Gaetz Fires Back At House GOP Leaders Over Newly Revealed Private Rebukes

INSIDE: Cawthorn (Of Course) ... Fauci ... Harris
Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, questions witnesses at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment of US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, December 4, 2019. - The ... Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, questions witnesses at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment of US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, December 4, 2019. - The next phase of impeachment begun December 4 in the US Congress, as lawmakers weigh charges against Donald Trump, after the high-stakes inquiry into the president detailed "overwhelming" evidence of abuse of power and obstruction. Four constitutional scholars will testify before the House Judiciary Committee in the first of a series of hearings to establish the gravity of Trump's alleged crimes. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Knives Out

After New York Times reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin released new phone call recordings of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) privately calling out Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) as a security threat in wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Gaetz put out a statement on Tuesday night mocking the two leaders for “holding views” about him and Trump “that they shared on sniveling calls with [then-House GOP conference chair] Liz Cheney, not us.”

  • “This is the behavior of weak men, not leaders,” Gaetz said.
  • McCarthy and Scalise made the comments during a private call on Jan. 10, saying Gaetz was “putting people in jeopardy” with his active role in helping Trump incite the Capitol attack.
  • The two Republican leaders also called out Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) in the call, with McCarthy opining that the Alabama lawmaker had acted worse than Trump on Jan. 6.

Here’s one of the call tapes:

Why Does Cawthorn Keep Bringing Guns And Knives To Restricted Areas?

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) was cited for bringing a loaded gun to Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Tuesday, per multiple reports that were later confirmed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

  • It was the second time Cawthorn tried to bring a gun to an airport. The TSA at Asheville Regional Airport found a Glock 9 millimeter handgun in the GOP congressman’s carry-on bag at a security checkpoint in February last year.
  • Then we’ve got the knives: Cawthorn allegedly carried a knife on school property at least three times last year.

US Finally Out Of COVID-19 Pandemic Phase, Fauci Says

Biden’s chief medical adviser and infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci had some much-welcome news on Tuesday: The country is “certainly” now “out of the pandemic phase.”

  • The U.S. is at a “low level” of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19, according to Fauci.
  • Nearly one million Americans have died from the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More specifically, the death toll is at 988,991 as of Wednesday morning.

More Than Half Of US Population Got COVID

60 percent of Americans had been infected with COVID-19 at least once by February, according to new data from the CDC. 75 percent of American kids had been infected, the agency reported.

Harris Tests Positive For COVID

Vice President Kamala Harris’s press secretary announced on Tuesday that she had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier that day. She isn’t exhibiting symptoms and hasn’t been in close contact with Biden or First Lady Jill Biden, according to Harris’ spokesperson.

  • That means Democratic senators won’t have Harris’ tie-breaking vote to give them an edge in the 50-50 split Senate until the vice president can work outside her home.
  • Senate Democrats are also out two members thanks to COVID-19: Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

Russia Cuts Off Gas Supply To Poland

Russia took a direct shot at Europe, which relies heavily on Russia’s energy supply, on Tuesday by shutting down natural gas deliveries to Poland and Bulgaria in retaliation for Europe’s assistance to Ukraine amid Russia’s brutal assault on the country.

Biden Uses His Clemency Powers For The First Time

On Tuesday, the President granted clemency for the first time since he took office, issuing three pardons and 75 sentence commutations.

  • The 75 commutations were for people who’d been convicted for nonviolent drug offenses.
  • One of the three pardons went to the first-ever Black Secret Service agent to serve on presidential detail who had been convicted for allegedly trying to sell a copy of a Secret Service file, despite key witnesses who had testified against him in the case admitting that they had lied.
  • The other two pardons went to a Texas woman who was convicted for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and a Georgia man who was convicted for allowing dealers to use his business to sell marijuana (he himself didn’t sell it).

Extremely Online Conservatives Try To Own WaPo Reporter With Magnificently Stupid Billboard Stunt

Conservatives on the internet are still big mad at Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz for last week’s report on the woman who runs the Libs of TikTok Twitter account, a story conservatives on the internet claim was a nefarious “doxxing” (which in this context means they’re accusing her of publishing private information about the Twitter user) operation.

So in the spirit of their principled stance against public exposure, right-wing YouTuber Tim Pool and Jeremy Boreing, the CEO of the conservative Daily Wire, paid an obscene amount of money to do……this:

Imagine being so mad that you pay for an entire billboard in Times Square that would be completely incomprehensible to everyone but the terminally online. Imagine being a French tourist trying to catch a matinee of the Lion King while surrounded by off-brand Sesame Street characters, looking up and seeing that incomprehensible billboard and moving on with your life because that isn’t anywhere near the weirdest thing you’ve seen that day.

Delta Will Start Paying Flight Attendants During Boarding, Which Apparently Wasn’t Already A Thing

Attempting to fend off a union push, Delta Air Lines announced on Tuesday that it’s going to start paying its flight attendants during boarding, which would make Delta the first major U.S. airline to do so. 

  • Yep, cabin crew members don’t start getting paid for their work until the plane’s doors close. It’s a total mystery why flight attendants are trying to unionize.

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