Rep Jackie Walorski killed in crash, Alex Jones admits Sandy Hook was real, and more trending news

Here’s some trending topics for today, Aug. 3:

Rep. Jackie Walorski

Republican U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski was killed Wednesday in a car crash in her northern Indiana district along with two members of her congressional staff and another person, police said.

The crash happened about 12:30 p.m. when a car crossed the center line on a state highway and collided head-on with the SUV Walorski was riding in, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office said. Three people in the SUV, including Walorski, 58, were killed, as was a woman driving the other car, authorities said.

Walorski, who served on the House Ways and Means Committee, was first elected to represent Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District in 2012. She previously served six years in the state’s Legislature.

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<p>Alex Jones attempts to answer questions about his text messages asked by Mark Bankston, lawyer for Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, during trial at the Travis County Courthouse in Austin, Wednesday Aug. 3, 2022. Jones testified Wednesday that he now understands it was irresponsible of him to declare the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax and that he now believes it was “100% real."</p>

Briana Sanchez – pool, Pool Austin American-Statesman

Alex Jones

For years, bombastic far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones ranted to his millions of followers that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax, that children weren’t killed and that parents were crisis actors in an elaborate ruse to force gun control.

Under oath and facing a jury that could hit him with $150 million or more in damages for his false claims, Jones said Wednesday he now realizes that was irresponsible and believes that what happened in the deadliest school shooting in American history was “100% percent real.”

Jones’ public contrition came on the final day of testimony in a two-week defamation lawsuit against him and his Austin-based media company Free Speech Systems brought by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, the parents of a 6-year-old Jesse Lewis.

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<p>Democratic hopes of picking up a U.S. Senate seat in deep-red Missouri faltered Tuesday after Republican voters selected Attorney General Eric Schmitt as their nominee over former Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned in disgrace in 2018.</p>
<p>Greitens, they predicted, would be toxic in a general election. Democrats landed a strong recruit in beer heir Trudy Busch Valentine, who won her primary Tuesday. And the state's Republican establishment prepared to put millions of dollars behind an independent candidate in the general election, potentially fracturing the GOP vote.</p>
<p>But Greitens came up short Tuesday, finishing a distant third behind Schmitt and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler. His campaign's tailspin can likely be traced back to March, when his ex-wife submitted a bombshell legal filing in the former couple's child custody case.</p>
<p>Sheena Greitens said in a sworn statement that Eric Greitens had abused her and one of their young sons. She also said he displayed such "unstable and coercive behavior" in the lead-up to his 2018 resignation that others took steps to limit his access to firearms.</p>
<p>At the time, Greitens faced potential impeachment after his former hairdresser testified that he blindfolded and restrained her in his basement, assaulted her and appeared to take a compromising photo to pressure her to keep quiet about an affair.</p>
<p>He resigned from office — and avoided testifying under oath about the affair.</p>
<p>He launched his comeback campaign for Senate last year, marketing himself as an unabashedly pro-Trump conservative. And while many in Missouri wrote him off, one important political figure didn't: Donald Trump, who mused publicly about Greitens' attributes.</p>
<p>But in the end, Trump stopped short of issuing an endorsement, instead issuing a vague statement this week throwing his support behind "ERIC."</p>
<p>And on Tuesday, the other "ERIC" in the race — Schmitt — won.</p>

AP

Democratic hopes of picking up a U.S. Senate seat in deep-red Missouri faltered Tuesday after Republican voters selected Attorney General Eric Schmitt as their nominee over former Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned in disgrace in 2018.

Greitens, they predicted, would be toxic in a general election. Democrats landed a strong recruit in beer heir Trudy Busch Valentine, who won her primary Tuesday. And the state's Republican establishment prepared to put millions of dollars behind an independent candidate in the general election, potentially fracturing the GOP vote.

But Greitens came up short Tuesday, finishing a distant third behind Schmitt and U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler. His campaign's tailspin can likely be traced back to March, when his ex-wife submitted a bombshell legal filing in the former couple's child custody case.

Sheena Greitens said in a sworn statement that Eric Greitens had abused her and one of their young sons. She also said he displayed such "unstable and coercive behavior" in the lead-up to his 2018 resignation that others took steps to limit his access to firearms.

At the time, Greitens faced potential impeachment after his former hairdresser testified that he blindfolded and restrained her in his basement, assaulted her and appeared to take a compromising photo to pressure her to keep quiet about an affair.

He resigned from office — and avoided testifying under oath about the affair.

He launched his comeback campaign for Senate last year, marketing himself as an unabashedly pro-Trump conservative. And while many in Missouri wrote him off, one important political figure didn't: Donald Trump, who mused publicly about Greitens' attributes.

But in the end, Trump stopped short of issuing an endorsement, instead issuing a vague statement this week throwing his support behind "ERIC."

And on Tuesday, the other "ERIC" in the race — Schmitt — won.

Eric Greitens

Republican leaders got their wish with the defeat of former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in the U.S. Senate primary. Now, they face another complication: A well-funded, right-leaning political newcomer who could splinter some of the Republican and independent vote in November.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt pulled off a stunningly dominant win in the GOP primary on Tuesday. Greitens, forced by sex and campaign finance scandals to resign in 2018 and accused by his ex-wife of abuse in a March court document, didn’t even finish second, bested also by U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

Schmitt will face Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine in November.

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Get more of today’s trending topics here:

“Lightyear”

Kansas abortion decision

Peter Meijer