NotedDC — Election deniers angle for seats in Congress

Associated Press/Mary Schwalm

2020 SAW AN INFLUX in the number of MAGA-aligned Republicans winning seats in Congress, with figures such as Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) becoming household names in their first terms (the latter won’t be returning in January after losing his primary in May).

Now, as Republicans look to flip the House in November, more far-right figures are poised to win a spot in Congress, joining a growing caucus of conservatives angling to take on President Biden and launch a series of probes into the administration. And many have aligned themselves closely with former President Trump.

Karoline Leavitt, a former Trump White House staffer running for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, has modeled herself after the former president’s bombastic style and has claimed the prior election was “stolen” from him.

Leavitt, 25, a proudly Gen Z candidate, could become the youngest woman elected to Congress if she wins. She faces Rep. Chris Pappas (D) next month in a race rated as a “toss up” by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

Bo Hines, a former college football star running for North Carolina’s 13th District, has similarly echoed Trump’s election claims and pushed to defund the FBI following its raid of the former president’s Florida estate.

He faces Democratic state Sen. Wiley Nickel in another race deemed a “tossup.”

In Ohio, Republican J.D. Vance has previously cast doubt on the last election’s results. In Vance’s battle against Rep. Tim Ryan (D), other issues such as abortion have garnered the most attention in the race recently.

“I think the fundamental problem is we had a massive effort to shift the election by very powerful people in this country. I don’t care whether you say it’s rigged, whether you say it’s stolen, like I’ll say what I’m going to say about it,” Vance told a reporter in January.

According to a tally from The Washington Post, more than half of the GOP candidates currently running for Congress have said they don’t believe the 2020 election of Biden over former Trump was valid — raising the chances of a large number of election deniers and political flamethrowers joining the House Republican ranks.

Unfounded claims about the 2020 election ultimately led to the violent attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 that temporarily disrupted the election certification process. Dozens of House Republicans raised objections to various states’ electoral results during that period.

“Obviously, it could be extremely dangerous,” Amy Fried, a political science professor at the University of Maine who studies political extremism, told us.

Welcome to NotedDC, your guide to politics, policy and people of consequence in D.C. and across the U.S. Today’s newsletter comes from The Hill’s Liz Crisp

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Billion-dollar verdict

A Connecticut jury has ordered Infowars host Alex Jones to pay nearly $1 billion in damages to the families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting.

  • The conspiracy theorist and webcast host falsely claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 26 people in Connecticut — 20 of them children between the ages of 6 and 7 — was a hoax and that parents were actors faking their kids’ deaths to invalidate the Second Amendment.
  • Jones admitted during the trial that he had been wrong about the shooting, and that it was real. “I’ve already said ‘I’m sorry’ hundreds of times and I’m done saying I’m sorry,” he said during trial testimony. 

Jones’s verdict means that the money will be paid to the family members of eight of the massacre victims and an FBI agent who responded to the shooting and who Jones later attacked on his series.

Many tearful family members of the victims testified at the trial.

Read more here from The Hill.  

  • Kicker: Jones’s reaction on his show after learning of the verdict: “This must be what Hell’s like, they just read out the damages. Even though you don’t got the money.”

Biden does prime-time sit-down

President Biden sat down with CNN’s Jake Tapper for a rare one-on-one interview on Tuesday, during which he accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of carrying out “war crimes” in Ukraine.

Here are four highlights from the interview:

  • On Putin and the war: “I think he is a rational actor who has miscalculated significantly.”
  • On the Russian leader’s motivations: “If you listen to the speech he made after, when that decision was being made, he talked about the whole idea … he was needed to be the leader of Russia that united all of Russian speakers. I mean, it’s just I just think it’s irrational.”
  • On the Ukrainian response: “I think he [Putin] thought he was going to be welcomed with open arms, that this was the home of Mother Russia in Kyiv, and that where he was going to be welcomed, and I think he just totally miscalculated.”
  • On 2024: During the interview, Biden expressed confidence about his chances of going up against former President Trump in a hypothetical rematch.

You can watch the full CNN interview here.

Fetterman brushes off health concerns

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) has voiced confidence in his ability to serve as a senator in multiple interviews this week, pushing back on questions surrounding his health following his near-fatal stroke earlier this year.

Fetterman, who is in a pitched battle against GOP rival Mehmet Oz (R) for an open Senate seat in Pennsylvania that Democrats hope to flip, did his first sit-down interview since having a stroke in May, speaking to NBC News.

The Democratic candidate admitted that he’s still struggling to communicate verbally but has full comprehension.

  • “I don’t think it’s going to have an impact,” Fetterman said. “I feel like I’m gonna get better and better — every day. And by January, I’m gonna be, you know, much better. And Dr. Oz is still going to be a fraud.”
  • Oz, a celebrity doctor, has repeatedly gone after Fetterman’s health following the stroke, though the candidate maintains he can still serve in the upper chamber.

Fetterman, 53, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he has “no physical limits” and that the remaining effects of the stroke are minor and infrequent.

  • He said he walks 4-5 miles a day, understands words properly and has not lost his memory.
  • NBC noted that Fetterman occasionally “stuttered and had trouble finding words” during his interview.
  • He conducted the interview partially via closed captioning, because he says his reading comprehension is better than auditory following the stroke.

Remember: Fetterman and Oz are slated to participate in their first and only debate on Oct. 25, two weeks before Election Day.


Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) will debate Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes on Thursday in a critical Senate race that both parties are hoping to win.

  • Johnson has been a key ally of former President Trump. If elected, Barnes would be the first Black senator to represent Wisconsin. 
  • The debate can be watched on C-SPAN. 

To catch up, here is The Hill’s recap of the pair’s last debate.  


“Can’t wait for media stories tomorrow about $1M of Burnt Hair sold.” 

– Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on his new perfume. More details here



An International Monetary Fund official’s estimation for another drop in U.S. stocks.


It’s National Gumbo Day! 🥣 As a Louisianan-by-marriage, I’m happy to celebrate accordingly and make a big ol’ pot of gumbo today. If you aren’t feeling your inner chef vibes and don’t want to make your own, there are plenty of places around D.C. to grab a cup or a bowl. Laissez les bons temps rouler! 📿 

Stay with for the latest and recommend NotedDC to others: See you tomorrow.

Tags 2020 election 2022 midterms Alex Jones Alex Jones Biden Chris Pappas Donald Trump election deniers House elections Karoline Leavitt President Biden President Trump Senate elections

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