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Critical race theory debate is tearing apart the Christian church, Fort Worth pastors say



At a packed Fort Worth school board meeting in mid-June, 48 speakers walked to the front of the auditorium and argued against what they called “critical race theory,” which included the school district’s racial equity work.

Of those 48 speakers, nearly a quarter invoked a powerful persuasive tool: God.

As the outcry over what is dubbed “critical race theory” continues to overwhelm school board meetings across the country, Fort Worth-area pastors also sense tremors in the ground beneath their own feet. The turmoil over critical race theory is beginning to rend the Christian church, too, local leaders say.

On one side of the budding divide, a contingent of pastors contends that systemic racism exists and that acknowledging it is the first step toward changing it. Michael Bell, the pastor at the 400-person Greater St. Stephen First Church, says the anti-CRT rhetoric distorts the reality of racism and allows people to avoid talking about it.

“It’s really a frontal assault on the truth,” Bell said. “So that they can inhibit any discussion on race, racism or discrimination. And it’s an attempt to whitewash, if you will, American history.”

Michael Bell of Greater St. Stephen Baptist Church in Fort Worth

Pastors including Bell are pushing back against some of their counterparts — such as Nate Schatzline, a preaching pastor at The House Fort Worth, a Watauga church with about 1,000 active members. Schatzline says structural racism is a myth in the modern United States, and that talking about it sows discord.

“It’s not about where we came from, it’s about where we’re going,” Schatzline said. “And as long as we’re pointing back and staring at the ugly nature of what slavery was — and making this a today problem when it was actually a problem that we overcame — then we’re going to stay in this oppressed vs. oppressor mindset. And it’s causing division in different people. It’s causing people to hate white people.”

Nate Schatzline of The House Fort Worth in Watauga

Nate Schatzline of The House Fort Worth in Watauga

The disagreement is fierce — and theological.

Ryon Price, the senior pastor at the 1,000-person Broadway Baptist Church, was one of several pastors who attended that packed school board meeting in mid-June. As he listened to the anti-CRT speakers quote the Bible, pray or mention God, Price says he thought of a passage in the book of Matthew. In the passage, part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that many people will come to him and point to the good works that they performed in his name. Jesus will respond, according to the passage, that he never knew them.

“I am certain that not all the things done in Jesus’ name are things that Jesus would want to be associated with,” Price said.

Anti-CRT protesters helped pack the Fort Worth Independent School District Board of Education meeting on June 22. In total, 86 people spoke at the meeting, including 48 anti-CRT or anti-equity speakers.

Anti-CRT protesters helped pack the Fort Worth Independent School District Board of Education meeting on June 22. In total, 86 people spoke at the meeting, including 48 anti-CRT or anti-equity speakers.

What is CRT?

While CRT has become a buzzword flung in the faces of school board members across the country, the actual theory is an academic framework taught in graduate-level courses. It contends that racism is structural — that is, that racism is built into American culture and entrenched in American institutions.

The theory grew out of a related but separate legal theory about four decades ago. And, while CRT is somewhat fluid and evolving, the core tenets assert that racism is not merely individual but systemic. The theory contends that systemic racism did not simply disappear with the end of slavery or the end of legally coded racism, but that it continued in American culture and institutions. For example, redlining and exclusionary zoning codes are illegal, but housing discrimination and segregation continue anyway.

“We need to pay attention to what has happened in this country and how what has happened is continuing to create differential outcomes, so that we can become the democratic republic we say we are,” said one of the founding scholars of CRT, Kimberlé Crenshaw, in a Columbia University article.

But a contingent of parents and politically active residents have begun talking about “critical race theory” as an expansive worldview. To them, “critical race theory” can refer to a wide range of actual or perceived work that schools are doing to achieve racial equity and inclusion.

They say it is racist against white children and that it teaches Black and brown children to see themselves as victims. They argue that educators should instead be teaching “unity,” which has become an anti-CRT buzzword in its own right.

National reporting has shown that the panic falls largely along partisan lines, and that anti-CRT activists tend to be Republican. Fox News has mentioned CRT dozens of times a day, the Washington Post found. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said he wants to “abolish” CRT. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has compared CRT to the Ku Klux Klan. And nationally organized conservative networks have encouraged parents to take action, NBC News found.

The result has been a national uproar with intensely local import — a simultaneously high-profile and highly personal outrage.

A total of 27 states have made efforts to restrict teaching on racism and related topics, according to an analysis by the education-focused media outlet Chalkbeat. A number of states, including Texas, have actually restricted such teaching through state legislation or other statewide measures.

That’s despite the assertions of public school districts nationwide, including in the Fort Worth area, that they do not teach critical race theory to students.

As the CRT debate sweeps the nation, local school board members have faced much of the heat, fielding dozens and sometimes hundreds of speakers at meetings that are normally sparsely attended.

But while the tension is perhaps most obvious in school board auditoriums, it’s bubbling up in other arenas, too — including within the church.

‘Nothing is new under the sun’

There have long been fissures, some of them more like yawning canyons within American Christianity. As one example, Price pointed back centuries to the antebellum period, when churches used the Bible to justify slavery.

“The truth of the matter is there’s been this tension within American Christianity for a long, long while. And these things are not new. The Bible says nothing is new under the sun,” Price said. “These are not new arguments. These are not new battles. The battle lines just seem to be in a little bit of a different place now.”

Ryon Price of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth

Ryon Price of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth

In the current battle, the lines falls roughly like this:

Pastors such as Price and Bell say that acknowledging historic and systemic racism’s ongoing impact on people of color is the first step toward healing and doing better. Price said that because the church traditionally teaches original sin — the concept that humans are born sinful as a repercussion of the fall of Adam — it should seem obvious to churchgoers that the past reverberates into the present.

“For Christians, this shouldn’t be that great of an issue to wrestle with, understanding that the past impacts the future,” Price said. “Racism is the original sin of our country.”

Meanwhile, Schatzline says that he’s all for the accurate teaching of history, but denies the existence of systemic racism. He also said that, while slavery was in full swing during the foundation of the United States, that doesn’t mean that slavery and racism are necessarily foundational to the country.

“I just don’t subscribe to the idea that America is a racist country. I believe there’s racists who live in America. But I don’t think that the fabric of our nation is built right here on racism,” Schatzline said.

Schatzline said racial disparities such as the wealth gap between Black and white families — which economists and researchers often attribute to systemic racism — can instead be explained by a “disparity in fatherhood in those families” and by “liberal ideologies” such as CRT and abortion rights.

Steve Penate, a founding pastor at Mercy Culture Church, ran for Fort Worth mayor on a Christian conservative platform.

Steve Penate, a founding pastor at Mercy Culture Church, ran for Fort Worth mayor on a Christian conservative platform.

Steve Penate, a former Fort Worth mayoral candidate and a founding pastor at the nearly 5,000-member Mercy Culture Church, similarly contends that structural racism is a myth. To partially explain persistent racial disparities, Penate instead points to the attitudes in and around communities of color, particularly Black and Hispanic communities.

“It all comes down to the cultures we’re creating,” Penate said. “According to the culture, such is the fruit that comes from it, such are the mindsets that come from it.”

Neither Schatzline nor Penate deny that racism exists. But they both said they believe American racism is confined to individual acts — that interpersonal racism exists but structural racism does not.

A politicized chasm

The Christian church is no stranger to disagreements.

But Bell said the CRT furor is poised to divide the church so deeply that the opposing sides might not be able to set aside the debate in order to talk about other things.

“I don’t see us agreeing to disagree,” he said.

There would be some obvious repercussions of a fault line so complete — congregations would struggle to see each other’s humanity, similarities would be obscured, cooperation would fall by the wayside.

But Bell worries about a more existential fallout: as the church focuses on internal battles, it could lose sight of the people outside its walls.

“The church is really blind to the possibility that it’s going to argue itself into irrelevancy,” Bell said.

Bell sees that potential irrelevance as one symptom of the church acting as a political entity.

This tangling up of religion and politics is neither new nor shocking, said James Riddlesperger, a political science professor at TCU. Riddlesperger pointed to the civil rights movement, which largely stemmed from Black churches. Civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were pastors.

“The truth is that religion has always been embedded in American politics,” Riddlesperger said. “But it is cyclical, there are times when it seems to raise its head.”

CRT may be one of those times.

Schatzline, for example, acknowledges that his conservative politics influence his beliefs on CRT.

“Obviously my conservative values are going to line up with my Biblical values,” Schatzline said. “It’s a conservative viewpoint that’s opposing CRT.”

And at Mercy Culture, which toed the line of outright candidate endorsement during the spring municipal elections, pushing politics is just another way of living faith out loud.

“We are creating the culture of heaven in your hearts so that you can take that culture into every sphere of life,” Penate said. “We’re called to be loud and bold about our faith.”

But Tom Plumbley — pastor of First Christian Church, which has about 130 active members — said there is a material difference between a church that’s politically active and a church that’s being used for political purposes. While a congregation’s faith may influence its politics, the reverse can be damaging, he said.

“The church needs to take great care whenever it wades into the public arena,” Plumbley said. “It [must] always remain the church and not let itself get used by political interests. And that’s a tightrope we all walk, liberal and conservative. … We always have to maintain our integrity as church.”

Because it is charged by politics and characterized by base-level disagreements about the way the world works, Bell said the budding CRT divide may be nearly impossible to bridge.

“Unless something happens out of the blue, this thing is going to be deepened,” he said.

But if there’s any chance of a resolution or a cease-fire, Bell said it would have to start with simple conversation among the church factions. And there hasn’t been much of that lately.


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Tennis star Novak Djokovic deported from Australia after visa cancellation



Tennis star Novak Djokovic has been deported from Australia after a federal court upheld his visa’s cancellation over his vaccination status. He had been initially scheduled to play in the Australian Open, which kicks off Monday. However, Australian officials require everyone coming into the country to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and Djokovic remains unvaccinated. CBSN’s Lana Zak sits down with CBS News foreign correspondent Imtiaz Tyab to discuss Sunday’s court ruling and widespread reactions to the controversy.


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Americans Won’t ‘Vote for a Cheat’




Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) attempted to wave off any concerns on Sunday about former President Donald Trump’s push to install election-denying supporters into election supervisory positions, claiming that “it’s just not true” that these officials could impact final vote counts.

At the same time, Cassidy insisted that the American public won’t fall for Trump-backed candidates pushing the “Big Lie” at the ballot box. “The American people are not going to vote for a cheat,” he confidently proclaimed.

During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Cassidy—who voted to convict Trump of impeachment for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection—defended his decision not to support restoring parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, even though the Senate voted 98-0 to reauthorize the law just a decade ago.

Fox News Has Ghosted Lara Logan After She Compared Fauci to Nazi Doc

“So the Supreme Court decided—the Supreme Court decided that the conditions in 1965 are different than they are now,” the Louisiana Republican replied. “Imagine that. We’ve had an African American elected president of the United States, an African American elected to the vice presidency, and an African American elected to the Senate in South Carolina. If anyone can’t see the circumstances have changed, they’re just not believing their lying eyes.”

CNN anchor Jake Tapper, meanwhile, noted that voting rights activists would argue that “discrimination and prejudices continue to exist” while pointing out that Republican legislations across the country are passing bills restricting voting access following Trump’s 2020 election loss.

“I don’t know what to say. This proves the system works,” Cassidy contended, adding that many Democratic-led states have more restrictive voting laws than Texas and Georgia, where recent restrictions were passed.

Tapper, however, reiterated that the influx of voting restriction bills and candidates peddling Trump’s baseless claims of widespread election fraud comes amid a coordinated push by the disgraced ex-president to make the “Big Lie” the GOP’s central issue.

“We did see Trump last night in Arizona trying to pressure legislators to decertify the 2020 election. On Friday, he called for an effort to get vote counters—more of them in office who are supporters of his,” the veteran anchor.

After airing a clip of the former president urging the GOP to be “tougher and smarter” on “counting the vote” by installing election deniers to election supervisory roles, Tapper pressed Cassidy on the rapid rise of election denialism within his party.

“We know what he means by ‘tougher and smarter,’ right? I get you don’t support the Democrats’ legislation. Let’s talk about another path forward,” the State of the Union moderator asked. “What do you support in order to secure our elections, to make sure there isn’t any fraud, but also they’re free and safe and that the efforts to disenfranchise that we saw in 2020 are not successful?”

Cassidy, for his part, asserted that “we are seeing the success of state and local government in protecting the election,” further stating that courts and judges rejected Trump-backed lawsuits to overturn election results.

As for election supervisors, the senator downplayed any role they would have in counting the votes.

“They don’t count the vote,” he declared. “It’s not some back room where you can either toss it out or keep it. It’s a public process in which both sides are represented, and there’s votes counted.”

Additionally, Cassidy—perhaps naively—expressed confidence that American voters wouldn’t support any candidate that openly supported the overturning election results or cheating at the ballot box.

“Lastly, I can imagine a campaign slogan, ‘Vote for me, I’m gonna cheat in the election.’ We should not underestimate the American people,” he said. “The American people are not going to vote for a cheat. If someone says I’m voting because I want to flip an election, they’re going to lose their election.”

Cassidy concluded: “And so I think we have to kind of give credit to the American people in the elections, in the process that we’ve gone to. Those ill intents didn’t pass, and as I pointed out in Georgia, they have more permissive laws than Delaware and New York.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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At his Arizona rally, Trump played a supercut of NY Attorney General Letitia James, who is investigating his real estate company for fraud, labeling her an ‘unhinged liberal’



New York Attorney General Letitia James presents the findings of an independent investigation into accusations by multiple women that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed them on August 3, 2021 in New York City.Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James is leading a civil fraud investigation into the Trump Organization’s business dealings.

  • During his rally in Arizona, Donald Trump claimed he did not know who she was.

  • In December, Trump filed a lawsuit against James, accusing her of harassing him with investigations.

On Saturday, former President Donald Trump held a rally in Florence, Arizona, where he played a supercut mocking New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is currently leading a fraud investigation into the Trump Organization.

“Keep our prosecutors out of politics because this could work very much in the other direction also, and all it takes is a few more votes and it’ll work in the other direction. And that would be very, very sad,” Trump said, before directing attendees to watch the video.

Clips showed James repeatedly calling Trump an “illegitimate president,” stating that prosecutors need to focus on following his money. In the final frame, “unhinged liberal” was superimposed over James’ face.

While Trump claimed on Saturday that he didn’t know “who the hell she is,” he filed a lawsuit against James last month accusing her of trying to “harass” him with investigations.

James’ probe is focused on whether Trump organization officials artificially inflated or deflated the value of properties for loan and tax purposes, respectively.

On December 1, James issued subpoenas to the former president’s eldest children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, baselessly claimed that the investigation is “unconstitutional” during an interview with Sean Hannity on Monday.

“It violates the Consitution. It’s unethical. It’s wrong,” Eric Trump said. “This is what you’d expect from Russia. This is what you’d expect from Venezuela. This is third-rate stuff.”

Read the original article on Business Insider


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Trump calls the Capitol Police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt a ‘disgrace’ and claims the FBI was behind the insurrection



Former President Donald Trump reacts to the crowd as he arrives to speak at a Save America Rally Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Florence, Ariz.AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

  • Trump held his first rally of 2022 in Arizona on Saturday.

  • The former president spewed falsehoods about the January 6 insurrection in his speech.

  • Trump called the officer who fatally shot Ashli Babbitt a “disgrace” and an “out-of-control dope.”

Former President Donald Trump called the Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol a “disgrace” and claimed the FBI was behind the insurrection.

In the first rally of the year in Florence, Arizona, Trump falsely claimed that Democrats wanted to “protect” the officer exonerated of wrongdoing in Babbitt’s killing following an internal investigation.

“I watched this guy being interviewed, they wanted to protect him so they wanted to keep him. He couldn’t get on television fast enough. The guy who shot Ashli Babbitt for no reason,” Trump said.

Trump called the officer an”out-of-control dope” and a “disgrace.”

“He’s so proud of himself. Let’s see how he could do without the protections that he got. And by the way, if that happened the other way around they’d be calling ‘let’s bring back the electric chair,'” Trump added, referencing Democrats.

Lt. Michael Byrd, a 28-year-veteran of the force, revealed his identity in an interview with NBC News in August, months after the insurrection.

Babbitt, who the night before the attack tweeted “Nothing will stop us. They can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours,” was shot while trying to climb through a shattered window in front of the Speaker’s Lobby.

Trump, however, went on to allege that the “real insurrection happened on Election Day” and alleged the FBI was behind the riot.

“They never talk about that crowd. They talk about the people that walked down to the Capitol. They don’t talk about the size of that crowd. I believe it was the largest crowd I’ve ever spoken [to] before and they were there to protest the election,” Trump said.

He added: “The fake news never talks about it. They never talk about it. Exactly how many of those present at the Capitol complex on January 6 were FBI confidential informants, agents, or otherwise directly or indirectly with an agency of the United States government. People want to hear this.”

Read the original article on Business Insider


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Ex-Alabama quarterback Jay Barker, who is married to Sara Evans, charged with felony assault



Former Alabama quarterback Jay Barker was arrested early Saturday morning in Nashville and charged with felony aggravated assault.

Barker, 49, is being held in Davidson County on a $10,000 bond with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His arrest booking report lists him by his full name of Harry Jerome Barker.

Barker was placed on a 12-hour hold for domestic violence, according to Davidson County Sheriff’s Office records.

Barker led Alabama to the 1992 national championship, including a victory over No. 1-ranked Miami in the Jan. 1, 1993, Sugar Bowl. He is the school’s all-time winningest quarterback with a 35-2-1 record as a starter, and won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award in 1994 as a senior. He finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting that year.

Barker was selected in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers but was cut from the roster. He spent time with the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers as a backup but never played in a regular-season game.

Barker hosts a radio show carried on 100.9 FM in Tuscaloosa as its flagship station. He previously had a morning sports talk radio show with Al Del Greco and Tony Kurre on WJOX in Birmingham.

He has been married to country music singer Sara Evans since 2008, his second marriage. The couple was married in Franklin, Tennessee.

Barker’s son, Braxton Barker, was a walk-on backup quarterback at Alabama for the past four seasons. He announced recently that he is entering the transfer portal to leave for another school.

Tommy Deas contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Ex-Alabama QB Jay Barker, married to Sara Evans, charged with felony


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Aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk departs Bremerton for Texas dismantling



BREMERTON — The USS Kitty Hawk, the nation’s last oil-fired aircraft carrier, departed Bremerton on Saturday for a 16,000-mile journey around South America for its ultimate fate: scrapping at a Texas shipyard.

Onlookers, many of them former sailors aboard the “Battle Cat,” watched as tugs pulled the rugged warship into Sinclair Inlet on a foggy Saturday morning. At more than 1,000 feet long, the Kitty Hawk won’t fit in the Panama Canal, so the warship will be tugged through the Strait of Magellan en route to Brownsville, Texas.

Corey Urband, a Navy veteran who became a machinist at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, was among those old sailors gathered to see it go. Many swapped stories of being thrust onto a Navy ship, put in charge of millions in equipment and the care of thousands of lives.

“As hard as life was on this ship, it’s part of my history,” said Urband, who served from 1992 to 1996 as a machinist’s mate. “While most people were graduating from high school and college, I was 30 feet below the waterline, halfway around the world from home.”

For Rich Bratlee, an electrician from Spanaway, the Kitty Hawk was an eye-opening rite of passage. The 6,000 sailors of the Kitty Hawk were double the size of his hometown in Montana.

“Quite a culture shock,” said Bratlee, who served from 1979-1983 and watched the ship depart Bremerton on Saturday. “I’ve come a long ways since being a kid on a farm.”

The massive ship had two escalators to help move around thousands of sailors more easily. Yet it never seemed to work well, sailors say. At times too many people would propel the escalator forward, spilling those at the bottom into a pileup.

“The were nothing but a pain,” Bratlee said.

The Kitty Hawk follows from Bremerton’s mothball fleet the USS Constellation, USS Independence and USS Ranger, which were all dismantled at the same place: International Shipbreaking Ltd. The company contracted for the warship, along with fellow carrier USS John F. Kennedy, for the stately price of one cent.

“The contract values reflect that the contracted company will benefit from the subsequent sale of scrap steel, iron, and non-ferrous metal ores,” said Alan Baribeau, a spokesman for the Naval Sea Systems Command.

A Foss tugboat pulls the USS Kitty Hawk away fromt he pier at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022.

More: USS Kitty Hawk veterans devastated the aircraft carrier is headed for the scrapyard

The Kitty Hawk got a rare visit to one of the Navy’s only two carrier dry docks in 2021 so that its marine growth could be scraped off. Under an agreement with the state, Suquamish Tribe and other groups, the ship’s hull could not be cleaned in Sinclair Inlet after a previous carrier’s scrubbing sparked environmental concerns.

More: Former Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier leaves dry dock in Bremerton

The Kitty Hawk participated in combat operations during the nation’s wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. The Kitty Hawk was also the fleet’s only permanently forward-deployed carrier in Yokosuka, Japan, from 1998 to 2008. It was decommissioned a year later and has been in mothballs in Bremerton until this year.

Five former aircraft carriers have been turned into museums, but the Kitty Hawk will not be one of them. Though many sailors and others advocated for its preservation, the Navy declined to pursue that course. Advocates worried that there will never be another carrier preserved for posterity, as those of the nuclear-powered era must be mangled to remove all radioactive remnants. The San Diego-ported USS Midway, a flattop that served from 1945 to 1992, was the last the Navy turned into a museum.

More: Former Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier leaves dry dock in Bremerton

Kitty Hawk history: a timeline

1956: The keel is laid by New York Shipbuilding Corporation for the second ship named after Kitty Hawk, N.C., site of the Wright brothers’ first flight.

1961: The USS Kitty Hawk is commissioned in 1961 at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.

1963: The “Battle Cat” conducts “experiments” to find out if the U2 high-altitude reconnaissance planes could land on a carrier.

1969: The flattop is awarded a presidential unit citation for its participation off Vietnam during the Tet Offensive.

1972: A race riot aboard the ship ended with almost 60 injured men and “initiated reforms in the Navy culture.”

1984: The carrier collides with a surfacing Russian submarine in the Tsushima Strait, leaving the sub’s propeller embedded in the carrier’s hull.

1992: Kitty Hawk supports Operation Restore Hope off Somalia.

1998: The warship pulls into Yokosuka, Japan, to serve as the forward-deployed carrier in the 7th Fleet.

2003: The carrier and its crew are a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

2009: The Kitty Hawk is decommissioned and brought to its new home at the Navy’s mothball fleet in Bremerton.

2017: The Navy announces the Kitty Hawk will be dismantled, disappointing sailors and others who called for the ship’s preservation as a museum.

2021: The Kitty Hawk’s hull is scraped in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard to remove marine growth and prepare it for the journey to Texas.

2022: The ship departs Bremerton.

​​​​​​Josh Farley is a reporter covering the military and Bremerton for the Kitsap Sun. He can be reached at 360-792-9227, or on Twitter at @joshfarley.

This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: Old carrier USS Kitty Hawk departs Bremerton for Texas dismantling


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CNN Unearths Audio Of Kevin McCarthy Saying Trump Admitted Responsibility For Riot



House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said days after the U.S. Capitol riot that then-President Donald Trump had admitted to him that he bore some responsibility for the violence that unfurled among his supporters on Jan. 6 last year.

“I say he has responsibility. He told me personally that he does have some responsibility. I think a lot of people do,” McCarthy said in a Jan. 12 interview with Bakersfield, California, radio station KERN that CNN’s “K-File” unearthed and released on Friday.

Listen to the audio here:

McCarthy reportedly made a similar claim about Trump taking responsibility for the riot in a Jan. 11 call to Republican lawmakers, per Reuters.

“I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened, if he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened,” the top House Republican reportedly said, although he’s since claimed he can’t recall saying it.

The resurfacing of the KERN interview audio is notable, given that Trump has never publicly admitted his role in inciting the storming of the Capitol (for which he was later impeached) and McCarthy has reasserted himself as a key Trump ally and refused to cooperate with the House select committee’s investigation into the riot.

Listen to McCarthy’s full interview on KERN Radio here:

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.



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