CAWTHORN GOT CAUGHT TRYING TO CARRY A GUN ON ASHEVILLE FLIGHT: U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a first-term lawmaker from far-western North Carolina, attempted to bring a handgun through security at the Asheville airport in February. His congressional spokesman said it was done in error. A Glock 9mm handgun was taken from Cawthorn’s bag as he attempted to go through security on Feb. 13, 2021, according to audio first obtained and posted online Thursday by a group trying to oust the congressman from office. Officers from the airport’s Department of Public Safety first wanted Cawthorn to bring the weapon to his car, but elected to hold onto the gun because Cawthorn’s flight was leaving in “seven minutes,” according to the audio. Done in error my ass. He did it on purpose because he knew it would get in the paper and impress his gun-nut base. I f you or I did that. we'd be locked up pronto.
TAKE HIS NAME OFF THE UNC JOURNALISM BUILDING: Hundreds of emails released by UNC-Chapel Hill on Friday shed more light on the behind-the-scenes battle over a tenure package for acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who ultimately decided to go elsewhere. The emails show the efforts of megadonor Walter Hussman to dissuade UNC-CH trustees and university officials from offering Hannah-Jones a tenured position as a Knight Chair in the journalism school. They also show how a trustee’s questions about the tenure proposal appeared to push university officials to offer Hannah-Jones a nontenured position that the campus Board of Trustees would not have to act upon. It shows four trustees in the loop about Hussman’s opposition — Chairman Richard Stevens and trustees Kelly Hopkins, Chuck Duckett and Jeff Brown. Duckett later raised the questions that initially stopped the tenure vote.
RALEIGH'S GALAXYCON ATTENDEES NOT SO COOL WITH MASKS AND SUCH: About 4,000 people attended the first day of GalaxyCon Raleigh at the Raleigh Convention Center Thursday, with many more expected to fill the venue this weekend. The event, which celebrates all things comic books and pop culture, features celebrity guests, question and answer panels and vendors. “We expect strong attendance throughout the weekend -- moving closer to our self-imposed cap of 12,500 per day," GalaxyCon Raleigh CEO and President Mike Broder said. "While attendance is robust, it is below previous years here because we have put prudent limits on the number of people we allow in at one time. Capped attendance is one of our many added safety precautions, including making a free mask available to anyone who wants one. In keeping with the positions of the CDC and State of NC, we are not requiring masks, but we encourage them." Broder has said the event expects 22,000 people over four days this year. In 2019, the event attracted 38,500 people.
TED BUDD SHY ABOUT DEBATING REVEREND DUMBASS AND MYERS PARK PAT: In a sign of the campaign season gearing up, two of the top three Republican candidates for North Carolina's U.S. Senate race have agreed to a debate this fall. The debate, proposed by former governor and Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory, would be one of three, if the candidates are successful in organizing. Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker agreed to take the stage with McCrory, saying on Facebook: "Thought you'd never ask." An advisor to Rep. Ted Budd's campaign said in a statement, "It's a bit early in the process for that discussion just yet." Budd hasn't committed to participating in a debate before the Republican primary. He said that Budd was currently focused on meeting voters and asking for their support. Carter Wrenn, a Republican political operative and former campaign aide to Sen. Jesse Helms, said the candidates have yet to really focus on how they differ from each other on ideological grounds, though that should begin surfacing throughout the summer and fall. Except of course arguing about how far up Trump's ass each one is prepared to travel.
SPEAKING OF TRUMP, HE TRIED TO GET THE DOJ TO CLAIM ELECTION WAS CORRUPT: President Trump pressed senior Justice Department officials in late 2020 to declare the election corrupt even as those officials pushed back, warning the president that many of the claims he was hearing about voter fraud were false, according to notes taken by an aide who participated in the discussions. The notes were released to Congress this week and made public on Friday — further evidence of the pressure Trump brought to bear as he sought to throw out President Biden’s election victory. In one Dec. 27 conversation, according to the written account, acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen told Trump the Justice Department “can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election.” The president replied that he understood that, but wanted the agency to “just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” according to notes of the conversation taken by another senior Justice Department official, Richard Donoghue.