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Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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It’s been a bad few weeks to be a white nationalist.

The racist far-right has been flailing since descending on Charlottesville, Virginia, in August for a rally that participants deemed a success for its huge turnout—until it turned deadly. Groups plan events and then cancel them in rapid succession, and people point fingers on Twitter at who they perceive to be leading the movement astray. An event intended to “Unite the Right” ended up doing the exact opposite.

“If this was initially seen as a victory for the movement, it’s actually been one of abject devastation,” Heidi Beirich, expert on extremism at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told TPM. “Look at the infighting that came in the wake of the event over whether it was the right tactics, if they should have been there in the first place, the groups that came, and the violence, obviously.”

“It was very painful to them and there’s a lot of reticence to go down that road again,” Beirich added. “They certainly don’t want to have a Charlottesville 2.0.”

The last thing the far-right wants right now is another sprawling rally brimming with heavily-armed participants in a public place. The Anticommunist Action Network on Thursday abruptly canceled an event along those lines being planned for Charlotte, North Carolina, after white nationalist leader Richard Spencer dropped out and white supremacist websites cautioned their followers against going.

White supremacist Andrew Anglin wrote on his Daily Stormer website that after Charlottesville, marching with guns through a park in Charlotte was a “recipe for disaster” that would invite police backlash and mass arrests. Neo-Nazi Internet troll Weev took direct aim at Spencer in his own blog post, framing him as an attention-seeking opportunist and “source of catastrophic loss for all who stand beside him.”

This sort of mutual mistrust and infighting is not new to far-right movements, according to experts on the subject.

“In this extremism world, and I’ve been doing this for over three decades, there have always been these internecine battles that take place, and jealousies, and personalities,” said Brian Levin, director of the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University.

But Levin said he believes there is a real splintering now, as many groups that showed up to Charlottesville—and even some that didn’t—set about dissociating themselves from the event and its violence.

Movement leaders of varying stripes all are saddled with the baggage of having attended an event where Ku Klux Klan leaders flew their banners, and where an ideological sympathizer rammed a car into a group of peaceful protesters, killing counter-protester Heather Heyer and injuring many more. The damage is particularly great for the so-called “alt-right,” a loosely defined group of white nationalists, anti-Semites and online trolls whose project has been putting a presentable, buttoned-up face on racism.

“The concept of the alt-right is to create a sort of mainstream version of an old hatred,” said Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. “When violence occurs at their events, it does undermine their effort to try to recruit and attract people to their cause as if it was somehow mainstream.”

Even more cutting for a cohort obsessed with projecting aggressive masculinity, the event made many of them “appear as laughingstocks,” Segal said. Social media lit up with videos of “alt-right” personality Baked Alaska calling for milk after getting pepper-sprayed in the face. And Spencer and other alt-right leaders disavowed Charlottesville organizer Jason Kessler after he was chased from his own impromptu press conference after the event and later sent what he claimed was an alcohol, Ambien and Xanax-fueled tweet insulting Heyer.

Kessler is hardly the only Charlottesville participant to see his life fall to pieces over an event condemned by virtually everyone, with the notable exception of President Donald Trump. The Daily Stormer’s Anglin, who is in hiding as he faces a pending lawsuit, has been booted from multiple web hosting services. Others were doxxed, kicked off social media and Paypal or fired from their jobs. Some participants who injured counter-protesters have been jailed. And as FBI Director Christopher Wray testified in a Wednesday congressional hearing, his agency has “about 1,000 open domestic-terrorism investigations,” many related to the white nationalist movement.

Those in the white nationalist community acknowledge that they’ve taken a serious hit.

Evan McLaren, executive director of Spencer’s National Policy Institute, described Charlottesville as “traumatic for a lot of people,” telling TPM it was “natural” that those in the “alt-right” “are now seeking explanations.”

Echoing tweets from Spencer, McLaren said that the movement should redirect their attention to private venues where counter-demonstrators can’t enter or to “flash mob-type events not announced beforehand.”

There are other spillover effects. Concerns about “violence” and “alt left terrorist threats” recently derailed nationwide rallies planned by anti-Muslim group ACT! For America and far-right Internet personality Jack Posobiac. And former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ plan to host a “Free Speech Week” in Berkeley imploded.

As the SPLC’s Beirich put it, “The public sympathy has dissipated.”

“Milo is of course not directly connected with what happened at Charlottesville, but I think a lot of people on the right who’d normally have come out to make a fuss about free speech rights have taken a second look at this argument,” she added.

Both extremists and the experts who study them caution that those on the racist fringe are simply down, not out. But with leaders squabbling over tactics and a fired-up countermovement tracking its every move, the right may not unite again in the near future.

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A congressional request for information on White House adviser Jared Kushner’s private email use ended up in CNN’s hands on Thursday after his high-powered D.C. attorney accidentally forwarded it to an Internet prankster.

As CNN reported, Kushner had apparently never disclosed his personal email account to the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, irritating lawmakers who only learned of its existence from press reports. His attorney, Abbe Lowell, received an indignant email from the committee asking Kushner to turn over all relevant documents from his “personal e-mail account described in the news media as well as all over accounts, messaging apps, or similar communications channels you may have used or that may contain information relevant to our inquiry,” according to CNN.

That’s where things took a wrong turn. Instead of forwarding the letter to his real client, Lowell accidentally sent it to a British prankster who had punked Lowell a few days ago, who in turn passed it along to CNN.

This is the second time this week that Lowell has been caught up in a private email-related snafu with this prankster, who goes by the handle @SINON_REBORN on Twitter.

In the previous exchange, the Kushner imposter expressed concern about “adult content” buried amid his private emails, including videos of “half naked women on a trampoline” and one that came with with the hashtag “#standingOnTheLittlePeople.”

Lowell appeared to take the messages seriously, asking “Kushner” to be sure he had shared with him all of the emails on his personal account and cautioning him not to delete any.

Lowell has said that the messages sent and received on the real Kushner’s non-White House address were mostly related to media coverage and event planning.

Below are the full letter, courtesy of @SINON_REBORN, and CNN’s report on the mishap.

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UPDATED Sept. 28, 9:40 a.m.

In what is becoming something of a pattern, a far-right event slated to take place just after Christmas in Charlotte, North Carolina lost support even before planning really got underway.

Infighting, mistrust and the dark stain of August’s deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia appears to have derailed a “March Against Communism” rally scheduled for Dec. 28. At least one slated headliner already pulled out earlier this week, while other white nationalist figureheads warned their followers not to participate.

On Thursday morning, just two days after telling TPM it planned to move ahead with the event, the group Anti-Communist Action (Anticom) announced the rally was cancelled due to “safety concerns.”

“In light of safety concerns, we’ll no longer be holding an event in Marshall Park,” the group said in tweet pinned to the top of its page. “This was agreed upon by both organizers and guests.”

An Anticom spokesman who identified himself only as Seth declined to elaborate on the tweet, saying the group wanted to “keep future planning private.” On Tuesday, he had described his high hopes for the rally to TPM.

“A good way to describe this is what ‘Unite the Right’ should have been, in the non-violent sense,” Seth said, referring to the Charlottesville rally.

Though the spokesman acknowledged he was “sad to see” white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, whose name was listed on an initial announcement circulated by Anticom, pull out of the event, he expressed confidence that his relatively low-profile group could still draw a big coalition of white nationalists, militia groups, libertarians and far-right icons to North Carolina.

The parallels between Anticom’s planned rally and Charlottesville were clear. Aside from the name of the city where the “March Against Communism” will be held—Anticom’s Seth said it was “just an unfortunate coincidence”—there was a planned torch rally through the city’s streets, and many of the exact same participants who showed up to “Unite The Right” were invited.

Those similarities kept some would-be participants away. The Charlottesville rally led to the slaying of counter-protester Heather Heyer; to companies cutting off access to white nationalist and other extremist groups’ social media accounts and funding sources; to days of damning news headlines; and to a number of participants getting fired from their jobs or winding up in jail.

Spencer confirmed to TPM in a text message that he had pulled out of the Charlotte event, expressing concern about the outdoor venue.

“Cville proved that we simply can’t fully trust mayors and chiefs of police,” he said. “I don’t want to simply repeat Cville. We’ve got to learn from Cville and create better models.”

Others who Anticom said were invited to the event were out in force at Charlottesville, including animal-sacrificing former Florida Senate candidate Augustus Sol Invictus; white nationalist group Vanguard America; neo-Confederate group League of the South; and Matthew Heimbach, head of the white nationalist Traditionalist Worker Party. None of those invitees responded to TPM’s requests for comment.

Some in the community called for a boycott of the event, suggesting that it might be a setup and questioning the motives of the low-profile Anticom organizers. White supremacist Andrew Anglin, who has apparently resuscitated his Daily Stormer website on an Icelandic domain after being booted off a number of U.S. hosting services, told readers: “Urging people to attend a purposefully provocative event with unknown planners who have openly called on people to bring guns to the event is, in our view, utterly irresponsible.” White supremacist hacker Weev echoed those warnings in his own blog post, accusing Spencer of “trying to get some of your fool asses killed” by initially agreeing to participate in an event with weapons organized by “virtually unknown parties.”

Outrage and accusations flew with even more fervor on the 4chan /pol/ message board, where many Charlottesville attendees and supporters had once coordinated planning. Posters speculated that Spencer was “a plant of some sort”—a “Bolshevik” or undercover federal agent trying to undermine their movement:

Much of this festering suspicion stemmed from the wording of the original invitation from Anticom, which encouraged attendees to bring their “torches, guns, armor, gear, and flags” to the “nonviolent” event in the Charlotte, which has a growing minority population.

Unlike in Virginia, visible and, in most cases, concealed firearms are forbidden at protests in North Carolina. Seth, Anticom’s group’s spokesman, told TPM that he had provided updated guidance on carrying firearms an that the group would closely follow police instructions on whether attendees could bring other weapons, like flagpoles, and shields.

While Seth told TPM the group had been in conversation with the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Police Department about those issues, police spokesman Rob Tufano told TPM that “no one from the organization” had been in touch with the department. If Anticom moves forward with the rally, all it’ll need to do is file for an amplified sound permit to use a speaker system and stick to city streets during the torch march, offering advance notification to the local Department of Transportation.

The “March Against Communism” also will face some competition for media attention. A counter-rally coordinated in response to the event is seeing a flood of support, according to “Charlotte Against Racism/White Supremacy” organizer Jibril Hough.

“I’ve never tried to organize something that’s gotten so much interest so early,” Hough, an activist and spokesman for the Islamic Center of Charlotte, told TPM of his interfaith event, which also will be held in the city’s Marshall Park.

Hough said he plans to hold his rally, which will feature live music and politically-oriented speeches, “even if they don’t show up,” saying it will “allow us to show our diversity and a united front.”

Already, hundreds of people have added themselves to Facebook groups for Hough’s event and for a similar one organized by Indivisible Charlotte.

For now, it looks like the counter-protesters will be the only ones there.

Pictured above: In this Friday, Aug. 11, 2017 photo, multiple white nationalist groups march with torches through the UVA campus in Charlottesville, Va. (Mykal McEldowney/The Indianapolis Star via AP)

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The Justice Department on Tuesday waded into the debate over free speech on college campuses, filing a statement of interest on behalf of an evangelical Christian student who sued his Georgia university over alleged First Amendment violations.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the DOJ’s statement in the case during an address promoting campus free speech at Georgetown University Law Center, telling the small, invitation-only crowd that his agency would “enforce federal law, defend free speech, and protect students’ free expression from whatever end of the political spectrum it may come.”

As he spoke, faculty and students who were denied entry to the event protested outside, some with tape placed over their mouths.

Sessions made clear Tuesday that the interest in the evangelical student’s case was just the start of the DOJ’s newly-launched campus free speech crusade, promising that his department would be weighing in on more cases “in the weeks and months to come.”

The renewed commitment begins at a particularly charged moment in the national debate over free speech. Students have organized mass protests to keep certain controversial speakers from addressing their peers, and those speakers have capitalized on the contention to secure media attention in turn.

One such speaker is white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, who has enlisted the help of Georgia State University grad student Cameron Padgett to manage his speaking tour of college campuses across the country. Padgett has sued Michigan State University on First Amendment grounds for refusing to allow Spencer to come speak, after successfully suing Auburn University to allow Spencer to speak there.

National attention is likely to be trained on how the case that drew the DOJ’s interest, Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski, plays out given the Attorney General and other Trump administration officials‘ recent remarks on the subject of free speech.

At issue in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski is Georgia Gwinnett College’s use of two “free speech expression areas,” which are made available to students for a total of 18 hours a week. Student Chike Uzuegbunam filed suit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta in December, charging that school officials had violated his First Amendment rights by telling him to stop preaching his evangelical beliefs and distributing fliers about his faith within one of those zones. Officials allegedly told him that his evangelizing amounted to “disturbing the peace” because a number of students had complained about his comments, according to court documents.

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian nonprofit representing Uzuegbunam, has argued that this stance violates both the student’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The DOJ concurred in its statement of interest, pointing to decades of court precedent falling strongly in favor of strong free speech protections in public spaces like state university campuses.

“Colleges and universities must protect free speech and may not discriminate out of a concern that listeners might find the content of speech offensive or uncomfortable,” the statement reads, noting that there is a heightened interest in this case because of the “allegations of disparate treatment based on religion.”

U.S. Judge Eleanor Ross is currently considering a motion to dismiss the case filed by Georgia Gwinnett College.

Read the DOJ’s full statement of interest in Uzuegbunam v. Preczewski below:

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Amid the torrent of tweets President Donald Trump has sent in recent days attacking NFL players and owners for protesting the national anthem on bended knee was an image of a wounded veteran. Above the photograph of the heavily decorated double amputee was a caption asking what “this BRAVE American would give to stand on his OWN two legs just ONCE MORE for our #Anthem,” along with the hashtags “#MAGA” and “#NFL.”

That veteran, retired Marine Staff Sgt. John Jones, told TPM on Tuesday that he takes no issue with NFL players’ protests—but he’s not enthused about being dragged into the politics of whether someone should stand or not stand for the national anthem.

As he drove to his job as director of development at Workshops for Warriors, a California-based non-profit that trains veterans to be certified machinists, the two-tour veteran of the Iraq War explained that while he would not personally choose to protest the anthem in that way, he disagreed with the idea that doing so was “not acceptable,” as Trump has insisted.

“I went over there and I fought for the rights and freedoms of everybody to do whatever they wanted to do in a lawful manner,” Jones said. “So if the NFL as a whole wants to protest the flag and protest America, then so be it, that’s your right.”

“Keep it peaceful, keep it respectful and I don’t care what you do,” he added.

The players who started the “take a knee” protests say they’re taking a stand against police brutality and racial inequality; San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid lamented in a Monday New York Times op-ed that their actions were “still being misconstrued as disrespectful to the country, flag and military personnel.”

The portrait of Jones in the meme that Trump retweeted was taken by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders for the 2007 HBO documentary, “Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq.” Jones, who lost both legs in a landmine explosion while traveling in a Humvee convoy through Anbar province, said this is not the first time the image has been circulated on social media by people promoting their own political agendas.

He likened his experience to the use of the portrait of Pat Tillman, an NFL player and Army Ranger who was killed in Afghanistan in 2002. Tillman and his family eventually became outspoken critics of the War on Terror and Bush administration. Nevertheless, Trump retweeted Tillman’s photo to bash the NFL, prompting Tillman’s widow, Marie, to issue a statement urging “our leaders” not to “politicize” her husband’s service to advance their views.

Jones had a slightly more generous take. Joking that few people in the U.S. can say that the President has shared their photo, he told TPM he doesn’t take issue with Trump retweeting an existing meme. But he said he wishes his likeness wouldn’t be used as a partisan football without his blessing.

“So many people have taken that photo and never even contacted me, never found out who I was or anything to say, ‘Hey can I utilize your photo for this?’” Jones said.

He said he only gets involved and tries to “shame” people for doing so if they use his photo in a “derogatory” manner.

But Jones wishes he could maintain a bit more control of his image and be left to focus on his work of helping veterans find gainful employment and stability as they transition out of the armed services.

“I don’t like being utilized in the whole political debate of whether you should stand or whether you should not stand,” he said.

This post has been updated.

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Jared Kushner’s private attorney fell victim to a prankster posing as his client on Monday, exchanging several messages about Kushner’s use of a private email account to conduct government business and fielding questions about supposed “adult content” forwarded to that account.

In the email back-and-forth, which was first shared with Business Insider, attorney Abbe Lowell tells the individual he believed to be Kushner that he needed “to see all emails” sent and received from a personal email address that the top White House adviser and son-in-law of the President set up in December.

Kushner’s use of that account was first reported by Politico on Sunday. The New York Times and CBS have since reported that at least six senior White House officials, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former chief strategist Steve Bannon, used private email accounts to carry out official business.

The prankster, who goes by the handle @SINON_REBORN on Twitter and used the address kushner.jared@mail.com to contact Lowell, has since made their full Monday exchange public. He opened the conversation by asking Lowell what to do with “some exchanges with a website featuring adult content.”

Lowell asked if the messages were “forwarded or received from WH officials.”

After Kushner replied that one “unsolicited” message was forwarded to him by a White House official and that he’d also received “a handful more, but not from officials,” Lowell asked for evidence.

“I need to see I think all emails between you and WH (just for me and us),” he wrote. “We need to send any officials emails to your WH account. Not stuff like you asked about. None of those are going anywhere.”

“But we can bury it?” the prankster responded. “I’m so embarrassed. It’s fairly specialist stuff, half naked women on a trampoline, standing on legoscenes, the tag for the movie was #standingOnTheLittlePeople :(”

“Don’t delete. Don’t send to anyone. Let’s chat in a bit,” Lowell responded.

The high-powered D.C. attorney is representing Kushner in ongoing federal and congressional investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. He declined Business Insider’s response for comment, but previously released a statement saying that all of the “non-personal emails” sent or received on his private account were forwarded to his official address.

Lowell also said in that statement that most of the messages regarded event planning or news articles.

The Trump administration has had a rough streak of being lured into embarrassing exchanges by pranksters. Earlier in September, White House special counsel Ty Cobb asked @SINON_REBORN, using the email address dan.scavinojr@emailprankster.co.uk to impersonate White House social media director Dan Scavino, if there “was any drone time left” while discussing the work of a Business Insider reporter.

Energy secretary Rick Perry and several other administration officials have also been fooled by various pranksters.

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Longtime Donald Trump associate and self-described dirty trickster Roger Stone said that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election and charged that Democratic leaders unfairly accused him of collusion in a statement released hours before his Tuesday testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

The 47-page document is pure Stone: a combative, bomb-throwing screed that insists the “mantra-like repetition” that Russia carried out an influence campaign to swing the election to Trump “does not make it so.”

He writes that it is instead, like the allegations against him, a combination of “conjecture, supposition, projection, allegation, and coincidence, none of it proven by evidence of fact.”

Stone adamantly denies the main charges against him: that he had advance knowledge that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails would be hacked and that WikiLeaks would release thousands of hacked emails from Podesta; and that he obtained damaging information from a hacker believed to be a creation of Russian intelligence in a Twitter exchange.

He asks for apologies from Clinton, House Intelligence Committee vice chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and other top Democrats for repeatedly tying him to the Russia investigation in public appearances, amending his statement with news clippings documenting their comments.

A besuited Stone arrived on Capitol Hill just after 9 a.m. Tuesday, accompanied by his two attorneys, and proceeded directly into chamber where he was slated to meet with the committee. For once he had little to say, telling reporters gathered outside only that he planned “to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.”

Read Stone’s full statement below:

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The White House press secretary on Monday brushed aside reports that members of the Trump administration had used private email accounts to conduct government business, saying personal email use was “very limited” overall.

“White House Counsel [Don McGahn] has instructed all White House staff to use their government email for official business and only use that email,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at the press briefing, adding that staffers receive reminders on this topic “pretty regularly.”

Politico reported Sunday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, had used a private account to correspond with several other senior White House officials about media coverage, event planning, and other government business. Recently departed chief strategist Steve Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus used their own private email accounts to exchange messages with Kushner and others, according to Politico.

That report was followed up by a Monday item in Newsweek on Trump’s daughter Ivanka using a personal email address in February to ask Linda McMahon, head of the Small Business Administration, about “opportunities to collaborate” on issues related to “women’s entrepreneurship.” Now a White House adviser, Ivanka Trump was operating in an odd gray area at the time, sitting in on meetings with her father and government officials while holding no official title.

The use of personal email accounts by Trump officials are drawing particular attention because the President turned Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state into a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign. Trump routinely said that Clinton should be jailed for using a personal email system to carry out her official duties.

A reporter asked Sanders if the White House would commit to releasing Kushner’s emails to the public.

She said that she was “not aware” of any plans to do so but would keep the press updated.

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A Republican Louisiana lawmaker on Monday proposed cutting millions in state tax dollars and subsidies for the New Orleans Saints and the NFL after some of the team’s players refused to stand for the national anthem, according to The New Orleans Advocate.

State Rep. Kenny Havard’s comments put him on the side of President Donald Trump, who faced backlash from the league and from some of the country’s most prominent athletes over the weekend after saying that players who participate in this form of protest should be suspended or fired.

“Disrespecting our national anthem and flag in the name of social injustice is the highest form of hypocrisy,” Havard said, as quoted by the Advocate. “Our free society made possible by our fighting men and women has made available free education, free lunch, housing and free healthcare and is now be considered socially unjust. It’s time the taxpayers quit subsidizing protest on big boy playgrounds.”

The athletes behind the protests say they are taking a stand against racial inequality and police brutality.

The newspaper cited a 2015 Forbes report that found that Saints owner Tom Benson would receive some $392 million in state subsidies through the lease expiration date in 2025. Those funds were projected to come from a combination of rental payments, tax breaks and increased revenue from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where the Saints play.

Havard has proven himself happy to wade into controversies. During a debate last year over a bill raising the minimum age for dancers at Louisiana strip clubs, Havard suggested that the legislation also regulate their weight. He went so far as to propose an amendment that would require dancers to remain under 160 pounds, which he described as a “poke at over-regulating everything,” before withdrawing it amid criticism from his fellow lawmakers.

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For more than a month, an eccentric pro-Russian Republican congressman has been publicly discussing his plan to meet with President Donald Trump to discuss what he learned firsthand from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. It seems that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s (R-CA) message hasn’t gotten through.

“I’ve never heard that mentioned, really,” Trump told the White House press pool Sunday when asked about plans to potentially pardon Assange in exchange for his information. “I’ve never heard that mentioned.”

Though the U.S. intelligence community agrees that Russia was behind a multi-faceted “influence campaign” to disrupt the U.S. presidential race, Rohrabacher has said that Assange has evidence that would clear that country of any allegations of interference.

The California Republican said he saw this evidence firsthand during a mid-August meeting at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has lived in asylum for about five years.

Rohrabacher has spoken of his efforts to get the President’s ear ever since, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity that he expected an in-person “rendezvous” and the Los Angeles Times that he has “spoken to senior people at the White House” about setting it up.

One of those people was White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who, according to the Wall Street Journal, received a telephone pitch from Rohrabacher about the potential pardon deal.

A Trump administration official told the Journal that Kelly did not deliver Rohrabacher’s message to Trump, instead telling the congressman that the idea “was best directed to the intelligence community.”

Rohrabacher spokesman Ken Grubbs did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for an update on the congressman’s plans to meet with Trump.

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