Antifa, fought each other with batons, shields, pepper spray, and paintball guns. Portland Police declared an "unlawful assembly" and Department of Homeland Security officials were called in.