Month: September 2020

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GOP rep: Virginia defeat 'a referendum' on Trump

September 30, 2020 | News | No Comments

RICHMOND, Va. — Republican Rep. Scott Taylor (Va.) called the GOP defeat in Virginia’s gubernatorial race a “referendum” on President Trump’s administration on Tuesday.

Taylor’s remark represents a break with Trump’s tweeted claim that Republican Ed Gillespie lost to Lt. Gov Ralph Northam (D) because the governor hopeful wouldn’t tie himself closely enough to Trump. Northam held an 8-point lead with 97 percent of precincts reporting.

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“I don’t know how you get around that this wasn’t a referendum on the administration, I just don’t,” Taylor told reporters at Gillespie’s election night party. “Some of the very divisive rhetoric really prompted and helped usher in a really high Democratic turnout in Virginia.”

Taylor also referenced other Republican defeats in the state, where Democrats are expected to win all statewide races and gain ground in the House of Delegates.

“I know what the president tweeted. With all due respect to him I think he’s profoundly wrong in his tweet,” Taylor said. “I’m telling you that from someone who is from Virginia, who watched these races, who watched people lose tonight against opponents who are completely no name.” 

Taylor said that, if Republicans lose the House of Delegates, the GOP will need a period of “self-reflection” about how Republicans holding federal offices are affecting lower-level races. “If we lose the House of Delegates, as Republicans, we really lose a firewall against Democrat governing, right? If that happens tonight, then, again, this is where my profound disagreement comes in with the president’s tweet, there has to be some self-reflection at the top and how that’s spilling over in the down ballot,” Taylor said.  Taylor admitted that Trump could threaten the GOP’s House majority.  When asked whether Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBush, Romney won’t support Trump reelection: NYT Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here’s why Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) would retain his speakership if Trump doesn’t moderate, Taylor said it was an “interesting question.”  “I think it will handicap the ability for that to happen,” he said.  In Taylor’s mind, the big lesson is that candidates should define themselves as separate from the president if necessary.  “I agree with a lot of the things the president is saying. I agree with a lot of his policies, I think a lot of people in America do. But how you talk about it is important,” he said.  “And if you don’t agree with it, say it. Who the hell agrees with someone 100 percent of the time?”

In a tweet shortly after Gillespie’s defeat, Trump wrote on Twitter that Gillespie “did not embrace me or what I stand for.” 

Gillespie tried to walk a fine line with his relationship with Trump during the campaign as Democrats sought to pin him to the unpopular president. Trump never campaigned with Gillespie, making him the first president since 1973 to not campaign with their Virginia gubernatorial nominee.

But Gillespie tried to shore up the GOP base with a hard-line stance on immigration and support for preserving Confederate statues, two key issues to the Trump supporters who backed a more conservative candidate in the party’s GOP gubernatorial primary.

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Poll: Democrat leads Roy Moore in Alabama Senate race

September 30, 2020 | News | No Comments

Democrat Doug Jones is leading Republican Roy Moore in Alabama’s Senate race in the wake of explosive accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore, according to a new poll released Sunday.

Forty-six percent of likely voters polled said they would vote for Jones, while 42 percent said they would vote for Moore, according to the Louisiana-based JMC Analytics and Polling. 

The survey was conducted on Nov. 9 and Nov. 11, after The Washington Post reported that a woman said Moore had initiated a sexual encounter with her in 1979, when she was 14 years old and he was 32.

In RealClearPolitics’s average of polls, Moore was leading by 6 points prior to the Post report. A Friday poll, the first following the scandal, found Moore and Jones tied.

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Thirty-eight percent of voters surveyed in the Sunday poll said they were less likely to support Moore following the accusations, while 29 percent of voters said they were more likely to support him. 

The accusations have shaken up what was thought to be a safe Republican seat, which was previously held by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE. It has led numerous Republicans in Congress, and the White House, to call on Moore to bow out of the race if the claims are true. 

Moore’s name will remain on the ballot regardless of whether he drops out of the race. 

Alabama law does not allow candidates to remove their name from the ballot this soon before an election.

However, Moore has shown no sign of dropping his Senate bid, calling the accusations politically motivated. 

“I have not been guilty of sexual misconduct with anyone. These allegations came only four-and-a-half weeks before the general election on Dec. 12,” Moore said on Saturday. “Why now?”

“People have waited to four weeks prior to the general election to bring their complaints,” he later added. “That’s not a coincidence. It’s an intentional act to stop a campaign.”

The JMC Analytics poll had 575 completed responses, with a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points. That puts Jones’s lead within the margin of error.

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With Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at his side, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced a plan to offer free tuition at state and city colleges for middle- and low-income New Yorkers.

Under the Excelsior Scholarship, described as the first of its kind in the nation, students whose families make $125,000 or less per year would be eligible to attend all public universities in New York for free. More than 940,000 middle class families and individuals would qualify for the program, according to a statement from Cuomo’s office.

“A college education is not a luxury—it is an absolute necessity for any chance at economic mobility,” said Cuomo, a Democrat, “and with these first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarships, we’re providing the opportunity for New Yorkers to succeed, no matter what zip code they come from and without the anchor of student debt weighing them down.”

The governor said that in 2015, the average student loan debt in New York was $29,320. Once passed by the state legislature, the proposal would be phased in over three years.

Of the progressive senator from Vermont, who was present at the LaGuardia Community College announcement and made tuition-free higher education a key plank of his presidential campaign, Cuomo added: “I am honored to have the support of Senator Sanders, who led the way on making college affordability a right, and I know that together we can make this a reality with New York leading the way once again.”

Indeed, it was Sanders who pushed his one-time rival, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, to put forth a means-tested college affordability plan that Sanders praised as a “bold initiative” that would “revolutionize the funding of higher education in America.”

In his remarks in New York on Tuesday, Sanders declared: “It is basically insane to tell the young people of this country, ‘we want you to go out and get the best education you can, we want you to get the jobs of the future—oh, but after you leave school, you’re going to be 30, 50, 100 thousand dollars in debt…and you’re going to have to spend decades paying off that debt…and if you don’t pay off that debt when you’re old they may garnish your Social Security payment to pay off that debt.'”

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“Our job is to encourage every person in this country to get all of the education they can, not to punish them for getting that education,” said Sanders, a Brooklyn native. 

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Online, Sanders expressed confidence that New York would pave the way for other states to make similar moves:

While the New York Times describes Cuomo as “a centrist with rumored presidential ambition,” the Buffalo News reports: “Officials were already pitching the plan as a continuation of Cuomo’s ‘progressive’ agenda for New York, which the governor counts as including a sharp rise in the minimum wage, the marriage equality law, and stronger gun control provisions known as the SAFE Act.”

But to really prove his progressive bona fides, Cuomo must “lead his own state party into unified opposition to [President-elect Donald] Trump’s toxic agenda,” as Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org,” told The Atlantic in December.

Indeed, a coalition of labor and environmental groups gathered in Albany last month to urge Cuomo to stand up to Trump by embracing renewable energy as well as a broader pro-labor, social justice agenda on the state level.

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Rallies to protect critical healthcare safety net programs took place nationwide on Sunday, on the heels of a week that saw those very programs placed squarely in Republican crosshairs. 

#OurFirstStand Tweets

Spearheaded by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the #OurFirstStand events hope to be “a major show of grassroots support” for programs including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as the at-risk organization Planned Parenthood. 

And the demonstrations aim to highlight President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign trail promises not to place such critical initiatives at risk—pledges the GOP seems happy to ignore. 

“If Mr. Trump allows the Republican Party to go ahead with its plans, it will dismantle the healthcare system and jeopardize the economic security of millions of Americans,” Sanders said. “Our message to the Republicans is simple and straightforward. You are not going to get away with it. You are not going to punish the elderly, disabled veterans, the children, the sick, and the poor while you reward your billionaire friends.”

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Sanders and Schumer were scheduled to attend a large #OurFirstStand rally in Warren, Michigan—one expected to be so well-attended that it had to be moved to a larger venue.

Watch the Michigan rally live below:

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The Trump administration is vetting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) pending work before allowing it to be published, in the president’s latest crackdown on federal bureaus and science in general.

According to Doug Ericksen, communications director for Trump’s transition team at the EPA, the mandate refers to “all existing content on the federal agency’s website, including details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth’s climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are to blame,” the Associated Press reports.

New work is also on a “temporary hold” before it can be released, the AP said.

Erikson clarified earlier statements made to the outlet that indicated all future information would be subject to political review before publication, noting that the mandate only applies to existing data, and that the hold should be lifted by Friday. However, he said during the earlier interview, “We’re taking a look at everything on a case-by-case basis, including the web page and whether climate stuff will be taken down.”

The clarifications did little to quell public fear that Trump had essentially launched a war on science, especially after one of the administration’s first moves was to scrub any mention of combating climate change from the official White House website.

The review mandate also follows a series of other orders from Trump that are seemingly intended to prevent the dissemination of scientific data, including putting a media blackout on several federal departments and a freeze on EPA hiring and grants (though that, too, may end on Friday). The widespread crackdown prompted an unofficial resistance movement, including the creation of numerous “rogue” agency Twitter accounts, such as @AltUSNatParkService, @RogueNASA, @ungaggedEPA, @ActualEPAFacts, and @AltHHS.

Former EPA staffers under Republican and Democratic presidents said the restrictions go far beyond anything seen in previous administrations.

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Jared Blumenfeld, who until last year served as EPA’s regional administrator for California and the Pacific Northwest, compared the actions to a “hostile takeover.”

“Ericksen and these other folks that have been brought in…have basically put a hold on everything,” he told the AP. “The level of mismanagement being exercised during this transition is startling and the impact on the public is alarming.”

Indeed, the latest crackdown on public information “should terrify you,” writes Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times, describing Trump as being “at war with science and knowledge.”

“Researchers in government and elsewhere are concerned that shutting down outside communications is merely the first step in a campaign to undermine the credibility of established science,” he writes. “As Alex Parker, an astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., observed in a tweet this week: ‘Barring public communication from science agencies reduces their visibility, which masks their value, which makes them easier to dismantle.'”

Trump has said he believes climate change is a hoax made up by the Chinese. His nominee for EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that he disagrees with that stance, but he too has a track record of questioning climate science—and suing the EPA.

Legal experts on Thursday said Pruitt abandoned environmental protections while serving as the Attorney General of Oklahoma.

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The Trump administration “will be held accountable in court” for its decision to grant the final easement on the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL), Indigenous people and environmental allies vowed Tuesday.

#NoDAPL Tweets

And with actions planned nationwide on Wednesday, the administration won’t get off in the court of public opinion, either.

“The drinking water of millions of Americans is now at risk,” said Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, following the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement (pdf) that it would give the official go-ahead within 24 hours. “We are a sovereign nation and we will fight to protect our water and sacred places from the brazen private interests trying to push this pipeline through to benefit a few wealthy Americans with financial ties to the Trump administration.”

In granting the easement, the Army Corps halted (pdf) the preparation of an environmental review ordered by the Obama administration. The Standing Rock tribe, which says DAPL threatens its clean water supply and violates Indigenous treaty rights, pledged to “challenge any easement decision on the grounds that the [environmental impact statement, or EIS] was wrongfully terminated.”

“Trump’s reversal of that decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian tribes and unlawful violation of treaty rights,” added Jan Hasselman of Earthjustice, lead attorney for the tribe. “They will be held accountable in court.”

Other next steps, according to the Standing Rock statement, include asking the court for DAPL-operator Energy Transfer Partners “to disclose its oil spill and risk assessment records for full transparency and review by the public,” and, “if DAPL is successful in constructing and operating the pipeline, the tribe will seek to shut the pipeline operations down.”

“The granting of an easement, without any environmental review or tribal consultation, is not the end of this fight—it is the new beginning.”
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The tribe is not alone in its outrage. Multiple environmental groups voiced their opposition to the decision, while Democratic members of the House and Senate natural resources committees wrote a letter to President Donald Trump expressing their own dismay.

“This blatant disregard for federal law and our country’s treaty and trust responsibilities to Native American tribes is unacceptable,” the lawmakers wrote. “We strongly oppose this decision and any efforts to undermine tribal rights. We urge you to immediately reverse this decision and follow the appropriate procedures required for tribal consultation, environmental law, and due process.” Signatories included Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), as well as Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Donald Beyer (D-Va.).

Grijalva, ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, also issued a separate statement: “Before the Women’s March and before thousands of people protested at airports, the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies were camping in the freezing cold to defend their rights,” he said. “The Obama Administration heard those concerns and agreed to take a step back; this Administration is ignoring them. In his first few weeks in office our new president has built a resume of discrimination, falsehoods, and sloppy work, and now the decision to trample the sovereignty of our First Americans is the latest entry on a growing list of shameful actions.”

A protest in front of the White House is planned for 5:00pm Wednesday, along with more than 30 actions taking place around the country on what the Indigenous Coalition at Standing Rock has dubbed “an international day of emergency actions to disrupt business as usual and unleash a global intersectional resistance to fossil fuels and fascism.”

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“This is the #NoDAPL last stand,” the group declared online.

Find an action near you here.

“Donald Trump will not build his Dakota Access Pipeline without a fight,” said Tom Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “The granting of an easement, without any environmental review or tribal consultation, is not the end of this fight—it is the new beginning. Expect mass resistance far beyond what Trump has seen so far.”

Goldtooth continued:

In addition, a Native Nations March on Washington is in the works for March 10. “Our fight is no longer at the North Dakota site itself,” said Archambault. “Our fight is with Congress and the Trump administration. Meet us in Washington on March 10.”

An energetic divestment campaign, urging banks to pull their funding for the controversial project, is also gaining steam.

On that front, the Seattle City Council voted 9-0 on Tuesday to cut banking ties with Wells Fargo because of its role as a DAPL lender. “People might argue that Seattle’s $3 billion account is just a blip on the radar for Wells Fargo, but this movement is poised to scale up,” Hugh MacMillan, a senior researcher at Food & Water Watch, told YES! Magazine. “I think you’ll see more cities following Seattle’s lead.”

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On his first full day in office Thursday, newly-confirmed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rode a horse to work and proceeded to repeal a rule that protected plants and animals from lead poisoning.

The former Montana congressman’s order (pdf) overturned a policy put into place by former Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) director Dan Ashe on January 19, before the Obama administration left office, that banned the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle in FWS wildlife refuges and other federal lands that allow hunting or fishing.

He also signed a separate order asking other agencies under his purview to come up with ways to make federal lands more accessible for recreational use, saying it “worries” him to think about hunting and fishing becoming a sport of the “land-owning elite.”

According to the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), spent lead ammunition causes poisoning in 130 species of birds and animals, and hundreds of reports have been written about the dangers of lead exposure to wildlife. The center said Zinke’s swift action repealing the ban came in response to pressure from the National Rifle Association (NRA), which spent $30 million on ads promoting President Donald Trump’s election.

“Switching to nontoxic ammunition should be a no-brainer to save the lives of thousands birds and other wildlife, prevent hunters and their families from being exposed to toxic lead, and protect our water,” said Jonathan Evans, CBD’s environmental health legal director.

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“It’s ironic that one of the first actions by Secretary Zinke, who fancies himself a champion of hunters and anglers, leads to poisoning of game and waterfowl eaten by those same hunting families,” said Evans. “It’s another sad day for public health and wildlife under the Trump presidency when special interests again prevail over common-sense environmental safeguards.”

Zinke’s gung-ho start to his first day in office comes after environmental groups expressed outrage over his confirmation on Wednesday, describing the former congressman from Montana as a “foe of endangered species” and warning that his voting record shows he “couldn’t care less about our wildlife, climate, or public lands.”

Indeed, Zinke has voted against endangered species protections 100 percent of the time and has taken donations from the fossil fuel industry. Ahead of the confirmation vote in February, 170 environmental organizations sent a letter to the Senate urging them to reject him.

“Zinke is another climate science-denier with ties to Big Oil who won’t lift a finger for real climate action. His agenda will put communities in danger and, if the coal moratorium is lifted, would spell disaster for the climate,” said May Boeve, executive director of the climate group 350.org, in response to his confirmation.

The horse was named Tonto.

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Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Tom Perez on Tuesday seemed to distance himself from the call for the DNC to become more progressive, as he and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) spoke with MSNBC‘s Chris Hayes to discuss their national “Come Together and Fight Back” tour.

Hayes noted that Hillary Clinton’s “hopeful” campaign ultimately failed against President Donald Trump’s counter-message, which often blamed immigrants for America’s economic troubles, and asked if Democrats are willing to adopt Sanders’ candid opposition to the ruling class.

“Do you have to name the enemy?” Hayes asked Perez. “Do you have to say ‘these are the people that are screwing you’?”

Perez appeared to waffle on his answer, stating, “I think you’re creating a false choice…what we have to do as Democrats is to articulate very clearly that Donald Trump’s vision for America is a vision for the top one percent of the one percent. It’s a vision that’s divisive.”

His response did not sit well with the grassroots action group AllOfUs, which is pushing Democrats to adopt progressive values. “If you cannot name who stands in the way of a creating a country where all of us have what we need to thrive, then you cannot lead America,” the group tweeted. “The only way to win is by telling the truth about our broken system and placing the blame where it belongs… with Wall Street and corporate CEOs, the politicians who use racism to divide us, and a corrupt political establishment in both parties.”

Perez and Sanders are on a cross-country tour of red and purple states in hopes of reenergizing the Democratic Party and bolstering the grassroots resistance to Trump. But the DNC chair, who was seen as a corporate choice when he was elected over progressive favorite Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), has reportedly been having some trouble connecting with rally-goers, having been booed on the road.

Hayes asked Perez to tell him “one thing” he learned about the residents of these states.

“The people of Kentucky, the people of Maine, the people everywhere I go, are incredibly resilient people,” the DNC chair said. “They want to hear the message of the Democratic Party. They want to hear that optimistic message of inclusion. How are we going to make their lives better?…”

Hayes asked Sanders if he agreed.

“What I see and hear is a lot more pain and a lot more discontent than you see on television or you read in the paper,” the Vermont senator said, describing one woman’s account of experiencing poverty and hunger throughout her childhood and college education. “The Democratic Party has got to hear that pain. And it has gotta say, ‘you know what? We’re going to stand up to those people who have the power—both economically and politically—and we are going to take them on.'”

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McConnell PAC demands Moore return its money

September 29, 2020 | News | No Comments

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) wants his money back from Roy Moore, the controversial Republican nominee for Senate in Alabama.

McConnell’s leadership PAC, Bluegrass Committee, has requested that Moore return the $5,000 check it gave him after he beat Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeThe biggest political upsets of the decade State ‘certificate of need’ laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE (R-Ala.) in the September GOP primary, according to a disclosure filed with the Federal Election Commission.

McConnell is standing firm against Moore, even though Republicans in Washington haven’t yet had any luck recruiting a promising candidate to wage a write-in campaign against Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.

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The state Republican Party has also made clear that it will not disqualify Moore as its nominee.

McConnell’s move will put pressure on other Republican lawmakers and donors to ask for refunds from Moore at a critical time.

Other congressional donors include Reps. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieRep. Massie called out by primary opponent for previous display of Confederate flag House holds first-ever proxy votes during pandemic House GOP lawmaker breaks with party to back proxy voting MORE (R-Ky.) and Andy HarrisAndrew (Andy) Peter HarrisCoronavirus protests take aim at scientists, elites OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court vacates nearly 300 oil and gas leases on public lands | GOP lawmaker seeks review of Harvard study tying air pollution to coronavirus deaths GOP lawmaker seeks review of Harvard study tying air pollution to coronavirus deaths MORE (R-Md.), according to FEC filings. 

Money, or the lack of it, is a problem for Moore, who has been dramatically outspent by his Democratic opponent.

Jones has spent about $805,000 on the campaign since The Washington Post broke a bombshell story about allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore.

Moore has spent only $64,000 during that same period, according to a source familiar with media buys in the state.

Jones had been advertising on television for a full month before the race was upended by allegations first reported by the Post that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with an underage girl decades ago. 

Since then a number of women have accused the candidate of sexual misconduct. 

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Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon on Tuesday hit the campaign trail for Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, blasting the GOP establishment and vouching for the embattled candidate one week before election day.

“This election’s going to boil down to something very simple. Do you support the program of Donald J. Trump that Judge Moore supports? Or do the good folks in Alabama support the program of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE, already rejected on Nov. 8, 2016, that Doug Jones represents?” Bannon asked the audience in Fairhope, Ala., referring to Moore’s Democratic opponent.

The race to fill the Senate seat once held by Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe, Rosenstein spar over Russia probe Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Rosenstein defends Mueller appointment, role on surveillance warrants MORE has drawn significant national interest, particularly following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore. Moore has received a boost in recent days, however, as President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE issued a full endorsement, and Bannon made an appearance to reiterate his support.

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Bannon previously campaigned for Moore in Alabama prior to a primary runoff against incumbent Sen. Luther StrangeLuther Johnson StrangeThe biggest political upsets of the decade State ‘certificate of need’ laws need to go GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE (R-Ala.). On Tuesday, he spoke for about 30 minutes, tearing into Republican lawmakers such as Mitt Romney, Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeGOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism Kelly holds double-digit lead over McSally in Arizona: poll Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE (R-Ariz.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.), each of whom have called for Moore to drop out.

Bannon, who left the White House in August, framed next week’s vote as a referendum on President Trump, saying “the whole nation” will be watching.

Early in his speech, Bannon noted the number of media outlets in attendance, referring to them and establishment lawmakers as the “opposition party.”

A few protesters interjected throughout the night, as they have at previous Moore events. As one individual shouted “no Moore,” Bannon asked “the CNN producer in the back” to quiet down.

After another interrupted, Moore suggested members of “Soros’s army” were infiltrating the state, referring to billionaire Democratic donor George Soros.

Moore has in recent weeks been under pressure from numerous Republican lawmakers to withdraw from the race.

He is facing allegations about his conduct decades ago, when he was in his 30s, including an accusation by one woman who said Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14, and another who said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16. Other women have said Moore made advances on them when they were teenagers.

Moore has denied the allegations. He and Bannon largely avoided discussing them Tuesday, but Moore said the campaign had featured “a lot of fake news” and “diversions.”

Trump on Monday fully endorsed Moore after previously sticking to criticizing Jones and downplaying the allegations against Moore. Trump will hold a rally on Friday in Pensacola, Fla., about 20 miles from the Florida-Alabama border.

The Republican National Committee followed Trump’s endorsement by reinstating its support for Moore after initially cutting ties with the candidate.

Moore on Tuesday said he’s looking forward to bringing “Alabama values” to Washington if elected.

“This Senate race is the only Senate race going. It’s the first Senate race since Donald Trump was elected, and it means something special. It means that we’re gong to see if the people of Alabama will support the president, and support his agenda in Washington by electing somebody that’s not part of the establishment there,” Moore said. 

“I think on Dec. 12,” he added, “you’ll see an election that the world won’t forget.” 

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