The Trump re-election campaign’s recently hired senior legal adviser, Jenna Ellis, has a long history of making controversial comments about LGBTQ people — and sharing them with the public — a review of her social media posts has found.
Ellis, a former Fox News commentator, has published multiple disparaging remarks about gay and transgender people and Muslims. The comments were made as recently as October and extend as far back as 2016, when she called the designation of the Stonewall Inn in New York as a national monument a “celebration of sin.”
In a Facebook post from July 2017, for example, she argued that conservatives should put aside any positive personal feelings they may have toward the LGBTQ community and focus on “God’s judgment.”
“Whether or not homosexuals are nice, wise people, or misunderstood, or mean is not the issue — God’s Truth is the issue,” Ellis wrote. “Sin is always sin, even if nice people commit it.”
Later that year, after “Star Wars” director J.J. Abrams hinted that the franchise would include gay characters (which, in the most recent film, amounted to a seconds-long lesbian smooch), Ellis responded disparagingly.
“Why not also a Christian? Or a Muslim? Or a pedophile? Or every other representation of any subculture, belief, and lifestyle?” she wrote on Facebook. “This overwhelming need to have LGBT ‘representation’ everywhere shows the falsity of their cry for equality. They want absolute subjugation of culture.”
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More recently, Ellis took aim at the 2019 LGBTQ Democratic presidential town hall in Los Angeles. In a tweet she shared in October — just a month before she joined President Donald Trump’s campaign team — Ellis called the event “a hate-based forum that is simply attacking the constitutionally protected right to free exercise of religion.”
In her tweet, she shared a clip of herself on Fox News, where she repeated the claims and said the left was “trying to target the church and the family, which traditionally has upheld the heterosexual man as the leader of the church and the family.”
According to the politics website Axios, Trump hired Ellis in November after having been “impressed by Ellis’ TV appearances” on Fox News.
Media Matters for America, a watchdog group that monitors conservative media, published a report last week that unearthed many of Ellis’ “toxic” remarks about LGBTQ people and Muslims, saying the former pundit’s comments are “not American.”
Her controversial remarks about gays have not just been relegated to social media. In June 2017, during Pride Month, Ellis penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner titled “Has Facebook labeled you a ‘bigot’?” after she realized that she was unable to use Facebook’s temporary “pride” reaction button.
“Facebook must be selectively giving this new reaction to liberals, with some suggesting that the social media giant is being ‘culturally sensitive to bigots,'” she wrote. “Go ahead and don’t even give me the option, Facebook. That’s fine.”
Before she joined the Trump campaign, Ellis was director of policy at the James Dobson Family Institute, a conservative Christian advocacy organization. During her time there, Ellis testified before the Colorado Legislature arguing that the state’s ban on so-called gay conversion therapy, the medically debunked practice of trying to change a person’s sexual orientation, would be used against religious communities, even though the law exempts religious therapists.
The national LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD shared a Twitter thread last week highlighting Ellis’ record of anti-gay and anti-trans remarks.
“Turns out she, like many people Trump has surrounded himself with, has a long history of anti-LGBTQ statements and actions,” the organization tweeted.
Both the re-election campaign and the Trump administration have appointed people with documented histories of anti-LGBTQ views to top positions and advisory posts.
In November, NBC News reported on the appointment of a right-wing pundit — who had referred to gays as an “abomination” — to the advisory board of the Black Voices for Trump campaign coalition. And the LGBTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal in December reported that a third of Trump’s circuit court judicial nominees have a “demonstrated history of anti-LGBTQ bias.”
In a statement shared by email, Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said, “Jenna Ellis is a conservative who has been an ardent advocate for our founding Judeo-Christian principles, religious liberties, and our Constitution.”
“It’s not surprising that as a new advocate for President Trump, she is under attack by the liberal media. Jenna has a keen legal mind and the President’s campaign values her input and counsel,” he added.
SNP and Nicola Sturgeon savaged by Tory MP for ‘fatal flaws’ in Scottish independence plan
NICOLA STURGEON has come under brutal attack for her demands to Boris Johnson for a second referendum on Scottish independence, with a Conservative MP warning of “fatal flaws” and accusing the SNP of “creating their own self-fulfilling prophecy”.
Judge sets high bar for former Trump adviser Flynn to withdraw guilty plea
Federal District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan made clear Friday that Michael Flynn, who served briefly as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has a high hurdle to overcome in persuading the judge to let Flynn withdraw his guilty plea.
Flynn pleaded guilty two years ago, admitting he lied to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the Trump transition. A year ago, the government said he deserved credit for admitting his misconduct and cooperating with prosecutors in investigating Flynn’s former business partner. But prosecutors said recently that he failed to live up to the bargain and no longer deserves leniency.
Flynn’s lawyers have accused the FBI of misconduct in how it has handled his agreement. That culminated in a motion filed earlier this month seeking to withdraw his guilty plea, which has delayed his sentencing.
In a brief order Friday, Judge Sullivan said Flynn’s lawyers should file legal briefs addressing whether the court should hold a hearing “where the parties would present all testimony and evidence concerning the issue of whether Mr. Flynn can show that there is good cause to set aside his guilty pleas.”
Such a hearing, the judge said, might include “testimony from Mr. Flynn and other witnesses under oath, subject to cross-examination, to show any ‘fair and just reason’ for this court to grant his motion to withdraw.”
The judge’s order cited a 1995 ruling by the D.C. Court of Appeals that set a very high bar for withdrawing a plea. In that case, the appeals court said a defendant “must show either an error in the taking of his plea or some ‘more substantial’ reason he failed to press his case rather than plead guilty.”
If a judge refuses to allow a defendant to withdraw a guilty plea, the appeals court said it would be “extremely reluctant” to overrule such a ruling unless a defendant can show that the judge clearly made a mistake. A defendant “has to shoulder an extremely heavy burden if he is ultimately to prevail.”
Flynn’s sentencing is now set for Feb. 27. Under federal guidelines, he could face zero to six months in jail, and federal prosecutors have said his sentence should be in that range. Flynn’s lawyers have urged the judge to sentence him to probation with no jail time.
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