Paladino: Hey, I’m Just Repeating Stuff I Heard Without Doing Any Critical Thinking!

INSIDE: Jan. 6 Hearing ... Uvalde Cops ... SCOTUS
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Carl Paladino (R), former New York gubernatorial candidate and honorary New York co-chair of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, speaks with a guest before Republican Presidential candidate ... NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: Carl Paladino (R), former New York gubernatorial candidate and honorary New York co-chair of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, speaks with a guest before Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during an event at Trump SoHo Hotel, June 22, 2016 in New York City. Trump's remarks focused on criticisms of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Who Among Us

House candidate Carl Paladino (R-NY) had quite a bit of explaining to do this week after it was discovered that he’d posted a conspiracy theory about the Uvalde and Buffalo mass shootings on Facebook, and that he once described Nazi leader Adolf Hitler as “inspirational” and “kind of leader we need today.” But in Paladino’s defense, he did those things because he was just passing along things other people were saying and didn’t think super hard about the things he was passing along.

  • Paladino said on Thursday that the “context” of his Hitler shout-out was “in regards to something I heard on the radio from someone else and was repeating.” The candidate called it “a serious mistake,” and then accused the media of making an “implication that I support Hitler.”
  • As for the Facebook post, Paladino claimed on Wednesday that while he didn’t write it himself, he did “carelessly republish it without clearly reading it.” The candidate only owned up to publishing the post at all after media outlets found out that he hadn’t just put it on Facebook; he emailed it out, too. Before that, Paladino had insisted that he wasn’t the one who’d posted it on his page because he didn’t know how to use Facebook.
  • This whole thing’s put House Republican Conference chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who had endorsed Paladino, in an awkward spot. On Thursday, her spokesperson had to clarify that the congresswoman wasn’t pro-Hitler and in fact “has one of the strongest records in the US Congress condemning anti-Semitism.” No word yet on whether Stefanik’s sticking to her endorsement, but her spokesperson shared Paladino’s statement with the media.

Catching Up On Jan. 6 Panel’s First Public Hearing

The House Jan. 6 Committee held its first public hearing on Thursday night. If you didn’t get a chance to watch it (or if you tried watching it on Fox News and uh, still didn’t get to watch it), we’ve got you.

  • Read our liveblog here.
  • The five main points on what the committee aimed to present in the hearing:
    1. Putting Trump at the center of it all
    2. Getting Trumpworld to turn against itself
    3. Tying the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers
    4. It was a broad, sweeping conspiracy
    5. Trump knew he lost, and still lied
  • Committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) signaled that the panel is well aware that Jan. 6 wasn’t just a one-off explosion of random violence, and they laid out how Trump had paved the way for the attack even months beforehand:
    • Trump knew the Big Lie was a lie
    • Trump perpetuated the Big Lie
    • Trump tried to use the executive branch to overturn the election
    • Trump’s call to come to DC on Jan. 6
    • Trump watched the Capitol attack and did nothing

Michigan GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Dropping Like Flies

Ryan Kelley, the far-right Michigan gubernatorial candidate who moved to the front of the pack after half the pack got scrubbed out by the petition forgery scandal, was arrested by the FBI on Thursday for allegedly participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

  • Five candidates, including the original frontrunners, had already been axed by the forgery scheme. Four of them failed to sue their way back onto the ballot, and the fifth guy didn’t bother fighting and just dropped out.
  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), who’s running for reelection, probably isn’t mad about seeing her potential GOP rivals disappear like America’s Next Top Model contestants.

How The Uvalde Police Failed

The New York Times obtained documents and video that further exposed the police’s astonishingly sluggish response to the Uvalde elementary school shooting and how Pete Arredondo, the school district police chief, seemingly prioritized the safety of his officers during the attack.

  • Arredondo and other officers were in fact made aware that not everyone in the classrooms where the gunman opened fire was dead, the documents reportedly show. Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw had told the media on the day of the shooting on May 27 that officers believed nobody was alive and therefore mistakenly believed they had more time to respond.
  • Arredondo finally decided to breach the classroom doors about an hour after the gunman began shooting–but he wanted to find the keys first. He repeatedly kept asking for the keys even after heavily armed officers had arrived with shields, according to the Times.
  • Officers reportedly kept their distance from the classroom door in the hallway for more than 40 minutes after the initial shots were fired.

SCOTUS Allows Undated Ballots To Be Counted In Pennsylvania

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that elections officials could count ballots that were signed but didn’t have the date on them.

  • The dissenters were Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.
  • This would be great news for (now-ex) Pennsylvania Senate candidate David McCormick, who had tried to sue to make this possible, if he hadn’t already conceded the race to rival Dr. Mehmet Oz last week (and Oz still beat him in the hand recount anyway).

Amy Coney Barrett Raked In $425,000 For Book Deal

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett got nearly half a million dollars from her publisher last year as part of a book deal, the Washington Post found.

Zinke Scores A Winke

Trump’s scandal-plagued former Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, is projected to win the GOP House primary for Montana’s First Congressional District.

Betsy DeVos Says She Discussed 25th Amendment With Pence

Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who wrote a book after resigning from the Trump administration over Jan. 6, told USA Today that after the Capitol attack, she spoke to then-Vice President Mike Pence about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump, to which Pence said no. She also wants you to buy her book.

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