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Bennie Thompson Lashes Out at Jan. 6 Text-Message Deleting Trump Administration Holdover

The former Jan. 6 committee chairman hasn’t stopped policing the insurrection beat.

Representative Bennie Thompson
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Representative Bennie Thompson

The January 6 committee may have closed up shop when the GOP took over the House, but that doesn’t mean that Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who was its chairman, has stopped scouring the landscape for targets. On Thursday, Thompson, the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, called on Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari to resign, citing deleting “business” texts on a government-issued phone and bungling an investigation into deleted Secret Service text messages.

Why would a Democrat go after an IG in a Democratic administration? Maybe because Cuffari is a Trump administration holdover whose resume includes a stint as a policy adviser to Republican Governors Jan Brewer and Doug Ducey of Arizona. Oh—and because the texts he deleted may have had to do with the whereabouts and movements of Secret Service agents on Jan. 6.

Last July, Cuffari admitted that the Secret Service, which currently falls under the purview of DHS, conspicuously deleted text messages on January 5 and January 6. Those messages would have been valuable to the Jan. 6 committee. Not long after Cuffari’s admission, members of Congress learned that Cuffari and his team actually knew that the texts were deleted—and had known for months, without notifying congressional investigators.

If anything, the call by Thompson and Congressman Glenn Ivey, the ranking member of the subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability, has been measured and reserved. It’s taken them this long to demand that someone else have Cuffari’s job despite the mounting evidence against the inspector general. Earlier this week Thompson and Ivey introduced the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Transparency Act aimed at addressing “years of troubling reports calling into question the quality, effectiveness, and transparency of the DHS Office of Inspector General’s oversight activities as well as its management,” according to a press release.

Keep in mind that this isn’t just any old inspector general job. DHS covers border security, immigration, the Secret Service, and cyber security, among other topics. Whoever runs oversight over that agency is in an enormously important and influential position. Cuffari’s tenure satisfied, to some extent, Donald Trump’s agenda. Thompson’s moves suggest that Cuffari’s conduct is still in line with the Trump administration’s values. Thus the push to get Cuffari out as soon as possible. 

“Your apparent violations of Federal criminal laws and your mishandling of key investigations within DHS have undermined any confidence in your ability to carry out your duties,” the two Democratic lawmakers wrote in a letter publicized on Thursday. “We must restore credibility to the OIG in order to have independent oversight and accountability within DHS. Your resignation is the necessary first step.”

It’s amazing it’s taken this long for Democrats to make these calls.

Did Tim Scott Intentionally Kill Police Reform So He Could Run for President?

The only Black Republican senator seemed worried about politics when he scuttled what could have been bipartisan legislation, a new book says.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

Tim Scott has positioned himself as the Republican most serious about police and civil rights reform. But it turns out he may have sabotaged a (very moderate) police reform bill he and Senator Booker worked on in 2021, perhaps in preparation to run for president.

The revelations come from Ben Terris’s new book The Big Break, in which he traces efforts between the two cross-the-aisle Black senators to work together and craft a police reform bill. In 2021, Scott’s office told Booker’s that if they could get some support from police organizations, they “would be able to get enough Republicans to pass the thing,” Terris writes. And soon, Senator Booker reached a police reform package that did indeed earn potential support from two police organizations—the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police—so long as Republicans could agree to the same text they had seen.

Booker’s team took the bill to Scott’s office.

But shortly after Scott’s office received the bill, a copy was curiously leaked to the National Sheriffs’ Association. Then, Terris writes, “With the Sheriffs’ Association as a shield, Scott rejected the offer. Even though the bill would have added millions of dollars to police department budgets, he accused Democrats of wanting to ‘defund the police,’ something that almost no one in Congress had been saying for months.”

The turn of events came as a surprise to Booker’s team. “It made [them], and other Democrats, pretty sure that Scott hadn’t been serious about passing legislation for quite some time… In fact, there were some on Booker’s team who had come to believe that Scott didn’t want to have a police reform bill weighing him down if he ever decided to run for president.”

Scott’s office did not respond to The New Republic’s request for comment.

In 2020, Scott did introduce his own police reform bill, called the JUSTICE Act, crafted in the aftermath of the murders of George Floyd by Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin and Breonna Taylor by Louisville police officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankinson, and Myles Cosgrove.

That bill actually did threaten to defund the police, if local departments were found not to be compliant with policies like banning chokeholds, stopping no-knock warrants for drug cases, and eliminating racial profiling practices.

“Our bill says that we will defund the departments if they don’t ban chokeholds,” Scott said in a Facebook live event in June 2020.

The bill failed after it met opposition, in part because it didn’t deal with qualified immunity, which protects officers from being held accountable for violence or misconduct against the people they’re supposed to protect.

Fast forward years later, and police are indiscriminately arresting and even murdering people protesting police brutality and environmental degradation; killing a migrant worker who just wanted to finish his shift after being fired; and arresting journalists covering protests against the brutal murder of a homeless person.

Meanwhile, last month, Scott joined all his Republican colleagues, and eight Democrats and independents, in voting to overturn Washington, D.C.’s police reforms that would have banned chokeholds and made body camera footage of officer-caused deaths, or serious uses of officer force, more accessible to the public.

Such is the spineless legacy Scott apparently brings to his almost-certain-to-lose presidential campaign.

Pablo Manríquez contributed reporting to this story.

A Tough Question for Republicans: Investigate Child Labor—or Promote It?

The House seems to be passing on an opportunity to investigate a child labor scandal.

Representative Virginia Foxx
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House is taking a pass on probing a Biden administration child labor scandal. Here’s the reason why.

One of the more Gothic recent developments in the Republican Party is its positioning itself as the party of child labor. In February, The New York Times handed congressional Republicans, practically on a silver platter, a camera-ready Biden administration scandal: About 100 migrant children in 20 states “described [performing] jobs that were grinding them into exhaustion” in flagrant violation of child-labor laws. The Times followed up in April with a report blaming the situation on ineffective coordination between the Labor Department, the Health and Human Services Department, and the Biden White House. The Labor Department reported a 37 percent increase in child-labor violations in 2022. Surely House Republicans would set aside their investigations into various phony Biden administration scandals and shift their attention to this very real one.

It didn’t happen. It fell this week to the senior Democratic member of the House Education and Labor Committee, Bobby Scott, to write a letter to GOP committee chair Virginia Foxx urging her at long last to schedule a hearing on “the illegal employment of children in unsafe conditions.” Scott released the letter to the press Thursday afternoon.

Why won’t Foxx reach for this low-hanging fruit? Partly because, as Scott notes, it would spotlight inadequate funding for federal agencies like the Labor Department’s wage and hour division and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and Republicans prefer to starve those agencies. But mostly Foxx is resisting because Republicans are pressing hard at the state level to deregulate child labor. More than a dozen state legislatures have introduced such bills, and four statesNew Hampshire, Arkansas, New Jersey, and Iowa—have enacted them. That’s liable to come up in a congressional hearing on the scourge of child labor. Better to take a pass.

Trump Is Begging for a New Trial in E. Jean Carroll Case

The former president, found guilty of sexual abuse, is getting desperate.

James Devaney/GC Images

Donald Trump cannot accept that he was found liable for sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll, and on Thursday asked for a new trial in the decided case.

Trump was unanimously found liable in May for sexual abuse and battery against Carroll in the mid-1990s, and for defaming her in 2022 while denying the assault. He was ordered to pay her about $5 million in damages. Carroll has two more defamation lawsuits against Trump pending: one from 2019 and one from last month, after he bashed her during the CNN town hall.

Trump’s lawyers argued in court documents that he had been charged too much for damages. They said that the $2 million award for sexual abuse was “excessive” because the jury determined Carroll had not been raped and that his assault had not caused her any mental injury.

The lawyers also said the $2.7 million for defamation was “based on pure speculation.” They asked that the total damages either be reduced to $900,000 or that the judge grant an entirely new trial.

Carroll accused Trump in her 2019 memoir of raping her in the Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman department store in the mid-1990s. She initially sued him twice for defamation: first in 2019, when he said she made up the rape allegation to promote her book, and again in November for posts he made about her on social media.

Carroll is not the only woman to accuse Trump of sexual assault, but her case was the first to make it to a courtroom. Trump continues to vehemently deny all of the allegations and launched fresh vitriol at Carroll during the disastrous CNN town hall last month. So Carroll sued him for defamation again.

Trump and his allies have repeatedly tried to thwart Carroll’s various lawsuits. Last week, a judge denied an attempt to throw out the 2019 defamation suit by Trump ally James H. Brady, who argued that the former president was being unfairly treated because he is a “white Christian.”

And on Monday, Trump and his legal team also requested that the 2019 suit be dismissed, arguing that he couldn’t have defamed Carroll then because he was technically telling the truth when he denied raping her.

Supreme Court Makes It Easier for Dems to Retake the House With Voting Rights Ruling

The court’s decision affects congressional district maps across the country, and a few Republicans are in big trouble.

Capitol building
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The Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday that Alabama’s congressional district map discriminated against Black voters could have bigger implications for several Southern states—and could help Democrats retake the House in 2024.

The biggest change and most immediate impact, obviously, will be in Alabama. But a handful of other states where racially gerrymandered districts are facing legal challenges could also see a very different map in the coming election. That includes Louisiana, South Carolina, and Georgia—and may affect races beyond that.

Democrats currently have 212 seats in the House of Representatives, and they would only need to reclaim six to retake the majority in the chamber.


Alabama will have to redraw its map to create two majority-Black districts, which could set a precedent for rulings in the other states. There are seven congressional districts in the state, and six of them are held by Republicans.

Here are the Republican representatives who could be most in trouble from the redistricting:

  • Jerry Carl
  • Barry Moore
  • Mike Rogers


Georgia Democrats lost a seat to Republicans during the 2022 midterms after the state GOP redrew the 6th district to include more conservative, majority-white areas. A judge could rule later this year that the new map illegally dilutes the Black vote and needs to be redrawn. The Republicans who could be at stake are:

  • Barry Loudermilk
  • A. Drew Ferguson


The Supreme Court previously blocked a lower court’s ruling to redistrict Louisiana to include a second majority-Black district, until it could issue its Alabama ruling. And now that we have a decision on Alabama, Louisiana will likely also have to redraw its maps to stop diluting the Black vote. That means Republicans who might lose their seats are:

  • Garret Graves
  • Julia Letlow

South Carolina

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the challenge to a South Carolina court ordering the state to redraw its 1st district.

Good luck to Nancy Mace.

Saudi Arabia Just Took Over Golf. Is Soccer Next?

The brutal kingdom had a very good, if not perfect, week.

Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images
The Lion in Winter (Cristiano Ronaldo playing in Saudi Arabia in March)

This was supposed to be a perfect week for Saudi Arabia, but it only ended up being a very good one. Taking over pro golf, which Saudi Arabia literally did on Tuesday, is a pretty good achievement—even though the deal will likely face antitrust scrutiny. (They did, after all, literally take over golf.) But the controversial kingdom also took its biggest steps yet to taking over soccer.

Wooing Cristiano Ronaldo with a $200 million annual salary in January was only one small part of the Saudis’ larger plan. Newcastle United, the English Premier League team the country’s sovereign wealth fund owns, will play in the Champions League next season. And since the conclusion of the European leagues, Saudi Arabia has splashed money around, wooing players to its domestic league. Karim Benzema, Ronaldo’s former teammate at Real Madrid, will play for Al-Ittihad; the brilliant, diminutive, oft-injured N’Golo Kante will join him there as well. On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s ruthless dictator Mohammed bin Salman announced that the state’s Public Investment Fund—which he definitely does not control—will take over the state’s four biggest teams. Saudi Arabia, in other words, is trying to become a huge player in global soccer. They only just missed out on their crown jewel.

Lionel Messi, soccer’s greatest ever player, who rebuffed the kingdom at the last minute on Wednesday, announcing that he would be spurning what likely amounted to more than a billion dollars to spend his twilight years in Saudi Arabia to instead take (probably) far less money in a far more convoluted deal to play in Miami. Messi is serving as a “cultural ambassador” for Saudi Arabia and is seen as a key cog in its effort to win the 2030 World Cup; his decision to spurn its offer was seen as a slap in the face. It was also a reminder that for all the money Saudi Arabia is kicking around, it is still a long way from becoming a major player in soccer.

Saudi Arabia has vast account surpluses and is investing heavily in sports as part of its efforts to launder its dismal human rights record—and as a way of transitioning its economy. It desperately wants the 2030 World Cup and is doing everything that it can to win it—and will spend billions to bring European stars to its domestic league.

It has already made huge strides in the world of golf and boxing, in particular. But it’s clear that the globe’s most popular sport is next. Bringing in soccer’s biggest stars—though many are well past their prime—may simply be part of the larger push to secure the 2030 World Cup. And yet Saudi Arabia’s ambitions seem to surpass hosting one global tournament. The larger effort is toward something like LIV Golf but for soccer. As with LIV, the Saudis are using their competitive advantage—they can pay many players exponentially more than many European clubs can—to build an empire. The next step will be taking on the global soccer elite directly.

Kathy Hochul Wants a Republican to Lead New York’s Energy Sector

There’s reason to be concerned about Justin Driscoll’s nomination as head of the New York Power Authority.

Kathy Hochul
Howard Schnapp/Newsday RM/Getty Images
New York Governor Kathy Hochul

New York is enveloped in a dense, ominous haze of smoke, a looming reminder of what may come without a green transition. Meanwhile, Kathy Hochul is trying to push through a Republican and climate-denialist donor to lead the state’s energy and power operations.

Justin Driscoll is the current interim CEO of the New York Power Authority, earning the recommendation of the NYPA board last year (a board that is appointed by the governor). Now, the state Senate will hold a confirmation vote this week on whether he should become a permanent fixture in the role.

Driscoll has a long résumé working in energy, but a closer look reveals a mixed record of concern to anyone who might specifically care about clean energy.

For starters, Driscoll is a registered Republican with a history of donations to Republican candidates and organizations.

That includes the New York Assembly Republican Campaign Committee, then–New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie, and Texas’s John Cornyn, during his first bid for the Senate in 2002. At the time, Cornyn had been criticized for accepting nearly $200,000 in political contributions from Enron, the energy company infamously wrapped up in corporate fraud. Driscoll nevertheless apparently found the Texas Republican—now a member of Congress who doesn’t believe climate change is real—to be compelling.

Driscoll’s record on actual policy also brings cause for scrutiny. Last year, he opposed the Build Public Renewables Act, legislation that sought to expand NYPA’s green energy production.

State lawmakers have passed the bill anyway, and many have hailed it as the “biggest Green New Deal win in U.S. history,” providing a model for how states can set course for strong transitions toward greener energy while creating jobs.

That is the kind of success Driscoll went out of his way to oppose.

“The NY State Senate voted to pass the BPRA this session because we know how crucial it is for climate action in New York,” state Senator Julia Salazar tweeted last year. “We cannot then turn around and vote to confirm a NYPA CEO who isn’t up to the task, which is why I wouldn’t be able to support Justin Driscoll’s nomination.”

And even on his actual leadership, there is reason to be concerned.

On Tuesday, Buffalo News reported that Driscoll oversaw an alleged racially discriminatory NYPA environment while serving as its general counsel from 2014 to 2021.

One senior power plant operator, Christopher Carey, was accused of berating, belittling, and discrediting the late Shirley Hamilton, the former president of the Niagara Falls NAACP and NYPA employee of 44 years.

Carey allegedly said no one could have Hamilton fired because she was “Black and untouchable,” but threatened that he would “get her fired and be the first.” Carey reportedly held Hamilton to standards he would not hold white employees to and said he had “management so bamboozled that I could run around the control room nude with Shirley and no one would believe her.”

The complainant, NYPA employee Nick Gilewski, claimed he was denied a raise and disciplined by Carey in retaliation for making the accusations. Gilewski resigned, citing how Carey’s pay just kept increasing despite the allegations, which grew to include another Black employee, Rudolph June.

In 2015, Buffalo News reports, June wrote a letter directly to Driscoll, who was general counsel for NYPA at the time. In it, June cited the hostile work environment, including threats of violence and even an incident where drawings that depicted African Americans as Black minstrels were found on site.

“While I can appreciate your frustration, I want to assure you that the Authority conducted a thorough investigation into your claims,” Driscoll wrote back.

June was fired from the agency in 2019, which he maintains was due to his complaints related to discrimination.

Perhaps Driscoll’s nomination makes sense when you look at Hochul’s own dodgy record on energy. In April, she granted an economic development award to Amazon, one of the wealthiest corporations in the world, giving it special access to low-cost power. She put the Build Public Renewables Act on the negotiating table while finalizing next year’s budget, allowing it to be slightly watered down.

Hochul also pushed a pro–fossil fuel bill that would have the state measure methane emissions impacts over 100 years, rather than 20, absurdly decreasing accountability. And she even appointed Caitlin Halligan to the state’s Court of Appeals; Halligan was part of Chevron’s legal team that aimed to take down environmental lawyer Steven Donziger, who stood up to the company for profiting off polluting the Amazon rainforest.

Just months after Hochul’s unsuccessful bid to push through a court nominee widely unpopular with much of the Democratic base—liberals, progressives, workers, pro-choice voters, and more—she is now trying to push through a Republican who has donated to climate denialists and who allegedly oversaw a racially discriminatory workplace to lead New York’s public power operations.

Supreme Court Surprises Us All and Delivers Major Win for Voting Rights

The 5–4 decision ruled in favor of Black voters.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday in favor of voting rights for Black residents of Alabama, in a total shock to everyone.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the three liberal justices, ruling 5–4 that Republican-drawn congressional districts in Alabama discriminated against Black voters under the Voting Rights Act.

This means that the seven congressional districts will now be redrawn. More than a quarter of Alabama residents are Black, but only one of Alabama’s seven congressional districts is majority-Black. Black voters are scattered throughout the other districts, dramatically reducing their ability to elect their preferred candidates. As a result of the racial gerrymandering, the state only has one Black representative.

A three-judge district court ruled unanimously in January 2022 that the map violated the Voting Rights Act by diluting Black votes, and ordered a new map be drawn. The judges ruled that Alabama’s Black population was large enough, and concentrated enough in one area, that there could be two majority-Black districts.

The state appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which heard arguments in October. While the case was ongoing, the map was used during the 2022 midterm elections.

Roberts wrote the majority opinion, and repeatedly rejected Alabama’s arguments in favor of keeping the current map as “unpersuasive” or of “little merit.”

“The Court’s opinion does not diminish or disregard the concern that [the Voting Rights Act] may impermissibly elevate race in the allocation of political power within the States,” he wrote. “Instead, the Court simply holds that a faithful application of precedent and a fair reading of the record do not bear those concerns out here.”

Alabama’s new districting map could prove crucial to Democrats’ ability to retake the House of Representatives in 2024.

This post has been updated.

GOP Congressman Says It’s Too Soon to Talk About Climate Change, Amid Raging Wildfires

Stop politicizing the weather, says man whose state is living under an air quality warning.

Marc Molinaro
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images

More than 100 million people are under air quality alerts, with numerous American cities experiencing among the worst air quality in the world, as heavy, hazardous smog from raging Canadian wildfires swallows much of the United States. And while people are putting their masks on to navigate their new reality, a Republican has come out to bravely say it’s too soon to talk about climate change.

“AOC can save her lecturing for the floor of the House,” New York Republican Marc Molinaro said on Fox. “Right now, there are countless firefighters, there are families being impacted, senior citizens, folks with respiratory issues,” he continued, listing off a laundry list of people his party has left behind by not caring about environmental protection. “There is little question that Canada obviously needs to focus on forest management, but this isn’t the moment to start lecturing people about the science of climate change. Right now it’s about putting out a fire and keeping people safe,” he finished, as if honoring the science of climate change is not intrinsically part of keeping people safe.

Note that Molinaro’s own state, New York, has among the worst air quality in the world right now. His district (one that Biden won) also includes much of the state’s most beautiful areas: the Catskill Mountains, the Hudson Valley, and parts of the Finger Lakes. And yet voicing concerns about how we are degrading these landscapes, and harming our people’s health, is “lecturing” to this New York Republican.

It’s almost comical the extent Republican politicians will go to deny reality. It’s not enough to cast doubt on the broader scientific fact about human-induced climate change—and all the subsequent effects, like wildlife and habitat loss, or the upending of our food and water systems—and how expensive that all is. While nearly a third of the country is at risk of breathing in a dark haze straight out of dystopia, Republicans are still lecturing us for having the nerve to say enough is enough.

There has been a great deal of focus on how Republicans, in their vicious agenda against education, LGBTQ people, and immigrants, are massively out of touch with most of America. It’s high time we externalize the fact that they are just as out of touch when it comes to climate and the environment. Pretty much everyone enjoys or appreciates our natural world: aesthetically, spiritually, recreationally, or simply by virtue of its being where their food and water comes from. But the conservative movement has no answer to protect it all—and wants to blame those of us who are trying to find one.

A Compendium of Statements That St. Peter Might Be Asking Pat Robertson to Explain

Farewell to a man who blamed LGBTQ people and people of color for virtually everything.

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Pat Robertson

Televangelist Pat Robertson, who founded the Christian Broadcasting Network, died Thursday at age 93.

Robertson was one of the main drivers behind Christian conservatism’s entry into mainstream politics, introducing what would become some of modern Republicans’ favorite talking points, including blaming LGBTQ people and people of color for pretty much everything.

Here are nine statements Robertson made that he will probably have to explain at the pearly gates.

1. Gay people and abortion caused 9/11

Robertson hosted fellow televangelist Jerry Falwell on his show The 700 Club just days after the 9/11 attack. At one point, Falwell said, “The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, ‘You helped this happen.’”

Robertson replied, “I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government.”

2. Haitians deserved the earthquake in 2010

Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake in January 2010. The death toll is still uncertain, but potentially half a million people died. Robertson said that Haitians had made a “pact with the devil” and have been “cursed” ever since.

3. Feminists are evil

In a 1992 fundraising letter, Robertson wrote: “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

4. Abortion caused Hurricane Katrina

Robertson said Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005 because God was angry about abortion. “I was reading … a book that was very interesting about what God has to say in the Old Testament about those who shed innocent blood,” he said. “Have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected?”

5. God won’t bless America because of gay people and abortion

Robertson said at the start of 2010 that God wouldn’t bless America that year because there was too much abortion and homosexuality and not enough prayer.

“Fifty million babies slaughtered,” Robertson said God told him. “You can’t have legislation that is anti-God. You can’t foster in your midst things that I call an abomination.… If you do, sooner or later judgment’s going to come.”

6. Gay people are Nazis

In March 1990, Robertson referred to homosexuality as a “pathology” that needed to be treated. “Many of those people involved with Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals,” he said on The 700 Club. “Those two things seem to go together.”

7. Muslims are also Nazis

In 2011, Robertson compared Islamophobia to being anti-Nazi. “I was thinking, you know, if you oppose Muslims, what is said?” he asked on The 700 Club. “Well, you’re a bigot, right? Terrible bigotry. I wonder, what were people who opposed the Nazis? Were they bigots?”

8. God would overturn the 2020 election in favor of Donald Trump

Robertson told 700 Club viewers that the lawsuit filed by Texas’s then–Attorney General Ken Paxton challenging the results of the 2020 election was a “miracle.”

“They’re going to the Supreme Court to say, ‘This election was rigged and you’ve got to overturn it,’” Robertson said, pushing Trump-backed falsehoods. He also said God would intervene.

(At least on this point, Robertson seemed to correct himself, saying two weeks later that Trump was living in “an alternate reality.”)

9. Towels in Kenya transmit AIDS

In 2014, a 700 Club viewer asked whether an upcoming trip to Kenya was risky.

“You might get AIDS in Kenya,” Robertson warned on air. “The people have AIDS in Kenya. The towels could have AIDS.”