Mar 17, 2017

Zionist group defends Trump official accused of Nazi ties

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The Zionist Organization of America, an influential conservative pro-Israel group, is forcefully defending the reputation of Trump security advisor Sebastian Gorka. The news outlet Forward accused Gorka of having sworn allegiance to Vitézi Rend, a Hungarian nationalist group linked to Nazis. Gorka has denied the charge.

"Dr. Gorka is a proud American patriot and fighter against radical Islamic terrorism, and a faithful friend of the State of Israel and the Jewish people," said ZoA's president Morton Klein in a statement.Why this matters: Klein is among the most influential figures on the conservative side of America's pro-Israel community. He's previously defended Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon against charges of anti-Semitism and his words carry weight on the right.

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DOJ to treat antifa involvement in protests as domestic terrorism

Barr and Trump. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement Sunday that the Justice Department will use its network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to identify the "criminal organizers and instigators" of violence during the George Floyd protests, including antifa and similar groups.

Why it matters: Barr, President Trump and other members of the administration have pinned the blame for riots and looting over the past few days of protests against police brutality on antifa, a loosely defined far-left movement that uses violence and direct-action protest tactics.

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Trump and Zuckerberg share phone call amid social media furor

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In the week that President Trump took on social media, Axios has learned that he had a call Friday with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that was described by both sides as productive.

Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

Twitter, Google lead chorus of brands backing George Floyd protests

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter and Google are among the dozens of brands over the past 24 hours that have taken public stances in favor of Americans protesting racial equality. Some companies have changed their logos in solidarity with the movement, while others have pledged money in support of efforts to address social injustice.

Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.