Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
President Donald Trump seems to have at least 1 (one) correct opinion: that Scientology is a scam and should have its tax exempt status revoked.
In unsolicited messages sent in May to the actress Leah Remini, a former member of the Church of Scientology who’s become an outspoken critic, Lynne Patton, a member of Trump’s inner circle who currently holds a top position in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said the president is no fan of the church, according to a Thursday story from the Huffington Post.
“From the moment I saw your series I told President Trump & his family we needed to revoke their tax exempt status. They couldn’t agree more, but please don’t publicize that yet. I want to do more due diligence on what the IRS has attempted in the past (or maybe you can enlighten me), then I’ll identify who we need to connect with again,” Patton messaged Remini, according to screenshots the actress shared with the site.
In another message, Patton said: “This is going to get done in the next 4 years or I’ll die trying. Knock on wood!”
Scientology has a long, antagonistic history with the IRS. The organization lost the tax exempt status granted to religious entities between 1967 and 1993, but it was reinstated that year after the IRS was flooded with more than 2,000 lawsuits. The church has reportedly planned or carried out widespread efforts to blackmail, intimidate, and smear individual IRS employees.
So, you know, normal Scientology stuff.
- Steve Bannon called white supremacists’ affinity for his former boss “a hundred percent media fabrication” in a sit-down with The New York Times. You can read more highlights from their interview here.
- The influential conservative group Club for Growth is going to start personally testing candidates seeking their endorsement, BuzzFeed News reported.
- Is Richard Spencer broke? At the very least, he’s bad at writing checks that clear.
- Trump lies so much!
- The Senate approved a policy mandating that its members and their aides undergo sexual harassment training for the first time in history.
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