We must call the El Paso shooting what it is: Trump-inspired terrorism | David Schanzer

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It is staggering to imagine how much more violence this president may motivate if he continues down this deeply disturbing path

Last year, when a rabid, anti-immigrant antisemite murdered 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue, I called it an act of domestic terrorism inspired by the ideology of Trumpism. The shooting took place during the height of the 2018 midterm campaign when Trump was inciting fear of an immigrant “caravan” from Central America. The shooter got the message. Hours before his bloody rampage, he accused a Jewish refugee support agency of bringing “invaders in that kill our people.

Saturday in El Paso it was deja vu all over again.

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Trump condemned for proposing ‘immigration reform’ in wake of mass shootings – live

Double down on pushing racism after racist kills 22!

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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke issued an impassioned condemnation of Trump’s response to the shootings on MSNBC this morning.

This president’s open racism is an invitation to violence. The writing has been on the wall since his maiden speech coming down that escalator calling immigrants “rapists and criminals.” The actions that follow cannot surprise us. pic.twitter.com/jSBbAQROF0

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The editorial board of another conservative outlet, National Review, argued that the El Paso shooting showed the need for America to root out white supremacy.

“In America, as abroad, we see our fair share of inexplicable violence,” the board wrote. “But the patterns on display over the last few years have revealed that we are contending here not with another ‘lone wolf,’ but with the fruit of a murderous and resurgent ideology — white supremacy — that deserves to be treated by the authorities in the same manner as has been the threat posed by militant Islam.”

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The ‘white replacement theory’ motivates alt-right killers the world over | Rosa Schwartzburg

deadly self-delusion and lies

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This conspiracy theory is influencing killers from Germany to New Zealand and now, it seems, El Paso

“This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Those were the words that appeared in a manifesto published shortly before the deadly shooting in El Paso on Saturday. More than half of so-called “alt-right killers” are motivated by the “white replacement” theory, which refers to the belief that white people will be systematically replaced by black and brown migrants. The killer in El Paso, who law enforcement believes authored the memo, is apparently no exception.

The white replacement theory is actually made up of two sub-conspiracies: “the great replacement” theory, which originated in France, and “the white genocide theory”, which comes from the US. Together, the theories are among the most widespread ideologies in far-right spaces, and the primary catalysts of far-right mass violence.

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Boris Johnson has no intention of renegotiating Brexit deal, EU told

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No-deal Brexit is British PM’s ‘central scenario’, chief Brussels envoy reportedly says

Boris Johnson has no intention of renegotiating the withdrawal agreement and a no-deal Brexit is his “central scenario”, European diplomats have been told, amid hardening evidence in Westminster that the government is expecting to crash out of the EU.

Brussels diplomats briefed after a meeting between the prime minister’s chief envoy and senior EU figures in Brussels said that Britain’s refusal to compromise was understood to have been clear to those attending.

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Calling on Donald Trump to Denounce White Supremacy Is a Joke

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On the same day that a white supremacist shot and killed 21 people at a shopping center in El Paso, Texas and a gunman in Dayton, Ohio shot and killed nine people in the city’s busy downtown, Donald Trump crashed a wedding at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. He smiled and posed for photos with the bride and…

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Trump’s shady data firm may have shared data on millions with Russia

Whistleblower Christopher Wylie told Senate investigators that it would have been ‘very easy’ for Russia to gain access to data on millions of Americans harvested by Cambridge Analytica, the shady data firm hired by the Trump campaign.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie revealed that Russia may have accessed private Facebook data harvested from up to 87 million people, including more than 70 million Americans.

Wylie said he doesn’t know for sure whether Russia got its hands on the massive dataset, which contains information harvested from Facebook by Cambridge Analytica researchers, but said it would have been “very easy” for Russian intelligence to access the data.

This information would have proved invaluable to Russia as they targeted U.S. voters with disinformation and propaganda aimed at helping Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In his testimony, Wylie explained that Cambridge Analytica was actively working on projects funded by the Russian government at the same time that it was working on the data-harvesting operation. Some of these projects involved working directly with Russian intelligence companies on “behavioral research” projects.

Furthermore, according to Wylie, Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was in “close contact” with Lukoil, a Russian oil company known to be linked to Russian intelligence. In 2014, Nix gave Lukoil a whitepaper prepared by Wylie outlining Cambridge Analytica’s work on data mining and voter targeting in the U.S.

The Russian intelligence-linked company reportedly took special interest in Cambridge Analytica’s U.S. projects.

“This means that in addition to Facebook data being accessed in Russia, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that [Cambridge Analytica] may have been an intelligence target of Russian security services,” Wylie said in written testimony.

He noted that “Russian security services may have been notified of the existence of [Cambridge Analytica’s] Facebook data,” and almost certainly would have taken great interest in seeing it.

Wylie also said that Cambridge Analytica “used Russian researchers to gather its data, [and] openly shared information on ‘rumor campaigns’ and ‘attitudinal inoculation’” with entities linked to the FSB, a Russian intelligence agency.

Asked by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) if Cambridge Analytica’s dataset with information on tens of millions of American Facebook users was shared with Lukoil or other Russian entities, Wylie said it was possible — and could have been done very easily.

“I can’t say definitively, one way or the other, if these datasets did end up in Russia but what I can say is that it would have been very easy to facilitate that,” Wylie told the Senate panel.

This data could have then been used by Russia to target American voters with disinformation during the 2016 presidential election.

It has been previously been reported that Russian-backed Facebook ads specifically targeted voters in Michigan and Wisconsin — two states that were key to Trump’s electoral college victory.

On top of Cambridge Analytica’s work for Russian intelligence-linked entities, Wylie said the data firm also recruited at least two people who were “closely associated” with WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. Those two people were reportedly recruited specifically because of their relationship to WikiLeaks, which the U.S. intelligence community considers to be a “hostile intelligence service.”

At one point, Cambridge Analytica even reached out to Assange in an effort to obtain Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.

The revelation that Russia may have gained access to Americans’ data through Cambridge Analytica is just the latest chapter in the unfolding scandal surrounding the shady data firm that the Trump campaign once touted for its role in helping Trump win the 2016 election.

The Trump campaign hired Cambridge Analytica in June 2016. Jared Kushner, who was in charge of overseeing then-candidate Trump’s digital operations, brought the data firm into the campaign — a decision that was reportedly cheered on by former Trump campaign CEO and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, a former vice president of Cambridge Analytica.

In previous testimony, Wylie said Bannon oversaw the development of voter suppression tactics at Cambridge Analytica. He expanded on this testimony Wednesday, noting that Cambridge Analytica offered “voter disengagement” as one of its services.

Cambridge Analytica’s dirty tricks finally caught up with them this year as the firm came under scrutiny in dual investigations in the U.S. and the U.K. Earlier this month, the company filed for bankruptcy and announced that it was shutting down.

But Cambridge Analytica’s troubles aren’t going anywhere. The New York Times reported this week that the Department of Justice and the FBI are now investigating the firm, focusing on its finances and cyber activities.

Given the close ties between Cambridge Analytica and the Trump campaign, an investigation of Cambridge Analytica is inherently also an investigation of the Trump campaign. And given what Wylie told Congress this week, the Trump campaign has good reason to worry about what investigators may find.

If Cambridge Analytica helped Russia target American voters, and if the Trump campaign knew about it, that would be clear evidence of the very activity Trump continues to deny: collusion.

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